Laughter

A Walk to the Store, with the Fords

'Where we love is home,home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.'

Some good friends came home for a visit recently, bringing with them some Hawaiian sun, lots of smiles & a renewed appreciation for this island we call home. I was fortunate to spend an evening with them, walking to the 'Little Store,' & enjoying the adventures along the way. It was refreshing to be outside, breathing in the beautiful summer air, & watching the interactions between Monica & her sweet kids. There was lots of talking, lots of laughing, a few tears shed, but best of all, it was them.

Happy Day of Green

Happy St. Paddy's Day- apparently, we like green around here. I think it's the season, everything's pretty brown this time of year, so any splash of color is quite refreshing. We couldn't escape the grocery store without the green carnations (thanks Ry!) & the corned beef (thanks me!). I suppose we have a smidgen of Irish in us, but really we use the holiday like most- a little bit of pinching, some beers & food, good food! Hope you have a good one~

What's Your Story?

So what is it? What’s your story? Who are you? Who is your family? Who are these children, the ones running around, full of life? The ones who don’t want to sit still for too long, what makes them smile? laugh? What makes all of this, yours? Maybe it’s a favorite tutu or jumping in mud puddles; maybe it’s a big bowl of chocolate ice cream or throwing rocks in the ocean; maybe it’s snuggling with the raggedy old stuffed puppy or curled up together, under the quilt your Grandma made. Maybe it’s none of this. Maybe it’s all of this.

We each have our own distinct stories- the littlest details, the tiny moments, that makes things our very own. These are what define us, these are what contribute to our foundation. Nobody’s story will ever be the same. We might create a photographic memory of it, but why not take it a step further, & actually document it.

Storytelling sessions are, quite frankly, sessions that tell your story. Maybe they’ll include one place, or maybe a bunch of places- your home, a favorite beach, a special park, the grocery store, your coffee shop. The places are ones of significance. They are probably part of your routine, perhaps the routine you don’t even realize you have. Maybe every Saturday, you take your kids for hot chocolates, & maybe you know how special this is, when their eyes light up & grin from ear-to-ear because they know it’s Saturday- it’s hot chocolate day. Or maybe you randomly head to the park, but the kids have a favorite park, with the swing that swings the highest & the merry-go-round that twirls the fastest. These are the places I visit with you, telling your story through images.

Your kids might remember me trailing along with my camera, or they might not because they're so caught up in their simple joys. Twenty years from now, they’ll look at the family photos & remember that day, so full of their real-life. It's about just being you. So tell your story. What are you waiting for?

Click here to view my portfolio & here for more info on pricing.

Happy Valentine's

Happy Valentine's Day

Scrolling through facebook last night, I saw a friend's link to this video on writing love letters. It got me thinking, I should write a love letter. Not necessarily some sappy thing to Mike, but just a good letter to someone I love. Then I started to think about my kids. There's some amazing blog circles of photographers who write letters to their sons/daughters/children once a month. Whenever I read them, they completely inspire me, but my letters never seem to happen. So sitting there, thinking about love letters & thinking about the letters to our children project, made me want to write one letter to all three of my kids, for Valentine's. It seems fitting today, not only because it's Valentine's, but because yesterday was really crummy. Like quite possibly, my worst day of motherhood. That may be a stretch, but I'm fairly certain the kids secretly plotted against me, to make sure one of them was throwing a fit at all times. Seriously, there were some major screams shouted & tears shed by my trio. I decided there must be some change in barometric pressure that I can attribute their behavior to (that's a possibility, right?) because the weather really did change yesterday. Maybe that's a stretch, but I want to believe they will wake up with smiles, & keep them on for most the day.

My three musketeers,

This image was taken from the driver's side of my minivan, the one I swore I'd never own. That was pre- you three. I now have succumbed to the reality that minivans rock. Seriously, automatic sliding doors? The.best.thing.ever. Yesterday afternoon, I sat in my driver's seat in our driveway, while Ella slept in her car seat, & you boys burned off some energy. I watched the rain fall, I drew hearts on the window, I admit I looked at instagram a bit, but really I wondered why you two boys (& Ella) we're in such bad moods. Most the times, I think I understand when you're upset, what the reasons are & give you your space, or whatever else it is you need. But yesterday, I just wasn't sure what was going on. Regardless of what it was, I know today we can start a new day together. New adventures, new questions, new curiosities, new arguments, new challenges, new laughs, lots of new. Because every day really is full of a lot of new. We see it physically with Ella. Her top two teeth are trying so hard to come through, finally revealing their tips, & she's also decided to flail herself out on the ground, when she's upset. Two days shy of ten-months & she's thrown her first fit. I'd be lying if I didn't say I find it cute. 

Rylee, my oldest. I see a lot of myself & your dad in you. You are determined. You like things a certain way, & you stick to your guns. You are strong-willed, incredibly intelligent, curious & love the outdoors. Here you are, on our Sunday at the beach, showing off your potato bugs. At least that's what we always called them, I'm not quite sure their 'real' name, but I'm fairly sure you'll know them as potato bugs, as well. Yesterday, you stayed home sick from school. You've had a cold this past week, but yesterday morning your cough was pretty bad. That dang asthma. You got that from me, too. Your lungs were tight last night & I'm planning on keeping you home today, too. I know you were so excited to pass out your Valentine cards at school, but you need good rest & good health. You also need to keep that smile on your face & your excitement for the daily adventures of life. You are one awesome dude!

Covey, my middle child, who we joke suffers from MCS (middle-child syndrome). Kidding, kinda. You are currently my ninja, & you've been sharing some fairly sweet moves with me lately. They are usually demonstrated at random moments, & provide me with the smiles I need. You are very, very good at putting smiles on faces, whether it's through words or actions. I often refer to you as our family clown or my goof ball, because you are. I hope you keep those qualities forever- people always need to laugh. When you make others laugh, it makes you laugh, too. Your imagination is incredible; it is so much fun listening to you use it, especially with your superhero/ninja/star wars figures. You are also learning an incredible amount with letters, words & numbers. Ry comes home from school & you soak up everything he is learning. You are also one awesome dude!

Ella, the baby. It's your first Valentine's day & your 10-month birthday. Hard to believe it's already been 10-months since we welcomed you into the world. You are so, so loved & so, so loving- I will never get enough of your sweet snuggles. Your brother's dote on you, always offering their help. I'm sure at times you don't like it, like when they keep food-droppings out of your mouth. Our bottom feeder, I call you, as you crawl around as fast as can be, searching for something to eat. You have your two bottom teeth & are working on those top two. You're standing up alone, without any support; walking with your wagon; crawling like crazy; flailing on the ground when mad; & so, so close to walking, without assistance. Basically, you are growing up too fast. Since you are the last baby, your milestones are bittersweet. You are also so full of smiles &  share your laughter so willingly, you are the definition of pure joy.  

Even on days like yesterday, when I'm convinced I have no clue what I'm doing as a mom, I still love all three of you more than I can ever tell you or show you. I hope that's something you never forget, even when you think you don't like me. You are my three musketeers & you always will be. Love, Mom

Sunday - A Day at the Beach

My photo-a-day attempt is having a funny effect on me; rather than dreading picking up the camera again, for another image, I am picking it up more, a lot more. I have a thing for Sundays & a thing for the beach. I'm not really sure why, but Sunday's have always signified family days, filled with lounging, fun & a bit of laziness. Whether we're on a Monday-Friday schedule, or absolutely no schedule whatsoever, Sundays are still Sundays. This past one we went to the beach. We do that a lot. We live on an island, so it only makes sense. The beaches surround us- they are literally minutes from our house, waiting for the kids' to arrive with their curious minds.

This past Sunday we woke up lazily, moving slowly around for a couple hours. Then our house shook from an earthquake. I panicked because it shook good & we are not in a tsunami-safe zone. Thankfully, it was only a 3.8 magnitude quake, it just happened to be very few miles from home, so we felt a couple good jerks. After deciding we weren't on tsunami-watch (part of living on an island), we decided to head to one of our favorite beaches.

My sister came along & I took a few pictures of her super-cute baby bump, she's 32 weeks already & tiny & cute, I never was! We found lots of beach treasures- a duck decoy, a fly swatter (last year a container was lost somewhere at sea, & football fly swatters have been washing ashore ever since), the perfect slingshot stick, a crab shell & a bright orange basket to carry home said treasures. I also took advantage of having my sister with us, to attempt a family photo. We ended up with a lot of interesting ones, & a couple worthy of sharing (for a good laugh).

It was a good day at the beach, followed by warm bowls of soup at my parents for our Soup Sunday's, a tradition we attempt to keep going at least a couple times a month.

 

January. 31 Photos. Week Four.

With just a few days left this month, it's time for me to decide if I'm continuing on with this project, or sticking with the one-month thing. I think I'm taking the plunge & welcoming February with my camera. I'm really, really enjoying it- it gives me so many more opportunities to get creative with locations, light, ideas, etc., but I'm just not quite ready to say I'm doing a 365-project ;) 22. January 22. Walking in the rain.

23. January 23. Time to go to Disney, he needs his own set of ears.

24. January 24. Fly so high.

25. January 25. This is not Rylee.

26. January 26. The sun came out!

27. January 27. I successfully created something inspired by Pinterest- miracles do happen.

28. January 28. He asked to pick out his next birthday card, which is 6 months away, when he turns four (not five).

Now head over to January Skye Photography, to see what their week looked like!

 

January. 31 Photos. Week Two.

I've made it through fourteen days of photos this month. Slightly proud of that accomplishment, only 17 more days to go, & I'll have completed my goal (I'm attempting 365 with the iPhone)! The last five-ish days have been spent sick, but I still took pictures. The kids have definitely had it worse than me & have kindly rotated days ;). So here's hoping for a healthy week ahead & our last seven days, in photos: 8. Day Eight. Silly new expressions + new wagon.

9. Day Nine. The introduction of solids.

10. Day Ten. The calm before the (puking) storm.

11. Day Eleven. At attempt at getting on the other side of the camera.

12. Day Twelve. Hanging at auntie's house.

13. Day Thirteen. Garage sale score.

14. Day Fourteen. Nine months old.

 

Now head over to see what Carrie's week look liked in Las Vegas.

10 on 10 - January

This month kicks off my involvement with a 10 on 10 group. Each month, on the 10th, we post 10 images (or so). This is a seriously talented group of photographers & I'm honored, & quite giddy, to be joining along with them. I took these ten a couple days ago. It was a day we didn't leave the house. Covey wasn't feeling too good & it was our second day with Ry back at kindergarten. It was more or less, our typical day. Except there was sun. That is something we don't see all that often. These pictures of course leave out details of the day- the tiredness from waking a few hours earlier than we're used to; the fights between the boys; the piles of laundry (I still need) to put away; the dirty diapers changed. They also remind me of our little bits & pieces that make it ours. The sunrise on a cold winter morning. The table we eat at, a lot. The dishes, oh the dishes. I think the picture at least makes them look a bit prettier. Most importantly, the kids' simple joys.

Here are my ten:

1. Good morning. 2.Waffles for breakfast. 3. Dishes, arghhhh. 4. Sun's too bright. 5. Smile. 6. Her favorite Christmas present. 7. His favorite board game, at the moment. 8. Thankfully, this is not the 'I'm filling the diaper' face. 9.  Star Wars consumes us. 10. Violin practice.

When you're done looking through these, head on over to Jill Greenwood's blog, & make your way through the entire blog circle!

Now go visit Jill Greenwood's blog, & don't forget to go through the entire blog circle!

January. 31 Photos. Week One.

1. January. Day One. 20132. January. Day Two. Lunchtime. 3. January. Day Three. Happy Birthday, Rylee James. 4. January. Day Four. Goodbye Christmas. 5. January. Day Five. Birthday Party. 6. January. Day Six. Bedtime. 7. January. Day Seven. We Mailed the Christmas Cards (finally).

Now head on over to Carrie's blog to check out her first week of pictures.

Happy Birthday

Today my oldest baby turned six. We had a very, very good day. He opened all his presents immediately upon waking; our local Wildlife Refuge had an awesome Lorax event (including face painting); he got balloons from a friend; & we had a yummy dinner & tasty cupcakes. It was full of the love, laughter & fun the day deserved. Now to swallow the fact I have a six-year old- not too easy to digest. My wish for him:

'think creatively live adventurously work diligently share generously listen patiently try fearlessly laugh heartily help willingly speak graciously run steadily love completely' - The Indigo Bunting