Friday, December 31, 2010

Photo Friday ~ 52 ~

This is it.  The last post of the year.  Wow, that went fast.  When I started my little Photo Friday journey I really had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I thought it would be just a quick fun post each week that would help me learn and grow as a photographer.  And it was.  But it also turned into quite the labor of love.  I was constantly thinking each week about what I was going to do for my post.  Which was good and bad.  I spent a lot of time editing photos for some of my posts.  Some week's photos I really don't like all that much, and others are some of my favorite photos I've ever taken.  The thing I love so much about this little project is how nice it is to go back and look at the year through my weekly posts.  I can't tell you how many times I would sit down and click through my Photo Friday posts to see how much the kids have changed, and to see how much my photography style has changed.  I didn't even have Photoshop at the beginning of the year!  I definitely can see an improvement and I hope other people can as well.  I'm not 100% sure that I'm going to continue with Photo Fridays in 2011.  I know for sure that I want to do another project that was inspired by one of my favorite photographers, Tara Whitney, called 4 People 12 Times.  I'll explain it in a different post.  So, I guess you'll have to check back next Friday and see if I've made up my mind.  Here are this week's photos.  They are all of my favorite little girl.

You know I love her serious face.  And I absolutely love this close crop and how much her eyes draw you in.  I took all of these photos in less than 5 minutes and I admit they were a little boring composition-wise and the background (our living room) was definitely a little blah.  So, this week I tried to play around with creative cropping and I must say, I'm kinda digging this.

I was taking her picture and she stopped smiling and said, "Mommy, when I make this face, look at all the bumps on my chin."  I love her.  She loves to make funny faces and look at herself in the mirror.

Okay, doesn't this look exactly like the Mona Lisa?!  As soon as I saw it in the camera I thought that.  Her smile is perfect!  Go google it and you'll see what I mean.

Another of my close crops.  I just want to reach in and squish her cheeks.  I just love them so much.  

Another serious face.  I can't believe how grown up she is starting to look lately.  She is getting so tall and her hair has grown out so much (she always had chin length hair for the first 5 years of her life) and I am really starting to see what she's going to look like when she grows up.  Scary.  I just want to keep her little for a while longer.  That's why she's always got a bow in her hair...I have to do something to keep her looking young.

She is obsessed with hula hooping now that she got one for Christmas.  All the little girls in her class hula hoop during recess and she could never do it.  But now that she's been practicing for just a couple days, she's suddenly got the hang of it.  It's so cute to watch her shaking her butt.  She really gets into it.  She is so incredibly proud of herself.  She can't wait to get back to school and show off her new moves.  

I can't believe that another year just flew by me.  Thanks for joining me on my Photo Friday journey.  It was a blast!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Christmas Post

Our Christmas was wonderful this year.  It was very low key, which was kinda nice.  I'm going to share our story as I post goes.

We went to my grandparent's house on Christmas Eve and then to my mom's house for presents.  I took this in front of our tree before we left.  Definitely a new favorite.

My husband and I at my grandparent's house where we had lots of food and sweets and I'm pretty sure the highlight for my kids was when their uncle let them play Angry Birds on his phone.

My son finally got to open his giant box from Grandmama that he had been begging about opening for days.  It was a train set.  He was in love.  

Then we came home and Santa came that night.  The kids were up pretty early and saw all their stuff sitting in front of the fireplace.  They were definitely on the nice list this year.

I got this.  A total surprise.  I've been wanting one for over a year...I cried I was so happy.  And I never cry.

My son was totally excited by his new doggy bank.  And somehow I have no pics of my girl opening presents.  I have no idea how that happened!

We went to my Aunt's house this year for Christmas dinner and it was lovely.  Of course my allergies decided to act up though.  Here's my girl reading to her baby cousin.

The day after Christmas we headed up to my in-laws house for the day.  On the way we stopped and saw our good friends who were in town from Los Angeles visiting family and met their baby girl for the first time.   It was so nice to see them again.  Here's a picture of my girl in her other Christmas dress.  I was so excited that I found an American Girl Doll dress to match for her doll, Ruby, but she wasn't quite as excited about it as I was and didn't bring her doll, so there's no pic of them together.

My girl got a bunch of new books and art supplies.  She's already written a couple of books in her new notebook.

My baby got some rollerblades which he wore around the house while his cousin helped him out.

And that's pretty much it.  It was a really wonderful Christmas.  When I was tucking my girl in on Christmas night, she wanted to know how many days until next Christmas.  She's making plans already.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Photo Friday ~ 51 ~

It's Christmas Eve!  I can't believe it.  My kids are super excited and I'm about to go bake some cookies for our Christmas get together at my grandparents house later.  Santa is coming tonight!  I love that my kids are really getting into the magic of it all this year.  It makes it so fun to see their eyes light up with joy and wonder.  It's contagious.  Yesterday I took them to see Santa at the museum and we had so much fun running around and exploring.  We also went to Krohn Conservatory to see the nativity and I don't think I've ever taken my kids there before and they loved it.  Seriously, I had no idea they would like it so much.  It helped that they had a train display for Christmas and some girls playing violins.  My daughter just sat and watched the violins and my son just stood there dumbfounded watching this giant spinning train display.  I think they could've stayed there for hours.  Well, I need to wrap this post up and get on with my day, so here you go...

I love that this looks like a painting.  This was the nicest Santa ever.  Look how she's checking out his beard. She thought his beard looked a little short, so I told her he probably got some food in it and had to trim it.  This totally reminds me of Miracle on 34th Street.

I love how Santa is leaning over to listen to him tell what he wants for Christmas.

My sweet girl just taking it all in.

Extreme closeup!  This is her super excited face.  We've been seeing a lot of it lately.

He was mesmerized by the trains.

My sweet girl amidst the poinsettias.

I love this picture.  And I love this boy.

Hope you have a lovely Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Details

Some of my favorite things about Christmas are really just little details, but it doesn't quite feel like Christmas without them.  I thought it would be fun to do a quick post about them.  I really don't get in the Christmas spirit until we get our tree up.  Not just up, but decorated.  As much as I hate the chaos that goes along with getting out all the boxes of decorations, I really love pulling out things that I had completely forgotten about from the year before.  My favorites are the ornaments.  I have a few that I just love.  Like the kissing fish that we got on our honeymoon.  They have their own special little box and I always hang them first right in the center of the tree at eye level.  We were talking this year about how we can't imagine how we'll feel when we pull them out on our 50 or 60th Christmas together!  I'm so glad we bought them!   That ball on the right is actually really big, but you can't tell in the picture.  We got it when we visited Hearst Castle in California a couple years ago.  I'm a big fan of getting ornaments as souvenirs.  It's so fun to hang them on the tree and reminisce about a fun trip we've taken.  The fire truck is my son's that his Grandmama gave him and he has to move it to a new spot on the tree almost daily.  He loves it.  I kinda feel bad letting him touch it, but he's super careful with it because he knows it's special.  It's so cute to watch him.  That other ball is a new one I just got this year at the Crafty Supermarket in Clifton.  I found the etsy shop for the vendor I got it from, but it looks like she's taking some time off right now.  I love it though!  It's just so unique.  It's made from felted wool.

More favorites.  One of my mom's old seventies angels, an ornament in the shape of the hotel where we had our wedding reception...bittersweet since it went out of business, one of my son's other favorites, and one of the many new ones that show up from time to time thanks to my little artist in the house.

A new thing I did this year (I got the idea from another blogger and modified it) was make a garland from all of our Christmas cards that we receive.  I usually don't really know what to do with all of them and this is the perfect way to display them.  I actually ran out of room on our banister and started another one from a curtain rod in our kitchen.  I also love my Christmas wreath that my mom made for me.  I went to Michael's last year and bought all the stuff and then had her wire it on for me and make the bow.  She is great at bows...seriously, she's like an expert.  People will ask her to make bows for their daughter's weddings.  And that reindeer is from a cousin of mine.  I just love it.  It is seriously one of my all time favorite Christmas decorations.  She needs to start her own etsy shop, because she makes the most amazing crafts.  I am surrounded by crafty and artsy people on both sides of my family.  It's kinda nice.

So, what's getting you in the Christmas spirit?  I'd love to hear!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Photo Friday ~ 50 ~

This post is super late because my daughter came down with a stomach bug today.  No fun.  I've been spending some quality time with my bathroom and realizing how much I absolutely hate it and I need to re-do it.  It will be top of my list of things to do next year.  Okay, back to this week.  My son had his preschool play (totally adorable) and I let my daughter skip school to see it.  Santa showed up which saved my butt since my daughter has been asking to see him for a while so she could give him her list.  We had a snow day and lazed around in our jammies and drank hot chocolate.  We've been watching a Christmas movie or show every night together as a family and I love it.  And we've had a fire in the fire place almost every night.  The little things like that are the only things helping me to stay sane while I freeze my tush off in this horrible weather.  I really hate cold weather.  This is the time of year I start longing for my beach vacation.  Only five more months to go!  Here are this week's photos.

Leading the line of kids into the sanctuary for the preschool play.  Seriously, could he be any cuter?!

I love the expression on her face.  She was really pondering what to ask for.  She has a huge list that she made at home.  What did she ask Santa for?  Books.  

It was pajama day at her school today and they had their Christmas party, and she had to miss it because I had to come get her.  She was so sad.  I let her watch a movie and drink hot chocolate which kinda helped make up for it.  I tried taking her picture and she was hiding her face and wanted me to take pictures of her butt.  Yep, that's my girl...  The one on the left had her foot in front of her face, but I kinda like the white glow it gave the picture.  

This is just a random picture I snapped of him this afternoon playing with some trucks.  I really love the unique angle of his face and that little thing he always does with his lips.

I've got my fingers crossed and I'm praying like crazy that the rest of us don't get sick.  Hopefully next week will be full of Christmas fun if we are up for it!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snowball Fight!

On a Saturday morning when snow has fallen and your children are suited up like that little kid in A Christmas Story, what do you do?  Declare war...

Preparing to strike.

His foe cackles with glee at the thought of battle.

An ally joins the ranks.

They circle preparing to attack.

She goes in for the kill...oh no, he ducked just in time!

Her ally storms in ready for attack.

A vicious battle ensues.

The troops break for refueling. does it taste?  Cold.

She spies on the enemy from afar, her body poised for action.


The pictures following this brutal attack are of such a graphic nature that I cannot share them.  A truce was called after both parties were able to get a clear shot to the face.  It was battle not soon forgotten.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Life with Boys

Sometimes, when you live with boys, you might be walking around in the kitchen preparing for dinner and something will catch your eye, and you'll look down and see...


I don't ask questions anymore.  I just smile, take a picture, and life goes on.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Photo Friday ~ 49 ~

I just have one photo to share this week.  My boys.  I know I talk a lot about my son and how he's pretty much a momma's boy, but really, I must admit that he's sometimes more of a daddy's boy.  He just really adores his daddy so much.  When my husband gets home from work my son will go and sit with him on the couch and just hang out and watch sports or whatever.  And he'll sit the same way that his daddy is sitting.  It's the cutest thing ever.  I took this picture on Sunday after church and they were just snuggled up watching tv and my son was playing with his cars.  I love it.  My husband usually hates all pictures that I take of him, but I think this one is perfect.  Both of my men have such beautiful blue eyes.  I love how much my son looks up to my husband, and I love how much my husband adores his son.  It really is the most precious thing to watch.  I'm a lucky woman, that's for sure.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Little Miss Personality ~ A Photo Shoot ~

This adorable little girl belongs to my cousin.  She is full of spunk and has the best facial expressions!  Sometimes she looks exactly like my uncle, but then sometimes she looks just like her mom.  Either way, she is totally cute.  She braved the cold for me a couple weeks ago and although it was a little chaotic at times (after all, she did just turn two!), I ended up with a bunch of good photos of her.  Here are some of my favorites.

Love, love her eyes in this one!  Wow.

One of her many adorable expressions.

I really love this one.  It's so creamy.  And I love that little smirk she does right before she smiles.

If this cuteness doesn't get you in the holiday spirit, there's something wrong.

Such a cute little pose she's doing.

Cute!  I know, I keep saying it, but it's true!

See what I mean about the adorable expressions?!

Just so you know, bribery with cookies is totally acceptable on photo shoots.  I just don't recommend oreos. Gotta love the black teeth!

I did this shoot in my backyard, so after we were done with the actual shoot she started totally hamming it up while dancing around on our playset.  So I busted the camera back out and snapped these.

And her Gaga was worried that we wouldn't have any good photos!  See?  She did great!!


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