Be that happy


This. Is pure joy, ya’ll.

Like, nothing else in the world matters joy.

I need that. And thank God this little girl brings it to me.

Having a baby does a lot to you. Emotionally, you’re a crazy person. Physically, you want to go back in time and slap your size 4 self for ever saying “does this make me look fat?” Mentally, you wonder if you’ve been removed and placed on a different planet. Or again, a crazy person.

But it also brings you so much joy.

Because if you can’t look at a baby smiling in a swing and not be happy, there’s something wrong with you.

I need to choose this happy more. This grin from ear to ear happy that Em has 99.9% of the time. Life is easier and more fun when you’re happy. Look it up, I’m sure that’s a fact.
In a world where there’s so much to be unhappy about, or in my case lately it’s been annoyed it. People, things, situations (looking at you Kaepernick…aka bonehead of the decade). I know I run the risk of beings super cliche right now but I’ll say it anyways, we’ve all got a choice when we wake up in the morning to be this kind of happy, or not.

Do I think we need to disregard our feelings, or not show emotion, no. But I do think it’s silly to let things spiral into a whole day wasted on cruddy feelings.

I get into my own head a lot. Sometimes I blame the fact that I don’t get a lot of human interaction…ok with humans that talk in complete sentences. I think about things, people, negative situations way too much. At the risk of sounding like a crazy person, lately I start singing a child’s television show theme song to stop. Doc, Mickey, Sesame Street. They loop around. I know this is nuts but it helps. Also makes me think of Em, also makes me stop thinking and dwelling on things, also makes me happy.

We all need to come up with ways to get the crap out of our heads. A song, a run, cooking, whatever it might be, find it.

Because we all need to be this happy. Life is too short (there I go clicheing again.) to let it all bother us so much. I’ve got too much to be thankful for, you have too much to be thankful for to spend the day unhappy.

Then He said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. – Matthew 18:3

Children just see the happy. They have the utmost joy in sitting in a swing for 10 minutes. Like nothing else in the world matters.

Joy. Happiness. Joy.

Can we all just turn and run from responsibilities, of course not. But we can view them differently. Like we’re about to get on the swings, squealing with excitement. I think it’s juts all perspective, ya’ll.

I want and need this happy.


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10 Things I learned in August



#1. Planning a first birthday a big deal.
From decorations to invites. I’m fine with admitting that I went over board. Because you’re kid only turns ONE once.

#2. Giving your one year old cake is not a good idea.
Yes, the cake smash is adorable. But y’all. Em was up three hours past her bedtime that night. Not worth it.

#3. You can’t “get” everyone.
It’s not that I’m a giant people pleaser, but I try to get people. Like, “oh, I totally get her”. But I’ve learned this month that I just can’t. And that’s ok. People are going to do things you don’t get, that might hurt your feelings. And there’s some times nothing you can do about it.

#4. Giant Balloons are always a good idea.
Would I have picked out the 4 foot Elmo myself? No, but thank goodness daddy did because Em loved it more than any of the toys she got.

#5. There’s no escaping the Florida heat.
I’ve tried it all but I’ve been in a constant sweat for a month now.

#6. Family pictures are defiantly worth it.
And I’m not just saying this because I’m a photographer. But I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have these pictures to look back on. Were we sweaty messes? And did the session only last 20 minutes because Em is one. Yes. But so so worth it. Side note. The above picture is from my sweet friend, Mindy.

#7. I love the Olympics.
I had no idea how much I did before this years Olympics. It’s all we watched for two weeks and I loved every minute of it.

#8. There are so.many.sports in the Olympics.
Twenty eight to be exact.

#9. An almost walking tiny human is terrifying.
I can’t imagine what happens when she’s actually up all on her own.

#10. Spending time with your people is what matters most.
A lesson I think we all know, but need to be reminded of every once in a while.

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The most important job

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Being a mom is a job. Do I think it’s the best and most fun job on the planet, you bet. I might not get paid in dollars, and to be super cliche here I’ll just say it. I get paid in giggles and kisses.
But this is my job.

From the minute I open my eyes, to the second they close.

This weekend we had Em dedicated at church. She of course flashed that giant smile of hers to the congregation, and was the best baby while it all went down.

I have to be honest and say that I don’t remember what the pastor said. The whole day was such a blur and I think I was on emotional mommy overload.

But thank goodness for little sissy’s who videotape the whole thing. Or record…whatever the kids are calling it these days.

I just watched it back and cue the tears.

“Father bless this vibrant and energetic little girl, Jesus spread your strength and courage on her, and bless her in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. And bless these parents Lord for the job you’ve given them”. 

I don’t know about any other parents, but this job brings me so much joy and terrifies me all at the same time. I’ll go ahead and say it. It’s the most important job out there. It’s certainly the most important job I’ll ever have. The choice I’ve made to be a parent, that any parent has made, is huge.

I’ve thought a lot about Ems future the last couple of days. I rented a book on Steve Jobs from the library and told her I wanted her to invent the next iPhone. I realize that no matter what she does, or how much or little money she’ll ever make I can only ask one thing of her.

To love Jesus more than anyone, or anything.

And it’s my job as her mama to show her what that looks like. So that one day, I pray sooner rather than later, she can make the decision to do the same.

“Love God, your God, with your whole heart:
love Him with all that’s in you, love Him with all you’ve got! 
Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts.
Get them inside of you, and then get them inside your children.
Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street;
talk about them from the time you wake up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night.
Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder;
inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.”
-Deuteronomy 6:5-9 MSG


Is it a lot of pressure on me to make sure my children come to know the Lord so they’ll spend eternity in Heaven with me? Yea. That sentence in fact has so much weight.
But ya’ll. I am honored to have been chosen to be Emily’s mom and get to do this.

Do I want to be a cool mom (and not a regular mom), you bet. Do I want to be known as the fun mom in the neighborhood (who makes the best chocolate chip cookies?), you bet. But.
I’d give up all the cool points and cookies to make sure my children come to know Jesus.

T for time out. If you don’t get the phrases in parentheses I don’t know you.

Some people think it’s force full to push their beliefs on their children. And while I can understand that logic, I want to make sure I use words only when necessary when it comes to Jesus, and always let my actions do the work. We’ll read the Word together but I won’t shove it down throats. But in the end, if it means heaven or hell. I’m going to turn blue in the face if it means pointing them to Jesus.

Being a parent comes with a huge job.

One that I’m honored to have.


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Happy first birthday, Emmy Mae!


I am officially the mother of a one year old. I’m still trying to figure out exactly how this happened. How a year ago we welcomed this sweet girl into the world, and now she’s ready to explore it all.

The last year of my life has been better than I ever could have imagined, and if you’re a parent you get exactly what I’m saying. I’m convinced there’s nothing better in life than being a mom. Even through the sleepless newborn nights, and the teething…I’d do it over and over a hundred times.

I don’t think I understood what joy really meant until Em got here. More often than not we joke that her cheeks must hurt all the time from smiling because I’m not lying when I tell you she smiles all the time. My Instagram isn’t full of just perfectly timed photos, that’s how she is all the time. She is joy. She’s shown me that life is meant to be slow, taken one day one minute at a time so you don’t miss anything.

Because, and I’m speaking from experience here now, it goes by too damn quick.

I couldn’t have ever imagined a year ago, holding her for the first time that this is what life would turn out like. Sitting in that hospital, praying I didn’t have to ever leave, turned into a joke because of how wonderful she’s been as a baby. The fears we had all dissolved after that first snuggle.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I was made to be a mama. And I am so thankful that God has let me be this girls mama. Watching her grow over the last year has been the biggest gift we could have ever been given. From holding her head up, to sitting up, to army crawling, to pulling herself up, and now walking with help. Ya’ll it’s amazing.

Happy FIRST Birthday, Emmy Mae!

We love you more than you’ll ever know!

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Emily Mae // 11 months



+We’re officially standing and pulling up on everything. Just this morning I put her in her crib for her morning nap and looked at the monitor to see her standing up in her crib. It’s the beginning of the end, as they say.
She loves the whole standing thing, I think it’s the independency she likes. We’ve figured this out because she does not like to be sitting for a long time. Gone are the days of her sitting still.

+Em eats anything you put in front of her, which I’m taking as a huge win. Chicken, beef, fish, veggies, most fruit. Turns out she loves bread. I have no idea where she got that from. Crackers and graham crackers are our go to lately for a quiet Emily. In church while communion is being served, Em wants to chat about life, give her a cracker. Out to dinner and someone wants to know why mom and dad are eating and she isn’t? Cracker time.

+We’ve introduced shoes. In fact, when I took this photo it was the first time Em has worn shoes…seriously. She’s a Florida baby, shoes aren’t required.

+Em is SO excited to be getting another cousin! No longer the ‘baby cousin’! Due in February. Em can’t wait to be the older cousin now!

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God made you too, mama.

“How cool is it that the same God, Who created the mountains, and oceans, and galaxies, looked at you and thought the world needed one of you too?”

This quote blew me away the other day.

I was scrolling through Facebook and it was one of those “so and so liked this photo from this page that shared it from their sister”. Which I have to be honest and say I hate that Facebook does, let me like things in peace without you blabbing it to the world.
Moving on.

But this one made me so happy to see.

I forget this a lot. I think it’s the whole being a mom thing now, I don’t think about me, well ever anymore. And this isn’t in a complaining way. I’m healthy and happy. But I don’t take time to sit and realize that the God of the universe took as much care in making me as He did the oceans and every piece of sand you find in them.


I think about Em this way. This perfect tiny human that God created by hand. To be beautiful and wonderful. Created to be my daughter. Put on this earth for me to love the crap out of.
When I was pregnant my favorite thing to do was to google “Baby at (whatever week we were on) weeks”. I was fascinated by this tiny human growing inside of me. When her eyes developed and her nose, and her toes and fingers. All of it God had been forming for a very long time.

And He did the same with me.

As a mother I always hear how important it is to “take time for myself”, which yes I hear you. It’s usually to get my nails done, or brush my hair, or if I’m feeling super crazy, get a shower in.

But what if mothers, we decided that the only thing we needed to do was to spend some time with the Creator of the Universe. The same one that placed the oceans into the world, and placed each star in the sky.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never left my time with the Lord thinking, “Gosh that really sucked. I don’t feel better at all”.

So breathe in this beautiful truth:

The God that made your beautiful babies, took just as much time and care into making you.

Me, you, our babes. We were all created by God. The Holy and perfect God.

Who made us Holy and perfect.


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Emily Mae // 10 months


+These teeth just won’t stop. I feel like every day there’s a new one. But she’s handling it like a champ. Our go to helper is Tylenol…yea yea I know. That’s medicine, and that’s bad. But I’ve tried everything else and that’s what works.

+I started to take Em and Duke on a walk every morning, and we all love it. It’s quiet and peaceful. Also 1000 degrees outside but whatever. It makes the day get going better. We get up, eat, mama has coffee and we go. It’s not a super long walk, which is good for Duke. But that mile and a half is a sweet half our that I love.

+We frequent the library a lot now. I could go on and on about how much I love the library, maybe I will in a post one day soon. But Em also loves the library. Not so much the reading of the books, more of the holding/eating of the books. But I’ll take what I can get.

+Swim lessons were all right, if I’m being honest. But the kid loves the pool which is a huge relief. Hello, we live in Florida so we’ll be in it all the time. She loves splashing in the water and sitting in her float we got her. Best $12 we’ve ever spent.

+Elmo. You’ll never understand how much we all love you. It’s the only show Em will sit and watch all the way through. Which yes, I know is a good thing. But it’s like baby crack. I’ve also mastered getting a shower and the to do list going in 30 minutes or less.

+We have found our favorite park, Lake Eola, and the swings are Ems favorite. The lake is also surrounded by ducks, and swans, and birds a galore, so she also loves that. We fed them all once…I’m scared for life but she loved it.

T E N months. How in the world.

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Books I read in July


I got through three books this month, and pretty much enjoyed them all. One was a little long, but I got through it.

Bread and Butter by Michelle Wildgen
I really liked that I got a lot of the “lingo” in this book because it’s about three brothers who have competing restaurants. I understood what the writer was talking about the whole time, but wondered if anyone who hadn’t worked in a restaurant would. With that being said, I thought the book dragged on just a little too much. There was a lot of information being told to the reader that I didn’t think you needed to know. The plot took a little while to take off, but once it did it got pretty good. I did very much enjoy all the food talk. The book goes into serious details on what each restaurant serves which I loved. And found myself reading a lot while I was either a)eating or b)cooking.
Would I recommend this book: eh. I can’t decide. If you’re into restaurants and the behind the scenes then yes. If not, I’d say no.

My Life in France by Julia Child
YES TO EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK. I love Julia Child. Love, love, love her. I’m not sure what’s taken me so long to read this book, but I’m so happy I did. I also love the movie Julie & Julia, which took some of the real life scenes from this book apparently and put them in the movie. So as I read I could picture it all perfectly. Julia Child is really funny. She’s super witty, a girl after my own heart. Her story is so much about perseverance. She wrote her first cook book for twelve plus years. That’s a really long time. But she was determined for it to be perfect. I’m actually heading to the store to get it this week. I loved this book so much, and mostly because it’s awakening this huge passion I have for cooking.
Would I recommend this book: Yes absolutely 100%. 

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd 
I finished this in three days. It’s a beautiful story that kept my hooked the whole time. I eat up that whole runaway finds hope thing. Sign me up, every time. Apparently this is a big known book, which I did know going into it, but I know understand the hubbub around it. Lily is a young lady that knows what she wants, in a crazy mixed up world. I loved her character through and through. The setting is the 60’s so there’s a lot of things that just make you so sad to read about regarding segregation. I often wonder how on earth things were ever like that. The author also does a wonderful job of explaining the workings of keeping bees. To the point that I now want to be a bee farmer. Seriously. I learned more about bees than I ever would have thought I could in my life. And I’m actually fascinated by them.
Would I recommend this book: again, Yes absolutely 100%.

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