Friday, October 14, 2011

Farmhouse Dining Room Table

10 feet long... Built this with my own 2 hands (& a little wisdom and experience from my Dad!) and approx. $25 dollars. Go cull lumber!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

on growing a business and neurocognitive-ness in my children.

***New things are coming from Christine Sweet Photography, for one, a name change. Wait and see! But don't get too awakened with anticipation... it won't be that different. :)

So as I've pondered growing my photography biz in the past, I've honestly shuttered at the thought of the possible ramifications. I mean, I've thought of it in terms of time lost with my kids. Time away from them. Time that denotes something... I missed.

That is so messed up.

Anyway, it's the bondage that's messed up, not that I want to be a consistent presence in my childrens' life. In fact the reason why building my business is even enticing to me right now is because there will (hopefully) be minimal time away from my kids. Jersey will be in preschool next year 5 days a week, I'll only likely schedule one session per week and Zion will be watched by a charming teenage sitter in the upstairs of my home. It's perfect. :) No, but it really is, and if it works I'm so. dang. happy.

I want to be there for them, you know? I want to be there... here, enough and with not 500 other things weighing on my mind so I can truly and prudently observe them. See into their hearts. See the words behind the words. Discern. Pray. Ponder. So I can see them. They need intentionality. They're growing people... their little brains are being wired, their billions of neurons are forging little pathways that will determine their response mechanisms and behaviors and beliefs when they're 30 and yes, if I think about this too much it makes me anxiety-dizzy but it also makes me stop and realize how valuable they are. And how important my Mama job is. Dang.

Ok, so the downstairs Study of our new home will be transformed into my new Natural light Newborn/Child Photog Studio! Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!! I'm so excited! I'll have wood flooring and alternate flooring and wood backdrops and I don't know what other crazy sopisticated but natural but fresh-ish backdrops I'll settle on but it will be fab. Eventually. Then I'll need knit hats and big flower headbands and cheesecloth and blankets and little newborns cacoon things and hammocks and branches and wooden crates and fur and... anyway, you get the idea. Obvious to all is that cheesecloth plus naked newborn definitely equals art. :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Yion Doe-wef Weet

(it's how he says his name) :)


Pat, pat, pat on my leg.

Mommy hole me now hole me Mama!

I'm looking down at him from like, a hundred feet, wondering how someone so small can have so much, well, personality. And brains, and rationale and will. And heart. He's light as a feather. He hunkers down against my shoulder and just sort of apes to me in this wonderful, delicious, baby way and then I look at our reflection and dang it, he's huge! He's lanky and grown and where in the heck did my baby go? It was like, just yesterday that I breathed a sigh of relief that I still had a baby in the house and now I'm not so sure. I mean, he is. He is. But he's not.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lauka Wedding | Lansing, MI Wedding Photographer

To say Bri was a beautiful bride is an understatement. Isn't she stunning?!?!?! This wedding was an absolute blast to shoot! The ceremony beautiful, the wedding party hysterical, the reception a dance par-taaaaaaay! Loved every minute!

(click on the images to enlarge. it's worth it!)

The first look from the Father of the Bride was breathtaking.

Justin and Bri, you two are rock stars. Just LOOK at you!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Baliko Wedding - Smithfield VA Wedding Photographer

To the dearest Chris and Deb, you graced us all with your excitement, your kindness, and your love. It was an honor serving you on your wedding day.

Enjoy the beauty and fierceness that is Chris and Deborah Baliko. :)


The sunlight was dreeeeeeeeeeeamy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

she's needed me lately.

Mommy, I just want to be with you.

Mama, can we have some time, just me and you?

Mama, let's have some special time together.


SERIOUSLY??? No, I am not dreaming. This really is my life. This really is her heart toward me. I am blessed. But if I'm not in tune with her, or with myself even, it's easy to miss these clues into her little soul. It's easy to pass it off, or shush her or tell her why it's just not always practical to spend one-on-one time together because after all there's Zion and he's two and he doesn't just go away and when will we because of school and art class and ballet and then dinner and oh storytime and Look Daddy's home or why don't we just play girl toys and boy toys simultaneously?

Yeah, that makes soooooo much sense to a 4 year old.


It doesn't make much sense to me either.

Honestly, I give my crazy awesome God all the kudos here because the truth is, I haven't done any of that. And trust me when I say it's easy to do so. But lately, it's like our hearts are entwined in this wonderful way and we get each other and feel each other and know just what to do. Jersey and I. We're like chocolate and peanut butter. We just go together.

Just look at us. :)

And Zion, well, he just takes it over the edge with goodness.

So even though our daily life of Mama and Jersey and Zion is wonderful and full of fun and learning (like the fun kid kind) and love and cuddles and kisses and hugs and food and peace, I'm taking a moment to step back. I don't anticipate the inauguration of any new schedule or anything, I like our life, my kids like our life. It works. They're thriving. It's just now, for a couple weeks, Jersey just might need a little more thoughtfulness, a little more eye contact, a little more Mama. And it's something I'm meant to navigate, to sort out where God wants me to engage and where he wants me to let HIM engage.

I'm so honored to be the one that gets to see glimpses into her heart and be there to spur her onward.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Zion Joseph.

Cracked tiles pasted within bright stars, my soul is racing,
plotting a course between yours and mine.

Hope you have time to rest upon my heart,
for I think it's time to make a color no one has ever seen.

Jersey Christine.


The Eskimos have a thousand words for snow.
I wish I had a thousand words for love but all that comes to mind is the way you make my heart dance at the sight of you and there are no words for that.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

on Mommy marathons and icky job/illness inflicted solitude.

**Click to see larger. It's worth it.**

My husband's job that is. Oh, and my husband's illness.

**Disclaimer: This post is meant to neither impugn my wonderful, hot, hardworking husband or his job. Seriously. It's meant to merely complain.**

My hubby doesn't read my blog anyway. :)

So here's how it goes down.

6:00 a.m. Hubby's alarm sounds. No bother, it's the kind that simulates the altogether soothing sound of church bells. Oh, and it commences softly, like your sweet Mama's voice on Monday mornin' when it's time for school. And he turns it off before it gets obnoxious.

by 7 a.m. One of my darling kids decides it's the perfect time to meet the day. Or at least to jump in bed with yours truly. Zion is particularly endearing and well, interested. In cuddling with me that is.

7:30 a.m. We make a choice. Breakfast at the coffee table? Insert watching child's brain turn to a watery pulp as they watch the boob tube. Why do they call it that? -OR- Breakfast at the table with charming morning banter about nightime dreams and plans for the day. I'm ashamed to say it's usually the making and loathing of watery pulp.

9:30 a.m. Do we play? Do we hit Target? I'm sure we need something. Oh yes, we go to the Pool. My kids are in heaven and well, so am I.

12 noon Lunch at home or at the pool.

12:45 p.m. Quiet Time & Nap for the kids while I enjoy a little bill paying, virtual-internet swashbuckling, or some good ol' fashioned R&R. For the record, the swashbuckling consists mainly of mommy blogs, facebook and email. It's really not that adventurous. It would be more accurately described as virtual-internet slothful relaxation. Or downtime.

1:45 p.m. Jersey is asking if her Quiet Time can be over.

1:47 p.m. Jersey is asking if her Quiet Time can be over.

1:49 p.m. Jersey is asking if her Quiet Time can be over.

1:49 p.m. I let her get up. We get a treat and find a nice spot to play Polly Pockets or American Girl or baby dolls. Polly Pockets is my her my current favorite. We play and pretend and teach our Polly Pockets to think of others before themselves. It's really quite charming.

3:00 p.m. Zion wakes up and joins the fun, only we add farm animals, cars, trucks, motorcycles and baseballs. Polly Pocket takes leisurely rides on said farm animals and car crash after car crash after car crash ensues. On the coffee table. Off the coffee table. Aaaaaaaand we do it again. This is actually one of the most wonderful things to do with him. He's pretty much de-lish.

4:00 p.m. Oprah? This is a recent thing. I keep telling myself I'm on vacation and it's okay.

5:00 p.m. Storytime on the couch. Some days yes, some days no. But only by lack of remembering.

5:45 p.m. I should start dinner. Then again Brian hasn't been getting home until...

6:00 p.m. I've forgotten about dinner.

6:15 p.m. Remember dinner but realize it's too late to make anything meaningful. I'm thinking Brian will be home any second and maybe something magical will happen like he'll walk through the door with Papa John's. Afterall, I'm on vacation.

6:30 p.m. I'm forgetting that my kids need to eat so they can go to bed, but the fact that Brian isn't home is tricking my mind into thinking it's 5:00.

7:00 p.m. Brian walks through the door with Papa John's. We eat, we play, the kids are in heaven with Daddy home.

8:00 p.m. (unless they're having a particularly good time, then it's more like 8:45... errr... even 9:00) Kid's Bedtime. Brian takes Jers. I take Zion.

8:30 p.m. Yes! Time with my man. Maybe we can have an invigorating metadiscourse about world peace and spending money on high-end shoes. Oh yeah, he's sick. Bummer. I guess it's hard core analysis of market segmentation as it relates to Cheer, Era, and Dreft. Usually Dreft. I actually happen to dig this topic.

10:00 p.m. Talk of bedtime drags me down. I'm feeling spent and lonely and desperate for some real time with Brian, other Moms. Mostly Brian.

Can anyone relate? Do you see all the loveliness of my day or did I centralize too much on the negative? I'm actually quite happy and content with my life. I actually love my life. But as much as my kids fill me up with joy and love and laughter and peace, they also drain me. And that's not a criticism or an admission of their high-maintenance-ness. It's just the truth for all Kid-Parent relationships. Anyway, can anyone relate? Oh, and did this sound contrived? Seriously.