Our Darling Boy

The last three weeks have been filled with fevers, coughing, headaches, sleepless nights, lot’s of tissues, cough drops, and smoothies from the freezer section at Costco.

Being a parent is wonderful. There is no equivalent. However, adding sick kiddos and mama getting sick to the mix increases the difficulty significantly.

Amidst all the runny noses, sneezes and sore throats there was something to celebrate…Riley's Happy Birthday hat

Caden turned 5. Five years old! My baby. He claims he is no longer a baby and he’s right, but he will always be my baby.

The morning started with Chris’ delicious Belgian waffles. Caden was elated and smiled throughout our Happy Birthday song.

It was time for making wishes, blowing out candles and feeling the first bit of sugar entering the system as maple syrup.

Next came the gifts, of which his favorite was the Angry Bird fan filled with candy from Aunt Carrie. He also loved the Lego’s and always enjoys putting them together with his daddy.1,000 piecesNew LegosFiretruckThe highlight of his afternoon was celebrating with fro-yo from Yoforia. What better for a sore throat? The other patrons joined us in singing. It was so fun!

We enjoyed dinner backwards as after Yoforia we went for “fancy” hotdogs. Mine was veggie and it was delicious.

The next week we celebrated with school friends which properly completed the festivities of transitioning Caden into his 5th year.

I realize this has been a total “Mommy post” which is somewhat out of the norm for my writings. I’m under the weather, making me more vulnerable to the sappy side. You won’t hold it against me, will you?

And let’s be honest…I’m insanely proud of my boys and sometimes it’s therapeutic to share my adoration so that I don’t explode.

Finding my Muse

JoyHello Darlings! It’s been rather quiet around here lately. For those of you who have emailed and asked why I’m not consistently posting, “Thank you!” It means so much that you have missed my voice.

Please allow me to explain.

For more than a year, I have been in the process of making some rather BIG life choices. They have not been taken lightly or made in haste due to the weight they carry.

As of February 1, I am no longer employed in my comfortable position with incredible people who support me…I am officially a “Freelance Photographer” or “Self-Employed.” Isn’t that terrifying?! I am forced to take full responsibility for everything that I do even if I don’t want to. There’s no one to pass the buck to. I am the “Sole Proprietor.”

That’s right people! I’m using grown-up words. And they’re using me! I now have a CPA and an attorney. I plan for taxes long before tax season. My organized chaos is now my home office.

There are several factors that went in to my having no mode of transportation other than a leap of faith.1. I truly believe that God is leading me and he is faithful.
2. I have a man who champions my dreams while holding me accountable.
3. I believe in taking risks.

I have met some incredible people. I am working with everyone, from 4 day old babies to corporate giants. I believe that we are all spiritual beings with skin on and that rather levels the playing field. I could give you the whole speal about making a difference, blind faith and helping those who need a hand up, not a hand out, but I’ll save that speech for another day.

My purpose, here, on this page today, is to connect with my readers. With those of you who have encouraged me and moved me forward. Those of you who have trusted me with a story filled with vulnerable statements like, “I was too ashamed to post this in the comments…” I want you to know, I’m not going anywhere. I may be quiet for a bit while I’m figuring out how to integrate my writing with my photography.

For those people who say, “You can’t do both.”
I don’t agree.
There have been times in my life when I had no words, but a picture taken told the whole story.
So where I am not setting out to prove anyone wrong, I am embarking on this journey with a sound mind, a full heart and open hands. And when I allow others to make me feel like any of those things have been compromised, I quickly return to the basic truth that God is for me and when I am faithful in doing the work, He will deliver the blessings.

This first year (or three) will not be without struggle. Of that, I am fully aware. I am going into it with enthusiasm and trust. Nothing truly worth having in my life has ever come without sacrifice, humility and perseverance.

So today, friends, I am grateful. Grateful beyond the words on this page and blessed far greater than I deserve or could have ever imagined. The future is very bright.

Love and Light,

Will you marry me?

We have this adorable little girl in our lives named Aubrey. She is my close friend’s daughter. She is funny and precious, full of wonder and overflowing with character. I cannot imagine life without her.

Oh, and I should probably mention that when asking my youngest son about her, his response is, “She’s my girl.”Yesterday I asked if she could come with us to the Botanical Gardens so that Caden wouldn’t be so reluctant to go and so that I could practice photographing with a specific lens. As always, it was delightful and we had a fun time running through trails, looking at fall decor and smelling exotic flowers.

The time I will most remember is sitting around the table at lunch. The conversation that followed was priceless. I was snapping pictures as quickly as I could throughout the discussion.

“Caden, do you wanna marry me?”


Caden continues to color. Never looking up.

Aubrey, finding this somewhat frustrating, asks a little louder and with more urgency.

“Caden! I said, do you wanna marry me?!”

Still looking at his artwork, he says, “Yeah.”
“When you’re married you can kiss whenever you want.” exclaims Aubrey.

Caden responds, “I’m gonna kiss you now.”

“Okay. Come kiss me then. The boy’s pose to ask the girl.”

Caden sends an air kiss and sits back down.Moments pass before Aubrey speaks up.

“Do you love me Caden?”

“I love you forever.” he replies. (Still coloring)

“Where do you wanna get married Caden?”

“At the Botanical Gardens.” he says.

“Do you wanna have a band?” she asks.


“My dress is gonna be made out of flowers!” she announces.

“That’ll be pretty.” he replies.

“Do we want to get married during the day or at night?” she asks.

He thinks for a minute…”At night. And we’ll have hotdogs, toasted cheese, brownies and pizza to eat.”

“Cake and ice cream later.” she adds.

“Okay! It’s settled!” she proclaims.

“Should I tell my mom?”
Related articles

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

For the photo challenge this week we headed out to one of my favorite places on earth this morning, Atlanta Botanical Gardens. It is a world of its own. One of the really cool things about the Gardens is that they receive endangered species, help them multiply and slowly release them back into their environment.

These frogs have always fascinated me. They are as beautiful as they are poisonous. There was a large piece of aquarium glass between them and me. Good thing as I’m certain I would have moved in too close.

The glass frog of the Nymphargus genus, which is potentially new to science, that was discovered in the mountains of the Darien region in Colombia.

Arrow poison frog. These frogs are highly prevalent in the forests of Central and South America. This is a newly discovered species, found at the Jatun Sacha Reserve in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Asian Black Spiny Toads (Bufo (Duttaphrynus) melanostictus)

Green tree frog found in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil.
I’m not sure where this little guy is from. If you know, please leave the answer in the comments section.


Watching the Orangutan

We were at the zoo this past weekend and I had such a great time watching this orangutan do somersaults (while eating) to get where he wanted to go. He had so much character. It was a lot of fun. I hope you enjoy the slideshow.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

These moments were captured using a Canon 60D, 70-200mm f/2.8 L, in sports mode.


Travel Theme: Couples

“Just because an animal is large, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want kindness;
however big Tigger seems to be, remember that
he wants as much kindness as Roo.”
~ A.A. Milne

“A little boy is truth with dirt on its face,
sunshine with a cut on its finger
hope for the future with a frog in its pocket.”
~ Callen AudricI wonder if the giraffe, with her elegant neck,
has to stretch before getting up in the morning?
Do you think she knows the uniqueness of her proportions and her coat?
The way her eyelashes curl as if just coming from a make-over
and her long black tongue…
she isn’t something to be explained only marveled.
Each week Ailsa over at Where’s my backpack gives a challenge. If you would like to participate and/or see the many other takes on the theme “Couples”
visit her and stay a while.