cloistered away | enjoying simplicity



September 2014




Written by , Posted in THE 52 PROJECT



“a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014″

liam // you face-planted on the concrete this weekend while skate-boarding. The next morning we had planned to have donuts and skate at the park with a few of your friends to celebrate your birthday. Instead of sitting by the wayside, you pulled on your pads and helmet and started again, bandages and all. You also successfully dropped into the bowl for the first time.  I realize as your mother this is just the beginning of releasing your adventurous heart.

burke // since you were little you’ve had a patient and tender way with nature. Animals and insects seem to trust you, allowing you to easily catch them. This weekend you found and caught a dragonfly. We all gathered  around you, studied its body and eyes. A few minutes later you set it on a tree trunk, where it flapped a bit and then flew away.

blythe // you love to bring your school work or books or play into my bedroom, perhaps, because of the light.

olive // You love having tasks and duties within our family, like helping make meals or holding the box with our treasures from the yard. Always, you remind us (and the world) size and importance are not always relational.




September 2014



here and there

Written by , Posted in LATELY


I’ve been thinking about our fall camping trip last year, the beautiful leaves and cool, foggy air, the feeling of fleece and fire. Here in the South, September is always a month of longing, of waiting, of remembering relief will come soon.

This weekend, we’ll be celebrating Liam with some of his buddies and I’ll be making lists and gathering last minute details for my trip to Virginia next week. I still can’t believe it’s time and so looking forward to being with and learning from some other incredible mothers. This trip really is such a gift in so many ways. And for those of you who have asked–yes, I’m feeling a tad nervous about the speaking part of the conference–a good nervous though. Besides, it’s healthy to be a little uncomfortable with new things, with unknowns. It always lends perspective of my own smallness in the world–a good lesson I think.

I hope to bring back sharing my favorite spots and finds around the web again–the “there” part of these posts. I hope you enjoy and have a great weekend, everyone!

There and elsewhere:





September 2014



fidelis studio | holiday card mini-sessions

Written by , Posted in COLLABORATION


Kristen and I announced our holiday card mini-session dates and details today. These 15 minute sessions are designed for clients who want a few fresh images without the cost of a full session. You’ll find a few important details of what’s included below and can contact us here with any additional questions. If you’re in the Central Texas area and are interested, here are the dates of where you’ll find us:


 Austin, TX :: October 18

 Bryan/College Station, TX :: November 01

Bryan/College Station, TX :: November 08

Waco, TX :: November 15



15 minute session

$50 sitting fee to reserve

5-8 edited  images to select from the same day

holiday card, digital, + print collections beginning at $220

Please check out the original post for more details, and of course, feel free to contact either Kristen or me with any additional questions. And now for the cooler weather. (Wink.)



September 2014




Written by , Posted in MOTHERHOOD + MARRIAGE


As you turn a year older, Liam, and slip into what, in reality, is the last half of your time at home with us, we want to use these years both to hold you more closely and fling you forward into your destiny, the person God has had in his heart long before we did. I love seeing the person you are becoming, the child slowly becoming the man. May freedom and courage always grow in your adventurous heart. Happy birthday. 




September 2014



a simple backyard adventure




Last week, I sprained my ankle while running with the kids. It was silly really–a moment of looking back to check on the younger girls while my feet still carried me forward right into one of my sons. I ended up rolling over my foot and planting onto the road–not one of my better moments.  Over the last several days, we’ve improvised much around here, and I’ve realized I take for granted how much my body intuits the needs around our home, my hands and feet working in different ways to accomplish similar tasks.


Honestly, it’s been a little frustrating breaking that coordinated activity this week, moving at half pace. In slowing down, I have had to work more intentionally or, even at times, not to work at all. As a result, the house has been messier and meals have taken longer. I have needed to direct each of my children more often, teaching them how to complete my usual tasks–I can see their accomplishment when they do so.

Olive begged me to take her hiking this weekend. I sadly reminded her of my injury, pointing to my wrapped foot and crutches. Instead, we opted to play and explore our backyard, a more manageable space for me to navigate. We both dressed, brushed our teeth (water spots are still on her shirt), and headed out into the cool morning for a little alone time together.


I hobbled behind her, as we observed the different plant life and patterns. I watched as she studied this space in a new way, seeking new hiding spots, swinging from and old grapevine in the trees. As an adult, I often forget how simple outdoor play can be, how much wonder still exists right in our backyard. As my body heals and I can do more again, I know I’ll be grateful for this simple reminder to slow down, for this small, simple adventure just out our door.


This post is in partnership with Alpine Baby Co., handmade organic clothing for little adventurers. Olive’s wearing a top and bottom from their new Fall/Winter collection.



September 2014




Written by , Posted in THE 52 PROJECT




“a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014″

liam // Your birthday–the one when you turn eleven–is this week.  You have always been an old soul, so in many ways this feels natural, a physical move toward who you have always been inside. It’s still shocking for me.  This week I sprained my ankle and had to use crutches. You were so helpful, quick to do the small ordinary tasks for me, like making my coffee or Olive’s lunch. I so enjoy seeing who you are becoming.

burke // I have said before, but you are the most introverted of your siblings, which can be precarious for you situated only a year and a half on either side between two highly verbal and assertive personalities. Daily I try to offer you some guarded solitude, where you will most likely cuddle in your bed and read, play Legos, or simply stare out the window.

blythe //  It’s common for parents to take images of baby feet, trying to remember their smallness. This week you laid on the couch, your feet tucked together like a newborn–now, a little bigger and dirty from running barefoot outdoors.

olive // You’re enjoying reading more and more each day, practicing your sight words and beginning readers with eagerness.



September 2014



introducing Wild + Free content bundles

Written by , Posted in HOMESCHOOL

When I first mentioned the Wild+Free conference here in May, the fall seemed so distant. We were in the midst of planning a summer of home projects and wrapping up the previous school year. So much has happened since then, but it’s now here. September. Fall. I’m still in shock. The conference is now only two weeks away, and I’ve been excitedly gathering notes and anticipating some of the incredible women I’ll be meeting there.

In case you missed it, this week Wild+Free launched a new subscription–monthly “content bundles”–created to inspire and encouraging homeschooling mothers internationally. Right now, you can download the first issue, PRAIRIE, for free! It includes beautiful projects, stories, images, and practical helps from so many impassioned mothers. You’ll even find a bit of our own homeschool in there each month, too, so go check it out! (Wink.)

Happy weekend, everyone.