Saturday, July 21, 2012


Jere has a new fascination with swings. At two years old, the big kid swings at the park seem so high for him. I'm always nervous he'll flip off backwards, or even worse, flip to the front and faceplant into the rocks. I worry too much. Yesterday I caught him doing something that made my stomach curl. While on the swing, with his tiny feet dangling freely, he would let go of the chains. He'd quickly grab them again, but I caught a glimpse of that daring personality shining through again. I thought to myself... He's so brave. That's terrifying and awesomeAs a mother, you never want your children to be bound by fear. But you also know that a complete lack of fear can lead to reckless abandonment of common sense. And so, I didn't intervene. I just watched. And guess what?? He survived his few moments on the swing and when it became too much, he asked for my help. Its true what they say, that we learn from our kids. God is teaching me so much through my boys. I am learning to let go. I am learning to be a little more daring. Braver. 

This week I posted a couple of pics onto the fan page of a photography blog I follow. And... I didn't die (even though I was super nervous about it, and only three people liked my photos, and they were my friends). But I did it. I put myself out there, did something brave, brave for me atleast. I have been functioning at half of my potential for a long time now, because I was afraid. If you had asked me just a month ago, I would have told you I have a lot of hobbies- I like to sing, I try to write, I take pictures, I sew, I homeschool my kids, I fiddle with all sorts of stuff. But today, I am coming to terms with some things. I am a teacher, a photographer, a singer, a writer. Pretending like I'm not called to be all of these things is just not ok. I have so much faith in the One who is equipping me, and I can't continue to ignore His purposeful gifts. I read an interesting quote on Joyce Meyer's facebook page today. Hopefully I don't flub it up. "Stop living emotionally, and start living on purpose." Amen to that.

I hope this finds you letting go, being brave, and living on purpose :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Prop Shop: Mason Jar

Ok... So this isn't much of a tutorial, but more of a fantastically simple idea. I've done it. I know YOU can do it. I've said it before. I love props for photo sessions for all sorts of reasons. I think they bring personality and character to your photos. They give your subjects a chance to show off a part of themselves, and most importantly- they are a beautiful distraction. I cannot tell you how valuable this has been for me as a newbie. The minute I pull out my bag of tricks {and I always have one} the atmosphere changes, the guards are down, and folks feel more comfortable. Give a teenager a pretty flower to look at and then show her how amazing she looks in your camera- the rest of the shoot is a breeze. Really, it's that simple... sometimes. I also carry jelly beans for child bribery which takes care of the rest :)

So, today's suggestion?? A jar full of flowers. Say, what?! Yes. I'm so serious. Flowers are pretty by themselves, but throw them in a jar and they take on a life of their own. The possibilities are endless! I did this shoot a month or so ago- engagement photos for some friends. When she told me she'd be sporting red shoes I flipped out a little. I had been hoarding tons of ideas for red props.

What you are looking at is an old canning jar out of my pantry, with a piece of baling wire wrapped and twisted into a heart as a handle, and a $5 Wal-Mart bouquet of flowers, trimmed with twine. It's that easy. This turned out to be my absolute favorite shot- the way the tiny heart is peeking around their intertwined fingers... aagghhh, I LOVE it!!

Fun thought of the day... maybe those things that you wish you could do, but keep convincing yourself that you can't- maybe you're making too much out of them. Maybe it's as simple as putting yourself out there and throwing some flowers in a jar. 
I hope this finds you trying something new, putting your own creative spin on it, and surprising the pants off of yourself. Happy Friday :) 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

super me

I am so happy to be the mother of three wildy imaginative boys. I spend countless moments listening to their retelling of dreams and made up stories. I watch from behind the door frame while they play and pretend and I LOVE it. There is something that comes alive in children when they are free to imagine things. I remember how incredibly liberating it was as a kid, to escape to a world where I could be anyone or anything I wanted. I wasn't hindered by money or circumstance or my own insecurities. I think that God-given imagination is where dreams are born. I was a dreamer. I am a dreamer. Even at 32, I daydream and imagine things all the time. Sure, my dreams are less about unicorns and prince charmings, and more about walking in freedom and wholeness, but it all stems from the same thing. There is a place in all of us, that cries out to be the very best that we can be, even to a wild end. And as I get older, I realize more and more that there is a resounding theme to all of this. It's not so much about super powers and make believe, or even what I can do if I work hard enough- it's all about Jesus. The moment we encounter Jesus, we realize that He is the only one that can make these things a reality. And I'm not talking about a goofy Christian-life-is-an-easy-life mentality. If anyone ever told you that, they were lying :) I'm talking about the reality of God's hand on every part of our lives, and how that translates to greatness. The more I give over to Him, the more He gives back to me- whole, made over, thriving, SUPER. Sort of has a Philippians 4:13 ring to it, doesn't it? I can do anything. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

big arms= big hugs.

I have to get back into the swing of writing. Vacation ruined me.

Today can be summed up in just a few thoughts. This may sound silly to some of you, but I'm just being honest. No matter what my day holds- good bad or ugly- sinking into fresh clean sheets can set the world right again. I slip into bed and forget everything that ails me. And if the day was particularly brutal, then I pull the sheets up over my head and breathe in the tent-like goodness. It's sort of like comfort food for my brain. I can't let myself believe I'm the only one that feels this way about Gain-scented cotton.

No Gain? No soft cotton sheets? No worries. I'll do you one better. No matter what my day holds- good bad or ugly- sinking into the arms of my Jesus can set the world right again. He puts my crinkly sheets to shame with the way He swoops in and makes all of this make sense.

Hope this finds you doing just that, sinking, clinging, thanking, loving.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I'm Going Home

I have been away for some time now. A week and a half exactly if you're being literal. But maybe I'm not. Maybe I'm talking about the way I got *away* from the plan, the vision, the goal. Away in my mind. Away in my heart.

I just spent a super refreshing week in Texas and four-ish days in the Smoky Mountains. Am I sad to see it end so quickly? Sure! But mostly I'm just chomping at the bit to get home. Vacation always starts to make me crazy by the time it's over. I start thinking about what's waiting for me at home. I have big plans for my flowerbeds, and the pile of fabric in my craft space is begging to be made into something amazing. Oh, and pictures. I have something like 4 or 5 family shoots to do.

But on the heart front, it's God plans that I can't get out of my mind. I was gently reminded this week- several times- of the way my Dad called us and carefully placed us where we are. I was refocused and nudged to get out there and DO something. Somewhere I had adopted the mentality that if He set it in motion that I could sort of coast through- like hopping on God's bandwagon and taking a ride should be enough. I grabbed at the edge of Jesus' cloak and laid down. He's had to drag me through this move. Technically I've been going along with what He's doing. But I've been hitting my head along the way- getting the sense knocked back into me every.single.time. It's painful. Imagine where we'd be if I had grabbed His cloak and ran behind Him. I would have seen what He sees, jumped over the rocky spots, and been a help rather than a hinderance. Yes, folks. I hate to admit it, but I was slowing things down. I am so sorry for that.

They say 'home is where the heart is.' I am setting my heart on things above and soaking up God's presence in the center of His will.

It's good be home :)