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Thursday, February 28, 2013

fishbowl findings 3

this passage in Romans is amazing.
just incredibly convicting and encouraging.
when you are a ministry wife, you have to really focus on the way that you treat people...without thinking of the way that other people have treated you.
it's about being real. and genuine. and transparent. 
for one reason:
you are serving Jesus. 
that's it!
we have to remember who we are serving. 
He is ultimately in control and will take care of everything in His way and His time.

so if you are struggling with relationship issues today...read this passage.
read it slow.
let it sink in and change you.

 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection,and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


i am not that girl who had a camera in her hand since she was 5.
i mean, i do remember getting a little camera when i was younger but i have not been passionate about it since then...dreaming of one day becoming a professional photographer.

my best friend in college was lindsay. lindsay's dad is an a.maz.ing photographer.
i mean for real.
his work still blows my mind. check out his work here
that was the first time i had ever really thought about photography as a profession.

so when my kids were little i started doing my own version of photo shoots
just because they were the cutest little chums ever and i didn't want to miss a single stage.

when i decided to get a "nice" camera, i asked lindsay's dad.
i pretty much did whatever he said.
he shot with canon.
so i shoot with canon
he used photoshop.
so i use photoshop.

and that is pretty much it. i started shooting for my friends kids for fun.
and then started realizing how much i loved it.
how much joy i got from capturing these moments, and even the editing part was fun for me.
i just loved it all.

i built a little portfolio and off i went.
about a year and a half ago i found this amazing group of christian women photographers called pursuit 31...whose goal is to keep the focus on things of eternal value - raising godly children, being a godly wife and serving others.
it has allowed me to meet some of the most amazing people.
women who are literally my very best friends.
the friends i can turn to when i need prayer, encouragement, and even exhortation!
i just adore all of them and am so thankful that God brought them into my life.

they have encouraged me to push myself with my business and my walk with God.
i couldn't ever name all of them because there are so many.
(karen, ang, tiff, stace, deb, alicia, joni, christin, mollie, jenn jenn, shara, brandy...just to name a few!)

so that brings me to today.
i have been dreaming.
sometimes dreaming comes naturally, sometimes my common sense tries to kick in.
but then i throw it out.
i wanted a studio.

i was so sick and tired of lugging a MILLION props, blankets, and everything else out to a newborn shoot. and i was also sick of having pretty much no option for shooting in the painfully long cold months.

part of me didn't think it would ever happen. part of me was convincing myself that it would.

and here i am.
ready to start planning and redoing a real. live. studio.

ok ok...it needs a tiny bit of work.
well. maybe a lot a bit of work.
but it is going to be my very own studio.
a place that will help me push my business even further.

i want to at least double my senior sessions this year.
i want more newborns and families and children's shoots.
i want more lifestyle shoots.
i want more weddings.

and this studio is helping me fulfill my dreams in a pretty amazing way.

what are your big dreams? what is holding you back from getting them?
i love these quotes i heard from jody gray

if you want it enough, you'll do it. if you don't, you'll make an excuse.

God will direct your steps, but He won't pick your feet up off the floor.

don't let anything get in the way of what your big dreams are!
let's stop making excuses and keep on dreaming...who knows what God will do through us!

Monday, February 25, 2013

nobody needs a facebook app

i said it.

nobody needs a facebook app!

ok. here are my thoughts behind that.
i found this verse that is exactly what i needed this week.

it goes a little something like this:

i HATE vain thoughts, but your law i love

what are vain thoughts?

she said what??

he just did that?

that is so not who they really are!

was she referring to me?

and so on and so forth.

you getting my drift?

look. facebook has no doubt destroyed many a marriage, friendship, life.
people put whatever they want, and really don't even have to think twice before hitting post.
it takes virtually no thinking at all.
which is exactly the opposite of how we are supposed to be living.

and while facebook can be used to encourage (and it has done that for me many times)
it can also be used to hurt. (which it has also done for me.)

i'm not a fan of de-friending people. i think it is the "grown up" version of
you are not invited to my birthday party

so instead, i get to see all kinds of things that my already sensitive and deceitful heart
does not need to handle.

and not only do i go on facebook on my laptop...i mean why not bring it to my phone?
that way, i can look at all this stuff every second of every passing day. you know...while waiting in line at starbucks, while stopping at a stop light, while sitting on the couch watching tv.
i need that right? wrong.
facebook does not do me any favors.

that is why.
aint nobody be needing a facebook app.

so if you are finding yourself having some vain thoughts during the day, why don't you take action.
it's super easy.
you just hold the facebook app down for a couple seconds.
click on the little x that comes up.
and that's it!
it's gone.

and you are giving yourself a chance to think about a bible verse during that line in starbucks.
you give yourself the opportunity to pray while you wait at a stop light.
to be a dreamer and be thinking of ways you can help people while you're doing everything else.

go on.
just do it.
i really don't think you'll regret it!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

then and now...

i like the idea of this...
finding old pictures, and recreating them.
i want to do it more.

i found this picture of aj, ry and their 3 cousins from christmas eve years ago.
and i made them pose the same way for me...

all other cousins:  i will be doing this next time i see you as well.
consider yourself warned.

Friday, February 22, 2013

stop forgetting and keep remembering

i have a really bad memory.
ugh...i hate it.

i really want to do a better job at remembering different stages that the boys are in.
i have written down some things in a journal i have. i don't do it as often as i should.
i don't want to forget the little things that make my boys unique!
i want to remember everything.

this picture reminds me of so many things...
riley has always adored his puppy blanket, as we lovingly call it.
like...literally can't sleep without it.
he is hot all the time, and so he has to sleep in shorts.
he has a really hard time getting to sleep, so this picture was taken at about 11:00pm...just after he had fallen asleep.

maybe it's not a huge deal. but time goes by so fast and i want to be able to look back and remember all these little everyday things that help make my life so amazing.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

making a list with making a list on it.

please tell me i am not the only person who does not make lists.
i mean...i want to.
i know i need to.
i can't tell you how many things need to be on my list.
why, oh why have i not started yet?

my mind is forever filled and overflowing with things i need to get done.
from homeschooling, to my business, to the porch to different relationships, to a MILLION other things.

i recently went to a photography workshop where my sweet and amazing friend and photographer deborah talked about getting legal pads and just filling them up with to do lists.

i need to put that on a list.

so i thought that if i post it here, maybe it will motivate me to actually buy those legal pads and start making my lists.

so tomorrow is my go-buy-legal-pads-for-my-lists day.

i sure hope i remember to do that! :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Riley's Wild West Birthday Party

riley is totally into the show wild wild west  he also loves the rifleman
he decided that he wanted to have that be his theme for his party this year.

i'm pretty sure he was the most excited about all the little details of old fashioned milk bottles,

 crates, and...oh wait. he couldn't care less about that.

i guess that was me. ha!
we all know that when mom's go crazy with themes and decorating it is CLEARLY for their blogs and not their kids..i mean, come on now.
i am the first to admit it.

but anyways, he really was excited about his cake, and the cowboy hats and the knock-the-tin-can game.

and about the fact that most of his cousins were coming to celebrate!

we had his party at the porch and he couldn't have been happier.
my  mom set up a little candy hunt game, and they played knock-the-tin-can with nerf guns

i set up a little photo booth, and it was pretty fun watching everyone get into that!
(i got the free templates for the props here )

so thankful for everyone who came and helped riley feel so special.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

classical conversations...latin and all

so most of you know my feelings about your typical homeschooler.
you know that i hate the sterio-type that goes along with homeschooling.
and you know that i think latin is something people just talk about to non-homeschoolers to make them feel cool.

all that's out of the way.

this past summer, you honestly couldn't say the word homeschooling without me starting to hyperventilate.
i'm not even lying.
i just don't love the teaching, organizing, scheduling part of it all.
if i could just hang out with my boys all the day long, i would love that.
but legally, i don't think i really can.

but when my sister started trying to talk me into classical conversations, i thought...oh NO ya don't!
i will not be that latin teaching, jumper wearing homeschooler.

but since i didn't feel like i had many options, i decided to go to an informational meeting.
i was surprised to find out that the moms there looked...well...normal!
so because i was so desperate, and as a last ditch effort to try this homeschooling thing.
i signed up.
it would involve driving 40 minutes to the campus one day a week.
but i needed a change. and i thought it would be worth it.

and now that i have done it, i can't imagine if i hadn't.
my kids are learning more than i ever thought possible, even if some of it is even latin. but i don't really feel any cooler.
they are doing a presentation in front of their class every week, and i have loved watching them get more and more comfortable with that!
they have memorized a ton of information and it honestly amazes me!

so basically? classical conversations saved my life.
no. for real.
i can't even imagine if i was going through another february just trying to hold on to the end of the year!
so thankful for everything that the boys have learned, and the friendships we have made.
another really awesome part of all this, is that the boys' cousins are learning the exact same stuff in connecticut!
sometimes we make them recite their long history sentences or all their math and science facts.
just for fun!

so...if you're not sure you can handle another school year...why not check out cc?
it might save your life too!

Monday, February 11, 2013

when God does things He doesn't have to

while i will never use my blog as a way to talk about specific people, i will continue to use my blog to be transparent. as a way of showing people who i really am.
i am not hypothetical.
i am a real person. with real feelings. and real emotions. and real problems.

i have been writing here for over 8 years.
and in those years God has brought many people into my life because of my writing.
they have encouraged me, asked questions and even in some cases become real live friends!

this past week has been difficult for me.
the kind of week that makes you question every single friendship you ever had.
the kind of week that makes you read into things and suddenly become skeptical of everyone and everything.
the kind of week that has you pouring over your Bible and begging God to just show you what He is trying to teach you.

i have heard God telling me this one for a while...
be satisfied in me.
i am enough for you.
you are complete in me.

sometimes God is trying to teach you something that your heart just doesn't seem to learn.
and sometimes when God sees you get hurt, he decides to go over and above and bless you even though he doesn't have to.

this is one of those times.

in the middle of God trying to teach me to be satisfied with his love.
he decided to show me love from many other people.

in the middle of my hurt...during the times that i was having the hardest time understanding...
he filled -and i mean FILLED- my inbox, and my phone with emails and texts from so many people who were reaffirming my calling. my heart. mySELF.
and i was blown away.

because see...he didn't have to!
i needed to learn that the approval of people is not needed!
it is appreciated, but not necessary.
i can live without it...and sometimes am called to live through it!
i am still responsible to love others.
to give myself to others.
to forgive.
and to move on.

and through this time of pain, of confusion, of disappointment, of a plethora of emotions.
God showed himself to be a loving, caring father to me.
a father who wanted to love on his little girl and show me that HE approves of me.
that HE thinks good of me.
that HE loves me with an unconditional, never ending, crazy love.

and i am so grateful.
grateful to HIM.
and grateful to those amazing women who decided to let God use them to touch my heart.
to pray for me and with me.
to heal me a little bit.
to help me to trust in people a little bit more.
to give me a renewed vision.

and i will keep going.
sometimes satan means things for evil and God says...oh no you don't!
i am going to use this for GOOD!

and that helps me to not quit.

so with this brand new week...
i am holding on to God.
i am claiming his promises.
i am choosing joy.
i am choosing love.
i am choosing trust.

because i know that i am complete in Him.
and he is all i need.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

10 years ago today...

10 years ago today...
i was totally smitten.
amazed by the feelings of love i was having for another baby boy.

hard to believe that it's been so long.
i can hardly even remember those days...filled with diapers, formula, crying and no sleep!!

and here i am. ten years later.
feeling exactly the same way.
totally in love.

God gave me this little bundle of energy.
this little boy whose personality is frighteningly like his momma's.
this little boy who is hilarious and makes me laugh without even trying.
he is sweet and sensitive, but strong and confident.
he is a lover of all things legos...and western.
he is an amazing singer.
he is a thinker. a deep thinker.
he hates shopping.
he loves to draw and he loves to collect rocks and minerals.
he has big blue eyes and a mischievous sparkle in them all the time.
he is super fast and i love to watch him on the basketball court and on the soccer field.
he is solid. i mean seriously, this kid is so muscular.
if you know him...you love him.
he is amazing.

and i am so thankful that God decided to bless our family with him.
i pray every day that God will help him to be a leader.
that he will be used to do great things in his life. and i know that he will.

happy birthday to my sweet boy who i will always call my baby.
riley joel. i love you more than i could ever say.

 i know these pictures are terrible and i don't even have a scanner! i had to take pictures of pictures and upload them! argh...

Monday, February 04, 2013

fishbowl findings 2

mondays can be especially difficult when you are a ministry wife.
you have just exerted such a great amount of energy for everything that a sunday brings.
and you wake up with 20 different pieces of conversations, doubts, maybe frustrations, and you have to then sweep everything off your plate for the time being and focus on what your current day is bringing.
your husband, your kids, your extended family, your business, your home, your other ministries, and...on and on and on.

i just wanted to encourage all of you this morning to stay.focused.

what does that look like to me? it looks like taking every single thought captive.
it is not allowing the hurt, the doubt, the *feelings* to overtake me and distract from the things that are right in front of me.

what does it look like for you?

focus your eyes on HIM today.
focus on his love.
focus on his forgiveness towards you.
focus on his plan for you.

don't allow the thoughts surrounding your mind to deceive you, to rob your joy, and to side track you from the path God is walking along with you.

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You.

fix your thoughts. right now. and keep them where they should be! 
don't let the enemy convince you that you are alone.
you are not alone.

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