a post about grace. and chris. and summer.

It’s well after midnight and I should be sleeping. Truly I should be exhausted, but the cheater Mnt. Dew I had at 10pm is hiding the exhaustion from me right now. And as I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep and beat Kim at Bejeweled Blitz on my iPhone I kept thinking about Chris.

So before my eyes do finally close for the night I wanted to get these thoughts out. Even though I’m not supposed to blog about him.

This summer has been a huge wake up call for me. In about two and a half weeks Bailey will be starting full day Kindergarten and I am already wishing I had slowed down to enjoy her babyhood more. And as the school year gets more and more dangerously close each day I am reminded to slow down to soak it all in. Except that recently I started working for my parent’s company and the 20-30 hours I’m there now plus the Fresh Art work we have is keeping me from being able to slow down much.

Which is just making me savor the time I do have that much more.

And it’s making me dream of a simpler life. With land to grow our children on and a house to call our own. Dinners outside and lazy mornings spent in jammies. I feel fall coming and I’m getting nostalgic about summer.

So as I was laying in bed thinking up ways to slow down and enjoy the last days of summer around here my mind kept coming back to Chris.

Chris has shown me incredible grace this summer. He has taken my hectic work schedule in stride. Rarely complaining that he’s with the kids so much, picking up chores I let slide and making time for just the two of us, encouraging me to slow down and enjoy US too.

And the more I think about grace the more I realize I don’t deserve it. During the school year when he is gone all the time I get crabby. I wish I could be out doing what I love all day instead of changing diapers and getting more juice. I become resentful he’s gone so often and start arguments I don’t even agree with.

Truly, I show him no grace at all.

And yet this summer, despite how I treated him during the school year, he has shown me grace. Beautiful and healing grace. And I’m realizing that has definitely been my biggest lesson this summer. Even though I learned a lot of other amazing things this summer also, grace is by far the most important.

This summer has taught me that an organized house makes keeping up with it easier and keeps me more calm. It’s taught me that I am sentimental and hold on to a lot but am also a true lover of purging. It’s taught me that my children all need me differently and that because Grayson can easily play ball all day long doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be doing “learning” activities with him also. It’s reminded me that my kid’s first friends should be siblings. And they are. It’s taught me to be easier on myself because I’m working as hard as I can. It’s reminded me that bills are important to pay but sometimes life happens and you have to let them get a month behind. It’s taught me to ease up on Chris and accept his chaotic schedule. It’s reminded me that I love to play with my husband. It’s taught me a new way to keep track of our life and reminded me how much I love to decorate. It’s taught me how important it is to lean on family when you need them and reminded me that they will always be there when you fall. This summer has taught me that time really does fly by, especially once you become a parent, and to savor the tiny details (and to write them down in some form so that in 30 years I’ll have oodles of writings to remind me of simpler days). It’s taught me that my one and only great love is this life. My family. My children. It’s renewed a great love with my husband whom I’ve loved for 13 years.

And it’s taught me grace.

A lesson I hope to never forget.


I am so so so so so far behind in blogging my family. It makes me sad but I’ve decided that my goal for August is to blog every day so that I can catch up and get back in the groove. I love blogging. Love it. In fact I truly believe in it as well. But once you get behind it’s hard to get back on the horse and catch up you know?

So in an attempt to stop worrying about whether I’m blogging in order or that I’ve got cute photos to include or that I’m being equal for all my kids, I’m just going to post a little iPhone video from tonight that cracks me up!

I got home from a super long day at work and C was still at the pool with the kids. So I picked up the house and got dinner ready… when the kids got home we stripped them down and I served dinner. I had a table full of nudies and Gray was in rare form just being silly and making Bailey and Parker totally crack up! Chris and I were laughing just as hard through most of it too!

Oh this kid. He can be SUCH A STINKER but then he turns around and hams it up so much you have to laugh or asks to cuddle or “hold you” to melt your heart. I never knew being the mom to a BOY could be SO MUCH FUN!

“Mommy! We’re going to the Carnival game!”

Parker just could NOT get “Cardinals game” to not come out “Carnival game” the other night when we took the girls to their first pro-baseball game… and it really made the whole night perfect! The other cute thing was that Bailey kept singing “Take me out to the ballgame” and there were a lot of older men sitting around us who clapped each time she finished! She was BEAMING! And she kept singing, “buy me some peanut butter and cracker jacks…” which just cracked us all up!

This summer has been full of some amazing “firsts” for our family. And one Chris and I had really been looking forward to was taking the girls to their first Cardinals game! We were gifted some INCREDIBLE seats (THANK YOU W. FAMILY!) just about 10 seats up from the field so the girls were really able to see everything which helped keep their attention. It was a 7pm game which meant when it started we were already at bedtime but they were troopers making it until the start of the 6th inning and then a 30 minute Metro Link ride home hitting the pillow at 10pm!

It was a last minute call to take the Metro down there and although it added a lot of travel time it was worth it b/c the girls just think it’s SO cool to ride the “train”!

Such a stinker!

We got to the park a little late but there were still people steaming in so we didn’t feel so bad and although Chris almost killed me (LIVE the moment and stop CAPTURING the moment is his mantra these days!) I made the girls pause for a photo to commemorate their first Cards experience!

(Abbie… Parker’s shirt is totally being passed down to your girls! HA!)

Do you notice the “silly bands” (that’s what the girls call them but I have no idea what they’re actually called as we’ve bought several brands)? They are the trend of the summer at our house thanks to an older cousin we saw in June that had them practically up to her elbow! The girls are obsessed!

I can’t wait because some day they will see their photos with all those rubber bands and go, “Oh my gosh that is SO 2010!”

My FIVE year old who gives me this CHEESE smile every time I turn the camera on her… drives me a bit crazy but it is SO her right now I still love it!

See how close we are? That was taken with my 50mm 1.4 lens! No zooming!

I got these on sale for Gray to grow into but they were perfect for Parker! And she didn’t fight me that they aren’t PINK! A true miracle these days!

The girls favorite part of the night was the peanuts (I bought ahead of time to save money!) and the frozen lemonade we bought for them at the game! If only we’d let them have the ice cream and cotton candy they wanted too they might have been wired enough to see the end of the awesome (and winning!) game!

Thanks again to our friends that gifted us these amazing tickets! We can’t wait to take Gray… and may try before the summer is over since he will sit still SIT STILL and watch baseball on TV! If my 2 year old can sit still watching one of the more boring sports on TV he’ll die to see it in person!

I have SO much more to share from our summer still! I’m drowning in client edits so my personal stuff takes a backseat but I did want to get these up. Be back soon with the details about our summer scrapbook where we are keeping all of these awesome memories!

my bailey.

Bailey turns five in exactly 2 hours and 14 minutes at 1:14am on July 8th. (it is now 8am and I am finally finishing this… a sick Parker kept us up… ear infection)

I could write a novel about what an amazing kid she is. But I can’t. Because poor little Grayson hasn’t even had a full birthday post yet and his was back in June… poor third kid!

So I will just tell you that she has the perfect fake smile right now that half drives me crazy and half makes me smile because I know it’s fleeting. She loves her siblings so much so that she gets upset when they are separated for too long. She’s obsessed with Taylor Swift right now and Gray “picked out” a CD as her gift that Bails will freak out about in the morning! She’s starting to read and figure out spelling on her own with little guidance from me. She can write all her letters but has trouble with numbers. She loves to draw and right now all her people are girls with headbands on them. Very rarely does she argue with Parker and I’ve never seen her be physically mean to anyone. She has the kindest heart of anyone I know. She remembers everything and is my grocery list when I forget to take one. She is my most sensitive child but also my most brave. She loves to try new foods, games, activities… she loves to try anything new! She tends to follow along so we’ll watch that as she starts Kindergarten but she’s also starting to lead her friends more often which is encouraging. She still naps almost every single day willingly. She loves mushrooms and books and the color red and praying at night and car trips and fountain root beers and her family.

I love this kid. She taught me how to be a mom and continues to amaze me every single day. Her heart is bigger than anyone I know and she was just born like that. Which I know makes us incredibly blessed because she really is the easiest kid around.

Right now she is dancing around the house to her new Taylor Swift CD from Grayson, wearing her new outfit from Parker and flying her new Buzz Lightyear we gave her just giddy with excitement as her big birthday gift is a trip to the theater to go see Toy Story 3 this morning! It’s 8am and looking to be an incredible day as we celebrate this big kid of mine!

Happy Birthday Bails. We love you more than ever!

My favorite summer photos of her so far… with her BFF Kate…

Five. Five years. And we haven’t yet hit our sixth anniversary! It’s been a trip these last five years with her in our life and we can’t wait to see where the next five takes her!

Happy Birthday baby girl. I love you so much.


my favorite images from the 4th.

We spent two days and one night at the Allen family lake house at Indian Hills Lake in Cuba, MO this weekend. We’ve been spending lots of time down there this summer actually so the kids now feel totally comfortable there and just LOVE it! But it’s always best when the whole family gets together and this weekend was no exception. We moved home from Spokane, WA almost 4 years ago so that we could have weekends like this.

And these images tell the whole story.

These just make me so happy! And reiterate our decision to move home. Family. It all comes back to family. And I love our two families!

I have lots more images I’ll share soon.. I actually have a ton of fun things to share from June too… this summer is turning out to be FULL OF FUN for our family and I haven’t been able to keep up with the editing and blogging of it all!

ALSO, this week is a BIG week for us! I have 3 sessions tomorrow, a full day of volunteer sessions on Wednesday and Thursday BAILEY TURNS FIVE! Don’t get me started on how much this birthday is effecting me! My baby is turning five and heading off to school this year! Anyway, then we have her big party on Sunday so this week is jam packed! I will try to keep up with it all here as best as I can!

Hope you all had terrific weekends!

crazy proud of my sister.

A while back my sister, Abbie, and I were having a conversation about how she’s not quite feeling satisfied with her life. She LOVES her work but can’t find a good job and also has two little girls to take care of at home right now. And I think she just felt kind of stuck.

My advice was to trick herself into thinking she was working. Ultimately, she just needed something to be passionate about not to really make money. So after a few conversations the idea of a blog came up…

Anyway, I can’t take the credit… I might have helped with some of the ideas but really, this is hers. And it’s going to be awesome. She’s committing to blog every day about how she’s teaching her girls to love the earth. Her girls are 2 and almost 6 months… so coming up with an idea every single day is going to be tough… but teaching her girls to love what she loves will be easy. Abbie oozes knowledge about nature. She doesn’t say, “look at the birdie!” she says “look Sam, it’s a red horned double hoot owl” or whatever! HA!

I am really excited to watch this journey unfold and I hope you guys all follow along too!


an evening at GoGo’s…

We found out yesterday that C’s mom, Terri/GoGo, has to keep her cast on for another 4 weeks at least so we decided to take her an ice cream treat after dinner! Eating ice cream on the front porch turned into a baseball game on the front lawn!

*Notice that Terri monogrammed her sling? HA!*

Somehow Grayson hit the ball a ton and it wasn’t until I was looking at the images that I realized he closes his eyes every time he hits! Silly boy!

The pitcher took a line drive to the gut! HA!

Parker’s reaction to hitting him in the stomach!

I am basically obsessed with this kid’s eyes!

We had a great night and took home three very tired kids!