Sunday, December 28, 2008

BSM: My Favorites of 2008

The end of December is always full of "best of" lists. I usually don't read them, but was inspired by seeing yet another one in the paper this morning to take stock of my photographic year by compiling my own list. It's actually a "Top 20," and as you'll see, it encompasses a wide range of photos. Some are technically better than others, but for different reasons, these are my favorites for the year (in no particular order):

summer gold

he shoots...

music maker

happy hollow boys



quiet converse

Sunset Road

shared laugh


reflected clouds

vintage cowboys

colored reflections

i'm five!



pumpkin patch 2

kiss me


shadow family

Thursday, December 25, 2008

What Santa brought...

guess what Wii got?

Guess what Wii got from Santa?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

A few weeks ago, Harrison asked me, "Mom, is Santa real?"

I gave what I thought was a nice little speech where I told him that even though Santa was not real, the magic of Christmas is, and the idea of Santa helps us remember the true spirit of Christmas, that of loving and giving. I then mentally patted myself on the back for handling this situation so smoothly.

Without a pause, Harrison said, "Mom, Santa IS real. Remember when I heard the reindeer on the roof?"

It's so nice to know that Santa lives on at our house. Enjoy the magic...

jingle boys

Monday, December 22, 2008

BSM: Ice & Snow

What more can I say about this freakish weather? Read my previous posts if you have any questions :). I'll let the photos do the talking on this one...


(Ignore the evidence of my horrible gardening skills. I realize this rose should have been deadheaded months ago...)



This last one might be my BSM. How often do you get to play "my ice is bigger than your ice" with your friends?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Weekend Report: Snowed In

Help! I'm snowed in and I can't get out!

A bit of an exaggeration? Perhaps...but not so much. The Portland area has received an unprecedented amount of snow. Usual annual snowfall? A dusting. The past seven days? Yikes! The kids had school cancelled all week, handing us another week of vacation. We had cleared up on Thursday and Friday, but got dumped on again Saturday. As I've said, the Portland metro area just isn't equipped to handle snow, and it is a mess out there.

Even my recycling bin is paying the price:


How sad is that?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Theme Thursday: Holiday Memories

A memory from last year:



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow More Denial

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.




Sunday, December 14, 2008

BSM: Favorite Vacation Photo

I was going to write about the hellacious trip home from Washington. Portland is under a mean blanket of snow & ice, and because this only happens every few years, the city shuts down. It's a three hour drive from the Seattle area, and we were fine until we entered Portland city limits and were greeting by the following: CHAINS REQUIRED IN PORTLAND METRO AREA. What? Fifteen miles from home and we have to put on chains? Well, James tried....and realized the chains in our trunk actually only fit our other car. Yep. So much for being prepared.

It was a tense drive home going very slowly. I know any of you reading this in regularly snowy areas are laughing. I, too have done time in Chicago, Cleveland, and Columbus, so I know of what I speak. But when it snows in a city that has no snow services, it's not pretty.

Obviously, we did make it home. And apparently I felt the need to write about our drive anyway :).

I am in denial about the snow, so I'm posting my favorite photo from our SoCal vacation last week:


No snow here, my snow here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Theme Thursday: Holiday Fun

Whew! Just walked in the door from vacation. Have not unpacked bags, have uploaded pictures. Priorities, I like to say. I took about a million pictures on our SoCal trip, particularly since it was the first time seeing my new niece. Yep, last week photos of new nephew, this week photos of new niece.

We went down to the beach to get some cute family photos for my brother's Christmas card, holiday fun at its finest. This was my favorite:

xmas card outtake

The only one who remembers a photo is being taken is Kana. How adorable is she? Holiday fun, indeed.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Theme Thursday: Togetherness

I love this photo because it captures the everyday togetherness of my boys. They were relishing cups of yummy hot cocoa after cutting our Christmas tree, and I grabbed this quick snap with my iPhone camera. I love that they aren't aware of me, that they are completely absorbed in comparing the whipped cream in each cup, that they are enjoying being together.

Technically, it's not a great photo, but I love the feeling it evokes.

christmas tree cocoa

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A New Fragrance

Just in time for the holidays, we have an expired houseguest. No panicking, it's just a mouse, but it's our walls...and it stinks. James tried to find it in the crawlspace, but no luck. It's in the walls in our bedroom, so I've been sleeping with the window open. James can't even sleep in the bedroom (sensitive nose ;), so he's been bunking in Harrison's room in the bottom bunk.

I've just been waiting for it to pass, but maybe this is the wrong strategy. Harrison hugged me today and said, "Mom, you smell like dead mouse."


Sunday, November 30, 2008

BSM: Holidays are Here

Anyone who knows me IRL, knows that for me, Thanksgiving is simply the long weekend when it's now "legal" to get ready for Christmas. Turkey, schmurkey. Let's just get out the mistletoe. OK, I've never actually hung mistletoe, but you get the idea. At our house, the stockings are hung by the chimney with care by the end of the holiday weekend. I certainly didn't beat Melody over at Hip Momma's Journal who got her tree up weeks ago, but you can't win 'em all :).

On that note, here's our prize specimen for this year before it was cut:

this year's tree!

On completely unrelated, yet Christmas-y note, I need your opinions. We saw my new nephew this weekend and I was able to take a few pictures of him and my nieces. Unfortunately, on picture day, the Washington weather was very grey and drizzly. Not ideal conditions for a 4-week-old baby, so the shoot was quick and dirty. I was thinking of printing this board and framing it as their gift this year. What say the BSM blogosphere? Any thoughts on improving it?


Sunday, November 23, 2008

BSM: Leaves & Such

I've been dying to get the kids out for a "playing in the leaves" portrait day like I did last year, but it hasn't happened. I had to take what I could get:

Me: Hey kids, let's go out and play in the leaves in the backyard before I rake them up!

Them: Blank stares.

Me: Come on, it'll be fun! You can throw leaves at each other and jump around and I'll take pictures!

Owen: No.

Me: Please?

Them: OK.

Are you sensing their enthusiasm? Once we got out there, they did have fun. Until Owen got in trouble and had to go back in the house, and then Harrison got bored.

But I got a few pictures. Really, a few is all I need to feed my habit. At least for today...


the hooded one

watching leaves fall

the leaf king

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Theme Thursday: Thankful

I'm thankful that every once in a while...he still takes a nap.

sleeping beauty

Sunday, November 16, 2008

BSM: Yuck

A little outtake from a shoot with a friend's newborn. Hope this doesn't gross anyone out too much... it made me laugh :).  

the gift

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Theme Thursday: Home

We've been holding the title of "Sick Central" here during the past week, so not many pictures taken. But this is a nice cozy one...

one more page

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Theme Thursday: Imagination

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.  

George Bernard Shaw

on the wall

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Decision Day 2008

Oregon is a mail-in state, so my vote is already cast. I've tried to stress to the kids how important one vote can be. Make it a good one!

decision day 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween (and BSM)

Happy Halloween everyone! And may the force be with you...

jedi battle

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Theme Thursday: Create

You'd think "create" would be an easy theme for the week. We haven't even carved our pumpkins yet (yikes), so I can't show pics of those yet-to-be creations. We had a Halloween cookie decorating party here today, but all those creations were eaten. I created homemade lasagna yesterday, but the refrigerated leftovers aren't too photogenic. Sigh.

I did do a cute mini-session with one of Owen's friends today. He was trying to hide under a bench, but I caught him anyway. There was something about this outtake that kept drawing me in, so I played around with it. I don't think I'll put it on the disk for his mom, but I love how you can see the smile in his eyes. Sometimes, the accidental creations are the most interesting.

eyes over the bench


Harrison: Brainiac is way smarter than you, Owen.

Owen: Nuh-uh, I'm smarter than him!

Harrison: Brainiac is an evil genius and he's smarter than you!

Owen: Well, I make better choices.

(Score: Owen 1; Brainiac 0)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

BSM: Weekend Hike

It was a perfect weekend for a hike, so we went down to Silver Falls State Park to enjoy the weather and the fall foliage. Silver Falls has a loop with ten waterfalls. It's a long loop, so we do the short one and see only two. But they are lovely and the hike is just right for us. With sunny skies and 70-degree temps, we had a great excursion.


behind the falls

three musketeers