Sunday, December 28, 2008


Forgive me, but it's been a long few weeks and this poem suits me perfectly. (smiles)

Rain By Shel Silverstein

I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.

I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can't do a handstand--
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said--
I'm just not the same since there's rain in my head.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

.Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

a Savior is BORN
Fa La La La from our Family to Yours!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fa la la la

So this past week has been a whirlwind of busy-ness. I am in desperate need of a vacation :) Ha! Nathan is planning a little anniversary getaway for us coming up, so I am THRILLED about that and getting to spend some quality time with my love. We love being parents and being a family of three :) (and someday more, Lord willing) but it will be nice to have a weekend to ourselves. A FIRST since little man joined the Payne Party almost a year ago. Three years on January 7th. Wooohooo. :) What gift is that? Last year was cotton....i'll have to look it up. :)

I can't believe my baby is turning one in less than a month. I was thinking about his birth weekend just the other day (since baby Gabriella Carranza was born! wooo!). I got a little nostalgic walking along the corridors of the baby wing at our hospital. But I'll save my fun stories for Wesley's ACTUAL birthday blog. :) You know how I can carry on so.

So I took Wesley to the doctor today and he has RSV. :( Isn't it just heartbreaking when our little ones get sick. I hate seeing little ones feeling so terrible, ESPECIALLY on such a magical week as Christmas So pray for my little guy. He is miserable and congested and coughing and very exhausted from it all. We are giving him breathing treatments (which he absolutely hates so it is a wrestling match and it wears him out even more). I was so frustrated at the pediatrician's today. I know they are busy because it's cough and cold and flu season, but they are ALWAYS impatient with me. They didn't even tell me that wesley had RSV. I had to find answers myself and THEN they told me. It was very frustrating chasing the nurses around so that I could get some answers. It's quite the story, I'll share with you personally if you're interested. But I warn you, it is definitely not positive and encouraging, so I understand if you don't care. :)

So I am switching pediatricians offices. I'm calling a new office tomorrow. (thanks sandi!)

Oh, how am I doing, you wonder? Thanks for asking.
I'm a little bummed.. Make that VERY bummed that my baby boo is not having the exciting party filled Christmas that we normally have. We aren't going to have our annual Guerra Christmas Eve bash like we usually do and I don't know if we'll even venture out Christmas day to our designated family events. It's a bummer for real.
But this reminds me that the magic of Christmas isn't about parties and Christmas Eve Eve services or gifts or even wishing store clerks a "Merry Christmas" (which i love to do haha). It's about the birth of a Savior and how he was born for purpose: to rescue us and give us hope.

I was driving home tonight from Walgreens (tissue run) and I was thinking about how I've been so disappointed (naturally) that this Christmas is going to be a little different due to us being under the weather....and I realized that with all my fine preaching and striving to "do" Christmas right, I was missing my own points.

So thank you Lord, for teaching me old lessons in new ways. I have been so selfish and I just pray that my little one heals swiftly. He is so darling and such a joy to my heart.

So I'll end this with a list of things I am so indeed thankful for.
  • my Nathan. He is my partner, my friend, and my encourager...he is definitely the cheese to my macaroni.
  • my little man. It confounds me how someone so small can teach me such big lessons. Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to love as a mom loves. It is very powerful.
  • family. My parents are always there for us, always, my brother always can make me laugh and he loves his nephew. My family is never boring. :) it's so fun hanging out with them.
  • Nathan's family. They are always there for you if you need them, Terina (nates momma) will drop anything if we need her to come in and help us with a problem. (Maaan you should try her new apple butter's awesome!)
You know...there is a lot that I could name....but I'm going to stop there. I am tremendously blessed. Family, Friends, Love. If I start naming everything, I might not stop.

I am thankful for YOU. :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My sick babies

Nathan was sick all last week (still getting over it) and now little Wesley is sick. Coughing, congestion, runny noses, grumpyness....

pray for my little family. We are NOT happy when we are sick and this week is supposed to be pretty busy (hello Christmas!).

Maybe this is the Lord showing us to slow down. Or eat more green beans. Haha!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Let it snow!

It's funny. I anticipate the Advent Season all year long and when it gets here, it flies by. Absolutely just flies by. It's a little disappointing how fast it goes. We put up our Christmas tree the minute Thanksgiving comes to a close and we have hot chocolate and hot tea and sit by the tree and dream of sugar plummed fairies and dancing fairy princesses and nutcrackers in their grand attire, we whisper to Santa and shout that a Savior is born and sing the lovely songs and kiss under the mistletoe.

And then it's gone. With the new year approaching. A new year to ponder and a new year to make a difference in this world.

Last weekend Jamie took my family's Christmas pictures. :) It was SUCH fun.
We hadn't done anything like that in ages and it was so fun seeing Wesley run around Heritage Park like a loose canon. :) He is just so sweet.

So I'm a little late on working on our Christmas cards, but you'll get them before Christmas! :)
Like I mentioned before, this month is just zipping by. We've had Nathan's company Christmas party, several Christmas related photo sessions, family in town, our Volunteer Banquet at church (which I posted my pics of it on the church's flickr site) Wesley's first Santa experience, Santa Day @ Citgo, etc. etc. etc. And it's only the 15th! My baby boy turns 11 Months on WEDNESDAY. Can you believe our boys are almost 11 months, Kasey? I can't believe Wesley and his birthday buddy Easton are such big boys. It just brings tears to my eyes thinking how quickly children grow and change.

I am really excited about Wesley's first Birthday Party. :) It's something I haven't really give much thought to, but I told my parents I want it to be a pizza party. We had pizza at every fun party we had growing up, including our WEDDING (which rocked, by the way!) and I want my son to have pizza at his first birthday party. :) Oh did you know that Pizza Hut is changing all their ingredients? I haven't tried the new stuff, but I'll let you know when it rolls out. :) If you care, that is. Ha!
Anyways, what have you moms done for your baby's first birthday parties? Anything special or momentous happen? I've never been to a first birthday party before. :) Is that because they aren't that big of a deal? or because I just always miss them?

Tomorrow our friend CHERLY comes in town. She's been living in Australia for like 5 years!! She's an environmental animal lover type. :) She used to work at the Aquarium. She got her Masters over there in the land down under. She has dual-citizenship. I AM SO EXCITED to see "my shark". We met my freshman year of college and she called me her little "fish". She is definitely a kindred spirit. So I will post pictures of our pachanga that we're going to have for her at Jenna's house.
The above picture is of Charity, Cheryl, me & Nathan at Cheryl's house when she lived here. :) Good memories, right Chair Bear? I am so excited to see Cheryl!!!!

Ok, Wesley is getting up from his nap. I better run!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Brandon Heath

Brandon Heath's song "Give Me Your Eyes" is stuck in my head.
A couple weeks ago (when it was a nice 78 degrees outside) I was sitting at the intersection of Staples and Williams near Moore Plaza with my windows rolled down listening to K-Love. I was running errands by myself while Wesley and Nathan were hangin out at the casita. It was sort of refreshing being by myself, enjoying the cool breeze, not all impatient at the long line of people trying to turn Right onto Staples. (I was coming from Rodd Field). Well Brandon Heath's song came on and I really just listened to the words while I sat there staring at people driving by, at people trying to merge through the construction, at people trying to get onto the road from the nearby parking lots. I noticed the people crossing the streets, the homeless guys on the corner with their signs that say "Need Help, God Bless". I noticed that nearly every person in front of me were on their cell phones while we waited for the red light to change. I was just so overcome by the "millions" of people that inhabit this earth. Billions really. But the astronomical, growing, amount of people who live and breathe, who were created for purpose. I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't hit the gas for just one moment because the greatness of creation was pressing against me. I used to tell Nathan that women were the crown of creation. (I said it all the time when we were dating hehe) I became very aware of this infinite, passionate love that God has for all his creation. I was in awe. Deep, real, awe. I felt the words of Brandon's song and I just praised God for giving me that moment of sympathy for the people of the world. I hope to never let that go. Check out his music video below. And I encourage you today to just really look at people the way our Creator looks at them. It, to me, is an impossible feat, but one that we can strive for. It will bless your soul, really.

Brandon Heath - Give Me Your Eyes lyrics

Looked down from a broken sky
Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight
Touched down on the cold black top
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breath in the familiar shock
Of confusion and chaos
All those people going somewhere,
Why have I never cared?

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

Step out on a busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide what's underneath
There's a man just to her right
Black suit and a bright red tie
Too ashamed to tell his wife
He's out of work
He's buying time
All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared?


I've Been there a million times
A couple of million eyes
Just moving past me by
I swear I never thought that I was wrong
Well I want a second glance
So give me a second chance
To see the way you see the people all along

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dear Mother

My friend Kate posted this. And I thought I would pass it on.

This gentleman is compiling a list of "letters by mothers to mothers". You can read about it here.
I am going to join with other mothers, including Kate, on writing my thoughts and encouragements on my first year of motherhood. I am very excited about this.

If you're a mom, you should join in! What a great idea!

I can't sit here long, I had a crazy busy weekend of photo shoots and am quickly getting the photos to their respective owners. :) Goodnight!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

I am anticipating a snowfall this year on our sandy beaches :)
We had a deliriously busy weekend, but smiled a lot, had some laughs and had some good food!

Quick Recap!
  1. Oso Creek Volunteer Christmas Banquet
  2. Took group photos for a doctor's office Christmas Party
  3. Took some family pictures
  4. Took some newlywed pictures for a couple who eloped :)
  5. Santa Day at Nathan's Work
  6. Dinner out with the hubby
  7. Mother-in-law stayed in town with us to help with Wesley pooh
  8. The busiest night in Valet history and I made Nathan go to the banquet with me :)
  9. We got our new couches in
  10. And everything in between
It was such fun and I will post pictures of Wesley's first hysterical encounter with Santa, his first pony ride, fun with some fellow Creekers, and our Christmas tree trimmed with love.

Now...I am going to crash into my pillow and dream of peppermint mochas and all the lovely blogs that are coming your way....

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Smile At Cashier Clerks

I am just going to start plowing through the things that are rolling around in my head.

The first one.
SMILE AT CASHIER CLERKS! They are doing something I never had the guts to do. Working at a retail store during the holiday season. :) (I lasted 2 weeks)

I have a story to tell you.
I was in line at Hobby Lobby. And many of you probably know that while Hobby Lobby is a proclaimed faith-owned store, there are some horrible attitudes walking around there from employees to shoppers. So many grumps out there! Well, they are known for having long lines around here......very long, very slow, very exhaustingly hot lines. It's pretty awful and I feel tired just remembering how warm it was in there that day. Well, there were several people in front of me in this particular line and let's just say the impatience was just saturating the air. I couldn't breathe because of the stank of so many people stomping their feet, groaning and complaining to this poor lady that was doing her best to check them out at a quick pace.

Now, I'm a self-proclaimed impatiently patient person. :) Confusing, huh? I can absolutely stand in line for HOURS because I know how exhausting and frustrating it can be to check people out. (I did a brief retail stint in my younger years) But there are other things that I just lose my patience on real fast.....that's another story for another date.

Anyways, while Wesley and I were waiting in line and the lady in front of us was complaining and hassling, I was tickling Wesley and making goofy faces at him and he was just laughing hysterically. I couldn't help laughing with him because he was just being such a sweet little ham. The time felt like none at all because of his sweet mood and before we knew it, we were at the front of the line checking out.

Then...the clerk looked at me and sighed deeply and said "Thank you for your patience, hearing your son's beautiful laugh was so refreshing".
To which I smiled and said she was doing an excellent job and tried to encourage her. She really did look like she was about to lose some tears.

When I walked away, thinking of her smiles and the frown she had previously been wearing, I was just overcome by how selfish we are, especially at this season of celebration, when we should be giving giving giving, loving loving loving and sharing sharing sharing. We should shout from the rooftops that a Savior is alive and moving and that these things we are spending money on are not eternal. They are not forever.

But Jesus is.

So smile at the people who are working hard to check your purchases. They were created for the Glory of Heaven. Just like you. Just like me. For His honor. For His glory.

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Tale of Despereaux

I am giddy. Nathan put Christmas lights on our house. I hung our wreath on our front door and we set up our beautiful tree with all our special memories. We don't use real trees for several reasons, but mostly because we have a toddling ten month old who puts any and everything in his mouth. :) I loved hanging three stockings on our mantle. :) It warms my heart.
And so far Wesley just looks at the tree. I caught him standing next to it this morning just staring at the twinkling lights. He didn't touch it or move or anything, he just stood there and stared up at this large indoor tree wondering why on earth mommy and daddy felt like they needed to plant something like that inside the house. I can just imagine what he's thinking.

So now that Wesley is on the move and walking like a pro and quickly at that that, do any of you moms have any tips on how to buy toddler shoes that are affordable? I just can't believe how much these little shoes cost and how fast Wesley's feet are growing. Any tips are welcome!

We had a nice, laid back Thanksgiving with my family. We went over to Nathan's aunts in the evening for dinner, but none of his immediate family was there because they were all in Kyle, Tx at his little sister's house. We weren't able to travel because Nate was on call, but I'm not entirely sure that we would have made the trip. Wesley was teething horribly for two days and was hot and fussy and just miserable. Poor kid. Breaks my heart. Growing is so hard.

I have so much on my mind right now, but my left eye is squeezed shut because I think I might have a scratch on it. Wesley stabbed me in the eye with his fingers today on accident while I was settling him down for his nap. Pray it's nothing, I'm not an eye doctor kind of girl. If you know what I mean. So since my eye is shut and I'm slowly losing energy as we speak, I will share my thoughts with you at a later time.

Here's a preview:
  • I need Africa more than Africa needs me
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard
  • Smile at cashier clerks
  • Give me Your eyes for just one second
  • Italy
  • The Tale of Despereaux
  • Advent Conspiracy
Ok, as obscure as those tidbits were, I have quite a range of subjects plowing through my head and my heart.

And with that, I bid you adieu.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What you've been waiting for

Well, an update as promised. :) There's, sadly, not much going on with us. It's probably a good thing. Nathan and I have been organizing our closets and guest room. We are trying to not have "clutter" and things in our closets that are not used. Nathan's motto is if we haven't missed it or used it in the last six months, then there is no sense in keeping it. (unless it's baby stuff we are saving for the next one..i.e., bassinet, bouncer, clothes etc.)

We had some good progress today in our mission:organize. My parents had Wesley for the afternoon and Nathan and I got some good work in. It's been a very productive weekend. Plus Nathan's been busy working on some projects for the valet company. Did I mention to you guys that he's now an Operations Manager? :) He loves valet parking (crazy kid) and now handles a lot of the scheduling and other things. He still has his day job (which he also loves). What can I say? I married a man who loves business.

Speaking of business, my encouraging husband took my little rear end down to the Courthouse on Friday and had me become the sole proprietor of my business. So my photography business is real and in the "system". My business-lovin' husband is going to start taking a more active role in the "business" part (which I'm thankful for) and I'm really excited to see where the Lord takes this. I won't go on and on and on about my love of photographs. So I'll just leave it at that. ;)

This morning at church we began our time of Advent:Conspiracy. It was wonderful. I love the holiday season more than most and have already begun singing Wesley Christmas songs and telling him all about this season that I cherish. So it was very exciting to hear Steve sing a Christmas song. I was giddy! John's message was equally encouraging and I am excited to see how our God works this season through our church. Anyone up for a virtual high five, I'm excited! (can we say....neeeeerd!)

My friend Kate organized an online ornament exchange and I am so excited! I bought my ornament on Saturday and am planning on mailing it in the morning!! It is so perfect. Thanks Kate for organizing that! It's such a joy to my heart.

Ok: here are the videos you all have been waiting for. I know you've just been sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation. :)

This video is of Wesley in our kitchen. It's a little long, but I love watching him play. It's so fun.

Here is Wesley walking to me. I'm sitting at the backdoor of our casita. I love how he balances himself!

My brother was moving some living room furniture around so Wesley loved all the big empty space in his uncle BG's living room. What fun!

Ok. So there's my baby boy walking all on his own. These videos are a few days old, obviously he gets better and better every day. I can't believe how he just up and decided to start walking. He always knew there was a faster way to get around! He finally figured it out.

With these walking endeavors comes the obvious dangers of falling onto hard surfaces. I've done my best to protect him and keep him from harming himself. But tonight he was crawling very quickly (we're talking stealthy, spiderman moves) and he just tumbled over himself, smack onto his left forehead in our kitchen. He immediately began screaming and I sat him on the couch to check him out and assess the situation while Nathan gave him some yogurt snacks he loves. As soon as Nathan produced his "snack", the crying stopped and he started munching happily away. He acted completely normal and was cheerful even. He had a very exhausting day of fun with grandma and grandpa, so he'd been ready for bed already. I didn't want him to sleep immediately, so we gave him a bath and played with him and that's when I noticed his bump on his temple. It had a slight bruised look to it, but he was still acting very normal. I looked up head injuries and checked everything. He fell asleep around 9:30, so after 20 minutes of sleeping, I woke him up to check him again and he was very unhappy that mommy disturbed his sleep. But he was alert and didn't have any problems with "grogginess". And so daddy tucked him back into bed.

So that was Wesley's first bad tumble and he wasn't even walking. Gotta keep an eye on these munchkins. They are all over the place!


My baby boy is walking.
How the time flies.
Here he is 10 months and one week old.
And his smiles are a joy. :)

I was able to catch some footage of himself showing off. hehe
It is so much fun to behold.

I will post a video tonight!!
(with a more inspiring update, I'm sure...)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

samsung ramblings

i have a headache.
i wish i had something more for you.

i have a headache.

and now i am going to bed.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


The weather is changing!!! Finally!!!
I have 2 baby showers today. :) FOR GIRLS!!!

I love my boy, but I was excited to buy for little girls. :)

Time to go enjoy this crisp day in November!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Hey kids, remember that Advent Conspiracy I mentioned yesterday? Here's the promo video from the website

check it out.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thanksgiving...Tis the Season

Mom and I went to little Rockport by the sea on Monday to look at some fun little places. We actually just stayed in one store the entire time. It was full of Christmas decor and little whimsical items. It was beautiful! I love pink Christmas trees. I am so old fashioned, I would never buy one, but I think they are so adorable. :) If we ever have a daughter, I think I will put a little pink Christmas tree in her room.

As for Wesley, I am making him a "travel" garland for over his window with lights and little airplanes and globes that dangle. I will post a picture of it when I'm done. As it is, I feel like I don't have the time to "craft" and paint. :) I wonder why? I just gotta squeeeeze it in. I'm excited about the Christmas art that will be hanging in Coffee Waves. :) I love Christmas.

In other news:

I officially have a "pre-toddler". Just this morning I was sitting at the kitchen table and I looked down and Wesley stood up and walked 4 steps to his toys and sat down. I screeeeeeeched "Wowww! Look at you Wesley!! Way to go! What a big boy, you are!" and he (very startled) just looked at me and smiled. I am teaching him sign language and I am under the impression that, to Wesley, the sign for "more" is also the same thing as clapping. So he is starting to clap when he wants more food. It's pretty cute. My baby is almost 10 months old! Wow!

I am just giddy with Holiday Spirit. It's rainy and yucky outside, but I am playing Christmas music (Shane & Shane's Glory in the gotta get it! It's awesome!) and telling Wesley silly Christmas stories and I even bought him a Christmas present today.

Now our church is very supportive of the Advent Conspiracy and Nathan and I both agreed to not go nuts with presents for our little guy. So I bought him one little gift and maybe I'll fill his stocking with a few special things, but that's it. I want to teach Wesley about the celebration of the birth of our Saviour and that we should give to those in need all year long.

YES, I adore twinkle lights and candy canes and peppermint hot chocolate, and I want Wesley to love all those things too....but I want him to love to give and I want him to love to share.

It's funny, sometimes I still surprise myself, that I'm a mommy who has the responsibility of loving this child that the Lord has shared with me and teaching him all the things that he needs to know to live a life that honors God.

And I am still very excited to decorate our house with lights. :)

Oh, and I'm participating in an online ornament exchange, does anyone here in town want to have an ornament exchange? We can have a little get together at my house, girls only. :)

I have TWO baby showers on Saturday!! How fun is that? Both for little girls. I will post pictures from those later. :)

Ok that was a very random post. Time for lunch!

Monday, November 10, 2008

50D & Me :)

So I've decided to invest in this: Canon 50D. I am so excited about it. I was going to buy it yesterday, but the sale had ended and so I am just biding my time until a better deal comes along. It's the holidays and I know there is going to be at least ONE good sale on this baby soon.
I've been dreaming about this camera for the last 2 days since I decided to invest. It's pretty silly to put so much joy into something so material, but photography is my one passion outside of my faith and my family. Seeing life captured in little moments here and there is just such a precious gift to me. There are moments when I can stare at a photograph and just feel such peace. Like music, photographs can capture your heart and flood your mind with memories. It's very beautiful.
So with the holidays fast approaching, if any of you want some family photos done, let me know! I love this time of year. :) So magical.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Fire Breathing Dragon!

Well, it seems we have ourselves a new presidente. I have read so many articles, blogs, opinions, ideas, judgements, etc. on this matter that I'm now politically stunted. :) No, I'm proud to be an American, but I grow tired of trying to predict the outcome of the next four years and beyond. I will do my duty and support my leadership and pay my taxes and vacuum at least once a week so my allergies dont go nuts, but I won't get into any spiritual, moral, political debates. I'm just too tired for all that. :) I have been feeling under the weather still.

I do feel a surge of excitement about the fact that I am living during an historic time. I put my voting sticker and i.d. tag in wesley's baby book along with headlines and my thoughts on it all, but that's about it. Wesley was born during a difficult time in our country, but I like to think he was born for such a time as this and that with mine and Nathan's guidance, maybe he too can change the world. Is that too cheesy a thought to have? I don't think so. Our children are the future of this nation and I long to teach them integrity and how to honor our great God who supports us with life.
On another note, I finally uploaded pictures of the Wes Man in his Dragon costume. :) I know you must be so thrilled. ha! But I have been sick, you see, so I'm a little behind on the upkeep of my photos. Ohhhh well. You can see ALL the pictures on my facebook or myspace!
Is anyone as excited about Christmas lights as I am?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

November Musings

Well I'm not feeling my best. :( I have a harsh cough and drainage down my back. My nurse Jamie gave me some meds so we'll see how I feel after that. Jamie also happens to be a pretty good nanny :) and has taken Wesley shopping this afternoon while I rest. (is this resting?)

We had a fun first Halloween with our little guy. (even though I was feeling ick) We dressed him up as a little dragon and took him to see his great-gram at her house and had some pie and she showered him with beautiful little books to add to his library. Books are truly my delight and I pray that it is something that he comes to love. It's okay if he doesn't, for not all little ones truly enjoy the magic within books, but maybe he will appreciate it. Who knows. :) Right now he just chews on them and laughs at my impressions.

We stopped by and saw Wesley's Aunt Patricia too and then we mosied on over to my parents and showed off our little dragon. I'll have to post some video of him crawling around in it, with the tail sticking up, it is just too cute.

I'll post pictures later, time to lay down. Happy November, dear friends!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our Adventures in Austin

Well, our Austin Adventure started last Tuesday when we headed out to our hotel. It was near the airport and close to the hotel where Nathan's training was to occur. We stayed in the hotel Tuesday & Wednesday night, enjoying the lazyness that comes with hotel living. Wesley and I watched Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium and I really enjoyed it. It was very whimsical and silly. Just right for me. :) We explored Austin a little, but having a near toddler kept us from being in the car too much. Wednesday night a front blew in and it was fabulous. Wesley and I sat on a bench outside the Marriott and watched the leaves swirl and the rain clouds build.

When Nathan was finished with his training for the day, we headed to Barton Creek Mall and along the way got into a fender bender (my first!). Our car hydroplaned on the slick rainy freeway and we slid right into the back of a truck. I think I cried more than Wesley, but he did cry. I think we scared him because I was telling (i.e., yelling at) Nathan that nobody was in the next lane and he should move over, but the wheel had locked and he couldn't stop the car. The lady was kind and said there was no damage, but our corolla has a crunched look to the front of it. :( sad car.

I'm just thankful it wasn't worse. I was pretty shook up. I'd never been in a fender bender before. Woosh.

Well, Thursday night we spent with Nate's little sister, Laura (lola) and her fiance Daniel. They showed us where they were getting married and their new house they just bought and it was a nice visit. I took some engagement pictures of them, I am so looking forward to their wedding. It's going to be lovely and Laura is going to be beautiful. :) SO excited.

FRIDAY we drove to Lake Travis (Lago Vista) and spent time with Aaron, Kerre, Jackson, and their aunt and uncle on their beautiful land. It was a gorgeous house with so much to explore. They let us take the boat out and sleep in and stay in our pjs late in the day. It was just so relaxing and beautiful.

AND Kerre's aunt gave us a tour of the CASTLE house next door to her. It is a beautiful castle that a lawyer man built for his wife. He has the phrase "A Castle For My Lady" carved above the beautiful front door and laid out on a tile in the entryway. It sits on a cliff and overlooks the lake. It has a turret and everything (yes, we climbed the turret). It was just so dreamy. I felt like I was in another world. There was a road that wound its way through the grounds and we walked the whole thing (severl times because I thought I lost my 4g sandisk!) and we explored the interior of the caslte and oh it was just so magnificent. So beautiful. I could gush and gush about the complete peace I felt in that place. SO perfect. I didn't want to leave.

It's for sale. Yep. 7 Million big ones. Ha!

You can see more pictures on my picture website or my facebook or myspace. I have a TON. And family pictures of all of us too. It was a great weekend, but I'm glad we're home and hopefully we can get Wesley back on his schedule and get some good rest. I'm excited to dress Wesley up in his dragon costume we found for Halloween. He is so stinkin cute in it. I want to be a dragon!


Sunday, October 26, 2008


Above: On Kerre's aunt's boat on Lake Travis

Don't you just love this picture?
We are home from our week in Austin. :)
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday we spent with Aaron, Kerre, & Jackson!

I can't tell you what a joy it was to be with our friends, being lazy and just enjoying time together.

More to stay tuned. ;)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Keep Austin Weird

Well our family is adding to the weirdness this week. We're going to Atx today and we're going to get to see ARRON AND KERRE AND JACKSON. Wahoo.

:) Can you tell I'm a little excited?
I think I packed for about 3 weeks.
Uh oh.

This is the last picture our families took together, I am looking forward to the next family picture we take :)

I'm a little sad I'm going to miss the ladies retreat, but you girls have fun and eat some cookies for me and tell my lovely friends at Zephyr hi from me. This is just the only chance we'll probably get to see the Thorne's before the new year and I didn't want to miss out!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hay wins.

We went to Wesley's Pumpkin Patch on Saturday.
(At Wesley United Methodist Church)

It was SO much fun. Wesley was very enamoured with the HAY.
He didn't care so much for the big orange orbs.
They were too boring.

But HAY is another story. :)

Isn't he something else??
Little farmer Payne :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Nine Months & Me :)

Wesley was just a little peanut in my belly 18 months ago. I can't believe my son is 9 months old today. He has grown into a such a cutie. There are so many things to be thankful for today.

Unfortunately, the wait for his wellness check up was nearly TWO hours right smack in the middle of nap time. Poor kid was exhausted by the time we saw Dr. Gail. It was frustrating, but she is so nice, it's hard to be negative around her. I just smiled and told her patience is a virtue I hope to teach Wesley, he did so good for me this afternoon. Although we had a frightening moment when he choked on some spit up and it came out his nose. He SCREAMED, it was so sad. Poor little guy.

He weighs 21.5 lbs & is 29 in. long. He is growing well. :) I don't really know if babies can grow badly. I think they just grow at their own pace.

I need to post some video of Wesley standing up all on his own. He will just be sitting down and then all of a sudden stand up and look around. I just am holding my breath for that first step. He will stand up, then sit down & crawl, then stand up, look around, and sit down and crawl again. He just knows there is a faster way to get around. Soon enough, son, soon enough. :)

Wednesday night Nathan took me to see Brad Paisley.
It was a fun concert. He really is just so gifted. I enjoy his songs (even the silly ones). Allison Krauss showed up and dueted Whiskey Lullaby with him and her voice is just gorgeous. Smooth as butter. I wish I could sing like her! I would never stop singing! I would be a living musical. haha.

I'm not really a fan of the country music genre, but there are just some country artists that you can't help but enjoy. Brad Paisley being one of them.

And you know, he sang his song "When I get to where I'm going" and I just thought of Matt and how he loved Brad Paisley too. And how that song was so fitting for the state of my heart.

I think the Lord knew I needed to hear it. Just to continue to remind me that there is much life in Matt right now, and that he's more alive now than he ever was here on earth.

We had a good time, It's been a good week and I'm thankful for the slowness of the week. And it's a gorgeous day outside!

For any of you who think to, I have new paintings hanging up @ Coffee Waves. There's an opening tonight! Come try the Pumpkin Gelato! IT IS AMAZING. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ten Things Nathan Loves

I was tagged by my dearest friend Lisa to name TEN things that NATHAN loves. :)

This is in no particular order :)

  1. Nathan loves Kraft Shells and Cheese. Not macaroni and cheese, SHELLS and cheese. who knew, right? He says it's the velveeta that makes the difference and he will put up a fight if it's blue box macaroni that is made instead.
  2. Nathan loves to SING and to sing LOUD. And he doesn't give a flying flip how bad he is. He has every song memorized (even the old hymns and EVEN a little Beyonce) and he will sing loudly.
  3. Nathan loves sweets. Anything sweet, donuts, chocolate chip cookies, cherry pies from the convenience store. SWEETS. He has the sweetest tooth of any man I know.
  4. Nathan loves Scrabble. He is good at it too. He knows all those 2 letter words and is just as feisty as his grandmother when she plays. (I reckon that's where he gets his love for letters from). He really just enjoys games in general, but Scrabble is his favorite. :)
  5. Nathan loves People. Serving people, opening doors for little old ladies, talking to old man crochety next door, helping dads lift their strollers out of trolleys, loving youth. He is just a man who will help a person move 11 times if they need the help and ask for nothing in return. It's true. He loves people.
  6. Nathan loves the great Outdoors. He can just sit outside and be quiet and watch the sunset or watch a river flow quietly and be content. Exploring, camping, fishing, hiking, walking, anything OUTDOORS is his cup of tea.
  7. Nathan loves GOOGLE. He thinks the Google inventors are geniuses and feels that they deserve an honorary trip to Heaven, no matter what religion or faith they are. He loves Google and will strike down anyone who says otherwise. (be forewarned)
  8. Nathan loves Business Cards. I don't even know where to start on this but my husband has a collection that will surprise and maybe even frighten you just a little. It is something else, let me tell ya.
  9. Nathan loves can collecting. Yes, it's true. On days where we have a babysitter for Wesley and it's just the 'two of us' and we are looking for something fun to do, you can always count on Nathan to suggest "hey, you wanna go pick up cans?". I think it's so gross, but he is always looking for ways to help this earth.
  10. Nathan loves the Bathroom Reader and any "facts book". You know, those books with useless trivia? He loves any book that has lots of random facts. (like the Dangerous Book for Boys)
Now, you'll notice I left out his top three favorite things: His relationship with God, His relationship with his wife (that's me) and his relationship with his son. I feel like they are on a level all to themselves because his love for these three things is real and deep. But the previous ten things are truly 10 of his favorite things.

I feel like singing the Sound of Music now.

Ok, wesley should be up from his nap soon and I have gotten absolutely nothing done while I write this. Thanks a lot Lisa! hahaha.

I now tag Abigail M., Kate McD., & Jackie A. You must now name 10 Things that your husbands Love

These are the rainy days Session II

It's 7am and it is raining on my little house by the creek. I love the sound of rain. It refreshes me and makes me think of things past and things not yet seen. Oh yes, I am fond of rain falling against my window, shaking my roses and baptizing the world with it's glittering drops. (there's a little Madelin L'Engle for you)

Monday night we said goodbye to Matt at our church. It was a perfect farewell to a young man with great courage. I can't express to you the emotion that was in that building. I can't tell you exactly how many people were there, but it was standing room only and the doors to the foyer had to remain open for the throng of friends who filled the rooms. It was a sight indeed and I know Matt would have been honored and exhilarated at the amount of people that showed their love and respect.

There was a good article on Matty in the paper yesterday. You can read the link here from our CALLER TIMES website. Matt certainly impacted so many people with his faith and determination. Many tears were shed that night as people recounted their love and favorite moments with Matt. His mom, Laurie Beveridge spoke about some of her last conversations with Matt. Her poise and her ability to share some of the hardest conversations a mom could have with their baby was amazing and intense. I couldn't take my eyes from this woman who addressed this large crowd with tears in her voice, but with confidence. What a woman!

Anyways, continue to pray for Matt's family as the live with this grief. I can't encourage you to do that enough. So often people feel pain for a brief period for others who are hurting and then they simply "move on". I encourage you to write Matt's name down in your journal or bible or on a notecard pinned somewhere to remember and honor him, and to continually pray for his family. A strong, courageous family, but a family in pain.

Will you do this?

I also would like to throw a shout out to Nancy Ilse, Jenny McDermot & all the Creekers who put together so much for Monday night. From the guys in the parking lot, to the servers, to Pastor John for his message of hope and how he loved Matt from the beginning, to everyone who has been a part of this journey, including Aaron & Kerre who were with Matt in the beginning. I know they wish they could have made the journey down. As well as Lisa M. and Kasey W. and all you moms out there who pray and grieve with the rest of us. There are so many people that have traveled this road with us. Thank you.

Matt so thoughtfully told his mom not to name any names because he didn't want to leave anyone out and hurt their feelings. I'm starting to feel the overwhelming power of the amount of people I didn't even know who were out there loving the Bev family. WOW

Remember Matt Beveridge, his heart, his courage, but most importantly, his faith.

Monday, October 13, 2008

These are the rainy days

Thank you, friends, who've loved on us and prayed for us as we deal with our recent loss. We loved Matt and grief is never easy. I've been talking to a few moms from my church who also loved Matt and I've discussed with them this ache I feel that I've never felt before. This is the first passing of a loved one that I've encountered since I became a mom and I am suspicious that my tears and this gut gnawing feeling is due to motherhood. Even though Matt is someone else's baby, my heart aches like a mother's heart and my grief this weekend has been deep.

We found out Friday morning about Matt and were scheduled to leave for Houston and The Woodlands on Friday afternoon. Something I did not want to do after I heard the news, but Nathan encouraged me to go and so we did. We got to meet all of Jamie's nieces and nephews. ALL of them. :) It was refreshing to my soul to see all this young, new life playing and screaming and smiling. It did my heart good and I'm thankful to see them all loving on Jamie's mom. She's a proud grandmama like my mom. Jamie's most recent nephew, Isaac James, is just the most darling little boy and he melted my heart. He is BEAUTIFUL and I loved seeing his drooly smiles. It reminded me how quickly little ones grow. I want FIVE kids after seeing all the cousins together. It was so fun.

We ALSO got to hang out and play with Heather and Eric Seeger at Market Street in The Woodlands on Saturday afternoon. We had such a good time running around with them. :) It kind of blows my mind that they and so many other of our close friends have moved but when we get together, it's like nothing has changed. Isn't that just such a blessing? I miss my friends who've moved like crazy but I'm thankful to those visits that we get. Nathan and I might plan a trip to the Enchanted Rock Area sometime soon and we'll be able to catch up with the Albright Sunshine kids if they aren't out of town. And we are going to get to see Aaron and Kerre & Jack soon!! I can't wait for that. :) Little boys rule!

Allllllthough, Wesley DOES have a little girlfriend. He thinks she is just fabulous and I love hanging out with Beka and her little Zoe girl. Zoe is 2 months younger than Wesley and she is SO sweet and smart and has her mama's smile. I had the pleasure of taking their pictures last Thursday and got to spend the whole afternoon with them and Wes-man. It was awesome.

I feel myself growing sleepy, I think I might take a nap with Wesley now. He's been zonked out for a while now (probably recuperating from our whirlwind trip). Looking at him just delights my heart, seeing him grow and laugh and play is the sparkle in my day and I praise God for giving Nathan and I the opportunity to be parents. What a gift and such a treasure. Especially in these gloomy days, I cuddle my little guy just that much more. God comforts us in such different ways. My boys definitely are a great source of comfort. Cuddle time is the best time. :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Matt Beveridge

'I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.' 2 Timothy 4:7

Matt Beveridge fought to the end, but his body just couldn't keep up with his spirit and he died this morning. He was surrounded by people who loved him greatly.

For those of you who knew and loved Matt, and those who prayed, thank you. Thank you for your prayers and thank you for the support you have shown this incredibly brave young man.

It was an honor to know and love Matt, our favorite pastime was watching movies and being lazy and just talking about girls and movies.

My heart grieves for our loss here on earth, and for the pain we who loved him will feel for many years to come. It is for us who are left behind that I grieve for most of all, because Matt is whole once more. His body is renewed and he can fly!

I realize the concept of Heaven is hard for even believers of the gospel to grasp, but know that Matt had faith and he believed that he was rescued, not his flesh, but his soul. He battled this cancer and he has won, because his life is in Heaven with our God who restores.

I feel like I'm ranting. I feel grief and sorrow for Matt's friends and loved ones. But I praise God for the faith that Matt had in his heavenly father.

Thank you for your prayers and continue to lift up Matt's family as they deal with the funeral and the loss of a part of them. As a new mother, my grief is ten fold what it would have been 2 years ago because I have experienced that bond between momma and baby and I can't even imagine the grief that Matt's mother must be experiencing. Lord, cover her!

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Cor. 4:16-18

Pray continually, dear friends. Grief is never easy.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Pray for Matt

Remember me posting about a strong young man named Matt who is fighting cancer as i type this?

He is critical right now and I encourage you now to pray for his family and just pray how the Lord leads you. My heart aches for the turmoil this family has seen. So pray.

You can read about Matt's story at his Website here:

My heart grieves for the injustices in this world. Please Pray for Matt now.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Girl!!!

My cousin Ebony is having a girl! She has broken the family curse and is having a little girl. You can't imagine the tears and the joy we are all experiencing. Don't get me wrong, we love our boys and the boys who have become men in our family, but the last girl that was born was many many moons ago. Let's see; there are 4 granddaughters on my mom's side (me included) and there are 12 grandson's. Crazy! There are 4 great-grandson's and one great granddaughter.

Now my beautiful cousin Ebony is having a girl!!!!! I am just so excited. (can you tell?) And the picture here is just one family. Did I mention that this is my mom's side of the family? My dad comes from a family of 5 boys all of whom live all over this crazy world. They spread out.

Crazy kids.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Here Moose-y Moose-y...

So I had a weird dream last night about a moose attacking me and Jamie and Wesley (i.e., chasing us to our car). It's kind of drawn out and my dad makes an appearance in the dream, along with a cabin in the woods and my Corolla. I will spare you the details, because I seemed to bore the tears out of Nathan when I told him my dream at our lunch date.

He said the Moose must represent Sarah Palin. mmhmm
He said the Moose attacking "well it must just be your instinctive fear of EVERYTHING". whatever that means.
He said Jamie and Wesley and dad were there, well because I see them a lot
And the cabin in the woods bit, well we've been discussing camping in November, so that might be it.

So now my husband thinks he's a dream doctor. nice.

Oooh, last night my parents had Wesley over and Nathan had a youth thing out at Jubalee Ranch and guess what I had??? THE HOUSE TO MYSELF!!!
I was like Macauley Culkin in Home Alone! I went nuts. I turned up the tv really loud-like (Titanic was showing) and I DUSTED house and did some good deep cleaning. It was marvelous. I danced around with the broom and kept the dog outside. It was awesome. Oh and I ate a twix. Don't judge. hahahahahahaha

Anyways, I obviously enjoyed myself too much. It was nice when the boys got home (well, we had to pick up the Wessers because he had no diapers at grandma and grandpa's and we had to go cover his little tooter. That's a whole other story.

Oh yea, on Saturday we went and saw Ansel Adam's exhibit at the Art Museum of South Texas. I love that place. It used to be one of my favorite places in high school. And since they've built on to it, I love it even more. And who doesn't love Ansel? He was a genius and he revolutionized photography as an art. His work was stunning and I think I might go back just to soak it all in again.

Wesley had fun with Uncle Brandon at the art museum. They had fun looking out at the boats and enjoying the sunshine. It really was a gorgeous day to go. We saw some thunderclouds roll in and it was awesome to see! We were talking about the Lexington and how it's pretty incredible that it has had Japanese fighter pilots shoot at it. The Lexington as been all over the Pacific, down to Panama Canal, to Pearl Harbor, and was nicknamed "the Blue Ghost" by Tokyo Rose. Pretty fascinating to have a ship with so much history docked in our bay. Usually people say it's boring, not worth the visit, but we were raised in a family that loves history. And it's pretty neat to have it around. I look forward to teaching Wesley all about the history of our world. :)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Vote for Heather's Design!

One of my besties, Heather Seeger designed a FABULOUS shirt and you guys should vote for it!!!

Click on the button below.
Water for Uganda - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
She is a pretty talented graphic designer artist type person.

And I came across this picture from my old files and I love it, so I thought I would post it:

clockwise starting from me (top center)
ME, Jackie, Heather, Sarah, Jamie, Liz

anyways, VOTE FOR HEATHER's Design!

After the dancing days...

Have you ever ached for a storm? I mean a good, rolling, magnificent storm? Some of my favorite memories of my years at Zephyr were the days that a thunderstorm swept across camp leaving us soaked to the bone, shivering, and exhilarated.

I hate to be home alone during storms, but I do love laying in bed listening to the thunder clap and the rain pound the earth.
Am I alone in this?

I have come to realize that in my old age (I'm 24, ha!) I am somewhat of a wimp. I used to swim in the sea during rainstorms, drink the wild air, dance in the sunshine, lay in the grass. I was fearless. Put me on a plane to Turkmenistan with a backpack and a flashlight and I would do it in a heartbeat.

Now I check my shoes before I put them on my feet, I always close the bedroom doors, I double check and triple check the locks at night, I think twice about where I go. And swimming in the sea during a storm, psssssh, you MUST be crazy. :)

I'd like to say it's because I'm a mom and I am always keeping an eye on everything...but I know it's because I've lost some peace. I've decided to open myself up to the heaven's above and take the plunge.

Tomorrow I think I will lie on the grass...without a blanket. :)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Painted Wings, Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, & Kisses All Around

These are a few of my favorite things. :)
I love the fall. It's October, and while it is still in the low 90's I take it as a blessing that it is not in the HIGH 90's. Thank you, Lord!
I put my pumpkins out and hung up my fall wreath, I burnt some pumpkin spice candles and bought some fresh daisies for my kitchen table. (Nathan and I have an understanding about flowers. I buy myself flowers whenever I want to and he can still surprise me with flowers if he wants to...but he doesn't have to on account that I try to keep flowers on our kitchen table at all times)
I open my windows wide and let the sunshine pour in while turning up the iPod to my favorite artists.
I dance with my little guy in the living room or we go outside and swing. :)

Indeed, from October to February is my favorite time of year. :) I just love it.

Oh hey, I sold THREE of my photographs at Coffee Waves last week! Isn't that just great!
Don't worry, if you are interested in buying any prints, feel free to buy them off my website A Photographic Life
It just thrills me knowing my photographs or paintings are hanging in someone's living room or house or office. :)
Coffee Waves will host some of my paintings coming up later this month. Stay tuned!

So my son had his first tooth break through last Wednesday. Ironically on a day that I went to the dentist for a check up. Haha. He has struggled mightily with these teeth and I'm thankful he has at least ONE to show for it. The rest will soon follow, but my heart aches for babies and their growing pains they must endure. So at 8 months, Wesley officially has a tooth. I'll have to post a picture soon.

Wesley has also taken to SCREAMING. Absolute howling. Not just when he's angry, but when he's talking or playing, he just must have discovered his lungs. He's been talking and babbling for weeks and weeks, but he just discovered that screaming is fun. He still hasn't said a word. He says mamamamamaa and daddadadadadaa but never just mama or dada. I know he will eventually, and like crawling or walking or any other milestone, I'm not going to push him. I am just thankful for a healthy happy (outspoken) child who LOVES to swing outside. :)

Which we're off to do! Have a great afternoon!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Brother Bear!

So today my older brother turns 27. I'd like to tell you about the earliest memory I have of him, but really, as we get older, the years before I turned 5 are really very blurry. :) So I'll tell you some of my favorite memories that I can remember. Haha.

When we were kids we used to have a swimming pool, a fort, a basketball court, a dog, lots of backyard space to run around, and parents who always sent us outside to run off our energy. I hope to have a backyard like that someday for my kids. In our day of electronics and tv, that is probably the best thing for kids today. Anyways, one of my fondest memories is of Brandon inviting his friends over to spend the night on the fort's roof. They pitched a tent up there and had man time and I was certainly NOT allowed up there, nor allowed to even stay up a little bit with them.

Was I devastated? Certainly! Did I tell on them to mom and dad? Of course! So dad and I get a boom box and put in their bedroom window (which faced the fort) and put on some scary halloween music tape that I owned and we snuck around the back of the alley behind our house (behind the fort) and we launched an attack of waterballoons on BG and his friends. Needless to say, I can't really recall how it ended, but that was super fun!

Anyways, I could go on and on with stories of our childhood (most of which BG would deny) and I am so thankful for the fun we had as little kids, and while we were very different people in high school, the Lord has blessed us a with a new kind of friendship in our adult years and I am so thankful to have him in my life. He is a brother who I can always count on to talk to late at night online, he is a good friend to so many, he opens his house to all of us with nothing to do on a Saturday night, and he loves his nephew to pieces. And Wesley loves his uncle BG! :)

Happy Birthday Brother Bear!