Saturday, December 31, 2011

Studio Lighting

Having a good time in my pseudo studio!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

OK. So here's our Christmas card this year. 
I didn't get as many out as I'd hoped. 
Hope you all had a fantastic holiday!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas has NOTHIN to do with Jesus

As I write this, I find myself dwelling in the "depths of despair" (as my bff from college used to say).  And I feel fairly certain I have landed somewhat safely, though tattered and torn a bit, on the bottom.  Which means, according to Christine, that now is the time when I may begin my climb back up.  But I think I'm just gonna chill here on the bottom of the pit for a while.  (and you have to say pit of despair just like Billy Crystal in The Princess Bride)  I'm just gonna hang out down here and figure this shit out.

See, I used to LOVE Christmas. 
But when in the HELL did it get so complicated??? When did family get so complicated??

We are fine with the blending of all three of our families (for the most part), Chuck comes here before the kids wake up...we all wake them together.  We all open together. We all eat together.  That's all good...I think...right?  (I won't get into the other family juggling that occurs on Xmas day...)


Well two reasons and number 2 is the most important. 
1. cause i've been sick. and i'm tired. and i haven't finished shopping...yet.

2. cause christmas has got nothing to do with Jesus. 

Yep. I said it.  And ya'll know it's the truth.  Nick can give you a whole speech on stupid pagan holidays.  Hallmark crap.  But here's the thing....we are all supposed to know better.  Even if we don't go to church...we know it's SUPPOSED to be about Jesus and the love he represents, right?. Or at LEAST about FAMILY, togetherness, and sharing.

 But here's what I feel instead:

broke, tired, sad, resposible, irritated, sympathetic, responsible, disappointed, frustrated, and RESPONSIBLE.

I don't think Jesus really would really want me to feel that way about his birthday.

I told you. I'm going to wallow in this here pit of despair for one more day. And then I'm gonna do some ornament making with the kids and climb my way out.  Crawl my way back to light and love and all of those good things this holiday season is supposed to be about.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

52 Photos Project


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Comments from the Fam

Here are some of the entertaining things I've heard in the last few days.....

Me   This light wasn't working yesterday. Did someone change the bulb?
Me   That is so weird.  It wasn't working at all for a whole day.  Now it's working.
Maddy  Oh well.  Maybe it just had a little temporary snarkle.

Stella    I'm not going to college.  I'm staying with you guys forever.
Nick      Great!   (turns to me very seriously...)
              Now Maddy is the only kid in this whole house who will ever move out.

i totally lost it when he said that.  hahaaaaa

Nick    Maddy, you need to stop throwing nasty food away in your bedroom trash can.
            Food should only be thrown away in here.  (kitchen)
Maddy   It's OK.  It was still in the little plastic baggy.
Nick       It's still nasty and will rot and mold.  Throw it away in the kitchen, NOT your trash can!!!
Maddy    Uh uh.  No it won't.  I empty my trash can.
Nick       (with humor and disgust at the same time...)  Maddy please, If Suzy went into a coma, your
               trash can would NEVER get emptied. 

funny. but a COMA honey???

Maddy    Look how tan my skin looks next to my white sliders.
Me          Yeah. That's your skin.  You always look more tan than most of us.  In our fam anyway. 
               That's cause your skin has a little flavor. 
Maddy    What do you mean flavor?
Me           You know...cinnamon spice, caramel, nutmeg or you know...somethin.  FLAVAH.
Maddy      Good Lord you are weird. 
Me            You totally know what I mean though.

After I made individual "snack plates" for dinner...
Finn    I like this whole get-up you've got here.  I think the food looks even better on these
           geometric place mats.  Thanks Mom.  This was really nice of you.
Stella   Yep. 
             And these four place mats make a whole.  Four corners make a whole.  So it's a whole.
             And I want Finn's sushi stead of my noodles.

of course she does...

Hailey   (in 4 different  texts FROM SCHOOL) 

                                I'm so tired today. 

                                Mom, I'm reallly tired.

                                I hope I can stay awake today.

                                MOM!  I'm janked up!

seriously.  how am i supposed to help from home?  and put your phone away at school!!

Maddy  Well, we know a little bit more about Southwest now.  They aren't very good.
               Their Point Guard can't dribble.  How ya gonna be a Point Guard if ya can't dribble?
               And they are seriously some sore losers.  DAAAANNNNGGGGGG!!

nuff said! that pretty much covers it i guess.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

First Dance Recital

Getting ready.  
 (And looking scared enough to make me tear up.)

Following Ms. Amanda

Getting the hang of it.  (most of them anyway...hahaha)



So cute I can't stand it.  She had a great day and was SO proud of herself when she was all done!

(poor babe's lips were so chapped she was licking her lips in most of her dance photos.  the last picture is a combo of chapped and chocolate tootsie pop.)

**Flowers curtesy of her Daddy, Dadoo and Duck** 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Window Messages

Hailey wrote this on the window of my car the other day. It's still there. I'm going to leave it for a while to remind myself why I spend half my life in the car!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

52 Photos

Since I started this 52 Photos Project late, and the seasons are all messed up, I decided to jump ahead so that I could be with the rest of the group. 

So this week's theme is...


I realized this was the current theme yesterday and HAD to make the jump on up there
 I had just taken a bunch of twinkle pix. 
 Here are a couple of my favs...

2 goof balls

i love the one above because i said, "hold on. just relax. i'm only doing a test shot."
 and that's how they looked.

this one was obviously a little more posed.

stell had fun with the mirror.

and we can't forget her too...

Tallulah Gray

(these were all xmas card outtakes.  bless their little posing hearts.)

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Thanksgiving was great.  Food was great.  Company was great.
BUT my favorite part was sitting by this....

on Thanksgiving night with my favorite people in the world.

Friday, November 25, 2011


It seems like I only get to see this chick about twice a year or so!! 
 But I always look forward to it cause she's so dang young, beautiful, and happy!!


I love taking pix of her and her man because they are the cutest couple I have seen in a LONG time!!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Yesterday, I sat down to go through older photo files.  I pulled up the file from Stella's birthday party and was shocked to realize I hadn't seen those photos yet!!  As I was looking through them, I kept thinking, "I don't remember taking that...Why have't I seen these???"
I finally realized I DIDN'T TAKE ANY OF THEM.  Hailey was my photographer that day! 
It was so awesome to see the party from her perspective.   So here is a bit of Stella's 5th Birthday Dress-Up Party. Hailey style.

Thank you Hailo!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

52 Photos Project

Theme: A word that describes you

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Blueberry Girl - New from Neil Gaiman

My friend, Amanda at Talking To Owls shared this on her FB page and I decided to snag it.  I love it.  Neil Gaiman is apprently quite a character AND he's friends with Tori Amos. 


(the photos you are about to see are part of the collection of outtakes from my ODS photoshoot.  i'll call this little girlie, Blondie.  i choose to call her Blondie because it's the only name i can come up with to suit her sassy little personality.  her real name is perfect for her, but alas, i must protect her identity.)

So here is Blondie.

Here is Blondie with her BFF.  Having a grand ole time.
But Blondie decides to hop off the blue doggie rocker and go do something else for a minute.

While she's away, BFF finds someone else to play with. 
And THEY starting having a grand ole time.

Blondie returns...and the photos tell the rest of the story...

(i really wish i could have heard what she was saying.)
This is where I drop my camera and rush to make sure Pinkie up there doesn't get thrown in the dust.
Luckily, Blondie see me coming, runs away for a minute and turns to give me
THIS sneaky little smile....

Oh yeah, Blondie. 
 I saw  ya. 
 And you are totally BUSTED. 

(I freakin LOVE Blondie)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Undercurrents with Love

Something is brewing around here.  I'm not quite sure what it is...but I like it. 

It all started a while back when I read A New Earth by Tolle. (yeah. it seems like i mention that book a lot.)   All of these spiritual/religious thoughts had been swirling in my brain for a while and that book somehow helped me to start sorting through them in a much less-judgment-more-love-kind of  way.  That book was huge in my life several years ago. It connected me with almost strangers who were really informants with invisible wings. I am forever grateful for the months we discussed that book (and life...).

So since that time, I have read many other inspiring books.  The most recents: The Mastery of Love, Don Miguel Ruiz and Anatomy of the Spirit, Carolyn Myss.  Both of those made sense to me BECAUSE of the Tolle book. 

After reading and cramming and compiling all that I learned, I started trying to share bits of knowledge with the littles.  In little ways.  In little stories.  Things I believe to be true.  Not like preaching, more like teaching by example...stating why I think things happen and why I think God works the way God works.  That love is EVERYTHING and the only thing worth anything. I tell them that I still think love saves the whole dang planet    While I never pretend to know everything, I do let them know that their BELIEFS are the most important things they have.  What you believe  will RULE your life.

Lately, I have heard about and/or had conversations with the kids that have freaked me out a little.  It's really interesting to hear what they BELIEVE right now.  But also really awesome.

Maddy-  "Mom we had a talk in class the other day.  We were talking about Religions.  Our teacher was telling us that some some people believe that God's job is to keep a balance in the Universe.  Yin and Yang.  It made me think of you.  You are always telling us to 'find your balance'.  I agree with you.  I think that there is an up and down to everything.  I think life is about finding your balance.  And I have to pray a lot to find mine."

Sweet angel babyface.

Finn- (finn didn't know this BUT before we had the convo below, i had been doing another meditation experiment.  i had been trying to visualize what the energy of love would look like coming out of a person's body.  like i would try to have a warm, shiny aura full of love when i was with the kids.  esp finn.  he was getting on my nerves because he was very needy and i knew all he needed was love and attention.  so i decided to constantly visualize what love would look like ..and feel like coming out of my body and wrapping him up.  i pictured a yellowish bubble full of warm light.  weird.  i know. but not as strange as what the boy said to me a few days  after that.)

F- I feel like I'm getting sick.
M- Tell yourself NOT to get sick.
F-  I know.  I am.  I don't want to get sick.
M- I'm surprised I haven't gotten sick.  So much is going around and I have not been getting enough sleep. 
F-  Well.  I don't know if you know this or not...cause i can see things some people can't....but you sort of have this force field of love that surrounds you and I'm pretty sure it keeps you healthy.

I almost wrecked the car.  FREAKED.ME.OUT.

Stella- (talking to her favorite boy cousin)

S-  I was made to be good.  And happy.
D- That's profound. Not many people know that.
S-  You and me know that.

I sure hope that Stella knows that her WHOLE life.  She was made to be happy and good and fun and loving.  AND to find her way to help put a little more balance and love in this world. 

M- Your dad thinks Finn might have the best self-esteem of anyone in our family.  What do you think?
H- Maybe.  Or maybe me now.  Not when I was little.  But I think I do now.   Who do you think?
M- I was going to say you. 
(what's funny is that both Finn and Maddy would say themselves.  Just didn't know Hailey would.  :)
Sweet babes. 

I am so grateful.  I pray hard to teach them all they need to know to grow the way there are supposed to grow.  I never, in a million  years, imagined all they would have to teach me. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

52 Photos Project

Theme: What's outside the window?

I was a little lazy this week but this moon was outside my window last night! (taken with my iphone)

but here is the view from my driveway with my real cam...not my cell phone. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Stell on Sunday

She "helped" her Daddy do some yard work.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Best and Worst

Every time we all sit down to a meal together, we do a round of "Best and Worst". Each family member states his/her best and worst part of the day.  We do it every time we have a sit-down-family-dinner at our house and all visitors MUST participate.  (not really but stell can really put the pressure on) 
I finally remembered to write down responses.  So here ya go...our bests and worsts from yesterday...

Stella (she ALWAYS goes first) 
best- I got to sleep at Chuck's and I got to sleep in Chuck's bed.  I slept with Maddy for a while but then I woke up and went to Chuck's bed. 
worst- I felt like I was gonna throw up today but I didn't throw up. But I felt like I was going to throw up.

best- Watching Maddy's game and watching her score with her left foot
worst- My computer is messing up...Photoshop is messing up and I'm really stressed about that.

best- That I got to go shopping with Dadoo and Sandy and I got some cool stuff
worst- I have to go to school tomorrow.

best- Waking up to Stella's face cause she crawled in my bed!  AND Maddy's game.  She played a good game.
worst-  I don't really have a worst today.

best- Hanging out with CC today. Just chillin.
worst- I have lots of homework

best- Watching Maddy score
worst- Watching Melissa score (our goalie scored a goal for the otha team.  not pretty. she caught the ball and then dropped it and then somehow hit it in with her knee.  we could have won 1-0 but instead....we tied. oh well!  bet it was her worst of the day too!!)

best- I broke my scoring drought!
worst- Watching Melissa score and having to finish my project

Thursday, November 3, 2011

52 Photos Project

THEME:   A Heart

This week we had to find "a heart".  So a couple of weeks ago, I went photo location scouting with my friend Lynn.  I also had a list of things that I wanted to find that day (for my 52 photos themes) and at the top of my list I had written  look for love today!!! find your heart!.  And let me tell ya, when you go looking for can find it.  Not only that, you will realize that love lives in some crazy cool places. 
I couldn't pick just one photo.  I was finding hearts all over the place that day. 

Lesson learned:  Start paying attention.  Love really is EVERYWHERE.  :)