Friday, December 10, 2010

Macro Friday, and really, I'm still here....

Ug......I forgot how much fun moving is (please, say this inside your head with THICK sarcasm....)

I'm still here....really, I am. We closed on the house on Tuesday....HUGE blessing. Really......we used the listing agent as our agent also, as he is a close family friend. My parents have lived next door to the seller's family for the past 30 years. Really, the closing was full of smiles, laughter......sweet memories of the seller's Mother(who is now in a nursing home with Alzheimer's) Really, it felt like a transaction between family and friends. Couldn't have asked for a more pleasant experience.

Oh, and get this.....closing cost almost $1000 LESS than what we hoped it would....$1000 less than our low-ball figure! When does that EVER happen??????

So, contractors are in and painting.....stove will be delivered Monday....packing boxes, moving boxes.....painting stuff........ oh boy, have I ever been busy!!

I've actually had a bunch of sessions lately too, adding to my craziness! lol.....go figure, now that I'm busy, everyone is giving birth and scheduling sessions!

Anyway, I'll be back in full force soon.....we figure, within the next 7 days we should be in the new place 100%.

So for now, I give you...... A Pug.....in Macro...(click to enlarge)

So, hop on over to Blogging from Bolivia, where Laura host Macro Friday every week! CHeck out all the other awesome macro shots, and link up your own!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


To say this holiday season has been hectic, would be the understatement of the century.

The stress of buying a new house, waiting to hear on the mortgage, the wheelbarrows full of money we weren't expecting to put out this month, sorting through, and packing up six people's worldly possessions.....all on top of the normal "parenting six children, being a good wife, and trying to grow my little fledgling business" stresses.

You know what? My heart is still overflowing with thanks and gratefulness.


Thankful for an amazing husband who believe in me. Who loves me past my faults and shortcomings, laughs at my silly jokes, supports my dreams, and makes me strive to be the best version of myself possible.

Thankful for the family God has entrusted me with. For my teenager, who despite his struggles, inspires me by example, to look for the good in everyone. For my pre-teen, who shows me how to full embrace the things I struggle to do, and find joy in them. For my Kindergartner, who teaches me that a smile can lighten any burden.
And for my baby....who has taught me more in her short little two years of life, than I could hope to teach her in a lifetime.

Thankful for dreams....

Thankful for reality......

Thankful for God's grace, second chances, and the ability to serve.

Thankful for precious moments...

Last year, at this time, I was 100 pounds heavier. My husband was laid-off, with no end in sight. My baby was having a really rough recovery from her palate surgery. We didn't always know how every bill was going to get paid. I was desperately trying to inspire my husband, who is as hardworking as they come, to understand that you don't need to have a job, to have a purpose.....last Thanksgiving, I was still Thankful. I'd learned a lot about life the prior year....I'd learned how to truly trust in God. I'd learned that in my darkest hour, God's presence would always be felt. I never, ever, ever had to go at it alone.

You know what? Things got better. My husband found a new job, that he loves beyond his wildest dreams. He was able to do some training we would have NEVER been able to afford had he not been laid-off for 16 months. He now has a career, instead of a job.

One of the biggest things I'm thankful for though, is finding my place. A year ago, I hadn't started volunteering, or helping other families. My own child was still recovering from her last surgery! It was about this time of year, that I started giving back....giving my time and energy to other families who's children were born with craniofacial anomalies. It still amazes me how much one can GET from GIVING! God worked wonders in my heart, through helping others.

Another thing I'm thankful for? A year ago, I didn't even own a camera, let alone a dslr! I knew I liked taking pictures as a kid, and that people used to tell me I had an eye for it....which, ya know, you don't think too hard about when you're 12. When the oppertunity arose for me to get a good camera this past March, I jumped at it! After all, I have four kids, and I've always liked taking photos. I had NO IDEA the chain of events that would follow, or the spark getting that camera would ignite in me. I HAD to learn more.......I'd never thought about taking a camera out of automatic mode, or editing my photos. I started devouring information, tutorials, and books. Things just started falling into place....bringing me to where I am now. Some call these things in life "coincidence" .... I always liked the idea that, "Coincidences are just miracles, where God decided to remain anonymous" :)

Then, of course, there's this amazing house, that we will be in before Christmas! With my parents next door.....amazing! My kids are going to get to grow up, with amazing, supportive, loving Grandparents right next door....

God has answered prayers I didn't even know to ask! I have been so blessed!

I pray you all have a wonderful, beautiful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Macro Friday!

Since I'm not sure when I'm gonna be home again today, I thought I'd get this up now!

More butterflies!

So, link up and join in, over at Blogging from Bolivia and see everyone's amazing (and, in Laura's case, terrifying!) macro shots this week!

Before/After....a little late!

Late is better than never, right? We're making baby steps towards closing on our house....I'm making baby steps towards getting everyone's stuff packed.....and am clinging to the small crumbs of sanity I have left! I know it will be ok....it's just super stressful moving this close to Christmas with four kids! It's looking like closing will be the first week of Dec......

Anyway, here's a photo from a shoot I did last weekend. This was a spur of the moment shot....I just thought they looks so beautiful hugging...Mother and daughter. Needless to say, my exposure is off, and there's a pole sticking out of the mom's head....



I'm used to removing stuff from the background, doing all that kinda stuff....object replacement, etc.....but I think removing something large in think tree branch bokah, and having it look pretty natural, may be one of the hardest things I've done to date! It may not be perfect, but I'm pretty happy with it.

Shot with my Canon 50D 85mm and edited in Lightroom 3 and CS5

Hop on over to Pixel Perfect and see everyone else's edits this week!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Macro Friday

Falling asleep on my feet.....packing a house full of six people's belongings is ROUGH...

Should be closing on the house in the next few weeks. Letter of commitment on track for Wednesday....then about 14 more days or so until we close.

I'm gonna check out everyone else's photos in the morning.....but for now, I FINALLY found a butterfly!

Shot with my Canon 50D, 85mm and edited in Lightroom3 and CS5

So, go check out all the other really awesome Macro shots over at Blogging from Bolivia.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Before/After + trip update and kinda tutorial....

EDIT: WOW! Thanks Monica! I'm so excited to have my photo picked as favorite last week!

It's Thursday again, and my favorite time of week! Pixel Perfect's Before/After blog hop!


I loved this shot, but it's a little underexposed. It was actually a candid I took during a session, and I was packing up my stuff....he just looked so cute, I snapped with whatever my camera was set at.


I love how this turned out :) This photo is from the same session as my entry from last week...here's a few more shots I edited like the one last week...

I hate using the word tutorial, because I am learning so much myself, I don't really feel like I should be "teaching" anything just yet, but I had a lot of people ask me how I edited my photo from last week, so I thought I'd share what I do!

I edit in Lightroom3 and and Photoshop CS5....these photos I edited completely in Lightroom, but you can get the same effect in Photoshop pretty easily.

I spend a lot of time playing with the curves. It is amazing to me how much drama you can create in a photo with slight changes to the light and dark areas. For this effect, I get the curve looking like this:

I also upped the blacks a little, and the contrast. I almost always bump up the clarity a little too! (In photoshop, you can get the same clarity using unsharpen mask or a high pass filter - just don't over due it!)

I added a little vignetting, and adjusted the exposure, fill lights, and brightness until I was happy with the results!

The best piece of advice I was ever given, whether it be for taking photos or editing(or getting to Carnegie Hall, if you feel so inclined!), is practice, practice, practice! I edit ALL my photos. Even my snapshots....and I take a lot of photos. Whether I have a session or not, I try to not let a week go by without taking at least 300 photos.....usually it's closer to 500 - 1000. I edit them, not because anyone is going to see them.....chances are for most of them, no one will! I edit them for the practice. The more I use these programs, the better I get at them.....the more photos I take, the stronger a photographer I become! :)

Anyway, S and I's trip to Rochester was good. Our Rockstar surgeon checked out my munchkin, and we're looking at no surgery in the immediate future. We need her to start trying to make "B", "D", "P" and "T" sounds....sounds you need your palate to function to make. If we don't have those in the next year, we're looking at probably having a surgery to fix the function of the palate. About 20% of kids with clefts need some extra palate surgery to help with function. So, please pray for speech. It would do my husband's heart good to hear her call him "Dada"....a man can only take being called "Mama" for so long, and, well, we're tired of sharing the title.....it gets confusing!

It was really cool yesterday though... I got a phone call from our local hospital asking if i could come help them get a newborn baby with a cleft eating. I guess my mini-rampages about giving babies with clefts feeding tubes before exhausting all the other options finally worked! It was so great to be able to help, and to give this family hope. It's such a shock to find out your child has a birth anomaly (I hate the term birth defect....it makes it sound like my kid was defective, and she most certainly was not. Anomaly means "a deviation from the common" and let me assure you, S is ANYTHING but common!) It's such an honor to be able to show family's S at birth, and photos of S now, and see the relief come across their faces. It's an amazing blessing to get to help others like that!

Anyway,I hope you all have a beautiful day, and hop on over to Pixel Perfect and check out everyone's amazing edits!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Guess Who Got Glasses?

And a few more, just because I really love them!

Have a beautiful, blessed day everyone! We're headed to S's appointment in Rochester that got rescheduled a little bit back!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


EDIT: I figured it would be easier to answer this on here! lol.....A bunch of people asked me if I used an action. No actions or presets....I actually use very few actions or presets, that I didn't make myself. I did save this though....I'll have to go through it and write down my thought process to share with you guys :). Most of the time, I just sit at Lightroom and play with it, until what I have in front of me matches the picture I have in my head. Thank you so much for all the wonderful comments though! They mean a ton to me!

I really love this blog hop :) Be sure to hop on over to Pixel Perfect and check out all the other awesome edits this week!

This is from a family session I did the other day...they were so much fun! It was really hard to just pick one photo for the blog hop today. Besides it being GORGEOUS in my neck of the woods this time of year, this family was just awesome!



Shot with my Canon 50D, 85mm 1.8, and edited in Lightroom 3, and CS5

Friday, October 15, 2010

Macro Friday!

It's that time of week!

I'm so tired....it's been a long one, and I REALLY look forward to getting some sleep tonight!

Note to self: Babies don't like to stand still long enough for very effective use of a macro filter! lol

Hop on over to BLogging From Bolivia, and check out everyone's amazing macro shots!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


It feels like it's been forever since I've been able to do one of these!

I photographed a birthday party this past weekend, and this little one was the baby sister of the birthday boy!



I did a color one too, but I loved this shot in b&w....here it is in color if anyone's interested!

Shot with my Canon 50D, and edited in Lightroom

So, hop on over to Pixel Perfect, and join in the fun!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Our Soon To Be New Home...

More house than I could have ever imagined we'd be able to own!



From the back..


The Garage.. (Which is going to be completely painted and have a new roof....I actually took these photos right after the contractor left)


Inside the Garage Loft

Back Yard

Entrance way from back door...

Third Floor - Full Bath

Third Floor (My Space)

Second Floor - Bedroom 1


Second Floor- Bedroom 2 (I think maybe the Toddler's room)

Second FLoor - Bedroom 3

Second Floor - Bedroom 4

Second Floor - Bedroom 5

Second Floor - Bedroom 6 (Possibly the teens...smallest room, and he has very few toys (more videogames than anything)

Second Floor - Full Bath #2

First Floor - Family Room/Office

First Floor - Livingroom

The front door/entrance-way is between the livingroom and diningroom, but I didn't get a photo...I was kinda rushed, as the Realtor had an appointment and had to leave

First Floor - Diningroom

First Floor - Kitchen

First Floor - Half bathroom off kitchen

First Floor - Mudroom

And outside, next to the house....this one little lone flower...the only one still (kinda) alive...


We are so excited....just waiting for Bank commitment letter...but they don't for-see any issues..... Contractor is going through right after closing to fix any and all peeling, chipping paint, and put a new stove in.

We were so heart broken two years ago, when we had put an offer in on a house, and Rick got laid off.......so we lost it.......I told myself it just wasn't in God's plan, that he had something better in mind.....

He sure did! This is twice the house the other one was! My parents live next door, and the kids elementary school is 4 blocks away!