Friday, December 30, 2011

Photo Friday 2011 ~ 51 ~

Last post of the year!  That flew by in a flash...I must be getting old because when you are young everyone says how time flies and you are thinking, yeah, whatever, and then all of a sudden you know exactly what they were talking about.  I meant to post about Christmas this week, but once again I didn't get around to it.  I'm still going to do it though because I have a lot of things that I want to remember and if I don't blog them I'll completely forget.  We had a ton of fun this year.  My kids are the perfect ages to really get into all the magic of Christmas.  I took a ton of photos this week, but there are only a couple that I love.  I had a hard time this week with photography because it seemed I needed to use my flash for everything.  It is just too dark in most people's homes unless the subject is sitting mostly still and let's face it, kids are not known for their ability in that area.  And you can get some really nice bokeh with the Christmas lights so I was kinda bummed since my flash seems to ruin it.  I did turn the flash off for some of them and those are the ones I love.  I got a lot of blurry ones in the process though but it was worth it.  Here are my favorites...

I don't know why, but I love black and white Christmas photos.  I think maybe it's the way they appear timeless.  I love the lights in the background of this shot! 

Another shot of my girl.  She was just relaxing on her new gigantic teddy bear from her grandmama.  I love the look of contentment on her face as she watches people open presents.

I had to include a shot of my boy.  Here he is with his new paper jamz guitar.  I think he's pretty much the cutest rock star ever.  I hope someday he learns to play the guitar for real!

I'll do another post with some stories from our Christmases.  We still have one more to go to tomorrow!  Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Photo Friday 2011 ~ 50 ~

Wow...I just realized that I am almost done with another entire year of Photo Fridays!  I can't believe that I actually stuck with it for 2 whole years!  That's like a miracle for me...I tend to get bored easily.  So, the question I keep doing it?  It just started out as a challenge to myself to pick up my camera more, and it has definitely done it's job.  I think lately I've gotten a little lazy about my creativity though, but at least I'm still posting something which is better than nothing, right?  I kind of want to do something new next year, only problem is that I have no idea what to do.  If you have any ideas for me, let me know.  Back to this week.  Honestly if it weren't for this project I definitely wouldn't have picked up my camera because I have been way too busy getting ready for Christmas!  I've gotten a lot of the presents wrapped (that just happened last night though) but I still have a bunch more to do.  I even still have shopping to do!  What can I say...I work best under pressure.  So, this week's photo is nothing spectacular, but I did get a little self portrait.

The distortion from the ornament makes my camera lens look huge!  I like how you can see the room behind me.  

I was going through all my old Christmas photos yesterday (this might have something to do with why I still have presents to buy and wrap!) and I knew a little collage of all of my kids' Christmases would be fun.  So I put this together and I love it.  These photos aren't great (actually most of them are pretty bad) but they are of my sweet babies and I love them.  And now I really need to remember to take a photo of the two of them together each Christmas so I can keep adding to it every year!  I seriously cannot believe how fast the years are flying by.

Have a wonderful Christmas weekend!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Photo Friday 2011 ~ 49 ~

Another week has flown by without me blogging.  I always start the week with good intentions and I even have a whole list of blog ideas but I just can't seem to keep up!  Even on days when I feel like I've got it together I still seem to find something to distract me.  Part of it is the time of year and just trying to get all the little Christmas things done.  I did get my cards ordered and I'm hoping to address them all over the weekend.  That's one thing off my list.  I've still got a ton of shopping to do too.  And to top it off I thought I'd earn myself a little extra Christmas money by painting my Grandpa's kitchen including the ceiling.  I've got the ceiling done and I'm hoping to get the walls done today and tomorrow.  I just glanced at my calendar and realized I need 6 dozen cookies by Monday night too!   I'm trying to enjoy the holiday...and I will...I think it will help when the kids are home.  Having them around just helps me to get in the spirit.  I have some fun things I want to do with them including going ice skating and going to the train display.  I'm sure we'll find plenty of ways to fill the days, we always do, even if it's just something simple like watching a Christmas movie or drinking hot chocolate.  Okay, getting back on topic here...let me talk about this week's photos.  We went to see Santa on Sunday!  "SANTA!!  I know him!" - name that movie.  :)  We went to Keehner Park where they have a little log cabin and host a little Pioneer Christmas thing.  We not only saw Santa but got to sample goodies from the time period, like venison chili and apple pie.  It was really fun.  We went straight from church because I wanted the kids to be in their Christmas clothes and we got there early and were the first ones.  I think we might have to make it a yearly tradition.

My kids posing on the porch of the cabin.  If it looks familiar it's because I use this location for photo shoots sometimes!  By the way, why does my son have to have his mouth open all the time in pictures?!!  It drives me crazy!

As I was taking pictures Santa came out the front door and surprised my kids! 

A shot from inside the cabin with the tree.  I had to use my flash because it the only light in there was from candles!  My daughter wasn't sure if he was the real Santa because his voice sounded kinda weird to her.  She said it wasn't deep enough.  :)  They think the real Santa is at the museum (the one we saw last year) so we might have to go visit him too.

Just a shot of my pretty girl.

This isn't a great example of photography or anything, but I found it when I was going through my photos I took this week and I just thought I'd share it anyway.  My kids were in the Christmas program at our church and they have a "cherub choir" of 2 to 5 year olds.  My son was the oldest one, but I don't think he sang more than a couple of words.  He wasn't really into it this year.  That's my cute niece and nephew on the left.      Click here to see my post from 2 years ago about it (I must have missed last year).  I'm sad this was the last year for me to have a kid in this!  

Have a great weekend, everyone!  Hopefully you are getting in the Christmas spirit!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Photo Friday 2011 ~ 48 ~

My favorite photos this week were taken during bath night.  My kids still love a good bubble bath.  I wasn't sure if I should post a photo of my daughter, but she gave me permission and it's just her face, so I figured what the heck...  I know that the days of them goofing off in a bubble bath are very numbered, so when my daughter started making bubble beards and told me to take a picture so she could see what she looked like I knew that I had to do it.  Here you go...

Pretty impressive bubble beard, don't you think?!

I love this photo.  I love the grain, the ambiguity of not really know what is going on, and of course, I love her profile.  That's her hair that's blurred in the foreground.

I love this so much that I wish it weren't taken in the bathtub so I could frame it!  I actually have a lot of good photos of him in the bathtub for some reason.  I think I'm gonna need to do a collage on my bathroom wall.

I love this kid's laugh so much!!  Really, it's infectious.  

Have a great weekend!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Photo Friday 2011 ~ 47 ~

I got my camera out last night thinking I would go outside to take a photo of one of my kids for this weekly project since they were outside with the neighbor girls enjoying the sunny late afternoon.  I've always thought these girls were really beautiful, but the older girl who always wears her hair up in a ponytail happened to have her hair down and she was even more beautiful.  So...I did what any self respecting photographer would do...I told her to stand over there and let me take her photo (and ditched my previous plans of taking photos of my own kids).  She was so happy to oblige.  I think she's about 11 years old or so and I'm starting to think that tweens are my favorite age to photograph.  They don't have any of the ridiculous insecurities that the older girls have and yet they are old enough to take direction really well.  She actually told me "I love myself".  How great is that?  When was the last time I said that about myself?  I wonder what it is that causes us girls/women to lose that attitude and at what age it begins to happen.  I really want to encourage any mom's of tweens to really consider having a photo shoot done for them (and I'm not just saying that because I want you to hire me, but of course, I would love it if you did). :)  I think it's so great for them to see beautiful photographs of themselves during this critical time of developing their concepts of beauty.  I actually had this girl come in and look at her photo on the computer because I wanted her to see it and she wanted to see it.  She thought it looked awesome, had a smile of satisfaction on her face, and promptly turned around and told me she was going back outside to play.  And I think that's exactly the reaction I wanted.  She confirmed to herself that she was beautiful and 'loved herself', but she didn't dwell on it and there was not an ounce of conceit there. That's probably what makes her so beautiful to me!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Lake of Dreams ~ A Book Review ~

I joined the BlogHer Book Club recently and my first assignment was to read and review "The Lake of Dreams" by Kim Edwards.  I was very excited to read this book as the description seemed so compelling.  This book is about Lucy, who has lived abroad for many years after leaving her hometown upon her father's tragic death when she was in high school.  She comes back to see her mother after she was in a car wreck and she rediscovers the relationships with her family while delving into some old family secrets.  She discovered a pamphlet and a piece of fabric locked away in her room and she is driven to find out about why some of her ancestors where seemingly erased from the family history.  It seemed to me like it would be a great mystery and there would be some scandalous things revealed about her family's past.   

Turns out, this book did not meet my expectations.  It was very slow at first and I had a hard time relating to Lucy, the main character as she seemed lacking in the qualities that you expect from someone that you want to root for.  She has no real direction or purpose and she isn't particularly likeable either.  She sort of 'ran away' in the midst of her father's death and life went on without her and when she comes home she is surprised by this?  She's not a teenager anymore and I would have expected her to have more depth.  The 'mystery' part of the story turned out to be rather dull as well, sort of like Lucy's personality.  It revolved around women's suffrage and some stained glass windows.  Not exactly riveting stuff.  The story did get really good though when it was being told from the perspective of the ancestor through some old letters that Lucy finds.   Had the whole book been told by her this would be a very different review.  Lucy does discover things about herself and her father's death and in the end everything ties together very nicely.  I wish she had spent more time on these things rather than on the other tedious things she tended to focus on.

Although I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book to my friends, it does have some very lovely imagery. The author is obviously a good writer and she does a great job of making you feel as if you are right there as her descriptions of the scenery are very detailed (this also contributes to the slow pace of the book though). Overall, I am not regretful that I read this book, but it was obviously not one of my favorites.  

If you'd like to find out more about this book and read some other reviews, hop on over to the BlogHer Book Club page and join in.  Note:  This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Clubs but the opinions expressed are my own.


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