Thursday, July 30, 2009

More Birthday Fun

I couldn't resist posting one more collage from Ryder's birthday pictures. I put this collage together for Stephanie, and just LOVED how it turned out - from the lonely little cupcake down to the happy face smeared with frosting and sprinkles - it definitely shows how much fun this little guy had as he devoured his treat!


Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Ryder!

Ryder is my friend Stephanie's little boy. He just had his one year birthday, and we thought it would be fun to get a few pictures of him ripping into his birthday cupcake.

First things first though . . . Here's the birthday boy before he got all messy with frosting and sprinkles.


Don't you just love those beautiful big eyes? Doesn't he look like a Kewpie doll in that picture? I love it!

Next came the cupcake. He was a little unsure about it and very delicate at first. He would just touch the icing and lick his fingers.


Once he got into the cupcake, he decided that he REALLY liked it!


We had a great time celebrating his first year birthday! I'm looking forward to my little ones playing with Ryder very soon!

Monday, July 27, 2009


We just returned from a nice little family trip (I will be posting photos soon :) ), and I want to introduce you to our roomies. We bunked with Dirck's sister and her family. Here are some pictures of the world's best babysitters (in no particular order . . . )!

Meet Claire.
She's patient and kind and gentle, and my daughter is so in love with her! Even when she lets no one else hold her, she always goes to Claire.


Meet Matthew.
He's a rock-n-roll, surfer, swimmer, basketball kind of guy (does that cover everything?), and even better than all this, he is incredibly patient with my two little ones. They adore "Maf-few", and Matt is such a dear by being so good to them.


Meet Emma.
She's the spunky counterpart to Claire and Matthew. My little ones love to play with Emma. Emma's such an observant gal - she pays such good attention to my little ones and lets me know exactly how they are doing.


It is SO GOOD to be home, but I'm really going to miss our AWESOME babysitters!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Petting Zoo

Saturday was a GORGEOUS day here! It wasn't too hot, wasn't too cold - just PERFECT - unlike any July we have ever had. We took advantage of the cool weather and went to the petting zoo. We packed a picnic lunch and ate when we got there and then headed off the see the animals and play, play, play. I'm always so happy when I'm with my little ones - they continue to surprise me by being SO GOOD when we do things like this. I prepare myself to think it's gonna be all chaos and craziness, but it always seems to be such a nice time. I'm one lucky momma!!!!

We stopped for lunch first. My boy LOVED that peanut butter and jelly sandwich!


Our next stop was the baby goats, and really, this is where my kids had the best time. They could run around with the goats and pet them. My boy kept trying to feed the goats rocks - they didn't really go for that!


You could purchase bottles to feed the baby goats, but I didn't do this. My girl kept eyeing those bottles and would try to take them from the goats. Everyone thought she was just being cute and trying to feed the babies, but I knew she wanted one of those bottles for herself!


My two really liked this cowbell collection. Some kids climb it, but my kids just liked ringing all the different bells. My boy, of course, had to figure out how these bells worked.


This little place is quickly becoming my favorite weekend spot with the kids. There were a few things there that they are just too little for right now (like tractor pedal cars - the boy REALLY wanted to ride those, but can't quite reach the pedals), and as they get bigger, I know they will continue to find it more fun and interesting.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Feet Week - I Heart Faces Challenge

Here's my little girl right before she learned to walk. She's just sitting in the yard and I was playing with my new lens.
I used the 50mm/1.8 lens for this shot. 1.8 app focused on the feet. I did some brightening in CS3 Raw Editor, ran it through the community Noiseware program, and used the free Perfect Portrait Action from Coffeeshop Actions. (I LOVE Coffeeshop!!)


If you'd like to see more fantastic feet shots, head on over to I Faces to check them out!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

These Poor Children

These poor children . . . . these poor, poor children.

There's just no privacy in our home. Not for me, not for Dirck, and certainly not for the two munchkins. Dirck and I are always getting barged in on - whether it's on the potty (yes, I say potty now - go get yourself a 2 1/2 year old and see if you don't start calling it the "potty" as well. . . ) or in the shower - there's always a curious little person there wondering what or how or why we are doing whatever it is that we are doing. But, don't feel sorry for us. I don't whip my camera out to document these occasions. It's really these children that are suffering. . . .

Here's she is just suffering away. . . .


She's just trying to take an innocent little bubble bath, but here I come with that silly camera to document her in all her nakedness.

And poor little man. Not only do I barge in on him on the potty, but I take pictures of it for all the world to see. He fusses sometimes . . .


But mostly he just looks up at me with his cute little face and his big blue eyes. And well, that just makes me want to take MORE pictures, because he's just so stinkin' cute . . . .


Yes, these poor, poor children. They have no idea what privacy feels like, and until they really start protesting, I'm just gonna keep snapping these pictures!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Her too . . .

This little munchkin is growing big too. She's a crazy 14 months old as of yesterday.

Can you believe that?


Wasn't it just a blink ago when we were bringing her home and getting settled into the routine of having two little ones?

She's a sassy one too - a lot more ornery than her big brother. She does something she knows she isn't supposed to do, and as she's doing it she just looks at us and smiles. When we tell her to stop (usually it's for climbing on the furniture), she just laughs, gets down, and then does the exact same thing again! Yowza, I'll bet her teenage years are going to be fun . . . . . .

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Big Boy

Look at this little man.


Each time I look at him I am reminded that he is growing quickly and is no longer my little baby with the chubby cheeks and fat rolls. It's sad, and it's wonderful. It's nice to see him becoming his own little person . . . but I do miss that squishy baby. Just when I'm missing his baby stage, that bright blue-eyed little man looks up at me and says "Mama, I wuv you." and my heart just melts.

Really, there's just no better feeling than that!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why I Love Photoshop

I take so many pictures of the kids - SOOOOOOOO many pictures of them. So many, that many (or really MOST) of the pictures I take aren't really good at all. They're too dark, too grainy, to blah. . . blah. . . blah. This is the reason I love Photoshop! It helps make my oh-so-hum-drum pictures into lovely little photos of my kids.

For example: Here's a non-edited photo that I took of my boy when we were outside the other evening. I had been taking pictures inside the house, and my ISO was still on 800 when I was shooting this shot (just so you know, it should be around 100 for a bright lovely day like this). Yikes!


As you can see, it's all wrong. He's too dark, and the photo is super grainy. Although you can tell he's got a sweet little expression, you can't see it because of the dark shadow across his face.

Now, I won't be able to 100% salvage this photo, but I can make it into a sweet little shot of my boy with the help of Photoshop.
Here's the new deal with a bit of editing. . . .


I wanted to give it a nice old-timey sort of feel, and after some brightening and editing, I think I accomplished that goal!

So see . . . . with the help of a little photo editing, anyone can shoot better photos! There are several free versions of photo editing software on the web, and if you are interested in learning more about some of these, just let me know and I can send you some links to some highly rated free downloads!
Happy editing!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sports-In-Action - I Heart Faces Challenge

Here's a shot of my 2 year old son with his brand new golf club. I think he looks so much like "Happy Gilmore" here - for sure it's more hockey than golf, but I figure he's learning and having fun - what more could a mom ask for?


There's only a sliver of face in here, but I couldn't resist posting this anyway. If you would like to see more sports-in-action photos, head on over to I Faces .

Monday, July 13, 2009

Two Cute Girls

I had the opportunity to photograph some super cute girls a few weeks ago. We had a fun time hanging out at the park.

Meet Cate.

Serious Cate

She's two years old, and quite a girly-girl.

Smiling Cate

She likes tu-tu's and princess stuff, and we had a great time roaming around the park. Isn't she a cute little fairy princess?

Magical Cate

Look at those polished piggies! Can you imagine any other 2 year old sitting still long enough to let someone give them a pedicure? Yep, for sure a girl's girl!

Painted Toes

Meet Ella.

Serious Ella

She's the 4 year old big sister.

Smiling Ella

She likes horses and alligators, and we had a very fun time playing at the playground at the park.

Climbing Ella

Can you believe these boots? I wish I had some like this. They were quite the fashion statement with her sparkly pink bow shirt and flowing pink skirt. I love that kids just wear what they love - it makes taking pictures of them so much fun.

Cowgirl Boots

It was great working with this family. I hope they enjoy these pictures.
I sure enjoyed my time in the park with them!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Birthday Boy

Remember BRYCE?

He's my friend, Mia's cute little baby. Well, Bryce just had a first birthday, and my gang and I went over to her place to help him celebrate! He was VERY excited to get cake and balloons.

Yummy chocolate cupcakes are delicious . . . .

And Messy.

Here's Bryce's big brother Tristan. Yet, another adorable little boy.

What a fun time. I'm glad we got to help celebrate with Bryce, and I know the kids are glad that they got those chocolate cupcakes!


Friday, July 10, 2009

The Crying Game

Ever wonder what happens when you take away something from a kid that they REALLY want? For example, when you take a pair of sunglasses from their tiny little fingers?
Well, they don't really like it all that much.
They cry - like screaming, tonsils vibrating back and forth kind of crying.

They also whine and try to reach for them. Stand on their tippy-toes and say "Want It!" as loud as they can.

Did I cave? Of course I did. I mean, could you have resisted those faces?????

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer Lovin

The girl got a new little swimsuit. Here she is on the beach (OK, she's in the yard on a beach towel, but work with me here - it's the Midwest, no where CLOSE to a beach) scoping out the surfer dudes.

Here's a cute one over here . . .
Or Maybe a cute one over there . . . .
Oh, Decisions, decisions, decisions. . . .

My little man likes the sunglasses too. He puts them on and tells me he's a ROCKSTAR. Yes, honey, you are a Rockstar!
No more pictures please . . . . .

Monday, July 6, 2009

Go Little Man

He says as loud as he can:

"I'm a Oi-yal"

Yes baby, you are the best Royal's baseball player ever! Go Royals!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Two Munchkins in the tub . . . .

Splashing . . .

And Playing . . .

And drinking lots of bath water (yeah, she does that, not much I can do about it except drain the tub. . . )

And in general . . . .

Just being their cute little selves.

These kiddos bring me so much joy - Joy to watch. Joy to hold. Joy to love! Joy that I never even imagined before they came into my life. Joy that I'm so thankful for every minute of every day. Joy that I never, ever want to be without. Thank you little munchkins for blessing my life!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Another Little Dude

Meet Mason.

He's 4 years old, full of energy and quite a boy's boy. His Mom and I work in the same office, and thought we'd try to get some cute pictures of her little man.
We played and ran around and we even found a large bullfrog at the pond in the park. Here's a shot of the fat guy just watching us from the edge of the water - until I scared him away.


I hope his mom thinks these pictures of her little man are as cute as Mason is in person. I think we did a good job really capturing his personality!