slide show

Monday, January 31, 2011

Falling in love with my 100mm 2.8 macro again

I pulled out my 100mm 2.8 macro for the shots of Sunshine's new goodies and *oh boy*, I just fell back in love with it all over again. The clarity is insane. These were at f2.8, 1/160th, ISO640 and I adjusted the exposure up by 1/3 of a stop. I did set a custom white balance but this part of my house is always kind of red.

Aside from processing to b&w in the 2nd and vintage in the 3rd, the only other editing I did was just cleaning up his face (poor little guy has a bit of eczema from the cold weather). What a really, really pretty lens - love this thing! I have just been re-energized to use it more often!

If patience is a virtue ...

... I seem to be lacking it entirely!
We are on day 34 of waiting for our LOA. Ugh, day 34!!!! With Chinese New Year fast approaching, I am assuming we will continue to wait. In the meantime though, here are some new goodies that have been handmade especially for Sunshine :-)
My mom made these special, one-of-a-kind burp clothes for Sunshine - I have heard that cleft lip/cleft palate babies drool and spit up a lot ... so now we have super-comfy, extra soft, super-sized burp clothes made with lots of love from Nana :-) They are snuggly flannel on the front and soft chenille on the back - can't wait to start using these!
I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again ... my mom totally rocks. I tell her my idea and she just runs with it. She had these cut up and beautifully sewn together in no time and they are really gorgeous! Major kudos to Sunshine's super-talented Nana :-)

Next up is a sensory blanket toy that is going in Sunshine's care package - I so hope that this cool toy makes it's way to her! This was made by Twigs and Tweets Baby Boutique on Etsy. The owl square crinkles, the pink minky dot square squeaks, the tree square jingles and the flowery square has lots of beads with a cool see-through plastic window. And of course, there are lots of fun, different ribbons going around the perimeter!

Last up is Olivia, the adorable Crinkle Owl. This was also made by the same Etsy shop and the whole thing crinkles! We're saving this one for Sunshine to take with us on our trip - I hope she likes it as much as the kids do!
Alright, that's it for now. Sunshine's room is coming along very nicely - I almost shot a few images for this post but decided to wait until it's completely finished before I reveal it :-) Angel's and Lovebug's rooms are just about finished up as well - just a few last minute things to work on and I'll share them as well!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy 8 Months Sunshine!

Happy 8 Months baby girl!
It's a snow day here, I think we got about 10 inches of snow last night on top of a few inches that were already on the ground. I have been busy going through some of Angel's old clothes in preparation for her arrival! Some of us have also been relaxing quite a bit too ... LOL. He kinda likes his new bed :-)
It makes me a little sad to think that Sunshine is halfway across the world while we are here thinking of her, loving her, and busily preparing for her arrival. I guess I'm most sad because she doesn't know how much our family loves her! She is a daily part of our lives and I pray everyday that someone is over there loving on her and making her feel special. I also pray that she continues to grow strong and healthy but really ... I just hope she can feel someone's love before we come to get her.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

You're Beautiful

My grandmother left this piano to me in her will almost 20 years ago when I was 11 years old. It sat at my parents' house all through my childhood and was there until a few weeks ago. My parents had it moved to my house this year as a Christmas gift and I am SO thrilled. Doesn't it look like it was just meant to be here? It still needs the bench to complete it but it's so amazing to finally have it here. It's been tuned, the pitch has been raised, a few keys have been fixed and it's squeaky clean ... now I think it's time I learn to play :-)

On a totally different note, I heard this song on the radio today and thought of Sunshine ... here are some of the lyrics:

"Beautiful" by MercyMe

Days will come when you don't have the strength
And all you hear is you're not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart
They'd see too much

You're beautiful, You're beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful, You're beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You're beautiful

Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You're the one He madly loves
Enough to die!

You're beautiful, You're beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful, You're beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You're beautiful

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Bond

In fairness, these shots were somewhat staged so a few of the expressions are a bit over the top. LOL. I was trying to recreate what I had just seen before I grabbed my camera ... my 2 babies playing and truly enjoying each other. It was totally priceless. Of course, by the time I got back upstairs with my camera, the bonding was kind of over and they were onto the next thing. So I asked them to laugh at each other and this is what I got. LOL. Still cute regardless :-)

I am having so much fun using my camera for personal stuff recently! It's nice to have a little break from work stuff ... it allows me the time to focus on the reason I became a photographer ... my beautiful kiddos :-) Can't wait to see what it's like when we add Sunshine to the mix!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Skating on thin ice :-)

Lovebug got this game for Christmas and this was (sadly) the first time we've played it together! The set-up is a bit involved, but he really loved it! This game is definitely a keeper :-)

Big Boy

Well ... this is it ... Lovebug had his very last night in the crib. I shot these this morning just as he was waking up. They're too "flashy" for my taste but it's the winter and there is no light this early in the morning! This makes me so sad that my "baby" is not so much a baby anymore. Although I have known this for quite some time, I have been resisting it ... ignoring it ... putting it out of my mind. LOL. The only thing that softens this is that I know we have a beautiful baby waiting to use this crib & changing table in just a few short months.

I will probably take some pictures of his room today when I have window light so that I can document all of the small details. Actually, I am sure I will do the same for Angel's room (which is becoming Sunshine's room). Big changes coming up for all of the bedrooms! Angel is moving into the guest room - she is super-jazzed because she will have her OWN bathroom! I just finished painting the room a bright, happy yellow (at her request). The other rooms are keeping their current paint because I like them too much to paint over them and well ... it was a lot of work that I only did 2 years ago. LOL. I picked new bedding for Lovebug's and Sunshine's rooms that will work perfectly with the current paint - yay me!

Alright, onto other things. Lots of stuff to take care of before the new furniture comes on Tuesday!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Moondough Town

Have you played with moondough yet?? If not, you totally should. Just saying.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My top 30 of 2010

I tried really, really, really hard to get this "Top" list down to 20 images but it just wasn't even coming close to happening. I got the list down to 40 and the was somehow able to shave off 10 more ... hence my favorite top 30. These are in order from January - December to kind of "tell the story" of the 2010. So without further adieu ... #1 - one of my absolute favorites of Angel - we were showing off her new hair cut and somehow ended up with one of the best. shots. ever. (especially in sepia).
#2 - another favorite - it was an amazingly warm day for January, so we headed outside to the swing set. I wanted to try out a new b&w action I had bought, so this beautiful image was born :-)
#3 - I don't think anyone will be forgetting THIS blizzard anytime soon.
#4 - just another average day at home - we were playing with moonsand and it was *everywhere* but the kids had a blast.
#5 - my pink boots! These are kind of a symbol for a lot of things and remind me of my Dad, so they had to be included.
#6 - Angel in this gorgeous red velvet dress that my very-talented mom made (seriously - she is VERY talented and I feel so very blessed to have her in my life for more reasons than 1!)
#7 - my new self-portrait at 30, the wrinkles and all :-) I guess 30 isn't so bad ... lots of really amazing blessings this year so it's impossible to complain.
#8 - my little Lovebug doing what he does - he has an obsession with hats AND trains ... so this just fits him perfectly.
#9 - Ok, this one is for my Dad - Lovebug unfortunately isn't a huge fan of this hat (go figure) but it's adorable anyway.
#10 - Lovebug again - my attempt at some Easter portraits didn't yield a ton, but at least I got this beautiful shot of him. Looking back at this, he has grown up a lot over this year!
#11 - another new favorite of Angel. Believe it or not, this was my test shot to make sure my settings were correct before I handed the camera over to my Dad to take our dossier pictures, which leads us to #12!
#12 - the storyboard I made out of our dossier portraits. My Dad took these for us and our really (there aren't words for) awesome neighbor, Suzi, made the kids laugh perfectly. These were the *easiest* family portraits we have ever done!
#13 - this pretty much sums up the first 5-6 months of the year - paper-chasing for our dossier.
#14 - Angel's "Big Sister" charm from Jiayin Designs was her 5th birthday present (added information here - I just got my charm with Sunshine's Chinese name and it's just beautiful).
#15 - Angel's 5-year pictures on the beach. We surprised the kids with a trip the morning we left - we were already packed and ready to go. It was really awesome.
#16 - when I took this, DH and I knew instantly that this shot would become "let's sit down and show your boyfriend all of your childhood photos" bribery material. I still totally think that. LOL. Poor thing took a really nasty fall in at the beach and had a busted lip for about a week!
#17 - My gorgeous son holding a zucchini from our garden this year! It's a shame he won't actually *eat* any of the veggies we grew but at least I got several really cute pictures of him anyway!
#18 - one of my all-time favorites from 2010. DH was smart enough to take the camera from me and shoot a few pictures. I'm so grateful he did that because I just adore this shot.
#19 - bedhead - this sums up my goofy, "funny guy" son.
#20 - this one is also a perfect summary of Angel. When she's home during the day with Lovebug, she is ALWAYS getting into something - she has quite the imagination and Lovebug is happy to oblige her by joining in. I think they were headed off to school or something. I'm not sure why she wanted to "go" to school in the summer though.
#21 - actually GOING to school on the first day of Kindergarten. This breaks my heart but makes me so proud all at the exact same time. Being a parent is so weird sometimes.
#22 - another shot I really love! We were heading out for DH's birthday and I actually had makeup on and looked nice, so I asked my Dad to snap a few of me and DH. So glad he did!
#23 - just another day home with my Lovebug. At first I really didn't like having Angel gone everyday, but it's grown on me. It gives me some 1-on-1 time with just Lovebug ... and even that time is fleeting!
#24 - another attempt at a family picture for the dossier. We were at a local farm and had such a fun time. Of course you wouldn't know it by Angel's face but that's kind of typical for her with family shots so really it's just perfect.
#25 - another new favorite of Angel, gosh she's beautiful! This was a product shot for one of my favorite crochet shops.
#26 - best friends. This is J., our neighbor, and he's pretty much the coolest. We can't wait to see how their friendship grows as they get older.
#27 - the Aquarium! We had such a great day - no school, no work, just us. DH had taken off for our I-800 fingerprinting and we spent the whole day hanging out. It rocked and we need many more days like this.
#28 - the last family picture we needed for our dossier! Finally! Our awesome neighbor, S. was behind the camera again on this one - she really rocks! The kids always smile with her!
#29 - Lovebug's 3rd birthday. I mentioned earlier that my Mom was super-talented. Now you can see another one of her talents - check out this cake!
#30 - probably the best photo to sum up all of 2010. Although we had so much fun as a family and saw so many blessings throughout the year, we were constantly working toward our daughter in China. We didn't know who she was, but we knew God was leading us. Amazingly, we got to "meet" our daughter through pictures right before Christmas this year. And here is our final 2010 portrait - of our beautiful family of 5.
Whew, what a really wonderful year. I mean really wonderful. So, so, so many blessings. So much to be thankful for. So many reasons to praise God.