Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sometimes I Love the Spotlight...

Usually, I'm a bit jittery and leery about getting in front of the camera, and this might sound vain, but I'm starting love it! Not only does the self-consciousness and nerves give me great perspective as to what it's like for those I photograph, but it's so fun to overcome that and let loose! A big thanks to Lauren and Ashley for letting me hop in a few pictures. You two have skills!

But enough about me, here you have my lovely sisters who have always been such naturals in front of the camera, as well as the ever gorgeous Ashley, who I could've taken pictures of all day. :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

goo-goo gah-gah

Lucky me, two of my sisters are here visiting with their babies! And I've adopted another sister--Em's sister in law, Ashley, who also came with her beautiful baby girl! I'm in baby heaven...four little loves between us. :)

Naturally, we've gone crazy with the photoshoots, and that's the understatement of the century. I have so. many. pictures to look through! But when you have the cutest niece and nephew on the planet, well, there's no option other than to take a gazillion photos. So, here are a couple I wanted to quick and share since I haven't posted in awhile, and I don't know when I'll have time to post again. Just know that there's lots more cuteness a'comin, and that I've been loving every second of our time together.

Mr. Cole, 5 months old.

And Miss Annabelle, 6 months old.

Gah! They are so cute!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Whoa-ah! Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

A few years ago, I admired how Mika Beth Edwards painted a bunch of tires for a photoshoot. I was blown away by her creativity and really hoped to someday take pictures with painted tires myself. Turns out, last week I had the perfect reason to hunt down nine free and very dirty tires on Craigslist. I had to haul them home in between all our car seats without hurting my little ones. Unload them. Explain myself to my neighbors out mowing their lawns. Wash them. Scrub them. Scrub them some more. Throw them around the driveway to get out all the water trapped inside of them. Dry them. Avoid weird looks from passerby. Tell myself over and over again that I'm not a crazy junk-hoarding kinda lady, and that this would be well worth it. Oh yeah, and paint them.

But back to my reason. At church, we're all given callings (essentially an assignment to serve in a specific way). I just got a new calling to plan one-hour activities for the eight and nine-year-old girls a couple times a month. I immediately thought PhOtoShoOt! And yes, I'd say looking like a crazy tire lady was well worth it. Just look at these beauties!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I Love You!

For the last several years on Mother's Day, I've wanted to write a blog post in honor of motherhood--in honor of my mom in particular. But I just couldn't do it. I felt like no matter what I said, it wouldn't do justice to the kind of mom I have and the kind of childhood I had. The whole topic seemed so overwhelming, and if I was going to write a tribute to my mother, I wanted to get it right. It still seems that way, but my heart is extra full today. I feel that if I don't write something down, I'll be disappointed in myself. Some things need to be expressed, even if my perfectionist devil says it's not good enough.

Just a second ago, before I began writing, I went through an old box hunting for a picture of my mom and me. I knew the one I wanted and I couldn't find it. What I did find, though, was my mom's beautiful handwriting describing her feelings when I first came home from the hospital, my first Christmas, and many other firsts. It was all things I've read before. But it struck me differently because I don't think I've read through that stuff since becoming a mom myself. I could relate to the feelings she expressed on a entirely differently level.

What I'm realizing is that being a mom to my three little ones is an unfolding vision of the love my mom has for me and my siblings. When I playback my childhood in my mind, my memory recalls it all a little differently now that I'm a mom. I have more compassion and gratitude for all that she did for me, all that she felt for me. When each of my kids were first placed in my arms at the hospital, the love I felt was life changing and rejuvenating. And each time I have those "my-heart-is-going-to-burst" and "the-tears-are-coming" feelings of love for my kids, I almost always think of my mom. This is how she feels!

Many times growing up, I remember my mom saying, "You kids are driving me crazy!" I say that so often now. I totally get it. My kids drive me crazy and sometimes I feel like I'm going to lose it. The potty training, the endless messes, the tireless cooking, taking three kids into the store! At face value, one might wonder what the big deal is. But seriously, it's a big deal. The buckling in and out of seat belts, the running in circles, brushing their teeth, bathing them, the laundry, putting on their clothes and shoes in the morning, and taking off their clothes and shoes at night, putting on their pajamas, helping them clean their rooms. Think of everything you do for yourself on a daily basis and times it by the number of young kids you have. And then I think you better times it again because there's almost always hiccups in the process.

Add to that all the perks, like snuggling and bedtime stories and watching them learn and grow. Add to that teaching them and listening to them and taking in all of their innocent beauty and worrying and wanting to do better all the time. Add all that good stuff up, and believe me, you have a full day.

And so, three kids in, I'm starting to understand just what it was my mom did for me, for all seven of us kids. She gave us everything. She gave us her heart, her hands, her mind, her faith, her love. And I'm feeling the enormity of it all as I have those feelings for my kids now. And while I know I've expressed appreciation to her before, I wanted it to be publicly this year. Mom, I love you again and again and then some. The way you raised me is praiseworthy and so good, and I can only hope I'm following in your footsteps. You are such and inspiration and example to me.

I love you!



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