eve: bird! bird!
me: right, eve! that is a parrot!
lily: oh mommy, its a mccaw, not a parrot!

i stand corrected.


i keep getting questions about the change in my camera bag from canon to nikon. i wish i had a great reason for the change, but in the end it was primarily fueled by curiosity, theft, and a tinge of boredom.

here's the whole story. my camera bag was stolen in november out of my car. it had two cameras, two lights, and four lenses in it along with various batteries, memory cards, and sundry items. all in all we are talking over ten thousand dollars. ouch, right? surprisingly i shed very few tears over the situation though i did let a few fall the night it happened out of frustration.

after a lovely round of phone calls to my insurance company, the majority of it was covered and i was faced with the dubious task of rebuilding the entirety of my equipment even down to the camera bag itself.

lots of canon faithfuls are jumping ship to nikon these days due to focus issues and i wasn't sure i'd love nikon but i gave it a shot. i still didn't LOVE it but i was impressed with the focus. i mean those suckers are sharp and consistent. i didn't (and still don't) love the color, but that is a learning and adjustment process.

when it came down to it, i made spreadsheets of cost comparison, i tried out a friend's d700 and ordered both from amazon for some comparison as well. i kept the nikon. i still miss my canon sometimes.

as for the boredom, i was 'diagnosed' in college with something called 'too many aptitudes' meaning essentially that new skills in general come too easily to me, which lends itself to me enjoying new projects but then dropping interest quickly when i try something else, and never feeling challenged enough to really dig deep into most subjects. basically its a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none syndrome... so i figured maybe switching to nikon would re-ignite a bit of a challenge on the photography front.

so when you get down to brass tacks, there wasn't much of a reason and i still love that beautiful canon glass. i'm enjoying my new equipment and am looking forward to getting to know it better this spring when i start working again.


in case anyone was wondering when the 'princess' phase hits, in our experience it was right around 3 1/2. i just watched the entirety of 'beauty and the beast' with a little girl wearing a sparkly gown, glitter shoes, and a felt crown who insisted on having her hair bow changed to match the current color of belle's gown throughout the movie. thankfully she really only wears three colors...

in fact while typing this i just heard lily say 'okay eve, you're the wolf. chase me and my prince will come save me'

i'm not sure if this whole thing makes my head hurt or if i'm amused. i definitely love seeing how excited she gets about it. the other day kevin asked if she was going to grow up to be a doctor or a lawyer (don't get me started on his choice of options) and her response was 'daddy! i'm going to grow up to be a princess!'

she wasn't too fond of me when i told her that we don't really get to be princesses. i guess she has kate middleton on her side of the argument, but goodness i just wanted to give the poor child a dose of perspective! :)


Introducing Annie

she must have known how badly i needed this...


my sweet biggest sister in a shirt made for her by MY big sister


three. also known as 'what were we thinking'.

in all seriousness, while i am totally and completely enamored with my newest bundle, her presence sure has rocked our previously smooth sailing boat. how could 9 pounds cause so much upheaval in our house?

i'm in the thick of it and i'm trying to keep perspective. my hormones are all over the place, which causes molehills to appear more like mountains. knowing this unfortunately does nothing to dissipate the rollercoaster emotions that result from something silly like being interrupted in the middle of a workout video by a crying child.

everyone tells you to 'rest when the baby rests' which is unfortunately when my other two children are awake since she apparently prefers sleeping during the day. everyone also says 'don't worry about housework or laundry' but then i wonder, who exactly is going to do it if i don't? not to mention that clutter and piles of laundry pretty much give me hives. just seeing them around pushes my stress level up a few notches.

so while i'm not trying to be superwoman, would it be too much to ask to not feel like a big slob who can't get anything done? seriously just now typing this i think i fell asleep after writing that last sentence. i wish i was kidding. that is how tired i am.

so pardon me while i attempt to draw a close to this pity party of one. i'm looking forward to warmer sunnier days when i (hopefully) have a little more of this under my wing and under control. maybe then i'll feel a little more like myself!


i read this...

"it is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. It is proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow-hearted prosperity." -frederick huntington

it hit me solidly. but when i checked the note for its origin it hit me again. it was written in 1890.
look who's walking!!!

yes, i know they are not my children, but an auntie can brag, can't she??


she's getting too smart for her own good. we were sitting in mighty fine on sunday and lily asked "do they have dessert here?" i said "nope!"

kevin eyed me and said "you know they have m-i-l-k-s-h-a-k-e-s". i said, "of course i do, we're not getting one"

lily sat quietly for about half a second and then pointed at a sign and said "uh huh mommy, there's a brown cow picture, that means they have ice cream here!"

darn you and your recognizable sign, bluebell!!


Laughing sisters

think they like each other?


i'm thinking of writing up a quick resume for susanna. i think i could charge a pretty penny for her talents. perhaps a rogue government agency or terrorist group might be interested in her skill set...

Susanna Kathleen

Objective: To aid in the discovery of factual information or implementation of torture by means of my unique methods

Education: School of life, 4 weeks

Work History: Internship with parents, Dec 2010 - present
  • Ability to lure adults into a false sense of security and accomplishment
  • Track record of successfully identifying the moment a target falls asleep in order to wake them immediately
  • High levels of charm to maintain favor with target upon interrupting sleep

seriously, i'm starting to wonder if newborns are schooled in the ways of implementing stockholm syndrome. i sure do love this baby but man i'd kill for some sleep :)


Lily's story

lily making up stories (while dressed in poodle skirt, pearls and a crown)

just wait for the end... she cracks me up


i often lament that my life feels like a gerbil wheel. life seems to be just about maintaining our own life 90% of the time and that rare moment that i get out of my small circle and impact someone else or feel i am genuinely serving is so precious. the 90% can be mind numbing and feel soul crushing. it can feel selfish and pretentious.

last night at small group there was a guy who clearly had a sharing heart that read to us from a chapter that is entirely familiar and that i started reciting in my head as he spoke. but then it spoke to me and i realized it was an encouragement to me where i am right now. a mom at home with her kids spending her days doing laundry and emptying a dishwasher.

let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
hebrews 12:1-2

when he said 'the race set before you' it struck me that THIS is my race. this life is what has been set before me right now. this is a temporary phase in life where small children demand my attention at all times and changing diapers is an immediate need. this too will pass, new challenges will surface and the race before me will change courses- it might look very different from this one, or it might not. but i haven't been asked to chart a different course, i'm being asked to run this race patiently and diligently with my ultimate focus on jesus.

while not an earth shattering discovery, it is comforting to me in a lot of ways. giving myself permission to say that i have difficulty not growing weary or losing heart helps me to realize that the place to go to renew my perseverence is in jesus, no matter how trivial my race may seem to some. it feels good to acknowledge that simply raising children, loving them with my whole self and helping them to develop is quite the exhausting race.

we finished our small group workbook last night and the epilogue had this lovely benediction of sorts from the author that we all thought summed up the book quite nicely:

to you, my fellow traveler, may God explode your heart with gratefulness for salvation, with anger over injustice, with love for the loveless, with selfless hours of service, with words that bring hope, and homes that bring warmth. may christ be in the food you serve; may he interrupt your schedule with moments that change the destiny of families; may his purposes become your purposes; and may the things that break his heart break yours. may he supply to you all that is needed to live large in the kingdom that is now and yet to come, and may we someday meet along a heavenly riverbank and meet each others' friends that now know the king of glory because of you.

next on the agenda is 'crazy love' by francis chan.


two days worth of bonnie's posts of my wonderful susanna are on her blog at bonni-berry.com/blog.

i'm a big fan. of bonnie's and my girls.


in an effort to motivate myself in the new year and post pregnancy healthy eating i dug out my copy of 'eat to live' and was reading parts of it aloud to kevin. when i said....

"look, it says that one study showed that those who ate vegetarian for more than half their life lived on average 13 years longer than meat eating counterparts.... wow. that's crazy. i'm not sure i want to live that long honestly!"

i love me some veggies and i'm going on 6 years now but seriously, living thirteen years longer on average?? i'm not sure i can handle being that old.


new year. fresh start. resolutions just like years past that will be selfishly forgotten, abandoned or surrendered in a month or so. but its a great excuse for popping open a bottle of champagne and forcing my children to eat black eyed peas.

last night was the first attempt at having susanna sleep in her bed in our room instead of in OUR bed with us. she put up with it for the first stretch of sleep but after waking to nurse at 1am i put her in her bed and she cried. i quickly gave up and pulled her back into her spot with us and she was out like a light. it was quite an endearing moment in the middle of the night and i just laid next to her stroking her soft little head that fits in the palm of my hand thinking to myself 'thanks for loving me already'. waking up next to her was a sweet way to start 2011.

happy new year! i hope yours brings more joy than you could imagine and teaches you more than you think you are ready for.