Thursday, April 24

fun times

It was the end of an era yesterday. I don't remember how much I have mentioned our little neighbor lady here on the blog. In a nutshell, here's the story: When we moved to this farm about five years ago we had an instant, very close neighbor. Close as in she lived in a little blue trailer in our front yard. Miss Laveda had lived up here on our hill for 70 years or so. Raised her family here. When the big farmhouse was too much for her, her family put a trailer on the property for her. They rented out the farmhouse for several years before we eventually bought it. So, in essence, our farm came with a little old lady and a little blue trailer.

Miss Laveda was the sweetest thing. She was very sharp and witty. She loved our kids and gave them chocolate. Laveda watched us often from the comfort of her tidy trailer. I would often look over and see her lace curtain drawn to the side of the window by her chair, and know she was enjoying watching the kids run and play.

Laveda passed away about a year ago. So, since then her trailer sat empty in our yard. I didn't mind it being there at all when she was here, but after she was gone I was so ready for the trailer to leave too. So, yesterday, the trailer went on its merry way, and we of course (in true Laveda fashion) sat in our chairs and watched:

My mom was even here for the excitement. It was fun to see that little house drive away. It baffles me how a house can be all packed up and taken away like that. I know its not rocket science or anything, but it is neat to watch. It is also fun that our yard seems to have doubled in size. Fun times all around. To quote my father-in-law: "I don't think we've had this much fun since the eighth grade picnic!" (That's for you Big Max. Waving!)

Monday, April 14

ruby slippers

One of my most very favorite movies growing up was the Wizard of Oz. My mom taped it when it was on TV, and I proceeded to watch it every day. Oh how I loved Dorothy and those ruby slippers. Last fall Cora watched the Wizard of Oz for the first time. I was slightly worried about the scary parts (you know, the monkeys) but she was only fascinated. There are some people who are terrified of those monkeys, and some who aren't. Luckily we fell into the not afraid category. Little Ada loves the movie too. When the tornado comes she runs around yelling: "Dorothy!". Just like Auntie Em does. It is so fun to introduce your children to things that you love, and have them love it too.

For her birthday, my mom found Cora her very own pair of Dorothy shoes. They have the bows, and even little heels. So Cora, of course, has been wearing them everywhere for the past 4 months. To church, to tap class, to play outside. My first thought was to reserve the shoes for only "special" things, but that is silly. We shall wear the glitter off them…and cover them with mud.

I love taking pictures of the kids' things. Toys, shoes, clothes, blankets. I think it preserves a little bit more of their history for them. I've noticed that they love seeing their things in pictures too. When looking through our photo books they are always very quick to point out their toys, their outfits, etc. I love this photo of Cora's shoes, and it tells me as much about her right now as a portrait of her face would. Glitter and mud, that girl.

Wednesday, March 26

perspectives and a little color

I've still been taking lots of pictures over here. Maybe not one a day, but one most days. For me, right now, I think that is enough. I may try to go back and get them all organized sometime. Or I might not. I have great intentions on this go back and organize idea, but honestly it probably won't happen. I think to have a photo a day series really pan out for me I have to take, upload, edit, rename, and put in a folder all in the same day. If I get behind even a couple days I lose momentum. One day, one day.

The bright news is that I am still taking tons of pictures. That, of course, is the whole point. Here are a few colorful photos for you…all of which have a little play with perspective:

The girls and their babies. Cora is usually found with her baby doll Ellie. Ellie used to be my doll when I was little. (Only he was a boy, and his name was Gabriel!) Because Ada usually likes to do what Cora does, she likes to play babies too. I shot this in our bathroom. I like the "looking down" perspective of this one, only showing the baby stuff and the girls' little hands.

Cropping can help you take a photo with a little different perspective. This was taken on Ada's second birthday after her nap. Even though her face is cropped out, the picture still tells a story. Her Elmo, her outfit, her hands. I really love photos like this. Also, by cropping out her face you can't even tell that she was crying. Ada didn't give a hoot about me getting a sentimental shot of her on her birthday. She just wanted out of her crib! (Look closely on the left and you can see her little leg trying to climb out! Creative cropping saves the day!)

Andrew brought me flowers the other night just because. I love "just because" surprises! These roses were the prettiest coral color. When I take photos of flowers I love the unique perspective of shooting them from underneath. The underside of flowers are so pretty!

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 19

today she's two

Happy birthday to you Ada girl. Two! So big. Lately you love playing with your babies, watching movies, (you are a little preoccupied with the DVD player. I think that is why you love to watch movies!) and squinting your eyes when you talk. Hence the eye squinting photos above. You also love princesses like your big sister and think your shirt should always have one on it. You have the best little sense of humor, and love to make people laugh.

Here's to you baby girl...I'm so lucky to be your mom!

*Photos above were taken and edited on my phone. I mashed them together in photoshop to make a little photo booth type strip. Fun!*

Monday, March 10

so different and very alike

If you know my two eldest children, you know that they are very different. Very. Max and Cora tend to butt heads often, and I think they do this partially because they are so different. Max likes to have things and do things a certain way, and most the time Cora just likes to not do things his way to push his buttons. This can be exhausting.

So, this morning when I was uploading pictures from my camera I was struck (and delighted) by the similar feel of these two photos taken two days apart:

Now, there are differences here as well. Cora's photo is a little bit dramatic (so is she) because the sun was streaming in directly on her from the window. Max was also in evening window light, but the light here was diffused by the curtain.

I absolutely love how these two look together. I like them on their own too, but together they just work. Can you see how they are almost opposites in terms of light and dark? Cora's photo is mostly dark, while Max is mostly light. Max's photo tugs at my heart. He is getting so big, but in this photo I am reminded of his baby face. Sigh. If I was a person who printed out photos, I would display these together somehow. (Are other people as terrible as I am about having photos printed? Please tell me you are so I don't feel so bad!)

I love it when I am surprised by what I capture with my camera. I didn't plan these photos out in any way, (like I said, they were taken two days apart) but they just fit together like they are meant to be together. As I went through the pictures on my computer I felt like God just dropped a little present in my lap. Well look at that, I thought. So fun.

Thursday, March 6


I am still attempting to take a picture every day. I'm not sharing them here all that often, which means I have several daily photos just sitting on my computer. So, I decided to share one (from January) of my little sister girls:

They are pretty precious with each other and I honestly think they are the happiest when they are together! I took this on a Sunday afternoon when we were all just playing upstairs. Love them!

Thursday, February 27

a favorite spot

I'm switching gears a little bit today, and wanted to share a little favorite spot in my home. I don't know about you, but I tend to focus on all the things that need to be done/worked on/fixed up in my house. We live in an old house, so this list is never-ending. We have done a lot of things, and really changed the majority of the house in the short time we have lived here, but I always tend to think about that list of undone things. I always love looking at decorating blogs, and really love finding inspiring and pretty home photos on Pinterest. This is good, but most of the time it doesn't lead to any type of action. Mostly I just wonder how these blog people finish these projects. Do they lock their kids up? Do they have kids? Do they have more "get it done" genes than me? Probably all of those things. (Well, hopefully not the lock the kids up part.)

Anyway, on one of my Pinterest sessions I came across this lovely photo:

I've tracked down the original source of this photo to a blog called 320 Sycamore. Pretty, right? I had a very empty wall in our small downstairs bathroom and I thought this might be perfect. So, with a little help I actually did it! (I always need help. I so admire you ladies who know how to do power tools and just go for it. I am neither savvy or decisive enough for any of this do-it-yourself madness.) My mom helped me get some shelves at Lowes. They were stained, and I really had my heart set on white, so she and my stepdad painted them. Like I said, I had help. Here's my version of that lovely Pinterest bathroom:

Once the shelves were up it was time for the fun part: putting all the stuff on them. One afternoon I literally walked around the house and found stuff to put on the shelves. I love it when you just search for stuff in your own house and don't actually buy stuff! I originally thought that the shelves would add a lot of much needed storage, but in reality they mostly look pretty. I do store toilet paper in that pretty basket on the lower left, and Q-tips in a little jar along with cotton rounds in the little glass dish. (I received a gift in that basket a long time ago, and got the little dish on clearance from Target a while back. The old books came from auctions.)

Don't you love this little Brownie camera? I think I would like to start collecting them. I have two. The first one belonged to my grandma. Ed, Andrew's auctioneering partner, gave this second one to me after an auction. I think he bought a bag and this happened to be in the bottom of the bag. Lucky me! The picture of the dome is actually a postcard I bought in college when I visited Italy. There is a second postcard full of beautiful Italian script on the bottom shelf. I framed that one along with a Polaroid that Max took of our apple trees. The cute little clock came from Hobby Lobby.

This adorable photo is a card given to me by my friend Lindsay. I love love love this card, and am so happy I finally have a spot for it.

That green frame came from Hobby Lobby, as did the empty one with it. I literally found it under my bed. I was thinking that I would put something in that frame, but I really sort of like it empty. That turquoise bowl was also an auction purchase. I keep our clippers and tweezers and other like items in there. Oh--see that pretty turquoise drawer thing? (Scroll back up to the top to see the whole thing…) Andrew and I got that on our anniversary trip to Brown County last November. We found it at an antique mall. It had a plain little black knob on it, which Andrew "replaced" with that pretty clear one. By replaced, I mean he accidentally detached the front of the drawer from the rest of that little box and so now the whole thing is non-working. How's that sentence structure? Terrible? I thought so. The drawer doesn't work, but it still looks cute. I was thinking that eventually it would be the perfect place to hold band-aids.

I absolutely love this little spot in my house. I like that it didn't cost much money, and that several little things I had around the house now have a little spot. I'm happy when I go in this room because I love these shelves. There are such good memories attached to lots of these things: postcards from a dream trip to Italy, a photo by my boy, antiques from fun trips and great people. Ideally the rest of my house would be decorated in such a meaningful and collected way.

Right now the rest of my house is decorated with Cocoa Krispies and Legos. I'm mostly kidding.