Thursday, February 28, 2013


 I'm in the process of editing photos from a recent wedding.  Editing images is really not one of my favorite things to do...probably because I'm not well-versed in the subject.  I can do basic edits like cropping, changing the exposure, adding contrast and such.  But softening, sharpening and eliminating the noise are foreign to me.  There are many how-to resources online, so I'm learning.  Erin from Texas Chicks Blogs and Pics has some great step by step instructions on her blog.  But, like anything else, it takes time and practice...lots of time and lots of practice, oh, and patience too.  I think sometimes it takes me longer to edit than it did for me to take the actual pictures.  Most times I don't take the time to do a lot of editing, but with shoots that are indoors or with low lighting, it seems essential in getting some good photos.  

Here are a couple before and afters.   
(Just don't judge me on the before photos ;)





Wouldn't it be interesting if we could edit our lives?  Just take out the parts that we are not all that crazy about and smooth out our lives.  The thing is, we learn and grow from the "noisy", blurry, and  dark parts of our lives, just like every time I take a picture and view it, I grow and learn how to be a better photographer (or a better editor).

“Always seeing something, never seeing nothing, being photographer” 
― Walter De Mulder

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

100th day...

Yesterday, Little Miss celebrated her 100th day of school.  She even got these fabulous glasses to help celebrate.  E was quick to point out that he had been in school for 101 days and that his sister would have to go to school one day longer than him.  I'm not sure how he'll feel when he finds that this is not the case.

 It's hard to believe more than half the year has passed already.  Before you know it, I'll have a 1st grader and a 4th grader, GULP!
Here is Little Miss' project for the 100th day...100 butterflies.  She folded a piece of black paper in half, drew a shape for the butterfly wings and cut it out.  She then punched the butterflies from tissue paper and I laminated it.  Finally she cut out and added antenna.  I got the idea from here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


It's that time of year again.  We're getting ready to start Relaying.  I'll be happy to walk around the track with my new head of curly locks rather than a kerchief.  

If you are local and would like to join our team, we'd love to have you.   If you are not able to join our team, but would like to show your support by making a donation, we would be most grateful! No amount is too small.  Here is the link.

There are new ideas in the works for fundraising this year, so stay tuned.  

Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Nine Years...

Nine years ago, at 22 days old, our Little E came home.  Ironically, today, exactly nine years later, he was able to visit with his first mom, the one who carried him for the first 9 months of his life, the one who courageously signed a sheet of paper nine years ago relinquishing her rights because she loved him beyond her own wants...his birth mom.  I am so happy for him and for her.  It's been a while since they have seen each other, so long that he didn't really remember the last visit.  I'm quite certain the time in between visits was not intentional, but life happens and time goes on (most times more quickly than we would like).  I'm also certain that regardless of physical distance, there is never a day that goes by that he isn't in her heart and mind.

Twelve years ago, when we first started to consider adopting, if you would have told me that I would have invited my nine year old's birth mother over to visit with him, I'm pretty sure I would have vehemently disagreed.  But, things change... I once felt threatened by the prospect of such circumstances, but now realize my fears to be silly and self-inflicted.   I have educated myself to see the benefits of such on-going contact and involvement.  To deny my children a relationship with their birth parents would be to deny them a part of themselves.  

And so today when T came to visit, we didn't really anticipate what would happen and how everyone would respond.  We just let it happen.  She spent most of the time chatting with E in his room and looking around, getting to know him...
You can tell a lot about E by walking around his bedroom...looking at photographs, books, trophies, momentos, his favorite toys can get to know him even better by talking with him and having conversation.  That is what happened today, in this house, in the same room where he sleeps tonight.  E learned about T and she learned about him...priceless if you ask me.

I realize all situations are not alike and this type of opportunity may not be an option for everyone.  We consider ourselves fortunate that our children do have open adoptions and are able to benefit from ongoing contact with their birth families.  Thank you T for being brave enough to sign that paper nine years ago and for having the courage to visit E nine years later.  You are in all our hearts each and every day.

 This morning, E informed me that his sneakers broke and that he needed new ones.  This afternoon he has new ones that his birth mom bought for him.  He generally takes his shoes off immediately upon entering the house, but today he kept them on until bedtime.  :)

It was a good day. 

"A Birthmother puts the needs of her child above the wants of her heart"

Friday, February 22, 2013


Although these are from a couple of weeks ago, I figured it's better later than never...right?  Sorry if I already posted some of these.

 1. My two kids unusual sight. 2. ! 3. Blizzard Nemo
4. Where oh where has our mailbox gone?  5. More Blizzard 6. Sledding in the backyard
7. A Church 8. Pretty 9. Uh...yup!

1. What you looking at? 2. Little Miss's O creation. 3. A big mess
4. Getting there 5. Creepy Snowman 6. Sledding with friends.
7. The barren, icy reservoir 8. Sleeping Beauty 9. I said, "What you looking at?"

You can follow me on Instagram...look for A Better Dream.

The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it's all that matters.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Last year the kids were only able to sled in the backyard once and there was barely enough snow to sled.  This year, it's a different story....

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Valentine's Day...

Yes, I know, a new Valentine's Blog Banner 4 days after Valentine's...who says you can't celebrate love everyday?

I hope you all had a lovely day yesterday Thursday (I started this post on Friday and never finished it).  Life gets a little crazy sometimes.
Here is some of our Valentine's Day in pictures.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. 

I've used this quote before.  I've always thought it perfectly described the relationship between my children and their birthparents.  This past year, however, I personally feel as though I have lived this quote.