Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mud Room Re-Do Episode 7

I've been blogging about my favorite photos from the year, but I'm so excited that my mud room redo that I updated you on last week is done that I had to blog about it instead and open the blog with this giant run on sentence.

It used to look like this. It wasn't even really a useable room. It was kind of a dungeon.

I'm happy to report that it now looks like this.

The green door leads into a bathroom. Well, at least it will. Currently it leads into a closet of nothingness.

Here are the new steps leading into the kitchen. We raised the floor 3 feet, so now there are only a couple of steps instead of 4 large ones.

The washer and dryer with Craigslist cabinets.

See the white cabinet in the corner? I got it for $10 at a garage sale.
It looks like this now.

The table is from Craigslist. It was maple, but Dad chopped it to the right size, painted the legs black and re-stained the top. The fabric rack is an old magazine rack I had in my office. We took off the back and hung it.

My grandma found this chair at a garage sale, and we recovered it this week.

I still have a bit of organizing to do, but the decor and such are done.
If you want to read about the entire journey, click here or here



Monday, December 27, 2010

Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and as difficult as that. ~Michael Leunig

I've decided to use this week of blogging to show you all some of my favorite images from the year. Today I'm doing bride and groom. Come back tomorrow to see more!
My Top 10 Wedding Couples Images of 2010

Morgan and Eric were adorable together on their wedding day! I love how her dress has movement here.

Savannah was so excited to give Michael his gift! You can see how much he loved it. It was a beautiful moment. 

You would not believe how hot it was at this wedding, but the field images were so fun and classic.

This was another ridiculously hot wedding. One of the hottest weekends of the summer, but it was beautiful. See the joy in Nicolette's eyes?
 This was right after their first look. Connie was one of the most radiant brides!

My favorite thing about shooting in Philly besides getting to see Steven was the history. This building was hundreds of years old!

Another one of Nicolette and Jordan. Love the bokeh! (that's a fancy word for the shape the light in the background makes.)

One more of Steven and Joy. The clouds and veil just make this one for me.

I love the stone and Wendy's smile.

The thing with this image is it doesn't show Jenna and Tyler's fun side, but I love it because it shows their connection. They're perfect for each other. Seriously.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gratitude is the sign of a noble sole. -Aesop

Oh, Thankful Thursday, how I have missed thee. I don't know why I ever let you go.

This week, I'm thankful for....

  • Winter Break - It's definitely one of the brighter sides of the educational system!
  • My New Sewing Machine - My family and I gathered together tonight to open gifts, and I got a new machine. Sew exciting! (Yes, Internet, I am lame.)
  • A Mud Room Table - I promise a mud room update soon. Maybe tomorrow. Yes, let's just plan on tomorrow....maybe.
  • Family - Who am I kidding, I'm always thankful for my family. 
I can't end Thankful Thursday this week without mentioning how grateful I am for God's immeasurable gift of His son. How do I put into words what it means to me? Currently, the menu board in my kitchen has a quote on it that states, "The hinge of history is on the door of a Bethlehem stable." (Ralph W. Sockman) I love the reminder that Christmas is a big deal. Jesus coming to earth is a big deal. God sending His only son to us is a big deal. The whole story changed. It was perfectly timed. Perfectly played out. The perfect gift to humanity, and later the perfect sacrifice. Yes, I am quite thankful.

Monday, December 20, 2010

When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life. Greg Anderson

A few days ago, I updated you all on my 50 goals that I wanted to complete in 500 days. I think it's time for a new list. This time I'm going to complete 27 items before I turn 27. That gives me from now until October 17th. This is in lieu of any New Year's Resolutions because the other day on Facebook I said I'd already started my New Year's Resolutions because I'm an over achiever. That was actually a lie. I just said it to be funny. This is my attempt to make that lie a reality.

Without further adieu, here are my 27 things....

  1. Watch the movie, "What About Bob?"
  2. Visit Chicago
  3. Knit a scarf
  4. Start my doctorate
  5. Get photography business onto The Knot
  6. Enter a 5K
  7. Memorize a book of the Bible 
  8. Sew something pretty
  9. Finish decorating my mud room
  10. Clean out my linen closet
  11. Take 1 picture every day
  12. Go camping
  13. Blog every day for a month
  14. Make a photo book of my college years
  15. Read 50 books
  16. Try Yoga for a month
  17. Donate 10 inches to Locks of Love
  18. Try a new restaurant
  19. Make my bed every day for a month
  20. Fast Facebook for a week
  21. Memorize one verse of the Bible each month
  22. Build a snowman
  23. Give up sweets for a month
  24. Teach Kody a new trick
  25. Clean and decorate my back porch
  26. Play in a poker tournament
  27. Taste a new fruit
I might also get a tattoo. Thoughts?

"People who soar, are those who refuse to sit back and wish things would change." - Charles R. Swindoll


Thursday, December 16, 2010

"What is started today is never finished tomorrow." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

My 50 in 500 goals were supposed to be completed by November 23rd. I've been dreading this update because there are numerous goals that I didn't get to, and I fear your judgement, Internet. None the less, you deserve to know what was completed and what didn't. (For those of you who don't know or remember, I started a list of 50 things I wanted to accomplish in 50 days. Here is the post.)

So without further delay or procrastination, here is the complete list, color coded. Doesn't that count for something?

1. Buy a house (Completed 9/2/09)
2. Launch - (Completed 6/4/2010)
3. Knit a scarf - FAIL - Although I do go to a coffee shop every Monday night to knit with my friends, it's just that I usually edit photos the entire time.
5. Visit Chicago - Work in progress. My friends and I are hoping to go soon
6. Organize my iTunes Library into playlists (Completed 11/23/2010)
8. Head toward my ideal weight - Always working on this one!
9. Blog everyday for a month (Completed 3/20/10)
10. Visit my friend Steven in Philly (Completed! 9/4/2010)
11. Organize my filing system in my classroom - moved out of the classroom, so this on is redacted.
12. Get some "gallery prints" of my work - FAIL
13. Get a dog (Completed)
14. Take an art class - FAIL
15. Work out 4x a week for a month - Completed (August and September 2010)
16. Read the Bible cover to cover - FAIL
17. Organize and archive personal photos -Work in progress
18. Learn how to use Photo Shop - FAIL
19. Take a road trip - (Completed 8/2010)
20. Shoot a destination wedding - I'm giving myself this one because I had to drive 2 hours to one wedding. Stretch? Yes.
21. Get photography business onto The Knot FAIL
22. Re-learn the guitar- Work in progress
23. Create photo books from my snapshots through the years - Work in progress
24. Find a cool way to package my photo products - Work in progress
26. Get better about sending out cards to past clients-FAIL
27. Join a photography forum - FAIL
28. Read one classic lit book that I haven't read (Completed! 10/20/2010)
29. Bake my own bread (Completed! 11/25/2010)
30. Do another family shoot of my entire family (Completed 12/5/2010)
31. Plant my own garden (Completed May 2010)
32. Run a 5K - FAIL - I'm putting this on the next list
33. Invest in a 70-200 f/2.8 lens FAIL - I forgot about this one
34. Organize the folders on my laptop - Work in progress
35. Start a personal blog (Completed!)
36. Start using only reusable grocery bags - Work in progress - sometimes I remember, sometimes I don't
37. Create info sheets for clients (Completed, but now I need to start using it!)
38. Spend a week without TV (Completed! 7/3/2010)
39. Create my own recipe box like Mom's FAIL
40. Memorize a book of the Bible -- yes that says book FAIL - I'm close
41. Paint something to hang in my house (Completed! 5/2/2010)
42. Donate my hair to Locks of Love (completed 8/17/09)
43. Learn to make my own chai tea latte (Completed 10/4/2010)
44. Pay off my car FAIL - should be done by February
45. See the movie "What About Bob?" FAIL - How did I miss such a simple one?
46. Plan a B4 reunion-Work in progress
47. Travel to a different continent (Completed 10/19/09)
48. Do 25 consecutive push-ups FAIL
49. Host a dinner party (Completed constantly!)

For those of you keeping track, that's 24 completed, 1 abandoned, 1 redacted, 14 fails, and 10 works in progress. I'll do better next time. And next time I'm not highlighting my failures in red!


Sunday, December 05, 2010

"Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean." -Johann Wolfgang

Kelly is finishing up the house tours with foyers and entry ways. 

One of my first decisions about my house was that I wanted to paint the entry way a bright green color. It took 7 samples before I found the right green. I highly recommend using sample colors before diving in and buying a whole gallon (or 5) of a certain paint shade only to realize that it is more yellow than it seemed, and ending up with 3 unused gallons in your garage. Not that I have experience with that.

This is what the entry way looked like when I bought the house.

This is during the renovations. All nice, white and bright!

This is what it looks like now - with the most accurate representation of the green paint. It's a tough color to photograph! (See the paint color in the office, it may or may not be the paint mentioned earlier in this post.)

We took the old trim and 2 doors off the shelf in the hallway, painted it black, and filled it with fun.


This is the wall opposite the black shelf.

This is what it looks like outside my front door.


Friday, November 26, 2010

I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted, and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child, and be loved by the child. -Mother Teresa

Did you know that November is National Adoption Month?

Adoption is something that tugs at my heart strings. Actually, it pulls like a tow truck. I remember reading the quote that titles this post when I was in high school. It's from a speech that Mother Teresa gave about ending abortion in our country. It reflects my thoughts exactly. I'm not ready to adopt at this point in my life, but I hope to some day. I tell my friends that I'll take adopt one from each continent, including Antarctica - even if it's a penguin! For now though, I just support those who are working hard to make a home for a little boy or girl that wasn't initially theirs, but will be for eternity.

I'd like to invite you to help, too.

My favorite charity is called Show Hope. It was founded by Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth. You can go to their website to read all about it and how you can help. Here's a video of him talking about their choice to adopt.

There are a lot of families who have gotten creative in their endeavor to raise funds. This blog post has an entire list of families that you can support by buying something from their Etsy shop.

Another awesome site is They are currently having adoptive families tell their stories, and for every comment made on the story until the end of the month, they are donating $2 to their adoption fund. All you have to do is comment!

I'm sure each of the families would appreciate your prayer as well. James 1:27 says that true religion is taking care of widows and orphans. What are you doing to help?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mud Room Episode 6

I'm dealing with party aftermath by blogging right now. My kitchen looks like this, so I should be cleaning and putting away food, but instead I'm watching last week's Office episode and blogging. Don't judge me Internet.

We had a surprise birthday party for my friend, Raylene. She didn't see it coming at all, so it was perfect. The best part (of course besides her face when she realized we were all hiding in my kitchen) was this banner that I whipped up with pre-sized scrap book paper and Starbucks coffee sleeves.

Okay, maybe that wasn't the best part of the party, but I just wanted to show it off. I'm done being braggy. Now it's time for me to show off the mud room. A lot has changed since last episode

First, the steps. A couple of weeks ago I went to a flea market on a mission to find yard sticks. Thankfully, I found what I needed, so my steps now look like this.

Next, I added a few jars above my washing machine. (Okay 11 jars is a bit more than a few.)

See that thing in the corner of the first jar photo? That's what we're working on now. It's a giant vinyl rub-on that says "I gave Him my old tattered garment; He gave me a robe of pure white." I'm waiting for dad to help me level it before finishing it.

Hopefully I only have 1 episode left. In that episode you'll get to see the vinyl finished, and the new work table instead of the sewing machine. On top of that, I'm hoping to have it all organized and pretty. Hopefully it works out for me. Until then here are a couple of different views.

It's coming together - slow and steady wins the race!
P.S. Just so you know, while the photos were uploading I cleaned my kitchen, so it no longer is a hot mess like you saw above.