Saturday, January 8, 2011

My photography website is up.

Well, I've been on a haitus. And I will continue to be because I'm now working on my photography website:

Please check it out and tell me what you think. I've worked REALLY hard on this and will continue improving it as time goes on. I'm also planning on adding a personal blog onto this site somewhere...I haven't got it all figured out yet.

Sort of just like never quite have it all figured out...

At least I don't.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying taking pictures, posting them online and talking about it all. Come on over and join me in the fun!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Working hard

I've been working hard lately. Not that I haven't been working hard in the past, but it's been a different kind of work. I've had several photoshoots booked over the last 2 weeks and 3 more on the docket over the coming weeks. I am revamping my photography website, which is taking a lot of time and brain power, both things I am lacking as of late. I am also needing to start thinking about homeschool next year - just a short 9 months from now.

I also have a 12-month old who is getting into EVERYTHING. And I have a 3-year-old potty training. Need I say more?

This is why I am on a bloggin' hiatus.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Kids

How can it be that Mallory is 4 and half? Oh, how time flies. She's a sweet, sweet girl who LOVES to please and help me. She loves deeply and fervently and this girl LOVES her Daddy! She does have foibles that cause us to chuckle, like always wanting to be on the right side or acting out entire episodes of Kipper the Dog or knowing which places around town has hand dryers so we can avoid them (she GREATLY despises hand dryers). She is a reader and a speller and is very good at both. She's reading words like "underneath" and "enough" and "thanksgiving" and "knife". She spends more time reading the backs of her soccer team's (and soccer opponent's) shirts than she does kicking the ball. Needless to say, she gets distracted very easily. She thrives on praise and does her absolute best whenever she knows we will be proud of her.

This little guy is going to be 3 in just a few weeks. Ethan is full of energy - more than enough to make up for this big sister and little brother! He's VERY smart and tries to read like his big sister and he's starting to catch on to 3-letter words. He has a very sweet disposition, though he is as hard-headed as they come. I think he'll be really good at sports if he can focus on game-play rather than seeing how far and how fast he can run and who he can recruit to come with him. He loves deeply, like his sister. The boy can become afraid of the silliest things, like a volcano he sees on Dora or a pink butterfly he dreamed about the night before. Ethan lives up to his name: "Strong and impetuous one". But his bright blue eyes and silly grin melt my heart into my toes.

Evan, Evan, Evan. Oh, what a delight! He's been walking since he was 10 months and is now showing signs of running and he's not even 1, though he'll reach that milestone very soon. He's at the stage where he's curious about EVERYTHING and the task of "picking up" has a whole new meaning with this fella. His favorite "toy" is the swiffer dry mop or the broom. He can walk around the house for quite a while carrying one of these cleaning devices. He's a big guy and is already not wanting to cuddle up with me anymore. My heart is heavy, yet delighted at the same time, that my littlest is not so little anymore.

These are the three that fill my quiver. I love 'em.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Changing Habits

I've been making an attempt to better my life in several ways. I hope and pray that the richness of these changes will continue to bless my life through perseverance.

1. I've been waking up at 5:45 rather than 6:30/7:00, which is when the kids wake up. This leaves more time for prayer, bible reading, journaling and spending time with my husband (and drinking my hot coffee in peace). Though difficult to waken, I've had more energy throughout the day (surprisingly) and more time with God. The benefits of this routine has been beyond refreshing and rejuvenating, even though my sleep is less.

2. Walking in the mornings has been something I have been doing, too. Patrick watches the kids for about 30 minutes while I enjoy some peace in the morning. This has been good for my physical well being and my mental health before I start the day with 3 young kids.

3. I've been reading more quality books. I absolutely love fiction. I love fiction that is easy to read with some kind of love story mixed in. It's a crutch for me because I can get so engrossed that my other tasks are neglected. Since vacation, I haven't picked up a "brain-candy" novel. My good friend (one-time local friend, now cyber friend), Kelly, recommended "Stepping Heavenward" by Elizabeth Prentiss and this book just totally changed my life. I devoured it over the course of my vacation in August, succumbing to tears a few times and felt challenged to change many of these habits I'm listing now. I'm actually reading the book again in my devotion time, highlighting passages that have brought me to my knees. I'll have to blog about this more later, but in the meantime, I've read other books way out of my comfort zone that have been enjoyable for many reasons. Since vacation, I have read "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen and "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, both classics I used to turn my nose to. I'm hoping to add more classics to my list, though now I'm going to read "The Attitudes of a Transformed Heart" by Martha Peace, a book I started a while ago but didn't have the attention to finish. I will most likely read "Restorations" by my good friend Susan Ball. This is her first work of fiction and in her support, I will purchase it and read it (no need to twist my arm here!). Congrats to Susan for this accomplishment!

4. I've been eliminating the amount of TV I watch. I still watch some of Dancing with the Stars, though not much since Mondays are busy, and I watch The Biggest Loser while folding laundry on Tuesday evenings (I spent 2 hours folding 6 loads of laundry last night!!!). I watch The Office, too on Thursdays. You know, I've been hardly watching football this year. I just can't sit down for that long to watch a game. With the children and other commitments and a hubs who doesn't really care about football, it's just something that has been phasing out. I'll watch my Gators when I can, though. I do watch a movie almost every weekend with my husband. We've had a lot of fun together in our newly "enhanced" basement and have enjoyed classics and new movies that have been fun to experience together.

These are the main habits that have been changed. I still have a lot to do, though. I need to find more time to spend with the kids rather than clean, straighten, check Facebook, email, etc. I need to start considering homeschooling options.

Also, my husband is starting a new job on Monday that is going to "encourage" us to change our spending habits, though the benefits of this will be great, leading us to be better stewards of what God has so richly blessed us with and increasing our faith in Christ.

God is good. I'm glad I've been prompted to eliminate that which is frivolous and replace with that which is richer. It's a discipline. And I pray that God will lead me to encouraging others to do the same. You wonder how you will survive with the things that give you pleasure but have nothing to do with building relationships, serving, or honoring God. I've wondered it but continue to choose to go on with my changes. And do you know what? There is a lot of frivolity that has been removed and I don't miss it.

Glory be to God.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Better use of my time

I am not apologizing this time about the obvious neglect to my blog.

I have been challenged to make better use of my time and I find that blogging takes a lot of time and time is precious. Time is something I used to have in abundance and now time seems to be a valuable commodity in my life.

Blogging, as much as I love it, is sitting idle because I am, like I said, trying to make better use of my personal time.

And it's OK with me that my blog is idle.

I think.

I love writing, I love sharing pictures, I love recapturing life as it fleets and floats away. It's funny as I write all of this because yesterday it seemed as though I had absolutely nothing to do. I fretted about it and as I was fretting, I looked over at my camera, which has been sitting idle as well, and I felt reminded that photography is something I love, something that God has decided to enable me to be somewhat good at. Why not use my time to get out, enjoy the delicious fall afternoon with its warm, autumnal light and take a few pictures!?

We spent an hour together in the rolling hills behind my house. And it was such fun.

Recreation that stimulates my interests and which allows me to exercise the talents with which God gives can be nothing except worship when done with the right heart. I'm thankful that God has given me the means to (somewhat) understand light and reflection, capturing it through a lens and manipulating it to be even better in the end. It's invigorating. Truly.

What have you done for recreation to exercise the talents God has given to you?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thoughts on the Beach, Part 4

Patrick and I celebrated our 7th anniversary over the course of our vacation at the beach. Since my parents were there on our actual anniversary, we took advantage of them and spent an evening out shopping, eating, driving, walking and other pleasurable things that are even more pleasurable when it can be done with my love and without the scruples of children that our love produced.

Dad snapped this picture of us as we were about to head out and I said "oh, let me get my SLR so we can get some fill flash". So, I put my camera together, pressed the shutter, and all I saw was an error.

Oh, fudge.

I removed the lens, wiped out whatever dust may be there, changed the battery, changed the CF card, and did all the tricks I could think of. Nothing worked.


I was hoping to use some of the time that we were out to snap a few pictures of the sand and sea, but my camera was down for the count. I was very perplexed but tried not to let it disturb me too much.

I think I was some what successful...

Patrick scoped out a really nice restaurant called Sara J's which was right down the way from where we were staying. He took me for our anniversary meal, which was right on the marsh of Murrells Inlet.

We had a fantastic view of the Oceanfront living, which was the backdrop of a crabber casting his net over and over to draw up his prey. The sun was setting and it would have been a great place for some photos. My P&S did an OK job...

We took a walk on the Garden City pier and I was drooling over the warm light of the late afternoon. But, instead of focusing on what I could have been taking pictures of, I was focusing on my husband. We talked about the beach, what it would cost to live there, if maybe we could one day live there (this is mainly my desire, I have to disclose), and how we (er...I...) just needed to be thankful to be there.

Every year that goes by makes me thankful for God's grace and restorative measures He abundantly blessed us with in the last few years. I was actually pleased that I didn't have my camera there to distract me that evening. Who knows what I would have missed if I had it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Thoughts on the Beach, Part 3

There are a lot of things I absolutely love about the beach, one of them being that I can walk on the beach and not care how far or how long I walk. When I walk at home, I usually give myself goals, like "2 times around the block". Or if I add running in the mix, it's usually something like "keep going until I reach that brick house with the black shutters" or something to that nature.

At the beach, though, I'm so mesmerized by the sound of the waves or the innumerable shells on the ground that time and space just don't matter. But, given that I like to know how far I go, I had Patrick measure the distance (he didn't mind since he was running and wanted to know himself how far he'd gone).

Here was the view to the north from our condo. You can see the Surfside Beach pier sticking out into the Atlantic in the upper left of the picture. I decided to walk to that pier one morning, thinking it wasn't too far. Over an hour later I was back at the condo sweaty and hot, though very happy with such a wonderful morning walk. Patrick clocked it and it was over 2 miles one way to the pier. I was pretty proud of myself for walking/running 4+ miles, since it had been YEARS since I've accomplished something like that.

This is the view to the south. You can see the Garden City pier here. It was about a half mile to this pier. We walked here quite a bit with the kids, who usually ran the majority of the way. We watched them tire their little tails out running around like banshees and the awesome thing was is that they had a great time doing it.

We took the kids out on the pier a few times and they enjoying seeing our condo from the ocean's point of view. Our condo is the first tall building you see as you look from left to right.

We were on the 14th floor so that if you were sitting in the living room and looked out the window, all you could see was ocean. It was absolutely stunning. Since I spent a lot of time in the condo while Evan was napping and the others were enjoying the sand, I was able to look down from the balcony and watch the family enjoy sand and beach. It was nice to catch a few quite moments in the room, listening to the sound of the ocean and the faint sounds of children laughing while I delved into my book. I didn't mind being up there while they were down in the sand. Really.

Evan was an early riser in the mornings. At home, he would be fitful around 5:30am then go back to sleep until about 7. At the beach, the same thing happened but he was fitful in the same room with his brother and sister. So, my mom would get him out of the kids' room and cuddle him for a bit until I nursed him. At least one of the mornings she was there, she took Evan out on the beach in the stroller before sunrise. I tell you what, I can be extremely forgiving getting up at the crack of dawn and loosing precious sleep at the beach because it's the beach. I just hope my mom felt that same way...

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I know a lot of people start making goals and plans for their life around January 1 of each year. I mean, it's a fresh start, a new beginning, a clean slate or whatever else you may call it. For me, though, it seems like my goal making and life changing occurs in the fall.

2003 - I got married on Aug. 30th. That fall was one heck of life change, that's for sure.
2005 - I found out I was pregnant in early August, preparing the way for a sickly fall yet an exciting winter as we anticipated parenthood
2006 - We moved to Johnson City, TN in Sept, opening doors for a few ups and lots of downs
2007 - I had my second child in November
2008 - I stopped breastfeeding my second child and was on a mission to get my body back, which was successful until I found out I was pregnant 4 months later.
2009 - I had my third child in October and was on a mission to survive.

So, that brings me to this year. In looking back, we haven't had a fall without some major event in many, many years. I've also discovered that since 2005, I have been pregnant or breastfeeding every day except for 4 short months. That's just weird to me.

OK, so talking about this year again...

This fall, I am not breastfeeding (Evan was weaned a few weeks ago). I am not pregnant (holler!). We are not moving to another state (whew!). So, that leaves me to getting my body back.

That is one of my goals.

I've had lots of friends blog about loosing weight and I don't know if I want to go that route. I may, I may not. I don't know. Should I? In any case, I'm going to run a 5K with my husband sometime in the near future. We need to sign up for one so I'll have a tangible date, but I'm going to do some sort of plan like the couch to 5K. I've been faithful for 2 weeks now, so hopefully I'll keep at 'em.

Another one of my goals is getting up early for devotion, prayer with my husband, and exercise, which leads me to another goal of going to bed at a decent time. I need adequate sleep or I am not nice. Plus, rest is good for me. But so is devotion, prayer with the hubster and exercise.

Balance, my friends. Balance.

Another goal is to not be selfish. I think this is the hardest one for me. I'm a very selfish person, which I discovered while I was on vacation. I'll have to some how put into words how I came to that conclusion, but it was actually not that hard to figure out until I started looking in the right Mirror. I am expecting not to reach this goal for a very, very long time.

All this to say that I am starting a new fall - a new season for me to start afresh with some goals that will help me change my life for the better.

Unfortunately I have nothing measured. Should I set measurable goals with rewards? I don't know...I usually work better with some sort of measurement to attain. I am, though, looking at my efforts more as a way for me to bring glory to God, which is something I haven't really done. He's showed me lately how I am absolutely nothing without Him and I want Him to be proud of the way I spend my time and treat my body. I will fail, that is inevitable for I am a sinful human being with a propensity to mess up. But, I will do my best.

So, that's it in a nutshell for now.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thoughts on Vacation, Part 2

I didn't really know why I had so many misconceptions about how our vacation was going to go. And as I think through my thoughts and as I write them down, it seems like I'm giving the impression that I didn't have a good time.

This is not the case. I had a wonderful time on vacation.

Now that I have said that, what is it with the sand that is so enjoyable?

I mean, it's dirty, it's gritty, it's clingy, and it reaches down in the farthest of crooks, crevices, and cankles of the human body making it impossibly difficult to thoroughly clean. Yet one of the greatest attractions of the beach is the sand. I can't tell you how many times I've heard it said "Oh, I can't wait to feel the sand between my toes!".

Really? You really like to feel dirty grit between your toes?

I honestly didn't realize I had an aversion to sand until my kids (and hubs) began to love playing in it.

Or eating it, in the case of my youngest.

One thing I was looking forward to was building sand castles with my kids. I remember making drip castles for hours whenever we went to the beach as children. But every attempt to make a castle was pretty much in vain since my children took great joy in stomping upon every sand mound created by a bucket or other castle-building accoutrement. The kids are still young (I reminded myself) and at least their merriment was encouraged around our sand hole, but we had to be very watchful of the other families whose children actually liked to watch a castle get shaped and developed.

So, I'm not a big fan of sand as a Mommy. I didn't know that until we went to the beach. We did lots of sweeping in the condo, lots of towel laundry, lots of hair-rinsing, and lots of shaking-out-of-sand-from-the-bathing-suits. For some reason, I didn't remember this aspect of the beach. But, I guess it didn't bother me in the past since I wasn't the one cleaning it up.

This was the first time I was a Mommy at the beach.