About Me

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I love Jesus. I love my family. I love photography. I love books. I love thinking. Probably in that order. I have a wonderful husband, five beautiful daughters, a house, and a camera. I enjoy spending time talking to my husband, playing with my girls, redecorating my house and shooting things with my camera. In my spare time, I sleep.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mothers & their children

My mom & I often discuss the lopsidedness that is the mother/child relationship--the way that a child never loves the parent the same way that the parent loves the child; the seeming ungratefulness & entitlement that children often display in regards to the love, attention, & material outpouring that the parents often lavish on their children so willingly. I recently found a great description of this written by Vicki Iovine in her book, 'The Girlfriends' Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood',
"We Girlfriends never cease to be amazed at how mothers are taken for granted. No child will ever grow up and genuinely thank you for the way you stayed awake all night to make sure the kindergarten chicken eggs hatched safely, or for yelling at the t-ball coach who called him a "daisy picker in right field." It's as though the childrens' credo goes something like this: "You are mine. I lived in you, I drank from you, I wiped my nose on you and I barged right in while you were going to the bathroom. Your job is to love me, protect me, teach me and then prepare me to leave you, only to come back when my girlfriend dumps me or I flunk out of college. I will call you when I feel like it. If I am a boy, I will spend all my major holidays at my wife's house, and if I'm a girl, I will finally begin to appreciate you after I get pregnant and become a mother myself.""

I, luckily, am still in the phase where I expect my children to take me for granted but I know that someday this will change...they will grow up & I will start to expect them to notice the special things I do just for them & verbally appreciate the extra money I spent to buy them 'just the right dress' to make them happy. But they won't, and it will hurt...just like my mom said it would.

Thanks, Mom, for all you did & do out of love for me and I'm sorry I didn't/don't appreciate it the way I should.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Being a wedding photographer

So I was the photographer for a small casual wedding this past Saturday. While generally I feel under qualified to be the sole documenter (that's not a real word, is it?) of this ultra-important once-in-a lifetime event, I am becoming much more comfortable with the task and my ultra-low price (by wedding photography standards) makes me feel better about accepting the responsibility. While it can be stressful and I worry about totally blowing it, I still really enjoy having the opportunity to make pretty pictures. This was my fifth paid wedding and although my photos certainly aren't all professional quality, I do feel as though I took some that I can be proud of. Thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you.

To see more you can visit my Smugmug Photo site.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hair Cut & Highlights

Today I got my hair cut & highlights put in. The end result wasn't quite as dramatic as what I was hoping for but I do believe that the end results are a vast improvement. Even if it doesn't look that different in the pictures, it certainly FEELS much better and that's what really counts, right? (I couldn't very well expect a simple haircut to change the look of my face, could I?)



Thursday, April 23, 2009

My beautiful girl

Thursday Thunks: Spices, quotes & other things

Thursday Thunks

If you could skywrite anything you wanted, what would it be?
God loves you.

2. Did you get drunk at your prom?
No. Not even a thought in my head. Although I guess I was slightly concerned someone might try to spike the punch.

3. What is your favorite spice to use cooking?
Spice...hmm not much on the spices. As a Nebraska girl most of my seasoning is done with salt, pepper & garlic. We use a fair amount of chili powder too, i guess, but that's most because of hubby.

4. What color is your roof?


5. In a land far, far away I _____________
...would be a tourist-- with a camera & no idea how to speak the language. ;)

6. In the Miss USA pageant, Miss California was asked; "Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?" and her answer was; "Well I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. Um, we live in a land that you can choose same sex marriage or opposite marriage and, you know what, in my country and in, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman," Carrie said to a mix of boos and applause. "No offense to anybody out there. But that's how I was raised and that's how I think that it should be between a man and a woman." Do you think that cost her the crown?
Probably. It doesn't pay to speak your convictions if they happen to be in opposition to what is "politically correct." I am pleased that she did find the courage to say what more than half of America really believes.

7. Do you watch Miss USA/Miss America pageants?
Not anymore. No television. Though, I was never a devoted watcher but I used to enjoy them the few times I did watch them.

8. Have you ever driven/ridden on a tractor?
Oh yeah! I've never driven a tractor but I used to ride with my dad occasionally when I was a kid. I remember one time when my brother & I rode with him on the tractor while he worked and him telling us the story of Sampson from the Bible. That has always been one of my favorite memories.

9. For the parents - what cartoon/children show did your child watch obsessively? (Hey, if you aren't a parent, maybe a niece or nephew...)
Oh dear...it depends what week it is. We don't have television so everything my kids watch is on dvd but Eden has watched "Tom & Jerry" obsessively, "Spongebob" (of course) and several of her movies. I'm glad we don't have tv so that I still have some control over what she becomes obsessed with. She can't become obsessed with the Wiggles if she doesn't know who they are---am I right?

10. If I set a level on your living room floor - would it show that it was level?
No... perhaps in spots depending on how small your level is...but our floor is certainly not perfectly level. It's not horribly unlevel either, though. It's probably worse in the kitchen.

11. What was the last restaurant you ate at?
'San Pedro' It's a new mexican restaurant in our town.

12. What's the picture on your wall calendar for this month?
It's a close up of a tortoise from the Galapagos Islands. My calender is a "Creation Calender" that my MIL got me for Christmas from Answers in Genesis.

13. Are you superstitious?

14. If I get into your car and turn on the radio - what type of radio station will I hear?
I don't have a standard radio station that I listen to (I'm a station-surfer) but if you got in right now I suspect you'd hear KNIF 107.9 which is the small local radio station that is run by my church and generally plays different pastor, speakers & other Christian radio programs. Or if it's not on KNIF you'd probably hear Air1 (The Positive Alternative)-- A nationally broadcast station that plays contemporary Christian music.

15. Would you rather wake up with a snake in your bed or a lizard?
Definitely a lizard.

16. Do you think schools have changed at all since the Columbine tragedy 10 years ago? In what ways?
I do. I think schools have become more cautious & suspicious. And I'm not sure this is totally a good thing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Remote Rant

I am so frustrated with electronics these days. Perhaps it is because I buy cheap crap from Wal-Mart that was made for 10 cents by impoverished Chinese children but I am incredibly frustrated at the absolute necessity of the remote controls.

We lost the remote for our dvd player. It has been missing for over a week now. I don't know if was smuggled out of the house by one of our runaway socks or if it just hitched a ride via one of my children to some dark corner of the basement and hid itself under a mountain of forgotten toys...but I miss it. I miss it, not because I'm too lazy to get up off my butt and walk to the tv...but rather because our dvd player has lost much of its proper functionality since the remote's recent hiatus!

Our dvd player is one that 'remembers' where you last left off when watching your disc...which is all fine and good most of the time but when the movie has played it's course, it will often take you to the next menu...let's say the bonus features. Well...most of the dvd's use is facilitated by my children who want to watch the same disc three days in a row. The problem is that the dvd player unit itself only has four buttons--power, open/close, play/pause, and stop. All navigation requires the remote control...so in most cases if Eden wants to watch 'Cinderella' for the umpteeth time...without the remote, she would have to work her way through 3 hours of bonus features before it would return itself to the main menu! I find this completly ridiculous!

Seriously...common sense would dictate making all functions of the unit operable from the unit itself so that when the remote goes on vacation...we can still enjoy our movie watching experience. Am I right?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How Facebook & Blogger have Enriched my Life

I realize that there are a lot of people out there who feel as though the popularity of Facebook & other networking sites is more evidence of the degeneration of our culture. I also realize that by endorsing them in this manner I am also revealing personal weaknesses in my social makeup but...I shall proceed.

I must say that since I joined the world of online social interaction via Facebook & Blogger I have noted several things about the nature of relationships (particularly in regards to how they are influenced in these online spheres.) As an introvert I do not have much of a social life in the so-called 'real world.' I have a few close friends scattered across the country side; I have my extended family; my church family; a few casual acquaintances and that's about it. I certainly am not one to go out of my way to socialize. I am pretty content most of the time to stay at home with my kids & my husband. College was the social era of my life and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Because despite my anti-social tendencies I really do enjoy people. I like learning about them, observing similarities & differences, hearing about their varied experiences, etc. College was filled with opportunities to experience people & make friends without the initiative & effort I find is needed now.

I joined Facebook over a year & a half ago mainly to keep up with my college-age sister. But as time went on and Facebook's popularity began to grow among college grads & others in my age group I began to quickly re-connect with many of the people with whom I had once been acquainted. Many were good friends in college or at least they were people with whom I had spent a significant portion of my 5 years at the State college; many were people I was very familiar with but did not know well; and several were people I hardly knew at all but do, in fact, remember.

There are plenty of articles out there mocking how via Facebook we can find out in real time that our neighbor's son's dog was recently fixed and that our old college roommate has been throwing up lasagna all night but I gotta admit that that although I do find plenty of things to hate about Facebook, this is not one of them. I enjoy how I get a sense of other people's everyday lives in a few moments every morning during one of my daily 'Facebook' checks. I love how I get to meet the children of former classmates by viewing their photo albums. And not only that but I get to congratulate people on their engagements, weddings, births & other life achievements that I would never had the chance to meet again in the course of our diverging lives. My online social life has allowed me friendships that I could not have otherwise had. Perhaps one cannot allow these friendships the same status that one would a face-to-face friendship but I testify that I feel much closer to some of my 'online friends' then I do to the people with whom I spend time face-to-face.

I have one friend in particular I feel is worth mentioning in this context. I met her during my college days...she was a friend of a friend. I never really knew her. I only spent time with her on a couple of occasions due to our mutual friend. She & I friended each other on Facebook & then when I joined Blogger I began reading her blog, Tres Blessed, as well. Through these two mediums (particularly Blogger) we began to interact and discover many commonalities. I barely know her. I haven't spoken to her in person since we graduated from college but I have a deep respect for her and feel as though we have become friends. I am one of the first people to read her new blog posts and she is usually the first person to read mine. And while I do feel somewhat sad that we didn't get a chance to be friends when we could have spent time together in college, I am grateful that online networking has allowed us the relationship we have now.

While admittedly there are some down sides and some risks involved in online networking--I must say with conviction that I feel my life is more complete and my interactions & friendships more diverse & fulfilling thanks to Facebook & Blogger.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Memories of Great-Grandpa Aaron

Recently a friend of mine sent me some stuff she had that I had written and sent to her back in the summer of 2000. One of the things I wrote was about a dream I had involving my great grandfather who died in 1988. I decided to share this memory with you.
"The other night I had a dream. My great grandpa H. was in it so alive and unbelievably clear and real. I hadn't thought about him at all in such a long time. He died before Jill was born when I was just eight years old so I didn't really even know him that well. But in my dream he was as real as he ever could be. He wasn't doing anything too spectacular. Just sitting in Grandma's kitchen next to Great-grandma playing with his glasses. He hardly ever wore his glasses when I knew him. He only wore them to read and most of the time I was around him he just napped on the couch. But somehow my dream remembered those glasses. The weird part about the dream was that I knew that he was supposed to be dead. Everyone around me seemed to know he was there but didn't directly interact with him. I spoke to him and he to me but everyone else went about their business around us. He laughed to me about his glasses. And I just about wanted to cry. I wanted to hug him...but I didn't. He looked too cute and so loving and so alive sitting there in his old blue cardigan. It was almost as if he returned from death to visit my dream so that I could remember the love from him that I never thought about, noticed or cared about. I don't remember anything about my direct interaction with him when I was young. But now as a young woman I met him and have a memory of his loving sweet face greeting me from the grave. Meeting me in my sleep to let me know he loves me."
GreatGrandpa & Me--Easter 1982

4-generation pic-Easter 1980

Aaron & Mildred-50th Anniversary-1984

Mildred & Aaron-Christmas 1977

Quick Quote

"Uncertainty is the essential, inevitable and all-pervasive companion to your desire to make art. And tolerance for uncertainty is the pre-requisite to succeeding."

–from Art & Fear, by David Bayles and Ted Orland

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Baby Noah

My best friend, C. (who is now living so far away in Michigan) had her first child last week. I have been so anxious to hear how things went for her and to see photos of the special little boy who finally made my friend a mom. She called me last night and filled me in on all the details of her labor & delivery and today her dear husband was kind enough to send me some photos.

She was a week or so past her due date and ended up being induced (which was something she was hoping to avoid) but after only about 8-9 hours of labor (over an hour of which was spent pushing...yuck!) Noah was born sometime after 3 am on Wednesday morning, April 8th. He was 21 inches long; 7 lb 3.8 oz. Due to some minor issues, C. had to stay in the hospital an extra couple days for observation and ended up not being released until around supper time on Friday.

They are doing well. Feeling blessed but quite worn out & somewhat overwhelmed at the thought of the new responsibility this new life has brought into theirs. As with any new parents they could certainly use your prayers. I am so happy for them and had to share with the world their joy! World...meet Noah James!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Banana Poem

Since I feel I shouldn't go more than a couple of days without posting and I really can't think of anything to write about...I decided to post a random photo memory. I've been scanning a bunch of old photographs from my albums into my computer for usefulness & safe keeping. This particular photo was taken in 1994 when I was fourteen year old and is of my childhood best friend, Maria, holding a banana. But just not just ANY banana--this banana had a poem written on it.

She & I had hiked up one of the buttes that was near her home and there was a place at the top where people could leave comments. I decided to write a poem. When it was completed I wanted to bring a copy of the poem home with me but we didn't have any extra paper--all we had was our bag of snacks. Soooo...being the resourceful people that we are, we used what we had and wrote that poem on a banana! For those of you who are interested...the following is the poem that made its way to the world via that banana.
From the Mountain Top
(aka. 'The Banana Poem')

When up so high my mind so measures
How all our stuff, our earthly treasures
Are nothing like what God has made
Everything, that on earth he laid
The trees, the buttes, the sky so blue
Should mean so much to me and you
They are so lovely in their own way
I hope you realize that today
So stand up now and look around
Discover all that I've just found
How everything around this land
Was touched with love by God's great hand

by GKR-age 14

Thursday, April 2, 2009

This week's Thursday Thunks

Thursday Thunks for April 2nd:

1. Did you play any April Fools jokes on anyone or have a joke played on you?

Not this year. Personally, I hate April Fools Day. It's exhausting not being able to trust people. A holiday dedicated to lying seems to be pretty dumb. I admit that I have a problem with taking things too seriously sometimes but I just don't deal well with practical jokes. They make me uncomfortable.

2. If you could be on any non-reality TV show as a guest star or star, which one would it be and why?

I think it would be fun to be on set of any tv show but I think I would rather be on a sitcom than a drama. Maybe 'Scrubs' or 'The Office' since those are a couple of the shows that I've enjoyed watching recently. I think I would enjoy the actors from 'Scrubs' quite a bit and I think that it would take very little acting for me to act uncomfortable around Michael Scott and his inappropriate jokes on 'The Office.'

3. Do you crack your knuckles?

Not so much cracking my knuckles as popping my fingers & toes.

4. If you remember your first day of kindergarten, were you scared or excited? If you have kids or grandkids, were they scared or excited?

I don't remember. I only remember snippets of Kindergarten. If I was anything then like I am now...probably a little of both.

5. If you are in the shower, hear the fire alarm going off and smell smoke/see flames, will you just run out of the house with a towel on or grab some clothes & dress as you run out?

Depends if my clothes are handy or if I have to go find some. And it depends how serious & close the smoke/flames seem to be. (This is the kind of question that makes me forget whether or not I've washed my hair yet.)

6. Last week the Thursday Thunkers asked about your Daddy (twice), so this week tell us a little about your Mom.

What to say about my mom? She loves her family probably more than any other thing in this world but sometimes she struggles with how to show us how important we are to her. She is very smart & clever. And even though we often have our struggles with her, we would all be lost without her in our lives. I love you, Mom.

7. Which search engine do you use most often?


8. Did you participate in
Earth Hour?

No. I think Earth Hour is a joke.

9. What was the last new-to-you movie you watched? Was it in the theater or on DVD? Was it good?

Last night I watched "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" on Dvd. I enjoyed it.

10. If you do something embarrassing, do you laugh it off, or sit & worry about it?

Depends how embarrassing it is but I would say that more often than not I worry about it. There are still a couple of embarrassing things that I said in my college days that I still think about.

11. Where is your favorite spot in your home to sit & relax?

I enjoy sitting in my chair by the window when the sun is shining in on me and relaxing as I just watch the outdoors.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Worldview Analysis

I just wanted to share this insightful link with my readers. It is an open letter from Summit Ministries' Chuck Edwards to the Fox News' 'Fox and Friends' morning show concerning their underlying worldviews & assumptions. Their website describes it this way,

"The following is an open letter to the news anchors of Fox and Friends, the morning show on the Fox News cable network. The letter is in response to a report just released that the highest paid university employee in the nation was the football coach at the University of Southern California, Pete Carroll, who received $4.42 million in 2007. The three anchors, Steve, Gretchen, and Brian, discussed whether universities should be paying salaries this high in light of our current economic recession. As I suggest in this open letter, a little "worldview analysis" would have enhanced the discussion and enlightened viewers."
It contains great 'food for thought' while watching any news program. Perhaps we need a little 'worldview analysis' of our own to make sure we're not buying the assumptions they are selling.