Saturday, September 06, 2014

Is it a thing?

I have been playing with my camera off and on for some time now.  Six years to be exact.  I go through times where I pick up my camera all the time, and then periods where it collects dust while I focus on other things.  In those 6 years I have felt frustration, and yet also, accomplished.  I found a love for creating, and an insecurity and vulnerability that comes with putting my work out there for all to judge.  God has taught me so many lessons in grace and humility while my camera was in my hand.  But I am now at a crossroad.  Is it a thing? 

Is it a hobby?  Is it a profession?  Do I have the time to make my craft better?  Do I even have that desire?  Is there enough of me to do it all?  Do I want to do it all?

Through lots of prayer and many heart to hearts with the people that know me the best I have decided...
For now... It's a thing.

This can change at any moment but I've learned if you don't put yourself out there because of fear you could be missing out on so many of life's little blessings.

So, follow me on another blog (you know, since I already do so much here).  You can find me at:

Maybe I'll even try and find time to resurrect my blogging life...maybe!


Luke 2.5

[see Ryan's post below for an explanation]

Happy 2 1/2 Luke... well, almost two and a half.


Man you are a firecracker!  You make life...well... hard!  I love you more then words can say.  You are the most busy, energetic, determined, headstrong, kid ever.  You are alway into something.  You escape from the front door of the house and have been brought back by strangers, nothing that is child proof is Luke proof, you can get into ANYTHING.  You are so smart!  I cant wait until you use that intelligence for good and not evil!  And oh man can you yell.  If you are not happy all the neighbors will know.  I've never hear a scream more piercing.

With all that said, you have so much personality it's infectious.  I don't know where you come up with all this craziness.  You are a ham and will pose for any picture.  When you are happy and silly people can't help but be joyful also.  You are a wiz on the iphone and you can not get enough of TRAINS!  You are obsessed.

During the day it's just you and me.  The boys are at school and Dad is at work.  I actually like this time.  I don't get much done as you always want me right next to you but I love sitting with you.  You are such a social kid and love to be around people.  You look up to your brothers (and even beat them up sometimes).

Although you leaving me pulling out my hair many nights, I love you more then words can express.  This family would not be whole without you!!

I love you,


Ryan 7.5

[A few months back I wrote a birthday write up for Ryan and Luke but never published them because I didn't have the pictures ready to go.  Well, a few weeks before their next birthday I thought I would just post them]

Happy new year?!  I have been looking back on old blog posts this morning and I started to feel bad that I didn't do birthday letters to Ryan and Luke so I shall so it now


You are right now 7 1/2 years old.  You are a bit of a mommas boy and I LOVE it!  You can be the sweetest older brother to Luke and sometimes to Noah.  Your heart for God id inspiring.  You have been a master a memorizing bible verses.  You love reading your bible and even asked in Sunday school if you could have a bible which led to your very first bible.  Your heart is so huge and inspiring. You sure do know how to get under Noah's skin though.  You guys have such a interesting relationship.  You love each other deeply and love being together but when you are together fighting ensues.  I pray daily for you are your relationships with Luke and Noah that they are strong and fierce.

You are in second grade and love school.  I think you like reading the most and you are such a great speller.  It is hard to pull you away from kicking a ball.  Man, do you love playing soccer!  Everyday at recess you are either playing soccer or wall ball.  You still love riding your bike although we don't do it as much as we used too.  I'll try to be better with that.

The way we are able to have conversations now that you are 7 amazes me.  You are such a smart, intelligent, handsome young man.  I am so proud to be your mom.

Love you,


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Can Santa and Christ co-exist?

I was at the mall the other day with my family when we saw Santa.  Yep, I said Santa.  My son said "look mom, Santa is here".  I promptly informed him he was mistaken that they were just getting the area ready for Santa.  Sure enough we walked pass the outdoor gazebo to find none other then Santa himself sitting in his chair listening to little boys and girls giving their Christmas list.

It seems we have skipped over Thanksgiving as the Christmas season starts earlier and earlier every year.  This encounter with Santa made my husband and I come home and have a conversation about how we are going to address Santa going forward in our household.

Here is our problem, we are trying to figure out where Santa fits into our christian lives.  As our kids get older they become better critical thinkers.  In our household, we teach our kids about Jesus and the bible three hundred and sixty five days a year.  What happens though around the christmas season gets a little tricky.  Santa comes out of hiding.  The jolly fellow who brings Christmas spirit along with toys for the kids who are nice and coal for the naughty.  The man who brings us all together around the tree on Christmas morning.  The man who we never see but we tell our kids if they believe then he is real.  The man who brings Christmas Miracles this time of year.

As a christian mom I start to think if maybe we are replacing Jesus with Santa. I start to think Santa is the distraction that takes away from the birth of Christ.  The spirit of love and joy, generosity and grace that is given this time of year is chalked up to the Christmas spirit that comes with Santa rather than the unconditional love at the foot of the Cross.  My kids are more focused on what Santa is going to bring them this year instead of the blessings God has provided to them all year long.

We tell our kids if they are good enough they will get toys from Santa yet we all know there are so many kids out there that no matter how good they are wont get toys because their parents cant afford them.  How do we make sure these kids know that they are just as special as everyone else?  We need the message of Jesus, not Santa.  And lets be honest, the kids that are bad still get toys from their parents because we have no intention of not getting something for our kids, we just need some leverage.

What happens when my kids realize someday that there is no Santa?  I'm not worried about them being upset, I don't think they will be.  What I do worry about is if they start to question the Easter bunny, the tooth fairy and everything else they don't physically see, do they also start to question God?  If we replace God with Santa and Santa turns out to be a lie, will they believe God is a lie?  I'm not willing to leverage God for Santa.

I went to a church one time around Christmas and they had a cross in the middle of the room and at the bottom of the cross were bikes, and toys, and an xbox, and all the other things you would see under a tree. I think to myself, is this how my boys see Christmas?  The confusion of merging Christ and Santa.

Here is the thing.  I haven't told my kids the real dirt on Santa.  I love doing Santa things around Christmas.  I can not lie... I have an Elf on the Shelf and his name is Zozo and the boys are already excited for him to come.  We love writing letters to Santa, and setting out food for the reindeers on Christmas Eve.  I also don't sit here in judgement if you do embrace the "Santa Spirit".  I have all these years too.  I personally just have a heavy heart about Santa this year.  I just don't know where Santa fits in.

Anyone else have these thoughts?  Or maybe you think I'm crazy and completely wrong.  I would love to hear from the Santa supporter.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Disney World

Finally as a family we went to Disney World.  I have wanted to take this vacation FOREVER but haven't made it work... until now.

We had a great time.  Not going to lie, it wasn't without it's normal traveling with a 7, 5 , and just about 2 year old issues.  Add in some rain, along with hot long days and we'll just call the whole thing a big family adventure!!

By the numbers:

10 days, 3 hotels, 4 parks, 3 kids, 2 adults, 4 airplane takeoffs, several bus, boat and monorails rides, 1 lost pair of shoes, and 1 awesome video to capture it all...

More on this later...

My corner

My corner of the internet has sat silent.  My thoughts and joys, my hardships and tears, all documented here for later reflection and to let others in on a glimpse of my daily life... blank.  This makes me sad.

I'm not sure if it's because Luke entered toddlerhood and my days are full running after him, or if I'm just trying to keep everything together in my household that the thought of reflecting on the things that aren't getting done makes me sad.  Whatever it is my corner had been neglected and with that a part of me has been neglected.  The part that writes as therapy, the part that realizes as hard as the day to day can be there is so much joy in this household.  I'm going to try.  Try and wipe away the cobwebs.  Brush off the dust.  And document.  Document my ups and downs and everything in between.

We shall see how this goes...    

Monday, August 12, 2013

Leap of Faith

Sometimes I feel like my relationship with God gets pushed to the side with the day to day "stuff" until that day comes when I really need Him and I feel far.  I realize just how far I am from where I want to be, need to be.  Then I have to take time to rewind and recenter.

Man, why is it so hard to be in the place we need to be with God all the time?  I have been coming to terms this week with feeling stretched.  Getting out of my comfort zone where I feel warm and safe and taken care of.  Jumping off a cliff of the unknown and where there is fear and "what if's".  God calls us out from where we want to be to grow us, mold us, strengthen us.  I guess if it was easy then none of that could happen.  What I do know is when we make big decisions for God, He shows up in big ways.

A lot of changes happening in our household in the coming weeks and months.  I shall consider it all a new season.

I challenge anyone who is being pulled to an uncomfortable place to embrace what God is doing in your life. To take a leap of faith and see the big way God will show up in your faithfulness.  This could be going to church when you really don't want to, or looking for a different job, or anything in between.

It's called a LEAP of faith.

Side note:  There was to be a beautiful picture of a person jumping off an awesome cliff into the water but my right click doesn't seem to be working on my yet again wonderful apple product. So use your imagination- thanks.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Noah turns 5

Dear Noah,

Today you turned 5 years old.  The thought of you being 5 is mind blowing.  What makes this day even more special is that it's Mother's Day.  There is no other person I would rather spend this day with then you!

You are such a fun kid.  Your spirit is filled with joy and kindness.  You have seemed to mellow out in the past few years.  Daddy reads the bible to you every night and you get very upset if something happens to interrupt this routine.  You also love to pray before bed.  You pray for EVERYTHING.  You even thanked God for walls on the house so you don't fall out of it.  It's awesome.  You are so into the bible stories when you hear them, too.  The grasp you have on God right now is inspiring.  I pray we can continue to nourish that thirst you have to hear about God.

You are just about to finish up preschool and start kindergarten in July.  You love to learn which actually surprises me, I thought that was going to be Ryan's area.  You love to color, play pac-man, and play outside with your friends.

Ryan and you have such a great relationship but you hide it really well
with all the fighting.  You are such a great big brother to Luke.  It has been so fun seeing you as an older brother.  You and Luke wrestle and tackle each other.  When Luke gets too aggressive with you, you just let it roll off your back and try to laugh it off.

Already at age 5 you are a ladies man.  I can't keep you away from the girls.  You are going to be a heart breaker I know it.  Good thing you have such a good role model in your father on how to treat girls.

Noah, I love you more then words can express.  You are smart, funny, kind, happy, silly and the list goes on.  I am excited to see where yet another year takes us.


Friday, April 05, 2013


I need to take more pictures.  I take pictures on my phone but I would love to have more photos with my camera I begged Tim to let me buy.

But... we were in Santa Cruz a few weeks ago and we took some family pictures.  I don't do this often, er, ever with my family.

Here were some of the ones I love

We had a fun time at the state park here in Santa Cruz.  We actually went the day before but I was in athletic attire so I made the family come back looking pretty.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Healthy eating

I have been eating better lately and that means new recipes to try out.  I thought I would pass some of my favorites along.

With that said, I was in need of something to make for dinner the other night and I found this recipe for Cilantro lime quinoa.  I LOVE it when I have all the ingredients already in the house.  As I was making the quinoa I thought I would need something to go with it so I decided to pair it with tequila lime shrimp.  I thought this dish was simply delicious and a good 30 minute meal (mainly because I didn't marinade the shrimp very long).

Cilantro Lime quinoa 

1 cup quinoa
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 4oz can diced green chiles
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14oz can chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup scallions
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt
cilantro to taste

Toast quinoa in large pan until it starts to crack and pop, about 3-5 minutes.  Drain and rinse.

Heat oil in pan on medium heat.  Add onions and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and green chiles, Stir together.  Add broth and quinoa, cover and reduce heat to low.  Let cook until quinoa is cooked, about 25 minutes. 

Add scallions, cilantro,salt, and lime, mix together. 
Your dish is ready to serve!

Tequila lime shrimp

2 pounds shrimp
1/4 cup tequila
1/2 cup lime juice
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp chili powder
ground black pepper to taste
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 cup chopped cilantro
pinch of salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine tequila, lime juice, cayenne pepper, chili powder, jalapeno, and ground black pepper in a bowl. Toss the shrimp in the marinade.  Cover and let marinade in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. 

Remove from the refrigerator and toss with cilantro, olive oil, and salt.

Add a splash of olive oil to a saute pan over medium heat.  Once heated, remove pan from heat and add 4 tbsp of tequila to the pan.  Add some shrimp to the pan and cook about 2 minutes, tossing or stirring the shrimp.
Continue until all the shrimp is cooked.

* I didn't have time to marinade the whole 30 minutes and it still comes out yummy!

Hope you enjoy this yummy healthy dinner.  We loved it in our house, even the little ones!