Moose Shoots: A and His Doggies

I’ve had a few people tell me that I should start my own photography business. While I take this as a huge compliment, I’ve never had that intention. I love having photography for me and my job for an income. However, for fundraising, I knew I needed to do something with photography. Which is how Moose Prints and Moose Shoots were born.

My first Moose Shoot was with one of my favorite kids. Practically family, and hopefully family in 20-25 years(you got that, Lena and Adrian?!), but not yet. I’ve blogged about it before, but his adoption timeline parallels Gus’s. Our families walked through it together and a few weeks before Gus came home from Russia, Adrian came home from Ethiopia. I’ve watched this boy grow and change so much in the past (almost) 2 years. And when his mom asked me to photograph him and his beloved doggies, I was super excited. And nervous.

But, it was a blast!

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And, we rounded off the night with silhouettes.
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It was a great time. Thanks, Danae, Adrian, Lucy and Lacey for letting me spend time with you and “shoot” you!

I’m also so excited to share that we are just $259 from our May 1st goal. $259! 5 days ago, we were $1400 from that goal! After the May 1 goal, we will still have another $1300 to raise by June 1. But, I keep reminding myself to relax. God is bigger than that goal. Shouldn’t $1141 in 5 days remind me of that?

To those of you who have donated, thank you so much! We’re overwhelmed by your generosity.

And to anyone who is interested in helping this come together…

Wonderful and Thankful

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An old friend texted me today. She wanted to order a print and then we went back and forth catching up. “Everything seems really wonderful on your end,” she told me.

I paused as those words hit me hard. “It’s…” My life’s a mess, I thought. But, wonderful? How is it not wonderful?  “It’s wonderful and chaotic” is what I settled on for my reply.

Sometimes, it takes someone on the outside to snap you back into reality. To show you how things really are.

My life feels full of messy and uncertain things. Big things– parenting little kids, a busy workload, fundraising for hosting, planning our summer. And little things– my dirty kitchen floor, how I can’t get my 3 year old to stop picking his nose, an argument I got into earlier this week. All of this seems to wear me down until I feel exhausted and stressed.

But, that one sentence reminded, it’s all good stuff. There’s a bigger positive behind each negative. I can’t deny– everything IS really wonderful and I’d be an ungrateful fool to say otherwise.

Healthy kids, a helpful husband, a good job, supportive extended family, all of our needs met and most of our wants met, too. What can I complain about?

Nothing.

Instead, I need to do a better job of cultivating gratitude in myself and also modeling that for my kids.

So, today, I am very thankful for everyone supporting us through our hosting fundraiser. We’re almost halfway to the $1,400 goal we need to make by May 1! I’m also thankful that it’s Friday. 🙂

What are you thankful for today?

Hope and a Future

I’ve had a few opportunities recently where the beauty of adoption just hit me.

The first was in a Facebook group I’m in for mothers who’ve adopted from Russia. We had a thread where everyone posted the first photo they saw of their child. And wow. Obviously, all of our kids have been home for awhile, the most recent being 15 months ago. Seeing how all of our kids have grown and changed is just incredible. There was some talk of putting before and afters together, so if that happens, I’ll share them here! [Older Before and Afters of my kids are on this page.]

Obvious in my last post, Gus is a bit of a wild child. He’s energetic and vocal. But, when we first met him, he was nothing like that. Does anyone remember this kid? The one we had to work had to get a smile out of?
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And, I took this photo tonight.
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“I want go high!”

On Monday, I got a call from Reed’s teacher. She was inviting me to the assembly at school because Reed was getting an award! Lena won a success award from her teacher back in October, and it was Reed’s turn to be recognized. His music teacher had chosen him for this award.
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She had written:

“I’m nominating Reed for showing incredible growth in first grade. He knows how to behave in class and is very attentive, whether he is singing or doing an activity. I feel confident that his gifts and talents as they emerge will be a gift to the school and community. His musical aptitude is right on track. I see a very bright future for Reed as a musician and a student. It’s been a pleasure watching him grow and develop and I look forward to seeing more in the future.”

I’m really proud of Reed for winning this award. I don’t see his musical side a lot at home, but I am going to find ways to encourage that. Right now he’s taking gymnastics, and I think he’d love to do soccer. I think he’d take on EVERY activity possible if he could. This kid loves to be busy and hasn’t met an activity doesn’t want to try.2014-04-23_0004

And, hosting. God only knows what changes we will see in this sweet girl during her time with us. I have been praying for her, specifically with Jeremiah 29:11 in mind. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

We officially have a fundraising link up to accept tax-deductible donations for our hosting fees. The amount raised needs to be $1,400 by May 1. Crazy? Yup. But, I’m looking at this as an opportunity to recklessly trust God. Up for just about 12 hours, it already reads $180… 12% of our goal. [Here’s the link.]

Thank you, sweet friends, who have already donated or plan to.

And, one last thing, we are really close to getting to 100 likes AND picking a winner for our next giveaway over at Moose Prints. So make sure that you come on over and enter the giveaway STAT!

Dirt Won’t Hurt (and a Moose Prints Giveaway!)

If you disagree, even slightly, with the post title, seriously, just click that “x” on your browser now. Don’t bother to read on. If you like things clean, STOP READING.

Anyways, my kids love to play in the dirt. All 3 of them. It’s one of those battles I rarely bother fighting. While I’d prefer clean kids, they love the dirt. And, I’d so much rather have them out in the dirt than playing with an electronic device.
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Gus and Lena got into a dirt fight.
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It’s not that bad, right?
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Uh, okay, it was pretty bad. Oh well, he cleaned up!

Just a reminder: If you haven’t liked Moose Prints yet, please do! I am doing a giveaway when we hit 100 likes– a free mini-session for local friends or 2 prints, up to 8×12 in size for non-local friends. {Here’s a direct link to the giveaway!}

I also added a couple of new prints earlier this week. Here’s one of them.
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Rainy Days

I love rainy days. Well, I suppose my love for rainy days correlates directly with how much time we’ve spent inside recently and how occupied my kids are.
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But, in theory, they are lovely. The rain on the windows. The excuse to stay inside.
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Most photographers dislike rain. The poor light, needing to stay inside.

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But, I love it.

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It seems to transform everything. Everything is new, covered in rain drops. And of course, to quote Les Miserables, “rain will make the flowers grow”.

To the Middle of Nowhere!

We had a beautiful day last Saturday. 80 degrees and sunny.

We went on a little road trip. To the middle of nowhere. Because, where else do we go?

We didn’t plan on this playground, the fun kind with a wooden castle and tire swings. We stumbled upon it, in a little town of 700.
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It also had a pirate ship and a sandbox with dinosaur bones. And, we had it all to ourselves.
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Our real destination was a park that was on the Oregon Trail, Alcove Springs, known as a camp of the Donner-Reed party.

We did some hiking and some geocaching. Our legs will tell you that Kansas is not flat.
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Turkey vulture.
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Little spiky things. That’s the scientific name.
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Lena found this rock that looked like a butterfly.
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And, the day ended with the sun peeking out behind the clouds.
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