Friday, March 16, 2012

Thanks for coming, Gigi!

It was so much fun to have my mom in town last month. Thankfully the weather cooperated, and we enjoyed some gorgeous days outside. The boys loved playing games with Gigi, and reading lots of books together. We had a picnic outside for the first time this season, and enjoyed playing in the yard.

Will and Graham's preschool held a Spring program was held that same week, so it worked out perfectly that my Mom was here...what a fun memory that she was able to share with us. In addition to Dave and I and my mom being there, Dave's dad came (his mom wasn't able to attend, because she was still in Sioux Falls helping out with Jude), and our good friend Diane. Graham's class sang a song called "Kitchen Band Parade," and they marched onto the stage banging on pots and pans with wooden spoons - it was so cute. Will's class sang, "Turn Your Body Around" while dancing and waving colorful streamers, they sang "God Bless America," and also recited The Lord's Prayer. The boys both did such a great job - we were so proud of them!

My friend, Loree came back into town for a week, and hung out with my mom and me and the kids for a day. It was so great seeing her again. Loree and my mom played baseball with Will, and blew bubbles with Graham :) My mom was gracious enough to stay at the house while Macy was napping, so Loree and I could take a walk with the boys. She wanted to treat them to ice cream at our favorite gelato shop just a few blocks up the road. Such a fun day, and the weather couldn't have been more perfect.

We're enjoying temps 20 degrees above normal all's been amazing. I have the windows wide open and can hear the birds chirping and can see the leaves starting to sprout on the trees. Although I can't complain about the mild winter we had, I absolutely love and very much look forward to the Spring and Summer months. I love not being cooped up anymore, and feel like I can breathe again!

We took a day trip to Sioux Falls, SD to meet our little nephew, Jude a few Saturdays ago. It was a quick trip, but wonderful being able to meet our kids's first official cousin :) He sure is a handsome little feller ;-) Congrats again, Dan and're going to be such awesome parents!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Steep Learning Curve

Photography has long been a love of mine for many years. Inspired, actually, by my late Uncle Jim. I'll never forget a certain visit back home in Chicago during my college years when my Uncle Jim and I were talking about our mutual passion. This was when I was first introduced to the "rule of thirds," and what a difference it makes when you focus on something in the foreground, when taking photos of landscape. It was in that initial conversation that I discovered how such simple concepts create a much more interesting photograph.

This will age me, folks, but that was back in the day when people used FILM...ever heard of it? Since Taylor University didn't have a photography major or minor at the time, I decided to minor in art, just so I could have an emphasis in photography. If you can believe it, a course in Photoshop wasn't even a requirement. As you would imagine, the art of photography has evolved quite a bit since then.

I'm still working on finding my own unique style, but what I do know is that I am drawn to photos that tell a story. I desire to capture "real" people - people who look natural, not stuffy. A photographer walks a fine line between giving their subjects direction, and posing them just perfectly. I don't want perfect...I think perfect looks unnatural.

Slowly, but surely I'm getting experience, and with each experience I learn something new. More than anything, I'm learning that there's a steep learning curve to this art. The drive to continue learning and experimenting energizes me. I think it's so important to have a hobby...something that inspires you and brings you joy. To me, that's photography - hands down. I love being behind the lens.

Dave and I give each other a hard time about our own individual passions. For him, it's football (NE football to be exact...go figure!), and the "art" of recruiting. He's an analyst...what do you expect?! He loves numbers and statistics, and how they all work together to create the perfect team. Numbers and statistics give me headaches. I suppose that's the difference between right brain and left brain. Dave is most certainly on the left side of things, whereas I'm absolutely on the right side...the right side is better. Just kidding ;-) It's crazy to me how much he loves analyzing numbers, and likewise, he would go batty spending the time I do editing photos!

I had the privilege of photographing a wonderful family last was so much fun! I loved every second of it, and I felt so energized and alive throughout the process. That came out really cheesy, but I'm okay with that,'s true :)

Here are a few of my most favorites: