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I’m a stay at home mother of two beautiful children, Zoey and Zane. I spend most of my days wiping butts and cleaning up…but what can I say I love every minute of it. I love the time I get to spend each day with my children thanks to God and my wonderful husband. This blog is about our daily happenings at the Blakley Ranch. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Joy of Love {Day 12}...

Joy of Love {Day 12}…the eyes. They say the eyes are the window to a person’s soul. Today’s goal is to capture a picture of your loved ones eyes. Both of my children have beautiful blue eyes. However, when my daughter is really smiling I don’t see any blue. She has this trait that has been passed down from her paternal grandmother…squinty eyes.


Yes, that’s right…her truly happy smile comes with eyes that look completely closed. However, they are her and it’s a trait I love!

Joy of Love (Day 11}…

Joy of Love {Day 11}…Dreams. Dreams come in every shape and form, and my own personal dreams change daily. I have personal dreams, dreams for my children, and dreams for my spouse. However, my husband and I have one predominant dream for our family…to own our dream home.


When you have children you alter the dreams and hopes you once had. Those things no longer seem as important. When my daughter was born I knew I wanted the opportunity to stay at home with her. I have now been a stay-at-home mom for almost five years. Though, sacrifices have to be made. One of those sacrifices has been putting off buying of our dream home. I know if we purchase what we want I’ll have to go back to work. I don’t want to settle for just any house. I just know when I find my dream home…it will be it. The home I grow old in, the home my children will come home to with their children, and it will be the place our family's memories are made. Deep inside I know any house can be a home. However, dreams make us work harder, think outside the box, and push ourselves. It also makes us not take for granted the accomplishments we make in life. I know with time our dreams will come true, and I will appreciate all the hard work it took to get there!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Joy of Love {Day 9}…

The objective today is to document your loved ones passions and hobbies. My husband has one hobby and one hobby alone…horses.


I truly believe that people are born with talents. My husband was born with the gift to ride. He has a connection with horses that is very obvious to see. I believe he has passed this passion onto our daughter…she is a natural too. I delight in watching them together. You can see the ease and comfort they feel while riding. It’s the prefect hobby for them to share together.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Joy of Love {Day 8}...

Day 8 in the Joy of Love workshop is here. Today's assignment…What has your spouse (or loved one) given or promised to you (material or immaterial)? Try to capture this “gift” from their heart. The best gift my husband has ever given me is the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mother. Right after my daughter was born my husband took a job working out of state. He was away from home and traveling for extended periods of time. He did not get to visit often; to this day he still feels like he missed out on so much in my daughter’s life. This picture was taken right before he was called out on his first job and had to leave both my daughter and I at home.


I believe sometimes he feels unappreciated and taken for granted. I want him to know that his hard work and dedication to our family is the best gift I could ever ask for. I do understand the sacrifices he makes for our family and I’m grateful. I know that the time I spend at home with my children makes a difference in their lives. I have only one person to thank for this opportunity and I love him very much!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Joy of Love {Day 7}...

Today’s focus…generations. This is my four-year-old daughter with her great-grandmother.


My own mom died when I was eleven. My grandmother was the one who was always there for me. She took me to buy my first prom dress, she was there when the first boy I cared about broke my heart, she cried when I found the perfect wedding dress, and again when I gave birth to my first child. I will always have a void in regards to the loss of my mother; especially in respect to my children. I have no doubt she would have adored them. However, I’m so grateful to have my grandmother here to lessen the loss and feel a special place in my children’s hearts.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Joy of Love {Day 6}…

Today’s theme…who THEY love! We were asked to capture a photo of what our loved ones love. My daughter, Zoey, loves her stuffed animal “Pinkie”. Pinkie was a Valentine’s Day gift from her Daddy and me a few years ago. It came attached to a box of chocolate. Who would have guessed a $4.99 gift from Target would mean so much to a little girl. She sleeps, plays tea party, and often totes Pinkie in the car even if it is a quick trip to the grocery store. Pinkie has seen better days; however, I’m afraid to send her through the washing machine…I’m not sure she would survive. Zoey’s love for Pinkie is very special and I’m glad I was able to capture this in a photo.


I took one photo and one photo only. I’m really trying to work hard on my skills during this workshop. I don’t want to take twenty quick shots in an attempt to get one I want. I want to take my time, focus on what I need to do, and take only a few shots at different angels. That is sometimes easier said than done with kiddos. However, I’m going to try my best. In regards to camera tips, we were asked to work on selective focus and metering. So, I got in close and attempted to only have Pinkie’s face in sharp focus. I wanted the ragged look of the cat’s fur and whiskers to show how much this stuffed animal is loved. I’m happy with the results and I think this is a picture I will truly grow to love.

Joy of Love {Day 5}…

Today’s subject…Love to Hate! We were asked to capture a photo of what we LOVE to hate about our loved ones? This one was hard for me and it took me an extra day to complete the assignment. However, when Zane was throwing a fit in the car last night for this one particular thing I knew I hated it...


Yes, I know he is too old for it. Yes, I know it will mess up his teeth. Yes, I need to get rid of it. However, he loves it and I hate that it is such a comfort for him. If he is tired it consumes his every thought and you can guarantee I get to hear about it. He only gets his “bink” when he sleeps. However, sometimes I feel like an awful mother for not letting him have it when he wants it. To deny him something that brings him security is difficult. At this moment in our lives this small piece of plastic causes a lot of grief in our house. Not to mention all the misery I get from people who tell me he does not need it. So all in all…I hate my son's love for this bink!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Joy of Love {Day 4}…

Today’s task…what they wear! My husband has been riding horses his entire life. When I married him I knew I married a cowboy. Cowboys and their boots come with sweat, dirt, and a few other smelly things. However, I have to say when my husband walks in the house with spurs on my heart skips a beat.

Joy of Love {Day 3}…

The Joy of Love {Day 3}…then and now! Our assignment today is to take a picture of our loved one from the past and compare it to a picture of our loved one in the present. My daughter is my topic today; she will probably be my subject tomorrow. In all honestly, she is the only cooperative person in my house when it comes to the camera. However, I knew she was PERFECT for today’s post. When I read today’s topic I knew exactly what picture I wanted to use of her from the past. It seems like yesterday that my sweet daughter was born. I’m so thankful to my sister-in-law, Lacie, for taking this picture. It brings up so many emotions each time I see it. Around our house we jokingly refer to it as Zoey’s “monster picture”.


However, the only thing I see is her beautiful birth. I remember her Daddy calming her cries right after this picture by simply saying, “Its okay, Daddy’s here”. I remember holding her in my arms for the first time and the immediate bond and love I felt for such a small being. I love every aspect of this picture and will always treasure it. The second half of our assignment is to post a picture in the present and to get in close. We were asked to crop in close and fill the frame with our subject’s face.


Zoey has gained weight, grown taller, and now flaunts a full head of long blond hair. However, she has grown in many other ways as well. In 4 years, 10 months, and 16 days she has become her own individual self. She is strong willed yet sensitive and I love that about her. I appreciate the fact that she stands up for what she wants but still cares about other people’s feelings. However, no matter how much she grows and changes she will always be my “Precious”.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Joy of Love {Day 2}...

It’s Day 2 in the Joy of Love workshop and our assignment is to capture how your loved ones look. The goal is to capture their TRUE essence, expression, attitude, and posture. My lovey dovey nature is a little dormant today. It’s 19 degrees in Texas, my heater is broken, and I have no hot water. So needless to say…you do not want to see a picture of any of my family members today. In fact, I took a picture of my husband and he threatened my life if I posted it! So, I’m saving that one for a day when he really burns my hide. Don’t worry it will come and the picture will be exposed….ahahaha (that’s my evil laugh). I just took these pictures of my daughter and I love them.


They are her…down to the pearls and frilly pink shirt. I see only warmth and love in her expression and these are quickly becoming my favorite photos to date.



This is what love looks like in my eyes!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Joy of Love {Day 1}...

I received my first assignment in the Joy of Love workshop…capture a photo of what your loved ones “do”. With the freezing temperatures outside I knew that my photo would have to be an indoor shot…not my specialty by any means. However, I quickly came to the realization that this photo does not have to be perfect. The whole purpose of this workshop is to capture the love in everyday moments. Which I can honestly say, after a day of fighting kids and piles of dirty clothes is something I sometimes take for granted. When bedtime comes my daughter wants one person and one person only…her Daddy. She wants him to tuck her in, read her a book, say her prayers, and snuggle to her until she drifts off to sleep. It is a special time for both of them and a bond the two of them share. I can not think of a better way to remember this time in their lives then with a photo.


I know someday I will look back and absolutely adore this picture. It won’t matter that the lighting is not perfect or that my daughter’s hair is a mess. I will only see my daughter’s favorite book and a love between a father and daughter that will span a lifetime.