Sunday, December 25, 2011


Merry christmas from the cains! We had a glorious morning spending our first christmas away from our parents since we got married. It was such a fun time with our children :-) but we definitely missed the family time with our parents, siblings and niblings!
Christmas eve was a beautiful night spent with my church family as well as a visit from my sister & brother in-law :-) Last night was sort of the "grand opening," if you will, in our new church building. The worship, candle light and sense of family was beautiful and uplifting. Jesus truly is the light of the world. Praise be to God that he sent his son, as a human baby, to be The Saviour. I am thankful for a holiday, whatever its origins may be, that allows me to remember why I am here and how truly blessed & loved I am.
I realize this time of year is difficult, to say the least, for many, many people. My prayer is that you have the opportunity to feel loved because you are. My prayer is that you are filled with joy, especially if your circumstances are not. My prayer is that this christmas is a reminder of the goodness of our God!
Happy, happy holidays and many blessings in this new year to come!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Off the Radar

Sadly, I have been quite out of the blogging loop this week. :( My little Ava girl has been sick- thankfully feeling better today. Combine a sicko baby with holiday madness and well, blogging takes a back burner. bummer. Every moment between caring for kiddos has been spent preparing gifts, editing photos, and keeping up with my house. (not a total bummer :)) 

As I type this, though, my stomach isn't feeling too well. Cutting this blog short. 

Love you all and hoping to be back in the swing of things very, very shortly!!!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I am finding this to be so true in 

my life,

my family,

my church.

His water is satisfying.

His water is life-giving.

His water is never-ending.

If you are discouraged,



Take a drink,

and be filled,



Be encouraged today.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Life Made Lovely Monday {Christmas party, waterfront, flare}

Recently I've felt a bit... weird... reflective... idk...

Like there's something in my heart/head that wants to come out but I'm not really sure what it is...

For now, I'll just share our lovely little weekend with you :)

Last night, my husband and I had a wonderful night of childless ::bliss:: 

You see, his work has a christmas party every year and since they also provide a never-ending fountain of senseless alcoholic beverages, they graciously offer a free night stay at the hotel where the party is held. Naturally, sober or sloshed, these weary parents were taking advantage of this **free** childless night of ::bliss:: 

You can understand, no?

Did I mention, FREE??? 

We stayed at the party pretty late but woke up this a.m. to.....

 :::SILENCE::: Beautiful, beautiful silence.

Part of me would have loved to lay there for HOURS and do NOTHING. Michael, not so much. When he's awake, he's ready to go. No lazy laying around in bed for him. 

Moving slow and taking our sweet little time, we managed to not feed, dress, nurse or even hear a single child all morning. Pushed ourselves out the door to head to church (a few minutes late, yeah that's right, we were late and didn't have any children......) just in time to be parents again :)

One thing I know for sure, life was made lovely with my husband this weekend. We may not have been far from home but it was so nice to have time together. It left me wanting more but we were blessed to have a couple of friends that would watch all 3 of our kiddos overnight and then get them up and ready for church. We are blessed beyond belief. 

Here are some lovely photos we took in the morning before we left.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Elf YOURself

Inspired by a beautiful blogger, Kelly over at Fly With Me, I decided to share our Elf Yourself Video :) 

def totes hilar! 

Maybe I'll share a different one next week :)

Our swing dancin' Christmas Elves :)

Happy Friday!!!

*don't mind my dumb slang... I just thought it was funny :) This new slang really makes me laugh. Truly it IS totes ridic. haha

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Trimming Trees & such

Whew! I didn't expect this month to feel so busy... :)

Between family holiday fun, time with our friends, regular life and editing photos, there hasn't been much time left for blogging. ::sadface:: This post will catch you up on the holiday happenings this past weekend :)

The weekend started off (almost too late on Saturday) cutting down our Christmas Tree at Hutchinson's Christmas Tree Farm. This place is amazing! The people are sweet locals that are willing to work with you on a price for the tree if you are struggling financially but still really want a tree. Topping it off, the owner looks like Santa!

We finished our evening off at our town's Holiday Parade :) Malakai went with our friends last year (we were avoiding popsicle newborns) but this year we were excited to all go as a family (although, he thought it was more fun just going w/ Pop-Pop & Miss Kelly).

Michael managed to get the tree up on Sunday (thanks to some friends- Shout out to Donna & Larry)! We didn't get to the decorating until Monday night :)

My children "helping" with the lights.

Who needs Christmas morning presents when you get to pull the ornaments out of the Christmas box??? He was seriously thrilled which each one he unwrapped.... Oh to be two.

Apparently Malakai thought tree decorating should include dessert :)
The decorating was especially fun this year with a 2 year old (even if he does try to eat our ornaments)!

The 2011 Christmas Tree :) 

Our night closed w/ this...

the sing-off Christmas special

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


How many times have you cursed the rain?

How many times have you pleaded for the snow to stop?

How many times have you gotten your hair "just right" only to walk outside into a drought ender?

How many times have you slipped on a patch of ice?


I've been there.

Done that.

Now is the time for a new attitude!

How many times have you eaten fresh vegetables?

How many times have you eaten anything at all?

How many times have you never been more thankful for that glass of ice water?

How many times have you filled that little belly of your's?


I thought so.

Me too.

Today is the day to give Him credit.

His words are true.

His words are life giving.

His words fulfill my hunger.

His words fill my cup to overflowing.


I'm ready.

Are you?

Open your heart and receive His life-giving words.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Embracing my family this week :)

The 2 that people responsible for creating ME :)

We don't have very many photos of the 5 of us so this is special <3
(Malakai's smile is brought to you today by reverse psychology... "Malakai, don't you dare smile!" I know it's bad but sometimes necessary to get anything besides a frown in photos these days... haha)

Sweet baby suffles

Yes, they were crying and trying to tear my clothes off...

**please excuse my make-up-less, unshowered, frizzy mess**

okay lovelies, your turn!
here's the nitty gritty on embrace the camera---PLEASE READ:

1. take a picture of YOU with your kids, spouse, friends, etc. the point of embrace the camera is to get in front of the camera and to document a bit of yourself.
2. link up your POST, not your blog.
3. link back to our blog by a text link or using our button IN YOUR POST.
4. and lastly, have fun and visit each other!
leave each other lots of love---it's not easy to get in front of the camera---bravo to all of you who join us every week! your family will thank you for it one day :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bye-Bye November....

November is nearly gone. Just a matter of hours before this month is completely in the past. I suppose time flies when you're having fun :) Considering we were out of town for over a week, I'm so proud of myself for sticking with NaBloPoMo and posted something everyday. Today being my final official NaBloPoMo post, I figured I'd finish it off with a Thanksgiving Post. 

Every day of my life is filled with things that make me feel completely and utterly blessed. Far too often, these are the things that I take for granted and never say a word of gratitude. 

My whole family- this doesn't happen very often :)

1. I am thankful that (most days) Michael is a reminder to me of what a servant looks like. He is always trying to make my life better.

2. I am ever so thankful that I finally finished designing my girls baby book and only paid $9.00 for it :)

3. This year, I have been given a renewed sense of gratitude for my family. They mean more to me than I can express!

4. Everyday I am thankful for the church family that God has chosen to place in my life. I can't imagine my life without you all!

5. Cousins. Particularly the ones my son regularly calls his brothers. They bring so much joy to his life- especially when it allows him to run around crazy at the "big park."

6. I am thankful for water pressure. After our little Thanksgiving adventure in the mountains, I have been reminded of this little convenience. (also that I do not have to go fetch water- that would totally put a damper on my day-haha)

7. I am thankful for the smiles on my kids faces that light up my day.

8. Thankful for the roof over my head. We may not have much extra space but we are warm, dry and comfortable so we're better off than much of the world.

9. My heart is full of gratitude for the gift of photography. Snapshots into the past- always available to refresh old memories.

10. This community of bloggers. I am ever thankful that God lead me to this little niche in the world. A place to share, be encouraged and learn all kinds of new things!

Ending this month is slightly bitter-sweet. Sweet because I managed to accomplish my goal to post daily for 30 days- YAY! Slightly bitter because it mean time is ticking away and I did not accomplish my goal of 30 portaits in 30 days. I'm okay with it, though. There is a whole month ahead to continue my project :)

My last words of gratitude are for you. Thank you for reading and being a support. I look forward to many, many more months of writing :) Excited for what the future holds :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dog Days Are Over

The Dog Days are Over. 

No more bullying. No more speaking out of pride. No more using our words and actions to bring others down and build ourselves up. No more. The dog days are over.

Look around your world. Look around your community. As you walk through the grocery. As you drive down the street. As you go about your business at work. Look around. Take in the faces. Realize the devastation that surrounds you. 

Bullying is real. 

"Sticks and stones may hurt my bone but words will never hurt me"


Ask the kid who's mom just told him he is worthless. Ask the boy that was laughed off the bus. Ask the girl who sits alone at school every single day. Ask the boy who has red hair. Or the girl that towers over her classmates. Or the co-worker with the funny accent that some how becomes the butt of every joke. Or the boy that sings too high. Ask the guy in your class that is gay. Or the christian. Or the muslim. Or the Jew. Ask the girl that is too black, too white or too ugly to be acknowledged. Ask the family from the Middle East. Or the kid that is quiet or smart or slow. Ask the 16 yr old carrying her child. Ask the girl with tattoos or the guy with the piercings. 

An endless list of judgements, assumptions and harshness.

Real stories of real people with real feelings.

It isn't kidding. It isn't 'kids being kids'. It isn't funny.

The dog days are over.

Help save lives.

Take back happiness. 

Deliver kindness.

Show love.

Let us not use our words (or actions) to bring others down. Face your insecurities and prejudices. Make an effort to share love. 
Bullying is real. It happens every day.

Are you a bully?

Do you make assumptions?

Do you make biased judgements?

And act on them?

Do you speak harsh words to make yourself feel better?

Do you turn a blind eye when you see it happening?

Do you wash your hands of it?

My encouragement is this:

End the dog days. Speak love. Share love. 

Don't be a bully and don't turn your head to hide your face when it happens right in front of you. 

Be intentional.

Kindess doesn't have to be random.

Take a stand.


**This post was inspired by Pentatonix on The Sing-Off. They chose to spend time volunteering for a suicide prevention organization for bullied teens.**

Monday, November 28, 2011

Life Made Lovely Monday {What's in a Name}

Today my life is made lovely by the sounds of my little girls saying their brother's name. Absolutely one of the sweetest things in my day! Lilly was following Malakai down the hallway tonight after their bath and we heard her say, "M-Kai-Kai" (or something of the sort). 

Melts my heart!

Today was also an awesomely amazing warm spring-like day with some 70 degree temps! 
We skipped naps to enjoy the sunshine today :) 
Unfortunately, we were having far too much fun and Mama didn't snap any photos ::sadface::

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hello dramamine. Hello home.

This photo was from the beginning of our trip. I wish it was forshadowing a pleasant trip. Beautiful, beautiful scenes of the mountain countryside. Carsick 2 year olds are not so beautiful. Pitiful, yes. Beautiful, no.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Little Out of It

Home. As much as I don't want to leave my family, I am ready to be home and back in somewhat of a routine. The house is so quiet today since my brother and his fam headed back to Kentucky. ::sadface:: (also my sister's husband and in-laws headed back to Maryland- which btw it was such a blessing to have the opportunity to spend some time with them!) The weather has been perfect, the food has been filling, the family time amazing. Today, things are beginning to wind down and I can feel the end nearing.

It is time to get back to actual blogging that people even care to read. I cannot wait to share some the photos from our beautiful scenery here in the mountains. Frost in the mornings, beautiful sun in the afternoons and marsh mellows by the fire at night... ::bliss:: I think most people know my preference for all things sand and ocean but I wouldn't trade these surroundings this week for anything.

So check back in a few days to see some (hopefully) much improved blogging :) My commitment to blog everyday this month has been successful so far but it has made for some pretty lame posts over the past few days due to lack of resources and time :)

I'll leave you with this tonight...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Can you Feel the Mountains Tremble?

Since be out of town, my resources/time have been limited. I promise when I get home, the photos will return :) Honestly, my phone hasn't had a full charge (or any charge for that matter) for about 3 days. Weird. Nice. Quiet.

This week has been especially needed family time because my brother is scheduled to leave for Marine basic training on Sunday. Never imagined him there but can see it as a good fit for him. My husband is in the military so I already have a heightened sensitivity to these things but this is my brother... yeah. I haven't cried. yet.

Leading up to him leaving today, we have spent more time talking, laughing and reminiscing these past couple of day more than we have in years. Some of it is captured in photos, some on video but most of it is just stored away in my mind. We sat around the fire and talked about all kinds of things... most of which does not belong on any blog. any where. haha... Looking out past the fire was darkness and the faint sounds of coyotes. As my eyes adjusted, the sky filled with more stars at one time than I had seen in a looooong time. The sky and stars are at the top of my list of favorite things about being in the country- especially at night. They are such a reminder of God's wonderful works in creation.

In addition to all the family time, my girls have continued to blossom more and more everyday. I have to say, it is such a joy to be sharing some of these milestone firsthand with our family that is usually so far away! Just over the past few days, the girls have learned so many new words! Added to their vocab: up, Tubby (my parent's dog), YEAH, hello (mostly Lilly), Malakai ("kkkkkkk-kai") and I'm pretty sure Ava is saying Lilly. They are both seeming very interested in walking but still working to get the coordination (in other words, not trying RUN). One of the girls was actually making car noises while she was pushing one of Malakai's trucks around. They both have teeth cutting through... which I believe is giving them some fits tonight :( Really, I enjoy this stage SO much! They give me so much joy every day and make me incredibly proud.

Home will be a welcome sight but I am very much being refilled and refreshed spending this time with my family.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Heart

Today is set aside to remember what we are thankful for.
Homes and cars and jobs and food are luxuries for some.
Amidst the hustle and bustle throughout the days and weeks, it's easy to forget what brings us such great peace.
Now look around and ask yourself, what blessings can I share?
Knees humbly bent in reverence for the One who gave it all.
Family full of turkey, grace and love.
Unbelievable blessings, graciously given from above.
Loving, laughter and life fill every part of my heart.

This week has been such a refreshing time with family and friends. The Lord has truly blessed me with good people. 

Happy Thanksgiving!!! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Common interest

What do nemo, cars, and vomit have in common?


Heading to west virginia, all these things have kept our sweet, car sick boy, occupied.

We took the "scenic route" of sorts to our destination. Travelling through all kinds of little coal mining towns had me wishing we could stop. I would have loved to take some photos! It's kind of neat to think about the fact that so many of the citizens in those town have something in common: coal. Whether they mine it or have a job because of those who mine it, they need it. This big black business keeps their little towns running and growing. For some it has tradition for others its just pay check but none can deny their need for it. It was sort of a random thought but an intresting one that one industry could be the sorce of so much revenue and commonality between people.

Tonight, I will leave you with my slight randomness and allow you to get back to your evening :-) leave me a comment to say hi and weigh in with your random thouht for this Tuesday :-)

Monday, November 21, 2011


How quickly I have forgotten malakai at the age my girls are now. There are so many things they do everyday that amaze me and make me smile :-)

Today, they were playing and talking and looking so big! It was such a joy!

**side note** my son is talking to his 2yr old cousin n I quote, "OH! I know what happened to the tractor! Its sleeping, in the barn! Its sleeping." It is super cute :-)

Sadly, I had forgotten all the falling. This time the falling is x2! Yikes! I lost count on # of falls today. Thankfully, they recover quickly!

We're almost a week in to having 2 one year olds and it's good. I cannot wait to see what this next year holds!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Frustrated right now. Trying and trying to post a blog for today and things just are not going my way :( I may just have to give the girls an extra day for their birthday blog week :) If the one I published a few minutes ago ends up showing up, yay! If not, here is another post... :) We've had a busy time visiting family and looking forward to the rest of our time together this Thanksgiving season. Speaking of Thanksgiving, every day I am more and more grateful for my girls and the blessings our children bring to our lives ;)

That is all for today.

Sorry for the lame blog post. It will get back to normal here soon.....

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Birthday Week Day 5 {crazy day}

Today is birthday celebration #2 for the pretty girls :-) lots more blessings, lots more kisses, lots more hugs :-) We celebrated with my in-laws at our thanksgiving feast :-) It was super sweet and a lot fun to see family! My intentions were to get some photos and post them today but, yeah, didn't work out. I'm actually writing this in the car on the wayb to pick up my sick husband from drill. (Someone is bringing him to meet me at a gas station which gave me a few minutes to get this done :-) Anyway, one this I've learned about my girls this birthday: they LOVE cake! Haha both times they've had the opportunity, they dug in like they hadn't eaten in days! (I will add pics when I get to a computer :-)) Second thing: they are fabulous! I already knew that but really, they did so good today! Family visits consist of lots of driving, people they aret that farmiliar with and minimal naps. These two girls were champs! They smiled, played, hugged, kissed... s sweet :-) So this is what I have for today. Kinda lame but it's written and I didn't miss a day of nablpomo :-)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Birthday Week Day 4 {Yep, Identical}

The girls had their 12 month check up a couple of days ago. I meant to take photos but getting through a well check with 2 babies is enough work on its own much less, add a camera into the mix. So, yeah. 

The girls are both growing pretty well ;) They are normal length but on the very small side weight wise. 

The Stats:

Ava- 16lbs 6oz, 29 inches tall, 17 3/4 in head

Lilly- 16lbs 6oz, 29 inches tall, 17 3/4 in head

I mean really? Exactly the same. The nurses were shocked. We thought it was hilarious. Aunt B. thought it was creepy. haha. One of the nurses said, "well, we're the same people." (as if speaking for the girls) Ava emphatically shook her head, "no." I just rolled my eyes. Whatever.

4 shots this time. FOUR SHOTS! yuck. I swear it gets worse to watch as they get older. It didn't help that the nurse was sooooo slllllooooowwwwwww! She would do one shot then bandaid before doing the next shot. Just get the pricks done and then apply the bandaids... boo. My poor Ava had just started calming when, BAM it all started over on her other leg. Granted, it was all over in a matter of seconds but geeeze... 

Poor girls. 

Poor mama. 

Poor Daddy who had to hear Mama complain for 10 mins after the nurses left. HA! 

Overall the girls both look great! It was fun to watch their curious minds trying to figure out what the doctor was doing. Oh! and when the nurse did the finger prick (oh yeah, 4 shots PLUS a finger prick) to check for lead and iron levels, they were SO intrigued. They couldn't take their little eyes off of that tube. So neat to watch their little wheels turning.

from this ^

To this ^

On a sort of unrelated note: Ava has seemed to pick up an interest in walking. She took 2 or 3 steps unassisted today. YAY! Such a big girl :) They are both also saying, "cup" pretty clearly now. (well, it's more like pup or bup but whatever)