Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Mommy and Me July 2009

(One last post before we leave - I just wanted to make sure and post the Mommy and Me for July! I'm kind of cheating and using a picture that I already posted, but I did do a different edit on it!)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So Behind...

I have so much to share, but this last week has been so hectic. Getting ready for our vacation (that starts tomorrow!) has been quite the endeavor. So that's why it's been a bit quiet around here.

But when I get back, I'll make sure I find time to post everything - including Abbi's 6 month pictures. I can't believe she is already 6 months old. I wish I had the energy to stay up tonight and go through and edit the pictures, but I still have to finish laundry and pack so that we can leave first thing in the morning...

6 Months

Really, I could say the same thing every month - "I can't believe it's already been {enter number here} months already!" 6 months? Are you serious?? My baby girl is growing up so fast!

Taking her picture this time around was not the easiest thing. We had been getting ready for vacation for a few days, running errands and such, and she was a bit off schedule. I had the hardest time getting smiles out of her, when she is normally such a smiley baby. I ended up taking her outside where she could watch Max run around, and managed to get a few smiles out of her that way!

At 6 months, Abbi:

  • is definitely showing her personality. She has about 100 different faces, and I get a kick out of all of them!
  • is sitting like a pro. For those of you wondering how she is sitting so well, I really think it's because she spends a lot of time at home in her high chair. She likes to see what is going on, so I found that putting her in the high chair while I'm making dinner or cleaning is what she really likes.
  • LOVES Max. She has always liked watching him, but now she is not afraid to get up and pet him. I have to keep an eye on the two of them, because she likes to grab his tail and he's not so fond of that, but I really think he loves her just as much as she loves him. He's always pushing his toys up to her to get her to play with him.

    • still loves being on her belly more than anything else. Ever since she learned to roll over, she's definitely preferred her belly to her back.
    • is still not sleeping through the night. :( The doctor said she is just in the habit of getting up that one time every night, and I just need to break the habit. I just hate hearing her cry, but I guess a couple nights of crying is better than loosing that sleep every night!
    • has slowed down in her growth. Her 6 month weight is 17 lbs. 2 ounces. Just about 1 pound heavier than at 4 months. Only one pound in 2 months is not very much for her!
    • But she is still our little chubbers. I get comments everywhere I go about her chubby arms, legs and cheeks.

    • has the craziest hair. The hair in front is long enough to lay down, but the hair in the middle just sticks straight up, no matter what I do.
    • has the sharpest fingernails. I cut them almost every day, but she still almost always has a scratch or two on her face.
    • loves to grab at people - especially my face - so I usually have a scratch or two on my face as well! Her favorite thing to do while eating is grab at my face, and usually ends up with what I call the fish hook on my lip.
    • knows and loves her mom and dad. She will pretty much let anyone hold her now, but only if her mom or dad are in sight!
    • has been army crawling like crazy the whole past month. I'm pretty sure she's just days away from crawling, because she gets up on her knees and can take a crawl or two before going back down to her belly and scootching. She is all over the place, and I have to keep an eye on her!
    • she loves to copy the noises you make. She is good at clicking her tongue, coughing, laughing, and smiling!
    • still doesn't have any teeth, although over the past few months, I thought there were several times that she was teething. But the doctor said he doesn't see any coming in, and I learned that her daddy didn't get any until almost a year, so I think it will be a while.

    • still hasn't had any solid food. I wanted to wait until the 6 month mark, so she will be getting her first tastes after vacation! I know she is excited, because every time we eat something, she will sit and look at it like she is jealous!
    • is super curious. If she sees something new, she will sit and look and stare, trying to figure it out. And if it is close, she will grab at it.

    • is still obsessed with her feet. Actually, she just loves to put EVERYTHING in her mouth. Another reason I have to keep a close eye on her!
    • loves to make noises. She is an expert at blowing raspberries, and loves to cough to get attention. She doesn't really make any consonant sounds yet, but loves the sound of her voice.
    • had a babysitter for the second time in her life. My parents watched her while we went to the temple, and she was a good girl. Wow - we really don't get out much if this was only the second time in 6 months!
    • loves to look at herself in the mirror. If she is ever getting cranky, I can usually put her in front of a mirror and it will bring out a smile!

    I still think she is the cutest girl in the world and I fall more in love with her every day. I can't believe how much happiness she has brought into our lives!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Aubree & Sierra

Photo Overload!!

This is Aubree & Sierra. They are good friends - both young women in my ward. I asked them if they would model for me so I could get some practice. They were amazing. I ended up with so many pictures -I probably ended up editing 40-50 of them. Here are just a few of my favorites. You may see more of these girls - we all had so much fun (and I learned SO much) that we want to do it again soon.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I have a bunch of random thoughts going through my head today, so random is what you get!

BEST NEWS OF THE DAY, WEEK, YEAR...For those of you who don't know, Josh hurt his knee about 3 - 3 1/2 years ago. Hurt it bad. First doctor we went to acted like it wasn't a big deal, so we thought it would just get better. It didn't. We finally found a new doctor a couple of years ago, and the news was not good. He needs a total knee replacement. But the doctor wouldn't even talk about doing one yet, because Josh wasn't even 30 at the time, and the doctor doesn't usually do them on people younger than 50/60. After a scope that did nothing and years of pain, the doctor finally agreed today to do the surgery!! Josh basically had to tell him that we would go find a different doctor if he wouldn't do it, so he finally agreed. The surgery is scheduled for September 14th. Josh is thinking he might want to wait until winter when business is slow, but I told him I don't want him to wait longer than November. I think I'm just as excited for him to get it done as he is. It's hard to watch someone you love so much in constant pain. Plus, I miss bowling. And I want to go to Disneyland.

Anyone lose a bird? So strange - I went out to my car to get something yesterday and heard a strange chirping bird noise. We get a lot of birds around our house because we usually have seed out for them, but this was different than any of the normal bird sounds that I usually hear. I start looking around, and see this little guy on the neighbor's fence. I went in and got Josh and he came out to look, too. I decided to try to take a picture, and he actually let me get pretty close. The lens that was on my camera has no zoom, so I was probably like 6 feet away from him before he flew off. Pretty bird, but I'm guessing he belongs to someone!!

I'm going on vacation next week!! We are taking a road trip to Oregon for a family reunion on Josh's side. His parents are riding with us, so it will be 4 adults, 1 baby, and 2 dogs. I'm curious to see how the car ride will go. We're taking 2 days to drive there and 2 days to drive back, plus 4 days there. I am SO excited to see the beaches of southern Oregon, and we'll be going down into northern California to see the redwoods. I've never seen them before, so I'm super excited.

And just because I wanted to, I rented a killer lens to take on the trip. It is a $1600 lens, so I'm afraid I will fall in love with it and have to save my pennies forever to buy one, but it will be so fun to have. So be prepared for lots of pictures when we get back!!

Speaking of photography, I took out 2 of the girls in my church group to do a little photoshoot. I asked them a couple of weeks ago if they'd be my models, but I had no idea how much they would enjoy it! They have already said they will go out with me again. It was such good practice for me, and I'm having so much fun editing the pictures right now. I'll post more when I get them done, but here is a sneak peak!

You know what's funny? I have been thinking about posting the million random thoughts in my head all day long, and now that I'm sitting down to post, I can't think. Maybe it's the fact that it's almost 10:30pm and I feel dead tired. I guess I may have some more randomness tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Josh's Birthday

Last Tuesday, Josh celebrated his 31st birthday. Let me just preface this by saying that Josh has never liked his birthday. I don't know what it is, but he is very adamant about not wanting to celebrate it. I always try to do something special, hoping that he will be happy I tried to make his day special, but really - to him, his birthday is just another day of the week.

I had already mentioned on here, but our tv went out a few weeks ago, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get a new one. I figured that at least he couldn't get mad at me for getting him a present that way!! So since he didn't want to do anything special, I decided to send him on a little treasure hunt to find his gifts. I was so excited to give him his tv, that the minute he walked into the door from work, I wanted him to start his hunt! I told him that Abbi had a gift for him, and I had a little gift, but that was all.

So when he walked in the door, he got this first card: (I also have to admit that I got a lot of these rhymes online. After reading a bajillion rhyming kids books to Abbi, those were the only rhymes I could think of. Thank goodness for Google!!)

Behind the tv (notice how small this tv is!! It's the tv that is normally in our bedroom and is probably 8 or 9 years old!) was his first gift - from Max and Abbi. It was a new Xbox game.

This second gift was mostly a joke. Josh loves cereal. He eats it at least once a day. So when I was asking him what he wanted for his birthday, he kept saying nothing. Finally he said that I could get him a fun, new cereal bowl. So I found him a cheesy kids bowl at Target - but he has really been using it!!

Out to the mailbox - no gift here - but this is where the next clue was.

This is where I had the tv, under a blanket. He was totally surprised - not expecting it at all!!

Want to know the best part?? He was so happy, and he said that I had actually succeeded in making his birthday special. How can you not be happy with a new, big tv?? But it really did bring a smile to my face, knowing that this birthday wasn't just another day to him this year.

Later that night, his parents came over, not only with a cake (Better Than Sex Cake - YUM!) but also a strawberry pie made with strawberries from their garden. It was seriously delicious. I ate way too much of that pie!

Abbi & Max got to play with Grandma and Grandpa, so it was a happy day all around for our family!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Too Cute

I still need to post about Josh's birthday from last week, but I just wanted to sneak this picture of my beautiful girl in. I seriously just can't get enough of her!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Garden Snail

I was out pulling weeds in the garden this morning, (weeds that I just can't seem to get rid of anymore!!) and came across this little guy. It's the first time I've seen a snail in our garden, or even around our house anywhere! Of course, I had to run and grab my camera, but getting a picture was hard because he was a bit camera shy. He kept going back into his shell every time he would hear a noise.

I left him in the garden, but now I'm thinking that I don't know if snails are good or bad for gardens. Does anyone know? I don't want him eating my melons or my tomatoes!

UPDATE: Thanks everyone for letting me know they aren't good. I went out, and I think that the weeds he must have been hiding in were his shelter from the heat, because he was dead - probably got cooked by the sun. I guess I need to concentrate on getting rid of the rest of the weeds to make sure there aren't any more!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Droplets

{I know I'm not supposed to have any words, but I just have to explain this picture. I was looking through some old pictures from 2007 last night and I came across this picture, taken with my old camera. With a little bit of post-processing, I decided I loved it so much that I had to post it today!}

Monday, July 13, 2009

Go Figure

She's surrounded by toys, yet all that she wants to play with is a measuring cup. Gotta love kids!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Constructive Feedback

I promise that I'm not going to make this blog all about photography, but I saw this and just had to take part in it. IHeartFaces is doing some constructive feedback today, and I'm always up for some help!!

I just took this yesterday. I love Abbi's eyes, but since they are so dark, I often have a hard time capturing the light and sparkle that are in them. But I was able to here - and I think that is why I love this photograph so much! But what I don't like? I always try to focus on the eyes, but since I was inside and having to use a low aperture, I feel like the rest of her face is out of focus. I feel like I got the eyes, but I'm wanting the whole face in focus.

Photo info - f2.2, 1/50, ISO 1600, 50mm. Used photoshop CS4 - but very minimally (just to adjust levels a bit.)

If you are one of the people that regularly read here, please feel free to skip past this post. I'm just looking for some constructive criticism to make myself better!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Speaking of Photography...

I'm blog surfing - again - and came across a contest to win a new lens. And since photography is turning into quite an expensive hobby, it would be awesome to win! (I'm not holding my breath, though - I never seem to win these things.) Check it out here if you are interested!

When I Grow Up...

I always had a problem with this question when I was young - "what do you want to be when you grow up?" I went through a phase - when I was addicted to the Babysitter's Club - that I wanted to write. I soon found out that I really wasn't that creative, and I struggled to find the answer to that question. I always knew I wanted to be a mom. Deep down inside of me, since I was just a kid, that's all I wanted. But that's not the answer people were looking for when they asked that question. They wanted to hear "a fireman" or "a doctor". I graduated high school, still not knowing. I went away to college, still not knowing. I took general ed classes part time, hoping that the answer would hit me. Many years later, still no degree to my name, mainly because I couldn't commit to one degree, I finally gave up and joined the professional working world.

Back during one of those semesters, I decided to take a few "fun" classes. Voice lessons and photography. I can carry a tune decently, but I'm no Kelly Clarkson. Plus, for the final, we had to sing at a recital and it scared me to death. I'm definitely not one for singing in public like that. The photography class was fun, but extremely frustrating. It was back before digital cameras were all the rage, and you'd take a roll of film, only to go into the darkroom, develop them, and find out they were all bad. Plus, I had so many creative people in that class - I felt like my picture of the trees and the bridge just didn't measure up. I'm kind of like that - if I don't get something really quickly, I tend to give up. I really need to change that about myself.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago. I was going through a pretty hard time. Since I met him, Josh had been encouraging me to find a hobby - something that would make me happy and excited. I never knew what that could be. I danced in high school, but I felt like I was too old for that now. I'm not a very musical person, as I described in the paragraph above. I like to scrapbook, and I really enjoy it, but I was looking for something that would burn deep inside of me. I can't remember exactly what it was that led me back to photography, but all of a sudden, I was hooked again. I discovered flickr, and would spend hours on there every day, being ispired. I bought a new camera, and started a photo-a-day project. Soon, flickr led me to a food blog - a world I didn't even know existed, and before I knew it, most of my pictures were of food. I decided to start a food blog, and I haven't looked back since. That re-discovery of photography really helped me through that hard time and was one of the main forces in pulling me out of it.

Fast forward to about 5 months ago. Little Abbi came into our lives. And suddenly, my photography focus had changed. I still enjoyed taking pictures of food, but these new photos had so much more purpose and reason behind them. There the new obsession started. I have to say, I look at more photography blogs now than I do food blogs. And I get excited looking at them. I want to be like them. I want to learn and to practice and to create these beautiful memories.

And I have to admit - even though I'm a bit embarrassed to admit, since I still have so much to learn - but I finally know what I want to be when I grow up. Finally. At the age of 31. And for once, I'm not going to get frustrated and give up since I'm not perfect, and I have so much to learn. But I want to photograph people. Babies, toddlers, families - (but I don't know if I'll ever be brave enough to want to do weddings, I'm not sure that's my thing) - I want to help families to save their memories.

I've taken one little Saturday class, and I've spent lots of time online studying and learning. Thank goodness for google, otherwise I would know nothing about photoshop!! But I know practice is going to be the only way to really learn.

A neighbor and friend of mine let me take pictures of her newborn a couple of weeks ago. It was a lot more difficult than I imagined it would be. We couldn't keep her asleep. In fact, we couldn't even get her to stay asleep long enough to get her diaper off to do some cute nudie pictures. But I was actually quite happy with the way some of them turned out. I have put them together into a little video below - please let me know what you think!

The main reason I write all of this here is that I need some help. I need practice. I need volunteers. So if you are in Utah County, or if you are going to be in Utah County, I'm offering up free pictures to anyone who will donate their time to let me practice on them. I'm not promising anything great, but I can't get any better without practice! And if anyone knows of any cool spots here to take pictures, I'd love to know!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Anyone Know Anything about TVs?

Our tv just died. Doesn't make me happy. But Josh's birthday is a week away, and he's been wanting a new tv for some time now. Anyone know anything about tvs so I know what kinds to look at??

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July! It has always been one of my favorite holidays. There is something about laying out, watching fireworks and listening to patriotic music. (Although we had no music this year.) I'm so proud to be an American. And I'm so grateful for all of those who have gone before us, who fought to bring freedom here. And I'm so grateful for those men and women who still fight today for our freedoms and for the freedoms for others around the world.
This year, we celebrated by attending the Pleasant Grove fireworks show. We usually go watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks from afar, but I didn't want to fight traffic this year with a baby, so we decided to head up to Pleasant Grove. Little did I know that their fireworks show was just as great, in my opinion!!

We got up there around 8pm, and there was plenty of room, so we set up our blanket near one of the entrances. We did this so that we would have an easy get-away, but we weren't thinking of what a horrible spot it would be. Once it was time for the fireworks, all of the latecomers coming in just stood in front of us, basically blocking our view. We ended up having to get up and watch from the car. But it was fun to lay on the blanket - just Josh, Abbi, Max and I - for that hour and a half before and just spend some time together. Max was scared to death, as usual. He hates fireworks, so he hid in between the car seat and my purse the whole time. Abbi fell asleep right before the fireworks, so she didn't even get to experience her first big fireworks show. It probably had to do with the fact that we were at my sister's house the night before until way too late. But I'm sure she'll love them next year!I'm sad that it is over, but the good thing in Utah is that we still have more fireworks for the 24th of July celebrations. Maybe Abbi will stay up long enough to see those!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Baby Feet

(Sorry - I guess Abbi is not the only one obsessed with her feet!!)