I'm kind of an observer and I reread what people say over and over sometimes.

Or I'll replay what they said in my head over and over until I realize that I need to blog about it.

Because, quite frankly, I blog about things people have said to me a lot.  And I think that's because I observe more than people know or would think.  I usually wouldn't comment more than necessary about something someone said to me... even if it's something that I really love... it just gets replayed in my head without them knowing... unless, of course, they read my blog and find one of their quotes on a post ;) 

So... when people say things to me, they really have no idea how much thought is going into what I hear.  And when it starts to replay in my brain over and over, I know what that means.  A blog post.

So tonight, it was an email from one of my teachers in response to an email I sent to him telling him I would not be making it to class because of Trey's adoption finalization (more on that soon) coming up.  His response was very much like any teacher's response.  But at the end, he said, "Again congratulations on the adoption. I have had several friends and a cousin who adopted. They thank and praise the Lord everyday for the great blessing."

Now, I know exactly what you're thinking.  I'm ridiculous.  This is what a ton of people would say.  This isn't anything special.  But here's why I thought it deserved a blog post:

It is sooooooooo true.

(Ha.  Hahahaahhahahaahahahah.  <--- That's you, laughing at me, because of my lame reason for a blog post.  But in all seriousness, I am being honest)

That is so so soooo true.  The words kept echoing in my head.  "They thank and praise the Lord everyday for the great blessing."  Everyday.  And I have to say... it's quite true.

Referring back to this post... I find myself thinking over and over how blessed it is we are to have him.  As he laughed tonight at my brother... so blessed.  As I attempt to pat him back to sleep... so blessed.  The way he smiles at me every morning... so blessed.  How he puts his head on my shoulder when he's tired... so blessed.   As he giggles when I hold him by his legs and then lay him back down on the couch... so blessed.  Oh my goodness.  I am so blessed.  

And to think about him not being in my life???  To think about the Lord not giving him to me 4 months ago????  To think about how life would be without him... silent and with a lot less joy?  To think about the fact that there were so many other babies God could have given us, but he gave us Trey?  What?  It cannot be.  Soooooooo blessed.

So thank you, to my teacher, for reminding me of how truly blessed and thankful we should feel about Trey and adoption everyday.  

James 1:17. 


(part of my draft project.  this is the honest truth.  in my honest opinion.  first written august 14th 2012)

This week, I've been getting up at 7am.  Every morning.  Mostly because my body needs to get used to that fact that my alarm is going to be going off at 5:30am almost every morning soon.  Ouch.

And, when I wake up at 7am and there is nothing else to do, I turn on the Today Show (although I'd rather not.  Savannah needs a new hairstyle or I'm going to start watching GMA.  And yes, I've considered writing them a letter).  But, one thing they highlighted this morning made me feel really reeeeeally badly for the world.  Just in general, I felt horrible for the world.

They had this whole segment on the "animals in need" and how this famous woman stopped her career to rescue sick animals.  She bottle-fed cats, she took care of dogs that had three legs, the list could go on forever.  But here's the thing that bugged me.  Like, bugged me a lot.  What ever happened to the 153 million children overseas and in your own country that don't have parents?  

(Now.  Let me just get two things straight here.  One: I've watched the today show for years.  Literally.  Every Summer morning I can remember the Today Show has been on.  I'm sure they've talked about orphans and adoption before.  I am not saying they only focus their attention on the animals in need.  But, I can remember at least a few instances where they've talked about the animals.  Had a segment on dogs up for adoption, etc..  Two: I am also not saying that we should all just neglect animals and that abusing animals is okay.  No way.  It's definitely not.  I like animals too.  I'm not a crazy animal-hater.  I have a dog that I can't imagine my life without.  But, it just hurts me to see that the world focuses more of their attention on animals than their own race.)

And it struck me.  No one understands the need.  No one truly does.  The world doesn't really get it.  Heck, it's legal to murder babies in the womb, I'm sad to say orphans probably aren't most of the un-believing population's priority.  It's just sad, really.  That dogs get the spotlight instead of all the kids on this list.  

It's just another reminder of the need.  The need for the Lord, that is.


this is real life

This is real life.

Setting him down and turning around to see this?  It makes you ask yourself the question "is this real life?".

He is my brother and this is real life.  This is my life.  And it may not be the easiest one.  It may not be the best one.  It may not be pretty all the time.  But it's my life.  Chaotic or not.  Even if it's absolutely insane.  Even when the only way to get a little bit of silence is to stay up until midnight.  I love it.  Because this is real life.  This is my life.  And I'd never ever ever  have it any other way. 


Tonight as I rocked Trey to sleep I thought of a question for myself.

Why do I love adoption as much as I do?  It took me a while to pinpoint exactly what it was,  and I decided I needed to put it all out on paper... for myself, and also because a lot of you may be wondering the same thing.

I love adoption because... it brought my brother home and my life would not be the same without my Treybebaby.

I love adoption because... I am adopted... by God.

I love adoption because... I watched dear friends bring home their kids through adoption and I knew I loved it the moment I watched it all happen.  (AKA it's a God thing:))

I love adoption because... God gave me a heart for orphans when I went to Africa and I've never been the same since.

I love adoption because... I've seen the need firsthand in Africa and from that moment forward I knew I loved that place and the need there.  I realized afterwards why God did that to me.  To give me a heart for orphans.

I love adoption because... My family did foster care and I saw the system and I saw how it all worked.  I saw the need firsthand and it was just another reassurance that forever is beautiful :)

I love adoption because... It brings sweet babies home for ever and ever and gives them another chance at life.

I love adoption because... God gave me two best friends/sisters... who came home via adoption.  I would not be the person I am today without them.

I love adoption because... it changed my whole life.  It changed the way I look at everything.  It changed the way I think about every little thing in my life.  Adoption changed my life.  And I want it to change more.

It's hard... to pinpoint exactly in what area adoption has impacted me.  I say a lot that it has impacted me, but to figure out exactly in what area... it's almost impossible for me.  When I think about it... I'd say this:

Adoption has impacted me in every area possible of my life.  It forces me to think more about how God would want it.  It puts me through challenges everyday.  It's changed the idea of my future.  It's changed my family.  But most importantly... it changed my heart.  Adoption is what formed me into who I am today.  It's what made me me.  First and foremost because the Lord adopted me into His family even when I wasn't deserving of it, and now I get to be a part of His family for the rest of my life (and ever and ever and ever :)).  If that doesn't change your life I don't know what will.  Secondly because of how much adoption has impacted my life here on earth.

What makes me laugh the most is that I have no idea why it has impacted me so much.  I have no idea why it's such a big thing in my life.  I guess that's because the Lord put it in my life.  So stay tuned... you never know what might happen in my life next related to adoption :)


The hardest thing... opening up LR and seeing these first three photos:

To this day, it's still hard to see these photos.  They asked me to edit them for her memorial service.  And now, every time I open LR, I see her sweet face staring back at me.  And today it really hit me.  I can't believe she's gone.

"Be still and know that I am God." psalm 46:10


When photographing kids... namely siblings... it can get tough.  It can get weird.  It can get awkward.  Orrrrr it can get plain crazy.

I do a lot of "STOP.  NO.  TURN YOUR HEAD BACK TO WHERE IT WAS."s and often find myself repeating "Don't move".  With everyone now telling their children to smile when they see a camera pointed at them, it's hard to get something natural.  I do a lot of "don't smile"s too.  Smiling is nice, but at the end of the day, I love serious faces.  Or at least natural.  (Note to my siblings: fake smiles are NOTCUTE)  Sometimes it's just by chance that you actually get a natural shot of a child.  Other times they might listen and not smile ;)

Training siblings to be future models can be hard work.  But after a year or two (yes, I'm serious), instead of this:

You can get this:

("Please, just turn your head.  Just once.")


instagram lately

what i do during online summer school.  tear apart magazines and make my ugly school notebooks look cool.

what i do during online summer school pt 2.  i tattooed myself.  it didn't come off for a week.

what i do during online summer school pt 3.  i almost fall asleep because i've been up since 5:30am.

summer afternoons.  reading in nike shorts.

babies in skinny jeans.
(on another note, yes, i bought my brother girl skinny jeans.  they literally don't sell skinny baby boy jeans)

sometimes the light looks really nice in my house.

baby toes and jean cutoffs <

we watched the olympics together.  go jamaica!  go democratic republic of the congo!  go united states!

what you do when you're sick and tired of wide-legged skinny jeans for babies.  you make them skinny.  yes, sometimes the sewing machine is my best friend.

a braid and a favorite urban outfitters shirt

non-dairy ice cream love.  just because i'm dairy free doesn't mean i'm going to miss out on life and happy moments like root beer floats and sundaes.

saturday morning laundry.

fix-your-brothers-jeans pt 2.  these were some ugly pant things before (should have taken a before photo!)  they soooo needed some re-doing.  love the finished product. 

that light!  i have a photography issue, obviously.  taking advantage of every lovely light photo in my home.

missing my jemima.

loving babies in swaghats. 

i channel the inner swimmer in my every night when this is how my hair turns out.  in a crazy thing at the top of my head.  

summer is over in two weeks.

the new IG update... no thank you

i love when he talks to me

baby toes and... is that a wine glass?  (hello taylor).  no, it's not wine.  it's what happens when all the cups are in the dishwasher and i've run out of options.

with the hashtag #mykitchenatnight.  i love my home at night.

i love instagram and the quirky way they provide to document life.  love. 


Sometimes I go back and read all the drafts I've saved on my blogger account.  All the posts I've began but haven't finished.  Some that only have a title.  Some that have no title.  Some that are cut off unexpectedly.

It's like a mystery, really.  Trying to figure out what exactly was going on in my head at that very moment.  Because, really, I can never recreate what is going on in my brain at the moment.  So when I write a post and save it as a draft, I'll keep the thought tucked away in my brain and sometimes a thought will come to my head and I'll run to finish the post.

And that's how my blog was born.

That's how my real blog was born.  be lovely.  The one about being real and raw and true to life and myself.  Because I'm really just a girl that has a big heart and a brain that never stops going and going and going.  And when I get an idea, I run with it.  And I ran, starting last year, with an idea.  An idea to recreate my blog.  And that was exactly what I did.

There are 164 saved drafts on my blog right now.  164 posts I have yet to finish.  164 posts no one knows anything about.

I want to post those saved drafts.  The majority.  The ones I started that I never finished.  The ones I had an idea for, a place for... I want to publish them.  For you.  But also for me.  It's sort of a big step.  A lot of the things I drafted I meant to not publish.  Yes, I do it purposely at times.  I'll include something I wouldn't otherwise say.  Maybe it was a hard day and I just needed to rant.  Then there are the ones I meant to post.  The ones I really had a purpose for.  Those are the ones I want to publish.

So, from today forward, when you see a post with the label "draft", you can know that you're reading a draft that I finished.  Something I recreated.  Something I finished.  I'll include the date I first wrote it too.

I hope you enjoy this new little project of mine.  I think I will, too.


Have I ever mentioned before that I think photography is the best thing ever?  No?  Okay, here goes:

Photography is the best thing ever.

Even when it's just a simple photograph... capturing life... it makes me so happy.

Oh my goodness.

I'm in love.


he looked at me

He looked up at me.  Just to look at me and talk.

My. Heart. 

It overflows.


I LOVE capturing those people with huge personalities.  It may seem hard to capture for some, but for me, it's my favorite.

And her sweet sister...

Ohhhhh my goodness.  That face.  That scrunched nose.

Babies basically have my heart.  They get me every time. 


last summer hoorah

Today was our last summer hoorah.  The last time we'd go to the pool with our friends before school starts again.  I'd say it was a success.

can anyone say gorgeous?!?!

this is trey's future wife.  yes, she couldn't get over his good looks.

typical.  and oh so sweet.


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