Friday, December 30, 2011

bring it on.

It's almost here. 
January always seems to catch me off guard-- 
another year...over... already.
My baby girl turns one on Sunday and we open up a brand new year. 
A fresh start.

2011 was good. 
Full. Busy. Overwhelming. Full of change. Exciting.
We added and expanded our lives with the birth of Nora James. We road-tripped 20 hours with a 6 week old, 2 year old, and 3.5 year old. We left the country for two weeks with 30 something high schoolers. We sent Corban to school. We broke Cate of her paci. Started a legal business. Photographed four weddings, seven engagements,  fifteen seniors and thirty one families. Learned a lot about mis-management of time. Re-floored the kitchen, gutted the master bath, and destroyed all major storage from our upstairs. (Just kidding. Sort of). We watched kids fall in love with Jesus and lives change as a result. We watched lives and marriages go from broken to restored. We fell more in love, grew more as a family, and recognized our need for mercy new every morning.
A good year, in all.

So... now what?
I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. 
They don't work. At least for me.
Goals, however... that I can do. 
As I mentioned last post-- intentional seems to be the word for the year.
I want... no, need, to be much much much more intentional.
With my time, money, effort, service, prayer, so on and so forth.

But on a more specific note...
some random and small, some more life-altering note, here are some
Things I'd like to do in 2012:

drink more water. and less pop.
make and keep a flexible cleaning schedule.
budget. and stick to it. 
be a runner.
give more.
buy less.
make my bed daily.
sell our house.
read more.
meal plan.
Follow Jesus. And help others do the same.

And a few quotes for thought, to bring in the new year:

"The question isn't, Should I give ten percent? Rather, Can I justify a life that consumes ninety percent of my paycheck?"

"Therefore go and make disciples..." -Jesus (matt 28:19)

"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least."

"No one need fear the voice of God unless he has already made up his mind to resist it." -Tozer

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
Oh God, be my everything.
Be my delight.
Be Jesus, my Glory, my soul satisfied...

Praying this year will be one of more prayer, growth, love and following after Jesus than ever before.
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

right now:

(I'm ripping this off from my friend Katie over at thanks for the idea, Katie!!)
Right now, I am:
Watching: my computer screen... but my husband is watching a war movie of sorts.

Eating: popcorn. my daily afternoon snack of choice!

Drinking: Cherry Coke zero. It was on sale, so I splurged. Thinking the pop is going to go with the new year though... My h2o consumption has been incredibly lacking, and I think that's probably contributing to my lack-of health!

Wearing: new yoga pants! my mom uniform.

Avoiding: picking up the same new toys for the twelfth time today. Someone said on facebook, "Picking up toys after Christmas is like shoveling snow while it's still snowing." amen and amen. 

Feeling: Excited. I'm purging again everywhere in this house... and the thought of simplifying our lives-- less stuff, less mess, less busyness- has me really excited for a new year. I managed to find a whole garbage bag worth of rogue pot lids and tupperware and junky pans to rid our kitchen of today, and I cannot believe how nice it feels to have a little bit of order. Sigh. Freedom.

Missing: Sunshine. Already. Indiana is so grey these winter months!

 Thankful: for family time. Wonderful time spent with both of our families, aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents over the weekend. A whole week of just the five of us at home. Time just together. Much needed. I'm really thankful for that.
Weather: Unusually warm for this time of year, with just a dusting of snow yesterday.

Praying: that 2012 will be a year of intentionality-- of time spent, of words, of finances, of discipleship, of parenting.

Needing: to finish throwing away empty boxes and ridding the toy room of old 'stuff' to make room for the new. Needing to find a new method of organization for all of the art supplies and games... but so out of space?! Needing a strike of genius to figure it out! ha.

Thinking: of ways to rearrange this house to make it better function for our family. Also thinking that selling it would be really awesome right about now. :)

Loving: the way my big kids play together. this stage that Nora is in. this week of just family time. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

monday monday

It was above freezing today, and I know those days are numbered, so we pushed naptime back and enjoyed soaking up some sun while we could.
These babies... I love who they are. Their quirks and differences from eachother. Their joy and zeal for being alive. I, every single day, want to remember what a privilege it is to be Mama to these kiddos. Nothing sweeter...

 my girl... a month shy of 3. She fills this house with laughter and spunk... Incredible, she is.
Dancing below:
 my boy, digging away. 
Loves pretend play, has an incredible imagination and wants to marry his mama. I want to keep 4.5 years old forever.
 sassy pants:

Cate's first question every morning upon waking:
Where's Corban?

 and my sweet baby Nora James... 
 Never have I met a more pleasant little girl.

 Oh my sweet, sweet boy.
 and dress up time:
(Don't be fooled by their costumes, they were actually Jasmine and Aladdin today).


What a gift today is, huh?
Hope you had a great Monday!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


As I've spent way too long pondering paint colors to neutralize this house of ours, I've found myself dreaming of the things I'd hope for in our next house.... assuming this one will one day sell... and depending on us finishing the many, many loose ends of the billions of projects we've mostly completed. Really- it's all small things now, which is crazy. I can only imagine the emotions we will feel if/when it comes time to move. This place was a DUMP. We had burnt orange, gold, green, turquoise shag carpet rainbowed all throughout the house. Carpet in the kitchen, carpet in bathrooms. Rotting wood on the exterior. Green appliances inside. A room that reeked of cat urine. Nasty light fixtures. Dark paneling everywhere. So on and so forth. But slowly and surely, over the course of almost exactly four years, we've turned this place into a home.
I do love it here, love many things about this place. BUT- there are many things I'd desire of our next home. Not necessarily deal breakers, but a girl can dream, right?!
-A basement. Oh, the glory of a space like that! My plans for one are many, but ultimately, we'd love to have a space we could offer should someone need a place to live for a bit. And if I were dreaming big, I'd really love a walk-out basement. :)
-A laundry room. I nearly would say this is non-negotiable. Laundry is the most difficult thing for me to keep up with and if I had a space for it all... even just a space for baskets that wasn't in a hallway.. do you know how much simpler life could be?! My washer and dryer are currently in the garage. There are so many things flawed with my current system, but I know a designated space for it all would at least help.
-Lots of windows. I like sunlight. The more, the better.
-A bigger kitchen. Not an alley. Eat-in. An island with bar stools. A refrigerator with an ice maker. (I've been dreaming for that one my whole life...) Butcher block counters. Windows. Oh happy day... Really, I just would love a kitchen that I could fill with people, not one that my family alone overflows. :)
-An open floor plan. We entertain. A lot. 20+ teenagers every week... and we try to cram them all into our little living rooms. Open space would be really nice. What we have works, but I'm dreaming.. remember? :)
- Access to a pool. Okay, now I'm being frivolous, but it would be SO much fun. :)
Okay, enough dreaming for tonight. We had found our dream home months ago... and it sold right away. We were no where near having our house ready to list at that point in time, but it sure put a little fire under us to get going. Anyway, I'm sure there'll never be anything to compete with that house (haha), and I've stopped the hunt for now. It just makes me anxious-- I'll find something I like and it'll sell. Or there will be nothing I'd even want to look at. Ultimately- the Lord knows, and will provide a home when the time comes. And in the mean time, I'm going to be content with what we have and continue to work to improve it. 
But it's fun to dream, right?! What would you love to have in a home? 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

a little photo fun

I've loved all of the pictures I've seen lately with the Christmas lights hanging in the background, and Cate had dressed herself in her twirly black tutu skirt before even leaving her bedroom this morning, so I thought why not give these pictures a whirl?! 


A little festive fun, right?!
We finally decked the halls last night (tree included) and the kids are ecstatic. We even strung a row of lights in each of their rooms, and they are thrilled.
I've spent too much time playing around this morning and need to get some housework done --- lots of friends to be filling it the remainder of the week! Much to be excited about!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

eleven months.

That's her--
 my eleven month old bundle of joy.
Weeks away from ONE year old.
You'd think the third time around it would come as less of a shock, but man, the time goes by fast.

Nora is just over 19 pounds, and I'm not sure how long. She took her first steps a few days after 10 months old and now will do 7 or 8 steps before falling. She really, contrary to our other kiddos, is very cautious. She doesn't like heights, doesn't want to hang, doesn't want you to let go of her hands. This mama is quite alright with that. :)
She gets crazy excited about animals, dogs most specifically. She says 'Doddy' and barks, too.. 'oof, oof' she'll say. She's busy- no shock there- and likes to empty my cabinets and shred toilet paper. She also has mastered going up and down the stairs. If you make eye contact with her, she will light up with the sweetest, most beautiful crooked little smile you've ever seen. She loves people, oranges, and her mama, and is the sweetest baby girl I know.
In other news--
we got an amazing Christmas tree this year. The prettiest, fullest, most nicely shaped one we've ever had. Unfortunately, we haven't had any time at home as a family where we were all awake since buying it Saturday morning, so it's strung with lights right now, and that is all. SOON, though.

I've also been the worlds worst camera rememberer and have taken hardly any pictures the last few weeks. That's going to be changing immediately. :) 
Lastly, I've got just a few sessions left to edit to round out the year, and I NEED to get them finished so I can really rest and not have things hanging over my head. So... to work I go.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I had a long post going and just had a hard time putting thoughts together like I wanted. 
My heart is overflowing, bursting tonight... full of thankfulness, excitement, joy, contentment. 
But I'm stirred, too. 
I'm ready to step it up, to go deeper in my walk with the Lord, to be bold. 
There's fresh vision and fresh excitement 
and it is good.
It's been the week of prayer and fasting at our church. We gathered corporately multiple time over the last few days just to pray. Such a sweet, sweet time-- I am so thankful for our church and thankful to be a part of a body that sets aside time to just pray. As we gathered, though, and prayed for different countries, for marriages, for healing, for the persecuted church, so on and so forth, my heart kept going back to the same things. 
We want revival. 
We want a church excited about praying. Excited about the Word. Excited to serve. We want to see God move mightily, to wake up believers and put a fire under them, a new boldness and excitement about the love of Jesus. 
but wait a minute...
it's got to start somewhere, right?!
I remember my husband quoting someone from somewhere at some point (ha), and it is so where my heart is, sums this all up.

Lord, send a revival... and let it start with me.

Can I get an amen?!
Will you pray with me... for yourself, for me, for believers across the world, that He would revive our hearts? Starting right here, right now-- Give us a love for people? Passion and boldness? A hunger for the Word? That we would be filled to overflowing... that it would start here and spill out, trickle down to our homes and our churches and our communities and our cities and states and further out?! 

He can.

He hears our prayers, and is able to do 'exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or imagine'. 
That, my friends, has me quite excited tonight.
(So much so that it's after midnight and my mind is still firing strong.)
With that said...  I must try and sleep.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

photo booth fun.

Some of our youth group kids were playing with photo booth on my computer Sunday night. My kids hopped in, and then Corban took over once they left. I was cracking up as I looked back through these pictures that he took of himself:

What a boy!! He did the effects and everything... hilarious.
Also taken in photobooth:
We might be related, right? :)
and aren't we cute?! haha.
Oh so silly, but so fun, too!
Have a great day!