Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Easter countdown

Maddie and Lyndon are constantly making me smile. I wish I could bottle up their cuteness and pull it out when they're all grown up. The thought of them not being little makes me a a bit sad. Jonathon and I were reflecting on how fast they grow up right before our eyes. This time while they are so young and carefree is short. That's why I have to make sure I document it as much as I can so we can always go back and remember.

Lyndon still loves superheros. Tonight he's Batman...

I love this picture. Maddie and Lyndon LOVE our neighbors, Memi and Joe. Here they are yelling to them from across the street. There's Memi's red Cruiser and Joe's Yellow truck.

He had to go get his Batman figurines to play with him.

This was funny...Maddie and Lyndon made our room into a "Theater". They lined a bunch of chairs up in front of the computer to watch a Playhouse Disney show. Jonathon came up to check on them and in response to their invitation he took a seat. After several minutes he got up and announced that he had to go get some work done to which Lyndon exclaimed, "Off you go!"
Then I came in a while later to see them and as I entered the room Lyndon pointed to the best seat in the house and said, "Sit here, my Lady!"

Making Easter nests...

Licking the bowl...the best part!

I decided I needed to take more pictures of me with the kids. I want them to see us interacting not just have me MIA behind the camera. So without me even asking Maddie asked if she could take a picture of Lyndon and me. He's giving me kisses but his face is all marshmellowly...that's always fun.

We went to the annual city of Round Rock Easter Egg hunt. We've been almost every year since we moved here. Always fun. ALWAYS a crazy amount of people. But the kids had a great time. Here they are in the Monsters Inc. bounce house. We were there early before tehe mad rush so they were able to do a lot of the activities before the crowds showed up.

Waiting for the hunt to start!

And they're off! Jonathon took Maddie so I didn't get any pictures of her in action. But from seeing her bag in the end...she did great!

We had to dump all the candy out of the bags and de-fire ant everything! Ugh, Texas and their fire ants!!

Face painting

airbrush tatoos

And we couldn't pass by Shipley's Donuts without stopping and enjoying a little sugar rush in the morning! Yum!!

Not quite as good as Round Rock donuts but they were still pretty tasty!

Monday, April 18, 2011

My photography ebook is finished!!

I finished it!! I actually finished my book on my April 1st deadline. I've always said, "A goal, if not written down, is only a dream". This goes to show that writing down your goals really does help you accomplish them. I have to give a huge, gigantic, colossal, enormous thanks to Jonathon. I have a husband who is beyond supportive it every aspect of my life. If I have a dream, he does everything he can to help me accomplish it. He motivated me, encouraged me, watched the kids (including watching them the entire week of my deadline), and became my technical go-to guy. He helped me create and launch the website and took care of all of the other technical stuff that I would have driven me crazy. So THANK YOU, Jonathon. I love you so much.

I decided to write this book for a number reasons.The first was because I have many friends and acquaintances who recently bought a dslr but were so frustrated with not knowing exactly what to do and how to produce awesome pictures. I knew if they just understood some key and basic information they would be able to use that to finally get the most of their cameras and be successful. Another reason I wrote the book, and probably the main reason, was to help other people have the ability to document their lives and their family's lives in a creative and memorable way.

What I truly love about photography, is the ability to capture the story of my own family. I treasure the pictures that I have of my kids, our interactions together, and their sweet personalities. It’s so important to me to be able to document their lives (and our life), in this way. I want to offer all the information I have in my repertoire so that others can create an album of treasured memories to last a lifetime.

The book is geared toward the person who owns a digital slr. (The kind of camera that has interchangeable lenses.) But it's also beneficial to the person who has a point and shoot. I start out teaching (in simple, easy to understand terms) what exposure, aperture and shutter speed is all about, how they relate and why they are so important to understand. I talk about camera and lenses and why I use what I use. I discuss camera settings, lighting, composition and I even walk through my whole editing process. I’ve included tons of pictures that will help the reader follow along very easily. Overall it’s a great resource for anyone who just wants to learn how to take better pictures.

Here is the website for the book. If you want to buy it you can have $2.00 off my using the discount code: familyandfriends.

Here are a few pages from the book to give you an idea of what it looks like and what it's about...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Grandma and heck of a great week!

My parents have been here this last week. They went home today. The house is always a little empty when they leave. I love having the folks come to visit. We relax, play, eat, talk, watch movies...all the fun stuff. I've always loved being with my parents...even as a teenager. I was never one of those kids that thought hanging out with their parents wasn't cool. We've always been good friends. I'm grateful for that.

I didn't take my camera everywhere but I was able to highlight a few of our activities. Just about every day we woke up and went to exercise either at the gym or jog around the trail at the park. It was usually just my Dad and I jogging. I loved our conversations. I was a little out of breath at times because jogging comes a little easier for him but I throughout enjoyed our time together.

Some highlights of the week: eating homemade kettlecorn just about every evening, trying out new recipes, Jonathon and I going on a date, talking talking and more talking, going downtown to ride the train and go canoeing, eating lunch at The oasis, Lyndon snuggling Grandpa while he read, Grandma making fun crafts and treats with the kids, surprisingly early bedtimes because we were all tired out, shopping with my Mom, laughing and just being together.

Thanks Mom and Dad for another memorable week together. We can't wait until July!!!

My Mom sewing while Maddie looks on. This reminds me of when I was little. I used to do the same thing while she sewed.

Maddie being her silly self.

Canoeing downtown on Lady Bird Lake.

The Austin skyline from the lake.

Jonathon pretty much paddled the entire time...

...while I did this. Actually I didn't just put my feet up, I was mostly taking pictures. :)

Eating lunch at The Oasis overlooking Lake Travis. It was such a beautiful day.

Lake Travis

This was Jonathon being...well, Jonathon. Every time I thought we got a good picture my mom (who was taking the picture) would start to laugh because he keep making different faces.

Ahhh, there it is...

My Mom's strawberry pecan salad. Yummy.

My Dad fixed our leaky sink in the bathroom! We are so appreciative!

My Mom always does fun little crafts with the kids. Here they got to design a little stuffed animal. They drew it on paper and then my mom helped them create it using felt and stuffing.

Lyndon's final project.

Maddie's final project.

This was her picture she used to design it.