Sunday, December 21, 2014


I just spent the past few minutes poking my baby girl just to make sure she was breathing. I know, rediculous, BUT I don't understand how babies sleep so quietly--ya know...except for when they don't sleep in the middle of the night. Anyway, we're on our way home from my aunt and uncle's house. Yes, right now at 11 pm.

I didn't even realize it was so late, but that's probably because tonight was the first night that Isla was one of the toddlers. She already moved from the baby class at daycare to the toddler class, but I haven't really gotten to see her in toddler action. She's still a bit apprehensive in unfamiliar situations, and she started out that way tonight. I started playing peek-a-boo with her to get her to cheer up. Well, her cousin Ellie picked up on it, because when I brought her to the movie room, to see if she wanted to be around the other toddlers, the three older girls made it a game to sit on the other side of the room and run up to Isla to say "boo"! In turn. With 3 toddlers, that's a never-ending cycle of boos. The boos eventually turned into "happy Halloween trick or treat". From that moment on, she wa ready to run around with the girls ... Today is also the first day that walking became her preferred method of transportation.

Before we left, I cut up some chicken so she wouldn't get hungry in the middle of the night. I think she gets distracted while eating, and it's been cutting into her sleep. We went and sat together at the toddler table while she ate. Of course, part way through, she looked like she was straining a bit, so I asked her if she wanted to potty, and she gave me the biggest smile ever. They have a baby/toddler seat that you just sit on top of the big potty. We got her on it, and sure enough she went #1&2. It was the first time that she has done that on a flushable potty.

I didn't get any pics tonight, but there were a few times today that I thought, 'I want to remember this moment forever.' It's so gratifying watching her learn and grow.

And now, it's off to bed for me. Good night!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A day for me!

So, pretty much any mom who has EVER pumped for her baby will feel for me here.... 

Yesterday I was super anxious to get all of the leftover milk from daycare in the fridge. And then I just collapsed on the couch. Fridays are exhausting! This morning when I got up, I was going about my business trying to get the house in somewhat reasonable condition. Let's just say that it had looked like a hurricane hit it, with flooding and everything. While I was tidying up, I realized that I had forgotten to refrigerate everything that I had brought home from work. It didn't dawn on me then, but I think at that moment I decided that today was going to be about doing things that I needed for me.

I spent most of my morning watching photography lectures while I folded laundry and cleaned the house. I even got to those areas that I usually pretend don't exist when I'm cleaning. Isla napped relatively well, and Branden replaced the breaks and rotors on the car. I took that opportunity to snap a few photos while he did that, and I think they turned out well. 

In the afternoon we all piled in the car (while Isla napped) and headed to a picnic for my work. I have to admit, two things stood out to me. 1) there are a LOT more parents with young kids than I imagined there were (I sometimes feel like I'm the ONLY working parent on the planet), and 2) the teams have changed more than I realized. I didn't recognize nearly as many people as I should have. 

After the picnic, B and I went shopping at the outlets in Park City. Ever since I made a ring sling to carry Isla, my life has gotten incredibly easy. Even when she's tired, she'll be happy as a clam when I put her in the sling. She fell asleep twice this week while I carried her around shopping (side note--it's the middle of the night right now, and boy do I hope she doesn't wake up in an hour).

Once we got home, I put Isla down for the night, and worked on more cleaning and more laundry -- is it just me, or does laundry really never ever end? I feel like I'm washing whites every other day. Anyway, I finished up the day with a nice tanning session and a quick workout.... at midnight, and that brings me to now. All I have left to do is fold those darn whites, dry the cool colors in the washer, and wash the rest of them in the basket. I know I'm crazy but at this point it's just nice to finally have some time to myself. 

I was thinking this week about how I really give my best to everything I do. It's never as much as I would like to give, and I usually carry around an intense guilt that I'm not doing enough. But while I was cleaning today, I realized something. My life is relatively balanced. It's not perfect, but I work hard and always try to put my family first. And I hope from now on, I'll offer no more apologies for taking care of those things that matter most.

On that note, enjoy a few shots from today that I took and edited instead of making food (I gotta have some time to myself, right? After all, that's what beef jerky, yogurt, fast food, work picnics, and eggs are for)


Current September Challenge count is 19. Until next time.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Isla's Monthly Series Preview

One of my friends gave me a collage frame when Isla was born. It has a spot for a photo from each month, and let's be honest, it has been the main motivator for me to take a photo of her each month. I'm so thankful for that gift.

Part of my newfound lightroom skills means that I'm editing all of my photos from Isla's monthly series to have a similar style. While I'm really enjoying photos with vibrant colors, these are some of my favorites.... and they're soft just like she is. The first photo is from her newborn session... except it wasn't a session. I think I just started snapping shots of her during a nap in those early days home. The second is from our 4 month shoot, and has been my favorite shot until this weekend--when I did her 9 month photos. If anything, I believe I may have added some contrast to the photos, but they were pretty low on the edits. The last photo is from Isla's 9 month shoot that we did yesterday. Seriously, learning to use Lightroom has been like a paradigm shift for me, and I'm was able to edit this photo to match the mood of the other two. It still needs some fine tuning though... but not bad for someone who's only been editing photos for a week!

4 Months

9 Months

Sunday, September 14, 2014

September Challenge: Oquirrh Mountain Temple

In honor of Sunday, I decided to go ahead and edit my Temple photos first. I have included 7 photos below. Left is the cropped original. Middle is an antique edit. Far right is a more vibrant edit.

For the longest time I couldn't decide which editing style I liked better. The antique edit is warm, and is closer to the style I used for Isla's 9 month photos. But, when I got to the fountain photos, I LOVED the more vibrant edit. It was in that photo that I was able to see how true the colors are. I guess true color photos are one thing I'm loving right now. But, at least for this month, I'm going to keep trying different things. I want to improve my skills during September, so that means styles will be all over the place. Ultimately, I'm really looking forward to developing my editing style.

It's interesting seeing how photos look once you export them. I feel like some of the editing is too harsh. Which style do you like better?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

September Photos

Last week I was able to take a Lightroom class. It was simply incredible. I've been able to rescue so many photos that I had thought were unusable. I mean, I was always a little proud of the fact that I didn't edit my photos, but now I have so many more shots!

I did a Christmas shoot with Isla last year. I was going to use the photos for a birth announcement and send it out as a Christmas card, but I didn't really like how any of them turned out in the lowlight of that early December afternoon. Now I'm playing around with them to see if there's something else I can use them for.

In any case, I took the class because of my September challenge. And, in some ways Lightroom has derailed that challenge. I have imported all of my photos since 2010, and I'm discovering so many that I had forgotten I had. When I first set my September goal, I never thought I would edit photos, but my new goal for September is to post 30 edited photos on the blog. Maybe next month I'll try taking a photo a day...if Month End doesn't get in the way.

Since taking the class, I have also been following photo blogs, trying to figure out a style that I like. When B and I got married, I was really into the slightly antiqued look that still has plenty of color. Crickett and Kirstin were my wedding photographers, and they had the exact style I was looking for. And, if you hang out on Crickett's website long enough, you might even spot one of my wedding shots.

But right now, I'm completely enjoying the style of the Laho Wind blog. Kim is a professional photographer who is living in Puerto Rico on her sailboat right now.  But it's SUCH a different style. I wonder if I can marry the two?

Anyway, here are two shots from Isla's 9 month portraits today, edited in different styles, but I do like both!

It's funny. Looking at them now, they don't look very different, but BOY did I feel like they were worlds apart when I was editing!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Photo a Day September

I figured I would start strong. This is what every Sunday evening usually looks like.

I know it's not Sunday today, but we went over to my aunt and uncle's house for Labor Day dinner. These days there are 3 babies and 1-3 toddlers around. And Isla is slowly moving out of the baby and into the toddler category. I can't believe it. 

It seems like every day she learns something new. Today on the way to Provo, she played peek-a-boo with me. And she was all about holding her blanket in front of her face. She also shared her snack with me. That's a new one as of today.

I hope I will always rember the joys of these days.

Friday, August 29, 2014

September Goal

September is right around the corner. I can't believe this year is almost over, and I have very little to show for it in the blog. That also means, that I have very little solid documentation of Isla's first year of life. I have a coworker who is living her new year's resolution every day. She came up with a goal for each month, and she posts her progress on instagram every day for that month. Things like #MayNotWatchTV - where she didn't watch TV for a month. Or doing yoga every day. It's so inspirational, because she works just as much as I do... and while it's easy to use the excuse that because I'm married I don't have as much free time, she's married too (if you want to check out her awesome Instagram feed, it's here).

With that introduction my goal for September is going to be to take a picture every day. I really want to be an overachiever and take one with my DSLR every day--but lets be realistic here, I just don't carry it everywhere I go.  I won't necessarily make a blog post every day, but I will be required to post at least one photo from each day of the month. I'm crossing my fingers that that means I will post more in the blog too. It's always nice to have some positive collateral damage.

As a jump start on September -- I actually cleaned my back-up make-up brushes last night. I haven't used them since I did Ally's makeup for her wedding.