Thursday, December 30, 2010

What can I say about Christmas 2010?  It was magical and relaxing and joyful -- all the things it is supposed to be.  The boys were so well behaved and we enjoyed a first time Christmas with my mother-in-law as well.  That was a special treat for us and the boys.  She made the Christmas eve dinner - Chinese food.  She brought a trunkload of gifts for the boys and spoiled us all rotten.  She gave Shawn and I not 1 but 2 nights out on our own - we relished that.  She and I even snuck (sneaked??) out for a matinee one afternoon.  Oh, and on Christmas day everyone napped - how awesome is that?!?  It was just about perfect.  

But I would be remiss not to share the early morning Christmas day wake-up.  Shawn and I awoke to the ripping of paper. Christmas paper.  The boys had tiptoed downstairs and plunged into their Santa gifts before we were even awake!  Worse, actually, Jackson had snuck (sneaked??) downstairs even earlier, grabbed his overflowing stocking and brightly wrapped package from Santa and went back to his bedroom and opened the gift, stashing the paper and box in the trash so no one would know he'd done so (yeah, right).  Then he proceeded to wake his brother and encourage him to do the same.  Thus the tearing paper Shawn and I heard downstairs.  Immediately I calmly proclaimed (OK, I yelled) WHAT ARE YOU DOING!??!?!  And immediately Holden froze and Jackson started to cry.  He knew he was busted.  He knew he wasn't supposed to be opening presents without us being there.  On Christmas eve I'd told him that when he woke up he could look through his stocking when he woke up but he had to wait to open gifts.  He didn't wait.  And there he was with his much desired DSi hand held game and I was left to imagine the joy on his face when he opened it, alone in his room.  The one gift I couldn't wait to see him open.  And now, a few days removed, we tell the story and can't help but laugh.  It will live on in the years to come as the Christmas Jackson opened his gift without permission.  And me thinks he won't try it again next year.  At least I hope he won't. 

And now for some pictures of the festivities...







Thursday, December 23, 2010

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...two boy cooperating!

It is the day before the day before Christmas.  The boys are in matching lego Star Wars jammies playing lego Star Wars on the Wii.  They were down stairs playing even before Shawn and I woke.  When I came down stairs there they were, snuggled right up next to each other.  I mean, they had an entire couch and they were sharing one cushioned section.  It was...spectacular!  Just 4 days into Christmas break and let me be clear, they have fought like cats and dogs.  They've also played together and laughed and ran around swinging their light sabers like pros.  We've had McDonald's twice for lunch this week - don't judge, they have a play area and we NEEDED that.  The had a playdate with Carissa's kiddos at Treehouse Discovery.  We had a mini-Christmas gathering with their pals Jackson George and Allie, which also culminated in an epic light saber battle (and a rousing rendition of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" played by JG on the piano - stellar!)!  We've been to the library and Starbucks storytime and the ever-so-exciting grocery store (free cookie!)!  We've decorated cookies and made snow flakes and looked at Christmas lights and hunted for our elf, Fortnum, who hides around our house every morning and leads the boys on a hide-and-seek mission.  Overall, well, its just been plain fun.  They miss each other when Jackson is at school full time.  I miss them together when Jackson is at school.  Christmas break has been a great chance for them to get reacquainted with each other.  Sure, they fight and argue and usually someone gets hurt (Holden), but at the end of the day they are THE best of friends...when they aren't fighting over who gets to be Anakin Skywalker on the Wii.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas (and the croup)...

The holidays (and the croup) have hit our house!  Croup doesn't freak us out as much as it used to - we have the means to cope with it.  So it was just us hanging out at home for a couple of days waiting for the fever and cough to subside (which is quickly did thanks to meds and hot showers).  We did puzzles and decorated our gingerbread house and played the Wii and watched a ton of movies - including our first round of "Polar Express" which usually gets 4-5 viewings during the holiday season.  It was a chill few days, and everyone (knock wood) seems to be back to health again.  Happy Holidays indeed!










Monday, December 06, 2010

My boo-bear

We are very, very fortunate to have healthy children.  That was very much brought home to me after our friends' daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer two years ago (note: after treatment over the past 2 years she's now 100% healthy - hooray!!).  It sunk in, during that time, how a simple cold or even a bought of croup was nothing compared to what they went through with Kyra's illness.  My blessings were counted over and over and over...and I continue to do so.

That being said, that doesn't mean it isn't hard when one of the kids is sick or isn't functioning 100%.  Case-in-point: my boo-bear Holden.  He innocently went into his 4 year well-check appointment a few weeks ago and walked out with 2 appointments with two different doctors, 2 new medications, and a possible 3rd specialist in the wings.  Oh yeah, and 4 vaccinations - ouch!  We're working to fix some digestive issues that have plagued him for a long, long time.  It doesn't help that he's barely on the growth charts for his weight and eats very little food.  This has not been fun to cope with, digestive wise, and I feel for him as he struggles with it at such a young age.  And then there are his teeth - his dentist pointed out that they are wearing away and chipping and blamed it on acid reflux.  What???  Fortunately a trip to his pediatrician and a pediatric dentist proved that he simply chipped his front teeth somehow and the alarm that he was dealing with another digestive problem was put to rest.  Then he failed is vision test.  Not a big deal. I thought he was just being squirrely and not wanting to cooperate.  After 2 hours with the pediatric opthamologist today those suspicions were confirmed-  his vision is perfectly fine and he was being, well, 4 the day of his first appointment.  It wouldn't have been a big deal had he needed lenses, but with all the doctor visits in the last 2 weeks I'm just glad he's in the clear for most of the "hysteria."  He's 4, not 94.  I'm thankful, obviously, that overall his health is great.  We'll manage the tummy-troubles, and if possible, I'll be able to keep him clear of any doctor visits for a long, long while.   Oh and his eczema is acting up, too.  Yeah, that doesn't seem like such a big deal any more...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

heart


A picture from months ago.  I'm ages behind in updating photos of my own kids, much less getting my client's portraits up on the crib tales photography blog.  But I came across this picture and it just made me stop and smile.  I'm afraid my attention has NOT been fully on my family lately.  They've taken it all in stride, and honestly they yelp with glee when they get "daddy time" when I head off to a session.  But it still tugs at my heart and gives me little jolts of guilt.  I am so fortunate to have a job I love, and a family who supports me in it.  It is little moments, like this one, that remind me why I do it in the first place...


ps - if you are wondering why the head is so freakishly large in this photo, it is Jackson wearing his bike helmet.  We were on a walk/ride when I snapped this shot.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks...

...for these two amazing, healthy, smart, handsome, wonderful boys (who sometimes are also cranky, argumentative and punkish).  And for the awesome guy who shares in the responsibility of raising them, and kisses me good night each night (unless he falls asleep before me, which he usually does,  in which case I kiss him good night).

Cheers!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Just Do It

I have a million things to update.  My (ahhhh-mazing trip to Seattle for photographs & friendship).  My husband's ahhh-mazing job as a stay at home daddy for 4 days without relief.  The boys' ongoing school activities including Holden's newest song from school entitled "Quality Friends."  Jackson waking up at 6am just so he can read The Magic Treehouse books.  My crazy work schedule (which I'm beyond blessed and excited to have).  My husband who keeps tackling far more house-type-duties than most men I know and yet still works his full time 8-5 gig.  SOOOO much.  Yet the one thing I have to share is a cutie-pie comment from Holden this morning.

I was interviewing a wonderful lady who is going to help me with some of the housecleaning duties during my busy months work-wise.  I already love her and she hasn't even started.   She came over this morning to give me an estimate and when she left I gleefully hugged Holden and said "that wonderful lady is going to clean our house for us!"  His response?  "You could just do it yourself."  Thanks for the reality check Holden.  (but I'm still having her come in and clean my house for me)

Monday, November 01, 2010

woah!

Soooo apparently I have uploaded 1GB of photos and am no longer allowed more space unless I pay.  It's cheap, so I probably will.  But until I get it sorted just know that:

1. Halloween rocked!  The boys pulled in a haul and were beyond cute!
2. Holden's birthday rocked.  The boy pulled in a haul and was beyond cute!


Now to sort out my storage issue...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kiss'n Kin

This is from our trip to Texas - my mama and most of her grands.  Someone noticed that Holden and my Mom have the same cheeky look going - I have to agree!  We had a fantastic time visiting the fam, and the boys were so amazingly good the entire time.  It isn't easy traveling alone with two little boys, but my mama did it most of our growing up, and for 3 emotional girls rather than 2 rambunctious boys.  A friend once told me "there's no trophy for being a mom."  She was right.  But somehow I think when you are a grandparent, the trophy is the the grandchildren...


Monday, October 25, 2010

Four

I'm not sure how that happened.  But somehow along the way you turned four.  It has gone by in a blink!  Holden Charles at the age of four you are an absolute delight to all who know and love you.  You are caring and sweet and easy going.  You are quick with a smile, and have even been described as a "class clown" by your preschool teacher, Ms. Char.  You love to just be with your Mommy.  You love to have your Daddy tickle you.  You love playing games and legos and Wii with your brother.  You have sweet friends who you love to play with, and who you rarely fight with.  You don't love going to school, but once you are there you have a blast and are as smart as a whip.  You like to draw and play games and imagine you are a superhero.  You will sleep in if the household lets you.  You would rather do just about anything but eat.  You are not a fan of food.  You'll grow out of this, I'm sure.  You are my baby.  Always and forever.  The day you were born you changed our world for the better.  Your birth was scary and emotional and I remember thinking as they wheeled me to the operating room to get you out: "please let him live. please let him live. please let him live." And you did.  You live life fully every day of your life.  All four years of it.  Thank you for the joy and love and laughter you bring to our lives my sweet, rock'n little man. 

Happy Birthday Holden Charles.  We love you.  To the moon and back.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Gett'n the heck outta dodge...

Honestly, I have no idea what that means.  But the little men and I are heading out of town tomorrow for a few days in Texas-country.  Flat lands, open fields, Mexican food, my sisters, my kin, The Science Spectrum, good friends, some photo shoots and a little R-N-R!  This has been an insane past few weeks for me.  I'm ready to chill a bit.  The boys are so excited to see their cousins and aunts and uncle and Grammy and OP and Cracker and BJ and the puppies and maybe even get to hop in OP's hot tub if the weather conditions are ok for it.  They are not excited about the 8.5 hour drive.  Neither am I.  But the Pilot has a DVD player, lots of leg room, and I've stocked up on snacks.  We're outta here.

ps -we'll miss you like crazy Daddy and are already counting down the minutes until we get to see you again!! xoxoxoxo

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

1-800-Toothfairy


Jackson's first lost tooth popped out yesterday morning.  Literally.  He said "mommmy look how loose my tooth is!" and then it popped onto the rug.  The grin that spread on his face was indescribable.  Shock.  Joy.  Giddiness.  His grown up tooth was already growing in behind it, so it has already taken its rightful place in his big, grinny mouth.

The toothfairy came for a visit.  She left a sweet, glittery note and a fiver.  Jackson got to use his toothfairy pillow I made a few months ago, from one of his favorite shirts as a baby.  Love seeing that pillow on his bed every morning.  Love seeing that sweet little grin every morning, too.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

37


I'm 37.  That sort of rocks.   And I have it good.  Yeah, the thighs aren't what  I want them to be.  The bags under the eyes are prominent.  I have stretch marks in places I never imagined.  But I also have 2 awesome kids (thank you stretch marks).  An amazing, loving husband.  Incredible (truly) friends.  Awesome family.  A business I'm way proud of.  A home I adore.  Food in my pantry.  Love in my heart.  Wine in my fridge.  That's all a girl needs.  So welcome "late 30's" - show me what you've got in store!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Putting on my serious face for a moment...

I have 2 beautiful, smart, wonderful little boys.  I don't know the path life will take them on, but I hope that their Dad and I can impart upon them how to be good, loving people.  To come to us if they ever needed to.  To know that their home and their family are a safe place where there are no judgements.  I want them to always feel our love, even when we are angry or hurt or whatever other emotion we might be going through. I want them to also know that we do not  and will not ever tolerate them being bullies or being hateful or ugly.

I've read a lot in the news in the past week about an epidemic of teen suicides related to young people who were bullied for being gay or different.  This absolutely breaks my heart. That they felt so ashamed or embarrassed or whatever else that the only solution in their hearts was to take their lives.  Children who were once nurtured in their mama's womb.  Rocked gently to sleep with a lullaby and a kiss.  Children who very well likely were playmates with the same kids who would turn on them later in life and taunt and bully them.  Their shame was so deep that suicide was their answer for the bullying and the taunts and the flat out hatred.  That just simply is not ok.  It is another form of bigotry and should not be tolerated.

I'm a day away from 37 years of age but 17 doesn't seem that far ago. I remember vividly being a teenager. The emotions are so raw at that age.  Everything seems so important and all consuming.  Though it was 20 years ago I remember the emotions of dating a young man - my first real love - who was too afraid to admit that he was gay at such a young age, especially in a very conservative west Texas town.   So he hid behind his cover - dating a girl.  We dated off and on (and off and on) over a 5 year period of time before he could finally, courageously come out to his parents, his friends, his peers, me.  I, selfishly, was heartbroken at the time, but I knew in my heart that something wasn't clicking for us.  Time heals all wounds, but his wounds were likely much, much deeper.  He spent that many years, and more probably, hiding behind his true self for the same fear of taunting, bullying, and lack of acceptance.  I can't imagine how hard that must have been. For him.  For so many of my other friends who are gay and face taunting, bullying, and hiding their true selves for far, far too many years.

Like I said, I don't know the path my boys will take in life.  They may want to live their lives out in small town America, marry sweet girls and raise lots of babies.  Or they may want to be artists living a life abroad, traveling the world.  They may choose marriage, they may not.  They may decide to ride a Harley and follow a rock band all over the country.  They may choose to have children, they may not.  They may even choose to be Republicans (gasp! ha ha!)  But no matter where they go, what they do, who they love, I just want them to always know that we love them, and are here for them, and support them.  No matter what.  Because I felt them both move in my womb. I kissed their first owies.  I have loved them, unconditionally, from the moment I knew they were on their way.  And I will continue to love them, unconditionally, for all of their lives.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall...

Another busy week.  School for both boys.  Sunny skies and lots of outside playtime.  Playdates.  Daddy traded in his Prius for a new Pilot.  Mommy gets the Pilot and Daddy takes the Subaru.  Mommy LOVES her new-to-her big car.  A birthday party to celebrate our friend Kyra who turns 7 AND has had 2 clean MRI's -- her cancer is gone!  Mommy got to work 2 half days taking "school pictures" at a local private school.  Joyous!  Lots of time spent in the office editing portraits and keeping up with clients.  Jackson has his first loose tooth.  Holden doesn't love going to school but is smiling when I pick him up.  Nana was here for 2 days, helping Mommy with the boys while Mommy and Daddy both worked.  That was an odd thing, to have 2 parents working  at the same time.  Thankful for a loving Nana and boys who love being with her.  Dinner with old friends and lots of good wine.  Oktoberfest with bouncy houses.  A difficult but meaningful photo session for a new friend.  Daddy time for the boys.  More playdates and outside playtime and popsicles and the sun setting earlier and earlier every night.  Pumpkins.  Bulbs that Mommy needs to put into the ground.  Fall...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

While these two packed up for an overnight school camping trip to camp Elim with the first grade class...
We played ninja, went to Costco with our pals the Longs, went to story time with our story time pals and read the "Giving Tree", and had a playdate / photo session with Allie and Lisa and Mimi.  

Fun was had by all...

The End.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Green Chili Potatoes

Yeah, I'm giving out a recipe today.  Me.  I consider myself a decent cook.  Not a chef.  But a decent cook.  I've only really ruined one major meal in the almost 11 years Shawn and I have been together (that would have been the Christmas 2001 meal - sorry honey!).  But our meals are fairly typical - pastas, chicken dishes, a few Mexican faves, etc.  Well this past weekend were dining out after Elitches and I dunked one of Jackson's fries into my green chili sauce from my meal and I about died.  It was HEAVEN!  Seriously, so good.  So I made up my own recipe that I served as a main course tonight.  It was gooooood.  By the way, potatoes get a bad rap.  But they are good for you.  I read that somewhere and I'm sticking to it.  I didn't fry them, I oven roasted them.  So they were yummy and healthy...now onto the make-shift recipe:

1. Cut up 4-5 medium sized russet potatoes into smallish chunks (don't bother peeling them, the skin is good)
2. Toss these cubes with a tablespoon of vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons (give or take) of olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.
3. Lay cubes in a single layer on a lightly greased roasting pan (I used spray canola oil)
4. Bake in a 400 degree oven for an hour, tossing occasionally to brown
5. Open a jar of good green chili sauce - I got a yummy chunky kind from Sprouts - and heat in the microwave (yeah, my recipe involves a microwave, what of it?!?)
6.  Put a serving of potatoes in a bowl (larger-ish bowl if this is a main dish like it was for me)
7. Top potatoes with green chili sauce and other toppings that you see fit  - I used a small bit of grated cheese, chopped tomatoes, and a dollop of sour cream (light)

Eat.  And then serve yourself another bowl full and eat again.  It was soooooo good.  And bonus, no meat, so a cheaper option as well!  I mean, come on, potatoes are cheap!  Jackson ate the potatoes just with cheese and a side of tomatoes.  I'm good with that.  Holden ate a carrot.  But he doesn't ever eat, so I'm also coming to grips with that, too.

Your welcome.

Monday, September 13, 2010

lair o' the bear

We didn't see any bears or lairs.  But we did see lots of people, dogs, bikes and wildflowers.  The leaves haven't changed yet, so no images of golden, red, and orange leaves to make you j.e.a.l.o.u.s. of where we live.  Just know that where we live is about as purty as it comes.  Can't wait for the leaves to start changing... 

My little sister (who, by the way, is pregnant with her first baby - a boy - right this very minute!) keeps telling me she's shocked when she hears or see pictures of me in outdoorsy situations.  She's right to be shocked.  I'm a pretty girly-girl.  I don't like to sweat.  I don't like dirt. I always carry hand sanitizer.  But I'm also the girl who backpacked across Europe and stayed in less than savory hostels and made do with dirty jeans and unwashed hair for days on end.  I'm also the girl who moved to the Pacific Northwest at the oh so tender age of 23 where it is practically mandatory that you own fleece, gortex, and either a snowboard or a bike or both.  I'm also the girl who gave birth to two rough and tumble little boys who love being outside and catching bugs and slugs and snakes and toads.  I'm also the girl who discovered, quite shockingly, that photography was my passion and more so, outdoor, natural light photography that takes me to parks and lakes and walking paths and just about any place that will provide a gorgeous scene for a lovely family. And I'm the girl who has a big boy (and eventually another boy) who attends an awesome (public!) school that places a huge emphasis on adventure education and working as a crew - which means hikes and camping trips and gear and more gortex and fleece and eventually, yes, snowshoes.   So, thus, this is me, behind the lens, capturing what has become an even more familiar sight in my world - being outside, the gorgeous out doors, hanging with my awesome, rugged men.








three

Sometimes, just being 3-almost-4 is the hardest thing in the world.  

Saturday, September 11, 2010

today

Today was a perfect day spent with our boys.  Perfect.  We took them to Elitch Gardens 6 Flags here in Denver. The boys had earned free tickets from the library for the summer reading program.  We've been waiting all summer to use them, and today was a great day to do so.  The park wasn't busy. It was a perfect 82 degrees with a slight wind.  We arrived as soon as the park opened, walked right in and rode rides all day long.  7 hours.  The boys were awesome.  No whining.  No complaining.  Lots of laughing and smiling and hand holding and shrieks of laughter.  From all of us.  We rode every ride the boys wanted to ride.  They were both just tall enough for rides that appealed to them.  They were kind to each other and on their very best behavior.  It truly was a perfect, perfect day.

And yet, there, in the back of mine and Shawn's heads, was the memory from 9 years ago.  The 4 planes that went down. The lives lost. The innocence lost.  The day our country changed forever.  A time before we had kids - we'd only been married 6 weeks.  The day fear became so much more prevalent, and lives were torn apart.  We will never forget.  And soon, in the next few years, the boys will understand the significance of this day.  But I'm sure like perhaps Pearl Harbor or the Vietnam war to us, it will be more of an anecdote than a memory that is full of meaning and sorrow.  It will be up to us to help them to understand, and to never forget.

Friday, September 10, 2010

That's Hawt

This is the weekend my hubs was supposed to ride his first century ride in Boulder.  He's been training for several months now, riding for hours and hours around the state of Colorado.  And all that riding has made my man look gooooood!  He's hawt!  Our plan was to head to Boulder Saturday and spend the night there with the kids, playing around and having an adventure.  Then Shawn would wake up early Sunday to ride and sweat and possibly even puke (century...100 miles people!), and the boys and I would roam around Boulder playing and having fun and eating yummy food.  Then we would cheer him as he crossed the finish line and raise him onto our shoulders and chant "Dad is awesome! We love Dad!" Or something like that.  That' show I envisioned it.  But you see, there are these wee little fires going on in Boulder right now.  Awful, really.  People's homes are going up in flames.  There have been deaths.  It is not a good thing.  And the air is rather smokey and rancid.  And roads have been blocked and re-routed.  So the Boulder century ride was cancelled for this year.  Hours and hours of my hubs training for not.  Well, not really for not.  He looks goooood! And he has, I hope, enjoyed the long weekend and early morning rides in the beautiful Colorado sunshine.  And I hope he'll try again next year. No matter what I'm crazy proud of him.

And of course I send all my good thoughts to the families and homes and communities displaced by the fires. And a huge thank you to the firefighters from around Colorado who are fighting the blazes.  Be safe.

Oh yeah, and my husband is still way hawt.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

All by myself...

After 5 years as a stay at home mama (you'll remember I worked full time the first year of Jackson's life) today was THE first time (IN FIVE YEARS) that I went shopping, for myself, by myself, on a random weekday morning.  It was only Kohl's.  I need pants like a fish needs water.  But I was by myself! Did I mention that?? FIVE years!!!  It was quiet and lovely and I got to try on clothes in a real dressing room without a small child poking my jiggly belly between changes.  Then I bought a coffee.  By myself.  And then I got my eye brows waxed.  By myself.  And my lip waxed (have I ever mentioned I'm 1/4 middle eastern?  I need a lip wax to combat that so don't be judging.)  And even though my eyes teared up (from the waxing, not from sending my children off to school), it was totally worth it.  Then I pulled into the preschool parking lot and watched my son, undetected, playing on the playground with his schoolmates.  I have the best gig in the world.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Preschool - Day 1

You didn't want to go.  You refused to get out of bed.  You slept later than you have in months.  You refused to get dressed, eat breakfast or even use the potty.  You insisted you were scared. I had to dress you in a rush.  I had to thrust a granola bar upon you so you wouldn't be hungry all morning long.  You whined  and were sluggish.  But you didn't cry.  And neither did I.  And you let me take a picture in which you looked excited, even if you weren't.  You told me you were scared.  I reassured you as best I could.  So you bravely walked into your classroom and found your cubby.  You also found a spot on the animal carpet to sit - on the turtle.  You sat criss-cross-apple-sauce and waved, sheepishly, good-bye to me. I "meditated" on you for a short bit before I drove away.  Sending you all of my love, all of my good thoughts, and a lot of strength.  Then I went home and worked for 2 hours straight.  For me, that felt good.  But I also hoped that you were well and smiling and having fun.

And when I picked you up, almost 3 hours later, you were smiling a wondrous grin.  It was part pride in yourself for making it through your first day of preschool, and part relief that I picked you up at the end of your day.  We hugged.  A long, long time.  And that felt pretty darn good.  Then I bought you your own package of gum as a reward for having such a great day.  And we hugged again, and that felt just awesome.


Monday, September 06, 2010

Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes!

I remember so many details about my little man Holden's arrival - the beginning of labor, the excitement leading up to us heading to the hospital, the nervous anticipation of what was to come...and alas, the total fear that something might happen to him as they rushed me off for an emergency c-section when he went into distress.  That's all I remember, because they knocked me out cold and didn't even allow Shawn in the room for his delivery.  It was a scary, scary few minutes for us, but when I finally came to there was my gorgeous, beautiful baby boy, perfect in every way (except perhaps that tiny cut on his head where they whisked him out so quickly).  He came into our lives and it was as if he was always there.  I can't imagine a world without him in it.  And now that same baby boy is heading off to his first day of school tomorrow. Preschool.  But school nonetheless.

He doesn't seem to have the same excitement about going  to school that Jackson did.  He seems more nervous, timid and unsure.  But he hasn't said as much out loud.  I'm just reading his body language.  The same body language that as a wee little babe told me that he was hungry or tired or completely overstimulated.  Because this little man has been with me almost every moment of every day since he arrived on this earth.  So it will be a big change for both of us as he heads off to school for a few hours twice a week.  I'm excited for him and the independence that is to come. I'm thrilled that some of our spotlight is going to shine on him now.  Giddy to see him learning new things and meeting new friends and settling into a lifetime of education and learning.  But of course I'm also a wee bit sad to see him go out on his own.  Knowing someone else will be there guiding him and teaching him and holding his hand.  Just a wee bit.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Thursday, September 02, 2010

I'm baaaaaaack!

OK, I guess I lied.  With enough kind comments and encouragement I've decided to just blog whenever the heck I want to and if I go a month without writing, so be it.  If I write twice a day, that is fine, too.  So there you have it.  I have things to say now and again and I suppose I should not feel guilty if I do write or if I do not write.  I also totally love the aspect of using this forum as a digital scrapbook of images of my kids.

Soooo, on that note, Holden (my BABY, SOB!) starts preschool next week.  Preschool!!  Seriously, he was just born. I can no longer say "Oh I just had a baby, too!" when I meet new moms.  ;-)  So on the way to take Jackson to school today I asked the boys "So what do you boys think I should do when both of you are in school next week?!"  Jackson's answer?  "Clean the bathrooms!"  Uh, yeah, OK, that's one thing I could do.  I said "How about something fun that I could do?"  His response?  "Change the light bulbs?"  Yeah, that kid's a riot.  I'm thinking a facial might be in order, just to prove him wrong.

Friday, August 20, 2010

No more excuses

I don't know what to say.  The blog just isn't a priority for me right now, and for some crazy reason I feel guilty about it.  I have loads to say.  Just no time to say it.  Trying to balance being a good mommy, wife, friend, photographer, school volunteer, daughter, sister, etc, etc, etc. It used to be that writing here was my catharsis for all the craziness that encompassed my day.  You can't know the world of a stay-at-home-parent until you are one.  Just like you can't know the world of a work-outside-the-home-parent until you are one.  Both have their challenges.  But when I was a full time working mama I had my office-mate Jetter to talk to and share my world with, and a dozen other awesome work mates to share lunch and a chat and of course, the work load.  I certainly have dear friends now, in this mommy-world I'm in, but at the end of the day it was my blog that caught my words and emotions.  I was too spent.  But now it seems photography is my catharsis, as I've seen too many midnights come and go in the past few weeks, and not because I have a newborn in my house or a sick child, but because I have portraits to edit and life to catch up on and boys to raise, and that is exactly where I want to be right now.

So I'll be taking a break from the blog for awhile.  I'm not sure if I'll come back to it or not.  It has been a good, fun 4 years.  And if you do read this blog I thank you for coming into our lives for the ride.  And especially to my family who uses the blog to catch up on our world from afar.  Thanks for reading, commenting and being a part of this little world of ours.

Feel free to catch up with me over at the crib tales photography blog (I love to read your comments!), or the crib tales photography Facebook page!!

Until we meet again...

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Grade One

Tomorrow, my sweetie, you start the first grade.  In my head and heart you are still my wee little baby, with tiny feet and constant night waking and a bald head.  Even though now you wear a  size one boy's shoe, and sleep through the night every single night, and get your hair buzzed every month or so to keep it really short, just the way you like it.  So many things about you are changing.  It is constant change.  You are big and strong and smart and funny and goofy and sensitive and serious and full of life.  You love riding your bike, your scooter, and your skates.  You love playing with the neighborhood kids, and your playgroup pals, and just about any other kid you happen to come in contact with.  You love Legos, of all shapes and sizes.  You build monstrous space ships and and bombs and all things boy like. I  don't play Legos right, you tell me.  It's probably true.  You are a voracious reader.  The other day I sent you to your room for doing something I guess I considered naughty at the time (though in retrospect I can't remember what it was).  And when your 6 minutes were up I told you that you could come down.  You yelled down to me "no thanks, I'm reading!"  I crept up the stairs and peered into your room.  You sat silently on the floor pouring over books and continued that way for another half an hour.  It was a pure "you" moment, and I treasure that image.  It is what I want for you.  I want you to love books the way I do.  And you do.  And I want you to love writing like I do.  And you do.  I'll count those two things as "our things" that we love in common.  Because I don't play Legos right - Daddy does, apparently.  But the reading and the writing are all ours.

So with a bit of trepidation I'll send you off for another year of school.  Our summer went so fast.  I can't wait to see what the year holds for you.  A more intense schedule for school.  A lot to learn.  Math and science and of course, more reading and writing, too.  But also more expeditions and camping with your class and rock climbing and fun school events.  And for you, more independence.  More of me letting you go just a wee bit more.  I'll wait anxiously for the 4pm pick up.  So you can fill me in on your day, and all that you experienced.


Have a fantastic year big guy.  I love you, to the moon and back, always and forever.



Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Pure and Lovely

Sometimes when I'm editing photos I let my mind take a little break between processing.  I go over to Facebook to look around and say hi to friends. I do a little email correspondence.  I blog.  I read Perez Hilton (yeah, I just 'fessed to that).  Recently I found this little adorable wonderful blog that will now be added to my blogs to the right.  In my head I want my home to look like hers.

Pure and Lovely.  


Read it.  Enjoy.  And those that know my phone number (ahem, Carissa, that's you) can then call to yell at me for finding yet another amazing blog that will take up hours of your time.  You're welcome.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

So tired


Sorry.  Haven't had much time for the old blog lately.  It is sort of the old saying: when it rains, it pours!  It has just been extremely busy around  here.  School starts this Friday for Jackson.  Can't really believe it is already time for school to start.  So we're trying to get ready for that, fit in a few last play-dates, trips to the pool, reading lazily in the afternoons, watching movies from the library, playing legos, and a LOT of bike riding.  Busy.  Then there's photo sessions to edit (love!), and emails to answer and marketing to be done for my work.  (Have you seen crib tales photography's new website? it ROCKS!)  I also have a house to maintain.  Bills to pay.  Beds to make.  Toys to wrangle.  Meals to make.  Grocery shopping is the biggest pain my tush right now, I swear.  I know, I know, to the average person (re: non-mom) this all sounds incredibly dull and boring, but its my life and I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I've got the best of both worlds going on, and more so, I'm fortunate beyond fortunate to be able to be a full time mama to these sweet boys, AND chase my passion at the same time.  You know who I owe that all to, dontcha?  Yeah, the hubster.  He pretty much rocks, too.  (oh, and that new fancy website for crib tales photography? yeah, he did that.)

Anywhoodle.  The picture above was taken at a recent family reunion I shot last weekend.  The family are dear friends of ours so they told me to bring my family along, too.  So I did.  And I even managed to sneak in a photo with my littlest babe (who thankfully has another month before preschool starts 'cause I don't think my emotions can handle first grade and preschool in the same week!)!  Ain't he cute!?

It may be another week (or more, or less) before I write again.  So, uh, yeah, peace out.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Believe She's Amazing Flash Mob - Toronto Eaton Centre



This is so cool.  And there's a beautiful story behind it as well.  I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff.  But I know a LOT of amazing women, so yeah, this is way cool.  I wish I was there!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nine, Part Deux

Nine years ago today there were hydrangeas, and best friends, and amazing family, and cake, and a whole lotta wine, and dancing, and rings, and a whole lotta babies ('cause for some reason like all of my friends had a baby that year), and laughter, and toasts, and tears (happy tears), and a whole lotta love, and kissing, and some really badly done professional make-up that was quickly washed off and reapplied as soon as I got home, and fabulous hair, and a handsome groom, and a not too shabby bride if I do say so myself, and great music, and a touch of rain, and dahlias, and good food that the groom didn't get to eat, and a last dance to Sade, and us in my Tercel driving ourselves home from our own wedding 'cause we didn't set aside budget for a fancy hired car to take us to a fancy hotel but that was ok because home was where we wanted to be and we ate cake in our wedding finery in our own little living room and besides we left the next day for a week at Lake Tahoe that was a gift to us (and what an awesome gift), and at the end of it all there was us, The Stephens', married.  And that's exactly where we wanted to be, too.

Happy Anniversary my love.  

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nine

When my sweet mother in law offered Shawn and I a night at the Broadmoor Hotel as a 9th anniversary gift - complete with her watching the boys - we didn't hesitate to say heck ya!  We've known about the trip for about a month now and we've been giddy with anticipation.  The beautiful hotel did NOT disappoint!  It is stunning.  Our room was darling, complete with our own little private patio and chilled champagne!  We had a light lunch and adult beverages by the picture-perfect pool.  We soaked in the secluded hot tub at the spa, whilst sipping crisp chardonnay.  We tried out 3 different restaurants for noshies and cocktails, and were served a dessert that had "happy anniversary!" written in white chocolate on the plate at two different restaurants!  We sipped champagne on our patio and went for long walks by the lake.  Everything was picture perfect and decadent.

Oh yeah, and we actually talked.  Long conversations.  No interruptions!  And we held hands like we were teenagers. And we just enjoyed being in each other's company again.  We forget that, sometimes, in our every day crazy lives.  That was the best reward of the entire day.

The clock was striking noon as I walked briskly to meet Nana for the drop off of the boys. I felt like cinderella by the end of the 12th ring.  But we happily embraced  the boys, giving them each a miniature chocolate cowboy boot from this morning's buffet.  Nana told us that the boys behaved perfectly (I think there might have been a child swap before she took over), and that everyone slept and ate and played great!  And of course arguing and whining began between the boys as soon as the car was loaded with all their goodies from Nana's house.  But it wouldn't be reality without that, now would it??

Happy (almost) 9th Anniversary my love.  It was wonderful to tune into each other for 24 hours straight, no interruptions.  I love you as my husband, my best friend,  and as the Daddy to our (usually!) sweet boys.  xoxoxo

sitting on our patio - love self timers!
champagne on the patio 
a deer jumping the hedgeBroadmoor Swanbrunch viewview from our patio
my husband's mad photog skillsoverlooking the pool view from the topNorad behind ushappy slumberers!