I used to teach seminary (which is a type of a bible study class for youth in our church ages 14-18), back when we lived in Michigan.  There was a darling young woman named Allie who was always giggly and silly, and I simply ADORED her!  Well, that "young woman" is now officially a WOMAN, and getting married!  She contacted me and asked me if I would be willing to take her engagement photos, as her fiance is from Dallas and they'd be in the area.  Of course I said yes, even though I suddenly feel incredibly ancient!  They were absolutely adorable and it was such a pleasure to take their photos!  Engagements were a first for me, but regardless, I think we got some great material out of the morning - especially considering it was 28 degrees outside .. They were quite the troopers! :P


Double Digits

Ten years ago, this girl made me a mother.  And while the memories of my life prior to that miraculous day seem so long ago, I can vividly remember those first tender moments and stand in awe at how fast time has passed since that day.. it's an odd sort of feeling, like you're in two places at once.  The days can pass slowly, but the years fly by.
This girl, with eyes so full of wonder, a heart bursting with compassion, and a mind ever seeking answers to the endless questions that seem to come, has taught me more already, than I could ever hope to teach her.  I've heard it said that a daughter is just a little girl, who grows up to be a friend.  I thank my lucky stars for that, as not everyone if fortunate enough to ever meet such a friend!
She will change lives for the better, and once she realizes the full extent of the power within her, will truly be able to accomplish all that she sets out to do!  Thank you Bailey girl for all you do and are.  In a world full of self-centered people, I admire your conviction to be more.  In your kindness lies true beauty.  The kind that never fades away.  Happy birthday sweetheart. xoxo - the luckiest mom in the world



2015 came.  2015 went.  Did I write one single thing?  No I did not.  Why you ask?  Because I was playing catch up all year from 2014!  This threatened to become the new trend - but writing about events that occurred an entire year ago makes me want to throw my hands up and quit, while inhaling chocolate and shedding tears of endless woe! SO, 2015, you were awesome, but we are moving on, starting from scratch, and breaking exhausting habits!

We rang in the new year in Southern California with my entire family, in celebration of my dad turning the big 6-0!!
Apparently Mickey turned 60 too, so to be fair, we had to go to Disneyland (such an obligation, I know!)..
We visited our old stomping grounds - the house, the church, the school, the parks, and our favorite beach - I didn't realize how sappy I would get watching my kids make memories in the same places that I had.  It was such a special time!
You see those there?  Raw images. No editing.  Just the HERE, and the NOW.  Simple.  All those who have raised kids, or are raising kids, can appreciate the value of simplifying a bit.  It's never been my strong suit (hence the year behind phase), but this year, I'm determine it will be!  I want to capture these moments and hold onto them before their memories fade away from my increasingly fragile mind.  Sometimes I sit back in sheer awe and wonder that I have these six beautiful little people that look to me for, well, everything!  How quickly that happened!  And in that knowledge, how quickly I understand my turn will be over and passed onto them..  I can't bare the thought of losing even one moment.  So 2016, meet simplify.  The two of you are going to become dear friends!

Those super poised photos we all send out at the end of the year of our kids all dressed to impress, hair combed and shoes on?  It's a facade.  Aka IT'S NOT REAL.  Ask my neighbors, they'll tell you the truth - my kids NEVER have shoes on!  Heck, if they all have pants on I'm patting myself on the back - it's a good day!  And do you have any idea how many pictures we had to take to get THIS shot?! And even it has a "head swap" because someone kept sticking their tongue out at the camera. Hmmm   
But I won't name names beacuse that would be tacky..
So why the crazy rant you ask?  Because before anyone mistakenly calls me "super mom", "Martha Stuart" or the like, they need to know the truth.  The truth is, I HATE laundry.  And bathrooms.  And microwaves.  My house, while I prefer it to be clean, is more often a mess.  There are hand prints on my walls, and I'm pretty sure someone chucked a grape at the ceiling, just to watch it splat.  I've had half a dozen people come to my house and give me their service card to weed my sorry excuse for a yard.  In the past month.  While I like to think that I have a LOT of patience, it's not never ending, and I do reach my breaking point.  And when I do, it isn't always graceful.

Real.  It's a word that I have come to adore.  A word that I now take as a sincere compliment. Who likes someone who's fake anyways??  I've heard it more and more often as I strive to stop looking perfect, talking perfect, pretending perfect.  Because you know what?  NO ONE is.  But that's the beauty of it!  The miracle is that I can find incomprehensible joy in this crazy and imperfect life of mine, without the pressures of living up to an unattainable expectation that we place, only on ourselves!  Besides, the only ones who's opinion REALLY matters as to whether or not I deserve to be called "super mom" is my kids.  So I'll be taking my cues from them. ;)

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to another wonderful, beautiful, and imperfect year! Bring it 2016! xoxo


The Big Six

When we went in to sing to Sir L on the morning of his 6th birthday (in October, ha!) I was quite surprised to see him up, dressed and waiting excitedly in bed for us :)  Not sure how long he had been "ready", but he was EXCITED!! :)
As one with zero artistic talent, he is always surprising me with his! :)  He is our little artist, and loves books, so a book about art was a HUGE hit!
Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to get a decent picture of an energetic 6yr old, in low light?? lol, Never a dull moment..
..yes we (aka the kids) stuck the candles back in a few times for photos sake..
Books about animals (another of his favorite subjects!), a remote control car, art supplies, and a marble run were among the evening fun..
But the REAL fun surrounding his "big six" was when his friends showed up earlier that weekend!...  We had a full blown Halloween costume party in his honor.  Everyone carved their own pumpkins,
While my amazing husband set up the donuts, which by the way take MUCH longer to do than I had anticipated!
..and sweet boys played with Charming C for me. :)
There was plenty of fun food and friends to go around :)
 When the donuts were finally ready, it was my most favorite part! lol..
I spy a cheater!  But he's the birthday boy so I let it slide ;)
Just in case that wasn't enough sugar, we also had some fabulous cupcakes ready!
And I choked back proud mommy tears realizing how big this sweet boy of mine has gotten!
Talk about a fun group of friends..
After the sun started to set we brought everyone inside and set up a dance hall in our family room turned mega stage with mini strobe lights, black lights, a smoke machine which I'm pretty sure isn't supposed to be confined indoors (oops!), and enough kid approved Halloween dance hits to make any adults head throb.  It truly was a super fun day worthy of a super fun kid! :)  Happy "Big Six" to my charismatic little heart throb!  Until next year..