May 4, 2015

Capturing Our Joy's been a long time, huh? Honestly, every time I sit down to write on this little space of mine, I get distracted and end up doing something else entirely. So alas, I'm making the time!

It's been a fun few months for me as I've taken on my new hobby of photography. Rian got me a great book about photography for my birthday and I've really enjoyed reading through it during Hannah's naps (ha! Mom life :).  At first I started off making my family endure all of my "photo shoots," but then I somehow convinced some sweet friends to be my guinea pigs. And then before I knew it, I was taking some really fun family photos!

I'm so grateful for Rian who has encouraged me and pushed me to keep at it. I'm also SO thankful to these sweet friends who put so much faith in me! It's a great feeling to have friends believe in you and even call you talented :) For now, I'm just doing it for fun and enjoying capturing our special moments of joy!

Here are some of my favorites from the past couple of months:

I have along overdue Hannah update, too. But the nap time is almost over and it's time to resume life! Until next time :)

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January 21, 2015


We've had a busy start to 2015, and it's been great. Hannah is thriving! At her 15 month visit Hannah clocked in at the 85th percentile for weight and 75th for height. We've got a healthy and strong girl on our hands!

More than anything, I've just enjoyed watching Hannah take it all in. She's a sponge at this age and it's been a privilege to follow her along. 

I read an excerpt from a book the other day about how childhood is just so fleeting. As a mother, you strive for their happiness. Of course you want them to be healthy and strong. But today? Today, I will pray for inexplicable joy.

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December 30, 2014

Reflection and Resolution: 2014

In keeping with my blog tradition, I'm running through my annual reflection and resolution. Oh boy, 2014 really brought on the good times, didn't it? If you're shaking your head in disagreement, then to that I say "I'm sorry. I understand. And I hope 2015 is much better for you." I promise I can relate, seeing as how 2012 was one of the hardest years of my life. See HERE.

We had a great Christmas in Las Vegas with my family. Granted we all got super sick with a stomach virus (yes, that would be the SECOND Christmas in a row for me...), we were still thankful to be together as a family. But as we were driving home, Rian and I had a great conversation about our favorite moments of 2014 and our hopes for 2015. It's fun to look ahead. There's something special about January and the possibility to start fresh and renew.

I will always remember in 2014 that I:

- Started off the year with a nice visit from my Dad and Mary to meet our little Hannah. (January)

- Went on our epic Texas vacation for Becca's wedding in Houston! We also got to stop in Waco for a fun visit and rounded off the trip with an awesome stay with my mom and John. (March)
- Celebrated Hannah's first Easter with Rian's parents at our wonderful church. (April)
- Took Hannah on her first beach trip to Rockaway Beach. (July)
- Left Hannah for the first time for my girls' beach weekend. (August)
- Started the River Bible Study at church. We are studying the Life of David and it's been an incredible journey. (September)
- Participated in the SPROUTS ministry at church for the second year. (October)
- Celebrated Hannah Joy's FIRST birthday! (October)
- Took Hannah on her first Trick-Or-Treating adventure. She was the sweetest bumblebee you ever did see :) (October)
- Enjoyed a fun-filled Thanksgiving week with my mom and John here in Portland. (November)
- Welcomed three new babies into our lives! Lainey (September), Adeline (December) and Asher (December)
- Celebrated the holiday season with about 38485 million Christmas events. And loved every single one. (December)
- Successfully completed a four day road trip to Las Vegas to visit the Parker family for Christmas. (December)

In 2015, I will resolute to:

- Volunteer more at church. 
- Get Hannah plugged into a preschool for when she turns two.
- Remain diligent with our finances and budget.
- Continue to invest in friendships- they sustain me!
- Live more simply (i.e. getting by with less, spending less on ourselves, de-cluttering).
- Continue to Skype with my mom :)
- Read to Hannah at least once every day. It's easy to just let her play with books, but then I forget to actually read them to her...
- Serve my home with a happy heart. I so often get grumbly with my day-to-day tasks, but serving my family with gratitude is the same as serving the Lord. And I believe that it makes Him happy to see me serve with a gracious heart.
- Invest time, effort and love on my THREE friends who are engaged and getting married in 2015 (early 2016)!

Previous reflections and resolutions:

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December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014

Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room

And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing!

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Hannah's Dedication

"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

On December 7th we dedicated our Hannah Joy to our church and to the Lord. We were (and frankly, still are) in awe of how many friends and family came out to support Hannah on her special day.

We have been blessed with a church home we love and we are so grateful that Hannah will be raised in the loving arms of not just her Savior, but also River West.

Thank you again to everyone who attended (special shout out to Andy & Rebecca for serving in childcare that morning and Whitney & Stephen who were unfortunately sick). To those that couldn't make it but prayed for us, thank you. We felt your prayers and your love.

Hannah's Verse

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November 25, 2014

Making Some Room on the Couch

“Perhaps we don't like what we see: our hips, our loss of hair, our shoe size, our dimples, our knuckles too big, our eating habits, our disposition. We have disclosed these things in secret, likes and dislikes, behind doors with locks, our lonely rooms, our messy desks, our empty hearts, our sudden bursts of energy, our sudden bouts of depression. Don’t worry. Put away your mirrors and your beauty magazines and your books on tape. There is someone right here who knows you more than you do, who is making room on the couch, who is fixing a meal, who is putting on your favorite record, who is listening intently to what you have to say, who is standing there with you, face to face, hand to hand, eye to eye, mouth to mouth. There is no space left uncovered. This is where you belong.”-- Sufjan Stevens

I'm so thankful for you, Rian.
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November 18, 2014

We Go Well Together

Today I took a walk around my neighborhood and soaked in the last bits of fall. Between wind storms and occasional rain, the glorious leaves have all but disappeared.

It was a great season (as it always is), and it reminded me of one of the biggest truths in my life: we go well together. Sorry Rian, this love note isn't to you. It's to the one who has actually been with me longer. Who held my hand during my first rainy season and showed me how beautiful a daily sprinkle can really be. To the one who introduced me to all four seasons. To the one who showed me how good a craft beer can be and that organic food doesn't have to be pompous. This letter is to the one who said "I'm worth it. Take that leap of faith. Come to me!"

And seven years ago I did just that. And seven years later I am still enamored.

Here's to you OREGON. I am so utterly and completely in love with you.
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