Hello lovelies!
Today I get to pretend I'm one of those 'fancy' bloggers with all the beautiful photographs of their beautiful family... and we laugh into the sunset with nary a hair out of place.
Well, at least it could seem like that thanks to the wonderful photos taken by my friend Kiki - who happens to be a talented photographer as well!

So here's a brief slideshow of photos from our Mom's recent birthday family get together:

 Ack!!  Can you believe how big and handsome our lil' pudgy baby got?!  Hudson seems to have grown up in these photos right before our eyes.  And, yes, I was just as blonde as a child.. but it soon darkened to mousey brown.  Maybe our next child will score some of daddy Ben's darker features...

 Our sweet little tempest, Azriel was not quite delighted to 'pose' or act particularly happy about having her picture taken that day.  Lucky for her she's still cute. ;o)

 My mom & dad... a terribly sweet duo that seem to keep getting better with age, with God's grace to praise for it!  Happy 60th mama!

 The original five.  My older sis & bro tucked in here too.. now you can see you scored the 'stumpy' gene, forever their 'little' sister.

 Annnnnd here we are.. now you can see my growing gut too!  Too bad we didn't get Hudson in this frame... I admit I had already caved and attempted to 'bribe' Azriel with a sucker to just play nice for a few more pictures...

Yeah... there's a real big smile for you.  Who's the sucker now, mama?

A brief photo shoot, but lots of beautiful memories thanks to Kiki.  If you're a local, you should call her up for your next function - she's loverly!

(Oh, and if you missed it.. she also made this hilarious animated GIF that perfectly captures the deep well of affection I have for my man... seen here!)

So thankful for family,
Mel ;o)



Oh hiiii there again!
Don't you just love how I disappear for a good while and then pop back up again like a pesky rash?  Well, hopefully not quite so bothersome.. but here I be.

Now with the summer wrapping up it seems - since everything is focused on 'back to school' it feels like Fall is around the corner - I'm feeling a bit reflective about how this season has passed.
Here's what's been on my mind, or things we've experienced of late:

+ I managed to get to the end of the summer and still have fluorescent white legs... yesssss.

+ Despite the fact that our daughter turns FOUR in October.. we're not throwing her to the jaws of the school system quite yet.  I guess that means that at this stage.. for this year to start.. we're going to 'homeschool' since I figure I can keep up with finger painting and eating glue.  Heaven help her if I have to teach her math though!

+ Yep, that baby is still brewing.  I'm in my third month now, or something like that.  You know, the awkward stage where everyone is afraid to ask if you're expecting.. or did you just let you gut hang out like that on purpose.  I tend to hold my stomach 'lovingly' more often or hold a jar of ice cream and a pickle to get the message across. (Although secretly I can't wait for when I'm reallllly showing, and people say "are you pregnant?!" and I can blurt "NO!".. baha, I'm awful).

 + Thanks to super, sweet friends.. we got to escape to a cottage for some fun recently.
Oh, they also happened to find a 'family van' for our growing crew.. since we can't all fit in our clown car (honda civic) for much longer!  Wow... times are a-changing.

 + The kids are growing like.. things that grow really fast.  I don't think Azriel stops talking, singing, whining, monologue'ing her every waking moment each day.  She talks to the baby through my 'belly button speaker'... and told me that other day that if we have a boy then "we'll all cry" so I guess we know what she wants.
Hudson walks like a drunken zombie most days.. but he's getting the hang of heaving that body around on two stubby feet.  Granted, he has a new goose egg on his cranium every five minutes.  Boys.

+ We just got back from a week of family camp.  The Carey Conference for those in the know.  Translated: that means we joined a huge crowd of other families to attend various sermons about the beauty of Christ, and the church... and connect with people from all different walks of life who love the same Lord.  Maybe to half of you readers that sounds like a week of crazy cookyness... but for those of you who know God in a real, living way - this adds up to a week of refreshment/encouragement/conviction to live joy.full/purpose.full/holy lives.

+ Speaking of which, I thank God for the growth and zeal that my man Ben has shown in these past few months.  We're all inspired to live more deeply, more sincerely, more graciously with his example.  Love that guy.  mushy mush mush.

+ Ok, if you made it this far, thanks you guys.  What a sweet bunch you are to check in and hear about our little lives here.  Hope your world, your crew, your heart are doing well there?

Hugs and chocolate to you all,
Mel ;o)



shiny happy people.


 Thanks to my friend Kiki for this darling shot.  We recently had her join in on my mama's 60th birthday fun to photograph the family (more to come here I'm sure).

She sent me this shot early though, and... I LOVE it.

Because, it shows my main man, my love, my heart... and he's even smiling!
Now that's my happiness right there.

Have a beautiful weekend friends.

Mel ;o)


All the things...

Oh hey, right... I guess I do still have a blog don't I?

You kind souls will have to bear with me as I tend to go into hibernation mode while brewing a new baby.  More so, I drag my carcass to bed at a deliciously early hour most nights - which has erased that 'golden hour' of blogging from these parts.

My main pursuit lately.
 You know, trying to clock it in while I can again here...

Ok.  To be honest, another reason for my absence:

I've loved blogging, loved meeting you wonderful readers (many now friends), and loved being inspired to stay creative here.
But, it's a double-edged sword.

The danger is to make the blog your puppet stage... living/performing your life in order to then post it for others to view.  Slightly narcissistic no matter how much I try to label it as simply 'creative expression'.  I've been liberating our family lately.. by not taking the camera along on every adventure.  (Hence, I don't even have much to post pictorially here today).

Also, taking a step back from any thing in life gives a fresh perspective don't you think?

Sometimes you realise life doesn't even need to be so cluttered.

+ We've lived without T.V for years... and I don't miss it at all.
+ Movies are few and far between for us now... and again, it feels refreshing to be unplugged.

I don't really know how to explain it, but I feel freer to just live deeper here.
We're in a culture that promotes being so up-to-date on every.latest.fad and issue... and it just ends up making us spread thin.  Trying to click on every new thing.
All the things.
What's the point?


Not stopping to just breathe and know in your heart of hearts you were made for something deeper.
Deeper than what the latest fashion is.
Deeper than what the newest parenting approach is.
Deeper than who's the coolest blogger out there.
Deeper than who can crochet an afghan from recycled cat hair.
Deeper than the latest technology breakthrough to 'simplify' your life.
Deeper than how to be a better wife.

That's where I'm at friends,
I want to go deeper.

By God's grace I'm seeing afresh that ocean of beauty and truth waiting to be plunged into:

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”  C.S.Lewis.

This isn't the end here friends,

but it may just be a change up of how things look around here.

 I'm growing (in more ways than one), hope you are too.


Mel ;o) 



poppin' in:

Annnnd, yes - we're still alive here!
Stuffing our faces with home-made kettle corn (recipe) while wandering the zoo today.

Those kids' faces crack me up, I think a monkey could be dancing an Irish jig while riding a parrot, and they'd still just be interested in that bag of popcorn!

I just wanted to swoop in here and thank all of you for you sweet outpouring of congrats and kind words celebrating the wild news of our next wee progeny!  A new life is such a source of joy shared with others.  You guys are wonderful.  For real.

I hope the week is treating you well out there?
We're looking forward to a weekend of beauty weather, visiting family.. and eating my weight in fresh corn on the cob!
I think the seasons should be measured in food groups.. instead of weather.
There would be fresh berry season, corn season, maple syrup season... egg nog... you know, all those special treats you really only get to savour at one part of the year.

Gosh, it's tough being a 'foodie' when your baby belly says 'blech' to everything! Hah.

Have a tasty weekend friends!

Mel ;o)