Saturday, June 30, 2012

Katharina McCallum | Baby Portraits

Are you ready to meet the prettiest baby girl that ever lived? Good, because here she is.

My sweet little niece, Katharina.

Just look at those perfectly pouty lips!

 This is her scary face. She does it on command! :)

 Stay posted for double the cuteness - Katharina and her twin brother Sebastian!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Life just gets busier and busier. We all hear it, and yet somehow, until you actually realize it, you don't believe it yourself. I feel like life has been one big [comparative] rush since Ralphie's unexpected birth. In four short months we've had a baby; had nearly a dozen over-night visitors, including friends and family; moved from North Carolina, to South Carolina; changed jobs, and changed churches; traveled to Anderson, SC, Hendersonville, NC twice, Ohio twice, Michigan once; gone to two different conferences - one to learn, one to be evaluated (and learn); been in a wedding, organized a funeral, and carried on with all the crazy variety of daily living.

It's been busy, but it's been good.

We really like this church planting thing. It's stretching us, convicting us, and changing us for the better.

For example, as much as we like people, Daniel and I have both learned that we can be rather boring "homebugs." Just give us a Netflix subscription and a bowl of popcorn and we've got our date night set for the next four weeks! It has taken a proactive step on both of our parts to get out and to invite people in. We find it so easy to settle into a comfortable routine, where we have everything just as we like it - I especially thrive on a routine. But living comfortably doesn't reach people. It doesn't allow us to get into their lives, and to love them, and it doesn't allow them to get into ours, either.

So, we're working on that.


Daily life, for me, is so much fun. I absolutely love being home. I love being with my baby all day long. We have so much fun, just he and I. We talk about the day, and laugh about things, and sing along to Indelible Grace. I'm thankful I can be home. And, I'm certainly not bored yet!

We try to get outside at least a half hour each day - soak up our vitamin D, water the flowers, let Zoe explore, take a walk to the garden. I feel like that should be easy - getting outside. But it's even easier to  find things to do and work on inside... Ralphie likes it outside, though he erupts into a hit of sneezes when the sun blinds his eyes. It's the cutest thing. 

I started training for a 5K last week. I. Hate. Running. Always have. The longest bout I've given it was when I was in high school, I probably ran for two straight years. But I still hated it. Anyway, the extra baby weight was really starting to get to me. Sure, all my clothes fit again, but that number! [Gah. Hate numbers too. ;)] So, I want to challenge myself to do something hard. I want to be disciplined enough to do something I really don't like. To conquer it. 

That's why I'm doing the 5K.

I think it's a good analogy to our Christian walk - doing hard things. Reminds me of Romans 5 - 

"Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." 

When my legs are aching, when my lungs are about to burst, when my vision is blurred
because my eyelids are covered with sweat... that's suffering! [Ha!] I'm faced with a choice then: to stop, or to keep going. If I stop I will inevitably feel defeated. But, if I keep going, I conquer. Then, tomorrow, it's not so hard. The battle is more easily fought and defeated the longer we endure, because through suffering our character is built and our hope for the future is strengthened.

June has just flown by. My birthday is Wednesday ... I told Daniel he cannot buy me anything because he bought me the camera already. He was really disappointed. He loves giving gifts, just like his dad did. He was probably more disappointed that he couldn't give a gift, than I was about not getting one! So cute.

We're finally getting a bed! We've been sleeping on a mattress and box spring on the floor for two years. I've been looking around on Craigslist for several months, and haven't found anything "just right." So, we decided to get a cute white bed from IKEA to start us off. Our bedroom isn't very big in this house anyway. Someday I'd like to have a poster bed, and Daniel wants a king-sized bed, so once we're settled in our own home we'll "upgrade" to that. I'm really excited about this cute little white one, though. It'll make an adorable addition to our room now, and to a guest room/kids room later. Plus, we get to go to IKEA again! [jumps-up-and-down!]

I'm just so thankful. So thankful for my husband. For our friends. For our church. For our neighborhood. For food on the table, for a roof over our heads. For a happy, healthy baby. For the noises he makes. He's lying on my lap babbling now, belly full, cheeks rosy - happy and content.

I'm thankful for love.

"Love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." 1 Corinthians 13:7-8a

Thanks for letting me ramble. :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Our Two Ralphs

My husband's first Father's Day. We tried to make it special - Ralphie and I. Skittles, his favorite. A new lil grill. A funny card. Homemade waffles. Skim milk. He's really not hard to please. Lunch with a friend. Sunday afternoon nap. Morning and evening worship, and the day is gone.

But it's when you're lying in bed that the emotions swell. He sighs deeply, and leans back. I snuggle closely, knowing. "I'm so sorry," I whisper, as he closes his eyes to stop the tears. We lie in the quiet, just the two of us for a moment, as he remembers. Memories of his childhood swirl in his mind, and love fills his heart. Memories of the last year and a half without him, and his heart aches.

Then, it's 10:30, and time to nurse our little one again. I tip-toe into the nursery, and gather the sleepy baby in my arms. Back in our room, the three of us lie together. Ralphie wimpers, ready for milk, and we talk softly to him. So thankful. Thankful for our little Ralph.

And life goes on. We laugh again. We talk of other things. We sleep, and it is sweet.

Ralph playing with Daniel

Daniel playing with Ralph

Shortly after Daniel's father passed away, Daniel told me he wanted to name our firstborn son after his father, in some way. 

When we found out I was pregnant we threw around ideas. We had a favorite boy name that began with a R - perhaps we would give him the same initials? Perhaps we'd call him Franklin? Perhaps we'd use Ralph as a middle name? As the pregnancy progressed those ideas became less interesting, and the thought of Ralph Franklin Wells II began to resonate with both of us.

But when our son was born he named himself.

I still can see him being lifted up to me, whimpering and pink, and in my mind knowing he was Ralphie.

Months later we get compliments right and left. "Ralphie! What an adorable name!" "Ralph, now that has character." "Ralphie - it's just so fun to say!" "That suits him so well!" "Ralph! He must be named for someone?"

This first Father's Day reminded me again why we have our own little Ralphie. 

He has a name with a story. A story that we love. A story about a great man who loved others with all of his heart, was funny, generous, and a lover of every sport under the sun ;). Our little Ralph reminds us of another Ralph. No, we would never forget the first - we could never. Now, we just have the opportunity to let the legacy that his grandfather left live on a little longer, be remembered a little better, enjoyed a little fuller.

Friday, June 22, 2012

D and E are for...

D is for Daddy of course!

Now, Daddy isn't as fond of having his pictures taken as Ralphie is, so he gave me seven minutes flat. I love that these capture him playing with his boy like he does every day. Already, I can tell how much Ralphie loves his daddy. He smiles when he hears his voice, and he turns to look at him when he comes home. It's precious.

 "Airplane" is Ralphie's favorite. Can you believe how grown-up he looks!?!

 My Handsome Boys

 Close your eyes, Grandma. You won't like this next picture...

And E is for eggs!


[What else was I supposed to do? I wanted an elephant, but they're rather scarce in my neck of the woods.]

Our room has become my favorite place to take pictures indoors. Something about the way the light comes through those two windows is just lovely every time.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Anna Sophia Portraits

Meet my little Sunshine. 

Anna is the youngest of my three sisters. She'll start kindergarten in the fall, and is super excited. Anna is goofy and sweet at the same time. I asked her if she wanted to take some pretty pictures, and she jumped at the opportunity. She knew immediately which dress she wanted to put on, which "high heel" shoes, found her veil ("I got it at a garage sale" she told me proudly), a cute hat and was ready to go. The outfit was 100% her own invention, and was totally adorable! 

She LOVED posing for the camera. :) 

 Man, o, man I love this girl. Stay beautiful Anna Sophia. xoxo