Words to live by...

From the fullness of His grace we have received one blessing after

Remember who you are and you will walk through life blessed and beautiful

When you reach the heart of life you shall find beauty in all things

Children are a gift from God

Never underestimate the power of prayer

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Outta here!

Well, the tree HAD to go! I don't think I could get it out quickly enough! The day after Christmas was spent taking the trimming (and needles) off the tree. I now have the Charlie Brown Christmas theme song in my head as I stare at this pathetic tree. The pictures really do not do it justice. We literally had more than 95% of the needles on our floor. Can you believe it? I can still say I would do it again for the mere $13 it cost to get the beast - she was a beaute while she was shining :) Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and have a happy and healthy New Year! Here's a short recap in pix of Christmas Day...........

Jackson was about this excited the entire day.........poor buddy was NOT feeling well......thank goodness for some recup time lately.

Do you see Reece in the background in tears b/c he did NOT get a WMU sweatshirt like the two of us? Crazy how I never had a Broncos hoodie until Steve and Barry's goes out of business and we can afford the el cheapo matching ones...........gotta love this economy :)

So........we stuck the hoodie on the pouter and he cheered right up (note to self: next Christmas, buy enough matching apparel for the whole family)

Tim was pretty excited for his baby shopping cart cover (I mean disguised Nintendo DS).

Grandma Holden and all the grandkiddies!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Seen better days...

So those of you who have followed me on facebook are well aware of the tree saga........we were so impressed to get an 8+ foot REAL tree for $13......of course we had to hunt it down and haul it out of the forest ourselves. Tim's (good) gloves suffered a little sap which I was able to get COMPLETELY out with Goo gone. Just when I was ready to boast about this newfound stain remover I noticed one of my larger compact flash cards had made it through the washer - nice! After a week of airing out a bit I was able to retrieve all the images.........though I do not trust the longevity of this memory card. So this made our tree a little bit more pricey. Reece also added to the cost of the tree by knocking the entire (decorated) thing onto the floor. Thank goodness he was left unharmed and only a few ornaments broke........add a few more bucks to the price of this tree. Now it is losing needles if I even but think about it! I managed to get a few shots of it before it turned into the "Charlie Brown" tree it's become (not really, but I literally vacuum needles off the branches each day - my OCD nature). So, that's my Christmas tree story of 2008! Hope you all enjoyed it :) It has all been worth having the fresh-cut tree smell in our house and being blessed to be able to have a home to enjoy it in. May you all remember the true meaning of Christmas as you celebrate this season! God Bless!

Monday, November 24, 2008

You can find me...

I know I've neglected the blog lately - partly because I've been busy with holiday ordering/editing and partly due to the fact that I now have a Facebook account. You can find some of our recent happenings on the Wall now :) And does this little man look sick to you??? Why can I get a nice expression on his face when he's SICK?!!! I guess some things will never make sense :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Just had to!

I'm in the middle of editing this session and I keep coming back to this shot - she's such a little cutie patootie that I just had to post this one!

Post-it notes from a 5 year old

Just had to post this sketch and note my oldest left me tonight at the computer desk (aka: my throne lately). Not sure exactly what his plans are but it must involve glue and this monkey he drew. Love it!!!

Is this all the love I get?!!!

I know, I shouldn't complain (at least I have three healthy little rugrats), but my boys just don't want to cooperate (the way I ideally envision them cooperating). Tim was so kind to head out to our newest photo backdrop to try some more shots with our boys. I've been quite busy capturing moments for other moms that I haven't taken advantage of the beautiful fall days we've had with my own boys. I still have to decide which image will make the Christmas card, but this was about the best one of all three of them last night. Boys will be boys I guess :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wrinkle in the road

Where do I begin??? Well, let's start with me sitting down going through my inbox last night after enjoying a meal out with my family. I noticed one with the subject, "YOUR CELL PHONE" and thought maybe it deserved attention. I read it and was extremely puzzled - it was from a woman that I did a family photo shoot for earlier in the day - she said that someone had my cell phone and was trying to find out who it belonged to. Honestly, I've lost my phone to toddlers and the furniture several times, but did I really lose my phone THIS time?? Tim and I could not find it after calling it a few times, so decided it must have really disappeared - but where/how? It's not like we live somewhere that I need to lock my doors to my vehicle in the driveway for fear of theft. The last time I used it was on the way home from the photo session calling Tim. I just thought I left it in the van and it must have somehow fallen out along the way from our house to the restaurant - but where and how??? Then I was talking to a friend (thanks Heather T.) on facebook who was helping me piece the puzzle together. She asked if I had left it on top of the van. Seriously????? who does something that dumb??? Try someone who is so obsessed with "capturing the moment" with her camera that the moment she pulls into the driveway she has to bust out the camera to capture another moment that she doesn't MAKE time to put the phone in a SAFE place. After reading Heather's comment, the hair on my arms stuck straight up - I seriuosly believe God was using her to speak to me - slow down!!! I then realized the phone must have sat on my hood near the windshield until we turned a corner fast enough (on the way out of our sub near my sister in law's church). So, a woman that works at my sister in law's church (who I need to find and thank) found my phone on the street and brought it on Sunday. After thumbing through my contact list, she assumed it belonged to someone in my sister in law's family. Tim made one final call this am after getting home from church from his phone to mine in hopes that the person with my phone would answer and my brother in law answered!!! Less than a minute from getting off the phone with him, my phone was safe in my hands :) God had a few lessons in mind for me:

1. Do not COVET - I was just saying how cool it w/b to have a phone like the iPhone that you can store tons of info, pix, music, etc. in - I could have been out more than a list of phone numbers.

2. HIS timing is PERFECT - my phone was lost on a weekend when I get free minutes and also placed into the hands of a kind woman (who has no idea how indebted i am to her). I also lost my phone while on a monthy contract - not in the middle of a year contract like I could have been a few months ago and to think of having to break a contract!!!

3. Put God first - I need to find a good balance of first serving my God and then find a good balance between family, friends, volunteering, hobbies, etc.

The funny thing is usually I would feel extremely helpless in a situation like this - I realized I could hand over this situation to the Lord and seek His will - maybe I would get my phone back unharmed or maybe it would have been damaged with several expensive calls racked up on it, or maybe I would have to go w/out a phone until we could cancel the service and get a new subscriber. Just as I was about to give up all hope after calling it several times last night and this am - my brother in law answers my phone!!! I realize this is kind of a trivial example and not really high on the priority list, such as parents with sick children or who have lost children or any other desparate/desolate situation, but.........do you think that's how our Savior feels with us sometimes? Just as He's about ready to lose all hope in what He's created, we serve/praise/worship/call on Him??? God never gives up on what He has created - that's an awesome thought for the day!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"W" Family

Thank you to the "W" family for letting me capture some memories :) Your girls are so adorable and fun to work with. Thanks to Dad for coming along too :) Here's your sneak peek!

Check out those baby blues :)

This little cutie was so good at posing for me - love it!

What fall days were made for - family time!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


"I cut my hair." Those were the words from Reece's mouth about an hour ago as he was upstairs giving his self a little makeover (aren't girls the only ones that are supposed to pull this stunt?!). I was just mentioning to a friend the other day that none of my boys had ever tried that but if I had to place a bet on who would be first, my guess was Reece. We'll be contacting a few friends that cut hair tomorrow to see who can squeeze us into their schedule to even things out. Thank goodness he did NOT cut his flesh or much off the bangs :) Here's a peek at the new do.........and bear with me as the lighting/white balance stinks on these - I was more concerned with capturing the moment than composing the picture.

Check out the chunk to the right of the shears!

and another chunk...........

and the evidence (with a few crumbs from dinner in the pile :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Turning a new leaf?

It's very RARE in our house full of boys to have a willing subject to photograph.........seriously. It's like they have some sort of allergic reaction to the camera or something. I always find it so easy to photograph girls - they give you genuine smiles and can come up with the cutest poses - just the nature of the beast - I mean beauty :) A week ago at the Fish Ladder downtown GR, however, Lucas proved me wrong. He actually let me capture 3 (I know, don't fall over in shock) pictures!!! And, I'll be sharing just one with you all - take a look at my handsome young man!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Smells like someone's having a campfire

This is the result of Tim grilling dinner last night..........the food was excellent, the deck was quite "overdone" to say the least! About mid-dinner, Tim realized that he hadn't shut off the grill (which is quite frequent as we let the remains burn off the grate). So, he proceeded outside and noticed a small grease fire - no big deal - he threw on a glass of water and mentioned to us all that it, "smells like someone's having a campfire." We absolutely love that smell around here, especially since it's going to be getting too cold for those this season. This afternoon, Tim discovered that, in reality, we were the ones hosting the campfire with expensive wood, mind you! Being that I love capturing the moment, I just had to post the end result of our deck - nice............who knows how much of the deck would have burned if he hadn't noticed the small grill fire...............I'm so thankful, however, that this did NOT start a much larger fire.........our house could have been toast if he hadn't tossed some water on that minor grease fire.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"O" baby!

This past weekend I got the joy of capturing some 9mth portraits for one of my good college friends. She actually lives on the other side of the state and called me last minute as she was in town for a 5k Saturday am. Of course I squeezed her in! These are just a few of my favorites of baby "O"....

Couldn't decide which processing I like best on this pose....

Monday, October 13, 2008

Another "B" Family

Thanks to the "B" family for being my guinea pigs in trying out a new backdrop. We had a BEAUTIFUL day for taking pictures. It was nice to meet you all - what a lovely family :) Enjoy your sneak peek! I still can't believe this young man is only 8!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


So this post is a bit OVERDUE!!! I'm officially a soccer mom (as of a month ago). I even drive the mini-van to go with the status :) And I love EVERY minute of it! Lucas is trying out soccer this fall for the AYSO division of Allendale. He plays half the season in the fall and the the other half in the spring. He's a little hesitant as he's not my "contact" sports kid, but he has improved a TON from his first day of practice. We've also noticed he has quite a bit of speed, though he is almost the shortest peanut out there :) He seems to enjoy it and his younger brother is ready to play (he has to wait until he's five unfortunately). It's so much fun to watch this age group play an organized sport - such innocence!

The "H" Boys

Good thing I have 3 boys to prepare me for sessions w/boys! They are so busy, but so much fun :) I love the challenge of trying to capture them in the split second they choose to stop (well, pause) for the camera - so much fun! Thanks guys!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

New Backdrop!

My "niece" modelled my new backdrop for me today :) Thanks McKenna!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Strong-willed child + Miralex = Potty training success

If you're a follower of this blog you know that Reece happens to be my strong-willed child (with such a sweet heart might i add). So, when it came to potty training, he didn't live that expectation down one bit! I feel like we've been almost forcing him to become trained. Tim was finally able to "cheat" him into going in the toilet almost 2 weeks ago. This was a huge celebration (see the "winning the lotto post") with sweet treats and toys. But, he began holding it and not going, so we tried the Miralex (as suggested by a friend - thanks Michelle!). Apparently today it began working! I think he went like 5 times!!! We're so proud of you Reece Allen!!! Keep up the good work - you're saving us a LOT of money in diapers! To explain the picture, I came into the bathroom today while perusing my camera of today's newborn session and Reece thought it would be great to take a picture of his "evidence." Needless to say, I'll spare you the photo (that was never taken :). Reece settled for a picture of himself on the toilet instead. Consider yourself LUCKY!!


I had the joy of photographing these two cuties the other night! Here's a very small sneak peek at what I captured. They were very active little guys with such sweet personalities and their mom was so laid back! Made my job literally a day in the park (Riverside, that is....). Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Today marks our 8th anniversary. I can hardly believe it's been that long! It's even more amazing to think how much our family has grown since - God is good!!! I praise Him everyday for the abundant blessings he's so graciously bestowed upon us. We celebrated with an evening out to dinner sans kiddos (thanks mom for taking them for the evening!) and then headed to the mall to run to a couple stores. It wasn't too eventful, but definitely needed - just Tim and I. It was a good reminder that while we love spending time with the kids we need time to ourselves to focus on our marriage - love takes work!

Sunday, September 28, 2008


My holiday cards have been unveiled! You may check them out on my smugmug site @ http://www.whitneyjillphotography.smugmug.com/ under the Christmas Cards 2008 gallery.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

We won the LOTTO!!!

Okay, well, not quite........................but it sure feels like it this past week because Reece finally pooped in the toilet!!! We've been struggling with the PT (potty training) thing for a while with him. He was quite confident in keeping his pull-ups dry, but was petrified of pooping in the toilet. We were even able to get him to tell us when he had to poop and he would head to the bathroom and sometimes even squat next to the toilet. So, in my opinion, he had it all figured out - it was simply a will-power/control issue with us - nice! Now you're probably wondering how it worked, right?!! Okay, those of you with weak stomachs or who just get grossed out easily proceed with caution...............but I'm sure if you're a follower of this blog you're aware I'm a mom of three boys and that's part of life! So, Tim got him to sit on the toilet with a diaper on (but only secured with the help of Tim's hands) so when Reece went to the bathroom, Tim quickly whisked the diaper away and PRESTO! We had poop IN THE TOILET!!! Okay, enough bragging.......it's happened twice since then so we've started a habit (I hope). Stay tuned.....

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Couldn't resist!

I'm just about ready to head to bed, but came across this proof while editing my nephew's newborn shoot. That's EXACTLY how I feel - good night!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

One MAD MOM at the Frederik Meijer Gardens

This blog post title can be a little misleading.........I'm not referring to myself :) I'm referring to this spectacular sculpture by Tom Otterness. This past Tuesday Tim and I decided (spur of the moment) to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and our FM Gardens membership. I've taken the boys a handful of times this year, but we hadn't been as a family, so we took advantage of their Tuesday extended hours. Of course we were viewing a few sculptures by dusk (and the boys required warm hats) but the place was quite empty. The boys enjoyed just running and exploring! This facility is fabulous and always very interesting (as well as educational). It's great for literally ALL ages (no, I don't get a membership discount for throwing in that sales pitch). Without further ado, here's the Mad Mom herself:

Reece made the comment, as we were leaving, that this sculpture was me - nice.....and that comment was NOT prompted by his father

Marvelling at Jaume Plensa's "letter people" (well, that's not the official name of the sculpture, but it is representative :)

Lucas found part of his name

And if you look close enough you can actually spell his name around his body! That was not a posed picture (well, not besides me telling Lucas to look through the *U*).
Lucas in awe of the beautiful sculpture in the Lena Children's Garden (a beautifully designed outdoor area for children).

Hand carved pumpkins

Treasuring up the last bits of evidence of summer

At the Farm area................I think this is one of my favorite pictures of my boys.......why?.......because this isn't posed (though I really tried, but my assistant wasn't into it :).........it's my babies in the moment!

The pumpkins really were that BIG!!!

Jackson couldn't even climb on them

Guess what type of tracks these were?

Yup! Three deer right smack in the middle of one of the trails at the gardens. I've never seen deer here before - of course I didn't have my zoom lens on, so this is the best I could do!