Friday, December 24, 2010

merry christmas!

i hope this day finds you well... and if not, i hope on this day you'll find the peace, hope, joy and love that you're waiting for.  on this day remember that we're all given the most wonderful and amazing gift of all... the gift of a saviour, who just happened to be wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a lowly manger.  how humble a beginning for the most incredible love story of all!


Monday, December 6, 2010

pondering christmas and peace

"I am the Lord's servant." Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." 
                                                                                                           Luke 1:38

we were treated to a great sermon yesterday at church.  well, i tend to enjoy all of our pastor's messages but yesterday's was especially poignant.  this was my take on it...

mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived in her.  not only was she a virgin but she was probably just a young woman, perhaps the age of 14 or 15.  merely a girl.  now when you really stop to think about, i mean really, really think about it... isn't it amazing?  and what on earth, do you think SHE was thinking about it all?  i know when i was that age i could have never in my wildest dreams have handled something like this.  how selfish i was... self consuming, melodramatic, all things teenagers are in junior high.  she was just a teenager too.  i bet she was scared.  i bet she was freaking out... but she acted much more wise beyond her years.  look at her response in luke 1:38 -- "may it be to me as you have said!"  that is how she responded to the angel gabriel when he told her about the plan.  can you even imagine?  now, i know, for a fact that this didn't mean she wasn't still scared about the future.  the key here is to see how she had peace, amidst these circumstances.  was it through information?  certainly not.  mary didn't get a whole lot of information.  nothing about how the general public will react to this "virgin's pregnancy", how her parents will feel, my goodness... how joseph would feel!  she doesn't get any information about how it will affect her life at all.  she also doesn't get any peace in the knowledge of who she was.  i think that would have just made her even more nervous.  a young girl... with limitations, weaknesses.  that would have surely pointed her towards despair.  the key to mary's peace, and in turn, the key to ALL of our peace, is knowing WHOSE we are.  we are God's children.  knowing we belong to God brings peace that transcends ALL understanding (philipians 4:7).  this doesn't mean that life is gonna be easy.  no, we will face challenges, heartache, suffering, pain, calamity.  but peace comes when we push past these issues and remember that throughout it all, the Lord is always by our side.  we don't have to worry about 'what's to come'.  we can take comfort in the cradle of the cross for God is doing what needs to be done so that we can recognize Him.  how powerful is that?  peace isn't about looking at everything through rose coloured lenses.  it's not this picture of quiet reflection and perfect scenery all around.  peace is being sheltered in the storm and feeling completely safe in the middle of it.  someone once said, "safety consists not in absence of danger but in the presence of God".  real peace... tangible peace comes in belonging to God.  and just like mary whatever attention we get, be it a lost job, terminal illness, loneliness, separation from a loved one, infertility, depression, failing relationships, death of someone we're close to, we should find peace in belonging to Him.

let's bring it back to mary.  i'm pretty sure, actually i know that she didn't understand this whole situation until years later.  she was scared, probably feeling quite like life was ending but she did something that we can all learn a lesson from.  she gave up her desire to know the "answer" and just rested in the knowledge that she was in the arms of God.  that was the only way she was going to feel comforted by the situation.  she was just an ordinary girl but she was being used for extraordinary purposes.  anyone can be used by God.  and God can use any circumstance to draw us nearer to Him.  and in that drawing near, we will find peace if we recognize that we belong to Him.

"you will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you."
                                                                                                                              Isaiah 26:3

Friday, November 26, 2010

category F5?

you know what i'm talking about!  if you have little ones underfoot, you know that where there are children, there is mess!  and as much as i love to see my kids busy and happily playing, i know that at the end of that playtime, they'll ever so effortlessly scurry to another zone in the house to make yet another mess.  and guess who gets to do the bulk of tidying around this homestead?

you guessed it!!

now, i will admit, i can get the older ones to clean up when need be.  and yes, i do relinquish control once in a while and let them do the whole cleaning job (even though my 6 and 4 year old don't do it up to 'mommy' standards) but that little one.  hooo boy!  she is a little tornado!  wherever she goes, the mess follows!  but dangit... she is so cute, how can you get mad, right?  case in point...
she is just so cute i want to EAT her!!!  (don't call CFS, i'm not really going to ingest her... maybe just take a few little edible bites!)
ok, look out!  sound the alarms... here she goes...
she is keeping herself busy.  that is good.  but eventually that playtime turns into this:
 then she meanders her way throughout the house and drops things like this:
 then she reaches my bathroom and does things like this:
tell me... what baby can resist all the goodies on the fridge?
(yes, i know it's my own fault for putting things so low down but i can't afford a bigger fridge just to hold all the artwork, charts, pictures and calendars!)
then i have to make MY way around the house, putting things back in their place so that they now look semi-presentable like this:

ahhhh... my mind already feels cleaner and more spacious when the mess is cleaned up!  :)

ok, so yes, the baby is a little tornado, wreaking havoc (errrr... creating mass destruction) wherever she goes.  but i'm lucky, b/c the mess isn't limited to just her... oh no!  here's another very common sight to behold:
"can you play with me, mommy?"
how do they do it?  i'm not sure.  but by the end of the day, it looks like this:

don't kid yourself, it's not the kids that tidy it up... it's their anal mother.  ha ha ha!  but this is just one of those posts where i'm keeping it real.  some days i feel i'm married to this guy (down below), instead of the big M:

(disclaimer: i'm really not a neat freak at all... but probably more of a controlled organized freak and once i've cleaned something up, only to have it all messed up again, is when it gets to be too much that it's comical.  hey, i'm working on it!  kids will be kids... they say you only realize all these things when you're a grandparent.  can i quite possibly learn these things ahead of schedule?  only time will tell!)

Friday, November 12, 2010

shiny happy rainbows

feeling inspired by meg, i've decided to look for some shiny happy rainbows of my own in my little humble home.  here's what i found this morning:

 big k's rainbow tree craft. (also taken from meg)
 little k's rainbow tree craft.
 little k's favorite summer tank top.  yup, she's wearing it even though it's below freezing outside.  this is  much the same as any day.  she'll always pull out the summer clothes and wear them.  it gives me a reason to pack them all up to save for next summer.  however, can i just say i'm not driven enough to do that job right now?  sigh... let her wear 'em!
 the paints used to make those purty crafts. (yes, i DID make some too... i can't resist when it comes to paint)
 even the dirty dishes in the dishwasher are looking all happy!  awwww! and oh yes, the hubby would be proud that in some way, shape or form, his beloved Texans made it onto my blog.
 my t-shirt collection... i only took this picture b/c i recently went through this cupboard and tidied up all the shirts.  it looked like a hurricane before and absolutely NOT like a cute little rainbow of colors. (*patting myself on the back for getting to one of "those jobs"*)
and last, but certainly not least, my sweet new spice jars from anthropologie.  just bought on monday in dallas!!  they are yet to be filled.  i'm thinking... kosher salt in one, cracked black pepper in another.  perhaps some basil and maybe oregano in the other two?

can you find some shiny happy rainbows in your home today?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

wedding day do-over?

do you ever feel the need to dream about what kind of wedding you'd have if you could have a wedding do-over?  guilty as charged.  seriously.  i love looking at wedding pictures and this one is NO exception.  this is a dream wedding and i've just been completely fascinated by these pictures.  looking through them you'll feel like you're transported to a 1930's wedding out on the farm... so vintage and charming.  and when you're good looking and stylish to boot, your pictures won't be too hard to gaggle over. ;)  check out the pics here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


do any of you have a beautiful child in person... but that beauty just doesn't always translate into pictures?  poor little K!  ha ha!  she is a complete little doll.  honest to goodness, she really is a tiny doll.  she hardly weighs 30 lbs at 4.5 years old.  sweet girl!  but she just isn't the best when it comes to taking pictures... i should add, that she isn't the best at taking pictures when there's a flash involved.  case in point, check out these images of my, not so photogenic, 2nd child:

cheese, everyone!
 c'mon!  smile for the camera!
 ok, let's try that again.
 now, one with daddy!  smile!!
 one more time!
 now by yourself!
 one with mommy, perhaps?
 she even sneaks into other pictures, just to show those lazy eyes.  
 you'd think even a huge sundae would get those eyes open!  nope!

at least she stays true to herself!  ha ha!
with all those photographs of little K with her eyes closed, you'd have a tough time remembering how adorable she truly is.  just so that i don't scar her for life, here's a few great shots of my little girl:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

baby crack

now tell me, what's better than waking up from your nap and watching a little Baby Einstein?

you can be crying and cranky and moody... and instantly, when you hear that music... hooked!  it's magic, i tell you!  we've had these videos for almost 7 years and it's been some of the best money we've spent on baby stuff.  there have been many times that we've called these videos baby crack.  granted the 3rd child has used them far less than the first (oh, life was SO hard back then with only 1 baby!  *smirk*) but they're still a hit whether you're 1, 4, 'almost' 7 and even 31.  ;)

check out this cute babester enjoying her flick!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

where does she come from?

i get this question all the time about little K.... "where does she come from?"  apparently our 2nd born daughter looks nothing like the rest of our family.  if it wasn't for all my babies looking identical as newborns, you would think that little K is part of a different family altogether.  however, if you dig just a little deeper, you'll discover there was once another little girl who looked eerily similar just about 30 years ago.

or how 'bout this one

i think my middle child fits in just perfectly to our little family.  whether or not she's a spitting image of her mother.  the one thing she definitely does have in common with me is our middle names.  she's also 'the joy in the middle'... and a whole lot more than that!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

trash the dress!

i'm blessed to know not one but TWO amazing photographers. one is my sister in law, melanie. and the other is my good friend, charmaine. i'm lucky enough to take pics with both of these uber talented and gorgeous women. they are amazing. really. remember that post i wrote about 10 months ago on our 10 year anniversary? well, in honour of our decade long marriage (and still going strong!!) we took some pretty unusual but incredibly fun pictures with one of these said photographers, charmaine. she had taken similar pictures last summer with her husband for their 10 year and wanted to do some, where she was behind the lens, to generate some more business. and lucky me, she asked if i would like to do a session for her to use as 'advertising'. it didn't take me long to say, "YES"! we discussed the 'look' we wanted to achieve, which was edgy, sexy (yes i DID say that), almost an america's next top model photo shoot idea, and taking all these pictures in locations where you probably wouldn't take your regular wedding photos. we took these pics on two different evenings. the first night we were rained out. taking pictures in the pouring rain is fun for only so long. plus, runny mascara, although very haute, wasn't in my plans. we got a few great shots that first evening (the pictures with the wood piles and umbrella) but the money shots were taken the second evening. on the second night of shooting, we headed to charmaine's parents yard. full of old farm machinery, old vehicles, metal junk and overall, a fantastically AWESOME place to shoot! it was so fun! i just took her lead and went where i was told, channeling my inner blue steel! ha ha! we had a great time and i almost fell in love with M all over again for indulging me with these pictures (he doesn't like this kind of stuff as much as i do, but how many men do?). the night ended with pictures taken in a local gravel pit. and the entire shoot was capped off with me laying out on my back in the water. it was cold, don't be deceived by the angelic look on my face in some of the shots (photoshop/lightroom does wonders). if you are that curious, look closely at my arms and you'll notice many goosebumps! all in all, a fanastically fun experience that i would recommend to anyone. 1 year, 5 year, 10 year, 20 year, etc anniversary... heck, even the in between ones like lucky #7 and #13! just go for it! have fun and enjoy your partner! just think, there's no stress of having to entertain for 200+ guests at the reception!

without further ado, and without further novelas written, here are the pictures:

for more photos, check here.