Back to School for mom {photography} and a huge discount!

We’ve made apple pies together.

She’s given my children amazing hand me down clothes at just the right times.

She’s been my cheerleader in adoption and the attachment disorder.

She took Sebastian’s newborn pictures.

She’s one of my favorite people in the world.

If that isn’t an endorsement, then I just don’t even know what is…

Nancy is a treasure.

She teaches photography classes online. I’ve taken them and they were amazing. She has a Facebook group for the class and answers questions, gives constructive criticism, and helps you grow no matter what level you are at.

We’ve shot weddings together. I’ve watched her give presentations. I watched her mother her children. She’s the real deal.

I always tell people that there are only two online photography classes I recommend. This is one of them.

She wrote me a little note yesterday after I thanked her profusely for some amazingly adorable hand me downs, and let me know that she’s gonna offer you a discount ($100 dollar discount! Whoop!) for her class. {Click Here}

The information about the class is here: {Click Here}

Don’t worry if you get lost looking at her beautiful photography. It’s totally normal. You can always just come back to this post and start over.

Tell Nancy I said ‘hi’!

Weeds…

A few days ago, my friend Shannan wrote a beautiful post on Instagram about a weed that was left standing tall after being mowed carefully around in a field.

She spoke of the person who mowed around the weed and how they must’ve so carefully navigated around it, leaving its beauty for others to see.

That post stirred something deep inside of me and helped me put words to something.

Earlier this summer a little weed was in our front yard. (I say yard, but you know I live in the desert so it’s just rocks.)  It grew to be big and strong and the bloom was so beautiful against the bright blue desert sky.

The petals fell many weeks ago, but I haven’t had the heart to pull it out. I keep thinking about the beauty it gave during the very hot summer days.

My heart resonates with Shannan about the people our society sees as weeds that must be plucked out quickly. I think about the people I know that others may consider less than. Maybe their job is not the corner office with a view. Maybe their house isn’t measured by acres. Maybe their meals never include anything made at home, because drive-through is cheaper and faster and they need to get to their next job. Maybe their walls include bars made of steel.

If we saw the beauty in the weeds, what would this world look like? If we could open our eyes and realize that weeds are just flowers determined by someone else to be invasive? What if we invite the weeds stand tall and we watered them and saw what they could do and no longer called them weeds? Would we call them part of our community? What if I’m actually the weed in someone’s eyes?

Thank goodness my savior chose to mow carefully around me and water me and let me stand tall to know that I could make beauty when his Son is shining on me.

Shannan - You get me, sister. xo

Mary Thompson - Orchids are weeds in some areas.Can you believe? Just because someone called it a weed doesn’t take from the exotic and beautiful.

Those dreamy summer nights

This conversation is sponsored by SoCozy and their summer pool essentials! It is my honor to share news with you from a company that I enjoy and support!

First of all, thank you for your sweet encouragement on my post yesterday. I am blessed by your kind words and prayers.

***

Pool time is my absolute favorite time of the day.

We leave our phones inside, the chores get put on hold, and we all cool off together.

Usually, it starts out the same – it’s pretty quiet or there is something that someone is complaining about, but within a few minutes, people are giggling and doing handstands. Someone yells ‘fish out of water’ and a game of Marco Polo starts.

There is something about having to be completely present, watching the little ones, that I cherish.

They have my full attention. They have to. I can feel all the cares of the day just melt away.

I stare into their eyes and I can’t believe I get to be their mom. For an hour, I forget about the piles of dishes and laundry. I just feel their soft skin against mine and watch them enjoy each other.

New tricks and new games are made up daily.

New memories are made and stories are told over and over – my favorite.

We all love to tell the story when Nate was about four, stood up on the edge of the pool, and proclaimed that he was ‘as dry as a pickle!’ We have no idea where he got that, but we still laugh about it ten years later.

SoCozy sent us a box of summer essentials. The Swim leave-in is perfect for Mary Alice’s hair. After a good swim, it gets so tangled and this product lets me brush through it right after a swim. You can tell the France Luxe grab and go pony holders are a hit! My girls have already kidnapped at least half of them! And I’m really excited about the 37 Activities gift! Thank you so much for thinking of the mamas in this summer essentials box!

Mary Thompson - Perfect way to end summer days. Precious time.

My Riley…

When Riley first met my grandmother, my mom introduced him to her as ‘my Riley’. Grandma immediately chimed in and said, ‘Well,  he’s my Riley.’ We loved his little giggle on the way to grandma’s house from the Houston airport as we all three took turns saying ‘My Riley’. When we went to Disney World together, we laughed at the seagulls from Nemo that kept saying ‘mine’. It reminded us of that very sweet car ride. Now, whenever grandma sees Riley, she greets him with the most perfect, southern ‘Well, hello my Riley!’.

I feel like I’ve been really quiet about things lately.

I start to write and I’m just not exactly sure how to put into words everything that’s happened in the last few months. All is well. And in the big scheme of things, we are absolutely blessed.

I feel like Riley has been given an unbelievable amount of hurdles to jump over. In the last few months we’ve learned that he has an attachment disorder, dyslexia, and his vision has gotten extremely worse. We found an amazing counselor to help us with the attachment, the school district has been extremely helpful with diagnosing and testing for the dyslexia, and glasses are covered by insurance.

Why is it hard and why have I been quiet? It means he’ll be going to a different school next year and won’t be good with going to our beloved Ville De Marie with Julia and Nate. I think that’s what hit me hardest. I loved him going with Julie and Nate and feeling like such a part of their lives. I think I was holding onto tightly to him having the same experience as them. I know he’s going to do great at our local elementary school but this change is very hard for this girl who dislikes change more than almost anything.

My heart breaks at the attachment disorder. It’s mostly with me, and I go over and over and over in my mind if there’s anything I could’ve done differently to avoid that. The counselor says there’s not, and everything I’ve read says there’s not, but it still rolls around in my head making me wonder.

Good news is we are all healthy and happy and Brian has a wonderful job.

It seems silly to feel like these things are so big, but they just are.

God gave us Sebastian at just the right time to remind us that changes lovely and beautiful and wonderful. Change is necessary and will always happen, no matter how much I like to nest and keep things just the same.

I think I’m finally to a place where all start sharing more with you about this journey, thanks for bearing with me while I was so quiet as I processed all of the information we have been given. I hope you’ve had a wonderful, beautiful summer. If you think of it, would you put Riley on your prayer list? He is so loved by us and we are praying for complete healing for all of his hurdles.

Bill McIntosh - Please tell my felllow Redhead riley, that i justt had BOTH of my eyes fixed(catracts) and although i will still need glasses , that being able to see better is a great thing, especially for reading all the great books there are toread. I am so proud and impressed what a good older brother he has been to baby sister and baby brother.

Cathy Morgan - Hi Katie, Thanks so much for sharing. Megan and Brad’s son also struggles with attachment disorder. It impacts the family in so many hard and wonderful ways. Praying for your family and for ‘my Riley’. Regards to your family—-I love seeing all your pictures.

Mary Thompson - My Riley. My beloved little warrior; whose battles make him and everyone around him stronger and more determined to overcome. God chose well when He made Riley yours.

SheLikesToTravel - Oh, I am so grateful that Riley was diagnosed now so his treatment can start now. How lucky that Riley is close to a school that can help with his treatment plan. I realize how there was a different plan, and I can completely understand mourning that plan. But I am thankful that his future looks even brighter due to this diagnosis.

Dear Summer

Dear Summer,

You’ve been good to us this year.

You’ve brought pool parties and a visit to Texas.

You’ve brought car repairs and a new air conditioner for the house. (I am extremely grateful for my husband’s job).

This year, you’ve brought a different type of summer. In the past, I had every week laid out – carefully planning what we were going to focus on, but this summer, I’ve fluttered about on the wind. It’s been good for my soul. Maybe it’s having a toddler and a newborn at the same time. Maybe it’s realizing that this will be Julia’s senior year in high school. Maybe it’s because our funds have been designated to other things. I’ve chosen to rest and not rush. I’ve chosen to pay closer attention to my home than the invites on the calendar.

Thank you for helping me slow down, dear summer.

MaryThompson - And the kids all said it was a perfect summer. I agree. How good it is to slow down and discover a new treasure.