my step feels lighter; smiling at strangers becomes a real sport (by golly, i will smile and spread some holiday cheer on that person before they do it to me...yes, i will:) people seem nicer and i turn each corner wondering what i'll see in preparation for the upcoming holiday.
it's that time of year that our kids dream about the big guy climbing down the chimney, or use the magic key that mama bought at hallmark last week bc who knew their was a magic key for santa?
we talk about elves and whether or not they will dance on their heads when they sleep. peyton has made it clear that she does NOT want any dancing elves in her room the night before christmas and beckham fiercely agrees with this idea.
magical dancing elves not welcome.
after a busy holiday work season for myself, i think it's time to 'snow' myself in and drink in the magic of the holidays.
we have been cooking and scurrying around like crazy people...but starting yestersday...the babies and i sat in the middle of the cold kitchen floor amidst crinkled tissue paper,spools of velvet and glittery ribbon, scissors, tape...
hmmm, maybe i shouldn't have bought that last spool of ribbon. we didn't need it...
we used the dickins out of it!
we unraveled and unraveled and created little homemade gift tags for homemade gifts. when my bottom was numb from the cold and sitting in one spot for so long...the kids took the gifts they had wrapped with their little hands and used too much tape on, and placed them under the tree.
proud little smiles were etched on their sweet little melons and promises were made not to spill the beans to the daddy.
peyton thinks she's hot stuff because she has secrets. honestly, though it's just tearing the girl up that she can't tell anyone what the presents are. it may be the cutest thing i have ever seen. and the funniest but she's good at keeping her mouth zipped...i'm proud of her!
a big pot of shrimp chowder, fred clause and good girlfriends later...and we have ourselves an official christmas vacation!!
so for now and for the rest of the week, we are tying bows and wrapping gifts, cooking, laying on the couch under big blankets watching christmas classics.
traditions, hot cocoa, and oprah's favorite things-oh my! spending this time with my babies and doing these traditions together...nothing will be more important than that until santa arrives! not nuttin' i tell ya!
we are filling our time with driveway picnics, playdoh, lazy breakfasts of cheerios with a budding pirate!
a special christmas performance by our little guy had his mama in tears and his sister bored out of her mind...
at one point peyton and i moved closer to the stage to get a photo and while i tried 'quietly' to get my little guy's attention, beckham spotted his big sister and only had eyes for her. a smile lit up his face. he seemed so surprised to see her ...and thrilled. i just cried a little more and prayed they would love each other like this until the end of time! they will.
we drove through the old community that lights itself up like a christmas each and every year
it's fabulous...and a tradition and i am all about traditions!!!
we've had breakfast with santa too!
if beckham looks scared out of his mind...it's because he was a tad nervous!
but the airplane toy santa gave him made up for any fears!
tongue depressors painted white, some orange and black felt, a few bells and buttons and...hello, one of my new favorite ornaments on the tree! we did these for our girl scout daisy troop and i love how they turned out.
(thanks, jenn for the idea! xo)
mommy had other ideas and one was to decoupage a glass ball...i love how it turned out, but it was a PITA. can you figure that one out?
and a few sneak peeks of a couple of my recent holiday shoots. i'm behind in getting these out, but i promise to have a sneak for everyone this week!!!
this lovely and beautiful family! had such a great time on this super gray day that turned out to be a great shoot! these boys had me at hello!
and their mama and daddy are pretty cute too!
and another family that almost, i mean did get rained on...our friends and so i thought it was pretty funny...
their the newest member of their super cute family...little lucy!
we love us some lucy!
enjoying this year and feeling so grateful for what we have and for our health. most importantly, our health! i hope all of you have a happy, comfy and safe holiday! whether you celebrate christmas or not...may you have love in your life and happiness in your heart.
i feel like i'm coming on here to make excuses for my lack of a picture laden blog post...and i am, actually.
before i put one more night between me and my old blog here, i thought i would quickly share a little something before i ran over to snapfish to make a few gifts before the sale ends at midnight tonight!! they have tons of gift ideas and a new deal of the day for the next few days that makes a photog like myself go weak in the knees. check it here!
i like to score a few calendars every year and the fam has come to look forward to them and they are on sale right now too!
so. i need to get back on track with eating healthy, so while i was in the shower today...i decided to stop messing around and get with it. things like..."be a role-model for your daughter" "waiting won't make it easier, " and my favorite "stop sucking!" lol, that one cracks me up, kept creeping into my thoughts.
so, if you have a cake laying around that a friend brought over for an after dinner treat a few nights back AND if you are anything like me, you may do something like this...
looks good, huh?
well, it was when it was a simple and sinfully delish coconut cake.
the next day, to avoid any confusion about whether or not i should indulge in a piece after beckham graciously devoured a piece down...
i garnished the cake with hot sauce, bbq sauce, and mustard! the mustard makes a cute fail safe way to stay away from the edges that could easily be invaded by a dinner fork!!
please note: i only take these drastic measures when confronted with freshly baked goods that live on my counter for more than a day or so.
if your wondering, that brown cupcake looking thing on top...is a cupcake! the babysitter made them with the kids over the weekend. gone now!
oh yeah, a video i have been meaning to post...
peyton saying the patriot pledge and almost seamlessly transitioning into the pledge with only a throat clearing and raised hand. i am so proud of this girl!
beckham didn't want to be left out, so he said he knew the pledge as well...
not. so. much! but he tells a short, sweet, and fictional story!
christmas cards...or in my world, christmas mailers are looked upon as an event to be taken seriously. i think about them. i design them in my head over and over again. i frett, freak, and obsess.
which stamp will enhance the look of my return address label?
of course, ill need a 2mm calligraphy pen from hallmark. it's a yearly ritual (k, thanks for helping a girl out and picking mine up before they ran out! xo) and although my mailers look way worse because of that damn pen...i refuse to give it up. i just can't get used to that 45 degree angle no matter how many times you show me how to do it!
so, i fix my many mistakes with stickers. last year, my whiteout of choice was huge, galloping, and sparkly reindeer carefully positioned to hide errors of many kinds but not limited to sending my holiday mailers with maiden names addressed instead of their married. i figured they would get over it, but i guess that's not really the right attitude! ha. what are ya gonna do?
i schedule a time, i actually write it in my calendar...
i jot down a possible movie choice. this year: eat, pray, love! (loved it. hello the music alone had me in tears in the first ten minutes not to mention the amazing dialogue...
ruin is a gift. ruin is the gift to transformation.
you may be confused, but if you rent the movie...you'll get it. you'll have an aha moment, the lightbulb will go on or burst or whatever happens when...you. just. get. it.
kelle and i chanted this a few times before sipping our drinks in the warmth of a freshly and beautifully nurtured fire followed by laughing, eating, writing, and exchanging addresses. we are one on this. no questions asked...we get it. we know. we live it cause we know it's the right thing to do. thank goodness for that. ha.
the ceremony of addressing envelopes can be quite a treat...and it was! i love nights like last night and i'm already looking forward to next years mailer night!
now, all i have to do is actually take a holiday photo to put into my decorated and stamped envelope!
oh, and please watch that movie...
the visuals are ah maz ing. amazing. now on my bucket list...
ride my bike (vintage with a real basket...maybe some fresh flowers and a baguette thrown in for good measure) through at least one european city and a long stop for a plate of pasta and cannoli...guilt free, baby!
this time of year, although wonderful and my favorite.; my absolute favorite! this time of year brings with it it's own challenges...
shopping for meaningful gifts on a budget, more photography work for me which means more juggling for a month or two, parties at school or at the neighbors. it means being out of the house more when the cozy weather suggests that the opposite should be done. curling up on the couch with a huge blanket is my pass time of choice, but is rarely done with so much going on.
so, we are trying to take a breather and welcome each task as it comes with an open mind and a positive attitude. we are busier, but tis the season! bring it on!
although, some days i want to curl up in a ball and forget about the mundane tasks that need to be done. the never ending story of laundry and dusting...
i would rather be here, with my to-do list than anywhere else in the world!!!
our daisy troop is providing a marine unit in afghanistan some goodies. each daisy 'adopted' a marine and will be filling a stocking of little gifts to make his holiday a little sweeter even though he will not be home with his family.
i've been thinking of our troops lately and watching these little 5 and 6 year old little girls write a marines name on a holiday card with attached stickers and pictures of themselves, it gave me hope for them; for a sweeter holiday!
so, if i start dwelling life's little annoyances, i remember the men and women; the mama's and daddies that won't be kissing their babies goodnight tonight.
so speaking, of wanting to take a breather or to stop and smell the proverbial roses...
jenn and i did just that last week when we took the kids to captiva island after her holiday shoot.
my kids, her kids...the cousins, have so much fun together and we love watching them grow up together, love one another and become 'real' big people together...it's incredible. wondrous-if that's a real word.
it has been a thrilling ride thus far with these little kids who i love so much it amazes me sometimes.
jenn and i knew the long ride to the island would only give us 20 minutes of light at the beach, but thinking about it for only a few seconds, we what-the-helled-it and made our way through the winding streets and sweetly named estates that were nestled between old trees and hand-painted signs. signs that read...
mermaid cove, margaritaville, or be free!
it was my first time on the island, but jenn knew how much we would enjoy the inviting street life. the streets were lined with people, boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. the restaurants we were most excited to gawk at were the ones with old lights strung haphazardly along the worn and wooden fences.
it was like...going home. not pretentious at all and it even has it's own general store! it was amazing. i can't wait to go back with the fam, rent some bikes, and explore the small island and the best part of it all is that it's only an hour or so from home. i can't believe how many new places are so near where we live. a gift. that's what it is!
we unloaded the kids, unpacked some snacks and watched the sunset with about 20 other vacationers on the beach that night.
the kids just did what they do...
they had fun. they soaked through their clothes, chased giant birds, and danced in the moonlight. jenn and i just kept saying how much fun it was and really enjoyed our kids and each others stories of motherhood and life. love that girl.
wish i were part of their little club...ya know, like i wish i could hear what they shared with each other when us adults aren't around. these kids love each other and share a bond that we will never really be a part of, but that's the way it's supposed to be i think!
and my fave imperfect...perfect photo of peyton and sophie jumping and dancing in the waves...
jenn, thanks for the crazy fun and knowing we would so 'get this' place. we had an amazing time! xo
feeling grateful and excited for santa's visit...well, the kids are losing their minds in anticipation of the jolly old big guy so i need him to get here fast!
next post: a few recipes for the holidays, but first...
... living, dreaming, creating & mama to the two most amazing souls on earth & whom i desperately love and adore. i really want a puppy, instead i have a sweet hubby who makes the best scrambled eggs ever and that is better than a puppy.
being loved & inspired is...living well!
thanks for stopping by.
i'm sure i love you.