Actually, it started off with a sweater.
A sweater that I ordered, panicked, cancelled, ordered again got it, cried a bit because I am way too short, or way too something, to pull it off, returned it.

But then I found the jacket.
At the Red Dot Boutique no less.

To get all Tim Gunn on you it was my inspiration piece.
In October.
What guys don't realize is that girls think about things like photo shoots for months and months and months.  I have been dreaming/ planning/ wishing for a full year.

When you know that you have a date planned with 
you dream.  
Happy Dreams.

and I NEVER look like this.
Drew has some sort of magic in her camera that I want to bottle up and slather all over myself every morning.  Then market it and be a trizillionaire.

I had planned on making all of the girls dresses.
Until I came across Lulu's at a craft fair.
It is from Tidbit.
It was as if it had a neon flashing arrow above it screaming

So next came Halley's dress.
Why I continually think that I can conquer patterns is beyond me.
This one nearly sent me over the edge.
Tears and words were involved.
About halfway done I simply ignored the directions, folded it up and finished it the way that made sense to me.
Crazy, pattern hating, me.
My mom rescued me and made the button holes.  I am still to scared to attempt those.  They are on my list of goals for 2010 along with zippers.
I may never attempt the same pattern again, but I am pretty stinking happy.  Believe you me, that dress will get so much wear.  As soon as Halley grows out of it, it will be Lucy's.  Then Janey's.  Then I may just have to have another girl.  Or two.

Last was miss Janey's dress.
I made her a really cute one with this pattern.
But it was just that.  Simply cute. 
It needed to be cute plus a little bit more.
Lucky me spotted this cheetah number in my friend's garage.
I know.  Garage.  The horror.
Quickly I begged to borrow it.
What I didn't tell her is that I plan on borrowing it forever and a day.
Wouldn't you?
I want to eat it.  Or at least hang it on the wall.
I love me a good animal print.

Halley's hat is from Noodle Noggins.
I first saw it on Hissyfits blog and fell in love.
Cutest beanies out there.
I could buy a dozen.
Two dozen.

Lucy's headband is a true testimony to the lengths my husband goes to tolerate my ideas.
He asked where I got the peacock feathers and this is what I told him:

"We went to Irvine Park, chased a peacock and snatched feathers from it's tail."

He totally believed me.
It was completely plausible that I would load up the kids, drive thirty minutes, pay the $5 entrance fee and stalk wild peacocks.
Because when you live with a crazy person you believe that they would actually do something like that. Thankfully, Michael's sells peacock feathers.  If not I might really have taken a trip to the park.
Not kidding.

When Drew joked that she wanted a claw foot tub or a canopy bed my first thought was... claw foot tub.  We are in fact remodeling our master bath soon, so why not get a tub early, right?
Well, here in California claw foot tubs do not grow on trees.
Houses have no history.
Just almond colored fiberglass.

But in my mind, my crazy person mind, I totally thought it would be possible to not only find one, but trick some youth group kids into carrying a insanely heavy iron tub into the wilderness.

Told you.  Crazy person.

But fancy that!
There was not a single claw foot tub on Craigslist for
under $25.  Not a one.

So canopy bed it was.
Three cans of Rustoleum Key Lime later and I was in love.
The creepy white eyelet polyester canopy that it came with had to go.
Enter pom pom trim.
Or dingle balls.
Whatever you call them.
They are fabulous.

Speaking of having more girls, I think I might have to have one. 
Just for the simple fact that I want to use this bed in our house.
I am obsessed.

Also in love with my second quilt which finally came back to me after an extravagant extended vacay at the longarm quilters.  It arrived literally just in time for the shoot.

This precious pillow held by Miss Janey's edible hands is from Little Bit Funky.  Everything about it makes me smile.  Perfect, just perfect.

In fact, everything about the day was perfect.
Drew is so relaxed.
So fun.
My girls absolutely adore her.
Love her.

Even if she didn't reward them with gummy bears they would love her.

She makes every minute you sit in front of her lens a good one.
I never felt like a dork.
I feel like a dork every single minute of every single day.
I hate, hate, hate to get my picture taken.
But she makes it easy.
She makes it seem totally normal to be sitting on a bed in a field while your friends walk by with their dogs.
True story.

She captures memories.
She makes memories.

She makes what should be the hardest day of the year for our family our favorite day.

We love her.
Don't you?

She's looking to travel a bit this summer for vacay and family sessions.  Leave her a little note begging her to come to your hood.  I am pulling for Alaska.  Mainly because I really want to go. I'll bring the bed!  Just saying.

Thank you Drew.
You are so wonderful and beautiful and you truly make our lives so much better.
We love that you are part of our story.


all of the sneak peeks,
the suspense...

culminated with one of the best days ever.
our family.
a bed.
in a field.
drew behind the camera.

so much more to come.
pictures and details galore.

I feel like jumping on a bed myself!!!

congrats to Marcela!!! picked you as the winner of 
Lisa Leonard's Heartstrings necklace.
bet you want to go jump on a bed now too!
go ahead!
it's really fun!

I needed some trim...
teal trim.
none to be found.
so I bought white trim and teal Rit.

but I am not one to let a perfectly good batch of Rit go to waste

so in went the ric rac

and an old chenille bedspread

and some starfish
but then it got crazy.

I had a blonde emergency.
Then a crazy idea.
Time to dye my hair.
Give it a break from the fakey fakeness and straw.

Meet my new dishwater blonde,
 dirty blonde,
no, those descriptions are gross.
Meet my new cafe con leche brownie blonde.

What is all of this dyeing for?
Are you dying to know.


Patience my friends, patience....

my world as I knew it shattered.
my heart broke.

but little by little God restored it all.

I learned to live a new life.
A stronger life.

I let Him heal my broken heart.
He made it bigger.

He used my pain.
He used my story.
To encourage and comfort others.

Redeemed the suffering.

Made me into a better mother.
A better wife.
A better friend.

He taught me about heaven.
About grace.
About strength.

I am immensely thankful for Joy's life.
My own life would not be the same without her.

Happy birthday to my beautiful Joy Emma.
I miss you every day.
I miss you in every way.

I can't wait until I can hold you again.

I love to see those who seek beauty.
Who exemplify strength.

Lisa Leonard is a shining example of both.

Inside and out.

Her blog is happy, inspiring and warm.
Her creations are simple, extravagant, unique.

This Sunday is what would be Joy's eighth birthday.

When Lisa told me about her newest necklace I had an idea.
I wanted to have a piece to remember Joy and our two other glory babies, as well as the testimony of how we were able to walk that long, dark season.

Each day I clung to this verse:

...for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10

Many days I still cling to it.
Today is one of those days.

I am so thankful to have this meaningful and thoughtful reminder.

Lisa blessed me with this beautiful necklace.

Lisa would also like to bless one of you with your very own.

The Heartstrings necklace is available with two, three or four heartstrings and will be personalized just for you. A saying, your children's names, your and your love and your anniversary...

How can you win?
{remember to leave a separate comment for each entry.}

1.  Visit her blog.
Grab a cup of coffee.  You are sure to be there for a while.
Be sure to leave some comment love.
2.  Visit her shop.
Make a list of the things you want for the next 10 holidays.
I have my eye on this.  Hint, hint, Jason.
3.  Follow her on Twitter.
She is sure to brighten your day with her lovely tweets.

Comments will close Friday January 28th at noon pacific time.

It's only rain.
californians are wimps.
(I can totally throw them under the bus. because I am one.)

As soon as the weather dips below 70° we get out the Uggs, the scarves and coats.
We crank up our heaters.
We shiver and complain.
All while the rest of the country looks on with hysterical laughter.

If there is even a dark cloud in the sky
it's STORM WATCH 2010!!!!!

The news has nearly forgotten to cover real events.

They are too busy tracking the

People forget how to drive.
There is no place more dangerous in the world than a California freeway during a rainstorm. Seriously. If you like to risk your life go for a little drive. People PANIC!
They find some need to violently and suddenly slam on their brakes for no reason.

It's RAINING!!!!


Yesterday we had a tornado warning.
Schools were evacuated.
The idiot weatherman told us to get in our basements.
Mind you, I have never, ever, ever met a Californian with a basement.
We don't have basements weatherman. HELLO!!!

Today they cancelled Lulu's preschool.
Because of RAIN!!!
The moms complained about how they got wet walking from the parking lot to the classrooms for pick up and drop off.
Can you imagine!
The trauma of getting wet.
It is a miracle that they even survived.

I needed Lucy to go to school today.
I'm not going to lie.
I needed it.

Are they not aware that I live for those 2 1/2 hours.
Live for them.

I would walk barefoot in the snow uphill
both ways just to get those 2 1/2 hours.

I'm not kidding.

It was a rain day.


For the next few weeks things are going to be a bit wacky around here.

Yesterday morning this was our kitchen.

By the evening the cabinets and appliances were out, the floor was gone and the ceiling was raised.

Tomorrow this wall comes down so we let Halley have a little sharpie party. This may or may not come back to to bite us. But she was in paradise.

Today a gorgeous trench was dug.
For a gas line.
I am in love.

This is so exciting, so dusty, so noisy, so stressful, but I am so happy.
Each step makes me giddy.
Plus tomorrow I hope to fulfill a lifelong dream.
To smash a wall with a sledgehammer.
Full Extreme Makeover style.
Hopefully our contractor will indulge me.

This may be one of the most important posts I ever write.
I need your help.

The Howertons need your help.

But most of all
needs your help.

Imagine having to leave your child behind.
Coming home. Your heart torn and shredded.
Happy to be with your family, but broken that your family is
not wholly together.

Last night Diane Sawyer visited the orphanage where Keanan lives.
She held him.
He held her.
She called him a hugger.
{watch the clip here. Keanan is the one in the light blue shirt.}

He needs his mom.
He needs his dad.
He needs his brothers and sisters.

Please, take a few minutes to send emails,
make calls on the Howerton's behalf.
They are seeking Humanitarian Parole for their son.

Everything you need to know can be found here.
If you know ANYONE who has any knowledge,
experience or influence please ask them,
beg them, plead with them to help too.

Let's bring him home.

He will come home.

"Nobody made a greater mistake
than the one who did nothing
because they could only do a little"
-Edmund Burke

my insomnia manifests itself in difficulty falling asleep.
not staying asleep.

so when I awaken suddenly in the middle of the night for seemingly no reason I always think that there might actually be a reason.

I double check that the doors are locked.
I check on each of the girls to see if they are breathing.
(tell me that I am not the only freak that does this.)
then I spend time in prayer before falling back asleep.
my mind always races and I need to calm down.
chatting with God always helps.

last night I woke up at 3:16a.m.

the doors were locked.
the girls were breathing.

haiti was on my heart.

I turned on my phone and checked twitter in the darkness.

Kristen had just posted the following:

Out of haiti.
Evacuated to an airforce base in new jersey.
Tired but so glad to be in US.

They are coming home.

I am rejoicing.

Keanan is not.

I am weeping.