happy birthday to our littlest boy :: {ari turns 5!}

Five years ago today, in the early morning hours, Jason and I sat quietly together in the dimly lighted living room of our home in Belgium. I was full of belly with our third child, our third boy.

Contractions had started coming on earlier the evening before and were becoming more frequent, but remained mild. So we sat waiting, waiting for them to start to come on stronger and longer. I instinctively felt the time was nearing to welcome our baby boy, but my water hadn’t broken like it had with our other two. There was no true sign that told us to go to the hospital. However, I remained uneasy and unable to calm myself enough to sleep.

It had been a fear of mine since becoming pregnant while living in the big city of Brussels that I would go into labor during the daytime when traffic was always horrendous and Jason was a good 25-30 minute drive away. In my mind, nighttime was when I had hoped to deliver our baby. Finally around 3:00am Jason said he would call for our friend, Carmen, to come and stay with the boys. The first two births were fast ones and he was a little nervous about making it to the hospital once I started progressing.

Carmen arrived in a flash. Excited for us, she said not to worry about Alex and Andy, wished us luck and we were out the door on our way to the hospital. Driving there we were hoping they wouldn’t tell us to go back home because it wasn’t quite time. We arrived at the hospital, parked the car and we walked (I waddled) holding hands in the rain through the emergency room entrance of the hospital.

Things got underway pretty quickly after we checked in…

William Ari Zolton was born on January 13th @ 7:25 am. He was 6.5lbs and 20in at birth.


He ranks third in comparison to birth weight and height of our four children.


Today he measures taller than Alex and Andy at 5 years.




Ari is no longer the youngest of the family, but he will always be my baby boy.

Happy 5th birthday to our green-eyed love!



{52 project} :: 2016 edition

It has been a few years, since I first completed the {52 project} of weekly photos in 2013. It was a rewarding project that recorded a moment each week. I adore that collection of photos and have each week’s photo printed and framed in a gallery on our bedroom wall. That collection can be found digitally here :: {52 project}, 2013 edition or in the archives listed under project {52} :: a portrait a week {52} :: 2013.

We are nearing the end of the first full week of 2016 and I am excited to share with you the first photo in the {52 project}, 2016 edition. Yes, I am reviving the {52 project} this year!


I am looking forward to sharing with you each week.



elsa :: 6 month update

Now at six months old, two little teeth show when Elsa smiles. She carries on babbling conversations and is always wide-eyed with curiosity. She is the most easy going baby of the four and is adored by her brothers.


Age :: 6 months

Weight :: 21 lbs

Height :: a little over two feet tall

Milestones :: almost without warning, during the week of Christmas, her two bottom front teeth emerged! She is mostly sitting unassisted, except when she is tired. She is rolling front to back, holding her feet while on her back, rocking on all 4’s, scooting backwards while in crawling position, grabbing toys, waving, and moving toward objects with intent.

Sleeping :: she takes a few quick naps throughout the day and will sleep longer if she is held or riding in the car. At night she wakes several times to quickly nurse and then falls back to sleep. Co-sleeping continues to be the best way to keep her close for those night feedings and I, mostly, wake up feeling like I got a good night’s rest.

Foods :: she has been exclusively breast feeding up until last week when we gave her small chunks of banana. This week she had banana again and roughly mashed steamed carrot pieces. She seemed to enjoy both foods and fed herself. We are following the practice of baby-led weaning which allows babies to control their solid food consumption by “self-feeding” from the very beginning of their experiences with food.








Starting Elsa on her first foods is an exciting time, but we are going to take it slow.
It’s all happening way too fast!




countdown to a new year

In the four months since my last entry here, life has sped by, dragged on, left me depleted, and overfilled my soul. All, I believe, as it was intended for me.

I am wholeheartedly welcoming the fresh start that the new year is offering.

I will be back to regular posting in 2016.  I’ve missed this little space.


I wish you all a Happy, Healthy and JOYFUL year ahead.

May we all Sparkle and Shine as bright as possible.



this sweetie pie….2 months old

Summer has had us in full swing over here. The past four weeks have flown by and we are now in our final two weeks of summer break. As things are starting to wind down, we will be sharing what we’ve been up. But for now, a quick post with a few pics and a video of our 2 month old sweetie pie.