a picture story

haven't heard from me in a while?
well, have a seat.
here is my week in pictures...

chapter one:
the week days and sister time with valerie

donut shop

reed kid love

ticket caddies, lego dana point, candy pumpkin patch, and rearview crazies

picture day at preschool


swingin on the hammock with aunt val

chalk feet

chapter two:
blog sugar weekend
packing and relaxing
balboa in the morning

 the crow bar in the evening

quiet time at crystal cove

on the town with blog friends
thank you, julie, for having  him and then sharing him.

chapter three:
home again, home again...
my life organizer: the cutest ever
from www.erincondren.com
back to my happy place with my girl

paddling with robin

my new storehouse crafts necklace came while i was gone!
check out Christie's blog (she has a shop on there!) you will want one too!

that's all i got, friends.
never a shortage of pictures here, huh?
but i think that letting them tell the story is sometimes the best way for lil' old me.



should i?

pack for blog sugar?
or write a post?

packing wins.

(but here's one quicky photo of today...at 7am :)




{virtual} rootbeer float?

if you have a coffee, can i have a rootbeer float and not feel ridiculous?
i am just not "biggirl" enough for coffee still!

that's what i'm having.
multigrain tortilla chips (the "food should taste good" ones with the bag that's pink for breast cancer awareness)
and a rootbeer float.
i'm a classy dame.

if you were here, gawking at my weird snack, i would tell you to pull up a chair and cut yourself a {chocolate}pumpkin spice rice crispy treat that is cooling on the counter.

i would ask you if you want to stay for the crock pot potato soup that is cooking since i am possitive that my kids are going to complain.
i mean, is it kraft macaroni, pizza, or ramen noodles? no?
then they will complain.
so why don't you stay and we can try it and if you don't like it...just don't tell me, kay?

so, what have you been up to?
are you glad about school being in session?
we had our first full week last week and i already have a giant, falling over pile of papers to look at from all three classrooms.
i just try not to look at it too often, or it makes me stressed.

i have had lots of "just me and ella" time lately.
i guess i wasn't thinking about how ty staying until two would effect that.
but she and i just cruise for a lot longer than we used to, just she and i.
its alot more out and about and a lot more of her asking for stuff and me saying "no".
she is learning how to be with just me and not have a playmate and it is a bit exhausting.
i mean, i'm not ready to take back the "just a few playdates" idea, but i think she and i need to find a little pattern so we can have chatty time and also alone play time too...otherwise mommy's gonna go crazy from all the talking and comments and questions and requests and demands....ya know?
she is such a treasure.
a chatty little treasure.

i made mud pie on the first week of school.
my kids had never heard of it, so i had them going for a while that i was making them something out of mud from our backyard.

my sister is in town this week.
 i love having her home.
we've been having some sweet lady time...

and tomorrow i am taking her to do this.

i hope it's fun and not too windy or gross water or something lame.
i've been pumping her up on it.
but i guess if its dumb, we can just go get a yummy breakfast instead....no harm done.

i took this picture of my kids the other day and i really like it.
because it's real.
none of them were happy with me on that car ride.
it represents that moment in time, perfectly.

i am going to blog sugar this weekend.
reedo is giving me friday saturday and sunday off!
isn't that so generous?!
i am going to soak up the kids free time as much as i can.
i am a little...apprehensive about the social-ness of the entire weekend, since big groups is not so much my thing...i am better one on one.
but i am sure i will be fine.
i am in awe(the good kind) of the people that just look forward to this kind of thing with wild abandon....that must feel free.
for now, i am just thinking about the individuals that i have built online relationships with over time and trying to avoid thinking about the group in general, or remembering names (i am the worst!) or unmet expectations.
am i just debbie downer right now?
i am sorta just talking myself into it....maybe it's working for you too , if you are going?
just think about the opportunity to smile and reach out to people....i'm really into that.

so that's what i've got today...
thank you for joining me for coffee and my weird snack.
hope you are having a good week.
that you're getting time on your own to breath, and time with your family to grow.



the reed life photography (brace yourself)

let me preface that is post by saying that i am NOT a professional photographer.
clearly, friends.
i love taking pictures of people and emotions and sometimes things.
i love learning about how to better do that.
but i am not aspiring to do this for a living at this point.
i just feel like i need to say that because i know there are real amazing artists/photographers that may or may not read this blog occasionally and i am not pretending to know everything about all of this.
but i am a professional mommy.
i don't claim to know everything about that either.
but i do have a bit of experience, that is fresh in my mind, about photographing your own rowdy, squirley, sometimes naughty, sometimes nice babies and kids.
and i have been getting a bunch of questions about my pictures and how i take them, lately.
so this is what i've learned....so far.
i'll probably learn more tomorrow.

i have a DSLR camera.
a cannon rebel from costco 2 years ago ( i think i have told you about that)
it was a gift so i don't know how much it was...you'll have to google it. ha.
i use the kit lens and i also got a pretty 50mm lens for it too that is way nicer, but i can mostly only use it outside because it is not a very wide angle (meaning it seems super zoomed in all the time and so everything looks close up unless i back way up, but you can only back up so much inside.)
i love using this whole set up.
i love shooting in manual, which i sorta taught myself to do, but then really solidified my (limited) understanding when i went to Joy's class (you know my amazing wildflowers photography friend. swoon. she is amazing).
shooting in manual gets way better pictures than not shooting in manual, but it also takes thought.
for me, lots of thought....after all i'm not Joy Prouty here, people.

so, with all that being said, i have learned what works for me as a mom.

when i want to think of a great little photo shoot in my mind and make it happen, i get out my camera, set up some fun props, get some bribes snacks ready, make sure my kids aren't wearing lame stuff and make it fun!
my camera is perfect for that!
i try to be super nice and give lots of treats(notice many of my shoots involve the treat) as i think about aperture and f-stop and a buncha other things that only half make sense to me.
then i upload them to my computer and doctor them all up in picnik.
it is creative and lovely.
it scratches two itches of mine at once.
one to stare at my kids.
and two to make something of beauty.
here are some examples.

you can see that there is almost always some kinda of activity going on too.
i am not really searching for three perfect smiles, all at the same time from my kids.
i am looking for them.
who they are.
their personalities.
and for my kids that usually involves action.
and i love that.
i love them.
i take lots of pictures.
and then just keep the ones that jump out at me and say, "this is it! your kid is captured here!"
if i was a professional, i'd probably want to try to take fewer photos for sanity sake, but since i'm not, i just take a bunch and erase later, and am just sorta fine with that.

NOW, lately i have learned that my iphone takes pretty great photos too.
a different kind of photo.
and the convenience of it meets a different need.
i take hundreds of photos with my phone.
the kind of photos that are of things that are already happening.
not situations and set ups that i'm creating, but the real life stuff.
some may argue that these are the only ones worth taking,
but i am realizing that i really enjoy both.
photos that are created and photos that are documenting.
and i really feel freed not to lug around my big nice camera if i look at things this way.
if i'm at the park and ella wants me to take a picture of her sliding down the slide, honestly that nice fancy camera is not needed for that, in my opinion.
and if i am at the park with my kids, i would rather be engaging with them than thinking about how to adjust the numbers on my camera.
are you with me here?
so, for now, i leave my camera at home unless i have a plan.
and let me tell you, my iphone pictures are some of my favorite ever!
here are some examples:

see what i mean?
different, but just as good for different reasons.
as you can see this is less of a photography post and more of a parenting post.
do you want to be a good parent?
make sure you stay balanced.
don't get all obsessive. relax.
i'll try to take my own advice too, ok?

my iphone photography apps are:

camera + pro (good on phone editing)
instagram (good filters)
dramatic B&W
diptic (to make collages)

i just play around with all of these.
then i have an app that loads the my pictures from my phone right to my web albums on picasa.
the app is called "web albums" and the icon looks like a rainbow sunflower.

there you go.
waaaaaay too many words about that, but i hope it is helpful to any of you who were interested.
and i hope i have freed some of you from your giant cameras every minute and inspired you to look at photographing and documenting your family and kids in a little different way.

one thing i really want to do in the near future is make a list (100 things) of beautiful things i want to remember and photograph them.
that will give me some ideas to start from, i think.
(and maybe a feeling of capturing all the beauty around me?)
i'll let you know how that idea turns out.