the dreaded family photo

Another thing on my list of things-to-do-before-Zach-leaves was family pictures. As in pictures of our entire family.

Can I just add something here?



I already struggle with trying to photograph just a few of my kids together.

Getting everyone in the same frame, still relatively clean, all looking in the same general direction and not making a face is, honestly, ulcer-inducing.

Add to that the fact that for the entire family to be in the same frame, I had to figure out the self-timer (thank you, Victoria), set up the tripod (thank you, Asher), and depress the button and run to get into the picture. You know, acting natural and all.

It was not pretty. I’m so sorry to everyone who passed us on that path at the botanical gardens.

So sorry.


But I had a lot of skin in the game. I’d ensured everyone’s cleanliness, dressed them, fixed their hair and driven – two cars – all the way across town to a local botanical garden for pictures. By the time I set foot in the place, I was committed.

Thankfully, we did not leave empty handed.


Professional? Nope.

That’ll-do? Yes.


We even had fun in the process.

Okay, not a lot of fun. But enough as one can home for under such conditions.


I think the Sonic stop for 1/2 price slushies on the way home helped.

The best part? These were the last check box to complete our dossier for Miss Clementine.

Once we receive our USCIS approval (should be soon!) and we will be ready to submit our dossier.

One slightly painful step closer to our sweet baby girl.



In my last post, I promised I’d share about my birthday gift. The extra-special-something-I’d-asked-for.

And here it is.

Or more appropriately, here she is.

Last fall, just a few months after bringing our beloved Noah home, I knew that someday I’d want another boston terrier. I am, if you haven’t already noticed, kind of an animal lover. I’d have a houseful of dogs if Chris agreed. And once we got our first boston I knew, even Chris knew, this was the breed for us.

I also knew that if we ever did get another boston terrier, I’d want it from this particular breeder because I trust her. She takes impeccable care of her dogs and breeds very selectively (and very rarely) – only her healthiest, most well-tempered dogs – for the betterment the breed, not for profit. She also commits herself to all resulting puppies for life, which is why, after his first family no longer wanted him, Noah lived with her for the next 18 months before coming to live with us. She took him home, rehabbed him and would have kept him forever if she hadn’t found just the right family for him. And I really, really admire that.


Enter this little one. A few months ago, I got in touch with Noah’s breeder for a friend who – after researching bostons and falling in love with Noah – was looking for a boston of her own. I put them in touch with each other and they were able to work something out (Noah’s sister will be coming to live in Birmingham!). She also had another dog that needed a new family – a one-year-old that had just begun her show career when she sustained an injury from playing with a much-bigger Boxer. And although her injury wouldn’t require surgery, it would require an early retirement from showing and placement into a special family. She also shared that this dog was an extremely well-loved “pocket dog”, who loved being petted, carried, even dressed up.

And she thought that a dog like that might be right up our girls’ alley.


Of course, I completely agreed.

Especially since our beloved Noah has limitations. His 3 years have been more of a rocky road than a smooth path. And we have to keep his history in mind when deciding if the kids can do certain things with him. Carrying him is one of the things that is simply not allowed. Only the grown ups get to do that. He’s also over 25 pounds, so carrying would be tricky for our 32 pound Poppy.

But not this little girl. She weighs in at less 9 than pounds, fully grown. She’s like a perpetual puppy who not only tolerates being toted around and loved on by little hands, she actually thrives on it.

And I wanted her in a bad way.

So, as any wise woman would do when she wants something really badly but knows her husband has every reason to say no way to her request, I asked for her for my birthday.

Amazingly, he agreed.

Y’all, I cannot even begin to share the healing I’ve witnessed in the hearts of our adopted kiddos because of our dogs… especially Noah (and, I suspect, just as much with our newest addition). But that’s another post for another day.


For today, this birthday girl – and her giddy girls – are blessed indeed.


my turn (aka that cake!)


For all of one week, my husband was married to a younger woman. Then it was my turn. Forget the cheesecake and the ice cream cake. I wanted a girly cake. And – thanks to my beloved oldest child – a girly cake is what I got. I also got 11 handmade cards, created just […]

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…still partying …


And, one day after Isabelle turned 10, my husband turned 46. Not quite as exciting. But my mom, niece and nephews were visiting, and some partying definitely took place. Many, many handmade cards were read. Presents were opened. Turtle cheesecake was consumed. Fun was had. And it was good.

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Been loving my summer photography class. As always, Lisa is pushing all of us way out of our comfy-cozy-safe-place. Where – if it were up to us – some of us would stay. *ahem* And, I have to say, it has been so. much. fun. One of our assignments was to photographically interpret Mystical, Magical, […]

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we’ve been partying


Asher’s birthday in June kicks off almost a month of birthdays. Asher. Isabelle. Chris. And mine. Packed into 23 short days. And, despite the fact that I continue to run behind in getting these celebratory pictures posted, I’m determined. Because really, if you can’t publish a bunch of posts featuring relatively mundane birthday pictures on […]

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He’s entering his second year of college this fall. Over 600 miles away. So when he’s here over the summer I have weeks, not months, to do all-the-stuff-I-wish-I-had-all-year-to-do. Being a mama can be so hard on the heart. One of the things on that “to-do” list is pictures. Lots of pictures. On this day we […]

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he’s 15


Happy Birthday, Asher. Granted, this post is over a month late, but my lack of posting is no reflection of my lack of love. Because this boy makes me smile. He’s one year 11 months away from driving. And less than 3 years away from being officially an “adult”. He’s 6′ tall and wears a […]

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Yesterday was the 4th of July. Sun shining, high temps in the mid 80′s and a light breeze blowing. We had the picnic basket ready to go by 11 AM. By 12, our picnic lunch was devoured. And we let the kids – souped up on bologna sandwiches, cheese sticks and Cherry Coke – run […]

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meet our new daughter


It’s my birthday. And birthday girls get to do what birthday girls want to do, amiright? So today, on my big day (both figuratively and literally), I want to introduce y’all to someone very, very special. Meet our new daughter. We will name her Clementine. Clementine was a name we’ve considered in the past, but […]

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