my birthday

^The morning began with a cup of tea (and trying out the heart-shaped bokeh filter.)

I did have to do school, even though it was my birthday.

^ complete with sparkling cider

^ jen being a torero [bullfighter] and em doing the death drop.

^some lovely roses from em + jen

^ the christmas lights in the back yard [with heart bokeh filter]

^ i made some delicious brownies, recipe from bon appetit magazine.

it was a really lovely day. and no, i don’t feel older. i’m still a kid.


^ My sisters and I bring Mom and Dad breakfast in the morning. Tea, coffee, muffins.

^ the Christmas tree.

^ This is the candy cane lady. She’s been in the family for as long as I can remember, but she’s been around for a more than that too – her base says 1954.

^ I made this apple pie.   And for your information, Betty Crocker makes a better pie crust than Nourishing traditions or those girls from the pie shop in Brooklyn. (whose recipes I’ve used previously.)

^ My super cool camera lens mug from Photojojo.

^ Melissa in all her new winter wear, looking like she stepped out of an Anthropologie ad. [handmade boots + gloves, and scarf and forever 21 headband.]

^ Dad held Riette alot. She’s adorable.

^ A big delicious dinner. It made for delicious leftovers too.

^ At the very end of the evening we went to see Christmas lights. I fell asleep on the drive home.

evening downtown

This evening some of us girls went to downtown Carrollton, for a ladies chocolate walk they were having.  Basically walk around the square, go in all the fun shops,  and eat the chocolate samples.

^ really sweet balls of thread at the antique store

^ this picture pretty much sums up clara’s infatuation with owls.

^ a cameo

^ through the viewfinder of a cool toy camera

^ us five girls

^ Summur with the big bag she liked

^ Melissa at Vintage Martini in a big fur coat

^…and me in this ridiculous coat, in which Clara thought I looked like a magician

back from india

As many of you know, I went to India for two weeks this summer at the end of July.  There is so much I could say about it, but it was a spectacular and fabulous and amazing and wonderful and fun trip.  I am so glad I was able to go, and to experience another culture.  We visited Delhi,  Udaipur in Rajasthan,  Mumbai, and Kerala.

^ Sharlena and I before a day in Delhi

^ We were given leis everywhere we went.  It was such fun.

^ Intense bike ride through the muddy water

^ The foursome.

^ We drank – and brushed our teeth with – so many of this big water bottles

^ The group in front of the gates to the President’s Palace

^ Clara

^ Singing in front of the India Gate in Delhi

^ There was a really big group of people watching us

^ Awesome bag and shoes that I got when we went shopping.  Bartering is fun.

Well, that was only Delhi.  And only some of it.  A small some.  But, more will come later.

And, I would say that this trip was, indeed, life-changing.


^ Mom and Dad’s 25th anniversary! (June 1)

^ With friends (the Powells, Meghan, and Reuben) for a surprise anniversary party for Mom and Dad

^ Sicilian orange ice cream at Braum’s

^ India Team group picture

And, I’ve started a summer job, being a swim instructor at the city pool.  It’s been fun so far, and I’m quite tan (and somewhat sunburned) after four days of being out all morning. Also, Clara and I now have a cell phone that we’re sharing.  It’s rather exciting and fun.

read these blogs too!

recently, i have added some new links in my blogroll and chalkboard sections.

including, in the blogroll section: alexa, a dear friend, and michelle, a friend from gfa, and jd, also a gfa-er.

newly added to the chalkboard section: disciple365, the gfa school of discipleship blog; three sixty five, a photo blog by my sister melissa; and vedoluce, etsy shop of alexa.

you should really also read these blogs: melissa, hannah, mary dougherty photography, and shawn.

happy reading!


^ cupcakes, made by rachael and melissa.  really super delicious.  i will never be able to eat a cupcake without filling again.

^ lots and lots of people came.  and this was just the dining room.

^ paper lanterns on the back porch

^ charlie, claire, and ryan

^ethan, justin, and judah  in fedoras.  they’re a pretty sweet band.

^ lights in the backyard

cars, boats, sunburns + frappuccinos = carwash

this past saturday we had a carwash at chick-fil-a as a fundraiser for our India trip.  several of us teens helped, and lots of parents and adults came and helped too. thanks guys!

we had fun spraying each other accidentally *cough* and, not so fun, getting sunburned.  next time i will wear sunscreen.

all in all, we washed 68 cars [including one really muddy truck] and one boat.

^ washing cars : photo by ruth graber

^ the boat!

^ jessie’s windex, guarded by the cones.  and the leather things the name of which i do not know how to spell.

^this is what i looked like during  my last shift holding signs. photo by ruth graber

^ afterwards: starbucks happy hour half price frappuccinos! and sunburned.

this weekend will be another fundraiser, this time a garage sale, for which we have to get up even earlier.  so pray for us!

…and if you want more information about our India trip, leave a comment and i will email you.