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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Melissa + Joy | AT HOME | Story Time

The point of this series is to motivate us to take pictures of everyday life with kids. Joy has done a better job, in my opinion, of picking up the camera when life was happening instead of scheduling life. Kids, we MUST read a book tonight so I can take pictures! Look your BEST! Clean your room!
Instead, I tried hard to pick up the camera spontaneously when I happen to be headed up to read with my kids. In the previous posts, I've included a shot of every child, every time. I want to break away from feeling that is necessary. So Schroeder will not be seen in this post because I didn't pick up the camera spontaneously when I was headed to read with him.
I do read to my kids, but it doesn't happen like clock work. I'm not always in the mood to read before nap time or bedtime. We go to the library, but not weekly. Reading happens when there is a good book to read or when I have a boost of energy before they head to bed. It happens when I put Maggie in bed for nap and she looks so cute that I need to spend just a few more minutes with her.
That's what is dipicted here. D'arcy got the second Harry Potter book for her birthday and they were eager to have it read to them. I finished one chapter and D'arcy decided to keep going on her own until I turned off her light and told her to GO TO SLEEP.
We were invited to go to the library last week and I picked up a Bunny Bag full of board books for Schroe and Mags. They've loved reading the books, and carrying the bag around and unloading them and reloading them. I love that Maggie is repeating the words in the books. Her vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds each day.
I took D'arcy and Julian's photos late at night. It was completely dark. I decided I wasn't going to use a flash. To be able to have a shutter speed that wasn't horribly slow, I had to turn my ISO up to 5000. Yes, you read that right. The pictures are more than grainy. I didn't change the coloring too much, because that is really what it looked like at that moment. As a photographer, I have to make the decision of how much to leave true to life and how much to edit to make things prettier. I wanted these to be true to life.
I'm in several of these photos. It is difficult to take a self-portrait. It's difficult to set the camera up and focus correctly. It's difficult to look at yourself when I discerning eye isn't helping you with your posture or expression. I'm embracing it. Hoping to take more self-portraits this year.
Check out Joy's blog here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

We went camping.

While we were camping, Stephen, Julian, and I all got stung by a bee. Poor Julian kind of freaked out and started flailing and screaming. BUT after a hug and some mud, he calmed down and hiked with minimal complaining. In the end, I don't know that I would have wanted him saved from those bee stings. It was good for him to learn respect for nature and also to see that bee stings aren't the end of the world. I was proud of him for moving forward. I don't know if I regret getting stung. I'm screamed and flailed my arms too, but once I got those suckers off me, I felt a great sense of toughness. Not sure if my value system is all whacked out...

This is what eight looks like.

D'arcy turned eight on Saturday. When she woke up, she had a little package with the second Harry Potter book and a note saying we had registered her for a sewing class. She was pleased. Then we left for Turkey Run State Park where we spent the day canoeing, hiking, and camping with a few of our friends from church. We sang happy birthday to her around the campfire. Miss Julia brought some sparklers to make it feel like a celebration. She had a family birthday party several weeks ago. It was a joint party for her and Gabe and Maggie Lu. Every birthday is celebrated a little differently. The rule is to keep it simple, to make her feel loved and special, and to take at least one picture of her.
At eight, D'arcy likes (in no particular order) reading, chicken salad, watching "Good Luck Charlie" on the iPad, sychronized swimming, playing piano, playing with both doll and live babies, Jimmy John's sandwiches, having a busy schedule, playing with neighbors after school, spending quality time with loved ones (If I were to guess, I would say quality time and physical touch are her love languages), going to movies with her Daddy, drawing, ridiculous accessories, playing Sudoku, and helping me cook. School seems to come easy for her, and she enjoys it. She is helpful around the house. She can unload the dishwasher, and clean her bathroom. She can do some cooking on her own including making pancakes.
She rushes, always ready for the next thing before the current thing is over. She wants to know what today and tomorrow and the next day will look like. I don't think she loves that childhood typically means that mom and dad make the schedule and aren't always willing to give her an itinerary two days in advance. She's kind of sloppy, but she's also kindhearted and thoughtful. She is sensitive and is usually sad instead of angry when she gets in trouble. She's crafty or artistic...only time will tell. She's much more interested in science than I ever remember being both in nature and in the human body.
Here she is at eight. Another year has gone by, and that hair has not changed color.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Kids say the darndest things...

It's almost jacket weather.  ALMOST.  But Schroeder decided he wanted to get his out yesterday.

He comes upstairs with his star wars hooded jacket on and says the following.

"Mom, rip my jacket!  Rip it!"  Huh?  "Do you mean zip your jacket, Schroe?" Nod.

"Mom, will you put up the folder!"  Huh?  "Do you mean you want the hood up?" Nod.

"Thanks, mom.  I didn't want all my hair to blow away."

Schroeder is so well spoken that it is funny when he struggles to find the right word.  On the other hand, Maggie is so new to speaking, it is so wonderful when she says something perfectly.

Maggie MADE MY DAY this morning.  We were still laying in bed.  She was already busy finding treasures in my room.  She located the box with my wedding shoes in them and was walking around the house in them.  She looked up at me and said, "My shoes are in my locker."  She is right.  We each have a locker downstairs where we keep our shoes.  I look at Stephen and I say all sappy like, "SHE USED THE WORD LOCKER IN A COMPLETE SENTENCE!  I'm so proud!"  Watching kids learn language is one of my very favorite parts of parenting.  Four kids in and it has not gotten old.

Seven looked like this.

This is how she plays. She draws. She writes in journals. She plays piano and writes songs. She sews. She always makes little hand sewn gifts for people's birthdays. I hate to admit that I sort of cringe when she shows me her little gifts because I'm afraid the recipient of the gift will be unable to identify what it is or it's function. But, I'm working hard to let her simply play like I would let Julian play with his LEGOS. I don't want to micromanage her in her craftiness. She'll get better with age.
Wow, she is really such a thoughtful girl. Her friends in twenty years are going to be blown away with her hand made gifts.

One looked like this.

What you need to focus on in this picture is Maggie's socks.  It's apparent that they don't match, but what isn't apparent is that this was the day she kept bringing me socks to put on.  She has three socks on each foot in this picture.
This picture also gives testament to Maggie's favorite toys.  Give her a purse, a phone, and some footwear and she is happy.  Throw in a baby and either a ridiculous hat or headband and she will be content all day.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Seven looked like this.

She got to put the star on top of our first (and way too expensive) Christmas tree in our new home.

One looked like this.

I have two baby girls who have birthdays coming up so I'm reminiscing. We went to Disney World last October. Isn't this onesie cute? Our friend Rachelle sent it to me when Maggie was born and somehow the box was misplaced in the garage for almost a year. Thankfully she was a little bitty girl and we were still able to wear everything in the box! The onesie says "Mommy makes me smile". I guess this isn't true when mommy is walking away.
I love her. I love her. I love her.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I live in Fletcher Place.

Stephen and I moved into a little neighborhood downtown last year. The house is nice enough. It met our needs and some of our wants, but we bought this specific house because it was the best option in Fletcher Place at the time. We did this in Texas, too. We found a neighborhood we wanted to be in, and found the best house we could afford. This new to us house is old. How stupid were we for buying this. Was it going to cave in on us? At least, It has helped to remind me of what God has done for us. Does he sometimes think that we are not worth enjoy and fix up this big mess. That's my great spiritual metaphor.
Fletcher Place is named for a man named Calvin Fletcher. We have some paperwork that shows that the land our house was built on was originally owned by him. It shows how they parceled it off and who they sold our little lot to. This neighborhood has been here since the 1860's, but many who drive into downtown are unaware of it's presence. I have lived in the Indianapolis area most of my life, and hadn't heard of this little corner of downtown until our realtor heard what we were looking for and suggested it.
It fits us perfectly. Our church, Stephen's work, and D'arcy and Julian's school are all within a mile (aka walking or biking distance). Maybe it was shady at one time or another, but today, Fletcher Place is full of professionals and families with kids.
We also have our fair share of weeds, broken fences, and abandoned houses. It's amazing that accross the street from us in one direction their is a huge warehouse that has been converted into $250,000 lofts, and across the street in the other direction there is a little house that sits empty with a sign on the front stating that the neighborhood suspects this house to be inhabited by raccoons. Someone owns that little yellow house and they come every now and again to clean it up a bit. I wish they would sell it because I know that someone would love to own and love on it.
So our neighborhood is this big mess of both beautiful and ugly, well loved and abandoned. If you have the ability to zone in on the beautiful and dismiss the ugly, you will be rewarded. Sometimes the ugly can transform into something beautiful, too. A big, beautiful mess. I featured some of the beautiful, winter scenes in our neighborhood here   This little corner was calling my name as I drove past it the other day. It said photograph me. That is photography, task driven speak for enjoy me. I'm doing both. The ivy crawling up these electric lines and this beautiful building (that is also now condos) that welcomes you into Fletcher Place beyond. That blue sky doesn't hurt. .

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I got my feet wet for this one.

I want to tell more real life stories.  I want to be a photojournalist.  Sometimes, even when a client asks for candid shots, I have a hard time believing that's what they really, really want.  In the midst of so many props and stylized shoots, does anyone want shots that show them in their natural state?  Thanks Sarah Cain for asking me to get in a creek.  
My husband was looking at these and said, "Are these all her boys?" Yes.  Then he asked, "And she is the hair bow lady?"  Yes.  She is multi-faceted.  and awesome.  and her boys are sweet.  Thanks for serving me, Sarah.  Everybody check out her businees, blessedmama designs and her other business TreFibre Wedding Designs.