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Friday, February 25, 2011

Faith Comes Softly: Dedication

Maggie Lu was dedicated in January in our new church. It was a crazy day because we also unexpectedly put an offer on a house that day. So we were running from that to church which meets at night. Church was being held in a different venue that evening. Instead of being quiet and dim, it felt loud and bright. Maybe our senses were heightened because of the big decision we had just made.
We had a chance to stand in front of our congregation, our family, and our God and do two things. We vowed to raise our children and specifically Maggie in the truths that Jesus came to teach and the grace he died to give. We also asked for help because that is a heavy job. Thankfully so many people are up to helping us.
My hope for Maggie is that she will decide to take the risk of looking and feeling like a fool and embrace faith in Christ.

Maggie at six months.

My sweet Maggie Lu has been with us for half a year.

In this picture she looks very similar to Schroe.

Thanks to Auntie Katie for having cool taste. She works at Banana Republic and hooked Maggie up with this outfit for Christmas. Thanks to Uncle Josh for having good taste in women.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Let's Go....Ice Skating

Stephen and I took D'arcy the Brave to the Ice Skating rink in November. We don't ice skate regularly, but we had a great time. We did lots of laughing, smiling, and hand holding. We were enjoying each other as we watched our little girl try something new.
So many smiles in family photographs are fake. manufactured. unauthentic. Sure, we love our families, but, many times, we don't LIKE them on picture day. Parents are fussing about the kids hair and clothes. They end up yelling at each other. It's stressful.
I want to capture authentic smiles. real moments. So I'm challenging my clients to do Let's Go! sessions. Let's go and do something, skating, mini-golf, picnicing, bowling, walking the dog, eating ice cream, playing football. Get creative.
I enlisted Elaine & Patrick to go ice skating to give you guys a glimpse of what a Let's Go! session might look like. Elaine was hoping Patrick would propose the whole session. Well, they are already married, but she just thought it would make every one else's day to see someone get engaged on ice.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Melissa + Joy : SATURATED | February Red

This is a photo of my husband at Target at 8:30 on February 13 pretending to look for the perfect Valentines Day Card. These are the actual flowers that Joy's husband brought her for Valentines Day. I'm thankful that we both have loving husbands. I'm also thankful for the color red. It is beautiful.

Racheal is having a baby!

It's cold outside so it's been challenging to find locations to photograph. Rachael can't wait till spring because by then she'll have a baby in her arms. So I called up my good friend Jill Gosnell at Indy Cakes. Jill and I have known each other since high school. We were in color guard together. We were bridesmaids in each others weddings, and she made my wedding cake. It was yummy AND beautiful! Check more of her cakes out at Anyway, she agreed to let us use her cake shop for Rachael's maternity session. She even made this couple some cupcakes to make the session more interesting. Thanks Jill, and thanks Rachael for trusting me. Hopefully this will help you remember how SWEET it was to be expecting your first little baby. Was that too corny?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Raising Maggie

Maggie is a fourth child. That is why I haven't updated you on her life progress in several months. That might also be why she was thirteen pounds at her last checkup instead of sixteen like D'arcy was at her age. I told the doctor I didn't think I was doing anything differently. I'm nursing her at the same intervals. The doctor reminded me that I have three other children at home. Yeah, I guess I never nursed D'arcy while a one year old was trying to scale me from the front, from the back, from the side. It's ok, Maggie is fine with three thigh rolls instead of six. Just in case, though, I am still feeding her once at night and lots of cereal mixed with formula.

She is doing all the normal things, pooping, crying, smiling, rolling over, grabbing her feet, pseudo sitting up. I like to call our babies little stroke victims. No offense intended. They just don't know how to use their hands properly. They overreach and can't grab causing things to knock over. She's recovering from her stroke of infancy very well, though, and is already an expert at popping her pacifier in and out of her mouth.

We are still living at our in laws and for lack of room, she is sleeping in our walk in closet. All was well until she started rolling over. This caused us to stop swaddling. This caused her to cry at night which made mommy want to shake her. This caused Daddy to wake up in spite of his deafness in one ear. So you see that both of us were at our wits end. It was hard to let her cry it out even for ten minutes because she was right there in our room. So, I cleaned out the closet, popped up the pack n play. Now we all get plenty of sleep.

I'm spending lots of moments holding her trying to remember her at this tiny age. She's been grabbing my face with her little hands and giving me sweet open mouthed kisses. My mom said once that she doesn't laugh much, but she always seems amused. This is true. She is just a little, dainty, sweet thing with lots of stick straight blond hair. It's much more tame than a couple of months ago, but now is suffering from winter dryness. My sister said her hair looks like Christopher Lloyd's. Now it gets conditioned.

Her siblings love her. We are trying to convince D'arcy that she isn't her personal, live baby doll. Julian loves giving her kisses on the head. Schroeder calls her baby. "Hey baby"..."Hey baby". He has all good intentions but he can get a little rough. This baby likes me best, though. When someone else is holding her, I can't look at her because if we lock eyes she'll cry until I take her back. I think it's kind of cute, but other people aren't amused. Her daddy finds it annoying. I've never had a baby who was so attached to me. Thankfully, she isn't to the point of throwing a fit if I leave her with a babysitter or in the nursery.

The plan is to take some six months photos in the next week so be on the lookout for more photos of Miss Maggie Lu.


I thought we had made this decision, but we are moving downtown. The options have changed. So now we are wading through the school swamp.

Diversity. Rigor of Academics. Curriculum. Teachers. Distance. Money. Sacrifice. Parent Involvement. Safety. Faith.

These are all considerations. The question is which are most important? For D'arcy? For Julian? For Schroeder and Maggie Lu? For the fifth child we plan to have? For Stephen and I?

If I were to prioritize these values, my list would probably look different than a lot of my friends. Friends who are fantastic parents. That makes me pause and wonder what that makes me. This decision cannot be made on insecurity, though.

In broad strokes, what I want for my kids is simple. I want them to be adults that can embrace faith, love and be loved, and positively contribute to their community. I'm betting this can be achieved regardless of the school I choose for them.

Still, We are going to keep filling out application forms for public magnet schools, for some private schools, for some public charter schools (one even that is a hybrid school), and for some local public schools. Stephen and I will pray for wisdom on what choice to make. We'll hopefully find ourselves on the other side of this swamp sometime in April. Then we'll prepare to resist the urge to defend ourselves when someone raises their eyebrow to our choices.