Monday, April 22, 2013


Recently a friend said to me - out of the 10 most stressful situations for a family I can think of, you guys are juggling about 7 of them. And all of a sudden all of the feelings I've been having lately made sense. She was right. We have a lot of big things going on in our lives right now - some good and some just really, really hard. All of it is taxing.

Just wanted to ask for prayer for our family. Life is hard.

Monday, December 31, 2012

goal setting

The hubs and I have a lot of thoughts for 2013. I'm so excited for just about everything.

Starting tomorrow we're officially cutting out junk food in our diets. We'll be cutting dairy, sugar and meat - so being vegan sans sugar for this month. I mentioned reading the book Seven and this is how the first month is going to look for us. I've thought a lot about this and only eating seven foods I just can't wrap my head around. I think a healthy 'cleanse' is what our family needs. Fueling our bodies with predominately fruits and vegetables. I tried to go paleo once and it was horrendous. I have a strong feeling this will be different.

Mostly because there is a spiritual component. I'm cutting out everything but the necessities in my diet giving me room and time to focus more on my Creator. This makes me excited. Nervous because I know it's going to be difficult, but also really excited to see how God uses this and what he's going to teach us through this. Plus, I'm kind of excited for the hubs to STOP drinking 10324 cups of coffee a day! (So thankful he jumps on board with all of my ideas!)

We have mini goals of nightly chore chart, inviting friends over for dinner way more often (we need something to propel ourselves towards completing that nightly chore chart..), weekly family/budget meetings - I get our social calendar and hubby gets the finances - we make an awesome team. 

My photography business is going really well and I'm excited to see what happens with it in 2013. To think I've only been doing this for about 6 months is crazy - I never imagined it would grow to what it is now. It's not huge, but when I started I had so many doubts I didn't think I could do it. And now I'm doing it and it's awesome.

Our kids are fantastic. I'm working on a routine for us and it's a challenge. A big challenge because routines don't come easy to me. But routines are so beneficial to little ones I know I can do this. But I'm excited that 2013 is just a new page. A new page for us to start again and for me to take a deep breath and just try my darndest to rock it.

I went to a Jazzercise class with a friend yesterday. Yes, Jazzercise. And you know what? That is one tough class. It was so much fun and I am so sore today, I've decided to join with a goal of going 2-3x per week. 

Lots of random tiny updates... I plan to write more as our family goes vegan this month, so if you're interested in that type of thing, stay tuned! :)

Friday, December 21, 2012


My daughter woke up at 6am. I rolled out of bed happy. Thrilled, actually, to go and see her. To nurse her and comfort her. All of the noises she made were the most beautiful noises I've heard in my whole life and I couldn't believe how lucky I am to be her mommy when she looked up at me and smiled.

I laid her back down at 6:30 only to go back to bed to find my son laying his sweet head on my pillow. How in the world did I get to be so lucky? To have this two ridiculously awesome children. I don't ever, ever want to take them for granted.

I'm sitting on the couch while my son watches Wonder Pets and my heart is so full I feel like it's going to burst. This is joy. I've found joy in the mundane today... and it's just ridiculous.

I wholeheartedly believe this shift is all due to being thankful. Every year around this time my husband is very, very busy with rehearsals to prep for the Christmas Eve rehearsal. This year we'll have two services Sunday he'll be doing acoustically as well as two services on Monday for the holiday. It's the busiest time of year for church rehearsals. If I'm being honest... I'll admit that usually around this time I'm horribly selfish. I'm mad that my husband isn't home for more than a couple hours and upset that our kids aren't getting to see him.

But this year? This year there's been a change within me. (Sorry if that sounds cheesy or lame, but it's just true...). God is changing me and I'm learning to listen and take heed of some of these lessons. So the past two days I've not gotten to see my sweet hubs hardly at all and like I said, that usually has an incredibly negative impact on my attitude. But this year I've chosen to not complain. Often I think of that verse "Out of the heart the mouth speaks..." and I get so disappointed with the state of my heart if I can be so complain-y. Anyway, I've not complained. I've not moaned or given him a hard time for leaving to go to rehearsal, which I'll admit, I've done many, many times before. And this alone has such a positive affect on us, on me, and I can only assume on him as well.

He has to go to rehearsal. I can serve him by taking care of our children and just simply encouraging him. It's so simple and makes me feel so guilty. I think so highly of this man. This sweet wonderful man that is my husband. Why would I want to do anything but encourage him? To try to bless him? So with that guilt of how I've acted in the past comes change for the future. I did not complain about any rehearsals but only  tried to encourage him. I wanted him to be fully present without worrying about me or the kids. He is so busy and is giving so much of himself - literally going from work to home to play with our kids and  interact with them as much as possible in the one hour he has at home then head to rehearsal just to get home really late and go to bed then wake up early and do it all over again. He's awesome.

And because I've been more aware of my actions - how big of an impact my words and expressions leave on my husband - I've chosen to try to be a blessing to him. Bless him by doing the dishes and cleaning up our art projects. Bless him by picking up the trains scattered throughout the living room and doing bed time with both of our sweet children. Bless him by only speaking positive words and not words that would make him feel any less than unbelievably awesome. And because I've been trying to be a blessing - I am blessed. I have this joy today that I can only believe is a result in my change of attitude. God is so, so good.

A tiny shift in attitude but has left such a big impact on my heart. I encourage you to be a blessing today. Even if that just means doing the dishes. ;)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I've gone back and forth about whether on not to write this, but it's a lesson I've learned and while I still have so many things I need to learn and in no way have 'mastered' this - it's something that has changed me. For the better.

I've been reading the book One Thousand Gifts for over a year now and you guys, it's incredible. I've read and re-read so many pages and have to put it up for weeks at a time to absorb some of these lessons.

Anyway, the overwhelming theme of the book is thankfulness. I started reading this book at a low point in my life - I had a one year old, was nannying a little girl and was also pregnant and getting so sick every day. I was depressed and overwhelmed.  I bought this book and within a week even Michael noticed a shift in my demeanor after I started reading it.

So shift to today. Emmaline is what we'd call a terrible, horrible, not good sleeper. At 2 months she was sleeping through the night. At 4.5 months she was up nearly every hour each night. This lasted a month (still in the throws of it, honestly). It's hard. We're exhausted.

But I've had a mental shift. Yes, it's still hard. But being thankful helps. It starts out drowsy with not much heart, but once I pick it up, it's amazing to feel the change within myself.

Fourth time getting up with my girl... Thank you for this daughter of mine, thank you that she is healthy and home... thank you that we have a home to bring her, that we are able to give her a room of her own, a bed... Thank you for being with my body as it provides nourishment for my daughter and thank you she is comforted in my arms... and on and on. Then I climb back into bed happy and not nearly as upset as when I got out of bed.

Thankfulness precedes the miracle. every time. I've seen these little miracles within myself when I open my heart and say thank you. And my problems that seemed so overwhelming at first seem so small looking at them with fresh perspective. Yes, I've gotten just an hour of sleep before I hear her start to stir and whine and wail. But reminding myself that she is healthy and God is with us and He is good makes it easier. I've been so blessed by these long nights. It just took me awhile to realize it.

A friend posted a quote the other day that essentially just said... you're in this position, get what you can get out of it while you're there. (horrible translation, but that's what I took) and I'm realizing I've learned a life-changing lesson. Pretty neat.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I'm not a good blogger. But I'm sitting here during nap time, editing photos but my head is just full. Full of thoughts that I need to empty someplace before I can go back to editing.

I want to move. I want to move into a house and decorate it just like all of the pins I've pinned on Pinterest. I was it to be full of cool antiques and colorful fabric and things that I've done myself. A house that is kid friendly without being overtaken by toys and stuff. However, I need to buy the stuff initially to get it there, right?

I want to go shopping for all of this stuff to make our house a more beautiful home. But in my heart I know stuff does not a beautiful home make. A beautiful home is made with love and memories and patience and kindness with open doors full of community and friendship. I know this, but my heart is not always there.

I started reading the book Seven. This book is about getting rid of stuff to focus more on God. To have less of me and my stuff and more of God and his kingdom. I'm really excited to take part and actually start doing some of the stuff I've read about. I asked a group of women to go through this book with me and we're going to start it together in January. First up, reducing our diet. While she chooses just seven foods to eat for a month - as a breastfeeding mother who will also be cooking for my 2.5 year old I won't be reducing that much. I think however we'll do a only plant based diet for the month. Look at me, already compromising. ;)

But food is not the point. The point is balance. I need to learn how to balance my wants and my needs. A beautiful home is nice - but the fact that I have a house alone is something to be thankful for. I need to be thankful for what I have without longing for more stuff. Truthfully, I don't so much want more stuff, just different stuff. I love getting rid of stuff... if you know me well you know it's probably my very favorite thing to do. Purge. I love it. And most of the time I'm disgusted with the amount of crap stuff we have.

So I'm torn because I do not have balance here. On the one hand, I am thankful... on the other hand I'm not happy with what I have because I constantly want different stuff. I read fashion blogs and home design blogs and they leave me unsatisfied and wanting. Wanting a new living room and a new wardrobe. Wanting to be more crafty and DIY-capable. Then I read books like Seven and they leave me unsatisfied with my situation and leave me wanting to be more like Jesus... but still with the super cool living room and the closet full of beautiful clothes. My heart is not like His. I have a long way to go and I'm just searching for that balance.

But that balance of being, what, satisfied? But is being satisfied the point? No. The point is Jesus. Loving people how he does. Getting to know the poor without just throwing my leftover stuff or money at. Without constantly wanting different stuff then what I have, which I should be nothing but thankful for. And that is where I wish my heart was. I have a long way to go. Jesus, wreck my heart here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I did not realize how busy October was until I uploaded all the photos from my camera I keep in the diaper bag. It has been such a busy, fun month. I'm totally loving all of the harvest parties and festivals. 

I ran my first 5K this month. I walked more than I wanted to, but still was nothing but proud of myself at the end. My time was just under 39 minutes... and I already know it won't be my last 5K. I felt like supermom at the end as it was time to nurse Em and I got to chat with Caedmon about the firetruck he got to explore. :)

Caedmon is a garden gnome for Halloween and he's probably going to give me a hard time about it when he's older... but seriously cute. Like cutest kid at the harvest party. ;)

My favorite moment of this night - as they were walking past me Caedmon saw me and said, "Mommy! I'm riding a pony!" Melt my heart.

Still a little proud of myself for giving him cotton candy, ha. He really only had a few bites... but it didn't stress me out one bit.

We're going trick or treating tomorrow - just a few houses but I'm super excited. Having a toddler is the best. Emmaline is so fun, too. She's so social and has started reaching for things. Hard to believe she's 4 months old!

More updates later, nap time is over for today! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012


My first 5K is in 3 days. I'm excited and nervous and I also don't think I'll be able to run it in entirety. But I am confident I can run half, walk a few minutes, and finish out running. Won't know until Sunday, though! My friend Amanda is training with me... not sure if we'll stay together on race day. Even if not I'm just so thankful to have gone through the training with a friend who started out in just as lousy of shape as me. Still awesome to think seven weeks ago I could barely run for 90 seconds... and now I can run 10+ minutes. If you keep at something you really will get better at it. No matter how bad you are at the beginning!

Running has actually taught me quite a bit. Amanda had given up on training due to shin splints. One day she sent me a text that said something like, "I haven't done any type of exercise in three weeks since I stopped training." God put it heavy on my heart that she needed to run with me that night. After a lot of persuading, she decided to come with me. I had total confidence that God was going to heal her shin splints and she wouldn't be in pain if we asked for that. This confidence made me a little fearful because... what if He didn't heal her? I thought he would... but you never know for sure. So, I told her we would pray for her leg and she would be fine. And you know what happened? God healed her. She was able to keep up with me for the most part and didn't have any pain. It was one of the first times God has spoken to me in that way and I'm just glad I followed through and wasn't scared of what she would think if I told her "God told me He'd heal you if we ask Him to" :)

Big brother is very into doing things himself. I can't even play with him a lot of times because I'm doing it wrong. Seriously, he gets super upset if I touch his trains or cars while he's playing. I can build the track - but that's about it.

Getting undressed is also something he prefers to do himself. He didn't nap today and when I went to get him he had taken of his shirt and pants and thrown them out of the crib... I couldn't stop laughing when I saw him.

He's also talking in full sentences. I picked him up from preschool today and he said, "Mommy, I learned about owls today." Whoa! He's saying 'water' correctly and it makes me sad. He's growing up and is so smart and is only going to get bigger and smarter and wiser from here on out. There is no one like him.

And my girl... the compliments we receive are "Wow! Look at that hair!" "She is so alert for just three months!" "Look at those eyes!" and her smile will make you melt. Sometimes while I'm nursing she'll look up at me and smile and I know there is no greater feeling in the entire world when that happens.

I'm a volunteer photographer for an event Saturday. I'm going to be photographing families who can't afford to get family photos done. I'm intimidated, but excited to be able to serve with this. But Michael has to work so I had to figure out who could watch our kids and makes me nervous. I hate it when I'm not when them and I REALLY hate it when I can't just leave them with daddy when I do have somewhere to be.

That is another new thing. Having somewhere to be. Sure, I have had dentist appointments or things... but that's what - twice a year? I'm not used to leaving my babies. I'm not a "work outside the home" kind of girl. Sure, sometimes, I welcome it. But just as often, it makes me sad. Luckily a shoot is at most three hours with travel time. And once I get to a shoot and find my groove I'm so thankful for the break from home and the opportunity to connect with other people and just help create something beautiful for them. It's new and it's good... but very different from what Michael and I are used to! He is normally the busy one, but now it's me. He's so supportive and just wonderful. I couldn't pursue this if it weren't for him.

Really random. I think I've forgotten how to blog - if there even is a specific way. Regardless, it's updated. (You're welcome, Amanda!) :)