Wednesday, December 30, 2009

While in Provo we've:

- Eaten Cafe Rio thrice (ok only me, but THANKS to that many trips I ventured out and got pork tacos rather than the salad the last time- no disappointment.)

- Seen Avatar (liked it-- made me want a stronger more daring body), Sherlock Holmes (loved it, but wanted a little more romance with Rachel McAdams), Blind Side (cried like a baby through most of it and hugged my girls extra tight when I got home....we're so blessed), and 500 Days of Summer in the DOLLAR theatre (LOVED it, LOVE Zoey whats-her-face, and loved that cute boy with all the great smile-lines, and don't be surprised when my site has some songs from the soundtrack-- great music.) Yup-- 4 movies. In the theatre. And I liked them all. I LOVE CHRISTMAS TIME!

-Made everyone watch "Business Time" on you-tube by FOTC and figured it was way over Sophia's head and so didn't worry... and now she's singing, "It's business, it's business time..."

- Watched it snow outside more than I ever remembering ever watching it snow. It's beautiful and powdery and white everywhere you look.

- Enjoyed the visit from Santa... and mostly enjoyed watching our kids eat up Christmas more than they ever have of course. This felt like the first year I was DYING for Christmas morning to come because they really got it. Well, you know, if tearing one open, tossing it aside, and moving on to the next, in a total present-opening, greedy frenzy means getting it. Even still... magic. :)

- Shopped-- I forgot what a real mall was like.

- Gone to bed after 1 every morning and enjoyed the benefits of Mila learning to climb out of her playpen. (The italics in this case indicate EXTREME sarcasm).

- Overspent and overeaten ourselves (ok mostly me) into oblivion. We were supposed to leave Monday but keep extending ourselves because of the snow and .... stuff... and I'm not sure I have enough elastic wasted pants to get me through 'till Friday at this point. Can't WAIT to lock up the wild when I get home and set some boundaries. Love Christmas. But definitely entering that adult-world where I welcome the boring normalcy of January. Phew.

- Relished a house full of family and fun and 30 Rock till midnight, and Christmas and brownies and Taboo, and chaos . I'll be happy to let myself feel hungry before a meal once again, but so sad to leave all of this.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A White Christmas

The first gas station after a while on the journey to Utah. My bladder was filled to the rim, so this place made me very happy--- happy enough to shoot some pictures. And I liked the color scheme.
The beggining of our trip. Had to start somewhere. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


This was probably the second runner up. You can see us all better than the one we chose, we're closer--- more of a traditional family photo--- it was a tough call.

How quickly we think of our "coulda, wouldas". Would have put both of the girls in tennies or both in pretties. Would have done Sophia's hair different. Would have calmed the back of mine so I didn't look like a freshly bathed and shaken dog.

Would have stuck my butt out just a little less..............and then.... maybe just a little more? Wouldn't have offered fruit snacks as my bribe and then snapped the shutter mid-chew. Or maybe I would, because this expression gave us some good laughs. Would have realized we were in Brooke's shadow. So typical, Brooke....always in your shadow.

Just kidding.

Would have started earlier so I didn't have to make these hazy to compensate for the low-light.
Would have remembered to change Mila's diaper before we left the house so it didn't get so full that it hung mid calf in her tights before I took it off leaving her au-natural.... resulting in this.

But all and all-- what a productive feeling it is to get some family photos. And how much more respect do I have for the people in front of my camera. It's hard work trying to keep all your people looking beautiful--- sheesh! glad it's over. Thankyou Brooke!!!
Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

But I guess my stomach DOES always feel flatter first thing in the morning... unless I had midnight icecream. Which does happen.

A blustery, COLD day at the park. I couldn't decide if I wanted to post a b/w or a color. And it's gotten too late to make decisions so we're doing both.

This morning, Sophia came in our bed like usual. And wanted to snuggle with me like usual. She's a snuggly one. VERY lovey and tactile right now. She rubs my arms and rubs my back and wraps herself up in my arms. She tells me "you're the best mom ever" like a dozen times a day. It's her new phrase--- I'll take it.

This morning she was rubbing my chest, the bony part just under the collar bone, (my CHEST let me remind you) and must have been a little sleepier than I thought... "mom, your tummy's not chubby anymore!"

Oh that my tummy could feel like (the bony-part-of) my chest (under-the-collar-bone.)

It just seems a little weird without the explanation right?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


(oops.... didn't mean to do the light blue borders on my collages but i'm too lazy to fix it now.)

Ten days 'till Christmas! We're off to Utah this year, and I always feel like since we still go home to our parents' houses for Christmas, we have such a short amount of time in our own house for Christmasy stuff... it just goes so fast. I finally feel like I finished decorating even though we ALWAYS try to get it up right after Thanksgiving. This year it was just hard to find the full day-- or evening-- or whatever it takes to get it done right. Instead, I did a little here and there and never felt fully satisfied. I finally went to Homegoods the other day planning on giving in and buying some cute, new stuff (since most of my Christmas decor is stuff my mom didn't mind parting with 7 years ago when I got married)- and there was nothing cute left! So now I may as well wait for the post-Christmas sales and hope I find some treasures in Utah.

What on earth was that paragraph about?

Anyway--- I'm finally really feeling the groove. We did the gingerbread house over the weekend (so what if Costco helps us out a little by selling them already assembled and ready to go--- SO much easier that way), we walked around the neighborhood to look at lights last night with the Lamms for family night, and Ross added "Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella" (no idea what it's really called) to our playlist because I told him I missed hearing it when I was a kid dancing in the curtains with Lacy like Celtic women (remember Lace?)

Ahhhh..... Christmas time. When the weirdest things can burrow themselves permanently into your heart and memory and become forever and magically nostalgic just because.... it's Christmas time.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Old Town Christmas Tree Lighting

I love it when I can just snag a collage off of someone else's blog to document something I forgot to take pictures of. Thanks Brooke.

Friday night, Christmas Tree lighting, Santa Claus passing out candy, Stuft Pizza to go out on the grass, hot chocolate after a mere 25 minute line (I'm guessing, but it took forever), and REALLY genuinely COLD weather.... mmm-- I love Christmas.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Bikes? Help.

Does anyone know much about bikes? We've said for years that we should get them for Christmas. And I think this just might be the year.... only problem: we're the blind leading the blind on what-to-look-for-when-in-search-of-family-bikes. Of course what I really want is the Madsen bike above since it's... ummm --- beautiful.

Look at it. The perfect blue. The orange fender. Mmmmm. The huge trash can to tote my girls around in. I la la la love it. Except that it's $1300

SO--- if I were trying to make a more educated decision on what bikes we should get and we're looking primarily for:

- Beach cruisers (what? It's only 2 hours away, you never know when we'll cruise over... )

- OK so maybe we just want to pretend we live somewhere cool enough for a beach cruiser, but whatever... we've got 5 or 6 months of ride-outside-without-dying-of-heat-stroke weather ahead of us and and endless desert-scape to explore.

- uh... that's about it. We're looking for beach cruisers. Did I mention that?

So can we get the under-$200 ones we see online or at Costco (Schwin?). Or will they fall apart like our Walmart Trampoline? (Ross was jumping the other day and a spring shot off and hit the neighbor's house WHILE the neighbor was outside. oops.)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Monday, December 07, 2009

... The Old Man is Snoring....

It's true. Rain. All day long... so much I'm almost ready for a reprieve. But then I remember that this one day has to last me through the rest of the year (more or less) and then I'm counting each blessing again... one raindrop at a time.

Sophia didn't want to be in the photo with her hot chocolate... can you tell? she's not doing her normal neck-scrunch and smile or on-cue laugh I've taught her so well. She was sad--- she doesn't like the rain. She likes it hot. We have debates about it all the time. It's strange to me that she'll be raised (at least for some memorable years) in the desert. And she just might be one of those people that loves the heat and hates the rain. I'll have to come to terms with it. I LOVE chilly air, puffy clouds, and mostly... VARIETY. So today... even though I washed my hair yesterday and it got ruined on my preschool pick-up... and even though Mila only took an hour nap and will spend the rest of the afternoon begging to go outside--- I LOVE me some rain.

Speaking of love. It's Christmas time.... can you believe it? I wish there were 2 months between Thanksgiving and Christmas so we could anticipate it just a little longer... (and prepare for it... for those of us who procrastinate for a living.) I haven't bought a single present. But the tree is finally up (even if it is DWARFED and a bit toy-ish in the vaulted living room of this house), and the stockings are hung, and we're writing to Santa tonight for family night (that's a whole other blog post... I never believed, did you? A bit nervous about years of lying to my children)... and trying SOOO hard to relish each moment before I blink ----------and it's over.

I love this season!!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Thanksgiving in photos...

Everyone came. All six of us kids and all 18 grandkids--- we filled my house, two friends' houses that were out of town, (I know... I have SUPERB friends) and an RV in the driveway. We cooked all day and ate all night and scrabbled... and ate... and watched movies... and ate.

and ate

and ate...

Papa Kirk came equipped for a nerf-gun ward in the backyard. It did not disappoint. It was serious stuff--- I wish I had a video to do it justice.

Then Friday we got to celebrate again with my Dad who came in from Texas. (We missed you Mary Beth!) TWO days of party. Way more eating... and lounging... did I mention I got on the scale at the gym today for the first time since? I won't. It's bad news. You didn't help dad. Fettuccine Alfredo and mashed potatoes in the same meal? Only my dad.

Pretty sure my kids would need me ONLY for food and drink if we lived with 16 cousins ALL the time. I could not have imagined how relaxed I'd feel having a big party at my house--- along with 16 cousins comes 16 entertainers.... I feel like I should have been paying a fee.... AWEsome.

Oh and have you seen Ivy lately? I wanted to nibble on her arm rolls.
Hope you had as much fun and ate as much food as I did.

ps. Check out my BABY brother and his family on the photo blog.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

In recovery and mourning....

There's always some relief when the big festivities are over and you can go back to normal life where you keep your house clean, get some projects done, and stop seeing how many feasts you can fit into one 24-hour period. There is, however, NO relief when my cross-country sister leaves for another 8 months. Only mourning.

And the photo? I was going for sexy. I know right?? Poor Ross. I had no idea. Guess I'd never had it photographed before.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Boooo (does it have an "h" on the end?)

Hmmm. I actually really liked the FIRST one. Super-duper-teenie-bopper, low-budget and all. Actor-Edward grew on me, the music got me, and it made me happy to see that fun book in film. Everyone said the second one was even better.

Blackhhhccccgggg. Turns out I was so disappointed. I knew the first time around I was SO bummed at the choice for Bella. But I guess I could handle it for one movie. This time I was overwhelmed by my lack-of-love for Kristen Stewart. I think it should have been the cute girl from Gilmore girls, or just a no-name that was cuter, more endearing, not so pointy-like and droopy-eyed. Between her and Robert I was sure they would fall asleep at any moment. Just look up! I wanted to scream. Almost there... his eyes... getting warmer...
It almost ruined it for me, her down-cast-eyes staring at his overly pink vampire lips. And that you-know-what 'tension' that gets a little old even in the book and is WAY worse watching these two little teenage actors.... and then there was Jacob's feminine voice. Geeze louise.
Thank goodness for Jessica and her under-breath rants... she was my favorite by far.
Hhhhhhhh ....... I miss the Edward and Bella I knew and loved in print...maybe there's hope with the next two.... but I'm feeling doubtful. Sad and doubtful.

Monday, November 23, 2009

On my Christmas List

The watch. Not the gorgeous, perfectly blond long hair, or big lips and model-smile, or tiny post-two-baby frame of this beautiful girl at the Baby Naming from last weekend. No I keep a reasonable list. The watch.
And get this--- it's by Swatch Watch. Like the brand we knew when we were 9. Which means it's like 120 bucks. I LOVE it.
Now we'll just wait and see if :
a: Santa brings it
b: It looks nearly as cute on a wrist that's twice as big.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nov 19th--- HER day.

And then I'll go to Disneyland---

Today I'm two and lucky.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Just one that's catching my eye so far...

Off to Disney tomorrow... Let the festivities begin!--- just wanted to post one from a recent shoot I'm still working on before I took off. This is Emma--- leopard print, curly haired, darling Emma. More lata-- I keep nodding off and then my head jolts, waking me back up like it did when I was up too late in college--- I think it's because the remote is tucked too tightly in Ross' armpit while he sleeps on the couch and I'm too lazy to get up and wriggle it out... so I'm stuck with sports center instead of something more.... cool, and less...... manish.

Lovely right?

There are two walls in my house that are ever-changing.... haven't managed to get anything I love there--- so nothing sticks. I'm thinking one of these might do the trick. I had in my head that something like this would cost me an-anthropologie-fortune.... more specifically like $2800. But that's just bananas. And no amount of picture-money-that-Ross-doesn't-ask-questions-about ;) could have justified that to me in the end. As much as I sort of hoped it could.

So I looked elsewhere and was shocked to find these options from Target and Urban Outfitters for between $4-600! Which is your fave? I'm not sure if I could pull off the orange one on the wall I'm referring to since it's so close to my grey/blue living room.... but I LOVE it, and maybe if it doesn't work there I could just put it at the foot of my bed--- but then I love that blue one in the photo with the wood floors---(if only I had those and the white walls instead of tan tile and tan walls.... one thing at a time), love the green too, and who couldn't use a great b/w print somewhere? Oh I don't know. help?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I've always wanted to order one for myself and haven't gotten around to it...

... so it was so fun to open up an email from Mollie, a recent client, with this this picture attached ... to get to see one of my photos stretched on canvas. Now I'm just waiting to get that perfect shot of my girls that's worthy of it...

Thanks for giving me the peek, Mollie!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Just another manic monday.... ohhhoohooh...

(Just wanted to throw a photo up, and this is one of my favorites from the last shoot I blogged.)

Did the Baby Naming party in San Diego on Saturday and it was UN-believable. The decor, food, ceremony, PEOPLE (are all Jewish people SO beautiful?!) I remembered the tight-knit group I went to high school with were classy and lovely, a few of which were there... but had never seen so many in one room. I only wish I'd had an outfit that was both comfortable enough for shooting, and cute enough to not stick out like a big, tall, blond, sore thumb in long gauchos. Ugh.

So now I just need to get through a few more family shoots before I can take the time to peruse the photos and HOPE I did that party justice! And until then, you'll just have to be in suspense. But I'll give you one hint: animal print seat covers. Done RIGHT.

Also? I convinced Lizzie and Rachelle to come with me and do a big Ikea run together after the Baby-Naming, so I've got some before and after projects.... ahead. Who knows how far. Maybe somewhere after the hooks for hanging tutus I bought on my last ikea run, or the rehanging of Mila's too-long curtains, or the that chair reupholstering I started a few months back. :) I just keep forgetting to pick up a staple gun, and maybe it looks too close to fine to me, draped and stapled haphazardly in my living room as IF it were done. Just maybe.

Did I mention we're going to Disneyland this week?! We're seeing Lacy and Joe in THREE days. Countdown on.
Oh and just so you know what I get to work on today--- here is one of the kids in this little family with four. The hair? You can imagine my joy. And yeah--- they're ALL that cute. And stylish.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What came to my mind NOW.

- We have cloud cover today and it makes me feel all warm and tingly.

- I'm so happy to have NOTHING official on my schedule today besides preschool pick-up. It's been a busy week.

- Something happened to me after kids where I cry-- a little bit-- all the time. If ever it seems I should say something out loud, but instead, I'm quiet, pretend to be clearing my throat or something, I'm really choking down a cry. It happens at the most ridiculous times... and I'm not talking like Zales or EPT commercials... those are givens. No. no,no. More like children's books, ALL hymns at church, and lessons from zee on noggin. I'm talking like me on the elliptical at the gym with ANY book that has any KIND of a powerful moment (happy, sad, exciting, ANYTHING but boring... me - on elliptical- sobbing quietly--- it gets even harder to control it when my body's exhausted at the same time- if ever you catch me running outside with my kids- a rare occasion-- there's a good chance my mind has wandered to something to make me cry. Don't be alarmed.) Or me in my car with Mylie Cyrus' new "party in the usa" song on the radio. I know right? Are you scratching your head? Because it's not sad-- and I can't even stand her. But apparently she just speaks to me with all of the nodding and the hip-moving ... it must be hard to be a prematurely-rich, arrogant, country-girl in LA with butterflies. Or at least my hormones think so.

- NO I'm not pregnant. The crying has been a problem since I had Sophia. I think my hormones are permanently altered. Altered to make me look weak and vulnerable-- I'm still trying to figure out why that would be part of the plan.

- Is it "legal" to listen to Christmas music yet? Because we are. And again... with the warm and tingly. Oh I love this time of year.

- Thanksgiving is at my house this year with my fam-- too bad I haven't had any time to get my house ready. So many plans and dreams!

- Ooh but I did paint Sophia's lamp bases turquoise the other day and I'm LOVING them. One of the many before/afters I plan on blogging eventually.

- Lacy and Joe come in ONE WEEK--- and all the fun starts at Disney Land! It happens to be on Mila's b-day, so I can't decide if that's the celebration, or if I still want cupcakes and presents.... hmmm....

- This Saturday I'm photographing a big Jewish Baby-Naming in San Diego. I'm nervous. Sometimes I hate that I have to pretend I'm not nervous or SUPER self-critical on this blog for fear that clients will see it. And then I'm embarrassed to even use the word "clients" on this blog for fear my friends will see it and think I'm taking myself too seriously. And then I keep thinking about how my mom told me she stopped caring what people thought by the time she was 30... and I figure I've got a longer ways to go than I'd like in this next year and a half.

- Should I grow my hair long or keep it short? Any opinions -- (refer to bullet above-- still cut my hair for the approval of others)?

- Was any of this worth writing... not sure... but no time to reconsider...


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I need to record more of this stuff:

Yesterday I sat on the bench outside during Mila's nap reading Catching Fire while Sophia jumped on the trampoline. She came to the edge and sat with her legs dangling through the springs staring at me.

"Mom, Heavenly Father gave me to you--- you SUuuuuuuuuuuuuRE are lucky."

She's one smart cookie.

Monday, November 02, 2009


So Ross' sister Brooke and her family came out to spend Halloween with us, which was SO fun. It made the whole weekend feel like a party. We started with carving pumpkins... (or at least A pumpkin - thanks to tradition-keeper-Ross) and then did chili and cornbread before launching the mayhem that was huge-group-trick-or-treating-in-a-neighborhood-with-no-streetlights-or sidewalks. We were joined by the Smiths, Lamms, Terry's, and both Homecs, we hit our stride, made a loop, got tons of loot, and ended with dessert at our house. Somehow the stars aligned and all of the kids were so occupied by their candy and the trampoline in the dark, that we actually got MINUTES on end of grown up time. It's the little things, you know?

Funny how I think I'd written off Halloween at like 14. But then I had kids and it was reborn. There's just something pretty special about seeing the joy on their faces with every drop in their candy bucket. They have this way you know? They make everything a little harder, but a lot sweeter. Overall, I'm thinking it's a good deal.

Oh and because I think I want to be done with Halloween blogging... (well unless I get the pictures back from kodi's camera and there are any good ones of my girls in costume since I couldn't manage to snap a photo before the sun went down and I have no pop-up flash)... here are the ones from preschool on the day of the carnival.

Mila dressed up as Belle just to wear something easy, but if you haven't been able to figure it out, both of my girls were peacocks, also know as colorful birds. It was the only thing Sophia would tell me she wanted to be every time I asked (a colorful bird that is)... so I went with it. We tried to mimic the PB one-- but secretly, I thought mine would be way cuter. I forgot that I'm not really crafty and that the felt feathers I made would have to be secured to the tutu. When the fabric glue didn't work, I resorted to staples... which... resulted in random feathers decorating the streets. Oh well. At least I got a really great photo first so all my hard work wasn't for nothing. Oh wait....


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Winter in the Desert

The news said today's high was 68. My car this morning, said it was 78. I think it was wrong... but either way, I saw a dad walking his son in a stroller, both with beanies and hoods. Kids flooded into preschool wearing JEANS... like all the way to their ankles. (Except my daughter, of course, whose mother put her in a mini jean-skirt in spite of the weather report she saw on the news.) I went to Souplantation for lunch for a bon-voyage to a friend and ate enough to pack a little extra warmth on for the winter. And I can practically hear pots of homemade soup being made for dinner all across the valley....

It's here. Well at least 'till Saturday. When the weather guy said it'd be 89.

ps. the winds were so bad yesterday, I had to cancel my shoot with this cute little family that's been trying to book it for months. She texted me later to let me know three guys had been arrested like a BLOCK away from where we were going to meet, 30 minutes after we were meeting there, for firing rifles and handguns. Freaky right?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Live Oak Pumpkin Patch

Tis the season for pumpkin patching! I love it. It marks the beginning of it all.

But it looks like I forgot to send Mila the memo. Look at that furrow.

Just a random worker. Check him out. I think he wants you to.

Did I mention how grateful I am that they both got Ross' blue eyes?? And this is a random, cute baby. Is that legal? To put them on my blog when they didn't know I was taking the picture?
We went with Brooke, Tyson, and Sawyer... hope you don't mind the bottom shot, Brooke! Sophia had to squat and pee in the pumpkins... so Sawyer figured it was potty time and came over to join..... I had to get a shot.

hhhhhhhhhhh (that's a sigh...) until next year.