Sunday Snapshot {Thankful for three}

BLOG reading down for threee

Our little princess is growing up! Hard to believe it but today Lily turns three!

BLOG lily three fingers

She has been talking about this special day for the past several weeks and needless to say she is super excited!

BLOG squinty three smile

Last year we had a big celebration with some of my close friends and family since it was her first birthday to be with us. It was a magical day filled with much love and joy that I will always remember (click here to revisit that golden day).

BLOG three by her face

This year we are keeping it simple.  Lily has already celebrated with my family and Michael's family so  it will be just the four of us celebrating together eating a "Fancy Nancy" birthday cake.

BLOG lily smiling by door

My Nana often says that God hand picked her just for our family and I am so thankful that He did! She makes us laugh, I love hearing her sweet prayers, she is eager to learn and full of joy!

Today I think about Lily's birthmother and pray that she feels peace in her heart knowing Lily is loved and treasured beyond measure.  Her sacrifice of love has made our hearts full.  


Lily is missing piece that makes our family complete.

BLOG lily holding 3

Spencer was three when I first met him and now he will be a teenager in just a few weeks. Time has a way of slipping by...my prayer is that I will be an intentional mom that treasures the stages and seasons I am given so that when I look back I have no regrets.

Even as I write this post Lily is saying "mama come show me how to jump way up high"..."mama I want to play play dough"... 

BLOG double three

So I'm off to make some blue ice cream cones with my girl and soak up the gift of simple moments like these.

  The three's are here and I'm hoping that they will be as fun and smooth as the "two's" have been!

Happy Birthday sweet girl! We love you more each day!

Ni Hao Yall


Breaking through the silence...

BLOG frame and paris smile

Two years ago today, God broke the silence with an unexpected call from our agency saying they had a little girl for our family to consider.

This smile and the light in her eyes captivated me from the first time I saw this sweet face.

BLOG holding bucket with smile

Lily's eyes and smile still melt my heart.

BLOG looking up by door

She is full of wonder and curiosity.

BLOG holding bucket by door

Beauty and grace.

God has filled our bucket to overflowing and I am humbled daily by His provision and love.

BLOG looking at her picture

In the midst of the unexpected gift of seeing this beautiful little girl for the first time, if I am honest...fear was also stirring in my heart.

What will life be like for her?

Will she be teased or shunned by others because of her differences?

Will she grow up secure in knowing she is a beautiful child of the King?

Will she be able to communicate clearly?

Will the doctors be able to minimize her scaring?

Do we have what it takes to meet all her needs?

The list went on and on in my mind and yet God gently reminded me not to question but to trust Him.

When my sister saw her picture for the first time she said "You HAVE to have her... I'm already falling in love."

BLOG pulling back hair

I was too, and over time, God wiped away my fears and He has proven over and over again that HE will supply all my needs.

BLOG looking down with bucket on rocks

I stand in awe of His wonder and majesty and ask for His forgiveness for my lack of faith.

BLOG tongue sticking out

Lily has a personality as big as her smile and there is just something about her that people are drawn to.

BLOG looking down with baret

Maybe it is her sweet and sassy side...
BLOG looking down on path

Her need for independence and her determined spirit...
BLOG lily looking straight ahead

Her big brown eyes that look deep into your soul...
BLOG smile with baret

Or her smile that will light up any room.
BLOG standing on rock

Lily Grace Yuexin...I love every part of who God created you to be and I am grateful for the way you have changed my life.

Thankful that God designed our referral day fall on the same day as my sister's birthday!
Happy Birthday sweet friend...I love you!

{To read last year's post and see a glimpse of her changes click here.}

Linking up with my friend Lisa's Favorite Photo Friday.  

the long road


Sunday Snapshot {some chucks and glorious light}

BLOG looking down at apple

I have had my eye on this spot for several weeks now.  
 I pass it every time we drive home and the evening light this time of year is just beautiful.
I love how the light is shining through her dress and reflecting off the tip of the apple.  

BLOG lifting dress up

On Thursday, I loaded up Lily in the stroller (chucks in tow) and we headed down to snap a few pictures.

BLOG sunflare with hat and apple

Lily calls this her "cool hat" and loves to play with it so I brought it along thinking it would be a good source of entertainment.  
The rainbow sun flare was straight out of the camera...such a fun surprise to find when I downloaded them.

BLOG just hands holding apple

I am taking another photography class with my friend and mentor Lisa.  I love to continue learning and pushing myself to do better.  My personal goal right now is to work on getting tack sharp focus... especially on moving targets like our Lils!

BLOG holding apple centered
On this one I was focusing on her little hands...love how they are perfectly wrapped around the apple.

Seeing her holding the apple in these pictures reminded me of the verse in Psalm...
"Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings."
Psalm 17:8
BLOG holding apple looking at me
I was certain that I didn't have anything worthy of posting from this photo shoot since we were only there about 15 minutes.  
BLOG holding hat looking down
Lily was getting tired and soon after we started she was ready to get into her stroller and head back home.  

Thankfully the light cooperated without any resistance:)) 

Linking up with Stefanie's Sunday Snapshots.  

Taken with my Mark 5D iii, 85 mm 1.2
settings varied from f/1.8-3.5
 the first image was
ISO 250

Processed with Florabella's Color Play using perfect color at reduced opacity.  
I added a texture and one of Florabella's light overlays also at reduced opacity.  

Ni Hao Yall


Favorite Photo Friday {7th grade SWAG}

1LESS BLOG sitting on the bench

This post is LONG overdue.

A few months ago, Michael stayed at home with Lily so I could take some pictures of Spencer. We headed downtown for a little urban fun! It was the first time in quite awhile that it was just the two of us together!

I let Spencer go through and pick out his favorite pictures 
and he gave me specific quotes he wanted me to post with each :))

So here goes..

1LESS BLOG spencer swag

"Don't sweat my SWAG."

1LESS BLOG cant touch this

"Don't know what I'm doing. Im just staring at the camera."

1LESS BLOG holding up the wall

"This is a heavy wall."

Oh...the humor of a 7th grader...

Here are a few of my favorites...

1LESS BLOG spencer in yellow shirt

Spencer loves life and has an easy going personality that draws others to him.

1LESS BLOEG spencer with skull headphones close up

His can be goofy and crazy...

BLOG tripple dancing

He is always introducing me to new types of music and definitely has some serious rhythm!

BLOG tripple spencr

He has many faces and expressions...these were typical of what I got that night...

1LESS BLOG spencer funny face with headphones
His captivating eyes are the window to his soul.  

Hard to believe in just a few months he will be a teenager.  

He is such a blessing to our family and we are so proud of him.  

He recently posted this...

The real meaning of SWAG...Saved With Amazing Grace!  

Now that is the kind of SWAG I don't mind posting about.  

Linking up to Lisa's Favorite Photo Friday!  Be sure and take a look.  

the long road


Sunday Snapshot {Sprinkles of my grandmother's love}

BLOG serious face yellow dress

A few weeks ago I took Lily to a horse stable near our home while the boys were gone.

I love the way her hair is backlit and the string is wrapped around her little finger. 
 The only thing missing is my grandmother's pin.

BLOG smile by steps with mimi's broach

This broach is one that my Mimi made when I was growing up.

BLOG pointing to number two on door

My grandmother had an apartment in our basement growing up so we were able to spend a lot of time together.

I have fond memories going down to her craft room and watching her create.

When I found this particular pin in the box my mom gave me, I knew I had to put it with this yellow dress.


My only wish is that she could have met Lily.

BLOG turning by barn door

Much of who I am today is a reflection of my Mimi.

BLOG close up smile by steps

Seeing Lily wear this pin was like a sprinkle of her love falling down on us that afternoon.

...a perfect addition to the beautiful light that filled every frame.  

BLOG walking toward bell

This was one of the first pictures I took when we got there. 

 Lily was headed straight for the old bell to see what it was.

BLOG leaning over less bright

 Love the pop of red from her sunglasses that she insisted on wearing as she is bending down to get a good look at the bell.

BLOG looking down at cup

After viewing the stables we headed over to the fence where the sun was starting to set.

This is when I changed out her headband..looking back I would do it different.

BLOG looking down by fence

She was getting a little tired by this point but there is something about the innocence of her expressions that I love.

BLOG squatting down by fence

Lily loves to create and do art just like my Mimi.  

I have no doubt they would have had a very special bond.  

BLOG sunflare looking down
Linking up with Stefanie's Sunday Snapshot.

Mark 5D iii 85mm 1.2
Settings for the first image
F 3.2
SS 1.320
ISO 160

Processed with Florabella's Colorplay

Ni Hao Yall
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