Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Bittersweet Day

Today is a bittersweet day.  

Patches, the most gracious guest, is going home to Class 109 today.  It makes us all (well, almost all of us) sad to see him go.  You are always welcome at the Craig household, Patches.

And still our gloomy thoughts are quickly lit by the fact that Charis gets to wear her new Dora light up shoes for the first time to school today.  A special Aunt R was compelled to bless Charis with these amazing shoes.  I'm telling you, just watching these shoes twinkle will brighten any dampened spirit.  Maybe I should put in my request for a pair.

Thank you, Aunt R, for taking the time to make a little girl's month!

Now off to vacuum random poop pellets, Patches thank you gifts.  

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Caleb Senior 2011 Teaser

Had so much fun tromping through the overgrown brush for Caleb's senior photoshoot.  I was excited to ride out into the field in Caleb's VW bus, but when it stalled half way through the overgrowth, I was a bit worried about making it back to civilization.  Luckly, he was able bounce us along through the field with the bus tied to the back of a four-wheeler.

Along with his talent of towing buses, Caleb is an amazing musician.  In fact, he's applying for Berklee College of Music in Boston.  Good Luck, Caleb!

Look for more pictures to come!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chronicles of A Weekend Guest

Charis, you see, is the ultimate animal lover.  I, on the other hand, am the child who punched our family cat in the eye and for two days Daisy walked around with her eye closed shut.  Needless to say, Charis has been asking for a pet, any kind of pet, for months now.

Do you know how ecstatic I was to find out Class 109 comes equipped with it's own pet?!

Patches is an essential member of Charis' preschool class and because we're such cool parents we agreed to allow Patches to come visit our home first this year.

Patches smells raunchy, poops everywhere and sheds profusely.  Every mother's dream pet.  While we were taking turns holding the little guy, daddy got the best idea to see what would happen if we set him down on the carpet.

Well, we found out under the couch is his favorite place.  In his little note that came with him he said he loves apples.  As you can see, he lied to us.

Here's a delicious apple waiting for Patches to come get.  And where's Patches??  Under the couch laughing at us. 

After a half hour of chasing him around the house we got smart.  We locked the squealing kids in their bedroom and a grown man and a large pregnant mommy proceeded to roll around on the floor until we pinned and squished a pint size rodent between us.  It was not a pretty sight.

 I'm happy to say, Patches survived his first day at the Craig household.  

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's Already Started

After picking up Charis from her first day EVER of preschool, I was excited to hear all the wonderful things she did that day.  Strangely, I was met with a solemn child and after a few questions I was told, "I don't want to tell you anything".

Ok.  I can empathize.  She's had a big day and I'll give her space and allow her to process this eventful day.  After a few minutes of driving, she was ready to share her day, "Mommy, I need new tennis shoes.  Mine are ugly and scratched.  Everyone has pretty new tennis shoes.  I need Dora light-up shoes".

Are you kidding me?  Charis' first memory of school is that her mother had the audacity to send her to the first day of school with old tennis shoes on!?

And now I get to spend the rest of the year keeping up with the Jones' kids?


Monday, August 23, 2010

Butterflies and Babies

If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies. ~Author Unknown

As we prepare for the opening of our new studio this October, we've done quite a bit of soul searching concerning the future of our business.

1) Matt has come on as a more prominent addition to all the happenings at Charity Lynn.  That's not to say he hasn't been a huge part up to this point.  In fact, he's been my biggest fan and wouldn't let me throw in the towel all 11, 264 times.  So, you'll be seeing him around a lot more.  (hint, hint...we're working on brining on a couple of other people too!)

2) Babies, babies, babies!  Tis' the season for babies.  Well, at least in our family, anyway.  Until now we've focused on weddings and fresh new love, but now we're going to expand to celebrate the seasons of childhood.  (The new website is almost done!)

3) In an industry saturated with amazing photographers, it's time we set ourselves apart from the rest of the pack.  Our vision is no longer to create amazing images, but to create timeless art.  We will deliver framed work ready to hang on your wall that will not only establish stunning decor for your home, but art unique to your family.

4) We are all about you.  You are why we are doing this, so we're going to take the time to get it right, just for YOU.

We look forward to capturing a sliver of your amazing story.
Charity & Matt

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Have You Kissed Your Hero Today?

Remember when you we're dating the man of your dreams?  Remember how your face lit up when he walked into the room?  Or how just hearing his voice over the phone would send you head spinning?  Remember how he made you feel like there was no other woman alive?

Now it's been two years of marriage and the smells that emulate from him are not natural.  His dresser?  Oh, that's the pile of clothes next to the bed.  It's no secret that relationships - all relationships - are difficult to be successful, most of all a marriage relationship.  I mean, everyday you're with that person & everyday you see that person's true colors.

So what happened between the pre and post "I do"?  Did he turn into a different person?  How did our marriage turn into a verbal boxing match?  In the book, Finding the Hero in Your Husband, Julianna Slattery talks about how every man wants one thing.  To be someone's hero.  Can you believe that just about everything falls second to this desire?

Could it be that our focus changed?  No longer does he light up my room when he walks in.  No longer can he send my head spinning when he calls.  Instead I'd rather tell my girlfriends everything he does wrong.  

For the next few weeks, focus on all the wonder things that first took your breath away.  Find small things he does and sincerely voice your appreciation.  Let him know you love it when he helps with the kids or when he offers to make dinner.  Think of ways to brag to other people about him...in his ear shot.  

Try it.  You may be surprised at who walks through the door.

This post is dedicated to Matt, my true Superman.  Thanks for doing the dishes this morning.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Life Moment

As I worked, I absentmindedly heard the prattle of Charis behind me.  After awhile I couldn't take the constant questions and chatter, so I turned to scold her when I looked into the face of innocence and quickly remembered this moment will pass too quickly & I'm sure one day I'll long to hear her 4 year old conversation again.  I quickly grabbed my camera and captured this moment to remind me of the important things in life.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Single Moms (and Dads) Rock!

A few weeks ago, as a frustrated mom, I huffed out of the house leaving my three fussing children with my amazing husband.  That's when it hit me that there are thousands of moms (and dads) who face this incredible task without the loving support of a spouse.  Daily they forge forward giving every bit of their energy to raise their beautiful children to adulthood and many times without enough time for themselves. I know how difficult just being a parent can be, so I wanted to take some time out to give honor where honor is due.

Take some time out today to thank a single mom for all her daily sacrifices.

Here's some adorable shots from our Single Mom's Photo Shoot this weekend! 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Preschool and Fruit Loop Rainbows.

I remember preschool.  I remember the day I threw up my hot dog on my teacher's arm.  Well, today I registered my Charis for preschool, so now she'll be making memories of her own.

As a huge homeschool advocate, I never dreamed that I would be taking this step, but I couldn't be more pleased with this decision that Matt and I have made.  So it seems now our school plans have taken on a more hybrid element.  

To celebrate, I bought Fruit Loops and we made rainbows.  Hunter did have two purples on her rainbow, but the temptation was too great, she ate the other one, glue and all!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

JCA is Impacting Local Schools!

I'm so excited to get to photograph some amazing people who are making a difference in their world!

Jacob Charitable Alliance is making a huge impact on local schools with their character building programs.  This non-profit organization has an amazing team who goes into public schools with a voice speaking worth and significance into the lives of middle and high school students.  

Tara Bollinger-Jacob co-founded JCA, along with her husband, with the vision to impact the next generation, and that is just what they are doing!

Their website is under construction, so I'll be sure to pass it on when it's up and running, so you can see for yourself just how awesome this programs is!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Parenting Plus a Business??

Being a parent is one of the most important callings a person can accept in their life.  In fact, I've spent the past 4 1/2 years striving to learn everything I can about being a better parent.  I don't claim to know it all, but just like most mommies, I'm doing the best of my ability.

Lately, my role as a mommy has taken a new dimension.  It's a role that thousands of women juggle everyday.  How do I manage my family. plus run a successful business/ministry/job/career?  My fledgling photography business (that's been more of a hobby) is taking a much more serious capacity that will require more of my time.  It's not as if parenting isn't one of the hardest things to do anyway, but to add another outside element will only take more determination and grace of God!

If anyone's read about the Proverbs 31 woman, we all know she is a woman of many hats and still her children rise up and call her blessed.  So it can be done!

(During a break at a photo shoot, Matt snuck a few pictures of me multi-tasking during my rest time.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Erin & David are Married!

I have a special place in my heart for small intimate weddings, because that is exactly what Matt & I did when we got married.  We booked a bed & breakfast two hours away in the middle of nowhere and with just our family and closest friends we entered into a sacred commitment.  No hype, no drama, just love.

So when I booked Erin & David's intimate wedding I was excited to share in their special day.  It was perfect weather in Old St. Charles as the couple was all smiles and laughs as they made a lifelong commitment to one another surrounded by their families.

Thank you David & Erin for letting me share in your amazing day.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Baby Photo Contest!

Moms, here's your chance win $2000 in professional baby photography!  Click on the link below and be sure to share with your friends!

Baby Contest

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The End is Now

Sitting in the hospital surrounded by blue and teddy bears, I couldn’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want a dozen of these amazing bundles of joy.

Then, fast forward two years…“NO!” “I will NOT!”

As I stand staring at my bright-eyed angel flailing about on the floor in a fit of passion, I’m baffled how it all came down to this.  What happened to the coos and cuddles?  When did the giggles and drool turn into willful defiance and stubborn disobedience?

Lost in the daily routine of “making it through the day”, I missed the bigger picture.  I have a mission to send a responsible citizen into the world to fight for justice with moral character and a purpose higher than himself. 

So how does my wild, undisciplined toddler become that solid, world-changing adult? 

It starts today.  I must manage everyday with the end in sight.

Who do I want my little man to be?  What kind of character do I want him to have the day he walks out of my care? 

Do I want him to stand for truth?  Then starting today I must demonstrate truth in everything I do.  No longer is it good enough to parent the behavior.  I need to parent the heart. 

Seek out those who have gone down this road before us.  Educate yourself on child development and become passionate about raising the next generation.  The worst thing you can do for your heritage is to “wing it”. 

Be encouraged and master each day, for the end is now.

"Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him".  Ps. 127:3 (NLT)

Monday, August 2, 2010

An Impromptu Shoot and Marital Tension

So, last night on some crazy whim Matt set up all our studio lighting in our living room and proceeded to have an impromptu photo shoot with our good friend, Joanne.  We promised to give Jo more warning for her next shoot.

A funny little thing transpired during this event - marital tension.  My role as the background holder was not working for me or anyone else.  I had too much to say and I guess I was complaining too much about my arms getting tired.

Now switch places.  Matt was just as an opinionated background holder as I was.  I think at one point Joanne started singing "Kumbaya".  I'm just glad we have friends we feel comfortable enough around to be ourselves.  Well, finally after a few minutes of cherished and loving dialogue we turned out some stunning images of Joanne. 

Isn't life fun?  I think so.