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About Me

About Me
Hello. I'm Grace. Lover of the Lord & lovely light. Army wife to handsome T. Mama to sweet baby S. Photog. Labor & Delivery RN . Crochet, DIY & craft obsession. Coffee & Pinterest addict. Blessed beyond description

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I Heart Faces Challenge

I've entered the I Heart Faces "Best Face of 2012" Challenge. Head on over to
 I Heart Faces and check out all of the entries and sweet faces of 2012!

The sweetest face of 2012. Sunshine on his face and adventures with his mama. Life doesn't get much better than this.

 Photo Challenge Submission

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dear Savvy Mamas Everywhere

Dear Savvy Mama,

You know who you are. The Mama who is wiping runny noses, changing messy diapers, fixing endless meals, doing dirty laundry, soothing crying infants, waiting up for teenagers, supervising homework, washing dishes, bringing in a paycheck and picking up after another toddler tornado doesn’t seem like important work. You have your hands full and the list is endless. But don't forget how amazing you are.

You love your family, your husband, your children. You have your faith, your goals, your dreams and desires. Don't put your dreams on the back burner. Don't forget how amazing you are.

I recently moved 973 miles from my home. Away from my job. Away from my friends and immediate family. As an Army wife, I happily support my husband's career; his ambitions, goals, dreams, and desires. It's often easy to put my health, career, goals and ambitions on hold because my husband's needs and my family's come first. There is always a reason and an excuse that I can wait. But I am tired of waiting...... especially when I pick up that camera.

I have been praying constantly for God to lead me in his will. What is his direction for me? What is his plan? Is it to be a stay home Mom right now? I want so badly to start a successful photography business. One that is not like a "run of the mill" photographer. I have the burning NEED to make a positive change is people's lives.  I was doing research one night feeling so discouraged about how little information there was for paying it forward with my business. I happened to pull up my business FB page and across my news feed I read, “Don’t miss the feature about the Pay it Forward Movement”. I sat and cried because God could not have spoken to me at a better time. I plan on weaving the idea of giving into the very fabric of my little business. You should check these ladies out. It's amazing what they are doing. It's amazing what God and the power of prayer has done. Will you be paying it forward this season?

These amazing women over at The Savvy Photographer have also given women the opportunity  to win a spot at their February 2013 Photography workshop in Florida. They are blessing women with their God Given talent. You should check them out. Give them a shout of for the amazing opportunity they are creating for these women. I have entereted the give away. You should too!

When we dream and accomplish our goals we are a role model for our children and family. But, before most women can wrap their minds around a goal that goes beyond our families; we must release any guilt we have about doing so.

And as your dreams unfold, you'll have more energy and optimism to help your children and family make their dream a reality.

What are your dreams, goals, desires, ambitions? What are your reasons for putting them off? Will you make a conscious decision to no longer put yourself on the back burner?

“I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” -Psalm 34:4

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Best Buds

 I'd like to think I am Sawyer's best friend- but I'd be lying to myself.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Sawyer

bit·ter·sweet/ˈbitərˌswēt/ pleasant but tinged with sadness

Oh. My. Goodness. How on earth is it possible that I am the mother of a toddler today? How has a year already passed? I knew it would go by fast but I think it was more like warp speed. Now- don't get me wrong- there were moments that I thought would never end (EVER). Yet, they did end.....and faster than the blink of an eye.
And yet I can't believe it was a year ago that I laid eyes on him the first time. I loved him from the moment we knew he existed, and fell even more in love with him when I saw him. I felt so lucky, so privileged to have that little bubba slug to be mine. Even though it was a really, really rough delivery I remember looking at him, just hours old, thinking I'd do it all over again a hundred times to just have that baby.

I love seeing each and every one of his milestones. I get so excited when he does something for the first time even though it means that he is growing up. I adore it when he calls for me, seeing his sweet smile each morning and when he hugs my neck when I pick him up. He brings me more joy than I ever thought possible.

Oh Sawyer Baby,
You're are my greatest gift ever- a special delivery straight from the hands of God. I could not imagine life without you. You have been more of a blessing to us than you could ever imagine.
We love you so much and can't WAIT to see what else God reveals to us through you. We pray that we may continue to lift you up to Him as He forms you eventually into the man He created you to be. We hope that our family will continue to keep Christ as our center and our number one goal will continue to be to follow Him

We love you a bushel and a peck, kiddo <3

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Trimming the fat (part II)

When I was young(er), I wanted to be friends with everyone. The more the merrier. If I ran out of fingers while counting “best” friends on my hands, my life was pretty awesome. This carried over to junior high, and eventually high school, where it became a nearly impossible feat. In high school, you simply can’t be friends with everyone. Ironically enough, I wanted everyone to like me when in fact, I didn’t like everyone back.

In my twenties, I started taking friendship a little more seriously. It was not something to be counted on fingers and toes, or really anything to count at all. That once coveted number gradually began shrinking, as if my friendships were petals being carefully plucked one by one from a dandelion.
I started trimming the fat.

Sometimes I’ve had friendships end so abruptly and effortlessly, that I wonder how we even became friends in the first place. Often, it doesn’t take much to end a friendship, especially a weak one. It can happen in one day, in a fleeting moment even, where you see one of the most beautiful people you’ve ever met show their true, most unbeautiful colors. And that’s it. You see right through them, and decide then and there that you would be better off without them in your life.  One ridiculously undramatic conversation later, it’s over. And it’s like it never even happened. You don’t ever see them or speak to them again, and your heart doesn’t hurt at all. You wish them the best and move on without so much as one tear shed, while you wonder one last time why you were ever friends in the first place.

Other times, friendships end so gradually and so painfully, it’s like a virus slowly taking over your body. It sucks the life out of you. And you’re confused and you’re angry and nothing about anything makes sense anymore. And your heart can be so full of hurt that all you do is cry and pray and cry some more. You ask God for wisdom and understanding and patience because you need it now more than ever. Accusations are flying at every turn, like tiny daggers sharply digging into your skin. And your heart pounds with frustration because none of it’s true and everyone keeps reassuring you that none of it’s true. And you know that none of it is true. But how could they possibly think that it is true? How could this person who has known you for so many years turn out to not even know you at all? As if you woke up one morning and one of your closest friends is suddenly a complete stranger. As if your entire friendship was based on a misconception, a lie that is so far from the truth it’s frightening. You cry and pray and cry some more, while everyone tells you to let go because you’d be better off without the poison in your life.

And finally, after gallons of tears and hours of prayers and enough hugs to satisfy your soul, you let go. 

And it’s done. You’re free. Free from the lies and the hate. Your body, mind, and soul feel a new sense of lightness, and they thank you for finally taking the step. For finally trimming the much-needed friendship fat from your life.

And then you breathe. You count your blessings. You smile at your new friends that feel like old friends. The friends who love you, and listen to you cry over the brokenness. The friends who lift you up in joy and celebrate you wholeheartedly at every point of triumph. There is no jealously. There is no competition. There is just, friendship. Good, pure, honest, do-anything-for-each-other friendship. We laugh and cry and hurt and smile and it changes day to day. But the friendships don’t change. They are consistent and loyal and aren’t going anywhere. They can move across the country or move to the moon and it wouldn’t matter either way. Because their heart cares for your heart and your soul cares for their soul. And that’s not something to give up on, or walk away from.

That’s good, pure, honest, do-anything-for-each-other friendship.

And if I have that in 10 people instead of 50, my life will be pretty awesome.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The kind of mom I want to be

I want to be the mom that doesn’t freak out over the little things. You know, the type that lets my baby eat dirt occasionally. I want to be the mom that lets my baby discover things on his own. Even if that means a few scabby knees now and then that I later kiss, clean, and cover with a spiderman bandaid.

I want to be the mom that makes a big freaking deal out of birthdays. Not the pinterest-shabby-chic-vintage-party kind of deal but the kind of deal where my baby is SO excited to wake up on his birthday because he knows what’s coming. He knows there will be chocolate chip pancakes and confetti and a trip to the zoo and juice boxes galore. He knows he’ll be allowed to stay up past his bedtime and eat extra dessert and *possibly* skip his nightly bath. Yes. I want to be the mom who makes a big freaking deal out of birthdays.

I want to be the mom who teaches my son to love everyone, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation (insert difference here _________.) I want to be the mom who teaches my son that it’s not okay to judge other people based on those differences, but that it’s our job to love people like Christ loves people. I want to be the mom who cares more about that lesson than anything he learns in algebra class.

Speaking of algebra class, I want to be the mom who helps with homework. And by that I will  secretly look up the answers on my iPad if I don't know the answers and pretend to possess the knowledge all along so my son will respect me.

I want to be the mom who always has the good snacks. And the good juice boxes. I want to be the cool mom.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I want to be the mom who knows how to throw a football, and knows how to hunt, and fish too (so I can be as cool as his dad someday). I have plenty of time to learn, right?

I want to be the mom who asks all the right questions at the right times. Questions about girls and friends and drugs and sex and all of those kinds of awkward questions that need to be addressed at some point.

I want to be an imperfect mom. The mom that makes mistakes, forgets dentist appointments, and occasionally burns dinner. I want to embrace that imperfect-ness and own it. Every day.

I want to be the kind of mom that helps other moms, and refuses to partake in competition mompetition.

I want to be the kind of mom that is a damn good wife, first and foremost.

I want to be like my mom, and my grandma, and my mother in law. All these women are  strong, talented, amazing, beautiful, individuals. How they put up with Thomas and me all these years... I'll never know.

And perhaps most of all,

I want to be the mom who loves hard—unconditionally—the person her son grows up to be, knowing full well that God designed him that way for a reason.

I've had this gig for almost a year (this is my first Mother's Day) and I've got it for the rest of my life. Wish me luck.

Monday, April 30, 2012

see through

trans·par·ent [trans-pair-uhnt] –adjective: easily seen through, recognized, or detected.

A recent discussion among girlfriends centered around the question—what qualities do you find most attractive in other women? In other words, what draws you to become friends with them?

Surely we know what qualities attract us to men, for we start noticing that around age _____ (answers may vary).

While my original answer was “women who are low-maintenance”, I later gave it some serious thought and settled on my final answer: women who are transparent. At first glance I realize this word has a negative connotation, but I would ask that you reconsider your grammatically instinctive feelings.

Transparent: easily seen through, recognized, or detected.

Now consider that word in relation to the heart. If you are transparent, I can see through you to the center of who you are. You are you, and you’ve always been you. You know your strengths just as well as you know your flaws. People can see them, recognize them, and detect them.
While I’m (let’s be honest) probably never, ever going to be low maintenance (sorry T), I am capable of achieving transparency. I want to be transparent. When you see me, I want you to see me.

For all that I am, good and bad, and all that I’ve become.

Here’s a start for those of you who might possibly be interested…

I am impatient. Not like I hate traffic or waiting in line. More like if anything takes longer than 0.4 seconds (EVER), I become instantly annoyed. It is my biggest flaw and my greatest prayer that I will learn to master this amazing ability (*As God laughs at that statement and hands over Sawyer- whom requires patience*). I expect a lot from myself, which typically translates into expecting a lot from others, which typically leads to disappointment. I have a really hard time saying no. I enjoy giving gifts much more than I enjoy receiving them. I don’t forgive as easily as I should. I would do anything for my true friends and family. I am always over analyzing everything that everyone is saying which leads to over analyzing what they are thinking which leads to a headache. Sometimes I am too honest and it gets me in trouble. I doubt myself more than I should, and I’m probably much stronger than I think I am. I know there is an inner clean freak inside of me dying to emerge as well as that aspiring photographer with endless beautiful photographs. Sometimes I love too hard, and sometimes I don’t love hard enough. It irritates me when people speak with prepositions at the end of a sentence ("Where are you at?"). I am incredibly stubborn but rarely admit it. I get sun poisoning, have grass allergies, and peel my nails . I always spell thesaurous wrong (see?). I wish I were less selfish and had more time to be independent. I need to be more grateful. I watch 16 and pregnant and feel completely ridiculous when I still feel like I can relate with these girls. I can eat an entire bag of popcorn (with jalapeno seasoning) in less than two minutes. I fear not being everything I know I can be. I fear not being a good enough mom for Sawyer. I fear I will disappoint the people who love me the most.

Will you let me see through you?