Dear Husband.

Dear Husband,

I see you.

I see you, as you walk in from a long days work, only to become a jungle gym for our busy toddler.

I see you, as you open up new worlds and textures to our girls’ little minds.

I see you, as you teach our girls to treat all living things with respect.

I see you, as you fill our daughter’s plate with food so I can enjoy a hot meal.

I see you, as you change diapers, clothe our babes, and feed them as I get ready for church.

I see you, as you sing over bubbles, make towel burritos, read Bible stories, and brush little teeth.

I see you, as you run out for donuts on Saturdays to give me just a few more minutes of sleep.

I see you, as you happily pour yourself a bowl of cereal for dinner, instead of insisting on a home-cooked meal.

I see you, as you soothe cries and heal boo-boos, knowing someday you will mend broken hearts.

I see you, as you fall asleep on the couch, waiting for me to finish my work, just because you can’t stand the thought of getting in bed without me.

I see you, as you listen to my guilt and fears, and place my burdens on your shoulders.

I see you, as you long for snuggles on the couch watching Friends, but instead give foot rubs while I pump, yet again.

I see you, as you extend grace when you don’t like the words being said.

I see you, as you place toothpaste on my toothbrush, just to say, “I love you.”

I see you, as you make silly faces and sing silly songs, for a quick smile.

I see you, as you come home to pjs and dirty hair, only to call me beautiful.

I see you, as you spend your days off fixing, re-wiring, and cleaning, making sure our home runs smoothly.

I see you, as you pray and lead our family closer to Christ.

I see you, as your hand reaches for mine in a crowd, telling the world I am yours.

Though my eyes may be diverted, watching, protecting, and nurturing these two precious souls, I will never stop seeing you.

I love you, forever.


Motherhood isn’t beautiful.

I’m in the thick of it. I have a 21 month old, a three-month old, and every other week this fall is spent traveling 5 hours away, only to come home and restart/pack for the next trip. My life right now couldn’t be more un-glamorous. My days are filled with mundane tasks that seem to only pile on one another. I fight a toddler’s strong-will, a baby’s constant hunger, and my own postpartum depression daily. My husband is gone 12 hours out of the day, only to come home and often have to fix the pool, or the mower, or the dog fence, yet again. I currently have 6 loads of laundry waiting to be folded and put up. My floors haven’t tasted the sweet lemon-y pine goodness of PineSol in weeks and weeks. My hair is going on three days, and desperately needs some conditioning. And please, no one look at the state of my back porch, yard, and toes! Motherhood is days of crumbs and back aches, conversations about poop and going potty, shirts that smell rotten, diaper changes and tears, piles of papers and forgotten tasks, photos to edit and dinner to cook, dishes to clean, and carpets to vacuum.


Motherhood isn’t beautiful. But it’s not supposed to be.

The more I learn about motherhood, and this calling God has placed on my life, the more I see it’s ugliness apart from Christ. The tasks associated with mothering are ugly (and often sticky), but it is the process of motherhood that makes this calling into a thing of beauty. Luke 9:23 states, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” As a believer, it is an act of worship everyday to deny myself and pick up my cross. There’s nothing pretty about dying to my own selfish desires, in fact it requires total surrender. But that daily denial and surrender is just apart of the sanctification process.

The same is true with motherhood. Everyday, I deny myself. I deny my desires. I deny my petty thoughts. I deny living like a victim amidst the chaos surrounding me. Each denial is followed by an action. Whether it is putting away my husband’s clothes, or offering my breast to my child for nourishment. Whether it is stopping what I am doing to let my daughter brush tangles into my hair, or singing to her about her Savior. It is all worship.


When I make motherhood an act of worship. When I set my sights upon the cross, then all becomes beautiful. Gloria Furman states in Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full, “In the context of eternity, where Christ is doing his work of reigning over the cosmos, we need to see our mundane moments for what they really are-worship. In the daily (and nightly) work of mothering, we’re given tons of invitations to worship God as he reminds us of the hope we have because of his gospel.”

Choosing to worship in the middle of the mundane does not come natural to my sinful heart. And far too often, I choose victim of mundane instead of victory over the mundane. Life as a victim turns invitations to worship our Savior into worship of self. Worship of self then leads to loss of purpose. But choosing victory over the mundane, and worshipping through the sweeping and the cleaning, invites the Creator to inhabit my home with his awe-inspiring presence.Worship through the mundane opens doors for beauty to sweep in and turn isolation into communion, lonliness into fellowship, and insecurity into intimacy.

He alone brings beauty to motherhood, because He created it. And through His beauty, I experience the joy of watching my Star long to do the tasks that often seem so mundane. Through His beauty, I witness the security my girls feel wrapped in my arms. Through His beauty, moments that could frustrate instead turn to bouts of laughter.


1 Corinthians 10:31 tells me to “do everything for the glory of God.” There is beauty to be found in the process of mothering, it takes a denial of self, a heart of worship, and an action to bring Him glory. I have a living room with clothes strewn about, piles of papers to file away, and two precious souls napping. I am going to get up from this chair and meet Him in the midst of all the mundane and ugly, for there I will find His beauty.


To Read: Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full




When reality isn’t so graceful.

If you scroll through Pinterest or Insta for any length of time, you are bound to see a sun-drenched room, a doting daddy, a beautiful, long-haired mama, and precious children all positioned perfectly for that moment in time. No one ever shares the moments or days before or after THAT moment. The picture cannot communicate the frustration heard beneath the parents’ smiles or the tears shed trying to get their little ones to cooperate. Perhaps, the dark circles under the mother’s eyes are photo-shopped out of the picture. Perhaps, the doting dad didn’t even want to be in the shot. Perhaps, the baby is currently sitting in a dirty diaper, and perhaps, the toddler hasn’t napped in days. But, for that moment, for the rest of the world to see, that family looks like they have it all together. And for people like me, even being fully aware of what it takes to get the perfect shot, my expectations are skewed. There’s nothing wrong with the photo itself, in fact, the photo should be praised for how it portrays a family, but it is my perception that is off. And if we’re being honest, my perception has been off for a few weeks.

Writing is therapy for me. Whereas I am reserved in speech, I am open in print. I don’t understand why God made me this way, and far too often I wish my mouth could convey my thoughts the way my hand types them. But alas, I am here, once more pouring my heart over the keyboard, bringing a slew of people I don’t know in, hoping and praying God takes these few words and uses them to minister to hearts.

Everyone tells you how insane life is with two under two. They share their horror stories and their sweet memories, and while their words were meant to encourage, I was often left with feelings of mommy guilt. Did we make a mistake by being “proactive” and starting to try earlier than later for a sibling for our girl? (Let me stop there and say, I fully know that fear is from the pit of Hell, the sweet baby sitting beside me, as I type, is by no means a surprise to my All-knowing God. She was brought forth at this time to accomplish His pleasing and perfect will.) Other fears like, how will I be able to give of myself to a busy toddler, a newborn baby, and a precious husband, all while taking care of my home and myself (in some way)? Will our toddler like her sister? When will I sleep and shower? How will J feel about a house full of girls? The list went on and on, I would lie awake at night swollen and hurting from pregnancy, savoring each kick, all the while trying to pray away the fears Satan placed in my head.

Then, Lettie arrived, and all those irrational fears subsided as I sat in a hospital bed watching my Star hold out her hands for her sister without even seeing her face. As I watched my husband hold both his girls, telling our oldest, his mini, all about her sister. As I smelled that sweet newborn smell, and felt her body match the rhythm of mine. My heart only grew, and for that moment, the image of my family rivaled all those images on Pinterest and Instagram.


Fast forward a few weeks, a massive kidney infection, a bachelorette party, birthday parties, graduation parties, a huge wedding, and a family holiday, a clingy baby, a busy toddler, a home full of projects, a new diet plan (to help Lettie), and learning a new routine, and this mama was left completely spent, sleep deprived, yet an insomniac, and feeling completely lost and out of control. Amid all the hustle and bustle of life, those baby blues had turned into Post-Partum Depression and Anxiety, and simply put at the moment of realization of what was happening, I felt low. Simply low and in a fog.



Those fears that had been put to rest crept back up, but this time those fears have been replaced with an identity crisis, a woman who feels her heart and her head are in complete contrast. A woman who is lonely but wants to be alone. A woman who wants to go and live life, but gets anxiety at the thought of seeing people outside her inner circle. A woman who is sick of laundry, but needs routine and order. A woman who likes her hair, but hates her body. A woman who seeks joy, yet feels a haze of sadness stealing the moments she expected. A woman who feels guilty for dealing with this during a time that is supposed to be filled with excitement. A woman whose home and heart look nothing like the graceful images on the computer or in Parents magazine, despite all her hopes and (unrealistic) expectations.


The reality is that my life isn’t so graceful. I am simply trying to keep my girls alive and thriving, while investing in my husband, and admitting to the fact that I need help and a change in perspective to lift this fog. I am taking the steps to get there:

  • Spending time talking with my Wonderful Counselor
  • Recognizing the need and asking for help
  • Communicating with my husband
  • Eating good foods (thank you dairy free)
  • Getting outside and being active
  • Finding order and routine amongst the mess
  • And being real with the world


The picture of my life doesn’t meet my expectations right now, but that doesn’t mean it can’t, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I won’t look back and wish for these days again. The beauty of this moment is that while my reality isn’t graceful, my God is abounding with grace. And it is only through the grace He extends me that I can be at peace again. How thankful I am to know His grace never runs out! Jesus Calling tells me He longs to make my life a glorious adventure. This ungraceful reality is all apart of His grand story, and even in the midst of my sorrow-filled fog, I still trust Him.

Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands. Isaiah 43:19 (msg)

Open up before God, keep nothing back; he’ll do whatever needs to be done: He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon. Psalm 37:5 (msg)

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.”  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:15-17 (NIV)



SB // Bridals

I have been waiting to share these photos for months! Mainly because, this beautiful bride is my sister. In late April, she and my mom came to visit in order to fit her bridals in before her June wedding. On one particularly warm spring day, we traveled down to the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens with my 8 month pregnant self, my (then) 17 month old, the bride, and my beautiful mama in tow. Sabe was a trooper while I tried to capture the perfect shot, and she was quite the attraction for all the end-of-the-year school trips! 🙂 After a long morning at the gardens, we had a girls day out; however, that evening the light was too perfect to miss. When the sun began to set, I asked Sabe to get back in her dress and venture out to our backyard for some shots with her reception fascinator! What followed transported us all to a beautiful day in the English countryside with a stunning bride! I was so honored to take my sister’s engagement and bridal photos, and to be a part of such a special time in her life. Sabe, you were quite simply magnificent, thank you for being my favorite model and best friend. I love you so very much!



Little Lettie

It’s been about two and a half weeks since our Little Lettie joined our family, and we have loved every minute! Lettie has been an easy baby thus far, breastfeeding is going well, and she is growing steadily. Meanwhile, our big girl is loving being a big sister! Star loves to give Lettie the paci, says shhhhh to comfort her, and kisses her baby sister any chance she gets. I have loved watching J with his girls, and love how natural and whole our family of four feels!

About a week after Lettie was born, my sister took some family portraits of us in our bedroom, and yesterday, I finally captured Lettie’s newborn photos, and some pictures with big sister.

We are constantly amazed and humbled by the two precious souls God has given us to nurture, and thank Him everyday for the beautiful gifts He has placed in our care.


I don’t matter…and that’s ok.

If you’ve been around my family and me at all recently, you will have heard me say “I don’t matter anymore!”, with a smile across my face. That fact of the matter is, I have raised a daddy’s girl. Our daughter is completely obsessed with her daddy the minute he walks through the door. She says his name all day long. She waits for him. She kisses him, and if given a choice, she always chooses him over me. And I LOVE it.

Our culture constantly diminishes the role of a father. Men on TV are cast as idiots who know nothing about their family. Fathers are made to feel like they are incapable of raising their own children. And other dads simply choose to not even be apart of the picture.

I am thankful everyday that my husband doesn’t fall into any of these categories. Instead, I have been given a husband who bathes our daughter each night and brushes her teeth. He often makes her plate for dinner so I don’t have to. We take turns getting up and caring for her if she wakes up through the night (although since I am not as fun, my sleepy dust works better than his :)). And I never have to worry about my husband’s capability when it comes to taking care of our daughter, which in turn gives me a few minutes to wander through the cosmetics aisle while “grabbing a few things”. Sure, it feels good when my daughter kisses me or says my name, but when she runs into her daddy’s arms, I am overcome with gratitude.

Right now, I am the maid, the cook, the nurse, the planner, the accountant, the disciplinarian, and glorified secretary. When J comes home, he is the fun. He is what we’ve been waiting for all day. I love my role as a stay-at-home-mom. I love that I get to spend every moment caring for my family, because that is the job God has given me. But for J to come home to a daughter who is smiling, laughing, and squealing just because he walked through the door, makes him feel like a hero. He spends everyday working hard to provide for our family. He comes home with a tired brain and tired feet. And he often has other projects around the house that need to be done. The man deserves a celebration of his presence everyday, just as a way of letting him know how appreciated he is.

At the end of the day, I want our little girls to be daddy’s girls. J is my hero. His good morning kiss is the highlight of my day. And I long for quitting time at work more than he does. It is my job to model for our girls how amazing their daddy is. It is my job to encourage him as he continues to learn how to be a daddy. It is my job to thank him for all the ways he is the world’s best daddy. Because I do these things, most of the time…I’m by no means the perfect wife, our girls will view their daddy with the same admiration.

For all you mommies raising Daddy’s girls, don’t be jealous. You are needed and you are loved, not just by your children, but by your man too. Encourage him in all the ways he is getting it right, and see just how much your words will boost his confidence, not only as a husband and father, but as a man. While the rest of the world seeks to tear men down and make them feel small, build your man up. Let him stand tall, knowing his wife and children acknowledge and appreciate all the ways he puts his family before everything else.





L & L // Propsal

I have known Lacie since she was in middle school. She was one of my mom’s students, my (favorite) voice student, and my adopted sister long before I ever knew she would become apart of my family. In many of our voice lessons, Lacie would hear me talk about this amazing man God brought into my life and how I was going to marry him. She was the first person, outside my family, I told about the ring J had picked out for me, and she was the first friend to hear about my first visit to my future-in laws. In the summer of 2011, my future brother-in-law saw Lacie for the first time, and since she was a sophomore in High School and he was a senior, I told him to stay away from her. However, as time went on, it soon became apparent that they were magnetic to each other, and nothing could keep them apart. In 2014, Landon and Lacie were finally able to see where their friendship could take them, and I began praying she would be my sister someday… On Saturday, April 2, my prayers were answered as she said “yes!” to Landon’s proposal.

It is such a blessing to know the people God has set aside for our siblings, and to watch them make the same commitment J and I made almost 5 years ago fills my heart with so much joy. Lacie, I am proud to call you my sister. There is no one else I would rather share my name with, and I cannot wait for the months and years ahead. Landon, I am proud of the man you have become, and for the beautiful woman you have chosen to spend your life with. I pray you both only grow in your love of your Savior and each other during this time of preparation. Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of such a beautiful and special day. I love you!



SB + K // Engaged

A couple of weekends ago, I had the honor of shooting my sister and Kyler’s engagement photos. I had never been so nervous for a session, because I wanted each photo to be absolutely perfect. As the day went on, I quickly found out that these two beautiful people are incapable of taking a bad picture. The love these two share exudes from every frame. They make each other laugh, are affectionate, and are constantly challenging each other to be more like Christ. Kyler is so gentle with my sister. His words are kind, his touch is sweet, and he always leads SB with a sensitive and kind spirit. In return, my sister keeps a smile on his face, encourages him to be the best he can be, and seeks to serve him even now as she prepares to be his wife. I cannot wait to stand beside my sister in June as she makes a covenant with God and Kyler. It will be an honor to witness their vows that day, and an even greater honor to watch them say “I do” every day after.

My dear sister, you are the world’s most beautiful bride, and it is your heart that sets you apart even more than your outward beauty. I am so thankful for the amazing man God has given you in Kyler, and I am constantly amazed at the incredible family God has woven together in these last few years. I love you both so very much!


Round 2.

I am now a week away from being 8 months pregnant with our second daughter, and it amazes me how fast this pregnancy has gone by. In many ways, I keep wanting time to slow down. I have this amazing 16 month old who is only going to be my only baby for 8 more weeks. Little Star is active and strong-willed. Her daddy likens her to a “caged tornado”. In many ways she keeps me so very busy, but there are moments with her that have filled my heart with so much love it overflows. I don’t know if every little girl is this way at this age, but Little Star is obsessed with babies. She loves her baby dolls more than anything else. She points out all the babies when we are out and about. And she even cries when a baby leaves the room because she loves them so. As I have watched her become such a nurturer, my heart is put to rest, knowing the Lord is preparing her for her new baby sister, as much as He is preparing me.

I won’t lie, in many ways, I am terrified of being the mama of two girls. I am terrified I won’t have enough love to give the three people who need me most. I am afraid of being tired and frustrated and taking it out on my two innocent girls. I am afraid of losing myself in motherhood that I forget to be the wife God has called me to be, first and foremost. I am afraid I won’t get back in shape like I want to. I am afraid of trying to raise two young ladies who love Jesus and respect themselves in a culture that pushes everything ungodly at them.

Yet, when these thoughts invade my mind, my Savior comes in and brings me hope. He brings me hope through watching our daughter fall in love with every baby she sees, because I know she will love her baby sister. He brings me hope when my husband says he loves me and tells me how thankful he is for all that I do. He brings me hope through His word.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Every day, I am reminded that this beautiful, fulfilling job of stay-at-home-wife-&-mom, is almost impossible without the strength of my Savior. When I feel as though I have no more to give, He gives me the strength to keep going. When the duties of my job cloud the joy found in staying home, He fills my heart with His joy, and reminds me to count my blessings. I am so thankful for His Grace. I am so thankful for His Love. I am thankful for His calling.

As we begin to round the last curve of this pregnancy, I hope to hold my sweet girl closer and tighter during these last days of “just us”. I hope to remind my husband how thankful I am for his leadership, service to our family, and for the amazing ways he loves his girls. I hope to grow in my relationship with my Savior, trusting His plan everyday, and seeking His strength in order to fulfill the calling He has placed on my life.


Dumb Phone.

A month ago, I came to terms with my smart-phone and social media addiction. The day after I posted my blog, J and I went all around town trying to find a place that would give us a dumb phone, and in almost every place our desire to go dumb was met with shocked faces, and a hefty price tag for the dumb phones. Thankfully, Amazon always comes through. We were able to buy AT&T ZTE GoPhones for about $15.00 a piece and added them to our Christmas list for each other. Once the phones came in, I called customer service and was able to switch SIM cards over easily.

At first, I missed my iPhone. I hated not being able to waste time playing catch up with everyone’s lives. I hated not having the perfectly captured moment on my camera roll. I hated the fact that my phone didn’t bing and buzz as often, making me feel less important.

Yet, I noticed a change in my focus. Instead of being distracted with the photos and statements of others, I have been able to sit down without distraction. I have been able to study and observe each way our daughter is growing, without a screen in my way. My house is kept cleaner, and I am not running as behind. I can interact in conversations that I would have missed otherwise. My husband isn’t asking me to get off my phone on a daily basis to focus on him. And in many ways, I have been much more productive than I have been in years.

As far as my mood is concerned, I am at peace. I am at peace with myself. I am at peace with my husband. I am at peace with the development of our daughter. I am at peace with our home. I am at peace with my things. I am simply at peace. I don’t know if that would have been possible without making a drastic change in my day to day life.

My day looks a little different now. Instead of waking up first thing to check my phone, I wake up to my daughter’s bright eyes saying “HI!” over and over again. Instead of checking out the latest gossip over a bowl of cereal, my daughter and I pray together, and even after we pray, I watch my daughter hold my hand for just a little bit longer as she fills her mouth with cheerios. I am no longer worried about crafting the perfect photo, because I am learning that no camera can capture the beauty of a moment the way God designed our eyes to. In the car, my phone is in my purse, and my mind is thinking on the conversation my husband and I are sharing. At the dinner table, I often don’t even know where I set my phone last. I don’t take pictures of my food. I don’t allow for my husband to talk to a head looking down, and I don’t allow for my focus to be anywhere but in the moment. In the evenings, we actively watch a show together, or we work on our newest project, or we simply talk. And before bed, I read and read until I’m too tired to read anymore.

As each day of this journey has passed, I have noticed some changes in the way my family reacts to me. My daughter has been much more affectionate than she has ever been. She comes to give me kisses and hugs in the middle of her playing, because I am right there. She is learning a new word each day, and we spend a lot of our day staring in each other’s eyes jibber-jabbering and laughing. There are less tears, moments of frustration, and more moments in which I thank God for allowing me to stay home with her each day. My daughter finally knows she has her mama’s attention, which is all she wanted in the first place. With J, we have shared more pillow talk and laughs in the last month than we have in the last few years combined. My mom made the comment that she believes we are at the best place we have ever been in our marriage, and I truly believe a big part of that is due to the lack of distractions and comparisons that no longer fill our home. We are happy, content, and more unified than we have ever been. Our communication is at it’s best, and for the first time in a long time, we aren’t having to fight a phone to get the attention we desire.

The Lord is continually showing me new areas of distraction and selfishness that I need to address. But He is also, encouraging me along the way with each positive reaction I gain from my family. Getting your life back on track is never easy, and I know it will be a daily choice, but I long to be present and available for those I love most. I long to be filled with beautiful moments and memories not found on a camera roll. Most of all, I long to honor God with every aspect of my life, even if it means dealing with and giving up some pretty major things in my life.

When I began this journey, I knew things would change, but I wasn’t sure if I could handle the changes or not. Looking back over this past month, I feel in many ways that I have gotten my life and my joy for this life back. I don’t know how things will change in the future, but I do think that living life a little dumber is here to stay, and I couldn’t be more excited!

If you’re looking to make a change like I did, but in a not so drastic way (at first), I highly recommend the book, Hands Free Mama, by Rachel Macy Stafford. You can check our her blog and books here:

If you would like to make a phone change, there are a lot of great options on Amazon! You might be surprised at how much you love going “dumb”.

*In case you wanted a few numbers, J and I paid $110.00 a month for cell phone service with our iPhones. In February, our contract will be up, and our bill will go down to $45.00 a month for cell phone service.



photo credit: Arianna Randle at