Posted in 99 days of blogging, 99daysofblogging, personal reflections

A Father to the Fatherless

My husband grew up without his dad. The reasons why are complicated and that’s not my story to tell. What is my story to tell is that I grew up with my dad, who is supportive and loving and has always been there for me, even in the darkest moments of my life. 

I don’t know what it’s like not to have a father or a family who cares. Maybe you are someone who doesn’t have a father to celebrate on Father’s Day or maybe you know someone who grew up without their dad.

I’d like you to flip your idea of this day around a bit. Maybe you don’t have a father but you are a father now. Your children are your reason to celebrate. You may think you aren’t a good enough father to be celebrated. It probably isn’t true, because only God is the perfect Father, but if you don’t want to celebrate yourself then celebrate how your children made you a father and how lucky you are to have them.

If you have a father to celebrate today, even if they’re not perfect, then thank them for what they mean to you.

And even if you think you are fatherless, know that, really, you are not. You have a Father in Heaven who knew you before you were even born and loved you even when your earthly father didn’t. 

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:5
 

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Posted in Days with Gracie

Hey, I got the shot. That’s what matters.

My toddler loves her some mud puddles so after a rain storm Friday I took her out to find the one small mud puddle that forms in our stone driveway and let her get as messy as she wanted. In the process, while laying on the ground to get what I thought would be a cool shot, I ended up with a streak of mud right across my chest. I was so focused on capturing her enjoying the mud and water I didn’t rush to change and instead followed her into the backyard where her slide is to let her play some more.

That is when the new neighbor brought her daughter-in-law out to meet me, in all my muddy glory. My daughter was in her muddy glory too, complete with a very brown bottom.

But, what was really important for this photographer is that, yes, I got the shot.

Posted in Mothering is hard, Storytelling Photography, The joy of motherhood

His boyness is still there | Sayre, PA Photography

He’s changing so fast and I’m not ready for it. He’s not dressing up like superheroes as much as he used to. He’s not asking if he can wear a ninja costume to the store.

He’s not jumping off the couch quite as much. He’s too into TV and the digital world. I’m already hearing a heavy teenage-like sigh when I tell him it’s time for a computer break. 

He doesn’t play as hard or do the wild things he used to quite as often.

But it’s there. . .  Somewhere under his sly grin and smirk, his crazy boyness, if that were a word. At a moments notice he’s jumping on a board and striking a pose as Iron Man or Spider-Man. Suddenly he’s tugging off the polo shirt he wears to school and making it into a cape.

There is my little boy. 

I haven’t lost him yet.

Posted in 10 on 10

10 on 10 February | Athens, Pennsylvania Photographer

This post is part of the monthly 10 on 10 blog circle. Be sure to catch the next photographer in the circle by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.

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I am convinced my children have joined forces to see who can turn my hair gray quicker. My 16 month old has been walking since she was nine months old and is now climbing anything and everything in our house.

My oldest is nine and every other night he takes cushions off couches or moves stools to make what looks like a gymnastics tumbling facility or a basic training obstacle course. 

The baby fell off the back of a chair the other night and slammed Into several of her toys on the way down. I was convinced she’d broken several ribs. She cried for 20 seconds, let me hold her for five seconds and then headed back to the chair to climb on it again.

 About a month before that she fell off the back of the couch and slammed her head off a bookcase. I knew she’d cracked her head open and blood was pouring from it. Nope. She cried for two minutes, let me hold her a few minutes and five minutes later climbed up to the back of the couch again. 

The same week of the couch and bookcase incident I found the whitest, thickest hair right at the front of the top of my head. I swear the kids sat in my son’s room, listening to me moan over it and cackled while they rubbed their hands together.

Then they planned who could come up with the most dangerous, scary, daredevil move the next time and laughed as they thought of me clutching my chest as I watched through mommy goggles.

(To continue this blog circle visit Life with a peanut and a zoybean)

Posted in Days with Gracie, Uncategorized

beauty from ashes |

Isaiah 61:2-4To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, 3To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.4Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, They will raise up the former devastations; And they will repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations.…

Soft hair brushes against my arm and you sigh in your sleep.

I nuzzle my face against the top of your head and breathe in the scent of you. I smell honey from the shampoo we used to wash mashed pears out of your hair. Your chubby hand has somehow found its’ way into my hair and the strands twist around your fingers, trapping me until you’ve fallen into a deeper sleep.

I love these moments. I love the feel of your soft skin, your warm breath, your heart pounding. I love the feel of your life, a life I never expected but that, like your brother, has changed mine 180 degrees for the better.And here we are, at your first birthday. You’ve been here a year and it may sound cliche but it absolutely feels like it was yesterday.

It was the end of a long day when you decided it was time to come see your brother, dad and I.

By the next morning you were in my arms and it felt like you had always been a part of our life.

Your daddy counted fingers and toes but I never did. I knew you were perfect. I knew you were from God and that’s all that mattered. All I saw were your eyes and they were looking into mine.

You, joined with your brother,  have been the burst of energy, the breeze of freshness this stale, jaded, empty soul needed to remind me that life is still good, that God is still on the throne and that beauty comes from ashes.

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Posted in Storytelling Photography

Mornings with Gracie | Athens, PA Child Photographer

From the moment she wakes up, 10-month old Gracie is looking to explore. Our mornings are a blur of movement for about three hours until she crashes hard for her morning nap.
She’s recently started walking so each morning is a new opportunity to see how far her feet will carry her.

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Often this walking and exploring starts before I am even fully awake. Her latest delight is walking but also crawling up the stairs and then waiting for me to carry her back down so she can do it all over again.

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She’s also exploring cupboards and drawers and anything else her little chubby hands can open and get into.

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