Little Things Thursday

My little thing this week is the joy of receiving film scans back from the lab! I mentioned earlier this week the element of surprise when months pass between shooting and developing the rolls. To my surprise, I found Easter on my Portra 400.  And Portra 400 is definitely my jam.

I just love Portra’s skin tones.

Easter 2015

Easter 2015

Easter 2015

Easter 2015

The kids were mostly over being in their Sunday best for these, but I still love them!

I can’t wait to pop a few more rolls in my camera and start capturing more memories on film.

How’s your corner of the world?


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Ektar Film

It’s been several months since I have posted any film images.  The main reason is that it took all summer to use up two rolls of film!

But, I finally got them sent off to my lab and my Kodak Ektar roll came in today.  For those new to professional film, like me, Ektar is well-suited for sunny outdoor days.  The colors are punchy and Ektar showcases vibrant colors.  The downside is that sometimes you get red tones in unwanted places, like skin.  Still, I found Ektar to be a fun summer-friendly film with a vintage vibe that I love!

I decided to try this film on one of our summer pool outings.

Ektar 100 

Ektar 100

Ektar 100

Ektar 100

It was such a surprise to get these scans back because I truly could not remember what was on them. I’ll share more later this week.

Film is tough, but so fun. Don’t be afraid of it. You gotta go big or go home! I love that I won’t forget these memories, because they are captured!

All images shot with Kodak Ektar 100 on Minolta SRT 101.

Linking up with Good, Random, Fun, Songography, and Wednesdays Around the World.

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A Pocket Full Of Sunshine Boutique|Review

I’m doing a little something different for Little Things Thursday this week! Over the summer, I was contacted by the super cute children’s clothing company A Pocket Full of Sunshine Boutique to try out a couple of their items for review. My little girl is all grown up, but I’m surrounded by darling little girls in my town.  I put out a model call for one of them to model some dresses for me, and this doll stepped forward!

First, you have got to see all the clothing on A Pocket Full of Sunshine’s website. The outfits are adorable.  I love all the unique items that your girls will love this back to school season.  You won’t find these items in the collections in your local stores.  To me, that is a plus! As a photographer, I am also always looking for great companies to recommend to my clients for putting together a wardrobe for portraits. A Pocket Full of Sunshine has so many great, affordable options.

Like this adorable Blue Lace Florence dress:

APFOS blog post 1

I love the lace detail on the neckline and the empire waist!

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Next up is the Cream Crochet Maderia dress. Even my high school daughter said that she wished this came in her size!

APFOS blog post 2This is such a versatile dress! I can see this as an autumn look with a cute pair of tights and some cowgirl boots. It’s a perfect Back to School look! I know you’ll find so many looks to love this fall!

A Pocket Full of Sunshine is graciously offering my readers 25% off orders when you use the code littlebylittle! A little savings this time of year is such a blessing to the back to school budget!

And a parting shot of my darling model, because she was so fun to shoot! APFOS 04-LBLblog

Now come link up for Little Things Thursday with us and show us what you’ve got! Be sure to stop by A Pocket Full of Sunshine Boutique to get 25% off some unique Back to School clothes with my code!


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Little Things Thursday

Our pups were getting a bit stinky, so Aidan volunteered as tribute for bathing them. It’s not an easy task, but thankfully the summer months let us take the splashing outdoors.

You will need a change of clothing afterwards.  One dog in particular has a habit of escaping while full of soap. Ahem, Rosie.

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rosie gets a bath 01-blog

Gigi keeps her cool every time, for which we are all grateful.

gigi gets a bath 01-blog

gigi gets a bath 02-blog

Hope you are all having a great week! What’s up in your slice of the world?


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Catching Up

I’m still playing a bit of catch up from the end of summer through this second week of school.  Really, I think it is a bit of catch up combined with a much needed breather from always feeling in go mode. Not that I’m stopping much, but merely having to give a different set of items priority.

That’s why I’m thankful for Instagram that lets me continue to connect with others while blogging has been a back burner item, lately.  I’m looking forward to picking up my camera again and documenting life.  I am excited because I have a couple rolls of never-before-seen summer film ready to go out this week! What a surprise those frames will be.  Truly, I cannot even remember what all I captured.

Meanwhile, a taste of lately…

August 18-2015

I’ve picked up the knitting basket, which is a true sign that fall is on the way.

Dipped DQ cones filled in the always present waiting on the teenager to finish her activity time gap. It’s amazing how much life we parents exchange for our teens to have a life. These activities are all good things and I’m glad that we can give her the time to let her grow in many endeavors. We do make sure to reward the patient younger brothers who have to do a bit of waiting.

My Lemon Queen sunflowers have begun to bloom around the yard.  Sunflowers are so rewarding! I think I will do a bigger planting next year.

And, in heartbreaking news, I’m sure you’ve all heard about the Bangkok bombing this week.  Perhaps it feels like a far off incident to many reading this, but to me, it feels quite personal. Bangkok holds a very near and dear place in my heart.  If you are new here, you may not know that my family lived and worked there for 8 years.  Bangkok is also the birthplace of each of my children. While no one place in the world has more significance than another, this bombing stings a little. More than a little, actually.  It angers me and I hope it is a righteous anger. I can envision the exact place, the exact time, the sights, sounds, and the people.  I have stood in that place and passed by many, many times.  For me, it isn’t about the place, but the people.  So my heart goes out to this second home for me.  This evil incident reminds me to keep praying for a place and people that I love. As far as I’m hearing, all of my Bangkok connections are safe.  For that, I’m very thankful.

Linking this week with Randomosity, Wednesdays Around the World, and Black and White Wednesday.

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Little Things Thursday

Today is day 4 of our new school year and so far, things have gone extremely well  It’s always a blessing to get through the first few days with not one kid crying over work. In fact, our little Jasper told me last night that he felt so much better now that school has started  I wasn’t super sure what he meant, but at the same time I knew exactly what he meant.

Routine is a friend.

beginning of school week 2015

Sure, summer can be a great refresher of souls, but it has an expiration date. Too much and it starts to stink. I get that, and it was true for me as it was for him. The kids have had nothing but praise for their new endeavors, which is a balm to this weary Mama’s heart.

Weary. Yes, weary. The weeks before school began were intense with working. Not only did I have to wrap up summer activities and plan school, but I also had a huge editing project to finish. Two actually. My brain really started to melt from computer time. This explains why I have only posted phone shots here lately. I could not edit one more thing at the time. I’m actually giving myself the freedom to not edit personal work for a couple weeks, or until I feel up to it again. Whichever comes first.

I’m seeking to live more mindfully. I was feeling more robot than human over the summer. So, I made some changes. I’m waking earlier, which sounds counter intuitive. Hello 5:45 A.M.

It’s helping me focus my heart, soul, and mind at the beginning of the day before the fray begins. School is over by 1:30 P.M. The house is clean. I’ve exercised. Meals are served. Tasks are completed. And, I’ve gotten some rest time to just enjoy before doing it all over again. That’s a huge bonus because I really stink at the rest thing.

I’m still behind on blogging due to the projects I was working on, but my plan is to carve out time on Saturdays to blog for the week rather than freaking out the night before trying to pull something together. My blogging needs to reflect authenticity of life not scrambling to post. Now that school is back, I don’t think there will be a lack of things going on with all the new horizons and all.

Well, I hope you all are enjoying your remaining summer or are enjoying the first weeks of school routines. Drop a line and let me know!


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Little Things Thursday

Welcome back to Little Things Thursday. Once again, the week has gotten away from me. We’ve been in Back to School prep mode here. Yep, we are one of those weird states that goes back to school in early August.

So, we’ve been spending our days shopping for pencils and notebooks. The school room has been tidied and I’m fiercely guarding it lest someone musses it up. I think I’ve said, “Touch nothing” several times. Our big haul of books arrives today, I hope! Nothing like 4 days to go to dig into the curriculum. It’s not my first time at the rodeo with either the 3rd or 5th grade programs, so it should be old hat. Gracyn doesn’t officially start her hybrid school until after Labor Day, but she does have a paper due the very first day. It is a comparison paper in which she will compare Pride and Prejudice with a book she read last year…TBD. She will work on this while the boys are in school.

august 5 2015

New bedding was a surprise this week. I rolled over in bed one night and heard the sheets rip. They weren’t super old, but ripped nonetheless. And any old excuse to update everything would do, so I did. I just love neutrals, and went that direction. I love the calm of a simple color palate.

Gracyn is back on Doggie Day Care duty with Harls. Harley’s mom is a teacher and has already gone back to work, so we get to play a bit with this guy during the school year. Our Pomston, Rosie, is sweet on him. Harley acts nonplussed, but he enjoys her attention.

And finally, Curly Sue decided to let the hair stylist flat iron her hair for kicks. She looks so pretty, but we love her curls, too. She is looking like a 9th grader here and I’m not sure I like that too much. This year is definitely going to be one of many transitions, but I have faith that it will be good.

How’s the rest of your summer shaping up?


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The summer that was…

Hard. Summer was hard. I’m not one to dwell on negativity, because really, there is just so much of that in the world. But, I’m learning that acknowledging the hard things doesn’t have to be negative. It can be good for the soul. I think we call it processing, don’t we?

This summer was a season where the pressure to have fun was overwhelming. Maybe you can relate. This summer was one where my husband and I were only able to focus on building what was right in front of us. Our work efforts required everything we had. It was time to dig deep and slog through many battles and fun was just not going to be a reality for us no matter how much we “needed” it. And that was hard. If I’m honest, it was pretty stinky to be on the outside looking in. I had a pity party or two. Or three.

End of Summer 2015-1

We had to make due with simple pleasures and our summer was probably similar to the summers we had as kids. There was no pressure to keep up with everyone else’s adventures and stuff back in the day. Kids played outside. They had a Popsicle or two. They went to the pool occasionally. And they were happy. The end.

But, this summer I really lost my way in remembering truth. I had to fight for truth. I won. I won because I was able to take my disappointments and refocus them on what really matters. I was able to journal my way through my thoughts and turn them right side up. There is still a twinge of pain lingering over a summer I wouldn’t have chosen, but I recognize those old familiar feelings and speak truth to them a little more quickly these days.

End of Summer 2015-2

My kids? They had a fun summer. They played outside. They had a Popsicle or two. They went to the pool occasionally. And they were happy. The end. Actually, our oldest had a blast youth grouping all summer long. So her tank should be extra full.

While I am in many ways in need of a grand do-over, I am thankful that school begins again next Monday. School is the great equalizer and we all suffer together. LOL.

Our work loads won’t be any less, but I feel that I have a better grasp on what I need to do to build a solid foundation for the year ahead. It still requires digging deep and slogging through some things, but as our fortune cookies so wisely put it: Your investments of time now will lead to success later. You will make many changes before settling satisfactorily. <— This, yes this.

Those aren’t “fortunes”, but just some good old common sense with truth that rings through. I needed the reminders that none of this summer was in vain. No matter how stinky it felt at times. I am better for walking the valley. We all are if we look at the valley as a teaching ground rather than something to avoid. Comfort, while good, is not always a friend.

This morning as I was flicking through Instagram I was blessed with another great reminder which simply said: Steady Construction, Not Hasty Assembly. (Thank you Little Bit Funky) So often we want life to be an Ikea flat pack on the road to we are going. Very often, that’s just not how things work. I would love this in a frame to hang because wow, that is exactly how I need to approach this coming year. Steady construction. In all things.

I’m thankful for those that cheered me on the sidelines with those quiet don’t give up calls, and for those even louder ones that jarred me straight back to the construction zone. Oh, how I need that.

I’m praying for a fruitful season ahead, because I need that, too.

Linking with Good.Random.Fun.

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Little Things Thursday

Hello, strangers.  Well, that’s how it feels since I have had to pull back on blogging the last week or so.  I can only keep up with one post a week right now, but thank you for still connecting here, meanwhile. I’m trying to give myself permission to take care of all the pressing things so I can get back to a regular routine soon. I’ve gotta have it together by a week from Monday, so I’m almost there.

I’ve been swamped with preparing for our new school year, and working my photography business.  I’m just in a stage where the devil is in the details. I just need those around me to say that it is okay for these things to take time to complete. I can be such a hamster on a wheel. I forget that most things are a process and not a run into the ground race.

Enough about that though, because I have a girl to celebrate! Yesterday, Gracyn turned 14! I could lament the years here, but you moms already know. It goes quickly.

And she got a phone.

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She’s pretty pleased about the phone situation. We’ve been one of the last hold out parents of kids her age. There are still a few others, but we were definitely in the minority. I don’t regret waiting, but feel that now is the time with high school on the very near horizon. I just need to be able to reach my kid.  It’s more for me than her. So, it’s definitely a little thing bringing much happiness around here. Her dad and I are cool after all.

How’s your week going, friends?


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Little Things Thursday

What happens when the corn crop you so desperately looked forward to dies?

You create a backdrop out of it, of course! It’s the whole lemons and lemonade drill.

Jasper in corn husks 01-blogOur corn just didn’t produce like we hoped. We managed to get 2-3 respectable ears and many tiny weird ones.  Our garden was essentially a big failure except for the basil, tomatoes, okra and berries. In many ways my garden became a metaphor for my summer.  Disappointment.

I envisioned refreshment.  There were bits of that, but not on the scale that I felt I truly needed to be refreshed to begin again. But, the thing about need is that what we think we need may not be what’s best for our growth, overall. I’ve grown all summer long, but I’m weary. I guess you could call it growing pains.  I’m planting and planting and planting.  The harvest sometimes looks like disappointment on the surface, but rather it is the fodder for a greater harvest to come.  I believe that.  Because disappointment, when used correctly, causes us to grow. We dig deeper, and make adjustments. I’m no quitter and I also believe that God wastes no circumstance that He allows.  We just have to be willing to accept and learn from our circumstances.  It’s not easy, but it is necessary. While not getting a vacation or other luxuries this summer was disappointing, I do think I’ll look back on this time as pivotal. My souvenirs aren’t seashells and T-shirts, but I believe that my take-aways are valuable.

We have less than 3 weeks before our new school year begins and I am furiously working to shore up loose ends so that I’m not crawling to the first day of school.  I apologize for not being as available to participate and visit.  I hope you know that my desire is FOR those things, but that well, honestly, I’m struggling to balance duty and delights. Delights have just had to retire to the backseat over the last month or so.  There has been just so much on my proverbial plate that needs attention. It’s nothing serious, but as you know, when things pile up life can feel overwhelming.

I do have a couple massage gift certificates that will be a balm once I get through the bulk of the crazy.  I’m looking forward to those.  I’m still going to be around, and I’m trying to make room for delights as I can. Soon, routine will win the day once again and I’ll be back on the saddle. Less than 20 days to go! How’s your summer?  


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