Category Archives: Our Photo Gallery

Logic and Glory

On Tuesday morning snow came down on the Eastern Coast. Not enough to worry some, but enough to cancel school and work for many. DC was covered in a lovely blanket of white and I was slated to fly in on Tuesday afternoon. I watched the weather carefully all day Monday and Tuesday morning, simultaneously hoping that it wouldn’t snow enough that my flight plans would be disrupted but that it’d snow enough that some would still be on the ground when I got there. (We don’t see a whole lot of snow down here in Georgia). Sure enough, the weather cleared up before I arrived and there was just enough snow for me to show my kids via text and FaceTime and win cool points. Sure, it was half-melted and had gone from fluffy to crunchy but it was SNOW!

Another way I get cool points with my kids is to show them pictures from the airport and from my flight. As we were beginning our descent into DC, I noticed our shadow in the clouds – something I’d seen before but knew my kids hadn’t. I quickly opened up my camera and tried to get a shot before we came out of the cloud. It was so fast that it didn’t even really have time to focus, but as soon as I snapped the shot I realized that there wasn’t just a shadow. Around the shadow was a perfect glowing circle. This is a cropped but not edited picture of what I saw. Nothing has been added or altered in this picture. No filters, no editing, no anything.


Logic tells me that it was probably something to do with moisture in the air and the sunlight hitting it just right and blah-blah-blah. (Side note: Glory be! I was right). But sometimes logic doesn’t satisfy the soul. I’ve shown this picture to a handful of people, all of whom have called it something different(a circle of protection, the hand of God, a guardian angel) but who meant the same thing: something or someone protecting us on that flight. And though I believed that (logically) there was a reason for it, I’d be lying if I didn’t also feel (emotionally?) that it meant something. Even though I knew darn well there had to be a good explanation, I have to say that a warmth did settle into my chest. Like that feeling you get when a piece of music stirs your heart beyond words. Or the first time your child says “I love you” and you find a little catch in your throat. Or when the sound of someone’s voice stops you in your tracks and makes you turn, with a smiling face and thumping heart. Sometimes reason rules. Sometimes you have to listen to logic. But sometimes? Sometimes you just have to zip your lips, open your mind, and let your heart feel it all.

Breastmilk Boo(hoo)

It always catches me off-guard, that moment when the scab is ripped off. I’d completely forgotten about it and then I hear a conversation or read a post and it all comes rushing back to me. And I know that the people who share these words do it out of love. They believe whole-heartedly that breast is best and they want you to believe it, too. And here’s the thing, I agree with them. In other circumstances, I might even be one of them. I might be the one rattling off all the benefits and calling for others to try harder, go longer. But I’m not because I couldn’t be. I couldn’t nurse my babies. And I see them now and I know – I know beyond a shadow of a doubt – that my babies are growing up to be smart, productive (tiny) citizens of society. But still it haunts me, this ache that has lessened with time but never completely goes away. I wanted to breastfeed my babies and I couldn’t. I did it all, tried it all, gave it my all (and then some) and it just.didn’ I don’t think I’ve ever cried more over a single thing in my life. Giving up broke my heart every single time, even after I promised myself I wouldn’t get my hopes up. I always found myself daydreaming of a nursing newborn and how wonderful it would be, but things rarely turn out like they do in our daydreams, I suppose.

Of all the things in my life that I wish had maybekindasorta been a little different, this is what I wish I could change the most. I bottle fed skin-to-skin. I made lots of eye contact. I did everything I could to make bottle feeding as much like breast feeding as I could and yet I still feel like I missed something. And, as illogical as I know it is, I still feel like I did something wrong. That it was my fault. That I didn’t try hard enough. That I gave up too quickly. That I didn’t try more things. Even though I know damn well that’s not what happened. The mind is a funny thing, isn’t it? 

I know this much though: my children are pretty darn smart and imaginative, even without that liquid gold. I mean, what 4 year old asks to be the man in the moon for Halloween? That’s some serious thinking outside the box.
the ivey league halloween 2013

One more Back-to-School Post*

My little guy? He loves school. He’s probably the most sociable of my children and he loves to be around lots of people. Last year he was so excited about going to school, I couldn’t even slow him down to get a picture. This year he did let me get pictures before school, but once we got there he was off! No looking back at Mommy. No walking hesitantly. Just go, go, go.
go boy go

Before school:

And my baaaaybeeee, y’all. She’s old enough for school! And she is so proud about being a big girl going to big girl school.

*I am, after all, a mommyblogger at heart.

My Girl & Me

Mommy & Me1Mommy&Me2Lydia and I went to Mother-Daughter camp this past weekend with our church. It’s the same camp I went to as a child and although there are new buildings and new cabins (thank goodness!) most things hadn’t really changed. There were, of course, new people and new songs. But there were also some of the same songs and the same people. Nurse Judy is still there and she still greets each cabin with a rousing rendition of the little birdies song. And the chapel is still beautiful in its simplicity.

We walked around the lake (and got our feet ridiculously muddy because it’s been raining there like it’s been raining here) and she found a giant snail. She couldn’t wait to tell Carter all about it!Mommy&Me4.jpg

I loved laughing with her and watching her laugh and seeing her step outside of her comfort zone a time or two.
We found a leaf on the road that had been crushed over and over by cars and she carefully peeled it from the street and we brought it home. I’m trying to figure out how to preserve it. Frame it maybe?


We spent a bit of our quiet time on the swings by the lake. Talking about bits of this and that, I tried to memorize the sound of her voice. It won’t be this small for much longer. We stood on the dock and watched raindrops fall onto the water, like diamonds splashing down, and stood amazed at how sparkly it was.

We took a walk and took pictures and talked about photography. I taught her about lens flare and I’m fairly certain she will be taking thousands of pictures with lens flare. All of the pictures immediately above and below were taken by her except the black and white one (obviously).


The last night while we were making s’mores and singing camp songs, I couldn’t take my eyes off the sky. It went from this to this in about 30 seconds. No filter on either of these. Isn’t that wild?


Oh, I know you’ve probably seen enough of the Mommy & me selfies, but I’m going to keep on taking them as long as she’ll let me.


Gosh, I surely do love this girl of mine! And I loved being alone with her, no brothers or sister to steal my attention away. Nothing but the two of us, each having a chance to revel in the moments of only mother and daughter, not sister or friend or wife or anything else. Just us. And I loved it. She did, too. She’s already asked if we could go back next year. You bet, my love! Absolutely!


I hope that I can remember to stop and see her more. Really see her. Just her. To see her world, to see her find her place in this world, and to see our world through her eyes.


Growing Up Ivey

There was this sweater that Carter loved when he was little.  I swore that I’d take pictures of Asa in the same sweater when he was the same age. That should have happened this past winter, but I’m a slacker and it never happened. When packed up all the winter clothes, I kept out that sweater and jeans and promised myself I’d get it done. Winter turned to spring and I still didn’t get it done. So earlier this week it was cool(ish) thanks to the absurd amount of rain we’ve been having and I popped everyone in the car and we took the shots I’d been meaning to get.

See Carter, circa 2009:
Biggest Boy Train Sweater(low res).jpg

And Asa now:
LIttlest Boy Red Train Sweater-1

And for Lydia there was this dress. I was way behind on getting pictures of Alden in it but I finally got them – even if the sleeves were a little bit short by the time I got it done. And Alden had already lost a lot of that baby-face look. Oh, well.  I’m glad I got what I got anyway. 🙂

Lydia circa 2008:
Bigger Girl blue dress (low res).jpg

And Alden now:
(Shockingly, Little Miss Bossy Pants wasn’t interested in letting me get matching shots).
LIttler Girl blue dress.jpg

Brothers and Braves and Beautiful Days

The boys and I got sunburned yesterday. We went to a Braves game and the sunscreen got left in the car and we just baked. I’m usually really good about it and so I feel really bad about it. Also? The baby doesn’t understand the concept of sunburn (see also: I’m usually really good about sunscreen) so she keeps trying to kiss it and make it better. Ouch! But seriously it was such a great day that I almost don’t even mind the sunburn. (Almost).

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We finished school less than a month ago but it seems like it’s been ages. Summer is now in full swing. Lydia is doing a camp this week and it’s weird without her here. It’s good for her. She’s having a great time, but I always feel off when one of my little ducks is away.

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So far we’ve been lazy and busy. I’m not really sure how that’s possible but we’ve spent plenty of down time with friends and just having good old-fashion fun, but we’ve also picked strawberries and made syrup and run in the rain (it’s rained a lot!) and learned to cook (them, not me) and had special tooth fairy deliveries and gone through the car wash and gone to a sleepover. We’ve played baseball and board games and painted and been swimming and laughed a lot and watched a few movies here and there.
And we’ve read. And read. And read.

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It’s been a good summer so far. I’ve tried to balance giving them things to do and giving them time to be bored. I’m a big believer in the idea that boredom leads to creativity. But I still feel like we’ve been on the go-go-go.

Yesterday was probably my favorite thing we’ve done so far. Through our school, the Georgia Cyber Academy, we had a chance to go to the Braves game and walk in the pre-game parade. That means we got to walk on the field! The actual field! The game was fun. It was almost a shutout for the pitcher, but the coolest thing was still standing on the field. 

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We still have a lot of things to check off of our summer bucket list, but there’s plenty of time. We’re headed now to go bowling…if my burned little legs will let me!

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Do you have a summer bucket list? What are you hoping to do?




Redefined {Looking Back On Lent}

Easter has come. Lent is over. It’s impossible not to get to this end of the journey and look back. You may remember that for Lent I didn’t give up anything but instead decided to work on redefining. I’ll admit that there were entire days where I completely failed. And there were moments when I wanted nothing more than to shout, “Leave me alone for just ten seconds!” And moments when I wanted to crawl back into bed and hide. I think my biggest hurdle is remembering to act, not react. I don’t always take time to think before I speak or act, and that tends to get me a world of trouble.

I almost felt like I was cheating when I picked redefining for Lent. In all honesty, it’s something I’ve been working on for the past year or so. There was a situation where I was slammed with some very hurtful information. I wanted to respond immediately, but I knew it would be full of snot-filled-sobbing and venom because I was hurt and angry. I decided to sleep on it and write back once I’d separated myself from the moment. And it worked!  I replied in a calmer, more reasonable manner. I knew this to be true and I’d done it successfully before, but something about this time made it really sink in for me. While I’m all for living in the moment, that doesn’t mean I have to react in the moment. It’s okay to take a breather, get your wits about you, and collect your thoughts before you respond.

I found the stepping-back-and-collecting-my-thoughts bit very helpful at Blissdom. While I always enjoy going to the conference, it’s a bit (read: very) overwhelming to me at times. I took time to sit in corners alone and recharge (literally and figuratively because I carried my phone charger with me the whole time). I went back to the room a few times just because I knew I needed some down time. I sat and ate a gigantic cookie all by my lonesome and didn’t even take a picture of it. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even pull out my phone. As much as I love technology and the connections that I’ve gotten from the internet, it’s good to back away sometimes. It’s good to sit alone and eat a cookie. To listen to a grandmother and her grandchild have a mid-morning snack and chit-chat. To listen to my own thoughts without the thoughts of others invading.  I’m sad that I missed Megan Jordan’s session, because she is the queen of stepping back from the world and letting her imagination have time to imagine and I think that there’s a lot I could learn from her.

So while Lent may be over, my quest to redefine myself, my dreams, my directions, and my distractions is not.  And I’m glad. It’s a hard thing for me to do, but it’s so very worth it in the end. And in the now as well, really.


I’m also redefining my definition of a “perfect” picture of my four little hooligans, because as nice as it is when they’re all smiling and looking at me, what’s more perfect than the ones that let those little personalities really shine through?

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Happy Easter, y’all!


Time Flies

I’ve been sorting old photos and taking little trips down memory lane.
Won’t you join me?









You turned two on Sunday and I suppose it shouldn’t have taken me by surprise, but it did.
After all the holidays and other birthdays, it just kinda slipped up on me.
We celebrated once on Saturday with my grandparents.

And again on Sunday with your grandparents.
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Everything you got was pink and princessy, which fits you perfectly.

I really must do better about using my real camera instead of just my phone.

I love the way you ‘talk’ non-stop, despite the fact that none of us have any idea what you’re talking about.
I love that you know what you want and go head-strong after it until you succeed.
(Well, most of the time I love it).

You love to sing “tee-uhl, tee-uhl, lee-uhl starrr” and you have those hard “r” sounds like Lydia did when she was your age.
The two of you are so similar in so many ways.  I hope that will bring you together when you are older and not push you apart.

You transitioned easily into the big girl bed, but still prefer your baby blanket to the sheets.
We all call you the baby, and I’m sure we always will, but you get less babyish every day.
It’s exciting to see you grow and change, but still sad to see the baby years slide by.

Since we’ve been homeschooling, you’ve gotten better about playing alone in your room.
When you play with the others, you but heads with Asa the most; usually because he is loving on you a little too much.
You really watch the older two carefully and copy every single thing they do.
They all adore you and are usually at your beck and call (or grunt and point, really).

I love to hear you say “eye yoo” for “I love you” and, oh! you give the sweetest kisses.
You squeeze your eyes up tight and lean in and usually giggle when you pull away.

You are constantly singing, especially when you are playing alone.
Daddy and I love to listen to you through the baby monitor.
None of the words make sense to us, but you just sound so happy.
And that makes me happy.


Eye yoo, my little princess!
Happy birthday and may God bless you with many, many more.

Love, Mommy


I let them take the lead on Friday, choosing what we’d do and when.
It was fun to not be in charge for a change.

We had doughnuts for breakfast twice this weekend.
We played on the playground and made crafts and played outside.


We stayed up late twice, one night with a bonfire and the other with a living room campout.
And the moon was gorgeous both nights, and on Friday night we learned about Capella, which looks like one star but is really 4.


My brother cooked dinner, which is always delightful, and we celebrated my dad’s birthday.

We went to the pumpkin patch and the corn maze.

And rode on a hay ride and ate KeBa, the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten.

We worshiped at church and sang songs on the way home, even Marshall.
Some read books. Some napped. Some did both.
A tooth or two was wiggled and I got a new car.
Like a brand new one.
And now there’s no worry about weird car noises and a steering wheel that won’t always turn.

Oh, if I could live this weekend on rewind.
(But I’d need another nap!)