Wednesday, November 6, 2013

isabella kristan :: six years old

today is my beautiful isabella's sixth birthday.  

click here to see the blog i wrote for her on my bachmanville photography site.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


this kid.
today he turned seven years old,
which just totally boggles my mind.

jackson made me a mommy.
and in some ways, it is hard to remember life before being a mom.
what did i DO on saturday mornings?  (oh ya... sleep)
i'm sure whatever i was doing, it couldn't compare to being this little boy's mom.

(of course) i love all my children,
but jackson holds a particularly tender spot in my heart.
i don't know if it's because he was my first born,
because of the challenges he has had to face,
or just because he is so darn sweet.
but i frequently find myself tearing up at just the thought of him.

it has been fun to watch him in school this year.
he has found a few friends whom he loves dearly.
he will never be the most popular kid in school,
and he is totally ok with that.
it's interesting to hear him describe kids who aren't friends with him in a very matter-of-fact way. 
where bella would be in tears not having someone want to be her friend,
jackson seems content in solitude.
yet he loves other children, regardless of their feelings towards him.
i recently watched him while volunteering in the classroom.
another child got an award and jackson stood up with his arms raised triumphantly and shouted,
"let's all cheer for ________!  he is the player of the month!"
followed by running over and giving the other child a pat on the back.
he truly celebrates the victory of others with no jealousy or selfishness...
i could take a lesson from my little boy.

he continues to amaze me with his reading,
which has spilled over into being a great little speller, too.
math and comprehension continue to be challenging for him,
along with anything fine motor.
and he would rather poke his eyes out than do art or work on his handwriting.
we are grateful he has so many teachers at school who love him and push him to do his best, 
even when it's hard.

he loves anything electronic, and has an amazing ability to navigate games.
he recently decided he wanted to email his teacher, so he got on the internet and found his school on google.  he then went to the staff page and found his teacher and sent her an email.  
yep... if he wants to do it, there is nothing stopping him.

he isn't inhibited by shyness or self-consciousness.
he has a very definite understanding of what he likes and doesn't like.
he is scared of the unknown.
he loves to play with his sisters, but they can also drive him totally cuckoo.
he is happiest when he is listening to music or reading a book.

he loves his nintendo ds. cliff z bars. riding his bike. or his scooter. captain underpants books. wreck it ralph. going to church. oreos and chocolate chip cookies. his 'vans off the wall'. the rockharbor worship cds. perry the platypus. his blankets. the ocean. disneyland. chocolate milk. his action bible. chips and guacamole. the swings. music. swimming. anything with an 'on' switch. reading. his teachers. riding in 'the black car'. his sisters. maps. cats. 

he does not like brushing his teeth.  or having his hair washed. homework. his sisters' singing. art or writing. new things. bananas or yogurt (and having anyone in the same room as him eat them). change. 

jackson is brave.
jackson is obedient.
jackson is confident.
jackson is compassionate.
jackson is intelligent.
jackson is joyful.

i am so grateful that god chose me to be his mommy.
at just seven little years old 
he teaches me so much about compassion, generosity, humbleness, and hard work.

jackson orian....
you bring joy and light to the world,
and we love you so very much.

you changed my life.
thank you.

Friday, February 8, 2013

my baby's a big girl

february sneaks up on me.
the busy holidays, adjusting to the new year, and then 

charlotte's birthday.

today my baby is three.
a big girl.

i feel myself desperately trying to stop the relentless marching forward of time.
holding onto every little moment.
making effort to remember her exactly as she is right now.

but i forget.
i watch videos from just a year ago,
and can't believe that was her.
it's a mean, mean trick.

so i decided to just sit and capture 15 minutes of charlotte.
her faces,
her expressions.
right now.  today. so if i forget, i can look back and remember.

i love every single one of them.

(after a few minutes, she insisted on having her piggies out and her sweater off :)

at three years old,
charlotte monroe is the definition of life.
she is hilarious, filling our days with laughter.
she is passionate, caring, determined, friendly...
and kinda crazy.

she still loves mermaid, but allows other princesses into her heart, too.
she would trade every meal for a slice of cheese ("cheesy"),
and insists on an audience every time she uses the bathroom.

charlotte loves her brother and sister. 
and wants nothing more than to be doing exactly what they are.

if she could wear a 'beautiful' dress, rainboots, and heart-shaped sunglasses everyday, 
she would be a very happy little girl.  (and most days, she does).

she loves dresses. cheese. pink. her baby doll. its a small world. doc mcstuffins. doggies. bubble baths. peanut-butter-jelly. sofia the first. her rainboots. playing in the dirt. anything jackson and bella like. fruit snacks. nightgowns. headbands. anything tiny ('baby!'). coloring. ipads. blankets & pillows. dandelions. taylor swift. cutting things into little pieces. twirling. bubble baths. 

i cannot tell you what joy you fill my heart with. 
you start each of my days saying "i dream about you mommy."
you insist on holding my hand with nothing else in it- just your hand in mine.
you love to just snuggle on the couch with me to "wach a show!"
i love our mornings, just you and me, and watching you grow into such a special little person.
you love with your whole heart and i hope you never stop.
you are brave, compassionate, and kind.
you have a heart full of generosity.
and you have the best hair i've ever seen.... i hardly ever brush it and it always looks amazing.
you, sweet girl, are a precious gift to everyone who knows you,
but mostly to me, since i get the special present of being your mommy.

happy birthday little one.
you will always be my baby.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

merry christmas!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13

december 24th :: photo*a*day

being a big first grader, jackson officially was able to go into 'big church' for the christmas eve service.

the theme was 'wonder'.
and it was incredible.

in this busy season, i felt like i kept reaching for the real reason,
but never truly experiencing the joy that the birth of Christ should bring.

i was so grateful for this time to truly reflect on the amazingness of what Jesus did: 
a great big God, humbling himself to becoming a small infant,
in order to have a saving relationship with me.

it was so good.
and getting to experience it with my little boy 
just made it all the more special.

december 24th
christmas eve by candlelight

Sunday, December 23, 2012

december 23rd :: photo*a*day

my older brother's family came over today
to celebrate christmas.

it's always fun to have a special activity
(and my sister, kari, usually hosts and is SO good at it)
so i copied a fun little craft-treat bella had made at school.

we had such a wonderful afternoon together.
grateful for the people god has given us to call family.

december 23rd
snowman snacks with cousins