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Our theme this week (oh, wait… it was last week and I’m just getting caught up) was Tired. Man, that word is something I use in my every day vocabulary! I’m usually tired after I wake up and certainly more tired before I go back to bed. I’ll blame the weather.
Today, I ran upstairs feeling pretty proud of my quick jaunt up and saw these balloons from the night before. I was out of breath and well… so were the balloons. They were afloat last night and somehow they managed to get to my room. The whole thing is mysterious because they were floating in the entry way this morning. I had to laugh and think about the balloons feeling oh so tired (like me) finding their way to bed. They were going to rest but after they finished their day… Their feet, just barely hitting the bed, hovering above as to try to last just a little longer. That is exactly how I feel at about 5:00pm… just go to hold on a little longer. :)
A new theme (and yes, it is ok that I take both last week’s picture and this week’s picture in the same day)… SLEEP
They are dressed daily, granted naptime and have cuter clothes in their closet then I have in mine. These are the American Girl dolls that live here, in their own room, with their own bed. I have been amazed at the time and effort that my daughter puts into taking care of them. She adores the dolls and even remembers that when it’s cold out to dress them with a jacket, boots and a blanket. Since the Ikea doll bed only can sleep two dolls, she used an extra box, brought home from Costco to assist in carrying groceries, to create a cozy bed so that Kit will not miss her bedtime. Having these dolls here has brought out the inner child in me. When I am asked to help dress them or complete a new hair do, I oblige (and have to admit it, I enjoy it). : )
We were the lucky winners of a special pass to DRIVE down to the water at Discovery Park in Seattle. There were rules… like you need to be a senior citizen or have young children-none of which fit our circumstance. Then, she asked about driving because of her knee. YES! A special circumstance that may get us down to the water to avoid the 1 mile+ walk. She had just had surgery on her knee and wasn’t able to walk long distances and short distances weren’t easy. We asked and we received. We proudly displayed our disability pass in our window, drove down to the “special parking lot” near the lighthouse and water’s edge and did our session, or much of it, there. It was another gorgeous day in Seattle as the clouds gently diffused the sun providing some beautiful light. I was doing quite the acrobatic tricks holding my reflector while the sun was strong without an assistant. A kind man walked by and asked if he could help but he was about ten minutes too late. The air was crisp and chilly, the sun was warm and the beach was beautiful. It made a perfect day for a senior session At Discovery Park!
Another attempt at a movie clip of a summer vacation… Playing on the beach for a week was so much fun (minus the sting ray in the foot when I finally was brave enough to go boogie boarding)!
A tennis player and a good sport… meet Josh. Josh came on this cold Saturday morning with JD and I’m certainly glad he came to play. I really don’t know what I was expecting but this group of high schoolers were amazing. Josh let us mess with his hair, he played tennis for us and jumped a million times with hopes of getting a higher or better shot than the previous jump. He even played the part of asking Jaci out on a date for the love of a good photograph. I’m sure he is a great student and athlete. I’m sure he is a great friend. I’m sure he is a great son and treats his mom with love and respect. I can’t imagine anything else from Josh. AND, he is quite handsome. Josh, thanks for climbing on the trash cans, jumping again and again and playing tennis with the boring opponent named The Wall. Thanks for giving up your important sleep to come and shoot these images!
High School. Style. Hair. Make-up. Friends. Weekends. Texting. Shoes. Sports. Cars. Dates. Fun. Talents. Sleep. Work. Play. Laugh.
I am searching my brain for more words but I am drawing a blank there. I recently did a photoshoot with several high school students and the first to make it on the blog is this darling girl. She is spunky, as a matter of fact I think her nickname is Punky! She has a contagious laugh, her hair is a gorgeous brownish red and she has got serious style. She is a dancer (probably since she was three) and is sweet to all those around her. I love those curls and have wished several times since this photoshoot that I could sport that with my hair but apparently 2 inches isn’t much to work with. She woke up early for this fun morning and patiently sat while Patrick, our make-up artist, completed her make-up and lashes. My goal with this photoshoot was to back-up. I have a tendency to get tight crops. All the time. I wanted to be certain to capture her shoes-that would mean that I was backing up! I used my 70-200mm and loved the flexibility of the zoom. You may think (like her mother) there is added red but I assure you there is no boost in color! : ) I did a custom white balance before each model to be certain I was on target with colors! Those red bricks really show off her red tones! She is adorable!
I don’t love to be in front of the camera. I don’t mind it but I would rather be behind it. BUT many times through classes, groups, conferences, blogs, etc. we are challenged to accomplish a self portrait. What does that mean? Get in front, use a remote and then check out how your hair looks and if you look fat or skinny? : ) I’m not saying I haven’t done (ha) that but this challenge was different… we were to capture something we love or something we love to do. I was lucky this week because we have had some sunny days-beautiful sunny days. I would sit at the window in my office, while my son was at preschool, and just marvel at the beauty while enjoying a little heat from the sun’s rays. I love sunshine and maybe more now then ever. I love to see how it brightens the day. I love to see all the neighbors come out of their caves. I love to see all the pets attached to leashes out for walks on a sunny day. I love to see the water sparkle. I love to see the water from the day before glisten on the tree branches. I love sunshine. And, nightly my family and I talk about what the weather will be tomorrow, meaning the next day, so my daughter can plan appropriately for school. I never knew at age 8, and probably didn’t know until my 20′s, how to relate temperature to the weather. I knew super hot or pretty chilly. I didn’t know what number that equated to. Now, my kids know that 50 degrees means chilly-bring your jacket. They know that 20 degrees means possible snow. They know that 75 degrees in AZ is a perfect day. So, I wish for sunshine everyday. This painting I have in my home was a treasure I found just before we moved-I knew it needed to be with me! For week 5 challenge with Sandi Bradshaw’s group, I chose to include me and sunshine-as you know we go together like peas and carrots. I am looking out the window (staying bundled in my fleece, which I wear everyday/all day), expecting sunshine for the day. It peeked out and didn’t stay very long but what I did see was beautiful!
Well, this week surprises me-it is the last few days of January and moving into February. Pretty soon we will be singing holiday tunes. A couple things happened this week… 1. I signed up for a 52 week challenge with a specific topic. 2. I signed up for The Flash Bus in Seattle and it was sold out a few days later-I’m thrilled and excited about it! 3. I will be going to WPPI in Vegas on February 20th and I was sent a reminder email this week-which blew my mind away that we are already in February. 4. I finished my product catalog and my home design guide. These have both been on my to-do list since the beginning of 2010. Seriously. They were both big undertakings with lots of details to work out and formatting to handle. A huge sigh of relief and a big sense of accomplishment was felt this week! Having this Photo A Day project has kept my focus-remembering why I love my camera and how life can slip by (both the good and the bad) so quickly. Here is another week in my life. : )
January 30- Must there always be piles at the bottom of the stairs? Must the children leave stuff to be cleaned up later (Ok, so there might be a thing or two that belongs to me)? This view is from the front entry… nothing like, “Hi, welcome to my home. The piles… oh the pile. We are lazy but we will get it upstairs someday.” This picture does not depict its true form. It only gets worse from here. The children must not have had a fun day as the stairs do not show the heaps and mounds of clothes and toys! Big Sigh…
January 31- You see, some of us around here are trying to lose weight and some of us are not. This Milky Way is NOT on my desk. The Milky Way is the “midnight” version which is probably an accurate description of when this was consumed. You know you are desperate when you break into the bag of candy that is designated for the Sunday School class. I am trying to lose weight. I am not eating Milky Ways and it sure doesn’t help when “others” are having midnight snacks. Big Sigh (again)
February 1 -Our days are beautiful (while the rest are dealing with horrible storms, I hear). I have opened the window to see its beauty. I have had fun capturing sun flare. It is funny to see that yes, people do live around here but apparently we only see each other on sunny days. It is funny to see that people have pets but again, they are only graced to see the outdoors on beautiful sunny days. This is my view today. Such a pretty sunny day. I love the sun, we go together like peas and carrots.
Still welcoming February will some beautiful skies and clear views!
February 2- You would think that these kids have never seen a slide! Well, I suppose it has been a while since we have played outside. The weather was fabulous so we took advantage of sunshine and 50 degree weather!
February 3- I have been working for a very long time on this! It is a simple product guide for 2011 with all sorts of goodies in it. I wanted to have all things in one place for clients and something that looked professional and colorful. I love it. It has a hard cover and is spiral bound. When the doorbell rang, I knew what it was and I could barely contain my excitement. I am having a booklet version printed and that will be my picture for tomorrow. : ) Well, that is unless something more exciting happens, which I doubt. : )
More of February 3- Oh my dear husband… pretending to be interested and excited about my new product guide. It took me so long to make it-he knows how long! He has seen me lose many hours of sleep on this little puppy. When I showed it to him, he pushed away from his laptop and turned the pages one by one, reading aloud and asking questions. I was grateful he was here to act excited for me!
February 4- and so the magic was printed. Exciting…
February 4- I didn’t want to give up my cell phone number when we moved from AZ to WA. I have had the same number for more than 9 years. You can understand… BUT, then Google has a genius idea. It’s called Google Voice. You set up a number and link it to your cell phone. I don’t know why I am not ready to give it up, I just can’t (yet). So, for now, those in WA will have my Google Voice and those (who even care) in AZ will still have my cell. Thanks Google for allowing me to still have a part of my AZ life with me. : )
February 5- This was in my reading material from Weight Watchers. I love the concept. It is a Pass-meaning when you have made bad choices and want to pass (the scale) that week, you hand in a “pass” card. I would love a few of these in my life!
Here is another peek into my life. I am still enjoying the Photo A Day project and doing my best to keep up. I have joined a 52 week project that will challenge me to think outside the box. Here it is, my real life…
January 23-So, I put her through Let’s Play Music classes and then on to piano lessons only to learn that it never works out if it is MY idea… she likes things that are HER idea. Needless to say, I am the mother that thought, “If you live in my house, you play piano,” and I am now eating my words. It wasn’t worth the teachers time or my money because she cried, threw her books on the floor, wouldn’t practice, and basically was out to prove that her and the piano would not make a good couple. She made her point, I wanted to stay strong but I couldn’t! I COULDN’T. So, she quits piano and wants nothing to do with musical instruments. Glad to know I win mother of the year here. : ( Anyhow, she now pulls out her music books and sits at the piano and plays and gets excited about it. AND, she shows her brother the music notes and what they mean. Now that it is HER idea, all is well!
January 24- Today I had many pictures to choose from but they all had me in them and quite frankly, I am not loving the double chin and long (for me), flat, hair do. I snapped this picture this morning when she was ready to go out the door to school. I was so proud of her, wanting to get up and walk with me. She set her alarm and when it went off I questioned her commitment but she was more determined that me. I was hoping to go back to bed. : ) Anyhow, I ended the night by taking some scissors to my hair and recommitting myself to either getting rid of chins FAST or learning how to master the liquify tool.
January 25- Just another day in the life… I was trying to get some blog posts together and scheduled. I had just cut my hair the night before and couldn’t stop playing with the back of it-feeling that it was ummmm, well… not exactly looking like I got it cut professionally. : )
January 26- Call me irresponsible. Call me a chef. Call me disgusting. Call me whatever… I found this in my bread box. I was about to put the bread box in storage because I saw it sitting there and realized I NEVER use the dang bread box. I grabbed it to put it away and thought it seemed a little heavy. Turns out, I DID use it, once upon a time. This was its remains. Ready for dinner? I will cook and bring the bread. ha!
More on January 26 -See… the bread isn’t too bad. :) kidding. I just took another shot in the kitchen today. The whole reason I was evaluating my bread box was because I was getting my bread OUT OF THE REFRIGERATOR to make a panini. This little doodad is one of my favorite kitchen appliances. Everything tastes good toasted and melted. Moments before, I grilled my chicken breast (well not MY chicken breast, but A chicken breast) on the George Foreman and then transferred to and bread and my hot panini press. It was a delightful lunch. But give a girl some delicious lunch and she will want a cookie!~
January 27- I actually snapped this last night-the 26th. I was cleaning up the office and the pile that was dumped after school. This was hiding in the papers… Who is this girl? I cannot claim to be her mother! For some redeeming value (but it wasn’t as funny) she signed this one Mean One but there was a second note that was the same poem with words like, “You are a rockstar and everybody likes you.” and signed the bottom Nice One. Thank goodness I found that one too-I was gearing up for a difficult parenting moment!
January 28 -The night of preparation for the family budget meeting tomorrow. : ) I printed money (nothing like my own Mint) in different denominations to represent the full amount paid on “payday”. It is time to show the kids that money doesn’t grow on trees and NO, they can’t have everything they ask for. (Does that make me a mean mom?)
January 29 - Budget Day… We have decided to involve out kids in budgeting for many reasons… 1. to help them understand where money goes, 2. to get them to take shorter showers, 3. to stop donating all their toys instead of cleaning them up when asked (putting them on an allowance now), 4. to help us stay on our budget (you know how it is when kids keep you accountable!) I have read Dave Ramsey’s books and love the idea of cash budgets. We also get going strong at the beginning of the year and by the end of the year we think… “budget? What budget?” So, we are going to do better this year! It is an incredible feeling to see and know exactly where money goes (and how fast) each month/payday. We wrote down everything needed for the month. The left side of the table is the beginning of the month and the right side is the end of the month. We showed that we budgeted money twice to cover things like gas and groceries from (from each paycheck). We had every last details such as gifts, clothes, babysitter, allowance, hot lunch at school, violin lessons, violin rental, etc. She voted right away to get rid of the gym membership and reduce the clothing budget. It was a great experience that we plan on doing every 2 weeks! I loved having tangible (even if it is fake) money to disperse where needed! I loved seeing things like Netflix and how it adds to the monthly expenses. I loved showing them how we set money aside for “family allowance” which allows us to have fun together. I think my son was playing with the stack of $1′s the entire time- but SHE learned a great deal and loved being the banker. We are encouraging them to put aside more money in savings so we can save enough to go to Great Wolf Lodge.
January 12-I was walking along, minding my business… when all of the sudden I saw this! Clearly he is being saint (don’t you see the halo) while his dear little wifey does some shopping, but the mouth was dropped and he was definitely getting in his afternoon nap-with or without his bed (and wife). My husband is no shopper indeed and certainly he couldn’t come along during his nap hour.
January 13- There are few things in this life that drive me bonkers and I am here to tell you about one of them… stuffed animals. Why do kids flock to them, sleep with them, cuddle with them and want to own every one they see? I especially dislike them when batteries are involved. But, I do have to say that Build-A-Bear, or the founder, is pretty darn smart. I had a babysitter after school every day growing up and she sewed tiny little clothes for our stuffed animals and we LOVED it. I’m pretty sure that babysitter is NOT the founder of Build-A-Bear but she should have been.
I often try to sneak one of these furry little things out in the “donate” pile but somehow the children ALWAYS find it and act so horrified, like I was trying to cut off one of their arms. Someday…. ahh someday these furry beasts will not have a place at my home (but by then, I am sure it will be full circle and I will be begging for my children to come visit thier lonely little mother and I will buy stuffed animals for the grandchildren and watch my kids be just as bugged as me!)
January 14- I too have a front door with boots (inspired by another photo a day gal) but mine is not nearly as cute and clean (and definitely missing a sassy fun rug!). Did I mention that it rains here? It rains here. It rains a lot. Something we keep at our front door is a pair of rain boots. My son’s friend who lives next door, stops a little further in to take off his boots. Good thing he (and his boots) are so cute. I never EVER thought this would be my front door scene. Never! But here we are, living in the Pacific Northwest among the pine trees and ocean water… and rain water.
January 15- (really the late evening of January 14) Have you ever been so mad at your children that you couldn’t do anything more than threaten to put them to bed without dinner-only a piece of bread and a cup of water? Unfortunately, the end of day 14 was that for me so I figured I would put it up as picture of the day for 15 since 14 was done. My kids were wild-loud-crazy-running around type kids. My daughter was getting up on our folding table and dancing and stomping her feet and then jumping off and chasing her brother around the house. One of those chase moments involved a screwdriver-he had a screwdriver in his hand and while laughing and running, turned to throw it at her. Guess where that screwdriver went??? MY HEAD. Needless to say, I was a little mad. Just a little. Ha! Thank goodness my head was in front of the computer because it would have done something to my Mac screen. Anyhow, I turned around (probably with smoke coming out of my ears), grabbed her by the arm and pulled into an empty room and told her to sit there until I was ready to let her out. Then I grabbed him and drug him upstairs and put him in his room and told him the same. Then, it was me and her 2 friends standing there… what now? That is embarassing. I told them to get their shoes and get ready to go-we walked them home. The kids were sent to bed and I delivered a piece of bread and a cup of water to their door. They were instructed to leave the dishes at their door and I would pick them up when I was ready. The episode was at 5:30, I went up there at about 9:30 and saw the dishes and felt so bad. This was for sure the moment of the day. And just for the record, her note says, “To mom from Zoe, I’m sorry for chasing Zane, I admit it I was loud.” You gotta love a sincere apology. ; )