Day 19: I Don’t HAVE to… Take Perfect Pictures

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The Hubby got me a DSLR camera a few years ago for Christmas. It is probably the best Christmas present he has ever given me. I use it all the time and am still having fun figuring out how to use it correctly.

But even before the DSLR came along, I had always loved taking pictures. And I adore looking back through the pictures as well.

Pictures capture memories. Pictures capture beauty. Pictures capture important people and special places in our lives.

I love my DSLR, maybe a little too much, but I think the accessibility of fancy, digital cameras to the average person has actually done us a disservice.

Take Perfect Pictures

Remember when we used to use film? We would snap a few pictures, having no idea how they would turn out, but just wanting to preserve a precious moment in time. We were usually just happy to have captured the moment. If the picture turned out well, that was icing on the cake!

Now, I know of people who don’t take pictures, even at their child’s birthday, because they won’t be as good as what so-and-so takes. I also know people who bought the expensive camera because that was what everyone else was doing and then the camera sat in its bag collecting dust because it was too overwhelming to learn and use.

I understand that some people just aren’t big into taking pictures, and that’s just fine. If you aren’t a picture taker and you don’t treasure memories in that way, I’m not talking to you! But holding back from snapping that shot because you aren’t a “good photographer” is just wrong.

You don’t HAVE to be a professional photographer to capture priceless memories. You don’t HAVE to have a DSLR to get the “perfect picture.” To me, the “perfect picture” has more to do with the moment that will be remembered for years to come than it does with the ISO or aperture or any of those technical terms.

Snap a pic with your smartphone. Get a nice little point-and-shoot to throw in your purse or diaper bag {We LOVE our little Canon Elph 300 HS!}. Just capture that memory and don’t let yourself get so obsessed with the “perfect shot” that you ruin the special moment!

Are you a picture person like me?

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I Love My People {Family Pictures 2013}

Sunday was our night to take family pictures for 2013. We got all fixed up, found an old brick wall in an old part of town just before sunset, and I’m in love with the results…

Double J {15 months}

Jj Looking Away Jj Looking Down Jj Smirk

Little J {5 years}

j 5j Big Grinj Laughing 5

Big J {7 years}

J ChinJ 7J Close Up

J Tickling Jj

Boys Sitting Blog

Cheek Kiss Blog

Family Standing Blog Family Tickle Blog

Family Standing 2 Blog

I love my people.


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Capture Ordinary Days

My baby will only be a baby for one more week. He turns one next Thursday.

I can’t stand it. Time moves too fast and I will never, ever get these days back. Cliches, but oh so true.

But I can take pictures. I can pull out the camera at times other than birthdays and milestones and programs and just capture ordinary days. Because the ordinary days are probably what I will want to remember the most some day.

Ordinary days like this one…

Ordinary Days1Ordinary Days2Ordinary Days3Ordinary Days4Ordinary Days5Ordinary Days6Ordinary Days7Ordinary Days8Ordinary Days9Ordinary Days10Ordinary Days11Ordinary Days12Ordinary Days13Ordinary Days14Ordinary Days15Ordinary Days16

I will forever remember this {pre-haircut} day as a day we laughed, discovered our heads, wrestled, played ball, and enjoyed another ordinary day.

What do you want to remember about your ordinary days?

Oh, and my child hanging upside down in the last picture reminded me…

Don’t forget to join Amanda and myself as we start the Upside Down Prayers for Parents book club on Facebook tomorrow! If you haven’t bought your book yet, get the ebook and you won’t have to wait for it to arrive at your house!

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31 Days: Picture This… {And 31 Days of Thanks!}

There is one simple activity that has brought me to a place of true gratitude for my family more than almost anything else:

Looking through pictures.

I find this to be especially true after a family trip, a big birthday party, or even a field trip with the kiddos. These kind of activities, while fun, often leave me feeling drained. But that weariness seems to diminish when I look at images I have captured of our family in action!

Whether I’m browsing through them myself or with The Hubby or kids, I am flooded with gratitude at the images on my screen and here’s why…

1. Pictures allow me step back and really see my children outside of my daily mothering duties.

In a picture, I catch personality glimpses I may have missed while trying to keep an eye all three kiddos. I notice little things that are hard to catch in the day-to-day, like the way the older two stick out their tongue when working hard on something or the expressions on their faces as they discuss something out of my earshot.

2. Pictures emphasize the positive in my children.

Like how stinking cute they are. How can I not smile when I look at those faces and the precious – or precarious – things they are doing?!

3. Pictures serve as “stones.”

Just as God commanded Joshua and the Israelites to set up stones to remember what He had done for them {Joshua 4}, pictures are “stones” or milestone-markers for me. I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of thanksgiving as I look through photos of birthdays and gatherings and “firsts” and backyard fun and so on. Memories pour back into my mind when I flip through pictures, both old and new, and my internal “blessings meter” goes through the roof!

Photography leads me to a place where I am more grateful for my husband, children, and family as a whole.

And for that form of strengthening of my family, I am even more thankful.


Family Tie #25: Take lots of pictures and look at them more often! You don’t need a fancy camera – use whatever you have and snap away! And as you look back through them, thank God for each blessing in those moments frozen in time!


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31 Days of ThanksThis post is also a part of 31 Days of Thanks, a wonderful month-long blogger celebration of gratitude organized by Meg from Homeschoolin Mama! So blessed to be included in this fun!

As part of the festivities, there are a TON of prizes being given away! Here’s a look at this week’s prize package:

Amazing, right?! And there are new prizes every week – a $1450 value total! Talk about celebrating Thanksgiving the right way!

Just use Rafflecopter below to enter and make sure to follow this great series all the way through for new prizes every week!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Swinging in the Sun

After the craziness of life these past two weeks {I’ll fill you in tomorrow!}, it was so lovely to just relax and watch the boys do a little swinging in the sun…

Sunshine, swings, and smiles – a perfect combination!

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A Boy and His Ball

This boy…

Just give him a ball and a fence to bounce it off and he’s good to go…

The simple joys of having boys.

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I Believe I Can Fly

These pictures are all the proof you need that I live in a house of adventure-seeking males…

Throwing the boys in the air made The Hubby feel left out, so he had to get some air time himself…

But jumping over just one boy was too easy…

And the boys had to try people-jumping for themselves…

This is my life.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. If you can’t join ’em, take pictures of ’em doing crazy things every chance you get!

Ah, boys…


I’m linking up to Let’s Hear It For the Boys over at The MOB Society today! If you’re a boy mom, join in the link-up fun!


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Cabin Fever

The weather this winter has definitely NOT been the cause of too much cabin fever, but with two active boys, even a few days of cold temps can stir up some crazy energy that just needs to be let out!

Thank goodness for a day or two of nice, play outside kind of weather this week to let that energy out…

They asked for the hula hoops when we got back from our walk, and Little J said…

“Look Mommy, I’m Saturn!”

Just have to love that!

Happy weekend to all!


Today’s post was inspired by the P52 theme for the week, Cabin Fever, over at Life with My 3 Boybarians! Check out my photo selection for the week on my Flickr page!

project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge

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True Love

A few weeks ago, I took off my earrings and set them on the arm of the couch until I was going to get up and put them away.

Not smart.

One of the earrings ended up deep in the couch and nothing we did could retrieve it.

I was heartbroken.

They weren’t real diamonds or anything, but these were the studs I wore at our wedding AND when I birthed both of the boys. Priceless.

This past weekend, the hubby tried a last ditch effort to rescue the lost earring – this involved disassembling part of the couch and almost ripping it apart.

THAT, my friends, is true love. I hadn’t said much about the earring recently, but I could tell he had been thinking about how I cried that night when the earring was lost and how mad I was at myself.

I woke up Valentine’s Day morning to a pile of cards at my place on the table, along with these…

Almost exactly like what I lost, but nicer and more expensive, I’m sure! Again, not real diamonds, just like the previous ones were not, but PERFECT for what I wanted and was missing!

That got me crying right away and then I saw another box with these inside…

And THESE are real. Oh my. I’m not usually big on “fancy” jewelry, but these just melted my heart immediately. And I cried a bunch more.

I have a GOOD man. And it is DEFINITELY the thought that counts.

True love, I tell you.


This post was inspired by my gem of a husband and the topic of the week for P52 over at Life with My Three Boybarians!

I post my P52 photos on my Flickr page – you can check out weeks one through seven over there!


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January Hopscotch

No, there is not anything special about January Hopscotch – just the fact that we were actually playing hopscotch in January!

The groundhog will be making his “prediction” today, but our forecast says snow is supposed to be coming this weekend, so we will have fun in the sun while can!

And those cute little tongues sticking out when they are concentrating so hard? Love.

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