Tag: photos

day 18: a year of memories

Every year for Christmas, I make photo books for our daughters.

Today was the day I compiled them for Randa & KK. I’ve learned a bit about how to theme them, group photos, and weed through hundreds of easy-to-take-with-my-phone sweet, fun, and silly moments from the year… but it is still hard to whittle it down to 20ish pages.

I’m so thankful for the memories made in 2013.memories3

~ for friends who had us over or invited us out.
~ for people who came to this very state for a visit.
memories1~ for the amazing Capriotti family reunion  in June.
~ for that trip to Chicagoland back in the New Year (I can’t believe it’s been that long)
memories4~ for neighbors who became friends
~ for friends who became family
memories2~ for family who shared summer Friday nights at Chipotle and summer Wednesday nights at Movies Under the Stars and a whole lot of other times.

I took a break from this project long enough to frame the girls’ new school pictures. This is always its own stroll down memory lane as I lay out all their older photos and compare the babies that used to be to the little girls who are growing so very quickly:randa2013

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…I’m thankful for these smiles being captured, and for the hope of more memories to be made. Our best days are still ahead!

Whoa, 2012.

We met my parents in Disney World. I got a cool hat and spent my 35th birthday at Cinderella’s castle and the day after at Harry Potter-world. My children have no idea who Duffy the Bear is, but loved every second we were there.
The day after we got back, I dropped the girls off at school, went home and returned to be. Thus began a period of depression, uncertainty, and fear that I haven’t written about much. Now that it’s over, I will….            



Rod’s work as a telecom consultant saved our financial booties.
Josh, Kirsten, & Paige (& the Carters, & Mamaw & Grandpa) all visited for KK’s 4th birthday.
We got a dog named Max.
And with saved airline miles, Rod sent me for a secret trip to stay with Jen for a weekend. It helped.



The future started to look brighter.
I made 6000 recipes from Pinterest, thus ending the weight loss of January & February.
Rod and I took a marriage class and bought a 2005 minivan, with a cassette player. The girls started swim lessons at the Y.
My friend Becky visited me for a lovely weekend, and Rick visited for a lovely week during which I fell in love with Charleston and Pawley’s Island.



We went back to Disney, because we have a time share that we use well! We met the Paris family there. The day we got back, Wayne and Wanda came to visit. During a trip to the beach with them and the Carters, Rod got hired by Time Warner Cable!

Oh, and our church decided to lease a theatre, and named me General Manager.



I took the girls to Chicago for a week while I was also beginning my new job. It was stressful and crazy and great. I vowed never to do it again, but am making plans for this coming July!
Also, Miranda got her ears pierced, we went to our first Pelicans baseball game, and found a new house to live in, about 45 minutes southeast of our old house.


We started saying Aloha, a lot.
Josh & Kirsten moved in with us, then two weeks later moved into an apartment, then one week later helped us move to our new house. In the mean time, Annie and Laura came to visit and didn’t mind our boxes and brought us cookies!


In between Aloha-ing and Illusions (2 house shows at The Grand Theatre), we hosted Jeff & Sue Duffield, some of the most real and fun people in the world, and we went to the beach a few times.
Also…our nephew was born!


Journeychurch held its grand opening.
We welcome the Wonderettes to The Grand and said Aloha to Aloha.
Miranda started kindergarten, and sleep was a thing of the past.
Mom & Dad came to visit on the busiest Labor Day weekend ever, but one that included an unforgettable concert and Labor Day lunch with Russ Taff.


We had visits from Wayne and Wanda and Mamaw and Grandpa and the Carters. We finally made it to “What Do Pirates Do?” (aka Pirates Voyage). We found a dance class and a dentist and a little time to be together.

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With 2 house shows running at full steam and Daddy traveling lots, we turned to the mall food court for helpful nights on the town. Rod made his debut as a Willie Nelson tribute artist and I perfected my 1950s look (teehee). We went on a hayride past the ocean. And we finally met neighbors while trick-or-treating.

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My friend Deanna came to visit…she helped me lay groundwork for a moms’ group and we ‘rocked the block’ at journey together. The Groves family joined our wonderful Thanksgiving festivities, and we returned to Disney again. I would so live there.


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I vowed to have a quiet advent. I failed. We finished an amazing season at The Grand. Randa danced in The Nutcracker. KK finished pre-school. I made a trifle. We traveled to Ohio and Illinois and have annoyed everyone with our complaints about the cold. We met our baby nephew. We will end and begin the year in Chicagoland, eating Italian food with people we love.

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2013, for me, will be a little bit about things I don’t want to happen (depression, financial woes, etc). I am considering carefully what I do want to happen. Whatever it is, I hope it includes good health and shared happiness. Happy New Year, one and all!

My 4 year old could have taken those pictures

And she did: a photo essay from Miranda’s lens…

Her favorite new past time is taking pictures. Sometimes, she gets her little mitts on my camera without me even noticing and I find the pictures later. But at National Quartet Convention last month, I knew what she was doing, and I watched her having fun…

…with her self portraits.
…catching Rod and me with media friends (like Mary Fay Jackson)…and with living legends, like Lou Wills Hildreth

…getting friends to smile for her, like ‘Aunt B’ and ‘Wiz’

…capturing her true 2 favorite people, her sisters
…and my favorite, random passers-by, who deemed her the ‘paparazzi’ and took pictures back.

She grabbed a few at Disney World too… while we were eating at Prime Time Cafe in Hollywood Studios. But, um, they were all from under the table and kind of dark.

What these pictures do not show? A child prodigy.

What they do show? An almost-four-year old unafraid to try things, capturing memories of her adventurous life, and making other people smile with her zest.

Love you, sweet Rosebud.

Meditate on the Simple

It’s hard for me to blog right now..not just because of the ever-present time constraints, but because life is so full of all these simple yet monumental events that I don’t know how to write about them in a simple, blog-gy way.

My little girl is about to turn 3. She is about to start dance class. She is helpful and sure of herself and is learning her first Bible stories. She is absolutely beautiful, which she knows, but is no more beautiful than when she is sitting still and unaware that her adoring mommy is staring at her.

Sometimes I still can’t believe she is mine!

Her baby sister is zooming along like the firecracker we predicted she would be. She talks a mile a minute..sometimes we even understand her. She is in her Cling To Mommy stage and her Pre-Terrible-2 stage. She throws hilarious tantrums and has a perfect cartoon swagger. She has the sweetest blue eyes I have ever seen.

Cannot believe she is mine either.

Life is rolling along after these two. There are such whirlwinds around me most of the time that I too often have to stop and remind myself that for this season, everything will come back to these little kids who still need me for almost everything.. and pretty much everything else I touch or manage or plan will go on just fine without me.

I’ve been having a lot of conversations lately about simplicity, hearth & home, common goals. It seems many of the people in ‘my world’ feel a similar longing to pare down, slow down, choose quality over quanitity. I find this message flashing like a big ol’ neon sign most days, and yet just a few weeks ago I said “Yes” to 2 more projects, in the midst of KK going to the ER and other life signals that seemed to blare, ‘Just say no!’

I am working on sacrifice of Extra Things. Some of it is easy.. a magazine here, a TV show there, an outing here, a thing-I-just-have-to-read/create/attend there. Some of it, not so much. Last week I was battling a cold.. sore throat, sinus pressure, eventually a cough. I didn’t change any plans. I kept going.

Friday afternoon I had the Big Plan that before a (very important) kiddo birthday party and a (n equally important) adult dinner date, I was going to Work while the babies napped. To make a long story short, my laptop, as I pulled it from my bag, was Wet. WET! And then it wouldn’t turn on. I took it upstairs and waited for Rod to look at it. I told him if it was fried, I was going to ‘fall on my sword,’ which is our phrase for kick it, throw in the towel, quit, accept failure, run screaming from the building.

It wasn’t fried. He got it to power back up almost immediately. (He is my hero, still and again).  And yet, I just wanted to cry. (Maybe I did.. I don’t remember). And then I said, almost in apology, “I’m not going to work. I’m not working again until Monday. I need a few days off. I need to rest. I need not to get sick.”

I said it so much like a question that he laughed at me. Then he talked to me in that Husband Voice – you know the one. . like he is dealing with a very pretty mental patient. Why is this even a question? Lay down. Take a nap. Don’t work until Monday. Call Haylee, see if you can help out next week.

Done. And done. Of course I didn’t take the weekend ‘off.’ I still drove to various places, did laundry, fed people, wiped small booties, dried big tears, and ok, posted a few things on Scoops and maybe answered a few emails. And I did also forget that Rod is going to be gone 3 nights this week & 3 more next week before we leave for Branson and the Big Press Conference and.. you know. All that stuff.

But I have called in some extra help this week (thanks Haylee!). I feel much better physically. And today was, in many ways, a perfect day. In fact, the weekend was filled with pretty darn good times with a mixture of friends and family and downtime with the kids and a even a stolen moment or 2 with Rod that didn’t involve him rescuing my hardware.

A theme in many of those conversations with good company: Simplify. Simplify. Calm and peace and stability and contentment starts in our homes, and we all know that that mood starts with The Woman. If I am freaking out over deadlines all the time, what does that say to my kids? If I am afraid to ask for help or take a break when I need one, what does that teach them?

I am meditating on the Simple. And so begins what looks to be a crazy 2 weeks for us. I am meditating on the Simple.