Sunday, May 30, 2010

Project 365, Week 22

First, today is a very special day for me...we are celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary.  If you are curious, this post has photos of the day, complete with all the outdated attire.  Last night we watched our wedding video with the kids and I put on my wedding dress.  The girls loved it! and Amanda insisted that I dance with "the prince".  So we did...right there in the TV room with my train trailing behind.  God has proven himself faithful over these last amazing years.  Can't wait for the next 16!!

We started and ended the week with family birthday parties.  Two of my nephews turned the big 0-1 and my sisters put on birthday extravaganzas!  The rest of the week went at a nice steady pace.  We are just lovin' our summer-like weather!

May 23
Levi Allan Milo turns 1!

May 24
So thankful for affordable summer fruit!  We consume large quantities of fruit at our house and it is a part-time job feeding Aiden.
May 25
We couldn't help but be outside.  The kids swam and had a snack and colored.  Riley waited for crumbs to fall.
Later, we went for probably the last recording session.
May 26
Cousin Alayna came over to play.
May 27
The girls first time in the lake this season.  My mom was "wading" in, but ended up almost completely wet.  Aiden was exhausted from being up much of the night before cutting four...yes, four top teeth (thanks, Shaun) so he wasn't into the whole scene.
May 28
I took lunch to where Shaun was working and we had a picnic. 
May 29
Happy Birthday, Rocco Quinn!

And that was our week.  Thanks for hosting, Sara.  Happy Memorial Day!

Celebrating Sixteen

I can be there for you when it can't get much harder
I can cover your head when life starts to rain
I can hold on tight when it feels like you're falling
I can bread-crumb the path when you've lost your way
I can make you laugh when the whole world is crying
I can build you up when you're broken in shame
But if all that we do is absent of Jesus
Then this "so called" love is completely in vain

By Bart Millard
Mercy Me

Shaun, Thank you for following Jesus with me these 16 years.  I love you like crazy!!  Happy Anniversary!

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,
and they will become one flesh.

Genesis 2:24

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Good Work in You

Several weeks ago I came across this post, written by Jasmine Star, a woman whose photography skills and biceps I greatly admire. I am enchanted with her work and think I will have arrived if I could ever be that good. Here's what she writes:

We walked through the streets of San Francisco when I stopped dead in my tracks. I saw the window display from a distance, but the closer I got, the more I realized it revealed a really ugly side of my heart: Jealousy. Straight-up, shaken, and dirrrrty. In the window display was six oversized photos of a model. And the photos? They were remarkable.

JD [her husband] tugged on my hand when he realized I had stopped walking beside him. He was hungry and wanted breakfast, and all I wanted was to be someone else. He asked me what was wrong. I'll never be as good as X...I'll never see the way he does...I can never shoot like's just not in me... Quizzically he debated getting into the conversation there on Pine Street or over an omelet ten minutes later. He knew what I meant. And it's a long story.

Lately I've been struggling with the merits of my own work and my photographic style. I look to others in this amazing industry and I envy their ability to document life in a way I simply don't know how. And the window display reminded me of a friend's work who I absolutely I will never be able to capture like he does. Then JD reminded me of something...

We all have our own unique abilities. Don't focus on what others can do, but, rather, what you can do to make yourself better. You taught yourself photography, and you're getting better each day...don't envy his work. Appreciate his work. And appreciate yours.
And there it was. The Truth. Simple appreciation of other work that inspires me to get better...and appreciation of how far I've come. Flaws and all.
I've found there is a double-edged sword with the blogs that I read.  On one hand, they are great for learning new things, being encouraged in the Lord, in motherhood, in being a wife.  I have read and implemented things found on others blogs that have changed my life for the better.  On the other hand, it makes it very easy to compare, to be envious, to get discouraged.
Specifically for me it is the photography sites I visit.  There are seas of endless photos out there that can sometimes cause me to wonder...who do I think I am even picking up a camera?  But then I read a post like the above, written by someone who I madly admire and I realize this is a universal problem.  Actually, its only a problem if I stay focused on what others can do, what others have, how clean others keep their house, etc instead of focusing on what I can do each day to be better.
I'll never be as good as X...I'll never see the way he does...I can never shoot like's just not in me... You can fill in the blank with the areas you struggle in.  Ever say these things to yourself?  Well, today I am reminding myself...and you..."We all have our own unique abilities. Don't focus on what others can do, but, rather, what you can do to make yourself better. "
Its easier (much) to say than actually do, but I want to appreciate others strengthens and also appreciate my own.  I determine to not be jealous, but to use what I see, hear and read as inspiration for bettering myself. 
What's your favorite "failure" quote or scripture?  Please share!
Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.”
Failure doesn't mean you are a failure... it just means you haven't succeeded yet. ~Robert Schuller
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun
a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ
Philippians 1:6

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Will Dance

From week to week parents are not invited into the room where the dancers are doing their class, so the two Parent Observation Day's are special.  Avery had fallen asleep in the car on the way so she was a little out of it for the class, but we still enjoyed watching her perform all she's learned over the semester. 

Being the first born, Avery always seems so big to us, but looking over these pictures I realize how small she really is.  Near the beginning of the semester I had her go in by herself because her brother and sister were asleep in the car.  She enjoyed that little bit of independence so much she started to tell me I could stay in the car and so she'd go in, take her coat off and put her slippers on.  Made me a little sad that she no longer needed me but that is absolutely what's supposed to happen.

She's a beautiful ballerina and we're so proud of her.

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
Psalm 95:2

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Project 365, Week 21

I've realized I stink at these little intros...they all sound the same.  We had a good week, the weather was mainly good, life is good.  For all those things I am so thankful, I just don't think it makes for very exciting "headlines".

Thinking back, one of the most exciting things for me was meditating on this scripture I memorized a couple years ago:

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness Lamentations 3:22,23

Another translation:

God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning.  How great your faithfulness!

Now, think on that a while and tell me you don't get excited, too!

May 16
Aiden and I went to watch two of my nieces dance in their recital.  Allison (5) is third from the right, Juliet (9) is the first girl after that clump of girls from the left.  Both pictures taken while nursing in the very back row. :)

May 17
Daddy and Amanda hanging out while Avery and I went to her dance class which was cancelled.
May 18
One of our favorites at the nursing home....her room is loaded with lollipops, cheese balls, crackers, etc.  Plus she has all manner of stuffed animals who sing and dance.  What more could you ask for??  Amanda always asks if she can take an extra candy for thoughtful.
May 19
We bought some new hair accessories, so the girls had to try them...ALL!
May 20
These two were up kind of early, so we all took Riley for a walk.  A perfect morning!

May 21
Back in April when it was determined that Shaun would not be playing softball, I was a little worried that he would miss it.  Well, this week he got his complimentary-custom-fitted golf clubs back...he and our brother-in-law went out and he shot his best game ever.  He proudly displayed the scorecard on the frig.  Softball, schmoffball. :)

May 22
Amanda emerged from her room like this, ready for bed.  Everything she does is with just a little bit of flair. (BK crown from her date with Daddy on Monday).

Last week several of you asked about the songs we are recording, so I thought I'd give you a sample, MTV (does that still exist??) know, music AND video. All songs were written by my dad over the last 35 or so years.  This song is the girls' favorite...they call it the Crazy Song.

Thanks for hosting, Sara.  Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday's Walk ~ His Power In Us

Last night Amanda was not feeling well.  After the first episode, I gave her a bath.  By the second time, I needed a bath, too.  When her daddy suggested that I take a shower with her, her little pitiful self agreed.  I held her and she snuggled right up against me, her head rested on my shoulder.  We just stood under the warm shower, rocking back and forth.

Suddenly, I was brought back to the very first time I stood rocking in the warm shower with Amanda for a long time....when I was in labor.  I told her that and we talked a little about that night.  Oddly, I even felt mild labor-like pain in my upper thigh, though I suspect that was from the morning's lunges.

(I'm 7 months pregnant with Amanda know, when I was still "cute")

The wonderful moment when we got to meet each other for the first time.  I held her for a good hour before they took her to be cleaned up.
We got to the hospital at 2:30 AM, she was born at 5:30 AM and we left the hospital that same day at, well...2:10 PM, it looks like from the clock on the wall.  I was feeling good and anxious to be home.
Now my baby is a big three year-old girl who got up out of bed at 6:30 this morning, went to the bathroom to get a drink, went back in her room, closed the door and got back in bed.  I was downstairs and heard the pitter-patter so I went up to check on her.  When I asked if she was ok she very matter-of-factly told me she'd gotten a little drink because she was thirsty.  No more baby.

Sometimes I feel so inadequate to be her mother.  She has such a unique, dynamic personality, I sometimes think she would have been better off in the care of someone who understands her better, who is more like her.  Not that I don't love being her mother, because I do.  She is such a great joy to us!  I just start to listen to the lies that I can't be all she needs.  And then I realize I cannot be all she my own strength.  I need God's help to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us...I know that God matched us up on purpose and I'm just so thankful.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.
Jeremiah 1:5

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Heart Faces ~ Flowers & Faces

This week at I Heart Faces, the theme is Faces & Flowers.  Why is it that flowers and girls just go together so naturally?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Project 365, Week 20

We had a great week...hope you did too.  It started out chilly but by the end of the week spring was back.  Aiden turned 10 months old this week and I just am amazed at how big all the kids are getting.  Time...slow down!

May 9
I had a nice quiet Mother's Day.  Shaun took us out to breakfast and then we had a low-key day at home...perfect.

May 10
While Avery and I were at dance class, the other two played outside while Daddy worked.  Apparently, Aiden had his first popsicle.
May 11
We went down to see my nephew Jared's baseball game.  Though they lost, we saw him play well at third base.  After, we had a nice dinner at Sarah's house.
May 12
My dad is recording his second CD of songs he has written and has asked me and my sisters to join him on a couple songs.  This was the first day of recording.
May 13
I got home late, so I went in the girls' room to kiss them.  Sweetness.
May 14
After years of "making do", Shaun has finally gotten serious about his wood storage.  The girls are thrilled about their new fort. :)
May 15
A friend invited me to tag along as a second shooter to a Bat Mitzvah (a Jewish celebration for a 13 year-old girl).  There were about 160 guests, 70 of them were right around 13 years old as well.  The DJ did a great job and it was a par-tay!   I learned a lot and am thankful for the experience.
Have a great week!  I'm linking up with Sara.