Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Caroline is 4 months now.
And most of the time we call her  peanut.

All of our kids have had a baby nickname.
Marlee was Sweetpea.  Jake was Bubba.  Max was Pookie.  Zane was Pooter.  Gus was Porkchop.
And Caroline is Peanut.

We are  so in love  with this baby.

And I love, love, love this age.
Smiling and cooing and belly-laughing and reaching for toys and putting everything in her slobbery little mouth and able to hold her head up enough to be carried on my hip......her favorite place to be.

I actually put a headband on her for this one.
I'm not a very good girl-mom.  I'm out of the hair bow habit.  Bek gets so frustrated with me.  She says, "But this is your baby girl!"  So I make sure to put something on peanut's head if we might run into Aunt Rebecca.

I love it when they get that bald spot on the back of their heads.

And she has the yummiest dimples on her bum.

I just want to eat her up all day long!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I had to have it.

I ran into Domestic Bliss the other day, just to look around, when I saw this......

.....and I had to have it.

It's pretty big, about 3 ft. high, and fits very nicely in one of my bare-walled hallways.

I'm hoping some of it's wise messages will soak into my kids' brains as they walk past it a million times as they grow up.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

captive models

I forced these guys to sit and model for me while I played with my lights one night.

They weren't terribly cooperative.
They tend to turn & run when they see me coming at them with my camera.
They get so sick of it.
But I got a few that I liked.

Max just read his book the whole time.

My manchild.
Almost thirteen.  Almost a real teenager, though he's acted like one for years.
Is he a cutie-patootie or what?!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I wish I were bored.

I was just thinking........when was the last time I've heard anyone (besides my kids) say they were bored?

I mean, wouldn't it be refreshing if you asked someone, "Hey!  What are you up to?" and they said, "Oh, absolutely nothing. I'm totally bored."

I don't think anyone ever has.

Because we're all so busy.

And I think it's interesting how we all like to talk about just how busy we are.
Like the busiest person wins a prize, or something.
We wear our busy-ness like a badge of importance.
Because crazy-busy people must be really important and successful, right?
And then, I admit,  I find myself judging others who talk about how busy they are when they only have 2 kids, or something, and I'm thinking, "You don't even know what busy is. I mean, come on!

So is it the busier, the better?

I don't think my kids would say so.

A few years ago, Marlee told me she only wants to have 2 kids when she grows up.
"Why?" I asked her.
And she tells me, "Because, I don't want to be so crazy & busy like you".


Apparently I don't handle busy-ness very well & it comes across as bad crazy.

What's a mom to do?

Personally, I like to be busy most of the time, because I like feeling productive and that makes me happy.  And I feel the weight of my responsibility to create the best possible childhoods for these six sweet souls that have been entrusted to us.  And there's so much that has to be done to make a great childhood.  It goes so fast & they only get one!  What a massive responsibility!

I've been thinking about the saying......."Slow down, and everything you're chasing will come around and catch you."

Does that mean if I ignore the laundry and sit and play 10 games of Go Fish with Gus instead, that somehow, by the end of the day, I'll find the laundry magically clean & folded?
I wish!
But what I think it really means is that we will find those sweet, memorable moments that make up the beauty in our lives, most often during the slow times, when we put the busy-ness on the backburner, when we stop to smell the roses, when we sit & enjoy how funny it is to play Go Fish with a 4-year-old.
And the laundry does eventually get done somehow.

I think I'm going to try to be more bored.  And slow.

Well, maybe after Halloween.  So much Halloween stuff to do.

And here's my main reason for my lack of boredom.........

This chica.

There's no one I'd rather be bored, or busy with.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The best thing about our new phone is.....

....I'll always know where it is!

Oh yeah, baby.  Vintage 1970's.  She's a beauty.  Got her on Craig's List.

Anyone who knows us, knows we never answer our phone.
Not because we're screening calls (OK, sometimes I do), but usually because our cordless phones are never put back.

I find them in the back yard, the toy closet, the garage, under couch cushions, in our neighbor's front yard.......

Then they're usually dead from being off the charger so much.

So I have 3 rings to find a phone, yelling at the kids while I do so.  "Why is it so hard to put the phone back?!!!  Why??!!!"

Now we have no excuses for not answering our phone.

Answering the phone is quite exciting these days.  The kids fight for it.  And they think the rotary dial is so cool.
The first time it rang was so funny!  We were all startled.  That classic ring took us by surprise.  One of the kids said, "It's like we're in an old movie."  I laughed so hard.

Then Brian came home from a long day at work & sat down on the couch.  Turned on ESPN.  The phone rang.  "It's for you, Dad...........but you'll have to come get it............the new phone you know.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Zane's Baptism Day

Zane was baptized on September 11th, 2010.

And it was such a beautiful day.

Not because the weather was really nice, but because this little 8-year-old boy was so excited!  He had such a happy glow about him.

We were surrounded by family.

And favorite cousins.

We were cracking up that Zane's hair (even after a fresh haircut), was still longer than the little girl's he was baptized with.

We had a fun shin-dig at our house afterwards with pizza, Orange Crush bottles, and sheetcakes.  And we played Zane's video that Marlee & I have been sweating over the past week.  A slideshow video of his life up til now that we've done for each of the kids for their baptisms.  They love it.  It makes them feel so special.  Which they are!

After the party, Zane puts this letter on my lap......

Man!  I wish I could just freeze him at 8-years-old forever!!

Congrats, Zane!  We're so proud of you.

Friday, September 10, 2010

labor day

We never do anything on these 3-day weekend holidays. 
It usually ends up being like an extra Saturday, with no yard work, which is great, but not very memorable.

So I was determined to plan something this Labor Day.

So we invited some friends over for a little pool party.  I made pulled pork sandwiches, cut up some watermelon, and made peach cream cake with some Utah peaches.

We played diving board games.

Caroline tried out her pink shades.

It was so great just to chill out with friends.

And eat peach cream cake.

It was a lovely  lovely  Labor Day.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Where did August go?

It just blew on by.

Sort of like a monsoon storm.
So I'm trying to catch up on all our latest & greatest.......and not so greatest.......happenings of the past month.

Speaking of monsoons,  this guy appeared in our pool after one came through....

He  lived in our pool  for almost a week!

The kids named him Mr. T.

Then the day after I took these pictures we found him belly up in the jacuzzi.
Poor Mr. T.
We buried him next to Hammy in our growing pet cemetary.

Marlee & her friend, Steph, made the JV Volleyball team.

I had nothing to do with these poses.

Mars also got her braces off.  Woo hoo!!!

Caroline turned 3 months.

And, my little angel baby consistently sleeps 11 hours straight at night!!!
She's a little demanding during the day, but hey! I'll take a decent night's sleep any day!
She's very social, and wants our eye contact all the time.  She loves to talk to us, which is so cute I can hardly stand it!
She loves her baths, loves chewing on her fists, and hates tummy time.
She also screams at the top of her lungs when Gus or Zane gets in her face too much.  It's hilarious!
I'm so glad I had this baby!  I'm having so much fun with her.  Every morning I'm so excited to get her out of her crib & see her happy little face!

Brian took the kids to the lake before school started.

And here's some news.........we got rid of 6 of our kittens!
Took them to a shelter. 
Long story that I don't feel like typing out right now.
We kept one.  The crippled one.  She has hind legs that look like they're backwards.  I'm not kidding.  I knew she'd probably be put to sleep if we didn't keep her.  We always liked her the most anyway.  She was the tamest, probably because she was the one Gus could always catch since she couldn't run away.  She learned to put up with the harrassment I guess.

Then, we finally had our Mommy cat spayed before she could get knocked up again.  Whew!

I finally finished this wall in my living room.....
It's not easy getting anything accomplished with a baby, so this was a big deal for me.

We got a Bumbo.
Caroline's not sure what she thinks of this.
Do you think Gus loves his baby sister, or what?

Jake is in a 'obsessed with scary movies' phase.
He made the other kids watch "The Sixth Sense" while Brian & I were out one night, and now Zane & Gus want to sleep with us every night.
Thanks. A. Lot.

After a nice little hiatus, I'm back to work doing headshots for Brian's office, and wondering how in the Hell....en Keller I'm going to keep up with everything.

Marlee got her driver's permit!  Look out!

The annual Garn & Mason pool party went off without a hitch.
Super fun as usual.
Max with his BFF Noah.
Mars helped out with the dunk tank.

Caroline sported her new bikini.
Does it get any cuter?  I mean really!

We got a Mac.

And Gus has been practicing for Halloween.
He says that this will be his Halloween costume........whatever it is.

Now on to  September!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

the goods

Because I'm horrible at getting back to people, I thought I'd just write a post to answer some photo questions I've gotten.

I shoot with a Nikon D700.
The lens I usually have on it is my Nikkor 24-70 2.8G.
I also have a:
50 1.4G
85 1.4
70-200 2.8G

And for the studio set-up, I love the seamless paper rolls, and I get them at Tempe Camera.  My main light is a Profoto Compact 600 with a 5-ft. Octobox.  For fill I use another Profoto 600 at a lower power with a reflector umbrella.  Then I use 2 Elinchrom 400BX's with shoot-through umbrellas to shoot the background if I'm wanting high-key, like a white background.

So there ya go.

I still have so much to learn about studio lighting, and I'm always wishing I had more time to mess around with it to learn more. 

And about the cabin we rented in McCall, we found it on and it's listing # is 193172.  We loved it, just wished we were on the lake!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Photoshoot Fun

My awesome, fellow-photographer friend, Shawni, and I threw together a last-minute photoshoot playdate.  I don't use my studio lights as often as I should.  The daily grind seems to get in the way too much.  So it was great to actually make a plan and do it!

So we went with a back-to-school theme.

New clothes, school supply props.....

And the chalkboard notes let us know a little of what's going through their heads at the start of this school year.

My favorite one of Grace.
It's  fan-tastic!
Ooooooh, I'm so jealous of Shawni with all these beautiful girls to take pictures of.........and the hair!!!   To die for!!!!!


Super Student Max!

Mars and her friends went with a nerdy look.

That was way fun, Shawni!

Let's do it again soon!!

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