Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mothers and Daughters

For three years, the Lord has blessed me by opening the door to allow me to attend this wonderful event, hosted by SECHDF.  I've spoken of it--and blogged about it--a number of times in the past, and I get to blog about it again here.

For two days, mothers gather with their daughters to renew friendships, be encouraged by a guest speaker, participate in craft times together, and share fellowship meals together.  The two-day event culminates in a Mother/Daughter Tea on Saturday afternoon.

This post is my big picture post, an overview of the weekend together.  I have future posts lined up to share specific things from throughout the two wonderful days, and those will be appearing over the next few weeks.

Preparations continued all the way up until people started arriving.  Name tags were being cut out...

The speaker table was being set up...

Holly completed some last minute work on the tea party decorations...

And Miss J meticulously decorated the tables in the dining area.

The photographer's table.  That's mine.  :)


My sister D (below) and her family put on this event.  She is an amazing, wise, Godly woman.

Leslie Ludy was the featured speaker for the weekend.

Lots of activities in the craft room.

One little guy among all the girls!

Precious capture of mama and her baby girl.

Friday night dinner.  Yes, it's teddy bears and cloud wallpaper.  The serving line ran through the nursery, since there was a record crowd in attendance.

I love capturing mealtime candids.

Chef Gregory catered the event (he gets his own blog post soon!).  These are his cakes for Friday evening dessert.

The way these girls were crowded around the cake, you'd think they hadn't been fed in two weeks!  I asked them all to line up so I could get their picture.

Saturday began with another speaker workshop.

More crafts in the craft room throughout the morning.

Time for lunch!  Whoever set out these water bottles was a neat and tidy person.  I didn't move a single one for the below shot.  I love when things are in order.  Yes, I notice the one water bottle on its own in the background.  Perfect.  :)

Miss S (below) is D's daughter and also did a tremendous about of behind-the-scenes work to make this event a success.

Yeah, sometimes people figure out that I'm aiming the camera at them.  :)

I "caught" this young lady watching my slide show from last year's Mother/Daughter Encouragement.  I was tickled that she spent the time watching, so I took her picture.

The weekend ended with a fabulous tea party, parts of which will also get another post.  If you wonder where my food photography is, keep in mind that there was a lot of food throughout the weekend.  It'll get its own post.

Remember that wide-awake little guy from Friday (above)?  He was all tuckered out by Saturday afternoon.  So was I.

Stay tuned for my detail posts of the Mother/Daughter Encouragement weekend!

Treasuring life's moments,

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

P-2012 Week 8 -- 2/19-25

Project 2012
Week 8 -- February 19-February 25

1.  Take pictures
2.  Share at least one--and up to seven!
(Click on the graphic above if you're interested in joining us!)

I'm finally caught up!  Woot!!  Leaving town for several days was not good for my blogging.  (But who cared?  I had a blast.)  My images were taken at the end of the week; I thought I might be in trouble again with leaving Ellie sitting in her bag during the week, but I had lots of shooting opportunities.

My favorite photos

It snowed Thursday night!!  Actual snow!!!  (I shouldn't be excited but we've had very little of the white magic this winter.)  I had a "date" with my mom all day Friday to help her begin the de-cluttering process in her house.  She picked me up at my house, and on the drive to hers, I wistfully stared out the car window at the magical snow-covered trees along the river.  She let me have a few minutes once we got to her house, so I ran outside sans coat and snapped several shots. The below was the most magical-looking.

[50] A day of wonderland

Saturday brought the ICTM Regional Math Tournament, so Fernando and I drove Thomas to the campus of North Central College, my alma mater.  Below is the math team praying just before they dispersed to take their various tests.

 [51] Math team prayer

I escorted Thomas and Kirsten to their eight-man competition.  Since Alpha Omega is such a new, small team, T and K competed by themselves against several other fully-manned teams.  It was rough on them, but a good first experience and great preparation for future tournaments.  I wandered back across campus to our team's home room, stopping along the way to reminisce and to shoot various scenes.  The bark on this tree caught my eye:  rough and brown along the trunk, smooth and white along its branches.  I love how the below image turned out.

[52] Tree beauty

Some of the branches had ice tips on them.

[53] Ice-tipped branch

And the pine trees still had snow clinging to their needles.

[54] Snowy pine

Before going to the awards ceremony, the team gathered for a group shot.

[55] Alpha Omega Math Team

Finally, after the awards ceremony, I snapped this shot of Sts. Peter & Paul Church.  I believe it is the tallest building in Naperville.

[56] Steeple

All in all, I'm happy with my images this past week.  Same is good, but I'm in a winter mood and want new and different.  Last week satisfied that desire.  :)

Treasuring life's moments,

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

P-2012 Week 7 -- 2/12-2/18

Project 2012
Week 7 -- February 12-February 18

1.  Take pictures
2.  Share at least one--and up to seven!
(Click on the graphic above if you're interested in joining us!)

I'm back!  Yes, I've been back for a while.  I mean, I'm back to blogging on a regular basis.  I think I'm back into my routine.  (Let's hope, anyway!)  I'm now just a few days behind, and catching up quickly.

My favorite photos

Just a couple more from the conference...  One of my food images.  I never did get one of these strawberries; for obvious reasons they disappeared very quickly.  :)

[43] Strawberry

One of the many teapots gracing the tea tables.

[44] Tea party accent

A few days later, I was pretty much photographed out.  My sister D convinced me to go on a (very chilly) golf cart ride around the community, and I took my camera for a few shots to prove I did something in Georgia other than shoot a two-day conference!  I usually take two images of every shot, so I decided to play around in post-edit with some color.  I'm fascinated with how color--or the lack thereof--can change an image's mood.

[45] Dock {color}

 [46] Dock {aged look}

If the below were taken in my Chicagoland, you would see rocks without the waterfall, which would be shut down for winter.

 [47] Neighborhood waterfall

Another water scene along the golf cart path.  The houses on the lake were impressive, to say the least.  I saturated the below shot, then went completely black and white for the next one.  I think the B&W one is the better shot with the contrast in dark trees and light sky.  However, the clouds and sky reflect beautifully in the first image.  I like them both.

[48] Lake view {color}

[49] Lake view {black & white}

That's it for this week.  I'm trying to pick up my camera again, but I'm afraid that the next time I post weekly images, I'll have more boring indoor shots of my teacups or something.  At least I'm trying.

Until next time!

Treasuring life's moments,

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