twenty | a short story

She turned twenty and I baked her a cake.  A few days later, on her actual birthday, she went to Denver with her best friend and family.  They took her out to dinner for her birthday.  I was happy for her that she got to go with them.  It was a far better birthday than we could have given her this year because of schedules and such.  And I couldn’t have asked for a better substitute family with whom she could spend her special day.

e.beth birthday

eighteen | a short story

It’s the beginning of the birthdays.  Nolan always starts off the parties, cakes, gifts, or at least he used to.  Back when they were all little.  Now, it’s just a cake, and sometimes not even that.  Of course there’s a gift.  Always a gift.  But as they all get older and are leaving home, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to have a “birthday party.”  So we make due with whoever is around and celebrate as best we can.  A bonus to this cake was the candles. I didn’t realize that I had bought trick candles.  It was kind of fun for the small bash.

nolan birthday

paper posey photography

Four weeks ago we had the privilege of renewing our wedding vows for our 25th anniversary.  We chose to do them in a place in Colorado that has special meaning to us and to have our ceremony performed by a very dear friend.  This was something that we had talked about doing for several years and could not wait for the day to come.

We had only our children present and incorporated them into our ceremony.  It was such a beautiful, memorable day that I will not soon forget.

Several months prior to this day I searched for a photographer in the area.  I had one booked but she had to cancel on me because of a family situation.  She was kind enough to find a photographer friend of hers to take our pictures in her place.  I think it was one of the best things that could have happened.  Not that the other gal wouldn’t have been awesome, but it was even more special having someone shoot our ceremony that shared the same faith as us.  One of the sweetest gals you will ever meet.  She is the owner and photographer at Paper Posey Photography in Salida, Colorado, and did such an excellent job!  It was so nice to not have to take my own family’s pictures for the first time in nine years.  So much easier and much more enjoyable.

Thanks again Avery!  You captured our day perfectly!

fam 1fam 2fam 3fam 4fam 5fam 6fam 7fam 8fam 9fam 10



climbing | documentary photographer

Our stay in Colorado was going to be short so we tried to make the best of every moment leading up to our vow renewal.  A lot of outdoor play was definitely in order!   From climbing to parkour, there was no shortage of exercise.  Our downtown was equally enjoyable as well.  With a little laziness on the porch, in the hammock or just a slightly competitive game of Wheel of Fortune.

How you can go from freezing on the top of a mountain to sweating on the top of a foot hill all within a matter of a few hours is just crazy to me!  Don’t the mountains know they shouldn’t have snow at the end of June?  Someone needs to inform them.

01 top02 river03 par04 climb05 game06 hammock

of flowers & mountains | documentary photographer

Not everyone you meet will be in love with the mountains.  I am one of those people. Now before you go judging me I need you to know that I think they are breathtakingly beautiful.  But if I have my choice of range, I will choose the wide, open spaces every time.  Oceans, prairies, valleys, fields.

However, every time we drive into the mountains of Colorado, I am in awe and wonder of the Creator.  How He could make such beautiful art work amazes me daily.  The peaks that are covered in snow next to the backdrop of a bright, blue sky and valley below. That displays the awesomeness of God.

Then there are the flowers.  I could spend a lifetime of days looking at the same flowers over and over again.  Never noticing that there are mountains in the background.  Call me crazy.  Call me blind.  I don’t care.  I love the wild flowers that grow unprompted. And the beauty of these flowers is that they require little to no watering.  Now that’s my kind of flower!  I’m a flower killer.  It’s unintentional, but it’s definite.  I need plants that don’t need me in order to survive.  Maybe next spring you will drive by our home and see the front rock beds covered in cactus and other flowers that I have no idea what they are called. They will be beautiful and they will not be dead!  Win, win!

mountains day one


car ride | a short story

A week ago Thursday, we drove to Colorado for an extended weekend.  It would be our only family vacation this year and it would be a memorable one.  But more on that later. Right now I want to talk about the drive out there.

Years ago, before children, this is how it went:

Paul, I need to stop and use the restroom.  But you just went.  I know, but I’m pregnant, remember!

With small children:

How much further?  I have to go potty!  Stop kicking your sister!  Oh, great!  Now the baby needs to nurse.  What did I just tell you?!  If you ask me one more time how much further, so help me….  Okay, I know you are all tired of being in the car so why don’t I come back and read a story.  Are you ready for another video?  Only two more Veggie Tales and we will be there!

With adolescent children:

Well, a little bit of everything.  Loving, sleeping, arguing, potty stops.  No more Veggie Tales and no more reading stories 😦

Now, with three adult children and one teenager:

Little to no arguing.  A lot of silly laughter.  Sleeping.  Ear buds.  Coffee stops.  Reminiscing over past vacations.  Can we stop?  I have to use the restroom again.

As much as I miss car rides with littles (for real!), I am enjoying conversation, coffee, memories and no arguing with the big version.   One thing has never changed and that is that my purse is still the catch all on every trip and we are not fans of fast food.

car ride short story