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This week a baby lizard found it’s way into our pool and Caden about flipped his lid.  Coincidently he’d been asking me for a pet lizard for some time, to which I always say no, so he saw this as a huge win.  I must say, it’s been kind of amazing watching him take care of it.  I told him he can’t keep it for more than 10 days, and it can’t come in the house.  It’s the first thing on his mind when he wakes up in the morning, and the last thing before he goes to bed. He checks on it constantly throughout the day, making sure it’s got plenty of food and water.  Surprisingly, it hasn’t made a mad dash yet in one of the MANY times a day he lets it out to “play.”  He sings it lullabies, puts it down for it’s nap and talks to it in his sweetest daddy voice.  It took a couple of days but he now lets Alivia hold it (very briefly) and has gotten brave enough to sit it on his shoulder and let it wiggle up his head.  We shall see what happens on day 10 when I tell him it’s time for it to go back to it’s home, but until then it’s been a fun break in our little summer routine.  **Also, I swear I do get my kids dressed.  They swim multiple times a day and always refuse to put clothes back on after they are done.  🙂

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  • Mini & Nana

    ADORABLE !!! Caden & Alivia….Nana and Mini LOVE your new ‘pet’. He’s a really pretty one. Have fun with him. We see you’re taking VERY good care of him. WE LOVE YOU, Nana and Mini.ReplyCancel

I swear sometimes when I look at her, I see a glimpse into her next 15 years of life.  In a quiet moment, she’ll be deep in thought, unaware that I’m studying her every move as I just watch her.  This was one of those moments.   She didn’t want to swim with Caden, she just wanted to sit, feeling the breeze rustling through her hair.  I wonder what her little mind is thinking, as she sits in the sun, listening to Taylor Swift on my cell phone.   Every so often she’d look up and see my intrusive camera, but it didn’t really phase her.  Sometimes it’s hard to believe she really is only 2 years old.  It only lasts about 30 seconds before the toddler sets back in but one day I’ll pull these pictures out and compare to see if much has changed.

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  • Brett

    Love these… the wild hair! And she’s looking so much more like Nick all of the sudden too.ReplyCancel

  • mary bardasian

    Alivia Grace…You are BEAUTIFUL….and Caden is a VERY HANDSOME young man. Mommy, these pics are absolutely amazing, just gorgeous. Yall have a great nite, Love MiniReplyCancel

Well we did it.  We survived a road trip with the kids to Chicago and back.  A little over 2,000 miles with all of our detours and journeys.  I have to first and foremost say, we did this trip 2 years ago in our car, and vowed to NEVER do it again.  Much like pregnancy and child birth, as time heals your fuzzy mind you forget the pain and suffering associated with such an endeavor.  We were vaguely reminded of the horror but figured we would power on and this time get smart and rent a much larger vehicle.  Then, in the 11th hour, my amazing, supportive, generous, loving parents let us borrow their SUV which made the trip MUCH easier to handle.  I just have to say, I moan and complain about “technology today” and kids spending too much time with screens in their face, but this trip I shut my trap.  They both had a tv of their own and watched their own shows free of sibling compromise and it was GLORIOUS.  We added some educational shows and made sure we took breaks for coloring, bracelet making, magnets and more.  The extra space in the aisles of the car, the third row for my napping and plenty of trunk space for the amount of luggage that would only be necessary for a month long stay made this time around much more enjoyable.  Don’t get me wrong, there was still plenty of crying, refusal to sleep and general unpleasantness, but overall this was worlds better.

I also have to give a major shoutout to the robot space craft that displayed a hologram in your eye level of the speed limit along side your current speed, then would show a picture of the cars on either side of you to avoid crashing.  The same robot also slowed your cruise control speed when it sensed a car in front of you then sped back up when it moved out of your way.  Nick and I kept saying, if we had millions man, we’d totally get a robot SUV too.

We had some travel plans change along the way but we made the most of it by staying in downtown St. Louis.  We’ve been to St. Louis a hundred times and have never actually stayed or ventured in and around the downtown area.  It turned out to be a fun little detour!  I had a free hotel stay to use from (a program I HIGHLY recommend using) so I cashed in on an awesome room at the Four Seasons.  We spent the day by the pool, then went for dinner and ice cream and splurged on a tiny carriage ride downtown. And I have to say, it was our first experience staying at a Four Seasons with kids and man do they do it RIGHT.  We checked in post nap time with two cranky, whining kids, which didn’t seem to phase the front desk AT ALL.  Dude handled my situation like a pro, came over to a crying Alivia and offered her a bottle of water then brought her over to a closet and wheeled out a red wagon overflowing with toys and simply told her and Caden to pick anything out.  LIKE A BOSS.  Then, when we came back to our room later that night they had come with a turn down service for the kids that was truly amazing.  A customized milk and cookie plate with their name written in chocolate, mini robes & slippers, and a toiletry bag for each of them.  Caden told me this was his favorite place ever and didn’t want to leave.  Me too man.

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Once we finally made it to Chicago I snapped a few shots of Alivia jumping in the hotel bed but shortly after that my camera went in it’s bag and stayed there for the rest of the trip.  I wish I could get better about continuing to shoot during chaos and excitement but I choose to just be in the present for those times.  Plus it helps that there was a professional there for the wedding day, so I’m hoping I can just buy some of those pictures to prove, I was in fact, on this trip.

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Our trip recap via Instagram

chicago road trip

  • Nana & Mini

    Absolutely BEAUTIFUL pictures and Family. Glad Yall had such a wonderful time.ReplyCancel

Recently, I’ve had the immense privilege of working with The Chalmers family and their wonderful charity Maximum Chances.  Maximum Chances is an organization providing funding to children with Autism spectrum disorders.   The funds help these children gain access to educational services, therapies and cutting edge biomedical treatments (all of which are very expensive).  The Chalmers’ goal is to improve the quality of life for both the children and their families.  Up until now the charity has been fully funded by the Chalmers personally, which is so amazingly wonderful and a testament to their giving and compassionate hearts!

One of the current children Maximum Chances are working with is a 10 year old little boy, Hach, who until his current therapy treatments had never uttered a single word in his life.  10 YEARS, no words. I can’t even imagine struggling for so long, feeling lost and unable to help my sweet baby speak.  The Chalmer’s generosity and outcome of these extensive treatments are utterly priceless.  They are making such an impactful difference in people’s lives and are such a blessing to the families they support.

This past Monday The Chalmers’ hosted the Maximum Chances ProAm Golf Tournament.  It was the first major fundraiser they’ve held, run by all volunteers, and 100% of the profits went directly to the fund.   All 12 of the professional golfers who participated, along with those entered in the tournament truly made a difference.  It was an honor to photograph such a fun day and be a part of the wonderful volunteer team.  And being that we are currently experiencing rain of biblical proportions here in Dallas, it’s even more amazing that for the few hours that the tournament was held, the rain stayed at bay.  As soon as the event ended and everyone came inside the heavens opened up and our monsoon like weather got back on track.  Even mother nature supports the Maximum Chances organization. 🙂

To hear more about the Chalmers’ story and their charity, Maximum Chances, please visit their website –

To donate to their amazing organization or to find out how you can get involved you can contact the Chalmers by clicking here.

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**Please note, all images are copyright of Jessica Marchetti and are protected by Federal Copyright Laws. You may not make ANY reproduction of the images in ANY form (print or electronic) without the express written consent of Jessica Marchetti.  Reproduction includes, but is not limited to scanning, downloading, right-clicking, emailing, saving to hard drive, posting on websites or blogs, photocopying, obtaining screen shots, or printing in any manner.