Thursday, April 29, 2010


I am an addict.
True story.
My nemesis?
Extreme amounts of purpose.
Yep, I'm addicted to a purpose driven life.  (Not so much the book.  Couldn't seem to read it.)
I cannot rest.
I cannot relax.
I am inept at the art of letting go and having fun.
I am too calculated.
I rush through moments to push on to the next.
And my insides have been known to inwardly revolt when asked to wait.

The problem?
It could look like I'm living a good life.
It's what much of America and Christian Churches are looking for.  (Please note I said much, not all.)

Too bad I lost my soul.

And being an artist? 
Let's just say these two can't be friends.

So...I'm trying to purposefully attack my purposeful pursuits.
And yes, I laughed out loud as I wrote that.  Even if you didn't laugh when you read it...

Today I made myself lay there during the kids rest time.
Just lay there.
Ideas and to-do lists attacking my very brain.
And yet, I laid there.
And laughed with God at how painful the experience was.

But I just know there's something better out there.  This isn't what He wants for me.
And to take the images my soul is longing for, that I know I can, this part of me must go.
Because true artistry causes us to lose all sight of being purposeful and be caught up in the moment.  Or at least, I think so.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

To my favorite little people ever...

Dear Favorite Little People Ever,

I'm sure you've noticed.  I know you wouldn't say anything, but deep inside, I know you know.  Mommy has been tired.
I forgot how precious you two are.
I forgot that I love you a gazillion times over.
I forgot how beautiful your curiosity is.
I lost my way.
But I'm coming back. 
Because I realize you two are two of the greatest things that ever happened to me.  (Besides that awesome daddy of yours)
And I want to soak up every last bike ride, race to whatever wall you can run into, game of hide-and-seek in which you hide in the exact same place 15 times in a row, every giggle, every cry for Elmo (your BFF), every made up song, every grunt that you seem to think I should be able to translate, and every smile you share.
I love you two to the moon and back.
At least four times over.
And I will be present in this moment.
And I will cherish the gift it is that you would share your lives with me.
And today I pledge I will read that story "one more time" and I will give you chocolate chips and listen to your silly songs intently.  Because this moment is beautiful.  Just like you.

I love you with everything I've got,

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Amy and Nate

Middle school.
The "bridge" between elementary and high school.  (Thank you, Wikipedia)  The awkward years.  Changing voices.  Awkward hair cuts.  Dressing for gym...
But for them, it was when they met.
He knew she was beautiful.  And sweet as all get out.  And she had a thing for someone else.
Oh middle school...
Until that one day.  The day a few years later when he walked past her on the football field and her eyes were opened to the incredible man standing before her.
And so it began.
There have been hard times.  Great times.  Moments filled with laughter.  Good-byes filled with tears.  (not that Nate would cry or anything...)  And even in the moments where it would have been easier to just give up, they realized that the other person was worth fighting for and so, they fought.
In less than 100 days, these two will take that love, that persevering love, that dedicated love and declare it in front of family and friends as they pledge their lives to each other.  And in that beautiful moment, they will start their lives together.  And keep fighting.  And keep laughing.  And keep loving.  Because the love they have for each other is beautiful.  And worth fighting for.

Amy, oh my goodness, lady.  You are beyond beautiful.  And sure, you are extremely gorgeous, but I was actually referring to who you are as a person.  The way you love others.  The way you encourage people.  The way you can enter a room and bring joy back.  And Nate, I've known you through Amy for years.  I knew you were wonderful.  And then I met you.  And it was confirmed.  The way you love Amy is a reminder of how I'd want to live life - all in.  And thank you for being willing to show that side (and your hilarious side - which I LOVE) even when I had a camera in front of my face.
You two.  You two are going to bless the world.  And I cannot wait to see what God does through the two of you.  In each others' lives.  In the lives of others.  And basically everywhere you place your foot.
I cannot wait until your wedding day.  Yep, I'm giddy.  Because I can't wait to see and capture the beauty of the two of you starting your life as one.

Yep.  They are even cute while holding a football.  They have mad skills.

Oh how I loved her shoes...

Wow.  Seriously, Amy.  Wow...

Yes, he wore his Jordan's.  And yes, that's when I knew that he was one of my favorite people.  Ever.

She's kept all of the notes that he wrote her.  Could we be a little more adorable?

That's a whole lot of gorgeous going on right there...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

But I can...

Like, no coffee could put a dent in this overwhelming sense of extreme tiredom.
I looked at my adorable little ones who seemed to have chugged espresso at breakfast.  And I uttered the words, "I just can't do this today."
My mind raced.  How could I get through?  And yet I kept coming back to it.  My body is exhausted.  My soul is so tired.  I just can't...
As I was finding clothes for them to wear (2 hours after they had already gotten up...) God stopped me.
You realize what you're saying makes you even more defeated, right?  With My help, you can do this.  Start telling yourself that.
And so I did.
Over and over.
You can do this You're going to do this.  You will do this.

And though it's far from perfect, today we're doing this.  (Not ripping globes...we're loving life.  The rip happened a long time ago.)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My girl-hood and beauty beyond words

It's hard to be a girl.
There are standards set for us and those we make up ourselves that are unattainable.
And oftentimes, silly.
And for a variety of reasons, we are left to wonder if we're enough.
And we are left thinking we are not.
And that we are not beautiful because ___________.
We are most often our toughest critics.
Most of my teenage years were spent lamenting what I saw staring back at me in the mirror.
I said horrid words to that girl in the mirror.
Pinocchio-esque nose.
But you know the truth?
I didn't see the real me.
I couldn't.
Sometimes I think it's good to stop an really see yourself. 
And how beautiful that is.
Not in comparison to others.  But just on your own.
And I think that's why I love what I do.  People get to see the real them.  And that is beautiful.

So today, I share with you two beauties.  I'm guessing since they've been to the grocery store and been in the checkout line that shouts loudly, "find fault with yourself," they may have shared some moments like I've had.
But I think we can all see today that there is nothing but beauty going on.
And a HECK of a lot of it.
And were you to know those two?  You'd keep them forever.
It's what I want to do.

Catherine, you're a part of my family.  You are an extension of us.  And as I contemplate the all too real fact that you will be in Peru in about a month, my heart longs to lock you in my house and keep you here so I can enjoy more moments with you.  And chai tea lattes...  But you are a gift to the world that needs to be shared.
And precious Rebecca, oh my goodness.  When you asked if we'd adopt some sophomore girls next year, my heart leapt and my insides did a happy dance.  Why?  Because you're precious.  I've always known it.  And I cannot wait to hopefully spend more time with you.
Thank you ladies for putting your beauty in front of my camera.  I was blown away.

They're surprising her mom with pictures, since it's been years.  Their dad played football back in the day, so we headed down there for some fun...

I guess this was Catherine's favorite pose at 4 years old.  I LOVED it.

Yes, they are that gorgeous.

I had to give a shoe shout-out

And this is why they are ridiculously cool...  Well, one reason why.

Like I mentioned, this beautiful lady is headed to Peru all too soon.

LOVE LOVE LOVE are stunning.  Just sayin'.

Warning: ridiculous amounts of gorgeous ahead.  Prepare for your jaw to drop.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Nicole, Spencer and one of my favorite little men

They met on Mother's Day. 
And at that moment, neither one of them could have predicted the way life would go.
And today neither one of them would regret it.
As they held their precious surprise baby boy and exchanged those glances.  The glances that say, "I love you.  I don't know what I'd do without you.  I can't believe we get to have this little man."  It was clear.  This is what love looks like.

Spencer and Nicole, you guys rock.  I'm such a fan.  And your little man?  Well, I'm hoping I can be his photographer for life.  Because I adore him...and the two of you.  Thanks for sharing your love and your family with me.  I'm beyond grateful. 

And PS: Nicole, you are GORGEOUS.