Friday, September 28, 2012


I don't even know how to put this, but it's something I've been struggling with, so I wanted to share my heart.

I've been struggling lately with materialism.  Now that I think about it, I've been struggling with it my whole life.  I think that God has just recently been making my mind more aware of it.  Why he's brought it to my attention lately, I'm not sure, but I know he has a reason.

I don't know how many times a day I say I want something new.  Something better.  When I take a step back, I realize how selfish I must sound.

"I want a new camera."

"I want a new iPhone."

"I want a bigger house."

"I want a new wardrobe."

"I want to buy Kason new clothes."

These are things that come out of my mouth almost on a daily basis.  For some unknown reason, God has been tugging at my heart lately when it comes to materialism.  It's almost like I can hear him reminding me to be thankful for what I have.  Do I really need a new camera?  The one I have is great, takes beautiful pictures, and always pleases my clients.  Do I really need a more expensive camera right now?  And do I really need a new phone?  Absolutely not.  Our house is small, but we have a house.  Yes, someday we will want something bigger, but why am I not just grateful for a place to live?  As for the new wardrobe, I'm fairly certain that both Kason and I have enough clothes to clothe a small country.  But I still complain.

God always brings me back to something when I get into my "I want" set of mind.  He reminds me that there are people in this world that can't eat.  There are people that don't have a place to live.  There are babies without mamas.  There are people being killed for now reason.  And I choose to complain about my camera?  Seriously?  

I don't know why God has been tugging at my heart lately, but I'm praying he shows me the meaning of it.  I have always had a heart for helping the poor, but I'm starting to think maybe God wants me to take it a step further.  Maybe he wants me to start putting my "I want" money into an "I want to adopt" fund.  Maybe he wants me to go and help people that need to be shown Jesus' love.  I'm not sure and  as scary as that is, I hope that God shows me what he wants me to do.  

I know materialism is a huge problem in our culture.  I'm thankful for a God that brings me back to reality, and reminds me that I am blessed beyond measure.  

Monday, September 10, 2012


When I decided to stay home in May, I had this perfect picture of what my life as a full time mom would look like.  I was for sure I would be able to do all of the things that I wasn't able to do when I was teaching.  I would magically become the perfect house wife, and perfect mother.  Ha!  I think I was a little naive!  

A few days ago I realized something that the last few months have taught me.  Even though I'm "at home" full time,  I still don't have time to clean the house.  I still don't cook dinner every night.  I still don't have time to nap when Kason naps.  I still don't have time to work out (or just don't want to find the time..ha).  I still don't have time to do all of the things I pin on Pinterest.  I still have days where I feel like I'm running in circles and not accomplishing anything.

I'm still busy, maybe even busier than I was when I was teaching.  But you know something, I am so much happier.  I'm so much less stressed.  And that my friends, is an answered prayer.  God has showed me once again, that he is always in control, even when it seems like the future is so uncertain.  He knew exactly what I was meant to be doing this year.  My decision isn't right for everyone, but God knows my heart and my desires, and what is best for me.

 I'm so thankful.  Thankful for a God that continually watches over for me.  Thankful for a husband that works hard to provide for Kason and I, and a photography business that's grown more than I could have ever imagined.  But most of all, I'm thankful that I get to spend my days doing what I love.


Happy Monday! :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

girl's trip and my tiny dancer

When I was younger, I remember my mom going to trips with her friends' and being so jealous.  I couldn't wait for the day that I would have close friends to go on short weekend trips with.  :)  Well, that day is finally here!  This weekend some of my favorite mama friends and I took an overnight tip.  So, so fun! 
I've blogged about these girls numerous times.  You can see their cute little boys in many of my posts.  Since Kason has been born, these three ladies have been a big part of my life.  When we're out in public with all the boys we often hear, "It must have been so fun to plan it so all of your boys were born at the same time!"  Little do they know, we weren't even close friends before the boys were born.  Some of us didn't even know each other.  When Kason was born and about 2 months old I remember suddenly feeling very alone.  Due to his reflux, he was extremely fussy (aka screamed ALL THE TIME) and I felt like no one else could understand how exhausting and frustrating it was.  I felt lost and like I just wanted so badly to talk to someone that could relate to me, and wouldn't judge me.  I prayed SO hard for God to place people in my life that were going through the same things Duane and I were.  Sure enough, a month or so later, my friend Megan sent a message via Facebook and asked if the 4 of us could get together at the park.  We didn't know each other well, but we knew of each other all had some things in common.  We all had boys that were born within 2 months of each other (3 were born within 2 weeks), we all were first time parents, we all were raising Christian boys, and we were all teachers.  It just made sense that we become friends! :)  We made arrangements and met a week or so later.  I kid you not when I say we walked for almost 2 hours and talked the ENTIRE time...even in the rain!  We discussed things like, how much if your baby eating, how is he sleeping at night, how much does he poop (you think I'm joking..I'm pretty much that comes up every time we're together).  It was SO nice to talk openly about being a first time mom and the joys and struggles that come along with that.  I am a true believer that God provides friends for every season of your life, and he definitely knew what he was doing on that day at the park.  Since then, we have had many play dates, outings, date nights, venting sessions, long phone conversations etc.  Our boys love to play together and recognize each other when in a group with other unfamiliar children.  We hope that they continue to be friends forever, but while we can choose their friends, we know they will have lots of fun!
{Erin and Megan with their stuff!  Believe it or not, we all stayed way UNDER budget!}

A month or so ago we talked about going to a local outlet mall over labor day weekend.  I got to thinking about it and thought it'd be really fun if we went out of town, shopped, and stayed the night in a hotel.  We could get away for a night, be kids free, and do some shopping.  It would be a much needed break.  We left yesterday morning and drove a few hours to an outlet mall in Ohio.  Because of a detour (and THREE stops, HA!), it took a little longer than expected, but it literally felt like we were only in the car for 10 minutes.  I don't think there was a moment of silence.  Once we got to the mall we had lunch, and shopped!  Since we all agree that our boys are WAY better dressed than we are, we agreed that we would go into one kids' store, and then one store for us.  Although we ended up in way more kids' stores, we did all manage to get some stuff for ourselves as well!  We left the mall in the evening, drove to Cincinnati, and headed to dinner.  We ate dinner at 9:30, which is about 3 hours later than we do at home and about an hour and a half past our little guy's bedtimes.  We went back to the hotel and talked for another few hours and finally went to bed around 1:30 am.  Pretty late for us!  This morning we woke up late and laid in bed until 9:30.  I don't remember the last time I have been able to do that!  So, so nice!  We had lunch and headed home to our boys.
{Megan and I with out stuff!  Yes, there are two Megans.  And two Nolans.  It gets confusing at times!}

I can't tell you how good it was to get away.  These 3 girls are so fun to be around and I laugh so hard every time we are all together.  I feel completely comfortable with them and I can share anything with them and never feel like I'm being judged.  We are all first time moms, and know that we're all learning, so we don't judge, we listen and support.  We supported each other through our going back to work struggles last year and since, they have been SO supportive of my new photography business and my choice to stay home.  We laughed so hard this weekend, and also cried a few times (thanks Megan J :)).    We talked about everything from our childhood memories to the HUGE responsibility involved in raising our boys to love Jesus above everything else.  There wasn't a silent moment except when we were sleeping. :)
{Megan and Megan at dinner}

I am so thankful for friends like these girls.  I'm pretty sure we will be friends for a lot of years!  I cannot wait to watch of boys (and future children) grow up together.  Thanks for a fun weekend girls!  Can't wait to do it again soon! 
{Erin and I.  This girl makes me laugh harder than almost anyone else!}

PS - please excuse the crummy iPhone photos!  I left my big camera at home so I didn't have to work about editing MORE pictures!

PSS - I missed Kason A TON!  Here is a sweet video of him dancing!  He is SO funny.  And yes, I know that it's not a great idea to let my child dance on the coffee table.  He just learned to do that tonight and Duane was right there.  Parenting at its finest. :)