Baking brown butter treats at home
Taking pictures of two girls
Easter Family Picture
Pictures of a ballet dancer in her tutu

My Baby turns 4

birthday girl wig

I love birthdays. For myself, my kids, my friends. Everyone deserves a day to feel special, and I try my hardest to do that for those I love. Especially my kids. My youngest turned 4 today, and I got to spend the day with her. I ditched my routine gym class for a morning jog with her, and she just chilled in the stroller and we chatted a bit and sang some too. I spent… Continue Reading

Top 12 posts of 2012

Top 12 Posts of 2012 at Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke

Happy New Year’s Eve Eve, friends,  It’s been a fabulous year! I got to travel from New York City to Alaska, and a few other places in between. I connected with other bloggers at a few conferences, and crossed some things off my bucket list. I got to delight in the joy of my children, and have some quality time with my husband. I started painting rooms in my house, lost 25 pounds, and continue… Continue Reading

Photography retreat with a little girlfriend road trip


About a month ago, I escaped with 2 of my friends for the weekend. We had been planning it for nearly 10 months.  10 months!  I don’t plan in advance well…I planned my own wedding in 3 months…I no longer photograph weddings because I DON’T like planning a year in advance…and to have this planned so far in the future felt like light years away.  I’m not sure if it was Tricia or Heather that came… Continue Reading

I’m so glad when Daddy comes home….


I”m so glad when Daddy comes home, glad as I can be.  Clap my hands and shout for joy and climb upon his knee. Put my arms around his neck, hug him tight like this.  Pat his cheeks and give him what?  A great. BIG. Kiss!  (This is a song my kids learned at church from the time they were little and still occasionally sing to him). My friend Kelsey posted on facebook that she… Continue Reading

My Saturday Night~Good Clean Fun


{some of my cute girls in front of the carnival rides, on the baseball field} I had a rockin’ Saturday night hangin’ out with the girls from church.  They had a youth activity and I got to tag along !  In my church, we are asked at various time to serve in different capacities (a.k.a. callings)…some are more time consuming than others, and the time frame varies from 6 month to 2 years that we… Continue Reading

Kindness Coins


You know, I’d like to think that my children show the utmost kindness towards each other–all the time.  Really, is it THAT hard?  So much to ask?  I really don’t think so.  I find myself saying, “Don’t talk to each other. Don’t look at each other.  Was that necessary?” With our sometimes loooong summer days, I found that fuses could be short, and the kindness factor was lacking.  It sortof infuriates me when my kids… Continue Reading

Welcome Walk~Back to School decor


I combined the ideas from this pencil wreath and this ruler wreath for my front door.  I wanted to do both, but had to choose and the pencils were more colorful and I didn’t have to saw 14 rulers….just 2.  Our school has a “Welcome Walk” where the teachers drive around to each home and “walk” up to the front door to introduced themselves.  It is a very fun way to find out the teacher… Continue Reading

The Happiest Place on Earth


The Duke Family embarked on its innaugural trip to a “Disney” spot last month. I grew up going to Disneyworld in Florida because it was driving distance from my home in Louisiana. However, I had never stepped foot in Disneyland and I was quite excited to go. Especially now that I had kids to share the joy with. Our trip to California was for a family reunion, but I figured we could squeeze in one… Continue Reading

Home at Last


Did you realize I was gone?  I think I mentioned it in one of the posts…I did my best to keep you all entertained whilst I was away, did it work?  Man, I was so proud of myself for pre-planning all of those posts, even though some of them were re-hashes.  Our fam took an 11 day driving trip from Austin out to the Southern coast in California.  Besides logging 40 hours, adding 3000 miles… Continue Reading

my birthday fun


Well, 2 days before my bday, our family acquired a new van.  Hubby teased and said it was my bday present, and really I’d be happy with that. Our old van is nearly 10 years and really struggling.  So dirty, too! When my b-day hit, I had plans to take my kids out to do something fun for the day, and in the morning, 2 sweet friends came seperately and brought flowers.  I combined them in… Continue Reading

Hooray, it’s my birthday! 33 on 7-7-11


 It’s no secret to those who know me well that I am a BIG fan of my birthday.  It’s the one day that is all mine, and I’m grateful the people in my life help me to feel extra special by acknowledging this fact. Call me selfish, but I like it and I like to party all week day. I just like to hear the words…July 7th.  I’ll turn on the Today Show or something… Continue Reading

Football Fridays at the Duke home


 I signed my daughter up for a singing/dance class that meets one morning each week this summer.  We have lots of activities for all of us, but I wanted to do something each week for my boys, I just wasn’t sure what.  They have loved playing football with friends in our yard, and I thought to myself, “Why not have a set play date each week with a bunch of friends?”  It’s really quite hard… Continue Reading

All mine~A few favorites of my kiddies lately


Our Fathers Day


Nothing too fancy….breakfast in bed, hand written cards, the simple things I believe are the sweetest.  I had the kids help me make my hubbys favorite meal:  breakfast burritos. They were excited to take it to him in bed (on the cookie sheet cooling rack) like they did for me on Mothers Day. Too many cute moments around the breakfast table not to share.  I love my boys showing him the drawings, tugging at their… Continue Reading

Look who turned 6!


My sweet girl.  We had a little photo shoot in her birthday outfit, just minutes before her pink lemonade party.  She is very excited to grow up just a little bit more…and as hard as it is for me to see it happen….  I am really enjoying her along the way.