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Friday, June 28, 2013

5 simple ways to show your kids you love them

love is not a feeling.
it is an action.
however...love does create feelings!

i want for my kids to have confidence in who they are.
i want them to feel loved.
one thing i always pray for them, is that they will never doubt God's love.
i also don't want them to doubt my love for them. the difference is...
i make mistakes a lot.
so i have to make sure that i am doing what i can to show my love for them.

here are 5 simple ways to show your kids you love them:

1. tell them.
duh. i know. but seriously...make sure you are saying it out loud. a lot.
every time you leave the house. say i love you.
every time they do something that makes you laugh, or that makes you smile...say i love you.
you can not say it enough.
whisper it. yell it. say it. sing it. just make sure they know!
expand on it...tell them what you love about them. their laugh, the way they think of others, the way they make your family complete...say it and watch them react!

2. ask them if you've hurt them.
i know i've said it before, but every once in a while i think it is so important to ask them if you have done anything to hurt them.
it shows them that you know you aren't perfect. it shows them that you are humble enough to say sorry. and it shows them how to keep communication open with you (and others!)
tonight when you put them to bed just ask them...did i do anything today to hurt you?
be ready for an honest answer and be ready to say sorry.
keeping current is important in every relationship! we want to discourage bitterness!

3. discipline them.
it seems like more and more, parents are pulling the whole gotta-be-friends-with-my-kids thing.
kids need structure, guidelines, and rules. it's what gives them stability...and shows them love.
i know. i know. it's easier to just give in. give them their way...at the moment. it does not pay off in the long run! (you can read what the benefits of getting off your couch are in my post here.)
making rules and sticking to them is showing them that you are willing to work hard and shows them that you love them.

4. look them in they eyes.
because we are living in a day and age where we have electronic devices with us constantly, it is so easy to be looking at something besides our kids. checking our text messages, checking our instagram, checking our emails...and on and on it goes.
if your kids are telling you a story. stop everything.
put your phone down (or your book...it doesn't have to be just electronics!) and give them your full attention!
if you are going to play a game together, leave your phone upstairs.
if you are going to do a craft together, turn the tv off...turn the music on!
show them that they are more important than any other thing. show them that you value them.
*this is a good idea to do with anyone! if you are out for coffee, or if you are visiting with a friend don't jump and answer your phone the second it rings. don't interrupt them and check your text message the second it alerts you. show your friends that they are more important too!*

5. lighten up.
i am obviously a fan of discipline. there are certain things that you have to be strict on.
but there are other areas that don't really matter.
don't let yourself live too stressed of a life!
in the middle of a serious conversation, grab their hands and start dancing!
after a stressful day, eat ice cream before dinner.
play a game together, don't freak out if they spill something, spray them with the kitchen sprayer. show them that nothing has to be too serious. we can make life fun.

i hope that this will just remind you to take advantage of today.
the dirty laundry is not going anywhere.
the dirty dishes don't seem to be going too far either!
get things into perspective:
your kids are more important than your job. than your housework. than your friends.
now go prove it!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

easy ways to decorate an old house ~ before and after

i love antiques. of all kinds.
i also love looking at ideas on how to decorate an old house.
i want to be able to have modern, functional living space but still be able to display my favorite vintage items.
i also don't want to spend a lot of money.

so when we moved in, we inherited this dining room with a hideous light fixture and dark paint.
we kept the floors the same, and just painted!
it's amazing what a little paint can do!
then we had all these walls to decorate...which can be a little overwhelming!
so i just decided to decorate 3 walls and leave the rest plain.

because i love boston so much, i decided to make my focus wall be all about boston. i bought this cute canvas at marshalls that has all kinds of boston stuff on it, and also got the clock and "c" at marshalls.
i got the frames from a yard sale, (except for one was a house warming gift from my sister :)) and the old frame i got at a thrift store. i filled the frames with pictures we have from our visits to boston.
i have an old menu from a boston restaurant, but it is hidden in a box somewhere that i have not yet unpacked, so i just put a piece of a boston herald newspaper in the frame until i find it!
the awesome green dishes were a find that my mom made at an antique store, and i LOVE them!
the buffet is something that adam's grandfather made us a couple years after we got married!
i think this is the perfect spot for it, and i can't wait for him to be able to see it in person!
i love the wainscoting in the room, and i love that our dining room has a door! i don't know why, i just think it's cool.
it's just so beautiful to see all the details in this house! 
it does not get old!

we got the chandelier for 10 bucks at restore!
and we got the table from craigslist last weekend! we can finally eat together!

i got the cool square frames from a yard sale, and cut out some music that i had in an old etude magazine! i love how it came out.

i know...i'm weird that i have suitcases and an old typewriter in my dining room, but hey...i like to take random things and put them in my rooms.
it gives people something to look at and talk about when they come over!
so all it takes is keeping your eyes open at yard sales and thrift stores and you can decorate with a vintage twist!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

should i feel guilty?

should i feel guilty when i watch families come to our church and share how they are raising money so they can go with their brand new baby and move to brazil to preach the gospel to an unreached people group?

should i feel guilty when i read the blog from my sweet friend who is saving up money to adopt a baby girl from ethiopia?

should i feel guilty when i go to the grocery store and spend extra money on silly things like fudgesicles and oreos? what about when i go to the mall and buy a pair of shoes i don't need?

i know that the need to spread God's love to other countries is great.
i know that the need for orphans to be taken care of is great.
i know that there are millions of starving children across the world.
i know that there are people who would give anything to have just one pair of shoes.
i know.

but what?
what now?

what does God expect me to do with this knowledge?

i have spent a lot of time wondering this. thinking this through.
see...i don't want to be the kind of person who justifies what i am doing (or not doing) or comparing myself with another person who i think i am doing better than.

i get so irritated when people matter of factly tell me that what God wants of me is to live where He has put me and just not be too focused on all my possessions.
he certainly doesn't expect me to go without.

i mean. maybe that's true.
but then maybe it's the furthest thing from the truth.
maybe it sickens God when he sees you pour over your pottery barn catalog.
maybe it breaks his heart when he sees you spend 30.00 on a pair of shoes.
just maybe.
can you even see that as a possibility?

james 3:14 says "but if you have...selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth"

what does that mean?
lying against the truth? could i be doing that?

what is the truth?
one truth is that God says if i have food and clothing that is what i should be content with.
another truth is that God says i need to not lay up treasures on earth.
another truth is that God says that i shouldn't love in word or tongue, but in action and truth.

the lying against that truth could be
~i need at least 2 new bathing suits per summer. i mean...i am not frivolous like so-and-so who buys 5 every year!
~i need to have a lot of money in savings. ya know, it's being a good steward.
~i will pray for all those poor, unfortunate people.
~what could your lie be?

so should i feel guilty?
guilt will bring me down to a place that makes me feel worse and worse about myself.
so i don't think guilty is the right word.

should i lie against the truth? should i convince myself that what i am doing is enough?
that God certainly couldn't expect me to do more?
should i spend time with all of those other girls who are "godly" and have enormous houses, attend every lia sophia party in town and have every piece of furniture directly from a catalog?
because that might make me feel better about what i am doing.

no. i don't think that is the solution.
if i am feeling something.

maybe that something is conviction.
conviction is a feeling similar to guilt, but instead of driving me down to a place that makes me miserable, it drives me to action.

action that may require sacrifice.
action that may require pain.
action that may require living out what i say God wants me to live out.
it might be not getting my way.
it might be supporting a missionary when we don't see how it's possible in our budget.
it might be sending in the paperwork to become certified to foster children.
it might even mean giving up something i like so someone else can have it.

that is the kind of living that i want to be living.

i refuse to take what you say God means and make it what i say God means.
because what if you're wrong?
what if God is asking for more?

i want to be listening.
i want to be prepared for action.
i want to be living my life for one purpose only - to bring glory to God.
after all, that is what i was created for. (isaiah 43:7)

what about you?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

photography 101 ~making your clients laugh~ aka acting like an idiot

there can't be much worse than finally deciding on a photographer, and then going through a session of awkward silences and hearing the words "say cheese!" (which should never be uttered by a photographer unless it is sheer sarcasm!)

i like to have fun.

not just when i am on the job, but also when i am at home. and out. and just plain always.

because of the fact that i adore shooting with prime lenses (stay tuned for a what's-in-my-bag post coming to a blog post near you!)
this requires getting all up in a person's grill.
it can be a little awk.ward.
so instead of just keeping silent and trying to act like it's normal, you might as well make a joke about it!

sometimes i talk in a weird voice without even meaning to!
oops! instead of just trying to act cool and play it off, why not just say...
um...seriously? did i just make that noise out loud? ha!
it is sure to get a good laugh.
of course there is always the...
hey mom - look at your favorite daughter!
or - ok. pretend you like each other just for the next 15 minutes (sometimes i wonder! ha!)

half the time, i'm pretty sure they are laughing at me, and i really leave thinking..what on earth do these people think of me?!?
but there is something that i just love when i see a full out, real live laugh.
it just makes me happy.
come on. admit it...you are smiling just looking at all of these, aren't you?

ok. so sometimes i make people cry.
but usually just my relatives. ha!

so if you are doing this for a living, or if you are going to just take some shots of your kids.
make jokes.
act like an idiot.
laugh loudly.
laugh at yourself...don't try to come off like you have it all together.
i mean. you have to be prepared. and you have to act confident.
but if you trip over a tree stump, don't try and act like that is the first time it ever happened!
people like to see that you are real!

most of all - make sure you are having fun!
having fun create the perfect setting to capture the best kind of images that you
(and your clients) will love forever!

Monday, June 24, 2013

new house update: kitchen before and after...kind of

i love seeing before and afters...
so i love showing before and afters!

since i have a feeling that the kitchen is going to be stuck in before-mode for quite a while,
i thought i would show you more of a before... and a middle.

we moved in to a kitchen with pistachio walls, green countertop and green and white tiles.
say what?! i mean...i love green and all, and have decided to decorate with green.
but it was just a bit overkill.
so while we still have the green countertop for now, it will eventually be replaced.

since we still have no idea what to do about the floor yet, we are just enjoying the rustic feel.
it's all about perspective, people!

hope you enjoy the middle transition.
we have quite a ways to go, but i still love my big old kitchen.

Friday, June 21, 2013

welcome the newest member of the chase family: the sequel

remember the last time i had a story about it raining in the kitchen?
then remember when i posted the sequel?

so you're seeing now that when there is a sequel, it is not typically a good thing.

ok. so you remember meeting taco. the newest member of the chase family.

and you remember from that post that i said i am not a pet person? ya.

well last night we had stayed up late. watching the nba finals.
we went to bed after midnight.

at 3:00am i hear my door open.
it's aj.
he says...mom?
i groggily say...yes?

he says...taco is sitting on my bookcase.

say what?!?

i go in, and sure enough.
there she is. in all her glory. sitting on top of the bookcase.
i go in ry's room, grab a container and lure her into it.
(she now has a reputation for biting and i was in no mood for that.)
i spend the next ten minutes trying to figure out how in the ever-loving-world she got out!
couldn't figure it out.
i thought maybe she had popped open the top, so i locked it and went back to bed.

couldn't fall asleep. finally did at around 3:45.

an hour later (after dreaming of taco. no, i'm not joking)
i hear this little rustling noise that wakes me up.
i look down, and...tell me it's part of my dream...there is a little ball of fur and beady eyes looking up at me.

oh. no. you. didn't.

i get up and go in ry's room again to get the container again and when i come back?
ya. couldn't find her.

you've got to be kidding me right now.
i am literally crawling around on my floor with a flashlight whispering...taccccooooo.
which, i'm pretty sure she has no idea that is her name.

i see her at the foot of my bed.
i turn to grab the container. turn back.

i'm sputtering something having to do with...thisiswhyidon'twantpets...
and then i see her.
she's burrowing in some pile of something. at this point, i had no idea what was happening.
i get her into the container and go to put her back and try to figure out how to prevent this from happening again.

i realized that there was a hole on the top that had been covered with purple tape ever since we got her. apparently she had chewed her way out of it.

so then i did what any self-respecting american would do...went downstairs to get some duct tape.
yes. i know. my father-in-law would be proud.
i duct-taped the living day lights out of the cage.
told her she better watch her back. and i meant it.
then went back to bed.

now that i think of it...
that lady who gave us the little rodent did seem pretty anxious to get rid of her.
oh jeez.
how long do these things live again?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

i'm not that kind of friend...

just to clarify the kind of friend i am...

if you stop by my house on your way by. i may not have make up on.
but i will invite you in for a cup of coffee regardless.

if you are going through a hard time with another person. i will not put down that other person to try and make you look better.
i will just pray for you. listen to you. and remind you of who God created you to be.

if you unfriend me on facebook, i will not go and talk to everyone about it.
but i will ask you why you did.

if you think i'm judging you...i'm probably not.

if you think i'm praying for you...i probably am.

i am not that kind of friend that looks for drama and holds grudges.
if i haven't texted you back it just means i am busy and have a bad memory...terrible combination!
if i don't answer the phone when you call...it's just because i hate talking on the phone. no offense.
if you want to bash your husband...i am not your go-to girl.
if you want a guilt-free friend to eat ice cream with? i am your go-to girl!

i just want to be that friend that makes you feel like i have all the time in the world for you, and i would drop anything to give you a hand.
i want to be that friend that builds you up, not tears you down.
i want to be that friend that encourages you to let go of things, not hold on and become bitter.
i want to be that friend that you can trust no matter what.

so if you're looking for that party girl who will have drinks with you and slam every other person who doesn't do exactly what you do? i'm not that kind of friend.

but if you're looking for a crazy, loud, sarcastic girl who will hang out with you and try to help you find peace and joy in your life?

i will always try to be that friend for you.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Meet my Senior Reps ~ part 2

tonight i had the rest of my senior reps meet to do our shoot.
they literally all met tonight for the first time, and they were so good about just doing whatever i asked them! they were amazing.
i seriously wish i was best friends with them.

here are some of my gorgeous models!




they rocked these poses out...i mean.
i am not just saying this - they should model for reals.

you would think they had already known each other for years!
so helpful...i made Hailey lay in the grass so they helped clean all the leaves off her back!

i had such a fun time meeting all you girls! congratulations on making to your senior year!

 Click here to book your senior session with me today!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

maybe a little bit too much information?

when i decided back on february 20th that i was going to blog every single day except for sundays (which i have now changed to saturdays and sundays) i really wasn't sure how i was going to do it.
i didn't necessarily have a game plan.
i just decided to set a goal and go for it.
i try to balance things out as far as alternating the super deep posts with some light hearted or photography related posts.
i have loved getting feedback from many of you through personal emails telling me that my posts mean something to you.
it makes me want to write again, and it keeps me going!

sometimes i'm not sure how much to really talk about. i wonder...am i sharing too much information with who-knows-who?
i mean...i have people who don't like me, and sometimes i wonder if they read my thoughts just to have one more thing to hold against me.
but i always try to be real, regardless.
i like to tell things how they are, and i like to find out how many of you are exactly like me because of the topics i write about.

so today i'm sharing a little bit about myself.
my favorite book when i was about 11 was a book called adopted.
i read it over and over.
it broke my little heart thinking about kids who needed a mom and dad.
it was not just a passing stage i went through.
when i was in college, i talked to God about this heart he gave me for orphans.
i was never sure exactly what He wanted me to do about it, but i knew it was something.
(i wrote about my thoughts on adoption becoming a fad, and how it was something i didn't want to fall into here.)

adam and i started thinking about this years ago. we started doing what was necessary to begin the process of becoming eligible to adopt of foster.
however, we were not living in a place that allowed for us to take kids in.
we didn't own our own place and we were sharing the place we did live.
now that we have our own home, we have started the process again.

i am so excited to think about what God might be preparing for us.
i don't know what it looks like, i don't know where the road will take us,
but i know that we are just doing what God is telling us to do...
i finished all the paperwork for me and the boys (adam is on his way to completing his) and we will see where this goes.

so maybe this is too much unnecessary information for some of you, but it's just where we're going in our lives right now, and i like to think that i have all of you joining me in this little old life of mine. i feel like i just have to share it with all of you! so - thanks for coming along!

and because i am such a dork and laugh over random things, i thought i would end with something that totally made me laugh out loud.
i don't know why...but

really?? haha...come on. you know it's funny!

thanks for reading.

Monday, June 17, 2013

i blame my dad for my sugar addiction

i opened my easter basket with sheer child-like excitement.
it was a huge basket.
and full of chocolate...every girls dream, right?
i mean. i was about 8 years old and in my little world, nothing could be better.

i opened the foil wrapped bunny and held it in my hand ready to savor every last bite of it.
until my daddy asked for a bite.
just one bite.
ugh...why did i have to be the first kid to open the chocolate?
but ok...just one bite.

and as he took the one bite...the entire hollow thing crumbled into pieces.
i. was. devastated. 
i mean, truly crushed.
i have the picture to prove it.

the reason i still like to tell this story to this day, is because in my world -
this was one of the worst things that ever happened to me between me and my dad.
and what i mean by that is...he was and still is...an amazing dad.
(and also, i blame him for my insane sugar addiction. haha!)

he's unique. 
unlike almost any other man i have ever known.
he is incredibly serious about his convictions and his faith, and he never cared if it made him popular or not. that was not the point.

he had his convictions. and he stuck to them...no matter who stood against him.

i remember his conviction about not letting his kids watch beer commercials. 
it was just his thing. he didn't want for us to ever start believing the lies that were being spread in those commercials - ya know...the only way to really have fun is to party and drink.
i also remember watching other christians mock him for this belief. 
i still don't understand the concept of mocking someone for having a conviction.
it's odd, because you don't normally see someone mocking another person for their lack of conviction. but anways...
the reason i love him for sticking to that seemingly small decision, is because it showed me that i don't have to follow what everyone else is doing and saying.
and most of the time? those people who are judging you don't even end up staying in your life for very long.
true that.

i remember how important his family always was. over everything.
being in full time ministry was not always easy...for any of us. (you can read about my view from the eyes of a pastor's kid here.) but he showed the importance of loving people while still taking time for his family.

i watch my dad go through his life and keep his relationship with God first.
i mean. first over everything.
and i realize that there are so very few men who truly live that out.
(i am beyond blessed because not only does my dad take this relationship seriously, so does my father-in-law and so does my husband!)

i just wanted to take the time on this father's day weekend and thank my dad for being the kind of father that God requires.

thank you dad, for all the times you made the hard discipline choices.
thank you for the way you worked 2 jobs just to give me and erika the opportunity to go to a christian school.
thank you for the way you love mom so much.
thank you for giving me my crazy love for football.
thank you for running hundreds of miles with me.
thank you for loving my boys.
thank you for passing down your insane love for sugar to me.
thank you for your always supporting me.
thank you for all the memories at alton bay.
thank you for staying true to your commitment to Jesus no matter who questioned you.

thank you for your belief in this verse in Psalms
Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.

i am so grateful for your godliness. it will have an effect for generations.
i love you so so much.
and i will always love eating ice cream with you.

Friday, June 14, 2013

brownies, pens and planners...how are you setting yourself up?

i always have so much motivation...
for tomorrow.
ya know - i'm gonna get up early...tomorrow.
i'm gonna start eating right...tomorrow
i'm gonna be more organized with my business...tomorrow.

and then guess what happens?
i oversleep.
someone offers to take me out for ice cream (can't be rude, right??)
and then i feel like such a fat, lazy bum that i lay around all day and remain unorganized.

ok. maybe that's a little extreme, but you get the point.

i started thinking about how i am setting myself up for either failure or success.
and i realized that it can be small steps that get me there.

i need to see the things that are truly important to me, and set myself up to succeed in them.

i love when i get up early. have a cup of coffee and a good long time of prayer and Bible.
what if i set up the room the night before? got my favorite mug out. put my blanket on the couch and had my Bible, notebook and pen all ready to go.
instead of searching around for a clean mug and a pen!

i really feel good about myself when i eat healthy.
what if i had fruit already cut up in containers in the fridge? what if i decided to not buy the brownie mix?
instead of grabbing the brownies that are already right there!

i want to be organized with my businesses.
what if i set up my office area with planners, calendars, magazines...things that are going to make me want to sit down and plan?
instead of trying to find a planner, an updated calendar and some inspiration!

what happens when i set things up the night before?  i am setting myself up to succeed.
what happens when i just go to bed and see what happens the next day? i am setting myself up for failure.

small steps.

the reason i pick out my outfit for sundays on saturday night...is because i am setting myself up to have more time to get ready and get the boys ready in the morning.
(and i save myself from trying on 62 outfits when i am still groggy! ha!)

so what do you have to set up tonight?
get up right now and do it!
you'll be so happy you did!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

when it rains in the kitchen: the sequel

so remember just a week ago i posted about it raining in the kitchen?
we are now trying to see how many rooms we can get a similar blog post for.

today's is: when it rains in the breezeway.

we have been having a huge need for wisdom when it comes to our roofing situation.
we hired someone and have been having some...um...issues.
he took all the shingles off the breezeway and then shingled one side.
and then put a tarp over the other side.
apparently the tarp isn't quite cutting it, so the other night when i went into the breezeway...
lo and behold.
raining on the inside.
what do you know?

all over my SHOES...gasp!
it was pouring in our privy.
(yes, we have a privy. please try not to be jealous, and also don't hold your breath for a before and after of that room!)

the thing that freaked me out the most was the gorgeous piece of furniture that used to be adam's great grandmother's.
it had been in the breezeway just temporarily while we waited to finish the family room.
it was starting to get wet, and so i frantically told adam he had to get it to the family room right away! (he still thinks it was just my way of pushing him to move it..ha! but hey...now i have it in the family room. perfect.)

we did get another tarp put over the roof, but it is still not secure.
so...we are continuing to enjoy our indoor/outdoor breezeway.

the moral of the story?
i haven't quite figured one out yet.
just another reminder that this house is just that...a house.
it is a reminder that we are not storing up for ourselves treasures on earth...where moth and rust destroys and water comes in and floods (that last part was my very own version) matthew 6:19-20
we are trying to store up treasures in heaven.

hopefully this post is the last one of this series.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

14 years and counting ~ my love story

who could have known when looking at these two little ones...

that they would one day fall in love.
this is the boy i fell in love with.
i loved him even though he didn't know how to match his ties to his shirts...
and he loved me even though i had not yet been introduced to tweezers.
love can be blind, people.
(you are welcome for the little laugh you got tonight)
you can read more of the details of our love story here
but we dated through high school and went to college together.

we got married (and i will not post any pictures of the occasion. between his hair, my dress, my hair...just ugh.) and God blessed us with this little munchkin in 2001

and this little one in 2003.

i fell in love with adam for many reasons.
he was awesome with kids, and i loved that about him. he made me laugh. he took everything in stride. he loved his family. he loved my family.
he was chill and relaxed, and i was hyper and crazy.
we seemed to just go together.

it has been 14 years since we got married.
in those years, i have watched my husband do some pretty amazing things.
i have watched him work long and hard hours at a job he absolutely hated, and then come home to 2 energetic little boys and a house full of teenagers.
he gives his heart and soul to people.
ministry is what drives him and energizes him.
it is an amazing and inspiring thing to watch.
we have traveled to new york, canada, and many other places with vans full of teenagers.
while sometimes it can be discouraging to see the lack of contact we have with many of them today, or the way that some of them have chosen to live their lives...i have no doubt that adam has impacted hundreds of kids through the years.
we have run these ministries together for 14 years.
we have stayed up all night long for word of life's superbowl for 13 years!
(and he doesn't even drink coffee!!)
he has done whatever needed to be done to make his family happy. 

 we love watching sports together and have gone to foxboro and boston many times.

our newest ministry venture together is a big one for us. we spend every week pouring hours of ourselves into the kids in our town. we want to show them that God loves them, and that we are here for them no matter what. i absolutely love serving with him. love it.
don't misunderstand me.
every day has not been all sunshine and roses.
marriage takes work. hard work.
love is a choice...not a feeling.
humility is essential and is not always acted out.
divorce is never mentioned between us...see. it's not an option for us.
we made a vow before God that we would be together forever.
we take it seriously.
the days that i irritate him or he irritates me, we have to figure out how we are going to handle that. the days i hurt him, or he hurts me...it's the same thing. working it out. figuring out what God wants us to do, and how we are going to forgive and move on.

it's not always easy. but it's always worth it.

this boy i fell in love with in high school has become this man that i love even more today.
i trust him with my life.

adam ~ my life has been so incredibly full and happy so far...i can not wait to see how the rest of our story plays out.
thank you for putting me first.
thank you for letting me eat as much ice cream as i want.
thank you for loving our boys.
thank you for understanding that i just need to buy shoes. 
thank you for pushing me to dream bigger.
thank you for making me laugh.
thank you for understanding my crazy ways and thank you for encouraging me to stay faithful to God.
i love you more than i could ever put into words.

14 years and counting... 

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