The run up to Christmas

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

We put up the outside lights and brought the Christmas tree three days after Thanksgiving, and so far the season has continued with reindeers galore, Christmas card mailings, kittens in Christmas trees, cats in collars, and gingerbread house making. I give you our run-up to Christmas!
I am especially looking forward to "un-plugging" from work, and taking some more photos. Seasons Greetings from us!

Two Reindeer - My eldest with Jabez at J's Landing, a barn that has therapy animals and is a great location for photo shoots!

An outtake from our Christmas card, this one didn't make the cut

Probably my favorite from my Christmas card shoot, but I didn't use it in our Christmas card (not sure why now!). Will just have to hang it in my house instead.
Introducing a new ornament concept called "Kitten in a tree". This is Boo a stray kitten that I caught around Halloween. He has been socialized at J's Landing by Sharon Chatlos and goes to his forever home at Christmas.

This silly Christmas bell collar lasted all of 2 mins on our cat.

When you decorate a gingerbread house, be sure to wear cowboy boots.

My 365 Journey - A Look Back

Sunday, December 7, 2014

It wasn't until I started my 365 photo project last year, that I was really able to see my own development as a photographer in a tangible way. Sharing this project online in a real time manner also started me on the road to blogging.
I look back at those photos on my facebook page, and remember every single day of that year. Some photos I love more than others - images of my children, candid moments, little rituals, and activities in our own back yard. I share my favorite selections with you here, nearly a year after I completed it.
Stay tuned for a Christmas post next week.

I love to capture them playing, and this moment with neighbors was one of my very first 365 photos.
It was one of those really hot summer days - we needed to cool off
Walking after the rain to the mailbox we ran into friends who were also wearing colorful wellies. I had to take this photo!
The youngest wanted to wade around the pool like her sister, but could not reach the bottom, so big sister scooped her up and carried her around.
Books had been read, prayers said and the bedroom light had been turned off, the littlest though still had her flashlight in hand and I had no photo of the day yet. Another chance to practice low light photography.

The sidewalk near our neighbors house has these beautiful flowers my youngest is always trying to pick. On this day after a rainshower, she found a flower petal treasure on the ground.
This cat arrived at our doorstep hungry and did not leave for a few days. We took it in and rang the number on his tag and he was picked up eventually. This is when he discovered the tadpoles we had collected.
We love washing the car, and sometimes we get creative with our buckets. This is our version of a Priceless car wash.
I bought some new brushes for the shower - they wanted to be cleaners, so I let them at it.
An early morning walk on the beach was graced with seafoam. I can't work out if its beautiful or disgusting.
She pulled a princess dress from the antique luggage I use for storage of dress-up clothes, and decided she wanted to watch birds.
This was one of the first times we brought them to horse racing. Dad and eldest were trying to focus on whether their horse won, youngest was just excited about the finish line.
She has wanted to crimp her hair like her cousin. Her hair looked so fabulous I grabbed a fan and tilted it up towards her to add movement. She has the hair I always wanted growing up.

 We went to a pumpkin patch early and beat the crowds. She didn't want to wear her wellie boots anymore and pulled them off and proceeded to stamp in the straw. I sent this to my local paper (Ireland) who featured it in their photo competition.
They both asked to be Annie for Halloween.
We packed an evening picnic to enjoy a hilly park with lovely views. As the sun set the girls started to dance with Dad.
This photo hangs on my wall - I love it so much. She had her school photos taken around this time and she wanted to show me her "school photo pose". The photo I took before this she sits beautifully with her hands on her lap as she did for her school photo. Then she laid down in the grass to look at the sky...and I got this.


South Carolina

Sunday, November 30, 2014

It was luck when I found amazing rates on flights to South Carolina for Thanksgiving a few months ago, and so we headed up for some cooler outdoor experiences with friends who live on a lake.

Highlights of the visit included four little girls bonding again, a Golden Retriever puppy called Max who liked to give wet licks, an amazing menu, a trip to a legal Moonshine Distillery (for the adults), shaded train tracks for an impromptu photo, beautiful sunrises and sunsets on the lake, and cooler-than-we-are-used-to weather. Can't wait to return!

Sunrise, watching the fishermen and steam rising off the lake
Warm Jammies
She mistook the frost on this leaf for snow, can you tell they live in Florida?
The food was divine
Tire Swings
Moonshine Tasting
Butterflies playing with puppies

Halfway through the walk, Max went for a swim.
 Look at how she looks at him!
The epic walk back...puppys make you walk for miles.
I made us stop by the train tracks - the light was perfect and I needed a visual memory of how we rocked the mismatched clothing mandate.

The Mermaids

Sunday, November 23, 2014

This past summer I got to scratch off the bucket list item A.K.A. as “Visit Hawaii”, and it didn’t disappoint. We spent a week soaking up the sun, jumping in and out of the surf, visiting the sights, and spending quality time with family. Last Christmas from Santa, the girls received little mermaid tails (with openings at the bottom), and I made sure to pack them for this trip.

As luck would have it, or was it luck? The 6 hour time difference meant we were all pretty jetlagged, getting up at 4am each morning. The plus side was that we got that lovely light at dawn for photos, and on our second morning on the island we walked down to the beach at dawn and let the girls enjoy being mermaids.

When I took a vacation...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I like to travel. Enough said!

For my birthday my thoughtful husband surprised me with a trip to Savannah – a place I have always wanted to visit. We also vacationed in Hawaii with our California family, and went discovering Florida, visiting St. Augustine, Fort Myers, Naples and Everglades city. Aside from vacations, a work event, and the night my eldest learned how to ride her bike without training wheels, I took a break from my big camera this summer. I put it away in a box and walked past that box every day with no urge to use it. Looking back, I realize I needed the break from using it nearly daily. No earth shattering reason. I guess I just needed a vacation from my dslr.

My facebook blog has been quiet these past few months for that very reason and then as I finalized this website before posting more shoots. So here is a recap of my favorite vacation images from summer 2014. Just so you know, the big camera is out of the box and back in my purse again. Stay tuned.

Sunrise, Kapalua
Sunset with a cold beer, Kaanapali
Enjoying the surf, Kaanapali
Maui ocean center, with cousins
Before the tropical storm, Maui
Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine
At the Olde Pink House, Savannah
Hanging out in Savannah

Naples Pier

Ted Smallwood's Store - Chokoloskee

Collecting Shells

and Building Castles - Fort Myers