Friday, May 28, 2010

workshop, week and weekend

(These are 2 of the beautiful models from the workshop I attended this week, there was also an adorable little boy and another senior girl.)

Not sure how to start this post because we've had so much going on this week, so I guess I'll jump right in. My head is still spinning from the workshop and I'm not quite sure how to articulate it all adequately. So to summarize it briefly, in the 2 days spent with Amy Wenzel, I feel like I learned more than I have in the last year! What a gifted photographer and teacher...she spoke about how she started her photography business, what worked and didn't work for her, how she decided to specialize in her particular market and for me... boosted my confidence with my own photography and inspired me tremendously. My good friend Colleen and I are still processing it all. We met Grace for the first time in person, who is as lovely, genuine and funny as she is on her blog. Anyway, hands down the best money I've spent
as far as investing in myself and what I love to do, which is take pictures. Amy is truly a sweetheart and as beautiful on the inside as the outside. And we had the added excitement of spending an extra night in Grand Rapids due to our flight being cancelled due to thunderstorms. Almost forgot to add we also got together with Steffie, Kimberley and Tanya for dinner the first night, all friends that live locally. An amazing and fun week...I think Colleen and I may have to do a little road trip back to Michigan maybe this Summer!

As the week winds down and we get ready for a 3 day weekend, (we will be spending it with friends in Chicago)...I hope you have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend. Summer is pretty much here it looks like... we're looking forward to sleeping in a little later, swimming, playing at the water park and spending time with dear friends and family!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Superman(wearing swim goggles of course) AKA William, or Will or Spiderman or Batman these days...depending on what mood he is in. He is my little super hero and cracks us all up with his vivid imagination. 2 years ago we saw his picture for the first time in his file. We asked to adopt him and China agreed. Things went so fast after that and we were in China in less than 2 months. I've been missing China a lot lately. For both of our adoptions we traveled in hot and humid Summer months and I'm reminded of it right now. China is the kind of place that you visit and can never get out of your head...whether it is a smell, the heat, or a sound that triggers a memory. The last 2 years have been amazing and Will is truly a gift to our family.

On a very different note, I'll be leaving town tomorrow for a photography workshop in Michigan taught by the extremely talented Amy Wenzel. I hope to learn a lot and will be meeting some blog friends (some for the first time) and new photography ones too. Thank you Dan for holding down the fort while I'm gone! Have a wonderful week. :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010


'Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.' ~ Girl Scout motto

'A hug is worth a thousand words, a true friend is worth more.' ~ unknown

And Pooh said to Piglet, "Life is so much friendlier with two." ~ A.A. Milne

(There are more pictures of the 2 of them together and I plan to make little albums for them both.)

Grace and her dear friend Lydia first met almost 4 years ago, two 3 year old little girls who hit it off from the start. We live only 2 houses away from Lydia's family and at age 7, I would definitely call them best friends. And friends who are about as close as sisters. They giggle endlessly, play dress up, do crafts, spy on their little brothers, go to the same church and school, have sleepovers and even argue now and then like sisters. They also wear the same size in clothes and are in the same grade in school. I know that time and circumstance can change friendships, but I hope they will always be close. I love this special relationship that they share and Lydia's mother is one of my best friends. I consider Carla my little sister. We are extremely blessed to have them in our lives. :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sweet Shot Tuesday

Sweet Shot Day

My favorite shot of the week is my 4 year old son having fun with some balloons. I loved how he was laughing in this one and the way they were blowing in the wind.
Hop on over to Sweet Shot Tuesday to see many more pictures. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

i heart faces ~ flowers

I can't imagine a better theme than flowers with a beautiful face. I took this one of my smiley daughter 12 days ago. Please check out more pictures at i heart faces.

And Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

one of those weekends

This was one of those weekends that we had nothing planned or scheduled. Nothing. at. all. I can't tell you when than last happened. To some it might be boring or mundane but to us it was truly heavenly.
What did we do? spent a lot of time outside playing in the yard, and Grace and I got to work planting. I really should say she did most of the planting in pots, she is becoming quite the little gardener. I taught her about annuals and perennials, and we also talked about how rewarding it is to work with our hands, and see something grow. Mr. Will did what he dearly loves to do, follow Daddy around as his 'assistant' and helper. He also practiced his newest thing...his somersault/cartwheel. At least that what it looks like to me, and he smiles every time he does one.

Saturday night was an impromptu barbecue get together with many of our neighbors, I can't remember if I've mentioned that we have the BEST neighbors ever! A great time was had by all...happy kids and happy moms and dads. Looking forward to more weekends like these and it seems like Summer will be here soon. :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sweet Shot Tuesday

(Thank you to the Maternal Lens for choosing this picture of Grace as their 'Photo of the Day.' )

'Joy is not in things, it is in us.' ~ Richard Wagner

Sweet Shot Day

My very favorite shot of the week, taken of our daughter Grace dancing in her lavender tutu. Grace is the most joyful, happy child I've ever known. I was checking out a new location to take pictures (this was taken near an old school house in the middle of a field in the countryside) and she broke out in this spontaneous little dance. This girl always makes me smile!

Please go over and see more beautiful pictures here for Sweet Shot Tuesdays.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

the gift of motherhood

'In raising children I have lost my mind, but found my soul.' ~ Lisa T. Shepherd

'I see who I want to be, in my daughter's eyes.' ~ Martina McBride

'A mother understands what a child doesn't say.' ~ Jewish Proverb

Last night I carried 4 year old Will up the stairs to bed, he had fallen asleep on our family room floor. He has been doing that fairly frequently lately as he's kind of in that stage of giving up his nap, and he's pretty tired after dinner time. As I carried him up the stairs and smelled his hair and sweet little boy scent, I thought to myself that I've been carrying my sleeping young children up to bed for a long time...I've been a mom for 25 years. That's half my life.
The above 3 quotes spoke to me, in fact I could have written them myself, as they describe my feelings so well. I became a mom for the first time in my mid 20's and in many ways feel like I grew up with my oldest son. This second chance of motherhood which started in my 40's has certainly been one of my greatest gifts. With maturity also comes some wisdom, or at least for me it did. I found out what was important to me and really who I am as a person, through my young children.
The best advice about being a mother and a parent came from my own mom. My mom had 4 children in 5 and a half years, and what she taught me was, "Don't sweat the small stuff and have fun." And whether it's raising a toddler, a teenager or communicating with my 25 year old son, I have taken that advice to heart. It doesn't matter if my house is a mess, my children's clothes match perfectly or I cook nutritionally perfect meals for dinner every single night. What does matter is that they are learning to be good, giving and kind people and that they are loved unconditionally and always.
Happy Mother's Day to you and your's, whether you are a mom, are waiting for your child and will be a mom, or still have a mom in your life. Cherish them always!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sweet Shot Tuesday

Sweet Shot Day
'Sweet Shot Tuesday' is a photo link blog hop that encourages photographers to post
and link up their best shot of the week. What I love about this is there's no specific theme, no restrictions of any kind, and it's for all skill levels. The image just needs to be taken within the last week. I'm excited about it and really looking forward to this weekly hop as I grow as a photographer.

The above image was taken last Friday of my 7 year old daughter, Grace. I had taken Grace and her brother to the park, we wrapped my scarf around her head and shoulders to shoot a few images, and this was the first one I captured. Shortly after it was taken, the scarf came off and she went running off to play...

To me the image is serene, and her peaceful, calm personality comes through very clearly.
Be sure and check out more beautiful images here. :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday snapshot {my youngest son}

William is 4(one of my favorite ages) and has this love and fascination this year with dandelions. He must pick every dandelion he sees. And I mean every single one. These pictures were taken on Friday while I was weeding in the backyard, I looked up and Will was on his mission to collect these vibrant yellow flowers. He runs over and says in his sweet little voice, 'Look Mommy, look what I found!' And he insists I 'smell' everyone of them. Of course I do...and I love this little guy to pieces!

Hop on over to Ni Hao Y'all to join in on Sunday Snapshot.

Ni Hao Y'all
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