15 July, 2013

A Newborn Session: Meet Luke + What I Learned

Legend has it that if the Mama eats the famous eggplant parmesan at Scalini's Fine Italian Restaurant she'll go into labor within 48 hours.  Earlier this summer I went with a friend and it worked. 

All Luke needed was the reservation.

Born 5 days before his due date and the day before our Scalini's reservation, weighing in just under 8 pounds 11 ounces, we are so excited to have another nephew and a cousin for Evie on the Buergler side.  She is already in love with her little "uke"

Leeann asked if I'd take a few pictures of him and I couldn't help but do a full blown newborn photo shoot. I was desperate for the experience and opportunity.

Their house is rather idyllic for a photo shoot  They have everything within the 1500 square feet of their house: large patio with green yard, brick wall, and natural lit seating areas with great textured and patterned fabrics.  

Of course their classic style and adorable baby are just icing on the cake.


I learned a lot with this session. (And more than just how badly I want a new baby!)


Technically Speaking:

  • RAW is my friend!
  • The great Catch-22:  Is the shot worth it over 1600 ISO? Several of the shots are super pixelated 
  • The Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 SP XR Di II VC
    was the best investment I've made in a long time. I was able to get many of these in a super narrow or tight area because of the wide angle. The f/2.8 makes for a great group portrait lens too!
  • The built-in flash + Lightscoop has served my $20 well, but it's time to upgrade to a real external flash. The recycle time on the built-in flash is so slow I missed several great shots.
     

Subject Matter:

  • Ideal time for newborn shots really is that 10-day window. At 13 days Luke was past the yummy scrunchy phase.
  • Newborn shots really do take 2-3 hours:  nurse, burp, diaper change, pose / snooze, repeat
  • Now I know why no one does newborn shots while the baby is awake. WONKY NEWBORN EYES!  They don't focus, and sometimes both eyes aren't looking the same direction. This is super creepy in photographs.

12 July, 2013

On being intentional

I know I said I wasn't going to blog in July, but I just can't keep my mouth shut sometimes.  This is something that's really been on my heart lately and I have been dying to share!

Being intentional.

This has been coming to me in prayer for the last several weeks and the more I reflect on this virtue the more I see how much it fruit it has beared in my life the last few years, and how I need to lean on it even more these days.

To me, being intentional is having a plan or goal in mind and working towards it.  I don't mean this in a rapid-fire to-do list style, but more of a meaningful, purposeful plan for life in the small things.

A few years ago Eric and I knew we needed to get serious about our financial situation.  Through the grace of God we were gifted a set of Dave Ramsey CDs.  If anybody is going to preach on the virtue of intentionality it's this guy.  I firmly believe his lessons on teaching your money where to go, spending wisely and planning for purchases is what kick started my deep affinity for this virtue.

At first I thought Financial Peace was the start of intentionality for me, but the more I've thought about it the more I realize this virtue started back when we chose to use Natural Family Planning (NFP).  At it's very core, NFP is founded on intentionality.  Every time we engage in the marital act it's deliberate (but that doesn't mean it's not spontaneous!) and purposeful. Ow, ow!

So where am I currently striving to be intentional?

I am working on my time management skills. Being present where I am. Using the computer for a purpose (yes, even Candy Crush has a purpose!) instead of wasting time.  Choosing certain activities over others.  And occasionally saying no, for no purpose other than intended downtime.

Having a toddler is what has made me keenly aware of this virtue as of late.  Toddlers need to be taught a lot of things: right from wrong, that they can be independent, and that you love them no matter what!  This is serious work, at least it is for me.

Most importantly, and what should have been the start of it all, is my prayer life.  Ever since I started with spiritual direction and daily, intentional prayer time, my life has changed.  For my entire life I scoffed a the cliche "prayer changes things" without realizing how much I was being prideful and self-reliant.  Instead, it's helped me be more self-aware, dependent on others, inclusive, thoughtful, and carry a healthy dose of boldness.  Being intentional with prayer has helped me be intentional in all these other areas of my life as well.

I know that this virtue will continue to help me through my discernment of future children, possible career changes (or not), and even how I engage in my current work.  It's empowering to have a spirited-led intention and purpose in life.

02 July, 2013

Miscellany Monday #15 - Summer is off to a busy start!

Yes I know it's Tuesday.  But really it's just case and point to my post.  July is too fun to stop and blog!

Every July I get caught up in working really hard and playing even harder.  I've contemplated taking formal breaks from blogging in July and I think this year I am actually going to do it!  

Here's what is keeping us busy the next few weeks --

Evie has been non-stop learning and growing.  It's so beautiful to watch her take interest in new things, mimic us, and parrot every little word back to us. I can't believe she'll be 20 months later this week!


The weather has been electric - as in a lot of thunder and lightening, so my computer has remained off and unplugged.  I'm kind of enjoying the lack of distraction.  The daily rain storms have also kept the summer weather fairly mild (so far), so after dinner walks are a must.

Nephew Zachary is in town for a long week to play and I want to soak up every ounce of play time with him.


Our newest nephew, Luke, was born yesterday and I fully intend to love on him all summer.

I also have a week long camp I am hosting at church next week, and I'm the lead chaperone for our parish for the Steubenville Atlanta conference weekend with twenty something teenagers.  We're also planning two cabin trips -- one with my sister, her husband, and his sister's family, and one with all my siblings for our second annual "sibs weekend"

As usual the motto for July is work hard - play hard!

We will see you in August, friends :)

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