{Project 26 - 'It's time to reflect'}

This project theme came at a really good but busy time.  Three days ago my baby girl turned 7.  There was a lot of reflecting on the day she was born as well as fond memories of her being super little.  We had an amazing day celebrating Brielle.  Now that she's 7 she wants her ears pierced.  So this weekend guess what we'll be doing?  Yes, she's growing up.   Below are some pics of little B when she was super little.  I love Brielle and Tyler's interaction and closeness... I hope they're always this close.  Happy 7th Birthday to my sweet little Brielle.  I love you!

And taken yesterday at our spontaneous day trip to Sedona.  I snuck this shot in of Ty and B catching fish with their hands.

The other girls in the circle will have their posts up soon (its summer time - very busy) so check back again for their links :)

{Project 26 - 'color my world'}

Wow, what a whirlwind few weeks.  My babies left to go on a 3 1/2 week adventure up the west coast with their Granparents in their RV.  Yes, that's not a typo - almost 4 weeks.  I miss them tons.  It's strange not having them here with me each day.  :(  A big part of my inspiration has left and that's hard on this momma.  But I'm keeping busy with the overwhelming number of house projects/to do's we have on our list.  So, when I was reviewing the theme for this week's project 26 my heart fell a little.  Why?  Because my kids 'color my world' and they aren't here with me.  My world is muted right now without them.  So I brainstormed and thought and finally found some 'color in my world'.  Some I couldn't photograph - like me and my husband.  No, not in that way.  I just didn't have the time to photograph us together.  That's the one thing that's been wonderful about Jeff and I being 'childless' right now - we're completely dating again.  We can have uninterrupted conversations at dinner.  There's time to be silly, light-hearted, work on projects together, have quiet talks where we can stare into each others eyes- then burst out laughing,  and reconnect like we should.  In that sense it's been amazing.  I'm trying to take advantage of the positives.  As I'm trying to organize I keep running across Brielle's art.  She'd be happy with just a pile of paper and drawing tools.  I melt every time I go through a stack of things and find her sweet work.  FaceTiming and having grandma text pictures of the kids to me each day has been a treat.   In that sense there still 'color IN my world'.

Please continue through the circle - one of my favorite photographers is up next.  Valeria Spring of The Red Balloon Photography - pure inspiration!


{Project 26- 'it's a good day for a picnic'}

This weeks project was so fun to work on.  My kids just left on an exciting road trip for 4 weeks (that's right, it's not a typo - 4 weeks).  Yeah, my heart hurts.  I had a hard time agreeing to the trip since it's so long away.  But finally I gave in...sad as that made me.  But I'm trying to think of the fun they'll have and the memories they're making.  I just can't wait to have them in my arms again.  Anyway, we squeezed this shoot in just before they left.  They had a ball doing this.  We were getting chased by bees (um, lots and lots of them) and the ants were loving us...we didn't reciprocate the love.  So we worked quickly on this shoot an the kids helped with ideas and set up  every step of the way.  There are so many more pictures to go through but I'm already late in getting this post up so I'll start with these dozen and maybe add more later.  Don't forget to go around the circle (we're all late in posting so some links might now work right away) and check out what some of the other talented ladies in our group posted today.  Jessica Drossin always posts beautiful eye candy.

{Project 26 - 'just me'}

Eeps!  It's time for another project 26 and this one was a tough one.  It's supposed to be a picture of me.  I struggle with being in front of the camera.  I'm not comfortable at all and in fact if I see a camera pointed in my direction I usually duck and hide.  I'm that fearful of being on the other side of the lens.  I wish I could get over it since I know my kids and someday grandkids will want to know who I was and what I looked like.  But still...I struggle.  So last night I finally did it...I got my iPhone out and my DSLR and stood (or sat) for a moment in front of the camera. This is 'just me'. Oh and yes, those are my scary feet...they are in need of a pedicure but I'm too cheap to get one. ;-)  and my feet are all banged up from years of abuse wearing heals. lol  Note:  these pictures break so many rules so please don't hate.    Oh and continue on to the circle and see what the other girls have posted - Jessica Drossin is sure to amaze.  The circle may be light today but should be larger in the next few days since summer makes it hard for some to post right away.

{Project 26 - 'I don't want to forget'}

Wow, this has been a crazy nutty busy two weeks!  I wish I had more time for this post since the theme means so much to me and I say this almost on a daily basis about my kids and how fast they're growing.  This would be the longest post ever if I could fit in everything I want to remember and hope to never forget.  But I'll make it short and sweet and save some if it for other posts :)

I don't want to forget home much my kids 'like' one another.  How much they depend on each other as playmates, as helpers, as company.  This is what I woke up to find the other morning.  The two curled up watching TV.  Brielle likes to grab Tyler's hand...sometimes (most of the time) he's okay with this.  Brielle sleeps in Ty's room on the weekends in the full sized lower bunk with Tyler.  I went in the other night and they were asleep holding hands.  I tried to get a picture of it but my camera wouldn't focus in the darkness :(  But went back to get Jeff so he could see.  It melted me.

I don't want to forget their carefree summer evenings.  Riding bikes in the street until dinner time.

And the silly things I see Brielle do when she's bored after being in her room for a little 'time out'.  She doesn't get them much but when she does she's either deep into a book, asleep or has changed her outfit, accessorized, or has dress-up clothes on.  And her time outs aren't very long so she's quick!  I've termed these quiet moments 'creative seclusion'.  Thankfully she doesn't get them very much, but when she does she usually comes out happy ;-)  Love my little bug!

There are so many things I don't want to ever forget.  I'm going to put a 'to be continued' on this post since I have so much more I want to share.  Old pictures, memories, stories, etc.

Continue through the circle and visit the talented Martha Schuster and see what she's posted.

{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 26 - 'Dream, Dream, Dream'}

This weeks Project 26 theme could go in sooooo many directions. The 'dream' theme fit perfect with what my kids have been talking a lot about this week.  Brielle in particular has had nightmares.  She talks about them the next morning.  So we started talking about how she can take control and turns those nightmares into dreams that make her happy and peaceful.  Then she blurted excitedly, 'I can catch my dreams'.   So we did this project's session with that in mind.  She giggled most of the time especially when we played with the stars and the hearts {they tickled her head and her face}.As I mentioned last week, we have a new addition to the group this week!  Sarah Lynn Cornish the talent behind 'My Four Hens Photography' has joined our group! Please click here to see her beautiful take on this weeks 'Dream' theme and continue through the circle of talented photographers.


{Project 26 - 'Takes My Breath Away'}

It's that time again!  We all took a little break this past week so I apologize for the lack of posting.  But we're back and excited about this weeks theme as well as some new, very talented photogs we've added to the group.   Check the circle and you'll see - oh and one more new photog will be joining us starting next week.  I love these girls and I'm excited to see their vision with this project also!

So this weeks theme had my brain spinning 'takes my breath away'.  That could be SO MANY things!  So much these days takes my breath away, some good and some bad.  I was trying to figure out what truly makes me gasp, what makes my jaw drop and what leaves me breathless.  Is it a beautiful sunset?  This week we haven't had the typical beautiful sunsets so that was out.   Is it buying a new house?  Um too stressful to talk  about - its definitely leaving me needing to take lots of deep breathes ha.  Is it when my kids give me kisses and tell me sweet stories before bed? Always, but I couldn't put that into a picture this week.  Is it a sweet note from one of my children?  Yes - I love sweet notes.  But this week I found a home that had tragically been abandoned due to a fire.   THAT took my breath away. A little strange, right?  Not something that would typically cause most to gasp.  I know.   I shouldn't have gone into the home but I couldn't turn away.  I was in awe the entire time as I carefully tip-toed through the remains of this once, beautiful home.  It was sad and eerie walking through each room of the house seeing children's books, stuffed animals, clothes, cards, notes, books, and even homework (times tables) strewn about.  I wonder what happened?  Is this family okay today?  Why were these things left behind?  Where do they live now? I was sad for them - their beautiful home was completely destroyed.  :(  I didn't touch anything.  There was a card from a child to his Grandfather on the ground surrounded in shattered glass, but I didn't open it - I kind of wished I had.  It just seemed too personal and I was already in a home I wasn't invited into so I left everything undisrupted.  It was a rainy day so the picture  below was taken inside my car looking out of my windshield toward the abandoned house.  Once I was inside I saw through one of the broken windows a playhouse in the backyard, a little tattered but it still had a sparkle of wonder.  I'm sure it was the place of many magical memories to the children who once played in there.   There was also a large pool with a built in table and seating area in the pool and a spa that was covered with boards.  It was empty except for rain water and dirt, it was faded and worn.  Again, I was sad for the family that once enjoyed happy times there.  I could've spent hours exploring, but the rain was coming down hard and the thunder rattled the house spooking me a bit.

I also added one more thing that took my breath away this past couple of weeks.  We're planning on moving soon to a neighboring city, so not too far.  But one of Brielle's classmates is feeling the pain of our move already.  The last image below is his note to Brielle.  It melts me.

Anyway, these are the things that 'took my breath away' this week.  Continue through the circle and see what Martha Schuster's  - I see the Moon Photography  posted this week.  Yes, she's new to the group!  *squeal*

One last thing that took my breath away this week.  A love note from a boy in Brielle's class.  I covered his name just in case you're wondering why there's  white space.

{Project 26 - 'Bus Stop'}

It's that time again.  It's Friday's Project 26!    This weeks theme is 'Bus Stop'.  I wasn't feeling it for 'bus stop' so I took a few steps outside of the box and used a 'stopped bus' as the inspiration for this weeks theme.  My kids don't take the bus to school (I like to drive them) so they aren't on buses regularly.  I didn't know how I was going to find a bus, let alone one I could go into.  Then I thought.  I searched.  And I found.  I can't reveal too much more than that since I didn't exactly have explicit permission.  All I can say is - I did it!  Yay.  Here's a little peak into my 'bus' theme for this weeks photo. {and yes, I can't seem to ever just post one picture, I have to have a few.}

 Check out  Valeria Zaiat |The Red Balloon Photography  Our group has been busy with work and other life happenings so participants are posting when they can. So this week has a teeny-tiny number of participants.

{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!