Wednesday, October 31, 2012

favorite looks this season & getting rid of old theories

My current favorites when it comes to fashion: lace, blazers, gold, ripped jeans, cognac. Maybe all together?? :) 

Ripping apart my old ripped jeans theory: 
I used to think ripped jeans were only supposed to be worn with sweatshirts or casual outfits... Then I thought maybe as a mom I shouldn't wear ripped jeans... But it turns out I don't think either of those things anymore. In fact, I think the opposite. Somehow I discovered that I REALLY like my ripped jeans best dressed up. Like with either a sequin tank, or lace top, or a blazer. Somehow the opposites work together for me quite nicely. 

Here's an example: 

blazer: h&m last winter. Black lace tank: express clearance, ages ago. ripped jeans: american eagle. ankle boots: aldo, also from years ago. black rosette earrings: from my sister. 

And here's the same blazer with a totally different outfit: 

cream dress: h&m last winter. Necklace: gift from ashly for my birthday several years ago, I think it's from ae. Gold peep toe shoes: my mom's closet. handsome, amazing husband: sorry, there's not another like him anywhere! 

The other theory I'm getting rid of: I used to think things had to match. But they don't. They just have to look good together. That rule that you can't wear black and brown together? Nope, I'm not buying it anymore (just look back at the first photo for evidence) That idea that all shades of the color on your person should be identical? Uh uh, not going with that one either. This sometimes is scary to me. No fashion rules?? That means I'm not confined to a box anymore. And that means that that top that I've had for years and always worn with the same skirt over and over because it was the only thing with the same shade of blue in it can go with anything now! (anything, that is, that looks good with it.) But wait, who says whether or not it looks good?..... YOU! That's the fun part :)  (also- please notice everything in both outfits in at least one year old if not 6 or more years old. This new way of thinking has inspired me to try pieces I've had for a long time in new ways, and makes me feel like I just went shopping even though I didn't spend a dime! I think Shaun is a fan of this theory-demolition of mine and doesn't even know it yet.)

(thank you to my sister for inspiring me in the art of non-matching fashion!- i love you :) )

Friday, October 26, 2012

more than stats

The impersonal thing about blogs is that you can see how many people view a given post, but you never know who that number represents. Whether it's 2 or 200 people that view a post doesn't make a difference to me. I care about the individual that each number stands in place of. Each soul. And that makes even 1 more than enough.

So today, I want you to know that I am writing to you. Maybe I know who you are, maybe I don't. But I pray for you. I care about you. If I'm writing to you, I hope you are encouraged, I hope you find beauty in the little, I hope you are comforted, I hope whatever pain plagues your heart is eased knowing that Jesus restores. I hope you find faith here. I hope you find worship here. I hope you see that God is the God of more than enough. I hope you meet Jesus here. I pray you know that there are good plans for your life. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future. I pray you find creativity, passion, fullness of life here. I pray you see the imperfect and know it's ok, that we don't have to have it all together, that emotion, struggle, challenges are part of the bittersweet of life, and that what we feel is beautiful and fulfilling and gives us purpose, even when it's hard.

Jesus, I pray you would pour out blessing and favor today on each one. Let each soul reading this know that YOU care about them so deeply, so immensely, that you see them, you know them, you are moved by them, you want desperately to be in relationship with them. That what makes them come alive blesses you, makes you smile over them. Meet them Jesus. Right where they're at. Love them through their day, let them feel your embrace. Thank you for being a personal, intimate, friend of our hearts, Jesus. 

This blog is so much more than stats to me. That number in there somewhere that's you? It's really special to me. And I'm thankful for you. Be blessed.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

super moms

Before I had a blog I read blogs. There's this funny tendency that can sometimes creep in....

You think that because it looks like they must have it all together by what they post, that they actually DO have it all together.... Maybe it's true for some people, but not this girl. Prime example: I need to get dinner started, and there are dirty dishes on my counter and in my sink, my floors could use mopping, my bathrooms could use cleaning, but I'm sitting here typing instead because this is just on my heart right now.  (Disclaimer: I wrote this a few days ago, and I am not feeling like I need to get dinner ready at 8:30 this morning... )

Sometimes we are so busy looking at all the cool projects or fun activities or yummy meals someone else is making/doing/cooking that we start to think we must not be making/doing/cooking much ourselves...

But I bet if you started journaling all the things you are to the people around you, all the things you do in a day, all the creative ideas in your head you'd see that there's every bit the creative energy running through you too.

And maybe, just maybe, while I sit here typing, you're out there still DOING and actually accomplishing more than anyone who has a blog. I'm not knocking blogs, they are inspirational, lovely, encouraging, create a sense of community and connection between people with similar passions, and can be awesome ways to record little pieces of our lives. (And clearly, I spend a lot of time on mine, it is a passion for me and I thoroughly enjoy it!)

But I think sometimes about my mom. Back before internet being commonplace and before anyone knew what a blog was, my mom was at home being a super mom. She made homemade bread, she sponge painted her walls, she hand stenciled our bedrooms, she sewed curtains, she weeded flower gardens, she had company over often, she threw birthday parties, she painted signs for all kinds of church events, she lived on a budget, she decorated our house, she rearranged furniture, she cleaned like nobody's business... and there was no public platform for her to display it all on. She did it all for us, for her. It didn't matter if the world ever saw. We were enough of a motivation for her.

I think about Shaun's mom. She decorated seasonally, she raised collie puppies, she did all kinds of fun crafts and projects with her kids, she always made birthdays special for her kids & decked out their downstairs with balloons and celebration of them. She tries new recipes, she has all kinds of dreams for her home, she plants all kinds of beautiful flowers all around her home, she makes decorations for her house. She directs Christmas musicals and pours herself into the kids she teaches.  She does it for her family, for herself. She is a super mom.

I think about so many other moms out there who are creating beauty, order, peace, & an amazing atmosphere for their families to reside in that no one will ever know about. But then, they're not doing it for us. They're doing it for the people God has entrusted to them, the ones they love most.

I want you to know that if you are a mom, a wife, a friend, a daughter and whether anyone knows all that you are and all that you do or not, you are super. :) You are amazing and talented and busy being exactly who you are supposed to be. Never, ever, ever feel discouraged, just be all you can be for the people closest to you. Someday your kids will call you a super mom. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Maska Family

Ashly has been my best friend since middle school. She is the kind of best friend that knows everything about me. She is the kind of best friend who I can be completely honest with. We know we can fight and make up. (And oh boy, have we had our fights!) We know we have been through just about everything together and always come out on the other side still friends. It's so refreshing when you can be yourself 100% around someone and you know they'll still love you. She's seen me at my worst and at my best and it doesn't make a difference. We are the kind of friends that call each other between contractions when we're about to deliver a baby. We are the kind of friends that feel more like sisters. We grew up down the street from each other. We wore each other's clothes. We like the same foods. We have similar taste when it comes to decorating our houses, what we consider fun, what styles we like. We both have two boys. Growing up we were the oldest in families with two girls and a boy. We are blonde haired, blue eyed girly girls that also love sports and being outside too. Our handwriting is similar. We get asked if we are sisters all the time. So do our moms.  We started dating our future husbands about a month apart from each other. We both got married in September, a year apart almost to the day. It's pretty crazy, really. 

So naturally, I was super, SUPER excited to do her family photos this year, seeing how we think alike and like the same things and all, I knew we would be on the same page. I loved the outfits she chose, and we couldn't have asked for a more perfect day or more amazing location. So, let me introduce you to Ashly, Ricky, Chase, and Nolan Gray. They are one beautiful family, and I love them so much :) 

Ah!!! these two adorable boys!!! they melt my heart just looking at these photos! 

My best friend is gorgeous too.... did I mention that? 

And so is her son... :) 

love love love love this one. 

saying goodbye to the water. 

The boys did great, I was so proud of them! (Ricky, too) :) 

Love you guys so much, thank you again for asking me to do your pictures. :) 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Spencer Family

I met Steph when I worked at the hospital doing ultrasound. She is so much fun to talk to, and it was SO good to see her again. One of my goals when I do a photography session, especially one with little kids, is that the family would enjoy the memories behind the photos as much as they enjoy the photos themselves. I love to just capture a family interacting and playing together and hopefully get some real, genuine smiles out of the sweet little kiddos :) I think we definitely accomplished that with their session. It was so fun to see them play and laugh and run and tickle and hug. Hopefully you will get a glimpse of this sweet family's love for each other through these photos. 

Meet John, Steph, Sophia, Julianna, and Andrew. :)

Thank you so much for asking me to do your family photos for you, I enjoyed every second of it!!! :)