BIG news coming tomorrow. I'm SO excited to finally announce my new endeavor!
In the meantime here are some random summer shots from around here...and I hate to admit that I really haven't taken many of my own kids b/c I've been so busy shooting clients...but I hope to change that in July!
Modeling their 4th of July shirts made by the awesome Allison! (NO she is STILL not online so I can't link her!)
Such a funny face... but every time I manage to SEE her two different colored eyes it just floors me.
Since the Rodeo self-destructed we're down to my old car... can you believe we can SQUEEZE three kids on that seat? Anyone have any car shopping secrets? We are total IDIOTS when it comes to things like buying a car/mini van!
I love capturing the girls in outfits they've picked out themselves!
Just those crazy faces and awesome eyes again!
Yesterday at Daddy Day Care... I got home from a sweet newborn session to find Chris alone here with our kids, our best friend's kids and two neighbor kids! SEVEN TOTAL! Apparently he called my friend Angie and said, "I'm setting up the slip n' slide if you want to drop off the girls and go run errands or something..." HA! Angie didn't blink before running the girls over here! It was incredible! I mean, I would take anyone's kids if they needed me to, but I'm not sure I would willingly add more kids to the mix just for fun! He was amazing and the kids had a blast though!
This little man. He had his 12 month doctor visit yesterday and had FOUR shots and one finger prick for lead testing! I brought the girls along to give C a break and to help distract Grayson... during his shots they stood in front of him singing at the top of their lungs to drown out his cries... it was SO cute!
His stats, for the Grandma's... 23lbs, 60% in weight and 97% in height!
He also took ONE unassisted step this morning! Just one but that's a big deal in his little life! Way to go buddy!
TODAY: Chris has ALL THREE KIDS at the grocery store and although I feel kind of bad working here at home while I know he's in a tiny bit of hell right now, I did it so many times this year I couldn't help but let out a small evil laugh as they all walked out the door! HA! Today is the one day this week i don't have a session so I am working ALL DAY LONG until my Bible study tonight. It will be nice to catch up a little. A LITTLE. And check back here tomorrow for the BIG reveal! SO excited!
The sweet sweet couple gracing my banner right now were married yesterday WAY out in the Missouri countryside at a beautiful location and even though it was hotter than hades I had an amazing time capturing their wedding day for them!
Thank you Laura, Dane and all of your family and friends for making me feel so welcome!
I will fill you in on more details later... for now the sneak peek before my eyes close for good tonight!
Oh tilt-shift... how I love thee.
This old motel was awesome!
I love this shot of Laura's mom and dad. And this next one of Dane's...
Ahhh tilt-shift. Seriously.
Oh man. I might just really be loving the whole WEDDING part of my job lately!
Hope you all had a great weekend!
ps... I really hope all the blog lurkers i met yesterday comment tonight! HA!
We love our house. We're renters but we love this house and all of it's quirks. It's an OLD farmhouse in a great area. Because it's OLD the layout is totally random and although it looks quite big on the outside, b/c the layout is so funny there really isn't that much space to work with.
So even though in the beginning we set up the house like normal people, over the last three years I've started to really USE our space instead of caring what is NORMAL. Like you know, having a table in your dining room and things like that.
I also want to mention the fact that we have never bought a regular priced piece of furniture. Actually, we've only bought one piece of furniture ever and that was a massive coffee table from Pottery Barn right after our wedding when the $1000 gift certificate was burning a hole in our pockets. It was on sale and it was big and it was awesome and now it lives in our basement. Anyway, I mention this b/c we don't have a lot of money so I have been forced to become seriously creative with my decorating. The biggest purchase I have made for decorating in the last three years was just this week and I bought some frames and a couch slip cover. Wow. So as you look at the photos today take into account that everything was either a yard sale purchase or given to us or picked up on the side of the street for free!
Anyway, so now that I don't think of our rooms as they were intended it has been amazing b/c we USE our house. Every single square inch for something useful. And the biggest thing to go was the dining room. It dawned on my one day that we NEVER used it. Oh, we have people over for dinner every once in a while and we also have beautiful china I used to have on display but it was, for the most part, a big room that was used rarely. And I like to LIVE in my space so about a year ago we took the table out and made it a craft room. And finally yesterday I finished some projects for that room that have been on my TODO list for far too long.
AND I took photos this morning and will walk you through the pieces of this room, our ATELIER if you will, and explain my thinking or planning or thoughts behind all of it.
So take this as a warning... this is a BIG post with LOTS of photos!
This is looking at one side of the room from the living room. This room is between the kitchen and living room. It has a beautiful bay window and gets GREAT light (too harsh this early in the am though!).
To the right of the kitchen door. I hung the chalk board low so the kids, even gray, could color at will. The paint palette is my old one and i just love it. The little blue bookcase was mine as a child and is now their writing center.
A better photo (kind of since the sun was streaming in, sorry) of the writing center... this has everything for WRITING. Next to it in that white container are Gray's balls to play with... it's nice to have toys for him in there.
My buffet and most coveted piece in our house. It came from a hundred year old house and was the garage work table. I painted it years ago and this HEAVY thing has been in every dining room... can you tell I actually LOVE the shabby look? HA! Anyway, storage underneath, the drawers hold random things and unfinished projects, the tray on top holds mail and my writing/cutting/punching supplies. We use this for drying artwork too.
Ok, maybe THIS is my most coveted piece! Again, taken, for free, out of an old house and painted+distressed. It looks beautiful with our china in it but it makes me happier holding my craft supplies!
Looking back towards the living room, this cabinet was bought for $3 at an estate sale and holds all of our paints.
I got this idea from my friend Sara and bought cheap 5x7 frames at Walmart to frame the kid's artwork. LOVE this addition to the room!
I labeled what I could b/c Bailey is working on letter recognition and reading will come next. It also helps baby-sitters know where things go!
Art supplies I don't mind them getting into themselves... foam stamps for paint, glue, glitter glue pens, markers, playdoh, crayons, foam stickers and colored pencils.
My supplies easy to get to... and I want to mention the mail on the cake plate. YES I could just put the mail on the tray, but I need things to be cute and to me this makes all the difference. I literally live for using things EVERYDAY that I love and I mean seriously, how many cakes do I make a year?
This little metal envelope I found somewhere for $5 (the sticker is still on the back!) and it's hanging next to the writing center so they can play MAIL, a favorite game!
The writing center...
Holds loose leaf paper, pens, pencils, #2 pencils, card stock, lined notebooks, stamps/stamp pad, stickers (lots of letter stickers) and little notebooks.
Bailey can write all of her letters and both girls LOVE to "write" in notebooks... as they get older this will evolve into hand written story books and journals I hope.
A random corner next to the big buffet table... the bottom box is literally thousands of photos printed and loose. This is a project that will haunt me for years! The red container is one I love and has no use right now and the black box holds all our ribbon/string/twine/hemp. Poster board is behind and big construction paper is next to it.
The shelves in my "china cabinet"... random things+my glue+things for the girls to glue.
Binders full of ideas or kid's artwork (by year), my journals, baby books, quote books, etc. The brown box on the bottom shelf holds my permanent markers... lots of randomness in my cabinets.
TOP: baby book STUFF and the plastic container holds cards for the kids... for every holiday/birthday I buy each kid a card, write them a note, seal it and label the outside, "Grayson's First Birthday, 2009" and when they are older I will give them all to them.
MIDDLE: My paint brushes, shaving cream (used for lots of painting projects), contact paper, tissue paper, paper dolls, paint tins, Magic Nuddles (we LOVE these), etc.
BOTTOM: Felt, embroidery floss, pipe cleaners, clay tools and my old TAPES I just can't part with!
Last cabinet... sand paper in one of my favorite pitchers (AGAIN, how often am I going to use a Pottery Barn glass pitcher around my three kids?), the girl's paint brushes and other paints, random projects.
Because this post can't get any longer, I'm going to share some of the projects in there...
There are ten of these papers, one for each number...
and the girls have to match the correct colored heart to the square. Great for Parker right now as we're working on colors AND counting.
Black paper in a baggie with chalk... great for doctor office visits!
I glued sticks to make a square and a triangle... they have to recreate them using the loose sticks... both girls like this but it's more for P's age (2).
An old muffin tin holds Boogle and Scrabble pieces... we use them to talk about letters and make up little games.
Things to glue.
We use the old Boogle container for button sorting!
I love garage sales b/c I find the most random things.. this bag of lollipop sticks for $0.25! We glue and paint with these.
Just had to share one last thing... this was an antique spice rack we got as a wedding gift and since I DO NOT cook enough to have this amount of spices I decided early on that we would collect sand or rocks from every trip we take and keep them here. Sad that we haven't been anywhere... but there are some rocks from Mount Spokane we got the day before we moved away to remember our time there and in August there will be Florida sand! Wanted to share this idea b/c I think someday it will be really fun to look at... if we can ever afford to travel!
Oh, and if you were wondering about the numbers.. I am kind of obsessed with letters and numbers that represent our family... we have a lot of A's in the house for Allen, tons of the kid's first letters and I've started collecting the number FIVE since there are 5 of us. Anyway.
Did that overwhelm you? HA! So that is our dining room/art room/creative space/school room/ATELIER... which is a term I learned HERE (a blog you should all check out if this kind of thing interests you!)
I love it. Just BEING in there makes me happy. And I love how much the girls love it... how it allows them to just CREATE whenever they want. I hope they end up loving art as much as I do! Does anyone else have a space like this in their house?
This morning we had a play date with this little girl...
Who is the BIG sister to this little girl...
And who is the LITTLE sister to this big girl...
Who is playing TOOTIE in the Muny's production of Meet Me In St. Louis this summer!
How cool is that?
If you are not from around here... the Muny is awesome and HUGE here in the STL. Check them out HERE.
So today was Elizabeth's first rehearsal, a big moment to a little actor, and while dad was taking her there and while big brother was at camp and while little sister was, oh, I don't know, enjoying day FOUR of life we thought Katherine would have fun playing with my girls!
They had a blast, although I think Bailey actually hit her, or hit the bike she was riding, or SOMETHING very unlike Bailey, which really surprised me b/c Bailey is usually so GO WITH THE FLOW and easy peasy. But B apologized and K seemed to accept it and life moved on. Oh to be 3.
So after Katherine went back home and my kids were in bed, I started this huge project randomly and rearranged our living room and dining room art room. A BIG project that I completed in less than 3 hours. GO ME! I'll have to take photos tomorrow b/c it looks awesome if I do say so myself! Little shelves at kid height full of fun things to create with, a writing center complete with pads of paper, loose-leaf paper, pens, pencils and stickers, a paint cabinet, a bean plant, a chalkboard hung at tiny people height, etc. It makes me want to color a rainbow with crayons or something!
Now C has all the kids at Sams while I'm finishing up the cleaning and in 3 hours 30+ people will invade our house for pizza. We're hosting C's soccer team for dinner before they leave for Iowa in the morning. Oh yes, he's leaving me for three days while he's at a tournament and YES I have two sessions and one wedding!
I WILL SURVIVE is just playing in my head right now! HA!
Enjoy your weekend!
***Just had to share this image of Elizabeth watching over Maggie from yesterday when I ran over for a minute to take her head shots for The Muny... so sweet!***
Is June really almost over? This summer is flying by!
And I'm finding that during my shoot-a-million-times-a-month seasons my blog is filled with my clients and not so filled with ME. Or US.
And in the end, or the BEGINNING, this blog was about US. Our family. So that someday, years down the road, I would have something to look back on and remember how in the hell I survived three kids under three, or two under two, or three in diapers, or living on NO sleep.
So here we go. Catching up. Feel free to just wait until tomorrow when I have more PHOTOS to post and not so many words!
I just ate left over mac n' cheese with an entire can of corn dumped into it and microwaved b/c I felt like at least corn was a bit healthy. If I'm not eating CRAP like that we are ordering pizza. Only b/c I have never been this busy in my ENTIRE life.
Because what I haven't told you is that.... I AM STARTING A NEW COMPANY!
Oh yes. A new photography company. The LAUNCH is July 1st but there will be hints maybe along the way!
Grayson turned one and rather than deciding to walk or give up nursing or TALK, he has decided to throw FULL BLOWN TEMPER TANTRUMS.
Today, for instance, I went out on the back porch to hang up wet suits with him on my hip and when he realized we were indeed going back inside without his getting a chance to swing (his baby swing is on the porch) he FREAKED OUT. He threw his body back and starting screaming and kicking and crying and swinging his arms and WOAH KID I just set him on the ground not sure what had just possessed my sweet boy. He sat on the floor kicking and crying until Parker finally came over and started being silly to make him laugh.
Which he did.
It was like a switch.
BABY FROM HELL one second and HAPPY baby the next.
And all I could think was, "you little shit."
If this keeps up we will have gone straight from Parker's terrible two's to Grayson's terrible ONE'S without missing a beat. Awesome.
Grayson COULD walk I think if he wanted to. He can stand on his own without holding onto anything. He can stand UP with the aid of anything but the second you try to get him to take a step he looks at you like you are an idiot and sits down.
Consequently he is becoming a super fast crawler and CLIMBER as he demonstrated today when we were in the art room (I need to take photos of our converted dining room b/c it's starting to look awesome) making necklaces and he crawled away. Less than 5 minutes later I went to find him and he was UPSTAIRS. OMG. We have by far some of the steepest stairs you have ever seen (my friend Angie can attest to this as she HEARD Bailey fall down them last year and the sound still haunts her!) so I totally freaked out when I saw him up there. Time for new gates I guess!
Bailey turns FOUR on July 8th and I have yet to plan a party. Which is bad b/c this is her big year for a friend party and I have no ideas. Anyone have any good and EASY ideas? She'll invite just a few friends and we'll have it here but MAN I am at a loss of what to do. And invites need to go out yesterday. Ugh.
The sad part is that I LOVE throwing parties. When I have time to plan them.
Ideas gratefully welcome!
I know I have yet to answer all of your awesome questions or even pick a winner from that post... I'll get there! I have them all saved and will do it asap. Which means next Christmas.
BUT. I am going to start answering fairly simple questions I get in the comments section actually IN the comments. So if you ask me a question via the comments, check back and I will hopefully have answered it!
The girls have hit awesome ages and are playing SO great together! They rarely argue and never FIGHT which amazes me b/c my sister and I fought like cats and dogs when we were little, even this little according to my mom. I love watching and listening to them love each other and truly enjoy being together!
Thinking about pursuing wedding photography a bit more and loved this post about choosing your photographer. HERE.
I liked it b/c of how she started her post. As much as I'd like to sell myself to EVERYONE, I'm not made to work with everyone. And what I'm realizing more and more is that I don't want to work for just anyone, even though that helps pay the bills, I really want to work for people that GET ME. People that really love my work and my style and hire ME to capture their wedding or their family, not just a random photographer.
Looking back over my sessions in just the last 6 months, I can tell the sessions that I let a little of myself GO to do what my client wanted... and I'm just not as proud of my work. I'm starting to think of myself as more of an artist and less of a workhorse I guess.
Not sure what this means, except I am working on new ways to help make my sessions fit me AND my client better so that neither of us lose out on anything! Exciting things coming soon to new and future clients!
Having Chris home this summer has been so amazing. He and I are getting along and having the best time, he's getting SO much quality time with the kids while I work and we're getting lots of fun family time in too. So far this has been our best summer yet!
I'm not freaking out yet, but I found out today that my external hard drive from 07-08 died. I need to take it in somewhere to see if they can get my files off of it. LUCKILY, all of our family photos are on both that old hard drive and also my newer 09 drive... but all client files from before Jan 09 are gone. Some are backed up on disks but honestly I have been SO bad about burning disks that I know I don't have all of them. The reason is that I used to always include a disk with my sessions so I felt like they were responsible and I didn't need a disk, but UGH now I am kicking myself. And praying someone smarter than me can figure this thing out!
Lots of random family photos I need to post and my mind is racing so there are a million and one more random things I could post right now but work is waiting and this is already one of the longest posts on earth I think!
OH... really fast... is this whole Jon and Kate thing effecting anyone else? I can't stop thinking about it!
The best part of my job is capturing the tiny pieces that make up someone's life. The details no one else might catch. The fleeting moments and quick glances and seemingly insignificant gestures.
I love the simplicity of life. The living of life. Real life. Because real life isn't posed or staged or coerced. It just IS.
Which is why, I think, at the end of the day, I would rather follow a family around just shooting their life any day over working in a studio. If I had to make a choice that is.
And tonight I did just that. I met up with a sweet family in downtown Kirkwood and we just walked around. They played in a garden, explored a front porch, crossed a bridge, played on a playground, ate ice cream and saw a firetruck. It was a simple session. Very little "sit here and look at me" type of shots and lots of them just BEING together. It was awesome. And hot. MAN is it hot out there right now!
Kelly, Grant and Carly... thanks for tonight. Thanks for reminding me about what I love. For letting me follow you around just clicking. For trusting me that we would get good shots even without ever saying "say cheese!" I hope you like this TINY sneak peek!
Got home a little while ago from our road trip to KC. We had a blast. Met up with old friends. Great friends. C got to see the Cards beat the Royals. I had three awesome sessions (two were canceled last minute). We got to SLEEP IN a bit. 8am is an awesome time to wake up. We got lost a million times. We laughed. A lot. We missed the kids. A little. We're already planning our next adventure!
Today before we left we headed over to hang with little Harper and her family. Old friends of ours from college. Dustin and Chris are fraternity brothers and I met his wife Kristin a few years ago when I was pregnant with Parker and she was pregnant with Beckett, born two months apart. We were the only people not drinking at another friend's wedding and hit it off immediately! It was SO great to see them again, hang out with our other friends, the Esterly's (C's good friend Tony who's Bailey's Godfather and his wife Lauren we who adore), and catch up! Someday MAYBE I will blog some of the old stories that get told EVERY SINGLE TIME we're all together! But maybe not. As C's mom reads this blog and I'm not sure she's ready to hear them! HA!
Anyway, it was a great great weekend! Thanks to everyone we got meet or shoot or hang out with! And thanks to everyone back home that kept our kids busy while we were away! This was a MUCH needed trip!!!
Here is Harper's sneak peek!
I love this quote that was in their dining room!
Could you just die over those lips?
How beautiful is Kristin?
Thanks you guys! I can't wait to show you the rest of your photos!
Tomorrow. Chris has soccer camp all week so me and the kids are going to spend some quality time together cooling off at the pool in the morning. Yep. Me and all three at the pool by ourselves. I pray I can handle it! I have gobs of work to tackle during their naps and a client meeting tomorrow night. I have plans to rearrange the house, AGAIN, because I just can't seem to perfect my house organization skills. But Chris tells me this week is too busy to create such a big project so I'm in the planning stages I guess! Anyone like to rearrange furniture? HA!