Friday, October 24, 2008

Photography Sabbatical Anyone?

Easter 2007

look, a SP!

What's the one thing that tempts me to go over-budget with my time and money? What's the one thing that's caused me to withdraw from participating in family events? What's the one thing that will keep me on my computer all day, instead of caring for my family?

I've told you before that Photography is a journey, and an addiction, right?

And if you've followed my blog for very long, you've probably heard me lament about how expensive photography is.

But what you haven't heard is how tempting or time consuming it can be. For every click of the shutter, I spend at least 10 minutes processing on the computer.

[That's something that most people don't know about pro photography, by the way. Just because a photographer spends an hour with you, doesn't mean that's all the time they spend on your photos. Far from it. Not that I'm a pro. But I've had a small taste. And I have a deep respect for all the great talent and time that is spent on the beautiful images I've seen on blogs and flickr.]

Anyhow, this hobby has caused me to come to a fork in the road. If I want to pursue photography any further, I'm going to need more equipment, money, and resources. Which basically means I'd need to start charging for the time I spend. I don't think I'm to a skill level yet of being pro. And most of all, I'd need more time...

And the fact is, time is in short supply. Even if I spend every waking moment of my day cleaning house, cooking, and taking care of 3 boys, I'd still never catch up. It's that sacred good mess I talked about before. But then I throw photos into the mix, and I'm getting even less sleep at night.

Bottom line, photography is my hobby and right now I don't have time for hobbies. And I definitely don't have time to start a business.

As life has seemed to get more and more demanding, I finally had a chance to take a breath (thanks, Chuck, for watching the boys so I could...) and evaluate why I can't manage it all. And while quitting photography isn't the cure-all, it would definitely help.

When I started learning how to use an SLR 1.5 years ago, I began to realize how much I loved people, and I loved to take photos of them. I'm not a big fan of pasty smiles and poses. I really love getting pictures when no one knows I'm there, so I see them in their natural state. These types of portraits are definitely fun for me, and why I LOVE kids' portraits. Kids are so good at acting natural! I constantly feel pulled to take portraits of those I love. But having 3 small children throws a wrench in the system. It's either care for them, or take pictures. God's calling on my life is obvious. ;) I can't deny what He wants me to do. It's time to take off the photographer hat, and go back to being a mom, a family member, and a friend.

I originally wanted a SLR camera to get better quality photos of my boys, to document their childhood for them. But as I learned more about SLRs I found myself using it less in "snapshot" mode. It takes time to set settings. Not to mention dealing with the lighting in the room, and abhorring the flash.

So, it's time for me to simplify, get back to the basics. For their sakes, it's more important to have good memories than to have good photos. They need me more than they need a good picture. And the less time I spend on the computer processing those photos, the more good memories they'll have, of a mom who's not as frazzled and short-tempered from trying to do too much.

So, here's my decision...I'm gonna put the camera down. :) I'm going to go back to being a point-and-shoot, no skill, all-auto kinda girl.

This isn't forever. But it's until life with 3 boys slows down.

I am amazed that I have a peace about this, but I do. The idea of life being more manageable makes it all worth it. Photography is fun, but it shouldn't take over your life. And for me, raising 3 boys is simply more important than indulging in the pleasures of photography.

[Note: This doesn't mean that there won't be pics on this blog anymore, just that they will all be taken with my point-and-shoot camera. This goes for the 365 project as well. I'm hoping to get back to being the snap-shot mom, wish me luck!]

Monday, October 20, 2008

This Weekend

We spent this weekend in Austin - it's one of three weekends that we'll be there this month. Man, that's a lot of packing!

But this weekend was so fun. The school I got my degree from, Austin Graduate School of Theology, invited us back for an alumni forum. We basically sat around with about a dozen graduates and all of the professors and talked about the status of our churches, especially in regards to baptism. I realize that may sound boring to some, but I enjoyed it greatly. And best of all, Chuck came with me and also enjoyed it. The dream is that Chuck will be able to attain a Masters of Divinity someday. And it really made me miss school. I loved that place! I highly recommend it (even if you don't want a degree, it's fun just to sit in on the classes). It's also a great cause to support financially. I could go on and on about it, but I'll stop. ;)

Moving on...

Saturday Chuck and his dad took Charlie to "The Maker Faire." Chuck described it as a grown up science fair. Charlie had a blast! Chuck's posted a blog about it here.

Maker Faire Austin 2008
I would like to mention, Charlie saw a Batmobile golf cart.
Thus we should pay tribute to Batman,
the character he wants to be for Halloween.

We also enjoyed the family time in Austin.

Bedtime stories with Grandma
Grandma read them a bedtime story. I would've gotten a better picture, but the boys kept running away anytime I appeared with the camera.

Stair climber
Chandler has now discovered stairs.

But not stair master
Unfortunately, he fell down a few steps just after this photo. But the good thing is, it gave him a healthy fear of stairs.

Stand alone
He's up to 14 seconds of standing alone.

Fun find!
Chuck's mom found Chuck's old lunchbox. Charlie is totally stoked about it!

Sweet Sophia
Some dear friends stopped by. Check out the baby blue eyes on Sweet Sophia.

Carseat turned forward
And then we traveled home. I turned Chandler's car seat around for the first time.
You can see how excited it made him.

And with that, Chandler wants to say, "hi" to you...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dear Chandler

Sleeping boy

Dear Chandler James, Chan Man, Big Chan,

My dear, you are almost 8 months old. And over 21 pounds. I think it's time to let go of the every-3-hour feedings through the night. You're the size of a one-year-old. You won't starve, I promise. Most babes are sleeping through the night around 3-4 months. Your momma has now given you 8 months. It's time, buddy.

If God hadn't made you just so darn cute, and your cry so darn loud, Daddy and I would've let you cry it out before now. Please, save our hearts and our eardrums. Just give up the feedings. You are a perfect third child in so many ways: you're happy all the time, you're easy going, not high maintenance - except at night. It's just time.

If you're just wanting Mommy time, I promise to make it up to you --- how about during your brother's nap time? Come on, you know you want to. I'll even let you pull my hair.

We love you dearly,

Monday, October 13, 2008

catching up

Ok, here are a bunch of random photos that I hadn't blogged in the last few weeks. I think I should start a miscellaneous series of posts for pictures like these....

Big blue eyes
This is my nephew William. Doesn't he have the greatest blue eyes?
He and Nana came to visit while Chuck was out of town.
It was nice to have another adult around and for the boys to be able to play together.

Lil Harley Driver
He loved the Harley. I'm sure it'd make Big Daddy proud.

Nana love

Firefighter cousins
The boys enjoyed having someone to drive the fire truck while they put out fires around the yard. It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.

Picnic at a playground
And I have to share this photo because it was so sweet to have a picnic with my dear friend Dalinda and all our kids. So fun! Except that Chandler kept crawling into her lap trying to eat all her food, ha!

Happy 1st birthday, William
Then we went to Austin to celebrate William's first birthday.

Happy 1st birthday, William

Family Time
My sister Desi was in a car accident. We're so thankful she survived!! She was hit by a big hauler truck. She's got some damage in her arm and back. I'm so glad she made it through ok. We've now deemed that Lexus makes some very safe vehicles.

Family Time
Nana & Charlie

Family Time
Me & Chance (thanks, Anna!)

No Mommy, we don't need naps!
And this is a familiar sight on most road trips. I'm not complaining. ;)

Baby Attack
Chandler has a new thing. It's called "Attack and suck on Momma's face."

Mini Chuck?
See any resemblance?!

Part food, part practice
He's been practicing grabbing things. Can you see the pea in his hand?

Reverse sibling abuse
He's also been practicing revenge on his brothers. He's always crawling all over them. I think he's getting them back for the torture before he was mobile. Wrestling won't be far behind.

Wake up call
I LOVE our neighborhood. One morning Chuck heard a noise and opened the curtain, only to find 2 bucks going head to head. He wasn't able to catch the action, but he got this shot of one of them.

Mama deer scopes out the paparazzi.
And another morning, I opened the curtains and enjoyed watching a doe and her fawn play in our backyard. She got this close - no zoom used. And the fawn was just frolicking everywhere. I kept wondering if he'd slide down the slide. LOL

And one random day, Charlie actually asked me to take his picture. How could I refuse that?!

William and Elizabeth visit
One day the boys' friends William & Elizabeth came to visit, they had a meal on the porch.

William and Elizabeth visit
And Elizabeth and Chandler took their turn with the fire truck. Yet again, another girl that I love being around. What is it about being around little girls that so intrigues me?! (Maybe the lack of them in my own family...)

William and Elizabeth visit
And this is William, not to be confused with the nephew, but the friend. He is so cute. He and the boys solved a mystery in the backyard, complete with finding clues and footprints. He's a clever kid!!

This is what I woke up to.
Lastly, here's Chandler, and the reason I had to lower his bed. He's pulling up to standing and trying to stand alone (his record is 5 seconds today). I'm just waiting for that first step...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

So every time I look up, it's been another 2 weeks since I've blogged. I seriously feel like time is set on fast-forward and I'm desperately running to catch up.

But how about something current? I met a couple - Jonathon and Jenny - when I was in my first year of college at Mary Hardin-Baylor. They went on to graduate, marry, and then we even had our first babies within a couple of months of each other. We've hardly seen each other since then, but that's about to change: they just moved to San Antonio - 2 miles away!! We are so excited to have this beautiful family so close!!

So to celebrate their recent move, we went to a pumpkin patch this evening. Normally I love to head out to Love Creek Orchards... but with 3 kids, it's easier to stick close to home. So we checked out the Boerne pumpkin patch. Here are the pictures:

Pumpkin Patch
[Jonathon, Jenny and their sweet kids: Averianna, 4, and Cademon 9 months.]

Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Patch
[Did I mention how much we are (or at least I am) loving having a girl around?!]

Pumpkin Patch
[I know, no one's looking, but at least they're all sitting still! ;)]

Pumpkin Patch
[We managed a family pic! Thanks Jenny!]

Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Patch
[I love this one of Chance. It's like he's conversing with the scarecrow. LOL]

Thanks, Jenny and Jonathon! We're so happy y'all are here!