Tag Archives: pictures

Currently: Christmas Time!

Y’ALL. I started this post in plenty of time to get it ready for posting last Wednesday, but then I FORGOT. SO! Here’s my Currently post for December, a little later than it should be. Oops.

December is here! Advent is here! And I am literally the happiest person. It’s my favorite time of year. Everything is extra beautiful, covered in greenery and frost, anticipation runs through our veins, and gift-giving abounds. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. So, since it’s the first Wednesday of the month, I’m linking up with Anne in Residence and Catherine of A Short Blonde for December’s Currently party.

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Lighting || both of our Christmas trees, and our front porch columns! If I had my way, I’d probably cover everything in lights because I love them so much. But Hubby thankfully anchors me down a little bit. Here are our trees and front porch!

Spending || a little less than usual on Christmas presents, I think. I’ve just slowed down a little on how much I’m doing. I know my kids will get plenty from their grandparents, too, and Hubby and I aren’t getting anything else for each other because we just splurged on a Vitamix and a couple of pieces of furniture. I don’t want Christmas to feel “small” for anyone, presents-wise, but I doubt that will be a problem!

Choosing || which of our family photos we’re turning into canvases for our own home, and which we’re giving to our parents! (Did I just ruin their surprise?) It’s the biggest decision to choose a favorite photo from our recent session with Urban Bloom Photography when they were ALL.SO.GOOD. Here’s a little preview…

Sending || Christmas cards! I just finished addressing them and put them in the mail yesterday! It’s one of my favorite things to do at Christmas, and I absolutely LOVE getting them in the mail! I ordered a few less than last year because I always have ten or so left over and now I’m afraid I’m going to have to order a few more! YIKES.

Singing || ALL of the Christmas music. I love Christmas music, specifically Christmas hymns and songs about Jesus (because I’m a worship leader, duh) and also just regular songs about snow and Santa and the whole deal. This year, EK is remembering lyrics and learning Christmas songs at school so it’s extra fun to sing with her!

Leave a comment and tell me what you’re up to Currently!

Currently: Christmas Edition and Photo Explosion!

Well, it’s time for a little Christmas update! We had so much fun hosting my family here for a few days, eating a TON of food (can you say 8lbs of prime rib?) and sweets, and giving and getting copious amounts of presents. Hubby and I spent most of Christmas Eve leading worship at three services at our church, thankful that our kids could enjoy the day with family, even if it was without us. Here is a little more about our Christmas, and what we are currently doing…

Smelling || my new candles from my brother and his girlfriend. They. Are. Magical. And no pun intended! 

Playing || dress up! In addition to a few new games and building-type toys, the big kids got several new dress up outfits, and they’ve been hamming it up big time. They both love playing dress up and pretending, so between my mom and me, we spoiled them with some new outfits. 

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Eating || this hunk of prime rib. It was so amazing I forgot to take a picture of it cooked before we ate it all! 

Enjoying || several days with family we don’t see as often. It might’ve felt chaotic with so many people and so much stuff, but I totally enjoyed it.

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Waiting || to take down our decorations and lights until New Years. I really enjoy the way my house looks when it’s this time of year, so I am rarely in a hurry to take them down.

Anticipating || seeing Moana later this week! I’m excited to go to the theatre again, and I’m hoping the kids all do as well this time as they did when we saw Finding Dory a few months ago. Snacks seems to be the best thing for maximizing their attention span.

Well, that’s pretty much it for what we’ve been up to. Here are a few more pictures that don’t really fit anywhere, but are super cute. I sure love my people.

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How to Achieve the Perfect Family Photo

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus.

As you start thinking ahead to the holidays, you might be pondering ways to get the perfect family photograph. Whether you want to frame it as a gift for Grandma, or plaster it on a card to send to 500 of your closest friends, getting a perfect photo of your entire family is likely on your to-do list. If you’re like me, and you have young children, I have a few easy tips to make the process easier, and ensure a valuable, timeless product at the end of your session. You don’t want your Christmas card to look like mine did last year (see #2 – actually included on last year’s Christmas card). Here are my suggestions as you plan your endeavor to get the “perfect family photo”:

1. Hire a photographer. Like your mom, brother, or an unsuspecting stranger with an iPhone. This will ensure that the person taking the picture has the skills and equipment necessary to catch the perfect moment of a genuine group smile. (Or if you’re on a budget, invest in a selfie stick.)IMG_2199.jpg

2. Dress your brood well. First, make sure you give your kids coordinating names that will result in the same monogram for each child. Then, choose a neutral color for everyone to wear, and make sure each shirt is monogrammed in a coordinating “pop” color. It’s also important to wear hair bows, shoes, jewelry, belts, and scarves that match the monogram’s accent color. Finally, make sure you don’t eat in the outfit in which you plan to photograph. You wouldn’t want that marinara stain to ruin your Christmas card!img_0033

3. Strike a pose. Make sure each subject in the photo is being still, and smiling with just the right amount of teeth showing. Hands folded in laps and slight head tilts are recommended. Never allow movement while the pictures are being taken.DSC_0232.jpg

4. Keep your eyes open. To be certain that none of your photos include a blinking subject, make sure your family knows that blinking is not allowed. Pass the eyedrops around before you get started, so that there will be no need to blink to prevent dryness of the eye. (Note: this also prevents the eyes half-closed look, as though the subject is about to sneeze.)DSC_0269.jpg

5. Work the natural light. Morning and evening are the best times to take photos outside. Skip breakfast or dinner to ensure that the lighting is perfect. Tell those cranky, hungry children if they’d just smile, you could all go eat… and maybe have some of your own natural light.DSC_0186.jpg

6. Choose a few props. Pumpkins are always a nice choice for the fall, and beaches, snow, mountains, or lakes could be nice choices for other times of year, too! Be sure to bring things like these with you for the session.DSC_0026.jpg

7. Let your family be themselves. As long as it’s their happy, cute, lovey-dovey selves.DSC_0548.jpg

I hope that these simple tips help you get the perfect framer of your family!

Currently

Happy Monday! This week I’m linking up with Becky at Choose Happy and our other friends to bring you another Currently! I hope you’ll comment or link up with us and let us know what you’re up to right now!IMG_0614

Recovering || from the stomach bug. I guess it’s going around, and I had it on Saturday. I was supposed to be going to a wedding that night and was in no shape to do so! All things considered, it could’ve been much worse, but who likes the stomach bug anyway? Basically, I drank a lot of ginger ale.

Celebrating || St. Patrick’s Day! Normally we have a big weekend event we go to, where Hubby’s Irish band plays, but it didn’t happen this year. So we have a small thing we are doing on Thursday after I get the kids from school. I’m excited to keep celebrating, even if it isn’t the normal thing. Good news: Hubby is still playing!

This is when we were at the pub a couple of weeks ago… D was already wearing his swag!

Loving || having the windows open! Specifically, this window in my bedroom. The tree outside is covered in blooms! I know it’s a short-lived thing, but I love it. And I’m not allergic to it, so it’s even better!

  
Watching || my boys interact. They’re so funny, and they love each other. J can’t wait for D to be a little more rough and tumble… I have to pull him off of D a lot, haha. But D tries to follow him around, and it’s adorable.  And just this morning, D tried to pull up on the couch and it almost worked – so it won’t be long!

D is now a professional crawler.

Photographing || meals. EK keeps asking me to take a picture while she’s eating, or pictures of the boys taking bites, so I have a camera roll full of eating. Ha!




 

This one is my favorite.

This Currently reminds me that it’s often possible to take immense pleasure in simple things, like brother love and only one person in your family getting the stomach bug. What a wonderful life I am blessed with, and what a generous God has provided and entrusted this family to me!

We’ve Got a Good Life

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!  

Sometimes, it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day grind, where you’re cleaning something about 60% of the day, and preventing disaster the other 40%. It’s easy to say “no” more than you say “yes”, to forget what your hair looks like when it’s styled properly, and to pay more attention to how many bananas you have left than what your toddler is jabbering on about. But recently, I got a glimpse into our lives over the past few years a whole – the highlights – and I was more than pleased. 

Recently, Shutterfly ran a promotion through their app to order 250 free prints straight from Instagram, in the 4×4 square size. I’ve never uploaded any of my Instagram photos to my Shutterfly account, and since they were free prints, I decided to do it. (Nevermind that shipping ended up being enough to cover the cost of the prints, but I digress.) I didn’t pay much attention to which ones I chose, as long as they had people in them, preferably my kids, and weren’t all pictures of random food I’d eaten. Once I had chosen 250, I ordered them and basically forgot all about them until they arrived.

Once they got to my house, I decided I’d take down my Christmas cards (yes, I know that it’s February), displayed in the kitchen on the cabinets, and replace them with the pictures. I always have trouble taking down the cards, because the kitchen looks bare without them, so this seemed the perfect compromise. I knew I didn’t have room for 250, so I started to sift through them. I learned a few things:

  1. I have had Instagram basically since I had kids. There are pictures of all three of my beautiful babies, from the first moments of their lives.
  2. I use Instagram a lot. There are pictures of literally everything. Check ups at the doctor, first steps, weird faces, play dates, and sweet sleeping angels are all documented here in this one place.
  3. We have incredible family and friends. There were lots of pictures of my kids loving on my friends, grandparents smooching the kids and playing in the floor, and parties galore for every occasion, and n occasion at all.
  4. My kids have grown very quickly. I know this is normal, and that it will likely always be this way, but I can’t get over how a few short months ago, J’s face was mostly baby fat, D still slept 90% of the time (oh, how I miss that some days!) and EK was a mere fraction of herself in conversation and craziness. 

These photos, these sweet faces, happy times and hilarious memories, were the perfect reminder that what matter most isn’t the grind. It isn’t whether or not I forgot to replenish the yogurt supply, or if we watched the whole second season of Sofia the First in less than a week. It’s about the snuggles in the mornings, the prayers before bed, the silly somethings whispered in my ear, and the health (physical, emotional, and spiritual, even) of our children as we lead them through this life. The highlights aren’t necessarily an “accurate” representation of life as a whole, but they sure are the parts worth remembering. We’ve got a good life. 

Currently 

Hey, y’all! I might be a day late on joining my usual Currently link up, but better late than never, right? I’m joining Becky at Choose Happy and the other fabulous bloggers to bring you this week’s Currently. Join us to let us know what’s going on with you currently!

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Enjoying || some sweet moments between all the siblings. EK and j have been getting along a little better (I’m scared to type that for fear it’ll make it stop) and D has been getting some incredibly sweet snuggles from both of them. Lots of hugging and kissing around here, y’all.

  
  
Hoping || to get a few specific pictures this week. As of right now, the only picture of the five of us is yesterday’s epic selfie (below), and I’ve only got one (okay) picture of the three kids. Part of me is saying, “Eh, there’s a lifetime to get those pictures.” But the rest of me wants at least one while D is still tiny! Here’s hoping I get a better one than this:

 Trying || to stick to a schedule. Having a newborn is tough when they’re supposed to eat every two hours. Try keeping up with that while also making sure the other two are entertained and have what they need, as well as pumping a couple of extra times a day to keep my supply up? Bordering on impossible. To heck with laundry and dishes. Yikes.

Thankful for || an incredible husband who’s been taking a late-night shift with D to let me get some sleep early on in the night. He’s a rockstar, y’all.

Reading || the last bit of the Maze Runner series. I’m in the book that is actually a prequel to the rest of the books… so I’m getting that back story I was craving the whole time! When I finish this, I’ll be working on Loving the Little Years  and starting something else to be my “pleasure reading”. Do you have any suggestions for me?

Well, that’s all for now. Please comment and let me know what you’re up to!