Tuesday, March 20, 2007


it's time for something new!

Check it out! It's a work in progress!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

a new favorite

We took this one today using the remote control on our camera.
It's not perfect but it is perfectly us right now!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Race Against Time

My mom loaned me a book in February. It's called Race Against Time by Stephen Lewis. This book is heart-breaking & gut-wrenching. It's about the AIDS pandemic in Africa. Stephen Lewis is a Canadian who is also the United Nations' Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. I have never felt so sick reading a book before. I have never read a book that has fired me up so much. I have never read a book that has changed me the way this book has. I think everyone should read this book. When I started reading this book, I didn't know what our church was up to. Seriously, this was God, working in me, starting something. This weekend, our church is renting out the Crowfoot Cineplex Odeon - the entire theatre for a campaign called Compassion in Action. We will be listening to a message from U2's Bono and Bill Hybels, the Senior Pastor at Willowcreek Church in Illinois, on this crisis in Africa. Talk about timing. Our church is doing something very cool regarding this afterwards. They've pledged $50,000 towards this crisis, which really is what this situation is. But instead of directly giving this money, they are using it as seed money, giving it to the small groups in our church, who are going to use it to spread the word in creative ways and use the money to make more money, like an investment. I feel humbled to be a part of this, yet also excited. What can we do? What will happen? I can't wait to find out. If you happen to be around this weekend, you are absolutely welcome to come to the theater and hear this message. The word desperately needs to be spread. I will keep you informed as to what happens with this campaign. I am excited to see what God will do.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


it's been so long since I last updated. Helayna's started teething so we've had some rather long nights and fussy days.
We've also been hanging out with friends lately and it's been so good (especially for mommy)! I'll update again soon!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

This is

the face I wake up to every morning (and several times during the night last night)!! Isn't she CUTE?!?!

And today I heard her first laugh! Music to my ears!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

one more...

Here's another one I just finished up! It was done before but I didn't like it so I took it apart and re-did some of it. I'm glad I did - I like it much better now! When I started this layout I thought it would look awesome with blue and purple papers (because of her shirt), well, can you believe I didn't have a single sheet of purple patterned paper in my stash?! Yah, it's definitely not my favorite color but I would have liked just one sheet this time! Oh well. The pink works, I think and I even managed to restrain from going and buying some purple paper, cuz we all know I wouldn't have left the store with just one sheet of paper! LOL! (Inspired by a layout done by Joanna Bolick)
The journaling is about how fast I feel Helayna is growing up already! Sigh... I suppose this will be how I always feel, huh?!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Some layouts

Whew, I'm finally going to post some of the layouts I've been working on. YAY! It's so nice to finally be scrapping again. And I have to say, it sure is fun scrapping a little girl!

A layout about my sister, Melinda and how much I miss her right now and wish she lived closer.
Super easy/quick one about being a family of 3 now.
This is an 8x8 layout for Helayna's album - I used almost a whole package of HS fuzzy rub-ons!
This one's about the day Helayna got her first vaccines - it was a very rough day - journaling is under the patterned paper on the LH side.
Thanks so much for looking!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Just a few things...

Oy! There's so much I want to say, so much I've been putting off writing on my blog. Time is flying by so quickly.

First, I have to say a big thank you for all the compliments I get on my blog. Thank you for reading and caring and sharing with me! Thank you for praising my photos and layouts and my little girl! It means so much to me.

I've had some people ask me about my photos so I thought I'd answer the questions here. I have a Canon Digital Rebel XT. I LOVE this camera so much. It has been one of the best things I ever spent money on. I almost always shoot with my 50 mm f1.4 USM lens. It was a birthday present last year (the lens) and next to the camera, was one of the best gifts I have ever received. I almost never use my flash. I love to shoot with natural light so when I take photos of Helayna I open all the blinds up and place her close to the window (usually at a 45 degree angle to the window) and make sure the sun isn't shining directly on her (which doesn't usually happen because our place is quite dark). My white backdrop is actually 2 towels I purchased at Wal-Mart for super cheap. I like them because they are absorbant (I usually have a change pad under the towel as well though) and they are soft and they were CHEAP! They won't work forever because she'll get too big but for now they do. Plus you can also fold them up and lay her on top (well, not so much any more but I could when she was a newborn). My black backdrop is actually a really thick black curtain that I, once again, bought at Wal-Mart. It's not very wide (I need another one) but it's long so when I did those maternity photos, I actually just tacked it into the ceiling. My set-up is so hilarious. Seriously, it is not fancy at all but it works. I had this AWESOME, HUGE black piece of fabric that I used to use but when we moved, I put it in a black garbage bag (I was pregnant, I wasn't thinking, ok?!) and well, black garbage bags get put out with the rest of the black garbage bags. I'm still choked about that. I paid way too much money for it... Anyway, those are what I use for my backdrops. I used to just throw them on the couch and lay Helayna on the couch but she's getting too big and too squirmy for that now so in the last photos, I put a pillow down on the floor and put the backdrop on top and then laid her down. If we had carpet, I'd just lay it down on the carpet.
A few other tips (and I'm by no means a pro, this is just what I do - I am always open for suggestions or tips though!!!).
I always do photos when she is happiest - after she's slept and fed (and when the light is good) so usually after her morning nap. She LOVES being on her tummy (she didn't used to but we've been practicing) and I love how she looks when she's on her tummy so that's why I have so many shots of her like that. She usually only lasts about 5-10 minutes though before she's done (and that's on a good day) so I shoot as fast as I can and get as many as I can.
I recently discovered the continuous mode on my camera and I LOVE it. You just press the button down and it snaps a way and often the photos in the middle are the best because there's no camera shake from pressing the button down. Normally in those 5 minutes I shoot any where from 40-80 photos (man, I LOVE digital). I delete after I upload to my computer unless they are really bad and I can tell on the camera's screen. Some times they look good but once I upload they are blurry so they aren't so good after all.
When I'm shooting photos of her, I set the focal point (not sure if you can adjust this on point and shoot cameras) so that it focuses on one of her eyes because I want her eyes to be in focus (unless I'm doing something else and I then I focus on that - like her toes or something).
I use the rules of thirds as much as possible (not always, sometimes I forget). I love photos that are off centre - I think this is one of the ways to really improve your photography. Don't put your subject right in the middle of the photo - that's what every one does. Change the angle - turn your camera a little bit side ways. Get up on a chair or lay on the floor. Seriously. These things have improved my photography so much. I've heard so many really amazing photographers say those things so I listened and it makes a real difference. It's not always possible and sometimes the centre is the best place but it makes such a difference just to try new things. Some times I forget and Jonathan reminds me and I'm so glad he does because the photos turn out so much better.
Don't be afraid of taking bad photos. Look at these:

But I also got a few really good ones that day and that's what matters, right?! Besides these tell such a great story and help me remember the day and how it all went.
I also have Jonathan help me some times. He isn't always here but when he is, it makes such a difference. Believe me, those little numbers don't stay up long when our little squirmy worm gets a moving.
If anyone ever wants me to do a photo shoot for them, I'd absolutely LOVE to. I love taking photos. It's one of my favorite things to do. I'd love to learn more and be a better photographer and heck, maybe even make money doing it some day (not that it would be a lot but still).
Oh and I always shoot with my camera in the manual mode. I never used to but I started to teach myself (read those manuals) and I'm so glad I did because I think it makes such a difference.
I'm sure there are more things I do but that's all I can think of right now (man, I thought my brain was fried when I was pregnant. HA! It's the sleepless nights that are killin' me now). And honestly, just keep on taking those photos because it won't matter how 'bad' they are in 25 years from now. Your kids or spouse or friends or whoever will just be so happy that you have them. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE looking back at photos of me when I was little. I know my mom wishes she had more and better ones but I LOVE the ones she does have. There are so many memories there. Gosh, this is why I scrapbook. To remember. Because time goes by so quickly. And already my girl is 4 months old and there is so much I forget.

Happy Birthday, Darrin!

Today is my brother's 30th birthday! Man, I can't believe how time flies by!
I hope you have an awesome day, Darrin!
His girlfriend, Kelsey (pictured above) has some very cool surprises planned for him! I hope he enjoys them!