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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

You can't catch me.....

Gingerbread houses (and a gingerbread man....)-
Anyone who knows me, knows that projects/crafts don't really happen at our house....BUT for the sake of "traditions" and making sure that we have them in our home...I can suck it up and act like I'm crafty...So we had our annual Gingerbread House night....which surprisingly enough, turned out much better than last year's disaster (roof slid off....bag of icing broke...tried to transfer icing....mess...mess...kids just ate candy and house went in the trash.)
So, after we voted McLaren "off the island" we got down to work...Indy decided to do his "side" in an A-B-B pattern...and it was really really cool, and what would Christmas/December/Cold temperatures be without Laina clad in swimwear??? (you think I make these things up, but no....this is her current choice of "sleepwear"--this was done at 7:30pm)




Thursday, December 13, 2007

Elf Yourself!!

We love Uncle David! and here are his little elves!
http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=1358073151

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Winter Top 6

Okay...my last post and then I'm headed to bed early for once! I have to admit that I, as well as some other un-named members of my family, struggle with the weather change during winter. So in an effort to "polyanna" it here...I composed my "Winter Top 6"...feel free to add on.

6. The cold weather keeps your trash from stinking in your garage
5. Free babysitting at the YMCA (this will make any list...any time of the year!)
4. Seat heaters. Seat heaters. Seat heaters.
3. Over-the-top Christmas cards!!!!
2. Food....baked, brined, brought over-whatever :) I love it all and the winter season is PACKED with it!!!
1. Its so cold you can grocery shop and leave the groceries in your car and go an run other errands!!! (I'm good at this polyanna game)

Okay...so I tried not to cheat and use Christmas stuff since I love the Christmas holiday...its just that it happens to fall during winter :( Oh well...there's always the trips to Yuma!!!

(What will never make the winter list is being forced to now clothe and shoe my children...Laina is finding this especially difficult to acclimate to...and frequently runs into the YMCA without shoes...I keep hoping that she'll get cold and realize the need for them...but...at least we've figured out that pants must be put on over the swimsuits and an occasional scarf will get thrown on!)

Well....Fancy That!!!

We had our RS progressive dinner Thursday night...and I was the soup/salad part of the dinner. We planned for 40-45 women and we ended up with 60 (curious as to what 60 people looked like in my house? images below give a pretty good idea). Anyway, I informed my friend that I would love to host it, but to not plan on my actually being able to decorate for it...so she graciously agreed to come and do it for me (with my checkbook of course!), and had help from Sara Murray who owns a boutique downtown called...."Fancy That!" (get it?) Anyway she transformed my pathetic, kid trashed tree into a little glitter wonderland...Let's start there shall we (these are for my mother and sister who would give anything to just follow decorators around all day...I think I'm starting to be in the category of just paying them and leaving all day :)

And let's not forget to include another stunning "Laina posed" image!
Next we shall move onto the nice little fireplace they did...we later swagged the garland in front of the fireplace.

And now for the serving table and the wonderful (they were easy Tia) centerpieces they did. The nice thing is, I get to re-use these for Matt's office party on Tuesday (nothing big...only 20 people this time!)


And here we go from quiet and tranquil.....

to CRAZY!!!! (but a good crazy :)

(and this would be where I made most of my friends hang out...on the floor of the kitchen :)
So....they came...they ate...and I ended up with some nice decorations...I just need to save this post so I know how to put them up for next year!


Mac 'n Cheese

Or Cheesy Mac or just Mac sitting down to chow on cheese while his Dad and brother and sister are out having fun in the snow and he's been left behind with mom???? (this is a gma/gpa post by the way)

(I thought I had a clean fridge....hmmm death to the homemaker!)

Death of the Homemaker

Ahhh...I'm just about caught up with all of my work and I finished my lesson for tomorrow....so I'm treating myself to an evening of "posts". I've been writing these babies in my head for the past 2 weeks and haven't had time to publish them. So without further adieu, I'll start with the "Queen Mother" of them all...

I was speaking with a friend about the "craziness" of life when she mentioned the "Good Housekeeping" article from 1955. I told I knew exactly what she was talking about and we went on to bash it. Well the very next day, a friend in Flagstaff emailed that exact article to a bunch of women...and wouldn't you believe it, but the very NEXT day (I'm not making this up either), my husband is sitting at my table, eating the lunch I've put in front of him, wearing the clean underwear that I have scrubbed for him and begins to do his "philosophising" thing (is that even a word?) on the "Death of the Homemaker", and actually references the aforementioned article! According to Matt and an "un-named" friend as well as a brother-in-law who shall remain nameless, women just do not take their job as a "homemaker" seriously. He is quick to assure me that he isn't referring to "me"....just women in general :). You see if women were to take their "homemaking" jobs seriously...they would get up...get showered...get dressed...put on makeup...not talk on the phone...and have a routine schedule of laundry on Mondays, groceries on Tuesday, etc....(he seems to have missed my schedule of laundry on Mondays and groceries only once a month :)...and when I'm really on top of my game...homemade bread and rolls (once again, a quick reassurance that he isn't referring to me). So....trying not to be defensive (a weakness I'll admit)--I am willing to concede to the death of the homemaker (according to the below article's description of "homemaker")...Death perhaps....but how about the BIRTH of the "Man-wife"...for those of you who don't know what that is...it would be the title of the wife/mother who hangs her own Christmas lights with 3 children holding onto her legs....or the wife/mother who is installing the porch light 5 minutes before 60 women show up at her house to eat, in hopes that they don't smash their face on her doorstep. So I'll give him the death of the homemaker who freshens up with a ribbon in her hair five minutes before her man walks into the house---but all I ask for is recognition of the birth....the birth of the "man-wife".

Please enjoy the article:

  • Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
  • Prepare yourself. Take 15 min. to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
  • Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day many need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
  • Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.
  • Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper etc and then run a dustcloth over the tables.
  • Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind yb. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
  • Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them palying the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
  • Be happy to see him
  • Greet him witha warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
  • Listen to him. You many have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. let him talk first-remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
  • Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.
  • Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
  • don't greet him with complaints and problems
  • Don't complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.
  • Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
  • Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
  • Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
  • A good wife always knows her place.

Wow...I have no idea why this "role" died.

I need to add (just in case he reads this) that my husband was with our children, by himself, for 2 nights this week. I sure appreciate him :)


Christmas will be late...

For DeeDee! But I don't think she minds...Her little guy will be arriving sometime after the New Year--so stay tuned for his shoot (he's yet to be born--still hidin' out in the belly :). I had to share this killer shot of her 'cause it showed the fabulous bracelt she had on...oh and the belly :)...I'm still working on the rest DeeDee so hopefully you won't have to wait too much longer!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Rockin'

We had a wonderful shoot right in her backyard. It was full of big, huge, beautiful rocks! (Actually they are better described as boulders...) It was the perfect setting, with the perfect lighting!

If you hang them....

So remember the Christmas light fiasco a few nights back? Well...so much has changed since then (probably the fact that we're now in December helped...) but Hallelujah!! They're up!

Now here's the reason for the title...you see this was done at the beginning of the week 'sans husband'. Yesterday, our Christmas tree cutting expedition was postponed due to weather and so all of the sudden he turned into tiny tim and went christmas light crazy...needless to say there are a lot more lights outside and we just might have caught on to the Christmas spirit! (A few things I learned from my christmas light hangin' event...
No matter how hard you try, if:
1. the outlet is not working, the lights will not work (took 15 minutes to figure this one out)
2. you plug the front end of the lights into the back end....they will never ever turn on...(another 15 min...gone)
Just thought I'd pass my valuable lessons on...)

So, we hung lights, bought a great tree, decked our halls (and watched Mclaren throw all the Christmas ornament "balls") (I just looked over to see Laina stuffing ornaments in her stocking....lovely--I dont' hold out much hope for the tree this year :). And we finished it off with watching the Christmas Story. (I don't even watch it...I just sit and listen to hear Matt laugh :) (picture below for Grammy and Grandpa Wade)
And YES....Indy got McLaren dressed this morning in the astrounaut suit and then dressed himself in it...and that is what they wore ALL day (even to the stores...Matt wouldn't let me change him...in fact Indy is still wearing it after sleeping in it....time for baths!)


Friday, November 30, 2007

Service...

This past spring our RS hosted a "Service Auction". I auctioned off a photo session and Kim packed all of her points into bidding on my session. I hope it was worth it! (which reminds me....I need to go and claim my closet organizing from Melissa!) Since they were my "service session" they get more posts than usual (can you tell I'm getting caught up and I'm slowly digging myself out of the black hole???? which means I've been able to rejoin the blogging world again!) I couldn't pass up this series (and it was a good example of how to "display" a series of shots. There are images that are 'stand alone', and then there are images, when combined/collaged/or grouped together, can create quite an impact as shown here (so Kim, be ready to go over your "wall galleries") :


Oh, and I just couldn't resist trying out my new beanie on her little guy...love the face and love the color!!

The FINAL one...

He...he...he...I've shot all but one of these four sisters and Kaci...don't you believe the saying "good things come to those who wait"? Cristin (older sister) was one of my first weddings and first engagements...and I'm sure she will agree with me that I've come a long way! :) So Kaci...even though you said I wouldn't get you "relaxed" by the end of the session...I beg to differ:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Biltmore

Oh man...oh man...oh man...I'm so excited to finally be able to post some images from a wedding I did 2 weeks ago. It was so elegant, beautiful, wonderful (I could go on...but I have some pictures I want to show) SO...I know she's dying to see these...and she should because she was an absolutely gorgeous bride (and her husband is quite the 'catch' if you ask me) I wish you guys the best...these are just a few of my favorites. If you have a nice internet connection (mom..you don't :) you can run the slideshow (it will take awhile to load) to get an idea of a wedding that was smoothe from start to finish!







Slideshow (it will take about 5 minutes to load so be patient...its worth it :)

www.holdsworthphotography.com/owens.exe

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Comedy of Errors

So life is completely crazy right now BUT I was bound and determined to have Christmas lights up this year (last year I traded my father-in-law putting up my Christmas lights for a hunting day with matt...I think that's called killing 2 birds with one stone...no quail pun intended :) ANYWAY last year when my FIL hung them, the curse of the Christmas lights continued from the previous year...they worked for a few minutes and then quit working...I even had bought this groovy timer!!! So...yesterday, I walked away from the mounds of work in my office...found a scarf...put a beanie on Mac...told Laina to change out of her swimsuit :) (she opted for just slipping on a jacket over it) and we headed outside. I gave the kids jobs and believe it or not...it actually worked!! Laina helped! She handed me all the little plastic shingle clips that let you just stick the lights on with the end of a pole, and Indy was a great light carrier, (and no dad you cannot recruit them for your own lights) So we get going and I realized we're missing something....CHRISTMAS MUSIC! (remember the dad with the 500 cds?) so we round the front of the house and we blast our XM from the car (the kids dismantled our only cd player :) for just a few minutes everything was pure bliss...I'm thinking "this is what Christmas is all about" Mac started dancing (yes mom...he was walking in a circle dancing around) Laina and Indy were dancing...joy joy joy...then-it startins to get dark and really cold...and our entire string of lights go out....I think hmm...the cord must've come unplugged...no biggie we'll fix it later...got to keep hangin', losing daylight. So I finish the house (took me 45 minutes...I timed it :) and went around to the beginning. The extension cord is still plugged in and the outlet works...hmm...maybe a fuse? so I unplug the first string to get the spare fuse out...and it drops...into the rocks...I have Indy go and get a flashlight (because of course by now its pitch black outside...and freezing) and try to find my needle in a haystack. Then I figure I'll just go to the next connection and get the fuse out of that one...so I drag the chair over...disconnect that strand...and drop the fuse again...in the rocks...okay...I finally get a spare fuse and plug it in and....they work!!!!! for 12 seconds and then out again. By this time the noise level from McLaren has risen to almost unbearable and he's just following me around begging to be picked up...he's bleeding from a major wipe out earlier (ok just a spot on his nose) so I finally cave....defeated we trudge inside to eat dinner (should've served dinty moore, then we would at least have ended on a positive note). My YW president calls and we get to talking and she says that you have to load the lights from different sockets...duh! I thought my house is so small that surely we could do it all from one outlet...I mean I just wanted some lights around the roof!! how the heck do people run all those lines with all those crazy lights!!! ...so tomorrow (I just couldn't bring myself to do it today...and perhaps not even tomorrow) I'll go and restring the other half of the house...because we WILL have Christmas lights this year...oh yes...we WILL.
(p.s. I was so distraught over my hanging that I didn't even get to discuss my reasons for hanging them in the first place. Honestly I think its just because its so dark around here...we have no street lights and this is the best excuse for lights at nighttime...I'm thinking of leaving them up until February
p.s.s. I come from a family where the christmas light production is so scary that everyone tries to run and hide...but you can't hide from Wade...who's biggest achievement to date was being featured on the front page of the Thanksgiving weekend Yuma Daily Sun with his lawn of ginormous Christmas trees made completely out of lights
p.s.s.s.s.s. don't have a picture to post 'cause the lights don't work.)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Estrogen

At least that's what I'd like to entitle most of the pictures from this family session of 1 boy and 5 girls...5 gorgeous girls...and our boy wasn't too bad lookin' either ;) (I should be posting his calvin klein ad, but I'll wait for him to proof it first). We finished our shoot (which included 2parents, 2 dogs and 4 horses) and then the girls took the horses "out to pasture"...and I couldn't pack up and leave...so I went and practiced on my "animals in motion" photography and then before I packed up I started chatting with the son on photography and said something about how you either end up being passionate about 1. people 2. animals or 3. landscape...then I got home and started proofing and saw that I clearly had no idea what I was talking about since the majority of my sessions seem to include people, animals and lanscape!!! whatever--I'll close my mouth and just shoot (people...my favorite). So here's my "estrogen" picture...and then the rest are just for my mom and dad...oh and the Anderson's :)