Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Love this girl. {Kansas City Children's Photographer}

Just finished up a session with one of my all-time favorite baby dolls. She came all the way from South Africa to see me. Ok...not just to see me. Her mom is one of my bestest friends and this baby girl just tugs at my heart. I have at least 50 images to edit for her gallery, but these two jumped out at me as soon as I loaded them onto my computer. {Sigh} Love this girl.

I'll have plenty more to share in a few days!

Monday, July 27, 2009

10 on Tuesday

I've seen this around on several of my favorite blogs and I'm going to try it out. Maybe having a specific format will keep me current with posting. But here is my disclaimer: I may not actually get this done every Tuesday. It may at times creep to Wed. or Thurs., in which case it would become 10 on Wednesday, and that cute alliteration will be completely missed. And I may not actually have 10 interesting items to share each week. In which case it might be 7 on Wednesday...which again...doesn't have that same nice ring to it. But let's just give it a whirl anyways, shall we?

1. "The Club" has been framed and drywalled and is in the process of receiving several messy coats of mud before we fill the entire second story of our home with dust when the sanding begins. I picked out THIS new rug for the room this weekend. I heart green. I heart polka dots. I figured it was meant to be.

2. Sam had his last bottle Sunday. Monday morning I handed him a cup of milk when he woke up to which he had this reply: lunge from my arms...fall to the floor...roll to belly while screaming at the top of his lungs...throw the cup as far as humanly possible...pound fists against the floor. Lovely, huh? I actually laughed. It was pretty cute in a pathetic sort of way. I guess my inkling that he was getting a wee bit attached to his ba-ba was correct. Happy to note that he has given in (mostly) and seems to be coming around :)

3. After the above mentioned incident, Sam walked around double fisting 2 baby doll bottles for the rest of the day. He intermittently sucked on one and then the other...he held them tight for at least 3 hours. Again...funny and pathetic all rolled up together. But definitely photo worthy.

4. 21 days until I have a first grader. How did I get so old?

5. I think I'll make lemon poppy seed muffins for breakfast. That sounds nice.

6. I know you think I'm already running out of clever thing to say.

7. We did a family photo session with one of my FAVORITE gals last night. I am so excited to have finally gotten some images of my little family. After the session Sara was showing me a few images on her camera. She kept squinting and asking, "What exactly is A doing in this shot??" Yeah...welcome to my world, girl. I'm glad I'm not the only photographer who gets those crazy "smiles". I can't wait to share some of the images she took. Of course we took Charlotte along since she is like family only seemed right. We had so much fun. We spent the night laughing and of course talking shop. See how much fun we had?!? Of course she emailed me this within minutes of being home...because let's face it....I look darn hot (snort). Had to post it though because it DOES pretty much sum up our fun night :)

8. I am debating the purchasing of a new lens. The internal struggle is really getting to me. It is like an all out war between my split personalities. Do I get the Nikon lens which will cost me my life's savings and possibly my soul (or one of my children)...or the cheapo version which I will probably hate (but at least I can keep my kids)? Decisions, Decisions...

9. I just spent $84.00 on 2 pairs of shoes for my almost first grader. I find that to be nauseating to the 10th degree. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to find a nice pair of leather shoes (sans Hannah Montana) for a child in a size 13. Once they cross over into the "big girls" section it is all glitter and pleather..."stinky shoes" as my girls like to call them. In case you are wondering....we ended up with THESE for now and THESE for later. Kind of boring actually. But at least Mylie Cyrus isn't emblazoned on the sides :)

10. I just finished a banana. It was about 1 day from being truly ripe. Have you ever noticed that bananas are really only good for about a day...there is a fine balance between not-quite-ready-for-consumption and throw-in-the-freezer-for-banana-bread. I think I jumped the gun.

Alrighty folks. That's all I've got!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

seeing double {Kansas City Children's Photographer}

I'm seeing double...twice! Nothing like an early morning session with TWO SETS of twins and TWO BABIES! No need to work out later that day...I got my exercise just trying to keep them all in the same shot! And talk about cute kiddos with their matchy matchy outfits and hairbows...good work moms! And I got to put my freshly painted chairs to use that. I'm pretty sure I need one in every color...don't you think?

Can't wait to share a few more pictures of the play room too. We (I use that term loosely) made great headway this weekend!
wiring - check
drywall - check
beadboard - check
attic door - check
flooring purchased - check
lighting purchased - check

I bet you want to see a picture huh? Be back soon!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

happy in my house

I woke up in a bit of a funk today. Maybe it's sleep deprivation or the saw dust getting to me. But I am determined to snap out of it and get on with enjoying the day. So I took a 5 minute hunt through my house with camera in tow...looking for evidence of happiness. There was plenty to find.

The evidence (from left to right):
1. a kitchen table full of creative pursuits
2. new packaging for client goodies
3. happy birdies with a funny story
4. a vintage find for "the club"
5. creative tidbits cluttering my countertops
6. a reminder of my favorite people
7. a finished project (GOODBYE GOLD!)
8. the aftermath of little girls and dress-up
9. pretty baubles made from special hands
10. hard work
11. lazy mornings
12. back to school shopping with my favorite 1st grader

Lesson learned: Happiness isn't too hard to find.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"The Club"

We lost our dream house on Sunday, June 28th (the fact that I know the date shows just how scarred I was by the turn of events). Monday, June 29th we started making our wish list...things we want to do to our current home to help ourselves fall in love with it all over again. The love is still there...just buried deep within the clutter of everyday living. I still love the fresh white woodwork, the hardwood floors, and the bright open floor plan. When we bought the house my husband was salivating over the vinyl siding and 30 year comp roof. But truth be told...I'm an OLD house kind of gal. So we are working on adding in a bit of character and charm (and a bit more functionality) to our space.

First on the list: "The Club"

About a year ago my husband realized there was a great amount of space being under utilized in the attic adjacent to A's room. We began dreaming about the ultimate playroom for the girls tucked into the eaves of the house. We thought it would be a little cubby...barely enough room to stand up. A window above our garage was just visible through the crawlspace. A few weeks ago we had an architectural engineer come and look over the space. And lo and behold...he gave us permission to cut out the roof rafters (we were slightly concerned about a massive avalanche). His crew framed out the space during the couple of days my girls went to my sister's house. My sweet hubby has been wiring and insulating all week...and this weekend...the drywall goes up!

A has a giant hole in her room where the door will soon be installed! This is the view into the room before the beams were removed (we cut a hole in the "roof" so you could see the hidden window).

And this is what that area looks like now!

I am so in love! We are going to build a window bench, with cubbies for toy storage, under the window. I've got a vintage chandelier to hang from the top of the peak in the roof. And the girls just helped me pick out these cute chairs and some comfy pillows to match :)

The space is "T" shaped. Looking from the doorway to your right is a smaller cubby space.

I'd like this to be a reading nook...complete with a bookcase and a little lamp.

Looking from the doorway to your left is another small space. This one leads to another decent sized room that will be used for storage. (This means that everything in our store room can go upstairs...our store room will get finished out complete with the built-in desk and cupboards that are currently in our basement family room...and our family room will get a new "L" shaped sectional...WHEW...tired yet?)

I've also purchased a great woodland vinyl decal set from Target (couldn't find it on their website) and THESE great chalkboard decals too. Some polka dot Pottery Barn curtains, buckets, and frame mats should complete the look. I'm still trying to figure out flooring options. Anyone know a great source for cute carpet squares?

So that's "The Club". Can't wait to show you our progress!

Monday, July 20, 2009

"stay sweet"

Hard to come home from a fun filled weekend with a few of my all-time favorite gals. I met these girls in high school (a few of us go back as far as elementary school, 4-H, and even kindergarten!) I always look forward to seeing them as they are all genuinely beautiful women inside and out. We gathered together in Minnesota for the weekend and I didn't even get one mosquito bite from their state bird! But whoever ordered the chilly weather is in deep trouble. Our 4 hour boat ride (although arguably one of the most fun activities of the weekend) was so chilly we were forced to add socks to our flip-flopped feet and blankets tucked under our chins!

Our sweet, innocent driver "Kyle" was having his 19th birthday. Poor boy...stuck on a boat with a bunch of 30-something gals gossiping about their pasts. We took a few photos with him and offered to tag him on facebook. But after seeing his look of sheer horror and hearing his comment, "YOU guys are on facebook", complete with utter shock....we politely dropped the subject :)

After the ride we did our best to wash the fishy smell off so we could head out to dinner at Chino Latino. We had so much fun people watching, laughing over the menu, and screaming at each other over the loud roar. If you are in the Minneapolis area you should definitely check it out...lots of fun!

We did a quick trip through the Minneapolis Sculptor Gardens, ate at some cute little cafes, and spent COUNTLESS hours pouring over our yearbooks...amazing how much we THINK we have changed...but really haven't.

Must mention I flew Northwest...yeah. May have to be the last time. Our flight got delayed 5 HOURS going up there and they lost our luggage coming home despite the fact that we had a direct flight. But heck...I got TWO $5.00 meal vouchers so I guess I'm good.

So in honor of our weekend, girls...a fun new "senior quote" just for you :)


"Stay Sweet" you all!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

leavin on a jet plane

...for a girl's weekend. I picked up my own girly girls yesterday. We made it back to the house this afternoon just in time for me to pack up for my next adventure. My sister (The Librarian) is my hero for this week. She wore my girls out so thoroughly that they came home to me the epitome of pure exhaustion which translated to LONG naps at my house...which makes me insanely happy :)

While we were gone for 24 hours, a crew completed framed out the girl's new playroom. Don't worry...I'll be photo journaling the entire project (hurray, hurray!) Next step...electrical and drywall.

Be back Sunday with lots of pictures of my fun getaway!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

sunny disposition

I'm beginning to wonder about this milk thing. I gave Super Sam more whole milk last night...followed by another round of Screamfest 2009. Hmmm....this morning he's back to his normal sunny self though. He seems to be tolerating cheese and yogurt fine...anyone have any thoughts?

Just popped in to share a different conversion from last night's mini session :) I've still been unable to figure out why my images aren't clear on my blog. This photo is tack sharp in CS4 but if I re-size (even with an extra unsharpen mask) it loses clarity once I load it into blogger (I'm hosting it myself). So who knows the magic secret??

Which one do you like better? Color vs. Vintage?

Monday, July 13, 2009

buckaroo {Kansas City Children's Photographer}

My little buckaroo. When did you turn into a walking, jabbering, little boy?

I'm trying to rejoice in every new step...honest I am. Trying to remember each new thing. How you've learned to point with that chubby index finger at the pages in your books. How you say "Hi Dada" with a tiny, squeaky voice into your play cel phone. How you look when you smile with your teeth pressed together crooked and your nose wrinkled up. Honest I am.

But can you slow down? Don't you realize how quickly you are becoming your own little person... stretching the boundaries and searching for ways to conquer the world around you? How your once tiny fist now holds my fingers with force. How you walk with a purpose. How you laugh from the deepest depths of that chubby tummy.

Let's savor this month of silliness and long cuddles.

Let's remember who's boss. And Mommy says to quit growing baby, ok?

{Pioneer Woman's VINTAGE action}


Just coming back to share a few more snapshots from our Fourth of July celebrations. I had grand plans for an entire sibling mini photo shoot...even bought Sam a new pair of plaid shorts for the occassion. But just as the family fireworks extravaganza was about to little guy lost it. Maybe it was a reaction to the whole milk we gave him at dinner, my loud and crazy family, the loud booms echoing through the streets, or a combination of the whole spectacle. But whatever was wrong...he was determined to LET US KNOW. And by the time we got him calmed down (2 1/2 HOURS LATER)...the show was pretty much over.

So this year I'll have to settle for a few quick snapshots I took with a camera in one hand and a screaming baby in the other!

The biggest smile I got that night from Mr. Grouchy Pants (this we BEFORE the major meltdown). As you can see...he wasn't feeling it.

A's safe spot just inside the door the The Big Pink House. Apparently Sam wasn't the only one.

Maybe I'll dress them all back up and try again for a cute family shot. Or maybe we'll just hope for less screaming next year :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

sunday snippets

1. Yesterday my sister was in town for the day. We met for a quick dinner before she headed back home. Over chips and salsa I jokingly suggested to her that my girls should come home with her for the week. The next things I knew, I was rushing home to pack up their little suitcases for "Aunt Camp". An hour after dinner they were all buckled in and driving down the street ready for their new adventure...and I started missing them immediately. It's quiet here. I'm hoping to get a few projects started while they are off having a blast. This morning I woke up missing the little pitter patter of feet, missed fixing waffles with tall glasses of milk, and missed their crazy bed heads snuggling me on the couch! I took a quick snapshot of them waiting by the door with all their overnight gear :) (I didn't take the time to set up my camera...just grabbed it off the table so the settings are all funky...but the sentiment is too sweet not to share!)

2. Sam is TOTALLY into books. They are his new obsession. He carries them everywhere around the house and loves to sit and "read" them. I am dying to get a video of him babbling away with one of his books. He has the cutest little sing-songy voice that he does whenever he looks through the pages. At bedtime he goes immediately to his bookcase to pick out a book. He pulls one down, looks at the cover (he even scowls his little brow like he is really contemplating the title of the book)...and then throws it over his shoulder. He'll do that several times before he finds one that he likes. Then book in hand, he scootches his little bum toward you saying "uh-uh-uh-uh", until you pick him up and read to him. I'll never get tired of cuddling him with a good book!

3. I decided to try my hand at making some hair flowers this week. I normally buy them from vendors on etsy but I was in a hurry to get a few different colors made up. Kind of a fun little project. I'm not sure mine turned out as great as the ones I've ordered but I think they'll pass :) Now that I know how, I can continue to expand my ever-increasing stash :)

4. I realized last night (about 30 minutes after the girls left) that our family pictures with this amazing photographer are going to be hard tonight :( Can you believe I did that? I ran through the weekly calendar in my head before I let the girls out the front door and completely forgot about our session. Talk about feeling like an idiot!! Hopefully we can re-schedule as I was SO looking forward to our session.
5. Last night we pulled some cabinets off the wall in our basement. We are working on doing some re-arranging in our house. An attic space next to A's room is getting framed this week to become a new playroom for the girls. We'll also have storage space up there which will free up our store room downstairs. All of my sewing stuff will move into the old storage room (after we get it finished). Then my old sewing area will become a new family room (after we buy a couch). Kind of a big bummer when we ripped up the cabinets to find there was NO CARPET under them...OUCH. Not sure what we are going to do about that...that wasn't part of the master plan!

Hoping for lots of productivity in the next few days before I go pick up the girls. I promise to share my progress :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

week with mom = happy

I had my mom here this week. Really great. We shopped, ate lots of chocolate, dreamed up some fun plans for our house, played with the kids, went out to eat, and swam at the pool. She left this afternoon and I am already missing her.

Sorry about the lack of posts this week. I know some of you have been highly bored with my blog (I've read your emails!) I promise to share a few more things over the weekend! Just soaking up some quality time with my main gal :)

Pretty amazing to have a mom who is also your best friend.

Monday, July 6, 2009


A few weeks ago we were out driving around after a photo shoot and noticed 2 large hot air balloons sailing low in the sky. My husband (always the adventurist) quickly drove after them in pursuit. I stopped the car several times to try to get a shot of them as they floated just over our heads. We spent a few minutes following them until we realized that they were landing in a field just behind our off we went...and we made it just in time to see them land!

The lesson wasn't lost on me. I was completely mesmerized by the size of the balloons, the depth of the baskets, the ferocity of the flame which kept them off the ground....yet in the all seemed so effortless and easy.

We've been floating. Carried along by a current...unsure of our next move. But I think we are ready to land.

After 3 months of listing our house, showing our house, house hunting, house dreaming, and house decorating (mentally at least)...we lost the house. And then the floating began. What do we do next?

So we have decided to land...take a look around at the beautiful scenery right in front of our eyes...and be content with the bounty of what we already have.

We are getting pretty excited about the opportunities we have to improve our current home. We are looking into an addition that could house a small photography studio, working on creating a small playroom for the girls in an unfinished attic space, and clearing the toys from the basement so that our family can really enjoy some evening times together.

Glad we've finally landed on some decisions...and ready to get moving again!

Introducing Charlotte.

Thanks LACEY...loved all the suggestions. Some of my most favorite old fashioned names popped up and it was so hard to choose just one. But Charlotte seemed to fit...and I loved the literary Charlotte it is :) And did I mention I now have the matching chair? Oh I didn't...I guess I forgot that sweet little the in love!

Lacey...can you send me a quick email with your address so I can send a little surprise in your direction?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July celebration! We took a quick out of town trip to my sister's big pink house. Lots of food, kids, and laughter. The kids had a wonderful time getting lost in the 3 story house and the grown ups did a fair amount of stuffing our faces and laughing until our sides hurt. All in was just about perfect. Except for the 3 solid hours of crying Sam did after we tried introducing whole milk to his diet. That part...well...not so pleasant.

I had a fun time playing around with my camera during our little fireworks display. This is what you get with a ridiculously low shutter speed aimed at a cute 4 year old with a sparkler :) Lots of fun!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

2nd times a charm {Kansas City Baby Photographer}

I met up with an adorable family a few weeks ago for some 6 month photographs. But, their sweet baby girl was not into the whole photo session ordeal...and after a break for a bottle, some Daddy snuggles, and some prop re-arranging...she still wasn't feeling it. So I suggested we re-schedule. That's what I love about custom photography. Sears Portrait Studio won't do that. And I love that I have the flexibility working for myself to recognize when another day is the best option. And I'm SO thankful for wonderful clients who trust me and are willing to try again another time!

Cause we would have missed this cute smile.

And this one too :)

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE to photograph babies. Or how much I just love babies in general? I'm a total baby freak. I love how each precious child is different and so special. This little beauty had the most amazingly soft hair sprouting all over. I swear it had grown longer in the 2 weeks between our sessions. It is so soft and a fluffy little chick. And her porcelain complexion is just dreamy.

I caught this shot during our first session together and thought it was awfully sweet.

I love how a baby can make us see the wonder in the world. How looking into those beautiful eyes can give you hope and excitement about what lies ahead.

Thank you S family for trusting me with your baby girl and for making an extra trip to the park. I hope that when you see your gallery it, it will be so worth it!!