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.  :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A day in the life...

So Stella hasn't been feeling all that well lately. She's a little snuffly (not too bad) and she has these little sores on the corners of her mouth that we can't seem to get rid of. After taking photos every day for the last 9 days, I decided to take the day off today. AND I decided to keep Stella home. I was so excited to have some time to actually relax and maybe do some editing without a ton of interruptions. I also assumed Stell would rest and relax. But you know...sometimes things just don't go according to plan.

The day started as usual, I got Finn up first and then the big girls followed. I drove Finn to school today (instead of H) and came back home to find S still in bed. Hallelujah! I scrambled to get a few things done before she woke up. After putting dishes in dishwasher, I sat down to check FB and maybe edit a photo or two.

Then, we heard Stell call out from her room. She wanted me. This is where things start to get interesting. I got up to go in her room and Nick (decided to be funny) jumped in front of me to get to her first. So I chased that fool down and knocked that big goof outta the way and BAM slammed my little baby toe into her little wooden baby crib at the foot of her bed. I knew at that moment that today was going to be a little different than I'd planned. I tried not to cry as I did my yoga breathing through the pain and I managed to squeak out a "Hi baby" before Nick could talk to her. It was funny and it hurt like crazy...and I was torn between tears and laughter for a few moments. Nick was polite and didn't laugh at me...cause he knew he probably better not.

Next, Stell let me lie down while she watched TV (which was AWESOME) and I think I must have slept through 2 episodes of Bubble Guppies before she said, "Mom...can I please have breakfast now?" I looked at the clock, it was 9:52!! So I guiltily said, "Sure."
As we were having our cereal and bagels, she started her mealtime ritual of I SPY and KNOCK KNOCK jokes. She finally said,

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Fork who?
Fork you!!

Fits of laughter spewed out of her as I sat there dumbfounded thinking...did she just tell me off??

Then we set off to the bathroom to do our "chores" and she helped me clean the sink and the bathtub. She scrubbed and cleaned and I tried to keep up with my job of cleaning her new "clean-up" messes as fast as she could make them. Then she sat back, admired her work and said, "I sure do a good job." And what do you think she wanted to do after all of that hard scrubbing on the tub? Well, take a bath in that shiny thing of course. So I ran her bath, gathered her toys, tossed her in and ran to sit at the computer for a few seconds. Then I felt guilty about sitting and remembered laundry. I ran down to take clothes out of dryer..put new clothes in dryer...started new load and then I ran upstairs to fold them. While I was putting dish towels away, I noticed crumbs on the counter. I can't stand crumbs on the counter so I wiped them away. Then scrubbed the sink was dirty. Then I had to sweep the crumbs that fell on the floor. Then I thought, COMPUTER? Edit a couple photos?? So I went to back down, opened one photo and as soon as it popped up on the screen, she yelled, "Hey Mom. I'd like some more toys please." Oh Lord. Well, she said please. So after a couple of "Wait a seconds" I went to get her more toys. Went back to computer. 2 min later I heard, "I'm ready to get out now." Of course you are. So she got out, we got her dressed and settled with a pile of new toys to play with.

I rushed back to computer to edit a few photos. I had literally been sitting for 5 min. and I hadn't even gotten to my photos yet cause I had to update my status on FB for goodness sakes. And here came Nick. Sweet thing. Came home to surprise us for lunch. He gave me the of-course-you-are-on-the-computer-why-haven't-you-answered-my-texts look. I tried to be nice and I gave him the thanks- honey-but-I-am-not-really-hungry-yet-cause-we -ate-breakfast-late speech...and he looked a little wilted. He brought his favorite yummy Greek wraps from The Fresh Market and some lentil soup. Even though I wasn't hungry, I ate it. I had to. I mean can't eat a wrap's just not good later. So we all ate together quickly and I ran back upstairs to attempt editing again. I was thinking maybe he will entertain her for a bit while he's home. Crap. His phone rang. It's all over.

.....yep. she came...Trotted right over and said,
"Mommy, I am going to tell you a story...

There once was a little, little baby and his name was Pink Foot.
And he grew and grew and grew and grew and grew
and he liked smores. If people gave him smores, he would sing a song to them.
The End

"Awesome. Hey, if you want, you can go play with toys in your room. Or watch a show in my room. OR play out here in the living room. But I reallllly need to do a little photo work right now."

S- MOM!!! Do you know what 3+3 is??
M-Yes I do.
S- IT'S 6!! 6!! MOM!!!! IT'S SIX!!!!
M- Yes. I know. 
S- What's 2+2? 
S- What's 2+2 Mom?  MOM!!!
S- Correct!
M- Yes it it. Hey, about those photos??
S- Yeah. I don't think you should do that right now.
M- Why not?
S- Cause you are on that puter ALL THE TIME.


And that, my friends, is when I gave up. I just said forget it! And went to her room to play. I guess my day off with her needs to be about her. Shheeessshh!!

Score status: Stella- like 5 or 6 Me- 0

See? The day just sort of had a mind of it's own or something. Or maybe Stella just had her own plan for our day off. In any case, by noon I felt like my day was out of my control so I just let it go. Maybe I needed to let the photos rest for a bit. Maybe I didn't really need to be on the computer at all today? Who knows?   All I know is that these type of things happens ALL the time.  My plans change ALL the time.  And when Nick and the kids get home, they STILL wonder why I seem tired and/or frustrated when I've been at home all day.

I guess maybe I will do photos later. Like at midnight. When all is quiet?!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Birthday Boy!

How did he get this old??
He's so smart.
 He's so talented.
He's so much fun!!!
And I love him to pieces.