Family. Fotos. Food. Friends. Fun.

never a dull moment. ever.


HOLIDAY Sessions are Full. Taking appointments for February 2013.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

This one goes to eleven....

(bonus points for anyone who can name it...)

But this little guy will be blazin' elevens for the rest of his life.
Birthdate: 1-11-11
(way better than my little guy's 6-6-06 - pretty sure the History channel wasn't playing any shows on Beelzebub - actually come to think of it - there probably weren't any tv's in the little hospital where he was born!!?? :)

For those of you who can't believe it - I promise we didn't borrow a baby for Ashlee to hold - this little guy is all hers...100% adorable. We had to throw in some boots here and there - but I put my foot down when the elk antlers were hauled in - way too much Georgia O'Keefe for me.

I just love these natural shots...even more so than the posed ones...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Indy and the "bee"

He might just name a child that someday - just to help him remember its spelled asp"e"n :)
Indy was a co-representative of his class (his friend Megan Despain was the other half - and our buddy Clayton Hinton was a few seats down) they were in the school 4th-5th grade spelling bee. There were 14 students total. We don't give this big kid enough credit - Matt and I are constantly on him to FOCUS better...clean his room...leave his brother alone...get his jobs done...but we never ever ever have to ask him about school work.
We practiced and practiced and practiced for the bee- I think that Indy secretly loved all the attention he got from practicing - even if half the time he was standing on his head or throwing a ball at the wall...
He can now join the ranks of his Gma Kathy who went down on "sophomore" in jr. high and his uncle david (don't remember what his word was) only that he went down against Tammy Shields :)
Notice the concentration...
Luckily he was able to sit by this little cutie...they went down in the same round :)
He'll probably beat me for this lame picture - but we certainly can't complain about being focused!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Red Barn

Love love love this red barn! (And the family in front of it). When they were all done their mama asked them if they had fun and the little boy answered, "yeah...I worked real real hard - I smiled a lot..." of course it doesn't hurt that they all have the best dimples ever! I totally give his mama props for throwing down a photoshoot with a 4month old baby - she rocked it.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cranberry Bliss Bars

(isn't this picture classic?? I love it...the little teeny-tiny-hand coming to swipe a "bite"...that's all she asks for is a "bite" and then proceeds to take the food and start running in the opposite direction. And what was I thinking trying to take a picture with a baby nearby??)

I made these the other night because my sister kept telling me during the holidays that I needed to (she's usually right about these when she tells me that the legging skinny jeans are in and I need a pair...and I say "NO WAY - I will never NEVER EVER want to wear a pair of those - or the dumb boots that you tuck them in to!" And she just rolls her eyes and gets frustrated with her fashion backwards sister and walks away... then slowly I find myself looking around at the tall flat boots - but not the Jedi-warrior-kind, I draw the line right there - but now the dumb peg-leg pants start to make sense! And I will admit to having purchased just this past weekend, a pair of knee-high flat leather boots....this is huge for me...but I don't have the peg legging jeans yet... sheesh! these things take time - and I will put this in TOMS for me - just aren't for me...) She also told me that I HAD to make the Bloomin' Onion Bread (I'm trying to be good about bread intake...if you are also trying to be good about bread intake do NOT make this...don't even go over to LOOK at it...don't!) She was was too die for - and proof-positive that everyone has weaknesses :)

So Cranberry Bliss Bars - found them on a blog she sent me (she's very good about blog forwarding too...)
They looked yummy - cranberry w/ some cream cheese and orange zest - and supposedly like the ones at Starbucks? (wouldn't know 'cause I've never been there.)

Try 'em out and let me know whatcha think:

Cake Base:
2 sticks of butter, softened (yes I used 1 stick and 1/2 cup of applesauce)
1 1/4 C brown sugar, packed (I only used 1 cup - such a FUN sucker-outer huh?! - now you know why "baking" isn't my thing...I always have to go and ruin it!)
*Cream together, then add:
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla
*Mix, then add:
1 t. ground powder ginger
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 C flour
*Beat well, then fold in:
1/4 C minced dried cranberries
1/4 C quality white chocolate (I just chopped up some chips)
1/4 C minced candied ginger (DO NOT take a bit of these babies...UGH!! I was a bit scared so I only chopped up 3 of these - found them with the weird nuts/dried fruit stuff )
Bake in a 9x13 pan (I lined with parchment paper so I could just pull them out) for 20-25min or until golden brown (I don't recommend under baking - they were too soft).

Frosting: (after cake cools)
4oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
2 T butter
1 t vanilla
1 t orange rind
Beat together (hopefully your beater won't break during this step - like mine did- and you will end up with smooth frosting that doesn't run all over the place!)
Spread on bars.
2T cranberry, minced
1/3 C white chocolate, melted
Sprinkle cranberries, then pour (scrape) chocolate into a little ziploc, cut the end and go crazy...I felt so domestic!

They were tasty - minus the soft dough (probably 'cause I cheated on the butter and sugar and slightly under baked them - they're more like cake not cookies.)
I'm glad I reduced the ginger a bit - which reminds me of the time that Matt wanted to name Laina "Ginger" (actually he wanted Virginia so we could call her Ginger.....)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Little Larson (& family...)

This session began with curbside pick-up. That's right folks - when a client calls (especially a mother of a newborn...with 2 other tiny's-in-tow) and tells me that her ride is messed up and her husband will be meeting us at the shoot- this little photographer (who knows first hand of the pre-photo-session nightmare) made a little detour and went curbside...which was a good thing since she still needed to get ready :) We had the photo session EVER (except for the 40 minutes I worked with Larson while the little ones ran around). Thank heavens for candy canes and their miraculous ability to distract children when they are surrounded by snow!

This little guy - MACK - has been my "Newborn" sample album...he's looking really BIG (and handsome :) - which means that it's probably time for a new sample album... Indy & Laina LOVE playing with him when they go to piano lessons....did I mention that his mother is our wonderful piano teacher?? My kids love going over there (I'm sure its because of the piano...not the wrestle-mania that inevitably ensues when they arrive)
Jumping with little ones works every time (that and holding a candy cane...)
Don't worry little Larson - we didn't forget about you :)
And since they had the MOST adorable New Years' card - I thought I'd share...
Who says all cards have to come before Christmas? I would gladly be the recipient of a card this cute!

White Dress

I purposely saved little "green gems" like this image to get me through the cold winter months. I could stare at this image all day while chanting to myself "the snow will will be warm again...leaves will come back".
We actually copied this image from an image that she had done when she was a little girl holding HER mother's dress...of course they didn't have the awesome photoshop capabilities that we have now...and actually had to cut the "mother mirror" part out and paste it in...isn't our technology today completely insane??!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Once there was a snowman

Once there was a snowman...who would NOT melt.

It's been almost 2 weeks and there is still a LOT of snow around here. We aren't really used to this. Usually it snows, they call a snow day and then all of the snow is melted by 10am. I told my kids I'd help them build a snowman (what was I thinking?? I'm from YUMA - it doesn't snow in YUMA - I should've googled "how to build a snowman" it would've helped). Anyway - we figured it out and I think we did a pretty darn good job...We received a snowman kit a few years ago for Christmas from a friend and I've been saving it for the perfect time - I guess its a good thing the snow didn't melt because it took me about 3 days to finally go out and build it after I told them we would...

Other snow related news - we went sledding...this was quite difficult with a semi-mobile Ella (how mobile can an 18month old be in snow...especially when her lame mothers forgets her coat and mittens??) photographing sledding requires being at the bottom of the hill...except mom's (I noticed I wasn't the only one with this dilemma) never seem to be "outfitted" for the snow. Sure we've got our kids (at least most of them) bundled up, but when it comes to us - we throw on some pants and a scarf and wear our slippers! So trying to get down the monster hill (how did we end up on such a giant hill??) was difficult - and hearing Ella cry for me as I left her wrapped in a blanket on a boogie board (the extent of our sledding equipment) made it even more difficult. But we managed to capture a few moments.

**If you look closely you will see that Laina's 2 front teeth are completely gone - in addition to the 2 teeth on each side of the 2 front teeth - which NEVER showed up - as in...she was born without them...this makes for a really really big space in front - which we all LOVE! Maggie is also missing her 2 fronts, but we were working on smiling with her eyes open and it probably would have thrown her for a loop if I had told her to show me her missing teeth also :)
**If this boy could live in an igloo he would...Matt and I have decided that when we need to get him to do something - all we have to do is "throw snow on it" and he'll do it...(i.e. cleaning his room - if there was a pile of snow in there he'd shovel it without even blinking...clean the table - if there was a pile of snow on the table he'd get to work in a flash...take a shower - if it was in the snow - he'd be begging us to bathe!)
This teeny tiny rascal is rapidly growing teeth. She has yet to make it to nursery because we've been gone :( BUT she actively plays with her baby dolls and is currently -as I type-walking around holding her drink in one arm and a bowl of cereal in the other hand and managing to eat it while walking...pretty impressive!) Her favorite thing is to put a glove/sock on her hand and walk around growling/scaring everybody...a regular bully in the making - O'Doyle rules!! (and seriously - do cheeks come ANY cuter??)
**I promise nobody was injured...

**WOW. All of the sudden this little guy looks so OLD. How/when did that happen?? I've told him that I will have to sit on him to keep him from growing bigger...all he wants is to grow up and be a dad - but why does he have to get bigger - couldn't he just be a tiny dad?

Non-snow-related news - Matt and I rang in 13 whole whopping years together this weekend. We spent it basking in the sun in Phoenix - one final get away before the "season" begins.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Canvas Gallery Wraps 30% off

Till Monday...just thought I'd throw that out there :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bedtime will be HEAVEN in 2011

Coming off a 4 month round-the-clock crazy work schedule (okay only till midnight) I've had serious guilty feelings in the wife/mother category. Mealtimes and bedtimes have been hellacious to put it nicely. I decided back in November that my New Year's Resolution would be to have nice bedtimes - complete with reading with each child before bed (rather than acting like Old Mother Hubbard).
Now my last year's resolution started out good (salad again in 2010 - notice the rhyming pattern here?) but then of course it started to fizzle - as do most resolutions. I'm hoping that my "catchy" rhyme will do a better job at reminding me of my most important role as a mom and to hold off on the "falling apart" until AFTER the kids are in bed.
Here's to a happy healthy 2011 where bedtimes in the Holdsworth home will be like HEAVEN!

Christmas-New Years 2010

Quick Recap:
(But first let me say that this was a PERFECT wonderful Christmas.)
I was awoken by small pitter patter at 3:45am on Christmas morning. I walked out to the living room and was greeted by Ella (sitting on the couch with her blanket) and the other rascals right beside her. Now I don't know if they agreed ahead of time that she would be their best defense as spokesperson - but she was the only one who made a peep..."Hi mom" (and a smile to go along with it...) I should've melted, but unfortunately I have not quite mastered the earlier morning happiness and so all children, including El, were promptly put back to bed and then had to be encouraged to rise at 7:30am - Christmas morning.
Santa visited the Army Navy Surplus store on 67th and McDowell in Phoenix (a MUST for anyone with little boys). This was the hit of the year...cammo supplies and gear...and some tubes of face paint (which doesn't wash off too easily).
We feasted (a feast which would last for an entire week and be crowned at the end of the week with a massive burger(s) from Zinburger at the Biltmore in Phoenix) for breakfast.
Yeast waffles are the ONLY waffles worth making in my opinion and buttermilk syrup is the ONLY syrup worth making...and in honor of Gpa Wade's Christmas breakfast we added ice cream and some whipped cream.
We went to a movie and hung out together on Christmas evening. The next day (after a wonderful talk by Matt in church) we headed down to the SUNshine - Yuma. Hung out with family and tried on my cousin's hair extensions. Tia has some great pics (I was a bit lean on the pictures having come off a photo season that still has me a bit camera shy ;) Worked out with friends and went to Build-a-Bear in Phoenix (courtesy of Gma Kathy's Christmas gift to all the girls). It was wonderful (how could we have suggested leaving the two little ones home? They were hilarious) Feasted more on Gpa Wade's newest obsession "Woofum's" - biscuit cups filled with pudding and treats and topped with whipped cream.
We headed to Phoenix to ring in the New Year with Elizabeth - she made us all dance to the XBOX Kinect - it was awesome - you have to do it - even Indy was obsessed with learning the dance moves :) It was wonderful to see her smiling...something that she feared she would never do again :) New Years day was filled with friends and the mall and golfing and BURGERS!

Every year I always seem to capture Indy intent on Laina's gifts (sewing, barbies etc...)

(Have I ever mentioned how obsessed Indy is with this Rascal? They adore eachother and it makes me so happy :) Indy is often the only one who can bring her out of her hysterical tantrum.)