46 / 52 : “Balloons”

What is it about those colorful, drifting ovals? Light as air, tied to a string, static electricity, happy decor, joyful atmosphere – it just isn’t a birthday around here without a flock of floating fun. This year my little boy is a big man…sigh… We celebrated with just the four of us and went out to dinner, per the birthday boy’s request, to Chick-fil-A. I made him a chocolate chip cookie cake. YUM. It was nice.

46 / 52 : “Balloons”

Balloons

I love a birthday. I love planning them, I love photographing, participating, celebrating, eating, gift-giving…it is a beautiful thing. Last night I decorated the house a bit so the birthday kid would wake up to find streamers, balloons, signs, etc… It was precious to hear little feet trot down the hall, then little voices say, “Mommy! There is a birthday out there!” Makes staying up late WORTH. IT.

Birthday boy

Here is the most handsome child I have ever seen with his cookie cake. I found the recipe here, via Pinterest, then embellished it with a little icing and sprinkles. It is reaaaaaally good. I had always wanted to make a giant chocolate chip cookie!

45 / 52 : “Snow”

Magical, mesmerizing mist. Fluffy, frosty flakes. Peaceful, puffy powder. Mhhhmmm…the wintery quiet has come. I love watching snow fall. We had a definite wave come through this afternoon and it left a precious few inches for us to play. My children’s begging eyes exchanged glances between the window and Mommy…pleeeaaaassee! It was time to make dinner – but it is always time to make memories instead. As night was consuming the backyard, there we were throwing on some boots, gloves, and warm clothes. Out we went into our mini wonderland. Our little snowman was silly, and giggles were aplenty. Snowballs were flying. My little girl would growl and toss a spat of snow with her ill-fitting mittens. My little man would charge his dad and laugh hysterically. Aaaaaand Dad beamed us all.

45 / 52 : “Snow”

Snow

By the end of our little evening adventure my hands were burning with cold because I chose to video/photograph the event instead of wear my gloves. Ehh…it was worth it. I LOVE hearing those babies laugh. I cherish every bit of our story together…

42 / 52 : “Christmas Lights”

It’s that time of year again. The time to take family Christmas photos, aaaaaaand have a little fun with some Christmas lights. We had a very long day yesterday and our family photo shoot went later into the evening than we had planned. It went pretty well, considering we had a tired “2” and “4” as I like to call them. 😉 We used props, made silly faces, the cat kept trying to sneak in the background – she succeeded a few times, and I was shocked by an exposed, busted Christmas light. Pretty typical. There was success…that is all that matters.

42 / 52 : “Christmas Lights”

Christmas Lights

I love using Christmas lights in pictures. There were more creative things I wanted to do, but we were all tired. So those shots are yet to come. Even if you don’t actually see the lights in the photo and lay them in front of your subject outside of the frame, they give a great ambient glow. Of course, this shot is more of a literal…and ridiculous…way of using them.

2 & 4

This picture is one of my favorites of the evening. As you might notice, this is one of our cat’s successes. She is having a little “Where’s Gryphon?” moment. I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas season!

41 / 52 : “Cold Nose”

It has been a while. I have been hit with what I call the “project monster” (overloading myself with things to do) and have had some wonderful out-of-town family guests. I will finish this Self Portrait Project hopefully sooner, rather than later. Anyway, I took this photo while out in the lovely Christmas Town at Busch Gardens over the weekend. The temperature/”feels like” was in the low 40’s to high 30’s by the end of the night…so it was a bit chilly. Nothing that some FANTASTIC hot chocolate or well placed area heaters could not fix. I love the cold….not the brutally freezing, just the cold. I would rather shiver than sweat any day!

41 / 52 : “Cold Nose”

My wonderful brother and his amazing wife spend a few days with us and the kids. It has become a Thanksgiving tradition. Christmas Town was better this year because they were there. We ate my favorite smoked BBQ, rode some rides, saw some shows and walked among the paths lined with tons of real, lighted Christmas trees. It was a beautiful time with priceless memories.

37 / 52 : “Aunt”

She is here! My precious little niece. She is absolutely beautiful. My dear sister-in-law and her wonderful husband have begun an amazing family together. So tiny, so sweet, so peaceful. I just love her. This is my first time being an Aunt…I can’t wait to spoil this precious girl!

37 / 52 : “Aunt”

What a blessing she is to our family already. My kids, her only cousins, simply adore her and could not wait to meet her this past weekend. I am so excited for them to grow up together!

36 / 52 : “Fair Day”

A day at the fair goes way back for me. Some great memories, some fun times – there is nothing like a day at the state fair! The weather was cool and breezy. The scent of greasy pizza, cotton candy, and farm animals was in the air. The sounds of carnies vying for our attention, mingled with the shrieks and clatter of people on rides. Our kids squealed as they chased each other around the pretty green grass of Meadow Event Park. Growing up, I use to enter the photography competition in the Florida State Fair. It was always fun to go and find out what/if you won for your photos. I thought that a self portrait from this year was appropriate for my project. I took a few pictures that day, but this one was my favorite.

36 / 52 : “Fair Day”

I love that my daughter is munching a bite of pretzel. I love my son’s smile with pizza in his cheek. I love that I can take my kids to the fair now and let them create their own memories.

The first animal that we saw was my all-time favorite! They use to have them at the Florida Fair…it is the baby Zebu. I still totally want one. The cutest cow EVER!

We love the animals. I think my kids could have spent all day feeding goats and petting sheep. They really enjoyed watching the baby chicks hatch from eggs and the ducklings splash and slide in their little man-made pond.

I just realized that I have now been writing this blog for about a year now! Here is the post from last year’s trek to the State Fair…I can’t believe how much my kiddos have grown. 🙂

34 / 52 : “Park Path”

My family and I discovered a new place to play this past week. It is a park very close to our house. There is a playground, hiking trails, a fishing pier, paddle boats/canoes, and shelters for parties. It was really pretty and peaceful. We look forward to going back, especially the kids. They were not happy when we left that playground. My husband is planning on taking some of his marine science students out on the boats for a field trip. It is nice to get out and play once and a while. Next time we’ll have to explore the paths into the woods.

34 / 52 : “Park Path”

 

32 / 52 : “Light Spinner”

One morning, after my son had attended a friend’s birthday party, we had a little light show in the dark with one of the party favors. It lasted for over an hour, which is a miracle for kids with short attention spans. It involved spinning, twirling, tossing, shaking, shape-making, and writing with glow sticks. They had a blast! I could not capture their sweet, giggling faces in the dark, but I did capture their artwork – and mine!

32 / 52 : “Light Spinner”

It was a lot of fun experimenting with how much light we allowed in the room, versus how long I left the shutter open. Some of my favorite images were ones where the kids dropped the glow sticks – they left a light trail.

This one reminds me of a bird. It was great sharing this experience with my kiddos. Taking “light” images is something I have been doing for a long time. I especially like using a black light, those always come out pretty amazing.

Here are those precious hands making shapes on the ground. 🙂

31 / 52 : “Precious Girl”

The birthday of my AMAZING daughter…what an event! Hard to believe it has been 2 years since that hospital stay and bringing home that tiny Peanut. She is our little treasure! Her party had a Sesame Street theme, naturally. Who doesn’t love that little, red monster? 🙂 She was surrounded by those that love her, tasty food, a pool and some lovely presents. God even held off the torrential downpour and brought out the sun for all the kiddies to play in the pool for a little while…and us to get our grill on!

31 / 52 : “Precious Girl”

Does it get any cuter than that Precious Girl with a smashed Elmo cupcake on her face? I am so in love.

I had so much fun pulling ideas and getting ready for her party. I have Pinterest to thank once again. I took some ideas I saw and made them my own. His eyes were filled with a  fruit or vegetable dip accordingly.

I made chocolate Cookie Monster cupcakes and “funfetti” Elmo cupcakes. Both had candy melts for eyes. Elmo’s nose was a jelly bean and Cookie had a cookie of course. Cute and yummy, too.

I am so grateful for those who helped out and all who were able to come and enjoy my Baby’s special day. Our loved ones mean the world to us, even the ones which distance separates from us. They were there in our hearts.

30 / 52 : “Birthday”

It’s my birthday. Another year has gone past. It is truly amazing how quickly time goes by. Tomorrow starts the next year…I’m afraid if I blink I might miss a couple. This has been a rough, and interesting year for me. I look forward with hope toward the future, I pray God’s mercy and grace upon my next year.

30 / 52 : “Birthday”

I spent the day with my little family. There is nothing  more precious than the faces of those I love. My sweet husband made me a yummy chocolate cake and sang me Happy Birthday…it was a nice end to the day.