Thursday, August 18, 2011

9 Month Pictures

A certain someone is 9 months old today...


My friend Lora was gracious enough to take time out of her busy life to help snap some pictures yesterday. She's the one who helped me with Caroline's 3 month shots.


Get ready for a whole bunch of pictures, since I can't possibly decide on my favorite.


I'm guessing I'll enjoy most of Caroline's ages and stages, but this one might be my favorite so far.


She crawls. Not too quickly yet, thankfully. She's curious. She can turn the pages of her board books... and then shove them into her mouth, of course.


She still loves to swing, and giggles every time we put her in.


She's got two teeth now. And man can she shovel in the table food these days. It's best to strip her down to a diaper prior to dinner.


I made this dress. Thank you Prudent Baby for step-by-step instructions. The material is from a duvet cover I bought on clearance from West Elm years ago. You may have also seen it used in our kitchen.


On a more serious note, let me just tell you that I've never experienced the hand of God in my life like I have with this child. I have no greater proof that He exists. He grew her, out of nothing, right inside me. Knit her together. Perfectly. I had very little to do with the process. And then God gave her to me and Josh.


I'm not even speaking about our infertility struggles, and the low chances we had of conceiving. Nope, I'm talking about the miracle that is every baby. Perfectly formed features. A little body that moves and breathes and eats... and smiles. And snuggles. And laughs. And grows.


Nothing and no one but a very powerful, very loving God could do that. There's a lot I don't know about Him and this world, but this much I'm confident of.

We're humbled and thankful that He blessed us with this child. We've so enjoyed her these last nine months.


Friday, August 12, 2011


There's a true joy...

In discovering...

A full-length mirror in your parents' bedroom.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Quebec, QC

So remember how we went to Canada for the Fourth of July weekend? No? Okay.

Well, after enjoying Montreal for a couple of days, we headed up to Quebec, which is about three hours up the road.


Montreal felt like a normal North American city that just happened to speak French.

Quebec, on the other hand, felt like someone dumped a charming French town next to the St. Lawrence River. There were city walls, historic battlefields, winding streets, and charming old gabled buildings. Delightful. Who knew?

And all sitting on a cliff up above the river. Totally picturesque.

Our trusty jogger stroller got a workout. Hills... cobblestones... more hills... and that time I made Josh carry the darned thing down about 300 stairs.

Thanks, honey!

One evening we were eating in a little cafe off the beaten path. Caroline was cranky, and they didn't have any high chairs, so we were juggling her on our knees while trying to eat. This very nice couple from Edmonton was sitting next to us and offered to bounce our baby while we ate. YES PLEASE. Then they told us about a free Cirque Du Soleil show that the city puts on a few days a week. FREE? I've wanted to see one of those shows for like, forever. FREE? And wouldn't you know, the venue was a half mile walk from our hotel. And actually under a highway overpass.

There was a tightrope walker. A trapeze... er. (Trapezist? Trapezeman?) Trampoline guys. Fire tricks. And a girl who did amazing things with hula hoops. Incredible!

So, couple from Edmonton, WE OWE YOU ONE.

TWO, actually.


Do you see that picture of the waterfall? Josh wanted to go, and it was just on the other side of town. Tall and beautiful, yes. But do you see that bridge going across? I have all kinds of irrational Mama-fears about my child falling off a high point somewhere and tumbling to her death. So you can imagine my pleasure at walking Caroline across that bridge above the thundering falls.

Josh made it up to me by finding an ice cream spot that served, hands down, the best cone I've ever had. Hand dipped in a LOT of dark chocolate.

In conclusion, Quebec was totally awesome. Thank you, Josh, for talking me into going there.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Getting some photos off the dang computer.

As you're probably aware, I like to fiddle around with my camera. I especially enjoy capturing the little life of our girl - as many moments as I can.

But then, I get SO MANY pictures. Like these. And these:

Sure, they're fun pictures of Caroline. But if I have them all printed in 4x6's I KNOW they'll just sit in a folder and rot.

Let me tell you, I get really overwhelmed by a bunch of pictures sitting on my hard drive. So overwhelmed that they sit there for a long time, untouched. I can hardly bring myself to even weed out the bad ones. Clearly, it's not the best strategy.

However, I'm making a few strides. Here are some things I'm currently working on, and am pushing myself to keep up with:

1. Caroline's Baby Book. A traditional scrapbook, which I'm trying to keep simple and sweet. Birth stats. Milestones. A few notes about each month. Pictures with each grandparent and great-grandparent.

[Don't mind the grainy iPhone shots, by the way]

Caroline's Baby Book

2. Shutterfly Photo Books. I'm just starting this one, but it gives me a chance to get a bunch of pictures into a single book, QUICKLY AND EASILY. For 2011, I think I'll make a Caroline-specific one, and a broader book of our family's adventures.

3. Up on the wall. I, along with the rest of the Internet, was inspired by this post. So we took a baby step and put up a few photos. I wanted family shots, and Josh wanted vacation pics. You see the result.

We've included a variety of pictures, including three from Rome, one from Oregon, one from Paris, and another from Copenhagen. As far as family shots go, we've got one of Riley in our backyard, one of me and Josh in Bloomington, IN, and two of Caroline.

We figure we can add to it here and there with updated photos, and expand the collection.

This is a stretch of hallway that connects the front door with the kitchen.

And do you remember my Charleston photo project? I enjoyed putting those together so much that I couldn't choose just one or two. So...

So we just added to the wall this week:

Both the Charleston collage AND one from Caroline's 6 Month photo shoot were added.

I look forward to adding to this wall... and hope to add some non-photos, too. A big "B," perhaps? A framed key to our first house? Caroline's future artwork? Extra-special concert tickets or something? We'll see.

So, those are the steps I'm taking to actually, you know, use our pictures. And I'm curious... what do you do with all of yours?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Montreal, QC

We went to Canada last month, over the 4th of July weekend. It was super patriotic of us, don't you think?

Our first stop was Montreal. Love that city.

I was there once before, when I was about 13. This was Josh (and Caroline's) first trip.

We walked all around.
Saw the view from atop a hill.
Bought picnic food at a market and ate it at a park.
Enjoyed our girl.
Checked out the old Olympic park. It was painfully deserted.
Ate at a bunch of the local favorites. Thank you Urban Spoon.
Took the Metro all over town. Too bad for Josh they didn't have elevators, and he had to haul the stroller up and down stairs a lot.
Watched street performers.
Tried out our French. And failed.
Walked some more, until I got grumpy.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Internet Love Fest

1. I have recently discovered Pinterest. LOVE. Join me.

From the website: Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Collect the things you love.

This means that I can "pin" house decor ideas/recipes/DIY directions/cute stuff for Caroline up on my "pinboard" and be able to come back and see them all organized nicely. MUCH BETTER THAN BOOKMARKS. Because I can see snapshots of images. I'm totally visual like that so it's super helpful for me. And I can access my "pins" on any computer I want.

Even better than bookmarking-on-steroids? I can see what others are into -- my friends, total strangers, and people whose blogs I regularly stalk. And get even more inspiration. Very fun.

2. On the subject of sharing ideas and getting inspiration, I got a super sweet comment today on this post:

We wanted to thank you for these great directions! We used them to make our own shelves for our nursery and we love them! You can see them here:

It warms my heart that someone, somewhere out there, stumbled across this here blog and used my idea. And her nursery looks fabulous.

3. I go in waves when it comes to photography and sharing it on this blog. I get all inspired to take a bunch of pictures and use them in this blog, and then I get tired of it and forget I have a blog for a couple of weeks. I'm currently revving up to start picture-ing again here. Basically I just get inspired by the work of others and get back in the picture-taking/photoshopping/blogging saddle. We're almost there.

4. That's all. Happy Wednesday evening.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A book review: Receiving David

Tender. Sweet. Profound.

I loved this book.

It's an inspirational story of David Knol, born prematurely and with significant special needs.

Faye Knol invites readers into her family's story of raising their son. The terrifying, nightmare-ish birth. The struggles. The health concerns. The awkward questions. And the profound achievements that David was able to make. From his first triumphant steps, to his public profession of the Christian faith, David grew to overcome significant obstacles and inspire an entire community. Not only that, but his friendly, opinionated, and curious personality charmed everyone who took the time to get to know him.

The love of the Knol family, and the trust in an almighty God, shines through each page.

And although this is a serious story of a family, and a young man, I found myself laughing out loud at David's antics. He had a variety of quirks, from a passion for wood chips to a love for spatulas.

I grew up knowing David and his siblings. My mom took care of David from time to time, and his family was good friends with my cousins. I remember how he loved to sit on my parents' couch and listen to my mom working in the kitchen.

I appreciate that this book perfectly captures the story of God's faithfulness to a family. It tells David's story in vivid, delightful detail. And it is a wonderful read. Not just for parents of special needs kids. Not just for family friends.

It's a truly uplifting, God-honoring work. You'll be blessed to read it.