Thursday, December 31, 2009

Family photos

As a gift for my parents, I am putting together an album of each of us "kids" and our families- I tried to get everyone's pictures throughout the year, but it came down to Christmas, and we still hadn't gotten a couple of them. So here they are:

My oldest brother, Chris, and his family: Jenny, Lily, and Evie

My brother, Jonnie, and his family: Kimmy, Bekah, Alyssa, and Ben

And, of course, my parents:

aren't they just so cute?!?!



A fresh blanket of snow
A brand new world
a brand new playground.

Family Christmas

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time away from home at my parent's home with all of my family.
We sure did have fun!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

To my Son

Good Morning, Baby!

I have been thinking about this post for quite some time, since this is a momentous occasion. Maybe more so for me than for you, but momentous nonetheless.
I still tear up whenever I really, really think about how you have blessed me and your daddy- you certainly are a gift sent from God, one that we, at one point in our lives, never thought would actually be given to us. You have been not exactly what we were expecting, but MORE than what we were expecting.
We prayed that you would be a happy child, and seriously, we got that tenfold. You are a ridiculously smiley, happy-go-lucky little child. You laugh at the kitties, you laugh at daddy's work badge, you laugh at yourself. You laugh at mommy when she tries to crawl as fast as you. You greet me each morning with a huge smile stretched across your face. Now THAT is a great way to start the day!
We prayed that you would like music, and man, we can't keep you away from our piano. And you play it so nicely, too- you rarely ever bang on the keys- you are content to do one finger at a time. Sometimes you end up with some very sweet melodies! You love to praise God at church by clapping along and dancing your little baby bouncy dance, all the time with the biggest, goofiest grin on your face. You sing yourself to sleep- a flutey, lovely sound.
We prayed that you would get along well with others. You have more friends than we can count- people who love you for the sweet, gentle way that you are, for the hyper silly play when you are over-tired, for the love that you have for people already is amazing. You have baby Ruthie, Gabe, your cousin Evie, Noelle, Sam, Samuel, and others who are close in age that you are just SO excited to see every time we get together. Your happy squeals when you play with the other kids is really, truly music to my ears.
We prayed that you would be cute. Well, Daddy was pleasantly surprised by your handsome looks from the beginning :) Your blue eyes are something to behold- I have never seen eyes like yours- they are bluer than mine, bigger than Daddy's, and just stunning. Everyone comments about your eyes! Your constant smile makes you even more adorable than any other physical feature- you are just so cute! Your grandma says I need to be careful how often I tell you this, since it could give you a big head, but this is a special occasion, so I can say it all I want. You are just so darn cute.

Praise the Lord for answered prayers!

This past year has been wonderful. Wonder-full.

From the first time I met you face-to-face, at 4:20 am on that cold, snow-filled day in December, your tiny cries muffled by the fluid still in your lungs, that cleared out without a hitch, to the first night at home when I had the worst30 hours of my life, to the many nights where it was just you and me because Daddy had to work, the first time you purposefully cooed, then rolled over, then decided to crawl, and now to standing. The way you snuggle your used-to-be-white teddy bear when I set you in the crib for naps and bedtime. The excitement when we read "where is baby's belly button" is contagious- you have such a fun time reading that one with me. Although I think that's because you have a crush on the little girl on the front cover...but I digress.
You will soon have your first steps, which I know will surprise me. Which is incredible. But you will grow up, and that is inevitable. And normal. And exactly what should happen. And what I really do want to happen.

Please know that Daddy and I pray for you all the time, that you will grow up to be excited about Jesus, and be a great, strong, Christian man. I pray that your future holds great things for you, and at the same time, that you appreciate every little moment you have with family, friends, and the time you spend with your Lord.

But for now, little one, I love the moments we spend together: you, me, Daddy. You are amazing. And I love you.

Happy Birthday, Josiah.



Monday, December 14, 2009

Party it up, boy!

This post is mostly pictures, so bear with me.
It was a pretty long, exciting day on Saturday- we had over 30 guests at J man's 1st b day party (the party was a week earlier than his actual b day, but really... who has time the weekend before Christmas?)
It went SO well, with plenty of Ribs (which, yes, I grilled out in the snow!) and fresh-baked carrot cake* with cream cheese frosting to go around.

*I spent 3 whole hours on that thing...

After the gift-opening, the chillens* went downstairs to play in the balloon room- we blew up almost 70 balloons, and then went outdoors to do a little sledding. Josiah even went down the hill- about 7 or 8 times- he LOVED it! He was able to manage that because he got an infant's sled- yep, you heard (read) me right- a sled made for babies. It has a super-wide base so it's nearly impossible to tip over, and it has straps to hold the baby in place, much like a high chair. Well, it worked like a dream! Hopefully I'll get a link up, or pictures emailed to me, or something- since my Dad took the pics of his first sledding experience. I was the one lugging him up the hill, so no camera for me!
Anyway, enough talk, on to the pictures! (since I promised that oh so long ago....)

*children. there were 8 of them.

The little guy had a MOUNTAIN of gifts to open. I opened all of them. Can a 1 year old really open all those gifts? No. The answer is no.
How blessed is my little one, though! We have such generous friends and family, thank you all SO very much! (yes, thank you, too, even if you got him a "noisy" toy :)

I made the sign, too, out of fabric remnants I picked up at Hancock fabrics a long time ago, and random buttons. It was totally fun!

Happy Birthday, Baby!

"ketchup" day: challenge #44

The challenge:

The goal of this challenge is to take something ordinary and make it look extraordinary.

Since I had 6 concerts last week, this challenge is a tribute to that time spent singing and performing...

to see the other entries, please click here.

"E flat"

and comments, criticisms are welcome! I really want to grow as a photographer, and any input is appreciated!
Thanks :)


"Ketchup"day: challenge #43

This challenge was "toys"
with a little boy, climbing...everywhere, it has definitely been more of a challenge to get these done, but he definitely remains my inspiration!
We were also supposed to tell a story, but I'd like to know what you think the story is!
to see the other challenges, visit

This lovely set of wooden animals was a gift for his first birthday- aren't they fun!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

a couple firsts

first number one:
we got snow last night! not that that is necessarily a "first", seeing as it is Wisconsin, and it is December, but it was the first snow of the season. I was really happy it snowed when it did, too, cuz it gave new life to our otherwise pretty drab landscape. And because I had a photoshoot this morning. Outside. In 20 degree weather. With a windchill. (not sure exactly how cold it was, but I know it was chilly, since I couldn't use my pointer finger to take the pictures near the end, and had to use my ring finger, which was a little less numb)

first number two:
I had a photo shoot with a married couple, who just wanted nice pictures of just the two of them. It was kind of like an engagement session, I suppose, but a little more relaxed. There really is a big difference in photographing young love, and those who have spent a third of their lifetime together. More comfortable, more at ease, and even more in love.

Here are some of my faves of Mike and Melissa: