Floral arrangement by Chelsea Tredway
Floral arrangement by Chelsea Tredway
Staying at home most of the day on a bee-u-tiful Saturday afternoon was unacceptable. I got the itch to go out and accidentally managed to drop in the camera store a minute before closing time. I’ll save that outing for sometime next week. Livia and I also ran into my friend Jill, her mom and her three little ones—a fun, unexpected surprise! After that we went to Holmes Lake, shared some dinner and played. Liv’s version of playing involved lots and lots of swinging. My child could swing for hours it seems. My version of playing involved my new little point-and-shoot. We’re still in that getting-to-know-you phase, but I feel like we’ll be a fine match.
So far I’ve discovered the Canon Powershot SX210 IS is adorable and teeny, has a lovely wide angle that comes in handy for landscape shots and it will satisfy my macro desires until I can afford a lens for my dSLRs. I can set it to Manual and then manipulate aperture and shutter speeds to my liking. There are a lot of funny little settings—kids and pets? faux tilt-shift? fireworks anyone?—and I plan to monkey with those as well. This little guy will never replace the incredible precision and clarity of my Nikon D2x, but that’s not what I’m asking it to do. I want it to submit to my photographic will and to sit nicely in my bag when I travel. I think it’ll suit me just fine.
I posted on Facebook yesterday that Livia got a gorgeous floral arrangement delivered to her at school. I explained to her 2nd grade teacher that my daughter is blessed to have a talented aunt as a florist!
Here are a few more images of the bouquet—including the green flower that is the coolest and most interesting carnation I’ve ever seen. Note this shot is taken looking down into the arrangement.
Something else to note is that I snapped the photos with a new-to-me camera: a Canon Powershot SX210 IS. Purchased from a friend, the price point was just right while the features I desired were there (namely the ability to shoot in Manual mode). I’ve long wanted a camera to toss in my purse, something I could easily travel with. My professional workhorse—the Nikon D2x—is a giant among cameras and I protect him with my life. No purse-traveling for him. ;)
Our girl is nine years old today. Don’t even ask me how that happened! One day she was slurping down bottles and taking two naps a day and now she’s nine years old. We love this kid to the moon and back!
Thanks to Renae for snapping these images.
Livia wanted to buy them for me.
I wanted to buy them for me, too.
It was a win-win situation.
Well-played, Target roses. You have filled my kitchen with beauty this week.
Livia officially turns nine on Tuesday, but we began the grand celebrations of All Things Liv today. It was hilarious to see her dressed in my robe and a birthday tiara, happily cleaning off the spatulas and cake beaters. (I’ll admit, it’s 5:00 in the evening and I, too, am sitting in that very robe because it’s so chilly out.) The cake was a work of art itself. It’s not terribly hard to make a rainbow cake, but not terribly easy either. It got admired properly though and, even more importantly, Livia declared the cake “her dream come true.” Doesn’t get better than that for a mom! We love our Liv incredibly much and are so proud of who God has made her to be. We pray for her heart to belong to him and for her to grow as a woman of courage and great character.
Happy 9th birthday, Toots! We sure love you.
Last fall, just before the Wittmanns welcomed their super cute and precious little foster son, I shot their family portraits. I always have a great time with the Wittmanns because they are fun and sassy and always keep me entertained. I’m pretty much breathless by the end of our time together after chasing down four kiddos!
I’ve said this before—and truly, I’m not just selling myself here—family portraits are almost invaluable. You will use and appreciate your images for years to come, and you will always look back and cherish the sweet times you had together. It is my philosophy to capture kids being kids. I will not force or coerce your children to smile and pose and be happy, and this informs the way we’ll go about our time together. I also have limited shooting hours this year as we’re taking in foster children, so really, if you want to hire me, message me soon and let’s get something on the 2013 calendar.
If you’ve ever cried in public, then you know how embarrassing it can be to feel vulnerable. I went through a season where I cried at what seemed like every church activity I went to. I’d walk through the doors into a group of women and just start crying about how hard things were. (Hint: my daughter was three at the time.)
It’s tempting to walk away from these moments with a deep sinking feeling in your gut. Oh man, did I really say all that? Why did I cry in front of my friends? And so on and so forth. Or maybe it’s not something you do in person but you feel this way after a particularly personal email or Facebook exchange.
I want to say, though, that we shouldn’t be ashamed of being human. We shouldn’t feel embarrassed for being real or for needing to cry or for sharing our hearts with our friends. We don’t need to bear the weight of perfection and strength. Because guess what? We know it’s a lie. We all know you aren’t perfect. We all know you don’t have your life all together. Knowing that you are human makes me want to be more human, too.
Maralee asked the other day for people’s perceptions of foster parents. I emailed her privately to say “sexy” because when I think of foster parents that’s the first word that comes to mind. You know… now that Jeremy and I are part of this community. Incredible sexiness aside, we avoided foster care for years because of our misconceptions—misconceptions related to foster parents, foster children and definitely related to our state. Maralee then came up with 10 Ways to Ruin Your Fostering Reputation. I highly encourage reading this post and soaking in the information because it is very very good and contains a lot of wisdom.
As we care for foster kids, I’d like to acknowledge, in an effort towards vulnerability, that there are challenges involved. For me the biggest challenges are emotional ones, like how does someone with a huge desire to adopt care for a child who will be reunified with her parents? The struggle to parent well, as in life with your adopted or biological child, is hard. What I find to be exceedingly important at this stage is a support group. Because going down this path alone might just derail me.
To hold in all the frustrations of foster parenting, to never say a cross word about it, isn’t going to help me out in the long-run. As you can see in Maralee’s list, a foster parent needs to be careful about what is said publicly. But privately? That’s another matter. In a small, supportive and confidential community, one is allowed to vent. Gripe. Complain. Acknowledge the hardships. Share the sadness. Confess the feelings of angst. And at the end of the day, such vulnerability makes everyone a better parent. Being known, exposing one’s soul, and knowing others? This is important. It is valuable. And it is nothing to be ashamed of.
Psssst. Trees? You’re up. It’s your turn to shine. The grass has gotten the message. The tulips have gotten the message. The spotlight is on you now. Dazzle us!
Approximately 95% of my days are spent with words rolling around inside my head. I’ll wake up and be turning phrases over, playing with them until they find their way onto my computer screen or journal. But darn it all, things are a little silent these days. I don’t feel a giant need to write at the moment, which is why the Prairie Box is full of one-pic blog posts.