New Blog!

Hey guys, I’ve officially moved over to

It was time for a bit of a change, though you will notice that not much has changed. Thanks for reading here, and don’t forget to update your RSS feed.



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(Whoa, it’s been way too long since I wrote anything) Ok that’s out of the way…

In December Brian and I decided to sponsor a child through Touch the World Ministries. Our good friends David and Sandy Cooper work for TWM, and because of their involvement our church decided to send Christmas gift boxes to the children in TWM orphanages around the world.  After reading through the material, I began to think how special it would be to send a box specifically for one child. I love packing these boxes every year, it reminds me of how much I enjoyed (and still do) dumping out my stocking every Christmas morning and looking through all the little trinkets and fun little things my Mom always stuffs in there.  This year, Brian and I packed our box with one little boy in mind. Our boy’s name is Allan, and he lives at a TWM sponsored children’s home in Kenya.  What a difference it made, having a face and a name to think about as we packed his box. “Would Allan like a football, or a soccer ball?” “How many pencils does Allan need?” “Come on, give him a FEW more lollipops!!”  We sent Allan a letter, as well a picture of us, and of course a picture of Lucy. =) I wondered what he would think about these American strangers who are rich enough to keep and spoil a little dog. The place where he lives is safe and clean, but by no means luxurious or westernized.

Here is a little bit of Allan’s story:

Allan is 7 years old, one of the one hundred orphans at the home. Many of the children are orphaned because of AIDS. When he was first found by the director of the home, he was describe as “very weak, his stomach was swollen, full of worms”  The director goes on to say that Allan was “crying all day, no one could care to treat him” because he was infected with jiggers. There was no soap to cleanse his infected skin, and no one wanted to care for him.  Thankfully Allan was taken to the home to where they clothed and fed him and took care of his medical needs.  (Click here to read the entire story)

There were tears in our eyes as we read Allan’s story, and we keep his photo on the fridge to remember to pray for him. A few days ago we got a letter in the mail from Allan, here is a bit of it:

In my future I would like to be a teacher. My God bless you so much through Touch the World Ministry who have made to know you. I am glad to say that I knew I have a future as it in Jeremiah 29:11. I hope to hear from you, have a nice and bless day.

I treasure this letter so much, and I urge you to consider sponsoring a child through Touch the World. Go to their website and see what they are all about! We are so blessed to sponsor Allan and to be  a part of caring for him so that he can grow up happy and healthy.

Think about it…

Fifteen dollars a month for a 7 year old little boy covered in rashes and infected with scabies and jiggers to be loved on and cared for.

Fifteen dollars a month for Allan to have clothes, medical attention, and food.

Fifteen dollars a month for a little boy to became a godly teacher and take part in the redemption of his people.

Fifteen dollars a month for a Future.

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A Day Off, What a Novel Idea!

A day off is a wonderful thing. I could pretty much just stop here and click “publish” and then go do something else, because, well….it’s my day off.  I usually spend the day nannying and cleaning in a town 45 minutes away, not to come home til almost 7pm. It’s not really a complete day off, I always have proofreading or photo editing to work on, but at least I got to sleep in and delay the inevitable battle with my amazingly insane hair. I know it’s cliche to say “Oh I’m so busy” but seriously, I am soooo busy. Working at home is one of my goals in life, and I’ve achieved that by about half lately. Working at home also stinks in ways that working a normal job does not. I’ve been up to my bloodshot eyeballs in proofreading a 94-page dissertation chapter and editing photos, and I’m starting to reeeeally loathe my brand new laptop. Sitting in front of a computer for a living isn’t exactly my idea of a fun time, but it sure beats having to get up at 5:00am and dress in grown-up clothes to go to a job that takes over my life…. at least takes over my life outside my house and in a way that does not allow me to take play breaks with Lucy and make and eat a glorious goat yogurt and banana smoothie.  Working at home takes alot of discipline, and I’m thankful that my homeschooled self has a bit of prior experience with being productive at home when no one is really looking over your shoulder. (All the Carrigans can laugh now, go ahead.)  Most evenings you can find me at home staring at the computer and Brian out on a TechWizards call, maybe we should find him a work-at-home job too!

Thankfully Brian and I have had some times of rest and relaxation, this Thanksgiving we did something totally different and drove to Chattanooga, TN to spend Thanksgiving with our dear friends the Glens. This family is so special to us and has let us become part of their family and be auntie and uncle to their sweet girls. I L-O-V-E-D Chattanooga and we had alot of fun exploring the city and hanging out together.  I couldn’t leave without doing some family photos of these guys, and it was so nice to do just a fun, no pressure photo shoot allll over the city! My Facebook friends have already seen these, but I thought I would post my favorites.








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“The Beginning”

I have been having so much fun shooting family portraits in the past month, and I’m so excited to share some of the photos and the stories that go along with them. Hank and Allison are dear friends of ours, they also attend Wake Cross Roads with us and Allison is a teacher’s assistant at The Creator’s Kids where I teach preschool. Our friendship goes back 3 years ago when I put out the word that I needed someone to do childcare for my wedding. I needed someone who wasn’t really a friend or aquaintance who would not be put out by missing the wedding. Along came Hank and Allison, and our friendship grew out of a situation where a frazzled new bride kept forgetting to pay her childcare workers. =)

A few months ago  Hank and Allison experienced the loss of their first child by miscarriage, and they asked me to not only take their Christmas photos, but to also help them honor their child somehow in their photos. They named their child Arkae, from the Greek root meaning “The Beginning.”  After watching them both grieve for Arkae, it was such a blessing to see their desire to celebrate the beginning of life and to continue living with the joy that comes only from the peace of Christ. I was so blessed to be a part of honoring Arkae and laughing (and crying a bit) with the Baskins. Their dynamic is so much like mine and Brian’s, I will let you come to your own conclusions about who the silly one is. =) Love you Allison!!!









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Booo on Flu


Pride goes before a fall, and so here I sit with the formerly mocked and now grudgingly respected swine flu.  Phrases like “Oh, I’ll be fine tomorrow” and “I’m feeling better already” ring in my already ringing ears and have fallen on deaf ears.

Yesterday I scoffed when a slight headache,fever, fatigue, and annoying cough seemed to be the worst I would get. I laughed at the fearmongers who proclaimed that this epidemic would be the worst the world has ever seen. I was wrong, oh so wrong.

I would kill to leave the house, so I stumbled outside to let my increasingly corpulent dog do her business. When mommy and daddy are not paying attention, life is a never-ending all-you-can-eat buffet of trash cans and compost buckets, of half-eaten bowls of soup and unchaperoned Subway sandwiches.

So here I sit, with the flu besting my best efforts and a fat, lazy dog.

Booo, lame, dislike.

(Would it be selfish to pray that I get better so I can go to the fair on Thursday night?)


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If My Heart was a House You’d Be Home

I’m amazed at how long it has been since I have written anything.  I feel like I’m chained to the computer every free moment, and yet I havn’t made it over here to type just a few words for those few people who read.  I’m really busy editing photos, and can I just say that I LOVE THAT I CAN SAY THIS! I’ve been building my portfolio and getting all the experience I can and I’m having a blast!   I’m gearing up to shoot my first wedding as THE photographer for my friend Kimmie and we just did her bridal portraits. It’s amazing how one’s attitude and perspective can change when you are actively pursuing something you love. Strangely, I think my mind and heart work better the more I indulge in creative pursuits. I think C.S. Lewis said something about how we are most like our Creator when we create,  and I think there is definitely something to be said about making time to “make things,” whether it’s cooking or crafts or photography.

I’ve also been introduced to some great new music, something that I’ve been really lazy about lately. I’m the girl that will just leave a cd in the car and listen to it all the time.  Some of my own *new* finds have been Owl City and Copeland. Today’s title is taken from an Owl City song, and if you like Postal Service, you will love this guy.  Bonus is that he is a born-again Christian who has actual talent and writes these poetic, whimsical songs about everything under the sun.

Time to get going to one of my part-time jobs, get ready for a Pumpkin Princess Party I’m hosting tomorrow, and generally run around like a crazy person.  =)

I won’t sport with your intelligence by promising to write more.


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The New Dog in the House

Brian and I are spending the week house sitting and dog sitting for our friends, the Elliots. We are making a “staycation” out of it while pretending that we own a nice home and a kitchen where two people could actually cook a  meal together at the same time.  The Elliots have a sweet dog named Zipporah, who is 50ish pounds and a mix of hound and…something else. Lucy and Zipporah met last Saturday when we came over to receive our instructions and important info. They played together and seemed to get along well, so we all felt good about the two dogs sharing a house for a week…..

Lucy does this, and I know she does this and I should have been prepared–she lures you into a sense of well-being and then BANG she comes up with something amazing/embarrassing/stinky/annoying to do. It started with a little snarling, a warning growl, a wrestling match that went too far, and ended up in more than one confrontation in which my 9lb dog went up against the 50lb dog over a favorite toy or a scrap of food. She starts it, the little brat, and then Zipporah tries to finish it.  Who can blame Zipporah for fighting back when Lucy takes Z’s favorite toys and hides them in spots where Zipporah is too big to get to them? Heaven forbid that Z get too close to Lucy’s beloved squeaker, but it’s perfectly ok for Lucy to drag Z’s favorite bone into an impossibly small space, and then insolently chews on said bone in full view of, but not in reach of poor Zipporah.

The emotional turmoil reaches its peak when Brian and I dare to leave the house with Lucy in her cage and Z allowed to roam free. We came home a couple days ago to the most pitiful shrieking and yelping ever heard by human ears. Lucy was almost inconsolably frantic after spending a couple hours home alone with Z.

I’m trying to see it from Lucy’s perspective, though my patience with this dog is wearing thin. One day, she’s living the good life as the only child in her family with two parents who give her tons of affection and attention. She’s the center of the world, and impossibly, irresistibly cute. All is good, until one day this huge mammoth of a dog dares to share her space and DARES to share the attention of mommy and daddy. Whoa, hold on, stop the truck. Why is daddy playing with that other dog? How did that other dog get a hold of my toy and rip to shreds? Where are all the crumbs that used to be on the floor??!!!!

I think her fears are understandable. Someone newer, stronger, faster, or prettier comes along and sometimes we just lose our heads.  Instead of welcoming them with open arms, we become territorial and insecure. They try to play with our favorite toy, and we spitefully hide it under the papasan chair where they can’t get at it. They try to make friends with our friends, and we “forget” to invite them to our house for that birthday party. (And  by “we” I mean girls)

Sometimes we just need to know that no  matter how shiny or awesome the other dog is, we are still loved and valued. Scratch us behind the ears and remind us that no matter how many times we have accidents on the carpet or start fights over table scraps, we are important and special. Let us sleep in the bed and curl up on your favorite shirt.

But most of all, give us a good whap with a rolled up newspaper.

Zipporah and Lucy Portrait


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