About Me

My photo
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.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Best Friend

Two twenty-two year old woman.  Literally rolling with laughter on (and off) the old smelly blue couch, holding their sides & stomachs because of the pain such uncontrollable bursts of giggling causes.  Tears rolling down their cheek,  gasping for air.  Just as one is about to gain control of her senses and find relief from the madness, she catches the eye of the other and the breathless, gut-wrenching laughter grabs hold once again.  Between gasps, they beg the other to stop but the revelry of the moment is being burned into their hearts to be treasured for a lifetime, strengthening their already rock solid friendship.  Who knew that Tom Hanks & his money pit had such tremendous power?  They don't know where their paths will lead or what the future will hold.  They only know that they are at the precipice of their adult lives and that they need to treasure these lingering moments of childish whimsey before they are swept away into the next season of life where uncontrollable laughter over falling bathtubs is nigh unto extinct.
I met Connie when I was fifteen.  I was about to start my sophomore year of high school.  The days were still hot and two-a-day volleyball practices had begun.  My friend, K., took up with the new girl and introduced her to me & our friend, M..  Connie was a junior and had previously lived in another small town just 40 miles down the road.  She was tall, thin, blond.  She was quite nice & fun-loving, and it was natural to include her in our small social group.  By the time school was in full swing, the four of us had become our own little clan. Within the group we all had different relationships as duos.   M. & I were best friends; but Connie & M. never got incredibly close.  And I never had the same connection with K. that M. & Connie did.   And although there were varying degrees of connections within our group, we always had a great time together.  We goofed around, enjoyed slumber parties, danced, watched movies, and, of course, talked about guys, each other, & the big questions of life.   However, over the next few years,  (by the time we all had graduated & moved on to college) the dynamics of the group had begun to shift dramatically.

K. had twin babies during her senior year and got married soon after.  M. found a greater sense of adventure and began exploring other social groups & activities.  And Connie & I, in our safe little guarded worlds, began to grow closer.  We went to the same small college 30 min from our high school.  Connie lived off campus and commuted while I lived in the dorms, so with our busy schedules we didn't actually spend much time together at first.  But I began to encourage her to come to the weekly InterVarsity Christian Fellowship meetings that I had become heavily involved with and eventually she did.  It was at one of those meetings that Connie found Jesus. And that is when our relationship really began to blossom.

While I had been saved at a very young age, college was where I found a passion for Jesus.  I became very involved in campus ministry, had so many great Christian friends, and spent so much of my time refining my worldview.  So when Connie was born-again and her passion for Christ became evident,  it was only natural that our friendship now gained a whole new depth & dimension.  We started a weekly prayer meeting together which mostly consisted of just the two of us,  and some days we spent a couple hours in my dorm room pouring our hearts out to God together.  Those prayer meetings brought such spiritual intimacy and are some of the absolute best times we've had together.  So by the end of 2001, Connie & I were extremely close--best friends.  Connie had just graduated from college and wasn't sure where to go from there and I was at a place in my education and  life-in-general where things just didn't seem to be working out and I was frustrated and needed a break.   So I decided to do a full-time internship for a semester.  And in January of 2002, Connie & I moved to South Dakota and became roommates.  2002 was a year of transition for both of us.  It was an amazing year.  Soon after we moved, my boyfriend broke up with me, which was incredibly hard but for the best.  Connie & I hooked up with (thanks to M.) an amazing bible study group of young unmarried people that became our life during our time there.  It was during our seven months there that we experienced the giggle-fest mentioned above.  Our time in South Dakota was a real gift.  Not only was it an invaluable experience both in life lessons & spiritual growth but it was a gift to our friendship...our last real bit of time alone together as friends before being led into our separate lives.  When my internship ended, I returned to finish school and Connie came with me.  By the time I graduated in May 2003, Connie & I were both engaged to be married!

Marriage is a beautiful thing.  And it is incredible to me that we both found our spouses simultaneously nearly as soon as we moved back that autumn.  Russ & I married in August 2003, and Jim & Connie followed suit a month later.   Our new lives had begun, and while still friends to the core...Connie & my friendship would never be the same.  We were now wives, and our husbands would naturally take priority.  I soon moved to Colorado & Connie moved to Michigan.  And while our lives have not left us static, neither has it brought us to living at the same place at the same time...(although ironically we missed living in the same town by a week...she moved away from my current location a week before we moved here. bleh!)  She is again living in Michigan and I am here in Nebraska.  Because of our distant and busy lives, we barely talk.  We are lucky if we see each other once a year for more than a couple hours.  And most of our communication is in the form of an email every couple months.   But our hearts are forever connected, and she will always be my dearest friend.

Tomorrow is a special day.  Tomorrow I will be getting on a plane and getting off where she is.   Tomorrow I get to see my best friend.  Russ is taking off work to be with the kids and I am going to spend 5 days exploring Connie's world.  Soaking up her life.  Reacquainting myself with the intricacies of her heart.  And hopefully laughing until I cry. Pray for blessings upon this journey.  For me....and my best friend.  :)

Before & After: Cup o' Cacia

Before (SOOC):

After (edit):

Taken with Canon 5D Markii; edit done in Paint Shop Pro 9.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

New photography logo

I have been working on designing a new logo & watermark for myself and this is what I came up with....
Any opinions or feedback?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Before & After: Wheat & Scythe

This weekend I took some photos for my dad of some wheat to work out an idea for a logo for a product he's been working on.  I don't know if we came up with anything we'll actually use but I got some neat pictures in the process.  This photo was one of his favorite's.  I took the photo with my Canon 5d markii and processed it in Paint Shop Pro.

Before (SOOC):

After (edit):

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How to make babies...

A little joke to start your day.  :)

"A second grader came home from school and said to her mother, "Mom, guess what? We learned how to make babies today."

The mother, more that a little surprised, asked fearfully, "That's interesting. How do you make babies?"

"It's simple," replied the girl.

You just change 'y' to 'i' and add 'es'.""

Friday, March 18, 2011

Look at this guy...

We went on a Entomology field trip today with our homeschool group and we got to pet this Madagascar hissing cockroach...and yes, we know it's a boy!

Monday, March 14, 2011


I now have 100 public followers.  
I don't know why y'all chose to keep track of me but hope you're getting something.  
God bless you!

'I Skrem Stand'

Yesterday afternoon spring was in the air.  After some thought, Eden comes to us with this fun idea of setting up an ice cream stand.  She had written the above sign and insisted Daddy help her find two sticks to attach it to and secure in the ground.  We corrected her spelling error and while she wrote a new sign, he went to the garage to find her the specific "sticks" she insisted were necessary.  Not only did Daddy help her tape the sign to the boards but he also got a shovel and dug a hole in the ground at the front of our yard facing the road to keep it up.  :)

After putting on a jacket she got all her "ice cream" making supplies and meticulously set up shop.

I then requested she make me a bowl to try out.  I had my choice of "strawberry", "lime, "grape" & "orange".  I chose grape.  She put a lot of careful work into it and then handed it over.  I thought it was pretty and "tasty"!  :)

After I left, she decided she needed to upgrade her shop to an actual table & chair. 

It wasn't long before she got her first real "customer."  Our neighbor was sweet enough to indulge Eden's little game and even paid 60 cents for her Play-Doh sundae.  :)  

It was so nice to have the kids playing outside, running, laughing, and using their imaginations.  I am so looking forward to summer and more extended play times just like this!  :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Heart Faces: "Sun Flare"

This week I chose this photo of my mom with my girls.  I think the colors are beautiful and the sun feels so warm, but what I really love about it is how you can see the love in my mom's expression.  She always says that she is happiest and the most herself when surrounded by her grandkids.  Can you see it like I can?

I love you, Mom!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Before & After: My favorite books

Before (SOOC):

After (Edit):

Taken with Canon 5d Markii.  Edited in Paint Shop Pro 9.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I'm excited because I feel like I'm on the cusp of a big spiritual growth spurt.  I can really see God working in my heart these last couple months.  I started a personal S.O.A.P. study of James in January because of a fellow blogger and it has really prompted a surge of inspiration & growth.  God has really been speaking into my doubts through that study and I am seeing myself slowing breaking free from some of the things that have been holding me back the last several years. 

I remember telling my mom last summer that I felt like I was in a spiritual holding pattern...not going back but not really going forward either.  And it's been like that for quite awhile .  In college I felt so close to God and He and His ways were always in my mind & in my conversations.  But after I moved on to the so-called 'real world' it all just kinda faded.  I never really lost my connection to God but I lost my passion for Him and it just became another piece of life rather than the all-consuming topic/relationship that it once had been to me.  I've been trying to live off of the fumes of the revelations God gave me in my college days rather than seeking fresh revelations in my new life as wife & mother. 

Then about a year ago I started craving that intimacy & passion again in a big way.  I started desiring the fellowship & excitement.  I started seeking a renewal of my spiritual fervor.  And I was met with discouragement. 

This past year as been spent looking for a spark to reignite me...and coming up unlit.  I started out looking for a new place to fellowship on Sunday mornings.  The church we left was perfect for me when we moved here in 2006 and God made it very clear at that time that it was where we were suppose to be. But after three years, I felt like my needs began to change and that it was time to move on.  So when we started attending different services elsewhere and things didn't click,  I got frustrated.  There is no perfect church and no matter where I went I came home empty.  A lot of the places we attended are wonderful church fellowships that are filled up with people who love the Lord...I could have easily chosen any of these churches to attend regularly and to get involved with.   But I was hoping to find a place that just felt like 'home'. And when none of them did I kept feeling more and more lost & discouraged.  I didn't want to just go through the motions.  I wanted a new church 'home' that would challenge me to grow in new ways and reach my spiritual emotions.  But, that didn't happen.  I was still the same old me, the services were the same old services... only now I was spiritually "homeless" and even more hungry for a taste of His Glory. 

I don't know why it took a year for change to begin.  Maybe I was looking in all the wrong places for God to move me.  Maybe I just wasn't ready.  Ironically, I'm still without a steady church but I found 'home' here in my own house within His arms!  I got it!  My passion is back, my excitement is back, my fervor is back!   I finally am reading His Word and FEELING it soak into my bones and nourishing my soul!  I can HEAR Him again, loudly!  I SEE Him in every book I read; in every program I watch on tv; in every person I pass on the roads!  I am actively aware of how my previous fears are dissipating; how my understanding, patience, & love is increasing; how I am more easily choosing to bless others in spite of myself!  My heart is so open right now and it isn't all I feared it would be.  I am anticipating the future God is leading me to without the trepidation I had even just a few months ago.  Everytime I grasp a new truth, am exposed to a new subject, or feel a new emotion--I wonder how God is going to use it in my life.   I have seen how The Adversary tries to trip me as soon as I have a God moment...sometimes within minutes...and I have overcame! (not always without a few bumps, though.)  

But I am excited!  I am praising Jesus!  I have sought this breakthrough for over a year now and it has finally come! Thank you Jesus for your indescribable gift!  I know that I have a long way to go before I am living up to my full potential in Him and my prayer is that I can use this initial 'Oomph' to simply build momentum to speed me closer & closer to my precious Savior!  I pray also that Russ & I can find and agree on a fellowship to call "home" for the next leg of our journey and that God would make His will clear regarding that and other decisions that profoundly affect our future.   My future is secure because it is in His hands!

"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!"
1 John 3:1 (NIV)