Raelynn's 6th birthday brownie surprise!
Sweet baby Eva.
A delightfully blurry image of Abram's most supreme tantrum.
(a focused image would have BURNED YOUR EYES.)
And a forced picture of Blaine adoring Vera.



How do you know when God is speaking to you?

I ask because it typically takes me a while to hear it.

Mostly because I'm not listening.

And so in turn, He has to work to get my attention.

Isn't that terrible? Making God do MORE work? As if all the other things He's done simply out of love haven't been enough.

And these times that He shakes me into a fit of realization; they are hard.

They always have been.

And I- in turn, have to become more like Him and spend time with Him in order to hear Him, to walk with Him, to fellowship with Him.

It wastes a lot of time.

And it can be embarrassing.

That He has to wave his arms around, send me a small taste of His sheer strength in my life and then practically do the robot dance for me to give Him some of myself.

Because can you imagine- what life would be like if I were always listening? If I were always walking with Him?

This is how Blaine likes to chill sometimes and I don't blame him, it's surprisingly comfy. But this should never be a depiction of my faith.

Even when I hide myself from you in the creases of the softest quilt you don't give up on me. 
Your persistent pursuit of me endures past every hardship. 
I know that if I'd only devote more of myself to you wholly, there would be no hardships. 
But simply blinders guiding me to see the blessings of eternal grace. 
Help me against my battles of selfishness and pride so I can get there.

How I Found My Bliss: Kels from A Lovely Life

Kels is so fantastic! Here's her guest post about her personal journey of bliss. 

Want to share your story? Email me.
I feel like I should be showcasing some delicious chocolates, with an opening like that. :) I wish that I could share some trick or ancient ritual that would guarantee a blissful life for each and every one of you, but sadly that just doesn't exist.

For as long as I can remember, my mom would always tell me to "choose to be happy." Of course as a child and young teenager, it was usually falling on deaf ears... especially in those moments when I wasn't getting something I wanted, so being happy just seemed impossible to me. How can I be happy when Samantha has that virtual pet and I do not??! {Remember those? Oh man, those virtual pets were just great.} Nevertheless, after years and years of hearing {or choosing not to hear} that phrase over and over again, it's finally starting to mean something to me.

One of my favorite quotes is from Charles Swindoll:
"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, gift, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes."

As human beings, we have a choice. Every day. A choice on how we will live our day. Understandably, some circumstances are totally and completely out of our control, but how we react to them is not. And really let's be honest, life in general is hard. Day-to-day monotony is hard. But when you think about it, what kind of life would it be to sulk and be sad about everything that is out of our control? Not a good one, in my opinion.

So how do we overcome this?

For me, I have to take it one day at a time. I'm very much the kind of person that my morning defines the rest of my day. So how do I have a good morning? Well, getting enough sleep each night is key. But for me, my faith is my foundation. I've found that if I don't spend time reading God's Word in the mornings, it just throws my whole day off. So that's what I do... wake up, do some stretches, make breakfast, spend time with Jesus, listen to music, and head off to work! Now I understand not everyone is or can be a morning person... that's why you need to sit down and figure out what is bliss to you. And then do that. Every day.

I believe that's the key to a happy, blissful life... the every day. I know I got stuck in the trap of "dreaming big", which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But if you're constantly dreaming about what will make your future happy, you will neglect your present. Focus on making today your bliss and then you can deal with tomorrow, tomorrow. :)


[just a glance at Kels and her blog over at a lovely life will have you captivated. trust me. i know from experience]


Please excuse my absence from the past few days.

I flipped my lid over the loss of my sister to higher education

i really love you midgey!

a belated birthday post

[friendships take a lot of work. just like any relationship between two people, friendships require extreme amounts understanding and selfless love. i have been blessed with the opportunity to call some spectacularly terrific people my friends.]

vera and i met on our very first day of college. we sat near each other in a ridiculous math course taught by our campus' resident astronomer and lived a few floors away from each other in the same dorm.

A first she seemed so mild-mannered but then i heard her mutter under her breath something mildly inappropriate during class and i was captivated! she had me at sarcastic. what a character.

we were close friends throughout my years at school. she specifically got to know selfish kelly. ugly kelly. and hateful kelly. the three amigos.

vera was an RA in our dorm too. and she was real good at it. everyone wanted to talk to her about their problems because she was and is such a good listener. she's the best at helping people realize their importance and self-worth. i would even feel confident in saying that she has SAVED PEOPLES LIVES. seriously. i mean it took her hours just to get through room check of one hall wing. that's life-saving.

the first time i told anyone that something wasn't right with me was during one of vera's weekly nights to be on call in the dorm lobby. i don't remember the weepy words that were said, but i distinctly remember that she didn't call me crazy. that was what i needed. because to me, I was crazy. I mean cah-RAY-zee. The conversation that you really don't dream about having is the one that starts with "hey, you don't think maybe i've hurt someone and i just can't remember it do you? don't answer that. and also, i think i might be crazy."

that's a whole new kind of crazy. the scary kind.

but with her, that conversation was okay.

vera came and stayed one night at my parents house a few weeks after i moved back. i cried myself to sleep and she held my hand all night long. you probably didn't even sleep, did you Vera? and i know how much you love your sleep.

she wrote me all the time. tried to give me a little bit of normalcy back. she called often, kept track of all the progress i was making and was even lucky enough to get to take on the task of taking me out of the house- having been been giving my blessing to chaperone.

she believed in me, encouraged me, and didn't abandon me.

she passed every friendship test in existence.

she had the faith that i had yet to discover, and she shared it with me.

and after all that she was even silly enough to become my roommate. assisting me in watching nickelodeon children's shows and joining forces in a measly attempt to overthrow Bowser and his crew in Super Mario. those were some of the greatest times.

you're probably the reason i don't have a boyfriend, 
because you've left some pretty big best friend shoes to fill. 
it's probably a daunting thing to ask of someone else.
but still,
thank you for doing so much of the work.
you saved me.

[charleston] the holy city

welcome to charleston, sc

fantastic site, with nearby unobstructed views of fort sumter
(did you know the fort is in the water, built on a sand bar?)
(i didn't) 
(does that make me dumb?)

this is a 1250 foot pier that extends into the harbour. 
the best part is that underneath those awnings are dozens of swings. 
of old, rickety wooden swings. 

this was somehow snapped when the tots weren't galavanting in the fount
check out those oaks in the background
they line the entire park (and well... city) 

 charleston isn't 'the holy city' for nothing. 
there are tons of historic churches with cemeteries gated smack in the middle of the city. 


bruiser might be angry, but i'm not! 

it's thursday! which is the day before friday! 
(i learned my days of the week from her, did you?)


nothing much has been going on around here.

though, abram sort of discovered dr. pepper lip gloss.

and maybe he discovered that if you bring it to the right person they'll even apply it on you.

the proof is in the pudding picture.


this is my sister.
she is very beautiful. 
so is her hair.

she is leaving for college in just a few days. 
i'm not happy about it. 
she is my best friend. 
mostly just because of the hair. 
but also because i remember when she was born. 
she was so tiny. 
itty, itty, bitty. 
now she's all grown up. 

How I'll Save The World

Why are quinceaneras and weddings always grouped together? I can't think of anything LESS similar. I fully believe there would be an influx in world peace if they were separated properly. 

I should probably tweet about it because I heard President Obama say during last nights budgetary press conference that he's been "reading our tweets and considering our observations". Didn't know you had such a famous following did you? Yeah, me either.