Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

So the {breathe} post today is about a singer/songwriter, local artist and friend of mine...Scott Krippayne.  He just released a new CD called Fight for Love....This project is a collection of songs about the ups, downs, joys, difficulties, and hard work of love. It’s born out of gratitude for the perfect love of a Heavenly Father and almost 18 years of marriage to my amazing wife, Katy. Every day is a choice. A choice to both give the gift of love and receive it. Loving well is not without its challenges, but it’s most definitely worth the fight. May you live like you are loved, because you are… and continue to fight for Love.

Scott sent me a preview of the songs on his new CD and I liked the music so much, I told him I wanted to help get the word out!  You can go to itunes to buy the songs or get the CD from his website. (after March 6th)

I especially LOVE the songs Voyage and Something Good (if I can put my own plug in for a song or two!)  And you can download the song "What If?" for FREE here!!  (just scroll down the page a little)

You can find some of Scott's other songs (that he's written) on CD's from Building 429, Anthem Lights, Kutless, Hyland, Joe Jonas & Demi Lovato, Point of Grace and Nesta Rae.  He even has his own Wikipedia page!!

AND...if you like what you hear, I have 2 CD's to give away.  Leave a comment below and tell me how I can get in touch with you if you win a CD!!

Breathe, smile and go slowly...and enjoy the music!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

I find myself at a loss lately of what to write.  The rainy season is definitely upon us, and as spring wrestles with winter for authority, I find myself envying those members of the animal kingdom who hibernate!  The light is starting to come back, but I still wake to a heavy cloak of darkness and feel its weight keeping me from getting out of bed.  

After the last big storm a few weeks ago, where ice covered the branches of the trees and caused them to bend low, we've had quite a bit of clean up to do in the yard.  We've had to climb up and cut branches are strewn all across my front yard because there is no room for them in the yard waste this week.  In all this, may I say that I do not particularly like yard work.

Life is like this sometimes, isn't it?  Not really fun, but stuck in an in-between season, where a lot of work needs to be done or much energy exerted.  I wrote the following "prayer" the other day for just such a season.  Maybe it will speak the words of your soul too.

This is the difficult season
Where rain pours
And mud abounds
Gone is any sure footing
Only the slip and slide of slick mud

We trudge along
Getting stuck in the viscous earth
A footstep sinks deep in the sludge
And boot remains stuck 
Making movement impossible

This is the difficult season
Where rain pours
And mud abounds
Gone is the snowy blanket
Uncovering an ugly, monotonous brown

It is bleak and bitterly cold
Even the birds know the weather is unfriendly
But it is the time to do the hard work
Of digging, getting dirty, planting in faith
What will not grow until a new term

This is the difficult season
Where rain pours
And mud abounds
Gone are illusions of heroics
The only trophies are muddy footprints left on the floor

Help us, Lord
During this bout of mud-walking life
To seek what we already have
Looking past all the muck and debris
To a wildly faithful Creator
Who brings forth new life from the mud

Ahh...I think I'll go spend some time in the garden!

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

It's Not Too Late {Valentine's Day Idea}

OK...let me start this by saying that I saw this cute idea somewhere and thought I'd share it here.  Let me also say, I am NOT a crafty person.  I WISH I was.  I have friends who do all sorts of cute, trendy crafts and the stuff they make is amazing!  When I make crafty things, it looks like a third grader made it (no offense, third graders) and no one would ever display it in their homes. is a great Valentine's card idea and it is not too late...
(I made these for my kids to give to friends)

1.  Take a picture - the person should have their hand in a fist (like they are holding a balloon), out to the camera.  For those of you who care about technical info, I used a wide angle lens (17-35mm) so that the distance between their hands and heads would seem exaggerated.  I used an f-stop of 4 and focused on the hand, not the face.  It lets the face be a little out of focus without losing it entirely.  For those of you who don't care about any of this, or have no idea what I am talking about, just take the picture!

You can see both sweet children added their own personality to the picture...then I added the words in photoshop.  If you don't have photoshop, you could have them hold a sign, add a sticker or just write the words on the picture.

2.  Send the pictures to your local, favorite lab.....I sent mine to Costco!  Wait an hour and then go pick them up.

3.  You want to gather your supplies....a hole punch (I used a crafty-scrapbooking gadget that I found in a box somewhere, but a handheld one would do), lollipops, and of course, your fabulous pictures.

4.  Punch two holes in each picture - one at the top of the hand and the other at the bottom.

5.  YUM...lollipops!!

6.  Put a lollipop through the holes to make it look like the person is handing it to the card holder.

7.  Pat yourself on the back for being so smart and crafty....and the envy of all your friends!

Now, isn't that one of the neatest things you've ever seen?  (And even if it's not, you have to admit, it is a fun way to get a lollipop!)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Kiss Me: Carrie and Jake {Tacoma...but really Juneau...Engagement Photography}

Have you ever met people you just instantly liked?  A couple who you knew in your heart were great people, even though you had only known them for all of about 5 minutes?  That is exactly how I felt about Carrie and Jake...I just really liked them!!

These two flew down from Juneau...yes, Alaska....for their engagement session!  The sun was out, it was unseasonably warm (can you say a roasting 60 degrees?!?!), and before me were two of the most fun people I have ever met!!

Didn't I tell you they were fun??  OK...and romantic too...

....and I happen to think Carrie is just drop dead gorgeous!!  (I am totally sure Jake agrees with me!)

The only instruction I gave them was *dance* and this is what I got!  These two are a photographer's dream come true, or at least this photographer's dream!!  They were so FUN!!!

Although I am sure Jake would have rather had his picture taken hunting or fishing, he was game to do what I asked.  But I felt bad asking him to hang out in the urban setting the entire time, so we headed down to the waterfront for a little more natural surroundings!  Sorry though fishing!

This may be my favorite picture of all!!!

Carrie and Jake, it was an absolute pleasure to photograph you two!  My camera and I are thrilled to be invited to the wedding in June!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

The ocean shows no partiality; the waves have no favorites.  The undulating fingers of the water grab both the treasure and junk hiding on the ocean floor and deposit them upon the beach.  And the beachcomber, making her way along the shore, finds not just treasures, but scrap as well.

So it goes with our souls.  From their depths come both beauty and ugliness, many times in the same wave.  And to be honest I don't really like this.  I like to see the good, the lovely, the beneficial....but I do not always want to live with the reality of the dark side of what lies in my heart.

However, like the pilgrim on the beach, we stand must stand in both realities - good and bad, light and darkness, treasure and junk.  And perhaps the challenge is to recognize both, enjoy one and begin to clean up the other!

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Playing in Mexico {travel photography}

Our family spent last week in the Riviera Maya in Mexico...and boy, did we have fun!!  If you'd like to come along on our little adventure, I'd love to share a few pictures with you.

We stayed at the Dreams Resort in Tulum - which, by the way, was FABULOUS!!  Each morning greeted us with a little sunrise a little like this.

Ahhh...80 degrees!!  (I think it is an irony that I was born above the 49th parallel, but I am so much more of an equator girl!!)  I really do love warm weather!!

We headed out on a couple of excursions while we were there.  The first was to the ruins of Tulum.

Once a great Mayan city, it is now an archaeological site inhabited by lots of these cute little guys!

(The picture on the left is the view UP El Castillo and the view on the right is the view DOWN from El Castillo.  I totally understand why they built the pyramid in that location!!  I would too!

On the same excursion we went repelling, zip lining and swimming in a cenote.  So much fun!!!

(The ceiling of the cenote...)

Our son, unfortunately, got bit in the ear by a horsefly (we think!).  It was not the most fun part of the trip...nor was trying to find Benedryl at a pharmacy.  My advice...when you travel internationally, bring lots of different "just-in-case" medications with you!!

The wind was pretty strong and was creating lots of waves while we were there, but we did get one day of snorkeling in!  I have decided that underwater pictures are not the most attractive environment people can be photographed in!  (I am not even sure what sot of face I am making!!)

Even though we couldn't snorkel after that day, we had lots of fun in the water!!

And, of course, we were VERY diligent about doing our homework too!!  (Just in case any teachers are reading this!!)

Since we were so close to Chichen Itza, we knew we had to take a trip out to see this one of seven wonders of the modern wold.  It really was amazing, especially to realize how much history happened in the area we were now walking in.

Luc standing in front of the pyramid in Chichen is a massive structure!

Evidently the Mayan people really liked snakes!!

Just look how culturally mature my children are!!  We go all the way to Mexico to learn about the Mayan history, and they want to pick a nose and kiss!!

This was a deep, deep cenote!  My boys went down to flaunt their bravery by jumping off the edge.  Us girls stayed at the top and cheered them on!

The beach had so many treasure on it!!  (These pictures were taken with the new point-and-shoot....I LOVE the one on the right!!  Just before the wave crashed up over me!!)

Shall I take a moment for a picture taking lesson?  OK...always, always, always take the picture from different angles.  A bottle found on the beach is not super exciting from this angle....

...but from this angle, it is MUCH more interesting....

and then, even closer!!

I love how just a handful of days ago I posted a picture of all of us bundled up in snow gear.  Oh how I love planes to fly south in!!  

My children...enough said.

One of my favorite pictures from our time.  The morning from one side of the hotel....

....and the nighttime from another side.

All I can say is that I am praying for a chance to return before too long....It was really, really tough to get on the plane that took us home!!