Thursday, March 24, 2011

Madison & Ava... a precious pair

What precious twin girls! A friend of mine is their nanny during the day so when I took photos of her daughter, Eden, for homeschool this year, Madison and Ava tagged along, and I got to snap shots of them as well. They tolerated our little outing so well, especially considering that it was naptime. We walked all over and they were in and out of the stroller half a dozen times- walking on the walk path, sitting on the big wooden swing together, sliding down the playground slide, swinging in the baby swings and playing on the grass looking at flowers. At one point, it was so sweet to watch Madison take a yellow flower that Eden had offered to her and give it to her sister who promptly showed Keri (my friend) her new treasure. They are so precious together! It makes me think back to those sweet years growing up with my sisters, who are still my best friends. I hope it will be the same for Madison and Ava now and forever! Ohhh.... it's enough to make me want another baby boy so my little guy has a special playmate and friend too!

Thank you for sharing the simple beauty of sisterhood with me for a few hours!

Thus begins the sweet flower exchange...

Madison decided to take matters into her own hands and get out of that stroller! Unfortunately... she got stuck about half-way out! Haha! I love capturing a shot that tells a story!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Eden is just too cute!

A close friend of mine from church decided to homeschool her daughter this year, and for months we've been planning to get together so I could take her school photos! Well... we FINALLY made it to the park last week!

The weather was perfect! The day started out very overcast, but by the time we got to the park, the clouds had cleared and the temperature was heavenly! And Eden? Well, she is just too cute for words! She is so smart and says some of the funniest things! She would tell me how she could do this pose or that pose... snap, snap... then suddenly she was hurrying off to check out a dog or bird or pick a flower that she had spotted. She was so excited to show me what she is learning at gymnastics- handstands, splits, walking the balance beam (that morning the white line on the walking trail doubled as a beam), and her dismount stance (which was so adorable... check out the photo below). My friend is also a nanny for two adorable twin girls (look for a blog post with their photos hopefully by Friday), and Eden was so helpful with them (and with James too). She's definitely getting lots of practice for being a big sister one day! !

James and I both had a wonderful time, and I hope I get to do her school photos again in the future! But for now, here's to kindergarten and a curious, energetic little lady named Eden!

Friday, March 18, 2011

A new bedspread... one of life's simple pleasures

Yay! Our new bedspread set is here! Shootsacs, Photoshop, and a new bedspread? Do you have a problem that we need to talk about? Okay, so I promise that I am not a shop-a-holic! If you ask Jim, I am anything but... in fact, I am pretty sure that if you look up Allyson in the thesaurus you'll find that "tightwad"...I mean "thrifty" a pretty accurate synonym. Haha! But I digress...

So, when we moved into our house and purchased our first (and probably last) bedroom suit, we needed a King size bedspread set for the first time ever. I pretty much bought the cheapest decent one I could find at TJ Maxx. It was not a bad bedspread except that it was EXACTLY the length of the matress from top to bottom with nothing to hang down, (Good thing I talked Jim into a sleigh bed!) and the sides were not long enough to cover the sheets on both sides. The colors also did not match the baby blue and brown color scheme that I was going for in our bedroom/bathroom, but hey, when you're house-poor you take what you can get. It has kept us nice and toasty every night for a year and a half, so I'd say it was worth it.

Then two weeks ago, after Jim's mom had been down and heard that I was starting to keep my eyes open for a new bedspread that would actually match our colors, she found a super cute set that matched the blue in our bathroom almost exactly and emailed me the link. It was only 39.99, which is a steal for a King size set, so with Jim's permission I ordered it, and I have to say after a week with it, I am so pleased. The perfectionist within me can't get enough of how the bedroom seems to flow seamlessly into the bathroom now that the color schemes match!

So 10 cool points go to Bed, Bath and Beyond for putting this awesome set on clearance!

Have a Fantastic Friday, everyone!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Singing and Dancing in Heaven!

What a beautiful thing to be a part of a new brother or sister joining God's family!! God has been teaching me so much about the power and importance of prayer through my radical experiment, and today I saw the fruit of it in a tangible way!!

For the past several months God has given me the opportunity to help a hispanic lady and her three kids who are suffering a severe financial hardship. Through gifts of food and money from my brothers and sisters in Christ and some of her friends, God has been providing for their needs! For months I have been praying that God would help her to see that He is the one who is providing for her needs by touching others' hearts to help her. And He has! Over the last couple of weeks, she and I have talked about God's provision, and I know that she sees it in her circumstances even when I don't point it out as such.

The last several weeks, Satan has fought hard to keep her from coming to church by sending various calamities her way on Saturday night (injuries, illness and the death of her oldest son in an accident to name a few). Sunday morning I had a real sense that it was because God was really moving in her life, and Satan was going to do everything in his power to stop it.

But God is greater! So with God leading me and the prayer support of friends and family behind me, I explained how she could become a child of God by accepting Christ's sacrifice for her on the cross and inviting him into her heart to be the Lord of her life. And she did. It was so beautiful to see the difference in her afterwards, and to be able to tell her that as a child of God, she would always be under his protecting wings. Hardships will still come, but now she has a Father to give her the strength and peace to overcome them!

I know this has nothing to do with photography, but like my other Radical Experiment posts it has so much to do with who I am and what really matters here on this earth- making an eternal difference with those we meet, so I wanted to share it with you. PRAISE GOD that I have a new sister in Christ!

God is Good!

Friday, March 11, 2011

My Shootsac and Photoshop CS5 are here!

So... I just got two new, fun photography tools (a Shootsac and Photoshop CS5), and I am sooooooooo excited! I got the money for my Shootsac for Christmas, but I opened the card from my great aunt with the last bit I needed on New Year's Eve about 6 hours AFTER their "After Christmas Sale" ended. :( So I joined their mailing group and have been waiting for the next sale ever since. They ran a 3 day President's Day Sale a few weeks ago, and I was so excited to finally be able to order my Shootsac ! When the UPS man rang the door bell, I felt like a little kid again and picked up the box while singing, "It's here... it's here! My Shootsac is here!" Haha! How mature of me! I haven't had a chance to do a shoot with it, but I hope to soon! If you are like me and always feel like carrying your camera bag around on a shoot (or while shooting photos of your kids) is just to cumbersome, then you've got to check out Shootsac video!

I also recently purchased Photoshop CS5 and am LOVING it!!! What an incredible difference it makes in my photos. The black and whites especially look better, but so do the colors because I have better contrast control and "blemish" editing capabilities. I have played on it for hours every night! Fun, fun! (I'm such a nerd!) This purchase was a small dilemma for me because I had promised myself that other than the Christmas money for my Shootsac, everything else was going towards my new camera... hopefully a Nikon D700. But when I got an email from about a $400 discount, I felt like this was an opportunity that I couldn't miss since I had figured that it would be at least 2-3 years before I could save enough to purchase the camera first and then photoshop (since CS5 is usually $700). And now... well... my camera savings fund is almost down to nada, but I think it was a wise purchase, and I'll just start saving again for the camera. Anyone need photos this month? ;)

Hurray for new photography toys... I mean tools!

Have a Fabulous Friday!


Here's my Shootsac with the new custom cover that I got for Christmas... TOO CUTE!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Little G. is 1 year old!

I just barely made this second post this week... phew! I have been so grateful for the couple of weeks of warm weather that we have been blessed with recently! My husband's mom was in town during one of those weeks, so we took little man out to my favorite park in Duluth to take his 1 year old shots. I can't believe he's already that old! Here are some of my favorites from our little outing! God Bless!