Monday, January 30, 2012

Judgement Day

On Friday Joe came home with a couple of gems in his backpack.

This was the first one:

He's joining a reading group.  One of three kindergartners.  In lieu of a Christmas Card letter bragging about my children, I'm doing it here and now.  Oh, and I'm just getting started.  His reading was tested in October to see where he was at for the accelerated reader program.  (He's been reading since he was four.  I'm laying it on thick now.)  Anyway, he tested at 2.5 - a second grade level.  Now he gets to join this reading group.  So proud.

FYI - As much as I can brag about Joe and what a rockin' reader he is, I can't take much credit for it.  It just kind of happened.

Also in his backpack . . . report card!  His first one.  Judgement day.  He has the option of getting S+, S, S-, and N.  This is what it looked like:

Are you looking at all those S+s.  I am.  :)  Math and reading is where he excels - just like his mom.  Evidently in order to work up to getting straight S+s he needs to work on Spanish, singing, and social studies.  Funny thing, he did very well in the task management section.  So not like his mother on that one. 

Bragging is done for the day.  I think.  I do have to mention a few cute things that Joe said / did this weekend that gave me a chuckle.  For as much of a smarty pants as he is, he still can't get some things straight.  
-- He has this book swap at school where he can bring books in and exchange them for new ones.  At least half a dozen times he has referred to it as the book SWAMP.
--  James was running around in a Santa hat (yep, that's how we roll on the weekends) and was talking about being the boss because he was Santa.  Joe says that Santa isn't the boss so then James declares himself to be Barack Obama and the boss of everything.  In retaliation Joe says, "Oh yeah, well I'm Jesus and he's the boss of Barack Obama."  
These are just the ones that I remember.  I try to write them down right away but my laziness overruled everything this weekend.

Now I just need to decide how to reward my little guy for a job well done.  Money?  A special dinner out with just mom?  I'm just not sure.

Friday, January 27, 2012

linked 52: Tired

A couple of things:
1st -- I'm totally on time this week.  Are you shocked?  I kind of am.
2nd -- I totally took this with my phone.  Way better quality than my old phone.  I kind of like it.  It's no instagram but it'll do.  (I haven't picked up my camera in a week and that's not normal.)
3rd-- I took this week's prompt totally literally.  I thought about photographing someone that was tired, something that made me tired, or something of that sort.  I decided on where I go when I'm tired.  My bed.
4th -- I'm evidently really into using the word "totally." :)

Here you have it.  When I'm tired, this is where I go.  To watch a movie and relax, to read a book and relax, to escape from my kids and relax, and to sleep.  :)  This view is the other side of the bed.  The spot I get shoved to when the kids climb in.  Just looking at it now with my soft orange comforter and my fluffy pillow makes me tired all over again.

Be sure to check out these other ladies to see their take on "tired":  Michelle, Stacey, Andrea, Tracey, Heather, Jenn, Jessica, Amanda, Kristin, Amanda, Sara, Tracy, Lesli, Janet, Naomi, Rhonda, Rose, and Lena

Friday, January 20, 2012

linked 52: Breakfast

It was a long day yesterday and I didn't get this post done for today.  Add together a full day of work, not getting off until 6, and dinner with a friend. . . here we are.  My goal is to be more prepared next week.

I was thinking about this breakfast prompt and felt at a loss a little.  The boys were at their dad's house and my pancakes didn't look very photogenic on their plate.  What to do?  I took a pic of our fall back breakfast.  You know, the breakfast you eat when you don't have anything better to eat.  Your go to breakfast when you have less than minutes to eat, get your shoes on and get out the door.

I'm in denial pretty sure this is not the healthiest breakfast I could give my children.  Yes, that's a pop tart you see in my little breakfast bucket!  Don't judge.

I have a rotating schedule so on the days I go in late, I usually make assemble breakfast -- a bagel, some toast and yogurt, a waffle, something like that.  The days that I go in early . . . you're looking at it.  At least I know they'll get something a little more substantial at the center.  I guess my saving grace is that I make pancakes every Sunday.  And now you probably know more about my breakfast than you ever wanted to.  :)

Since I'm so late today, I don't have the whole list of all the "linked" blogs.  Head over to Stacey's blog and check out the list.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Little Wednesday Randomness

So it's Wednesday, I haven't blogged in awhile, and I'm in a random kind of mood.

A random picture:

IMG_7465 - Copy (2) 

 They boys goofing off with their cousins after Christmas.  They talk about Noah and Eli constantly.  Noah's on the bottom left and Eli is on the bottom right.  Random dude in the middle.  Alright, so it's not a random dude, it's Noah and Eli's friend.  They had so much fun that day.

We played Mario Kart last night and I seemed to have lost my Mario Kart skills.  I know it shouldn't matter, but it makes me a little sad.

My mom is on vacation and I miss calling her.

I eat peanut butter (at least a small amount) almost daily.  Could I find something a little healthier to obsess about?

Winter showed up today.  I'm not enjoying it.  Brrrrr.  (I'm the mom that sent her kid to school today without any gloves because I was working on autopilot this morning and when he handed them to me I stuck them in his brother's coat.)  Felt like a terrible parent.  My feet are cold.

I told you this was random.

Crying at American Idol right now.  When they make it to Hollywood I feel so proud of them and it chokes me up.  Why must I be so emotional?

Joseph  pulled the tongue out of his gym shoes this week.  The cheap ones from Target.  The only ones he will wear right now.  The cute converse leather ones aren't good enough, the gray ones and the navy ones hurt his feet . . . aggghh.  I had to go buy some ugly shoes from Target because that's what he wanted and I was not going to spend more if he is going to be so picky right now.

Why won't Joe stop eating?  About a half an hour after every meal he tells me he's hungry again.  The size 5 jeans that I bought him for school that were long are now high water pants.

I keep seeing previews for "The Vow" and I think I would like to go see that.

I have no plans for the weekend.  Does anyone want to do anything?

I was going through pictures and found some pictures from my trip to Minnehaha with April this fall.  Maybe I'll share more later but I thought this one captured my personality.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Baby! (not mine)

It seems that everywhere I turn around lately there are babies.  I love babies!  My baby making days are over, I think.  I would kind of like one more but I have my hands full with the two I have, I'm not a spring chicken anymore, and (probably most importantly) there's no man in my life.  It does take two to tango.  I've been blessed with two beautiful children and I'm grateful for that.

Back to the subject at hand -- this baby.

I had the opportunity to take some newborn shots last week.  A friend of a friend booked a lia sophia party with me this fall and during the party I was talking about my hobby.  She called me later to set something up.  This was my first time doing the newborn thing.  My uterus might have skipped a beat or two.  :)

He didn't really want to sleep so we had to change up some sleeping shots that we had in mind.  Here are just a few that we did get.  I think these next two are my favorite.  (I totally need some photoshop help.  Does anyone have a good class to take?)

He's cute, right?

Best Face of 2011

This is totally last minute but I thought I'd throw in one of my favorite face shots from 2011 for an I Heart Faces challenge.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Twins! (Not the baseball kind)

I've been going through my pictures from Christmas but haven't had time to organize them enough to post them yet.  It's a goal for this weekend.  I did take a handful of pictures of these cuties.  Love them.

The twins.  Two years old and adorable.  I took some pictures of them this summer.  I didn't share then (I don't think) so I'll share a couple now.  (My cousin and his wife's children)

Daddy and the kids. . .

Miss Olivia . . .


The family

They have such different personalities.  Olivia is more outgoing but tends to be a little camera shy for me.  Bryan is more reserved and gives me a sly smile.  They are adorable.  Their parents are pretty great too. 
More pics of my crazy family to come.  :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012, Here I Am!

I decided that one of my goals for 2012 is to make sure that I'm actually in some of the pictures that I take.  I'm not getting any younger and before I know it I'm not going to be able to remember anything.  Wait.  I can't remember anything now.  I might need to find the other piece of my tripod before I can totally fulfill this goal though.  :)

I took a picture of myself this Christmas.  It was weird.  I really took it to show off my fancy new Christmas present -- my speedlite.  I got to play with it a little bit but I definitely need more practice.

Here I Am!

Here are my thoughts: 
I'm wearing some cute jewelry.  I had been looking for a place to wear those earrings.  I can thank my Lia Sophia career for those.  :)
I am so pasty looking that I had to make it black and white.
Why am I holding the camera so weirdly?
What is going on with my eye?  Why is my eyelid looking so droopy?  No, I was not drinking.

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011 Year in Review

Warning:  lengthy post / lots of pics

I follow a blog that has a weekly scavenger hunt (for photos).  I have yet to enter said scavenger hunt.  There is an end of the year scavenger hunt / year in review thing going on over there so I thought I'd join in.  There are 25 prompts for pics that you've taken throughout the year.  It took me a long time to go through everything, but I'm glad I did.  It brought back so many great memories.  Here goes . . .

1.  Me

I do have pictures of my whole face but I thought I'd be a little different here.  Not really sure what prompted me to take this pic in the first place, but here I am, untamed eyebrows and all.

2.  I Love You!

There's a lot of people that I love, but my kids are always first.  This was taken at the apple orchard and is one of my favorite pictures of them this year.

3.  Still Laughing . . .

The boys both did baseball this summer.  James made the age cutoff by about a week.  He was by far the smallest kid there.  It always gave me a chuckle to see his tiny little body out there, especially with this big helmet.  He just kept tilting his head back and forth and when he would run it totally fell over his eyes.  Too funny.  :)

4.  Winter Wonderland

Evidently I didn't take many pictures of snow at the beginning of the year.  There hasn't really been any now for me to take pictures of.  This was taken this spring.  That's right, snow in the spring.  I do love freshly fallen snow on a tree though.

5.  Birthday

The wee one's birthday.  Grandma thought it would be funny if he licked the cake.  It was.

6.  Friends

I evidently don't take pictures with my friends.  Or maybe I just don't have a social life.  Or maybe both.  I do love the pics that Amy and I took while walking around the U.  She's been one of my besties for 23 years.  Our anniversary is on January 10th.  Yep, we have an anniversary.

7.  I Was Inspired . . .

There are many people that I get inspiration from.  There are also places and things that inspire me.  Like this picture.  I am inspired everyday to take photos.  It has become evident over this past year from taking pictures for friends -- engagement, family, kids, and even a wedding, that my passion lies with children.  Maybe I should have come to this realization earlier considering my job is working with children.  I love capturing their personalities.  When I capture a photo like this with her innocent face and beautiful eyes, it inspires me to do more.

8.  Spring Fever

I got the kids some rainboots last year.  I wonder why they didn't have them before.  What's better than spending an afternoon jumping in some puddles?

9.  Travel or Vacation

Vacation?  Hahahahahaha.  What's that?  Seriously, it's been a long time.  I did do quite a bit of traveling in 2011.  I made a couple of trips to South Dakota, one to North Dakota, one to Wisconsin, and quite a few trips back home.  I felt like I was in the car quite a bit.  I took this pic of the boys on one of our trips to see my dad.

10.  Summer Days

The end of summer signals that it's state fair time.  I love some corn on the cob in the summer.  This picture taken at the state fair is on of my favorites.  I love that James is so focused on the corn that he's oblivious to the fact that Joe looks like he's ready to take a bite over his shoulder.

11.   A Day In My Life

Since I just posted this photo of James recently, I decided I better pick something else.  This photo is, of course, from James.  What to do with this child?  What to do?  He is definitely my naughty challenging child.

12.  All Smiles

I love this little guy.  I love his twin sister too, but there is something about this one . . .   This was taken when I had the privilege of taking photos of my cousin and his family.  Looking at him just makes me smile.  :)

13.  Autumn Harvest

I do love some pictures in the fall.  I wish the colors were better in here but I sill like it.

14.  Family or Home

So this is not my favorite picture.  I love some things about it.  I love that Joe is being silly and I love that James is holding my hand.  I do not love that I was wearing gauchos and therefore look like a tree trunk.  I also like that it isn't just my normal "hold my camera out with one hand and snap" kind of picture.

15.  Celebrate!

I had the honor of taking some wedding photos for an old friend this past labor day.  Just some snapshots of them throughout the day.  There are other pictures that I might have liked the lighting or positioning better but I love the look of their daughter on this one.  Pure love and joy.  They have a wonderful love story that spans over a decade so it was truly a day to celebrate!

16.  Let's Do It Again.

This summer my cousin and her children came to visit.  The two girls came on one trip and her son came on the other.  (Now she has a fourth!)  When the girls were in town we had the opportunity to take them to the park to play.  She's my closest cousin and I was sad when she moved back to Chicago.  I loved that she was able to visit and I think we should do it again.

17.  I Miss You.

My sister.  She moved to Georgia after her wedding just over a year ago.  I miss having her nearby.  When my brother-in-law gets deployed this spring she is moving home.  It's going to be nice to have her close again.  It's harder to pick on her when she's so far away.  :)

18.  Beautiful

I just love the simplicity of this.

19.  Dress Up

I never really have an occasion to dress up for.  I thought about using the Mario and Luigi picture from Halloween but then I came across this gem.  Be sure that you don't miss the one clip on earring.  He was proud of that.

20.  Macro / Close Up

I don't do too many of these kind of shots.  My kids were obsessed with this lady bug though and requested that I take a picture of it.  I'm sure it would have turned out better with a macro lens.  Mom, are you listening?  Take notes of these things for future birthdays and Christmas.

21.  Holidays

I had to get on the holiday bokeh train this year.  I love lights.  I love bokeh.  Good combination.

22.  My Favorite

This is my favorite picture of the year.  I love the tiny water bokeh that I get.  It melts my heart that Joe put his arm around his brother and this was an unplanned shot.  They've been fighting so much recently, it makes it nice for me to remember times like this.  Love!

23.  Don't Ever Change

My curious boys.  They ask so many questions and are so curious about everything.  The "Why?" question gets annoying sometimes, but I love that they want to gain more knowledge.  They are always eager to learn and I hope that never changes.

24.  Just Because . . . So There.

The picture that doesn't fit into any other category.  My favorite picture of Jackson from this year.  With just a tiny bit of snow still glistening on his fur, he looks so cute.  Kind of makes me want to get him a treat.  How can you not love that face?

25.  Hopes and Dreams

My hopes and dreams for 2012 . . . that I can be as brave as this little guy.  So excited at the first day of school, not anxious from the thought of change.  Totally different to how I act in those situations.  I'd like to take a few lessons from the kids in that way, to just go with the flow and see what happens.  I also hope to be more organized, more selfless, more PRESENT, more thoughtful . . . just more.  Even if  it's just a little bit more.