embrace me

i am sure you have seen this button before, right?

why is this girl so darn cute?
she claims to have greasy hair....yah, right.

but i have been thinking a lot about this idea to challenge yourself to be in photographs.
i have been thinking about how it really is true that when i look back on photos of my mom, i never think about if she has a double chin or her tummy.
i look right at her eyes and wonder how she felt that day.
what was happening in her life?
how did she feel about my dad?
was she in a fight with a friend?
was she frustrated in her job of being a mother?
was she embracing her life or disappointed....
that makes me want to take more photos of myself...somehow.
to give my kids the gift of a visual image of their mother that lasts beyond my life.
that idea means something to me.
i am a visual person and i love photographing relationship.
and love looking at photographs that capture relationship.
so it isn't too far a stretch to think that my kids might find value in that too.
i am not sure how i will accomplish this though.
a tripod?
teach my kids more about photography so that they can help?
yah! i like that idea!
most pictures you see of me on this blog are from photo booth or taken by tiny ty (my 5 year old).
but here are a few taken by my reedo when we took a family walk up in the hills the other day.
i gotta say...not too shabby huh?
 this one(below) is my favorite.

ok ok, i took those last two.
but here is one that i didn't like my face in, but am adding anyway.
this it the one that inspired the thoughts about how silly it is to think so hard about double chins and weird over perfectionist ideas about how i look.
it's fine, right?
good hair. good arms even!
and i am running and playing with my girl.
but still, i'm thinking i want to get rid of it since my face isn't my favorite expression? dumb.
i tell you people! it's always something!
so i am stamping down those controlling, self conscious feelings and posting these babies and i am promising more to come.
more self portraits.
i promise.
for my babies.

and for now here are some i took up in the hills too....

 um. he is so so handsome, i know.
he is easy to photograph too since he doesn't change his expression when he sees me coming.
i make weird faces when i see a camera coming.
he stays just. the. same.
in fact i think photographing him needs to be more common as well...
since everything i said above applies to their daddy too....
plus, it's fun.
as long as he likes me at the moment :)

and here is one i took of myself that day.
i am trying, see?


today i wore a onesie.

it is a onesie  (1-sy, won-sie?)...with coo-lots (coollots, cool lots, cu-lots.....um.......)
i am not sure if either of these descriptions are even words....
yah, here it is again...
yes those are boots with it...i am gutsy.
have you seen that baby at target?
floral. big bow over the boobs.
i rocked that puppy today at d-land.

we ditched school.
got krispy kreme.
and went to the happiest place on earth(that is a very questionable name, btw).

we had a dandy time.
until naptime came.
and no one was napping.
and after a late night watching "pupunzel" on the garage, a nap was very very necessary.
ella freaked out that her ice cream was served in a cup instead of a cone.
delicious strawberry ice cream smothered in way too many sprinkles....was in. a. cup.
when i handed it to her she gave me the "what is this sh*%" look and busted out in tears and carrying on.
for 20 minutes.
my other (nice) children were eating sweetly.
what could i do?
throw all the ice-cream way and leave the park?
i sat down in the shade and turned her away from us while she said over and over in a super naughty pouty voice, "i am not your daughter"
how naughty is that?
i feel bad for the people sitting around us.
she was pretty loud.
but, really, what could i do.
well, i guess besides NOT taking my kids to disneyland when they need a nap ;)

we finally ignored her for long enough that she joined into our determinedly calm game of 20 questions.
and ate some "disgusting" sprinklishious ice cream.
happiest place on earth.


i am so behind on reading and commenting on my favorite blogs.
i miss you guys!
life has got in my way lately.
but i guess that is a good thing right?
thank you for all your love and support with the posts about my mom.
that makes a difference in my life.


am i a motherless daughter?

i am a motherless daughter.
i am a motherless daughter raising a daughter.
i don't feel like a motherless daughter.
i had a mother.
she loved me.
i can remember her eyes looking at me.
i can remember her disappointment when i let her down.
i  can remember her laughter and her mouth forming the words, "when did it happen that i have a daughter that is prettier than i am?"
i  can remember her face when she tried to explain to me how i had changed her forever.
how my birth changed her meaning in life.
how the day i started living was pure joy in her life.
i was so loved, by a really beautiful person.
who wasn't perfect,
but she was able to allow herself to be put aside and let that perfect love flow from her God and into her girl.
there were enough times that this happened for me to believe that that is who she really was.
it was enough.
so, in a way, i am not motherless.
i just got that lovely love for a certain time.
and now i just get to remember all that loveliness, and pour it out into my girl.
that's not too shabby.
i know many aren't as fortunate.

i want to share with you a letter my mom wrote to me on the day of my wedding shower about 11 years ago.
(just for your own reference, my mom's mother was killed in a car accident when my mom was 12 years old)

march 2000

i don't remember the day i actually became a Christian.
My wedding day was a happy blur.
But there are two days of my life that i remember with crystal clarity:
the day my mother died, and
the day you were born.
one was pure grief; one was pure joy.
and in many ways, the one day healed and redeemed the terrible other day.
Because, as Dr. Laura says, you get two chances in life to have a beautiful parent-child relationship:one is with your own parents- but if for some reason that doesn't work, or is cut short, you get a second chance- with your own children.
i praise Him over and over again for the wonderful joy of raising you, my darling daughter.
i love you, Shauna-

"i will wait on the Lord...
I will hope in Him.
Here am I and the children the Lord has given me!"
Isaiah 8:17-18

isn't that.....remarkable!?
that my mother wrote those words down on a piece of paper for me.
years before she had any hint of the story that would play out?
that shows me that those are not only her words, but my Father's as well.
He knew.
He showed me the kindness to inspire her to write those soothing words down so that i could hold them and ponder them and keep them close to me.
i am touched and i feel loved beyond measure.

i am hoping this post will touch the hearts of any of you that have also lost your mothers
or any who are faced with that heartbreak in the near future.
(there are a few who specifically come to mind, old friends and new)
be encouraged.
your Father is kind and compassionate.
look for Him.
He will find you in your hour of grief.
there is nothing too hard for Him.


annoying bangs, ranunculus and circus-mania

first things first i REEEEALLLLY needED a bang trim.
it was making my crazy....
right in the eye balls, ya know?

oh sweet relief.
i can see.
i know, i know it's not that big a difference when you look at me.
but when i look at you, it makes all the difference, ya know?
but then my pal, geneva, who has been cutting my hair for a long time, made me promise to come back...tomorrow. 
yep. she said my hair looked stringy....well, i guess i said it was stringy and she agreed. 
she is not one of those lying hair professionals, she tells me the truth. 
i like that.
so now at least i can see for the next 24 hours and then....hair cut time!


here is a little flower idea for you.
it isn't rocket science, i know.
it's not even that fabulous, but i just thought i'd share what i did with the ranunculus that i got at the strawberry stand.
i wanted to use that cute little circus animal tin that gracie gave me jake, but i didn't want it to get rusty.
so i filled a plastic cup with water and set it inside.
do you have a container that doesn't hold water or is too special to fill and risk rust?
then just do this!
you can even do it with a brown bag lunch sack for a cute little casual look.
just put the cup in the sack and fold it down a little.

no foliage in the water.
slimy leaves makes it gross quicker.

i didn't even add anything but the flowers this time.
and even though the mouth of the tin was pretty big for the little bunch of ranunculus, the cup inside was smaller and helped hold those little stems upright. 

now i have this little bouquet.
 i can smell it while looking at this circus themed photo shoot.
and dreaming about seeing this movie.

i read the book on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (yep. done. that's just how i roll)
circus circus circus.
love it!



this is my sister singing and leading her church in worship on March 20th.
her testimony is overwhelming.
her story is not my story to tell, but watch this video and be amazed that exactly 8 years before this video was taken, my sweet gracie's mom was taken away from her......for a while(until we meet again in heaven).
she was 14.
what the enemy meant for evil (our mother's cancer), God meant for good.
and when i look at her singing i think....victory.
how do ya like them apples you evil prowling lion?

Grace Laxson :: Special Music from Antioch Church on Vimeo.


'round here

i am trudging right along.
doing my job.
just like you are.

not much to report over here.


but look what reedo and i did...

"lucky" did that and then look pictures of them and left them on the breakfast table with a big pot 'o gold...they took the pictures to school to show their friends.


i am doing my best at the 40 bags deal.
trying to stay on top of it with out getting too stressed and ruining it.
here are some moments...

(yep. i just posted my underwear drawer on the internet. i am classy.)

and the strawberries are finally making their way to being ripe.
they aren't cheap, but they are SO GOOD.
a highlight of my spring and summer.
we go to the stand every friday between now and july.
keep on going friends.
and get yourself some strawberries.
you won't regret it.


immeasurably abundantly above....

8 years ago, today, my mom took her last breath of this imperfect, earthly air and then, i trust, awoke to her one true love.
it must have felt like she had been holding her breath and then suddenly exposed to that perfect heavenly air, she may have gasped it in....his face and the weight lifted....there is a part of me that longs for it as soon as possible.
but there is another that knows i am called to cherish these days that i have with those i love.....
today was a cherished day.
i went to church. (amazing)
i had lunch with my husband and kids. (so fun)
my husband brought me flowers. (smile)
my friend brought me hoop art and dessert. (um. double yum)
and my first born son-turned gentleman came with me to the point where my mom's ashes were scattered, in the ocean, all those years ago.
(remember i go every year? this was last year)
he came as my son.
and he came as my friend.
he wasn't needy.
he was generous.
my heart swells and my eyes fill just thinking of him.
before we left, i warned him that i might cry.
he said, "that's ok mom"
i told him i'd try not to be too embarrassing.
he said "don't worry about that, the other people will understand that you are missing your mom"
i told him that there probably wouldn't be anyone else there.
he said, "well, i won't mind"
what a friend.
what a son.
what a God.

here are some iphone photos from my perspective:

when i started to loose it, he kissed me on the head.
and said, "don't worry mom, at least you have a family"
be. still. my. heart.

and here are some iphone photos from the eyes of my jake:

he insisted on taking the below photo of the "mickeymouse" shaped rock combo for ella and ty...

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, 
according to the power that works in us,
 to Him be the glory.....throughout all ages."
Ephesians 3:20-21


"be it unto me"

this is a passage taken from elizabeth elliot's "let me be a woman".
it is speaking to my feminine soul today.

"Wind, weather, and tide fulfill His word. It is a calming, steadying thing to know there is a word for us as well. 
Psalm 144:12 says, 
"May our daughters be like corner pillars cut for the structure of the palace."  
Pillars uphold and support.  This is a woman's place, and all of us need to know what our place is and be put in it.  The command of God puts us where we belong.  We know our "creatureliness," our dependence."
"If there is a command for us we know we are recognized.  We know that we fit into God's universe, we know our relation to the rest of mankind, to the family, and if we have one, to a husband.  Meekness, I believe, is the recognition of that place....to be meek is to have a sane and proper estimate of one's place in  the scheme of things... It is a sense of proportion."
"...as a pillar is cut and shaped to fit into a particular place, and carry a specified weight, it is by that cutting and shaping differentiated and limited.  It is that very differentiation and limitation that that pillar has to offer.  So with us.  We've been cut to a certain size and shape to fulfill a certain function.  It is this, not that.  It is a woman's offering, not a man's, that we have to give."

"Mary is the archetype of human self-giving.  When told of the awesome privilege which was to be hers as the mother of the Most High, her response was total acceptance.  "Behold the handmaid of the Lord.  Be it unto me according to Thy word."  She might have hesitated because she didn't want to go though life being known only as somebody's mother.  She might have had her own dreams of fulfillment.  But she embraced at once the will of God. "

oh that i might submit to the Lord and have the humble "be it unto me" attitude in whatever comes my way tomorrow.
elizabeth elliot just speaks my language.

your questions.

here goes...

1. where do you buy decor? online? antique shops?

i am not a big online shopper.
it just isn't the way i work.
however, when i do order online, and get packages in the mail....be still my heart.
that is the best.
i love getting the thing, just not choosing it and not having it right away (spoiled? yep.).
look what i got today!

my favorite places (whether or not i can afford them) are:

anthropologie (obvs. i can't really get that much big stuff there...but sometimes little things, like this milk jug measuring cup set, recommended to me by my darlin' sis, gracie are fun to splurge on.)

antique shops
i like the old barn in san juan capistrano and there are some great ones in old town orange.
my favorite red head and i just explored a flea market (my first time !?) a few weekends ago.
i found some treasures!

i am going back to bend in may and i am looking forward to some antique browsing...nothing big though since i am flying :(   but wait!  yay! for bend :) my favorite.

does that need and explanation?

as long as i don't get sucked into thinking that i like modern, sleek stuff, i do pretty well there.
my couch, dining chairs and most of my curtains are from there.
check out these lace curtains that i just got there recently!
reedo says they remind him of underwear....bless his heart....i love that guy.

tj maxx/ homegoods
i seem to find stuff there every once in a while.
i like to find stuff on clearance for under 5 bucks and make it great(ish).
check out this globe.
it's base was bright silver...kinda cheap looking....and i antiqued the bottom a bit. cute huh?

mostly i love looking around online and making my version of stuff
i am not gonna call myself a copycat since it feels like i am changing the stuff to fit me...but you can call me a one if you want ;)

2.what is happening with tidbit?

i am not really sure.

i just haven't been very inspired about it lately.
i don't know, i just don't think i am a business woman.
i am not interested in perfecting a product and selling it.
i love making things.
i love being creative.
i love giving things to people.
but i am just not interested in selling those things really.
am i completely un-american?
since capitalism is the american dream, and all?
i feel like, since i do make lots of stuff, it is so common to get that comment.
you know what i am talking about?
"that is really cute! you could totally make a killing on etsy. you should try and sell them..."
there is a part of me that thinks, "yah! i rock!"
and there is another part (that sounds a bit like elizabeth elliot) that whispers "i know you can, but ought you?"
i am still just back and forth on whether or not tidbit ought to be a priority.
i think the answer is "sometimes"
so that is what it is.
sometimes leslie and i get ourselves together and to a boutique with tidbit.
sometimes we don't.
tomorrow i will ask the lord again, and his answer may look different then....

3.who are your favorite bloggers?

oh forheavensake.
this is hard.
you can look on my profile for ALL the blogs i follow.
you can look at the sidebar for some favorites.
but, right now, these are my top 5.

Meg at Whatever
Danielle at Take Heart

come on.
i am sure you follow them too.

to be continued....
next  time i will answer questions about reedo and what is is like to raise a daughter with out my own mother....good stuff.