Little Things Thursday

If you’ve been around here a Christmas or two you may know that our family has an ornament per year tradition for our children. When my firstborn came along, I bought her an ornament for her first Christmas.  This began the tradition of buying each child an ornament each Christmas.  As they grew old enough to make choices, we let them choose their yearly ornaments.  The idea is that as they grow up and strike out on their own that they would take at least 18-24 ornaments with them for their own trees.  They would also take along their childhood memories with them and stories to tell their families-to-be.

Here is what they chose this year.  I must say that I was a bit remiss this year because we waited too long. We were left with some slim pickins, but I think we came out ok.  We always choose the glass ornaments, because we love the old-fashioned feel of them.

Gracyn’s pick: Chosen for her love of nature and animals.

Gracyn's 2014 ornament-web

Aidan’s pick: He loves the traditional ornaments.

Aidans 2014-ornament

Jasper’s pick: For his love of dogs, I suppose.

Jaspers 2014 ornanment-web

What are your favorite Christmas or Hanukkah traditions?

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December Randoms

I can’t believe that half of December is already behind us.  I’m ready to slow things down a bit because I just haven’t had the time to enjoy this Christmas. And I really want to enjoy it.

December 1-2014

I’m hoping to change that starting today. We have finished our school for 2014. The events are now checked off. My house will be cleaned today, because oh my stars…I just can’t keep up!

It’s time to bake and indulge in family, and rest.

I will say that although we have been staying busy that we have had moments of joy and thankfulness. We’ve spent time with friends, I’m having my best year ever with my business, and there is hope for what is to come in the new year!

Some highlights this week are: December skies, delivering gorgeous prints to waiting clients, Jasper’s Zebra drawing, and these two patient kitties that let my kids man-handle them for an entire evening.

Linking up with Good. Random. Fun.

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Little Things Thursday

Welcome Friends to Little Things Thursday! We are gearing up for our Christmas holidays.  Tomorrow is our last school day until after the New Year. I’m glad for that so that I can finish up a few things business wise and then start indulging my Christmas Spirit.

At least this beauty is in my home cheering me on.

Christmas Tree 2014-1-web

This is our first real tree in a few years. We went for the artificial kind for several years and then all the built in lights died. That’s a fatal flaw with those things. Changing them out is not so much fun either. Last year we chucked it, and decided that we would go back to the real thing with all its fragrant glory … and falling needles. Worth it, though.

What are you doing to get into the holiday spirit?

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Christmas Time is Here

The week after Thanksgiving is affectionately known as The Gauntlet around here.  From Thanksgiving Day we have 2 birthdays, and 3 parties/events every single year.  It’s always good to get through that busy week and finally start to wind down to enjoy  create the quiet of the season.  This is when we look forward to quieter nights enjoying Christmas specials and family moments with no need to rush to another event. The truth is that more busy seems to pop up, but we do try. My favorite way to enjoy Christmas is with nights home by the fire, warm bowls of comfort foods, listening to Christmas Hymns, and enjoying a good Christmas movie. Intimate gatherings are also special.

This past week we got to enjoy my husband’s office Christmas party once again.  The kids love this day! They like their gatherings big and raucous. Oh to be a child!

GW party 01

GW party 02

GW party 05

So with all that behind us, I feel that Christmas time is finally here.

Linking with Good. Random. Fun. 

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Little Things Thursday

We are really excited  because we have some friends from Thailand visiting us tonight! It’s been a couple months since I returned from my trip, and I’m looking forward to a couple gatherings with friends.

I just happened to stumble upon the one image from my trip, yet to be shared to commemorate the occasion.

statues at Baan Fa Luang 01-web

The Adams are having dinner with us tonight and I’m basically serving up a second Thanksgiving meal, except with ham. Perhaps it is more of a Thankmas meal. We are so looking forward to catching up, hearing their stories, and letting our kids interact with them. Then, next week the ladies I traveled with are getting our families together to share travel stories and just reminisce.  I’m really thankful for the role Thailand has played in our lives.  I know we are going to come away richer for this time this evening.

So, how is your December beginning? Tis the season to gather and celebrate!

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Capturing Real

Sometimes as photographers we feel pressure to capture only the happy.  The pressure can come from ourselves to deliver status quo or perhaps the client who only wants smiles in their photographs because that’s what they have come to associate with portraits.  I love smiles just as much as anyone and smiles are great to have captured for posterity.  However, sometimes we can miss the real in search of perception.  If you ever work with me I will capture your smiles.  I will capture your kids’ smiles.  However, I am going to be looking for those  soulful moments where I am looking past the smile into what feels like the soul.  I am going to look for those moments that capture stages that are soon to quickly pass.  It always breaks my heart a little when a someone says, “This would have been a great photograph if only so and so had smiled.” But guess what? It already is a great photograph.  We are a collection of emotions.  We are a collection of thoughts.  We are real and raw at times. We dream. We discover. We have inner strength that doesn’t always get conveyed by a smile.

Emotive photography is one of my favorite kinds of photography because those images strike a chord in our inner being somehow. They make us feel.

I love that this girl’s Mama gets it.  This was one of my favorite photos from a recent session.  Mama was glad to see that I captured this realness that only lasted for a moment, but was part of the story of the day.  I love it in black and white as a sort of behind the scenes, documentary feel. This is the toddler and preschool years. Isn’t it?

Pouting girl

I loved this one as well. There isn’t a smile, but a look of wide-eyed curiosity that is so part and parcel of babyhood.  I love that he is safely tucked away in his daddy’s arms signifying protection.
Father and Son

This one is soulful to me and I love the feeling of strength in both of their faces.

Mother and Daughter

This strong eye contact and absence of a smile reminds me of daydreaming while gazing into the sky. Those freckles are amazing and I love the look of this girl.

Freckles and Dreams

It can be scary to let our inner selves come through in portraiture. It’s hard to move beyond “saying cheese” for some. It takes a little trust in your photographer, but the results are rewarding if you desire a bit of the raw. It’s a simple paradigm shift that portraits can encompass a range of emotions and be beautiful.

Linking up with Black and White Wednesday and Wednesdays Around the World.

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Catching Up

I’m starting to see a glimmer of light at the end of the work tunnel. It’s been a huge blessing to be so busy helping preserve memories for others, but to say that the workload was heavy would be an understatement. Combine this with being the Thanksgiving host, and a birthday just days later…well…you can imagine how spent I might be. It beats boredom, though.

Today, I’m doing a little catching up of happenings of late.
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I have a bit of work left this week getting prints prepared for the lab, but after this, I’m going to be ready to relax. I’m so looking forward to enjoying this season of HOPE and reflections.

Linking up with Good. Random. Fun. and Songography.

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Little Things Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends! Whether you are celebrating this American holiday today or not, I’m so thankful for you! I look forward to seeing how each and every one of you is growing each week.  You are a truly special group of people that I’m blessed to “know”.

We are in full Thanksgiving mode here which means I’m letting myself take a couple days off for family time. This is a challenge because my photography biz, while not currently taking new clients for 2014, is still trying to finish up for the year.  The load is still quite full, but this has been such a wonderful busy season.

We spent yesterday cooking, cleaning, and readying for our feast today. Tomorrow, the hubs and I will do some light Black Friday shopping.  That doesn’t damper our thankfulness, and its the one day we can shop together for Christmas without kids.  We make a date of it, and we look forward to this “us” time. So we are going to not feel guilty for joining the crowd.  We will miss the mess anyway since we get started at 10:00AM.  The brouhaha is kind of over at that point.

Totally off topic, but this is my next image for the Black and White Challenge.

make-up-web

How was that for a segue? I’ve been enjoying working on conversions lately and I have a grander appreciation for the work that goes into one of these. I’ve already invited a few people to play along, but if any of you are up for the challenge of posting 5 black and white images, come play!

My turkey and dressing is calling, so let’s get to linking below.

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Bumblebean Giveaway

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This year we’re participating in an awesome Bumblebean Holiday Giveaway that we’d love to share with you all! Bumblebean is the destination for unique brands for moms and kids. They’ve put together a special holiday giveaway and scavenger hunt for parents to learn more about these great brands. You will have the chance to win one of three Bumblebean bundles with up to 35 prizes in each prize pack! They’ll be giving away over $5,000 worth of top baby and kids items. You’re invited to be part of this amazing holiday giveaway and join in the Bumblebean fun!

How it Works

  • Giveaway will run from November 20th – December 20th.
  • Entering is easy, just click the button below to go to the entry page with full instructions.
  • 3 lucky winners will receive a bundle prize pack with 35+ hand-selected items!
  • You may also enter the “find the bean” scavenger hunt to earn extra chances to win! 3x a week we will hide the Holiday bean on Bumblebean.com. Visit this entry page on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for the new CLUE to find the hidden Holiday bean! When you find the bean, make sure to enter your answer (the link to the web page you found the bean on) in the form below to earn your extra chances to win. Clues will also be posted on Facebook so make sure to like Bumblebean.
  • Open to U.S. residents only.
  • Click on the button below to enter and see all the cool prizes! Check them out!

 

REMEMBER, the more points you earn the better chance you have to win! The entry page link is below. LIKE Bumblebean on Facebook to see updates and who wins!

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Little Things Thursday

It’s been a busy fall around here.  I feel like my blogging has taken a huge backseat these last few months.  I’m so ready for the slower months to work on some personal things, like this blog!  Can you believe that we will be officially kicking off Christmas season in just a week’s time? This year has flown by. I’m so grateful for this year though, because I feel like I have learned so much and have really put some leg work into growing my passions.  I’m excited to see what new things will come about in 2015. But, I’m not quite ready to jump ahead to the New Year just yet.  I’m ready to savor some family time. I have visions of a peaceful December.

Rosie on bed-web

Rosie joined our family in 2014.  She’s cute, but she is trouble. Good thing she smiles at me a lot.

Now a bit of housekeeping.  I usually take Thanksgiving off, but since we have so many international friends I decided to keep LTT going on Thanksgiving Day.  Come if you can, but if not, enjoy your family time.  And hey, if I haven’t said it lately…I’m thankful for you!

On to the show…

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