Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weird Guy

Since my lovely husband made a Facebook announcement I thought I'd post something on the blog which feeds to Facebook.  Oddly enough our 3% chance one cycle a month actually happened.  What happened, you say?  Oh, pregnancy!  Really?!?!  We had counted out that measly 3% chance one cycle a year as not something that would ever happen to us.  We were totally fine with our two kiddos.  Now we get a curveball.

It's still super early so a m/c can happen which is why we are not exactly jumping for joy like last time.  That and both of us turned into immediate stress balls about money.  Since my chance of getting pregnant was so low we cancelled the $350 a month maternity rider on my insurance policy as we were really stressed out trying to pay $600 a month just for my insurance.  The joke is on us though as it will cost way more then the $4000 those extra premiums would have cost to have a baby paying the doctor & hospital.

Off the negative stuff!  Madison has been obsessed with the book "I'm a big Sister now" for the last month.  Anytime I ask them to choose a book it is the one she brings me.  She took the book to Guy last night before bed.  He refused to read it to her knowing I'd be taking a pregnancy test in the morning.  :-)  He knew then it was inevitable we would having another child next year.  The second set of multiples jokes have already begun too.  Statistically it is more common for a woman over 35 {me 37} to have twins as the ovaries tend to have last hurrahs in the declining years.  One would be just fine of either sex and hopefully super healthy.

We'll be able to take more funny images like this one when visiting with friends!  Love it!
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Monday, August 23, 2010


Curiosity is a great and terrible thing.  This statement is true for everything.  For me in the photography business, it means more work trying to accomplish learning or doing whatever I'm curious about.  This is great in the newfound knowledge, skills and offerings, but not so great for the amount of work I need/want to accomplish on a given day.  For the kids I think we all know what curiosity brings both great and terrible.

Blake is looking pretty pleased here.  For a little background, I have a desk with my computer set up in the living room.  It makes it so I can 'hop to' throughout the day constantly switching gears from work stuff to mommy stuff.  In the mornings I work while they are eating their cereal then often a little longer while they color.  Sometimes they play on the front porch that wraps around the front and side of our living room with big windows and a glass door I can keep an eye on them.  Last week they were done coloring and headed out to the porch.  I heard them and looked up to make sure their little heads went to the windows.  After about 10 minutes of them not coming back in at all, but staying in site, I happened to glance over at the table.  NO crayons....  Uh OH.  In the image here Maddie is holding a scrub brush.
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Here she is scrubbing away at the porch rail {in vein} to get the crayon marking off.
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Blake doing his best {also in vein} to get the crayon off.  Luckily we had three scrub brushes so I had the main muscles needed to get that stuff off.  Unfortunately my muscles weren't enough...
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Here's a close up of the damage.  They got every single post facing inward to some degree with crayon along with some of the floor planks and the glass table tops.
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The white is chalk which just washed off.
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I finally thought of my old friend, Comet, who helped me get the boost needed to get the crayon off.  The kids actually did a fabulous job of scrubbing the entire time I was cleaning off the posts to help me.  They pretty much refuse to clean anything by themselves and demand that Guy or I help them with whatever the clean up project is.  Hopefully, they stay willing to clean for a long long time!
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Yesterday in the late afternoon Guy says to me that Madison is way to quiet.  We called for her to come in the living room.  After a minute she came out with a big smile on her face.  I asked her what she was doing and she lifted her dress to happily show me her artwork.  Wondering where she could have possibly gotten a marker to make these kind of marks I headed to her room.  There was my black eye liner with its cap replaced lying next to the make up bag.  Guy suggested I take some pictures so we headed to the back porch to catch the last 5 minutes of daylight.
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Blake was busy telling his Maddy that what she did was bad and then he turns to me flashing this silly grin.  The kid has so much personality.
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Madison thought she was doing well flashing me all kinds of smiles since I was taking pictures of her artwork {hence why I don't do it most of the time}.  We had to have a serious discussion about why she cannot draw on anything but paper and only with her crayons.  Such a sweet remorseful face with the black eye liner mark by her mouth.
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She's starting to think it's funny again here transitioning from serious to smiley.
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Back to the grumpy face thinking of how she did a bad thing.
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The designs were rather interesting.  She's starting to use a teeny tiny bit of control when coloring.
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Then they were off to play on the slide.
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Happy as can be
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Until she remembered to check out her artwork.  She really wanted to take a bath to clean up though not enough to cry about it.   I made her wait until normally scheduled bath time.  
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Love this shot through the tent at the setting sun.
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Since I was laying down taking that shot it made it easy to take a picture of me too.
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And another.  Not that you can tell in this image, but I got about 4 inches cut off my hair.  It's awesome.  The cut works absolutely perfectly with the perm remnants for a nice wavy body.  It dries nice with very little product needed {only a bit of leave in conditioner to keep the frizz away}.
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Blake and Madison wanted to get in on the action taking pictures with mommy.  It was a bit harder to get a focus and two of in the frame holding the heavy camera at arms length with a 50mm lens on it.  A 50 mm isn't very wide so it takes only a small view from arms length away.  This shot is another example of not good focus, but an image I love.  He was so serious about getting in an image with me smooshing his sweaty head against mine.  He didn't get the whole lay down next to me part.
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His happy look as he looked back at me before going into the house.
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I have not idea what he was saying.  This kid constantly talks.  OK, maybe he only talks about half they day, but it feels like a lot.  Sometimes he has so much to say he starts stuttering trying to get it all out at once.
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I'm pretty curious to see what is going to happen next in our life.  Hope it's a lot of great things!  One great thing that has happened the last couple weeks is the loss of 2 more pounds.  I'm officially only 1 pound away from the weight we got married at {and spent my high school years weighing}.  Though my muscle mass is no where near as impressive so about 5 more pounds can come off to be the most comfortable skinny weight with no funny lumps anywhere.  Happy to stay here and happy to lose a few more to see what it feels like.  

Buh Bye!!
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Friday, August 20, 2010

The new website & blog are here!!!

My new site is up!  It is the same old website address, but it is now the website and blog for Lifelong Impressions.  I have a ton of new information on there including some lower sitting fees, new charitable giving in honor of Ella's Touch, photography classes and much more.  There is also a newsletter sign up {big hint...  Friends who get their images by me really NEED to sign up for a newsletter}.  I'm also working on some cool new stuff like an upcoming special mini session event with only a $10 session fee!  This will be announced in the newsletter first.

If you follow the Lifelong Impressions blog make sure to follow the new web address as the old blog will no longer be used.  http://lifelongimpressions.com    All the links in this email are to the new blog address.  It does have a feed that has been showing up wonderfully in my Google Reader application.  Love Google Reader!

I'm pretty sure I'll be switching this blog over to a Wordpress blog in the next few months as well.  I LOVE Wordpress and all it offers in terms of flexibility and information.  Paired with Bluehost.com it is a wonderful option.  My Lifelong Impressions images are now loaded directly into the page with no link to Flikr, they are right click disabled, I was able to integrate forms directly into the site & the platform was really easy to learn.

No images tonight, but I have a few from this week I can't wait to share.  Now that the website is done, it is back to a regularly scheduled life.  Guy will be sooooo happy.

For all the local friends...  My friend, Kim, and I are committing to a play date every Wednesday morning at 9:30 or 10:00 am.  The place will change each week, but we'll let you know where it will be.  This first one is at my house on Wednesday morning starting at 9:30 am.  Please call {919-585-6433} or email {shannon@lifelongimpressions} to let me know you are coming, but even if you decide to come at the last minute, just show up.   Looking forward to many mornings of fun for us and the kids.

Now, go check out the new website & sign up for the newsletter!

Monday, August 16, 2010

More Miami plans!

The greater then average number of comments on my last post tells me you guys really do read my personal blog.  I'm sorry for neglecting it the last six months.   And for all those who loved the images I must confess we moved the bed in our bedroom so the light would be more favorable for any future picture ops.  I like it much better with the new arrangement.  

Saturday I stepped in an ant pile during the last part of my photo shoot.  I have never done that before!  Luckily the pain of the first few bites alerted me to an issue.  Somehow with hundreds of ants I only got 4-5 bites. Yeah, amazing!!!  They are also the kind of ants that only leave a minor bite & not those huge swollen bites.

We have made plans to spend the week of Thanksgiving in Miami!  All of us are super excited to go again.  Our wonderful client, Therese, has offered up her condo to us again.  Since I haven't ever shared images from our last trip you get to see a few today.

This is the view from the condo overlooking the Port of Miami and South Beach.  We took our bikes down with the kids seats on the back.  We went on 4 nice long bike rides exploring everything from South Beach to the downtown area along the waterfront to the South.  We all loved the experience getting to know the area by bike.  The Port of Miami is also where our cruise left out of back in March.  Two of the cruise ships are leaving in this image.
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Blake thought he'd try out the binoculars our first morning.  This trip was the first time the kids slept in big beds by themselves.  They only fell off a couple times...  It's a good thing we thought ahead to put some pillows along the sides.  Since then they learned their boundaries and haven't fallen off any big beds they have slept on since.
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The tram system was great to get around in.  This station was right behind the condo building.
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We decided to take the tram & a couple grocery bags to the Publix store.  It was not one of our more brilliant ideas.  We got enough to feed us most meals for the week.  That is a lot of food for four people to carry back to the tram, keep track of two 2 year olds and carry from the tram up to the condo.  DUH.  It would have worked out just fine if we had brought a cart of some kind or even a suitcase.

Blake wanted to help carry some of the groceries.
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He did pretty well.
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Then Madison wanted to help him.
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But...  She decided it wasn't her thing and walked on.  I love the unconcerned look for leaving our groceries behind.
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You know, I never realized how badly escalators are designed when it comes to kids until right when I took this image.  In order to get the angle right I had to squat down.  When I tried to get up with balancing the camera, groceries and camera bag I put my hand on the side wall.  Big mistake.  It is stationary!  So it pulled me backwards.  Thankfully, I managed to let go quickly and gain my own balance.  Since kids cannot reach the hand rail at the top there is nothing for them to grab onto except the side wall for balance.
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Us in the tram.  The kids were a bit worn out from their walk since we couldn't pick them up with all the groceries.
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They perked back up soon enough.
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Well, maybe just Madison perked up.
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She had to mess him.
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Here is another view of South Beach from the condo.
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My friend Mary came over with three of her kids since the others weren't feeling well.  We all went swimming at one of the 14th story pools.  They are designed so one gets the sun during the morning and the other at night.  If it is windy it is likely that one of the pools will not feel the effects too.  They had a BBQ area, sand volleyball court, pool table, lounge and putting green out there too.

Guy was trying to get Madison to 'swim' to him.  She has just started trying to swim when we went swimming last week.  It is so funny to watch.  She'll pull the water towards her with her hands and does an upright running man to go forward.  Next year we'll definitely do swim lessons.
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Mary's identical twin girls, Jessica & Nicole, along with their big sister Gabi.  Check out the goofy faces the girls were making making Gabi and all of us laugh.   The super full diapers also cracked me up.
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Guy was giving Blake a head start push towards the side.  The push is Blake's favorite part.
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He definitely wasn't swimming strait, but he started getting it very quickly.
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Here is Mary.  She had both girls in her arms most of the time.  Us twin moms develop serious guns with all the double holding we do.  With two kids in your arms there is no way to use your hip to hold them and the other arm can't come over to support the main hold arm as it is the main hold arm for the other kid.  Moms with kids super close together have the same thing.  Though they can use the hip to the side of the heavier child and 'arm' hold the lighter one.  
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A view up the condo building from the pool.  We had a great puffy clouds that would come and go while we were at the pool giving the perfect shade and sun combo.
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Another shot of the girls showing off a loaded diaper.
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Gabi chillin.
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The girls all did their towels like capes which Madison and Blake had to do too.  They loved it.  Madison paused for one of her princess poses.
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Guy held the gate opened for everyone including his straggler picture taking wife.
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Guy started his new position as a Garner High School resource officer this morning.  School doesn't start for a week, but he has some things to get together including meeting the staff.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Don't make the elliptical machine mad!

My cutie patootie Blake.  You know, I don't think there is a day that goes by that one or both kids doesn't get injured in some way.  Most of the time it is them not paying attention.  Sometimes it is them fighting.
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This adorable melancholy look is because Blake did a pretty good injury to his finger.
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Before we get to the injury I just have to say how much I love this girls smile. It lights up everyone around her when she gives it.  At the grocery store today she was lagging behind on the way out.  The lagging was due to her choice of shoes.  Yes, hers!  Apparently she feels fashion is much more important then function or comfort.  We have some flip flops with pink ribbon wrapped around the strap with big bows.  The cannot figure out how to keep her feet in them, and the extra fabric around the toe part rubbers her toes and top of her foot raw.  She HAD to wear them and fought with them the whole time.   Back to the smile.  A clerk behind the customer service counter looked at her.  She smiled & waved at him.  Next thing we know about 3-4 workers are enthralled with her.  They probably all spent the next half our smiling uncontrollably.  
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Back to the injury.  I'm a little scattered at the moment!

Blake put his hands in the plastic bit that surround the gear between the handle and foot parts.  He must have pulled it apart a bit.  It snapped shut on him and he ripped his hand out.  It gave him two long jagged cuts down the pad of his finger and a pocket like cut out along the side of his skin.  Luckily, they were pretty shallow so no need for stitches.  However, he was moaning on for a bit about the pain.

All of a sudden Guy notices his finger is crooked!  He asks me if I think it might be broken.  My heart stops as I look at it.
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But then I remembered.   I pulled up my own hand to check out my fingers and the middle finger is definitely crooked in just the same way.  LOL  Way to give us a fright.  Guy looks at my hand, then looks at Blake's, and then back at me to say, "That is a deal breaker."
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I had to laugh.  It's a bit to late to just now be noticing my crooked finger to call it a deal breaker.  We're coming up on 8 years of marriage.

I love the next two shots of Blake and Maddie checking out Blake's hurt finger.
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He has been obsessed by band aids, while I've been equally obsessed with giving his cuts some air time to heal.  Band aids always make the skin so puckery and water logged looking.  Since Blake sweats a lot he definitely needs some air time too.  He's starting to give in to my side, but goes to Guy anytime I'm not looking to demand some more creme and band aid.  As long as he gets in a few air hours a day it's all good to me.
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Just after it happened, while I was still holding the paper towel on it until the bleeding stops, he had a few requests.  The first request was to cuddle.  The second request was to watch Harry Potter {which he pronounces ava cado}.  The third request was for a popsicle.
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My mom happened to call just after he hurt himself and was still crying almost hysterically.   Not much control over his emotions, this kid.  When we called her back she said he sure knew how to milk it after laughing over his requests.

Madison was kissing Blake's owie with super chicken pecking speed which didn't let me get a focus.  This is so cute though!!  There is no way it was going to the trash over something so minor.  All the emotion is still captured.
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A quiet moment.
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So my little stinker has been a little mopey since it happened.  He holds it nice and stiff most of the time flipping people off.  So if he does it to you, now you know we aren't teaching him bad things.
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Have an awesome Sunday!


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