Getting back into it

I’m sad to say that with the move to our new home, I needed to make sure there was constant work coming in for Lifelong Impressions Photography in order to make all of our living expenses happen.  We love the new home and the new people we live with, but one casualty of this change is this family blog has gotten severely neglected since those plans went into place.  I’m ready to make some commitments to even out my time to this personal blog, Lifelong Impressions Photography and the new creative website my friend Aleesha and I love doing!  This is the year of bringing balance back into our lives.  Finding a way to work smarter and finding all the joy we can capture in this life.  Can’t wait to see what happens!!

One of the new things in our life we love is a local charter school called Exploris Middle and Elementary School {currently taking applications for 2015-16 school year}!!!  Found HERE on Facebook.  The twins were so lucky to get into the brand new elementary school opened up by Exploris Middle School.  They are an amazing school with dedicated leaders and teachers.  The kids are absolutely delighted to go to school most days.  The school is a project based school with an emphasis on experiences in learning.  We love this philosophy and love seeing it in action.  The classes are very dynamic with adjustments made all the time in reading groups and other aspects of learning as the children grown and progress.

Blake and Mia are now 6 {excited to turn 7 in April}.  This is what they looked like at the beginning of the year.

The elementary school classes combine grades so there is K/1, 2/3 and 3/4.  It is a similar structure their Montessori preschool had with ages 3-6 all together.  I love this structure.  It fosters such a great shared learning experience and helps the older kids learn leadership skills while younger ones learn to accept peer help and all learn cooperation.  The teachers are all very enthusiastic, especially with the general public school structure and philosophy.

We were so worried about schools when we were attending out super amazing Montessori preschool.  There were just so many things I heard and saw about the education philosophy & practices here that were worrisome.  This school has been the fresh air we needed and we have found the right fit for our family as the kids go through their school career.

One small thing that is really cool is a program called Explorations.  These are 5-6 week modules one day a week for two hours.  Parents, teachers and community members sign up to lead a group of children for a 1 or 2 hour block in a course.  The courses range from The People in our Neighborhood {walking or bus riding to different local places}, yoga, circus training, culture, reading or pretty much anything parents are good at or can dream up to share with the kids.  I led a recent one for photography.    Maddie {who goes by Mia at school} selected my module while Blake chose The People in our Neighborhood.

Here are some images taken in the last couple weeks.

These next few are from the kids classroom.  Their teacher is a big Dr. Suess fan.

The clocks show the cadence of their day.

Monday was our last adventure as a group.  We tried to gather together for a group shot.  One of the moms was using my camera to capture us.  I think it is funny how the girls were there with me and the boys are sooooo not cooperating for a group shot.  This action shot of trying to gather everyone makes me laugh.  Mia was a bit sad and grumpy that day too.

2 and a 1/2 years old

When the twins were 2 and a half I did a tutu mini session event at a local shop.  At the end of the shooting time I took a few images of Blake and Maddie in front of the store with the white columns and brick buildings in the background.  Those images ended up being so fun and become 16×24 prints on our wall.  Our temporary town house between homes is right by that shop.

Here are my cuties back at the end of September 2010…

Since we are so close to the shopping center, it got me thinking how wonderful it would be to have a shot of Landon to match the twins.  Life, however, has gotten in the way.  It has rained or been cold each and every time I wanted to take him over there.   Warm weather was important so they could match in feel.   We hit Thanksgiving and I thought all was lost!

Then last week we were hit with an 80 degree day!  No joke.  The day before was a 70 degree day.  Ummm, I already packed up the kids summer clothes for our move.  Oooops.   It turns out one shirt of Landon’s was out which is the same or close to it as the one Blake is wearing.  Too bad it got trashed with food stains.  lol

I just decided it was going to happen and not become a missed opportunity so I grabbed the only short sleeve shirt of Blake’s not packed, put it on Landon and headed over there.  Maybe looking at the images for a minute first could have helped me take some with the same angles, but it is matched enough for me.  :-) They have been packed up since May.  :-(

Landon gave me a wonderfully fun 6 minutes of cooperation.  I think he was thoroughly enjoying the one on one time with me.

Enjoy some of my favorites!  Feel free to give me your vote on which image to hang with the twins.  There are numbers above each image.  Keep in mind that most of them are being shared for entertainment value and not what we are debating putting on the wall.  Also, I will crop in appropriately on the final image.  :-)





















Family pictures Fall 2013

Our family pictures have always happened in the spring around the kids birthdays.  Since all three kids were born April 18-20th it makes it an easy easy time to remember capturing our family in images.  Self times and remote controls are not my thing.  There always seems to be something that goes wrong with a setting or focus, not to mention the obvious lack of an entertaining person to smile at!  We I love having a great photographer capture our family playing and smiling each year.  This was the first time we had a family session in the fall.  Now I am finally seeing from a mom point of view why fall is such a great time to do it!

How many times have you heard someone say {or thought it yourself} how they wished they had a or more pictures of them with their parent/s?  Probably too many times to count!  As parents it is one of our great responsibilities to be in pictures with our kids for them to reminisce and enjoy later in life.  The funny part is…  Later is just a few months down the road.  My kids have now delighted in reliving our family picture day a few weeks ago.  They laugh and talk about it as if they were still there.  It prompts them to offer up words of love with hugs, which is my favorite part!

Here are the pages for an album design of our favorite session images.  Can’t wait to have an album in hand and hang a big collage of gallery wrapped canvas prints on the walls of our new home!!!

My friend Morgan Henderson of Morgan Henderson Photography captured these images for us!!!   We all loved the experience and her great personality!!!


Oh, and happy anniversary to my awesome Guy!!!

Happy Halloween 2013!!!

Halloween is so much fun.  One of the amazing things about being part of a church community is the, well for lack of a different word…


I’m from a very very large metro area.  Phoenix, AZ.  It is so large with millions and millions of people spread across the valley floor and beyond.  We have lived in the Garner, NC are for 8 years now.  With each successive year it feels more wonderful.  We know more people.  We feel more intertwined in all of its doings.  Our church family is a large part of feeling of right and love.

How funny.  This wasn’t at all the direction my blog post was going to take.  My original thoughts were just to mention our family celebrated Halloween with our church family last Friday.  Then on Wednesday the kids got to wear their costumes again for a school party.  Yesterday we headed out after school to the Garner business trick or treat at White Deer Park.  Different business and community organizations set up tables periodically along a mile long path handing out candy, flyers and the requisite toothpaste {when did toothpaste become a thing???}.  

We dressed alongside the car and set of excitedly to meet up with Guy who had to arrive separately.

We had our dragon/lizard, sherif Woody and Cinderella.

Being as how Guy wasn’t there yet, there was no one to rush me past a pretty site for a picture of the kids.  Yes, he, like most men, have little patience for stops not on task.

I quite love the resulting image.

Landon’s costume does have wings, but he did not think they were for him.  Thus, our little dragon was affectionately called a lizard.

This face kills me!

My little Blake is so ‘On Task’ with a serious quest to do the best he can.  Here, he was convinced that his hat would come off without his knowing it.  After a while he finally figured out it would stay on just fine  and relaxed.  

{man unknown}  Landon was lagging behind until I told him daddy was ahead.  

Little did we know he was actually coming from the side and behind us!  After getting a tap on his shoulder, Landon backed away until he realized it was his dad.  lol  This is where it starts to dawn on him it is his dad. 

At the beginning of a long event they are always so peppy and happy.  Twoards the end it was all….  “Mom, I’m tired. My tummy hurts.  Can I have a candy now?”

For the past year, I’ve been pretty obsessed with color images.  All of a sudden my love love of B&W images is back!  Did I mention yet it was a warm and balmy 75 degrees yesterday with thick low clouds?   Awesome!!!  It is never fun to pile on layers under, over or around costumes.Back to this image!  I adore Landon holding Guy’s hand, a little part of Maddie and Blake looking back.  :

They were checking out each others beginning hauls.  Soon the boys buckets were overflowing.

“Dad, I need to tell you someping.”

There are times I wished Landon looked 2.  He TOTALLY got Halloween.  He loved every moment of taking his bucket, saying trick or treat and watching his stash get larger and larger.  He was the only one who had to have a candy while actively trick or treating.  He would get there first, then circle back around the other kids to hit up the person for another offering.  lol  We tried to curtail this, of course, and teach him to only go once, wait his turn and the like.  If we weren’t super hawk eye watching the stinker, he was off to the next station or checking out the music blasting from the middle of the park.  Seeing a 4 year old kid isn’t a worry.  If you see a 1 or 2 year old apparently separated from their parents it is a worry.  Had he gotten farther away from us then he did, people would be unlikely to worry much seeing him not next to a parent.  Scary.

The kids were all excited about the pinwheels.  Of course, we passed one on the ground which I did not pick up after making sure we had our three.  Not 10 minutes later  Maddie has lost her pinwheel.  Why, oh why, did I not listen to the prompting to pick up that stray pinwheel??

This girl is soooo pretty to me.  I adore her.

The fall color is finally taking hold this last day of October.  

Towards the end when the kids steps got heavier, spirits lagged and the cowboy hat was toooo much for Blake’s head, daddy saves the day with head and hands full of kids items.  No, he isn’t mad, he’s just a big intimidating Guy with a strait face.

Guy took off to get his car while we stopped to give everyone an opportunity to veg & do their own thing. 

Madison Loved the teeth.

Blake had a tougher time figuring it out.

And wasn’t super excited to wear them…  She wore hers for 20-30 minutes.  lol

Even though we called Landon a lizard since he didn’t wear the dragon wings.  He called himself a dragon exclusively, because he loved to roar with his hands up in claws.  Too bad no one was paying him attention.  

Mad ran on ahead to the car so she could peal off her itchy dress that had already been half off most of the time.  :-) That’s my girl.  Loves the dresses and hates itchy seams.  Landon followed suit asking for his costume off as soon as his feet were in the car.  The car looked like we had been living in it with so many clothes items, lunch pails, shoes, hoodies, candies, camera bag and more strewn about.  Guy had to help me get it all in the house.

It happened. Excitement galore!!


We got a text from Miss Penny at school that said:

“We are sitting at lunch and the kids are asking all kinds of questions…

Then Maddie is eating her apple then, turns around to me and says to me “is this a tooth?””

The text came along with three pictures showing her with her apple and her tooth.

Madison’s loose tooth has finally come out!!!

That sucker has been loose for months.

I took a few pictures of her that totally show her excitement

This week was homecoming week.  That meant Guy worked from 6:30 am until at least 8pm every day completely missing the kids awake time for a whole week!!  After taking her to visit him for a few minutes and show off her new gappy look we had a little conversation.

She started asking me if fairies were real.  I told her they weren’t real like unicorns weren’t real.  In my mind I’m thinking of Tinkerbell and the kids movie we watched recently.  Then she says, “Is the Tooth Fairy real?”  Ughhh, crap!!   So I just asked her what she thought and she wasn’t sure.  Then I changed the subject without giving her an answer.  lol

She also loved the two coins the tooth fairy brought her.  😉

Homecoming week at Garner High School ends with a parade, some other festivities and the big game.  They won the game!   We went to the parade only since the rest is a bit late for the kids.

the kids had a great time visiting with the others by us and giving hugs.

Blake is a little nervous as he waits for it to begin.  He wants to make sure everything goes just so like he’s planned it in his head.  Notice the hand holding onto Maddie’s skirt?

This morning Guy asked Madison what her favorite part of yesterday’s parade was.  She told him, “Seeing you dad!”  That was just what he needed to hear after a long week ending in not only a 19 hour day yesterday but the death of a lady when her car got stuck on the railroad tracks!

Here he is tossing the kids some candy.

Landon, in his typical two year old way, did not really get the whole ‘picking up the candy fast’ thing.  lol   Those kids came home with a huge bowl full of candy.  Awesome, now we have stuff to pass out for Halloween!  Yes, we will be doing that.  With two more candy filled events we’ll have way more then our family needs.