Especially when the baby is mine | Multitude Monday

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When the night comes polar bear cubs sleep in their caves calves on the farm sleep in the barn warm in the hay nothing in this world is quite as sweet as a tiny baby fast asleep

I could watch you to the end of time especially when that baby is mine

kittens and pups eyes all closed up snuggle near mom robin's and wren's chicks have been fed sleep until dawn nothing in this world is quite as sweet as a tiny baby fast asleep

I could watch you to the end of time especially when that baby is mine

Sara Groves, from Station Wagon: Songs for New Parents

I guess you can tell I've been listening to a lot of Sara Groves recently, huh? I've been loving this song and often play it multiple times.

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Which brings me to Sophia. This little lady has my heart and this Monday I'm very thankful for . . .

125. A good night's sleep. After a rough 6 weeks or so of nighttime sleep, Sophia is finally sleeping once again through the night. Thank goodness! For a while there I could be up 8 or so times between her and the boys, not even getting a two hour block of uninterrupted sleep.

126. The way Sophia snuggles down to sleep, tucking her arms under her body.

127. Her sweet giggles.

128. Her bright-eyed smiles that light up her whole face. And did I mention her darling dimple?

129. The way she laughs and smiles at her brothers.

130. How she snuggles with her daddy and watches guitar dvds with him.

131. Her "chatting" and talking when she wakes up.

132. The way she attacks the spoon when feeding her cereal.

133. Her delicate fingers.

134. The way she grabs my face to offer sloppy "kisses."

135. Feeling her velvety head against my cheek.

Can't get enough of this little sweetie!

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Ginger

I'd long wanted a bag that I could take out and safely carry my camera along with my wallet, cell phone, etc. Less for photo shoots, more for a night out on the town or sight-seeing. I was planning on getting Epiphanie's Belle in teal, until I read several reviews that said you couldn't comfortably carry it over your shoulder. That was a must for me. Don't like a purse I can only dangle from my arm. I find that very annoying. So I ended up going with Ginger.

It has plenty of room to put my camera, extra lenses, batteries, flash, etc. along all my personal items. The dividers are all removable and can be customized. Love this bag!

Baby Gray

Last week I had the opportunity to do a session with this sweet little girl, who's name I love. Little Gray wasn't very happy to have me taking her pictures at first. However, she soon settled down, as you can see below, while being lulled to sleep by the tunes of Miles Davis on the iPod. I think she's going to have good taste in music . . .

Enjoy the sneak peek of your session!

Twice as Good

I couldn't say it any better than Sara Groves. From the album Fireflies and Songs. So I let her words speak for me. Listen to it here.

Happy birthday, babe!

When I am down and need to cry till morning, I know just where I am going. When I'm in need of sweet commiseration To speak out loud. Raise a glass to friendship And to knowing you don't have to go alone. We'll raise out hearts to share each other's burdens On this road.

Every burden I have carried, Every joy--it's understood. Life with you is half as hard, And twice as good.

With my good news you're dancing on the table: Baby's born, to celebration. The joy of life, oh what a sweet communion, Shared with you.

Every burden I have carried, Every joy--it's understood. Life with you is half as hard, And twice as good.

I know we're growing older, Can you imagine what that will bring? It's all a mystery to me now, Except this one thing: It'll be half as hard, and twice as good.

My Other Little Man | Multitude Monday

So this is my other little man. And if there's one thing that defines him, it's his exuberance! This week I'm thankful for Owen and all the attributes that make him the way he is.

114. Owen's tender heart. He is quick to forgive others, ask forgiveness, and doesn't hold grudges.

115. His love and exuberance over food.

116. His love of snuggling at night. How he tells me he loves me and takes my face between his hands and strokes my hair.

117. His nightly request to "Pray with me?"

118. When he's having an emotional meltdown, he also asks me to pray with him. The first time he asked me to do this I was staggered and thankful he was perceptive enough realized his need.

119. Owen's love of guitar and copying Josh's every move with his little play guitar.

120. How he wrestles with Duncan and Josh.

121. His love of golf.

122. His new-found love of watching football.

123. His lack of fear (which sometimes causes me to fear!).

124. The way from the very beginning he's loved his baby sister

I'm blessed to be this little man's mama too!

Chocolate Orange Cookies

Made these cookies over the weekend. I made them once before but didn't make the citrus sugar. We made it this time, and boy, is it good! We LOVE this twist on regular chocolate chip cookies. And I simply cannot resist the orange/chocolate flavor combo. 2 sticks melted butter, cooled slightly (you do not want to cook the eggs) 3/4 cup white sugar 3/4 cup light brown sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon orange extract 1 Tablespoon orange zest 2 3/4 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 package chocolate chips

For the Citrus Sugar: 2 Tablespoons sugar 1 Tablespoon orange zest

Mix the sugars into the cooled melted butter.  Add the eggs and mix well.  Add the orange extract and orange zest.  Add the flour, baking soda, salt and mix well.  When combined, add the chips.

In a small bowl, make the citrus sugar.  Combine the sugar with the zest and sprinkle on top of the cookie batter. (I dipped my cookies into the sugar, thought it was easier.)

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

 

Wall Decor

This past week I set aside time during the boys' naps to work on getting some decorating projects done. I've wanted to finish some of these for a long time. First up, a canvas wrap over Sophia's crib. There's a little story behind it. I planned some weeks ago to purchase a canvas wrap this week. I wanted this image over her bed, and to also use it to show to clients what a canvas wrap would look like. Well, what do you know but two weeks ago, on a Facebook group I'm part of for Maryland women photographers, I got information that would allow me to get a FREE 16x20 canvas wrap from Buckeye Color. Can I tell you how fast I jumped on that? I can't tell you how happy I am with it!

Also, I finally framed a print I absolutely love of the boys when they were about two. It was taken at my mom's in the fall. It's just a frozen moment that speaks to me and seems to have a wistfulness about it.

Also, I was inspired by the Jones Design Company to create my own set of initials in the kids' room over the changing table. I love typography and quotes and incorporating them into my home. Mine are a more colorful version of her classy ones. I used Indesign to create the design and then printed it at Staples. I re-purposed some frames I already had and bought the burlap to use as a background for the initials.

Sorry for all the glare. But that was the only way I could get enough light in the room. Had to choose between glare or flash. That last picture is so you can see the texture of the burlap. Although the idea was simple enough and I love the end result, these were actually very patience testing. The burlap was a bear to work with: wiggly and shedding like crazy. It was hard to keep centered in the frame. I'd think I'd have it and then turn it around and it would be off and have a piece of burlap thread on the white paper behind the glass. I love how they turned out! I'd wanted them in a straight line, but ended up looking better this way since the wall was so large, and the light switch kind of messed it up visually for me. I'm looking for a 3-dimensional object to hang above them. Not totally sure what yet.

I also finally got an unfinished tray painted too. Gotta say, it was productive week and all said and done it only cost a little over $30! Can't beat that!

Inheritance

For the past month or so I've been slugging through Ezekiel. I'm doing a chronological reading plan that's supposed to take you through the Bible in a year, although my version is a two-year plan.

Ezekiel is a hard book to keep my head in. My eyes can tend to glaze over. But the other day I came to a passage that discussed the Levitical priests inheritance:

“This shall be their inheritance: I am their inheritance: and you shall give them no possession in Israel; I am their possession." 44:28

The Lord was the Levitical priests' inheritance. They did not receive an inheritance of land, like the other tribes of Israel. Their inheritance and possession was the Lord himself.

As I read this tiny verse tucked in Ezekiel, I couldn't help but wonder if I'm satisfied with possessing "only" the Lord. It everything else was stripped away, like Job, would possessing Him be enough? Or do I demand a larger inheritance? A more material one? Am I content with the presence of the Lord as my blessing or do I long for an inheritance that includes an easy life, a nice home, good health, obedient kids, a loving husband?

Nothing is wrong with these desires at all. But, if I turn them into rights, an inheritance I deserve, I'll be come bitter if I don't have them. God never promised the American dream. He only promised himself.

My Little Man | Multitude Monday

The next three weeks I'm going to be setting aside my Multitude Monday posts to share what I'm thankful for in my children's lives. First up, is my first-born, Duncan.

On Saturday we were able to go out on a little "date," just the two of us. I don't think I've ever taken just one of them to do something like this before. Josh has taken one of them out, but usually the one left behind has cried so much we stopped doing it. But now they're older and can deal with being parted a bit more easily. That said, they hugged and kissed each other profusely before Duncan left with me, each of them saying "I love you" more than once. It warmed my heart to see their unique and precious friendship. Which leads me into the many things I'm thankful for concerning my little man:

104. Thankful for how the boys truly love to be with each other, and are learning to share better each day.

105. How Duncan--with no prompting on my part--thought of many things on Saturday while we were at Target that would make Owen happy when we went home. Things like the new vitamins and sunglasses.

106. Time for just the two of us to be together and share a snack at the Starbucks in Target. To talk about the things he loves, which right now includes sharks and octopi. I asked him why he likes sharks so much and he gave me a one word answer: "Blood." Okaaaaay.

(The boys looking at their shark books from the library.)

107. How he said "Thank you, sir" when handed his vanilla milk and cookies from the man behind the counter.

108. I love how he likes to draw and color.

109. How well he's learning alphabet sounds, along with identifying them.

110. Duncan's tenderness with his sister. Telling her "I love you," kissing her on her head, wanting to hug and hold her.

111. His imagination. How well he plays by himself.

112. Duncan's character qualities of determination, thankfulness, and eye for detail.

113. Duncan's love of morning cuddles and asking me for "Kiss, hug!"

So blessed to be his mom!

Canvas Wrap

Thanks to Jodie Otte and Buckeye Color for a recent opportunity to order a free 16x20 canvas wrap. Ironically, I'd been planning on ordering a canvas wrap this very month, so when this special opportunity came along, I jumped on it! This was the first time I used Buckeye and I couldn't be happier. The software they used was bit different from what I'd used before and I had to call for some technical help. I was immediately assisted over the phone when I called to have my questions answered. I definitely will be using their services again.

A canvas wrap is a beautiful way of displaying your images. Your image is printed on canvas and wrapped around a wooden stretcher frame. When choosing an image for a canvas wrap you definitely want something  that you  love, as it's an investment that will last a long time. My wrap came ready to put on the wall with a "hanger" in place and "feet" placed on all four corners to protect the wall from scratches.