Before I share my last post on our trip to Joshua Tree (there’s a part one and a part two), I thought I’d share some of the shots that E took with her little point-and-shoot. I’m always pleasantly surprised when I look through the shots that my little three-year-old takes. Children have no rules of composition in their heads. No restrictions. Nothing holds them back. Sure, a lot of the shots are blurry messes, but some of them…some of them are amazing. (*I did post-process some of these, but just the colors. I didn’t crop or straighten them.)

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When I was little, we had a blueberry bush in our backyard. It was sort of great. We enjoyed it and so did the deer and birds, I assume. When my grandfather visited us from Japan, he ventured out in the yard and came back looking tired and satisfied. He proudly exclaimed that he chopped down the scraggly bush that seemed to be in the way of others.

And that was the end of our life with free fruit in the yard.

Flash forward twenty-something years and here I am living in a house with lemons, oranges, figs and avocados in the yard. Even if my grandfather was healthy enough to come visit me here, I’m pretty sure even he would realize this time around that the trees in the yard are there for a pretty good reason.

Anyway, I hope E remembers the days we spend here in California–if not all of it, at least the things that will make her smile in rough times. Like how the ocean greeted us every morning. How the sunset painted the sky in pastel colors every evening. And maybe even how we had a whole selection of fruit in our yard.

Okay. Well maybe she won’t remember much of the details.

But I do realize it’s up to me to make the most of her experience here. And just maybe, some bits and pieces will stay in her heart as the years go by.

Because time is a slippery little sucker and before you know it, you’ve got permanent wrinkles on your forehead and practically all of the Olympic champions are half your age. Seriously. (And to those of you who grew up in the nineties like me… did you know it’s been 21 years since the first Jurassic Park was released? And oh gosh, have you seen this Saved By the Bell reunion? How is it that everyone still looks exactly the same?)

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Is it too late to say, “Happy New Year!” when January is half over? Probably. But Happy New Year, anyway. The past month just flew by in a blur and between this post and my last, so many things have happened–including another move within LA.

After unpacking over a hundred boxes on my own and making our new home nice and presentable, we finally got around to getting Internet connection. This means I got my desktop out of its box and turned it on for the first time in over a year. (It was waiting for me in LA with K while I was in Japan waiting to go to LA to join K. Okay, that’s too wordy but whatever. I haven’t written anything in a while so bear with me.)

This new house though. Oh gosh. We are so lucky to have a place with such a great view of the sunset. It literally blinds us every morning. E is happy to have a room to herself and has requested that I make it green and pink, her favorite colors. I’m gonna have to dig in really deep to find my inner girly decorator so that her room turns out cute instead of looking like one of my monochrome film shots.

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It has finally started. The changing of colors. The preparation for colder days and chilly nights. Leaves are starting to collect at the side of road, just waiting to be crunched by my all-too-eager toddler. They don’t stand a chance.

During every outing, my little E and I spend a good amount of time searching for the reddest leaves, the biggest leaves, and the ones with holes in them that, according to E, look like faces.

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So… I think I completely jinxed myself the other day when I wrote about how E is finally waking up at 5:00 am. Because today she woke up at 3:58. And yesterday, 4:02. And the day before that–well, you get the idea. Amazingly though, I’d been pretty healthy despite my lack of sleep until E graciously coughed in my face and gave me her cold sometime last week. It was a glorious gift that had me shaking with a high fever and sounding like a duck that spent the entire night singing karaoke at a smoke-filled bar. Meanwhile, E was like a walking, talking, leaky faucet that somehow managed to be her funny little self throughout her relationship with our shared cold.

Yes, it was a beautiful week at our house.

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