October 30, 2011

He set my feet upon a rock, making my footsteps firm.


I waited patiently for the LORD;
He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the LORD
and put their trust in Him.

Blessed is the one
who trusts in the LORD,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
Many, LORD my God,
are the wonders You have done,
the things You planned for us.
None can compare with You;
were I to speak and tell of Your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.

Sacrifice and offering You did not desire—
but my ears You have opened—
burnt offerings and sin offerings You did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.
I desire to do Your will, my God;
Your law is within my heart.”

I proclaim Your saving acts in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, LORD,
as You know.
I do not hide Your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of Your faithfulness and Your saving help.
I do not conceal Your love and Your faithfulness
from the great assembly.

Do not withhold Your mercy from me, LORD;
may Your love and faithfulness always protect me.
For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
Be pleased to save me, LORD;
come quickly, LORD, to help me.

May all who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be appalled at their own shame.
But may all who seek You
rejoice and be glad in You;
may those who long for Your saving help always say,
“The LORD is great!”

But as for me, I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
You are my God, do not delay.

Psalm 40


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October 27, 2011

What I Don't Do ...

Though no one really questions whether I "do it all" (especially not Big Dude or my boys - snort!), I thought it would be fun to compile a list of a few of the things I choose not to do, after reading a few fun posts with such lists (notably Tracey's and Michelle's).

I Don't ...

Wear make-up.

Drink alcohol. I've never developed an appreciation for the taste.

Read many non-fiction books. I just prefer fiction.

Eat vegetables. Don't like 'em.

Or meat. Don't like it, either. (except for hamburger & chicken. I know. weird.)

Take the wheel on our Keller Family Roadtrips. Big Dude can't relax while I drive and I have no problem relaxing/reading/sleeping while he drives. So it's all good. ;-)

Dust diligently.

Like change.

Walk the dog regularly.

Watch the "news" or read newspapers or magazines.

Keep my desk tidy. Tho, I wish I did.

Make my bed daily.

Go to the grocery store if I can find what I need at Trader Joe's or Costco.

Go to the movies, either.

Talk a lot.

Move quickly first thing in the morning.

Watch serial tv dramas. (it would drive Big Dude bonkers)

Add those gross flavored "creamers" to my coffee. Just sugar (lots of it) & milk, thankyouverymuch.

Camp. Don't like the bugs or dirt or discomfort.

Wear heels (or get dressed up in general); flip-flops and slippers are more my "flavor".

My lovely friend Leslie took pictures of me and my family last month. I promise to share more once I make my way thru all the awesomeness and pull together a post!

I think "I Don't" lists can probably tell you as much about a person as their "I Do" lists :-). Feel free to tell me some of your "I Don'ts" in the comments :-).

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October 25, 2011

Purely Lifestyle. Orange County Family Photographer.

100% pure, unadulterated, unposed, candid lifestyle. From beginning to end. Not a single contrived shot. Nope, not one. Leslie is an accomplished, gifted photographer; she already has gorgeous, fabulous pictures of her family and really doesn't need me to take those for her. What she and I both specifically wanted to capture with this session was an authentic "slice of life": what now looks like, feels like, tastes like in her family.

And so we set out to capture the snuggles and cuddles.
The imaginary play.
The rough-housing and wrestling and swinging sweet bodies into the air.
The silliness.
The great appreciation for good food.
The reading aloud of books. Many, many books.
The wild, high-energy with accompanying noise.
The laughter.
The mess & clutter that results from a home well-lived in.
The sweet ways they care for and serve each other.
The special touches that make their house & yard into a home & garden.
Lives that reflect their love for Jesus.
And each other.

Here is a day in the life of this very precious family ...
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yummy pizza
orange county family photographer-14orange county family photographer-31orange county family photographer-15orange county family photographer-16orange county family photographer-24bedtime3 raising dragonsTorange county family photographer-17good morningorange county family photographer-18jump2jump3pancakepancake5pancake3doing dishesorange county family photographer-19love lives here

And because there are way too many pictures of this beautiful family "story" to fit in one blog post, a slideshow :-):

Much love to you, my dear friend. Documenting your family story fills my heart with joy.

October 24, 2011

Lovely Lifestyle. Aliso Viejo Family Photographer.

A sneak peek of a very delightful “Slice of Life” session from this weekend…

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I will enthusiastically blog the rest of this beautiful session after I solve all these “b/w-or-color?” editing dilemmas.

October 20, 2011

So, it's not exactly like curling up with a good book ...

new kindle

... but it's not too bad. I held off buying a Kindle forever, until the price dropped below $80. And then when Amazon told me I could load mine up with goodies before it even arrived in my mailbox, I quickly added 30 completely FREE classics to it. Woohoo! I also checked out two novels from my library for instant upload (no trip to the library necessary!). I will say, the library has few books that I'm actually interested in reading, and of those, most have a waitlist. The e-books list for our local library is not exactly expansive yet. Hopefully that will change over time.

So long as I'm talking "books", I may as well catch up my blog list with the books I've read over the last several months (well, the ones I remember, anyway).

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger - loved this. beautifully written.

Young Brave Handsome, also by Leif Enger - didn't enjoy this so much as Peace ...

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton - good, old-fashioned mystery - I much enjoyed the story. told cleverly thru various flash-backs, thru the eyes of different characters. only critique: the different characters didn't really have different voices (ie. without being given the dates & context, I wouldn't be able to delineate the characters simply by their internal dialogues).

Also read The House at Riverton & The Distant Hours also by Kate Morton. Don't much remember them. Don't recall enjoying them as much her first novel.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett - fabulous book. similar to The Forgotten Garden, a fabulous story told thru different character's perspectives. unlike The Forgotten Garden, these voices are all clearly distinct.

How to Train your Dragon - meh. I liked the movie better (now, there's something you rarely, if ever, hear me saying!!). Read aloud with Littlest Dude. I enjoyed Littlest Dude, but not the book.

Through the Lens: The Dust Bowl - a photographic rendering of the plight of the dust bowl victims during the Great Depression. Fascinating. Heart-renching. From a photographic stand-point, inspiring.

Jotham's Jour-ney - at the risk of sounding heretical (because I've heard nothing but high praise of this book) ... I hated it. Wanted to poke my eyeballs out as I was reading. For advent reading, I loved The Jesse Tree, and that's what I will return to this Christmas ...

Island of the World by Michael O'Brien - I have not the words to adequately describe this book, perhaps one of the best I've ever read. It's long. It's intense. It's NOT happy-go-lucky. It covers the full gamut of emotion from ultimate joy to deepest despair and hopelessness. A tremendously good book.

A Severe Mercy (includes 18 letters from C.S. Lewis) by Sheldon Vanauken - meh. not my cuppa. a little too overwrought.

The Man who was Thursday by Chesterton - I really wanted to like this, but I didn't like it in the same way I didn't like Alice in Wonderland, just felt like it was written a little over my head. Sci-fi/fantasy just isn't my language, methinks.

Rebecca - by Daphne du Maurier. well-told modern classic mystery/suspense.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, Sarah's Key, & somesuch chicklit title from Sophie Kinsella - all not favorites.

The Hand that First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell - my first Kindle library upload. It was pimped by Amazon on one of their "Amazon Picks" lists. I enjoyed it and its clever, overlapping stories.

1984 by George Orwell. Can't say I enjoyed this book (it is, afterall, tremendously dark and depressing and hopeless and all), but I did find it very thought-provoking. The Teen liked it and wanted me to read it, so I cast my sci-fi reluctance to the side and gutted thru it (on vacation, nonetheless ... what was I thinking?!?)

Currently reading an old Maeve Binchy, Echoes, (my second library upload)that I haven't read since high school. It's light, fun, non-deep reading.

That's about all I can remember. I know I grabbed several mysteries and the latest Jan Karon (Mitford, Father Tim series) from the library, but none of these must have left much of an impression.

Oh, and how could I forget? I read Les Miserables. Yah, the whole 1400+ pages. Go ahead and throw rotten tomatoes: I didn't like it. I did not like Cosette. I did not like Maurice. My favorite character was the priest in the very beginning of the book and he was long-gone after the first 100 pages (tho his influence remained). I so much prefered the musical (which I haven't seen in 25 years ... maybe it's time to rewatch??).

Please, if you've read something you've loved, let me know in the comments. I'm always on the prowl for a good book!

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October 17, 2011

Meet Allie :: Orange County Baby Photography.

Allie’s due date is this Wednesday. 

In these pictures, she is 12 weeks old. 

Allie is amazing. 

When she was born, she weighed just over 2 pounds and could wear her daddy’s wedding ring as a bracelet.    aliso viejo newborn photographer 2These days, Allie proudly wears a glorious double chin and weighs over 8 pounds!aliso viejo baby photographerorange county newborn photographeraliso viejo newborn photographerorange county baby photographerorange county newborn photographer-4NICU nurses are angels on earth.  orange county newborn photographer-5orange county lifestyle baby photographerorange county newborn photographer-3orange county newborn photographer-6orange county newborn photographer-7

I met Allie and her family through my affiliation with Pictures of Hope, an organization that shares the gift of photography with families who have babies in neonatal care units.  But, I must tell you:  photographing this dear family was not me “giving back”.  Au contraire.  I was the receiver.  Allie is an amazing, wonderful miracle.  It was both my pleasure and honor to meet her and get this very special peek into her precious life.  Please keep her in your prayers this Wednesday as she undergoes her second surgery.  I have no doubts that she is in very good hands.


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