Christmas shopping..



Yes, I am done my Christmas shopping! I got smart this year and ordered a lot of gifts online. It really is the greatest way to shop! You can avoid the overwhelming parking lots filled with frenzied people crazily scrounging to find that perfect gift. Instead, I sat tucked up close beside my husband as we wandered the web.. I had already had ideas in mind for what types of gifts I was looking for. Otherwise, it could have become a little overwhelming with a world of options at my fingertips.. So, it just came down to finding the perfect items, and I found almost all that I needed on Amazon! Next year I plan on ordering all of my gifts online, and now that Pinterest has secret boards I can pin away with all my gift ideas! Life is good!

Say Cheese!



I held some holiday mini sessions a few weekends ago and got to spend some time with these cuties! I love photographing kids!! 



Wake up. Get Sienna dressed, do her hair, feed her breakfast, pack her lunch. Start the van. Gather all my children at the door. Take 10 minutes to bundle them all up in their winter gear. Snowpants, mits, scarves, hats, boots. Herd them all into the van and drive 1 block. Sit and wait at the bus stop til the bus comes. Send Sienna off to school (hugs & kisses x3). Drive the block back home. Get the boys out of the van. Take off the mits, scarves, hats, and boots. Truth be told I am almost always running behind for some reason or another no matter how early I get up. It s-t-r-e-s-s-e-s me out! I love my city. I love where I live. I really don't like to complain. I have a warm home to live in, a warm vehicle to drive.. I just crave a little simplicity. God, however, has placed me here so I will endure. I will dig for the good.. Perhaps a snowball fight or 2, a snowman family on our front lawn, and warm fires to sit by with hot chocolate in hand as we wait for summer days...

Apples of Gold

Return of the Helmet..



This is his football face. Scary hey? My husband asked him if he is going to play football when he gets bigger and he replied, "no, cause people will hit me." Good point, son. Good point.

His Word Flies..



I chased cold white crystals this morning rather than the sun.. I posted this scripture on Instagram yesterday but it has been resonating with me ever since then.. "how swiftly His Word flies." The Word of the Lord is powerful and moving. It overcomes. I want my life to be covered with His Word just as the frost He sends covers the ground.
Glorify the Lord!

Apples of Gold

Dear Naps..


Dear Naps.
You have officially been boycotted. While I have wanted to let you go for a while I have finally weaned you out of my life for good (except for Sunday afternoons of course). After reading Erika's post over at Life Unfluffed it was confirmed for me. The naps had to go. As you can see she wrote that post back it September so it has taken me a little while to give 'em the boot. It has been 2 weeks now and that 2 o'clock brick wall I'd hit every day if I didn't nap is slowly fading away. I feel much more productive, my house is cleaner, and I love how quiet it is while the boys are napping.
Dear Boys.
Thanks for being such great passengers. I know we spent a lot of time driving around this morning while I was location hunting, and I am grateful that you didn't complain once. High five for both of you..
Dear Nikon.
I am figuring you out. There are still a few little things on you that I'm not so sure about, but I think I'm ready for a weekend FULL of photo shoots. Some hands on work I'm sure will solidify my confidence with you.
Dear Husband.
Thanks for posing for me while I tested my set up. You make me laugh.. By the way.. I need to set up for my mini sessions tonight so I may require your help again lol...





Thanks to those of you that stop by here, read what I have to say, and comment once and a while.  Right now it is a mixture of my photography, my family, my ministry, my heart, my kids, and a few random DIYs. At times I am okay with that. Other times I feel a little scattered and unfocused. I tried to make a photography website so I could separate that out a bit, but after driving myself crazy for days I gave up. I couldn't find anything that fit my needs that didn't cost cajilions (thats a word in my house). Anyways, I say all this to ask you to bear with me. There may be some changes coming, there may not be.. One thing I am certain of is that I want this place to be a blessing. No matter what it ends up looking like, my end goal is to bring encouragement to those who chose to visit. I love this place to much to give up on it,  and I never want it to be something I only do half hearted. Maybe I take it all a little to seriously.. I'm just going to take a deep breath and relax.. And go take care of this sick little girl..


Apples of Gold

I jumped ship..



Well, I jumped ship.. I switched from Canon to Nikon! I am still feeling a little twinge of guilt which is silly because they are both really well made cameras, so it just comes down to personal preference. Since upgrading to a full-frame camera made all of the Canon lenses I own useless to me either way I had to freedom to make the switch.

The Mark II was out of the running very shortly after I seriously starting researching what would be the best upgrade for me. The 4 year old technology just did not seem worth it. So the decision was between the soon to be released Canon 6D and the Nikon D600. I read up and researched all I could. The only thing I couldn't do was physically test the Canon 6D since it won't be released until December. So why the Nikon?.. Well, I felt that I would get a decent entry level full-frame camera going either way, but here are my reasons for the switch..
- Better focus
- Faster continuous shooting
- Higher resolution
- More storage slots
- Nikon's warranty's are significantly longer than Canon's

The switch hasn't been seamless though! While I've only had my new camera for 24 hours there's been a few moments where I've felt like I might lose my mind! I give Canon credit for being so user friendly. I am so glad I learned how to use a DSLR with Canon. I could not imagine learning on a Nikon. They are definitely not as simple to navigate. After spending a while trying to figure out a few key things, I once again feel like I've made the right decision. Phew.. I have 7 days to return it if I do change my mind, but I really don't think I will. Go team Nikon ;)



Well, friends.. I officially feel like a photographer. Why? I will tell you. This morning I am laying in bed. The kids are still sleeping. Almost 8:00 and still sleeping. This is rare. Anyways, my internal clock must have become aware that is beyond my normal wake up time as I begin to stir. My brain begins to conjure up thoughts about this and that as I fight to find sleep again. All of a sudden I am gripped with fear. I kick my blankets off and sit up. In my groggy state my brain for some reason is telling me that I completely forgot to edit a families pictures to give to them. I try and get a hold of my thoughts and piece together wether I am dreaming or really living this nightmare. As I am thinking (I really had to think hard) about where I am at it my job list I realize that I have not forgotten about them. They are just next on my list to begin. I feel like it was some sort of initiation into the world of photography. I also think I need to make an extra list to keep on my bedside table. Just in case...


Here's a shot from the session I just finished editing.. These guys were SO much fun.


Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!! I spent time shopping for a new camera. Woohoo. Today I am going to check out some Nikon cameras. I'm a Canon girl, but we will see where I stand at the end of the day!

Dear Hot Chocolate..


Dear Friday.
I am so glad you are here. I am looking forward to the weekend! Birthday parties, family time, and hot chocolate. Lots of hot chocolate.
Dear Snow.
You can stop any time now. 31cm in 24 hours this week and your still coming down (seriously, it is insane). I would like to be able to drive on roads again not skating rinks. You are pretty though, I'll give you that.
Dear Christmas Presents.
You will be bought early this year. We already got a good head start on you last night! It kinda makes me giddy, not gonna lie. P.S I would like the Mark II for Christmas if anyone cares..
on that note,
Dear Husband.
You are a good driver. There, I said it. (and I didn't say it only so you will buy me the Mark II, maybe)
Dear Edmontonians.
Check this out and book soon if you're interested!



Too soon for Christmas?


I have never been one to do a tremendous amount of decorating for the holidays (we didn't even put up our tree last year), but this year I would like to put in a little more effort than I have before. Our new house has so many beautiful places to display pretty things so I've been doing a little research (and by that I mean searching Pinterest) to figure out what type of 'look' I should go for.. I am leaning towards colorful & fun. It is a stretch for me considering my fear of color and my love for white, so we shall see...


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9
I couldn't find the source for #8 arg!

Trip to Grandma's old farm..


Some appointments are just divine.. We had planned on possibly visiting Grandma's old farm, but it ended up being a last minute decision that I am so glad we made. It was fun revisiting the place where many Christmases were spent. I have fond memories of Grandma's old house. Jeremy brought me there to meet his Grandma just a few short days after we started dating. I felt immediately welcomed in, and that feeling never left.. We showed up unexpectedly, but Sherri (the new owner) warmly welcomed us anyways! We looked around outside and all of the old barns, and then sweet Sherri allowed us to go inside and see all the beautiful work they have done in the house. As we were speaking it came up that her sisters 26-year-old husband had just passed away. My heart broke as Sherri broke down and told us of the difficult time her family was going through. My husband, my mother-in-law, and I surrounded her and prayed. It was one of those moments that I knew God had led us to that place for reasons that far surpassed my wanting to see the old barn. I truly believe that the Lord brought us there for Sherri. We were not able to mend all the brokenness she was experiencing, but we were able to bring encouragement and ask for God's presence to be with her and her family. I am so thankful for the leading of the Lord..





This pretty little mug was a gift from a sweet friend. As a matter of fact, I have received quite a few unexpected gifts lately. Some people just have a knack for gift giving. That special insight that helps them know exactly what will fill up someones love cup. 
I think it would be accurate to say I was a little spoiled when I was young. I got my way most of the time, and when I didn't I would put up the biggest fuss. I feel bad looking back now and seeing how selfish I was. How ungrateful. I expected the world yet gave nothing back in return. My poor parents. While they were just trying to show love in practical ways, I totally disregarded it all as something I deserved. I wish I could say I grew out of this at a young age but I can't. I think in many ways that selfish little girl still lives in me. The good thing is that I know what drives that out of me.
I am so thankful for all I have been blessed with. The generosity I have been shown is driving me to be more grateful, thoughtful, and giving. It is so true that it is better to give than to receive..

One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want
Proverbs 11:24 

Apples of Gold



Coen has kept this old helmet on almost constantly since we found it at the antique mall this weekend. He is pretty special.

Chasing the Sun..



 There is healing in the dawn of a new day. It is like an awakening of promise.. If you follow me of Instagram you may have noticed I've been chasing the sun many mornings. After I drop Sienna off for school the boys and I have been driving out to the country to watch the sun come up. It's freeing and healing and quiet and calm. You should really try it sometime!


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