Monday, January 31, 2011

Week 4

I’m so proud of myself, I’m still keeping up! This week I’ve been practicing in full manual mode, and I really feel like it’s good for me. It makes me slower, because there’s so many more things I need to check before I can click, so I’m still using aperture priority sometimes. But more and more I’m in manual, and I like it. I don’t know if my pictures are improving yet, but I’d like to think that at least they’re not getting worse. Let me know what you think.

Jan 22

Jan 22 – Lily discovered the joy of washing dishes! Smile Now she asks to help wash all the time.

Jan 23

Jan 23 – Playing with my settings and trying to find the best light in my house. I think I could have had her facing the light more and less of her face would have been in shadow. Next time.

Jan 24

Jan 24 – I LOVE it when my kids read books together. Even when they do it sitting on top of the table.

Jan 25

Jan 25 – Michael laughing at Lily. I don’t remember what she was doing really, but Michael thought it was hilarious.

Jan 26

Jan 26 – Pretty kitty. The kids crowded around the car she/he was sitting on and just would not leave. They love animals, and especially dogs and cats.

Jan 27

Jan 27 – I think this is my favorite picture so far this year. I could not believe how unbelievably pink the sky was that night. It was glorious. I wish sunsets lasted longer and I wish I had a more clear view of them from our house!

Jan 28

Jan 28 – This little girl is completely adorable, and Michael is pretty taken with her too. Every time he sees her he starts yelling and pointing, “Baby, baby, baby!” I love it.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Beach fun

Ok, trying to find a good beach in Washington in January is an exercise in futility. But I was craving sand and sun and lapping waves and seagulls, so I did the best I could. The sun was actually out and we had no other plans, so I loaded the kids in the car and drove to the nearest beach I could find – which happened to be in Kirkland on Lake Washington. It was such a nice little outing, something completely different from our normal routine. The kids both loved it, and I had tons of fun just taking lots of pictures and watching them play in the sand. We’re going to have to do this more often. Here’s hoping the sun will come out to play again!

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There’s more grass than sand, don’t you love it? Ha! Oh, for summer and real beaches!

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Cute tired Michael. He fell asleep on the way over, and surprisingly stayed asleep as we unloaded the car. So I wrapped him up and let him sleep on the bench while I took pictures. He only slept for about 15 minutes, so he still had plenty of time to play in the sand and get dirty.

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I found my seagulls!

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Dear Summer, please get here quickly!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A funny conversation

The other night Lily woke up in the middle of the night coughing and couldn’t stop. We spent about 45 minutes trying to get her to calm down and then fell asleep together in the recliner. It was one of those “mom moments” where you’re tired but you just do what you gotta do because you love your kids and you hate to see them sick.

I’m in the middle of feeding her some yogurt when she looks up at me and says “Someday I’m going to be a mom like you.”

My heart melts a little. She’s so cute, right? She goes on.

“And I’ll have kids, too.”

I respond, “Oh, like me”

“Yeah, I’ll have kids like you. Actually, I already have one kid. He’s sleeping right now. His name is Michael.”

“Hey, that’s my kid!” I laughed, and she laughed with me.

“Yeah, but we can share.”

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My silly girl. Smile

Monday, January 24, 2011

Week 3

As promised!

Jan 15

Jan 15 – My beautiful sister! She just turned 13, and this was right after her first performance onstage. She did great! Love you Anna!

Jan 16

Jan 16 – The booty from my brother and sister’s combined birthday party. They always have a combined party  - they were born on the same day, but are five years apart. Smile

Jan 17

Jan 17 – Lily playing in the chef’s outfit she got for her birthday from her cousin Rachel. She loves it – Thank-you Rachel and Andy!

Jan 18

Jan 18 – Another time where we were about to go to bed and I realized I hadn’t taken a picture all day, so I snapped my husband right before he went to change. And I’m so glad I did, I love this picture of him. He’s so handsome.

Jan 19

Jan 19 – A very typical early morning at our house. Ben gets up with the kids so I can exercise, and they always crowd around him when he tries to eat.

Jan 20

Jan 20 – Not my favorite photo of myself, but I’m trying to get better at self portraits. Plus I thought maybe you’d want to see my new blond (or as Lily calls it, yellow) hair.

Jan 21

Jan 21 – There have been a lot of these all over the house lately. Our new train sets that Michael got for Christmas are played with every single day, the kids love them so much.

I’m already looking forward to going through the pictures for week 4 because guess what? I’m starting to shoot in full manual mode! I’m really excited about it. I’ve been reading lots of different blogs with tons of amazing advice, and I’ve gotten out my camera’s manual so I can become more familiar with the way my camera works. It’s helping so much. I’m already noticing an improvement in my photos, and even though it’s definitely harder, I feel like it’s worth it. I’m really enjoying learning all I can about my camera and how to take better pictures.

So now that I’ve hyped myself all up, my pics next week better be good, huh? Smile Wish me luck!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Week Two

As promised!

Jan 8

Jan 8 – Daddy comforting Lily after a tumble on her new tricycle (which she loves!).

Jan 9

Jan 9 – My new boots! I just love them! I’ve been looking for a pair of cute boots forever now and was so stoked when I found these on clearance for how much? $17.50, thank-you very much!

Jan 10

Jan 10 – Playing in Mommy’s bed. I think they’re pretty cute.

Jan 11

Jan 11 – The only picture I took all day. It was one of those times I walked by and saw this and thought “What a cute picture this could make. I want to remember this.” Michael was helping “Spot” clean the kitchen. He loves our Roomba and is always excited to turn him on and let him vacuum.

Jan 12Jan 12















Jan 12 – I couldn’t pick just one picture for this day, so I cheated. Michael woke up too early this day, so he got to watch me exercise. I love his sweet curly, just-woke-up hair. We got some seriously slushy snow overnight and the kids were so excited to play in it. I helped Lily make her first snowman. She thought it was pretty awesome. We used olives for the eyes/mouth/buttons, and both the kids couldn’t stop eating the olives. Smile

Jan 13

Jan 13 – My sweet little Lily, excited about the cupcakes she was helping me make.

Jan 14

Jan 14 – The day of Lily’s birthday party with friends. She got an art set from Tommy, and as soon as Michael was asleep that was the first thing she wanted to play with.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Week One and An Announcement

I might be a little late to the whole craze, but I’m jumping on the Project 365 bandwagon. A picture a day starting the first of the year. I’m excited. I thought it would be really hard for me to remember, but I’ve been doing it for three weeks now and there’s only been a small handful of days where I’ve been about to go to bed and remember “Oh, I’m supposed to have a picture from today!” What’s more common is for me to see something, and to think, “Oh, this would make a great picture of the day!” I love that this is helping me see more photo opportunities and causing me to get my camera out more. Cuz that was really the point. I want to take more pictures because that’s the best way to improve – to just keep practicing.

I’m planning on doing one post a week with a weeks worth of pictures. I’ll be playing catch-up to get the first two weeks up here, but then hopefully I can get in the groove of editing my pictures over the weekend and posting them on Monday. We’ll see how it goes. If anyone is curious, I’ll still be blogging our regular life stuff I usually blog about too. Just so you know. I know my mom-in-law would not be content with just one picture a day (although the rate I’ve been blogging lately that might be more than she’s been getting! I’ll get better!).

Lastly, here’s my announcement. I’ve been fiddling around with the idea of starting up my own photography business. It seems like such the “in” thing to do right now, and I’m not so sure I would really enjoy it or if I’m just seeing everybody else’s success and think that’s the next step for me too. Whatever my motives, I definitely love taking pictures. I love capturing a beautiful image and seeing the joy on peoples faces when they see the photo. I think I’d like to do it professionally. But I’m still nervous. So, I’m just going to start by offering to anybody around here who reads my blog the chance to have a photo session with me. If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’ve seen my photography. If you like what you see and would like some free pictures, let me know. I would love to take your picture! Email me at for more info and to set something up.

Ok, enough talk, here’s the pictures from the first week in January.

Jan 1

I love these quiet moments. Too rare.

Jan 2

The nativity scene that Ben made for his Mom. He made one for my mom too, and he’s working on one for me. I think it’s so beautiful.

Jan 3

Poor Michael head a really bad diaper rash, so as he was screaming Lily came over and started patting his head telling him it would be ok. He calmed right down and it was just the sweetest thing.

Jan 4

Sunrise on our way to the airport. About the only good thing about waking up at 5:30. Winking smile

Jan 5

This is the most exciting picture this week – not. Totally forgot this day until we were about to go to bed, so since I was proud of myself for getting my kitchen relatively clean right after dinner that night, that’s what I took a picture of.

Jan 6

Lily on her last day of being two, returning home from her birthday dinner at Red Robin.

Jan 7

Birthday ice cream!

Week two coming soon!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Lily

I can’t believe my little Lily is already 3 years old. She’s so old! Lily has been looking forward to her birthday for months, it’s been really cute to hear her say, “I’ll be 3 on January 7th!” And now she is!

Ben woke her up this morning about 7:00 (a blessing on our heads, she usually wakes us around 6:00 or 6:30) so he could take her to breakfast. A tradition his father started, it was just Ben and Lily this morning. As soon as Lily woke up, the very first thing she said was “Am I 3 yet?” How cute is she? They went to Ruby’s Diner and got pancakes, Lily’s very favorite breakfast/lunch/dinner. The rest of the day, besides a quick stop to the chiropractor, was spent basically doing whatever Lily came up with. It was actually really fun. Lots of dress-up, pretending to be birds, pretending there was a storm in the house, basically just lots and lots of pretending. She’s very much into interactive imagination games. I really like this stage.

The best part of the day was probably around 10:30, when I dressed both the kids in coats and boots in preparation to take a walk to the library. But as soon as the garage door was open they were outside and finding all the puddles they could find. It was so cute to watch both of them, Michael with his very obvious glee and Lily with her quieter self-satisfaction. We all had so much fun, the kiddos getting soaked and me taking as many pictures as I could. We are definitely going to be doing that again.

Tonight I made pizza (almost burnt the house down, oops!) and breadsticks, and Lily got ice cream with a candle on top. She was so funny, she took forever to blow her candle out. I don’t know why, she knows how, but she just kind of sat there with a little smile on her face while we kept encouraging her to blow out the candle. It was cute, especially her reaction after she finally did blow out the candle – she immediately covered her face with both hands and then peeked out with another little smile! Sometimes she’s just too cute.

Favorite food: chicken nuggets.
Favorite color: Probably pink, but is pretty equally loving of all of them.
Favorite game: Princess dress-up and pretending to lose her slipper.
Only way I can get her to clean: Telling her she better hurry up and clean up all her toys so “Spot” (our robot vacuum) doesn’t eat them.
Favorite time of day: Definitely a morning person. Don’t know where she got that!!
Best phrase: (Said to Ben and I as we were cuddling) “Married time is over, guys!”
Favorite way to help: Helping Mommy cook in the kitchen, especially kneading bread dough.
Favorite book: How Does A Dinosaur Say Goodnight?
Favorite movie: The Land Before Time
Sweetest moment: Came up to me when she saw me crying, put her hands on my cheeks and said, “It’s ok Mommy, we can all be happy!”

Lily is very very talkative, but not to strangers. Then she tells me “I’m being shy".”
She loves Michael, and lately is very into being Mommy and cleaning up his hands and face after he eats. She is also a big help when I’m changing his diaper by singing to him and telling him “You have cute cheeks!” over and over to make him laugh.
She is completely potty trained, through the night also, although for some reason she thinks I still need to be in there to watch her wipe.
She thinks everything is magical. The first time she saw Christmas lights early December, she exclaimed, “Look at the magical lights!”
She went through a phrase (only just starting to get out of it, really) where she really thought she was Cinderella. I couldn’t call her Lily and she introduced herself as Cinderella to everybody. This lasted for months.

Basically, she is just the sweetest, cutest, funniest, smartest, most interesting little girl I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. (I’m sure I’m not biased at all!) She is such a blessing in our family, and makes us smile every day in so many different ways. I absolutely adore her, and I am so glad I’m her Mom.

Thank-you Lily, for being you, and for being our daughter!

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Right after she blew out the candles. Funny girl.

Happy Birthday Lily!