Friday, October 29, 2010

Let's get real

I just put all 4 kids in bed. 

Isaac didn't get lunch
 (although he did eat oatmeal late, lots of grapes, I know he snuck some candy b/c of his chocolate chin, and I made him an egg salad sandwich at like 10:30 b/c I told him not 'til lunch on the special rolls - but then to not give in, I made him a half of one on the regular bread.) 

          He didn't get the "lunch" (egg salad on the yummy rolls) b/c he didn't finish his smoothie. 

                    And he didn't finish his smoothie (with pumpkin bits in it) b/c he spilled it ALL over my dining room floor.  (like how I call things mine when I'm upset). 

                              And he spilled it b/c he moved out of his one spot on the floor where I told him to stand. 

                                     And I told him to not move from that spot b/c he spit out a sip of smoothie b/c he didn't like the pomegranate seed that slipped into his mouth through the straw - so instead of taking him right to the bath - I made him stay put, standing on his smoothified shorts I made him take off just then. 

So yea, I wasn't happy about that entire smoothie on MY dining room floor.  I made him clean it all up (I helped).  Then instead of everybody getting to play "pumpkin pumpkin ghost" (like duck duck goose), I made them all go potty and to bed - while Isaac had a bath.  I felt defeated.  I had made a list to do list w/ the kids, felt ambitious, but it wasn't working! 

I was having a "Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." 

I wanted to go blog that to get it off of my chest b/c the days when I'm home with the kids, I want to do fun active things, learning things, outside things, and crafty/creative things with them while spilling my love into their hearts.  But I also want to organize my piles of papers and clean the bathrooms and go for a run.  I get so frustrated when all I do is check emails and clean up toys and smoothies and pee!  I know I'm not prioritizing my time like I should. 

Speaking of which, remember that lesson in YW (Mormon lingo for the young women youth group at church) that I gave last Sunday on "Time - the wise man's treasure." Remember the hand outs? (The left overs were on Isaac's chin this morning.) I had a couple of object lessons b/c I'm a visual/hands on/random kind of girl. One was about putting the big Halloween balls into the jar first so that all of the marbles and rice can fit in too. Or else, if I fill my jar/day with little rice/emails, then I can't fit all of the big Halloween balls/priorities into my jar/day!

So, instead of just giving up on the day and taking a nap, I decided to vent blog, and I clicked on a blog my friend Marcie told me about.  She is an amazing person.  First she talked about YW in Excellence (which I'm planning for this Wednesday for our girls), then about her dad, then about carving pumpkins and her kids etc, and then about this:
Go read her post here
I liked it. 
She talked about my object lesson:
"I love the analogy of life being like a pickle jar. If you fill it up with big rocks first, you can fit in smaller rocks and sand without much problem. But if you try to fit those big rocks in after the sand and gravel you'll find they just won't fit. The big rocks have to go first.
In life we can choose what those big rocks are. If we let them be the fluff then the important stuff will never fit. But if the big rocks we choose to always put first are our families and our faith, other things will fit in as we allow them."
She also linked to this "Good, Better, Best" talk that I also used in my lesson about how there are plenty of good things to do out there, but we should only say yes to the better and best ones.  (My interpretation.) 
She's an amazing mother with a beautiful family.  She's a good example.  Now I'll snap out of it and will slam dunk a big Halloween ball:) 
We did have fun carving pumpkins:)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I have the cutest baby boys in the whole wide world

Today, my job was to watch these boys laugh. 
 and laugh
 and crack up
 and be happy

and be so silly
 because Isaac is one silly little boy
You had to be there.
He's watching his little brother play basketball, while wearing a hair thingy on his wrist, wearing Isaac's pants, resting on his baby blankie on the freshly cleaned kitchen floor (because Isaac had an accident.) 

AND I think I'll do duplicate posts on my ffp blog and on here from time to time.  It's a lot to manage - this, ffp portfolio (once/year - it needs a total overhaul), ffp blog, facebook pages, facebook profile, facebook group. But in the end, this is the one i'll print when i'm rich - or if you're rich - my blog books are all I want for Christmas:))  I used to always ask for a boat - knowing it would never happen.  Now I'm asking for blog books.  Same thing. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

quick pic (aka procrastination irony)

The church Young Women lesson tomorrow is on wise use of leisure time.
The teacher always learns more than the student,
 so of course I'm the one teaching the group tomorrow:) 

I have some fun object lessons - I have been married long enough that I can stand in one place in my kitchen and can do a 360 degree turn and find somethings for an object lesson.  I'm not sure if that's good or if that's sad.  But it's my style and I'm going with it:) 
I did have Steven go buy the chocolate nuggets while I was at the youth dance tonight - I didn't have that handy. 
I know that presentation can make or break part of the lesson, but I like to keep things simple.  I'll borrow the treasure box from the Primary room for this:) 

Hey, at least I'm not cutting out "keys to prevent procrastination" in Sunday School this time! 

Oh, and no pics of my boys today b/c I didn't really get to see them.  They had fun with Steven at a farm though!  He took them to feed goats, wear a snake, see an escaped 6 foot iguana, ride a pony, and ride a tractor behind "a real farmer" according to Isaac.  I had taken both cameras with me. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"Quick - take a Pic!"

My cousin Julie thought of this play on Diego's "Click" for Lacey's daily photo challenge and I like it for today.  I let the boys make their own PB&Js, only I had them use honey instead of J.  Then when I made green smoothies, Isaac claimed not to like his.  So I let him add honey to it.  He still didn't drink it - but I did:)  I think he was full from his sandwich mess
See Keshia - I told you I had a similar picture but not as beautiful and much messier!

Then we washed the car.

I'm having a difficult time figuring out which blog to post from, this or my fishy face photography one.  Some days I'll do both.  I kind of feel like I'm nesting or something.  I have photo sessions coming up and am nervous about falling behind with family things, so I've been busy balancing home, business, work, correspondence/friends, (dental hygiene month stuff), and church.  I'd like to have a reason to go running, but other than that I'm feeling pretty good:)  I'm so happy to have our own family photos taken (4 separate occasions and 3 cities) and now I just have to design that Christmas card and my office Christmas card.  I'm hoping to not be rushed this year and I'm excited!  Now I just need to do some more sessions to justify the cost of printing the hundreds of cards I want to send out! 

{after} story time at the library

My friend invited us to story time at the library. 
We haven't been since Isaac was a newborn.  
Anyway, no pics of story time, but my friend suggested that we go to a park right there.  And there was a skate park there!  AND it just so happens that I had 2 mini skate boards in my car from Tristan's photos shoot from last Monday.  So while the pretty girly girl went to the swings, my boys ran up the ramps!  It's fun being a mom to boys.  We went to the swings after, of course - where Dylan could climb to the tippy top!

 He was facing the other way, but the story board didn't work that way, so I flipped it. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Photo A Day - spooning

I took this first one the day before Lacey started her PAD thingy on her blog
I was so surprised and had to go climb back down the stairs, push my camera to its limits while tripoding it against their dresser. 
Lacey actually got Dylan and Isaac the matching PJs.  They're a little small for the boys, but they don't care, and neither do I. 
I couldn't upload pics that night. 
That's ok, b/c Isaac climbed down and fell asleep with Dylan again the next night.
And the next, but I was too lazy to creep in with my camera the third night. 
This is from tonight. 
Lacey told me that she bought Abbey a big bed for when Madison is ready to move out of her crib.  She thinks it'll be sweet for her girls to share a bed.  Isaac has slept through the night every night since he discovered that Dylan didn't mind having company. 
Isn't it so sweet?!
Do you ever really sing that "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be" song?  I do.  I don't pick up my babies, but I do kiss their baby soft skin while I whisper the lyrics.  Of course only if they're really asleep:)

FYI: 4 things your photographer is/is not

I saw this post here by Alana Hawker and cut and pasted it below.  Sometimes I think I'm too business oriented, and other times I think I'm not working on it enough.  I started a business so that I could be compensated for my time, and so that I could invest in myself and so that I could offer more quality work.  This photographer is funny, yet tells the truth:)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

4 Things Your Photographer Is and 4 Things They're Not
Boston family photographer

After spending countless hours, days, weeks and months perusing photographer forums I've come to the conclusion that there are 4 things your average family photographer most certainly IS and 4 things they are NOT. Please bear with me as I try to be funny through my sickie Sunday :D

4 Things Your Photographer IS...

1. A Parent

Every single family photographer I know is a parent. This means we are used to the hissy fits, the tragic meltdowns and the oil-to-water like aversion your toddler has to the camera. Every time I get an uncooperative toddler the parents apologize profusely for their behavior. Don't sweat it! It makes me feel better that my kids aren't the only ones that think standing still for 3 seconds is akin to getting your limbs ripped off. One simple apology will do just fine.

2. Patient

Sometimes it takes 10 mins of running around, dancing like a fool, making silly noises, and talking about crazy monkeys just to get ONE good shot. Don't bother demanding your child to sit and smile because as I'm sure every parent knows, the harder you push a toddler, the harder they push back. And an irritated toddler doesn't give good smiles!

3. Busy

Taking pictures isn't the only part of our job. Sometimes it's not our only job at all! Please please please (yes, I'm on my knees begging!) be on time to your shoot. If you aren't going to be on time, at least give us a call and give us your ETA. We may have clients lined up right after you, we may only have a babysitter for a certain amount of time. Whatever the case may be, it's just plain good manners to let us know if you're going to be late. Barring a true, provable emergency, if you don't bother showing up, don't expect your deposit back. Just because we didn't shoot pictures doesn't mean we didn't spend time preparing for your shoot by gathering props, creating a pose list tailored to your shoot, checking the weather and lighting, etc.

4. An Artist

Photography is an art, just like painting. Each photographer has their own style. If you don't like what you see on their website, that photographer is not a good fit for you. People who like Picasso like his style. He is unique. Every photographer has their own unique style as well. You should hire your own Picasso. Don't hire any old photographer and request they change their style to what you want. Most photographers have spent years perfecting their style. Asking them to change it is not only insulting but also doesn't give them the necessary years of practice and will likely result in images not nearly as pleasing as you expect. Also, our status of being artists entitles us to be a little kooky and eccentric. It's the fun part of our job description. :-P

4 Things Your Photographer is NOT...

1. Walmart

As much as we'd LOVE (I think love isn't quite strong enough a word) to be grossing $405.6 billion per year, we aren't. Heck, I'd love to gross $405.6 thousand per year! But alas, we are all small businesses. We don't have the sales necessary to offer $5 portrait sheets. We also don't utilize cheap ink or poor quality paper just to keep costs down. We charge what we need to to not only keep our business afloat, but also food on our table. If that's outside of your budget, that's perfectly fine. Most photographers fall into the "starving artist" category and can't afford to book themselves, so it's not going to offend us if you can't afford us. It WILL offend us however, if you request us to price match someone else. Our price point is unique because our business is unique. Nobody but nobody is going to have the EXACT SAME costs as anyone else. Please understand that 99% of us aren't priced to be making $100,000 per year, we're priced to afford preschool for our kids, shoes for our feet and food for our bellies. If you want Walmart prices, go to Walmart! Just don't expect personal photographer quality for Walmart prices, and visa versa.

As a subnote to this, we're also not able to give things away for free no matter who you are. Asking us as your friend to "take a few shots of the party/event since you're here" would be like asking your dentist friend to "examine the teeth of all the guests for free since you're here". It's not okay to ask that. If we want to take a few pictures, we will. If we want to send you the pix we take, we will. Unless you're willing to pay our regular rate, please don't ask us to take "just a few pictures". You may get lucky and have a friend with a special friends and family rate, but remember, you wouldn't do your job for free, please don't expect us to do ours for free.

2. Plastic Surgeons

Photoshop is an AMAZING tool! Unfortunately, it doesn't substitute for a scalpel. We can easily hide zits, conceal under-eye bags and sometimes even shave off a few pounds here and there. We cannot turn a new-mommy-body into Gisele Bundchen's body with a few key strokes. (And if we could, we'd be in Hollywood making the aforementioned billions!) Moms are expected to have normal size 14-ish bodies, complete with a little pooch belly, and sometime, yes, even the feared double chin. If you can't love yourself the way you are, perhaps getting giant paper printouts of what you look like in all your natural glory isn't the right thing for you right now.

3. Magic

We can, in some ways, be thought of as magicians. We can take your memories, your precious children and photograph them in such a way that you will treasure their portraits, the captured moment, forever. But we cannot wave a magic wand and make your sugar-buzzing 3 year old sit still, brush their hair and smile like a Gerber baby. You are paying us for our time and our artistic talent. If someone (who may or may not even be of toddler age *cough* DAD, I'm talking to you!) doesn't want to cooperate, we can only try so hard. You (in most cases) are not obligated to buy prints if you don't like them, but please don't expect to be refunded for the session fee if pictures didn't turn out to your liking through no fault of our own. Please remember, we were out there, trying as hard as possible to get great pictures for you. We deserve to be compensated for our time. Depending on the situation you may even be offered a free or discounted re-shoot, but don't expect anything. Sometimes the child is a lost cause and will refuse to be photographed no matter what the situation. That doesn't say anything to your parenting or how good your child is, that just says your toddler is normal. Toddlers are miniature control freaks and if they don't want something to happen, it wont be happening no matter the bribe!

We also aren't mind readers. If there's a certain something you do or don't want, please tell us! Nicely :-)

4. A Robot

We are human. We feel overjoyed when we have a great shoot and we feel devastated when we have a terrible one. There is no need to treat us like anything other than living, breathing humans. We make mistakes sometimes. We don't deserve to be berated or ridiculed because we didn't get the shots you hoped for. When we get a shot you love, tell us! Share your joy! And for the love of pete, BE POLITE! Please and thank you go a loooooong way. I know several photographers that give free gifts and prints to clients that treat them like human friends instead of contracted camera slaves. Besides, it's just good manners :)

Despite all of the fun little intricacies people rarely consider, I still see my job as one of the funnest there is, and I know most of the photographers that inspired me to write this do to. I don't think any of us would trade it for the world. I think our goal is just to remind people that though our job is fun, it's still a job.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I could stay here all day. But we have to get to the pumpkin patch.

Dear Lacey,
I think I should just actually post pictures that I take.  My camera is usually close by. 
Maybe that's how your challange will help me:)  I'm not good at leaving much up to the imagination, and like to post lots and lots of pictures. 
I need to find something to make it my own.  Hummmmm . . . Maybe trying creative angles would help me.  The thing is, I'm still discovering and shooting entirely manual already, so I'm pretty much in the discovery/creative stage still.  You're so good that you need to find something to challange you:) 

Here are more pics from that day 1 Photo A Day. 

Dylan climbs everything whether appropriate or not. 
I usually let him unless somebody else is watching. 
Bonnie would have been nervous, seeing this, but she wouldn't mind.  She knows Dylan by now and has accidentally told me that my kids can do no wrong.  She loves us:)
 The natural light in her house is so beautiful!  In every single room!  I scooped the kids up from preschool and took them to Bonnie's house.  I packed a dinner for us and ate it at their table.  I opened the beautiful blinds and took some photos of my crazy messy eater.  
Marc entertained him. 

 And even cleaned him up for me:)
 Meanwhile, up in Jake's room, Jake was teaching Dylan Cena how to create and practice signature wrestling moves.  Dylan incorporated his head stand-stay-spin tricks. 
 Marc called my cell phone from out on their dock.  We had to go look at his blow fish he had just caught.  (We borrowed his fishing pole for a picture you'll see in December.) 
I am so in love with their back yard's evening lighting.  Do you remember our last year's Christmas card photos?  They were taken on this dock, and of course docked at it too:)
 Remember the first PAD picture of Isaac in these shoes?  That's the only thing that was the same on him when I picked him up from preschool.  His clothes and crib sheet were in a bag for me.  There's something about sitting back and watching little boys discover things that I just LOVE.  Not to mention the colors in this picture. 

I'm smiling, can you tell?  (These are all SOOC.) 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Photo A Day

Lacey, my cousin,  is doing a Photo A Day (PAD) Challange and Blog Party/Rally/Link up thing on her blog, so I'll link to her here, you'll see.  You can do a PAD and link on her blog too if you want, it's open to anybody. 

 I JUST noticed it, and she's already on day 3. It just so happens that Isaac wanted to wear his yellow converse shoes today to school, and they happened to match his shirt, then he wanted a jacket, and it kinda matched, in a 2yr old sorta way. SO, like many random mornings, I had to take his picture, not knowing what I would do with it b/c there's no story. But thanks to Lacey, here's a reason!

And since Dylan was doing his own thing in the car, I took his pic too.  He hangs on anything and everything, including my boss's columns in her home, her granite counter tops, etc. 

I love Isaac's teacher and wanted a picture of him with her.  He didn't want it.  I only took one.  Thatls ok. 
Now back to editing cute baby Tristan's photos from today!  Maybe I'll link to Lacey's blog from my FFP blog too, we'll see.