Eight :: Fifty Two


She's kinda the coolest kid we know.

We like this age the best so far. I like having a little companion to come with me on errands and her emotions that she displays regularly are not so much as to leave me feeling out of control. Some days, admittedly I want to just go hide in our closet. Most days a good cuddle and quality time is all she needs (all I need, really.)

She's hilarious: blinking long at us while she drinks water, sending us Morse code signals, being silly in the silences, dancing. The 19 month old Eowyn is a communicator at all times. She's picking up words like crazy and we're learning how to have our days run pretty smoothly. She's a one nap champ. 

She gives toddlerhood a good name.

She's reaching the point where she drops everything, stands up and does some sort of variation of this 'smile' face as soon as I bring out my camera. Right now it's kind of hilarious, but authentic moments are becoming harder and harder to come by. She loves this camera near as much as I love taking pictures of her.
As her awareness increases, my obnoxiousness at getting her to laugh must decrease.

Stealth mode engage.

If you noticed my skipping of 6 & 7 of the 52 project, I'm doing so because I posted about a gazillion pictures of her the last two weeks.  

Happy Friday!

Self Portrait :: February 2014


 Today I logged into facebook, and saw more than a handful of my friends comment on how this winter is slowly withering their souls. The general consensus is: "Enough, Minnesota. Enough. Please, Good Lord, ENOUGH."

We started February optimistic. It's a short month. Spring is just a round the corner. The target clerk I see (a little too frequently,) always reminds me. Spring is coming.

My mom at this time of year always encourages a special kind of grace towards people. She begins giving more credit to the weather (rightly so,) and takes care to not take offense too easily at the shortness of peoples words; at the harshness of peoples tones. Her recognition of the seasons was trademark for my high-school drama years. "Honey, it's almost spring-everyone gets like this during this time of year."  Her words stay with me still.

Eowyn pays no mind to freezing temps. The time has come for walks. She grabs her boots, hands me mine, and we bundle up and go.

All these thoughts were swirling around my head today as I set off outside, thigh deep in snow-with fingers frozen just to get a couple of pictures. Trying to sum up a month can be challenging.

On one hand, this winter (and most certainly February) has been pretty symbolic for this season of our life. "Soon goodness and relief and [insert all joyful things] will come!" Our anticipation of future things will someday be met, and that 'someday' draws nearer every week.

On the other hand, it has been in this very unique winter that we've learned how to lean into the 'hard' rather than run. The result: We've never been better. Our souls have been anchored. As we commented last night to each other, we don't fear quite like we once did.

Even the second to last picture up there; leaning thigh deep in snow, the wind blew and seconds later I was assaulted by fluff from on top of the trees. But lookey there! I got to capture a bit of that glitter before it came crashing down in heaps.

So, I guess all of this is to say that I'm not sure if I'm angry at the repeated rush of cold. It's crazy because I'm normally the first one in line raging against old man winter. This time around, with a toddler constantly wanting to be entertained, and more reasons than not to be very solemn regarding the repeated assaults this winter has brought (cancelled plans, not leaving the house for strings of days, Eowyn's flair up of eczema, etc.) Surprisingly, I've been finding myself taking it in strides. Some days are amazing. Some days are not. Someday's I shed tears over chai running out and our board books (some of those story lines are so beautiful.) Other days we're hittin' up the library and meeting up with friends and having a good ol time.

All in strides.

It's been a sweet relief that this entire season hasn't been a wash. I feared it, and my fears were not realized. February has had some really awesome conversations, some really not-so-awesome moments and a lot of opportunities to lean into grace and to say "sorry," "it's okay," "that's why there's two of us," "thank you," and frequently, "don't read too far into it." After all, it's the weather.

Also, I love winter hats. They hide scraggly, unwashed hair.

Plus, Eowyn's tooth just might be legitimately healed. We're going on week two and it hasn't moved or turned grey. We're prophesying: miracle.

Happy February. Or at least, 'Optimistic February!'

Spring is coming, people.

Last Night & This Morning


 Last night we said goodbye to that awesome two day streak of warm weather, and welcomed the February blizzard. There was a point last night when it wasn't too windy, so my girl and I hopped on outside and enjoyed walking in the snow as it got dark. There's a certain stillness that snow brings; literally nothing else can be compared to it. It's one of my favorite noises, the special silence of snow fall. While I'm a summer girl, listening to the crunch, crunch, crunch of my little girls feet as she and I walked our abandoned snowy streets filled my heart in a special way.

This morning, the snow was higher and more shiny, so I bundled our girl up and hiked out. Ben left for work on his own so we had extra time to kill before nap time and pictures were to be had. The wind howled a bit more, so Eowyn wasn't nearly as much of a fan, and it was much more slippery, but what was lost in today's harsh conditions it made up for in beauty.

One perk of always being on the lookout for a phot-op is the way it compels us to get out more. I used to fight this, until Ben showed me an xkcd comic that poked fun at those who dislike others always taking pictures of things. I appreciate the freedom the comic, as sassy as it is,  has given me in this area. I especially treasure the sentence: "trying to take a picture of a thing makes me pay more attention to it. Some of my best adventures are built around trying to photograph something." Yes.

And while we're talking about this, can I say how awesome Ben is? It's something special when someone supports a hobby. But the way he gets passionate about supporting it (like sending this comic to me saying "you'd get this," taking us out on adventures just to take photos, helping me save my pennies for classes, or lenses or what have you... ) gives me warm fuzzies. Ben, you're an incredible friend.

Once we had our fun outside, as true Minnesotans do, we came in warmed up and snuggled down by hiding in our tent reading books.

Happy Friday. Hope your weekend is warm and fuzzy. Also, snow ice cream anybody? I've seen several of my friends post about it. We may be making some ourselves.

Ten Things :: February


1. On Monday, Eowyn knocked her face on our coffee table and lost her front tooth to it (like the entire tooth-root and all.) Her other front tooth was pushed back. It was a nightmare. We all cried. Praise Jesus for google. We learned to put it into milk, and rushed to the emergency dentist. After a lot of screams and a lot of blood, they put it back in hoping the time was short enough to reconnect ligaments. Later, after talking to a pediatric dentist we got the lo-down on what all to do. It was sheer miracle that everything else other than the re-implanting didn't work(they tried to do a stint, and then to like...basically do a giant filling across her 4 teeth to keep it in place.), God's providence was in play.  48 hours later and it hasn't budged. Which is very, very good news. The first accident under our belt, we have our conclusions: It's really hard to not become a helicopter parent after your kid smashes their face.

2. THIS WEATHER! Two days of happy weather have left the Sprague ladies giddy. All these pictures are from today when we did loops around our complex to avoid the giant puddles every where else. Still, this sun. This warmth. So happy. Also, every time I take any sort of 'where you belong' test I get good ol North Carolina. Time for a move, Ben Sprague.

3. Trader Joe flowers forever. Seriously, those things last for ever.

4. At first when I got word that Adobe was switching to a prescription service for their Creative Suite I was not pleased, until I looked into it and saw how awesome it is. For all my hobbyist photographer friends, this might be a really good option for those waiting to take the plunge on photoshop and lightroom, but haven't due to affordability. I'm a recent lightroom convert and am actually pretty pleased with the prescription service for a slew of reasons. It's a nice option for those of us who are unable to shell out our kids beginning college fund every time a new upgrade comes out and it gives you access to the most upgraded version for a few coffees a month.

5. Mom Question #1: Hey moms with kids older than mine, once your kid is introduced to the magic that is juice, how do you get them to be cool with water again? This sounds trivial, because it is-but, I want to keep my kid hydrated without her teeth falling out of her face (due to decay....since we already got the trauma covered.) Question #2 What is your experience with your kids and t.v. show watching? We rarely watch the tube to begin with, but Eowyn is starting to like it mucho and specifically ask for shows. (Tinga tinga anyone?) Curious what other parents limits / insights are. Email me/comment if you have any takes on it. I will treasure your pro tips.

6. Eowyn's learned that snow is fun to play in. This has added extra minutes getting to and from the car. Seeing her get giddy over the snow is worth it though.

7. Our marriage is in a really good season. Other things are struggling. But our marriage is pretty solid right now. Thankful for that.

8. That fake smile on Eowyns face? Its kind of hilarious. She's blossoming into her own self more and more and we both are both stunned and in awe of how cool she's turning out to be. It's been a fun thing to see her grow into her skin.

I comment to Ben on the regular that I have no idea what I'm doing. That being said, it has been a major blessing to have other good moms as guides. Despite acknowledging the steep learning curve, we feel pretty confident with parenting our girl. For that I'm thankful. I'm learning to pick my battles, but not to pick them based on my tiredness. It's too easy, I'm finding, to just let her win because she's wearing down my will. So it's been smart to choose what are the non-negotiables ahead of time and stick to those through the end of the day and slowly grow that list. (a couple examples: she can't hit when she's frustrated, nor can she kick when we're changing her and she's not allowed to throw food, three things she's been struggling through lately.) Toddler hood is a special kind of refining.

I hear with boys its a mile a minute. Well, with girls its a million emotions a second. I appreciate the mothers who have had both. When I ask them what they think about the 'who's harder debate' they always share with me the same thing. "They're just different types of hard." I appreciate the honesty and the freedom it gives me to parent well (and not feed the lie that I have it harder than anyone else.)  I'm learning to turn to the one who knows what speaks to my girls heart and who can handle all the emotions we bring to the table. I'm thankful for this parenting season.

9.  Tomorrows Thursday! Next Day is Friday!

10. I'm really blessed by you all. I recently read this post by Jessi over at Naptime diaries about knowing vs. being known. My heart has soared each time this blog goes through some sort of growth because, upon reflection, it grows through the people I know.  I'm thankful that this place is still a place of meaningful numbers; That I don't feel 'known' but rather have a shared knowing. I've had moments when the focus of those I don't know turn to me and I often times discover I bend under the pressure of assumed expectations. The faceless masses are quite simply not my thing. The internet can be a very scary place. So, I'm thankful that you all have a face (good looking ones at that) and for most of you, I could very well squeeze it by this months end. Thanks for sitting by me at mom group, asking me out for a coffee, skyping or just sending those texts and instagram shout outs. I like that the internet can amplify community.

Seth & Evelyn :: Friendship Caught on Fire


I met Evelyn in Spanish class in '04, back when my front teeth were bigger than the rest of my face. We shared the same last name, and curly hair. Someone told us we looked like sisters and our real-life sisters had the same name (and would someday marry men with the same names as well), so we obviously had a destiny together.

The friendship that formed carried me through our high school years, during which I met one of Ev's best friends, Seth. He was cool, a musician playing at legit venues, and he was funny. She knows how to pick good  ones. Years passed, and through high school, college visits, and now marriage our friendship has ebbed & flowed.

It's been said before, but there is indeed a celebration to be had when seeing an old face after a long time still gives the feeling that time has been short. I'm learning what a rare find it is when this can happen. This past weekend that is precisely what occurred. I was reunited with my 'Evie' again, now married to that best friend.

Our husbands met, we got to joke about the budding of our marriages, and Eowyn got the meet one incredible couple while stuffing her face with her beloved Chipotle. Every body wins.

A sweet celebration of marriage had brought them to the cities, so it was a real honor when Ev made mention of being interested in some photos to celebrate. They are a breathtaking couple whom I dearly enjoyed being around. I was thrilled to get to be in their company and capture where they're at in this season.

Evelyn and Seth, thanks for the joy of your company. The fun that has historically ensued when I'm around you is something I'm pleased to see has yet to change. You both are a riot. Your encouraging dispositions are a pure delight to both be around and capture. Evelyn you're beautiful. Your soul is a beauty to behold and it's such a joy to see how with age, you get more radiant externally and internally. Seth it's a joy to see how incredible of a man of God you are. You've brought out a special beauty in your bride and it's so cool to get to witness that. I couldn't have hoped for a better pairing for my dear friend. God is faithful. As Evelyn once exclaimed in excitement when announcing your relationship, you truly are "friendship caught on fire."

You two are quite the adventure. Thanks for a sensational day.

Public Service Announcement :: Facebook Page


Many of the readers of this blog get updated via facebook. I posted a little notice on my personal page last week, but did so in a roundabout way that ended up leaving a few confused. (I shared a link via the NEW celebrating daily page rather than actually sharing the page itself, and many of you were able to go to the link, but struggled to find the page.) Just in case a few of you hadn't checked your feed that day (to which I tip my hat to you), or 'liked' the picture link thinking that was sufficient and have since noticed no updates- I figured I'd be thorough and also make mention of it here.

Announcement! If you do in fact choose to follow along via facebook, you'll notice a decrease in posts on my personal page because we started a separate Celebrating Daily page!

We did this for three reasons:

1. To make it easier for readers who aren't my FB friend to still be able to 'like' the page and get updates.
2. For those who have no interest in our blog, you no longer have to be spammed every time I post a new blog post. (you're welcome.)
3. To get to know our readers better. It has been fun to actually see which friends of ours are following along rather than just seeing you as a number based on page views.

So, if you dear reader would like to follow along, and choose facebook as your preferred means to do so, be sure to 'like' Celebrating Daily. Here's the link. 

Hope your weekend was filled with love. We had quite the weekend ourselves. More on that soon! (and a beautiful couple will soon be posted!)


It's Valentine's Day. And as cheesy and cliché as it is to do a full internet love proclamation to my wife, that's exactly what I'm going to do!

Brittany. Oh, Brittany! You are so incredible! You are such an amazing wife, it's so hard to find words to describe it. You are the epitome of the biblical helper and advisor. You consistently point me back to Christ when I get big-headed and you have a way of doing so with grace and love that doesn't completely leave me deflated.

You play nerdy games with me and actually enjoy doing it! I love that I can share my interests with you. And I love that you can share your interests with me. I love looking through all the photographs of us, and I love that I can take some decent pictures of you. You're a great teacher of photography! And you have the photoshop skills to make them even better.

I've witnessed you in grief over the last year. I can honestly say on this side of it, that if I had to go through it, I wouldn't want to go through it with anyone else. Thank you for letting me move towards you through all the crap we went through this last year. And thank you for waiting patiently as we approach our potential move. I know it has been hard, but I truly believe it has been worth it.

Now, to my second love on earth, Eowyn. It's appropriate that we named you that because of the sheer epicness of the 19 months that you have been on earth. You make us laugh and sometimes make us cry. You give us a run for our money with some of your wails in Target, but then you fill our hearts as you cuddle with us right before bed. You are an artistic soul and I look forward to seeing the art you create, either through music, theatre, paintings, or writings. I'm excited to get to lead you over the next 20 years and witness your life thereafter.

And to my two loves that I never got to meet on earth. I hope you're having fun in Heaven! I won't lie, I'm a little jealous of you getting to hang out with Jesus. I can't wait to meet you and pray that God holds you tightly for me.

All this being said, to those other readers of our blog, this is not just a one-time, Feb 14 thing. This love is a daily ACT, a verb, a moving towards those around you, a choice that is made every morning, even and especially when you don't feel like it. This day is NOT only for those romantic lovers out there. It is a day to celebrate the love you have for all people around you. And as True Believers, we strive to love all that come across our path. Take today to tell people you sincerely love them!

We love you all!


Dear John :: Happy Valentines Day.

Happy Love Day! We're crazy emotional about you.

You know how to unruffle our feathers, and keep us laughing. You speak truth in love, and daily show what it means to care for your family well. Thanks for being the most incredible dad, and an even better husband. We're proud of you, and love being your girls.

We got pretty awesome cards for you when you get home.

Britt and Eowyn

Berry Crisp & Storymaking :: Life Lately


A few weeks ago I spent some time creating our 2012 and 2013 yearbooks. I've been hoping to do so for some time, and officially decided to sit down and do it before I started collecting pictures for 2014. As much as I love the internet and this blog (where most of the images came from,) there's something to having pictures in your hands to flip through while your baby sits by your side. When these blurb books came yesterday, it was such a delight to sit down and look through them. My belly growing with eowyn inside, Eowyn growing into the little lady she is, our adventures-all of it was so joyful to see. My favorite part was seeing how Ben and I had grown.

When Ben came home and looked at them, he too commented on the pictures of us. You can see these ever so subtle changes in how we love eachother. After he awed over how little eowyn was (and how big my belly was before having her) he and I both reflected on how blessed we have been. God has been good to us. We're thankful.

We are, as I've mentioned a million times over, in a season of waiting. This season has been festering at least, and excruciating at most. It has seen tears and rants and frustration. Yet, it has been in this season that the Lord as comforter has especially become a treasure to us. In a lot of ways, we learned a new side of Jesus through these past couple of years. It's easy to trust Him with control when it feels like I get a little bit of a say. But when none of it is up to me? Who I think God is quickly reveals itself. I'm learning the beauty of a God who controls everything and comforts me when I face the unknown future.

Despite the ache that can be sometimes found in this infamous wait, theres this: A little girl and her momma; A girl that watches my faces, and sticks her tongue out when I do ; who snuggles in for a good read. Theres a silliness and a depth of understanding that has embedded into our lives that I don't take for granted. There's work to be done, and little treasures to be remembered.

There's the guy reading to the little girl in the other room with voices and animations, there's game night on Wednesdays, and Romans on Tuesdays, there's rocking Eowyn before bed and smelling her hair (and trying to put into words what a beautiful smell that is.) and feeling the quiet of evening settle in.

Right now life looks like berry crisp for breakfast and dessert, Lord of the Rings gaming, izzy drinks, and target runs. Laundry, mundane and yet glimpses of joy. There's a lot of beauty here. These moments are gifts.

Many aspects of our life we're looking forward to changing. But right now, I think I'm okay. We have a lot of dreams that we hope to be moving into. As Ben said last night, if he could make the changes happen this weekend-we'd be doing just that.

But today-on this Thursday in February-what God has given for these moments is plenty.

Having 2012 and 2013 in yearbook form has allowed me to be reminded that this life is happening. As I heard in a recent youtube video: 'there is no dress rehearsal.' These days of bathtime and toy playing and mini adventures are the things that fill the pages year after year. These are my gifts.  All these little gifts are what makes a life-my life.

I'm thankful for the incredible gift of Ben Sprague, that I get to share the rest of this story with that man and I celebrate the gift of delighting in the early chapters of my girl's life.