Wednesday, October 31, 2012

quick list

true story: it's really hard to get back in the habit of doing this.
So... while I'm rusty and out of practice and not even sure where to begin, how about a little list for you? Here we go.

-We are a week and a half from our second annual 'stay-cation'. This comes much welcomed in the wake of October. I am really really really looking forward to a week at home as a family. 
-I'm currently day dreaming of that time when all three kids used to nap. Remember that? 
-Pumpkin Spice lattes are still my favorite.
-Nora has started saying sentences this week and repeating any and everything said to her. She calls her brother 'Bebo' for some reason, and I love that a lot. I also love this: Ah wuv you, mama. Over and over and over, all day long. It's my favorite, too. 
-Cate is wildly imaginative and turns any object into little imaginary families with fun names like "Ponyella" or "Simon". (Case in point: two bags of rice were twin brothers at the grocery store. Our little drum was turned into a princess. The foam letters that we have in the bath tub?! A whole family. 24 kids.) She's wonderfully wild, the most outside of the box thinker I've ever known, impulsive. Some days, this presents a whole lotta problems (like when she walks past the scissors and cuts her hair. Or walks past toothpaste and decides it needs spread all over the walls. Or when her pink walls are too boring and need a princess family drawn all throughout...), but I love the way the Lord has wired my baby girl.... even if I can't quite figure out how she works. ;) Pray for me? :)
-Corban is five. Wrap your brain around that one, folks. I have a five year old... who is learning to read, who loves to help, who is tender and kind and passionate. I still can't get over it. He loves to play card games and nerf basketball in the kitchen and likes to win like his mama and daddy always did. I really love this age and this season. 
-I'm dreaming up an art station for somewhere in my house. I'm dreaming up a kitchen remodel, too, but that's a little more labor intensive and costly. :) Has anyone else set up an art area? Have you been able to keep supplies contained to that area? Right now, we have a couple of boxes that are stored in the kitchen and cover the table most of the day-- we spend hours drawing and coloring. I would love to have a spot designated for their art stuff with different mediums available for them to use. Any suggestions?!
-It's November tomorrow.
-I'm currently reading and being wrecked by the book "Radical". Jordan and I are going through it together (we have a standing date-night-in on Tuesdays and usually spend part of that time reading). I highly recommend it!
-I'm out of things to say. And out of time. Real posts coming soon!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


First of all, I would just like to say THANK YOU for the kind words and messages and emails I've received in regards to my last post. I was so hesitant to share and now wish I would have months sooner. And while it breaks my heart to know that so many women have endured the same thing, it is really sweet to know that I'm not walking alone in this. So thank you, friends. A lot. I have a lot more that I would like to say, but we're going to keep things light around here today.
We have a sweet Monday routine of grocery shopping (me and Nora) while the big kids are in school. After we get them from school, we hang out on our church property and hike trails and play in the leaves and visit Jordan. It's a perfect start to the week! I realized that I had taken about five pictures of kids in the last month, so I brought my camera along with me last week. I love the fall colors and I love these ages and stages that my kiddos are in. It's crazy that I forget that they're my favorite subjects and that I love to capture them being them-- I've been so busy with photo sessions that I just haven't gotten my camera out. Anyway, I love these images... my sweet babies. 

 (I asked Corban to tell me about what he likes to do. His reply? "I like to be strong." ha!)

 ..and then he was pretending the leaves were a camera, and then really wanted to take some pictures. And so I handed off the camera and here's what my little boy took:


(ps- you can click on a picture and scroll through them all to see them larger!)

Friday, October 19, 2012

life recap+Influence recap

It's been a long time.
It was a long a summer. A busy fall. A tired mama. I could give you a lot of mediocre reasons for my absence from this space, but the reality is this:
I wasn't ready to be vulnerable. I didn't want to publicly deal with something seemingly so private. It was part fear and part pride keeping my mouth closed. It was easier to say nothing than to say the hard things and so I sat silent.
But here I am today, ready to write. 
I found out on Mother's Day that I was pregnant. We rejoiced. Ate a lot of Yats. Prayed and prayed. Name searched. My heart was so ready and I was so excited. For five weeks, I woke up touching my stomach, praying for this little one and their place in our family. My first ultra-sound at 8.5 weeks showed a baby measuring much smaller than anticipated and without a heartbeat. I was devastated. Maybe my dates were off? they questioned. Let's wait a week, I was told. That week was long. Long, long, long. The following Tuesday rolled around to reveal no change. Our baby was not alive. They gave me medicine to induce the miscarriage. I waited. Photographed a wedding. Shut myself in my bedroom. Waited some more. Ten more days of continued nausea and a rounded belly carrying a baby that wasn't alive.. my heart couldn't take another minute. I had known for almost three weeks that the baby inside of me was not living and I was exhausted. At what would have been 11 weeks, I had a d&c. The Lord was so so gracious to me through a procedure that terrified me and felt so contrary to every mama bone in my body. I was prayed over, hugged, cried with, loved on by the hospital staff. For what it was, it was good and healing. They valued that our baby was a life, and that was so validating to my aching heart--- It's okay to hurt and to grieve this loss. I needed that, and I was thankful.
I missed a lot of summer. A miscarriage is a strange thing-- I'm not sure why there's the stigma with them, why the hush-hushness, but I felt it. We swam and played and did those summer things. We then went to St. Kitts for our mission trip and then my computer crashed and then school started and work got busy and bam! it's mid-October. Whoa.
How's that for a recap?! 
I'm writing this today, though, for a lot of reasons. I spent last weekend at the Influence Conference. It was really good and really sweet and really timely. I met some really amazing women. I was encouraged to allow the Lord use my mess for ministry. To be vulnerable. To recognize that Christ in me IS my influence. Lots of sweet truths-- but what my heart needed most was the simple reminder that this life is not about me. Jesus came to serve, not be served. I was challenged to reevaluate once again: How am I living? What does my life say about the Jesus I claim to love? One of the speakers said (loosely paraphrased), "Anyone who stops by our blogs and reads a few posts or has a few conversations with us knows what we are about. We are not as good at hiding things as we think. People know what we treasure." People know what we treasure. That one stopped me in my tracks. What do I treasure? I wish the answer was a resounding JESUS but the truth is, there's a lot of other things that often fall before that when you look at the way I live or the words I say. It was (is) a good heart check and one that I really needed right now. 
The other big thing walking away from the conference was just a desire to get back at this. I love to write. I love documenting our family's life. I love the blogging community-- especially the one I got to experience in real life last week. Simply, I want to do this. I want to remember those funny things my kids said and the pictures that didn't make it into a photo album (okay, fine... that's all of them. For being a photographer, I am super bad at printing pictures). I want to be intentional about sharing what the Lord is teaching and where we're at and what we're doing. Life is happening so quickly... this is a little way that I can capture it, and I want to do that.
So... You'll be hearing a lot more from me, and I'm really excited about that. Coming up next will be a current life update and a kiddo update. (A sneak preview: It's busy and sweet and they're big and sweet.) 
Holler for blogging! :)
Huge thanks to Jessi from Naptime Diaries and Hayley from the Tiny Twig for dreaming big and allowing the Lord to use them to put on and host an amazing conference!