About Me

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After being told I would never be able to have children, I am now a stay-at-home Mommy to Maddie who happens to have Down Syndrome. I've been married 16 years to my best friend, having the time of my life. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our little journey through life.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's that time...

Here's what we've been up to the last couple of days!!!
Yep...potty training!  

I've kept her diaper off and she's been allowed to watch as much T.V. as she wants while sitting on her potty.  
When she potties we celebrate and dance and hoot and holler. 
She's had a few accidents on the floor, but the good thing is she will come and get me and bring me to the spot and say, "yuck!"  
I've learned a lot about her habits this way.  
For instance, while we were busy playing with the ball she dribbled a little (not the ball-but her potty). 
The potty chair was close by (we move it with us from room to room) so I quickly reminded her to sit on the potty and she finished up there.  
But it was like she was so involved in her play that she didn't even realize she was pottying. 

She also had three green smoothies the first day...and had to potty at least 15 times!!

And speaking of green smoothies, we spent some time in the garden yesterday and this is what we harvested...
We picked swiss chard, kale, beets, carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, and white squash.  

While we were outside she was really studying Gracie technique when going potty.
It was one of those Mommy moments I just had to hold my breath and hope she didn't want to investigate too close!!

We are still struggling with pooping in the potty.  
The first day she refused, even when she told me her tummy hurt.  

The second day she waited until naptime when I put her diaper on...then she went in her diaper : )  

Today she told me her tummy hurt and asked for a diaper!!  Smart girl!  : ) 

I think its probably time to go buy some panties...
Wish us luck! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Weekend Fun!

We headed up to Kansas City for Memorial weekend.   
Maddie had a blast!  
She loved Grandma and Grandpa's piano...
by the end of the weekend, it was even beginning to sound like real music!  

Saturday morning we were super excited to head to the Deanna Rose Farmstead.  
We went last year too and have been itching to go back ever since.  
We saw the chickens.  Maddie was wondering where the eggs were!  

We saw the baby cows,

and the baby goats.

Maddie enjoyed the big goats too.  

 This prairie dog was a friendly little fellow.  : )

 I couldn't resist getting a few photography shots! 

Maddie remembered the children's garden...she ran in when she saw the entrance and knew exactly what to do with this butterfly!
(this one was from last year- she's gotten so big!)

Love those tippy-toes!!

Daddy got a shot of Maddie and me!

The next day we went to a walking trail. 
Maddie literally ran most of the way!!

We can't wait for Special Olympics!!

We took a short break from running to play at the playground.  

and then more running!!

 When she finally got tired of running, we had a little skip!  

And while we skip away off into the sunset, I'll leave you with my favorite picture of the weekend...

This one Kyle captured!!  : ) 

Monday, May 21, 2012

A New Video - Maddie Prays

It's been a while since I've posted a video!
Maddie's speech has developed so much recently!!!
This is how she prays and what she thinks about taking naps... : )  

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Elmo Hungry!

Yesterday Maddie decided Elmo was really, really hungry.  
Bless her little heart...she wanted to share her cereal. 

It's a good thing Elmo is also machine-washable!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Relationship Status Updated

A quiet morning with no where to go and some time to blog!
I will never complain about being busy because it's such a blessing...it does require some adjustments though.  I still have to keep my priorities in check. 

It feels like I'm in a new relationship with my photography business.  
You know when you first hit it off with someone and you start thinking about them all the time.
You can't wait to see them again, you dream about them, and want to know absolutely everything there is to know about them.  
That's me.  
Sam + Photography = True Love 4 ever!
Last night I dreamed about photo edits.  
The night before that it was posing.  

Here's a peek of what's been keeping me busy...

A wonderful group of Cousins...a photo shoot for Grandma for Mother's Day!

is he not the cutest!!  his personality matches his sweet little expressions!  

His brother on the other hand kept me laughing the whole time.

  I can't get over Linzey's eyes...all three sisters have the most unique, beautiful eyes ever!

And then there's beautiful Bethanie! 
She's an amazing young lady...strong and bold and a girl who knows what she wants!
An absolute dream to photograph!

Senior portraits are becoming one of my favorite genres!!

I was so honored to have done this next photo shoot.  
Paul was a firefighter who worked the OKC bombing in 1995.  
These make me emotional...

Kyle did an amazing photoshop edit on this one...

Still working on three other photo shoots from last week.  
And I have an engagement shoot on Monday!!
OK, better go get to work now. 
If anyone is interested in a photo shoot, send me an email at sam@samschasteenphotography.com.  Right now I've got some dates at the end of June and booking into July.  
Happy Friday : ) 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

First Family Devotional

We have this Gracie statue that sits on our front doorstep.  
Maddie is always moving her around the yard and leaving her in different spots.
Last night she threw her down on the sidewalk, and several Gracie-statue pieces lay on the sidewalk in the aftermath.
I had her help pick them up and talked about how important it was to be careful with things, that we gently put things down.  I asked her if she was sorry.  She signed "sorry."  
 I thought it would be great to use this as a object lesson later that night. 

Right before bed time I brought in all of the broken Gracie-statue pieces and told her that sometimes we mess up and things get broken in life. 
God can take our broken pieces and put things back together if we trust in Him. 

Kyle thought I was going to somehow bring out a newly restored Gracie statue...ha ha.  
Nope, but at least its just her backside that's broken. 
Can't even tell from the front! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Impulse Buy

I did it.  
I couldn't help myself.  
There I was, enjoying the solitude of grocery shopping at Sam's Club while Maddie was at preschool.  

I decided to meander around and indulge in the free time I had to myself.  
So I walked over to the books.  

It caught my eye right away. 
I picked it up and read a few pages.  
I tried to tell myself how unnecessary it was.  
I put it back down.  

I picked it up again.
I discovered a few insights that I just knew I couldn't live without.  
At this point, the arguments in favor of the impulse buy are far outweighing the rationale of budget or sensibility. 

Into the cart it goes!!

My new cookbook!!!

And to prove it was totally worth it, a look at the pea and mint soup with prosciutto we had for dinner the other night...

Anyone else have a weakness for impulse buys?  : ) 

Monday, May 7, 2012

My Photography Journey

I still can't believe I'm a professional photographer!
I'm living out my dream, but the ironic thing is, I never knew it was a dream of mine until it became a reality!
I never set out to become a professional photographer.  
In the beginning, I just wanted to capture photos of Maddie.  

My first photo shoot was May 14 last year.  
I had taken some classes and a friend of mine really wanted pictures of her little one who had already turned one.  
I suggested we meet at the park and I could take some pictures and just see if they turned out.  The only thing we had to lose was maybe wasted time.  
The pictures turned out amazing!!
That's when I began to suspect this thing I had was bigger than just me.  
It was my God-given talent and those pictures were a result of God working through me. 

Since then I have shot 34 other photo shoots.  I have 5 scheduled this week and a calendar that's filling up!
As I was driving to my photo shoot last night, I was overcome with gratitude.  
I've been trying to put into words what I've been experiencing over the past year.  
The best I can do is to say  is I'm in God's pocket.  

"Commit everything you do to the Lord.  Trust him, and he will help you."  Psalm 37:5

I like His pocket.  It's nice and warm and I hope I get to stay a while! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hong Family Photoshoot

Last weekend I had the honor of photographing a wonderful family, celebrating a traditional Korean first birthday!
The table was so beautiful!!
I had never seen this before and felt so honored to be the one to capture this special day for them.  
Little Adella was turning one!
She got to choose which of the items from the bottom middle picture she wanted.  From what I understand this determines what kind of future she will have.  

Grandma as dressed in traditional gown too. 
She was stunning.  

After the formal pictures were taken, it was time for some fun!

I absolutely loved Mason's energy!  He was going 90 miles an hour with such a playful little spirit.
I brought along this camera as a prop.  
It was the perfect things to keep him busy while I also got pictures of the celebration table.  

Mom has a great sense of style and has requested some black and white edits.  

And it's always interesting getting the family picture to come out just right!!
sometimes you just have to combine a couple of pictures to make a family picture!

and after two hours of trying to reign in little Mason's energy, this is what you get...
I love this!! : )  

But we gave it one more try and I think we got one of the best family pictures I've ever taken...
Still working on a few more edits to finish things up, but this was definitely a fun, fun day!!