Friday, March 1, 2013


These two left tonight
for a last minute trip to visit Brandon's parents in Ft. Myers.
I stayed behind.

I wasn't ready to travel again
and had lots of things I could get done while they were gone.

Caleb surprised us by crying hard as they were getting into the car. It was heart breaking.

I second guessed my decision, as usual, but I am hoping it will end up being good for us all.

I miss them already.


It is late, and I am still up.
Not a good decision on my part.

My heart is heavy for someone I love very much.
Please pray God would bring much good from a very sad only He can.
Thank you.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Yesterday, I filled the last two empty frames on our living room wall. 

It was a good accomplishment...
even if we are moving out in less than four months.

I love the faces in these photos.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I haven't been feeling as motivated for this project lately.

Often, it is late before I get around to taking a photo.

before we went on a family date, I saw the light on Caleb's profile.  So, while Brandon distracted him  by teaching him to rotate his arms in opposite directions,
I snapped this.


A messy smoothie mustache
on a boy who was shirtless because he soaked his "Buddy Walk" shirt
jumping into the sprinkler.

I especially like the mark on the forehead from the top of the glass.


I didn't get my camera out much.

So, I missed some shots of lots of laughing, really good food, us watching Pride and Prejudice, and even my time later with another good friend, Laura.  I didn't get a single framable "friend" picture.

But, I did get lots of relaxed, fun time with my friends...and a sunset shot through a dirty window.


Laura, Emily and Jen.

I lived and served with them in Mexico,
and our time together there made us friends for life.

We try to spend a weekend together each year.
This year, we stayed with Em in Chicago...ate Mexican food three times...
did a little shopping downtown...and caught up on each other's lives.

It was a sweet time,
and I am so grateful for these women.


While Emily worked, I attempted to wander the streets of Chicago.
Instead, I decided I was freezing and ended up in an Einstein's Bagel and journaled.

Apart from the biting cold, I do love this city.


The Gulf of Mexico as seen from the air.

On my way to Chicago for our annual girls' weekend.
Thankful for the beauty of the ocean...
for friends who are committed to our friendship...
and for a husband who encourages me to do this.


I hope this is the only time I take a photo of a toilet this year.

Earlier in the evening, Caleb was in the bathroom.
He was supposed to be washing his hands.
Instead, he was playing with almost all an entire bottle of hand soap.

The mountain of soap he had made was taller than him.
And, when I discovered the mess he was making,
I was very annoyed.
I yelled and accused him of being "too old for that."

Later...long after the little boy had gone to sleep...
I found this in the bathroom.
The remnants of Caleb's soap bubbles Brandon had discarded in the toilet.

Somehow, the mess that had so annoyed me earlier,
I suddenly found sweet now that he was asleep.

The bubbles became precious, 
and I learned a little lesson.

I want to encourage Caleb to find joy in little things...
and not freak out when he does it in childish ways.
He is, after all, a child.

And so tonight, when he asked if he could sleep on the floor,
I said yes.


Have you ever seen a cuter smile?
We get to see it all the time.



This is now my third photo of these little guys.
They are getting so big...and brave.
Their mommy has been teaching them all sorts of things.

It is so fun to watch.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Today was a lazy Sunday.

We went to a meeting for new people at our church today...
after listening to a very timely message on suffering well.

Later, after helping Caleb
work out conflict with friends,
I somehow ended up taking a nap with Millie in Caleb's bed while he played outside
and Brandon started a puzzle.

We also watched
Brave together as a family
and played a game of Settlers.

And, now because I took a nap,
I am still awake.

Today was a lovely Sunday.


I didn't want a smartphone.
I told my friends how having internet access on me at all times wouldn't be a good thing.

Then the monthly costs got lower.
They were the same as what I was paying for a basic phone...
after beginning a plan with friends back home.
(Brandon had jumped in on an open spot with his siblings about a year ago).

So, now I am connected to the internet whenever I want to be.

In many ways, it has been really helpful.
I am much easier to get a hold of,
and I am better at keeping up with my email.
I also love love love several apps...
which I will share about someday.

In other ways, it has been detrimental.
I get distracted when I go to check the time
and end up reading the news.
Or, I go to send a text message
and end up on Facebook.

Because I use my phone as an alarm clock,
I often end up googling something
I think of while lying in bed at night.

Often, I don't remember what I got my phone out for in the first place.

I need to make some changes.
Hopefully, posting this confession helps push me along in that direction.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Jude would have turned eighteen months today.

There are so many things I am missing about him tonight.

I miss the way he smelled
and his sweet little tape-covered cheek when I kissed it. 

I miss the way his fingers squeezed mine
and his beautiful, beautiful eyes.

I miss how he loved his back rubbed
and the angry face he made when the nurses did something he didn't like.

I miss how he fell asleep so peacefully when we were holding him.
I can still feel the weight of my baby in my arms.

I so look forward to the day when I get to hold him again.

Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:17


We had life group tonight,
and the men made the women dinner.
We felt loved.

Caleb, meanwhile, had a Valentine's Day party with all the kids.
I took a photo of the valentine he made.

On the red heart, he drew a picture of Jude in his hospital bed...
and "love hearts," as he calls them.
As he described his valentine to me, he said,
"But, Mommy, it has a secret.
You see, if you turn the heart, there is something behind it.
It is Jude...alive and happy in Heaven."

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

Isaiah 40:8

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


My sweet husband surprised me for a Valentine's Day date at a really yummy restaurant.
I so enjoy spending time with him.

I am thankful tonight for all the people who helped make this date happen.
We love you!

Monday, February 11, 2013


These sweet little things are growing up fast.

Today, they took a nap in a big pile.
They all climbed on top of each other as I sat eight feet away.
It was precious to behold.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


I started a little quilt tonight.
I made one for my sweet niece for Christmas,
and I am now attempting a second for a precious neighbor baby.

Her name is Miral, and her family is from Saudi Arabia.
She has a severe heart defect and a serious brain bleed,
and is recovering from both.

Please pray for her and her family.


Caleb made a mailbox for Millie for Valentine's Day.

Our poor kitty hasn't been eating or drinking...
and so we ended up in the Emergency Veterinary Clinic.
She received some outpatient care...fluids and a shot for nausea.

Unless she improves overnight,
we'll be heading back to a vet on Monday
for some blood work and x-rays.

Friday, February 8, 2013


Learning about lemurs at Animal Kingdom.

We are taking advantage of our seasonal passes to Disney this year.
I am so thankful for the educational opportunities the parks have to offer...
and that we have such fun friends to go with!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


You alone are the LORD.
You made the heavens, even the highest heavens,
and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it,
the seas and all that is in them.
You give life to everything,
and the multitudes of heaven worship you.

Nehemiah 9:6

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Brandon and I are going through a marriage mentoring program with some friends.
It has been really encouraging...and helpful.

I am thankful that my husband is proactive with our marriage.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


After seeing his little friend bring his mommy flowers today,
Caleb followed his sweet example.

This is what he brought me.
I like being the mommy of a boy.


We had dinner in the Douglass home tonight.
Steve Douglass is the president of Cru.
It was an incredible blessing to get to hear from two people
whom God has used so powerfully in the lives of so many.

I am so grateful to be a part of this organization.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


My sweet friend from high school, Adrienne,
was in town for work this week.  She lives in Ohio.
Today, she and I roadtripped over to Sarasota
to visit our other friend from high school, Jenny.
It was a wonderful day.

I treasured the time in the car with Adrienne,
and I am loving loving loving that Jenny and I live in the same state again.

I feel so thankful for these precious women and the impact they have each had in my life.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

33/365...and manatees

We spent our Saturday at Blue Springs State Park...
the winter home of hundreds of manatees.

A baby manatee had been born the night before,
and the little guy and his family rested right under the observation deck for a little bit. 

Friday, February 1, 2013


Our Valentine's Day mailboxes.

We put tiny treats in them occasionally...
with some note passing back and forth.

I got the idea here...
but mine are held together with magnets.
Except this year, I recommend mailboxes from Joann's instead of Target.
The doors are on hinges, and the mailboxes are a better size.

Thursday, January 31, 2013


Brandon was on a work trip
this week in the Midwest.

We are so glad
to have him home.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Caleb and Daddy talking
on the phone just before bed. 

Pretty cute.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


It's still hard for me to believe at times that we live so near the ocean.
We can decide on a whim to drive an hour and play in the Atlantic.
We don't know how long that will be the case,
so we want to take advantage of it while we can.

The little boy on the right is Little Caleb.
I will write more about him someday...
as I am sure he will appear often in our photos.

Monday, January 28, 2013


 Caleb working on math on our patio...
trying to focus so he can go play outside.

Overall, we are enjoying homeschooling,
and both of us have learned a lot.

I still have much to learn.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


The moon is full tonight.
A friend of mine recently mentioned that full moons
have been known to affect kids' behavior.

I hadn't thought about it before,
but today my little man was out of sorts. 
He was whiny, dramatic,
and acted like a three-year-old without a nap.

So, I laughed when I saw the moon tonight.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


There are often kids in our house.
Mostly they all play Legos together.
It's pretty amazing what they come up with.

Today, when they were playing, someone called them from outside.
Excited, three of them took off running past me towards the door.

I saw it out the corner of my eye, 
and I made them recreate it for me.


Jenni and Ryan are friends of mine from college,
and now they live in Orlando.
They came over for dinner last night,
and we enjoyed our time with them so much. 

FYI: Ryan really does have two arms.
I am not sure how I made him armless. :-)


One thing we are loving about living in Orlando is that friends often come visit.

Our friend, Jesse, was a student at NMSU while we were there, and he interned with us as well.  

He is now serving at the regional office in Denver.  This week, he was in town for some meetings, and we all got some time together at Panera.

So thankful for what God has done in his life.


My friend, Katie, and I took our kids to the new Fantasyland.

During Disney's new Enchanted Tales with Belle,
children are given various roles from Beauty and the Beast to portray.

Caleb was chosen to be the Beast.
He was embarrassed and shy and so cute, 
and he stepped up and performed his role so well.



"Star Wars" by Caleb

From left according to the artist: 
Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, "The Guy with the Brown Hood," and "Dark" Maul
 The Death Star is in the top left.

He has never seen the movies or read any books about Star Wars.
He has just heard about it from friends...and he's fascinated.


Taken while he was working on his reading lesson.


An evening scene in our kitchen...
Caleb and Brandon talk while he makes dinner.


The cutest 1st birthday party ever...
for one of the cutest one-year-olds ever.

Such fun friends...
and they live just across the hall.


A pillow fight on our bed.
I set my camera on a nearby chair and used my remote.
I love this one.


Brandon's life was recently consumed with a seminary class he took.
It was only a week long...but plenty of work.
I was proud of him for how well he handled the workload.
Maybe seminary is in our future?


Almost every day is like this.
Endless hours spent outside in the dirt...
or riding bikes...or climbing trees.

Friday, January 25, 2013


A late night photo of my desk
as I worked on my story.

Each week, three people on stint share their stories at a large group meeting called Connection.
Brandon and I both did ours
on the same day.

We took time together
to share Jude's story.
It was the first time we have shared it in that format,
and it's so hard to know
what to say in ten minutes.

But, it's done...
and we were grateful to do it.
We love to talk about our baby.