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!