“i fwee!”


hard to believe that 1095 days ago, you were taking your first breath, entering the world as our precious little angel. you are a constant blessing in our lives and bring so much joy to our family. just another daily reminder of how great our God is and how miraculous life truly is.

we celebrated your birthday last weekend! it was such a great day filled with family and friends! since you are loving penguins ever since we went to sea world and it has been quite cold outside, the winter wonderland was a perfect way to have fun with your holiday birthday!

you have the greatest personality. you are loving, silly, crafty, adventurous, determined, nurturing and affectionate. still the life of the party, you like to be the center of attention most of the time. you like to joke and call things by the wrong name, only to burst out in a hearty chuckle and squeal the right answer. you like to be swung in the air, spun around in circles and lately, you’ve especially enjoyed jumping jacks! there is never a dull moment when you’re around. 

you can work an iphone better than some adults. i’m in awe at how you quickly and intuitively you picked up the skills to navigate that thing. unlock the home screen, swipe from screen to screen, tap and expand folders, pull up your favorite you tube videos and more... i know you weren’t the only two year old who knew how to do that but it’s just fascinating to watch!

you are really into caring for your babies - you’ve been that way for the past year i would say but now, you have conversations with them, offer them something to eat, help them pretend eat and drink by placing goldfish in their hands and going through the motions to help emmie or bear get it in their mouth. the whole time you encourage them and praise them by saying, “oh-hah-oohhh... that’s a great job, emmie. good job, bear...”

anyway, you are one smart little lady and not to mention ADORABLE! basically, you are cuteness personified. you are sugar. you are spice. and every single thing about your being is one million percent nice.

thank you God for abundantly blessing our family.
ava, mommy and daddy love you to the moon and back.
happy birthday sweet angel girl.


um... have we met?

hey little super girl!
i had so much fun with you at the park the other day!!
you love to run, climb up the ladder, cruise down the slide, run back up the slide, climb up a different ladder,
run down the stairs, jump, swing from bars, pretend to cook food and hand it out at the window - all while giggling, squealing and constantly talking!! you are so hilarious!!


happy anniversary

celebrating six years of marriage to my amazing husband.
thank you for being committed to me, duckie, our future and most of all to God.
i would not be the person i am today without you by my side.
Happy Anniversary by tja5ft0


something blue

 oh i missed this little squirt this weekend!
look at that sweet little face admiring her blue raspberry tongue! haha!
it was her treat for going poo poo on the potty!
 can i get a “WOO WOO!!

i was fortunate enough to attend a fabulous workshop with shannon phillips from imago vita photography.
it was so much fun and very informative!

my two favorite shots from the practice wedding shoot.

 both, straight from camera


earth to me...

Geez Louise... where in the world have I been??

I guess I’ve been gone awhile. So much has happened since my last post!
We took a family vacation to Sea World, the husband started back to school, Parenthood starts TONIGHT, I’m about to go to my next photography workshop this weekend!.... How am I going to cover all of this? Hmmm...

...I think I will close with a note to my sweet Duckie...

I know this sounds totally cliche but I cannot believe what a BIG GIRL you are!
You are constantly doing saying something new and I am constantly in awe of the natural gifts God has blessed you with. Daddy and I love to talk about all the amazing things you say and do. One of our favorite things is looking back at videos from a year ago and realizing how much you’ve changed.

You talk in complete sentences now. Even if the words are a little mixed up, you can hear something once and repeat it over and over. I love listening for what you will say next!
Playing with letters and spelling words is something you get really excited about.
Watching Word World and Super Why has you spelling too!
The first word I heard you spell was “b-o-x ... box!”
Next was “r-o-c-k-e-t ... rocket!”
This week, you said, “t-r-u-c-k ... truck!” And tonight you said, “h-o-u-s-e ... house!”
I know you know others like car and pig too but I haven’t seen you spell them out with your letters yet. 

You’re saying so many more things clearly now but there’s a few that are still perfectly imperfect:
Your cousin “Kim-bee” is now “Kim-buh-wee” - I gotta admit, I sorta like you saying it wrong.
op-ah-tus ... octopus
es-keh-woo kiss-eh ... eskimo kisses
poo-nahs ... pumas

Some of your recent hilarious expressions are:
That’s what I’m talkin’ about!
High fi! ... Up high! ... Down low! ... Ah-sye! ... Too slow!
Look Mommy! I uh kay-ga-woo!

You love pinning your blankie around your neck and running around the house calling yourself “Soopa Ava!” and then you get me and Daddy in the mix and we become the Supers! “Soopa Mommy and Soopa Daddy! ... to the rescue!” This routine can literally take 30 minutes alone. :)

You are a precious little angel. Our remarkable gift from God.
Your life is a daily reminder of how much God has done in our lives and how much He loves.
We are blessed to have you as our daughter.

I love you more every single day.


sick of being sick

so this past week was sick week. evil, nasty, disgusting sick week. blah!

monday evening
me: body aches and pains, then a nasty fever.
duckie: perfectly fine.

me: worst. headache. ever. plus fever.
duckie: perfectly fine.

wednesday morning approx 2:13am
me: same.
duckie: puking her guts out all over herself, me and our bed.
thank you lord for hubby being home.

me: same.
duckie: the big “D” firing out the rear. all day.
hubby leaves for drill until sunday. boo. boo hoo wahh.

same as wednesday
thursday night approx 11:36pm
me: fever 104.9 ... what? check it again 10 min later: 105.5. time to get nervous. called bro (the er doc) who talked me off the ledge and convinced me i was not dying.
duckie: sound asleep.

me: fever back down to 101.7 - feels cool compared to the night before.
duckie: on the mend. no trace of big “D”

me: same.
duckie: singing + bouncing = feeling better.

me: first day without a fever. it’s a miracle. thank you lord for making me better.
please, please let me feel even better tomorrow!
duckie: see below


project 365: july 2011

i just love the project 365 app, don’t you?
i mean, journaling and scrapbooking are both awesome but sometimes it’ difficult to keep up with it all.
since i always have my iphone with me, it’s easy to capture a moment of our day on the go.
my favorite part is, at the end of the month, looking back and being reminded of little every day moments i may have already forgotten about.


my best friend’s guy

bryn and i have been friends since the seventh grade - no lie. we have seen it all together!
bangs, tight-rolled jeans, bangs, school dances, and more bangs
blue eye shadow (what the heck were we thinking?? - more importantly, why didn’t anyone stop us?!)
first loves and heart breaks
true love and marriage ... then came the babies in the baby carriage

we joke about these two getting married someday
if these two had babies together, they’d have a crazy-whack, awesome gene pool
american ... korean ... german ... latino ... american indian
couple other things i’m sure i’m missing

...for now, we’ll stick to play dates...
  ...clearly she was not as interested in my cool two dollar chalkboard thingy as he was...


little miss sweet p

so i can’t believe it’s almost been two weeks but last thursday, my friend lindsay started her morning at her 36 week doctor’s appointment and by that afternoon 3:18pm, she met her baby girl!
obviously a complete surprise to come that early but baby payton got a clean bill of health and is at home packing boxes with her mommy, getting ready to move in the 110 degree texas heat. yay, thanks payton!

i was lucky enough to meet and hold little sweet p (as i like to refer to her) that first day and then over the weekend, i brought duckie to meet “baby paayy-tinnn” as she says.

here are some of the pictures i took during our visit.
(yes, i am tearing up as i post these. just so thankful to share these moments)


...what a precious family of three...
a little birdie told me sweet p already has daddy wrapped around her tiny little finger
...mommy and payton...
it’s like you can smell newborn right through the screen

...lindsay’s dad said, “it looks like she has a garden on the side of her head!”...
yes, her parents are as adorable as she is

...more family. my favorite is the second one...
when he stepped into frame, these were their natural expressions
pure love, just the kind i think God intended

...duckie with sweet p...
being so, so gentle, looking to linds for reassurance


this day was oh, so special.

not only because of how much lindsay and matt mean to me, but because of how much they also mean to ava.
she always remembers to say their names when we pray at night.
and right now, her most favorite thing to do in the world is bounce up and down while repeating this hilarious little chant that matt taught her while they kept her over my birthday weekend.

“where we gonna go?!?!...”


happy friday!

i have a new mission for documenting life - mostly family life.
stay tuned for more!


happy birth day

one of my most favorite people in the world had her baby last week!!
i have had the pleasure of seeing her three different times already!
did i mention, i love babies? and from the looks of things, so does duckie!!

congrats lindsay and matt!!


summa summa summatime

So, it’s been a great summer so far! Unbelievably hot, of course, but that’s how we do it in Texas. I’ve been trying to get more organized and do more projects at home. I have several things that I just need to take time and sort through to post... But to keep things simple this time around, here are some pictures of what life has been like for us the past couple of months.


 ...crafts for daddy while he was in japan...
 ...refinishing a old desk and chair...
 ...display for duckie’s art...
 ...potty training...
 ...more potty training...
 ...potty training rewards...
 ...lindsay’s baby shower...
most fun ever had at an office baby shower!


SnapShop Weekend: 06.11.11

Here are some of the fun shots that we got to practice taking at the Ashley Ann’s SnapShop! Man, that was a FUN day!! I wish I could just go hang out and make crafts with her all weekend. That would be so amazing. :)


Happy Birthday to Me...

So, this year, I decided to take my first “me” day in two and half years.
(wow - guess it was time)
I have never been away from Duckie (for a personal reason) since she was born.
And since life has been unusually crazy for the past few months year, I thought I would spend my birthday hanging out with complete strangers in someone else’s house (weird and so unlike me).
But seriously, that’s what I did - and let me tell you, it was SO worth it!

I treated myself to a full day dedicated to one of my passions ... photography!
I’m nowhere near being able to call myself a photographer
but why not learn from one of the best!
Ashley Ann’s SnapShop is a full day of fun and practical advice on photography.
Not only did I learn a ton of information, I got to meet her and her adorable family!! 


Of course, I missed the hubs and sweet Duckie but I loved the expression on her face when I went to pick her up. She’s also been doing a “We’re gonna go see Mommy” dance that Lindsay’s husband taught her right before my return. She loves it so much she will spontaneously break into song and dance at any given moment still. :)

Pictures of the weekend to come.

For now, check out Ashley’s blog for a preview!!


Project 365 :: May 2011

I can’t believe another month has flown by! (Do I say that every month?... Probably)
This month was very eventful in our lives. Biggest news is that we moved! Yay!!
We LOVE our new home and our new neighbors!

Playing with side walk chalk is a new favorite activity for you. Of course, coloring and playing with stickers is also a great time. We opened up a present from Christmas or your birthday that had been tucked away, called Button Art. And you love to run and get the game and exclaim “BUPPINS!”
Bubble baths are major fun too. You love to talk to your squeezie toy animals and call them by their name as you line them up, push them around the edge of the tub and then throw them in the water.
You are officially a pro at working an iPhone - wow - it completely blows my mind to watch you work that thing. I never told you what to do. You simply picked this up by watching me use mine! I think I may have shown you one time how to slide the button to get past the first screen and then you were off to the races! You can scroll through pages, open subfolders, pick your apps, open and close them, take pictures and send text messages!! You love the Preschool and FisherPrice games but you even like to play Angry Birds!! Hahahah! I guess the next phone we get, you’ll be teaching me!

Duckie, you talk SO MUCH now!! You say such clear sentences now and understand most things I ask you to do. I love that you are always putting more complete thoughts together and saying things like “Thank you, Mommy.” And you’re funny too... while you’re eating something you enjoy you will stop after taking a bite and gleefully exclaim “DEEE-wish-uhs!” (delicious!)

Emmie is still your best pal dolly. You take her almost everywhere with you. And you care for her like a mommy would care for her baby. She sits next to you when you eat and you will talk to Emmie at night as you are lying in bed. There was one night that I went in your room after you had fallen asleep and you were asleep, under your blankie. And you had placed Emmie right next to you and she was also under her blankie. Awww!!

We’re still working on the potty training thing. You haven’t shown a lot of interest lately but I think it’s time we start spending more time with it... We’ll see what you think of this.We’re also going to be looking into building your big girl bed this month too! WOW!!

You battled two nasty cases of being sick. You had the flu and then you had bronchitis. Yuk! But you are such a trooper. Mommy got sick too and she’s not near as tough as you. :)

Daddy traveled to Japan with the Navy. We spent a lot of time coloring pictures for him, making videos and sending him pictures. It was fun just hanging out, just you and me but we were SO HAPPY to have him home. While he was gone, you liked to get your pink vacuum cleaner out and say “just like Daddy!” while you swept around the room.

The weather ranged from low 40’s to high 90’s - yeah, that’s how we do it in Texas. I just think it’s funny how the clothes you were wearing in the pictures from May range from hoodie pullovers with boots to bathing suit!!


Happy Mother’s Day

Brunch + handmade card = PERFECT Mother’s Day!

Thanks Duckie & Daddy for making me feel so loved and special!


Project 365: April 2011

March was another amazing month to be Duckie’s Mommie!
We got to see Baby (not so baby) Sydney and enjoyed the chance to see you both running around with each other for the first time!
Daddy got a new car and for a brief moment, you now look little again because the new car seat is way bigger. Mommy and Daddy smiled seeing you look so small!
 You can turn door knobs, climb up on a table and pull a wagon all by yourself.

Bubble baths, crayons, chalk, bubbles are your favorite things right now (in addition to loving and caring for Emmie).
On 04.16, you drew a squiggle, stopped, pointed to it and exclaimed, “COW!” ... So cool to see your imagination taking off.

Parmesan cheese are two of your most favorite things right now. Check out 04.21.
Yeah, that’s you licking the Parmesan sprinkles off of the pizza... 
If I only Mommy looked this cute while doing this...

You love to squat and say “CHEEEEESE!” when I take your picture. I’m always squatting to your level and I think it’s hilarious that this is how you understand having your picture taken.

In your eyes, Word World is just about the greatest thing that has ever graced the big screen! The whole family gets a huge kick out of watching you shake it to the Dancin’ Duck Bonanza! 
“Clap! And stomp! And wiggle waggle!! ... Now reach for the sky!!!”

Mommy had to go on a business trip but left you in good hands. Daddy, Aunt Susan, Aunt Catherine and Uncle Monty took extremely good care of my precious cargo while I was away! We are so lucky to be blessed with such wonderful family and friends!

You never cease to amaze me with your latest discovery, talents or vocabulary!


Happy Easter!

Hope you had an amazing day! 
Here’s a sneak peek at ours.
More pictures and an Easter basket tutorial to come...


Lovely Letterpress + Giveaway!

Most of my designer’s life, I have had an obsession for letterpress. 

 (source: BellaFigura: my all-time favorite letterpress site)

I love the tactile feel of heavyweight, blotter paper. 
I am amazed by the craft.
The texture of each debossed letter or pattern.
What’s not to love??

Of course not all of us can learn the classic trade nor can we invest in the equipment.
Thankfully, there is a fun alternative!
...drum roll please...

Check out this amazing giveaway for an Epic Letterpress machine starter kit!
Visit Birthday Girl to check it out!

Woo Hoo!


Who wants AWESOME jewelry?!

Who would love to win
an AMAZING set of Stella & Dot earrings?!
Check out my good friend, Lindsay’s page to enter the GIVEAWAY!!

About a month ago, she invited me to a party and I FELL IN LOVE with the entire line!!

I immediately bought a set of rings and a pair of earrings for myself and a bracelet for Duckie!
Of course, I wanted it ALL!!

The next day, she decided she would become a stylist and BOOM!! She did it! (woo hoo!!)

Check out her blog to enter the giveaway!

And don't forget to visit her personal Stella & Dot site!


Dear Duckie

My sweet girl, you are growing up so quickly. I know it sounds so cliché but it’s so true. Every day, it seems like you are saying something new and coming up with funny things to say! A week ago, you looked at baby Titus and said “Hiiii Ti-tusss! Hey buddy!”

You love being the center of attention - you know how to make people laugh and love to work the crowd!! I love it when you go around an entire room shaking everyone’s hand or passing out free hugs and kisses. It’s so cute, not to mention extremely loving and kind. :)

Some of your favorite things are...

DANCING! Anytime you hear music, you stop what you’re doing and bust a move!

wearing dresses and shoes!

stickers, drawing and “co-luhs” (crayons)

taking care of her babies, Emmie and Ash-ooo (Ashlee)
Emmie is your favorite though. You like to carry her around, feed her, love her, make her dance, put her down for a nap and sometimes throw her across the room saying “uh-oh Em-mieee!” :)

pips (chips)

ma-pies (aka little gerber puffs)

It’s the most amazing blessing to be your mommy. I love you so much and am so thankful the Lord has given us the privilege of being your parents. Each day is a precious gift and I can’t wait for the next!


Project 365: March 2011

This month you learned to sit on a BIG GIRL swing, spent a great deal of time sitting on the potty, imitated Mommy with your deep voice while saying “Hi, Mr. Potato Head!” and nurtured Emmie, A-shoo and Baby by putting them to bed, kissing them and gently patting them when they cried.

Looking back at this month, you have really started looking more like a little girl instead of a baby. Your features are changing and your vocabulary is expanding every day! It’s amazing to look back and see how much you have changed in the last few months. You even sent your first text message to Lindsay! :)

Other random things this month:
Cousin Eli had surgery for intussusception and we got to go visit Daddy’s Navy base.


BBS: Week 6 Discussion

Sneaky Momma Blog Design 

What meant the most to you from this chapter or offered you the greatest challenge or inspired you deeply?
I am challenged and inspired at the same time to learn how to submit and respect my husband. This is not an easy thing for me to naturally do. I feel very determined and stubborn about certain things and don’t always stop to think about how that may be disrupting God’s intention for our lives. Not only that but it is belittling to my husband at the same time - so bad times two. Yuck. My heart is in need of change, and that is what I intend to do. And even if it feels too difficult for me to do for him at times, I will remind myself that I’m actually doing this for HIM.

Write out what these verses say about our submission:

Ephesians 5:22-24
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife - like Christ is the head of the church.

Colossians 3:18
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Titus 2:5
Wives are to be subject to their husbands and teach the younger women to be pure so that no one will disobey the word of God.

1 Peter 3:1
Wives be submissive to your husbands - especially if the husband does not believe the word - so that he may be convinced by your actions and behavior.

Choose a positive word of response:
“Okay!” ...said with a happy face and without cynicism or objection... I am fully convinced that if I let him suggest more things and I openly accept his ideas without “trying to be realistic,” it will not only make him feel like a man. He will feel confident that I trust him. I always say I want to be treated like a lady - so I guess it should be a no-brainer that he would want to be treated like a man!! (duh!!)

Ask of each word, act and attitude, “Am I bending or bucking?”
Wow - what a toughie. This is like a kick in the gut, accompanied by my punch in the face from Ch. 5! Ha! I guess I don’t consider my strong opinions to be perceived as disrespectful but I can see how they could be... Just like I need to help him - I need to also bend. I know he will not take advantage of me so why is it so hard for me to just let him do things his way when he wants to? He lets me have a lot of freedom and asks me for my opinions on anything he knows would be a big deal to me. I need to just let go and give it all to the Big Guy (God). ;)

Write out simple definitions for these words:

Respect - giving special attention

Notice - favorable attention

Regard - special consideration

Honor - to highly admire someone

Prefer - like better than something else

Venerate - to honor with a ritual act of devotion

Esteem - admiration

Defer - to put off or delay

Praise - to glorify

Love - to cherish

Admire - to greatly appreciate something

Exceedingly - extremely

1. Make a commitment to revere and respect your husband.
I will honor and respect my husband, allowing him to make important decisions for our family - trusting that the Lord is control of our lives. And my God-given responsibility is to help my life mate to succeed. I will not belittle him by challenging his decisions - and I will not ever, ever, ever make him feel like less of a man by showing disrespect in public.

2. Treat your husband as you would Christ Himself. How will you do this today?
I will build him up and encourage him. I will remind him of how much I love him and appreciate everything he is doing for our family. I will not be upset even though I miss him since he’s working so much. I will be supportive and smile when he has to leave for work. I will pray for him while he is away.

3. Ask of your attitude, “Am I demonstrating respect for my husband?”
Everyday I’m going to have to pay close attention to my actions. I love how this book gives practical advice for growing my heart closer to God’s and understanding what it’s going to take to be after His will for our lives. I will not air out my frustrations with anyone as gossip. I will only share experiences respectfully in order to offer encouragement to another woman who is seeking help through other believer’s learnings.

What an AWESOME chapter! I loved how the heart response and ended up re-writing it for my journal and put Brian’s name in the spot of husband so it would resonate and repeated it aloud a few times. What a great reminder to stay focused on making him my top priority and to be his encourager and respect him the way God would want me to!!

“Brian is my LIFE MATE. He is God’s good and PERFECT GIFT to me, part of GOD’S PLAN for my personal fulfillment and spiritual development.”


My heart goes out to Japan

Copied from Twig & Thistle.

My thoughts are with the people and families in Japan. As the images continue to come in and the devastation worsens, my heart goes out to all that have been affected. As a way of honoring the tragedy in Japan, I will be taking part in the Bloggers Day of Silence, tomorrow, March 18th. Along with over 200 bloggers, we will silence our blogs in hopes of taking the day to reflect and revere the disaster in Japan.
The lovely ladies of Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours have joined with ShelterBox to create a fundraising site called For Japan With Love. ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that delivers emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disaster worldwide. If you’d like to donate or would like more information please visit For Japan With Love and ShelterBox. Please donate what you can and encourage others to do the same. Thank you and lot’s of love! xoxo


Verse of the Week {11} Genesis 1:1

Doesn’t get much simpler or much more straight forward than this.
Thank you God for giving us life, love and most of all, your son.

Join in!