Wednesday, March 31, 2010

worship music wednesday

i was so happy to find a video for this song--it's a brand new one from chris tomlin and has been hard to locate online. i may have to buy the passion cd where i found the song, because there's an awesome david crowder band one on there, too (that i'll probably feature next week.)

please take a listen! and if chris or jordan are reading this--we need to sing this in church SOON!

Water You turned into wine
Open the eyes of the blind
There’s no one like You
None like You
Into the darkness You shining
Out of the ashes we rise
There’s no one like You
None like You

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome and power
Our God, Our God…

Into the darkness you shining
Out of the ashes we Rise
There’s no One like You
None like You.

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome and power
Our God, Our God…
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome and power
Our God, Our God…

And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
What can stand against?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

projects underway

it's a big time for projects around our house. though i typically have some editing to do for photography, my craft projects have been taking over right now. with jonah's auction, i offered 2 custom letter packages and i've been working on getting those finished before Easter. i do love to paint and have a great time, but it just creates a bit of a mess for a while when i'm in the midst of working. (i dream of having a craft area that is out of the way but lets me keep all my craft stuff out when i'm working on a project.)

so i'm firm believer that you don't have to stay neat while you paint...
and have gotten paint everywhere with this set of letters. but i'm pretty happy with how they turned out, too. the picture given to me featured bedding with pastel gingham prints and lots of flowers and butterflies...

milo had to check out what all the fuss was about...
and i think the "a" is my favorite--love the flowers on it!

i'm planning on finishing set #2 tomorrow night and then (hopefully) the washers for the washer necklaces sometime later on. by then, i'll have lots of editing to do, too, so that will eat up some of my time in the evenings.

and before everyone says, "too much!"--it's really not. it's what keeps me sane. i have this artistic, creative side that if i don't use--then i miss it terribly. i love little projects like this. next time i'll just do a better job of spacing them out a bit :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

@iheartfaces: dramatic B&W

i've taken a couple of weeks off from i heart faces, mainly cause i didn't have just the right photo for the contests and things have been crazy busy around here. but i saw this week's theme and knew exactly what photo i wanted to use! this edit was actually a mistake--i wasn't going for this look and was using some of coffee shop's actions that i wasn't familiar with. but then i got this--

and loved it. the grittiness, the high contrast and those eyes--all of it completely worked for me. the mom loved it, too!

make sure you check out i heart faces this week for other dramatic black and white photos!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

sneak peek

i spent my afternoon in the daffodil field right outside of town. it's a popular place in the spring for photos, and i had a couple of requests from my regular photo clients to meet them out there for quick mini-shoots. so here are just a few of my favorites that caught my eye as i was downloading them this evening.

victoria did great this time--no playing shy! still in love with her curls...
jake showed us that he would work for skittles--and his funny daddy!
we got so many good ones of him in this pose--i think the blanket was helping to reflect light up on his face, because they all turned out so well.
so hard to believe what a little man josh is turning into. we haven't done any "official" pictures in a while!
he is *this close* to walking and is standing up (with help) like a champ!
and today was a big test for me, trying out some new equipment. i hadn't shared, but my camera took a spill up in west virginia a couple of weeks ago (new camera bag and stupid pregnant brain that forgot to zip up the bag before standing up at the ski slopes.) it's been at the nikon repair place for the past couple of weeks, and i got to the point where i couldn't borrow cameras anymore and keep up with my scheduled jobs (especially with a wedding coming up next weekend.) so we found a used d80 online for a reasonable price and it came in on thursday. it's a slightly different interface than the d40/d60 design i've been used to, but i'm (obviously) very pleased with the results. i feel like it's a little crisper and has a great response time with very little shutter lag. plus--all of my lenses auto-focus with it! so even though i've been relying on my 35 mm lately (and still love it) i can use the 50 mm with it, too.

walking to defeat ALS

this morning, i was the official photographer for the spring ALS walk in our area. i've been attending this event for several years and have been able to photograph it for at least the last 3 years. it holds a special place in our church community because of jill, one of our members who was diagnosed with ALS a few years ago.

it's an awesome event, and i loved working with the volunteers this year to help document the day.
i also got to see lots of familiar faces outside of church and work, like lily and molly--staying warm in their bike cart. i commented on how cool it was and that i wanted one, and molly said, "you have to have kids first!" when i told her i was working on that and asked if she knew that i was going to have a baby, she said, "yeah, i think i read about it on facebook." we all had a good laugh on that one!
of course, there was josh who has the nickname "monster" and had this adorable hat to go with it :)
and my friend stephanie from work brought out her daughter riley. we'll be doing photos with her in a couple of weeks and i'm super-excited!
also representing our work crew, brinklea with my buddy amanda...
and craig and jackie brought out samantha--gorgeous gorgeous dog.
there were plenty of activities out there for the kids, including balloons and face-painting before the walk started.
maddie was sporting this beautiful butterfly--love photographing her, too!
and then it was time for the walk to start--silas was there, ready to ride the 3k route on his bike!
and the ribbon was cut and the walk began--it was so cool to see everyone from work and church there to support the cause.
christie from work and her husband, randall, are committee members and do a great job of helping to organize and find volunteers for the walk.
and then as everyone else walked, i took my place at the finish line to capture some of the happy faces as they completed the walk. like these crazy girls...
love them. (hope they don't mind that i included that picture--i think it's hilarious!)

and the whole work crew!
i was proud to capture this shot, though--our walk team to support jill, "jill's caring angels." we had nearly 100 walkers there!

and won several awards, including the best t-shirt for a team, most walkers, and most money raised by a team.
so proud to be there with friends from all across the community and to hear about the amazing research that is being done to find a cure for ALS.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

worship music wednesday

with the beautiful weather we've had lately and just the wonderful reminder that it's finally SPRING, i thought of using this song today. love the words and nichole nordemon's amazing voice.

and honestly, i thought about this pregnancy. that it's going to take us through three (almost all four) seasons--and this time next year, there will be a new life joining us in welcoming spring.

just so amazing.

baby update

we're at 8 weeks now, and i'm still feeling good and having almost no nausea. i do feel the fatigue a little bit more, but it hasn't completely slowed me down--so i consider that to be a success!

we had our first appointment with the ob on monday, and justin came with me. it was nice having him there, but still a little odd for him to be at a place where typically, you just don't see many guys :) we didn't have an ultrasound or anything like that, so it was just a basic exam with meetings with the insurance person and talking with a nurse and our doctor. i really like my doctor--i have only met her a couple of times now (my previous one moved to another practice in a nearby town) but she was very reassuring and reviewed all of the "do's and don'ts" without completely scaring me! she takes a "everything is okay in moderation" approach, but did let me know what wasn't allowed at all. we were able to get our questions answered and left that part of the appointment feeling pretty good. i now know what OTC allergy meds i can take (the pollen is getting to me!) and have some tips for making sure my circulation in my legs doesn't become a problem in a job where i sit and drive a lot.

then... it was time for lab work. for the record, i DISLIKE lab work. i've never done well with finger pricks or having blood taken, and i tend to react to the extreme---like getting a fast heart rate or high blood pressure (which is always fun when they check that right after they prick your finger) or passing out. i've gotten to the point where i only pass out when they do the big blood draw, and of course, this was a big one. i warned the nurse that i have the tendency to pass out, but i might be okay. i had brought a snack with me and eaten it a little while ago, so i thought that might help. she let me sit in the lab area and got a vein immediately (that's never been an issue, i have easy veins that you can see in my elbow) and i just closed my eyes and tried to think of something--ANYTHING--else until the pinch of the stick and the weird numbing, tingling feeling on my lower arm was over. it was quick and i leaned back, took a deep sigh of relief and asked for a cup of water before i tried to get up. i had made it!

the nurse walked away to get my water and i did a little self-talk--"you're fine, lauren, you're fine" as the familiar heat began to build up in my neck and face. i can't stand that feeling and i knew as i saw the nurse coming back that i was probably going to pass out. she asked if i was okay as she handed me my water, and i tried to take it, but ended up spilling it all down the front of my shirt and on the floor. "okay," she said, "here we go--let's start leaning you forward a bit."

next thing i know, there are 2 other nurses coming over (including the one that did my temp/blood pressure that i had shared my dislike of blood work with) fanning me with the big sheet of cardboard they keep nearby just for that purpose (i've seen it before, after my last big blood draw) and putting damp towels on my neck and face. they asked for my husband's name so they could get him from the waiting room, and i told them and then started tearing up a little. i don't like creating a scene or feeling like i'm inconveniencing people, and even though i know it's their job (and they've probably dealt with a lot worse), i was feeling just a little ridiculous at this point with my head between my legs, covered with water, surrounded by 3 nurses, my husband having to come back, all over a blood draw that plenty of people are able to do every day without any problem.

justin waited until i was feeling better (which took all of 2 minutes--that's what i don't get, why it's so awful at first and then it's like bam! i'm fine) and i got up and walked out without any problem. a dramatic end to my appointment, but as the one nurse told me, "it's worth it for that beautiful baby you're carrying."

my favorite reaction was justin's, though. he said later that afternoon, "after i saw that you spilled your water, i thought it might be funny to say, 'what? her water broke already? i didn't think that was supposed to happen yet!' but then i thought you and the nurses might not agree."

good call, hon. good call.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

happy 1st birthday, cullen!

i had the pleasure of meeting cullen and his parents last weekend for a quick 1st birthday photo shoot. and when i say quick, i mean quick. when i only have one client to work with (and when his attention span is SHORT) then it's a speedy process. we got tons of great shots in just about 20-25 minutes!

he is close to walking and was wanting to stand up for part of the time (with help from dad, of course.)

and his parents were great and brought a few props for us to use in the shoot, like this baseball bat...

though cullen had other plans in mind for it!
such a heartbreaker!
love this expression!
one thing about not having mom and dad involved in the pictures--they can keep his attention and get some of these great smiles standing behind me!
cutest face!
and an awesome close-up to end it with :)
thanks, shannon, for sharing your adorable son with me! i hope he has a fabulous first birthday!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

springtime saturday

the last couple of weeks have been a little hectic for me, and i have loved having relatively unplanned weekends. sure, i'll have a few things here or there, but not nearly the pace i was doing a month ago or so. this weekend was similar, with just a couple of things on the schedule and otherwise, a wide-open day to do what we wanted.

this morning, my only "planned" activity was a craft time with some of my youth group girls. our church has a goal to raise money to build a church in india for one of the missions we support. after seeing a couple of super-easy tutorials on making washer necklaces, we thought about making a bunch and selling them to contribute our part to the fundraising.
simple steps, and with many hands, the task of making 100 washers went quickly!
even some of our self-professed "non-crafty" girls got into it.

and by the end, we had a ton of gorgeous, colorful washers that are set to be glazed and made into necklaces.
if you're in my local area, please let me know if you'd like to purchase one. we're thinking about $10 for one washer and cord, $15 for 2 washers and cord (to make it interchangable--and they are all reversible!)

afterwards, i came home and waited for justin to finish washing his car and getting ready. we had a trip to make together. our friends heather and johnny had a little girl last night, and it was time to go visit them at the hospital! i've been lucky to photograph heather and johnny for their engagement pictures last year and their maternity pictures recently. here are just a few of the ones that we captured about a month ago...

love this silhouette.

so sweet...
abby made her appearance yesterday evening at 5:38 pm, and she was quite willing to cooperate for a couple of pictures today (though she would not open her eyes!) full head of hair and a sweet button nose...

i love getting in some baby-holding time...
i was trying to get her to open her eyes (even heather had said that she hadn't really gotten to see what color her eyes were yet) but she would not budge!
hard to believe it'll be us in just a few short months.
justin even got his practice in. he did a great job and i'm sure will get plenty of tips from johnny as time goes on!

we're taking it easy tonight, grilling out and enjoying this beautiful weather. i feel like spring is finally here and i'm soaking up every minute of it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

the best part of spring

it's not just the warmer days and nights where it stay light out a little bit longer.

i can't even say that it's the budding flowers.

the best part is.... the Easter candy.

seriously, of all the holidays with "specialty" candy, Easter is my favorite. it has--by far--the best seasonal candy.

for example, you can get dove chocolates all year round, but dove dark chocolate eggs? just better, for some reason.
and these... oh, cadbury mini eggs, be still my heart.
i also feel that all reese's in seasonal shapes are better. more peanut butter (and i love my peanut butter), less chocolate, but it's still a good balance.
and these go so fast in our house, it's not even funny. even though i am a huge jelly belly fan, i can go through a bag of starburst jelly beans pretty quickly.
but the new one this year that i just may have to try--chocolate-covered peeps? i used to like peeps a lot more than i do now. these days, they're just a little too much sugar for me (believe it or not) but i don't know how i feel about adding chocolate to the mix, too.
what's your favorite seasonal candy?