Cultivating Beauty.

Monday, August 10, 2020

I have always had a deep appreciation for and slight obsession with a pretty garden.  We inherited a forgotten garden when we purchased our property.  It was a large space that was connected to our next door neighbor's garden, as they were once relatives.  We knew it could be something special someday.  Since 2014, we have doubled the size of the garden, planted grass pathways, and created a visual separation from our sweet neighbor's garden.  The weather has been so beautiful this summer and it was just the perfect season to take a moment to capture one of our favorite places.

We had to take a moment to remember what the garden looked like our first summer.  I had completely forgotten how many trees we had to take down!
These photos are proof that cultivating beauty is always worth the effort.  Walking in the garden often reminds me of this truth when faced with the reality of motherhood and life and work and balance.  Naturally, I couldn't help but to capture our first summer family photos in the garden.

I think I will print one of these to put on the mantle because perhaps more than ever before, this season of life has proved to be one of fighting for beauty.  So many decisions and changes and need for much, much grace.  So, we will keep digging and fending off the proverbial weeds in order to cultivate beauty in the walls of our home, in the halls of our schools, on the streets of our community, in big ways and small ways for us and for all.

These captures from the ever talented, Palette of Light.

Twenty Years, My Love.

Monday, November 25, 2019

This past October, my sweet husband and I celebrated twenty years of dating.  It sounds crazy to celebrate a dating anniversary, but it seemed rather random, significant, and so worth a momentary pause to reflect on the blessings of the past two decades.  Surprising him with a photo shoot where it all began was the very best.  And turns out, we are wildly bad at recreating photos.
Naturally then, we simply went rouge.  With the help of the sweetest custodial staff ever, we got to make new memories with our favorite crazies.
This is literally where it all began surrounded by many who we still count as friends.  And this capture.  To think we'd have two beauties and a boy in suspenders.   
We felt rather scandalous, as our eighth grade selves would have never dared kiss in school, but hey, twenty years does something to your abandon.

Happy twenty years, my love.  You are my very favorite.

And special thank you to Belvidere South Middle School and Palette of Light for letting us walk down memory lane.

Pacific Northwest Adventure

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Ten years ago, two newlyweds hopped on the Empire Builder bound for a Glacier National Park honeymoon. Ten years later along with our crazies, we hopped back on as an ode and celebration of God's faithfulness and kindness to us this past decade. We compiled heart sings of our Pacific Northwest Adventure to be reminded of that kindness for the decades to come. We accidentally filmed our entire trip in 4:3.  Though initially bummed, we can now appreciate the gentle nod to an era far gone.  Indicative, yes, of Washington's slow, beautiful ways.

Snow Days.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

An atypical winter has threatened our days.  Snow Days tells the story, as if it were in a day's time.  The smattering of movements evidence that though a plan may be disrupted, there is always another story.  Perhaps, even, a better one.

Our First DSLR Film

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Sleuth.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

I have been meaning to sit down and write this story for a very long time.  Seeing how it is nearly half way through the first month of the new year, I'd be remiss in not taking a moment to reflect on one of our biggest undertakings ever.  If I could think of one word to describe the story of The Sleuth, it would be tenacity.  It is a story of dirt under your nails determination to finish something well.  We questioned our sanity on so many levels most days.  It is a true beauty from ashes tale that we will always hold so tight.  Alas, here it is.  The story of The Sleuth.
If we could give you unsolicited advice.  Don't go perusing Craigslist for campers at the end of the season.  People are all too willing to make you deals that you cannot pass up so that they don't have to store for winter.  Well, we found ourselves staring at this cute 13' 1962 Aristocrat Lo Liner and couldn't pass it up.  She needed a bit of TLC and a certain little boy thought it was the bee's knees that he could drive it with his trusty green tractor. 
We knew we wanted to do a few cosmetic upgrades to the camper.  We thought maybe we would tear up the plush carpet (ack!) and paint the interior.  The 1960's may have been good for some things, but perhaps not the outfitting of Aristocrat Lo Liners.
So, the night we came home we started our mini renovation.
Oh, the naive bliss.  Well, until a curious stench lead us to open the wheel well.  We'll spare you the grotesque happenings next.  Let's just say it demanded a breathing mask.
Suddenly our "mini" project took a turn towards "massive" project and never looked back.
We ended up tearing the camper down to it's original trailer, only to find that it had stress fractures and needed to be welded back together.  Kerry painstakingly kept all the walls together as a template and our yard boasted his thoroughness...for months.
The rebuild was slow and tedious.
Needless-to-say, this project was intense and demanding and way more taxing than we were anticipating when we hooked her up to bring her home.  But often, it seems, there is much beauty in pushing through the hard.
 This fall Palette of Light captured these pretty photos of our favorite souls and our favorite project.
The Sleuth, named by our oldest daughter after her beloved Nancy Drew, has been a catalyst for adventure.  It has kept us in the sweetest of places in the craziest of weather.  A safe haven in the woods.  If this girl has taught us anything, it is doing hard things does matter.  It refines you.  Tenacity.  And that some things and some people are so worth the effort.  Whether we keep you forever or not, dear Sleuth, you were the best thing to happen to us in 2018. 

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