5 Things

5 Things on your To-Do List…

1.  Disney Dream Scrapbook ~ I have been working on it… but it’s REALLY slow… so many other things take up my time.  And I have to be in a creative mojo mood… and I need like 2 hours at a time to get on a roll and be productive.  IT WILL GET DONE before it’s time for New Years 2013.  🙂  That’s my goal.  🙂

2.  Exercise!  This is ALWAYS on my to do list.  I did a REALLY good job this fall.  Winter hit and I don’t want to do anything!  ?Now it’s spring and I’m ready again.  Summer is easier… I can swim outdoors.  I hate to be cold.  I have a bag of gym clothes in my car, so there’s no excuses.  Yet, still I find an excuse.

3. Put away the laundry.  It gets washed… just never gets folded and put away.  Sometimes I really good at getting it done… but mostly it just sits in the laundry basket and I pull things out to wear and they end up back in the dirty clothes.  🙂  Oh to have a laundry folding fairy!  I coveted Kate Gosseling’s (from John & Kate +8) laundry folding fairy.  I don’t think Jim would think getting 8 kids is worth the price of having a laundry fairy.  🙂

4.  Create a business plan, workflow procedures, and pricing guide for my photography business.  I’m the artist… I work in the right side of my brain.  All that is stuff that comes out of the left side of the brain.  It’s PAINFUL for me to think about, but it will make this adventure a more profitable, fulfilling, and generous experience.

5.  Be a yes mom!  This is something I learned while I was devouring parenting books in the first year of Mercedes’ life.  I am a selfish, selfish woman.  As I type this, my daughter is sitting on my lap because she just wants to be with me.  I need to shut it down… shut it off… and spend time with her.  And by it I mean ANYTHING else I want or should be doing.


Join me and participate in the Tuesday Listable Life post.

Check out the other Listable Life Posts here. . .


Happy Easter!!

He has RISEN!

He has RISEN indeed ALLELUIA!!

He has RISEN!

He has RISEN indeed ALLELUIA!!


Yesterday we went to church for the Easter EGGstravaganza!

It was our first attendance and we will be repeating!

The Illusionist that did the pre-egg hunt show was GREAT!

He finished his presentation with the Gospel Message. . . complete with illusions!

There was music, worship, and the Easter Bunny!!

It was very cool.

Then it was off to the egg hunt.

There were different sections for different ages. 

Daddy talked strategy before the whistle blew…
Mercedes let it go in one ear and out the other!  

She’s so my KID!  🙂

Considering it was her first public Egg Hunt,

my girl did GREAT!

No fear of all the people. . .

no worries about being rushed. . .

calm cool and collected.

I was so proud!

Baby Girl has a blast hunting eggs.

If you look below, you’ll see that she was a little picky about the eggs she picked up.

Daddy pointed out all kinds of eggs, but she would have nothing to do with them.

Such a mathematician.  

She’s sorting already!!


Such a fun day!!

Just the beginning of our celebration of Jesus’ saving grace!

 Remember friends. . . 

It’s not about the eggs, or the chocolate, or the bunny. . .

Easter is about the POWER of the cross!

Easter is about the SAVING grace found in Jesus’ love!

Easter is about new life and life eternal with Him!!

Happy Easter, from our house to yours!!

Happy Birthday Mom!!

My mom turns. . . today!
(yes the number is left out. . . on purpose!)

 My mom is my best friend!

I can only pray that I will someday grow up to be just like her!

She is my best friend, my counselor, my secretary, my to do list keeper, my safe zone, my model, my mom!

She loves my kid (almost as much as I do).

She loves my husband. . . frequently taking his side in fact. . . yet always remembers that she’s MY mom.

She has been selfless and sacrificed so much for me and my sisters.

Seriously, wouldn’t be alive without her!!

I love you mom!!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

Not Where I Belong

Life has been unsettling for many reasons lately.

Have I mentioned that my hard working hubby is traveling weekly right now?

Have I mentioned that I find myself lost in the direction for which my job was created?

Have I mentioned that my gift from above includes teaching. . . and I’m not doing that right now?

Conflicted!  Unsettling! Grasping at straws for meaning and purpose.

Then I hear this song. . .

And suddenly life is back to perspective!


Memories help get you through the tough times.

We’re holding tight to LOTS of memories right now.

I spent the afternoon looking through Mercedes’ first year scrapbook. . .

(I haven’t finished any other year)

and reading from her “Quote book”.

We are so blessed with such a vibrant, smart, creative little girl!!


I thought I would share with you her latest Quote Book Entry. . .

It’s truly a picture of how my girl processes life, faith, and things unseen!



Last Friday night at dinner we were talking about taking Peek-A-Boo on a Boat Ride.

Mercedes says: I introduce Peek-a-Boo to all the Princesses.

Daddy says: What if Peek-A-Boo is a boy and doesn’t like Princesses?

Mercedes says. . . very determined: I want a Baby Sister!

Mommy says: We don’t get to choose.  Do you know who picks for us?

Mercedes: Yes!

Mommy: Who?

Now this is normally where she will shrugs her shoulders and says “I no know”,
but this time she replied very confidently. . .


She then proceeded to look to the sky and say:

“I want a baby sister.”

Now who can argue with that!  🙂


One of the ways we’ve explained this to ourselves is that

Jesus knew this baby was a boy and didn’t want to deal with Mercedes’ wrath. . .

So Peek-A-Boo got to go “home” early!  🙂

Sometimes that’s what it takes to get you through the day. . . LAUGHTER and Memories!!

Peek-A-Boo Peanut

There’s no other way to start this, other than to just come right out and say it. . .

Baby Peek-a-Boo Peanut is with Jesus.

Jim and I had our third ultrasound this week and the doctor was unable to find a heartbeat.  While there are many emotions we are feeling, the one keeping us upright is that of peacePeace that God has a plan.  Peace that Peek-A-Boo is playing hide-n-seek with Jesus.  Peace that God’s timing is perfect.

Jim received a text from a dear friend that has been at the forefront of my mind as we deal with this unexpected loss. . .
“It is hard to know what to say other than your baby will be loved by Jesus. “Let the little children come to me for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them”. Although this is comforting to know, there is no way to ease your and Mandy’s sadness right now. My great Aunt Millie used to say that God calls souls when he wants them for a higher purpose and that when he takes away he gives back.  (Thanks Kim!)

We are clinging to the promises of our Father in Heaven. . .
The KINGDOM belongs to the children. . .
God has a HIGHER purpose for us all! . . .
and when He takes away, He GIVES BACK!

Yes, we’ve told Mercedes.  She is confused, sad, and happy all at the same time.  (Sounds like what I’m feeling).  She and Jesus are tight! So I’m sure she’s also jealous of her “Baby sister” getting to play with Jesus.

If it wasn’t for our faith, I’m not sure how we would have been able to explain to our daughter what has happened.  Some would criticize us for telling her about the baby so soon. . . but we won’t regret it for one minute as long as we live.  What a BIG lesson in faith and God and where our eternal home truly is!  Nope, it’s not fair that she’s learning this lesson so early, but life sucks!  It’s hard!  And the sooner we can learn how to cope the better off we are.

Please pray for healing as our hearts are broken.
Please pray for continued peace that passes all understanding!

There are many more stories to share and thoughts to write.
But for now, it’s time to. . . take a nap!  🙂

We love you all!!
Thank you for your unending support!!

Candletime?! Oh how I wish. . .

I found this blog post this week.

This tradition sounds DELIGHTFUL!!

Hmmmmmm. . .

Might have to think about doing this.

Even just once a week would be good.


Are you ready for Candletime?

Tomorrow is the first day of Candletime, a holiday with no consumer, religious, pseudo-religious, or familial obligations. I invented Candletime three years ago as a buffer between Halloween and Thanksgiving so no one has to allow . . . (read the rest here.)