Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Do you want to know one thing I LOVE about photography?

When you get a little bored with the same old, same old, there is ALWAYS something new to learn.

I've been toying (no pun intended) with the idea of composites for awhile now, so yesterday, smack dab in the middle of editing a wedding, I decided to take a small break and give one (or two) a try.

I am pleasantly surprised at how they turned out and they were SO much fun to create.

I plan on printing the first one for Henry's room. It just screams him.

I can't wait to create some more!

Have you tried anything new and exciting lately?

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Tough. Hard. Seemingly Impossible.

Can I just stop for a minute and say it: life can be downright tough. Hard. Seemingly impossible.

I've been a busy bee as of late - I started watching two little boys (ages 2 and 7 months) in my home from 7 to 3 Monday through Friday while maintaining my other part time job, photography, crocheting, and keeping up our home.

It can be a little overwhelming at times.

But that's beside the point and totally off-topic.

(The easy decision. The hat that fits the best. My sunshine and rain and all good things captured in the messiness and sweet and wild that is my little boy.)
I'm not even sure what the point is here. Just that, well, I have some tough decisions to make. And tough decisions can make life seem tough. Hard. Seemingly impossible.

I guess I just don't know where to go from here. I feel stuck exactly where I am for at least another month? Longer? I don't know.

I do know that I have to make decisions, and stick to them - no matter how much I want to stray, bend rules, or push limits. I have to stand my ground. It's the only way I'm going to grow and become what I've envisioned.

I need discipline. Something I've always lacked and have to constantly push for.

Sometimes I feel like I've dipped my toes into a few too many pools. I like how each feel, effect me, help me to grow - but I am running from one to the other, jumping in head-first, because I don't have the time to savor each one.

My head fits a few too many hats - and I just need to hang a few up for the time being, revisit them later when the season is right. But which ones? How do you walk away from something you love in order to savor something else you love? How do you decide what you want to do with your limited time in life? How do you prioritize when it all seems important, wonderful, exciting?

I hate tough decisions. Hard decisions. Decisions that are seemingly impossible.

But they have to be made, and soon, because time is limited and I want to make the very most of the time that I have.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Light Shines

I feel as if God is preparing me for a great tragedy, but if we're honest with ourselves, isn't he always?

The truth of God's word rings true every. single. day. Every day whether we reach for it, study it, listen to it, and search for the answers that we so often seek.

I'm currently reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, have you read it? It's a tough read, for different reasons, but currently I am at a spot that reflects on how all things, good and bad, come from God.

The great tragedies of our lives are gifts from God and this text hit me hard with that truth as I was reading it last night:

"All God makes is good. Can it be that, that which seems to oppose the will of God actually is used of Him to accomplish the will of God? That which seems evil only seems so because of perspective, the way the eyes see the shadows. Above the clouds, light never stops shining."

Above the clouds, light never stops shining.

I had to think about that for a good long while and breathe deep the realization that even when my own heart is breaking, when tragedy surrounds me, and when I feel like there is nothing but evil left in the world, God's mighty hand is allowing it.

I'm not leaving Satan's pull blameless and forgotten here, but our Almighty is in full control - He can step in an intervene in all things - good and bad. Everything that happens to us, our friends, our family, the world - it is His will.
I read Romans 5:12-21 this morning as a start of a new devotional about Justice for She Reads Truth, and it seemed to tie everything together for me. Justice - we seek it in order to feel as if all the evil, the bad, that happens in this world is redeemed. But Jesus found justice at the cross when he died for ALL sin.

The problem is that we too often forget that great sacrifice.

I feel as if God is preparing me for a great tragedy: all these reminders that all things come from Him, that justice has already been served. I just hope I have faith enough to remember it when the time comes.

Join me in this new devotional? I'd love to reflect on God's truth together.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Henry's 3rd Birthday & Ice-cream Party

Well...my baby boy turned 3 this weekend. I feel truly blessed to be called his Mommy. Saturday I shot a wedding and afterwards, we went to Young's Jersey Dairy to celebrate. Henry loves feeding the animals and once it got dark outside, we headed inside for some of their famous homemade ice-cream. Sunday we had a wonderful ice-cream party with family and friends. Henry had such a great time and he told me this morning that he can't wait to have another birthday again...

Slow down there, baby boy, Mommy doesn't want your birthdays to come any more quickly.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Potty & Chore Chart

Henry has had a bit of an 'obsession' with money lately. Every time we go into a store he insists that he pay for everything and he will jump at any chance to earn a penny.

I figured I would use this towards my advantage and come up with a creative way to combine chores and earning money in an organized way.

Welcome the potty & chore chart!

We bought a piece of foam paper, broke out the finger paints, and decided to create a sticker chart that would allow Henry to earn stickers towards money for good behavior, chores, and going on the potty (which he isn't doing, don't let me fool you).

Every 3 stickers earns him a quarter and he can earn stickers lots of ways: 1 sticker for going #1 on the potty, 2 for going #2, 1 for putting away his toys or clothes, 2 for listening well when out and about, etc...

So far it has worked really, really well. Well...except for the potty part. We've realized that he is just not going to budge on this subject until he's 100% ready.

Making it was only half the fun and now Henry is thrilled every time we mention earning a sticker! I'm hoping this will be a great tool for learning new things like picking up after himself and chores now and in the future.

Do you have any fun ways to encourage your kids to do the same? How old do you think is 'old enough' to do chores around the house?

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Sunday, July 13, 2014


The house is very, very quiet right now - something I am completely unused to. Both of my boys are asleep. Or, I guess I should say all of my boys are asleep as even the dogs are off snoring somewhere.

We had a busy day yesterday and while I kinda wish I was snoozing too, I am still coming down after 9 hours of work. And my stomach is grumbling which means I'm going to have to get off of my butt and cook some dinner here soon.

There's no napping for this Mama.

I knew I would write this post sometime this week. I wasn't sure if I would wait until Saturday or write it earlier or even later...but I knew that it would have to wait until I could be in the quiet, where my thoughts could bleed freely without interruption.

Henry is turning three. I am going to have a THREE year old.

I know that it may seem that I'm being a bit over-dramatic about the whole ordeal, and I assure you that that's probably true. But over-dramatic is the only way I can think to describe the way that it feels to think about three entire years coming and going since this little boy entered our lives.

Three years of ups and downs, of learning what works and what doesn't.

Three years of wiping away tears and giving hugs and kisses and holding him tight and wishing time to stand still.

But it never does. Time does not stand still for anyone - no matter how over-dramatically you ask it to.

I look at him as he's laying so peacefully asleep, curled up in his Daddy's chair, and it's all I can do not to go scoop him up and sniff deep the familiar smell of boy - dirt, sweat, and still that hint of baby. I love it. And I know one day I'll miss it.

I wonder sometimes how mother's do it. I even had the thought earlier this week that God must have created mother's simply for the purpose of praying for their children until they learned to pray for themselves. And as silly as that may sound to some, I seriously fear the day that my grandmother passes on because I know that a great prayer warrior will no longer be praying for me.

Honestly though - how often do you think of your child? How often do tears run freely in both joy and worry and love and hope and fear? For me - it's often. And it's both wonderful and terrifying to know that my baby has grown up this much already. And it's both wonderful and terrifying to know that he has a lot of growing yet to do.

Three years. I cannot believe it. Three entire years.

I hope I have not failed him as a mother in any way. I hope that he will look back one day and know that I gave my entire self to him so that I could see him grow and become something great and wonderful. I hope he will always remember that I love him and that I break and bleed and smile and laugh and live in a completely different way since he was born.

I hope one day he has a three year-old, and that he breathes in a deep understanding of what it's like to sit staring at a tiny face - so perfect and round - and pour love and wishes for wonderful things, but break because of the swiftness of precious time rushing by.

I hope he has a wonderful third birthday, and I hope that I can keep it together. Every year seems harder to grasp. Every years seems to come and go faster than the last. I want to bottle this time and keep it trapped forever so that I never miss even the smallest of details.

Am I being over-dramatic? I don't think so...
as far as I'm concerned, there's no such thing as an 'over-dramatic' love, especially when it comes to that of a mother's.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Stepping Out

I am officially stepping out of my comfort zone and making an attempt to grow my business, and my dream of one day working 100% from home.

My husband always says 'you have to spend money to make money' and while I know this is true, I've tried to keep from spending anymore money than what was 100% necessary because honestly, we didn't have the money to spend.

So. I took on a wedding on Henry's birthday this year. It's been eating me since the day I accepted, but - the money from the wedding will pay for Henry's swing-set, birthday party, and make up for the money I will lose not working all weekend plus, it will pay for this big step forward...

advertising. Like. For real.

My friend Jessica and I are purchasing a booth space at a local festival at a local produce market and farm that is hugely popular in our area.

Our booth will have a two-fold purpose: selling our handmade crochet items and promoting my photography.

This means physically meeting people face to face and saying 'yes, I'm a photographer...' which is hard for me to say. I am still a baby in this world, I've just learned to crawl and now I feel like I'm attempting to run.

It's scary. It's stepping out of my comfort zone.

But it's exhilarating too - and a great, great opportunity for me. No one knows me here (seriously) and this is going to give me such great exposure that I may just be surprised with the response.

Only time will tell.

Here's the info on the event, if you live in my area come out and see us!

Thank you, friends, for your continued support in all that I dream and do.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Spoiled Rotten

Having only one child can have it's benefits, I suppose. Although our fight with secondary infertility is real (there, I said it), I've been praying and meditating and telling myself that if Henry is an only child - it won't be so bad. I mean, how many kids get a $350 gift for their 3rd birthday?

Okay, so maybe quite a few kids do, I don't know - but our kid typically does not. That's a lot of money and it was the cheapest one we could find.

Luckily we didn't have to foot the bill completely ourselves - my grandmother, Jeremy's parents, and even Henry (he used part of some money he had received from past birthdays and holidays) helped pay for his gift. But, we still had to pay the majority of it and we did so willingly because our little boy deserves it. He is such a light in our life and watching him play on his new 'park' is going to be the highlight of a lot of days, I know.

His birthday is still 11 days away, but I don't think he's even going to notice that he doesn't have a ton of gifts to open on the actual day.

He's spoiled rotten...and well, that's probably okay.

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