Weeds, Wildflowers, and a White Bench

June 29, 2012

Reagan in pink and orange with the hat BLOG
The last few weekends I have had client sessions booked, so I have not had my camera pointed at the girls as often as I usually do.

sarah on the antique white bench BLOG
But Sunday night, I was feeling rather inspired by this antique white bench and the empty lot in our neighborhood that has been taken over by weeds and wildflowers.

S and R in Orange and Pink on the bench BLOG
Everyone in our neighborhood complains about these empty lots and the fact that the builder has let the weeds completely take over.

sarah and reagan from picking in the empty lot BLOG
Unfortunately, they creep on over into our nicely manicured lawns and we are in constant battle trying to keep our flowerbeds and gardens weed free!

Yeehaaa Reagan BLOG
I know our neighbors probably saw me out there and thought I had lost my mind, but I just knew it was going to make a beautiful back drop.....and the best part was that it was just outside our door!

Sarah Vertical Long Skirt and Hat BLOG
The girls couldn't believe we were going back there and Sarah got excited when she saw all of the wild flowers surrounding us.

Sarah picking flowers in pink cowgirl hat2 BLOG
She thought we had just landed in the biggest flower patch around:)

Looking down at Sarah on the white bench BLOG
If you can't tell, Sarah was totally in her element!!
She loves to be free and run around outside..... most of the time barefoot:)

Sarah and Reags sitting on a blanket with the hat and flowers BLOG
I was really hoping for a fabulous "sisters" shot, but this was as close as I could get!
Reags is such a handful and at her age, she just wants to do her thing.
Taking direction from mom is not one of them.

Blurry Reagan with flowers BLOG
My best shots of her are always the ones where the does not even realize I am clicking. I was not sure how I felt about this photo because she was blurry and the flowers were in focus........ I tried something a little different and the more I look at it, the more it is growing on me!

Well, I am sure glad I decided to venture out to the empty lot on Sunday night because yesterday when I pulled into the development, I saw that the builder had a crew come in to cut down the tall grass and weeds. I knew it was only a matter of time....

Sarah wanted me to tell everyone that she picked out her outfit all by herself!
We had a little Mommy Daughter one on one time last Friday night and we did some shopping at Target. The first thing she spotted was the pink hat, then she found the bracelet. She is an accessory girl....just like her Mama!! She also picked out her skirt and top. She was very proud and could not wait to wear it! I can see back to school shopping is going to be a fun adventure for the two of us.

Happy Friday Everyone!
This is my last day of work and then I am off until the 8th.
I am so excited to have some extra down time with the family.
Have a wonderful weekend.

the long road

Will and Zach

June 22, 2012

Zach against the chainlink fence BLOG
The last few posts have been short on photos......so unlike me.

will chainlink fence blog
Well, this post is certainly going to make up for that:)

Sitting in front of the iron fence Will and Zach BLOG
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of photographing these two adorable little guys!!
I have known their Mom for most of my life. We lost touch after high school but recently reconnected through Facebook.

zach brick wall yellow pole BLOG
Tiffany, my friend is a beautiful girl inside and out and when we were growing up, she did some modeling and acting. She actually still does a little of both, and her two cuties do as well!!

zach hanging onto the iron gate2 BLOG
Neither one of them is shy in front of the camera....

Sneakers over the brick wall blog
In fact, quite the opposite is true.

pipe against the brick wall and will BLOG
He really could not take a bad photo if he tried!
He has such a great look. If you have ever seen the commercial
or print ads for the Estee Launder perfume, Beautiful, then you have seen Will.
That is him all dressed up with the "beautiful" bride.

coke collage
It was a rather warm evening, so I had a treat up my sleeves that the boys loved and at the same time, it added a fun new element to the next few photos!

Zach Coke In Hand2 BLOG
Zach is about as precious as they come!
He is super sweet and he literally had me at "hello".
Look at those baby blues and that funky hair!

Coke in Hand Will BLOG
And then there is supermodel Will!!!
No matter if he is smiling ear to ear or serious, the camera just LOVES him.

Standing up drinking coca cola BLOG
Once the old fashioned coca cola bottles came out, I sort of just let them do their thing........

Hand over mouth coke in hand blog
and continued to snap some candids....which usually end up being my favorites:)

the boys in plaid at the grey pole BLOG
After the sugar kicked in, the boys slipped into something else, just to change things up.

Boys will be boys Will and Zach BLOG
I had such a fun evening with Will, Zach, and my friend Tiffany!
The time flew by and once we parted ways, I was anxious to get home and start the infamous download!

Trust me when I say, I have never had so many "keepers" in one session.
These cuties made it extremely hard for me to narrow down my editing selection.
I hope that they love these photos as much as I do.

It has been another busy week here at our house, but the kids are starting to get into the summer groove. I have a full week of vacation just around the corner...... and I am counting the days.... 6 more work days to be exact, then AN ENTIRE CAREFREE WEEK.....YAHOOOOOOOOO!!!

Okay my friends..... it is off to work I go.
TGIF and Happy Weekend to you!

PS. I received the calibration software and it drastically changed my computer!
For those that asked, I used the Spyder 4 Elite. It was pretty easy to use and only took a few minutes to set up.

the long road

Graduation Day

June 20, 2012

Walking into the church on Graduation Day
It only took me a week an a half, but finally I am getting around to sharing a few of the photos from Nick's big day! It was a day filled with a lot of emotion and I could tell that Nick was nervous/anxious when we saw him enter the church.

I absolutely LOVE our school and parish, and whenever they do something, they go above and beyond. This special mass was no exception.......

Monsignor Murphy, who has been at our parish for over 30 years, gave one of the most thought provoking and heartwarming homilies I have ever heard. Not only was his message directed at the 8th grade class of 2012 who are about to enter a whole new world with so many choices, but to the parents as well who are all learning and adjusting to letting go. He has a way with words.....and they always come straight from the heart! I don't think there could have been a dry eye in the entire church.

Walking out of the church on Graduation day
After the mass had ended, and the diploma was in his hands, you can see that he was much more relaxed and relieved. He was officially a graduate of 8th grade and will be entering a brand new high school in the Fall.

Nick With His Diploma BLOG
We met Nick out front of the church, along with every other proud family who was trying to find the perfect place for photos where you wouldn't have other people in the background. That was nearly impossible......

Family Photo Graduation Day BLOG
(Pat obviously did not get the family memo to wear something with pink in it to match Nick)
The one and only family shot I have from the day....and yes, there are a few peeps in the background, but it is going to have to do. Not my favorite photo of myself. I am looking kind of crazy and my hair, oh my hair! At this point, I felt like I went 10 rounds in the ring with Reagan. It was an early morning to get everyone up and to the church and she is not one that likes to sit still, so let's just say it was a long hour and a half for us. Poor Pat ended up pacing the back of the church with her towards the end because she was starting to get too antsy.

I still have more photos to go through, but wanted to quickly get a post up before too much time passes. Before we know it, we will be doing our "First Day of School" photos. Which leads me to this......

Nick had a tough last couple days of school. All along he has said he wanted to attend the public high school, but as his 8th grade year came to a close, I think reality set in. He realized that all of his close friends are going to be at a different school. His inner circle are all going to continue on to the Catholic High School....... and he is not.

As I was sitting in church the morning of graduation, one of the other moms came up to me and said she happened to be in school the day before......their last day of school. She said Nick was crying and could not stop. The minute she said it, I felt my heart sink. He had not mentioned a word to me when he came home that day.

He was sort of off all weekend, and after speaking with the other Mom, I knew I needed to have a heart to heart with Nick. My concern was that he was having second thoughts about the school he chose and if he was, I needed him to know it was okay to tell us. It is never too late to change your mind.

I spoke with him and he said he still wants to go to public school. I was still not totally convinced......so my Mom talked to him as well when she had some one on one time with him last week. He told her the same thing.

It looks like we are sticking with the original plan of public school for now, but we are keeping all of our options open should things change as the summer progresses.

My kids are my everything and when I see one of them upset or having a difficult time, it just rips my heart apart. As the days have passed, Nick does seem to be in much better spirits, but I am keeping a close eye on him and prompting a lot of conversation about the upcoming school year in order to keep the lines of communication open.

Second Guessing

June 19, 2012

silly girls in swanky baby final warm blog


Although I am starting to get the feel and see the ease of use when it comes to the MAC world, I am seeing a huge discrepancy between my photos on the new MAC and the old Dell. Things appear to be brighter and warmer on the new computer and when I view them on my old one, they look cold. I am second guessing every last photo.....which is why I deleted my Father's Day post.

Reagan Frozen With her Phone BLOG

So I am not sure what you are seeing and if it looks horribly off, but I figured I would share anyway. Cold or Warm, they are still kinda cute:)

I am in the process of getting this color thing all fixed up. Calibration software to the rescue.....it should arrive tomorrow, so I will be back in business by Thursday!!!

Hope everyone had a terrific Father's Day!!

Favorite Photo Friday - "Radiant"

June 15, 2012

I have been a little technology challenged this week and in turn, I am way behind on blog reading and photo editing. After wavering back and forth for over a year, I finally made the switch to a MAC, and I literally feel like I am working with one hand tied behind my back. This girl has been a PC user her entire life, so I have been a little frustrated and slow to pick things up.

The new MACBook Pro arrived 2 weeks ago(compliments of the best boss in the world), and even though I was super excited about it, I sort of pushed it aside and refused to shutdown my trusty Dell.

Early this week, I finally received the MAC versions of my photo editing software, so I knew it was time to say goodbye to my old friend and start getting myself acclimated with the new one!

I won't lie.... I have had my moments of complete frustration, but I am hopeful that like everyone else I know, I will fall in LOVE with my MAC and will never want to go back to PC land.

So, the plan was to have Nick's graduation photos up here by now, but I need a little more time. They should be ready by this weekend.

For now, I want to share my new favorite photo of Sarah......

Radiant Beauty SGTX2 BLOG
I was getting ready for work and Sarah and Reagan were in my closet in their pjs playing dress up. They both love to go explore in there and they usually go after my shoes and jewelry, but this particular morning, they got into my scarves. Sarah liked this one because it had a lot of hot pink in it.....one of her favorite colors.

When I saw what they were up to, I grabbed my camera to snap a few of her near the window. I snapped three to be exact..... and this one was hands down the winner. I know I am completely biased because I am her Mom, but when I saw this photo, I was completely awestruck by her radiant beauty. It hit me hard how much this little girl has grown up and that in about 12 weeks, I am going to be sending her off to Kindergarten. Gosh, how did that happen so fast? So many new things ahead for her this year!

We are also about to experience another first for Sarah...... she came home from daycare last night with her first loose tooth!! And after giving it the wiggle test, I am guessing the tooth-fairy will be making a visit sometime early next week:)

Okay, I have to run, it is off to work for me.....5pm cannot get here fast enough!!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and Happy Father's Day!

the long road

Sunday Snapshot - "Balloons"

June 10, 2012

Reagan and Her Balloons TWO2 BLOG
Friday night we went out in search of some new locations for a few client shoots I have scheduled later this month.

Pull them back in Reags2 BLOG
Just to liven things up, I told the girls we were going to use some balloons for this series of photos.

Balloons In Focus Reags BLOG
I have attempted this before before and have never really been that successful.

Holding on to those balloons for dear life BLOG
Balloons can be difficult to control, especially for a little one like Reagan.

Reagan and Her Balloons2 BLOG
But she did a fantastic job!!!
Even with the slight breeze in the air, she managed to work those balloons.

Two Sisters and A Bunch of Balloons BLOG
The only problem..... I didn't have TWO bunches of balloons.
Reags was having so much fun with them, she did not want to give them up and hand them over to her sister.

Sarah and Reagan Walking Down the Stone Path at the Farm BLOG
It's a good thing she has the best big sister in the world!!
Sarah let Reagan hold them until we were done with the photos and said she would play with them later when we got home.

Luckily, all of the balloons made it home. I always have them tie a little weight to the bottom of the bouquet just in case someone were to let go!

I am still sorting through these photos and will post more later this week along with photos of the new graduate!! The graduation mass yesterday was beautiful and bittersweet!
A great day for Nick and his very proud parents:)

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

Camera: Canon 5d Markiii
Lens: Canon 85mm f1.2
The settings for the top photo were:
SS 1/2500
ISO 100

Photos were processed with Add Some Drama (Florabella's Classic Workflow Set) tweaked and at a reduced opacity. I also used a few textures created by Sarah Gardner on this series to give the pictures that soft, white, dreamy feel

Ni Hao Yall

Make sure you pop over to Stef's blog to see more Sunday Snapshots.
I am the sponsor this month, so whoever wins, will receive a free seat in my Push Past Your Comfort Zone class that begins in July! I love Sunday Snapshots, so I am going to continue to play along this month, but my photos will not be judged or part of the contest.

The girls' petti skirts, t-shirts, and hair pieces are from Sophia Jane Boutique.
You can view her beautiful store by clicking HERE. You also might want to become a Sophia Jane facebook fan as well. By doing so, you will be among the first to know when she has new products or when she runs her sales!! If you have a girly girl in your house, there is no doubt you will find plenty of fun items in her boutique!!!

Swing High To The Sky

June 8, 2012

Just a Swingin BLOG
It has been another one of those jam-packed, busy weeks and quite honestly, my real camera has been collecting some dust again as it has not been removed from my bag in over 10 days:(

My original thought was to skip Favorite Photo Friday this week and just put up the link to let y'all post your photos, but then I remembered this picture I took last Thursday with my IPhone. We had just finished eating dinner and the girls were excited it was not raining(we have had a lot of rainy nights lately) and they could go outside and play on their swing set. Pat and I had been sitting in the grass drinking a glass of wine and watching the girls play when Reagan said she wanted someone to push her so she could "swing high to the sky". That is what they say every time they get on a swing. Pat went over to get her moving and Sarah decided to help. I grabbed my phone and snapped this picture to capture the sheer joy radiating from all three of them. It is not often that Pat appears in photos, so I saw a real opportunity with this one. I did not realize when I took it on my phone, but I saw it later when I uploaded to facebook that Sarah had her stuffed dog at her feet! This picture, even though it was not taken with the big camera, is really one of my most favorite photos I have taken in the last few weeks and I find myself going back to view it again and again.

Actually, I have been taking a lot of Iphone photos lately. I know there are a lot of Iphone users out there, so I thought I would share something that another photog friend so graciously shared with me about three weeks ago. There is a new gadget on the market called the Olloclip and let me say that is AMAZING. It is a handy dandy little lens clip that converts the Iphone into a wide-angle lens, a fish-eye lens, or a macro lens. Yes, you read that correctly, 3 lenses in one little clip! Trust me when I say, once you get this clip in your hands, you will be COMPLETELY ADDICTED.

I have been using the Instagram App for sharing Iphone photos since last September, but this new lens clip has kicked my Instagram obsession into high gear. Since 2008 when I received my first dslr, I have never owned or carried a point and shoot. That was one of those things that I have had on my wishlist for a long time because it is not always practical to lug around the big camera. When I found myself in those situations, I left the big camera at home and then I didn't have any photos or memories of those occasions.

My Iphone, combined with this Olloclip and Instagram, have changed that!
I no longer miss those moments and have the ability to capture them without having to spend major $$$ for a good point and shoot camera.

I don't expect to be using my dslr any less, but I certainly will be taking more spur of the moment photos each day.

Today we are celebrating the last day of school for Nick and the official start of our summer.
Tomorrow is his 8th Grade graduation ceremony.
Time to dust off the big camera!!
~Have a wonderful weekend~

the long road

Naps Are Overrated

June 5, 2012

No Naps FIngers in Mouth Cropped BLOG

Reagan has been fighting us tooth and nail over the last few months about her nap. I think both Sarah and Nick continued to take one until they were well past the age of 3, but Reags at 2 1/2, has already thrown in the towel or maybe I should say, blankie:)

It is hard because she wants to try to keep up with Sarah and it is very clear that she does not want to miss anything that goes on around here. She has A LOT OF ENERGY and will go all day, but as of late, she is hitting the wall around dinner or shortly thereafter. She has fallen asleep while still sitting up a few times and then she will doze for an hour or so and then wakes up ready to party, when we would normally put her to bed.

She was once such a great sleeper and went to bed without hesitation, but now she not only refuses naps, she does not want to go down at her normal bedtime either. It is frustrating and tiresome....... and I am starting to wonder if it is time to switch from the crib to a big girl bed?
Maybe that would help the situation...

For now, we are trying to insist that she lay down somewhere for an hour of quiet time, even if she doesn't fall asleep, at least she can try to rest a little to get her through until bedtime.

I don't know about you, but I would give anything to be able to close my eyes each day and not think about anything for an hour or so. Reagan might think naps are overrated, but I sure don't:)

Hope everyone is having a great week!!

3 more days of school here and it is officially summer.....whooohooooo!!!