Friday, May 31, 2013

10th Anniversary

we were friends.
i knew he liked me more.
i was young and not sure.
i fell before i even knew it.
i knew we'd marry
i knew it was forever...even at 17

two years after that we were married
and today is ten years later

my mom always told me it got better every year
she was right

only a few months after we married he accepted the full time job
of worship pastor at our church
i was scared
but we knew it was right

we traveled to the coast
to California
to Washington
to Disneyland
to Disneyworld
to Minnesota
to the Coast
to Sunriver
to Utah

we lived in two different apartments 
then a house
we got a kitty

i went to phlebotomy school and left my barista job after 6 years
i became a medical assistant

we decided it was time to expand the family

i quit my job to stay home
jack arrived august 2008....a tad early
our lives changed drastically and amazingly

we walked through a miscarriage
and then the difficulty of conceiving again

and then twins


we've seen friendships dissolve and friendships strengthen
friends have gone
and new friends have come
we've watched family in crisis
and family drift
we've watched friends pass away
walk through cancer

we've watched my mom walk through breast cancer
 my dad's triple bypass
my sister's meningitis
his mom's fall and post-concussion syndrome

we've watched four grandparents pass away

we've conquered student loans
only to see medical debt pile up

car accident
major church changes
family crisis

broken nose and surgery
ankle surgery

And still......

we've made dating a priority
we've gotten away together
we've protected our family time and sometimes that has upset people

we never stopped talking
we never stopped loving on one another
i can honestly say that he has never stopped wooing me
the things he did when we dated...
he still does them

i love him more with each passing day

he works hard
he is always present as a dad
when he is home, he is home
he adores me
he thinks i'm beautiful and he tells me
he gives 100%
he is the spiritual leader in our house and our boys have an amazing role model

i love him
i am in love with him
i desire him

after ten years, this most amazing thing....
this life
this blessing

i am so looking forward to the next ten years of our lives together
the dreams we have
the direction God is taking us

Happy Anniversary my love
These were the best ten years of my life
The very best ten I could have imagined and hoped for

Bring on the next 10...

Saturday, May 25, 2013


I am friends with some pretty amazing photographers. One of them has sort of taken me under her wing in regards to Birth Photography and has trained me on the job and I also took her online course (you can too by the way!)

I've had the privilege of attending a birth in a birth center, at a home and in the hospital. I am still learning, and things are a bit raw still but I'm happy with how things are coming along.

I've also been able to bless a few families with pictures and enjoy doing that as well. It's definitely a fun hobby I will forever be perfecting, but not something I plan to do as a job :)

I thought I would post a few from the recent birth and maternity session for ya!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Kingdom Minded

I’m unsettled.

My heart is ready to jump at the things God has put on my heart, He’s opened my eyes to the task at hand and I am just standing at the edge of the cliff ready to jump into the deep waters.
Learning to wait on God’s timing. Learning when to push and make things happen, and when to sit back and wait.

I’m not so good at the latter…..

Do I think it’s going to be beautiful and lovely all the time? Am I so romanced by the idea that I am not aware of the struggle that lies ahead?
No, I do not pretend to think the days ahead are going to be so full of joy because God is in the midst. It would be easy to think that because it’s His dream, His calling, His purpose that it would be always beautiful. But it won’t.

It will be hard. Harder than anything. The days will leave us exhausted and weary and tearful. We will have days where we want to give up and give in. Days we question if we are doing what we are supposed to be doing.

Days where we bicker and argue, days of no patience and snapping words.
Women we've invested in will go back to their pimps, young girls will abort their babies, the young men will go back to drugs, and people will steal and lie and use us.
And we will be broken.

We have to know going in that while we will be fulfilled in our hearts, that God will supply our every need spiritually to walk this path before us….that it will not be easy.
You need only look to scripture to see the truth in this.

The people God really used, the ordinary folk…they praised Him. They were used by Him. They also lost their possessions; they were beaten, stoned, crucified, mocked and killed.
He doesn't hide that from us. It is made clear.

Is it worth it? Is this life worth the heartache that can accompany the miracle?
Is risking your family worth it? Is giving up your house, your job, your income worth it? Is being misunderstood and disrespected worth it?

Can you say, “Lord, do with me what you will” and know that He may take away everything you love on this earth to use you?

We must remember that our God is Kingdom minded. He sees the eternal ramifications, while we can only see the here and now. He sees the greater purpose. We have to remind ourselves daily to think Kingdom minded. Daily giving up our rights in the here and now and trusting that while He has our best in mind, He will always be about the Kingdom. It must be about saving souls for eternity. If we can grasp that concept, if we can hold onto that and let go of the rest of it then we can confidently say it’s worth it. Every single thing is worth the cause of the Kingdom.

As much as it scares me to put it down on paper. As much as my flesh wants to hold on tightly to the things that matter to me more than anything. I must be willing to let Him take anything and everything in my life to use for Him.

I must let him have my family, my husband and my kids. My house, our income, our cars, our lives. I must let Him have access to whatever He chooses because in the end…it is worth it.
Living Kingdom minded is not something you arrive at. It’s something you must consciously do each day. And it will not be easy. It will not look pretty. But it will be worth it.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

To my Mama...and all the other Women

You needn't be a Mom to be celebrated today. You needn't have given birth to someone to have a positive impact on their life. You can influence kids without being called “Mommy”. This is for those women, the teacher’s and friends, the extended family and neighbors who have influenced me.  They've shaped me and are part of who I am today.
So while we of course honor Mother’s today… I want to honor those of you who aren't- and  thank you.

My Mom is one in a million- I want to be like her when I grow up. I think of her selfless love, her joy that comes only from the Lord, her gift of encouragement, her discernment of people and her laugh that echoes the halls. I want all of it ( I already know I have her laugh so that’s covered) Watching her walk through cancer and now helping other’s through that journey has been one of the biggest blessings in my life.

There are other women in my life that have shaped me. Some of them are Mom’s and some are not. I want to honor those women too…because they have made me who I am today.

 My Sunday school teacher’s Luwayne and Mary from Willakenzie in Eugene. I remember the songs, the flannel board stories, the Christmas programs.

Kathy, the Mom of my dearest childhood friend and her silly socks, her gentle words, her treating me as one of her own. Today she shows me what a wife married to a Pastor looks like. Weathering the storm and standing by your man and your ministry.

I think about Marilynwho is with Jesus now, where she sat in church, how she loved my family and took care of me while my sister was being born. A Grandmother- but not by blood.

I think about my Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Olsen and how she loved me. How she made me feel special.

My music teacher in grades Kindergarten-Third, Mrs. Adams- and how I knew I was her favorite. I couldn't sing but she made me feel like I could do anything…her class was always open to me and her hugs were the best.

My last teacher in Eugene, Mrs. Henry. I didn't even finish my whole third grade year, but she came to my wedding almost 10 years later. Talk about making an impact. She always stayed in touch and just recently retired. I am sure I am not the only one she made feel so special.

Mrs. Nelson from Howard. She is the first one to call me out as a writer. She helped me get a poem published and to this day I will credit her for fostering in me the love of writing.

When we moved from Eugene to Medford and I thought my life was over, I met Connie. She was the Pastor’s wife of our new church and she saw in me a leader and called me out. She will forever remain one of the most influential people in my life. Watching her own life, modeled before me. The grace, compassion and strength in her helped shape me.

Vikki, she started out mentoring me as a young engaged woman and turned into one of my best friends. Holding me accountable, teaching me gentleness and to love the Word. Everyone needs a Vikki in their life.

My volleyball Coach, Susan. She taught me that I could push myself farther, that I could endure. That I had more in me than I realized.

My math teacher Debbie Knapp. I was horrible at math (still am)…she took extra time to get me through my classes. She was patient and she actually cared that I passed. I will never forget that.  And when I accidentally threw a flashlight at her, she still loved me.

The school secretary Kelly Lemley. She was such a supporter of me, in everything I did…and she still does that.

My Literature and Drama teacher, Miss Beeler. She challenged me in my school work, to be disciplined and she saw something in me that gave me the confidence I needed to take hold of a role as a Freshman with gusto. She pushed me and that hasn't gone to waste.

My Mom’s best friend Lynette- she’s been an extension of our family for as long as I can remember. Her love and friendship to our family has taught me that you needn't not be blood related to be family. Being a Mom of two boys, she’s showed me what the future is like, watching her son’s dote on her now is a beautiful thing.

Mary Hixsontaught me about hospitality and continues to teach me that age is not a barrier and that generations can work together in the Kingdom work. She continues to be a source of encouragement and love.

Linda taught me unconditional love as she walked her husband and best friend through cancer and into Heaven. She taught me strength in Jesus as she battled her own cancer shortly thereafter and other than my Mom, she is the one who I clearly see the Joy of the Lord in at all times.

Becky  Doud- she taught me to love being a wife and Mom. She taught me about Jesus, about joy, about relishing my role, and how to Worship unabashedly.

Peggy Atkinson taught me what it looks like to stand by your man, especially in the ministry. She’s also loved my man as a son and that will forever impact me.

My Mother-in-Law- her continual sacrifices of love challenge me daily. Her love for Jesus and other’s is infectious. She teaches me to endure.

My Grandma. The definition of strength, and living for the Lord. Her entire life is a story of enduring and trusting the Lord and her legacy carries on.

Kathleen, my best friend since 7th grade. She’s taught me to rely on God when all else fails. She has taught me to live fearless.

These women, and so many more have a piece of my heart and have taught me so much.

So on this day of Mother’s- I want to honor you all. Mother’s and Aunt’s and Sister’s and Grandmother’s, and friends and teachers and mentors. Thank you. Bless you. 

Woman... woe-man... whoah, man!
If you know what movie this is from you are awesome.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

What's Goin' On

This time last year it was way rainy and yucky. We've had our thunderstorms the last week, but for the most part this spring has been sunny and lovely! 
The boys are loving being outside and roaming the big backyard.

This is the first time we've been able to let them off our deck to roam, and they are loving exploring. I think they like it better when Daddy is outside because they dig and pull weeds and that's more fun than chalk and bubbles apparently.

Lunch Al Fresco

When did they become this big?!

Jack has 3 weeks left of Preschool! He loves going, so I know he will miss it over the summer but it will be nice to not work around the schedule for a few months!

Speaking of a few months......3 until Jack turns 5. I'm sorta flipping out about this one. 5 always sounded so big and so far off to me. It's like a milestone Birthday to me, like 10 and 16....5 just seems way old. 

He was interviewed for a "kid's focus day" at church and I didn't know about it. They played the video and I totally cried.

Teacher: "Jack, what is your favorite Bible story?"

Jack " I like David and the giant and Jonah and the Whale too"

Teacher: "Why do you like Jonah and the Whale?"

Jack: "Because he prayed and then listened to God even after he was naughty"

Teacher: "Jack, what is Heaven like?"

Jack: "Well, Heaven is like a home..."

Died. Right there. He's LISTENING!!!!! 

First time doing this and Jack was hitting them over the fence....STUD

The twins are so vocal and hold these insane conversations, and with each other and other people. It's crazy how much they talk.

They have the best manners and are always saying "bless you" when you sneeze. 

We have some fun months ahead!

I get to go away with a good friend next weekend to the coast for a few days. So looking forward to this little retreat!

At the end of the month Trevor and I are going to Disneyland WITHOUT the kids! WAHOO!

Starbucks Happy Hour
Happy 10 Year Anniversary to us!
We of course, aren't telling Jack until we get home haha. 

June brings a little trip to Portland with my Mom to do two Trades of Hope parties! I get to see my best friend, and hopefully eat where she is working! She just graduated top of her class in culinary school and will be working at a fabulous restaurant in downtown Portland. She's pretty amazing. 

Early morning snuggles with my Bear

A little ankle updation:
I am doing really well and have begun doing a run/walk program to rehab myself! Hoping to be running 3 miles 3x a week in 6 weeks. So far it's feeling great!
My ultimate goal is the Half-Marathon I signed up for in September!!!

Jack and his cousin Miles. How handsome are they!?

Meet Chloe. My sister and brother-in-law got a Doggy! YAY!

Spring but feels like Summer

I think we need a bigger pool :)

He ran, he jumped, he slipped and fell. Stood up and said YAY!!

I love that I caught this

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Exciting News!

Exciting News!!

For all my local family and friends:
We have a new amazing fundraiser going on!
My sweet friend Lacie from Lacie Lauree Photography has shared this on her blog......

“Adoption is rewarding. But the process, as we have already detailed in some particulars, can be expensive, exhausting, and hard to sustain on a dream, much less a whim.”
― Scott SimonBaby, We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption
Do you want to do something beautiful for God? There is a person who needs you. This is your chance.
Mother Teresa
I have always felt that God has given me this love and this gift of photography. What I also love is to be able to use this gift to give back, to help others.
This is the Bowen family.
I keep writing words and then deleting them because nothing seems to say exactly what I feel or am thinking. So here it is in a nutshell version.
Krystle and I went to high school together. Friends in high school, lost touch, Facebook brought us back together when we were both pregnant with our sons. Ever since then it’s been a beautiful, blessed, and solid friendship. I admire her for every ounce that she is. Her husband is pretty rad too! And her kiddos…… complete blessings.
This family has a heart of gold. But not only that, they have a heart full of the love of Jesus. So full in fact that they want to pour that love out on another kiddo. Krystle, Trever, Jack, Christian and Camden would love to add another child into their home. This has been something that the Lord has really been speaking to them. Krystle is a CE for Trades of Hope and had the opportunity to travel to Haiti to see the products made by the people there. While there she visited an orphanage. Once home the decision was made… LET’S DO THIS.
From their site: We are beyond excited to start the process of adoption. We are stepping into this with great anticipcation and prayer.  We know the road ahead of us with have many ups and downs, surprises and dissapoinment. We also know that we are not walking through this alone!The Lord has clearly laid this on our hearts and we are confident in his provision for us both emotionally and financially. Adoption is expensive. The cost ranges from $18,000-$30,000 and we can’t afford it without help. We are committed to doing our part and are also reaching out and asking you to help us bring home Bowen Baby #4!
My heart would be so full if you would help me gift to this family and help in their fund for adoption.
BID on this awesome photo session.
What does it include?
You get your choice of 
1 Family Session of up to 5 people, 1-2 Hour Session, 1 Location, online gallery to share with friends and family, a custom thumb drive with ALL of your processed images!
or you can choose
2 mini sessions for the rest of the 2013 year. Do a summer session and then a fall/winter session. A mini session is a 30 minute session, 1 location, online gallery to share with friends and family and once again ALL of your processed images!

Please help support an AMAZING journey! With your help the Bowen family will be able to be SO much closer in the adoption and you get family pictures!
You do not want to miss out on this auction!
If you have any questions at all please send an email to
♥ Lacie
Once again here is the link
Other ways you can help.
Click HERE to be taken to their official fundraiser site.
Click HERE to be taken to Krystle Bowen, CE for Trades of Hope. All her profits go to the adoption fund!