it's no secret that I'm horrible at blogging. but there's this innate desire in me to keep trying different things to make me better.
because i love blogs.
i love my morning cuppa coffee, reading a few daily blogs and discovering new ones. after the girls have gone off to the bus stop, while X is watching his morning cartoons, or playing wii. while scarlet is trudging around the house, eating her multi-grain cheerios, pulling every tissue out of the box, or trapping herself in the bathroom pulling every toothbrush out of the drawer and then proceeding to suck on them brush her teeth. yet i continue to keep them in the drawer. you'd think i'd just move them. nope.
and i like writing. i like keeping a little log of our daily happenings. but i don't. but i want to.
and i [obviously] love taking pictures. the everyday stuff is my favorite.
so i'm starting a new feature. just a picture. no words necessary. what's that they say about a photo being worth a thousand words? i'll just let the image speak for itself. that seems easy. maybe i'll keep this up. maybe it'll inspire me to actually blog more. and write more. and log our daily happenings. because i love those. and i want to remember all of it. the mundane stuff is the stuff i cherish the most. not the flashy stuff. no, not here. i like the crumbs on the floor, the mail piled up on the kitchen island, the toothpaste all over the sink. and i like the happy family that lives here. the laughter that fills the air, the spontaneous dance parties in the living room. the hysterically ridulous dance moves that jon pulls just to make the kids, and me, laugh. and the way that they try to imitate him. for like weeks after. the half finished projects. the laundry piled up. every.where. every light being on because apparently none of us know what an off switch is. and i know that's so un-green of us. but i kind of don't care. it's those little things that mash together to make our family ours. and us, us.
and i really, kind of, love us. we're kind of my favorite.
here's to a thousand words. let's see how this goes.
I'm a bad blogger.
And this last year has been a year of exponential growth. Spiritually, mentally, physically.
I want to share it. I want to share the bits & pieces of our daily little life.
My favorites from recent shoots. Our business ventures.
We're on the road to a few new ones and I am excited.
Excited for what's to come.
Reflective of where we've been.
In awe of how we got here.
Our God is so good.
"And then, when you hold your dreams with open hands, you get to watch God resurrect what seemed dead & multiply what seemed small." -unknown.
It was different then. My heart would swell and thump with anticipation everytime we drove to the Walgreen's down the street and peeled back the tape to reveal what we had captured. It was such a mystery then. I think the learning curve was a bit tougher to ride with a film SLR. No instant gratification. But the thrill of seeing what I had captured, trying to pinpoint exactly what I had done, noting what I had or needed to do differently and what I learned with that role of 36 exposures is something that can't quite be replaced. My dad's old SLR camera served a wonderful cause in my High School Yearbook days..(and being co-editor-in-chief of a yearbook then sure was different than what they do now! Remember cropping photos with that red pen? No? Oh. just kidding.)
So yes...that old SLR...it served a wonderful purpose, and actually, in my humble opinion, NOTHING is quite a beautiful as the grain and color a film SLR produces. Nothing.
But as a professional, a hobbyist, a mom, an advocate for all things seen through a lens, I wouldn't trade my digital SLR for the world. I mean, let's call a spade a spade. It'd be far too expensive.
Fast forward to April of 2007 when I got my first digital SLR camera. I was so overjoyed and filled with excitment to rip open that box to begin taking my images to a new level. Finally I would have a camera that could actually do what I wanted it to!
And looking back at the images from that month, I'd say the learning curve was nothing short of...curvy... Oh my. there are some images that I cringe at, when I look at them from a technical standpoint. I've learned SO much. And I want to give back.
I've been frequently asked assist in learning exactly what that fancy SLR can do, to help others learn exactly how much potential is sitting right there in their hands. So I bring you....
BEYOND BEGINNER: taking your camera off auto
I'll be teaching a little interactive course on how to get more out of your camera. How to turn that dial from the auto setting, over to those scary settings. I want to teach you how to unlock the potential you have in that amazing piece of equipment you own.
In this course, I'll be covering basics of camera settings. What they mean and how they interact with each other. When and how to change them, and how to make the most of them. I'll go over lighting. Tips and tricks for producing wonderful images and things I've learned along the way. I have a Q&A time to answer any questions you have about your specific camera. And then we'll have a hands on portion. A chance to take what you've just learned and apply it right there. And I'll be there to help guide you along the way.
Oh, and there's dinner. Because what isn't better with food?
This first workshop has partially filled due to word of mouth and with the requests that I've already had...that being said, we are looking at short notice. BUT, if you're interested in the workshop, but can't attend this date (or if it fills), please let me know as I'll consider teaching this class again. You know, based on the fact that a few people learned a thing or two ;') So I'll keep you posted. :)
So here's the deets:
Are you ready to take control of your photos? Are you frustrated that you have this big, expensive camera and still aren't happy with your photos? Want to learn how to actually USE the settings on that fancy SLR camera of yours? Then I would love to partner with you in learning...join me:
BEYOND BEGINNER: taking your camera off auto
Saturday, July 16th. 3:00-7:30ish
Queen Creek, Arizona (specific info provided upon registration)
Introductory cost: $40
To register, please email Laura: laurageorge [at] cox [dot] net
And if you have any qestions email me at bugg.photographer [at] cox [dot] net
I'll only be taking a limited number of students so I'm able to give my best to each and every one. So please let me know asap as there are only a few spots left. And again, I will consider holding another date, so if you'd like to be put on an interest list, I would love to know that as well!
I'm humbled that I've been asked to teach this, and I'm crazy excited to help you unleash the potential you have within your camera!
I've obviously taken a hiatus from the 'ol blog.
And it's no secret that I'm horrible at blogging. I want to be better. I LOVE reading other's blogs and collecting inspiration. Getting a peak into their everyday. Its like the best kind of people watching. (Don't you love to people watch? Tell me I'm not the only one..)
I had such good intentions. I wanted to do a quick recap of the past year, and then get back on the bloggin' bandwagon. Start fresh.
And then suddenly it was a week later. It's okay though. I was just too content sitting on the couch with my brand new baby. So in love. Bliss. I'll get to it soon. Like next week.
January 10th. Our little worlds were flipped upside down.
That little baby I was so blissfully content to just sit and hold, would very soon be subject to countless, daily doctor appointments, hospital admissions, ER visits, intrusive procedures, she would struggle to merely take a breath. Her life was slipping through my fingers. And I couldn't do anything to hold onto her, but pray. so PRAY we did. Lots of it. The people that God assembled around us were such a HUGE blessing. Far more than they will ever know. Praying life into our baby.
I'm forever grateful. For EACH and EVERY prayer lifted up for our little Scarlet.
I started on a journey in my faith during this time. I can honestly say that I've NEVER felt closer to my Lord. In this new chapter, I started a prayer journal when Scarlet was in the hospital for the second time.
I sat in that hospital room. Alone. Just me and Scarlet.
I peered across the room from the tiny couch bed into her giant, plastic, hospital crib.
The single, recessed light in the corner of the room illuminated the room with just enough of an orange glow that I could see her.
My sweet baby. hooked up to monitors, an IV was punctured into her arm. An oxygen tube in her little nose. A Pulse/Ox monitor around her tiny foot. She struggled to take each breath. Her chest collapsing (literally down to her backbone) on the intake of each. and every. breath. And there was nothing I could do.
All I could do was sit and stare. And pray. Words poured out of the deepest parts of my soul. I think God wanted me alone with her. (Jon had literally JUST started a new job -- like THE DAY we first discovered her health issues. They had already given him SUCH grace by letting him leave during training when we landed in the ER the first time, which would usually result in termination. So he HAD to go to work. So on this second ER visit/hospital admission, once we were settled into the room - around 1am, he left.)
I'm sure that God wanted me alone. So that I would have no one to lean on but HIM. I would have no one to talk to, except HIM. That's where God wanted me. That's where I NEEDED to be.
I poured my heart out. Tears falling from my face as my pen wrote simple, powerful words onto a paper towel.
I've debated for awhile on sharing those words. They came from such a place of dependence and desperation. From a place of God holding me up when I couldn't stand. On my own, I know I would have merely collapsed on that cold hospital floor.
God. Thank you. Thank you for this beautiful, unexpected blessing you've placed in my life. Thank you for the growth she has brought me. Thank you for my marriage & how close we remain despite sometimes hard situations. Thank you for our other 3 beautiful children. And the growth they've brought me & Jon. Thank you for our support system. A people that you've created & surrounded us with. Thank you for your unwavering love. A love that I can't begin to fully understand, yet desire so deeply to imitate. Thank you for your faithfulness. your sovereignty. your plan. To prosper us, not harm.
God my heart is so full right now, yet so empty. I know I am filled to be emptied again. I pray that I bring you praise & glory in ALL situations.
God. Thank you. Thank you for Scarlet. For the 30 days I've been blessed to feel her breath on my cheek. For the 30 days I've been blessed to nourish her. For the 30 days of diapers I've been privileged to change. For the 30 days of unspeakable joy I've felt for her being in our lives. For 30 nights of broken sleep. For 30 days of endless, loving stares. God thank you. Thank you for these 30 days. And if only for these last 30 days, I consider myself blessed to have had them.
Jehovah Rapha. You are our healer. Hear my heart. my soul cry out. Please heal my baby.
God thank you. Thank you for being my everything. For being enough. For choosing death to bring me, us, life. Thank you for your plan. Your will.
Thank you for 30 days.
(10 days later).....the strength I felt as those words poured out of my soul escapes me. And I know that I only had that strength for that particular day. And only due to God's power that filled me. overflowed from me. All glory to God! I understand now, personally, how God can give you strength, for even just a moment. strength that in no way I could have experienced apart from Him.......God, thank you for drawing me near. Thank you for your strength that you equipped me with. Thank you for your protection over Scarlet. me. my marriage. Thank you for your light amongst the darkness. Thank you for the glimpse I had into knowing what it's like to fully believe that You would heal my baby, yet being completely okay if You chose not to. For thine is the kingdom & the power & the glory forever. amen.
I wrote those first words 119 days ago. And now I retype them with a beautiful baby in my lap. She's getting better. Everyday. She's getting bigger. ounce by ounce. She's still tiny. She still struggles sometimes to breath. Her chest still has a small, collapsed spot. A daily reminder of how far she's come. How much she's already endured.
She'll be 5 months on Sunday.
I am thankful.
so obviously this blog has been VERY neglected this year. That goes without saying. But as I am striving in a bad way to make blogging a more regular event (especially in light of what 2010 brought), I'm trying to start it off right by blogging on the very first day of 2011..
2010 was nothing as I expected it to be, yet brought so much [unexpected] joy to our lives on so many different levels. It also brought trials. a lot of them. and heart ache to boot. But nonetheless, 2010 was a year that brought about change. And while I tend to resist [big] change, it was something that God was clearly teaching me to embrace. And with that change, God guided me into a more trusting relationship with Himself, as I absolutely could not have endured 2010 without Him.
But with trials, comes triumphs. And fun times that created lovely memories in the in between.
Twenty Ten in review...
This little cutie was promoted to All Stars. [pictured in her Varsity uniform, just before finding out at the awards ceremony]
The girls participated in Fashion Disaster Day at school -- I actually think they look pretty cute!
We also made the decision and listed our home for a short sale. A decision that was made with MUCH agony, as it was a first home, [we had far out grown it too with these three cuties]. It brought a lot of tears, but in the long run, it was a very good decision.
Oh and we made cookies. And apparently took down our Christmas decor sometime in January as well...
we made pretty valentines.
we went to the snow..
Xander got pneumonia while we were on a snow trip with our churches youth..The trip from Flag to Tucson [where the kids were] has NEVER felt SO long.
Hailey and Evie learned to ride their bikes..
X and I went on a little picnic date to the park..
we had a fun little impromptu photo shoot after a friend's baby shower..
we celebrated miss Hailey's 8th birthday for like a week --here are some highlights..
at the sugar bowl:
before her birthday dinner:
and when we crammed 20ish [maybe more?] of Hailey's pals into our [previously-mentioned] tiny condo:
and made cute magic wands as their favors for her Wizards of Waverly Place party.
I also attended a field trip to the Phoenix Children's Museum with Miss Evie, but sadly forgot to have a camera in tow...
April was busy.
we colored eggs..
and hunted for said eggs..
[this one of Evie might just be one of my favorite pics ever. ha!]
had a beautiful backyard photo session on Easter...which the sprinklers brought to an abrupt end.
Jon brought me home my favorite flowers. in my favorite color. just because.
Evie got her first black eye. unruly bicycle handlebars, I tell ya. The only pictures with it are after she has make up on - and you can't really see it, as it happened the day before her dance class recital pictures. She told us that we needed to call and cancel the pictures because of it. And the actual recital. And her birthday party the following week too.
Hailey was baptized. Words cannot express the joy that overwhelmed our hearts in this moment.
it was magical. Her garden tea party:
we also celebrated at Mimi's
and at her birthday dinner..
on April 28th we moved in with our dearest friends. Our short sale was approved. We packed and left our home of 6 years. Lots and lots of tears ensued. Along with much relief. A weight had been lifted like you can't imagine. I cried nearly the entire was to John and Amanda's, but I knew that this is where God was leading us. And we had to follow. No matter what.
Fast forward about 18 minutes as I pull into the driveway of their house. I received a call on the way there from our realator saying that our buyers had backed out. [this had happened before, mind you. Almost the same scenario - sell, move out, buyer backs out. - when we "sold" this house 3 1/2 years prior.] We continued with moving in, with the plan to relist it and hope that our buyer's job situation worked out and they would be able to buy it in the long run.
April 29th. I realize something. A big something. Something that I missed. In all the hustle and bustle, I didn't keep track. um....
My soul is FLOODED with so many different emotions. Emotions I can't even bring to words. I only know them deep in my heart. Down in my soul. A cocktail of emotions. shaken, not stirred. Emotions of fear, excitement, joy, anxiety, love, grace, with a coated rim of hope.
like I said. God wanted us to embrace change. and be in a place of complete dependance on Him. All security stripped away. I never felt so naked.
we picked peaches at the peach festival..
oh. that's all the pictures I really have for May. I'm not sure if it was that we had just moved, or with everything I just felt so overwhelmed with life. Maybe a combination. But its result was apparently that I didn't pick up a camera for personal use for most of May. And a lot of June. But to sum it up, I ended up being diagnosed with SEVERE reflux that landed me in the ER twice in May. We finished cleaning out our condo and officially sold it to the original buyers (thank you GOD!). Jon started photographing concerts. We announced that I was pregnant. The girls said teary goodbyes to school friends and teachers as they had their last day in that district. I felt emotions I had never felt before. And felt such pain that I couldn't relate to just how my kids were feeling (as I never moved until I moved in with Jon when we married). But Jon could. And he helped them through it. And through being the new kid. But that's part of August. ;)
Okay. I'll be back tomorrow or Monday with the rest of the year. There ended up being FAR more than I had anticipated to "wrap up" our year. But its something that I want to record.
Happy New Year! Cheers to you, 2011!
I just finished and packaged a custom AP collective order for a bride...she asked me to make a clutch for each of her bridesmaids -- how lovely is that idea?!? creams and pinks. divine.
just wanted to share these little lovelies with you....
this one has stolen my heart. I wish I could keep her.
Happy Day, friends...have a blessed Good Friday.
picnic lunch of cheese & crackers and applesauce.
Xander's Optimis Prime voice.
taking it all in.
witnessing creation cry out His praises.
realizing [again] that I've got everything I need right here and everything I need is enough.