May 12, 2016

Scrumptious Newborn Photos! :O)

I have the BEST neighbors, my friends. They are truly special, I am so thankful for them. And one of them recently was kind enough to have the most precious baby girl for me to hold and sniff and take pictures of. (I mean, there may have been other reasons for having her, sure...)
Isn't she perfect?!? She is about a week and a half old in these photos. I took them in her adorable nursery, which is full of light, and sweet, soft shades of cream and peach and robin's egg blue. She has three older siblings, all brothers, so I'm sure she will be doted on just as much as she ought to be. :O)

I'm trying to think of some ways to use my camera to help God love people...not sure exactly how to do that yet. For now I'm at least just trying to bless more family and friends with photos. I just love taking pictures. I love, love, love it. I wish I had fancy Photoshop software to make editing more impressive. Editing is half the fun for me, but Aperture is pretty limited. Not that I'm not grateful for it! Maybe if I stopped spending every free cent I had on iced coffee....haha, just kidding, we all know I'd be dead in three days! ;o)

Love you, my dears. Thanks for hanging around all these years to read my little blog. 
I sure love having you here. :O)

May 10, 2016

Paige's Simple Shabby Chic Bedroom

Oh man, I hate to even put that picture on here! ^^^ What a hot mess!! 
But I love the....

We were in the store a few months back and Paige saw a big, blown up sign advertising this Shabby Chic bedroom line and she was instantly head over heals in love! Which kind of surprised me, because in the past, she hasn't been super girly in her taste of bedroom decor. She asked if she could get the frilly quilt for her birthday, which was still months away, and I said "Hmm, well, we'll think about it..." knowing confidently that she would change her birthday request 100 times before May. But guess what? She DIDN'T!  She consistently asked for that thing for like two and a half months! So we decided to go for it, and surprise her with a few other things as well, to make it a whole new room! We've recently had electrical work done, which left big white patches on her light blue walls, so we told her that she had to sleep downstairs for a couple of nights while we painted the walls. **evil chuckle** She had NO idea what we were doing. Ah, I love it when they are young and easy to hide things from. ;o)

She's always wanted a desk in her room, so I snuck out one Sunday while she was at a friend's house (dude! it's hard to find a time when I'm not around her!!) and scoured our mega-huge-and-awesome thrift/antique store in town and found the perfect little desk with a stool and mirror! Score!! It just needed white paint, as it was a kind of yucky looking wood color. Then I covered the 90's tropical (but not in a cool way) fabric on the stool with a navy and white polka dot. I added a vintage floral hatbox from an old friend to hold accessories, vintage lace curtains from my mom/grandma, and handmade artwork. But my FAVORITE art is the vintage Samantha poster on the wall, which needs a frame still, and-get this!-was brought home by my husband! He found it at a thrift store, and you should have seen my dancing! Major brownie points for that one.

She was so surprised, and she LOVED it! In the midst of her gushing, she said: "Oh, Mom, this is like, totally a teen's room!" (the ultimate test in coolness) I didn't have the heart to tell her that it wasn't really at all what a teenager would want...I'll just let her feel cool. Because she is. :O)

So thankful to be able to surprise our little cookie pie! I never get tired of making her happy. Well, you know, except when I want to sell her to the gypsies. ;o)

Love you!

April 6, 2016


We went to the zoo in Indianapolis with some awesome friends a week or two ago. It was so fun, and cold, and the flamingoes were my favorite, and bears are so fuzzy it hurts to not snuggle them. But when I got home, I realized that most of my pictures were of my kids, haha. Nothing is cuter than those little beasts, and they are definitely the wildest of animals. :o)

Just feeling grateful today. :0)
Love you,

March 28, 2016


This seems amazing to me now, but up until, probably my early twenties, I had no idea that people were born with different temperaments.
I know. It's crazy. I also thought Alaska was an island until I was 17, so it's not that surprising. When my husband was in preaching school we were required to do some counseling and take temperament analysis tests, and it pretty much blew my little mind. I have always been a pretty introspective person, but no matter how much I tried to figure myself out, I just seemed like one giant paradox. It left me feeling half crazy, and a little like an alien. My temperament test said that I am a sanguine-melancholy-supine. Sanguine and melancholy, not surprisingly, are very opposite temperaments, and I tested compulsive in both areas. Lucky me. :) In the Myers Briggs personality test, that translates into an ENFP. ENFPs are Extraverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceivers. We're basically unicorns, and everyone thinks we're bipolar, but really we just feel all the things and have killer intuition. And let me tell you, being an intuitive feeler is no walk in the park. It's like going through a lifelong gauntlet of other people's emotions and intentions.

But actually, this post isn't really about me. It's about you. And, my sister.

After Nissa died, I developed a full blown obsession with knowing what her personality type was, and what she needed and what I should have said and done for her. I spent hours upon hours studying different types and comparing them with everything she ever did or said. I always came back to the same one: she was an INFJ. INFJs are the unicorns of the unicorn world. They are the rarest of all personality types (about 1% of population) and are the most fascinating and misunderstood people out there. They're introverts that people sometimes confuse as extroverts, have almost psychic intuition, are very deep feeling and compassionate, and have a great desire to fix people and the world. As confused as I was about myself growing up, I was always a little more confused by my sister. There was something...different about her. Something I couldn't name. It was like I could feel her *specialness* but I couldn't verbalize it to anyone. And oh, I desperately wanted to, because from as early as I can remember, people called her weird. Over and over again they treated her like an outsider and took her for granted because of that little nameless something. And the funny thing is, the STUPID thing is, I thought it didn't bother her much. I thought she "wasn't very emotional". I could not have been more wrong. And in the end, I took her for granted, just like everyone else did.

The reason I wanted to write about this, is because...if you feel weird, or like an alien, or misunderstood...I just want you to know that you're actually so perfect. I mean, in your weirdness. Your uniqueness is exactly how you're meant to be. And it is wonderful. And we really need you. I love learning about temperaments and personality types, because it reminds me of how we're all made in God's image. INFJs can read people, like how God knows everyone's hearts. ESTJs, like Paige, are authoritative, like the Author of Life. ISFPs are artistic, like the Painter of the heavens. And we don't need four letters to understand that we're all different and special, but we do need to know that we're made the way we are on purpose, and we need each other to balance out, and to develop into more well-rounded individuals. And yes, it hurts and feels so lonely to be misunderstood by everyone, but don't give up and kill yourself, because you'll miss out on what that lonely feeling is supposed to bring you to: a relationship with your Creator. He's the only one who will truly ever 100% "get you".

Oh. Also, if you're not the "weird one", please be nice to those who are. And be nice to the mean one, and the bossy one, and the clueless one, and the selfish one. Chances are, they don't even know that's how they come off. Some people just don't understand feelings very well, they don't mean to be rude. Some people are just forgetful, they don't mean to be inconsiderate. Have mercy on people, you might just save a life.

Thanks. :O)
Love you,

P.S. You can take the Myers Briggs test here, if you're curious about it. It really helps some people understand themselves better. 

February 10, 2016

Girl of the Year: Lea Clark!

Squeee! Isn't she beautiful?? I instagramed my excitement last month when American Girl sent me and Paige their gorgeous new Girl of the Year, Lea Clark, and told you that we had exciting plans for her. Finally today we can post about her!
Lea is ten year old who loves animals, adventure, and photography. She takes a life changing trip to Brazil with her family where she learns to overcome fears and see life through a new lens. Her collection is ADORABLE!!
When I first saw the pictures of Lea I immediately thought of our sweet neighbor girl, Nora, who looks just like her!! The same unique hair and eye color, and even Nora's summer tan looks like Lea's. I thought: "Oh, wouldn't it be a fun surprise to give it to her!", but I had already told Paige about us getting Lea and I knew she'd be so disappointed if we gave her away. And frankly, the more I looked at pictures of Lea, the more I was like: "Who's Nora??" But. As excited as I was about this beautiful new doll, I was even a little more excited about the opportunity to show Paige the fun of being generous and helping God bless other people. So when I talked to Nora's mom later and found out that not only had Nora been wanting Lea, but her birthday was coming up in a few weeks! I was like: "Oh we are so doing this." Besides, it seemed kind of like the American Girl thing to do. They really are a sweet and generous company, I really like them. And that's not me advertising for them. Paige wasn't quite sure about the idea at first (I waited until she was fully on board) but after some consideration, she was really excited to share the doll with her friend. It was like torture to wait until her birthday party, but it was totally worth it to watch her unwrap it and get a huge monster hug afterward. Such a fun experience!! I'm so grateful to American Girl for giving us the blessing of being able to bless others.
And I can't promise that I won't turn around and buy her after I'm done saving up for these plane tickets. :o) :o) :o) I mean, her hair.

Talk to you soon! Love you!!

February 2, 2016

Now Offering Mini Sessions Locally!

Hello, guys!!
I wanted to quickly let any local readers know that I'll be offering mini photography sessions for kids' Valentine's photos this weekend! I'm shooting right here in my home, so if you live in or near Kokomo, IN I'd love to work with you! I am open to scheduling later dates, too, if you need.
Since you guys are my blog readers, and I always overshare with you, I'm going to say that I normally HATE charging for photos, and this idea actually terrifies me. Shooting for friends is no big deal because if you mess up, they still love you. But for the public?  **faints** However! Paige and I are trying to earn some money to fly back to see my mom in a couple of months, so we thought this might be a good way. :O) It's so weird to think that I haven't seen my mom in almost a year. That's never happened in my life! I know I'm spoiled, people go that long (and much longer!) without seeing family all of the time, but with all the heartache my mom has been through this last year, I just really need to hug her in real life. That's actually the whole reason we launched Joy Medley a little earlier than we planned. So thanks also to everyone for supporting us that way!

So! Yes! Photos. Since Valentine's day is coming up on us fairly soon, I'll do my best to get all your edited images sent to you within 48 hours, so that you can get them printed right away!

Thank you!!
Have a good day!! Love you!


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