life lately & a thankful heart


i wanted to just do a little catch up with life lately & share about thanksgiving too.  i hope each of you have enjoyed a blessed week with loved ones!

a couple weeks ago i spoke at a local church for a women’s holiday event. it was a beautiful evening and truly a blessing and honor for me to be asked to share.  there were about 35 tables, each seating 7-8 women, that had been decorated by the hostess appointed per table and they were gorgeous!! many if not most were decorated for Christmas. it was a candlelight dinner and we were served by several of the men from the congregation. i was so thrilled to have my older girls and my mom attend. it truly was a magical evening for me.

i’ll do a little snapshot style update…(all of these images are from my phone so please excuse all the blurriness…)

caroline’s dance company has prepared for weeks for her holiday recital. i’ll share images of that evening a little later. even trevor drove up to support her.

we are very plugged in to our own local church however when we can we scoot over to Passion City Church to hear Louie Giglio teach and worship with Chris Tomlin and Christy Nockels. it is nothing short of amazing. every single time!  last sunday evening i happened to glance down and see each of the girls taking notes and reading scripture.  i couldn’t get emi in the shot but she most certainly was too. madi isn’t texting btw, just reading off her bible app. what a blessing to know my children love jesus. i could just wrap it up right there…

passion city’s latest wall mural reflecting their hearts to end slavery. over 27 million people are currently slaves. i can hardly even begin to wrap my mind around that..

caroline checking out lighting with me for a session and then a quick walk through the local nursery.

a favorite from a recent session.

morning light reflecting off the mirrorballs.

and for the win…

i made a turkey. all by myself. my first turkey. lord have mercy , i was so proud of myself. i realize for probably most all of you this is no big deal but those darn 20 pound turkeys had me a little nervous…

it was truly a domestic peak for me as i also made gravy from the drippings and the stuffing from scratch. hello. my mother in law, lil, surely was giving me a heavenly high five.

we enjoyed a wonderful thanksgiving meal with my brother & his sweet wife cindy and my parents. my mom set a gorgeous Thanksgiving table! thank you mimi & poppi!

friday morning we woke up in the wee hours to head out to shop. naturally. emi & savannah are professionals and went at midnight thursday night. they scored major deals at H&M. major deals.

years ago we were all cute & charming and would head over to “chop” down our christmas tree at the local tree farm. but goodness gracious. life got busy. the girls have schedules. and for the sake of convenience we went to Lowe’s this year. yes we did. interestingly enough, my teenagers might have talked me back in to heading to the farm next year:)

i feel like an accountant on april 10th. i’ve been shooting and editing my little heart away all while having lost a couple days due to computer issues. good grief.

i have never felt more blessed, more happy, more joyous, more content, in all my life. blessed exceedingly more than i ever dreamed. He does that, you know?


ephesians 3. 20 & 21

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

November 25, 2012 - 2:46 pm

Kerri - Hi paige, I am feeling truly blessed alot lateyl too! blessed for ava and caroline, a healthy family, parents who are both still alive, a husband who puts up with my anxiety and for friends whom I only get to see a few times a year to name a few. I have purchased a few vintage aprons lately to get motivated to cook more. I love the photo of smk hugging Caroline. I started to tear up! As an only child, I get very emotional when I see sissies lovin’ on each other! so you can only imagine how I am with ava and caroline! love those vintage ornaments too!

November 25, 2012 - 3:07 pm

Michele - Reading your post and looking at your beautiful pictures – I agree, you are truly blessed! xoxo

November 25, 2012 - 5:14 pm

Tammie - I am happy to hear that you all had a nice Thanksgiving! My family also had a great Thanksgiving.I was wondering, if you don’t mind me asking, where did you purchase the little tiny trees on the stand in your photo? They are so sweet.

November 25, 2012 - 7:06 pm

Paige - The picture of your girls note taking at church, priceless. They must have awesome parents. It’s obvious to see why you feel so blessed. Love the little trees also.

November 25, 2012 - 7:09 pm

Deborah - I don’t know why my comment above says it’s from Paige. I wonder if I accidentally typed your name in. Ha. Well I’ll have to admit I’ve wanted to be like you from time to time. :-)


November 25, 2012 - 8:41 pm

Amy Avery - How awesome is it to have successfully prepared your first turkey and dressing! Way to go you! I also prepared a turkey this Thanksgiving although it was only a extremley large turkey breast. My success was not so much! After three and half hours in the oven it was still raw. Not cool. It’s a good thing that we had already had one Thanksgiving dinner and that my sides and desserts were very tasty. Next time I think I will be getting a Honey Baked version of Mr. Tom! I love all of your photos in this post and i am glad you have had such a wonderful Thanksgiving. The photo of Caroline playing the piano makes me think of my favorite movie “You’ve Got Mail,” when they are all gathered around singing, “The horn, the horn, it sounds so forlorn . . .” Such good times!

November 25, 2012 - 8:53 pm

Jill - Blessed, indeed!

Now I would have taken you for a turkey-pro from way back! Way to go on your first!

November 25, 2012 - 9:47 pm

tara - love this post…love seeing your life lately posts. :)

very, very, very extraordinarily impressed that you cooked a turkey.
ask me if i’ve ever done it? a big fat NOPE.
i will truly be grown up when it happens!

ps. look at your skinny legs in those leggings.
pss. look at all that fashion in one picture with you and the girls.

November 25, 2012 - 11:28 pm

jodi - You have been a busy girl! Thank goodness I follow you on instagram since I haven’t been in the blogging mood lately. Love the pictures of you and the girls and Dan and the girls. Your Thanksgiving sounds like it turned out wonderful! The turkey looks delish; I knew you could do it! :)

Take care!

November 26, 2012 - 5:07 am

Ibukun - Oh precious!
I just love this post and all of its pictures lol. I saw Christine Caine in one of the murals and I know she’s in on A21campaign to abolish slavery. I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that so many people are still in slavery at this time (God help us)
Your girls look beautiful! Such sweet, precious things! I love the boots, all of them. Have a great week, Paige! :)

November 26, 2012 - 9:49 am

lissa - great job on your thanksgiving meal! I have yet to conquer that one!! Glad you’re so happy. :) God is good!

November 26, 2012 - 11:46 am

Lemonade Makin' Mama - Loved and read the whole post… had lots of comments on every little thing but then I landed on the verse you chose to close it out with and it was JUST the words my heart needed this very morning. Immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine… can’t tell you what that means to me…

November 28, 2012 - 8:40 am

Becky - love your sweet family! you are adorable. you know that right?!!

the driveway is full again

i guess maybe it was this way when they were younger.


were they all so different?  one was very independent. solid if you will. yet a strong heart too.  one didn’t speak much. she depended on her older sissy to say what needed to be said. one always happy and carrying things with her. sippy cup, doll baby and a purse were never far a pleaser. one a little bit more of a renegade.

yet they each always woke on the right side of the bed. each maternal and loving to play with ones littler than themselves.

today they cruise in & out of my studio as i work. one plops on the chair and talks about jesus. one cruises by and tells me about things at school that’s she’s so excited about. one comes in , sits on the stool closeby and chatters and chatters.  one’s upstairs watching Modern Family with her computer in her lap. older sissy yells out, “i don’t think you should invest your time in Modern Family. surely you can find something a little more appropriate”.  “yeah” i chime in, “like maybe Anne of Green Gables. get to know that Anne Shirley”.  older sissy grumbles, “that’s not exactly what i had in mind”. one’s downstairs snuggled up on the sofa watching Toy Story.  she’s old enough to drive yet clearly has chosen Toy Story. “to infinity and beyond”.

i walk from room to room. one’s at a boys’ home hanging out with him. i smile to myself.  i thought i’d dread these years. well- meaning friends would say “just you wait” while smirking as i walked by with smocked dressed little ones, mary janes loosely strapped and hair bows. big hair bows.  well, i didn’t have to wait. it happened over night.  i now ride shot gun while they drive. i listen to stories about boys and what the Lord’s showing them about “eternal investments”.  i feel a little knot well up in my throat.  reminded of so many times where i know i’ve failed them. i think i was a funner mom, maybe a better mom, when they were wearing the big hair bows and smocked dresses. i think it was easier then.  now they wear my boots and borrow my jewelry. and i marvel at who they’re becoming. despite myself and my failures.

we pull in from caroline’s dance recital. the drive way is full again. sigh. & i’m thankful….

November 20, 2012 - 11:37 am

Rebecca - Beautifully said Paige. I am feeling the same way as mine are getting older. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

November 20, 2012 - 11:50 am

Shannon - I’m so glad you were the first post I pulled up to read this morning, loved this Paige. A good reminder to enjoy each moment, it’s already going to fast for me. I hope you and your lovely family have an amazing Thanksgiving!

November 20, 2012 - 11:58 am

deb - Yes, aren’t these times getting to be rewarding and yet bittersweet? Our 18 yr old son, still living at home while going to college here in town at an IU extension as he works at least 30 hours a week too. He helps with driving and shuttling the younger kids to and fro. Our 15 yr old daughter, becoming a young lady, hanging with her boyfriend or they are hanging here, baking brownies and laughing with us all…love that! Then our 9 yr old son, all BOY, playing football in the backyard with big brother and sliding or making a diving grab and landing on the fall yard, getting all grass stained and muddy knees….coming in with a bloody spot where he has scraped off a wort on his knee….showing me the blood as if it were a trophy wound! yet I can feel just like you….wondering if I couldn’t have done better at times, been happier, less strict, played more board games….yet I am so proud of them…each individuals. My daughter has a saying written in dry marker in her pedestal mirror in her room…..”You were born an original, don’t die a copy,,,,” In awe of her soul as such a young age. From the thoughts of babes!

November 20, 2012 - 12:00 pm

Becky - Ahhh, the bittersweetness of watching your children grow up. Joy mixed with tears…it never goes away. :) Love to you and yours this Thanksgiving, Paige.

November 20, 2012 - 12:16 pm

linda - Ahhhh I know the feeling all too well…..there is indeed no preparation, and then it is upon us :( Bless you and your dear family this thanksgiving. How is madison feeling? I think of her often and have been wondering. I’m hoping that the recital pictures are indicative that she is continuing to heal and that she is feeling better.

November 20, 2012 - 12:18 pm

sheri - I love this post. May be my favorite – I think I say that each time to post – LOL. You rock as a momma and your girls take right after you. Happy Thanksgiving! xoxoxo

November 20, 2012 - 1:19 pm

Kerri - the blessing and most important message from your post today is in the title. “The driveway is full again.” your girls are all with you. four blessings. and symbolically the “driveway” is your heart, your life, your home~I could go on! When I read your words, it is like Jesus speaking directly to me! Love ya! oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

November 20, 2012 - 1:35 pm

Betsy - The lump in my throat came when I read “I think I was a funner mom, a better mom, when they were wearing smocked dresses and hairbows”. That’s just how I feel…and you blink your eyes…and my oldest daughter turned 17 yesterday!

Thanks for sharing! Happy Thanksgiving!


November 20, 2012 - 2:50 pm

Lori H - Amen to the whole post. Happy Thanksgiving, Paige. Enjoy the time with the driveway full again :)

November 20, 2012 - 11:36 pm

LLH Designs - You had me at the title: “my driveway is full again.” I love that for you. ENJOY every single minute of fullness! xoxo!

November 21, 2012 - 9:38 am

Peggy - OH Paige, how I know what you mean! MY baby will be starting high school in what feels like a few short months which is when the eldest will be heading out of state for college. I know I have all boys but I still have the same thoughts…. its such a joy to watch them grow yet it goes so quickly!

November 21, 2012 - 10:52 am

D'Nese - Every post continues to add joy and hope to my tender heart.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

November 21, 2012 - 11:43 am

teresa sheeley - ..and then they finish college…get married and have real jobs..and only come home for a holiday maybe just for a few days because they have to work…**sigh..although it sounds sad you are filled with joy at the same time for all they have accomplished. when they are happy you are filled with happiness…nothing better.

November 21, 2012 - 1:30 pm

Tammie - Paige, I truley could not have read a post and had it say exactly how I feel a today and have felt many days in the past. I love opening up your post to read such great things and see such beautiful photo’s. Of course the photo’s are probably easy to look that way with such Beautiful daughters to photograph. Thanks for the post and I want to wish your family all a very Happy Thanksgiving. (I hope they are all doing better).

November 22, 2012 - 9:40 am

Amy Avery - Happy Thanksgiving Miss Paige! I count you as one of the blessings that I have in my life this year. Although we have never met in person, you and your family have been a wonderful inspiration and source of comfort for me in good and difficult times too. As I read about your family and the life you share I see God present in each and every one of you. That nourishes my soul and I am thankful for the blessing that you give in sharing yourself so freely here in this place of “Simple Thoughts.” As a young girl, my favorite book of all times then and now is “Little Women.” I have read the same copy of that book for many, many years always finding it to be a source of comfort and inspiration no matter how many times I have read it. I think of your blog as being a modern day “Little Women.” Not only do you have a very similar life situation in having four daughters but also you have a very inspirational way of telling life’s story that resonates in all of us. Thank you friend for your words and for your sharing. It has meant so much to me over these past several years that I have visited you here in this place. I wish you and your family a very blessed day on this day of giving thanks!

November 23, 2012 - 5:34 am

louboo - Paige – I love this post! It makes me look forward to those teenage years. I love the expresson that you ride ‘shotgun’ to their experiences. I am glimpsing that – my daughter is 11 and so many of her rites of passage were mine. And as for Anne of Green Gables – a kindred spirit indeed! Lou x