By the Book {I Heart Faces}

When I saw this photo challenge "by the book" I immediately thought about the pictures I took the day of Lily's dedication at church.

When I got home that day, I took her out back and brought the Bible she was given along with the Bible Michael received the day he was dedicated as a little boy.  

I also grabbed my Mimi's mink shawl to keep her warm because it was a little chilly outside! 

I know my Mimi would have LOVED Lily.  I tell Lily often about the little things that my grandmother did to make me feel special.  It was bittersweet seeing her wear this special shawl that belonged to my grandmother.  

I wish she were still here but I can only imagine that she is looking down from heaven filled with much joy knowing Lily is in our lives.    

I love the sweet expression on her face and the way she was completely enthralled with "reading" the Bible.

It is actually upside down as she is reading it but that is one of the things I love about this shot. 

lily with bible texture backgroud

To see more entries click on I Heart Faces.

Photo Challenge Submission


Gong Xi Fa Cai {Happy Chinese New Year!}

Today is the beginning of the Chinese New Year...the year of the dragon.

It turned out to be a beautiful sunny, mild afternoon so I quickly changed Lily into one of her silk outfits that we bought in China to celebrate!

This was the first time she wore any of her silks since our red couch photos in March.  

When I look back at this post, I am reminded how far she has come in the past 10 months.

I am humbled every day by God's favor He has poured out in her life and the answered prayers we have watched unfold.

She can light up a room with her eyes...

smile behind umbrella

She has a spirit of curiosity and adventure...

lily angle with umbrella

lily reaching for umbrella

She is a "girly girl" and was in awe of her sparkly red shoes!  She is also in a phase of wanting to show how many toes she has :)

lily 10 toes

She can be serious and pensive...

lily looking down with umbrella

lily looking up close up

She isn't a big fan of stuffed animals or other unknown creatures that look scary to her.  

This represents all of the different Chinese new year animals and soon after I put it on her she shook her head "no" and took it off.

I have a hunch that she won't like the dragon costume at the Chinese new year celebration we are going to in a couple of weeks :)

lily with new year animals

But my favorite look of all time is her sweet smile that makes her eyes almost disappear.

This is the same smile I fell in love with the first day I saw her picture on my computer screen and the one that always brightens up my day and makes me laugh.

lily smiling

We look forward to finding fun ways to celebrate her heritage and learn more the Chinese new year.

From our family to yours...Gong Xi Fa Cai!


Helping one home...

I love how God connects our lives with others whose hearts have been broken for the least of these.

I met Brooke through one of my online photography classes last year.  I started following her blog and reading about their journey to bring home their precious daughter Ruby from South Korea.

She started a Rags to Ruby auction on her blog featuring different items to help raise funds for their adoption.

I am SUPER excited to be giving away this piece of art to help their family.  She chose this piece because it is one of her favorite verses.  

It is a 12x12 mixed media piece of art on gallery wrapped canvas.  

birds full picture

While I have never met Brooke in person, I can tell that she has a heart that is ready to pour out so much love for this little girl that she hasn't even met.  Praying that they see the hand of God in every step of their journey to bring Ruby home to her forever family.

If you would like to win a fun piece of art AND help bring Ruby home....please visit Brooke and make a bid on this item or one of her other great items she is featuring!  I can't think of a better way to invest than with a gift  that gives back :)

single bird two

birds close up

If you would like to see some other samples of my art you can visit my link amy's art.

"Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these by brothers, you did it to me."  Matthew 25:40


Sunday Snapshot {Family time at the beach}

family picture

After Christmas we went to SC to visit my parents.  It was a sweet time being able to visit with my sister and her family, my parents and grandmother.

Lily was NOT lacking for attention and she loved every minute of it!  

She was Santa's helper delivering all of our gifts.

santa helper with bag

She was the "sticker queen" putting stickers that my parents gave her on any willing participant! My brother-in-law Jim was among the many who got the sticker treatment.

jim and lily stickers

My dad said he kept the sticker she put on his phone just as a reminder of her :)

dad and lily bonk

She loved playing with her all of her new toys and waking up each morning to "Gaga" who graciously watched her so Michael and I could go running on the beach.

lily tea set

lily pjs

mom and lily

Going to the beach was the highlight of her trip. This girl was MADE for the beach and water. It was freezing the first day we took her out but that didn't stop her.

lily cold

She loved playing in the sand with her daddy

lily and michael bucket

...until he said it was time to go in to warm up and she was one sad little girl.

mom dad lily michael

The next day was a little warmer so I dressed her up again to try and capture some fun pictures.

lily purple hat looking up

lily with bucket

purple hat looking down

My Nana made the trip to SC so that she could be with all of us. It was such gift having her there and Lily just loves her "Ge". 

 She has such a servant heart and love for the Lord. I am thankful to have a grandmother who lifts us up each day in prayer. I know her words are sweet offering to our Savior.

dad nana lily

Lily had a ball playing with my beautiful nieces Marlee and Kelly...

marlee kelly lily playing

kelly and lily

The only downside is that I don't get to seem them often enough and they are growing up right before my eyes. It seems like only yesterday they were Lily's age coming to visit me for "amy camp".

marlee edited close up

kelly close up edited

My sister Debbie is one of my best friends and I loved the time we had to be together. This summer I gave her a jade bracelet that we bought in China. She has never taken it off because she wants to be able to tell Lily that she has had it on since the day she met her :)


My parents thought of everything and were such gracious hosts.  Thanks to my parents who were more than willing to "babysit"...Michael and I had our first date night out since we came home from China in March!  

I'm thinking more of these are definitely in order :)

Lily's first Christmas with us is one I will never forget.  It is filled with much JOY and memories that I look forward to sharing with her as she gets older.

To see more Sunday Snapshots, visit Stephanie at the link below!

Sunday Snapshot


I Heart Faces-"Best Face Photo From 2011"


I took this picture of Lily one afternoon when we were out playing frisbee as a family.  Her eyes were the first thing to captivate me in the referral pictures we received from China. 

Her big brown eyes are also what draws me in to this picture...along with her cute little tongue and sweet smile. 

This photo challenge seemed like a great way to jump start some of the personal goals I have with photography this year. 

I see life through a different lens thanks to my friend and mentor Lisa.  If you are looking for a way to take your photography to the next level I highly recommend taking a class from her...her photography inspires me and she has helped me grow in a way I never knew possible.  Thank you Lisa for this gift you have given me!

For more beautiful photos go to I Heart Faces

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge & Photography Tutorials
This photo was submitted to the I Heart Faces photo challenge – www.iheartfaces.com
© One Less Broken

Website design by CoffeeShop Designs