a bear-y happy halloween

We were attacked by the snuggliest of polar bears this Halloween.
Thanks for letting us borrow the costume, Katy!


an update only a mother could love

An amazing thing occurred in our household this evening.
My son fed himself a snack puff.
Yes, friends. 
If you are not a mother, you probably just want to glimpse at pictures and move along.
He has slowly been eating more textures that I mix in with his Gerber food.
Then, the other night we were at Olive Garden and Bonsa finished the food I'd brought for him,
and he was still hungry. So I decided to give him a little bit of breadstick and see what happened.
He made a face... and then ate it! And proceeded to "ask" for more.
By "ask", I do mean hit the table and yell.
Since then, I've continued experimenting with bread and noodles.
Both successful!
Then tonight, I remembered the little snack puffs. 
I had previously tried to get him to eat them, and he spit them out.
But tonight - he ate them! 
And then, the ultimate test. I put a puff on his tray.
He picked it up, played with it for awhile... then slowly put it in his own mouth.
You guys.
I'm so excited.
And this is so a mommy blog.


indian summer

a glorious day.
all the cool kids roll up one pant leg.
favorite part of our walk around the neighborhood.
hands full.
really, mom? we're stopping for another photo?
sensible walking shoes.
the sweetest smile and eyes and the little hands and i think i just died.


alex's senior pics

One of the girls from our youth group asked me to do her senior pics. 
We had to keep re-scheduling because of rain, 
but when we were finally able to take them - man, I was so excited with how they turned out!
Thanks, Alex! 
Hope you like them!


a year later

Last October, I had the opportunity to take photos of my dear friends, Patti and Zac,
for their adoption profile.
Since this picture, there have been many mountains and valleys in their lives.
Ecstatic joy and unimaginable heartache. 
It has been incredible to watch their marriage thrive and their faith in God grow.
Seeing in action what it means to trust God in all circumstances.

So this fall - a year later - I am elated to share their most recent family photo.
My heart is so happy for this beautiful family of three.
Z&P - Congratulations! 
We love you guys.

we like walks

And cute pumpkin hats.


prepare ye the way...

Here's a picture of Bonsa pointing to heaven.
Probably because his mom made her bed today 
AND dusted yesterday.

So Bo wants people to get right with the Lord,
because surely He is returning shortly.



I've been composing a "confession" post in my head for a couple weeks,
because I think, like everyone, a lot of times I want to look like I've got it all together.
I want to focus on my strengths. My achievements.
But I fall short so often.

So - real talk. Here are some confessions.

**EDIT: I am not looking for affirmation or for anyone to console me here. Just stating some facts.**

1. I compare myself to others... a LOT. And often jealous.
As much as I like to think that I'm confident, content and don't care what others think... it's not true. I think this is a big danger of blogging, which is why I have to take breaks so often. I really, really struggle with house and decor envy. I love this Teddy Roosevelt quote (props to Bailey for being the one I heard it from) that has helped me a little bit!

2. I dust like, 2 times a year.
And when I do dust, I usually cheat and just hit the spots that people will see.

3. Almost every night, there are dirty dishes in my sink... and often the counter as well.
I have to let a lot of things "soak" overnight.

4. I can be a pretty mean person.
I'm way too sarcastic. I'm impatient, especially with my husband. I make fun of people a lot.
I'm proud. I'm hard-headed. I like to be right.
I'm working on this.

5. I do not read my Bible often.
I know that this doesn't make me "less" of a Christian. But as someone who professes to love Christ and wants to desire God above all, my actions sure don't back that up a lot of the time.

6. I touch up almost every picture that I post of myself.
My skin has been horrible for the past couple years. I dread mirrors. Almost every picture of me that isn't instagram has been photoshopped to erase blemishes and make my skin more even.

7. I'm doing a terrible job using cloth diapers. 
I use one or two every other day or so. Bo wets through them so quickly that it gets exhausting trying to keep up. I wanted to do cloth diapers to save money (and because, let's be honest, they're super cute). But, um, we're going through a LOT of disposable diapers.

8. I'm lazy.
I have a really cool old window frame that I put pictures in, and it would look so awesome hanging on the wall in our family room. The problem is, the window needs mounting hardware. Which isn't difficult. And should not have deterred me from hanging it for TWO YEARS. I'm constantly asking Doug to get stuff for me so I don't have to get up. I already fessed up about my dusting laziness.

9. I'm forgetful.
When we compiled all our adoption paperwork, I had to take two pieces of paper to Lansing to get them notarized at the state level. Lansing is an hour and a half drive. My dear friend Patti accompanied me... and when we got to the Secretary of State, I realized that I had brought all of our paperwork EXCEPT the two pieces of paper I needed. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I'd get to school in the morning and have to call Doug to have him bring me something I left.

10. I almost never make my bed. 
Actually... the only times I make it are when I change the sheets.

Okay, I'm going to stop there for now.
I know these are pretty moderate confessions.
There are many more where these are coming from.
I am so thankful for friends and family who love me despite my many flaws.
And for the grace of Christ, which is the only reason I ever do anything right.

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."


a few of my favorite things

A common question I hear these days is, "What's your favorite part about being a mom?"
People. I love you all, but that's like asking me my favorite type of chocolate. 
Only, even HARDER.

So instead, here are several little things I'm loving about being a mom.

::cuddles during morning bottles. mid-day cuddles. anytime cuddles::
::how he holds his bottle at the end::
::when he reaches his little pointer finger to touch my finger::
::the coos i hear over the monitor when he wakes up::
::how he rests his head on my shoulder and pats my back when i pick him up::
::the way he watches the world::
::the sound of his laugh. the way he flutters his eyes when he laughs::
::his increasingly toothy, cheesy grin::
::when he looks up and yells at light fixtures::
::the way he sucks his bottom lip in when he says, "bo, bo, bo, bo!"::
::his tiny feet when he's jumping in his bouncy seat::
::his cheeks::
::when he shakes his head no at me::
::how excited he gets when doug gets home from work::
::just watching doug and bo together::
::his perfect, round tummy::
::when he waves at himself in the mirror::
::watching him interact with family and friends::
::the way his little bum wiggles when he's trying to crawl::
::when he sticks out his little tongue::
::his dark eyes and incredible lashes that absolutely melt me::
::the way he rubs his eyes when he's tired::
::the way he sits and makes fishy lips when i'm making his bottle::
::his teeny toes that i could just gobble up::
::his amused yet wary laugh when he sees zooey::
::when he sneezes and then laughs::
::peeking at him before bed and just listening to him breath::
::laughing with doug after bo's in bed about all the little things bo does::
::the little gasp he does when we go outside and it's windy::
::the new little shrug he's started to do when he's being silly::
::listening to him babble in his highchair when i'm getting food for him::
::when he leans forward, hands on my face and puts his forehead on my chin::
::how cute he is when he cries. i know - so mean, but SO CUTE::
::learning better what he needs and how to care for him::
::the way he smells::
::when he just looks at me we're cuddling and he's drinking a bottle::
::when he does his quiet roar at the hippo on his bouncy seat::
::how he tosses his empty bottle aside. then reaches for it a few minutes later, hoping he missed some::
::hearing him say, "mamamama" (even if it's not entirely associated with me yet...)::
::have i mentioned the cuddling?::
::just watching him grow & experience new things::

... Just to name a few.