Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Our Semi Finished Photo Frame Wall Collage

Remember a while back when I shared a picture of our terribly boring entry way wall and mentioned that I wanted to put a photo frame wall collage on it someday?  Well, after about two months of debating (like really, really debating) over what style of collage to do, how big to make it, buying a bunch of eclectic cheapo frames only to then return them when I felt like they looked to messy, wondering if I should use white, black or brown frames and hanging newspaper on the wall in different directions  did I finally decide to go with a more cohesive, streamlined look.  This goes better with the feel of our home...or at least the feel that I want for our home someday.  I'm happy with the contrast of the brown wood frames against the white molding and I love that I will get to display both vertical and horizontal pictures with this collage.  These are Wall Mart frames and my sister is actually the genius who suggested this simple layout that I love.  Thanks Anna!  I had a small budget and that does pose more challenges but, I am very happy with this simple, clean look.  I will be filling the bottom frames with pictures from our Fall family Session soon.  Yeah! Another DIY project that we can cross of our list!

BEFORE (below): Just to refresh your memory.  This is what our horrible boring entryway wall looked like before the chair rail, molding, paint and wood frames that my hubby worked tirelessly on.  THANK YOU HUBBY!  Pretty blah huh. I found it almost depressing to walk in and out of my house to this long blank wall every day. I still want to get a nice chaise lounge for beneath the pictures and I'd also like to get a circular mirror for the entry instead of the rectangle that we have as it hangs past the molding and looks tacky.  Oh and wood flooring is still on my wish list! I'm content with this for now though:-)
My hubs worked patiently on the molding in his free time for about a month.  I am thrilled with how it has transformed our entryway and if it was easier to do I would probably want the molding done throughout the entire house! lol.  Looks so fresh and inviting doesn't it!  My hubs is such a handy guy!

Our wall is in fact bowed in several places which means the molding bows.  I am baffled by how uneven our walls are in this house but, fortunately once the furniture is moved against the molding it doesn't stand out as much anymore. 
Daisy really enjoyed playing with Daddy's tools and watching him work.  She especially loved the tape measure and the level and yes, she has a diaper on though it doesn't look like it in this picture. lol

Monday, August 29, 2011

Her First Kitchen

I have been shopping on Craigslist for about a month now for a kitchen set for Daisy and I finally found one last week!  I wanted one that had a lot of fun things for her to do and when I saw this one I knew it was perfect.  It has a microwave, coffee maker, a serving window, cabinets, a phone, a talking stove and a sink and microwave that make noises.  I love the colors and it looks brand new but, it's actually 10 years old! Crazy huh.  Gotta love Craigslist.  For the first 2 days that we had the kitchen Daisy was fascinated and couldn't get enough of it.  The novelty has already worn off of course and now she really only wants to play with it if we join her or else she runs around eating fake food.  Personally I love playing in her kiddie kitchen.  Cooking is much easier than in my own kitchen (hehe) and the clean up is a piece of cake! Daisy loves when Daddy joins her at her kitchen too.  You will notice she even made a pretty silly face for my camera while she was playing.  She is such a crack up. 

Look at that uber cute cheese smile!  This picture cracks me up!

She loves to play with anything that mommy uses and oh how loud she is when she does! lol
We have been skyping a lot with family to stay connected.  Daisy enjoys saying hi...for a minute or two.
Her first morning with her kitchen.  She was so excited to wake up to this!!
I can't help it...I just love this picture, blur and all.  She was just so happy to be running around free after her bath!

Daisy is generally quite shy and reserved around all men but, my sister's husband Tony has a special charm that she really gravitated towards.  It was D's bedtime and she went to get a book and surprised us all by not bringing the book to me or to Becca but, walking up to Tony, leaning on him and grunting for him to pick her up while she shook the book at him.  She couldn't have been more content sitting with him and reading her bedtime story.  These two will make great parents someday!

Auntie Becca spoiled Daisy with some youtube Mother Goose club videos which are some of Daisy's favorites right now.  She watches them over and over again on a daily basis.  I need ear plugs! lol

I have a bit of a cold or flu or something this week which stinks but, I am about to wrap up my wedding editing by this weekend which is great!  So excited to share more of those images with all of you and also excited to have a little more time in the evening to visit your blogs again!! xoxo

Stay tuned for a 17 month post coming soon....

Friday, August 26, 2011

Momma In Focus - Coloring

I got Daisy some water color crayons a while back now.  We tried coloring one other time but, she really wasn't that interested.  This time was different.  This time she knew exactly what to do and she loved when I drew a face (I am not an and she began to point to each feature on the face when I asked her where everything was.  She knows all of the facial features now (nose, mouth, tongue, eyes, ears, teeth, hair and even earrings) and I tried to draw some other things she would recognize for fun too (ball, duck, cow, flower...again, I am not artist) and she pointed them all out as well.  We had such a great time together! 

When we were done I noticed that Daisy had actually scribbled a good amount on the paper and I was so proud of her first piece of artwork.  I've never wanted to be a mom who displays art on our fridge (I wanted to have an art display board in our house...haven't done that yet) but, this piece of art just screamed for a place on our fridge.  I have never been so excited to stick something on my super clean fridge.  Three days later the art still adorns our fridge and I love it. 

My Little Miss is sick again due to teething.  I swear she gets sick once a month and it is always teething related with a low grade fever for about a week.  Would you believe she is already cutting her 2 year molars?  I thought we were going to have a little break since she has her 16 primary teeth in but, nooooooooo.  Also, we have a hurricane headed for our coast and it is expected to hit the coast around midday tomorrow.  Please keep the people out here in your prayers as this hurricane is looking pretty intense.  I'm not worried about us as we are pretty far inland but, you just never know.  Our friends are evacuating from the beach in Virginia and coming here for the weekend.  We will have a fun full house! I will keep you all posted.  Happy Friday friends.  xo

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stay Cool

This Summer is H*O*T, HOT.  We have been doing just about anything and everything we can to keep cool.  Otter pops.  Lake trips.  Community pool play dates.  Sprinklers.  Milkshakes.  Extra baths and lots of hose and mini pool time in the back yard.  My little girl is probably happiest when I hand her the hose and stick her in a little plastic tub to play.  She gets so smiley and starts chatting in her cute little baby language and oh how I wish I could understand what she is saying (soon enough I know).  She melts my heart over and over again.

My little gal is a bundle of energy and life to say the least.  I'll admit, sometimes I go a little stir crazy being cooped up in the house everyday with my little tornado.  I try to keep us busy so that there is less whining and less boredom but, we can only do so much in this heat.  Not a day goes by that someone doesn't remind me to cherish every little second with my daughter because she will be grown before I know it and I couldn't agree more.  The last 16 months flew by (like really flew!) and I know the same will be true of the next 16+ years.  Isn't it unfortunate that even in knowing how fleeting the moments are with our little ones that we can still find ourselves sometimes rushing through a day, or getting stressed over little nothings that are insignificant in the overall scheme of things.   I mean how could I not want to sit and play ALL day long with that cute little face below?? hehe

I feel like the Lord is constantly urging me to cherish, savor and soak up every little moment in life, so I try to do just that!  I'm so thankful for His constant reminders as they keep me in check and remind me to slow down.  Make every moment count.  Savor the morning cuddles.  Linger a little longer at the kitchen play set.  Laugh when the food is flung on the floor.  Did I mention that my little gal coughed a mouth full of Pintos and Cheese into my face and hair last night at Taco Bell.  Oh my goodness it was hilarious.  I literally started busting up laughing and disrupted the entire room.  Those are the moments I don't ever want to miss!  Life is messy, surprising and wonderful!  Are you soaking it all up too?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Separation Anxiety A Thing of the Past Perhaps?

I am so happy to share that today when my hubby and I dropped Daisy off at our churches nursery, marks the second official time that she hasn't broken into hysterics when we attempted to leave.  I set her by a big shelf of toys and her face lit up with a big smile and she immediately began playing.  I gave her a big kiss and walked out quickly to nothing but peace and quiet.  This is the first time in 16 months that leaving Daisy has been pain free for all of us and I have to say it is the most amazing feeling.  Some mom's never experience a child with separation anxiety and I often wonder if it is hard for them to relate to what it feels like for those of us whose hearts are worn ragged by it.  It is no fun at all.   I am not sure if this season is going to last but, I am sure soaking it up!!  I get to walk away without any stress, worry or sadness in my heart and it is such an incredibly peaceful feeling for me.  So, now I know how mom's feel who don't deal with separation anxiety...this is Heavenly!  I know she is having fun and it makes it so much easier to relax and enjoy my time wholeheartedly.  Thank you Lord this little step of progress! 

My little girl loves to climb into her toy basket and play.  I think it's so funny to see her body all squished inside the small basket and to see her happy as a clam pulling random toys out from under her hiney.  She is such a crack up! She found her toy phone and chatted on it for a while and that is when I ran and grabbed my camera to capture this silly memory.  The wicker basket directly next to her is full of my music CD's and she knows she isn't supposed to open it but, every now and then I will notice the lid is bulging and when I open it I usually find a toy or a sippy cup full of spoiled milk hiding underneath. hahahahahah Love being a mommy!

Daisy got this little purse from her Auntie and she loves to carry it around and stick odd little things inside.  For the longest time she was carrying around a plastic hamburger bun that our friends left her a few weeks ago...I guess my little girl prefers snacks to lip gloss! hehe
I couldn't resist snapping a self-portrait when I rented my new favorite lens 24-70mm.  The thing is SO beefy and heavy!! I loved it...oh, did I mention I am saving for it and hope to buy it in a few months??
Yup, I'm a dork.  Don't judge! You know you want to be a dork too:-) lol
We had some family over recently and I snapped a quick picture of everyone together.  I LOVE having a bunch of people over at my house.  I really thrive in a full house of fun and festivity!  So glad you all came over and wish we could get together all the time.
Daisy loves her Great Grandpa Bailey and even gave him kisses which is a big deal considering she doesn't like men very much right now. lol.  Great Grandpa is special!
Here is a little bit of a boo boo capture.  It doesn't really show the bruise on her forehead very well but, it shows her nose a little bit.  It was already on the mend at this point.  I'm so glad little people heal so quickly!

This particular day I put Daisy in some big girl velcro shoes, and a jacket because it was chilly in our house and for some reason she just looked so I should be sending her off to preschool or kindergarten.  It definitely made me realize that she isn't much of a baby anymore...she really is a toddler now and I still can't believe how fast these 16.5 months have gone!
Daisy and her Auntie Kathy who adores her to bits and pieces! 
Daisy and her Auntie Jess who also adores her to bits and pieces.  I'm so thankful that Daisy is so loved.  It blesses me so much to see others enjoying her and spoiling her:)
Aunt Kathy prepared Daisy a yummy lunch plate with lots of variety.  I realized that I seldom offer Daisy a plethora of snacks at one time and I think she really liked having options.  I just liked seeing so much color on her plate.  She ate a little of everything.  Seeing this picture is reminding me to feed her like this more often.  Plus you can see her little boo boos in this picture a little bit too.  I could kiss this little face a million times a day. 
Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Rewards of Being a Photographer

There are so many things that I love about being a photographer!  I love the way a camera feels in my hands and the sound of the shutter snapping away as it captures memories.  I love bringing people out of their shells so that I can capture them looking comfortable, relaxed, smiling and having fun.  I love photographing people in new settings and in different lighting, which rejuvenates my creativity.  I love trying out new props, seeing the cute things that people wear for their sessions and I love the reward of hearing how much a client enjoys their photos.  I especially love going through my pictures after a session and picking out my favorites, editing them to my liking and then getting to stand back and admire my hard work.  (I can also critique my work to death too but...that is for a different post.)  lol.   

What are the rewards that make photography a joy for you?

I recently did a Senior portrait session for my youngest sister Anna, (directly below) when she flew in for a visit a few weeks ago.  I will always cherish these pictures because they will remind me of her company and the special time we got to share together.  They also capture this season of her life so well.  A season of transition from high school teen life to adult, college and career life.  A season of changing styles and growing confidence.  My sister radiates a natural beauty inside and out and I am so proud to be her sister and to get to watch her grow up into the amazing woman that she has become!

I also attached a couple of photos from the most recent wedding that I shot.  I love so many of the moments that were captured and I really want to save my favorites to share when I am done with them all so stay tuned! 

And lastly, I have also been editing pictures of my other younger sister Becca and her husband Tony who flew in this week for a quick visit.  I really haven't spent much time with them over the past few years since we have lived on opposite sides of the country.  Having them here and getting to chat, watch shows, let the guys fish while us gals get to act silly together is a priceless treat! These pictures will always remind me of their fun visit.  And I will miss them terribly!