February 7, 2017

Photography Class

Hi all! Good to see you again! I'd apologize for being a little absent around here, but I don't know that any one of you really missed me all that much anyway... :'(

Haha! Just kidding. I know you all love me and want to know every single detail of my life! So let's get things back on track, shall we?

Photography, photography, PHOTOGRAPHY!!! My life has been happily consumed by this online course I'm taking through BYU-Idaho. It's a beginners photography class and I am learning SO MUCH! Amazing all the information that just slips between the cracks when you're self-taught. Now I feel like I'm really *starting* to understand my camera and Lightroom, which is amazing and awesome and totally worth the amount I'm paying per month to have it.

So, let me tell you briefly what I've learned. No. Let me show you...

Capture assignment 01: Exposure
No edits. Just get to know your camera a little better and learn about that light meter!

Capture assignment 02: Basic Editing
This lesson taught me how to do some basic edits (in black and white) and taught me to make sure that the blacks in my photos weren't too heavy.

Capture assignment 03: Aperture and Depth of Field
I'm more prone to the shallow depth of field photos (first photo), so it was a little intimidating stepping out of my comfort zone to capture maximum depth of field photos (second photo), but I found that I actually really enjoyed it!

Capture assignment 04: Motion (frozen and blurred)
This has been my favorite lesson thus far! I learned about panning and although it takes me about 4 million photos just to get one good one, it's so worth it! And also, giving my baby boy sink baths is the most darling, and messy thing ever!

And that's where I am now! This week's assignment is called "Sense of Place" so I get to go around my town and find good places to take some photos that *hopefully* give the viewers a feel for the place that I live. Should be fun!

Other than photography, we're installing some new flooring in a couple of days! Hooray! I'm nervous and also excited about it! I've also got painting my kitchen cabinets on my mind, but one thing at a time!

Anyway, thanks for stopping by today! I've got a couple of DIY and tutorials in mind that I'll try to get up as soon as I can! Until then, get your cameras, knitting needles, wood saw, brushes, or whatever your hobby is out and get creating, because it feels SO good to create something NEW!

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January 21, 2017

The Stange Family Magic Show + WE MOVED!

Okay, it has been WAY too quiet around here recently. Well, not around my house, definitely not. Quiet is not something that ever really happens here, but on the blog? too quiet...

Let me tell you what's been going on! We MOVED! Our lovely old house was just starting to feel a little cramped + Andrew was getting really tired of scraping off his windows in the morning and freezing his patootie off! It was time for an upgrade.

We didn't move too far away, just about 10 minutes from where we were before, but we love our new home!

Everything happened SO FAST! We listed it on Monday, two days later we were under contract, and about a month after that, we were gone! I hardly even had time to process what was going on. In fact, it didn't really hit me that we were moving until I did the dishes in that home for the last time!

I felt like I was prepared for most everything you expect when you move. What I didn't expect was not feeling at home in the new home, ya know? We loved the new house so much, I thought that homey feeling would just be there. But it wasn't, and that was kinda hard.

I decided to share how I was feeling with my wonderful friend, Mariasha, and she gave me some great adivce...

Get out your camera!

Take some pictures! Make some home videos! Make memories! Until there are memories, a house just isn't a home.

So that's what I did! I made a few home videos and took some pictures and I really do feel like this new house is our home now. Sure, there are still things to get used to, but we've already begun filling our home with memories, and that feels good.

I'll always love and be grateful for our first house. We brought home two babies to that house and watched our oldest baby grow into toddler and little girl-hood. We made cookies (remember those cookie cups?) and celebrated birthdays and Christmas. We even made Magic Shows!

I used to make these magic shows with my brothers and sisters when I was little and loved it! I'm happy that it was one more happy memory we got to make in our dear little house!

Thanks for stopping by today! See you next time!

Question: What games or traditions do you have with your siblings that you want to pass down? Leave a comment!

And don't forget to follow along on Instagram and Snapchat! That's probably where I'll post my home tour, first. In fact, I've already posted one!

handle: suesnews

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January 5, 2017

Christmas 2016 | Thank you Greenleaf Ward!

Instead of describing every detail of Christmas day, I'm just going to share one of my favorite parts of the day and let the pictures (and video!) do the rest!

Spending time with my family and opening those long-awaited presents was, of course, wonderful, but I loved being able to attend church that morning, and the Christmas Spirit was manifested to me that morning in the form of the Redding family, the Byers family, and the Wegner family. My children are very spirited, curious, energetic, and mostly-well behaved. When Alexa began to wander, Cathy Wegner took her calling in Nursery to another level and fulfilled it during Sacrament meeting, too. When Barrett got a little wiggly on my lap and stood up to look over my shoulder, there was the Byers family to provide a little entertainment for the cute little guy! And when looking over my shoulder wasn't enough, the Redding family was there to let him play with their glasses, hair, and whatever else struck his fancy. I'm convinced that David Redding is a baby whisperer because Barrett is pretty "stranger-danger" aware, but David has a way with the little ones. It was amazing.

We've been packing our house the past couple of weeks in preparation for our move happening just two days from now and throughout this preparation period, the thing that I've known I'd miss the most was the ward family that I'm a part of. I walked into this ward with immediate acceptance and love. I've experienced dinners prepared by loving women who just want to serve others and sacrament meetings next to the Wright family every Sunday because Becky is one of the kindest, most forgiving, most loving woman I've ever known. I've been a part of service opportunities along-side some of the most talented people and have learned from some of the most spiritually strong youth I daresay the world has ever known. This ward family has treated me so well and I have no way of repaying their kindness.

I asked myself (and my mother) why these men and women would be so kind and do so much for me and my family, even when they don't know us well at all. I've concluded that it is because they are following the Savior, Jesus Christ. They have the pure love of Christ inside of them and something like that is not something that can be contained. It pours and overflows in their lives, and it shows.

I love you all so much! My family has truly benefited from your open arms and open hearts. Thank you, and the church is true!!!

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December 26, 2016

Christmas 2016 | How to throw a Gingerbread House party!

The moment we arrived at my sister Becky's house, I was all smiles! I was definitely feeling all the Christmas-y family feels, yo.

Having a Gingerbread House making party can be a pretty daunting task, especially if you've got about 20 children running around, but there were a few things I noticed that made this family construction work/run smoothly!

Buy pre-made
I'm all for the home-made stuff, but when you're expecting a lot of people over at your house, you probably have a lot of other things on your mind. So taking something big off of your plate, like baking a bunch of gingerbread isn't a bad idea!

Ask for help
The sets we had provided some candy, but not nearly enough for our sweet tooths... I mean, teeths... teeth? Ask everyone to bring a bag or two of candy to contribute!

Be observant
Pay attention to the people around you. Does anyone need a little extra help?

Soup is a great option for a large group of people and you can ask other people to bring things for the soup or another soup option as well!

Prepping your house + Toys/Games
Prep your house with areas for entertaining the kiddos who get bored of the house-building and also to get them out of the kitchen (maybe outside?) while the adults do some cleanup!

Use the buddy system!
When I wasn't making the gingerbread house (or taking pictures!) I was watching my kiddos and Andrew was stepping in to help and vice versa. I couldn't do these things and have nearly as much fun without my partner in crime, er, construction, in this case.

And don't forget the family picture!

The main thing to remember is to make sure you're as present as possible. Be prepared so that you can participate and make memories with your family/friends, too. I hope your Christmases were every bit as wonderful as you are! Thanks for reading today and I'll catch ya next time!!!

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