• ~Psalm 46:4-5~

    There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling places of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
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another reason why parenting is awesome

Tonight Bri took a thirty minute long bath. She loves to be in the water. It’s so hard to get her out of the tub. One of her favorite things to do is to put soapy bubbles on her face and say, “Look Mommy. I’m like Santa Claus. Ho ho ho!” It cracks me up EVERY time.

After her bath, we brushed her teeth and dried her hair. Then she scampered around finding a doll to sleep with (she really wanted to sleep with a wooden piece of pizza from her toy kitchen.)

We said bedtime prayers. I prayed for her to grow up healthy and strong with a heart for the Lord. I also prayed for her future husband, that he would grow up healthy, strong and passionate for God too. (You can’t start too early. ;o) Then she said the prayer we’ve taught her to say. “Dear God, I love you. Please help me to be a good girl. And please bless … Mimi, Gampa, Nana, Poppy, Mommy, Daddy, Missa, Josh, Aunt Beth, Lunton, Aunt Holly …” that list gets longer every night it seems!

After bedtime prayers we trade kisses. She’s learned how to make the smacking noise in the kiss and I love it! She giggles when she gets that one right. I leaned in close until our noses bumped. “Good night sweetie. I love you. You’re my favorite kiddo.”

As I pulled away she clapped her hands around my cheeks and pulled my face close again. “You’re my favorite kiddo Mommy. I love you too.”

And then my heart melted into a puddle on the floor. I love being a Mommy.

growing up and other random ramblings

My love for blogging seems to ebb and flow. Some months, I can find a story or a picture to share every day. Other months find me ducking in to share a quick anecdote and a picture. That’s the way I roll. I’m not apologizing for it, or anything.

But sometimes, after lurking on other blogs instead of writing my own, I find that I’ve lost my voice. That hasn’t been too much of a problem here, but on my professional blog, I am suffering from a major case of laryngitis. I find that I either repeat myself over there and just repost things from this blog, or I agonize for hours over what to type. It’s so hard to just let go and throw my personality into it.

I wonder if this is what it’s like to be shy.

Our darling Bri has been growing up during my long silences over here. She’s such a big girl now. Today we went to the mall with my assistant for practice shooting. Before we left, I packed the diaper bag with her sippy cup and some treats. Then I left it on the counter and marched right out the door! Brilliant! Luckily we keep spare diapers in the van, so all I had to make up for were the forgotten treats. Bri surprised me by using the straw correctly on her juice box. I didn’t know she could do that by herself now! Usually she makes a huge mess by squirting juice everywhere.

She also surprised me by climbing up the flower slide all by herself several times on the playscape. Usually she asks for help, but today she figured out how to do it all by herself.

We were delighted to discover that the pretzel shop was giving away free pretzels in the food court. And even though we got booted from Sephora (because I asked if we could take some pictures – harrumph – didn’t even get to take the lens cap off in the store) it’s pretty safe to say that all three of us girls had a marvelous time.

Bri still says cute little things that I hope I’ll never forget. She likes to say Mumby instead of Mommy and at night when we draw up her bath she asks us to “put bubbles known it.” We have a plethora of baby dolls that she adores. Her most recent treasure came from her Daddy for Valentine’s Day.

We were all sick last weekend and didn’t get to celebrate. So Thursday afternoon, when we arrived home from school, Hubs had a vase full of roses and a new Dora doll on the kitchen table for us. He’d also cleaned the house and bought me dark chocolate. Each of us had a sweet card with his love to us. It was so much more special than the expected commercial holiday! We loved it!

It actually snowed. Miracles do happen.

All photos copyrighted 2010 by Cindy Streams Photography. All rights reserved. Don’t steal without permission.

Twenty Ten

I blinked and it was over. 2009 has come and gone. There was a lot of stuff worth remembering but personally, I’m ready to “Keep Moving Forward.” So rather than re-cap the year, I’m going to re-cap the last few weeks and then move on.

Our Christmas budget was about $200 short of last year’s amount. So I didn’t send out Christmas cards this  year and I was super careful with my spending. As a result, Bridoodle had an ENORMOUS stack of gifts under the tree. I found some great deals. Seriously, there were so many gifts for her that she couldn’t open them all on Christmas day. We had four left over when she went to bed. Best. Christmas. Ever!!!

Hubster’s family came over to our house for Christmas brunch and he went to work that evening. So he got to see all of the unwrapping and eat yummy food before working. It was perfect.

Our daughter’s most treasured gift was the kitchen set that we assembled on Christmas Eve with parts strewn everywhere all the while watching The Christmas Story. (“You’ll shoot your eye out!”) I loved being in our own home for Christmas Eve and Day. We usually travel. It was so much fun to fill stockings and pile presents in our own living room. (We might make this a standing tradition!)

Bri’s second most favorite gift was a foam puzzle of the Disney princesses. It cost a whopping $1 and she pulls it out every day to play “puzzah.” She knows all of the princesses by name too. “Snoh White, Cinewella, Kasmine, Awiel and Sleeping Cutie.” (My favorite is Sleeping Cutie.)

For New Year’s Eve we went to a 1920’s themed mystery party. It was the sequel to one we’d done for Halloween and it ROCKED. I had so much fun! The hostess and I have been dreaming and scheming together for a couple of months. I call her the Ethyl to my Lucy. She’s awesome. So when I suggested a slideshow in addition to my regular shooting for the party, she was totally on board. It was a big hit and I feel confident that I can do it again for a wedding reception. I’m stoked!

After the party we went home and put Bri to bed before jammying up to watch the ball drop. We sipped sparkling white grape juice (a tradition that we’ve kept our entire marriage so far) and flipped channels. Unfortunately the sight of J.Lo in a skin tight unitard pushed us over to the Letterman show. We watched it and giggled deliriously. Hubs had been up since 4am for work. We kept flipping the channel so that we wouldn’t miss the ball dropping but somehow we did. At 12:09 I finally turned around to check the clock! So we laughed and headed off to bed. Apparently we missed the first nine minutes of the year!

We spent New Year’s Day on the couch recuperating. Then we went out to dinner at Outback. Bri could not handle the ten minute wait (so glad I called ahead because otherwise it would have been forty minutes easy) and we sweated though a couple of her meltdowns before being seated. Other than that though it was fabulous!

The next day we started a diet/excercise regimen. We bought a chin up bar and real dumbells so that we can do P90X together. The first workout kicked our butts! It was actually really fun. I can’t believe that Hubster can do 12 pull ups! He’s amazing! I can’t wait to see what we can do at the end of the program. Our reward for finishing it will be a trip to the beach this summer.

Looking ahead to the upcoming year I have two goals. For my business- I want to do three weddings this year. For myself- I want to be a better Bible Study leader and connect with my girls more often and on a deeper level this semester.

Everything is Sacred

I have a Caedmon’s Call song running through my mind right now that perfectly explains my recent lack of blogging. I’ve been so busy with the every day details of life. “My cup runneth over. I worry about the stains.” It’s been a busy month. I don’t know how we find the time to get to the laundry. Seems like we’re always on the go. But honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So here’s a recap of our month so far.

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Bridoodle turned two and we rented a moonwalk to celebrate. For some reason the rental company decided to be generous with their loan so we had a Disney princess castle in our yard for three days even though we only paid for one day.

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They weren’t kidding about the castle part either. It was taller than our house! Bri loved every minute of it. We let her bounce on it all weekend. She still looks out the window to inform me that Snow White is all gone.

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This year she finally got the concept of opening presents. I think she’ll remember them at Christmas time too. She had a harder time letting go of the new toy to open the next present but was easily coerced into more paper tearing. We had lots of fun eating her birthday cake and watching her rip into the packages.

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We spent the following weekend with Nana and Poppy. They gave Bri tickets to see Elmo in a live performance about Sunny the sunflower. I’ve never seen Bri so excited before. She gleefully shouted each Sesame Street character’s name as they came out on stage. We were all swept up in the joy on her face. It was a really fun experience.

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At one point Telly walked right past our seats. Bri decided to stay safely tucked in Nana’s arms, but she did watch and point as he continued down the aisle. It was a fabulous show!

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In addition to all of that, life’s been pretty crazy this month. Hubs and I got new cell phones and numbers. I’ve been juggling two jobs and loving it! The photography business is doing pretty well and teaching is trying to kill me. All in all, though, I am still having fun at both jobs. Here are a few of my favorite shots of Bri from her two year old session.

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Don’t let all of these sweet pictures fool you though. We’re definitely hitting some rocky patches with Bri. She’s the most willful thing you’ve ever seen! Charming one minute…

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and throwing a ferocious tantrum the next!

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I’m always amazed at the intensity and duration of her tantrums. She threw a nice fit at Radioshack over the weekend and we were worn out after it was over. I never knew it would be like this.

Here’s my last little story for this epic post. We discovered a free clown night at Moe’s by accident one night. Bri fell in love with the clown and let her paint a butterfly on her arm. {The clown’s name was Lollipop and she offered a great tip for parents of toddlers. It’s just as easy to paint on a toddler’s arm as it is her face, but it won’t upset her nearly as much if she can see what’s going on. Smart clown!}

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After we ate our burritos that night, we took Bri to the park so that she could run off some energy. Life is good. It’s busy but it’s extremely good. We’re too busy making memories for me to write them all down.

Feel

When I look at this photo, I feel the magic of childhood again. The triumph of standing where others thought you would fall. The serenity of not worrying about bills and choices and responsibility. The wonder of the sunlight streaming through the air. I feel all of that.

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For more captures this week go to I Should Be Folding Laundry.

Breaking News – Jumping Toddler Released From Crib

crib shot

In the middle of the night last night I heard a strange sound on the baby monitor. Sort of a “SPROOING” and it woke me up. The only thing that I’ve ever heard like that before was the sound of our springs being removed from the trampoline when we took it apart 15 years ago. (And by “we” I mean my Daddy. Of course.) So anyway, I tiptoed in the nursery and discovered that one of the support springs had popped off  of the crib!

You can see the broken spring in the bottom left hand corner.

You can see the broken spring dangling under the crib.

Hubster checked it out and we decided it would be fine for the night, but we don’t want to continue letting Bri sleep in the crib. It’s summer time and I think she’s ready for a big girl bed! We had a twin sized bed stored in our garage for this occassion, but it was ruined by the weather. Can you believe how much rain we’ve been getting lately?

Bridoodle loves to jump in her crib. No wonder the springs are popping off!

Bridoodle loves to jump in her crib. No wonder the springs are popping off!

I never post blurry pictures, but I loved these shots of Bri jumping on her bed. Her hands are perfectly still and in focus. And I can see her happy smile through the blur.

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We’re going to start her off with a mattress on the floor so that if she rolls off it won’t hurt. It’ll be a few weeks before we move up to a real bed. In the mean time, we will probably be losing lots of sleep.

making a break for it

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