for Isaac, and so many more...

This is Jaime, and her intended son, Isaac. Isaac is a special needs boy that Jaime and her family has, for the past 3 years, been trying to adopt from Russia. And then this happened:
Why has Moscow passed a law to Ban the US Adoption of Russian Orphans?

The picture is from when she and her husband first got to meet and hold him in the Russian orphanage. These past weeks have been very harrowing for them...but their faith and trust has been an encouragement and an inspiration to all around, including me! Last week Jaime wrote: 
"Our adoption is not over yet; Putin still has to sign it into law to take effect. He faces a big decision and I am personally worried sick for him. Sometimes we are motivated things of supernatural nature which can play us as if we are puppets. Please pray for Putin, he needs it right now."

A few days ago, in response to the disheartening news from Moscow, a friend of hers wrote this:

"If you are a prayer warrior, if you care about orphans, if you believe in miracles, if you believe God still works in mighty ways, PLEASE consider adding this to your prayer list. 800,000 orphans in Russia, many of them unwanted and basically condemned because of physical disabilities, need a miracle. The president of Russia signed into law a bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children. Many wonderful, loving, godly parents are in the process of adopting special children from there, including my sweet friend Jaime Easton Kelley
We will not despair. God has moved so many mountains already in the Kelleys' journey to rescue Isaac, and this is just one more that He can move! Will you pray and believe with me that God cares so much about these orphans that He will show His mighty power, change hearts and laws and move whatever mountains are necessary to bring these precious little ones into loving homes where they can come to know Him?"

Today Jaime posted this link, and wrote with it:

 "Pray that this passes. It's no small or easy thing to speak out in a country like Russia. Pray for this deputy, who is fighting for orphans with special needs. It must pass both levels of parliament and then Putin must sign..."

And if you, or anyone, is wondering why we should care oh so much? Have a read here.

Our Great and Gracious God can still work...
Sweet Isaac! Your family is fighting for you!



how do you spend sweet time, cherish, and yet prepare peacefully (as possible) in faith for the coming death of your baby girl?

like this family...Madeleine.


Caid's Christmas list!

Following up from last year's...
so wonderful.

1. Perfect Pop Maker
2. Chocolate Poppr.
3. Cake Makin.
4. More Jugle Anmals.
5. a pug.
6. a STUFFED Anmal BALD EAGLE. (Caps by Joey)
7. Switch and go Dinos 'spinosaurus'
8. Microscope
9. a Book of the Anmals guts.
10. Big game Hunter
11. ?


December 16th

best. day. ever. 

more on that later... :)

ps...the world didn't end today.

pss...jeanie francis photography (dot) com.


bigger than politics

a horrific, horrific day.

the wrenching away of a child's life is just too much to much to process. in sickness, i have perspective...but in such diabolical violence...? i don't. i'm empty to it.

the angry web of evil and derangement that would drive a human being to this... we still don't know the seriousness of this problem. it is bigger than anyone wants to deal with.

many changes are coming, i think. i don't know exactly how i feel about it. are we ready for a real and honest conversation? perhaps i will expand on my thoughts at another time.

just thinking of empty little beds. empty little chairs.
presents under the tree that will never be opened.
when we got home from the hospital the night Gwennie, i watched Ginger walk in silently, an empty baby carrier in tow. Gwen's toys were still scattered, right where she left them only hours before. dinner dishes and her sippy cup still on her high chair. suddenly the enormity of what this grief would be hit in an jarring and distressing way. her life was everywhere...her little toothbrush. her favorite bath toy.  her sock left in the dryer. a dried drip of drool. a piece of paper she scribbled on for a moment, nothing fancy and easily discarded, instantly becomes precious.
it was long before steps were made to remove the things that made it hers. for weeks Ginger couldn't bring herself to wash the linens in Gwen's crib, her blankie and glowworm, her little tufts of hair. even her clothes, with their apple sauce stains and smells of sour milk. it took the imminent arrival of the twins to really make it happen. all her dresses in the closet...the new clothes bought because she was just starting to grow out of her old ones...
i'm still not sure what they ended up doing with them all. i have never felt the right time to ask.

these are a fraction of what these families are facing now. right now.

un. speakable.

it is...the worst of the worst night mares. and my heart is broken. 

This evening i met with a friend at peets to discuss wedding matters. Shortly before i left, i saw these two young girls. A big sister playing and cuddling with her little sister. They sat there in that stool, waiting for parents, no doubt,  talking and singing softly to each other, all the while the older girl making sure her little sister was secure, comfortable and happy. It was a display if sweetness and innocence in love and affection that was so desperately good for my heart. 

Lord Jesus, only You can save us here.


some things.

Well, lots of things. Lots of things all at once...

The twins have been diagnosed with RSV.

4 days to the wedding...and we were just informed that the place we were planning on living has been rented to someone else.

My dear friend and food coordinator, Searcy, has advanced pneumonia and told me in tears tonight that she probably won't even make it to the wedding.

It might rain on Sunday.

And i think i have a sinus infection!

those among many other "little' things. (work and finances included as well)
could i ask for prayer, please? i have not felt this overwhelmed in a long time. i know that God WILL provide, and a lot of this is Him just working out His very BEST for us.

i'm just a very scared human right now and i don't want to cry. with a sinus infection that would be really really gross.

thank you, if anyone reads this.


i remember when it said 115

Cool and collected? sometimes.

Overly sensitive, stress-eating and losing sleep? maybe.

Excited in ways i can't possibly express? yes.



we need prayer for Ian today. i'm so distracted and overwhelmed by so many things in life right now...and this has wedged itself into the primary spot. Lord, please have mercy on their family and let this all resolve quickly, and let Ian not get sick any more so the family can enjoy their Christmas this year!

Thanksgiving was wonderful. I made a pie.

good practice, seeing as i'll be making a few more in 2 & 1/2 weeks!! SO SOON YOU GUYS.

i did something to my upper back this morning while making pie crust. i get the LAMEST injuries!! anyway i've been at work for 2 hours and it's so painful (not to mention my right arm is going numb) i think i'm just going to have to leave. maybe i'll go home and go to bed.... at 6. i would sigh but it hurts to inhale enough to get a good one out.

God has blessed me with some wonderful human interaction lately...through premarital counseling and fellowship with my sister, talks with new people, reconnecting with old friends through wedding planning (and wondering why i hadn't done so sooner), overall making me just a *little* less of a social coward than i was even a few months ago...and for that i am very grateful.

just wanted to acknowledge that life is actually pretty great...i'm just super stressed out.

love, me


25 days: musings

liquid amber carpet
i had to buy 3 new long-sleeved shirts. It has been consistently not-hot for a little while now, and i realized how ill-prepared i was for it. (not that i wasn't super happy to go out and buy a few things to wear!)

i can without a doubt say that time flies no faster than when you are counting down the last days til your wedding. in 3 and 1/2 weeks i'm getting married. it seemed so far away at the beginning of the year, and it has gone by. so. fast.
i'm finding myself scrambling with little things (and a few big things) that i feel like, just yesterday, i had months ahead of me to take care of. Note to all who may benefit: *one's previously quirky and sometimes delightful penchant for procrastinating is not a boon to wedding planning*

Chad and i are still looking for a place to live. We're not exactly worried, we know that God will have us where He will, but it doesn't mean we're not anxiously scanning rental sites and driving up and down streets of surrounding cities. We've actually narrowed down some promising leads as of yesterday, so that's exciting!

We've been doing some premarital counseling with Bob, the man who is marrying us. (He watched us both grow up, my sister was the maid of honor in his daughter's wedding, and his son and i went to school together from pre-k through high school.) Aside from being a sweet and new way to get to know Bob--the goofy 60-something that likes to surf around the world and used to let me jump off of the top of bookshelves into his arms when i was 3--it's given Chad and me some good perspective, important issues to consider, and things to closely examine in ourselves. Which is probably more of the point (:

With my sister, Sarah, and her husband, we've been going through a book called The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller, and that has been wonderful. God is amazing. His word is not obsolete. It means and applies to our lives just as much now as it ever has.

Chad and i are slowly preparing for the merging of our two very separate lives into one. From our possessions to our souls. From our bank accounts to our bodies. It's overwhelming. amazing. unreal. and yet...one of the most starkly real things i will ever do. 

It has been humbling, difficult and often painful. Also i'm seeing what an amazing man i have been blessed with...along with becoming more aware of his flaws, i'm also seeing more and more of his talents, his beauty, and his Godly spirit; one who longs to love me as Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her. 

what more have i to say?


31 days

One month til i get married...so much on my brain. so. much.

I am so ready for wedding planning to be alllll done! What i've found...? Inviting people to the wedding has been THE most STRESSFUL aspect of this whole event. i guess there's just no way to *not* offend people. i'll stop there for today!

Focusing on work is becoming almost impossible and my supervisor is noticing. I'd be surprised if he didn't since i'm not really turning in any work...much...at all....

Gwen died 3 years ago today, and i'm just feeling sad about it.
i've written all about it before so i won't belabor it now. i'm sure more occasions will present themselves.

Also looking for a place to live. Chad and i figure it might be nice to have our own apartment to live in once we're married. Call us crazy!


sorry for yelling. i'm a little pent-up.



not telling.

if i do, half the people i know will think i'm awesome and informed.

the other half will think i'm an ignorant sheep.

i'd rather everyone just think i'm mysterious and independent. not that i feel i'm either of those things, but it's fun to think about.



i had better stop panicking, then.



Ian was released to go home today :D

I'm almost not sick anymore (i just sound gross and can't lift anything) :]

It's gonna get hot again tomorrow...back to the 90s :(

All the invitations are out :)

42 days until i get married :O


Ian hospitalized

Ian has been in the hospital (CHOC) since saturday. Initially it was because he ran a fever, and having had a BMT that means a 48-hour stay in the hospital, to make sure it's not an HLH flare-up.

But he has been worsening the past couple of days, and now has the beginnings of pneumonia in both of his lungs...i'm so worried...Ginger is so scared.

Head over to the blog to get updates...and please pray that he gets through this quickly...


sick again??

Second time this month. really not liking this trend. first time it was Caid & Henry's fault! This time it's my parents!! ...or maybe staying up too late at a wedding on saturday.

Lord, i really, really need to be healthy for the next 7 weeks! As soon as the honeymoon's over, hit me with whatever. Please!

Mailed out a huge load of wedding invitations today....IT'S HAPPENING

A couple of weeks ago they had a pumpkin carving day at work. Being true to disney, i decided to do a villain. So, I carved a pumpkin that looked like scar.

Unfortunately i left it at work in my cubicle over the weekend...and the warmth of the office combined with a propensity to mold took care of my poor pumpkin real fast. At least i got a picture of it!

Here are Ian and Henry at my birthday thingie my family had for me. Isn't Ian looking amazing??

i'm going to go take a nap and feel pathetic now...


the wedding is in 60 days.

60 DAYS.

this time last week it was 65 degrees and raining and SO beautiful. it hailed...it thundered...i wore tights and a jacket. happiness was mine!!
on saturday it began warming up again. today it's 95. i suppose 4 days of fall are better than none?
anyway, like i said, i'm getting married in exactly two months...and i'm trying allow myself to feel the overwhelm-sion, to acknowledge the stress, but also pair it with being as anticipatory and excited as i can!
it's mostly worked, that keeping in perspective of what a happy kind of stress and craziness this is... and that's not something one can usually say!

i've been thinking of the ceremony. i've been thinking of the hows and whos and whats.
in there among all that has been popping in the question of a flower girl. that tradition of a precious little beauty in a precious little dress bumbling down the isle before the bride walks out.

and all i can think of is gwennie.

there are many other little girls i know...beautiful, sweet, dear little girls i love. little girls who would be perfect...but thinking about them walking before me instead of gwen just breaks me.

because if gwen was here--her little whispy-haired 4-year-old self--it would be her. i only want her...my heart feels like having any other child walk in the wedding instead would be a disservice to her.

and then i feel horrible, selfish, silly.

i still don't know what i'm going to do. i had an idea of having Caid walk down as the ring bearer, or Henry and Ian, all holding red balloons in memory of her.

for a moment i let myself tell God it's so awful to even have to ponder this. it's not fair.
but He knows why this is all needed and necessary, so i chastise my short-sighted self-righteousness and move along.

a girl at work this morning told me i looked weighed down, and she gave me a hug...it actually made things a lot better. and now i'm getting all weepy...but i need to finish this background today...! i guess my immediate prayer is that i could do just that. i'll think about everything else later.



some days...

...some days are just harder than others.


eye of the sparrow

"bad lip reading" of the first presidential debate. my favorite part starts around 2:15. one commenter wrote: "is this the trailer for the hobbit?"

go HERE and be amazed.

also, this picture of the Princess Bride 25th anniversary cast reunion. 
chases, escapes, true love, miracles.



if God gives me babies someday...i want to remember this.

I already hate having pictures taken of me. i haven't liked it since i was about 14 and my nose blew up and i got braces--aaand i never really grew out of it. 

I'm so glad there are so many precious pictures of my mom with my sister and me (not that she ever needed to worry about getting her picture taken)! I want my children to have documentation of the same sweet moments and memories. I need to remember that. 
reading Peter Pan
Halloween 1987


Silver + Gold

Sufjan is releasing a new Christmas album :)

yet one more reason to look forward to winter.

Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols 6-10 


"disappearing" into motherhood

“The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support the ultimate career. ” ~cs lewis

There is a woman somewhere in southern california who just wrote a book. She is passionate, giving, opinionated, creative, silly, and wonderfully dysfunctional. Her name is Elizabeth, and she is the married mother of 5 children. 

yaay my drawing!
I got to know Elizabeth about 5 years ago when she commissioned me to do a drawing of her children when her twin daughters were just babies. 
I began to read her Blog. In this way i (and hundreds of others) have followed her thoughts and experiences as she has come to terms with spiritual abuse from her church and its overwhelming effect on her life (to put it short and simply). Also her daily musings on everything from  raising a family to exercising, struggles with religion to ADD medication! And no matter how my views meshed or clashed with hers, i have always appreciated what she has to say, and the heart she puts behind it. 

elizabeth with one of her now
5-year-old twin daughters
She has the heart of someone who yearns to love fully and to be faithful to Christ...and how to do that in light of the deeply ingrained spiritual battle constantly wagon inside of her. She is conservative in many views, and open about others...she also proclaims herself a feminist...in the way of what true feminism should be, and i believe, for a short time, once was: the belief that women are no less than men, are no less functional or productive, and should not have to suffer inconsistencies based on their gender...but while still acknowledging that men and some do have differing roles in this world. That's the way God designed it.

She wrote a post a few days ago advocating stay-at-home motherhood...and it resonated so deeply for me. To nurture and raise a family is one of the desires of my heart...and my heart breaks when i think of how many people...how many people look on choosing such a role akin to choosing a life less fully lived. 

Quote from Elizabeth's post:
"84% of women WANT to stay home with their children. Most women WANT to raise their own children. Most women do NOT see it as a 'sacrifice' of female identity to throw themselves wholeheartedly into raising their babies."
And read the post for yourself...


end note: i'm of course not saying that those who are not mothers with children or have chosen to work while having children are somehow bereft, or wrong. i'm just addressing the ideas surrounding those that have made this choice. no judgement, no exclusions...i hope that's clear to anyone who reads this silly little blog of mine :)


i am so proud of my bestest friend

Doodles Homme, a clothing line featuring PIP's art, is officially arrived at Fred Segal in West Hollywood! 

CLICK HERE ... and check out the look book!


Bilbo and Frodo's birthday!

waaay past eleventy-hundred. and i'm not quite geeky enough to figure it out. but it does remind me that i'm excited for The Hobbit in December. i'm glad i'm excited, i wasn't expecting to be so very much, seeing as i've almost disowned the LotR movies for my own tolkien-purist reasons. ahem. that aside...

also, it's one month from my birthday. my THIRTIETH birthday. 
honestly? just a few years ago i never pictured myself living til i was 30. i know that sounds terrible, but i was in a different place then. thank God :)

anyway, i feel like the blow of 30 years would be greatly softened if someone made me some birthday cake pancakes. thanks internet!
i moved out of Joey and Ginger's last week so they could have more room for their 3 now very active little boys. and i miss them. i miss them so, so much! except for Henry's parting gift to me of a chest infection...i won't miss that.

Chad and i are now 84 days from the wedding, and aside from the planning insanity, i'm beginning to get all nest-y. which will be much easier to deal with when we get a place of our own and i'm not freshly shoved into my parents guest room, with boxes and bags surrounding a mattress on the floor. (did i mention they are moving, too?)

this is what i want my breakfast table to look like when i have a house someday. this picture makes my heart feel so happy. plus, for this to be my kitchen table in my own house someday, i think i will have fulfilled a hefty number of life goals to make that happen, and that feels good, too.
this skirt, please, thank you (and the sweater. and the floor.)
Belgium? This is in Belgium? Then that's where i'm going.
and i like this tumblr.


i can't believe he's almost 7 years old

Yesterday i visited the Adams' to help out for a few hours while Ginger had to take Henry to the doctor. As I picked up some stray toys, I came across this one and decided to impress Caid with my animal knowledge.

"Hey Caid," I said, "this is a Quagga, right?"

He glanced away from the computer, raised an eyebrow, and said nicely: "No, actually, that's an Okapi; it's related to a giraffe." He turned back to his dinosaur video.

"Oh," I replied, and looked dumbly at the toy. "So what's a Quagga?"

He turned towards me with full attention this time. "A Quagga is a type of small horse that became extinct. It had stripes on it, too," he added, as if to reaffirm me. (He told me more...but i'm just not as good at remembering this stuff as he is.)

Anyway, shows what I know. At least I got the stripes right!
NOT a Quagga


summer...? over it.

It's really all just wishful thinking right now, as it has been hot, muggy and miserable for weeks, and an end doesn't seem to be in sight...but i'm so ready for fall.
Tired of the stickiness and wildfires. Of feeling drained and awful all the time.

But these things, these lovely little pictures below, make me feel really, really....happy. and alive

Autumn and winter make me feel alive.

i'm ready for scarves, and shorts with tights.

ready for pinecones and wintery jewelry... like these earrings from etsy.

ready to sit inside on a cloudy rainy day and draw.

ready to bake pies. and oh these:
Apple hand pies with cheddar! Chad would love these.

...and apple cider. 
in apple cups, if you want to be fancy.

I'm definitely, definitely ready.



old hurts shoved in front of me...it's amazing how we train our minds to look the other way

i'm ready for adventures, ready for different things

my silly heart is achey

i don't need a new perspective, i just need to learn to love this one.


it's a concerted effort

i choose to look at the pretty things on the internet.

above and below from ruche.com