Wednesday, May 30, 2012

the one with with the absolutely amazing video...

our very good friend, lacey, is a fantastic photographer...she has the ability to find "magic light" and "model wind" and she took us out on a beautiful night and shot this.  nothing has made me happier in a long time, and i've cried each time i've watched it.  she is seriously amazing and i couldn't love it more. 

visit Lacey Crough Photography to see how talented she is and to book your own session!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

may 22, 2006...

my mind is stuck a little today...wrapped around memories i'm often able to pause only momentarily on without giving them the chance to fully take over...but, today is always different.  today it's impossible to push them aside, to almost pretend they aren't actually, like every year since, i let myself remember...give myself over to the reality of that day, the weight of those moments, and the significance of one very special life.

the day flashes through my mind like an old-school home movie...raw and sketchy with blurred edges, sometimes skipping and jarring from one image, one moment, to the next.  i'm overly aware of times...6:45am...9:15am...3pm...8:45pm...each laced with emotion, softened some by time, yet still a little too familiar on days like this.  i'm haunted mostly by expressions, predominately sarah's, but even by those on the faces of strangers in the waiting room; each carrying the weight of grief, fear of the unknown, unwilling acceptance of things no one should ever have to see.  we each were lost in our own thoughts, drowning in our own personal pain; unable to see more than a minute at a time because it was too hard to look past the certainty of time.

it's amazing to think that one incredible baby touched so many people...that a life spanning only ten and a half weeks could have so much impact.  some of us live for years and never serve our purpose, never reach our potential...yet, somehow, he did it in two months.  each life is a gift, be it two months or 100's what we do with it, what we accomplish, who we serve, how we live, and maybe most importantly how we love that determines its worth.

find purpose in your life, experience the full potential of each day, feel each emotion and learn when to discard them when their time has passed, see the good in others yet don't let them walk all over you, be open to the world around you and know people are put in your path for a reason, understand the importance of time and spend it wisely with people who are worth it, give freely of yourself trying hard not to expect anything in return, smile more, laugh longer, hold tighter, walk slower, wait for direction, be mindful of others while putting selfishness aside, and more, love harder, love openly without fear.  

Monday, May 14, 2012


i just read an article about a man in utah who has ALS.  he has a one year old daughter, and while his body is being attacked by a horrible disease, he is taking every ounce of life he still has and creating memories with person and via video for her to watch after he's gone.  he is sharing every bit of himself so that she will know him - his thoughts, his dreams, his hopes for her, his memories, and his advice.  while the entire article left a lasting impression on me for sure; the one thing that left the biggest impact on me was this:

"happiness is a choice"

he couldn't be more right.  sometimes life absolutely sucks, there is no denying that.  moments bring us to our knees, knock the wind out of us, and sometimes even break us down to our very core...but, after it's all said and done...after the waves of emotion subside...once we pick the pieces up and rebuild, recreate, our life...we have a choice.  we can let those moments destroy us, take away who we truly are, or we can choose to be happy right where we are; finding peace in the very moment we are given.  maybe that's what it all comes down to...the reality that we are each only given so much life...only so many days many moments to love and give and experience everything, everyone, around us.

don't get me wrong.  i get into a funk sometimes...more often than i'd like to admit the older i get it seems, but i'm trying.  i'm trying so hard to make a conscious choice to be happy, to see every bit of goodness around me.  to clear out the junk in my mind and make room for each blessing placed in front of me.  it's not easy, i'll tell you that much.  some days it's way easier to see only the sadness, to be overwhelmed by the disappointment, to get stuck in the moments of my past where i was certain i was happiest....mostly because, following those moments, i was hurt and it's so much easier to focus on, to get bogged down by, those incidences that were painful.  why is that?  i mean, why are we programmed to feel the pain so much more deeply than the joy?  or, at least, that's how it seems anyway.

i was having a conversation this weekend about this very topic and i think i actually said something along the lines of "...when you're ready, when you're done feeling like have to just choose to feel better, you have to choose to be happy."  soooooo much easier said than done, but i do believe it.  i'm not saying to ignore grief, or to put your emotions aside and pretend that everything is great when it honestly isn't.  but, i do think there comes a time when you have to just be done with it, and make a choice - most likely an initially uncomfortable choice because you've spent so long feeling bad that it's actually hard to feel anything other than miserable - but make an honest choice to live your life, to see the goodness around you, and to participate in all of it.

so, today, i choose to be happy.  to not waste a moment.  to see the bigger picture, and love all the details.  to tell people i love what they mean to me, to hug tighter, and laugh take time to actually see my life and know my role in it impacts, i had better make an effort to leave something good behind.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


sometimes the very best of intentions fail.  i learned this lesson all too well tonight. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

happy birthday, becca...

i have an amazing little sister...beautiful in every way, inside and out...honest and giving to anyone lucky enough to know you. i was almost six when you were born, excited as can be to get you out of all the silly blankets they brought you home in. we had a fairly typical big sister-little sister relationship growing up...but, i am honored to say that the memories we are making now are the ones i truly cherish.  you have seen me in moments others haven't, known the words...or the silence...i've needed each time. never judging, always simply loving...everything i've ever needed you to be.  you are the mother of the most amazing little boy...and have given our family the gift of an incredible man who means the world to m and i.

you are stronger than many people may know...putting your grief and fear aside during the hardest moments of your life...showing true selflessness and grace as only you could.  you are her...or many of the very best parts of her anyway...we each carry pieces of her within us, but as time goes by, it's easy to see how very much of her you hold. 

it's funny, i have so many memories that keep bouncing around in my head and as i start to type them, they seem almost too intimate to put into words...yet safely shared between you and i.  maybe that's okay...maybe that's how some things are meant to be. 

    To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. - Clara Ortega

happiest of happy birthdays, becca...i hope everyone else sees you as i do...and can appreciate everything you are, everything you do, everything you were without a doubt put here to do.  chances are good you have no idea how much i love you, or the impact you have on my life.  both are greater than i'm certain you can imagine.  thank you for the ways you touch my life, touch m's life.  here's to an amazing year of you and i hope within it you find every bit of joy you possibly can!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

love fearlessly...

confession:  i pray in the shower.  not that it's the only time i pray, but i do pray is one of the few places i'm alone long enough to focus and think straight without falling asleep.  plus, it's a decent way to start my day.  anyway, i think i've mentioned before that God talks to me from time to's not a loud, booming voice or anything; just a regular voice that seems to stand out above whatever else is going on around me at the time.  this morning i was asking for direction, to try and refocus some things in my life and to stop dwelling on things that don't matter - fairly typical topics of conversation between He and i...but, today this is what i heard:

love fearlessly without hesitation or open to each new thing as it comes and seek to understand the people around you...give grace freely with no exceptions and accept others as they are with their imperfections.

easy enough, right?  well...not really if you think about it.  i mean, it's hard to open yourself up like that.  to set yourself aside and somehow ignore your fears, your insecurities and simply give love, grace, acceptance...freely, with no exceptions...a word i keep confusing with "expectations" each time i read this.  i'm not sure what that means.  am i supposed to do all of this without having any expectations?  am i supposed to be that selfless as to ignore my needs and truly focus on the people around me right now?  perhaps.  that alone is a test to my humanity.  i'm no different than anyone else.  i have my moments of selfishness and jealousy - neither of which i am proud of, but it's the truth.  but, i also fully believe that God surrounds us with the people we need at the times we need them...that they are His humanity, expressing His love, His strength, His courage, His forgiveness, and His completeness in the moments we most need them.  so, i suppose that, in turn, He uses me in those same ways...that i am those things for someone else...His arms and His words when others need more than what i alone can give.  or, at least, i hope so.

"love is all there is...when you take your last breath you remember the people you love, how much love you inspired, and how much love you gave"
-lillie love