Parents, if you want wonderful pictures of your children, never teach them to say "cheese"! Please learn from my mistake or you will have thousands of photos just like mine - squinted eyes, scrunched up noses, clenched teeth, and an image that just screams "say cheez!!!". Join me while I search for that one perfect shot that doesn't conjure up images of dairy products. Oh, and unless you like that *messy* look, you'll probably want to clean their faces before you snap away. I never seem to remember myself.

An imporant sidenote is to make sure you document your life! Recording the little details of the who, what, where, when, & why makes for wonderful stories and captures your life for years to come. Because if you are like me, you'll forget it all 5 minutes later!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Project 52. Week 18.

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.  ~e.e. cummings


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Project 52. Week 17.

Wouldn't it be the best damn day?
Wouldn't it be a wonderful day?
Wouldn't it be a glorious day?
If we all took time to smile, made just a minute for you and me.
Wouldn't it be the best damn day?
- O.A.R.

Just sayin'.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

I {heart} Acadia.

A vacation is like love - anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort and remembered with nostalgia.

That sounds about right.

I LOVE going on trips with my family. We travel often and each time we eagerly anticipate all of the wonderful things we are going to do and the fabulous sites we are going to explore. We excitedly arrive at our destination full of hope and boundless energy for our adventure.

The first day or so is always bliss. But at some point the reality of vacationing with 4 children sets in as the bickering starts, complaining ensues, and aggravations escalate. Deep breathing becomes necessary and threats that this is our last. vacation. ever. may pop out of my mouth.

But all that is a distant memory.

For now, as I look back on our trip away, I am filled with happiness and wonderful memories of our family time - enjoying the sounds of the ocean crashing on the rocky shoreline, hiking and biking the brilliant carriage roads through the spectacular national park, and rediscovering our love for Acadia.

I'm filled with the nostalgia of our time together and wistful that it ended so fast. And longing for another trip back up there - squabbles and all.









Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Project 52. Week 16.


He is a middle schooler!!!

How did this happen? When did this happen? Why did this happen?? (Ok, so I know the answer to these questions, but still, the feelings of amazement and disbelief are pretty strong.)

I just can't believe my little boy has grown up so much. He is walking home from school AND letting himself in the house on his own. (Even though I did these things at a much younger age than he is, times have changed and I can't believe he is at the age that I can leave him alone and not get in trouble with child services.) He is wanting to watch more mature shows and read more mature books. He is going on trips without mom or dad. He is loving all of this. He is becoming more independent and it is certainly bittersweet.

I swear he still looks like my little baby here. I love this photo of him - so content, so happy, so youthful and innocent - and this is how I see him in my heart. So it is hard to see that he is in MIDDLE SCHOOL!

Learning to let go seems to be getting harder and harder...


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Project 52. Week 15.

Ok, so I'm haven't been keeping up with this on a week to week basis, but I am still taking lots of photos and have a ton of favorites to share, and many of them from our trips to the beach this summer. Hmm, maybe that is my problem...lots of time at the beach and too many photos! :-) Not a bad problem to have by any means...

"On the beach, you can live in bliss."
- Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Art Journaling

I've been taking an art journaling class and have been intrigued by the whole process. I enjoy the creativity and new form of expression. Using different materials is exciting and I love how things start to come together. Plus, it offers lots of room for mistakes - they simply add to the charm and make it feel less intimidating!

I created this blank journal to explore some of the different mediums. My technique for stamping on fabric needs some refining, but as with anything in life, this is a work in progress. :)






Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Project 52. Week 13.

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher

My how this rings true for me, especially today.

Children ARE people. Children ARE important. They are the future decision makers, future caregivers, future contributing members of society. They have a wonderful spirit and drive to soak up life and knowledge.

Yet certain elected officials are showing they feel otherwise.

What these officials need to remember is that children DO deserve to learn and grow and achieve. Children DO deserve to be treated with respect and love and have our community support. They should be afforded the right to a solid, well rounded, engaging education. An education that will meet the needs for living in today's world. This comes with a price tag, of coarse. But that price tag is an investment and one that is well worth the cost.

I've never been so upset with my town as I am today. They chopped $850,000 out of the school budget, which was already a bare bones budget. Not even bringing it to a town vote, when they were clearly asked to do so.

The board of education and board of finance need to remember that school isn't only about math and reading. Our children need the arts and alternative programs to help round out their learning, expand their horizons, and as a creative tool for the numerous stresses that are placed on children...and undoubtedly those stresses are going to increase as the children are faced with larger class sizes, fewer options, and stressed teachers who have to do more with less.

My town has always been highly regarded as a wonderful place to live, one of best in our state. With this move by the board of finance, it moves closer and closer to mediocre and breaks the spirit of so many living here.

We all need to remember children are people with minds, ideas, beliefs, and budding character. We owe it to them to help them achieve all that they can, starting with showing them how much we believe in them and that they are worthy of a excellent education. We owe it to ourselves to help all children succeed today as we will all benefit from them in the future.

My son, who is so inquisitive, conscientious, and respectful, is worth more than the board of finance in our town is willing to acknowledge. This is the child today - happy and carefree and incredibly smart. I'm extremely worried about what these few board members are doing to his spirit and voracious love of learning.

These elected officials need to recognize that the children are very important members of our community.


The November elections cannot come soon enough.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Project 52. Week 12.

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.  ~Robert Brault

This is my little girl.

Her with her American Girl doll and her Dick and Jane book.

Such a simple moment, but one that fills me with such bliss.

She has been a bit late to the reading game - well, late by today's high pressure/push the kids to do more earlier and who cares if they aren't ready for it/crazy standards - but here she is...relishing a book on her own terms, when she is ready for it. Freshly six years old, happily reading to her favorite doll and completely enjoying it. She is easily reading the words with energy, with emotion, with fluency, and with comprehension.

On her own, reading, and it is all clicking together.

While this may look like such a little thing, it is truly a big deal and definitely a memory I hold close to my heart.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Project 52. Week 11.

One day at a time--this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.

Children are amazing.

Their wide eyed innocence and carefree curiosity guides their days as they freely live in the moment. They take each experience as it comes and they fully embrace it. They have an unconditional love of life and everything around them.

There is so much we adults can learn from children. Instead of trying to change them and shape them how we think they should be, we should step back and observe what they innately know. We'd all be that much better for it.

So live in the moment. See the beauty in everything. Live and love unconditionally. Slow down and definitely take each day as it comes. Let's learn from our amazing children.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Flower Therapy

Every year around this time I start to feel a bit unsettled and anxious. Ski season is winding down, the ice on the lake is melting, the ground is mushy, and yet it is still pretty chilly out. I become antsy for spring while mother nature seems to take her ol' sweet time.

I suppose I become a bit impatient waiting for the seasonal change. So in my impatientness (yes, I like to make up words), I try to find ways to keep myself sane and preoccupied so I can avoid dealing with the real issues behind my unsettled feelings and anxiety. Because, really, who whats to go there?! This week I bought lots of flowers because, well, flowers are a great pick me up! Possibly a fleeting pick me up, yes, but nonetheless flowers are good for the soul (as is playing around with flower photos in photoshop).



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Project 52. Week 10.

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens

Nothing more that I can add to that. Chuckie was spot on!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Project 52. Week 9.

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” - Dr. Seuss

I think that pretty much sums it up.

This weekend when we just enjoyed being home and being together all was good. It was fun. No deadlines, no pressures. No worries about the mess in the house, the piles of laundry, the to-do list not yet to-done {well, sort of no worries - I am a bit ocd after all!}. It was relaxing and carefree and I'm looking forward to many, many more weekends just like this.

Because when it comes down to it, the little annoyances of parenting, relationships - life in general - just don't matter. For when you see two little brothers so happy together, enjoying the simple pleasures of childhood, how can you be brought down by the other stuff? I'm going to concentrate on the good, the fun, and know there will surely be another one. :-)


PS. Huh, the "it just doesn't matter" theme seems to keep coming up in my ramblings. Gee, maybe I'm trying to project that out to the universe so that I can truly live that theme a bit more often.

PPS. Not that I let myself get caught up in all that extracurricular annoying life stuff or anything. ;-)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Project 52. Week 8.

There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere and of leaving it behind them when they go. ~Frederick Faber

My little girl has an amazing heart and love of life. She finds pleasure in just about everything and is still so innocent and nonjudgmental. The world is her best friend and she is caring and so outgoing. I love these amazing qualities she possesses and am so happy that she is developing the self confidence and assurance that she needs to survive as a strong healthy person in this crazy world. She is truly a phenomenal soul.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Project 52. Week 7.

I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly.

I really did dress him this morning, I swear! Even though it is 18 degrees outside, this little one still insists on running around in just his diaper! It never fails, every day he refuses to remain dressed and simply takes off his clothes. He is so happy this way and I just can't argue with his cute little smile and sweet blue eyes.

At least he likes wearing his hat.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Project 52. Week 6.

A child reminds us that playtime is an essential part of our daily routine.
-- Anonymous

This little one loves his playtime and loves his puzzles. Today, the puzzles were roaring dinosaurs, soaring airplanes, and happy chirping birds. How I love the imagination that springs during playtime with puzzles.




Sunday, February 6, 2011

January in Review - Scrapbook Style

I'm a scrapper. I love everything about scrapbooking - the photos, the stories, creatively documenting our life, and all of the crafty stuff that scrapbooking entails. I love getting my hands dirty playing with inks, paints, spritzes, glue, and all that messy stuff. But I'm finding that sometimes it is easier to pull out the photoshop and digitally create my pages {no fun sparkly jars for the kids to be attracted to and soon dump}.

One of my favorite scrapping projects is to document the events in our day to day life. I started out doing this in the traditional scrapping style, progressing last year to hybrid scrapping {mix of traditional and hybrid} and this year I'm going fully digital for the project. I'm starting out simple but think I could start to like digital as much as traditional scrapbooking.

So here is our January, digital scrapbook style:


When I print this, it will be two 12x12" pages in my album. Don't ask me how to make this so you can click on it for a larger view...I'm not sure how to set that up!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Some Scrapbooking Time

I was finally able to make it to a scrapbooking crop last month and took advantage of the time to get busy doing what I love.

Here is a favorite of mine from that weekend. My girl loves the snow!


Celebrating my husband's triumph over cancer and raising money for Relay for Life so that others can overcome cancer as well.

One of my son that is just "him".


How I can't wait until I can carve out some time to scrapbook again!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Project 52. Week 5.

It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts. - K.T. Jong

Reminder to self: need to meditate more.

Snowshoeing this past weekend was the perfect meditation of sorts for me. It rejuvenated me and cleared my mind. It was invigorating and peaceful. Truly wish I could do it daily, but I think adding my 30+ pound toddler to my back would make it near impossible to trek through newly fallen snow {which we seem to be getting on a regular basis}. So, I need to be content with snowshoeing on the weekends and reminding myself during the week to meditate more.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Winter's Architecture

We've had a lot of snow this season. More than a lot - over 71" this past month! That is quite unusual for our area. And while it is exciting for the kids and beautiful to look at, I find myself getting into a rut.

This seems to happen every year around this time - the landscape is barren, the days are short, the patience is thin, and there is a longing to explore and see more. Stir crazy I guess, as the snow keeps me home bound more often than not {especially this year...oh my have we been home bound}.

So I find myself needing to find ways to make the ordinary a little bit extraordinary. Looking at nature with a new perspective and playing around a bit. This allows me to discover the wondrous beauty of winter's architecture.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Project 52. Week 4.

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

I need to remember this. Remind myself of it each day. I think in doing so, I will free myself a bit. And relax a bit. Especially on the stuff that doesn't matter (which in the end is pretty much everything, isn't it).

Allowing myself some flexibility and freedom to see other perspectives will do much for my self induced stress.

I was practicing my "other perspectives" today. :-)


Monday, January 17, 2011

Project 52. Week 3.

Childhood is the most beautiful of all life's seasons.

I hope he can always feel this joy, this contentment, this pure pleasure throughout his life. I hope he can one day look back on his childhood and be filled with happiness and wonderful memories. For he has given me more joy, pleasure, and more amazing memories than I can ever adequately express.

Watching him live his childhood is the most beautiful gift I have been given and has helped me more fully appreciate all of the seasons of life.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Project 52. Week 2.

While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.

This little child is something else. He is the youngest of four and is naturally so easy going. I'm constantly amazed at how sweet and generous and simply happy he is. He is so innocent and warm and loving and he just melts my heart. He has shown me once again how incredible life is and how magnificent children and family are. He is my love, my life.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Project 52. Week 1.

To create one's world in any of the arts takes courage.
- Georgia O'Keeffe

I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught.
- Georgia O'Keeffe

These are two of my favorite quotes from Georgia O'Keefe. I've always admired her work and love viewing her paintings whenever I can. She is simply inspiring and her art draws me in and touches my soul.

I've decide to use her as my inspiration for my Project 52 - 52 weeks of me exploring my art form, photography. I'm going to commit to capturing my world around me, as I see it, and have the courage to share it with the universe (cyberspace in this case, now that we are in the 21st century).

I'm also going to start anew in my approach, not paying attention to the current photographic trends and rules. I'm going to do what I love and create images that have meaning to me. I'm going to create from the soul and have the courage to share it, whether it is good enough for others doesn't matter. This is about me creating, exploring, and growing. Learning to be free and opening myself up to change and experimentation of my art form.

Week 1 - Channelling Ms. O'Keefe.