Tuesday, November 29, 2011

20 Months - Another Month Come and Gone

How the heck is my little gal 20 months old?  As in 4 months shy of being 2?  While I recover from my shock over here I will amuse you with a barrage of pictures of Daisy's latest activities and blab on about her latest whatevers.  Please forgive these long monthly updates.  These posts are mostly for Daisy's memory book.  I think she will really enjoy reading them someday.

Daisy likes to sit on the couch a lot now both to eat snacks with mommy, jump up and down and to watch her shows.  She always asks for her bunkie (as she calls it) and her poppy and then she chillaxes for a little while.  I definitely enjoy the little 5-10 minute breaks of whine free time and maybe a quick run to the bathroom without a child hanging on my leg:).  Oh, and I just adore how you wiggle your toes all the time when you are sitting.  You have the cutest little feet!
We have been blessed with a truly beautiful and warm fall (until today).  Knowing how fleeting warm weather is here in the fall we spent a lot of time outside every day.  Daisy loved laying in the sun on her towel, playing with her toys and talking to me.  It's only been chilly for one day and already I am missing the sunshine and warm rays.  Cold winter = too much time cooped up in the house with a toddler! Wish us luck!

We color (and play with play doh) a little bit almost everyday.  I have found that the kitchen floor is the safest place to color so that we can easily wipe up the crayon marks that miss the paper.  Coloring has yet to keep Daisy's interest for more than maybe five minutes but, she has gotten much more purposeful about her crayon marks and she likes to use all the colors.  She likes to tear the paper off the crayons and occasionally sneak a nibble.  She acts all sly about it.  It's so funny.
Daisy loves to have a little sip (I emphasize little because it really is a tiny sip or two. I don't want her spazzing out) of my coffee most mornings.  I just had to snap a picture of her coffee cream mustache.  Just love this silly picture.

Daisy now asks to take a "pi-tur" with my camera all the time.  I sit on the floor with her and hold the camera up to her eye and let her look through and then snap, we take a picture.  She then asks to see the "pi-tur" from the back viewer screen and I have to be honest...I am pretty impressed by the unique shots she captures that I never would from my much higher perspective.  She has taken a lot more...I'll have to share them in another post someday.  They really are all awesome!  A future photographer perhaps?

Daisy loves her kitchen and usually plays with it a few times a day.  She loves pushing the buttons that make noise and pouring mommy and daddy a cup of "coffee" or washing her hands in the sink.  I cracked up when I saw that she had moved her food basket into a position so as to better allow her to reach her microwave buttons.  Pretty smart eh!
This car didn't get much use inside so I moved it outside and she enjoys it much more out there:)
And after all those other little activities we go back outside in the afternoon for a last hoorah before the sun sets at the early hour of 5....boo to that. So much for evening photography sessions for me or after work fishing sessions for the hubs...not to mention a ton less play time for the bean.  But oh how we soaked it up while it lasted!  Daisy, you LOVED being in our backyard this fall, probably more than any other activity!
you were so happy you clapped and clapped
And in other news...all clothing you wear is 24 months now.  Shoes size 5 and diaper size 5.  My favorite place to shop for you at the moment is Kid to Kid a local consignment shop which I love.  I can hardly justify buying all new when you grow through things as fast as you do.  You nap from around 1-2:30 and sleep from 8-6:30 (generally).  You eat similar things every day.  Generally applesauce, yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast, chicken nuggets or PBJ and banana and string cheese for lunch and then some of whatever we are eating for dinner.  You are definitely eating a bigger variety of food lately and I am so proud!  I dipped some cucumbers in a yummy Italian dressing and you thought they were pickles and devoured them.  That made me happy:)  You don't like milk much and we are actually weaning you from whole milk to 2% and it's going pretty well but, you much prefer apple juice.

You LOVE your baby doll and stroller.  You like to take  your doll to bed, in the car and on walks up and down the street.  You will be such a great big sister someday.  I don't think I've ever seen a kiddo your age show as much interest in babies as you do.  When we go to the park if there is a baby there in a stroller you will refuse to do anything but, hang on the stroller and talk to the baby.   We usually have to leave because you tantrum and cry if I try to get you to do anything else.  You silly girl.  

You are loving the Christmas lights in our neighborhood (you squeal, "lights" and point) and you love going in to Wal-Mart and seeing the Santa that pops in and out of a chimney.  You scream with excitement each time he pops out! So funny.  You don't like sitting in grocery carts EVER anymore (unless it is a car cart).  You prefer walking on your own or if you have to, sitting on the big side of the cart.  It has made shopping with you very difficult but, we make do somehow:).  You have reached a stage of wanting so much independence already.  You want to feed yourself everything and do things alone but, every now and then I hear a ,"hewp pwease," and I am only too happy to help you little girl!
Your vocabulary is growing by the day.  You picked up on the fact that Daddy's name is Joey and lately you have been saying, "hiiiii Joewee."  It's hilarious!!  I asked you the other morning if you had gone poo poo potty and you said, "ummm, in uh minit, in uh minit..." I cracked up!  You sing your ABC's and Barney's "I nuv you, nu nuv ne" in your crib in the morning when you wake up.  OR you yell for me, "mommeeee uppp!"   You now like to hand something to me and say, "here," and then you yank it away just as I am about to grab it...you crack up every time!!

Favorite shows are Elmo's World, Sid the Science Kid, Wiggles, Barney, Dinosaur World and Caillou but, I'm pretty sure Elmo is still your absolute favorite! 
I just adore you Daisy. You are so spunky, so silly, so smiley, so spirited and oh how you love your momma.  You don't like to let me out of your sight these days and if I even walk into another room I hear you saying, "weh ish mommee...weh ish sheee?"  Then when you find me (or Daddy if you are searching for him), you SCREAM out, "MOMMMMEEEEE" or DADDDEEEEEE."  Bottom line, you love to chat and you are picking up on everything you hear and see.  You are such a smart little girl!
You bring us so much joy Daisy.  Just last night as me and Daddy held each of your hands while we walked into Wal-Mart we looked down at you as we swung you back and forth (at your request) and we marveled at the fact that you are our daughter.  Sometimes it doesn't quite sink in that we are parents now and that we are responsible for you.  What an honor and a gift that we have been given! I cannot thank God enough for blessing us with you and I will cherish every minute that I have here on Earth with you.   Happy 20 months princess! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Busy Bee

I'm busy as ever editing wedding pictures and family sessions but, I know our family is going to have withdrawals if I don't occasionally get some blog posts up of little miss Daisy bean.  I have tons of random pictures of her to share over the next few weeks so stay tuned:).  Thanksgiving was WONDERFUL.  We had lots of family over at our house, watched some football, played a little Kinect and cooked up a delicious dinner.  It was such a blessed day!  What did you all do?

And now for some random updates...
This morning Daisy found a baby doll stroller Christmas gift that I had not yet wrapped in our closet.  She was sooooooo incredibly excited when she found it that I didn't have the heart to take it away from her.  I opened it for her and put her baby doll in it and then she proceeded to play with it....get this, ALL DAY LONG.  She spent a few hours playing with it inside and then we spent an hour walking her baby doll up and down the street in the stroller outside.  Then we went up and down the driveway and each time we went up she said, "home," (she learned what home is this week and yells it out in the car when we pull up too...so cute) and parked the stroller in the garage and then turned around and went back down the driveway...over and over again. lol

My mom just left this morning after spending a week with us and I already miss her like crazy.  She got up every morning with Daisy and I got my first real opportunity to sleep in, in almost 2 years.  It was so refreshing.  She played with Daisy, took us Christmas shopping, made me coffee everyday, got us a tree, helped me decorate the house for Christmas and get all of our presents wrapped...not to mention, kept me company every day.  I love my momma so much and am so thankful that my Daddy and sister lent her to me this Thanksgiving:).  My mom's Grandma name is Lulu and since Daisy cannot yet say Lulu it comes out (Nu-ie) Newie!  It is SOOOOO cute to hear her say, "weh ish Newie," and then go looking around the house for her. We got a couple of cute videos that I will share soon.

Daisy's vocabulary is growing daily.  I am blown away by all of the new words and songs she learns and by how fast she picks up on things!  She loves to sing, "I love you, nu nuv me," from Barney.  I also have a really cute video of that to share soon.  Clearly I have a lot of things to share but, just not enough of me to go around.  I think I will look into cloning myself this week:). 

Anyhoo, here is Daisy looking ever so preppy in my glasses (which she broke this week unfortunately).  I couldn't get over how cute she looked....nerd like and a bit boyish, but, so cute!! lol  She asks for my necklaces a lot now.  It sounds a lot like "negwish."  lol. 

Rocking her first photographed rocket ponytail.  Looks so cute on her but, she tends to take them out rather fast.

We recently had to wash D's carseat cover so we brought the carseat in.  Afterwards, Daisy was determined to sit in her carseat and watch a show.  It was pretty comical to see her big seat in the living room and her perfectly content to hang out there.  Love her.

She loves to eat her own banana now...it's a messy meal but, it keeps her entertained for a while so I make the most of it:).  She is watching an Elmo video on youtube in this picture.  My laptop sits on the counter and she asks to watch videos all day long.  Our gal definitely loves to watch her shows!

Cold enough to wear her puffy, warm vest to church.  She was being fussy when I took these pics as you can tell.  She hangs on my leg all day long now days.  She is a major momma's girl these days but, boy she was giggling up a storm for Daddy tonight which melted my momma heart!

Just love these pictures of Daisy with her Auntie Jess!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Few of My Session Favorites

I shot a lovely wedding yesterday and this first shot is one of my favorite captures of the day and to be honest I think it is one of my favorite shots ever! I love the romantic and yet carefree feel to this shot.   Her boots were great!  The weather turned out to be gorgeous, the setting was serene and the couple was so sweet.  Photographing weddings can be such an emotional thing for me. I will admit that I almost broke down and cried during the Father, daughter dance because it was so sweet.  So much love, joy and laughter.  I really do feel so blessed to be shooting weddings and honestly never would have even dreamed that I would be doing this even a few years ago!  They really are such a memorable celebration to be a part of and they are so rewarding.  I will be sharing more wedding pictures in a while:).
These lovely folks are our neighbors and this is my second time doing a session for them.  Their little girl is so beautiful and she really is the apple of her parent's eye.  I got this little gal to giggle every time I talked in an Elmo voice and sang the Elmo's world theme song.  It was pretty funny!

Just love the way little R is smiling at her Daddy in this shot below.  Love the blurred out background and the warm fall colors. 
All this little guy wanted to do was run around during our session and I just love this shot of him running into his Momma's arms.  This was a fun session as I am friend's with this momma and my little girl and her son have a weekly play date.  He is such a sweet little guy.

Some of the bridal shots of the gorgeous bride.  She was so photogenic which made my job a piece of cake!  You will notice a suitcase below which is the prop I mentioned in an earlier post.  It looked great with her cowgirl boots:)
Well, I could have bored you with SO many more pictures but, I thought I would at least share a few.  I will be a lot more MIA to the blog world for a while as I will be busy as a bee editing wedding pictures and I have two sessions booked in the next week!  Yeah for business!  Hope you are all doing well and looking forward to your Thanksgivings with friends and family.  Blessings.
Thursday, November 17, 2011

Even The Little Things

"For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith." Mark 11:23

I was reminded of a powerful truth in an awesome way this weekend.  God cares about the details, desires and needs in my life; even the smallest, tiniest ones.

As I was preparing for my bridal session a few weekends ago I had a strong desire to bring a prop. Props are kinda the in thing now as they add a dash of fun and pizazz to an otherwise ordinary picture. I don't have the money to buy an old chair or bench, I don't have the resources to design a crazy awesome set and unfortunately I don't know a lot of people who are okay with me borrowing their furniture to stick out in a dirty field. hehe. All that to say, after wracking my brain and trying to come up with something...anything, I came up short and realized that a prop was not in the picture for me and I was bummed. No pun intended. haha. I actually took a minute to pray and ask God to give me peace and help me to always make the most of what I have and to always be grateful in all circumstances. I felt peace after praying and surrendering my little desire to the Lord.  I let it go and didn't think about it again.

About half way into my bridal session I ran into a new friend of mine Christina, (happy birthday to her today!!) who also happens to be a photographer (an awesome one!).  She was finishing up a maternity session and she had brought along an old suitcase as a prop.  And can I just add to the awesomeness of God's glory by telling you that I have NEVER before run into another photographer friend while doing a session and the fact that she happened to have a prop that was so perfect for my bridal session...was most certainly a perfect God thing...perfect.  I glanced at it as I was running around taking pictures and I felt a twinge of "oh man, that is so cool. I wish I had something like that. Oh well." And then it happened...my super awesome friend called out to me, "hey, if you wanna use this suitcase to take some pictures you can totally go for it!" In that moment I didn't even realize the gift that God had just bestowed upon me. I was far too distracted to slow my mind down enough to take in anything eternal. It's sad but, isn't that how we are so often. We become too busy to hear God's voice over the other noise that we have in our lives and too distracted to even recognize His little blessings when they come.

I did in fact take my friend up on her offer and I loved the feel of the old suitcase combined with my bride's awesome cowgirl boots but, it wasn't until I got home, put my daughter to bed and was finally having a quiet moment in my room that the revelation hit me and I was able to hear God's voice. "Casey, I care about you SO much. I care about every little detail in your life. I care about what you care about and I hurt when you hurt. I heard your cry and saw your heart's desire to have something special and I saw you surrender it to me when you couldn't have it. I saw you choose peace and an attitude of gratitude and I wanted nothing more than to bless you child. I always want to bless your life because I love you deeply and I will always provide for you even if what you need is as simple as a prop for your photography.  I may not do things the way you expect or quite like you imagine so don't forget to look for the unexpected.  I will always build you up, encourage you and I will always bless you child."  It really was like that.  A moment of me being silent and receiving God's word and recognizing the gift that He had given me.  It was definitely a sweet moment with the Lord and I received it with open arms.  

See, I have a lot of BIG things going on right now.   I have lots of financial challenges and have even faced the reality of losing my home and other material things that I care about.  I have walked a two year long trial in my marriage involving seemingly untreatable health issues and severe depression that have led to a short term disability for my husband.  I have seen a lot of doors close and very few open.  I have carried more heartache than I ever thought possible.  I have pulled away from a lot of people because of lack of understanding which I do not blame them for and I have pulled away simply because I am weary of trying to be something that I am not.  Sometimes I feel like I am climbing Everest...like everyday, every minute of everyday...well okay, that's a lie, cuz I have no idea what it would feel like to climb Everest and I'm quite sure I would die half way up the mountain but, still...you get me right:).  The thing is, when God reminds me of how much He cares about the littlest details in my life, (such as providing a fabulous suitcase prop at the perfect moment), HE also reminds me that no mountain in my life is too big or immovable for Him.  He always provides.  He's got this.  He's got me... and He's got you!  HE will see me through and he will get me up and over by His power and by His might. Whatever you are dealing with and whatever you are going through both big and small please give it up to Him in prayer today! He cares for you SO much! Our God is awesome! 

Not that any of you have any more time than what I have already sucked out of your day but, if you are interested, check out this site Choose to Speak the Word.  I think the author does an excellent job of elaborating on what I am sharing and I really liked her perspective.  Quite encouraging. 

I will leave you with this super sweet song by Kari Jobe.  God is for us, always...always, always!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Potty Time (MC Hammer is singing this title in my head...) lol

My little girl caught me off guard tonight when she asked me if she could sit on the potty.  In her language that simply means that she said, "mahmee pohtee," and pointed at the toilet seat.  So I sat her on the seat and she was SO proud of herself to be sitting there like a big girl.  She had the biggest smile on her face but, she also looked a bit nervous.  I kept encouraging her to go potty and told her what a big girl she was and then I hollered for my hubby to come cheer her on with me.  Then she wanted to get down so I let her get down and then she wanted to sit on the potty again seconds later so I put her back on the potty.  I think we did that twice and then before I knew it she was going potty and she was SO happy!  We rewarded her with a chocolate kiss and she was thrilled.  I know potty training is seldom a fun experience for parents but, like all firsts this moment was special for us.  I marvel at how a child so young can pick up on so much and so fast!  I will say though that I am in no way prepared or ready to potty train my 19.5 month old daughter and in all honesty I don't think she is ready either but, we are turning a new page for sure!  I am so proud of her!

I love this shot so much I edited it 3 different ways as you will see below...
I see this unhappy face (and my ears burn with her shrieks) more than I'd like to these days....like non-stop.  She's wearing me out.  Maybe all the crying was because she wanted to go potty like a big girl! haha  If only it were so simple!  Just so you know, the only reason she is crying at this particular moment was because I wouldn't pick her up.  Sigh, rough life huh. lol
Soooo....I distracted her with my lens cap and with our plants and then she was happy again:)
And then she took over my cell phone and held it up in front of her face and said, "cheeeeeeeese."  Can't believe she already knows to say cheese when she takes her own picture! hahahah
Yes, the front of my cell phone is shattered.   It still works just fine surprisingly!
Another Daisy development this week; she has started to create and speak short sentences such as, "whe dadee gohh? and Dadee ah worke?  and Bubble all gone?  and "Whe ish Mommee?"  It is SO awesome to hear her talk and see how quickly her vocabulary is growing.  Love my little boo boo.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Step Out, A Cute Baby and AWESOME Felt Boards - (oh yes, random)

I love pinning cute outfits on Pinterest and pulling ideas from much more fashionable people than myself.  I really do love fashion but, I think due to my very restricted budget, I tend to avoid shopping and looking at clothes and accessories online too much so that I don't get bummed out about all the things that I want and cannot have.  I'm sure a lot of you can relate:).  If you ever hear that Forever 21 or perhaps Express is giving away all of their clothes could you let me know, please.  Thanks! lol  Anyhoo, here is my Step Out attire for church this morning.  We attend a very casual church as you can tell:).
White Blouse: Aeropostle (last year)
 Jeans: Marshalls
Sweater: Marshalls
Shoes: Target (clearance..woot woot!)
necklace:  no clue....had it forever. 
Belt: Aeropostle (last Christmas) love cute belts!
Would love to have had some cute turquoise bracelets and maybe some fake diamond studded hoop earrings to add to this ensemble.  And our tall wall molding makes me look short doesn't it?  I promise you that I am not but, I think I am actually relishing a moment of looking shorter.  Maybe then I could wear stiletto heels! ha!

This is my friend Diana's new baby girl that I photographed as a newborn.  Now she is about 7 weeks old and isn't she just breath taking and beautiful!  I can't keep my hands off of her when she visits...and when I am not holding her I am usually photographing her.  Lucky me, I got to see her twice this week. hehe.  She is just so precious that I had to share her sweetness with you all and give you a baby fix (if you needed one):-).
A few weeks back I entered a blog giveaway that Amber from Click, Love, Pray was hosting.  Let me just say that I pretty much never win anything...ever and I never enter anything expecting to win, just for fun.  This particular giveaway really caught my eye though because the winner would receive 3 Learning Fun with Felt Board SETS.  I loved playing with paper dolls and flannels as a kid and to this day I still have such fond memories of the things I learned and created.  I've been desperate for new activities to do with Daisy lately.  We color, play with play-doh, do alphabet and number puzzles, put shapes in a shape box and go on walks every day.  I'm not gonna lie...I sometimes struggle with mommy boredom from doing the same activities day after day after day and hour after hour and I think Daisy does too.  She is a smart cookie and she likes to be challenged with new activities so these felt boards couldn't have been more of a blessing or more timely!  I LOVE THEM...really, I think I love them so much that I could shut the door of my room and play with them by myself and create a farm or a beach scene and have a blast!  Check out Betty Lukens felt boards here!! They are SOOOO FUN and in case you are wondering since I am starting to sound like an infomercial...I am advertising on my own accord simply because I am so thrilled with this fantastic little activity that I get to do with Daisy.  Fun for mommy and baby:). 
Even the bags that the felt boards come are cool...seriously, what a score huh!!  Daisy thinks so:).  And no, she doesn't dress like that in public but, in our house what you see here is high quality fashion at it's finest (to Daisy)! lol