IKEA Band-Aids



It was a few weeks after Bowdy was born and I was feeling shut in. Back to real life with three young kids now and being alone most days, trying to navigate our new norm. Paisley had just turned 5 in January and Georgia had just turned 3 in February. Not being able to go to the gym yet, or really knowing how to go about doing anything with three kids at this point, we were spending a lot of time at home. The days were long… and the never ending demands were wearing on a tired momma.

On this specific day I got a text from a friend around 9am asking if I wanted to join her and another friend at IKEA at 10am for some shopping and lunch! I did a little happy dance at the thought of someone asking me to get out of the house for the day and then said, “I would love to come, but I don’t want to bring all the kids to IKEA.” She then replied back, “They have a free play place for the kids. So we can shop while they play.” I then carried on with my happy dance and decided, “Heck YES, we will go!”

Then I looked at the clock… it was already 9am, to get to IKEA by 10am I would have to leave in 15 minutes.

None of us were dressed for the day and the diaper bag was not packed. So I got down real close to my girls’ faces and said in a very sweet and loving voice, “Some friends are all going to a play place to play- do you guys want to go?” Of course they said yes. Then I said, “Great!! Go get dressed and ready to go while I get Bowdy and myself ready.”

To be fair I just told my 5 & 3 year old to go get completely ready on their own in the next 15 minutes. You would think that this would be enough time, right? SO WRONG. By the time I got dressed, threw on a hat and some mascara (the only real makeup a new mom needs- can I get an amen?!), packed the diaper bag, and went to get the girls from their room where they not only had not gotten dressed yet, but had now managed to make a mess of toys because they forgot what they were supposed to be doing the minute they saw the My Little Ponies.

I asked them kindly, one more time, “Please stop playing and get dressed so we can go play with friends. I’m going to go get Bowdy in the car and when I come back, I want you ready to go. OK?????”

They both looked at me and said “OK.”

However… the task was still not complete when I returned. So then I turned into the kind and patient mother that I am and started yelling… which led to crying and whining and a temper tantrum from the 5 year old.  And an argument about what jacket the 3 year old could wear on the cold day in April! I might have even yelled something like, “Why are you crying, we are going to see your friends… hurry up!!!!!!!”

Nice Krista, like that will work!

On the way to IKEA, before we hit the freeway, Bowdy was in an all out screaming fit. Newborn crying is the worst, especially in the car. It’s then that I realized he was hungry. I tried to ignore it in hopes that he would fall asleep and I could feed him when we got there, but he didn’t let up. And now it was upsetting the girls. So I pulled over and hopped in the back seat on a country road to feed the hungry boy while the girls played in the back seat. 20 more minutes, a few burps later, the Disney station on Pandora, and we were back on our way to IKEA to meet our friends…

So we could play.

So we could get out of the house.

Because I was invited.

Because I wanted to.

Because I was bored.

So the kids could have fun.

Because I feel bad saying “no.”

We reached IKEA only 10 minutes late!

I was excited and relieved to meet our friends inside! It was so good to see a few adult faces that I recognized right away! We all said our hello’s and made our way to the magical IKEA play zone that would watch our kids for free for an hour while we shopped. Only to find out that the kid zone was full. According to the staff member, they can only take a certain number of kids and they were full! They then handed us a beeper, like at a restaurant that would tell us when they could take our kids. My face at this point must have said it all… total shock!!!!

All together my two girl friends and I have 9 kids. 9 KIDS under 6…

Trying to stay positive I turned to my friends and said, “OK, well, um, let’s just shop. What did you guys want to come here to look at?”

I was expecting an answer like… a new table, rugs, lamps, a couch for the office, a fun new plate set that was a must have. However, none of these were the answer. The answer was simply “BAND-AIDS”

WHAT? That’s right, I said it- WHAT??? If you know me well enough you can see my face. The slight tilt of my head, my eyes getting a little bigger and my voice changing a bit. I can’t easily hide my emotions so I’m sure I looked ridiculous. We drove to IKEA for BAND-AIDS!!!


(side note though- they are really nice band-aids)

We gathered up our troops + 3 strollers and headed upstairs to the kids area to find the band-aids and let our crew play while we waited for the buzzer to sound letting us know we could shop kid-free.

That’s when one of the kids got her fingers caught in the elevator! She was quite the trooper but us moms were a little panicked. We got her calmed and on our way! Found the band-aids and let the kids play for awhile, then it happened. THE BUZZER!!!!!

FREEDOM!!!!! We rushed back down to the kids zone to drop the older kids off (they only take the potty trained ones) and we were off. We had an hour to just wander, catch up, and push the youngest 3 in the strollers. We took full advantage! And then calmly and happily went back to get our kids when the hour was up.

I picked up Georgia and put her on my hip as we made our way to the lunch area and that’s when I noticed my side starting to feel funny. A little warm, a little cold… Oh my goodness, I’m all wet… wait… she’s all wet… is this pee?

Yep, it’s pee. Georgia had peed her pants while in the play zone because she was too shy to ask where the bathroom was. She was also wearing very dark leggings so you couldn’t tell at all unless you touched them. GREAT! So I took her to the bathroom and got her changed (I always carry an extra pair of pants for G; this girl is notorious for waiting too long). However, this didn’t solve my problem of now having a pee soaked shirt on. So, in 3rd-time-mom fashion I put my jacket back on and walked out of the bathroom and to the cafeteria to get our lunch. It’s a real shame that IKEA doesn’t sell clothes, they would have made an easy sale that day.

During lunch all of the older 6 kids sat at a table while us moms and the babies sat next to them at our own table, trying desperately to enjoy our meal. The older ones honestly did pretty well, you know, the usual. Talking too loud, running around and not actually eating their food. But, we didn’t have to yell so I call that a win. At one point all of us moms where nursing at the same time at our table. When Bowdy was finished eating I went to burp him and quickly realized that he had pooped all the way up his back and now it was on my hands. Back to the bathroom I went. At this point I was almost in tears.

As I’m writing this I keep laughing at myslef. How was this my day that day?! It’s that comical.


We soon left IKEA and my girls fought all the way home, to the point that I yelled so hard my throat hurt. The baby cried all the way home, and when we finally got home G wouldn’t nap because now she was over-tired and over-stimulated.

I sat down that night and made a promise to myself that I would never do this to my kids again. And the hard part was that it wasn’t a bad thing.

But, I would never again make plans the morning-of in fear of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). I would stick to routines and schedules that work for our family and I would say, “no, thank you,” to things, making more room for other “yes’s.”

I did the chaos that day. I created it. I made myself flustered, angry, and frustrated, and in turn did the same to my kids. Who then felt pushed aside, stressed, and G was embarrassed over peeing her pants. So now, as much as I want to still say “Yes” to the last minute invites to the park (or even the week-out invites to the zoo), I sometimes say “no,” and that’s OK. I want to be secure enough in who I am to say NO. To not be afraid of FOMO. That’s something God and I have really worked on over the past year.

He has worked so many wonders in my heart on this subject. He has given me this  specific word and His, in knowing that I am already secure in who He has made me. The word that I heard from Him was Confidence. Confidence first in who He is, in how I should trust Him, and who He has made me to be.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the time I got to spend with my girl friends that day- it’s the price I paid to do it. And my kids are worth more than that price. They deserve better from me. And I can do better. I’m sure you have all been in a similar situation. I am telling you right now, it’s OK to say “not today.” Our crazy lives are chaotic enough without us adding to it. Slow down today, and tomorrow, and the next, and make space for the beautiful in the mundane to happen. I promise you’re not missing out.


Welling Over

The woman at the well is a very popular story told all over church congregations and in Christian circles world wide. We have all heard it preached or touched on.

Jesus is at the well in Samaria resting while the disciples head into town to find food. Now, it’s the middle of the day in the desert, the sixth hour, that means it’s HOT! I’m not talking it’s a little hot… It’s the desert. I personally have never been to the desert, but I can imagine that it’s not very pleasant. It’s the kind of hot and dry that keeps us indoors in the summer. The kind of HOT that melts ice cream in a moment and leaves you sticky and unsatisfied.

So, it’s the sixth hour and Jesus is hanging out at this well. The women of the town have collected their water in the early morning when it’s not yet this hot. Smart women! Who wants to go carry heavy water in the desert when it gets warmer during the day? Not this girl! So along comes a woman, in the middle of the day, to collect her water.

Why is she coming in the heat of the day to get her water?

Because all of the other women have left at this point and won’t be there. She has no desire to be around them. To be around the women that would judge her; that would talk about her behind her back (or in front of her, for that matter). Have you ever walked into a room or conversation and all of the chatter comes to sudden halt? And you just feel icky, and know that the conversation might have been about you? That’s how I imagine this woman feeling when she goes to the well in the morning with all the other women. She feels alone, judged, misunderstood, and out of place.

Can you relate? I can.

You see, this woman has now had 5 husbands and the man she’s living with now is not her husband. In that time this was NOT OK. You didn’t live with men unless they were your husband or a family member. You also didn’t typically get married more than once. Also, women were not really spoken to by men. So imagine her surprise when Jesus starts speaking to her and asking her for a drink.

I could imagine her turning and looking around to make sure he was really talking to her, and not someone else. Like when you think someone is waving at you, and you wave back, and then realize they are waving at someone behind you, and it gets real weird for all parties involved…!

And then Jesus does the unthinkable by asking her for a drink of water. He asks a Samaritan (who the Jews did not speak to) woman (who the men did not speak to) for a drink. The crazy thing is that He knows all of her sins. He knows exactly who she is. He is God, He is all knowing! She doesn’t understand, and asks Him why he has nothing to draw water with himself? Jesus goes on to to say to her “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

The woman stands there dumbfounded! Not only does Jesus have nothing to draw water from the well with, but what “living water” is he talking about? She asks him if he is greater than Jacob, the man who built the well. Until this point, Jacob has been the one to look to. Jesus explains to her that “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”


This request is simple. She still has no idea that she is talking to Christ, but the idea of never being humanly thirsty again and never having to come to this well in the middle of the day again sounds so sweet to her that she asks for it right then and there. It’s then that Jesus tells her that he knows all her sins. About her many husbands and the man she lives with now. She thinks he may be a prophet. She knows that the Messiah is coming. She tells him this. She has a full understanding of what she has heard up until this point. That Christ will come and “He will tell us all things.” That’s what she says to Jesus.

John 4:25- The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.”

I can’t imagine what she must be trying to process in this moment. This guy knows everything about me and he says he has living water, that I will never be thirsty again??? Who is this man?

He then says (probably very cool-ly) “I who speak to you am he.”

This sweet woman then drops her water jar! Can you see it falling to her dirty and dry feet as she realizes who she is speaking to? The water splashing all over the ground and her taking off towards town? The NLT version of the bible says that she “ran back to the village, telling everyone.”

She RAN, in the heat of the day because she was welling over with living water. She RAN back to the town where she has been mocked, left alone, pushed away, disgraced, and unaccepted, to tell these people about Jesus! The very people who she made a point to steer clear of by gathering her water in the heat of the day.  She couldn’t contain herself. And they all listened. They all went and believed.

This woman was a sinner and Jesus chose her to RUN and tell everyone about him. He could have picked anyone from that town. He could have gotten there in the early morning and sat with all the other women who would have been there filling their water jars. But he waited for that sinner. That lost woman, needing a friend, a savior, and living water, so that she would never be thirsty again.

I love that Jesus uses the stories of the sinners to speak to this world. He wants your mess because he is BIGGER than it. He covers it and the moment you grasp that you will have no choice but to well over with that living water and splash it on everyone else. Oh my gosh, LORD give me that water! I don’t want to contain it! I want to drop my jar of problems at my feet, at your feet, in the heat of the day and RUN to the people who despise me, to tell them about you! I want to cast aside all my fear of judgment because you are the ultimate judge. Lord let my life well over with your living water.




3 is the magic number

A while back I got the privilege to meet baby Sawyer! I have been photographing this sweet family since Avery, their oldest was 3 months old! That was almost 5 years ago now!

I have always had a wonderful time with this sweet family. I was so excited to find out that they would be having another baby. And you guys, he is so crazy loved by his big sisters.

We did Sawyers session in the studio when he was about about 6 days old! The perfect age for a newborn session.

I love the light in the studio for newborn sessions. It is so fresh and bright and life giving. Happy spring!




The Stair Climber

It was just a typical day, a very normal morning at the gym. I have come to love my workout time and really look forward to going to the gym! I get time with a girl friend or all alone with my podcasts and my kids typically have a blast playing in the kids area! I have found I am a better person when I get to workout on a regular basis. I don’t know if it’s something to do with the serotonin or some hormone that gets released (I’m no doctor), but I think that’s a thing right?

Back to the gym… I hopped on the stair climber to warm up and was soon joined by a friend. We only know one another at the gym and have never actually hung out outside of that.

We started talking about life and how one another is doing, what we have been up to and the weather. Then she asked me a few questions about my age, the kids I have and my husband. When she found out how many years we have been married she actually asked me “so you still like, “like” him and everything?”  This question actually shocked me! I was taken back by the response. But, in chewing on it for some time now, I think I understand.

My response that day was “YES.”

Yes, I actually still like him.

Yes, we are actually still happy.

Yes, I actually like him more now than I did the day I married him.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

However, I think she was taken back by my response. I think she expected me to start on a rabbit trail of all the ways he has made me angry, all the ways he has disappointed me and let me down.  How we look happy, but really he is super annoying and I do everything!!!

I think that it’s the norm to speak poorly about our husbands. That has been the norm for quite some time. And please hear me when I say that I am guilty of it, too. I have joined in on the husband bashing, the talking about him as though he is a child, so please know that I have been there too.

But what if we started to change that? Looking back on any conversation I have had with friends about how unhelpful my husband has been, or the latest fight we have been in; What kind of picture are they getting of him? Definitely not the one that I want them to see. I want them to know that he is so good! That he works crazy hard for us, that he is a great encourager and father. That he has a super big heart and that he is always willing and wanting to hear me.

I know that for a lot of women they don’t have a great spouse for one reason or another, and for that I am so sorry. And I pray that you can get help and help for your marriage.

But, for the good guys, let’s talk about them like they are good guys! Because they are! I can’t imagine how I would feel if I found out that Jason was bashing me to a group of his friends. Telling them about all the places that I fall short in being a good wife and mother. Because beleive me- I fall super short every day.

What if we changed the way we spoke about our spouse? That it became the norm to lift them up, to tell others how great they are. Not to make them jealous, but to just tell the truth. This sweet woman who asked me that question is single. What kind of example are we, as married women, setting for those next generation of wives? Do we want them to think that marriage is no fun, that it’s a bunch of nagging and complaining about the guy you said you would love forever?

Or, can we give them a different picture? Can we tell them how good they are?

My marriage is not perfect, because when two imperfect people get married they will have an imperfect marriage. But, it is a good marriage. We talk about a lot, set time aside for each other, and most of all, lift each other up when we are down. Can you imagine not only what your marriage could look like, but what this culture we live in would look like if we all spoke kindly about one another?!

I want the next generation of wives to be excited about nights at home with their husband. About the years to come spent getting to know just one person and how intimate that is.

What it’s like to serve one another daily, not just in our acts, but also in our words!

Yes my husband screws up, but so do I.

So the next time you’re asked about your spouse, take a moment to remember your shortcomings first- How you don’t measure up to the grace that you have received, before you speak poorly of them. Then, speak good words about him. Kind, loving words and watch how your mind toward his shortcomings will change.