Thursday, May 29, 2008

long distance hugs

our very good friends from back in illinois, rick and tanya, have a daughter named brooke. on april 20, 2008 sweet little brooke was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. i have experienced the full gamut of emotions associated with having one of your very best friend's children diagnosed with leukemia (which i am not prepared to get into here), but i did want to share a tiny ray of sunshine in the midst of this storm.

rick and tanya have set up a caringbridge journal to share brooke's story with family and friends. this afternoon as jonah was waking up from his nap, i got an email stating they had updated her journal. so as i was starting to hear jonah rustling, i clicked on the link to see their latest news.

as i read about brooke's latest treatment and all that goes with that, as well as the family's prayer requests, my eyes couldn't help but well up. here's part of their prayer request for brooke:

"Even today we are already seeing signs of the chemo taking effect on her body. Pray for courage and that she will feel comforted as these drugs do the brutal but necessary work that they will do over the next two months."

even now reading it a second time... tears. i'm not sure if it's the sadness of the situation or the hope the roberts possess in the midst of it all or maybe a little of both. rick and tanya, you're an inspiration. the grace with which you both have in the midst of this storm is a testimony to God's place in each of your hearts.

so as i'm finishing reading, jonah starts to call out "mama! mama!" i make a bee line for his room and proceed to scoop him right out of his crib and into a big hug. normally he puts up a bit of a fight. he's mr. independence lately. but today he just let me scoop him. and as i put my hand behind his head, he just let me put his head on my shoulder (which he never does). tears immediately welled up. it was like he just knew i needed a cuddle from my boy. after 3 or 4 tear drops and a few sniffles i let go a little. jonah just looked up at me and with his bink still in his mouth gave me a big smile. then we leaned our foreheads together, still both smiling.

but wait. it gets better.

not only did jonah let me hug him... but then jonah lifted his arm up and put it around my neck. he laid his head down on my shoulder and gave me a big hug. tell me, is there anything in the whole wide world better than a hug from a 20 month old? and part of me started to think, kids are so innocent, so pure. sometimes i wonder if they hear God more clearly than we do. God knew i wished i could just give brooke a big ol' hug right then, as much as for me as for her i think. so jonah and i are sending a long distance hug to you, brooke. i'm sending mine via your mom. thanks for sending one back via jonah!

i tell ya, it's been a rough week. jonah as i mentioned before is really starting to exert his independence. there's no more carrying him to the car or telling him when it's time to go. we're starting to look into discipline options, which is a chapter i was hoping to be able to put off a while longer, but here it is.

but then you have a moment like this and you remember why it's all worth it.

please join me in praying for the roberts family. you can read more about their specific prayer requests on their journal if you have a few minutes.

and here's one last picture. this is brooke's awesome big brother jacob. can't leave him out!

we love you guys!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

oh, the stories he tells...

half of the time i can't understand the words... but oh, the stories he tells...

me and my jonah boy on memorial day 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

a tour of the town

i love love loved the session i did today with jason and erica! they totally gave me THE tour of austin. my only regret is that i didn't bring a notepad. as we drove around downtown they kept telling me about all of these great restaurants i have to try. they were such a fun couple. i'm really sad they're moving to houston next week.

this was another session i got from michelle, my real estate agent friend. jason and erica were her sellers and she wanted them to have some pictures to remember their 6 years in austin by.

we started at their house and got some pictures in the backyard. jason and erica did a great job with all of their landscaping. they said it was a labor of love and it shows.

erica was totally cracking up in this shot because i had them stand by this big beautiful tree in their backyard. after i told them where to put their hands it ended up kind of looking like they were posing for a picture at prom and i said so. i didn't really love "the pose" in this shot, but i just love that look on her face!

i loved this little wood pile in the backyard...

oh yeah! we're rebels! this was totally a crazy shot to get. we had to time it just right with the walk/do not walk light. luckily the street was all but empty on this memorial day weekend saturday morning. and when we darted out into the street we were lucky enough to have some other pedestrians block some oncoming turners for us. whew! i love how this shot turned out!

fun doorway we stumbled upon near where we parked off of congress

the fence in front of the capital building...

check out that squirrel in the back that we managed to get to pose for this shot

erica, you've got the greatest smile!

my signature feet shot

st. edward's university

the view of austin from st. edward's campus

this was probably the best stop of our trip. following this photo i officially became an austinite. is that what we're called? austonian? hmmm...

anyway, jason and erica treated me to a blueberry pancake at austin java that was the size of my head. no wait. it was bigger than my head. it was as big as my plate. a full size dinner plate. it was just oozing with honey cinnamon butter and blueberry goodness. i couldn't even finish it. thanks for treating me, guys! yum!

i'm totally looking you up next time i'm in houston!

an actual photo shoot

after almost 6 months in austin i finally did a real live actual client photo shoot! my real estate friend michelle lee-wilder gave the gift of a portrait session with illuminate photography to her clients, ray and jill, after she sold their home. thank you, michelle! =)

oh and btw, ray and jill had so many great things to say about michelle. if you're looking for a real estate agent look her up!

so, back to the photo shoot. i had so much fun doing this session with this family! the kids were just crazy and warmed up to me really quickly. we did the shoot at their house which was really cool. i hope this gives you guys some good memories to take with you as you start a new chapter in your lives in a new city.

here are a few of my favorites. the rest will be uploaded here soon.

j & j had so much fun showing off and climbing in the trees. i loved this one i caught of the jungle boy...

j reminded me of that kid from that adam sandler movie big daddy. how adam sandler would let him call himself frankenstein and wear whatever he wanted. that was totally her personality and i love that her parents let her be herself. i could just squish her she was so cute. mom took her to a birthday party at the end of our session and she left the house wearing the dress above with shoes and rainbow striped socks. we joked about getting her a button that says "i dressed myself today".

hmmmm... i wonder what dad would look like with beautiful blond hair? see, i told ya. just crazy...
i absolutely love this shot of ray and jill! this part of the session was totally hilarious! ray and jill did a lot of work to the house. one of their big projects was putting some really beautiful tile in their master bathroom and they wanted to get some pictures of it. so i had them climb into the tub. i told them to pretend i wasn't there. and they proceeded to have a conversation about how they normally just sit in the tub and have a conversation because that is after all what they put the pretty tile in for. ha! congrats and good luck with the move, y'all!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

you are my sunshine

you are my sunshine
my only sunshine
you make me happy
when skies are gray
you'll never know, dear,
how much I love you
please don't take my sunshine away
did i ever mention that jonah absolutely loooves the water? these were taken out in the backyard after dinner tonight. click here to see the rest.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

this mommy's feelin' the love

yesterday morning jonah was having a minor meltdown. i decided before it got out of hand that it was time for a nap. i put him into his bed and gave him his bink. through the whining he signed for his cup.

when i came back into the room with his cup he had calmed down. i smiled at him and held the cup out for him to take. he took his bink out of his mouth, grabbed the cup, laid back with a smile on his face and as he put the cup in his mouth... he signed "i love you".

doesn't that just make your heart melt?!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

2 minutes in heaven is better than 1 minute in heaven

flight of the conchords... business time

then you go sort out the recycling... that's not part of it, but it's still very important

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

gol-lee! i love this band.

tenth avenue north - love is here

Friday, May 02, 2008

Jonah and cousin Katarina playin' in the sprinkler

we went over to cousin kat's house last weekend and jonah got to play in the sprinkler! ahhhh... summer fun (in april)!