Monday, August 1, 2011

July 365

(I accidentally hit "publish" half-way through the month, and those of you who subscribe got an unfinished post in your email inbox.  It was one of those sorry about that.)  Anyway, as many of you know, these posts are hands down my favorite posts of the month.  Taking a photo for each day is so much fun, and I often find myself realizing a theme as I snap and post each daily photo.  I find that my heart has been bursting with gratitude throughout this month.  Thankfulness for this season of life, whatever it may look like, and no matter where I find myself.  For the now.  For the here.  I've dug deep with this boy lately.  He is so worth it though, and I find myself often in the moment, (those really tough moments when I think there's no possible way I'm actually getting through) frantically praying, "Okay Lord, please don't let this all be for nothing."  Anyway- my boy.  He created a canon.  I have absolutely no idea why he needed one, but he used nearly an entire roll of packing tape in the process and then gleefully shot his canon at my sliding glass door for an hour.  I'm thankful for a boy who acts like a hooligan sometimes.  How could I not be?  And I'm thankful for the prayers so many of you have sent up for him- he has his final three hour evaluation tomorrow afternoon.  (I'm a little bit in knots right now, but that's to be expected.) 
My man finished painting all the kitchen trim for me, making me one very happy woman. I am most grateful for a partner who never takes me for granted.  A man who comes home at the end of the day and still takes me in his arms, happy to see my face.  A man who swings children up for for hugs and kisses, and says he loves us.  I'm thankful for his guidance that shoots straight as an arrow when I'm about to dive off the cliff of drama.  And most of all, I'm thrilled and thankful to have a man who knows how to use a paintbrush.  Hey, life is about appreciating the small things, right?
We prepared for July 4th, by frosting vanilla cupcakes, and icing cookies. I'm thankful for cupcakes.  My love-hate relationship with P90X is ending on Labor day.  And though I have lacked the ability so say no to several celebratory cupcakes throughout this season, up to and including Nurse Nicki's wedding, I am confident that I'll never lie on my deathbed, regretfully lamenting, "I should have eaten that cupcake."  Besides, I love food way too much to be a skinny minny.  I can own that, and so can my hips. 
Do you remember that post I did, where I listed my July 4th top ten favorite things?  Well this was it!!  My sis-in-law brought some fortune cookies to our BBQ.  (She knows how much my family adores fortune cookies.) I opened it up, and it took about a half a second for me to figure it out, scream my head off, and throw myself into the pregnant girl's arms.  Then I let go, screamed again, and threw my arms around her.  I might have jumped up and down and done some more screaming... It all got a bit fuzzy with the excitement factor.  I can't wait to love on this new little nephew or niece!  I am thankful for new beginnings.  Babies are one of my most favorite things in life, as those of you who read my blog often already know.  Officer McJakey is going to be a Daddy!  (I'm trying really hard not to drive my sweet sis (n-law) crazy... but I do check in almost daily to see how "my baby" is faring.  And I do sign every email "Auntie Sasha."  Now I'm excited because you know what I know, so now we can talk about it.  Yay!
Can you say, "Funniest photo moment of the century here?"  It was set up so perfectly, and I thanked my stars that I keep my camera on the counter top, for quick snapping.  They were all sitting there, taking a break from the heat of the day to watch a movie.  What a crack up.  Lucy is clearly enjoying the movie as well.  She loves her babies so much and I love her so much! A dog!  People, I just said I love a dog... what is the world coming to?  I can't help it... she is totally precious.  
 Yum.  Summer in a jar folks.  
This was Nurse Nicki's wedding gift.  (I suppose it's Todd's gift too...) 
These are the feet of Nurse Nicki's family.  It was a whirlwind kind of day for me, and this was the best I could come up with.  I have to tell you guys how thankful I was to be adopted into Nurse Nicki's family.  They made me an honorary cousin or something like that.  I loved her sisters and cousins and mama, and mom-in-law, and fathers, and aunties, and family friends, and well, just everyone.  Adrain was laughing as I was telling him about my day, because I must have kept saying, "Oh I just loved so-and so," and he was like, "Babe, you love everyone."  (Not strictly true, because I really can think of about three people in life, who aren't my most favorite people... but honestly I think you'd probably agree with me, you know?)  Anyway, apparently if I know, you, I love you.  Who knew?
I already showed this one, but it was my favorite photo from Nurse Nicki's wedding.  I was so happy to be a part of not only her special day, but her romance as it unfolded, and we giggled over her good fortune to stumble upon a sweet guy like Todd. I am thankful for dear friends. There was a time, when I wondered if I died, if I'd have enough girlfriends to carry my casket.  Though I have to say, I don't think girls really carry caskets.  I think that's more of a guy thing to do.  So really I probably don't have enough guy friends to carry my casket, because I saw "When Harry Met Sally" and I agree with Harry that girls and guys can't really be friends.  I suppose I'd have to enlist my girlfriends' husbands to all carry my casket.  And my brother and brother in law.  So yeah... I think I'm covered.  Anyway- my point.  Yes I have one.  And it has to do with NN's wedding, and yet it has everything to do with it. There was a tough time in life, when I was kind of drifting in the friend department.  And I can say that I'm most thankful for this group of girls.  They are the kind of girls who know you- the crazy you, the yucky you, the selfish you, the hilarious you, the emotional you, and goofy you, the sing-out-loud-at-the-top-of-your-lungs you, the quiet you, the steal-a-balloon-at-midnight-because-Erin-told-you-to-and-handed-you-a-pocket-knife you, and still love you anyway. 

And to be honest, I'm pretty sure all my girlfriends would carry my casket if I asked them too.  But I'll need some balloons on my headstone instead of flowers. Thanks.

I'm going to leave it at that, because those who know what I mean, know what I mean...
Yep.  This was one of those, oh-my-gosh-it's-5:00-and-I'm-making-dinner-and-don't-have-anything-for-today's-365 photos.  (And how may hyphens do you think I can get in one post today?)  Chopping veggies.  I really do lead a most exciting life.  Try not to be too jealous.  (grin) 
The hoodlums were coloring pictures for a little thank you project that I'm hoping to post on soon... when we get it finished. Which may in fact, be never, at the rate I'm going right now. (I know none of you believe me.)
This is some heavy (and amazing) reading material.  Have any of you guys read Ann Voskamp's book? Or done this Jonah study?  Wowza.  I am most thankful for a God who puts the exact right things in my path on the exact right days and thankful that my eyes see how it can not possibly be a coincidence that my very existence is traced by His finger, as he moves the pieces of life's puzzle into shape. 
I love the beginning of a project, when I've just purchased all the supplies and the anticipation is building.  These fabrics were so cute, they just called my name. Blown away that these market bags sold out so quickly too!  (I may be bringing some back to my Etsy store in September) Thank you guys so much for supporting not only my family but also my dear friend Kearsie, with the purchases you made this month from my store.  I'm getting a sweet little check in the mail to her as we speak, and it comes from all of you!  What a joy to be a part of this group....You all mean so much to me. 
Dinner finished.  Dishes washed.  Kids outside running off the last of the day's energy, before streetlights begin flickering on.  I'm thankful to live in a neighborhood where a small slice of what I had as a child exists in part.  I have good neighbors, and my children will look back and have fun memories.  I'm so grateful.
 Precious.  These moments, however coaxed, will always be my joy. 
 Fresh from the Farmer's Market, nothing tastes like a  ripe raspberry. 
 Essie's "Bachelorette Bash."  Wildly pink and pretty. 
Cousins who were soon to move playing together...  And then God stepped in and with one mighty tweak they get to stay.  What joy.  
 I always laugh when I get a photograph that really encapsulates the entire day.  I'm not sure this one quite does that, but somehow in my mind, the dots connect: This was the day we had the first of our extensive evaluations for JJ.  We did this a few years ago with a different psychologist, and I had completely forgotten what a drain this was.  I just kicked off my heels and collapsed, letting kids and dogs and mayhem swirl.  And then I met my book club, the Bookalicious Babes, for appetizers and giggles. 
 Trying to recover from the previous days emotional drain, not doing much but taking a few photos.  My kind of recovery. 
Now this one... well this one does speak for the entire day.  I laughed when I let the hoodlums turn on the television to watch Wild Kratts.  (Does anyone else have a total crush on Chris Kratt besides me? Please comment in if you do... Ha!) Both kids just zoned right out.  It was priceless.  We'd had such a mentally and physically exhausting week that zoning out was about the most perfect thing we did all day long.
I am most thankful for precious moments with my little girl.  It's such a treat being in this stage where we can hit a shopping center together and laugh and talk about fun things. 
Okay.  Fun day.  We stepped out of our box and helped clean up graffiti and alley ways of our city, along with several other churches.  I have to be honest, I wasn't feeling very well, and I didn't do nearly as much as my hoodlums.  I sort of supervised them working.  Still, it was such a good day working alongside friends.
Oh man am I thankful for this little guy.  He is just growing up and trying so hard.  He's got so many struggles behind him, and so many ahead but he's scrappy, and doesn't quit.  Many odds stacked against him, but he tries harder and harder, and every so often the sun shines on those efforts.  I'm very thankful for a God who loves us even when we fail. 
Thankful for simplicity that is beautiful.  
 Today... didn't get much done, except a fun little hour away at a consignment store, where I bumped into a dear friend.  But I did get to sit and snuggle with a little one, while their daddy read stories out loud, and got to knit under the observing eye of that sweet little one on my lap.  (It's hard to knit and hold a squirmy eight year old, but I wouldn't trade it.)
 This photo makes me laugh.  And it probably makes everyone who knows me in real life laugh too, because (and I'm not sure I've ever mentioned this to y'all) I hate, loathe, and detest McDonalds.  In fact, the hoodlums were so shocked and surprised that I said "Yes" when they begged me to take them through the drive thru at lunchtime, that they kept asking, "Really?  Are you sure we can?!"  I guess you could say that I'm more of a Subway girl.  JJ was gobbling down those fries just as fast as he could, like he was afraid I was going to swipe them and throw em away!  Hysterical.
So happy to be organized.  A girl's gotta control what a girl can control.  And I controlled the chaos.  Yeah! That might be the one and only thing I was able to control all day long.  But I'm learning to be good with that...
 Escape.  Where to I even begin with what I'm thankful for here?  My brother and his wife, who love my babies like their own.  (Now that they are pregnant, we figure it was our last overnight away until the kids leave home!  Ha!) Thankful for peace.  Sunsets.  Quiet.  Fun.  Adventure.  And a conversation that seeped healing into a cracked place in my heart that I'm sure to post on at some point soon when/if I work up the courage to share it with you guys.  It was one night, but man did we need it. 
 Breakfast.  Have I ever mentioned that I love and adore breakfast?  Breakfast foods specifically.  Brunch is probably my most favorite.... I'd have brunch with friends every day if I could.  I love it!  Nurse Nicki's bridal shower was a brunch.  Oh man.... heaven.  (This is Salmon Lox, capers, bagels, cream cheese, red onions, and a little squeeze of lemon, along with icy orange juice.  We always get this same breakfast every time we come here.  It's amazing.... if you love salmon.  Which I do.)
These are Adrain's little sisters.  Jeni and Char.  I began dating Adrain when these two were about the ages my hoodlums are right now.  They were such little girls!  So cute... and Adrain was never annoyed by them.  About ten years older, he was patient and just loved them to pieces.  Never missed a soccer game, that sort of good big brother thing.  Now they are my sisters.  So blessed to have them as a part of my family! 

Okay y'all... another 365 DONE! How was your July?


  1. As always, I LOVE your posts and photography!! :) Would love it if you linked this post up for Photo swap at my blog!! {grin} I'm the crazy person who is making you redo my bags!! LOL Oh and where do you get those cool old time crates from?

  2. My 2 year old loves Wild Kratts! I'm not a huge for loading on the TV minutes but it's a great show while I'm prepping dinner before my hubby gets home. Thanks for sharing your infectious joy each and the meaningful moments each month.

  3. i always love these posts girlie. such amazing pictures. that fortune cookie one just gets me. how sweet is that? and girl you look tan. i'm not believing for a second that you are really pale white. gorgeous!!

  4. Thanks for sharing with us! I LOVE your photos. I share your love of Ann Voscamp's book. I devoured it in 2 days, and now I'm trying to take the time to savor it more slowly. It hits me the same way your photos do, right in the deepest part, blessing me with peace and joy. I'm glad God gave us this little part of you to enjoy!

  5. Hola!

    Interested in knowing if your doing the Jonah study with the DVD or just the workbook?? Always looking for a good bible study and haven't done one of hers yet!! Working on Living Beyond Yourself right now...loving it!!!!

    Love you blog!!! :)

  6. Best of luck tomorrow. I hope you get the answers you need and want. Beautiful pictures as always. Adore the one with Lucy and the children watching tv. It's the little moments in life that are so precious.


  7. I, too, have a young son who has struggled far beyond what this mama thinks is fair and yet he perseveres far beyond what I think he can do. Our God is faithful and I am believing with you that God will continue to give you His that captures your heart with the promise of hope. Be confident that our God truly is the God who sees and He knows your name. And you are right, our boys truly are "worth it!"

  8. I think this was your best "365" yet! Or maybe most of the pictures spoke to my heart more than usual.

    Wish our boys could get together. They are both inventors...

  9. I read Ann's book in March and it has changed my life! You are going to love it! ENJOY!

  10. I love these posts oh so much. I can picture you being super excited and hugging your sil. I love the Bible shot. Our July was smooth and lacked any kind of schedule...loved it. Now it's time to get down to business.

  11. This was my first visit to your blog, and I LOVED this post and your pictures!! Amazing!! I'll be adding you to my blogroll so I can come back. :)

  12. Oh gosh, where do I start commenting on this post?! Love the s'mores canisters, love your new niece/nephew on the way (I've got one to...due next month!!!), love the pic of the kids and the dog: priceless!, love that you had a lonely season of no girlfriends (that's where I am right now), and that God blessed you with some (praying that will be the case with me too!), been thinking of getting Ann Voskamp's book...keep hearing good recommendations for it, just lost my Essie virginity this week, and I am IN LOVE! WHY did I wait so long?! Ok, that's enough comments for this post...gotta leave room for other people! :-D Thanks for sharing your life through pictures with us!

  13. WOW!!! just amazing pictures!! thankyou for sharing!!!

  14. Great photos! I love seeing them. Hey, I can't wait to see what you do with that window. I have several in my garage without a CLUE what to do. I've got an empty wall in my living room with no inspiration.. tips?

  15. Hey Sash, I always love catching up on your posts! The movie reference if I remember right is from Twilight. And I hope you have some of those new mint oreo cupcakes in the freezer next time I am over...they look to die for!

    Love ya,