Monday, June 30, 2008

A few funnies

In place of MBS, I've got a few mama stories for you.

This one is just pure mama pride. For a few days this summer, I've let M run around in a t-shirt and bare on the bottom. She's more interested in trying the whole potty thing when the air is there. Today we had a sweet friend over who is 4 1/2, so obviously potty trained. When he went to the bathroom, M decided she needed to try, too. So off her diaper came and she tee-teed on the potty. I just put her shorts on with no diaper. When it was time to meet H for dinner, she wanted to wear big girl underpants. I dressed her in a big girl get-up and off we went. I'm thrilled to report that not only did we NOT have an accident at the restaurant, but she tee-teed in the restroom there! YAHOO!!!

On the way home from the restaurant, M was her normal chatterbox self. I needed some quiet, so I kept saying, "Hush," every single time she tried to talk to me. She got quiet for about 3 seconds (that's her record right now). Then I heard her whispering, "Natalie...Natalie....NATALIE...NATALIE..." I suppose when Mama doesn't work, try the other name.

During bathtime tonight, I was being a responsible parent and checking my e-mail while she was soaking. (My bedroom is DIRECTLY across the hall from the bathroom. Two giant steps and I can see her.) I heard her say something about her soap. When I went to check on her (she'd only been alone for about 2 minutes), she was pouring sudsy bubbles out of her used-to-be-nearly-full bathwash container. She decided she needed more bubbles and emptied her bathwash into the tub.

These are our days right now. From the moment we wake up until the moment I put her down, she's into something. I'm not exactly sure who abducted my daughter, but could you PLEASE send her back?

All my pictures last week were related to VBS. Since I don't have permission to post other people's children, I'm abstaining from posting MBS this week. It makes me a tad sad because I had some GREAT shots that are worthy of being shared. However, I'd like to protect the identity of the other children.

I'll be posting at War of Words later this evening. I'm going to get aggressive with the Wii Fit now and then scrapbook until I'm ready for bed.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Restless Night

H and I helped our friend cater last night, so M was with a sitter. When I picked her up, I visited for a while. We got home around 10:00. She was asleep around 10:30---WAY past her bedtime. WAY, WAY, WAY past her bedtime. She was wired.

I'm not exactly sure what time she finally fell asleep, but around 1:00, I was awakened by the most pitiful crying. Was I compassionate? Oh, no. I was horribly aggrevated that I was woken up! I went to M's room, started her music again, turned on her mobile and left. I'm not sure I even gave her a kiss. I went to the bathroom, climbed back into bed, pulled the sheets up to my ears--only to hear frantic crying this time.

I returned to M's room with every intention on being a mean mommy and telling her to GO TO SLEEP. Then I smelled a peculiar odor. Like the wettest diaper or a big doggie accident. Our lab hasn't had an accident in years. When I touched M, she was wet from the bottom of her pajama shorts to the middle of her back. Her sheet was soaked. I have no idea what happened, but she had completely wet through her diaper all over EVERYTHING. I don't know if her diaper was crooked or if her bladder was just that full.

So...I did what all good mothers do. I changed her, left her wet diaper and pajamas on the floor in her room, left the wet sheet on her crib and brought her into my bed. I was just too tired to deal with it last night. I do not believe in co-sleeping, however sometimes there are emergencies and my exhaustion constituted an emergency last night!

I couldn't find her pacifier in her bed last night when I brought her into my room, so I told her to go to sleep without it. Which she did. I was so excited--I was going to find her ONE pacifier this morning and throw it out. Guess who found it first? Yep....M. She found it first thing this morning.

During breakfast I suggested that she give her pacifier to her baby cousin (who will arrive in a few short weeks!).
"Mommy, let's just buy my cousin a new one."

Yeah...getting rid of this pacifier is going to be a major challenge!

Please don't call the house between 12:30 and 3:00ish. We're going to be napping. In our own beds.

Oh, I need to go move the sheets to the dryer now.

Friday, June 27, 2008


In thirteen posts, I'll have a little bloggy prize going on! This is my 387th post. On my 400th post, I plan on doing a little something special.

Unfortunately, I can't remember anything great for Phrase Friday this week. I was so wrapped up with Vacation Bible School that I think I missed lots of funny M sayings. There are times like that, I suppose. I'm looking forward to this week and spending some quiet time with M. We need to get our groove back. I've missed dancing with her, listening to her babble, and answering her millions of questions each day.

H and I helped my dear friend cater a fun event this evening. The menu was divine and completely against my diet, but I gave in and ate and ate and ate. There are times like that, I suppose. I'm really looking forward to getting back on my diet. I felt so much better when I was eating well and exercising. My goal is still to run in the Labor Day 5K. I really, really, REALLY need to begin training for that. Zach and I ran three days when I was visiting in Savannah--I felt great and I enjoyed that time with him. I'm sure I'd enjoy that time praying and listening to my iPod, so I need to get back to it.

I'm off to check on some of your lives now. I can't wait to see what's been going on! Don't forget to check out my new blog, War of Words if you are interested!

New Blog

Hey friends!

I'm starting a new blog!! YIKES! Don't tell H. Well, actually, I'll confess to H soon. He'll probably wonder how in the world I'm going to be able to keep up with two blogs! However, I wanted a special, sacred place to begin a journal for my Christian journey. Last night I started reading a wonderful book. All day today and this evening, the thought keep returning to me that I should start a blog as a place to reflect on the book.

This will continue to be our family blog and contain some "other stuff" posts, including my pictures, etc, but my new blog will contain my reflections and ideas on my Christian walk. Of course this blog will still have some Christian "stuff"--that's who I am. But my other blog will be a special place that is only for that, for me. For me to see my growth and understanding grow as my knowledge grows and my thirst for the Word is quenched.

I'd love for you to stop by if you are interested.

War of Words


Tuesday, June 24, 2008


This post goes in the "other stuff" category. Maybe even in the "learn more about Natalie" category.

Before I became a teacher 8 *gasp* years ago, I thought I knew a lot of stuff. I really thought I knew a lot about a lot.

Teaching really teaches you how much you did not know.

I'm teaching Vacation Bible School this year. In the past, my task was to escort my little angels from one fun-filled station to another. This year, the "teacher" is responsible for the Bible story and the missions lesson. I have my very own teacher's guide that contains the Bible story, lesson activities, and background information. We're using a curriculum called Faith Expedition which focuses on biblical heroes and a specific aspect of their faith.

I am learning so much! I'll be the first to admit that Bible knowledge is not one of my smarts. Now that I am a Sunday School teacher (for the 2s and 3s) and have taught 4 and 5 year old VBS, my thirst for Scripture is insatiable. I'm reading and teaching stories and my knowledge is growing exponentially.

Today our biblical hero was David. Even for the youngest students at VBS, the stories are in-depth. The story begins when David is a young shepherd. His faith is so strong that he believes the Lord will protect him from the bears and lions that often threaten his sheep. In fact, he will do anything to protect his sheep because he knows the Lord will protect him. He one time chases a lion that has grabbed one of his flock, kills the lion with his sling and rescues the sheep from the lion's mouth. David trusts the Lord to take care of the small stuff. When David's brothers were fighting the Philistines, his father asks him to take food to them. David readily agrees. He goes to the battlefield, food in hand. As he approaches, he hears a Philistine mocking the Israelites and their God. He asked "Who is this man that mocks our God?" King Saul overhears David's questions and sends for him. Eventually, King Saul concedes to send David to battle the giant, Goliath, BECAUSE OF DAVID'S FAITH IN GOD. Normally at this point in the story, I focus on David's courage, his bravery, etc. As I prepared for my lesson today, I realized that I should focus on David's FAITH. He knew, even as a young man, that God would provide for him in His way. David gathered five little stones from a brook near the battlefield. Even when Goliath laughed and mocked him, David stood firm in his knowledge that the Lord would provide. David placed a stone in his sling and threw it at the giant. Imagine, a young man without armor, with only a sling and a stone, being laughed at and mocked, calm and assured in his faith. God was there in that moment causing that little stone to find the hole in the giant's armor. God provided for David, just as he knew He would.

The faith of a mustard seed. The faith and comfort that God will provide. The faith that God's will is only for good for those that believe in Him. That is the faith for which I seek.

Oh, please pray for us. We're actively in the "trying to increase our family" phase.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


A summer thunderstorm.
A muddy backyard.
A walk around the block.
A priceless afternoon of summer memories.
Check out many more summer memories here.
***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****
My sweet friend, Christina, asked her blog readers for some suggestions to improve her blog. Being the nosey person that I am, I read everyone's response and was SHOCKED to read how many people hate the black background, white text. I promptly headed to my own bloggy home and started making some changes. I'm not satisfied yet, but will keep working until I find something I like. I love the picture behind the title, but it's too big--does anyone know how to fix that? To either make it fit the box or make the box smaller (more rectangular)?


I feel the need to write this post, but also the need to be extremely vague. If I was in junior high school, this little story would begin "I have this (fictional) friend..." so that everyone would KNOW I was talking about my own experience, but hiding it behind the facade. You remember times like those, right?

I've been humbled the past few days. I spent a fantastic week at home with my parents and youngest brother. I missed H more than I could ever say, but we sometimes need a little break from each other. I tend to smother him, I think.

I also tend to make things up in my mind. I'm not psychotic ('t all psychotics say that???).

For example, one night, a LONG TIME AGO, as I was trying to go to sleep, I was in that weird place between awake and asleep. For some reason, I concocted a story that H was hiding his credit card and bank statements from me, having them to sent to his work address. Basically, I convinced myself that H was hiding his money from me. When he came to bed, I was in such a frantic state (some might call it rage) that I accused him of hiding his money from me--even though I KNEW I had made that story up. Thankfully I'm married to a man who is a thousand times calmer than I am. He simply told me to go to sleep and that we would discuss this in the morning.

So now you are wondering that this might have to do with anything current, aren't you?

My palms are moist and my heart is pounding because I hate to even admit that I've had another episode like this. Only not about H. When I was with my parents, I convinced myself that some of my friendships are one-sided. That I consider some of these people my friends, but that they don't really reciprocate the feeling. (Just as a side note: I'm pretty sure my brother thinks I'm a wack job because I sure did confess this to him!!!! And not one sip of wine prompted that confession.)

BECAUSE, you see, the world revolves around ME. ME. ME. ME. ME.

Oh, how the Lord has humbled me in the past twenty-four hours. The three simple words "I missed you" completely obliterated my cockamamie story. These people are my friends, they do value my friendship as much as I do theirs. The Lord was screaming at me in church today. I don't think anyone else heard Him, but He was loud and clear.

"Trust me."
"I am good."
"I have only plans of good for those that love the Lord."
"Love your neighbor."

Instead of spending time listening to the Lord last week, I was listening to my own doubt. To Satan planting seeds of mistrust. Mistrust in the Lord, mistrust in myself, mistrust in my friendships.

I am constantly amazed at the work the Lord is doing in me--a sinner who constantly chooses myself over Him. He is pruning away at me, working in my heart in ways that are shocking to me.

My prayer is that He constantly draws me closer to him. I love the song "Bring the Rain, " particularly the phrase that says,
"And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain."

(Mercy Me)

Obviously, my friends did absolutely nothing intentional to bring me pain. However, in my weirdo mind, I was hurting and I (finally) turned to the Lord. Two miscarriages: turn to the Lord. Conflict at work: turn to the Lord. Death of a friend's husband: turn to the Lord. If the Lord MUST use pain and sadness to draw me closer to him, then bring it on. I want to be drawn closer.

I want to be humbled.

(If you are interested in reading a beautiful story, I'd encourage you to read Bring the Rain. Angie is telling the beautiful story of the birth and death of her infant daughter Audrey Caroline. There are days when her story is too painful for me to read--the loss is too great. However, her faith is astounding. You will be moved.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Phrase Friday

A few sweet phrases from this week:

We had a good little storm yesterday afternoon. Afterwards, we let M stomp around in the mud puddles and play with the hose in the backyard. We decided to go for a walk down the street to find more puddles. I noticed that her diaper was completely full of water and VERY saggy.
"M, your diaper is FULL of water!"
"Mommy, you're just kidding me!"

She was helping clean up after making a stepping stone with Nona and her important job was to fill the bucket with water (from the previous mentioned hose). She was mumbling to herself when we heard her say, " ish hawd work!" (This is hard work!)

My parents have a terror cat named Happy. M just usually calls her "kitty cat." The other evening, I said "M, there is Happy!" to which she replied "Dere goes Happy Feet cat!" Can you guess what our "fravorite" movie is right now?

Before naps yesterday, M and I were snuggling in my bed. She rolled over and fell off the bed. "Why you pulled me down?" she asked when she popped up.

What's going on in your house? Anything cute? Funny? Enlightening?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Special Day

Today is a special day! It's my mom's birthday.

There are a million things I could tell you about my mom and why she's so special.

She sacrificed so much when we were little so she could stay home with us. She packed us up and moved us whenever my dad's job required a move. She was gentle, yet firm. Kind, but tough. She taught us about perseverance.

She's the greatest kind of mom. The kind of mom I hope to become.

We were three lucky kids. And there are two little kiddos (well, a two year old and a her tiny cousin) in this world who are so blessed to call her Nona.

Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you so very much.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A little more about me

I'm rather reflective since I've been at home. So I thought I'd do a little post about some of my memories, my family...whatever pops to mind as I type tonight.

My mom is a teacher and has taught at the elementary school my brothers and I attended for 21 years. She taught there 21 years...we didn't attend there for 21 years. She became a teacher when I was in 6th grade, so she didn't teach me or my friends. However, she taught most of Trey and Zach's friends. When M and I visited her at school yesterday morning, I had the odd sensation of familiarity and yet being completely unfamiliar. I did enjoy seeing my 3 and 5th grade teachers.

My parents bought the house they live in when I was 15. We moved in on my 16th birthday. That means they have lived in this house for 14 years--the longest my parents have lived in any one location in their married life. Most of my childhood memories are from the previous home, so being here is more like visiting than coming home. As I drive around the little community, I am awash with memories: walking from school to the library to work on projects; walking from school to church for girl scouts or choir practice; asking the firefighters to break in to our house because my mom locked her keys (not once, but TWICE); Vacation Bible School; many houses where I baby-sat (if only walls could talk!); many evenings spent at the local grocery store after my mom put my brothers to bed.

My dad is retired. We moved into this house on my 16th birthday. He was working several hours away and commuting on the weekends. He had a nagging cough and would lose his breath during conversation. My mom insisted he see a doctor when he was visiting us during Christmas that same year. He never returned to work. It was totally a God thing. Our previous house had at least 3 stairs to every entry to the house. This house has no stairs. My dad was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and only has 40% of his lung capacity. Climbing stairs is nearly impossible for him. We moved less than two months before his first doctor's appointment.

After my dad's diagnosis, I went on a downward tailspin. I'll spare you all the gory details, but suffice to say that I was a rather difficult teenager. Yet, some of my favorite memories are from my late high school years. I loved being a senior in high school. I was on the academic decathlon team (nerdy dork right here) and was active in the drama department. I loved my classes and I worked a part time job with an attorney. I baby-sat all the time.

My brothers and I were close growing up. We spent many, MANY, nights at the local little league park at their ball games. Tuesday evening Zach played there with his church soft ball team. That was probably the strangest place to be as an adult, still watching my youngest brother playing ball.

I have one brother who is a preacher. He and his wife are expecting M's cousin at the end of July. My sister-in-law is a physical therapist. I couldn't ask for a better SIL for my brother.

My other brother is applying for the police academy. He's had a tough few years, but seems to have some drive to get his life back on track now. We've had some special time together this week when M has been at camp. He's helping me exercise and is dedicated to running in the Labor Day 5K with me.

My mom just confessed that when she was little she wanted to be a trapeze artist with long straight black hair. We all laughed at that confession: she's got red, curly hair.

Maybe in another post I'll tell how H and I met and came to be as a couple. That's certainly an interesting tale!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sunshine Summer

We are visiting my parents this week for a very specific purpose. M is attending a little preschool summer camp called Sunshine Summer. I drop her off each morning at 9:00 and pick her up at 12:00. I would be lying if I said my heart didn't skip several beats yesterday as I waited in the carpool line to drop her off.

What if she doesn't miss me?

What if she cries?

What if she makes a messy diaper?

What if the other kids are mean to her?

What if she is mean to the other kids?

What if, what if, what if?

My heart, despite my selfishness that I wanted her to miss me just a tad, swelled with pride when the teacher grabbed M's hand and off she marched. She didn't look back. Her sweet little whispy ponytails were bobbing away as she bounced into the building.

That's when I caught of glimpse of what is to come. And what I want to come. My own selfish desire is that M needs me (and she does), but she is brave and independent. She's confident. I saw myself watching her head off to kindergarten. I saw myself watching her drive off when she's 16. I saw myself watching her march off to college. I was so proud. In that few seconds that I watched her go off with her teacher, I saw the big girl that I hope she will become.

Even though she is confident and independent, H and I have such a huge responsibility in raising her. Sometimes in the day-to-day, moment-to-moment, parenting, I lose sight of that. Whatever is happening right then is the most important thing. H and I both want her to grow up knowing Christ, to be strong and independent, thoughtful and kind. These are enormous goals for our little girl. The task of raising her to meet these goals is weighty and worthy.

I so love seeing a tiny glimpse of what she is becoming. I love knowing where she's come from and how much she's learned. Standing in the present with the ability to look back at the past and hope for the future is a true gift.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Weight Loss

M and I are visiting my parents this week, so I don't have anything with me for MBS. Instead, I'd like to post about a conversation I had with my friend, Andi.

We were discussing weight loss and how often we hear the words "Just do it!" Our friends, our doctors, our families encourage us by saying, "Natalie, just do it. You KNOW you don't eat healthy. You KNOW you don't make good choices. Change your habits. You can do it. JUST DO IT." Those three words echo in my mind "just do it...just do it...just do it." Then I don't just do it. I eat more potato chips, more cheezits, more chips and salsa.

I can't just do it. Just doing it is not as easy as it sounds. Just doing it doesn't just happen.

I had to come to a certain place before I was ready to just do it. Thankfully I did get there, but it is still not easy. My hands itch to grab that box of cheezits. My mouth waters for chips and salsa.

I can't tell you how many times I joined a weight loss program that counts points and wasn't successful. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that program. Thousands of people are successful counting points. Just not me. My last attempt was last summer when I lost 5 lbs in about 7 weeks. I was working out, eating right, but not using the food to my advantage. To be perfectly honest, I wasn't ready to "just do it."

I'm not sure what happened after the last miscarriage that made me ready this time. When I was pregnant, I told myself that I would join a program in January 2009, after the baby arrived, etc, etc, etc. When I miscarried, the time was just right. I didn't have time to think about it. I made myself an appointment because the time is RIGHT for me now.

For years, I've felt ugly, unsexy, disappointed with myself. I knew I was overeating. I knew my habits were terrible. I knew I was teaching M to have the same unhealthy habits that I have. But I was caught in that vicious cycle of "I'm already fat, what's a few more going to hurt?" Then I'd have a few more and feel fatter. The cycle repeats itself. I still have stinkin' thinkin' even though I am being successful on this program and I have lost 17.6 lbs. I don't feel pretty yet and I definitely don't feel sexy, but I am feeling better. I am beating obesity.

If you have a friend who is overweight or has another type of addiction, I'd like to encourage you to not say "Just do it." Those words are easy to say, but not easy to follow.

Saturday, June 14, 2008



We just reached a major milestone at my house.

Potty training? Nope.

Moving to the big girl bed? Nope.

Acceptance into Harvard Law at 2 years old? Well, not quite.

We just co-slept during a nap. I've dreamt of this day for a long, long time. I LOVE napping. M loves napping. I couldn't wait for the day when we could curl up together in my bed and take a lazy nap. Today was the perfect day to try it. She was tired from swimming this morning. The weather was thunder-y. She was "shooooo scared!" So I invited her to get her snugglies and take a nap with me.

It was delicious and sweet! Everything I could have hoped for! I don't intend for this to be an every day thing, but once in a while, as a special treat for both of us.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Phrase Friday

Another busy week has flown by. As I've been purging the house, I'm trying to purge our commitments. That is one of the hardest things for me to do. I love to be busy. I want to do lots of things. Next week M and I will be visiting my parents. When we return I'm vowing to dedicate 2-3 days each week at home (swimming doesn't count) with nothing to do but spend time together.

I'm sure there are hundreds of things I could write about today. Some include "oh, this ish my fravorite," "my can't watch (or do or eat) that," and "let me help you."

But one funny comment sticks out in my mind. We've had some afternoon showers around here lately. Wednesday's shower including some pretty good thundering and light-up-your world lightening which woke M up from her nap. I let her snuggle in my room while I purged, er, I mean cleaned up, some of the junk from our room.

When it was time to go to church, we were walking down the stairs when M said, "Mama, I can't go outside."
"Why?" I asked.
She held up her right foot and pointed to it. "My shoes don't want to get wet."

Sorry, kiddo. Shoes don't get a vote in this house!

Some other funny things that are happening:
--M is really beginning to relate experiences back to me. For example, our neighbor spoke to M through the glass door yesterday. M came running to tell me that the baby's mommy said, "Hello, Meryt!" At first I didn't understand what she was talking about, then I realized that our neighbor must have spoken to M as she was standing at our glass door. (We live in a townhouse and are connected to our next door neighbor.)

--M is beginning to sing! She's always loved music. When she was a baby, music often calmed her down when she was fussy or whiny. When she was a tiny infant, I would take her to the church service with me. Whenever we would sing a hymn, she would be perfectly still in my arms. For a few weeks, she's been singing children's songs like the ABC's, Jesus Loves Me, etc. Now she's singing along to her songs on her CD's or on the iPod. When there is a song she really likes she says, "Oh, this ish my fravorite!"

M is such a little sponge right now. I realize that as easy as she's picking up the positive messages that we give her (love, forgiveness, obedience), she could just as easily pick up negative things. I want to fill her with a strong foundation while she's so easily molded. As a parent, it is fascinating to watch her right now.

Got anything to share with us? Funny phrases? Parenting insight? Laughable moments? Shoes that have opinions in your house?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


You'll be relieved to know that I'm not an emotional basketcase today. I'm relieved to know that! I was sort of dreadful of waking up today because I didn't WANT to feel like I did yesterday. I want to feel peaceful.

So, today I don't exactly feel full of peace, but I am better.

Perhaps I feel better because:
1.) H took M to work with him this morning so I could go get a pedicure. Yes, my friends, my AWESOME husband took our daughter to work so I could have a morning off. (Okay, so he wasn't exactly thrilled with the idea and he has NO idea that I was tormented yesterday, but he did it anyway.)

2.) My toes are bright red and that makes me very happy.

3.) My house is clean. Yes, friends, you read that correctly. I, Natalie Benson, have a clean house. I've been decluttering and purging. H even cleaned out the laundry room and threw away tons of stuff. We're taking two huge loads of stuff to the Goodwill.

4.) We are getting a sprinkler system installed right now. No more hours spent watering the lawn. YEAH!

5.) M is down for a nap and I'm going to sew!

6.) One more thing: I've lost 17.2 lbs! My clothes are SORT OF getting too big. Not too big that I need new ones, but a little loose. My underpants are DEFINITELY getting too big and don't like to stay in their appropriate place. I hope to lose 2.8 more before my trip on Sunday, but I'm not holding out too much hope for that. Maybe another pound. I'm taking my running shoes so I can catch a little psuedo-jog with my youngest brother, Zach.

I get to do a little photo shoot tonight with my nephews at that sweet spot from MBS. I'm going to take M and do some more with her, too. We might even try to do a family shot tonight.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Change of Heart

I'm emotional today.

Okay, I admit that I started my cycle Saturday, so I'm sure some of this is a residual effect of that.

However, I've had a change of heart. Last week I had the realization that I was completely satisfied with having a family of three. Not quite the three I'd envisioned before, but I was fulfilled.

No more. Last night and today my heart ACHES to have another baby. I'm on my knees begging the Lord for the chance to be a mother again.

I feel whammied with this new ache. I wasn't prepared at all this time.

Last week at Bible Study, we listened to a sermon by John Piper on Sustaining Grace. I have many, many thoughts on that and hearing the sermon brought much comfort to me. I know the Lord could have prevented either miscarriage--He could have knit those babies in my womb. He chose not to. He purposed those sad events for His own glory, just as He purposed M for our family. As much as my heart aches today, I KNOW that God is good. He doesn't desire to bring me sadness and heartache. He desires to bring me closer to Him.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

MBS: Dress Yourself

Help needed on the following pictures. PLEASE comment.

Can you see the white bridge at the upper righthand corner of this photo? I want to lighten the shadows so it is more obvious. I'm proud of myself that I "erased" a distracting cement bench.

I like this one pretty much like it is. I cropped it down a good bit so the rule of thirds are a little more obvious. Can you suggest any improvements? Maybe black and white? Desaturated?

I think these are my favorite EXCEPT that M seems just a tad blurry. I think I might have focused the fence and not her face. Also, the red leaf is COMPLETELY distracting in the color image. I tried to erase it, but any part of the aqua from her dress that I cloned wasn't quite the right color.

These pictures were taken at a local college, about 2 minutes from my house. Actually, it's the college from which I graduated. They were having a market Saturday morning. After visiting the vendors, M and I decided to do a little impromptu photo shoot. She was dressed TOO cute. She's becoming a little bit assertive about what she wants to wear. I made the dress, so I was thrilled when she wanted to wear it. She LOVES ponytails and wants two every day. The giraffe rain boots were her special touch to this outfit. It was just too cute to resist.

All of that to say, this is a place that is very accesible to use for a photo session. I love the white fence, the white bridge. The sun was a little bright, but it was 11:30 when we took these pictures. I might dress her up again this week and head over there early one morning.

Have any suggestions? Help me here...I'd LOVE some input. I really want to kick my pictures up a notch.

For other MBS, check out Mother May I?
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Friday, June 6, 2008

Phrase Friday

Yikes! I can't believe I didn't post all week. I have SO much to write about. SO MUCH! But I don't have the time to write it and I'm sure you don't have the time or inclination to read it. So, I'm just going to fast forward to Phrase Friday.

M has been in rare form lately. We seem to be moving past the whole whining thing, but we still struggle during parts of our day. I'm finding this age very hard to discipline. We'd eased into a rather comfortable place where she knew the rules and knew the consequences. But no more. She's rapidly expanding her boundaries--she's taking risks and exerting her independence. I'm constantly searching for that place between "she knows the rules on this, thus needs to be disciplined" and "this is new for her, so I need to teach her (training)." I feel sort of out of sync as the mother. Yet, there are so many things I love about this age.

For example:

--I was working on the computer yesterday. M was playing with her baby, "baby sister," on the bed. I heard her saying, "sh, sh, sh, sh." When I turned around to check on her, she said, "SHHH, Mommy! Baby Sister is twying to sweep!" (trying to sleep)

Two minutes later, I heard pretend crying. I turned around to see what THAT was about, she promptly told me, "Baby sister is drinking milk from my tummy."

--H needed his flashlight the other evening, but couldn't find it. M and I were guilty of playing with it several weeks ago. He was quite aggrevated with us!


"MY. DON'T. KNOW." (exaggerated pause between each word)

--As we got into the car after visiting a friend, "Mommy, OB will read me this book Friday." Too bad we won't see OB on Friday. And where in the world did she learn the word Friday? (OB is my father.)

--After getting in trouble with a friend, "M and N wake Baby M up. Mit Susie vewy angwy."

--As I was cleaning the table and M was eating dinner, she said, "Mommy, you say, YES SIR to me!"

Monday, June 2, 2008

MBS: 52 Card Pick-up

For other MBS, visit Tracey at Mother May I?
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