moments captured

Personal

Thirteen

oh my.  it’s official.  we now have the privilege of having two teenagers in the house!  good thing we like them a whole lot, huh?  🙂

i say all the time that time has a way of escaping me.  and as i look at these pictures, it’s true yet again…where did the time go?  i’m so thankful i made noel sit down for a second so i could capture this day and hour…when she doesn’t look like a little girl anymore…

there are so many things that i love about this middle child.  and i think that if i let the seasons and years pass, i would forget to pause and say them aloud.  so i think that’s what birthdays are all about…saying those things…

noel, i love that you bring so much laughter into this house with all your crazy antics…

that you’re super artsy and creative…

that you’ve got such a sensitive heart, but you can certainly beat any boy on any playing field!

i love that you want to make sure we all know how much we’re loved every night! {soooooo much!!} and that you wear your emotions on your sleeve…

that you’re not afraid to express what scares you, but even the fears you have you’re beginning to conquer…

i do love it when you’re playing your guitar and singing your heart out…{just makes me smile!} and that you love on your big ol’ dog…

never, ever forget that you’re beautiful, beautiful…and that jesus made you that way…down to each amazing freckle!

your dad & i both are just so proud of you…and really can’t believe how you’ve grown.  keep loving jesus, noel.  He’s for keeps…

and can i just say that i love that as soon as we were done taking the pictures, you raced up the stairs and changed into sweats and a t-shirt because you wanted to play manhunt?  and it didn’t matter to you that your friends were coming over…they’ve seen you in nice clothes before!  i think that’s why i love you so very much, noel…you’re YOU!  and you really do know who you are…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! 🙂

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Words that last

i’m a little more reflective than usual this morning…i feel like i’ve got lots on my mind and heart.  mostly about kiddos and just what a treasure they are.  and about words.  how they really impact our children…and anyone else we come into contact with.  i read this amazing post at the beginning of the year and keep returning to it because it has spoken to me so deeply.  although i usually really love to write myself, ann’s words say it so well:

“…It is all the ink and and all the words and and all the voices and and all the stories that stain us and make us who we are.

All the words I have ever spoken, they are making my children who they are. What we speak into others, this is what they become…

Is that why He {Jesus} tells us that His Words are to be our very life? So that His Words permeate us and become the words of life we speak into others? You are what you speak and you are what you hear and we are our words and our tongue is the tail of our heart.

…we have only one account of {Jesus} writing anything at all. It was with his finger too, and it was only this: Jesus “stooped down and wrote on the ground.” (John 8:6-8)

When God came to earth, He didn’t inscribe one word in a tablet of stone. No granite for God. Nor books or blog, not even one letter, signature or song. Jesus wrote no documents — He only scrawled in dirt. He etched His Word in shifting granules of dirt.

Writing in dirt — it seems so — fleeting. How can words in dirt survive anything?

And yet —

All words are really only shaped in dust.

Whether encouraging a child, phoning a hurting friend, publishing a blog post, writing a book — all our words can ever do is just this — inscribe dirt. For isn’t this what lives are made of?

Our words holler across the house, blink up on a screen, scroll across a page, but ultimately they’re written in dust — right onto skin, right onto hearts of sand.

And in the upside down kingdom, it is not published books or shared blogs that endure, but it’s what is housed in the dust that is eternal; it’s the words we’re writing on hearts that last forever…”

*sigh*

the first time i read this i thought ‘why, oh WHY would i be entrusted with children??”  i can sure botch it every day of the week without even trying!  but then…truth really started saturating my soul.  i am loved beyond measure…and so are my kids.  God is good…all the time.  so be encouraged today.  it’s new and fresh…

last summer aubrey took a picture with her cell phone while we were at the beach.  funny to me now, after reading this post from ann, that aubrey’s words were written in the sand.  it’s been my wallpaper on my phone since she took it.  admittedly, there are some days i don’t really see it.  not today. thought i’d share it with you…

you can find ann’s full post at  Heart to Heart with Holleyi know you’ll be truly encouraged there…

praying your days will be full of JOY and lots of {great} words…


Cake Boss…Kosa style!

one of my favorite pictures on the planet right now…and i’m just OH so thankful that tyler doesn’t ever read my blog!!  he may have something to say about me posting this…

so if you know tyler at all, even just a little, you’ve probably never seen him like this.  he’s usually pretty reserved.  that’s probably why i’m so in love with this picture…it captures who he really is.  REALLY.  when it’s just us.  just family.  hanging out.  SO great!!  singing his little heart out because he’s baking!  just because he can…i love that he feels free enough to just belt it out…and make the rest of us sing and laugh, too!!

the story:

well, as it happens, our family stumbled upon the “next great baker” show a few weeks before the end of the season.  we [meaning tyler especially] loved it!  recorded every one so that he could watch them over and over.  ended up finding “cake boss” too.  he and noel have been planning forever that they would open up a restaurant.  noel loves to bake.  always has.  tyler does like to cook, too…but now i’m thinking they’ll just open a bakery together!  who knows?!  anyway…i digress…let’s see…so we watched the show, were inspired by these cool and amazing cakes every week, and when the steelers were headed to the superbowl [yes, the boys are HUGE steelers’ fans], dad said ‘let’s make a STEELERS cake!!’

ummm…wow.  that’s what i thought.  so all of the sudden they had grand plans that involved all kinds of things that i had no idea about.  tyler wanted to use fondant.  oh my.  but he let me know he would have to ‘dirty ice’ the cake first so that the fondant would stick to it.  huh?  ok, seriously.  the kid is only 9.  *sigh* this is gonna take some work…

so…this above picture is tyler on superbowl sunday, still in his jammies, working away at some cake batter.  happy to be alive.  tyler chose vanilla for the bottom cake, and a chocolate cake went on top.  noel got in on the action.  she was in charge of the details on the cake [letters, footballs, jerseys].  we opted out of the fondant.  after all, it was our first cake.  we decided to cook up sugar cookies for all of those things they wanted as decorations on the cake.  ty [not knowing any better!] didn’t roll the dough very thin….the jerseys were HUGE at first.  so, so funny!!  the whole thing was quite comical, actually.  tried to keep my nose out of it, although it was admittedly hard…especially because they NEEDED help!! lol.

you can see the end result.  not bad for a first attempt.  and so, although the steelers didn’t win that day, i’m not so sure that’s what we’ll remember.  think the boys are already planning on making noel a birthday cake very soon.  they said they’re ready for the fondant this time.  oh my…again.

one thing i did decide though.  it’s good that the kids have ty.  because he allows them to believe they are only limited by their own imagination.  they can achieve anything…even if it’s not perfect the first time.  he’s creative and doesn’t mind the mess [cleans it up, too!]  yep, he’s my favorite.

so…you may want to put your order in now.  you may be looking at a couple of the next great bakers!!


Sister Love

helllllooooo blog world!!  good grief, for being the cold, winter months, we sure have been busy…not so busy, though, to miss capturing some sweet moments with the best girls on the planet (although i may be a bit partial!).  sisters as different as night and day…but full of love!  for real.  i love these girls…

my sweet girls braved this chilly winter day with me…they were up for some adventure!  i was just on post, wanting to scope out other places to take pictures, and they were my willing subjects.  good sports, too…love that!  when i look at these pictures, it’s hard to believe how they’re just all grown up now…

my more reserved aubrey is just starting to look at colleges, still loves to read and write, and is just brimming with life possibilities…

while little sister noel is my artsy girl, has a tender heart for all her wild ways, loves her dog and driving around with aubrey…

i’m thankful they’re so different.  lord knows i couldn’t handle two of either one of them!  [and, in their defense, i’m sure they couldn’t handle two of me!! lol!]

crazy to think that in just a few years, they’ll be off on their own adventure…which, in part, will be our adventure.  but really, in lots of ways, it will be theirs alone.  adventures to continue to mold them and shape them beyond our bounds.  so scary and exciting and sad and amazing…all at the same time.  not to mention how THEY will feel!  HA!

so…here’s to SISTER LOVE!  embrace today…it will be gone in just a few moments…

thank you, girls.  you’re truly the best.  i love you beyond measure…

 

 

 

 

 

 


Winter Inspiration…

 

i just can’t help loving the things that make every season its own…ahhhh…winter.  the harsh cold is often softened by a fresh blanket of snow…

as we thought we’d finally get enough snow for sledding this time around, it turned into maybe a 1/2 inch in the end.  a gorgeous dusting, just not sledding material.  BUT…i was reminded this morning as i looked out my kitchen window, that even in the middle of a season where it appears that everything is dormant, things bloom.  i really did think “how in the world?…”  in the heart of this painfully cold season, these little red berries stuck out like a sore thumb.  wow.  they were peaking even…waiting on winter so that they could bloom.  i. love. it.  SERIOUSLY!  could this get any better?  what a sweet reminder that in the midst of cold, dark, and even harsh times, when all i really want to do is hibernate, there is redemption.  good grief.  nothing in life is wasted, huh?

sooo…i suppose we’ll still have to wait for our bigger snow for sledding…but, in the meantime, i would encourage you to not just look around you, but to really see the beauty.  see the redemption.  how much we must miss trying to get out of the cold, when so much of the beauty lies there…

 


Corn!

i have to say that i love the season in life we’re in right now.  not that i haven’t loved other seasons, but some are just easier and more fun to live in…you know?  don’t get me wrong, every season definitely has its challenges, but there is something sweet right now about our family being able to take off and have a fun afternoon just enjoying a gorgeous fall day together.  everyone’s old enough to go find a bathroom and use it all by themselves…but they’re not entirely independent yet.  so…we gathered a few friends and neighbors and headed on a favorite family tradition…CORN MAZE!

as we ventured out to this corn maze that we go to every year, i realized once again that photography is so, SO all about the light.  i mean, i know it’s about the light…but then to see the same corn change within the hour because the light keeps changing is so amazing.  you can just see the progression.  when we arrived, the sun was still strong, making the corn this yellow and green color…then this softer, more orange light lit it up.  as we entered the maze at dusk in a different field, the corn was almost cold…you could see it and feel it.  but it was still just so beautiful.  i totally COULD NOT GET ENOUGH!!  loved every minute…and it really reminded me (yet again!) of the different seasons in life…full circle, huh?

i LOVE that tyler isn’t too big to play!!

apparently, our grown men aren’t too big to play either!!  LOVE it!

so evidently there was a drought this year, as the corn was not any taller than i stood.  but, as you might be able to tell from the pictures, the dads weren’t about to waste a good trip.  not about to let a little corn deter them from family fun, they succeeded in getting us lost in the maze!  (of course, knowing where they were the whole time!)  after we got out, there was a fire we enjoyed to ward off the chilly autumn air.  their little country store was also so sweet…even if they were out of pumpkin fudge!  such a great way to end an evening.  well, that and mcdonalds on the way home…kettle corn is yummy, but doesn’t make for much of a dinner…

…keep embracing this season!!


the Fall!

i love the fall.  no…i mean i REALLY, REALLY love the fall.  it’s my absolute favorite time of year.

lots of people see spring as the season of “all things new” when the buds are coming out and the birds are singing…but that’s how i see the fall.  there’s relief from the hot summer sun and no set schedule.  fall arrives…and when routines and schedules and order are back in place, the world is right again…i seem to regain a sense of sanity (don’t hold me to it though!).

and the fall here in northern virginia…how i’ve missed it!   it’s so good to be back – so refreshing.  where jeans and sweatshirts are abundant at friday night football games.  where the humidity has been washed away by this sweet, crisp, clean air.  even walking the dog isn’t so much a chore anymore because it’s so beautiful outside!

and the TREES.  they are just now beginning to turn – i can hardly stand it!  it’s never ceased to amaze me that something that is dying can be so vibrant and alive.  it’s like they’re hanging on to the very last bit of life they have.  i love that.

so…since the fall is a time for new beginnings for me, and i finally feel like we’re completely settled, i’m really committing to showing up here more than just once a month.  a.) because who wants to keep looking at the same old stuff? (including me!) and b.) i have more of a handle on my time now that we’re back into the swing of routines.  funny, too, because our schedule is much, much more full than the summer.  i mean, really.  in the summer we woke up, we watched movies, we went to the pool, visited the beach…you know, summer things.  and now we’re full of school and work, soccer, football games, making new friends and keeping up with old ones…BUT, in all that, i’m way more productive than before.  isn’t that the way it is?

i always say that i wish the fall were year-round.  but i suppose if that were so, i wouldn’t love it as much.  or appreciate it at all.  and i’m always so sad when the last of the leaves fall…

BUT, for now, i’ll take what i can get.

hoping that  you all are experiencing some kind of sanity during this season, too…


Hello world!

so finally, finally jamie lynn photography is posting!  seriously,  i’m so super excited about this new adventure…i know it’ll be a fun and challenging one.  i’ve had dear, dear people in my life who have helped me get to this place.

first, ty said JUMP, so i did!  what would i do without you, babe?

i would also be severely amiss if i didn’t give a half-page ad dedicated to jessica flynn alone!  she’s not just an amazing photographer, she was my friend first.  a constant encouragement.  she allowed me room to grow and learn under her eye, and for that i’ll be forever grateful.  thank you, jess.  for everything.  i already miss being with you.  (me and my “bff”!)  you can find her blog at http://www.flynnscapturephotography.blogspot.com.

so get ready, get set, and GO!  i’m off and running…