Monday, June 30, 2014

Sea Life

Some photos from Saturday at the aquarium.
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IMG_0483 copyWe stumbled upon this arcade afterward. I haven't been to one in years! I thought they were extinct. We played this DJ game because someone left money in it, ha.

In a couple of weeks we hope to visit the zoo. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Bumpdate: 28 weeks


How far along are you? 28 weeks  
Maternity Clothes? Maternity t-shirts/over-sized shirts and maxi skirts are my favorite right now. I've also discovered that I've only got a couple of church appropriate shoes that still fit. 
Stretch Marks? They seem to be everywhere but my belly. 
Sleep: I suffered through only a couple of "toss and turn" nights this week. So not too shabby. 
Best moments: Meeting a few other pregnant gals in my ward during a Relief Society activity where we talked about breastfeeding. I know, that sounds really weird, but a sister from the ward is a lactation consultant, so she offered to share her wisdom. It was sooo informative and I learned a lot. I also found out that the hospital that's 30 seconds from my house has a really bad reputation. So I guess I won't be giving birth there! Also- finding a couple of stuffed animals in great condition at the thrift store. One of them is Lamb Chop! Ha. It's funny that these are the things that excite me nowadays. 
Missing anything? Sushi and sleeping on my belly. Even when I see photographs of people posed on their belly or I'm  watching a TV show and one of the characters is on their belly, I get jealous, haha. 
Movement? She's practically dancing in there. 
Food Cravings: Everything. 
Symptoms: Crazy dreams. I should write them down. I read that the reason pregnant women have weird dreams is because we usually wake up a few times a night, so we're able to recall the dreams we awoke from. Get it? Dreams are usually weird, and it's easier to remember a dream when you wake up in the middle of it. 
Belly Button in or Out? It has popped out just a little. 
Happy or Moody? Moody. But I'm feeling pretty good today. 
Looking Forward to: Taking the trip to New Mexico for my baby shower this coming weekend!! And taking maternity photos with my sister while we're there too. We're thinking of taking them at my all time favorite location for photographs- White Sands National Park. 


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Through Another Lens: Samantha Heather

(Today we have a guest post from my friend Samantha Heather. ((Okay, we haven't actually met in person, but I've got a big 'ole blog crush on her.)) I fell in love with the photographs she shares on her personal blog, and with her great writing! She is also very sweet, from what I've gathered from her blog comments. I love the advice that she has to share with fellow photographers.)

1. Introduce yourself:
Hi everyone, this is Sam here from Samantha Heather. I am a twenty-something blogger/photographer based in Sydney, Australia who has a passion for documenting the world around me. I love people and the stories they have to tell and through my blog and my photography I try and retell those tales to the world.
2. Did/do you study photography or have you had any special training prior to starting your business? How has this helped you? 
I haven’t studied photography exactly but I have participated in two workshops hosted by two highly skilled photographers. The Nursery was a day workshop I attended, hosted by Tim Coulson (, and his focus was mainly on how to capture emotion and love in photography, whereas my 8-week workshop, run by the Sydney Photographic Workshops, focused primarily on technical photography.

Both workshops were great and were able to give me the foundation I needed to go out and practise for myself. I would recommend short workshops to anyone who wants to pursue photography. Once you understand the technicalities, it’s all smooth sailing from there.

3. Why and when did you start photography?
I started my photography around August last year. My blog was only a few months old and I was discovering this burning desire to take my camera wherever I went. I was always on photography blogs and reading photography magazines. It just made sense to try and start a hobby (and later a career) out of it.

Another reason I started photography was because I wanted to have something I could strictly call my own. I was at a low place around this time last year, and I had a lack of control over where my life was going. Starting a hobby and a business in photography was something I finally could control and, most importantly, it was something I enjoyed. Doing what you love and making a career out of it is seriously one of the best things people can do for themselves. They say if you love what you do then you will never work another day in your life.
4. What type of sessions are you most confident photographing? What sessions are you still uncomfortable photographing? 
I would be lying if I told you I was confident in a certain area of photography. Truth be told, my anxiety is always through the roof before a shoot. I am still learning and I plan to always be learning throughout my career. I am getting more confident in my family shoots and couple shoots but I still have a long way to go and I am excited to see how I grow as the years go on.

 5. Tools of your trade: (type of camera/lens/editing software/other equipment)
I currently shoot on a Canon 5D Mark III with a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lens. This is my go-to camera set. I own a few other prime lenses too and a couple of other camera bodies but primarily I work with a full frame camera and a wide aperture lens. In a dream world I would love to upgrade a whole bunch of my equipment, but only being in my first year of business means that affordability becomes an issue. I maybe should have thought twice before choosing the most expensive hobby to pursue ;)

In terms of editing, I use Adobe Lightroom coupled with VSCO film presets. You can find more information about those here:

6. What have proven to be the best methods to advertise your business? 
Word of mouth has been my best form of advertising. With hundreds/thousands of other people like me out there, social media can only get me so far. I started off doing a lot of free shoots with friends and family to begin with and then they shared my photos on Facebook and told their family and friends and before I knew it I had a lot more interest in my business.

Having an up-to-date portfolio and constant self-promotion also helps. If you are going to use social media to advertise your business do not let it go to waste. Be consistent and regular.

7. What important tips do you have for other photographers who are thinking of starting a business?
·       Make sure it is what you love: Starting a business is hard and takes a lot of work. If you don’t love what you do then you’re going to struggle to stay motivated and you may find that business will fizzle out. Being in love with your passion will keep you motivated and happy during the week.
·       Be patient: You will not be an expert in your first 6 months. You may not be an expert in your first couple of years! I am nowhere near being a top-level photographer. I am still learning and still growing and I have a huge journey ahead of me but, you know what, that’s okay! It’s okay to be slow. It’s okay to be a beginner. Everyone has to start somewhere and having the patience to take those tiny steps before taking those giant leaps is crucial.
·       Avoid comparison: Not only will you not be an expert, but you will also be surrounded by people more equipped and skilled than you (all the time!). This is a lesson I have to keep teaching myself. I can be an envious person and looking at all those amazing photographers around me makes me sad and disheartened. Thoughts of doubt flood my mind and giving up because I’m not good enough becomes a viable option. If you ever feel like that I urge you to say NO to your thoughts. Yes, there are people better than you but they had to work hard to get there, perhaps years and years, and they’re at a place where you may be one day too. Never give up because others are better and I would even go as far to say avoid looking at what others are doing. The only person that matters in your business is YOU!
·       Maintain balance: This one is an important tip if you want to hold onto the love you have for your business. You may love your job now but working everyday, for hours on end, can be very strenuous on a person. Maintaining work/life balance is so important in order to keep motivated, refreshed and content. Make sure you build up the ability to say no to certain projects if time doesn’t permit for them and make sure you leave enough time in your days to spend time with your family, friends and yourself. If you don’t, you risk resenting the very thing you worked so hard to achieve.

8. Talk about a time that you had to deal with a difficult photo client. How did you resolve the conflict?
I’ve been very lucky to be blessed with such kind and gentle clients. They have all been a pleasure to work with. I have had a few however where things got a little complicated. I was booked to shoot a family session in one location at a particular time of day. The deposit was paid and I was ready to go. The day before however my client informed me that she needed to change the location to a place that was an hour further than the original location and in fact she was bringing her whole family to the shoot and would require a few extra hours of my time. Obviously these things weren’t included in the cost of the package and she wasn’t willing to pay me any more money. This is when I did the hard thing and said ‘No’. Being able to say ‘no’ is probably one of the hardest things to do for me but it also is one of the most important. If you cant say no, it is very east to be taken advantage of or even pushed beyond your own boundaries.
9. Show us one of your photos that you're really proud of:

I’m proud of this photo, not because of the angle, the light or the setting, but because it was my first wedding shoot. Shooting a wedding was on my bucket list for a while and it felt so good to be able to cross that off my list. It’s a good feeling when you’re proud of yourself. It doesn’t happen very much to me but when it does, I don’t let it go.

10. Who are your favorite photographers right now? 
This is probably the easiest and hardest question. How can I narrow it down to a select few? I love so many! A few of my favourites right now would probably have to be:
1.     Tim Coulson –
3.     The Shalom Imaginative -
4.     Nirrimi Firebrace -
5.     Andria Lindquist - 

(Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom with us, Samantha! That's a great list of photographers. I'll be sure to find tons of new inspiration. 
Find Samantha online: blog // portfolio site // facebook // instagram ) 

All photographs belong to Samantha Heather Photography.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bumpdate: 27 weeks

How far along are you? 27 weeks  
Maternity Clothes? Mostly. 
Stretch Marks? None on the belly.
Sleep: It's the worst it has been yet. 
Best moments: Talking about baby names again. I think there are a few that we finally agree on. 
Missing anything? Dr. Pepper 
Movement? Yup. My favorite part about all of this. 
Food Cravings: Peaches, ice cream, crepes 
Symptoms: Baby does this cute new thing that feels like she's poking or jumping on my bladder. 
Belly Button in or Out? It looks like it's about to pop out. 
Happy or Moody? Moody. I've been dwelling on my body issues. Lame. 
Looking Forward to: Getting reimbursed for the move! Ha. That's where half of our money went. 

I feel  a little moody now. I'm just feeling really impatient about things out of my control. I think I'll get some answers this week! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Emotions

from Hailey Haugen Devine on Vimeo.

I watched this video yesterday and it made me excited for what is to come. It also made me cry. For the record, it would have made me cry pre-pregnancy as well. I'm a huge cry baby, so I can't distinguish between crying and "stereotypical crazy pregnancy hormone" crying. 

So here's an update, I guess:
I can't see a doctor until Ryan gets the health insurance stuff figured out with his job, so maybe by next week I can make an appointment. I went to the library yesterday hoping to get a library card but I need proof of residency and we haven't gotten our electric bill or new driver's licenses yet. But I walked around the library and it's pretty cool. Also, and this is unrelated, but I've noticed that people don't hit on me since I've become obviously pregnant. Which is soooo nice. 

I've set a date for my baby shower! We'll be having it in Las Cruces on July 5th, so don't worry my friends, you can come. You can come if you're not out of town.... *fingers crossed*

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bumpdate: 26 weeks

How far along are you? 26 weeks 
Total weight gain: 15+ lbs 
Maternity Clothes? Mostly. 
Stretch Marks? None on the belly.
Sleep: It's weird. I have good naps, but sleeping comfortably through the night is getting difficult. Have I mentioned that we've been sleeping on a full-size mattress? We've had it from the beginning of our marriage. It's always been kind of a tight fit for us, but now that I'm getting bigger, it's just getting too small. Plus I bought a body pillow, which I obviously don't regret, but it makes for less room, ha. I'm looking forward to getting a bigger bed when Ryan gets his first couple of paychecks ;) 
Best moments: Shopping for Ryan's first Father's Day present and writing him a card. 
Missing anything? Ibuprofen 
Movement? Yes! It's more rapid and her kicks have even hurt a couple of times. 
Food Cravings: Banana Nutella crepes. 
Symptoms: Heartburn. 
Belly Button in or Out? So shallow! 
Happy or Moody? Moody. Mostly because I'm afraid I'll never make friends! Ha. But it's only been a week, so. 
Looking Forward to: Catching up on Netflix. How sad is that? I suppose I can start a new book. I just finished reading The Fault in Our Stars for the second time, so I plan on seeing that in the theater. Any good books you can recommend? 

My goals for this week include:
1. Finding an OBGYN or midwife. 
2. Starting a new book
3. Putting the rest of these random boxes away 
4. Organizing the kitchen
5. Hanging some photos/art/decor? 
6. Finding the library
7. Becoming a little more acquainted with this city

That last one though. So far I can drive to the grocery store, church, the hospital, Ryan's work, Target, and the mall without my iPhone giving me directions at every turn (that's all I really need, right??). Amazingly, all these locations are 5 minutes away or less from our apartment. (Great location, huh?) My bubble is very small. Speaking of the mall, I took my first visit last night. I stepped into a Lush Cosmetics store for the first time and walked out with an amazing perfume. I never wear perfume, but I can see myself wearing this one daily. It smells like jasmine. There were so many fun things that store has to offer, but I resisted. 

In other news, we did not visit the zoo as planned, but today Ryan signed us up for a couple of Pogo-Passes. They were on sale for $40 each! Those allow us two visits to the zoo, two visits to the aquarium, the bowling alley, a water park, etc. I can't really go to a water park, and there are a couple of other places on the pass that would be pointless for me to visit, but even if we just use it for the zoo and aquarium it's still a pretty good deal. Is bowling safe for pregnant women...? 

And before I forget, Happy Father's Day! We are eating nachos for dinner and I might be too excited about that. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

(Late) Bumpdate: 25 weeks

How far along are you? 25 weeks 
Total weight gain: 15+ lbs 
Maternity Clothes? Mostly. 
Stretch Marks? I found some new ones. On my butt. 
Sleep: It could be better, but it could also be worse. 
Best moments: Successfully moving from New Mexico to Arizona! Ah! Ryan was such a champ, lifting all the heavy stuff (he had plenty of help) and driving the moving truck, with our car dollied to the back, all by himself. Our new apartment is pretty snazzy, too. 
Missing anything? Standing for a long time without my feet hurting. 
Movement? Yeah yeah! She's getting bigger, stronger, and much more active. 
Food Cravings: Nothing in particular. 
Symptoms: Achey feet and the constant urge to pee. 
Belly Button in or Out? So shallow! 
Happy or Moody? So happy. 
Looking Forward to: Spending the week with Ryan, exploring our new city, before he goes to his first day of work on Monday. 

Our new church ward is friendly, as most Mormons are. 

I still need to find a new doctor. Sigh.

I'm hoping that we'll visit the zoo or aquarium this week. It's been maybe 18-19 years since I've been to a zoo. My mom feels sad for the animals, so we never went. And then I was pretty anti-zoo in my rebellious, vegetarian, teenage years. And our old town didn't have a zoo. These are the explanations as to why it has been so long since I've visited one, haha. I think I'll finally make up my mind about zoos once I visit as an adult. 

And there are also so many movies I want to go see! The Fault in Our Stars, X-Men, Maleficent, The Amazing Spider Man 2, maybe Godzilla, and How to Train Your Dragon 2 comes out this week. I foresee going to a few of these alone since Ryan is only interested in a couple of these. How do you feel about going to the movies alone? I've only done it once, but I actually love it. 

If you'd like to follow our Arizona adventures more closely/for more photos, just follow my Instagram account.  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Santa Fe and other stuff

We took a trip up north to visit with Ryan's sister and family. I had a dinner that would have made Ben Wyatt proud. So delicious. And my sister-in-law and I had dessert at a cute froyo place. 
We took the train to Santa Fe the next morning. It was my first train ride! 
Indoor farmer's market.

We went to this pretty hip park. 
After the park, we hit up a Mexican restaurant for lunch. The place had a few signs warning the customers that they serve their chile HOT. We asked for a sample, just to be safe, and found that it wasn't nearly as spicy as the sign warned. It was pretty mild. Ha! Oh, Santa Fe. 
We walked to the plaza and did some shopping. I bought that little hat and this awesome stuffed lion for the baby. Baby shopping is too fun... 
Our last stop was at this Swedish cafe/bakery. These treats were pretty good, but they didn't compare to the chocolate drizzled croissant I bought at the farmer's market earlier that day. I've probably thought about it at least once a day since then. 

I had lunch with some friends on Monday. Doesn't Emilio have the most friendly face? 
Baby Ceci!  Anne spoiled me with a ton of clothes that Ceci outgrew. Score. 
A photo of our apartment from yesterday. Ew ew ew, I hate moving so much. 

The next time I post here, we'll be in Arizona. Ryan informed me that we'll have internet access by Tuesday, a lot sooner than I thought! I should be packing more stuff right now, but I have a toothache, so I'm using that as a lame excuse to blog.... 
We're having dinner with friends tonight! I might post a few photos on Instagram.  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Bumpdate: 24 weeks

How far along are you? 24 weeks 
Total weight gain: 15+ lbs 
Maternity Clothes? Mostly. 
Stretch Marks? None on the belly. 
Sleep: Not so great. I'm starting to get really hot at night. But I had an awesome nap today, so I can't complain too much. 
Best moments: Visiting Santa Fe with my in-laws and buying a couple of things for baby while we were there. 
Missing anything? Being comfortable on road trips. I usually like to drive, but I can only last about an hour without getting a backache. 
Movement? Yes, mostly while laying down. 
Food Cravings: Rootbeer floats. Baby likes to kick after I have one! 
Symptoms: Fatigue. And an itchy belly. 
Belly Button in or Out? So shallow! 
Happy or Moody? Both! But overall, happy. 
Looking Forward to: Seeing my friends before we leave. I guess that's sad, but I'll be happy to see many of them before we move! 

I recently read a blog post on Vanilla and Lace about the importance of not complaining when pregnant. Read it here!  She talks about how complaining about your pregnancy can be hurtful towards women who cannot conceive or who have lost a baby. I always knew that one should never ask couples the question, "When are you going to have kids?" for the same reason, but I never thought about complaining about pregnancy in the same way. I hope that these Bumpdates aren't too negative. I'm just trying to tell it like it is. Though, I have become more cautious about what I say and write about my pregnancy since reading that blog entry. 
p.s. How annoying is it when people ask the kid question?? People need to stop. 

We're leaving for Arizona this week! I'm sure we won't have internet for a week or two once we're in our new place, so I don't see myself blogging much after this week. I may have to skip a couple of bump updates. I'm not looking forward to packing up this apartment. Thankfully, we've gotten a lot of offers to help us with that. I just want to throw everything away!