Friday, December 25, 2009

Have Yourself...

A Merry Little Christmas. Or Happy Holidays if you prefer. We're headed East - catch you in 2010!

(And wow, I can remember being in grade school and having a conversation - or maybe it was writing a paper - on where we'd be in 2010. I think I wrote "old". Sigh.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


A few scenes from Christmas in CA...Ornament & decor storage. A gift from Uncle Bud the year we got married.
Angels. Made with love from Uncle Bud :)This years photo ornament.
This year's mini-tree. Being East, I was not sure I'd decorate at all, but then I decided that the kids needed some spirit so we opted for the small tree :)
Mantle Angels.
...and on to Christmas in DC!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Photography Maybe

I can remember getting our wedding photos back and finding one that was marked "photographers favorite" on the back. It was a simple shot of Brooks' parents looking at him and at the time I didn't at ALL get why it was a "favorite" picture. I mean, I guess I thought it captured a nice moment, but no one was looking at the camera, it was completely unposed and nothing I'd ever want to frame. And don't forget that we got married before the era of digital photography and light years ahead of the journalistic narrative style that is popular today.

All of a sudden, lately, I get it. My love of photography grows daily and with it my interest in photographing things other than my kids. Ok, so more often than not, it's just other people's kids, but still. And I'm finding more and more that I like the shots that are off-kilter, not so sharp, not perfectly exposed and certainly not anything you'd frame. And since I am still a few weeks ahead of my new years resolution to keep up with, well, life better, I thought it might be a good time and place for a photo share. So here are a few of my favorite recent snaps.
My 50mm lens sometimes decides that it wants what it wants. And it wanted to focus on the chair. And I agreed.
This face? I just love this face. Little Briar is just the sweetest and when her Mama asked me to catch some pictures of her, I jumped at the chance. The only problem was what a hard time I had taking pictures of anything BUT her face :)
But I did get this one, which I love. Little girl, new to the walking scene and ready to take on the world.

The next three are from a party where SANTA came to visit! So much fun to watch the kids meet the Big Man and get to hear all his stories... joy...
Dashel getting ready to open his meticulously wrapped gift from Santa.
And oh how I love this one. Jenna stepped up at dang near the last minute to host the shindig and here she is, looking relaxed and having fun. I love the wrapping paper stuck to her leg and the children mulling about. If you ever saw a picture of me on a day where I had 22 (or more?) children running around my house, assorted parents, an array of sweets to be consumed and spilled and SANTA, I can PROMISE you I would not look anywhere near this composed. I can also promise you that the above scenario would likely never happen :)

By the way, that picture, the "photographer's favorite"? I framed it a few years ago.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

'Tis the Season

So I know, I'm totally sucking at blogging. But I HAVE THREE KIDS PEOPLES!!! On that note, if we're friends and you feel like I blow you off or never call you...for the love of all that is holy, please do not take it personally. I HAVE THREE KIDS! And they know that Mom is much less likely to scream or swat if she's on the phone. I swear it takes all of two seconds while I'm on the phone for them to do something awful and rotten.

Also, it's Christmastime so I've been busting ass to get stuff done. Which is a challenge when you HAVE THREE KIDS!! Did I mention that Dash is still not over the whole "wow it's fun to run and hide from mommy in stores" thing? Yeah. And wrapping presents while holding Kell? Not enjoyable either.

Over the past few weeks, one thing has become glaringly obvious - some people need a refresher course in holiday etiquette. So today, I present some simple holiday guidelines.

It's the season to be jolly, and thankful, and for those who are religious, to celebrate the birth of our Savior. It is NOT the season to drive like an asshat. Speed limits exist for a reason. As do laws against cell phone use and texting while driving. And that makeup? You'll be sorry when the eyeliner pencil has to be surgically removed from your eyeball. Tailgating does not, in fact, cause the person in front of you to speed up. That car you bought, it came with this super cool function called a turn signal. It magically lets people know when you intend to - get this - make a turn. You should totally try it. Amazing, I know.

While we're on the subject of driving, it's important to remember that no parking spot is worth risking your life. I think after Thanksgiving (and in preparation for Christmas cookies) we could all use a little more walking in our daily lives. Plus, you're probably going to SAVE time by just taking the spot that's open but a little farther away. If you must try for a closer spot, remember that the "expectant mothers" or "mothers with small children" spots are for..."EXPECTANT MOTHERS" or "MOTHERS WITH SMALL CHILDREN". So if you're a dude, I'm pretty sure you don't qualify. And being fat doesn't qualify you either. Some people seem awfully fond of stalking. If there is a trail of 200 cars behind you and there are available spaces father away, just fucking take one. Also, if you're stalking a woman with lots of bags, kids, or maybe even a woman with three kids who look young enough to require carseats and a stroller AND lots of bags, you DO NOT get to be PISSED OFF when it takes more than a few minutes to load the car. I will not jepordize my kids safety by rushing so that you get my spot sooner. As a matter of fact, if I see you getting huffy while waiting, I will take longer. Intentionally. And if you get increasingly irritated, I will get EVERYONE BACK OUT OF THE CAR just to be a bitch. I can always find something to go back and shop for.

Now let's talk about shopping. Do everyone a favor and GET OFF THE PHONE when you get to the checkout. These people are providing you a service and you're being an ass. McDonalds even as a sign up in the drive through asking you to get off the phone while ordering. If McDonalds knows better than you, you should be ashamed. I personally think that everyone should have to work some kind of food service and some kind of retail in their lives. I think those experiences would definitely cut back the number of people who scream at workers for little reason. If only "Santa is watching you" worked on adults. Experience should also alert everyone to the fact that inventory runs low close to the holidays. If little Jimmy really HAD to have one of those, you should have bought it sooner. Screaming at a store employee is not going to make whatever it is you want magically appear. For those of you who don't have kids, you should know that it is dangerous to walk in front of a moving stroller. I mean, if you value your ankles. Especially if it's a double stroller. I haven't had the electric cattle prod attached to the front of mine yet, so you may consider this your grace period.

I also feel the need to discuss restroom issues. Hands? Let's wash 'em. Doors? Don't forget to lock them please. Pregnant Ladies? Front of the line. And if you're not handicapped, and there are options available, DO NOT TAKE THE HANDICAPPED STALL! If you have a stroller, go for it but don't take too long since there might just be an actual handicapped person who has to go. Just because you'd like some more space while taking your daily constitutional, does NOT mean it's acceptable to take the larger stall. If I walk into another restroom where the only occupied stall is the handicapped one and the inhabitant is NOT handicapped, I will "forget" to control my small man children who think sneaking under the stalls is great fun. And you will have asked for it.

Now get out there and have a great holiday!