Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quiet, Lovely Christmas!

Christmas this year was little quieter than other years. A little more slow paced. And filled with a lot more love!

We really scaled back this year and celebrated Christmas Eve and most of Christmas day with just the 3 of us. We baked cookies for Santa, opened gifts, enjoyed each other and snuggled on the couch watching Christmas movies. (We also dropped off some gifts for a family that we adopted...it was wonderful to see Caleb excited to be able to help others!)

Not that Caleb wasn't excited for Christmas, because he was...but we have noticed around our house lately that we really enjoy just spending time with each other. There wasn't all of the running around, or the frantic shopping...it was just us.

AND I couldn't have asked for anything more!

My favorite photo this entire holiday season!!

Happy Holidays to everyone! I hope that your holidays were as heartwarming and special as mine was!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Not keeping a tally

Last week it was pointed out to me how much I give, but how little I seem to always receive from family and friends. I had never viewed it this way before…part of my personality is that I am someone that gives. I love giving to others… and up until last week, it’s never been about what I receive back.

But ever since my good friend pointed it out to me, it has been so hard not to begin tallying things up. And I found myself unhappy…unhappy because I started wondering why I wasn’t good enough to get back from others. Why wasn’t I receiving back as much as I was always giving out?

My tally marks were beginning to be all that I could think of…I gave person a this, but I only got this back, I gave person b that and I received nothing back….it was all that was going through my mind. And I didn’t like it. I began to spiral back down into depression thinking about all that had gone on in the last couple of years with friends, family and work…so I began to cry.

And cry.

And cry.

But I also began to examine who I was and what was important to me.

Was getting really what was important to me?

Was keeping a mental tally on my friends and family really important to me?

If they were doing the same thing, how would I stack up to others on their tally sheet?

Is judging the people that I love really how to go about loving them? Shouldn’t I just accept them for who and what they are? Isn’t that what love really is?

So over the weekend I threw away my tally sheet. I made myself stop thinking about getting. Because what is important to me is the giving, not the getting. It’s part of what makes me who I am. And I like who I am. Actually I LOVE who I am. And giving to others makes me happy. It makes me feel complete. 
I also realized that those that mean the most to me do give back...my soul is filled to the brim with love and respect for those that I am the closest to. And if by chance I get something back from any others it will be an amazing little extra to overflow my spirit.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

I'm a Momarazzi and I don't care who knows it!!

One of the things that I love most about photography is that I believe that it allows us to freeze moments in time. It allows us to capture memories and savor them long after an event or milestone. But it also allows us to preserve the small moments too...afternoons at the park, going out for a bike ride in the neighborhood, a soccer practice at dusk, or just lounging on the couch watching a movie. These are the moments that I want to remember the most. The days that my 4 (almost 5) year old just snuggles up in his footy jammies with his daddy on the couch. The soccer games and practices when he is so excited to make a goal and the first person that he looks for afterwards is me. I don't want to forget any of these moments...so I have been taking photos like crazy. 
And I think that it is starting to show because this is what I get when I pull out the camera lately.

Maybe someone is getting tired of mommy trying to capture memories?  What do you think?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Reddy the Elf

Last week we added a little extra fun and an extra watchful eye to our household for this holiday season. Our little elf on the shelf that Caleb named Reddy is joining in on our holiday merriment and so far he has been so much fun...along with being a little mischievous!!
The first night he climbed up into our tree and sat right next to our first family ornament and watched with his careful eyes!!

Another night he got into our art closet and pulled out some crayons and a Thomas the Train coloring book and had some fun!

He has also gotten into the cars and had some fun spelling out Caleb's name in the playroom!

And then over the weekend, while Caleb crashed out on a couch in the living room he had a sleepover with Mickey & Tigger in Caleb's bed!

 This is our first year with an Elf in the house and I now I know why my other mom friends had so much fun with their kids and elves in past Christmas'. It really does add fun, excitement and some great holiday magic to the season!!!

I'll try to post some more photos of Reddy and his shenanagins over the next week!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! - Thankfulness Challenge

#23 - I am thankful for friends that invite us into their homes!

My husband has worked every Thanksgiving since I've known him (he works in retail) so each year we either skip Thanksgiving or I cook up a small meal that we enjoy together after he gets home from work. This year a good friend of mine has graciously invited my son & I (and when he gets off work, my husband) into her home to enjoy the holiday with her and her family. I am really looking forward to help cook the big meal and to contribute some of my own dishes. I really am truly thankful to not have to spend the holiday alone like we usually do.

Thank you Moore family for opening your home to us...it means more than you ever will know.


Thankfulness Challenge (#19-22)

#19 - I am thankful for reliable transportation. Over the past year my car has broken down numerous times, accelerated on it's own and just plain been a pain in the rear. BUT last week I traded it in and got a brand new car. I am so thankful to have this new car because now I don't have to worry about my son's safety while driving it, I don't have to worry about fixing it because the new one is under warranty and I don't have to worry about whether or not it will break down in the middle of the road.

#20 - I am thankful that I can afford to buy food for the holidays. I know that not everyone has that ability and I am truly thankful that my husband and I both have jobs and can afford something that sadly is considered a luxury to some.

#21 - I am thankful for quiet moments to myself. I don't get many of them but I treasure the quiet moments that I can steal away for myself to read a book, take a nap or just sit and write in my journal.

#22 - I am thankful for date nights with my husband. I look forward to time that we get to spend alone together and I treasure those moments. Both of us understand that date nights and time alone is essential to keeping our marriage and relationship healthy.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thankfulness challenge catch-up!

I've been swamped and have gotten behind on my thankfulness challenge, so I'm going to do my best to catch up!

#12 - I'm thankful for my loving family. I'm a really touchy geeky kinda girl and I'm so very happy that both my husband and son are the same! We hug, kiss and cuddle on a daily basis. We aren't afraid to say "I love you" to each other and it makes me feel so grateful that we have each other.

#13 - I'm thankful for laughter and my ability to laugh at myself. I love to have a good time, I love to laugh and make others laugh. But I'm especially grateful that I know how to not take myself too seriously. Laughter makes awkward situations more bearable, laughter can make tears go away and lighten the mood. Laughter can also cause tears...but tears of joy!!

#14 - I'm thankful for my clients. Seriously, I think that I have the best clients in the world!! Part of the reason that I've been so busy is because I've been swamped with photo shoots every weekend and evening this past month. But I've never been happy to be so busy! And the people that are in front of my lens have been some of the most beautiful, sweet, lovely people that I've ever met! Thank you for choosing me and letting be a part of your life!

#15 - I'm thankful for being able to see the beauty in what surrounds me. I've been working so hard to and long lately, but I can still see the beauty of the world. I've also been confronted with quite a bit of struggles in my short lifetime, but to me the glass is still half-full. Things can and will get better!

#16 - I'm thankful for my husband's health. As some of you know my husband has a chronic illness, but he's been in remission for over a year and I couldn't be happier about it! I'm so thankful for his great physicians and medication. It may make things hard for us monetarily, but every penny we spend is completely worth it!

#17 - I'm thankful for my DVR - oh boy do I love my DVR! It freaking rocks my world and keeps me connected to my soap stars, gives me my Dexter fix and brings Booth & Bones into my living room each week.

#18 - I'm thankful for my rockstar of a trainer. She totally kicks my booty at bootcamp four times a week and helps me have an outlet for my frustrations. I love her creative workouts that make exercising fun (and hard) each and every evening! I'll play catch-up more tomorrow! Until then have a great night!!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

To infinity & beyond

After we put Caleb down each night my husband and I spend some much needed quiet time together. But while we are talking and catching up on each other's day or watching TV, every now and then my son, knowing that we think he is sound asleep quietly opens his bedroom door. He then tiptoes down the hallway and sneaks into our bedroom. He crawls up into my bed, snuggles in and falls fast asleep with neither me or my husband being the wiser.

He did this again last night but I actually found him just before he was back asleep. He looked so sweet and so innocent that I didn't have the heart to carry him back to his own bed all the way across the house. Instead I crawled in next to him and we snuggled. He threw his arm across my chest, hugged me and whispered in my ear, "I'm going to wuv you forever mommy. I wuv you and I will be with you forever...like Buzz Lightyear to infinity & beyond." He then yawned a big yawn, rolled onto his side and fell asleep.

And my heart grew and my love for him grew also...which was something that I didn't think could happen. I know that he won't always want to crawl into my bed to sleep. I know that he won't always voluntarily tell me how much he loves me. So these moments I will treasure. These moments will be permanently in my memory...the kinds of memories that will help me through the dark times. The kinds of memories that bring a smile to my face and a warmth to my soul. I love my little Buzz Lightyear and too will love him to infinity & beyond.


#11 - Thankfulness Challenge

#11 - I am thankful for mistakes that I learn from

Yeah, I know another weird one, but I really am thankful for the mistakes that I have made in my life....mostly because I have chosen the learn from each and every one of them. Making a mistake allows me to grow & allows me to improve myself. Just remember that as Al Franken said,
"Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from."


Thursday, November 10, 2011

#10 - Thankfulness Challenge

#10 - I am thankful for the Arizona Boxer Luv Rescue

I know this one sounds silly, but I am so very thankful for them!

I am a huge fan of the dog breed Boxers and these guys rescue Boxers on a daily basis. They constantly are pulling dogs from shelters, the pound and from bad situations regardless of the health of the animal. I adopted my baby girl Roxy from them 1 1/2 years ago and I am so happy with the time and effort that their organization puts into every adoption.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

That one time I organized a car show but forgot my camera

So last weekend I helped to organize a Classic Car show. And well...smartypants me, I forgot my camera. Seriously how does a photographer forget her camera? Well good thing that I had my trusty iPhone so that I could get a couple of photos in. And so that I could embarrass some of my co-workers. (heh-heh)
The Arizona Centennial Copper Chopper

The helmet makes the outfit, right?

I've got a thing for Bugs...they are just so stinkin cute!

MaryAnn with her Vipers...hisssssss!


Going for a ride Chelsea?

My lovely co-workers!
These past few weeks at work have been pretty rough...I've been working on 2 BIG events and thank goodness that one is finally done. I am so glad that this event went off without a hitch...it poured down rain the entire night before and I was completely stressed that the event would be rained out, but the morning of the event the cloud cover broke and the sun came out!!

Next up is a very large vendor fair & concert in Tuscon this coming up weekend. All I have been doing is worrying about weather, tents, stage set ups, food, garbage cans, people movers, and beer service. I can't wait until I can get my weekends back, see my family and not have to think about work when I'm not there! I'm sooooo ready to celebrate the holidays with my family!!!

#9 - Thankfulness Challenge

#9 - I am thankful for my son's amazing teacher

2 years ago when we abruptly had to change my son's daycare/preschool we were so very, very lucky to find the center that he is currently in. He had been in an in-home daycare his first 3 years of life and that is what I always thought that I wanted...but then things changed and we had to find somewhere on very short notice. The center that we ended up choosing was one of the best things to happen to him. They helped him with socializing, learning and making friends.

And his teacher this year is just amazing. He is now in a private kindergarten program in his center and the amount of things that he is learning each day is just astounding. The classroom has only 12 students and while he is only 4 years old (he will be five in January AHHHH!!! My baby boy is growing waaaayyy too quickly!!) he is already reading, doing math, spelling tests, etc. I am so thankful for Ms. Debbie that I just want to hug her on a daily basis. Thank you Ms. Debbie for being Caleb's mentor, his friend and his teacher. I know that he loves you and we do too!!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I'm behind...

So, I'm completely and totally behind. Well at least in my personal, photo posting on here. But for those that actually care (ahem...I'm talking to you dad!) and want to see a couple of photos from Halloween..here you go!
And since Halloween was on a Monday we had a full weekend of fun events to do!

Halloween weekend as seen by my iPhone:

First we went to a party.

Kiddo's lining up for a game.
And what a fine party it was!! My friend Melissa hosted a kids Halloween party at her house and I loved seeing all the kiddos all dressed up, playing games, running, laughing and eating!

Then we went to another party.

The uber-talented Nicole and her power tools.

My next door neighbor Becky & her daughter Kaylee

Caleb & Chris scooping out the insides.

Our finished pirate ship pumpkin.

And at this party the adults drank some alcohol, the kids at some hotdogs and we all carved our pumpkins. Thank you to my awesome next door neighbor Becky for hosting!

Then we went Trick-Or-Treating.

Supah Ninja Caleb

And finally it was over.

Notice the chocolate candy stain around his lips...

The end.

#8 - Thankfulness Challenge

#8 - I am thankful for my friends who aren't afraid of depression

I am so very lucky to have such wonderful friends. They are really there for me when I am down. They make me laugh. And the memories that we make are just amazing!! 
I have been having a very hard time lately dealing with depression and three of these friends have been so wonderful, supporting and really, really there for me. They call me to check up on me. They help me to laugh and to see the beauty of what surrounds me. And what I appreciate the most from is them not being afraid of depression but for helping me to tackle it head on. Thank you so much Sarah, Suzie and MaryAnn...I am so thankful that you are there to hold my hand while I climb this mountain back to my old self. I can't tell you how much your caring and support means to me! Hugs to you girls!! Great big bear hugs!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Holiday Photo Mini-Session Special!!

I just wanted to let you all know that I am offering a really great deal for Holiday Mini-Sessions over at Jenn Schell Photography!

If you are in the Phoenix Metro area and still need to get your holiday photos let me know!!


#7 - Thankfulness Challenge

Hi...I am doing a Thankfulness Challenge for the month of November.
If anyone is wanting to join in please do...There isn't any linkup.
Just pull the badge art (at bottom of this post) and put it in your post.
#7 - I am thankful for the internet and what it has brought me!

Blogging, Mom websites, Facebook, Twitter...they have all helped me to make some amazing friendships. While some of them are in cyberspace only...others are now friends in real life also. Some of my closest IRL friends are rekindled friendships through Facebook. While others are mom's that I met through websites dedicated to mom's and motherhood.
The internet is an amazing place that really brings people that otherwise would never get to meet together. I have met amazing ladies that help me with photography questions, some that helped me when I was starting my photography business, ones that have encouraged me when I'm feeling down...and I do the same for them! I may never meet these women (and a few men) in person, but I consider them my friends.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

#6 ~ Thankfulness Challenge

#6 ~ I am thankful for my neighborhood

I am so lucky to live in the neighborhood that I do. I have amazing neighbors that really look out for me, my family and our home. They are not only neighbors but I am also lucky enough to call them friends. We have neighborhood block parties. We meet up at the park. We play on sports teams together and lend a helping hand to each other when needed. It's almost like having extended family live on the same block as us and I am so very thankful to have them!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

#5 ~ Thankfulness Challenge

#5 ~ I am thankful for my home
From Pinterest
I am so thankful that not only do I have a home, but I have a home that I love. I mostly love it because it is where my family lives. It is the place that we create memories and have some of the best moments. It is the place that I brought my son home from the hospital to. It is the place that I have had profound conversations with my husband and with friends. It is where I laugh. Where I play. Where I have cried and where I love and where I am loved. It is where I lay my head down to sleep and where I dream.

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