Oh Christmas Tree.

Written on 12/09/2010

Growing up my Dad was an outrageous Christmas decorator. Our house probably put the sun to shame from outer space. Every nook and cranny was covered in lights. He created a life size Santa Claus and about 6 elves that would stay propped up on top of our roof from some time in November until after the new year. Santa was holding a Christmas toy and the elves each had a tool as if they were all building toys together. I remember my dad and I painting the wooden cutouts together and how happy they made me each year as a little girl.

As my Dad’s health declined and his life began to somewhat fall apart, I still remember driving by his home during Christmastime and seeing his decor up. The year my dad didn’t decorate was the year I lost him. I don’t know what has happened to all my dad’s wonderful decorations. I imagine they were thrown out at some point by someone searching his home and storage unit for anything worth money. It makes me sad to not have anything from my Dad but memories. Literally. I’m thankful for that at least.

Another thing I remember and loved were his tree decorations. He had a mass collection of bubble lights, vintage blown glass bulbs, funny ornaments my brother and I made and who knows what else. I remember he loved noble fir trees because he liked to set gifts and cards on the shelf like branches.

So, that being said I’ve decided I want to carry on my memories of my Dad’s tree. I’ve been searching high and low for ornaments similar to what he had and I think I hit the jack pot on e-bay! Kinda forgot about that website.

Here’s to memories!



Tis the season.

Written on 12/08/2010

Wow. Life.Is.Busy.

Is Christmas season just madness for everyone? I think I woke up one morning and my brain just witched into “It’s the holiday season so that means I am going to be working overtime”. I’m pooped. But life is blessed. I truly have no reason to complain.

I’ve been sneaking in some Christmas shopping here and there. I hit up some black Friday shopping, ok I wimped out and went to one store at midnight (I know I am getting old) but I got some good deals. I think. I hope. Probably not.

Thanksgiving was a nice time with family as usual. We went to my Mom’s house for an early feast, which was wonderful. I think we started eating around 11:30am. Well, around 6pm our stomachs were starting to eat themselves so we drove around like those crazy families do on holidays and finally planted ourselves at Marie Calendars. I’m pretty sure the hospital had some extra thanksgiving food that they sent over to Marie’s (insert sarcasm here). I’ve decided I will make a Thanksgiving feast just for the sake of having the leftovers! For about a week Vin and I laid in bed together and talked about what we would be eating if we had Thanksgiving leftovers in our fridge.

We went and got out Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving! I love starting these types of traditions with the girls. They were running around screaming with joy when we brought it inside. Isla was enthralled by it! Cohen helped me decorate it. It’s a lovely little addition to our home. We went to a sweet local farm we had purchased a Groupon for. By the way, have you heard of Groupon yet? It’s amazing. I’ve purchased so many! I bought a manicure and pedicure for 17 bucks at a local salon that I love. I bought a gift card to Nordstrom Rack for $25 and it gives me $50 to spend in the store. I’ve purchased a few restaurant coupons. Any way. It’s a great way to save and boost the economy! Especially the local economy! Check it out.

I scheduled a “Holiday Mini Session” all day extravaganza on Sunday, December 5th. That went unbelievably well. I had 6 families come bundled and happy ready to get some new Christmas pictures taken. I’m still working on those! Quality takes time and when you are a full time mom first, it takes even more time! I find serious joy in editing pictures though. It’s an artistic release for me. My Dad was an amazing artist and he passed the love for art on to me. Most of my life I have painted, done drawings, created collages etc. I missed that in my life and now I have an outlet for it. I’ve decided I am a crazy nut-case when it comes to all my hobbies and passions. Is it normal to pursue so many and believe you can be successful at them while you’re trying to raise two little girls? Don’t answer that. I think I will just take each day as it comes and see for myself :-) I’ve learned in whatever you do, you can’t take it to serious. You need to have passion in what you love and put passion into what you do. Take Jesus serious and the rest will fall into place.

Cohen has her first school recital this Friday. She loves her school. She thrives in an environment with people and creativity. When I walk in to pick her up one or more of her teachers will present me with a story or something funny and outgoing she did that day. They boast about her personality and how smart she is. I can’t really describe how proud I am of her. I adore the girl she is. She’s such a light to this world. Thank you, Jesus.

So, I hope to find time to blog this season. I don’t like taking such long breaks from my blog! I want this to be something my girls can look back on and read throughout their lives!

I will end with some pictures. They’re of Isla and our vacuum. I didn’t feel like I needed to prove that she literally likes being chased by the vacuum or anything….


The first snow fall in Fall!

Written on 11/23/2010

Last year we had about 2 snow flakes fall in Salem throughout the whole winter season . The year before that we had a nice solid week of at least 2 feet of snow in December. This year the snow fell a bit early and I’m not complaining! I’m hoping this means a blizzard is in our future! I’ve always loved snow. It’s just another incredible thing God created. There is something amazingly peaceful about snow falling. It calms people (at least in Salem) it makes everything go silent. It’s enchanting.

Our day consisted of:

Co waking up beyond excited at about 7:30am.

Lots of cleaning

Playing in the snow

Padington’s Pizza

A teeny tiny bit of Christmas decorations :-)

Lots of snuggling and playing with the girls (turns out a vacuum makes for a great chase game for kids) (Yes, they like the vacuum I swear)

I actually started and finished a fun craft (pictures to come)

We framed the most amazing drawing from Cohen (it was ALL her) for Vin’s office

And yeah, pretty much just enjoyed a nice day at home! Thanks Snow! We needed you! Please come back tomorrow, and the weeks following! Well actually, after I get my hair done you are welcome to come back and stay as long as you’d like!

The End.

Here’s a few photos to sum up our day~ Note: You wont see the girls because they were sleeping. Sorry.


Need a new Family Portrait?

Written on 11/19/2010

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Written on 11/17/2010

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On days like this.

Written on 11/17/2010

On days like this you will find the 3 of us snuggled up inside our messy but comfy home. We usually watch channel 10 until I start throwing up (just kidding but not really) I’m usually sipping coffee trying to stay out of Isla’s direct sight. This morning I decided to make some pumpkin-mini chocolate chip-pancakes. They were as good as they sound. Vin surprised me with a new lens I have been drooling over for quite some time. In non photographer language, it’s able to take nice clear pictures in pretty low light. I don’t use a flash on my camera so a lens like this makes taking pictures inside on a gloomy day as easy as toast. In photographer language it’s the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens. I can’t wait to really get some practice with this lens! I snapped some pictures today but for times sake and the dishes piling up in my sink’s sake, I didn’t spend much time editing. Just some white balance adjustment.

Can I just mention something kinda off the subject? Cohen is an incredibly smart girl. She understands so much. Vin has been reading her the kid bible since she was a wee little thing. She’s managed to grasp so much from it. She knows and LOVES Jesus. She knows more disciples than I do, and her latest discovery of the bible is baptism. In Cohen’s words she wants to get “Baf-a-tized”. To all you pre-parents out there these moments are the most incredible part of parenting. Seeing The Lord guide your child and reach your child. It’s truly a miracle. He loves them more than we do and it’s pretty awesome to experience your little one building a personal relationship with Him!

Back to the pictures.

This is my girls in their element. Cohen on my iphone (which she knows how to work almost better than I do) and Isla wandering around with her mouth full of pirate booty (I hope it’s pirate booty, she’s been known to find strange things and eat them) And apparently Isla smelled bad and Cohen was covering up her nose with her blanket begging me to take Isla outside.

Ps. That tent makes me wanna lose my salvation every time I wake up and see it in my living room. But the girls love it. So it will stay until I find my exacto knife.

Have a cozy day!


A good milkshake can melt your cares away.

Written on 11/16/2010

Tonight I received a text from Courtney raving about some churro things at Jack in the box. Naturally I began to obsess over them and sent a subtle hint to my husband that I might want them. Tonight. So off he went. Well, apparently all his talk about liking me to have a little junk in my trunk is true. Not only did he get me the churro’s he got the 10 piece churro’s. And a funnel cake, and an egg nog milkshake, with two cherries on top I might add. Who doesn’t love those little marashino(totally googled how to spell that one) cherries? And you know you thought you were cool for tying the stem in a knot with your tounge.

Anyway. Yeah. I’m pretty happy it’s Fall and I wont be wearing anything less than a huge sweater and jeans. And with that huge sweater I can even NOT button my jeans and no one will notice.

Umm. Yes. That is me. And I am THAT tired. Holy frazzled. I’m sure all that junk food will help.


Sharing some goodies.

Written on 11/15/2010

So. Since I’m pretty terrible at being a consistant blogger I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the blogs I am totally inspired by on an almost daily basis! Make sure to subscribe to these! They’re full of goodness!

The adorable, beautiful Momma of two girls

Diary of Mama Drama

Don’t you love it already?

An inspiring godly woman going through the beautiful and inspiring journey of adoption.

Becca Mann

This woman has been through so much and she still finds so much joy in life, and she shares it openly with everyone!

Stephanie Nielson

Aka Nie Nie.

The AMAZING Pioneer Woman.

Heart her!

And here’s a little home decor inspiration I love.

There are SO many blogs in my google reader. I don’t wanna share them all at once, so I will try to share them bit by bit!


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Conviction. It’s a sweet disease.

Written on 11/14/2010

Pretty much every single day I am faced with some sort of conviction. Whether it be a conviction concerning parenting, selfishness, materialism, not spending enough time with The Lord, etc. I have some questions regarding conviction. I think I understand it, but I don’t know. You would think if you felt badly enough about something you would do something to change it. That seems like the logical thing to do. Not only does it seem logical, it’s pretty much demanded of us by Jesus. Personally I believe conviction is a beautiful way of correcting us and leading us to righteousness. It’s like the dreaded red correction pen every teacher used in school. You’d take a test (or live a day) and at the end of the test (or at the end of your day) you would be presented with your outcome. How’d you do that day? How many red marks (or thoughts of conviction) did you have?

So. My questions are….

How do we listen to our convictions? What are some realistic ways to minimize them? Especially the nagging ones that you seem to face every day.

Why aren’t we changing the things we are feeling conviction about?

For example. I feel a heavy burden for children in need. I mean HEAVY! I shed many tears for children who are sad, hurt, suffering or in need. But why can’t I budge to make a difference? What will it take to pull me out of my selfish oasis and put me in a place of vulnerability and usefulness. How do I even waste a moment complaining about “this” or “that”.

Currently my view as I write this blog is of my two incredibly beautiful, happy, perfect, healthy children playing in my ginormous soaking bath tub. They are warm and clean and playing peacefully. I am typing on my Mac Book Pro drinking fresh clean water and sitting in my new warm clothes (that I didn’t need by any means) I purchased yesterday (because in my mind I felt a little bored and sad, so I could justify my spending). I can hear our TV on downstairs. Wasting electricity doesn’t phase most people who don’t understand what it’s like to live without. We just go on with our day. Wasting everything we can get our hands on. We whine. We complain. We stuff ourselves with things that “make us happy” and completely ignore the things The Lord is asking of us. Sure, He wants us to be happy and enjoy life but in what context? I believe He tells us that our treasures we store up on earth will burn up and disappear. In the end they wont mean anything to anyone. If He is generous with us, He expects us to be generous back to Him. Nothing we have is our own. It’s all a gift from God. How are we treating these gifts? Probably like spoiled rotten children. I know I am.

There are millions of children hungry and cold in this world. It’s easy to ignore this fact because we can’t physically see them suffering. And it’s easy to hear about and feel sad about for a few minutes and then dismiss the uncomfortable thoughts before it starts tugging at our hearts, or heaven forbid convicting us to spend our time or money helping them. Plus. We need that money to buy our kids 5 pairs of new shoes they don’t need because they need shoes to match their outfits. Even if it means using a credit card and putting ourselves into debt. Our kids have got to look cute! And since we’re on the subject. What are we as Christian’s teaching our children? Are we teaching them to love clothes and possessions or are we teaching them to love Jesus and people?

Ask yourself this. How would you do if you had all your material possessions taken away? How would you survive if you didn’t have money? What would happen if you were severely burned or disabled in an accident? What if your child was born with or developed special needs?

Are you sensing conviction as you read this? Are you trying to convince yourself that you aren’t selfish, or you aren’t being disobedient? Are you trying to justify your life and the way you live or the things you do with your time and money? Most likely you need to spend time praying about this area. I know it’s something I need to spend a lot of time praying about and working on.



Written on 11/11/2010

Disneyland was exactly what I dreamed it would be and MORE! My inner child was bursting with joy and happiness! I will blog more this evening when the little’s are sleeping. I missed them so much I don’t even wanna waste time blogging when I could be snuggling them!


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