Friday, November 21, 2014

 {November} 10 on the 10th

This is what 10 on 10 is all about: taking a photo every hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of each month, documenting a day in your life and finding beauty among the ordinary moments.

Again, a mixed bag of iPhone and Nikon captures.

Oatmeal and coffee to start.

Gearing up for another full day.

{I need Him every hour.... every minute... every second}

My First drop off is at 8:30. 

And the next one is at 9:00 - This sweet capture is Mali's young 5's teacher walking him in. Oh the sweetness! 

Next stop: The township office. Important hoops to jump through for the studio build today! ;)

Got it!

I still laugh when I see this one. *Reality capture*

"But it's 10 on the 10th! You will be in a picture!"

My 11:30 pickup.

And now since I got the permit, he can do this....

And this...

I'm late getting 10 on the 10th up this month.... and let me assure you our yard looks nothing like this anymore... *sigh* the 10th was a beautiful day!  - And now that he's having fun, he doesn't care if I photograph him. ;)

 Even the cats are loving this day.

"Kitty bunk beds"

Monday, November 3, 2014

 Update-ish stuff

I wasn't kidding when I wrote that I was embracing the intense of raising boys.

It's loud

it's chaotic

Some days I just can't keep up.

But I am laughing more than crying and joining in with the cray-zay more than reacting in frustration.

You should have seen me last Thursday night. I was exhausted, but had promised the boys we could stay up past our regular bed time, since they got the following day off from school. I had the over-tired-loopy giggles. Could.not.stop. laughing. - Which made the boys laugh hysterically at crazy mom. It was a laugh-ish cycle of hilarity.

Ok, so maybe you would have had to have been there to truly appreciate - but take my word for it. Funny stuff.

And I have a long way to go in this commitment to laugh instead of throw fits.

The good news: These boys have my heart forever.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Three weeks ago I had the opportunity to experience a classic kidney stone attack.


And I got to have lithotripsy; a treatment using shock waves to pulverize my large kidney stone.

Just feelin' so special.

I was sedated during the procedure, but felt everything. Very, very strange. I'm grateful that we were able to crush the stone, but still feeling slightly sore and bruised.

And as is often the case, I am now onto the next medical "issue".


I really am quite healthy. These things are just random and happen to be occurring in quick succession.  Here's to hoping that 2015 will begin a nice long string of boring months where random and odd health occurrences do not take place.

Long story short for the next crazy:
  • Imaging from my kidney stone also showed a large cyst in my ovary
  • ovary is coming out
  • surgery in two weeks
  • overnight hospital stay
The hardest part of this little unexpected ah, "change in my schedule" is... just that.

The recovery. 

The schedule change. 

The schedule clearing.

I'm not exactly a sedentary gal. 

So here comes a lesson in slowing down and a lesson in rest, asking for help..... leaning on people.

You guys that's so hard for me. I get it. I know I need to do that thing which pulls on the edges of my pride: admit I need people, and lots of help. 

Pray for me in that. I want to be wise and I don't want to prolong the recovery process. I can totally see myself being stupid, thinking I can hit the ground running, and doing just that.

In the last couple of days I have said no to a wedding, canceled photo sessions, moved appointments around and eyed the couch that I will have to choose to stay on for a while.

Here's to saying, "Ok God. Your schedule, Your timing, Your way, Your will."

And dragging that eraser across the last 2 weeks of my November. - And then more if He asks.

Deep slow sigh. 

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

I had one of those, "dreams do come true" moments last week.

We are building a photography studio on our property.

24'x30' of space. This is quite above and beyond what I ever imagined I would have to work with. I'm giddy.

The space the studio now occupies looked like this in the summer:

There was an old chicken coup that our Great Pyrenees/lab, Buster lived in. We began the process of tearing that down.

The area, all cleared, looked like this:

And over the next 6 months Dave has spent every spare minute working on this space. I have tons of photos of the process,

Things like this happened:

And this:

And here's where we are today:

Much still needs to be done. Dave is starting the crazy puzzle of the electrical process today. We had a conversation about it about an hour ago. I did alot of head nodding and tried not to let him see my glassy eyes and spinning brain.

However, with large extension cords, power strips, warm enough weather not to care about the heat not being hooked up, and portable equipment, THIS happened on Tuesday....

  Good things are happening. :)

Leave a comment with something God is doing in your life and/or something you are immensely grateful for. I'm ready to be flooded with gratitude.

Monday, October 20, 2014

 In which I learn to embrace the INTENSE

I'm in the midst of a "parenting breakthrough" so, of course, I had to rush over here and record it. Because I will forget.
Because I climb right back into the trenches far too easily.
Because I am oh-so-human.

Over the last few years I have struggled with how tough some parenting scenarios are, that I have to deal with. I have often compared my kids with some of my friends kidos - 

And I have found myself continually thinking....
                                                 If only I did A)
                                                                      or B)
                                                                             or maybe even C)      differently,

They would be good.

We wouldn't have this struggle.

They wouldn't fight...   {All. The. Blasted. Time}.

My kids. 

The kids I prayed to conceive, 
prayed for in the womb,
prayed over their little bassinet for, 
dedicated them in front of my church family and God.

Those ones. 

They haven't liquefied and molded themselves into the shape that I thought they would 

                                 by now.

I mean, geez. They are 11, 9, 7, and 5.

SURELY by now..........


These beautiful, amazing, miraculous,

dirty, rotten sinners.

{Isaiah 64:6}

{Romans 3:23}

Just like their mama.

SURELY by now she should've........

Maybe stopped comparing?

Maybe counted it all joy?

Maybe seized the moment and chose contentment?


While I fully realize that comparison has stolen my parenting joy 10 times out of 10, I do have to say that God has gifted Dave and I with

Very Intense Children.

Sometimes when I am having a conversation with another mama, and I hear about some sweet soft things in the life of her child, an alarm sounds in my brain.

Signifying that my kids should be doing that...

 - Generous sharing

 - Or immediate obeying

 - Or willing tithing 

And I feel that cold band around my heart. 

"If you were a "better mom". 

If you were more intentional. 

If you had started teaching this in infancy. 

If you were



or C)...............

Now I do realize that all parents have challenges and that I can not make my situation "more noteworthy" than anyone else. 

But For Real. These boys, ya'll. INTENSE.

Oh friends. I am getting it now. While bettering my parenting skills should, and will, always be an open door for me, Staying the course through the thick of it is the key. 

These kids? These boys were given to me by God. They are intense. They just are. And what a joy. They will continue to be. 

We will still have to handle crazy 11 year old fits when we get to the school building. Because we have a boy named K. This is who our family is. We have a K. Not just anyone has a K. ;)
He processes things in a K way. I can't "better mom" my way out of this one. Blast that tendency to always want the "easy way out". While he may grow out of some of the current challenges we face with him, there will be new ones. Always.

We will still have those nights when we are just plain weary, and the bedtime routine is impossible.

{Just GO.TO.BED. Can you do that? Like, lay in your nice comfy bed, shut your eyes and Stay there. Dang it} 
{Bless their hearts} 

We will still have mornings, getting ready for school, that make me want to dig my eyes out with a spoon and run for the hills. 

But the key is that I won't. That comparison and perfectionism will get me nowhere.

No Where. 

But what WILL get me somewhere, what will keep our family moving forward in a way that glorifies God is just 

Sticking with it.

Hanging in there, sometimes with both fists securely wrapped around blessings abounding, 

And sometimes by a 

Of simply commitment and trust.

Because see, I could read All The Books.

And go to All The Seminars.

And talk to All The Right People.

But I've just been called to give them my heart.
Do my best.
To Build My House.

{Prov. 14:1}

To love them on those days that I don't really like them.

To stay.

To be faithful and persevere.

To find joy in the God given moments.

To be the heart of my home.

{Ephesians 3:17-19}

{Prov. 31:10-31}

{Luke 12:34}

To stop comparing and simply embrace these unique {INTENSE} personalities. 

Do you have any idea how freeing this new mindset is? It's like I have been freed to love my own boys. Weird. I know. But I don't know how to put it any other way. 

So here's to staying the course, loving well, and embracing the Intense. We're in this together. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

 {Not} 31 days of Blogging in October


It echoes in here, I think. ;)

In the midst of building a photography studio, from the ground up,

Getting into the full swing of young 5's, 2nd, 4th, and 5th grade,

Coordinating a trip for 18 women from our church to a National women's conference, True Woman '14,

Being knee deep in fall photo sessions,

Finding myself back at the Center for Women weekly,

Cooking pumpkin seeds,

and watching these four small growing people who call me mama, change and mature each day -

I began to notice a few of my blogging friends dive into a "31 days of October" blogging challenge.

~ Ooohhh. Blogging every single day in October! That would be fab.u.lous. ~

For them.
Fabulous for them.  :) And I will read their beautiful posts.

I will peak at them on my phone when I am in line at the preschool. I will sit down to my computer after throwing in a load of clothes. And I will smile. Because I have some greatly talented friends who weave words together like an art.

One of those friends once said that I was blogging "before blogging was cool". ;) And it's kind of true. I blogged to clear my mind. I blogged to gauge where my heart was and to process. I blogged to reach out to other moms; special needs moms, grieving moms.

Right now I am investing much more face to face. While writing will always be a passion, like a special treat to look forward to and relax with, I guess I just don't need my "voice" to be heard so much these days.

For a while I was a little worried, thinking:
"Have I lost my voice? Writing is who I am! What happened?! Is this a crisis?" (Because if I don't have a current crisis to worry about, I'm awesome at making one up...).

I found myself becoming more and more tense as I allowed some jealousy to seep in. I read words that thinly resembled something I could've written. I was used to being the one who could move people with words.... not the one being moved by the words of others. Noticing the unhealthy direction I was going in, I made a decision to open my heart to the talents around me, and back off. I'm too quick to offer words when I may or may not have anything to say. I'm learning to weigh those words carefully.

Ahhh. I do love finding my fingers on these keys. Like I love a good hot cup of coffee. It's kind of a comfort and a delicacy.

I look forward to finding a window of time to write about my Jay and how my heart swells with a sweet love that can only come from watching growth take you by surprise.

And my K. Oh my, that K. So headstrong and independent. Not only walking unassisted, but running. Running like there is no tomorrow.

Kai, who will be 5 in 8 days. Five. That baby boy. He makes my hair grey, you guys.

Noe. Dear one who makes sock snow men for everyone he loves. If you get know, you are a highly honored individual.

My man who is pretty much doing the equivalent of 3 full time jobs. And in his exhaustion, finds time to take my breath away as I observe his posture towards us, his family.

I do, I really do like these smooth keys under my tired fingers. There will be more. Not like 25 more in the next 25 days, but more.