Saturday, July 20, 2013


This is Zack.

He's my little brother, and he has Down's Syndrome.

He talks a lot. He loves music. He has incredible talent on the drums. He can't carry a tune, but that doesn't stop him from singing. He listens to Unshackled every day. He loves his radio. He enjoys baseball. He loves popcorn. He's learning how to cook. He has coffee every morning. His birthday is "Leptember seben." He keeps his room in impeccable order. He has a crush on another girl who has Down's. He thinks old TV shows like Andy Griffeth are the best. He's stubborn, but one  person that can always change his mind is Dad. He's 22, because you know why? Dad told him. He absolutely loves Saturdays because he gets to go to the dump with Dad and the dump guys always give him suckers. He's almost always happy. He feels things very deeply. So deeply, sometimes it makes him cry. He adores his nieces and nephews as much as they adore him. He loves people unconditionally. He loves Jesus with all his heart. 

Zack is a beautiful person with a larger-than-life capacity to love and be loved.

In a society where intelligence is measured by IQ points, where success is defined by money, where happiness is material, where beauty is superficial, where faith is a crutch, where love is complicated, where every pregnant woman is offered testing to determine Down's Syndrome so she can terminate if need be... With everything that's dark and messed up about our world, there's this beautiful space of pure sunshine called Zack.

Zack doesn't need IQ points to be so innocent and caring, to find happiness in the simplest things, and bring joy to every. single. person. he meets. Zack has taught me that sometimes intelligence clutters up our minds. It complicates our lives. We can't love as freely, find contentment so easily, and trust so willingly. Zack has no pretense, no agenda, just a free and simple love to give to anyone who will accept. So tender, so affectionate. I have watched him love the unlovable, soften the hardest of hearts, and accept the undeserving. His life has impacted so many people; he's a hero in his own beautiful way.  He knows how to laugh--at himself and at others. Have a blonde moment in front of him and he will chuckle and mutter, "What a retard." He has the best relationship advice ever--"Happy wife, happy life," he always says, especially at weddings.

His faith is so simple... so real. Sometimes I think he might be an angel unaware.

The world is a better place because of Zack and people like Zack. When I say he's special, I don't mean short-bus special. I mean really, really special. He has a gift that the world can't afford to exist without.

I'm proud of Zack. I love having him as a brother, I love that he's my kids' adored uncle. I love that he is who he is and that he's part of our family.

He's da man.

For you fashioned my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders--I know this very well.

My bones were not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes could see me as an embryo, but in your book all my days were already written; my days had been shaped before any of them existed.

God, how I prize your thoughts!

Psalms 139

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Moriah | Senior Sneak Peek

I loved doing Moriah's senior pictures. She's a sweet, beautiful, stylish and creative young lady. Her smile is gorgeous, her eyes are gorgeous, heck, even her fingernails are gorgeous; most importantly though, her heart is gorgeous with a tenderness towards her faith in Christ. It was an honor to be a part of her reaching this pivotal and important milestone in her life. 

Stay tuned to my facebook page for more portraits!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

That Time We Hit the Road

One of the silliest things I have ever done would probably have to be the time I was all like, "Oh yeah! How about we take the 2 boys, without their daddy, but bring their 2 aunties and go on an 8 hour road trip to visit their cousins all the way in Nebraska! Aaaand, let's be gone for 9 days. Away from the man we love so much. Oh boy, this is going to be so fun." 

They say pregnancy brain usually takes at least 6 months to recover from. This was the day I had a lapse in my road to recovery.

So like a forlorn little vagabond I assembled the to-go version of my temporarily fatherless children.

Kissing the sweet, studly father of my beautiful children and pulling out of our drive way I may or may not have been choking on a dozen little lumps in my throat that just wouldn't be swallowed. My sister appropriately blared Anna Kendrick's "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone" which caused the aforementioned lumps to become fruitful and multiply. I also may or may not have texted the man I love just shortly into our trip, "10 minutes down, 9 days to go :'(".

Why am I doing this on purpose?

Yes, I am pathetic.

But then the curly haired toddler and the dimply infant child quickly brought me back to reality and caused me to live in that reality every moment that followed for the following 9 days.

And indeed I was grateful for 9 days of no household responsibility but to love on the dimply infant child who wants nothing but cuddles out of life (and calories of course, lots and lots of calories). As fate would so harshly have it, the baby got sick and didn't think it was appropriate for neither him nor I to sleep during the night. So, being a parent of young children, it so happened that my trip is actually quite unexciting to tell you about because the most exciting thing I did was listen to a mountain lion growl in the middle of the night, but it was probably more like a baby house cat--because everything is much bigger and more horrible when you're sleep deprived.

We just had as much fun as we possibly could in a house full of children and noise and coffee. Jimmy called his daddy every night to tell him he loved him and missed him and one night he got a little choked up about it. Otherwise he was very brave. He had a cousin just a couple months younger than him to play with and be very gentle but firm with ("Korynne, don't say no. You say 'Okay, 'Immy.' Say 'okay'... No, DON'T SAY 'NO!!!' KORYYYYYNNE!!!").

It was fun to be gone, but oh how good it was to be back in the arms of my beloved. But then there was that awkward moment after I fiiiinally got the over tired dimply infant child to sleep and for the first time in what felt like years I got to snuggle up to my husband on the couch with a movie. Several minutes later I realized I had been gently patting him the whole time. Mommy mode, I tell you, you can't just instantaneously snap out of it.

 This here is the instagram version of our trip.

Why yes, it's been like a month since said-trip. I'm a mom so the ball usually rolls about a day late around here. Get over it if you're not already.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Did You Have a Wonderful 4th?

We did. It was relatively anti-climatic; but that's okay, being parents of small children and all. Our attempt at a double date watching a fireworks show on  the lake the night before was met with a boat that wouldn't start. None of us felt like rowing, so plan B found us taking a hike down the country road to get a view of the magnificent explosions and while missing part of the show, it was still (get this) a blast (didn't see that one coming did you?). I think kids have taught us how to roll with the punches and always always be prepared to come up with a plan B. 

We had a small cookout in our backyard with my bro and his fam. My sweet husband has mastered the art of grill chef and between the barbecued chicken, beer brats accompanied with a few tasty side dishes, we all ate way too much and conveniently forgot about the ice cream in the freezer that was supposed to be served with hot fudge sauce and peanuts. Jimmy and his little cousin Kailyn had their own kiddie pool party and had so much fun they didn't even know they missed out on the traditional parades and fireworks this year. Lucky for us, at the end of the day the kids had so much fun they were begging for bed earlier than usual so after the bro-fam left and the boys were sleeping sweetly in their beds, the husband and I lit our tiki torches and sat out on the patio enjoying some Black Velvet on the rocks and Dick van Dyke. I fear we have entered the mature and boring stage of life, when "pleasant" and "relaxing" usually trumps "exciting" and "spectacular". Usually. 

So were we the only ones that exercised our right to party on the simple and boring but oh-so-pleasant side of Independence Day traditions?