Category Archives: Little

portraits of AK || 05

“a portrait of her every week for a year”



Little Bit, I love having you to tag along with me on every errand and shopping excursion. You grab your “pack-pack”, stuff your book and your water bottle inside of it, stick your “b” under your arm, and say, “it’s time-a go wun ew-ands, Mom.” When we go to Trader Joes, you drive your own “baby cawt” and if you can’t get around people you say, “I got jammed, Mom.” I love watching your independence grow and seeing you learn more about being brave and kind as you interact with others. When you get so excited for errand day it makes my heart so full that you, too, love those days like I do.


portraits of AK || 03 || 04

“a portrait of her every week for a year”



Little, I love your 3 year old creativity. This week, every spare minute we had, you would ask to pull out paints or colors or play-doh. You sat with Daddy one evening, for a good long while, creating fabulous play-doh art. I love seeing you learn, even now, how to appreciate the different forms that art can take. I’m so excited to watch your creative sense and abilities grow in the years ahead.




My Bit, pretty much since you were tall enough to stand at the sink and reach into it, you have spent hours “pwayin” in the sink. You toss various kitchen tools and sponges into the sink and entertain yourself by filling things with water, dumping out the water, and “washing the dishes.” You have taught me so much about the enjoyment of simplicity, and in this way, you do it all over again.

portraits of Anna Kate || 02

“a portrait of her every week for a year”



Anna Kate, you received this scooter as a hand-me-down from your thoughtful buddy, Teddy. As it is freezing outside, you have been riding it up and down the hallway and around the living room. At the end of every day you make sure it is parked in the “right” spot, waiting for you to wake up the next day. You’ve been eager to share your “soo-ter” with other little friends who have come over, as well, and that just makes me beam.

And I just love your little hands.

portraits of Anna Kate || 01

I have been inspired by other bloggers to try a new project with my Little this year: a portrait of her every week for a year. I’m so excited about this. To grow in my ability to capture Anna Kate, in all her personality and growth, with my camera lens. To share bits and pieces of what we walk through with her in this 2015 year. To have all these beautiful tidbits of 52 weeks to look back on and cherish for a lifetime.

So, my little darling, here we go. I eagerly await the next 51 weeks with you.




This 1st week ended with quite the bang. We cut inches off your hair. We adore this new haircut on you, but my mommy heart is having to adjust to not seeing those long locks flowing down your back. These changes are so fun, but the aches at seeing you grow so quickly certainly come.

When I asked you this morning to come do a quick favor for me, you looked at the camera in my hand and said, “you want me to sand by da wawl?” Your 3 year old photography insight knew exactly what I needed.


Today you are 3 years old. When did that happen? Those first moments of holding you in my arms, looking into the face of the beautiful little girl, my daughter, that I dreamt of for months, smelling that delicious newborn smell, kissing your little nose and hands, lost for words, tears filling my eyes, are as tangible to me today as they were that September evening 3 years ago.


Those treasured moments that I hold so dearly to my heart are not the only ones that are there now. They are now accompained by conversations we’ve had, phrases you’ve uttered that have caused me to turn around expecting to see a 10 year old in front of me, songs you sing from memory and movie lines you quote, seeing your sense of humor develop, having you sit on the counter and make cookies with me, dance parties to your “fav-ite Bwave song”, going on your first daddy/daughter date, moving you into the “big kid class” at church, witnessing both the strong will you possess and your beautifully tender heart, watching you discover the world and gain understanding, holding you close after a moment of discipline with tears streaming down both our faces telling each other we love each other, having you suddenly wrap both your arms around my neck and say, “you MY mommy!”, seeing the joy that fills your face and ignites your run into your daddy’s arms when we go to visit him at work, hearing you say, “Mommy, Jesus die on da cwoss for me because He yove me sooooo much.” These moments. These and so many more are what fill my mind as I write this to you right now and are what flash through my mind daily as I watch you shed the last little bit of baby-hood and become, in every way, a little girl.




I hope you never lose your childlike wonder. The simplicity of what entertains you is so sweet to me. Observing your joy at watching a big bus drive by, or laying on your back looking at clouds, or playing with plastic dishes in the sink, or playing our indoor “baseball” game for hours, has taught me to delight in simplicity, to treasure the moments that make up our days, and to be grateful for the beauty that is found when I do that.


You are the perfect mix of your daddy and I and your own little strong self. Our favorite place is home and our favorite companions are one another. None of us do well with unending busyness, our comfort zone is not found in big groups of people, and we all find refreshment in quiet evenings at home. Along with your love for home, though, you have this independent, strong, intense bravery that I adore. Oh, it sanctifies me, but it teaches me, too. We learn together to step outside of ourselves, try scary things, and to push ourselves past what makes us feel comfortable and safe.


I pray that this brave, independent, introverted, observant, thoughtful heart of yours will belong to Jesus. That in all these beautiful aspects of who you are you will display a love for Him, for truth, and for others. That you will seek Him with that intense passion I love about you. That you will dream with your hope founded in Him. And that you will be confident and strong in who He has made you to be, finding your worth in Him, and breaking down lies that tell you otherwise. That you would love others well, but live only to please Him.

I am in awe of God’s kindness in making me your mama and humbled as each day I see more of my inadequacy in this role His given me. In that, though, I see His abundant grace. He chose your daddy and me to be the ones to raise you, teach you, train you, and love you with a fierce, deep love, and as we do that He reveals more and more to us about His faithfulness, His mercies, and His gentle guidance.


Never have I known such a perfect mix of heartache and heart thrills as I do in being your mama. How much I want to bottle you up at every stage and make you stay right there forever, but how excited I am to watch you grow up and to enter each new stage anxious for what it holds. I tell you often that you are my little gift. There will never be a better way than that to describe what you are to me. My beautiful, undeserved, grace-filled, darling little gift. And I am so very glad that you are.



Happy 3rd Birthday, my Little Anna Kate. I love you more than words.

With all my heart,

simple joys

It’s Monday, my friends. How quickly the weekends seem to pass by. About every weekend J and I comment to each other how we wish there was one extra day in the weekend….wouldn’t that be lovely? I am learning to love Mondays, though, and learning to greet the new week with more joy rather than, “oh. you again.” It’s a process.

When my folks were in town they stayed in our little apartment with us. We love to host family and friends in our home, but because we don’t have much extra space the times that people can actually stay with us depends on how many of them come on each particular trip. Once Meg could move into her dorm room my parents were able to stay with us as it was then just the two of them. We had them take our bedroom and we camped out on our inflatable air mattress. How far air mattresses have come, by the way. Our queen-size double-high portable bed makes for quite the comfy nights sleep. And in the eyes of our little girl there is no better entertainment than said air mattress.


When that air mattress is pulled out and blown up the options become endless to our bright-eyed girl. It becomes a 2-year old trampoline, a cozy reading nook, the perfect spot to throw on extra pillows and blankets and watch a movie, a little home to imagine in with her dolls and toys, and a crash pad to land on when daddy launches her into the air.


Watching the sheer delight that comes across AK’s face and hearing the happy shriek as she runs down the hall to jump on it for the 37th time just reminded me of how much I’ve learned from her to find joy in simple things. To look at what I can so often dismiss as mundane or everyday, brush off my imagination, add a touch of gratitude and see the beauty that lies in simplicity.


I am so grateful for……

01 // Anna Kate belly laughs. one of the greatest sounds in all the world.

02 // popcorn and movie nights with my man.

03 // a biography on Julia Child. my culinary hero.

04 // the opportunity to rejoice with those who rejoice.

05 // rain. rain. rain.

06 // hints of the coming fall season.

07 // candles.

08 // hugs from my husband.

09 // the fact that it takes me less than an hour to clean our entire apartment.

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” Anne of Green Gables

Enjoy a lovely Monday evening, dear ones.


Today we are home. All day long. And those are days we love. Especially when accompanied by clouds, some rain, and slightly chillier temperatures. It makes being cozy inside even cozier. Plus, when the weather changes AK and I both experience bad allergies. Welcome to the Ohio River Valley……yuck. So, being inside and being cozy is even more appealing and wonderful.

Little made some artwork today that we are going to hang up in her room. I love when she paints. She wears one of my old tshirts which hangs down to her ankles, we put on music, and she dives into creative mode. I love watching her little imagination at work and hearing her explanation of each picture she paints. My little artist. IMG_8571

My mind has been full with thoughts of family and friends today. There’s just a lot going on. I have friends facing really heavy, difficult circumstances, some facing sad, disappointing circumstances, and others facing frustrating, discouraging circumstances, and I wish I could just take it for them and make it all better. Last night my heart was overwhelmed with thinking of all them facing these things, but as I was sharing the details of each situation with Jas, I just began to feel so thankful. Thankful that my friends, people I care about and love very much, can face these circumstances covered with the love and grace of God. Thankful that we can cast all our cares on Him and leave them at the foot of the cross, trusting Him with His sovereign purpose. Thankful that we can all rest in the truth that He is working all things together for good, in the circumstances and in our hearts. I told Jas, I just can’t imagine walking through these hardships of life without the hope of Jesus. That even when we are neck-deep or sometimes completely submerged in the yuck and tragedy that this life brings, we can have hope. Hope in a God that is the same everyday and who, in His perfect wisdom and love, is ruling over all these different situations. As I pray for my dear ones and seek to encourage them, I want to entrust their precious hearts and lives to Jesus most of all, and pray He fills them with that peace that surpasses understanding. And I know He will be faithful to do it.

My baby sister is graduating high school this week. I seriously don’t know when she grew up. But she did. And now she is graduating and I’m just so proud of her. She has grown into such a beautiful, thoughtful, wise, generous, kind, and talented woman and I’m just thankful to have the gift of being her big sister. She has such a tender, gentle, sensitive heart for Jesus and I have learned so much from watching her walk through these last couple years. It breaks my heart to not be able to be there in person to celebrate with her, hug her, and cry with her (because that’s what my family does in any circumstance that slightly resembles a big deal, or when we see a sappy tv commercial. We basically react the same in both). I wish we could be there. But, Meg, know we are celebrating with you 900+ miles away and are praising Jesus for His grace in your life and for the lovely woman He has shaped you to be. We are heart-bursting proud of you and can’t wait to see all He has awaiting you in these next months and years. You’re the best baby sister in the history of all the world and we love you. 37662_1158180490106_6469860_n

So I did a little photo shoot for some sweet friends for their little girl’s upcoming first birthday and I thought I’d share just a couple of my favorite images. She’s an absolute doll and the most smiley little love! I loved taking pictures of her darling 1 year-old (almost) self!_MG_8222 _MG_8275 _MG_8310 _MG_8334 _MG_8391

I hope that you all are enjoying this Thursday, friends! Thursdays always have this extra bit of happiness for me because it means tomorrow is Friday. And I’m really thankful when Friday comes.