Saturday Morning Pictures + The Talk Jude never gave.

Jude was assigned the talk in Primary a few weeks back. Whenever he is given an assignment he straight up refuses to do it. This time however, I told him about it and how he could write his own talk and he was so excited about it. The topic was pray - praying with your family so I quizzed him about prayer: When he prays, why, what happens, and how it makes him feel, etc. This is the talk we came up with the Jude literally made up himself. It was the cutest thing:

In my family we pray together before we eat, before I go to bed, and at church.

We also say prayers when we need help.

I said a prayer once when I was scared of the dark.

Heavenly Father helped me to not feel sacred by sending the Holy Ghost to comfort me.

I like to say prayers with my family because it makes me feel happy to talk to my Heavenly Father. 

We practiced this talk so much that he memorized it. We said it for my parents and for some friends and he was so excited. Then on Saturday we took the picture above of us praying and sent it to one hour photo. On Sunday we held up the picture and proceeded to start Jude's talk when he refused. He was already grumpy from falling in the hallway so there was no way we were going to convince him. 

So, I said the talk for him very awkwardly - since I was flustered and embarrassed from Jude throwing a fit in front of the entire primary. And that was that. Haha. I am still so proud of him for writing his talk and practicing it so well though and I know that 3 year olds can hardly be expected to not be scared in front of the whole primary.. 
 P.S. Maxwell loves wearing hats now so that's what is so fun for us about the other pictures - they were taken the same morning as the prayer picture so I included them.


Bloggy Blog Blog

I just wanted to say that I plan to blog a lot more again! I want to record our lives in writing better. I suspended my Facebook account in an effort to simplify and choose a better form of sharing… Facebook privacy was changing daily and making me feel a bit out of control and with the amount of sharing that I do, I felt it best to eliminate one form of social networking. Plus I foresee Facebook getting less and less used…

Also I am excited to get away from the millions of photographers on Facebook and draw inspiration from within!
This also speaks true for motherhood!

Rambling thoughts + Current stuff about us.

Every morning Jude comes into my room and yells "Get up! I'm hungry!" I convince him to crawl into bed with me where on a lucky day he falls asleep but usually Max squawks from his crib right about then and Jude pesters me to get up until I finally do. (Jude and I are super grumpy morning people. It's a good thing Maxwell is a pillar of light, otherwise this house would be a scary place at 8am. hehe)

Some days when I am extra sleepy or when the boys get up too early, I take them both into my bed and prop the pillows up for them and turn on PBS. Every morning, just says "do we get a show mom!?" And now Maxwell has started pointing the remote to the television and saying "Show!" Show!" I can't begin to explain how cute it is to hear a 16 month old say "Show."

Maxwell is picking up on a lot and understanding a lot! He knows his routine. He knows that after he eats, he gets to play. "play! play!" he says. He is such fun! He even took his first steps a few nights ago and we expect him to be walking soon!

Yesterday Max had some toys in his hand and I told him "Go put those away in your room and come back." I was in awe after he did exactly what I asked of him. Man! He is growing up so fast!

Jude returns to preschool in a little over a week. He will be in the big kids class so he is super thrilled. Trenton has been working away at their plumbing for our trade. What a blessing to send Jude to a top notch preschool for trade!

I'm not sure I have written about Trenton and his successes on this blog yet. He is now a Master Plumber and slowly pursuing his business "Independence Plumbing." He works at the county by day and nights and weekends he is plumbing houses. He is so busy all the time and even has to turn down work… and yet we are so poor because we are saving every last penny of his plumbing income.
I'm not gonna lie, it's not easy for me to be home all the time with little control over the income - while Trenton works his bum off earning money that we lock away. We are hoping in two years or so it will really pay off and we will be moving into our dream home with a YARD! (And no homeless shelter in sight mind you.)

I HAVE however been trying to pick up a little slack by earning a bit extra money working for a friend of mine who is a Realtor - doing simple marketing and office work from home. It's been tricky prioritizing it but I was extremely upfront with her about my schedule so she's been great to work for! My children will always come first for me.(Still I plan to work more as Jude goes back to preschool.)

I am also now specializing in Senior Portraiture. I decided to really push what I am best at and enjoy the most. I don't enjoy newborn photography or weddings much anymore but love senior portraits and family portraits. I decided Senior Portraiture was what I wanted to push most so I am running with it and its scary and things are different in my business now but I am hoping in a year, I will be more established in my area of expertise.

Our lives have had lots of strange twists and turns this year and our path is changing a lot, but as Trenton and I spoke of our differences last night we agreed that we don't have two different paths that we are trying to pull each other to but rather one new path that is even greater and works for our family perfectly! It's amazing what love can conquer. Love is really where it all started. Christ's love and sacrifice makes my each day possible and wonderful!


A Mother of Boys

I'm such a broken record, I know. I just can't seem to get over the joy I feel in mothering sons. I always always pictured a baby girl before I was pregnant but the minute I found out there was a little one growing inside my belly, I was sure it was going to be a boy. With the next one I thought he was a girl for sure because everything felt so different.. but another boy it was and I was completely over joyed at the thought of brothers playing cars together. Now, my dreams are real every single day. The floors of my home are filled with train tacks, trains, cars, and trucks.

I sometimes roll my eyes as I trip over the elaborate track creations on my bedroom floor but then I immediately remind myself how lonely my floors will be someday. I wouldn't trade clean floors for all this. Ever.

I feel as though I am always in a whirlwind of feeling thankful and sorry for myself simultaneously. These sweet boys are the sweetest most exhausting things I've ever known. They take every last bit of me and use it up and I love it.
I don't think I'll ever feel like I've completely got a handle on everything, but I wonder if anyone does. It's moments like these, watching little hands pull trains across a track as the evening light hits their perfect faces, that slows everything down and helps me remember all that truly matters. I am so thankful for these moments.


The Washington County Fair

 This year was so fun because Jude was old enough to go on rides alone and be excited about them - he was thrilled about the train ride especially! We even put Maxwell on a ride with Jude which was the most adorable thing ever! We also watched the figure eight races which was super fun and even the boys loved it!



 I just love these because they are every day kind of photos. I seem to remember Jude was particularly ornery that day and so I put him in the bath by himself. I remember a young women's leader telling me once that there isn't anything water therapy can't cure and for some reason that stuck with me. I always cure my own emotions or stresses with a hot shower and my boys seem to be instantly healed from their woes whenever i give them a bath or a shower or even when we head down to the pool for a swim. Water i magic.
P.S. It was late at night when I took these so that explains the grain - but I kind of like it in this case.



I wrote a few thoughts on the R.Gardner Photographs Blog today and thought I would share those here also - along with the outtakes.

"Some days I wish for a big back yard with lots of grass and room for my boys to run free. Sometimes I feel as though my boys are getting gypped for only having a small patch of grass to roll around on.
Then, on a hot summer night, we pull out the blue swimming pool, pump air into it, and fill it with water – while the boys squeal all the while. Little feet jump inside, chubby fingers splash the water onto that small patch of grass and laughter fills the air. The evening sun hits those tiny little faces just right and suddenly my mind is flooded with all that has happened on this little patch of grass.
It was this patch of grass that my husband carried me over in my wedding dress after we were sealed together. I walked carefully over this patch of grass after giving birth to my first child and later my second child. We watched Jude ride his tricycle for the first time from this patch of grass. Maxwell a brand new, jaundice stricken, baby soaked up the sun on this patch of grass. Afternoon picnics, toes lined up while we wait for dad to come home, cloud watching, ball rolling, endless cuddles, and even times of meditation. It’s summer nights like these remind me of all that is good here on this little patch of grass."

A few notes: 
- Maxwell was saying cheese in every photo you see him smiling in. I about died when i heard that word come out of his mouth. He is officially used to the camera being in his face. lol! 
- I got Jude to look so deeply into the camera by asking him to think about how old mommy is - after which he responded with "Old enough." 
-Notice the progression of these photos illustrates the battle over the boat and who won in the end. Maxwell holds his own! 

Jude is 3 months shy of 4 years old and Maxwell is 15 Months old.