Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Palm Springs Street Fair

Meet Brooke and Tyson. They live right behind us-- like close enough that we can throw butter and powdered sugar and other unbreakables over the wall when needed. We're trying to figure out a way to build a gate. It's wonderful... one of the best things about this neighborhood. I never knew how important neighbors could be. Oh and did I mention she bakes. Like all the time. She bakes from home for a restaurant in Palm Springs and when she has to try out a new recipe? Well we benefit, (or my waste line suffers, however you want to look at it.)

They have a little Sawyer too, he must have been running around with my girls.

And this is-- listen close-- Brooke's cousin Sarah, who is married to Tyson (above)'s brother Colby. Sarah also worked with Ross at Merrill Lynch and they brought her with them to Morgan Stanley. Oh and I also knew her for a stint at BYU when we worked together with Brooke.

And this is Nate and Syd. Syd who grew up near Brooke in Orange County and Nate who grew up out here by Tyson.. and who's brother, Ben I knew at BYU Hawaii ten years ago. I love small worlds.

We've lived here for like 6 years now and been to the weekly Palm Springs Street fair all of two times. Including last night. And it was so fun... we were so confused at why we don't do it more often. Live music, all sorts of must-haves like glass humming-birds and woven dream-catchers (seriously.... who's keeping these people in business?), and all the delicious/trashy fair food you could want. We pretty much walked the length of the fair just to take note of every option there so we could make an educated decision on our junk-food of choice. We made the mistake of eating dinner before... which is why I had so much time to catch Sarah and Colby, and Brooke and Tyson eating their Falafal (no idea how to spell that). Eventually, we decided on a waffle/icecream sandwich, some tart yogurt (not really fair food but right there where it was happening), and some girl-scout cookies (we couldn't pass them up- we thought we'd missed our chance this season!)

Visit us will ya? There was funnel cake. And crepes-- savory and sweet. And Kettle Corn--- oh that smell might be one of my favorites. There were smores on sticks. And homemade toffee- did I mention funnel cake? I promise we'll take you... any takers?

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Meet Sophia's new converse. Mostly this is my tester for a new and improved way to make BIG PICTURES!!!! (Thank you Ainsley!) I could have made them bigger... but I started in medium and didn't want to calculate more than a simple 'double'. So instead of hosting them in flickr or photobucket etc... she taught me to simply change the html in blogger. Which I'd TRIED before but thought it didn't work because it would turn out a bit distorted... well there's just one other little portion of the html that needs to be changed for the image quality. So this is copied from Ainsley's email to me: when you upload in blogger (med size for this ex), your html looks like this:

href=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_GTyrGtXeK1E/Scwx3Cvic3I/AAAAAAAAB0Q/SC0TnVj7sMQ/s1600-h/3DSC_0700.jpg"><> style="cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 213px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_GTyrGtXeK1E/Scwx3Cvic3I/AAAAAAAAB0Q/SC0TnVj7sMQ/s320/3DSC_0700.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5317680081716540274" />

And it needs to be changed to this:

That last little portion after the "s" is the image quality I guess. I haven't tried to do it to an exact width that's not a simple double of the original yet. I was doing that in flickr and that's when my photos would turn out a little pixelated. I'm SOOOO excited about this though. My process was getting WAY too long with resizing in Photoshop, uploading to flickr, and then copying the html in blogger. Hopefully this makes somebody else as happy as it made me. Seriously, thankyou Ainsley.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's getting awfully ripe around here (the world... do you get it?)

So last night we went to Rubios and frozen yogurt for family night... in the car on the way there we talked about a few things. All of which made me sort of feel --- the d-word...


sort of a bad word in my home growing up... my mom is the happiest women I know, regardless of circumstance. I know I'm healthy and my chemicals are fine, so I know in MY life, it's up to me. So when I feel it.... it's short lived. But I felt it. A few things we talked about?

-(let's start with the most frivolous): how I'd read on a friend's blog about her photographer teacher making mention of all the photographers out there with blogs, copying each other. And how every thing's starting to look the same. I felt like I did when I read Seriously So Blessed. I know that teacher doesn't know me or anything about me. And that a secure person wouldn't be phased. And for the most part I think I'm pretty secure. But I felt a teenie bit insulted. I hate thinking I fit into this big, unrespected stereotype, but it's sort of the truth. I totally copy. I definitely get ideas off of other blogs and websites that I want to try. The world is so small with the Internet now, we are all so incredibly connected. It's wonderful that we can all help and inspire each other. It's also frustrating that sometimes it feels like every thing's already been done... since we can indeed, see everything. Of course we all want to be wonderfully and uniquely creative. We're trying. I don't know. It just sort of discouraged me.

- And speaking of photography, sometimes I'm scared I'm skipping some of the normal, sweet memories because it's too late for good light or there's a runny nose that's going too ruin the photo. I need to remember that I want this photography thing to help me keep more beautiful memories, but plenty of messy ones too.

- How Dateline did a horrific special on human trafficking. Like on "Taken." I didn't see it, but a guy Ross works with did, and he heard all sorts of horrible real stories. Girls in THIS country--- kidnapped, drugged, and sold. I feel nauseous again just typing it. I'm sorry if you're like me and would sort of prefer to not hear about it. But I heard enough where now I can't get it out of my head. I just don't know how people of my same species can be such MONSTERS. ??? This world has some scary stuff. So I've been making all sorts of mental plans for our future now that include never letting my girls out of sight 'till they're like 40. It's gonna be tough. Wish me luck. (Let me know when that emergency family-campground thing gets worked out, dad. I'm in. ;) )

- How our country is heading dangerously toward socialism. I get both sides. And I know this is probably too touchy for my very UNpolitical blog. But the fact that the economy has gotten this bad and it's all come to this... well no matter how you look at it, it's a little depressing.

So over my fish taco and yogurt... I just felt so much weight on my chest. Like literally a weight. Thank goodness for a "72 and sunny" husband, and two fresh-faced, innocent, perfect little girls to lighten it :) Don't worry, I haven't forgotten that the the world is full of good and happy things, how could I with the best of them right under my nose? But sometimes I think we must be pretty close to those last days too. Here's a few very light, happy, 'normal' photos of our life over the past few days. :)

Enjoying the sunroof in daddy's new (albeit injured) car on an INCREDIBLY windy day. (We get this crazy windy season in the Spring where we just pray our trees aren't uprooted and our trampoline doesn't end up on the neighbor's roof.

When I came home from taking pictures of the M family on Saturday, the house was empty. A few minutes later these two characters strolled in, definitely with the I've-been-in-daddy's-care look. Both in matching converse, (Mila's two sizes too big), Sophia wearing pajama shorts under her dress, Mila wearing half of a vanilla shake, and both of them sporting, very nonchalantly, their glorious burger king crowns. It really was a sight to see. So cute, in fact, that I didn't even care that Mila left a trail of sticky like a little snail or that they ate french fries and milk shakes for dinner. And one of those moments that battles nights like last night where you feel the bummers. So here's to the blog that let's you live the good moments twice.
And here of course are my luscious-cheeked girls enjoying rubios and yogurt last night.

Boy do I have a lot to be grateful for. See this is why I blog this stuff out... thanks for listening.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Remember them?

681 ps DSC_0484-1 681 ps DSC_0355 (2)681 ps DSC_0185 (2) 681 ps DSC_0106
681 ps 681 ps DSC_0456
My number one supporters. Well besides my husband. But he's not paying me to take his picture, so .... my number one supporters. :) I know I've told you before, but they're small business owners with their home-scrabble-pendant-shop, so I think they get it, and want to root me on. Aren't they awesome? So this was their official family shoot. A shoot without any scrabble pieces... I kind of missed those little things. But not really... not with those two little girls, one blue eyed, one brown, bare-foot, tutu-clad, and happy as clams. Check out the photo blog for lots more. And you'll die over that set of blue eyes, so watch out.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Can we say "Ahhhh- dolt?"

Last week we took our kids to Disneyland. Better yet, we have season passes.

Yesterday and today I made homemade wheat bread.

Tomorrow I have my next "session" for my new "business" hah! That still sounds so crazy but I'm going with it.

This weekend, we've got our pretty regular sitter coming. "Do 'the usual', Madi", I say with a nonchalant flick of my hair as we head out... ;)

Last week, Ross' brand new car got hit but life just keeps going on.

We never get to bed before midnight these days and Sophia climbs in our bed anytime between 2 and 5 to sleep the remainder of the night. I never notice 'till it's too late to move her since she might wake up and she tucks herself RIGHT behind me so once I'm on my side, I can't roll back. It means I wake up every few minutes wanting to reposition but can't. great sleep.

Somehow every night this week was filled between work, our church callings, and 'whatever', and we never got our couch time before 9:30. I miss my husband.

My husband-- who is 31.

And works as a broker for Morgan Stanley in a time where new shows like "The Mentalist" show brokers being killed with the obvious suspects being clients. Yikes.

I have a daughter who can tell me "don't TALK to me mom" or "I don't LIKE you" but who can also tell me "mom, you're the best" "I'm a princess and you're a queen" "mommy... I sure love you"... and who I kiss goodbye three mornings a week for preschool and who skips off and turns around and blows me kisses and grins with the deepest dimples you've ever seen.

My BABY can say "mermaid" and "Wuv you" and "pee you" (for stinky poop, how do you spell that?)

I drive a Pacifica. Some people like to call it a van. I think vans are cool, but it's not a van. It's not really an SUV either, but it's a mom car. That's all I know. which leads me to my big point:


Holy moly, when did it happen, and who let us in the club? Shouldn't there be a test we have to take or an interview or some letters of recommendation required or at least some kind of barrier to entry? Shouldn't we at least KNOW we were getting the job. Or applying for it? Is this how our parents felt? It puts such a different perspective on those childhood years you can remember where you thought your parents knew everything.

I still long for lazy mornings and mindless reality shows. I still nod my head when people talk about American history that I should totally know, but don't. My husband still wears a backwards hat and skate shoes on the weekends and wouldn't mind playing a video game now and then. I still throw fits (essentially) and argue backwards and forwards in a fight with Ross until I win. (Well that's sort of changing... he's learned my tricks and can do a mean 'I'm bigger than that so I'll say sorry' which doesn't really make you feel like a winner. But when you're immature, you can pretend it does.) I still get intimidated by girls with super cute clothes. And intimidated by moms of lots of kids who make it look easy. I still get giddy over treats and nervous to speak in public. I still don't know my scriptures like I should.... Or my politics... or so many other things.....

And I'm SCARED to death that my kids are going to have all the holes that I do because how am I going to teach them things that I DON'T KNOW? And if I haven't found time to learn them yet, what makes me think I'm going to find time as my family grows and life just gets busier?!

This isn't meant to be a negative post-- but it's time to pick up Sophia and I'm not really sure were I'm going with it. Let's just hope 'the blind leading the blind' is not my life's title--- hopefully Heavenly Father accounted for this when giving me my two little girls and somehow knows I can still figure out how to teach them everything they need to know to be happy, smart, capable adults with firm testimonies of the gospel and relationships with the Lord. Afterall, that's all that really matters right? I mean let's face it, I've gotten by alright with my interest in politics lasting about as long as Romney's campaign. (I'm not that bad, but close... please no hate comments, I know there's a lot of strong feelings these days. :) ) Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Just a big ol' handful of thumbnails...

681 ella edited2

This is Ella. She's turning one. Isn't she luscious... it's a good thing I still have my own chubby baby to nibble on, or we might not have been very productive. ;)

I put some a little larger on my photo blog. I'm getting tired of resizing them all in photoshop first though, to make them as big as I'd like, so I just left them the medium size in Flickr. Does anyone have an easier way to get them just the right size? If I upload them straight into flickr the Large is too big and the med. is too small. Is there another way??

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A couple from the phone:

Yesterday was the first trip to Disneyland that I decided to brave it and bring my camera. The whole drive there I was imagining some great photos I could finally get of my girls in the magic kingdom with their favorite characters... against some of the murals ... etc... and then I remembered I'd left my SD card in the computer in my attempts to clear it up FOR...... Disneyland. Lame. So here are the couple we took with my phone. Not that you can even tell where we were. But proof that wherever we were... we were all four there....
Happy weekend.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We're off!

To the happiest place on earth. Let's hope our kids remember and are happy the WHOLE time. hah.

I'm so excited!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Just a few quick bullets.

- Got my hair done yesterday. That's always nice... a little blonder, a little shorter, a little fresher, a lot poorer. Bleh. Who convinced us to ever start highlighting our hair? Somebody rich I'm sure.

-Sophia carries a small purse or backpack almost everywhere she goes right now-- fills it with little toys of her choice that day and only takes her hands off of it when there's something better. She's VERY into her things right now. Takes claim of just about everything.

- Mila's vocabular is growing like crazy-- she communicates just about everything in some way or another.... a few of her newest "words" are: a-oon (balloon), cheese, aunt-asside (I want outside), aunt- dow (I want down), aunt- daw (I want dog), do do do!! (go go go!!), Uv-you ( I love you... yes this one is a heart-melter)... and I'm sure there's more. I'm loving it.

- If you can't tell--- I'm awfully excited about the whole photography thing.... and I'm wish wish wishing I could upgrade my camera so that I'd have more lens options but keep remembering when Allie said she couldn't justify upgrading until she knew everything about the camera. That means I've got a little while. Pftt.

-Oh and here's the latest 'shoot' I got to do. My friend Stefani has an etsy shop where she sells these beautiful scrabble pendants. I put a bunch on the photo blog of course.

-Our weather is just about perfect right now-- mix that with the long days and there are some good feelings going around in the late afternoon. I'm trying to keep my mind off of what's to come this summer and enjoy these heavenly evenings.

- I'm feeling incredibly blessed lately with two healthy children and a husband with a job.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Newborn Pictures:

SO much harder than I thought. How do all the websites make it look so easy to get these little newborns to curl up into the fetal and gently rest their angel faces on their forearms? I mean is that too much to ask?! I thought for sure with a five-day-old, I'd be able to make it happen, figured it was most certainly the age... now I'm just more convinced of that whole photographer part of the equation. They have secret tips they're not sharing. I'm sure of it. ;)

So if you check out some more of 'em on my photo blog, you'll see my attempt at the towel stack. I know it looks like she might fall off... and I'm sure the parents were nervous because she sort of was the whole time... and I could not for the life of me get her legs to curl, and it was too late to mess with taking the diaper off, not to mention that big, tough daddy of hers is NOT into the naked baby shots.. Oops. Sorry Eddie. But I still had to post one just to document the first attempt. And maybe the last. ... or maybe I'll try with bigger towels next time. How lucky do you think I felt though when they got to my house and unveiled that gorgeous dark-haired, pixie-faced baby? Lucky.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Thursday, March 05, 2009

"Amateur" is the operative word.

I've decided to go for it. Or I should say I've decided to, then against, then to, then against... charging for photos. AAHH! I know I'll change my mind again if I don't just post this today, so I'm going for it! I've thought a lot about whether or not it was way too soon. If I could possibly get away with charging for something SOO fun. I made a list... let's see:

CONS- (Why I'm TERRified to charge:)

- I like doing things I'm good at. Ross has more of a "Practice makes perfect" mentality. Mine is more,"Soar with your strengths." If I get discouraged that I might not be that natural at it, I want to run the other way. I'd hate to open myself up to criticism by charging and find out I'm just not that good. I know there's ONLY room for improvement at this point and that most likely, in a year when I look back at the photos I take today, I'll want to barf a little. But I'm thinking that's inevitable. Like reading what I thought was my best paper in Junior High or something.

- I'm quite aware that there's still a fabulous amount of knowledge I don't have on the subject. Technically and artistically.

- I WANT to take pictures of people and what if nobody wants to for $$$???

- But mostly, I'm just nervous to open myself up to criticism (as mentioned in bullet 1). Maybe I'll just elaborate some more... :) I know I'm guilty of being extra judgemental of the level of beauty of actors or models since that's their JOB, they're getting paid for it, so you're allowed to judge. I get it. When I'm just taking them for fun, of course people are going to find nice things to say about my photos. But if they're paying, they might see more of the flaws. Do I sound like I can't take an ounce of criticism?? That's not what I mean. I just really want people to be happy if they're paying money. It's a hot commodity these days.

PROS- (Why I WANT to charge):

- I really don't think there's a more enjoyable hobby right now and I LOVE taking photos of new faces with different hairdos and different eye colors and different attitudes. I appreciate any practice I've been able to get... and I love the editing process where you get to see just how vibrant and sparkly those photos can become, and just how much ATTITUDE you can capture on photo paper. However, it can, of course, take up a lot of time. My main motivation to charge is to be able to justify that time spent away from my kids and in front of the computer editing.

- I'd also love to be able to use any money I earn to eventually upgrade my camera, maybe take a photo class, get a new lens, (I think I'd love a macro lens next), and build up a collection of some fun accessories and props for photos. I want to get good. I really want to get good.

- I feel like charging will encourage me to get more creative, take photos even more often, work a little harder, try out new places and ideas, and upgrade my equip. sooner. All things that will help me get better faster.

- I honestly don't know of anyone who lives in my area who takes affordable family photos. Unless you count Sears. ;) It's hard enough to get your family all ready and have a friend come over with her point and shoot. I'm hoping this might give an option to some people who really want nice pictures taken of their family, or their kids, but don't know who to bother for it.

- I've just had to ask myself, "what's the worst that happens?" Nobody asks. And maybe I figure out I need to make a change. Or I just keep teaching myself and trying to learn as much as I can so eventually I'll be really good. And then people will. :)

- Before we know it, it's going to get super hot out here in the desert-- too hot to enjoy being photographed outside. So I'm hoping that my biting the bullet now will at least make it possible for anyone who is interested-- to get some in before it's too late!

I guess the pros won because I did it. I posted "Session Fees" on my photo blog. Doesn't it sound so official?

If you're local and interested, leave me a comment or email me at lillie_biesinger@yahoo.com!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Just a glimpse at the weekend...

ps DSC_0018 soft cross processbackyard with daddy collage

Sophia runs around the yard with Ross -- wrestling, twirling, leaping... with Mila puttering behind trying to be part of the fun, I make the mistake of starting an announcing bit "??!..." And look at her go, Princess Sophia... with a double front twirl and lickety split back kick... oh the grace... how many times can she twirl? Will she stumble? Will she fall down???"---
and now she won't let me stop. Every time we go in the backyard now, I have to come up with some narrating announcing nonsense for everything she does. It's surprisingly hard. And I'm pretty sure the neighbors can hear me say things like "front doubly dub backwards triple-ness twirl". It's a little embarrassing. Kind of like when you try to imitate a language you don't know and you keep saying the same thing.. "ong chi ong chi ong" --- that's my chinese. Or "vida la ita la sasa la lalalala" that's sort of my spanish. Not that bad but lot's of la's. You get it.

So we really are soaking up the weather right now. It's already getting pretty warm out here so luckily our backyard is pretty much always shaded and it's heavenly in the afternoon during that last hour before Ross gets home when I'm going a little nuts. We've been having fruit picnics. Once she sees me spread the blanket out, she runs inside and grabs the grapes or straw/black/blue/ras- berries. Whatever's in front when she opens the doors. We like picnics.

The ones WITH Ross of course were Sunday... while he kindly kept them busy outside so I could cook dinner before his PARENTS came. I know these look like every backyard post-- but that's what we do. We hang. In the backyard. Eat, run, jump, dig, twirl, and announce. I can't say I always play with them, I milk it as long as I can when they'll play alone :) ... but when Sophia finally says "mommy come play with us", my heart's butter and it's fun. It's really fun.

Did I mention I like to eat?