Category Archives: Raleigh Photographer

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.  :-)

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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!

Landon’s newborn images

Does anyone else’s kids ‘accidentally’ throw away things?  We didn’t notice the kids were getting a little confused when throwing away yogurt cups or excess food on their plates and putting dishes into the sink until we were down to 5 teaspoons from 10!  Ooooops.

Our little Landon just turned 5 months this week.   Enjoy the images my awesome friend Andie from Andie Lane Photography took when Landon was 10 days old with some commentary on how Landon is currently doing…


He continually amazes us with his freak of nature size and physical skills {which I talk about constantly and totally love!}.  I was joking with my mom the other day that he’d better walk by the time he is 9 months old or else people will think ‘why isn’t that 1 1/2 year old walking yet.’  She said, “Nope.  They will be thinking why isn’t that 2 year old not walking yet.”  lol  And how!  My friend, Maren, was watching the kids the other day and told me how she kept wanting to sit him down on the floor but had to stop herself.  It seems like he should be crawling around with his size, but he is a pretty normal baby and is just learning to balance while sitting.


He had a plastic donut looking ring {like the ones that stack from big to small} he was banging on his leg Bam Bam style.  I accidentally got my hand in the way and it really hurt!  Really?  Why doesn’t he have bruises on his legs?


He can sit up great as of today.  He’s even started to be able to turn his head around and look up without falling over.


This kid is definitely a joy.  He almost always wakes up smiling a huge Goofy grin.


Blake and Madison love to help with him and will generally drop everything to get something Landon needs.  It can be as simple as a diaper or as difficult as trying to cheer him up when he’s upset.

He eats a tremendous amount of food already.  The average baby eats about 30 oz of milk in a 24 hour period.  His average is 43 and he’s been as high as 50 oz when going through a growth spurt.  Starting at 4 months he showed all signs of wanting to eat food like we do.


I started him out with little bits once a day for a few weeks and even skipped a day here and there.  Starting this week he has been a bit bunch cranky unless he gets food twice a day.  So far he has had rice cereal, sweet potato, jicama and some apple sweet potato.  Tomorrow he tries carrot for the first time.  The twins didn’t start any solid foods and didn’t show signs of being ready until they were almost 6 months old.


He sleeps well for the most part.  He was sleeping pretty much through the night.  Right now he is on a kick where he wakes up 1-2 times for a bottle between 11-5 am.  Oh well.  The twins didn’t even come close to sleeping through the night until at least 11 months old.


The stinker now fits comfortably in all of his jammies, shirts, shorts and rompers in the 18 month size.  The pants are about 1 inch too long still.  What does this mean?  I have even pulled out a couple 24 month rompers which are only roomy and not too big on him.  At some point I hope he stops growing at such a quick rate.


If Landon stays on his current growth path he’ll be 33 inches and 31 pounds at his 12 month check up.  That is the size of an average 21 month old and a large 18 month old.   Also, if he stays where he is chart wise then the height predictors put him between 6′ 6″ and 6′ 9″ at his final height.  Does this mean he’ll wear a shoe size 15-17 like Guy’s cousin or my uncles?  Those are some expensive shoes to buy…


Holding a big baby is delightful!  He is still all soft and cuddly like his age suggests, but he is a solid warm body that fills my arms up.  He loves to lay his head on my shoulder with me cradling his bum when standing or resting his knees on my lap when sitting.

Everyone in our family now sleeps with ocean sounds.  The kids have all been sharing a room since Landon turned two months.  The sound machine comes across the baby monitor clearly to us as well.  I like it.


The poor little fella definitely has my ears…  lol  Though his that really sticks out is on the right and not the left like mine.


His hair is starting to come in and is a nice medium to light blond color.

 

Landon can now grab things he wants accurately and hang on to them.  He’s starting to help with his bottle too.

 

Blake can almost always get Landon to smile and laugh.  Blake had him gut laughing today with a clucking sound.   He gives him kisses pretty much every single time he passes him.  Since Blake is a busy active fella that is quite often.  He’s pretty gentle most of the time.


Madison goes around the house with a variety of her babies most days playing mom.  She loves to take care of them as she does Landon.  He still isn’t that trusting or tolerant of her which really makes her feel sad.  She will sit on the couch with him watching a cartoon with him cuddled up against her side {sooooo cute}.  The trouble comes in when she starts loving on him repeatedly with squeezes and kisses.  I bet he’ll come around and start loving all the attention in a few months.  By then she’ll probably lose interest too…  :-)


This baby has really grown the love in our family.  He helps us take time to savor the moments and serve each other.  He rewards us with smiles, cuddles, kisses, giggles, funny faces and adorable sounds.  Each of us falls more in love with him and his quirky ways every day.

Thanks, Andie, for helping us to be in images with our Landon Bug!!

Summers a comin to an end


First of all, let me say there is yet another reason I ~LOVE~ Facebook.  On my birthday, 130 people took the time to wish me a happy birthday!  Woah!  That was so fantastic!  Seriously.  It may have only taken between 2 and 45 seconds out of their day, but it sure made mine.  The funny thing is that it still didn’t help my mom remember.  About half way through the day I commented to my sister that she may want to call mom to remind her so she didn’t feel bad when she got to work on Monday and saw it was my birthday on Facebook.



The first year my mom forgot my birthday so did everyone else.  I had a great time with it though.  We planned on going out to lunch with some family and Guy asked me where I wanted to go.  I told him somewhere they would give me a free desert.  He looked at me weird because he knew desert wasn’t my thing.  Then the light bulb went off.  We ended up eating at Native New Yorker since it is one of my favorites.  Yum!  This year we went out to dinner at least 4 times during the week before and week after my birthday.  It was a lot of fun and a great way to use some of the free meal coupons I got.  They came from restaurants I like that have newsletters or clubs to sign up for online.  Mimi’s Cafe was definitely one of my favorite places to eat my free meal at.  The Mediterranean Chicken fettucini was super yummy.



This kid is just as yummy as the food was!!!


We now have further proof that Landon is a beast!  He had his 4 month appointment yesterday.  His head came in at a fairly normal 90%.  Where he really showed off that he is a big boy is in the height and weight categories.  He is 28 inches long and 21 pds 6 oz.  If you are looking at the chart with the series of lines representing the % points he is above the highest curve.  To give you an idea of how far above the curve is would be to take 3-4 of those % lines and go up that much further over the top one in both height and weight.  lol  He is perfectly proportional and it’s about the same as his birth stats are above the curve.




The doc was super impressed with Landon.  She asked if we had any concerns to which I just chuckled.  The kid is great.  He is way ahead of where the twins were at this age in what he can do.  He rolls from front to back.  He almost stays sitting on his own when we sit him up.  He bears weight when we stand him up.  He has fabulous head control and holds himself pushed up.  He grabs things intentionally.  He tracks movement and makes great eye contact.  He gabbers and laughs all the time even talking for up to 20 minutes strait.  Before we left for his appointment yesterday he played peek a boo with Madison.  She put her hat over his face and he took it off.  I’m actually pretty blown away by all that he can do.  It would be cool to think he’s a genius, but I’m sure he’s just a normal kiddo getting a jump start on his development.


Oh, and he can do the Rock one eyebrow lift.  ha ha



My mom and I were having a conversation about Landon the other day.  I joked to her that Landon had better walk when he’s 9  months old or people will look at me and think that 1 1/2 year old should be walking already.  She said back to me, “No they will want to know why that 2 year old isn’t walking yet.”  Ha ha, that was funny.



It looks like Blake is up to something here. Who knows, he may have been.  He loves to get into Landon’s business any opportunity he has.  Most of the time Landon thinks it is great fun to be the recipient of so much attention.



Their first morning of school! 



Blake and Madison had some big changes this last week!  A couple weeks ago we decided at the last minute to put them in preschool.  They are now going to the Country Garden Montessori in Willow Spring, NC.  Monday was their first day.  We were there first so they got to go in and go through the morning arrival routine without anyone else around.  Blake was so excited he couldn’t sit in the story time circle and exclaimed a few times about how there were more kids at school.  The reports have all been good from the teachers and parents who’s kids told them about the other kids in class.  There are 3 other three year olds who started at the same time with them.



He really wanted to know why she wasn’t sharing that bracelet with him.


One report was on how shy Maddie was this week.  She more then makes up for it at home telling us in great detail about what they learned and did.  They both went right in with no hesitation or desire for me to stay with them on Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday was a little different though.  It started when there was no spot for Madison to sit next to Blake in the story time circle.  He came back out to get her, but before they went back in both needed a cuddle from me.  I love how independent they are and how they also want to cuddle for reassurance sometimes.  It feels like a pretty balanced outlook on the world by being a little bit of both.




Sometimes I can get them out enjoying a storm and sometimes they don’t want anything to do with it.  It probably has a lot to do with if there is any thunder at the moment!  :-) Landon just likes to be outside no matter what the conditions are.  We’ll see if he likes the cold in a few months.



We are waiting to see what a punch hurricane Irene throws tomorrow.  She is making her way up to the North Carolina coast.  With its current track Raleigh is just on the edge of the affected area with an estimated 1-2 inches of rain and 50 MPH winds.  We should have a day of rain through tomorrow.  The storm is expected to do a ton of damage from the  NC coast all the way up past Albany NY with the cities right on the coast the most affected.

 


Blake is wearing daddy’s work watch and toting around Mater whom he usually calls Motor.



This image of Maddie cracks me up!  It speaks volumes of her princess fascination, love of her dinosaurs and her habits of picking her nose.




Emily, my summer intern, is off to school.  We’ll miss having her around helping with the photography business.   This was taken her last day with us.  I get to see her again in a couple weeks when she will be back to shoot a wedding with me.



Should a 3 month old fit so well into a huge car seat?



As we say goodbye to summer we will be seeing much less of great times like these images at our friends pool.   The water has given us so many fun memories this summer!  Here Madison is making the water get Alyssa.


All the kids love these water spouts.  Cody was rockin it!


Blake actually went down this slide happily which surprised me!  He has had a fear of dark tunnel slides this summer, but he decided to conquer that fear to have some fun!  Blake is splashing Cody as he finished his slide.



My friend, Melissa, with her baby boy.


The kids both love to take pictures.  They improve all the time.  I so cannot wait to have ones like this in focus!  He got the framing right.  It’s all baby steps.  Darn, I wish this one had come out.


 

Yummy stuff & getting fit

The other day I was over an hour into posting about Guy’s sisters who visited us in May.  Guy plugged his IPad into the computer and I hit the wrong key deleting everything. Edit Undo would not work so I tried to back out of the page before the every couple minute Auto Save feature saved nothing.  Well, with the IPad connecting and opening ITunes I couldn’t get the web page to navigate fast enough deleting everything!  When that has happened in the past the post never gets redone.  So, Michele, Corri and Frank…  If you never see a post about your visit you are still loved.  A lot!

My dad asked me to give him my salsa recipe.  Many people over the years have wanted my salsa recipe.  What an amazing feeling to have people really enjoy and want to replicate something I do.  Back in the day, while on my church mission to Nebraska, my fellow missionaries would give me some of their monthly allotment to cover the cost of ingredients and make them some salsa on our preparation day {day off}.  Over the years I’ve changed it a bit to accommodate my tastes at the time, but it’s still basically the same.  Today is your lucky day if you like salsa And want to take the time to make your own.  Here is my recipe.  I’d be happy to email you a Pages or Word copy of it if you’d like.

Salsa Recipe

This is my salsa recipe.  It’s important to note that the fresh ingredients vary in both size and strength of flavor {especially spicy peppers} which means each time you make salsa it will be a little different.  If you are the type of cook that can ‘cook on the fly’ or in other words not have to follow a recipe precisely this is the recipe for you.  For me the texture of the salsa is just as important as the ingredients.  I recommend a salsa maker {manual food processor} or hand chopping main ingredients over a food processor or blender.  A glass bowl is preferred as plastic will forever smell of salsa and metal changes the salsa due to the acids making it gross.  I use the Pampered Chef classic batter bowl, because it is convenient to mix and store as it has a lid.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Shannon    shannon@lifelongimpressions.com

Yeild:  2 Quarts

 

Ingredients:

10 Roma tomatoes – really ripe ones are best

1/2 bunch Green onions – I like to use the thin ones more then the thick ones

1 can Green chilis – get diced & roasted, if fresh roasted use one pepper diced

1-2 Jalapeno peppers

1-3 Serrano peppers

1/3 cup Fresh cilantro

2 cans Petit diced tomatoes

1 Fresh lemon

1 Fresh lime

1 tsp Garlic salt

 

 

Heat Tips:

Serrano’s are not available all the time so use 1 1/2 jalapenos for 1 serrano.  Both small and large jalapeno peppers tend to give the exact same heat so size doesn’t matter.  In the winter is when peppers are generally the most mild.

Mild – 1 jalapeno

Medium – 1 jalapeno & 1 serrano

Yummy spicy! – 2 jalapenos & 2 serranos

Instructions:

Add the green chilis, cans of tomatoes and squeeze both the lemon and lime juice into the bowl.  Rinse the remaining fresh ingredients well.  Next chop the green onions finely using mostly the green stems with only a little of the white bulb used.  {Note: Do not try putting the green onions into the processor.}  Add the garlic salt and give everything a stir so the flavors start to combine.  In the salsa maker I chop the remaining ingredients in two batches.  Quarter half the tomatoes lengthwise, slice 1/2 the peppers in approximately 1/4 inch increments and 1/2 the cilantro.  Place into the salsa maker and process until the pieces are small but not pureed.  Combine the processed ingredients in your bowl and stir.  Repeat with the remaining half of fresh ingredients.

 

Enjoy right away or refrigerate.  The salsa is best the first two days.  To freshen your salsa on days 3-4 add one finely chopped pepper of your choice.  It will probably still be edible on days 5-6, but it isn’t my personal preference.

 

Variations:

Cumin powder – A little goes a long way so a tiny pinch to add a more robust earthy flavor

White or red onion – 1/2 is all I’d use and can be done in the processor

Fresh garlic  & salt – Can be used in place of the garlic salt and gives a stronger garlic flavor

 


The other day we were talking with the kids about some things we like to do.  The topic of the beach came up so Guy mentioned we would be going to the beach on our upcoming cruise.   Madison said, “Yeah, and we will go to a beach with dolphins who I will kiss.”  lol  Nope, we have Never talked about going to see dolphins in person.  Not sure where that came from.  I’m also pretty sure that is a very expensive activity to do, and unless I get a LOT of really great clients between now and Halloween it will not happen for her.  Blake also thought it would be a great thing to do.  He wants to pet them and let them kiss him.

I really want to lose 20 pounds.  If anyone would like to join me on this quest I will be forming a group on MyFitnessPall.com.  It’s a great program to track your food and exercise.  It works together to let you know how many calories you need to keep within to lose your goal weight.  I was trying to lose 1 pound a week, but now I’m going for 2 until the end of August.  Go join and either request to be my friend or let me know your screen name to find you.  http://www.myfitnesspal.com/  My screen name is: PicsGirl


Just like I think Madison’s bikini undies are adorable so are Blake’s boxer briefs.  A week or so ago I had the thought of photographing him in just his undies.  Well, one day I was taking some images of my summer intern, Emily, and had put her in Guy’s tie.  The tie didn’t give me exactly what I was envisioning, but then I saw it the next day and thought of those adorable undies again.  The next few images are the result.  At first Blake wasn’t on board, but we got to giggling after a couple minutes.  I love them all, even the sad ones!  I’ll be touching up the background if I do anything else with them.






Madison popped my hat on for a couple images.   She’s just so pretty.  I love how her sweet personality shines through in images.


The other day Maddie was rummaging around my props to deck herself out.  When she put these baby legs on her arms she said they made her into a dancer.  The hat was on for a few minutes, but the arm warmers were on for a few hours.  She loved them.  We might have to get some more so she’ll have her own fashion items this winter.


Will the Real Happy Baby Please Step Forward.. Please Step Forward.. Please Step Forward..


I can get images like this All day long.


He is such a happy easy baby.


He brings us all joy.


And maybe a little ‘Poo Poo Platter’!  This oriental baby image cracks us all up and totally is my new favorite image of him.  How can you not smile when you see this face?!?!


Still funny!


Blake asked for a few images with Landon.


And then wouldn’t look at the camera…  lol  Isn’t it supposed to be the 2 month old that isn’t looking at the camera?


Well, it isn’t possible to get everything, but I really don’t care.  They are super cute when they look at the camera and when they don’t.


More of happy baby!

 

We just decided to shave Blake’s head.  I’m off….  Stay tuned to see how it comes out.