30 March 2012

The Smith Family Portraits

Awhile ago my friend Allison asked if I could do some family/maternity portraits for her fam. I’d just done a sweet newborn session and it had gone relatively well, but I knew that one motionless child in a tiny controlled environment is exponentially easier than four active people and a belly bump. But I like a challenge, so I agreed!

We met at Garden of the Gods last Saturday morning and the whole thing took less than an hour, start to finish. These photos are far from perfect, but I’m pleased considering the teensy amount of experience I have doing portraits.

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They could be a J.Crew Catalog, could they not?!

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Love this one.

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This was at the very end. I love this one because of how sweet Alison’s daughter is. And her little boy is just so handsome, even when he’s squinting into the sun…

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But then check it out! Little stinker elbows his baby brother! Ha! It was really funny and super cute!

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28 March 2012

How Many Minutes?

Our journey driving half-way across the country began Monday afternoon. To my surprise, we had all our packing and cleaning done on time. And to my even GREATER surprise… all of our junk actually fit back in our van, along with ourselves. AND we still could (kinda) see out of the back window.

There is a God.

As we drove east out of Colorado, we soon became aware of some caa-raazy winds. Why hadn’t we checked the forecast I can’t tell you.

We stopped for gas before Kansas and it was so windy I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Toto blow overhead. I took H in my arms to run into the gas station for a potty break. He was a bit freaked out and I can’t blame him. It was so windy I actually thought that my dangly earrings had  blown straight out of my ears. Weird, I know. I love wind and I have experienced a lot of it (especially when I spent a semester of college studying at a university on the coast of England) but I have never been compelled to check on the status of my earrings before. That was a new one for me.

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Apparently my daughter inherited whatever genes I have that make me enjoy the wind.

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Cause she thought it was pretty fun.

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This guy didn’t seem to mind the wind either. He just leaned his motorcycle right into it and kept on driving, crooked, down I-70.

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Oh, really?!

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Thank you for the tip.

We repeatedly would hear really loud ‘thuds’ on the side of the van and I’d look at Mikey with much concern in my eyes. “It’s just a tumbleweed hitting the van” he’d say. As if scrawny tumbleweeds are supposed to go ‘THUD’ with such force that the passengers become concerned. But he must have been right. Silly tumbleweed.

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Orange cones were blown over all over the place. I was surprised that the wind could even knock down something so ergonomically designed.

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Then there was this freak dust-storm, caused by some road construction. Dirt digging + high winds = freak dust storm.

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Nighttime rolled around and I handed my kiddos these amazing little finger lights that my genius friend Elle bought for them.

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They played with them for at least a whole 30 minutes, which is equivalent to about 30 days if you convert it to adult time. Yeah… they loved them! I think I may order a whole case for the future.

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By 10:30 they were zonked enough to sleep right through a gas station stop.

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Usually any slowing in the velocity of the van is enough to rouse my children from their peaceful sleeps and thereby make me curse, but they must have been really pooped. And so didn’t have to curse. Yay!

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Look! We could have fit more stuff! It’s not that full at all, plenty of room for more junk…

Are you rolling your eyes?

I am.

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Mike drove most of the night. Except for the hour and a half parked at a truck stop. My shift didn’t start till 4:30am. I got to watch the sun rise over Missouri (I think) and that was nice. Taylor Swift was there with me (again).

And then Mikey took over. And here the pictures stop. Wanna know why?

I’ll tell ya why.

The Hunger Games.

I started the book the night before, but by morning it was getting really good. So if I wasn’t driving, digging around in the backseat to give the kids snacks, or napping, I was reading The Hunger Games. Or maybe I was reading The Hunger Games while digging around in the backseat. I’m a multi-tasker after all and I couldn’t put it down.

And so I no longer snapped photos of this or that during our car trip. I kinda regret it now, but at the time there was literally no prying that book out of my hands and handing me my camera.  I HAD to know what was gonna happen to Peeta and Katniss!

We arrived home in Ohio in the middle of the afternoon (with 15 pages to go! Aaaaah!!!). We made the trip in a total of 23.5 hours… which is a pretty good time if I do say so myself. Our best time ever is 19 hours, but that was in our pre-kids era. An extra 4 hours to account for a 2 year old and a 4 year old riding along doesn’t seem too bad to me at all!

26 March 2012

Goodbye Colorado.

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We are about to start our drive back to Ohio.  I’ve cried about it several times. I am super excited to see our families, but let’s be honest… it’s not easy to drag me from this place (or more accurately… the people and vibrancy of life here that makes it so wonderful).

22 March 2012

Astronauts

We have us some astronauts around here lately.  I think my boy learned it from Despicable Me (which is one of our favorite movies, by the way).

Here is astronaut number one:

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Blast-off!

And here is lil’ Sister-see-Sister-do astronaut:

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Oops. There seems to have been a small malfunction of the take-off chair, but my lil’ astronaut doesn’t seem to have been harmed in the process…

21 March 2012

The Moments I Live For

My kids are playing together more and more these days. There is usually some bickering mixed in… I mean… they are 2 and 4! But the moments when they are just happy to be with one another, happy to play together and make each other laugh are incredible.

These are the moments I live for as parent. The moments that make me feel like this hard thing we do called parenting is working and it’s worth it cause maybe we are producing little people who are learning to love and be loved. These are the moments I cherish. The moments when my heart feels like it may burst right out of my chest.

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This last one is my favorite. One evening I turned around in the van and saw them holding hands across the aisle. No prompting or anything on my part… they just felt like holding hands during an evening drive I guess.

Be still my heart.

On second thought… don’t be still. I love this feeling.

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