ENOCH GRADUATES PRESCHOOL

Filed under: baby barden,bardenisms,family,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,my family,my town,NCA — admin at 1:25 pm on Monday, June 24, 2019

Enoch went to preschool last year – for one day a week once March came around – so I could go back to work as a secretary for our contractor!

He went to school this year – three days a week – and he loved it SO VERY MUCH!

His 5 1/2 years have FLOWN by!! I can remember wondering what grade Fitzy would be in when Enoch went to Kindergarten – and it’s HERE NOW!

SINGING THEIR HEARTS OUT!!

This year they came dressed up as what they want to be when they grow up!

Enoch wants to be a basketball player then retire and be a farmer!!

My sister surprised Enoch and brought Jack to graduation!!

Enoch received the PRAISE & WORSHIP award!! He LOVES to sing his little heart out for Jesus!

THAT SWEET SMILE!

I’m sure you’ve read about the journey with this guy. Parenting is an amazing – beautiful – exhausting – frustrating thing!

And we’ve had our hard hard times with this guy. Partly because he’s a strong willed one. Enoch means dedicated and he certainly is. Determined. Stubborn.

School has been so good for him and for me. We can spend our days together actually enjoying each other instead of fighting.

In August – I wasn’t sure we would both make it out alive. He defied everything I said. His eyes burned with anger at me. He woke up telling me how much he didn’t like me.

He screamed and threw himself. He yelled and hit. He told me he hated me and cried. I cried. It was so very hard.

School started and we weren’t together 24/7. I wasn’t telling him no ALL THE TIME. It helped.

But what also helped was just old-fashioned determination and love.

I loved him. I cried as I held him while he kicked. I cried as I told him no over and over again. I cried as I followed through on the threats I made.

If I told him no video games – he had no video games. And when he begged for video games – I still said no. Lots of times – it’s so much easier to just say YES – have it already and stop asking me.

But that teaches kids NOTHING. Well – except that the more you ask – you’ll eventually get what you want – just wear people down. Mom’s word means NOTHING. THAT is what you are teaching them.

I told him I loved him when he told me he hated me. I hugged him when he kicked me. And did I mention I cried. A lot.

I’m fully convinced that he was growing in August – and his little body and especially his little brain didn’t know how to deal with SO MUCH growth in such a short period of time.

It hurt. He was hurting physically and emotionally AND he was hurting the person he loved the most. Because I am his safe place. And he knows that I will always love him – no matter how mean and ugly he is to me.

And my job is to love him and teach him. Not to tolerate the bad behaviors but to figure out WHY they are happening in the first place.

So we pushed through and cried and prayed and cried and endured. Because there’s nothing else I can tell you we did except endured. Fought the hard fight.

And in the end – we made it. And we aren’t just surviving anymore – we are thriving.

The other day I was helping him put his shoes on and he stopped me and said – MOM. I know you and I see you. And I just want to tell you that you’re the best mom I’ve never seen (he means ever but he says naybe instead of maybe and adds an n to the start of ever almost every time and I love it) and I love you. And you’re my best mom because you help me through my frustrations. Thank you mom.

I cried. And I hugged him and said – THANK YOU BUDDY. I thought that maybe God gave you the wrong mom because I couldn’t help you. And he said – oh no mom. You help me so much and God gave me the prefect mom for me. And we hugged on the kitchen floor and cried together. But not because I couldn’t do this anymore. Not because I didn’t understand this little boy in front of me. Not because the frustrations were spilling over. Because we made it to the other side of the ugly.

And I’m not naive. I’m not dancing because the hard things are DONE. OVER. CONQUERED. They’re not. They will still come. There will still be ugly times when he is growing and his brain is trying to figure this whole thing out. I’m praying for the teenage years – because that testosterone flowing through those veins – whew. Jesus help me. Help him.

But right now – we’re in a good place. A GREAT place. We had dinner with some friends the other night – and they haven’t seen Enoch lately – but had been in our lives on a consistent basis in August and they saw that Enoch. They saw the tears. They heard the cries for help – from him and me. They prayed with us and for us.

And she cried with me at dinner. She saw a little boy changed. She had brought basketball cards for them and she asked her son to put them behind his back in each hand. Then the boys had to pick – but which one would go first!? So I told him it was paper – rock – scissors. And Fitzy won and got to pick first. And Enoch last summer would have screamed and thrown himself and hit his brother. It would have been a half an hour to get him calmed down again. But he said – okay. And he patiently waited for his turn. No screaming. No tears. No hitting.

And I’m not saying that I am the perfect parent. I know exactly what to do EVERY time. I am the parenting model to follow. Nope – not saying that at all.

What I am saying is – I did it. I said what I meant and I meant what I said. I told him no and he didn’t get the marshmallow at the end of the night because he cried about it and asked over and over.

In fact – he got marshmallows taken away even longer. And when he asked that next time – he didn’t like the answer but he got it. No means no. And no amount of crying and begging will get you anything except more days without marshmallows.

We just had an amazing weekend. We hung out with our friends Friday playing in the creek for hours. Getting muddy and dirty and making rock paint. Going to a baseball game.

Creek exploring with dad and swimming with our friends Saturday afternoon. Family movie night and tossing the baseball around in the backyard.

Church and a birthday party and meeting the new baby cow. Creek exploring with Nan and hanging out with her while the night cooled off.

While we were creek exploring last night – Enoch told me he loved me about 2 million times. He told me how much he loved that I got excited because he learned how to swim. How much fun he had with his friends creek exploring and at the baseball game. How much he loved playing baseball with our family. And what are some things he can do to be nice to others.

He’s thanked me for helping him when he is hurting. When he is frustrated.

He still gets mad when he doesn’t get his way – but he hasn’t said he hates me in a VERY long time. And I still get mad when I don’t get my way – so …

MOMMAS – if you are going through the hard parenting things right now – KEEP ON. Keep setting and KEEPING boundaries.

And remember that God didn’t give you the wrong kid. He didn’t give your kid the wrong mom.

He’s shaping your child AND you – maybe you a little bit more even.

YOU CAN DO IT. YOU WILL MAKE IT. It’s not easy. You will cry. It will hurt. But the beauty from pain is more than worth it.

 

CLASS OF 2019

Filed under: an hour in the life,family,friends,just because,lifestyle,my town,seniors — admin at 11:10 am on Thursday, June 20, 2019

I met Amy last year when she asked me to take senior pictures for her daughter and her friends – do you remember the BREAKFAST CLUB session!?

Well – a year has passed already – and they’re graduating!

Amy asked me to come to graduation and photograph her daughter and their group of friends!

As I was sitting in the stands – looking at the program – I realized that I graduated high school 20 years ago that week.

And I had written a letter to my grandmother about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic (I had no interest in photographing people)!!

Not only was I sitting in a gymnasium full of kids exactly where I was 20 years ago – but I was also hired to take their photos! SURREAL!!

Stay tuned for the rest of graduation!!

MAKING THIS HOUSE A HOME

Filed under: bardenisms,family,just because,my family,my town — admin at 1:28 am on Tuesday, May 14, 2019

You may have seen these photos already – from TWO years ago when Matt Neal Contracting, Inc. gave our house an amazing facelift!

We were going to tackle the back last year but then life happened. So – we did it this spring!

BUT – siding the back meant making the windows and doors what we wanted them to be long-term.

Which meant tackling the kitchen and the storage room that stood on the back of the kitchen.

Which meant combining those rooms together. Which meant a new foundation underneath the kitchen – because one didn’t exist.

Which meant looking at the roof – which needed to be redone.

Which meant new walls and flooring in the kitchen & new dining room.

Which meant a new stove since the existing one was hard wired into the floor. You get the idea.

Improve one thing and discover all the things that need to go along with that ONE new thing!

That has been our kitchen for the last 14 years – a kitchen that was claustrophobic. Dark. Depressing. Covered in carpet remnants.

AND NOW LOOK AT THIS PLACE!!

That’s the view from the corner of the storage room – now our dining room!!

And from the back of the house – a packed full storage closet. Cold and serving no purpose but to house stuff we didn’t need.

And the back corner – looking out into the door that led to the porch that we never used.

AND NOW – beautiful windows opening up to our BEAUTIFUL deck!!

We found LOTS of interesting things ripping apart this old house!

And the beauty from ashes – INCREDIBLE!!!

Our vaulted ceiling! ABSOLUTELY DIVINE!!

Matt had the idea of the exposed wood. The floating beam and the one over the door were from the old storage room!

The boards framing the door and the corners were something Matt had in his shop and fit PERFECTLY in this new space!!

And the wood at the peak – the barn boards that were holding up the west end of the house!

Matt made a counter/table from an old door in his workshop – turning my vision into reality!!

Do you see that light above the sink?! I’ve never had one!! It’s miraculous!!

Isn’t it ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! I still can’t believe that it’s really real and really DONE!!!

AN AMAZING BEFORE & AFTER!!!

We are SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY with the finished product!!

Matt happens to be a friend of ours – and he’s done all the work on our house.

I can’t tell you how happy we are with his crew. Matt knew what I was looking for and several times made decisions that went above & beyond!!

I cannot believe that all the tools are gone. All the equipment off the deck. DONE.

In the span of a month (and a few days) (not including weekends and not EVERY day) Matt and his guys transformed our home into a thing of beauty.

THANK YOU!!

THAT DEEP AND LOVELY DARK

Filed under: bardenisms,my family,my town,newsworthy,project,word of God — admin at 12:55 am on Wednesday, April 10, 2019

That’s an AMAZING transformation!!

I’ve been listening to LOOK UP CHILD by LAUREN DAIGLE on REPEAT.

There is usually an album that speaks to me during the hard seasons of life – and this one is speaking volumes recently.

I sing the songs – I know most of the words – but I don’t always REALIZE what I’m saying. This afternoon while I was singing – I spoke these words -

Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am because I need to know

You know that I’ve been hurting recently. It was a really low low.

I had said that the last time I cried like I did – our marriage was in a pile on the floor. It’s strange to compare your house falling apart to your marriage falling apart – but …

I AM MORE THAN THE SUM OF EVERY HIGH AND EVERY LOW. (and so are you) 

Jared and I were talking the other day – about this house and my attitude – and we talked about TRUST – which I blogged about last time – and the time before that …

And I told him – I feel like I’m grieving the life I thought we would have right now.

We’ve made smart financial decisions. We’ve never had “bad” debt. We paid off our student loans. We now have a small loan on the JEEP we just bought to replace our other jeep. We have a mortgage and then a loan to do the things this house has needed over the almost 15 years we’ve been here.

We will be celebrating FIFTEEN years of marriage in June and we were going on a trip – it didn’t matter where as long as there was a crystal clear beach and a hammock or two.

I saved last year to go on that trip – but now – we’re getting a new foundation instead.

IT’S NOT FAIR!!

In Labyrinth – Sarah says to the goblin king Jareth – IT’S NOT FAIR! He responds with – you say that so often. I wonder what your basis for comparison is.

BUT – that’s what I want to do. STOMP MY FEET and SCREAM that it’s not fair.

Jared encouraged – challenged me – cus let’s me honest – for a glass half-empty girl – it’s a challenge – to find the good amidst the bad.

You might not know this – but you probably do – I have a tattoo on my arm that says – THAT DEEP AND LOVELY DARK WE’D NEVER SEE THE STARS WITHOUT IT.

I literally have it permanently inked onto my skin as a reminder. Because I really do believe that life is mostly about the hard stuff – but there are pinpricks of light.

Last week I backed into someone in my driveway – I didn’t see him – because I NEVER look behind me in my own driveway in the middle of the day.

The light – we are both under the same insurance – so the deductible is waived. AND our insurance won’t go up.

We had no idea the foundation on the house was an issue – until it was ripped apart. Repairing the foundation – building a deck – siding the entirety of the house – two new windows – a new door – and a new dining room added to the existing kitchen. Typing all that gives me serious anxiety. When I think about ALL the things that NEED to be done. Not anything that we were WANTING – all the things we would like to have are now being replaced with the bare minimum of what we NEED to have. And we have – HAD – a strict budget – with no options on taking out MORE loans.

The light – I happen to be friends with and work for our contractor. He’s got leftover things in his shop that we can use. He’s doing all that he can to make this work for us.

And it’s really hard for me to find that. And really see it. While I see that there are shining lights in the deep and lovely dark – WHY DID IT HAVE TO HAPPEN IN THE FIRST PLACE!?

I’ve told you that I’m a control freak right!? I WANT THE CONTROL. I want to see the unseen. I would like to tell you that I absolutely trust God – but I want Him to tell me HOW IT IS ALL GOING TO WORK OUT. And not just work out – but work out for good.

Do you remember when I wrote about happiness vs. holiness?

The whole it’s not fair thing – really – in comparison to what?! To who?!

God cares far more about our holiness than He does our happiness.

And that’s a PAINFUL realization.

This is the current view of our backyard from my living room. I can really say that I can’t wait to show you the FINAL view.

However – gaining control over your thoughts and outlook – it’s NOT easy – at least not for me!!

But – every day I am trying to find the shining light through the dark.

And because I know that I am not alone in the valley right now – WHAT IS YOUR SHINING LIGHT IN YOUR SEASON OF DARK RIGHT NOW?!

 

 

REVELATIONS

Filed under: bardenisms,family,my family,my town,newsworthy,the marriage fight,word of God — admin at 12:19 pm on Saturday, April 6, 2019

BEFORE – DURING – DURING – there will be lots of these during pictures I’m sure.

That jutty out part on the left – WHAT ON EARTH WAS THAT THING!?

So – it had to come out – which revealed so much. Too much.

Revelations. Peeling back the UGLY layers to reveal … more ugly. Brokenness.

There is only one answer to this problem.

TRUST GOD.

And I know that it’s ALWAYS the answer. I feel like in so many situations – you CAN do something.

There has to be an answer. But – there is not a tangible one.  One I can see and touch. One I can feel.

A friend commented on my last blog about this house -

“Especially after this part. “The glass isn’t only half empty but the water has also run out.”

The desert. Harsh and unforgiving.The desert has always signified trial. 40 years in the desert for God’s people, certainly one long and arduous trial.

This house may be your desert. The place where you come to the end of yourself. Where you run out of Danielle reserves. Let it.

“Because the thing that makes the desert so beautiful is that somewhere, there hides a well”.

And we have hope in that living water.

And once you are out of your own way, Jesus can fill that part with cool, clear, life giving water. Brutal, heart wrenching honesty leads to immeasurable growth. Keep going.”

I’m sure that this house IS my desert. And the thought of that …

And yet another friend -

“I love the story of Hagar in the desert. She’s taken her baby son to a dry and desolate place to die alone, but God… He calls to her, tells her His plan for her survival, and prophecies the great destiny that awaits her once she-and this is the hard part-returns to her place in the house of an unsympathetic and harsh master. For the first time in her life she feels seen. Really seen, and known, and loved! And it all came when she was at her lowest point. Amazing!!!”

I don’t know how to be hopeful right now. I don’t know how to live moment to moment. I don’t know how to trust.

I’m here. In the desert. For a long time.

MAKING THIS HOUSE

Filed under: bardenisms,family,just because,my family,my town,newsworthy,project,the marriage fight,word of God — admin at 5:14 pm on Sunday, March 31, 2019

Wednesday night I sat down to write a blog about this house. This process. This pain.

And I wrote and wrote and re-read and cried and SOBBED and hysterically SOBBED. And what I read was mean. Not nice in any way.

In all the things we’ve gone through – miscarriages and infertility – relationships gone wrong and pornography – a manic breakdown and the depression that came after – I’ve been able to write.

I’ve been able to say hard things – admit fears and doubts. Be raw and honest.

And as I list those things we’ve been through – HARD things – IMPOSSIBLE things – this was ridiculous. It’s a house. I can make it through ALL those things and not THIS “little” thing?!

I knew that those words would be whiny. I knew that those words would be really hard for some people to read. And that night – I exploded. And I erased everything I wrote.

Because it was mean and angry and hateful and … I was not in a good place. A really really bad place.

I went upstairs and told Jared through sobs that I was going to bed. He sat up straight and said – what’s wrong? (I was acting like someone had died) I said – ALL OF THIS. ALWAYS. THIS!!!

I laid in bed and sobbed. I think the last time I cried like that was nearly 6 years ago when Jared told me the depths of his addiction. He sat on the bed and said – do you want to be alone?

And that guy – that amazing husband of mine that loves me so very well – he was stuck either way. I was having one of those “don’t touch me – hug me” moments. Have you ever heard of them? Experienced them? Just me – okay. I’ll try to explain. There are times when I am so angry and out of sorts that the last thing I want is a hug – but don’t you dare walk away from me. Hug me – don’t touch me. Love me – leave me. WHY DON’T YOU DO WHAT I WANT!! (but – I don’t know what I want) So what is a guy to do with a crazy wife – remember when Jared was diagnosed bipolar and the people in my life were like WHAT!? JARED!? I mean – you – yes. Makes complete sense – but Jared – no way. It was one of those moments. Are we sure that it’s really him and not me that’s bipolar?!

So he stayed with me – not touching me – until I reached out for him. Because really – I was mad at him. And I’d like to tell you that I am really good at accepting blame for the things I do. And I am. But THIS – I didn’t do this. He did this to me. I didn’t want to live here. He made this decision without me. Which isn’t totally true. I did tell him that I didn’t want to live here. However – two people needed to sign papers and he didn’t forge my signature. And please don’t think that I’ve been living the last 14 years punishing him day in and day out for this decision. I haven’t. But – when I’m living in skunk – when the ceiling falls down – when the pipes freeze over and over – when there are men working on my house – especially rooms I don’t even walk in – I blame him. It’s not pretty. I don’t love admitting it. But I tell myself that I’m justified in my actions. I am miserable. He should be too. And since he’s not – I can make him. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT! Please tell me that you’ve thought this way too. Or am I alone in this!? Like – the hug me – don’t touch me moment!? It’s awful. It’s shameful. It’s not grace. It’s not love.

It’s anger. And what is anger based on!?

I mentioned on FACEBOOK after our people showed up to work on our house with us that I LOVE my people. My Aunt Lori is one of my people – she didn’t show up yesterday – but she texted me after the word vomit I did end up putting on the interwebs. After a few questions and answers she asked me this – anger is usually based in fear – so what are you afraid of?!

Listen – just let me be mad okay. Let me be angry and be a jerk and be justified in my actions and my words. I’m hurting and I want EVERYONE to know that it’s NOT MY FAULT and it’s an injustice. And you should hurt too.

And then my people swoop in and ask hard questions and show up and let me cry and be mean.

I’m afraid of two things – 1. That I will live in this house that I hate forever – this house I never wanted to be in and be stuck. 2. That we will have no wiggle room in our finances and be stuck.

She said – that’s when I ask myself – what is the worst that could happen? THAT is the thing that I somehow have to turn over to God. THAT fear!!

Jared has been dealing with some anxiety lately – and I always ask him – what’s the worst that could happen? Nothing close to those things have happened. So – what’s the problem?

Our anxieties manifest in different ways.

In general – Jared’s cause him to curl up on himself and not do much and think.

My anxiety comes out in a controlling rage. Mine cause me to explode and do ALL the things – ANYTHING except sit and think. Let me FIX something. ANYTHING. ALL THE THINGS. I’ve been organizing and getting rid of STUFF. And don’t get me wrong – I LOVE doing this. But it’s also a coping mechanism for my anxiety. I’ve been helping my people get rid of STUFF. Because I can’t sit still. Maybe I do operate in a sort of mania?!

Yesterday we tore off the back porch to get ready for the siding on the back of the house – the last step – in that process. When Sierra asked what we needed – Jared said we had a few things but not much. I said – we have 3 hammers. Cus – let’s be clear – we’ve got NOTHING and NO IDEA. The only idea I have is that I hate this and it’s huge and swallowing me up and it’s awful and horrible.

So Sierra & Jose came with their tools at 9. Cody came with his tools. That’s it. That’s all that said – we will be there. So this is it – take it away guys – cus we don’t know where to start. But – Dan and his family showed up. Jason and his son came. Scott – a friend I haven’t seen in over ten years – showed up. Mark showed up. Johna came. We had lots of kiddos in and out – running around. We had lots of hands filling the dumpster. We had lots of guys climbing on the roof and ripping it apart. By noon – the dumpster was full – pizza was served and the unsightly porch was gone – the only evidence being a few shingles here and there and the discoloration on the house from the old and the now exposed.

Jose and I were talking about the potential this house has (which is really hard for me to see – mostly because I don’t even want to) and I told him that my REAL fear is that someday I might like this house.

I typed that in a whisper. Because I don’t want to tell you. I don’t want to admit that. I don’t want to be … wrong.

PRIDE is a crazy thing. We would rather stay in anger and despair and be MISERABLE than admit that we might have been wrong. We might not have been justified in our actions and jerkiness.

I was telling Johna and Sierra this later – and Johna said – but we love you. The people that love you and are cheering for you aren’t going to say – I told you so.

Johna said something else that made me think – (everyone seems to love our house and see the potential and she’s no exception) but she said – you Danielle – are so unique – I can’t imagine you in new construction. This house is so … you. And I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. We walked through the house – into the attic – where Jose said – oh yeah. We can do this. And this – and this. We can do this!

I didn’t cry yesterday – but I’m crying now. Because in less than 3 hours yesterday – our people swooped in and fought for us. For me. When I have been MISERABLE and mean.

And like I said – my people swoop in and ask hard questions and show up and let me cry and be mean. BUT THEY DON’T LET ME STAY THERE.

THAT IS GRACE.

I recently had a conversation with my sister about the things we’re doing that hurt each other. Jealousies and assumptions and anger and blame and … you know – really fun stuff. But it was the first time that we’ve had that conversation (cus we’ve had it a bit) and actually figured some stuff out.

Missy texted me the lyrics of a song that she thought of when she was praying for me.

My friends – my family – my people – they strengthen me. They help me. They get it – but they also know that you can’t stay in it.

I love you guys. SO MUCH. I can’t thank you enough for speaking truth and life and love and hope …

I’m a realist who tends to fall on the pessimist end of things. That deep and lovely dark – we’d never see the stars without it. I believe that life is mostly about the hard things.

Hope is a hard one for me. The glass isn’t only half empty but the water has also run out.

Life IS mostly about the hard things. But it’s also about the people that swoop in during the hard things and point you to hope.

I still don’t love this house – dare I say it … yet. Maybe I never will.

I’m still really afraid of how much this all costs and how we’re going to do it and still live. Not survive – but thrive. Really LIVE!

But while the water seems to have run out – God hasn’t. God doesn’t. He gives us hope in Jesus. And His water never runs out.

TEN YEARS

Filed under: bardenisms,just because,my family,my town,newsworthy — admin at 12:46 am on Sunday, March 31, 2019

Ten years ago I was leaving my secretary job to start photography FULL TIME!!

I needed 24 weddings a year to make what I was making at my secretarial job – and I had 24 weddings that year!!

Sometimes when I look back on those photos – I think – WHAT WAS I THINKING! Isn’t it crazy how styles change – shooting & editing!

I can’t believe it’s been TEN years already yet only – how can that be!?

I have met so many AMAZING people because of that decision! This camera and the eye God gave me. The chances that you took on me.

I’ve watched you graduate and get engaged and get married and have babies. I’ve been in the room when your child takes her first breath. I’ve witnessed you pledge your lives to each other. I’ve photographed you when you knew that your time together was coming to an end – the last photos of you as a family. I’ve cried with you. I’ve smiled with you. I’ve loved with you. I’ve lost with you.

I’ve met families who continue to ask me back into their lives time and time again. THIS is the greatest honor.

Because of this blog – I met my best friend. Because of this blog I’ve come to know over a hundred women who are wanting to be mothers. Waiting for a baby. I’ve prayed with them and cried with them. I’ve celebrated with them and mourned with them. I’ve been able to see into your lives – to give you moments captured in time.

When I first started this whole photography journey – there weren’t many on the scene – and now … there’s quite a few. I’m not nearly as busy as I once was – and it’s kind of a hard place to be in. I long for the business. I want to photograph ALL the people – okay – maybe not ALL … BUT – I also want to enjoy these growing kiddos. I want to spend time as a family – making memories for our own walls.

I’m not quite sure where even this year will take me – trusting – REALLY trusting the God knows best. Exactly the people I need to meet. Exactly the places I need to be. It’s really overwhelming when you think of it – all the minute details of your life that matter – really really matter. Turning left instead of right. The insanely different path your life would take from such a small choice.

THANK YOU for making the past ten years AMAZING! THANK YOU for asking me to still your moments. THANK YOU for welcoming me into your hearts and homes.

SCHOOL DAYS

Filed under: baby barden,bardenisms,family,just because,kiddos,my family,my town — admin at 11:05 am on Friday, September 7, 2018

Another summer – gone.

Thankfully – while it was happening it wasn’t quickly. We had a full & lovely summer!

But – like all great things – it must come to an end.

Enoch went to preschool ONE day a week starting in March – and he LOVED it! But NOW – it’s official!

He goes three days a week and spends two with me.

SIDE NOTE – those feelings he had toward me. Pretty much gone. He grew out of all his shoes almost overnight and ate EVERY THING IN THE HOUSE.

He’s still having a hard time with getting what he wants when he wants it – but – aren’t we all? He still thinks I’m a mean mom sometimes. He still gets angry. He still argues. But he’s not SEETHING MAD every time he looks at me. So – that’s a win.

He wasn’t in the mood to fill out a survey – which is why his favorite movie is DOG MOVIE and he wants to be whatever his brother wants to be AND a farmer.

Fitzy was a little nervous about second grade – but is REALLY LOVING it so far!

They wanted to pick out their own clothes. AND E wanted to GO. LET’S GO MOM!

And while I couldn’t get them in the same spot as last year – you can see the CRAZY difference just ONE year made – especially for that Enoch guy!

The first day of school – and into the second week – it’s all been GREAT!

And for the first time in SEVEN YEARS – I can edit & work & answer emails & blog for HOURS at a time – two days a week!

It’s GLORIOUS!

And on that second day of school – Enoch and I went up to the house that Matt is building – for some updated pictures – and mountain climbing!

How is the first week of school going for YOUR family?!

A NEW START

Filed under: family,friends,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,love,my family,my town,newsworthy,word of God — admin at 11:18 am on Tuesday, August 28, 2018

If you read THE baby announcement – you know a little bit of Missy & Cody’s journey.

Cody recently encountered Jesus and it’s been AMAZING to watch his transformation!

He made the beautiful decision to be baptized!

So – I’ve known Sierra for a while now – since she and I were pregnant with Asa & Enoch – but only in the terms of yeah – I know WHO she is.

But – we’ve grown closer over the years. Her husband and Cody have gotten pretty close – starting with their shared love of ALL things car-related!

Missy & Sierra have gotten close while their husbands were growing their friendship.

Jared & Cody & Jose all get along really well. Sierra & Missy & I all get along really well. AND our kids LOVE hanging out with each other. WIN WIN WIN!!

Jose and our pastor Mark were in the water with Cody!

Everything was going smoothly – Cody got a little choked up giving his testimony – but nothing too weepy for the crowd – until …

Jose started to pray – then Cody was crying – I was crying – Missy was crying – and I’m guessing a few other people were crying!

Cody didn’t really care whether Sierra wanted a wet hug or not!

The ONLY blue-eyed kiddo IN THE BUNCH!

That guy – so much going on in that head of his. And Asa JUST turned FIVE! Enoch will be FIVE in November!

The ONLY GIRL in the bunch! FOR NOW!

CODY – I am so thankful to walk this journey with you and your family! I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW MUCH WE LOVE YOU!!

STROHECKER VISION CARE

Filed under: just because,kiddos,lifestyle,my town,promotional photography — admin at 2:55 pm on Monday, August 27, 2018

Missy works for Strohecker Vision Care AND we go to church with Bob Strohecker AND swim at his pool ALL SUMMER LONG!

Friday – August 17th – they held a KID’S DAY! AND I brought my camera!!

Dr. Strohecker was feeling brave! He took all THREE of those boys to the bank!

Strohecker Vision Care – for ALL your vision care needs!!

DOOR PRIZES!! FACE PAINTING!! FREE SAFETY GLASSES!! POPCORN!! BURGERS & FRIES!!

Remember that blog post about giving the kid a lollipop? Do you see the TWO lollipops in Enoch’s mouth!!

Fitzy didn’t WANT to bring a stuffed animal in for a vision check – that’s just silly! BUT – he had a TON of fun after finding a stuffed animal at the clinic!

FREE vision screenings for ALL your favorite stuffed animals! Even James – the random bear hanging around the clinic!

I LOVE THAT SHOT!!

Enoch was VERY concerned about Mr. Grinch’s eyes – but Bob was more concerned about his HEART! It’s too small!

I LOVE THAT FACE!!

Mr. Grinch had his pupils dilated – so he needed special glasses for a little while!

THAT BEAUTIFUL CHILD!!

THANK YOU STROHECKER VISION CARE for the AWESOME afternoon!

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