forgotten treasures

did you think you'd seen that last of my summer oregon trip?
well, i stumbled upon some sweet little treasures a few nights ago
 and then spent way too long staring and editing.
this is my sister's backyard.
we hung our clothes out there and ella spent time making a sign and spraying the clothes down on a couple different afternoons.
(that's why you'll notice her wearing different outfits in the pictures)
i included some of her pouting too
when i found the last (bottom) picture on this post i gasped because i love it so so much!
it's my one perfect picture in a million!



that's just me today

i wore something sparkly.

i got a new eyeshadow.

we did our after karate ocean drive-by

they dressed for picture day
and i just know that somehow their pictures will end up looking creepy

she picked my favorite outfit for her picture day.

today was just a monday.
there are moments captured and remembered 
and there are moments forgotten forever.

i've been going through an interesting phase lately.
i am feeling very questioning and unsure of things these days.
but, i'm ok with that.
one thing i don't really feel like i need is sameness with others.
i am messily accepting my own big-girl self as o-so-different from anyone else.
which, for me, is healthily turning me toward the one who knows the answer to any question.
and my weirdness just keeps turning me toward faith 
faith that gives me freedom
faith that reminds me that i don't need to figure it all out.
faith that is not in other's ideas or in "religion" or in my habits or in my traditions
but is in the GOD of the universe.

that's just me today.
are you as much of a drama queen as i am today?

i pretty much cry like a teenager for this....


the reed brothers dream up some adventure...

i have had a dream of this photo shoot for a few years.
this summer it came true.

jake and ty got out their lunch pails and corncob pipes.
their fishin' poles and suspenders.
and as i described my ideas to them, something magical happened.
They stepped into my dream.
we giggled and stared at the words with wide eyes as i read them the stories of tom and huck's boisterous antics...
the language and old fashioned ideas did have me pausing every once in a while.
but, as we read, the story became a dream of adventure.
in my heart, tom sawyer looks just like my jake with his goofy grin and his freckled nose.
 huck finn has floppy blond hair and a sparkle in his eye, just like my ty, free and brave
 (minus them bad words huck is famous for) 

so, please enjoy this dream and be dazzled, with me, at my handsome, funny, naughty, sweet, brave boys.

the reed brothers as tom and huck.



huckleberry finn on sunday

happy sunday!
i'm trying to focus on getting a very special set of pictures edited.
i thought you might like to see a sneak peek....



all you need is....

i'm just gonna say it.
i'm so glad that my kids are in school.
i really just needed that!
ok ok, all you homeschool moms don't freak out.
(remember i'm a home-schooled kid)
i get why you do what you do, too.
i'm not saying that being together doesn't appeal to me as well.
but, no matter what , i think we can all agree that having your kids all up in your deal all the time is craziness.
they are SO needy!
and messy.
and  complainy.
and funny.
and loud.
and really great, but tiring.

it seems like just a minute ago they all stayed with me all the time.
how did i do that?
seriously, just a break from each other makes me so much more energetic and happy to see them.

now i DO love the sleeping in, though.
i have to admit to missing that happy part of summer.

but now that school is finally here and i can occasionally hear my own thoughts in my head!
in summer i could barely even get a moment to think.
so because, in summer,  my time had been so taken up by the extra people each day, i haven't written my own thoughts down lately...
which is ok, but i do still think those thoughts...they just stay in there.

sometimes i think staying in there might be best.
i mean there are a lot of people out there just saying their thoughts.
sometimes i think that's good and sometimes i wonder....

one thing that seems to be all over the place, lately, are rules
they are everywhere.
we have um here.
my kids have um at school.
people make um for each other.
we make um for ourselves.
God has um for us.
and many times they are very very good.

just think of all the good things that happen because of rules.
personal boundaries, brushed teeth, speed limits, no hitting, cleanliness, dinnertime, no stealing....

but there are also weird things that happen with rules.
because you can start to think that you can find the secret to life....
"if you just follow these rules, you will be safe and live a good life".
and things can go south because you can start to think that the actual rule and obeying it is more important than who made it and why.
there are a lot  of people in the world with a lot of ideas that they like to share.
how to be and what to do with yourself.....
but really, for me the MOST important thing is to be in CONVERSATION with Jesus.
about everything.
do you know his voice?
when i am doing something that isn't good for me, HE can tell me.
if i am saying something i shouldn't, i can FEEL Him there.
if i am looking at something that isn't good for me, I JUST know.
if i'm participating in a conversation  that i shouldn't...i feel his presence.
so then, maybe i might make a rule for myself that i'm not going to do that.
the rule isn't the main thing here.
and very likely, it isn't appropriate to assume those rules on anyone else.
that rule is not the actual issue.
the MOST important part is LISTENING to Jesus, in my soul.
HIS ideas.

this may make you feel skeptical.
you may be worried about going to far to the whole "what is not ok for you is fine and different for me"
which gets shady, i know...
but. i  really believe that all the interpretations and ideas of what a person who follows Jesus should or shouldn't do can really be a naughty distraction from what God's real ideas are.

As far as i know, His ideas are that he loved us so much the minute he created us that he could barely even  see straight...you know like a new daddy.
and then we ruined that happiness and had our own ideas about how to run things.... now he has a plan in motion to rescue us through sending his son, Jesus (which he did).
we get rescued if we accept his idea and believe that he has it under control.
and that has nothing to do with what we are or aren't doing.

there are so many many times in God's story that he has used very questionable characters and situations for his good purposes.
people that did crazy stuff.
i wonder if they broke rules?
i wonder if those people would be shocking characters today.
or if they'd drink beer or alcohol.
or have perfect homes.
or wear velvet jumpsuits.
or yell at their kids.
or use bad language.
or read trashy magazines or romance novels.
or watch in-appropriate tv or movies.
or have plastic surgery.
or act annoyingly perfect.
or wear low cut tops.
just wondering.
i think there are differing ideas about all these subjects and i think that God cares about the people that are doing or not doing these things and so, in a round about way, he MAY even care about the actual activities.
but i think he doesn't care as much as we do about this stuff.
HE cares about loving us.
LOVE is his idea.

so. for me, it makes me think.
i know i have always been someone who has ideas and strong beliefs for myself.
i have had seasons of life when i've been known for speaking my mind and standing for what i believed was right.
i have had seasons of life where i think i've held too tightly to my idea of how things should be and what life aught to look like.
and i feel like right now, i am needing to step back and really ask myself where my ideas come from.
are the things i tell the world i think lining up with God's main idea?
i mean his BIG idea about getting us kids back?
not the secondary ideas about how to most healthily live and how to keep ourselves out of trouble....
i mean those are good.
but they mean nothing without the main thing.
love is HIS BIG IDEA

so, i thought i'd share that with you.
i have ideas.
i have things i think about what we, as people, are looking at and watching and doing and reading and giving to and thinking about and saying...
and sometimes i wonder when to stand up and talk about those beliefs.

i'm just deciding to be very careful with what stand to take.
i am just trying to remember that if you want to know what God thinks about things, you should ask HIM (not read blogs).
the one stand i'm very sure about is love.
i'm gonna stand for that.
not the fake kind.

the real kind.
the kind that is willing to risk anything.

the kind that is willing to give ideas up.

the kind that is willing to look like an idiot.

and, honestly, the only way i can really love someone else is to let God do it through me.
so i'm back to listening to Him.
HIS ideas.

oh man, hope you're all still with me :)

all you need is love,
love is all you need.