Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lauka Wedding | Lansing, MI Wedding Photographer

To say Bri was a beautiful bride is an understatement. Isn't she stunning?!?!?! This wedding was an absolute blast to shoot! The ceremony beautiful, the wedding party hysterical, the reception a dance par-taaaaaaay! Loved every minute!

(click on the images to enlarge. it's worth it!)

The first look from the Father of the Bride was breathtaking.

Justin and Bri, you two are rock stars. Just LOOK at you!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Baliko Wedding - Smithfield VA Wedding Photographer

To the dearest Chris and Deb, you graced us all with your excitement, your kindness, and your love. It was an honor serving you on your wedding day.

Enjoy the beauty and fierceness that is Chris and Deborah Baliko. :)


The sunlight was dreeeeeeeeeeeamy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

she's needed me lately.

Mommy, I just want to be with you.

Mama, can we have some time, just me and you?

Mama, let's have some special time together.


SERIOUSLY??? No, I am not dreaming. This really is my life. This really is her heart toward me. I am blessed. But if I'm not in tune with her, or with myself even, it's easy to miss these clues into her little soul. It's easy to pass it off, or shush her or tell her why it's just not always practical to spend one-on-one time together because after all there's Zion and he's two and he doesn't just go away and when will we because of school and art class and ballet and then dinner and oh storytime and Look Daddy's home or why don't we just play girl toys and boy toys simultaneously?

Yeah, that makes soooooo much sense to a 4 year old.


It doesn't make much sense to me either.

Honestly, I give my crazy awesome God all the kudos here because the truth is, I haven't done any of that. And trust me when I say it's easy to do so. But lately, it's like our hearts are entwined in this wonderful way and we get each other and feel each other and know just what to do. Jersey and I. We're like chocolate and peanut butter. We just go together.

Just look at us. :)

And Zion, well, he just takes it over the edge with goodness.

So even though our daily life of Mama and Jersey and Zion is wonderful and full of fun and learning (like the fun kid kind) and love and cuddles and kisses and hugs and food and peace, I'm taking a moment to step back. I don't anticipate the inauguration of any new schedule or anything, I like our life, my kids like our life. It works. They're thriving. It's just now, for a couple weeks, Jersey just might need a little more thoughtfulness, a little more eye contact, a little more Mama. And it's something I'm meant to navigate, to sort out where God wants me to engage and where he wants me to let HIM engage.

I'm so honored to be the one that gets to see glimpses into her heart and be there to spur her onward.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Zion Joseph.

Cracked tiles pasted within bright stars, my soul is racing,
plotting a course between yours and mine.

Hope you have time to rest upon my heart,
for I think it's time to make a color no one has ever seen.

Jersey Christine.


The Eskimos have a thousand words for snow.
I wish I had a thousand words for love but all that comes to mind is the way you make my heart dance at the sight of you and there are no words for that.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

on Mommy marathons and icky job/illness inflicted solitude.

**Click to see larger. It's worth it.**

My husband's job that is. Oh, and my husband's illness.

**Disclaimer: This post is meant to neither impugn my wonderful, hot, hardworking husband or his job. Seriously. It's meant to merely complain.**

My hubby doesn't read my blog anyway. :)

So here's how it goes down.

6:00 a.m. Hubby's alarm sounds. No bother, it's the kind that simulates the altogether soothing sound of church bells. Oh, and it commences softly, like your sweet Mama's voice on Monday mornin' when it's time for school. And he turns it off before it gets obnoxious.

by 7 a.m. One of my darling kids decides it's the perfect time to meet the day. Or at least to jump in bed with yours truly. Zion is particularly endearing and well, interested. In cuddling with me that is.

7:30 a.m. We make a choice. Breakfast at the coffee table? Insert watching child's brain turn to a watery pulp as they watch the boob tube. Why do they call it that? -OR- Breakfast at the table with charming morning banter about nightime dreams and plans for the day. I'm ashamed to say it's usually the making and loathing of watery pulp.

9:30 a.m. Do we play? Do we hit Target? I'm sure we need something. Oh yes, we go to the Pool. My kids are in heaven and well, so am I.

12 noon Lunch at home or at the pool.

12:45 p.m. Quiet Time & Nap for the kids while I enjoy a little bill paying, virtual-internet swashbuckling, or some good ol' fashioned R&R. For the record, the swashbuckling consists mainly of mommy blogs, facebook and email. It's really not that adventurous. It would be more accurately described as virtual-internet slothful relaxation. Or downtime.

1:45 p.m. Jersey is asking if her Quiet Time can be over.

1:47 p.m. Jersey is asking if her Quiet Time can be over.

1:49 p.m. Jersey is asking if her Quiet Time can be over.

1:49 p.m. I let her get up. We get a treat and find a nice spot to play Polly Pockets or American Girl or baby dolls. Polly Pockets is my her my current favorite. We play and pretend and teach our Polly Pockets to think of others before themselves. It's really quite charming.

3:00 p.m. Zion wakes up and joins the fun, only we add farm animals, cars, trucks, motorcycles and baseballs. Polly Pocket takes leisurely rides on said farm animals and car crash after car crash after car crash ensues. On the coffee table. Off the coffee table. Aaaaaaaand we do it again. This is actually one of the most wonderful things to do with him. He's pretty much de-lish.

4:00 p.m. Oprah? This is a recent thing. I keep telling myself I'm on vacation and it's okay.

5:00 p.m. Storytime on the couch. Some days yes, some days no. But only by lack of remembering.

5:45 p.m. I should start dinner. Then again Brian hasn't been getting home until...

6:00 p.m. I've forgotten about dinner.

6:15 p.m. Remember dinner but realize it's too late to make anything meaningful. I'm thinking Brian will be home any second and maybe something magical will happen like he'll walk through the door with Papa John's. Afterall, I'm on vacation.

6:30 p.m. I'm forgetting that my kids need to eat so they can go to bed, but the fact that Brian isn't home is tricking my mind into thinking it's 5:00.

7:00 p.m. Brian walks through the door with Papa John's. We eat, we play, the kids are in heaven with Daddy home.

8:00 p.m. (unless they're having a particularly good time, then it's more like 8:45... errr... even 9:00) Kid's Bedtime. Brian takes Jers. I take Zion.

8:30 p.m. Yes! Time with my man. Maybe we can have an invigorating metadiscourse about world peace and spending money on high-end shoes. Oh yeah, he's sick. Bummer. I guess it's hard core analysis of market segmentation as it relates to Cheer, Era, and Dreft. Usually Dreft. I actually happen to dig this topic.

10:00 p.m. Talk of bedtime drags me down. I'm feeling spent and lonely and desperate for some real time with Brian, other Moms. Mostly Brian.

Can anyone relate? Do you see all the loveliness of my day or did I centralize too much on the negative? I'm actually quite happy and content with my life. I actually love my life. But as much as my kids fill me up with joy and love and laughter and peace, they also drain me. And that's not a criticism or an admission of their high-maintenance-ness. It's just the truth for all Kid-Parent relationships. Anyway, can anyone relate? Oh, and did this sound contrived? Seriously.

Friday, May 14, 2010

**Robles Wedding Sneak Peek** | NoVA Wedding Photographer

This bride and groom were sooooooooo precious!!! I loved every minute working with them and being a part of their incredible day! A & C enjoy your sneak peek!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

and they played, and they played, and they played...

I must admit I was getting a little concerned.

Jersey wants to play but Zion renders it as Jersey wants to control his life, which she does. Zion screeches, Jersey chides, to a fault. They arm wrestle, head-lock cuddle, schlepping along with deafening screeches and other stress inducing sounds. I worry that if sibling rivalry is setting in this early, I'm in for it.

He pummels her over the head with a hollow bowling ball and she laughs. She calls for me. *Mamaaaaa, watch this! Zion does something that is SO FUNNY and I just CRACK up!* I'm so confused.

Today they played together for hours, just them. *smile* The dining room table became a wondrous haven for snuggling blankets and pretending to watch movies on the biiiiiiig screen, drinking sippies 'til they were wasted in sibling ecstasy. They giggled. It was oh so good. Jersey dressed him in fairy wings while he chose the plastic blue basket to adorn his head and the broken blinds rod to use as a sword. He followed her around the house just waiting to see what she'd do next, so he could do it too. He'd avert, then follow again. Our white, gargantuan down comforter has become the Cloud that bears the brunt of many a dive and jump and the occasional pretend nite-nite. They seemed to have an endless array of options that looked just glorious to them. They were in some sort of Atlantis of their very own with fun galore and much, much more to think up.

They enjoyed each other.

Wow, that does the heart good.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake and death to inertia.

I am completely at a loss for this oddity that happens all. the. time in life.

Not looking for Strawberry Shortcake gear: It's EVERYwhere. Looking for Strawberry Shortcake gear: "I'm sorry, ma'am, all of our Strawberry Shortcake stuff is due in 3 weeks."


Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeee creative. Truth is, whatever happens, my little 4 year old-to-be just cares about fun and friends. The Martha Stewart award is impervious to her thrills and enjoyment of the day. Must let it go.

Oh, and check out the evolution of said Strawberry girl:

I miss the old one. She was cuter and chubbier. Why do they put our little girl role models on weird diets? The Care Bears did it too. Just for kicks here they are:

Oh, speaking of weird diets, and ahhh yes, death to inertia, I've kept my house pristine for a whole week and I've still played with my kids and I've breathed and I've homeschooled and I am on a diet.

Please, no emails. It's ok. A girl needs to at least try to bust those obstinate baby pounds and increased presence of cellulite! Seriously. Anyway, I'm on it. But in case you see me this summer and said cellulite is still glaringly accounted for to an offensive degree, don't judge me. Grace. Ahhhhh, sweet grace.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

*shrinking sheepishly at latest mama-wife manifesto*



Empty dishwasher promptly at 8:30a.m. so as not to allow dirty, nastiness pile up during the day.

Pick up after yourself.

Pick up after Jersey. Teach Jersey to pick up after herself.

Pick up after Zion.

Homeschool Jersey with patience and remind yourself that this is heaven. Because it kind of is.

Eat healthily. (ie. add veggies, subtract sweets, eat salads ALL THE TIME until convinced)

When passing a used tissue on the floor, do not step over. Pick up. Throw away.

Do not exceed snooze limit of 3 times. Not ever. Get up. And tonight, remember how tired you were and try going to bed earlier. Just once.

Do dishes after dinner even though you sometimes always feel like you've run a 10k. Backwards. Really fast.



Baby doll passies mingling against their will with used Popsicle sticks and scribbled on paper my daughter's art.

Totino's frozen pizza that I bought for $1.59 is lookin' real good. Can't resist. Must preheat oven to 400 degrees asap. Before I change my mind.

On-the-Go Drink Mix packets and juice stained water bottles lying EVERYWHERE!

Homeschool assignments left undone. Plans left unplanned.

Zion's dry, stale cereal crumbs found in the following places: including, but not limited to, his high chair and within said toddler's throw range, every inch of family room floor, coffee table, my slippers, his hair, my hair, and floating in sippy.

Agendas looming.

Sweating cheese left from quiet time, quietly quiet on the floor beside my daughter's bed.

Clean laundry unfolded in a pile. Pause. Take second look. Remove pizza encrusted polo shirt. Yes, ahhhh, clean laundry pile. Note the word "unfolded".

Perfectly edible and planned-for-tomorrow dinner leftovers found 3 hours later still on counter. huff.


I'm getting better. I am.

I am!


I'd write out my progress but I can see this post is getting tired. Just trust me. I'm facing the fact that in my current state I'm lazy. And when I realized this, I scoured my brain for a magic solution for I didn't feel like working to fix it.


Disclaimer: My husband would say I'm not giving myself enough credit. Maybe I'm not. This is just my life as I see it, but then again I tend to wear funny glasses. And my house isn't always like this. Just sometimes. :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

my Zion.

I love his many faces, the many windows into his heart.
*I CANNOT get enough of him.*

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

*Farewell, old one. This girl's got new digs*


I'm insecure.


I said it.

I did.

Because you know what? If I can name it and proclaim it then my cell begins to rattle and quake and my chains begin to let up a bit. And that feels good.

It will feel good for you too. Go ahead, stretch those arms and feel freedom.

I used to be too insecure to admit that I am insecure. Ha! I didn't want to be branded. I didn't want to be one of them. They act weird and look weird and they're annoying.

Aren't they?

Maybe, but aren't we all to some degree, no matter our condition? The fact of the matter is, us insecure folk come in a myriad of exotic shapes and fancy colors. I'm just one. And that girl I once knew that I always think of as being the poster child for insecurity, she's just another color too. Just another crazy shape. No better or worse than me, just different. You're different too. We're on variant levels with insecurities that lie in variant places, but we're all in this together. Our culture is converging it's little minions on every front and nurturing our feelings of self-doubt and it's about time we stand with our God and say enough is enough! He is mighty to save. He is able. Let us stand, seek Him, hear Him, and believe Him when He whispers His words of love to our hearts.

In the words of Beth, [I am on a] quest for real, lasting, soul-changing security. I'd be honored if you care to join me.

(Resources: Praying God's Word by Beth Moore; Victory Over the Darkness by Neil T. Anderson; So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore)


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

it is no longer discretional. it is now requisite.

I will write.

Errrrrr. There they are again.

Oh excuse me, what? I'm sorry, I'm losing consciousness of your existence in my ever-loving TREE! Hmmmmm, what's that? You think I'm a fraud? Shallow? Ridiculous? Lowly? Simple? Yeah me too. But my crazy, lovely God doesn't agree. I'm bettin' on Him these days. He loves me and thinks I'm great.

So there.

You know I've always been a writer. Not a good writer necessarily, but a writer. At heart. There is so much technically wrong with my writing it's hideous, absurd that I would even begin to pursue this, give it my level best. But I am. Call me crazy, but this is what my crazy God is inviting me to do. May take years. But I'm in.

I could suppose and doubt and wallow all I want but it's silly. It's just silly. God is bigger than that, and I'm His.

So here it is.

Fierce Love.

No limits.

That's what I'm writing, and it's going to be great. Because it's His Word, not divulged from my own experiences or self-attained wisdom 'cause it's just not there. I'm an amateur and I'm sketchy and I'm underdeveloped. However, let us not overstate the obvious. It doesn't ALWAYS bear repeating over and over again. We're acutely aware of our my humanness. What I want to centralize on is God's greatness. HIS capacity. Because that's where all these so-called pipe dreams are going to derive from. So then I guess they're not pipe dreams after all. Nice.

Here I am, trying fiercely to cling to truth rather than earlier said caustic soul-battering slurs that often intrude upon my joy and trying instead to listen to Him. Because He's great and He's lovely and He's wonderful and I'm convinced He speaks nothing but the cold, hard facts. Which in His case are never that I guess, never cold, never hard. Always kind, sometimes reproving, but always love.

So on that note, how do you love fiercely? No limits, regardless of the who or the what that he or she did or didn't do. Regardless. Just regardless. How do you do it? And don't just say, 'by His grace and only by His grace' or 'by the blood' or other aforementioned Bible jargon that is so beautifully right on, but come on, tell me true. Whacha got? Give it to me scrate.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

yummy blather that makes my heart all ooey-gooey like.

At the end of the day, if I've heard just ONE of these from my son, I don't have the option to call it a bad day. It just isn't.

Here is my current list of swooning lines from my squishy boy:
(Zion, 17 months old)

*Ah Da Doe?* (translation: *Where did __________ go?*) You have to ask him what he's looking for but the boy will tell you. It's usually one of the following: Dada (this is a big one), Passy (hmmmm, this one might be the biggest), Cheetah, or Sissy (he's asking this one more and more. Boy, he loves her.) Oh, and you have to picture the "Da" part at a much higher octave.

*Yay-Yaaaaay!* (translation: *Sisseeeeeeee!* It sounds nothing like "sissy" but it's what I want to say when I think of her too.)

*Tee-Taaaaah. Tee-Taaaaaah* (translation: *Cheetaaaaah. Cheeeeetah.* When it's time for night night he needs his Cheetahs, one for each hand, thus the cries for his kitties.)

*Ah Wu Wu Wu* (translation: *I love you*) :)

*Thee-Ahhheeee-Ohhhh-Eeeen* (this is Zion spelling his name, repeating each letter after us. Z-I-O-N)

*Nin* (translation: *Again!* to being thrown on the bed, thrown in the air, flown around the house and other such fun and he's saying it before said act of fun is even over! so cute.)

*Ninu* (translation: *Menu* letting you know the DVD Menu is up and it's sooo time to push PLAY. He just sits on the couch, *Ninu! Ninu! Ninu!*

and I couldn't leave out...

*Mama. Mama. Mama.* (no translation needed. :) He says it perfectly. :) He calls me when he wants to show me something silly that he's doing, when he falls, when he's stuck, when he wants to be held, when he doesn't know where I am, when he throws something he knows he shouldn't into the toilet, you know, normal times like that. And if I don't answer right away the volume is boosted one notch at a time and the syllables become more and more elongated. There's just nothin' like it.

So here's the dealio, when I start to complain or get down or just feel yucky, I look at my kids. They are bright light and warm sun and happiness and every synonym that exists for goodness. They make my little innards leap at the sight of them. :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Maple Brown Sugar meets Crap.

Let's get one thing straight.

My life is not a relentless stream of episodes of charming baby doll play, patient games of Candy Land in a room filled with streams of warm sun, cozy cuddles with my small blond steed and sticky sweet longings to be an even better mother. Oh please.

Don't get me wrong, gosh, these moments exist, often even. But I also have days where I walk around my house thinking... I can't do this... and feeling demotivated with no initiative and desperate pleas of Oh heaven, I'm begging you to send some angels my way to be her panel for the next 5 hours until bedtime because I cannot answer one. more. question.

I hate writing this. I fear you don't know my heart fully enough and the degree of gut-wrenching love I have for my children, my love for motherhood. The truth is, I often feel lost, bleary, uninspired and otherwise distracted from the good life. That's the truth.

But alas I intentionally spill my can of crap to show that my life in indeed not always smothered in maple brown sugar and hopes of an even brighter day. It's sometimes something far uglier.

So there you have it. What you will find here is the depth of my heart, all of it, errrr, most of it. But hopefully it will be a candid, veracious balance of real life. Living day by day and not loving every minute. Just most. :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

FIERCE LOVE. No limits.

So this is my current compelling but shaking-in-my-boots-at-the-very-sound-of-it mantra. Fierce love. No limits. An act of the will. No matter what.

I can't do it. Not even close.

I am mesmerized and awe-struck at the love I've witnessed in others. Inspired even. I haven't had to love like this. Yet. I'm captivated and otherwise charmed by the love of a fellow Mama, Kate, who both suffered and embraced a level of love for her lost son that is equal parts heart-wrenching and beautiful. Or Gayle Haggard who chose to love her husband because of who he was, not what he did.

Without fear.
By choice.
Given freely without asking anything in return.
Does not lose heart.
Perseveres patiently and bravely.
Endures misfortunes and troubles.
Does not envy.
Does not parade itself about.
Is not provoked, irritated, angered or exasperated.
Does not rejoice in injustice.
Endures all things.
Conceals the errors of others.
Never fails. Ever.

Nope, can't do it. I can't seem to love like this. Oh, I want to be loved like this, but I can't pay it back.

*May the Lord make you increase and overflow in love for one another. This love, agape, is love by choice, an act of the will; an unconditional love demonstrated by an undefeatable benevolence and unconquerable goodwill that always seeks the highest good of the other no matter what; a self-sacrificing love that is given freely without asking anything in return and without considering the worth of it's object. You do this so that God may establish and strengthen your hearts as blameless and holy before your God and Father.* 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 (taken from several sources: 'In Pursuit of God's Heart' by R. Crawford, NIV, and Strong's Concordance)

So with God I'm decked out, geared up, stocked, feathered and endowed. He will increase my love for others. Terrential downpours of sticky sweet, undying, enduring-heaping-mountains-of-crap-with-not-the-least-bit-of-ill-will, patient, kind, long-lasting love all for me to dish out to my preferred list of love suckers, I mean, friends and family.

That sounded crass. Was that crass? Darn, meant to sound genuine, honestly.

I'm merely scratching the surface with my attempts at this ridiculous, crazy love that I know is being asked of me. My amazingly beautiful, majestic, gloriously gracious God is asking me to love like this. Because I think, with His unrelenting help, it's possible. Christine Marie Sweet, choose love even when it hurts. Even with it feels like a thorn, no, a machete in your side. Even when your spent, empty. Even when it's undeserved. Do it especially then.

O God, are you here? Are you listening? I need you for this so desperately. How I long to love my husband, children, everyone the way you endlessly love me. I'm at least armed. I'm at least presumably equipped. What am I saying, I'm totally equipped. Hmmm, now how do you use this blooming thing? Anyway, we'll see how it pans out. Stay tuned, or call my husband at 757-333-LOVE.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Just them.

What if at the end of the day I'm not doing what really matters? Like playing with my kids, really playing, quality playing, and not the kind where I'm acting like I'm playing but my mind is elsewhere, on dirty dishes, or showers, or facebook, or God even.

Yes, I really said that.

Because when it's 7:30 at night and I'm sighing in relief at bedtime's final arrival, I wonder. Did I see them today? Did I hear them, listen to them? And it's not 5 minutes after they're sound asleep that I don't ache to go in and scoop Zion up out of his crib and hold him for a while, nestled on my chest, knowing him. Or to slip into bed with Jersey under her flannel sheets next to her warm skin and soft hair, breathing her in and begging God to make her stay like this forever. It happens so often like this.

These indescribably normal, everyday moments are hissing by me so fast I'm wracked with whiplash and I don't know how to pause time and cement these frames of glorious-ness in mind and know that in 25 years I can go back and hold my kids, warm from a nap in my arms and it makes me mad.

There's nothing better than them. Just them in their clothes that smell of breakfast and disheveled hair and really wet kisses. Hearing Zion say *Mama, Mamaaa, MAMAAAAA* with intensity and love and Jersey telling me about baby dolls, and Astro Girl, and friends, and summer. Seeing her come into my room in the morning and telling me it's too sunny and not meaning the sun but my lamp. Feeling the weight of my son grow heavier with each turn of the page of The Big Red Barn as he makes his way to sleep and peace. Hearing about Jersey's day at school with expressions I don't recognize because she's growing so stunningly fast. Watching her enter a reality that is tangible to her as she sings over, dresses and nurses her baby doll, taking time and care and patience. Hearing Zion say, i wu wu wu, and noon, and aiwuhwuh with arms held up, and theth, and dado, and tith, and the like and knowing exactly what he means and just how to make it better. Accepting a hopeful request from Jersey to play baby dolls or a game and seeing her light up when I say yes.

No, there's really nothing better than them.

In light of this, here are some pictures, unedited, unscripted, unposed. Just them.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hear O Israel and the like.

So this morning I was praying through a few scriptures for my hot man and kids and heard myself muttering Bible lingo like it was my job (phrase credit: K. McGrath). You know words like *behold* and *O God* and *beseech*. Hmmm, yeah, so I don't actually talk like that, so why do I talk to God like that? Can't you just hear me? *I beseech you therefore, O Brian, to live this moment worthy of your calling as 'Dada' and change this godforsaken diaper. Hear O Husband, I ask that you would not allow any negative thought to enter your mind concerning me, but instead be transformed into the likeness of our Lord, the Holy One of Israel.*

Never said it.

I don't know though, there's something about praying like that, using the very words of scripture when talking to our awesome God that just feels good to me. I have a lot of friends who have eighty-sixed this way of praying and adopted more modern jargon when talking to *JC* in an effort to be more feel-real or authentic. I get it, I so do, and I think it rocks. But for me, in a good way, there's something other-worldly about God, and so when I'm communicating with Him it just feels appropriate to sound like I'm from another planet too.

So on that note, this is my prayer for you. Today. This moment.

God I pray that each of my friends and family would acknowledge you, the God of their fathers, and serve you with whole-hearted devotion and with a willing mind, for you search their hearts and you understand every motive behind their thoughts. (1 Chronicles 28:9) May they be clear-minded and self-controlled so they can pray. (1 Peter 4:7) Prepare their minds for action, O God and may they set their hope fully on Christ Jesus. (1 Peter 1:13) Pour out your Spirit on them that they would be ever increasing in their knowledge of you and may they have the power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. May they know this love that surpasses knowledge that they may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:18)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

caustic soul madness and deflated balloons.

My heart is on the verge of something great, revolutionary even; To my soul anyway. I'm getting this sense, this feeling. Presumptively I believe it's "the Lord", soberly I believe it's something far more mortal. My resident guerrillas inevitably emerge to hose me with their caustic soul-battering slurs of *Fraud! Fraud! Fraud! You silly little girl with your deflated, subject-to-pooling-where-you-lie-stomach and your shallow mind, and your godforsaken well of so-called knowledge. You'll be found out, you will.*


The truth is, I've learned to be amused by their banterings, their curses. They've become less consequential, less inducing. Indeed, I've happened upon the God who holds my breath in His hands and owns all my ways. He has captured me fully. I am now undeniably and irrevocably His; always have been. There's something about the written Word of God that just makes things better, simpler, more sound. Oh crap! Here they come. *Seriously, Christie? You've just now figured this out?*

*Silly Satan.*

So yeah, so my stomach looks, in part, like it belongs to an 80 year old. It's been inflated and deflated twice with two glorious, state-of-the-art kids to show for it and my knack for knowledge and wisdom and the like is puny at best. But so what? My Dad is God, ok?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

what if I'm not interesting.

So does the fact that I ended a question with a period make me interesting? Or, oh, I've got it, the fact that it thrills my heart incessantly when I get to type in those security checks when you're buying something online or commenting on someone's blog and they read things like "Tuesday Lunatic" or "Panther Cheese". I love the freedom in writing two words together that are haphazard and fortuitous. Happiness.

I want to be like her when I get older.

Or I at least want the freedom to do what she's doing at some point on some random occasion. Like one minute I'm workin' some crossword puzzle in the Reader's Digest and the next I'm like, "Oh hells yes, I need my fuchsia pants NOW, and where are my Kristoff Maduros and my sneakers?" Sometimes you just need that. I guess.

I'm at least wearing Elf socks and flashing 4th of July earrings when the occasion is appropriate and I might not wait 'til I'm 65.

Friday, January 29, 2010

trees in winter.

Void. Grey. Dead, brittle wood stretches, climbs like ambitious businessmen from frozen dirt. Cold and sparse, dense and unorganized, life hibernating for endless miles, as far as the eye can see. Airy in it's entirety, dry, yet somehow still beautiful because I know what is within, what is to come.

I am filled with longing and hope.

Sometimes I see my heart this way. Not always, sometimes. I see my resident condition as this arid but frozen plot of ground. I know life and color are eminent yet elusive in my sense of hope. Maybe that is not hope at all. Maybe I'm kidding myself. Maybe it's all a mirage, simply a comforting idea like drinking Hot Chocolate while decorating your Christmas tree when in reality you stuffed yourself at dinner and tasted the cookie dough so much you feel nauseous and weighted. You still drink it though. As if not doing so would render the evening less memorable. I do this all the time.

So maybe if I didn't hope for freedom and a Savior, my life would mean less, have less significance. But then as assuredly as my doubt emerges, my so-called faith rises to meet my thoughts and mind, my heart. This doubting is ludicrous. Haven't I enough evidence, both physical and spiritual to anchor my wandering, unpredictable, freakishly inconsistent heart forever? Indeed I do.

But for today, I remain alien to this world of peace that supposedly transcends our understanding. I remain, for today, a skeptic, possibly a cynic even.

Oh God, if you hear the groanings of your people, hear me now. For I am a wandering child striving desperately to chart my path but observing only brittle tree after tree. Every one looking identical to the others before them, no way to possibly know where I'm going or certainly where I've been. No landmark. No map. I feel lost. Your Word even at times remains confusing, unfathomable. I long for a way out. Not sure if you can help, hoping beyond all hope that you are who you claim to be. Help me with my unbelief. I have resolved to go on, even to wander until I find You. Until You find me.

Monday, January 25, 2010

my awesome Mom and Pops.

So I don't think I've had more fun photographing anyone in my life. My folks are crazy yo. But super cute!

This next one is after telling them to look like they're in love...

And THIS next one is after I told them to look like they're on the cover of "Silver Retirement Cosmopolitan" or something like that...

They actually started acting like their bones were on fire. Holy Mother they're so crazy.

And pre-shoot, I needed to test my light. When my Dad saw that I was taking a picture of him, this is what he did. Seriously dude? I love him. I love her.