Friday, October 29, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Indian Summer

Every year in October, the weather turns chilly and I get excited for the beginning of autumn. I relish the crisp mornings with a steaming cup of coffee in my hand and the beautiful colors of the leaves on the trees as I drive down the streets of my town. I take a weekend to pull out all of the winter clothes that I packed away in the spring and sort through them to see what is still going to fit this year and what we should pass on to our friends whose children are coming up behind us.

Invariably, as soon as I am finished with the sorting and the stocking and the washing and the putting away, the weather turns warm again for a week or so. Shorts and T-shirts, sleeveless dresses and sandals, where did I store those again? So back into the closet I go to find something for the kids to wear during this Indian Summer.

Last week was our last week of warm weather and I had a chance to photograph Little L in a very special outfit that was given to us by our dear friend the Herbalist. This is a vintage pinafore set from the 1940's that was salvaged from a home remodel. It has a little scene embroidered on it in black and white of a kitten and some yarn. I found this toadstool in Hobby Lobby and had to have it because I had pictured this scene months ago and I am so happy I was able to capture it before it was too late. Thank you, Indian Summer.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Baby got Boots

What is it about babies that they always are drawn to over sized boots? Elle keeps stealing G's and clomping 'round the house until she invariably trips and bonks that precious noggin on the floor. Silly monster.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bestill me heart

Little L, G and Little guy are watching home videos from when Little guy was a baby. Every time baby Little Guy says, "bye!" Little L responds with a wave and a smile "Bye, Bye!" Oh, they are so sweet!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Better late...

Than never. This lovely lady was pregnant with her 6th child when I took this picture, and she was gracious enough to schlep all of her other 5 kids out wither her so I could work with them during a portfolio building session. When I got home I looked at all the amazing images and was so excited to get to work on them, certain that they were going to be stunning... Later, when I sat down to edit them, I realized that I had somehow accidentally deleted 98% of the files. I was so embarrassed and sad about the situation I could hardly stand it. I learned that I must immediately buy a stand alone memory drive and set it to automatically back up all of my files nightly, which I did.

I haven't had another instance of lost files int he two years since, but did finally edit some of the 2% that were left from this session. What a lovely mama - can you believe this was baby #6??

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I can't believe this one is five months old already!! Gorgeous little man.

Bad to the bone...

When I was nine I had a best friend named Tanya. She was a smart girl, very friendly and funny, and she had brain cancer. She underwent chemotherapy and bone marrow transfers and almost survived - but didn't. So, when my kids were born, I did my best to get their cord blood donated so the stem cells could be used to help sick kids. And then, when I was in DC for a memorial for C.O.P.S. after my brother died a few years back and there was a National Marrow Donor Program truck outside the memorial area, I made sure to give them a swipe of spit and my contact info so that in the unlikely event I was a match for some sick kid, they could find me.

That was three years ago - today I got the e-mail that I might be a match. At first, I hesitated, knowing that marrow donation is painful and that I have a needle phobia. When I was in the hospital a few months ago for a migraine and they had to do a spinal tap to rule out a brain hemorrhage, I was all but hysterical.

Then I thought about the person who might need my marrow - how they are being stuck with way worse than just one needle, and how they could die - really die- without a transplant. So I bit the bullet and called the NMDP response line... now we wait.

Be the match.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Last night I was laying down with Little L next to me, watching Top Chef and playing with her toes while she slept. I remember when I could fit both of her feet in the palm of my hand with room to spare, and now just one of them is almost too big to hold... her bitty little toes used to grip anything that they touched, and now they just stay relaxed when I play piggies with the chubby little buggers. I remember when Little Guy's found his toes for the first time, he was so surprised to find out they existed. And that made me remember when G was born, and how we used to have to take her in to get her labs done and they pricked her teensy newborn heel every day to check her biliruben levels because she was so jaundiced from being Coombs positive. I couldn't bear to go in with her when they were pricking her little heel, I just sat outside the room and cried until they gave that baby back to me, and then I clutched her to me for a long time before getting her settled back in her car seat for the trip back home. That was horrible.

One time, when G was about 6 weeks old, we were in the elevator at the pediatrician's office building. A lady got in with us and asked how old she was... after I told her that G was coming up on six weeks, and she told me, "Oh honey, it gets better." I remember thinking, but how could it get any better than this? I was tired, sure, but oh so happy. Now, almost seven years and three kids later, I still think that. It can't get any better than this. I just wish the days didn't go by so fast so I could appreciate it more.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

If you come to my house enough...

I will shoot you. G's BFF stayed over last night, so of course I had to have her pose for some portraits. We grow them gorgeous here in the south, that's for sure.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Life's a beach!

I again had the pleasure of photographing Miss Marissa and her family while I was down in Naples last month. It was so much fun to see the kids again and see how much they have grown and changed since last year... they are an adorable and spirited bunch, for sure!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Everybody Loves Henry - Life unedited

Impromptu playdate at our house the other day with the neighbor boys... such sweet kids. All of my children just adore those two boys, the little two love the older one especially since he is so kind and patient with even the littlest of playmates.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fly, baby, fly!

Miss A, your gallery is up! It was lovely to spend time with you, precious one!

Wiiid out

BFF's hubby - He told Little Guy to go to bed. Little Guy said, Ok! This is what we found when we got back from girls' night out....

Spring is in full swing!

Spring is moving right along here in Georgia. We have planted our garden Mister has been slaving away outside and so far we have tomatoes, squash, broccoli, pepper plants, beans, blue berries, roses, basil, mint, parsley (the curly kind) and one lone corn stalk growing. Some critter keeps eating my chive plant, which is a real bummer since it is the herb I was looking forward to using the most. Happily I have a secondary chive plant in the house, but it is one of those stringly seedy ones, not the common organic blossomy ones that I love the best. Oh well.

I have been taking field trips with Little Guy during the week, while G is still in school.. I cannot believe she will be finished with 1st grade next Friday! Wow, that was quick! This summer I am going to try to get them both down to the Botanical gardens and the zoo a few times, and maybe a day trip somewhere fun, like the Cabbage Patch Baby nursery in Cleveland.

This weekend both of the older kids had their gymnastics performances - or just "nastics" as Little Guy calls it. Mister tries to correct him, but I think the mispronunciation is too cute to change. They both did really well, even though Little Guy was a bit apprehensive at first. G qualified to move up to intermediate level next year if she chooses to stick with it. She did really well on her vault and floor exercise today - I was thoroughly impressed. Little Guy was just happy to have gotten a medal (for participation of course)

Little L is running all around these days and she knows 4 words - Mama, Dada, Rye-Day-uh, (right there!), and HEY! She uses these creatively - anything she wants is a Mama. If there is something she sees that interests her, she points to it and says "Rye-Day-uh!" until you tell her what it is and give her a narrative of what it is doing (Yes, that is a dog! See how it is sitting there, shedding all over the carpet? Good dog!) Dada is only for her father, and HEY! is an outburst of indigence (You put her down to wash they dishes and she smacks your leg yelling HEY! You try to put her in her carseat and she protests, screaming HEY! Hey! HEY! She wants to show you something and you aren't looking at her, she hollers HEYYAH!) She's kind of a loud one.

The violets are coming up these days - they are my favorite kind of ground cover, so pretty and so easy to grow. I remember when I was a little baby my sisters used to sing me a song about violets..

sweet violets,
sweeter than all the roses,
covered all over from head to toe,
covered all over in sweet violets.

Ahhh, spring.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring Break - life unedited

Last week we headed down to Florida to visit friends and family once again. It was a great trip and this time Little L actually stayed awake at the beach... The drive home was fairly miserable with the older two fighting like cats and dogs, but after two quick (ha!) stops in Tampa and Gainesville, they finally settled down for the ride home. The entire trip back took 14 hours. Ugh.

If you ever take a Florida trip and are lucky enough to stay near the beach, the nicest time to go is 5 pm.... the sun isn't so bright, the wind isn't so windy, and you don't have to schlep a bunch of junk with you like coolers and sunshades - a couple of towels and a bag o' sand toys and you are good to go!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lucky Charm

Hello little baby of Saint Patrick's - may your life be filled with laughter and love and may fortune always surround you.

tashi delek

Welcome to the world darling little man. It was such a privilege to meet you! I wish only the best for you and your mama and papa... such beautiful souls all three.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

1 down, 19 to go!

G lost her very first tooth on Saturday - considering the cavities she has it is surprising it took her this long to lose one ;). Her permanent tooth grew in behind the baby tooth, so when Mister pulled the baby tooth out with pliers (no, I was not home at the time) she already had a replacement one set up. Smart girl!

Same expression, different species

They just LOVE it when I take their pictures.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rockin' the Suburbs

Last night Mister and I went out on a date for the first time since Little L was born - and what a date it was. Our kind neighbors volunteered to sit for us (they are heavenly those Kaufmans) and we trekked down to the Tabernacle to listen to the acoustic stylings of the one, the only Ben Folds (and a piano).

It takes a special kind of talent to entertain thousands of people solely with your voice, your personality and a piano, and Ben is one talented man. He played through a whole catalog of his songs, from the time he was in Ben Folds Five, to some unreleased tracks on his upcoming album (Levi Johnston's Blues, anyone?), to a ditty he crafted on the spot melding Free Bird with Sweet Home Alabama and eventually turning it into a ditty about his experience in Atlanta, including a trip to the container store and L5P. I really didn't want the show to end, and it seems, neither did anyone else.

He came back for an encore and played the one song that the crowd had been begging for- why they were begging for this song, I don't really know because although it is quite kitchy to turn a rap song into a piano ballad, it really isn't his best. But, he play B*tches ain't Sh*t anyway, and left partway through the song after coaching the audience to keep repeating a part of the chorus in unison until he came back. Happily he did return, otherwise I am certain that some of the audience member would still be there this morning, still singing the same refrain, just waiting.

During the concert, there was a woman in front of me trying to take pictures of Ben with her wee point and shoot camera. Now, seeing as we were sitting in the attic, there was no way her flash was going to reach Ben, so setting her camera to Auto was a really bad move. She then switched it to night portrait mode, which is even worse for a concert setting, unless you are trying to take a picture of your fellow concert goers. I tried to tell her that her pictures would be better if she turned off the automatic flash, but I think I spooked her... she tried to figure out how to do that and then gave up, choosing to finish taking pictures on Auto somewhere else. I so badly wanted to snatch that camera out of her hand, set the settings for her properly, and give it back, so she would be able to get some great shots, but that would have really freaked her out I think, so I am going to tell you all what to try in a concert/theater situation instead.

First, set your camera to portrait mode, then bump your ISO to as high as you can - 800 will probably be good, if you have a newer camera try 1600. Then, turn of your auto flash. Then, if you are up for it, set your Aperture to as low as you can get it - if you aren't up for it, don't sweat it. If doesn't that do it for you, and the shots are blurry because the people on stage are moving to fast, try action/sport mode with a high ISO and with the auto flash turned off.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lullabies and Mudpies - life unedited

Today was a gray and rainy day. G had off from school for a teacher work day so I shlepped all the kids down do the aquarium for a day of fish gazing. The belugas are back, finally, after a several month long vacation while some construction went on - the kids and I were so happy to see them again. Little L really loved pointing to all the fish this time, she is really becoming more aware of her environment.

When we got home, the downpour had slowed to a drizzle and Little Guy decided to dig in the mud outside. You can tell we are in Georgia from the lovely orange color of the mud.

A few days ago I decided from now on I am going to put fancy dresses on Little L whenever I feel like it. We have no one to hand them down to, so why not let her be fancy on any random Tuesday? I took these shots of her while we were playing outside the other day after G came home from school... she's getting so toddlerish these days.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


The 82nd Academy Awards are on tonight, and I have had such a hard time planning the menu. Last year, Slumdog Millionaire made it easy - this year I just couldn't come up with anything until I heard a story on NPR this morning about the nominees for best original score. The movie UP's score was nominated, and it took me to a place of 1950's black and white television and TV dinners. So, our menu was home steak, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans and chocolate pudding.

UP was my favorite movie last year... granted I did not see The Blind Side, but I doubt that it would have pulled at my heartstrings the way UP did in the first 10 minutes. UP was a wonderful movie - the best animated movie I have seen since Nemo, and if you haven't seen it yet, you really should... even if you don't have kids to watch it with you. If you don't, you will definitely end up in the cone of shame.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Everyday Snaps

Hi there

I've not been blogging much lately - instead I've been watching the Olympics and hanging out with the kids. They are growing up so quickly, it really boggles my mind. Little L is now running around the house and has just learned to come back down the stairs after climbing them on her own Little Guy is now writing his name and creating works of art that look a bit like Japanese anime, and G is full swing into Girl Scout cookie time and has added at least 300 calories per day to our diet with those hard to resist Thin Mints of hers. Mister weatherstripped all the doors and windows last weekend, after effort to utilize the fireplace for warmth ended up with the entire house smelling like a campfire.

Here are a few snapshots I took today of the two littlest ones and our poor dog. It is supposed to snow again tomorrow - stay warm!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Vancouver 2010

The Winter Olympics are here! The opening ceremonies were last night, and as is our tradition, we had a dinner of local Vancouverian dishes - almond crusted salmon, brussel sprouts with bacon, and roasted garlic and potato soup. This morning I made a goat cheese and asparagus omelette, and tonight we are having braised short ribs with mushroom & cream gnocchi and nanaimo bars. I got all of the recipes from this site: Edible British Columbia and made alterations based on what I could find (Almonds instead of pistachios, turkey bacon instead of pancetta)

The Olympics began on a sad note, with the death of a luger during a practice run. Many of the athletes wore armbands in recognition of the loss at the opening ceremonies.

One of the reasons I love to watch the ceremonies because I like to see the athletes' outfits... every country has such different styles and it is so fun to see. This year there was a pants war... Bermuda tried with their traditional Bermuda shorts and dark knee socks (so THAT'S where the German tourists got it from!),

the Czech Republic made a valiant attempt with some pants that made you feel like you needed 3D glasses to see them,

but the country that dominated the pants was was Azerbaijan... check out that paisley! Love it!

Some other highlights... when Bryan Adams forgot to put the mic up to his mouth when he was "singing" a duet with Nellie Furtado.. the amazing whales "swimming" across the floor, the fab spoken word artist and, of course, the lighting the Olympic cauldron. I also really enjoyed KD Lang singing Hallelujah... I heard the Canadian Tenors sing it with Celine Dion on Oprah last week and it has been stuck in my head ever since!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Daddy, will you cover me up?

I wonder how much longer he will want us to tuck him in. He's four now, and growing up so fast. He still likes to cuddle, though, and still has trouble sharing with the baby at times, but every now and then I catch a glimpse of the boy he is becoming. He has a kind heart.

Monday, February 8, 2010


My favorite Superbowl Commercial this year. Had to watch it 3x and laughed out loud each time.

Another one I liked:

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Little L loves to take this blue stool and run around the house with it. She's gotten so good at walking that she doesn't need the stool anymore, but still uses it to go supa-fast.

Mom's Zucchini Bread.

You MUST click to enlarge this one.

Yep, you'll never believe there's zucchini in it.