Thursday, December 20, 2012

No Words……


“Mom, why did that boy do that thing to all those kids?”

I pause, with my hand on his door, and turn to look at my innocent little 5  year old tucked safe in his bed.

I kneel by his bed, with tears in my eyes, and try to find the words to explain something that I don’t understand myself.

“I don’t know buddy.”

“Did it hurt?”

“No baby, God was with those kids that day and he put a giant blanket around them and they didn’t feel anything at all.”

He seems satisfied with that answer and rolls over, hugging his Curious George closer to him.

Why am I having to answer questions about this? Why am I living in a country where little kids now have to fear going to school? Why do I have to explain to MY 5 year old, that kids his own age were innocent victims in a horrendous crime? It makes my heart break in a million little pieces.

Pax said he overheard Josh and I talking about it, I thought I was doing a good job sheltering him from all of this. I guess not, and really, there is no easy way to discuss something like this with a small child. They don’t teach this in parenting classes.

“Ok class, so that’s how you change a diaper, next class we will discuss how to talk to your child after a mass shooting at an elementary school.”

I never thought I would have to have a conversation about this………with my 5 year old…….who is now a little less innocent since this happened.

I hope things change, something has to. Or else I fear the world my children will have to grow up in.























Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dream Big………..

So this week I did something big….no HUGE. I have been pondering this for a while now, playing around with the idea, hearing my best friend tell me that it’s something I should do……. but I just kept hesitating. Dragging my feet, if you will. I made a website for it, about a month ago, and have been lingering with the mouse over that publish button for about a week. Each time I was about to click on it, I would chicken out and close the laptop and step away.

But I finally grew a pair, opened that website, purchased the domain name and went public with my photography business. (Insert panicked scream here)

I love photography, love love love it. I LOVE taking pictures. I LOVE editing and seeing something that was “eh” straight out of the camera turn into something pretty cool. I love capturing a moment in time and freezing it with a simple “click” of the camera and all of a sudden it becomes a memory for someone to treasure.

I don’t love the idea of putting myself out there for criticism because, let’s be honest, it’s going to happen. I don’t love the idea of potentially losing this passion for photography because, let’s be honest, it might happen. I don’t love the idea of putting one more thing on an already full plate because, let’s be honest, that’s already happening.

But maybe this just means I need to get a thicker skin, always try to remember why I started doing this in the first place (see paragraph 3), and maybe clear my plate a bit to make room for something that truly matters to me and is good for my soul.

You see, I can’t live thinking “what if?” It’s about taking a chance, it’s about trying to believe in myself since there are others who already do…….and I thank you (you know who you are). I can’t even tell you how much that means to me and how flattered I am for your confidence in me when I have a hard time being confident in myself. It’s about acknowledging your little shove in my back that urged me to take this giant leap and do something that I never would have had the nerve to do alone.

And to everyone who might not think I am the greatest at photography, I tell you this: I’m not trying to pretend to be. I am sure I have a lot of growing and learning to do, and I plan on doing it. But I am also taking a huge risk and following my dream……and really how can you hate on that?

(Editors note: I have not heard any negativity towards this decision, I am just being proactive and addressing it now because it’s bound to happen, as it does with all businesses.)

And to those who support me and have given me kind words? Thank you. Simply……...thank you. There are no other words that can truly convey the depth of gratitude I have for your encouragement and positive feedback.

So here I stand, at the beginning of who knows what, a little scared, a bit overwhelmed, and a lot excited about what could come of this………A life without risk really isn’t much of a life at all. So here I go………

And no post would be complete without a couple photos of my favorite subjects!



Saturday, December 1, 2012

And Then There Was One More…..

Just when I thought my family couldn’t get any better………we meet Miss Collins Cate and I realize…… can.

birth5 bw

I am so glad I was able to be there to watch my niece be born, ask anyone; I FREAKED out when I thought we weren’t getting to the hospital fast enough when Sarah got induced (someone had to look like a model before we could go to the hospital…..ahem, AMBER) and then I FREAKED out when we were out shopping in the mall (and letting Sarah rest), when her husband texted me to tell me she had went from a 2 to a 5 in a couple hours. I was yelling at Amber to drive faster back to the hospital, because I was just SURE Sarah would dilate from a 5 to a 10 in a half hour and we would miss the whole thing……..of course I was wrong…..but not by much!


We got back to the hospital and hung out for about an hour or so, the nurse came to check her again and said she was a 9 1/2!! See? Laugh it up family, laugh it up!! If we had kept shopping we MIGHT have missed it all. Ok totally being dramatic, but seriously? None of us expected it to go that fast.


(the nurse telling us she was dilated to a 9 1/2)

My little sister is a rockstar, she looked at childbirth and said:

“what up hooker? I am going to dominate you, and not even break a freaking sweat!”

So it looks like her plan to have a half dozen kids might actually come true…………..sorry Derek.


(Amber coming back into the room and finding out Sarah is almost fully dilated)


Sarah getting a little emotional when she realized how close she was to meeting her little girl…..


but then she was all smiles! I mean SERIOUSLY? Who looks this cute in active labor right before they push a baby out? I would hate her if I didn’t love her so much.

So we all hung out for a bit, the nurse told us it could be another hour or so before she started pushing…..15 minutes later her doctor (cutest thing in the world, by the way) came in and was all like: “let’s do this!”


And then it was a flurry of activity in the room as nurses came in, lights came on, mirrors came down from the ceiling (sounds like a kinky movie eh?…. Yeah I just went there).

I wish I could have caught Derek’s face on camera in that moment (I was just trying to stay out of the way) he looked so panicked and confused and he even said:

“wait, so is this happening?…..Like NOW?”

And it was. Happening. NOW.

And then, in true rockstar form, my sister pushed through about 5 contractions and then we met Collins Cate Lorson.












Favorite picture EVER! Look at that tear on her face as they place her baby on her chest. Heart.Stop.I.Melt.


Words cannot describe those moments. When my baby sister finally got her chance to be a Mommy. After years of practicing with our babies, and the struggle her and Derek went through to have their own, and then that moment it happened…..she was a Mom………and all was right in the world.











And she was perfect, and beautiful and everything we had imagined she would be. Just when you thought it wasn’t possible to feel any more love for the family you have, this happens, and you realize there is no limit to love. It just grows as your family grows.










I am so lucky to have such an awesome family. And not just my siblings (who are my best friends in the whole world!) but everyone else that makes our family complete. Significant others, in-laws, and now a new baby. Love doesn’t get divided, it just multiplies. And how blessed am I that my math equation of a family just got one more new addition?


Thanksgiving and Collins 007


Thanksgiving and Collins 021


Thanksgiving and Collins 044


Thanksgiving and Collins 045

Pretty damn lucky.



To view the entire slideshow I made from her birth, click on the link below, turn the music up and grab some tissues if you’re the emotional type.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Neither Here Nor There…..

This post will probably be a rambling hot mess because……..well because it’s me and what else do you expect?

Our life in a nutshell?

Pax is 5 going on 30………

He came home the other day with a KU Jayhawk that he had colored at school, he showed it to me and  I JOKINGLY said to him:

“Ew, what is that doing in my house!”

I looked up at him and he just starts crying!! After I reassured him (through clenched teeth) that it was ok, that the Jayhawk was (ahem) “wonderful” and (cough, cough) “so lovely” he explained to me why he was so upset:

“Mom! It’s ok to like them both, as long as they aren’t playing each other, then it’s ok to root for both of them.”

Yup, thanks son. I guess Mom needed a lesson in being humble. Sheesh! He made me feel like the child! Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Me teaching him about liking everybody and accepting them despite their differences? I guess I get a little crazy when it comes to K-State.

And THEN, yesterday, he told me:

“Mom it’s good to make friends and include everyone. You might not really like them, but you have to be nice to them and not hurt their feelings.”

Is this kid in my HEAD? What the hell? I was having a rough day anyway, dealing with some not fun stuff with a project that I volunteer MANY hours for, and thinking some not nice things in my head about other people (or maybe just one person), and he brought me back down to earth and reminded me that I’m not going to like everyone, and it’s better to just be the bigger person and let them be who they are (a few choice words enter my head, but they shall remain unspoken). That kid……he is wise beyond years, and I am grateful that he reminds me to be a better person, even if it’s hard to hear it from your 5 year old.




 And then we have Harper:

Oh Harper (sigh)………While my one child is going all Dr.Phil on me, the other one is going all Lil’ Wayne on me dropping the “B” word like it’s her job!

Oh yes, my daughter said “son of a b*&%” after a hard level of Dora the Explorer on her Innotab:

Dora Dora Dora

Luckily, she only said it once more that same day (after dropping spaghetti on the floor), and I haven’t heard it since…….

Maybe because I told her she would get arrested if she said bad words again. What!?!! Don’t judge me, I will tell a little white lie if it means my daughter won’t yell out “son of a b*%$” during a biblical lesson in preschool!!!

We attempted family pictures this week, but she was in a “mood” so it didn’t go so well. She didn’t like the cows being so close to us (we were at a farm in case you were like “uh…..what?”) she didn’t like the wind, she was cold, she didn’t like the tall grass…….basically she just hated life that day.

I am hoping that we got at least one decent shot for the Christmas card.  Our photographer is a super sweet and talented girl, so I feel pretty confident she got one shot of the little devil looking like an angel.

And then, when you find yourself wondering how you will EVER survive the teen years with this beast, when she acts like this at 2 (almost 3) years of age…….. she looks at you with those big hazel eyes and says:

“I miss you Mom.”

“Uh, I didn’t go anywhere Harper, I am literally right here in front of you and I have been all day.”

“Yeah but last night you went to a movie and I missed you.”


But don’t worry, I am still researching boarding schools, I have a feeling one of us WON’T survive the teen years…………and I’ll put money on it that that person is me.



Yeah, it is hard to get mad at that face, that’s probably why she is the way she is. She KNOWS she is cute, and that smile lets her get away with a lot.

I am in physical therapy twice a week now for my knees and it pretty much goes like this:

“you have horrible hips, like seriously you have the hips of a 90 year old.”

“how have you been running this long with hips and glutes like this? your poor knees and feet do all the work because your hips are so weak.”

“you’re not running until we can strengthen those hips and glutes because…..have we said this yet?……….they are so weak, like seriously, bad.”

And then I get electrocuted…..the end.

So, from what I can understand from the medical jargon that is thrown around between the PT’s, my hips and glutes are weak and horrible!! The femoral torsion (pigeon toes) that I have had since I was born, is causing my hips and knees to turn in, and my feet to kick out when I run and not letting my body parts work in the correct way to run effectively (and without injury, hence the knees).

Here is a link to what my condition is, a good range of motion for hips is 40 degrees, abnormal is 70…..mine was 70!!! HORRIBLE!

So I am basically having to re-train my muscles to work together correctly, and it is a pretty slow and tedious task. This is how I have walked my whole life and how I have ran the past 3 years. I also get steroids put into my knees through patches attached to a voltage pack and delivered through electric shock!!! Yeah, doesn’t that sound like a walk in the park?

The first time I got them, my PT said:

“sometimes people feel nothing, some say it feels like tiny needles and other say it feels like fire”

I was like “pshaw, I have had 2 c-sections and had no problems with those, bring it on, I am a beast!!”

So she turns the voltage pack on and I immediately feel the “tiny needle” feeling in both knees, I looked at her and said:

“well I’m not option 1, I can feel tiny needles”

She looks at me and says that the voltage is only set to 1.0 and we have to get up to 4.0 to get all the medicine delivered effectively and the higher the number the more pain I will feel.

Yup I wanted to rip those damn patches off and march right out of the office. Screw running, I hear water aerobics with 70 year women is just as good! Save me a floatie ladies, I’m joining your class!! As long as I don’t have to get electrocuted!!

But I gritted my teeth, blinked back some tears, swallowed some vomit (not kidding, it made me nauseous), and worked through the BURNING F-ING FIRE IN MY KNEES!!!”

I have now had to do that 3 times, and it is getting easier each time. Now I’m like:

“grrrrrr, put those patches on and turn that switch up to 4.0 …….BEAST MODE!!!” (the faster you increase the voltage, the faster you are done with the treatment. The first time it took me 40 minutes to do it, now I can do it in 15 minutes, wha-what!!!!).

In all honesty though, I miss running so much. I miss my running friends, I miss early morning runs and getting home and enjoying my coffee as the sun is coming up. I have been completely un-motivated and totally lazy because I HATE the eliptical and being stuck inside the gym. I am going to start walking outside next week, it’s going to be hard, not on my knees, but on my head. To WALK when I am used to running. But I have to do something, and I miss being outside so I just have to suck it up and go.

In other news, my sister is having her baby on Wednesday!!! I am so, so, so excited! I am going up either late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning so I can be there for every minute, (hope you weren’t wanting a private delivery Sarah and Derek, cause the paparazzi is coming!!!) I am so ready to meet Miss Collins Cate (CC Bug!!) and hold that little bundle of joy. We are going to have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. My brother got married last month, we have a new baby coming, and we will all be together in Kansas City. I love being with family, they remind me to forget about all the outside crap going on in life, all the stupid people who try to bring you down even though you know you are better than that (and them), and to focus on what is important in life………your family, your friends, and of course your children……….even when they humble you……….or cuss at you.

Ah….. such is life.