Monday, March 16, 2009

Sarah's turn!

Sarah was still getting over a cold (and the last of her 2 year molars) when I took those photos of the boys. So, as we played in the beautiful 65 degree unseasonably warm March twilight, I got a few fun shots.

Just a classic Sarah look.

She really doesn't look like a toddler anymore! She's all girl...

She hit herself on the head with the shaft of a golf club! I love that pout!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

New photos of the boys

Thomas was being so cute this morning. He's been sick all week and is finally starting to feel better. We were having some one on one time sharing a nectarine, when he announced, with head in hands "I really do like nectarines when they're not hard. They're really yummy when their soft and juicy like these!"

I agree : )

I'd just returned from a Lifestyle Kids 6 month photo session and had my camera handy, so I snapped this:

Then Jacob emerged from the basement, asking for chocolate cake. I bribed him (since he doesn't like to be photographed). Here's the fruit of the bribe... not too bad!

Unfortunately, the moment was ruined when I informed Jacob (who has had a fever for the last two nights) that he'd be taking a nap when his siblings nap. His pronouncement: "That's the worst thing I've ever heard!"

Oh well.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I am back! I promise.

Without having an internet connection (I am 37,000 feet above the earth as I type this) I think the last time I blogged was November. Seriously, I think I’ve been too busy. I remember telling Brad at Thanksgiving that I just needed to make it to the second week of February and things would settle down. So, I began counting down the weeks…

Here I sit, on the way to Scottsdale, on the 15th of February. Back in November, I could never have anticipated what lay ahead of me. All of the busyness and business expansion happened, if not because of my efforts then in spite of them : ) But, adding to the life lessons we pick up along the way was a resounding sense of the Lord saying “not your plans, Mine.”

Today marks the first day of my third trimester of this pregnancy. I am amazed that I still battle nausea daily. It is not as debilitating as it was in the first weeks, but I am growing weary of it. Having said that, a friend of mine was so sick with her last baby that she had to have an IV line inserted so that she could receive fluids and anti-nausea meds throughout the duration of her gestation. So, really, I have nothing to complain about. I am functionally pretty normal (though I am guessing that those close to me are secretly really looking forward to me not being pregnant any more!). I am convinced that being pregnant at 30 is entirely different than being pregnant at 23. This has been a poignant reminder that my body is aging. I am so looking forward to meeting our little Joel Andrew in May. He certainly is a busy little guy.

Joel about 10 weeks ago. We think his profile looks like Tommy's did in utero.

The last time I put any of my thoughts here for you to see, I promised to talk about my Grandma’s visit with her dear friend, Beth. Grandma reminded me of this last week, though I hadn’t really ever forgotten. I just hadn’t found the time. When Grandma and Grandpa flew from New Mexico (actually, they flew from Texas but live in NM) to Minnesota for my birthday in October, I had the privilege of accompanying my Grandmother (dad’s mom) to visit her friend, Beth. Beth lives just outside the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, and Grandma rarely sees her. I think the last time they saw each other was the weekend of my wedding, almost 10 years ago. They talk to each other by phone and email often. In fact, I think Beth and Grandma have a scheduled phone date just like Grandma and Grandpa and I do. Let me re-emphasize one thing here, my Grandmother, who is in her 80s, uses email to communicate with her friend between phone conversations. I was 13 when I got my first computer – a 486! - and Grandma sent me my very first email. This was not someone to reluctantly come to terms with the technological age, she blazed into it ready and willing. Most of you would envy the Macs that grace their desktops.

Since so many months have passed since their visit, I fear I cannot remember how many years Beth and Grandma have known each other. My Grandpa and Beth’s husband graduated from West Point together in the 40s. The women didn’t meet then, though. I seem to remember that they met at Fort Bliss after they were both married. This, however, could be mere construct on my part. Perhaps the funniest part of hearing their stories as they related them to one another and to me was Grandma’s admission that she didn’t like Beth at all when they first met. It had something to do with Beth’s earrings, I think. I am glad that mere pieces of metal did not end up getting in the way of this life-long friendship.

Two thinks struck me, as I sat with these two wonderful women. First, that they’d already been fast friends for 20 or more years at the time that I was born. Somehow, that gave a little more weight to my dad’s assertion that while we’re given our family, we have the privilege of adding to it with our friends. The second thing that really hit home that afternoon was this: we all have stories. Of course we will all tacitly nod at this statement, or even think to ourselves “of course we do, what a obvious thing to say.” But really, as we live our lives, day by day we’re building our legacies.

Each time a President leaves office, or a new administration begins, we hear talk of legacy building. It seems to reference the large things, the things about the presidency that will stand out on the landscape of history. I am not speaking here about events. What I took from this afternoon spent with my Grandmother and her friend was a sense of a joint legacy, a shared history that was more than mere shared experience. We all have that opportunity each day that we live. We can choose to just “get through the next few days/weeks/months” as I referred to at the beginning of this post, or we can live each of those days to do the best we can for those with whom we interact; not only the people we love but the people we don’t even know. The deep breath we take and the smile on our faces after waiting in a long line at a store with cranky kids, or the choice we make not to complain about the road construction or the $15 per bag fee when we check our luggage.

At the end of the day, my gut-check is this: Did I teach my children to love Jesus more in what I did and didn’t do, and in doing so do I love Him more? Sadly, too many days, I think my answer is “no”. As my story builds and I add to a shared history with those around me, I strive to have more days where my answer is “yes,” but only with His help, strength and grace.

Grandma is the one with the lovely white hair. I do hope I inherit this beautiful white (I seem to have inherited the other characteristics of her hair, why not that?).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thank you and Goodnight

I was just turning off the local news, and for some reason held on to that phrase as I was about to close my computer and head to bed. "Thank you, and goodnight" I said to my computer. Seriously. Hmmm. I believe I am tired.

For the last two days, I have not taken a nap. This would be quite a feat for a two year old, but shouldn't seem like such a big deal to me. Except that it is. Have you noticed that I haven't posted since September? No, I didn't get tired of blogging. Just tired. Twelve weeks later, I am beginning to wake up. Do you see where this is going? This weekend will conclude my first trimester of my fifth pregnancy. We are happily (even more happily now that the morning sickness - really all day sickness - has tapered) expecting our FIFTH little person baby! Our kids are thrilled, even little Sarah seems to get it.

Brad and I were excited to meet our first little niece almost three weeks ago now. Little Mckenna was born to Brad's sister and her husband and she is a beautiful baby! I got to take her photos, of course. Though, I don't know how her mom and dad could have said "no," I didn't really give them much choice : )

Sarah thanks Jesus every night for "baby kenna," as she can't quite say "Mckenna" yet. She's quite in love with the cousin she's met only once. She will make a great big sister, of that we couldn't be more sure.

That's Tommy (age 3) and Sarah (2) with little Mckenna. Ironically, Jacob was behind the camera. Literally. He grabbed his uncle's point and shoot and started clicking. I bet they got some interesting photos.

I really do need to go to bed now, but wanted to get back into the habit of posting. So, here was a start. Next, I'll get to tell you about my visit with my Grandma Shannon and her dear friend, Beth. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's almost Eli's birthday

I was about to head to bed and happened to glance over at the side of my computer screen where I have my email sorted into folders. I have a whole folder of emails from when we were anticipating Eli's birth. It was so amazing to sit and read some of them. I loved reading the words Brad wrote to others as he spoke about our son. He handled a good amount of the communication with our friends and family, and then with people who were friends of friends of friends... Wow. We were so blessed to not only have the privilege of carrying and meeting our beautiful first born son, but to have so many families come along side of us with prayers, with love and with their own stories. To all of you who walked along side of us during Eli's brief visit to this earth, thank you. This Saturday, September 6, 2008 will be his 6th birthday. Please know that as you carried us, we've been so humbled to be able to extend that to so many others. And the gift goes on...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Portland CityFest

I am having a ball at the Portland CityFest with Luis Palau! I saw some cool extreme sports, BMX and FMX! That is clearly not my photography strength... Here are a couple, bmx and skateboarding!

It's so much fun to be here on site with the Palau organization. This is such an amazing team. Last night, I got to see Chris Tomlin and some really neat guests of the festival! I even saw the family from TLC's Little People Big World. According to the estimates from the park police, there were 75,000 people here yesterday. Wow.

Tonight Hawk Nelson, Mercy Me and Toby Mac will take the mainstage. Jacob and Tommy would love to see Toby Mac!

Here's a photo of Brad photographing Chris Tomlin... just doing what he does.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I get to go shoot with Brad!

I've posted before about Brad's work with the Luis Palau Association. This time, I get to join him and I am so excited! Portland Fest is this week... I'll post more : )