{What ________ looks like} iPhone pictures of life and travels

So this past month has been crazy with travel.  It's been amazing to see several big cities and soak them up.  I opted against carrying my heavy, big camera and decided my iPhone would provide me with some of the memories I needed to keep. Those of you who follow me on Instagram have seen some of these.  If you're on Instagram, I post a lot more pics - my name is @karaphotogirl.  I don't have many photos San Francisco  :(  so I'll start with our trip to NYC with the kids.  This was the kids first time to New York and they were so beyond excited to explore and see how big and fun this city really is.

When we got home, the first thing I did (after unpacking) was to get back to baking.  I love baking and my kids missed home baked bread.  And life was back to normal for a bit until Jeff and I headed out to Chicago…just the two of us.

Below capture some of the things we did and saw in Chicago.

So cold, but sunny… so I was happy to have my jacket with thumbholes and wrap over mittens type dealeos.

Above…the last picture I took in a suburb of Chicago.  Isn't that house so cozy looking?  I had to snap a photo of it.

We got home at midnight and the first thing Brielle showed me was how she learned to sew.  Love her enthusiasm for learning.

Life resumes at home…until our next trip. 

Thanks for looking at my iPhone photos during this months addition of What ___ looks like.  Please continue onto the circle by clicking through the links.  Next is up is Suzanne Gipson Photography.

{What_______looks like} Easter Egg Dying!

This weekend was the weekend  the kids have been waiting for.  Ever since we put up some Spring decorations, the kids have been asking when they can dye Easter Eggs.  This is one of the first times we've done Easter Egg dying this early (I know, it's not that early but for us this is a major success).  The kids woke up early and while Jeff golfed on this gorgeous sunny day, we got started on s0me fun!  Brielle takes her time and spent hours thinking and decorating her bowl of eggs.  So when Ty was done decorating his eggs, the silly antics began.  Here's a peak.

Be sure to click through the rest of the photographers and complete the circle.  The next photographer is my dear friend, Sarah Cornish with My Four Hens Photography…her work is truly breath-taking.

{What________ Looks Like} Commercial Photoshoot 'Outtakes'

Yep, we're back with a great group of talented photographers in 2014's 'What_____ Looks Like!  I loved doing this last year.  And although we got super busy and skipped a few months, it's something l look forward to.  It's a project with no rules and no boundaries and I love that!!   I'm thankful to be a part of such a supportive and fun group of fellow photographers.

So this month….I'm a little bummed.  I've been sick and my families been sick this past week.  So rather than posting photos from this week, I decided to dig into my files and find some unusual and silly outtakes from some of my commercial shoots.  I have more outtakes than I know what to do with but I grabbed just a few to share here.  In every shoot, there are outtakes.  Brielle is always excited for our shoots but she yawns, has a silly moment or has a bug fly into her eye.  I love her goofy personality.  She's so full of life and I love seeing every aspect of her personalty  during our shoots.

Complete the circle by clicking through to the next photographer, DeAnna McCasland.  Her photos are worth your time.  Stunning!!  Thanks :)



{What _____ looks like} 'the last few days of the school year'

Summer is here!  Yes, the kids are out of school and another year has quickly passed.  My momma heart has a hard time realizing and accepting that they are growing up.  I was hoping my littles would stay little forever (or at least for a lot longer than it has been).   I'm always an emotional mess as the school year comes to an end.  I want to be at everything and soak in every moment of volunteering and being with them 'in the moment' at their schools.  These years will have such a huge impact on them and I want that impact to be positive.

Sometimes I feel like that mom on the Capris Sun commercial.  You know which one I'm talking about?  (I posted the link below) I promise I'm not that protective but every time I see that commercial I laugh since that's how I feel.  Don't get me wrong, just because I want my kids happy doesn't mean I don't discipline them or hold them accountable... I definitely do.  But sometimes I wish I could protect them from every negative influence. Sigh...they're growing up and I just have to accept that.  ;)


The picture below was the morning of the last day of school.  It was pajama day!  They were pretty excited about that.

These next 3 were taken 3 days prior since we had some time to kill in the courtyard.

The second to last day of school was 'water day' for Brielle.  What a fun way to end 2nd grade!

Ty in his class autographed T-shirt (i should've taken a pic of the shirt but I wanted to capture his sweet 4th grade face).  5th grade next year - yikes!!

This last picture was the first night of summer (taken with my iPhone).  Brielle was exhausted after a full day in the sun.  Ty was full of energy on Minecraft at 10pm (I know....late.  It was an exception/celebration welcoming Summer break). I'd say the first day of summer was a success!!

Check out what Stephanie Moore posted this month and click through to complete the circle of photographers participating this month.

{What ______ looks like} 'siblings, swimming & sugar'

It's that time again!!  These are so fun and I so look forward to making sure I squeeze these into our busy life.  I usually have my iPhone camera where ever we go but this forces me to get out my big camera and capture every day fun.  This month has been nuts and I wish I could've captured more fun, simple, living in the moment fun.  This month was the opening of 'pool season' (sort of) in the May house.  Brielle was dying to go swimming so she talked her brother into coming out and jumping in with her.  They ended up only getting in to their shoulders since the water was still 70 degrees.  Ty's only a fish when the water is 80 degrees.  Brielle is normally always a fish but she only wanted to get in all the way  if her brother joined her.   Below, is a treat!  We try to really manage the amount of sugar we give our kids (don't laugh) so this was a BIG DEAL!  Cookies!  Girl Scout Cookies!  The kids made me giggle as they got these out, stacked them and then asked me for some cookies.  Yes, guilt trip!  So I made a little shoot out of it and had them wait a little.  I asked them questions and got some silly expressions.  I'm easily entertained by them. After scrolling through this post please click through the circle to see what the other talented ladies in the group have posted. I'm sure Jenny Cruger will have some amazing eye candy.

{What_____ looks like} our Saturday entertainment.

You don't  know how much I look forward to this monthly project.  It gets me used to capturing simple moments at home that I otherwise wouldn't be photographing.  This past month was a crazy busy one but I didn't want that to stop me from capturing my own families moments.  The kids are at such fun ages.  Brielle is adamant that she wears her converse boots daily (except on PE days) and her hair in a bun most every day.  I love the little person she's become.  And Tyler, still not loving to be photographed...just got his braces off!  That's HUGE!!  He looks so handsome with gleaming white teeth and his retro glasses (oh the round nerd glasses pictured further down on this post are NOT his new glasses - we were playing and he got those out).

So what is this month's post all about?  It's what our Saturday entertainment looks like.  Primarily...dressing up August with play clothes.  He doesn't love it but Brielle made sure she had treats on hand for him.  He's such a good sport!  These are the moments I want to remember.

Continue through the circle to see what the other girls posted about this month!   Click here to go the Stephanie Moore of Stephanie Moore Studio and see what she posted for this months project.

{What_____looks like} Arts & Crafts

Here I am again on the 2nd month of  'What____looks like'.  And this month it's 'Arts & Crafts'.  My kids (primarily Brielle) can't live without a coloring tool in her hand.   I find all of her art related stuff scattered all over the house.  Under the couch, in between the cushions, on her night stand, under the table, on the floor and even in the bathroom.  It's crazy but I love it!  The only time I didn't love it was when I found a marker without a cap on laying on our white carpet.  That wasn't so cute so we've had some talks about markers and capping them (and keeping them off the carpet).  Anyway, this is what arts & crafts look like (really arts...it should be) in our house.  Click on to  Jules Trandem | San Diego Family Lifestyle Photographer to see what she posted this month!

They must be photographers kids...when they saw me standing over them they both rolled over and did this.  So I went with it.  They crack me up.  Ty even said... my pencils need to be 'on me'. LOL  Okay, they'll get used to the life-style photos sooner or later...just not for some of these. ;-)


What ______ looks like! December {summarized}

I'm so excited that I was asked to be a part of this amazing group of ladies doing this great monthly project.  So what is this project?  As busy moms and photography business owners we don't take enough time to document our own families lives.  This project is dedicated to our families, our lives, our passions and whatever makes us happy.  So each month we will be posting 'What_____ looks like'.  And in the blank we can fill it with whatever we want, it could be our family, it could be the daily things that make us happy, it could be objects.  The options are endless and with that comes a unique spin on what each photographer shares.  At the end of this post I'll share the link of another talented photographer in this group from there you can click through to complete the circle.

For this first post I decided to recap some of December.  As we all know, December is a very busy month for everyone.  It's full of parties, celebrations, decorations, twinkling lights, family, baking (which I admit right now, I didn't do nearly enough of ...not a single loaf of eggnog bread this year), late nights, trips to the post office, eggnog and other fun libations, etc.  I didn't photograph near what I had hoped to this year but I was needing a breather from my camera after busy season.

Here's a little taste of Christmas at our house:

The kids doing homework by the light of the tree  Instagram pic (below)

A little comp of Christmas from my Instagram feed also

Our very messy Gingerbread houses.  The kids were soooo proud of them.  I laughed (inside) at their final product.  They also made trains and a fire pit.  Can you find the fire pit?    I love their creative mess.  So much fun!!

A little blast from the past mixed with this years photo with Santa when we did the 'North Pole Experience'.  I LOVE looking at old Santa pics. And Brielle was so entertaining in these.  This years Santa was the scariest and she was her happiest. 

Brielle, Grandma May and me at Brielle's class play 'The Gingerbread Man' .  This is the first time B had a gingerbread cookie .  She decided she liked decorating it more than eating it {not her favorite}.

Brielle spent 3 weeks of December sick.  She had strep throat and pneumonia!  Poor girl.

And we had an elf.  Like many of you this little guy stayed at our house for the month.  This was a night off  for me so when I saw what the elf was doing the next morning....I just shook my head.   Jeff.  All I can say is, Jeff.

Our neighborhood is amazing.  Have I mentioned that before?  This is our first time celebrating Christmas in this house and our neighbors invited us to their tradition of having everyone over on Christmas Eve for food, libations, friends, cheer and Santa!  Santa came in with a HUGE red bag full of gifts for the 20+ kids that were there.  Each child got Christmas PJ's from Santa as well as a toy.  Seriously?!!  Yes, it was a blast!  Such a great night and so magical and fun for the kids. We have the most amazing neighborhood!

This year Brielle and Tyler handed out ALL of the presents while Jeff and I sat and soaked it all in, just in aw that our kids were growing up and so mature and sweet about making sure everyone had a gift and watching each other open presents.  

The day after Christmas we headed to Seattle to see my family.   The kids were greeted by excited cousins.  And the playing and bonding lasted the whole trip.  This photo was taken just before saying good-bye.  They had a great time with their cousins, Grandma & Grandpa.  

We arrived home on New Year's Eve. We were a little under the weather so we had to cancel our plans with friends and just laid low at home.  We spent the evening pulling out most every game we had.  Then the kids got this 1,000 piece puzzle out.  The kids helped for about 30 minutes then they realized it was more fun to play under the table than help with the puzzle.  At 9pm we all read books.  The kids wanted to stay up till midnight so bad.  So we told them they could read quietly till midnight knowing they would fall asleep.  At 11 I went to check on them.  Brielle was out and Ty was still reading.  Groggy eyed he said excitedly,' It's almost midnight.'  We all read together for the last hour and tried to get Brielle up but she was out!   We promised Ty we'd toast with eggnogg at midnight if he made it.  And that's just what we did.  He was soooooo sweetly proud of himself for making it to see the ball drop.  Love his sweet spirit.  So this was our December - summarized. 

Now click though to Stacey Woods | Clearwater Family Photographer and see what she's posting about.  I'm excited to see myself.