Monday, February 28, 2011

Is It Warm Enough To Swim? Perhaps.

We awoke on Saturday morning with absolutely no plans for the day, a rarity in our household.  The girls played quite contently while nibbling on doughnut holes, the crumbs from which are still spread across her chin and cheeks.

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We played outside on the patio and the girls could NOT STOP getting along. 

Melt. My. Ever Loving. Heart.

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Then, Cam and I took a walk to the soccer fields to watch a friend coach a soccer game.  We played on the playground and on the walk home we's really frickin' hot out here!  Hot enough for the pool?  Perhaps.

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If you are a crazy 5 year old who is impervious to the cold.  The pool is 68 degrees and we don't have a heater on it yet.  I made it quite clear - "If you go under, kid, and I have to come in and save you,  Momma will not be happy."  Of course, she stayed glued to the wall or the stairs the entire time.  She knew that Momma was serious, cause that water was FAAA-REEE-ZZZ-ING.

As the sun set on Saturday night, and yielded way to an over-scheduled and busy Sunday, I counted my blessings.   Saturday was good for my soul.
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Happy Monday Friends!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Rockin' the Mullet

It's no secret.  Baby rocks a mullet and she has been, well, since birth.  The simple fact is that my kids can not grow hair.  Well, they grow hair, it's just at an alarmingly slow pace, similar to the way a roof ages, or grapes ferment.  It's an oddity, really, given that Hubs and I both have thick and curly hair. 

I've been pondering whether or not I should cut the back of her hair just to even it out, and I'm scared to do that because, well, it might be another two years before it grows again.  And frankly, one of these days I'm hoping I'll be able to comb it into piggytails.

Regardless....sure is the cutest little baby mullet - EVER!

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Happy Weekend, Y'all!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Celebrate

"It takes a long time to grow young."
~Pablo Picasso

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These photos were taken at a birthday party we attended last Saturday.  Horses, a clown, games, and a bounce house made up the entertainment on a day that was completed only by the most temperate sunny weather one could ask for...and cupcakes. 

Life is sweet.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Must Have Been a Cowgirl in a Previous Life....

'Cause I love me some Cowboys...and the Rodeo!

On Saturday night, we left Chloe home with a sitter and we took Camdyn to the rodeo.  Not, just any rodeo, but the Bull Riding Championships, 30 cowboys competeing for the title 8 seconds at a time.

We pulled in to the lot about an hour before the start of the rodeo, and were surprised to see a ton of kids, and bounce houses, bounce-slides, and $6 bull rides (on a gentle- walking bull of course). 

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Camdyn was 10 kinds of excited when her little eyes caught glipse of the festivities.  In fact, she ran through the gates ahead of us while we were waiting to give the man our tickets.  She bounced, she slid, and then she spent 10 minutes laughing and giggling at the boys who were riding a mechanical bull. 

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Of course, she looked so cute in her pink skirt, and pink boots...she was the girliest cowgirl of all of them.  I asked her if she wanted to ride the mechanical bull and she said, "Maybe next year." 

After some pizza and soda, it was time to claim out seats for the show.  Five minutes before the show started they played "Stuck Like Glue" by Sugarland.  This is a song that has been on repeat in my car for months now.  Cam loves it, and she let everyone around us know.  She was standing on the bleachers belting out the lyrics as loudly as she could.  She was making the cutest spectacle of herself ever...and I was so proud! 

Then, they dimmed the lights and it was showtime.  The cowboys came out and stood behind a flaming outline of a bull's head.  They lit fireworks behind them and introduced them one at a time. 

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Cam's eyes were as big as saucers and she knew she was in for a special treat.  "Look at all dem cowboys, Momma!" "Yes, Camdyn.  I see them....(and I'll probably dream about them too)"

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And, it just may have been the finest bunch of cowboys that I've ever seen.

Then, it was time to recognize the flag.  They sent the flag around the arena on horseback, and the Announcer explained that the Blue on the flag symbolizes the working class hands that built this country, and the stars for our 50 great states, the 13 stripes recognize the orginial 13 colonies, the white symbolizes our nation's purity, and the red stripes represent the blood that was shed for our freedom, and for the blood shed by Jesus Christ.  And, at that, the crowd roared.  Roared.  A reaction that stunned me a bit, but also made the hair stand up on my arms.  After that they prayed.  Prayed for the safety of all of the cowboys, prayed for the bulls, and safe travels for all of the supporters, and they Thanked God for this great nation.

And after a collective, AMEN, the crowd cheered and it was time for the National Anthem.

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Then, the Rodeo started and the cowboys took their turns 8 seconds at a time.  My little girl was in awe.  She cheered and hollered with her little arms up in the air rooting on the cowboys.  She stamped her little pink boots on the bleachers and cheered for a good ride. 

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And, after a few rides it became apparent to me why Jesus was at the Rodeo.  Because this just might be the most dangerous sporting event that I've ever seen.  Those crazy cowboys need a prayer.  There were at least 10 times that we saw cowboys nearly get stomped on by the bull....both gut wrenching and thrilling at the same time.

This morning, Camdyn took the program to school with her.  She wanted to show her teacher the "bucking bulls" and then cut out pictures of the "cutie cowboys." 

The rodeo was a blast, it was really affordable (minus babysitting expenses) and we'll look forward to going again next year with Chloe.  My girls just might love the Rodeo as much as I do!  Yee Haw!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Giddy Shoot And Edit: Love/Romance

"When you look at your life the greatest happiness
are family happinesses"
~Dr. Joyce Brothers

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This photo was taken afterCamdyn's birthday party at the Ranch, when my girlfriend and her family were in town visiting.  We tried to line the 3 kids up on the couch for a photo and they would not sit still, so we said "Let's take a photo with Mr. Dave" and all 3 kids hog piled on top of him.  They adore him.  This photo is candid, it's edited to feel like a '60's snapshot, and it makes me smile.

The Shoot And Edit prompt this week is Love/Romance.  Honestly, I don't have any romantical photos...but I did spend a night at the Ritz last September and took this shot of my wine glass.  I love the mood of the photo SOOC. 

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Happy Wednesday!

Monday, February 14, 2011

V Day - Schmmeee Day....

I have to be honest...this isn't much of a "holiday" in our household.  V day lost its relevance somewhere between conception and baby #2.  Although, it is my Momma's 20-something wedding anniversary -

Happy Anniversary Mom!

So, today is like any other day...only the kids wore red, and hearts, and I sent them to school with Valentines in their bags, and a bunch of bowls for their ice cream party today.  I will probably pick the Hubs up a card, in which I'll write way too many words, and I'll get the girls a balloon, and if we are really lucky we'll order dinner out after the kids are in bed. 

We'll say our "I Love Yous" and we'll appreciate each other like we do every day, no big fanfare, no gifts exchanged, just a few extra words after "I Love You, Good Night...Happy Valentine's Day."


In the spirit of Valentine's Day the girls held hands from their car seats on the way to school this morning.  ::Heart Melt::   And, that's all the Valentine's Day gift I need.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Shoot And Edit - Hearts (the edit)

Time got away from me this week.  I did not get a chance to read the tutorial before doing my edit. Le Sigh.

I decided to soften the colors in the photo.  I increased the fill light slightly, then I played with my colors and luminescence sliders to achieve a softer look.  I sharpened the photo slightly before saving. 

The photo is blown out a bit on the left hand side...I kinda like it that way in this case.


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And on this one I added grain:

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All of these plastic cupcake photos have peaked my sweet tooth.  I'm going to throw some cookies in the oven and enjoy the night!

Have a Great Weekend!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Goofy Shoot & Edit - Hearts

Goofy but Darling, Nonetheless

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This is my first time participating in Ashley's Shoot & Edit meme and the theme this week is hearts.  Here is my straight out of the camera shot, and I'll be posting my edit later in the week.

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Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

You Don't Know Her Like I Do....

There are moments in motherhood when you feel judged.  Moments when you feel the condescending stares from complete strangers in the parking lot of Target while a little one throws a fit over sitting in her car seat.  There are moments when you feel like you have no idea what you are doing, moments when you just don't know how to fix it.   Moments of helplessness and inadequacy.  Well, that is my experience anyway. 

Dear Chloe Belle,
In the wake of the Superbowl party, I need to let you know that I understand.  And, while I don't necessarily condone your behavior....I get you. 

From the moment you could control your arms & legs with purpose, you have expressed your will.  You have always been protective of your own space, and quick to cry with displeasure when strangers would peer into your bucket car seat for a glimpse of your baby face.  You never did like being looked at by people who were foreign to you.  That hasn't changed.  Now that you are older you will swat in displeasure from the doting gaze of a stranger and say "No" which is your own version of "Stop looking at me."  You will repeat this over and over until they finally look away, or until your attention is shifted. 

For the past 12 months or so, Sissy has been yanking toys out of your chubby hands whenever she feels like it.  Until recently, you let her, because you didn't have a concept of "mine."  Well, now you do.  Now, you are fiercely protective of what is yours.  You don't share Baby, you don't share anything related to baby, her stroller, or her blankie, and I understand that.  You've been conditioned that comes with the territory of being a sibling, of protecting what's yours, staking your territory, and standing your ground.  It sometimes comes to pushing & shoving, and the dreaded hair pulling to keep what's yours, yours, and I cringe.  I remind you to use gentle hands.  I put you in time-out.  But, I understand. 

Last Sunday at the football party, I hellicoptered over you the entire evening.  I did my best to protect unsuspecting Littles who ventured too close to your stroller, or your baby from meeting your flailing arms.  I hung my head, when you pushed.  After 3 hours of this exhausting following and cautioning, I had finally had enough.  As we drove home that night we talked about Camdyn's great behavior and manners, and how you struggled, and I cried.

I found myself wishing that strangers could know you like I do. 

That they could see the sugar in your soul, that lies underneath the fire in your eyes.  That they could see how you are content to sit on Momma's lap for 30 minutes just to rock and snuggle; how you stroke my hair gently and often plant kisses on my cheeks without prompting.

They don't know you like I do.

How you hug your sissy, just because, and insist on kissing her before you go to bed.  I wish they could see how you share your afternoon snack with your friends at the park, and how you laugh and giggle until I think your belly will explode. 

They don't know you like I do.

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And I marvel at the fact that you are wired completely opposite of me, and I wouldn't change it.  I often feel like a walking doormat.  I'm that girl that could never shout out an answer in class because I didn't have the voice.  I'm that girl that can't express frustration and displeasure because I'm afraid of hurting someone else's feelings.  I verbally choke when it comes to confrontration.  I don't want that for you. 

I want you to take that voice that I've been writing about for months and use it.  I want you to keep speaking up even if it offends, or rubs people the wrong way.  I want you to stand up for what is yours, what you believe in, and speak what's on your mind.  So, while I'm anxious for you to find those words so that the hitting, pushing, and hair pulling will stop, I don't want you to stop expressing.  I don't want you to stop being you.  I want for you to be the out-spoken and boisterous woman that I am not.

I want you to keep being you no matter what the world thinks. 

And I'll keep loving the sugar that is your soul.
Love you Forever & Always,

Friday, February 4, 2011

Edit the Baby

On Wednesday, I finally loaded LightRoom on my computer.  I received it as a birthday gift back in October...why these things take me so long I'll never know.  I started playing with it and embarked on a few tutorials and am finding that I love LR!

You may remember this image of Little Sweetie at the Ranch last Saturday.  My W/B is way off...

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Here is my edit:

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Ahhh, the fun I am having!  If you use LR or have any resources that I must check out, let me know!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Childhood Friends

This Thursday I am thankful for the time I got to spend last week with my oldest and dearest childhood friend.  We usually see each other once a year for dinner or a fleeting cup of coffee during the rush of the holiday season and amidst conflicting family obligations. 

This year, I got to spend 24 hours with her in her home, completely untouched by schedules or outside demands.  And then, a few weeks later, spent an entire day with her at Disney World, and a day at the Ranch, and then she joined us for pizza at our house.  I've seen her more in the past month than I have in years. 

And, I realize how much I miss her.  I realize how much history we share, and how some friendships just run themselves.  Our friendship is maintenance free, and regardless of how much we do or don't talk in a given month, or how much we do or don't see each other, we always know that we are there for each other. 

She is that one friend who knew me before I knew who I was; since we were kids hanging from the monkey bars, learning how to bicycle kick soccer balls in her front yard, and honors students proof-reading each other's English papers.  We share a whole lot of history.  

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And I hope our kids will too.  They hadn't seen each other since 2008, and they were too little to really remember, but they became fast friends, often holding hands in the park completely unprompted. 

Friendship is their destiny.

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Thanks for the memories, Cheeto.  Love you!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Silly

"The Best Things in Life Are Silly"
~Scott Adams

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Disney World - January 28, 2011

I am in love with this little boy and this photo.  Unbridled childhood silliness at the Happiest Place on Earth.  How I wish I was able to embrace my inner goof-ball the way a child does.