Thursday, April 12, 2012


After Hannah's camera was stolen and my lens broke during the race a couple of weeks ago, we were pretty much starving for some photo ops ... so very grateful that Stacey sent her camera home with us for a playdate :)

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012



*special thank-you and bear hugs to Stacey for letting us borrow her camera!

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Friday, April 06, 2012

Happy Birthday Emma!

Our sweet pickle turned 15 on Tuesday, April 3rd and we waited to celebrate until Wednesday, when Dad was able to join us. Work is still beckoning him ... long days and weekends too. The end of such a demanding schedule is near (we hope).

Emma has always been our cherub baby with the most nicknames (little E, Em, Emma Cate, & Pickle). Her little round cheeks were most always at the end of a happy smile :) She seemed to stay a baby for the longest, partly because she was a tiny thing but also because she seemed to relish that spot and recognized the perks!

And we didn't mind catering to her preference ;)

Easter 1999

As the last few years have brought on the inevitable changes of growing up, our sweet Emma has lost that baby face. In its place, there is that of a beautiful young lady.

And her little-girl heart has grown up as well.

Her once quite shy and introverted personality has grown to reveal an infectious sense of humor and quick wit! I am certain that my girls keep me laughing (out loud) on a daily basis and save my sanity in the process ;)

1st day of Kindergarten

Have mercy, I still cannot believe I am here. With teenage girls who creep towards adulthood with every waking moment.


Our first set of sweet babies came to us during that very vulnerable and naive season of young parenthood. We had a poorly balanced checkbook and a newborn marriage.

We believed that the weight of our worries about bedtimes and balanced meals actually had eternal importance. Well, we must have thought that because of how much time and effort and hand-wringing went into that work!

Flowers from Dad

Our little party

Days of toddler-taming, poop-wiping, & snot-dripping were exhausting. That too carried what seemed like an eternal ... forever-feeling kind of burden.

I think it is impossible to have a concept of seeing beyond the baby & toddler years to a place where those same babies make all their very own choices, including bedtimes and balanced meals ... and more.

I relish those years with emotions that can't find words.

And I have now joined the ranks of mothers with grown (or nearly grown) children who lament days gone by. I regret battles, where I anguished over issues that had no lasting importance. Those battles left me feeling exhausted and hopeless. I am thankful that grace covers a multitude of sins, including mothers who nitpick and holler too much.

Hindsight is both a painful and precious thing. It helps me to narrow my focus and measure carefully where I draw my line in the sand today ... which might change tomorrow.

Mothering little ones is often referred to as being "in the trenches" and I cannot think of a better analogy. It is most definitely a time of hunkering down, girding up, and waiting for the real battle to come.

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." - Ephesians 6:12

The trenches of motherhood have been a beautiful place for me ... tempered with babies breath and chubby hands, tear-stained faces and a lot of grace. Days are long but the years are more fleeting than I could have possibly imagined.

So birthdays make me a bit melancholy, I guess. Those who know me wink and nod ;)

Passages are never going to be something I take lightly ... I am immensely thankful to have journeyed this far with my sweet little E and count it as an immeasurable privilege to come out of the trenches to ready her for the world ... heart & soul.

9th grade

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