Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Zachary ~ 2 Years Old

Zachary's mom was one of my neighbors growing up and I was more than happy to find time to do some photos for them the last time I was home to visit! We used some of their property that they plan to build on some day and wow! What a gorgeous place they will have! I could live with this view...

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Back to Zachary. :) He's adorable and everything a two year old should be! There wasn't much stopping during this shoot... just lots of chasing him around and hoping he'd at some point look somewhere near the vicinity of the camera so we could see his face. :)

This was probably 85% of our time together haha!

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Friday, July 26, 2013


...we don't always know what we are wishing for.

How about you be YOU and I'll be me and we'll all work at being the best version of ourself.

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy your weekend... by being YOU minus all jealousy and envy. :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Kayla ~ Seniors

I grew up with Kayla's mom. We were neighbors. :) When I was asked to do Kayla's seniors I said "I'd love to! I'll let you know next time I'll be in town." I love that I can go visit my parents, catch up with old friends AND do a few photo shoots when I head to the hometown. It's a perfect combination for happiness!

I also really enjoyed getting to go to a different location for pictures. I've been hunting for new locations in my own town and am trying them out tonight! But going to my parents' and using areas around their town was refreshing.

Kayla will be a senior this year and I really enjoyed working with her! 1. She's really pretty! 2. She was really at ease in front of the camera and just did her own thing while I snapped away. It was great! Although at one point I snapped a picture and realized as I was snapping just how much Kayla looks like her mom! I couldn't get over it!

Anyways... here are some of my favorites... it was really hard to narrow them down haha. I LOVE the colors! People... when I say WEAR COLOR for photos this is why...

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Ok. I'll stop!
Kayla is beautiful.
Wear color for pictures!
The end.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Guilt: remorse or self-reproach caused by feeling that one is responsible for a wrong or offense.

I didn't do the right thing.
And I'm feeling guilty.

The other day I was driving downtown. It had started raining and I saw a lady walking down the street. As I drove through the intersection the large bag that was in her hand slipped out and the contents spilled onto the sidewalk.

My immediate thought was that I should pull over and help her... there was an easy place for me to pull over. How convenient.

But I didn't stop. I drove on and in a quick second it was too late.
Too late to do what I should have done.
Too late to pull over and help her... in the rain.

The feeling of guilt was immediate.
I was selfish.
I was wrong.

And now I'm left with nothing but guilt and what-ifs.

What if she had been thinking that no one ever noticed her and I was God's way of showing her that she was noticed?
What if she just needed a reason to smile?
What if we would have ended up having an great conversation?
What if I was the one that would have received something that day by stopping to help her?

There will be no do-over for that moment.
I'll never know who the woman was that I didn't stop to help.
I'll never be able to tell her that I am sorry for driving by when I knew in my gut I should stop.

I missed a once in a lifetime moment of impact and I don't ever want to miss one again.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday, Monday...

It is Monday isn't it?
I went to a wedding on Friday night and man did that throw me off. Weddings are supposed to be on Saturday... at least that is what my brain keeps telling me. A Friday night wedding made Saturday feel like Sunday... so I treated it like Sunday. When the real Sunday actually made an appearance I had no idea what to do.

But Mike is back to work today so that must mean that it really is Monday.

Me and the kids are stranded at home... or walking distance from the house... because the van is leaking something AGAIN and Mike didn't have time to work on it yesterday after discovering the leak.

Being that it is Monday and we weren't going to be going anywhere we decided to make it a lazy day. We slept in till 8. The kids got themselves breakfast and watched a movie. I putzed around on the internet for a while and did some editing.

Then we got to cleaning... and since I was going to be spending a good amount of time cleaning I figured I would wait to shower till I was done.

I was cleaning.
The kids were cleaning.
The house was shaping up nicely!

Laundry is getting done.

Doing laundry is what started my problems today.
I was carrying a load down the basement steps when out of the corner of my eye I spotted something big and nasty on the wall . I turned around to see a huge spider. HUGE! Ok... so maybe it's an itty bitty one to those of you who live in places like Florida... but for me and what I am used to seeing... HUGE!

So there I was... trapped in the basement because there was a HUGE spider between me and freedom. I paced. I panicked. I paced some more. I told myself to calm down and figure out what to do with that spider. Mike wasn't home so I was going to have to save myself. I spotted two red solo cups and figured I could trap it in them. But then I freaked out because I realized I wouldn't be able to SEE the spider once it was in those cups IN MY HANDS!

I'm such a wuss.

By this time Liza was watching me... and kind of laughing at how ridiculous I was being. But I had to do something. I had to get out of that basement because my mind was telling me where there is one... there are THOUSANDS!

I remembered we had some clear plastic cups in the kitchen... just at the top of the basement steps. I convinced myself to walk past that big nasty spider and get that other cup. Liza was still laughing at me. I was feeling awesome. (not!) After lots of time dancing around like a dork trying to work up the courage I finally trapped that spider... and continued freaking out.

I ordered Liza to grab one of Daddy's shoes and meet me outside. We were killing this thing and for once Mike's size 15 shoes weren't a nuisance! We dropped that sucker and smashed it!

Then I was a complete idiot and came inside and googled "spiders of western PA". Ugh. I deserve to be slapped for that! Not too sure why I needed to see what kind of spider it was... a fishing spider if you are wondering. I'll let you google it yourself. I don't want to see another spider... EVER!

I was still recovering when Mike called and when I replayed the story my heart was racing so much. He said "I can hear it that you are shook up."

You guys!!! IT WAS ONLY A SPIDER! I'm such a mess over it haha.

And then my day got even better. There I was freaking out over a spider that most of you would laugh at, still in my pajamas (old shorts and tshirt thankfully!) and one of my pastors knocks on the door to drop something off. Awesome.

For the record, I'm usually not still in my pajamas at 11:45 and it is generally safe to randomly drop by.

So here we are... the spider is dead, the kids are fed, the house is looking decent and I'm finally off to take a shower and wash away the heebie jeebies because I swear I have spiders crawling all over me! I'll leave the rest of the laundry for when Mike gets home.

How is your Monday going?

The Circle... Creativity

I'm a little slow at getting in on this one but I'm linking up with Kiki at In It's Time for The Circle today. I recently discovered her blog and she quickly found a spot on my list of favorite bloggers!

1. What does creativity mean to you?
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2. How do you stay creative? Who do you draw inspiration from?
At the risk of sounding cheesy... I draw inspiration from THE CREATOR Himself.
  • Creative discipline? Holy Spirit wisdom.
  •  Fresh ideas? God-bulbs. I just made that up... you know how people usually say "lightbulb!" when they get a good idea or finally understand something? I think it often comes from a deeper place. A God place. 
  • I'm currently brainstorming a photography project I want to attempt as God helps me work through my own pain and healing. It was his idea and will reflect him and shine a light on his love, grace and goodness.
Of course I also do the usual... browsing pinterest, flickr, craft shows.

Sometimes I need to be alone for creativity to happen and sometimes I need to be with people. There is no set formula for me and I never really know where I'll find my next bit of creative inspiration.

And I can always count on creativity coming from plain old ridiculous moments. :)

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(Gotta love a tripod and remote for the camera!)

My kids always offer lots of inspiration as well. One time Liza drew this...

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...so I made this...

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3.  What is a creative part of you that you don't share much on your blog (i.e. a talent, hobby, activity, passion, etc.)?
Hmmm... I don't think I have any secrets.
I'm obsessed with photography.
I crochet hats and afghans.
I sew from time to time.

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Being creative is a big part of who I am. I love to make things. I've always got a crafting stash in the corner with projects in progress!

How about you? What do you like to create?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ask. Seek. Knock.

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I posted the photo above to my facebook page yesterday and was told that it would be better if I photoshopped the padlock out because the lock makes it all seem impossible.

I'm going to disagree with that statement. :)

First off, I really don't enjoy editing. I like to keep it simple. I would never spend the time to take something like the lock out of the photo.


Well, God pretty much majors in the impossible.

Matthew 7:7-8 says,
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."

It doesn't say to knock and then open the door yourself.
It says the door will be opened to you.

We aren't the ones that have to open the door. We just have to knock.
We use our faith. We trust God. And when we do HE will unlock the locks and open the impossibles.

Scripture and Snapshot

Friday, July 19, 2013


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Last Sunday me and the kids drove to the town where I grew up. We were spending the week visiting with my family. It's a two hour drive and the kids do really well on it. We were enjoying ourselves, singing songs and eating some huge lollipops. As we got into town we had to go through some construction. While driving through all the cones Jason was handing me a piece of garbage so I was looking straight ahead, concentrating on staying within the cones while reaching back to Jason... and as I passed a very familiar place my heart did a little stop and stutter.

Did I really just see what I think I saw?
Surely that wasn't the right place.

The family business that has always been there was gone.

You see... my grandpa built a great business... The Greenhouse. It was huge. I worked there in summers growing up. I didn't love working there but it was a job and it was family and it was pretty much guaranteed. In the summers all fifteen or so greenhouses would be full of every kind of flower and vegetable that you can name. In the winter they were filled with poinsettias. You needed plants or flowers... The Greenhouse had it.

There isn't a day in my memory that the business wasn't there on the main highway.
Even after Grandpa passed away seven years ago it stayed.
Even after Grandma retired and closed the business it was still there.
Empty... but there.

Until now.
It's been torn down and there is no trace of it at all.
What was once a booming business is now an empty lot.

As I thought about this and drove past it again during the week it felt like a hundred pound weight dropped to the bottom of my soul.

Before I go on I want you to know that this isn't about my grandpa... he was a great man with great faith. This is about me...

My grandpa put his blood, sweat and tears into that business. He worked it. He grew it into something huge. And it's gone. Just like that... gone. And it makes me ask myself what am I spending my life building?

Of course it is important to work and make a living. I'm not saying we shouldn't do that.
But am I spending just as much energy and time building what is lasting?

When I pass on and am gone from this world...
When every possession I have is gone...
When the worldly things are torn down and no longer exist...

Will there be anything left at all that I have built?

Am I spending my time building people?
Am I spending my time building souls?
Am I spending my time building what will last?
Am I spending my time building eternity?

Galatians 6:8
Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I Photographed Lightning!

What I love about being at my parents' house is that it is easy to get photos of things that I don't normally get around to photographing at home. Here are some things I saw this week...

Liza found her seventh four-leaf clover. She found two this week... five this summer. 
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This cute little bunny was in the backyard a few times munching on the grass.
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I got the moon twice because I could just walk out the front door, set up my tripod, take a photo and head back in. 
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One night when I went out to photograph the moon I noticed that the clouds were lighting up with lightning! Since it all seemed to be staying in the clouds I didn't freak out and run back inside. Instead, I decided to see if I could get a photo of it. It was a lot of long, bright flashes and I just took it from where I was because I was too lazy to walk to another spot on the road to see if I could get a better view... that means I was shooting between two houses... but it worked. :)

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Then as I was scrolling through the lightning photos I saw that I got a streak! Yay. :) Totally lucky!

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I love getting my camera out to photograph things I don't see every day... or things I do see every day but have to go beyond my yard to photograph them. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

They don't call it Elk County for nothin'!

We have been having a great time visiting with my family! The PA county that they live in is Elk County and last night we took a drive to the middle of nowhere to look for the elk herds. They can always be found about a half hour from my parent's house and we were not disappointed!

This was the fist time for Liza and Jason to see the elk and it's been YEARS since I've gone. At first all we were seeing were females and their babies but Liza kept saying "I want to see one of the males!" Their antlers are amazing.

Toward the end of our drive we spotted a male fifteen yards off the side of the road. We hopped out and watched. They are really beautiful creatures and they live in the middle of absolutely beautiful country!

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Jason has a new joke that he made up. It went something like this...
JASON: Why did the poop cross the road?
ME: I don't know Jason.
JASON: Because the elk that walked across the road was POOPING!

Yep. It happened.
Right in front of us.
Made. His. Day.

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