Wednesday, December 25, 2013


have yourself a merry little christmas



we hope your holiday is filled with joy and hope.

we hope you feel loved. because you are loved. we hope you will join with us in celebrating the best gift ever given. redemption wrapped in human flesh and born to walk among us.
emmanuel. god with us.


love, a + g

Monday, December 23, 2013

the big family christmas

G's "extended" family gathers every year for Christmas to eat, talk, and play "Dirty Santa". Three years ago I spent my first Christmas with G's family. He took me the day BEFORE he asked me to be his girlfriend. I sat through hours of different family members asking me if I was G's girlfriend while I cringed on the inside and smiled on the outside and said "no" over and over as sweetly as my fiery New Jersey attitude would allow.  

A year later we were engaged. 

Now we're married and I've come to accept G's very large, loud, and loving family.  G had the great privilege of growing up with his aunts, uncles, and cousins and considers his cousins some of his best friends. I am now learning what a luxury the big family life is and have found some dear friends of my own in the crowd. 

This year we had much to celebrate. An engagement, a new baby, a cousin home from serving with the army for R&R, and a birthday. It was also special to have the matriarch of the family, Alice, with us. As I've said before, time with aging family members is precious. 

I will let you guess which one the matriarch is and which one the new baby is in this photo.


The next few days are ridiculously packed. And I love it. I will be soaking up the hugs and the laughs and the calories. Hopefully I'll make a quick trip to the gym to day to pay for some of those Christmas treats.

Monday, December 16, 2013

sweet p's first christmas

as promised. the pictures of Sweet P. 

i love this little guy. i'll admit i was nervous to shoot a squirmy little baby but he was the perfect little model. i look forward to many more shoots with Sweet P and his parents as he grows up.

the rest of the photos are after the jump...

Saturday, December 14, 2013


i didn't get around to sending out christmas cards yet again. so i'm going to indulge in the awkward end of year recap right here on the little blog-o.


we bought a house. a house wasn't on my list of things to buy. especially here. but it has been good for us. for our marriage. for our life. to have a little slice of earth to call our own. 

we celebrated our first wedding anniversary. i will admit. the first year had its moments. and they weren't all pretty. but we are rocking year two.

i started graduate school. enter debt. exit free time. G has suffered the most because i ignore him a lot through the week to work on homework. i need to work on a more balanced lifestyle next year.

G started his own hunting club. i don't really know about the significance of all that. but it is significant and worthy of blog documentation.

we're having a baby! just kidding. we celebrated with friends and family to welcome many new little babies into our lives this year including Sweet P who you'll see soon right here on the blog. we also celebrated several new marriages including about one third of G's 800 cousins. 

we said goodbye to my grandmother in august. she is whole and restored and who she was made to be now with her Savior. but she's not an angel. i am not into calling the deceased God's new angel in heaven. weird.

we said goodbye to my brother-in-law's mom. unexpectedly and heartbreakingly. and we wish she could be here for Christmas.

we joined the band at our church. and it is has been a lot of hard work. but it's also been a huge blessing in our lives. and we're so grateful to be a part of what God's doing at our church.


it's been a full year. sometimes it's felt too full. but i am so lucky to have the life that i have. and there is so much more i could say but i'll stop here and just say thank you.

thank you to friends for making me laugh and keeping me grounded.

thank you to family for loving no matter what.

thank you.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


It seems like everyone we know either recently had a baby, is getting ready to have a baby, or wants a baby. This is great news for me because, as I've mentioned before, I love babies.

I love to hold babies. Even crying babies. Because I realize that people only stay teeny and squishy for so long. I was 15 when my baby brother was born and I held him every chance I got. I cuddled him all. the. time. And let me tell you. I don't regret one second of all that baby loving. Because he'll never be that small and new ever again. In fact he turned twelve this week and I am in denial.

Whenever I talk about babies, people tend to think I have major baby fever. 

Actually I have the opposite of baby fever. I have the "I think I might have a mental breakdown if I found out I was pregnant" fever. If that's even a type of fever. I love babies. But I just don't want one of my very own yet. Yet. 

Someday I will probably fill this blog with thousands of pictures of my kid doing absolutely nothing. And gush over how smart and funny and brave and clever they are. I will probably be that mom who thinks my kid is prettier and better in every way than your kid. Hopefully I will also be the mom that keeps those opinions to myself. 

But right now I am a wife. A new wife. And let me let you in on a little secret, mmk? The second year is so much better than the first year. I can't tell you how thankful I am to be enjoying the second year of marriage baby free. G and I need this time to ourselves. We are grateful to God to have this time to ourselves. 

I'm thankful for all the cute little babies in my life to love and snuggle. But I'm also extremely thankful for time for me and G to live life, be selfish with each other, and enjoy the time when it's just us.