[my life, my blessings, my journey]

doing it afraid

That's what I'm doing this afternoon. Writing. Like, really writing. Serious stuff that's on my heart, placed their by a loving God who is begging me to write. To write for His glory.

So I'm doing it afraid.

Not afraid of God. Or writing, per se. Afraid of what people will think - or worse, what they will say, about my writing.

You see, when God created me I'm certain that He created a little pocket deep in my soul where He hid this desire to create, to encourage and to write. Yes, I was a Journalism major in college. Yes, I thought I was going to the next hot thing at some major marketing publication or PR firm (stop laughing). Somewhere along the way, I tucked this gift and the idea that I would write seriously on a high shelf, to be dusted off later once my children were all in school and I had more time to myself. And I can almost hear God laughing right now. His plan is for me to write right now. In the midst of ballet lessons, and Book-in-the-Bag reading, making breakfast and folding laundry. He's meeting me right where I am and asking me to write.

And I'm choosing be obedient and to believe for big things. "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." {Matthew 17:20-21}

There isn't a dream He has placed on my heart that is impossible. I'm believing this today.

And so I will write.

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I have somewhat unconsciously left a good many things alone the past six weeks or so. I can count on one hand the number of times I've picked up my camera. This space has been quiet - I really don't have much to write. That's not to say there isn't anything going on. Much to the contrary, actually. I'm just not sure what it all means or where it's taking me.

I feel like Gretel in the woods following the crumbs "home." I take a few steps and then wait for the next. Outside of my family, these crumbs and this little walk through the woods is consuming...in the best kind of way. And as soon as I feel like I may be on the wrong path or must have taken a wrong turn, another little crumb appears confirming my walk and giving me confirmation to keep going. I have NO idea where this little walk is taking me but I know who is leaving the crumbs. Because of this, I can walk without fear and anxiety.

So, I'm being open. Antennae up.

And honest.


Unafraid (most of the time).

Trying not to think about the crumbs that lay ahead, just holding the one that's been placed in my hands.

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you are meant to shine

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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson

Go. Do that TODAY. Shine and be the light that He has created you to be. xo

k & k {engaged}

I was so honored to make these photographs a few weeks ago for this very special couple. Seeing them together reminded me so very much of myself and my husband ten years ago. A world of possibilities at our feet. Looking ahead to a lifetime together.

The light was absolute perfection - a gorgeous Minnesota fall night (and for this reason alone I will forgive the NDSU apparel on Gopher territory).

k & k  {engaged}

k & k  {engaged}

k & k  {engaged}

k & k  {engaged}

the moments are adding up

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“The whole of the life -- even the hard -- is made up of the minute parts, and if I miss the infinitesimals, I miss the whole. These are new language lessons, and I live them out. There is a way to live the big of giving thanks in all things. It is this: to give thanks in this one small thing.
The moments will add up.”
― Ann Voskamp

my love is a light

I look at these images...and listen to this song...and I can almost feel my heart bursting out of my chest.

I haven't been shooting much lately...but what I have been capturing is so me, and images I'm really proud to say are mine.

he laughs

he sleeps

Quiet your heart
It’s just a dream
Go back to sleep

I’ll be right here
I’ll stay awake as long as you need me
To slay all the dragons
And keep out the monsters
I’m watching over you

My love is a light
Driving away all of your fear
So don’t be afraid
Remember I made a promise to keep you safe

You’ll have your own battles to fight
When you are older
You’ll find yourself frozen inside
But always remember

If you feel alone
Facing the giants
And you don’t know
What to do

My love is a light
Driving away all of your fear
So don’t be afraid
Remember I made a promise to keep you safe

Keep You Safe
JJ Heller

first day of school {2012}

Today, I put not just one of my precious girls on a bus, but two. They were ready to begin second grade and kindergarten, ready for routine, ready to see old friends and meet new ones. I am ready for the school year routine, ready for fall traditions and spending some one-on-one time with my boy.

I am not ready to say good-bye to my girls for the day. I'm not ready for alarm clocks and nagging morning rituals to make the bus on time. I am not ready to let them go. I miss them during the day and I know Jack will too. I miss not knowing the details of their days and the spontaneous leg hugs and snuggles throughout the day. I know this is part of growing up, letting go, training them up in the way they should go. I know that with each passing year I am preparing them to leave the nest, to fly on their own.

We are praying for and anticipating great years for both girls. I can't wait to see how they change and grow.

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Ten years ago today I got married. I took solemn vows before my family, my friends and my God.I vowed to love, to honor and to cherish. And to submit.

I vowed in sickness and health, for richer and for poorer, in good times and in bad. I really hadn’t the faintest idea about any of those things because neither of us had been sick, we weren’t richer or poorer and the “bad” times hadn’t really been too tough.

Three houses, a cross-country move and back, career changes, three children and ten years have taught me much about all of those things. I think if I were taking my marriage vows today I would take them a lot more seriously. We were so young and so in love that all of those things seemed impossible or part of a distant future.

It has not always been easy. We spent our twenties figuring out who were were as individuals and as part of a marriage, together. We made conscious choices along the way to grow up together, seeking the Lord and one another first. During the darkest months of my entire life, he held my hand, held me whole.

It hasn’t always been easy, but it has never been complicated. I know that if I look to my left, he will be there. Reassuring, encouraging, challenging and cheering me on all the way. He is the steady, earthly rock that keeps me anchored, makes me laugh and loves me well. More than I deserve.

Along with my children, he is surely the greatest blessing the Lord has given me in this life. Here's to the next ten, Mr. M.

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Linked 52: Defeat

Our boy loves to mow.
Phase One.

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Phase Two. Negotiations for street mowing begin.
He is two. He loves to push the limits and test his boundaries. Mowing in the street is not allowed.

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Phase Three. Defeat.
Sorry, Pal. Rules is rules. (My mother, the English teacher, is going to love that last one.)

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If you have some time, share some love with my friends who may be linking up this week.
Michelle, Heather, Jenn, Heather. Rhonda, Tracey, Stacey, Andrea, Jessica, Amanda, Sarah, Janet, Lesli, Carla, Lena, Rose, Naomi, Tracy, Heidi, Kristin, Veronica,Amy,
Liza, and Jean

if we were sharing a cup of coffee together...

I would be adding half-and-half and sugar.

I would still be in my jammie pants, hair in a ponytail. Glasses.

Sitting on my deck, taking in a beautiful morning.

Letting my kiddos watch Wild Kratts, silently praying that they will leave each other alone for just 10 more minutes. I am not really a morning person.

We may not really be talking much, just enjoying the quiet and the first part of the day together.

I would be thinking about how quickly things will change in just a few more weeks when I am putting TWO of my precious babies on the school bus for their first days of school. And how I'm not really sure how I feel about that yet.

I would be praying for our day, praying for you, praying for my kids, my sweet husband and my brother. Praying for the special soul that waits on him. Praying for guidance and clear direction and to be able to lay hold to all that He has for me.

And then I would step inside, step into my day as Mama and tickle the crazy outta this little love.

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"Wanna have a staring contest?"

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Linked 52: Water

This iPhone image was taken almost two weeks ago now but I've found myself coming back to it. Peaceful. Reminds me of a very happy weekend with my family.


Linkin' up again this week with some friends. Check 'em out.
Michelle, Heather, Jenn, Heather. Rhonda, Tracey, Stacey, Andrea, Jessica, Amanda, Sarah, Janet, Lesli, Carla, Lena, Rose, Naomi, Tracy, Heidi, Kristin, Veronica,Amy,

Linked 52: Time

Time. It's the one thing we never, ever seem to have enough of in this life. With my brother home on a ten-day leave before shipping out overseas, I feel like I'm watching each day slip through our fingers, like those tiny little grains of sand.

No matter how much time we spend with him before he goes, it won't ever be enough.

I don't want him to go but I don't want him to stay more. This is his time.

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” - Eric Roth

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Linkin' up again this week with some friends. Check 'em out.
Michelle, Heather, Jenn, Heather. Rhonda, Tracey, Stacey, Andrea, Jessica, Amanda, Sarah, Janet, Lesli, Carla, Lena, Rose, Naomi, Tracy, Heidi, Kristin, Veronica,Amy,
Liza, and Jean

sometimes all it takes is 10 minutes...

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10 minutes.

100 frames.


I encourage you today to spend just ten minutes doing whatever it is that makes your heart soar, whatever it is that lifts you up and makes you dance a crazy little jig in front of your kids.

The life I've been given is made beautiful in the living.

{happiness is...} summertime

The way her hair lightens to pretty blonde highlights, the stuff we pay hundreds of dollars for as adults.

The lush green color of the shady grass in our backyard.

Flip flop tan lines.

Red Rover through the sprinkler. Neighbor kids laughing.


Sleeping in until almost 9am. The well-rested, deep sleep look she stumbles downstairs with each morning.

A string of lazy days at home.

The sweaty, sunscreen smell on their skin before bath time.

His Über curly hair.

Beautiful golden light.

All my little chicks home, close to the nest. Close enough to watch them, smell their skin, run my fingers through their hair as they pass by.

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Linked 52: Lighting Experimentation

So, can I just say that nearly EVERY photo I take could qualify for lighting experimentation? I'm still learning every time I pick up my camera how to find the best light, how to work with the available light and how to find my own style using all the gorgeous light we see every single day.

I quickly snapped this photo one night this week after bath time. My oldest snuck into her room with the iPad and hid under her quilts to play some Fruit Ninja (or was it Angry Birds? or hopefully, maybe, something educational?). She knows that if the other two littles see her playing, she won't have any time to herself. And she is sweet enough and giving enough that she would very likely just hand the iPad over to one of the two squeaky wheels rather than listen to them whine for their turn. Oh, my girl. Love you.

linked 52: lighting experimentation

As always, linking up with some talented friends. Check 'em out!
Michelle, Heather, Jenn, Heather. Rhonda, Tracey, Stacey, Andrea, Jessica, Amanda, Sarah, Janet, Lesli, Carla, Lena, Rose, Naomi, Tracy, Heidi, Kristin, Veronica,Amy,
Liza, and Jean

Project 52 Week 25 {Fatherhood}

I'm pretty sure this photo doesn't need many words.

Which is why I adore it.

Isn't this the point I want to achieve with my photos? To communicate emotion and deep feelings without having to say a word.
Yes, I think so.

Normally these two are chasing, wrestling and head-butting one another. This is a nice change of pace. Especially for mama. Love my boys.

Project 52 Week 25 {Fatherhood}

Project 52 Week 24 {texture}

Yes. I said I was going to do a Project 52 this year. Yes. I said that I was going to keep up and push myself to really stick to the theme and post my photos. And, yes, I've fallen way, way behind. My Type-A self is not going to sweat it though, I'm just going to jump back in with both feet, okay? Good. Glad we had this chat. On to Week 24's photos!!

The theme was texture. I wasn't really sure where I wanted to take this but while out explorin' with my littles, they constantly pointed out all the different plants, flowers, trees, leaves and textures we were seeing everywhere. Bingo. I love how lush the greens look in these photos and the sunlight pouring through the leaves in the first.

Project 52 Week 24 {texture}

Project 52 Week 24 {texture}

instagram = instalove

During my much needed respite from my big girl camera and this space, I took A LOT of photos with my iPhone. If you follow me on IG, you have seen these. (If not, I'm amroc18 over there.) There are so many great photography apps and filters and the possibilities are endless. My very favorite part? My phone is accessible, goes nearly everywhere with me (I have to draw the line somewhere, people- ha!) and it fits in my pocket. All of which make it the perfect way to capture all these little moments without skipping a beat. Many of these photos wouldn't exist if I'd had to run and grab my camera. Have you printed IG images before? What did you think?


{happiness is...} in the will of God

pretty evening light

There is one safe and happy place, and that is in the will of God. ~David Livingstone

...and away she went

While biking home from the park yesterday afternoon, I casually mentioned to my sweet 5 year old that maybe we could take her training wheels off this summer. She didn't say much, just kept pedaling. In Isabel-speak, that means "We're done here. No more discussion, please." And so I left it. I didn't want to push her - I've learned how well THAT goes.

As soon as Daddy walked in the door last night, the first words out of her mouth were, "Daddy, can you take my training wheels off tonight?" We exchanged 'that look' - you know, the one that says, "I'm not really too sure about this because I can see how it will go down if it doesn't go well the first time for her."

Turns out,she's a natural. I held on for the first few shaky turns of the pedals and then she was off. Honestly. She had no trouble at all and just pedaled away. Matt and I just looked at each other in total disbelief and then I teared up. Of course.

As soon as I could pull myself away from watching, I ran inside to grab my camera. That tells you how unlikely I thought this whole first-time scenario was - I didn't even have my camera outside. I snapped a few photos in the beautiful evening light. I fell asleep last night feeling so proud of my girl and thanking God for His still small voice reminding me, "Don't doubt this one. She will surprise you again, and again, and again."


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