55/365 (2010)

>> Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This little piggy went to market


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Happy Birthday To Me!

Saturday was my birthday. I turned 39!!! Ugh, only 1 more year of being in my 30's and then middle age will hit. To be honest I have never been happier though. I mean we all have our bad days but my life is pretty great, I can't complain. Well, I can complain about a lot of things as is my nature but not today. Today I am going to post about my fabulous birthday.

We had the pleasure of having my cousin Hanna in the area for her work. She extended her stay and was able to come and play with us for a few days. We went to the zoo on Thursday which is always a crowd pleaser around our house.



That night it was Mexican - how lucky was I that Hanna told them it was almost my birthday?



Hanna had to leave on Friday. Saturday I got to sleep in a little bit (b/c Ruby also slept in) and then we had lunch at Red Robin - where they also sang to me. I got so many birthday kisses and hugs I felt spoiled. Piper made me a beautiful necklace that I wore all day receiving compliments from a few other mamas that could see the hard work put into making it.



I am so blessed!

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54/365 (2010)

>> Monday, March 29, 2010

Please look at me...

"No, I don't think I want to"
"Alrighty then"

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53/365 (2010)

But I don't want to go to bed




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I heart faces - Drama here?

This shot was taken last year in February and I still go back and look at it from time to time b/c Violet just looked so pathetic. Since I took this the original isn't on my computer anymore b/c my hard drive isn't hooked up but I still went back and played a little bit to try and make it more moody - and then sharpen it :) When I saw the challenge I had to use it even though it isn't all that new b/c it was the first thing that came to mind.

Week 13 Challenge - Dramatic Black & White



We are all under the weather today but I hope to get up a post about my FABULOUS birthday weekend! For more b&w inspiration this week check out the other entries at

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51/365 (2010)

>> Saturday, March 27, 2010

Suckeh for bokeh


Who knows how many pictures I will take of this tree.  I love it when it is blooming and I have been loving it when it isn't.

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50/365 (2010)

Ahh, sunshine


This was from the zoo on Thursday.  The sun felt so good.  Not needing a jacket felt so good.  The girls smiles tell the story.

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49/365 (2010)

Starting early


I realized today I didn't have a 365 shot from 3 days ago lol :)  I did but this was it.  She loves this push car so much!

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48/365 (2010)

Happy Birthday My Baby


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Team Up Thursday - Happy

>> Thursday, March 25, 2010

What picture does the word HAPPY bring to your mind? I can think of many wonderful images but this week I decided to try and get a shot of our little Ruby happy. It has been hard for her b/c she is teething and has been ill. However, she love, love, loves (!!) when you throw her up in the air. Why do kids like that so much? We don't toss her REALLY high but just high enough that she laughs. So my shot is Ruby airborne. Angie's daughter is beautiful, I love this shot of her through the mirror. I can just imagine the car ride. The smile on her face shows she is a happy girl :)



For more Team Up Thursdays check out Megan & Melody.

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Ruby is 1!!!

>> Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Where did it go? Ruby is officially a toddler and it makes me so sad. She still gets up 3 or 4 times a night though so in that sense she is still an infant lol :) Today she is a little under the weather still from a bug she had this weekend. Still, what is a mama to do but dress her up and take 2 minutes of pictures of her.

Happy Birthday Ruby!





I love this one :)



Now, off to spoil the other 2 with free ice cream from B & J's.

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47/365 (2010)

>> Monday, March 22, 2010

Just hanging out



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I heart faces - She 's her friends

I begged Piper to get up on our wet swingset just so I could try and get a quick picture of her after her playdate today at a little friend's house. What a big girl she is getting to be, she had a drop off playdate. Oh my. This is the 2nd time that she has gone there and the little girl has come here once. I think I will have her over again next Tuesday. Such is the life of a 4 year old socialite I guess :)

Week 12 Challenge - Angles

Piper 's playdates and swingsets! I would have tried to get her swinging but again it is cold and wet here today so this is the best I could do.



Check out more at

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46/365 (2010)

Sunday Morning


The girls love Sunday mornings.  I sit back and they get Daddy all to themselves.  Sometimes I get a shower :)

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45/365 (2010)

Fish Tacos


Minus the taco.  WTG mama!  I had 1 tortilla left and didn't realize it so the girls each had 1/2 a taco and I just ate the insides.  They both had 2nd's on fish though, they love tilapia - even Ruby.

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44/365 (2010)

>> Saturday, March 20, 2010

"The Leprechaun drawed on my foot AGAIN!"


They weren't as mischievous when I was growing up lol :)

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43/365 (2010)

Pink Eye?


At least we are now on the mend.  Screwed up a few days for us though - days where we actually had a bunch of plans :(  Ah well.

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42/365 (2010)

Greens are for St. Patty's Day


They're in the ground but we won't be able enjoy them until next month.  We have lettuce, broccoli, peas, onions, & carrots.  Yay!

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How else are you going to get better?

>> Friday, March 19, 2010

I once took a photography class. Back in high school (ahem, late 80's) :) However, we had open campus back then and my girlfriend and I would go to Burger King and eat breakfast then race back to school take a few pictures and be done. I did learn how to develop pictures in a dark room which was cool. After Piper was born we got our first DSLR and I have been hooked ever since. I am generally too shy to put myself out there and get a snapshot critiqued but I would love to hear what people really think and what I can do to improve.

I didn't see that iheartfaces was doing a constructive criticism feature until this morning. After getting Piper ready for school, taking care of Violet's pink eye, and then trying to calm down baby Ruby who didn't sleep again last night I was able to take a few shots of our little Violet with Sally who is on loan to us from her Grandma in Ohio.

I struggle with skin tone, correct exposure, and cropping. This was taken with my 50mm and it was hard for me to get her whole body in with the amount of space I was working with. I am just a mama taking pictures of her girls so my monitor is not calibrated and probably never will be lol :) Just wondering what would you have done differently. Edited in Lightroom adjusting wb with the dropper, slight s curve, took out a little of the blue & red, then sharpened. ISO 400, f2, 1/100

SOOC



Edited


Thanks for doing this!

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Team Up Thursday - Green

>> Thursday, March 18, 2010

Maybe only the Irish are lucky this time of year b/c there was no luck for me this week. I tried a few times starting on Sunday to get a good shot for Team Up Thursday but tanked. It seems that I can't shake off my mood that started on Monday. I will be back to happy again soon - hopefully :) So Angie and I chose to do GREEN for our theme. I love hers b/c I love cows. That beautiful green grass makes me want to roll around in it. Our grass is still brown but spring is here and the weather is warming up. Bring it!



For more Team Up Thursdays check out Megan & Melody. Enjoy!

Have you seen *Shey* [B]'s camera straps? There is a fabulous giveaway for a $25 gift certificate for her store at Make It and Love It. Ends March 22.

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41/365 (2010)

>> Wednesday, March 17, 2010

 Old and New


Seeing the new buds on the trees just puts a smile on my face.  Even now a day later.  Yay Spring!

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40/365 (2010)

I'd better get used to this


We were walking around the college on Monday and I saw a glimpse into our future.  These kids just wanted to go - away from me (or my camera lol :)

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Just a bad day...WARNING HUGE RANT AHEAD

>> Monday, March 15, 2010

I want to forget today. Wouldn't it be nice to rewind back to the moment that the day started and have a do over? I want that. Matt left this morning at 5 am and of course the girls got up with him. It took them almost an hour to fall back to sleep and then we all slept until 8. I don't ever set an alarm b/c we are early risers. Go figure when we have to get up they sleep in right? Piper was late to preschool which always makes me uneasy inside. After picking her up I decided to go and get her kindergarten packet. After getting all 3 girls out and into the school the receptionist told me that she couldn't give the packet until I brought in a power bill. I told her I would just get it on registration day and could she please sign us up for the 8:30 am slot? "No, not without proof of address". What is a license? Car registration? I mentioned that it was sort of hard to get all 3 girls out of the car and couldn't she just give me the packet? "No". It is a pack of papers lady, she was like the kindergarten packet nazi - wth? My bp is rising again as I am typing this and I thought it was behind me - nope. Today was also ballet. The girls decided they didn't want to take a nap and were both horribly whiney right before we had to leave. I almost didn't go but the alternative is Piper having to do a makeup class and they are younger than her so we went. We were running late for that too b/c of their behavior and the teacher won't let Piper in class if she is late. They both almost fell asleep in the car so why are they fighting naps when they need them? After class we are headed home. The girls and I are discussing what I should make for supper. I was sitting at a light and look down only to notice that my Blackberry is flashing. I pick it up and see that it is an email. I read the email and put down the phone. The light changes and I turn when I see a cop pulling me over. He says I was texting. I told him I was not and that he could look at my phone to see for himself and he reminds me about the new NC no texting law. Excellent law btw but I WASN'T TEXTING NOR WAS I DRIVING!! Are you freaking kidding me? Do you not have real people out there breaking real laws. He even said he saw me put the phone down but "I could have given you a ticket if you were parked in a parking lot with your car running and you were texting". Again, are you freaking kidding me? As I was sitting for the 35 minutes for him to issue the citation I must have counted no less than 10 people DRIVING and TEXTING. Are you freaking kidding me? Then, b/c he is such an awesomely nice guy, he told me "I could issue you another citation b/c your husband never signed your registration paper but I won't do that today". Well thank you. You are just full of generosity aren't you? I don't talk on the cell phone and drive. I don't speed. I don't text & drive, I don't even look at my phone while driving. JACK ASS! Oh and the fine is $230. Seriously.

I am so done with today I may go to bed right after supper lol :)

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39/365 (2010)

>> Sunday, March 14, 2010

Failed Cake Smash


I won't have help now for 2 weeks and this morning was the only time I could try and get a cake smash for Ruby's 1st birthday.  She didn't like the cake!  She wanted nothing to do with any of it!  It was dark in our living room and I tried to save a buck by using a plastic table cloth for the background so EVERY picture stinks - bad.  This was a complete disaster.  At least Matt and the girls will have cake this afternoon when I am not home :)

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38/365 (2010)

Hmmm...


That sign is on a big pile of cut lawn waste.  It is next to the well station for the subdivision next to us.  It tickles me to see this sign thrown on something that people obviously dumped there.

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37/365 (2010)

Our girls :)



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Rub My Belly!

>> Friday, March 12, 2010

I have been just B.U.S.Y. this past few weeks with life and trying to get ready for a local consignment sale. Totes came out of closets and from the basement which I sorted into various piles. We had a local charity come on Tuesday for the items that I wanted to donate and whenever they come I try and throw in a bunch of other things as well b/c I am so done with the clutter that is currently our life! So while doing this digging and sorting I came across a little shirt that a friend of mine got for Violet. I remembered that there was a picture of it on my blog so I hunted it down and put the little skirt on Ruby to try and get the same shot. Everyone (including me) thinks that Ruby looks just like Violet. With these 2 next to each other I am not so sure anymore. Sure they are sisters but Ruby is changing and now looking like her own little self. Violet was almost 2 1/2 in her picture and our little Ruby will be 1 in 2 more weeks *sniff sniff*.



Note to my friends who take pictures. I had my D50 for 3 years when this picture was taken of Violet and I still was content with leaving it in auto. Not that I am by any way saying I am an expert at manual now (I see junk in Ruby's picture too) but WOW. It is raining, dark, and dreary here again today so the lighting in my living room is horrible but I can't take my eyes of the pin lights in Violet's eyes! It was the first thing I saw when I pulled the picture up! I would have never looked for that before. I am not even going to start on my biggest pet peeve of chopped limbs lol :)

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36/365 (2010)

>> Thursday, March 11, 2010

Flying


I got on here and realized "Darn it I didn't take out my camera once today!" so while we were playing tonight I grabbed it quick.  Ever have crazy days like that?  So here is my picture of Ruby flying above me.  I love when she smiles big and happy like that and I am able to capture it 

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35/365 (2010)

Kicked back.  What a life :)


Violet loves reading and being read to.  She also loves dolls, dogs, & dress up.  Fancy Nancy is a favorite here :)



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Team Up Thursday - Relax

Angie and I again went with the host's them this week of Relax. I smiled when I first saw Angie's shot b/c it screams relaxing. I remember those days :) It is peaceful and calm. Love it! I have 3 girls under 4 running around so my house is far from calm. Ruby woke up crabby yesterday and I finally got her down for a nap. Violet is a bookworm so while I was putting Ruby down she picked up her books. She is relaxing and to me that is 20 minutes I can sit on the couch, have a cup of coffee, and chill until I have to be on again. I took 5 minutes of pictures of her and had 15 minutes to do just that. A dreary day made the shot moody to me but I liked it.



I spent Tuesday taking pictures while enjoying my girls out on the deck but when I went back and looked at the shots I remembered that Ruby would walk over and pick up a leaf so I would have to get up and get it from her so she wouldn't eat it. So my afternoon was sit, laugh at the older girls, "No Ruby!", get up and get Ruby, repeat... Not relaxing for me. If you want to see the reject it is on my 365 Blog.

More Team Up Thursdays @ Mental Inventory.

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34/365 (2010)

>> Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just Relax.


This is the 2nd week that I wasn't sure which "relax" shot I wanted to use for my Team Up Thursday.  We were waiting for supper to get done so while they pretended they were having a tea party I played with my tripod & remote.  I so have spring fever!



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Wordful Wednesday - Please Stay

We have been blessed with some beautiful weather the past few days. Ahhhh.... This sure has been a crazy winter and by me writing this post we will almost be assured of getting more snow. I had a ton of errands to run yesterday but I did manage to squeeze in 45 minutes at the park. We could have stayed an extra 15 minutes but someone had to go potty and there were no bathrooms there.



While driving by Good Will I happened to look over and notice they had quite a selection of little scooters. We can always use ride on toys b/c it seems that there is never enough when the kids I babysit come over. Piper already has "her" scooter but we picked up a spare Cinderella and a princess one for Violet. Fun times! BTW, I don't make them wear all that gear. They have to wear helmets when riding but they wanted the pads too :) Sure, why not?



Even the wee one enjoyed the weather and being outside. Although she is on my back most of the time b/c I can't trust the leaf, dirt, probably bug eating girlie yet. She stole Piper's headband and thinks she is making her getaway. It starts before a year :)



More WW @

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What a beautiful bag!

>> Tuesday, March 9, 2010

That is what I imagine I would hear if I had a camera bag from Epiphanie followed by "I can't believe that is a camera bag, where did you get it" I bring my camera with me so often and put it in a wetbag (yes a diaper wetbag) so that it won't get anything on it from my diaper bag. The Nikon bag that my husband got for me holds my lenses safely but I don't really like taking it out of the house b/c it is well, ugly. I have been on the hunt for a stylish camera bag that doesn't look like a camera bag. The bags from Epiphanie are just drop dead gorgeous! Something new for my ever growing wish list. They are having a FABULOUS giveaway right now too. Want to win a Canon 5D Mark II? Who wouldn't right? If you decide that you answered "me" to the last question then you could choose a $2500 gift certificate to Southwest Airlines instead. Interested? I know I am :) Head over to Epiphanie's Blog and get entered. This will end on March 31st.

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33/365 (2010)

>> Monday, March 8, 2010

Sun


I lured our Violet to the deck telling her I wanted to see all her new moves that she made up today.  Really I am still trying to figure out how to get a good shot with the sun behind which I still haven't but I loved the look on her face :)  She rocked out the moves too!

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32/365 (2010)

>> Sunday, March 7, 2010

Will the real Taylor Swift please stand up?


2 very different dolls with the same name reside here with us now.  Today we bought a Taylor Swift doll that sings with some birthday money that Violet had.  She LOVES the new doll and we have heard Love Story no less than 100 times today - seriously.  Here she is pressing the belly button (ha ha) again.  Make that 101 :)

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31/365 (2010)

>> Saturday, March 6, 2010

I my family


Ruby is intently watching Pica our chihuahua.  I didn't get many shots b/c they were late for their Daddy/Daughter date night.  

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What kind of person would drive off?

That is what I am sitting here wondering tonight. Matt took Violet & Piper to Chick-fil-A for a Daddy/Daughter date night and that was what my blog post today was going to be about. It was fabulous but something else happened and I am sick about it so that is what I choose to write about tonight.

I only had 1 kid and an easy kid at that. Ruby rides comfortably on my back in our Beco carrier while mama shops. I didn't have to keep track of anyone! We went to the Dollar Tree - b/c seriously I love that store and then to Ross which is similar to TJ Maxx & Marshalls. I got a call from hubs saying they were wrapping up so Ruby and I headed home too. I was driving along and saw the car quite a ways in front of me brake and then drive off. I saw what looked like a bag or box sort of roll but as I got closer realized it was a dog. I immediately stopped next to it and searched frantically for my hazard light button. I couldn't find it! All I kept thinking was "Where the hell is this thing, I have had this van for over 3 years how the heck don't I know where it is?" So I called Matt :) He said he was just leaving and said he was on his way to where I was. When I looked back up the dog was gone and a car was honking at me so I drove and turned around. I saw another car driving slowly with their window open and I rolled mine down to ask if he saw the dog that got hit too? His face changed when I said that b/c he said it was his dog. I told him my husband was on his way to help us and to turn around b/c the dog was farther back down the street. I found my hazards (thanks honey) and started walking the area looking for the dog. Matt got there and helped us. After a little while the guy found the dog which I don't think he would have so quickly had I not seen it happen and brought him to the emergency vet. I hope that dog is ok. Now, what I can't seem to forget is how absolutely heartless the person that drove away was. Matt thought we would be making the trip to the emergency vet ourselves and be the proud owners of a gimped doggie but I am glad the owner figured out that his dog took off so quickly. Still, we were only there for maybe 15 minutes. What was that car that hit that dog thinking? No one would have blamed them b/c the dog took off into a busy street. Why didn't they stop? It will be a question on my mind for some time I think.

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Practice Batch?

>> Friday, March 5, 2010

I read once on the Wilton website that you should always make a practice cake before the cake that you need on whichever important day you are making it for (run on sentence much?). "HA!" Who needs to practice? Not me right? Wrong. Thank goodness I made a practice batch of cupcakes today that I was going to make for Ruby's 1st birthday in just 2 weeks. Not only did I start off with a new cake recipe I have been wanting to try but being bullheaded as I am (and reading a few of the cakes reviews that said the cake didn't rise much) I filled the cupcakes too full and right now my house has the wonderful aroma of burned cake. Ugh! This was supposed to be a pick me up for Piper who had to stay home from school today b/c she is under the weather.



Isn't she pitiful? This week they learned about rainbows. Today was show & tell and she wanted to wear her favorite rainbow shirt. Ahh, what little girl doesn't love rainbows, butterflies & unicorns? She was so disappointed to miss it that I decided to surprise her with rainbow cupcakes. I am not even going to embarrass myself with the full picture of the pan lol :)



But after a little bit of doctoring



They didn't turn out half bad :) The best part is I have a little bit of left over frosting I made for the bowl o'cake garbage shown above. Yum!



You want to know something crazy? The red/pink was the first layer and somehow it ended up near the top on some of the cupcakes. Weird. Thankfully most of the bottom of my oven is covered w/tin foil but I still see my afternoon scrubbing. Darn it - but lesson learned. Now I know what to do and what not to do so these are going to rock for our little Ruby! The cupcakes are pretty time consuming but I can't wait to do it all over again :)

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I am 45 years old and married to my best friend Matthew. We are the parents of 3 girls, 2 dogs, and a cat. This is the story of us, try to stay awake.

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