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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Annual Top 10 photos - 2013 edition

And by top 10 I mean 15.

And by 15 I mean 20.

And by 20 I mean it's probably good if you don't actually count.  Let's just say that narrowing down faves is not my forte.  

Reading in the dark:
My little ones have been completely consumed with headlamps this year.  Thankfully another set arrived at Christmas just as the old ones were getting lost, destroyed, taken apart...  IOne of the reasons I like this pic, is because this marks the year the Tess and Jude learned to read.  In the above pic, she's still pretending.  I also love the light and dark in this pic all at the same time.  
Young love:
Do I need to say more?  And then she left us.  And my mama heart broke a little.  

I just love the dreaminess of this image and especially how it captures Tess & Jude's "togetherness."  They are in the same class but don't necessarily play with each other.  Same family and they bicker.  They have their own friends and own interests, yet they always seem to be like this too.  I love how He knit them together like they were always meant to be.  
The weather was awful when we got there.  Snow and chill-desert-rats-to-the-bone cold.  But then it started to clear up and the skies started to turn blue.  There was this moment when there was both blue skies were peeking through and clouds trying to clear out, and I made Papa pull the rental car to the side of the road when I saw this barn.  White on white on white.  Almost makes me want to move to somewhere cold!  Well... almost. I'd never been to Iowa before.  It is gorgeous land, storms and all. 
Simple beauty:
With Sunny's move, Liv has had a wonderful season of finding her own wings without being in the shadow of her older sister.  I must say, many times a day I find myself amazed that I get to have the privilege of having this young woman as daughter.  On this occasion, I pleaded to take her pic even though she protested because she hadn't done her hair yet.  And could it be more beautiful?  I think this is my favorite pic of her ever. 
6 months:
He was all full of chubby rolls of deliciousness and a sweet easy smile..  My nephew H.  Almost makes me want another.  Almost but not quite.   
In the closet:
I'm lucky to have a closet that has a window.  There are dark cabinets all around, and it really makes for quite a good photography backdrop even though it's an amazingly tiny area to shoot in.  So Jude in red was my subject, and oh my!  This one is going on canvas some time this year.  I adore the way the light hits him and his serene expression.  There's just something about this pic that totally reminds me of who he is on the inside. 
Still in the closet:
I've committed to taking pics of all my kiddos "in the closet," and so far am up to only 3 of them.  I guess completing the other 4 children should go on my 2014 to-do list.  So Patch was up next and let me just say that shooting 14-year-old boys is not an easy task.  But he let me.  And I love the results.  I must say since this was taken he's has a growth spurt of several inches and shoe sizes.  
Skinny dippin':
I luv luv LOVE the story it tells!  Every year they start asking to get in the pool around January and by February they are begging.  By March we can't take it any longer, and this is what happens.  Someone gets so excited that we've finally say yes, that they strip off all their clothing and jump right in.  
Red and yellow:
This shoot with Mimi was one of my favorites of the whole year.  The wild flowers were in full bloom as was her morning hair.  The colors just seem to reflect the joy she has fills me with.  She makes me smile every time I see her!
Dandelion wishes:
Little Cabin in the Woods had a wonderful supply of giant dandelions this summer.  And Tess blew her wishes to the wind again and again and again. Keep dreaming and wishing, baby girl.  The world is yours.  
Pow Wow in the Pines:
It was hard to pick my favorite photo from the pow wow this year.  But this is the one that I kept coming back to.  I remember having the lens fixed on this little man, willing him to lift his face as he danced.  He was so into his dance, but I was patient, and eventually he did lift his head up briefly.  If you've been reading this blog a while, you know how much I adore this pow wow, and this pic seems to express all the reasons why.  
Wonderfully Made:
There's so much I could say about this photo.  So much that I can't even put into words.  How it's now a work of art halfway across the world thanks to the hand of artist Mia Lang.  How this pic represented a turning point not just for Tess but for me too.  How wonderfully made He makes it all.  
Oh lolli lolli lolli lollipop
Just plain ol' summer and the extra time summer affords to have a little extra fun.  Not sure who was more excited at this shoot, me to have them cooperating all together or them to have the lollipops!
At play:
There was just something about this image, capturing her totally unaware, in her favorite dress that she insisted on wearing much of the summer, and at play, that was just so sweet.  Smiley shots are good.  The real moments captured are even better.  
Jude in orange:
Despite that 2 of his pics make my top ten list this year, he really is one of my hardest kiddos to photograph.  But on the way back to the car, there was this bright orange construction thingy.  I couldn't resist, and I was so glad he obliged me.  
Wendy and the Jack-o-lantern:
So if I had to narrow it down to the top 3 pics, this one would surely make the cut.  The lighting was perfect.  The blue satin dress.  Her curiosity about how it all worked as she peered inside.  Can one have Halloween pics on the wall year round?
Mi familia:
My mom asked if I would take this pic when we were all gathered for Thanksgiving.  My papa, mom, brother and me.  I think the last one we had taken was... well... I'm pretty sure someone had braces on.  Now there's a little bit of grey on every head.  That's too long between family photos. 
And then she came back for a visit:
Okay I didn't have to ask her very hard or long to take her photos.  And right when she said yet, the sun was setting!  Red lipstick.  I wanna be young enough to wear red lipstick again!  She was home for a week.  It felt like a day.  I can still feel her hugs and hear her laughter fill the house.  But I have this wonderful image to remember it by.  
Silhouette and s'mores:
There are many photos from our Mexico trip that I just am thrilled to have captured.  This is one.  All the kiddos gathered around the beach fire.  The man child standing so proud of his fire and his newly acquired no-longer-on-of-the-kids status.  My sister in law and father in law being the adults in charge of such chaos like little children poking sharp sticks in fire.  Did I mention the sunset?  Oh yeah, that too!
Blue and yellow"
The air and the water was warm.  The beach was pretty much deserted the entire time we were there.  This is what we did for 15 days, and it was bliss.
Towards the end of the year I spent some of my savings on a new lens, a 16-35mm.  It's a fun lens to play with, and I'm quite happy with my purchase.  So here is a sampling of what it does.  Patch playing in the sand  With amazing clouds and brothers behind him. I adore how much my 16-35 can get in.  Ps- Patch really is all legs.

Now to start working on 2014's top ten list!


  1. Tess is stunning! I can imagine many boys drooling over her in the years to come. Seriously, though, she is absolutely gorgeous. I'm sure you've noticed.

  2. Don't worry.. I didn't bother to count. WOW, what a year! I'm not sure I could choose a favorite either. So beautiful, so many memories....

  3. Stunning photos! Great subjects too.

  4. Beautilful pictures. The skinny dipping one is my favorite. Where is Boo?????

    1. Speaking of kiddos that are hard to photograph... there are some good ones, but they didn't make the top 10. I keep trying though!

  5. Beautiful pictures. Sweet memories such a blessing.


  6. Sunny sure has a good lookin' boyfriend. Are they still dating or did they have to go there separate ways when she left for college?

    1. Without betraying her privacy, she is quite happy! And we're quite proud of her choices! And I agree, he is quite handsome! (That's a lot of exclamation points.) Golly that's a big ol I can't say here. Sorry.

  7. Beautiful photos.
    You have an amazing gift of photography....

  8. It sure sounds great, whatever it is! Do you think someday you will be able to post about it on the blog? You have me excited to find out! I can only begin to guess.


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