Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My son... What a stinker

At our church we are often asked to serve in what we call a Calling. There are no paid positions so every person who does anything has been asked to volunteer. Whenever a position is in need of someone the Bishop and his counselors will decide who they feel will best fit the position which is confirmed by prayer. One of them will then ask a person to serve in a specific way, and the person will accept or deny the request. Once they have accepted the 'call' they are announced in our Sacrament meeting. Part of this announcement includes the person standing while they ask for the members support of the person in the calling by raising their hands. They also ask if there is anyone opposed. After this is taken care of the person is then able to serve in the capacity they were called such as a teacher, organizational leader, missionary, & many other positions.

I was asked to teach in our Primary program. Primary is for kids 18 months to 11 years. I've often been asked to teach the kids and absolutely love it. I usually get the 18 month to 4 year old crowd. This time I think I'll get the 6ish kids, but I'm waiting to hear from our Primary President {we're on day 3 of phone tag}.

On Sunday my name was called along with two other people who had recently been asked and accepted serving in a calling. He asked for the members to support us in our callings. Then he asked if anyone was opposed. Blake raised his hand up as high as it would go! ha ha

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I guess he wants me to be around in case he just doesn't feel like going to his Primary class! He also heard everyone say Amen after a prayer and started saying Amen a few times extra loud. Cute little copy cat.

In a Madison note. She has been a big like a record stuck on one line with her ABC's song. We asked her to please sing a different song. After a minute or so we heard her in the back seat singing Ba Ba Black Sheep. Love it!

Both kids can now jump with their feed actually leaving the floor.

It's only about a week away until we are back on the fertility train. People keep asking my if we don't want to have any more kids because I sound so glum when mentioning us doing it or it is almost here. Well, dang it, it's a stinky emotional roller coaster of hormonal yuk! There is nothing to look forward to even with my mostly optimistic life outlook. The first emotional hurdle is timing ordering the meds. I want to do it in January so it uses my deductible up with the new insurance period just in case we decide to try again should it fail as the prescription deductible is $200. A good chunk of savings should we need to use it. The problem with this is the 1st is a holiday and the 2-3rd are the weekend. This means the first day I can order is on the 4th for delivery on the 5th. My cycle could start as early as Monday meaning I'll be totally stressing with my shots supposed to start on Tuesday or Wednesday! It's not like you can delay taking the shots either. You have to start at the right time on the right day of your cycle for it to work right. Waiting another month would only add to this emotional antipathy of the moment which I'd really like the time between now and our pregnancy test to zooom zoooom zooom by. Mostly I keep talking to myself about staying upbeat & letting the chips fall where they may.

Oh, and I'm getting my new logo tomorrow! It will take me a little bit to incorporate it into all of our forms, marketing materials, the website, blog & new vinyl for the cars. Once it is all ready to roll out you will know with my plastering it all over EVERYTHING. I've also really had a brain wave of what photography means to me and how it applies to the busiess not only for myself but for all clients. It's like turning on the switch of expressing what this is really all about and defining the business. My promo shots are also super cool. One of them is my current Facebook picture. If you aren't my friend or an S & G Photography fan click on Friend & S & G Photography to become one.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!

This was a fabulous Christmas for us. My parents & little sister, Gracie, were able to come visit for three days. Our kids were ubber excited for the constant entertainment of company. The kids thoroughly enjoyed the free for all of Christmas morning. My sister kindly helped me out by taking some {OK a ton} of pictures of me to use for the photography business. We laughed a lot, ate a lot & relaxed a lot. I feel like our yummy Christmas dinner made itself with three of us booty to booty in our tiny kitchen getting it done.

To make the gifts offer as much opening pleasure we took them out of their original boxes and created more boxes for the kids. I think it was a great idea. Not only did the kids get to open more gifts, but there were no funky box openings to get through before playing with them! Madison and Blake definitely loved the tricycles. A babydoll stroller was definitely on our must purchase list. It was a huge hit!

We even took the kids to see a movie with us today. They did really well overall & Guy only missed about 20 minutes of the movie. Watching them sit there eating popcorn {yep they love it as much as I do! No butter} was like getting to see a double feature at the same time.

Here is a funny picture we found when we were searching for some family photos this week. It was taken about this time last year.
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Blakester

Our shorty. He's generally about 1/2 inch shorter then Madison. He is the super fast kid who can climb up anything, and figures out how things work very quickly.

He's decided he loves puzzles and flash cards. Both are up high on the dresser shelves & he begs me to get them down or tries to climb up himself.

At Thanksgiving we put up the Christmas tree. My brother in law, Sam, was helping me to put up the tree and took a break to call my sister. He left behind a pile of fragile bulbs on the floor in front of the tree. Blake saw him putting the ornaments on, and he decided to take each bulb and gently stack them up on the lower branches. It looked like a stack of cannon balls {it's the only analogy I could think of}! Ever since then he has had a firm belief the ornaments belong on the tree. He'll walk up to them and make them swing a little then stand and watch for a while.

When Blake has his puffy jacket on he can barely move his head & has no neck in the carseat. It's so funny. Today on the way home from church I was feeding them some fig newtons to keep them awake. At one point Blake slightly turns his head toward me, looks away, back at me, gives a raised eyebrow and then looks out the window. For some reason it just cracked me up.

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A little note about Madison. She LOVES to sing. Her singing time teacher, Kim Jensen, pulled Guy aside today to let him know she sings along with every song and does the hand motions. Even if she doesn't know the words the girl is happily singing along. I love it.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Snow? - maybe but not likely to stick around

My parents are going to come visit for Christmas! I'm so excited to see them again. They are probably more excited to see the kids again {totally fine with me}. When talking to my step mom a few days ago to see what they would like to eat on Christmas day, she said anything was fine wouldn't mind having Chinese food. Yum, I love the local Chinese take out place. They make a great Mongolian beef. We'll probably be a bit more traditional and make a honey glazed ham. Yum to that too.

She definitely got my taste buds going for some tasty Chinese take out. Guess what I had for dinner tonight? That's right. My tasty Mongolian beef.

Madison and Blake were on one today. Seriously, they tried to make sure every last nerve was rubbed raw. Guy got a small taste of it after his work today. He agreed they were out to get us. Not really, but they had a tough day. It must be hard to be 20 months old & your little brain exploding with all the things you are learning.

I'm not sure they ate enough today despite eating non stop. It started with dry cereal, banana, yogurt with blueberries, raisins, pretzels, & fig newtons. They also had cheese crisp, carrots, banana, chicken fried rice, animal crackers, cherries, some kind of Christmas bar & about 14 ounces of whole milk each. I bet they put on some weight the next few days in preparation for adding some height. Blake surprised me tonight when his jammies were kind of tight and almost to short.

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We have one more item to buy for the kids Christmas presents. Amazon has been really good to us! I love their super saver shipping {Free.99}. Target has a great price on a complete doll set with all the cool accessories. It even includes a stroller. Every single place we go the kids are all over the baby doll stroller. It's going to be so fun to see them open their gifts on Christmas morning. They have NO IDEA what is about to come their way!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas card 5

My mom loves kids. Loves them. She's always been known as the person who can put any baby to sleep. Babies just love cuddling with her and feeling her sweet spirit. Every friend I've run into again after years apart asks how my mother is withing the first few catch up questions.

Merry Christmas from my mom & the twins!
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Now that we live far away in North Carolina it's so strange to me that my friends do not know my mother. Not at all. Yep, still weird.

Today Madison was all about saying, "I did it" or "You did it." She yells it very excitedly whenever she or we deserve the praise.
Blake was all about doing a board puzzle. He did it many times. He also recognizes when he doesn't pronounce a word correctly & will work on it until he says it right.
They have started holding hands a lot now. I'm not sure if this started when we played Ring Around the Rosie or when we all held hands in a line to check the mail {I thought the man driving by waiving excitedly at us was going to die from the absolute cuteness of our idyllic look}.

Today was a seriously cold day. Wow, was it cold. Like 22 degrees when I headed out to my early morning session. They were all freezing as we did most of the shots outside. The teens were both wearing short sleeve shirts! Oh, but it was so beautiful out. There is something really cool about morning light.

Some friends of mine need prayers right now. Their family has been blessed by a sweet miracle baby who is having a really hard time right now. He is documenting baby Ella's journey with a blog. Please pray that baby Ella will be able to get well enough to head home to her families care. Her big brother and sister would love to have her home for them to help take care of her instead of far away in the hospital. Ella's story can be found here. This awesome & loving family lost their infant son last year who was only 1 month older then the twins. I'm praying they do not lose another baby. Please join me {I know many of you already are and knew about Ella long before I did this week}.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas card 4

Happy Friday! We all had a good day here in the super frozen South. Really, the super frozen temps are now until midday tomorrow. Oh, it will be time to layer my clothes for my early morning shoot tomorrow. I hope they layer their clothes too so they are warm and happy. Happy is good.

Madison figured out how to blow her nose today. Oh my that is hilarious. I've been talking a lot about Madison lately, but our Blake is definitely a rock star. My favorite word he says right now is 'Butsss' or bus as you & I would say it. Three days ago I got out all the legos. They hadn't shown much interest in them until that day. We cleared off the entire coffee table and the three of us sat there playing. I made them several structures & arches & a ton of towers. Then I showed them how they could drive their cars in and around them. Mostly they had fun taking apart my hard work. Since we put the bucket back in their toy corner Blake has made sure to have soem legos out. He makes a long scepter, as Guy calls it, and carries it around with him. He'll take it apart completely then build a new one to carry around for a while. The kid loves to know how things work and likes things put together after he takes it apart.

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Inside spread
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Hope you are almost ready for Christmas and feeling the Christmas spirit!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas card 3

I have no idea why I picked this photo except it looks so perfect to me! lol I think it's the perfect question mark for the quote.
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OK, from certain angles I see why some people think they look so much alike.
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For those of you who do not read my photography blog here is your warning there are some more pictures of our family on there you will not see here. Check it out! We also aren't very busy right now so any referrals of your friends are extra appreciated! I also might be able to work in a couple extended family shoots when you are all gathered together for Christmas. Let me know if you are interested.

The mini stop sign on the chain was calling to me as we passed it. Guy was up for helping me put the kids behind it then we encouraged them to shake it. No additional effort needed. They had a blast & I got some adorable shots of them playing together. The sign cracked me up. It was really funny for Guy & Leanne who Got to stop for every 'hysterical' marker growing up. We all had a great time on the train & with the return of my wide angle lens we got the self portrait group shot! They loved sitting on the seat by themselves. Madison is getting really good at jumping & actually getting some air. She and Guy enjoyed a cuddle in his jacket when she was tired of riding in the stroller under the blanket as we walked around DC.
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The first shot in this set shows the bottom part of our luggage carrier. Yep, the same one where the top flew off while Guy was driving. The shot just under it is of Madison pushing the alarm button in the elevator. Once the kids realized they put the alarm button on the bottom {nearest the kids!!!} in every single elevator we got into, they just HAD to push it. Oh, and the call button for emergencies was right next to it in the hotel elevator. Despite our diligence in watching them they managed to hit it at least once in almost every ride. Leanne even got one once with her booty! :-) What do you do with two one year olds in a subway station next to steep drop offs to the tracks? Make them sit! Don't they look so obedient?
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In the last few shots above we have our super awesome stroller! {so worth the investiment & we'll never need a 2nd stroller. How many have you or your friends bought?} holding the two kiddos. Blake did an excellent job of taking a nap on the go. Madison? Not so much. She's a bit like me and can't miss any of the action. Especially if there are yummy snacks available!

Madison cracks me up here. The glasses all askew and her pants sagging big time. Blake was busy eyeing the rocks hoping to get more to throw in the river.
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We only have two weeks to Christmas and about three to our next attempt to have a kid. Time is definitely moving right on by which is just fine with me right now. I hope you don't mind hearing all the details {cover your eyes Judy - you'll get TMI notices} of our cycle. It's great for my sanity to share and may help someone else in the same situation.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas card 2

Ooops, I had the card ready, but didn't post it!

We stopped by a cool store front to take a couple of the kids. It was the normal only one kid looking and only one smiling {though I think they are all cute}. I wish I had video of when these card shots were taken. Both of them were giggling.

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Inside spread
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas card 1

This week is Christmas Card week. I feel like plugging some of our pictures into Christmas cards & sharing them with you. Since snail mail and I don't get along together these digital versions are from my heart to yours!!
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In the last few days Blake went from occasionally using words to using them all day long! Madison also totally shocked us when she filled in the next number and letter when counting to 10 {haven't even done that much!} & singing or saying the ABC's. Love it! The explosion of skills and knowledge is no joke.

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We had a fabulous time with Leanne in DC last week. She had never been there before. Leanne lives in Melbourne Australia and has been visiting the other siblings in Utah for the previous two weeks. Tomorrow she is in for it with the really long flights and she'll skip Wednesday with the time change on her way home! Mum, Dad & her dog Bailey will welcome her home with open arms.

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I have a lot to say about our trip to DC. We encountered an example of absolutely FABULOUS customer service from the staff and manager of the Lorien Hotel & Spa in Old Town Alexandria. Upon our original check in we were informed the staff was changing the two cribs over to another room since they would fit better in the bigger room. How sweet & lovely. Our first night there the parking attendant {valet parking only} caused some damage to our roof top hard plastic luggage storage. The damage caused the top section to break off while driving. Luckily the car behind was able to swerve. The manager from the hotel took responsibility with a can do attitude to fixing the issue prior to us checking out. He managed to get a new luggage storage unit for us the next day! He also upgraded our room to a two room suite our last night when he learned the kids didn't sleep well in the same room with us {up 6 times in one night}.

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The huge claw foot tub in an even bigger shower room was worth the stay in the suite alone. Leanne, Guy & I all took a turn in the tub {I was even able to comfortably fully submerge my body which is rare}. The view of the downtown street on the second level in our first room was way cool. The kids loved watching the people go by. Every time Blake hurd the bus go by he'd stop in his tracks to let us know another bus went by. He only said it for busses and not for any of the large trucks & street sweeper that went by. Smart kid. The view from the 5th floor two bedroom suite balcony was equally impressive for a different reason.

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We had a super relaxing and enjoyable trip with no real agenda & no real sight seeing plan. We used the train, our super sweet stroller and our feet to get around most of the time. Leanne was feeling a bit sick some of the time & we also came down with it. The sick didn't make us miserable and did not affect out fun level at all! It's just a small side note to a fabulous time. I knew it was going to be fun when Guy & Leanne came into the room the first night after midnight {flight came in at 11pm} trying to contain their giggles & after four turn arounds due to more attention paid to giggling instead of listening to the all mighty TomTom.

Here is Leanne's Twilight shot. So not really, but I had to get her Twilight obsession in here somehow! lol

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