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. šŸ˜‰ 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!

25 / 52 : “Nikon”

Portrait time again. This one is just me and my camera. A peaceful place to be.

I am using the Nikon D80. For a while now I have been a Nikon fan. I am not a very picky person. I am pretty easy to please when it comes to movies, books and the like – I am not very critical nor do I analyze to the smallest detail. I am not passionate about any brand (except when it comes to my peanut butter!) or name of a product. So there is no particular reason why I like my Nikon, I just do.

22 / 52 : “Tiger’s Eye”

A beautiful friend, a beautiful time, a beautiful gift, now a beautiful memory. I am so blessed to know some very special people and am honored to call them my friends. Some smiles I will never forget, some laughs still ring in my ears, some hugs remain long after they are given, some hearts I keep close to mine.

22 / 52 : “Tiger’s Eye”

 

This will always bring joy to my spirit and light to my eyes as my mind dances back to a happy place…

Mother’s Day

I love being a Mother. I even get a special day. I chose this year to spend the day at Busch Gardens with my dear family. Why not spend a beautiful day, with beautiful weather at the most beautiful park in the world? It was wonderful!

It was the first time we took my sweet daughter without a stroller. It was an intimidating venture, but both kids did great walking and playing for hours around the park. We rode rides, munched popcorn, learned about animals, had a yummy BBQ lunch and I got a sweet Mommy’s Day gift – a caricature of my kiddos!

My precious daughter had a blast not being confined to a stroller, the only thing was she kept falling on her knees! She got a little beat up, but that kid is a trooper and it didn’t bother her much at all. She had way too much fun exploring and riding rides. It was all smiles on the egg ride and all “ohh’s” and “wow’s” as she bobbed up and down on theĀ carousel.

My sweet son always has fun at Busch. He loves all the rides he can get on! He is my little curious monkey. As soon as he gets on a ride, while waiting for it to begin, he starts looking around at the buckles, levers, water, buttons – whatever happens to be around as he sits. He has figured out how to get out of theĀ seat beltĀ on one of the rides – needless to say he does not ride that one alone anymore.

I want to wish all the amazing moms I know…and those that I don’t…a happy belated Mother’s Day! I hope you all had lovely day yesterday like I did… God Bless!

Zooooo Whoooo

This past weekend I took my kids to the Zoo. First we went out for a yummy lunch at their favorite place, Chick-fil-A, then it was a quick drive to the Norfolk Zoo. When we arrived it seemed a lot colder than it had been at lunch, so I was glad I brought jackets. Whenever my kids wear their jackets they insist on wearing the hoods, or as my daughter says, “hat.”

It was so PRECIOUS watching them hold hands, giggle, run through the park and look for all the animals. This was the first time we went “stroller-less” through a park. My daughter is so full of energy and independent….she LOVED it!

They were curious about everything, asked questions, picked up leaves, pointed out trees and plants – explored every inch. Then we came to a place with a row fountains that were turned off and had a metal grate beneath them. My daughter discovered that the ground on the grating made a funny sound as she ran across it, so she ran back and forth and back and forth…..

My son found a small statue he could walk through. Then they even discovered animal footprints across their path…

The sky was overcast throughout our walk to the back of the park. It was threatening rain when we got to the beautiful giraffes.

They were pacing back and forth, I think they sensed the rain and wanted to go inside their pens.

As we walked through the inside viewing area to the elephants the rain began. So there I am at the back of the Zoo with two small children and no umbrella. Hmm…of course. At least we got to see the elephants. As we walked down the path sprinkle, sprinkle came the rain….and it never stopped. I scooped up my daughter and my son jogged close beside as we ducked under each little dry area on our way to the exit. We got to a point where there was going to be a long run before our next shelter….yah, we got soaked.

Even though half of our Zoo exploration got rained out, we had a blast together, just the three of us at the Zoo.

Fish Adventure

Today I decided to take my kids on a little surprise trip to the pet store. I love surprising them. Watching their sweet, little faces light up with the thrill of something new and exciting – priceless. It is wonderful what things make them happy…a book, bubbles, mazes, coloring, a cardboard box, stickers, etc… Anyway, I thought they would enjoy a new pet, a new responsibility for my son. He loves being able to take care of things by himself, he is 4 after all…big man.

I took two precious hands and we went into the store straight to the fish section. My darling daughter says “COOL” and starts pointing to all the fish, simply loving the colors, lights and “wah wah.”

However fascinated the Cuties were with the crazy, active fish in the tanks, Mommy went in search for the quiet ones in the cups…haha.Ā We were going to start with a small responsibility…so we were going Betta.

Gurgling, bubbling tank filters; peaceful, flowing plant life; bright colors, big eyes – fish tanks. I loved watching my kids eyes watch the fish. They had fun in front of the tanks and also exploring the rest of the animals in the store. They saw rats,Ā guinea pigs, birds, dogs and my daughter’s favorite: KITTIES! My son asked if we could take another kitty home, I told him we were going to stick with a fish for today.

Don’t let this confused look fool you, he only changed his mind like 10 times. There were all red ones, blue ones, blue & red ones, purple, etc… After taking almost every fish in a cup down to eye level, my boy finally picked one he liked. Not just any Betta, a Crowntail Betta.

 

 

Then we picked up some food for him and a small cat toy (a hopeful bribe that our kitties won’t notice our new friend), we headed to the check-out. Once I got two kids and a fish out to the car, it was naming time.

 

My son comes up with the best names, so I couldn’t wait to hear what this fish would be called. He started with “Knuckle,” I thought: creative. A few minutes down the road and he became “Tank.” I said, “You want to name your fish, Tank?” Chuckled a little to myself. He said, “Hmm, let me think,” rubs his chin, “No, ‘Tank-tah.’ “Tank top?” I questioned. “TANK-TAH,” he reinforced. Sooo, meet our new pet: Tank-tah.

A pretty fish with an incredibly unique name. My son has already taken his responsibility very seriously – he had a conversation with Tank-tah about his tank and made sure that he had his dinner. So far so good!

8 / 52 : “Footprints”

This photo is a representation of some photos my husband and I take annually with our kids. It is a sort of growth monitoring, in a fun and memorable way. I take footprint pictures with each one individually and my husband does a hand print. It is definitely a challenge taking the pictures sometimes; getting young kids to sit still is almost impossible, but they usually turn out pretty cute. Eventually, I might have to put my footprint on theirs when they get too big for me!

8 / 52 : “Footprints”

No pedicure and winter feet…eh…oh well. It is what it is. My daughter’s 18 month old print is on the left and my son’s 4 year old print is on the right.

The photos we take are always very informal, relaxed, whatever we happen to be wearing at the time we get around to taking the photos. I love them and I know they will be a treasure in the future to watch how fast these kids grow!

This one is the first I took with my son when he was about 4 months old.

This one is of our daughter right now, at 18 months. As you can see, Daddy had to keep her busy with a book so she would sit still for 2 seconds.

7 / 52 : “Sweet Memories”

Okay, so it is a few days late and it is an old rediscovered photo, but it is my portrait project and I make the rules. I took this of myself a number of years ago on a visit to my future in-law’s house. A house in the rural farm country of North Carolina. In a prized old farm truck, driving through the fields. This brings back sweet memories of my mother-in-law’s amazing country cooking, laughter, bright stars in the open country night, and love.

7 / 52 : “Sweet Memories”

I know its a bit grainy/unclear (thanks to it being a scan), but it is still one of my favorites. This special truck is now gone and the promise ring has long since been replaced with a wedding band. I think sometimes it is good to take a look back at past work, at least for me, it draws out some inspiration to a somewhat non-creative week. The photos taken from this period in my life are a treasure to me. Some things have changed so drastically after this point…I guess you could call these my “golden years,” or the years I look back on with a warm smile.

Wednesday’s Word #14

This is a special week for my family. My amazing son turns 4 years old! It is a week of planning a birthday and a party and trying to have a bit of fun even though my whole family is sick and it is the busiest week of the year so far! We are attempting to:

“CELEBRATE”

verb: to observe a day or commemorate an event with ceremonies or festivities; to make known publicly; to have or participate in a party (dictionary.com)

synonyms: proclaim, honor, keep, commend, make merry, memorialize, carouse, praise, revere, extol (thesaurus.com)

This was his first birthday where we spent his actual day quietly at home with just us. He got to do all his favorite things and relax, he even got to pick his dinner spot (Chick Fil-a of course) and we took him out to our favorite yogurt bar, Sweet FROG…even though it was like 50 degrees! He seemed to really have a good day…which is all a mom can ask for… šŸ™‚

Now the party looms near and we are all getting excited to hang with some great family and friends and animals…haha. We are having his party at the Norfolk Zoo! It is a fantastic deal where all I need to do is bring the birthday boy and the cake. Let me say, I have big plans for this cake. We shall see…

It is very hard to believe that 4 years have gone by…it really is true what they say, time goes by fast when you have kids. I love and treasure my precious son. He is such a blessing to our family – he is handsome, a genius, and a sweetheart…I am not bias or anything. We LOOOVE “celebrating” with him on his special day during this special week!