Everyday Life · Photography

Hey Amanda! Where you at?

I sometimes ask myself that question, especially when I have a million things going on at once. This is just a quick update on where we’re at and what I’ve been doing.

Digital scrapbooking design has pretty much come to an end indefinitely. I have no idea if I will return to it or not. The graphic design I’m doing for work has pretty much zapped the creative energy out of me (at least that form of it anyway).

Speaking of creative energy, I have returned to photography! I have always loved it but pushed my camera to the side for almost a whole year, minus a few birthday and holiday celebrations here and there. In November though, a friend & sister in Christ let me know about a local photog group meet-up and that was all it took. I have had it in my hand nearly every day since. Sometimes you forget how much you love doing something until you get back into it. I finally grabbed an external flash during all the great holiday sales and some fun accessories – a wide angle lens, some close-up lenses and a few filters. I haven’t had a chance to put them to good use just yet, but imagine I will once the weather warms up. (I can not wait for the weather to warm up! This below zero stuff is nonsense!)

A little test shot using one of the close-up lenses.

Snowflake from our 1st snow of 2015 with a x10 close-up lens. First time using a close-up lens.

With the snow day came a great opportunity to finish my daughter’s senior portraits! We did part 1 in the late fall, but she really wanted winter senior pics in the snow. When school was canceled, it was a perfect opportunity to get out there and see what we could capture. Though, our driveway was covered in snow and I wasn’t about to drive anywhere so we stayed in the yard.

I may be biased, but I think she is just gorgeous!
This one is definitely a favorite!

With getting back into photography, I have decided to let go of a few other things. Work, for one…lol! Not altogether – not yet anyway. I have been weaning myself out of some of the blogging and graphic design chores for one of the companies I work for. As great as extra money can be, it’s not worth it when it consumes time I would rather spend elsewhere, like with my family. Prayerfully, I will be able to only continue working what is absolutely necessary and look forward to the direction this will take our lives.

My work was only one area we decided to start minimizing. New Year’s brought on a huge self-realization of how much we do have and how we gather so many unnecessary material possessions. And not just us, our children! It has created a sense of valuelessness (is that a word?) in them that we really don’t want to see grow. It seems the more children have, the less they value. So, Sam & I have begun our journey into minimalism. Though our minimalism will definitely look different than the single guy with no kids (right? lol). Thus far we have successfully rid our closet of 3 large trash bags full of clothes & shoes, our kitchen of multiple large boxes of stuff, the kids playroom of another large amount of junk and we’re still going. I imagine we will start working on other rooms this weekend. It really feels good to examine your life and question what material possessions you have and why. I want the things that are necessary for our lives, to value what we do have without taking it for granted, and to find pleasure in more than just acquiring stuff. If you have ever thought about this, The Minimalists have a great blog to help you get started. Becoming Minimalist is also a great starting point from a family perspective.

What a mess huh? This was in the midst of cleaning out our closet.

So here we are minimizing the unnecessary areas of our life and maximizing the most important. Last on my list of where I’ve been is really the most important area of all! My spiritual life. As many of you know, I’m a Jesus girl. Always will be. It’s not as easy a walk of life as some would imagine and it’s often a struggle to walk the fine line between becoming religious and simply following Jesus. My desire is to always follow Jesus and walk outside the realms of religious bondage. When Pastor Francis Frangipane started sharing sign-ups for his In Christ’s Image Training, it quickly caught my attention. I have followed him online for quite some time and found much truth in what he shared about growing in Christ. Sam and I both thought it would be great to do the training together. It’s a 6-month online training that is geared to lead us closer to Jesus and to grow more in His likeness. We are only on session 2 right now, but I will keep you all updated as we progress. I eagerly desire transformation into more of what God wants us to be in this world! If that might interest you as well, there is more info on their website.

So yeah…that’s where I’ve been. Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and New Year. Do you have any life-altering plans for this year?

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