Life in Photos


Spontaneous father-daughter portrait - photo via Oaxacaborn dot com

Poetry & Words

WRITING & WORDS :: The Bestest Job in the Whole Wide World

Toddler Aveline running down the sidewalk

Today, this has mainly been my view — the back of a very quickly moving Aveline. It’s been a “part of” kind of day.

Part of the laundry folded.

Part of an article for Babiekins Magazine written.

Part of Aveline’s birthday crown made.

Part of the bathroom cleaned.

Toddler Aveline stooping down to pick up bark off the sidewalk

But that’s ok. It’s been a day full of life, full of laughter, full of joy, full of peace.

Toddler Aveline kneeling on sidewalk holding bark pieces

I wouldn’t trade my position now with any one.

I love being a mama. I couldn’t think of a better gift in the world than my little, hilarious, laughing miracle.

Toddler Aveline tasting bark

Life in Photos, Little Style, Travel/Moving

Day at the Beach

Gina and Josiah with Aveline on Cocoa Beach in FLorida

We spent Saturday at the beach, and yes, I went a little picture crazy. But do you blame me? I mean, we’re talking about a day at the beach. Delicious picnic food, sunshine, Hannah — who is suspiciously absent from these photos, although she is the camera-girl behind the pictures of Josiah and I together — deliciously salty air, the water’s steady rhythm, and Aveline’s first time splashing in the waves.

Baby’s inaugural trip to the ocean was this spring, but as she wasn’t even three months old yet, she mostly slept. So, last Saturday was her first time really experiencing it. How great is it that Auntie Lauren was there this spring, and Auntie Hannah was here for this moment? Hannah even captured video of the moment Aveline walked into the water. I just wish you could have heard Aveline’s tiny giggles when the water touched her feet!

I was really surprised that she didn’t eat handfuls of sand. I mean, she’s the girl who puts everything in her mouth, so I just fully expected her to try to chow down on sand. (I’m so glad she didn’t.)

We walked alongside her, and let her crawl along in the wet sand next to the water’s edge. She was delighted, and kept making happy little sounds.

Our own little beach baby, our own darling girl. It’s such an unspeakable and overwhelming feeling to share these joyful moments with her. Thank you, Lord!

[Note: For those of you who’ve asked, Aveline is wearing a Raw Amber Teething Necklace c/o Hip Green Baby. It is designed especially for babies; the plastic clasp is designed to break, and there is a knot between each bead to keep them secured.]

Baby on beach towel in eyelet lace sunhat holding handful of sand

Gina and Josiah walking toward ocean at Cocoa Beach in FLorida

Aveline's first steps in the Atlantic Ocean

Josiah with Aveline as she sits in the wet sand at the ocean's edge

Aveline sitting in wet sand holding fistfuls of sand

Aveline crawling near the ocean with Josiah right behind her

Baby in floral swimsuit, sunhat, and raw amber necklace crawling in the sand

Baby hands holding wet sand

Josiah hold Aveline while Gina wraps her in beach towel

Aveline wearing sunhat, wrapped in beach towel, held by Josiah

P.S. Yes, yes, Josiah is getting a haircut this weekend. You can stop tsk tsk-ing now. ;-)

Life in Photos

My seester is coming to see me!

See this? It’s my seester(in-law). As you can tell from this picture (taken in San Diego last year at cousin Julie’s wedding), we’re always perfectly behaved, and of course, we never goof around.

Especially in public.

Hannah and Gina

She’s coming tomorrow, all the way from California. I. CAN. NOT. WAIT. I mean, a year ago, she and I lived just a mile apart in the same pretty little California town. Today, she lives in my old house (what?!) and I’m 3,000 miles away. And last time she saw Aveline? The wee miss looked like this.

So yeah. I’ve missed her. This week is going to be all kinds of wonderful!

Life in Photos

My wee miss is almost EIGHT months old!

Aveline stares before napping

My wee girl is growing up! I can’t believe Aveline’s just days away from turning 8 months old. Sitting on our laps, to her, means standing up on the couch next to us. She crawls like the wind, cruises along furniture, never stops climbing whatever she can get her little toes to cling to, and has even stood up on her own a handful of times (albeit for a fleeting moment).

Aveline eats oatmeal

She know’s we’re her mama and papa, and while she’s a constant chatterbox, she doesn’t usually address us by name unless she’s in dire need of something. Then she yells out “MA MA MA MA! PA PA!” while crawling toward us at breakneck spread.

Aveline feeds herself

I sure love you, wee miss!

Poetry & Words

Look at the stars, look how they shine for you

Three years ago today, I walked down a grassy aisle in Grandma C’s backyard to Norah Jones’ Come Away with Me.

walking down the aisle with daddy - outdoor Norcal wedding

I want to walk with you
On a cloudy day
In fields where the yellow grass grows knee-high
So won’t you try to come

Come away with me and we’ll kiss
On a mountaintop
Come away with me
And I’ll never stop loving you

And I want to wake up with the rain
Falling on a tin roof
While I’m safe there in your arms
So all I ask is for you
To come away with me

And so we were married in the mountains of NorCal, with the grass beneath our feet, the towering California trees overhead, and our family and friends all around us.

NorCal wedding outdoors

We had these verses from Isaiah 41 read during the ceremony. Non-traditional, yes, but oh, so beautiful.

I the Lord will answer them;
I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
I will open rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the midst of the valleys.
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
and the dry land springs of water.
I will put in the wilderness the cedar,
the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive.
I will set in the desert the cypress,
the plane and the pine together,
that they may see and know,
may consider and understand together,
that the hand of the LORD has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.

NorCal outdoor wedding

A dear family friend and missionary to Japan officiated the ceremony.

NorCal outdoor wedding - classic urn and column with ivy and white flowers, lisianthus bridal bouquet

We walked back down the aisle to Coldplay’s Yellow.

Recessional  - Dried red milo berries on grass

Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
And everything you do,
Yeah they were all yellow,

I came along
I wrote a song for you
And all the things you do
And it was called yellow

So then I took my turn
Oh all the things I’ve done …
D’you know you know I love you so
You know I love you so.

wedding party - bridesmaids and groomsmen in black

Josiah and Gina - Wedding Portrait with Lisianthus Bouquet

It was all kinds of perfect.

All images courtesy of B. Sarah Klein, who, along with her sister, is preparing to launch A Sea Apart: Two Sisters, Two Countries, Two Photos a Day.

Poetry & Words


My days are filled with coffee and sleepiness — with morning light, evening light, and the shadows in between. The baby is alternately hyper and tired, filling moments with giggling as well as sobbing. Her breath rises and falls, always a steady rythmn, always a constant hymn humming a reminder of the life which God has given.

Cup of coffee in soft morning light in favourite mug

These are captured moments, frozen still in time by the click of shutter. This is every day, painted in soft hues. I see these moments now like suspended drops of dew, reflecting what the sun has to say by casting diamond shadows on the ground.

She’s enraptured by everything, reaching out her tiny hand to take in the newness of every experience.

Aveline crawling on bed in evening light

I hold her close, breathing in her perfect essence. She fits so perfectly in my arms. I love these moments more than I can tell you.

Sleepy Aveline and Gina in morning in living room on couch with blankets

And yet, these are days of solitude. Josiah leaves each morning, working hard for us. Aveline plays with her basket of treasures while I make breakfast and start the day’s chores.

Aveline sitting near toy basket in morning light in living roomThis is a different life than I’ve ever had before. Not just because this sweet little being has come to be a part of us, but because we have followed the Pillar of Fire to the edge of the continent, here to Florida, the opposite coast of the place we called home. And “the God who has been my shepherd all my life [is my shepherd] to this day.” (Genesis 48:15)

The One who was, and is, and is to come.

Three windows with white sheer curtains hanging crooked and uneven

She is a happy little thing, so peaceful, so content. She looks to us for everything she needs.  It does not even occur to her to become anxious or stressed that we will not care for her tomorrow or the next day.

She just looks to us, in this moment, and trusts.

Aveline playing with blanket doll near toy basket

I want to look to God this same way. Oh Lord, “guarda mi alma…porque en Ti me refugio.” (Psalm 25:20)

Life in Photos, Little Style

Your Summer Photo Favorites!

When I put out the call for your favorite summer photos, fellow Floridian Drea of Ohdeardrea sent me these absolutely gorgeous shots. (They were actually taken in winter, but shhhh…don’t tell. It’ll be our secret.)

Ohdeardrea - Summer Photo Favorite - Marlowe and Drea at Beach

Ohdeardrea - Summer Photo Favorite - Marlowe on beach

Now how absurdly cute are Emma and Spencer? Their dad, Aaron Klein, is always tweeting the adorable things these two say. I especially love what Aaron writes about orphan care and adoption.

Aaron Klein - Favorite Summer Photo -

And finally, my coffee-drinking pal Dina sent me this shot of her fiancé, saying, “My sweet man can sleep anywhere, as well as multitask; slumber whilst petting the pooch.” She doesn’t have a blog, but she is planning a wedding and curating her (stunning!) wedding inspiration over on Pinterest.
Dina Kader - Favorite Summer Photo