6 Years

Looks like we made it
Look how far we've come, my baby
We mighta took the long way
We knew we'd get there someday

They said, "I bet they'll never make it."
But just look at us holding on
We're still together, still going strong

Ain't nothing better
We beat the odds together
I'm glad we didn't listen
Look at what we would be missing

They said, "I bet they'll never make it."
But just look at us holding on
We're still together, still going strong

You're still the one I run to
The one that I belong to
You're still the one I want for life
You're still the one that I love
The only one I dream of
You're still the one I kiss goodnight

You're still the one


Learning Light

I'm trying to venture out of my comfort zone and start shooting (my camera, not guns) in full manual mode. Up until now I've shot in aperture priority, which means I control the aperture (depth of field), but the camera takes care of figuring out what shutter speed to use. Sometimes this works great, but often, if the lighting is funny or off in some way, I'll end up with photos that are too dark or over-exposed.

Shooting in manual mode gives me more control over my exposure, and I know I need to learn it. But it's kind of HARD!

Here is an example of how I'm trying to teach myself. A carnation.

Side note: Here's a little something about me -- I don't like carnations. I think they are probably one of the ugliest flowers available. They seem cheap to me. Like in high school when you could buy your significant other a carnation on Valentines Day...? Really? That's how you want to show them you care? Lame.

But that's just me. And it has nothing to do with this blog post.

Back to my photography lessons. I set up my ugly carnation that I got for free at the Mille Lacs County State Fair and took a shot.

Whoa! Waaaaaaaay too dark! So I slowed down my shutter speed a bit and tried again.

Still too dark. Next I slowed down the shutter speed even more dramatically AND I bumped up the ISO, which controls how sensitive the camera's sensor will be to light. That produced this result.

Not bad! Just one more tweak in Lightroom, and voila! A very nice picture of a very ugly flower.

Next, I zoomed out for a full-length picture. All of the sudden more light was hitting the sensor and therefore, the photo was over-exposed.

I sped the shutter speed back up and fixed the problem.

I'm a believer that light is the #1 factor in creating a good photo. It will take some time for me to get used to which shutter speeds are appropriate for certain lighting situations, but I'm sure (I hope) that eventually (with plenty of practice) it will start to come naturally. :)


Rosie Stats

I am so far behind on posting Rosie's stats. Here she is, 11 months old, and I still haven't documented her 6 and 9 month measurements & weights. As many of you know, I don't "do" baby books, so this blog is the official record of my children's growth and development!

At her 6 months checkup, Johnye Rose was a whopping 16 pounds, 11 ounces (only 48th percentile) and 26 1/2 inches long (59th percentile).

At 9 months she was up to 20 pounds (67th percentile) and 28 1/2 inches long (65th percentile).

She hasn't really gotten any better at walking yet. Her max is right around five steps before she falls. She does definitely choose walking over crawling when point B is close by.

Rosie has also started communicating a lot more, and even "says" a few words. I say that loosely, since I may be the only one in the world who could recognize her sounds as actual words.

Nevertheless, she says the words hi, mama, dada, all done, please, "cheese" for the camera, and uh-oh rather clearly. She also says Peekabo, although it's more the intonation that she copies than the actual sounds.

She makes every day brighter, fuller and stickier. I LOVE YOU, ROSIE!

I Heart Faces -- "Beautiful Eyes"

I normally don't enter these contests (although I probably should as a way to challenge myself in the photography world), but this one was easy. The theme was "beautiful eyes," and I had just finished a shoot for my friend Kim where I snagged this shot of her second-to-youngest, Carla.

Those eyelashes just reach to the heavens! What a doll face! I had told here there were monkeys in my camera, and she was trying to see them: "Monkeeeeey? Monkeeeeey?" lol

You can check out more "beautiful eyes" entries at I Heart Faces blog. Just click the button below.



Today I was almost an hour late to a play date with a very patient and forgiving friend. It's not that I was running behind; I simply forgot about the play date altogether and wouldn't have shown up at all if not for her phone call. I happened to be in the car with my kids already, so we simply scratched our other plans and headed straight to Elm Creek Park...you know, where we were supposed to be.

I wish I could laugh and roll my eyes at this isolated incident of forgetfulness, but alas, it's becoming more common than I'd care to admit. In fact, I've been having such a problem with concentrating, focusing, and remembering things that it's been a daily prayer point. I've also started researching different vitamins and/or supplements that can help in this area.

It's driving JP nuts. We will have full conversations that I can't recall the very next day. He will ask me to do things and I will fail to follow through because I have no memory of him asking in the first place. If JP is trying to talk to me and the TV is on or the children are in the room, I'll have to look him directly in the eyes and focus all of my attention on what he is saying if I want to comprehend it. Sometimes, even though I'm looking straight at him, he'll finish a sentence and upon seeing the glazed look in my eye ask, "You have no idea what I just said, do you?" And he's right.

It's also driving me nuts. Yesterday I failed to put diapers & wipes in my diaper bag, and when Rosie exploded at PetSmart, I could do nothing but rush the kids back into the car and flee to Target where I could buy some. If I'm focused on doing the dishes and Rae asks me a question, I'll have to ask her to repeat it, sometimes multiple times. I can't multi-task to save my life anymore, and I feel like a ditz.

I've looked into what things might cause these symptoms. Most of the medical websites suggest depression, stress, or pregnancy as common reasons for losing focus. I am currently none of these (besides the regular stress of being a mother of three! But in general, I'm not stressed.). I'm not having any other accompanying symptoms, like headaches.

I've also looked into natural supplements to help keep my brain sharp. Most of them are fatty acids & vitamin E, ginkgo biloba, stuff like that. My friend also suggested playing some memory games to strengthen that part of my brain.

I'm at a loss right now. I know God has given me a sound mind. Perhaps I'm just lacking discipline in my life right now. Maybe I'm more stressed than I think I am. Whatever the case may be, I ask that you all keep me in your prayers, too! I want to be the sharp, thoughtful woman I'm meant to be.



Not a lot has been happening out here in Princeton lately. We've been inside a lot escaping the heat, and when we do go outside, water is usually involved. We found a nice little beach not too far from our house; it's small, never crowded, and the water is extremely clear.

We were there just this morning, and I had a very scary mom moment. I was sitting at a picnic table on shore with Rae and Rosie while Ruby swam in about waist-deep water with her friend Ethan, who is five. I was keeping an eye on her, but had looked away to get the baby a banana. When I looked back, I saw Ruby under the water with her little arms and legs flailing above the surface. I all but dropped the baby and sprinted to her side. After I picked her up, it took a couple seconds for her to cough and catch her breath again. Her lips were the palest white, and we just held each other for the longest time. It happened so fast, and that's just the thing -- it only takes a second. You get so used to looking up and seeing that everything is fine; then the one time comes that you look up and everything is not fine, and it's horrifying.

I didn't mean for this blog post to get so solemn so quickly. My apologies! Ruby is just fine.

In other news:

My friend Zandrah has been helping me come up with a good logo for my photography stuff. Choosing a logo is hard! The final product is so permanent; I really want to make sure that I love it, without driving Zandrah crazy with my nit-pickiness.

The countdown is on to my brother Joseph's wedding! The big day is September 24th, and his fiance Becky is full-tilt-boogie into wedding planning & preparations. Rae and Ruby are flower girls, and we met with the seamstress who is making their dresses this week for measurements. I have to find them little cowgirl boots to wear with their dresses. I have a bid in on a pair for Ruby on Ebay, and so far I haven't been able to find a good deal for Rae anywhere. Time to start hitting up the Goodwill stores!

I'm also going to get to take some official engagement pictures for Joe & Becky, which I'm super excited about, and they've asked me to sing in the wedding, which is such an honor.

I really need to get to bed. Love to all...