Meet our newest family member. Ya think he looks a little nervous to be a Grippo? Guess what his name is……TORNADO. Aslyn came up with that. I wonder if that is because she has heard the word tornado about 8 million times over this last week! It is our first night with him- we will see how enthusiastic I am tomorrow! =)
This first image sums up the day today. Poor, sweet Aaron- working like a work horse putting up the new trampoline- and us, Me, Heidi and Aslyn just watching him work/having a good time. Note Heidi in the background of the first shot! Priceless.
These images were taken when I was reading on the back deck and both kids were playing in the backyard. It always amazes me how different Coleson and Aslyn are. These images and their discussion during their play time perfectly exemplifies the uniqueness of each from the other. Aslyn was filling little cups to create bouquets of dirt, rock, grass and stick. Little works of art. Coleson at the same time was coming up with a master plan for his trap and was intertwining sticks and digging in the dirt with the sticks to house his fierce trap. The discussion began.
Coleson: “Aslyn, why are you wasting your time with that art work- when you could be doing something important like making traps!”
Aslyn: “Art is important- It is pretty and it makes people happy. Traps are silly and hurt animals!”
Coleson: “NO! See, traps help your life. If a scary animal comes around and tries to get you while you are sleeping- and you are stranded…. it will trap them and you will have time to throw a spear at them. It can save your life.”
Aslyn: “Art can save your life too.”
Aslyn, my dear- I agree. How funny.
Each week I want to feature something I love. This week I want to feature an amazing piece of literature that I picked up at the Room For One More event last week. The speaker and author of this book, Tom Davis, was absolutely inspiring. I purchased three of his novels that day. The first is a fiction piece strongly inspired by real life. In fact- after speaking with him- he told me that the image below the image of this book- is an image that inspired one of the main characters. This Pulitzer Prize winning image was shot by a photographer who was so devastated by the sadness that he witnessed in Africa that he committed suicided shortly after taking this photograph. The editor-in-chief of Christian Fiction Online Magazine certainly says it better then I can when reviewing this book….
“Evocative and intense, ‘Scared’ cuts deep into your heart as you read along. Healing fills the pages, yet there are no easy answers given,
and it shows how each day is a struggle for the people of Swaziland to even survive……Like the Holocaust, there are some awful things that happen
in this book. Unspeakable things. But it also shows how God holds those who suffer close to His heart…..All of the ugly stuff is not smoothed over,
nor is the God-given compassion. It’s graphic and harsh in some places, but so worth reading.” -Michelle Sutton
This book is what I call ‘action provoking.’ If you read it- it is almost impossible to not want to take action and do something about the atrocities that the orphans and people of Swaziland have to suffer. So- go ahead and open up this book- and open your eyes and your heart to a very real and desperate situation in our world.
This is the image by Kevin Carter. This little girl was attempting to walk/crawl to a unicef van with food. Kevin saw the little girl and got down to compose his image of her and the vulture landed- seemingly awaiting the little girl’s death. The reason this image is a Pulitzer Prize winner, in my opinion, is because it causes such an emotional reaction, that much like this book, it forces you to at least desire to take action and help.
So….because I need something else to do…. (can you detect my sarcasm?) I have decided to participate in a 365 project. This project is obviously not my own. It is a project that many people participate it. The premise behind it is that you take a picture a day and post it- for an entire year. Why is this an attractive project to me?? Because- when you photograph as your career- you tend to neglect capturing the little things in life. Well, I do anyway. I am always the mom at every event that asks another, more prepared mom, if she can email one of the images she is snapping with her camera. This is because, at the end of the day, I am tired and I often do not feel like lugging my 200lb camera bag around with me. Also- because when I do have my camera in my hand at events I am supposed to be enjoying, I forget to enjoy them….because I am too busy getting the perfect images. Needless to say, although I have many gorgeous fine-art images of my kids from their mandatory photo shoots, I have very few candid images of life; their life, my life; just life around us. This makes me sad. So- to alleviate my sadness, I have committed to capture at least one image a day that has NOTHING to do with work….for an entire year. We will see if I can hang. [ps. the One Day One Lens logo was designed by the bedazzling Kyle DeWitt of The Print & Pixel]
My kids. Dirty. Muddy socks, muddy cheeks. Loving life. Mismatched clothes. Messy hair. I love this image, because Aslyn often looks so well dressed when we are out and like her mother, she loves nothing more then coming home and putting on her cozy’s. This day it is her halloween shirt and soccer shorts. And Coleson looks like such a good big brother.
This past Wednesday being Ash Wednesday inpired an idea. Ash Wednesday, for those who don’t know, marks the first day of Lent, which is a period of repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. I wanted each of my subjects to chose a word that represented where they were spiritually in their relationship with God. The word could be a noun or a verb, everyone really had free reign. That word would be written on their forehead in ashes and an image would be captured. I asked people to be raw and real with the words that they decided would be their Ash Word. I felt that with the right lighting and emotion this project could be a really powerful presentation of the connection between a word and the season one finds himself in their walk with God. As important as the image, is the description of why each indivudual chose the word that he or she did- which is below each image. I am really excited about how this turned out and I think that I want to turn it into an even bigger project and create a coffee table book with many more subjects. I hope this inspires you as much as it inspired me.
HEATHER. [HIS] “I was purchased with a price. I am a voluntary lover of Jesus; He alone dictates my Life. I am His and He is mine.
ELISHA. [EVOLVING] “I am constantly evolving in my faith and yearning to learn more. I suppose I am searching for the Truth as I evolve.”
SARAH. [RENEWED] “I haven’t always given Him (GOD) my all and have recently realized this. He is deserving of everything, every ounce, my ALL, so I am renewed….renewed by His endless and forgiving love.”
SHERI. ME. [MERCY] “I am astounded and humbled by God’s mercy. His mercy has broken me, stripped me, and exposed me. Because of his mercy, he continues to mold me and shape me to be who he intends me to be. Because of his mercy he refuses to give up on me even when I continue to stumble. I am so thankful for MERCY.”
ROSS. [PURSUIT] “I know God requires constant pursuit, as he is pursuing me.”
JENNY. [VITAL] “My relationship with Christ is vital. It is required to live, to care, and to love. It is vital to keep me alive. The forgiveness, mercy, and grace provided me is vital to my survival and my life everlasting. “
JASON. [CHOSEN] “We were created by Him and are sustained by Him. He is the beginning and the end. To think we have anything to do with our salvation is absurd. To do so is stating we have a position similar to His. The reality is He has called us to Him and we are chosen.”
ROWE. [SUSTAINED] “Lately I have gone from the top of the mountain to the lowest of valleys. There have been days where I have felt like giving up, but though it all, God has sustained us. He is the ULTIMATE SUSTAINER whe we feel like giving up and we can’t go on.”
BECKI. [STRECHED] “God has not allowed me to be “stuck” spiritually or emotionally. He has stretched me. The past 18 months have not been what I would have planned, but God has been there every step of the way, even when thing have not “felt” good. However, every time i feel like I can’t endure anymore God reminds me that it is all ultimately for His Glory, Name and Renown. His strength is made perfect in my weakness. His is perfecting me through pain and fear.”
ANGI. [SECURE] “At first I didn’t know for sure if God was real. I have always believed in him but was never for sure until I had my son Mario. He was born lifeless for more then five minutes. I prayed and so did thousands of people- and then God brought him back to life to me. I knew then that he is real. He could have taken him, but he knew that I needed him in my life. I thank God every day that I have my son. He is my life. I am now secure that he is real. “
[BLESSED] “I feel blessed in so many areas of my life and only God is to thank. My husband is returning home safely from a deployment in Afghanistan. I have family that support me in everything I do, and God has provided for my husband and I financially. I am blessed!”
ALEX. [RECLAIMED] “
So, every now and then I whip up a conceptual shoot in my head and then I pray that I can execute it to make it match my vision. When your subjects are 6 and under- matching the dream to reality can be a challenge. I decided that I wanted to create a series where a couple (represented by a 4 and 6 yr old were being targeted by Cupid (represented by my 4 yr old). We started with hair, makeup and wardrobe styling. I wanted Mia and Coleson to look like little romantic adults and Aslyn to look like a quirky, sassy, mischievious little Cupid. We styled them accordingly. It was FREEEEEZING and snowing today- and the children were semi-tortured- so it was truly a challenge- but- here is what we have! CUPID and HER TARGETS……. Ps- It is a heart lolipop and a Ring Pop that Coleson is using to attempt to woo Mia. =)
Wild Salmon Turkey Bacon
Tuna Canadian Bacon
Halibut Egg Whites (Egg Beaters)
Swordfish Whole Eggs
Tilapia Protein Powder (Whey)
Cod Organic Milk
Sea Bass Low-fat Cottage Cheese
Tuna Low-fat Cheese
Lobster Raw or Dry Roasted Nuts
Canned Tuna (in water) Tofu
Extra Lean Ground Beef Soybeans
Fillet of beef All Natural Peanut Butter
Top Sirloin All Natural Almond Butter
Turkey Breast Low-Sodium Deli Slices
Lean Ground Turkey Breast Kefir (Health Food Store)
Skinless Chicken Breast 2% Greek Style Yogurt
Lean Ground Chicken Breast Pork Tenderloin
Whole Wheat Bread Lentils
Whole Wheat English Muffins Quinoa
Low-Carb Tortillas Lima Beans
Wasa Crackers Shredded Wheat Cereal
Whole-Wheat Pasta Oatmeal (slow cook)
Brown Rice Kashi Go Lean Cereal
Wild Rice Plain Popcorn
Beans (dry or low sodium) Lentils
(Black, white, pinto, kidney, black-eyed peas)
Vegetables – Sky is the limit here!
Kale Sweet Potatoes
Collard Greens Garlic
Spaghetti Squash Ginger
Green Beans Onions
Asparagus Peppers (all)
Brussels Sprouts Zucchini
Lettuce (all) Cucumbers
Goji Berries Peaches
Galeos Salad Dressing Mustard
Wish-Bone Salad Spritzers Non-Fat Mayo
Ground Flax Seed Low-Carb BBQ
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Low-Carb Ketchup
Balsamic Vinegar Olives
Pam Cooking Spray Tomato Paste
Mrs. Dash Spices Green Tea
Stevia (Sweetener) Low Sugar Pasta Sauce
Low Sodium V-8 Juice Coffee
Non-Sweet Tea No-Sugar Jell-O
Sparkling Water No-Sugar Jell-O Pudding
Diet Soda/Diet drinks with aspartame, splenda, sweet n’ low, equal, etc. are to be avoided!
Straight from the NICU, what does Aunt Sheri do?? I hang that prescious baby from a tree branch and put him out in the woods. Yup, you all know my motto….ART BEFORE SAFETY…or COMFORT. Little Mario did amazingly well considering most of these crazy positions and situations work best with 5 and 6 day old babies. He was an angel baby the entire shoot. We are so blessed to have him. Thank you again everyone for all of the prayers.
So- today, I had 3 shoots, like any other Saturday afternoon. However, this Saturday was unique because I had a tag along for the day! Photographer Dave Rhoades (www.rhoadesphoto.com) was in Cape this weekend shooting a bull riding event at the Show Me Center. He contacted me to see if I would like to “talk shop.” Well, we talked shop and he ended up joining me for my last two shoots and well….I got shot. It was such a fun day. So- here I am, In action! Ps- I am only spinning in the image because I must effectively demonstrate proper twirling for my little subjects.