Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Nifty Fifty

For the few people who still read this blog, just in case you didn’t know yet, I am pursuing photography. It’s always been a love of mine. From pretty much the beginning of my existance. I still vividly remember saving my pennies to buy a 110 mm camera and thinking I had really hit the jack pot when I got it. Ha!! I always took pictures in school and have tons of photo albums to prove it. People always complimented me on my "memory capturing" capabilities and lots of my friends wouldn’t even bring their camera’s around because they knew I’d have mine. Really not trying to toot my own horn here, just trying to give a little back ground. And I’ve always loved pictures that captured stories of the moment.

When my children were born and I (we) purchased my (our) very first digital camera and I started my blog and photography took on a whole new meaning for me. I was able to freeze those fleeting moments in time that I would never get back. The ones of the days of my infant twins life that I barely remember because I was so sleep deprived and the only thing I did for months on end was feed them, burp them, change them, rock them, and pray they would hurry and go back to sleep! But I have thousands of pictures to be able to look back on and know that I was there for real and that all those hours, even though they were trying and at times painful, they were also full of JOY and LOVE and it wasn’t all bad!! And those pictures help me remember times that I just knew I’d never forget, where in reality I have already forgotten so much.

Fast forward a few more years to Mother’s Day 2012 when my husband, the most supportive, wonderful, thoughtful husband in the world took pity on his poor wife (pun intended!) and purchased her  her very first DSLR camera. I really did hit the jack pot with this camera! I am a slow learner (slowwww) and have to read things sometimes 15-20 times before it sticks and I am lucky if it sticks then. But over the course of this last year, I have gained much more knowledge than I had to begin with and can only hope that continues. Now, I by no means know even 1/3 of what I need to know. But I have high hopes for that to change as well over the course of this next year. In the mean time, I’ve found some amazing websites and forums and even have narrowed down to where I am actually going to take a few online photography courses. And to say that I am excited about that would be a huge understatement. With all this knowledge and experience I am slowly adding to my camera equipment and my latest addition, is my 50mm Prime lens. To say I am excited about this lens, again, would be an understatement. But it’s a whole different ballgame than my 18-55mm and my 55-200mm. But the quality and the ability of this lens is worth the challenge. Oh so worth it.

I’m looking forward to this new venture in my (our) life. I have no idea when I am going to actually start a business. I’m waiting on....something. More confidence? More consistency in the quality of my photos? Yes and yes. In the mean time, I am having a lot of fun exploring and learning!! And capturing more memories of my precious little family and our abundantly blessed life.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sisters: MY daughters

Audrey stayed home yesterday from school with croup. Olivia absolutely adores her big sister and was over the moon that Audrey was home to play with her all day. She didn’t quite know what to think at first about Audrey being home with us all day and no Bubba but it didn’t stop her from enjoying the non-stop attention and play time.

Olivia is at the age where she wants to do everything that Audrey does. She wants to go every where that Audrey goes. And she wants Audrey to do everything with her. Audrey is such a wonderful big sister and she pays Olivia so much meaningful attention and that is why Olivia simply adores her. Audrey helps her do so much and a few that commonly occur are: she helps her up steps, put shoes and socks on her, brushes her hair, dresses her up in princess clothes and my favorite, puts her in her lap and reads to her. I’ve yet to snap a good picture of them reading cause Audrey always sees me coming and covers her face up with the book and then Olivia starts screaming cause Audrey quit reading.

Words cannot adequately describe my feelings when I watch them play together. It reminds me of me and my sister. But mostly it makes my heart swell up and feel like it could burst out of my chest when I watch MY two daughters playing so sweetly together. Watching Olivia dance and twirl around on her tippy toes when she sees Audrey doing it. Or seeing Olivia crawl down the hall way meowing like a cat because Audrey is doing it. Or if I am in my bed room and Audrey comes flitting past and then a few short seconds later here comes Olivia doing exactly how Audrey was. And watching Audrey be so kind and gentle and patient with her baby sister. Makes my heart swell, I tell ya. I seriously could watch it all.day.long.

Friday, March 8, 2013

A True Faith in God

I never had any brothers that were born into my family. But I do have about 4 brother’s that I adopted since they were the “real” brothers of some of my very best friends growing up. 3 of those brother’s belong to my lifelong friend, Emily Tyson Zieser. And one of those three moved to somewhat sorta Jon’s old neck of the woods McComb, Mississippi about 2 years ago for a job promotion. Anyway, Justin and his wife Casie (who I have yet to meet in person but she is sooo sweet!!) have a precious little girl, Ellery Kate who I believe is around 15 or 16 months. Justin and Casie announced they were expecting again over Christmas and about a little over a month ago found out that their precious baby BOY (first grandson on the Tyson side) has Spina Bifida and a few other complications that stem from that.

It’s a heartbreaking diagnosis and has already been a roller coaster ride for them from first being told that their son would not survive 24 hours past birth. To being told that he would survive, that the spot was very low on his spine, to then thinking they would be eligible for a in-utero surgery and having to think about deciding if that was what they wanted. To being told that the spot is higher than originally thought so paralysis is almost certain and the in-utero surgery would not benefit Little Brother.

I share this so that you all will pray for this sweet little family and so that you can follow their story. Even though it is heartbreaking and you wish you could somehow just erase all of the pain for them, their story and their testimony will inspire you. It will give you a greater faith in God just reading about their faith in God through all of this. I would that I would have such a great faith if ever faced with such a trial as this. Casie is only 24 weeks and still has a very long way to go in this pregnancy. I can only imagine what emotions they face every day. Please, if you find it in your heart to read and follow their story, please do. And please don’t hesitate to share words of encouragement and let them know that you will be praying for them. The Lord is a merciful and He has certainly blessed this little family with strength and wisdom beyond their years but i know it’s a struggle each and every day.

You can find Justin, Casie, Ellery and Little Brother’s story here.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Clock Watching Kind of a Day

I shouldn’t of talked about how well our days have been going. I have been fighting a cold since last Saturday really and usually perk up after I’ve coughed up a lung first thing in the morning but not today. No, today is just not going well at all. I feel horrible and Olivia is teething so she is sooooo moody and she has the same congestion in her head as I do so that’s not helping her situation which in return is definitely not helping mine. And I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. Jon came home from school yesterday morning around 9:30 with a little stomach virus and slept most of the day and is better today, thank goodness!! But James and Audrey both said they woke up in the middle of the night from their tummy's hurting and said that they still kinda hurt this morning. One of their teacher’s has been out all this week with a stomach virus :/ (James also came down in the middle of the night at some point to ask me what if there were spider’s up stairs.....)

This is just a day for lots of warm tea, lots of laying around with a toddler climbing all over you, and lots of clock watching. Clock watching for nap time!! And I currently have 45 minutes left on that clock.

P.s. It’s a good thing that I am so caught up on my house work, huh? :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Messies Anonymous and The Cat in the Hat

A couple years ago when the twins were oh say 2 maybe 2 1/2 years old I came across this book called
The Messies Manual and it completely changed my life. I wont go into all the details here, you can research it on your own if you are really interested. I will say that for about a year my house work load went from daunting to easy breezy and it left me with so much time to actually play with my children, do things I wanted to do at nap time (most days) and just feel good about myself and the work that I do around here. Back then when I read the book I wasn’t a true “messy” (read the book or the web site even). 

Fast forward a few more years, add another child to the mix and a year at home with said ‘nother child and trying to “homeschool” my two oldest and well I became a true Messy and all my knowledge and tactics went right out the window. It’s sad but it’s true. Well, after Christmas this year I said enough is enough and dusted my Manual off, cracked it open once again, read late into the night one night and got to work the next day. That was 2 months ago and it took hard work and dedication but I reached my goal and completely Mt. Vernonized our home, yet again. And my plan is to not ever have to do it again as extensively as I did this last time. 

I went from this all the time for the last year and a half

To this. This is better :)

I told Jon the other night while we were out on the first date we have been on since our anniversary back in September, that I just now feel like I am recovering from Olivia being born into the family. And it’s an amazing feeling, I must say! I know that time and Olivia's age contribute to that greatly but at least half of the credit goes to Sandra Felton, the Organizer Lady and her Flipper System. Bet you are curious now, aren’t you?

I greatly encourage you to check her and her methods out. They work!!!

I said all that to say this, : I have really been enjoying the last few weeks here at home with Olivia. Not to say that I wasn't enjoying my life before but you get what I mean. At least I hope you do! I am on top of the laundry and the house work and actually have the option of sitting on the couch and doing nothing while Olivia naps a couple days a week if I choose. I don’t though. I usually blog or study up on photography (that will be for a later post). And I feel like I have a much better grasp on life and I am very thankful for that.

And here is a completely random picture of James and Audrey and their class mates, the Cat in The Hat and Mrs. Teresa our story time reader at Whigham School on Dr. Seuss’s birthday. They are a cute bunch of kiddos, aren’t they?!