Friday, July 29, 2011


I shot a wedding last weekend and engagements yesterday. I cannot even begin to express how much I love photographing the true emotion of LOVE! I always get comments expressing how beautiful the photos are, or amazing they are, or fantastic they are; and not to toot my own horn....but they are. Some of that does take a good eye and some talent, but most of it is a result of the pure, raw emotion of being in LOVE! It's a beautiful thing, and a beautiful thing to capture. Wow....I am so blessed by God to be able to use this gift! It makes me smile A LOT!
By the way, I had a new "assistant" with me at the wedding last Saturday;
and he captured this photo of me. I did some kooky stuff to it, but overall I really liked it.
He is a talent in the making....and might I mention....he is really really cute!
I think photographing big events with him might become a new normal!
What can I say? I'll do whatever I can to get to spend time with him!
Guess who it is?

Middle Of The Road

I'm a middle of the road kinda gal about many things. Here are a few:
1. I'm not a summer or winter person but in the middle of the road.....75-80 temps.
2. I'm not a morning or a night person but in the middle of the road....9:30 or so to get up/11:00 or so to get to bed.
3. I'm not frou frou kinda gal but in the middle of the fancy shoes but love flip flops too.
4. I'm not Type A or Type Z but in the middle of the road.....I like to plan, but I don't always carry out.
5. I'm not a neat freak but in the middle of the road....I like things to be tidy and orderly and clean, but many times they aren't.
6. I'm not addicted to technology but in the middle of the road....I could do without TV, but I really like my computer.
7. I'm not frivelous or a big spender but in the middle of the road....I don't believe in spending lots of money of stuff, but I sure am tempted.
8. I'm not a perfect person or a completely messed up person but in the middle of the road....I am riddled with sin and make bad choices and mistakes often, but I know I'm forgiven and try to do the right thing (most of the time).
Good thing God isn't the "Middle Of The Road Type".

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


They're here. The twins have arrived, and they are perfect. I can say PERFECT....even though they are in NICU with respiratory sickness, because God created them in His image; and He is PERFECT. They were born a little early which caused their lungs not to work just right YET, but they will soon enough; and then they will join their 3 brothers at home. They are PERFECT! I believe that I was born PERFECT as well. It wasn't God who made me UNPERFECT, it was my own free will and choices and sin. It was many things, but it wasn't Him! Pray for my sweet friends and their family and their PERFECT twin boys and for all of the other PERFECT NICU babies! :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Easily Overwhelmed

What DOES NOT Belong:
laid back
easy going
go with the flow

I'll give you a hint, it's the one in all uppercase letters. Those are all things that I, or about anyone who knows me, would use to describe me....except the last one. Most people would never know that I am easily overwhelmed....well actually...yes they would, because I don't necessarily mean OVERWHELMED in a negative sense here; although that occurs in my life as well. In this case, EASILY OVERWHELMED, refers to emotion. I find myself in the midst of tears often....sometimes good and sometimes not....but my emotions are easily stirred. Lately I've been easily overwhelmed with many emotions: joy, guilt, love, grief, gratefulness, worry....just to name a few.
At the beach, I found myself completely overwhelmed with love and gratefulness.
Seeing baby Maggie, one year after she joined my dear friends' family, I find myself completely overwhelmed with joy and gratefulness.
Taking a new job, I find myself overwhelmed with guilt and gratefulness.
Sending my oldest to high school, I find myself overwhelmed with worry and gratefulness.
Greeting our new pastor each week, I find myself overwhelmed with grief and gratefulness.
Listening to my pastor, Cindy's sermon on feeding the hungry, I found myself overwhelmed with all of those emotions.
I notice the common emotion here is gratefulness. NPayne always says, "There is always someone who is experiencing something worse than we are! We need to look at what we have to be grateful for."
Many years ago, when my Drew who is now 10, was very little....3 or so...she was getting up every night. Now if you know me, you know that SLEEP is my #1 survival priority. I love and require lots of sleep! ;) Well she was getting up, and she would be crying and upset; and it would take a long time to settle her down and get her back in bed. Honestly I rarely get up if one of our children get up, NPayne almost always does. If he gets up, he settles them in and goes right back to sleep. If I get up, I settle them in (maybe not as friendly as he does), and am awake for hours....maybe even the rest of the night. We are so fortunate that our kids....all 5 of them....have and are good sleepers and easy to put to bed. However there have been moments, when one of them watched something that spooked them; or they had a nightmare, or something of those sorts....and they get up. When Drew was going through this phase, Neil had gotten up a few nights; and then he was just becoming exhausted....because it was not a quick settling in for her. So I started getting up with her. I remember the first few night of being calm and patient and loving, but soon thereafter I started to become impatient and irritated.....which really doesn't help a frightened child in the middle of the night! On about the 4th day, I made a conscious effort....a decision....that I would not become irratated and impatient. I made a decision, that truly changed my life that day, I decided that I would hold that little girl as long as I needed to and cuddle her and love her and appreciate the fact that I had her and be GRATEFUL for her; because some day she won't be getting me up (which is a good thing...honestly I do know that)....but some day she will be a pre-teen, then a teen, then a young adult, then an adult, then gone from my house. I decided that day that I would treasure those quiet moments with one of the most wonderful blessings God had given me, and that's what I did. I held her endlessly and smelled her head and caressed her back and let her little tiny hands caress mine, and I was overwhelmed by love, joy, and gratitude. And honestly when she was finally sleeping through the night again, I was a little sad that we weren't having those the middle of the night....together anymore. Now don't get me wrong, I was so grateful for sleep again; but I really learned how to look at being grateful over being inconvenienced. Since then, I really approach most everything with a grateful spirit. Of course there are times when I get irritated and impatient, but they are usually short lived when I take the time and make the decision to realize all I have to be grateful for. Sometimes I do have to stop and re-evaluate and remind myself.....I am grateful because? It usually doesn't take but a second to see what I have to be grateful for. God is such a loving God....He wants us to be happy....He wants us to have all we need, but He also wants us to appreciate what we be grateful for what we thank Him for what we use what we help others with what we have.... My pastor, Ken, taught me the part about using what we have to help others; and I am so GRATEFUL he did!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


So I've been helping one of my close friends prepare her nursery for the arrival of her twin boys...YEA! These two will be her 4th and 5th, and YES THEY ARE ALL BOYS!!!! FIVE BOYS!!! Believe me, I love girls....hello....I have four of them, and of course I love my boy; but I really really really wanted my friend's twins to be boys. She may have wanted to toss a girl in the mix somewhere, since she already had 3 boys; but I am living vicariously through her. Remember I have twin envy. Now I'm not necessarily saying I would have wanted twin boys, but I will have to admit that I am quirky about how I would have ordered my twins....had I been able to do that. I always, always, always wanted twins....even when I was pregnant for the fifth time. I would have been thrilled to have had twins. You might think that's the quirky part, because it seems that most people would not choose to have twins....not sure why that is...but oh well. The quirky part about my wishful twins is this....I always wanted to have same sex twins (2 girls or 2 boys), so yes I'm living vicariously through my friend; because she is having same sex twins....BOYS! Now you might wonder why I wanted her to have boy twins, since she already has 3 boys and no girls. Well that sort of answers itself, because if you met her boys...good would know why. They are about the most gorgeous, sweet little men ever. Now of course they have their all children/boys do....but I just can't imagine her not having more of those wonderful little creatures. I mean, you know what they say, if it ain't broke; don't fix it. Now I she just has to name them. Twin boys coming soon and oh the photos I will take. This is a photo from last summer of the boys and their daddy!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Beach Pictures

The last day we were at the beach, I noticed Elliot working hard on something in the sand. I walked over and was so surprised to see what she had created.....our family! She drew hearts between each person's face. Ahhhhh....the love! Pretty stinkin' good for a 4 year old!
NPayne aka Dad....complete with his soul patch! Yes that
long piece hanging from his chin is, in fact, his soul patch!
She's brilliant!
This is her self portrait!
Big sis....Addi aka Sissy!
Big Sister Bryna
Big Sister Drew
Then there's ME aka Mom!
Last but not least....Big Brother Cal!
Then there's our family portrait....created by several Paynes! Lotta hair in this family!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

We're Back!

There's my babies....all five of them enjoying the ocean. I love the's such a calming place for me. It makes me very happy to be there. Every year, I say...."We need to stay longer next time." I hope we carry through with that next year.
I'm back to my "normal" life, and I'm already feeling a little overwhelmed by all there is to do before school starts. I have a new job....a little overwhelming, since I haven't worked "full time" in 12 + years. I am shooting a wedding in two weeks....a little overwhelming, just thinking about the time it takes to edit those thousands of photos. I have a long long long list of things "To Do" before my kids start school....always overwhelming, since I don't have much time or much money. I have to secure a lot of babysitting for my kids over the next few weeks for my new job....a little overwhelming, since my boy doesn't just let anyone sit with him; and I can't really afford the amount of babysitting I am going to need. I have to take care of my mom's needs and would like to actually visit with her from time to time....a little overwhelming, because I'm currently swamped. Addi is starting high school.....a lot overwhelming, because....well my first born will be in high school....SIGH. I looked at her band schedule and from August doesn't look like she has a free Friday or Saturday plus I received the invoice for all of her band "stuff"....HELP ME HENRY! One thing I know....I know for certain is this....The Holy Spirit will be my calming peace through all of this overwhelming stuff!
"Stop worrying long enough to hear My voice. I speak softly to you, in the depths of your being. Your mind shuttles back and forth, hither and yon, weaving webs of anxious confusion. As My thoughts rise up within you, they become entangled in those sticky webs of worry. Thus, My voice is muffled, and you hear only "white noise." Ask My Spirit to quiet your mind so that you can think My thoughts. This ability is an awesome benefit of being My child, patterned after My own image. Do not be deafened by the noise of the world or that of your own thinking. Instead, be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Sit quietly in My Presences, letting My thoughts reprogram your thinking."
Sarah Young....."Jesus Calling"!
Deuteronomy 30:20, Genesis 1:27, Romans 12:2

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Beach

We are on vacation....woohoo!!! I am loving the beach, the wondrous beauty of the ocean, the amazement and pure awe of what God has created. I am loving the peace and calm He provides through it. I am loving how much my kids are loving. I am loving how much my boy is loving it. I am loving the time just the seven of us are spending together....eating together, talking together, dancing.....a lot of dancing.....together. I am loving sitting on the balcony reading my book. I am loving sleeping with my two youngest, singing "Skinnamarink" to them while I tickle their arms. I am loving touching foreheads with Elli while she sucks her thumb, and I say a goodnight prayer over her in our big comfy bed. I am loving waking up in the middle of the night with both girls snuggled so close to me, that I can barely move. I am loving staring at those peaceful sleeping faces each morning waiting for them to wake up. I will never forget these times. Addi is making a movie of our trip, and I am loving hearing their sweet little voices everytime she plays back a particular part of the movie. I am loving every single minute....just in case you hadn't figured that out. Thanks be to God for these cherished moments of heaven on earth.

Monday, July 4, 2011


We are heading out tomorrow. Loading up, driving a long way, eating in the car, only stopping for emergencies, and then we will arrive..... our dream destination!

We can't wait to get there! We got our house covered, our pets covered, our mail covered, everything covered; so we are outta here. Check back with you in a week or so!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

VBS 2011


All 5 of my children had a great week, and for that I am so thankful. Having Cal go to VBS has always been a challenge. Now that he is almost in 7th grade, he doesn't really "go to" VBS. It's designed for children through 5th grade. So for the last several years, Cal has had a youth helper. He should be a youth helper, but since he has not been a fan of VBS and all the chaos fun that it brings; he has not been much of a helper. His youth helper just sort of hangs out with him, plays with him, chases him around, encourages him to try some of the VBS stations, and basically just spoils him rotten.....and I LOVE IT....and do does he! He was so excited to go to VBS this week and play with Ms. Ashley, his youth helper, and every day he got up with a big smile on his face. Ms. Ashley has been his youth helper for the last several years, and she's headed to college in the fall. What will I Cal do without her next summer? I had a great week at VBS as well....leading a 3rd grade class from station to station and sharing the love of Christ with them was amazing....AMAZING! Seeing and listening to all that my children learned was amazing. Seeing my boy so happy.....the best part. Cal attending VBS happily every day....may seem to be a simple triumph for most, but for's a huge triumph! God is so good!