April 28, 2011
I am up waaaay too late again. I have been doing a lot of work trying to get my new/updated photography website ready to debut. It's silly how much time it takes me to get it put together, considering it is a templated website to begin with. Thus is life when you have two little ones to care for all day long and the only time to get things like this done is at 2 or 3am...
Anyway, I am rambling (is it a wonder, at 2:46am?)
I have continued to give earnest thought to merging my blogs but still haven't come up with the best solution. Our family blog gets just as much, maybe even more traffic than the photography blog. Perhaps it's because I post more frequently here - or the same people look at both - whatever the reason, I haven't merged yet. Still sitting on the idea. In the meantime, though, I recently sold a bunch of stuff we didn't need or use on Craiglist and made several hundred dollars. So I totally SPLURGED (something I rarely do!) and got a new duvet cover - actually I had good justification because we had been looking at them for some time, and the only one Jacob really lit up about was this one. Of course it is the one that would cost an arm and a leg - but I have been "refreshing" our room and now it is aaaaallll white (it is tiny so the white gives the illusion that it's bigger, especially with a vaulted ceiling) with this awesome duvet. We are loving it...so much, in fact, that pretty much tonight when I was playing around with our blog - I was inspired to customize our blog to match our bed. Strange? Well, the white/ash/marigold lighten my spirits and remind me of summer and sailboats...so why not?
What do you think? Like/Dislike?
I, for one, LIKE!
And with that, I am off to bed! (patting myself on the shoulder for finally figuring out how to customize the background of our blog. yeaah!)
April 26, 2011
I am still working on finishing up the kids' shared room. I know, I posted about how I was just about done with Aspen's corner, and then she decided to start trying to boost herself up and climb out of the crib. So...away with the bumper. That shook up my plans a little bit...but anyway, I'm working away and almost done. I recently purchased this cute little print and I have an old frame from ikea with 3 5x7 spots, so I thought I would put the print in the center and then I made silhouettes of the kids for each side. I actually made the silhouettes a while back - I used Aspen's on her birthday party invitation and on her cupcake toppers (which I think turned out to be rather adorable :) While I was at it, I did one of Sawyer, too. (Aspen is about 10 months in hers, Sawyer is just over 2).They turned out fun! So I just sent in an order to my lab and am printing them as photos on linen paper - we'll see how they turn out!
I was thinking it would be fun to do a silhouette each year for the kids (until they don't want me to anymore). I have plans on making them each a special book for when they reach a certain age (I made Sawyer a first year book, and vow to make Aspen's before we have any more children...but just can't keep up with doing one for each year - I do a family album anyway...) so it would be fun to line up their silhouettes from baby to say, 10 years or so. Don't you think?
Anyway...if you want to give your hand a try at doing a silhouette I found several tutorials on line that are quite simple.
If you have access to Photoshop and are fairly comfortable using the tools, try this one. (This is the tutorial I used)
If you don't have Photoshop or are not super comfortable with using the tools required, try this simple method.
Fun stuff! I can hardly wait to see how my finished product will look hanging in their room! I'll be sure to include it in the "tour" when I've finished!
*update: customer service called me from the lab to say that even at a high res. the images were looking a bit pixelated around the edges - I am not exactly sure why...but Jacob was able to "smooth" them out by redrawing them in Illustrator last night. I am going to submit them again and hope they come out perfect ;)
April 25, 2011
Easter has now come and gone.
It was a good one - dare I say even perfect?
I caught some little bunnies in the woods...
(to see a bit more of these bunnies, click here)
Sunday morning, I even made sure we all coordinated.
It almost felt like family picture day or something.
But it was fun - and truth be told, I coordinate what my girl and I wear to church pretty much every week. I'm kinda weird like that.
Obviously I did a little photo sesh with the kids. I made them wear bunny ears and encouraged them to run through sunny trails at the park (it didn't take much encouraging - they love being outside! Even in a dress and a tie!). I just couldn't resist. I haven't decided if someday they'll hate me for all the photos I take of them, or love me for capturing them so often. Time will tell...in the meantime, I love it!
Below, you will find some photos of what our real Easter Egg Hunt was like. The kids ditched the bunny ears mid-way through the hunt, and so as not to loose them, I wore a pair and made Jacob wear some, too. (as you can imagine, he loved wearing them - what a good sport!).
The kids went bonkers over the candy.
We never have candy at home (only ice-cream :)
and really it was aspen's first taste - see her little cheeks stuffed full of jelly beans?
Saturday was seriously AMAZING. 78 degrees. Sunny.
HEAVENLY! We SO needed that vitamin D!!!
Jacob had to work a bit in the morning, and then we went to an Easter Egg Hunt with some friends.
We spend the afternoon hiking with the kids (good thing we have TWO backpacks!) and playing at the beach, searching in the tidepools at Discovery Park as it was low tide.
Jacob was going to try to sneak away and get me flowers for Easter. It's hard to be sneaky when you only have one car. In the end, I told him I would rather go have a burger after our lovely hike than flowers. I know, I'm weird like that. And lucky for me, I get flowers often enough that I figured I could live without them this Easter. He just laughed at me, and we took the kidlets to Red Robin. They love it there! I ordered the same thing I always order (whiskey river bbq burger). It hit the spot.
I thought, "this is one of the best days of my life."
I haven't thought that in a while.
I am SO happy that I am feeling better, more like my usual self.
Seriously, can't describe how happy I am to be feeling better.
A blessed day. Of course we found some surprises in our Easter baskets this morning, but I tried really hard not to go overboard. In fact, I had the idea that maybe next year we will start a tradition of doing the Easter baskets all on Saturday so we can focus a little more clearly on Sunday.
It's hard to explain why we celebrate Easter to a 1 year old and a 2 year old. We talked with Sawyer about it. The best I could do in a simple way, was to tell him that Jesus died, and went away. And that later, he came back. And his friends were sooo happy to see him. And it was a special gift - for all of us. Now, Sawyer knows that Jesus is our friend, so after some thought, he said "is he going to come to our townhouse to see us too because we are his friends?"
I just smiled and told him, "maybe someday, but not today."
and he said, "I am happy!"
Oh, children. Bless their sweet, innocent, ever-faithful souls.
I hope your Easter weekend was something spectacular in it's own way. Something fun, and something to remember.
April 17, 2011
For Aspen's birthday, her bestie gave her some "pearls"
(and a baby doll, which she loved instantaneously).
At first, she wasn't very interested in the jewelry.
Now, however, she is quite obsessed.
Aspen pretty much wears these pearls all day, every day. She even wore them to church today. They are so long she practically stumbles over them, but she just gets right back on her feet, runs her fingers through the beads, and keeps going.
This morning, when we were hanging out, waiting for Daddy to return from his morning meeting, waiting to head off to worship services, I couldn't help but capture a few of her in all her pearl-y glory.
She is also soooo cute with babies lately. Today at church, one of the teenagers had one of those dolls for the weekend that is supposed to discourage teenage pregnancy by showing them that babies aren't all just cute and cuddly. The "baby" was wailing in the hallway with the rest of the fussy babies. Aspen went to the baby, rocked the baby's seat, pointed to his nose, and then threw a fit when I tried to walk away. It is amazing how a baby herself is so in love with babies. That was totally me.
The beads however, are not me...I am going to laugh if our girl turns out to be a "girly girl" because I'm so not. I mean, she even carries a little purse around the house, too - I don't even carry a purse. Then again, she has a great time playing cars with her brother...wearing those big strands of pearls. Maybe I should put on my pearls and fork over some bucks for a nice purse and join the game? I think in the future we can manage getting her one of those real babies...we'll just wait until she's a little older so she can appreciate it a little bit more (and so I can enjoy her being my baby as long as she'll let me).
Here's to pearls!
April 15, 2011
why not spruce up some oats with a nice bar of chocolate?
that's what we did this morning.
(btw it was even better all warm and melted :)
(it is friday, after all)
our car is in the shop for some routine maintenance,
we have nowhere to go...
(except maybe the library or the park)
and nothing to do...
(ooh, understatement of the year)
so who care's if it's 9:30 and we're still in our pjs?
(okay, mommy lied, she is in her paint clothes)
we gotta live it up when we can, right?
Happy Friday, All!
We DARE you (yes, YOU!) to "spruce" something up with chocolate today - we guarantee it will make your day a better day and jump start a great weekend!
April 11, 2011
I've been meaning to write something about our Nature School for quite sometime...so here is a little about our special school.
You might call it "outdoor school" everyday.
"field trips" every single day.
if you go to Nature School, you do not sit in a classroom, or hang up your coat, or stash your backpack in a cubby. Nope.
At Nature School...We get OUTSIDE, exploring our Natural World, every single day of school!
My friend, Sara Egbert is an a-mazing lady (Mommy extraordinaire not to mention a background in horticulture). Earlier this year, she single-handedly opened Nature School. She plans lessons, projects, songs, stories, art activities - the list goes on - basically, a whole curriculum for pre-schoolers (and their siblings and parents) to learn in, of, and all about our beautiful earth.
A few weeks ago, some of the parents got together with Sara, and sewed these cute little "Nature Backpacks" Later, Sara and I got together and made a plan to freezer-paper-stencil each child's name on their backpack, and then we cut out all sorts of different things found in nature (bugs, trees, flowers, etc.) and each child chose one or two and we then appliqued them to each backpack. They turned out cute ;) But the really fun part, is what is inside!
Sara ordered a bug net, some mini magnifying glasses, and magnifying specimen boxes (for bugs or plants) to put in each child's bag.
Watch out, Aspen! This morning...
Sawyer tested his bug net out on his little sister...
Rain or shine, our little class meets weekly (soon to be twice a week) in a different location - anywhere from city parks, to beaches, to gardens, to the zoo. Sara has been so pro-active about her students, providing amazing opportunities for the kids to experience things like...visiting a kind citizen's backyard in Magnolia where they got to observe - through a huge telescope - the Great Blue Heron's building over 40 nests, guided tours from local non-profit volunteer organizations about local habitats, growing our own seeds, and even some education on campus at the University of Washington. She even arranged - and the city agreed - to give our kids a 10x10 plot of land in one of the city's community p-patch gardens, to tend and cultivate and learn to grow our own little garden.
My plan this morning was actually to take a few photos of our class enjoying the Botanical Gardens this morning...but of course wouldn't you know it after I lugged my big ole' camera all the way to Bellevue...my battery was dead when we got there. So...more photos to come :) Maybe we'll get some of them working in the new garden (time to pull weeds and prep!)
Nature school is all about getting DIRTY, MUDDY, and WET. But as Spring approaches, we are excited to shed our raincoats and wellies to enjoy the earth as she warms right up into summer. Nature school is year-round and much of what we learn about is inspired directly by the natural changes occuring in the world around us...falling leaves, buds, blossoms. blooms, beaches, rocks, bugs, little animals - and everything that goes along with our senses - colors, sights, sounds, smells, even taste - it is just so wonderful. Seriously, I cannot say enough good things about this marvelous little school. I feel so lucky we get to be a part of it.
Our wonderful teacher was also recently invited, along with her family, to some special meetings taking place...I am uncertain of the details but I think the gist of it is that people have been saying wonderful things about Nature School and there is talk of working with Sara to model this school so that other people in other neighborhoods can enjoy what we do having such a wonderful school for our children.
A special thanks to Sara, for all the time, effort, and heart that she puts into Nature School. We *HEART* you, Sara!
ps-If you would like to view a wonderful documentary which takes an honest look at some of the consequences of a childhood removed largely from the natural world in place of "today's world" which is hugely virtual...take a look at Play Again. Sara and her family let us borrow it, and there was recently a screening of it at our flagship REI store. I highly recommend it!
April 6, 2011
Our morning is off to a great start...
you might say, it's "rollin" along just fine.
How about yours?
ps - a heartfelt thanks to all of you who showed understanding and support relating to my last post. I had a couple of people approach me directly and it is good to know, amidst our challenges, we do have friends for support and understanding! And we can handle our individual challenges, one patient day at a time :)