am i ready for school to start?

my three youngest daughters start back to school wednesday.

madison is actually duel-enrolling this year, which means she’s taking language arts at the high school and then all other classes at a local college. next year at this time, she’ll enter college as a freshman but with a sophmore status due to the credits she will have learned.

emily will be a junior & is beyond fired up excited because she has “great classes” with “all” her friends. “even lunch“.

caroline- who i am starting to wonder if i can even refer to as “little bit” because her legs are five feet long and sometimes at just the right angle she looks like she’s closer to 15 than 11-will head to 7th grade. and while most of us would never refer to middle school as being our favorite season of life, she’s got a great group of friends and her cheerful-all-the-time disposition will carry her far.

savannah is knee deep in rush week over at UGA. we moved her into a house-a house for crying out loud-this weekend. she’s loving life and i couldn’t imagine her any happier.

so am i ready for school to start? and i ready for school to start back, with it’s busy schedule and early to bed? with it’s homework and projects and deadlines? and with its long hours?


nope. no way jose. not a chance. no.

i’ll try to sum it up for you in one sentence. or as close to one sentence as possible.

i’m not ready for school to start back because the ages my girls are right now are the ages where they’re gone enough as it is…and i wanna be with them and i truly enjoy being with them.

one’s in college. two have jobs. three have cars. one has a boyfriend. they’re gone enough as it is. so waking up early and bustling around to get ready for school….and then being gone all day….followed by coming home or heading to a job….followed by homework and business….just makes them gone even more.

i love time together with my girls, who are growing up and piercing their nose & renting homes faster than you can say “let’s save money for 4 weddings”…and i value, higher than any other calling on my life, how i am raising them up….

so shift gears with me for a second…

i’ve been blogging for, i don’t know, 5 or 6 years? i’ve been so fortunate that the amount of snarky comments i’ve received i can count on one hand. and honestly except for the reader that told me i should send the money i would spend on vacationing in the gulf i should just donate to the businesses in the gulf during the oil spill, i’ve forgotten them.

i think if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you know i basically am an open book. i chose to come sit here and open this little lap top, log into my wordpress and journal my thoughts. i’m not a life coach, i don’t have any advanced degrees, i’m clearly not a specialist in psychology or finance, and i can’t tell you who the leader of Zimbabwe is. which is exactly why i named my blog Simple Thoughts. i come here & share my heart. i share my failures. i share my new shoes. i share my girls accomplishments. i share my weaknesses and my fears. for crying out loud, i practically share my bra size & how many carbs i eat on any given day. i share simple thoughts. are they right or wrong? are they the “all” of every story-ummm no.

so when i received a comment, not an email sent in private, but a comment from a reader who pointed out an area she “was bothered” with how i handled it or shared it or spoke it or whatever and that she “can’t help but wonder about whether or not you are doing a disservice to your daughters” and “mind you I really don’t mean this to be offensive, but I really can’t help but wonder what the message is you are sending to your girls?” i really was indeed offended.

you see, to call me out on my personal blog, the majority of which is just me opening the book of my life and sharing, and accuse me of doing something that is a disservice to my children is nothing short of offensive and clearly a personal attack  for a blogger what i would consider “in public”.  a low blow. not because i think i’m perfect but because i have shared through this blog, that i am anything but perfect.

and the principle that she was “bothered” with really isn’t the issue to me.

i think i’m an encouraging person. i’m usually aware enough of the log in my own eye that calling out the log  in the eye of someone else is something i would hope i would not do. to a veritable stranger no less.

what bothered me is this. i love my girls and i love my husband, but i love jesus more. and  i love jesus because i am so unworthy of his love yet he gives it regardless. i know i’m a sinner. a sinner with a past and poor choices and inability to make wise financial choices. he loves me inspite of myself. he loves me with my history and baggage and bad decisions. he loves me despite the fact that when i got really angry while we were on vacation i said every single cuss word i know ( only to dan, not towards dan. but still). he loves me regardless of if i wear designer shoes or whether i laddled soup at the homeless shelter today. he loves me whether i made a hot breakfast for my family or recited psalm 119. and because he loves me and gave his life for me and all my sins and failures and poor decisions,  i would never want to be a stumbling block  (which is basically how i took the aforementioned comment) to anyone because of myself.especially my daughters.

does that make sense?

so i don’t want them to go back to school because i’d rather live out my days worry free on the gulf coast eating shrimp and drinking mango margaritas and dreaming of a trip to africa with my favorite people right beside me. tanned of course. no car repairs and failing air conditioners. no cancer or sickness. no unexpected bills. no worries. i want to die in my sleep side by side with my husband when we’re like 100 years old or something like that. i don’t want to color my roots or have pap smears and mammograms. i want to sing along with chris tomlin & need to breathe and pretend my voice sounds like christy nockels. i want all my girls and all my future grandbabies to know that love of jesus that never fails and will never leave us. and will i get it right all the time? heavens no. seldom, is more like it. but i hope that my girls know i’m only human and if they remember that, and keep their eyes on jesus & his life and what his word says, we’ll all have a happy ending.

the end. & now i need to go buy school supplies…

(all images shot in Alys Beach)

August 4, 2013 - 5:32 pm

Paige - GIRLFRIEND!!!! You said that oh so well!! I’ right there with you!! And keep on sharing that precious hear of yours!! I can’tvwait to follow along as these girls all start getting married!!!:)

August 4, 2013 - 5:38 pm

Charla - So sorry you had to endure such a negative comment! Clearly, this person doesn’t understand your heart. I have been reading for about a year and have never commented…but I felt I needed to today so you could read something positive!

On a side note…my 4 year old son just walked in as I was scrolling through the pictures in this post. His exact words: “Ooh, pretty girls! They live in Georgia?” (We live in Suwanee. I’ll be contacting you soon to schedule a photo shoot!)

Virtual hugs to my sweet sister in Christ who shines for Jesus!

August 4, 2013 - 5:44 pm

Maria - Amen sister! You have a beautiful blog, a beautiful ministry. Don’t ever change…don’t let satan discourage you.
As far as the girls growing up, yikes. A college co-ed, a senior, a junior and a 7th grader at home. When did that happen? The next few years will be busy for you. I’ll be praying for you, possibly over multiple margaritas (not in the same evening, of course:).
In totally unrelated news, I did want to say, I had my first mammogram the other day. Why didn’t you tell me that I would be squished so much, I would lose all perk that wasn’t sucked out when I nursed my babies? YIKES. That was quite an experience. I may never be the same. LOL.
Have fun shopping for school supplies.

August 4, 2013 - 6:14 pm

Peach - Love you friend!!
I love to read your blog because you’re real!!!
For Pete’s sake if she doesn’t like how you you do things…she doesn’t have to read your blog…
Don’t forget I have 4 young men about your daughters ages

August 4, 2013 - 6:14 pm

Margaret Esterer - I have read your blog for a year and never commented! You handled that well. Your testimony and ministry through this blog touch many people and u have shared it with friends who are raising children and making it through life day by day! Thank you for sharing your simple thoughts with us and opening your Christ filled heart. Don’t let the devil’s distraction bring you down.

August 4, 2013 - 6:23 pm

Sheri - That just burns my butt. Tell the nosy mean jealous …… To stay off your page. Or tell me who it is and let me tell her. After the kidney stone weekend I’ve had with sav I’m more than ready to tell someone off!!!!! Love you sweet friend.

August 4, 2013 - 6:26 pm

Micah - Hey Paige!
I started following you just recently on Instagram and I love your blog. Let me say as a twenty-something that no too long ago transitioned from daughter to wife and mommy- you are an incredible mom! I often read your posts hoping to be so clearly delighted in my children when they are teens! I don’t know what that reader thought you did that was a disservice to your girls but your way of mothering has certainly been a huge service to me to read! I love reading the perspective of a mom who genuinely likes and wants to edify and encourage her girls! Just wanted to let you know you are a delightful blogger and an encouragement to this new mom to make the most of my time with my kids while I can!
To sum it up- you seem to ENJOY your girls and that’s a beautiful thing!
Thanks for blogging!

August 4, 2013 - 6:49 pm

Heather - Paige, you are such an encouragement and positive voice to the moms and fellow believers here in blog land! Thank you for all your “simple thoughts”. We love you and your precious family!

August 4, 2013 - 6:54 pm

Nancy H - I love you! The End

August 4, 2013 - 6:59 pm

Hannah - one of your best posts!!! i love how you are with your girls..and how honest you are about everything else! we start on wed. too…and i’m more upset than the kids! 🙁

August 4, 2013 - 7:00 pm

Beverly - Your heart is clearly written in your blog. You love Jesus, your family, care for many others, see the good in people, etc. This is always evident to me in your blog. There are people in this world who are bitter, think they and they only know what is best for everyone, when really they are so very lost.
I am sorry this person has said these things to you and know you are upset because you CARE so much for your family. My husband tells me whenever I get angry about something at work that it is because I care. I think he is correct about this and I am sure the same can be said for you.
I do not know you other than through your blog and instagram but I can tell I would like you in person.
I am sending encouragement your way to know you do not ever come across as anything but a loving, wife, mother, friend, wonderful photographer, kind person. Keep these words and forget those that are not supportive of you.

August 4, 2013 - 7:07 pm

Debbie - I love your blog. I enjoy your photography and watching your girls grow. You inspire me. My daughter has encouraged me to start a blog and deep down I want to but I have been a chicken. Thank you for putting your life experiences out there for us to read and learn from.

August 4, 2013 - 7:25 pm

heather - i love you so much. the end.
OH! AND ALSO – I want to be just like you. you are an amazing mother. we can all see it. your girls are so blessed to have you to call their own.
I just love how real you are. you are THE BEST!

August 4, 2013 - 7:35 pm

Kate - — well said-mrs.paige 🙂
I’m a recent college grad–24 and I read your “simple thoughts” every post. I come to your blog for your honest, humble words and heart.
I grew up in a house with 2 sisters, a stepfather and a mother that reminds me so much of you it’s crazy! I can relate to your stories and that’s why I keep coming back. I think you’re pretty dang great if I must say so myself. So real-so relatable-ever encouraging and uplifting- I give you five out of five stars and your beautiful daughters are blessed to call you momma!! Have a great evening enjoying precious time with your girls!! Can’t wait for the next “simple thought”!!

August 4, 2013 - 7:48 pm

Beverly - Paige-I am just an unknown follower of your blog – found you through your photography- but I love your writings from the heart! You are someone I would love to befriend if we lived in the same town. Usually people criticize because of jealousy – you have a beautiful family, daughters and heart. The thing that makes it beautiful is not the outward beauty, but the writings from the heart that displays your love of Jesus. He makes you beautiful. You just go on displaying that beauty -there will always be naysayers!

August 4, 2013 - 7:54 pm

Destiny - Paige:

I am grieved, grieved for you…

When I am hurt or offended, I have to ask the Lord to remove the offense from both my heart and head, because if I don’t, I hold on to it t.i.g.h.t.l.y, and it stays there tucked away in the recesses ready to come forward when I want to prove a point or remind someone of my hurt/disappointment/pain. I then work on recovering. I’m embarrassed to admit that I need/have to recover, but words, they have power and people should think twice before speaking, or in this case, typing.

You are all things good and holy, sweet and funny, and Velveteen Rabbit real,


August 4, 2013 - 7:57 pm

Julie - Paige,
Words of advice…don’t stew on hurtful comments for another minute! I work in a church as a children’s music director and deal with many parents and families. More than once I’ve been knocked out by a christian for failures that I supposedly have. My boss/mentor/friend reminds me that stewing on it only hurts me- it takes my focus off of what God has planned for me to do and tears down the kingdom instead of building it up. Believe me, this people pleasing person knows how hard it is to stop obsessing about what others think/say- but when I overcome it, I can be the confident woman that God created me to be. Don’t let an insensitive stranger steal the focus. Our Happily Ever After is the focus! Hugs and prayers!

August 4, 2013 - 8:06 pm

Tina - Well, well! I guess there are ” perfect” moms out there, that never get upset, or cuss! Me and you just aren’t one of them! Lol oh Paige, I love following you and your wonderful family! I love reading about your struggles, and your triumphs, and your love of Jesus! Never slow your roll! 🙂

August 4, 2013 - 8:06 pm

Jill - Well, you’re a rockstar. Because I say so.

August 4, 2013 - 8:09 pm

Heather Crawford - Paige, I have been reading your blog for awhile now and if I had to cut my reading down to 5 blogs, yours would be one of them. I love how transparent you are and I love to hear what you have to say…not that I don’t have my own thoughts, but because I identify with you…please don’t let unkind words keep you from sharing…”Haters always gonna hate”…and that’s just real life..someone is always going to have something to say about something….I love your blog and get inspiration from you (and being from Atlanta, hope to meet you maybe one day 🙂 or have you take our family photos)…..

August 4, 2013 - 8:11 pm

Lucinda - Paige,
I’m with the others don’t waste time thinking about the negative people. I have two daughters and I understand the struggles raising girls brings and the joy too. And I’m with you about school starting so early. Our’s doesn’t start in Dallas till the 26th.

Thanks for always sharing so freely.

August 4, 2013 - 8:16 pm

Lori H - Hi Paige. Mean commenters stink. Let me just say that I am always excited to see a new post on your blog as you are such an encourager and an inspiration. Please don’t stop sharing your heart with us! You are a role model for me, and Jesus just shines right out of you 🙂 You never claim to be perfect and really try to make your readers comfortable. I have never met you, but I would be so proud to claim you as a friend and a sister in Christ. Love and hugs to you <3

August 4, 2013 - 8:31 pm

Staci - LOVE this post! You are one amazing Mom! I can always count on an honest, encouraging post from you. Not ready for my 3 to go back either!

August 4, 2013 - 8:42 pm

Rebecca Glenn - Oh Paige! It makes me sad to think you’ve been upset by these unkind comments. My dad used to tell me I couldn’t please everyone all the time, and that’s I think that’s true. By the way, I think you’re a fantastic mother and an inspiration to the rest of us! Thanks for letting us into your world. (Oh and by the way, I’ve got a confession to make. Earlier this summer, you walked into Flip Burger with your family, and I was there also with my family. I was so starstruck that I’m sure I creeped you out staring. I tried not to (really I did!), but I’m afraid I may have! I didn’t want to bother you and your precious family. Thanks for not calling the police!) Just “keep on the sunny side” and everything will be okay!

August 4, 2013 - 8:48 pm

Sarah L. - Paige did you hear that? It was me giving you a stand ovation (ok sitting) but applause none the less.

I don’t know a perfect mom. We aren’t perfect. I’m leery of those that seem to think they are. There is & will only ever be 1 perfect one and thankfully he’s our savior & loves us with all of our imperfections.

Despite not yet leaving GA (insert huge sigh here) gymnastics rules to much of our time. I’m not ready for school to start. We homeschooled for 3 years, but they are back in school now. But I’m watching the calendar whirl by with our lives and realizing just how soon they’ll be gone & doing their own thing. I do know that my job is to have the ready to do just that, but I enjoy the time with them & can hardly remember life before them.

But I’m not ready either.

Love your photos & your beautiful family.

August 4, 2013 - 8:50 pm

Victoria - Paige,
Growing up, I never have had support or a relationship with my mother. Nothing tragic, she just was never invested in my life, teaching me, or encouraging me. These are some things I have only realized in the past year or so, planning my wedding and seeing the lack of “normal” support that I had from what should be the best mother-daughter time. ALL OF THAT TO SAY… YOU ARE AWESOME. Truly. I continue to come to your blog time after time because I feel like I learn from your posts. I learn what it’s like to be a woman of God, a great mom. You love your girls and your husband so well and it is a constant encouragement to me to see that. I’m only a few years older than Savannah and I can honestly say that you journaling your “simple thoughts” will one day be a tremendous blessing to your girls. One day they will be your age, and able to read of what your experience during that time was like. What an incredible blessing! I just wanted to encourage you and tell you that you are a STELLAR mom and I am thankful to gain some of that motherly wisdom from you via your posts here, and even on instagram. You’re awesome!



August 4, 2013 - 8:53 pm

laurie - Oh Paige, if we could all remember to support each other in our rough times, and not try to take each other down, we could move mountains! Being a mama is the sweetest, most precious, God given gift, hardest dang thing I have ever done, and having a little encouragement from other moms is a must. We all fail sometimes, but the key here is we know it, and call on the Lord to strengthen us and build us up to go on.

If I can encourage you, it would be to keep doing what you’re doing. Your girls are all successful, you have a loving marriage, and a sweet walk with the Lord. If you are like my husband and I, you wait all year for your special trip as a family. We work hard for that time away, and I know you do too. It’s a time of refreshing for everyone. It looks like you had a fabulous time.

May the Lord bless you, Paige.

August 4, 2013 - 9:00 pm

Jess - I’ve been a silent follower for several months now and love reading about your family. I had to comment today and let you know how I’m sorry to hear you had to receive such a negative comment from someone who apparently has nothing better to do. I love your photos and stories – keep up the amazing work!

August 4, 2013 - 9:08 pm

Stephanie Norris - Blessings to you and yours and a happy rush week to Savannah at UGA…an AXO sister here! I knew I liked your blog for some reason! 🙂 I never want summer break to end either – freeze time!

August 4, 2013 - 10:55 pm

D'Nese - YOU.GO.GIRL!! That’s all I can say. Truly, the “person” clearly must have a whole ton of bitterness in their own life. YOU ROCK! Your blog rocks! Your family rocks and I admire you to the moon & back. Do your thing & let the heaters hate.

August 4, 2013 - 10:58 pm

D'Nese - •haters hate not hearters. lol

August 4, 2013 - 11:00 pm

Debra - Paige so sorry that anyone would ever leave negative comments…Very sad to think that someone could even do such a thing. You have a beautiful blog and beautiful spirit. The devil just can’t stand to see how many lives you and your girls touch in a positive way. I love how you are so true and open with all of us mom’s that are just trying to do the best we can with our kids. Be encouraged my friend!

August 4, 2013 - 11:42 pm

Diane Miller - I’m new to your blog and got hooked when reading your post about the 96 year old. Your family is gorgeous and I honestly had a hard time picking you out with the picture of your girls.

August 4, 2013 - 11:54 pm

Cathy G. - Paige!!!!! I read your blog and look at your instagram cause YOUR’E THE REAL DEAL….I love your honesty and your stories you share and I love your style…but I also love your faith…I’ve been a Christian since I was 19 and you truly inspire me in my faith…… I’m 53 and we all need inspiration…so never stop being you!!!!!!

August 5, 2013 - 12:31 am

Lindsay - Paige, you’re a breath of fresh air! Your transparency is the thing that I am blessed by the most! God’s grace and mercy pour from your heart and the real life stories of an imperfect, but absolutely beautiful life are a reflection of Christ’s love for us. Your blog is an avenue to pour your heart right into the lives of readers…and it does just that!

August 5, 2013 - 2:26 am

Sarina - I don’t know you at all but I follow your blog with interest – I love when a new post from you turns up in Bloglovin! Your girls are so lucky to have a mom like you. My mom is intellectually disabled and while I love her, it feels that the parenting roles are reversed quite a lot of the time; I can sense that you are great mom – one who loves, guides, nourishes and encourages your girls… to me, you’re the epitome of a mother!

August 5, 2013 - 5:49 am

Susan Jeffries - Your family is just beautiful. I am sure you are very proud of your lovely daughters. I have one daughter and I am never ready for school to start. I love having her home and not revolving our lives around a rigorous schedule. Moms should be in the business of supporting each other, not judging each other. God is the only one qualified to judge us. Thanks for the sweet post. Blessings, Susan

August 5, 2013 - 9:14 am

Catherine - I love your “Simple Thoughts”, Paige! I love how you lay it all out and are an honest person. I loved all the pics of your beautiful family. I especially love the one with you and your girls. BEAUTIFUL! xo, Catherine

PS, My Madison starts 7th grade on the 14th and I’m sad that summer is coming to an end and that school is starting for the same reasons you have!

August 5, 2013 - 9:46 am

Flower Patch Farmgirl - Those meanies. They make me so mad. It would be nice to think we can just let it go and let it roll off our back…but of course it always stings!

Just be reminded that what you’re doing here is important and lovely. I have no idea what Mrs. Mean was upset about, but you don’t answer to her. Keep on keepin’ on, Sister.


August 5, 2013 - 10:13 am

Holly - I read your blog faithfully but have never commented until now. Just wanted to let you know that I love your realness, your honesty and when you own up to shortcomings or missteps it makes me love you and your blog even more because I can relate. It’s discouraging when you read a blog that’s all sunshine and rainbows and mother of the year trophies because it makes us “normal” folks feel inadequate, like we’re not measuring up. But it’s a blessing to see the sunshine and rainbows with a few rain clouds and tarnish on the trophies because that is real life and what all women and moms out there live in the day to day. Your love for Jesus, your husband and your girls is apparent. Keep doing what you’re doing and sharing it with us cuz we love ya. Haters gonna hate. 🙂

August 5, 2013 - 10:36 am

Mickey - The old saying…”Sticks and Stones” applies to the negative comment person. I love reading about your family, I have 2 married girls, amazing sons-in-law and 2 grandsons that enjoy life. Keep sharing Paige, when I read your blog it makes me feel happy! Fondly,Mickey

August 5, 2013 - 10:42 am

Roxanne - Word!
You go Mamacita.
Don’t you even sweat her and her log 😉
You handled that ever so eloquently. Much more than I would have I’m afraid.
You know me… you know I don’t always comment but I am always here. I am here because you keep it real among other things. Sprinkled with beautiful images and truths.
Don’t go changing 😉

August 5, 2013 - 10:51 am

Gloria - Paige, I started reading your blog about three years ago. I don’t remember how I came across your blog and back then I wasn’t even sure what a blog was but I quickly feel in love with your posts about your family, faith & photography. As a mother of two daughters (12 & 16), I can relate to many of your posts. Please continue to share despite some others critical view.

August 5, 2013 - 11:16 am

Lori Diehl - You are an authentic follower of Jesus Christ! What more could any of us be? He does indeed love us with a gentle, patient, fierce love….so thankful for that! I am raising a 7th grader and a freshman in high school as my sweet hubby of 23 years died of melanoma cancer 5 years ago. My heart’s cry is to be real as I raise these precious girls and show them no matter what, Jesus loves them and every single thing about them. Carry on, for you are such a true inspiration to me and one amazing lady!!

August 5, 2013 - 11:33 am

Kitty - Bless you sweet friend (imaginary internet friend, but friend none-the-less). I love you just the way you are. Raising a God loving family in this day and age is so very difficult and you’re doing a fabulous job. As my daughter, also a UGA junior, often says “haters gonna hate”. Please don’t let those hurtful comments change a single thing you do.

August 5, 2013 - 11:39 am

Madelyn - You are doing a great job!!! The proof is in the photo’ no mind to the person behind the curtain!!!!! You have many fans!!!

August 5, 2013 - 12:02 pm

KC - Just simply put…..I love your blog! I adore you and all
the inspiration I look forward to reading about…whether it’s home decor, photography, to share a recent story or a disagreement between siblings (we have all been there)! Until your next post…..blessings!

August 5, 2013 - 12:03 pm

Veronica - Paige,

I started reading your blog about a year ago and as a fellow woman and mom I think you and your family are inspiring. You and your family are beautiful and I get excited to see new posts from you, keep up all the good work.

August 5, 2013 - 12:28 pm

becky - i’m shocked that someone could say such things… i read your blog and am inspired by the way you are raising your girls. i pray i can be half the mom that you are. much love!

August 5, 2013 - 12:32 pm

effiejane - You go girl! There are LOTS of us who enjoy every word and picture you place on your blog! DO not let negative people take a second of your thoughts! You are doing a GREAT job and you are a GREAT Mom! 🙂

August 5, 2013 - 12:32 pm

Susan W - Again— I will say to you Thank You for being so real and not sugar coating your blog aka your lives when you share with us. There are so many things I (others included maybe?) keep to ourselves because of what someone might think if its taken out of context and you dig yourself a deeper hole trying to fix what you just said. I am thankful to be able to read and look at your life with all that you share and so appreciate YOU! It is so nice to have you share perfect and un or non perfect moments with us and you’re not expecting anything in return. Any rude/bad comments should be kept to themselves and go find another blog that perhaps is more to their liking!!
I love your life sharing moments (maybe more pics of Brinkley?) of the entire family and photos of family, friends and clients that end up become new friends!
Paws up (from my Jack Russells) to you Paige!!

August 5, 2013 - 12:41 pm

Shelley McArdle - Paige,
I have been reading your blog for almost a year. Your “Simple Thoughts” are very inspiring and uplifting, don’t change a thing as I believe, you are truer than true! Have a blessed day =)

August 5, 2013 - 1:46 pm

chrissi - as always, you have me with the photos, but those words today were fierce. and from the heart. and beautiful. just like those photos.♥

August 5, 2013 - 1:51 pm

Kim from 3 peanuts - Okay. I am all kids of worked up reading this!!! I have met you and I have gotten to know your girls a little bit and all of you have your feet planted firmly on the ground. You ALL know what matters in life. Emi and I had some very good conversations that blew me away with her value and morals but I have seen it in Caroline and Madison and Savannah (and Trevor too). I have gotten to know you all and you have the hearts that Jesus wants us to have. I pray that Kare grows up to be like your daughters and I pray that my sons marry girls like your daughters. I mean that from the very bottom of my heart. It literally hurts in my chest right now that someone said these judgmental words to you. Becasue like you, my greatest calling is to raise, good God loving kids and if someone attacks that, they attack my very soul!

You and Dan are amazing parents and I am proud to call you all friends.

August 5, 2013 - 3:03 pm

martha - Paige, you deliver a lovely inspiration here with each post…I LOVE seeing your title in my inbox….You are effective in bringins us beauty, tips, lovely photography, sharing your heart, home, thoughts, and family with us.
Your transparency is dear, thank you!!!!!! You are a light, so you just keep shining it. You are a tuned in, loving, giving mom, wife and follower of our Lord….
I met you at Pearl Strand 2 here in Nashville,,
come to Franklin, i’ll take you to some fun spots for diversion sometime!!!!!
PS I always felt like I had a brick in my tummy every first day of school…I LOVED having my kiddos around!!!!!

August 5, 2013 - 3:17 pm

Vicki - Well, if it makes you feel better, I found your blog through Jones Design Company blog maybe a week ago…and I love it so much that I read some everyday. I’m now on pg. 117! For me to invest this much time reading someone’s personal thoughts, means something. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family and your insightful and genuine heart. Love to you all from way down yonder in New Orleans!

August 5, 2013 - 3:22 pm

linda - oh paige, bless you sweetie and your ‘simple thoughts’ .. which often times are not so very simple, but so very very profound .. bless you for your words, bless you for your heart, bless you for all the time and energy you put into this beautiful and encouraging blog, bless you for your kindness and truthfulness, and bless you for your vulnerability .. always. You are loved and treasured by so many <3

August 5, 2013 - 3:40 pm

Krissy - Paige, I am so sorry someone was unkind. You are an inspiration to all of us out here that are just striving to get it right and live for Him! Keep doing what you are doing. Your girls will thank you for it!

August 5, 2013 - 3:55 pm

Pat F. - Paige, I am so very sorry someone was unkind to you. I started following you just a week ago, and I love how open you are about everything. “DO NOT” let this person stop you from being you, whom we all adore based on the above comments, Keep inspiring all of us and remember Karma! Love you bunches.

August 5, 2013 - 4:54 pm

Judy - i just don’t understand why people feel it’s their duty and/or right to make those kinds of comments and then say they don’t mean to be “offensive”! well, if you don’t mean it to be offensive, then don’t say something offensive (duh!). i love that you share your heart here…when i read a blog that seems like the husband loves coming home and working around the house like a fool, dinner is always served on time (and gourmet at that!) and the kids are angels, i wonder what life is really like because we ALL know that ain’t happening in REAL life.

let me get off my soapbox…just wanted to say keep on keepin’ on sista…you inspire me!

August 5, 2013 - 5:27 pm

Ann - I enjoy reading your blog because you are honest. Your love for your family shines and so does your love for God. You are a bright beacon. I appreciate your willingness to share.

August 5, 2013 - 6:32 pm

Heidi @ Decor & More - Oh, Lordy, my heart just hurts over this… how thoughtless and cruel of her. As you said, it’s your personal space here and we’re all just lucky enough to be given glimpses into your life. We’re all so flawed, aren’t we? Why can’t we just build one another up instead of judging and tearing each other down.
You’ll be in my prayers, Paige.
xo Heidi

August 5, 2013 - 7:17 pm

Carrie - Your posts always encourage and inspire me as a mother of teenagers {boys in my house!}, as a wife, as a friend, as a jewelry lover :-), and as a person hoping to be better each day than I was the day before. I hope you know that your blog of Simple Thoughts is a place of happiness to many, including me. You’re absolutely fabulous!

August 5, 2013 - 7:49 pm

Jan - Oh Paige, you are an awesome woman! I love reading your blog. Your words mean so much to me and I admire the way you share your heart like an open book. Because after all, we all feel or experience so many things that you share with us. And we just want to know others go through some of the same things or face the same challenging trials. And on top of it all, to know you’re a Christian and turn to your Lord for strength, answers and guidance is that comforting factor that we share. Keep it coming. Until the next time…

August 5, 2013 - 9:41 pm

Michelle Whitaker - Your blog is my absolute favorite. Your family is just precious. Every post I have read has been so positive and motivating. I also have 4 children (2 girls/2 boys). It isn’t easy raising children but you are doing a terrific job.

August 5, 2013 - 10:08 pm

Karen Stone - I love reading your blog! I am sorry someone was hurtful. You remain an encouragement to me! Also, your post – Beauty at 96 – was amazing! My children start school in 2 weeks, and I am sad, too! Just love being with them, even on the long days! : )

August 5, 2013 - 10:09 pm

LLH Designs - I’m so with you on not wanting school to start…because I’m not ready to give up my girls. I’d be a great homeschooling mom…if it weren’t for the school part. HA! Love Needtobreathe. And need to say that this comment that’s bothering you is the enemy at work. Not to say the person is the enemy, but Satan will find any sneaky way he can to tear down Jesus lovers. He’ll even speak through believers. But your Jesus wins every battle with the Enemy. He’s got your back! XO!

August 5, 2013 - 10:14 pm

Andrea - Paige…I’m so glad you are the person you are…that’s why I visit your blog. I know that words sting….but I hope that will soon pass. I do enjoy visiting here and would hope that some sad soul who just doesn’t get it…or maybe has too much anger or frustration in their heart would cause you to think twice about this sweet blog of yours. Please don’t let those silly comments do that.

I too LOVE the gulf…not as much as my family, friends or Jesus…but I understand. I was so anxious to see the pictures of your sweet family at the gulf…..It’s a high light for sure. PS…I just purchased school supplies for my two middle-school “ers”…oh my word…and then paid a bunch for school fees… brace yourself girl!!! and keep on blogging. I love visiting here!

August 5, 2013 - 11:11 pm

Ruth - Paige,
Thanks so much for sharing your life with all of us! It is a brave thing to be so transparent and open. What an incredible example you are to your girls and to all of us!
Love you!

August 5, 2013 - 11:22 pm

jodi - I am so sorry that there are people like that out there, that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it at all…uhhgg…the nerve! I have been reading your blog for ummm…prob since the beginning and I LOVE it, I love who you are and you are an inspiration to me. You are who I want to be!

take care girlie! 🙂 oh, and I am definitely NOT ready for school to start either, but I have to admit, I get excited to shop for school supplies! LOL


August 6, 2013 - 12:31 am

Sophie - Amen Amen girl!! I love your blog and how you open up your heart, and as far as I’m concerned your always pouring out love and encouragement. don’t let any negative comments change that!

August 6, 2013 - 8:03 am

Andrea - First, I come to read your blog because you look at things in a different way than I do and that is a good thing. I am sorry that someone called you out on your blog and not in a private message. Wrong on so many levels. I don’t agree with everything in the many blogs I read. I’m not supposed to. It isn’t my perspective. The only time I have dropped blogs is when they don’t speak to me anymore or if they have done a complete 180.

August 6, 2013 - 10:37 am

beth cleary - seriously, one vacation a year that you and your husband save for ayear for to go and be with your family..that is considered indulgent? the fact that you are all together is proof positive of where your heart is..i love you and your family and i don’t even know you personally, but feel I do know you because we have the same values and love for our heavenly father and family!!

August 6, 2013 - 10:59 am

debby messner - I love reading your blog Paige. You have a beautiful family inside and out. You share your heart. That’s what I like about reading your blog.
I honestly don’t get the people that leave comments that are so hurtful and so judging. It is your space to write what you want to. I have seen this with other bloggers as well.I do know there are people that think they can say those things and it is just fine to do so. Sorry, buy my own mother does.
I know that when it comes to my kids…..well, you know what I am going to say. Don’t take it personally. Don’t change your blog. Keep on sharing.

August 6, 2013 - 3:31 pm

Tiffany Day - 🙂 love and always have how you share your heart!

If I have said it once I have said it a million times, why someone feels the need to critize, lecture, be snarky or anything negative is just crazy to me – how can a person leave a comment like that and not know its a critizism – much less a blog reader who doesn’t know you in real life. We should never assume and/or read between the lines – other’s lives are not for us to judge and I feel if we just don’t like what we read – then click away.

You look great Paige – so pretty! All your girls are beautiful! Where is Madison’s blouse from – so pretty!

Hugs to you!

August 6, 2013 - 3:46 pm

jennifer - this person was obviously not a southern lady or was taught if you have nothing nice to say then keep your mouth shut. social media gives the week links the ability to sound and act big behind a computer screen.
you and your girls are precious, even though i’ve met only one!
and one that still my kennedy speaks of!
i love your realness and it reminds me that there are normal, happy, beautiful women out there that are not fake and have the same struggles i have!
much love…and i know i will see you soon!


August 7, 2013 - 12:22 am

Kellie - I love your ‘simple thoughts’. I think your blog is perfect the way it is! Raising children, especially teens, is challenging and I think you have a really good balance as far as being respectful of your children and your family as a whole.

And I am NOT ready for school to start! We register my baby for 9th grade Thursday. Come August 19th at 8am I will be crying in the corner. 😉

August 7, 2013 - 7:39 am

Terri - I love your blog and how you share your love for Jesus, family and even clothes. It makes it so real!❤

August 7, 2013 - 8:32 am

tara - I wish I let things roll off my back…I haven’t had a stranger from blogland question my marriage or my parenting yet, but I have had real-life friends pick me apart. It’s painful.

I’m learning a lot after this last go around with a friend from Orlando…it’s so important to surround ourselves with people who bare with us in our quirks. I should have stepped away from this friendship the very first time she nit-picked me, but I wasn’t quite at the confidence level that I needed to be at to listen to my gut. I’m there now. 🙂

And honestly, I’m there because of the influence of people like you. You’re strong, Paige, and I admire you…more than you know. You really have no idea how many of us who read your blog look up to you and are holding out for every post because we know we have things we can learn from you….as a person who loves Jesus, as a wife to Dan and as a mom to those beauties you’re raising.

I hope like everything the snarky comment rolled off your back. I pray you see it for it is…just a distraction. Unfortunately, there are people out there who can’t sleep until they’ve shared their opinions.

Gosh. I hope I’m learning the art of keeping most of my thoughts to myself unless they’re building someone up.

on a lighter note…because lighter notes are wonderful….you need to tell me about those sandals you’re wearing.

Also, you need to know that you’re spot on about “little bit.” She positively does not look 11. for real.

and one last thing…trevor has gorgeous eyes. tell him an old lady in Athens thinks so.

August 7, 2013 - 8:53 am

AshleyR - Paige you are a rockstar mom and a wonderful example of Jesus’ love! Thank you for always sharing your heart!

August 7, 2013 - 5:14 pm

Laurie - I have read your blog for about 3 yrs now and I have never commented. Your real ness and candidness is a lifeline for some of us out here… I seriously get excited when I see a new post and yes it’s because you are relatable and I need that as aother of a 15,13, and 12 yr old! Thank you for being an open book and journaling here, your heart for Jesus and your family has encouraged me in so many ways, more than you will ever know sweet Paige!

August 7, 2013 - 8:52 pm

patty - i love your blog. your family is beautiful and i love the vulnerability you demonstrate. there will always be haters, even when we can’t understand. still hurts, but it’s not on you… and we can’t help how others behave.

don’t change a thing.

August 8, 2013 - 9:15 am

Erin - I love your blog and thank you for putting yourself out there to allow us all to be more real with ourselves and the world…..Adam and I love you and your precious family so much. god bless you all….

August 14, 2013 - 1:56 pm

Denise - Paige, It’s easy for me and others to say ‘don’t worry about those that express negativity’, but I know that if it had happened to me, I would probably be replaying that tape over and over in my head. I’m so sorry that it happened, but please don’t let it change the way you blog. There are so many that draw inspiration from your posts – me included! You make me want to be a better mom, better housekeeper, better friend, etc. I’ve never commented on your blog before, but have followed it for quite a while. My family actually lives right down the road from your area. My daughter has friends that are friends with your daughters. I don’t want to seem like a stalker here 🙂 My daughter and I love your blog! You are reaching middle aged moms, and teenagers as well! Keep it up and don’t get discouraged by those that choose to be negative.