Tuesday, August 31, 2010


...someday I won't be wearing ponytails every day. But while it gets up to 90 every day and we have a window a/c unit that I usually forget to turn on, ponytails are a *must.*

...someday I'll figure out how to do laundry the way the tags tell me to. Not that I'll do it that way, but I'll know how.

...someday I'll actually convince Tamron that my lens is, indeed, broken again. Third time. And that it's time for a new one or a replacement. And they'll follow through. And I will be happy.

...someday I'll think to look at the coming week's weather when planning my grocery list and meals for the week, instead of thinking about what the past week looked like. And we'll stop making soup when it's 90 and salads when it's 30.

...someday the house won't look like a tornado came through every afternoon. I suppose at the same time, we'll have far fewer brightly-colored things on the main floor. They most likely go hand in hand!

...someday I'll find my own voice in writing, even after reading blog posts of others. And in my photography. And maybe I won't be so self-conscious of whatever that voice looks like.

But for now, I'll try to be patient and like who God's made me to be *right now.*

Speaking of pictures, here are a few from Saturday:
Sarah has been a good friend of mine since we were three. Seeing her so happy and beautiful made me warm all over!

Josh commented that it had been far too long since we'd gotten pictures of the two of us. So I pulled out my tripod before the reception and used the remote, and got a few!!

And we finally got to meet my adorable, precious nephew Jabin! He is a tiny little thing, but I know he'll remedy that quickly.

(oh, and for anyone who reads this in their inbox, I have a new, simpler blog header up now!)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pet Peeves

1. Blog posts with no pictures in them

2. planning grocery lists around last week's weather, only to find out the current week is the opposite. So I now have 4 things I could make for dinner tonight and tomorrow, all of which involve far too much oven time for the heat we're getting again.

3. ironing.

4. complaining. whining. nagging.
Good thing I'm not doing any of that!

5. store names with purposefully-misspelled words. "Rite" and "valu" are some of the most common, but daycare centers are the worst culprits. I would hate to have my child thinking "castle" really looks more normal with a K! not cute.

6. spiders. books that star spiders and make them look like the good guys.
Hey, have I mentioned that I'm reading the girls Charlotte's Web? They're loving it. What a great book.

7. thinking I got the perfect photo, only to get home and realize it's nothing like what it looked in-camera.

Speaking of camera, I've been watching a live seminar of an absolutely incredible photographer the past few days. I've missed more than I've seen, but even though she's a wedding photographer and I highly doubt I'll go that route, I've picked up some awesome ideas and ways to look at my hobby!! I can't wait to give some things a try and to ponder her suggestions a little more. It will be fun to see how that helps my direction, when I'm shooting pictures of the kids or getting out and trying other shots. Hope it helps for next year's photo contest :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

County Fair

We went to the county fair last week. Last year was the first time I'd ever been to one, so since I knew more what to expect I was much more excited.
We had a great time! It wasn't perfect, but it was a lot of fun.

And a lot of grease.
(this is deep-fried chippy dough. We also had deep-fried Reece's Peanut Butter Cups. Oh. My. Goodness.)

And a lot of jumping.

And a lot of dancing!

And other fun:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Came *this close* to quitting

We're on week 8 (out of 9) of the Couch to 5K running program. I've been really enjoying it; the accomplishment of running longer than I ever imagined running, time as a family doing something active, and just the feeling of running!
But now we're at long, nonstop runs. (and by a "run" I mean a "jog." It's faster than we can get walking, but certainly not really running)
It's been really weird...we did two 25-minute runs that felt great, and two where I had to stop halfway through.
Today was the first 28-minute run (supposedly running 2 3/4 mile, but really aiming to pass the two-mile marker). I had to stop at about 18 minutes, and walked for about 5 minutes.
I was *so* ready to quit. Planned to sell the two jogging strollers and just stop pretending we could do it.
But I heard "just 5 more minutes" on our iPod, which has music we've set up with someone telling us when to start and stop, and I knew I should try again.
And then the last song started.

It feels like I have lost this fight
They think that I am staying down
But I'm not giving up tonight
Tonight the wall is coming down
I am stronger than my fears
This is the mountain that I climb
Got 100 steps to go
Tonight I'll make it 99

One more
Go one more
Yeah, yeah
Don't stop now
Go one more
Yeah, yeah
One more

Go one more
Go one more
Yeah, yeah

I have everything to lose
By not getting up to fight
I might get used to giving up
So I am showing up tonight
I am my own enemy
The battle fought within my mind
If I can overcome step one
I can face the 99
(emphasis mine)

So I didn't quit. I ran the last 5 minutes. and SPRINTED the last minute, the last stretch of pavement.

And then I was sure I wasn't ready to quit this. At the very least, I want to finish the program. And I'd really like to try at least one 5K. I may not make my goal of running one in under 30 minutes, especially while I'm pushing a 45-pound child in a stroller. But I'm going to do the best I can!

Monday, August 16, 2010

101 in 1001 1.0.1

It's really version 2, but the number was far too tempting!!

Remember how I did this before? It was a lot of fun and really kept me working on those things.

It's been awhile now, and I think I'm ready to tackle a new one. It gets really old when life is focused solely on dishes, grocery lists and folding laundry. So it's time to give myself some larger goals again.

The Mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:Tasks must be specific (no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days? Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as new year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

The Reward: Personal satisfaction of a job well done...and lots of things accomplished you really needed or wanted to do!

Finishing Date: Monday, May 13, 2013

  1. one week of the sink shined before bed
  2. decorate kids' room (done 9/15/10)
  3. decorate our room
  4. decorate porch (or convert it into a studio! 11/11)
  5. donate books and movies kids have outgrown: on Hudson's 4th birthday or before we move again, whichever is first (done 6/6/11)
  6. finish new look to bathroom (done 10/10)
  7. replace girls' mattresses (done 8/20/10)
  8. throw out sippy cups (done 6/25/12)
  9. declutter kids' toys 3 times (1st 9/17/10, 2nd 6/4/11, 3rd end of June, 2012)
  10. get rid of Josh's old bed and mattress (5/12)
  11. get rid of nursing clothes (obviously after Hudson weans) (started giving things away 1/3/11)
  12. purge emails (in both Gmail and Thunderbird) (done 9/23/10)
  13. purge pictures
  14. re-organize bathroom stuff  (done 1/12) 
  15. update Josh's wardrobe (got a good chunk of that done! 9/1/10)
  16. update my wardrobe (did a TON last weekend! 9/20/10)
  17. have the house company-ready for one week
  18. paint kitchen  (9/11/11)
  19. paint stairwell and hallway (done 6/25/12)
  20. go for a massage and/or spa day
  21. get a manicure (done 4/1/12)
  22. get a pedicure
  23. go on a helicopter ride
  24. go on vacation (with family) to Georgia or NC (2/13!)
  25. go to a batting cage with Josh (done 7/2/11!)
  26. ride with Josh on a motorcycle
  27. go to a shooting range with Josh (done 7/2/11!)
  28. move
  29. sing karaoke. Just once.
  30. see TobyMac in concert
  31. try skiing. Just once.(who'm I kidding? I don't even want to play it on the Wii!)
  32. visit another continent
  33. finish and print ABC book (done and ordered! 9/25/10)
  34. finish Michael's book (DONE! 9/16/10)
  35. make and print simple (photo-heavy) baby books for each child.
  36. use up wedding favor candles (13) (done 8/24/10)
  37. get amalgam fillings replaced with safer fillings
  38. exercise every other day for a month (March and April, 2012)
  39. Complete Couch-to-5K program (made it 4 weeks)
  40. go to Bisons game each summer (whoops! missed 2011 and 2012)
  41. have a vegetable garden every summer
  42. three weeks with computer completely off (not in a row) (one done before Christmas 2010)
  43. don't complain about being tired one whole tired day done 9/6 and 9/7/10
  44. cut Hudson's hair (did this 12/18/10!)
  45. learn how to muscle-test myself (learning)
  46. meet 2 online friends (Michelle Adams and Heidi Mixon!)
  47. meet up with Great-Uncle Lynn to learn what he knows about the family stories/records
  48. memorize 30 Bible verses (learned 26 together with kids)
  49. save up money for down payment, or at least for a moving van and a first month's rent/security deposit
  50. update blog header at least three times (1st done 8/31/10, 2nd done 11/1/10, 3rd time 12/28/10)
  51. play Beatles (story mode) on expert bass
  52. put away laundry the day I wash it 4 times 
  53. read 50 books for me
  54. read 20 chapter books to kids
  55. rent a fisheye lens (or buy one ;) ) (rented a LensBaby instead)
  56. go to farmer's market 6 times
  57. write a bucket list
  58. get lawn signs for an election; put them up  (done in 2010)
  59. go to the county fair each summer (did in 2010 and 2011; chose to skip 2012)
  60. vote every November (and primaries when appropriate) 
  61. write 10 more memoir mini-stories
  62. save 50% on a grocery store trip (coupons and sales) (saved 20% and am pleased with that)
  63. save up 3 months' salary
  64. start Jasmine on an instrument (um, not for another year!!)
  65. start learning a new language as a family (Spanish! started)
  66. take kids to circus
  67. take the kids somewhere fun, by myself 
  68. teach Bekah and Hudson to read (Bekah is reading at a third-grade level now :) )
  69. teach girls recorder
  70. teach Jasmine to whistle (she taught herself!)
  71. teach kids Gloria
  72. teach kids to jumprope  (Jasmine's got it!)
  73. teach kids to tie shoes  (Jasmine and Bekah both can)
  74. all three kids riding 2-wheelers (Jasmine's got it!)
  75. have kids memorize Bible verses in ABC book  (done!)
  76. ballet lessons for girls (started 9/18/10)
  77. take Jasmine ice skating twice (Josh took her once!)
  78. bless someone with my photography…   (11/11)
  79. buy an external flash and learn how to use it
  80. photograph or participate in a "trash the dress" session
  81. save up for and buy a wide-angle lens and/or a D90 
  82. set up photo studio (for us) (11/11)
  83. learn three new photo techniques (1: shaped bokeh. 2: reverse-lens macro; 3: making pictures look miniature)
  84. set up photos in a stock photography place (or ETSY!! Done 11/12/10)
  85. do self-portraits 3 times (first one done 1/10/10, 2nd one done 1/10/12, 3rd one done 11/21/12)
  86. go on a photo trip (day, weekend, whatever)(done 2/11-2/14/11 to Arizona!)
  87. get featured as one of Pioneer Woman's favorite pictures, and/or I Heart Faces' blog (PW chose my edit!! And it's using my action!!)
  88. give copies of awesome pictures to Knox, Anderson's and maple farm
  89. be more selective in my photo shots: less "monkey with typewriters"
  90. try 5 "new" countries' cousines (new to Josh or to me, or both) (1st: Irish. Second: Puerto Rican. Third: Persian. Fourth: Lebanese. Fifth: Jamaican!)
  91. make a lemon meringue pie
  92. eat vegan for a week (first week of May, 2012)
  93. try 10 local-only restaurants
  94. make a cheesecake (done 6/30/11)
  95. make a souffle.
  96. make pudding from scratch (done 3/6/13)
  97. two weeks of not eating out (other than date night)   (done 2/3-2/16/12)
  98. only spend one hour online a day for 2 months (planning on making this permanent, but after 2 months can check this off)
  99. cut down girls' movie-watching to one each a day for 2 months (or more ;) )
  100. turn off computer before starting dinner each day for 2 months (or longer)
  101. keep this list updated as I complete things/make progress


Last summer, Bekah got a bit of an attitude when the sunglasses went on and the camera came out. The result:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In Process

First off, thank you to everyone who voted. The voting is closed; I sent the top four pictures in each category to Heidi to show off on her website, and now I'm asking some photog pros for their top pic out of each of the four for each category. if you want to see which ones made it to this stage of the game, they're all listed here.

Secondly, I realized today that I really enjoyed the 101 in 1001 that I did awhile back. I think it was good to have some added motivation for bigger things than I do on a daily basis. Dishes, laundry, vacuuming and meal-planning just don't get any more exciting the 1000th time than they were the first day! So I'm in the process of coming up with a new one. I'll post it when it's all done...hopefully early this week!!

And for this week, my goal is to put together a bunch of snapshots of normal life, now. I think it will be fun to look back on the humdrum, never-boring life of a mother with three kids 5 and younger! So be watching for that!

Friday, August 06, 2010

sharing my link

I hate to be a pain. I detest nagging.
But I really need to try to find more people to vote. I have a clear first and second place picture for 3 of the categories, but need help on which is the 3rd...and in the "song titles" category, there are 5 or 6 close contenders.

So if you haven't voted yet, would you please do that? And if you have, or when you do, could you also tell people you know who would be willing?? I would love that!!

Here's the link: My Photo Challenge Pictures


Monday, August 02, 2010

one more from me today

I just made the blog public!
>>>>>Come see, come vote!! Share the link with anyone and everyone you know. <<<<<

Thanks so much!!


It's hard to believe he's now 15 1/2 months old. How did it happen??

Hudson is just getting into the age where he's trying new words. He's not happy only saying "woof" (or "vff") but now wants to call the animal a "doggy" first.
He loves getting his teeth brushed ("th").

He loves trying new foods. Unfortunately zucchini has already made it to his "no way" list, but overall he's willing to try things.

He has an incredible sense of humor. And the greatest belly laugh ever.

He adores his family. He loves watching for Josh when it's almost time for him to come home from work. He kisses us all. He holds our hands and bobs his head when we pray. He loves to help me push laundry baskets from the back room to the living room.

and he is all boy. He loves vrooming cars around the floor. His face lights up when he sees a train.

Oh, and he has me wrapped so tightly around his little finger, I'm never getting unwrapped.


I could say I'd write about each child one day this week, but I know my track record. So I'll write about all of them now!

Bekah. The middle child. The easy-going daughter. The ham.

Bekah is one of the most intelligent people I know. I'm getting a glimpse of what Josh must have been like at 3, quietly soaking in life and occasionally making clever, often witty, comments on life. And learning by osmosis. I'm so jealous.

Lately she's been bringing me huge stacks of books to have me read to her. She's halfway through the reading book, so she's starting to sound out words she sees in her world. I love seeing the world opening up to her!

She likes to be the polar opposite of Jasmine. So when Jasmine decided she adored pink, Bekah chose blue. She prefers pants and shorts, while Jasmine won't wear anything but dresses and skirts. She likes anything Jasmine claims to hate (scary movies, lettuce, dogs).

She has two volumes (one up from Jasmine's loud); almost-hearable and too-loud-to-understand.

And I can't imagine loving her more than I do right now.


Jasmine fascinates me. She has taken it upon herself to break us into all stages of parenting the hard way.
Pregnancy: lasted 42 weeks instead of the usual (ish) 40.
Birth, we don't talk about.
Babyhood: quintessential "fussy baby" or "high-needs baby." I don't think we would have survived had it not been for Dr. Sears' Fussy Baby Book. He was a voice of reason when we were pulling out our hair. And the next time we started pulling our hair out.
Childhood: don't most children outgrow the contrary nature before they're 5 1/2?? Because she's determined to hold onto it as long as possible.

But with those challenges also comes some of the sweetest, most awesome moments.

This young child has the confidence of, I don't know. Who's the most confident person you know? She's like that.
She was playing at the park on Saturday. She introduced herself to an 8-year old girl, who I had been watching and was very comfortable playing with kids her age.
but a couple minutes later, I saw Jasmine walking with her hand waving over her head, and this 8-year old was happily following, doing the same motion.
And I know Jasmine wasn't just being bossy, because there's no way that girl would have put up with it. She is just a natural leader.

It excites me to see how God has made her. I certainly can't take credit for it!!

She makes my heart smile.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

Long time no update...very sorry about that!

I'm wrapping up my first year's pictures for the year-long photo challenge I'm in, and by next weekend will have a link and instructions and some begging and pleading to vote and share the link with other people who can vote too!
For now, here's a teaser: