Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Black & White Wednesday - Perfect Timing

It's Black & White Wednesday again, a chance to showcase your favorite black & white photography. Check out Lisa's blog, The Long Road to China, for all the other great entries!

The past several black & white Wednesdays I have shared black & whites of more of a sentimental nature. This week, I thought I'd change it up a bit and share a photo that my husband took of Gavin, my seven-month-old, and me. Still sentimental, but in a much different way.

The following photo was taken this past Saturday.

It truly does capture a big characteristic of Gavin, one that's been evident since the day he was born.


I call this photo...

'Perfect Timing'

Take a look...

Precious, right?!? Ha ha.

More like yuck or gross, as sister Chloe says.

Or, "Gavin threw up again," as brother Cooper would say.

But any way you put it, it's true...

Gavin spits up all the time. And I mean
all the time.

After he eats, while he eats, before he eats, all the time. Spit-up.

And I love that this photo captured that.

What was meant to be a tender photo between a mother and son, turned into an equally important moment captured.

Because as much as I think I won't forget the vast amount of spit-up Gavin has produced, my memory seems to get worse with every child. And since he's my fourth, the chances are good I could forget such a detail.

But now I won't.

Looking at this picture will bring it all back, and make me laugh.

As Gabe, my six {almost seven} year old said when he saw the picture, "Woah, that's totally wicked!" And then proceeded to laugh hysterically for a good five minutes.

Now that's a photo to remember ;)

Monday, February 22, 2010


So everyone always asks us, "Who do you think Gavin looks like."

It's no secret that all of our kids have similarities in their looks. There's no denying they are siblings. But Gavin is definitely a clone of Cooper as a baby, with a bit larger, rounder eyes.

But lately, we've noticed there's someone else in our family that Gavin resembles.

Our Saint Bernard, Samson...

Not so much because he likes the snow {at least not yet.}, but because Gavin drools, all the time...

It's seriously like the classic movie, Beethoven, where the dog shakes his head and the room and everyone in it is covered with drool.

Well, maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but it's close.

But certainly what he lacks in saliva control, he makes up for in cuteness...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

An Ocean of Grace

Lately I have been thinking a lot about who I am compared to who the Lord longs for me to be. It's something that we are called to think about as Christians, constantly striving to grow and change and be molded into His image. But lately, it's been a struggle.

I tend to be a little overly critical of myself. Ok, actually a lot critical of myself. Not the outside, but the inside. I want to be everything to everyone. I want to be the perfect wife, the fun & loving yet disciplined mother, the good friend, the obedient daughter, the joyful Christian. But I am at the same time a perfectionist. Take the desire to be everything to everyone, add in my perfectionist tendencies and don't forget my sinful nature, and what I'm left with is disappointment. With falling short. With failure.

My analytical nature leaves me leaving any situation wishing I had been more of a light. Wishing that more of Christ had shone through and less of me. Why am I always getting in the way? I want my life to reflect Jesus, but more often than not, I squeeze in there and mess things up.

Because you see, no matter how much I want to be perfect, I can't. No matter how much I want less of me and more of my Savior, there's always going to be little bits and pieces of me getting in the way. Because I'm not perfect, no matter how much I wish I was.

Everyday I wish I hadn't said what I said, or did what I did, and am forced down on my knees {multiple times a day} to ask God's forgiveness. And everyday He forgives me. His grace is sufficient. Nothing I can do, nothing I can say, can make up for what I lack. Only His grace covers me. And for that, I am so thankful!

This is no new revelation. And as I look back to when I first became a Christian, accepting Christ as my Savior when I was 16 years old, I can see my journey and the growth is evident. In my desire to be in His Word. In seeking His guidance in my life instead of trying to live it on my own. In my heart for the lost, and my desire to tell others the saving grace I have come to know. My Lord is there in everything that is good about me. But I still continue to fail and to struggle.

Yes, my expectations of myself continue to be higher and higher, which in a way I think is good. If we don't expect growth and desire for God to change us continually, we're going to stay stagnant and mediocre...luke warm. And I have no desire to be luke warm...

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth." - Revelation 3:15-16.

But at the same time, I set these amazingly high expectations {being a perfectionist}, only to fail and fall flat on my face. Frustrating indeed.

I guess that's why I've come to rest in His grace. In knowing that He covers my sin, and my failures, and my inadequacies. He covers it all. In the words of one of my favorite songs, 'Oh, How He Loves Me'...

"If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking."

I love that! I want to drown in His grace everyday, and give up my perfectionist tendencies and instead, desire to be grown and matured in His time, in His way, in His love and grace.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Black & White Wednesday - Me

It's Black & White Wednesday at Lisa's blog, The Long Road to China...a chance to share your favorite black & white photography. Join in and you'll be glad you did!

When you are the one who is always behind the camera, you end up with lots and lots of photos of everyone in your family...except yourself.

Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. I am much more comfortable behind the camera than I am in front of it. That's just who I am. I prefer to be in the background, out of the spotlight.

So I thought I'd step out of my comfort zone and post a photo of me that I came across while cleaning off the hard drive. The photo is from last year. I was doing a photo shoot of the kids when Jason stole the camera and coaxed me into taking a few of me. I like this photo because it shows a different side of me. One where I'm not smiling. Anyone who knows me, knows I can usually be seen with a big 'ole smile on my face. But I really am a deep thinker, always over analyzing, or to put it more kindly, contemplating something. To me, this photo captures that side of me. And I really prefer it in black and white. The contrast of the brick and the sunlight shining in the window is captured really well in black & white...

Thanks for stopping by. I'm looking forward to seeing what you all have to share this week!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

First Tooth

I've had my suspicions, with all the drooling that's been going on...

And then as I watched Gavin lay on the carpet today, I caught a glimpse of something white...

With a little investigating, I discovered...

His first tooth!

Say it isn't so! My baby has his first tooth!

I know it's bound to happen. All the firsts are, after all, inevitable.

But as I've shared before, I am in no hurry for these milestones first-time mothers get so excited about. By your fourth {and last} baby, you kind of dread the 'firsts,' because they are at the same time, 'lasts.' This is the last first tooth a baby of mine will ever have!

So, I'm embracing my optimistic nature, making the best of it and looking on the bright side.
Because yes, Gavin is growing up and won't be a baby forever. But at least he's doing so with a big smile...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Black & White Wednesday - Gabe

Once again it's Black & White Wednesday over at The Long Road to China. Join in and not only showcase your own favorite black and whites, but get a chance to check out so many other amazing photos!

Since I have already shared photos of three of my four children in previous Black & White Wednesday posts, it's now Gabe's turn.

Gabe is my oldest child. He is six, but is quick to point out that he is almost seven {his birthday is next month!} Gabe is growing leaps and bounds, something that this photo reminded me of. Gone from Gabe is every trace of my baby and toddler. He's a young man now. Almost seven as you recall ;-)

But it is not gone from this mom's memory. I remember holding my first born in my arms like it was yesterday. And as I shared these memories with Gabe yesterday, I got a big, "Oh, mom!" Gabe gets a kick of 'making fun' of my sensitivity, laughing at me when I cry during movies, or tear up while reminiscing over my baby growing up.

But Gabe doesn't fool me...his big heart is evident every time he prays for kids who don't have families, and tears fill his eyes just thinking about being in their shoes. His big heart cries out every time he talks about longing for all of his friends to know and love Jesus the way he does. His big heart is there. You just have to look a little harder, past the boy trying to grow up so fast, and into the little boy who still asks to cuddle with mom.

Cherish every day, because before you know it, they are turning seven in a month and won't let you forget it...
{as always, click on the photo to view it larger}

And just when I'm relishing in Gabe's sweet & tender side, he reminds me that he's at the same time, very silly too...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Gerber Baby

Lately everywhere we go, we get one recurring comment about Gavin...

"He looks just like
the Gerber baby!"

The first few times I heard this observation, I thought, "Yes, he is awfully cute, isn't he." I mean really, every mother thinks their baby looks like the Gerber baby, right?

But the more we've heard it, the more I thought that maybe it isn't just a way of saying he's a classic cutie. Maybe he actually does look like the Gerber baby.

And when I found this photo of the classic Gerber logo online...

And compared it to a recent series of photos I took of Gavin...

I was actually surprised at the resemblance.

So what do you think?
Could Gavin be the new Gerber baby...

Regardless of his look-a-like status, I think it's pretty safe to say he's a cutie...

Drool and all!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Our Princess

Chloe has been really, really interested in princesses for the past several months. But ever since we got back from Disney World, she has started not only being interested in them...she now acts like them.

She talks in a very high, very slow voice.

Says things like, "I'm Princess Chloe, nice to meet you," all day long.

And sits with her legs crossed, because that's what princesses do apparently {yes, she actually told me that!}

She even requests to wear some sort of headband and a Princess dress every day. Thankfully, it doesn't have to be a certain dress, any dress will do.

Have we got our hands full with this princess...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Black & White Wednesday - Cooper

It's that time again...Black & White Wednesday over at Lisa's blog, The Long Road to China. All you have to do to join in is post a black & white photo, it's that simple. What a great excuse to exercise my love of black & white photography!

Since I've posted photos of two of my children the previous two weeks, I figured I'd continue the trend with a photo of my four-year-old Cooper. Maybe when I run out of children, I'll post a photo of something other than the kiddos ;-)

I took this photo of Cooper back in November. Cooper is such a little model. He loves to be in front of the camera and is such a natural, always striking the perfect pose without any direction. I love how he's casually leaning against the hay bale with one hand, while his other rests on his hip. This cool pose, coupled with his slicked-back hair, reminds me of a miniature version of James Dean {although Cooper's definitely not a rebel. He's the sweetest kid, really.} And I love how the black & white processing makes it look so very vintage, and also brings out the texture of the hay.

Anyway, enough 'talk.' Here's our
{As always, click on the photo to view it larger.}

Thanks for stopping by :) Looking forward to your comments, and exploring all the beautiful black & whites this week!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Gavin - 6 Months Old

Gavin Jace - 6 months old

Has it really been six months? Hard to believe. Our lives are so busy around here, it has just flown by.

I'm praying that I savor every moment, as it all goes by so fast. I find myself longing for my baby to stay just that, a baby. I'm not at all wishing away the milestones as I did with the first...longing for my baby to crawl, and then to walk, and then to run. No, by the fourth child, I find myself wanting to just live in the moment, enjoying today and knowing tomorrow will come soon enough.

Gavin is now learning to sit up by himself. He rolls wherever he needs to go, but he's content just laying around and watching the action too {and there's plenty of that around our house.}

Gavin just started solid foods and likes everything so far.

He continues to be a terrific sleeper.

In his first six months, Gavin is already a seasoned traveler, having flown in an airplane AND rode a train.

Gavin loves attention and 'talks' to anyone who will talk to him.

He's usually smiling, rarely fussy or crying.

What a happy baby...Love him!