Saturday, December 31, 2011

favorites of 2011.

I know I said I wasn't going to post again till 2012, but well, I changed my mind since I have a few posts just waiting to be finished and posted. I thought I'd share for you some of my favorites from this year. It's hard to narrow down just a few favorite photos from this year, so you get quite a few favorites from the year. That is your warning...




new chalk

Old Lou


the stump

fixing gda's 'stache

Picture 259fd


the swimmer

in awe of the big boys.

first dance.

happiness is a warm puppy

loyal companion

Picture 069cbwweb

a couple


this boy...
And there you have it. I think that last photo of Maggie is probably my favorite of the year. I was going to link-up the blog posts to each of these, but decided against it. Just photos is all this post needs. On a side note, while looking through my posts this year I found a whole bunch of photos missing from the posts. So sad. I'm not sure what I did wrong. Early on I wasn't using the html code from Flickr, so I suppose when I moved photos off my laptop and onto an external hard drive I lost the images on my blog. Sigh... I guess I know better now.
Enjoy this last day of 2011, friends. Blessings to you and your loved ones in 2012.

Monday, December 26, 2011

december skies.

december skies 2011

We've had some unusually non-rainy, clear sky days for this time of year. I'm almost afraid if I say it out loud it might start raining right this minute. But I'll take that chance. These were all snapped from my cell phone, most of them out the front door or the back door of our house, or at the parking lot of my favorite grocery store. It's been my latest cell phone photo obsession - the trees and the sky.  Naked trees against a bright, blue sky. Branches peaking out through ghostly, dense fog. A white contrail streaked across a the great blue yonder. Maybe I'm obsessed with the simplicity. Or maybe it's the limitless feeling evoked by looking up to the heavens.

{Taking the week off to spend time with my boy, destress from the craziness of the holidays, and gather my thoughts as we head into a new year. Enjoy the last week of 2011, friends.}

Sunday, December 25, 2011

merry christmas!

Wishing all of you a very, Merry Christmas.

the fam 2011

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Friday, December 23, 2011

what to do with all the broken candy canes.

I love the small candy canes that are available this time of year. I need to buy a few boxes to help me make it through the year. A lot of the times a few of them are broken (or in the case of the one box I bought, most of them are broken and Max would only eat the whole ones, but I digress...) So, what to do with all of those broken candy canes? Make peppermint bark! I first made this last year after a neighbor brought some over. And let me say, I just love it. So did my husband and he's not a big chocolate guy.

It's really quite simple to make. You just need really good quality semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate, peppermint extract, oil, and broken/crushed candy canes.


Melt the chocolate. Add the peppermint. Spread in pan. Toss some candy canes on-top.
Then chill (the chocolate in the pan, though you are welcome to chill as well.)

what you need.

Next you melt the white chocolate. Add the peppermint. Spread on-top of the semi-sweet chocolate.
Toss on more candy canes. And chill some more.

peppermint bark

I didn't read the recipe well enough this time and used a bigger pan than the 9x9 they suggest.
That chocolate was spread pretty thin.


Once it's all chilled, just break it into pieces and enjoy!

candy cane love


the performer.

Last Tuesday was Max's Christmas Program at his preschool. It was his big day. This guy loves to sing. He goes through phases where he sings constantly. It sometimes drives me a little crazy, but then I realize that I usually have a song on repeat in my head all day long as well. Max just belts it out. I had heard him practicing his songs for a few weeks. It was super cute.

the performer.

His class sang, I'm Going to Wrap Up Myself for Christmas and Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

happy guy.

I took a ton of photos with my little 50mm lens and in most of them you can barely see Max up there.
But I got a few good shots as they came walking in to the church.
It made me so completely, utterly happy to see him so happy.
It's truly amazing the amount of joy this little guy creates in my heart.

"I'm gonna wrap up myself for Christmas
And tie me with a big red bow.
That's what I'm giving to Jesus.
It's a present He'll like I know." 

(The lyrics to this song reminded me of the post I wrote the other day.)

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Bangs. They're a hot topic these days. Well, in some circles they are...pretty sure most guys I know don't think twice about it. Anyway, I got my haircut last week. Just a trim (though I really wanted to chop it!) and got my bangs trimmed quite a bit. They were almost down to my mouth, and now they are just down to the top of my nose. I'd call them side-swept bangs, if you want to get all technical. A certain someone who shall remain nameless asked to see a photo of the new bangs. So, here you go.

hollywood red.
Let me just say, I have a lot to work on in the self-portrait arena (like how blew-out the highlights in these? Ugh.)... I think this may be the first time I've done a selfie and actually posted it for all the world to see. OK, so not that many people read my blog.  I know you're wondering about the lipstick - well I don't normally wear bright red lipstick around the house, while I'm in my comfy clothes but maybe I should. In case you like the red I'm sporting, it is Hollywood Red from Bobbi Brown.

(My first thought was to name this post, "to bang or not to bang, that is the question" but thankfully I thought twice about it.)

And while I'm at it, Happy "first day of the days getting longer" to you!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

the gift.

the gift.
A couple of weeks ago we had our Bible Study Christmas party. It was so fun to have the Friday group and the Sunday group meet-up for some yummy treats and chatting. At one point we all had a seat and one of the leaders talked a little bit about all the gift giving we do, and the lists we make (some very specific.) Christmas has become all about gifts these days. As she held-up a gift for us to see, she told us that everyday we are given this gift - Him. He offers Himself to us every single day. Some have never seen the gift that is waiting for them. Some have the gift in hand and have never opened it, or simply don't know how to open it. And some, as you might guess, have opened the gift. He has given us a gift. But what will you give Him? If you gave him one thing, what would it be? What do you think he'd want most from you? I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that all He wants is YOU. All of YOU. The good, the bad, the ugly, the joy, the praise. All of it. All of YOU.

We can't celebrate Christmas without also celebrating Easter. They go hand in hand. You can't have one without the other. He was born that He would die on the cross for us. For you. For me. But we have to accept the gift and open it. Simply having the gift isn't enough.

I will be completely honest with you here and tell you that I've had the gift for years. But I've had no idea how to open it all these years. Sounds silly, doesn't it. You'd think it'd be easy, right? Not so much. Because, you see, you have to be completely vulnerable, and a lot of us ( have a hard time doing that. I've taken a step. I have surrounded myself once a week with a group of women who are also taking those step; some are just now accepting the gift, some are learning how to open it, and some are digging deeper into that box for more. More of Him.

So I will leave you with this:
Where are you on your journey? Do you have the Gift? Have you opened it? Are you digging deeper? I'm slowly working on opening the Gift. Carefully taking off the bow and ribbon and tape. (Cause I'm a little Type A like that.)
And what will you give Him for Christmas? And for Easter? Here's me being vulnerable with you all again...I'm trying, as hard as it is for me to do, to give Him all of me. My struggles. My hopes. My disappointments. My fear. My worries. My dreams. My joy. My happiness. Myself. Because deep down inside I know He can handle all of it better than I could ever dream of.

That little present on my tree and this post is my gift to YOU this Christmas. (Of course, if I could I'd meet you all for coffee and give each one of you one of those little present and a hug.)
Merry Christmas, friends.

Friday, December 16, 2011

his shadow.

his shadow.

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an errant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.
Robert Louis Stevenson

(I've got nothin' today, so you get a little poem.)
Happy Friday, friends.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

winter sun.

winter sun.

Looks can be deceiving. Doesn't that sun look warm and inviting? It was anything but that. It was a crystal clear, blue sky day, but it was oh so very cold. I did not set-out to photograph leaves this day. I had bribed my son into a little photo shoot outdoors (photo to come...) Afterwards he ran around in the sun, on our driveway. All boy. I sat down to soak-up what I could find of the warmth, only to find the pavement ice cold. And this lone leaf caught my eye. Beautiful color, lovely shadow. It was almost as if it had joined me there, on the cold pavement, trying to stay warm. I almost deleted that first shot, but something about the soft blur of the leaf and it's golden hue set against the sharp backdrop of that cold pavement spoke perfectly of what it felt like to sit there in the cold, winter sun.

lonely leaf.

You are the one that drew me here
Now that I've come, I find I am no nearer to you
Led by the light so dim, you didn't even penetrate the skin
Oh winter sun

Promising all the answers
Knowing I could be captured with the information
Never to radiate the hidden heart or penetrate the skin
Oh winter sun
You're a promise in the distance, winter sun

If I chase the light to find the heat
Will I feel the earth grow warm beneath my feet
Can I move beyond what you've begun
Oh winter sun

Winter Sun - Out of the Grey

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

holiday randomness.

I haven't done a "random" post in awhile. And I'm feeling quite random these days. Picture the hamster on the wheel, running in circles - that's what has been going on in my brain lately.

holiday favs.

Let the randomness begin...

1. Holiday music kinda makes me want to cry. Just a little. I can be chugging along down the freeway or sitting at a light and a song can come on and I get all teary-eyed.

2. A few of my favorite Holiday CDs - the new
Michael Buble Christmas - classic! What a voice!
A Very She & Him Christmas - Not sure how to describe this one - maybe a little off-beat (in a good way) and classy. But a new favorite of mine.
Joy to the World - Pink Martini. Oh my - if you haven't heard Pink Martini I'd suggest you run out and buy a copy of any of their CDs. Seriously. Amazing. (And they are from Portland. Gotta love a local group who has made it not just big, but HUGE! My favorite song of theirs is Hey Eugene.)
A Christmas to Remember - Amy Grant. I love Amy Grant.
James Taylor At Christmas - It's JT. What more do I need to say.
A Christmas Album - Amy Grant. Perhaps my all-time favorite holiday CD. The a capella beginning of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing makes me teary-eyed every time. As does Angels We Have Heard on High. This was her first (and best) holiday album, from way back in 1983.
Home for Christmas - Amy Grant. Breath of Heaven. Amazing.
Wintersong - Sarah McLachlan Her version of River really almost makes me cry everytime (if you haven't figured it out yet - a song making me cry is a good measure of it's greatness in my book.)
Where Are You Christmas - Faith Hill. Something about this song that I really love..maybe because I always wonder what happen to the joy I used to feel about Christmas when I was a kid. I want that feeling back.

3. My house is kind of a mess...ok, not kind of - it is a mess. I feel like I can't keep up with the cleaning-up and putting things away. It's constant.

4. I know Christmas time should be a time to relax and reflect on who the season is really about. But this time of year makes me feel the most frazzled and rushed and totally unprepared. I think I need blood pressure medicine to get my through - I'd hate to see what my BP is most days. My anxiety is pretty much through the roof by the time I go to bed.

5. We finally have our tree up. And it is HUGE. Like, I-hope-it-doesn't-fall-over huge. We have 20 foot ceilings in our living room and the tree is only about five feet short of the ceiling. HUGE I tell ya. It seems that every year my husband gets a bigger tree.

6. Elf on the shelf. I may be coming around to thinking it's cute. Maybe...just a tiny, tiny bit. For as long as I've known about Elf on the Shelf, I've basically thought it looks creepy-cute. Like some scary toy that would show-up in a scary movie. (Think Chuckie...that's what I'm thinking.) But maybe by next Christmas I'll have gotten-over the creep-factor that consumes my mind when I see that doll. Maybe...

7. One of the local radio stations starts playing holiday music the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Day. It was all good and I was really enjoying listening until I heard the commercial stating that Oregon Reproductive Medicine is one of the sponsors of the holiday music on this particular station. Something oddly annoying about listening to happy, holiday music that's brought to me by the clinic I gave lots of "moolah" to in the hopes of getting pregnant. It briefly makes the holiday music not so "holiday-ish" when I hear that commercial. In fact I usually turn the station.


8. It's been cold here. Really cold some days. Cold for us anyways. We had some wonderful sunny, frosty days last week, and it's all sunshine and blue sky today! I'm enjoying it while it lasts, even if it's cold. A lot of days the fog and low lying clouds never burn off, so the sky is grey all day. All. Day. I will try to capture one of those photos for you. But I warn you, they are super boring. And grey.

9. Today I'm drinking my coffee straight-up. It's going to be a busy day - Max's school Holiday program, in-laws leaving, parents coming, cookie exchange later tonight...busy. (Wonder what my BP is just writing about this all...)

10. My favorite, as-close-as-I'm-gonna-get-to-having-instagram app recently had an update, in which they got rid of the square format for photos. So annoyed... I love the square format and the different borders each filter had. Just another reason to get an iPhone with my next upgrade.

11. Remember this guy?


12. And I bet if we could all hang-out together snowmen really would come to life. Like Frosty, above. ;)

when we're together.

That's probably enough randomness for now. I've got tons more, but I'll spare you from my rambling...if you're still reading...
Happy Tuesday, friends!

Friday, December 9, 2011

friday: i'm thinking...

this boy...

...this boy keeps me on my toes, challenges me to be a better person, makes me laugh,
trusts me with his little life, and loves to give hugs & kisses.
I'm thinkin' he's a keeper. :)

(And he set-up this shot...budding photog?)

* * * * *
Such a fun week, linking-up with some friends. Great idea, Tracey!
Thank you for inviting me to join you.
Now go see what my friends are thinkin' this Friday...
Happy Friday, friends!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

thursday: i'm thinking...

too many books, not enough time.
...too many books and not enough time.
My current read, The Book Thief.

Now go see what my friends are thinking today!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

wednesday: i'm thinking...

Christmas lights.
I love the multicolor holiday lights on our house
AND I really love seeing all the lovely holiday light bokeh photos.

Now go see what my friends are thinking today!
(Want to join in the fun? Just leave me a comment and let me know you
want to join us and I'll add you to the linky list.)


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

tuesday: i'm thinking...

the mill
I wish I had had my "big girl" camera with me yesterday when I took these shots with my Droid.
(And that the power line wasn't in the photo...)


Monday, December 5, 2011

monday: i'm thinking...

monday: i'm thinking...

He's got a lot of stuffed animals and he loves them so. Just like his momma did.
(Mind you, this is only a small sampling of his stuffed animals.)

happy boy & angry birds

I'm linking-up with some of my friends this week. Now go see what they're thinking today. :)
(And yes, I was late today. I scheduled my post to automatically post on the wrong day. Oops!)

Naomi http:/

Thursday, December 1, 2011

holding on to gratitude.

holding on to gratitude.
Thankful for sunny days and a nice, hot cup of coffee!
I hope your December is magical, friends.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011



We had a wonderful Thanksgiving up in Seattle with my parents. It was great to spend it at home again. I miss that every year. I brought my "big girl" camera and didn't take a single photo. So bad, I know...
As November draws to a close I've been thinking a lot about all the things I am thankful for. The list is very long, I realize. Which, of course, I am quite thankful for. My original plan was to take a photo a day of something I was thankful for and do a collage at the end of the month. But I slacked-off after about five days. Again, so bad, I know.

I am thankful...
for my wonderful, beautiful, sassy, imaginative, silly, lovey-dovey, little Max. I  may only have one little person in my life, but I got the best one. And for that I will be eternally grateful.
for my husband - who works lots of long hours to provide for us; who has the patience between the two of us; who is the calm one in our family. He is a funny guy, whose laughter is contagious.
my college girlfriends who I have had the great pleasure of knowing for almost 20 years. Being with any one of them feels a bit like home. And as a group - WOW! We know how to have a lot of fun.
being able to stay home with Max. It's by far the hardest job I've ever had. And the most rewarding.
for photography, which is something I can call my own; which has put me in touch with my old self; which allows me a creative outlet.
for my wonderful, new photography/blogging friends! They inspire me every. single. day.  They have left sweet comments on my blog and have been a great resource of photography information. They have prayed for me and they have sent me words of wisdom that I think of every day. I wish I could give you all a big huge hug and sit and chat with you over coffee. Someday.
for this great country we live in and the people who have fought for my freedom, past and present.
for my amazing parents who do so many wonderful things for me all the time! I could write volumes about all they have done for me...many volumes...
for my brother who always makes me laugh and who is such a wonderful Uncle to Max. And for his girlfriend who has so much energy and loves to play with Max.
I was able to do IVF. Now I will never wonder, what if we had tried IVF?...And for all of the friends and family who kept me in their prayers before, during and after that journey.
for anti-epileptic medications. Because of them I don't live my life in fear every waking moment.
for my health and the health of those I love.
for Pinterest. Yes, I know this sounds shallow. But at the end of a bad day I love getting lost in the eye candy that is Pinterest. I love how "just 5 more minutes" turns into and hour later.
for the ten years I got to spend with my sweet Maggie Lou. She brought so much joy to my life. Thinking of her just makes me smile.
for vanilla lattes.
for my great C-Town girlfriends! I have met a lot of really great, caring people here in Camas. Friends who listen and are ready to help at a moments notice. Friends to chat with for hours while having a few cocktails. Friends who will share Truffle Fries with you. ;)
for an abundance of good books to read!
for the world of possiblity that is my future.
for forgiveness and His grace.

Just a sampling of the many, many things for which I am thankful. I am so very blessed.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

holding on & letting go.

I noticed these little helicopters were about the only thing left on the tree after a big wind and rain storm Thursday night. They seemed to be holding-on with all their might as the breeze tossed them around. The tree is pretty much bare except for a few leaves and helicopters still holding-on. I wonder why they hold-on so long? How do they know when it's time to let-go?

a couple

a few

holding on

Anyone who's known me for any length of time knows that I hold on to things. My office is a perfect, literal example. Books, CDs, cards from years ago, photos, trinkets and treasures from my childhood on up to my college years and first few jobs. In fact, while up in my office looking for a CD for Max, I came across an email I had printed out from May of 2004, before leaving that job to move down here and start my new, married life. It was from a co-worker, thanking me for doing such a great job at my job. And today, as I read it seven years later, it made me smile. It made me feel really good. And I briefly thought, I can't throw this away! You don't get that kind of praise as a stay at home mom. Not even close.

letting go

Life is a lot about holding-on and letting-go. Holding-on to hurts feelings, expectations of myself and others. Holding-on to disappointments and sadness and worry. Holding-on to anxieties about the my future, my son's future, my parents' future. Holding-on to "stuff" - we all have so much "stuff" in our lives. Do we really need it all? All those books we've read and we know we will never read again. All those CDs we've put on our iPod. All those cards from loved ones. Why do we keep it? What are we really holding-on to by holding-on to all of that "stuff" - the "stuff" we can touch and the "stuff" that touches our heart and soul. Unfulfilled dreams? Pieces of our younger days? Memories of when times seemed simpler? All of this holding-on wears me so far down, that you'd think I'd just fall to the ground in pieces. And some days I do - or at least I feel like I'd like to, but I can't. I'm a mom. I have a small child. I have to be the responsible one now.

And so I guess I'll let-go of what I can. The things that feel safe to let-go of. And at the same time I'll likely hold-on to a lot of things. The things that keep me sane. The things that remind me of that happy-go-lucky girl I used to be.
And that note from that co-worker? I pinned it up on the cork board in my office. It made me smile; it was just as if he was standing before me telling me what a great job I'm doing now.
{Some things really are worth holding on to.}