Photography

It's the Little Things

My baby girl turned 10 months old Saturday. As she gets older and starts looking more like a little girl and less like a baby, it's the little things I want to remember.

Like these chubby little legs.

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This excitable nature.

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And this sweet little spot on the back of her neck.

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This innocent delight.

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And, of course, these bright blue eyes and two tiny teeth.

I could go on and on. At 10 months old, Micah has a fearlessness that I envy and a mischievousness that gets her in trouble. She plays peek-a-boo with us, crinkles up her little nose and snorts at us, follows us, and climbs all over us. She's on the verge of walking and takes every opportunity to practice standing up. Though she started out as a picky eater, now she'll eat anything we put in front of her, but she has a fondness for Cheerios and bananas that can't be beat. She's sweet and funny and easy-going and happy and as delightful as a little girl can be.

As she grows up before my eyes, It's the little things I want to savor and remember. Soon her mouth will be filled with lots of tiny little teeth. That sweet spot on the back of her neck will be covered with blonde curls, and the chub will fall off her little legs. But her eyes will always be bright blue. And I pray that she'll keep her innocent delight and sense of adventure. Right now, the little things are the precious things in our lives.

Until next time, grace and peace.

Happy Signs of Spring

Did y'all know that it's spring already? I've been relishing life without running the heater as the thermostat in our house has risen from a steady 68 to 70 to 72 and has finally landed at 76. That's when I had to turn the air conditioner on for just a few minutes. My baby was sweating on me while I rocked her. That's a sure sign that it's too warm in the house. AC or not, I'm already excited about receiving our next power bill; it has to be lower than it was last month. Lower electricity bill aside, I love spring. It's absolutely my favorite time of year. After the coldness and deadness and drabness and dreariness of winter, my soul needs the spring. It longs for sunny days, daffodils peeking through the grass, bursts of forsythia, and Bradford Pear trees burdened with thousands of tiny blooms.

Oh, and flip flops.

And painted toenails.

My soul needs those things too.

A couple of weeks ago, Micah and I ventured outside for her first outdoor photo shoot, and while we were out, I snapped a few shots of the forsythia and Bradford pear blooms. They're the first herald of spring around here.

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Sigh. Seeing those two things made my heart happy.

So do flip flops.

And painted toenails.

What makes your heart happy?

Until next time, grace and peace.

Before & After :: How Photoshop Actions Have Changed My Life

Since Micah decided that she would take good naps yesterday, I was finally able to sort through the pictures we took on Easter, get them edited, and upload them for our friends and family to see. I'm sure that everyone in the whole world has known about photoshop actions for ages, but I only recently discovered them, and they have changed my life. As a communication major at Mississippi State, I took a photography class that covered rudimentary Photoshop skills, and for years, I have relied upon those basics to edit my digital pictures. I'm glad for the foundation I got in that class, but I've always wanted to be able to make my photos pop, and I wondered how other people did it with such ease. Now I know the secret. Photoshop actions. The great thing about many free photoshop actions on the internet is that you don't have to have the full version of Photoshop to use and enjoy them. I have Photoshop CS2, but my favorite actions are available for Photoshop Elements users as well. Yesterday, I used CoffeeShop's Perfect Portrait action to transform this picture of Micah from dull to bursting with color and life:

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Photoshop actions. If you've got PS or PSE, you should try them. It will change your life, just like it changed mine. And now, my secret's out of the bag. It's not so much that I take fantastic pictures as it is that I can manipulate them to make them better.

For more of my favorite amazing free Photoshop actions, check out The Pioneer Woman's PS/PSE action sets.

Until next time, grace and peace.