Tuesday, January 29, 2013

it's the little things

last week was a busy one for us,
my sister and nephew stayed over
and we all had a blast 
and took about a bazillion pictures of  B boy
(love that kid, by the way - see more of him here and here)

this week we have family visiting, 
and a big birthday party for two special someones on the weekend
so we hustle and bustle about, 
with to-do lists the size of montana
(is montana really that big? ...i actually don't know where i got that phrase from, or if i just made it up...?)

but we've also made sure to take a few minutes
to enjoy the little things
like celebrating my first newborn photoshoot being booked (hooray!)
and having surprise dance parties (the girls particularly enjoy jackson 5!)
and dressing up as leopards, just to giggle and be silly
what about you?  do you do anything to brighten up / get through busy seasons?  i'd love to hear

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

while we're at reminiscing...

i know my last post was about the girlies birthday 
and you're probably sick of these "one year ago..." type posts
but, i've got one more i want to squeeze out, 
then i'll hold off for a bit - deal?
great, glad you're on board!

anyway, as i was saying, 
one year ago today, my girlies did their first ever photo shoot!

i remember contemplating whether or not to invest in a newborn shoot
i hummed and hawed about it for a while
then finally decided to go for it:
i knew photography was important to me
i knew i wanted to capture this fleeting newborny stage
i knew i was much too sleep deprived and not nearly skilled enough to do it myself
i knew how special and important it was to be in front of the camera with my new little family

and i couldn't have been happier with that decision.
expecting moms, let me share a tip from my mistakes: 
my deepest regret from pregnancy was not getting maternity shots
(because i didn't feel pretty, and i thought i would never want to remember what i looked like ...wrong!)
and on the other hand, i can't count how many times i've said i'm glad we got those newborn shots
moral of the story:  invest in preserving these memories, 
your kiddos will grow way quicker than you expect and you'll want to look back and remember these moments!

anyway, on to the girlies newborn pics
i've pored over these images time and time again
i hope you enjoy looking through some of them as much as i have!
(warning: serious photo vomit, coming right up!)
*images by green ginger photography - love, love, LOVE them!*

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


today, we have two little one year olds
which means we survived the first year of twins
from what we've been told, we're past the toughest part
there were moments when i didn't think we'd see it through
but, by grace (and a ton of prayers, i'm sure!),
He sustained us, like He promised he would
thank you, Jesus, for everything

january 15, 2012

january 15, 2013

dear beautiful baby girls,

today is your birthday.  we have had so many firsts over this past year, starting with the first time we laid eyes on each other and now, your first birthday.  i really can't believe we're actually here, one year later - wow!  you've grown up so much in just these past couple months - it's hard to believe how fast it all happens.  

you're very much into feeding yourselves now, reaching out sticky, food covered fingers to grab my legs when i walk by, or smacking your tray when i don't notice you've emptied it.  and you make the cutest little eating noises - it actually kind of sounds like you're muttering "nom, nom, nom" under your breath!  it's always a challenge to come up with food ideas for those tiny little fingers of yours; recently, bojangles chicken and deer sausage seem to be a big hit - your daddy couldn't be more proud.  

you've also changed a lot in how you play.  i love how you love playing peek-a-boo.  Aria, you especially like scaring people, then giggle up a storm when they jump back.  Ives, you're more into being scared - all we have to do is say "boo" and you flash those pearly whites (all seven of them!).  you also laugh along with us when we're having funny conversations - it really is too cute.  sometimes, we catch the two of you caught up in conversation and cracking each other up - listening to you babble and giggle back and forth just melts my heart.  you know what else melts my heart? the way you've started laying your little heads on our shoulders when you're tired or just need an extra cuddle - a surefire way to turn this mama (and daddy) into one giant puddle.  nevermind the way you're just starting to wave (with both hands at once) and blow kisses - i know i'm biased, but your cuteness factor is through the roof!

but seriously, girls, you light up our lives in a way i never anticipated - you are so full of energy and joy, and when one of those those contagious smiles spreads across your faces, your whole face lights up right along with it!  you've brightened our days in more ways than i can count, but what i am most thankful for is how you have taught us to look to the Lord more and more.  you've made us aware of just how much we are blessed, how good our Lord is to us and the beauty and value found in the grace He offers.  

it's only fitting, really, since your shared middle name is grace (Naima means Grace in Arabic).
we are continually amazed by and immensely grateful for the gift of grace - and it is our prayer that you girlies (and our whole family, for that matter) live lives marked by grace, that we may glorify Him and do the good works which He has prepared for us to do; because when it's all said and done, it's all about Him.  i truly hope you come to understand that truth as you grow up, girlies - it sometimes feels tough, but i promise you, it is the best way to live.  and when the going gets tough, lean on Him:  His grace is sufficient and is made perfect in our weakness - can it get any better? 

anyway, i picked these verses out for you when you were still brand new; they have served as a theme over our family in your first year of life - i hope they continue to ring true as we move forward into year two:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:4-10 

happy birthday girlies, mama and daddy love you to the moon and back!

your mom

Monday, January 14, 2013

today is special

january 14th has a special place in my heart

first of all, it's my amazing mom's birthday
they say you truly appreciate your mom the first mother's day after you've had a baby
and i did...but only to the extent that my sleep-deprived, zombie self could at the time
but today, with a little more sleep under my belt, 
i think i understand what people feel on that first post-baby mother's day

mom, words cannot express my love and deep appreciation for you
today, and every other day
thank you, for all the love and effort you put into raising us
and now, into helping us raise our babies
you have given us a great example of what a Godly mother should be 
we are blessed and proud to call you mom
second, one year ago today i was induced into labor
most of the day was spent waiting
until my water finally broke in the evening, which got the ball rolling
(during the Broncos game, actually - sorry if that's TMI, I'll save the rest of the details for the birth story,
so you can choose whether or not you want to know details like that)
but my girlies decided to just barely miss sharing their grandma's birthday
and made their arrival in the wee hours of the 15th
third, january 14th was my first day at my first "real" job
where i spent just shy of four fantastic years
working alongside some of my favorite people
in a great environment, with a great boss
i learned and grew a lot in my time there,
and can't help but think of them and smile with every passing january 14th

and you know what? these may seem like random moments in my life
that all just happened to coincidentally line up on the same day
but seeing them all here, on "paper", I see that they hold a common thread:  
the Lord's faithfulness and provision
through my family, my children, my life situations, etc
He is always there, orchestrating for my good and His glory

i've seen this more and more with each passing year
i've also learned that it is easy to overlook His hand in my life
by grumbling, not spending time in the word, 
clinging to the things of this world over that which is of real value

so as we move forward into a new year, i'm going to follow jamie's lead 
and list some yes-es and no-s for 2013
to reinforce the things i want to focus on
and the habits i want to see less of

(p.s. you should check out her blog - she's got a lot of good things to say and has been an encouragement to me in so many ways...plus her photography is gorgeous to look through!) 

In 2013, 

yes to: 
more time in prayer, renewing my mind daily, putting God first, eating healthier, spending time with my family, teaching my kids to love the outdoors, building my business, encouraging others, growing in grace, becoming more involved/connected in church, learning and practicing my husband's love language, living in the moment, being thankful, turning my eyes upon Jesus, applying the gospel, snuggling with my little family, appreciating the beauty in everything, connecting with friends, cooking from scratch, going to the beach, embracing change, slow saturday mornings, impromptu adventures, working towards humility, baking, being content

no to: 
negativity, perfectionism, criticism, comparison, taking the easy way out, apathy, impatience, dwelling on the past,  distraction, believing satan's lies, skipping breakfast, people pleasing, seeking identity in anything but Christ, work-aholism, hiding how i really feel, wasting time behind screens

Thursday, January 10, 2013

babies on strike!

our babies have decided to go on a spoon strike
they want to be independent and feed themselves,
but can't quite use utensils on their own yet
so finger foods it is!
except, we've had a heck of a time finding finger foods for them
(try saying that last part ten times fast!)

i mean, there are some finger foods that are tried and true
(cheerios and cheese are current favorites of theirs) 
but they're not exactly what i'd call a balanced diet on their own

the other hiccup is that the pediatrician wants us to up their protein and calories
but our girlies are not terribly interested in meat...or anything, really, outside of fruits and veggies
so we've been brainstorming
and trying all kinds of foods

we've had some progress, 
but mostly we end up with scrunched up faces, 
the dreaded "lock jaw" 
and more food on the floor, in their seats and in their hair
than in their mouths and tummies 

but last night we had a big breakthrough!
i had some roasted acorn squash and yogurt that the girls were refusing to eat
(no surprise there - too much spoon involvement!)
plus some ground turkey that also made the reject list 

i wanted to put all the random odds and ends to use
rather than just chuck them or eat them myself
and that's when it hit me: 

baby "mac n cheese" with turkey bits
1/2 an acorn squash (baked and cooled)
1/2 - 1 cup(ish) full fat plain yogurt
pasta (preferably whole wheat; cooked within an inch of its life)
1 cup (ish) cooked ground turkey 
(I cooked mine in some olive oil with some chopped up onion for flavor)
romano + parmesan cheese blend (we get ours from TJs)

- scoop cooked squash out of it's skin
- blend / mix it with the yogurt to make the "sauce" part, then set aside
- cut pasta into bite sized pieces (we had some fusilli with our supper so i just chopped up some of that)
- mix pasta and turkey with enough of the sauce so everything's just coated nicely(you don't want too much on - it gets super messy)
- sprinkle cheese on, to taste
- serve directly on baby trays

made enough for two decent sized bowls - we had enough for both dinner and lunch the next day.

the one caveat is that it makes a bit of a mess, 
but they loved it PLUS it was protein-rich and relatively balanced *double bonus*

who needs utensils anyway, right? 

p.s. any of you moms out there with finger food ideas, feel free to pipe up and share your ideas, successes, stories, etc! 
p.p.s. i was just thinking, you could totally serve this up as a healthier mac n cheese to adults too...just skip the pasta chopping (and just cook it to al dente) and use nonfat greek yogurt instead

Saturday, January 5, 2013

the big announcement

ok, so in my last post i mentioned there being something "in the works" that i wasn't quite ready to share
aaaaaaand, i'm still not ready to share it
but i think i'm going to anyway
because i'm pretty excited
but also because i need to put to rest the crazy conclusions some of you have been jumping to 
(I am not pregnant again, you can all relax now!)

I am starting up my own photography business. 
there, I said it.


this is something i have been dreaming about for years
and after much thought, and even more encouragement (especially from Daniel)
i've decided to go for it

i'm was hoping to have a bit more together before i announce it
but it looks like things will have to trickle into place over the next little bit
things like finishing up my business plan
finalizing details
setting up a blog
getting paperwork in order

but as of now, i am open for business
...here goes!

i don't know about the rest of you, but B boy seems pretty excited about it!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Down on the Farm

happy new year, guys!

i actually can't believe it's 2013
it's going to be a good year
i know it

we've got a few exciting things going on
like a simple a committment to eating better again
(we got a little sloppy this last year)
and two little somebodys who are turning one in a couple of weeks
(ahhhh! guess i should start planning that...)
and there's something else in the works, but i'm not quite ready to share it on here yet
...soon, though!

what i can tell you is that i'm excited for all this year holds
for whatever the Lord has for us

but before we delve into the new year, i wanted to rewind a little bit
and share some of our Christmas memories with you

like i mentioned before, this year was a North Carolina Christmas
one of my favorite things about NC Christmases 
is getting to spend a few nights out in the country while staying over at Daniel's grandparents' place
i remember my first Christmas there: 
running around with my camera, 
taking pictures of the open fields, 
black walnut trees,
little baby goats,
not so little cows,
rows upon rows of collards, strawberries, etc 
it is absolutely gorgeous there

this year, we got to show the girls around the farm, safari-style
with their great grandad as our tour guide,
their auntie as our impromptu photographer,
and their uncle as our chauffeur / second impromptu photographer
(thanks, guys!)

they were beyond thrilled:
hanging out the windows,
growling at the cows,
sticking their tongues out to the wind,
meeting the animals,
discovering all kinds of critters and plants
all the while, giggling up a storm

they love being outdoors
and i must admit, that makes me one proud mama

lets just say, they were really ready for their nap after all the excitement
(p.s. get ready for some serious photo vomit - i had a hard time choosing!)

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