Friday, December 30, 2011

pictures for the family

before thanksgiving, my sis and i had pictures taken by this talented lady as gifts for our parents and grands. here are a few:
(none of these pics are watermarked...please don't borrow without permission.)

happy new year to you and your family!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

the ugliness

the longer i'm a wife and mother, the more i see my need for a sinfulness.

it's ugly.

sometimes, i can't stand to even look at myself in the mirror because i'm afraid of the ugliness that i might see.
it's those times that i don't want to pray, even though i need to, because i'm afraid of my sweet, heavenly Father seeing the ugliness that lives in me...pretending He doesn't already know it's there.

as i think about 2011, i think about all of the what ifs and should'ves...i think about situations that i handled sinfully, instead of gracefully...times when i let my flesh control my actions and words instead of the Holy Spirit.

and i wonder...

how could a completely sinless Father love me...a completely sinful daughter?
how could He, before the beginning of time, call me His own?

and i sit amazed...

amazed that He could love an overbearing, insecure, selfish, vain me!
amazed that, even after i continually fail or give up, that He stays beside me, never leaving me.

despite my failures, my insecurities, my misgivings, my unfaithfulness, He is always faithful, always there with an unending, unfailing love. oh, to love like Christ.

as 2012 approaches, i sit amazed and thankful.

thankful to be a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. thankful for a Godly man who loves me and provides for our family, and who is supportive of me staying home with our children. thankful that, despite the lack of sleep and the stressfulness that comes along with parenthood, i get to wake up everyday and do something that i love. i get to spend my day with an amazing little boy and a sweet baby girl, and it's here that i'm thankful for God's love and grace that covers me. thankful that His grace abounds and pushes me towards becoming more like Christ. thankful that He doesn't give up on me.

yes, i'm most thankful for His grace because without it, there'd just be the ugliness...

for you, o Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
give ear, o LORD, to my prayer;
listen to my plea for grace.
in the day of my trouble i call upon you, 
for you answer me.
psalm 86:5-7

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

{nora} two months

little girl is now 2 months old.
she's a lot more alert, taking in the wonders of the world around her.
she has discovered her hand and can stare at it for quite a long time for a baby. 
she started sleeping through the night...
which makes for one happy mama {yay}
little girl is growing, so up went all of her newborn clothes. {tear}
but, that means she's a healthy baby!
right before she turned two months old, we did have a trip to the er. it was early on a sunday morning and nora had a fever of 101.6. i paged our pediatrician and was told to go to the children's hospital er. what i thought would've been just a quick visit, turned into a 5 day stay.
she had rsv, respiratory syncytial virus, which is a very common virus that has cold symptoms, and most kids get it sometime before they are 2, but can cause problems for young babies. jude had it when he was one, so i wasn't worried at all...however, nora couldn't eat a thing without coughing and gagging on the mucus (eww), which made her throw up everything she ate! this meant she had to have fluids to keep her from becoming dehydrated. 
everyday we'd think we were going to go home, but the doctors would say one more day just to be cautious...i'm glad they did, because if i were at home, i wouldn't have known what to do when she couldn't keep anything down, and really wouldn't have been able to do anything. she needed the fluids they were giving her in the iv to keep her hydrated, and most of the time we were there she was very sweet baby would just lay there and barely move.
i stayed with her the whole time, which was the first time i had ever been away from jude for that long. thankfully, both of our families live near us, so we had their help with little man. 

her bout with rsv wasn't as serious as some cases. 
some babies have to have oxygen or breathing treatments, so we thanked God that she didn't have that serious of a case.
by thursday, little bit was wiggling, smiling and ready to go home...and so was i!
she loves to smile, and when she does, you can see how happy she is in her eyes.
i love those open mouth gummy smiles.

Monday, December 19, 2011

two years {jude}

december 10th came quickly this year. 
i wasn't ready to embrace it! 
my little man turned 2.
the past 2 years have been a blur...filled with hugs and kisses, laughter, tears and tantrums! i wouldn't change a thing...well, maybe i would make time slow down so i could stop and file away every brown-eyed stare and sweet slobbery baby kiss that came along my way. little man has been such a blessing. he's grown up so fast. 
he loves his daddy...about the same time everyday that daddy gets home...i don't know how he knows what time it is...he starts calling da-da. he loves to ride his cycle (a push motorcycle) and to mow the lawn with his bubble lawn mower. he has this amazing ability to hold on to the smallest of things for the longest of times...he'll find an acorn "hat" (the tops of the acorns) and hold it in his hand for hours...he loves cars and cars the movie...he's learning how to say please when he wants something and thank you when he gets it...and sometimes he confuses the thank you with your welcome and tells me "elcome." he loves being mommy's "elper," helping me cook, putting dishes away, or picking up toys. he is also quite his mommy and daddy...he likes to have his way, and when he doesn't get it, the world has come to an end!
i love to hear him say "mama hold you," fluctuating on the you when he wants to be held.
he loves taking showers instead of baths. i love it when we say it's night-night time and the first thing he says is "bible" and then "ock" (rock) and then "sing." my favorite is when he sings with me...jesus loves me and somewhere over the rainbow...and when he tries to say heart melts.
i thank God for the time that we've had with this handsome, rambunctious, sweetheart of a boy. i pray he will come to know the Lord at a young age and grow into a God-loving, God-fearing man. i pray he will continue to want to read the Bible with us, and say prayers with us. 
what a blessing it has been to be his mommy.
happy birthday, jude!
i love you!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

our {2011} Christmas card

In Living Color Christmas Card
Create beautiful photo Christmas cards at
View the entire collection of cards.

Monday, November 28, 2011

{nora} one month

these are a little late (she's almost 7 weeks), but here are nora's one month pictures. 
my pretty, sweet, little girl.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

a closer look {wall collage}

i must admit, i really enjoyed making this collage of framed art in nora's room (you can see her whole room here). it was time consuming, but fun to tap into my creative side and make something that can grow with her, and not have to come down after she turns two. everything was affordable and easy to do. most of the frames i purchased from goodwill and garage sales...we just spray painted them (who knew it be so hard to find white affordable frames).

up close and personal:

1. scrapbook paper owl. i freehanded this cutie. the piece is from scrapbook paper that i already had.
2. proverbs 31:30 print. a great verse for a girl (and her mom) to hide away in her heart. i did this on the computer in publisher. {i found most of these great fonts from }
3. dear prudence lyrics print. i made this one in publisher as well. caleb and i like the beatles, and i love these particular lyrics of dear prudence.
4. psalm 139:14-16 (esv) paraphrase print. this was made in publisher as well...what a great verse to remind little one that God created us and knows everything about us...nothing is hidden, and he holds us in His hands.

5. love on burlap. i found this idea on pinterest. the original idea can be found here. super easy...frame a piece of burlap...write on the glass with a dry erase marker. i can change what it says whenever i want!
6. scrapbook paper flower. i found a tutorial for these paper flowers here. i love the way the flower stands off the background.
7. yarn-wrapped letters. i talk about this craft here. they are pinned directly to the wall. i used jute string to hang them.
8. butterfly shells. we live near the beach, so this was super cheap and easy to make! i actually found these shells exactly like you see them the last time i took jude to the beach before nora was born. the background is scrapbook paper.

{these were the only pieces that were purchased and not made by me}

9. metamorphosis and migration #3 by c. winner. we purchased this print on our honeymoon and just now had them framed...6 years later...who knew we were buying them just for our daughter's room. these were the most expensive pieces. i had to buy custom sized frames because they're a weird size.
10. felt bird on canvas. i saw this in a local shop called the eclectic owl and immediately knew i wanted it for the nursery. i thought i could make it, but decided to just purchase it. i had a coupon for half off, so it was worth it because i would've spent more than i did on materials and time. the frame is from goodwill, and we just spray painted it. however, it would be easy to make. it's just felt, embroidery thread, buttons for the eyes, fabric for the background, and a canvas.
11. migration and metamorphosis (south) by c. winner. this goes with number 9. we enjoy supporting local artists, which is why we purchased these. we'd rather support locals than buy commercial art from target or another large store (not that there is anything wrong with's just our preference).

and there you have it...up close and personal view of the wall collage. 
what do you think?

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Friday, November 11, 2011

a birth story

five am came very early on october 12th...especially since i hadn't gone to bed until sometime after one due to my procrastination of packing my hospital bag...excitement and anxiousness had overtaken me. before leaving to meet our new little one, i slowly opened the door of the room that rests across the hall from my own. i touched the head of my twenty-two month old baby that was nestled safely in his crib, gripping his balled up blankie like a stuffed toy, dreaming of who knows what...maybe dinosaurs or trains...or playing ball with daddy or dancing and singing with mommy...this was the last time in our home as a family of three...

{just waiting on little girl to arrive}

my sweetie and i got in the car and traveled to the hospital...weathering the downpour...when we finally arrived...we filled out the normal hospital paperwork...moved right along to the third floor...labor and delivery...

{our attempt at a before picture...taken by my hubby}

don't judge, but i was there to be induced...not for medical reasons, but simply because i wanted to have things planned out. my labor with jude was a difficult one...23 hours from the time my water broke until we saw his full head of black hair...those hours included about 2 or more hours of pushing...i can't really remember because i was simply exhausted...i also wanted to make sure my little guy was cared for properly while we stayed at the, we prayed about it, and planned our delivery...

{my love...waiting with me}

after my wonderful nurse...who also happened to be the nurse we had with jude...attached the monitor's to my belly, we found out i was already in labor! what a blessing...what i thought were braxton hicks, were actual contractions...

{pouty lips already}

we tried to rest while we waited, but we were filled with the anticipation of meeting our baby girl...besides, how much rest can you really get with monitors hooked up to your belly and a blood pressure cuff squeezing your arm every 15 minutes...i tried reading my bible, but my mind wandered...what would this delivery be far it's been easy, but could it really be this easy the whole time...what would nora be like...would she have hair...who will she look like...

{holding daddy's finger for the first time...daddy's already smitten and wrapped around hers}

by ten am, the anesthesiologist had come in to give me my glorious epidural...
we waited some more...called to check on little man...
by noon, my sweet doctor came to check on me...she broke my water, and we waited some more.

{first picture together minus big brother}

we waited until sometime after 3. my nurse came to check me, and said whoa don't do anything, don't push! she immediately called the doctor who came right over from her office.

{beautiful nora}

everything moved so quickly...i only had to push like 4 or 5 times...
and by 3:42pm, we heard her first cry...and i held her for the first time and fell in love all over again.

{mommy and nora}

how can anyone deny the Creator, the maker of miracles, after experiencing a pregnancy and birth?
it's miraculous. despite the aches and pains that go along with it, it's magnificently joyous.

{big brother meeting little sister for the first time}

{every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. - james 1:17}

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