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.
So I'm a little distracted this week because I'm at my parent's house helping get everything ready for my little sister's wedding this Saturday...but I don't want to miss out on posting a Before & After so although it is a little later in the day than I usually like to post...it's certainly not too late. :) So this week my post is from last week's birthday shoot with my one year old. I've already posted this edit on here but now those of you who have already seen it will know how much creative license I took in cropping it to give it edge. Lol! Anyway...my Before & After. I took this photo with my Canon Rebel and edited it in Paint Shop Pro.
Just so you all are warned...this is a lot more personal & risque then what I usually write & definitely more so than what I usually post on here. It was inspired by Russ, the love of my life, and a line from "So I Married an Axe Murderer" :)
Art: Ode to our love
by Gina K Campbell
Lying together, legs intertwined
I see us sketched in thick, black lines
Our figures painted rough & bold
Every curve in red and gold
Framed & hung upon a wall
Envied by lovers great & small
Everything we do is art
Your calloused hands run down my hip
Your ear hangs from my lower lip
You whisper sweet nothings in my ear
But poetry is what I hear
Our hearts beat out a symphony
As you speak these words to me
Everything we do is art
Our bodies express; our words inspire
Each glance we share invokes desire
A score is climaxed with each caress
A masterpiece and nothing less
We arouse respect, creating much
Transcend the senses when we touch
Today at C. Beth Blog she did a post about how she is content with her two children and asked her readers how we feel about the number of kids we have and I felt like this was a great opportunity to express my current thoughts on the subject.
I grew up as the first of three kids; Russ was the second of two. I have generally always wanted three kids (it seemed like the perfect number to me. Russ said from the beginning that he wanted four. I was not opposed to four so since we got married our answer to the question of how many kids do you want has always been, "Three or four. One at a time and we'll see how it goes." When I had Eden, there was no question of having a second. When I had Jasmine, we just knew there would be another. But then we had Acacia, #3, and I feel differently. There is a question and yet... not. I emotionally feel totally content with my three girls and yet I really believe beyond any doubt that we will try again. I know we will have at least four kids. (if God allows) That is a strange feeling that I never encountered previous to this.
Our marriage has been on a two year cycle. We got married, two years, we had Eden, two years, we had Jasmine, two years, we had Acacia. That was the plan and that's how it worked. So now that Acacia is a year old, the questions have begun. If we were going to have a baby at two years again, it is about time to start thinking about that. But we're not. I'm not ready to think about having another baby. I tell people who ask, give me another year and then we probably will. But I'm not gonna swear by it. The plan was three or four. We have three...now the plan is flexible. I'm just gonna take life one day at a time and see how it goes. Maybe we'll never have another kid...but I suspect we will. And (you may have noticed) that above I wrote "at least four" because while I'm convinced right now that I do not want more than four...I am not yet convinced that that is God's plan for me. I have had an inkling over the years that God may one day request more of me than that. But for now...that is in God's hands and I am working with the plan of "probably 4" and I'll let time and my sovereign God determine whether our family stays a family of 5, grows by one, or exceeds our current expectations in unknown ways.
Today is my baby's 1st birthday. A year ago today I finally got to meet my sweet little smiley girl.
Read her birth story HERE.
Fast facts about her birth:
*My doctor offered to schedule an induction on the 18th but I turned her down.
*I tried acupuncture the week before to try to get my labor to start naturally but it didn't work.
*The labor was almost painless. So easy. No drugs.
*I went in the hospital in no pain but 6 cm dilated.
*I sang "Voice of Truth" to myself during the contractions.
*It took four tries & three nurses to get my IV needle placed. Came home with a huge bruise on my arm.
*I planned on watching the season premeir of The Office while I labored but she chose to be born at 8:03 pm and so I missed it. ;)
*We made them wait a couple minutes before cutting the cord and I got to hold her during this time.
*She had low oxygen saturation & fluid in her lungs so I barely got to see her after that. :(
*In the two hours after she was born, Russ followed her progress in the NICU while I showered, ate a sandwich (sooo hungry!), called my parents & watched stupid shows on television.
*It was long after midnight before I got to nurse her for the first time.
*We were in the middle of remodelling our kitchen so Russ went home during the days to get some work done.
*I had to come home without her and spent the week going to the hospital every three hours to feed & hold her.
*She smiled at me for the first time while still in the NICU and I got photographic proof that newborns really can smile. (It's not always gas!)
*She was born on Thursday and came home on the following Wednesday.
*We went straight from the hospital to my chiropractic appointment. (After dropping Eden & Jasmine off at dance class.)
*I did my first photoshoot with her the Saturday after she came home.
*We spent the majority of the next month isolated in my bedroom because we didn't want her to be exposed to the remodeling dust.
Happy First Birthday, Acacia! Mama loves you. You are soo special to me.
Another photo of my Jasmine taken last week during our spontaneous photoshoot with the suitcase, teddy bear props. This one is my husband's favorite. I love the way her wisps of hair are coming out of the hat across her sweet little forehead. Looks like they are blowing in the breeze! Hope you like it, too. :)
Taken with my Canon Rebel; edited with Paint Shop Pro.
Two years & one month ago, on Aug 20th, 2008, I started this blog. That day I wrote about the Poopy Side of Mommyhood after an incident where I went to get Jasmine up from her nap and found her covered in her own excrement. Today I had a flashback experience.
We had finished breakfast; I moved Acacia from her high chair to her play pen and got Eden & Jasmine started with school work at the kitchen table. I threw something in the trash and noticed an aroma. It smelled like a dirty diaper but since I had just opened the trash I assumed that it was coming from that. Jasmine started singing an "Acacia is stinky" song. I was busy trying to get Eden's school work organized in my folder and didn't think enough of it to stop. Jasmine sang again, "Eeww..Acacia poooped." and so I glanced over my shoulder to where Acacia's play pen sits. There was my baby standing naked with poop all over the rail of the Pack n Play, and, upon closer inspection, all around her mouth which made her look like she had gotten into a chocolate bar. Two pacifiers sat in there looking as if she had been using them to "dip" into her abandoned diaper. I screeched and grabbed her up and wisked her away to the bathroom where (to her chagrin) I sprayed her down with the shower hose and washed her off as well as I could with handfuls of soap. Once she was clean, I secured her in her crib and went about the business of cleaning the pen. I had to call Russ because I was out of Clorox and couldn't imagine considering anything truly clean until it was thouroughly wiped down with bleach. I took the Pack n Play outside & sprayed it down with a hose. The sheet was put in the laundry and the toys & pacifiers were thrown in a bucket of water. When Russ arrived I wiped down the bucket items and then refilled the bucket with bleach water and let them soak. Now everything is back to normal. Nearly all evidence of the incident has been eradicated...but the memory will continue on.
The funny thing is that in the midst of the chaos I reflected on the time that has passed since I started this blog and how it was my Jasmine who sat covered in her own poop just two short years ago and the thing is...I realize just how much I've grown as a mother in such a short amount of time. Cleaning up my child's waste has become just another part of the job. I've already been there, done that. Last time the whole day just overwhelmed me; this time I cleaned up the mess all the while helping Eden with her homework, chatting with the neighbor, and getting things ready for lunch. It may have added a bit of extra drama to the day but really it was barely a blip on my multi-tasking mommy radar. And I gotta say that that is a good feeling.
I like being able to see improvements in myself. I used to wonder if I could handle all the chaos that comes with having several children. I'd look at other families and think that I don't have what it takes...that I am too lazy. But the children come one at a time and grow up one day at a time and I've found that I have grown with them just as I hoped I would. I have grown accustomed to keeping busy. I have gotten used to the noise & the movement & the constant demands on my time. (I have gotten up over three times just while writing this last paragraph!) I have changed...mostly from necessity... but changed nonetheless and I know that this is what new moms, moms-to-be & moms-of-one need to know: You will be fine. We parent one day at a time...so enjoy the stage you're in--even on the poopy days--and before you know it, a poopy day will just be another sweet day you get to spend with your precious children and you, too, will realize that you're doing just fine.
Yesterday I took a few photos of Jasmine in our yard with an old suitcase and my teddy bear as props. She didn't mind because she knows that mommy usually is good for a piece of candy if she'll model for me! We didn't take too many since the lawn was wet and she refused to sit on the ground. Plus the lighting was really bad with too many shadows & stray light. For this particular photo I cropped it, blurred the background, adjusted the curve, upped brightness & contrast, then converted to black & white & added my personal vignette. (I edit using Paint Shop Pro.)
Okay...so PhotoFreak wants us to show off our photos of the "almost kiss" This is mine. It is a photo I took in July of my sister & her fiance' during their engagement shoot. Be sure to head on over to Photo Freak's blog to see the other "almost kisses" and maybe add one of your own!
This week our entry has to have a vehicle incorporated in it. My photo this week is much older than the photos I usually like to enter but I thought it would be fun to use a photo I took of my daughter at Carhenge. I live in western Nebraska and (sadly) Carhenge is probably our most famous attraction...a bunch of old cars, painted & arranged in the same manner as the mysterious Stonehenge. I have lived in the area my whole life and have only been there twice (though driven past countless times) and have never understood why anyone would drive out of their way to see it but it is a cute place to stop if you are driving through and need a place to stretch your legs.
Anyway, here is my entry for this week's challenge. In honor of my beloved western Nebraska and it's lack of tourist attractions...*grin*
Goodness! I've been so busy with homeschooling & preparing for the weekend I completely forgot it was Thursday and 'Before & After' Blog Hop Day! Luckily it is not too late. :) My entry this week is my favorite photo from the last wedding I did.
Photo Freak weekly photo challenge is "The cutest kid on the block" and I know I have the cutest kids on the block *wink* and since she is allowing three photos...(how perfect) I have to show off a photo of each of my girls to show everyone just how true it is. ha!