Monday, September 28, 2015

Black & white photo shoot

A few weeks ago we were all sitting at the table around dinnertime. Brandon was home early (typically the girls eat their dinner long before he is home) and the girls were acting silly, so we busted out the (real) camera and had ourselves a spontaneous black and white photo shoot.

Camille was actually complying with my request to snuggle, thus pictures were a must.

Brandon tied Clara's blanket around her like a cape and she thought it was so funny. . .

Love these images, my little family, and the tiny moments of joy that were captured.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Weekend Links 9/25/15

Happy Weekend!

Stuck? Do the next thing
The Sanitized Stories We Tell

Special Needs
Fill the Bookends with Beauty and Carry a Big Sword

In Defense of Sadness

We have been dealing with sickness this week. Both were congested and battling a virus, but sweet Clara had it worse. She came home from school early Tuesday and missed Wednesday and couldn't get a break from nasty cough attacks. Hate the sickness. Love the cuddles.

And on top of sickness, this sweet thing tripped on Monday and landed head first on the windowsill. Windowsill: 1. Clara: 0. Poor thing. I have never seen a bump this big on a toddler in my life.

As of yesterday, she was feeling much more like her silly, happy self. . .

And apparently yesterday was National Daughters Day?? How does one keep up with all of these "holidays?" Sure do love my girls. So very thankful for them. They were so excited to celebrate the holiday, can't you tell??? :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Waiting with hope

Recently I have been reflecting back on my early days of blogging. Those early days? They seem so very long ago. This little space was born in mid 2011 as a way to personally process the ups and downs of eating disorder recovery, and soon after, our desire to become pregnant with our first child. All I can say is wow, what a journey. What a roller coaster the last five years have been. So much joy and happiness, but so many questions and tears.

Riding the extreme highs and lows hasn't been easy, but it has been worth it.

This morning in my devotional on Genesis the author presented on Abraham and how sometimes the greatest faith of all is our ability to trust God's processes to get to His promises. Oh how true this is for me.

We know God's ways are good and faithful and ultimately work for our best, yet it is often in the seasons of continual waiting and watching that cause us to question God's intentions and plans.

The waiting and watching cause us to ask "God, did you really hear me?"

"Are you really working for my good? Because I am still holding out for your Promised Land and my mouth is dry and my feet are tired and I am just not sure how much longer I can walk the desert."

But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. Micah 7:7

But getting to some of God's greatest promises require an Abraham like faith. Attaining those promises we so desire sometimes requires a lot of crying out with eyes wide open watching expectantly for God to move. And the hard part? The waiting. Yet we do not wait in our own strength. That is not a requirement of faith. In our own strength we would surely choose to reside in the desert forever.

In those early days of recovering from an eating disorder? I cried. I waited. And God heard. Micah 7:7.

In those early days of fertility treatments and all the shots and pills and blood draws and emotional turmoil? I cried. I waited. God heard. Micah 7:7.

In those early days of mothering Clara, clearly noticing something was amiss with both her physical and social development? I cried. I waited. God heard. Micah 7:7.

In physically delivering a child that was then taken from my arms to be buried in the ground? I cried. I waited. God heard. Micah 7:7.

And I would be foolish to think there will be no more tears and no more seasons where God asks me to wait and watch. The tears and the wait change based on circumstance, but our God does not. He always sees. Always hears. And always invites us to trek the valley in hopes that we walk and wait with hope through His processes for His promises on the other side.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Weekend Links 9/18/15

Just a few links today. . .

When You Need a Bigger Towel 

little gods 

Sweet Clara has been so wiped from her school day that she falls asleep on the way home and transfers to the couch without budging. She works so very hard both physically and mentally.

I hope and pray your weekend is full of joy, hope, peace, rest, and lots of fun!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Camp Allen . . . First Family Retreat 2015

Our first family (aka small group from church that is not really that small) hit up Camp Allen this past weekend for our annual retreat getaway and it did not disappoint! It was so nice to get away with friends and just relax, fellowship, share some much needed tears and laughter, worship, and just make some great memories.

Oh and eat . . . a lot.

We rented three cabins so each family had their own room and plenty of space. We arrived Friday early evening and enjoyed the camp until around noon on Sunday. Perfect. Weekend.

(We missed you Manges family!!)

The scene. . .

The group . . . beyond thankful to do life with these people. . . Proverbs 11:14 describes this group perfectly. . . "Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety." So much wisdom and safety within these hearts. 

The kids made themselves right at home . . .

Three out of four looking at the camera so I'll call this a win . . .

On Saturday afternoon, after the kids napped, we played a variety of family games. Each family made t-shirts complete with a team name, number, and personal Dr. Seuss character nickname. We claimed "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" for the girls and their shirts turned out super cute if I do say so myself. And no, I was not the one that designed their shirts. I cannot even draw a stick person so for fear of hyperventilating I passed this task of to Brandon who apparently can draw more than a stick person. I secretly hate and love his talent all at the same time. Hate that he is better than me at all things creative, yet love that I can rely on him to bail me out of all things creative. 

The kiddos . . . we learned quickly that they are much more compliant for pictures when sitting down and when one parent volunteer runs in front of them like a crazy person captivating their eyes and attention.

A much needed bath time for the girls on Saturday evening pre bedtime. . . Camille was loving rubbing bubbles all over Clara's hair and surprisingly, Clara was loving it as well.

Sunday morning we had church (in our pi's while consuming cinnamon rolls) in one of the three cabins. Our friend Wade lead a cute mini devotional for the kids on "how to be a good helper." He did a great job as he managed to keep their attention for more than two minutes. Anyone that has toddlers understands the magnitude of this victory.

Four of the six kiddos from our cabin. . . All the girls were playing "Mama" with baby Davis. . . 

Until next time, Camp Allen . . . We are already looking forward to next year!
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