Slow and Steady Wins the Race



My sweet Ian,

I am late writing your birthday post this year. We have been so busy now that you are in kindergarten the days got away from me! I can’t believe that you are 6 years old. It seems like each year that passes it goes faster and faster. This past year has been a big year for you. You started Big Kid School and have weathered the transition so amazingly well. I am always so amazed at how you take on new challenges with gusto and rarely with any fear. You are such a confident boy and it makes me so proud.

You have become such a great big brother and Cole just adores you. You love him to pieces too and I love to watch the two of you play. Even when Cole is jumping on your back and smacking you on the head you laugh or try to gently guide him off you (most of the time) :).

We started trying out some sports this year with Soccer in the Spring and Tennis in the Fall. You have some natural athletic ability and love cheering on your teammates. I love watching you having fun with your friends, scoring goals on the soccer field or hitting a rally with your Dad in tennis.

You have grown so much this past year. You are such a sweet, caring, compassionate and smart boy. I count my lucky stars each and every day that we have you in our lives. You say “I love you” unprompted, several times a day, and still let me give you cuddles. You give some of the best hugs in the world.

I look forward to what this next year brings. Seeing the world through your eyes is such an adventure.

Love, Mama

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I Have An Addiction

Hi. My name is Ann. I am addicted to photography workshops. I am currently taking my 4th workshop through Clickin’ Moms. This time it is Lifestyle Photography with Kids. The material so far has been amazing and the critique I have gotten from the instructor is thorough and detailed. I love this workshop and my classmates are incredibly talented. Here are my photos from the assignment for the first week. Feedback is always welcome!

I call this series The Joy of Homework:

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Busy Boy

One of Cole’s favorite things to do is to investigate every drawer and cabinet in the bathroom. He takes everything out that he can get his little hands on while I am getting ready for work. One morning I was getting dressed and came back to find that he had discovered how to operate a lotion pump. What a mess that was. I love watching his little mind work and discover something new.






Picture Day – The Ice Cream Cupcake Version

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Happy Birthday Cole!

Dear Cole,

One year ago we walked into the hospital with so much anticipation and excitement to meet you. I was hoping your birth would go as smoothly as possible and would be routine. I should have known that nothing about you is routine. My pregnancy wasn’t routine and neither was your entrance into the world. I wish I had been awake for the moment you entered the world and that your Daddy could have witnessed your birth. It wasn’t meant to be that way and the Doctors took great care in getting you here safely. It was a short time later that I was able to lay eyes on you. I remember taking off your little hat and seeing your blonde hair! I was so surprised to have a blonde baby. Even now you are my beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed boy.

We all fell in love with you immediately. You are such a laid back guy and have been that way from the day you were born. You love to watch your big brother and think he is the funniest person in the family. When you want something you go after it with enthusiasm and generally will find a way to it. You have us all wrapped around your little finger and the proof is that we will still hold your bottle for you even though you are perfectly capable, but just don’t feel like it.

I love how you dance to music with your little baby booty pop. Or if you are sitting you do the baby head bang. I love that you will gather every pacifier in reach and trade them in and out of your mouth so each one gets a turn. Sometimes you even hold your paci out to me in case I need a turn. Always the little gentleman.

At 11 months you shocked me by pulling up to stand in the bathroom while I was getting ready for work. It was only about a month before that when you decided to start crawling. It seems like when you decide to master a skill, it is with speed that you do so. That is your style. You like to keep us on our toes.

We are still waiting on your first word. You have been babbling for a while and dadada has been a favorite. When people you don’t know are around you tend to be a thoughtful observer. In the company of family, you are active in the conversation. One of your favorite times to have a chat with me is in the middle of the night.

I love watching you grow and learn. You are an amazing little boy and I am lucky to be your Mama. I love you Cole bear.

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Picture Day

I recently took another workshop through ClickinMom’s. This time I took Shooting 201: Beyond the Basics. I may have a bit of an addiction to these workshops. I have learned so much since I joined the CM community. I have another workshop starting next week and this one is about shooting in natural light. I tend to put a crazy amount of pressure on myself when doing these workshops because I don’t want to show other people pictures that suck ;). Here a few of my favorites from my shooting workshop that just wrapped up.

One other bit of news. I bought a new camera body and I am so so excited! I bought a used Nikon D700 from someone on CM. I am hoping this camera changes the way I shoot and what I can shoot. I have been so frustrated with my D5000 and its lack of low light capabilities. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great camera. I was just ready for something a little more powerful. I am hoping my new baby arrives later this week!

Okay, enough rambling. Hope you enjoy these!





Into the Wild a.k.a Kindergarten

Ian has been in kindergarten for a little over 2 weeks now. I thought for sure on his first day I would be an emotional basketcase. Surprisingly, I wasn’t. Sure, I was emotional but the feeling was one of overwhelming happiness more than anything else. The reason for that was Ian. He was and is still just so EXCITED about kindergarten. It’s pretty hard to feel sad when you have a kid that is beaming with pride that he is off to BIG KID SCHOOL!!! And yes, all caps is necessary.

I do have the feelings of worry. Will he make friends easily? Will the other kids be nice to him? Do I have to worry about bullying? Will he get the solid start he needs to build a foundation for the rest of his education? I truly believe a love of learning has to be fostered early. Very early.

Sending your kids off to school is a lot like sending them into the wild. You can’t plan for all the variables. There are so many things that I have to let go of and trust that I have taught Ian well so far in life. I used to walk him into his preschool classroom every day and get feedback from his teacher every. single. day. Now I drop him in a carpool line. That’s it. Any communication from and to the teacher is in the form of notes or emails (which I haven’t felt the need for yet). I think the teachers probably have to break in the parents just as much as the kids. It really is a struggle to step back and let them do their job, but I am. I have faith in Ian’s teacher and so many people have told me that she is an amazing teacher.

I hope Ian keeps his love of learning because I love it too.

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You Capture – Blue

I have some beautiful shades of blue to photograph around my house. My favorite shades of blue are found in Ian, Cole and Jack’s eyes. It has been a while since Ian has been my subject and tonight I got an opportunity to take photo’s of his gorgeous eyes during golden hour. He was already in his pajamas and he chose his Halloween pair, in the middle of summer :P.

I have also noticed the richness of the colors of the hydrangea’s in my front flower bed every night when I pull in my driveway from work. I had to get some shots of those tonight too.

Go check out You Capture for more shots of Blue.


You Capture – Something I Did

In an effort to get out of the funk the trial left me in and to pick up my camera again I went on a mission to shoot something/anything!

One of the good things I got out of driving to the courthouse every day for a few weeks was some new routes downtown when traffic sucked on the highway. There was a morning that there was a major backup on the highway and I had to find an alternate route downtown. A fellow juror who lives in the same town as I do told me about her route downtown and I gave it a shot to avoid the pile up on I-40. As I was driving along I passed by an old Mill. I never knew it existed and immediately wanted to stop and take pictures. Sadly, I had to be in court and I don’t think the judge would have taken my photographic impulse as a good enough excuse for being late.

Today I took the day off to handle some things for Cole and decided that I was going to drive back to that old Mill. I wish I could have had more time to play with my camera. I had the kids with me. It is not ideal to stop paying attention to your kids and fiddle with your settings around bodies of water. This shot is far from perfect, but the vintage action (courtesy of the Pioneer Woman) makes me love it.

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