Monday, August 24, 2009

And... picking up where I left off.......

Wednesday was Jack's first day of kindergarten. Awww... our little guy is growing up... getting so big so fast! It's been a stressful week leading up to the first day of kindergarten, because we actually didn't know until THE NIGHT BEFORE whether Jack would be in morning or afternoon kindergarten. Thankfully, our prayers were answered, and we headed off to school bright and early on Wednesday morning! Jack was so cute and excited... he even wanted me to take lots of pictures! He smiled nicely and everything. He had a great first day!

The fun continued on Thursday with Brayden's first day of preschool. When he was reminded in the morning that it was his first day of school, he literally jumped up and started dancing around the living room! He too was more than willing to pose for some pictures. When I dropped him off in his classroom, he jumped right in and didn't even look back! In fact I had to go find him in the room so that I could say goodbye! Another baby growing up... it made for an emotional week! At pick-up time, Ms. Amy told me that he had a great first day! He can't wait to go back!

Friday we went to a birthday party for my youth minister from when I was in high school. David just celebrated his 40th birthday. Two others were celebrating their 30th birthdays. It was so great to see and catch up with many old friends! The boys had a great time too playing with the other kids, and jumping on the Tschumpers' trampoline. Two of David's kids, Leah and Rebekah, seemed to take a liking to Jack and Brayden. It was so fun to watch. :)

Last Saturday Jack started soccer. This past Saturday was his 2nd practice and game. It's amazing the difference that just one week made! Last week he was very timid and didn't seem to be paying much attention to anything. He certainly showed no aggression. This week he showed great improvement already! Look at that leg extension! He was more involved and aggressive and seemed to have a great time. He certainly worked up a sweat, too! Can't wait to see how he's doing by the end of the season in October!

Yesterday we went down to Colorado Springs for another get together with the 2Peas photographers who live in the area, and most of us brought our kids. We spent some time at Garden of the Gods, and then moved on to downtown Manitou Springs. The kids weren't quite as cooperative this time compared to last weekend... especially the kids who participated last weekend. Still we had a good time and got some great shots. I did learn though... I need to pay more attention to changing my aperture... when I have the two boys together and want a close up, I need to narrow it down!

And today! Back to school again... the weekends go by too fast! Rob stayed home from work today and took Jack to school, then we all went back to pick him up. Brayden is not much of a fan of the walk to school... but we live so close, it's silly - especially on nice days - to drive. So our solution to this problem - for now at least - is to let Brayden ride his bike when we go to pick Jack up from school. It's working out pretty well so far!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Yeah... I disappeared. I've been BURIED since last weekend's craziness. No matter how hard I try, I seem to be making zero progress on everything. :) I think I've finally got all my P365 pictures caught up though... so here goes!

As I mentioned, I was lucky enough last weekend to participate in a gathering of photographers... a group of ladies from the 2peas photography message board got together in Denver, and I tagged along. :) Friday night we had a BBQ at the home of another local Pea... who happens to live just down the road from us. She was so sweet to host all of us... including my whole family! We hung out, chatted, and then had a spontaneous maternity photo shoot in Farrah's backyard (she's pregnant and having a scheduled c-section THIS WEEK!). Well little monkey that Brayden is, he wanted it to be all about HIM! So in order to get him OUT of all the photos of Farrah at the top of the hill... I brough him and Brayden down the hill a ways and took some pix of the two of them together. They are such goobers. Such a cool setting though!

Saturday was day two with the Peas... they did a "trash the dress" photo shoot at Chatfield State Park in the morning... which I (sadly!) skipped so I could go to Jack's first soccer practice (which, by the way, was good!). In the afternoon they had an "urban kids" photo shoot in downtown Denver. Being a local, I brought the boys to be "models" for the photo shoot. :) Our little family arrived downtown early, so we wandered around, and I got some pictures of the boys. Later I was able to shoot (photograph, that is) some of the other kids too... but sadly with the chaos of about 20 photographers meant I wasn't focusing, and thus, my photos are out of focus. However, I did get this gem of the boys together - probably the best picture we have ever gotten of the two of them together. Lots more cute pix of them from the trip downtown... some of which I posted on facebook... but most of which I've hardly had a chance to look at, due to the craziness of this past week!

The last official day of the Pea Denver get together we went to the Sante Fe arts district in Denver to do an engagement photo shoot. The couple is friends with one of the other local photographers. When they volunteered to model for us a month or so ago, they were just dating, but since then, he proposed, so this was an actual engagement shoot! They were both gorgeous and couldn't go wrong... we all had a lot of fun with them. Of course, again I wasn't focusing, so I didn't notice the ginormous smudge on my camera lens till halfway through the shoot. I really enjoyed the more creative shots I got, like this one of them holding hands, but from the waist(-ish) down!

Back to real life after the photographer's weekend... Monday we had Jack's kindergarten orientation, Brayden's preschool meet 'n greet, and we picked my mom up from the airport. She was "visiting friends" in California. ;-) I brought my camera with me... I don't know why, because I hadn't gotten a picture yet that day, I guess? Wasn't quite sure what I was going to take a picture of... but DIA is a very unique structure, so I thought I'd just try and shoot it off my shoulder while driving. Really safe, right? Well it became especially comical when we circled around the passenger pick-up lanes a full FOUR TIMES... because first my mom wasn't ready, then she was on the wrong level, then we didn't see her............. and finally we were able to connect. Yipes!

Tuesday was our last day of summer. Last day off for both the boys. We stayed home and kind of laid low. And the boys played with play doh. I hate play doh. The boys love it... but to me it means little crumbled, dried up pieces of bright colored play doh all over the table, the floor, and everywhere... which *I* get to clean up. After a crazy morning though, I was glad for the break while they made a mess... at least there was peace for a few minutes. :)

I'll leave it at that for now... and catch up on the first days of school and this weekend tomorrow. I'm exhausted, and need to get to bed for now! :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Busiest weekend ever.

Okay not really. But wow, it was a crazy whirlwind few days!

Back when I started learning photography, I took a class called "12 weeks to taking better photos" on a website called 2 Peas. It's primarily a crafting/scrapbooking website, but has a big photography contingent too. As I took the class, there was a forum to participate in with questions and for feedback on photos, etc. I was still regularly visiting this site to ask my questions and what not when talk of a "Pea meetup" in Denver began. As time went on I visited this website less and less, but I was still on the mailing list for the Denver meetup.

Well this meetup happened over the weekend. About 20 photographers from around the country (and even one from Australia!) converged upon the Denver area for a get together. Several of us were locals, most were not... and all are avid photographers. I can't even imagine the net worth of the equipment that was hauled around by this group!

I definitely feel like I was at the learning/lower end of the group personally, but it was still a great group to be with and learn from and we had a ton of fun! I participated in a BBQ turned maternity shoot, an urban kids shoot in downtown Denver, and an engagement shoot in the Denver arts district on Santa Fe. I took a TON of pictures and have been so busy with all this, as well as Jack's first soccer practice, preschool meet 'n greet, kindergarten orientation, moving some furniture from my house to my brother's and my mom's, and from my brother's to my mom's, and my mom's to here... I haven't even had a chance to LOOK at the photos yet. That's my project for tonight (hopefully!). Then I promise to get working on them and share them hopefully this week!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Scrapbooking and park fun

This is the scrapbook that I was SUPPOSED to complete on Wednesday night. I knew that was two pages away from finishing up my 2004 scrapbook... the year of Jack's birth. All day I had planned to finish it after the boys went to bed. All day I had planned to take a picture of it when I finished it to use as my photo of the day, because this scrapbook was a huge accomplishment. Not that I don't have other scrapbooks... but this is the one where I *finally* caught up enough to scrapbook pictures of my kids' lives... well, only one of them in this book, but to have Jack in a scrapbook was huge, because I have been SO FAR BEHIND in my scrapbooking... not only that but had the ridiculous idea to go back to my high school pictures and start there... taking those photos out of their old albums and putting them in nice scrapbooks. Essentially, I started in 1995.

HOWEVER. Wednesday was drama day. Everything that could go wrong did. And by the time the boys were in bed, I did not want to scrapbook. I did not want to finish 2004. I did not want to take a picture of the day. So this is the book I was SUPPOSED to finish on Wednesday, but didn't. Because life happened instead.

(I did finish it Thursday - yay! I have scrapped 10 years over the course of probably two years now, maybe more... only five years to go!)

Thursday morning Chris called us up and wanted to hang out at the park, so we met him, Sarah, and Kate at O'Brien park in Parker. It was HOT! The kids cooled off with popsicles, played on the jungle gyms, played with sticks, and we had a picnic lunch. It was a fun trip and a great way to put the previous day's drama behind us. Brayden's favorite part of the day was this spinning seat thing - I really have no idea what it's called. But he fully enjoyed going around and around... especially with Uncle Chris. Here he is in mid-spin.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Yesterday and today...

Jack has recently started having his quiet time in our playroom more often than in our bedroom. It's a nice break for me to be able to get into my room during the day... and it also means he sleeps less and plays more... but sometimes he still just tuckers out and falls asleep, even in the midst of all that fun stuff. Not sure what I'll do when he gives up the rest time altogether and I no longer have MY quiet time! :)

Reading has been a struggle for me lately! I think I may have been doing too much reading and I'm burned out again. I'm fighting to get through the same book I've been reading for weeks... maybe even months? By the time I turn in for the night, I just don't FEEL like reading anymore, and during the day, I spend my time catching up on so many other things! I'm so "behind" that I have started to accumulate a pile of books on my dresser which have been passed off to me to read. I really want to read ALL of them... but the stack keeps getting bigger and bigger, as I still continue to attempt to finish the book on my nightstand! For now... I guess they just look pretty in the sunlight on my dresser! I *will* read them all............ eventually.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Week 32 Layout

Another week... another on-time layout. :) Which is a miracle because I mostly started it today. Last week I meant to say "it's amazing" that I've kept up... accidentally said "I'm amazing"... I don't feel so amazing today. I'm glad it's done! Any other P365-ers finding it harder and harder as the year goes on...??? Well along we go... 20 weeks to go! (I hate thinking about it like that, though!) So click to see a little bigger.........................

Credits: Kit is Kindergarten Crafts by Miss Mint at Peppermint Creative; Template is by M Originals; Font is Nueva Std

Remember me!?

Yeah, I've been MIA again. It's not just weekends that are crazy. It's life. The boys had a rough week and I had a hard time getting much of anything done. And first on my list was processing my first non-family (aka, not MY family), paid photo session. Woo hoo! That's finally done, and now comes the daunting tast of CATCH-UP... again!

So as I mentioned, I had my first real photo session with a client on Thursday. This client was a friend of my mom's, but still a stranger to me! She needed senior photos for her son, and also wanted some family photos with both of her kids. And... her daughter wanted to bring her dog. Thus began the party. :) They were super nice and fun and great to work with, and best of all, their pictures turned out well. Now here's hoping maybe I can get some more "real clients" because that would be fantastic! :)

Friday we took my momma to the airport for her trip to California. I took a picture of her at the airport, but in typical Mom fashion, her eyes were closed. So I decided not to use that one. We had an interesting trip home... including a potty stop on the way out of the airport, a trip to the park, needing to go home for another potty stop (of course I picked a park without a restroom), back out to the park, and then back home for yet another potty trip, because obviously I didn't learn my lesson the first time. All in all though it was fun... and at the park, I decided to try and get a new self-portrait. Apparently I picked some good light, because my eyes are sparkly! Yay!

On Saturday I got to do one of my favorite things - Scrap Mania. :) Scrap Mania is a 6 hour crop at my favorite scrapbooking store, Archiver's. Sarah and I went together with another friend of hers, Jennifer. And we had another super nice Jen at our table, too. This is the supplies I brought with me... four bulky bags of STUFF. I have worked hard recently to get my stuff organized and more transportable, and believe it or not, this is way better than it's been in awhile. Still, it's overwhelming! And I'm usually lucky to even use half of it... but I'd hate to leave anything home and then need it! ;-)

Sunday we kept busy with back-to-school shopping and a yummy dinner at the Daly's house. I was super grouchy when we got home though because... Sunday night. I always kind of crash at the end of the weekend... especially when the week before was rough... which it was. I sat on the couch and pouted and caught up on some other stuff... while my wonderful husband diligently sat at the table and worked on his resume. He is done with school, but still spends many a night at the table working... updating his resume, applying for jobs, touching base with recruiters, and constantly advertising himself and trying to find a better job. He works so hard, and we continue to just hope all his hard work will pay off with a better opportunity...... sooner rather than later!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Brayden continues to work his way through a difficult phase. In fact, both of the boys are having a rough week - honestly the worst week we've had in recent memory. Over the past couple of months though, Brayden vascillates between wanting to do everything "ALL BY MY SEWF!" or complete helplessness where he refuses to do anything without help. It's quite maddening. Amidst the chaos that was our day, I'm thankful that at least he chose to get himself dressed today. He is SO GREAT at dressing himself, so it's funny to me when he says he can't do it and needs help. He's a good year ahead of Jack in the getting dressed department... we were still prodding Jack to do anything for himself as far as dressing went at age 4. Brayden is 3. Here he's stuck pulling his shirt over his head - such a cutie. Later while putting on his shorts he says "Mommy I need HEEEEWP!" Then flipped his shorts over (they were backwards and says "Oh no. I can do it ALL BY MY SEWF!" And then started singing "All by myself." Such a goober.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Bubbles... and roasted pecans???

Last night Rob grilled pork chops for dinner. While Rob worked the grill, the boys played outside. More specifically, the boys blew bubbles... always a favorite outdoor activity. Bubble blowing is probably one of my favorite things to take pictures of - they make the cutest faces and it's so fun to see the bubbles form in kind of slow motion! And in other news, both of the boys actually TRIED the pork chops without fuss... Jack ate quite a bit and enjoyed it and well, Brayden tried it without spitting it out. So that's pretty good!

Last Friday at Castara's, she made us a delicious salad for lunch, which she has been eating quite a lot lately. Well I can see why... I've been craving it ever since! It was your standard lettuce, with goat cheese, chicken, craisins, and roasted pecans, with a creamy balsamic vinegarette dressing. Mmmmmmm!!! I've been waiting for my chance to get to the store to get my supplies to make my own! Tonight, that meant roasting my own pecans. I'm not usually one for cooking much at all - it's not my favorite thing. But I have been inspired by this yummy salad! I'm not sure how well my roasted pecans turned out, but they look and smell good, and I hope they taste good on my salad tomorrow!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Week 31 Layout

How is it possible that I am keeping up with this? I am amazing. Of course, I have yet to touch my camera today so I better get cracking. The boys - especially the little one - are having a DAY though, so it's made creativity challenging. Only got this done cuz they are SLEEPING! HALLELUJAH! Click to see it a little bigger...

Credits: Kit is Down By The Lily Pond by Mel Hains; Template is by Simply Yin; Font is Bradley Hand ITC

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The weekend!

Starting with Friday... we went up north to Erie to hang out with Castara and her boys for the morning... which quickly turned into the afternoon... and the boys all got along great! But because it was such a long day away from home, and Rob was going out to play poker with the guys for the night... I didn't feel like making dinner. SO... I got happy meals for the boys and we had a picnic dinner in the living room while having a movie night. The best part - they ate so well! Yay!

Saturday was Jack's last baseball game. We're so proud of him - he learned so much and overall had such a great season! Now, apparently, he wants to play soccer! After the game they had a little get together with the team (and donuts) and all the kids got trophies - engraved baseballs, organized by us, via Uncle Kelly! They seemed to be a pretty big hit with the kids!

Saturday was also our sweet niece Kate's 2nd birthday! We stopped by to say happy birthday and check out her birthday present (a motorized princess car) after baseball... and then her birthday party was today! Her party was at an indoor play area called Romp n' Roll in Highlands Ranch. The kids all had so much fun, and Kate was treated like the little princess that she is!