Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday

Today we began our Easter celebrations, starting off our long weekend with all of our cousins and happily creating using some old traditions and some new. We started off with resurrection rolls, a name that makes us giggle, but a sweet little hands on opportunity to get all the kids involved in some baking while talking about the story of Jesus' death and resurrection.
Ingredients:
Crescent rolls
Melted butter
Large marshmallows
Cinnamon
Sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Give each child a marshmallow which will represent Jesus. Have them dip the marshmallow in the melted butter. This represents the oils of embalming. Now have them dip the buttered marshmallow in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. This represents the spices used to anoint the body. Give each child a crescent roll triangle which represents the cloth that Jesus was wrapped in. Have them wrap the marshmallow tightly in the crescent roll, bringing the sides up to seal it. This represents the wrapping of Jesus' body after His death. Place them in the oven for 10-12 minutes. The oven represents the tomb. Once they're removed, let them cool slightly and have the kids open their rolls to discover that Jesus is no longer there. (The marshmallow melts and the crescent roll is puffed up but empty.) Such a fun and meaningful little tradition to start with the fam.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Prepping for a Shoot + Behind the Scenes

Before I shoot anything "big" for YOU magazine (cover shoot or fashion spread), I do some test shots at the location a few days before. In this particular case it seemed very necessary, since our spring has made its arrival this year at a snail's pace and even still seems in a state of bewildered confusion (I am at this moment watching large snowflakes falling slowing outside the kitchen window, the kind that I might even call beautiful … in January … grrrr). So I took the kids to our spring fashion location and snapped a few photos of them exploring and playing late in the afternoon one Sunday. You'll notice a bit of snow still clinging to the hills. That was all melted away a week later when we reappeared models in tow. But now, well, it's likely back (smiling through gritted teeth).

My boys obediently stepped onto rocks and sat on tree roots as model stand ins. Sweet things. Scarlet was in the Bjorn the entire time; quite the work out!
My husband accompanied me to the shoot the morning of which was really fun. I had loads of props with me. As I went through all the pictures to edit I noticed that he had also snapped a slew of photos and they turned out wonderfully, a unique point of view so to speak. So here is a behind the scenes look at our shoot with the girls. First, taking pics of each other and figuring out my camera settings (this time we were there in the morning and I was hoping to create ethereal, sun bleached, slightly faded images) and then of me getting those fashion shots. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Flower Crowns {sisters and babes}

I had such a busy and fun weekend of photo shoots, one after the other. But this one was really special to me and though there is a white blanket of snow on the ground again today, we had a spectacularly lit, golden afternoon on Friday. You may remember us taking maternity pictures together last year, also featuring some lovely crowns but those that I had made from silk flowers. Well we thought we'd replicate those in a new way, with the most stunning fresh crowns this time (made by Sunny at Ebb and Flow Flowers in GB) and with our close to one year olds on our hips! (Here's the maternity shoot). 
Dresses:
Me: Sammy Dress (new sponsor!)
Daena: Forever 21
Cara: Hey Daisy! (GB)
Scarlet: Sweet Peas (GB)
Aletta: Zara 
Jude: pants - Sweet Peas (GB)

Flower Crowns: 

Daen goes in for her 4th round of chemo today. She is doing very well still and continues to see little miracles happening in her life all the time. I think her greatest struggle in these last few weeks has been a lack of energy, or at least the get-everything-done-no-big-deal energy she was used to having pre cancer. But being a mom of 4 requires so much and in a normal circumstance is exhausting in itself. Though it's definitely not as difficult as it was in the beginning stages of these treatments and perhaps it's due to the fact that the cancer is now gone. Or it's your prayers for her being answered every day. Whatever the case, she is well, keeping up with life and family and doing an amazing job at it. Please keep her in your prayers, friends, and ask for the last half of these treatments to just get easier and easier if you would. And for her to find a renewed energy with a sense of calm and peace. There's lots happening in these next few months and I want her to feel up for all of it. We're realizing now, as her lashes start to fall out, that lashes are perhaps the hardest of all to lose. We've been looking into falsies from the drugstore and the fancier NovaLash, which are eyelash extensions. Those seem like a really great option in this case but are quite expensive. Do you wear falsies and if so, any recommendations?
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