Sunday, February 26, 2017

Daddy Daughter Dance 2017

Vera giggled all day waiting for the Daddy Daughter Dance!  We had been out of town all week, so she had slept with her photo from last year's dance to help remind her that she could go on her date with daddy once we returned home.  She kept telling me, "I'm going to dance on the ground this time!" because last year she was a overwhelmed by all of the people and just wanted Patrick to hold her and dance.  I think she tried her dress on 10 times before the day of the dance just to make sure it twirled correctly.  When the day finally arrived, it took tons of distracting to keep her from getting her dress on at 8am and asking for lip gloss every hour!!

I snapped a few photos while she waited for daddy to get ready (the one above might be my favorite photo ever!) and it is very clear that little miss Vera felt like a princess.  I'm so thankful for a church that celebrates that sweet bond between a daddy and his daughter.  And I also never want to take for granted the blessing of this girl's daddy.  He loves her so well and is an example to her in so many ways as he shows his love to me and cares for our family.

JR took a couple photos of me and Bauer before we headed off on our Mommy Son date!  It was getting a little dark, but JR took some sweet photos.  After a quick dinner at Chick-fil-a, I took the boys to the Kohl's toy aisle (JR's request!) and then to Starbucks for a special treat.  JR brought his wallet and a Starbucks card to pay for my drink.  He didn't know that the card was empty- ha! - but the cashier was sweet to play along and secretly ask me to pay the remaining balance :)  It's nights like these I am reminded of how special that one-on-one time is with our children and the impact it makes in their little hearts.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Levi Rub- 6 Month Session

What an honor it was to photograph precious Levi as a newborn and then to capture the changes several months later in a 6 month session.  But it was even more of an honor to join in many prayers as this family waited for their new baby, watching God's hand at work in so many ways to bring Levi into their arms after being in their hearts for so long already.  The smiles and love captured in this session meant so much more than a typical milestone photoshoot.  It was a celebration of family and the last name he was given a few days later.  Levi Rub... God has big plans for you sweet boy!

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Little Getaway- Beach, Friends, Encouragement & QUIET

Patrick and I got out of town for a conference last week in Florida. It was amazing to learn from so many pastors and their wives and be encouraged by friends. We took tons of notes and laughed a lot, but I think my favorite part was in between morning sessions.  My plan was to read on the beach but it was a little windy, so I cuddled up in a hammock by the pool.

I can't tell you the last time I did nothing.  It's rare for me to sit and do something for myself or in my own time without listening for someone to wake up from a nap.  But I didn't even read a book or listen to music... I truly did nothing and it was amazing.  There were 3 books packed in my suitcase and I did not finish one of them!  No guilt here because sometimes God calls us to simply rest. Patrick and I came home refreshed and ready for more ministry.  And I'm also learning more about rest and how to actually take a family sabbath when Sundays are the busiest days for our family.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Well Worn Cookbooks

Is there anything better than a well worn cookbook?

Okay, the worn pages of well read Bible ;)
But there is something so special about a handwritten recipe card or a cookbook with stains and folded down pages.  There is a post in the works about my favorite new cookbooks and websites we have been using as a family.  As I pulled out some cookbooks for meal planning today, I couldn't help but laugh at the tattered books! I must be really rough on them!  So here are my top three go-to cookbooks I've been using the last several years before I share some of my new favorites.

Start Fresh - Tyler Florence

Bread & Wine - Shauna Niequist

Cooking with Friends - Vera Bradley

I love that they open easily to my most used recipes (because there are spills and splotches on those pages).  The Start Fresh book is faded because I used to have it sitting out in our kitchen herb window.  The kids love opening this book and pointing to a picture of what they want to create in the kitchen. The recipes are easy for an entire family with options to puree food or include toddlers with a Goldfish Chowder ;)  Shauna Niequist's book was accidentally left in the rain when Vera was a newborn because I had been soaking up the sunshine and her beautiful words from our backyard.  I can't decide whether I love her stories or recipes more... I truly believe there is no way to separate the two.  Such raw beauty shared at the table.  And I have truly enjoyed "Cooking with Friends" because of the seasonal aspect of this cookbook.  Perfect for hosting a themed seasonal party or picking out recipe for a simple dinner.

Comment below with some of your favorite recipes books or websites... I might just add it to my list and share more in a future post!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Month of Love- XOXO

Love is only true if it fights through the good and the bad times... the sleepy newborn snuggle times and the times your toddler gets into your makeup and applies waterproof mascara :)

It's the month of Love! 
How are you decorating for Valentine's Day?  Give your kids some pink & red crayons and let them create some art for your walls.  Or print off some of your favorite photos and hang them around the house.  Cut others into heart shapes and make a garland.  Add a few extra candles to your bedroom.  Have vases or candy dishes? Fill them with red hots or other red candies!  Swap out your chalkboard art for a favorite love quote or a simple heart.  {Here} are a few old posts (we were babies!!) with Valentine decor in our first apartment.  And don't forget to set aside $10 so you can grab some clearance Valentine items to surprise yourself with next year. You will be glad you did! Don't waste your money just because it is on super clearance... be wise with what you buy.  Candles & neutral decor items are my favorite to save for the next year because no matter what the style is you can still use them.

(Artifact Uprising is my favorite place for square prints- best quality textured paper so they look great sitting out or hanging up without a frame)

Cutest little valentine 2012 {here}