Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I don't like to complain...

...ok, that might not be true. I do have a complaining gene in me, I just don't like to complain on my blog too much. I am blessed with my children, my husband, and my life. There is no one in this world I would change places with right now. Seriously. But things are so hectic and I'm feeling harried. The children seem whinier than usual right now -- most likely because of having visitors in the house, the weather is changing...oh who am I kidding? They are whining because they are almost-three and five -- that's what they do! But it seems in excess. Holden is trying to give up napping but still needs the zzzzz's. Jackson's full day of school is delivering home to us a worn out, exhausted boy (but on the plus side he adores school!). I am working a lot right now. Finishing up editing the images from the school shoot, and excited about several up coming shoots for the fall. The leaves are changing right this very minute, and I know they will make stunning backdrops for the shoots I have planned. I'm so thrilled that my business is taking off. I love what I do, and feel fortunate that I have found my passion. And I always knew that when I found my way, it would be something creative. I thrive in that environment. But....

But it is a lot to take on. I'm running behind in most things, trying to do all things. I'm still a full time mom and full time home-maker. Both roles I take very seriously. The house isn't up to my standard of cleanliness or organization. We doubled our square footage 6 months ago and I doubled my housework. I know, I should also complain about my diamond shoes being too tight or whatever. We are fortunate in this home. It is our home. It is just a lot to take on. I feel the little things are overwhelming me right now - laundry, dishes, making beds, the floors, dust seems to breed in the night, meals need planning, preparing and cleaning up after, etc. All the things that make me a housewife are falling by the wayside in light of the new title I have taken on - Photographer. Not to mention the mom part of it all. I'm not sure I'm giving the boys all they need. I'm trying to balance it. I really am. I just don't know if I'm succeeding. And oh yeah, I haven't potty trained my almost-three-year-old yet either. In fact I've given up twice now out of sheer frustration or laziness or both.

So I'm taking a moment between laundry, Halloween crafts, Photoshopping and figuring out what's for dinner to write it all out. Hopefully it will sort my head and put me on the right path. Or at the very least, it will delay the laundry that is waiting to be folded.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Yuppers, I'm way behind. BJ even emailed me to make sure everything was ok in our house - very sweet, and yes, we're all ok. Well, Jackson did have a little bout of pink eye, but it passed in a day or so. My father in law Carl is visiting from Buffalo for three weeks and we've been having fun hanging out with him, and enjoying the Colorado sunshine. That is, until last Monday when I had two full days of outdoor photoshoots planned and we were hit with our first snow of the season. And yes, it was back into the high 70's again today. Sigh. But the shoot was an incredible experience for me - about 90 kids photographed (indoors) for a local private school for their fall photoshoot. They wanted something a little different than the usual smiley-smile-posey-pose shots that most schools do. God bless them! And I was so thrilled to be able to have the opportunity. But it has also put me heads down in planning the shoot, doing the shoot, and now editing the shoot. I am so happy with how they are turning out and hope I can share some on my photo blog at some point. And the boys got extra time with Daddy and Grandpa while I was working (thanks Honey for taking the days off from your work and being a full-time-Daddy for those few days!). So with all that going on - plus school for Jackson, music class for Holden, and our usual running around, I've just been out of touch! Forgive!

And on that note, I do have a few pictures I took over a week ago around the house that I wanted to share. I've mentioned before how much I love our new house, and decorating it is a passion of mine to be certain. Here are just few shots of what I'm loving the most about this house that we are turning into a home. I'll try and be better about posting in the future!

Playroom wall finally finished- pictures I framed of the kiddos. These are huge! 11X16 pictures, and obviously bigger frames for matting. I think matting and big images are where it's at!
Apple clock I made. It was a plain, brown clock I found when we moved in. Painted it red and gave it a stem and a leaf. LOVE it. Goes with the playroom apple tree!
Holden's bedroom wall. The "H" is made from rope and a wire hanger. Stars and sign from my favorite junk'n store, The Barn.
Shelf on the other wall in Holden's room. The boots were Shawn's when he was little. The artwork is by my friend Joe - I bid on it at Kyra's auction. Love it!
My wall of black and whites. I actually shot only a few of these, the rest are done by photographers I greatly admire.
Dresser in our bedroom, finally accessorized. It's just taken me a long time to figure it out. You can't see the dresser though so I guess this image is sort of pointless.
Lamp in our bedroom. The black shades I love and got for $1 each at a garage sale. Score! The lamps are Target and turn on by touch - LOVE that! There is NOT a pearl "S" on Shawn's side, just mine is glammed up. Oh, and the walls are pale yellow, like the image above, but they are showing up green here...blech!
Kitchen. New sign. It's not really old. I heart Hobby Lobby. Oh yeah, I painted this. Can't you tell?! Ha! In my office 'cause no one else will take it. It makes me happy. beautiful new chandy in my office. This was my little reward to myself after doing the wedding I shot this summer. It is real purty with my toile valance and peg board. Mom made the valance, I made the peg board. I love my office.
Entry hall - the old window I found at a flea market, hooks at a junk store, hat is mine I bought for our honeymoon in Tahoe 8 years ago, and the beautiful antique console and Tiffany lamp were given to us by Shawn's Aunt Janis who passed away this summer. It makes me smile and think of her every time I pass it by.
I heart chalkboards! This is in our kitchen. I use it to write out grocery lists or weekly menus or notes to the fam -- or I keep track of fiber count as I'm back on the Best Life diet. Yeah, I guess that's a bit personal but there you have it. Did you know the average adult needs 25 grams of fiber every day and most adults barely get 7??!
My Granny's copper jello mold and copper star cookie cutter. I brought them back with me from Texas during the last visit. Shawn brought that BHG cookbook into our marriage, if you can believe it, and it is very well loved.
Stairway - my framed pictures. Both of these images were taken here in Castle Rock outside The Barn.

Me. I cut all my hair off for reals this time. It's a terrible self portrait but there you have it!

Monday, September 14, 2009

House Rules

We aren't the strictest parents ever. We also aren't light weights. I *think* we toe the line pretty well with regards to disciplining our children. Sometimes we get it right. Sometimes we fail miserably. It's all a learning lesson. And just in case we thought we had it all figured out with the first one (which honestly, we never did), along comes a 2nd one who is the complete opposite of the first. Good times!

Last week things were getting a little out of hand in the crib tales household. School starting threw a kink into our usual schedule and routine, and the looooooong day for Jackson lead to a few too many meltdowns and broken rules. Rules? WHAT rules??? We've never really defined them, they just sort of grew organically over time (like that melon I found in the back of the fridge from far too many weeks ago...I digress...). So the boys and I sat down and vetted out the rules that make our house tick. Certainly this doesn't cover it all. Certainly some of it is a little, um, odd (re: #9 was Holden's addition thanks to our recent hike). But is helps that now when one of the boys breaks a rule we can ask him to review the list and tell us which rule was broken and issue consequences as a result.

So here goes, the rules of the house, as provided by my children with a great deal of input from yours truly:
  1. Ask Mom or Dad before using TV, Computer, Wii or Leapfrog
  2. No hurting each other, or anyone, with words, hands or teeth
  3. Love each other always. always.
  4. Use caring words.
  5. Ask before going outside (no going in front yard at all without Mom or Dad)
  6. No jumping or standing on Jackson's bed. (it's a loft bed)
  7. Be responsible: pick up your own things - toys, clothes, books, dishes, etc.
  8. Help each other.
  9. Don't pick poison ivy.

Friday, September 11, 2009


It hardly seems real that 8 years have past since our entire world stopped turning for a brief moment in time. When all sense of security, and the simple life as we knew it, ended. When the idea of a something as easy as going to the airport - a formerly joyous occasion greeting visiting family or departing on a much deserved holiday - became painful and tedious. When thousands of Americans unwittingly went to work that day and gave their lives for their country without knowing. When families kissed good bye and never saw each other again. And a war that has now in 2009 dragged on too long, and taken too many lives, began.

I know my boys will never understand the full impact of 9/11/01. They were a mere twinkle in our eyes at that time, Shawn and I barely married 6 weeks at the time. They will always know heightened airport security and the fear that it could happen again. I remember vividly coming out of the shower that morning to find Shawn staring at our tiny TV, aghast, silent, barely able to spit out the words "The World Trace Center just collapsed - a plane hit it, or maybe two." We were west coast at the time, and barely waking for our day when the world paused. We watched our TV for hours that day, huddling together under the covers, crying, and I remember how surreal it was watching the 2nd tower fall. This could not be happening here. Not in the greatest, safest nation on earth. This happened in other places, not here. And yet it was real, and the full understanding of what happened took hours, maybe days to sink in.

Eventually we both got dressed and made our way to an overflowing blood bank, hoping to donate blood or something. They turned us away. They were jammed with people and uncertain of how much was needed. Sadly, we learned, very little blood was needed as there were so few survivors. Over time that day I reached out to friends I knew who lived in the city - Adam and Ruth and many others. I heard from them all that they were safe -- as safe as they could be. At the time we knew no one living in DC, but the realism that the core of our country was hit was shocking. Everyone we knew walked in a daze for days to come, asking where were you? are your loved ones safe? what happens next?

And I guess that remains the question. What happens next. 8 years have past but it doesn't get easier, and I'm sure it is still so real and so fresh for those that lost a loved one on that terrible, awful, day. Some people in this world probably made the decision that day that they would never have children. Never bring lives into a world where this type of devastation and evil existed. For us it was the opposite. It made wanting a child, a family, that much more desirable. To show to ourselves, and the terrorists, that bringing beauty into the world only makes it better. Raising our children to be good, decent, caring individuals. Demonstrating love to them that they can in turn demonstrate to others - not just Americans, but all people of this world. Because it is a small world, after all. We should do all we can to keep it that way.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Buddies and Dashwood Super Frog

An odd title. But consider this more two posts than one.

Our friends Michelle, Chip, Chase and baby Lauren are moving in a couple of weeks, back to Kansas. Though they've only been here a little over a year, they have become good friends. Chase and Jackson are just 2 weeks apart in age, and went to the same Pre-K school. They lived just 3 houses down from us in our old house. We will miss them and their friendship, and we wish them all the very best in their new adventures.

We also caught a toad yesterday, and named him Dashwood Super Frog (or Super Frog Dashwood, Jackson and I disagree on the name choice). He lives in a small bowl on our porch with leaves and water and a rock. He'll likely "escape" tonight as I hate for his mommy to be missing him too much. It was fun while it lasted....

If Holden ever has his own band I hope that this is his CD cover. That's Dashwood S.F. on the right.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Anxious much?

Last night I couldn't sleep. I had one million thoughts zooming through my head, for reasons that escape me (I'm usually zonked by days' end and rarely have trouble catching some much needed zzzzz's). I decided to write down every thing that was swirling through my head making me feel anxious or just jittery. 3 pages later I slept like a dream. Who knew I had that much swirling around in my noggin? Somethings were pithy. Something were major. All of them were keeping me awake. Life is never as easy as it should be. But I felt cleansed after writing it all down, and slept like a dream. For many, many years I kept a nightly journal that I rarely skipped writing in. I have dozens of them stacked away in storage - 13 years worth. I always felt purified after writing, and perhaps I'm in need of paper and pen again to get myself a better night's rest.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Castlewood Canyon State Park

click to enlarge photo

Well this is just flat out ridiculous. We've lived her 4 years now and are just now getting around to visiting a very nearby state park - Castlewood Canyon. It is less than 15 minutes from our home, and is a gorgeous setting. Lots of hikes and walks of various levels of difficulty. We packed a picnic and made an afternoon of it. We ditched the stroller at the trail head of a moderate hike that included a lot of up and down levels of rock which broke way to the stream that lies at the bottom of the canyon. It was so beautiful. And the greenery provided perfect shade on a rather warm afternoon. The boys did amazingly well. We'll definitely be back again as there are a variety of hikes left for us to explore. Lovely!