Archive for June, 2012


little “squirt”

Today, I took pictures of my nephew.  He gives new meaning to the affectionate title, “little squirt”!  To see more, click here!


my family portraits!

In the middle of May, we got our family portraits done!  Here are some of my fav from Coati Photography!






my new nephew!

Yesterday, my second nephew, Elijah James, was born!  My little brother now has two boys to call his own!
I took some shots of Eli on his BIRTH day that I put on my photography blog here.

love being an aunt!
my brother, his two sons, and my dad-the Erickson men!

My kids got to meet their new cousin today!

they used such delicate hands to touch…so sweet

Ella was the most smitten with him. She told me she never wanted to stop holding him!

future babysitter!

My family with Eli!

Me, my sister, my mom, and my brother holding his new son.


pine cove base camp!

These past two weeks have been all about camp and VBS!  During first week of June, my girls went to Pine Cove base camp at our church!

I highly recommend this as a transition for overnight camps.  Next summer, I would love to send my girls to Pine Cove overnight week long camp, and I think they would be totally ready for it based on the week they had at base camp!  It was 9-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and they loved every minute of it!  (Okay, Rilyn did complain about being too sweaty some days!)  🙂  But that is a girly girl for ya!

They had tons of water activities every day!

Ella on the far left
Ella in the middle trying to drink the water sprinkles!
Rilyn and her friends!

They had Bible study in their tents every day!

Rilyn in the red

They got to act silly!


Listen to silly skits!

Ella loving being in the front row!

They did the Wobble (I totally recommend playing this for the kids, so fun!)

The girls LOVE this clean version of the song

They had worship!


And during the last day, the counselors (which both my girls want to be when they are in college!), presented them with a certificate of character quality!

Ella and her counselor

Ella’s said, “Ella is an outgoing young lady. Her enthusiastic attitude is contagious and inspiring. Her positive outlook is a blessing to those around her.”

Rilyn and her counselor

Rilyn’s said, “Rilyn is selfless, putting others before herself. She is uplifting in what she says and does. Her gracious attitude is a blessing to those around her.”


Go Go Go!!!

We also went go-karting at Austin Park and Pizza.  There was an adult race track where adults could drive with kids, and then there was a “junior” race track.  Rilyn and her friend wanted to drive their own cars so they headed over to that line.  Meanwhile I was watching James and Asher having the time of their lives!


When James and Asher’s race was done, Rilyn and her friend were still in line…didn’t make sense, until I saw that they were chit chatting and people (boys!) were just cutting in front of them! They didn’t even have a clue. So James marched over there and took care of that! Meanwhile, I took Ella on the adult side. She had the time of her life too!

Rilyn was loving driving all by herself!

But there was this boy (in the green car) and they had it out for each other! I love how they are having a stare down in the middle of the race!

I think Rilyn bumped him here!

Get after him girl!

Alas, she was left in the dust, unable to control her turn! Boo!  I would of loved to see her peel past him!

spin out!

Fast forward 4 days later, and we were asked to go go-karting again, this time at a “no funny business, this here is REAL!” go karting place! 😉  I hadn’t been go-karting in 10 years, and this past week, I went twice!
These cars go up to 45 mph, and I made the mistake of trying to race with mostly men. And men who are extremely competitive. And so I was scared pretty much the whole race, just trying to stay alive, I got bumped, and had whiplash for half a day. It was an experience, and I won’t do it again!
Here is the crew who raced

James, me, Jen, Jeff, Ryan, and Halim
getting ready to go!

I’m beating James! (You are timed and he actually lapped me 4 times during the 15 lap race!) He came in first out of 12, and I came in last! Ha!

I’m in the blue shirt, James in the green shirt
go me!
go James!

Everyone, except me, did a second race. I took this picture instead!

wearing their face socks to protect them from nasty helmet germs!

new photo shoot!

I’m so excited about my new nephew, due any day now!!  Enjoy this photo of my brother’s growing family!  To see more click here!

who’s tummy is bigger?!?

birthday dinner!

For Rilyn’s birthday dinner on Sunday, we headed over to Austin Park and Pizza!  She got to pick a friend to go with her, and she chose one from school.

Rilyn realized she loved rock climbing!  She did this wall a couple of times on different


free fall ride
putt putt!
bumper boats!
tea cups!

After dinner, we headed over to Sonic for a dessert!

8 sparkler!

And we gave her our gift from mommy, daddy, and my parents!

we wrapped it in an manila envelope and told her it was a birthday card.

A Kindle Fire! I’m so excited about this present because having to read everyday for 30 minutes has made this momma buying lots of books, and I’m running out of space!

Rilyn’s 8 year old portrait!

I left out our go karting experience on purpose, so stay tuned!


8 years ago…

Since this blog post is being written on June 5th, and not Rilyn’s actual birthday, June 3rd, I thought it would be “fun” to reminisce about June 5th, 2004.  That was Rilyn’s first night at home, and my wise mom told me to write down how I felt the next day, (as I was in tears), because I would forget one day, and I could look back, read it, and see God’s grace and provision.  Here I am, exactly 8 years later, and as I read the words in Rilyn’s baby book, I remember the feelings that spun around in my racing mind- hopelessness, “my life will never be the same!”, “I will never sleep normally again”,  crying because Nancy Reagan just died (a little hormonal don’t ya think?), and because it was my first, having no timeline of when seasons will end…

June 5, 2004  “Your first night home”  (she was born on a Thursday)

“Rilyn, all day on Saturday you were loved and cuddled by family!  You never got a good nap.  The extended family all left at 10 p.m. except grandma who is staying for the week!  Me and daddy were so tired!  Your first night was very tough!  Me and daddy both cried that night.  We thought you would sleep in your pack n’play at 10 p.m. in our bedroom.  We were wrong.  As soon as we put you down, you cried.  Mommy fed you, but you still kept crying after you were done.  We didn’t know how to quiet you.  Me and daddy both started feeling sick because of the lack of sleep and worries over you.  Grandma got a wake up call at 3 a.m. from me.  I walked in her room sobbing (and you were crying too!)  “I don’t know what to do!  I just want to sleep!”  Grandma took you in the living room and held you from 3 a.m. til 6 a.m.  You fell asleep on her chest.  Grandma was a lifesaver that night.  Daddy slept all day on Sunday trying to get better.  I napped and walked around like a zombie.  Needless to say, we were not prepared emotionally for you-babies are a lot of work!  We pray that we will get the hang of being parents!”

Whew!  Reading that feels pretty depressing, but it’s real, and I was a mess.  I realized how selfish I was when she came into this world, and I was struggling!  8 years later, I can look back, and see God’s grace and blessings ALL over her life!  I see pictures like these below, and am so thankful that He entrusted me with this precious life when I was and still am so incapable.  Being desperate for Your Savior goes to a whole new level when you first become a parent, and reminiscing today is a good reminder that I should need Him today more than even June 5th, 2004.  God willing, I have 10 more years in our home to shepherd Rilyn’s heart!  I pray, let me be desperate for my Lord so He can use me to disciple her well!

Wake up!  It’s your birthday donut !!
running through the birthday tape!
I’m 8!
a present from Ella

Strutting it!

Rilyn had her 8th birthday party on Saturday!  It was her idea to have a fashion show theme, and it was up to me and James to make it happen!  The night before, all our thoughts came together, and we dug out the Christmas lights, blacked out the windows, used some old tulle, and opened the party decorations I had bought.  James did an AMAZING job of putting up all the lights.  He also made a fun playlist of fashion show songs for each girl to walk down the runway to!  I’m so blessed to have him super involved in my OCD party planning!

Rilyn said it was the best birthday party ever, so we think we accomplished our “runway” look!

we had one happy model!
strutting her stuff in mommy’s heels!

Speaking of heels, my sister, a self-confessed shoeaholic, loaned us MANY of her high heels for this party! As I was going through the bag of heels, I was shocked to see she let Rilyn use her Christian Louboutin heels! I asked her if that was a mistake, and she told me that my girls could HAVE them (they were too small for her)! So now my girls have some pretty sweet shoes to wear when prom comes one day! Rilyn doesn’t even know about brands yet, (which I love!), but I know one day she will appreciate this picture!

She told me she couldn’t wear these at her party because the red at the bottom

didn’t match her outfit!

My dear friend made Rilyn’s beautiful cake!

a nail poilsh, purse, and high heel on top of the cake!

At the beginning of the party, while her friends were arriving, the girls decorated flip flops with strips of fun fabric!

tying knots of fabric around the flip flops

After the flip flops, we headed outside for pinata time!

cute flip flops Rilyn!  (gotta have a high heel pinata!)
Happy Birthday to you!
eating the yummy cake

Present time! My best friend Jen knows Rilyn all too well, and gave her a special gift! 🙂


Lots more of Rilyn’s birthday traditions/festivities to come this week!

My photography business!

June 2012