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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Crumbs on the floor bring me to prayer

I spent the good part of the afternoon yesterday cleaning the kitchen while my two boys napped. Gave the counters a good wipe down and even swept the floor. Which this task has become even more important lately as now my 7 month old is mobile and will often crawl his way to the kitchen. So, as we were eating dinner last night, my two year old, being the parrot that 2 year olds are, was doing as daddy did and was crushing his crackers with his hands to put them in his soup. (Note Jacob had no soup, but he was imitating Daddy.) As I was cleaning up after dinner, I found the pile of cracker crumbs on the floor from Jacob's demonstration and was frustrated, because I JUST SWEPT the floor...(moms, you understand, right?! ) But, then I quickly stopped myself....I get to clean the crumbs off the floor because I have a son and he is here!

God has recently placed two very special families in my life...and we all have something in common....we all have two boys...we all have lost a child...the difference is...their youngest boys, Christian and Logan, are in heaven and mine is still on earth.

I have written before about the organization that I volunteer for called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (also know as NILMDTS). It is an organization that does remembrance photography for families who have lost or will lose a child to illness or stillborn. I got involved after we lost our daughter Therese Marie to a miscarriage and wanted to be able to honor her through this ministry. I have only done two sessions on my own so far, and it is amazing how God has orchestrated them so perfectly. I am so honored that families would invite a stranger into such intimate moments with their family, and I am so grateful that we are able to provide them with the gift of images of their child to have forever.

I have connected with both of the moms from the sessions that I have done, and am honored to call them friends now and I hope they could feel the same way. My heart aches for them as I rock my son to sleep knowing they long to have their child fall asleep in their arms. I pray for their little ones as I hold my crying baby, because I know they would give anything to hold their son one more time. I know God gives them special graces to get through each day, but that doesn't make them miss their child any less.

Brian and I went to the funeral for little Logan this past weekend and I cried with them feeling just a sliver of their pain. I couldn't wait to get home and hold my boys...and I cried more knowing that Jennifer will longingly wait to hold her son in Heaven.

I know I can't take away their pain...but I want to thank them for sharing their life, and their son's with me so that I can appreciate my children more and more each day. It is such a reminder that we all is short....cherish every moment. Life is too short to get caught up in the frustrating details....instead count your blessings!

So, Erin and Jennifer I count you as was your sons and my daughter that brought us together...and as we know we would do anything to bring those children back to our arms on this earth, we rejoice in the hope that God gives us that we will see and hold them again and thank God for bringing good out of all situations. It brings me joy to think that they are all playing together in heaven as Chase, Landon and Jacob play together here.

Know that I think of you and pray for you as I clean up the crumbs on the floor!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

On the Fast Track

Last week I finished reading a book called “Fast Track Photographer” by Dane Sanders, and the ironic thing is that it took me 2 years to finish the book! I wouldn’t say I am a slow reader, just life happened…. We had a baby, I left my job, we moved to Indiana, we lived with friends for 10 months, we bought a house, we had another baby and here we are 2 years later!

The book was great and I highly recommend it to aspiring photographers. One of the things I liked about it was it gave some great questions to help think about what kind of business you want to have and what kind of clients you want to serve.

Here is an opportunity for you to get to know a little more about me. These are some of the questions I used for brainstorming.

  • Strongest aspect of my personality: joyful—approachable

  • Defines a celebration: family and friends present—laughter and memories being made

  • Food and beverage I identify with: home cooked food and a big glass of red wine

  • Spiritual outlook: We are able to love, b/c God first loved us. We are all loved and are worthy of it!

  • Thoughts on marriage—two lives coming together as one to share in the love that God gave them and to love each other to Heaven.

These Things best gels with my personality:

  • Car: reliable. Gotta love Honda!
  • Restaurant: casual and warm—with food full of flavor—feels like home
  • Magazine: one that makes you want to keep reading and brings the humor out of life. And you want more after you have reached the last page
  • Writer: one that is insightful and makes you think about aspects of life.
  • Musical instrument: flute—beautiful, simple, and complements the other instruments
  • Musician: one that makes you want to sing along…especially in the car on a sunny day with the windows down

I desire to market myself to the average person. I believe that everyone deserves to have professional quality images of their wedding that capture the essence of the day so that the story of the day is retold just by looking at the images, so they can tell that story over and over again for generations to come, even after they are gone. I believe that wedding photography should be affordable, and understood as an investment in more than just the wedding day. A wedding dress is worn once, the food is eaten while it is hot, flowers are the most beautiful when they are fresh….your photographs will allow you to re-live all the details your day for years to come, especially the emotions.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What does the color red say?

There is no question that I am a passionate person. When we moved into our house I insisted on painting something red! It was just a matter of which wall my husband would agree to. When I was watching the Nate Burkus design show this morning he talked about how your house should reflect your personality, and so I stopped to think about our house and how the one thing I knew I wanted both in the first house I bought and this one…I wanted red walls! Red is the color of passion and I have passion! So…which wall got adorned with a beautiful deep shade of red? My office! I love it! You walk up the stairs and your welcomed into the warm, deep hue that draws you into my passion of photography. (I am actually doing some re-decorating and will post pics when it is done)

There is also no question that I have the ability to multi-task and would rather do that most moments of my life. Life is too short sometimes to just do one thing at a time! Perfect example…my old housemates used to tease me, because I could never just sit down and watch TV, I always had to be doing something while I was catching up on the latest sitcoms. Scrapbooking, editing photos, writing thank you notes, framing pictures, folding laundry….the tasks go on and on. Even as I set and write this, I am drinking tea, eating a light snack, and well I decided to finally turn off the TV because it was distracting my thinking. I will admit, after playing with 2 small children all day, while cooking dinner, cleaning up toys, editing photos, and doing laundry, now when I sit down to watch TV at night after the kids are in bed…I often just watch TV.

The other day I was chatting with a children’s portrait photographer and I told
her that I was a primarily a wedding photographer and she got this crazy look on her face. She said life was too short for her to ever consider doing wedding photography. I on the other hand, love them! And I realized how my passion and my multi-tasking really comes in handy for shooting weddings. You have to be passionate about weddings in order to give up your Saturdays to take part in someone else’s wedding day. You have to be passionate to enjoy experiencing all of those special moments over and over again with a new couple and a new family every time. You have to be able to multi-task as the non-stop schedule of the day keeps you on your toes! Taking pictures of the flowers while making sure you are listening to the conversation of the bride saying she is ready to put her dress on and watching the clock to make sure she is at the end of the aisle when needed to meet her groom at the top. I thrive off these kind of fast-paced days! Good thing I am a mom of two little ones!