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Really cool video

This is what motherhood is all about….. (it is a little long, but really worth it….)

I love my bee’s.  I realize their uniqueness more and more each day, and it make me want to help them fly…

this is Emily, being herself, funny quirky and really funny- (I do not have any of Jay today, I will catch him in his bee-ness tomorrow 😉 )

yes, that was her brother’s underwear on her head, and perhaps one of the funniest photos I have ever seen!

Here she is just being her beautiful self…..

Trouble maker in her finest moments:

you have to look behind her to see what she is doing…… those are Q-tips…..

She is so very different then Jayden was as a baby… she is SO much more into things, so much more agile and so much more of a troublemaker…

got to love her though, she is SO darn cute, you just can NOT get mad at her…. I only wish she didn’t know that….

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Stay tuned……

Just want to pop in and say that I had a great time shooting my first wedding last weekend in Spruce Pine, NC for a lovely couple Meghan and Ian.  Meghan and Ian were gracious enough to include me in there day, and it was beautiful.  I learned a LOT about myself as a photographer… I need to focus more on details, I needed to be more assertive and I need to meet with the couple before the venue next time, and lay out really lay out what the expectations are, and how to accomplish those goals…. There were lighting challenges at this event that I did not (really could not) have anticipated, there were shots I really wanted and missed.  There were other shots I see in hindsight could have been much improved, but I think what I learned the most was that on the day of the wedding, it is your job (as the photographer) to capture the day, and the rest of it (stepping on people’s toes, being nice, etc….) doesn’t matter in the end.  If you do not stand up for the things you need, you will not get the results you want.  That is what I learned the most.  The other thing is that I learned that right now, I am NOT a wedding photographer….. I think one day I might be, or really close to it….. but right now, it is not something I can confidently say I think I am wonderful at.

A lot of the pictures I did take were wonderful, and I did love the experience…..

stay tuned for many many pics!!! I took over 1000……..lol…..

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

I have been really slack about posting this week, I am sorry about that, we have had illnesses, family, friends, and busyness going on….

The most important thing to say is HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! this is officially the last day of 2008, and I say, for the most part …… good riddance!!!  I really shouldn’t say that,  because other then the trying financial times this year has not been all that bad, but I am still optimistic that 2009 hold much more joy and happiness, as well as better times for all!!

I think the best thing about 2008 can be summed up in this video (which I received as a greeting e-card) and I loved!  It is catchy, and fun, and a great way to ring in the new year!

Christmas 2008

Sorry, I have been meaning to blog for a few days now, and I got busy:

What can you do…….

this is my all time favorite picture for this holiday season, I just love it.  I wish it were in better focus, but it is still my favorite shot.

I do not even know where to start about Christmas.  With everything that has been going on with Aaron, and his job, and money being as tight as it was, I did not think we were going to have a very large Christmas.  I could not have been more wrong.  My wonderful friends at CHARLOTTEMOMMIES.COM reached out to me, when I was too proud to admit that I wanted help, and a wonderful family adopted mine and truly taught me what they Christmas spirit is all about.  The family that wanted to give my children a wonderful Christmas has the biggest heart of pretty much any family I know.  This past year, they lost their youngest baby, a little girl named Paxton, to a rare and awful seizure disorder.  In her honor, they wanted to spend the money that they would have spent on Paxton, making another child’s Christmas special.  Emily and Paxton were only 19 days apart in age, and her story was one I followed very closely, and held very close to my heart.   Well, to put it very simply, they made our Christmas VERY special, and they will forever be in my heart.  The toys were awesome, Jayden and Emily LOVED everything, and had a BALL Christmas day.  Jayden is the kind of kid who wants to open say, 100 piece puzzle and then put it together and play with it for an hour until he is ready to open something else.  It LITERALLY took us until 7 pm to open all the presents.  It was a magical day, and I was so lucky to have been able to have it be so special for them.

This was the tree, decorated, after Santa visited…… (I put the trampoline down under the tree, and stacked the presents on it….)

I got up at the CRACK of dawn to get everything out and arranged…….this is a close up of the tree and the bounty…..

Here were Santa’s stockings…… the kids would have been happy with just these from the way they reacted…. it was hilarious.

“Socks mom, I got MORE socks!!!!!” this would be how my kid reacts to socks in his stockings…..

I also put out more snow on the patio before they got to see it, but the picture was not as great….. so just use your imagination….

I got some cute shots of Emily dressed in her Santa hat-

Some of the favorite toys of the day were a remote control car, that makes Jayden CRACK up every time it hits anything….. a basketball hoop and ball that he is desperately trying to master, this cool red bounce ball that he is prone to taking all over the living room and falling off of, multiple puzzles that he LOVES, some great books, Thomas gear that he adores, and what I call “Brain games”, things that let him learn, which really he is all about.  His cousin sent him some really cool linking blocks (thanks Maddie) and so much more it would be too long to list……

Emily, cares about ONE toy, and one toy ONLY.  Santa (aka: Paxton’s family) gave her a little pink fairy ride on toy, and I swear if you removed ALL other toys from the house, and that was the ONLY thing to play with in this whole house, she would be PERFECTLY happy.  There is a little button on the front, and it sings “In a magic fairy land, where fairies play all day…..” I SWEAR to you, it has been pressed more then 100 times since Christmas morning…… I kid you not, the kid is OBSESSED.  we may have to “lose” the batteries one of these days, but for now, she is too happy for me to care…… 

And then there was the Kitchen…….. the Kitchen was a HUGE hit, they LOVED it!!! Thanks Nanny and Granddad for sending that down!!!

I LOVE them using imaginative play, and Santa brought them a tea set, which went with the kitchen perfectly…… Emily also got a VERY nice tea set from Nanny, but that is going to be saved for tea parties 😉  The kitchen is the perfect size, and it fit just right.  Mooma sent some awesome utensils and the kids just loved playing with it…..

here is Jayden taking orders….

So, that was the bulk of our Christmas story, it really was an incredible day, I thought a lot about what Christmas means, and next year we are going to adopt a family, and make someone else’s day, as special as it was made for us.  Thank you to our family, our friends, and CHARLOTTEMOMMIES.COM.  Everyone is VERY grateful for all that we got.  

To learn more about Paxton, her family, and their story, click HERE . 

Merry Christmas to all, I hope everyone’s day was as filled with happiness and joy as ours was!

We WON!!

the Patio of the month contest that is!!

Our Apartment complex held an apartment of the month contest and the prize was $50 BUCKS!!! there were no specific “rules” just that creativity and imagination would be factors.  So I thought up an idea that we could use the four corners of our patio to be four different “parts” of Christmas.  Four different scenes.  

First there was the north pole.  There was a sign above the lamp that said “North Pole” and the letter hanging on the post was addressed to Santa, and sent from Jayden.  My picture of this after dark did not do it justice but lit up the mailbox looked really sweet.

The second corner was “Santa’s workshop”:

Which also had our little elf in the corner on the day of the judging (Friday)…..

The third corner was supposed to be “Santa’s lap” kinda like the next thing you get to do after mailing the letter to the north pole etc…. 

For the Judging we sat Jayden in the Chair with a Santa hat on, but again, I was too busy to snap a picture so I will have to get him to go sit back out there and snap another shot.  It was just our regular chair with some greenery and snow……

and then in the fourth corner was our tree.  

Last year it was rather cramped in the living room with the tree in there, and the dog and baby were SURE to bother it again this year, so we figured that since it has been in the high 60’s most days, and hasn’t gotten that cold at all, we would keep the tree outside this year, and Christmas morning would be like our own special magical adventure……. that, and the whole Santa breaks into your house thing never sat well with me, and since we are void of a chimney, I thought this would be a more logical leap for our little brainiac Jayden to make sense of……. I think the concept that the big guy leave presents on your porch make a lot more sense then anything we ever heard as a kid…..lol….. maybe this will become a tradition??

Who knows, but the “special” decorations and toys etc… are not going to be placed under or on the tree until the crack of dawn on Christmas morning….. we do not want to assume that anything would happen to them if left out now, but you never know and that is the LAST thing I want to deal with this year.

so, for now, all the ornaments on the tree are replaceable, and non-sentimental, and the “scenes” were taken in after we won, but I do think it is a very cute idea, and I think that Christmas morning will be really special this way!

More Christmas pictures are still to come, I will get them up tomorrow I think, I hope these tided you over!

here are a few more shots of the patio as the lights went down….. I think the one above is still the best shot, but these were interesting as I played with shutter speeds and what-not.

The pictures didn’t really get the “whole” picture, but hey one of these days I will have a fish angle lens right??

This was at about 5:40 (20 min after sunset)

this is about 4 min later…….

So, we got fifty bucks out of this deal, and thanks to my friend Shannon who donated the lights and reindeer and helped me with this, we only really spent about $10 bucks TOTAL for this, and that is a gross profit of $40!! Can’t beat that when it comes with this much Christmas sprit attached.  Jayden took one look, gasped and said “WOW mommy, that is BEAUTIFUL!!!!” and then proceed to BEG us to let him eat dinner out on the patio, which we all did.  Great for the spirit, great for the wallet, Happy holidays all!!

A visit to Santa…..

We took the kids to see Santa this weekend, and had a blast, thought I would share some pics….

First we met Rudolf

Then Frosty

I tried to get a cute Christmas shot of the two kids together, but they were in less then good moods 😦 they made it through the adventure, but you can tell from this picture that they really wanted to be home napping……. 

Then we saw the Big Guy himself:

Emily was trying to pretend that she was shy, and REFUSED to look at the camera.  It was VERY cute, and I tried as I might to get her to face forward, but it was to no avail…..

Then Jayden got some one on one time with Mr. Clause, and got to tell him all his wishes…….

and after his visit, he signed his name on the list of good children all by himself….

Then it was Emily’s turn to meet Rudolf…… 

and after kissing him (seriously the sweetest thing I have EVER seen)..

Emily decided to try out her position on the nice list and be a naughty girl….. she got the look of sweet devil in her eyes, and ripped off Rudolf’s nose.  I cracked up, I couldn’t help it, I apologized to the man, but we left with his bright red nose hanging off his snout, and tears of laughter silently running down my face.  Emily is such a little trouble maker, but she is SOOOO cute when she does it that it is nearly impossible to be mad at her…….

So, that was our trip to the north pole (aka: Black lion) this year, it was a lot of fun, and just thought you would all get a kick out of the photos.

learning so much…..

Sorry my posts have been so scarce and the pictures even scarcer…… I am learning a LOT about photography these days, I am really trying to take it to the next level so to speak, and I am experimenting a LOT…… this involves a LOT of screwing up, so the pictures are not always worth sharing.  Example, the other day I was trying to learn about “dragging the shutter”…… well, lets just say, there is a learning curve, because the first shot I took on what I thought were the right settings came out like this:

Now, while I personally think this is a kick ass picture in some ways (check out Gracie in the lower corner behind Aaron’s leg…) it was NOT what I was going for 😉

This is more what I was going for…..

So, that is what is delaying the pictures, lots of walking before you can run, and LOTs of messed up pictures before you get some great ones!

The other thing is that life is a little hectic, I have been watching a friends child for almost 3 weeks now, and watching 3 kids every day is draining, and not really something I am used to yet.

I did take this photo yesterday, and really liked it, but I could not figure out how to crop it zoomed in the way I wanted, so you have to look more carefully then I would have wanted….. click it for the full size image, and maybe that will help….

Look, IN the eye…..

I thought that was pretty cool….

then I took a few of the children, just to tide you all over, I PROMISE I am getting to the Christmas ones, I feel by Easter they might be done.  I am just kidding, but seriously, you can not rush good things right??

I WILL get them taken, it has just not been the right time.

here are the kiddos:

first the bath–

Jayden with more hair then he has EVER had in his whole life!!

man, they look soooo old to me these days……. ok, more to come, off to do household duties, I am feeling like a slacker……;)