UNO

UNO is a favorite of ours and we’ve been playing since Livia knew her colors and numbers. In fact, the yellow card holder needed in those days is still included in our UNO bag, though it’s no longer called for today. Early on Livia showed quite a bit of skill in the game, and I recall having to ditch “mommy-nice” play when she was still little. Since it’s my blog and since I so rarely beat Liv, I’ve included photographic evidence that today I totally KILLED IT. This moment will never happen again, so yes, I will brag about the one time I triumphed.

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June Brunch

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19 Years

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Jeremy and I walked into the party—together—and within minutes three women that had watched me grow up had asked me if we were dating. I don’t remember exactly what I told them, but I insisted that we weren’t. Earlier in the day our church’s College & Career group was painting part of the basement of Covenant Presbyterian Church, and Jeremy had overheard me talking about the gathering later that day. He kindly offered to go with me, you know, if I wanted him to. To be honest, the entire falling-in-love thing that was happening was so foreign to me that I didn’t know what to think of it all. But I wasn’t lying to my friends at church. We weren’t dating at that party! However I’m pretty sure we were by the end of the night.

I laugh now thinking of the events of Fall and Winter 1996. The main event being Jeremy. While I remember hints and flashes of my first semester at UNL, I very much remember that all my extracurricular activities involved leading youth group. Which meant lots and lots and lots of time alongside Mr. Tredway. Every week involved one plan night and one youth group night. And then there were all these events where Jeremy mysteriously ended up by my side. Fall Fest. Nursery Duty. Afternoons at the park. Little did I know that I had him at “hello” and that he was already smitten.

I think about the night of the party that we went to together-but-not-together. [Sidenote: 2017 Jeremy is singing in his office right now; it’s distracting me from 1996 Jeremy.] I remember going to a friend’s house where they were watching Fargo and we caught the ending. Jeremy then told me he was enamored with me as we were driving down Highway 2, and in the next breath told me he’d be going to Covenant Seminary and encouraged me to follow my interest of going to Covenant College. My brain was stuck on “enamored” and did that mean what I thought it meant? There was a conversation with my dad to lay out reassurances and intentions, the seven-year age gap between us being an issue to address. There was a 19th birthday party where Jeremy pretty much told my family he loved me, though really it was Mom’s Freudian slip that set up that perfect situation. There was hugging in the snow at the Lied Center and then months of making this fella wait to kiss me.

These memories are only the beginning. In the almost 22 years since we began to be a “we” there’s been miles of life lived. In the past few days we’ve been saying with disbelief, “Can you believe we’ve been married 19 years already?” It seems impossible in some moments and very possible in others. From the dreamy head-in-the-clouds feelings to the love we share today, it’s been a crazy road. We’ve survived our fiery first years of marriage, great temptations, and heartaches galore. We’ve witnessed sin and forgiveness on scales we couldn’t have imagined and the scars we bear have become testaments to a very big God whose grace and gentle care knows no bounds. We’ve built up a marriage we thought we wanted only to see it torn down and replaced with a firm foundation in Christ. As two polar opposite personality types who once couldn’t answer the question, “What DO you two have in common?” we now enjoy a life that has exploded outside the bounds of what was once thought comfortable and enjoyable. We have this amazing privilege of being better together, of exploring the world from very different viewpoints only to encourage the other to becoming stronger in areas of strength as well as weakness. Though not quick enough, we are quicker to both ask for forgiveness and to give it. Aside from the natural skinniness of our twenties, I don’t believe there’s anything we’d go back in time to reclaim because the way we feel about each other today is infinitely superior to the budding love we knew back in 1996.

I experience my world through feelings, and as a Feeler, I’ve had these gloriously wonderful moments recently where I look at Jeremy and Livia and praise God thinking, “My life is so beautiful! How is this my life?!” And because I am a Feeler sometimes it’ll only take one more step of discomfort before I remember the hard parts, too. There are always hard parts.

I couldn’t have explained to 1996 Rebecca what 2017 Rebecca would be thinking and feeling and seeing and learning. It’s all been a journey best taken day by day. The grace that was afforded to me—to us—was a daily grace. And for that we are thankful and we are humbled.

Jeremy Tredway, I’m so grateful for our lives together. God is good. Happy 19, my love.

An Unexpectedly Stormy Monday

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More Green

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I’m trying to conjure up embarrassment for posting pics of so many green things… but I can’t.
I’m also trying to come up with a really great reason about why I’m photographing lettuce… but I can’t.

What I do know is that I am so happy that it’s warm outside that I long to take pictures of pretty much everything. I also know that I really enjoy eating food straight from my garden or from a friend’s garden (as is the case with this yummy lettuce). Instead of documenting people, today I am documenting the fruits of the Hammonds’ garden—and in doing so, I suppose I really am documenting people. Today we ate fresh lettuce and it tasted good. And tonight, when Livia chose her own snack from the fridge, she made an awesome choice and had more fresh lettuce. So thanks, Katie and Brian! We’re grateful for your labor.

Basil

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Peony

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Photo credit: Livia Tredway

Photo Drop

Photography is my cure to rainy days, boredom, and sadness. But it’s also my celebration of life, joy, relief, and beauty. What a gift it is to GO CREATE in any kind of mood, at any kind of moment. Some use paints, others choose pottery. For me, it’s an old gem of a Nikon that is my magic wand.

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Evening Light

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13!

Today Livia turned 13. What a joy it is to watch her grow! I didn’t carry my camera to all our celebrations this weekend, but suffice to say, Liv is one BELOVED teenager. From cards with their words of encouragement, to steak fries and malts with the Tredway side, to today’s cake with the Lawton side… this kid was bathed in love all weekend long.

Livia, you are an amazing gift to me and Dad. We love you to the moon and back. May God bless you with joy and peace as you honor Him with your life. Yours forever, Mom

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