Tuesday, December 14, 2010

where does the time go?

Blogging...was supposed to be my weekly 'time to myself' moment, but it just hasn't happened lately.  I miss writing and posting random thoughts for whomever may happen to read them.

Life has been busy.  Stacks of gifts have been purchased, cards have been mailed (if you happen to live in South Korea your card may arrive postage due; I accidently sent it with a regular stamp and it hasn't yet found it's way back to my mailbox), baking has begun and Christmas music plays in the background ALWAYS!  I love this season and am so thankful to be able to enjoy it.  It's been amazing simply being home. 

My photos are on display at a local coffee shop.  I have received a lot of feedback which has been nice.  I have taken to shooting in manual mode on my camera and am learning and growing daily as a photographer.  My official business license arrived a few weeks ago.  It's such a blessing to have a hobby I love so deeply!  I've gotten to take several studio sessions lately which is also causing growth in my skills.  I love the great outdoors and natural lighting, learning indoor lighting kicks my butt!  I'm grateful for friends and clients who continue to come over so I can figure it out!

Life...keeping us all busy! 

Today though I'm choosing to remember that this season is truly about a babe who loved us so deeply that He was chosen for this world -- our redeemer who would give Himself at the cross so that I have life and those who believe also have life everlasting.  Thank you Jesus!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

You Capture -- Inspiration

Daily I am inspired by many things...what to capture through my lens was the challenge this week.  As I reflected on the things that inspire me I was reminded about how incredibly FULL my life truly is. 

I am inspired by young woman crawling out of bed to meet for our 6:30am Bible study (no camera in tow for our study though...), my son who moment by moment reminds me that he is a gift and that because of him I desire to be a better disciple, wife and mama.  I desire so deeply to give him the world and to one day know I did a great job raising him. 

I am also inspired to be a better photography daily.  This has been a definite challenge because it's self taught currently.  I find myself reading and rereading articles and magazines and blogs in order to get the newest tool in my box to try out.  I have been LOVING my new camera, but have SO much to learn about it.  I desire to figure out lighting in it's natural state because I don't enjoy editing photos.  I want to capture moments in their pure form the first time I shoot -- I will continue to be inspired by all that's around me in this regard!  This week I chose to post the pictures of ornaments on our tree.  The inspiration was the lights behind the ornaments and capturing the details of the great fisher price classics.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

tis the season...

I am in love with the holidays.  I've known this for quite sometime, but this year it's a deeper love (I think).  I have been enjoying the joy that I see through Nash's eyes as he glances at the tree and oohs and ahhs.  I love it! 

It could be that we got to experience a GREAT fall season and that I was fully ready for Christmas to roll around.  Who knows...it's simple...I'm in love!

Tonight I spent the evening creating our Christmas cards.  I'm impressed if I can say so myself.  I'm spending only $15.90 for a total of 100 Christmas cards to send out to our friends and family.  I believe it was WELL worth the time it took to create the cards! 

You may just find one of these in your mailbox in the next few weeks. 

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

365 days

Happy Happy Birthday Nash! 

This mama can hardly believe an entire year has passed.  Words cannot express the gratitude I am filled with each day because of the son the Lord placed in my life.  Nash is amazing in so many ways.  I am blessed to call him son! 

One year ago I was nestled up to this precious teensy tiny babe who I got to call mine.  It was a moment unlike any experienced before.  He was mine, all mine.  It was a moment I had been hoping for my entire life and there it was, just like that -- this baby boy we call Nash Edward Cooley.  He was here. 

He came two weeks early and came perfectly.  I was prayerful about having a completely natural birth and we were able to do just that.  Sunday November 8th was a normal day in our lives.  We served in nursery and then met Eric's parents for lunch at McAlisters.  We were enjoying our lunch when I noticed that either I peed my pants or my water broke.  I didn't say anything until it was time to leave.  Then I announced to the family that I had either just peed or my water had broke.  I made someone walk in front of me and behind me due to the apparent wetness.  We got in the car and headed home.  The excitement was beginning.  My mind began racing in so many directions:  I didn't have sub plans ready, the bookshelves needed to be brought inside and books unpacked, who did I need to call, surely I had plenty of time...

We made it home and slowly I began getting the list of things finished that needed to happen.  I worked with the best team and they were completely okay getting my room prepared for a long term sub.  It was an amazing gift!  I was able to simply hand off the things that were not quite complete and they handled it for me.  Eric began bringing boxes of books inside and I unpacked them onto the new shelves he had built.  I knew there was no leaving for Fort Collins until the books had been settled on their shelves.  I felt absolutely fabulous!  There wasn't any pain involved whatsoever.  It was hard to believe that we would be meeting our babe!  We had planned dinner with friends so we went ahead and kept those plans.  After eating out we grabbed our things and began the drive to Colorado.

The pain had finally started to set in.  I was able to ride in the car on my hands and knees to keep myself somewhat comfortable.  We checked into a hotel around 10 pm and labored there until about midnight.  By then we were exhausted and I had begun intense labor.  We arrived at the hospital and were met by several insistant that I ride in a wheelchair.  Thankfully I still had my say and was able to walk to the labor floor.  By the time I was checked, etc. I was already dilated to a 3 and was having contractions about every 7 minutes. 

The labor continued through the night and with my incredible coach by my side I was able to do it without any medicine.  There were so many moments in which I thought to myself that there was NO WAY I was going to do this -- it was MUCH harder than I thought.  Thankfully Eric constantly reminded me of our plan and provided the much needed support.  He was definitely the ideal coach! 

Nash made his entrance in just 8 minutes.  I clearly remember the midwife telling me that my body wasn't quite ready to push, but mentally I WAS READY!  There was no more waiting. 

He was amazing...all the way from his teensy cry his sweet red hair his perfect toes and fingers...it was love -- love to the very depths of everything I was and am!

There are not enough words to fully express the depth of love I have for Nash.  He means so much to me and daily my love for him only grows deeper.  He is pure delight in every way! 

I sit here amazed that I've already held him in my arms for a year -- can you believe ONE WHOLE YEAR?!  It is so hard to fathom that we've had him that long, but yet it seems as though he's been a part of us forever. 

As I laughed with him today I was reminded about how much the Father must love us to have given us such an amazing gift.  Nash is pure bliss!  If I'm able to have him as my own, than how MUCH MORE must my Heavenly Father delight in me?  It's priceless in EVERY way! 

Nash was created in His Father's image and I'm SO thankful for that!  He is a beautiful combination of both Eric and I.  In that I am reminded that the Lord chose Eric and I just for one another and then gave us an incredible opportunity to love and train this blessing we call ours. 

There are so many amazing things that daily I witness through Nash as he grows and develops:
  • he can say duck, mama, daddy, nigh night, hey, and hi
  • he can crawl up and down the stairs
  • he can identify his head, belly and toes
  • he signs more, all done, please, yes and water
  • he can shake his head no
  • he understands what we ask of him
  • he LOVES LOVES LOVES his puppy!
  • he adores photographs which I of course adore!
  • he loves giving hugs and kisses to his animals and people of his choosing
  • he loves reading his books
  • car noises are a specialty of his
  • the bear crawl is his advanced move in the crawling realm
  • he doesn't like hearing no, but is able to respond when told no about something
  • he gives great 5's
This mama could go on and on...

I am proud to be his mama and praise God for this first year and all that will come in the next year.  Our boy is a beautiful blessing!  I love seeing what the Lord is already molding into Nash's life.  He loves being prayed over -- I believe we will get to experience the depth of what that means as time continues. 

So, to my beloved son -- I love you to the VERY core of who you are and who you will become!  Happy Happy Birthday!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

you capture -- silence

This week's challenge is halloween (see a few posts below) and silence.  I was challenged by silence because I did not find myself in the midst of much silence this past week.  It was a busy week of caretaking kiddos and having friends over.  After sitting and pondering what in the world respresented silence I decided to capture the nativity we got in Ecuador this summer.  It was an opportunity to inward reflect the silence that must have been present as the Christ child entered the world.  I'm sure there were many moments of silence during the scene we can only imagine. 

I still haven't figured out how to change the order in which they post; so sorry!  I'm working on my blogging skills : )  Have a great day!

Monday, November 1, 2010

november 1

November 1st has arrived.  I can hardly believe how quickly October flew by.  Today I was reminded numerous times through numerous moments of how incredibly blessed I am.  October was an absolutely delightful month...

nash was super pumped about his bowl after dinner

nash and his best buddy andrew

swinging with my boy -- this is the LIFE!
We visited a farm with friends and family, enjoyed the bounty that was collected from the farm and from a local csa, enjoyed numerous dinners with friends, baked and baked and baked some more, celebrated birthdays galore, photographed a lot of beautiful people and to top the month off we got to take our own magical garden creature out and about to share with the world.

Delightful, doesn't quite give it the full feel that it had, but I'll settle for the word tonight. 

Oh, the things I look forward to in November...

Celebrating the new births of those who are so so close to meeting their precious ones.
More photos...I can never tire of this!
The sweet sweet aroma of pumpkin and all things pumpkin!
Celebrating our beautiful boy's very first birthday -- OH I CAN HARDLY WAIT!
Enjoying evenings with my hubby as we continue this great adventure together.

Here are some verses that I will be meditating and memorizing this month (thanks Melissa for the challenge!)

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."         
 1 Thessalonians 5:16 - 18

Saturday, October 30, 2010

You Capture -- Halloween

The big day is tomorrow, but we celebrated last night.  Nash enjoyed himself as we traveled from room to room at the local Children's Clinic.  He was pumped about the glowstick he received.  Mom and dad enjoyed the candy!  We had a great time running into friends from the community!  I hope you enjoy your halloween this weekend!

Happy Happy Halloween from our gnome to yours...


Friday, October 29, 2010


so...i'm giving this a shot.  there's a blog that encourages one to enter weekly photos based on a topic.  this week it's autumn.  here goes...i have no idea if i'm doing it correctly or not --

autumn bounty

getting mr. pirate pumpkin ready for the doorstep

my very first roasted pumpkin

leaves...need i say more?!

this is why i love autumn!!!

enjoy your autumn day with your loved ones!
youcapture 4-1

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

time; where does it go?

this reoccuring thought continues through my mind...where does time go? 

i have a huge list of 'things' to get accomplished, but have not yet been able to find the time.  there are many projects waiting for me, but again...i cannot seem to find the time. 

my time is consumed in so many good ways that i can't complain.  there are multiple moments where i wish i could stop the clock and continue enjoying the moments around me just so i can get more fit into my 24 hours each day. 

the clock continues and my lists pile up and i continue to ponder -- where is my time going?!

daily i am reminded about what's important and what can wait.  being nash's mama has become a priority and often when i'm in the midst of accomplishing a task off of my list he needs me.  it's a very easy decision to drop all that i'm in the midst of to just be what he's needing.  i love that! 

it's such a blessing to have the chance to just be his mama. i am so thankful that for this season of life. what a gift to be home and have the opportunity day in and day out to just be me; wife, mama, friend...i'm very thankful!

laundry's going, dinner's cooking, nasher is sleeping and his mama is taking a moment to be her -- a little writing and reflecting, browsing of photographs, and a cup of coffee -- this is definitely the LIFE!

here is a glimpse of our life as we have just been...

eric was my assistant during a current wedding shoot

celebrating the big 32 with nash and eric

daddy and nash's pirate pumpkin

spending time with a dear friend

Thursday, October 14, 2010

a lot to blog about...

Life has continued to keep us busy.  We have enjoyed friends, family and going on new adventures.  Nash continues to change daily and is developing in multiple ways.  He daily encourages us and reminds us of what a tremendous gift he is in our lives. 

his new bear crawl move
 We have been able to see God's hand moving in many ways in our lives as we raise this precious boy! 

The other night we enjoyed an evening hike at Turtle Rock Trail in Vedauwoo.  It was a bit dreary, but as we hiked and enjoyed a light sprinkle we were reminded of the awesome beauty that surrounds us right where we live.  Our evening was spent enjoying one another.  It seems that this comes more often lately. I'm amazed at how God is growing my heart to find time with family as a treasure rather than a norm in my life. 

Eric turned 37 this past week.  We decided to have a nice dinner and evening at home to celebrate.  It's nice to enjoy a special occasion at home every now and then.  We enjoyed spaghetti, french bread and salad for our meal and then topped it off with a super yummy carrot cake.  Nash enjoyed his share of the tastes and though carrot cake was delightful!  It was a great night celebrating the life God has blessed Eric with and the joy he brings to our family.  He is a wonderful man to have by my side.  I am super thankful that the Lord brought him into my life!  Nash enjoyed dad's presents as much as dad!

Eric did it...He bought an incredibly priceless gift for Nash's 1st birthday.  I'm sure there are others in this world who have received something like this, but I'm sure it's incredibly rare.  Nash and Eric are now the proud owners of a 1950 Nash Ambassador.  The rusty and delapidated car will be arriving at our home this weekend if Eric has his way.  I loved how he looked at all the potential it had!  I was having a hard time looking beyond the 'pile'  I was seeing. 

Really, though, it's beautiful in several ways.  I cannot wait to see the adventures Eric will have with Nash as they make it run.  It will be by far the greatest 1st and 16th birthday gift a boy could ever want!

there's nothing like a picnic in the target parking lot!
 There is something magical about a pumpkin patch I've decided.  Maybe it's the Fall colors in their glory, or the bustling about of all gathered there, or simply the fun that surrounds.  Whatever it may be, it's fabulous!  For Eric's birthday weekend we traveled to Platteville, Colorado and met friends and family to celebrate.  We were thrilled to find out that for our entry fee we were able to get on a hay ride and pick veggies to take home.  We had a great time on our 3 hour hay ride.  We came home with 12 ten pound bags of fresh vegetables and 8 pumpkins.  It was a well spent $30.  The time with friends and family was precious and watching Nash enjoy his first vegetable picking experience was definitely priceless!  The bounty has been keeping me busy as I've been preparing the veggies.  I'm learning a lot as I go! 

This week Nash and I headed to Casper to see friends.  We enjoyed the Fall weather at the park.  Our friends are definitely a precious part of our lives!  We are blessed in numerous ways!

A sweet little baby girl that we love deeply has begun hanging out with us one day a week.  We are looking forward to all that she will add to our home!

God is good, God is great -- let's dance!