Every hero needs a good origin story.
This is the story of Bob the bobcat.
The mascot of Camp Mom*tog and so much more.
 It all started out with a little bit of crazy, as most origin stories do.
I asked my cousin, who works for the OC Parks Department (and who is restoring a VW camper, and I am trying to hide my simmering envy) if she could gather us some random camp-ish props for our photobooth.  Then I casually threw in "and perhaps a bobcat..." as some what of a joke.

The thing is all jokes are some percentage true, or so they say...
Right then and there I KNEW with all that I am that I needed a bobcat.  Like forget the twenty billion things on the list that I still needed to make/ do/ buy/ prep, and trust me there were pages upon pages of things on my list.  PAGES.  They could wait.

I could think of nothing else but Operation Bobcat.  I was consumed with the procuring of a bobcat.  I would not quit.  I would not fail.  It would happen, somehow, someway.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.  I had to do the one thing that I feared most...
Ask Facebook, and thereby effectively end my Facebook boycott.
See, I don't hate FB, it is just not my thing.  I had already come out of semi-retirement to join the Camp Mom*Tog private FB page, but the normal day to day FB thing?  NO.

What is it good for though?
Finding bobcats.  And being especially hilarious.
(P.S. Don't friend request me.  Because I am never on it, and I only approve those who I have met with my own eyeballs.  Sorry.  I'm a little paranoid, which is ridiculous having a blog and such, but go with it.)

So what happened immediately after I lit up the bobcat signal?
Erin came in and saved the day.
I KNOW!!!!
Mr. Burns, you have no idea how glad I am that you are a biology teacher with a room full of critters, or how happy I am to know your wife.
The bobcat was secured, but the hilarity just continued.
I mean CHUCK TESTA!  Nope.  (Which is a real commercial, which is horribly awesome.)
It just got better and better.
I made up with Facebook.
Then ordered a rattlesnake of the fake variety (hello) on Amazon.
My cousin put an owl and trout in the costume bag.
The morning of camp, I headed out to meet Bob for the first time.
The freeway I needed to take was closed, I was running late (surprise, surprise),  Apple maps failed me (also surprise, surprise), but I did what any good former Brownie Scout would do.
I figured out an alternate route without the help of my phone.
Shocking, I know.  It pays to have been born in the time of having to plan out your own routes without the help of satellites.  Thank you Dad for teaching me how to read the Thomas Guide and to pay attention to where I am going.

Then I posted this picture of Bob riding shotgun with me and people did not show him love.
If there was a dislike button, it would have been pressed.  A LOT.
He is so misunderstood, as many great heroes are.

Sadly Bob and I have to part ways today.
I will deeply miss him, and look forward to the day when we can be together again.

Which is a perfect segue to this...
Come meet Bob.
Learn how to use your DSLR with Drew.
Make crafty crafts with me.
Registration is open for the next Camp Mom*Tog on August 24th.

Drew, Bob, and I hope that you can join us.
For registration details click here.

How do I explain one of my favorite days with my favorite photographer friend?
A day that was scheduled and rescheduled ten thousand times.  Don't you hate how life gets in the way of life?
Somehow all of the false starts and cancellations brought us to the most perfect day and the most perfect place.
Except the part where Drew was super sick, and yet somehow still found it within her to chase our very wild beast through the forest.  And chase she did. 

It all started sometime in October when I ran across the perfect little outfits from H&M.  Their favorite animals.  Perfect for each of them.  
We thought how fun it would be to have these little woodland creatures run through the local snowy forests.
So perfect, right?  Except someone didn't run yet, or walk.  Turns out he hates the guts out of snow as well.  (Proof of the dramatic fury here.)
Then we were sabotaged by tiny ugly germs that hit all of us this winter relentlessly. To the point where we were able to wait for Shane to finally decide to start walking (I mean running.)
Plan B was to find a different forest.  Except we live in Orange County, which is sorely lacking in open space, much less woodland trees.  Palm trees for days.  Redwoods.  Not so much.

That was until Drew found the perfect place.  The kind of place that makes you forget that you live in a sea of tract houses and strip malls.

A magical forest in which Drew worked her magic.

I might be biased by the whole these-people-are-my-family thing, but I think that this shoot is Drew's best one ever, ever, ever.

They are all my favorite.
Each one is tucked inside my heart, freezing my little family just how they are today.
Beyond thankful for how Drew can see us, see each of our personalities, each of our little relationships, and capture the sunshine and joy of our days. 
And because I like to know where things are from:
Girls outfits: H&M
Girls boots: Kohl's & Minnetonka
Girls flower headbands: Snugars (they have had them since they were babies & they still fit.)
Woodland masks: Mahalo
Cupcake toppers: Mia Sophias
Guys shirts: Target
My dresss & jacket:  Old Navy
Boots: Avenue
Earrings: Happy Days
Rainbow necklace:  Allora Handmade
Bracelet: 31 Bits
Teepee:  Garage sale find
Location:  Super secret and I will never ever tell, even if I am being tortured.

See the rest of the pictures here.  
Thank you Drew.  We could not possibly love them or you more.

Every time I sing this song, I come undone at these lyrics.
It is a scary prayer.  It is a scary thing to ask.
Sometimes scary is good.  Scary takes us out of our little world and causes us to act.  To care.  To serve.  To give.
When we are broken hearted, we give God so much room to heal, and grow, and use us for his glory.

I dare you to pursue a broken heart.

Free 8x10 printable (without watermark) available here.

Currently obsessed with silhouette photos.
Counting down the minutes until naptime so we can sneak in a few episodes of Arrested Development.
While eating homemade chocolate chip cookies that were a grand baby shower favor.
Wishing that I made extra salted caramel cupcakes, because I forgot how evil good those are.
Thankful that it is a long weekend.  Needing some sunshine and sleeping in and bbq.
Surprisingly at peace with the chaos that should be our life as our church/ school/ everything/ is in flux.
Still in disbelief how much I miss everyone who came to Camp Mom*tog.
Wearing my favorite grey (or gray?) dress AGAIN because Jen Hatmaker is messing up my life.
Thinking I should totally wash my hair because ewwwww.  But this spray is my new best friend and I am obsessed.
Freaking out that my Halley girl turned nine. NINE.  Like almost a teenager nine.
Working on a new linky deal because my Instagram feed does not line up with my REAL reality.
Counting down the days until school is out slash freaking out that all of them will be in my grill ALL DAY every day.
Looking forward to redeeming my Mother's Day gift of one night at a hotel with no other humans talking to, or needing things from me.
Wishing I could see Fast Six again.  And again.
Feeling that it is time for another Favorite Things Party.
Wishing I had a jar of this salsa.  A big jar.
The end.

Where do I even begin?
Perhaps with the fact that I didn't take a single picture?
Even with my phone?
It was that much fun.
Cupcakes and cameras and crafts and new friends and no crazy people (which means that either Drew or I were the crazy ones) and so much more.  
(All pics swiped from Drew.)
 Or maybe I should start with our camp mascot the creeptastic Bob the bobcat, who is a whole insane story in itself.  SO GOOD.  Erin saved the day and let us borrow Bob.  I mean look at him.  To meet him alone is a reason to come.
Or the deer photobooth.

The food.
The adorable swag bags.
The campers who came joyfully ready to learn, who weren't scared of the crazy power tools that I made them use, or my crazy children who they got to use their new camera skills on.
The day was dreamy and packed full of so many happy things.
Drew has a way of unlocking the mystery in the seemingly impossible quest to shoot busy kids in different light on that scary manual setting on a DSLR.  
It's magic.
While half of the new friends were out shooting, the other half hung out with me listening to me ramble about nonsense such as Fast Six, as I tried to keep my dorkiness at bay. All the while they made two rad projects that involved wielding a nail gun, drill, paint, and a glue gun that might be the same temperature as hot lava.

As the day concluded and we ate dinner together, we all were a little sad that the day was over.
A lot sad.
I am so thankful for each and every one of the campers.  Who came and spent the day with Drew and I, and were part of our crazy little dream.
They will always be our first campers and that is so very special to us.
I miss them and I want to go back and do that day.

Drew put together a little movie with some of the highlights of the day.
Even Bob the Bobcat gets his big moment.

We had the raddest sponsors who spoiled each of the campers.
So thankful for each of them.

We are planning our next one in summer and registration opens next week.
I cannot wait!!!
Come join us.
It is the best kind of fun.

Our brave and strong, small and mighty, Lucy Jae was baptized this weekend.
Our sweet girl who has a heart for those who need a friend.  Who wants to give away every penny she earns.  
She wants everyone to know about Jesus and his love, and the cross.
There are days when I cannot believe we have the privlege and honor of raising her.
She is such a gift, and we are so very proud.
May you continue to follow hard after Him all the days of your life little one.

1.  We had a huge, very special, very momentous weekend.  More on that to come.

2.  My friends and I are going through Jen Hatmaker's book Seven (which I bought last June and was too scared to even open it) and survived the first chapter.  The food chapter.  So far I haven't stabbed anyone, so that is a good thing.  Might have to do with the fact that I chose coffee over broccoli on my list of seven foods.  Also- don't post you list anywhere or else the nutrition police will come out and get you.  This week?  Clothing.

3.  Not on my list?  Chocolate.  Or cookie dough.  That was dumb.  Especially when I had to make six dozen Lazy Cookies for the school bake sale.  Torture.

4.  To expose more of my nerdiness, I also love Star Trek, grew up watching episodes with my dad, and and LOVED the new one.  I might have even cried.  Did I cry in Les Mis?  No.  Gatsby?  Nope.  Star Trek?  Totally.  Also love JJ Abrams who still needs to heed my advice of casting Riggins as Han Solo.

Source: joyshope.com via beth on Pinterest

5.  This is maybe the most favorite pin of all the things that have ever been pinned from my blog.  It silly and shallow, but is really still a big deal to me.

 6.  In case you were wondering how I am still not biting my nails, it is this magic trio, every 5-7 days.  Kids in bed.  Something mindless on tv, and an hour of my time.  One coat OPI strengthener, two coats good polish (I like Essie, and recently found out it is way cheaper on Amazon.), one coat Diamond Flash (from Target).  I have no desire to bite on four coats of paint.  Gross.

 7.  I have a huge weird crush on this print.  Plus, it is from Sevenly, and $7 from each purchase goes to the week's cause.

8.  Our sweet Halley donated her hair four years ago, and has been excited for the next time that she would be able to again.  Friday was that day where she gave up ten inches to Children With Hair Loss.  I love her.  I love her heart.  Just don't tell me how much older her haircut makes her look.  I KNOW.

9.  Drew and I had the best day ever at Camp Mom*Tog, and I am so excited to share all about it, and yes that is a creepy stuffed bobcat.  Until then, hop on over to Mom*Tog where we are raffling away a swag bag full of awesome, to benefit the tornado relief work in Oklahoma.

10.  Want another way to help those in Oklahoma?  All proceeds from this printable through the end of the month will be donated to the Oklahoma chapter of The Red Cross.

11.  My friend Heather leaves for South Africa tomorrow, working with Orchard: Africa.  She enters her senior year at Biola in the fall and is choosing to spend her summer serving, learning, and growing. I am so proud of her, and very excited to see how God works through her while she is away.  She is sooo close to her fundraising goal, and I wanted to do what little I could to help.  Psalm 46:10 is her favorite verse, and it is so fitting for this season and journey in her life.  All proceeds from this printable will benefit the work of Orchard: Africa until the end of the month.

Today was INSANE.
Lots of being in two places at once and such.
So much time in the car.  So many red lights.  So many deep breaths.
I forgot to take a few pics, so pretend there is one at Target.  There is always one at Target.
Plus one of our date night to see The Great Gatsby.  Which I absolutley LOVED.  Loved.  It was visually gorgeous, and so terribly tragic, and the music- just wow, and Leo and his blue tortured eyes, and Mrs. Marcus Mumford who is all sorts of adorable, and Tobey Maguire whom I didn't hate.  It was just the loveliest ending to a very beautifully, chaotic day.
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