Friday Favorites ~ My Week

It started on Sunday, really. I felt a bit spoiled. A dear friend at church blessed me with my second Willow Tree figurine.

Isn’t she lovely? I now have two pieces so I can officially say I have a collection.

Right after that lovely gift another sweet woman in our church gifted me with one of her beautiful hand made necklaces. She gets her glass mostly from Italy I believe and uses a blowtorch to shape and create her beads. I now have my very own bluebird of happiness. If you want to see more of Ms Helen’s delicate work you can visit her etsy shop. Such beautiful craftsmanship!

And then one of the sweet kids gave me a lovely coloring page. I told you I felt spoiled with all that love being shown to me!

This week I finally got my fat quarters unwrapped and washed. (Remember them? I shared them in a post at the end of February.) I’m not going to lie, looking at that pile of fabric makes me a little nervous but I figure since this is a just because quilt I can take my time and do it little steps at a time. The plan at the moment is to get them ironed and then cut into smaller squares. I will keep you posted on my progress with this particular favorite thing.

One favorite thing I did this week was spend some time with my camera and these really really cool flowers I got at the grocery store. I don’t know what kind they are but how cool are they?

Emily and Hays got back from their honeymoon on Monday. I already got a text asking for a recipe and that made this mama’s heart glad. It also makes me glad that they will come visit us next weekend. And my heart gets downright joyous thinking about Easter when they will come again and so will Sarah and Devon. All my people will be home!

Hays shared some of the pictures he took on their honeymoon and I am going to wrap us this week’s Friday favorites post with a couple that I really loved. Glacier National Park sure is a beautiful place, isn’t it?

How cute is Em in this picture?

Have a great weekend, y’all!

Another Warrior Princess

Becoming a teenager is a big deal in our house. We all know those years can be fraught with seething emotions and jagged edges as hearts and minds try to keep up with rapidly growing and changing bodies. But we have established traditions and ways to hopefully mark the beginning of this new journey with truth, beauty and goodness. A special date with Dad. a special ring, ear piercing…like I said it’s a big deal. We want to set a tone for our girls that their teen years don’t have to be overwhelmed with angst and they aren’t alone in the process.

We also do special photos. Abby’s fancy session got delayed for a bit but we finally got to do her birthday formals this past weekend.

My, but this child of ours is growing up! (Sorry for the picture overload.)

I loved all the pictures but the last two are some of my favorites.

It’s Here!

Y’all.

I am so excited!

Back in January I wrote about my wonderful friends and their generosity and kindness in starting a nest egg for me to save toward a new camera.

Well last night that camera arrived and I could not be more excited and thrilled.

A Canon 6d.

And sshhhhh…don’t tell Sam but it has video capabilities.

And there is so much else to it that I don’t even know yet and that is perfectly wonderful.

I know if you aren’t a photography buff then this really doesn’t make any sense to you and I am sorry this is probably boring to you, but guys!

This is an amazing camera. It’s the entry level of the professional series and all of a sudden I realize that I sound just like a guy going all crazy about catalytic converters and hydraulic systems and such 🙂

Did I mention it’s a full frame? It is and that is one of my favorite things.

What’s the difference between a crop sensor and a full frame sensor you ask?

I just happen to have a visual aid to show you!

I took both of these photos standing in the exact same spot, first with the 50d (crop) and the 6d (full frame) using the same 50mm lens.

These are both practically sooc too and I really love the way the 6d handles the light as well as the color and clarity difference.

I’ve already watched my first youtube tutorial and started ear marking parts of the manual that came with it.

Again, I say I am so excited ya’ll!

And truly, I am humbled by my friends and this incredible gift. And my sweet husband who let me tuck away money into the camera fund the last eight months.

I am blessed beyond measure.

Our Weekend

Autumn is my most favorite time of the year but I do so enjoy days like this…

With treasures from the sea…

Along shores that look like this…

After exercise on beautiful days on sidewalks…

And getting to meet pen pals in person…

We even had a surprise half birthday party for a sweet friend and ended it all with a peaceful evening at home. Which enabled me to get this week’s picture in time to actually be current in the weekly photography group I participate in.

All in all it was a really nice weekend.

I hope yours was as well.

Abby ~ Part Two

One of the things I love about photography is how easily I can change the story I want to tell just by shifting where I am standing and what direction I am shooting. Last week I shared some images of Abby that were full of golden sunlight and sun flare, two things my soul doth love.

But then we moved over a little and turned just slightly in another direction and the pictures we captured are some of the loveliest I have ever taken of this sweet child who is usually so uncomfortable in front of the camera.

It helps too that we live in a rather diverse place of beauty. Most people would be surprised that these were taken at Fort Pickens but they were. It just goes to show you that we can overlook the natural beauty that surrounds us because we get to used to it and stop looking for it.

Beautiful_girlhood_tween_photography_Ft_Pickens_Florida

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Beautiful_girlhood_tween_photography_Ft_Pickens_Florida

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beauty_girl_child_photography_tween_Ft_Pickens_Florida

Looking at these makes me want to do some more sessions like this! They also make me wish I had a huge wall space to print all of these some of them  one or two of them nice and large.

Friday Photo Journal      Best Shot Friday

The Reason For Self Sacrifice

I seem to miss things sometimes.

Or at least it takes me a while to recognize that there can be, and normally is, more than one part to a thing.
Like knowing and understanding that there is more than “Thou shall not kill” than just the shall not part. Not only are we to not take life but there is an implicit command that we are to give life. 
It’s easy to become so convinced that we must die to self that we forget that there is another aspect that is part of the dying. And that is what it should accomplish, not just in us but in those around us that we are dying for.

Without that realization we make the act of self sacrifice a very self centered thing. And a self centered self sacrifice just doesn’t make much sense.

If we are in a situation where we can clearly hear the call to die to our own wants, desires, and needs then we must look for what benefit there is for the one that we are yielding too. What do we hope to accomplish with our death?

Christ’s death brought us much benefit…namely righteousness. If we are to be imitators of Christ then our self sacrifice should also bring benefit to the ones we are dying for. Our willingness to lay down our life should strengthen and enrich the righteousness of our community.

If a wife is merely letting her husband have his own way because she is tired of arguing then she is not practicing real self sacrifice nor is the husband receiving benefit from it. It will breed contempt and put up barriers that will hinder their relationship.

Here’s another way to look at it. A parent can sacrifice time, money, sleep, health, even other relationships to ensure that their children have everything they need or want. But if that self sacrifice does not spur their children to greater righteousness and faithfulness in their walk then it is for naught. All the parent has done is raise a child that thinks absolutely everything can be forsaken for what they desire. And that is an extremely dangerous thing to do to our children.

Righteousness has many facets one of which is doing the right thing with a right heart…motives and actions rightly ordered. The purpose of dying to self should be to pull those two things into alignment in ourselves and in the ones who we are dying for.

The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.
Proverbs 10:32

Don’t Forget to Bring Your Babies

Rob was sick Sunday so a dear friend and fellow laborer in Christ filled in for him. Pastor Stout’s exhortation was very timely and resonated with me a great deal.

May you read it and be encouraged!


You are warriors, sons of mighty ones, and you are being called into the battle for the sake of the whole world. Here is the way the battle shall be waged. 

Your Captain will call muster and the weakest and most poorly dressed soldiers will assemble, forming ranks that to look at them one would think that this is going to be a very short fight. I mean… we have babies, infants and toddlers, on the front lines. 

Don’t worry though, for we also brought their mothers… and their grandparents, the mentally challenged, the lame and the hungry. And the first thing that happens is the whole army falls on its knees in repentance over their lack of training, their lack of discipline, failure to obey… downright disobedience. Even the babies are taken down to the dust.

From this point on though something changes. The assembled army starts to speak and they ascribe glory to God. 

They begin to praise the name of their Captain and their Captain answers back. His voice breaks cedars; He shouts and whole nations do his bidding. 

The Army of the Lord repeats His words and an echo builds which shakes the world to the tearing down of strongholds. Princes and principalities fall and out of the mouth babies and infants the Captain ordains strength in the face of all his foes. 

And in the end He proves his own strength through them to still the enemy and the avenger.  
So prepare yourselves to answer the call of Your Captain. 

We have a war to fight and don’t forget to bring your babies.

May the LORD give strength to His people!
May the LORD bless His people with peace!
Psalm 29:11

The First Line

Do you know that if you gather a group of photographers together and ask them who makes the worst clients that straight across the board, hands down they will all say family and friends. The advice is always do not work for them…they won’t appreciate you and they won’t value what you do.

But my friends.
My friends.
My friends turn that industry standard on it’s head. 
A few weeks ago I got asked several times about my camera being broken. I was puzzled by this because my camera wasn’t broken. Not broken broken anyway. I mean, sure it will freeze up on me in the middle of a session and I have to turn it off and back on to get it clicking again. 
But broken would be broken. Broken would be the same as being blind. Broken is the thought that makes my heart skip a beat and my breath catch in my throat. Rather than think of it being broken and wearing out I look at it has being quirky and temperamental when I have to remove and reinsert the battery so I can change the exposure some times. It’s character. 
Besides, a new camera is so far out of the realm of my reality as to be a day dream…a what if and a one day kind of thought. 
Until last night when some friends stopped by with a birthday gift.
And just like that, in their generosity the first line in the next chapter of my photography story was written.  I have the beginnings of a nest egg…a cache…a savings account…whatever you want to call it to actually get a new camera this year. 
Not just any camera either. But a full frame, handles low light like a dream, more camera than I have ever had in my life, boy, will I have a learning curve Canon 6D. Suddenly, my misty wouldn’t-it-be-amazing thought has some substance to it.
And I am grateful and humbled by my friends. Who appreciate me and value what I do to the point that they are willing to help make it happen.
To them I say a very heart felt thank you! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of capturing all your special moments, for giving me the honor of telling parts of your story. 
So bring on your babies and weddings and anniversary celebrations. Your birthdays, family gatherings and reunions. 
Because one day in the future a brown box is going to come in the mail. I will open it, take out a camera and start pushing buttons and turning dials and I am going to need something to photograph.