Monday, May 31, 2010

1 to 576,000

Those are the odds of being struck by lightning.

I'm a 1. I've been struck by lightning.

Not directly. It's not like the bolt came down and hit me in the head or anything. I was working at a camp, a storm came in and lightning hit a tree outside the cabin at the same exact moment that I decided to open the big metal door. Energy definitely went through my body. It was strange. I just felt extremely full for a brief moment and then I stood there and freaked out for a bit.

Another friend who worked at the camp was also hit at the same time. He got it worse than I did. Someone called 911 and the ambulance came. We rode in the same ambulance to the hospital. It was kind of fun because I wasn't really hurt (my heart was a little irregular for a while) and I was sitting up and I was kind of like a little kid all "woo hoo! The cars are parting for meee!"

Anyways... ever since then I've kind of freaked out about storms. I stay inside. I get all jumpy. If there is crazy thunder in the middle of the night that wakes me up I wake Mike up and hang on to him. And I definitely avoid metal doors. I always feel safest in my house.

Today I was out for a while and about ten minutes from home I ran in to a storm. Not a sissy storm but a storm storm. I was alone in the car and I SWEAR that it was lightning right beside me. I'm not exaggerating! I promise! I was totally freaking out. I kept jumping and I was so tense and gripping the steering wheel so tight. I was shaking. I wanted to cry.

I couldn't WAIT to get home! The problem was that it was still storming like crazy when I got home so I called Mike from the cell phone and said "I'm home but I'm not coming up for a while." The other problem was that I had to pee. I mean I REALLY had to pee. Like I was about to pee my pants had to pee. I thought I was going to have to get out of the car and pee under the carport and just hope that no one was looking out their window.

Mike eventually came down and tried to talk me in to making the mad dash. I was still freaking out and wanted to stay in the car but I knew I would absolutely pee my pants if I did that. I'm such a sissy. The lightning did slow down a little bit by then so I decided to take my chances and go for it and I knew that once I started there was no stopping because I would definitely start peeing. I'm not gonna lie... I did leak a little bit. Hey... I've got issues! Shut your mouth and stop laughing at me! I've had babies.

But really... I was quite terrified for a while there. I hate that I get scared because I used to love storms. I guess getting struck by lightning will do that to ya.


Bubbles!!!

Last week I planned a playdate and invited some friends over. I always love having play dates because it is a good excuse to make my most favorite mac-n-cheese. I also love having friends over and visiting. Two friends canceled (for very good reasons) and it ended up being just Kim and her son Alex.

Kim emailed me the day before saying they just bought a bubble blower and would it be alright if she brought it. I said "Of course! I'm sure the kids will love it!" What I didn't know what that Kim and I would have more fun with it than the kids did. You see... we both love taking pics and the bubbles were just so. much. fun! Let me just show you...









I eventually got an angle where the sun hit just right and made the bubbles look like floating colorful lights. I loooved it! So much fun. So youthful and innocent and magical. These next pics are my favorites from the day. Most of them were taken while holding the bubble blower in one hand and my camera in the other. 
 
 
 
 
 
I think I need to go buy my own bubble blower so I can play around some more.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

The long explanation.

I've been really tired lately... not sleeping so well... so I skipped church to sleep in. Mike took the kids. Unfortunately I only made it till about 9:00 because the neighbors decided to work on their quad and make lots of noise. Hard to sleep with that. So I got up and decided to sit outside at my new table and catch up on some reading in my Bible and just relax and enjoy the peace and calm of the morning. It's beautiful.

Sometimes I get frustrated with photography. Not my skill level but with the plan. I've been growing and learning and it's been good. I'm very content with where I am at at this moment and I know it won't be as good as I get. What gets frustrating... well... let me just tell you the whole story from the beginning...

Sometime after we got married I needed a new camera and went digital. I've always been big on taking pics and documenting events but going digital gave that a whole new meaning because now it didn't cost anything to practice. I could see results immediately and try something different until I got what I was hoping for. After Liza was born I would set up photo shoots for her ALL. THE. TIME. I just loooved taking pictures and learning. My passion for photography began to grow.

Sometime along the way I decided I wanted a bigger, better camera that could do more so I could learn more and I started my research. This was in the days before everyone and their mother had a DSLR. I decided on the Canon Rebel xs and then talked to Mike. But I got convicted in my heart. We were on Dave Ramsey's plan to pay off debt and we hadn't been giving much extra to the church. I felt that God was asking me "How can you go spend $1000 on camera equipment when you decided you can't give that much extra to building my church?" Ok God. You win. I'll wait.

There were a few times that I ALMOST just bought the camera but I really felt like God was asking me to pay off my debt and give $1000 to the church and THEN I could get my camera and he would bless me. And that is what I did. It took longer than I wanted it too and all the while I WANTED that camera. It was a hard wait but I knew I had to do it right.

We FINALLY got to the place where it was ok to buy the camera and I immediately went out and bought it. It was love. But by this time everyone was getting DSLRs. Everywhere I looked someone had one. And it seemed like people I knew were receiving them as gifts or just deciding they wanted one and would run out and buy it. I would get frustrated and a little bit jealous and I would question God. I had to work through these feelings again and again. But God asked me to do it a certain way... not others. And so I had to do it God's way for my life.

Since getting that camera I have grown so much in my photography. God has blessed me and increased my talent and given me opportunities to use it to really bless others. It's fun. I love it! But sooo  many times people have told me "you should make it a business Laura! You could make money off of it!" Don't go thinking that I haven't thought of that! Camera equipment is expensive and right now there are two lenses I want and an editing program that costs $1000. But once again I feel that God has asked me to do something specific with my photography... give it away. Bless people that can't afford photo shoots like single moms and people with large families. Give it as a gift to friends... especially the single ones that aren't going to go out and spend money to have some nice pics taken of themselves.

All along the way it seems that everyone and their mother are starting photography businesses. I fear that there won't be room for me if I ever get to that point where God says "It's time."  But I also know that if I get greedy and jump ahead of the plan and try to do it my own way that it won't work and it won't be fulfilling. So I keep following the plan and often have to deal with my feelings and questions again and again.

Through it all though God has been planting dreams in my heart of ways that I will always be able to use my photography to bless others and heal broken places. I know that "Wix-Pix" will be a special thing someday that is used by God. I know there is a plan for it. I also know that God is only giving me glimpses of the dream... enough to keep my feet on the right path, moving in the right direction. He takes me one step at a time. He increases me one step at a time.

And when I start getting frustrated God always gives me little reminders that give me peace and remind me that there IS a purpose for all of this.

Psalm 112:5
Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice.

This spoke to me this morning. This quieted my frustrations and once again put my heart in the right place with it all. God is good and His plan is best so even when it is hard I will stick to it.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Beautiful Ariel

Ariel is my sister-in-law and I will be doing her senior photos this summer. She is so cute and pretty and I know we are going to have fun! When we were at the wedding last weekend she was all done up and looking cute so I decided that since we were taking some pics that we should get started on her pics and give her a nice preview. :) It's not everyday that you have your hair done nice and a dress on.






 
I'm sooo looking forward to all my photo shoots this summer! Beautiful pictures of beautiful people make me happy.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dress up.

It's not every day that I put on a dress and my red high heels so I figured I better get some fun photos while I was all dressed up. I'm absolutely in love with this outfit! I like to be fun when I dress up instead of going for just nice. I think the red makes this outfit tons of fun. I was very successful in my hunting for all the right pieces! (Gotta give credit to Mike for finding me the perfect red earrings that I was looking for and could not find!)

My sister-in-law Ariel is great. I get my camera all set and tell her something like "just make sure you get us all in and leave some extra space so I can crop it like I want" and then she just shoots away and she always catches great moments for me when we do this!

Here are a few pics of my dorkish self. :)





No idea what was going on in this next one but it cracks me up...


Mike has ALWAYS been better than me at the serious face. I ALWAYS look like I am about to crack up... because I usually AM about to crack up.


Aaaaannnnd we're dorks. And I love it.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Beautiful Tara

I wanted to get a bit of practice in and I knew that Tara would be a good friend to use as a model. She is comfortable in front of the camera and is not at all shy about striking a pose. She is absolutely beautiful and I had a lot of fun on this shoot. Here are some of my favorites...
















I really love the variety of this shoot and I can't pick a favorite. I love so many of them. Thanks Tara for coming out on a shoot with me and allowing me to practice what I am learning!

My Blueberry

Mike usually gives the kids their baths. He puts them in the tub at the same time and I clean up the house a bit. When the baths are done he wraps Liza up in her purple towel and Jason in his blue towel. We call them our little grape and our little blueberry. They love it.

Here are some pics of my blueberry...








Cutest little blueberry I've ever seen. :)

Praying for Patience

Ok... just another thing that bothers me...

When things go a bit crazy and life is all over the place or the kids are really going nuts someone is going to say something like "you haven't been praying for patience have you?"

ha. ha. ha. (That was a REALLY sarcastic ha ha ha. REALLY!)

Honestly... when I pray for patience it's because a situation is already going on that demands more patience and I am already out. I don't think that when I pray for patience that God is all "Hmmm... what more can we throw at Laura to really test her patience level? Oh I got just the perfect situation! mwahahahaha!" And then bam! More insane issues in my life. You know... just to test me. Just to try my patience. Just to show me that I really am going to go insane.

Don't worry... I'm just speaking hypothetically. I saw someone say that awful phrase on facebook and it just got me going. Why do we think like that?

Here's another thing... you say something like I don't want any more kids and someone will say "Be careful what you say because God just might give you twins for saying that." Or I might say that I never would want to live in a certain place and someone will say "I wouldn't say that because God will probably send you there."

Come on people. That's like if I say I hate peas and someone thinks that some kind of situation is going to come up where I just have to live off of peas for months at a time. PUH-LEASE!

Yeah... it's 4am and I'm not sleeping. Just thought I would use the time to share my thoughts instead of laying in bed frustrated that I can't sleep. Who knows... maybe God is trying to give me patience. I mean... taking care of two whiny kids while running on very little sleep. It's the perfect test of patience. I guess I should never pray for patience again.

If you don't ever hear from me again it's because I ran out of patience and then shriveled up and died.

And this is the end of the insanely sarcastic post.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Basebaallllll

It's Wordful Wednesday at...




The kids have been swinging sticks outback saying they are playing baseball for quite a while now. I kept telling myself that I would have to get them something that has something to do with baseball. We were shopping at Kohls and I saw these baseball gloves. They were marked down to $10 and we had a 30% off coupon. The letter of the week was B. I figured no better time than now!

So we bought them the gloves and balls. It was love.





We are attempting to teach the kids how to throw the ball. It's going to take a while. In the meantime they seem to be content to carry around their gloves and randomly chuck the ball from time to time.

I think we need a tee and a bat. :)

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