Monday, October 28, 2013

Our Family Photos

Photography has become so important to me.  I value the power of a photograph.  I strive to capture significant moments for my children.  So much so that my Instagram feed is clogged with images of the everyday.  If you follow me you're probably rolling your eyes.  I have been known to post excessively.   I love looking through images of my children and those dear to us, reliving moments and cherishing days come and gone.  

There are no words to express my gratitude to Jen and Scott for bringing me into their company and family, teaching me how to use a camera, exercising patience and grace as I continue to find my way artistically and professionally and then gifting us the most precious images, that I will forever hold dear, of my sweet family.  

These photos so far exceeded my hopes and expectations.  They are beautiful and accurate and a treasure to me.  If you live in Rochester and are considering family photos, I beg you to consider Midwest LifeShots.  It's an investment but the gift you receive will be priceless.  

Many of you have seen some of these images on Facebook because I have zero shame and have already plastered them all over my account.  Thanks for not de-friending me.  

 Notice a little blonde head at the bottom.  Makes this one even better.  :)

 I get this face every time I serve something other than spaghetti for dinner.
 Common shenanigans.


 What happened to my roly poly baby?
 This was our grand finale.  This is what I think of when I think about my sweet Lakin.  Chaos!  Joy!  Party!  Every day, every moment is something to be treasured and celebrated.
 This is my favorite of all the images of Lakin.  This is her truest essence.

 Six years married.  They have been so good to us.  He has been so good to us.
 World's most unflattering but genuine dance party.

 And this image... it doesn't even seem real.

This session was really Lakin's 3 year photos with some family photos at the beginning because our shrine to Lakin was just not cutting it as wall decor anymore.  That's why Miss Lakin steals the show.  But then again, she's been known to do that a time or two.  :)  

Sunday, October 27, 2013

tika tika tika

Ben slays me daily.  I seriously want to eat him.  Speaking metaphorically, of course.  I am so in love with this little boy.

My favorite right now is "tika, tika, tika."  This is one of Ben's few words and it means, "tickle, tickle, tickle."  Ben has been walking around clucking for weeks now.  We finally realized the clucking was actually an attempt to get someone to wrestle him to the ground with tickles.

It's so stinking adorable.  He has a big grin plastered across his face and he runs to you and buries his body into yours.  Tickles cause an explosion of laughter and then he runs away only to come back for more.  Over and over again.

This game never gets old.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Apples of my Eye

You see what I did there?  I used to teach middle school English.  Be impressed.  Be very impressed.

I love me some Fall weather.  Summer was good to us this year.  Warmth lasted long into September and now my winter coat is out and I fear a serious snowfall is only around the corner.  Basically, I like to look on the bright side.

But I digress.  One of our favorite things to do in the Fall is walk around our local orchards and pumpkin patches.  One weekend when Chris was off we headed to Sekaap's Orchard and lived it up Fall style.

 My handsome little pumpkin, sans shoes.  Baby hates shoes.  Hates pants.  Hates "the Man."  Protest on.
 I look like a really sporty mom.  Hmmm...  Ben has looked better.  This is the only picture out of the bunch where we were in focus so this is what we get.
 Lady picking apples.  Which in reality is just taste testing apples.  I don't think Lakin really understood the whole put your apples in a bag and buy them part.
 Exhibit A.
 Little boy is serious about food.  He was less than pleased that Chris' apple was not currently in his belly.

A few weeks later, and several degrees cooler, the kid and I ventured to Northwood's Orchard with Papa and Gigi.  Chris was soaking up the final rays of Naples, FL so he missed our orchard spree.
 Here is the main reason we braved the crisp Fall air that afternoon.  Homemade HOT donuts.  There were a dozen.  They lasted 12 hours.  I think I single handled took down 8 of them.  Judge me.
 The best sibling photo I could get.  In case you're wondering, Lakin picked out her outfit.
 The sweater.  I know.  It's almost too much.
 Papa and Gigi with the kids.  Again, one of the better in a series of one thousand.
 And this here is a real gem.  He just learned to wave.

 We should have taken Ben to the bushels of mini pumpkins from the start.  He was in baby boy heaven moving pumpkins from one basket to another, pausing to briefly give them each an open mouth kiss.  His immunity system is going to be amazing.  I am confident of this.
 Lakin was having a blast helping Gigi pick out mini pumpkins to take home.

And finally, evidence that I was present at this outing.  Thanks, Dennis, for snapping a photo for me.  Momtographers sometimes get left out.  #momproblems #dslr #stuffyoudontcareabout

Friday, October 25, 2013

Photography Friday: Nick + Kate

It's back... by popular demand.  Actually, you probably hadn't noticed that I completely quit sharing our company's work on this blog.  Wedding season was cray this year.  Then my baby became a toddler and my personal time got cray.  So this Friday, we begin to share work again.  No promises this will be a reoccurring feature.  No promises.  As always, work I share from Midwest LifeShots Photography is a collaborative collection and copyright of Midwest LifeShots.  

Meet Nick and Kate.

They are adorable.

Their wedding is coming up in a few weeks.

I have great expectations for the day.

That is all.

Here are a few of my favorites from their summer engagement session.

Stop it.  Right?

Friday, October 18, 2013

tough guy

Ben is kind of a walking accident these days.  Little guy walks around, Frankenstein like and pretty much takes a tumble every couple of minutes.  He's fearless.  Most of the time he picks himself right back up and keeps toddling.

For his birthday, though, he received two serious bumps.  Thankful his well-child check up was the pervious week or I'd have some splain' to do...

Ouch!  But moving stuff on a cell phone screen cures all things... or something like that.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

One of the Perks

As you know, my husband is still on his long road to professionalism.  We have a year and a half left before he's done with medical residency and from there we might still take the fellowship route, which would mean another one to two years of training... but who's counting?

Residency has been a million times better than I imagined and I certainly can't and won't complain about the schedule or the hours.  Chris has a wonderful family of a department and every once in a while we get to go out for a fancy departmental dinner or... wait for  it... all expense paid trip.

This October we were fortunate enough to go to Naples, Florida, to participate in the NCS urology conference with many of Chris' classmates and consultants.  While Chris worked a good portion of the trip, I sat myself on a lounge chase among some of my dearest friends and enjoyed a fantastic, kid-free week.

We left the babes at home with Chris' parents.  This was our first time away from them for more than a night and I think they loved the special time with Papa and Gigi.

 The resort was pretty dumpy.

 The view was terrible.
 But the in-room coffee was delicious.
 Brynn floating.
 Casey and Issac chilling pool side.

 All these cute kids almost made me wish we brought ours... for a moment.  Then I sat back and read a book in peace and quiet and remembered that this was the way to VACATION.
 Sara and Isla.  Such pretty girls.
 Mairtin and Milo.
 The face says it all.
 I wish that pink swimsuit came in my size, Isla.
 Jeff and Aidan.
 Cool dude, Issac.
 One of our favorite families!
 Avery loved the ocean.
 Baby speedos.  Out of control.
 Hotties, Sara & Marce.
 Another favorite family!  The Linders.
 Thursday night we attended a dinner that felt like we were straight out of a scene from Survivor.  Except that there was an open bar and an abundance of food and appetizers floating around... so maybe not exactly like Survivor.
 Tables were set elaborately with chandeliers inside big white tents.

 Waterfall not pictured.  This was the entrance to the tented dining area.
 I creepily welcomed guests upon the safari themed couch.
 Doing a little sesh on the animal print couch.
 I love these women.  I'm sad that Lindy was not in this photo.  She was feeding a giraffe.  More on that in a moment.
 More fancy pants safari decor.
 Meet the giraffe we all fed carrots to.  He was close enough to pet and hand feed.
 He wrapped his tongue around the carrot stick and pulled it into his mouth.  See below for a little visual.

 There was also a rhinoceros.  I ate dinner close to this guy.  Little smelly but pretty remarkable.

Oh how I miss those sandy beaches, leisurely mornings and hours of sitting in the sun.  Upon my return home Lakin informed me I could go back.  She and Gigi still had things to do on their list.  So obviously I was sorely missed.  :)