we are still alive and kicking over here. just making it through the week (and really, of ALL weeks for the girls to not have mom's day out this is not the one i would have chosen!!). happy tomorrow is thursday and even happier that the weekend is almost here!

pics of my three girls- the sisters -on the photo blog HERE :)


thanks to a post by my friend neely on facebook, we were tipped off to crazy pete's trail of lights just down the street from our house. kevin's dad came into town to spend a few days with us and we decided since it was such a beautiful night out that we'd go check out the scene. the girls loved it! eve cried 'more lights! more lights!' the whole way home and lily wants to take her cousins to go see it when they come into town for christmas.

for me it was just nice to get outside and get some fresh air and enjoy seeing the delight on lily and eve's faces as they took in the display.

me and my girls


i'm still alive... barely.

no, i kid, i kid. seriously though, as though its a welcome wagon back to the world of newborns, mastitis paid me its third visit today. third kid, third round of antibiotics. breastfeeding and i just really have a love hate relationship.

my mom has been here all week and i'd be lying if i said i thought we would have made it through without her. okay, maybe we would have made it through but with much more fast food meals and no one would have a stitch of clean clothing on. as it stands we ate home cooked meals and i'm not sure there is a dirty linen to be found in this house (save the swaddle blanket miss annie just spit up on).

it is time for her to go home. back to my dad, to prepare for christmas, and eventually after the holidays back to work. its so hard for me when she leaves. every time i fall apart. why is that? surely by now i know that once she is gone i WILL be okay. life might not be quite so easy but it will indeed go on and eventually become our new norm. so why the tears? (to be honest, the crying has already begun and she's not leaving for 12 hours)

i can't explain it. i just mourn her leaving and having to regain my status as 'the mom' in the house. when she is here, she is the queen. she seems to get it all done without complaint, without losing her temper, and with such grace. so basically the opposite of how i operate :)

i remember the morning my mom left me home alone with lily. she was about 10 days old and i was terrified. mom walked out the door and i sat on the floor in my foyer and just cried holding this tiny baby thinking 'how can i be responsible for this child?? my mom is gone!' and i turned around and there was a note waiting for me. of course my mom who does it all, also thought to leave me a sweet note. i read it crying and got up and told lily i hope one day, even at nearly 30, she still thinks life is better with me around.

she's leaving tomorrow morning. i can do this.


susanna kathleen- our little annie.

we were at a loss when it came to naming our third girl. having already used family names for our first and second, we felt like we'd just plain run out of decent ideas (seeing as 'esther irene' isn't really our speed).

we tossed a LOT of names around. a whole lot. kevin has surprisingly strong opinions about baby names and did his fair share of veto'ing.

just a week or two before her birth i mentioned the nickname 'annie' and kevin was hooked. he then set out to come up with the perfect formal name for his girl that i could get on board with. (all of our girls have longer given names with nicknames) we considered a bunch and were out on a date saturday night and when 'susanna' was thrown out, we both liked it... a lot.

then i looked up it's meaning. ' It is derived from Σουσάννα (Sousanna), the Greek form of the Hebrew שושנה Shoshannah, which is derived from the Persian شوشان shoshan meaning lily, true beauty'. THEN we realized, our first date was at a restaurant called 'suzi's'. it just seemed to fit and when she was born kevin held her for the first time and confirmed 'yep, she's a susanna'.

so our dangerously close to unnamed child ended up with an adorably sweet name that feels just perfect for her, fits with lily and eve and has a sweet story to boot!

we love you, annie!
susanna kathleen
7lbs 14ozs

my heart is full.

Out of his fullness we have all received grace upon grace
john 1:16


lily wanted me to take her up for naps today. she asked if i could hold her hand 'all the way up the stairs to her room'.

eve needed to be held in the middle of her nap today. i rocked her until i felt her breath grow steady and her fingers dropped out of her mouth.

tomorrow we all get to meet the littlest member of our family. there's so much love in those sweet girls' hearts- what a lucky baby sister.


ch-ch-ch-ch chaaaaanges! turn and face the strain... oh david bowie your wisdom astounds me (with the exception of space oddity... seriously what was that all about??)

my last two days as a mom of two are officially underway and the to-do list the length of my arm is keeping me distracted. kevin and i are going on a date tonight for just one more chance to sit and talk to each other before life gets turned upside down again.

some say that going to three was easier than going to two, some tell me that their third 'sunk their battleship' and it remains to be seen what our experience will be, but in the very least we are in this together! together with two amazing girls who are anxiously awaiting their baby sister's arrival. baby sister that also remains unnamed, unless you ask lily, in which case she will tell you that we are naming her 'pluukey'.

for now i am just going to keep moving, doing laundry, packing a hospital bag, wrapping christmas presents and not get too emotional. i'll leave that freakout for sunday night :)


a sneak peek into ruby and tess' christmas presents...

it has begun. i started crying this morning about my sweet eve being a big sister in two days. my cuddle monster who lights up my life every single morning when i walk into her room just has no idea what is going on.

i just want to rock her all day long and whisper in her ear 'you'll always be my baby... no matter what. i'll never let you be the 'forgotten' middle child.'

gah. tears.


let me set the stage. ruby and tess' first birthday party. lovely cookies & milk theme, lots of friends and family celebrating. ruby and tess starting to get a tad tired...

i walk by tess in the kitchen being held by my sister's best friend and it happens. she reaches her arms out for ME and lunges in my direction. SWEET VICTORY!! tess loves me!!! tess knows who her aunt mollie is and wants ME to hold her when she is overwhelmed.

it happened two other times during the party, once even when being held by her GaGa (my mom). i mean i don't want to brag or anything, but tess thinks i'm pretty darn cool. :) what a great moment for an aunt!!

and just in case you haven't ventured over to the photo blog- please go see their adorable cake smash and birthday pictures. i know i am biased but there is some serious cuteness going on over there :) http://www.bloomaustin.com/blog/


santa: a progression.






my sweets. they sure are crazy and i'm so lucky they are mine :)


Baby 3

baby girl is getting so big i can see her breathing! at least i think that's her breathing...


Unlike the game “Simon Says,” with the church, if Jesus says it – we just memorize it – we don’t do it. If I ask my daughter to clean her room, I don’t want her to come back to me and say, “Dad – I memorized your words. I can say them in Greek. We did a study on what it means to clean my room.” No – I would just want her to clean it.

-Francis Chan


lily might like the new minivan more than i do. she is amazed by the auto sliding doors and continues to exclaim 'mommy its beeeeeeautiful!' when she climbs in.

she is beyond thrilled to be in the middle seat and can see where we are going and can 'see the sky' (through the sunroof). i asked her if she liked it and would help mommy and she said "yes, i'll hold the baby's hand and give her a paci and when eve cries i'll say 'its okay eve, we're almost there!'"

lord i love that girl.


"almost everyone is struggling, to wake up, to be loved, and not feel so afraid all the time. that's what the cars, degrees, booze, and drugs are about."
-anne lamott


best feeling all day: watching eve point to the moon yelling 'moon! reach reach reach!' waving her hands in the air trying to jump for it.

most bizarre feeling all day: sitting in the drivers seat to test drive a minivan. i felt like i should be driving a gaggle of kids to church camp instead of my (soon to be) threesome.

feeling i'm most looking forward to of the day: my eyes closing for more than 45 minutes at a stretch. this pregnancy insomnia is for the birds.


eve moves at 2mph. its fine unless you're actually trying to GO somewhere and its getting really uncomfortable to carry her everywhere and i'm exhausted. which leads me to this morning...

we were going to the bookstore and lily followed me to the car, got in, eve is still standing on the front porch. i said 'let's go eve!' about 5 times and she just stood there. ignoring me.

mind you, she is fully aware of what i'm asking her to do and she is capable of following directions. she is choosing to ignore me.

so i strap lily in and called out 'bye eve!' waving to her on the porch and started to drive away. i slowly backed down the driveway, pulled up to the front curb, and rolled down the window. she's just standing there saying 'mama?' with her head tilted, very confused and i called out 'are you coming???' and she yelled 'yes yes yes!' and ran down the yard to the car.

of course this whole time lily is concerned & saying 'i hope eve decides to come with us! we can't leave her!' and i'm telling her 'we are NOT leaving her lily, i'm trying to teach her a lesson'

all that because i am too tired to walk back up the driveway to get my child off the porch.

and to top it off- it is TOTALLY something my dad would have done to me, who i pretty much thought was crazy until i became a parent and realized he was a genius.


today i unfortunately have a plea to pass on that makes me doubly sad having just commemorated orphan sunday. so many beautiful children in this world simply looking for a family, for love, and ultimately, for the Father.

this is a repost from my sweet friend Ali's site. please pass this on or contact the woman below if you can be of help.

There's other stuff I want to say today, but this is on my heart and it's really important that this sweet boy finds the right home. I can't say much more without getting really involved in the subject. Please pass this along to anyone who might want to adopt baby Luke!


Baby boy "Luke"
born September 7, 2010
Born full-term at 39.5 weeks
6 lbs 4 ozs
19 1/2"

Baby Luke was diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome. He was discharged from the hospital on October 25th, and is with a temporary care family. He is being fed by a g-tube and is doing very well. A speech therapist, occupational therapist, and physical therapist have been working with him weekly. Both birth parents continue to express a strong interest in making an adoption plan for Luke.

Birth parents are educated professionals. Birth mom received excellent prenatal care of this planned pregnancy. No history of alcohol or drug usage. The birthparents are willing to consider an adoptive family residing anywhere in the USA. Their number one concern is that an adoptive family will have a great deal of knowledge about Prader-Willi syndrome and be ready to offer a structured environment in a loving home to their son with full understanding of challenges the child may face. Birthparents are not requesting an open adoption.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to be considered as adoptive parents for this little boy.

Thank you,
Leslie Wright,MSW
Birth Parent Counselor
Family Resource Center
5828 North Clark St
Chicago, IL 60660


lesson learned: no letting the girls split a milkshake at lunch.

the banging was actually quite loud in person :)

to add to the humor of the situation, lily was yelling from her room 'stop! i'm trying to sleep!!!'


happy happy halloween! or as lily sang at dinner "happy birthday, dear molll-lllie"

more pictures on the photo blog, but for fun, look at how much they have grown! its hard to believe they will have a third partner in crime next year.


can't we all just get along?


i remember going to buy lily a 'big sister' book when i was pregnant with eve. she loved it, she still loves it. we hadn't read it in a while and she picked it out tonight for her bedtime story.

i pulled eve and lily onto the bed to read it all together. i read the page:

the baby is too little to walk.
the baby is too little to talk.
the baby is too little to play with toys.
the baby is too little to little to eat pizza or apples or ice cream.

then i said 'lily is eve a baby?' and she nodded 'yes'. i asked, 'does she walk, talk, play with toys and eat pizza?' and a puzzled nod followed.

i said 'she's not a baby anymore is she?'

lily called out 'awwwwwww!!!!!' and gave eve a huge hug.

even my 3 year old is nostalgic.
i just sneezed and lily yelled 'BLESS YOU' through the wall. its nap time and i'm at my desk in the office next to her room. it really makes me want to run in and play with her (since she clearly is forgoing her nap today anyway).

i have 7 more weeks with my girls before our world gets rocked again. i am quickly getting to the super uncomfortable phase, still have not chosen a name, rarely sleep and am finishing up the last few weeks of work. as i get more uncomfortable, cranky, and tired i am trying to listen to good music to improve my mood and spend time thinking about what i'm thankful for.

afterall, thanksgiving is just around the corner. i'm so thankful for my husband. so so thankful for my girls. i'm thankful to have learned my limits this past year and chosen to stick by them as much as possible so that my girls and my husband know they are my priorities. i'm thankful for my family and the support of my friends.

i'm thankful that i've refrained from killing my dog no matter how annoying i find him these days. i'm thankful that despite my frustrations lately, i haven't added any curse words to lily's vocabulary. i'm thankful for my housekeepers since i can barely manage to straighten up the house every 2 weeks for them to deep clean.

i'm thankful that in 48 days i get to meet my baby.


Eve counting

we were having breakfast at my parents' house this weekend and eve just started counting over and over 'ooooone duuuuuu'. now i'm fairly certain she learned this from me threatening her sister

"lily! get over here! one... two........" she always seems to make it JUST before 'three' so eve may never learn to count past two unless i get off my lazy bum and teach her :)


saturday morning play in our pajamas. this is about as exciting as it gets around here.


sniff sniff. she's growing up so fast.


more life lessons for miss lily. i have a feeling this is still just the tip of the iceberg.

as you have seen from time to time, lily has some serious style. the other day she had dressed herself in a purple shirt, khaki skirt, one knee-high pink sock & one knee-high gray sock with brown shoes. we were at the park and another little girl a few swings down started pointing at lily calling out 'that's funny!' and laughing.

lily looked bewildered for a second, then an expression crossed her face that broke my heart. i watched her cross her legs to try to block her mismatched socks from view and she sheepishly looked up to me for direction. i was quick to say 'sweetheart i love you and i love your socks'.

to be fair, the other girl wasn't intending to be mean, just had a genuine reaction. but seeing my baby be self-conscious for the first time was more than sad. it really made me dread her getting older and being more concerned with what others think.

her amazing dad sat her down at home and gave her a pep talk 'if other people don't like something we like, that's their problem! if YOU like your socks, that is all that matters to me.'

i'm sure lily hasn't given that moment another thought but i'm not sure i'll ever forget the look on her face and her little crossed legs on the swings.


Eve and carl

lord help me with one iphone and two girls that love it this much


some serious styling by lily with a dash of 'monkey see, monkey do' this morning.


one thing i adore about lily is how much she loves her family. i actually showed her a picture of me, kevin, lily, and eve and said 'look its your family!' and she said 'no!! so many people are missing!' and proceeded to list her entire extended family.

this picture of her older cousin lucy holding her really makes me smile. lucy was so proud to be able to pick her up and lily LOVED being picked up.

note: lily is wearing tap shoes that she got out of an awesome bag of hand-me-downs that lucy brought over and hasn't taken them off much since!


lily was so worn out from her weekend in dallas that she was still napping yesterday when she is usually shouting 'mommy, the clock says FOUR!' and excitedly jumping up and down on her bed.

a few minutes later i decided to crawl into bed with her and enjoy a few minutes of cuddles while she finished sleeping. i snuck under her covers and she flopped a tired arm around me and seemingly in her sleep muttered 'i love you mama' and continued to snooze.

my heart was so full and i laid there stroking her soft blonde hair and her cute little cheeks and found myself praying in whisper.

lord thank you for this child. thank you for her beating heart and for her deep breaths. thank you for her wild imagination and her trusting spirit. thank you for this awesome responsibility of being her mom. thank you most of all that she is your child first and foremost and that i have been trusted with her for now.

the longer i lay there looking around her quiet room with the fan ticking away i tried to see her room through her eyes. this is her childhood. this room will be the faintest memory of pink one day.

its just all so amazing and impossible to encapsulate.

she slowly woke up with stretches and blinks and had a sweet smile on her face upon discovering mama in her bed. definitely a moment to cherish.


A sure sign your child is a born and bred Texan...

When the weather drops below 60 degrees, she asks excitedly 'Mommy, is it wintertime???'


Eve and a spoon

yall sick of my iphone videos yet? :)


Eve 'no'

a little voice saying 'no' only holds endearment for so long. and its not very long at all, but for now, its still cute...


there's nothing like hearing the chorus of belly laughs of my three favorite people.

just a few snapshots of them goofing around before bedtime HERE


my sweet compassionate lily. i dropped her at her preschool today and looked at the bulletin board where they had put a 'getting to know you' page for each of the 8 kids in her class. i looked at lily's and it had questions about your favorite food (peanut butter & jelly) and siblings (baby eve) and also asked 'i am happiest when....'

the answers around the board were mostly 'hugging my mommy' and 'reading with daddy' type responses.

lily's? 'when i am feeding baby bluebirds.'

seriously? since when does she feed baby bluebirds?? she does have a dora story where they help a baby bluebird find his mommy, but as far as i know she doesn't spend a whole lot of time feeding them...

sweet lily. she has such a tender heart and i love her so much it hurts.


sometimes when they are sweet to each other i just want to freeze the moment forever. or at least until they fight over something ridiculous again :)

one of my favorite parts of this video is when lily says 'that IS a bed, eve!' she affirms her sister just like i talk to her. i love it :)


my sister suggested i get this printed to hang in my office...

i think she might be onto something ;)


rainy first day of school


Eve's animal sounds

oh how i LOVE me a good 3 day weekend. despite being thrown back into work in trial-by-fire fashion (2 weddings and 3 portrait sessions in 8 days) i had a GREAT weekend with family.

tomorrow is the first day of 'school' for us and eve's first day ever!! i can't wait to see how much fun they have. eve and lil have been playing pretend school a lot lately- so we will see if they think the real deal is as fun :)

and because i can't seem to get enough of little eve's teeny voice...


one lovely side effect of being a donovan is the curse of fits of laughter that really come from nowhere. once you hear another donovan in the act, you join in and eventually you all have sore sides and are out of breath and no one is sure why or how it all started.

i went in to get eve out of her bed after naps and was recording her because i think its funny that after a full 3 hours in her crib she still doesn't really want to get out. she is such a cuddle bug.

what happened instead was a fit of laughter that reminded me she really is half donovan :)

(excuse my snake noise about halfway through- its kinda scary sounding! ha!)

i'm the first to admit i love my alone time in the morning. i wake up an hour before the girls intentionally so that i can have time to sip my coffee, read, catch up on the news*, and get mentally awake for the day.

today i slept in unintentionally and was honestly bugged when lily announced over her monitor "its two circles mommy! eight!!" and my coffee was scarcely touched.

i got them up, we started our morning rituals and instead of making breakfast right away i sat down to drink my coffee and before i knew it, i had a little buddy. now this i could get used to :)

*'news' means cnn some days and facebook others. don't judge.


lily: what's this mommy??
me: an animal cracker
lily: its a tiger!!
me: you're right, its a tiger.
(lily takes a big bite, eating the tiger's head)
lily: what's this mommy?
me: part of an animal cracker?
lily: no! its a QUIET tiger!!


i cannot believe august is already coming to an end. this time at home on the weekends has been so precious for me. i have just loved it!

thankfully going back to work next week i'll be shooting a wedding for the most amazing couple- that will help the adjustment back to work so much!

today we took advantage of the cooler (haha) weather and went down to town lake. we walked, people watched, fed swans, then headed to waterloo for lunch.

lots of pictures HERE



seriously, what is cuter? how she says 'quack quack' or her ridiculous obsession with those darn fingers??


lily is so not allowed to watch the weather forecast anymore.

she heard the term 'cold front' and got SO EXCITED about it that she insisted on wearing a jacket to the grocery store at 4pm... in august... in texas. it was 95 degrees and she had on a yellow cotton sundress, two left shoes (one black, one navy) and a blue sweatshirt hooded jacket.

she insisted she wasn't hot.


so fun to be highlighted on another great blog today!

head over to check it out!

confessions of a city eater


we got an update letter from the 3 year-old little girl we sponsor in brazil today and i read it to lily. she was so interested in fabiana that she brought the letter to bed. learning her favorite color and that she has 8 siblings was super exciting for her, but she was confused to learn that they don't have enough drinking water.

me: do you have all the water you could ever want to drink?
lily: yes! i do!
me: fabiana doesn't have enough water
lily: is she really really thirsty?
me: i'm sure she is.
lily: does she have maybe orange juice to drink?

sweet girl.


the girls love it when i use grass to whistle really loud and it cracks me up when they hold the grass up to their mouths and squeeeeeeeal like they are whistling too.


it has been a pretty lazy weekend. we had fun at the liebster berry household saturday night and today we have read more books than i can recount.

just now i was cuddling with kevin in the playroom, eve saw us from across the room and immediately walked with open arms towards us for a group hug. how did i get so lucky??


shared with me this morning based on a conversation had last night by a missionary we bought chapstick and cd's for who is moving to ethiopia in two weeks...**

"Nadine and I would sit for hours in her room," she began. "Mostly we would talk about boys or school, but always, by the end of it, we talked about God. The thing I loved about Nadine was that I never felt like she was selling anything. She would talk about God as if she knew Him, as if she had talked to Him on the phone that day. She was never ashamed, which is the thing with some Christians I had encountered. They felt like they had to sell God, as if He were soap or a vacuum cleaner, and it's like they really weren't listening to me; they didn't care, they just wanted me to buy their product. I came to realize that I had judged all Christians on the personalities of a few. That was frightening for me, too, because it had been so easy just to dismiss Christians as nuts, but here was Nadine. I didn't have a category for her. To Nadine, God was a being with which she interacted, and even more, Nadine believed that God liked her. I thought that was beautiful. And more than that, her faith was a spiritual thing that produced a humanitarianism that was convicting.'"

** how's that for the most random run-on sentence you've read all day?


my baby's all grown up. sniff sniff.

more of her on the photo blog :)


words are powerful- definitely not a subject of controversy. but this morning i was impressed by these amazing images of a study done on the power of words to affect something other than the human heart.

masuru emoto did a crazy experiment of the effects of words over water. he took samples of water and froze them while introducing them to either positive or negative words. through specific messages and prayers, the water took on different forms amazingly reflective of his input.

just a really neat and tangible visual of the way our words impact each other. but as james is quick to point out. its not an issue to tackle at the tongue, its a heart issue.

water wrapped with "you make me sick" while freezing:

water wrapped with "love & appreciation" while freezing:


purging. i'm in a purging kind of mood (and no, not the sonic oreo blast i just scarfed down, i'll be keeping that inside, thankyouverymuch). i cleaned out our toys last weekend and today started in on my closet.

i only have 3 button down shirts left hanging in what used to be my 'work clothes' section. and honestly, its probably 3 more than i really need.

i talked to my mom in the middle of today's cleanse and she wanted to be sure i didn't give away too much just because i'm pregnant and things don't fit right now. i was sure to tell her i have plenty of clothes no matter what i choose to donate right now.

part of our conversation went a little like this:

mom: you don't have THAT much clothes
me: oh mom, i have a lot. too much. i mean, its true i don't have 29 white t-shirts...
mom: i don't have 29 white t-shirts!!
me: you absolutely do, i counted last time i was in your closet!
mom: well.... it depends on what you consider a 'tshirt' i suppose. i mean some are v-necks, some are sleeveless...
me: mom. i am SO blogging this.
::cue laughter from both of us::

so no, i don't have 29 white t-shirts, but it feels good to look at that pile and get it out of my room and into the hands of someone who needs it more than i do!


i was talking to a friend yesterday about a segment she had listened to on npr that featured a christian man whose perspective on social and environmental issues sounded starkly different to the 'religious right'. he was describing the concept that we are to be stewards of this earth and use its resources responsibly.

now i realize its easier said than done, but gosh doesn't it sound like a no brainer to treat the earth as a gift? at least TRY to be intentional about the ways we use and treat it?

i just can't help but feel like this is another example of mainstream western christians using the bible to justify our lifestyle instead of really letting the bible guide our choices & convictions. you can't just cherry pick the parts that jive with you and ignore the hard parts. i feel like everywhere i turn lately that is what i see.

mind you, i am the last one that will line up to throw any stones. i'm just saddened that this mainstream sentiment is what the majority of people have come in contact with as 'christianity' when it seems so far from what jesus advocated.


'i like your Christ, but i do not like your Christians. your Christians are so unlike your Christ.' -Ghandi

perceptive guy. and sorry, but you're going to have to put up with posts like this while i get through this book. i don't know anyone else reading it so i will continue my dialog with the collective YOU :)


seeing them playing together is the best.

i love the lack of junk in her trunk to fill up lily's saggy jammies.


read this today (while cramming before small group tonight. seriously one day i will actually stay ahead of the curve) and thought it was oddly connected to the post below :)

community is about god's redemptive work in uniting diverse people together in Christ. the call of community isn't about finding people just like us, or excluding those who aren't. it's most definitely not about christians finding other christian friends. community, in the scriptural sense, is the result of unlike people committing to love and serve each other and the world.


careful what you ask for... here i am at 20 weeks! 19 more to go!


prepare yourself for rambling. i am just sitting here and a few scattered thoughts from the past few days are hitting me all at once and their interconnectedness seems to be obvious to ME in this moment but i'm not sure i'll be able to effectively communicate my thoughts.

even as a kid i remember having the distinct feeling that no one really understood me. whether it was my inability to articulate in a way that could draw a commonality or maybe a desire to keep a certain amount of comfortable distance between me and others, i'm not sure. it wasn't really until college that i felt i met a few people who 'got' me. in late high school i was lucky enough to meet a few people who, whether they 'got' me or not, accepted me 100% for who i was.

so all that to say, i'm not sure i'm very good at communicating thoughts like these...

the other day i had my sweet friend erin over for dinner and she commented that in reading my photography blog she was struck by how positive i always sound. she said, no matter the session i seemed to have something upbeat, fun, positive to say. we laughed that by reading it you definitely wouldn't know what a pessimist i can be in real life.

fast forward to this morning at church as we make our way through the book of james, we were discussing what he has to say about preferential treatment. i made it through the service, thoughtful as always, but not necessarily getting anything personal out of it other than my complete bias towards people who 'look' like me, who seem familiar to me, who i see and immediately think 'maybe they will 'get' me. and my complete disregard for the fact that my behavior is contrary to jesus' whole message of grace and inclusion.

that sounds like enough of a lesson to get out of the sermon, right?

i thought so. until i sat here just now thinking about my life and my work. and erin's comment.

it's not that i am not being myself when i post my photography, but its definitely a cheerier version of myself. i have to work at being preferred. its what i do. i work at having my photography, my vision, my colors, and my personality preferred over others so that clients will hire ME. not that there is anything inherently 'wrong' with that, but gosh its exhausting.

way back in april, i set aside the month of august as family time. rest time. anything but WORK time. now i am looking forward to it even more than ever. just time to process the past two years of work, of babies, of family, of changes and be able to make intentional choices about the next few months & years.

i warned you about the rambling...



its (another) girl! :)

the gals and i painted toenails bright pink in celebration - pics here!


eve has started playing pretend a lot more lately. she mastered 'faux' eating and tea parties a month or two ago but today she was sitting in the doll bed saying 'ni ni' and laying down. her cuteness has no bounds :)


not because you need to know, but because i do not want to forget.

eve @ 15 months old

bubba (casey)
dora (mom of the year)
bye bye

less frankenstein baby walking, more confident by the day. cute as a button with your scrunchy nose and still cuddling with me when you're extra tired.
my mom commented yesterday 'lily just LOVES life.' i couldn't agree more. she seems to do everything with 100% gusto and it is so fun for me to see her loving every minute of her birthday. from the moment she woke up to the moment she fell asleep she was in heaven. surrounded by people she loves and her favorite treats and new toys... what could be better??

a few of the pictures from lily's birthday ice cream extravaganza are on the photo BLOG and there is a bigger set on FLICKR.


lily. truthteller.

i went into her 'cave' this morning. (cave = an under-the-stairs closet full of toys & books that the former owner craftily painted with a dinosaur mural) i was organizing odds and ends back in their bins as there was so much stuff on the floor you could scarcely walk inside. lily asked...

'what are you doing in there mama?'

'i'm cleaning up!'

'when you're done can i get it all messy again?'

story of my life.


as i look in the mirror knowing i have physically only gained 2 pounds, but looking like i have gained at least 10, i finally realize why 'they' always say to not worry about how much you weigh, but about how your clothes fit when trying to get in shape.

oy. mama needs to loosen up the purse strings and buy some ugly ole maternity shorts. i can only live in elastic waist cotton skirts for so long...

for those curious to know, we will be finding out its a girl... *achem* i mean finding out the gender of the baby next wednesday!


my day in numbers...

7... minutes eve has been crying since going down (overtired) for her nap
1... times i have shouted 'that's ENOUGH!'
2... shots lily got at the doctor
3... times eve threw up last night
15... times lily shouted 'mommy turn the hall light OFF' while i was trying to clean up puke at 2am
5... days until lily's birthday party and i've done zilch to prepare
3... diapers our dog dug out of the trash and ate while we were out
2... playgrounds already visited today in an effort to keep grumpy girls happy until nap time
0... the amount of motivation i have to clean my house in the first quiet moment i've had since waking up
6... rooms in my house need to be cleaned
154... days until i can crack open a cold one during nap time after mornings like this


just a few fun snapshots of the cousins from this weekend. we had a great visit!


Lily in banana

in case you need inspiration to 'dance like no one is watching' let lily be your guide. caught her in the act at banana republic in the mall...


those of you who know me well may know that routine and predictability can go a long ways in making me a happy girl. i tend to have a hard time being organized or disciplined about certain things, so routine is my way of triumphing over my scattered side.

you will find me and my girls at the same grocery store at the very same day and time every single week. nap time? the same time. every day. if they wake up early? they chill in their beds until wake up time. i just need that predictability and knowing how much time i have with them after naps before kevin gets home gives me a sense of control.

ahhh... control. is that what this is all about? at church this morning the speaker pointed out that life isn't about routine, its about how you handle life when routine is interrupted. its not about creating a predictable flow of days that just come and go, its about how you fare when the unpredictable throws you into foreign territory.

easily frustrated? quickly tempermental? who me??? noooooo.... okay maybe a little. rather than turning to virtues like patience and grace and seeing life as an opportunity for experience rather than control, i look for the soonest chance to get things 'back on track' and into my false sense of being in charge of what is really going on.

it was a good reminder to seek more than predictability and ease out of life. of course, i'm still gonna be at the grocery store at 8am, tomorrow is monday afterall... old habits die hard ;)


lily has turned comedienne. let's be honest, it was just a matter of time. she made her first intentional joke last night. she's 'funny' a lot, but hasn't ever made up her own joke.

she was eating dinner and got a funny look on her face and pointed to her beans and said 'what ARE these?' and i said 'its edamame' and she shook her head and smiled and said 'nooooo, YOU'RE the momay!!!!' and laughed!

it was so darn cute.


it hit me last night when i caught a glimpse of me in my birthday suit in the bathroom mirror... i look pregnant! and not only am i starting to look pregnant, i'm going to be GIANTLY pregnant in a few months. sigh. this is so not my favorite part of having babies :)

well truth be told, i'd rather look 8 months pregnant than deal with post partum jelly belly but either way, my body is not excited about this part of the adventure!

maternity clothes, here we come!


eve. her superpower is being super cute.
don't mess with her.


lily was pretending the tent was a carwash, eve was just along for the ride and the giggles


she's awfully cute (and skinny!)

happy father's day to the coolest dad around. i was going to post something on facebook but then i saw all of my friends' statuses and didn't want to seem disengenuous. it seemed like a veritable 'no MY husband is the best dad EVER' status-off on facebook yesterday!

so instead of hearing it from me (which must get old, right?) i'll give you lily's list of reasons she loves her daddy. straight from the horse's mouth:

i love....
when daddy hugs me
how daddy sings and guitars for me
reading with daddy
when daddy turns dora on

gotta love her (and him). happy father's day, kevin :)


eve, where's your nose?


lily is a swimmin' fool!! we started swim lessons yesterday and it was a tearful introduction but today was MUCH better. here are a few videos- i was totally impressed by her and hopefully she continues to improve and learn this week. i have so many fond memories of growing up swimming- being around water, lakes, swimteam. i hope my girls can say the same!

disclaimer: ignore my EXTREMELY loud voice.

video one

video two

video three


someone made a comment about an artist i'd never heard of on my business blog, so i went to look them up and found myself staring at these images with tears in my eyes. i just *know* its another girl. these made my heart so happy.

jinky art - the girls


today i'd like to share a wish list.

i want this dress.

i want my old body to wear it on.

i want to wear it with impractical shoes since i will not be chasing babies around while wearing it.

i want a date night with my husband somewhere breezy enough to sit outside in june for a candle lit dinner.

i want a glass of expensive wine.

i want a decadent dessert during a gorgeous sunset.

and i want to go to bed early (sorry sweetheart, perhaps not how you would end the evening?).


my love of the color orange sometimes clouds my judgement... that and a good sale. i saw this romper for 75% off and got it for eve without realizing she would look like she was dressed for trash duty on the side of the highway. maybe i should stencil 'inmate4172009' on the back in black to complete the look?


i am raising the next oliver stone. lily had a few months before turning two when she was very skeptical of anything remotely resembling a hidden camera- alarm motion detectors and smoke detectors were the primary suspect. she would point to them and say 'no like the eye!' and try to walk dramatically around them instead of underneath.

we laughed it off for the most part... but its BACK. she eyes them with suspicion any chance she gets and has recently added naked electrical plugs to the list. she covered two of them up with pillows in the playroom today. if i moved the pillow a little bit to expose the plug she promptly came over to remedy the situation. i was chuckling on the inside.

she is definitely one quirky girl, but then again, i guess so is her mama!


its time to get your early voting in, i'm sure we will do a refresh before the big ultrasound in late july! so what'll it be? boy or girl?

and for the record, i was the first to vote and i am holding strong to my prediction.


they just don't write 'em like they used to. i was riding to dallas loving pandora on my iphone and found myself singing really loud when an old hymn found its way through the speakers (i could write a whole post about how well pandora knows me and use this as just one of many concrete examples! hah!)

its one of those songs that growing up in church of course i have heard so many times and i still am stumped by the beauty of the words and their meaning.

Come Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of God's unchanging love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let that grace now like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

so then i was stuck in a car for two more hours wondering what the heck an 'ebeneezer' is and having made a promise for no texting or reading in the car, i patiently waited, then promptly forgot all about it until this morning. ahh mommy brain at its finest.

well it turns out that an ebeneezer (pronounced 'evan haazar' in hebrew) is literally a pile of remembrance stones to mark God's grace in our lives. figuratively it can be anything that helps you mark God's presence in your life. it was just a nice reminder to really take the time to notice and appreciate God's hand.

now if you don't have pandora- get to it! you'll thank me :)


today we're going to talk about a little thing called truth in advertising. the beginning of every dora episode on nick junior touts that "Dora the Explorer enhances preschoolers problem solving and language abilities".

now really i feel like it might make more sense to use one of the following suggestions:

"Dora the Explorer enhances mom's ability to get laundry folded while her 2 year old is awake."
"Dora the Explorer allows preschoolers the time to forget the giant fit they were just throwing about wanting a specific snack that we do not have in the house"
"Dora the Explorer helps to make sure parents actually get to drink their coffee in the morning uninterrupted."
"Dora the Explorer increases the chance that your preschooler will yell 'vamanos! rapido, mommy!' when you are taking too long to do something."
and my personal favorite
"Dora the Explorer exists to give me peace of mind and the ability to check facebook and post to my blog at 9am"

now how's that for honest advertising?
for all of you out there about to have a third this made me laugh this morning (and the picture at the bottom made me grab for my heart... i can't believe its really going to happen!)


its official. lily totally has an ipad hidden in her her room somewhere or is sneaking into my office at night to use my laptop. she must have read my recent rant about her attitude because she has been a complete angel the past two days.

i'm definitely going to talk smack about her on here more often so she can continue to prove me wrong :)


when lily was a baby, around a year to 18 months old i remember holding her so tight and wishing with my eyes squeezed shut that time would just slow down and give me more space to relish my amazing child. that i could slow her from changing too much and remember exactly who she was at each stage and grasp at the air to capture the essence of the moments to freeze time.

these days i feel like i would happily tap on the 'fast forward' button were one provided to me. there isn't a lot i feel like reveling in about lily refusing to eat her dinner, crying about being provided the wrong liquid in her cup (but i wanted MILK!!!! not water!!!!), and falling apart any time i leave the room to so much as change my shoes.

certainly some days are better than others, but here we are in the throes of the terrible twos and frankly, i'm over it. i'm having a really hard time finding joy in this situation and my patience typically begins to run thin around 9am.

on the other hand, there is my sweet eve who is beginning to talk (still adorably refuses to walk, preferring to be held), and whose love overwhelms me in so many ways. i know its not fair, but i feel like i am being robbed of the enjoyment of her by the phase that lily is in and honestly i am terrified that eve might ever be as frustrating to me as lily currently is.

throw in the concept of there being three children underfoot complaining about goodness knows what while i try to make them a healthy dinner that they will inevitably refuse to eat... and that about sums up my current outlook on things.

i want to be grateful for the privilege of having these three sweet angels in my care, not anxious. i want to be less easily frustrated by the inevitabilities of a nearly three-year-old's temperment. i want to let each of my children be exactly who they are and guide their character, not their personalities.

i just wish i knew how.

and so i start this day with a prayer for patience that i will likely repeat a hundred times or so.

Heavenly Father, You have dealt gently with Your children in love. You have been patient with me in my humanness and stubbornness.Lord, through the work of Your Spirit, prompt me to be more jubilant in hope, more patient in times of trouble, and more consistent in my prayer life. Teach me, Lord, to wait with faith and expectancy, and may my trials be seen as times for growth in grace. Through Christ our Lord, I pray. Amen.

Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:12


cute pics of my sweet eve enjoying the sprinklers in our yard on the biz blog- i love how much bigger i can post pics there than here!


as promised, sweet eve kissing her bunny and talking! ignore the christmas pajamas ;)


night time songs :)

and lily's best quote of the day "mama did you know god made my ears? please don't brush them when you brush my hair. god made them"

sweet eve also learned to 'kiss' her bunny blanket today. i need to get a video of it tomorrow- every time i tried to video it she went nuts wanting my phone :)


it was a gorgeous afternoon with these two bathing beauties. what could be better than this??

well maybe this with a cold beer or a margarita on the rocks with salt, but let's not split hairs ;)


just one of the many many reasons the past month has been truly insane...

we are due on 12.20 with a sweet little baby whose flickering heart made me cry this morning.


run, do not walk, to bonnie berry's blog to see the beauty she found in an afternoon picnic with my family. it was a shoot i had envisioned and somehow she saw it exactly as i knew only she could.

i will also be overly cheesy and admit that i am currently obsessed with the song 'sweet disposition' by temper trap and i feel like it is the perfect soundtrack to her shoot, so if you want to be as cheesy as i am, you can sing that song in your head while looking at the pictures.

with no further ado...


and the snapshot of my family (dad, little erin, baby tim, and mom pregnant with me) that inspired the idea


laying in bed about to hit the hay on mother's day thinking about my sweet girls and the joy they bring into my life, i started watching videos of them on youtube and my goodness, nothing makes me smile like they do.

two oldies but goodies that i love watching over and over again...

we had a lovely mother's day brunch at my sister's house this morning with GaGa and her sister, my aunt Patty. yummy french toast casserole, eggs, and pigs in a blanket (just the blanket for me, pass the pigs to lily!)

then we got home and while eve took a nap, lily and i soaked in a bath. she was laying on my stomach with her head on my chest and i said 'i love you lily, did you know you made me a mommy?'

she picked up her head and looked at me excitedly and said 'uh huh! did i make your eyebrows too?'

maybe she'll 'get' it next year... :)

happy mother's day!


sweet eve. my little ball of loveliness has gotten L A Z Y! she is all over the place faster than you can blink... on all fours!! she was such a tease with the excitement about using a walker super early on, but these days she refuses to even try walking much.

who knows when she'll get off her keister and become a biped? i'm kinda getting antsy for it! i hope she figures it out before too long. it sure would be easier at the pool than a crawler! :)


my apologies! i have been a SLACKER lately. in truth i have been insanely overwhelmed, crazy busy, and quite exhausted.

BUT as my mom would like to point out, that is no excuse for leaving you hanging! :)

i have been in dallas since sunday in a photography class and i am ITCHING to get home to squeeze my girls (and my baby daddy). ugh, i just can't wait!!!!


i had an attitude adjustment this morning. it was part barton springs refreshment and part matthew 6 smack down.

as kevin was leaving this morning i started crying. i'm not totally sure why. just exhausted from days of worry and stress regarding work. feeling as though i sort of missed out on eve's birthday because i was so 'busy' with her party and the million things going on.

i had our babysitter coming this morning so that i could get work done, but missing my work computer means there's really no work to be done until it returns. i didn't want to cancel at the last minute and i reached out to see if a friend could do lunch, but left to my own devices i ended up driving to barton springs.

this will shock no one that really knows me. it has always been a place of peace and quiet for me. i love that darn pool. one jump and you get a serious shock to the system, your heart beats faster, and you just feel completely alive.

i brought my bible and sat down to matthew 6. i needed it.

For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?

So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.


eve is one!! what a crazy weekend- we had lots of family in town. (love that they all wanted to celebrate with us!) her party was fun, but we were forced inside by the rain which didn't make for the best 'garden' party, but eve seemed to not mind. :)

i had an accident with my laptop and its at apple being fixed. thats the short version of the story, maybe another day i'll tell a more elaborate version involving white wine, the mcdonalds playscape at 9am, and two tired girls fighting off their naps at the apple store for their mom's sake.

until then, i'll enjoy this forced break from work and try not to stress out too much about it!


look out martha stewart... i made a birthday hat for eve this morning. after finding the CUTEST hats made of felt on ebay, i really wanted a cute hat for her to wear while eating her cake. of course knowing if i somehow rationalized the $25 price tag on etsy, she'd refuse to wear it, i wanted to figure out a way to make one on the cheap.

i am not handy with sewing or felt, etc so i made her a very very easy but cute one this morning. i even cheated by buying the $2 thomas the train uglyness at the grocery store as the hat form. i used spray glue to cover it in 4 layers of tissue paper so that thomas wasn't visible.

lily is a big fan, so she and i are going to make one for her when eve takes her nap.