Monday, September 24, 2012

Maternity



There's no maternity section on my photo challenge, but I still took some pictures this weekend. :)

Thanks to the gorgeous glow of my favorite friend and the golden tones of the first evening of autumn, I think we snagged some good stuff. It was fun to get outside and experiment with this magnificent light, and having such an awesome subject made it that much better! Slowly but surely, I'm starting to learn. Baby Maggie is due in November, but here's what she and her mama (and her sweet big sister Eva!) are looking like these days:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Abby's Nesting



I was honored to help throw another shower this weekend! This time around, it was all about a sweet little bun in the oven - Baby Maggie. (pictured in the belly above).

My BFF Abby is due in November and her mother and I set up a shindig to "feather her nest." Guests chowed down on delicious cake balls in a cute pretzel nest and decorator eggs lined the table to fit the theme. We played fun games, wrote wishes for Abby's newest addition, and each guest created a quilt square to be stitched by the little love's great Grammy.

It's hard to get snaps in while hostessing, directing games, and stuffing my face, but here are a few details:



Aside from games and face-stuffing, there was a pile of presents for our favorite mama. She ended up with a bunch of diapers and some of the tiniest pink clothes I've ever seen. She also ended up with quite a bit of help:



We always have a fantastic time together and this weekend was no different. It'a amazing how after 20 years of friendship (yeah, you read that right), nothing changes. Even though we've gone from this:



to this:



We've still got it. I love my friend dearly and I'm counting down the minutes until I see her again. You, however, won't have to wait. After the shower we did a maternity shoot. I'll post a sneak peek soon. :)

Hope your weekend was amazing. Happy Sunday, y'all!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 1: Self Portrait



SO this is my face.

It's hard to fit it all in a 50mm lens, so this was the best I could do. Trying to play with directional light and letting the focus fall on my new 'do. No make-up, no photo editing (even though I need both!) - just me. Day 1, in the books. Anxious to see my improvement, as the last assignment is a repeat of the first. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Photo Challenge


Click on the image to read all the details.

I figured if I stuck it on here, it's more likely to actually happen. Right?

I pinned this 30-day photo challenge a long time ago. Months ago. Back when I got my new lens and was excited about getting better. Maybe I've gotten a tiny bit better since then, but it's time to crack down. And I don't think I'll ever get to where I want to be until I get off Pinterest and put the camera to my face.

(and maybe buy some editing software?)

So there it is. Notice it doesn't say 30 Consecutive Day Photography Challenge, so don't expect me to be on top of it and definitely don't expect me to replace your favorite little boys with the subjects listed above.

The camera loves them too much for that.

Stay tuned as I post my challenge results and if you, too, are looking to progress yourself in the complicated art of portrait photography, please join me. I'd love to see what you're snapping. Have a happy Wednesday, y'all!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tea for Rose



Yesterday afternoon, some friends of the family gathered at my mom's for a bridal tea party to honor my brother's fiancee, Rose.

Despite the fact that I couldn't tell the difference between Earl Grey and English Breakfast if my life depended on it, we pulled it off. It was quite the extravangant affair, from the tea selections to the scones. The white wine sangria helped a bit, too. :) Check out some of the details:



Food and drink were enjoyed by all and more than one guest discovered she liked the taste of hot tea. It was fantastic to spend time with friends and introduce them to our family's newest addition. The beautiful guest of honor (who already knew she enjoyed a cuppa):



The guests even enjoyed the last-minute (and hopefully not-too-awkward) party games. There was a little cheating and a lot of laughs:


The weather didn't exactly cooperate, but what's an English party without rain?



Thank goodness for my parents' well-designed backyard. The guests simply whisked their wooden chairs from the white linen tables and tucked them under the eaves of the porch without missing a beat. The presents were unwrapped in a nice breeze to the sounds of rain falling into the pool.

Rose got a lot of gifts. Getting to meet and mingle with the local ladies, play games, drink tea, and watch the rain were all great, but come on, amazing kitchenware and house decor were the real stars.

Oh, the love of a waffle iron!


The party was a success and as Rose, her mother, and her maid of honor left for Texas with a loaded-down Volkswagen and plenty of memories, I think she'd agree. We had a blast and I can't wait to see the two tie the knot next month. Thirty-four days and counting!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cutie Face



Although I'm super busy today setting up/hostessing a shower for my brother's lovely bride, I didn't forget you. If you happened to stop by, you're in luck.

Owen got a hair cut the other day and I took some pictures of his cutie face. Please have an amazing weekend and hopefully I'll remember to snap a photo or two of Rose's tea party to share. Happy Saturday!



(Do you detect a hint of mischief? Oh, yeah. This is our first experience with pantry locks.)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Award-Winning



And you were impressed by the goat and the lamb, weren't you?

I can't even... I don't know... My parental pride has me at a loss for words (don't worry, it's short-lived). Last week Nathan's art teacher sent home a note saying a piece of his artwork was chosen for entry at the county fair. We were thrilled! Little did we know upon entering the education building at the fair we would see this phenomenal first-place pig drawing.

With my kid's name on it.

I'm extremely impressed by this. Not only is my kid an independent kindergartner, he was able to do something on his own and win an award for it. Jonathan and I created a tiny baby that was capable of doing this by himself. Again bear with me on the parenthood stuff, but come on. This is awesome. Look at the pig, and the fence, and the little bucket. Goodness, this is cute!

As I told you yesterday, Nathan did get to ride on the big yellow school bus to the Howard County Fair this morning. Here's the story he told me: He got to ride on the bus with his best buds Tucker and Manning (they're so tiny it's three to a seat - I can't stand it!). He said it was extra bumpy and lots of fun. There was a woman who talked to them about the animals and the rooster was his favorite. Reason being it was noisy and had "creepy yellow eyes." They also learned how bees make honey and were given a sample to take home. After that, they walked through the art building and his first-place pig caught his eye.

"You know mom, I'm still really proud of myself."

Me, too, buddy. Me, too.

Also, he got this sweet milk mustache sticker:



Oh, the wonders of the county fair! The award-winning artist and I wish you a happy Friday!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gots & Lams




How could I not be proud enough to share this? Tomorrow Nathan goes on his first field trip - to the Howard County Fair, no less. Who knows what fantastic drawings will take place in Mrs. Dodd's classroom after getting up close and personal with a few farm animals. Hopefully his folder will be brimming with illustrations from the day.

Have a happy Thursday, y'all!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Melmo



While the big boys are at soccer practice, the small one and I take advantage of the extra couch space and watch an episode or two of Elmo's World. Owen is a big, big "Melmo" fan.

I'm just here for the snuggles.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Dirty Boy



See what happens when Grammy's in town??

(I kid, I kid. She and I both know who encouraged this fiasco.)

Owen had no trouble stepping into the mud puddle on his own this afternoon. Once I came around the bend from digging in the backyard garden, my sweet baby couldn't believe his ears when I insisted that he sit down and splash. Big brother wouldn't hear of it, but little brother didn't miss a beat.

His diaper-clad bottom sank into the muck and his hands searched for rocks to plop beside him. It wasn't long before mud was smeared on his sweet cheeks and I was running for the camera:









After several minutes of splashing and a quick kitty chase across the yard, it was right to the tub. This mama fully endorses getting as dirty as possible, because that makes the cleanup even more fun:







Happy Saturday, everyone! Hope you took advantage of the gorgeous weather and got a little mud on your cheeks, too. :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bookish



Bear with me, y'all. The "amazed at Nathan's educational prowess" posts aren't going anywhere any time soon. What's a mother if not proud?

When the boys and I came home yesterday, I customarily opened Nathan's daily folder. He noticed a book order form and snatched it right out. I get so excited about these book orders. I was thrilled when NCA participated and every few months I'd sit down and decide which books would be best added to our growing collection.

Kindergarten has changed this routine a bit, though. He took the form away from me, plopped on the couch, and flipped to the exact one. "I know just what book I'd like! It's a book called 'Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes.' It was sitting at my library table the other day and I looked at it and it was SO funny. Will you buy it for me??"

Yes, Nathan, yes I will.

I know the kid's only five and his reading level consists of the color words he's learned in his 2.5 weeks of kindergarten and phonetically simple three-letter words, but this is a big step.

I love books. Seeing Nathan get excited about a certain book and seeing something he did in school as fun and exciting is incredible. I know this is simple and probably happens in most kindergartners' homes, but this is the first time it has happened in mine.

And I am going to read "Pete the Cat" until I'm blue in the face.

Happy Thursday, everyone. :)