Sunday, January 29, 2012

LoveBug {Photography}

Have I told you that I am a crazy mom with a camera? (I get the crazy part from my mom...hehehe)

And I'm out of control.

For those of you that have kids, I am sure you understand.

You want to capture every second of cuteness, every milestone, every smile.You grab whatever you can get your hands on. An iPhone, point a shoot, Polaroid (ok probably not but how fun were those growing up???), and for some of you the all so confusing/wonderful DSLR.
I apologize for my excessive picture posting.  But I don't plan on stopping anytime soon :)

Photography has allowed me to combine my craftiness and artisticness (spell checker is telling me this isn't a word.  I beg to differ).  With Valentine'S Day coming up, I knew I had to put together a backdrop to take pictures of Bella (Every baby needs Valentine's Day pictures, right? :) I found a small chair at an antique shop a few weeks ago.  I painted it black and recovered the seat in red and white damask fabric that I had.  I had Zac build a small kissing booth out of scrap wood and used leftover paint from another project to paint it.  And I made a "Be Mine" bunting out of scrapbook paper.  For the gray backdrop I used a cheap flat sheet (much cheaper than buying fabric).   And voila, you have an inexpensive Valentine's Day backdrop and props!

Now that she is mobile, taking pictures of her is definitely getting more difficult!  Oh how she is independent with a mind of her own :)  

Baby Portia {Photography}

I couldn't wait to snap pictures of this little knockout.  

She is one of the happiest babies I have ever been around.  You can't help but go crazy over her dimples and long eyelashes.  

Her daddy will have to keep a big stick close by to chase all the boys away someday. :) 

Thanks Jen and Bill for sharing your little girl with me!

Little Z {Photography}

I got to spend Saturday afternoon with this little beauty and her equally as beautiful mom.  She has the most perfect ivory skin and gorgeous big brown almond shaped eyes!

She is at the fun age of independence!  Keeping her in my 14X14 dining room to snap her pictures was an adventure in itself.  Luckily, toddlers are adorable just being toddlers.  

Thank you Hannah and Chris for sharing your little girl with me! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nine months in, Nine months out {Baby Love}

It seems impossible that our baby is 9 months old. 

Time is a funny thing.  The passing of time, the counting of time, the comparison of time.

I have never counted down time like I did during the nine months while I was pregnant.  At any given moment I could tell you to the day (sometimes hour) how long we had until her due date.  Every morning I took my red sharpie and crossed off another day on my calendar.

Now here we are, nine months in and nine months out.  

Nine months that blew past us before we could even catch our breath.

Zac and I no longer have the deer in the headlights look.  We are more at ease.  More comfortable and relaxed in our role as parents.  

We've made it through sleepless nights.
Through ear infections.
Through lots and lots of teeth.

We can't even remember what life was like before her.  She is such a part of us.

With her many animated faces,

her patty cakes and Da Da's,

and her squeals, "OOOOOH's", and giggles. 

We love watching her explore, dance, and splash in the bath.

 Those blue eyes melt us every time.

She is the love of our lives.  She is our heart. 

We love you sweet Bella.

Here's to slowing down the next 3 months :) - A

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Caught {Baby Drama}

( SS 1/200   f/2.8   ISO1600)

Crawling has rocked my world.

Our world.

The nice little world that Bella and I have created when we are home together during the day.

Everyone warned me.

I didn't understand.  AT ALL!

I had pictured this fun little world of her crawling from toy to toy and playing happily.


Far from it.  

I spend my day chasing

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Resolutions {Faith and Family}

Over the last week, several people have asked me what my New Year's Resolutions are.

I love the New Year.  It signifies a new beginning and a time for reflection. 

I have several small silly resolutions like watch less tv, drink more water, take more pictures, etc.  

But my main resolution is for this little girl...

To be the kind of woman of God, mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend that she will admire and look up to.  

To focus less on my flaws and more on my strengths, so that she will never see those same weaknesses in herself.  

To love her dad and her unconditionally, so that one day she will know how to love herself and others the same way. 

To show her how to be confident yet humble.  
Humility is perpetual quietness of heart.  It is to have no trouble.  It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore; to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me.  It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised, it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my father in secret and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and about is seeming trouble.  - Author Unknown

Happy Sunday - A  

project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge

Posting this picture for my goal to participate in P52 all year!  And to keep up my resolution of keeping my camera close by to capture all of the small daily moments! 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Becoming a Mom with a Camera - Volume 2 - Lens Lingo {Photography}

Again, let me start by saying I have had NO professional training and everything I know, I have learned from researching on my own.  Please don't hold me responsible for any mistakes in information I may make (even grammar... hahaha)  You can see my previous posts in this series here and here.

So let me take you back a few months...

Here I was with my DSLR, finally understanding the relationship between aperture, ISO, and shutter speed, starting to figure out white balance, and actually starting to practice on MANUAL!

My picture exposure was good, images were sharp, but my pictures were still just "ok".

I was frustrated.

We had invested in a good camera and I was following all the "rules".

Why were my images so blah?  Where was the blurry background (bokeh)?  Why was my subject not "popping"?

I wanted to give up.

But I was too invested now, so I kept reading.  I started coming across information about lenses.  Hmmmm... well why would I

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mayson {Photography}

I got to hang out with this handsome guy...

Mayson is 17 months old, all boy and full of energy!  We had so much fun at the park with balloons, balls, and bubbles.  He is at such a fun stage and wanted to explore everything.  His curls are darling and those big brown eyes can melt you!  

His mom Cat and I used to coach cheer together.  She is a high energy mom who juggles a demanding coaching/choreography career and mommy hood, while keeping a positive attitude through it all.  I have always admired her for her "tell it like it is" personality and her ability to stand her ground.  And Cat is one of the few people that I have met that can talk as much as I can (I mean that as a compliment) :) So I love when we get the chance to catch up! 

Thank you Cat for sharing your precious boy with me!  

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

3 Ingredient Salsa {Momma Joyce's Recipes}

I LOVE Mexican food.  
I could eat it every day of the week.  
I pretty much lived at Taco Bueno when I was pregnant.  
I love restaurant salsa but am always disappointed in the store bought kind.

I was so excited when my mom found this recipe. Even though it is made from canned ingredients, it tastes like it is made from scratch. The flavor is so fresh and it is super easy to make.  After finding this recipe, I will never buy store bought salsa again. Never. 

3 Ingredient Salsa

1 can Mexican Stewed Tomatoes
1 can Rotel Tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (more or less to taste)

1.  Put all three ingredients into a food processor or blender. 
2. Pulse for 20 seconds or until desired consistency. 
3. Pour into a bowl and enjoy!  

Such yummy goodness.  :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Becoming a Mom with a Camera - Volume 1 - Learning your DSLR {Photography}

(Let me preface this with saying, I am in NO WAY a professional and have NOT had professional training.  This is straight up, how I learned to use my camera. It probably was not the easiest way, but it (eventually) got me headed in the right direction.  I still have SO much to learn)

I got my Nikon D90 for Christmas 2009.  I used it on Auto for the next year and a half.  Most of the time it was just sitting in our closet collecting dust. I had good intentions on learning how to use it.  I kept putting it off until the next weekend, day off from school, summer break, etc.  I knew the learning process was going to be long and that once I started, I wouldn't want to stop.

Once my daughter was born, I couldn't put it off any longer.  Luckily for me, she was an amazing napper. I chose a couple nap times a week to start reading and taking notes.

Over the course of the last 8 months I have read tons of books, blogs, and manuals.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Honey Bun Breakfast Cake {Momma Joyce's Recipes}

I get my crafty soul from my mom.  We grew up with glue gun burns and straight pin pokes.  She was always sewing, creating, crafting, or baking.

Of all the things she is good at it, it is her cooking and baking that have created quite a following.  Over the years, she has collected a whole list of staple recipes that friends and family always beg her to make.  Her recipes are simple with few ingredients and they almost always include sour cream, cream cheese, or mayonnaise (which guarantees their deliciousness).

One of these staple dishes is her honey bun cake.  This cake shows up at every brunch and breakfast she cooks for and you can guarantee we will eat it every Christmas morning.   It is a crowd pleaser and so stinking yummy!

Even though we just ate it at my parents house on Christmas morning, I had to make it for my hubby and I to enjoy on New Years Day.

Honey Bun Breakfast Cake

1 - 18 ounce package yellow cake mix
2/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped pecans
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