Friday, December 26, 2008

More Meradith

Here she was a few hours before discharge from the hospital. I am still trying to figure out my new camera lens, so the photos weren't exactly what I was hoping for, but still rather cute.

Lots of people have asked how Brian is doing with his new little sister. A picture is worth a thousand words...

This was watching a movie in our hotel room.

Here I was messing with my camera settings and got a fun photo of her...

I will do my best to keep the pictures coming.

We are doing well and settling in. We were able to get home on Christmas eve so we were home for Christmas. What a blessing!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Meradith (we will call her Mera for short)

She was born 12-20 at 4:11 healthy and happy.

She's got a set of lungs!

We made it for the delivery. What a wonderful experience!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Our Tree

I love Christmas tree ornaments. There is something very intimate about how you decorate your tree. It is like a personal history of a family.

This one is probably the oldest one on our tree. It was my husband's when he was a small boy.

Here is the one we were given as a gift the first year of our marriage. It was one of only a few ornaments on a very small tree that year.

This one marked our first Christmas in Wilmore, Kentucky. Some of the best and hardest years of our marriage.

The best part of our tree is the ornaments that come with being parents. Those handmade ones bring back the best memories.

This one Brian made last year with lots of help from his Sunday School teacher.

Of all the ornaments on the tree, this one is the most pride producing. Brian did this all by himself the other day. He was so proud he was able to accomplish this. He wanted to quit half way through, but he persevered. It's not that it was hard to do, but it was tedious for a 5 year old. His personality falls much more toward the sanguine and he has a hard time pushing through and getting something done. I love watching the growth and maturity. So this is my favorite ornament.

There are a few ornaments that I love just because they are beautiful.

What is on your tree?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas...

This is what has been happening here for the last several days...

I just got a new lens for my camera. I wanted a good portrait lens, so I got a 50mm/1.8. I'm not quite used to it yet. So the snow pictures didn't turn out quite like I wanted them to.

My son is loving it. I kinda miss him having school. I'm having a terrible time getting things done with him home. Good thing I already love him so much.

I would have taken more shots, but I was cold and didn't have shoes on. This is as far out as I got. It's our still not shoveled front porch.

I have been keeping myself busy getting ready for our new baby.

Yes! We are getting a baby girl. She is due 1-5-09, but will probably arrive early. The best part, okay the best is that we are actually getting a daughter, but the second best part is that we get to go to Arizona in the middle of winter to get her. You can't beat that.

As with any adoption it isn't certain until the judge signs that she is ours, but it's looking pretty good. Keep checking back because I'll post pictures here as soon as I can.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Commercial Christmas

Last year we cut the cord on Christmas gifts. We don't exchange gifts. It's wonderful and freeing. In fact, I had time to have my grandma visit for a few days this last weekend and it was relaxed and enjoyable because I wasn't thinking of all the things I had to get done. We have family coming in this next weekend too. I don't feel the usual stress of getting everything done - shopping, baking, etc.

Of course, we decorate and celebrate. There are Christmas cookies and gingerbread houses. But it is all done to spend time together.

Christmas means more now.

I saw this video on my friend's blog, loved it and wanted to share it here.

Feel free to visit our personal favorite ministry and donate.
World Vision

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tea and Sympathy

I am sitting in front of a warm fire with a cup of hot tea during the first snow of the season.

Sounds cozy.

Not so much.

Last Thursday afternoon we got "the call". Again.

"Birth mom... due in 3 weeks... baby girl... she wants to talk to us on Saturday afternoon."

Great! We forwarded our home phone to our cell (since we were going to be out). We watched the cell phone like a pot waiting to boil. And you know about a watched pot...

No. Call.


And the adoption roller coaster crests and starts down again.

Please pull up a cozy chair. Pour yourself a mug of hot tea and join me for some tea and sympathy.

(If I were in a song, I'd be cryin' in my beer).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Photos

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to photograph the family of one of Brian's best friends.

How cute are they?!

Brooke (the mom) brought along this great black and white chair...

She brought along her mom too.

Toward the end of the shoot the kids were starting to be done. Very done. But I squeezed out one last shot. I think it turned out quite adorable.

Thanks for allowing me to capture your family! What a privilege.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

This last weekend we went to pick out our Christmas tree. My husband decided it was time we cut our own. So, we braved the wild went to our local u cut tree lot in search for the perfect tree to share our holiday season.

Brian wanted this one. And was rather disappointed when we told him it was a little on the big side to fit into our living room . Bummer.

*he so wanted to wear that hat.

But, then we found the perfect tree. A Fraser fir.

Brian offered encouragement....

and advice...

We My husband finally got it cut and hauled back.

The place where we went to get our tree has a totally cute set up. They have a little train that circles the tree farm (8 acres or so), you cut your tree then wait for the train. They put your tree on the back "train car" and you get to ride up to the front of the farm. Lots of fun for a 5 year old.

Here is a good shot of my two boys at the train station...

And one I got of Brian. He is growing up. *sniffle, sniffle*

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What I have learned...

Over the last few weeks several of my friends have graciously allowed me to take some photos of them and/or their family. It has been an invaluable experience for me and I have learned a lot. Here are some things I have learned...

#1 and #2...
Check my white balance. It's more important than I thought.

Also, my camera tends to over expose on aperture priority mode. I guess it's time for me to move to all manual settings.

Some creative poses work, others do not...

Maybe for a wedding party, but not for kids. And, I have to be really careful with my background and depth of field with this pose.

When they say "Don't take maternity shots straight on", they mean it.

When I did my research for the maternity shoot, I read over and over - "Take maternity shots from any angle except straight on". What did I do? Yep, took a shot from straight on.

This shot totally didn't work - lesson learned (and Jen, you didn't look like this - I promise!) .

I learned two lessons here as well. #1 notice the details, and because of #1, #2 a little photo editing is okay.

Here is the shot as it was taken...

It's sweet, but not perfect. Here I "removed" the extra fabric on the left and gave it a bit of a tweak with the lighting.

And finally (though I'm sure there is much more for me yet to learn), shooting next to a waterfall is beautiful, but bring something to get the attention of the kids so they look at me.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Maternity Photography

I'm trying new types of photography to see what I like the best and what I am good at. This morning a friend of mine graciously let me take some maternity photos of her. She is due in a few short weeks. I can't wait to meet the little one soon (her third boy)!

Maternity photography is totally new to me - having never been pregnant myself. I feel totally unprepared to take maternity photos, but I jumped in anyway. That's the only way to learn, right?

I'm not sure that I will specialize in maternity photos, but I feel like I learned quite a bit today.

Thanks Jen!

Jen wanted most of her photos in sepia.

She was so easy to work with.

The baby is due right around Christmas, so naturally ...

She had these plantation blinds that gave a great shadow effect...