Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

2016 Recap (Part 1): 2016 in 12 Photos & Link-up - logo_2016_photos

It’s End of the Year Recap Week! Join me as we review over 2016 and share the good, the bad and the funny. Each post will be a link-up for you to share your own thoughts, memories and faves. Choose one or join them all! Here is the line up…

Today – 2016 Recap (Part 1): 2016 in 12 Photos (hashtag #2016in12photos)

Tuesday2016 Recap (Part 2): Entertainment & Social Media Faves of the Year

Wednesday –Β 2016 Recap (Part 3): Top Posts of 2016

Thursday –Β  2016 Recap (Part 4): Lessons God Taught Me in 2016

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I love End of the Year recap posts but the photo year in review is my favorite! Dwija over at House Unseen hosted the link-up in the past but has passed the baton to me. So let’s get to it! - eoy_2016_jan2

January is the month of fresh starts and new resolutions. Along with the usual get healthier and better organize my house resolutions, I added some fun ones like read more books and write more letters. I’m happy to say I did both! (The books and letters…that is.) πŸ˜‰

* * * - eoy_2016_feb

Every once in awhile I wish I loved in a place where we could have a white Christmas but then February comes around and I get to enjoy scenes like this during winter. Yeah, I’m good.

* * * - eoy_2016_mar

March was a difficult month. My father-in-law had another stroke and slowly became more ill. We spent every day with him and prepared the kids for the worse.

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In April the birds were chirping and the flowers blooming but our hearts were heavy with grief at the passing of Dad/Opa. It was bittersweet since we were happy that his suffering was done but it was heartbreaking to be without him.

* * * - eoy_2016_may1

In May, I got a much needed break from all the stress of the previous months. My sister was pregnant with her first child and Bella and I decided to make a mom and daughter road trip to attend her baby shower in SoCal. We first spent a day at our favorite spot – Disneyland. Then we spend the weekend with my family for the party. Our time together was like a balm for my soul. Plus, Brian and the little boys were pleased to have a guys weekend without any girls around. πŸ˜‰

I have to cheat a little and add another photo for May since it was such a big event… - eoy_2016_may2

Andrew made his First Communion and we couldn’t have been more proud. πŸ™‚

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In June I kept thinking about my baby girl and how it was not too long ago that she was in the 1st grade and now suddenly… - eoy_2016_jun

Bella is graduating from the 8th grade and preparing for High School!Β  Sniff.

And again I am cheating with another photo… - eoy_2016_jun3

In June we also took our annual trip to Lake Tahoe but it was overshadowed by worry since it was discovered that my mom had cancer. I wanted to cancel the trip and be with her but she insisted that we go on the trip and send her photos and videos to giver her moral support as she prepared for surgery to have the cancer removed. It was beautiful but emotionally stressful.

* * * - eoy_2016_jul

In July I was a bundle of nerves. I was still coping with the loss of my father-in-law, worrying about my mom’s health, waiting for Brian to get results for his own cancer screening and it seemed like world news was filled with tragedy. I could have lost it but thankfully life with these three little guys kept me busy. I was forced to laugh and be playful just to keep up with them. Plus, they reminded me to enjoy the sweet little moments because in the end they are what matters most in life.

* * * - eoy_2016_aug

In August I didn’t take many photos! However, I did celebrate another year of life, was thankful that Brian’s cancer testing came back clean, was pleased that my mom was recovering well, and was in denial that Bella was starting high school. πŸ˜‰

* * * - eoy_2016_sep

In September, the kids always celebrate Grandparents Day at school and for the last few years my parents have driven up from SoCal to attend. We assumed my mom would not be able to make the trip this year with her recovery but she and my dad surprised us when they decided to make the trip. It was my mom’s first trip since her surgery. I was as elated as the kids.

This month definitely needs two photos since this happened… - eoy_2016_sep3

I took my first plane trip in over a decade and flew to Wisconsin to attend the Blessed Is She Team Retreat. It was amazing.

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October was filled with school field trips, pumpkin patches and 31 Days of Gratitude.

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In November, my nine siblings and their families met in SoCal for a family reunion with my parents. After my mom’s surgery we wanted to be with all her “babies” and grand babies because life is too short to not spend it with the ones you love the most.

* * * - rol_fam_2016_2

December found me filled with gratitude for my fmaily. We had some difficult moments this year but our faith in God and love for each other kept us happy despite it all.

Thanks for sharing some memories of this year. I look forward to seeing your ownΒ  memories so link up below! If you aren’t a blogger feel free to share your favorite memory of 2016 in the comments. πŸ™‚

Sending hugs to you, my friends. Have a very blessed 2017!!!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, πŸ˜‰

Are you ready to link up?? Here are the rules.

1. Create a post with a photo to represent each month of the year. (As you can tell from my post, cheating is allowed.)

2. Add a link back here so others can play along.

3. If you want to use the graphic, right click and save the image to your computer or copy the html into your blog’s html/text page. - logo_2016_photos

<img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-9375″ src=”” alt=” – logo_2016_photos” width=”640″ height=”424″ />

4. Link up below. Make sure you’re sending us to your actual post, and not to your general blog address.

The link up will be active until January 31, 2017. Have fun! πŸ™‚







2015 Recap (Part 3): 2015 in 12 Photos & Link-up - 2015 in 12 Photos // logo_end_year_2015A3For other 2015 Recap posts:

2015 Recap (Part 1): Entertainment & Social Media Faves of the Year

2015 Recap (Part 2): 5 Lessons God Taught Me in 2015

2015 Recap (Part 3): 2015 in 12 Photos & Link-up

2015 Recap (Part 4): Top 10 Posts of 2015

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It’s hard to believe but it really is the last day of 2015!! To celebrate we are looking back over the year with “2015 in 12 Photos.” Normally Dwija hosts a similar link-up but she is busy making beautiful babies. I’m happy to step in and host this year. So join in and link-up so we can have a peek at your 2015. πŸ™‚ - 2015 in 12 Photos // jan_2015_car_fam_1_2015January was all about extended family! My younger brother Jake was married to his sweet bride Amanda. (And now my new niece is on the way!) I’m the oldest of nine siblings (that’s me, second to the left) and all of us were able to attend with our families, including my sis Elena who is the lone non-Californian living in Virginia. In January we also celebrated Brian being cancer free. Woohoo! However, we also were dealt a blow when Brian’s father, an active Opa in the kids’ life, had a stroke. Although he is still with us there was a mourning of losing the Opa we once knew. - 2015 in 12 Photos // feb_ocean_1_10_15WBeing a native Californian, I always feel a little bad for my snow-bound friends lamenting the drudgery of winter. In comparison, I am a wimp. I think it’s cold when I have to wear a hoodie while I take a morning walk along the beach. - 2015 in 12 Photos // fmarch_quote_obedience_faustinaWIn March we were knee deep in Lent. It’s easy to have all these grand visions of sacrifices and mortifications that will please the Lord but in reality, it is greater sacrifice for me to shut my mouth when I want to complain about all the laundry or having to wipe a dirty behind in the middle of my meal. God has been trying to tell me, these are the little things that He loves and that helps my heart to expand.Β  I need to take a cue from Downton and let go of my will and say, “Yes, my Lord.” - 2015 in 12 Photos // april_2015_cwbncaWApril was my month of discovery. A simple weekend trip (my first alone trip in decades!) to the Catholic Women’s Blogging Conference in SoCal was a game changer for me! If you aren’t already a regular reader of the blog, get the details here. - 2015 in 12 Photos // may_2015April showers bring May flowers! There is something breathtakingly unique about seeing God’s creativity in nature. The beauty just draws you to Him. - 2015 in 12 Photos // une_IMG_6029Okay, this is technically not my June submission but I just love it so much! We are on our annual summer trip to Lake Tahoe. For the last couple of years my parents have been able to join us and it is a special time where the kids get to have their long distance grandma and grandma 24/7. I get to have my parents (I hate not living close to them!) and my kiddos and my sweet hubby all in one place (and built in babysitters for a date night.) What’s not to love?? - 2015 in 12 Photos // june_tahoe_conesWThere’s so much green and blue at Lake Tahoe but I love the light and shadows of this photo. - 2015 in 12 Photos //uly_kids_2015WThis was a quick iPhone snap after swimming lessons but it captured a bit of the each kid’s personalty. I love my little crazies. - 2015 in 12 Photos //aug_ba_bv_8_18_2015August was my birthday month and it could have been depressing since I felt officially old but instead three of my siblings came up for the weekend to visit (insert emoji hearts) and then they babysat the kids so Brian and I could go out to a fancy dinner at Pebble Beach. (Insert kissy face emoji here.) It truly was one of my best birthdays EVAH! - 2015 in 12 Photos // sept_2015In September we took our last hike at Point Lobos for awhile. Once school and the holidays starts our weekends get filled up. The view at the top of our favorite hike/walk is even more breathtaking in person. - 2015 in 12 Photos // oct_2015BOctober was the month of creativity. I participated in the 31 Days of Writing with 31 posts about Gratitude and I started the online Love Your Lettering course. Unfortunately, I had to put the course on hold after a couple weeks because I didn’t have the extra time but now that the holidays are (almost) over, I will be able to pick up my pens and pencils once again. (If you are interested, join me!) - 2015 in 12 Photos // oct_kids_2015WOkay, I am cheating again! I have two submissions for October but seriously who can’t resist mini-sized padawans, stormtroopers and a care bear. (Remember those??) πŸ˜‰ - 2015 in 12 Photos // jnov_DL__fam_2015We take two trips a year. Summer in Lake Tahoe and during Thanksgiving week we visit Disneyland with my family in SoCal. We are very busy during the year so our time together to get away is very important to us. Plus, the fact that I love all things Disney make this trip a no-brainer. (Major kudos to my hubby that puts up with my amusement park love. He’d rather be home reading a book.) πŸ˜‰ - 2015 in 12 Photos // dec_kids_11_26_15WThere was a time I thought I would never find the right husband and get married. God answered my prayer above and beyond my imagination with Brian. Then there was a time I thought I would never have a child. Along came my sweet Bella. Then there was a period of five years with two pregnancies lost in miscarriage and I thought Bella would be an only child. God’s mercy (and some medical help) changed that and boom came our three little guys in a row. This Christmas I am acutely aware of my blessings! - 2015 in 12 Photos // dec_babies_2015Can I add one more unsanctioned photo? Yeah, yeah, I know – THE RULES. But like the pirate code, it’s more like a guideline….

As I was looking through my photos, I came across this one of my sweet babies and their big eyes. How incredibly fast time goes by!! So enjoy the sweet moments of the day and hug your loved ones. As time goes by you will forget all the moments that made you want to scream and only remember the love, laughter and kisses.

Sending hugs to you, my friends. Have a very blessed 2016!!!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope or Katch (past Periscopes), GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, πŸ˜‰

20Are you ready to link up?? Here are the rules.

1. Create a post with a photo to represent each month of the year. (As you can tell from my post, cheating is allowed.)

2. Add a link back here so others can play along.

3. If you want to use the graphic, here are two versions. I polled Facebook to see which was the fave but it was tied. Since I am prone to want to please everyone, you can take your pick. πŸ˜‰ Right click and save the image to your computer or copy the html into your blog’s html/text page. - 2015 in 12 Photos // logo_end_year_2015A3<a href=””><img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-8085″ src=”” alt=” – 2015 in 12 Photos // logo_end_year_2015A3″ width=”640″ height=”457″ /></a> - 2015 in 12 Photos // logo_end_year_2015A<a href=””><img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-8084″ src=”” alt=” – 2015 in 12 Photos // logo_end_year_2015A” width=”640″ height=”441″ /></a>

4. Link up below. Make sure you’re sending us to your actual post, and not to your general blog address.

The link up will be active for a month. Have fun! πŸ™‚

Theme Thursday – Portraits: Close-ups


I missed yesterday’s Theme Thursday photo challenge so I am posting it here today. This week’s theme is Portraits: Close-ups. Since I am always posting pics of the boys (mostly my camera loving Matthew) I thought I’d ask Bella to let me take a photo. My sweet girl agreed.

I was gone all day and the sun was setting so I snapped a few quick photos in the backyard. I let Bella pick the one she liked best. - Theme Thursday: Portraits tt_portrait_brm_1bThis was the winner. - Theme Thursday: Portraits tt_portrait_brm_1aΒ I used PicMonkey to also make a black and white version since I love the timeless look of B&W. - Theme Thursday: Portraits tt_portrait_brm_1dLastly, a quick shot of my oldest holding hands with my youngest. The pilled sweater is bugging me but I am learning to let go of my idea of perfection and embrace the beauty despite the imperfections. πŸ˜‰

Have a great Friday evening!


PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope or Katch (past Periscopes), GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, πŸ˜‰

PPS – This post contains affiliate links.

31 Days of Gratitude 2015 (Day 22) & Theme Thursday - 31 Days of Gratitude 2015logo_31_days15_B_500The 31 Day of Writing Challenge continues. It’s Day 22 of my 31 Days of Gratitude 2015.

I’m linking up with Micaela for Theme Thursday: Same Photos, Different Angles.

* * * - The Farm in Salinas, CA(31_days15_day22C)As I mentioned yesterday, I went with Matthew to his class field trip to The Farm in Salinas. Yesterday I was feeling nostalgic and talked about Matthew most likely being my last baby and how I had to let go and surrender to God’s will for our family. (ba_mvx_10_15)Today I am still grateful for the time I spend with my little guy. He is very much “all boy” and a mama’s boy that loves to be my helper and has not reached the age were he is too big for lots of hugs and kisses. (I am so grateful for that!!)

But today we are also talking about photography since it is time for the Theme Thursday photography challenge. Micaela asked us to play around with light and how different positions change the look of a photograph. The best time to take a photo is when the sun is softer – early morning or sunset but sometimes you have no choice but to take a photo in full sun. (31_days15_day22A)I tried taking a picture of Matthew with the sun behind me. I got a clear shot of the pumpkins but poor Matty was nearly blinded by the (31_days15_day22c)

I told him to turn around and I then took a photo of him with the sun behind him. The photo was darker and I had to edit it and lighten it up but he has a more natural smile. Maybe if I would have done a few more shots I could have avoided the light and shadow on his face. However, the class was not going to wait for me to finish a long photo shoot!

Either way, he is still my cutie and for that I am very thankful. πŸ™‚

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope or Katch (past Periscopes), GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, πŸ˜‰

12 in 2014: A Year in Review in Photos

revolution of love blog - 12 in 2014

It’s that fun time of the year when we look back over the past 12 months and relive the favorite moments, as well as the more difficult ones. Today I am linking up with Dwija for a look at the top 12 photos of 2014.

Revolution of Love Blog - jan_2014January marked our second battle with Brian’s cancer. Here he is receiving Anointing of the Sick before his scheduled surgery and following chemo. (We are also replenishing our supply of holy water!) It was a difficult time but Brian’s incredible faith not only kept him going but was an inspiration to me and the kids. Everyone’s prayers and offers of help was appreciated more than words could express. Through it all, our love of family, friends and each other grew even stronger, proving that good can come out of bad. On the day of his surgery, I started journaling my thoughts here.

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Revolution of Love Blog - feb_2014With Brian’s health, that meant a change in all our diets. We (mostly) eliminated white flour, processed sugar and junk food. However, the kids still wanted their Sunday morning treat after Mass so I tried new recipes with whole wheat and more natural sugars. It is not the easiest thing to cook from scratch and use whole foods but after awhile it gets easier and our tastes buds have gotten used to eating healthier. To be honest, after this season of breaking the rules and eating sweets and treats, I am tired of feeling ill and sluggish and look forward to getting back on track!

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Revolution of Love Blog - march_2014This year marked the last year that my little Matthew was home with me 24/7. My morning walks were accompanied by my little super hero. Once September came around, he started preschool part time. It was a weird adjustment at first but now I am enjoying combining alone time with kiddo time. πŸ™‚

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Revolution of Love Blog - april_2014

This is my favorite photo this year of Andrew, John-Paul and Matthew. I love their playful smiles and I can almost hear their sweet giggles. Although the house is often filled with incredible NOISE, the tender moments like these make it worth it. πŸ˜‰

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Revolution of Love Blog - may_2014

In spring we took an unexpected visit to So Cal to attend my brother’s graduation party and my brother-in-law’s going away party as he was being stationed in Afghanistan. We also made a side trip to one of our favorite places – Disneyland. We were able to time the trip on Brian’s off week from chemo. I love this photo of Brian and Bella. Their smiles reflect how much fun we had that trip. πŸ™‚

* * * * *Revolution of Love Blog - june_2014b

June is one of my favorite months because it means not only is school out but we get to make our annual trip to Lake Tahoe. We’ve been blessed to be able to bring my parents with us for the last couple of years. I treasure this time not only with my sweetheart and sweet peas but my mom and dad too. We always have such a fun time and the day we come home from our trip I am counting the days until we can go back. (Mark your calendar, Mom. Only 173 days to go.) πŸ˜‰

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Revolution of Love Blog - july_2014July means summer vacation and lots of swimming lessons! I snapped a spontaneous photo of the kids and it is now one of the year’s favorite because it captures a little bit of each one’s personality. πŸ™‚

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Revolution of Love Blog - aug_2014August started the month I made a goal list and made small steps towards bringing them about. I was making good progress until the holidays hit. Then everything was put aside. Now that the holidays are winding down, I’ll be able to refocus and get back on track.

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sept_2014bI love this shot of me and Brian. He finished his last round of chemo and went away for the weekend to attend a Catholic conference. Meanwhile my sister came up for a visit. When Brian returned home my sister watched the kids so we could go out. We had such a lovely date; we felt like newlyweds again. My heart was filled with gratitude that Brian was in my life and that he was feeling better each day. #blessed

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Revolution of Love Blog - oct_2014October starts my favorite season of fall and I should have a photo of pumpkin patches and golden leaves but this quick shot I took after a morning walk continues to take my breath away.

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Revolution of Love Blog - nov_2014I’ve gotten closer to Our Lady this year. From relying on her to pray for Brian to seeking her help in being a better mom, it is comforting to know there is someone looking out for me and helping me grow closer to God.

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Revolution of Love Blog - dec_2014aDecember marked the month of rain for our parched California. I loved when the rain stopped and the sun peaked through the clouds and everything just glistened. So pretty!

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Okay, I cheated on this one. I was done with the post but I decided to add one more. It’s a simple Instagram but it marks my favorite day of this Christmas season.

Revolution of Love Blog - dec_2014b It was the day we put on Christmas music and sat by the twinkling tree as we roasted marshmallows in the fireplace. It was like Christmas magic was sprinkled on the house as there was no wild playing or yelling or arguing over who got more marshmallows.Β  We just talked and laughed and had fun together. Then as the fire died down and the kids went into the other rooms to play, Brian and I snuggled on the couch and enjoyed each others company. It was the perfect afternoon. They don’t happen often but when they do they are fiercely cherished! πŸ˜‰

Here’s to hoping that we will have more wonderful memories for 2015! πŸ™‚ A big thanks to Dwija for hosting!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post – A Year in Review with Favorite Posts. πŸ™‚

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads or Instagram. πŸ˜‰