Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dear Lawd, the curls!











Asa Trust, 13 months.

I never knew I would have a little boy with golden brown curls. 

I'm a little obsessed.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

There and Back Again.



     I've debated stopping this blog quite a bit. Mainly, because it's become such an infrequent occurrence. But I like this little corner of the internet, it's mine, so I think I'll keep it. I've decided that it will be more of place where I can go when I have something to say and less of a family album. (But  if you would still like to peek into our family and the beauty I find in our everyday, you are welcome to come to my instagram account @kristinaboothe.)


Identity has been on my heart quite a bit. More precisely MY identity. Identity is a strange and mysterious in that is always changing, evolving, never staying quite the same.  Establishing our identities is the ever elusive unicorn. I can become so easily dissatisfied with this, never quite satisfied with the "me" I am living or projecting based on a season of life or even my emotional state at the time. I am most dissatisfied when the "me" I'm projecting doesn't line up with the "me" I feel I am on the inside.

Motherhood has been an interesting time of identity for me. I've found both great satisfaction in my identity as a mother (more than I could've possibly known I would, ) but also frustration in having to put a lot of things on the back burner that were once a big part of who I am. That is the reality of this season, and there is a reason many mothers can feel like they've lost bits of themselves along the way. It's in the daily laying down of your own interests for the interests of others. It's a beautiful thing, but sometimes it's really hard to lay those things down, the things that made your soul come alive. And then there is the place where women can idolize their children and "mother" as their identity and lose themselves completely.

The thing about identity, is that we always want to be more than we think we are. We want to be better, more talented, do more. We want to be more. I want to be more. And the world, our culture....it wants us to be everything.

And isn't it even more so for mother's? To be everything to everyone.  To do everything and do it well. In this, I am endlessly defeated.

If I try to define myself by what I do I will most certainly come up short. I do a thousand things a day as a mother, but I stay home so I don't have a successful career. Sometimes I parent well, sometimes I fail miserably, and some days I measure my success on if I've done the dishes or not.

If I try to define myself by how I serve, I miss the mark. I serve my husband and my children, which is my great privilege. But because of this, my desire to serve the poor, disenfranchised, hurting, and the broken is put on the back burner. My desire to serve the nation's is just not for this season. And sometimes this can make me feel like I've lost a bit of who I am.

If I try to define myself by my spirituality, it too fails. I used to spend large amounts of time in prayer and intercession, and in the Word. These days I feel like prayer and intercession is more of an afterthought. If I've even opened the Bible once, it is a good day.

If I try to define myself by my relationships, I am only disappointed in myself for not being a better or more present wife, friend, mother, etc. And relationships change. There are times when you can be surrounded by community and seasons where you are isolated from all those relationships.

If I try to define myself by my interests, hobbies, or even talents I feel like I'm an imposter because I say one thing but those things aren't playing a very big role in my life right now. For example, I love to read and would describe myself as an "avid" reader. But realistically, I used to be an avid reader. Now I hardly have the time.  I am a creative person but these days I don't have much opportunity or energy to exercise my creative muscle. Many talents I desire to grow in are in a place of perpetual hold.

Really, I could go on and on.

The thing is, trying to define my identity by any of these things is a losing battle. I've already lost.

And as a Christian, we are supposed to know this right? We are supposed to know that our identity is in Christ. Our identity is that we are The Beloved. But it's so easy to lose sight of that. It's so easy for ME to lose sight of that. And what does that mean really? What does it mean to have our identity in Christ?  And like, in a tangible way, that changes my outlook, my day, my experience of life? My contentment in who I am? Apart from my relationships, apart from my roles, apart from what I'm doing or not doing or how good I am at it, even apart from the things we "do" to be spiritual? Where is the place where I am content with who I am, whoever it is at the time, that it's enough?

And this is a question that has been subconsciously churning around my soul as of late. And the answer is simple. It is one I know but forget over and over again. Or more than I forget, I believe the lie that its is is in fact, not enough, shouldn't be enough. But it is. And here it is.

I am a Worshipper.

We were all created to worship something and I am a Worshipper of Jesus Christ, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, my Father and Redeemer. And that is enough. It will always be enough.

My deepest satisfaction will always be in that place of wild abandon, in freedom, in worship. The place where my heart is opened up and outside myself. The place where praise is on lips, in my groans, in my laughter, and in my tears. And when I'm truly living out my identity as a worshipper, all those other things don't matter. Fear of not measuring up, or not being enough falls away and I am just before the King and it is enough. And then in all those other areas, when it only matters that I was made to Worship, I am able to more truly walk in all the things I've been called and desire to be. And I have peace and contentment for the place I'm in, because in the place of Worship, is where I feel the tangible sense of God's love and affections.

When I believe the lie that I have to be other things my identity as a Worshipper is stifled. And when this happens, like a turtle, I withdraw inward. I don't walk into who I am created to be. My identity...shrinks.

And I lost this for a bit, and I could feel myself shrinking, but I coming back to it. Because I'm realizing and believing it's true. Nothing else matters as much. So I'm doing the things that make my heart of Worship come alive, without thought or care to how it looks or even contrary to how I even feel at the time. I will be that crazy dancing girl. I will sing at the top of my lungs in my car, in my house, in a public if I'm so moved. I will yell and cuss at God when I'm mad and then fall down and worship Him. I will paint and create, and shout thanksgiving. I will hunt for beauty in the mundane and through it see the Divine. Because I am a Worshipper, and when I worship Him, I see Him. And when I see Him, I find him. And when I find Him, I am found.



"One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the Beauty of the Lord and seek Him in his temple."
Psalm 27:4

  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

His Eye is on the Sparrow



This little girl....
she has my heart. And tomorrow she will be undergoing her 3rd and last heart surgery. 
Her name is Sparrow Song Mathis and she is three years old.


Please join me in praying for Sparrow and her family. 


It is my personal belief that our prayers better reflect the heart of God, when they are teamed 
with practical ways of meeting those prayer needs. The expenses for Sparrow's care are astronomical,
so I am boldly asking you to consider supporting her financially. You can support her family here at 

Give as little as you want (perhaps trading in your daily Starbucks for the day?) to as high as the moon. 


Here is a short video on her journey and ways you can contribute. 



Sparrow Song, you are so very loved. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"Second star to the right.."

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A piece of me always returns to a safe and happy place of imagination, awe, and wonder, through the eyes and experiences of my children.

I like to think we all have a little Lost Boy in us.


"Second star to the right, and straight on till morning."




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Friday, September 6, 2013

In my shoes.

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There is something simultaneously heart melting and terrifying seeing your daughter walking around in your shoes.

My thought process goes something like this:

"She wants to be just like me!"  *heart melt*

And then...

"She wants to be just like me!"  *gulp* *deep breath*


Here we go.

God, 

Give me grace.

Amen. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Asa: 11 months

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This boy. I don't feel like I can even put into words how much this one has stolen my heart. His sweetness has been such a balm to my soul in this season. And man, oh man, is he sweet! He is my snuggler for sure and I am always happy to oblige. As I recall, with Adoration, by this time she wouldn't really fall asleep on me anymore, if she did, it was rare. But Asa is still happy to snuggle in and fall asleep on me and James. This time around, I have no desire to sacrifice his babyness for the sake of schedules, or sleep training, or whatever. He can be his baby self and I will be his mama and we will snuggle as much as we please. 


Asa Trust,

My little king. You are the prince of my heart. May your sweetness always stay with you, even as you are climbing over every obstacle and conquering every foe. May you ever grow in kindness, compassion, tenderness, strength, valor, and integrity. You are my son. And in you I am well pleased. 

Love,
Your Mama

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Mirage

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*this is a spiritual post. I hope to have more of these. I am no theologian, nor preacher, not even much of a writer, but I'm just sharing my heart and snippets from my own pilgrimage.


This past May 30th, I turned 30 years old.  The last five years of my life have been marked by transition; moving, growing and stretching into an adult, a wife, a friend, and a mother.  Transition has also been the case spiritually.

In my early twenties I experienced the presence and the love of God so profoundly and tangibly it wrecked me in the best possible way forever. The presence of Jesus felt more real to me than the glass of water sitting next to me right now, and I drank Him up, letting him fill and overflow all my aching places. It was beautiful. And it was real.

And then....

And then...God didn't feel so accessible anymore. My closest friend now seemed disinterested and silent. It felt like He left me. And I was heartbroken. Connecting with God felt like such an uphill battle. This had little to do with my outward experiences or trials. It was something that was happening on the inside.

And so the last five years have been finding my way out of that place, stumbling through the maze of my heart.

Christians love to use the desert analogy when describing their spiritual life. It usually goes something like this, "So how are you doing spiritually? or "how is your Walk?" or some other kind of Christianese. And if everything isn't cupcakes and roses the person may reply with something like, "Oh you know...just feeling kinda of dry right now." Or "I think I'm just in a desert season." You get the idea. You can probably overhear this conversation happening right now in a coffee shop.

The feelings and experiences that can make someone feel like they are in a "desert season with the Lord," are all valid.  I not only claimed the desert as my spiritual landscape but thought I was wasting away there and dying a slow spiritual death.

And five years later, this is my conclusion:

The desert is bullshit.

Yep. I said it. Just go read the New Testament, because that is basically what it's all about....the absolute ACCESSIBILITY to God through the work Christ did on the cross. Always. Regardless of difficult circumstances, of feeling, of sin. If you are in Christ you can always have immediate access to God. He's never far off. Jesus died and the rose from the dead so we can always, always enter into the Presence of God.

And I would get so angry at God because I would read about how He promises His Presence and I would be like, "So where are you??" There was a disconnect between God's promise and my experience. And I believed the lie that my experience is what was true.

I was that wanderer lost in the desert, so desperate and thirsty for God, believing that he was far off. Sometimes I would see glimpses of his Presence like an oasis in the unrelenting desert, only to run to and have it disappear, a mirage.

But somewhere along the line I just decided to believe God at his word, regardless of my feelings or experience. And slowly, clinging to the Word of His promise, I looked around me and realized I was out of my "desert."  And what had changed? Not much, besides my perspective.

And that's when I realized....the desert is bullshit. The presence of God isn't the mirage, the desert is the mirage.

This is the picture I got in my head:

Through Christ I had inherited the land of milk and honey, rivers and streams, the green and the good, living water that cannot be quenched, aka: the Presence of God. I was walking around with scales over my eyes, believing I was trapped in a desert. But the desert I was seeing was just a mirage. Reality was the green and the good, the rivers and the streams, God Himself. All around me. Near to Me. And His nearness to me is my good. And He is always Near. I was stumbling around in my mirage of a desert and when I opened my eyes and really saw, the whole time I was living in the land of Promise, bumping into God Himself.


"He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him." 1Thess 5:10



   

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Way of Grace

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"The nuns taught us there were two ways through life - the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you'll follow.
Grace doesn't try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries. 
Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it. And love is smiling through all things." ~ from the film Tree of Life



I'm well aware its been quite quiet over here. I've taken a bit of a hiatus from the blog world, both in writing and reading other blogs. It's been a rush of transition with moving and settling, birthdays, and trips. I've been soaking up precious moments with the little souls in my care and quiet moments with my husband as much as possible. There has been a lot going on in my soul as well, which introvert that I am, I tend to withdraw a bit. I need time and space to sort through things and realign myself with Truth.

The quote above, from the movie "Tree of Life," is one of my current favorites. It's the place I am in, trying to choose the way of grace. I've debated sharing this at all but this is my space and I am fond of transparency. And it's hard to be transparent when I feel like I'm never talking about the thing that I actually want to talk about. So then I end up never sharing, writing, or posting at all. And there it is, the real reason for my infrequent blogging.

 The past few months have been a bit of a waking up/ breaking point with me with a unhealthy parental relationship. I've realized for my own mental well being and for the protection of my family I need to, for the time being (and at the advice from a counselor), remove myself and my family from that relationship. I'm wading through a turmoil of emotions; guilt for having to establish such a hard boundary line, hurt and even bitterness over past and present wounds, sadness over a relationship meant to be a safe place that has been anything but, and disappointment with the realization that it may never be. I'm taking steps to move forward, coming up for air after many years of an unhealthy and manipulative dynamic which has been exacerbated these last two years with my parents divorce. I'm actively seeking healing for years of wounds through the help of a christian counselor. I'm asking the Holy Spirit to help me choose the way of Grace and the way of forgiveness. And realizing that loving and forgiveness doesn't mean I need to be or do what that person is wanting or expecting from me. That I actually don't have to be in active relationship with them at all. That to really effectively love them I have to be outside of the cycle of wounding and manipulation. Sometimes love, God's love, doesn't look like what we think, what we've been taught, or what other people expect. It's a revelation, actually.

So all of this it's a lot. 

Sometimes it feels really overwhelming. 

But there's a lot of truth in that "Tree of Life" quote. How can I choose to be unhappy when all the world is shining around? When Love is smiling through all things?

And as I swim up to the surface and I come up for air, I know that it's true. God is Love personified, its not a counterfeit love or love of our own making that pleases itself, and I see it written throughout all the lines of my story. And today, I'm choosing to see.


{And for anyone out there faced with similar or difficult relational situations, here are some resources I've been given that have helped immensely:}

Books:

Boundaries. When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud

Keep Your Love On: Connection, Communication, and Boundaries by Danny Silk

Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Dr. Karyl McBride

Ministries:

Christian Healing Ministries

Bethel SoZo

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Asa: 8 months

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Eeee!! I love him!

Our Asa boy recently had his 8 month birthday. His seventh month proved to be quite the month developmentally. Some notable events:

* his hair has grown back. It's actually a little lighter than the color he had when he was born.
* He started saying "mama" (and he knows it means me!) Later in the month he added "dada," "baba," and all sorts of other babbles. 
* He's mastered crawling.
* He's pulling up to stand.
* He crawl-climbs.
* He pretty much skipped the whole pureed food thing and went straight to soft solids.
* Still no teeth. 

Dear Asa Trust,

I am convinced you are the sweetest boy. Your happiness and smiles are absolutely infectious. You are constantly wooing people with your charm, wooing me with your charm. I just can't get enough.
Already, I can tell you are a determined little soul. Whenever you have a goal in mind (these days usually involving physical feats such as pulling up to stand or climbing) you go for it with a smile on your face. Whenever you reach your goal you get so proud of yourself and always start giggling, especially when you look back at us for encouragement and we are cheering you are on. 
My sweet boy, I will always be cheering you on and hopefully this family will always be a source of encouragement for you. You will have many goals in this life, but I pray that you your ultimate goal will be to know and to be known by the One who has always seen you as the joy set before Him. 

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race set out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning it's shame, and sat down and the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2

I am so proud of you.

Love,
Mama

Love,
Your Mama

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A House, A Home


  
We are currently in the process of closing on a house. It's taking a bit longer than expected because the septic tank has to be replaced before we can move in. I am over the moon about this house. After multiple moves and temporary residences, and an exhausting house search, we found the house that will be our home and not just a layover. At some point, I plan on telling the story of this house on the blog. It's a really great story and one of those times where I just felt utterly spoiled by God. 

Currently, our rental house's garage is filled with stuff we plan on getting rid of.  We will be selling some large pieces on Craigslist and then will have a big, blow out garage sale. In my mind I have titled it "The Great Purge of 2013," because it feels that epic. There isn't much furniture of ours that we actually purchased. We have picked up pieces here and there, mostly for free, or very cheap to fit our temporary rental situations. I'm pretty excited about getting rid of stuff. It's so freeing. We will be keeping items that we have purchased with longevity in mind and pieces that work. 

I'm pretty excited about making this house a home and have pinning images for inspiration. The house is a mid century ranch style home. I want to honor it's origins by having lots of mid century inspired clean lines but also want to mix it up with a bit of a rustic/natural feel.  Aside from that the main things I want design-wise are:

1) more of a minimalist feel. children come with their own kind of mess and chaos and my soul is just longing for less visually. I'm not wanting lots of decorations, for walls to be too cluttered, or for anything unnecessary. I want every item to be both practical and pretty. If it's only one of those, I don't want it in there.
2) The "decorations" I do want are plants and family photos. I want lots of green to add life, freshness, and to improve air quality. I've never really put family photos up with all our moving, but I'm planning on doing a gallery wall behind our dining table, perhaps mixing in some art and prints as well. 

We should be in the house by Adoration's birthday (fingers crossed!) I know that her 3rd birthday might possible be the first birthday she really remembers and it makes me so happy to think we may have it at a house where many more birthdays will follow! My heart's desire for this house is to be a place of family and gathering. I want people to feel welcome always. I want to open up the doors for gatherings of all kinds, a place for community and relationship. It's a blessing that we want to share. 

Some photo inspiration: 


designsponge.com

home-designing.com


thedesignfiles.net

designsponge.com


Friday, May 17, 2013

My Mother's Day

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This season, in the trenches of mothering young children, is one caught between endless exhaustion and countless joys. Things I find myself daily longing for are:

1) 45 minutes all to myself in the morning...to drink my coffee and spend time with Jesus(without having to wake up at 5:30 to achieve this.) 
2) another 60 minutes later in the day to exercise and shower. 
3) the luxury of peeing by myself.
4) spontaneous dates with my husband. or any dates at all. 
5) sleep. always more sleep. 
and all of these on a consistent basis. I know... it's basically asking for the impossible.

I recently had a friend stay with us. She caught us on a particularly hard week. Adoration had suddenly developed random fears going to sleep and was waking up multiple times a night. Asa had just gotten a vaccine and was also cutting his bottom two teeth and was also waking up multiple times a night, wanting to nurse (he usually sleeps through the night.) James and I were exhausted, Adoration was extremely cranky from lack of sleep and always on the edge of a tantrum, and Asa was much more clingy.  And these days, well, they are bound to happen. At one point, she said to me, "I don't know how you do it. Day in and day out. I don't know if I'm cut out to be a mother." 

The thing is...I'm not cut out to be a mother. Are any of us really? But God, He transforms, sustains, and gives grace upon grace. There are new mercies every morning. But most of all there is the Love. There is nothing else like it. The love He has given me for these little people makes every hard day or night worth it. I tried to explain this to my friend but I couldn't quite capture it. It's like the smallest taste of understanding that it was the Joy set before Him that led him to the cross. Every day I take up my tiny cross of inconveniences and lack of selfish freedoms for the Joy set before me. And there is so much joy.

This Mother's Day, all I could feel was gratitude. My children are not a burden. They are a gift. Being their mommy is the greatest thing I have ever done and will probably be the greatest thing I will ever do. 

(oh and the getting to sleep in, the bellini at brunch, beach time with my sweet family, and spa package gift from my love definitely didn't hurt my feelings of gratitude!) 







Saturday, April 27, 2013

Riverside Arts Market

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We are slowly becoming acquainted with this city. The whirlwind of transition seems to be ebbing a bit and we are starting to explore more. Today we checked out the Riverside Arts Market, which is a Farmer's/arts market held under a bridge by the river. I really feel like you can get the pulse of a city at a Farmer's Market.  They always draw such a wide diversity of people, so great for people watching. And I brought my camera....so between wrangling Adoration, and enjoying my family, I managed to snap a few photos! 

Aside from beautiful produce stands, this market also had various arts vendors, and lots of food trucks and vendors. I was lured in by handmade/gourmet popsicles. I was in a fruity mood so I went with the raspberry avocado. A-mazing. Next time I think I will have to try their Mexican chocolate....or coconut ginger. mhmm.

My favorite non-produce/food vendors were a plant vendor and Native American jewelry vendor. I wanted all the plants at the plant vendor. I wanted to cover our house with them. I walked away with a pretty sizeable succulent for $6. When we move into our new house, I will definitely be coming back for some more. The Native American jewelry vendor was so amazing. This guy handmade ALL the jewelry. Lots of beautiful silver and turquoise pieces. The artistry was incredible. I was quite smitten over the big chunky rings. For some reason, when I picture the me I want to be as a senior citizen, I picture myself with long silver hair and loads of jewelry like this all up my arms. When your over 60, it's all about the accessories. 

So my opinion of this city based on the gauge of the market? It's a bit of a teenager of a city, reminding me of Charlotte, still trying to figure out what it's going to be. It feels comfortable, like home, this city caught between the ocean and a river. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Portrait a Week: 8

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Dear God,
Help me love them well and give them grace. Give me patience and wisdom and life and light to fill their days. Let love cover the multitude of my sins and failings. When they see me, may they see through all my cracks straight to You. 


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spilled Milk

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"Spilled Milk is a collaborative photography blog, featuring a collection of photographs from 17 talented mothers from around the world. We are prompted by a weekly theme reflecting some aspect of parenthood and the complexity and beauty that comes with raising our kids."

I am so honored to be a part of this collaboration. The other mama's comprise both of personal, respected friends (high five Jess, Ivelisse, Anna!) and inspirational creatives and artists I have stalked, ahem, I mean admired from afar. So go check it out and be inspired to love the beauty and the crazy of your own family even more! 


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Portrait a Week: 7 (and some personal rambling.)

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Asa: prince
Adoration: princess


I have no idea what week I'm supposed to be on but I'm taking more photos than I would've without this project, which is good enough for me! Later this week I'll be announcing a collaboration that I am very excited about and very honored to be a part of. Especially since I'm only a pseudo-blogger and usually only view myself as a pseudo-artist. I'm working on that though. These things are hard for me to say: I am a creative...I am an artist. But I'm slowly starting to believe they may be true. Perhaps enough to buy some new paints. ;) 

In other news, we have been house hunting. It's exhausting. There aren't many houses on the market now in Jacksonville and the good ones get snapped up within two days of being listed. It's ridiculous. We already put an offer in on a house. It was amazing. It was drenched in light. The only house we've seen with so much light. (Most houses here are a little scanty in the window department.) There were eleven other offers (eleven!!) The seller lowballed the price to get a bunch of bids. Needless to say, we were out bid. The house sold for at least $15,000 over asking price. We were a little heartbroken.

Also the style of Jax houses? Not exactly my fave. The houses I think are beautiful are in the wrong part of town...and zoned for like D rated schools.  Bummer. But we just put in an offer in on another house in a part of town we love. It feels like you are in the country...but you aren't. The back yard backs up to the woods and a creek. It's near a nature preserve. There are oak trees and Spanish moss.  The house isn't perfect and could use a few updates here and there but I can just picture my kids tromping through the woods and getting dirty which makes it worth it. There are also two other offers on this particular house. Sigh. So maybe we will be on our way to home ownership in a couple of days or the relentless search will march on. 

We are enjoying our Jax life. It's been a good fit for us. There are things I miss about South Florida (I mean...parts of it are pretty gorgeous. And there a like a billion things to do with kids. sea turtles! amazing parks! museums! zoos! clear, blue ocean water!) But something about that region just made my soul feel heavy. I don't even know how to explain it, but it lifted the moment we drove away and I felt like a different person. We've found an amazing church here that just feels like home and that also has lots of people in our stage of life. I'm already starting to make friends and connections. These past (almost) two years have been a little crazy. But I'm really thankful for the process. Through it God has blessed us with a son, led us to the place we will plant our family, and gave us lots of sunshine and bare feet in the midst. He's also stirred up our hearts in the area of foster care and adoption.  Which as soon as we are settled and have a bit of a support system is a path we want to start walking down. I'm a little terrified of it (or a lot.) I've thought about adoption for a long time but foster care is a completely new concept to my heart. I have lots of questions and fears. Plus I feel totally inadequate. But why else would we have such a desire unless God put it there? 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Recently heard...


Adoration made up this song herself. She is singing, "Jesus makes the scary go bye bye." 
Watch out Taylor Swift, we've got a songwriter on our hands.

My little daughter is 2 1/2 months shy of turning 3. gulp. She is mostly hilarious, sweet, enchanting, precocious, and friendly with a little bit of pull my hair out, drive me crazy thrown in for good measure. Some days she is a little angel, other days she is full of mischief and takes constant redirection. Either way, I love this age. I love to hear the things that come out of her mouth. There are many times where I have to hold my laughter in because she is being very serious yet saying the most absurd, wonderful things. I thought I would share the joy. Recently heard....


I awoke one morning to Adoration petting my head and whispering,
"Wake up sleepy tiger!"

While on the potty, Adoration proudly announced from the bathroom,
"I had a volcano poo poo!!!"

"Do strawberries grow up into ladybugs?"

"Mommy and Daddy are married together." She then proceeds to clasp her hands 
together, close her eyes and say, "Thank you Jesus for the married!"

Laying down on the ground, "I'm dead Daddy! Pray for me!" James pretends to pray for her.
She jumps up and shouts, "I'm alive! Jesus makes the dead go away!"

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Portrait a Week: 6

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Happy Asa.
Asa feet.
A girl and her balloon.
Adoration feet. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Recent Instagram Faves

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I love Instagram. Like...REALLY love it. It's my way of freezing time. I'm planning on making my instagrams into coffee table books for every year. I still pick up my phone to take photos of our days more than my camera. I'm working on not necessarily taking photos with my phone less, but taking photos with my camera more. The phone is just so darn convenient. And...like I said, I love instagram. 

People use the app lots of different ways. I thought I would share how I use it and the kinds of photos I take.
I've changed how I use instagram in the course of time I've been using the app. I try not to take photos of just whatever, but of moments I really want to remember. (Although there is plenty of randoms thrown in there too. I mean, sometimes you just got to share the moment your husband posed with an old man dressed in short shorts and cowboy boots.)  I very rarely pose my children. Partly because Adoration would just never really cooperate with that, but mostly because I want to authentically capture moments. I usually sneak-take the photo so Adoration isn't even aware I'm taking it. I think that's why I often divert to my phone over my camera. With my camera she knows I'm taking a picture. I can be more sneaky with my phone. Once I get the photo, I put the phone out of sight, usually in my back pocket. I almost always edit/post on instagram later on in a moment when I'm not interacting with my kids. I don't want them to remember me always glued to my phone so I try to be mindful of how much I have it out around them. 

Before I discovered photo editing apps I would just use instagram filters. Now I rarely use any kind of filter (instagram or photo editing apps.) I use the Afterglow app for all my editing. And really....I don't do much. If I edit a photo I usually just brighten it up a bit and it's done. I also usually want the whole span of the photo instead of having part of it cut off to make a square, so I add a border in afterglow that makes the square but retains the original span of the photo. If I use a filter, it's usually one of the black and white ones. I'm quite partial to "ash." And that's it!

If you want to follow me, I'm "altogetherbeautiful." I'm private so don't be offended if I don't accept you right away. I'm a little paranoid so I usually screen people before I accept them...you know...make sure they aren't creepers. ;)  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Portrait a Week: 5

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Daddy time.
Asa:  with Daddy in our bed.
 Adoration: playing with toast boats at breakfast time.
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