forts & watermelon

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Yesterday was filled with getting up at 3am to send our oldest to Nicaragua on a missions trip, phone calls, texts and a LOT of frustration between us and DHS. Some days can get you in a funk, only seeing the negative and in that moment I decided to grab my big camera and literally focus on the positive right in front of me.

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The here and now – my baby loving his watermelon. I’m not sure why…but he basically takes huge bites, chews and then spits it all out. And then repeats over and over. Causing a very large mess.

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But a cute one, none-the-less.

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Those teeth. And you like those watermelon juice, slicked back eye brows? Stylin for sure.

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Then there’s these two. We decided it was time to make some outside tents to read in, complete with our favorite Trader Joe’s lollipops. I love these moments. Little moments that make up our day, our day that can be full of white noise and distraction, are what I want to remember. Not the noise. Not the plans that failed. Not the holding pattern that our life seems to be in at the moment…

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but these little faces…

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these little toes…

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and surely the hot tub area out back with this sign we take very seriously.

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Beauty + Moments

 

 

Kayla-3I love taking photographs of people for so many reasons, but I think one of the most satisfying reasons, is that I love to show people their beautiful selves. To cast them in the best light, to coach them on how to look at the camera and then for them to see the pictures and love themselves. That’s huge. For people to love who they are and how God made them uniquely to be.

I do pray that Kayla will love who God made her to be. That she would see the beauty that she is and not wish “her nose was smaller, she lad less zits, her hair was wavier….”. We’ve all been there, right. Some of us have stayed there for many years. Some of us have gained confidence in both God and our own beauty. The truth is, there is so much more to beauty that beautiful pictures, than perfect hair and makeup, and fun clothes. No matter what we look like, we become more beautiful (both to ourselves and to others) when we can love ourselves (not in a narcissistic way) for exactly who God created us to be.

Josie

Josie JOY is living up to her name…bringing so much JOY and healing to our home.Josie-7Ruby, who has cried at least once a week for a year and a half after losing Gage, hasn’t cried now for almost 2 months. Praise the Lord! And little Josie adores her big sister and loves giving her big, open-mouth, goobery kisses.

And below…well, this is just how we do dinner every night lately. Jo sits in her Bumbo and watches us, grins at us, makes us all turn into funny-face-making-fools just to get a giggle out of her. I’d say this girl knows exactly what she’s doing…wrapping us all around her adorable little fingers.

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Baby sleepingBaby fingers! Oh! Can I just eat them up? Nothing better than having her squeeze my finger with her cute little chubby hand while she’s eating. I’m already mourning the fact that the months are short that she’ll still want to do that….

Day 2 beauty

I’m a photographer. I’ve forever loved taking pictures, though there is always a sense that you just can’t quite capture in a little black box, as sophisticated as they are these days, the absolute truth as to what your eyes are actually seeing in real life.

Yet…we all (at some level) want to stop and get that gorgeous sunrise on the way to work, that colorful painting in the sky on the way home, the vibrant fall colors, that perfect flower…and then never fail to say, “It looked SO much better in person!”.

I think it’s a gift from God…our sight. To be able to process that beauty around us is pretty amazing when you think about it.

Funny.

So here I am being thankful for the beauty that awaits me several times a day as I drive to and from my house. Yep. I’m thankful for my ROAD. The sunset behind the hills, the farm fields to the left and the right. The gravel and all the pot holes that come every winter. My road calms me down as I drive the 4 minutes, transitioning from the cement highway that is hurried and full of people rushing, to my country road that forces me to slow down and (ok I admit that I should go slower on gravel – sorry neighbors!) take in the beauty and decompress.
Psalm 100:4

“Enter His gates with THANKSGIVING, and into His courts with praise”.

I’m in love….

…with the Instagram App! Of course I have more love for my Nikon, but in a pinch or just for a different look, I’m having so much fun with this little camera app.

I realized I wanted needed a picture of myself with my camera…because that’s what all photographers do, right?! And I love this one that Kayla took. I know, it probably sounds narcissistic to admit that out loud, but I think we should be more accepting of ourselves and less critical 🙂 Believe me, I know my flaws!!, but there are times when I can ignore them and be thankful to God for who He created me to be (and look).

Nothing puts a smile on my face more than hearing sisters giggle and play in a hammock. Even though they are almost 5 years apart, they still enjoy each others company and that brings joy to a mama’s heart.

And yes, once again, the famous fire pit. New friends (city dwellers) came to visit and LOVED our “outdoor camping lifestyle”….too funny. Taco soup, S’mores, running wild, swinging high, and good laughs around the fire…THIS is what summer is all about for us.

….oh! AND running through the garden sprinklers fully clothed in rain boots!

Homework…

This past week in my photography class I was to focus on relationships between individuals….here are a few that I got for my homework. Kayla and her friend, Savannah being silly and then being serious. Sisters. And Max with his amazing tutor, Teacher Annie.

I’m loving the photography class! Learning so much while being challenged to think outside the box!

Sun!!

Boy did we enjoy the sun yesterday! The two little girls and I ran a whole bunch of errands and then went to Rood Bridge Park. What a fun place to shoot pictures! I am learning how to shoot in manual mode and came home from my first photography class with some homework….yikes, talk about pressure! I also took an online class from MckMamma last night on how to use Lightroom 3…..WOW!! Fell in LOVE 🙂

Fun, Fun!!