Thursday, December 31

top 10 of 2009

Last year on New Year's I was prompted by Tia to pick a few favorite photos from the year. I decided it would be fun to do it again this year. Some pictures are favorites because they are artistically pleasing, others because of what they mean to me, and of course the people in them (mostly my babies!) are so special to me. Here's this year's top 10 (in chronological order):

I love this picture because it is all about Max and little signs of him that are everywhere.

A first painting. I remember going to the studio and pulling out the watercolors for Max. I took this photo with my little point and shoot--I remember being so mad that I didn't have my "big girl camera" with me!

Oooh...maybe one of the very top from this year! I LOVE this picture. I love how the horses look--a little roughed up, I love the repetition and how the horses get smaller as they go towards the background.

This is a favorite for a couple reasons: check out the little halo of backlight (I'm not sure if that is the proper term--its been a while since photo class...) around Max. So pretty. Also, this picture is so emotional for me: it was taken in the doorway on the first day we had possession of our new house, and of course I was feeling a little overwhelmed and unsure of what was ahead of us!

My boys. Obviously I love this one because it has my world in it: Andrew and Max. This one was taken at a family picnic this summer. I tend to like photos without faces--I think you can capture a pure moment when people aren't paying attention to the camera.

A lucky shot: Some of our friends where over playing with Max, and I just happened to have the camera out. I walked around to the garden and saw this. So beautiful. I love the light, I love how Cassi is talking to Max, love everything about it!

Max and Opie. Precious. I love how big and little Max looks at the same time here. Look how his hair is standing up. So him. I also love how Opie is barely peeking out around the barn door. Couldn't have staged this one if I tried!

I seem to have quite a few photos this year from this vantage point. I think it is the prettiest part of our property. I think it is the color in this one that I love the most. Plus, of course there is my Max in there too!

This one is a favorite for obvious reasons: one of the first photos of our new little Cora. It's not a particularly artistic shot, but I like the little hospital stuff in it: the little hat, the blanket. Oh Cora, this one makes me so happy.

Christmas morning. The kids were in their Christmas jammies. I was experimenting with my new little flash diffuser that Santa put in my stocking and lucked out and got this. My heart is melting a little right now. Precious.

So there you have it: the top 10 of 2009! I only have one more photo to take and I will have taken 365 pictures this year--one for every day. (With minimal cheating I might add!) I am certainly going to continue with this photo-a-day project. It has become a daily habit. In the new year I am going to challenge myself to take the camera out of auto mode and try and shoot in manual mode more. I might have to pull out the photo text book from college. Honestly I get very confused with doing photo stuff in manual!!

I hope everyone has an enjoyable new year--I plan on staying at home with the babies--we may even stay in our jammies all day!

Tuesday, December 29

tractors & legos & games, oh my!

It looks like Toys R Us exploded in our living room: Max was a very good boy this year and got LOTS of Christmas toys. LOTS. Plus, baby girl's arrival brought out tons of baby stuff...the swing, the bouncy seat, etc. Oh man.

Needless to say I feel like I we are drowning in stuff! It may take me a while (days, weeks, months?) to get us all organized. I always have high organization goals for myself, but it is really hard to actually accomplish them. Sorting the toys will be especially challenging: Max doesn't forget anything. If you put a toy in storage, he notices that it is gone, even if he doesn't play with it that much. Nothing makes a 2-year-old go into orbit like "hiding" their stuff!

Oh well, I'm just going to take it one little pile at a time. I have more important things to do: like playing games with Max and cuddling Cora. Those two things are at the top of my to-do list right now!

Wednesday, December 23

max loves cora

Look at Max's face: what a proud big brother! I love how they both have their arms up above their heads.

Sigh. Too cute.

Saturday, December 19

she's here

Cora Kay Wagner arrived on December 14th, at 4:00 am! We are all enamored with our new little lady already. Big brother Max is especially fond of his new baby sister. I'm trying to soak her all in (don't you love the way newborns smell?), because I really know how fast she will grow.

I hope everyone is enjoying this special time leading up to Christmas...I know we are!

Wednesday, December 9

isn't this pretty?

The other day at the grocery I bought a pomegrante. I've always wanted to try one. When I got home I had to google how to open it/eat it. It was a little time consuming but totally worth it! I love fruit that is a little tart, so this was perfect. Plus the seeds have this nice little crunch which is enjoyable also. You just take all the little seeds out and then you can put them in a container in the refrigerator and munch on them for a couple days. The pomegrante is a pretty fruit, don't you think?

Hopefully this healthy bit of snacking balances out the extreme amount of sugar cream pie I consumed last week. (Mom, you can never bring over a whole sugar cream pie ever again. Dangerous! I appreciated it, of course...but I did eat a lot of it!) I guess it was ok considering that sugar cream pie is the state pie of Indiana. Just doing my part, being a good Hoosier you know.

I hope everyone is doing good today--don't blow away in this crazy wind! Yikes!

Sunday, December 6

our tree is leaning...

Just a little lean, not bad. I'm pretty sure that it won't fall over or anything like that. (I hope!) The people at the tree farm level it for you so when you come home all you have to do is set it down. I "okayed" the straightness of the tree there and thought it looked perfect. Hmmm. It doesn't look too bad in this picture because you can't see the whole thing:

I think we should take pictures of us pretending to hold it up--like the pictures people always take at the leaning tower of Pisa. That would be fun...

Friday, November 27

christmas tree farm

Today we took a little family outing to get our Christmas tree. Fun! (A little cold too!)

Andrew and Max pull the little tree cart out to get the perfect tree:

Timber! Max was old enough this year that he wanted to "help" Andrew cut down the tree.

Who is the strange lady in this picture? Oh--its me! I handed the camera over to Andrew so future generations will know that I too went to the tree farm.

They have a cute little area after you select your tree where you can get your picture taken with it. Last year I took Max's photo by the little height chart, so I think it will be a tradition. A guy who worked at the tree farm took a quick picture of all of us and our tree too.

I never was a big real tree fan until Andrew came along. He and his family had always gotten a real tree. The only real tree that we ever had were always the fat lopsided ones that came from a parking lot somewhere. I prefer a skinny tall tree. Well, I have been converted to a real tree person now for a few reasons: 1) They smell heavenly in your house, 2) you can get a really skinny pretty one (I think we always get one called a Canan fir) that have soft short needles, 3) and it is more of an "event" to go out in the cold and bring home a tree.

Plus, to top it all off--5 years ago Andrew proposed to me at the Christmas tree farm (not this particular one) so that sort of sealed the deal for me. Nothing like a beautiful diamond and a wonderful promise to sway you forever to the "real tree side".

That Andrew, he knew what he was doing! Of course I will always want a real tree!

Wednesday, November 25


We had our first Thanksgiving dinner of the year at my Grandma's on Sunday. Max fell asleep in the car on the way home (he was exhausted--the drive isn't that long!). I got a few pictures of my sleepy little man. I love sleepy pictures, and haven't got any of Max in a while!

I got all my Christmas shopping officially done--woo hoo! I can't believe I actually made it by my Thanksgiving deadline. I think my original goal was to have everything wrapped too, but hey, I'm pretty proud that the shopping is all done! The doctor said that our new little baby could potentially arrive any day, so now we're just waiting to see when she decides to make her arrival!

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17

something fun

My computer has a little photo booth program on it--super fun. Max gets a kick out of seeing himself on the screen, then you push the button and it does a little countdown and snaps a picture. This particular picture is really grainy because we were in our living room (aka the cave) and it is very dark. I love this picture anyway for it's "imperfect perfectness".

Tuesday, November 10

a little auction treasure

A while ago at an auction I bought a little box of goodies: old papers and workbooks. Really old. I gave two dollars for it. Fun. It was funny, Andrew was bidding it off, and I said that I'd go two dollars. His responce: "You will?" In other words: What are you going to do with this? Well, I wanted to use the old workbook pages in my little button paintings. And you never know, there may be a treasure in the bottom of that box...

I started really going through the box today at the studio. I did find a little treasure at the bottom. (Now, it is a treasure to me, but to anyone else it might not be. Eye of the beholder type thing.) At the bottom of the box there was a very old and yellowed "Royal Drawing Book".

There was all kinds of kid drawings in there. So precious. I am a doomed collector of kid artwork! I think kids' drawings are all so wonderful.

This particular drawing book seemed to be a little "how to" book with instructions on how to draw farm animals and such. Adorable. Immediately I could see the little collection all framed in Max's room. (You know you can frame just about anything and it turns it into instant artwork. That's what the magazines say anyway.) Poor Max, he'll probably never have any art in his room because I always have new ideas and am changing my mind!

The last little drawing of the cow is my personal favorite. So glad I went through this box today!

Monday, November 9

greetings from santa's workshop

So, I've been working on my Christmas to-do list for a while now. I've always wanted to be all done (wrapped, signed, sealed, ect.) with Christmas shopping/making way ahead of time, but it never seems to happen. Well, this year has to be different because our baby girl is set to arrive mid December, which will make shopping in December a little difficult...

I've been working on a few handmade things for different people, which is fun. Ideally I think it would be fun to have a Christmas where everything you give is something you make. Very pioneer days, I know. Maybe one day I'll start far enough ahead (like February?) to make that happen. I think making things for someone is a lot more fun than shopping for them. I find Christmas shopping in general to be a bit stressful, so I think that is why this idea appeals to me so much.

This week Santa's workshop is in full swing--the goal is to get everything bought/made/wrapped and put away by Thanksgiving. I think I can do it this time...

Tuesday, November 3

october pictures

I still can't believe I've made it this far in the year with only minor cheating! After a while it becomes habit to make sure you take a picture of something every day. The only bad part is that I don't have hardly any pictures of me or Andrew...I'l have to try and make a point of taking more pictures of us, as well as the ones of Max.

I think this is a project I would like to continue, even after the year is over. We'll have our new baby then, so I'll have lots of new things to take pictures of!

Monday, November 2

three years of halloween cuteness

Just for fun I thought I would take a little look back to all of Max's Halloween "looks":

Year one - Super Baby. Oh so cute. He had a little cape and tights and everything. (Plus it was comfy and cozy.)

Year two - Max the Wild Thing. Love, love, loved it. Again super cute and comfy. Max has actually just now discovered this wonderful book--he calls it the "monster book".

Year three (drum roll please...) - a Scarecrow! Again, the cuteness of his costume amazes me. Let me tell you, my amazing mom made all three of these costumes, and every year they get cuter. I think she is going to start a little collection of them at her house. So great Mom!
This scarecrow pattern was based on the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. (I LOVE the Wizard of Oz, so of course if Max was going to be a scarecrow it would have to be the "official" one.)

I changed this one to a sepia tone--so it would be like the movie. You know, before the house crashes in Munchkin Land and everything is black and white? Then it occured to me that that the scarecrow didn't make his appearance until after the movie was in color. Oh well, still fun!

Also, I hope to get more pictures of Max in his costume soon...I had a little camera issue during the costume photo shoot. You see, I am a tad absentminded (I blame it on the pregnancy) and leave things everywhere, so my memory card for my big camera was stuck in a computer at the church where I was taking pictures the night before. Gosh. So, these are not as good as I had hoped. Lesson learned. 1: Get a back up memory card or 2: Try not to forget everything!!

Hope everyone had a good Halloween! Come back tomorrow for the October photo mosaic!

Tuesday, October 27

pumpkin painting

We did a little art project the other day: pumpkin painting! I'll have to say, I think this is the first project where Max and I both worked together, but independently at the same time. He worked on his pumpkin, and I worked on mine. He was busy with his for about an hour. (In toddler time terms that is a LONG time. It is the equivalent of about 2 adult days!)

Of course we had to have a little chocolate while we worked:

Here's Max's finished pumpkin: He was so proud!

This one is mine. I could have worked a long time on this...there are so many fun things you can do with pumpkins!

We decided to save our big pumpkin to carve this week for Halloween. I think Max will enjoy that process too!

Thursday, October 22

what a pretty day

Yesterday Max and I took advantage of the pretty (and somewhat warm!) weather. The tree in our backyard is now the most beautiful shade of yellow:

Max enjoyed some much needed time in the sandbox--he also kept an eye toward the road for any farm machinery.

"Mom! A tractor!" (One would think that this child would grow accustomed to seeing tractors around. Nope. Loves them every time!)

I look at this picture and realize that my little baby is all grown up. Sigh.

We also caught some lady bugs. I think they were actually those gross stink bug things. Oh well, we caught them all the same!

Monday, October 19

totally fall

Today Max and I enjoyed a very nice fall day. We went with our friend Carissa to the apple orchard. We fed some animals at the little petting zoo, picked out (a bunch!) of apples, got apple donuts (hello delicious!), and had Max pose with a bunch of pumpkins:

After the orchard, we went to see Andrew in the field:

Of course I had to have Max pose for more pictures. Luckily Max is still pretty cooperative with all my photo requests. (He likes to see the picture in the camera after I take it.) It will be a sad day when he starts making bad faces for the camera!

Saturday, October 17

yesterday we made cookies

Yesterday I really wanted chocolate chip cookies. I had to scrounge around to get all the ingredients together: I was short a little butter, so I had to add a little margarine. (I'm kind of a real butter purist when it comes to cookies!) We didn't have enough chocolate chips, but luckily I had some M&Ms around the house that we could use.

Max is really into helping me cook anything. He wants to help and gets upset if he misses any action...especially if it involves stirring.

Our cookies turned out pretty good. Max certainly approved!