Saturday, July 20, 2013

Kimball Family Photos

I was so blessed to be given the opportunity to shoot the Kimball family's annual family photos a couple of weeks ago. I was hesitant to do it at first since it seemed like a daunting task, and I wanted them to have great photos. I was afraid that with my current knowledge and skills, I would fall short. However, wanting to take a leap of faith and jump outside of my comfort zone, I decided to do it one one condition: I would do it for free.

It turns out that I am SO grateful I said yes. The whole family was truly a pleasure to shoot, and I learned a lot from the experience. And now I feel like I have some confidence when it comes to doing portrait photography. I'm pretty happy with how most of them turned out, too. Big bonus! :)

Now enjoy some photos of this gorgeous family:

Thanks again, Kimballs, for giving me the chance to take pictures of your beautiful family! I hope you love them :)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Girl's Camp

I was called as the first counselor in the Young Women's Presidency at church about a month ago. I got called less than 2 weeks before this year's girl's camp! For a while I didn't think I would be able to go at such short notice, but my wonderful husband moved his schedule around and I was able to go on Monday and Tuesday! It was SO MUCH FUN! I probably had more fun as a leader than I did as a youth!

We met at the church at 6am on Monday morning (bright and early!!) and I drove three of the leaders up with me in my car while the girls rode the buses. We were lucky enough to get to go to Heber Valley Camp near Heber City, UT where they have nice cabins and an amazing campus for Girl's Camp. Believe it or not, the bags in the picture below are luggage, not trash!! The other ward we camped with had tons of girls. We came with our 12 or so girls and we had a small, but close-knit, group.
It was pretty warm the first day I was there, but cooler the second day where we almost felt chilly at times! Blue skies the whole time! Oh, and there were TREES up there! It was so nice :)
Here's Cassi, my new friend and awesome Mia Maid adviser:
Here are Jade (one of my Mia Maids) and Chelsey (2nd Counselor), both amazing girls! They spent a lot of time playing guitar and singing, and they are both extremely talented! Chelsey also had her birthday on Monday while we were there, so we celebrated with that cute pendant banner and ice cream!!
Cascade and Acacia, two of our Beehives, having fun with the mustache sticks that Chelsey brought for entertainment. They provided many a good laugh!
Here is sweet Nicole (my neighbor who loves to babysit Charlie, who just turned 14) writing in her camp journal:
Gathering and pondering and smiling. We spent a lot of great time in our cabin. The one night I slept there I was on the top bunk you can barely see hidden in the back. I didn't have much of a camping "pad" under my sleeping bag so it was a pretty hard surface to sleep on, but I LOVE the adventure!
Our first day there we went on a long hike over the mountain and through the woods. It was challenging, but invigorating! When we reached our destination, a clearing in a field with a fire pit to gather around, we had someone give us a devotional about the Atonement, using a story about a man and the shoes his brother gave him as an analogy. The man worked hard and every day his feet were in pain and injured from his work. His brother, who wanted to help, bought him and gave him a pair of shoes. The man was so grateful for his brother's gift, but he cherished the shoes so much that he kept them in a glass box to preserve them instead of wearing them to protect his feet. The brother was disappointed that his gift was not being used. The shoes are like Christ's Atonement, and we need to make sure to not be like the man and just be grateful for this gift. We need to make sure to use the Atonement in our lives and pray and repent of our sins, so we can reap the full benefits of protection and healing. This is what Christ wants us to do with His gift to mankind. Such a wonderful message. That night, I was in charge of leading the group for ward scripture study and I decided to learn more about the Atonement by reading about it in the scriptures. It was truly an uplifting day. I definitely feel like I was in need of a spiritual awakening and renewal, and my short two days at camp gave me that.

The second day we did the challenge course and the girls were faced with a series of mental/physical challenges that they had to solve, work through, and learn from. I was in charge of a station called Islands where there were three stumps (or islands) and three planks you can use to get from island to island, except the planks don't reach far enough. The girls had to figure out how to work together and make a cantilever system to cross from island to island without falling "into the grand canyon" below (aka the ground 6 inches down haha). It was fun to watch each girl learn about teamwork, trust, and balance as they walked across the boards. At the end, we would take a few minutes to relate what we learned to our lives. We learned we have to trust the Lord, trust our parents and leaders, and trust one another as friends to help us get through life. We also learned that having balance in our lives is very important. Too much of anything can make us feel off-balance, and often praying, reading our scriptures, and counseling with the Lord can help us find balance in our lives again. :)

We played hard, worked hard, ate hard, and learned hard, and by the end of the day, we were all so tired it wasn't hard to sleep (here's one of our young women taking an afternoon nap):
I was sad I couldn't stay for the rest of the week, but I am so happy I was able to go for two days! Being in Young Women's is turning out to be pretty fun! And I'm learning a lot about myself in the process.

Life As My Phone Sees It - June

Here's a look at everything we've been up to lately:

6/4 - Tuesday - Charlie had mouthwatering chocolate buttermilk waffles (with chocolate chips!) for breakfast!! Yummmm!
6/6 - Thursday - Went to the pool with our neighbors, the Fergusons! It was our second attempt at the pool and was much better than the first time (which turned out to be extremely windy, making it way too cold). It was sunny and breezy and hot, so the water felt great! And there really is nothing better than sitting poolside with my cute little boy on a beautiful day!
6/7 - Friday - We traveled up to American Fork canyon near the Timpanogos cave trail and found a great little spot to build a campfire! We ate tin foil dinners (which was almost a fiasco after forgetting our plastic forks, but miraculously I found some old silverware I stashed in our "camping" bin!) and Charlie got to experience his first ever campfire s'mores! He was exceptionally pleased with the result!
6/9 - Sunday - My zucchini plant bloomed its first blooms! And shortly after this I had a couple of small (1.5 inch) zucchinis grow! Unfortunately, I think the pot I planted it in was too small and it reached max capacity because it has since started to brown and die. It still produces some small leaves and a few unfruitful blossoms, but I don't think we are actually going to get any zucchinis from it this year. I can't wait until next year when we make our real garden in our lawn!!
6/15 - Saturday - I spent most of that week re-doing our bedroom because I didn't like the original comforter set I bought for our bed (too hot and blah colors). So, I found the art in the right side of the picture at Hobby  Lobby and decided to use it as my inspiration piece for my bedroom. Bedding from Ikea and a few items later, I have the beginnings of a heavenly room!
6/16 - Sunday - Father's Day!! Charlie got Trev this awesome 20 page picture book from Shutterfly. Trev absolutely loved it and said it was a "much better gift than a grill". Haha! The grill will have to wait ;) It was a wonderful Father's Day for Trev and I taught my first Young Women's lesson in church after having been called a few weeks prior!
6/17 - Monday - Behold, my new iMac eye candy! For photography and website design! I'm in love <3
6/18 - Tuesday - Trev had to take my car to work, so Charlie and I were stuck at home all day. To try to have some fun, I decided to get us all ready to walk up the hill to the pool. We were both very excited to swim, but when we got there we realized the pool was closed! :( The sign on the door said it was closed for "sanitary" reasons for the rest of the day. Apparently a kid pooped in the pool and all our fun was ruined! It was too hot to play on the playground next to the pool (burning slides, ouch!), so we just walked back home and chilled on the driveway with snacks, sidewalk chalk, and bubbles. Although, in the second picture, you can see Charlie still wished he was at the pool! :/
6/20 - Thursday - Here's what I got after I told him to say "cheese": A big cheesy grin and, in his words, "Ssschhhheeeee"! Right after lunch we went to Provo to see my friend Victoria and her two little boys!
6/24 - Monday - I feel like you're getting the tour of our new house bit by bit, one room at a time. Here's a peek at Charlie's favorite room in the house: the playroom!!
6/27 - Thursday - Went to the park that morning (before it was too hot) after a quick grocery shopping trip. Charlie made a new friend and they had a blast playing in the toy car together!
6/28 - Friday - Had a family night out to Orem. We ate some delicious steak and chicken tenders at Outback and then made an impromptu stop at Hang Time, an awesome new trampoline place. It's more expensive than the other two I've tried out, and not quite as kid-friendly, but it was really fun and Charlie had a blast, even if his little wristband annoyed him at times. Haha :)
6/30 - Sunday - We had some Mama and Charlie cuddle time and a mini photo session after church! We love relaxing Sundays! <3
Umm... so did anyone else notice that Charlie is eating in over half of the photos of him? Haha! The kid LOVES to eat. That and he's easier to photograph while sitting still, and the only time he's still is when he's eating!