About Me

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I love Jesus. I love my family. I love photography. I love books. I love thinking. Probably in that order. I have a wonderful husband, five beautiful daughters, a house, and a camera. I enjoy spending time talking to my husband, playing with my girls, redecorating my house and shooting things with my camera. In my spare time, I sleep.

Friday, December 30, 2011

My Christmas Gift...

...from my sweet husband.
I'm looking forward to the next year with the love of my life!  :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas: Take One

We spent Christmas weekend with my family.  The weather was beautiful.  We played cards, went sledding, shot bows, ate food, played, lived, loved!  Here are a few shots from the weekend...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I am having kind of a hard week emotionally.  I'm sure that the stresses of the holiday season, homeschooling, bathroom remodel drama and hormones are all contributing,  but the truth is that I'm still mourning the baby that I lost.

This Friday would have marked my 20th week--the half way point of pregnancy.  But instead of joyfully announcing the gender of my child, I am dealing with my monthly reminder that I am no longer growing that baby inside of me.

I wish I could go back to 'before' when I didn't know first-hand how fragile life can be.  Back when the thought of getting pregnant was just exciting and not both something I crave and fear at the same time.

I don't know why this week has been harder than the others.  Maybe it's something about how the holidays bring out a sentimental side.  Maybe it's all the reminders that I'm not pregnant.  Maybe it's all the pregnant women and talk of babies that seems to be happening lately.  Maybe I can chock it up to the "that time of the month" hormones.  I don't know.  But what I do know is that I'm sad.  And that even though I realize how unbelievably blessed I am and that when I compare my lot in life with those of others...I feel as though I have no room to complain--I still feel the pain of loss and I still have so many bittersweet moments when I miss what should have been.

No one wants to talk about it...and I don't suppose I really want to either.  But at the same time I don't want to pretend like it never happened and that I don't still think about it on a daily basis.  Russ knows that I still struggle...but even to him I only hint at the reason 'cause I can't bring myself to actually say the words.

Life may be back to "normal" but my heart will never quite be the same. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sharing the journey

I love blogs.  As fun as it can be to have a blog...the best thing is being able to participate in other people's lives through their blogs.

I got started in the world of blogging a few years ago after my 10 year high school reunion when one of my classmates led me to her blog and encouraged me to start my own.  Since then my world has expanded so much.  I have people in my life whose hearts & lives I feel more connected to than most of the people I know in real life because they have chosen to blog.  My awareness has spread in a very personal way because of their blogs.  Many of the bloggers I "know" best and have been most impacted by were so-called "mommy bloggers" who led "normal" lives like mine when I started to follow them but have since been changed by unforeseen movements in their lives and as a result have reached into my life and allowed me to get a taste of something different.

Because of the blogs of people like Tiffany & Lara, I have traveled to Africa on life-altering adoption journeys and have developed a soft spot for adoption.  I have been introduced to the ins & outs of the international adoption process, the joys & pains of making a former orphan a member of a loving family, and the sudden change in worldview that can occur when visiting less fortunate countries of the world.

Because of blogs like Ramee's and Becca's, I have been allowed to peak into a life that exists in my fears of having a child with great physical challenges.  Reading their blogs and others like them, I have a rare opportunity to feel for a moment what that mom feels and, through her journey, find a peace in knowing that if her situation became mine, I too could find a way to deal with it beautifully and with grace & strength through Christ.  Sharing in their journeys gives me perspective and humbles my mother heart.  It also personalizes the causes that I see promoted around me and softens me to care.

Through C. Beth Blog, I get to experience a bit of the gift of surrogacy.  Through From Chaos to Grace, I get a glimpse of life as a foster parent.

Because of blogging, I had the chance to watch a couple struggle with their marriage and reunite, I have mourned with a recent divorcee who then struggled through her ex's suicide.  I get to participate in the work of people in the mission field.  I learn how other people have chosen to live more frugal lives.  The things I get to witness through the blogging community are amazing.

I am so grateful for people willing to open their hearts & minds & lives with the world through blogging.  It is a risk.  It can be hard being vulnerable with people who can rake your soul across the coals with one anonymous comment.  But I am so grateful,  because their willingness to share has enriched my life and has served to prepare me for whatever the future of my journey may hold.  Right now my life is pretty "normal" but one of these days God may decide to take me in an unexpected direction like He did with so many of these bloggers and when He does, I know that I will be a little more equipped because these woman shared their journey with me. 

Ugly Sweater Party

Last night some close family & friends joined us at our house for the holiday silliness known as an 'ugly sweater party'.  It's really just an excuse to get together and dress silly.  :)  We scored some fun sweaters at our local Goodwill...I even scored some for the girls.  They loved being able to be a part of our party!  We had a great time just hanging out, having fun and getting to know each other better.  A lot of nice memories were made...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Making Christmas Cookies

Monday, we made the cookies...

Tuesday, we decorated the cookies...

And now we EAT the cookies!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Touch of Christmas

"Christmas hath a beauty
Lovelier than the world can show:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low."
-Christina Rossetti