Monday, March 23, 2015

Yesterday and Tomorrow

Yesterday was a gorgeous Saturday in March. The sky was blue, the peach blossoms were pink, the grass was green, and the temperature was just right.

I took my eldest with me to some photo sessions I had planned at a local Peach Farm. The idea behind it was that she would hold my reflector, make babies smile, and carry my lens bag. All this for the price of japanese take-out. It was a good deal, I tell ya :)

One of my clients had to swap her session time for a later one, so I made Jaina model for me. Photographing your own children is completely different than clients. I'm not quite sure why?

Before that, we all had lunch at Taco Bell. If you are friends with me on Instagram, you've already seen a slew of pictures from our lunch.

Yesterday was definitely a good day :)

Tomorrow I will be having surgery to prevent my brain aneurysm from rupturing. To say I'm nervous would be correct. But I'm actually feeling much more at peace with it than I was.

I'm tired of walking around with a ticking time bomb at the base of my skull. True, it could be 30 years before it ruptured. Or it could be next week. And although its very true that none of us know when our last day alive is, knowing you have a medical condition that could kill you instantly is a little unnerving.

So, for that very reason, I am glad tomorrow is almost here. I'll be having surgery at 8:00 AM EST and hope to be in recovery by 1:00 PM. I'm feeling at peace about it at the current moment. I'm a procrastinator, so chances are I'll save my panic attack for tomorrow at 7:00 AM :)

Today was a good day, too. I played Mouse Trap and Pound Puppies with Jocelyn. I played Mario Kart 8 with Jayce. I argued with Brian about the grocery list ('cause that's how we roll on Sundays). And we all went out to eat at Applebee's, our favorite restaurant, tonight.

I am totally blown away at how many of my friends (in real life and online) have shown me their love and support. I have never felt so loved and cared about by my friends. Every text, FB message, IG comment, note, gift card, and goodie has made this tough situation much easier.

Brian's entire department came together to give us this card filled with gift cards to use during my recovery.

And my friend Laura from Book Club stopped by today. She brought an entire basket filled to the brim with candy, lotion, magazines, handmade soap, books, new PJ's, games, Get Well Cards, and even more gift cards. I know first hand that it is no small feat to organize something like that with all of us Book Club members living all over the county.

My friends are so generous. With their gifts, their time, their prayers, their good thoughts. I know how lucky I am to have this many great people in my life.

My mom will be keeping everyone up to date on FB. She's going with me to the hospital while my husband holds down the fort at home.

As for me, I'll be back updating this blog in a few days, hopefully from the comfort of my couch. I forsee a lot of catching up on Days Of Our Lives, How I Met Your Mother reruns, and playing some Plants Vs. Zombies 2. All while snuggling my kids.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for sending love and prayers. I can feel them.

Friday, March 20, 2015


It must be Spring around these parts because we bought cheap kites from Wal-mart last weekend. And nothing says SPRING like cheap kites for $1!

Jayce has been very frustrated with kites in years past. But this year? He's got it. He got his kite up, by himself, almost as soon as we unrolled it, and kept it up the entire time.

Jaina, on the other hand, did not fare so well.

See, she didn't want a cheap $1 kite. She picked the fancy nylon kite for 5 times the price. She couldn't get it up, and let's not even talk about it staying up.

Jayce had Batman.

Brian picked a Clone Wars kite. They were all out of Superman :(

Brian finally realized that Jaina's kite was put together incorrectly ( I was just over there suggesting that Jaina read the instructions, but you know how mom is always wrong!) and helped her fix it. He got it up for a bit.

But it didn't last long. Poor expensive $5 kite. "Ugh, I should have gotten the Barbie one for a dollar!" said Jaina. Yeah, well, mom's always wrong, remember?

Little Miss was extremely dismayed at Kite Flying. "I want to go to the park! This is boring! " She kept wandering off out of our site while the four of us had our kites (or, in Jaina's case, was attempting to get her kite) flying high. I finally put her on the picnic table with strict instructions to stay there.

Since Jocelyn couldn't have cared less about her Hello Kitty kite, Jaina took that one over. I'm kind of surprised that Jocelyn didn't quickly change her mind and shout, "NO! THAT'S MY HELLO KITTY KITE!" as three year olds are apt to do sometimes. Yet, she was a nice little sister and let Jaina borrow her kite.

It was $1. And it worked fine.

Jayce released all of the string on his kite handle and was doing fine.

Finally, Jocelyn couldn't stand it, so I took her over to the playground with Jaina while Brian and Jayce continued to fly. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon, until dinner time, at the playground.

Now, that is how I like to spend my weekends :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Go Green

According to The Huffington Post, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated all wrong here in America.

Yeah, well... I was raised wearing green and building leprechaun traps and searching for gold, so that's how we roll.

Last year, it was 47 degrees and raining. And Jocelyn was sick.

This year, we couldn't have asked for better weather. It was a delicious 82 degrees today. Jocelyn and I practically spent the entire day outside. (Now only if I could get comfortable editing on my lap top, I'd get so much more done!)

How did I convince Jocelyn to wear green?

Well, I may have told her about the pinching part. She thought that sounded bad. She informed me she was going to wear green all day long. I promised I'd not let anyone pinch my baby :)

She decided early on that she wanted to be Minnie Mouse today. Thank goodness her ears coordinated with her outfit :) They had a picnic together, both Minnies, and my Minnie graciously shared her berries.

Stuffed Minnie made friends with our St. Patrick's Day Bear. I kinda don't even know where this bear came from. He was just sitting in my closet next to our green tacky plastic bead necklaces. Maybe a leprachaun brought it? :P

After the big kids came home from school, I forced them to take a picture outside together. Just ignore Jayce's forced smile. He had a rough day and was scared of the hornets and wasps that seem to be in our yard already.

Jocelyn convinced Jayce to play a game with her on the trampoline. They were both lions and kept growling at each other.

I was a little sad that Brian wasn't able to take the day off like usual. With my surgery coming up next week, I think he's trying to save those days in case he needs them. We didn't manage a family picture today nor did Brian and I go to the Irish pub in town to drink, but we still managed to have a fun day :)

How did YOU celebrate?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Stuck In a Rut

One of the reasons that I love taking pictures of families and children that are not my own is because I feel like I can be more creative with them. Actually driving to a location and letting them run around in cute clothes brings something out in me.

I get very tired of shooting my kids in the same clothes (*snort* Jocelyn), posing the same way (that would be Jaina), and doing the same thing (Jayce and video games) in the same back yard or living room day in and day out.

I hate feeling this way. And that means something has to change.

Jocelyn asked me to push her in the swing the other day. I love being outside with the kids but pushing little ones in the swing gets a little monotonous. I grabbed my camera to give me something to do while I pushed.

Then I took the same pictures the same way I always do when she's in the swing.

And don't get me wrong... I think these pictures show an incredibly adorable three year old Jocelyn.

But they don't look any different than the ones I took last Fall and Summer. Same lens, similar angles, always back lighting...

So I was determined to change it up a bit. I ran into the house and grabbed my 24 mm wide angle lens and my 85mm portrait lens. And I just played around. I moved away from the front of the swing and just started snapping pictures.

Some of the images were blurry. Some of them had a horrible composition. Some of them caught Jocelyn with a crazy expression on her face. But, they were different. Some captures were "happy accidents" and some shots were purposefully taken.

Jocelyn didn't care what I was doing as long as I kept pushing that swing when it would lose momentum.

I think, overall, using a wide range of lenses and angles captured more of our "story" of being outside in the 70 degree sunshine in March.

I'm not sure this was enough to completely get me out of my boring photography rut with my kids... but maybe it was enough to bump the cart a little bit :)