I am excited to be joining an amazing group of photographers and friends in a beautiful  project called What         Looks Like.

Last month it was such a blessing to have my husband home from work for the entire month. He was deployed for almost three months during the spring to Afghanistan. It was such a gift to have this quality time together before he began his next assignment with the Marine Corps. The last three years have been filled with long commutes and lots of overseas travel for him. Prior to this assignment, he was deployed overseas three times in five years for 7-9 months each time. Before we moved home, most of our travelling would include coming home to visit our family, since we lived far away. His time off was always very limited. Time as a complete family is something I never take for granted and we were all thrilled to have him at home for a month.

In mid-July, we headed to Georgia to spend some time in the mountains. It was just the five of us, plus our almost 15 year old lab, Buster. It is hard for me to put into words how much this trip meant to me. We had long meals on the porch, hikes in the woods and hours exploring on the river.We laughed and loved and just lived in ways that we all needed. I didn’t realize how much we needed time for just us.

Today, I share with you What Time in the Mountains Looks Like. These memories will be in my heart forever.

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Head on over to see what Jules Trandem‘s month looks like. She always amazes me with the beauty she captures in her everyday world.

“Motherhood is hard work.  It is repetitive and often times menial.  Accept it.  Rejoice in it.  This is your toil.  Right here.  Those are their faces.  Enjoy them.  The days of your life are supposed to be full of things like this.  But joy is not giddy.  It is not an emotional rush–it is what happens when you accept your lot and rejoice in your toil.  So rejoice in your children.  Look them in the eyes and give thanks.” -Rachel Jankovik

These words are a wonderful reminder on the days we feel challenged, tired, inadequate, or frustrated. Motherhood is not easy. We all face moments in our days where we feel deep in the valley of motherhood, but then I look at my children and my home that is filled with evidence of their little lives. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for each day we share together. I am overwhelmed with a crazy love that no words can explain.

My youngest sister, Katie, will be having their third child next month. Her two girls are 4 and 2 and are excited to welcome a baby brother into their world. Katie has been getting a lot of crazy comments when people see her pregnant with number three. We have been laughing about these a lot lately. One of the most common things she hears is that “your hands are full.”  I love author Rachel Jankovik’s reply to this statement, “yes, they are-full of good things!”  God’s plan for each of us  is so unique and written especially for each of us.  I love to see how He works in all of us and I am so excited to see Him work in this next chapter of my sister’s family.

This week I got to spend some time at home with Katie and her girls. Some days are certainly a bit chaotic, but I know she wouldn’t change a thing. I fondly look back on the time when I had a 5 and almost 3 year old who were welcoming their baby sister. It was such an exciting time for all of us. The days flew by  like a blur of light. Somehow as I look back, I forget the hard, late nights with a newborn. I only remember the sweet smell, the soft touches, and the new faces. I remember the way my children bonded with one another during those early days, that quickly turned into years. Our baby girl will soon turn five. Yes, this time is fleeting.

I am so grateful I could capture Katie with her girls before the new baby arrives. These images remind me of life with little ones. It’s a crazy love; one that is really extraordinary.

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  • Jessica - What a special time, and you’ve captured it so beautifully. <3 I just adore the 4th image! And the black and whites of the older girl curled up with mom's belly. Children are such a blessing – it's funny how time makes us forget all the hard parts and only remember the wonderful things :) ReplyCancel

  • KatieW - The sweet girls, the belly and the gorgeous light, these are amazing!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Amy K - I adore these sweet moments you’ve captured (and in such gorgeous light too)!ReplyCancel

  • Beira - What an awesome gift for your sister to have such beautiful images like these with her girls.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa (Tout Petit Pixel) - As usual, your use of light is stunning, and the emotion captured is just fabulous! You rock, Ginger :) ReplyCancel

When I began studying photography, Stacey was one of the first photographers I started to follow. Her work always had something special about it that I admired. Over the years we began talking online through email and social media.

Last week, we finally met in person when she brought her three awesome kids over to hang out with us for the day. It is such a blessing to see how God really had a hand in our friendship. It is amazing to realize all we have in common, the more we get to know one another. We are such kindred spirits.  Stacey was one of those people I felt like I’ve known forever immediately. We talked and laughed for hours with such ease.

I feel so grateful that we got to spend this time together and look forward to another play-date soon.

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You can see some of Stacey’s favorite images from our day together here. I love the words she shares and couldn’t agree more. I have found that this phase of life is often very busy as a mama, but having true friendships is such a God given gift. Life was not made to travel alone. I loved that in this one day we were able to share our current joys and difficulties with one another and see how God was working in both of our lives through it all. I was reminded to take time for days like this. We all need to sit on the porch more and open our hearts. It really is good for the soul.

  • anticipated playdate | Ginger Unzueta Photography - […] (You can see more images from our fun play date here) […]ReplyCancel

  • Mickisha - I love this! True friendships are truly a gift and often hard to find and develop in this busy mama phase of life!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - Oh my goodness Ginger! That first image – insanity!!! So so great! Your home looks so FUN! That’s it – you have got to let me come shoot an in home session for you! I can’t believe this is your backyard!ReplyCancel

She is four and creates art with a passion that overflows from her soul. She lives her life with this same passion. She sings and dances and performs. I am learning so much about life through watching our youngest daughter. She creates art with her life. She doesn’t let self doubt or fear stop her. She simply lives. We are all created by God to be artists. Our art is as unique as our lives. Creating art is more than mastering the technical aspects of a trade or craft. Art is something much more than technique. It is what unfolds when we live our lives with passion. It is something that is felt and seen but not measured.

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I have been reading A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman over the last year. Reading and re-reading. Yes, this book has spoken to me in many ways.  I’ve realized that art isn’t merely what we create with our talents and passions but how we live our life. “Art is what happens when you dare to be who you really are. You have the power to influence, to move, to make, to become. You have the capacity to perform the human act of making art, of doing work that comes from deep within you and touches something deep within me.” Emily continues, “We make art with our lives. When a mother who thought she had no voice begins to realize her voice matters, a student who believed he was biding his time to live life for real begins to discover life in today, and a writer begins to tell her story, a servant opens his hands, and a believer finally believes–art comes out.”

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As my daughter paints, life abounds from her. She doesn’t know it yet, but she is in tune with what makes her alive. I remember when I had our first child, I felt alive in ways that I had never experienced. Mothering and now teaching our children, are ways I create art. I feel alive and I want to glorify God through these passions. You know without doubt when you see someone alive in what they are doing. It could be your child’s teacher at school. Or a friend who shows hospitality to everyone who enters her home. A wife who loves her husband the best she can, showing grace and mercy through years spent together. Art is not just what someone creates with a brush or an instrument. It is a way of living your life.  Our Maker created us all to live this way, but somewhere along the way we start to forget what makes us feel alive. We can get into our daily routine; sometimes accepting mediocrity, and never take the time to embrace life in the way God intended for us.

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For many, you know your passion. You know what you would love to do IF you had time and IF you were good enough. Something is stopping you from showing up. There will always be something trying to stop us from showing up.

Fear of failure and rejection stands in the forefront. This can be especially true for those perfectionists (such as myself) that want to do it right or not at all.

As my daughter creates art she has NO fear of rejection or failure. I have purposely let her create without limitations, so that she can explore and do what makes her feel alive. I have not taught her technique or skills, but given her a brush and freedom.

I need to give myself this same brush of freedom. To live and try and fail. To not worry if I will mess up and say the wrong thing or say it the wrong way. I need to give myself the freedom to embrace failure so that I can fully sink into Him.

In a world filled with social media, the artist in all of us can freeze. We see the best of what everyone decides to share. Their best work, their best house, their best vacations, their best parenting. We can let this take over and never move, or we can embrace our uniqueness in God and move forward. We are His. I loved these words from Emily. “You are the beloved. So be loved. Receive your belovedness and then hand it out, receive grace and be gracious to others, remember your image-bearing identity and move into the world with a job to do. Show up as you are with what you’ve been given. And don’t allow the voice of doubt and discouragement to hold you back. ”  God does not want fear to stop us. He wants us to head straight into that fear and realize we cannot do life without Him. Not one of us can. Let yourself fail and know you gave it your heart. My hope is that we would all create our art and hang it with confidence, just as my daughter did with her creation.

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Many of us never move forward because someone else can do it better. In her book, Emily shares that often we fear that “someone else can write better, love better, lead better, speak better, teach better, design better, parent better or pray better.” And the truth is simple. They can. I think many of us need to read and re-read these words that Emily shared from her  friend and counselor Steve Lynam,  “There is no new truth, dear. All truth belongs to God. Sometimes you simply need to hear someone else say it.”  Emily went on to say, “You may not be the first to say it, write it, create it, or believe it-but you saying it may be the first time someone finally hears. Yes, someone else can say it better, but that doesn’t mean you can’t say it too. Throw out your inhibitions and spin around in this crazy world of recycled ideas. There is nothing new to say. Say it anyway.”  

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When I read that I just might have shouted Amen. I needed to read that and I believe many of you do as well. I have a passion to use my camera to capture the beauty I see in my family. I could spend my days stifled because someone has already done this and done it better. Amazing photography can be seen daily online or in publications. But, I am not picking up my camera to be better than anyone. I am not picking up my camera for the world. I am using my my God given gifts to create from my heart and ultimately to Glorify Him. This is why I was made to create and I cannot forget this.

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What does living your life as art look like for you, right now? Not as a child, not ten years ago, but today? Every season will bring with it a new canvas. Open your heart and your life and ask God to show you His purpose for your life. In the final chapter of A Million Little Ways, Emily reminds us that ” You are an image bearer and that is not about you becoming famous or important or promoted but about you becoming more fully yourself for the glory of God. And when you are fully yourself, everyone benefits.”

I challenge myself and I challenge you to really think about these words and to seek Him through it all.  Let’s create art with our lives.

“God is the Artist and he made us. We are his poem and we will make art.”

The quotes and excerpts I shared in this post all come from A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman. If these thoughts resonate with you, I encourage you to buy her book and read it. And then re-read it.

“Uncover the art you were made to live.”

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  • renee @ savoring life through the lens - oh, i LOVE every bit of this!! it’s actually something i believe deep within me and have a huge passion for…that art is life!! whenever i give my daughter paints and a brush, i always just let her play…no rules…no certain outcomes, just play…because it’s when she does this, she taps into her right brain…gets into the present moment and starts to confidently blossom more of WHO she is!! i talk about this a lot on my blog. your daughter is doing the same! there’s SO much power in mindless, creativity…the kind that we do before we get our heads filled with the rules…amazing, amazing stuff!! love this post to pieces!! :):) art is life! :):)ReplyCancel

  • JennAynn - Thank you for sharing this. I just ordered Emily’s book and am looking forward to reading it. Your daughter’s art is beautiful and so is the art you made capturing it. So many awesome images.ReplyCancel

  • Allyson - This was really special. Spoke straight to my heart. Thank you so much. Now off to buy that book…..;)ReplyCancel

  • Dawn Shiree - I’ve been thumbing through Emily’s book and have it right beside me, but I haven’t taken time to read it cover to cover yet and this just reminded me I should read it ASAP! Even though I haven’t made my way through it yet, it’s already caused me to think about all the little ways that life can be lived out as art and I love that! I’m so glad you shared this with everyone in the photography community and as always your words resonated with me too. Thanks, Ginger. xxReplyCancel

  • Liz - beautiful post ginger- I’m off to buy this book!ReplyCancel

  • Kristin Dokoza - Thank you! I love the words you shared from Emily’s book – I’m off to the bookstore.ReplyCancel

  • passion | Ginger Unzueta Photography - […] over here to read about creating art with your […]ReplyCancel

  • Megan Dill - Beautiful words and photographs, Ginger! I need to check out that book :) ReplyCancel

  • KatieW - Such a beautiful series of a beautiful young lady!ReplyCancel

  • Beira - Loved the images in this post, but I think I loved the words even more. Gosh, I needed that!ReplyCancel

  • Whitney Bilodeau - “I need to give myself this same brush of freedom.”

    Such beautiful words!

    I am so thankful to have come across this post, via the Creative Mama. I too am creeping close to 40 and I know I have been holding back for fear of failure and fear that I am just too old to succeed at this point in my life. This post is so inspiring and when I so desperately needed inspiration. I will purchase Emily’s book immediately. Thank you for sharing this.ReplyCancel

  • Mindy - How beautiful – the words and photos. I love how she is just naturally creative and the way you are nurturing it. Oh, that we could all have the same encouragement. Visiting from Chatting at the Sky today.ReplyCancel

  • Stacey Kaufman - We should all create art with our lives….I needed this reminder, this so beautifully illustrated nudge.ReplyCancel

My fourth class of Everyday Beauty finished last month.  Each opportunity I get  to work with these students is always so unique and such a gift. During our time together I am always excited to see my students grow and continue to be inspired by their daily lives. Below is a collection of work and words from some of the ladies from my May class. Thank you each for taking part in our three weeks together. I hope you will continue to seek the beautiful moments and details in your everyday life.

(You can continue to follow the students from my past classes at the Cherish this Day blog.  It is a project filled with inspiration.

Tiffany Dahle

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Taking Ginger’s workshop has completely changed how I approach photographing my girls. It gave me the time to take a breath and step back from the action. I learned to document what was happening before me without manipulating the scene too much. I have finally learned how to capture childhood without posing it.

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Lara Gowder

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I had this workshop on my to do list for a while, and I am so glad I was able to get in this time! I love Ginger’s work, the way she captures her daily family activities so beautifully, is something I have wanted to do with my boys. Ginger shares so much with her students, from her tips on what to capture, how to look for the perfect light, and so much more. Her own images of her family are so full of love and fun.

I needed a push because I was in a creative rut, and this class pushed me in so many ways. From exploring new rooms in my own home, to finding light throughout my home, to view our everyday in different ways. I truly believe I have grown and my photography has grown, just from this workshop. The lessons are very well laid out, and Ginger is so giving with her feedback.

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Jill Marzion

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If you are considering this course….take it!  you will not be disappointed one bit!  Ginger is by far one of the best instructors I have experienced.  She is extremely organized, the class is set up in a way that you keep building on what you have learned, the feedback is very helpful and Ginger is so easy to contact and beyond willing to answer anything. In fact, she continually encourages me, this course was a great reminder to photograph all the little moments and details.  I walked away from the course feeling refreshed and full of new ideas for documenting my four kids!

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Emmy Treganza

I’m not a professional photographer.  I’m simply  a mom who takes a lot of photos of her kid.  And taking Ginger’s Everyday Beauty workshop was pure inspiration.  I adore her style and jumped at the chance to learn from someone whom I admire.  I believe her philosophy and approach to capturing everyday beauty is one of the main reasons why I admire her work so much.  She has definitely helped shape my thinking and approach to taking pictures.  I can’t give away the specifics.  All I can say is take her workshop!  Do it!  You’ll be happy you did.  I know I am.

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Kristin Wahls

Ginger’s workshop truly opened up my eyes. Prior to the Everyday Beauty workshop, I was in a creative rut where I thought my life just wasn’t photogenic enough and that capturing my busy 10-month old day to day was far too great a challenge. Ginger helped me to be unafraid of any lighting condition and encouraged us all to look at our everyday world in a new way. Suddenly, the way the light hit my son’s hair became truly beautiful and worth capturing. The way his eyes lit up while playing with his dad became much more noticeable…or how his wrinkly little hands clung to bath toys in the tub. Little details that went unnoticed before suddenly became moments worth photographing and now pieces of art I will absolutely cherish forever. Ginger and her encouraging words as well as the supportive women in the workshop with me helped me climb out of my rut and celebrate my day-to-day life, however perfectly unperfect it may be.

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Emma Morgan

I love Gingers work, it drew me to this wonderful workshop. I have enjoyed every part and have come away with more insight on how to observe, be part of and capture the moments of unspoilt everyday beauty. Really inspiring, I’m feeling so much more connected with my photographs.

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Andrea Skidmore

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I’m not very good with truly expressing myself through words, but wanted to take the time to say how thankful I am to Ginger and for the opportunity I had to take her Everyday Beauty class. From the very first time I saw Ginger’s work I knew I wanted to learn from her. Through her images it is easy to see her passion for her family, photography and the beauty of every life…I wanted the same thing for myself.

When I signed up I was in a slump photography wise; and had been for the past few years. I was stuck and exhausted after retiring from the business of photography. Pictures of my family were only quick snapshots without much thought given. I wanted more for my family and myself. Ginger’s class has given me the kick I needed. She was so attentive; always answering questions and giving great feedback. It was so nice to take the 3 weeks to slow down, pay attention, and really see the beauty of my family life. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to learn from Ginger. I know this class will be something I look back on for inspiration time and time again.

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Christy Balogh

The Everyday Beauty workshop was such an inspiration for me. I have been taking pictures for many years and have really felt burnt out lately. This workshop inspired me and taught me how to capture beauty in our everyday world! Ginger was such an encouragement and was open to teaching, helping, and relating anything she knew to us. Thank you Ginger for being an inspiration to me and the other photographers in the workshop! Worth every penny!

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Mikki Skinner

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I was in need of some inspiration and perhaps a reconnection as to why I love to take photos so much. Signed up for Ginger’s class and am so incredibly thankful I took the plunge! So much of Ginger’s heart is weaved into her class, everything from the materials, the videos, the critique, the encouragement, the love. I have learned to let it go, and just let your heart direct. Take photos to remember the place, the story, the details, the memory. Thank you Ginger for a beautiful handful of weeks!

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Gina Baggs

After discovering and viewing Ginger’s images online, I knew I had to take her class!! Her images are just beautiful, filled with so much emotion, story and soul. I learned so much from her; from sparking my passion of learning photography, seeing the everyday beauty of everything around me in all different perspectives, and becoming a better mother/wife and to embrace and enjoy every minute with my family.
Ginger and her workshop is a blessing and inspiring!  Thank you for sharing your amazing talent and abundance of knowledge with us!
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Janielle Granstaff

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When I signed up for Ginger Unzueta’s Everyday Beauty workshop as a silent student, I wondered how much I would be able to take away from it if I wasn’t having that one on one interaction with her. But I also knew this was not something I wanted to pass on yet again. And boy was I glad I didn’t. The class was so organized, so well presented, and so interestingIt definitely kept me on my toes the entire 3 weeks, always looking forward to more knowledge, more tips. And she delivered those every time. She was able to not only open my eyes to the things that surround me, but to keep them open and to SEE them in a new perspective. Ginger has a magical way to show you the world around you and this is a lesson I will forever keep with me.

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Melissa Rowley

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I can’t thank Ginger enough for all her encouragement during her amazing Everyday Beauty workshop.  The first time I saw her images, I fell in love with the simple but powerful way she was documenting the life of her family through her photography.  I signed up thinking that I was going to learn technical skills that would magically translate into emotion and connection, but it was through her lessons in honing in on the details I wanted to remember about my children, the memories I wanted to preserve, and the thoughtful stories that I wanted to share with others that I learned to be patient with my journey and process, and that’s what created emotion and connection in my images.  I especially appreciated her gentle way of giving critique and the confidence she instilled in all of the participants.  I truly believe she gave her all to support us during the workshop as an instructor and will continue to support us after as a mentor and friend.  This workshop is one of those life changing experiences – I will be forever grateful for all that she taught me.

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Angie Schueren

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The Everyday Beauty workshop with Ginger Unzueta was beyond perfection. Ginger was a true inspiration and taught us how to think outside the box to capture the moments of our every day.  Besides teaching us composition, lighting, framing and all of the technical photography information, she taught us how to be present within the moments of our children’s life, how to capture the emotion and not take any moments for granted.  She was phenomenal at answering all of the questions that were submitted, no matter what the content.  Ginger was truly devoted to all of the students, and she cared about each and every student’s outcome of the course.  She pushed everyone to see their true talent, and was so encouraging.

Thank you Ginger for being my inspiration and to help me see the everyday beauty within my chaos called life.

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Staci Schonbrun

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Hi Ginger- I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed taking your course. I specifically did not want to take a class that told me how to do this technique or set up lights a certain way, but rather wanted a class that would focus much more on the everyday. You fit the bill with a beautiful class that not only encourages, but celebrates and highlights the beauty of everyday life. This class really encouraged me to improve my way of looking at the normal chaotic scene of life and seeing small parts of it that elevate a snapshot into a beautiful piece of art. You patiently answered the many questions asked of you and always left encouraging feedback that made the next assignment even better. I am  sad to see the class end, but thank you for the wonderful opportunities and insight that you shared. I hope to continue and build on the inspiration you filled me with. Sincerely, Staci Schonbrun

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Amy Bernard

think perhaps the most meaningful ‘takeaway’ for me – in learning from Ginger – has been in how it impacted the very way I function in my everyday.  With my camera, and without.  Somewhere in the course of motherhood I’d lost perspective and got stuck in an ‘on to the next’ rut.  And while I’d long looked to my photographs to kind of pause and appreciate or truly ‘see’… it was during Ginger’s class that I rediscovered and owned a bit of more of the moment.  Being present.  I mean, sure – there have been other influences (hello life) but it’s all about the timing and these lessons just could not have come at a more giving time.  When I look at Ginger’s Joy Project what I have envied most – and am drawn in most by – is the feeling that she is there and that framed the way I took in what she offered.  Some of my own recent / favorite images came about from letting the lessons sink in, and what I found most especially helpful was the examples she provided of her own images and the background story of light or composition, the perspective and just the ‘why’ this moment.  It allowed me to process the technical information on a practical level while also prompting me to focus more fully on capturing my children and our days as I see them.  I intend to keep going back and re-learning from the materials and truly loved having this window in to Ginger’s approach and workflow.

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Registration for Ginger’s September class is open NOW. This will be her last class for 2014. There are a few active seats left at this time. You can register here.

  • Diane - Hello Ginger,
    I’m considering taking your everyday beauty workshop, but I have one concern. Your own children, as well as those featured in this blog post and on the bloom website are young. I have three kids, an 18 year old son (soon to be leaving for college), a 15 year old son and a 10 year old daughter. They all give me a hard time when I take out the camera. I very much want to document this time in their lives, but I also want to be respectful of their feelings. Will your course address ways to capture everyday life, no matter the stage/age of the family?
    Thank you!
    DianeReplyCancel

I am thrilled to have one of my favorite images in the July/August 2014 edition of Click Magazine. Seeing my work in print is something pretty special and I am so grateful to be included.  This publication is by far one of my favorites to get in the mail. Every issue is filled with gorgeous inspiration and thoughtful articles.

click giveaway

I am so excited to be able to give away THREE 1-year subscriptions to Click. The giveaway will end Friday, July 11, 2014 at 11:59 pm.  The winner will be announced on Saturday, July 12, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Kimberly - I would love to win because I forgot to renew my subscription when it expired! :) ReplyCancel

  • Kim Kelly - I love Click magazine! It would be nice to win to extend my subscription.ReplyCancel

  • Heather Pearson - I LOOOOVE Click and would love to win this year-long subscription!!! There is so much inspiration and advice for newer photographers (like me), as well as the established photographer…never stop learning or being inspired by the amazing work of others!!!ReplyCancel

  • Laurie Joetzki - I love any magazines that deal with photography. I get a lot of ideas by looking at the beautiful photos. If I see something that I really like, I strive to figure out how it is done. While I can never quite achieve the same gorgeous photos that are on the pages of magazines such as Click, I do surprise myself with something beautiful that I never thought that I could do. I strive to always learn something new with my camera!!ReplyCancel

  • Mickisha - Congratulations Ginger! I love Click! There’s something about holding printed images in your hand theta brings them to life so much more. It’s such a great magazine and I would love to win a subscription!ReplyCancel

  • Christa McCann - Love this blog post & would love a subscription to this magazine!!ReplyCancel

  • Bethany Giannini - I love this magazine and already have a subscription- and I would love to continue to receive it! :D ReplyCancel

  • Angela Hatch - I would love it because seeing all of those different photographers and their styles and their inspiration, truly inspires me.ReplyCancel

  • Christine b - Such a great magazine, love every issue would love to win it to gift it to my cousin who loves photography as much as me.ReplyCancel

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When Mozi Magazine contacted me to write for their Family and Child issue, I was beyond excited.  It means so much to me to be a part of this amazing issue. I am grateful to be able to share a passion that I love so much .  Capturing my family and finding the beauty in the everyday is how I create art. My family is the reason I pick up my camera. Realizing that I can be an artist, without being in business, was one of the most freeing moments for me on my journey as a photographer.

God has given me these talents and this passion and I pray that I will use them for His glory. He has given me the eyes to see that each day is so far from ordinary and that each moment should be cherished and celebrated.  My daughter and I share a love for the song Write Your Story, by Fancesca Battistelli.  I never want to forget that my life is His to use.

                    I’m an empty page. I’m an open book.Write Your story on my heart. Come on and make Your mark.
                    Author of my hope. Maker of the stars. Let me be Your work of art. Won’t You write Your story on my heart.

                    My Life. I know it’s never really been mine. So do with it whatever You like.I don’t know what Your plan is. But I know it’s good.

 

I am giving  away one free digital copy of this gorgeous magazine. You will love the imagery in this magazine from cover to back. It includes so many amazing photographers. 

Thank you again to everyone at Mozi Magazine for including me in this fabulous issue. And if you can’t wait to see if you win a copy, you can purchase a digital or print copy here.

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  • nikki matthews - How exciting Ginger! If I haven’t told you lately, you are a constant source of inspiration for me. I am eternally grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in your class. Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Liesel - Such amazing images Ginger! Reading your feature in Mozi would be wonderful! A big fan xoReplyCancel

  • April Nowotny - Love your site. Would also love to win a copy of the Mozi magazine.ReplyCancel

  • April Nowotny - I would love to win a copy of the magazine because I am inspired by your work. It would be great to have my own copy of the issue with your work in it.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Green - I would love to win because just as you mentioned, in trying to realize I can be a photographer, an artist, without a business and I can get back to enjoying photography by being in the moment with my kids and photographing these moments that are going by way to quickly!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda B - Amazing work; congrats!ReplyCancel

  • Dawn - I absolutely love your work, Ginger. Your are an inspiration and one of my favorite photographers to follow.ReplyCancel

  • susie - I would love to win because I am always wanting to learn more about family and child photography as that is my primary focus as a photographer.ReplyCancel

  • Aleksandra K - I would like to win because I simply need more tips to take photos of my two naughty boys:)ReplyCancel

  • elise - I would love to win this! I adore your work!ReplyCancel

  • Hope D - Would love to receive a copy!ReplyCancel

  • Kirsty - This looks wonderful – Congratulations GingerReplyCancel

  • maibritt olsen - Ooooh I have always wanted to try out this magazine. Hope I win the free copy :) ReplyCancel

  • Cindy Cavanagh - Congratulations Ginger! So well deserved.ReplyCancel

  • Christine b - I would love to read to article of course! You know I love you and I am so proud of you!! If I don’t win a copy I will buy one for sure.ReplyCancel

  • Angel - Congrats, you are amazingReplyCancel

  • Mandalyn - Congrats, Ginger! Love that you credit the Creator for your gift! :) ReplyCancel

  • Trisha Murphy - I have four children that I capture every day moments for! Would love to win this!ReplyCancel

It is rare to find any of our children or myself up before sunrise.  This week we were up early every day so we could get to Vacation Bible School. One morning we had some extra time before we had to leave. Our middle child and only son loves to fish, so we shared some time together just the two of us. I love when I get time with any of our children one on one. The water and the light were beautiful, but our talks by the lake were the real highlight of this morning.

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Being still, being quiet, listening, and waiting. None of these things come naturally for me. My mind seems wired to think ahead, to plan, to talk. But the older I get the more I realize how much I need to take time for all of these things. I need them to hear, to know, and to feel God’s presence around me.

Please visit the Cherish this Day blog to see a collaboration of work from photographers across the world. Each of these ladies were a part of my Everyday Beauty workshop and I am so grateful to know each of them. We are all inspired to capture the beauty in our lives daily.

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You all finished a great week of Vacation Bible School today with Splash day. You love VBS each year and were sad to see it come to an end.  I am so grateful that we have a church filled with such amazing people who share the love of Jesus.  Daddy arrived home from his work trip shortly after we got home from church. You were all super thrilled to have Daddy home again.  You are so blessed to have a father who truly gives his all to our family.

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Today we attended Hollywood Studios’ Star Wars Weekend.  The highlight of the day was when you were invited to be a part of the parade: the  Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade.  You were given light sabers and Jedi robes to wear. It was such an awesome time and one I think we will all remember.

(all images taken and edited with iPhone)

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Most often on my  blog I share my heart on motherhood. For quite a few months, my heart has been stirring about another topic. Marriage.

I believe it was Valentine’s day when I first started feeling this desire to share on marriage.  I kept seeing advertisements and social media posts about love and relationships and it got me thinking about love.  What love really is and what is isn’t.

I read these words on a Valentine’s Day post by Ann Voskamp:

“None of us ever know whom we marry. And falling in love never made anyone angels… it’s only made it clear how far we’ve fallen. Who we say ‘I do’ to —  is not who we roll over to touch twenty years later. The challenge for the vows is to fall in love with the stranger to whom you find yourself married.

The vows are a vow to make the stranger you marry —  come to intimately know love everyday.

This is the only way we become married to the right people.” 

My husband and I will be married for 15 years in September.  The time has flown by.  Many of us have ideas of marriage that begin at a young age. I grew up in a home with two very loving and committed parents.  My husband did the same. We are  blessed to each have parents that have been married over 40 years. There are many commonalities between our two families: both mother’s stayed home full time with the children, both homes had 4 children, both of us were raised in the church.  When we got married I thought that all these things in common would mean the picture perfect life for the two of us.  There were many things I didn’t realize and perhaps, didn’t even think about.  I had this strange idea when we got married that strong, loving couples would never argue and they would never hurt one another.

Our marriage has not been picture perfect. And to be honest, I don’t think there is such thing as a perfect marriage. I believe our marriage is one that will last forever through the good and the bad, filled with an unconditional love and commitment, but it isn’t a story of “happily ever after”.  Over the last five to ten years we have seen many of our friends get divorced. Marriage is not easy to begin with, but the military life  brings its own set of challenges.  It seems that many people are in love with the idea of the perfect life, including the perfect marriage. No matter how hard you try or plan, it will never be that way. We get married and then experience the reality of living life together. We begin to experience the realities of life’s hardships and then we see each other through a different lens. For many, it is easier to walk away when life gets hard. A long lasting marriage takes work, commitment and sacrifice.  Some people never realize that “the grass isn’t always greener”.  Perhaps, they don’t see that other couples have normal arguments and problems to work out.  I remember when we first got married, thinking we were the only couple that ever struggled. Our society in general has this idea of EASY.  Easy is not the answer to a life of joy, and easy is not the road to a forever marriage.

Our marriage would not have survived the past 15 years without Christ at the center of it.  Our life together has been through so many highs and valleys.  We have endured moves, new life, miscarriage, loss, sickness, war, and more.  Life has not been easy. It has been full of blessings, but not without heartache as well.  I know that there are circumstances that marriages simply cannot survive. Circumstances that are too much.  I understand that and my heart aches for so many that have been through this. But I feel that sometimes we get lost in this idea of what love is and should look like, and when it isn’t this way, we feel we have failed.

My husband will be the first to share that sometimes his delivery of words is not the most graceful or kind.  His expectations for our home, meals, and other daily routines are some times different than my own. Many times I have felt that I wasn’t appreciated or doing enough in his eyes. Many tears have been shed under our roof.  There were times I got in my car and drove off, without any destination, crying out to God and asking Him why? Through the years,  I’ve seen my husband grow more patient, more appreciative, and more loving, through really giving his life and pursuits to God.

I have my own shortcomings as well. God has shown me areas I also need to continually work on.  I want to exhibit servant hood as Christ did, not only to my children, but to my husband.  I want to live selflessly. I want to show him love that never fails and never gives up. I want to encourage him.  To show him I desire him and love him for the man he is.  I mess up and fail as a wife many times.

But love — true love, is all of this. It is all of the scars and battle wounds of living together for years. Love isn’t a romantic dinner alone. Love isn’t a dozen red roses. Love is enduring these valleys of life. Love is getting to know someone for who they really are and loving them just the same.  I’ve sat in the store reading the cards for Valentine’s day and thought to myself, that’s not how our love looks. That’s not how our life looks together. That’s not how I feel. It’s okay to let go of that idea of love and romance. Its okay to embrace the messy, the less than ideal, the loud, the behind closed doors.  Its okay, because all of the hard is what has made our love become something more than an attraction to one another. That is what has defined our love.

We were studying relationships in our life group class at church and listened to part of a sermon series by Andy Stanley, an Atlanta based pastor. He said,  “Do everything in your power to become the person who the person you’re looking for is looking for. That’s your best chance for success relationally.”  These words can be applied to couples already dating or married.  Are you being the type of person you want to spend forever with? Are you treating your spouse the way you want to be treated? I have not always been this person.  Not by a long shot.

On our wedding day one of the readers read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.  These words mean so much more to me now, almost 15 years later.   I want to live out these words.

I share this with you today because I want others to know that a love built on growing, living, and being challenged together, can be so much better than “the white picket fence”.  I will often share how much I love my husband and how grateful I am for his love and the sacrifices he makes for our family, but I want everyone to also know, this doesn’t come without work.  I once read that falling in love comes easy, but staying in love is the challenge. I thank God for His plan, for bringing my husband and I together to create the family we share and I pray we will share a lifetime more of memories together.

I will leave you with these last words from as sermon my husband recently shared with me.

The goal of a Christian marriage should be a model to the world of God’s love for us.

This really is a beautiful way to think of marriage. It isn’t easy to live this way daily, but the wonderful things in life are definitely worth working for.

  • Annie Morris - Thank you! I may have to bookmark this!ReplyCancel

  • Sharlet - Really great post and reminders! I’m only 2 years in but already see that Christ must be the centre for any of this love to work. XoReplyCancel

  • Amy Z - I feel like I should print this and include it in my card for weddings I attend. Thank you Ginger, it’s all so true.ReplyCancel

This week we were so excited that our cousins’ new ducklings were old enough for us to visit. We spent one afternoon playing, chasing, and watching these sweet girls. The kids keep asking when we are going to get our own. Right now, we are going to live vicariously through our cousins but I am very tempted to make the purchase. They were so sweet and cute..and seeing the kids with them was precious.

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  • the ducklings | Ginger Unzueta Photography - […] (you can see more of these sweet girls over here) […]ReplyCancel

  • Janet Crouch - Oh my goodness, how adorable!! The duckling on your niece’s head is too funny! Such softness in these images! I love this post, as I do all of your work! <3ReplyCancel

  • Catherine - A thousand hugs to you for capturing and sharing my precious grand daughters and grandchildren in law so beautifully!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie Wibowo - What a perfect way to spend an afternoon…Love all the pics, especially Miss E laying down on the grass with those ducklings.ReplyCancel

We spent the morning at a local blueberry farm enjoying the blue skies, cool breezes, and sweet berries.  Crown Jewel Farms is a beautiful place to take your whole family to experience picking organic locally grown blueberries.  The kids all had such a fun time and we can’t wait to make lots of smoothies, blueberry muffins and other yummy treats.  Head on over to their site to get information about pricing, location, and hours of operation.

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This week I was listening to the radio when one of the artists began talking about God’s purpose for our days here on Earth.  He said how many of us are running through life at this incredible pace.  He continued to share how many people are  living for the day to be over, so they can get to the next day, or the next weekend, or the next vacation.   Parents are waiting for their children to get older, so they can do life differently. Many parents, and even students, are wishing away the school year; dreaming of summer, when things will become slower. People are working jobs, with hopes of finding the next better one.   Others are waiting for their next big accomplishment; a new house, a new car, a new whatever the “it” thing is for them.   

God did not intend for our lives to be this hurried rush.  He gives us our days to use for His glory and His purpose.   I believe He wants us to soak Him in and to take time for relationships with others.   He commands us to love others.  We can’t fully love others if we aren’t slowing down enough to appreciate “the now”. We aren’t ever completely enjoying our days, if we are rushing on to the next one.

As I listened to this artist speak, I knew I had been guilty of this mindset myself.  Many times my husband has been gone on deployments or overseas for work, and I counted the days down until he returned.  The past few weeks have been filled with obstacles in our home.  We encountered a broken dryer, a broken fridge, a broken air unit, a flooded bathroom, and a tree falling in our driveway, which had to be removed after smashing our neighbor’s car. During these weeks, I let the stress add up, and my days became a blur.  I went from one day to the next, just surviving.

I have made a conscious effort the past few years to really live a slower pace of life. We home school our children and spend a lot of quality time as a family. We love the outdoors and you can often find us relaxing and enjoying God’s beauty around us.   We limit our outside activities and commitments and try to appreciate each day.  I realized as I thought back on the past month, that I am great at embracing today, until today, goes off course.  It is then that I often, let the distractions affect my mood and my focus.  God tells us in Psalm 46: 10 to “be still, and know I am God.”

He doesn’t want us to do life on our own. We have to sit still and delight in today for Him. We need to do this so we can hear Him and to be assured that He has our life in His hands.  He wants us to come to Him and leave our worries, our problems, our dreams and desires all at His feet.  As we do this, we can better enjoy the life we have today, just as it is.

This week I have slowly felt our normal routine take hold again. I have spent time being still and it feels exceedingly better than over tired, stressed and empty. These moments of stillness are always good for my soul.

One night I watched my youngest while she played with one of her cousins.  The big siblings were off at church and these two were enjoying the beautiful summer like evening. I now look at these images and can’t help but think how children really embrace today for all it is.  They live in the moment and soak up the glory of now.  It is a beautiful thing.

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  • Courtney - This is just breathtaking Ginger! I am also so guilty of passing the days away, despite the fact that I feel as though our life is on fast forward. It is a challenge for me to slow down and soak it all in and your post just gave me a confidence boost to do so. Beautiful words and beautiful images!!! ❤️ReplyCancel

  • renee @ savoring life through the lens - oh, how i just LOVE this!! it’s perfectly said, ginger. it’s amazing how much our kids teach us about life. we all started the way kids do in the world and i’m just so glad we have kids to help brings us back to who we really are…the way we were born…the way we’re meant to be…which is SO hard in this fast pace world we live in. the pictures are stunning!! my favorite is the 4th one…their faces!!! what a capture!!ReplyCancel

  • Brenda - Your such an inspration, keep it up and one day you’ll have that book!!ReplyCancel

  • janet - Oh how I love this post! Beautifully worded and touching. I couldn’t agree more!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - A beautiful post and a wonderful reminder. I am so guilty of counting days and always looking forward, rather than around!ReplyCancel

  • sherry - Ginger…these are all just beautiful…so much to see in each one…thx for sharing!!…you are an inspiration!ReplyCancel

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.Let me walk upon the waters. Wherever You would call me.Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander. And my faith will be made stronger. In the presence of my Savior. I will call upon Your name. Keep my eyes above the waves. My soul will rest in Your embrace. I am Yours, and You are mine. -from Hillsong United, Oceans

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I get emails and comments frequently asking questions about our homeschooling experience. These include everything from our curriculum choices to when I get my “own time” and everything in between.  As we are finishing our third year of homeschooling, I am here to share a bit about our experience. I am not here to say that our way is the right way or that everyone should be homeschooling, but will share with you why we have grown to love this way of life for our family.

“The beauty of home education is that it gives a family more time together–time to solidify relationships, to communicate values, and to focus on each child’s individual needs in a consistent and unhurried atmosphere.” -Kimberly Hahn & Mary Hasson

When my husband and I made the decision in 2011 to home school our children, we were without doubt that God was calling our family to this lifestyle. I say lifestyle because it is so much more than just school.  It is a way of life. It is a way of looking at the world and learning and living together.  Every experience during our day is a learning experience for our children. We have loved the slower pace of life homeschooling has given us. As the quote above says, we  now have more time to focus on family relationships and values.

When we started schooling at home our children were 7, 5 and 2.  We have continued to see the relationships between our children grow in unforeseen ways during these three years.  I am keenly aware that our children are getting to know one another in ways some siblings may never have time for. We are so grateful to continue to see their bonds and love for each other grow. They have learned to play together, regardless of their ages. One question I am often asked is if my children always get along.  Of course not.  They are children after-all, but they do get along most of the time. They have a beautiful relationship that I thank God for.

I love that I have been able to be such an integral part of their education.  This includes helping decide what our children will study and how they will study it. This also includes being a physical part of that learning daily.  This week my son realized he could now read chapter books and he sat down and read an entire book after lunch. As I watched him, I was filled with so much joy, witnessing his confidence and new found love of reading grow.  He started to learn to read in 2011 when we began this journey. During his pre-kindergarten year we used a book called Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. I have not pushed him, but let him excel at his own pace. It is such a gift to experience this with him. We had many frustrating days we had to get through to get here, but it is such an example of perseverance and determination for both of us.

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“We can best help children learn, not by deciding what we think they should learn and thinking of ingenious ways to teach it to them, but by making the world, as far as we can, accessible to them, paying serious attention to what they do, answering their questions — if they have any — and helping them explore the things they are most interested in.”  -John Holt

One of the valuable lessons I have learned during this time is that there isn’t a “right” way to homeschool. I have met many families thriving with this lifestyle, yet not one of them are doing it the same way. I love that! As each child is unique, so is each family. We have switched and tweaked different curriculum over the three years. While curriculum is important,I feel like there is so much to be learned outside of it, especially while children are young.

I believe wholeheartedly that children should be given ample freedom in their day to explore without continuous time schedules or planned activities. They seem to thrive when they can spend time doing things that interest them. My oldest daughter loves baking and I have started to give her opportunities to explore this love. My son is fascinated with drawing, maps, and reading facts. My youngest daughter has a love of painting that continues to blossom with each week that passes.  All three of our children play soccer and the older two children attend choir and Awana (a youth program) at our church.  We have limited our outside activities as we want to continue to enjoy this slow pace and not fill our free time with commitments. This has been instrumental for our family. All of us are happier having time to do the things we enjoy outside of a schedule. Some days this means we take school outside and picnic and explore. Others we have play dates and visit with friends or family.   While others we have to attend to errands or other responsibilities that do arise.

This brings up something very important. When you decide to home school, you do give up having those hours of the day free from children. This means that if you are like me, with a husband who travels often, or at work during the day, you will be grocery shopping or doing other errands with kids in tow.  Just two weeks ago, we had to stop school to go to Sears and Home Depot to compare clothes dryers after ours died. Obstacles, doctor appointments, and the such arise. This is a reality. We have been blessed to have a college student to help, one morning a week the past few years. This has been very helpful, but most often, our children are with me when we need to get household errands done. When we began homeschooling, these things seemed to be more challenging, but as the kids have gotten older and I have learned ways to manage these outings best, it is very doable. Time with children passes by quickly and I realize in a few years my oldest will be able to babysit. It seems like just yesterday she was in her pre-school years.  It is so important to remember that each phase of life is just that, a phase. Children change and grow at this crazy rapid rate. In the short three years we have home schooled I have already seen how their ages change our family dynamics in many ways.  My older children, now 10 and 7, are both very helpful. I really try to soak in each of these phases of life.  I feel like our days are filled with ample “alone time” for me, for them, and for me with each of them.  Ultimately, I love the togetherness we share through this way of life. 

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I am asked all the time what  a “normal” day looks like.  I am also asked what our youngest child does while the older two are doing their studies. These are great questions and ones I had myself before we began this journey.  First of all, our days vary.  I would like to say a typical day starts at 9:00 am with everyone awake, fed, and in the school room, starting handwriting, but that would be untrue.

Many days our son is up before the girls. On some of these days, I begin to work one on one with him while they sleep. This is very beneficial, because once he is finished for the day, or at a point he needs a break, he can play with our youngest daughter, while I work with our oldest. Our children are 2 1/2 and 3 years apart, which has worked out really well with our schooling. There are subjects we can actually combine for the older children, which is a wonderful advantage; and they can also help their younger sister with learning activities or just play.

Like I said before, our youngest was only 2 when we began schooling at home.  We decided that she would not attend preschool and would be at home learning and playing with us.  I can not imagine our days without her at home. There were times when we first started that we had to wait and do some of our work in the afternoon while she was napping. There were also mornings we had to completely stop school and go outside and play because it was too challenging.  She has always had an interest in art, coloring, cutting, exploring. I have encouraged her from day one to join us at the work table.  This wasn’t always “convenient” or quiet, but with persistence she has learned to be a wonderful part of the classroom.  Honestly, our days aren’t always perfectly smooth, but I don’t expect them to be. I love this time with my children and cherish it in ways I never imagined.

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Our learning environment may look like a typical classroom in many ways, but it is also very different. Some days we are in our designated school room while other days our classroom is the back porch.  We have schooled in the kitchen, the park, Mimi’s house, etc. There are days when the weather is so beautiful that we leave our studies and head out to explore or play.  I love that we can start our day whenever it works for us and that our weeks are very flexible.  As I mentioned before this is a lifestyle not just a school choice.  The book studies and table work are only a small part of our learning together.

“What is most important and valuable about the home as a base for children’s growth into the world is not that it is a better school than the schools, but that it isn’t a school at all.” - John Holt

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I am often asked how long we will home school.  We don’t know what the future holds and continue to pray for God to lead us in parenting our children. I do know that, we cannot imagine another way of life right now.  I have found such peace in this way of life and my heart has been so full. We will seek God first always and see what He asks of our family in all things.

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” -Corrie Ten Boom

Many people, who are unfamiliar with homeschooling, always ask about the socialization of our children. I love how Mary Kay Clark addresses this:

“Don’t worry about socialization. Wherever people congregate, there is going to be interaction, socialization.” Where is it written that it needs to be in schools? -Mary Kay Clark

As I close today, please know you are more than welcome to email me any time with your own questions on homeschooling. I know that the friends and mentors I had as we began this journey continue to be invaluable.

I can share with you over and over again, how this experience has been such a blessing for our family, while others may have had complete opposite experiences. I do not believe this is a way of life for everyone. I share these experiences, so that others who feel they are called to home school their children, can also be encouraged.  I  know that the schools where we live are wonderful and filled with amazing teachers. My husband and I both attended these schools and most of my children’s friends attend these schools. I know they have amazing opportunities that we miss, but we feel that the benefits for our family are greater than anything we are giving up. There have been times on this journey that have been challenging, even lonely, but each time we have gone to God in prayer and He has always provided what we needed.  Not only have I grown as a mother through teaching our children, but my faith in Jesus has grown in abundant ways.  This journey has taught me about obedience and living a life that God has asked of me.  That doesn’t mean it will always be easy or convenient.

Today in church the guest speaker, Bobby McGraw, spoke after leading our youth for Invasion weekend (a weekend for the youth of our church). He spoke about living in obedience and  living a  life that works.  The first point he made was that our life should be “controlled by the Father’s desires.”  We often try to compare ourselves on earth to look or be like everyone else, but trying to fit a mold doesn’t work. If we are committed as a family to what God wants, we can fully experience the blessings from Him in an amazing way.  I do not mean material blessings, but that He will provide what we need, according to His will.  ”And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”-Philippians 4:19

We are trying as a family to be obedient to God and pursuing to honor Him in all we do (not just in homeschooling), which translates to being different in today’s world. We strive to live and teach our children to be the opposite of what the world teaches. Life is not about self satisfaction or self gratification, life is about sharing God’s love with others and learning how He desires to use us for His purpose. This does not mean we will not fail along the way. We most certainly will. We are striving for these things, but we are also learning to live and give grace to ourselves and others.

For our family, this calling is so much more than a choice of how we will educate our children. We are doing more than educating our children by having them home on a daily basis. We are nurturing and investing in them for the sake of Jesus.

As parents, we all have to find what works best for our family. I will forever be grateful that we listened to God’s call to change our path three years ago. It was scary and unknown, but it has been filled with many blessings. 

 

My heart, my soul, Lord I give you control.Consume me from the inside out Lord.Let justice and praise become my embrace. To love You from the inside out. Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades. Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame. And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise. From the inside out, O my soul cries out.  -from Hillsong United,  the Inside Out.

  • Janet Crouch - So well put, Ginger! An inspiring post.ReplyCancel

  • Susie Moore - Ginger, this is just wonderful!! I’m so glad that you shared what homeschooling is really like, and why we do it. It was fun to see so much of the same curricula that I used with my boys. They actually loved Wordly Wise! It’s heartwarming to see your obedience to the Lord in your life! <3ReplyCancel

  • Christa McCann - Ginger,
    I loved reading your perspective on homeschooling! While we do not homeschool, I agree that each family has to ask for God direction before making such an important decision. We are to be obedient to what God wants for our families. I think you are doing an amazing job with yours!! Thanks for sharing!!
    ChristaReplyCancel

  • Felicia - Ginger, this is an amazing and enlightening post! You’ve given so much thought into the process and yet have the foresight to roll with the unexpected. It’s truly inspiring. I will pass this post on to a friend that is seriously considering home schooling for her girls. Thank you for sharing this!ReplyCancel

  • Lacey Meyers - Oh, how I enjoyed this. And needed this! I have had your post up on my computer for several days now, trying to find a quiet moment to read it. But with children always home, that quiet moment to read and absorb doesn’t always happen. ;) Reading about your homeschooling experience is such a blessing and encouragement, and I thank you so much for sharing, Ginger!ReplyCancel

  • AlisonW - Ginger, these are simply beautiful and I love to hear how your homeschool goes. It is something we have considered and I love to read about it.ReplyCancel

  • Heidi - I can’t thank you enough for this post. it is the first I have read of your blog and it came at exactly the time I needed. {Even your quote from “Oceans”.} My family is just beginning the homeschooling journey and your encouraging words are appreciated. :) ReplyCancel

  • Why We Do, What We Do. » Clackamas Oregon Lifestyle Photographer, Newborn Photographer, Clackamas Oregon Maternity Photographer | Lacey Meyers Photography - […] this week, a blog post by my across-the-country-friend did that for me.  I am so thankful that Ginger Unzueta reminded me (and all her readers) that choosing to home-educate is a lifestyle choice, not just a […]ReplyCancel

  • Bonnie - I wish I had the patience, time and know-how to homeschool. I *know* my oldest would benefit from being homeschooled… but I am just so afraid of failing him (and myself). This is such a wonderful post, Ginger. Thank you for sharing a little of what your homeschooling with us. :) (and, beautiful images as always! <3 )ReplyCancel

    • Tara Eveland - hey there, i left my own comment then was reading above and saw yours. i dont normally reply to comments but God put it on my heart to say to you and remind you “I can do all through him who gives me strength”.
      I dont think you can fail with the almighty behind you. If God leads you to homeschool your child he will NOT let you fail! God bless! Another great blog to check out on homeschooling is womenlivingwell.orgReplyCancel

  • Jessica - Oh Ginger you are such an inspiration! I love how you capture your girl’s spirit so perfectly and authentically – she is so blessed to have you for a mother.ReplyCancel

  • Kira - Thank you for sharing your journey and experience. I am “officially” starting homeschooling this fall as that is when my 5 year old would be starting kindergarten, but feel like we’ve started homeschooling two years ago. I love how you say it’s a lifestyle choice, not just a school choice. And that it’s okay for it to look so different from a school room experience. That you really do give up “kid-free” time, which can be really hard sometimes, but remembering why you made that choice and are living that life can give you strength and perspective. Anyway, thank you so much for sharing this post!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa (Tout Petit Pixel) - This is fabulous, Ginger! Loved getting a peek in your homeschooling life. So inspiring!ReplyCancel

  • Chavi - These photos are so inspiring! Looking at these photos makes me wish I could do the same for my kids!ReplyCancel

  • Samantha Covert - What a great post, Ginger! I’m sure it is so helpful for people curious about homeschooling to learn in detail what your experience is like. Your images are, as always, so beautiful. You are truly a gifted storyteller <3ReplyCancel

  • Tara eveland - Hi there,
    What a great article and just what God led me to read this morning! I have so many questions for you that I cannot write it simply in one blog commment. You mentioned emailing you but I do not see an email address. If you are willing to talk to me about this and help me from your experiences I would love you to email me at taraeveland@gmail.com I am a sister in Christ and I love your images of your classroom as well as I am also a professional photographer! A few questions for here Im sure others are wondering:
    Where did you get the table/chairs/and bookshelf?
    Also were your kids EVER in public school?
    I ask because my daughter is very gifted, she asked to be taught to read when she was 2, almost 3 years old. So I started homeschooling her. We also used the 100 lessons to reading book! My husband and I prayed about it and decided to try public school for her for kindergarten and she has loved it this year, i think however she has loved making friends and the social aspect of it, because I feel she has not been challenged enough. Although they put her in the AR program which isnt supposed to start till 1st grade, she breezed through each book and would get 100% on each test praise God. Now we have a stack of ‘free pizza’ coupons to use this month lol. But my point is that they made her start at basic books, books she was reading when she was 2 and now she is 6. I dont feel the public school is teaching her on HER level of where she is. And my other concern is about my son, who is now 2.5 years old and completely different than his sister. He does not enjoy learning by books or ‘regular methods’ but prefers hnads on learning, so I feel homeschooling her may hinder her with him at home as well and how would I teach both of them since they learn so differently.
    I do hope you email me and offer me some advice. we are in the last few days of the kindergarten year and I must decide if I will enroll her for next year or not. I am in such conflict over this and looking for any christian sister that has dealt with these same issues to help me along this journey, even if its just praying for my guidance, or if its to email me. thank you so much!
    Tara EvelandReplyCancel

  • Beth Ann - I didn’t know much about homeschooling before and it was nice to get a peak into what it is like for you and your family.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Carr - Wow! What an amazingly detailed and helpful post. I love the care and thought you put into the homeschooling experience for your children.ReplyCancel

Last year I became friends with a very special group of ladies and participated together in a 10 on 10 project.  This year we wanted to continue to do a project together, but wanted to do something a little different.  Our new project is called Kaleidoscope.

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Kaleidoscope  is derived from the Ancient Greek (kalos), “beautiful, beauty” (eidos), “that which is seen: form, shape” and (skopeo), “to look to, to examine.”  Hence “observation of beautiful forms.

We are a group of friends, moms, visual artists and photographers from around the world who are passionate about capturing images of the real, the messy and the magical-the wonder of the everyday.  Like a kaleidoscope, our photographs are playful and experimental, ever-changing and infused with light and colour.  Once a month, we assemble a single mosaic comprised of our collective pictorial tiles, one submitted by each of us, that reflect the shared meaning and beauty in our lives.

This month I captured a Sunday Family Night dinner at our home.  The days are getting longer and we are enjoying longer days down by the lake and in the back yard. I am always grateful to get all of our family together on a weekly basis.

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  • Janine - Oh to be a kid again…sigh :) I love the tree swing! Beautifully captured. JxReplyCancel

  • rowe - what a gorgeous, simply delightful life your kiddos lead! swimming and tree swings… its what all childhoods should be made of! perfect ginger xReplyCancel

Matthew 5:4

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

The online photography community has been a blessing to me in many ways. I have been able to meet people from all over the world that I would otherwise never know.  I believe each friendship is not by chance, but through God’s provision and plan. One of those special friends is Ashley Meiners Wilson. We have gotten to know each other in a beautiful way over the past year.  I am grateful for our conversations and friendship.

Last week, Ashley suddenly and unexpectedly lost her husband Jon. He left behind Ashley and two young children.  In December, Ashley did a beautiful tribute to her husband as part of our 10 on 10 project.  You can see her amazing work and love for Jon  here.

A group of 28 photographers have come together to show Ashley our love and support.  In times like this there are so few words that seem enough, but we wanted her to know how much we love her and that we are standing behind her.  You can find out how you can help and see our collaboration here. 

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  • Debbie Wibowo - Such a beautiful tribute. All the pictures convey so much love and peacefulness.ReplyCancel

Last year I became friends with a very special group of ladies and participated together in a 10 on 10 project.  This year we wanted to continue to do a project together, but wanted to do something a little different.  Our new project is called Kaleidoscope.

kaleidoscope.wordmark-copy

Kaleidoscope  is derived from the Ancient Greek (kalos), “beautiful, beauty” (eidos), “that which is seen: form, shape” and (skopeo), “to look to, to examine.”  Hence “observation of beautiful forms.

We are a group of friends, moms, visual artists and photographers from around the world who are passionate about capturing images of the real, the messy and the magical-the wonder of the everyday.  Like a kaleidoscope, our photographs are playful and experimental, ever-changing and infused with light and colour.  Once a month, we assemble a single mosaic comprised of our collective pictorial tiles, one submitted by each of us, that reflect the shared meaning and beauty in our lives.

This month I captured an afternoon strawberry picking. This is one of our favorite Spring Break traditions.  This local farm is such a sweet place to visit. I am always in such surprise over how cheap the berries are when you pick them. The girls favorite part is getting to eat as we pick. I love these special family memories.

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  • melissa - yearning for summer to arrive even more now…but at least i felt warmth while viewing these. :) what a fun afternoon! those strawberries look perfectly sweet and juicy, i’m pretty sure my face and shirt would look like that, too! ;) ReplyCancel

  • ali deck - What a perfect spot to hang out and take pictures!! I love the feel of these, makes me long for warm weather. It has been so amazing to watch your babies grow before my eyes, they and your work is gorgeous. xoReplyCancel

  • Jenna Reich - Ginger, I love these so much! We had a strawberry patch in our backyard when I was a kid and I remember every Easter making strawberry shortcake with the ones we picked. Such a great tradition! And of course, lovely photos. That one of your oldest daughter is striking!ReplyCancel

  • Jackie Tyghem - I love it! I can remember picking strawberries with my mother & grandmother when I was a little girl..and I would eat them too :) lol These are precious..the one image of your oldest in the boots, perfect. xoReplyCancel