Five For Friday: Lazy Lingering Days

Friday, June 26, 2015

"Aaah, summer - that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It's a time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends."
~ Darell Hammond

Five For Friday: My Beardy Man

Friday, June 19, 2015

Five photos of my bearded fella, the day he decided to finally shave back to his clean-faced normal. He'd started bearding out at the beginning of March, because he wanted to see if he finally could (he'd always had trouble getting the sides to meet when he was younger)... And he decided he would keep it until the4 onset of summer heat/humidity.

My five final opinions of this venture:
1. His beard was FOXYHOTTT the first month.
2. I didn't love it as much once it got longer and fluffier. 
3. But I loved taking these photos. Fluffy beards make for interesting character in photographs. 
4. And I love my man's face in portraits, bearded or not.
5. And my man gets more handsome with age and experience. he shows more wisdom in his eyes, I think. 

Thanks, Joe, for letting me take photos of you now and then. I love you!


Five For Friday: Summertime Is Upon Us

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Okay, six photos.... You get one freebie. 

So we've officially been in summer vacation mode for three weeks now. The first week was a lot of fun, but not a lot of routine, since we were hosting Joe's parents and doing little projects, field trips, etc. 

But these past two weeks, we've settled into a new normal, and it's been really, shockingly nice. I think some of the reasons it's been pretty easy/fun to get used to having all three of my yahoos, all of the time, are as follows:

1. They've done a pretty good job of figuring out how to sleep past 7:30 am. Hooray for me! 

2. We've maintained the sacred Quiet Time even with Noah home. Lucy naps 75% of the time, Quinn naps hard every day, and Noah gets one hour of quiet reading time alone... all synchronized so that for one hour a day, guaranteed, I can just sit and not answer any questions, fulfill any demands, listen to any bickering, etc. 

3. Noah has had a one-hour summer school class for the past two weeks... Not long enough to really go DO anything, but long enough that we don't want to just sit around the parking lot to wait. So we happened upon a pretty little green space in a nearby neighborhood, and dubbed it "the meadow", and quite by accident, this 45-minute daily picnic blanket, shade-tree, birds-chirping play time with Lucy and Quinn has been AMAZING for my soul. Theirs, too, I suspect. In fact, I plan to go back there a few more times this summer with all three of my kiddos, even though the "need" is now over. 

4. Joe is going into work earlier so he can come home earlier, so I get almost one full extra hour with him home, being my co-parent and co-referee... right about the time I really am running out of "parent juice". Perfect!! 

So for today's set of Friday photos, some VERY ordinary (but simple and lovely) moments from our summer so far. (no meadow photos yet... That will probably need a whole post of its' own!)

1. Lucy has been sleeping later than the boys. So I share my breakfast with these two. See Quinn in a booster? Big changes here: he's out of the high chair for good, and loving it. 

2. Lucy, sleeping late.... Cute Sleeping Beauty.

3. Stack of stuff to pack for swim lessons. We are signed up for T/Th mornings, all of June. Yes, even Quinn, with me in the water with him. It was the only way to make it work to get the other two in lessons. The boys are LOVING lessons. Lucy: utterly traumatized. Sobbing and wailing at least 75% of each lesson so far. ACK. Its hard for her and for me. 

4a. and 4b. Backyard sprinkler fun. Does it get any more classic than this?

5. This very morning, Quinn wanders over to me causally, smelling of peanut butter. AND HOLDING A JAR OF IT, OPEN, WITH PEANUT-BUTTERY FINGERS. Whaaa??!  He'd managed to yoink it from the counter without even dragging his usual chair. Managed to unscrew the lid. And was happily dipping his paws into it and eating fingerfuls of peanut butter. When he knew he was in trouble, he started crying--- so pitiful. This is him on the counter, waiting for me to wipe him down, getting a few more teary licks in. This kid. Exasperating, darling, cute little devil. Also, note his new haircut. He was dripping sweat from his longer locks almost daily, so though it was hard for me, I cut it all off to see if he'd be more comfy for summer. Cutie. I miss his hair, but he's still so handsome. 


So summer is here for you, too, yes? What has changed in your routines? Good changes? Bad ones? And have you yet indulged in some classic summerness, like sprinklers, pools, or popcicles? 

I think we're going to wade in the river next week, maybe visit the zoo... go back to the library to refresh our stacks of books.... And keep having Quiet Time. For ALL of our sanity's sakes! 

"Paradichotodoxomy": I Made That Word Up

Monday, June 8, 2015

1. Par·a·dox
noun: paradox; plural noun: paradoxes

a statement or proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory.


2. Di·chot·o·my
noun: dichotomy; plural noun: dichotomies
a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different.


Put them together for a double dose of incongruity. (Incongruous:  contrary, contradictory.) (I was an English major, English teacher... I reserve the right to have poetic license for life, and I stand by the words I make up. So there.)


Today's paradichotodoxomy: I am equal parts a total homebody and a relentless wanderer/adventurer. I either want/need to be home, comfy, embracing simple pleasures and taking great joy in the routine, the mundane, and the ordinary..... Or I want to be out in the world, seeing something new, tasting something marvelous, showing my kids something they've never seen before, reveling in sights, sounds, smells, and emotions in places that aren't routine, are not ordinary, and are not  familiar.  





Which one are you? Homebody? Wanderer? Neither? Equal parts of both? A touch of one but mostly the other?  I think I'm completely 50/50. A paradichotodoxomy. 



Five For Friday: The Kline Family | St. Louis Family Photographer

Friday, June 5, 2015

A quick Five For Friday featuring a sweet family that came to visit me during Spring Break all the way from Iowa to get portraits done.  Three sisters, each so individual and unique, and their parents, letting me tease smiles out of them, letting me capture family memories and connections for them to always look back on. 

I love family photography. 

I love these girls. 


Can you even stand it? That last one, she's a firecracker, but so irresistibly cute. You might recognize her from my website galleries, which by the way, have been completely revamped-----!! (Click over to if you've not visited my photography website in a while! St. Louis Family Newborn Children's Senior Photographer, yo. Fresh website look. Mobile-friendly!)

Meanwhile, this makes TWO blog posts in ONE week. Can you even stand it? I barely can. 

Happy weekend to all! We're off to enjoy the Ballwin Days carnival tonight, and maybe tomorrow too.... I can never pass up a good carnival. Ever.They are one of my Happy Places. I told my kids they are so lucky to have a mom who loves carnivals. They'll never have to beg me to please please let us go to one, ever. I'll be the one begging them to go with ME. Ha!


IPhoneography Roundup

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


  • After sorting and culling down, I typically end up keeping an average of 200 "big camera" photos a month
  • After sorting and culling down, I typically have an average of 250 iPhone photos I keep per month
  • Doing the math, that means I end up with an average of FIVE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED total personal photos a year. 
  • *THUD*
 You could say I'm a memory hoarder. 
You could even say it's an addiction.

But don't bother with trying an intervention. I don't see myself quitting anytime soon.  You hear me whine here and there about never being caught up on personal photo editing, book-making, like it's my lifelong burden. But make no mistake: I created this burden for myself, and I own that. And I wouldn't change anything except maybe having one more hour in a day to work on this endless life-work of personal photo memory-keeping I've taken upon myself. 

Heaven might be a full bookshelf of completed, up-to-date beautiful photo books, and a whole roomful of progeny sitting on comfy couches and plump cushions, looking through said photos books and asking each other to share their stories as they are all snuggled under vintage quilts, with some Alison Krauss Pandora playing in the background.

But I'm not there yet.... Haven't made it to that heaven. So for now, I keep chipping away at the life-work of these 5,400+ photos a year, and then, sometimes, I even share a portion of them here.

Today, I'm going to share a blitz of iPhone photo collages from last fall til now, made up of mostly unshared pix not seen by anyone but me til now, just so I can close that door and say I am caught up on the sharing part. And because I LOVE looking at collages of iPhone pix on other blogs. So maybe you guys will have fun scrolling this post today. 

* Brief notes about the photos are under each collage, numbered 1-9. Meant to be viewed left to right, top to bottom. *

End of 2014, #1:
1. Lucy letters, Quinn hand. 2. Spontaneous "why not" sink playtime 3. Joe coached Noah's fall soccer team. HE LOVED IT. 4. "Mom! Take a picture of this!!" x 10. 5. Happy pots of geraniums on our front step. 6. always trains. Always. 7. Sometimes we get out on dates. Usually to the movies. Which I adore. 8. "It's a snowman!" 9. Quinn and a goat.

End of 2014, #2:
1. Paper bag dress by me. Lulu style by Lulu. 2. Park playtime 3. Noah bedtime with loveys. 4. What Noah's after-school screen time usually looks like. 5. Another paper-bag dress pic. Because I freaking love her. 6. When Noah has a day off school, he still has to do Quiet Time. 7. Laumeier Sculpture Park. Right before they came and told us not to climb this eminently climbable sculpture. Oops. 8. Christmas holiday firepit fun at my parents' house. 9. Same.

January 2015, #1:
1. Preschool Science Center field trip, staring at cars through the floor triangle. 2. Dad snuggles. 3., 4., 5. Mild winter day so to the park to play. 6. Elephant overload. 7. Books! vintage fun books as a gift! Let's step on them! 8. Though Quinn's birthday was long past, they still wanted to sing "Happy Birthday" and blow out candles as often as I'd let them. So this is Play-Doh with candles stuck in. We sang and blew about 6 times. 9. Castlewood State Park exploring.

January 2015, #2:
1. He loves his new book rack. 2. Elsa+butterfly wings + pipe cleaner antennae 3. Snuggling a pile of sale stuffies at a store.  4. National Geographic at Quiet Time 5. Birthday Digger. 6. Bumper cars at Chuck E Cheese's, both Lucy and Noah. 7. Forced pose at Magic House. 8. Happy little trumpeter. 9. trains everywhere. Always. Guess who is the one to clean them up? Always?

February 2015, #1:
1. Crying whilst in a Time-Out. Hey, at least he has learned to stay put! 2. Spiderman and Noah running errands with me. 3. Stitching addict as of January this year. LOVE. 4. Valentine's treats from my parents. 5. Fedora selfies. 6. Lucy wanted to dress Quinn in a super costume too. He was more than willing to let her. 7. Before. 8. After. 9. Snowplay!! Quinn's first sledding, which he loved.

February 2015, #2:
1. Science night at Westridge: snake fun. 2. Science night part 2: marble runs. 3. Lego time with Dad. 4. Luluface 5. Microblox snowman by Noah. 6. Noah and Lucy's room, clean. 7. Lucy's treasures. 8. Imposter likes his sister's bed. a LOT. 9. Ready for the morning bus.

March 2015, #1:
1. Castlewood hiking with just my boys. ICY + muddy-- random combo. 2. Castlewood chillin'. 3. Guess who is the Primary Packer for this family? Almost ready for our drive to D.C. for Spring Break. 4. Indiana stop and Julina + Co. visit as we drive to D.C. 5. MamaSelfie with three book-reading kids behind me 6. D. C. cupcakes. 7. Random parking garage mirror pic at their grandparents' apt. complex 8. Cute hubby napping at his folks' apt. 9. Nov07 friends at the Baltimore Aquarium

March 2015, #2:
1. Home from Spring Break, Lucy sits among the pile of needs-to-be-unpacked. Guess who is in charge of that job, too? 2. Bus stop snuggles the one random morning Noah's bus driver forgot to stop at our house and we had to trek to the far corner of the street to catch her. 3. Thunderstorms at bedtime mean mom-snuggles in her bed instead. 4. Faust Park playground. 5. Happy daffodils: some to keep, some to share. 6. Noah hijacks the sensory tub and creates a Pokemon game for himself. 7. City Garden exploring. 8. Sacrament meeting construction site. 9. Dad-time on the trampoline.

April 2015, #1:
1. Lulu birthday gifts include this deer mask I made. 2. A walk to Target with my trio to get dollar spot trinkets. 3. I'm still a goofy girl, after all these years. 4. POTTY TRAINING. Warm water for her feet to "nudge" the pee along. 5. Columbia, MO for Easter weekend; errands with Grandma. 6. CONSTANT chair-pulling/pushing to get things he wants. 7. Happy happy rainbow fabric for Lucy's birthday bird wings. 8. Cute Quinn+Mama 9. Six Flags train!

April 2015, #2:
1. Six Flags season passes will be AWESOME all spring/summer! 2. Except when Lucy has to use the public potty for the first time. Haha! (I'm so mean!) 3. Lulu birthday balloons in the morning 4. On her party day, decked out in costume gifts from Aunt Mary 5. Typical Noah-ness 6. Still in her rainbow butterfly costume, on my rainbow bed. 7. Ready for school 8. Playing on the church stage 8. Noah and his best friend Carter, talking about deep things.

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