"We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully," Romans 12:6-8

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Childhood Photography--- Carli Rae

Today we celebrated Carli’s half-birthday with a photo-shoot. Let me tell you, she is one expressive and fun little girl. So much fun to see her little personality emerging and what a sweet little girl she has become. It amazes me how fast time passes! Seems like just yesterday I was taking Holli’s maternity pictures and then Carli’s newborn photos. The fact that she is half a year old, WOW!

It was a great way to spend my afternoon capturing her sweet spirit. We even had someone stop and watch us take pictures out in the orchard. Yep, someone pulled up, parked their car behind ours and commented on the sweetness of this little girl. (Not going lie, that her mama and I were a little creped out at first).

Happy half-birthday Carli--- you are a very precious little lady, and I am so glad that Hannah has a friend in you! I hope this next half-year is filled with many laughs, milestones and memories. I absolutely love watching you grow! Thank you for choosing me capture this special time in your life, I feel truly honored!

Carli 6mo-2    Carli 6mo-4

Carli 6mo-3

Carli 6mo-8

Carli 6mo-9

Carli 6mo-10

Carli 6mo-11

Carli 6mo-12

 Carli 6mo-14   Carli 6mo-15

Carli 6mo-16

Carli 6mo-17

Carli 6mo-19

Carli 6mo-20

Carli 6mo-21

Carli 6mo-22

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

starts with me

I got up early and went for a run this morning, as I ran, I listened to the same song multiple times in a row--- it was speaking to me today. In the cold crisp air, it gave me clarity.

As a parent, we have a lot of responsibility. Our main role to impart knowledge, wisdom and morals to our children--- and sometimes that can be a little scary. Sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed, a little inadequate, and a lot too small. I want to grow up children who will change the world, who will love others well, and who will serve with all their heart. But where does that start?

Starts with me.

What could I do to leave a legacy?
How can I speak with authority
When I can't see you, I can't see you
How can I know the dreams you have for me?
How can I believe beyond what I have seen?
When I can't hear you, I can't feel you now
No, no, no
You're my revival song, you start where I belong
On my knees, on my knees
When I am weak You're strong you meet me here
When I'm on my knees, on my knees
Oh, it starts with me
Why do I try to work outside of you?
Knocking down doors I should be going through
But I'm so tired, I'm so tired
You take my burdens off of my shoulders
You break the lies that hold me back
I'm not sure enough
I really wanna change the world
I really wanna save your soul
But I know revival's got to start with me
I really wanna change the world
I really wanna sing Your song
But I know revival's got to start with me
(Chorus)” –
tim timmons

Let me continue on, I am not anywhere near perfect. In fact I have lots to work on.

We were invited to go pick fruit with friends today, and we jumped at the offer. We have amazing friends, we are truly blessed by our friends. After my morning of contemplation, I was so encouraged by this outing. Walking through the orchard with other mommies and their little ones, my heart was stirred once again. There were rows, upon rows of fruit--- fruit in the trees, fruit on the ground, under ripe fruit, rotted fruit, perfect fruit. You know what, God uses it all. The rotten fruit on the ground, it helps the soil. The perfect fruit, it is soooo tasty. And the under ripe fruit, well that waits its turn and continues to mature.

That’s my job, to be fruitful (and no, not just in the multiplying sense). But to use my gifts and my life to live in the Lord. And with that, the Lord will use me--- all of me. Of course God will uses moments of strength. The moments when I model how to share, show my children how to love and serve others, or teach them about God’s purpose for their lives---He will use that. Although, I now reminded that even my weak moments, my imperfections, my failings--- He will use those too. He will use those to grow my children, to teach them that we are all sinners. All in need of a savior. He will use those moments to show my children how to apologize, how to ask for forgiveness and how to forgive.

So mommies out there--- be encouraged. God uses all fruit. Continue growing, continue maturing, continue praying, continue reading because it does “start with you”. But find peace in the fact that God can use every ounce of you, to help your children. The rotten, the perfect and the not yet perfect--- he can and will use it all.

Thanks Smith’s for the generosity of your orchard and the peace I obtained while being there. Thanks Barron’s for your friendship. We are blessed.

picking fruit

picking fruit-2

picking fruit-3

am I alone--- or is she seriously the cutest

picking fruit-4


picking fruit-9picking fruit-6

picking fruit-5

picking fruit-7

picking fruit-8

Monday, August 12, 2013

“You are my I Love You”

Today I took my one year old to Barnes and Nobles. I thought it was a stretch, I thought I’d look through books all alone, I just wasn’t sure that she would be into it yet… but boy was I wrong. She crawled from one section to the other, pulling books off the shelf, flipping through the pages, and then moving on. We found two... that we both loved. One of them captures our life perfectly right now, and brought smiles to both our hearts. It was such a fun little outing, sitting on the floor and reading through books… leaving with two in our hands!

Thought we’d share our favorite new night-time story with you too…

“I am your parent; you are my child. I am your quiet place; you are my wild. I am your calm face; you are my giggle. I am you wait; you are my wiggle. I am your carriage ride; you are my king. I am your push; you are my swing. I am you audience; you are my clown. I am your London Bridge; you are my falling down. I am your carrot sticks; you are my licorice. I am your dandelion; you are my first wish. I am your water wings; you are my deep. I am your open arms; you are my running leap. I am you way home; you are my new path. I am your dry towel; you are my wet bath. I am your dinner; you are my chocolate cake. I am your bedtime; you are my wide awake. I am your finish line; you are my race. I am your praying hands; you are my saying grace. I am your favorite book; you are my new lines. I am your night-light, you are my starshine. I am your lullaby, you are my peekaboo. I am your good-night kiss, you are my I LOVE YOU!” -LOVE and ICHIKAWA

Mommies out there, please be encouraged by your children and their story books. Find peace and joy in the little moments each day. Cause all too fast those moments pass. And your baby is sitting like a big girl flipping through books on the bookstore floor. Hannah Grace, everyday gets better. Everyday you teach me something new about being a mommy and about life. Everyday I am more in awe for the Lord above, because I am constantly in awe of you. Everyday… you are my I love you!

And because every post isn’t complete without pictures… her are some moments from our time outside today. She could not get enough of my water cup. Once again, wanting to be such a big girl!






Thursday, August 8, 2013

We're doing a GIVEAWAY...

Jenee Harvey Photography is doing a give away! One free--- one hour session!
Here's what you need to do:
1) Leave a comment on our facebook page telling us your favorite summer 2013 memory!
2) LIKE US on fb; if you already like us-- then just leave a comment on your page telling your friends to like us (and tag us in it).

Drawing will take place on August 18th!
Cause a blog post is complete until there is a photo! 
Have a very Happy Thursday!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Looking back…

Before this journey of motherhood began, I had no idea what it could and would do to me. It has changed, challenged and grown me in ways I never could have fathomed. Her smile can touch parts of my heart that I never thought possible.

I am currently sitting on the floor in a playroom--- toys are spread all around me, with a mixture of childrens and adults praise music playing the background, my daughter is asleep on my chest, and tears are brought to my eyes as I think of where we once were and where we have come. Realizing that at every point in life we have a choice to make. A choice to sulk in the struggle or a choice to find the hidden blessing. A year ago today, I as sitting the hospital waiting to be discharged from my daughters jaundice treatment. At the time those were four of the longest days of my life. A screaming sick baby, who had “sunglasses” glued to her face, and a hormonal sleep deprived mom who wanted nothing more than a healthy baby and her own home. At the time, I chose to sulk, and that was a mistake. I had a baby who wanted to snuggle, who was very healthy for being a month early, family and friends showed us so much love and support--- we really were blessed. 

Now a year later, I no longer have a baby--- I have a toddler, a 30.5inch toddler. A crawling and couch surfing toddler. A laughing and crying toddler. A independent yet very much mommy attached toddler. A toddler who has changed my world and my perspective. Within the past couple months some medical issues have arisen, which has led to the DMV revoking my drivers license (temporarily, I hope). As I feel a total loss of control, struggle to function in my daily life, and adjust to being totally dependent upon other people--- she brings me joy. She makes my problems seem small. When she randomly gives me slobbery baby kisses, my heart is melted. When she gives me a hug and her little hand pat-pats on my shoulder, my heart is happy. When she pulls up to a stand on my legs and dances with me, my attitude is changed. Without even knowing it, she teaches me that very few things in life should be taken seriously. I'm humbled by her kind, sweet, pure, and joyful spirit.

So although life has temporarily changed, and something's are currently more difficult…. I realize that I am more blessed then ever before. I am now completely aware that is not how much I do in a day, but rather what I do with my day. I have been forced to slow down and instead of grocery shopping, running errands and “being productive”----we now have dance parties every morning, spend many hours on this very playroom floor sharing, reading, building, talking and even crying.

I’m amazed truly amazed at how much my one year old can teach me. Hannah you are a gift from God. I thank God everyday for the past year with you, I thank him for your spunky personality, your determined nature and your sweet spirit. You have not only made me a mommy, you have made me a better person. I am eternally grateful for all that you are to our family. Your daddy and I love you sooo very much. God Bless you Hannah. Can’t wait to see all that happens in the next year, I know you will continue changing the world, well maybe just ours!