{Project 26 - 'a day in my life'}

So this has been my life lately.  This post couldn't have come at a crazier time.  We've moved! Yes, so I'm surrounded by boxes and things that don't fit into spots in the house yet.  We didn't move far only from Mesa to Scottsdale. To add to the craziness this week, we have a broken washing machine, broken ice maker and broken garbage disposal - fun stuff!  The most painful thing right now is the washer...we have laundry piling up so high there's no place to hide it. And to make matters worse there are NO LAUNDROMATS in Scottsdale.  NONE.  Really?  Crazy, so I have to think of plan B.  Plan B, be stinky for a while. ;-)  I never knew how dependent  I was on my washing machine.  Anyway, I'll figure out something and just be stinky until we get a new one (not really, we're going to find a laundromat this weekend).  So as we're navigating through our maze of boxes we've also prepared for the last week of school.  Today was the last day (yesterday now when I actually post this)!  And with that comes projects, making teachers gifts, and just living in the moment with my kids soaking up every last moment of them being in the 1st and 3rd grade.  These are days, hours, minutes and seconds that I'll never get back so I'm living in the them without the worry of all the deadlines I have that I've tried to press pause on.  Those deadlines are still there but they weren't going to take away from the time I wanted to spend with my kids.  Some of these pictures were taken with my iPhone (just a warning).  This is not just 'one day' it's a few....more like the span of a week.  :)

The first picture below was taken the night the kids had their last camp out in the backyard at the June Street house. Serious excitement for these kids and 100's of mosquito bites in the morning.  ;-)  It was worth it I think. {iPhone pic}

The photo below was taken on our last night in the June Street house.  We all camped out in our room.  Such a fun memory for all of us. {iPhone pic crappy...sorry}

Brielle encouraged me to take an unpacking break so she could swim the day we moved in.  :) So funny, she plugs her nose just like me when jumping in the pool.  She used to be able to jump without the pain of doing that but I guess she's seen me do that too many times.  LOL

Preview Changes

Tyler not too sure about our move, feeling a little down we left our old neighborhood.  I never see him down, this was unusual and lasted about 3 days. :(  My heart broke.  But he likes it here now and has a friend in the neighborhood that he loves to play with.  Yay!

Another iPhone pic below.  The only way to keep August from getting in the movers way when we were moving in was to use the counter as a 'babysitter' so their he layed while we hurried around the house moving boxes and furniture in.

The last few days of school....poorly documented but I got a few quick shots here and there.  This has been my life...my kids, their school, their happy little carefree world.   Below - Ty and his buddies in class.

The Kickball Gang:  Tyler and his buddies at recess getting ready to play kickball.   

Tyler getting an award in class :)  MVP - or MVS (Most Valuable Student) award.  He was so proud.

Brielle and her friend Kara.  Playing at recess. So sweet seeing them play.

Hula-Hoop Conga Line Brielle started at recess.  Such happy 1st graders.

 Brielle lost her first upper front tooth the night before and was shaking with excitement eager to show her class her new smile and the wing prints the tooth fairy left for her the night before.

Articles written, invoices sent, photos edited, etc....all fueled with Starbucks Green Tea while the kids are in school. {iPhone pic}

So this week has been a very busy crazy week for this circle so I will be posting links to other's in the circle soon.  It hit us all at the same time.  Check back soon for links :)

UPDATE:  Check out the amazing Martha Schuster for a peek at a day in her life.  You'll be so glad you did.  Love her post!!

{Project Twenty-Six on Friday's - 'can you guess my favorite childhood book?'}

I'm excited about this weeks Project 26 - Can you guess my favorite childhood book? How fun!!  I love things like this since I can take it in so many different directions. I didn't know quite what this entailed and what angle to take so I just ran with what I was thinking - it's a 'modern twist' on a classic.  So with these little clues I have shown in pictures I was only able to incorporate 2 characters since I didn't have more peeps or the time to really delve into getting a cast together lol.  So there are MAJOR pieces left out of this story but I think you'll be able to get it - a few of the images will give it away. Tell me your guesses and I'll post the answer later today at the bottom of this post.  After guessing click on Val's link continue the circle -  Val | The red balloon photography.  The circle is smaller this week, but that's just temporary.

So, do you think you know my 'favorite childhood book'?  You have to have it with the clues - right?  Some of you may have forgotten the boy with the bone in his hand....hmmmm.  I wanna hear your guesses.  Thanks for playing :)

Note:  the house photo {second picture from the bottom} - was taken by Katie Marshall who kindly allowed me to use her image.  Thanks so much Katie!!

UPDATE:  Yes!!  Many of you were right!  It's Hansel & Gretel.  Here' my silly book cover for the story :)   Thanks for playing!

{Project 26 - 'Once Upon A Time'}

I love this week's theme!  The possibilities are endless, but I had to stick to only one...that was hard.  In my closet I've been storing my old ballerina dress that I wore when I was little.  My mother made it so it has even more meaning.  I didn't think it would fit Brielle yet, but with a little pinning it was perfect!  It was surreal seeing my baby girl in MY ballerina dress.  I never imagined having a little girl that might someday wear it.  It easily became the inspiration for this project. Once upon a time....

Thanks for reading to my silly little fairy tale :) We could've done a cinemagraph like last week again but I opted to just focus on the theme so you may see a few more cinemagraphs in the circle.  Click Val | The red balloon photography to see what Val did for this weeks project.  And don't forget to click through all of the links to complete the circle.

{Happy Valentine's Day!}

Happy Valentine's Day!!  Are you doing anything special today?  My kids came home from school so excited and on a fun little sugar high (yay!).  I spent part of the day at school living vicariously through them, remembering Valentine's Day and the excitement I felt passing out my Valentine's to my classmates when I was young.  I love that this school embraces holidays and celebrations - it's part of childhood memories that I think are so important.  Both kids class had a little celebration and it was so fun to be a part of it.

I've had several e-mail and friends at school asked me how I made these cards.   The mustache is an overlay (from Oh Snap Boutique)  that I added to the image and I made the chevron background paper in photoshop.  Added text and printed then off a little smaller than the size of a business card.   I used my home printer an Epson Artisan 810.  And the trick I finally found was in the printer settings (not in the normal place you'd think it would be... in a later box that is easily dismissed.  You need to choose the specific type of paper and the image quality via the drop-down menus.   With this printers set up it's not intuitive and I was ready to toss it since it printed images so badly.  But then I discovered this part.  You have to do it each time you print pictures though, a bit of a pain but worth it.

Here's the little tags we made for our Valentine's day treats.  :)  We had fun making them.

Tonight we're celebrating by just being together.  Jeff and I typically don't do anything for each other but we still enjoy the holiday and make it fun for the kids.  Sometimes a card and an extra smooch and we're happy.  Hope you have a great Valentine's Day!

{My Velvet Owl Interview - Women In Business}

Heidi of owner of the 'Velvet Owl' asked me a while ago if she could interview me for her 'Women in Business' series.  I was flattered.  She posted the interview on her blog today.

This past fall, the kids, Jeff and I went out to do a family session in timer mode.  Always a challenge but worth a try.  I never posted those images.  I have more but since I'm in a hurry I'll start with just these.  Jeff and I are never alone in pictures....so we let the kids run around so we could have some pictures of just the two of us.  We were laughing most of the time but there were a couple of serious ones lol.   And me with the kids (again, rare for us).   Thank for popping by!

{Project Twenty-Six On Friday's 'let's get close' - Phoenix Children's Photographer}

It's that time again...it's the 2nd post of Project Twenty-Six! Here's the first weeks post.   The theme this time is 'let's get close'.  That could mean sooooo many things, so my mind was reeling with thoughts and ideas this week.  It could mean 'close' as in relationships?  It could mean 'close' as in macro shot close?  It could mean 'close' as in proximity close?  I couldn't decide what route to take so I kind of did a  little bit of everything. The first photo above, I focused on unique lighting but if you look closely you can still see the theme 'let's get close'.  Did you find it?  Keep looking.  Yep, it's Brielle looking closely at a ribbon she was trying to un-knot to put on August our pup.  But this image was taken later in the day than the pictures below.  It was after dusk and her room was dark except for the night sky where the moon was shining in.  I set my camera at ISO 6400 (hence the grain) and I put my shutter-speed at 1/20th of a second.   This picture was a bit haunting when I saw it on my computer screen.  Brielle is afraid of her room.  She doesn't like that she can see herself in the mirror from her bed, she thinks that ghosts will get her and she's afraid of  the tissue pom-poms we had hung up but have since taken down.  I've tried to soothe her fears but it's not working to well...slowly we'll get there.  But in looking at this picture I did find it a bit haunting.  Her room is bright and cheery during the day...at night it takes on a different look.

My other takes on this theme - {below} macro of Brielle's eyelashes.

Brielle looking 'closely' in her toy box for the perfect accessory for August, our boy dog, to wear. ;o)

{below}  August, not too sure about being in her babydoll's high chair - Brielle getting close, trying to talk him into liking it. ;o)

{below}  love between Brielle and Auggy.  He's such a good little dog putting up with her dressing him up.

{below}  I saw Ty & B together on Tuesday afternoon reading and grabbed my camera since they were perfect for this 'let's get close' theme. Brielle reading to Ty one of her favorite books since she was a baby.  This was also Ty's favorite book.  When he was 15 months old he wouldn't sleep in his crib without this book with him.  We always handed it to him turned to his favorite page.  That page is very worn now.  We'll never get rid of it - it's so special to both kids.

Now check out Kara Jo’s  project 26 ‘view from up here’ post – Kara Jo Memphis Newborn and Child Photographer and continue to click through the  links to see the whole circle.  Oh and guess what?!   We have a new member - Jessica Drossin - one of my favorite people. Check back again in 2 weeks for our next theme.


It's still Christmas in our house {blush}

I know, I'm embarrassed to admit this but based on a FB post I made, I'm not alone {whew!}.  Our tree is still up and will be coming down this week - hopefully.  Things have just been too crazy to 'de-Christmas' the house, plus I kind of like it.   I turn on the light when it's pitch black out in the mornings as the kids are eating their breakfast.  It's soothing and the kids like it too.  Although, Tyler did say this morning 'Don't you think we should take the tree down soon Mom?'.  He's right.  And if a child says that....I probably need to listen ;-)


So since it's still Christmas-y here I thought I'd do a teeny holiday post recap.

Below is our holiday card... only so much I can do with self-timer  for the family one lol.  The kids look a little gangsa with their non-smiles here.  But we got it done in 15 minutes then they got to run around and play.  Reward!

We did a lot of baking!!  I became addicted to these yummy cookies and have to work them off my thighs now ;-)  Recipe below too!

We made gingerbread houses.  I have more pics but to be honest the houses looked like candy threw up all over them so they weren't very picturesque  but they were made with loving little hands :) and I'll have the pictures forever to remember.

A gift we spent most of the month working on...for both sets of Grandparents.  It's a handmade book with interviews, summary of key events in 2011 as remembered by both kids, pictures, drawings, and other artwork.  Such a fun gift!!

August, our dog got tortured with the various holiday costume we had for him.  He's since forgiven us.

We did the Polar Express in Williams, AZ with friends!  It was also, crazy sweater themed (within our group of 44) so below you may spy some envy-worthy sweaters.  My husbands, on loan from his friend Po, lit up.  It was lovely!


Brielle's Letter to Santa - left for him on Christmas Eve.  The spelling was all her own so don't judge ;-)


Brielle always rearranging the ornaments I have on the tree.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are off to a great New Year!  :)

{Project Twenty-Six on Fridays 'View from Up Here' - Phoenix Children's Photographer }

I'm so excited about this exciting challenge I've been asked to be a part of.  And what a great group of ladies to do this with!  As photographers, we're always looking for ways to challenge ourselves.  So this year I am taking on an exciting new challenge - the 26 week project.  It is similar to the 52 week project most of you are familiar with, except this year we are working on techniques along with our themes.  The themes for our 26 week project will be more thought provoking, so it will be fun to see the different interpretations from all the participants in this group (12 of us total).  I am working along with 11 other AMAZING photographers  who will be challenging me as the year goes on.  Each month we will have a different technique we are working on, and each week (well, every other week really) we will have a new theme.

For the month of January, our technique is unique lighting and our theme is “view from up here”. For this challenge I took on the perspective of moving away from lowering myself to my subject's level like most of us do in portrait photography.  Instead, I stayed higher than my subject, Brielle & Tyler, and saw things from a different angle.  The first image (above this) was not taken from up high but instead focused on the light and it's slight haziness filtering around Brielle but not necessarily 'backlit', more side lit.  The images below show more of  the theme - my 'view from up here'.

After reading this post , be sure to continue clicking through the different photographers links (I'll link one below) so you can see the complete circle.  And come back in 2 weeks to see our next theme, you don’t want to miss it!

Now check out Kara Jo's (yes, another Kara!) project 26 'view from up here' post - Kara Jo Memphis Newborn and Child Photographer




{First Day of School 2011}

Yes, it's true....summer is over and the new school year has begun.  I still can't believe I have a 3rd and a 1st grader - I feel so old.  And they are growing up far too fast (I know, I say that all the time).  I have a mix of emotions:  I'm happy, I'm sad, I'm excited, I'm anxious, I'm overwelmed, I'm ready, I'm so not ready.  I just want to stop time - put it in a bottle and save it for later.

Here are my munchkins in the courtyard before jumping in the car to head to school.  Tyler was beyond excited and couldn't sleep at all the night before.  He came to our room 3 times and I finally had him sleep with us.  Every time I rolled over he'd whisper 'Mom?  I'm so excited for school.'.  It melted me.  He has the same enthusiasm for school I had as a kid and remember how he feels - exactly. You can see how the kids felt from their picture - it's written all over their sweet faces.  Tyler was excited, confident and ready.  Brielle was nervous and cautious with a little bit of hidden excitement :)  They both ended up having an amazing day!  I was so excited to hear all about it.  We celebrated the first day by going to Golden Spoon and getting an ice cream with some friends.  We also celebrated the end of the first day of school with a breakfast dinner (their request).  And I prepared little notes for the kids at their place setting.  They loved it and felt special that the spotlight was on them.  I wished my video camera battery had been working - it was the cutest to see them get so in the letters and read them out-loud taking turns answering the questions.  They wanted more questions so we kept going with  the Q&A ;o)  It was a fun-packed, exciting, butterflies in their tummies filled day and they both fell right to sleep after kiss and hugs.