Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween and more fun....

I wanted to add a few Halloween pictures here :)  The kids were just WAY too cute!  Anna (Aurora) was wearing the tiara I wore at my wedding.  I was a little nervous about that, but I made sure to pin it in really well.  Daniel was a super cute Woody!  He wasn't too keen on keeping the hat on, but at two years old that's understandable.  He was very leery of all of the scary decorations and costumes and wound up crying to be held a few times while trick-or-treating.  The whole holiday seems to freak him out.  Every time we walked through the Halloween section at Target he would cry and hide his face.  He's so sensitive.

My passport came in the mail yesterday!  The picture cracks me up because I look so smug ;)  The guy was taking the pictures at a weird angle, so it looks like I'm half smiling while looking down on everyone.  Will said that my passport picture was the best out of all four of ours in spite of the smug look ;)  None of our passport pictures are good.  Even the kids, who never take a bad picture!  It's still bizarre to me that our kids have passports.  I didn't get my first passport until 15 or 16 when I went to China.  I love the fact that our children are going to be little world travelers.  I just hope they love traveling and Europe as much as Will and me.  To be honest, sometimes I worry that they'll grow to resent us because of all of the moving we'll probably do in their lifetime and having to be so far from extended family.  This is exactly the life that Will and I want, but would they choose it if they had the option?  I guess only time will tell.  

We'll be in Germany this time next month.  That's still pretty surreal.  Our lives have changed so much since we got married five and a half years ago.  I often feel overwhelmed to have been blessed so much.  God is SO good to us.  We're still working on all of the final details, but most things have been scheduled :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thoughts on loss and change...

It's hard to believe that it's November already!  Where has the time gone.  It feels like we're moving at a break-neck pace now and I'm trying to acclimate myself the best I can!

I suppose I should start with an apology for being MIA for such a long time.  I kind of gave myself this six months to try to take in life here in CA because I knew that everything would be changing so quickly.  I didn't take on any non-friend photography clients for quite some time here and tried to lay low.  I've made some of the best friendships I've had in my life in this short period of time.  I have friends who care deeply about me and never hesitate to offer a hand when they can tell that I need to take a breath.  What a blessing those friendships are.  There is nothing like a friendship where both parties are so actively pursuing each other.  I have been blessed like this by my best friend Jessica for years, but we never live near each other!  ;)  I love you SOOO much, Jessica!  Thank God for friends we can lean on when we feel like screaming or crying and need a sympathetic ear.  

Change...I don't even know where to start!  Like I said, I have been laying low here photographically speaking ;)  I've done a couple of newborn shoots and now I have a family shoot that was booked as a result of them seeing one of the newborn shoots!  This is such a lovely way to gain business!  I'm hopeful that things will really pick up once we get to Germany and I actually start advertising my photography business.  I'm looking forward to this move and all of the changes it will bring for my family.  Life is good and we are so blessed to be able to live where we've always wanted to live long term.  

Loss...There are some losses that you simply never get over.  My Grandma passed away about a year before Will and I got engaged.  She was and continues to be one of my favorite people who ever graced this planet.  I think of her daily, but sometimes the loss hits me like a ton of bricks and I find myself crying.  This happened the other day on my drive home from Walgreens.  I went to pick up medications for my stomach flu and found myself tearing up while driving home alone even though nothing in particular reminded me of her at that moment.  Today I was looking through a Pier 1 catalog and saw something that reminded me of her holiday decorations.  Autumn and the holiday season are the worst.  Will loves to listen to the Rat Pack and we often play Sinatra/Dean/Bing for the kids after dinner.  It always makes me think of how much my Grandma would love Will's affinity for old music and movies.  They would have gotten along so well!  Daniel's new favorite song to sing (sometimes yell ;)) is "Count Your Blessings" from White Christmas.  That would have made her day.  I think of her when I sing "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ra" to my children when they're in their beds and having a rough time sleeping because it's what she did for me every night I spent at her home.  My life is a million times richer for having spent time with her and it sometimes makes me cry that my children will never get to know how wonderful she was.  Anyway, I'm not sure why I felt the need to share this with whomever decides to read the blog, but I just know that I miss her dearly and wouldn't trade a second of the time I spent with her.  It's never easy to lose a loved one, but I have to trust that God has a plan and that ultimately my Grandma is now in Heaven and at peace.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Waiting to Exhale

For those of you who read my blog (hi family :)), I am SO sorry that it has been so long!  We are starting to get settled in to our new home in CA.  I seriously forgot how insanely gorgeous the whole state of California is.  Monterey, is especially beautiful.  I'm so blessed to be able to live in this city once again. 

I'm sure that you'll find a lot of pretty, ocean/Monterey pictures here in the next few months.  Followed by pictures of Germany (castles, silly signs, etc).  Our life feels so fluid.  It's constantly changing, and we are always planning the next big move.  I am not complaining.  I love it.  It definitely suits the nomad in me!  So, we're un-packing the boxes at our new house and enjoying CA while we can.   I'm taking care of laundry and dishes like my life depends on it!  By the way, someone forgot to remind me just how creepy the run-of-the-mill laundromat is now.  That was a very interesting trip ;)

I'll try to update here soon with some silly stories about my kids.  They are always funny :) 

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Let me tell you the words!"

So, Anna has this (self-proclaimed/invented) bedtime ritual where she insists on telling us "the words."  The words are really what she hopes for tomorrow.  Last night when she told her Daddy the words, they were to cuddle and watch movies with mommy (yes, that did melt my heart!) and go to play park.  I just put her down for her nap, and she insisted on sharing the words with me, even though it's not typically a nap time thing.  Today they were words about the specific play park she wanted to go to, so I heard "blue stairs, musical beeps (little buttons that you push that chime), teeter totters with red seats, and race cars.  She knows that if she doesn't take a nap, she doesn't get to go to play park, so let's all hope that she actually falls asleep for a bit so we can go to play park.

I figure that since this post was inspired by Anna, I'd share some more Annaisms.  Anna likes to invent words.  One of her favorites is "bigabit."  A bigabit is really just a bigger bit.  She likes to eat Froot ( I hate that they spell fruit that way!) Loops in the morning, and when I'm getting ready to give her the cereal she insists on a bigabit.  Daniel has picked up on this and regularly asks for a bigabit, also.

Anna has taken to saying owwie randomly and without any real need.  I mean, I understand saying it if something is actually bothering you or you're hurt, but she tells me that there's no good reason for her to say it, and I'm choosing to believe it ;)  The other day she kept saying it over and over again (it was like nails on a chalk board), so I told her that it was "slightly ridiculous to say owwie when there's nothing wrong with you."  Anna, being the super smart and silly girl that she is, decided that her plastic dog was ridiculous, "Bunito is SOO ridiculous!"  She then went through a few other items in the car and stated that they were also "slightly ridiculous."  I really do adore how goofy she is.  She loves to use big words and is interested in knowing what they all mean.  We really do talk to her like she's much older than she is, and I think it makes for some pretty fun conversations.

Daniel is pretty hilarious, too.  He's talking more now.  He typically uses normal words, but this morning he decided to revert to gibberish to tell me something very deep and meaningful.  He rattled off a good minute or so of nonsense and then said "Ummm" and took a nice, long pause for deep reflection.  After the cute pause (I'm telling you, it seriously looked like he was deep in thought, trying to figure out what he needed to say next) he continued to rattle on.  He says I love you too, but it sounds more like "Aiy you tiu!"  He says good morning in a way that would make anyone fond of southern accents swoon ;)  I'll have some more cute Daniel stories to share soon. 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Free At Last!

I am done with school until mid-July!  I don't know if you can tell, but I'm practically jumping up and down over here.  Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy my classes (especially the photography classes), but I am stressed to the max.  Between the move and everything else, the last thing I need is a ton of deadlines looming over my head.  I'll go back to class mid-July and take a couple new classes, then I'll take a break for our big move to Europe.  I'm also planning on taking a German class at the community college in CA.  I could certainly use a brush up on my German language skills before we head over there to live.  

I decided to get back to working-out.  I was going to Zumba super frequently for quite some time, but life got hectic and with Will's recurring ingrown toenail, he was unable to work-out for a while.  How did I jump back in to working-out?  Well, I thought that Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred dvd would be a great way to start.  That woman is a beast!  I wrote on facebook that I think she's an instrument of torture, and I have to say that I still believe it!  I don't remember the last time all of my muscles have hurt like this.  I'm just trusting that it will work and trying to smile through the ridiculous physical pain ;).

I had a chance to do a photo shoot with the Story family again.  I had such a blast.  If you want to check out the pictures, you can go here.  I have a new layout for my photography blog, and I'm loving it. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Today was interesting, to say the least!  We went out to lunch with some people who are going to be moving to CA and Germany at the same time as us.  I have to say, it is insanely nice to know people who will be with us the whole way through.  It is even better that they are really cool, nice people who I think we will have a great time with!

You're probably wondering why I titled this post "Insanity."  Well, while we were eating lunch at a lovely Indian buffet, we got to talking about Anna's little OCD-ish tendencies (she is definitely her mother's daughter!).  I mentioned that Anna freaks out to the point of almost crying if a door is left ajar and no one closes it the instant she notices.  It just so happens, that the couple sitting at a table across from us managed to hear that little tidbit.  Later, during lunch the woman comes over and informs us that she sees ghost/spirits (she used the word interchangeably), and has since she was five years old.  The first time she saw a spirit it was her recently departed grandmother, and she came out of her closet!  She then told her parents that her Grandma was not really dead just sleeping (anyone else ridiculously perplexed?!  I had to make a conscious effort to not make a lovely, "What the heck?!" face).  She shared this with us because she suspected that Anna shared her "gift."  I tried to explain that Anna is just extremely particular and I don't think she's seen any spirits yet.  In case you didn't know, I am a magnet for all weird/creepy people.  I was looking over my old blog from my internship in Germany, and man were there some funny stories about creepy people approaching me!  I'm sure this is simply the first of many creepy experiences to be shared on this blog ;). 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fish out of water.

We took a trip up to Willard, OH to visit family.  I really can't explain just how wonderful the trip was.  We had a blast, and Anna can't stop talking about all of her newly discovered relatives (and their respective animal friends).  She was only a year old when we saw most of them last, so it was brand new to her.  She couldn't get enough of their animals (this is the point where you take pity on the poor defenseless animals ;)).  Daniel worked his charm on everyone.  He gave out BaoBaos (hugs) freely and open mouth kissed anyone who dared make the request.

Now for the fish out of water...yep, that's me!  This was my third trip to Willard.  The first couple of trips were even more whirlwind than this trip, so forgive my short memory.  Anyway, I hadn't been in nearly four years, so I forgot some of the aspects of small-town living.  As we were making the trip up to OH I started feeling a sinus infection coming on, so I suggested we stop in at Walmart when we got to Willard to pick up some Mucinex.  Will laughed hysterically and informed me that we wouldn't be able to make such a trip because Willard, OH has zero Walmarts.  I responded with "They don't have a Walmart?!  WHERE do they BUY things?!"  Looking back, it was a totally ridiculous thing to say, but at that moment, it was all I could think ;).  In my defense, I had never been to a small town before I started dating Will.  No one in my family lives in a town with fewer than a hundred thousand people.  I love Willard though.  Mostly because of all the people there, but it is a really nice place.  One thing I'm not so fond roads.  I was on the verge of losing my lunch on a number of drives ;)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Preschool Fun!

I can't believe that I forgot to post about Anna's first day at preschool/daycare.  As far as we know, it went really well.  None of the teachers made it a point to tell us otherwise, so let's all hope that it was just a great day ;)  Anna came home excited to tell us all about her new found friends and the joys of "school."  Her only complaint was that the teachers said mean things to her like "Lay down and go to sleep!" and "Please be quiet and take a nap!"  Oh the horrors!  ;)  We did explain to her that they weren't being mean, they were just trying to get everyone to take a nap.  Kiddos have to nap at school just like they do at home.

Today I did a photoshoot of a baby girl named Mana (it means love in Japanese).  She was SO sweet!  It was nice to take pictures of a newborn again.  I'm SOO anxious to take pictures of my new niece Mia next month!  I ordered a pink backdrop that should look really cute in pictures.  It's going to be a blast!

That's pretty much it for now.  Wow...I'm super boring.  Life is good and hectic, which I'm learning to appreciate more ;)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thoughts on Negativity

I tire pretty quickly of negative people.  I understand to an extent, because I'm bent a little toward cynicism, but all out negativity is so counter-productive.  It doesn't help you, it just makes you feel worse.  It also doesn't help those around you.  It makes them (if they're like me) want to get as far away from you as possible.  When I'm confronted with a rude, negative person I typically want to make some snarky comment.  At that point, I have to remind myself that I'm a 27 year old woman and not a 12 year old.  I'm constantly trying to be a better me.  I refrained from making such a comment when confronted with a rude and negative person recently, and I'm proud of myself.  It takes a lot of effort sometimes, but I really want to strive to take the high road and not get into petty, silly arguments.  I'm going to try to keep negative posts on here to a minimum. Not that I don't have bad days, but I don't think I want this to be my main vent area.  I'll probably stick to doing Things I Love/Like posts on crummy days.  Focusing on the good things in life helps make bad days livable :)

Alight, on to life!   I have my new computer!  This thing is amazing.  I REALLY like it.  The screen is massive (27"), so it's amazing for editing pictures! 

I'm in a new photography class at school, and it's with a teacher who wasn't super positive about my work the last time I had a class with her.  This time, she's loving the pictures I'm submitting, and that is such a good feeling!  I definitely feel like I'm making a lot of progress when it comes to my work.  I don't feel like the clueless newbie in my classes anymore. 

Anna is starting daycare tomorrow!  She'll be going once or twice a week to try to get used to a school-like setting and learn how to interact with other children.  She'll be starting preschool pretty soon, so we feel like this will be helpful.  When we get to Germany (Next winter!) we will probably put her in German schools, so we want her to be used to school before we throw in the language barrier.

Daniel is cracking me up lately.  He's talking more.  Yesterday he started saying "And BEYOND!"  His favorite movie is Toy Story, so it makes sense ;)  He is such a sweet kid. 

We're trying to figure out our move now.  We'll be leaving Augusta in just over a month!  It's so hard to believe.  I was looking over pictures of Monterey and Anna when she was a newborn (she was born there) and I couldn't be more excited about living there for six months.  I love so much about that place.  It will be great to live near the ocean for a little bit again.  I'm sure I'll take a ton of pictures because the scenery is simply breath-taking. 

I'll probably post a new Things I Love/Like post in the next few days.  Not because I'm planning a bad day, I just think those posts are fun :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010


How did I survive so long without coffee in my life?!  I drank coffee in college out of necessity, but gave it up once I left school.  Once I got pregnant with Anna-Banana I made sure to steer clear of the stuff, and it stayed that way through my pregnancy with Daniel and nursing him.  Man, I'm glad I didn't know what I was missing!  I am now a bonafide espresso addict.  I couldn't have my homemade latte yesterday morning, and it messed up my whole day!  Anyway, back on track today. 

I'm insanely excited because soon, I'll be blogging on my amazing 27" iMac!  It's a custom configuration, so it's going to take a bit :/ but it will be here soon.  The plan is for the beast of an iMac I'm getting to be my work/school computer.  I've never had a super nice computer (my college laptop was supposed to be nice, but it died on my regularly). 

I feel like I've reached a good place photography wise.  I'm definitely consistently taking way more good pictures than bad, and that is really nice for me.  I'm getting the hang of it.  I just started a new photography class, and I don't feel like the person whose work isn't quite up to snuff this time around. 

We had snow last Augusta!  It didn't last long, but it was beautiful.  We made our first snowman (or as Anna insisted, Snow Anna).  Snow Anna survived for about two hours before the sun melted her head right off her little body.  I took some pictures of the aftermath.  I have this picture of the candy that made up her face all melted on the ground next to the remnant of her head.  Is that sick?  Maybe I'll post some pictures later.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pretty Purple Toenails.

We're still trying to nail down the last bit of potty training Anna at our house.  She still wears a diaper when she goes down for her nap and a bedtime.  Well, we've found that positive reinforcement is the way to go with Anna ;)  This girl LOVES nail polish.  She lights up when you talk about painting her nails.  She managed to make it through her nap without using her diaper yesterday, so I painted her nails bright purple with a purple and blue glitter over the top.  You wouldn't believe how proud she was.  At night, we made the mistake of putting her in footie pajamas at bedtime and about two hours after she went down she woke up and asked us to come up so she could go potty.  It turns out, she just REALLY wanted to see her pretty toenails.  She asked her daddy to put her in different pajamas that didn't cover her toes.  I painted my toenails to match hers today, and we both had to wear skirts and sandals just so everyone could see how cute they were. 

Sorry, that was probably mostly nonsense, but I think that it's so cute how special a little thing like painting her toenails makes her feel.  I remember feeling that way when I was little too ;)  I'm grateful that I have a sweet girly-girl to be silly with!

Life as I know it...

is about to change.  Oh man, life is going to get much more hectic and crazy here for a while.  It appears that we're moving back to California in about two months.  We'll be there for six or seven months and then we will be moving to Germany.  We have been hoping/praying for this, but thought that it wasn't exactly a possibility.  It definitely took me by surprise.  We've really enjoyed being in Augusta.  I'm going to miss all of my amazing friends and taking my kids to the great pool at the Y this summer.  I hope we make it back here some day to visit.  I'll keep everyone posted when I know more about what's going on.  If you're a praying person, we could definitely use your prayers! 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fun With Food

I thought I'd make a post about some of the fun things I've made.  I'll probably do some food posts with recipes, etc soon.  This was a mini apple pie I made a few weeks ago.
Another picture of the apple pie because I love how they turned out.  How cute is the little leaf on the top?!  I got it and four other leaf pastry cutters at Williams Sonoma (one of my favorite stores!).

Valentine's Day cookies.  I know that they were a little early, but I was craving some good sugar cookies!  This was the first time I used royal icing on sugar cookies.  

Friday, January 29, 2010

How Do They Do It?!

So, I love all things Martha Stewart.  She's creative, articulate and seems to be the queen of details.  I can write off the fact that I can't be Martha, because she doesn't have any children at home, she doesn't have a husband, she's not in college (again!), etc.  Her life is all about being creative, and mine is really all about my family, so I do what I can, but I'll never be Martha.  THEN, I stumble upon Ree Drummond (AKA Pioneer Woman).  Ok, so PW has four children (whom she home-schools!), has a blog, writes cookbooks, does photography, and the list goes on and on.  Maybe it's because my kids are both pretty young and require a lot of attention, but I have to wonder, how does she do all of that and stay sane?!

She's my new favorite (I still love you Bakerella) because she seems so honest and she shares some of my strange neuroses ;).  She has a very well-rounded blog because she covers just about everything.  I wish I could spend a week with her so I could see how she does it all!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Things I Like...

Today has been another rough day. I got the kids ready, out the door and in the van, just to find out that our battery was/is dead. When it rains, it pours ;) Anyway, I'm trying to look on the bright side of things, so I decided to post a blog of things that I like instead of venting further!

I love long dresses, and I love purple. This one is a win-win from JCrew.

This skirt is from Anthropologie. I love the overlay and you can't really go wrong with an A-line skirt.

I'm finding myself really drawn to yellows lately (green is still my favorite). I really like this particular shade of yellow and this dress is cute. From Anthropologie.

This one is from JCrew and I think it's pretty cute. Ann Taylor Loft has a similar dress right now and I also really like it.

This Anthropologie dress is cute and summery. It reminds me of dresses I wore as a kid :)

Anthropologie (are you sensing a trend?) Another cute sundress.

LOVE this apron from Anthropologie. So, so cute.

Dish towel from Anthropologie. Sadly, they're not selling the SUPER cute Matryoshka measuring cups, otherwise those would have made the cut!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Yep, I'm a cliche.

Today was definitely "one of those days." The kids decided that it was against their better judgment to take a nap (oh man, were they wrong!). Tantrums were frequent and ugly. There are days when the best option seems to be to ship them off to their grandparents so that I can regain what is left of my sanity. I realize there's not much to salvage, but I'd love to do just that! One of my best friends told me that she loved how honest I was about my children. I will never be one of those moms who constantly says things like, "Oh, my children never misbehave! They are perfect little angels." Don't get me wrong, I think that my kids are the most amazing children who ever walked this earth, but they have melt-downs and freak-outs just like EVERY other toddler and sometimes it jeopardizes my sanity ;).

I've found that I have become a one-woman-cliche-spewing machine. I am constantly saying things like (the DREADED) "Because I said so!" and "Why don't you worry about eating your food, and I'LL worry about your brother?" Yep, that is me. I used to be somewhat eloquent. Gone are those days, apparently.

Today wasn't all bad. The kids were playing around in Anna's room this morning. She was throwing a bouncy ball and yelling "BASEBALL!" repeatedly, and for some reason that combination made Daniel laugh uncontrollably! I just about lost it laughing. All of the stress and nonsense of the day might have been worth it just for that fifteen minutes of bliss. None of us could stop laughing.