Friday, February 19, 2010

Welcome Girls!

Our sweet friends, Andrew & Sandra welcomed identical twin baby girls this morning.
Kaelyn & Brielle are the epitome of perfection....and unbelievably healthy sizes for twins! Each weighed over 6 pounds, and they did beautifully after delivery.
I was excited to head over to the hospital today to visit them and {of course} take a few pictures of the girls. I took Sandra's maternity pictures a few weeks back, and everyone kept commenting to me how amazing she looked for being 8 months pregnant with twins....well, in true form, Sandra looks radiant and beautiful even after having twins just hours prior. Not fair!
Congratulations again you guys, I can't wait to watch your sweet daughters grow!

To see a sneak peek of some of the pictures taken at the hospital today, see my photography blog HERE.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sweet Valentines.

Ah, young love!
What do you do when you want to see your girlfriend on valentines day, but you are only 2 years old?
A family/group date! :-)
Tyler and Allie spent their valentines afternoon with their families, picnicking in the gorgeous cool sunny weather {I would not want to live on the east coast if you paid me to! Picnicking in the park in the middle of winter?! That's right!!} and spending time together.
They took a romantic ride on the train....

Played a friendly game of soccer.....
And strolled hand in hand through the park {until Ty got too antsy, and decided to run away}
But that didn't bother Allie, she decided she wanted to walk with Uncle John anyway :-)

All in all, it was a great morning for the two little love birds. Ty even brought her a balloon and heart-shaped box of chocolates, like any true gentleman should.
Thanks Abram family, we love you guys!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Go Get Em' Uncle O'Neal!

Hopefully you watched this weeks' episode of The Biggest Loser
{you better! }
Because this week Sunny and O'Neal kicked butt.
They both won individual challenges, and proved that they are a force to be reckoned with on that ranch!! John and I look forward to Tuesday nights so much...we eagerly wait to put the kids to bed, then we watch the show intently - savoring and soaking up every moment.
This week we were so excited to watch the challenge where the contestants had to race laps and use laser guns to shoot each others target, because you may not know this- but Uncle O'Neal is an EXPERT marksman. If there is anyone on earth that I would trust with a firearm in an emergency situation, it would be O'Neal. He was a paratrooper in the Army, and even wore the distinction of a green beret during his time. He has seen some scary stuff....probably more than he ever wants to talk about, but he came out of it a better man- and an amazing marksman. As a certified sniper for the US government, you do not want to mess with O'Neal! Oh, the poor boys that want to date SunShine! :-)

When we visited Minnesota a few summers ago, John and Uncle O'Neal convinced me to come along with them to the shooting range to try shooting for my first time. I am not a big gun fan- and I am very uncomfortable around them...but I couldn't have picked a better person to go and learn from, than O'Neal. He took his time to carefully teach us about proper handling and the proper way to stand and hold our arms. And he kept me calm and taught me how to focus and keep myself in the perfect stance when I shoot for the first time. My heart was pounding out of my chest, but I felt safe knowing that I trusted O'Neal completely, and that he would keep me safe.

We had so much fun that day- and in a weird way, it was a very cool bonding experience.

In fact, I actually enjoyed it so much that we went back the following year with Arece {O'Neal's son} , and this time, our group grew! Everyone in the family wanted to learn!

So when we saw that shooting was a challenge on this weeks' episode, we knew that O'Neal was in his comfort zone :-)
And in my usual fashion, I couldn't keep the tears from running down my face as I watched him win and celebrate his victory. Sunny and O'Neal got their moment to shine, and I can't imagine two more deserving people.

We love you guys!

Go Team Yellow!!!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Outtakes.

Something I am learning more and more about as I play with photography, is sometimes the "outtakes", the pictures that I usually think are pointless, end up being the best.
Sure you may not frame them or use them in a future wedding montage {actually, some people might!} but they are the ones that make you laugh the most. They bring out the honesty and the true personality of the person. In most cases, kids look their most authentic selves in those goofy pictures that we erase too quickly off the camera.
Someone once made a comment to me that I am so lucky to have kids who love the camera. After all, all the pictures I post of them and frame in our home, are gorgeous pictures of the kids in perfect lighting, perfect smiles and perfect composition. But boy do I have you all fooled!! Like any 4 and 2 year olds, my kids would much rather twirl, run, make silly faces and ignore the camera altogether. But there are those rare moments when I see their little faces soften and hold still just long enough to snap a picture. And trust me, my shutter speed is fast. It has to be.
And especially when we have photographers take pictures of our family, the kids morph into these little tasmanian devils that usually go out of their way to make the poor photographers job especially hard!
So here are a few "outtakes" that I have found that just crack me up:

Ah yes- classic Bella.
I'm trying to smile, John is trying to keep Ty from running, and Bella has decided to flash the camera. Perfect family portrait.
Here's another classic: Trying to get the cousins to pose for a picture. Lexi is bawling and wants nothing to do with it, Nolan is off in his own world smiling, and Marley and Bella can't stop looking at each other and talking.
And yet another way to show the grown-ups that you are done with pictures : pick your nose with both fingers.
And this is what I call "The Over-Smile"
....because sometimes a simple smile just isn't enough.
And this picture is just plain hilarious.
Judging by the look on Tyler's face, he is totally embarrassed by his sisters' hair.
You see?
Family-of-perfect-pictures we are not.
But we sure do have a ton of good embarrassing pictures to use during their teenage years!

You just won't see any of these framed as 8x10's :-)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Another On The Way......

Yep. Another little one will be gracing our group of girlfriends!
No, it's not Jessica. {That would give you a heart attack right about now, right Jess?! :-) }
Her and her sweet hubby are letting people in on the secret, so I'm allowed to tell people, and I pretty much want to scream it from the rooftops. For some reason, I am sooooo excited for them to have a little baby. She's just one of those women that I can't wait to see be a new mom!
She's hilarious, honest, bubbly....and completely new to the world of pregnancy and babies- which will make this a very fun experience for all of us :-)
Man, between us 6 girlfriends, we have 9 kids.
And the oldest is my sweet Bella who is only 4 years old!
Talk about a crazy brood of kiddos!
Like I said before, there is something seriously contagious in whatever we are drinking at our usual Starbucks on Tuesday nights.

We may need to find a new coffee shop :-).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Still Exploring....

I've noticed that I see everything differently now. I used to pass by things without a second thought- but now I view everything through the lens of camera...and judge it on whether or not that would make a good picture spot.I just recently discovered a new overgrown field that I love {I blogged about it on the photography site} and then I found another fun little place!

The other night we were out running errands as a family, and we passed an area that I had never given a second glance before. But this time, I noticed the perfect rolling land, and the view of mountains in the background. So last night we took the kids out to the park to play and we stopped by this new discovery of mine. Trust me, I would have walked by this place a hundred times before and not even thought twice. But last night- I saw it's potential.
So we set the kids free, and I tried to capture this new place.
{Tyler had his own agenda, and did not like me following him around with my usual. But Bella humored me for a few minutes :-) }

And thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of me trying out photography! I have booked quite a few sessions for this month, and I'm so excited about it!

***And on another note- don't forget to watch Biggest Loser tonight!!! The yellow team makes their comeback....and we can't wait to see it!........***

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Budding Artist

I have a little cupboard in our office where I keep a stash of all the cute things the kids make. I'm on the hunt for a cute, vintage treasure chest for each of them, so that I can store up all their childhood "creations", but for now, it's just in a cupboard.
Ever since Bella started going to preschool, I have been able to add volumes to my little collection. Sometimes John and I laugh at the cute explanations she has for all her drawings- and sometimes we are amazed to see what she sees through her eyes.
Lately, she's been on a big kick of drawing our family. One of the most recent drawings just melted my heart, so I had to share it.
Bella's on the far left, then myself, then John and then Tyler.
Notice how she made me have long curly hair, and she gave herself short curly hair, just like mine. Bella also pointed out to me that her and I are holding hands, and she is holding a flower in her other hand that she picked for daddy. I was cracking up when I saw how she drew John and Tyler to look just like each other. She used the same colors and everything, but John is just much bigger :-) Then, with her adorable writing- she wrote, mom loves Bella {with a heart for "loves"} and Ty & Dad with a heart up at the top.

Ugh! How adorable is that?!!!!
I just love being their mom! A day never goes by where I don't laugh :-)

And for the record- that's a butterfly in the center of the picture. I made the mistake of asking if it was an airplane. Oops.