Friday, July 18, 2014

Photo Friday 2014 ~ Weeks 26, 27, 28 & 29

I missed a few weeks of Photo Friday because I was out of town visiting Ohio to take my girl to summer camp.  I'm back home now though.  It still feels a little weird to say home in reference to Florida when Ohio was home for so long. While Ohio will always be home in a sense, Florida really feels like home now for us.  I couldn't wait to get back to the heat and the palm trees and the sunshine and the water.  They were having some incredibly mild weather while I was visiting which was nice though.   It was wonderful to see family and friends.  I love that when we visit it's like we haven't been gone at all.  We can just fit right back in.  We went to our old Bible Study one day and went to our old church and saw all the familiar faces.  We went to all of our favorite restaurants and one of our favorite parks.  Some things were different but mostly everything was the same.  There is a certain comfort in that.  There are definitely things about Ohio that we miss, like the lightning bugs and the cornfields and the soft grass.  It was fun experiencing the old, familiar, comfortable things again, even if it was just for a couple of weeks.  I took what seemed like a million photos while I was there.  I booked some photo shoots to help pay for our plane tickets and I ended up with more than enough to cover them.  I think it will definitely be an annual tradition.  And I got to see so many of the families that I've been shooting over the years and shoot a few new ones too.  I took my big camera out a few times for some personal photos.  Not a whole lot though because I used my phone most of the time so that I could just enjoy my time with family and friends without feeling like I had to lug my big camera along.  Here are my favorites from the past month. I hope to blog about some of our activities we did on our trip a little at a time because I have a ton of iPhone photos to share as well.  So, stop back for those in the next week!

If you've followed my blog for a while, then you know all about our Stricker's Grove tradition.  I actually planned our trip so that we could go to it.  If you don't know about it, then take a moment to read my previous posts about it, here and here



This is my cutie pie niece who the last time I saw her wasn't even walking!  She is so adorable and I'm glad we got to see her ride her first little rides.  She had so much fun. :)

My boy doing his favorite thing with his favorite person.  He was in heaven.

My mom always rides the ferris wheel with my boy.  I love how happy they both look in this pic!

I love this pic of the cornfield.  It just says Ohio to me.  But I actually took it in Indiana at my cousin's farm.

My girl was in heaven holding a baby peacock who she named Fuzzy and playing in the barn.  She's such a farm girl.  But then she's also such a beach girl.  You can't put that girl in a box. ;)

There was a field of wildflowers there so of course I had to take about a hundred photos of them.  I couldn't help myself!  This one is my favorite though.

I happened to have my big camera with me so I could back up some photos at my brother's house while we went swimming with friends...so I just had to get a shot of these two.  They've known each other since birth and I used to babysit that pretty girl.  He obviously still thinks girls have cooties. :)  Which is totally fine with me.

That's all for now. I better get back to editing photo sessions for all my very patient clients.  I'll hopefully be back to blogging now that I'm back.  I miss it!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Drive, Chip, & Putt

Our kids recently competed in the PGA's Drive, Chip, & Putt competition and they were so excited.  Actually, they were so nervous is a better description.  Our son had a little meltdown the night before and said he "wasn't ready", but after a good night's sleep he was fine and ready to go.  We really had no idea what to expect.  We knew what they had said on the website, but really until you do something like that you don't know how it will go.  We didn't get there too early because we thought it might be a lot of waiting around which we aren't fans of.  In hindsight we should have gotten there way earlier to allow for more time to warm up. Since our kids are so close in age they only had like 15 minutes between when they competed so it was hard to be watching one kid and warming up another.  And by the time we signed in, got our free water (it felt like 100 degrees out that day) and our free balls to warm up with, we didn't have much time for actual warming up.  I don't think my daughter even did any practice chip shots because she was watching her brother hit his drives.  Next year will go much smoother now that we know what to expect.  Overall it was very well run and it went fast!  Which is good in most cases, except for the whole having 2 kids and wanting to watch them both.  First, they hit 3 drives and scored a certain number of points based on distance.  Then they went immediately to the chipping station and hit 3 chips where they had marked circles around the hole and they got points based on which circle their ball landed in.  Lastly, they headed right to the putting green which was literally steps from the chipping and they hit 3 putts.  They had 3 balls all set up for them at 3 different distances.  I think they were 6 feet, 15 feet, and 30 feet.  That was it.  The scorers marked the scores for the kids and the kids just handed their scorecards to the next official.  Then they had to turn it in at the end and sign it to make it official.  Just like the pros. :)  The kids had a lot of fun and it was so good for them to experience.  They were glad to see that there wasn't too much of a crowd watching the kids. Most parents were too focused on giving last minute tips to their own kids to watch other people's kids.  We only watched the kids who went right before ours.  All the kids did pretty well though.  It was fun to see other kids who are passionate about golf!  So, the big news is that one of our kids got a ribbon!  Scroll through the photos to see which one it was. ;)

I only took photos during their practice swings.  I was nervous the sound of the shutter would distract them on their real shots!  Paranoid mom...

Waiting around for her turn. She was so nervous, but I think she hid it well.

Somehow I completely missed getting photos of his chip shots.  It really went so fast!  This was after he holed his 6 foot putt and the official was waiting for a fist bump. :)  That's the circle and hole for the chip shots behind them.  

Next putt.  That's the last ball all set up behind him and waiting to go.

As soon as her brother was done we went straight over to see her (I was so afraid I would miss seeing her drive) and she was next up.  Just made it.

Practice swing.

I think this was the real swing...the ball is gone, so I guess?!

     Here she is chipping.  She definitely should have warmed up on this because she didn't do so hot on it.

   Putting.

If you know my girl's name you can find it. :)

And the big announcement of the day....my girl got a ribbon for putting!!!  I must take the time to mention that our kids got the exact same overall score and the same score in putting.  My son didn't take it too well that they scored the same and she got a ribbon and he didn't.  If you notice on the boards in this photo you can see the boys standings on the right and the girls on the left to see the difference in the number of competitors.  It was rough trying to get him to understand that she had a numbers advantage.  We are super proud of her though!!

She's already ready for her next competition.  She was so excited to win her first ever award.  :)  I think it's the first of many to come!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Photo Friday 2014 ~ Week 25

My brother was in town this past weekend after their Disney World trip so there was a lot of talk of princesses and such.  It was my niece's birthday too so we had a little celebration and my girl dressed up in her Elsa costume.  It was a nice excuse for her to wear it.  I took a couple pics of her and my niece together since my niece has the Anna costume.  She was mad though because she really wanted the Elsa one because all the little girls are obsessed with her.  Luckily she got the Elsa dress as her gift so she was a very happy girl.  So here are my princess themed favorites of the week!

I'm not usually one for using Photoshop effects but since my girl likes to imitate Elsa's pose where she's got a snowflake I thought it would be fun to add some.  I like how it turned out and it was really easy!  If you want to know how I did it, just message me and I will share.

I just like this pic of my niece before she opened her gifts.  She's such a cutie.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

10 Years ~ A Photo Shoot ~ Clearwater Beach

My baby girl turned 10 a few months ago and every year I've been trying to do a photo shoot of her for her birthday.  I was a couple of months late getting around to it, but I'm still so glad to have these photos of her.  

I want to remember that when she was 10 
she was spunky as ever, 
her hair was short, and her legs were long.
She loved dogs and tigers.
She loved her little brother and playing pretend, 
building forts and climbing trees.
She loved drawing and reading,
going to the park and the library.
Her favorite movie was Frozen
and she read all the Ramona books a half a dozen times.
She loved swimming and going to the beach,
rolling in the sand and finding shells and sea creatures.
She discovered her talent and love for golf.
She loved exploring nature and being outdoors.
She lived life to its fullest
with intensely happy moments 
and drama filled moments in between.
Life with her was never dull and watching her filled me with joy.
She was independent but still needed her mama.
She was beautiful inside and out.

I hope to remember all of these things when I look back on these photos in years to come, but mostly I want to remember the intense love that I have for her in this moment, even when she drives me crazy and we butt heads.  I know our relationship grows deeper and more complex each year as she ages and I look forward to watching her and knowing her and loving her more as she grows.  But she'll always be my baby girl.  I love her more than she'll ever know.


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