Friday, December 31

top ten of 2010

Happy New Year to you! To wrap up the year I dug through my photos from 2010 and pulled out my top ten (favorites). It was tough--I had quite a few to pick from! There wasn't any rhyme or reason to what I picked. These were all just ones I really really like. They all just have that "ooohh I like that" factor. Very technical, I know. In no particular order:

1. These were roses that I brought home from my grandma's funeral. They were the prettiest, softest pink. I took apart the arrangement from the florist and put them in my little blue Ball jar. Love that blue. Plus when I see these flowers I automatically think of Grandma.

2. Cora girl. This was the day after Christmas at Andrew's parents' house. I think she was about partied out. I hope I will always remember how she just lays on her blankie when she's sleepy. Precious. I think this photo speaks so much about what was going on--I love it for that reason too.

3. Max and I were baking and I stopped to take this. I like the brown eggs, the big negative space in the lower right. (Oh how I love negative space in photos!) The only thing that would make this picture better would be if the counter top was butcher block...or granite... Oh wait, that would make the kitchen better. Just think of all the beautiful food photos!

4. Sigh. Just love this. Love how Cora's outfit is a little too small (adorable hearts on her tummy!), love how she is looking right at the horse. This will probably be one of my favorites of her for a long time.

5. Our pretty/ugly kitty Lucy. I had just started practicing with my new lens--a prime lens (no zoom) that will go down to an aperture of 1.8--when I hit the trifecta: perfect light, interesting subject, awesome focus/blur. Love it.

6. This was taken of Andrew's dad, "Big Max", at Farmland's Good Ole Days. He and Andrew had been giving horse and wagon rides all day, and this was towards the end of the day. I love this because it is so Max. I love it when you take a picture of someone--usually without them knowing you are doing it--and you capture something that is really natural and "them".

7. This picture isn't perfect, but it is at the same time. I wish Cora didn't have her bib on, and that Max had on something brighter. That makes it not perfect. But, it was just us being us: Playing outside--I think Cora was still in her jammies--and enjoying being together.

8. Look at those cheeks! Max is just like me: when we get too hot our cheeks get so flushed. This is one of the last pictures I took of Max where I think he looks like a little boy. From here on out the pictures of him look so much older!

9. Another Max! I just love the crispness of this picture. I also love the natural smile. When kids start to get older you have to sneak up on them to get a really natural happy face--usually they start to have that fake smile going on!

10. Nope, this isn't Cora--but it very well could have been! This was of my friend Carissa's baby when she was brand new. Again, I love the negative space of this picture, plus that sweet little foot. Something about the light is so pretty too. You know how newborns have that wonderful "new baby" smell? It sounds like I am taking about a car, but any mom will know what I am taking about. This picture makes me think of that wonderful baby smell!

I hope you enjoyed some of my favorites from this last year. I need to go through my photos and finalize my pictures for this year by picking which one I want for each day, then send them off to be printed. Another 365 days, another 365 photos! (With minimal cheating--I am so proud of myself!)

I am so glad that I started doing this project, and am excited to work on my photography by doing it again in 2011. I am going to take a little different approach this year where I put them in the album and do a little writing that goes along with it. The "little bit at a time" approach instead of the "try to remember what day this was and do it all at once" method.

Have I mentioned that I love January? I have lots of things that I want to share in the coming weeks!!

Wednesday, December 29

um....hello!

Hello! I feel as though we have just resurfaced after a lot of Christmas celebrating! We had a lot of fun, family, food, and toys going on around here. Toys. Lots and lots and lots of toys. Max and Cora are blessed little babies for sure.

Now that it is almost time to take the tree down, my thoughts drift forward to January and the new year. I love January. I have my new (so clean and pretty!) Moleskine planner all ready to go, a stack of January magazines to look through, and lots of ideas and aspirations for the new year.

More to come later!

Wednesday, December 15

she's one

Yesterday our baby girl turned one. One? Really?

Max "helped" me take her teddy bear pictures yesterday:

This second one is probably my most favorite teddy bear picture to date. Oh I love the blur in the back, and that sweet foot in focus in the front. (I am a sucker for "the blur".)

Now that I have two full sets of teddy bear pictures (one for Cora, one for Max) I really am anxious to get them framed up to display in the house. If I ever get it done I will be sure to share the finished project!

Saturday, December 11

o christmas tree

Yesterday we got our Christmas tree! It was a beautiful and fairly warm day, (compared to the weather we've been having!), so it was a perfect day for tree cutting.

The first thing we did when we got to the tree farm was to put the kids in front of the measuring tree to try and get a photo of both of them. Good in theory. Cora wasn't quite feeling it. Par for the course! How funny that last year when we got our tree Cora wasn't even here, and this year she can stand up all alone. Crazy! Max looks especially tall in this picture. I think it is the pom pom on his hat. It must add a couple inches.

On to the cutting. Max was very excited. We let him carry the saw. (That might have been poor parental judgement, but he did fine with it.)


After the tree fell over we discovered that the trunk was shaped like a heart. How neat!


The annual photo. How fun. Wouldn't it be neat to have a Christmas display of all our yearly tree photos? I'll add it to my (loooong!) list of projects.

If you live in the area, and are in the market for a fresh tree, I highly suggest Sickels Tree Farm. You will have fun!

Wednesday, December 1

hello december

December came to us in a light dusting of snow. So festive and beautiful--a wonderful first day of December indeed. By February the snow gets old, but now it is such a welcome sight. Max has been so excited all day. As soon as he saw the snow falling he started talk of snow angels and snowmen. I tried to explain that their wasn't enough snow to make an angel, and it wasn't wet enough for a snowman.

He was, of course, devastated.

So, when we went out he attempted to make a snow angel. It didn't really work, but he was happy that he got to try.


Here's to December, and all that it brings. (More snow for my little boy, I hope!)

Tuesday, November 30

so I'm a little behind

I have been terrible with my pictures lately! (More than usual!) November is quickly coming to an end, so I thought I'd better get my act together and organize all my photos for October. I am starting to feel a little lazy about this project, but I think I want to continue to do it next year. In my mind's eye I can see volumes of photo-a-day albums lining our bookshelves, and can also see Max and Cora pulling them down to find the years when they were small. This has been, and will continue to be, a fairly simple way to record our days.

Maybe next year I need to put a new twist on it to keep it fresh and interesting. I would love to continue to work on my photography skills, so maybe each week could focus on a different skill I'm trying to master. Still recording each day, but adding more technical focus. Maybe.

All I know is that I want to keep taking lots of pictures!

Now if I could only figure out a good system to organize all of them. My poor laptop is starting to buckle under the sheer volume of photographs...

Wednesday, November 17

christmas cards

Christmas cards you ask? Already? Yes. I absolutely love Christmas cards, and feel the need to prep them early. I think that Christmas cards are one of my favorite things about Christmastime. Love thinking of ideas for ours, love getting them all ordered, love sending them, love checking the mail every day to see who sent us one.

So, today I took the children to my studio (pretty light in there!) for our Christmas card photo shoot.

I had great plans. The kids had on cute and somewhat coordinating outfits. I had props: I bought these really neat and humongous candy cane lollipops and candy canes.

Too bad that trying to get my children to both look happy in the same shot is next to impossible. Too bad the props were very sticky and left bright red goo on Max's face. So, my friends, I present the Christmas card photo shoot out-takes! These are the best ones. There were lots.

Max tends to squeeze poor Cora whenever she is on his lap, and she of course hates it.

Hating it even more:

I actually did get one semi-good photo that I think will make it to the card. If all else fails, I think this shall be this year's design:

Oh man, I love that picture. I love how Max looks very angelic and is smiling beautifully and how Cora just looks annoyed and is so over it.

Oh well. I think that I will treasure these out-take pictures much more than the "real" Christmas card picture in years to come!

Wednesday, November 10

after her nap


Oh how I love Cora after her nap: happy, smelling sweetly of sleep. Reaching over the rail on her crib. Usually some sheet marks on her rosy cheeks.

Freeze. I wish I could freeze those after nap moments somewhere so I could take them out and experience them later when she's bigger.

So happy I thought to open up the curtain and take a picture of something so everyday, so her.

Love you so much baby girl.

Friday, November 5

a fun photo project

I love projects. I have lots of decorating projects that run around in my mind, but very few of them ever come to fruition. (I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I am a bit of a perfectionist--therefore I resist doing things unless I have time to do them perfectly. I have little free time, so nothing gets done. This could be a post in itself! Is anyone else this way?)

So, the fact that I got a little decorating project finished is cause for celebration. That, and my perfectionist self is happy with it. Double good.

We will begin with the wall that was "Beigeland" above my couch. Wall=beige. Couch=beige. Cool window=beige-ish. Boring. (The old window we found at my studio, and it has been in a closet up there for about 4 years. It is so neat, but I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with it. Mom helped me hang it above the couch.) The window is really neat and had lots of character, but it needed some color or something...

I started out with three small wreaths hanging from turquoise ribbons. (Sorry, no photo.) It was ok, but just not me. So, I decided to go through some of my favorite pictures and treat the window panes as frames. I love photos, I LOVE things in grid patterns, so I thought this would be neat:

I suppose that the wall is still "Beigeland", but at least it has more interest now! Each pane on the window measured almost exactly 12 inches. I wanted the photos to have a little breathing room, so I needed to order pictures in a 10x10 size. I ordered them from an online photo printing company that I had never tried before called Persnickety Prints. They had fairly inexpensive prices on odd photo sizes, so I decided to try them. I was very happy! I got all eight photos printed and shipped for $20 and some change. Not bad! I love a project that is on the cheap side! The best part about this is that I can switch out the pictures as I have new favorites, or with the seasons. I bet color photographs would change the whole look. I just attached the photos to the panes with Scotch tape. I'm sure that is a "no no" or something, but it seems to be working just fine.

What happened to the beautiful painting that used to hang above the couch? In case you were wondering (Lindsay!) I moved it above our bed. It looks even prettier in this room. Cora loves it too. I think she already has an eye for fine art.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, November 3

"max man & robin"

I know that I am a few days late with the Halloween photos. I know you have all been waiting anxiously to see Max and Cora in all their cuteness. I have a couple reasons for why these pictures are a little later than I would have liked: 1. We had a little Halloween party on Sunday. I managed to get zero pictures of Max and Cora together. No prob. I just thought I would put the costumes back on the next day for a little photo shoot. 2. The next day I had the bit of a flu something-or-other and spent the day wrapped in a blanket sipping chicken broth while the children ran amuck. 3. In general I have been a bit of a bad blogger as of late...

Anyway, better late than never! We put the costumes back on this afternoon (it was sooo beautiful out!) and had some fun. After some unsuccessful posed photos, the kids just played and I shot away. A story began to develop in my mind...


One Halloween day, in the town of Farmville, a crisis was brewing. Things were too neat! Things were in piles! There wasn't a mess anywhere! How could this be? Luckily the townspeople knew who to call on...Max Man and Robin! They were the best heros for fighting neatness. They could tackle a clean room in no time.

The Max signal was sent out. But the only one to arrive was young Robin. Where was Max Man?

Robin was good, but she needed the wisdom and expertise of Max Man in order to make a mess of this neat bucket of corn!

Wait! Who is that running in the distance? It's Max Man! Never fear townspeople of Farmville. Max Man to the rescue!


Together Max Man and Robin tackled the neat bucket of corn. They would make a mess of it in no time. Neatness could not win!

Max Man helped young Robin to load up a dump truck with corn. She was to scatter it about. Oh no! Not now Georgia! There are messes to be made!

Max Man helped out once again and together he and Robin pushed the dump truck and scattered the corn around everywhere. Take that!

Max Man surveys the job well done. Neatness didn't stand a chance with these two heroes of mess!


Quick heroes! To the Maxmobile!

THE END

*Thank you Nana for making such wonderful costumes for Max and Cora. Adorable.

**Sorry Andrew if that corn was in a bucket for a reason. You will have to take that up with the heroes themselves.

Wednesday, October 27

"high winds"

Yesterday, the weather was bad. Really bad. I was feeling anxious about it all morning, because in general I have a fear of storms. Storms and lightning. So, when Chuck the weather man predicted thunderstorms for yesterday, I naturally didn't want to leave the house.

Oh man.

We were struck by what the National Weather Service has called "high winds". Or, from my personal account, a tornado. I'll just start by saying that we are all safe. By the sweet grace of God all of us up on our little hill are ok. Our house suffered relatively minor damage: a few upstairs windows broke and blew out, and a part of our metal roof is now flapping in the breeze.

Our "man shed" however, did not fare well. (The "man shed" was Andrew's place for all his tools/workshop stuff, and random things and furniture that we didn't have room for in the house.) Now, the miracle in all of this is that the trailer (yes we have a trailer up on our property) was not damaged, and it was in a very close proximity to the man shed. Long story short on the trailer: when we bought this house a year and a half ago, the old woman who once lived in the big house still lived in the trailer. Miss Laveda is a 92-year-old widow who has spent 70+ years of her life here on this farm. She is a sweetheart. So, when we bought the place we agreed that she could stay here on the farm as long as she was able to.)

Back to the tornado, oh, I mean "high winds". The kids and I were going about our usual late morning stuff: Max was watching a tv show, and Cora had just had her bottle. I was watching the sky and pacing about. The rain started and it seemed to be raining straight down. No high winds yet. All of the sudden the winds started. Max was now at the door watching all of his outside toys blow around. The wind started blowing--really blowing. I've never seen anything like it. Then, I saw the man shed get lifted off the ground. I was already holding Cora, so I just grabbed Max by the arm and literally drug him through the kitchen and down to the basement. He hit his head on a kitchen chair on the way, so he stared crying, and that made Cora cry. After what seemed like minutes I had the three of us down in the basement. We perched ourselves on the last step and prayed. And then we waited.

When we came back up we saw this:


This looks more tornado rather than high winds, don't you think?

Did you see that little cement bear in the last picture? I'm not really a fan of him, but I didn't want to get rid of him because I think he belongs to Miss Laveda and I think she likes him. He did not move an inch. Go figure.

So, yes, I am still afraid of storms. The weather is crazy strong--I am now an eyewitness to that. I will not hesitate to go to the basement from now on! I do think that I will outfit our basement with some sort of storm kit. A plastic tub with water, flashlight, etc...

Rest in peace Man Shed!

Wednesday, October 20

scenes from an auction

We had an auction about a month ago that was especially pleasing to the eye. Or I thought it was, anyway. It was a small country auction. Red barn, antiques, cute stuff, etc. It do remember that it was very hot on the night of this auction--it was during those few days in September that were in the mid 90's. I've been meaning to post these pictures for a while now. I hope you enjoy them!

Blue Ball jars...my favorite!


Hello there creepy doll!!

Whenever I see random chairs at auctions I always have to fight the urge to bid on them. I have visions of repainting them in fun colors...

Monday, October 11

september's pictures


Oh how I love a month with 30 days. All the pictures end up in a nice even grid. Love that. I hate it when there are 31 days and that poor day 31 dangles out there all alone on the last row! Oh well.

The funny thing about this month: I either really like the picture for each day, or it was a really lazy picture and I don't like it. (Lazy picture being one that I just shot--usually with my flash after dark--without much thought.) I would really like each picture to be one that I like, but I guess the point is that I can look back at each photo and remember something we did that day. The picture does trigger some memory, which makes this project so worthwhile!

Friday, October 1

cora meets the playground

We went to the church playground today. Such a pretty day. Cora was a big fan. She loved the swing...

She really liked the little bouncy horses...

I really liked watching her.

I tried to take some photos of Max, but he was not having it. I took a couple and he said: "I'm done taking pictures now." Darn. Oh well. He had lots of running and jumping to do. That is way more important to him than pictures.