Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy "Love Thursday"!

There is a website/blog out there called "Shutter Sisters" (you can get there by clicking on the link on the right of my page)....Every Thursday is "Love Thursday". I guess you submit your photos that show love. Think I'll try it....let me see what I can find in my collection. I gotta have SOMETHING in there that shows love...

Yep...This one will do. :) The verse is a good one too..."LOVE EACH OTHER. Just as I have LOVED you, you should LOVE each other. Your LOVE for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples." -- John 13:34-35. TOLD YA...

JC is my BFF!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Divine Weaver

The Divine Weaver

My life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He works steadily.

Oftentimes He weaves sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget that He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not until the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver’s skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

~ Author unknown

This came right at the right time for me....I have been asking a lot of why's and how's and what next questions lately that this just put me at ease today. I will know the answer to all my questions when I'm supposed to know them. My job today is to be faithful, not fearful.

JC is my BFF.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, August 25, 2008


So my middle child turned 10 years old last week. I know...double's all down hill from there, right? Turning 10 is a big deal in my family. We did the usual birthday stuff...dinner out, presents, cake, singing, etc., but for her party on Saturday night, Tim and I rented her a LIMO. Yep, we did. In the middle of these crazy economic times, with gas prices at record highs, we rented our 10 year old daughter a limo (in an effort to even out the expenses, we did take them for dinner at McDonalds in the limo...hee...hee). She was so surprised. The look on her face was priceless. Her friends knew about it (how they did not tell her at recess is beyond me...killed me for two weeks knowing and not being able to tell her!). Anyway, below are pictures of the girls and the limo. Happy 10th Birthday, Taylor. May God let us have you for many more years and rent a limo for your 80th birthday too, kiddo. :)

Oh....and as I was tucking Carli in to bed last night (she's 8...and a half), she said this: "Mom, I'd like to have a great 10th birthday too. How do you rent a helicopter?" Oh least I have a year and a half to figure that one out! :)

JC is my BFF!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

FAMILY....No blood required.

Man....He did it again. God has such a cool way of teaching me lessons! And this is a good one so keep reading....

This past weekend I had two photo shoots. Both taught me some things about life and how quickly it can pass you by if you don't pay attention. As you all know, I'm starting a new business and with that comes the challenges of finding work. Many of the shoots I have done so far have been family or friends...a few paying customers but mostly freebees to get things rollin'.

Anyway, as you also know, my younger brother Brad and his family live in Virginia. He was back in Iowa for a few weeks and spent some time with his "family" while here. To make a long story short, Brad was very lucky as a junior high/high school student to meet a family that lived here in Des Moines when he came down for a basketball camp or something. The important part here is that the Meskimens became his "family"....truly in every sense of the word. On Saturday the Meskimens were together for a baptism so I was allowed (ok....I strongly suggested that they let me!) to take some shots of the family together. Jolynne (mom of the family) lives here in Des Moines, Jen (Jolynne's daughter) and her daughter live in Las Vegas and Brent (Jolynne's son), Mary (Brent's wife) and their son live in North Liberty, Iowa. Jeez....this is taking too long to explain. HANG IN THERE...I'm getting to my point! This shoot was with one 1.5 year old, two 2 year olds, an 8 year old and an (almost!) 10 year old. Challenging, yes, but very fun.

After that shoot I went to another one with 4 kids -- 3 in college and one in junior high, their parents, an aunt and 3 cousins. This one was also full of cool happenings...the third child in this family was leaving for California to begin his freshmen year of college. He was nervous but excited and anxious.

Here is the moral of this blog and what has taken me so long to get 4 things I learned on these 2 shoots:

1) FAMILY....NO BLOOD REQUIRED. It was so obvious to me that my brother, his wife and kiddos and all of the Meskimens are FAMILY. Who ever said you have to have the same blood in you to be a family? The love that came from each of them...the way they interact with each other, the way the kids all play together...they are a FAMILY. Pretty cool stuff if you ask me.

2) WHENEVER POSSIBLE....take a former music teacher with you to a photo shoot! Mary was a music teacher in her former life and her voice...beautiful...saved the day several times. You can see in the pictures below some of the's because she's singing. Too bad she lives a few hours away...I'd hire her in a second!!! :)

3) DON'T a matter of three hours I saw children...babies young adults going off to college. We forget how quickly our children grow up! Many times I have caught myself saying "Oh...I can't wait 'til you move out!" when my kiddos are being....well, KIDS...but now I have a different perspective. I believe God was showing me to slow down...enjoy my children while I have them because before I know it they will be out the door!

4) GOD GIVES US THE CHILDREN WE HAVE FOR A REASON....I truly believe that we are handpicked by God to raise the children we are given. Every child has his or her issues, but when they are specially placed with us by God it's for a reason. We are each challenged to raise them the best we teach them the ways of the world and when they grow up and go off to college, we celebrate the work we have done and pray that the wings we helped form, with God's help, will allow them to fly.

Here are some of the pictures from the Meskimen shoot....I'll add some of the Bean shoot as soon as I have them completed. It was absolutely my pleasure to be a part of both of these.

JC is my BFF!

If you're happy and you know it clap your hands! Clap...clap!

THIS ONE MAKES ME LAUGH....As soon as I put the camera down, this is what happened....everyone started running around, getting ready for the next shot! It was so funny. Look at Jolynne....she just laughed. I don't even think anyone knew it happened...I didn't really until I saw this! :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thank you list to God....

In church on Sunday we talked about listening to God and when we listen to Him we gain perspective (big picture versus problem in current line of sight), endurance (to get through the problem that we face) and learn to appreciate God's perfect timing. The truth we learned is this: GOD IS NEVER EARLY, HE IS NEVER LATE -- HE IS ALWAYS ON TIME. Huh. I have to say that is a very hard thing to deal with when I want things to go my way or in my time.

Pastor Jeff went on to challenge us to write a "Thank You list to God" this week. It's been a long week already so I have been struggling with getting it done....ok...started. Today is the day I start. Figured I'd start with a few things and just add to them as they come up....a working list if you will. So...without further delay, here is my Thank You list to God:

1) THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU. For your forgiveness, for your kindness, for your grace.

2) Thank you for my beautiful children. Thank you that they are good kids (not without their issues, but genuinely good kids).

3) Thank you for teaching me that I am a VICTOR, and no longer a victim. (Ok...still working on this one but I am trying)

4) Thank you for teaching me that my past is no longer my is now my STORY.

5) Thank you for letting my heart heal from many pains and the knowledge that throughout the pains that I will endure for the rest of my life, You will always be there to help me through them.

6) Thank you for a different perspective on life, love and hope....for having a master plan even though I don't get to review it and discuss it with You.

7) Thank you for showing me what You have packed in my luggage and for giving me the courage to begin unpacking and wearing what You have given me. :) (see earlier post if you are confused!)

8) Thank you for toilet paper. Seriously.

9) Thank you for allowing me to see the beauty You have created in this world everyday....all the little things like the sunset, the intricate details of the inside of a flower, the beauty of a raindrop and the smile on a little kids face.

10) THANK YOU for restoring my feeble and broken soul.

More later....I have so much to be thankful for!

JC is my BFF!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


What a weekend. I spent 6 hours Saturday shooting action shots at a 3v3 soccer tourney then spent an hour or so with an adorable 2 year old and his parents. So many things happened I can't even begin to get my head around it all or even know really where to start.

First -- the 3v3 tourney. I just walked around taking random shots of players and coaches so that we can use the photos in next years promotional materials. As I did that I had several teams ask for team photos. Many asked me if they would be for purchase...gave them my card and said send me an email. :) In the last few weeks I have been thinking about getting into wedding photography...scares me to death as I've seen one too many episodes of "Bridezilla"! Having never done a wedding, it's hard to get someone to hire you without examples/experience so that is a hurdle I have to overcome if I decide to go down that path. About halfway through the day a lady walks up and asks me if I do wedding photography! Gave her my card and told her I hadn't done one but was looking into the possibility. She seemed excited and she said she'd call.

God hears us when we talk. I just know it.

A team of about 14-15 year old girls walked up shortly after this and asked for a team photo. One of the parents yelled "Tell her about the ribbon on your socks!" so I bit and asked what it was. At closer look it said "R.I.P. JJ"...I had immediate goosebumps as they explained that a 14-year old friend of theirs had died last Wednesday from an accident on a 4 wheeler. They were going through what no teenager should ever have to and it was tough to watch them. Totally my pleasure to take their team picture....see below. What a cool group of girls.

I honestly believe that God puts people in front of us to remind us of certain things or show us how He is working on our behalf when we don't even realize know....making our "crooked paths straight." Looking back at the 3v3 tourney and what has come out of it, I see God molding me and allowing me to show Him in me to those who cross my path. What a blessing for me!

Later that evening I spent some good time with a 2 year old named Dylan and his parents at a park here in Waukee. He was absolutely adorable.

We were almost done with the shoot and there, at the other end of the park, was a beautiful hot air balloon getting ready to take off. You should have seen his face! Then....God's timing is so good...a firetruck pulls up to make sure the hot air balloon is going to go up ok! WHAT A DREAM! A firetruck for a two year old boy! We were allowed get some shots of Dylan and the truck. The photo above is Dylan after he got to sit in the firetruck and one of the last photos I took. You are probably wondering how I see God in this but I certainly do. I've got a new photography business going and not that the shoot was going bad at all, it wasn't, but how many times does a photographer get a setting like this one without setting it up! I believe that God has a master plan for me and my business and He is doing things to make it easier for me to get my job done well.

And I'll take all the help I can get!

JC is my BFF!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

God's protection

I GOTTA SHARE....I was just looking at this picture that I took of my brother and Lily on the beach last week when I sent it to him and my mom a few minutes ago. I've looked at it a hundred times then all of the sudden IT HIT ME....God's protection. Lily is standing with my brother's arms loosely around her. See how she has a look of worry or pain on her face, but my brother does not? That's because he sees something that she does not....he understands what is happening around her, but she does not.


He sees what we don't, He knows what we don't, He understands and has a plan that we just cannot hard as we try. This picture struck me as a perfect image of the kind of protection we get from God if we accept it. He is our protector, our guardian, our shield and our strength. IN THAT CIRCLE OF HIS ARMS AROUND US, WE ARE SAFE.

Huh. I love it when God does that.

JC is my BFF.

Lemons....NOW WHAT? we made it back from Virginia without any mishaps, injuries, fist fights or hysterical breakdowns. We had an awesome week....time with family that you love so much is always a blessing. I'm pretty sure I was wiping my tears away from the time we left Brad's driveway until we got to West Virginia a few hours later. We all miss them so much. I did get some awesome pictures and I will be sure to share them here soon. One picture I really want to share though is the one below of "Lily Bean" two and a half year old niece. She sure is one precious kiddo.

So the title....LEMONS. Right now I have a huge pile of "lemons" in my lap. What's the old saying? "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade"? I'd like to but I'm sorta stuck in this chair with the lemons piled up all around me unsure what to do heart aches and it seems to have paralyzed me temporarily. I do know that God is speaking directly to me in many ways these days. I am unsure if what is happening in my life is God's will or the devil's interference, but because I am hearing God very clearly, I believe I now know the truth. Still going to go strong with the business and I have some big plans for other things too. I'm going to read the bible from cover to cover, I'm going to join a women's small group / bible study at my church (finally), I'm going to spend some good quality time with my girls....and I am going to ENJOY sleeping kitty corner in my king size bed -- my dog Buddy is back home now and he takes up so much room (he's only 10 pounds soaking wet!) that I have to sleep sideways...which means I actually missed the screwball!

Two things ran through my head non-stop as I was trying to go to sleep last night. The first..."REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS". So I did...and I do...and I will. The second...Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." This hurt and lack of understanding why this is happening will all be worked out for good because that is God's promise. Sucks going through it now, but I know (that I know that I know) someday I will be changed...and better....for having gone through it. I know that...I do. I really do. (Can you see I am convincing myself?!?)

Someone please pass the lemon juicer....I got a lotta squeezing to do.

JC is my BFF.