Sunday, May 31, 2009

Beach Babies

This past Friday, I went up to Sheboygan to visit my sister-in-law and my nieces. We decided to take a short jaunt over to the Children's museum and play around there for a while. The kids had a blast, but, to be honest, I think I had way. more. fun.

cousin Lily, after going up and down the plastic slide a few times

cousin Evie sitting in the Bay room

J man

and last, but not least, and only 2 weeks late, J man's official 5-month photo:

Friday, May 29, 2009

Photo Challenge #18

Here are the basics to this week's challenge:
This week's challenge is to photograph numbers 1-7 (my father always make us do things in prime numbers when I was a child, since I thought 12 photos would be overwhelming we'll just stick with 7).

1.) 7 photos total (If you feel ambitious go ahead and do all 12), one photo for each number.
2.) your photos can either represent the number or have the actual number in letters or numbers.
3.) B/W or Colour
4.) Tweaking is allowed.
5.) Photos should be submitted by either Friday, May 29 or Sat. May 30
5.) Have Fun!

I was really awesomely inspired by this week's fact, I plan on going further with it to make a personal project of it. Something like "99 years"..still working on the full concept, though. We'll see how far it goes!

ok, so I was going to stop in by my cousin's house yesterday, cuz they have a 6 and 4 year old, but they are in Montana. Sorry ;(

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My little English Country Garden

Looking East

Today was an exciting day with babies, raining, and planting! Diana came over with Sam, Katie came over with Ruthie, and we three moms -ok, my brother, Josh, put the bricks around the garden (he's not a mom)-made a day of hanging out with each other and planting our garden (which happens to be in my backyard:). It rained much of the morning, so after a lunch of chicken sandwiches, we finally made it outside.

With much planning and research, this is the design I came up with.

Looking West


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Just been a little busy....

Have I ever told you how much I like pictures? Don't get me wrong, I love to read, but man, I could just look at a photo book for hours and hours- and come back to it again a couple days later. That's why I have worn out my "From Conception to Birth" book...full of super-cool photographs of all the stages of pregnancy, and have a coffee table book of the BEST of national Geographic photos (thanks, Little sis!)- and why I still have some of my childhood books- because the illustrations are just TOO AWESOME.
Anyway, I have read too many blogs that apologize for being picture-laden. I have NO APOLOGIES. this is what I love- and I will be more likely to at your blog if there are pictures. I am more excited about my own blog if I have some decent pictures of my own to post. So, that being said, here is my uber-busy blog for the day:

this week marks the end of my first year of teaching!!!!
now, it was a crazy year- marked in the middle by the birth of my little J man, teaching art to around 200 children from grades 1-8, organizing the transportation of projects from the school to my kiln, back to school, then many of them to the art fair.... a little disorganized, but what can you expect from my first year of teaching? All I can say is that I have been asked back to teach next year. yay! what plans I have for next year...mwa haha...I mean..YAY.

The photo season has kicked off to a great start, with baby photos, family pics, engagements, and maternity photos. And I am now taking my camera EVERYWHERE I GO. why? because it has happened too often that I don't have a camera when I really, REALLY need it!
So here are some highlights from this past week:


Baby 6-month pictures

Engagement Photos

( the Dogs aren't getting the engagement pics...they just came along for the ride ;)

I also made it to J hubby's softball game this week.....unfortunately, I was too busy hanging out with J man and my friend's pup (yes, the same one from the engagement photos) to really take notice of the game, but they did win ;)

J man has been hyper-hilarious, too. He turned 5 months on Tuesday, and this is my favorite pic of him that day... I haven't done my "official" 5 month pics of him yet...they will be coming. Soon. Ish.

(yes, he is laughing)

I also began digging my garden. Well, J hubby dug up the sod, tilled the earth, and did all the HARD work, but I designed it, got the paths dug, piled the dirt into the respective spots (one garden comprised of three raised beds). It looks beautiful. In my head, mind you, it is stunning. Right now it's just 3 piles of dirt. But, as dirt goes, I think it's beautiful.
Of course, more pictures will be coming as it progresses.
AS for me, I am BEAT. J man has been sleeping for almost 2 hours now, and I should really let my head sink into my pillow for some crazy-dream time.
Have a fantastic night, everyone!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Field Trip!!

Today I went with the second grade to the Milwaukee Art Museum- they were so thrilled to be in the Calatrava and to see some of the artworks that we talked about in class up close and personal- and this was Josiah's first official visit to the art museum- he loved it!

Two of the kids looking at a Chihuly piece

Josiah in front of the same Chihuly piece

The Second grade class with Mrs. Kratz outside the Calatrava

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Photo Challenge- Man vs. Nature

Thus weeks photo challenge was to take 3-5 pictures with the theme of man vs. nature:

and, finally, this one's for you, Erin :).....

Friday, May 15, 2009

Spring storms

Two nights ago we had some awesome storms blow through our area- and they showcased some excellent lightning! (we had over 600 strikes per hour- according to my meteorologist friend :) I wanted to get out there during the throws of it, but it was raining SO terribly hard, and I didn't want to ruin my camera, so I had to wait until it was almost past us to try to get some pictures.
I took 31 shots, and unfortunately most of the lightning was in the clouds, so they looked like they were just glowing.
but, I did get ONE...

This is looking East from my front yard a little after 9:00 pm- by that time most of the storm was out over Lake Michigan.

Monday, May 11, 2009

MMM...growing things

Oh, how I love spring, when things will grow.
One arm wrapped around my little one, the free hand pressing dry seeds
into dark, wet Earth.
Little packets of seeds that when shaken, make my child giggle from the belly-
that sweet, sweet sound of baby laughter-
the enjoyment of growing things.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

On being a Mom.

There was a time when I thought I would never have the opportunity to celebrate this special day (hallmark holiday as it may be). I got married young (I was 19) to Jonathan (who was 22). We knew we didn't want to have children right away- since we both wanted to finish our schooling. We said we'd give it 3 years, and then we'd start our family.
When I was 22, shortly after graduating college 2004, we decided to start "trying". It was 2 1/2 years since we were married- a little sooner than we had first talked about starting our family, but we felt we were ready. We loved each other and knew we would make fantastic parents to however many children God would bless us with. Little did we know what God had in store for us.
Month after month, and then year after year, still no children. Jonathan and I prayed fervently that God would PLEASE bless us with a child, but the answer always seemed to be "no". Frustrating doesn't even describe it. Angry doesn't even describe it. I felt like I was damaged, even though Doctors couldn't find the reason for our infertility.
I knew that I was really hurting inside when, in February 2006, I had planned a baby shower for my brother and sister-in-law's first child. I thought I was pregnant. I was over a week late, and felt sick. The morning of the shower, I knew I wasn't. Unfortunately, I took it out on Jonathan- I was angry and said some things that were hurtful. I got to the shower, and burst out crying. I didn't want to be there, celebrating the upcoming birth of my niece, when I had been trying SO LONG to experience what she was experiencing.
Things like that seemed to happen more and more- friends and co-workers getting pregnant "unexpectedly"- or "sooner than they had planned". Jealousy stepped in. I tried to be happy for them- and truly was at some points, but the Devil worked at my heart and I became very envious of people with children in general. I just wanted to yell "Do you know how FORTUNATE you are to have your children?!" But they probably wouldn't understand that question, since they didn't experience what I was going through.
Throughout this time, I was still constantly praying to God to please bless me with a child. Then I heard a sermon from Pastor Bill- about Jesus calming the storm- not just the waves and wind of the sea, but of life- the curveballs that are thrown at us that toss our hearts into turmoil. I knew I needed spiritual guidance.
In the summer of 2007, I opened up to Pastor Bill and to our church prayer group about what we were going through to try to have a child. Slowly, my prayer changed from "Bless us with a child, God" to "show us your path to how we should have a family". Adoption was always on my mind...I just knew that it would take substantial funding to begin that process, but I also knew that with time, We would be blessed.I suddenly had peace. Mind you, I still struggled with jealousy over those who seemed to conceive with such ease, but I knew there was a purpose and a plan.
I immersed myself in my artwork, had a couple art shows, and prayed ever more fervently with my husband our new prayer - "Lead us, Lord, to the right way to have a family- whether through having our own child, through adoption, or through some other miraculous way."
Life went on. I stopped using my ovulation kits, my calendars, and instead really, truly enjoyed my relationship with my husband. We grew closer than I thought possible- he really is my best friend and companion.
I had an art show the 3rd week of April in 2008- based on the life of Christ. In it was one of my favorite paintings "Jesus Calms the Storm"- a tumultuous painting where Jesus' arms are raised against the wind and waves, and prevails. This one I was sure to talk about during the show. Jesus calms my heart and my life- He is my Peace.

To say the least, I was a little stressed out (good stress:) that week from planning and finishing the details of the art show. Stress would often affect my cycle, so I didn't think anything of being a little late. The Sunday after my show opening, though, I decided to check. By this time I had probably taken around 10 to 12 pregnancy tests through the years. I had NEVER even had a false positive- I was used to seeing that single line. I expected only a single line.
But on that Sunday, the 20th of April, I got a double line. "Oh, God, You are AMAZING" and "HOLY COW" were some of the first thoughts that went through my mind. I never told Jonathan that I suspected anything or was going to take a test. I actually had to go wake him up (since he had just gone to bed after working third shift) and started crying before I could get the words out. He thought something was really wrong. And when I said, "We're pregnant" he smiled, and simply said, "I knew I'd knock you up sometime". Nice, Jon. Nice.

I remember going for a walk that day and having a smile pasted on my face- seeing the world in a new light- and how amazing this Creation is.
On December 19, 2008, Josiah, my son and Jonathan's son, was born at 4:20 am. The snowiest day this past winter. How do I even begin to describe how fortunate, how blessed, how happy I am to be a mother.

Happy mother's day- God bless you all!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My little baby brother....

...just graduated from WLC (yes, my alma mater)!
Congrats, Joshy! You are on to bigger and better things.

Friday, May 8, 2009

if you hadn't noticed....

Yes, this is my third post today.

I NEED to update on all that's been going on with my J man and my J hubby.
Josiah's new stuff:
1. He can now roll over from his front to his back. However, he has decided that he no longer wants to roll from his back to his front. Go figure.
2. He had his first cereal. Notice, I said HAD, not ATE- anyone who has ever given an infant their first food will understand this) He loves it! Now whenever he sees me eating yogurt, he thinks it's time for him to eat, too.

3. He went to his first baseball game. Too bad Uncle Josh's team lost :(

4. He no longer fits in his 3-6 month clothes. 6-9 month clothing is SO much more comfy. Keep in mind that he is 4.5 months old.

Jonathan's new stuff:
1. He applied to get a job at the FAA I'm not sure what all the details are on it- but I do know the application was 18- yes eighteen- pages long. Basically, it would be more normal hours (no more 3rd shift!) and WEEKENDS OFF!!!!! I am not excited about that at all... ;)
2. He turned the big three-O today! Happy birthday, hubby! I love you!

"Great Expectations"

I had the pleasure of meeting Kristina and her fiance, Jared, today to take their photos. Kristina met me at Baby Expo a couple of weeks back where I had a booth advertising my photography, and she thought it would be a lot of fun to get her maternity pictures taken. She contacted me last week to set up an appointment...since she's due next week, we decided that the sooner, the better, to get these pictures taken.
Kristina was absolutely lovely, and had great energy and creativity with her outfits (of which she had quite a large bag full of tops, skirts, pants, and various jewelry)
We had a TON of fun- and her hubby-to-be was a real good sport!

click here to see more...

Weekly Photo Challenge #15

This week's Challenge was to take 3 pictures of a coffee cup....I think it was supposed to be in 3 different situations, but, well....I only had time for one situation, so I thought I would make a nice series of it :)(I've been a little busy with taking other photos- like this)
Tweeking was allowed...and usually I take advantage of that, but I decided to be a purist this week- these photos were not touched AT ALL after being taken. I have been working hard at learning my new camera (fuji S5 pro) and thought I would add an additional challenge to myself to take the pictures how I wanted them to turn out.
So, I used my absolute favorite mug (which usually holds tea, not coffee) and my BEAUTIFUL tulips from my garden (which were freshly rained upon when I cut them this evening), and my golden oak dining room table: and the combination of the three main colors, I think, turned out phenomenal ;) (if I do say so myself!)

Saturday, May 2, 2009