25/52: reflection

a beautiful day for a drive. Last Friday I snapped this as we drove home from a lovely outdoor concert on the St. Croix River. It was a perfect evening – just warm enough with a delightful breeze twisting our hair. These glory days of summer make the winter almost worth it. Almost. πŸ™‚

about the dog

he stands

the vigilant sentinel

at my side

waiting

every muscle tensed

acutely aware of my every movement

waiting

for me to be careless or clumsy

for the slightest piece

of the food I am cutting

to spill over the side

and into his mouth

snapped up with so much verve

and delight.

foto friday: singing in the rain

I might as well just call these posts foto of jack friday because more of them are of him than any other subject. But can you blame me? I mean, really. He’s just. too. cute.

last week, on a warm, humid day, the skies opened and it rained. Not a heavy, drenching rain, but the kind that just falls and soaks into the earth. The kind where you can almost hear the ground, the grass, the plants sigh happily. Jack recently discovered how great a toy the garden hose is! Yay! (or not…depending on the extent of our water bill next month, lol.)

So while Kyle and I sat on the front porch, sheltered from the sprinkling, Jackson got thoroughly drenched by both the rain from above and his own clumsiness with the hose. It was really sweet to watch him play and pull the hose over to the plants in the front yard to water them, as redundant an activity as that was in the rain! πŸ™‚ His adorableness only increased when Kyle snapped this picture while he said “TEEEEZE!”

twentynine

a week ago I had a wonderful birthday! We trekked down to the great City of Lakes, Minneapolis, for a fun-filled day with family and friends. And ice cream. And coffee. πŸ™‚ I submit it doesn’t get much better than that!

The fun began with brunch at a cute and vintage neighborhood cafe’ near Lake Nokomis. I felt as if we had stepped back into time to 1962 as we sat at our booth and enjoyed really tasty corned beef hash, etc. I had a particularly fantastic hair day…a nice little birthday present from God. LOL.

From there, we dropped Jack off at his wonderful Grandma Meri’s house and took off to Lake Calhoun for a little paddle boating cruise around the chain of lakes, going all the way to Cedar Lake, back through Lake of the Isle to Lake Calhoun. The only one we didn’t hit up was Lake Harriet. I spent my very early elementary years living near there, so it was fun to revisit my ol’ stomping grounds. Dad used to toss me in his hand-crafted bike trailer and bike around all three lakes and back to our home on Penn Ave. when I was a wee little lassie, sometimes stopping to get me a chocolate chip cookie at Great Harvest bakery.

Rob and Rosanna, who also had my birthday “off” (its so nice when friends have random middle o’ the week days off and can join us for adventures) came along to paddle and chat and enjoy Sebastian Joe’s ice cream and a Great Harvest cookie with us after our lake excursion. We’re trying to do as much as we can with R&R before they (sniff) leave us for adventures in NV and CA later this year. They have been constant friends over the past five years and it is going to be just rotten-hard to see them move. So! We’re living it up this summer while we can. πŸ™‚

Later in the evening, a wonderful collection of friends and family came over to my parent’s house to celebrate with snacks and cupcakes. I was blessed by their presence and many coffee/food related gifts! (What can I say, my friends know me WELL!) Kyle truly made me feel like a princess on my special day. I love that man.

And here I am, one week into my thirtieth year of life. So far, so good! I know there are challenges, blessings, trials and beauty ahead on this journey, and while sometimes I wonder what God has in store…I know He will be faithful as He has been up until today. All I have need of, His hand will provide…He’s always been faithful to me. With that promise, I know this year will be incredible and I look forward to each day He gives me to live!

24/52

a couple weeks ago, Kyle and I had the fun task of taking engagement photos for his sister Sarah and her fiance’, Ryan. We met them in downtown St. Paul and had a really great evening snapping their pictures. Kyle was behind the camera and I was the “creative director”. πŸ™‚ While we were waiting for the happy couple to arrive, we were testing lighting and lenses and we did this fun shot of me and Taylor. πŸ™‚

We do already love this baby, even though we have 15 more weeks, give or take, before we officially “meet” her. I’m not totally sure how in the world I will get through all of July, August and September, but I know the wait will be worth it!

the father of my children

Yesterday, we celebrated Father’s Day. I’m totally beyond blessed to have amazing dad’s surround my life. There’s my own wonderful daddy, the amazing father of my kids and my terrific father-in-law. As we gathered at our home for a classic bratwurst, baked beans and summer salads meal, I was very grateful for these three men. They have all relied on the Lord’s help to parent their children and to provide for their families.

Jack and I made Kyle a card and Jack gave him his first “#1 Dad” t-shirt (thank you, Old Navy for making tasteful, manly ones!). Weeks ago, I gave Kyle the “Insanity” workout program because I couldn’t wait for Father’s Day. πŸ™‚ He’s been using it and I must say…his hard work is paying off. Our afternoon was filled with love, laughter, good food and enjoying each other’s company. We are so lucky to have both our families close and willing to celebrate together.

There are many many reasons why Kyle is an amazing dad:

  • He leads his family with love, humility and grace.
  • He is willing to do the hard stuff of discipline and training.
  • He takes Jack along when he goes on runs, letting him stop and pick up sticks for the 100th time, even though the run turns into a walk.
  • He instills in our children a love for Christian hip-hop. lol. πŸ™‚ You should see Jack and Kyle rock out to Lecrae.
  • He’s always willing to change a diaper, rock a crying toddler, soothe a hurt ego, and have a tagalong while he tries to get stuff done.
  • He entertains Jack while I get dinner ready. This is HUGE. πŸ™‚
  • He looks after the spiritual well-being of his kids and myself. His prayers for us work wonders in the silent places of the work of God.
  • He loves adventure and is eager to show his kids the world.
Yep, I love the man. Not just for the wonderful father he is, but for the loving and caring husband he is as well. Parenting is 127% easier because we work as a team…for that I am SO grateful.

paint by numbers

2 – free pastries at Panera made me a very happy woman this morning. I restrained myself and only got one, saving the other one for another occasion.

2 – the age Jack will be in a month…where did the time go?

3 – days until my birthday! I love my birthday. πŸ™‚ Even though it means I’ll be another year older.

6 – inches more on my “waist” than I had 6 months ago. And,

12 – lbs. more than I weighed 6 months ago because I’m…

24 – weeks pregnant with baby Taylor girl. 16 weeks, give or take a few days until she probably arrives! Wow.

29 – the age I’ll turn on my birthday. And I’m quite sure it will be an EPIC year. Gotta live up the last one of my tremendous twenties!

472.3 – the number of calories that were probably in the three tiny bites of peanut butter bar I just ate. Mmmm.

foto friday: my cute kid

Kyle snapped this photo of Jackson last month when we visited Fort Snelling Cemetery on Memorial Day. I’m not sure what it is about it that I love SO much. Maybe the Americana aspect of it? The little kid in a baseball cap with a flag in his hands…white grave markers stretching out over endless distance. Or maybe its his expression? It reminds me of American Gothic or something in a Norman Rockwell painting – one of his less caricatured offerings.

I’m not sure, but I really like it. And I really love the kid in the picture. πŸ™‚

linky love: june 9 edition

what I’ve been reading on the interwebs lately…

On Parenting

  • I recently read this post, namely the “prayer” at the end of it, tonight and totally laughed out loud and teared up too. Finding out we’re having a girl freaks me out in many ways, and excites me in others. But God forbid we even end up outside a Hollister. No ma’am! Of course, she’ll grow up shopping at thrift stores and sale racks, so hopefully she won’t even know Hollister exists. πŸ™‚
  • While I’m on the parenting streak, my husband shared this wonderful post from Kevin DeYoung with me the other day. I really want this for my kids: “I want them to look back and think, ‘I’m not sure what my parents were doing or if they even knew what they’re were doing. But I always knew my parents loved me and I knew they loved Jesus.'”
  • I really like the flavor of parenting suggested in these posts: one rule and lowering the standard. I do not want to be the parent that makes my kids hate the rules or life under our roof, but at the same time, I want them to know how important it is to love God, love others and be a responsible person. I tend to be a very structured, “rules based” person and I want to avoid burdening my kids with a list of do’s and don’ts. basically, I want them to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with their God…not impossible, right? Right. And who wouldn’t LOVE family devotion time more if donuts and cocoa were part of the gig? :raising my hand:
Food
  • These brownies are amazing. With or without the cinnamon and a dash of cayenne tossed in. Oh. mother. Thank you to my friend Bethany for ruining my chance of the cottage cheese being eradicated from my thighs for a while. πŸ™‚
  • I started a batch of Kombucha the other day, thanks to another friend giving me a starter for it. Kyle swears he will not drink anything that has a jellyfish looking thing that some people call a mushroom (but isn’t of the mushroom family at all except for it being healthy bacteria, which could be called fungus I guess). I’m trying to convince him that the result will be a slightly sweet, fizzy drink that will refresh him and help his innards, but I’m not sure he buys it. We’ll see if it turns out! I feel so crunchy making something like this. lol.
  • And I guess I’m on a chocolate kick ’cause i tried these amazingly simple and utterly delicious fudgesicles the other day. Yeah. They will be a regular staple in our summer freezer for shiz. I am going to knock the sugar content down a little next time – they were a bit sweeter than I prefer. I have cute mini popsicle molds that are the perfect size for a tasty little treat after a meal or on a sunny summer afternoon.
Blogs I recently started following:
  • 101 Cookbooks – pretty crunchy, organic-ish, homemade food. I <3.
  • A totally cool concept: Dear Photograph. Taking a picture of a picture from the past in the present. I want to do this but I don’t know where I could…I don’t live near or in any of the houses where I grew up. hmmm…shall ponder. thanks to laura dye for linking it on HER blog!
  • another fabulous photog friend, Katy, is keeping up on her blog and has posted a ton of ADORABLE baby shoots this week. Oh. my. gosh. I wish I could fly her here to take pictures of my little miss taylor when she arrives! picture.me.fotoΒ I mean seriously, who doesn’t love a baby in a SUITCASE?! See?
by the fabulous katyhersey of picturemefoto
and with that, I leave you, dear readers. Tonight Kyle and I are taking engagement portraits for his sister Sarah and her awesome fiance’, Ryan in St. Paul. My head is BURSTING with ideas…hopefully we’ll have time and the right conditions to capture what’s in my head through Kyle’s fantastic lens/shutter ability. πŸ™‚ I’m creative director, he is the technical skill. we make a great team. like peanut butter and jelly…its just right.