Lily just giggled as I waved and said Hi.  She then told me, ” We are going to take pictures.”

And that is exactly what we did…but we also giggled a lot, picked flowers at the park, gave lots of hugs, and finished the day with scoops of ice cream.  Lily really really liked the ice cream :)

Oh baby Micah…I just love your rolls, blue eyes, and chubby cheeked smile.Off to ice cream at 3 ScoopsLily wasn’t sure about sprinkles at first…I think she likes them.We may have gotten a little messy… I think everyone was covered in Lily’s chocolate ice cream :)

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I met my husband for the first time in 5th grade.  My parents dropped me, the new girl, off at Sunday School where I sat perfectly silent hands to myself until my parents picked me up again.  Over the months I slowly, began to talk to just the girls, eventually showing my wild goofy colors.  But when it came to boys especially him, over the years I remained silent.  We only saw each other on Sundays, where we hardly if at all talked.  All the girls liked him, but I would never let anyone know how cute I thought he was…no one.

It was during a missions trip to Mexico that we had our first legitimate conversation over a game of spit.  I was seated apart from the entire youth group in the front of the plane on a 6 hour flight. I once again sat quietly next to two strangers until I was given the opportunity to switch seats.  I gave a sigh of relief and headed towards the back of the plane where I sat in the two seater row next to Matt.  It was unavoidable, we had to talk.  To avoid awkward sophomore small talk, I asked him if he wanted to play a game of spit.  He replied that he had never played, but sure.  I then began to teach him, feeling a little excited that my competitive appetite would be satisfied as I would definitely win.  We played a full game in which I crushed him with my speed.  He then asked for a rematch and then another.  After a few games of boosting my ego, he beat the girl who only lost to her older brother.  If I could replay footage of that moment, I am sure you would see my jaw drop.

Throughout the rest of the trip we returned to our usual shyness and continued to hardly speak.

One evening as we returned from painting and teaching vacation bible school, I was the last to pile in the youth group van.  Once again the only seat available was next to Matt.  Everyone dosed off during the long ride from the days work and heat.  Packed in like sardines, I prayed to keep my eyes open because I just knew that if I did fall asleep my head would either bounce against the glass of the window or land on his shoulder…and I just couldn’t risk anyone thinking I liked him.  Because if anyone would have asked I would have blushed…because deep down I thought he was really cute and no one outside my family could beat me at spit.

And this is us just 1 year later…as you can see I introduced him to my goofy side.

P.S.  Just for the record…once again no one outside my family can beat US at spit.

 

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I remember holding my negatives up to the light only to find just a few correct exposures surrounded by completely white and black squares. My professor leaned over my shoulder and said that I forgot to set the correct ISO.

Ooops I forgot to __(blank)__ was a common line when I first began using my camera.  I found it difficult to keep track of all of the technical camera settings admits framing and composing my artistic vision. I would forgot to set the right ISO, forget to double check my speed or aperture, forgot to focus on the eyes…

I of course needed practice and lots of it, but I also needed to focus my efforts on learning and tackling one component of the camera at a time.  To understand how each part of my camera worked I studied and devoted my practice time to one thing like…aperture.  I read about aperture, explained aperture to friends and family (thank you for listening), and practiced.  I created lessons where I just focused on practicing aperture. I photographed people, inanimate objects, even stuffed animals at f 16 at f 1.8…. You get the idea.  Once I had the basics, I moved on to speed, ISO, depth of field…

Eventually I began to consistently take photos with correct exposures, but every now and then there was an “oops I forgot to___(blank)___.”

To help minimize those “oops”, I carried around a 5×7 card with these words:

  • ISO
  • f stop
  • is my speed high enough?
  • focus

The card was a simple reminder to check my settings. As I practiced, the card found a deeper and deeper home in my camera bag.  But it recently reappeared when I pulled out my very first camera bag this past weekend.  I placed the old crinkled card in visible site next to my husband’s camera equipment and we headed out to photograph a wedding.

And while I no longer need that specific card and have past it along, I still carry a notebook with notes and details for each session.  Notes that keep me on task, notes that push me to try new things, and notes that keep me from the occasional “oops.”

Because we all have “oops” to learn from.

 

Wondering what a recent “oops” looks like?

I told Gideon to try to get me wet…I didn’t think he would be able to get water that far!  He soaked me.

So here is where the oops comes in…

I forgot to wipe off my camera and didn’t realize there was a haze until a few minutes in.  Ooops.

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We wondered if we were walking the wrong way as we walked through downtown Boston towards the Charles River. Families grabbed the nearest taxis and pedicab drivers, bikers raced past us carrying all of their american flag decor.  We heard roomers of cancelation, but we just shook our heads and kept walking towards the Charles River for the 4th of July Fireworks.

We sat on a bench and listened to Jennifer Hudson singing just across the small island. Her voice kept us from looking upwards at the dark clouds rolling in over the river. The crowd began to clap in unison as we all anticipated the first burst of light into the sky. The fireworks shot off the barge and into the clouds releasing a torrential downpour. Within minutes we were all soaked.  I slicked back my dripping bangs, shoved my phone into the depths of my pocket, and let out a sigh of relief-knowing my camera was safe and dry at home. Packed into the crowd, Matt and I just smiled at each other through the pouring rain and continued to watch the show.  The expressions of the crowd were all the same…switching from awe to laughter as we all squinted and scrunched our noses to see the light through the rain.

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Just a little something sweet to cool of with…

Make these AMAZING chocolate chip cookies and fill them with whatever flavor ice cream you’re craving.  Add a twist and roll them in sprinkles, nuts, or mini chocolate chips.

 

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