Friday, February 22, 2013

Snowflakes Keep Falling on my Head

I don't have a lot to share tonight but, I was determined to post a few pictures of Daisy playing in our most recent snowfall this past weekend.  She looked so stinking cute that I even busted out my nice DSLR camera for the first time in like...EVER.  It's shameful how rare it is for me to use my camera these days...sigh, but I'll leave that for another post...I blame iPhones!

 Where we live the snowfall average is very low and we are lucky if the snow sticks for more than a day. Personally, I am okay with that because, I love watching it fall and seeing it cover everything for a few hours of play time and then this California kid is over it and ready to have the sun back out again:). There is a reason why I chose to live here and not up North...just sayin. 

Anyhoo, this was Daisy's first good snow experience in two years. There wasn't really anything for her to even play in last year and we weren't around when it did. This year she had a BLAST. She probably would have stayed outside all day if we didn't have other things going on. She ran back and forth in our backyard chasing snowflakes and trying to catch them on her tongue. She threw a few snowballs at Daddy and that seemed to be her favorite activity. 

 I can't get enough of my kid enjoying life.  Seriously, it's probably the best medicine in the whole world.  Watching Daisy run around with an enormous smile of sheer joy plastered on her face. Watching her dance and twirl, blissfully unaware of any life troubles and caring not how she might appear to anyone around her.  So free.  So happy. Melt my mommy heart.    

 And on a totally random note: Don't you just love/hate when you land on an out of this world amazing blog and then you come back to your own little ho hum blog and wonder how they heck some women do so much?? I found this lady's blog while browsing for decorating pictures online and ended up spending 2 hours stalking her life from blog post to blog post. She is an insanely talented decorator and DIYer. She is a talented make-up artist and fashion savvy. She writes happy and encouraging things that suck me in like a moth to a flame and she takes great pictures. Did I mention that she has 3 young children? What the heck. :).  Well, props to her for being so awesome.  Now I need to go pray and get back into the spirit of contentment. LOL.  And for the record I'm kidding...things like that don't bother me that much but, I think talent should have been distributed a little more evenly on the assembly line...that's all I'm saying.
Sunday, February 17, 2013

Touched By An Angel

1 Corinthians 15:52-57 “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

 I think it important to share with our family and blog readers that the little girl who was the inspiration behind our daughter's name, passed from this Earth into Eternity early yesterday morning. She fought a very long and hard battle with cancer for over 3 years and in the past month she was diagnosed with cancer for the fourth time. She had two inoperable tumors and spent a great deal of her final days in the hospital. Now she is with Jesus and we all look forward to the day that we can skip down the golden streets of Heaven with her. She is cancer free for the first time in years. She is no longer broken and no longer in pain. We rejoice in the hope and assurance that we have in Jesus. We rejoice that this life is not the end and in fact is only the beginning of our journey. We also grieve with this family who will never again be able to tuck their little girl into bed at night or kiss her rosy cheeks when she wakes up...oh my soul...My heart just breaks at the mere thought of such a loss.
Psalms 61:1-2 Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I 
 John 14:1-4 ”Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” 

 We are bound to take life for granted from time to time. We are bound to get annoyed with our kids more often than not. We are bound to complain about the life that we have been given on occasion but, please oh please remember that every breath you inhale and exhale is a gift. That every minute you have on this Earth is a gift and deserved to be cherished and used up to the fullest measure of your ability. That your children are a gift...given to you for a minute, a week, ten years or maybe 90...but, any moment could be our last. Any breath could be our last. If only we could live life with the passion and fervor of someone who wants to make every second here count for the glory of God as sweet Daisy Merrick did.

 After my daughter got out of bed tonight for the third time to "pee" I nearly broke down and sobbed when she wrapped her squishy little toddler arms around my neck and gave me a giant bear hug while giggling away. Is there anything more priceless in all the world? How could I complain about three tuck-ins when I have a daughter to tuck in? How could I complain about my show being interrupted again when I got a far more valuable bear hug that turned my heart completely to mush.

So as I walked slowly back to my daughter's room, I inhaled the fresh smell of her baby shampoo hair.  I tickled her face with my nose, kissed her warm, rosy forehead and both of her cheeks and I tucked her back in bed once again.

Please keep the Merrick family continually in your prayers.  I found this very beautiful and emotional picture tribute video to Daisy on youtube tonight.  The tears just wouldn't stop rolling down my cheeks.  What a precious little angel you have been to all sweet Daisy Merrick.  Thank you for touching our family with your radiant love for Jesus.  Thank you for showing us how to be mighty in battle, full of hope in the face of adversity, joyful in the midst of pain and faithful to Jesus in all seasons.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Kids Say the Darndest Things

I've had a surprising number of people ask me if Daisy is "part Asian." I'm laughing as I type this but, it's true! I know it's her eyes and I see it too but, it still cracks me up when people ask that question in front of me and my hubby when neither of us look Asian (or do we?). Funny, I've always said that if God ever opened the door for us to adopt that I would like to adopt from China.  Perhaps there is some sort of connection there? hehe.  So, the other night as Daisy and I were snuggling up on the couch together I looked at her precious little face and asked, "Daisy, are you my sweet Asian baby?"  

To which she replied in her adorable 2 year old voice, "No mom I not uh Ancient Bewwy (like berry but, with w's). I Daisy!" 

I died.  To stinking cute!

Some of her other cute words:  

Strawberry is: Straw-buh-days   (I can't bring myself to correct her because I get such a kick out of this one!)

Banana is: Buh-mean-uh

Hello Kitty is: Hewwo Titty (hehe)

Can you hold me:  Mom, I hold you?

She's also had her first couple of bad dreams in the past few weeks.  This morning she came into my room a little earlier than usual and I hadn't even heard her wake up on the monitor.  She must have slipped out of her bed very quietly which is not her usual style.  She walked into my dark room with 3 blankets and her pearl necklace in hand (she puts it on every morning) and a scared look on her face.  She proceed to try and explain to me in a two year old vocabulary that she had a dream about a scary vacuum and mommy was inside?  That's all I got out of it but, it sounded pretty scary to me! I wouldn't want to be stuck inside a terrifying...and loud...and dirty..ew.  I consoled her and promised her it was just a dream and that mommy was okay and we snuggled.  All better. 

I love my little girl to pieces. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hello February

  I am really enjoying the blessing of having an extra bedroom with lots of natural light.  I set up a backdrop stand and drop, add a couple of lamps and use my flash on a low setting and whalah I can call the room a studio. haha  Editing is a breeze because the SOOC images are so consistent.  The studio has been a nice change from the usual outdoor photography sessions that I do.  I have had the studio set up all week for a few different sessions and before I took it all down I realized that I really should snap a few pictures of my own kiddo.  I am SO unmotivated when it comes to photographing my own child these days.  I don't seem to have the energy to get her dressed cute, create a set and bribe her to smile for me...well, that and for the past year she really hasn't liked having her picture taken.  I'm hoping that is changing!  Today, Daddy helped me out a little bit and it all went much smoother than I expected.  I got so many pictures (which is rare!) that I will cherish forever and I think they capture my almost 3 year old perfectly.  Daisy really enjoyed getting special attention from me and Daddy and she also let her entire range of facial expressions loose for the camera.  Can't wait to share!  I just adore my daughter.  She truly is sunshine on my rainy days and every time I look at her beautiful brown eyes and brush her strawberry blonde hair I praise God for her.  Through her, God has blessed my life abundantly with love and laughter.   I also posted a couple of pictures from my other sessions of two VERY adorable, happy babies as well as a picture of muah...yes, me.

I figure that posting a picture of myself provides a nice opportunity to share on a topic that I don't often get to address...image perceptions.  My only motivation in wanting a "studio" picture of myself was that I need an updated picture for the bio on my photography page...I strongly dislike the one that is currently up.  The hubby helped me out again and snapped a few pictures for me. Thanks hub! It only took 5 minutes of awkwardness thank God.  Let me be clear...I do not like seeing myself in pictures.  Honestly, I really don't and I am very guilty of nit picking myself to death, though I usually do it discreetly in my head.  "Oh man my neck looks funny.  My nose looks too big.  My chin looks like Jay Leno.  Oh dear, my hair is too greasy. My mole has grown!"  I know, it's sad and silly but, I do think it is the way that so many women and girls view themselves.  (maybe you don't have that issue and if so that is so awesome!!) I'm only sharing these thoughts with you all to be honest and real cuz that's how I roll in my bloggy world if you haven't noticed that by now.  lol.  It's not easy for me to be on the other side of the camera but, I have been working on it for a couple of years because, I want to continue to heal my heart by facing my fears.  I am always working on accepting who I am inside and out and I do think it is a life long journey for most of us.  I am definitely much more at peace with who I am now at almost 30 than I ever have been.  When I was in my teens and early twenties and had fewer wrinkles, no gray hair, less body fat etc...I was more insecure.  Go figure.  It's funny because it doesn't matter how "beautiful" a person might be by the world's standards...if they don't feel beautiful inside then they can't see it. Regardless how a person looks on the outside...if they feel beautiful on the inside then they have peace and contentment on the outside.  It's amazing how much our thoughts dictate our views.  This is why it is so important to train our thoughts to focus on eternal things that heal us and make us whole as opposed to temporal things that make us feel ugly and broken.  Oh young girls how I wish I could hug you all and help you embrace who you are and see yourselves the way the King of Kings sees you.  Priceless.  Beautiful.  Unique.  Cherished.  Dearly loved.

There is something beautiful about aging and embracing who we are and recognizing that what is on the outside is fleeting but, who we are on the inside is what lasts and endures the test of time.  I want my heart to be refined and purified by knowing Jesus Christ and learning about how He loves me and views me.  Hopefully God's truth will radiate out of my pores well into my 90's.  So here is my, "embrace your rapidly approaching 30th birthday," picture!  I think it very important to add that this image is edited.  I sharpened my eyes, softened my wrinkly skin, removed a big scar on my shoulder and even touched up my toe nail polish.  hehe.  Now that I am a photographer it is SO much more obvious to me how much editing is done to every image you see in a magazine.  People don't just look like that....well, I mean they do but, no one is "flawless."  It's an illusion.  Trust me.   Thanks for letting me share my heart with y'all!