29 June 2010

This guy.

This guy is our difficult child.

This guy is also incredibly loving, generous, and kind hearted.

I have found with great passion comes this 'Jekyll & Hyde' phenomenon.

Whether he's happy or angry, that passion comes through.

His emotions are all or nothing.  Fueled by the heart without an ounce of rational thought.

And, you know what, I love it.

I may not enjoy the mood swings during the growing pain years, but when all is said and done, he'll be a man who uses his heart to guide him.

A guy who's desires out of life will be achieved with the great passion that fuels him.

An artistic, bright mind.

As time goes by, he'll learn to use his brain more than his heart in certain situations.  And that's okay.

But until then, this will be an interesting journey to take with this guy.

This guy.

Geesh, how did we ever get through a day without him?

26 June 2010

Girls vs. Boys: Part Deux

Boys are very different than girls.

Very different, indeed.

They'll be best friends one moment, and mortal enemies the next.

I'm not sure what happens, but they'll be all snuggled up on the couch watching a movie together, and in the next split second they're punching the crappity-crap out of one another on the floor.

What happens in that split second?

Does anyone know?

Can anyone enlighten me?

Then, the amazing happens.  The miraculous.

They're snuggled all back up on the couch together 5 minutes later.

Now, I'm no psychologist, but it appears to me to be split personality disorder.

I would get them treatment, but it seems this is perfectly normal, everyday boy behavior.

The perpetual motion is mind boggling, too.  They have to move. To run.  To flip, kick, ride, run, jump, climb, jump, climb, run, kick, flip, jump, climb, jump, climb, flip, ride, run.

They never seem to burn enough of their energy off until the very moment before the pass out into peaceful slumber.

Then, they're just little angels!

24 June 2010

Girls vs. Boys

Girls are very different from boys, indeed.

Having had my 2 boys first in the Grebe line-up, I've had the unique opportunity to observe both sexes separately for an extended & isolated period of time.

Currently, a couple of things are standing out to me about the girls at the ages they are.

1.  Little girls have opinions about what they wear.

That alone could be a 3 part post.

It is exhausting.

All I will say on the subject is this: I don't understand what the big, life altering difference is between a pink t-shirt with satin trim and one without.  But, whatever it is, it seems to affect the whole mood of, not only the ensemble, but the child wearing the ensemble.

Thank you, Rosie, for teaching me that lesson.

2. Girls like 'stuff'.

My boys collect bits of 'stuff' here and there and keep their 'stuff' in special places and old cigar boxes, but the girls' love of 'stuff' is something else entirely.

For Rosie, 'stuff' includes, but is not limited to; costume jewelry, chap sticks, purses, dress-up shoes, pens, keys, business cards, calculators, wallets, blank check registers, finger nail clippers, head bands, crowns, magazines, old receipts {tickets to her, tickets to what, I'm not too sure}.

For Betsy, 'stuff' includes, but is not limited to; gloves of any kind {although she has a special hankering for the surgical variety}, baggies of all shapes and sizes, playing cards, post-it notes, reusable shopping totes, pens/pencils, tissues or paper towels, belts, binkies, a certain Dora book.

This 'stuff', either in part or whole {depending on Mommy's mood}, seems to follow us wherever we go.  Outside, in the car, Target, grocery shopping, the pool, on the school bus, backpacks, Grandma's & Grandpa's house...you name it.

It's, seriously, going to send me to the loony bin.

Someone with older girls, please tell me this stops.  Or lessens.

I don't remember having this passion myself.

Mom, did I?

Did any of you?

***Next up, the boys.  :)***

23 June 2010

Honey do.

Dearest Husband,

As if you don't do enough around here, with your stellar laundry-putting-away abilities, your constant overseeing of basement clean-up, strict management of the boys' showers, your quick and thorough approach to dinner clean-up, and general love of and doting on all of us, plus all the other things I forgot or don't want to mention because I don't want people to try and steal my personal super-hero away from me for their own use, could you {purdy} please do the following:

1. Get all of our old pictures of of that dinosaur of a computer in the basement.
2. Help me make a new tree swing.
3. Fashion me an incredible {is your handiwork anything but} bench for the front porch that has hidden storage underneath for muddy shoes and cleats.
4. Get all of the dead bug guts off of the front of the van so it's swagger can be properly restored.

That is all.

Carry on!

Forever yours in love & service,

21 June 2010

Jump. I dare you.

That's Lil' Jake on the zip line at Trout Lodge.
It's one of the MANY activities they offer.
He truly amazes me.
He just climbed up, and jumped off.
That was that.
No fear.
I wish I could bottle that courage up.
I'd be a millionaire.

Pete wasn't old enough for the zip this year.
Alas, he found a way to get his adventure on.
He did Pines Peak.
A really high, tough climbing wall.
Amazed again.
He just shimmied on up and repelled back down.
There is nothing like them!
Their energy and zest make it look so easy.

I wish I could say it went the same for Big Jake.
He had a tougher time.
Age and strength were not on his side this day.
Poor guy.
Rest assured, he will begin training for next year soon enough.

Happy day, all!

20 June 2010

A newborn.

And, finally...
my very favorite.

Thank you to the K family for letting me get my hands on him!

Happy Father's Day to all you boys with kiddos!
I am proud to say that I know 
some excellent fathers.

17 June 2010



And, let's just say that I'm refueled, fired-up, and ready for summer 
and whatever it throws my way!
We had a great time on our yearly getaway at YMCA Trout Lodge.
While on the beach, I've been thinking up some good posts in my lil' ole head,
and will definately be posting photos from our trip.
I, also, read a fantastic book while the kids splashed away & dug in the sand.
If you have a summer reading list,
I highly recommend adding 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett to it.

I've got to get back to Photoshop.
It's a love/hate relationship.

11 June 2010

There's nothing like a...

Especially, one that is less than 24 hours old.
God bless his little heart!

Congrats to my dear friends,
M & C.
Your lil' man is perfect!

P.S.  Shooting in low light is VERY challenging.  However, I do like the grainy quality of the photos.  It's very dramatic.  It reminds me of an 8mm film or something.  Super cool!

10 June 2010

A new sneak peek...

New family...

New photos...

These girls were too cute!

The oldest sister just lost her first tooth and kept poking her lil' tongue through the 'spot'.

It was too much.  :)

The youngest told me she was going to name her first baby Beth!

No lie.

Talk about melt my heart!

Thanks, W family.

I had a blast!

09 June 2010

Lessons from a film.

Right...so, Jake and I watched 'My Sister's Keeper' last night. 

I hadn't read the book, so I didn't know the exact story, just bits and pieces.

It was horrible, awful, bad!

In the best way.

As I sat there sobbing, I realized how my tears were being shed for so many reasons.

First off, it is a very sad, touching film.

Second, it seems that sometimes in the midst of other people's pain I find myself reflecting on my own blessings vs. hurdles, and I come to realize how fortunate I am, indeed.

There is a particular part of the movie, in which, the youngest, healthy daughter says how it's not fair that her older sister had to get sick and pass away.  It is very poignant.

I could not stop thinking about how many times I've thought that it's not fair that Betsy is 'trapped' inside her little brain, and I really felt ashamed.

Ashamed that I've felt that way when she is healthy, and thriving, and so happy. 

Ashamed because, even though her little body and her brain don't communicate, the essence of who she is has no problem rising to the surface.  Even without speech or great physical skills, we know who she is.  We get frequent glimpses into her sweet soul.

And she is good.  All things good.  All things we all should be more of.  All things God reveres. 

She is truly untouched by prejudices of any kind; culture, wealth, education, past sin. 

She loves everyone, has smiles and hugs for everyone.  Even if you upset her, she forgives and forgets quite literally. 

We have very little sadness in our lives, our home is free from tragedy {hopefully, until the end of our days}.

And we are blessed.

All of us.  Big Jake, Jake, Pete, Betsy, Rosie, me.

My kids are phenoms!  All 4 of them.

But, really, I didn't need a movie to tell me that.

07 June 2010

a peek & a prize {for me}.

First, I just wanted to give a big thank you to the K family for being my first, official, EVER, photography clients.

I was so nervous.

I took 290 photos {100 of which were taken on the wrong ISO setting}.

It was so fun, my heart beat so fast the whole time. 

I'm sold.

Here's a sneaky-peeky just for them...

Aren't they so cute!

Becky is teacher at Betsy's school, and let me tell you, that staff has special hearts, doing what they do.

They deserve $248,873.42 a year.


So, I was happy to take photos of her and her family.

Secondly, I won something. 

That is now 2 things I've won since blogging {remember the first?}.

Anywho, I won an awesome new camera strap from a little giveaway at MCH Photography.

The strap is from Broward Patch.

Aren't they so cute?

Thank you to Christy for the giveaway, and to Jen for offering up the goods!

06 June 2010

The photography journey continues: editing

Straight out of the camera.
It's okay.

Still not super pleased. 
I should have adjusted the opacity of the eyes a bit more.
It was at 45% and I think 30% would have been much better.
Also, I didn't remove Rosie's uni-brow.
Some photos I like it because I want to remember what it looked like.
Betsy's has already just about all fallen out, so, I'm sure her's will, too.
{Yes, both of my GIRLS had/have kickin' uni-brows,
and, no, I have no idea where they got them from.  Seriously.}
I also left the remnants of her right black eye.
Oh, the memories youngins provide.

The point is, I'm getting there.
A little more each day.
I am so excited.
Photography is like my happy pill.
Only, it's not a pill, and you don't need a doctor's supervision.

If anyone would like to come along on my journey,
I'd be happy to have you.
I would love to see some of your edits,
tips, tricks, secrets.
Slap a link in the comments or email me.
Even if you jacked your photo all up
{like the eyes in this photo}.

Well, I'm out.
Happy Sunday!

05 June 2010

It's a girl, a girl, & a boy...I think.

The stork brought us a surprise.
Triplets, no less.
l to r: Jane, Annie, and Ike

They are right outside Big Jake's and my bedroom window.
And, when they're hungry...boy, oh boy, do they let you know it.

Jane is the shy one.
So, when she came out all bright eyed & bushy tailed,
I had to snap away.
Aside from the fact that I don't have feathers,
and my bones aren't hollow,
I think she confuses me with her real momma.

This is 'real momma'.
She knew they were hungry.
So, she waited patiently for me to quit shoving my camera
in her sweet brood's faces.
At one point,
I, actually, think I heard her sigh.
Amazing, I know.

Nature & regurgitation hard at work.
Those littles go crazy when it's time to eat.

Then, they sleep.
Like, immediately after eating.
I've never seen anything like it.
It's like the equivalent of a human baby's breastfeeding 'high'.
Little narcoleptic chicks.
They are so happy and full,
they are overcome with sleep.
Baby bird bliss.

Night-night, my sweet babies.
See you tomorrow.
Not much longer, now,
and you'll be leaving the nest.

Now, it's my turn to sigh.

04 June 2010

Someone's in trouble.

Where in the h-e-double-hockey-sticks is the Tooth Fairy?

Is he on vacation and no one told me?

Betsy lost her first tooth SIX DAYS ago, and still nothin'!

Maybe, he's confused.

See, we asked that Betsy not receive the typical cash exchange for her incisor.

She'd eat it, and that's no good.

For anybody.

So, I'm sure he's just deciding what would be an appropriate prize.

He better get it together soon, or, I tell ya, I don't know what I'm gonna do.

The Tooth Fairy is about to get unleashed upon.

Watch it, Tooth Fairy.

I got my eye on you.

I take no prisoners, mister.

03 June 2010

The beginning: revisited.

Let's stroll down Memory Lane. 
Shall we?
After all, it is my favorite street.
The date:
June 3, 2000.
The place:
Saint Louis, Missouri.
The scene:
2 youngins (22 & 23), promise before God & their families to love & honor one another.
For better or worse.

No, really...it is.
{We complicate way too much these days.}

Officially hitched.
Why is it I look ecstatic, yet Jake looks like he might pass out?

This photo puts it all in a time perspective.
These two littles are going to be seniors in high school!

Apparently, star sunglasses were the cool equivalent of
wearing Chucks on your wedding day today.
I don't even remember who brought these.
But, we thought they were the bees knees.
{I blotted out my one maid's face because we haven't spoken in years,
and I don't know if she'd like having her face all over the web.
Do any of you have that one girl or guy from your wedding
that you grew apart from?
Sad, isn't it?
I look at these photos and remember exactly why we were friends.
Everything else just seems stupid, now.
Grudges are dumb.
Especially when you don't even know why you or someone else has one.
Forgiveness & letting go, now that's what I'm talkin' about.
In the end, most of it's small stuff anyway.

My sister and I.
For the record, I despise her blond hair.
Not blonds, just HER blond hair.
She's still stunning, but not meant to be a blond.
Love ya, Jill.

This cake caused  the biggest stink of the whole wedding planning process.
Simply put: my mom hated it.
She called it the poop cake.
"Whoever heard of a chocolate iced wedding cake?"
I heard that a lot from her.
Incidentally, it was a sensation.
It tasted great, too.
Ganache, chocolate cake, strawberries...
enough said.

My pops.
Always the jokster.

This is possibly the cheesiest photo ever.
Besides the cheddar quotient,
doesn't my mom look great?
Also, I love the red blotches all over my neck.
I guess they didn't have photo editing back then.
Or gasoline engines, or TV.

In the end, this is what it's all about.
Kiss and make-up, people.
It takes work.
Jake and I have been through a LOT in 10 short years.
Things I never thought we'd encounter in 50+ years of marriage,
let alone 10.
Stronger, better.
A deeper understanding of how we both tick.
And, here we still are.

So, that's it. 
Our little $5,000 wedding. 
A day I'll never forget. 
We should've listened to my mom, taken the money, and gone to the courthouse.
Oh, the things I've learned in 10 years.

Happy Anniversary, Jake!
Here's to another 60...

02 June 2010

Total mom post.

Q: Why do us mothers do what we do?

A: All those smiles.

 Breathe deep, ladies.
Summer has just begun.