Parents, if you want wonderful pictures of your children, never teach them to say "cheese"! Please learn from my mistake or you will have thousands of photos just like mine - squinted eyes, scrunched up noses, clenched teeth, and an image that just screams "say cheez!!!". Join me while I search for that one perfect shot that doesn't conjure up images of dairy products. Oh, and unless you like that *messy* look, you'll probably want to clean their faces before you snap away. I never seem to remember myself.

An imporant sidenote is to make sure you document your life! Recording the little details of the who, what, where, when, & why makes for wonderful stories and captures your life for years to come. Because if you are like me, you'll forget it all 5 minutes later!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Trying Something New

I have a huge love of crafting and memory keeping. I spend a good deal of time scrapbooking and recording my family's memories and love the entire process. One area that I would love to explore more is the art journing process as I love all of the mixed media tools and influences. But it makes a huge mess, especially when the kids are around! So when I learned that Jessica Sprague was offering a digital art journaling class, I jumped at the chance to sign up!

It certainly has a learning curve for me, but it is such fun playing around in photoshop and discovering all of the immensely cool things I can do! Here are a few of my first creations...I can totally see me doing much more of this!







It was a blast to learn so much and try something new!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Favorites of 2011

You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu

I try my best to capture my family's life on camera. I want to record the moments, our memories, our nutty life.

Essentially, I want to freeze time.

There is so much going on around us and the busyness of our daily responsibilities can get in the way of seeing the beauty transpiring right before me. It is easy to get caught up in the craziness and then fail to appreciate the little bits of life that make it so wonderfully precious.

As I look back on the past year, these are some of the moments I want to treasure. The bits and pieces that I hold so close to my heart. The details that make this life so fulfilling and just right. The reasons why God gave me the best possible family I could ever have been gifted with.

Oh my goodness. This was such a moment - one to get the heart pumping and blood pressure rising. I think I skied next to her with my fingers crossed and prayers being sent to God. My little girl - only 5 - was tree skiing, jumping little snow hills - and LOVING it!!! I, on the other hand, was not. But she was so enjoying it and I gotta love her energy and thrill for adventure.

This was a great moment. Miss M was actively looking for things to read and would ponder the meaning of everything she read. Reading was really clicking for her at this time and she was discovering how much was opening up to her by being able to read - and understand - the words around her.

Ah, in the midst of all the excitement and intense stimulation,this was a moment of pure calm and contentment. Just a snap shot of my kids, but such a wonderful happy memory of childhood innocence and joy, and family togetherness.

A thoroughly happy place and happy time - a simple lunch stop on a family camping trip - in one of the most gorgeous places on the east coast.

He warms my heart and this sweet memory makes me so happy. Little A didn't like the water. At all. The waves frightened him. But he really wanted his watering can filled with water so that he could then empty it out in an instant. So he would sit, waiting oh so patiently near the water's edge, for the waves to slowly cascade into the watering can. Over and over and over. Who says a toddler isn't patient? Stubborn and determined, definitely!

Melts. My. Heart.

A little boy + a little yellow dump truck + a glorious day on the beach = Bliss.

This is J. Year after year, beach after beach, he is never with out his bucket, collecting shells and exploring the shore. All with a smile on his cheerful face.

Oh my word. How can you not love a content smile like this?

Like I said, he does everything with a smile on his face. So easy to please, so eager to enjoy all that life offers, J has the best chipper, positive outlook on life.

This is N. Pure N. He whistles all the time. ALL THE TIME! It can drive you batty for sure. But it lets me know that he is living in the moment. That he is relaxed. That he is happy. And that is all that matters.

This, for me, is beauty.

My ultimate peace. What an amazing spot.

I love nature, and this reminds me that beauty is all around us.

Driving around, just to explore our world, leads to spectacular opportunities to just stop and enjoy moment.

I love gardening. The process, the hope, the anticipation, and definitely the outcome.

This is what it is all about. Family. Love. Life. Living and loving the life I've been given and oh so blessed with.

Thank you God.