Staring at the blank page before you

Open up the dirty window

Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find…

Jasper drawing at Starbucks 01-blog

Today is where my book begins. The rest is still unwritten.

2015 has been the year of questions both answered and unanswered.  The main question I faced was how to stay afloat in a sea of waves that I felt were carrying me every direction except the one that I wanted to go.  This summer I faced a moment of surrender to the rocky seas.  I realized that the waves were not meant to harm, but to push me in the best direction.

I felt very much that my future was already written and that it wasn’t one that was excited me.  It wasn’t one I would choose for myself, if I held all the power to choose.  I was feeling stuck in the mud, as my former toddler use to say when he didn’t want to do something.  The mud was self-inflicted and imaginary. All he had to do was stand up.

I, too, had to stand up.  Once I gave up the fight, so to speak, I started to see bits and pieces of the shore. Though everything was certainly not perfect, the pieces were falling into place.

God was in the business of providing some needed change that would shake up the monotony of right here. Through that, I began to see anew that I could trust Him with much larger things.

If He could provide a school for my daughter and more time outside the four walls of home for the rest of us, He could provide for the other concerns of our hearts.  But, first and foremost, He was just concerned with my heart that was starting to lose hope. I felt a very real call from God to just turn from my striving and seek Him.  The real answer to all my questions.  That was exactly what I needed and still need each day.

God showed me that while He has certainly written my future, it isn’t second best to my imaginings.  His plans are bigger and better than any dream I could dream.  Right here, with exactly what we have, at this exact moment, is good.  But not just good, BEST.

I guess you could say that He is disciplining me in trust and contentment.

I’m living with my arms wide open to God’s plans for us, whatever they may be.  I still pray for those little heart’s desires, but I won’t break if that’s where they stay.

This new school year is so different already and I’m encouraged by all the growth I’ve seen both in me and my students.  All I have to do is be faithful to the day’s work. Fruit is on the vine.

Linking with Good.Random.Fun, Songography, Black and White Wednesday, and Wednesdays Around the World.


Little Things Thursday

Today is day 4 of our new school year and so far, things have gone extremely well  It’s always a blessing to get through the first few days with not one kid crying over work. In fact, our little Jasper told me last night that he felt so much better now that school has started  I wasn’t super sure what he meant, but at the same time I knew exactly what he meant.

Routine is a friend.

beginning of school week 2015

Sure, summer can be a great refresher of souls, but it has an expiration date. Too much and it starts to stink. I get that, and it was true for me as it was for him. The kids have had nothing but praise for their new endeavors, which is a balm to this weary Mama’s heart.

Weary. Yes, weary. The weeks before school began were intense with working. Not only did I have to wrap up summer activities and plan school, but I also had a huge editing project to finish. Two actually. My brain really started to melt from computer time. This explains why I have only posted phone shots here lately. I could not edit one more thing at the time. I’m actually giving myself the freedom to not edit personal work for a couple weeks, or until I feel up to it again. Whichever comes first.

I’m seeking to live more mindfully. I was feeling more robot than human over the summer. So, I made some changes. I’m waking earlier, which sounds counter intuitive. Hello 5:45 A.M.

It’s helping me focus my heart, soul, and mind at the beginning of the day before the fray begins. School is over by 1:30 P.M. The house is clean. I’ve exercised. Meals are served. Tasks are completed. And, I’ve gotten some rest time to just enjoy before doing it all over again. That’s a huge bonus because I really stink at the rest thing.

I’m still behind on blogging due to the projects I was working on, but my plan is to carve out time on Saturdays to blog for the week rather than freaking out the night before trying to pull something together. My blogging needs to reflect authenticity of life not scrambling to post. Now that school is back, I don’t think there will be a lack of things going on with all the new horizons and all.

Well, I hope you all are enjoying your remaining summer or are enjoying the first weeks of school routines. Drop a line and let me know!


Little Things Thursday

Hello, strangers.  Well, that’s how it feels since I have had to pull back on blogging the last week or so.  I can only keep up with one post a week right now, but thank you for still connecting here, meanwhile. I’m trying to give myself permission to take care of all the pressing things so I can get back to a regular routine soon. I’ve gotta have it together by a week from Monday, so I’m almost there.

I’ve been swamped with preparing for our new school year, and working my photography business.  I’m just in a stage where the devil is in the details. I just need those around me to say that it is okay for these things to take time to complete. I can be such a hamster on a wheel. I forget that most things are a process and not a run into the ground race.

Enough about that though, because I have a girl to celebrate! Yesterday, Gracyn turned 14! I could lament the years here, but you moms already know. It goes quickly.

And she got a phone.




She’s pretty pleased about the phone situation. We’ve been one of the last hold out parents of kids her age. There are still a few others, but we were definitely in the minority. I don’t regret waiting, but feel that now is the time with high school on the very near horizon. I just need to be able to reach my kid.  It’s more for me than her. So, it’s definitely a little thing bringing much happiness around here. Her dad and I are cool after all.

How’s your week going, friends?


Little Things Thursday

What happens when the corn crop you so desperately looked forward to dies?

You create a backdrop out of it, of course! It’s the whole lemons and lemonade drill.

Jasper in corn husks 01-blogOur corn just didn’t produce like we hoped. We managed to get 2-3 respectable ears and many tiny weird ones.  Our garden was essentially a big failure except for the basil, tomatoes, okra and berries. In many ways my garden became a metaphor for my summer.  Disappointment.

I envisioned refreshment.  There were bits of that, but not on the scale that I felt I truly needed to be refreshed to begin again. But, the thing about need is that what we think we need may not be what’s best for our growth, overall. I’ve grown all summer long, but I’m weary. I guess you could call it growing pains.  I’m planting and planting and planting.  The harvest sometimes looks like disappointment on the surface, but rather it is the fodder for a greater harvest to come.  I believe that.  Because disappointment, when used correctly, causes us to grow. We dig deeper, and make adjustments. I’m no quitter and I also believe that God wastes no circumstance that He allows.  We just have to be willing to accept and learn from our circumstances.  It’s not easy, but it is necessary. While not getting a vacation or other luxuries this summer was disappointing, I do think I’ll look back on this time as pivotal. My souvenirs aren’t seashells and T-shirts, but I believe that my take-aways are valuable.

We have less than 3 weeks before our new school year begins and I am furiously working to shore up loose ends so that I’m not crawling to the first day of school.  I apologize for not being as available to participate and visit.  I hope you know that my desire is FOR those things, but that well, honestly, I’m struggling to balance duty and delights. Delights have just had to retire to the backseat over the last month or so.  There has been just so much on my proverbial plate that needs attention. It’s nothing serious, but as you know, when things pile up life can feel overwhelming.

I do have a couple massage gift certificates that will be a balm once I get through the bulk of the crazy.  I’m looking forward to those.  I’m still going to be around, and I’m trying to make room for delights as I can. Soon, routine will win the day once again and I’ll be back on the saddle. Less than 20 days to go! How’s your summer?  


Little Things Thursday

OK, this week is turning out to be an absolute blur! Summer totally stepped on the gas peddle and is flying by. I almost missed this Little Things Thursday because of not knowing what day it is!

My family decided to hit the local water park today to squeeze in that item on our summer bucket list.  So, we will be out splashing and sliding today! It’s a needed break from being glued to my computer.

I’ve been editing hours per day to catch up on summer sessions, but I love providing happiness and memories for others.  This is one from my last session that I adore.

Johnson 01-LTT-BlogTo me, this feels like life in these young family years. And, it is perfect! How’s your week going? Let’s see what life feels like in your part of the world!


Scenes from Summer

Summer is in full swing! All of our big time investments are all behind us and now the summer let down has begun.  And by let down, I mean letting shoulders drop, and life take on a slower pace. No running to and fro.  No gathering of this and that.

It is so needed and so brief before planning for next year begins.

Second-third week of June

Vacation Bible School is over.

Soccer camp is over.

One kid has been packed and shipped on a Missions trip.

Now, it’s snow cones by the pool. Picked berries. Dad’s celebrated ( and look how that baby turned into the tall kid in the Batman T!).  Good reads and time to think/journal/pray.

It’s a great time for a mid-year check-up on the heart, soul, and passions. It’s the great pause to refuel for the transition to the second half of the year.

Summer, you are so short, so please work your magic!

Linking with Good.Random.Fun.



8 is gonna be great

Jabber turns 8 this week! It’s hard to believe that our baby is creeping out of the younger years and inching closer and closer to tween.

Say it ain’t so.

Old Instagrams caught my eye last night showing me just how much Jasper has changed over the years. He is still a peanut, but a big peanut!

Jasper 2015-1

Jasper 2015-2

We are so happy that God gave us this little anomaly to complete our family. We will be celebrating throughout the week since his real birthday is still a few days away.

Linking with Good.Random.Fun.


Survival Mode

I didn’t really intend for the start of summer to go straight to survival mode, but who does? There has been a whole lot of Murphy’s Law going on, but I am able to see the brightside of it and laugh a little. A little.

May 24-2015

My knees never really got better after last week. I ended up resting for almost a full week to be ready to shoot the wedding last Thursday. I adopted the RICE lifestyle just to make it through that. I got through, but was a little worse for the wear the next day. It was worth it though! I’m feeling a bit better now, though the pain travels from knees, to quads, to hams. I am best friends with Advil and ice packs. I think it is all just a matter of time to heal and hopefully I can start walking again. Slowly. I’m a dork and thought I could handle the pace before.  Clearly, I was wrong.

Our kitchen sink died Monday. So that required lots of hoopla to try to salvage it before chucking it and getting a new one.  All this happened while Jack tried to prepare Memorial Day goodies. Of course it isn’t fully installed because there are always hurdles to overcome. But soon, it will be all functional.

Today, Jasper chipped a permanent front tooth on the side of the pool. It was a small chip, but I took him in to the dentist anyway. His chip was jagged and I knew it could present issues. His tooth was sanded down to smooth the edges. Now we wait until his front teeth are fully grown before deciding if they will need either more sanding or a little bonding. There was no nerve damage! It’s really not that bad, but this is my baby, afterall. I’m allowed to overreact.  Right?

Then…as if we needed more, Texas showed up. All those mid-western rains started to fall here in Jawgia. My backyard turned into a river and then the garage started to flood from the bottom and leak a bit from the top. By this point, all I could do was laugh. I mean, it could be way worse.  Way.

I’m grateful that these sufferings are really just petty ones. If these things are our biggest problems, we are doing well!

So, things have been slow here on the dear old blog, because I just haven’t had the physical stamina to photograph anything besides what I am paid to photograph. My clients needed the best of me, so I didn’t want to jeopardize that by being too mobile. I’m slowly making it back to normal. I keep saying that, but I believe it is true this time.

Here’s to the upswing!

Linking with Good.Random.Fun and Wednesdays Around the World.



I hope everyone had an amazing Mother’s Day weekend celebrating the women in your lives. We had a good, and full weekend.

Saturday was two soccer double-headers that had us out in the sun for 5 hours.  We were fairly sun-drained by the end.  AND, as much as we love our soccer Saturdays, we are happy next week is the last game until fall! I get my Saturday mornings back…which means sleep-ins.

Mother's day weekend 2015

Saturday evening I was able to escape for a Girl’s Night Out, and it was lovely to get to know someone new while growing friendships with the others over a good meal.

Mother’s Day was wonderful.  Hubby made an awesome breakfast of eggs, bacon, biscuits and juice.  He ALSO made lunch after church.  I got to rest for a bit and then got back into my workout routine…which is simultaneously killing me slowly and making me stronger.  I’m only walking/jogging 3.4 miles a day, but when you haven’t really exercised in awhile, it hurts.  I’m looking for some great workout tunes to keep me moving.  What’s your favorite?

Jack ordered those two gorgeous floral prints for me from floraforager.com.  If you haven’t had a tour around her work, you really should. It is so inspiring. The creator, Bridget, is the very first blogger I followed back in 2005.  I found her inspiring then, but she has really blossomed in her talent over the years. (pun intended)

Mother's day weekend 02

And with that, we are back to our work week. We have 9 days left of school. I’m dragging and ready for summer,but must keep on truckin’.

Linking up with good.random.fun.


Boo Boo season

As soon as the weather warms up the daily boo boos begin.  My kids have been going out to play full force since winter left.

I happened to capture this a few weeks ago and it just makes me laugh.

Boo Boo-blog

Minolta SRT 101 on Portra 400

This guy hates boo boos.  It’s like they don’t physically hurt as much as they hurt his feelings or something.

He is absolutely filthy from playing hard in this image, but that boo boo just needed a moment of reflection.

He was back to play in no time, but scrapes always give him pause.  Always.

Linking with Good.Random.Fun.

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