Monday, January 27, 2014

"A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2014."

R: My Wild thing + it was crazy sock day at school.
L: loves smoothies and putting bandaids on his face :)
D: bath time!

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 3)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

This past week had a lot of challenges...one of them included a crashed hard drive!  The silver lining is that I got a chance to look through old photos from the past 7 years on a few of my external drives (thank goodness I had everything backed up!)  Oh, the heart strings were majorly pulled!!  Especially with Riley.  This little girl isn't so little anymore!  After this exhausting week, my brain is feeling quite drained of words...so for Friday's Quick Takes, here are 7 of my favorite photos I came across as a result of The Crashed Drive.  See more Quick Takes over at Jen's blog

(this is one of my favorite images I've ever captured.  It was taken 3 years ago with my Canon Ae-1 and TMAX 3200 film).   






 And lastly, this is one of my all time favorite i-phone photos!  It was quite the perfect moment to walk in on them fast asleep (and also the last time they all napped at the same time!)  

And I'll add this one link because it's also related to photography and the photographs are super fascinating!  Here you go:

Five Favorites (vol 1)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

To see more 5 Favorites, go visit Moxie Wife 

My friend Amy and her husband are amazing cooks!  I have learned a lot of great recipes from her including what I made for dinner tonight: Pork Tenderloin with a delicious fig butter/balsamic glaze sauce.  It only took about 30 minutes to make and it was delicious. First I followed THIS pork tenderloin recipe and while it was baking in the oven, I made the sauce.   Here is the recipe for the sauce (all ingredients came from Trader Joes): 1.) sauté shallots in butter/ghee 2.) Add 1/4 cup of balsamic glaze and 1/4 cup of fig butter to the saucepan (I used a small iron skillet). 3.) Bring to a simmer and cook until it is a consistency you like,  I let mine simmer on very low for about 20 minutes.  4.) Add to your pork tenderloin and serve.  SO good and SO easy!!  Thanks Amy! 

I'm struggling with my 7 year old in the area of her picking up after herself. My favorite pinterest find-of-the-week has been this article on creating an accountability binder.  So far it's really helping her, and the free printables are really cute.  

You are My Wild.  This is one of my favorite photography blogs!  It captures real-life-childhod SO well!!  If you love photography, grab a cup of coffee, and browse the blog.  


I swear by Oscillo!   My 3 year old had the flu last week and it really helped.  So far, no one else in the family came down with it (please Lord, let no one else get it!!).  During the "flu-season" we all (except the baby) take oscillo once a week for prevention.  If you can begin taking it the moment you start to feel like you may be coming down with something, I swear it lessens the severity of the sickness. (disclaimer: I am not a dr, and these are merely my humble opinions).
My favorite Meme of the Week, which oh-so-accurately, describes the week thus far:

Sleepless Nights

Monday, January 20, 2014
It was midnight and neither of the little boys were sleeping.  Luke was cuddled close; he was scared of the dark, and restless from being sick all week.  Dominic, who usually falls quickly back to sleep while I nurse him, woke up to his brother's sweet, but very high pitched voice.  The night-light illuminated both their faces, and I watched as they stared at each other and shared smiles.  I felt like crying. I felt like shouting, "why won't you go to sleeeeeeep; I've still got stuff to get done!!!" But as I held them, in the quiet of the night, I thought about my vocation as their mother:  this is hard.  I want to sleep, yet I have so much to do.  Lord, you know how badly I need sleep.....why are they awake?!?!  And then those words from Pope Benedict came to mind, "you were not made for comfort, you were made for greatness."** This middle-of-the-night-work, nourishing these little boys both physically and emotionally, this is what God is using for my greatness.  It's not suppose to be easy...learning to die to selfish desires never is.  To love is to sacrifice.  And these boys; their sweet souls need tending, even in the middle of the night when they are scared and hungry and I am exhausted.  As I slowly began to get them back to sleep, I thanked God.  I thanked him for trusting me to raise them.  I offered a prayer for women who desire to be mothers, but who can't be, or who are struggling.  They would give anything, even countless sleepless nights, just to experience being a mother.  I pray I don't lose sight of how blessed I am.  Sleepless nights are hard, and I hope God will help me through the many of them I see in my future.  But regardless, I will be grateful.  Even when it's hard to be grateful, I will try.  God didn't make me for comfort, he made me for Greatness.

**of all the blog posts I read last year, this one was one of my favorites


"A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2014."

R: playing piano...her lessons are starting again soon.
L: Poor boy was sick most of the week.
D: a little ham in front of the camera...and my mom made us the blanket he's 
               laying on. 

7 Quick Takes

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Takes are going to be quick this week because I've got a sick little boy to take care of and an extremely messy house that I need to attempt to get presentable. Check out Jen's blog to see the 7 Quick Takes Link up.  

I hate when my kids get sick!  They don't get sick all that often, but when they do, I worry more than I should.  Anyways, a couple months ago, I got this book which was written by a naturopathic dr, a medical dr, and a pediatric nurse and it lists conventional, homeopathic, and herbal treatments for common childhood sickness'.  It's been good for someone like me who needs to stay OFF the internet when researching the symptoms one of my children is experiencing...Dr. Google is not a friend to a hypochondriac like myself.  Learning aboutnatural treatments has been really fascinating and I hope to learn more in the future!  


I think everyone of Facebook has taken the, What City Should You Actually Live In quiz, but in case you haven't heard of it, it's this silly little test where you answer a few short and easy questions to see what city best fits your personality!  Ryan and I both took it and we both got Paris.  I love the description it gave and feels pretty accurate for both of us:  

 After about a month hiatus from the book I'm currently reading, I picked it up again this past week (I'm actually reading it with a few friends)!  It's a classic, but I had never heard of it before I started reading it.  It's A Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.  I'm about halfway through and so far it's great!  Publicly putting my New Years Resolutions out on the internet has been good for accountability...I'm determined to finish 5 books this year!

This past week I asked Ryan if he could snap a quick photo of me and the kids because the photo I currently have up on this blog is from 3 years ago (that was my first mistake, there is no such thing as a quick photo when you have 3 little kids).  Well, the "quick little photo-shoot" went just as you imagine it would when you have two overly tired boys who refused to nap, so it will probably be a while before I get an updated photo.  This sums up the photoshoot:


I spent a lot of the past week writing down Dominic's birth story.  What is it about birth stories that are so fun to read...or is it just me?  Whenever one of my friends has a baby, I always want to hear about how the labor went and the details of how it all happened...maybe I missed my calling as a midwife!?  If you like reading those types of stories, I'm going to post it on my blog in a few days.  Here's a photo from his first week of life: 

A friend emailed me this video yesterday and I thought it may come in handy one day soon (Thanks Sarah!).  A little trick for separating egg yokes and egg whites.  Now you know :)

And lastly, I've been saying this prayer a lot lately.  I first heard it about 2 years ago, and it's been a favorite ever since.  It was written by St. Frances de Sales:

Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life; rather, look to them with full hope that as they arise, God, whose very own you are, will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand it, God will carry you in His arms. Do not fear what may happen tomorrow; the same understanding Father who cares for you today will take care of you then and every day. He will either shield you from suffering or will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.



Sunday, January 12, 2014

"A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2014."

R: it was a cold day so we grabbed this blanket (that my grandma made) out of the car for some quick pictures before the sunset.
L: loves to take baths.
D: love his sweet little face

7 Quick Takes: Volume 1

Friday, January 10, 2014
Linking up with Jen for 7 Quick Takes, visit her blog to see more!

This right here basically sums up the past month:

When we finally get the kids to sleep at night, the only thing I want to do is stay up aaalllll night and bask in the peace and quiet!  The sleep deprivation of the past 7 months has finally caught up to me and not only did I get sick this past week, but I was basically a crazy person aka "a tall two-year old." I'd forget words mid-sentence, cry when I didn't get my way, and cry some more when all 3 of my kids would cry at the same time. So basically, sleep deprivation equals a lot of crying!  I know the answer is to go to bed earlier, but that is really hard for someone who is a night owl and recharges in the peace & quiet.  I'm working on it. 

Speaking of the past 7 months, this guy turns 7 moths old tomorrow.  I just love him! And even though I'm complaining about my sleep deprivation, I'll just be cheesy right now and say that he's most definitely worth it!


For Christmas, my mom got me something that had been on my wish list for quite some time... a dutch oven!  A few friends had told me to try roasting a whole chicken in it which we did this past Sunday.  The result? Amazing!!  Trader Joes is now carrying black fermented garlic (which I had never even heard of before) and so I threw it in the pot to roast with the other vegetables and it was so very delicious...the garlic was actually sweet tasting! This is the recipe I followed: French Chicken In a Pot.  

And one more success I had this week with food...muffins!  If you're looking for a really really good chocolate-banana muffin recipe that has no refined sugar, and is gluten free, I recommend this recipe: Paleo Chocolate Banana Muffins.  They were a hit with the kids and Ryan!  


I've been thinking about what my word should be for the year 2014 and was having a hard time coming up with just one word.  This verse from Isaiah chapter 40:31 had come to me twice from different friends last week:  "They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on Eagles wings, they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint." so originally I thought that the word, Soar, would be a great word for 2014.  Then last week, on a day that was particularly challenging, I came across this post by Elizabeth Foss and it was one of those moments where I knew this was suppose to be my word.  It is the word: Surrender.  I recommend reading her eloquent words on the subject, but this is the paragraph that really resonated with me:

"I’m not omnipotent. Not at all. I can do nothing under my own power. Everything good that I do or say or accomplish I do under His strength and with His grace. There is no other way. Here’s where I meet fear and stare it down. I seek perfection because I fail to trust that God’s got this. It’s that simple. I want to be all-powerful, to conquer, to perfect. Perfectionism is striving to be without fault in my own eyes and in the eyes of other people because I need to feel secure. Perfectionism is trying to control my children’s lives so that only good and nothing bad will happen. Perfectionism is trying to maintain perfect order because I fear what will be if I allow for human weakness. 
Perfectionism is the enemy of surrender.
Perfect fear and the fear of being imperfect drive out Love.  
Perfect fear exhausts, depletes, frustrates, depresses, and suffocates a life of grace. It is grace I want to live, not perfection. It is surrender I need, not power.
Grace is in the surrender. I am called only to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. How cool is that? I don’t have to be Supermom. Furthermore, I’m not supposed to be Supermom. I’m supposed to be little, and tender, and childlike in my faith. Surrender is to relinquish worrying that I’m not enough or I didn’t do it sufficiently. 
Surrender is knowing that when I go to bed at night and feel like my house and my heart are too bruised and broken to be beautiful in anyone’s sight, He’s there, ready to fill me with ample grace and strength to do what He would have me do."
I want to soar.  I know that in order to soar though, I've got to begin with surrendering.  So surrender is my word for 2014.
The kids received a couple seasons of the I love Lucy show for Christmas and they both love it!  Even my 3 year old!  Needless to say, I've been re-watching all the episodes with them and it brings back so many good memories of when I was a child and first falling in love with the show. Here's one of the best scenes of all time!  Why can't there be shows like this anymore?

I've currently got a 3 year old who lives for Peter Pan...all day, every day.  It's pretty awesome! Even when he's throwing a crazy tantrum, the feathered hat makes it hard for me to get too mad.  A few snaps from the iPhone: 


This weekend we're going to start building our raised beds for our garden.  I'll be honest, I'm nervous about this little endeavor.  I don't like to fail, and I'm nervous I'm going to kill everything we're going to grow.  If anyone has any tips, or recommended websites for gardening, I'd love to know!  


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

"A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2014."

Learn about the 52 week project by clicking here...it's not too late to join in!

1.) L: currently can't get him to sleep in his bed....so he's in ours

2.)  D: A happy baby on this 70 degree day in January
3.)  R: Fireside...reflecting on the Feast of the Epiphany

2014 Resolutions

We said goodbye to 2013 by celebrating with some of our closest friends...we ate good food, shared funny stories, played Apples to Apples, and drank good wine.  Between all 4 of our families, there were 13 kids who also celebrated by staying up until midnight, playing games, eating desserts, and lighting sparklers....getting together with friends to celebrate is always a good reminder that laughter is good for the Soul.  

I can't recall a single New Years Resolution I've made in the past.  Maybe it's because I knew I'd most likely fail, or maybe it's because I was never organized enough (hello, a.d.d!) but I haven't seriously made a resolution in the past 10+ years.  Something feels different this year though and I can't stop thinking about making a few personal resolutions.  Life with 3 small kids is often unpredictable and out of my control, that I suspect that the idea of making a resolution is a way of making me feel like I can accomplish something tangible.  I'm going to give it my best...so here is my list:

1.) Resurrect my blog and fall back in love with the art and Beauty of photography.  Except this blog is a little different than my last:  I have nothing to promote and nothing to sell, and I couldn't be more excited about that fact (so I think that officially makes me a mom blogger now, right?!).  I absolutely loved my photography business, but right now it's not where I'm being called.  I started my first blog in 2007 and one of things I most loved was connecting with other photographers and whoever happened to stumble across my little space of the internet.  I've missed that in the past year and a half (when I stopped blogging), and look forward to starting this new teeny, tiny, space to call my own on the interwebs!  I spent a lot of 2013 feeling pretty exhausted and unfortunately, that exhaustion spilled over into my love of photography and I didn't feel inspired to create images I was passionate about (exception: I love my iPhone and take waaaay too many photos with that lovely device!  It may be a problem, but have you seen THIS commercial).  So I have some personal photography goals that I'm hoping to share throughout the year, starting with the 52 Week Project.

2.)  Remember how I mentioned I have a problem with my iPhone? Cue Resolution numero dos: Completely unplugg from my iphone one Sunday/month.  It's a start, right?  

3.)  Start a garden!  Ryan is on board and excited about this too which actually makes this resolution realistic.  We even bought a lot of the materials to get started a few days ago!  There is so much I don't know about this topic so I'm not entirely sure what specific goals I should have for our garden (and seeing that I have difficulty keeping house plants alive...I need to be realistic here).  For example, how much can I expect our 1st year of gardening to yield?  What if the bugs and birds try to eat my garden?!?  I've only begun researching, so if anyone has any helpful resources to share, please let me know.

4.)  Be more organized when it comes to celebrating The Liturgical Year.  I've recently purchased a few cookbooks that will help me to incorporate special meals that honor different Feast Days and celebrations and I'm hoping to find a few fun crafts/activities to do on the Feast Days that are extra special to us.  My first step toward making this happen is sitting down and organizing my calendar so I know at the beginning of each month, what to plan for.

5.) Read 3-5 books.  I'm most looking forward to reading Jennifer Fulwiler's book out soon!  

I'm tempted to make a few more resolutions, but that's just asking for disappointment so 5 it is!  Ryan and I came up with a few Family Goals for the year too, which I'll share soon.  

Goodbye 2013 and hello 2014! 


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