Monday, December 22, 2008

Hey!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Letter 08

Greetings and blessed Advent to you all. What a year huh? As we look back over the year we have a lot to reflect on. At the end of March we received a wonderful gift in our daughter Ainsley Elaine. It seems like such a long time has passed, but really it hasn't been that long at all. She is growing up like crazy. She started really crawling about 4 weeks ago, and has immediately started climbing up on chairs, boxes, toys, anything she can find, to get into a standing position, though she hasn't figured out how to get down yet. She's teething, with two cute little bottom teeth in, and four more coming in on the top. She is learning about vocal volume, and I trust will be auditioning for the children's choir in the next few months. She has been, and continues to be, a great source of joy and learning for us, since this is all new.

In May, Joshua graduated from Gordon-Conwell with two MA's, one in Biblical Languages, and one in Old Testament studies. His family was in town for the event and we made the time into a wonderful vacation, in which we got to tour around Boston and sight-see. We went down into the city, explored several museums, and even went down to Plymouth (though didn't see the rock because it was under construction). Our time with them was wonderful and it was great to see them. The day after Joshua graduated, Ainsley was baptized at Christ Church Hamilton-Wenham, where we had been attending church while in Massachusetts. A week later, we flew out to Ohio for Sarah's brother Alex's college graduation, and got to surprise him by coming. In June, Sarah and Ainsley were able to fly back to Washington to see family while Joshua stayed in MA to shoot his first wedding.

While Sarah was in Seattle, we reached the decision that we needed to seriously discuss moving back to the Northwest, since there were no “official” attachments that required us to stay in Massachusetts. Having made the decision to do our best to raise our children near family, we began to make plans to move home in early September. This was a wonderful and difficult decision to make, because while we wanted to be close to family, we were having to leave behind the life that we had built out in Massachusetts. We left behind a wonderful church, an even more wonderful church community, and many many great friends.

So we moved. Sarah's parents offered to let us stay with them while we got back on our feet (moving isn't the cheapest thing in the world) and got settled out here in Washington. So here we are. Sarah's parents live in Puyallup, which is about 30 minutes south of Seattle. There are many aspects of rural life still to be found here, so the adjustment hasn't been too bad since we are still seeing livestock and horses on a regular basis.

Since being here there have been several things we have been trying to figure out. The first is work. Joshua works at the Sumner Starbucks, which is a town to the East of Puyallup. He works opening shifts now, so usually gets up at 3:40am and works till about 12:30pm. This has been quite an adjustment from his 2pm -10:30pm shifts in MA. The market has greatly affected most retailers, and Starbucks is no exception. Part of his adjustment to working in this current role has been the learning of new responsibilities and how to handle the pressures of morning rushes, and learning the flow of the this particular store. Things are going well here though, and he is really thankful to be working. Sarah was hired at R.E.I, which for those of you who don't know, is a sporting goods co-op, more common to the West, though they may be found back East also. Sarah was hired for a seasonal position in their call center, doing a job she was very familiar with having worked at CBD for as long as she did. We had hoped that this position would segue into something permanent, but due the economy, R.E.I has decided not to hire anyone back, regardless of job performance. Obviously we are disappointed, but we know that God is good and are hopeful that Sarah will be able to find something else soon.

Joshua continues to work at photography, since he would like to make a career out of it. He is partnering up with a friend here in Washington, and plans to work with him in this business. They have 5 weddings so far, with great potential for more as they advertise and build momentum. We are very hopeful that Joshua will be able to move into this full time, and scale back to a part time position at Starbucks. If you would like to see his work, you can find it at http://joshuamahar.com/photoblog/
or you can view his professional page at http://joshuamahar.com.

We have begun to attend a church out here, Christ Episcopal Church of Puyallup, and have decided to “try it out” till Pentecost. We hope to be able to get a good sense about the parish over this period of time. Also, we couldn't bear to try bouncing around from church to church during some of the high points of the Christian year, like Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter. It is a nice parish, with classic architecture, and has the feel of a small countryside parish. The rector is quite nice, young, and funny, and is adept at giving thoughtful homilies. The church body is friendly, if a bit older (sorry all you “old” people...we still like you), but there are lots of mid-thirty somethings with young children. We are a bit starved for folks in the same life situation as we are, but let's face it: where are we going to find a highly educated set of young, high-church, but slightly evangelical, conservative, liturgical, beer and wine appreciating folks that live within 10 miles of us? So, we are embracing where we are, and trying to build relationships with the folks that God places in our lives, which is really all we did back in MA.

All in all, things are really different, but in ways we didn't expect. We had no plans to move home when Ainsley was born, so the notion that we are here in Washington is still odd at times. We could not have guessed at the joy we have had in being parents, and loving our little girl. The notion of sharing a home with ones parents (or in-laws) leaves many folks feeling a bit queasy, but for us it has been really wonderful being here, helping each other, and sharing life. It is truly a joy to be with family. I don't know how long we will be here, but for the time being things are working out nicely. Joshua has been doing a lot of grilling for dinners over the last few months, and thinks it's great that well into December one can do that kind of thing here. All in all, life is really hard, but really good too. We don't have any idea what this coming year will bring, and even if we could guess, we are hoping that it is better than what we can think up at this moment in time.

It's Advent, and as such we are waiting. Yes, we are waiting for Christmas day, but more than that, we are waiting for something deeper. When Christmas comes we will celebrate again the birth of our Savior, the birth of the One who has fixed, once for all, that rift, that brokenness which separated us from God. And yet, even after those 12 days are over, and we move on to think and meditate on other events in the life of Jesus, we will still be waiting. We are waiting for the final coming, the end of the age, the Kingdom that Jesus taught about, to burst forth in all its fullness. We are waiting for a time when those things that are still broken, still bent in upon themselves, still unjust, and wrong, will be righted. We wait for His coming and glory, for a time when the Light will no longer be the sun and moon, but will be the presence of the Lamb, dwelling here with us. We wait for that time when creation will no longer be abused, but will live and move and be all that it was made to be according to God's purposes. We wait, too, for the righting of ourselves, the full realization of our status as sons and daughters of God. We wait for a time when there will be no war, when our weapons will be bent and beaten into tools designed to help each other. When we stop killing people for resources that we probably don't need anyway. We are waiting, and trying to live as if that kingdom has come even now. It is in this Spirit that we look forward, hoping and wondering. We look forward to what is to come, even if we don't know when or how. We also hope that this time may be for all of you a time to draw closer to Jesus, to wait along with us for all His fullness, and to celebrate those things which he already has done. In this we wish you a blessed Advent, and a Joyous Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What is that...?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Joshua Update

Hey all.  So, it has been a while, and especially from me.  I typically drive by with a picture or two of Ainsley, but not much in the form of coherent thought.  Thusly, it must be time for some information from me.  

First, an update about photography.  I just shot my fourth wedding, which involved me  flying back to Massachusetts for the better part of four days.  It was a wonderful and terrible trip all at once.  It was so great to see friends, our MA Family, really, and to see all the places where we had once tread.  And church...oh, church was so good.  I got to be in a place where things made sense to me.  Its hard to move away from that.  It was also terrible too, because of everyone I saw, and all the places that I love (mostly pubs and church).  Its hard to know that this was such a wonderful life, and yet it is no longer our reality.  The Northshore is a crazy place, and an intellectual place, and a spiritual place, and many of our peeps are there, but it is no longer home.  I looked around the Logan airport while waiting for my bag at the luggage claim and had the interesting thought that though I knew this place, and had waited here before, and had walked this particular area many times, they had all been with that feeling you get when you have come back from a long journey (especially after the red-eye) and you long for home and your own bed.  Well, our bed is here in Washington now.  It was strange being just a visitor.  
I got to go to choir practice, and Dan, the "Master of music" graciously invited me to sing with the choir during the Sunday morning service.  How cool is that!!?  So I did.  It was in choir practice that I teared up a bit, because the choir were singing two particular pieces for the wedding that I love with all my heart.  The first is a version of the Ave Maria, I don't even know who it's by, but I loved singing it.  The second was my all time favorite hymn 'I want to walk as a child of the light.'  Here is the chorus:

In him there is, no darkness at all, the night and the day are both alike, the lamb is the light of the city of God...Shine in my heart Lord Jesus.  

The tenor part, I feel, makes it, and I think this is one of the reasons why I love it so much.  Here is a link to a decent version of it, though with no words.  

So anyway...back to photography...
The wedding went very well, and was gorgeous.  Marc and Katie looked great, and, more importantly, Jesus was indeed glorified in their union.  The photo side of it went well too, and I finished their images in record time.  Even though this was the fastest that I had edited before, if this were my full time it would have been even quicker.  
I now have a real web page.  It's up and functional, though my designer and I will be going back through it to move some photos around and add more.  You can find it here.  This is really exciting, because I can now start effectively advertising, which is a huge deal.  One hopes that this would bring in more work, which in turn will bring in more.  I have high hopes.  I also got new business cards.  
Speaking high hopes, I will be doing a wedding in july here in Seattle.  This is a huge deal because hopefully it will provide some momentum for work here.  Also, the couple are friends, and so the event should be quite exciting.  

As far as Starbucks is concerned, its getting a little easier.  For those of you who haven't heard me whine about work in the last two months, the short story is that I retained my position as a shift supervisor with Sbux, but the job description is a little different out in the shadow of Corporate, than it is out in Massachusetts.  Needless to say, I felt like I was running around like head-severed chicken.  I was learning a new store, with different rhythms.  I was learning a different time of day, because I switched from closing (2pm-10:30pm) to opening (4am-12:30pm), and I was learning many new elements to a job that I thought I knew how to do.  It was rough.  Things have settled in for the moment, and it also appears that most of my coworkers can stand me moderately well, which is also good.  We'll see how the holiday season goes.  But...at least I am employed.  Seriously...that's awesome.  

Home life is good, though weird.  With these new hours for work, my days are off, mostly because I go to bed around 7:30pm.  I'm getting used to it though, and its not really that bad.  I also have weekends off...that's huge.  We have settled into life with Jerry and Linda and Alex well too, and by and large, I think they like us here...you will let us know right guys?  
There has been a lot of co-prep of dinner, me mostly rocking the grill, which has been a blast.  
All in all things are good, though its hard to feel fully settled when everything seems to be a temporary fix: Sarah's job with REI is seasonal, our living situation will need to change soon-ish, and even my work will hopefully transform this upcoming year.  The goal is to be down to real part time again because I have enough photography work.  Pray for us in all of this.  

Church is also something we are "working on."  We have been to three different churches now, which doesn't seem like many, but we are trying to go to them at least twice, unless it is really obvious from the first visit that we're not going to fit there.  We visited a church up north, much farther than we were hoping to go, and it seemed like a good place, but the commute made this a non-option.  In thought about this, and a lot of prayer, we concluded that it wasn't going to work to spend Advent bouncing around from church to church.  For that matter, what about Lent, and Easter?  So, we decided to make a commitment to Christ Episcopal Chruch of Puyallup, which seems to be pretty solid, for the seasons of Advent (now-ish) through Pentecost (early May).  This will (we hope) give us a really good read on the congregation here, and hopefully allow for us to share common life with these folks.  Also, if I am going to do any church work at all (and I'd like to, since I have two expensive MAs to use here) it would be good to forge a relationship with a rector somewhere.  So...here goes.  We might also sing in the choir.  

Well, enough of this - I took too long writing this anyway, since I started it a while ago, and now its late November.  

I hope Thanksgiving was great for you all.  

May the Lord bless you with his grace and mercy, and may his peace be that which characterized your lives.  
Cheers






What's New?!?


Ains now enjoys her baths (as long as they are lukewarm). She also enjoys chewing on her washcloths. It's pretty funny.


Alex & Mandy bought Ains some cute Disney apparel. Here she is in her little dress onesie. It's darn cute. Let's face it...she's darn cute!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Okay, so life has not been boring around here since Ainsley started crawling. She keeps us all on our toes even more so now that she's mobile. She is curious about everything. Right now she especially likes shoelaces. It's hilarious--she sees your shoelaces and promptly beelines right for them. She is also enjoying the electric keyboard that my mom put out for her. She can press buttons, pound on keys, and make all sorts of noise. What more can a baby ask for?!? She now also can get from being on her back, side or tummy up into sitting position. It's crazy how fast she masters new skills! Her top teeth are coming in--much to her agitation--so she is drooly all over again.

Oh--and we finally bought Ains her cloth diapers! Thanks to an awesome Black Friday deal, we got Fuzzi Bunz at an awesome price and decided to suck it up and make the plunge. I'm really excited about diapers that I won't have to throw away. Once we've gotten them and used them, I'll let all of you curious people know how she does with them. Everyone I know who uses Fuzzi Bunz thinks they are amazing, and I have no doubt that we will think the same thing.

Joshua and I have decided to make the commitment to attend our local Episcopal church through Pentecost. I'll let him post the details on how we came to this decision. It's not perfect, but we feel good about the decision. It doesn't hurt that it's also named Christ Church. :) I like to have a church to call home now. And even though we will always long for our original Christ Church home, it will do us good to have a place here too.

I think that's it for now! Hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

The latest...

So, I know that it's been a while since I last posted anything about how life is going for us. I guess it's a testimony to how busy we've been (and how much of a slacker I am). Anyway, things are going really well right now. Ains is just over seven months old. She's still as big and adorable as ever. At her six month checkup she was 20 pounds and 27 inches long. Right now, we think she's just under 22 pounds--and growing! She's already mostly in 12 month clothes, which I'm sure she'll outgrow in the next few minutes (or so it seems!). She loves cups, water bottles, and pretty much anything that she can get in her mouth to chew on. She has two teeth with more on the way. Her sense of humor is definitely developing and she finds some things (like Grandma) quite hilarious. While she isn't quite crawling, she is rather mobile. She does this inch-wormy thing where she pulls herself up on all fours, moves her knees up, and then drops on her belly reaching her arms out to do it all over again. She's pretty quick when she wants to get to something. I have no doubt that she'll be crawling before we know it.

We are still living with my parents (who are so wonderful!) So far, it's going amazingly well! Ains loves being with all of these people who adore her! Can't imagine why... :) It's also been really cool for me to spend a lot of time with my mom. We three girls have a good time. The housing situation will hopefully change after the New Year. Part of the reason that we're still here (and not looking for our own place) is because of my job situation.

I am currently working at REI in their Direct Sales office (customer service call center). It's a part time job that currently keeps me busy for 20 hours a week. I'll start picking up more hours here soon as the Christmas shopping season gets fully under way. My position is seasonal, and we will find out if they'd like to hire me on permanently some time in mid-December. Because of the potentially temporary nature of my job, it seems to make the most sense to stay with my parents until we know what the job/money situation will be.

Joshua is working at Starbucks full time, while trying to cram in as much time as possible for photography. He just flew back to MA at the end of October to shoot a wedding for some friends. That was his last officially booked wedding, but there is potentially another on the horizon with more to follow (hopefully!). The lull in wedding gigs will perhaps give him some time to work on personal projects, as well as get more of the business-y side of things tended to.

We still have not found a new church home which is sad for us because we really are ready to settle in somewhere and connect. Unfortunately, we were ruined by the amazingness of Christ Church, and it will be difficult to find anything even remotely as wonderful. If we could have packed it up and brought it with us, we surely would have. We have visited a few nice parishes that show potential, but nothing has shouted HOME to us yet. Hopefully we will find that place sooner as opposed to later.

Well, that's the latest in a nutshell. I promise to TRY to post more often, even if it's just a little tidbit of Ains info.

Play time

Ains has quite a few toys that live downstairs and they were overflowing her previous toy container, so we decided to get her a new one. This new cube is 14" x 14". She likes to tip it over and pull toys out. She also enjoys climbing in to get to said toys. I think it's hilarious.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Avocados...?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Save the North Shore Birth Center!

I just received an email from Jennie at Crunchy Granola Baby (Salem, MA). Apparently there is a proposal to close down the North Shore Birth Center at Beverly Hospital. While I didn't give birth there, I know how valuable the Birth Center is. It would be a tragedy to lose such an important place. Here is the body of the email that I received (you can also join the cause on Facebook):

Immediate Action is Needed Dear Friends,
The North Shore Birth Center has provided all of my birthing care, including pre and post natal, and they continue to provide me with superb care. It is the perfect place to plan for a natural, unmedicated birth, in the care of compassionate, capable midwives. It is a safe place to have a "home like" birth. That may change, the Birth Center is in danger and needs our help.Please advocate for our right to choose where we would like to birth. I am asking you to share your Birth stories and experiences about the North Shore Birth Center with the Northeast Health System's Board of Trustees. They need to know how much the center means to so many of us and how having the center allowed so many of us the opportunity to have the birth we desire. Lets let the Board know how important the Birth Center is to all of us by sharing with them our own Birth experiences.

Thank you,Jennie and Tommie
------------------------------------
Save the Birth Center!!!
There is a very serious move to stop all births at the North Shore Birth Center. It is being recommended to the Board of Trustees of Northeast Health Corporation that all birth center patients be required to labor and birth at Beverly Hospital. NSBC would continue to provide Gyn and prenatal care at their current site. On November 18th there will be a proposal to the Board of Trustees of Northeast Health Corporation to no longer allow women to labor or birth at the North Shore Birth Center. The North Shore Birth Center was established in 1980 to meet the needs of 'low risk women' wanting an alternative to home and hospital births. Since then the North Shore Birth Center has birthed over 6,494 babies, providing quality, low cost, compassionate care in an alternative setting. Letters in support of the North Shore Birth Center can be sent to your local paper and to:
Northeast Health System's Board of Trustees
c/o Mary Ellen Lear, Secretary
Beverly Hospital
85 Herrick Street
Beverly, MA 01915
For more information contact Pav Kneedler at Kneedlerpd@comcast.net

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday, October 05, 2008

First "Solid"

Our first attempt at liquified bananas...its a start, though she still has the thrusting reflex with her tongue.  Oh, and she has two teeth...
Cheers

Friday, October 03, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ains gets a tooth

That's right, after many cranky days Ainsley got her first tooth last Thursday. She's now working on number two. Fun. As you can see, she enjoys "brushing" her tooth. Except for when she pokes herself in the eye.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Doin' the Puyallup!

Here's Ains at her first Puyallup Fair! Next time she'll be big enough to enjoy all of the animals!

Apparently all of the walking around wore Ainsley out. I saw this nice armchair and thought I would try it out. As I sat down I asked, "What do you think of this chair Ains?" As we leaned back, her arms flopped out, her head dropped back against me, and her eyes fluttered closed. It was hilarious--the passersby all enjoyed it too! My eyes are closed just to make the photo look better. :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Honey...we're home...

Well, we've been back in WA for 12 days now. It still feels like vacation to a certain degree, but I think that we're starting to settle in a bit. We still have quite a lot to unpack and sort through, but at least we're not living out of a suitcase. Ains is starting to hit her rhythm too, which is nice because she's the one who needs some sense of normalcy the most.

The three girls (my mom, Ains, and I) went to the Puyallup fair on opening day. It was a lot of fun and Ains was really good. I have a great story and picture to share...but you'll have to wait for another post for that. We had scones (mmmm...) and checked out all of the exhibition halls. The weather was perfect and you can't really beat getting in for free. :)

Yesterday we checked out the local Episcopal church (also called Christ Church). We were prepared for anything because while the website didn't have anything posted that would cause concern we still didn't know where the church stood on some things. Thankfully, we didn't have any outright heresy or teaching that is contrary to what we believe. The service was "short" (a mere 70 minutes) and the people were really nice. We were greeted during the peace by a good number of folks --including Father Ben-- as well as after the service. We would have stayed for a bit more of the fellowship hour time but Ains was tired and hungry which doesn't usually bode well for being social. We'll likely go back this Sunday and hopefully their choir will be singing. That should be good.

Joshua starts work tomorrow at his new Starbucks and I am still looking for employment. I hate finding new jobs, and it's all the more difficult now that I actually am getting to be a stay at home mom. I know that it can't last, but I am loathe to give it up. Please continue to pray for us as I look for a job and we settle back in to life in the NW.

ps...to our MA peeps...we MISS you all so much!!! just thought you should know....

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Peace out to MA

We have less than 24 hours left in this fine Commonwealth in which we have lived for almost exactly four years. There are many things that I could wax poetic about here, but I will be brief...mostly because I still have to pack. We will miss the friends who have become our surrogate family out here. We will miss the four distinct seasons. We will miss random wild turkeys on the side of the road. We will miss Dunkin Donuts. Oh wait--that last one was a joke! All sappiness aside, we will leave some part of our hearts here in MA with the people we love.

On a practical note, we will be radio silent for the next few days as we make the coast to coast move. We are still reachable at our new numbers, but email will be limited.

Monday, September 01, 2008

We move on Wednesday?!? Who thought that was a good idea?!??!

Well, the moving part is a good idea...packing...not so much...

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Getting bigger!

Today Ainsley is five months old! I can hardly believe that she's so old already! Okay, maybe five months isn't ancient comparatively speaking. But it seems like just yesterday that she was only a twinkle in our eyes...and now she's trying to sit up, cracking up at our silly faces, and continuing to amaze us with how attentive and smart she is. Seriously, I could not have asked for a better baby. She is wonderful and every day I grow to love her even more. It's surprising to realize how much love I can have for such a tiny little person who doesn't even understand love yet. She just knows that I'm always there for her, to take care of every need. I guess maybe she gets it to some extent. Anyway, I just wanted to share some mommy-musings on this my daughter's five month birthday. :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"I Got Pictures of Your Toes"


So, it's been a bit colder here recently, and to prevent the goose from waking up from your second nap prematurely, I added this blue blanket, which was under the other main "heavy" blanket. Upon her waking, I removed the top blanket only to find the above situation. I had to get the camera...obviously. Hence the little song I made up for her.
"I got pictures of your toes...."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Discouraged...

That is what I am right now. I have applied for over ten different jobs and have gotten nowhere. Joshua does have a store to transfer to once we're back out in WA, but I have nothing. Although I have always been the primary breadwinner, I have never before felt the burden of it before. We are blowing pretty much everything on the move, and we'll still have bills on the other end. Abstractly I know that the Lord will provide--He always does--but that doesn't make it any easier to actually walk in faith. My parents are being gracious enough to let us stay with them for a bit while we get settled out there, but I don't want to be a burden on them. On top of it all, I really just want to be a stay at home mom and raise my baby. At this moment I just really want to go stand out on my porch and yell really loudly.

Sheesh.

(your prayers are coveted)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Jumperoo


Okay, so we caved and bought Ains a jumperoo. We had a 20% off coupon! In spite of the fact that we didn't really have the money to buy such a thing, we got it for her anyway because she likes being upright so that she can see the world but she hasn't mastered the fine art of sitting up yet. We also thought that it could be helpful as we frantically pack up our lives here in MA over the next 2.5 weeks! Holy Cow! Anyway, here's a picture of her enjoying her new "toy."

Friday, August 08, 2008

Oy!

So, I just made the unsettling realization that we have very little in the way of 9 month clothes for Ains. This is problematic a)because she is starting to need this size and b) because we are moving and about to be poor. We had so much 6 month stuff that I didn't even think about the next size up. Geez. So, here is my shameless plea...if you want to donate to Ainsley's wardrobe, she would appreciate it (us too!). We need pretty much everything...onesies, pants, dresses, etc. She fits best in Carter's, Vitamins Baby, and Gap/Old Navy. Also...if you are interested, we have updated her wishlist. And if you're short on cash like us, prayers and love are always welcome.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Friday, August 01, 2008

Long Overdue Update

Although I doubt that we'll hear many complaints about the fact that this has turned into the "Ainsley photo blog," I figured that it was time to actually put some words up here and fill y'all in on what's going on in our lives.

Today is August 1st. That means that we move back to Seattle in 34 days. This fact conjures up a plethora of emotions in me. The overwhelming feeling is one of joy that we will be back with our families in a climate that my body can handle. However, there is also sadness that we are leaving our church family, friends, and CBD here in MA. It has been odd and at times hard to make the mental transition from planning on being here indefinitely to having only a short time left before moving away. The third feeling is one that has just reared its head--mostly because I am now realizing how much must be done in the next 34 days. This feeling is panic. Looking around our apartment, there are a few boxes packed but it is mostly one giant unpacked mess. Yikes. Joshua is a superstar and he has begun the arduous task of packing up our life into cardboard boxes, labeling each one, and stacking them in the corner of our living room. The idea is that the stack will increase and my level of panic will decrease. That's the idea anyway.

For those of you who don't know, we will be living with my parents for a little while as we locate jobs and an appropriately located home (thanks Mom & Dad!!!). This alleviates some of the stress of moving back because we won't be homeless and living in our Corolla. As of right now, Joshua is planning on transferring to a Starbucks location out there. However, please keep the job situation in your prayers as Joshua would love to be doing something with photography as he gets his own business up and running. I would also love to transition into the supplemental income person instead of the breadwinner (mostly so that I can spend more time with my precious girl). So please, please, please be praying for us in this area of our lives.

Ainsley is full of personality and she keeps us highly entertained. While she is currently on a sort of nap strike, we still take delight in her and every moment that we spend together. Everything is a new adventure for her, and I am constantly reminded of the wideness of God's grace and the depth of His love for us every time I look at her.

Last, but not least, I have added the beginnings of a wishlist for Ains in the sidebar. This is for those of you out there who like to get a jump start on Christmas shopping--or for those of you who desire to bless us with baby stuff. I have tried to indicate which items are top priorities for us, so keep that in mind as you peruse.

Well, it's off to bed for me...I'm one tired Mama...

World Breastfeeding Week

Today is the start of World Breastfeeding Week! You can check out all the info on the La Leche League site

Here's to all the mothers out there who are giving their babies the best start! (and for those moms who can't--for whatever reason--cheers to you for doing the best for your baby.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Dress from Alex (and Hawaii)

Sam the Ninja Spider

Meet Sam. Sam is a Ninja. Sam is also a spider. Earlier this week I attempted to send Sam the way of the Dodo, and he adeptly dodged my attacks as if I were no more than a Padawan on my first day of light-saber training. Following this initial run in, we met again on the fields of battle, and I was again rebuffed in my attempt to smoosh him like the arachnid that he is. So...I let him live...dunt dunt dun (or, I guess he let me live!??). Sam hasn't bitten anyone, and he mainly keeps to the periphery of the ceiling, except last night when I got home I saw him on my monitor calibrator. This is the best shot of him out of the several I took; chalk it up to his Ninja ability to go undetected. So far we have reached an agreement of neutrality, and after all, spiders are supposed to eat bugs right? Well, I don't particularly like bugs...
Cheers

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Intrepid Photog



See my photoblog (where my pictures live online) at joshuamaharphotography.com/photoblog/

Friday, July 11, 2008

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008

And the other way...

She does this roll much more consistently...to the point of frustrating her father when he tries to put her down for a nap. Silly Goose! Don't mind the crying--I turned her over to get the video of the roll and she was not too pleased with me. Hopefully she'll figure out that she can roll back the other way soon. Fun times!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mad Photography Skills


I, Sarah, am supposed to be learning how to use Joshua's D80. This was one of the shots I got while using it the other day.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Survived...

Today was my first day back to work. It was only a half day, so that made it much easier. I know that many women go back to work after they have children, but it's harder than it sounds. I've spent all day, every day, for the last three months with my sweet girl. Don't get me wrong, I like my co-workers...but they just aren't as cute or entertaining as Ains is. It's so fulfilling to watch her play in her jungle and realize that she can grab the hanging animals. Or smile to myself as she tries her hardest to roll over from back to front (even though she can't negotiate the shoulder yet). She's a treat, and it will be hard to be away from her every weekday. But I survived today and I will continue to do so. Plus being with grown-ups isn't all bad. So here's to all you working moms...I don't know how you do it, but you have my ever-increasing respect.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Flashback

Dudes...check out this craziness...

New Kids on the Block

These guys were my first concert...and now they're back together. Rad.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Music lover

Our apologies to all for not posting for a while. Things have been a little crazy around here...but that's for another post. I just wanted to share something funny about Ainsley. Joshua has been working through the pictures he took for a wedding a few weekends ago, and part of that process includes waiting while the computer makes changes to multiple files at a time. So in the meantime, he does other things to keep him occupied. The last few days, he has decided to play guitar while he waits. He's played for Ains a few other times, but I haven't been around. However, I was here both yesterday and today to attest to the fact that Ainsley is fascinated by the guitar. She watches in rapt attention as Daddy strums away. She smiles and giggles and stomps her little feet. It is seriously one of the most adorable things ever. So now we know...if we want to keep her occupied and happy, break out the six string. :)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Rolling...

Here's Ains' new trick...she did it quite a few times in a row...both ways...my mom even witnessed it...groovy...

From Seattle...










Since Ains and I are in Seattle, some folks have been missing the nearly daily posts that Joshua puts up. So, in his stead, here are some fresh pics to set your eyes upon. Enjoy!