What do we wear?

24 10 2011

This is random, i know.

One thing I’m often asked is to help pick out wardrobes for family photo shoots.  I love getting the chance to do that because it’s just one of those things that makes me tick.  I’ve been meaning to write a post on the subject for the past few years, in order to offer DIY tips and just never got around to it, but I stumbled upon this while visiting a favorite blog last night. She titled her post “What do we wear?” as well so now I don’t have to write one…just read hers. She makes the same point I stress…coordinate, don’t match.  And be open to inspiration. We used the colors from the maps we made our airplanes from to inform our wardrobe decisions for this shoot.  We may or may not have included too many colors…but if you know me, that’s a great expression of freedom.


I thought summer was over…

7 10 2011

…I’ve pulled out the fall pillows, put away my shorts and taken faded swimsuits to goodwill.

But these two are scheming to extend the season.

They decided to get all their stuffed animals ready for one last hurrah at the pool.

They found the pool bin and got them decked out with goggles, towels, and yes…sunblock too.  Count them…one, two, three, four, five, six containers…completely emptied.

It was too cute to get mad. What a mess to clean up but the playroom smells really good now.

Christmas cards: taking this year off

26 09 2011

As part of my radical effort to truly slow down (see previous post) I decided to stop working. Initially I had hoped to stop altogether for a while and then to slowly pick up small projects until all three boys are in elementary school.  But then…reality set in and I realized work for me isn’t just a fun thing I do to pad our budget. All that to say I have started taking on freelance projects again and plan to start back full force in January.  I have decided however, not to do Christmas cards this year.  For the past four years I have spent every spare moment from the middle of October to the middle of December working on cards and as much as I love it, it really robs me of fully enjoying our family during the holidays. I want to take just this one year to actually think about Halloween costumes before 5 pm on the 31st, contribute to the Thanksgiving meal, decorate the house for Christmas, be involved with Christmas shopping, and not be a high-strung stress ball as I wait anxiously for those last-minute cards that might not make it in time for Christmas. I hate doing this to such a faithful client base but I hope you’ll understand and come back next year for exciting fresh designs.

Exception to the rule…if there is a photographer out there who has an open slot in October, November or early December I will gladly trade family photos for 150 custom designed cards. We’re desperate this year because Hope moved to California and Jen is busy being a mommy! Just email me at spay@carolina.rr.com if you’re interested.

Our summer at slow down boot camp

20 09 2011

I was never that kid who raced home to start on my homework or sat down to do a project just for fun.  Busy was the name of the game for me for as long as I can remember. There were just so many “have to’s” in life.  No more.  I mean having three little ones keeps me on the go but it’s so different from before.  The past 6 months I have been in slow down boot camp. I didn’t go willingly either.  It wasn’t what I wanted, but it was what I needed and somebody who loves me more than I could ever imagine sent me there.

All that to say, part of slowing down has meant not blogging but I really miss it and so many blog worthy things have happened that I really WANT to pick it back up…no have to anymore.

So, sort of sorry to make my comeback with a documentary post but this is for me and I just don’t want to forget what happened between now and then.


A trip to the Columbia Zoo.  In my opinion, better for little ones than Asheville.

Then a short trip to the beach with our friends the Whites and Tuttles.

This summer we watched LOTS and LOTS of television.

My Dad turned 60 on June 11th.

The next day we went on a family beach trip with my parents, my grandfather, my brother & sister and their families.

Bradley celebrated his 6th birthday the usual way, at Camp Lurecrest.

We went to the pool almost everyday (we used sunblock most of the time).

And we ate most “meals” there. Did you know kids survive just fine on snacks? But it makes them look like this…

Did I mention we watched lots of television?

Joe & I took a short trip to Mexico. It was our first real trip away since we’ve had kids.

When can we go back?

We helped my parents move into a new condo.

We discovered the charlotte greenways and made great use of them all summer.

Most every morning the boys ran out to the stop sign to wave goodbye to Joe.  It’s those little rituals that I fear forgetting.

Then school started and we sent Bradley to kindergarten. (2 weeks & 6 years)

He said he wanted to ride the bus, so now we go to the stop sign to say goodbye to him every morning. Some days I cry.

Most recently we caught and cared for a little turtle until it was clear it needed to be returned to the pond.

And then Sunday Bennett fractured both bones in his forearm near the wrist. Fortunately they are buckle fractures so they’ll heal easily.

But really, we have slowed down more than this post would make it appear.

Blog not abandoned…

29 08 2011

…I’ll be back soon with an update from our summer and some thoughts about stepping into a new season.


Rescue not relief.

24 05 2011

Yes, that is what I long for.

“What often keeps us from recognizing the grace of God

is that we long for a “different kind of grace”.

In the middle of difficulty we long for the grace of relief,
while what God is bestowing us with is the grace of rescue.

We want the trial to end because we don’t like the pain,
while God wants the trial to remain in our lives
until it has completed its work in us.
We don’t rejoice in suffering like Paul did in Romans 5
because we would rather have a comfortable life
than the character that God-sent-difficulty can produce.

Yet God loves us too much to relent.

He didn’t shed the blood of his one and only Son to leave us to ourselves.
He didn’t reveal his truth to us
only to have us lost and confused in the middle of our own story.
He didn’t give us the Holy Spirit to have us paralyzed and unable
to deal with the significant struggles that come our way.

No, we have been and are being rescued by an activist Redeemer.
He does not get discouraged,
he does not get tired,
and he is never distracted.
He is intently focused on finishing what he has started in us.

It is very important in darkness to recognize the grace of God.

If our definition of that grace is too narrow,
and if what we expect that grace to offer is too limited,
we will be crying out for grace at the very time it is being showered on us.

It is quite possible to be the focus of divine love and rescue
and at the same time be interpreting what is happening in our life
in a very different way…

What we have to do is let the goal of grace define our expectations of
what grace looks like.”

-Paul Tripp

The Red Balloons.

3 05 2011

Dexter turned two on April 17th and we had a little celebration.

Now I do love to throw a party–it’s the ultimate creative opportunity–but this year my heart was in a different place and I was hyper aware of my thoughts, feelings and motivations.  This party needed to be small and rather low-key. It was a busy day and there were just a few guests but it felt impossible for me to really make it as simple as I had hoped I would.  The party was to celebrate Dexter but honestly the details were more about me and my idols.

If he remembers anything about the party at all it will be the cake and the red balloons…the two things I had nothing to do with…oh and maybe the red lollipop.

But this is what I’ll remember…

Likely this will be the last cute party I throw. When they turn three they have opinions about what they like and want, and they don’t usually provide good inspiration for whimsical party themes. But…I’m sure I’ll still have plenty of opportunities to sort out the difference between an idol and a creative outlet.