Friday, January 29, 2010

it's friday and...

We are all done!
Time for mommy to go on her girls weekend for mani/pedi's, shopping with her gift cards from Christmas, wine, dinner, more wine, an overnight stay at a boutique hotel, followed by breakfast in the morning. Woo Hoo!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


{Not a great photo... you weren't too thrilled and when you're not thrilled, you're loud! So, that meant I was rushing and didn't pay attention to what I was doing}
I can only imagine the great things that you will have accomplished, the woman that you will have become, when you are 21! For now, I'm loving that I am still 31 (for a few more weeks) and you are just 21 months old today. Still, where did the time go? At 21 months you speak in complete sentences, you are extremely loud, and you love your "winkie" (your special pink blanket). You also love your bink (which will be another post in and of itself since you didn't have one until 18 months when I stopped will be gone by two and I'm sure we'll have some "fun" times). I love that you tell me "I wuv you" and "I need a kiss and a hug" and my favorite, when you ask me for an eskimo. At 21 months you are identifying many letters, numbers and some colors (we're working on that) and you love to read books with me. You run to Daddy when he comes home from work and ask him to pick you up so you can touch the ceiling. You say hello to anyone you see and tell everyone good morning when we drop Kieran off at school. At 21 months, you are still my baby, and I love that. I enjoy every minute of every day with you, my sweet girl. At 21 months, you are beautiful in every way.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

it's back, i think

The sun is back, I think.

We hope...

so we can run,
and play!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

bloggography challenge, week 2

Manic Mother
This week's challenge was to take photos of children's toys while experimenting with different ISO's (these were all taken in P mode). We have had this Mickey airplane since Kieran's 1st birthday. He still rides it in the house and does laps and he's almost 4. Anna will ride on it occasionally, but mostly presses the buttons for the music :) For some reason, this is the one toy that all kids that come to our house gravitate toward. It's Mickey and there's music, enough said. So, I gravitated toward taking a picture of it, because I know when it's retired Kieran will ask where it went :)

1/5 sec ISO:100 f-stop: 5.6
Canon 20D, Canon 17-85mm f/4-5.6
1/20 sec ISO: 200 f/ 4.5

1/20 sec ISO: 400 f/5.0

1/25 sec ISO: 800 f/5.6

I'm looking forward to the next challenge!

Monday, January 25, 2010

good morning monday, hello manual!

Good morning, Monday! Up late last night, I was voraciously reading my photo 101 book (thank you, something that finally makes sense to me!), and I realized a really, really, stupid thing. Yes, it was me. In preparation for my online class in March, I have been doing everything I can to understand as much as possible about my camera and taking photos so I know at least a tiny fraction of the basics. I've been playing around with AV and P modes, understanding that the camera chooses some of the settings for you, depending on which mode you are in.
I have a couple of different lenses (a 60mm macro which I haven't used lately), a 50mm, and a 17-85mm. I have a Canon 20D and we've had it probably since it first came out, so quite some time. I've always loved photography and when I had my babies, a camera may as well have been permanently glued in my hands. That being said, I can only dream one day of taking photos half as great as some of the photographers out there whose blogs I visit much more than I care to mention :).
Yes, I found a stupid thing alright, stupid me (and I say this lightly as I really do love me ;) ) figured out that there wasn't anything wrong with my lenses in manual, it's a little thing called a focus ring. I completely understand why cameras come with the little green square, aka idiot mode. Mind you, my venture this morning is far from the perfect exposure (the third one is super noisy, my ISO was way too high), I was only adjusting within my view finder. My next quest is to get much more acquainted with my camera and actually memorize my f-stops and shutters, so as not to randomly pick numbers but to actually make real adjustments. For now, here was my quick attempt before work while Anna was eating pancakes and watching Backyardigans. Hello, manual. It's nice to meet you!

{In case you are wondering: I paid for the photo 101 book, and the online photography class, but was not paid to mention them}

Thursday, January 21, 2010

rain, rain, and more rain

The weather forecast is: rain, rain, and more rain. I'm a little sick of it already (though we really need it), but when you are almost four, the rain is great, especially when you have a yellow rain coat and Batman boots. 

To be (almost) four again...

to just let loose and enjoy...

all that the earth has to offer.

To be (almost) four again...
I think I should take his lead.

Monday, January 18, 2010

first flick

Oh, the pure joy and excitement that beamed from Kieran's face as we entered the movie theatre! As we pulled the door open and walked up the ramp, I quietly whispered to him that we were going to see a really big screen. I don't think he quite understood the magnitude of 'big screen' until he actually saw it before his eyes. There it was, in all its glory and as a way to acknowledge his approval, a pump of a fist, followed by a "yes!", I took my mental picture and stored it away as another great memory with my little boy. The Princess and the Frog was a nice change of pace, since Kieran's latest obsession comes in the form of autobots and decepticons aka, Transformers (thanks, Daddy). A darling storyline of working hard in life, following your dreams, and instead of wanting, having everything you need, it was a welcome change! It was clear to see that this little critic thought that the movie was fantastic, as he sat in my lap and clapped profusely. As an added bonus, Nonna Jean came along for the experience, and even though this was her third time seeing the movie, it was all about taking her grandson, my son, to his very first flick.

at the end of the movie

we ate a ton of popcorn!

it's not aunt jessica's ice cream from her creamery, but kieran can't pass it up!

chocolate is his favorite

nonna jean and kieran

capturing the momentous occasion

what a great day!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

bloggography challenge, week 1

Since my photography class is not until March, I figured what better way to start learning and attempting to take better photos, than to join several groups where other bloggers comment on each other's efforts! I am so in the dark about anything I'm doing, but then I guess that's the whole point of joining:
Manic Mother
So here's my photo for the winter themed challenge, totally unedited mind you. I suppose I could do so in iphoto though you can't do a whole lot with that, but I didn't, and I have yet to purchase photoshop elements (which I will be doing soon, 'cause I'll need it for my class!). 

Camera: Canon EOS 20D
Aperture: f/10.0
Shutter: 1/125
Focal length: 85mm
Exposure: Manual
I'm looking forward to the challenges each week, it should be a lot of fun!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

knock, knock

I've just discovered that in the blogging world, there is such thing as a national delurking week. I read quite a few blogs, and for the most part, I try to comment-it's a way of letting the blogger know that you are there and you appreciate what they have to say! There are times though, where I will just read and then not comment, hence lurking. I consider myself a newbie to the blogging world and since I've only been public for just a short while, I'd be surprised if I had any lurkers-which is okay, because the reason I blog is for me! That being said, if you do happen to read my blog, I'd love to know who you are! I'll check out your blog too :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

test bunny

Erik thinks I am a picky eater. I have to say, I eat a lot of things, but there are two things I just can't do...sushi and rabbit. I've never even tried sushi and I don't have any desire to. I am sure that rabbit probably tastes good, but it's very difficult for me to even sit next to someone who has it on their plate. For one very simple reason:

You won't find me buying anything that is tested on animals, but Dreyfuss was my test subject today. I'm venturing out into the world of manual, people. That's right, I took the dial off of idiot mode. And though I still feel like an idiot while trying to find my way, I am reading & watching online, waiting for my photo 101 book to come in the mail, and am anxiously awaiting my online photography class to begin in March! Since I'm mostly taking shots of the kids, and my sweet bunny (yes, he belongs to me, the 32 year old mommy) is getting up there in age, he so kindly posed for me while coming up to me for loves in between.

So stinkin' cute!
If you're reading this and you think, "Oh, so cute, I'd love one for (fill in the blank) and we'll surprise him on Easter!". Think again. Dreyfuss was not purchased as an Easter present, and to save you time on the research, they live 8-10 years. :)

I SO wish I knew what I was doing, some day I hope to take pictures of my kids (real ones, as in not my bunny) that are as beautiful as so many of the mom's out there who turned their love of photography into a business! I don't think that will be me, but I'm determined to learn and be proud of what I've accomplished.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

all the world really needs...

All the world really needs to have a good time is a little play-doh...

some chocolate chip cookies...

and a drawer full of kitchen utensils,

because you can make believe all sorts of things like:

pretending to bake a cake OR

that you have a green mustache OR

that you are a fly OR

you're playing a trumpet OR

you have a really big green nose OR

you are a boy with a melon baller gun (I hate guns but boys will find ANYTHING and turn them into one!). 
Yes, if only the world were this simple. In the mind of an almost 4 year old, it is, as these were all Kieran's creations. What fun life must be for him, and what fun life is for me to watch him. Just simple. Just fun.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

one little word, or two

I'm horrible at New Year's resolutions? Why? Maybe it's because I've had the same resolution since 1999, the year that I had my knee surgery and said that from that day forward I would exercise on a daily basis. I used to be an athlete, key phrase, used to. Yes, I used to be an high school. Sadly, the further away that high school fades, the harder it becomes to say, I used to be an athlete. Before Erik and I were married, I finally joined the gym. I exercised regularly for a month or so, and as quickly as you can say, I used to be an athlete, the gym became all but a distant relative, wondering if I'd ever return. Big fat waste of money and Erik will never live that one down! The unusual part is (half joking), I have to agree.

My other New Year's resolution for the last several years, has been to be on time. Who doesn't get irritated with someone who isn't on time? I get irritated when someone isn't on time, and how hypocritical is that when most of the time that someone is me? When I've got a parent meeting or staff meeting, on time, but when it's my personal life? Where do I go wrong? I have a MAJOR time issue. Nothing is worse than an excuse either and though I find myself making them, there just isn't any excuse for not being on time. I will say, there's one exception to my late problem, my wedding day. I was 1/2 hour late to my own wedding. The very true part of this story is that the one day I vowed to be on time was to say my vows. The one day that I am actually ready and waiting, the limo driver was late and didn't even bother to clean it before me and my bridesmaids were picked up! So irritating...almost as irritating as the fact that I can't seem to shake being late.

I'd say that it's time for a new New Year's resolution, but they haunt me for a reason. They haunt me because they are two things that are essential to living a more balanced life. For this reason, my one little word is :


This word, literally, just picked me at this moment. And that's the way that it should be. I originally came to post on another word. Another word that has so much meaning to me right now that I can't let it go. It speaks to me. It needs me and I need it. I can't just have one little word, I need another, just like I need this word, just like I have had these two resolutions that need to be mastered.

For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with PATIENCE.

Romans 8:24-25

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy Flu Year!

Yes, you read that right. Happy Flu Year, everyone! One seasonal flu shot and one H1N1 later, I rang in the New Year with getting the strain of the flu that the folks at the CDC didn't put in their vaccinations. Thankfully, it was the weekend, so my wonderful husband was able to take care of the kids (it already passed through him, my niece, and my dad, just days before) and me, of course. 
Christmas was really special because it was "big Christmas", where my entire family (parents, grandparent, sister, brother-in-law, kids, aunt, uncle, and cousins) all celebrate together. We started at my parents house by attending the children's mass (even at this mass, our kids were kind of loud, meaning, the only kids who were loud, meaning embarrassing, but what can you do? God forgives, right?) Erik cooked a fantastic Christmas Eve dinner (haven't mentioned that he is a FABULOUS cook, which I should save for a future post!), and the adults opened presents from one another after the kids were in bed. We thought we were saving time by doing this, because the kids had to open their gifts from Santa in the morning. 

There were so many presents, too many presents...

that they covered the living room floor. My brother-in-law reminded me to be in the moment and watch the kids with my eyes, rather than through the lens, and he was right. There are times for clicking away, and there are times for just being. This was one of them.

And then there are those moments, that no matter how hard you try, you just can't resist and you must pick up your camera.

We tried as hard as we could to be on time (ahh...the story of my life and what seems to be my resolution every single year!) to Christmas Day at my Uncle Joe's, but to no avail. It was pure chaos with 6 adults, and 4 kids packed into my parents house. We made it, eventually.

Anna was obsessed with sitting in the miniature sleigh at the top of the stairs.

Kieran found his love(s) in Gilbert and Busby.

The kids has a great time feeding the fish in the backyard-

especially Anna, who would have gone swimming with the fish if we let her.

All that being in the moment, which was wonderful, I might add, and I have no photos to show of my WHOLE  family. I've got some video footage, which I am thankful for because of my sweet, sweet, grandmother who is still barely with us, but had such a wonderful day!   I did get this one:

And this one:

which is pretty funny, since Anna looks like she's going in for the kill on Kieran's Optimus Prime.
We went home one night and then it was off to "snow heaven".

We had lazy mornings, which is what vacation is all about.

Though the snow was not as great as it could have been, it was still good enough to build our sled run, just outside the house. The kids had a fantastic time!

They played plenty of foos ball with Uncle:

and loved every minute of it!

After my family left, our good friends who also have a house in "snow heaven", joined us for the New Year. We took the "big kids" ice skating for the very first time (picture is on my iPhone and I'm too lazy to connect it right now) and
we took our first sleigh ride (aka complete tourist trap, but fun for kids when you need something else to do):

Yes, that's me in the way, way back. You can't see the kids because I couldn't lift both of them fast enough. That, and our sleigh driver, though as nice as he was, didn't get how to press the button. Oh well.

Kieran and Elyse were excited to get postcards from their sleigh ride.

And it was very exciting (to Kieran) that he got to feed one of the horses at the end of the ride!

It was just me, Elizabeth, her mom, and the kids...the boys were freezing their behinds off, fishing (all three caught by the way)!

We rang in the New Year with cheap wine glasses and Martinelli's. Yes, even us big kids drank Martinelli's. We were too tired to to even pop open the champagne, sad, I know. I don't even like it anyway, so it makes no difference to me!
And yes, our preschoolers were up with us and the little ones were in bed. And yes, the preschoolers normally go to bed by 8pm.

So as we raise our glasses to 2009, whether there has been good times or bad, 

I am truly grateful for another year of beautiful life. Another year, of living in the moment. Another year of giving thanks to God for all I have been given with the hope that 2010 will have joyous events, moments, and memories in store.
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