I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

11 Mar

wppi & random thoughts

Last year when I was just starting out in my photography business, I so badly wanted to attend WPPI {Wedding & Portrait Photographers International}.  It ended up falling over one of our already planned vacation dates, so I set out to make sure I attended it this year.

And I did.  In Vegas.  And CJ came with.  And we had a blast!  Yes … a blast!  ;)

In going to the show, I was mostly interested in the tradeshow and looking into a few specific things for my business … so I decided not to take any of the classes or education programs.  I’m glad I didn’t.  I know I missed some really good things, but it was quite overwhelming and I think my plan was perfect for this year and getting my feet wet.

And besides, spending some extra time with the hubby ended up being just what the doctor ordered!  My health took a nose dive last week Thursday.  Mostly my arms and legs … just started getting pretty heavy and weak.  In fact, Friday I got a cane.  :(

I didn’t end up having to use it, but I did a great deal of dragging my feet while walking.  Anyway … Saturday morning, I was feeling stronger, although exhausted, as we boarded our flight to Las Vegas.  I slept most of the plane ride, and we laid in bed most of the afternoon when we arrived.  Grabbed a quick dinner and back in bed.

Over the next couple of days, I started feeling stronger and am feeling back to my normal {albeit, exhausted} self.

Anyway.  I wanted to share … I don’t think CJ and I have laughed together this much in a long, long time!

A few random stories:

  • I got back to the room one afternoon and noticed the housekeeping services card stuck inside a drawer on the desk {exhibit below}.  I didn’t think too much of it and took it out.  So we’re sitting at dinner later that night and CJ goes incredulously, “I found a hidden camera in the room!”  I thought a minute and started laughing, “You mean the TV remote thingy?”  See, our TV was hidden in the desk and comes out when you turn the TV on.  What CJ thought was a hidden camera {and so cleverly covered up}, was actually the source that the remote “reads” to turn the TV on.  We got some mileage out of that this weekend!  In fact, I think I may use that one for life! ;)

  • Then there was the time CJ was laying out some plans for the afternoon and I told him I was “down” with the plans.  Now come on, who among you has heard me say that before?!  Well, apparently, not CJ.  He was dumbfounded.  “You’re what?!” he asked.  And then proceeded to ask me to, “run that jive talk” past him again.  Ohmyword!  Should I admit my husband is the guy that wears black socks with his sandals?  His older daughter calls him the German traveler.  And yes, I might just be busting my gut right now laughing!
  • Let’s see … then there was the time we were shopping and the clerk noticed my purse {that has my girls proudly displayed on it} and was surprised I had four girls {oh! and she thought Taylor was me, so that I only had 3 girls! … and yes, I bought something from her} because my belly didn’t look like I had 4 kids.  And yes, I had a bit of a blousy shirt on … but still.  What does my hubs say?  “Oh, that’s cuz she has a blousy shirt on.”  Really CJ?  He begged me not to Twitter it, but I did.  And I told him he was in all sorts of Twitter-trouble.  And we laughed about it.

Some of the other things aren’t coming to mind … but what I do remember is that we laughed a lot.  At each other and at ourselves.  And it felt good.

Another highlight of the weekend?  I got to catch up with this lovely lady!  I met Cathy at Me Ra’s Discovery Workshop last year and feel like we’re kindred spirits.  We’ve kept in touch and continue to support each other.  It was great to spend some time talking about our businesses and where we’re headed.  Then we took head shots of each other {cool advantage to having photogs as friends!}, and then we walked the tradeshow together for a while.  Her hubs was with her and it was great getting to know him and listening to his advice for us.

Ain’t she pretty?  Bonus is, she’s beautiful on the inside too!

After a long weekend and wishing I could instantly morph home Tuesday … I came home to these awesome goodies!  Besides all the hugs and kisses from my littles {and teen}, these totally lifted me up!

I’m sure you get it from the note … but these are from my lil’ sis.  Do you see the lemons in the water?  How totally clever!  Love it!  Thank you Trishie!

And then happy mail galore!!  I got these from my bloggie friend Katherine … totally surprised me!  Here’s her jaw-dropping post on her cupcake “theme of the week.”  Thank you Katherine!  The girls gobbled them up!  They’re also super curious how you baked them in the jars.  Hmm … I’m thinking I’ve got a project around the corner!

Lastly, my bestie Heather sent me this!  I’m a lucky, lucky gal!  Thank you Heather.

Thank you everyone!

Downside to the weekend?  Awesome mom-of-the-year moment … and I wasn’t even in town!

The three year old had a birthday party to go to … one of her besties and she was so excited to attend!  The timing was towards the end of church, so my dad took Hunter out a little early and took her to the party.  I had even emailed the mom and told her Hunter would be late because she had church, etc.  So Sunday afternoon, I get a call from my mom that dad’s outside Chuck E Cheese, but they have no party listed for her friend.  Hmm.  What to do?  I’m halfway across the country.  I have no phone numbers, plus the party’s already started.

I thought maybe I had the wrong day?  The wrong place?  But there’s only one Chuck E in our town, so that didn’t make sense.  I could vividly see the purple invite, but for the life of me, couldn’t remember any of the details.

Turns out the party was at the local gymnastics center.  Gymnastics … Chuck E … easy mistake, right?  :(

Posted in curt, mom-of-the-year, multiple sclerosis, photography, random

21 Dec

my hubby …

So CJ left us a couple of weeks ago for the Climate Savers meetings in Copenhagen.  He’s on the WWF Board, so was there with them … but also for the company he works for, which was recently brought on as part of the Climate Saver initiative.

I was so super proud of him.  He had a prepared speech for one afternoon … so in usual CJ style, he practiced and practiced … and practiced some more.

But then … the night he arrived, he had a dinner to attend, that included an impromptu speech.  CJ doesn’t do well with impromptu.  Not to mention, his luggage was lost … so amongst the suits and cocktail dresses … CJ was in his jeans.

Anyway … he rocked the speech, and his next.

And I died laughing at this … he called one afternoon and told me his CNN interview was cut short.  As he went on to explain, he was given 30 seconds to talk … but of course went well over that, and got cut off.  Typical CJ.  He can leave someone a voice mail message that should take a minute.  But he takes 5 minutes and is sure to repeat each point, albeit in a different way, no less than 5 times each.

Gotta love him.  And I do.

Anyway … the WWF had this polar bear skeleton in a square in Copenhagen.  They froze water all around it and proceeded to let the ice melt over the next few days to simulate global warming.  Pretty clever, no?

coppenhagen polar bear

Here’s my guy … in jeans.  :)

coppenhagen ice bear

And then … he was so excited about a particular painting he found hanging in his hotel.  Um, yeah … okay crazy guy!  I mean, he was e.x.c.i.t.e.d!

He finally sent me a picture of it …


Does this not look like one of my children?  I think Hunter.  Taylor thinks Piper.  But still.

CJ talked the night manager into selling him one.  They happened to have an unused one in storage and sold it to the hubs for one hundred bucks!

Anyway … I just wanted to chime in and say how proud I am of my hubby.  I don’t do that too often … but I’d like it to be known … he’s the cat’s meow!  {most of the time …}  :)

Posted in curt

19 Dec

daddy’s year-end program

Every year we have CJ’s year-end employee holiday program.  Every year, he’s brought the girls up on stage to do … well … to do whatever they do.

Sometimes we practice, sometimes we don’t.  Doesn’t really matter whether we do or not … as y’all might know … with kids, you can never be sure what’ll happen.

The program was yesterday and the girls had been doing some serious practicing.  Serious.  Practicing.

Let me make you aware, that apparently standing in front of a crowd of people brings on a serious case of the giggles.  Could also make you tear up.  And definitely warms a mother’s heart.

Watching these two … they sort of remind me of twins.  You can see how close their bond is.  They love each other dearly …

So … without further adieu, this is what we got …

And this is what it was supposed to be …

And then we have little Hunter.  She’d also been practicing and practicing.  This is what we got …

I could seriously squeeze her foreber and eber! ;)

At the end of the program, the girls went back up and helped daddy hand out some awards.

the girls

Then they raided daddy’s office and found some cool looking props …

the girls

This here looks like nuttin’ but trouble!

the girls

This is a newly lost tooth {and whew, the tooth fairy made it the second night around!} …

the girls

And here’s nothin’ but a whole lotta sweetness!


{If you have some extra time, click here for my post from the program last year.  And if you don’t have extra time, click through, but just go straight for the video.  Cracks me up every time I watch it!}

Posted in curt, family photos, girls, movie

22 Jun

father’s day bliss

Ta-da!  Told ya I’d do it!  :)

And they were yummy too!!  I did everything with a mix {brownie mix, cake mix, pre-packaged sugar cookie dough.  even the frosting was the already-prepared-squirt-out kind}.  YUM-EE!!  And CJ loved them.

hamburger cupcakes

We had a relaxing and blessed Father’s Day … hope y’all did too!

Here’s the hubs with his kids … I sure love this man.  He’s an awesome father and an even better husband.  All he ever wants is for me and the kids to be happy.  Sometimes I take him so for granted … I suppose we all take each other for granted more times than we care to admit.

And that’s why I’m super thankful the Lord has laid marriage on my heart as my current bible study topic.  It’s been a much needed reminder of the little things we can do and remember each day to keep our marriages in a place of respect, joy and high regard.

I love you CJ … happy Father’s Day!

family on father's day

I snapped this one of Huntie today and couldn’t resist sharing.  There’s something about this girl that shines … and we all love her to bits!

{p.s.  a little photoshop magic took care of the above mentioned frosting off her sweet little face!}


Posted in craft, creative, curt, family

19 Jun

burger & fries for father’s day

Summer’s here and I’m in the crafting/creative spirit!  I think making these burger & fries for Father’s Day are the perfect start!  A bit ambitious for me, but I’ve got a few helpers!  Bring it on!

The hubs lives for burgers & fries … so I’m loving this theme for Sunday.

burger & fry craft

{via twig & thistle}

You may remember I posted about these soap fries?  I bought them to give to CJ for his birthday in May … but forgot.  Never fear … just means I don’t have to think extra hard for Father’s Day.


{via etsy seller loveleesoaps}

And when I saw this plush burger on Jars of Cute this morning … my theme buttoned up rather nicely! ;)


{via jars of cute}

Happy Father’s Day CJ … you ARE one of the best father’s I know and our children are blessed that you’re theirs …

Posted in craft, creative, curt, holiday