Thursday, September 3, 2015

Why Should I start Blogging? A mom's candid response to her blog of 5 years

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It's hard to believe this blog has been around for 5 years now! The things that this blog has done for me is unbelievable. I went from a mom of two little guys who just wanted a "hobby" to a blogger turned photographer turned back into mommy. :)

I stumbled upon the world of blogs while hanging outside the bedroom door of a baby boy needing to settle himself back to sleep. I remember clearly rocking my sweet baby to sleep and browsing online for anyone else who may also be forgoing sleep to tend to a baby. Fast forward 5 years and that sweet baby is now 5 3/4 years old and in school. Yes, my baby is in kindergarten and my oldest is in second grade. While I am thankful to have a bit of time back to myself I begin to miss the noise quite easily. Hence the fact that I'm revisiting this blog after being on hiatus for the past 6 months or more.

Blogging has been an interesting animal for me. While so many people have turned blogging into wonderful careers I have not seen that specific journey play out in my life. I remember furiously typing up the newest post complete with just the right photo and spending unhealthy amounts of time just to get a post out. I remember the pressure of completing just one more post to drive the numbers up. Boy do I wish I had a big "blogging" sister to whisper a gentle "slow down" in my ear.

When you look back you realize that things slow you down when they need to. Now, as I take my faith much more seriously I realize that the Lord was gently nudging me in the direction he knew best for my life. When you have to wait for your husband to complain about the amount of time spent on the computer or you have your two year old watching cartoons just so you can blog, you have a problem.

I'm a serious believer in everything happens for a reason. Especially when you are faith-driven you can look back at an entire string of events over a couple of years or a lifetime and see a bigger force than your mind is able to grasp. My string of events was mommy-hood, blogging, photography business started, marriage problems, a come-to-meetin'-with-Jesus, new-found excitement in the Bible followed by a realization that each day is a gift and writing about it with others could be a form of ministry. I told you it was a string of events! :)

With all that being said, I am seeking the Lord in prayer as to just what I need to share on here. If it's an easy family recipe to share with your neighbor, a word of encouragement to share with a young mom or just an outlet of worldly stress unloaded, my prayer is that it all be for the glory of the Lord Jesus.

Well, that's my reason for starting a blog... what is yours?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Did I promise a project 365?

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Life just happens sometimes and then you look back and realize that all the plans you intended on following through with just slipped out of your control. When you finally get the privilege of doing what you love for a job you begin to loose site of the things that you used to do to fill that void.

For me, I used to spend countless hours on Pinterest and baking and crafting and blogging all day long. Now, thankfully I am spending my days following leads on photography, editing, print ordering, meetings and designing. It's all pretty surreal and very scary at the same time. I left a job that I had been at for eleven years. A job that meant me going back to work when my boys were only six weeks old. Leaving my family every evening just to earn that paycheck, to pay the bills, that continued to add up.

This blog began as an escape for me. A way to channel my creativity and "get away from it all" without spending a dollar or leaving my home. But little did I know that this blog would be the lead-in to a career in photography and design. A way for me to learn what it means to develop my creativity and prosper in the gifts that God gave me.

With all that being said, now I have days when I don't want to "have to" pick up my camera. Day's off from my job, and that is photography and design. So hang in there and follow me to the next big chapter.

Today we enjoyed the first heavy snow of the year. Of course, mommy had to bring the camera along. after all, it wouldn't be fair if I didn't document my own family having fun!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Real Life: 2/365

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Today was a day that we stayed in, trying to avoid the FLU that is so rampantly spreading. It is also time to gather the receipts and finish up tax stuff for 2014. This is what our day looked like.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Real Life : 1/365

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As a photographer it's easy to get stuck in a rut, simply using the same lens, same settings and same concepts. Looking at my camera as the money maker, not a way to grow my passion. As I grow in my business I felt like this was the year to push it to the next level. Challenge myself to go beyond the paid clicks of the shutter and move into building my style into the next level.

As a mom I felt like it was important to reveal the truth on any given day, what I eat and drink, what the house looks like, what the children are wearing, playing with and doing. I have seen enough of the carefully planned out styled shoots and that is not my style. This is about gathering the information around me each day and making a point to pick up the camera and find the passion.

So welcome to my journey this year called Real Life: Project 365.
All images were taken with my Canon 60D + 85mm 1.8 lens, no flash

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

25 Days of Christmas: Elf On the Shelf with Advent

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Over the years we have acquired so many different traditions as a family. It is so fun to see my boys growing up and enjoying a bit more in depth activities surrounding the true meaning of Christmas.

We have come to realize this year that Santa is not still alive, that in fact he was a very kind man who lived a long time ago. And the truth of the matter is that Jesus is the only one who can see what you are doing at all times.

I wasn't the one who decided to reveal this "mystery", my boys drilled me a couple of weeks ago "Is he real?" I kept returning another question "What do you think?" And they realized what the truth was. At first they were a bit disappointed but then I reminded them that they have had a good Christmas every year and that this year would be no different. I was willing to let go of the fun of Santa in order to share with them the Gospel.

Grandma Shari gifted both boys with a large scale pocket calendar as soon as they were old enough to open gifts. The calendar points towards the birth of Jesus but as all kids do, they begin to get very greedy and expect gifts every morning and even throw fits when the gift doesn't "measure up" to their expectations. I really wanted to do things differently this year.

Then, as I was browsing Pinterest and came across this awesome idea for Kindness elves from The Imagination Tree it occurred to me that I was going to incorporate Elf on the Shelf with the Advent calendar with an entire month of giving.

Each day our elf Bart will come with a note of how we will give to others in order to receive our gift from the pocket calendar.

Day 1 came with this note (written by Robyn Rasmussen, please note the source when sharing):
They also each got a note of the verse from Isaiah 9:6-7 about the prophesy of the birth of Christ, with a sticker for them to wear during the day. This sticker was to remind them of all the great things that Christ is and the way they are to treat others during this season. 

They were able to trade the papers for these adorable gifts of puppies. 

Day 2 Bart was found with a very badly misspelled note telling them to use their scrapbooks that they received to hold the memories from this month. The first grader got a pretty big kick out of the fact that he caught the spelling error and the pre-k boy giggled about the backwards letters. So far it has been a great way to keep the reason for the season of top priority.

Stay tuned to see our adventures this month! 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas Kickoff on Small Business Saturday | Downtown Iowa City District

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It has been TOO long since I've been on here. Blogging and being with my kids is my passion and it so easily get's overlooked when I am crazy busy with my photography business. I really think it is time to go back to my original passion. The reason why I even purchased the camera in the first place! For my boys.

Saturday was a day filled with fun of all kinds. Downtown Iowa City district had an awesome setup of searching for the elves, Christmas photos with Santa and free horse drawn trolley rides!

The Elf Hunt...

And we also found Trixie to complete our 25 elves in the Downtown district.

Along with the fun finding elves we had fun grabbing a bite to eat and taking a horse drawn ride.

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake from Molly's Cupcakes Iowa City

Cookies & Creme Cupcake Molly's Iowa City