Monday, November 23, 2009


My boy.
Jude Aukerman Grover.
I am so excited about him and am joyfully anticipating the day when he is placed into my arms.
My belly is growing, as are the aches and pains, but my heart is what is growing the most. My love for this little guy seems to be more real as the days speed on...closer to meeting him. It is real. He is real. He is alive and he is healthy:)

More now than ever do I just want to BE. I want to BE still. BE joyful. BE generous. BE loving. Be happy. BE content. BE a mom....and BE a confident child of God. I want to work out my salvation on a daily basis....seeking God for what that means and what that looks like in my life. I want to sit and teach Adi and Jude what that means in their lives as they grow and become more mature. I want to help shape their lives for the purposes that God has for them. I want to show them what good gifts our father in heaven lavishes on us.
Speaking of good gifts.....
Luke and I just came out of a very demanding three week journey in our parenting travels. As I have said before, once you get the hang of one stage, the sweet little ones change things up on you! Well this challenge left me feeling completely and utterly helpless and feeling inadequate as a mother. Adi went through a three week stage of fighting going to the bathroom. It started after she had a painful BM one evening. She decided in her mind right then that she was not going to go to the bathroom again until she was an adult. Her personality started to change as she became consumed inside herself trying to hold it all in. She couldn't concentrate, couldn't play, couldn't barely hold a normal conversation, couldn't eat....and wouldn't poop.
Every other night became a fight as we made her go to the bathroom. Often times having to use an enema or medicine so that she couldn't stop it. She would go on the floor, in her underwear, anywhere but on the toilet. Luke and I, we begged God for healing for her. We begged God to help her to go poop. We begged Him to relieve her fear. We prayed over her constantly. Prayed over her bedroom and the bathroom. We researched this issue on the Internet and found that it happens often around this age when new things are happening (like a brother or sister being born), or after a terribly painful BM. I finally decided to take Adi to the doctor, as they told me on the phone to bring her in if it lasted longer than three weeks. The doctor told me that this could last for up to 6 months, but that I just had to be persistent with encouraging her to use the toilet, and giving her mirolax to aide in the process. I left the doctors visit a bit frustrated and discouraged, as I was hoping that there was a "miracle drug" that would fix her right up!

God was definitely teaching me patience!
In the evening after our doctors appointment, Adi got down from the dinner table and said "mommy, I have a tummy ache, I have to go poop." And what do you MIRACLE happened! As quickly as her fear set in, that evening it left. The Lord healed her of this fear that had consumed her for 3 weeks.
I praised her that night. I jumped for joy for her. The burden on my heart was released and all I could do was say "THANK YOU JESUS. THANK YOU JESUS!" for healing my girl. And as I cried this out to the Lord, Adi sat there in the bath singing "I've got peace like a river, I've got peace like a river in my soul."
What a good God I serve. His love is more faithful than the morning...and His gifts are mighty good. I praise Him for my baby boy, and for my big girl, and for blessing me with more than I could ever deserve.

May my actions each day reflect the gratitude in my heart for the One who created me.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I have fallen prey to the lie that being busy is being beneficial and fruitful. My life keeps racing by at warped speed stealing all energy and joy from my existence. Exhaustion and stress set in. My relationships suffer. My home suffers. My health suffers. My soul suffers.
How do I get out? How do I "come to me, all who are weary and heavy burdened?" What does an "easy yoke" even look like? How do I learn to be a branch and not a self sustaining vine? How? why? when? Please. Lord. help. me. NOW.

In The too-busy book, Linda Anderson writes, ""We enter the second, exhilarating lap of our lives, running headlong and happily past the mile markers of career, ministry, marriage, and children--adding as we go along. It works for a while. Time passes. Now we sprint, gasping for air, and juggling as we run. Obstacles pop up, and vicious winds threaten to send us spinning off the track. We ache with our efforts to run on dissipating fuel. Our bodies stretch and bend past capacity. Our breathing is heavy and labored. We don't give up, but everything starts to hurt more. And we don't notice scenery along the way. Joy fades. Our flagging energy focuses solely on the race, but we keep the pace, retaining the lead outwardly but slipping inside. We're winded, stressed, and losing track of why we're running the first place, and why we're running alone."

There has been a discomfort and uneasiness in my life for the last few months that I have wrestled and wrestled with. It began when God met me in the quiet and whispered into my soul that I am not on the path that He has for me. At the time, I probably whispered back "okay God, then show me," said "amen" and walked right back into the insanity like I had never heard a thing. But over the months the whisper has turned into a shout and what I once considered normal and livable no longer satisfies. God is calling for radical change to take place.

I am learning that sometimes the path that we are on is not far off from what God has for us. Sometimes we are merely steps from the path, walking through the weeds and the brush instead of the smooth and cleared pathway that He so graciously designed for our lives. I so desperately want that peace of knowing that I am where He wants me....but that peace will only come through my obedience to move directions.

And so here I am. After a crazy morning running around town. A crazy afternoon with a very constipated and uncomfortable 3 year old. After a crazy evening trying to straighten up my house and get Adi into bed for the 9th time. And a crazy emotional breakdown in front of her on her bedroom floor....I am surrendering. I am BEGGING God for change. I am pleading with Him to stop the insanity of my soul. Because I can't do it any longer.

I can't stand that I don't just sit and play with Adi for a good chunk of the day. It bothers me that my agenda is always filled up, even if it is just "stuff" to do around the house....because that seems to be never ending. I dislike the feeling of impatience when Adi is simply getting into the car, or washing her hands after the restroom, or enjoying her food. I get all pushed out of shape, like the world is waiting for me to save it or something. All I really need to be doing is focusing on my relationship with Jesus, my relationship with Luke, my relationship with my girls, and asking Christ daily what His agenda is for me.

Change. It is a scary thing, but Oh so necessary in our lives at times. I will learn to trust in Christ as He continues to mold me and make me more like Him. I will hold on tight through the journey of rerouting and recovering. I will REST in the manna given to me today. For He is faithful.

But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. it does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:29-30

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. Psalm 23:1-2

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cousins at the pumpkin patch

My sweet Adi Rose

SF Zoo

Riding the Little Puffer with daddy

Crazy how life gets so out of control sometimes with all the small stuff that fills up my calender. Bible study, church, preschool, MOPS, lunch dates, play dates, doctors appointments, photography, family get-togethers, cleaning (notice how that came last on my list!!!) and on and on....seems like I am having to schedule in sleep time, think time, eat time, rest time these days...and even that isn't always getting done!
In this beautiful mess of life, I am so thankful for all of the things that I have had the opportunity to put on my crazy calender, and for all of the amazing things that God is teaching me in and through them.

In order of importance, a quick update on the "real" what is going on in life right now, straight from the heart!

1. GOD.
He is so GOOD and so worthy to be praised, and yet so often I give Him the last little bit of what I have left. I read this on a friends facebook post the other day and it stung down to the deepest part of me, as I feel exactly the same so often: The person who puts money in my bank account gets the first 9 or so hours of my day, the person who put a ring on my finger gets the last few hours of my day, and the One who put breath in my lungs gets a fleeting thought here and there. Something is very wrong.

Now I know this is not exactly what life is like for me right now...(the work 9 hours part) but it is so true with the busy work and "stuff" of life. I give 30% of my time to Adi (as she requires it!), 20% to Luke, 20% to computer and photography, 10% of my time to friends, 10% to myself, 5% to cleaning, and a little tiny 5% to my heavenly father who created me. UGGGHHHH, it makes me so sick....and yet I do so little to change my lifestyle.
I thank the Lord that He is patient with me, and that He loves me and desires for me to grow. Please please please Lord, don't leave me like this. I want to be more like you. Help me.

2. My family
Ahh, I absolutely love love love my sweet family. I am always in awe of how God brought Luke and I together and how He has blessed us with sweet Adi Rose, Olivianna Grace and Ava June. Although we have been very very busy, we have been enjoying life! Luke and I have been doing a lot of photography together this last month and that has been a blast.

Adi has had a rough month with sickness, probably a result of being passed along from house to house while we do our photography!!! She started preschool in the beginning of September and almost instantly (like within the first two weeks) got the chickenpox. She didn't get them very bad, only about 10 pox on her body. They came and went within a week and a half (all of those lovely stages...) and we made it through. I was dying to get out of the house as she was feeling great "besides the bumps" but we couldn't go anywhere. One morning I decided that we would go to the fruit stand to break up the day a bit. After she touched the grapes and the peaches, she sweetly explained to the checker and everyone in line that she has the chickenpox. All I could do was smile, put my head down, and place my hand over her mouth as we walked briskly to the car. I love that girl!!!

My heart still breaks over my precious Olivianna Grace. So often I find myself imaging what life would be like if she were with us. She would be 16 months old right now, a lively one I am sure! Adi talks about her a lot. She reminds me that Olivianna is in heaven and that she is all better. That she is my baby, and her sissy...and that makes me smile!
I am daily praying that my heart will heal and that I will one day not feel like I have been robbed. I completely know that God had a plan for her life. That their was a very specific purpose that her 11 minutes fulfilled. That she is in a much better place. That many many amazing things have and will come because of her life....
But so often I feel robbed. Like "life is not fair" that I can not hold her and love on her and watch her grow. It is almost as if I can't let go of who she would be right now. And it hurts.

Luke and I are joyfully and so anxiously awaiting for little Ava June to come into the world. These last 25 weeks have seemed to go by very slowly as I long to hold my baby in my arms. I imagine the day when we walk out of the hospital with her alive. I can't wait...I even dream about it. It will be a day of complete celebration and joy. My heart will be overwhelmed. I will cherish her and hold her and rock her and wake up with a smile on my face at 2 a.m when she wants to eat because she will be alive. It will be cold though, and I will be tired (so remind me of this post when I complain, okay?)

At our last doctors visit 3 weeks ago, we found out that I have partial placenta previa (my uterus is covering part of my cervix) and therefore I will be monitored closely to see if it moves. We are praying that it moves away from the cervix and that I will not be put on bed rest during Christmas and that I can have a natural birth. Nonetheless, I told Dr. A that he can get Ava June out of me anyway he wants to (my nose, my legs, my tummy), just get her out healthy and I will be happy! We know and trust that God will take care of us and that we can completely trust in whatever He has for us.

3. Photography.
It has been an amazing year of growing our skill and our business. I never would have thought last year that we would be doing weddings and numerous shoots a week and keeping extremely busy with it. We have definitely enjoyed getting to know people and especially have enjoyed doing something that we love together! It has been a blast. Here are a couple sneak peeks from the last two weddings we shot.

Beautiful Carla and Paul

Lovely Amanda and John

We have about 8 more family sessions and some senior shoots, and I think we will be done for the fall!!! I am imagining by the 8th of November (my last session) I will be pooooooped, both physically and mentally! We have been excited to have so many amazing families and opportunities this year. Thank YOU, to our wonderful clients!

Well, MOPS is in the morning and so I better finish up. My last two blog post that I began I saved as drafts and never got them up. Always seems difficult to end these things!

Hopefully by the time I blog again, I will have something very exciting to share with everyone! I am having a hard time keeping quiet about it, as it blesses me SO much............

Until then...CHRIST be lifted HIGH!

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I held my breath, Adi and Luke by my side, as the warm jelly was applied to my growing baby bump. I was excited and nervous all at the same time. I hadn't really slept well in days, just waiting in anticipation for what was ahead....waiting and "taking heart!"

The heartbeat.....check. The body movement.....check. My relief....check!
Dr. A confirmed that our baby looked healthy and that the spine and diaphragm were in place. Peace flooded my body as we were affirmed that this pregnancy looks good. That this precious baby girl, sweet Ava June...or "baby June" as Adi calls her is ALIVE.

I praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy in my life. I praise Him for Adi, for Olivianna, for Ava, and especially for Luke. I praise Him for the good days, and the bad, and for the journey that He has walked us (and carried us) through these last few years.

Thank you Jesus!!!! You are GOOD.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Life is full of unknowns. It is full of reasons to fear and be worried, full of dangerous things and not so nice people, full of hardships and trials and blah situations. These last few weeks for me, it has been full of the unknowns of a healthy baby, the fear of sickness and death, the fear of bad news waiting around each corner.

In this life you will have many trials....but TAKE HEART, I have overcome the world! John 16:33

I have been thinking about this verse and wrestling with what "TAKE HEART" really means?
Does it mean to put on a happy christian face and pretend that everything in life is okay? Does it mean to try really hard to not be weighed down by the hardships? Or does it simply mean to trust and hold on for my life to the living God when everything around me seems to be swallowing me whole? When I feel like I can't go on one more minute living with my own mind...I must TAKE HEART and fill my frightened mind with scripture. When I freak out because of all the "what ifs" and "high risks" and "could happens," I must TAKE HEART and claim that scripture over my situations. When I can't stand to hear one more story about someones "easy pregnancy" and "healthy baby," or "hard pregnancy" and "sick child," I must TAKE HEART and remember God's love for His children...and His love for me.

You see, when I become honest with myself, I must admit that over the last year and a half, I have bought into the lie that God wants to give His "other" children good gifts, but not me. And then there are those time that I don't buy into that lie, but the lie that God is just waiting to throw me another tough situation to see how I respond. To see if I truly do trust in Him. That He always wants to be testing me, so not to get excited about something that appears "good."
So often I play around with God's love like it is a game of "give and take." I fail to believe in the truth that He has "loved me with an everlasting love; He has drawn me with loving-kindness." I fail to acknowledge the "Everlasting" part of that truth. That He delights in me. That He wants me to "TAKE HEART" , to "RECEIVE" His love and His goodness for my life.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 2 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.

Psalm 91:1-6/ Live under the protection of God Most High and stay in the shadow of the All Powerful God. Then you will say to the LORD, "You are my fortress, my place of safety; you are my God, and I trust you."

Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the laughter." 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You! (nasb)

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

I am learning that "TAKE HEART" for me means to walk with Jesus and obtain His rest, His peace, His comfort, His courage and His strength each day. It means that IN MY TRIALS (Because I am promised to have them), I must look more on the promise of SPIRITUAL and PHYSICAL protection, and MORE importantly HIS LOVE FOR ME, than on the situations that surround my life. He has overcome the world. He has overcome death. He can overcome my fear and gives me the ability to walk through the fire without being burned.

I must "TAKE HEART".....which ultimately means to "TAKE ACTION" in His story, every single day of my life.
Only when I learn to do this, will I not be consumed by the fears of the unknowns....the fears of a fallen world. Only then will I be set free.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I have been missing from the blog world lately....
Mostly due to sickness, and hotness, and tiredness!

Thought I would post a quick update to say that we had our 2nd test for our Full Integrated Screening tests (to check for Spina Bifida, Trisomy 18 and other types of birth defects) and the results came back SCREEN NEGATIVE. That means that everything looks great so far! Baby looks healthy and active...heart beating at a sweet 161 bpm and allowing mommy to feel better the last week or so! Praise the Lord for that!

Adi is doing excellent! She loudly proclaimed to me in the waiting room today that the man sitting across from her had a big baby in his belly. She said it twice, and then the man said to her "No, I am just fat." AHHHHHHHHHH, I was mortified. Adi looked at me and said, "but NO, he has a big baby in his big belly." 2 year olds will be 2 year olds:)

Luke is doing very well too! Keeping busy at work and working on things around the house. I just LOVE that man!!!!

Photography has been keeping me busy. I have been so blessed to have so many amazing and beautiful clients. Thank you Jesus!

I pray that you all (the couple of you who have stuck with me even though I have been MIA the last three months) are doing well.


Thursday, June 11, 2009


Monday, June 1, 2009

E.B.B (Extremely Bad Blogger)

I have been a bad blogger. A very very bad blogger:)
So, it has now been 5 weeks since my last post and I still sit here with just about nothing to say. It is not that life hasn't been FULL of things to blog about, it's just I have found NO motivation to write about it. Almost as if all the energy is consumed in the event...and nothing is left for the debriefing.
I have decided to atleast create a post of photos so that my very few blog followers know that I am alive!

In the last five weeks we have....

Visited the farmers market a few times,
been busy "doing our work,"
gone to the park,
jumped on the trampoline,
spent time with family,

took lots of photos ...

Enjoyed nature...

and treats....

we have gotten hot....and cooled off....

we bought a new swing for Adi...

We went on a date or four...

We shot our first wedding at Rutherford Hills Winery in Napa, Ca. It was beautiful and a lot of fun!!!

Had a great mother's day celebrating my amazing mom (and being a mom!)

Spent some time with some precious faces...

...have been preparing for China,

and most of all....
I promise myself that I will not go this long again without blogging.
Until next time...CHRIST be lifted High!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


The Golden Gate Bridge

San Fransisco

Our family (photos by Trishia Filbrun)

Tea party with my sweet girl
My little lady

Playing in mommies wedding dress

Favorite thing to do in the house...

We visited Olivianna's grave last week.

I am sitting at my computer right now, with a huge bowl of ice cream in front of me, nervous and scared to even start typing. Night after night I have thought about blogging. I have started a post, and canceled it too many times to count. I have become overwhelmed inside with my thoughts and feelings, and it has seemed too big a task to put my thoughts down in writing.

I must make myself. I must dig inside and try to figure out exactly what these feelings are, and pray that getting them out will some how will help.
I apologize in advance if I seem blunt or too honest. I guess this is my blog and though I do not want to hurt anyone's feelings, it is kind of like my diary (open to the public) and it helps me deal and heal.
The last few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster. One day life will be happy and smelling like beautiful roses. The sky is blue, the birds are chirping cheerfully outside of my window, a smile is on my face, joy in my heart, a jump in my step. And then suddenly something will change. Raw raw raw emotion cuts deep into my heart. I see a big beautiful belly carrying a baby, I hear the cry of a newborn, I learn that yet another friend is pregnant, I start my period...

It all slowly tears a layer off of my heart. Sometimes ripping it quickly, sometimes so slowly that I can physically feel it.

The smile on my face is rooted in a deep joy and peace in Jesus Christ, but it is so often a reaction because I know that is what Christ calls me to do. To love others, to rejoice with them when they rejoice, to weep with them when they weep. I guess I am struggling to do both genuinely. I get scared to listen to the good, because it makes me sad for myself. I get scared to listen to the bad, because it makes me scared that something will happen again.

I am really having to lean on Christ and rest in Him. His promises for me. His plan for my life. His purposes and protection. My eyes start looking down so often and the Holy Spirit quietly whispers to met to "keep my eyes on Christ."

This verse has really been on my lips this week as I go about my day. "My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word." Psalm 119: 28 I am reminded that I must be in the word to be strengthened. I must meditate on it, learn from it, obey it and thank the Lord for giving me His living word. This is what will get me through each day.
* * * * * * * * * * * *

It has been such a wonderful experience having a passion that I absolutely LOVE and that I can also make a little money from. I have been given the privilege to work with many families in the last 6 months to create memories for them through photography. It has been a blast getting to know others more, spending time with my dear friend Trishia and my dad who also love photography, learning, and using my creative side. The Lord has used photography as a way for me to heal also. Thus far, I have photographed 3 births since Olivianna, and each one has been an amazing experience in my personal life. I look forward to how He will use the circumstances of Olivianna's life in this passion of mine.

I have been so very excited that Luke is getting more involved in photography, and we have decided to go into this business together. It is a great way to be able to spend some time with each other.
Here is the business card that I created. We just received them yesterday and I am pretty excited about them. I am working on our website and it should be up next week! Our web address is (but you will have to wait to check it out for another week!) Ohhh...the suspense!!!!
I am very excited to be going on our church's women's retreat this weekend. The theme is REST.
This is exactly what I am needing. To find REST in Christ. To be encouraged. To meet new friends and be inspired by new people. I am sure I will have something to blog about next week!!!
Until then....Christ be lifted HIGH!