Landon’s First Day of Kindergarten

Landon is on week three of Kindergarten and I’m just getting around to posting photos of his first day. I looked on pinterest trying to find what I wanted to do for photos. I wanted to do something special but simple. I wanted to start a tradition. Something that I do each year and then when they graduate high school I will have photos of grades K-12 for each of our children. I saw some photos of kids holding apples and the light bulb went on over my head. Each year we will put his grade on the apple and snap a photo! You can paint it or even more simple, I drew a “k” on a white label and cut it out.

Now, I’m sure when my boys are seniors in high school they will be thrilled that their mom started this idea. But someday it will make a wonderful keepsake of all the school years <3


First day of school - 2


First day of school - 3

First day of school - 4

Getting on the bus



I love how nervously sweet he looks in these photos. We’ve made it through the first two weeks. Surely that means we will survive the year, right?

Filed Under: Landon, Milestones, Photography2 Comments

Forty Seven Photos

Forty seven.

I stumbled upon an online photo album from the night we got engaged.

And there were forty seven photos of the ring that had just been placed on my finger.

Forty seven.

I would have laughed if I weren’t so ashamed of myself. After eight years of marriage I know that the size, the clarity, the cut, the brand of the ring I wear on my finger doesn’t matter at all.

At the time of our engagement I had not even a clue what marriage was about. I wanted a dream wedding. I wanted the big gown. I wanted everyone oohing and ahhing over me and the gorgeous man I was marrying. I hate to admit it. But it’s true. And I think there are a lot of women out there like me. So I try not to beat myself up too much about how obsessed I became over every minor detail of the wedding. For I know it happens to so many women who are waiting. But when the day comes and we finally do have a ring on our finger we often overlook the whole becoming a wife thing. And focus only on becoming a bride.

I loved Naaman then and I love him now. But that love is vastly different than on the day he proposed in 2005. Like a newly planted tree the roots are thin, weak and vulnerable. But as years pass the roots grow deep into the soil providing strength for the tree above to weather any storm.

Instead of forty seven photos there should have been forty seven prayers said together. Forty seven discussions on our future, on kids, on finances, on careers. Instead of late nights spent researching honeymoons there should have been forty seven late nights talking about what we would do if, God forbid, very bad things happen. Forty seven questions including the big scary ones – can you really love me at my worst when you don’t know what my worst looks like?

Now that I know we can love each other like that. Through death and life and birth and loss and pain and tears and disagreements and broken dreams and broken hearts. And still feel grateful the next morning to wake up next to each other. Now that I know all that?

I wish I could go back.

I wish I could go back and tell you – I would marry you without a ring. I would marry you in front of a judge with no one else there. I would run away with you and marry you without a moment’s hesitation. I would marry you without the dream wedding. Without the big gown. Without anyone telling me how beautiful I am – except you.

Am I glad we danced the night away with friends and family who love us and shared in witnessing our vows of forever? Of course. I feel blessed that we had the beautiful day that we did and so many came to see us start our lives together.

Am I glad that you gave me the ring I’ve been wearing for eight years? Of course. But I wanted you to know today, on our anniversary, you’re worth so much more to me than anything that could be purchased.

I guess I just had to go through the last eight years by your side, sifting through both the ashes of our past and the beauty of our future, to learn that I never needed a ring on my finger in the first place. And I’m sorry if I ever made you feel that the ring and the wedding were more important than the marriage that would follow.

Just know that I will wear this ring every day for the rest of my life. I will wear it to remind me of how far we’ve come and how much we’ve learned. I will wear it on our 47th anniversary and I’ll ask our children to take forty seven photos of the life we built together.

Because those are the photos that matter.


Filed Under: Marriage, Naaman8 Comments

Little brother says goodbye to big brother

I remember when I found out I was pregnant for the second time and then realized our boys would be only 21 months apart. Panic set in a bit. But when Brigham finally arrived we realized that having two kids close together was actually going to be pretty awesome.

These two have been inseparable since the day Brigham was born. They really haven’t spent many days apart at all. Even a few hours apart will have Brigham asking, “Where’s Landon? When do I get to see my brother?”

We’ve known for awhile that Landon going off to kindergarten might be hard on Brigs. And as it turns out we were right. There have been a lot (A LOT) of tears. Brigs just doesn’t understand why his brother is leaving him and why he doesn’t get to go along too.

Brigham started walking at eight months and ever since he has been Landon’s little shadow. Always following behind him. Always wanting to be just like him in every way. We have noticed that this has been increasingly difficult for Landon to handle. It seems that, at six-years-old, Landon is finally more than ready for some space. He’s ready to branch out on his own. Have something that is only his.

We celebrated Landon starting school because it is a big deal. It is a happy time! But I’m not kidding when I say that Brigham is completely devastated that he will not be spending his days at his brother’s side. We’ve tried our best to assure Brigham that his turn will be coming next year. But not much has comforted him during these weeks leading up to the first day they would be apart.

I started taking some special photos to mark the occasion of Landon’s first day and Brigham crashed the party. But I quickly realized that I had captured something quite beautiful in the process. A little brother realizing that he’s getting left behind. And a big brother trying his best to make him feel okay about it.

Oh, these boys. They break my heart and put it back together a thousand times.










Filed Under: Brigham, Double Trouble, Landon, Milestones5 Comments