Friday, August 31, 2012


We have been busybusy this summer.
And I have been relishing the golden moments
rather than scrambling to capture them all on "film."

This month we have...

celebrated Brother's third birthday
survived a week of Benjamin being in Chicago for work
visited the river and the park
endured nearly constant smoke from wildfires
hosted a Pampered Chef party
went to doctor appointments
road tripped to visit friends in Idaho for a few days
(while visiting them we fed apples to sheep, dug in the dirt,
played new wii games, harvested vegetables,
and stayed up too late talking)
celebrated out sixth wedding anniversary
gone to birthday parties and bridal showers
organized and cleaned
had a successful yard sale and lemonade stand
participated in our library's fabulous summer reading program finale
hosted the first meeting of the book club I'm a part of
spent a fun family evening at our county fair
(complete with cotton candy and carnival rides)

It's been a full month,
and the next one doesn't look too much slower.
Life is good.

On a slightly related note,
I recently digitized my calendar.
(this app for Kindle Fire was definitely worth the $5.99)
Now I wonder why I (figuratively) kicked and screamed
against this change for so long.
It's been really handy
for keeping track all of this good life's insanity

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Ready for your daily dose of cute?
(complete with a messy bib and face, of course)

Monday, August 13, 2012

August's Project MCP

Tired of being late on the challenges in which I'm participating,
I decided to discipline myself to not over think
and stretch my creativity
by taking as many challenge-related photos
at one time of one subject
as I could.
Here is August's installment of Project MCP.

Challenge #1
The Olympic rings represent the union of the five continents
and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world.
 Take a photo illustrating repetition–bonus admiration for circles!

While sharpening them,
I decided to make the boys' colored pencils
the subject I would take as many challenge photos of as possible.

Challenge #2
It's all about sports.
Capture a sports themed photo.

Benjamin on his sports bike is sports themed, right?

Challenge #3
It’s a multi-cultural event.
There are 193 countries participating in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
 Capture a photo which captures the essence of your country

I almost panicked and over thought this one
but succeeded in capturing something simple
that conforms to the theme.

Challenge #4
Everyone wants to bring home the gold.
Take a photo of something “gold”.

"Golden yellow" labeled with gold writing?

Friday, August 10, 2012

a new style of custom wedding vows

Just two weeks after listing
I received another custom wedding vow order!

This time the client wanted something simple and elegant
that would reflect the couple's love of the outdoors.
This is what I came up with.
This style of custom wedding vows
is now also available in my shop.
I love the good things that come from my creativity being stretched!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

July's project MCP

Here are my July photos for
the Project MCP challenge.

Challenge #1-It's the 4th of July
Capture the meaning of the word "independence" in a photo

Brother is usually a little clingy and timid in new situations.
Imagine my surprise when he took off all on his own,
exploring the splash park we visited with friends.
So independent.

Challenge #2-Still feeling patriotic?
Take a photo of something red, white, and/or blue

For this photo I was inspired by the similar sheen
of completely unrelated objects:
Benjamin's first guitar, my phone, and a string of pearls.
I was fascinated by how
they clash while fitting together.

Challenge #3-Try a new technique-take a bokeh photo

This was a frustrating challenge
and did not turn out quite how I wanted.
You know those really cool star bokeh photos?
That's what I was after.
However, after trying and trying (maybe it wasn't dark enough),
this was the best I could get.
And I have to say that in spite of my disappointment,
that big, phantom star on the right is pretty nifty.

Challenge #4-Summer is in full swing!
Take a photo of your favorite summer activity.

I way over thought this one.
The problem is that there are so many things about summer I enjoy!
It's impossible to choose one favorite.
Boring as it may be, 
I really love the fact that in the summer
I don't have to bundle myself and my three children
into layers and layers of protective warmth
every time we want to venture out of the warmth of our home.
This summer favorite is represented
by our much-loved sandals.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Happy birthday, Sweet Pea

Yesterday was my sunshiny Sweet Pea's
first birthday!
It's been such a delightful year, watching her personality unfold.

Right now Sweet Pea...

is sleeping through the night (most nights)
takes two naps a day (most days)
has managed to give herself a bloody nose while "napping"
feeds herself bits of table food exclusively
drinks whole milk in a sippy cup
especially loves macaroni and cheese and blueberries
(not together)

is fitting into 12 month clothes
is getting longer hair
has little "wings" of hair that poof out over her ears
will not tolerate headbands for long

has two little bottom teeth
has pulled herself up on furniture several times
still scoots around on her bottom
but can crawl if she really wants to

loves her brothers' cars, balls, and trains
and pulling all their magnets off the fridge
enjoys exploring my purses
carries any bag/purse she can find around the house
loves turning pages and "reading" books
and crinkling magazine pages
likes to explore outside
and look out the windows

loves to clap
plays peek-a-boo enthusiastically
points to items of interest with her tiny, adorable index finger
already loves to use that index finger to manipulate touch screens
blows at people to get their attention

says "Mama," "Dada," and "hi" frequently
occasionally surprises us with other words
waves goodbye to people who are leaving
makes a special hugging sound
has been shrieking less
and signing "more" more frequently
says "Mmmmm!" when she likes something
sings sweet songs by herself or along with someone else
"plays" the guitar and drums on almost everything
lights up when her brothers come into the room
is Daddy's little princess
and Mama's sunshine

She brings such joy to our lives every day!

Monday, August 6, 2012

plum jam

My favorite.
(Especially when it's on French toast.)

I totally hoard
this bit of preserved summer
and avoid offering it
to my children or visitors.
Awful, I know. : )

Saturday, August 4, 2012


I like all colors,
but purple is lower on the list than most.
And so I was less than thrilled about this month's installment
until I remembered the lines
"For purple mountains' majesty/above the fruited plain"
from "America the Beautiful.

Ah, ha.
I have always loved the way mountains
layer away, fainter and fainter
into the distance.
And so I found my inspiration.

Friday, August 3, 2012

simple owl birthday party

I like owls.
(Well, some owls; some of them are downright creepy.)
And I don't want a full blown owl collection.

So I thought that choosing an owl theme
for Sweet Pea's first birthday party
would be the perfect time
to showcase my affection for owls in a fairly disposable way.

We celebrated last weekend
(a little early)
so that both sets of grandparents could be present!

owl invitations
The wings open to display the details.
(from a free printable with six possible color variations!)

sealed with some owl stickers I already had

(There were only three brown M&M's in the bag I bought,
so we had to get creative.)

some simple favors:
owl stickers, a lollipop, and a couple of blowouts
(such an awful name, but they're fun, quiet, and inexpensive)

packaged in wildly colored owl treat bags
(Hey, they dressed up for the party!)

Fun was had by all,
and I only stressed a little bit.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

to Bannack

The first territorial capital on Montana
is now a ghost town,
a state park,
a not-too-tourist-trappy local attraction.

We took Benjamin's parents
to see it while they were visiting last weekend.
We couldn't have asked for more perfect weather
or nicer company. : )

(Yes, that's Benjamin. No, I wasn't driving while photographing.)