We’re low key people. Rarely do we do big parties to celebrate, and if we do, they are never fussy. Most of the time we prefer a day of fun, spent with immediate family or a friend or two. Today we had a blast as we celebrated Daniel’s Birthday!


First stop of the day, a beach gathering with friends! Daniel lazed on the beach, carving out the perfect seat in the sand and dozing with his hat over his face. Doozer and I headed down to the shore and splashed around in the COLD water with his new super long leash.

My sweet friend Nicki took these of us (minus the first selfie) and I love them. After lunch and some sunshine, we headed to an ice cream shop for some sweets for the drive home.

daniel_cakeAfter a nice nap, Daniel played his latest video game while I ran out for pizza and cake. I lit a candle, sang him a song, and the birthday boy blew out the candle. With our tummies full of goodness, we were ready for our last adventure of the day…


…Pinball! About a year ago we were introduced to a guy who owns a garage and once a week in the evenings, he opens up the backroom where he keeps about a dozen pinball machines on free play. It’s like a Daniel dreamland. We spent a while hanging out and enjoying vintage game play.

I love our little family. We have such a wonderful time just being together and doing the things we love. I’m glad that we have the chance to celebrate each other and the joy we find in the little moments of just being who we are.

Written by the wife of the most awesome birthday boy in the world,


Alright… I’m pretty sure that infant photography is my favorite out of portraiture. It takes a lot of patience and a calm presence, but man, it’s amazing when you get to capture beauty like this.

Meet Sweet Miss E. She was born just a couple weeks ago and I was honored to visit the hospital and later her home to take these precious images. She still had that newborn whimper cry that just makes your heart melt. She was VERY alert for someone so brand new. You can’t help but wonder what she’ll learn and who she’ll become.
Miss EIMG_6195

IMG_6260IMG_6345Miss E-2


I’m considering this all great practice for a day not too far in the future. <3

Your blissfully happy photographer and waiting adoptive Mommy,


My friend, Andrea, is super awesome. She has a fun, smart, and easygoing personality that keeps me laughing and thinking. When she found out she was expecting, it was an amazing surprise. They’d been hoping for a child for years and I was so excited that I grabbed our friend, Maryanne, and we giddily started plotting the perfect shower for her!

After about two seconds of talking to Andrea about her shower, it was clear we were both on the same page that something different would be welcome. Since their having a boy, visions of mustaches danced in my head! Luckily both Andrea and Maryanne were on board with my wacky idea, and when the day came, all the awesomeness came together, including THE best group of friends. All the mustaches in the world could not be more wonderful than our friends and their witty, fun, and smart personalities! Thanks SO much to Maryanne for being my partner in creating such a FUN night!

A Few Details:

Our friend and marvelous baker, Sarah, made these DELICIOUS, handsome cupcakes! Chocolate and chocolate, drizzled with caramel. SO yummy!


Our only game, which was the perfect bit of trivia, laughs, and nostalgia, is below. We found the game on http://patandlindsay.blogspot.com and it was so perfect, we could not resist. There were a couple of ‘staches that even full size we couldn’t ID, so we made a substitution. I was surprised how many everyone knew! Maryanne found this awesome mug which was awarded to our winner!


Maryanne is an amazing quilter and crafted this beauty. I love the combo of mustache and typewriter fabrics! Anyone who owns one of her masterpieces should count themselves extremely lucky!


Andrea’s husband, Drew, is always smartly dressed and with a couple of these darling outfits, the new baby will be styling just like his daddy!


Photo Booth:

I’ve decided that a successful photo booth requires guests unafraid of embracing silliness. We were not lacking in silliness. Evidence below!





Advice Book:

We designed this little book for Andrea, including advice on how to be a gentleman for sweet little baby boy and the photo booth photos (with some detail shots thrown in and pretty, pretty scrapbook paper). If you’d like to use our book for your event, here’s the cover, back cover, and advice page.

Please visit Daniel and Christy's adoption website at http://amalg.us.
 Please visit Daniel and Christy's adoption website at http://amalg.us.
Please visit Daniel and Christy's adoption website at http://amalg.us.

Please visit Daniel and Christy's adoption website at http://amalg.us.
Please visit Daniel and Christy's adoption website at http://amalg.us.

Please visit Daniel and Christy's adoption website at http://amalg.us.


Maryanne and I sewed bow ties and pocket squares for each favor and included a See’s chocolate cigar and world map journal. Preparing and assembling these, made for the most FUN day! Maryanne declared the following on Facebook, “If there was a competition for improvised craft projects, Christy and I would take the rest of you DOWN!”. lol

Please visit Daniel and Christy's adoption website at http://amalg.us.

Please visit Daniel and Christy's adoption website at http://amalg.us.

I love, love, love my friends and I’m so excited for Andrea’s handsome little gentleman to make grand entrance!!!


Right to Left: Maryanne, Andrea, and Me <3

Always Dapper and Darling, your perspective adoptive Momma,


A beautiful spring day spent at the temple with my dear friend, Nancy. Spending the day at such a peaceful place with the symbols of hope blooming around the grounds. Perfection.

Please visit Daniel and Christy's adoption website at http://amalg.us.

Please visit Daniel and Christy's adoption website at http://amalg.us.

Please visit Daniel and Christy's adoption website at http://amalg.us.

Please visit Daniel and Christy's adoption website at http://amalg.us.

Wake Up Call: The Macarena begins to play on the CD Alarm Clock. Christy usually asks sleepily for, “One more Macarena,” which translates to “Please press the snooze button.”

Up and At ‘Em: Christy takes Doozer out to the backyard and dishes up his breakfast. Daniel raids the fridge for “orts” which is what Daniel and his family call leftovers. (Christy’s aside: I just learned learned that it is an actual thing! Via Free Dictionary: An ort is a morsel or remaining scrap; orts is another name for leftovers. Ingenious!)

Catch Ya Later: A kiss goodbye for Christy and a parting pet for Doozer, then Daniel gets on the road to work wearing his casual Friday attire. Every day is casual Friday when you work at a video game company!

Daniel's Romantic Comedy Worthy Shot

Work It: Daniel gets settled in with emails and files, while Christy and Doozer jog to the dog park.

Late Morning: Read, study, create: Christy charges up her mind and spirit. Daniel checks in with Christy via email. His day is going smoothly and he’s ahead of schedule on his workload.

Lunch Time: Daniel eats his usual lunch: a corn dog, fruit snacks, string cheese, and peanut butter sandwich crackers. Christy starts to think about what to do about dinner while munching on “this and that” which usually comprises of raw veggies, cheese, some deli meat, and crackers. We both eat like toddlers at lunch. Do you ever outgrow goldfish crackers? We didn’t think so.

Christy and Daniel

Home Maintenence: Doozer can’t make up his mind. Is he curious or cautious of the vacuum cleaner? He’ll investigate while Christy starts on her beloved chore chart. Checking things off? Totally Satisfying.

Clock Out: Daniel logs off the computer at work and packs his bag. On the commute home, he listens to classic rock. Led Zeppelin gets cranked up.

Dinner Time: Doozer greets Daniel at the door and Daniel attempts to communicate with some “woofs”. Doozer begins his stretching routine, so Daniel wanders to the kitchen to find Christy. The odds are good what’s on the stove has a Mexican flare. Spanish Rice? Burritos? Fajitas? Taco Salad? Probably. Unless it’s March. Corned Beef and Cabbage will be in the crock pot a few times that month.

Artsy portrait of Christy being held by Daniel

Time Together: We catch up on the rest of the day and figure out what we should do with the weekend. Doozer goes belly up and gets lots of rubs. We find something good on Netflix or go for a walk around the block. We love just hanging out.

Wind Down: Christy “takes out her eyeballs” or what normal people refer to as “removing contact lenses”. Jammies go on and blankets are broken out for snuggling. We get a little reading in. Daniel is reading a sci fi novel or catching up on the news. Christy is set up with the latest book club pick.

 Christy Telling Daniel a Juicy Seret

Lights out: Doozer gets a few pounces out of his squeaky ball before it rolls under the bed. He wanders over to his spot and flops down with a sigh. We chuckle and imagine him saying to himself, “But I was still playing with that.”

Catching Z’s: Sometime during the night, Doozer howls in tandem with an emergency vehicle within earshot. He does it as quietly as possible. He’s a polite puppy.

Every Moment of the Day: Prepping for the hour we’ve been chosen and we’ll start a whole new routine with the child that will instantly multiply the love and joy we have.

Enjoying life one adventure at a time, your favorite future adoptive Momma and Daddy,

Daniel and Christy

This past weekend, I taught a little class to a group at the local 4-H club. My friend, her husband, and her teenage daughters all work there, carrying for their animals and working together as a family with their friends and community. They asked me to come and share a little about photography. Everyone attending had different types of cameras, from SLRs, point and shoots, to camera phones, so I decided to focus on tips that work for any type of camera.

Since I was teaching at the barn without access to tech for a presentation, I decided to make a handout to help with the visuals. So… now you get the handout, too! (Kinda… I changed it up for the web.) Don’t you love my little bubble figures? lol

Hope it helps you take photos you are proud to share!

How To Take Better Pictures With Any Camera

Your shutter happy, prospective adoptive momma,


When I was in high school, I used to hang flowers and my dance corsages from my ceiling. My mother told me it was morbid, although I think I was the only one of her four children who didn’t go through a goth phase. *wink*

Still, it seemed the best way to me to allow them to dry so I could enjoy them a little longer. I endured her eye rolling and head shaking until the process was done and I could take them down to put with my movie ticket stubs and notes from friends as we passed in hallways.

I enjoyed laying in bed looking up at them, so I would leave them up a little longer if the mood struck me. They seemed romantic to me, their petals becoming more fragile and their colors becoming more muted and antiqued.


These are some of the roses Daniel bought for me for our anniversary a couple weeks ago. Watching them wilt was heartbreaking and I was about to throw them out when I remembered the hanging flowers in my adolescent bedroom. I hurried to find some thread and I began to string up the blooms that were still well intact.

Of course the most out of the way and puppy safe place to hang them was in the nursery.


The nursery doesn’t get much traffic these days, except during times when I need to be alone, to cry or pray. Or both. It seemed like letting the roses hang here was a way of making sure I continue to go in, and leave good thoughts there as I enjoy my anniversary roses some more. It might seem silly, but I sort of feel like the more positive thoughts and feelings that fill the room the more likely we might bring our baby home to us sooner. Superstitious? Maybe. Or maybe I just need to sit in a room filled with dreams and love.

The flowers hanging from my ceiling as a teen were ethereal mementos of love, friendship, and hope. That’s how they feel to me now, too.


Your Dreamy and Romantic Future Adoptive Mommy,


5x7-0005 copy

Giveaway Closed

This time of year, as we celebrate with friends and family, I am constantly reminded of the true beauty of the season. Daniel and I have a testimony of Christ, our Savior. We celebrate and treasure His humble birth, sinless life, selfless sacrifice, and eternal glory.

Daniel and I aren’t perfect people. We made mistakes, just as all do, but we have hope through Christ that we can find forgiveness. We have His example to follow, so that we can keep trying to become better people and of better service to our Father in Heaven.

This photograph is of a nativity that we display in our living room year round. We keep it out because it serves as a reminder to always be grateful and mindful of how blessed we are to have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives.

As a gift this season, Daniel and I would like to offer this photograph to all those who would like it. Please leave a comment with your email address before December 23, 2012 by 9pm PST and we will send you a file for a 5×7 copy of this image to print or use online.

We would be grateful if you would share our website, blog, or facebook page with your friends and family. Each share helps to bring us closer to finding the person who will help make our dreams of adopting a child come true.

Blessing to you and yours this Christmas! May your hearts and homes be warm and merry!

We remain your ever hopeful, prospective adoptive parents,

Christy and Daniel

Daniel and Christy on Stairs

The last time Daniel and I had someone follow us around with a camera was almost 9 years ago, on the day we were married. Needless to say, we were LONG overdue for some new family photos. We are fortunate to have a nice collection of snapshots thanks to friends and family, but thanks to our friend, Leia, we have some amazing photos to print and share!

Daniel, Christy, and Doozer on StairsDaniel and Christy LaughingDaniel and ChristyChristy and Daniel Holding Each OtherDaniel and Christy sitting on the DockDaniel kissing Christy's foreheadDoozer with his FamilyChrisy, Daniel, and Doozer

We’re so grateful to have each other and so happy that Leia was able to capture our love for each other! Thank you Leia!!!

Kinda and ChristyI just got back from a trip to visit one of my best friends, Kindra, and her family. I used to watch her little girl before she could walk on Wednesday nights while Kindra went to martial arts classes.

Christy and the Kiddos

Each time she came to pick her daughter up, we would end up talking, each time we ended up talking a little longer. It wasn’t long before we were best friends.

When the they all moved to Missouri in July, I was heartbroken. Daniel and I had been to birthday parties and to the hospital when their youngest was born. Kindra and I would get together at least once a week to go shopping, have dinner, or just hang out. It was a rough time for me when they all said goodbye.

Luckily I had a few vacation days saved up and so I flew out to visit them last week! It was so great to spend some time together! They were due for some family photos, so we headed out to their property where the are working on building their dream house. It’s GORGEOUS!

FamilyThe KiddosMartin and KindraSmith Family

Aren’t they SOOoooOOOooo cute?

Being a California girl, I haven’t had much opportunity to get a real taste of Autumn. I could see the beautiful trees from the airplane and I enjoyed the the whole visit. I even was treated to a thunderstorm! =)

Kindra and I went to see Les Miserables at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis. I had forgotten how beautiful a live orchestra sounds. I miss being part of the musical world sometimes. I should remember to take time to enjoy it more.

Another day we ran around the City Museum in St. Louis. It was so strange and wonderful. We crawled through crazy tunnels, watched a magic show, and made creatures out of clay.

Kindra and Kiddo #1Martin and Kiddo #2Kiddo #2

On the last full day of my visit, Kindra and her sister in law pulled off a big homemade Birthday Carnival for five of the kids in the family. There were tons of games, activities, a prize table, and I got to man the photo booth. Here’s one of my favorites. =)

Carnival Photo BoothThere were some more tears when I had to leave again, but seeing them in their new home with family around, I’m happy for them. They live in a beautiful place, surrounded by love. What better place is there?

Kindra and Christy