Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Week in the Life Challenge - Day 2

Today I captured shots of Everyday Travels and Everyday Distractions. After walking my kids to the bus, I made my way home to try to take care of a few things before heading off to the dentist. It was then I encountered my first distraction:

The phone. My mom and I chat for a bit each morning. We talked a little about my nephew (he's finally taking a bottle!), the effects of sugar on our bodies, and she patiently listened as I shared details of the conference I attended on Saturday. Again. (I can't stop talking about it.) Then it was time for me to head out to the dentist:

As well as tackling other errands:

And then, of course, there were more distractions:

Which pretty sums up my day :-)

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i LOVE this song

With THIS POST on my mind, THIS SONG really speaks to me. (The embed code was disabled which means I can't post the video here; just click on the link above to view it.) Brandon Heath is the artist, you can visit his website by clicking HERE (where you can sample his new album entitled, "What If We...").

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Monday, September 29, 2008

and so the challenge begins...

In an effort to stir up some latent creativity, I'm taking part in Ali Edwards' Week in the Life scrapbooking challenge (click HERE for details.) I love what she did with her Everyday Life book and am using it as an outline for my week (click HERE for details). While creativity is not always my thing, it is usually hers! Today I focused on shots of Everyday Work and Everyday Play, snapping shots throughout the day and keeping notes to refer to once it's time to assemble the pages.

The journaling will include an exchange with my 8-year old son; I'd asked a question, purposely using "Big Words" throughout the sentence. Instead of answering, he rolled his eyes.

I asked, "Are you frustrated because you don't understand what I said?"

He responded, "No. I don't like to have to think a few minutes just to understand what a sentence means."

Total sweetness.

Met the hubby for lunch as well and we tried a new place in St. Paul called Salut. The food was very rich and the portions were HUGE. As a result, my lunch was also my dinner and I still have leftovers!

By the way, I know I promised to post my new photography packages by the end of last week. They should be up tomorrow. Should. (I think I'm writing that here to help hold myself accountable.)

Have a great evening!

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Here am I. Send me!

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you've heard me talk about worldviews and truth, taking thoughts captive, and the importance of acting on God's Word. Yesterday, I attended an incredible conference that touched on each of these areas in preparation for a 12-week video-driven study I plan to host in my home later this year. (If you're interested in learning more, let me know.)

I can hardly wait to get started!

The purpose of the series is to call to light many of the assumptions we have as Christians, thoughts and ideas that have never been tested or challenged. We touched on many things during the course of the day but the thing that sticks out most was the reminder that if I am living the way God is directing me through His Word, change is inevitable. When we gaze upon the face of God we cannot help but be transformed. His Word brings to light not only the brokenness within ourselves but helps us to clearly see the state of world around us. As we become more like Christ, we become sensitive to those in need around us - the outcasts, those who are lonely, sick, and poor, those without hope - and are driven to help. God leads us to serve those around us. He gives us His heart and we become His hands and feet.

Unfortunately, many of us are ensnared by bitterness, resentment, and hostility as we meditate on all that is unfair. Some might be suffering themselves and think, "How can I help someone else when I can't even help myself?" We lack time and resources. We might even think the job of helping others belongs to someone else or perhaps even some social institution. But according to God's Word, the job belongs to each and every one of us!

Today's sermon, of course, touched on the very same thing. (He certainly has my attention.) May the Lord prepare your heart and mine so that when He asks, we are ready and willing to go.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8

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a boy and his guitar

My son has had his eye on a bass guitar and was able to purchase it on Saturday. Thanks to all who contributed to his birthday fund!

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Friday, September 26, 2008

first I was going, then I wasn't, then I was again

The shot above is from my son's field trip to the MN Renaissance Festival. I'd signed up as a parent volunteer but received word last night that my help was not needed... only to find out this morning (ten minutes before the field trip) that the teacher had made a mistake and there was a ticket for me after all.

Did I mention I only had ten minutes to get ready? I hadn't even had a cup of coffee, let alone taken care of breakfast or makeup!

By the grace of God alone, I made it. It was a beautiful day and the kids had a blast. (The snapshot above is of my son; he used some of his birthday money to purchase a wax sculpture of his hand.)

On a completely unrelated note, is anyone else out there looking for a little scrapbooking inspiration? I've been struggling in that area (i.e. cropper's block). Ali Edwards is offering a great challenge for next week, a project that was featured in her book Life Artist. The first blog post on it is HERE and details about the project are HERE.

This totally strikes my fancy. Anyone else up for the challenge?

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

welcome to my world mess

For a detailed view, click HERE.

I thought I'd post a *real life* shot. This is where I spent the bulk of my day, working on shots and ironing out details on the photography end of things. I've set up shop with a new photo lab (which required a great deal of time for a number of reasons) and joined the PPA, as recommended by NILMDTS. (I'm sorry for all of the acronyms, just click on the orange links for details.) Basically, a lot of busywork.

The blog has been a little photography-lopsided for the past couple of weeks (a reflection of my life right now). I've been meaning to share some fun new toys, but haven't really had a chance to play with them a whole lot yet. There is a NEW BAG in the picture... I'd been looking for something that didn't look so camera-baggish - something that would allow me to bring my camera along, without it looking like I had my camera along. After admiring Tilly's Crumpler Bags from afar, I decided to pick one up for myself. This little beauty, the 5 Million Dollar bag, is mine:

Isn't it dandy?

Our weekly bible study started up again with somewhere near 200 ladies in attendance! Amazing. We're watching a Beth Moore video series based on the book of Proverbs (Wising Up) and will be moving right into Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman. You can be sure I'll be sharing nuggets of wisdom gleaned from both!

Have a great night my bloggy friends.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

the boy had a birthday

Though his party isn't until next month, we honored this special day with a traditional birthday muffin, the official measuring, and a small gift. (His main gift hadn't yet arrived so we'll save that and a special dinner out for another day.)

Football playoffs began tonight. Sadly, the boys were trampled. The silver lining is A WHOLE WEEK OFF before our final game.

In addition to calibrating my monitor and checking into whether or not an ICC profile is embedded into my photo files (don't fret if your head is spinning, mine was too), it was also the first day of our Wednesday morning Bible Study. It's good to be back.

I have a couple of more toys to share, some wedding photos to finish, a website to update, and a couple of great resources to pass along. Here's one for the road... did you know you could have a picture turned into a life-size print to stick on the wall? Talk about cool! You can find these funky Wall Clings at Mpix (just click HERE for details).

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

an old friend and a new toy

I met an old for lunch at a very cool spot just west of the Twin Cities. We met long ago and became fast friends. When I think of Sunny, I'm reminded of:

  • our old jerky boyfriends
  • the time her dog (Tootsie) dragged me BY MY HAIR across her dad's floor. I cried and she laughed. Hysterically.
  • hanging out by the pool
  • dressing up like biker guys for Halloween and then stopping by Perkins for a bite to eat. Sunny looked so much like a man, a woman screamed when she saw her in the ladies restroom. I laughed. Hysterically.
  • the time she made me dinner. When I sat to enjoy the meal she'd so carefully prepared, her dog (Tootsie) took stole my chicken.
  • Minneapolis Technical College and our friend Timm
  • The time we went shopping and I fell in love with a jacket I couldn't afford. Days later when I arrived home from work, the jacket was on my bed with a note from "The Jacket Fairy"
  • Laffy Taffy and Terry
  • The time I jumped into the pool and her dog (Tootsie) tried to drown me.
  • Going to a Bon Jovi concert just to see Sebastian Bach in the opening band; we left before Bon Jovi even performed.
So many good memories (aside from nearly being scalped and drowned). As I mentioned earlier, we had lunch at a neat little place in Watertown, called Crow River Coffee Company.

The coffee menu was IMPRESSIVE and the food was excellent - perfect atmosphere for hanging out with friends (I noticed they also have live music). The drive there was beautiful, it would make a great fall day trip (there's even a walking path leading down to the river).

And for the new toy. Here's a hint:

Yes, it's a lens. I think I'm in love.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

to disc or not to disc

I was really going to try for a 10:00 pm bedtime tonight (it's now 11:05 pm 11:42 pm). UGH. Just thought I'd poke my nose in and say "hi" before heading up. (Too, I thought I'd share a couple of cute shots from my cousin's bridal shower over the weekend.) First, a rousing game of Pin the Heart on the Groom:

And another great shot of the ladies having fun:

I've been pondering BIG THINGS tonight. (This is often symptomatic of PMS. Speaking of which, I suffered a crying jag while working on the lawn today. I couldn't get the sprayer-thingy off the hose and totally lost it.) Many clients have asked about purchasing a disc of images from their photo session. For various reasons, I've always said no.

Now, under the influence of PMS, I'm rethinking the whole disc thing. I've decided to put together some "packages" which include high resolution images on disc. Because some of you might just want to scrapbook them digitally or make your own holiday cards or order your own prints. (Though I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you don't print them at Walmart or Snyders or Walgreens.) I'll try to have the packages posted by the end of the week!

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

trusting God with His plan

It's been a rocky football season for the navy team. They've struggled defensively, with good reason - they are some of the smallest boys in the league! Before the game on Saturday, Ren and I prayed with Meeley. We asked God for a win but told Him that we would praise Him either way. (Thank you, Facing the Giants!) After we prayed, I asked the boys this question, "What if there is a family on the opposing team praying for the very same thing, what do you think God would do?"

Meeley answered, "Well, perhaps He'd make it a tie. Or at the very least, a killer game where one team wins only by a point."

I used the moment to talk about God and prayer, reminding them that He hears all prayers but only God knows the entire picture. He sees what's best in the big scheme of things and we have to trust Him even when things don't go our way. (For those unfamiliar with the term, those are called "teachable moments" - you'll find a great book on the topic HERE.)

While the game was in play, I recognized a boy from the opposing team. His mom is a faithbooking friend and their family is definitely one of prayer. (They are also connected to one of my most meaningful God Moments.) Smiling inside, I couldn't wait to see what would happen.

We were on the edge of our seats the entire time, the play was so tight it was impossible to predict a winner - A KILLER GAME! We won by one point.

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3

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Friday, September 19, 2008

what a bloggy surprise!

Someone has nominated this site for a bloggy award!!! If you would like to vote for it as well, just click on the voting button featured on the upper left side of this page. (Whoever did the nominating... thank you!)

The yummy drink featured in this post is an Almond Joy from the Good Day Cafe in Golden Valley, MN. I met Sharon there for our regular date and LOVE IT! The food is incredible; my pick was a fried egg sandwhich what was layered with ham, tomatoes, cheese, and avocado. My fried potatoes were SPICY and I didn't even have to ask for it that way (for those of you afraid of spicy, it's just enough to notice). Sharon ordered “Payslie’s Favorite” benedict that boasted two poached eggs with guacamole, tomato and hollandaise on an English muffin. She said it was the best hollandaise sauce ever. (Okay, I added the ever part but she did say it was really good!)

We're coming up on our one year coffee w/sharon anniversary as well. Boy, does time fly...

Edited to add: I just realized this website is offering a $250 prize to the winners in each bloggy category. As an FYI, this money would go directly into our faithbooking ministry!

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That Girl

That Girl, originally uploaded by Tina Vega.

I typically don't post my shots this large because it bugs me that the "frame" doesn't go all the way around (a glitch I just can't figure out). BUT... this shot was so cute it needed to be big! (Check it out even bigger by clicking HERE.) As much as it pains me, the frameless side will just have to stay. UGH.

I promised to share my fall weekend photo session openings, so here goes:

Sunday, September 28 at 2:30 pm & 4:00 pm
Sunday, October 5 at 2:30 pm & 4:00 pm
Sunday, October 19 at 2:30 & 4:00 pm

These times are for sessions in my neck of the woods. (We can talk details once the session is booked.) If you'd like to schedule something in your area, just let me know and we can work something else out.

In case you haven't yet had a chance to check out my photography website, my style is pretty casual. I will do some loose poses but do not expect the kids to "sit still and smile"; the sessions are meant to be fun. My goal is to try to capture the real you. The session fee is $75 and covers my time (there and afterwards during the editing process). The photos will posted to a password-protected gallery and you will have many photo options to choose from (prints, cards, digital albums, jewelry).

Let me know if you have any questions!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

this post is all over the place...

And I suppose you could call it a reflection of my day! I spent a bit of time reading up on codependency (trying to stay on top of those all too familiar patterns); click HERE for a great read. The book is also available for purchase HERE.

Too, I've been meaning to share a favorite digital website. I often go HERE to learn about different lenses; the reviews are extremely detailed and offer sample photos as well. Too, HERE is a great website for off-camera lighting tips. Have I ever shared THIS ONE with you? They offer photography classes online in a range of categories and skill levels.

My hubby called shortly after leaving for work this morning to share an email he'd received. Apparently, the anonymous praise was sent via Nice Critic - a new website featured on last night's news. (Click HERE to learn more.)

Looking for something yummy and pumpkinny? You could stop by Culver's for their Pumpkin Pecan Mixer or Pumpkin Shake (the best pumpkin flavor I've experienced yet this season). Or you could whip up the Paula Deen pumpkin death cake pictured above. (That's MY NAME for this rich dessert.) It has in it a couple of sticks of butter and an entire box of powdered sugar... what's not to like? The recipe is HERE; true melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

If you'd like to schedule an outdoor session, I have a limited number of fall openings available and will list them in my next post!!!!

And last but not least.... my new toy(s). You'll have to stay tuned for more information ;-)

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prayers and support needed for this family!

The Tierney Family is no stranger to pain. After a five year battle, they lost their son Kyle to cancer on March 27, 2008. He was seven. Kris Tierney was expecting another child in October but suffered a catasrophic stroke on September 6, 2008; they took the baby by emergency c-section. Baby Luke Kristopher was born about 8 weeks early with a hole in his lung. As of today, he is tube-free and doing well. As mom, the stroke has left her with no brain activity, and very little hope for survival. Pray for a miracle.

Many of have asked, What can I do?

There are three things friends and family are asking for:


Keep the Tierney and Katzmark families in your prayers.

2. Give them TIME

Goal: $36,000 (this will help to cover medical expenses not covered, and house payments for one year). Rick will need to be away from work and has exhausted all of his time during Kyle's final days. Money donated will help give them the TIME they desperately need right now, without the fear of where the next house payment will come from. Any amount will help. Click HERE or send checks payable to "Tierney Fund", P.O. Box 9366, North St. Paul, MN 55109.

3. FORWARD this to everyone you know

May God bless you for your thoughts and prayers. May God bless you for your generosity and bless the Tierney and Katzmark families at this most difficult time. Questions? Contact Jason: jason@jasongorman.com.

Other links to keep updated:


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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Any crafty knitting/sewing ladies out there?

I'm looking for matching baby hats and blankets to use in future NILMDTS photo sessions. Once used in the session, they will be given to the family as a keepsake. Keep in mind that in addition to full-term infants, many are also little peanuts. A quick Google search brought up several free knitting patterns, for both preemies and full-term infants. (Click HERE for one such site.) If you're interested in helping, just drop me a note!

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taking notice of the little things

It's been a crazy busy month, even more so than usual with the start of the school year. In transitioning from one season to the next, we can easily find ourselves so caught up in managing The Big Picture, we lose sight of the precious details that lend flavor to our lives.

I've been there... am there! As I turn my focus from God to scheduling issues and to-do lists, I miss many of the little things placed before me. There is a clear connection to the time I spend with God and my thorough enjoyment of life. When I place God first, I am more apt to spot Him in the everyday moments. In the difficulties. In the mundane.

Thank you, Lord, for that reminder.

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

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