Thanks for all your emails and comments checking in on us. We are fine, barely got any rain. I actually didn’t even realize tornadoes were around until someone left a comment on here…growing up in Oklahoma gives you a different perspective on tornadoes than most places probably….you all were more concerned than we were….not that I shouldn’t be concerned….tornadoes warnings are just a normal part of spring around here. Thanks for thinking of us and checking on us. There are many families facing total devastation and loss of life from yesterday’s tornadoes. I can’t imagine all that they are facing now. If you are interested in helping those families I am sure more will be posted online soon how to do that.

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  • meg duerksen - kansas is the same.
    yesterday i was typing and turned to look out the window.
    i said “oh….that is tornado color.”
    five minutes later craig calls and says “i am leaving work….there is a tornado close by and headed towards you…be aware.”
    i said “i knew it. just from the color of the sky”
    gotta love the midwest.
    it rained but that was it.
    it all blew over….but you just never know.
    glad you guys are ok too.

  • Kara - Gotta love Oklahoma weather! Never a dull moment…

  • Amy - Before we moved to OK 2 months ago, my 5 yr. old daughter’s only association with Ok was from a Wonder Pets episode about a cow stuck in a tree because of a twister :) So yesterday when the sirens went off in Edmond, she totally freaked out. She was sure that we were going to be blown away… perhaps into a tree :) Funny, since we moved from KS and it’s pretty much the same deal there… thanks Wonder Pets for the paranoia!

  • emily anderson - oh, i so remember my days of tornadoes…growing up in kansas, it’s a normal part of life!

    it’s crazy, but here in florida they don’t have tornado sirens! they experience tornadoes, but no sirens…it just doesn’t make sense to me!
    glad ya’ll are safe :)

  • Jill J. - We don’t get a LOT of tornadoes here on the front range in CO, but a couple of years ago right around this time, we had a field trip to a farm with my older son’s kindergarten class. That was the day that a HUGE tornado ripped through the area. We were hiding in a barn that you could see through. I sat in the corner and prayed with my son. Next week, I get to go back to the same farm with my second son. Wish me luck! :) Tornadoes are scary! I’m glad you’re OK.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Thank you for posting that. I was watching the weather worried about you last night….

  • Katherine M - how fun! I can’t wait to try this with my kiddos!

UPDATE: The contest is now over. The last counting comment is Wehaf’s, “My dog goofing around with her toys makes me laugh!”

I thought I’d do a little photography lesson today. You may or may not have heard the term ‘depth of field’ (DOF). I thought I’d take today to explain that term just a little. In the most basic sense, depth of field is the area of your photograph that is in focus. Typically this is the area closest to whatever you focused on. A large depth of field would have a lot of area in front of and behind your subject in focus. A small depth of field would have a small area. For instance, the photo below:

In this photo you can see that I did not get Baby Sister correctly in focus. I was aiming at her eyes, but she moved. The focus point became an area on the side of her head….and the depth of field was very small. A small depth of field produced a picture where her eyes and the back of her head are both out of focus. Do you see the depth of field area?

Now for your sneaking in blog time while at work project homework: in the photos below try to find the depth of field areas….(hint – use the wood of the deck to help you see it)

A little playtime on the front porch.

Since I can’t give you a sticker for finishing your homework, how about a little giveaway from one of my reader’s etsy stores! See baby Sister’s leggies…

Giveaway Details:

Prize: $25.00 shop credit to Tweet Baby Designs

One entry per person

Winner chosen at random

Contest ends Friday, May 14th, 2010 9:30pm US Central

To enter: In the comment section tell me something that inspires you or something that makes you laugh

*Tweet Baby Designs is also offering a 10% discount to my readers. Just mention this blog when you check out in the ‘Notes to Seller’, you will be refunded the amount via PayPal.

*are posts like this helpful to anyone?

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  • kristi - the sun is shining today (after a lot of grey days) so that is inspiring me to get moving!

  • Zoe C - Adorable photos! My nephews always make me laugh, they’re as mad as a hatter!

  • Robyn Lee - My husband always knows just the right face to make or the right dance move (he can’t dance very well) to make me laugh!

  • amanda torres - Random, but honest comments kids make get me all the time. They say some funny stuff!

  • Carin - My 1 yr old daughter makes me laugh everyday…at least once, but more like 10.

  • Sarah - Good morning! I hope you and your family faired well during bad weather yesterday. My 14 month old makes me laugh every single day! I never thought another person could make me laugh so hard!

  • Katy O - My husband does both! His grace for me is an everyday inspiration; and his ability to make me laugh at any given moment (even when I’m not so happy with him) is indescribable. I’m beyond grateful that I get to spend every day with him!

  • karen davis - what a fun giveaway!! Other people’s laughs..make me laugh!! Hahah laughing is contagious!

  • stephanie - my daughter inspires me to be a better person, all around….

  • Shannon - Something inspiring is a clean house! WHich I am trying to acheive today. Something that makes me laugh? Looking at your sweet baby doll. I can’t get enough of her precious face!

  • Stephanie - Your blog inspires me to be a better mom and photographer! My 2 1/2 year old makes me laugh countless times each day with her creative imagination!

  • joy - i laugh on mornings like this one, when my husband takes his oatmeal “to go” in a plastic cup.

  • Kelly K. - My dog Riley’s dramatic sighs and moans and groans always make me laugh. I wish I knew what she was thinking.

  • Ruth@GraceLaced - My four boys definitely inspire me and make me laugh all the time!

  • Lisa @ ElleBows - Something that has been making me laugh is my daughter calling her dad by his first name, Nick. Now she does it just to get a reaction out of him πŸ˜‰

  • devon spec - i love when my baby (2 year old) girl points to my nose and goes, “BOOGERS mama!” and is just sooo pleased with herself. :)

  • Christy - My little girl makes me laugh every single day with her drama and her perspective!

  • Kari S. - My friend Sonya inspires me! She lost her husband and 6 yr old son Adam in an accident almost 4 years ago. Yesterday would have been Adam’s 10th birthday. In honor of Adam’s birthday I took her some helium balloons for her family to release to heaven to celebrate his birthday. We attached a tag to the balloon explaining why the balloons were released, along with the scripture John 3:16 and a link to her surviving son’s website. The balloons were released in the midst of the storm in southern oklahoma, so there is no telling where they may land! Maybe you will find one in Broken Arrow! :)

  • Stacy Jean - My kids make me giggle all of the time…..just today, Sofie(5) said, “Open the door, GaGa Gabor.” Huh? GaGa Gabor?

  • Shannon @ What's Up Whimsy - My one-year old son Keaton makes me laugh everyday, whether he is talking gibberish into our phone, or trying to dance to any music that comes on the TV. He also inspires me to be a great mom!

  • Michele V. - I love to hear giggles of little children. I enjoy your blog so much. Thanks for the photo tips.

  • Brittaney - My husband makes me laugh! It’s the reason I fell in love with him!

  • Karla - My kids make me giggle and laugh like crazy, until I’ve got tears running down my cheeks and water squirting out of my nose. (They think it’s funny to make me laugh when I’m drinking. Works every time!)

  • Rachel - I am inspired by lives lived fully and those stories shared over dinner or through film, books, and blogs… Thank you Ashley!

  • Kristi - I love mornings when I go in to wake up my 2 year old and he is JUMPING up and down yelling mommy with a smile on his face rather than crying! :)

  • haley - reading blogs Inspire me!

  • Jill - When my oldest looks at me and says, “It’s still paint.” It’s from when we watched Avatar together and I asked a stupid question. He says it so deadpan it’s hilarious.

  • Callie B - yes, very helpful post…I needall the help I can get!

    As for making me laugh, that would be my four beautiful kiddos…lots of laughing around here!

  • Christy - Thanks for the photo tips! Not to be corny, but yourself and other blogs inspire me. You think out of the box when it comes to photos, crafts. I love it! You challenge me to be creative.

  • joeyhoffman - I am inspired by children of all ages! I guess it is the teacher and mom in me that loves children the most. They are so sweet and innocent! I laugh when my one year old son gives me that look like he completely understands exactly what I am thinking. I laugh when my 5 year old daughter does something that reminds me of myself at that age…my kids are the LIGHT in my LIFE!

  • Alisa - My 4 and 26 month old kiddos make me laugh everyday!

  • Katie - Often my kids inspire me. When they have the urge to create it gets me motivated to create too.

  • Anna Marie - My husband makes me laugh, a lot. And quite often. I love him so much! I has “loosened” me up so much since we met over 8 years ago.

    As far as inspiration…well besides you, Ashley. Ha!

    I get inspired to organize and clean like a mad woman when I know that company is coming over. I should plan a get together weekly to keep me on my toes.

  • jody - my boys, my boys, my boys, my boys make me laugh everyday. it helps me get through the “tough” spots!!

  • Jill R - Baby sister in those little leg warmers always makes me smile! Love it! As a mom of boys that is something I miss out on – leg warmers. πŸ˜‰

  • Becca - What a cute little shop! The baby leggings are adorable…need to get some for my little girl!

    Something that makes me laugh…first thing that popped into my head was my 2 year old son’s latest favorite phrase he likes to recite to my husband, “You da man daddy! You da man!” Ha, not sure where he got it from but my husband doesn’t mind the affirmation! πŸ˜‰

  • Jessica - Bright colors and sunshine inspire me. It’s strawberry season and I’m imagining going to a bright field on a gorgeous day like today, picking my own pesticide-free berries and making jam. Gleaming Mason jars of homemade strawberry jam all lined up on the counter – can’t wait!

  • meg duerksen - saturday night live makes me laugh!

  • Erica - My 6 month old daughter makes me laugh all the time! She’s the funniest person I know :)

  • Chelsea - My 4th graders make me laugh (most days..)!

  • Taylor Roberts - I get inspired by rainy days. I know a lot of people hate them but I find that I get the most stuff done on rainy days.

  • Tara - My girls make me laugh every day…just last night while my 2.5 year old was supposed to be asleep she took all 5 blankets on her bed (there by her choosing) and covered herself up on the floor so she could “hide” from me. When I discovered her she just sat there looking at me with a huge smile on her face so proud of her work. How could I get mad at that!!!

  • Jenn - What makes me laugh? That my 6 yr old daughter is a mini me when she ripes off a man sized burp! That’s my girl:) Such pride…

  • Lesley - YAY!! I love the little leggings! They are just adorable and I am going to have to get some for baby girl! So, something that makes me laugh, right now it is my pregnant belly button. See, when I laugh, my belly button pops out and that in itself makes me laugh harder, which only makes my button pop out more, which makes me laugh even harder!! So, once I get going it’s really hard to stop.

  • Stephanie - What makes me laugh is my lack of photography skill or understanding

  • nichole - I laugh when my 3 year old daughter says “Mom, you be me and I’ll be you..” Me: “Okay… (smiling) ‘Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Look at me! Look!… Why? Why Why?’… How’s that?” Daughter: (laughing) “Hooray!! You don’t have to go to school today!!!” She’s such a clever stinker. πŸ˜‰

  • stacey B - When I’m making cards my inspiration comes from the person I’m making it for…I’m inspired by people.

  • julia - i’m inspired by…THIS BLOG :) and, my husband makes me laugh everyday!

  • Katherine - My two boys– 2.5 year old toddler and sweet newborn baby– inspire me!

  • Sara - Let me just tell you that your blog inspires me. I look at it every weekday and get ideas and get the imagination flowing. I just love it.

  • Shanalea Atchison - As a premise, we are not ok with this behavior and correct it immediately, but what has been makingme laugh lately is when #3 has absolutely had it with his older brother he just lifts a finger and “shoots” him. Again so not appropriate, but completely hilarious.

  • Nhu - I’m inspired by my family. They make life enjoyable!

  • Heidi - Our city just had its first Ironman competition last saturday. It was an amazing experiace to see the competetors cross the finish line. Some with plenty of time to spare, others minutes, and others crossing to late to given the title of “ironman” but still finishing. It was totally inspiring.
    i. love. the leggings.

  • Grace - My boys inspire me and me laugh and cry. Love them so much!

  • Veronica - The “lovely” outfit my daughter picked out to wear on Sunday…”but they are all flowers”…the shirt, the skirt and the rain boots! A perfect match πŸ˜‰

  • Kristen - My sweet 3yo and 2mo old inspire me every day!! :)

  • Savannah - I am inspired by people’s stories about what God has brought them through in their lives and how He has blessed them. It inspires me to be thankful, accept forgiveness, and be gracious!

  • Whitney - I am inspired by moms who put their kiddos’ needs before themselves.

  • rebecca - When my baby in my tummy kicks me in the side, it makes me laugh to think she is already tickling me!

  • Alice Sears - My baby. He makes the cutest faces and does the cutest things. And when I start laughing at him, he starts laughing himself!

  • BriBedell - Something that inspires me?? It would have to be this blog for sure :) Also old photos. I love, love, love to look at pictures of when my mom was little. They are just so interesting and the make me laugh sometimes too!

  • Megan - Those pictures are too sweet.

    Something that inspires me AND makes me laugh? Morning workout sessions with my very good friend and her silly baby that takes every chance he gets to sit on her while she tries to exercise. Laughter and exercise, both good for the body and the soul. That friend needs a special gift from this sweet shop.

  • Jaymee - A nice hot cup of coffee with my husband first thing in the morning and discussing our future inspires me. Since I know the best is yet to come I look forward to what God decides is really our “future”.

  • Eliece - My 7YO son always makes me laugh. His latest is that he wants to be a hippy when he grows up. Not quite sure what he thinks that is but he comes up with some funny stuff.

  • Lizbeth - Amazing pictures! You truly inspire me not only are you a great photographer but mother, wife and so much more!! I hope one day I can become the photographer I truly want to be!

  • brooke - Thank you so much for this post! It’s always nice to get helpful hints, which helps inspire me to shoot better pictures. My biggest inspiration right now is my son – he keeps everyday full of excitement & makes me stop to see the beauty in every day things. He’s inspiring me to be a great person, & a fantastic mother. Which gives me comfort knowing he’s going to do that same for his small brother/sister that is on the way.

  • Liz - My husband and 4 kiddos make me laugh and inspire me to be a better mom and person every single day! My husband makes me laugh my head off constantly- and my kids, oh boy do they even make me laugh. Like this am when my 3 yo says “mommy I have a huge poop coming out my bum!” Um, thanks!

  • Nicole - Such sweet photos. I love how you always remember to get all of the different angles and details….

    Everyday I am inspired by and made to laugh by my two daughters. Especially my four year old’s wild imagination!

  • Shoshana K - You know what really inspires me? Your blog!I can’t wait to check out the new posts because there’s always something beautiful to look at! Thank you.

  • Tia - sweet little baby smiles and random baby talk

  • Christian T - My son makes me laugh. Some of the stuff that comes out of his 3 year old mouth is hilarious!

  • Kasie@~The Art of Life - My husband inspires me. He’s a competitive cyclist and he’s incredibly talented on the bike. But what inspires me the most is how he’s such a wonderful Daddy. :)

  • Robin - i am inspired by happiness in others. always motivates me to find and maintain that feeling in my own life.

  • jo - my sister always makes me laugh! and inspires me daily with the grace and courage she has while she battles cancer.

  • Kristin - My kids inspire me to be a better person. Especially when I am scolding them for something and think “Hmmmm…I do that too!! Maybe I need to work on that in myself too!” My kids also make me laugh. I’ve got one wild and crazy bunch!

  • Kara - My 1 year old son has this new fake laugh—it is the funniest thing ever and not only makes me laugh but pretty much the entire room. So funny!!

  • Urska - My almost three month daughter trying to hold a conversation with me. It is one of the best conversations I had since she came along. The most fun too.

  • allison - my baby getting the hiccups inside of me makes me laugh all the time lately.

  • Kristin Eldridge - Something that makes me laugh: The Office.

    And my precious baby boy. :)

  • Helen - My child inspires me to take photos and she makes me laugh.

  • Chelsea - my husband makes me laugh a lot..with him and at him sometimes :) but he loves it

  • Liz - I am inspired when I see others doing good things for the people around them.

  • lifeologia - I like how how squeezed in a lesson, your little princess, and a giveaway πŸ˜‰ Well done.
    I try to laugh at myself for not being in control of my life and my body…. When a chronic illness comes your way – that’s all you can do πŸ˜‰

  • Maggie - My one year old is a hoot. She cracks me up constantly!

  • Kristi - Your pictures are so great and inspire me to want to work so hard on taking pictures better!!

  • Katrina - First I would like to say that I really do like your photography lessons. I find them very helpful and beautiful at the same time. Now what makes me laugh is what a dork my daughter acts like. She is constantly making noises just because it’s fun (she’s almost 12) and coming up with secret handshakes that are very complicated and she can never remember.

  • ashlee - thanks for featuring my shop:)
    old episodes of arrested development make me laugh:) i watch them on hulu…oh, and the meteorologists here in oklahoma…they are almost giddy at the thought of storm activity. makes me laugh every time.

  • Jennie Frake - My husband inspires me to be happy with myself and make the most of every day. But its my farting dog and farting baby that really crack me up!

  • Jaimie - This is gonna sound lame, but you and other photographers like you give me major inspiration. Major. :)

  • Ingrid - My beautiful daughter inspires me (and she makes me laugh a lot too)!

  • Heather - my boys make me laugh.. like today we were at the store and I had to buy many containers of tic tacs cause he popped all the tops on them. it was hard not to laugh – he was so cute!!

  • Martina - It made me laugh that you said: “sneaking in blog time while at work project”! How did you know?!

  • The Lady of the House - I so love that last pic! This post really makes me wish I had a nice camera. I just have a little digital camera which does what IT wants most the time but I’m getting better at it. Take care with all that scary weather, The Lady of the House

  • paige rodriguez - my 2 year old son’s dancing makes me laugh b/c he does a one-armed chicken wing kind of move that makes me lose it every time! love the giveaways you’re having! :)

  • Tracy - great giveaway…i have been meaning to get some leggings for my girl! My children make me laugh all the time!

  • KerriHD - You inspire me!

    *and, yes this post was helpful- now just need to figure out how to make it work on my camera :)

  • Meredith - the things that come out of my 2 year olds mouth really make me laugh…thanks for a great giveaway!

  • Megan - My big girl loves to make my baby laugh. Ivy is the only one of us who can always get Phoebe to laugh. It’s the best thing.

  • Amber McIntyre - My sweet baby girl has started giggling recently. Now my favorite thing to do is laugh with her. She giggles, then I start laughing. The best part of my day is when we crack up together.

  • Barbora - Actually, the photo of Baby Sister reaching for the greens through the plank just made me laugh. Besides this lovely photo, it is my 11m boy doing quite the same pose who makes me laugh and inspires me at the same time.

  • Sarah M - Something that totally makes me laugh is catching my two kids (ages 2 1/2 & 15 months) cracking up together. It’s usually in the bathtub! Adorable!
    Sarah M

  • Ashley Joy - I have to say that what has inspired me and creativity lately is ruffles… I’m obsessed. :/

  • LaurenS - lots of things make me laugh, my funny friends at work, funny tv shows, and when i say really dumb things and then i realize what i’ve just said and we all bust out laughing!

  • MelissaM - YOU totally inspire me as a mom! My husband and 2 year old daughter make me laugh every day. They are pretty inspirational as well. :)

  • sarah - My kids’ curly hair makes me laugh all the time. There is something about bouncing curls that makes me smile. Inspiration abounds at every turn.

  • Elizabeth - Inspirations and laughs come from what I surround myself with every day….children, love, life and adventures…….

  • Andrea - Your blog inspires me!

  • Rebecca - My mom inspires me AND makes me laugh!

  • Ali Richardson - My 2 kids playing together. Laughing together, hugging each other. Inspiration 24/7. Life is sweet!

  • Jenni - My husband telling me about waking up in the middle of the night with a bowl on his chest. He was in bed, sleep eating???? Makes me laugh SO HARD!

  • laura - My family and friends make me laugh, their spirit and attitudes inspire as well!

  • Sarah - All of these other comments are sweet, I must not be that sweet. I looove to watch people fall – that is stomach cramping hilarious.

  • kassondra - the silly things my 4 year old daughter tells me. We were playing ‘Princesses’ and she made my call her “my queen” all night long :)

  • KellyK - Jenni’s husband (above) makes me laugh and I do not know him.
    Other than that…I laughed hard at Glee the other night and in turn my two year old laughed even though he does not know what he was laughing at, so I laughed harder and finally I was laughcrying. (he was only in the room for 5 minutes and was playing puzzles not paying attention till I laughed so please nobody judge me ;))

  • Mariah - My own jokes… I know it sounds terrible to think one’s own jokes are the funniest, but it’s just the way things are right now… I have a very unusual pregnancy symptom. This is my third pregnancy, and I had it with the other two as well. My husband calls it the “Pregnancy Giggles”. But it is usually in the context of, ” Oh no. Here she goes.” and once I get going, I CANNOT stop. There are usually tears. I just think I am so darn funny, I can’t help it…

  • Jennifer - Inspire: new buds on my old apple tree.
    Makes me laugh: kicks from the baby growing in my belly.

  • emily anderson - i LOVE ashlee…she is my favorite! i have been eyeing that bib necklace for like 3 months now—would LOVE to win this!

    well, of course my kids make me laugh…daily. you understand that!

  • Kate - Kids laughter. It is one of my favorite sounds and always inspires me to put life into perspective. I wish I could bottle up their laughter and sell it.

  • Stefanie O - My kids are always the source of my inspiration. They remind me to play, laugh, smile and how blessed I am to have them in my life. I work full time but I cherish my few hours with them talking, hugging, and listening.

  • Heidi - I’m inspired by photography lesson posts! :)

  • Susan - My son & daughter make me laugh…from her “R’s” that sound like “w’s” to his sneaky little plots that he ends up tattling about himself…Love and laugh at it all…

  • Amanda Fuentes - The wild things my 4 year old comes up with always makes me laugh!

  • Tysha - I guess I’ve been silent long enough…I’ve been checking in regularly on your blog now for the past 3-4 months. I think I found it when I did a google search for making baby headbands and I found your DIY with felt (I was then going craft-crazy preparing for the birth of my second child, first daughter). I’m also a fellow photog -still learning like crazy πŸ˜‰

    OKay, that said – you are pretty darn inspiring as a person and as a Mother.
    And my 22 month old son makes me laugh, lots of times, hysterically – every day.


    -Tysha Carter

  • Savannah - The little kiddos I work with on a daily basis inspire me to not give up! Hard work pays off!

  • Amanda - Something that makes me laugh is my 9 month-old baby girl who has recently discovered laughing…only her laugh is an extremely fake “ha…ha…ha…” at EVERYTHING!

  • jessibee08 - My daughter dancing around the living room to Beyonce’ and SINGLE LADIES> haha. nothing like a 2 year old saying “put a ring on it”!!!!

  • Maggie - My answer for what makes me laugh and what inspires me would be the same…my stepdaughter. The girl makes me want to do everything, and not a day goes by that in her presence I’m not happy and laughing!

  • Donna - My kids, all 4 of them. I laugh at them multiple times per day. And kids’ laughter is the best, isn’t it?

  • Callie - This etsy site is adorable. Something that makes me laugh…..any of my almost 4 year old daughters sayings. She keeps us on our toes, repeating common sayings in a not so common way.

  • Erin Kirby - my loving husband makes me laugh everyday. i’m so lucky to have him as my best friend.

  • Jenna - I was actually just feeling inspired by your interview on Evie’s site. I love that you make time to be creative with your kids, and I hope to do the same with my daughter and hopefully future children! I just started making a list of crafty things for us to do as a family :)

  • andy - my son of course makes me giggle but also my little baby girl, whom i have not yet met because she is still in my tummy. she just wiggles and moves and sometime i think that she never stops so that makes me laugh that she can be so active already.

  • Monica - great post, and adorable pictures.
    Something that makes me laugh is the enormous growls that come out of my 6 month old daughter daily.

  • Michelle Gray - My 1 1/2 year old makes me laugh when he lets out a big belly laugh and tries to see who can laugh the longest. It’s amazing!

  • Rachael B - My older brother’s heart for God is a huge inspiration. He is a missionary in Thailand and everyday when I hear of the work he is doing, I am in awe of God’s greatness! (this post was very helpful!)

  • Rachel J - Watching my little babyboy pull up on everything with his chunky, dimply butt! :)

  • Angela - Listening to my kids singing in their beds at night totally gets me laughing. I think that is when they bond the most.

  • stephanie - my kids keep me in stitches. everyday they do something ridiculously funny. being a mom is the best job and the most inspiring.

  • Rae - My daughters laugh, always makes me laugh!

  • Leah - Watching my 4 year olds dance class. Six 3-4 year olds doing a dance routine can be hilarious but cute at the same time.

  • Heather - My parents inspire me and those of you that are super creative. My kids make me laugh and I can’t imagine life without laughter.


  • Emily F - My husband makes me laugh, daily! I’m inspired by my sweet nephews and their gentle, loving spirit!

  • Rachel - really beautiful photography (photographers) inspire me… including you!

  • Lindsay - My girlfriend showed off her nail bitten fingernails and old, chipped nail polish to me. She was so proud of the new colour she found. How inspiring….. I want to show off my gross fingers with pride. I love women who aren’t ashamed of their bodies…their faces…their fingernails.

  • Danielle - Seeing mothers who seem to have it all together but they give the credit to the Lord inspires me.

  • Rachel - My children make me laugh. And my mother has been inspiring me a lot lately! She is very giving.

  • becca - my 2 boys make me laugh so hard every day!

  • Beth - The latest thing to make me laugh was your “sneaking in blog time while at work” comment. I totally do that!

  • Ashley - blogs inspire me… and my mom!

  • crystal - I have 3 little boys and their art- work inspires great color combinations. They also make me laugh ALL the time! I am blessed.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Inspired… mmmm… my sweet husband. I am so inspired at his kindness. He is kind to me no matter what.

  • Jeannette Swan - Listening to my 2 1/2 year old talk makes me laugh a lot – he speaks very clearly and has for quite awhile so it is just funny some of the things he says. He likes to use the word “actually” – that cracks me up!! Early this evening I got a flat tire on a major highway – that wasn’t funny, but when I said I’m calling AAA and all he kept asking me – “when will “chick-fil-a” come fix our car” – that made me laugh!

  • Shauna - Watching my husband work hard to provide for our famiy.

  • giozi - The mischievous smile of my children when they do a trick

  • Emily - I am inspired by those who never give up on what matters most in life, faith, family and friends.

  • shanna - About the photo’s: do you convert them to true black and white, or is it a manual setting? Thanks, Shanna

  • Noelle - When one of my kids (4 and 5) says something unusual, “yes, ma’am” “of course you can borrow my crayon” “I’m completely happy”

  • Megan - my puppies make me laugh, they always have great little moaning sounds when I rub their bellies!

  • Jentre - My sweet husband makes me laugh, though I roll my eyes at just as many of his attempts to get a laugh. :)

  • Elisa B. - Spending time with my sisters makes me laugh. The four of us grew up so close and now that we are all adults we treasure our time together so much more!

  • Beth Phillips - my sweet little girl makes me laugh atleast 30 times a day.

  • kate m. - The hilarious 3yr old twin boys i take care of :)

  • Julie - Your blog is definitely inspiring! Usually I either want to make what you (or someone else)did or it inspires me to tweek it and make it my own. My family can always make me laugh…we’re a funny bunch if I do say so myself!

  • Mandi Smith - Love your pictures of Baby Sister, she’s so cute :) My kids make me laugh each and every day. I love to watch my son make faces at my daughter and to watch them both crack up at one another is absolutely hilarious.

  • Christine - The homework was a little difficult but i think i got it. My family makes me laugh. You have adorable children.

  • Samantha - Something that has been making me laugh all week long is my Mother’s Day card from the hubby! :) Hysterical!

  • Holly - My dad always makes me laugh…He is the funniest person I know!

  • Teresa - I have a 3 year old girl who is going on 16. She has always talked really good and clear for her age. You never know what she is going to say. The other day, I told her I loved her when I put her to bed and she said “You have got to be kidding me”. Exactly those words. Where does she hear this stuff? I always look forward to what she has to say.

  • megan c. - beautiful things (broad I know) inspire me…people, places, colors, FABRIC…the list could go on! also, other people’s blogs…yours for sure…inspire me! thanks!

  • Beth - Watching my son learn something….and understand it….& then try to apply it to EVERYthing. LOL!! Very inspiring, as well as comical. My husband also inspires me to always see the lighter side…he’s very optomistic…not to mention hilarious, and he’s rarely EVER in a bad mood. God knew what He was doing when he chose my family. :)

  • Lindsey Patrick - The 3yr old I babysit makes me laugh daily! I love him!

  • Michelle - my husband makes me laugh. all the time.

  • Amy - I am inspired and constantly amused by my 3 1/2 year old son. He makes me laugh every day.

  • Kate A - The thing that makes me laugh is the exact reason why these leggies (especially the gray and white stripes! cute!) would be awesome to win…my baby girl just started crawling last night. She spots something across the room she wants, scrunches up her nose/eyes with determination, and does an army-crawl scoot until she gets it! It’s hilarious!

  • Allison - My mom inspires me! She is such a strong woman and carries the weight of the world on her shoulders.

  • Becca G - Something that never fails to make me laugh is a look at Awkward Family Photos. I know, I know. Laughing at other people–real mature, huh?

  • Jamie - I’m inspired by the kindness of strangers, to always try to pay it forward.

  • Megan A - My husband always makes me laugh. He always know the right things to say especially when I’m having a rough day.

  • Megan H - I love to watch and listen to my kiddos (1 yr. and 10 mos.) make each other laugh. They sit in their high chairs and crack each other up – which of course makes me laugh!

  • Kristin - blog searching always inspires me. it’s how i found you! :)

  • Amy Brady - Talented Tuesday: A time in my classroom where students are allowed to showcase their talents (keeps the “class clown” syndrome thing down to a minimum when I tell them to save it for Talented Tuesday): within 2 minutes. Jokes, breakdancing, and my all time favorite-a student and his sibling’s argument (he portrayed both roles).

  • Amy W - My two year old makes me laugh everytime we are out shopping and she points to just about everything saying, “Cute! Cute Mom! Look!”

  • Amber - Today my fifteen month old son’s little “happy feet” dance was cracking me up. And it was making him laugh which made me laugh even more.

  • Sarah - My kiddos always make me laugh. Also…my husband makes me laugh sometimes (he has his moments).

  • Mollie - Nature really inspires me. It took everything in me not to spot by the side of the freeway and take pictures of these beautiful bright green trees with the deep blue mountains in the back. It was absolutely breathtaking!

  • Anna Joy - My two men make me laugh daily. :)

  • shelby - posts like this are always helpful! I love to see everyone’s point of view. As far as what makes me laugh? The things my 3 year old daughter come up with sometimes always make me laugh!

  • marie - YOU inspire me!! You are my go to blog everyday. I am due with a baby girl in August and I have you bookmarked so that I can do activities with my daughter that you do! I am excited! Great giveaway!!

  • Megan - I laugh at my students. They keep me going after a long day. Fourteen year olds have endless energy!

  • Alicia - My little man keeps me cracking up on a regular basis.

  • Gevay - My husband makes me laugh. He has this really silly sense of humor, but he cracks me up. I guess that means I’m silly too!

  • anna - My sons always make me laugh and when they can’t my teenage daughter does some great Monty Python quotes that always make me lose it! :)
    Reading the Bible always inspires me to keep doing what I’m doing…even if it is just the dishes, again! I often to need to be reminded of how inspiring it is…fills me everytime!

  • Ashley - an online class that i’m taking (Tell Your Story) is really inspiring to me!! art journaling is becoming one of my favorite things to do.

  • Sarabeth - Your work inspires me to become a better photographer! Yes your tips are always appreciated!

  • Syd - My 17 month old son has recently started laughing in his crib when we put him to bed. Nobody is with him making him laugh, he is just laughing spontaneously – it’s hilarious! Makes me wonder what he’s thinking about…

  • Angela - Are you kidding? We have a two year old who says things like, “actually I don’t like oatmeal!” (he does) or “oh, I did not know that” or “have a nice day, Mr. Brown!” Yes, Mr Brown is really our UPS guys name and our little boy loves when he comes by! We laugh a lot around here.

  • Rose Dowall - What makes me laugh is when my toddler lays on top of my 10month old…actually I do not laugh til baby boy starts laughing, big sister starts laughing and my worry turns to laughing too. So much more hardy than I think sometimes!

  • Lyndee - my kids make me laugh!! and my hubby too! :)

  • Miranda - Great photography inspires me to learn how to take better pictures and know what I’m doing. Your blog inspires me!

  • carly - I am always inspired by old “gross” furniture. I see it’s true potential. Some may say I have an addiction, whatever the case, it really gets the creative juices flowing!
    p.s. my baby would love some of those leggies!

  • Margie - My children make me laugh all the time…my 5 year old tells jokes that are so not funny that it actually makes them funny….and my one year old makes me laugh when he fake cries to get my attention…these laughs help me through the day!

  • Angela Koobs - My kids!!! Everyday they inspire me to be a better mama…and, sweet sassy molassy, do they ever make me laugh. Hil-arious this crew is! I am so thankful to be a mom of four – the joys, challenges, laughs and tears – I am often overwhelmed (mostly in a good way!) by the sheer amount of emotions they bring to my life. Thanks for another great post and giveaway!

  • Jill E. - i am inspired by family. they are always there to help me out when i need it.

  • kristiina - random, but phil dunphey (modern family) inspires me and makes me laugh…he loves his kids, but he’s kind of clueless πŸ˜‰

  • Ranee - mt little boy makes me laugh everyday! Love your blog!

  • Shannon - What makes me laugh is when my 2 yr. old tells me her own original “knock knock” jokes. Very funny stuff, let me tell you.

  • Crystal - Simplicity inspires me! Little kids make me laugh!

  • Kathleen - YOU are my inspiration. Your tone, voice, photos I love love love.

    I want to be you (and your amazing talent) when I grow up and I just hit 40! πŸ˜‰

    Great site. Your on my Blog Roll as a Favorite Read.

  • Linda - Your blog inspires me and makes me laugh! :)

  • Stacey - something that makes me laugh and inspires me all at the same time, is the faces my 11 month old makes. she has this surprised face and when she uses it in the right context, it will knock your socks off. she also bunches up her fists and makes this mad face… it’s like she’s saying “ohhh i’m gonna sock you!”

    she cracks me up.

  • Carrie - Your post made me remember how much baby goats make me laugh…they really are so much cuter than their adult counterparts. I am inspired by my daughter to laugh more often at the simple things in life = )

  • Jenn W - My 1 year old interacting with his older siblings will make me giggle every time!

  • bopha - lincoln makes me laugh on a daily basis, the most random things come out of his mouth-he asked me the other day if baby sister could live in his belly for a little bit-i would have graciously obliged for a little break.

  • Jen - grandpa jokes make me laugh. hard. you know like super corny/obvious jokes. i love them!

    pick me!

  • Karen DeMamiel - Today is my 30th birthday and what inspires me is how giving my husband is and he does it without wanting any recognition.

  • rachel - my mother inspires me! she raised & homeschooled 7 children and i could not ask for a better example of the mother that i am striving to be.

  • Rachel Nolen - Ashley – you inspire me to “think outside of the box”…your photography, crafts, home decor, etc..(do i get brownie points?) but seriously – your blog and your think-outside-of-the-box frame of mind is truly inspiring!

  • Jenny - My kiddos and my husband make me laugh. The outdoors, Church and reading blogs of amazing woman inspire me! And yes, posts like the one above help me tremendously, especially about this topic which for some reason I cannot grasp. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  • Corrie Mackanos - Something that makes me inspired is my mom! She is amazing and always gives me inspiration to try things I never would have!!

  • Rachel C - Hearing stories about people helping people inspires me.

  • Janica - I laughed last night when my once excited 5-yr-old looked at me sadly when he realized we were buying him a BASEBALL bat…not a FLYING RODENT bat:)

  • Jodi - Just found your blog and love it! I would have to say that nurseries and large gardens inspire me right now as we are starting our first garden and it’s a bit overwhelming!

  • jill - my family is what always makes me laugh.

  • Beatrice Killam - My children make me laugh…every single day. At least the don’t only make me want to pull my hair out :)

  • shawn krehbiel - Mom’s story about the goats that she shared with the grandkids made me laugh a lot.

  • Jamie - my hubby makes me laugh and I am so grateful for that

  • Jenny - I’m always inspired by Jane Austen movies. The astetic in them is so beautiful and earthreal to me. My 3 year old ham of a daughter makes me laugh more than any other thing in the world.

  • Wehaf - My dog goofing around with her toys makes me laugh!

I like that despite my best intentions at being intentional…I ‘mess’ up all the time. I left early Saturday morning and forgot to remind Chris to have the boys set the Stamp Out Hunger bag by the mailbox. When I got home the mailman had already come. The boys and I drove to the post office and dropped off our bag…it kind of defeats the ‘easy’ factor when you have to drive to the post office!

I like my parents & in-laws.

A blogger’s cookbook, a flea market gift certificate, a Starbucks gift card….my mom & mother-in-law are pretty thoughtful.

My dad made me chocolate dipped strawberries & pretzels for Mother’s Day. I liked eating those.

I like having so many roses that I can cut 15 for the house and not notice them missing outside. I like roses that require nothing but sun and water.

I like laughing, clapping babies. I like that her oldest brother is the one making her laugh and clap so hard. I like that the other brothers aren’t as impressed. I like that their daddy randomly kisses them on their heads. I like their daddy…I like when their daddy kisses me.

I like estate sales. Some moms want massages for Mother’s Day. Some moms want a morning to dig through other people’s stuff.

I like estate sales, but they make me a little sad too. It was a bit surreal to walk through someone’s house and just go through their stuff.Β  I kept thinking about all the years they spent collecting their stuff…then they died and strangers bought what they wanted. One lady had tons of amazing quilts that had never been used. It seemed like such a waste to me…to keep all those quilts in her closet instead of sharing them with others. She never got to see the joy her quilts could have brought someone. Now she’s gone and strangers are buying her handiwork. Just sad to me.

If you want some great tips for garage sale shopping check out this guest post on Smile & Wave, by Mandi of Here’s Lookin at me kid

My favorite find…a $5.00 chair that is in great condition, doesn’t smell, barely worn…just dirty. It was actually $10.00, but I talked him down. I talked him down on everything. It was love at first dust-covered, dirty sight – this chair and me. I will clean her and she will be gorgeous (that is what I keep telling Chris – he is not so impressed with my chair). Until then, she is really dirty so why not throw her in the field for a few pics?

Photo Tip: For the photo below, I smashed all the grass down leading to the chair (by laying down on it). I then used a toy wagon to prop my camera on (getting my tripod would have required walking all the way back in the house and searching for it). I focused on the top corner of the chair, put the camera on the self-timer and ran to jump in the picture. The camera settings were: 85mm lens, ISO 100, 1/2000, f/2.8

Using the f/2.8 setting allowed for the grass close to the lens and behind the chair to be blurry. My face looks hazy because there is actually a blade of grass close to the camera covering my face. Because it is so close to the camera it appears more like a hazy section than an actual blade of grass.

My $5.00 chair. She is in great shape, just really dirty. I’ve already gone to town on her with an upholstery steam cleaner. She is looking oh so happy – oddly I find great joy in cleaning really dirty things and making them look new again. Soon I will make the difficult decision of where she will go. (the chair is a ‘she’ because…well it just looks like a ‘she’ more than an ‘it’)

Happy Monday. I hope you find lots of things to like about today.

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  • Anna Joy - love the chair! great find by you!

  • Liene - Really great chair! And great pictures of chair in high grass. Here the oldest brother makes the youngest one laugh, shout and clap the hardest too! P.S. cute PJ of the youngest one!

  • Andy - love the chair but even more i love the cracker tin
    i have been looking for that exact tin
    hopefully i can find one soon

  • Rachel C - I am with you on garage/estate sales. I love to search and search until I find the perfect thing for really cheap. I love those flowery trays. Very cool.

  • Shannon - What a lovely Monday post! I always miss the blog on the weekends, and this was just the ticket. Super amazing finds, I wish my husband understood my need to rummage other peoples junk! Ha. There is nothing like a good treasure hunt!

  • Evie - Can I tell you how much I LOVE LOVE your blog! I stumbled apon it on accident and have followed ever since! And… great chair!

  • Kirra Sue - What a fun post! I love the picture of the fireplace with the roses. And I love that you’d rather have a day at an estate sale than a day at the spa. :) Thanks for the tips on the photo too! Happy Monday!

  • karen davis - I am loving your chair. I can’t wait to move back to the states in a few years just to experience garage sales/fleamarkets/estate sales!! What a find!

  • Martina - Great finds! Love the chair. Love the big letter b, too. I’m always looking for big letters like that at estate sales and salvage yards and I haven’t found one yet!

  • Barbara - Sounds like you had a fun weekend. I came across this link over the weekend, and for some reason, it reminded me of your blog. :)

    Lego Kitchen:

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - I am sooo with you on estate sales. I found these lovely green juice glasses a few months ago that I drink out of for every meal. (Sweet B thinks I am a little nuts).

    Love your chair. She is gorgeous!

  • Yanet - I love the letter! I’m a sucker letters. I have them all over my house. Any story behind it? I love things with a history all the more.

  • the inadvertent farmer - I love chairs that are boxy with square lines…no girly curvy froo-froo chairs for me! LOVE that, can’t wait to see what you do with her!

    I’m with you on Estate Sales…kinda creepy weird fun! Lo,

  • susie whyte - that chair is an awesome find!! i found an old dining chair at a missouri antiques store for $3 in march. the wood was intricately carved and the seat needed recovering. it’s looking pretty awesome now with new fabric and some paint.

    tell chris a husband’s job is not to understand the crazy buys, but to embrace them and be proud of his wife for paying $5 and not $20 for a less than beautiful chair.
    remember chris, it could always be worse. :) haha.

  • Anna Marie - I was just thinkin’ of you. My husband is near the oklahoma/kansas border and he said that west of him are a bunch of tornadoes and nasty weather. Hope you are doing okay and that you have a basement. I hate tornadoes with a passion and I get very nervous when they are near. Last season had me in a bathtub with my 2 year old daughter and a mattress on top of us because we didn’t have a basement. Now we do, whew…one happy mama here πŸ˜‰ Take care, Ashley!

  • Rachel - I cannot do estate sales anymore… I might someday but right now I cannot get past the fact that there are people who are living but moved to a facility or have passed on.. yes, people are rummaging through their stuff. I’ve been to them before but I can’t get past the idea of it all to actually buy anything. I’m so sad… it’s ridiculous actually. Now yard sales of people wanting to get rid of their junk… that’s a horse of a different color.

    I love your enthusiasm about your {ahem} new chair. I’ve enjoyed your blog so much.

  • Shannon @ What's Up Whimsy - I went to my first estate sale a couple of months ago and I got some good stuff too, although it was very surreal like you said. That chair is amazing though…your husband will come around…haha. p.s. I came across your blog last week and I am hooked. Your photography is amazing!

  • meg duerksen - just wait until the barn!!!
    you will LIKE the barn. :)

  • Kelly Beane - Oh man, totally wished I could’ve snagged that red b. Awesome chair too though! Sounds like you had an lovely Mothers day!

  • sarah jonsgaard - I don’t know where else to post a message but hoping and prayin you and your family are doing ok after all the tornados.

  • Faith - LOVE this chair! What a great prop. And for only $5 – can’t beat that.
    REALLY enjoying looking through your blog :)