Sunday, November 8, 2015

Autumn Pictures at Garden of the Gods

I'm not a professional photographer. Not even close. However, I do enjoy taking photographs, and I happen to have a nice camera. It gets me by while I wait for a chance to go home and see our professional photographer for family pictures, and sometimes it allows me the chance to take some family pictures for friends. I have a lot of fun doing it, and yesterday was no exception, especially considering that I got to take pictures of some of the most photogenic kids ever. (Excepting my own three, of course. ;) )

This family has been friends of ours since we moved here to Colorado. I was sort of terrified a little nervous when they asked me to take some family pictures of them. I know from shooting my own littles how unpredictable children can be. When it's my family I can pack it up on a bad day and try again tomorrow, but that doesn't work when it's someone else's family, and I would hate to completely butcher someone's family pictures. But I enjoy taking photos, and I thought they would probably understand if everything went pear shaped on us. Besides, what is life without a little adventure, right? 

We were blessed with such amazing weather, especially for November. We're also blessed to have the whole of Colorado to shoot in, and while I am an Ohio girl at heart, I can't state enough how breathtakingly beautiful this state is! We decided to meet at Garden of the Gods, which is always pretty, but it seemed exceptionally so yesterday. Everything went better than I could have hoped, and the problem ended up being how to choose which pictures were the best of the best. I'll try to only share my absolute favorites here, but it could still end up being a pretty long post. :)

Did I mention that these children are gorgeous! Not only that, but they are naturals. I didn't have to direct them in how to pose at all. I told them where to be and they did the rest. Love it when things come together like this!

We were lucky enough to meet this little girl right after she was born, and she was present when Eleanor arrived too. It took a bit for her to warm up to me, even though she knows me. I remembered what my amazing friend and photographer, Katie, told me once though. If you want to photograph kids you have to be willing to make a fool of yourself. Once I started acting like a goofball I managed to get more smiles out of her. Having her bog brother and sister behind me acting silly helped too.

Oh my word, so I told you these kids were amazing, right? All I had to say was "Come sit here." The rest of this is all him. And I love it! They made this too easy for me. I'm not sure what I was worried about at all. 

Yes, yes, I've said they have beautiful children. Now, how about the beautiful parents!

You kinda just want to smack them they're so cute, right?

This last one that I'm about to post was probably my favorite. It made it in the top 3 at least. We were all cold and ready to go when Lily said "Let's all try to fit on this rock!" I thought that, surely, it was going to end up being an odd throwaway picture. Always try for those odd pictures, folks, because they might surprise you. 

I said I was only going to post my 10 favorites. I guess bumping it up to 15 isn't bad. I can't wait to take pictures of these guys again. It was truly a joy. 


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Amazing Katie!

I love being home for a multitude of reasons. Not in the least being that it is a chance to have our family pictures done! I love getting the pictures, but I also love having a chance to catch up with my dear friend, Katie, who I have known since high school, and who takes such amazing pictures that I have never been tempted to go to another photographer. (Despite the 1,200 mile drive to see her.)

Anyways, we had our pictures taken, and she got them back to us in record time. (Again, because she is awesome! If you need pictures done go to Katie! Katie Counts Photography! Make a note of it! You can find her on Facebook or at her web site!) Even with E being a bit of a bear, Katie was nothing but patient and wonderful! Its taking everything in me not to just share all of them, but I'll try to control myself and just share a few.

I love them, Katie. As always, you are amazing!


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Resolutions: 2015 Edition

It's that time of year again. Time for resolutions. Time for challenges. Time for change. Looking back on last year's resolutions, I didn't do as well as I would have liked. Some resolutions I didn't get done for a very good reason (For example, running a 5K in 2014 didn't happen because I was pregnant with Lady E. I know some people run while pregnant, but I seem to turn extra clumsy when I'm with child, and I never feel like running is a safe option for me.) Other resolutions I just failed at because of forgetfulness, bad time management, laziness...Whatever the reason, they didn't all get done.

I hope to do better this year. Some of my resolutions are new ones, and some of them are familiar resolution, but they are all important to me.

  • Back up my pictures every two weeks. 
    • Something from last year's list. It didn't get done as often as I would like, but I did back things up more often. I need to back them up more. I am still haunted by the hard drive tucked away safely in my desk that contains the first 6 months of Sebastian's life. I don't want to go through regret like that again. 
  • Speaking of, now that we are in Colorado Springs, I need to look into options for retrieving those pictures. There were no local options in Idaho, (and the thought of sending the hard drive 4 states away made me panic) but there might be some here. It's more than worth the shot!
  • Blog/Write more.
    • This was on the list last year too. I did end up logging a bit more last year, but I need to write more in general. I enjoy writing. I've loved it since I was a kid. It might not be great or poetic, but it's something I enjoy. I need to do more of it. I plan on blogging twice a week, at least, and writing just for fun whenever I have the time. (I might have to negotiate times with Michael.)
  • Photograph more.
    • I've let myself get too caught up in other people possibly judging my pictures. I'm no professional, and I don't know if I ever will be, but my pictures also aren't shit. I don't care if other people like them. I do. They are my memories. Moments in time I can freeze and look back on one day when my littles aren't little anymore. I'm taking more and posting more and the heck with people who want to belittle and critique. (I'm 100% for positive critiques, just for the record, but I'm not listening to the bitchy/catty BS anymore.)
  • Read more.
    • I love reading, but it's taken a back seat in recent years. Let me be more specific: I still read a lot, but novels have taken a back seat to picture books. I love reading picture books, Michael has always joked that he knows he can find me in the children's section of a book store, but I miss reading just for me too. To help inspire me to read more for me I've decided to do a reading challenge in 2015. I've signed up for Goodreads and everything to keep track of what I've read, and there is a Facebook group for those of us participating. I think I'm going to start with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Just because I haven't read them in awhile. I'm excited.
  • 2015 Memory Jar
    • This was another I meant to do last year, but it just got lost in the shuffle of a move, a baby, and life. I wish I'd done it though, because 2014 had some amazing moments, and I'm hoping to make more amazing moments in 2015. The idea is to fill a mason jar (or some other container) with memories. Every time something sweet, happy, wonderful, etc. happens you just jot it down on a piece of paper and toss it in the jar. On the last day of the year you sit down and read all the precious memories for that year. I hope to make a tradition of it.
  • Colorado Bucket List
    • I need to make one. There are things in Idaho we never did that I regret. I don't want that here. Along those lines...
  • I'm going to climb The Incline this year.
    • The Incline is a huge tourist draw in Manitou Springs. (I can't for the life of me imagine why!) It's 2,741 steps set into the side of a mountain, a one-mile ascent that brings you up in elevation by about 2,000 feet. The average grade is 43%, though it hits 68% according to I, who am terrified of heights in every sense of the word, have decided that I want to do The Incline. Part of it is a fitness goal, but part of it is also a challenge to myself to overcome some of my fears. Chances are I will completely freak out half way up and have to be saved by whoever it is that comes and saves stupid, plump women who decide that they want to try to climb up 2,741 steps in Colorado...But I want to try.
  • I'm also going to run a 5K this year.
    • Boom! Take that, fitness!
  • "Unplugged" days once a month. 
    • This is one from last year, and I'm going to do it this year too. I didn't end up hitting every month, but I had "unplugged" days more than I thought I might in 2014. I plan to continue the trend in 2015. Maybe I'll get adventurous and try for twice a month!
  • Drink more water.
    • I started drinking a ton of water when I was pregnant with Lady E, because it was the only thing that tasted good most days. I've kept my intake up since she arrived, and I plan to keep up the trend in 2015.
  • Family game/movie nights at least once a month. 
    • Another resolution from 2014, and one I managed to keep. I want to keep it going this year too.
  • Be a calmer, happier me.
    • This includes not stressing so much about the small stuff. Realizing that a lot of it is much smaller than I make it. Enjoying and embracing every day...Even the not-so-fun days. Becoming a calmer mommy. They will mirror what I model, so I need to model what I want to see in them.
  • Laugh more.
    • I am a serious person. That's just my personality, but I used to laugh a lot more than I do now. I need to laugh more. I need to cut lose every once in awhile and realize that things just don't have to be that serious all the time. It's okay to laugh at and be really silly/stupid sometimes. I need to embrace that. 
  • Send pictures to my family at least three days a week.
    • In addition to sending pictures by email, I want to burn disks every month to send to Grandmama and Grandpapa. Then they will have all the pictures I have, and they will have them in high resolution. (And it will count as yet one more way to back up my pictures.)
  • Have a baby.
    • I kid! I kid! Having a baby was my last, and most hoped for "resolution" last year. We'd been trying for ever so long, and I so wanted another little to add to our family. I could practically feel our third little in my arms. Shortly after the start of the year we found out that I was finally, wonderfully pregnant! Right after finding out we had a very scary day of spotting where I thought I might lose my precious little Bean. But she held on, and she's here, and she's perfect and amazing and everything I ever could have imagined. (and so much more!) Having another little might be in our future, someday, but not in 2015. :) (My mother and Grandmother probably passed out right after reading "Have a baby." Either that, or I am probably taking several anxious phone calls right now.)

At the beginning of last year I remember thinking that 2014 was going to be an amazing year for us. And it was. We went through so many things last year, and experienced both extreme highs and impossible lows, but we got through it. 2014 was an amazing year, and I think that 2015 will have a hard time topping it. We're going to try to make it amazing though! I have high hopes...