August 25, 2008



August 13, 2008


I'm moving. To another blog. I know, it feels like I'm leaving in a way, but it's a good move. You'll see why. Make sure you change your RSS feed if you subscribe, and mark this new address in your favorites. :)

Stop by and let me know what you think!

Bye, Blogger! You've been a good friend but it's time to move on to BIGGER AND BETTER blogs. Lots of love, Shawna

August 12, 2008

A good tree produces good fruit.

We have a 5 year old peach tree that is producing fruit for the first time this year. We're pretty excited about it and so we walk out every morning to see how it's doing, make sure the branches are supported well enough so they don't break, scare away any intruders or thieves looking to steal or destroy. (mainly birds) and give it some water and walk around and smile at it.

Sounds just like kids. You nuture and invest in them, support them when they need help, run off any bad influences and the like, feed and clothe 'em and walk around smiling at them. Hopefully, one day they will bear good fruit as well. Love is the main ingredient.

My own 2 peaches.
Getting watered.

Rich soil is always good too.

What do you get? Sweet, juicy and ripe fruit.

August 07, 2008


I am so excited! Yesterday I become the proud owner of the incredible D300. I love this camera! I waffled back and forth between this one and the was a hard choice but I am very happy. I will now have both of my D200's up for grabs if anyone out there in camera land is looking for one. Or two. Here are a few shots of my girls, taken with the new baby.

I am a happy mom.

August 04, 2008


School starts this week so we made a run to Tybee Island with my brother in law Paul and his kids. My father in law came down as well. We stayed in a great 3 bedroom condo right on the beach and everyone came home looking like roasted turkeys. I didn't get my camera out as much as I would have liked because with 6 kids, sand tends to get everywhere but I did snap a few pictures here and there.

Samuel and Zoe look for a way to make it to the beach on their own. They look more like brother and sister, not cousins.

Early morning weather forcast.

On Sunday morning I woke up early to walk on the beach. As I began to step over trash that had been left by beach goers I saw a few people with buckets gathering sand dollars (live ones) to take home and bleach for their collection. There were also a few metal detector guys looking for lost treasures while scanning over garbage. I began to think about how easy it is to tune trash out when we don't feel responsible for it. I found myself being "irked" by the multiple displays of selfishness. People just caring about getting what they want, not giving anything in return. Then it hit me that they are just like me. I'm that way too. Selfish and living for myself. It seems to be in our DNA.

Unless we make a concious effort to be grateful, responsible and servants of others, we tend to think of life in terms of "me." So I started to pick up trash. A lot of it. I began to make an effort to thank God for this beautiful place and the wonder of the ocean. I spoke out loud as I walked along and I wondered if people thought I was crazy. I started to feel different about judging others for not caring because I remembered all the times I had gone to the beach in Hawaii and California, looking for what I could get. Not caring about giving backto the planet, not wanting to be accountable for the abuse and waste that I have contributed to the environment. I stopped being irritated at people stepping over the trash and actually felt thankful that I saw the opportunity to pick it up. To be a giver. But I did hope that someone might see me do it and think about picking it up themselves. That they might see the selfishness in their own hearts and feel convicted like I did.

I walked for a long time and saw a small group of people near the dune grass kneeling down, digging and taking pictures. I walked up to see that a sea turtle had came in the night before and laid 100 eggs in a clutch. Her tracks could still be seen coming in and going out and there was a marine biologist there doing research, and moving the eggs to a much safer place. I wish I would have had my camera so I could show you but I left it at the condo. I felt like I was watching National Georgaphic, it was so cool. I stayed for about 15 minutes talking to the lady who was part of the "Dawn Patrol," they looked for turtle nests so they could protect and count the eggs. In 50 -70 days, while under the cover of night, these little turtles will hatch, crawl out of the sand, and make their way to that big blue ocean. They will take their chances with predators, boats, people and garbage, and hopefully one day come back to Tybee to lay their own eggs.

As I walked back, I thanked God for letting me see such a beautiful thing and I couldn't help but wonder if it wasn't somehow related to the fact that on that morning, I made an effort to show Him that I cared about His creation.


On Friday I went to see John Michael Cooper talk about how he became such an amazing photographer (he humbly says that he is only different) and what inspires him. I went to the DWF Conference 3 years ago in Vegas and was feeling frustrated from hearing the same things spoke in different ways and then I saw John on his public speaking debut. He said something really different in a really different way. I was totally inspired. So when I learned a few weeks ago that he was traveling on a 32 day tour hitting 8 towns and one was Atlanta, I was on it like Blue Bonnet. It was soooooo worth it!

He's setting up to create a Mary Poppins image. I know it's hard to imagine but it totally rocked! You can check in here and see the final masterpiece in a few days. It should be up soon. It is a compilation of 8 frames using a flash for light and photoshop skills to put it all together. Thanks John and Dalisa! You guys are amazing.

July 31, 2008

Danielle + Steven

What a beautiful day it was. The Carl House is always a fabulous place for a wedding. Denise and her staff take care of things you don't even think of. We started off at the Bride's house where the bridesmaids all had matching towels, personally monogrammed.

Janet, the bride's mom, stood amazed at how many people could fit in her bathroom. I think everyone was.
Formal Faces did a beautiful job of hair and makeup.

I took this photo because the night before all the girls had a slumber party and stayed up late practicing the dance that goes along with the song. It's one of those songs that are super popular with today's generation while the older folks hear it and look at each other with surprised looks while shaking their heads. Gotta love it!

I was thinking on the drive up about how much preparation goes into the "bride making herself ready for the wedding banquet" It really is no small deal. It's very intentional and thought out and meaningful. In some cultures, the process takes days.

Danielle is stunning and very easy to photograph. We arrived at the Carl House to continue getting ready while Amanda Phillips joined in to help shoot the rest of the event. ( Thanks Amanda!)

Steven and his crew.

I have to mention what happened 2 seconds after this shot below was taken. This is the maid of honor, Jennifer, who is the last of 8 attendants to walk down the aisle. To my absolute shock, she stopped right in front of me and said "I need the ring." You know those times when everything seems to go in slow motion and a million thoughts run through your head at the same time? Well this was one of those moments. See, I had borrowed the rings to photograph them before the ceremony and had succesfully given the brides ring back to the best man and when I went to the bride's room to return his ring, her father was there and asked for a few moments alone with her. "Of course," I said and left the room, and totally forgot the give the ring back! But when Jennifer stood in front of me, I had forgotten all of that and I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest. What seemed like 25 minutes was really only about 3-5 seconds before I remembered that it was in my pack around my waist and I managed to utter through an audible heartbeat, "OK, I'll bring it up. So while there was a pause for the adorable flower girls to come down, I quickly slipped it to her up on the "stage".

I know I've said many times that I love it when things happen at weddings that haven't happened before, but that's definatly not what I meant!

The Carl House is located near train tracks and wouldn't you know it, as soon as the officiant began the ceremony, one came whistleing by, and it wasn't a short wistle by any means. Danielle and Steven just laughed at the irony.
Oh that kiss! Yay Steven!!!

I really loved the DJ, Rich Leggitt, and wanted to say that he was by far, the best at directing the boquet and garter toss. He had everyone involved and it was really fun to watch. Here he had all the single girls charge Steven at once to give him one last good luck kiss on the cheek. Hilarious!

For the bride he had every man in the house, regardless of age, get down on one knee and serenade her. It was awesome.
For the exit they used sparklers, and I'm not kidding, they were the biggest I've ever seen and lasted 4 minutes. Needless to say, they were still sparkeling long after the limo had left.

To see more of their wedding, check out the slideshow!

July 26, 2008

Hope and Joy

I love being a mom. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do, next to being married. I mean that in a good way. Being married is about what you can give, not what you can get. I admit that I am selfish by nature so that is very, very hard at times. It means dying to myself in order to put someone else first. It requires a major effort on my part because it's so much easier to make myself #1.
Being a mom is huge. I have these 2 little lives that I am responsible for. Not just making sure they are safe and warm and cared for, but I am responsible for shaping their character and that's a big deal. It's done by example more than words. Words are easy to come by but living up to what I say is a lot harder. They watch me all the time, especially the older one. I see her taking mental notes and forming opinions about life and relationships and situations based on what she sees me DO. Essentially, I'm raising up little diciples to do what I do. The goal is to raise them up to be BETTER than me. I want them to achieve more, love more, serve more, be better sister's, daughters, wives, and friends than I ever have been. That would make me feel really good as a mom.
Today I took Madison to the Southeast Homeschooling Expo and began my (our) new adventure in homeschooling. Yes. You heard correct. I'm going to give it a try. 6th grade here we come. I'm ready, I'm excited and I think it is going to strengthen our relationship as mother and daughter....and I'm all for that.

Madison and her cousin Emily made an apple pie yesterday. She loves to bake and she did a fabulous job on this one. That's joy on her face, in case you can't tell. I love you, Madison. You are a star.