Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas !!

What a wonderful Christmas it was. I know I say this every year but I am so blessed to be a part of the family that I am in. My in laws are so good at making holidays so special for everyone. This Christmas was no exception. Christmas eve we all went to church. It was a Christmas miracle I tell ya. My three children all sat very well through a ENTIRE service.

The service as pretty captivating. The talent at the church I go too never ceases to amaze me.


 And the message was incredible. God is so Good friends.

After church we had Christmas eve dinner at my in laws. PRIME rib people !!
How lucky am I. ??

It was delicious. The girls opened their traditional Christmas eve presents. PJ'S :). I used to do matching ones. But not so much any more.It seems that stores never have the right sizes for everyone.

The girls changed into their new PJ'S and we headed home.

I stayed up wrapping and Will stayed up cheering me on.

And drinking beer.

Hes good like that.

This morning at 7 am it was Christmas. Wrapping paper was flying and cameras were flashing. The girls ere really happy this year with their presents. The high lights were pillow pets and new bikes.

Then we headed back to Grandmas house for more amazing food and fellowship.

The day was amazing.

But I missed my Mom. She is in Wisconsin this Christmas.

So Mom. Enjoy the pics :)


Saturday, November 27, 2010

I am here.

Thanksgiving was amazing. Lots of food laughter and love.

I am excited for Christmas.
I need to clean my house up so Christmas decorating can commence.
I think we will put our tree up tomorrow.
I have been so busy with photo shoots. This is a GREAT thing.
But it leaves little time for other things.
Things will slow down soon enough. And I will have lots of blog bonding time.

But you all should check out my laurenjean blog. Pretty fun stuff going on over there.

One of my favs from thanksgiving

Aunt Meghan and Uncle Josue with Myka.

Monday, November 22, 2010

RIP Sasha

Thursday night I was stressed. I was trying to get the house ready for my in laws to come and stay while me and the Mr took a last minute trip to Wisconsin.
More on the trip later.
My hubby came in the door from work and was ghost white. He told me to come outside.
There she was.
laying motionless on the black street.

Whoever did it didn't even stop.

It was a long night of crying, hugging, and comforting three very sad little girls.

We were sad too.

We love you Sasha R.I.P
004 blog

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A " Mini" Thanksgiving

nov 16th

We made a mini Thanksgiving dinner this year. It was just me and the girls.
Will had to work late.
He works so hard for us.
He is the biggest thing I am thankful for.
We are doing the whole big family Thanksgiving thing this year.
My awesome family is another thing I am thankful for.
But i wanted a chance to talk with my girls when it was just us about being thankful.
I didn't do anything super fancy. Just a frozen turkey loaf. And some mashed potatoes and stuffing. And some veggies.
The biggest treat was the fancy apple juice.
Lexi calls it kid wine.
Lexi was thankful for her family, freedom, and electricity.
Ashlynn was thankful for the same things as her sister , plus our cat Sasha.
Myka was thankful for Ponyo.
Ponyo is a whole other post.
We turned on some Christmas music and I can honestly say we had a good meal.
It was only about 15 min of relaxation before the fighting started again.
But i think the girls will remember it as being much longer.

Monday, November 15, 2010

My little snot face...


Snot has taken over my life !!

She wipes it on my hand , In my hair, on my pillow.

Its so gross.

The i call her snotface and she laughs and laughs.

Then she pinches me.

Then she says sewerry mommy.

Then my heart melts.

Then she calls me a butt head.


I have a new photography blog I have been working insanely hard on.

Go there, NOW !!

And then book me for a photoshoot. I dont care where you live. We can make it happen :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


made me cry last night. Im just sayin. I love this show for so many reasons.

But  besides the catchy show tunes and adorable cast its the message about acceptance I really dig.

There is so much hate in this world.
maybe sows like Glee will inspire the next generation to be different.
To be tolerant of people and intolerant of injustice wherever they may see it. And whatever form it comes in.
hate is hate. It has no excuses.

you should watch this its good.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I need

NOTHING !! I mean it. I know I need nothing more in life.
I have food, clean water and shelter.

I Need nothing !!

 SO why are my thoughts consumed by things I think I need??

Like new dishes, a new haircut, a new curling iron.

Its all so silly.

But i still cant stop thinking about it.

brain SHUT Up and go to bed !!!

DO NOT think about how cute these bowls are

or how awesome this chair would look in your living room.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Light me up baby !

I apologize for the delay in this post.I had honest to goodness intentions earlier this week. But then this thing called life happened.

Life always gets in the way of the fun things I want to do like blog.

But As promised here is another post about taking awesome, make your friends jealous kind of pics !!

Light is electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength that is visible to the human eye (in a range from about 380 or 400 nanometres to about 760 or 780 nm).[1] In physics, the term light sometimes refers to electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength, whether visible or not.[2][3]

Cool . 

I have no idea what that all means. 

What I do know is light is pretty. And light is everywhere if you know how to find it. 

Photography is the process, activity and art of creating still or moving pictures by recording radiation on a radiation-sensitive medium, such as a photographic film, or an electronic sensor. Photography uses foremost radiation in the UV, visible and near-IR spectrum.[1] For common purposes the term light is used instead of radiation. Light reflected or emitted from objects form a real image on a light sensitive area (film or plate) or a FPA pixel array sensor by means of a pin hole or lens in a device known as a camera during a timed exposure. The result on film or plate is a latent image, subsequently developed into a visual image (negative or diapositive). An image on paper base is known as a print. The result on the FPA pixel array sensor is an electrical charge at each pixel which is electronically processed and stored in a computer (raster)-image file for subsequent display or processing. Photography has many uses for business, science, manufacturing (f.i. Photolithography), art, and recreational purposes.

I tell people that photography means painting with light. If you think about your camera in terms of it being your paintbrush it puts  a whole new spin on things.

So my tip for today is look for the light baby !!  My favorite time of day to take pictures is the last hour of daylight. because the the lighting is just so and you dont have to look for shade you can pretty much shoot anywhere.

I call this time the gushy lighting.
DSC_0226 edit color

I am pretty sure i stole that term from someone. But I love it because that's how I feel about the light. But in reality we cant make every cute thing our child does or every memory we make happen after five. So what to do the other times ??

Look for shade. If you are intentionally setting up any kind of posed shots with people ALWAYS look for shade. I also want to mention that you should look for solid patches of shade. If at all possible you always want to be aware of shadowing on your subjects faces.

To show you what I mean I am posting this next pic taken from the second shoot I had ever done. Fair warning its awful !!

The kid is adorable. The photography is hideous. I am doing this to be real with you all. To show you where i started. No one told me any of the rules when I took this one.
doyle ed 13

Besides his crazy over sharp eyes notice the shadowing on his face. That is what you want to avoid. You do this by purposely finding sources of light and ways to diffuse the light ie find shade.

If you apply any of these tips I would love to see. leave me a link to your blog in the comments.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I am having quite a morning in blog land

I love, love, love this strange world called blog land. I have been so blessed by reading other women's blogs this morning. I will admit , I do carve out time each day ( or try to) to read my favorite blogs. But rarely do I get to sit for a long period of time and just relax and read.

But lucky for me. Myka woke up super cranky this am.
So I did not feel guilty putting her back to bed at 9:00 !!
She went right to sleep and I made dinner.
Pork chops in the slow cooker.

That reminds me I need to tell you all about ez mealz.

But that is for another post.

I have been sitting here , sipping on my coffee reading this blog .

Oh how I love Wendy and Tyler from blue lily.
The colors in their pictures make me die a little each time I see them. And the tones they use. that look of the picture being warm toned yet cool at the same time. I just get lost in each one of their pics.

Then I was reading this one. I love Clover lane. My awesome friend Tess turned me on to this one. I like it because it gives me something ti aspire too. Sometimes her posts are the reminders I need to appreciate this job of mothering and see it for the awesome responsibility it is.

And lately I have needed that reminder.

Mornings have been rough.
bed time has been Hell.
And I have been slightly depressed.

Nothing awful. Just the mommy blues.

So this morning when I read this I felt better.

What a inspiring story.

AND tonight at my super cool MOPS meeting THIS awesome blogger mommy is coming to speak !!

So exciting !!

Happy hump day !

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween on Robin


It was fun. Halloween is another holiday i struggle with celebrating in Arizona. During the day yesterday it was in the 80s and I was concerned Myka would be to hot on her Scooby Doo costume. 

But it cooled off around 6 or so. Ashlynn was feeling kinda sick so her trick or treating was a short lived experience compared to last years. We all went trick or treating together for Myka. She thought it was great.

Then I took lexi to her fiends house. Picked up some pizzas and headed home to party with some friends of our. We all did a little trick or treating as a group/

We talked
we walked
it was a good time.

I missed my mom. She is in Wisconsin and I hope she is reading so she can see these adorable pictures of the mystery gang.

I hope one day we live in a place where Halloween night feels crisp and chilly. On a street where the neighbors trick or treat together and all the kids are friends. Somewhere that you can visit a pumpkin patch and not sweat to death while wearing tank tops and shorts.

I am sorry if you live here and love it.
Its not you
Its me.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Step one.....

Ok, So I am being honest that now I am feeling all shy about my picture taking skills. A LOT of you out there in blog land are insanely awesome photographers. So take what I say with a grain of salt.

Step one- get on the same level as your subject. This is the number one thing, that takes the least amount of time that will make a huge difference in your pictures.

In the examples below you can really see what I mean. In the picture on the right you can tell i am standing above her.Your eye is distracted by the door behind her, the shoe in the corner, and the boxes in the corner.

The picture on the left however all you can see is the subject of the photo Myka.


These pictures were taken within seconds of each other but tell vastly different stories. And all I did was change the angle that i was shooting from. It only takes a second make sure you are on eye level with your subject and not shooting from above.

Shooting from above your subject happens a lot with parents taking pictures of their kids. You get so caught up in what your eye is seeing you forget that your camera is seeing something completely different. By getting down to the same level as your subject/child you are helping the camera see what you see.

Our next lesson is on eliminating background distractions. I am hoping to get a chance to post it tomorrow but I may not since my brother in law is getting MARRIED tomorrow !!

I am so excited for my brother in law and soon to be sister in law.

I am photographing the wedding too :)

So it will be a crazy busy day !

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How to take a picture part one

I am a photographer.
But before that, i was a mom.
A mom who loved taking pictures.

When my first daughter was a baby I was big into funsavers. I always had one on me. I loved the thrill of dropping my camera off at Walgreens and in one hour looking at pictures of my baby. Digital cameras were way beyond what my brain could handle back then.

When i look back at my pictures now though i am kicking myself. No, not because I used a funsaver. because there were so many things i could have done to make my pictures soooo much better.

In todays day and age we are sharing information with each other faster then ever. Remember sitting at your grandparents house watching a slideshow of their trip to Florida?

That would NEVER happen today. Today my grandma would just upload it to facebook. Or better yet take pictures while she was there and tweet them !!

With so much picture sharing fun going on in the world of social media I thought it would be fun to share some tips and tricks I have picked up over the past few years on how to take a Great picture.

I promise you do NOT need a fancy camera to take a decant picture,
You can take AWESOME pictures with a point and shoot camera.
And if you are still rocking the funsaver , we can work with that to.

These are tips and tricks that anyone can use to take their pictures from drab to fab in three simple steps.

Stay tuned for step one :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Today we carved pumpkins.
The weather was perfect.
In Arizona you never want to buy your pumpkins to early.

because they will rot.
With highs in the mid 80's this week. I will be surprised if our little pumpkin family makes it to Halloween.

But we can hope :)


Monday, October 25, 2010

I feel chubby

I so should not be blogging right now.
I need to go buy diapers.
I have three kids who are awake.
and about 20,000 pictures to edit.

but I heard the coolest sermon on Sunday. And I wanted to share,
It was preached by a youth pastor.
I love when youth pastors speak, they always have such awesome energy. I leave feeling as hopeful about my ability to live out my faith as I was in high school.
the sermon was on Isaiah 53
read it,

Good stuff there. In one part of the sermon he quoted the famous saying " I'm just a sinner saved by grace " .

I like that saying.

Its humbling.

But the pastor gave me a new perspective on it. he said that that statement was false.

God does not see us a " Just sinners"

He sees us a righteous, holy, set apart.
he sees us as justified.

So we can approach his throne. Our fathers throne with confidence. because we are his righteous children.

Very cool.

Today i did not feel righteous.

I felt kinda chubby and cranky.

I have wanted to carve pumpkins with the girls for two days now. But the attitudes around here have really stunk lately. If ANYONE out there has ANY advice about dealing with ten year old girls I would love to hear it. My ten year old is full of sass lately.

She called her dad a Jerk !

To his face !

i am not sure I can make to the teen years.

Friday, October 22, 2010

What i am doing

So this morning ( almost afternoon ) blah I am thinking this is really cool.
I am blogging over at laurenjean
I am rejoicing in the fact that it was cold enough for Ashlynn to wear a jacket to school this morning.
AND that she wore the hairbow I made for her
And that she drew me this

I love that lil stinker.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Photo Freak

I was stalking reading my friend Jeanettes blog when I saw this little contest.

The theme is bath time pictures.

I had one that came to mind.

BW Essence bathtub blog
Now run on over and check out her blog and join in the fun !

Dear Kids,

Dear present and future children,

I LOVE YOU ! I will love you forever. There is NOTHING you can do that will EVER change that.
I will love you no matter what you decide to do with your life.
I will love you no matter who you decide to love.
There is nothing you can do that will change my love for you.
No action, reaction, force, choice or mistake you make will ever change how I feel about you.

And even more important then my unconditional love for you if Gods unconditional love for you.
God, the creator of the universe. LOVES you so much that he sent his son to die for you.
NOTHING you will do, have done, or can ever think about doing is a surprise to God.
God knows every choice you are going to make before you make it. every challenge you will face before you face it. And every mistake you will make before you make it.

AND God STILL loves you.
Forgives you
and will care for you.

Please, please, please, don't ever think that you have done something that could change the way God or your mom and Dad  feel about you.

There is NOTHING anyone can do that will separate us from the love of God.


So remember kids, it is not up to us to judge mandate, or control anyone on this earth.
We do not control who people love, or how people live.


Because God loves everyone. We do Not make fun of people. or bully anyone EVER !

For any reason.
If you are bullied or made fun of you remember this.

Mom and Dad love you.

And God loves you.

Just the way you are.


I love you,


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Megs meatballs

Ok, I need to be real with you all.


But i am trying real hard.

My hubby saw me getting ready to post this and he laughed at me.

Thanks Honey.

Anyhoo, I got this meat ball recipe from one of my all time favorite blogs WHATEVER.
I changed it up just a little and it was a hit !

Tonight i had every intention of making it taco Tuesday.
Its a thing we do.

but then Lexi got invited to go watch her friends brothers football practice. Ashlynn was not invited.
And she was sad.

So we got a happy meal.

So much for meal planning.

But just in case you want to see how I made last nights dinner it is below.

I went all pioneer women on you with the pics,
granted her food pics are far more fabulous.
 i just steal recipes from other blogs,

2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup milk
1/2 chopped onion.
3 slices white bread ( I only had wheat )
A pinch of garlic
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp mustard ( not pictured )
and three eggs ( they are hiding in the back of the picture )
first place the 3 pieces of bread in a bowl

 add about a 1/2 cup milk. Enough to cover the bread but not drench it.
012-for-blogNext, Mush all the ingredients up in a bowl ( minus the brown sugar)
This part was really gross.
I HATE raw meat !!


Then roll the meat mixture into little balls ( Hubby informed me mine looked like meat patties ) :P on that boy.


Then cook the meat balls ( or meat patties) at 30 degrees for about 45 minute's.
Then add your sauce

i used 1/2 cup ketchup and 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 tsp mustard.
Spoon sauce over the meat balls and cook for another 10 minutes.

I would make lots of sauce. We didn't quite have enough.


ok, so mine kind of do look like patties.
But the point is I tried.
Megs pictures are prettier.
And she has a neat typed up version of this recipe.

But the kids loved them
And my hubby said they were yummy.
And he was happy i made them.


Sunday, October 17, 2010


I have been wanting to participate in Life made lovely Monday for some time now.
But to be honest most days I stink at making life lovely.
I have pretty ideas in my head about making my home a lovelier place.

But then the dishes in the sink and piles of wash distract me from that craft I had in mind.

But lovely comes in many forms. And today i am sharing this lovely picture of my clients baby boy I took over the weekend.

I hope you all have a lovely Monday !!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Foto Friday

I meant to post this yesterday. But when I sat down to write it Myka woke up with a 105 degree temp.


So off to urgent care we went. I wasnt overly impressed with the pedatric urgent care we went to.
The Doctor was hard to understand and just seemed annoyed by my questions. And the man at the front desk was more intrested in reading Eat, Pray, Love then talking to a panicked mother. ( no joke he was reading that book )

It turns out she has strep.


I hate that nasty booger. So today will be lots of cuddling. And naps will be happening. I fell into bed around 1 am last night. I was so excited to sleep in. But Mykas tummy had other plans.

Second time I have cleaned up barf this week. So sweet I tell ya.
here are some pictures from yesterday.
who doesn't love cottage cheese for breakfast ??

Ashlynn is seriously awesome at this game. She beats me each time. I think she cheats.

my lunch. No joke. 10 more days and this hcg diet round 1 is OVER!! i want to losse 5 more pounds ! I can do it!!!



Happy weekend all :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The time I met NieNie .

I am a full on blog stalker. The obsession started about a year ago when i started my adventure in photography. At first it was a few famous photographers my google reader. But It soon grew to include blogs from my friends, and people who i wish were my friends.

I LOVE the mom blogs. I love the honesty and the feeling that i am OK ! My kids are normal. That i am not the only one with 7 loads of laundry to do today.
Of course one of my favorites is the nienie dialogues. I started reading her blog after i saw her family pictures on one of my favorite photographers blog.

I was hooked.

her blog made me cry, and laugh. And thank God for all of blessings. It quickly has become a favorite for me and my daughter.
A few months ago I was visiting one of my favorite restaurants. cafe Rio in mesa Arizona. I was standing in line with my friend, my daughters and my husband debating between a taco or a burrito when my nine year old daughter started frantically pointing at someone in line ahead of us.

"mom, Mom. look"
I wanted to die. i could not believe mt daughter was being so rude and pointing.
"Lexi, stop that" I whispered between my clenched teeth.
" No, Mom look its her"

" the lady, the lady in the plane"

i was fully thinking my daughter was losing it when i looked the direction she was pointing.

It was her.

It was the Lady in the plane.

NieNie and Mr. Nielsen were standing right in front of me.

I looked around the restaurant fully expecting to see crowds of people coming to shake her hand. I found myself surprised that she didn't have bodyguards when she traveled.
But , no one was mobbing them. They were just there, eating , like normal people. My brain was spinning. Should I say hi ? its such a strange feeling to feel like you now someone so well that you have never met. It felt like i was looking at one of my best friends and that it would be rude if I didn't say hi. I mean I knew the names of her kids, what her house looked like., That she was tired the day before.

So I did it.

I mustered up my courage and i tapped her on the shoulder.

Then i started feeling really stupid. What am some kind of crazy Internet stalker? What is she thinks I am a psycho and threatens to call the police if I don't leaver her alone this minute. I mean how dare i.....

she turned around and looked at me.

to late now.

ok , brain work, say something. Tell her she inspires you to be a better mom, a better wife, a better person. tell her you cry when you read about how much pain she is in. that you lead a bible study inspired by her blog.

But all i could say was a hello.

I did tell her I loved her blog. i thanked her for writing it. i apologized for bugging her.

Then she smiled and she hugged me.
Not like a fake hug either. It was a full on I like you kind of hug.

Then she thanked me for reading.

for praying.

And she hugged me again.

I went back to my place in line feeling like I had just met a celebrity. And I had.
My friend asked me if she was a friend from church. i laughed and responded.
" No, she is a friend from the Internet "

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall break 2010


I have a thing for funny socks lately.
Good thing Lexi likes funny socks.
She dressed herself yesterday before we headed out to a family Target trip.
She dresses herself all the time but today I guess she was feeling extra snazzy.

Target was fun. Then we  THEY ate Del taco,
and I watched. I ate some lettuce for dinner.
I am not going to lie, this diet is getting very boring.

Two weeks left ! I can do it !!

Today i went with the kids to see nanny Mcphee returns .

SUPER CUTE movie. And we saw it for a dollar !!
can't beat that price.
The only downfall was the line for popcorn was insane !!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A letter to thirty something me.

I stumbled upon This blog tonight and was inspired to write a letter to twenty something me.
Then i remembered I am still in my twenties.
Still making all those mistakes I am sure thirty something year old me will write warning me about.

But since i check my e mail every day and I have yet to see the letter from thirty something me. I have decided to write her first.

Dear thirty something Lauren,

How are the kids ? I mean REALLY ??? Are they repeating all the mistakes we made in our teen years ? Does lexi have a boyfriend ? Some boy she is convinced she is in love with. Is she in a relationship that I " Just don't understand ? ".

Speaking of kids how many do we have ?  Did Will talk us into that fourth baby ? Is it a boy named Isiah ?  Did we adopt a fifth child in our early thirties like we dreamed about ?

have i lost weight ???

Are we still insecure about every choice we make? Or does something magical happen when we hit thirty and we all of the sudden learn to stand up for our self ?

I would really like to know that. because i am kind of counting on thirty bringing some kind of wisdom to our table. Not that I feel totally incapable now , I just question myself so much. Did i over react did i under react. I am hoping age will bring some confidence.

How is Mom ? Did she meet someone ? Are they happy ? Did you give her the beautiful wedding she deserves ?

Where do we live ? California , Wisconsin, Arizona ??  Did Will go to law school like we planned ?

I know I have a lot of questions thirty something me.

Please write back

love me

I need to say this every morning

deepest fear

As I face my day.
As I run my business and take care of my family.
I need to remember that it is OK to invest in myself.
Acknowledge my God given talents and purpose.

I had a AWESOME weekend. I photographed this wedding in Sedona.
I love Sedona. It looks like all the best parts of Arizona and Wisconsin all mixed up.
This morning I had coffee with my Amazing friend Robin. Its so wonderful to have a friend who believes in you. Inspires you on your creative journey.

I am a lucky girl.

random awesomeness. I had FOUR people tell me they love my blog this week.

Random not awesomeness Ashlynn barfed ALL OVER the car yesterday.

it was gross.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Friday !


have you ever had a day where you feel like if ONE more thing happens it WILL push you over the edge??

That was yesterday for me.
Lexi woke up with icky sores in her mouth.
It was gross.
I called the doc and they said bring her in.
Nice. Hubby has our ONE car at work.
I called one of my BFF's Megan . She agreed to drive us.

Ten minutes later we were playing outside. And Myka climbed up on a rock.

A BIG one.

And I swear it happened in slow motion.
I tried to catch her.
But I was to late.
She cried and cried. And had a HUGE goose egg on her head.
Right in the back.

I called the doc AGAIN.

They wanted to see her right away.

Now HUBBY had to come home. I was clearly unfit to be watching the children. They were dropping like flies.

And he did.
And we were all fine.
We have the x rays to prove it.
And the special mouthwash to make the sores go away.
And now for the random pictures because its Friday.

I made this necklace following THIS tutorial.

I liked it.
My hubby said it looked like something I made at summer camp.
hes a hater.
I think this is her new standard picture face.


unless she dumps her icee all over her face. Then she makes this face.


I love this kid.
She is growing up fast.
I like it when she is still excited about things like rocks.

She REALLY likes rocks.
Enough that she made a club about them

We may need to work on spelling :)

hcg update- 13 pounds down !!