Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Post for Which There Is No Title

When Matt and I were on our road trip to Colorado this summer, not having kids in the car allowed us to talk in great depth about a lot of things. All the way from Texas up through New Mexico and into Colorado, we talked about our Stories.

Every person has a story. Every person's Story is defined by different themes that weave throughout life. Matt's life has been defined by Choices and Doing the Right Thing. Time and again he has been faced with major decisions. The bad decisions have left their mark. But the good decisions have really defined who Matt is.

My Story carries three major themes: Adoption, Goodbyes, and Cancer. Being adopted has obviously impacted my life tremendously. For as long as I can remember, I have loved and respected my birthmom, Sherry. My adopted mom, Lotte, told me over and over throughout my growing up years that precious Sherry made a painful and courageous choice to give me a better life. She gave me up out of love. When I was 20, I was reunited with Sherry, with the full love and support of my parents. In the last 10 years, I have developed a very close relationship with the woman who gave me life--I call her Mama Sherry. Mama and Mommy became close friends quickly. She and my mom were both present at Snapper's birth. She came with me to visit my mom 2 days before my mom died. Our relationship has grown and deepened over the years, and she has been balm to my heart.

Here is a photo of Mama Sherry (on the left), and my mom (on the right). This photo was taken at my baby shower in 2002.

Goodbyes have punctuated my life. My best friend moved to Washington when I was 10. Another close friend moved when I was 12. Yet another close friend moved when I was 13. Much of Matt's and my relationship was long-distance, so there were lots of Goodbyes during our 3 1/2 years of courtship. I lost 4 grandparents between 1989 and 1999. More Goodbyes. My best friend from college moved away shortly after Snapper was born. In 2006 we said Goodbye to the town I was born and raised in, my whole family, and my best friend Noel. I'm facing the possibility of another set of Goodbyes to my Arkansas friends next summer. More on that later. I have said painful Goodbyes to 4 babies miscarried. The hardest Goodbye of all, though, was losing my mom to ovarian cancer in 2003.

That leads me into the final theme of my life: Cancer. My mom vs. ovarian cancer. My dear friend Beverly vs. leukemia. Both battles I have been intimately involved in. My mom's battle is over, and Beverly is still fighting hers. But those are not the only encounters with Cancer.

Today, enter a new antagonist. His name is Breast Cancer. His victim: My Mama Sherry.

Here's the question that keeps spinning around in my muddled brain: How does a girl manage to have 2 mothers and have them BOTH get Cancer?

Sherr'ys cancer is Stage 2. The prognosis is "good." But, the cancer is in her lymph nodes, which is really, really bad. Another surgery will come on the 5th. Then chemo and radiation begin on the 10th. It will be 6 treatments, 3 weeks apart. She will lose her hair. She will get very sick. And I live 1500 miles away.

Here is what I know.
1. I HATE Cancer. Have I mentioned that I HATE Cancer? Oh, in case you forgot, I HATE CANCER!
2. Life is hard, but God is good.
3. God's plans for me are for good, not to harm me.
4. God works ALL things (even Cancer) together for good. Did you hear that? All Things. For Good.
5. God will accomplish His good and perfect will through the cancer that has invaded my mother's body.

So, are you seeing another theme popping up here?


Ah yes. God's Goodness is another major player in my Story.

Tonight I opened my cedar chest. It is where I keep all my treasures of my mom's. Her Bible (which I pulled out to start studying). Her journals. A few special pieces of clothing. Her folders and folders of writing about what God was teaching her during her illness.. Her daily planner, filled in up to the date she passed away. Perfume. Jewelry. An envelope of my baby teeth and notes to the Tooth Fairy. All little reminders of my mom. All the memories of my mom's 3 1/2 year Cancer battle came back to me, and I wept. Actually, I knelt on the bathroom floor, and puked and cried. And cried. And cried. My precious husband put together a playlist of songs to help me put my eyes in the right place: on Jesus. Then I prayed and prayed.

The next months are going to be difficult. I anticipate many trips to Phoenix to care for her after her chemo and radiation treatments. I'm not sure what's worse--the exhaustion that comes from the daily grind of caring for a cancer patient, or being 1500 miles away from the cancer patient you long to care for.

Ultimately,, though, I know God will work this out for my good, for my Mama Sherry's good, and for His own glory, no matter the outcome. Would you join me in praying for Sherry's salvation? More than anything, I want her to walk through this able to cling to the hope and peace that only Jesus Christ can give her.

Well, I think the writing has been what I needed. The tears have stopped, and I'm actually feeling sleepy. Thanks for your prayers, my bloggy friends.
I challenge you to take a look at your own life and your Story. What themes has God woven into your life? How has He used those themes to mold and shape you, and to cause you to grow in your relationship with Him? Blog about it. Consider yourself tagged. =)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What I've Learned

Check out Musings of A Housewife for links to some really wonderful bloggers who are all participating in this week's What I've Learned carnival.

MUCH learning for me this week. MUCH learning!

1. It is easy to convert that pumpkin on your front porch into something delicious! I cut up one of our pumpkins, roasted it, pureed it, and made it into the most fabulous pumpkin bread I've ever tasted. I never plan to buy canned pumpkin again!

2. Beef stew made in the crock pot is so much better than beef stew made on the stovetop. Recipe coming soon!

3. 7-year-old girls are prone to panic and melt down when their goggles come off during a race at a swim meet. This tendency to come unglued is multiplied exponentially when the 7-year-od girl is coming down with a fever virus.

4. Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 is worth the investment, just for the ease of editing pictures, and the quality of the final product! I had saved up some giftcards, and was finally able to make my purchase! I love Photoshop!

5. I never fully realize how much I miss all my family in California until the holidays start drawing near. Then I miss them like crazy, and dread facing Thanksgiving and December and Christmas without all the beloved traditions and people of "back home." This will be our 4th round of holidays away from California, and I miss my family more than ever.

6. Not much else tops being told that your company is sending you on a business trip with your husband TO YOUR HOME TOWN...and that the business trip falls Thanksgiving week...and that airfares are low enough to allow you to take the kids, too! Oh, and some sweet friends will buy those kid tickets! Yes, that happened to us today!!!!! We're going Home for 10 days in November! I Can Not Wait!

7. Oh wait, something can top that! How about this:
We are missionaries. We are 100% funded by donations from individuals and churches who share our passion for seeing others reached for Christ. It has been normal that donations drop off in August-October, leaving us without full pay. On Wednesday I received notice that our paycheck for the 25th was going to be $850 short. That left us with a paycheck for less than the amount just of our bills. I resolutely looked back at how God has faithfully provided for us every time this has happened, and I chose to trust Him to provide again. I let it go, and was at peace all day, waiting expectantly to see what He would do. That very night at church, an anonymous church member left us a check for $550 and two $100 Walmart gift cards! The church treasurer was all grins when she gave us the envelope. I, of course, started bawling. Matt and I prayed and thanked God for His provision of $750. Two minutes later, another church member came to me and said, "Not a word from you now. God told me to give this to you." He gave me a hug and pressed a $100 bill into my hand. $850. The exact amount our paycheck was short. In our hands two days before the paycheck every hit our bank account!
This is not new to me, but I learned yet again that God is trustworthy. He says He will care for us. He is true to His Word, and I thank Him for it!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

So I Won't Forget!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: one of my favorite things about being a parent is the funny things my children say.

One of my least favorite parts of being a parent is how many brain cells have disappeared from my head since giving birth to my children. Can I get a what-what? I know if I don't write down the cute things my kids say, those cute things will be gone from my memory by next week.

So I write them down, more for me than for you. But if you get a good laugh from them, I am very happy. I like to make people laugh, and so do my kids!

Snapper (age 7)

"I have been doing a lot of pondering recently. I have made a careful conclusion to start making wise decisions."

"Mom, forget going to McDonald's! I used to think you could win $50,000 for playing that Monopoly game thing, but now I know it's nothing but a big admitiser (advertising) gimmick!"

"Don't look now, Mom, but I think my brother is trying to pull the wool over your eyes!"

at her swim meet, right before the first race: "I'm so nervous that the butterflies in my stomach are also in my bladder and I think they are going to make me pee in the pool!"

Pepper (age 3)

when walking through the athletic club, yells at the top of his lungs to the 5 people on the treadmills: "Hey there! Keep on working it! Go get those muscles! Get those muscles! Get those muscles! Go, go, GO! I know you can do it!"

to a lady at Snapper's swim meet: "My name is Spiderman Kid Boy Pepper!"

to the nurse who did a blood draw for me on Tuesday: "You hurt my mommy, so I'm going to squash you like a bug right now! Be very afraid!" (she pretended to be scared, then beat it out to the hall where she burst out laughing)

"No Mommy, I'm not your boy! I'm your precious, adorable boy!"

after I hung up from a phone call with Matt: "Mommy, you weren't talking to my daddy, you were talking to your sweetheart!"

"I'm not Spiderman yet, but I will be any minute! I'm just waiting for my webs to come in."

"Mommy, I'm NEVER sleepy! And I'm NEVER naughty! And I'm ALWAYS hungry!"

I asked him if he wanted to exercise with me: "No Mommy, I don't like to exercise. I would rather sit on the comfy couch with my cozy blanket and eat cheese and crackers!"

"Don't be angry at me, Mommy, I'm just too cute for that!"

comes into my room wearing blue and yellow plaid shorts, a Hawaiian floral patchwork shirt, and red socks: "Look at me, Mommy! I got dressed all by myself! I'm so handsome, Mommy! Aren't you proud of me?"

"I hafta go potty right now! I can't wait! I think the candy I just ate is going to push the poop right out of me!"

while watching me exercise: "Wow, Mommy, your butt sure is big!" (Mom's favorite line...)

Have a happy Sunday!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

We Are THAT Family...

Kristen at We Are THAT Family is hosting a blogoversary carnival. Since we have THAT Family days all the time, I have no problems coming up with material for this post! In fact, our latest THAT Family moment happened day before yesterday.

This is my son. His bloggy name is Pepper. His real name (according to him) is Spiderman Kid Boy. His legal name is not disclosed to the world for privacy reasons. It's a great name, though! Anyhoo, Pepper is 3, and is boy to the core.

Look at that face! Isn't he adorable? He would NEVER do say anything to embarrass Mommy, would he? Naw....

I had a check-up with my GP on Tuesday. Since the appointment was in the middle of the morning, I took Pepper with me. As you can tell from the above photo, Pepper is obsessed--and I mean OBSESSED--with Spiderman. So my doctor, a nice family man in his mid-to-late 30's, comes in. Pepper goes bouncing over to Dr. B and hollers at the top of his lungs:

"SPIDERMAN doesn't have BOOBS! He has PECS because he's a boy! Spiderman has a PENIS because he's a boy! Girls have BOOBS but they don't have a PENIS!!! Girls just have a bottom."

And he was so proud of himself for screaming these facts to the whole office, including the nice elderly couple in the examining room next to mine.

And I wanted to dig a hole and crawl into it, never again to emerge.

And my doctor laughed until he cried.

So my friends, there's no question about it--We Are THAT Family!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What I've Learned

What I've Learned This Week is hosted by Musings of A Housewife.

Here's what I learned.

1. Purell hand sanitizer is not good friends with my oak table. Ask my 3-year-old. He introduced Purell to Table, and the play date did not go well for the table. Take note: Purell not only removes the finish from wood, it eats the wood, too.

2. Never leave a bag of Hershey's Kisses in your purse when your 3-year-old knows about it. 3-year-olds have remarkable determination and deception powers when it comes to eating Hershey's kisses. No Mommy, I did not pull the dining room chair to the front door coat rack to get your purse. No, I did not eat half the bag of Kisses. No, I'm not the one who left the pile of Kiss wrappers under the dining room table. No, I did not eat the Kisses, and I definitely did not hide under the table to eat them! I didn't know it was a wrong thing to do, either! I definitely don't deserve a spanking! What? You're going to put me to bed? NOOOOOOO!

3. I learned that my daughter never turns clothing the right side out before putting it in the laundry. Never!

4. Never take sunshine for granted. Glorious Mr. Sun returned yesterday after a very long absence. I have never been so happy to see him!

5. A lot of convicting spiritual stuff has come down the pipes at me this week, both from my Bible study and from our discussion at community group on Sunday night. I'm working through Beth Moore's Believing God study with some wonderful ladies at church. I learned that I have a wrong perspective of myself. I have a hard time loving myself because I see all my own faults and insecurities. I need to remember that when God looks at me, none of that matters. I also learned that I'm not the only one who struggles with seeing myself as God sees me. Even Beth Moore has insecurities! Go figure! Anyhoo, lots to think about. And this is going to be one long learning curve.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Day!

I love love love the pumpkin patch! Maybe it's because I like orange. Maybe it's because I like the coolness of fall. Maybe it's that going to the pumpkin patch is a tradition we have not missed in 8 years. Maybe it's because we spend a day together doing something really fun and seasonal. Actually, it's probably a bit off all of the above.

We had a great time this year as usual. The only problem was that it has rained so much that everything was muddy. Mud is dirty. And it smells bad. And it gets on everything. And standing water in a pumpkin field does not do good things for pumpkins. Yuck! Fortunately, the farm had harvested a whole bunch of pumpkins and stored them in a barn full of dry straw. So even though we didn't get any pumpkins in the field. we were able to bring home some nice pumpkins from the barn. A picture speaks 1000 words, so without further ado, here are 7000 words!

Twenty Years

It was a balmy Tuesday evening, October 17, 1989. I was 10 years old and in 5th grade. My dad was on his way home from work in San Jose, California. My sister was at her friend's house in Felton. My mom and I, along with my friends Kara and Lisa, were in the car on the way to our house where we would eat a quick dinner before heading back out to Awana. Because we lived out in the country, the mailman wouldn't come all the way out to our house. We stopped to get the mail at the long row of mailboxes on our road. I clearly remember getting the mail, and slowly thumbing through it, hoping for a letter from my pen pal in Wyoming. My mom was in a hurry to get home, and kept trying to get me to give her the mail. I ignored her, and continued piecing through it.

I don't know what caused me to raise my head and look around, but I did. Goosebumps ran down my spine as I noticed the leaves quivering on the tree outside my car window. Then came a deep roar, and a sharp cracking noise as all hell broke loose and the ground began to violently shake. The shaking intensified, and the car began to bounce. My head hit the ceiling of the car several times because I had my seatbelt off to get the mail. I can remember feeling like I was in a disaster movie as the shale cliff just in front and to the right of our car cracked, and came pouring down across the road, a mere 15 feet from our car. Boulders crashed through the fence on the other side of the road, and the road was entirely buried in the landslide.

I didn't know at the time that I had just experienced the Loma Prieta earthquake, a 7.1 earthquake on the San Andreas fault on the central coast of California.

I was too scared to even cry, or talk, or move. It took a while for the dust to clear. My mom was finally able to maneuver the car up and over the rock slide. The rest of the road home up the hill was littered with rocks and debris. An occassional aftershock put me back into panic mode.

On arrival at our house, we were relieved to find it still standing. Our soaking wet cat met us in the driveway. Apparently he had been sleeping under the deck beneath our hot tub when the earthquake hit. Kara, Lisa, and I sat out in the middle of our horse pasture, safely away from power lines and structures, while my mom made a quick dash inside to grab a few things and survey the damage. Among the items she grabbed was my dad's Ham radio. We were all thankful at that time that my dad had taught me the basics of operating the Ham radio, and had set me up with emergency call letters. I turned on the radio and was able to get in contact with my Uncle Dave, a San Jose police officer. He assured me they were all fine over there. He was able to connect with my dad, who was also safe and sound.

As soon as Kara and Lisa's parents came to pick them up, my mom and I got back in the car and went to pick up my sister. We arrived home at the same time as my dad. Daddy had incredible stories of buckled pavement, giant landslides, and boulders the size of cars that he had witnessed on his treacherous commute over the mountain highway, Highway 17. We stood on our front deck and prayed together in the dusk, thanking God for protecting our family.

That night we had a candlelight dinner of lunch meat, cheese, and ice cream. We ate as much as we wanted, because we knew our power would be out for some days. After dinner, my sister and I cuddled together under the kitchen table with our dolls and flashlights while my parents scraped the kitchen floor. The entire kitchen floor was coated in a mix of Karo syrup, worcestershire sauce, and broken glass. At bedtime, I slept under my parents' bed, the only place I was convinced was safe. I slept there every night for the next month.

My sister, Jenny, and I played lots of Monopoly in the days following the quake.

The aftershocks continued for the next several days. We got so we could tell they were coming about 3 seconds before they actually hit. The crickets would stop chirping at that point. Those days following the quake were spent cleaning up messes, checking in with family and friends, and as soon as the power came back on (5 days later), watching news coverage on the tv. To that point we had listened to the news on a battery powered radio, or on the radio in the car.

That awful earthquake had devastating effects on our area.
* The quake killed 63 people
* injured over 3,700 people
* left about 12,000 people homeless
* the upper level of the Bay Bridge collapsed, causing cars to plummet to the lower level
* A two-level viaduct on the 880 freeway in West Oakland collapsed, killing 42 people
I was later to learn that the epicenter was just 5 miles from my home.
I will never forget that day. And I pray I never have to go through an earthquake like that again. That was enough earthquake to last me for a lifetime!

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's The Little Things...

So you've probably read my melancholy posts the last few days. I have been in a funk, unable to snap myself out of it. This morning when I woke up, I sat there in my bed, hugging my pillow, and asking God to give me a boost today. It didn't have to be anything big, just a little something to brighten my day.

My God is a God who cares about little things like that. He is a God who delights in details. He is a God who answers the desperate prayers of a moderately depressed, sun-deprived, energy-deficient woman in Arkansas.

You may remember the frantic despair that slammed me a few months back when the ever-so-charming Geek Squad at Best Buy deleted photos off of my hard drive AND my backup drive. I resigned myself to accepting that I had lost all my photos from March-July of this year. I cried for a few days every time I thought about those precious pictures. Then I let it go. What is done is done.

This morning I decided to edit a few more of my childhood photos that I scanned on my California trip. I popped in my thumb drive and THERE WERE MY PICTURES!!! All the pictures I lost back in July!!! I jumped up and did the happy dance. Then I cried. Then I danced some more! Of course I updated my status on Facebook.

It never occurred to me to thank God for brightening my day by recovering those pictures for me. Until now.

It has been 2 hours since I found those pictures, and I just realized that I bought that thumb drive brand-new in August. It was purchased expressly for my California trip. Every single one of my lost pictures was lost off my backup drive in JULY. How did they end up on a thumb drive I bought AFTER the photos were lost? How did they end up on a thumb drive that I have only opened 3 times since I got home from California?

Thank you, God. I can't think of any other explanation for how those photos are on that drive! It has to be You. Wow!

I'm still trying to claw out of my funk. It is still gray outside, and I still have no energy. But my day is brighter because my amazing God clearly answered my prayer this morning.

And I got a really cute picture of Pepper this morning! Hafta share it with you.

Rocking the Boat

Why is communication about important things so hard? I mean seriously, important things should be talked about. Important things like:

Heart emotions
Areas in your life and/or your spouse's life that need growth
The list goes on.

Yet when the time comes to talk about these things, my first instinct is to clam up and hide. Is it that I don't want to rock the boat? Is it that I just don't like being the one to create conflict? I really don't know. I just know that sometimes opening up and talking is the hardest thing to do. I have to force myself to do it.

Can anyone else relate?
I'd love to open a dialogue here, get some feedback. So here are two questions:
1. What issues are the most difficult for you to discuss with your spouse?
2. How have you grown in the area of keeping open lines of communication?

I love you, bloggy friends.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


The last few weeks I have learend again never to take for granted:
1. My health
2. Sunshine

I have definitely been under the weather--circumstantially, physically, emotionally. I'm just a fat blob of gray sitting on a couch in Central Arkansas.

I think we have had 4 sunny days in the last month. I have long struggled with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but have had it well under control, thanks to the glorious existence of Welbutrin! But I think it is time to talk to the doc and raise my dosage, because it isn't working! Sunshine is in the forecast for the next few days. Oh wow, am I ever looking forward to soaking up some rays!

Sickness has been tracking me like a bloodhound this last month, too. Laryngitis and bronchitis took me out in Round 1. There was never Round 2...just a complete knockout. I'm still not convinced I didn't have H1N1 in official diagnosis, but my symptoms exactly follow descriptions of the virus. And here I am a week of fever-free, and still dragging all day. No energy. Zip. Nada. My family is lucky to have gotten to eat the last week!

All that plays on the emotions, too. Add a traveling husband, challenging circumstances at home, and the cancellation of a planned family trip, and I'm just kind of a mess. Oh. And financial woes, too. It's that time of year.

Sorry to host a little sob-fest here, but I journal the down times as well as the up times. Lay it all out there, because I'm far from perfect. No use being delusional, right?

Ha ha!

On the bright side, Snapper's swim team is going great! She swims in her first meet next weekend! Pepper is fully potty trained at night! Woot! I have bought my last package of Pull-Ups, at least for a time! The trees are changing colors! I have a beautiful maple tree that I enjoy all year. I purposely modify my travel route when driving to see my friend Karon, in order to drive by that spectacular tree! Be watching for pictures, coming soon. The tree needs another week or two before it will peak. Finally, I was healthy enough on Monday to go photograph my friend Jodie's new baby, Ashten. He is 3 weeks old, and a total cutie pie! Here's my favorite pics from the shoot.

Alrighty then, grumpfest is over. I'm going to make an apple cake and an egg casserole to feed my Bible study ladies for breakfast tomorrow. And I also need to pack Snapper's lunch. Then I am going to bed. Night night, bloggy friends! I am thankful for you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

No Words Left

At 2:45 this afternoon, I picked Snapper up from school. As we drove to her swim team practice, we chatted about the events of her day. We don't have enough time to go home before practice, so we arrive at the swim club early and do Snapper's homework in the car. Her homework today was simply to read a book. I asked her what book she was reading, and she whipped her Bible out of her backpack. I was pretty surprised to see that. Here's how our conversation went.

Me: You took your Bible to school?
Snapper: Yup! During our quiet reading time at school, we can read whatever we want.
Me: So you're reading your Bible?
S: Yup, I took it with me yesterday, too.
Me: Why do you want to read your Bible at school?
S: Well, this is a public school and they don't teach us about Jesus. So I am taking my Bible with me so I'll be ready to tell other kids about Jesus if they want to know about Him.
Me: Wow! That's pretty cool, Snapper!
S: Yesterday Morgan and Aaliyah saw me reading my Bible, so I told them to bring their Bibles and we could read our Bibles together.
Me: Did they remember?
S: Yup, they both remembered. They brought their Bibles to school today and during reading, we sat together and read Genesis 3! I told some of the other girls, and I think Naomi is going to bring her Bible tomorrow. Are you happy, Mom?
Me: Yes! I am very happy, and I'm proud of you for wanting to share Jesus with your friends.
S: I knew you would be proud, but I'm not doing this for you, you know. I'm doing it for Jesus.

At that point I had no words. That doesn't happen very often! What more was I to say?
At moments like this, every parenting struggle and heartache fades away, and ceases to be important.

What I've Learned

It is time for another round of What I've Learned This Week, hosted by Musings of A Housewife.

1. Even though Ford sometimes has a bad rep, a good Ford is much easier to repair than many other vehicles. The alternator went out on my Ford Windstar this week, and my sweet husband was able to replace it himself with no difficulty. He has replaced alternators on other cars of mine, but they have been much more difficult and frustrating.

2. Spayed kitties are happy kitties! Even though the procedure was expensive, it was worth it. My cats have been so much calmer and more cuddly during the last week since they got fixed!

3. No amount of hand washing will guarantee protection against illness. For the last month I have been washing my hands and using sanitizer like a maniac. I have been scrubbing my kitchen counters with Lysol every day, and wiping my doorknobs down with Clorox wipes regularly. Heck, I even open doors in public places with a wipe or a paper towel. And I still got sick. After spiking a fever on Sunday morning, I decided to go visit the doctor yesterday. The diagnosis: acute bronchitis. I'm hoping, praying the antibiotic kicks in soon, because I am miserable.

4. Fall is my favorite season. I learn this again every time I step outside. Fall. Is. AMAZING!

5. Never take your eyesight for granted. Watching my sweet girl soaking in the world around her has spurred a mixture of emotions in me. For those of you just tuning in, my 7-year-old daughter was recently diagnosed with Amblyopia, a condition that has made her blind in her right eye. She got glasses 2 weeks ago, and it is like she is really living for the first time.

I know, nothing profound this week. But that's okay!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Camera Buffet

Fall weather is perfect for pictures! The temp is just right out, and everyone is happy. Fall foliage spices up photos, too. Add some soft clouds, and the lighting is perfect! All the conditions were perfect for my photo session with my friends Ross and Taya yesterday. Their son, E, turned 1 last week. I got to do a shoot with him when he was 6 months old. It was such fun to follow up and do his first birthday portraits, too! He is a regular buffet for my just ate him right up!

Little E at 6 months old, my favorite shot from that day

Little E at 1 year, my favorite shot from this session

First birthday collage

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Tagged by Stefanie

So as I look back through the 270 posts over the last 18 months, I realize that very few are about my hubby, and even fewer are about us as a couple. I thought this tag would be fun to post! A little bit about Matt and me!

♥ What are your middle names?

Susannah and David

♥How long have you been together?

We have known each other since I was born.

Dated almost 3 years

Engaged 8 months

Married 8 1/2 years

That means we have been "together" for almost 12 years!

♥ How long did you know each other before you started dating?

18 1/2 years...every day of my life!

♥ Who asked who out?

He did the asking.

♥ Who made the first move?

Our parents!

Our parents noticed the chemistry between us, discussed the situation together, and then talked to Matt about it. It made perfect sense to him because he had always wanted to marry someone he shared childhood history with (he did not believe in casual dating), so he called and asked me. And I fell over backward in my chair.

♥ How old are each of you?


him- 34

♥ Did you go to the same school?

Nope. We were in the same homeschool group for many years, though.

♥ Are you from the same home town?

We were both born and raised in the  San Jose Bay Area.

♥ Who is the smartest?

I'd have to say we're both pretty smart. We're smart in different areas, though. He has amazing Bible knowledge, and I'm the math whiz.

♥ Who majored in what?

Me- Child and Adolescent Development

Him- Biblical Studies

♥ Who is the most sensitive?

Me. For sure. But having kids has definitely brought out the seinsitive side in him.

♥ Where do you eat out most as a couple?

We have a series of favorites that we rotate through.

♥ Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?

The Caribbean

♥ Who has the worst temper?

Neither one of us has a bad temper. If you had to choose, though, it would be me.

♥ How many children do you want?

3 or 4

♥ Who does the cooking?

Mostly me, though he is a great cook, too.

♥ Who is more social?

Definitely Matt! He is amazing with people.

♥ Who is the neat-freak?

We both are neat people. Recently I've been kind of freakish about it.

♥ Who is the most stubborn?


♥ Who wakes up earlier?

Matt for sure! He thinks 5 a.m. is a wonderful time of day. I think 5 a.m. is closely related to the devil.

♥ Where was your first date?

Sushi at Shogun in Spokane

♥ Who has the bigger family?

Immediate family? Matt! He has 6 sisters and a brother.
Extended family? Me! Let's just say that our wedding photographer has to stand halfway back up the aisle to take the family photo because my family is so huge! I think we sent out 50 invitations to family alone! That's 50 invitations, not 50 people!

♥ Do you get flowers often?

Several times a year because he knows I love fresh flowers.

♥ How do you spend the holidays?

Happily... together. We have lots of rich traditions.

♥ Who is more jealous?

Neither one of us is of a jealous nature.

♥ How long did it take to get serious?

2 months!

♥ Who eats more?

Matt! Because I'm a good cooker.

♥ What do you do for a living?

We're missionaries. He writes coaching emails for people who bring groups to our marriage conferences. He also travels to several conferences each year and works with the volunteers onsite. I am the blogging coordinator for our marketing and promotions department. I get to read and reply to blogs! First and foremost, though, I'm a domestic goddess/life artist. =)

♥ Who does the laundry?

Mostly me. It is my very favorite chore! (Except for putting it away!)

♥ Who’s better with the computer?

We're both experts at different things on the computer.

♥ Who drives when you are together?

Always him.

♥ What is "your" song?

You're Where I Belong (Trisha Yearwood)

I tag Lori A, Amy H, and Christine.