A few minutes in the garden..

I went into the garden to photograph strawberries basking in a beautiful golden light. My little Ilana found me about ten minutes later and gave me something much more profound than berries. I'm thankful for my daughter, who gives of herself so that I can make imagery that makes my heart swell.

[Gear Info: All images captured on a 5DMarkiii with A 35mm f/1.4L ii lens. All images shot with available light just after sunrise. f/1.4, 100 ISO.]

Feeling like I nailed today..

We all have those days when we conquer some part of ourselves that define who we are. Sometimes I feel like I'm winning as a wife, or as a mother, or as a sister, or as a photographer, or as a fill in the blank. Sometimes, I even feel like I'm winning at just being myself. Today was one of those days.. A me day. I kicked the kids outside almost all day long and it was glorious! I spent many hours in the kitchen, taking everything out of my fridge, scrubbing, and organizing. I made oatmeal for breakfast, orange slices for a snack, egg salad with pickled zucchini's for lunch, and meatballs with sauteed beets and a big ole salad for dinner. Sometime in there the kids and I made fruit popsicles (see below), and Ilana helped me to make bird suet out of the collected fat from our bone broth batches. In less fun but equally exciting news, I called our internet provider and lowered our bill by $60, and Ty called our cell phone provider and lowered our bill by over $60! For the same exact services! And lastly, we finally took the plunge and paid off my vehicle with our tax returns.. Which feels incredible. I feel accomplished by all of this, and I even feel happy that I took the time to document our suet making. It's the little things, right?

I started taking photos a bit late, so I will catch you up. I have been collecting most of the fat from our bone broth for the last couple of months. Today, I melted it in a big pot, strained it several times, and poured it in this stainless steel tray. Ilana dumped in 4 cups of high quality bird seed, and we shared the task of adding some honey. We put it outside and watched it harden, crack, bubble, and turn into the familiar looking suet that our birdies know and love.

After about an hour, I went to check on it.. I couldn't help but see the similarities between hardening suet fat, and strong friendships. As time goes on, friendships solidify, and I am so grateful for all the loving people in my life.

After a couple more hours..

The kids and I took a popsicle break somewhere in there to enjoy the fruits of our labor. I first cut up the fruit to put in the mold, then added freshly squeezed lemon juice and a splash of honey. They were delicious..!

After another little while, the suet was ready! I grabbed my grandmothers knife and sliced them up. I had planned to store at least some of the suet, wrapped in parchment paper, in the freezer. But, it turns out that we had enough empty suet feeders hanging around the yard that I used this batch all up!

Next month, I'll add fresh berries to the mix, and maybe make a spicy blend as well.

Thanks for reading, friends! I'm wishing you all a happy and joy filled spring!

Filming it up..

If someone asked me a couple years ago if I was interested in shooting film, I would have said no. In fact, I did say no. Photographers love to talk about this ;). But then.. Something happened. I don't even know what it really was, to be honest. I just needed to slow down, to shoot intentionally, to learn something new, to differentiate my personal work from my client work, to go backwards in time.. Maybe? So I bought a used canon that is now discontinued. It's perfect for me because I can use all of my canon glass, and the camera is set up exactly the same way as my digitals. I've received my first set of scans from the lab, and well, I have a lot to learn; Which is a little disappointing and exciting all at the same time. Either way, stoked that I can do what I love with whom I love.