Judah and Tilly are Home!

10488043_10154427369405613_5335176569701786516_nAfter seven weeks of: training, time in Guatemala and Malawi and a few days of debrief, they are HOME! It was so good to see them in the airport. Both look healthy, strong and more mature (hard work and world travel will do that to you).

Home from Teen Missions

After a seven hour round trip to pick them up, we came home and enjoyed pizza with my parents. We have heard many stories and adventures, but haven’t seen any photos yet. Tilly was thrilled with her “new” vintage bed! I never did sand and repaint it, but she can  do that if she wants. Otherwise, she still has a cute bed that matches her room. She painted the room just before she left and was happy to arrive home to the surprise.

Now I’m off to enjoy my children for the day. Prepare yourself for an influx of Teen Missions  photos!


2014 Church Campout

Warning: Happy, Smiling Children Ahead.20140727_4392 blog

I had a sudden epiphany this weekend. If people go camping to “get away from it all” then my family’s version of camping ought to be a weekend in a hotel with room service and air conditioning. 20140727_4393 blog

Life with ten kids at home is pretty much the definition of “roughing it”. I mean, think about it: we live on five acres in the woods, have only wood heat and frequently have to stand in line for the bathroom. After a day of play, my kids looks pretty much life everyone else’s kids after a weekend of camping.20140727_4395 blog

But alas, the annual Church Campout is tradition for our family. So we load up our van with tents, sleeping bags and enough food to last the weekend and relocate to a campground a whopping 30 minutes from our house. 20140727_4409 blog

This is Calvin, he was the first baby whose birth I ever photographed! He’s such a cutie!

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And this is his sister, Emma. I missed her birth because she chose to be born the day I left to take Apollo to Texas for surgery. 20140727_4411 blog

Why yes, this does make me nervous, but Chuck thinks kids can’t grow up to be well-adjusted without climbing trees.20140727_4413 blog 20140727_4415 blog 20140727_4418 blog 20140727_4419 blog 20140727_4420 blog

Three little puppies: Tiger, Fufu and Caterpillar.

feeding tube camping

Necessity is the mother of invention…Chuck rigged up Apollo’s feeding bag to the top of our tent for his nighttime feedings.20140727_4422 blog copy

Our cheeky little friend who loved our campsite.20140727_4424 blog 20140727_4436 blog 20140727_4437 blog  20140727_4443 blog 20140727_4452 blog

And you know I made a video of our weekend!

triple stroller

I can’t say I’m sorry that our triple stroller days are over…

To see more of our Church Campout adventures, click here: 2009 and 2013.

Choosing to be Positive

20140721_4264 blogIt’s been a little quiet in this space because I’ve been fighting a cold and that has zapped my energy and creativeness. I haven’t touched my personal photos in a week or two, so here is another one from Levi’s newborn session. This room has the most delicious light and I like to take full advantage of it! When I first started out doing newborn photography, I tried to do all the naked baby stuff, but as I learn and grow more, I have found it is the lifestyle stuff that really speaks to me.

I wanted to share with you a post I shared on my Facebook page recently: I Don’t Care if You Like it: I’m Going to Keep Showing Happy Pictures of my Family on the Internet. I have nearly written this post a dozen times myself. As a blogger, it seems everyone has something critical to say. I hate the comments, accusations really, about bloggers only showing the “Pinterest-worthy” stuff…I mean, first of all there is common sense, of course if I am sharing a recipe or project, or the kids playing in the sprinkler, I am going to share the best images with you! The other thing is, I want this space to be a positive, happy place.

When I posted this blog entry, On G-Tubes and Heart Defects, over two years ago, I got some nasty comments about my complaining about “a lack of money”.  I was accused of not being thankful for our health insurance. I got questions about whether we actually paid for  the insurance, or got it free because of our large family size (not that it matters, but it was a BIG name EXPENSIVE insurance company).  It was written in a dark moment, on a dark day. The stresses of my new life with a chronically sick child were wearing on me. I wrote from my heart and it was cathartic. I also hoped someday it would help another mom, dealing with similar issues.

I’ve shared with you the time Judah saved his wart (in a kitchen drawer)...and the time Enoch put a dead goldfish in his wallet on a hot summer day. I deal with difficult days by finding the humor in the situation. I have shared a few, but not many, of my children’s struggles. I’ve been accused of showing pictures of my “happy smiling kids” when things were not all peaches and cream in our family.

Here’s the deal:

I choose to focus on the positive, in my daily life and on my blog. It’s the way I choose to live. I come to this little space and share my story. My perspective. Not my children’s, not my husband’s. The happy moments are the ones I want to remember, the ones I want to have memorialized. We all have struggles, bad days. Sometimes bad years. My life is messy, but choose each day to wake up and focus on the positives, the blessings.

Happy Friday!



Sweet Baby and More

natural light newborn photo

I have been totally swamped over here with photography stuff, which is a good thing. I just finished one birth gallery, have one more to edit, one Superhero Project shoot and this little guy’s newborn photos. That may not sound like much to some, but with a houseful of kids and no nanny (where are you Claire???) it’s a lot.

I’m actually kind of in love with this photo and want to hang it on my wall, but that seems a wee bit creepy.

Judah and Tilly will be home from Guatemala and Malawi in one week! Can you believe it? As excited as I am to see them, hear about their adventures (and lets be honest: SEE THEIR PHOTOS), I am sad their trips are coming to an end. It is a hard thing to leave the friends you have bonded with over such an adventure.  Adalia became so attached to one of her team members she married him. And I married one of my team leaders, so there you have it.

You have probably noticed the small changes I have been making to ease my dear readers into my name change. Soon (I am not sure exactly when) I will be forwarding this address to: littleearthingblog.com. I am trying to make a clear connection between my business, Little Earthing Photography, and this space here. Nothing will change for you as far as content; just the name.

I have several clever, witty, brilliant blog posts written…in my head. I hope they make it on the computer and on to this blog some day.