Journal

Welcome to my own little corner on the web.  Most of this site is dedicated to my photography but this section is where I journal about my life as a wife, momma and how I’m trying to create a beautiful home in a few spare minutes each day…

I’m married to my best friend. He’s funny, the salt of the earth and cute to boot. He’s a man with faith that cannot be shaken. He makes me feel beautiful and also happens to be a rockstar dad (I hit the marriage jackpot people). He is also going blind from a degenerative eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa. You can read a little about it here. We believe in miracles so we pray for a cure and in the meantime we’re making every visual memory we can. It’s no coincidence that his wife is a photographer (thank you, Jesus), often he can see his children’s faces better in a photograph than when they’re right in front of him.

We’ve made 4 gorgeous little beings, Grace, Jack, Luke and our caboose, Levi. They bring joy and exhaustion in equal abundance. How do we do it? It’s true friends, it takes a village and ours is pretty bad a**. As a matter of fact my dad and stepmom live with us – yep we’re one of THOSE families. We are both from big, beautiful families. BIG.

It’s not always pretty, it’s life. It’s real. And I’m grateful for every second of it.

Gluten Free Fruit Pizza

Remember this lovely dessert from this lovely baby shower? Now I'm going to tell you how to make it! (adapted from this recipe) Here's what you'll need: Crust 1 box Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix (I happen to know of a famous 'Betty' that makes one) 1 Egg 1/2 C. softened...

Why You Should Start E-mailing Your Kids

Today was picture day for Grace.  Since the school pictures are only head shots I asked Grace to pose for a few of my own shots because let's face it, you gotta see the outfit she chose from head to toe to get the full effect. Am I right? Also today, on the way home...

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

I had no shame in confessing my Starbucks pumpkin cream cheese muffin addiction.  I only felt guilt that my poor gluten intolerant husband just had to sit back and watch me fight over share with the kids in front of him.  So I found an awesome 'gluten-full' recipe...

‘Let The Nesting Begin’ Baby Shower

Get your pinning finger ready.  I'm kicking of 31 days of Pinspiration with a post fully loaded with Pinterest inspiration: 'Pinspiration'. This past Saturday we threw a baby shower for one of my little sisters.  It's her first baby so we spared no detail and as they...

Plee-School

I was talking to another Mom the other day who has kids similar in age to ours. She was telling me how just recently, her little girl (2) started correctly pronouncing her big brother's name instead using of her own creative version (which they had all lovingly...

After 5pm

I've been faithful to my 'Project 52' but it's been awhile since I've featured one of photos here on the site. This week however, I just had to share because I made a fun little .gif to companion my photo submission.  The theme was 'After 5pm'. Last night I was trying...

And just like that (1st Day of School Photos)

Jack wakes up Jack throws up I pray that Grace doesn't wake up...and throw up Prayer answered Grace gets ready without a hitch (*small miracle*) Grab my 'front step 1st day of school' photo Pile the whole family in the car (including pukey) to take Grace to the bus...

5 Reasons to do an End of Summer Photo Shoot

My friend called me yesterday to tell me she drove past a field of Sunflowers and I needed to get out there immediately and photograph someone - anyone.  I've realized as I've gotten busier with photo shoots that I've started to slack on taking pictures of my own...

Tiny Feathered Dancers

This past wednesday was Grace's last day as a preschooler.  Lucky for us we had very little time to hang our heads and cry over how time flies because we had to turn around and get ready for her dance recital at Cleo Parker Robinson. I love to watch these girls behind...

Making Room for Baby

Whenever possible, I like to disappear into the background so that whoever I'm photographing almost forgets that I'm there.  That way the story just unfolds through the lens. The authenticity of the moment.  The real deal. My beautiful sister recently gave birth to...

Welcoming Danny

I had the privilege of witnessing my newest nephew Danny being born this past Monday. Early that morning it looked like things were progressing quickly so I grabbed my camera and headed to the hospital.  Before I left I took a quick photo of Tommy to capture him in...

Some words about Jack…

Despite being behind in posting this birthday picture there was no way I was going to let this one slide.  Jared and I love doing this little tradition together, it's fun to think about what makes your kid 'funny' or 'cool' or melt your heart. This year was no...

Buzz and Woody throw Jack a Party

This past weekend, Jack turned 3 (swallowing giant lump in throat).  Given his minor obsession with the Toy Story trilogy, there was no doubt in my mind who should host this party for him, Buzz and Woody. Despite Buzz's current health condition (remember this post?...

A Few Vacation Tips

#1 Vacation with grandparents #2 When you bring the grandparents, just listen to them. When this Grandma told me her craft plans for the kids that involved foam pieces, seashells and beads all I could picture was said items all over the floor of my car.  But I'm...

The Beach

Oh the beach. How I miss the beach. The wind was actually really cold the first day but it didn't stop us.  Armed with sweatshirts and hats and jackets we headed down.  Look at my handsome boys looking too cool on their stroll.  Here's Luke's very first 'dip' in the...

The Road Trip

If you follow me on Instagram or if we're friends on Facebook then you may have noticed last week that we took a road trip for Spring Break.  We spent the week with family down in Crystal Beach, TX and it was in a word: awesome. Traveling has been on my mind a lot...

Natural Beauty

This weeks project 52 theme is 'Natural Beauty'. When I was a little girl, about my daughters age, my face was covered in freckles. With my strawberry blond hair I really didn't stand a chance. Of course at the time I hated it. I used to stare in the mirror and just...

Are those cheerios in your toilet?

It's been getting to me lately.  With the 5 of us home every day all day (except Grace being in preschool 3 half days a week) I've been feeling so very defeated when it comes to the house.  I joke that it's clean between the hours of 9:00 pm and 8:00 am...while the...

Waiting for Baby

"How many weeks do you have left?" I asked. "3 weeks...and DON'T tell me how fast it went by! Hee hee, I wouldn't dare my friend - I get it 😉 My friend is having Baby #3 in, well 3 weeks!  So just a couple of weekends ago my sis Joy and another friend of ours...

What your kids are REALLY afraid of

My girl. (climbing onto her 'stage' to perform for Daddy and I) A couple of days ago she woke up crying. It was earlier than usual so Jared put her into bed with me and she snuggled right in. I could hear a soft little sob. "What's wrong honey?" "I had a bad dream. I...

How 21 people survived a weekend together

21 people, 1 house. If that doesn't sound scary enough, 11 were kids.  We were officially, undoubtedly outnumbered. So what's a family to do with themselves in beautiful Buena Vista for an extended weekend together? We started with some sledding We had to really...

“Inspired”

Week 8 (Project 52) - Inspired There is no one that inspires me more than this man. I love you...

With Childlike Faith – a letter to my husband

Dear Jared, As you know I had the privilege this week of attending the Platform Conference in Nashville.  The timing was perfect since I'm preparing to launch my photography business and this conference is all about how to successfully build a platform and "get...

A New Kind of Storytelling

After swallowing a few lumps in my throat, closing my eyes and walking right through the nerves I'm finally ready to announce that this Spring, I will be launching my photography business: Jennifer Faris Photography. (big exhale) I made the decision right around...

How Buzz Lightyear Added Insult to Injury

For the most part, our lives are unaffected.  Anything that is out of the ordinary for most people (i.e. Jared not driving) is simply our 'new normal'.  Led by Jared's amazing strength of character, we choose to feel grateful for how insanely blessed we are instead of...

Happy Birthday Baby Girl

For some reason the age '4' still seems little to me, like I can get away with calling her my baby girl, still shop in the toddler section, still have her convinced that mommy is a superhero. But 5...I can't quite explain how it actually breaks my heart a little. It's...

Our Hearts and Stripes Birthday Party

Luke and Grace's birthdays happen to be 20 days apart and fall right after the holidays so we decided to combine their big party (for everyone's sake!)  I tried to encourage Grace to help me choose a theme but the first 12 or so ideas that she threw out just weren't...

“My Daily Routine”

Okay before I introduce this weeks Project 52 photo I just want to mention that as you look around...things look a little different right?  I took the time last week to 'freshen' up my website and give it a much needed facelift.  If you have a minute, take a look...

“Pieces of Me”

Week 3 of Project 52: "Pieces of Me" (I'm moving this posting to Friday's which is why you've seen two this week) Nurturing Strong Willed Love to sing Night Owls Love to laugh All things that describe my beautiful Momma and my Daughter, and pieces of me. Shown here...

“Fresh” Photo – Project 52

The theme for week 2 of Project 52 was 'Fresh'. Immediately I thought of the kids fresh from the bath or a nap, but then I remembered this photo that my 'cheeky' brother in law provided for me when I took some shots of their family a few weeks ago and suddenly nothing...

1st Birthday Short Stack

Luke's birthday fell on Wednesday this year. Not the most fun day of the week and for our family it's typically one of the busiest.  While I have every intention of going all out for the big party in a couple of weeks (we're combining his party with Grace's) I...

52 weeks to a New Year’s Resolution

You could almost say that I'm cheating a little bit this year on my New Year's Resolution because I've never been this excited about accomplishing a goal that I've set for myself.  In a nutshell: I'm taking my photography to the next level. There's a lot behind it...

7 Christmas Traditions That Made For a Happy Holiday

I thrive on goals executed by way of lists, and plans, a little bit of structure I suppose.  Otherwise I'm easily distracted and I'll get lost along the way in conversation or swallowed by the deep ocean that is Pinterest or, well you get the point. So for the...

You need a little Ooga Chaka…trust me

Coughing. Croup. Colds. Christmas pressure! Cooped up. Oh yeah, it's been a fun couple of weeks. And thanks to Facebook, I happen to know you all have been going through it too. So I feel compelled to share what I stumbled across the other day. When the kids watched...

Why I folded like a card table

Friday night was date night: Jared and I...and Grace.  The boys stayed the night with our Aunt and Uncle while we took her to see her cousin perform as a 'snowball' in The Nutcracker and then out to dinner with the whole family. She was completely wiped out on the way...

7 Reasons I Loved Photographing This Couple – an engagement shoot

1. He's got a cool truck (I didn't care that they couldn't get it out of the driveway, I made them stand by it anyway)  2. They laugh at my kids, and that's my big ol' soft spot 3. She has the cutest smile, and it comes so easily.  She's so good for you brother. 4. I...

How we snubbed our nose at croup

Every year a dear friend of mine throws a 'Letters to Santa' party. It's no joke folks...she goes ALL OUT.  It's so much fun, the kids have a blast writing and decorating their letters to Santa with the tons of craft supplies that she sets out.  Her house is decorated...

Oh Christmas Tree, How Lovely…

By far, the most fun year ever decorating the Christmas Tree. Last year, I was hugely pregnant and basically did my best to shoot some video from my spot on the couch. Jack thought that the fragile ball ornaments from my childhood should bounce so we had a few...

Enough with the ‘Mompetition’ already

So, my boy started crawling 4 days ago. He's 10 months old...for another few days anyway. Go ahead. It's okay...you can one-up me. My kids are late crawlers (among other things) and I'm okay with it because I have officially withdrawn myself from the Mompetition. You...

What to do with 3 giant bags of cotton balls

When my Mom called a couple of weeks ago to ask if Grace would like to be a 'sheep' in her Chorus' Christmas Concert  (Skyline Chorus: Sweet Adelines) I have to admit I hesitated.  Not because we weren't available. Not because Grace wouldn't like it. But because I...

7 reasons I loved photographing this family

When my sis asked me to photograph her family for her Christmas card I nervously but without hesitation said yes!  Here's a few reasons I had so much fun... Reason #1 Seriously, how handsome is this guy? And he's cool, like a ninja. Yep. Reason #2 The look I got from...

Cranberry-Pecan Cornbread Stuffing (gluten free!)

I know I know, your menu is set, the grocery shopping is done and the last thing you need is to add to your Thanksgiving to do list. But hey, you might just be a procrastinator like me.  If not, just 'Pin it' and trust me, you'll want to make this for Christmas or...

How to Create a Mudroom with $39 Bookcases

When we moved in last year I was about 8 months pregnant, crazy tired and constantly battling every nasty preschool virus that Grace brought home with her.  I was in survival mode so I did my best to set up our home but after living in it for just over a year now it's...

Would you close your eyes too?

"Mommy" "Yes Grace"  I can hear the the sing song frustration in my voice. "Why does Daddy close his eyes when he puts me to bed?" The question stops me cold. I wasn't expecting it.  It's a nightly ritual when putting Grace to bed that just as I am about to close the...

7 reasons for 7 years

To my husband: 7 years today. I thought I would share 7 reasons why I love you so dearly, accompanied by a few photos of our last 7 years. #1 You married me twice, within 3 weeks. And despite our luck with hurricanes, we share the fantasy of moving to a 'remote'...

Snickers Popcorn

Click Here to see this article featured on Mile High Mamas Salty and Sweet = Heaven.  Agree? I am a sucker for this combo.  When I was in high school I used to go to Wendy's and order french fries to scoop out my Frosty (can't believe I just admitted that). I haven't...

Why I am socially defunct

I have a new insecurity. I've noticed lately that when I'm in a crowd, I feel like I've lost my social mojo.  My brain feels slow and sluggish, my 'wit' is depleted. It feel like my mind goes blank and what comes out of my mouth is...uninteresting. I'm socially...

Our Mini Zoo

This last Pinspiration came somewhat out of the blue.  I found this quote and felt it worthy of this last post, and I want to sear it into my brain: I don't want my children to be what I want them to be.  I want them to become everything God created them to be."  -Jon...