Family Portraits: The Jorves

This weekend was my first foray into family portraiture. I have taken a lot of photos of my niece Ally and my daughter Rosie, but this was my freshman attempt at capturing Jenna, Anders and Ally as a family unit. I think I have a long way to go, but practice makes perfect!

Nothing I do can make this photo look less like my brother is sailing with the Captain.  Seriously, what a goofball.

I traded my Nikon D3000 (purchased in August 2010 and well loved) in for the upgraded Nikon D3200 which also takes video. I also invested in my first prime lens (a lens that has a fixed focal length), the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S. I love both my DSLR and my prime lens. Although a 50mm lens was recommended to me, I had accidentally ordered the 35mm and ended up really liking it. I have no idea what I'm doing, but I will continue to learn I hope!

Anyone know of a good crash course in photography for a newbie like me?

Rainbow Christmas

The colorful way our living room is decorated and it being our first year with tiny tots in the house, I've decided a rainbow christmas is all I want to imagine.

Here's what I'm thinking:


1. DIY Felt Ball Garland Felt Balls from YUMMI SHOP via Etsy / 2. Crepe Paper Trees in Rainbow Colors Tutorial adapted from The Sweetest Occasion DIY May Day Bouquet / 3. Pom Poms (layered on the silver stockings) Tutorial by D E S I G N L O V E F E S T  / 4. Silver Stockings (already owned from last season, by West Elm) / 5. Hot Pink Bakers Twine from BahanaSplitsBoutique via Etsy

I can't wait to put on Amy Grant Home For Christmas (ok ok, I've been listening to it for months already!), eat, craft and decorate for the holidays over the weekend.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Fearless + Free

I have always wanted to be two things: a mother, and a creative person. Motherhood gave me the confidence and opportunity to be a creative person, and creating is making me a better mother.

I had spent the last 6+ years working at a job that was great, but not thrilling. I was paid well, given lots of generous perks, my boss treated me like family. But I always felt like I wanted to be creating, doing, learning. Although I really liked what I did, it just wasn't inspiring me.

Then, almost 10 months ago, I had my daughter Rosie.

This single event has changed my life more than almost any other (understatement of the year.) I returned to work full time when Rosie was 5 1/2 months old, but it was enormously difficult to keep our family life running smoothly and happily with both my husband and I working full time outside the house. Weekdays were a crazy race to bedtime, weekends were just two busy days filled with chores. I felt like I was missing everything, and worse, I felt like I didn't even know my own child anymore. We would spend the weekend scouring the log sheets that came home with her from daycare, trying to find some clue as to what she wanted next. It broke my heart.

Simultaneously, I had spent a massive amount of time designing invitations for my sisters wedding in September and it felt so invigorating to create! I have always loved to decorate and make things pretty. I have rearranged and styled my living room and bedroom several times since we bought our house in 2009. I didn't know how, but I knew I wanted to do something to use the passion I had for making things beautiful. And I needed to do it soon before I let it die inside me.

I know that sounds dramatic, but I think many people have had a similar feeling. Working a job that doesn't use the passion and skill you possess, having an urge to just stop EVERYTHING and make a change right now. I also wanted to my know my daughter better and felt she needed me. I didn't want my whole life to only include my daughter, but I wanted her to be more in focus. My husband and I decided our family needed someone at home more, so I quit my well paying job and decided to follow my dreams. Hoping someday my daughter would also be inspired and have the confidence to follow her dreams.

When I came across this quote by the Dalai Lama: "The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your action will be." it really affected me. It was scary leaving a great job with good pay to work part time and stay home with my daughter, but I was motivated by my love for her, our family, and for my dreams. That love (and tons of family support) gave me confidence that this was the right action for me.

This blog is dedicated to my new beginning. Being who I am, living what I love, and striving towards who I can be.

(photography: Shana Duncan, drawings added by me)
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