Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Very Special Photography Experience

Good Evening!
I hope this finds you enjoying your summer 
and looking forward to your prospective Independence Day celebrations.
I have some very special photos to share with you this evening.
Earlier this year, I was privileged to do my first Maternity shoot.
It was a WONDERFUL experience (one that I would love to visit again!)
At the time, the Mommy-to-be requested that I not share the images 
so she could "unveil" them at her baby showers (what a clever idea!). 
I was happy to oblige her!
Her precious little boy was born May 16th
and I was privileged to take his 1 month old photos a few weeks ago.
Please meet Jake & Jessie and their adorable son, Tate!

Here He Is!!!!

Thank you for viewing!
Please comment/critique!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Unglued" Thoughts

Good Evening!
I hope you all are enjoying your summer thus far!
Here is a bit of summer that I've been enjoying...:) I'm DEFINITELY a FRESH STRAWBERRY kinda girl! <3
Tonight's blog post is going to be a little different than usual.
I've been a bit melancholy the last few days.
Not necessarily in a bad way...
just a little lost in my own thoughts and imaginings. 
Some of my thoughts have revolved around Lysa TerKeurst's book, "Unglued". 
Our ladies group at church have just finished the video series
Lysa put out in addition to the book.
And I personally just finished reading the book.
It say the least.

As you can see from the image, 
"Unglued" is about "making wise choices in the midst of raw emotions".
(I don't know about you, but I DEFINITELY needed help in that area!)
Through-out the book, Lysa talks about making "imperfect progress".
Meaning, (I will direct these statements to myself) I do not have to become a super Christian overnight.
I do not have to beat myself up and think that I've totally blown it 
and can never recover when I mess up and let my emotions run away with me.
Imperfect progress is simply realizing where I messed up
and getting up and trying again to handle my raw emotions better the next time.
It is also realizing that I'm not expected to do any of this on my own.
I have a Helping Hand ready and willing to come to my aid whenever I call upon Him.
All of this might see elementary to you,
but these ideas were Revelation from Heaven to me.

I tend to be very hard on myself.
I am my own worst critic
And, a lot of the time, I assume that I how I feel about myself;
is how everyone feels about me.
My head, my logic knows this is not the case,
but my heart, my emotions, lose sight of that occasionally.
(Yes, this really is where my mind goes when I'm feeling melancholy...
my thoughts also tend to be a little scattered as you will read in the next paragraph. 
As a great man of God once said,
"It may seem like we have scrambled eggs right now,
but stick with me and it will all come together 
and we will have an omelet in the end.")

 "The journey to self discovery begins with a single step"
...that is probably a misquote of something somebody awesome once said.
(I was right, I just looked it up...
the actual quote by Confucius - I knew it was someone awesome - is: 
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". 
But since this is my blog, I suppose I can rearrange quotes to make my point...)
I know from personal experience that Confucius' statement is true
and I can honestly say that it has been an encouragement to me in times past.
It makes a HUGE goal seem more manageable.
However, at this time in my life, I'm getting tired if all these "single" steps 
(to me it feels like they are itty-bitty baby steps)...
 And preferably better progress than "imperfect progress"...
(See, I'm slowly bringing it back together...)
I seriously doubt that I am alone in this.
None of us are taking this step of faith alone...
We all have issues and occurrences that come up in our lives
and show us exactly how raw our emotions really are.
For me, it is frustrations at work combined with havoc in my personal life.
These things make me irritable and ungrateful
I want to lash out at anyone and everyone in my path
even though I know they are not the problem.
I am not dealing with my raw emotions.
I am not seeking assistance from that Helping Hand at my side.
Honestly, facing these facts can do one of two things:
(A) - it can open my eyes and cause me to do what I should've done in the beginning:
pray for the Lord's help with my attitude
or (B) - it can drive me further into those raw emotions 
and I end up making a bigger mess than ever.
But whatever happens, the decision is mine.
The choice is up to me and me alone.
So, for today at least 
- cause I know these raw emotions are going to be waiting for me in the morning -
I'm not going to let my raw emotions get the best of me.
I'm praying for patience and guidance in my workplace.
I'm praying for the peace of God and 
His Will to be accomplished in my personal life.
It's funny...I feel better already :).

The bottom line is this:
Life isn't always a tea party.

(Yes, of course, I was just looking for an excuse to 
share photos from our Princess Tea Party at work last week! lol 
But the logic fits with what I'm saying...)
Life isn't always pleasant.
Sometimes, bad things happen to good people.
And sometimes, those good people are hurt to the point 
that they become a little unglued.
We've all been there a time or two.

Right now, my family is facing some serious issues.
They are painful for us.
They are issues that we ourselves cannot fix.
Only God can fix them
and only He knows how things are going to turn out.
Even though it is not easy,
I'm choosing to put my trust in Him
in that He knows what He's doing 
and He will work everything for my family's good.

Thank you for reading.
I hope you were somewhat able to keep up with my scattered, melancholy thoughts.
I have one last thought accompanied by a photo to share with you this evening.
 When you're caught up in the havoc and chaos of everyday life
and you feel like you can't take anymore,
spend some time with a child.
You will leave with a whole new perspective.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

It's Summertime!

Good Evening!
I realize that according to the calendar,
Summer doesn't OFFICIALLY begin until June 21st.
 But for me, it began last Monday (June 3rd):

Overall, it was a GREAT week!
100% CRAZY! But in a good way...:)
On Tuesday, we took the kiddos to Fon Du Lac Farm Park.
It was crowded and the sun was hot and bright
(I got joke...),
but a good time was had by all!
The old school house at the Farm Park
On Wednesday, we had a special speaker from Familia Dental 
come and talk to us about the importance of good dental hygiene
(I know, not the most exciting presentation for kids to have to sit through,
but like I said, it's important...)
Our speaker actually did a great job keeping the kiddos' attention
and was rewarded with the smiles of many happy campers
(pun intended...) when she passed out the goodie bags.

On Thursday, we took the kiddos on a hike on the trails of Forest Park Nature Center.
I had never been there but had heard great things about it.
This is NOT a commercial, but it is a great place to take kids to learn about nature.
I know everyone is sick of all the rain we have been having
(myself included) but it has made everything so LUSH 
and FULL that I can't complain about it.
"Not all who wander are lost..."
Our tour guide knew her STUFF!!!!
And she was great with the kids!
We sang "Know, Know, Know Your Oaks"
(the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat),
we played "Mother Nature Says",
smelled some wild mint,
and, of course, got to see some pretty cool animals in their natural habitat.
(including a wild turkey which kinda blew my mind...).

On Friday, we had the children color small pictures with the YMCA's address listed
and placed them in helium-filled balloons and let them go.
The kids participated MARVELOUSLY
and I was granted some GREAT photo opportunities!

All in all, it was a great week
and, being the pathological picture taker that I am,
I beyond excited at all the great shots I was able to snap.
Check them out!
Silly Camp Counselors!

Miss Deana, our bus driver! :)

Underdog time!

Popcorn Painting

LOVE their creativity!
Sidewalk Chalk Time! :)

I ADORE love notes from the mamas in the lunchboxes!!!!
The boss lady filling up the balloons! :)

A Message in the Balloon :)

Oops...stuck in the tree

One of the balloons popped and the message got stuck...I had to jump to get it down!
Watching the balloons soar off...this is my favorite photo of the week! <3
Camp is ALL about new friends!

Mr Sam teaching the kids what NOT to do! ;)

In the meadow...<3
Thank you for reading and viewing!
I hope you enjoyed last week as much as I did!
I would love to hear how you spent your week!