Thursday, December 29, 2016

Photography - Cookie Decorating

9-year-old: I might get a godzilla from Santa.
Me: You think?
9-year-old: Yeah, because what I know about Santa is that he knows what kids want and he knows if they are on the good list or the bad list.
Me: Which list do you think you're on?
9-year-old: Probably the one I'm on every year...the good list. This year was a pretty good year...but last year, I think me and my brothers barely made it. #ChristmasConversations

I've been working on upcoming posts and will be excited to start rolling those out in 2017. Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Photography - Colorado

I see the fingerprints of God...
The golden hour, when the sun sets and makes everything look more brilliant - this is my absolute favorite time to photograph. (Top photos.) Pictures taken this summer in Colorado.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Why Mom Mistakes Can Be Good

I didn’t tuck my tween-age son into bed.

Instead, I slipped into my own bed and fell under the trance of Downton Abbey. (Which dashing suitor is Mary going to wed? I can’t believe that happened to Edith! HOW DID I JUST NOW DISCOVER THIS SHOW?) Forty-five minutes into my television coma, my son came upstairs. His tall, lanky figure loomed in the doorway…

“Mom, you forgot to tuck me in.”

Forty-five minutes.

He waited that long for me. ("Mother of the Year." Nailed it.)

So we went downstairs. I pulled the soft blankets over him, briefly chatted, whispered a prayer, planted a kiss on his cheek, and told him how much I love him.

Then I climbed back upstairs with a huge smile on my face.

Just when I thought he was getting too old and a little weary of mom’s ridiculous showering of affection in tucking him into bed, he reminded me even older boys still need their mamas. I love that I forgot to tuck him in, because I got to experience this moment.

Mamas, why do we stress so much about making mistakes?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Photography - A Convenient, Eye-Pleasing Background

One of my favorite things in all of life is a good family photo.

Thanksgiving can be a perfect day to try and get that. You’re already dressed up. You're meeting family and friends, so readily have someone to take the picture. And everyone’s happy because turkey and pumpkin pie does that to people.

You do need a good background, but that might not be as hard to find as you think. That bustling business with its packed parking lot you tend to daily drive by and ignore? Once the cars have cleared, it can become a fabulous simple, modern background. These pictures are taken in such a place.

Then, it's fun to do a quick edit to enhance the photo. I love black-and-white shots. On my phone, I use the VSCO app to create the effect. On Photoshop, I use Shutter Pulse Actions. For the color shots, I didn't run any actions, simply increased both the brightness and contrast. (This can be done with any editing software.) 

Also, I must add, I’ve given up on long photography sessions with my family. They max out at fifteen/twenty minutes, so we just go with that. I usually get at least one photo I like. So, I’m happy with that…

…and if not…well, there’s always the pumpkin pie…

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Sadness Over Change {And The Good Stuff It Means}

I thought it'd be fun to post pictures of our home we sold. So many big life moments happened there: birth of our last son, two babies lost (miscarriages), a season of being a stay-at-home-mom, success in our careers, a job loss, birthdays, holidays, raising kids, and lots of DIY projects as we flipped that home...oh goodness, how did we close the chaper already? I had myself a good cry about leaving our sweet space. (And our beloved neighbors.) But I think when we feel deeply sad about a transition, it means we really lived, learned so much, overcame, loved each other, and overall enjoyed the season before. Ultimately, that is a good thing. So I'm taking a moment to cherish, then eyes forward.

PS - I'm also posting these pictures because then I can look back and remember my house as clean. Because if you post it online as clean, then your home was always clean...right!!!???!!!!  ;)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hope Will Find You

Something I’ve noticed about hope, it always comes back to you.

It’s like how my son sends his yo-yo rapidly towards the ground and yet, when it reaches the bottom, it curls its way back up the string to be caught by ready hands.  Or just when you think the night can’t get any darker, the first of the morning rays peek over the horizon. Or when you’ve told your dear friend you’re fine and no worries, yet she later sends you a check-in text anyway.

What's something you can do when you feel hopeless?

Get up. Take a shower. Eat breakfast. Hold your head up high and carry on about your day. And you wait for it. Look for it. Expect it.

Hope will show up. It might be the tiniest of slivers or the entire sun itself, but it'll be there. It'll show itself. 

It always does.

"...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:31, NIV)