Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Isaiah {day 2}

Strolling on hands...
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Isaiah {day 1}

"These are a few of my favorite things...."

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Ava {day 7}

Banana for breakfast...
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HERE you can find another girl whose joining me in capturing the little moments in the life of her kids through some really lovely shots.

Remember to post the link to your photos if you'd like me to share them here. And don't think I don't know you're out there. I see all the hits on the blog, you silent readers, you... 

Monday, January 28, 2013

My Ava {day 6}

Little thief...

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Ava {day 5}

Working on those motor skills...

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Ava {day 4}


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Friday, January 25, 2013

My Ava {day 3}

Fire + book = even at the age of 2, she already grasps the joy of it.

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A couple friends have already agreed to join me in posting a photo a day. For starters, you can see Jenna's photos HERE

It's not to late to join us in posting a photo a day. Leave a comment adding a link where to find your daily moments, and I'll pass them along for others to enjoy.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Ava {day 2}

Patiently waiting while his master finishes her breakfast....
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Ava {day 1}

Last year around this time, I let images of my babies take over this blog for four weeks. The idea spawned from an imbalance of taking more photos of other people's children than my own. It was an effort to capture my kids in daily life. That series produced some of my favorite pictures of the past year, so can y'all oblige a mommy as I do it again?

Let's go over the basics, four kids for four week per image per day. But this year I'm inviting you to join me! Maybe you're already doing a 365 challenge. If so, post a link to it in your comments. If you don't already have a plan to do something like this, how about starting now? You could start taking one photo of your child during daily life each day for a week. Or if you don't have kids, maybe of a loved one or of your own daily life. If you add your link to a comment at any point during this series, then I'll pick some links to feature during this challenge so others can enjoy it, too.

Let's do it, let's take a couple minutes out of our day to remember that moment in time.

So, here we go...let's start with my baby. It's Ava, day one...
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Now let me know where we can find your daily photos...

Sunday, January 20, 2013


selfie (plural selfies)
  1. (Internet slang) A low-quality, self portrait. Hardly to be organized as a portrait; usually taken with one's phone from whatever is considered by that person to be the most attractive angle. May include friends, landmarks, or simply the bathroom mirror. Most often taken by teenagers of the female gender.

Okay, I may have possibly embellished that definition a bit; but now you at least know what a "selfie" is.

The other day I wanted to wear an over-sized shirt; and after raiding my hubby's side of the closet, I found the perfect item. I texted my man about the shirt theft, and he wanted to see the outfit. So cringing, I took a selfie, bathroom mirror and all. I could almost feel the teenage hormones trying to reform in my body. Pardon any hint of self-righteousness, but I usually refuse to take selfies. The world is a better place if you don't have to see my face pixelated and puckered. 

My husband, bless his heart, could care less what any other human being thinks of him. This is a beautiful trait when it comes to fearing God and not man. This is also a dangerous quality when it comes to pleasing your man-fearing wife at a social gathering. The stories I could tell...but that's not the point of this post. The point is selfies. One of Steven's little known past times is taking mock selfies and texting them to me. And since he enjoys laughing at himself; the point is to make these photos as purposely unattractive as possible.

So, in typical Steven fashion, he's agreed to allow me to share some his selfies. We'll just call it his gift to you...

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He even takes them with his "BFF"...

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You can either be jealous or pity me; it's your choice.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Truly Caring

I know I posted earlier today, but I don't think I can go to bed without getting this off my chest. God has been pressing so hard on Steven's and my heart to start really and truly caring. Caring about living in light of eternity, caring that there are children left on their own to die, caring that there is child sex-trafficking, caring that there are atrocities going on our world right this moment. I don't mean the kind of caring that simply blogs about it. Or just adopts one child and considers my duty done. I mean the kind of caring that really and truly applies James 2:14-16:
"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?"

And tonight, we came across this video that seemed to envelop what God is speaking to us.

I'm still mulling it over in my brain. We're not sure all the ways God will flesh this out. But we're praying and asking the Lord how to really live like a family that cares. We're asking God to direct us on how to put our money and our life where our mouth is. We're asking Him how to truly step out. And we both feel like this journey has just begun. Today, as I prayed about this, I was again wrestling with the reality that I am not some special person, that I am not great or especially gifted. But guess God is great. And that's all that matters.

My Latest Craving {goji berry mix}

Goji berries are supposed to be one of the super-est of superfoods, the Chuck Norris of the fruit world. Why? Bursting with antioxidants and anti-aging compounds, vitamins, immune-boosting elements, and even protein, these little bad boys are considered one of the most nutritionally rich foods on the planet.


However, here was my honest problem: I wasn't in love with them. They fell under what my husband calls "law of diminishing returns foods". You know, those foods that taste pretty good with the first few bites but get less appealing with each passing munch? Still, they weren't bad; so knowing their benefits, I snacked on them here and there. But I wanted to find a way to actually like them, to truly want to eat them.

Then, the other morning, after an especially potent cup of coffee, I had a very rare light bulb moment in my kitchen. What if I mixed this and that? Wouldn't the salty flavor compliment the rich flavor that would compliment the sweet flavor? And, guess what, my did! Just three simple ingredients, and now I'm headed to my pantry for a snack looking for those goji berries.


Goji Berry Snack Mix

I simply mixed equal parts of:
How simple is that!? The flavors blend together beautifully. And I dare you to find a more nutrient rich snack mix. And I can practically hear my body thanking me when I skip over the packaged snack and take a handful of this. And for a split second, I think I hear Chuck Norris' voice...okay, time for that second cup of coffee.

Budget note: I find that buying the goji berries in bulk online is much cheaper than in the store.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Wanna' Vote?

Giving your opinion is always fun. So if you want to be a photo judge for a whole 2 minutes head over to my photography blog and vote in my annual Favorite Photo Contest HERE.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Picture It...Christmas

First there was a Christmas Trip to Michigan...

We visited the Toledo Zoo all decked out for the holidays...

A little rain simply means we had more of the zoo to ourselves...



Ya better watch out....I'm tellin' you why. This two-year-old is comin' to town...



Gang mugshot...

Then my parents for Christmas Day...


More babies to mother...maybe this will mean she'll stop trying to mother her brothers...

Nuff said...

Do you admire the man's loyalty or simply pity him...

Christmas'ed out...


Recreating the Olan Mills "stare up at the heavens" pose...

Friday, January 4, 2013


Probably like you, I've spent the week recovering from the holidays and helping my kids recover from the holidays (can anyone say, "meltdowns" and "more meltdowns"). It was a truly beautiful Christmas, probably my favorite yet. And while I have lots of photos yet to post, here are some of my personal Christmas highlights.

1) Receiving our home study in the mail a couple days before Christmas. (Look, kids, look at Mommy jumping up and down shrieking.) It's amazing how many hours of work can be enclosed in such a small packet.

2) Christmas Eve traditions with our kids- bagels, fireplace, Charlie Brown Christmas, and pajama day.

3)  Packing into Mom & Dad's house with all my siblings and pretending that 20+ years hasn't changed anything. (Though the obligatory, flash-photo group shot shows that things have changed just a touch.)

4) Copious amounts of coffee courtesy of my mom's never-ending coffee pot.

5) Movie tickets from my brother so we could go see Les Miserables. It's been a long time since I've been this excited about the movie. Stunning cinematography; raw, emotional singing; and a profound story of salvation through grace over the law. If you've ever seen the play, you'll be that much more in love. There are many nods to my absolute favorite Broadway production.

6) A new sister. Because my brother made the smartest decision of his entire life to date. Welcome to the family, Samantha.

7) An engagement party complete with some amazing Egyptian food courtesy of my brother's future mother-in-law.

8) Numerous rounds of my new favorite family game where Adriana can hold her own against Steven and even the adults don't want to stop playing. (Thanks to my own mother-in-law for this gift!)
Spot It! by Blue Orange Games {Bestseller!}

9) Gifts that made me cry...literally- the sweetest "We Can't Wait To Meet You" note from my parents to the granddaughter they have yet to lay eyes upon, donations made in my name to ministries dear to my heart, and a necklace from my husband that I can hardly take off. Who needs Santa?!?