Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Less Than Perfect

This weeks theme at I Heart Faces is hilarious outtakes. I have to admit that I erase most of my outtakes to save space so I had a hard time finding many. And most of the ones I do have are of Mia because she makes some of the funniest faces.

There's the "What's that smell?!" face:
There's the "Braiiiiinnnns! I eat your braiiinnns!" face:
The "Nuts?! Who's nuts?! I like nuts!" face:
The "Whatchoo talkin' bout, Willis?" face:
Then there's....well, there this:

Go here for more hilarious outtakes!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sun Conure

This week's theme at I Heart Faces is Pets. Now, having five kids we decided long ago that the kids were animal enough for us, so most of my animal pictures were taken at the zoo or in my yard. We have a small zoo near us that is home to a few animals; flamingos, peacocks and other birds, wolves, bison, otters, a bobcat and a jaguar, some llama, an alligator and a few other assorted animals.

I find that I love to photograph the birds the most. I've always been drawn to their bright feathers, like those of this sun conure.
sun conure

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Bokeh Fun

I've seen this done lots of times on other photography blogs and have always wanted to try it myself. Since my husband had to leave to go out of town yesterday afternoon, I had lots of time to myself after the kids went to bed and decided to have some fun.

It took me a couple of tries to get the star in my filter the right size, but I love how well it worked.
tree stars
tree stars2
And with out the bokeh effect:
And here are instructions if you want to try it too!

Oh, and please do ignore my crooked star on the top of my tree. I never noticed how bad it was until I took the pictures!

Sweet Dreams

and beautiful faces. That's this week's theme at I Heart Faces.

For some reason I can't find the picture that I wanted to submit this week. It was a picture of my oldest laying with his little brother, fast asleep, on his chest. I love that picture so much I've even scrap-booked it, but still could not locate it.

I did however, find this picture that I snapped of my youngest asleep on the couch from last year. She had fought taking a nap and crawled up on the couch with her ratty old sheet and passed out. I love her rosy little cheeks and pouty little baby mouth. I've always thought she looked like a baby doll in this picture.

sweet dreams

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Star is Born

Last week, my husband's coworker approached him about letting my youngest, Mia, be in the dealership's Christmas commercial. She really thought that she would be cute in it and wanted to know if we thought she could do it. Jason and I discussed it and told them that if she wanted to do it and wasn't scared or anything then we'd let her.

Yesterday we went to the dealership to film the commercial Mia is in. They wanted her dressed for the holiday and she looked so cute. We got there at about 11am and she had some time to explore the sales floor/show room while waiting for Santa and Mrs Claus to arrive.

Everyone that works there were just so sweet to her and made such a big deal over her. The woman that asked to put her in the commercial asked her if she'd sing a song; Mia did and damn near made me cry.

Mia stood in the middle of that room with all the sales people, the owner, customers and everyone and sung "When You Wish Upon a Star". But she performed. She sung out loud and clear and looked around at everyone watching her and just shocked the hell out of me. When she was done everyone clapped for her and I could barely breathe.

I only wish that I'd had my camera out for that moment, because it was so amazing how poised she was. After that everyone was asking about all the songs she sings and were making suggestions of songs for her to learn.

Not long after that the Claus's arrived and at first Mia was a little nervous around them but she quickly warmed up to Mrs Claus and before we knew it she was on Santa's lap.

She did really well for barely being three. I was so proud of her. The only part she had a problem with was the phrase "five hundred dollar gift card" at the end. (Heck even the adult that they filmed later couldn't spit it out right half the time. She told him "told you so!")

When she was done she got to have a happy meal while we watched them film the rest and then she was given her "monies" and a bag of gummy bears. After we left I took her to the store and she picked out a baby doll and bought Anakin and Claudia a little toy and still has a little money left over to put in her kitty bank.

She loved it, and talked about her adventure for the rest of the day. I can't wait for the first time she sees herself on television.
And for some added fun, here she is rehearsing her lines for the first time with Santa.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

May The Force Be With You

Next week, Anakin will turn five years old. I don't know when it happened but all of a sudden he seems so grown. He's doing great at school and loves it so much. He is absorbing everything like a little sponge and making friends and growing more and more confident every day.

So, since it's almost his birthday and since I haven't posted a scrapbooking page in a while (haven't created one in a while, either) I thought I'd share this one.
Dark Side

Kit is Out of this World by Pineapple Plantation Designs © by Shauna Burke-Smith

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Painting with Lightsabers

The other night my husband promised Anakin that they could have lightsaber battles in the dark, so once the sun went down all the kids trooped outside to have a little fun. Anakin and Jason both have force fx lightsabers that glow like the real thing so I knew it could be a fun photo experiment so I grabbed my camera and tripod and followed out after them.

The results were interesting and it really has made me want to explore light painting in more depth.


See more of the set here.

Autumn Beauty

This week, the theme over at I Heart Faces is Autumn Beauty. This was a difficult challenge for me as most of my beautiful autumn pictures are of the foilage, not faces. I wanted to go out and shoot some new pictures last week but we were hit with the remnants of Ida and it rained steadily for four days straight.

Luckily, I had done birthday portraits of my very own Autumn beauty, Amelia so I've decided to enter one of my favorites of her.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Fall Berries

Yesterday we went through a short hike through some trails near us. It was a gorgeous sunny day and we all wanted some fresh air before the cold starts setting in.

I took my camera as I always do, hoping to get some shots of the kids but they were too full of silly wiggles and not willing at all to glance my way for even a pity shot.

Instead I turned my camera toward nature and got this shot of some berries.
fall berries

ETA: I was so excited to see this picture featured on the I Heart Faces blog! Second time one of my photos were featured! Woohoo!

Find it and more great inspiration here and at the I Heart Faces Network!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Angie and Amy's Pick

My balloon shot for this week's challenge was chosen as one of Angie and Amy's picks on I Heart Faces! There were some really beautiful shots and I love all the winners. Lots of fun this week!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Today, as soon as I put the littles into the bathtub, the phone rang. It was the school nurse calling that Claudia was running a fever and I needed to come get her. I rushed through the bath, threw clothes at the kids and hoped they would stick and rushed them out the door.

When we got to the school, I signed her out in the office and one of the office assistants went to get her. Of course, in this time of plague, I mean, piggy, ahem...H1N1 they had her in a separate room by herself and when she came out she was wearing a face mask.

Bad Mommy that I am I laughed and oinked at her and took her home to put her to bed. Lovely child that she is, she let me photograph her with her mask before changing into comfy clothes and crawling into bed.
I'm not sure what this says about me as a mom, but I find myself really drawn to this picture. Poor kid, I hope she feels better soon.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Back when I Heart Faces had it's blue theme I bought some blue balloons and took Mia to the park to see what we would get. I had a few pictures that I began to play with but was low on inspiration so I just picked one and never looked back.

Since this week's theme is balloons I decided to take a second look at those pictures.
Amelia (8)
I found myself drawn to this picture. I love the way she is framed by the bridge supports with the balloons floating behind her and how she is trying to hold her hair out of her face because it was such a windy day.

I decided to play with it and I added some textures and cropped it a little tighter than it was originally.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Last night was Halloween and as is my habit, the costumes were done at the last minute. This year I have a good excuse though as my sewing machine was giving me fits all week. But we got it together in the end and the kids were happy, so that is all that matters.

After we got the kids dressed we had to rush to MIL's house as we were already running late so I didn't get any pics until we were there and it was almost dark, so I just shot of a few before we headed out.

This year Claudia was a fortune teller.
fortune teller
fortune teller2
Anakin was a "mighty" knight and was so excited I couldn't get him to stand still for anything. LOL
mighty knight
Amelia was Little Red Riding Hood.
Little Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood2
And last but not least, Jesse was Sweeney Todd.
Sweeney Todd

Monday, October 26, 2009


Anakin was with me of course when I was doing Amelia's birthday pictures so I also shot a few of him. Today I finally had time to crop/edit a few more pictures and did a couple of Anakin to share. His birthday is a month away and then it will be time to get a bunch more of him.

Anakin Isaac
I experimented with some textures with this one and I like how it came out.
Mia and Anakin

Sunday, October 25, 2009

More Pictures from Mia's Birthday

Today we are having Amelia's birthday party. Really it's just some cake and ice cream with her Memom, aunt and uncle and cousins coming. She's excited though.

Last night in between baking her birthday cake and watching a show on Punkin Chunkin on onDemand I edited a couple more shots of Mia.

This first one was taken in line waiting to pick Anakin up from school (again). She was being cute and the camera was in the car so who could resist? I can't decide if I like her eyes in it or not. Mainly she looks a little crazy I think and that could be caused by the reflection of my orange shirt.
This next shot was taken at the old caboose in town. It's gotten a new coat of paint recently and I knew it would be fun place to shoot. The first one is the straight picture and the next is some editing I was experimenting with and shared with Pioneer Woman's assignment group.
Amelia Edit

Friday, October 23, 2009

Birthday Girl!

Today was Mia's third birthday. It's hard to believe that my baby, my youngest is three years old already. I look at her and wonder where my chunky baby went and how she got so big. She's a funny, sweet girl full of attitude, too smart for her own good (and mine!) and I love her.

This afternoon I took her out to get a couple of birthday pictures and these were the first ones that caught my eye.
MIA2 (4)

MIA (5)

Friday, October 9, 2009

I was featured

on a post at I Heart Faces! How cool! :) The post is about their network and all the great people that post there and all the wonderful pictures that have been shared, and they chose my butterfly picture to feature with eleven others!

swallowtail on azalea bush

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pouty Face

Yesterday while waiting in line to pick up the kids from school, I got out my camera and was playing (again) with the manual settings. Mia was sitting in her car seat wearing one of her many hats and was a somewhat willing subject for me (meaning she's strapped in her seat and can't run away! LOL). I even got her to look at me a couple of times so I'm counting it as a success.

I got a few shots that weren't too bad but this one just makes me chuckle.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009


This weekend we had a yard sale and were up early, early, early to set up. Bad for my need for sleep but good for fun photo opportunities.

The morning was cool, but not cold and there was a thin layer of fog hovering low. I couldn't resist grabbing my camera and shooting the sunrise.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blue Balloons and Windy Days

Today I bought the kids some balloons and took them to the park after school. I made sure to buy some blue ones as I thought it would be fun to use them for this week's challenge at I Heart Faces. Unfortunately by the time we got there the wind was picking up quite a bit and the balloons were blowing all over the place. When they weren't being nearly yanked out of Mia's hands, her hair was blowing across her face and focusing was increasingly difficult. Needless to say, we quickly gave up and just went to play.


In the end I decided to just play with some of the pictures, choosing to use selective color on this shot and share it anyway.

Monday, September 21, 2009

In the Moment

On Independence Day, my family and I spent the whole day in Laurel. We enjoyed the live entertainment and talent show, walked through the car show, Jesse participated in the pie eating contest and the little ones got pony rides. We ate hot dogs and Italian ices, rode rides at the carnival, tried to win a goldfish (and lost) and enjoyed a great fireworks show at the end of the day.

Of course I spent the day taking pictures (and video) of all the events. It was in a quiet moment when we were all sitting in the park after having eaten lunch that Amelia reached over to her daddy to give him a kiss.

daddy's girl

I love this picture so much that I used it for my masthead and when this week's challenge for I Heart Faces was completely candid I kept coming back to it. I have tons of candid moments that I've caught over the years, but nothing that makes my heart smile like Daddy's little girl.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Almost Wistful

This week there is also the pets category at I Heart Faces. Since we only have a betta fish, most of my animal shots are of wild animals or from zoo trips. This week I've chosen a picture that I took at the National Zoo in Washington, DC of a Western Lowland Gorilla.


I actually just went to the National Zoo's website to see if I could identify my gorilla. She is Mandara and you can read about her and the other gorilla's at the zoo here.

About Me

My photo
I'm a SAHM that loves photography. My kids are my main models but they're on to me and have started running in the opposite direction of me and my camera. Well, all but the youngest. She's a ham. To compensate I take pictures of just about everything else from flowers and bugs, to landscapes and anything else that will sit still. And I share it all here because I might as well do something with it. :)


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