Category Archives: Daily Life

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 as we have spent so much time choosing the right one among custom home designs, as well as 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.  :-)





















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.

Fab time | End of summer vacation

We just got back from a 10 day vacation to Disneyworld followed by a Carnival cruise out of Charleston!  I took a conservative 1300 images…  lol  Wonder when I’ll get to looking at them all?  There was a ton of great food on the cruise.  I tried several different things that were fantastic.

My 40th birthday also just passed.  It was great and without much fanfare which is totally my preference.  However, I’m hoping to have a big party bash for my birthday, house warming and new studio space once we get settled into our new house.  Guy just looks and me with amusement every time I mention it.  :-)

Here’s a cute image of Landon just after my birthday dinner!

My kids and camera fun

My kids love to take pictures.  Love it.  Not be in front of the camera necessarily but behind it pushing the buttons.  They use their point and shoot camera {about an $80 camera), the iPad cameras, our phone cameras and very very occasionally my cameras.  The last few weeks they have been all about taking pictures, doing setups and having a great time with it all.

Do I feel comfortable handing over my $2300 camera to five year olds?  Not exactly.  I’m a bit of a nervous nelly.    

This image makes me laugh.  The kids also Adore playing family!  Just today I peeked into the playroom to see how they were.  Madison announced they were playing barbies and then pointed to a random assortment of small animals and people figures saying they were the kids.  Blake piped in saying all of their parents were dead.  Maddie says the barbies are their new parents.  My kids like to be adoptive parents to a motley crew.  :-) But I digress.  In the image below we had just all gotten up from the ‘bed’ on the floor behind me {notice the messy hair}.

It all started that day with them asking me to take some pictures of them playing family which turned into a giggle and face making fest!

Landon joined in for a minute, but decided he was in NEEED of some milk stat.  Boy was he not thrilled when it was not time for him to have some.  Thankfully, we got this one cute one of the three of them before…

This face came to stay for a while!

Mad and Blake asked me to join then so we got this.

Maddie took a turn with the camera {check out Landon Dying in the background}

Then it was Blake’s turn.  

Maybe they are ready for me to begin actually teaching them to use my cameras.  Maybe.  Ughhh.  Maybe.