Sunday, December 30, 2007

Jell-O Pudding Pops!

Do you remember these as a kid? I realized that they had discontinued making them and apparently now they're back! Before you get too excited... they're not the same! I remember them being a flat, wide bar with that yummy coating of ice surrounding it. Then when you got to the bottom, there would be that little "ice tray" which was the best! The new pudding pops are are a traditional Popsicle shape with no ice coating. Darn.

Before you think I'm the only crazy one who realizes these types of things, I actually found an article about this on the internet. Apparently, there's also a petition to bring back the original Jell-O Pudding Pops! Crazy stuff...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Year's Resolution

One of my goals next year is to plan at least one photo trip, meaning choosing a destination solely based on something that I want to photograph. More than likely, these will be road trips as I don't have it in my budget to do a whole lot of air transportation, hotel, rental car, etc. I am looking for some road trip ideas to cool old towns with interesting things to see. Any ideas?

One place on my list is Olivia, MN. Yes, there is a city named Olivia in Minnesota! It is only about 2 hours west. It is in fact, the corn capital of the world! I first discovered it when I was about 13 or so and I saw it in an atlas. I always thought it would be fun to get my picture taken in front of the sign! Back in our first summer dating, Andy took me there and I did indeed get my picture taken in front of the sign... with one of my old crappy film cameras. I wonder where that photo is? I would love to go back and do some real photography there. I remember there being a cute old downtown and everything was named after the town. For instance, "Olivia Bowl," "Olivia Drug Store," etc. I think I could get some pretty cool art shots there!

As for any other places, I will have to do some research. Another goal is to block off weekends to do this sort of thing, plan trips, and actually take them! I am notorious for saying things like, "Someday, I'd like to go camping up in Gooseberry Falls..." I have actually been saying that one for the past two years. We've all been there, life just gets busy and things never happen. My New Year's resolution for 2008 is to "Make things happen!" I would love to start going to the gym. I have had a membership since January 2007 and have gone... once! I just love handing them over my money every month for nothing! I know, it's terrible. At least my husband goes every day so we're not paying for absolutely nothing. I don't want to have weight loss goals or start some crazy dieting plan. I just want to incorporate exercise into my life, that's a realistic goal, right? So, what am I going to do? Make things happen!

What's your New Year's Resolution?

Aidan

We did some visiting up north today with Andy's grandparents. I love spending time up there, it is so warm and cozy and everything you'd imagine visiting with grandparents would be. I never knew either of my grandparents growing up so this is a wonderful new experience for me since I've been married. His grandma is such a good cook and makes everything from scratch. I always enjoy helping her out in the kitchen and having "girl talk" while the guys shoot pool downstairs. It's always such a nice visit and you never leave hungry!

Here are a few photos I shot of Aidan this morning before heading off. I realize these have nothing to do with my story I just told, but I was so happy to get some candid shots of him while Andy was interacting with him and making him laugh. I seldom take any photos of my boys at home anymore so photos like these don't come around very often!




Ryan

I got together with my friend Kelly and her family a couple of days ago. I went to high school with Kelly, you may remember her from my 8th grade formal photo:
















Ha ha, don'tcha just love how I can continue to bust that out?! The last time I saw Kelly, she was pregnant with Ryan. With both of us being so busy over the past couple of years, we finally managed to hang out for a bit and of course do some photos! Here's her little cutie who is growing up to be such a big boy!




















































































Great seeing you again Kel! Hopefully it won't be another 2 years until we see each other again!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Deceptively Delicious























I received this Christmas gift from my friend who lives in Washington. I'm so excited to try it out! I've you've never heard of it, Jerry Seinfeld's wife wrote a cookbook about getting your kids to eat healthier by incorporating vegetable and fruit purees into their regular kid-friendly foods that they normally eat. I have two picky eaters that once used to eat bowl upon bowl of vegetables but now won't touch a single one. For instance, the cookbook incorporates cauliflower or squash puree into their macaroni and cheese and they don't know the difference! I've read through the book and it looks fantastic!



Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I hope that everyone is enjoying time spent with family and friends. Our Christmas festivities are well under way but wanted to take a brief moment to post some personal photos. Andy and I started a new tradition of opening our gifts on December 23rd. We're horrible! There was a snowstorm underway and I was busy baking in the kitchen. The boys were downstairs playing and Andy said, "I'm kind of bored." So I said, "Want to open presents?!" So we did! Ha ha, we did the same thing last year! I got my new fireproof safe that I have been wanting, a gift certificate for a massage, and a load of free car wash coupons for my new Explorer! Some girls would probably cry if they got a safe for Christmas versus, say, a diamond necklace but not me! I'm so darn practical. :) Now I can start my project of backing up photos and documents to keep in my new safe.

We spent Christmas Eve at my cousin Myra's, an annual tradition. I have a HUGE extended family and her big, new, beautiful house is the only place we'll all fit! Every year my Aunt and Uncle go to great extremes to entertain us adults by running a game allowing us to win money. It is usually based on the year's trendiest game (last year was Deal or No Deal). This year we had to complete Christmas song lyrics. Andy and I failed miserably. I knew almost every body else's lyrics but my own (Let it Snow). It's always a good time and of course, delicious Filipino food!

Christmas morning was a lot of fun this year with the boys. We left out milk and cookies for Santa and the boys rushed out this morning to see what Santa had brought them. It was everything I imagined it being when I thought of having kids.

Merry Christmas to you all!

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The clan- the two women in the middle are both pregnant with their third child, two new Spring babies to add to the family!



























































Christmas morning:

Friday, December 21, 2007

YUM-O!

Let the holiday baking begin! I made these yummy treats for my neighborhood USPS staff. I'm at the post office almost every single day and they're so good to me so I thought they might enjoy a yummy treat for all of their hard work. Click here for the recipe.

Another yummy cookie I tried for the first time is Chocolate Shortbread Trees. They're very pretty and best yet, taste delicious!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Introducing... baby Drew!

Drew finally made his arrival after being two weeks late. He did such an amazing job during his first photo shoot! He was joined by his bear friend, who his mom thinks resembles him, and his proud grandma. Drew loves the sound of his grandma's voice as you can see from his little smile we managed to capture. I don't believe what doctors say about smiles being gas, I know it was a smile! ;)

Awwww... do you remember when yours were this teeny??










Tuesday, December 18, 2007

So much to do, so little time!

I have a zillion things I need to do over Christmas break, but first on my list is relax! It's just been so busy since summer that I am looking very forward to a nice relaxing few days spent with family.

I'm hosting Christmas this weekend so that's a big list of to-do's later this week. I like to do a lot of baking so I'm excited to do my day of cookie making. My favorites are russian tea cookies, spritz, and good old fashioned sugar cookie cutouts. Of course I'll also have to do peanut butter blossoms and hopefully if I can get to it, some gingerbread. YUM, are you hungry now?!

Other tasks include updating my website and hopefully getting some sample albums and canvases printed out for my studio. I've been wanting to do a lot of these projects once things slowed down this winter but it's been consistently busy which is great, but not for my projects since they have no choice but to sit on the back burner.

I'm also working on my new pricing structure which will go into effect early next Spring (more on that later). For now, a new change with the new year will be instant access to your session. After viewing your images on my blog, your best 30 images will be available for immediate purchase on my ordering site. Time line to receive your CD in the mail will still be three weeks, but for those of you that want your hands on them fast, this will allow you to do that. Now that Christmas card ordering season is over, I will no longer be emailing requested files after your session, you will need to purchase prints if you want them immediately or wait for your CD. Pricing changes will go into effect April 1st, so if you want to take advantage of my current structure, book anytime now through March!

I will also be adding new session types to my line-up such as:
-Newborn Sessions (includes custom birth announcements)
-Birthday Sessions (includes custom invitations)
-Holiday Sessions (includes custom greeting cards- Valentine's and Easter are coming up!)
-Baby's First Year Package (includes 5 sessions newborn-12 months and a custom collage)

I've been receiving a lot of compliments on my Christmas card and I would love to get into more design work!

Attention wedding photographers: I am available as a second shooter for 2008! I love second shooting and I think it's a great way to stay fresh and creative without all of the pressure. Please contact me for my rates, it would be fun to work with you! OR, if you want to work with me on my weddings, contact me with your rates. Thanks!

Eman

What a gorgeous little boy. What more can I say, look at him! My FAVORITE is number 8. It's such a look of wonder and excitement. His eyes are so expressive... and he happens to be wearing a very cute hat. ;) You really need to click on it to enlarge it to get the full effect. Eman's dad was determined to get Eman to smile but as usual, my favorites are almost never the smiling ones.











Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bridget and Grady

What adorable well-behaved children! These two were so cute and fun to photograph! Apparently Bridget is quite the ham and loves being photographed lately. Lucky for me! Grady was in for his 2 year photos and brought along his favorite truck.