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Spring!

not quite sure how we went from being in the 40s on saturday {think 2 soccer games, chilled to the bone} to getting up to 80 this afternoon…crazy weather!  BUT, it looks like spring is finally, finally going to make an appearance this week.  for keeps.  YAY!!  i mean, the birds are singing, the buds are bursting, the sun is out later.  makes you feel like you’ve got more of a day, you know?  love it.  things are fresh and new…

i have to say i’m bursting myself!  i’m ready to get out and play.  be outside, soak up the sun, shoot pictures, laugh, sing {no, i won’t sing at your shoot!}…i’m just thankful not to be cold!

AND…another thing that’s making me giddy this week {and the reason you haven’t seen much posting going on lately}…getting a whole new site for photography!  yep, my own little corner of cyberspace…SO super excited!  new blogsite should be up and running by the end of the week…so keep your eyes peeled.  i’ll keep ya posted…it’s gonna be FUN!!

and no worries, i’ll be around lots more.  because with spring weather comes lots of fun pictures!!  so, minus any thunderstorms that frequent this area and the pollen, it’ll be great!  just don’t forget to take your allergy medicine.  oh wait.  that’s me.  OH HAPPY DAY!

Baldwin {Teaser}

so this great “spring” shoot was dampened…not just by rain, but FREEZING rain!  but tripp and amanda were determined {meee too!!}…and having to dress up anyway, it worked out beautifully.  can’t wait for y’all to see the rest.  so, for today, enjoy this taste of our best in uniform…look for more this week!

Thirteen

oh my.  it’s official.  we now have the privilege of having two teenagers in the house!  good thing we like them a whole lot, huh?  :)

i say all the time that time has a way of escaping me.  and as i look at these pictures, it’s true yet again…where did the time go?  i’m so thankful i made noel sit down for a second so i could capture this day and hour…when she doesn’t look like a little girl anymore…

there are so many things that i love about this middle child.  and i think that if i let the seasons and years pass, i would forget to pause and say them aloud.  so i think that’s what birthdays are all about…saying those things…

noel, i love that you bring so much laughter into this house with all your crazy antics…

that you’re super artsy and creative…

that you’ve got such a sensitive heart, but you can certainly beat any boy on any playing field!

i love that you want to make sure we all know how much we’re loved every night! {soooooo much!!} and that you wear your emotions on your sleeve…

that you’re not afraid to express what scares you, but even the fears you have you’re beginning to conquer…

i do love it when you’re playing your guitar and singing your heart out…{just makes me smile!} and that you love on your big ol’ dog…

never, ever forget that you’re beautiful, beautiful…and that jesus made you that way…down to each amazing freckle!

your dad & i both are just so proud of you…and really can’t believe how you’ve grown.  keep loving jesus, noel.  He’s for keeps…

and can i just say that i love that as soon as we were done taking the pictures, you raced up the stairs and changed into sweats and a t-shirt because you wanted to play manhunt?  and it didn’t matter to you that your friends were coming over…they’ve seen you in nice clothes before!  i think that’s why i love you so very much, noel…you’re YOU!  and you really do know who you are…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!🙂

Words that last

i’m a little more reflective than usual this morning…i feel like i’ve got lots on my mind and heart.  mostly about kiddos and just what a treasure they are.  and about words.  how they really impact our children…and anyone else we come into contact with.  i read this amazing post at the beginning of the year and keep returning to it because it has spoken to me so deeply.  although i usually really love to write myself, ann’s words say it so well:

“…It is all the ink and and all the words and and all the voices and and all the stories that stain us and make us who we are.

All the words I have ever spoken, they are making my children who they are. What we speak into others, this is what they become…

Is that why He {Jesus} tells us that His Words are to be our very life? So that His Words permeate us and become the words of life we speak into others? You are what you speak and you are what you hear and we are our words and our tongue is the tail of our heart.

…we have only one account of {Jesus} writing anything at all. It was with his finger too, and it was only this: Jesus “stooped down and wrote on the ground.” (John 8:6-8)

When God came to earth, He didn’t inscribe one word in a tablet of stone. No granite for God. Nor books or blog, not even one letter, signature or song. Jesus wrote no documents — He only scrawled in dirt. He etched His Word in shifting granules of dirt.

Writing in dirt — it seems so — fleeting. How can words in dirt survive anything?

And yet —

All words are really only shaped in dust.

Whether encouraging a child, phoning a hurting friend, publishing a blog post, writing a book — all our words can ever do is just this — inscribe dirt. For isn’t this what lives are made of?

Our words holler across the house, blink up on a screen, scroll across a page, but ultimately they’re written in dust — right onto skin, right onto hearts of sand.

And in the upside down kingdom, it is not published books or shared blogs that endure, but it’s what is housed in the dust that is eternal; it’s the words we’re writing on hearts that last forever…”

*sigh*

the first time i read this i thought ‘why, oh WHY would i be entrusted with children??”  i can sure botch it every day of the week without even trying!  but then…truth really started saturating my soul.  i am loved beyond measure…and so are my kids.  God is good…all the time.  so be encouraged today.  it’s new and fresh…

last summer aubrey took a picture with her cell phone while we were at the beach.  funny to me now, after reading this post from ann, that aubrey’s words were written in the sand.  it’s been my wallpaper on my phone since she took it.  admittedly, there are some days i don’t really see it.  not today. thought i’d share it with you…

you can find ann’s full post at  Heart to Heart with Holleyi know you’ll be truly encouraged there…

praying your days will be full of JOY and lots of {great} words…

Cake Boss…Kosa style!

one of my favorite pictures on the planet right now…and i’m just OH so thankful that tyler doesn’t ever read my blog!!  he may have something to say about me posting this…

so if you know tyler at all, even just a little, you’ve probably never seen him like this.  he’s usually pretty reserved.  that’s probably why i’m so in love with this picture…it captures who he really is.  REALLY.  when it’s just us.  just family.  hanging out.  SO great!!  singing his little heart out because he’s baking!  just because he can…i love that he feels free enough to just belt it out…and make the rest of us sing and laugh, too!!

the story:

well, as it happens, our family stumbled upon the “next great baker” show a few weeks before the end of the season.  we [meaning tyler especially] loved it!  recorded every one so that he could watch them over and over.  ended up finding “cake boss” too.  he and noel have been planning forever that they would open up a restaurant.  noel loves to bake.  always has.  tyler does like to cook, too…but now i’m thinking they’ll just open a bakery together!  who knows?!  anyway…i digress…let’s see…so we watched the show, were inspired by these cool and amazing cakes every week, and when the steelers were headed to the superbowl [yes, the boys are HUGE steelers’ fans], dad said ‘let’s make a STEELERS cake!!’

ummm…wow.  that’s what i thought.  so all of the sudden they had grand plans that involved all kinds of things that i had no idea about.  tyler wanted to use fondant.  oh my.  but he let me know he would have to ‘dirty ice’ the cake first so that the fondant would stick to it.  huh?  ok, seriously.  the kid is only 9.  *sigh* this is gonna take some work…

so…this above picture is tyler on superbowl sunday, still in his jammies, working away at some cake batter.  happy to be alive.  tyler chose vanilla for the bottom cake, and a chocolate cake went on top.  noel got in on the action.  she was in charge of the details on the cake [letters, footballs, jerseys].  we opted out of the fondant.  after all, it was our first cake.  we decided to cook up sugar cookies for all of those things they wanted as decorations on the cake.  ty [not knowing any better!] didn’t roll the dough very thin….the jerseys were HUGE at first.  so, so funny!!  the whole thing was quite comical, actually.  tried to keep my nose out of it, although it was admittedly hard…especially because they NEEDED help!! lol.

you can see the end result.  not bad for a first attempt.  and so, although the steelers didn’t win that day, i’m not so sure that’s what we’ll remember.  think the boys are already planning on making noel a birthday cake very soon.  they said they’re ready for the fondant this time.  oh my…again.

one thing i did decide though.  it’s good that the kids have ty.  because he allows them to believe they are only limited by their own imagination.  they can achieve anything…even if it’s not perfect the first time.  he’s creative and doesn’t mind the mess [cleans it up, too!]  yep, he’s my favorite.

so…you may want to put your order in now.  you may be looking at a couple of the next great bakers!!

Sister Love

helllllooooo blog world!!  good grief, for being the cold, winter months, we sure have been busy…not so busy, though, to miss capturing some sweet moments with the best girls on the planet (although i may be a bit partial!).  sisters as different as night and day…but full of love!  for real.  i love these girls…

my sweet girls braved this chilly winter day with me…they were up for some adventure!  i was just on post, wanting to scope out other places to take pictures, and they were my willing subjects.  good sports, too…love that!  when i look at these pictures, it’s hard to believe how they’re just all grown up now…

my more reserved aubrey is just starting to look at colleges, still loves to read and write, and is just brimming with life possibilities…

while little sister noel is my artsy girl, has a tender heart for all her wild ways, loves her dog and driving around with aubrey…

i’m thankful they’re so different.  lord knows i couldn’t handle two of either one of them!  [and, in their defense, i’m sure they couldn’t handle two of me!! lol!]

crazy to think that in just a few years, they’ll be off on their own adventure…which, in part, will be our adventure.  but really, in lots of ways, it will be theirs alone.  adventures to continue to mold them and shape them beyond our bounds.  so scary and exciting and sad and amazing…all at the same time.  not to mention how THEY will feel!  HA!

so…here’s to SISTER LOVE!  embrace today…it will be gone in just a few moments…

thank you, girls.  you’re truly the best.  i love you beyond measure…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sara Field

introducing SARA!!!

it was SO incredibly fun to meet sara last month…she was in visiting her parents in this area, and we were introduced by a mutual friend [thank you, AMANDA!!].  we got to talking and had lots in common…military, california, photography, jesus…just a ton of stuff.  sooooo…i conned her into a photo shoot.  told her i needed a good picture of me for my blog/fb/etc [funny that being behind the camera doesn’t provide that!!], and i could give her one, too…

ok.  so we were super excited.  totally carefree [once we got her kiddos settled].  just really anticipating having fun with photos with no pressure…which we did.  BUT here’s what we didn’t see coming.  once we got out there, alone in FRONT of the camera, it was hard!  i mean, it was really, really hard.  i’ve taken family photos with my fam, and even pictures with ty, but being all by yourself is a totally different story.  and i don’t think either one of us anticipated that.  we were totally cracking each other up because we felt so…CHEESY!  now, don’t get me wrong.  we had a great, great time just being us.  but it was such good therapy to remind us of what anyone who gets in front of our cameras might feel like.

and so…although these pictures are of sara – GORGEOUS GIRL! – i really feel like they’ll always be a reminder to me of how i felt that day.  and it reminded me that part of my job is to put people at ease.  to capture them as they are, not wanting them to feel awkward or exposed [no pun intended!].  and there are some of you out there that are so darn natural in front of a camera that you have absolutely no idea what i’m talking about.  but as for the rest of you…thank you!  for enduring and trusting and just being you!!

sara, thank YOU for being authentic, adventuresome, and just plain FUN!!  can’t wait til you visit again…

for those who would like to check out sara’s work, her website is http://www.sarafieldphotography.com…

i think it would be weird for me to post pictures of…well, me.  but, for sara’s sake, i’ve posted one below🙂  she took the image, and i just did the editing…

Valentine’s Day Cards!


24 wallets ~ $30

i LOVE valentines!  do you remember decorating tissue boxes for your school desk when you were a kid and then handing out valentine’s day cards?  oh my word, just brings back lots of memories…anyway, just thought these would be fun to post.  found these templates at mcp actions…super fun website for photographers…and they were FREE!  even better!!  i think i really liked these because they were simple but cute!  just what our munchkins are!!  SOOO….i can totally order your valentine’s day cards if you’d like.  of course, everything is totally customizable.  from the color of the cards to the picture (of course!) to the wording.  the pictures don’t have to be in b&w, i just liked them that way…since these are supposed to be valentines, i’ll order them in wallet size…BUT, if you’d like them bigger, we can totally do that, too…just let me know!

ENJOY!

 

Duff Family

get ready to laugh.  i mean laugh. out. LOUD!!!!!!  i can’t remember a time a group of people [just being who they are…hysterical!] has made me laugh so hard.  all while i was  holding a camera.  soooo…suffice it to say, i had lots of opportunity to capture this family…up against the wall!!

so you might recognize one of these ‘dufflings’ (as mama duff so affectionately terms them)…i had the great opportunity to capture josiah’s senior pics & graduation last summer…well, as he was home from college on christmas break, the duffs decided it was high time for a family picture.  after all, all three dufflings were home together…a rarity when you get to their ages…

we ventured out on this chilly winter day…and loved EVERY minute!  seriously, when i said i can’t remember when i laughed more, i meant it!  you might be thinking, who ARE these people??  well, let me introduce you.  they’re the kind of people when i said “ooooo–cool yellow wall!  ok, duffs, up against the wall,” you get them…well, up against the wall!!  or are constantly moving and being ridiculously funny.  or bring with them their “personality” glasses and a sweatband on a photo shoot.  or LOVE to pose for the ‘gangsta’ shot with mom & dad in the background…LOL…on and on…all on their own!  jonathan, the oldest, with josiah and papa duff were just too much!  and bethany, who i would say is usually the introvert, can be really drawn out by those dastardly big brothers.  i just loved seeing the family dynamics…as always!  and it wasn’t just the kiddos…it stemmed from mom & dad!  daryl & claudia, loved seeing your smiles and lots of laughter…of which i’ll never grow tired…

thank you, duffs, for being such real people.  i can’t help but love y’all more and more over the years…crazy family…amazing friends!  loving jesus more than life itself will do that to a person, huh?  keep laughing, smiling, goofing, doing what you do…it’s so infectious!!

Winter Inspiration…

 

i just can’t help loving the things that make every season its own…ahhhh…winter.  the harsh cold is often softened by a fresh blanket of snow…

as we thought we’d finally get enough snow for sledding this time around, it turned into maybe a 1/2 inch in the end.  a gorgeous dusting, just not sledding material.  BUT…i was reminded this morning as i looked out my kitchen window, that even in the middle of a season where it appears that everything is dormant, things bloom.  i really did think “how in the world?…”  in the heart of this painfully cold season, these little red berries stuck out like a sore thumb.  wow.  they were peaking even…waiting on winter so that they could bloom.  i. love. it.  SERIOUSLY!  could this get any better?  what a sweet reminder that in the midst of cold, dark, and even harsh times, when all i really want to do is hibernate, there is redemption.  good grief.  nothing in life is wasted, huh?

sooo…i suppose we’ll still have to wait for our bigger snow for sledding…but, in the meantime, i would encourage you to not just look around you, but to really see the beauty.  see the redemption.  how much we must miss trying to get out of the cold, when so much of the beauty lies there…

 

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