Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ashes to Ashes

I know that taking my kids to services where there is child care available seems stupid to some people, but I am convinced that it is a good thing.

Yesterday there was an Ash Wednesday service for families at my church, which would have been ideal for us to go to, seeing as Foster likes to make sure everyone knows he exists and Keating grunts like he is getting ready for the fight of his life. This is not the service we went to, because Andrew was going to be administering ashes at the 7:00 sanctuary service. Where is it really quiet. And obviously somber. We almost made it through the first song before Fos had crayon in hand headed for the white stone walls...Sarah Exits.

Thank God for dear Kay Porter who turned on the tv monitors in the "lobby" area so we could watch while I carried Keating around, chased Foster and said, "no, sir that's a trash can. Ewww!" (in the way Jimmy Fallon says it) about 50 times.
Kay let Fos carry her walkie talkie and he felt cool...but then, it was time to receive our ashes. I started to regret my decision to "attend" this service with the kids when we walked in and Keating immediately started grunting loudly. Werm stood up and took Keating and we walked up to Andrew...

Have you ever been to an Ash Wednesday service? It is sobering when someone tells you, "From dust you were created, to dust you shall return." Its the reality that is.

...Andrew placed his thumb in the ashes and made the sign of the cross on my forehead and declared, "From dust you were created, to dust you shall return." My eyes filled with tears, Reality. In that moment, we were both very aware that our earthly "forever" was not real. Our need for a Savior, real. And then he dipped his thumb again and made the sign of the cross on Foster's head. Foster dead eyed him. The most still I have seen him in a service, ever. Then Keating. Then Werm. I watched as the Leader of my home reminded each of us that we are going to die and that we need a Savior.

In that moment, It was worth being in the service together.

Here is to the next 40 days.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


I have been following an artist by the name of Jeremy Cowart for a while now. He is pretty great all around. Cool projects, cool images...last week he posted this blog about a shoot he did with John Schneider, It blew up on FB and all around the world...if you haven't read it, it is just good.
It was moving and meaningful. I sat in my tears and let the images stir me.

I have been photographing for nearly 11 years now and I have grown tired of what was a passion. I have a degree in it, but I find my images totally thoughtless...Like, in my personal life, I have a camera, I snap a picture. (I do try when I am actually getting paid for a session.) I always complain about my 10 year old camera and I act like I am prohibited by it, even though, if I was secure in my ability to shoot, it wouldn't matter all that much. the point...
This week, he (Jeremy) posted these.

here is one from his recent shoot...
I cannot explain how much I love this. I got so pumped about this other way of photographing kids. 

Then, my friend Courtney came to visit today and we got talking about cameras and images...and something just fired me up. It was like a totally inspired evening. We spent some time taking pics of Fos in some pretty great light, and then when she left, I uploaded my shots and did some post edit work. I was so excited about the final images I thought it was worth a post. 

 This one of Foster is my absolute favorite.

And, Keating? There aren't many words.

Foster is, by no means,  just a "sit here and stare" kind of kid, but that is definitely a part of who he is. He is slow to get to know and then he is a loose cannon. He is serious, contemplative, and he surveys the situation. Keating is a laid back, smiley guy.
I was thrilled tonight to have images of my kids that really felt like I thought I would share them with you. 

Thanks for stopping by. 

Monday, January 27, 2014


My blog is titled "It's My Intention".
It is called this because I want to be everything I do.

I came across this article and its contents have the potential to change my life.

If you stay at home with your kids, I think you should certainly read it, and share it with your spouse.

Today, Andrew asked me "Did you feel overwhelmed this morning?" instead of the usual "How was your morning?"
Just being offered the time to think about that specific emotion made me feel lighter, loved, and heard.

I am excited to see how being intentional with my questions will change my relationships.

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, January 18, 2014

It sure is his birthday!

32 years ago today, the love of my life was born.

My life is only what it is because of the man my husband is.

Andrew, on your day (and hopefully every other day too) Foster, Keating and I want you to know how remarkable we think you are! 

Thank you for giving 100% to each thing you do. Thank you for being an outstanding human being who teaches us everyday about character, love, patience, and how to be a great friend and listener. 

Our sons are so lucky to have you as a dad! You are not only fun, but you are the perfect person to teach them about all things "manly"...and not in the hunting, fishing, car-fixing defining way the world has given the the ways that really matter, like living the life you say you want to live. By loving the Lord so much that it overflows into the things you say and do. By being patient and encouraging to the people around you. By being positive and literally never tearing anyone around you down. By always being willing to learn and grow. By being Awesome.

I pray the boys pick up on all these traits and that they are just like you (in their own ways of course). 

Thank you for leading me and the boys and for just being so darn cool. 

Also, can I just say you are super hott too! I am so proud of you and feel super special to be seen in public with you!! 

Happy Birthday to you, Andrew. You really are the best. like, for real. I love you.

ikuytrefnb - that was a note from the boys, I think it says, "Hey're the best. thanks for playing with us and for changing our diapers. We love you a lot. Happy Birthday, Foster and Keating"

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Permission to complain.

I have had this thought the last two days. "I don't think my life is as hard right now as I have said that it is."
Why in the heck would I ever claim that my life is harder than it actually is.  Is it for a pity party? I don't think so.
When I thought about it enough, I got to the bottom of it.

I have been given permission to I do. Even if I don't really have anything to complain about.

So, I am here to set the record straight.

People usually see me with my kids (one at a time). This is the most common occurrence.
"Oh look at those ______(Fill in the blank with cheeks, curls, shoes, blue eyes)"
"Yeah, he's pretty sweet"
"How old is he"
"______(state the current age)"
And then they see it...the other kid!
"Oh my goodness you have another!"
"Yes I do!"
"And how old is he"
"____(State current age, which always equals 14 months and 3 weeks younger than the last stated age)"
This is where the permission to complain comes in.
I can almost say it with them..."Wow, you have your hands full!"
depending on the person, it varies from, "oh, you are busy" or "you must miss sleep" or anything that remotely resembles the idea that the task at hand (which happens to be raising two boys under 1 1/2) is rather daunting. But occasionally I have a person who says, "Mine are ______ months apart", I have never had any one give me a number higher than 19.
- you may think that I am not being literal her, but I dare you to ask Meggie or Allyson or anyone on the elevators with me each Sunday morning...this is basically verbatim -
Inevitably, I agree with them. INEVITABLY! EVERY TIME!

I have never once responded with, "It's not so bad" or "somedays are harder than others" or anything other than "Yep" followed by a sheepish smile that may actually ask them to take pity on me.

But I realized yesterday that I was doing this completely unintentionally. I actually had ZERO intentions about what I was saying to every person who has ever said this to me. And it's not bad to agree that I am busy, but I even say it like, "It's terrible-feel sorry for me."

SO HERE IT IS FRIENDS! My apologies, and the truth.
I am tired.
I am tired because in general I have 2 kids, I work from home, I serve at my church with the youth, college, and music ministries, and I love to have people over to my house. Who wouldn't be tired.
The truth. My kids only wear me out because they are ever other mother ever in the history of the world. We finish a day and we are tired.
I love my job, my boss, and my co-worker who happens to be Fos' God mom. It is flexible and a worthy cause.
I have a sweet friend (with two boys) that joins me and the boys for play dates regularly, which are awesome...and so is she, you should check out her blog here.
I have a husband who has Fridays off and a flexible schedule who comes home from work for lunch most days.
I have an amazing Mother in Law who visits regularly. Parents who come down regularly. Fos' God parents who watch the boys all the time. And! My neighbors are outside almost everyday so we get like an our of playtime! (thank you Texas for the whether that make that possible.)
AND TO ICE MY BLESSED CAKE, my 3 almost 4 month old has been sleeping through the night regularly since 7 weeks.

and lets face it...some days really are hard, but not the majority of them!

Bottom line...
I have the sweetest boys. Fos is funny, kind, gentle with his bro, curious, silly, entertaining...and of course he is one and a half so he throws short fits, he wakes up every night, and wants to be "where the party at" instead of going ti sleep. When he is tired he is a handful...and that witching hour thing is real.
Keating basically cries when he is hungry, dirty, and sometimes when he is tired. He sleeps like a champ and rolls over.
That is it. I laugh 99% more than I cry!
I have no extra room to say that my life is any harder than any other momma out there.

So please friends, accept my apologies for saying that its soooo hard. It is hard...but not bad or unusually difficult all the time. And for goodness sake, stop expecting me to think that it should be.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Id like to take a minute.

So, I turned around and my second kid is 3 months old tomorrow. WHAT!

I feel like I should have some grand thoughts for a post, since it has been so long since my last post, but I am going to settle for reality and a few thank you's.

The last three months have been insane. I don't think I could live without coffee.
And I MOST CERTAINLY have survived by the way of my family and friends - which are pretty much my family.  I would like to high-light a few. You may be completely disinterested in this post...but I need to take a second here!

My Momma, Chris Welker, has turned out to be Super Grandma. The way she plays with Foster is insanely hilarious, she is in her 60's rolling down the alley on a toy with him - full speed ahead. She says she is tired and then gives 110% to playing like a boss with the kids while I work. She got here the first of October and left right before Thanksgiving. The woman stopped her life for 2 months to be at my side and lend a hand. Andrew and I would leave the house for hours with the kids and she would clean my Clean, Clean. REALLY!? She may be a little crazy but she is MINE and I love her soooo stinking much and loved every minute of her being here...Even if that dang walmart pharmacy can't fill a prescription, right mom?!

My Mother in Law, Anne Beard, is one of the finest women on planet earth. I can only pray to be the kind of MIL to Foster and Keating's wives - should they choose to abandon me and move on to another woman who may care for them so much but not quite as much as I do...wait, what was I saying. Oh, yeah. Anne. She was here for the few days leading up to the birth and for the week or two after (I am not sure of any dates anymore), and she has been back in town three times...since. THANK THE DEAR LORD. When she is here, I forget that we don't have a dishwasher, because she does all the dishes! CAN I GET AN AMEN!! I leave the house for meetings and andrew and I go on dates (when our schedules let us)...It's so good. She is so good and I love her so much!

My dear sweet friends and neighbors...Now don't think you can steal them. Amy Bales and her clan. What would we have done without them the last few months?! Can we just say - have extremely boring afternoons and really dirty clothes. Have I mentioned we don't have a washer and dryer? This dear sweet woman will meet me at 11pm in her driveway to take a bag of fosters sheets and clothes that he just threw up all over and wash and dry them and put them on my back doorstep! WHO DOES THIS?! Their doors are open to my family (literally we call their garage our community center) and that is awesome when all of the sudden you realize all the sheets in the house need to be washed and no one has any clean underwear left. And lets not forget mention her sweet 7 year old son who Foster thinks is the coolest kid ever - He plays with fos and cracks him bet when school is out, Fos is looking out the back door saying "Henry?" as well as he can. We call Henry Fosters best friend.

Meggie and Dexter! OH SERIOUSLY. Talk about working out a washer and Dryer. These friends are family. They live right below us and it is not uncommon to find them in our living room after the babes are in bed. The constant "let us know if we can do anything" is sometimes sanity in itself. After a day of sheer crazy with the kids Dexters child like love and humor and Meggie's sincerity is all one needs as a night cap...but there is also usually a beverage to accompany our visits!

Allyson and Werm. Godparents...and lifesavers. I have never met any two people with more love for babies that aren't theirs and a willingness to take them ANYTIME! I have not paid for babysitting more than twice because of these two wonderful people. They have gone from students to interns, to family. Date night comes to you by way of the Werms. They have saved my sanity more times than I count. Allyson works with me, so even just having the two of us in the house in the morning sometimes when things are crazy means that I can brush my know? maybe you don't...but maybe you do.

And all of these people are more than helping bodies...They are cheerleaders, confidants, breaths of fresh air, encouragement, and hope that these two sweet babies that I love so much will have the same kids of community I have. I love them. I could not have done life this year without them.

And that is my reality. Seriously. We went to the advent festival and church and got this pic taken to prove it.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Perfect Imperfections

You know what every parent says when you ask them, "Do you want a boy or a girl?"
Well, almost every parent. 
We all say the same thing. 
"I want a healthy baby."
And that is the truth. We all want healthy babies! 

I had a moment in the hospital when I looked at Keating and realized that something wasn't "perfect".
He had 10 fingers, 10 toes, his face was totally sweet and then I saw his right ear. 
"What is that?" "Why does it look like that?" "Is his hearing effected?" 

As soon as I got the hearing screening results back - which he passed with 100% (He is already good at test taking), my fears were gone. The doctors told us it was totally cosmetic and they could refer us to someone who could fix it. 
Fix it!? That is seriously ridiculous! 

I looked at that sweet little notch in his ear and let him know that it was something that would set him apart. Something that would be "his thing". This is a perfect imperfection. 
Also, it will either save us from the earring conversation completely, which we will have to consider, since his dad had earrings...or he will want two in that lobe! Either way, we love it and will not consider "fixing" it!

Thanks for stopping by!