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Monthly Archives: June 2010

Sneak Peek {Big Family}: The Perkins Family

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I had so much fun photographing Lori and Jackson a while back, so I knew photographing their big family would be just as enjoyable!  They were such good sports and really worked with me to get some great pictures on such a hot day, and they really made me laugh!  I can really see the love and unity in this family from “g-gmaw” right down to little Vada.  I hope you all enjoy your sneak peek, and thank you for letting me have a glimpse into your sweet family!

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A Room For Thought

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“A room hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts”

Joshua Reynolds

My room was always my room…from the time I was 2 years old that is.  It’s still my room, even though all my stuff is gone from it. Even though all my parents’ stuff now fills the room and it is not a bedroom but a study, it is still my room.  It is still pink and white, and there are still traces of me there.  I hung posters and pictures.  I stuck stickers.  I painted.  I had carpet put on the floor to cover the paint.  And then I ripped up the carpet because it was stained only to sand (by hand) and restain the floor.  I moved furniture, hung beads, changed the decor probably at least a dozen times.  It was my room.  It always told a story about who I was at any given point during my stay in it.

Neither of our girls can say that about their rooms.  I know they are young and have plenty of time, but I have always wanted them to have a room they can call their own not because they sleep in it but because it has been made theirs.  When we owned our house (or had a mortgage, rather), we never had the money to make Avery’s nursery pretty – nor Anabel’s when she came along.  Avery was a huge surprise and we were just super happy to have nice furniture in her room, much less decorate it.  Soon after Anabel was born we moved to an apartment.  I never want to paint or really decorate in an apartment because it’s not ours…and primarily because I knew I’d be the one to repaint and fix the walls before we left.  So here we are again renting and though we’ve been here a while, I still have not wanted to paint or really decorate the girls’ rooms for the same reasons.  So when I came across this post by a blog friend of mine, I was excited to finally find something cool to do to decorate each of my girls’ rooms (Baby Bel’s room has not been done yet).  Hopefully, we’ll be able to find more ways to make their rooms their own without painting or doing too much damage.  For now, here are some pictures of what’s been done…8 long hours it took me to do those “flowers”!  But I love them, and most importantly, Avery is crazy about them!

Adventures In Potty Training

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“A child can go only so far in life without potty training. It is not mere coincidence that six of the last seven presidents were potty trained, not to mention nearly half of the nation’s state legislators.”

-Dave Barry

My girl is using the potty!!!  It’s fantastic!  I don’t have to tell her or remind her or prod her.  I just have to take her diaper off and let her run around au natural, and she’s good to go…both ways (pun intended).  It’s looking like our diaper-free days are fast approaching, at least for a while, and  I am SO SO excited about this! It actually took us a year and a half to potty train Big Sister Avery.  We still have issues with it.  She never used the potty without prodding, reminding, or rewards.  She’s stubborn like that…you know, like her father 😉  My sweet little Baby Bel is doing it all on her own.  And I’ve decided I will let her progress (or not) without pressure and without the need to push.  I have come to the conclusion that, at some point, they both will be fully potty trained for good and forever….well, at least for about 60 years.  Yes, people, it took me 5 years to come to that conclusion.  I’m a put-a-round-peg-in-a-square-hole kind of person.

Without further ado…

Yeah, what’s potty time without a little lip gloss?  A girl’s gotta look good in every situation!  I mean what if there was a photographer around taking pictures of little girls on potties and this one didn’t have any lip gloss on?!  Atrocious 😉

Every little inch of her sweet little body is just delicious!

And since I know you were so thrilled by those pictures of my daughter sitting on a potty, I will add that I finally put a photograph that I took up on our wall yesterday!  The only one in our house that was taken by me!  It and a few others are below 🙂

My Dad

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He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.
— Clarence Budington Kelland

I’ve had a hard life, but my hardships are nothing against the hardships that my father went through in order to get me to where I started.
— Bartrand Hubbard

My dad actually did tell me how to do it. He did both. He led by example and then told me how he led by example. I was pretty stubborn like that. I needed (and still do) the reinforcement. And I know that, while my mom was the obvious worrier, the one who was most vocal about all that I did – or didn’t do – that my dad probably often silently struggled to maintain his stoic composure when I was busy messing up, getting into trouble, crashing cars, staying out late, and sneaking out of the house.  I have always taken the hard road.  As I’ve gotten older, I have learned to at least look at and consider the easier road, and I have most definitely learned that 99% of the time, my dad is right.  I’m not sure why I even left out that 1% since I can’t actually remember a time when he was wrong, but I just know there has to be one time where he didn’t get it spot on.

My dad is not cuddly.  He’s not huggy or kissy.  He’s not the dad that’s going to squeeze me extra tight or say mushy things.  But he is the dad that I can cuddle.  He’s a dad that I can hug and kiss.  He lays down a soft bed for me to land on when I fall, and he certainly helps me up over and over and over again.  His stoic stature and persona can melt into a weathered, tanned, and oh so familiar smile in seconds, and I know I’ve heard the words “I love you” escape his lips fairly often.  But the thing about my dad is that he doesn’t need to hug and kiss me often or say “I love you”.  He doesn’t need to be cuddly or cute or bubbly or gushy or mushy for me to know that he is the very best dad, the most perfect dad, that I could have ever been given.  He’s taught me about life.  He lets me be me.  He gives advice when I ask.  He taught me how to camp and fight and be tough.  He taught me how to think smart and quick (although I’ve gone through some phases where I didn’t).  He took me rock climbing and hiking.  He taught me about bugs and snakes and how my car works.

Since I am an only child, I think that often I was my dad’s girl and boy.  I used to be resentful of my rough edges…the ones that my mom is constantly trying to smooth out.  But I’m really glad.  I’m glad that my dad took the time to teach me, to play with me, go with me.  I’m glad to know and have experienced the things that I have because of him.  And I’m kind of glad I’m a little rough around the edges because it’s a part of me that will always be from him.  I love you dad!  Happy Father’s Day!

One of my dad’s self portraits.  I love it!

The Good Ol’ Days

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Me as I gave Bloke a wet hug in the pool: Ahhh, this is nice. Just like the good ol’ days.

Bloke hugging me back: Who’s to say these aren’t the good ol’ days?

Yesterday, Bloke came out to the pool to hang out with the girls and I for a while. He doesn’t like the water all that much per se. But he will come out in the evenings when there’s hardly anyone there…more so now than before.  Yesterday right when he got there, a storm cloud passed over.  For about an hour the rain came and went.  We had to get out of the pool.  Then we could get back in the pool.  Bloke stuck it out.  Normally, he would have said we should leave.  I’m so glad we didn’t because our evening out in the quiet of the water, out in the country was another perfect moment.  We don’t experience many moments that we consider perfect.

Before we had children, he’d come out with me a lot and we’d play and frolick like kids….young people in love. It’d be quiet in our little world. No one could enter in. No children’s voices. No obligations. No worries. No one and nothing could penetrate the bubble that we were in while we were playing in that pool.  Sounds silly really.  The pool is not exactly a romantic place.  But for me, it’s not about the pool really.  It’s about that period of time when everything was right with the world.  Someone found me beautiful.  Someone loved me just because I was me.  Someone accepted me just because.  And I loved that someone just the same.

What Bloke told me made me think. What are the good ol’ days anyway? It’s relative really. The good ol’ days used to be when we were young and free and worriless with less baggage, less troubles, less responsibility. We spent money like there was no tomorrow. We did what we wanted when we wanted.

However, 20 years from now, what will we think of as the good ol’ days? Surely we will remember fondly our days of childless bliss, but we may in fact remember the good ol’ days as the days when we recognized daily that we are finally a family…a real family. We do family things. We eat at the table together. We go places together. We work through rough days together and rough situations together. We attend to one another. Our home is filled with love no matter who is angry, who is throwing a tantrum, or who is in a raunchy mood.  What may seem simply normal to everyone else is a miracle to us.  What a miracle it is from where we came.  Bloke told me a while back that he wasn’t afraid anymore when we have a disagreement or are distanced from one another.  He’s not afraid because he said he knows whatever it is we can work it out.  God didn’t bring us all this way, through all of those trials, for us to be apart again.  I agree.

So, after considering it, maybe the good ol’ days are a culmination of all the past good times in our lives.  Any period of time where we can look back and go, “Ahhhh, this is nice. Just like the good ol’ days”  and remember that that very period of time is also a period where all is right with the world, where someone still finds me beautiful, where someone still loves me just because I’m me, where someone still accepts me just because, and where I still love him just the same….maybe, quite possibly even more.

Sneak Peek {Brothers}: Davin and Ravin

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These two boys are so awesome! Davin was one of Avery’s classmates in preschool, the boy that every little girl wanted to hang out with. He is funny, smart, kind, compassionate, and quite the gentleman. He’s also a farm boy, and I love that about him! Ravin, his little counterpart, is following right in his footsteps! Sarah, your boys are fantastic, and you’re a fantastic mother! I hope you love your sneak peek!

Sneak Peek {Mother and Girls}: Styers Family

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When Maria emailed me the other day asking if there was time enough to do a Father’s Day session, I panicked a little. It doesn’t give me much time to edit and get the pictures together for her to order. But when I saw them, my heart was at peace! These pictures were almost perfect just the way they were! And when the kind gentleman who let us use his farm told me I could come back whenever I wanted, I decided against asking him if that meant I could live there 🙂 This place really is a little bit of heaven! Rolling hills, hay bales, ponds, tall grasses, cows, barns, old tractors….it’s absolutely breathtaking!  This family are members of our church and their love for each other, for other people, and for God is evident. I had so much fun photographing them! Their love and personalities really shone through!  Once again, though, if you know this family, shhhh, don’t tell dad!  It’s a surprise!