Monthly Archives: November 2011

Yay friends!

 

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I love having photographer friends!  For so many years after graduating high school and finishing work at a photography studio I had NO friends who were photographers.  Oh sad.  I didn’t think so at the time, but now that I have a great network of friends who are photographers it has changed me.  Lately I’ve met up with my two friends who co-own a local photographers group with me.  One had the idea to photograph a boy in suspenders and other fun clothes so she wanted to borrow Blake.  We met at a local lake and I even managed to get a few shots of all three kids with her help as well as some very cool images of Landon and a few of the not so picture happy Madison.  My other friend and I met up at her house for some learning, a prop trade and she used the kids on a backdrop she needed some shots on.  It was so fun to watch the kids be so excited to be the center of attention for the other photographers.

 

Here’s Blake in one of the outfits Andie had him in.  The lake was open, but not the bathroom so he peed just off the path next to a tree. Boy did he think that was cool.  ha ha

 

Landon got to be the first kiddo to try out my new photo prop.  It is my grandmothers old sewing case that held family photos after it quit the sewing business.

 

Landon loves to be outdoors and exploring.  Since learning to crawl he is even happier and has started to thin down a little.  In this shot you can see the two fingers stuck together on his left hand.  We haven’t taken anymore steps to finding a doctor to separate his fingers.

 

Blake was all about what Andie told him to do and all silly pants with me.

 

Madison was against being in any images completely, but she finally consented to be in some for me.

 

A little bribery with the lips on a stick went a long way to getting those few shots of her.  I love it!


Andie was dancing around like crazy getting my hooligans to smile.  YAY, thanks Andie!!


I love every detail of the kids in this image.

This pose is kind of fun and cute except for the unruly hair.  

This one completely cracks me up!  Its like Landon is completely bored with the twins uncooperative behavior.  Three is definitely a tough age to parent.

Today is Thanksgiving.  It has been a great day.  I spent the morning with a friend doing a family session for her.  Her family is so sweet and it was fun to get to know her kids and husband.  The kids helped me prepare some snacks to take over to our friends house for Thanksgiving dinner.  Landon even blessed us with a nice long nap before we left.  About 2 miles into our drive we had to go back home.  Uhm yeah, we forgot we were going to drive separately.  lol  Guy was planning to come home early for a nap before work tonight.  He volunteered to work off duty at the WalMart.  We spent a lovely afternoon with great company at our friends, the Rentz’s, house.  Guy got a 2-3 hour nap before work tonight.  The kids and I spend a great evening together cuddling on the couch watching movies while Guy napped.

 

Love to see the kids doing their thing and playing around.
At one point tonight as we watched the movie Surf’s Up all three kids were in my lap.  It won’t be much longer all three of them will fit on my lap together.  That will be sad.

Nanny and Poppy stayed with us last week.  We all miss them a lot already!  I have some images to share of them for the next blog post.  Landon turned 7 months last weekend too.  He now officially wears 24 month tops and jammies and 18 month pants.  While they were here Landon learned to crawl and pull himself up standing!  He’s also now walking across furniture but not regularly yet.  He’s so cute following me from room to room around the house.  This boy luuuuuves his mama!

Thanks for stopping

Personally, I’ve always found build a bear a bit of a rip off.   Yes, I am the same person who will pay crazy money to go to an amusement park for the day where you get nothing…  We saw that they have build a bear time on the cruise and asked my mom if that was something she was interested in doing with the kids.  She said she was so we planned on it.  Wouldn’t you know we found a fantastic deal!   Here’s Blake proudly cuddling his prize.

 

When we arrived there was a table full of stuffed animals on display with a price on each that does not include the outfit.  Most of them were $20 plus $6-$10 for an outfit.  In her introduction one of the staff mentioned that Fun Ship Freddie was only $10 and came with an outfit {that must be cost and is probably written off as advertising}.  AWESOME!  As the kids were looking at everything they both came to the decision they would like Fun Ship Freddie since they had several great encounters with him so far on the cruise.  AWESOME!!  Then I hear the family behind us asking if they had any $10 lions left?  Really?!?!?  She mentioned there were two and only one of the three kids in the group wanted one.  YAY   We got one for Landon too and my mom saved money!!   The lion is great too and came with a Carnival t-shirt.

 

At dinner I missed some action and came into the fun at the end {bathroom trip maybe?}.  Anyway, as they are all giggling they tell me Landon has learned to make a fish face?  What?  At 6 months old, not likely.  Well, he has and it is adorably funny.  Here ya go!

 

He is showing signs of being as expressive as Blake is.  Love it.

 

Smarty pants, Amber, introduced the quite game one night at dinner.  Who knew our super talker would be absolutely fantastic at remaining silent to win a game.  He is also so funny as he tries to get you to smile and refuses to be led astray from the game by our antics.  This image is of him giving Amber the stare down that included some funny faces.

 

Aunt Maddie

 

Amber

 

Mom {grandma} cuddling big baby as he sleeps.  We all miss her so much already!   We’re looking forward to when she retires and can spend some more time with us.  Landon looks so big here {my mom is 5’8″}.  He did great overall other then ending up sleeping between Guy and I each night.

 

We know from our last cruise that medical emergencies happen {Blake got staples in his chin}.  This cruise didn’t have any for us, but we had some major ones that required rescue and diversion.  Through the gossip mill we heard both were stroke/cardiac related.  On our last sea day we ended up diverting to Nassau.  While I am soooo sad and hope all is well for the family involved it was a neat experience to come into a port at the time we did.  We watched the ship come in until we had to head into dinner.  The middle ship pictured here is the newest Disney one with the cool waterslide ride.  It looked awesome.

 

This is a shot of the famous Sandals resort on Nassau with the amazing all inclusive amenities.  I would love to go there and stay sometime.  All we saw when we were there was the casino.  Rides and fun time will always beat out the not so sweet allure of a casino to me.  They hold no appeal.

 

Love this lighthouse.  It was so weird to be so far above it which made it look tinnie winnie.   Lighthouses are just cool anyway!

 

Well, I have about 800 more images and tons more stories from our cruise.  Knowing me though, this will be my last post on our cruise fun.  Today Guy’s parents come to visit for a week.  We are really excited!  This will be their first real live look at Landon.

More cruise fun

 

Weeds are always interesting to me.  Love the texture in these!  This shot is when our driver had to stop and top off the bus with gas so I hoofed it back to a few cool buildings I saw a few blocks back.  :-) My favorite thing is to walk and explore places we visit.  There are always so many interesting things to see when you actually get out and experience a location and culture.  Hopefully our kids love the same things as they get older.  I can’t wait to explore places with them!

 

We really had the perfect van as we traveled around St. Maarten.  It fit my moms scooter and stroller without dismantling the scooter or folding up the stroller.  We also had a great variety of seats with three rows of one and four rows of two seats separated by an aisle.  Madison found the little ‘jump seat’ like airline flight attendants use just behind the front seats.  As you can see here she loved cuddling with her dads arm and holding court as we drove around the island.

 

Have you ever seen the videos or images of airplanes landing right over a beach and road?  We went there!!!  Oh yeah!  For aviation buffs like us it was a treat.   With the mountains not far from the end of the runway jets have to really get the jets going before they take off.  This can lift a man right off their feet especially with a large aircraft who is right at the end of the runway.  Apparently a week before we were there a teen was trying to hang onto the fence and was thrown into the rocks.  Yikes!

 

See how close that is..  Awesome!!

 

We did miss getting right under the only big jet that landed while we were there as we booked it with two kids and my camera to make it over there in time.  I also only had my 85 mm and 20 mm lenses with us.  This means I either had a short view or a super duper wide view.  There wasn’t enough time to run over and switch lenses to the wide one when the jet landed.  Oh well.  It really was quite awesomely close to us as it came in.

 

That’s Guy holding the twins and the wheels of the jet as it passed over us.

 

We had lunch at the bar just off to the side.

 

Don’t you just want to be out sailing on that boat instead of doing what you are doing today?

 

The other image of all of us.  There is Amber, Aunt Maddie, my mom Kris holding Maddie, Guy holding Blake, me and Landon in the stroller.  Our ship, the Carnival Dream, is hanging out in the background.  I loved vacationing with family and hope to do it again.  Family rocks!!

 

This is definitely one of the larger cruise ships out there.  While it wasn’t my favorite ship or cruise line, it was definitely worth the money and a great vacation!!

 

My cute girl hanging onto her kitty with its own little travel bag.  She is such a diva yet a little clumsy as you can see from her leg bruises.

Cruise tidbits

If you have never been on a cruise this next part is an inside look for you.  Each cruise line has a lot of planned activities to tease you out of your shell or let you make a complete fool of yourself!  We had a great time putting ourselves out there in the hopes of winning the ‘coveted’ prizes.  Little fake gold ships or metals on a ribbon.   All in all I think we cleaned up with three ships and a medal!  Here is my Aunt Maddie showing off one we one doing a scavenger hunt!  I earned one with my dancing efforts at the kids kick off family dance party.  It was Landon who earned me the prize as the judge was impressed that I held him and danced the whole time.  The other ship and medal, umm, can’t remember who or how we won those.


Camp Carnival had face painting just before the halloween festivities took place.  Lucky us!  
Blake was able to compliment his spider man costume with some cool face paint.  Madison got some very princess looking adornments.   Guy just may have been way more excited about the spiderman face then Blake was.


Landon wasn’t exactly sure what to think about Blake.


Landon chilled on the table, ate and napped the entire time we visited Megan’s Bay in Nassau.  My mom spent most of the time with him then my aunt spent some with him while my mom got in the water.  Awesome!   Love this look he is giving me.


Megan’s Bay definitely deserves its top ten status of the best beach in the world.  There was just the perfect little ripple of waves, soft white sand, rocky around the edges with lots of wildlife to explore and the temperature was perfect.  The lifeguard was also entertaining with his knowledge of wildlife when Amber and I chatted with him.


My mom rarely gets an opportunity like this.  She is not supposed to be in the sun longer then it takes to get from a car to a building back to a car again.  She took a few minutes to get in and enjoy the water like she did in the old days which Madison especially loved.


Amber and I walked out  along the rocky edges for quite a long way.  The sand waist to chest high up to the rocks as far as we went out and probably much further.  The birds let us get so close before they flew which was really cool.  There were some huge ones!


A dead crab came really close to Amber so she held it up for a picture.


Another cool bird.


A little colorful image to remember Megan’s Bay.


We wanted to go our on the boats, but it just didn’t work out for anyone.  Instead a colorful image!


Maddie wanted this ugly little cat in one of the shops.  To distract her I had her come into the next shop to look around with me.  She loved looking at all the pretty colorful dresses.  When she saw a white one she told me it could be my wedding dress.  I told her I was already married to her daddy.  Hmmmm she says and seemed satisfied.  As I went outside she stops and hold the hand of this ‘lady’.


The ‘lady was a mannequin which made me giggle.  She thought my reaction was fantastic and kept playing it up.  Just after that Guy comes over to tell me Blake saw a cabinet of locked sunglasses.  He found a key in the drawer and tries to unlock it.  Crazy 3 year old!  lol


We went to the pool to swim, but the end of the movie ‘Mars Needs Moms’ was on.  It captivated Blake and Maddie snuggled up to grandma as she watched the movie.  It’s amazing how much she loves her grandma.  She always gets excited anytime she talks about her, talks with her or gets to see her.


Amber and Aunt Maddie chillin by the pool.


This was the absolutely beautiful view we had as we came into St. Thomas.  The far off rain around the islands was so cool.

A trip peek

We just returned from a eastern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Dream.  Great trip!  Our kids were both fabulous and little stinkers…  :-) We were fabulous and big stinkers too.  :-)


Our trip was supposed to include two stops in Mexico and stops in Belize and Honduras.  Good old hurricane Rina fixed that for us prompting the cruise line to take us to Nassau Bahamas, St. Thomas US Virgin Islands, and St. Marten Dutch Virgin Islands.  We loved our stops though we still really want to go to Belize and Honduras especially for the cave tubing and zip lining.  Maybe sometime in the future we’ll make it there. {Seeing the Disney ships while on our cruise definitely made us very motivated to consider saving up for a Disney cruise.  Everyone we’ve talked to who has been on one loved it!}

Pictured here – Landon in the stroller, me holding Blake, Amber, Madison below her, Aunt Maddie and my mom, Kris.

There were eight of us on this trip.  Guy and I with our three little monkeys, my mom, my aunt Madelynn {also a Maddie!} and my cousin Amber {Aunt Maddie’s middle kid}.  The ladies all flew from Phoenix, AZ to meet us in Florida. Everyone but me lost 20-30 pounds before the trip too!  Yay!!  I lost about 15 and have 10 more to go to reach my goal weight {and clothes}.

The Dream was a huge ship and we loved our cabin with it’s private balcony.  In all of our past cruises we had an interior room so it was really cool to experience light with the option to feel the elements.  I loved being able to capture our arrivals into port without having to leave the room.  It most likely wouldn’t have happened with the hustle and bustle of getting the 5 of us up and ready to head to breakfast each morning.

Pictured here – My mom, Madison and I on her balcony that adjoined ours.  We also left the connecting door between our rooms open all the time.

The view from our balcony as we pulled into Nassau Bahamas Sunday morning.  It was a gorgeous day in Nassau.  We had perfect weather at all of our stops.

At this stop we picked up some adorable hats from Blake and Madison.  The lady who wrote Blake’s name on this hat sewed it on in about 3 minutes flat.  It was really cool to watch. 


This is one of two shots that included all of us together.  We had a lady snap this one of us as we headed back to the ship from our day out on Nassau.