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Monthly Archives: August 2010

Baby Love’s Beauty Full Seashells

“Mama! Mama!  Wait.  This one’s beautiful,”  she says to me as we walk along the beach together at sunset,  just her and I. “And this one and this one.”  She’s said it for almost every single one she’s picked up.  Every one of them is beautiful.  Every little piece.

They are beautiful because everything about the ocean is beautiful, from the fiercest to the most docile, from the deepest blue to the darkest gray, from trough to trough, and from crest to crest.  Every grain of sand, every animal, shell, and plant.  There is nothing about the ocean that is not beautiful.

Every piece together makes a beautiful whole.  Just like us.  Our fragments make up who we are.  Some fragments are jagged and holey.  Some are smooth.  Some are not fragments but whole pieces.   And then somehow God collects our pieces and puts them in a jar, ugly and beautiful alike, and the jar is filled.  And it is not a jar filled with lots of ugly pieces of seashells, or whole seashells or rocks.  It is a jar that is filled with us, who we are, and there is nothing ugly about what God has made.

They are beautiful because she is beauty full.  They are beautiful because everything is beauty full to her. And they are beautiful because they are hers.  And they are her first ones.  I think I will keep them forever and ever.

Beach Fever

“The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”

–Jacques Cousteau

This is my sweetheart.  I’m so proud of him.  This picture is of him after he wiped out (finally) on the boogie board.  It’s also the very first time he has actually gone out into the ocean past the surf.  You see, my husband is English.  They don’t do ocean like we do here.  And he’s not a great swimmer either.  He rocked that boogie board for almost 2 hours!  Until, that is, he messed with the wrong wave.  I’m sure he’ll be back out there later this week 🙂

This is also the very first time I’ve entered an I Heart Faces photo challenge!  I’ve followed I Heart Faces for a really long time now…almost since they first began!  But I’ve never had the nerve to enter.  What can I say?  I’m feeling gutsy!

For Future Reference:

There is so much that I’ve learned from having two children as opposed to one. So much that I need to remember in case we ever have another one. So much I just feel the need to share with those that only have one but may have another.

1.  If it’s been found in or under the furniture or on the floor and it’s not moldy, it’s probably still edible.

2.  Whatever non food product they ate will probably come out the other end eventually.

3.  Glade Plug Ins are nontoxic.

4.  Siblings fight.  As long as no one is bleeding or unconscious, they’re probably fine.  Let them fight it out 😉  They’ll  be hugging again in a few minutes.

5.  Just go ahead and buy two of everything.  The principle of sharing can be taught in other ways.

6.  Plates, cups, and eating utensils should all be one color.  Less for them to fight over.

7.  Someone will be crying at least once a day (usually it’s me)!  Especially if you have girls.  It’s normal.

8.  If giving my kids food off of my plate (because “it tastes better”) gets my kids to eat, so be it.

9.  They will do something to surprise and/or embarrass me in public every single time we’re out.

10.  Generally whatever that embarrassing thing is will have something to do with me a) not having any money b) not being fair c) yelling “don’t spank me!” at the top of their lungs d) other peoples’ disabilities or e) all four.  And it will always be said loudly.

11.  It doesn’t matter how many times she tells me she has to pee and we go to the bathroom and she doesn’t go.  We still have to go try each and every time.

12.  Kids will always suddenly get hungry and thirsty and/or have to go to the bathroom the second you leave the house, even if they’ve eaten or already peed.

13.  It is absolutely inevitable that someone will overhear you saying something to your children that will make them want to call social services.

14.  You will respond to their glaring stares by offering that they take your child home (while she’s screaming at the top of her lungs and throwing herself on the floor).

15.  Traveling anywhere with two or more children is a nightmare.  Get used to it.

16.  With one child, I would totally take her in to the gas station to pay for my gas, never to leave her in the car alone.  With two, I lock them in the car, go pay for gas, grab a few snacks, and pray that they don’t kill each other before I get back.

17.  When she says she feels like she’s going to throw up, it’s too late to get her to the bathroom.  You’ll just have to clean up wherever it lands.

18.  It’s almost always projectile.

19.  If you’ve heard your name called 100 times or less in a day, it’s a good day.

20.  There are three things that you simply cannot force your child to do:  eat, sleep, and be quiet.

21.  There will be days when you think a) you wish your name wasn’t “mommy” b) you had a day job (if you’re a stay at home mom that is) c) I would switch with my husband in a heartbeat. d) we are never having any more children.

22.  You almost immediately change your mind because despite all the things you’ve learned about being a mom that you kind of wish you hadn’t, it’s still the very best and most important job in the world.

Sneak Peek {Maternity}: Meg+Timmy=Baby!

It was such an honor for me to be able to do a maternity session with Meg and Timmy! I not only went to school with Meg from Kindergarten through 12th grade, but I also went to daycare with her! It is beyond uber cool to be able to talk with her about memories we have from when we were only 3 or 4 years of age. So it is even more uber cool to see her ready to be a mother. Meg and Timmy, thank you so much for choosing me as your photographer! You both rocked! And you’re both going to be awesome parents!

Princess Rock Star

“We find a delight in the beauty and happiness of children, that makes the heart too big for the body”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I figured that Big Girl has had several posts devoted to her (and she’ll have another one at the end of this month) and feel like Littlest Munchkin deserves some super bloggy attention.

She is the epitome of life. She asks me if she makes my heart super happy. And I answer that she does.  She makes my heart super duper happy. She dances in our living room with wreckless abandon in a princess outfit and holding a guitar. Sometimes she closes her eyes, holds out her arms, and just sways to the music, her guitar rocking back and forth with her body. Sometimes she’s covered head to toe in nothing but bracelets, necklaces, rings, and crowns.  She’s definitely got a way about her.  She wakes up my senses in ways that no other can. Each of my children do.

I think every child a mother has is loved equally as much but in such different ways. Avery is so very much like her father, in almost every way. If I hadn’t bore her, I don’t think I could actually claim her as my own. Anabel, however…well, she’s so much like me, but oh so much better. She’s hot tempered, passionate, independent, a leader, mischievous, diva, princess, angel, sugar and spice, and everything nice all wrapped into one short, yummy little package.  She is my go-anywhere-do-anything-at-least-once child.  I was like that.  I kind of still am…just a little bit more inhibited than I was.  But Anabel is not.  She is uninhibited.  And it. is. beautiful.  I think if I loved her any more, my heart would simply pop.

Avery’s Birthday Part 2

Avery’s birthday and birthday party were a smashing success!  Thank you to everyone who helped make it so fun and wonderful not just for her, but for all of us!

We went to the lake with some friends the day of her birthday.  It was rainy, but we had a blast!

The gift!

The first cake.

My parents got her a big box full of Zhu Zhu pet stuff.  She loves it!

The “birthday party” cake!  Delicious!

The birthday girl and her daddy at the pool party.  They are so cute!

The next group of pictures are courtesy of my dad!  Thanks dad for taking such wonderful pictures and for being there for Avery’s 5th birthday party!

And just as her party was winding down and all the cake-filled, wound up children grabbed their balloons to go home, it started to rain.  It was appropriate really.  The end of the party, the end of the celebration of Avery’s birthday.  The moving forward.  The downer after every high.  As I packed up all of our things in the truck, the rain trickled down my cheeks and face like random teardrops and, while I was sad that I was then forced to accept that Avery had turned 5 (as if I could have stopped it anyway), I was also content in knowing that she had a very, very happy birthday.

Sneak Peek {Family}: The Wicker Family

It was such a pleasure to photograph this family and wonderful to finally meet them! C.C. just turned one not too long ago, and she was just the most perfect baby to capture! All smiles and easy going, just like her mom and dad. Wicker family, it was such fun taking pictures of your family. Thank you for allowing me to catch a glimpse into your lives!

Sneak Peek {Family}: The Armstrongs Part 2

I’m sure you remember two members of this family from a couple of weeks ago! Well here’s some more of them – daughter and grandsons! It was such a pleasure to see this family together, and despite some unexpected circumstances and unbearable heat, they pulled through this photo shoot with grace and smiles on their faces! Cortney, Hugh, and Julian, it was wonderful to meet you and to capture you all with Lynn and Ed!  Next time maybe it will be much cooler 🙂

Young Love

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way.”

Pablo Neruda

As a photographer, it is my job to watch people, to anticipate their expressions, their interactions, in an effort to capture even a minute glimpse of who they really are. I’ve been watching this couple from afar for a while now. For a while I wasn’t even sure they were a couple.  I’ve seen them in church and at the pool and, while they do act lovingly towards one another, it is so subdued that it hadn’t really occurred to me that they really are more than friends.   And since these two were leaders at our church’s Vacation Bible School recently, I watched more.  On the last day of VBS, they wore these shirts.  You can’t tell it from the pictures (which I hope they will not be too disappointed about), but when they get close together, the hearts on their shirts light up!  When they are apart, the hearts’ lights go out one by one the farther apart they get.  I couldn’t take it one bit longer.  I boldly asked them both if I could take pictures of them that day, and they gladly agreed 🙂

What’s important about this story, though, is that I realized that the reason I didn’t initially see that they were in love isn’t because it was that subdued.  It is because what I see every day (or many days) as “in love” is physically displayed between two people.  Kissing, hugging, flirting.  Those are all characteristics of a couple in love.  These two are so very inspiring to me because they don’t do those things, at least not in public.  And that, my friends, is a godly relationship.  Whether they know it or not, they are representing God with their relationship in a way I haven’t quite seen before in such young people.  The exude love for one other, but it seems so pure and sweet and clean.

So none of this really occurred to me until I had them in that little alleyway behind our church.  For 10 minutes I was in their world and it was such a privilaged 10 minutes.  I got to see up close and personal something I never had as a teenager, something many many people never have, a young, godly relationship and love.   It is always amazing to me that there are young men like him and young women like her still in existence in today’s world, and they give me hope that my girls can have what they have one day.  These two may get married.  They may not.  But what’s important is what they are reflecting to the world right now.    They love each other without pride or mystery or lies.  They love each other because they just do.  They love each other because they know no different, because they know no other way.  God loves us because he is love and knows no other way.  And I’m sure his heart lights dim when we are not near him, and, believe it or not, ours do too.