ethan, unedited

By Moriah on March 17th, 2014

(Well, originally, I did upload these straight from the camera but the vertical ones transferred sideways. So I had to do some very quick edits, but mostly they are straight from camera. ANYWAY.)



I took these a couple of weeks ago, after church. I love the vintage-y feel of them (outfit is from Olive Juice, thanks Grandmommy!) but I do need to state for the record that we were in the ER with this boy a week ago Saturday. We had been at the park FIVE WHOLE MINUTES before he fell from a climbing structure and gashed the back of his head.


Logistically the hospital visit went as smoothly as it possibly could have, just a hassle. Sometimes I swear if we make it to adulthood with this kid we will have accomplished no small feat.


And of course he alternates between being utterly infuriating (hairspray, anyone?) and the CUTEST. THING. EVER.





I mean how can you not melt? That face.

the things I want to remember

By Moriah on March 7th, 2014



I snatched these photos yesterday afternoon when these two were playing on their brother’s bed. These are two that don’t often play one-on-one together. The times they do, though, are pure sweetness.


Ari exclaiming over the “bazanya!” we had for supper tonight (lasagna, thanks, Amy!). Ethan telling me he had “four, five, six, seben, eight peppamints” when he was at the church with Andy last night. Pretty sure it was just two.

Kicking Madeline’s behind in ten frantic games of Blink, although she did cream me once. No I am not the kind of mother that lets her kid win.

Drew, very concerned where I was going to get marbles for the new reward system we are gonna try, and digging out all the plastic Marbleworks for me to “use.” Thanks but not exactly what I had in mind. (I was gonna link where I got the idea but can’t find it now.)

And eye winks from my 2 year old when I tuck him in.

a child’s insight

By Moriah on February 24th, 2014

I’m part of a women’s small group on Thursday nights and it is different than any other I’ve ever been a part of. Those women are real. They are in the Word. They also aren’t afraid to lay open their issues and struggles and be honest about our humanity and sinfulness. Jesus is there! We’re already forgiven and so there’s nothing left to hide. His is the only opinion that matters, anyway.

So a couple weeks ago the gal that generally leads the discussion shared about how she is having her 8 or 9 year old daughter read her own Bible and then come talk to her mom about what she just read. In this instance she was reading the passage where Peter walks on the water towards Christ. Her mom said “okay, tell me about that story!” and the daughter says something along the lines of “well, Peter was walking on the water to Jesus, and he was doing okay until he turned around to see if his friends were watching.”

Um, WOW.

What tremendous insight from a child! Of course the account mentions Peter seeing the wind and the waves and getting fearful and scared. Either way, he had his eye on his circumstances and not on Christ. And how often ARE we paying more attention to see if our friends are watching? I’m just still so blown away by her answer and have been thinking about it ever since.

growing tired of old man winter

By Moriah on February 19th, 2014

My mom has been here for two weeks, helping me and giving us a fun break. Kids were off school Monday and Tuesday (along with the snow days last week) so it was great to have Grandmommy around for all the free time. You know, someone to make the rice-krispie treats and help with the wet mittens. And we’ve been watching a whole lotta Olympics. Again, good timing. We’re all big fans.

Today the big kids and I finally went to the LEGO movie. Big treat under current circumstances and Arianna was hilarious, her feet barely hanging off the end of her chair, with her little stash of popcorn. Every once in a while I’d look over and she was drooping just a little bit lower. I finally asked if she wanted me to hold her and the next thing I know she’s draped over me and snoring. And also, she’s hot when she sleeps.

Mom being here has also freed me up to do a couple of photo sessions. You can see a few highlights on the other site: sudden movements, including one of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen. I had a blast taking my friend Becky’s family photos yesterday, those will be up sometime this week. I’m finding it a little hard to know what to do with THIS space, since a whole part of me feels like it’s outgrown blogging. I love posting photos, but this isn’t a photog blog, and now I have that one… See? Dilemma.

Tonight on the radio the host was talking about the encouragement she got from a little note her dad recently gave her, telling her how they got her name. So that started the mental rabbit trail about remembering my own name, and why my parents chose it. Moriah is the mountain where Abraham was commanded to sacrifice Isaac but then right at the last moment, God swooped in and told him to stop — it was a test of faith.

I know it’s hard to relate a swirl of feelings in type but it was a moment of clarity for me. It’s easy to struggle through the Christian life, wondering if my relationship with Jesus is just all in my own head. Maybe I’m the only one. But to remember that chosen of God – it’s not up to me, I’ve already been redeemed… such a moment of freedom and a timely reminder after struggling thru the winter.

Spring is on its way.

hi there

By Moriah on January 16th, 2014

I know I know I know. FOREVER. I don’t even know where to start except to say that yes, my life is wonky and upside down for the time being but we’re all still alive and mostly good, so we’ll just go from there.

Some quicky updates… Drew and Madeline are doing well sharing 3rd grade this year, it’s FABULOUS to have two kids doing all the same homework. I am enjoying them more and more each day, as they grow and mature, and as their personalities develop. Drew is still his easy-going self, but he’s become more tender and sweet – often asking about me and always wanting to make sure I’m okay.

Madeline is a complete hoot. I have no idea where she comes up with this stuff but she can blast out one-liners at the most hilariously perfect moments. Funny, funny girl. Mostly helpful. And not above bribing baby brother with ‘pretend candy’ to get him to eat his veggies. The girl will do anything for sugar herself, so of course that makes perfect sense.

Adelaide, I don’t even know how to describe her. She’s neat and orderly and likes consistency and routine. Her handwriting knocks the socks off the other kids’ at this age. She lives for verbal affirmation, (with the flip side being super sensitive to even sorta kinda mentioning something critical about what she might maybe have sorta kinda done and/or said). She’s my tough cookie, the one I’m gonna have to have my ear on during the teen years.

Arianna, well she just kinda dances from one thing to the next. She will do this 4th kid thing that if she’s talking to you and you happen to look away, she’ll put her hand on your cheek and turn your face back to her. Her accent is super funny, and it’s enough entertainment to simply listen to her talk about things. She notices lots of detail though — stories can take a while (you’ve been warned).

Ethan… He will WEAR YOU OUT. He’s currently out of his bed because HE BROKE THE TODDLER GUARD RAIL. Busted his lip in two places, and may have done something to a top front tooth. He’s adorable but man, there is no break with that kid. He also happens to know he’s funny. Ethan, say ‘football!’ (grins) “SOCCER BALL!!!!” Ethan, how old are you? (grins) “I SIX!!!” No, you’re two.’ “No I SIX!” ‘Ethan, what’s your name?’ “I Arianna!” TOTAL TEASE.

And me, I’m just trying to keep my head above water. I started doing photography on the side and that site is here: sudden movements photography. Would LOVE for you to spread the word, click like on FB here and if you’re local and wish for photos of your kids, I’m your girl. It’s rewarding and intimidating all wrapped up into one.




back to school, happy parent edition

By Moriah on September 5th, 2013

Adelaide’s first day of 1st grade, and my two 3rd graders. (We decided at the end of last year to give Drew one more foundational year, and so he is doing 3rd grade again.)






I just kept snapping pics, Drew was cracking me up. The girls picked out their clothes last night, and chose to match. (Who are you and where did you put my girls?)

happy Labor Day and also

By Moriah on September 1st, 2013

This has been a super fun weekend, a perfect way to say farewell to the lazy days of summer. We took the kids to a water park again Saturday and had a blast. The littles can do so much there, it really was fun for everyone. We decided we’re a lazy river kind of family. We met some friends at a Mexican restaurant afterwards and I just had to laugh at the sticky dessert tornado we left. We tip well for a reason.

Anyway, this afternoon Drew had his daddy date so the girls, Ethan, and I lazed around the house after church. (Surprise surprise it also rained.) Tomorrow we say goodbye to the pool for now, with a neighborhood picnic and then it’s back-to-school night Tuesday.

Also just wanted to pop in and say I am hosting a virtual trunk show for the MJ fall Collection 2 release on Tuesday – leave a comment here or use the ‘contact’ tab if you would like to place an order and I will be in touch about where we go from there. The new pieces won’t be up on the site until Tuesday. You can order previous lines then too.


a thought or two on summer

By Moriah on August 20th, 2013

First, I feel like it rained 60 of the 80 days. That may be an exaggeration, but only slightly. It put a serious damper on our Funtimes. We totally missed the 4th due to rain. (I’m still grieving over it.) I wore my FLEECE robe yesterday morning, and it’s the dang middle of August. I hope this doesn’t mean we’re in for an Alaskan-type winter. I mean seriously – a high of 73??! Where’s our 98 and sunny?


Also, we have been home a lot. Didn’t get out and/or see as many friends as I had hoped. Although I did sit with my friend Lisa for almost 3 hours straight, talking and laughing together in chick-fil-a while our kids pretty much dominated the play area last week. Food for the soul.

Which is striking to me because I’m currently reading this:


right on the heels of reading this:

spin cycle

Both of which talk extensively about women raising their kids in community with each other; American individualism “[accustoms one] to lonely living that God never intended us to experience. I often felt the keen sting of modern culture’s unfamiliar and hostile isolation.

‘God made us for community and accountability and close friendship. He also created family, so that no one would ever have to be alone or bear the burden of life by themselves. Families were designed by God to include moms and dads, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, and a whole host of people who would walk alongside you, committed to you through the passages of life. Young moms were never meant to be without the advice and care of multiple women assisting them and advising them in their lives.

‘Yet we have become so used to living without support that we often lose perspective on how much we need intimate friendships with other women. This deep need sometimes puts pressure on husbands to fulfill needs that they were never designed to fill….” (goes on) pp. 19-20 in Desperate.

So yeah. Trying to be more intentional about fighting the bored and lonely. And even though I’m not super thrilled about starting school again – after Labor Day for us, (lunches and homework, ugh) it will give us something to DO.

more from the front porch

By Moriah on July 31st, 2013

From Sunday, just for fun.





(my new favorite outfit on Adelaide)

front porch

By Moriah on July 29th, 2013

Andy and I have been getting up at 6am almost every day for the last 3ish months. We have coffee, talk about our day and any financial decisions, dream about our lives and long-term goals, and then we do some sort of spiritual reading and pray. It was hard at first but the benefits have been so amazing that it’s become a top priority.

We just can’t have good conversation at the end of the day when we are exhausted and fighting to get the kids in bed. Much better to be hanging out when we’re fresh, with no distractions, and no kids vying for attention.

Anyway. These pics were taken last week when we were wrapping up and the Sleepyheads rolled on down. I always sit on that blanket so I let them have my chair and they snuggled up together. These two usually get a long really well and they are so cute and funny together. Arianna makes a hilarious 3-year-old “mother.”







(Also, this post is kind of an experiment. I posted these photos straight into WP without re-sizing them first. Could you let me know if they loaded slower than photos in older posts? Thanks!)

Don’t you jump in rainboots?

By Moriah on July 22nd, 2013











By Moriah on July 16th, 2013

I haven’t blogged because I’ve been feeling lost.  Like, I suddenly forgot how to be the mom.  The 2,384 days of rain sucked the creativity out of me and I still haven’t recovered.  And I spend way too much on groceries because I just. can’t. think.

I’ve been reading Jen Hatmaker’s Out of the Spin Cycle: How to Lighten Your Mother Load which is AWESOME. But convicting too.  Like shouldn’t I be running a soup kitchen?  I feel like laying face-down on the floor crying a lot as it is, and I only have one two-year-old.  How do you get past that?

I think I need my friends more.  I am constantly surrounded by people (granted, usually 9 & under), yet still feel pretty lonely and I am sure I’m not the only one.  It’s hard having your soul sister live on the other side of the planet.

Anyway. Today I’m going to scoop about half of the playroom into the donation pile. I need to make space to breathe. It’s too overwhelming to pick up right now, a sure sign there’s too much stuff. So, cranking up the music, coffee, and Storybook Bible today.

summer playin

By Moriah on June 17th, 2013

We signed Drew up for extra reading practice over the summer with one of my teacher friends who tutors on the side. We met at her elementary school for the first session last Friday and it was the perfect set-up for him (use of the library) and for all the other kids – PLAYGROUND!

It has a few vintage pieces that were really fun to photograph. I hadn’t really picked up my camera in weeks, but luckily I had tossed it into my diaper bag that day.











I had promised Drew some play time after he was finished. And he got candy, so clearly reading is fun.





And then took them to exchange meal toys for free ice cream at CFA because no summer outing is complete without a little dose of sugar!

baby fun day

By Moriah on June 12th, 2013

(Otherwise known as cram-it-all-in-before-the-big-kids-get-back, a story in iPhone pics.)

fun day1

fun day2

ethan apple

fun day3

fun day4

fun day5

fun day6

fun day7

fun day8

fun day9

ethan sand

fun day10

fun day11

fun day12

fun day13

fun day14

fun day15

fun day16

fun day17

halfway to sixteen. (oh, no!!)

By Moriah on June 10th, 2013

So, Saturday was Madeline’s birthday and now she is eight. She had requested Six Flags White Water (Atlanta) so that’s what we did. We were still about 40 minutes out and our van got a flat tire. Yeah that sounds exactly like us! The kids were really good for having to wait so long for roadside assistance and Andy and I read various things to each other. Lemons – lemonade.

(I think I mentioned a while back that we are doing a parenting small group together and it’s been interesting. We are arguing – I mean discussing – a lot of things :) We decided the difference between us (generally speaking) is that Andy is a lot more open to learning a few things from an opposing viewpoint and throwing out the rest; I tend to want to agree with (most? a lot of?) something or I tend towards dismissing it. At any rate, it’s been a great conversation.  Intimacy building.)

Anyway, Andy’s parents drove down to meet us. We had a great day – the kids loved it, which was the main thing. I think Madeline had a special birthday and that’s what we were going for.

white water

white water3

white water4

white water5

The 3 older kids are in FL with his parents until Wednesday. It’s rather quiet around here! I closed up the legos and put them in Drew’s closet. Nice to not step on any for a few days at least!

{roll call}

By Moriah on June 5th, 2013

We’ve been out of school for a week and a half. The end of school is always chaos, I’m utterly glad to have it behind me.



I’m looking forward to a more relaxed pace and a hopefully slow and lazy holiday. Last week the stomach bug cycled through our house and this week the big kids are in Music Camp. But we did get out for an evening on the lake!





And, we now have a neighborhood pool, only one street over. I’ll go ahead an apologize in advance for the quantity of pool photos you will likely be hounded with over the next three months.



I haven’t pulled out my camera in weeks, most of the above pics are from my phone. I did take some shots of Arianna blowing bubbles this morning, one of her favorite things. (Until Ethan notices, anyway. Little brothers can be so grabby and tiresome.)





Madeline’s birthday is Saturday, and Andy’s parents are coming down for it. We’re hitting up a water park and then the big kids are going on a little beach trip with the grandparents.

Not that Andy and I are jealous or anything.


Hey so Google Reader is almost no longer. I think I’m gonna try Feedly – have any of you switched already? Is anyone still reading blogs? ha

It’s the Weekend!

By Moriah on May 3rd, 2013

Soo, my mom is here. Happy dance on that one! I cried when I picked her up, just so emotionally spent. We hit up Sonic and the dry cleaners on the way back from school and then she and the kids helped me clean up a bit. Andy and I started this little neighborhood small group parenting study and it started last night — heaven forbid I have people in my home with it looking like a train wreck.

We are doing Loving on Purpose and I’m not sure where Monique found it but I really enjoyed the intro. Looking forward to it.

Another thing I’m LOOKING FORWARD TO is THIS WHOOOOOOOOLE WEEKEND! Two of my aunts (maybe three?) set it up so Andy and I could attend a Family Life marriage conference this weekend two hours away. Hence the reason for my momma coming. The sessions are Friday, Saturday, Sunday, with a built in date-night Saturday. So fun, can’t wait. The new white jeans may just get busted out since there will be no ketchup packets in sight.

Still hard to believe it’s already May 3. I feel like I’ve been living under a rock of sickness since January. (Right, G?) I’m so looking forward to summer, this one probably more than ever.

yep, that sounds about right

By Moriah on April 30th, 2013

It’s the little things that wear me down. I find when something big happens, it’s so obviously out of my control that it’s relatively easy to depend on God and see his hand in things.

It’s the gallon of milk spilled under my fridge, or Adelaide busting her forehead, or Drew blasting the dining room window completely through (true story), or not paying enough attention to checking and throwing $100 down the proverbial toilet because apparently the overdraft-pull-from-savings suddenly isn’t working, or having to get a plumber because Ethan flushed my hand-lotion in the upstairs potty and we haven’t been able to use that bathroom for 3 weeks… and then yesterday I threw out my back.

I’ve been either laying on the couch or my bed for two days, or hobbling around when I have to and/or if something happens. (Like a broken glass or [a box of] spilled cheerios, or the water party Ethan and Ari threw when I was downstairs – all three from today.) My mom comes tomorrow and I’m dreading her seeing my house in such a state (hi, Mom!) but there’s only so much you can do with a broken vacuum and a bad back. And it’s too late to call in a cleaning lady.

Life, it goes on.

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