Saturday, July 31, 2010

Want.

I've been saying for a little while now that I WANT a macro lens. And I'm talking I really really REALLY want one. I want one bad. I think I could really get in to it and right now is a great time of year to get a macro lens with all the bugs out and the flowers. It's a good place to start.

I've been looking the last few days and this is what I am looking at...


Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens



I wish I would have started looking sooner. My vacation next week would have been a nice time to have it. We are going out in the middle of the woods... Shenandoah National Park... and we will have a bit of downtime and I am sure there will be plenty of little things to photograph. Grr. I WANT IT!

I'm kind of being like a little kid about it haha. You know... they see that thing in the magazine and they MUST. HAVE IT. NOW.

Yeah. That's me.

So just so you know... my birthday is September 25th.

Don't forget the lens hood.

Tutus and Jewelry

Since my last post was a bit of a downer I decided I should post something fun today as well. And since I haven't posted pictures in a while I figured that since I'm not feeling so well today and I am the one on the couch and the kids seem to have energy... I might as well catch up on some photos.
Yesterday Liza was playing in her room and she comes running out all excited and "LOOK AT MEEEE MOMMY!!!"

And so I looked at her and this is what she was so excited about...


Love her.

I was actually able to get her to pose for me a little bit and sit and get her picture taken.






Want to know how I got her to let me take her picture? Ok. I'll tell you.

I said "Let me take your picture and when I am done you can take mine!" She was excited and when it was her turn she ran and get her camera and I posed.


There will be no pictures of me because... well... there are no pictures of me. :) But I decided a while ago to get her one of those digital cameras for kids for her birthday at the end of September. Hope she likes it!


That is marker on her cheek. Not a bruise. I don't smack my kids around. :)


Exhausted insanity

That's where I'm at and I'm just going to complain now so if you don't want to listen to me complaining you can just click off the blog.

The kids are STILL sick. I thought they were getting better last night. I left for a while after Mike got home (at 7pm grr) and it seemed they were both fine. I came home to find out Liza had a fever... again.

At least there hasn't been any puking. I can't handle that.

But both kids have not been themselves lately and we are stuck at home. I won't take the kids places when they are sick... I'm not that mom that likes to spread the germs. Today will be day number four at home. I can't remember the last time that the kids and I didn't get out and do something during the day... and to have four days in a row like that!?!! No library, gym, store, church or even playing outback. Just sitting at home, bumming on the couch, watching  movies and trying to get better. AAAAAAAHHHH! I don't know if I can take much more of it.

Yes it's Saturday and yes Mike is working.

I have got out in the evenings a little but it's just not enough. I REALLY need to do some grocery shopping. No idea what we are going to have for lunch or dinner.

When Liza gets sick she just wants to lay on the couch and be left alone. It's quite sad. She doesn't even want touched. :( Jason on the other hand wants nothing but to be held. So he's been coughing in my face all week. He has a sore throat and a bit of phlegm. I think I'm getting what he has. :(

And I am probably going to have to cancel our babysitter for tomorrow. We have one coming from noon to 9. That's a nice day out. We have tickets to see Bye Bye Birdie. My sister-in-law is in the pit band. We were going to make a day of it. But who knows if someone is going to want to watch my sick kids. I don't blame them if they don't.

I leave for vacation in less than a week. If I am sick for it I will probably punch someone in the face.

And I am completely exhausted. Jason has been having a hard time sleeping with all his coughing. That means that I get to get up every time with him. He just stands in the middle of his crib crying. It's the saddest thing ever.

I just want a night of sleep.

And for my kids to get better. :(

Friday, July 30, 2010

Servant to all.

When did I become so selfish? When did I start thinking that it was all about me and what I wanted and needed?

The other day while reading my Bible I was convicted of some things... again. In Mark 9:35 Jesus says "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant to all." The servant to all... including my husband. I'm always thinking of ways that he can better serve me. I've got it backwards. Very backwards.

I'm really good at serving others. At least I think I am. (I might get convicted about that area of life tomorrow.) I love serving others. But it seems to stop when I am at home.

Just another thing to add to the "workin' on it" list. It's getting a little bit long. I didn't realize I was this far off the path. Ugh.

On a good note though... things are looking up in our marriage! All this conviction and change is me is bringing about great things in my relationship with Mike and I like it. :) We are moving out of the fall season and in to something much warmer and sweeter.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Reality Check

After Jason was born I felt like our family was complete. Instantly. It was so different than after I had Liza. Shortly after Liza was born one of the nurses said something along the lines of "You are probably thinking you will never do that again." I replied something along the lines of "Oh yes I will. And soon." And eight months later I was pregnant again.

But not after Jason. After Jason I was done. Not because I had a complicated pregnancy or delivery... because I had neither of those. I was just done. Ever since then the thought of getting pregnant terrifies me. I just don't want to do it again.

Until recently. The past week or so when I see a baby or hear of someone being pregnant I'm kind of like "aww" and start thinking maybe. It's a BIG maybe. And then I see how big Jason is getting and think that this is the smallest any of my kids will ever be again. That thought makes me a little bit sad.

These thoughts had me totally confused.

And then last night I had a nice little reality check. Jason is sick and was up a few times during the night. It seemed that as soon as I managed to fall back asleep I was up again and I just couldn't  help but think "this is like having a newborn again." And that is when I knew. I knew that I am still done with having kids.

I don't want to do the newborn thing again. I'm over it. We haven't had to use a baby gate in months. I could probably take most of the child proofing things down. Next year we may be able to have days where both kids skip naps and we can stay out all day.

Oh man. I can't imagine having a newborn again. I hate that Jason is sick and I hate that we were up half the night... but I'm thankful that it put things in to perspective for me again and squashed all that silliness that was running through my mind about possibly having another kid.

I'm done.

D.O.N.E.

Done.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rest for the weary

I know a lot of people dealing with tough situations or struggling with things that they have been struggling with for a while now. It's easy to get all down and depressed and feel hopeless. But yesterday, while at the gym, a song came on my ipod that I forgot I had. I love it and it always brings me peace.

Have a listen...

Jadon Lavik
Come to Me



What do you do when it rains
Where do you go when the world falls on you
Who do you call on when all your hope is gone
All your hope is gone

What do you do in the pain
Where do you run when you’re thirsty again
Who do you cry out to when all your strength is gone
All your strength is gone

Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest
Come to me my yoke is easy and my burden it is light, yeah

When all you can do is fight to hang on
Why do you feel like you can make it on your own
How long can you wait to hold on to his helping hand
Hold on to his helping hand

Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest
Come to me my yoke is easy and my burden it is light

(Come to me, come to me)

There’s rest for your soul
Come rest your weary soul
There’s rest for you soul
Rest your weary soul

Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest
Come to me my yoke is easy and my burden it is light
Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest
Come to me my yoke is easy and my burden it is light

(reprise)

Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest
Come to me my yoke is easy and my burden it is light
Come to me, to me, come to me
Come to me, come to me, come to me, come to me


Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wisdom

James 1:5 is my life verse. It's the one I fall to most often. It is the one that rules my life. It says...

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

I have learned that wisdom is no more than a simple prayer away.

I remember sitting in a Bible study a while back and this woman was dealing with a situation with her neighbor. She was telling us what was going on and she kept saying "I just don't know what to do. I don't know what the Christian thing is here." She so desperately wanted to do what right but it was one of those situations where the answer isn't real clear. The other ladies in the group were trying to offer her encouragement but all they could come up with was "Wow. That is a tough situation. I'm not sure what else to tell you other than to pray about it." And that's fair. Nothing wrong with that.

I listened for a while and then I could take no more. I nicely cut the lady off and said "I have your answer! You need wisdom. James 1:5 says to ask for wisdom and God will give it to you. So you just go home and ask for wisdom and do what God tells you to do."

And that is how I live my life. When I don't know what to do I pray a simple prayer. Something like this...

God, James 1:5 says if I ask for wisdom you will give it to me. This is my situation... please give me wisdom on how to do deal with it."

That's it. Nothing fancy schmancy. In fact, my prayer probably sounds like one from a child. It's not elaborate and eloquent. Just a simple request to God.

James 1:5. It's my lifesaver.

Monday, July 26, 2010

How I do life.

More from Love and War by John and Stasi Eldredge...

We all have a way that we do life. We might call it our personality, or our natural bent--the way we handle pressure, the way we listen, the way we look for happiness, the way we control our world. We didn't sit down one day and willfully choose to adopt it but it remains a choice nonetheless. Call it our style of relating. It is a carefully crafted approach to life--especially to relationships--that colors the way we work, the way we love, the way we respond, and the way we simply have a conversation with people. This can be quite an epiphany--you have a style of relating designed to make life work for you!

Our style of relating is born out of brokenness and sin, and it is the Number One Thing that gets in the way of real love and real companionship, the shared adventure and all the beauty of marriage. It is really this simple. The number one thing that gets in the way is your way. I don't mean insisting on getting your way--dimming the lights or finding a better parking spot. I mean your way of going about life, your style of relating.

We are, all of us, utterly committed and deeply devoted to our "style," our "way," our "approach to life." We have absolutely no intention of giving it up. Not even for love. So God creates an environment where we have to. It's called marriage.

Ha. Hahaha. (That's my nervous laugh... the one that's all "yeah... you pegged me there.) Aww shucks. Another book that I hate to love.

I can definitely see how my "way of doing life" has got in the way of Mike and I and what our marriage could be. This has all been such a process. Just when I think that I am starting to figure it out a bit God shows me yet another thing, another area that I don't quite have right. I know I will never be perfect and that I will always have things to work on within myself... But this marriage stuff is hard.

I mean... can I at least get an "Amen sister" from the peanut gallery. Can someone say "I've been there" or maybe "I'm there right now." Anyone? Tell me I'm not alone. Please.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

One Tuesday Morning

I'm currently reading One Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury. I LOVE Karen Kingsbury. I've never read a book by her that I didn't love. She creates characters that are realistic but then she goes a step further. Kingsbury writes in a way that allows you to actually FEEL what the characters are feeling. She brings her characters to life.

By the end of many of her books I was certain that these characters MUST be real. I don't want the stories to end. I want to know how the families are getting on now. Where has life taken them since that last chapter I read. But of course they are fictional and I will not find them in a google search or on a random blog somewhere.




Anyways... back to One Tuesday Morning. This book! Oh my... this book is an emotional one. I'm about halfway through and have already had three good cries with it. It's a story about 9/11. Fictional characters and families but so real. My heart aches for what people went through. As I read the story it's like 9/11 is happening all over again. I see myself cleaning toilets of cabin 14 at the camp I was working at just outside of Boston when someone came in and told me what happened. I see myself sitting in the staff lounge on the not so cozy couches watching the little tv as the news showed the horrifying images over and over and over. I remember answering the phone when one of the guys who had worked there called to say he was supposed to be on one of those flights. He was holding the ticket in his hand and soooo so thankful that he had decided to stay in the states a little bit longer to spend more time with his girlfriend. I remember the eeriness of the quiet skies as the airports were shut down.

And what I experienced didn't even come close to what so many more were experiencing. I knew it was awful at the time. But Karen Kingsbury wrote a story that takes you there, on the scene, in to the hearts of homes of those who had loved ones on those planes and in those buildings. And once again I find myself crying for them.

This is an amazing book... but it is one that you won't find me reading while relaxing at Panera Bread or riding the stationary bike at the gym... it would be too embarrassing because I am sure I will cry my face off a few more times.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sweet Anna

I've done a few photo shoots of Anna over the past year and she is turning one now so we did another little photo shoot. She's such a sweet, cute baby and she is on the move these days. :)

Here are a few of my favorites...









Friday, July 23, 2010

A speck and a plank.

I'm still reading Love and War by John and Stasi Eldredge. So far... GREAT BOOK! It makes me think. It makes me feel normal. It makes me want to be better.

Some of the things they say are things that God has been working out in me during this tense time that Mike and I are having. The Eldredge's were talking about what gives a spouse hope that things just might get better, where they realize that things could be really good again. They say...

This begins to happen when we shift the focus of our energy from needing the other person to change (as in, "if only you would change, my life would be so much better!") to asking God, "How do I need to change?"

What would happen in your relationship if you could both make the shift from "changing you" to "changing me"?

Good question! And I am finding that I am enjoying what is happening since I made that shift. Things have definitely been moving forward for Mike and I and the turning point was when I started concentrating on how I needed to change and stopped thinking about all the ways that I thought he needed to change. I've been dealing with a lot of conviction along the way and it's usually not very easy. I hate when I have to admit that I have been wrong... and not just once or twice but so many times. I find myself apologizing for things all the time... things that I NEED to apologize for. I've been wrong in so many ways.

I'm ignoring the speck in Mike's eye and pulling the plank out of mine. It's a big one. But God is helping me and my marriage is getting better and better again every day.

Two weeks.

Two weeks from today I will be heading out on vacation... without the kids!! Woo hoo! You have no idea how excited I am about this.

Mike's family is working together to keep the kids for four days for us. My sister-in-law will keep them for the first two days and then Mike's mom, dad and other sister will have them for them for the rest of the time. We are heading to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Mmmmm. Mountains. Perhaps I will get to see a sunset as well. I can't see sunsets from my house because I live on the side of a hill in the trees.

Either way... we are going to have a great time.

I'm freaking out just a little bit though because our van still isn't running right. Boo. (Our car doesn't have AC that works and that would make for a long five hour drive.) Mike has been working on our van since it broke down last weekend. He found one part that needed fixed and was able to do that himself for less then ten bucks. Go Mike! But then the engine light came back on with another problem. It's a problem that we knew would eventually happen... something about coils and there are six of them and when one goes bad eventually the rest start going bad... it's been happening. So some of those need changed. There are two rows of them... the front row is super easy to get to apparently... but the back row... you have to take half the car apart.

We just don't have time for that. It would be nice to have the car fixed more than a day before we head out so I can drive it around town and feel safe knowing it truly is fixed.

Mike ordered the parts online when he found a good deal. He couldn't find any stores that had all the parts and they would have had to order them anyways. Then he is hoping to find someone that will work on it without charging us our entire savings for labor. And hopefully we can get all this done in the next week.

It's getting too close and that makes me uncomfortable and slightly panicky.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I first

The kids are always fighting over who is first. First for anything.

First for getting their hands washed.
First for getting their drink filled.
First for getting in the car.
First for getting out of bed in the morning.
First for getting their teeth brushed.
First for getting down from the dinner table.
First for getting a hug.
First for getting their butt wiped.

It's quite ridiculous. Anytime I say "Do 'something'" the kids start yelling...

I FIRST!
I FIIIIIRRRSSSTTTTT!
NO! I FIRST!
WHAAAAAA.

This morning after breakfast both kids jumped out of their chairs, threw their bibs on the table and RAN to the bathroom yelling I FIRST!

Liza beat Jason as usual. I got to the bathroom and Liza was already standing on the stool with the water on and beginning to wash her hands. Jason was trying to get up on the stool and push his way in all the while saying I FIRST!!

And then I hear Liza calmly say "No. I da wine weader."

And all I could think was "If only she understood how true that little statement was." In so many ways.

Jason does truly do EVERYTHING that Liza does so in a literal sense she IS the line leader. But she is also the whine leader because if she whines Jason whines. And when they are both whining I tend to whine.

If only I could get Liza to stop being the "wine weader".

My Favorite Things

I have some new favorite things to share with you.



DEODORANT STONE



I bought this last summer and used it a bit. I liked it then. I love it now. I've been using it all summer. They are all natural and somehow whatever it is made of fights the bacteria that makes the pits smell. You are still going to sweat... but you are SUPPOSED to sweat and the aluminum that is used in antiperspirants to keep you from sweating... not so good. So I've been sweating... which I do with antiperspirant deodorants anyways... but I've not been smelling. Woo hoo!

You can buy one here. They also have a larger size. The price may seem like "holy crap" but they last forever.


******************************************





I just finished this book by DeeAnne Gist. I loved! Adored it. Couldn't put it down. I enjoyed the characters, their struggles and their growth. Historical, romantic, Christian fiction. Chick lit at it's best. I actually love all of Gist's books. Every single one of them. Get them. Read them.


******************************************


GIRL TALK





Girl Talk is a blog that I started up with my friend Lindsey. It's a place where girls can be free to be girls... where we can talk about whatever girls go through... the good, the bad and the ugly. It's a place where we can encourage each other and sometimes just be there to say "you are not alone." Sometimes the posts are funny. Sometimes they are serious. But it's always girl talk. We've had guest bloggers along the way and are always looking for more. We love to hear what others have to share. It's become a fun thing that I really enjoy.

(Guys... I caution you! You probably don't want to read it. We often hit subjects that would make guys want to walk out of the room or pull their ears off so they wouldn't have to know more.)


******************************************


SNAP PEAS
While visiting my parents last weekend I got some fresh snap peas from my grandpa's garden and they have since become my most wanted snack. They are a little bit sweet and a whole lot crunchy. I want more. I bought some at Walmart but I have to admit that the fresh ones from Grandpa's garden were much better. More flavor. But I'll take the store ones over nothing!


What are some of your current favorite things?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Silly Girl

The other day while Jason was trying to keep his feet out of the sand Liza was having a blast in it.


She would fill up her bucket with sand and dump it in the water. Then she would fill up her bucket with water and dump it in the sand. She's a strange one.




Then she would take a short break to cool off in the water... like this... her idea...


Mmm Hmmm. That's my daughter. Born for the sun just like her Mama.

There were loads of little fish in the water... minnows. I'm not sure if Liza or my dad had more fun trying to catch them. Probably my dad.




Fun times. Great memories.

It must be summer.

Or maybe it has nothing to do with summer at all.

A lot of my blog friends have become "sloggers". Yeah. I just made that word up. A slogger is a "slacking blogger." I know. I'm a genius like that.

Actually I think a lot of people that start blogs become sloggers. They have good intentions. They set the blog up and get all excited. They write their first post about how they are "going to try this blog thing out." They post a few times... maybe even for a few months... and then they start to slack off. A few months later they are back apologizing to their readers (if there are any left) for the long absence and promising to be back much sooner this time. Only we don't hear from them again for another three months and we are once again greeted with an apology and a promise.

I know a few people who are really good at this. :) (Hi Genelle! How many blogs have you started now haha.)

Not everyone is going to be a blogger. Perhaps they realize they just don't have the time for it. Maybe they decide they just don't care to spend the time on it. Or maybe after a few posts they totally freak out and realize that they don't want all their business saved for all eternity somewhere in the great big world wide web. (I may have just created another slogger with that comment.)

But what about you... what are things you do to help you keep up with blogging? Why do you blog? Where do you get the thoughts/ideas for your posts? I seem to never run out of things to write about with my kids, books I'm reading and crazy mind. Blogging is my therapy. My history recorder and my way of sharing my life and the life of my children with my family who don't live near.

Blogging has become such a wonderful outlet for me and I think I would shrivel up and die if I could no longer do it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chris and Emily

I was so excited to have the oportunity to photograph another wedding. This time was even better because I was only the second shooter. I asked my friend if she would mind if I came along and helped out. She said yes. I got to practice, practice, practice without the pressure to deliver because I was working for free. :) I loved it!

So this was my second wedding and I am very pleased with what I got. Sure I didn't always get the perfect lighting and exposure... but I'm getting better and I learned a lot.

Chris and Emily are by far the sweetest couple I have ever seen. Their love for each other was infectious and it was hard to be in a room with them and not feel loads of joy and love. They are so in love. They made me want to be young and fall in love all over again... with my husband of course. Perhaps I will share more on that another time. Anyways... it was by far the cutest wedding I have ever been to. Here are some of my favorite shots...

The girls just before the ceremony.

The cutest ring bearer EVER! Oh my gosh... he is going to be a romantic fella some day. I can just tell! He will love well.

Details. Everything was pink. It was fabulous.

My most favorite part of any wedding. He sees his bride!! His eyes got teary and everything. Honestly, if I wasn't concentrating on my job I would have been in tears (good ones) so many times on this day.


Mr. and his Mrs.!


The groom's dad was lots of fun. He just wanted to hang with the guys. See him in the back of the picture?? Behind the groom? He snuck in. :)

The girls were all so pretty.


First dance.

Father Daughter dance... another of my favorite moments of a wedding day.


Friends.

End of the night.



I hope to have another opportunity to practice a wedding again some day. I absolutely loved it and I love weddings. Perfect combo.



Monday, July 19, 2010

I almost said it.

As most of you know the kids and I went to visit my parents this past weekend. It's a two hour drive. The kids usually do really well on that drive.

Well... we were driving home on Sunday. They were tired. I was hoping they would nap but they just decided to pick on each and drive us all to insanity. Our van broke down and we had to take the car which has no AC so the windows were down. That was enough noise. Add on top of that two tired and whiny kids that are bugging each other in the backseat... not so fun.

Liza was just not listening. And what do you do when you are driving down the road? You yell. You tell her to stop doing what she is doing and listen. It's hard to threaten punishment because you aren't going to be home for a while yet.

So we are driving down the road and this phrase runs through my head. It was on the tip of my tongue and I ALMOST said it. It's something I'm sure most of you have heard at some point in your lives. But I REALLY didn't want to go there. And I made it. I made it all the way home without saying...

DON'T MAKE ME PULL THIS CAR OVER!

(But only because I really didn't want to pull the car over. I'm sure it will eventually come out of my mouth someday... and then I will think to myself  I have become my parents.)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Silly Boy

Sometimes Jason has issues. Silly issues.

Yesterday we went to Twin Lakes with my parents. It was a beautiful day. We packed up and headed out early. The kids were so excited to swim. The problem was that the sand isn't super nice, it's kind of dirty, and Jason REFUSED to put his feet down. Even in the water.

If I tried to make him he would just cry. He even started saying "I don't wanna him." (He can't say swim.)

We tried and tried. We splashed him in the water a bit.


We got him to swim for a while.


But we could not get him to touch the sand.

So we got a plastic bag and sat him on it and he was happy.


Jason got so silly about putting his feet down that he wouldn't even put his feet in the grass... something he does all the time.


Mom worked with him a bit and finally got him to conquer his fears little by little.



It took time but they finally got it all sorted out.




Silly boy.

But it's times like these that I have to remind myself that he isn't even 2 1/2 yet. He seems so much older.

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