Gigi Blog » The life and loveliness of Gigi's World

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  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Blessed to be a mother to half a dozen girls. Wife of an undertaker.
    Photographer. Homeschooler. Daughter of the King. 
    Lover of life, coffee and all things pink and vintage. ♥


There’s a little sign on my kitchen counter that says “Be Filled with Joy!”
It serves as an amazing reminder to choose to be joyful when, perhaps, my natural inclination of the day is to go the other way …

After all, let’s be honest, not all days feel full of joy.

But the truth of it is, it is not about a feeling – rather about a choice in how you deal with what the day holds.
Ironically, my devotion recently was about being joyful – joyful in everything





Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Do not put out the Spirit’s fire, do not treat prophecies with contempt.
Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

I want my children to remember their mother as a joyful mommy … not a grouchy, stressed out mom. Even in the mundane, in the ordinary, I want to choose to see the joy …

So today, I began smiling – just a small smile – while serving the lunch around the table. My eight year old  noticed and looked at me oddly.

“Why are you smiling?” she asked.

I explained my reasoning -  I was choosing JOY – and I smiled at her ….

She stared back at me … I could see the wheels in her mind turning … then, slowly she started to crack a smile on her cute little face … for you see, JOY is contagious!

Mothers, let us fill our homes and the lives around us with JOY! Amidst the correcting, teaching,  meal making, day-to-day agenda, let there be laughter, singing, smiles and giggles!



           A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
proverbs 17:22




I’m challenging myself to find the joy, to wake the children up with a smile, to serve my family with gladness and to allow that infectious joy to spread …


November 4, 2014 - 11:09 am

Sherri Smith - I love this sentiment…. I Choose Joy! Just thinking of smiling makes me grin, just faking a grin makes me happier, funny how that works. :-D

October 31, 2014 - 4:31 am

Mara - Beautifully worded and thank you for the reminder. I just love your blog and your beautiful photography!

October 30, 2014 - 6:17 pm

Donna - Hi Gillian, did you knit the pink sweater for Lavender in your last post?

October 30, 2014 - 1:15 pm

Erin Lynn - Love this reminder! I totally agree that joy is a choice. Love the beautiful pics of you and baby!

October 30, 2014 - 9:27 am

Reena - I’ve never commented before, but I just wanted to thank you for this wonderful reminder. I really needed to read this this morning…for so often we can be overwhelmed by the mundane and also the busyness. And you’re so right, JOY is contagious. And we have every reason for JOY! Thank you!

God is my Employer.


I remember this moment all too clearly. It was over eight years ago, my second daughter was just recently born and I was carrying her proudly in my arms. My mom was introducing me to a group of friends while attending a social event …

“This is Gillian, my daughter – she’s a stay at home mom,” she said.

In my selfishness, I all to clearly remember adding, and have a photography business.”

Just like that. Here I was, holding my sweet baby girl, and yet it was as if my role as a mother to my two girls was not enough. Was I afraid it didn’t compare to the business titles of those around me? Did I fear that those in the conversation would think of me as less than those with a high paying job or a fancy label in their career?



{Lavender  – 6 months old – oh, how I love this precious chubby baby!}

Yes, I was a photographer,  sure, I was running a small business on the side. Previous to photography, I had attended college to study journalism and spent a few years being a reporter. I had loved every minute of my newspaper job but knew that having children would mean putting a career aside – for a while, for a long time … I understood the value of a stay at home mom, as I had myself benefited from a loving mother in my own childhood. I had been raised to appreciate, love and admire the role of a mother. And yet, here I was, a young 20-something mom and already feeling as if I needed to boast of my worldly accomplishments in order to be respected in a social circle.


This journey of motherhood has had many changes for me – the biggest being a change in how I, personally, viewed my role as a mother – I have learned to view it with an eternal perspective… that being a mom to the children God has given me was ENOUGH – more than enough!


Mothers, let us not be ashamed of this God-ordained role of raising children. It is a high calling and while the world may view it as less, we know that God does not. To have this amazing and incredible opportunity to be the ones to lead our children through life – it’s spectacular and humbling, all in the same thought!

Do not be ashamed to say you are a stay at home mom!  Be proud of your beautiful role as a mother to your children. Do not think you need to add a title or a fancy job description to what you already do.  The world may never place value on motherhood but God sees what you do day in and day out.


“When you go out with your children, lift your head high, put a smile on your face, and be proud to be a mother.
You have one of the most important careers in the nation.
God Himself is your employer and you are helping to determine the future of this nation.



Be a light in the midst of a society that does not embrace children. Do not be intimidated.
Show your love for your children as you speak sweetly to them and are patient with them.
If God has blessed you with a number of children, be proud to display your “blessings” from the Lord.
You reveal to the world what God is like for He loves children.
Jesus did not reject children. He welcomed the children to come to Him…

– Nancy Campbell



November 3, 2014 - 9:06 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Thank you Gillian, for those kind words! I am so proud of my “stay at home mom” daughter <3

October 21, 2014 - 10:22 pm

Jen Heemskerk - Gillian, your baby is so so beautiful.

October 21, 2014 - 6:25 pm

Christine - Simply… thank you. In my heart I know that with my babies is where I am meant to be at the moment. And yet, I struggle… I also went to university, had career dreams, wanted to make a name. But, once I held my baby I just knew all of that would sort itself out later. Being his mom would always be my first and most important “title”.

October 20, 2014 - 11:48 pm

Melissa Mullinax - Ohhhhh, my goodness! Look at that face! <3


Someone turned four this weekend!
{This is my husband’s favorite age grouping as it now goes in the girls ages! Makes it easier to remember!}

Lovelyn Angelica Joy turned four this Thanksgiving Day. She loved her special birthday and kept walking around saying, in her cute way, “It’s my bud-day…!”

These are the things I want to remember about Lovie in this stage right now:


1. She loves her daddy! Every night, she wakes up, walks into our room at about 2 a.m. and ends up sleeping with daddy.
2. She’s a patient, loving sister, especially to Leia, who often is hard to get along with (toddlerhood!).
3. She loves Snowflake, her  big white Muscovy duck. And when we had him all crated to give away to a local farmer after finding out she was a he, Lovelyn’s pitiful cries made us keep the silly drake, even if we now have too many male ducks in the farmyard.


4. She loves candies – especially black jelly beans!
5. She loves to sit in front of the woodstove, watching the fire burn, and rock in her rocking chair like a little, old lady. It’s too cute.
6. She adores her big 14 year old cousin, Rowan. He gave her flowers for her birthday. She told me she loves him more now.


7. Her beautiful hair is her crowning glory after a journey with anemia which results in major hair loss. Thankfully, it has grown in lovely and full – she says she loves the way it ‘flies’ behind her when she runs …:)
8. Every morning, she asks daddy to make her duck eggs for breakfast. It’s her personal favorite!


Lovie, we adore you and are so glad God gave us the joy of raising you!





October 17, 2014 - 4:52 pm

Heidi Siegel - Happy happy birthday to your little sweetheart!! When I first looked at the picture I thought I was looking at a little Lacey :) :)

October 17, 2014 - 10:09 am

Brenda (Gillian's Mom) - So sweet! Now I want to see a picture of her in the rocking chair. :)

October 15, 2014 - 9:07 pm

tawnia - Happy Birthday Lovelyn!! Hope that you enjoyed your special day!!

October 15, 2014 - 1:25 am

Katrina - She is such a little darling. Happy birthday to Lovelyn!

How a Rooster Can Teach Patience.

“If you are irritated by every rub,
how will you be polished?”




How did you spend your day?


Well, let’s just say, I’m pretty sure I’m the only momma out there that had to chase a incredibly-fast, hyper-charged teenage rooster through a rolling field of soy beans.
In my rubber boots.
In a skirt.


Yes, rooster feathers a’flying, our newly adopted Man-chicken managed to sneak out between Lyla’s legs one morning, just as we were going to leave for an appointment in town. What else we were supposed to do but chase him down?
{And that is when, yes, I realize we do not need phys-ed for our home school. You try chasing a rooster through knee-high fields of beans … }


{Introducing Samson, a French Faverolle – he was a present to us last week. We think he’ll make super pretty babies.}



Now, I must shamefully admit, I did not react well when my daughters came screaming up to the house, just as we were about to leave for the day, and informed me the rooster had escaped and they couldn’t catch him and “Mommmeeeee, you have to come help us!!!!!!!!!!!”

In fact, I was very impatient.
Probably even rude about it.
Angry, perhaps?

It had been a long week … I was tired … *really* tired – that tiredness that hits you like a brick wall when you’ve been getting up at night with the baby for five months …my  husband had been working late all week which meant single-parenting it for a week straight, homeschooling seemed hard, toddlers were being naughty and it was just a tough slew of days …  on this day, we had just spent the morning trying to get the house cleaned, the chore list was long,  there were rooms to clean, laundry to put away, floors to mop, vehicles to clean, and no one seemed to be doing their  assigned tasks at all …. and now a rooster to catch!! – and we were already 15 minutes late in leaving the house!

After we somehow managed to catch said rooster who was streaking through the fields in a blur of feathers (mostly done by my eight year old, as she is the quickest catcher-of-animals so far), I shook off the collected soybeans that were clinging to my skirt, pushed the loose bobby pins back into my nest of hair and promptly gave myself a lecture.

That was enough. Life is life. It’s gonna happen.
Things will upset the cart, children will need reminding to do chores, toddlers *will* have tantrums when tired, husband will have to work late -  deal with it, girl. 
And if you have 30 something chickens, one of them is bound to escape now and then. In this situation where the girls didn’t mean to let the rooster escape, I could have – and I knew I should have – handled the situation much more gracefully.

It was time for my own attitude to change.
Later, I received an email from a friend … it surprised me when she  said she actually {sort of} envied my stage of life …



{Lacey’s new fancy hen – a Gold Laced Wynadotte}


With my crazy, hectic daily routine? Diapers? Math grading? No down time? No bubble baths … no me-time …  drinking cold coffee because I forget where I put my cup and barely getting a shower … constantly cleaning and making meals, trying to figure out a lunch menu for five hungry girls? And even breathlessly chasing lost chickens in random fields?


{Lucia’s new chicken- we do not know what breed this chicken is! Does anyone else have any suggestions or ideas? }

But her comment struck me.  I knew it was time to look at my long week differently. I had six beautiful children to raise and show love – they are children – just like adults, they make mistakes and need fresh starts every now and then. Lord, help me stop complaining!  I have a baby … a beautiful precious baby that needs me and loves me and yes, I know some women whose hearts ache to hold a baby … I have a home to clean, thank you Lord! Laundry? Alive, healthy children. Dirt tracked into the house by curious, happy children who love to be outdoors …! A husband working … thank you God for his job!

Time to start counting blessings and showing grace and mercy when my children made mistakes. Mistakes, just like their momma. Time to stop complaining.

They say if you complain about the little things, what will you do when the big things come along in life?

Strangely enough, from that moment on, my week seemed … happier … my mood changed … my spirits lifted … I thanked God for the day, the tasks, the life set out before me – and yet, the children were still the same children, still forgetting to put their booots on the boot mat, needing prodding to get chores done before school in the morning and yes, my husband was still working late … but my perspective had changed.

After all, if I’m irritated by every rub, how will I ever be polished?







October 15, 2014 - 9:40 pm

admin - Maike – she’s a Gold Laced Wynadotte. :}

October 15, 2014 - 9:05 pm

Kelsey - You are so inspiring :)

October 14, 2014 - 12:04 pm

Maike - Can you tell me what the orange chicken is for a race? It looks very pretty and I have never seen this type of color before.

October 13, 2014 - 9:11 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - You are already shining, my darling daughter xo

The Heavens Above

To Him who made the great lights, For His lovingkindness is everlasting: The sun to rule by day,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting, The moon and stars to rule by night, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Psalms 136:7-9



Never would I have thought that, as an adult and mother, I would spend my evenings laying out school work, searching for worksheets online, planning science related crafts, relearning details and dates throughout history and printing out star charts.


But that’s exactly what I do most nights. And it’s fantastic! Right now, I’m listening to an {amazing} audio production on Galileo – which will go hand in hand with our Science unity study – this year, we are, as a family, studying the heavens and the skies.

It’s amazing, spectacular and absolutely intriguing.  Every night since the end of September, the girls have been going outside after the sun has set, sketching the night sky and drawing the phases of the moon as it happens in the dark Autumn sky.

Do you want to gasp at the magnificence and awesome power of the amazing Creator?

Stare up the dark, starry mid October sky…


{the moon on October 7, 2014}

The inky blackness is filled with scattered sparkling stars, a beautiful moon and if you are lucky enough, you may even spot a planet. Last month, the girls and I even found Mars in the sky – it was splendid and exciting! They have learned how to find the North Star and various constellations (although there are so many – there is so much still to discover!). Tomorrow, we are climbing out of bed, sleepy but hopefully wide-eyed, to behold the amazing lunar eclipse – what some would call a Blood Moon.


There is so much to go with our unity study on the Heavens and the Skies. I have created a pinterest board with ideas, if you are interested. Tomorrow, I will feature a book we are using to teach the moon phases and will be giving away a copy of such book to one reader.

Even the littlest girls are spotting the moon and running with excitement to report what they see in the sky!

  {the moon phases – with Oreos! Snack and school all in one!}

{Moon sand for the little ones –
Folks, this was messy but fun! It is just flour and oil mixed together. All the girls loved this fun time!}



There is something so truly fascinating when you begin to turn your eyes towards the Heavens and study such beautiful sight. I’m grateful for this chance to teach my daughters about such an amazing Creator and His delightful starry skies.

October 8, 2014 - 11:23 pm

channon - What a wonderful post! My little ones get excited to report their moon sightings, as well. My seven year old daughter just told me the other day that when her sisters go to sleep she likes to raise the screen and stick her head out to look at the stars :) Love the Oreos!

October 8, 2014 - 9:47 pm

Courtney - We were up in the wee hours of the morning to see it but the cloud cover was terrible where we are. I heard it was quite beautiful though!

October 8, 2014 - 8:07 pm

Elisha Wolter - This is very encouraging and inspiring. I meant to look at the blood moon last night, then I forgot! Bother. My eldest son in particular enjoys stargazing … I think I will do it more often and read scriptures to my kids about God’s amazing creation. Thanks for the inspiration!

October 8, 2014 - 3:34 pm

jenn - Aiden woke up to see the Blood moon with daddy this morning too!

October 7, 2014 - 11:45 pm

Kristina - I love your Oreo moons! I did astronomy with F. a couple of years ago, and I just loved it. I learned as much as he did for sure.

I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the <a href="; One Lovely Blog award.