Thursday, June 30, 2011

you capture: water

I had these great shots of the dam in our town for this week's You Capture, and now I can't find them, grrr.  My computer ate them.  Or Lightroom ate them.  I'm not sure.  Maybe my hardrive is holding them hostage.  I have nothing to give you in ransom, hardrive!!  I swear!

Anyway, I did find the pictures of Brian and Fletcher playing with squirt guns one evening.  No one was having much fun, as you can see.

Yesterday I went with Brian up to the base to take care of some paperwork.  Right behind his office building is a really beautiful trail along a river.

And if you follow the trail, it goes directly to Lake Michigan.  Pretty!

And it's gonna be a hot one tomorrow, so I forsee some more playing in the water for us!  Time to drag out the kiddie pool and sprinklers! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

the birthday events

We didn't just have a birthday party for Fletcher.  It seemed like we celebrated for days.  Which we kind of did.  For his actual birthday, we got him a cake and gave him presents from us.  Since it was just our little family, we let him do this to the cake.

He loved it.  I don't think he actually ate any of the cake, but about a fourth of it was licked clean.  And then he proceeded to bounce off walls yelling, IT'S MY BIRTHDAY IT'S MY BIRTHDAY IT'S MY BIRTHDAY.  What can I say?  We're not always big-picture people around here. 

My parents came early and helped get ready for his party.  We cleaned, decorated and blew up a gazillion balloons.  His party theme was "trains" of course, so my mom and I made these chocolates to go on top of the cupcakes.

I did put up his own photo garland, but settled for a picture every 6 months of his life, since a picture from every month just wouldn't have fit.

I decided to be super ambitious and paint a huge plywood train with a window cut out just because I thought it would be cute to take pictures of the kids behind it.  I sometimes think I have completely lost my mind.  I'm sure you agree.  But I took pictures of all the kids, sent the pictures in to one-hour photo, and gave them to each of them in a magnet frame before they left.  It all worked out, despite the insanity behind it.

Here's the birthday boy behind the train.  Special thanks to my husband, who goes along with my insanity most of the time.  This time he went along with it and cut out the window.  But cutting out the whole dang thing was not in his realm of sanity.  It was still cute despite this.

John and Mason, making us all laugh.

We all sang Happy Birthday, and Fletcher basked in the glow of everyone's undivided attention on him.

He blew out his candle, but I don't think he remembered the wish part.

He was pretty pleased with himself, anyway.  And all the kids were waiting patiently for those cupcakes!

But my banana cupcakes with chocolate trains were not the favorites.  My mother-in-law made cone cupcakes, and the kids LOVED them.  Mine were left in favor of the cone cupcakes even by the adults. 

I think Fletcher ate 3 in total. 

I think Rowan would have had 3 if we had let her, too.

She did keep trying to get into all the drinks.

On a side note, she's started holding up her finger when you ask her how old she is.  Smart!

{really cute outfit made by our neighbor, Tara}

Anyway, Fletcher opened presents and then just played and played with all his friends until we had to drag him literally kicking and screaming to bed. 

Which is a sign of a successful party, if you weren't aware.  

i heart faces: a touch of whimsy

Here's our very own touch of whimsy- Rowan, our chubby ballerina! 

For more touches of whimsy, head over to i heart faces.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

you capture: bathrooms

Actually, last week's You Capture theme was bathrooms, but it was postponed until this week and combined with the theme purple.  I looked through my pictures from the last week, and there is NOTHING with purple in it.  So I just have one lonely bathroom picture for all of you.

Rowan enjoys her baths.  She's a waterbaby!  I used to take baths.  Now I'm actually LUCKY to fit in a 5 minute shower.  Yep, don't stand too close to me, folks.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

3 years old today!

I have a 3 year old boy!  How is this possible?  I think he was just born.  I really do.  So how is he walking and talking and turning 3 today?  Inconceivable!  He was just born.

He was just a tiny baby that I could comfortably hold.  Not 37 lbs of hugeness.

Or maybe he was just turning one year old.

I swear he turned 2 just yesterday.

How can he be 3? 

It's just impossible. 

He's excited to be 3.  And he's excited for his "train party" this weekend.  I've really lost my mind this, time, let me tell you.  I'll show you what I've done after the party.  I'm practically certifiable, I swear.

Happy Birthday to my big boy, Fletcher on the event of his 3rd birthday.  I can't believe it, but you are 3 indeed.  And you are funny, cute, charming, and above all so loving.  You make my life a million times better just by being in it.  Your hugs and kisses are sunshine on my days.  I love you.

Monday, June 20, 2011

i heart faces: let's hear it for the boys

Again, you're welcome for that awesome earworm.  I took this picture over the past weekend at the Highland Games Festival near us.  Fletcher was way more into the kiddie area than all the bagpipers, dogs, and games.  I loved that this older man driving the kiddie train was so into it, all dressed up and greeting each child, and was so child-like himself.  Like a forever boy, still in love with trains.  The look on Fletcher's face says it all.

To see more "boys" head over to i heart faces!

Friday, June 17, 2011

friday facts: find the sweet spot

Sometimes photographing inside can be a challenge.  I don't have a super-fancy camera, and I don't have any super fancy lenses.  For the record, I have a Nikon D3000.  Don't get me wrong, it was bought at a great expense to us and it has taken great family photos for us, too.  But I'm saving my pennies for the next camera for my bag.  And I'm going to be taking some classes, too.  (p.s. can I practice on you or your family?  thanks in advance) 

Ok, back to taking pictures inside.  There's not much I can do at night without better lenses/camera, but during the day I have found that my house has some sweet spots.  I particularly like the light that comes in the afternoon on the west side of our house, but the morning light might work better in your home depending upon how your house sits, or if you have trees that cast shade on your home.  Phew, run on sentence!  We have a lot of windows on the west side too, which helps.  But I have recently found a new favorite sweet spot.  You've already seen this picture I took of Fletcher, but let's look again.  What's great about this flash-free (of course!!!) photo is that it looks like he's being lit from below and above, just like in a photo studio.

You can see why the light is so great in this picture of Rowan.

{wearing mama's vintage top}
See the light that is cast from the window onto the floor?  That's doing the job of lighting from below.  The light from the window is lighting up her face, and the light bounces off the floor to light her from below.  Free studio lights!  But proceed with caution.  It's hard to get a baby to stay where you want.

So you don't want the subject to actually get into the light that is being cast onto the floor.  Obviously.  You might end up with a really ugly foot in your picture.  And a dog body coming out of your baby's head.  Not to mention the rainbow on the baby's face.  If you have a photo editing program, you can try and fix this, but why bother?  Scoot that baby back, pull that foot out of the frame, shoo the dog away.

Here's another I took the other day in the same spot.

I probably should have gotten lower in this picture so she didn't have this big head-little body problem.  The dreaded lollipop head.  Ah, hell.  Let's throw in one more from the sweet spot.

{Rowan: all teeth and eyes}
I would like to insert here that I am not sharing this knowledge with you because I have an extensive knowledge of photography.  I am just learning from trial and error, and when I find something that works for me, why not share it with you?  This trick will work with any camera, really.  Trust me.  Find your sweet spot.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


The host of You Capture, Beth, lost a good friend to cancer earlier this week, so she's taking the week off.  Her friend was also an amazing photographer.  My prayers go out to both Beth and Samantha's family.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

the long goodbye

We bought our house 4 years ago, thinking we would be spending at least 10 years in it.  If not more.  We poured love (and money) into making it a home for us and for our future children.  1 dog, 2 babies, 4 Christmases, a thousand family dinners, 43 cookouts... just kidding, I have no idea how many cookouts we've had here.  A lot.  We live in the kind of neighborhood where when it's a really nice day, all the neighborhood kids are gathered in one backyard and someone suggests an impromtu cookout.  Or someone starts passing out margaritas.  Or someone drags out the kiddie pool and the kids pile in.  I know there are probably millions of neighborhoods that are like this out there.  But this one felt like mine. 

Okay, I'm done crying in my coffee.  It looks like we may not be selling the house after all.  At least not yet.  So just maybe we'll be back here one day.  Brian can retire from the army in about 10 years.  So if we carefully rent it out for 10 years, I guess it's possible that we'll be back.  But it won't be the same neighborhood. 

I'm just hoping that I can find a home wherever we go.  Not a house, a home.  My kids are going to be army brats, so now it's going to be my job to make everywhere we go a home for them.  Even when we're only there for 6 months.  New adventures await!  But I will miss my cute little kitchen.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

i heart faces: bright and vivid

Well, I'm pretty late with the photo entry this week.  But we were pretty busy with realtors telling us that our house is worth roughly $75,000 less than what we paid for it.  And we'd like to stay, we really would, but you know that army.  Always moving us around like we're... uh... soldiers.  Such is the military life!  We'll figure something out, though.  We're good little soldiers like that.  So back to i heart faces.  Bright and vivid this week!  Here's what I got- Rowan and the car.  Pretty bright and vivid for sure.

Friday, June 10, 2011

friday facts: facts about Fletcher

1.  He's really cute.

What's that?  Oh, that's not a fact, it's a biased mama's opinion?

2.  No it's not.  It's a fact.  He's cute.  He's really cute.  It's a fact, okay?


3.  His favorite meal is salad.  He's weird.

4.  He really likes Superman, mostly because Papa cultivates it.

5.  He really likes Maurice Sendak books, mostly because Mama cultivates it.  (Hello?  In the Night Kitchen is awesome.  Go get it right now for your kids.  You probably already have Where the Wild Things Are.  Right?  Right????!?!!?)

6.  He sometimes hates having a baby sister: No, carry ME down the stairs, Mama!!  MAMA!!!

7.  He sometimes loves having a baby sister: No, that wasn't me.  Baby Rowan tooted!!  *hehehe*

8.  He knows his ABCs and can count to 20ish.  He also can recognize most of them, too.  I credit t.v.

9.  He's a mini-me of Brian.

10.  He's really cute.

11.  He's stubborn on potty-training.  And yes, I do indeed think he may go off to college in diapers.  So don't tell me that he won't.

12.  He's turning 3 in two weeks.  But how is that possible???  He's still my baby!!  (WAH!!!)

13.  He still sleeps in a crib.  Even though we have a twin bed in his room ready and waiting.  Cause he never learned how to get out of it.  So now we're going to transition soon, which means he's really not still my baby.  (WAH!!!)

14.  He believes in fairies and ghosts.  Yes, the fairies are my fault, but at least he's not scared of them since I introduced him to Tinker Bell.  But the ghosts?  I don't know where that came from.  He tells me sometimes that there are ghosts in his closet knocking on the doors.  Creeeeeepy.  Especially since our house was built in 1865.  But he doesn't seem scared, he's pretty matter-of-fact about it.

15.  He really cute.  And he has a big mouth.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

you capture: flowers

Little flower, but if I could understand, what you are, root and all, all in all I should know what God and man is. ~Tennyson

Yep.  What he said.  A lot of my flowers were in buds over the weekend, so I pretty much had to wait until last night to take these pictures for You Capture.  And they're really JUST starting to come out.  So no big sweeping pictures of everything in bloom, but that would be pretty.  I'm sure other people have those.  Maybe once my morning glories and dahlias are in, then I can put those up, too! 




{more geraniums}

{uh, I'm drawing a blank}

{seriously.  can someone remind me what these are?}

{uh, does this count?  there are *ahem* flowers on her dress...}