So summer vacation got off to a rough start. Emi started swimming lessons on June 9th and on her first day, she had a meltdown. The pool was unfamiliar (even though this is the third summer taking Parent and Me classes, which truly shows how kids become afraid of things and also, cannot quite remember things) and it was quite cold. The next day Emi came down with a fever (not sure if it was completely related to swimming) and that fever/cold knocked her out for well over a week. It was nuts! Emi rarely gets a fever – didn’t get fevers when she was teething except for the first molar that popped out – and this time, it reached 103/104 at night. It was insane because we were getting up and giving her medicine, constantly giving her lukewarm baths, and doing everything possible to drive the fever down. I have been completely spoiled by not having to deal with this during teething or any other time so of course, when it does happen, it almost feels completely foreign to us. And in the middle of Emi being sick, I caught it. Fever + lack of sleep + taking care of a sick 2 year old + being pregnant = disaster I told myself I could get through it (cue “Eye of the Tiger” and envisioning myself conquering the flight of stairs), but the combination kicked my butt. And since I cannot be on antibiotics, it made it even more difficult (I still have the lingering cough/asthma/whatever it is now!). But now Emi is better (Finally and thankfully!) and we are now enjoying all the activities of summer. So yes, it was a rough start, but now we are having tons of fun because we’re not exhausted and drained from fighting off a fever/cough/sickness.

So session #2 for Emi’s swimming lessons started today and she really looked forward to going swimming. Although she was scared of her teacher, Emi kicked her feet and kept on saying, “Meme will hold you.” That was her reassurance in the pool that I wouldn’t let go. And she had fun, especially when I would spin her around in the water and bob her up and down while counting. Emi loves numbers, by the way, and will count and stack things like no tomorrow…and in numerical order. I seriously don’t know where she gets that from.

In addition to swimming we just started up soccer again last week. This time around Emi actually kicks the ball on her own and at a pretty good distance. The kids are supposed to kick and run to colored flags and Emi really enjoyed doing that. In addition to numbers, Emi also loves identifying colors so the flags are a definite plus. She was laughing and kicking the entire time until the coach said, “Good job!” That’s when Emi realized that someone was watching her AND there were other parents and kids in the class. After that, all she kept on saying was, “Meme kick the ball.” Emi is really conscious once she realizes people are aware of her. She is still really shy, but starting to open up a bit more. I remember the first soccer class and she didn’t even want to walk or run. I had to carry her so she has made improvement since then!

Emi is still continuing her ballet/tap class and she is definitely picking up more from the class. Her favorite part is still the tap portion and I think it is because the shoes make a lot of noise, especially when they bunny hop across the room or tap their toes behind them. There really isn’t anything cuter than little girls in matching pink tutus! All the moms have their phones out taking pictures and recording their girls. You just cannot help it (even though we are not supposed to)!

Since I have been home, I feel like Emi’s language and words have grown exponentially…or exploded! Everything just comes out in sentences – “Come here, Mommy,” “Move back, Mommy,” “What are you doing, Baba?,” “Get up, Meme,” “Do you want to play with dolls?,” and so much more. When we read books, Emi copies all the phrases and repeats them. She especially likes the Mickey Mouse book, Favorite Seasons, and will repeat “In the winter,” flowers, barbecues, celebrate, and “What’s your favorite season?” from the book. She just recently (today, actually) started pointing out all the question marks, exclamation points, and commas. Before we go to sleep, we read nine of the Mickey Mouse books, Goodnight Moon, and My World. Emi reads most of Goodnight Moon and she even makes silly voices when reading. She especially likes to point out where the mouse is at and laughs when she says mush. I love that she enjoys listening and reading books and our nighttime routine is definitely longer now that she has added books and likes to spell out the title of the books. She will look at the title, say each letter, and at the end ask, “What’s that spell?” Like I have said in the past, it is amazing how fast kids learn.

So here are some additions (just a handful) to her words: celebrate, shovel, Knott’s Berry Farm, videos, carousel, exploring, wheels…it may seem like a short list, but really, it’s hard to keep up now! Emi just asks questions left and right and it feels like she knows a million words! However, here are some funny ones. My mom asked her, “How about some water?” Emi’s response was, “How about no?” I have no clue where she got that from, but it totally caught us off guard and we couldn’t help but laugh. Another one that is funny/not so funny (in ways) is that she kept on saying two words and all I kept responding with was, “White dog?” Eventually Emi said…”What…what the…what the hell?!?” So I laughed…and I am to blame for this one. I think when things catch me by surprise I say, “What the!” It could be worse, that’s how I see it.

Emi is growing and changing so fast – she went through a growth spurt and is now taller than the dining room table and can easily reach up to the kitchen counter and even the dish rack – and is definitely not a baby. She is this little person…and I absolutely love it. This summer, now that our fever is over and done with, is going to be the best, although I have to start planning her 3rd birthday already! Ahhhhh!

Until the next post…

Some of Emi’s favorite things right now:

1. Duplo Lego Sets

2. Dolls, especially making them sit down or do the downward dog yoga pose

3. Painting on a daily basis

4. Shapes, numbers, and colors




When I spoke to Bryant, he said, “I’m thinking of proposing as early as this Thursday or by next weekend.” And from there, the ideas started flying within Bryant’s head on the specific location and the details included in it. He wanted everything to be perfect and would not execute this proposal unless it was. So even the Thursday before (what is now) the big day (May 31st), Bryant was uncertain. Would Joyce want to hike all the way to this location? Would location #2 be much more ideal? Did Joyce already know?!? There were definitely also nerves within Bryant so of course, there was a lot of back and forth, but come Friday, we met up and Bryant dropped off the red blanket and the decor for the surprise proposal.

So as I headed to Leo Carrillo State Beach with the bag in tote and the instructions, the nerves started filling up in me as well! I wanted to make sure I set up everything perfectly at the designated spot. I gave myself plenty of time to reach Tower 3 and rearranged the set-up multiple times thinking, Is this the best spot? Is the lighting good here because it will shift before they arrive? Oh my gosh, I have one shot at this and cannot get this wrong! These were the nerves going on inside of me and as I was feeling this, all I could think about was, How is Bryant feeling? I could only imagine how tightly his hands might be gripped around the steering wheel as he casually parked the car or how nonchalantly he was walking toward Tower 3 with his heart beating a million miles per minute.

And then I saw Joyce and Bryant at the top of the staircase. Joyce was was pointing to a location further down, but Bryant was pointing down the staircase. In a way, it was funny because he was trying to lead her in one direction and Joyce had something different in mind, but they eventually reached the spot where everything was set up. Since it was tucked away, Joyce didn’t notice it. Once they reached that red blanket, Bryant pulled out a book he made and together, they looked through photos and flipped through the pages. It then led to words that Bryant prepared and then he dropped down to one knee. There it was – that magical moment and of course, the big YES.

It was super exciting (and nerve wrecking!) to capture this moment, but also super sweet, loving, and all things wonderful. Joyce was actually caught off guard and didn’t expect the proposal so that made it even better. (And the fact that she didn’t see me peeking around the rocks to capture the moment made it even more surprising!)

Congratulations, Joyce and Bryant on your engagement! It was lovely meeting the two of you and capturing this exciting moment!




Our lives are filled with milestones and moments. Before Cecilia’s birth and arrival, it was her mommy and daddy getting married. Then it was Cecilia doing tummy time for the first time when I took her Christmas photos. And now, not only a big moment for her, but for her entire family (extended included) as well, was Cecilia’s baptism. Held at the San Gabriel Mission, Cecilia was blessed under the house of God and before her family’s eyes. It was a celebratory moment and just one of the many moments Cecilia is going to experience in her life.

As always, it was such a pleasure seeing Ana and Chris and I feel so fortunate to have photographed them and their family once again! They truly are such great people and I love seeing them grow along with Cecilia. Thank you for giving me yet another opportunity you two and I look forward to more throughout the years!