Archive for June, 2011


our engagement

11 years ago today we got engaged!  (And the only reason I know the exact date is because my mom bought me a Christmas ornament with the date engraved on it!)  🙂

James’ plan was to take me to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens and propose there, but when we pulled up, the gates were closed for some reason.  James then had to quickly think, because his mom and sister were going to secretly find us there to video tape and take pictures!  This was before cell phones were popular, so he just thought his mom and sister wouldn’t be able to find us, and he went to the nearby Trinity park.  I had no clue that anything was up.  We walked around the park and stopped at a grassy bridge.  He pulled out his Bible and read Ephesians 5:25-27  “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”  Again, I did not think anything special was going on.  Just James trying to spiritually lead our relationship.  He then began washing my feet.  Still, no clue.  I thought he was being very sweet though, (not to mention super spiritual!)  😉  While he was washing my feet, I saw James’ mom and sister behind a nearby tree!  (They drove around and found us!)  My first reaction to James was, “Why is your mom taping us?  This is a personal moment!”  Still, no clue from me.  Well, they thought I knew what was going on because I saw them, so they started coming in closer snapping pictures and taking video.  I just got embarrassed.  That’s when James bends down on one knee…

this is the actual moment!
sorry for the bad copy, but it’s all I have!  Me hugging James in disbelief.
James’ turn

zaza fun!

We had a college girlfriends weekend in Dallas this last weekend and it was so much fun!  Jen’s husband paid for an amazing (and very interesting) hotel room for us four girls on Saturday night to celebrate Jen’s birthday (and our 14 years of friendship!).  Our room at Hotel Zaza wasn’t ready when we arrived, so we got upgraded to the “presidential suite!”

view of dining room and living room

We had to take pictures at this cute kitchen nook in our room. The sign and the lighting were too fun!

look closely at Jen’s nose, something is about to hit…
poor Jen.  Let’s all have a laugh at her expense though!  😉

This is the dining room in our room. Notice our classy cups we were drinking from. Before we pulled up to the swanky Hotel Zaza (where you only can valet, no option to self park), we stopped at the Race Trac gas station and bought drinks. We didn’t realize how “unsophisticated” we probably looked to everyone when we walked into the lobby with our big gas station drinks. So we had to take a picture in our room with them naturally to commemorate our “classiness.” 😉

Our view from our balcony of the Dallas skyline.

Very cliche, I know, but we had to do facial masks at night!

Jen, Kim, me, and Casey (in case you can’t recognize us!)

People watching was sooooo interesting that night. Apparently Hotel Zaza is the place to be seen at night (if you are a yuppie in your 20s/early 30s) at their pool where it turns into a nightclub of sorts. Pictures here.  Our balcony overlooked the valet and the pool.  We saw lamborghinis, ferraris, lime green sports cars…basically all of Asher’s coolest Matchbox cars were there to get parked!  🙂  We saw a girl jump in the pool in her mini dress, strip it off, flail it around, and throw it in the jacuzzi, only to be escorted out in her high (very high!) heels, bra, panties, and her purse!  She wasn’t able to get her dress back either.  They just kicked her out.  She was definitely drunk, so it was a sight to see.  The DJ there played until 2 a.m. and the music was so loud.  We could hear every beat in our room!  Crazy!  But apparently that is what you pay for to be at the “it” hotel in Dallas!  We were definitely out of our element at this hotel.  The next morning at lunch, a woman came up to us and said we all reminded her of the Sex and City girls.  Geez, I sure hope not.  My friends assured me it was only because there was four of us and we were having a good time with each other.  Hmmmm….


Marry Me

took a little while but here is a short video our trip to Kauai celebrating ten years…I’d ask her every day if I had to! I love you Julie


staying cool

I babysat my nephew Caden yesterday, and the kids had so much fun playing in the backyard pool with each other (minus Rilyn, she said “it’s a baby pool!”).

Asher making a face because he wants to go swimming NOW!

patience is not his gift let’s just say.
these boys l.o.v.e each other!

Time for popsicles!

mmm mmmm good!

Ella got out to go to a friend’s house, but the boys? I had to make them come out after 3 hours of play! And they have the hands to prove it!


summer’s here!

In honor of the first official day of summer on Tuesday, here are some photos that I took of the kids in front of some sunflowers.  Rilyn and Asher were not into this mini photo shoot, so Ella has a lot more pictures of just her.  Ella is my little poser, she is always telling me to “go get your camera!”  🙂

So after I got a couple of these cute shots…

Then this ‘tude happened.

bad attitude

And they were done taking pictures. But Ella still had it in her!

how about I run?

Celebrate “inter-DEPENDENCE” Day

Why not celebrate the Fourth of July as a day of inter-DEPENDENCE?  After all, as people of rebirth (Christians),  independence seems to be a very counter-gospel value.  But interDEPENDENCE — interdependent on one another & flat out DEPENDENCE on God…this idea that we are not alone in the world — that is at the heart of the Story from which we come, the story that began long before America.

I once read that the real Independence Day was not 1776, but soon after Adam was created, when he and Eve stood before God guilty of sinning. It was on that day, the fall, that Adam and Eve made their own Declaration of Independence, and rejected God for Satan’s lie. From that time onward, every son and daughter of Adam is born at odds with God, fighting to live independent of Him and independent of each other. It is only when the eyes of the rebel are opened and he sees his sin, is moved to repent of it, and makes his official Declaration of Dependence upon the Lord, that he will be saved. And it is this very dependence that leads this rebel to cease his striving and live unselfishly in community fulfilling the 2nd greatest commandment to love others.

So this time around and for the future why not consider the true freedom we have in Christ – I’m not talking about, “Lord, thank you that we live in a country where we are free to worship you,” or things like that. Those things are true, but they’ve become cliché. Christians must promote freedom in Christ. Before Christ, we were nothing more than captives! Prone to wonder from our heavenly father, prone to do the very things we hated…Christ most certainly came to bring freedom to the captives.  So on Independence Day let’s be sure to remember the freedom Christ gave us.

But let us not take our country for granted…a country where we can join together and worship our Savoir.  So let every Independence Day remind us to give thanks and pray for those who serve our country, our soldiers who protect our lives and freedoms every day as well as our leaders. Pray for Obama, pray for your Governor, your representatives, and so on. They need prayer.

One of my favorite Independence Day traditions is going to see fireworks. I think it’s because of the awe inspiring beauty, the beauty of bright lights breaking through the darkness acting as a small parallel of Christ’s light that has come into this dark world.  So if you get to enjoy some fireworks let your appreciation of them remind you of the One who shines brighter than the sun, the One who shines hope in the midst of what, at times, feels like overwhelming darkness.

Finally, holidays remind us how inter-dependent we are on one another. As someone makes you a burger, or invites you to swim, or watch fireworks with them, remember what we learned from High School musical, “we are all in this together.”  🙂

Our family is celebrating this holiday starting today, (13 days before the 4th, representing the 13 stripes on the flag).  We will be taping up one “stripe” of paper each day on our wiki stix flag that I made on the wall.  On these stripes of paper will be a Bible verse that talks about either our dependence on Him, our freedom in Christ, or our need to live in community.  All biblical themes that we can tie in with the holiday using the verbage above.

Here are the 13 Bible verses ( in the ESV) we printed out on red and white stripes of paper:

Day 1 of 13

Dependence on God:

Isaiah 40:31

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Jeremiah 17:5-6

5 Thus says the Lord:
Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.

John 15:4-5

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Psalm 44:6-8

6 For not in my bow do I trust,
nor can my sword save me.
7 But you have saved us from our foes
and have put to shame those who hate us.
8 In God we have boasted continually,
and we will give thanks to your name forever.

Isaiah 26:3

3 You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.

James 4:10

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Freedom in Christ:

Galatians 5:1

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:13

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

2 Corinthians 3:17

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Romans 8:21

that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

Our dependence on living in community:

Galatians 6:2

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Acts 2:44

And all who believed were together and had all things in common.

1 Corinthians 12:12

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

*James wrote parts of this post.



hula girls

Last Tuesday we were so happy to be home after a long day of traveling through the night!  Our girls looked so cute in their souvenirs!  We got Asher a cute ukulele, but sadly, in my sleep-deprived stupor, I didn’t get a picture of him playing with it.  He just wanted to cuddle with me all day anyway.  🙂


Kauai day 5

Day 5 was our last full day of activities.  We went on a sunset cruise of the Na Pali coast which is inaccessible by foot because of its sheer cliffs that drop straight down thousands of feet.  It is so beautiful there!  We saw some of it from our helicopter ride, but sailing right next to it was next level.

our catamaran
Just starting on our 4 hour tour
do you see King Kong’s profile?
another rainbow!
sun is starting to set…

I was most excited about getting sunset pictures in Kauai. The bummer was that we were staying on the side of the island where you could not see the sunset (because of the high mountains). I was so looking forward to the sunset cruise where I could get some beautiful shots with the ocean and sunset. “The shot” was totally going to be my new facebook profile picture! 😉 Well, that evening, the clouds took over, and this was the best we could get.

tiny sliver of sun setting….:(

dad day

We love you!  Happy 8th Father’s day to the world’s best!


Kauai day 4

Day 4 brought more exploring the island (Limahuli Garden, a national tropical botanical garden and Hanalei beach) and ziplining at Princeville Ranch!

more gardens

On the way back from the garden, we found these tunnels right across from the prettiest beach on the island-Hanalei Beach.

cool silhouette of James taken in the tunnel/cave facing out
James’ “Baywatch” picture.  Check out that water!!
Can you see James resting against the palm tree?
ziplining!  There was 9 ziplines total to go on!
James zipping!

On one of the ziplines, they asked us to scream the whole way to scare the other groups that were going before us.

blood curdling scream!

After 8 ziplines, we took a swimming/snack break at a little watering hole with a small waterfall. James has no problem jumping in.

20 feet deep we were told

This was the scariest thing I did on the whole trip. I hate swimming where I know there are fish around. But, for the picture opp I did it.

I did not stay in that water, I kicked like crazy until I got out!

Our last zipline was a racing one. It was 1500 feet long! Couples can also try to hold hands (we do have video of that!). James and I held hands at first, but then I had to take pictures of James while we were zipping along!


The day after I returned from Kauai, my friend posted this devotional site and when I read it, it was so applicable to me because I had just ziplined and I love the parallel she makes with putting your faith in the zipline wires vs. putting your faith in God.  Read it here!

It rained A LOT there (everyday!), and we got poured on several times during the afternoon. It was all worth it though to see this beautiful rainbow that appeared right as we were leaving!

perfect way to end the day!

My photography business!

June 2011