Yearly post...

Kind of kidding!  Anyway...I might hop on again and post more...but we shall see.  So much has happened since I last posted (you would hope so right?!).  We have been fortunate ...well...to some degree, as I actually love snow...to have a crazy mild winter.  In fact, loads of days around 70...IN FEBRUARY!  I finally...I mean finally...got around to grabbing my muse and shooting an Alice in Wonderland inspired series.  Luckily the dress I picked up well over a year ago still fit. Whew.   

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I have a few more to still edit!  Perhaps I will have an Alice part 2 soon.  I also have another idea for a shoot...but we shall see if it happens this year or next. Until the next time, I will leave you with a quote I love... "Never be afraid to do what is right".  

Puppies..dogs...furry babies

So, I love my fur babies.  For some reason, I never really shared a lot of this in the past.  I wish, wish, wish I had.  I wish I had more images of my beloved Max who passed away last summer/early fall.  It was so horrible.  We still miss him.  

This is the very last image I got of our loved Maxy boy.  He passed away two days later.  Here at home surrounded by his family.  I am sure he runs free now over the Rainbow bridge.  We will see him again.

This is the very last image I got of our loved Maxy boy.  He passed away two days later.  Here at home surrounded by his family.  I am sure he runs free now over the Rainbow bridge.  We will see him again.

After weeks of tears....I took my younger daughter to the humane society one day. We came home with Bubba...

 

Look at how TINY he is with Millie!!!!  He is estimated here at 4-6 weeks old.  They said he is a mastiff mix.

Look at how TINY he is with Millie!!!!  He is estimated here at 4-6 weeks old.  They said he is a mastiff mix.

I am not sure if Bubba is mastiff or not.  No idea.  Does not really matter.  We love him.  He is our family.  He was, quite frankly, the minute I picked him up...no...the instant I saw him.  We spoil him.  But, I don't think he is "spoiled".  The memory of Max is always there.  Wishing I had done a bit more...taken more photos...spoiled him a bit more.  His life and impact on us, and memory has made us better.  His legacy is we are better, more caring, more thoughtful.  

Look at that sweet face.  yes...it is a bit exaggerated...I have the wide angle going here.  Max was ALWAYS nearby.  ALWAYS. 

Look at that sweet face.  yes...it is a bit exaggerated...I have the wide angle going here.  Max was ALWAYS nearby.  ALWAYS. 

Fast forward to now...months later.  I now know the value...of images of a beloved furry family member.  And, my own personal little project is to start to capture that love in my own family...but also for friends and loved ones.  

Bubba will have loads of photos!  Here he is at about 4 or 5 months.  Cute right?!

Bubba will have loads of photos!  Here he is at about 4 or 5 months.  Cute right?!

Don't you love Millie's tee in the above image.  Geesh.  I do!  On Wednesday we DO wear pink here.  Tee is from Dressed by Finn.   Need to figure out how to make that clickable.  I am not the most social savvy person on the web.  https://www.dressedbyfinn.com/  There you go!

Anyway....in light of my new personal project...here is Scout.  Oh good grief.  Can you stand the cuteness????

Lisa, Scout's mommy loved this chair I use sometimes..so here is her baby using it as a prop.  Must say, she does look devine!

Lisa, Scout's mommy loved this chair I use sometimes..so here is her baby using it as a prop.  Must say, she does look devine!

I love that Lisa is nearby here.  

I love that Lisa is nearby here.  

I saw a glorious location.  Beautiful, tall prairie grasses next to this creek.  Scout, obviously, decided the creek was much better...and proceeded to go straight into it...who needs photos in the grasses nearby with lovely backlit light. 

I saw a glorious location.  Beautiful, tall prairie grasses next to this creek.  Scout, obviously, decided the creek was much better...and proceeded to go straight into it...who needs photos in the grasses nearby with lovely backlit light. 

And, after a good walk in the creek...you must roll in the grass and cover yourself with dirt and weeds and grasses.  

And, after a good walk in the creek...you must roll in the grass and cover yourself with dirt and weeds and grasses.  

That is all for now.  Hopefully I will get better...much better at blogging.  There is so much to share! 

Catch up

Who am I kidding...I will never be good at blogging...but I will attempt to catch up the past year.  Kind of.  May go out of order.  It was amazing.  A whirlwind.  I now have had two of my own in college (the oldest is currently in Dublin on an internship!).  We also gained another son this year.  We hosted an exchange student from Milan, Italy.  He was a perfect fit and now that he has gone back to his other home, we are having a slow readjustment.  We miss him terribly.  My younger daughter finished elementary and is off to middle school (I have a fun, fun shoot planned for her and a few of her closest buddies!).   My youngest can finally swim (whew!  I have never had a child who just did not pick that up for so long).  My middle boy is driving and working and doing tennis...and building a computer from pieces.  My older daughter is home this summer...working on her ChemE degree with a few classes from the local university and working as a math tutor.  I believe she is quite bored here.  Theses years are not always as exciting here in the states when you are an "adult" and yet...can't really get out and go everywhere just yet.  I am sure she will be abroad next summer. So...a few photos from the year....

Homecoming 2014

Homecoming 2014

More of Homecoming!

More of Homecoming!

Visit to Lawrence...and I am actually in a photo!

Visit to Lawrence...and I am actually in a photo!

Senior Soccer night with Giorgio!

Senior Soccer night with Giorgio!

We watched a LOT of soccer...that could be it's own post I am sure. 

We watched a LOT of soccer...that could be it's own post I am sure. 

We also watched XC running!

We also watched XC running!

Halloween!

Halloween!

And...yes...you can wear costumes all the time!

And...yes...you can wear costumes all the time!

Back to school

Who am I kidding...school is in full swing and has been for a month now!  I now have TWO kids off in college.  I can't believe it.  In fact, my oldest turned 21 recently.  We headed up for a quick lunch and then drove back.  His youngest siblings seriously think he is the bomb.  

So back to a more normal routine the house goes.  Though it is never dull!  This year we also took in our first exchange student.  He is awesome!  He flew in and met us back in August in Florida.  Perfect way to get to know everyone...out at the beach...AND...for the very first time we went to Universal Studios.  I admit...I was in heaven in Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Holy cow...that was a BLAST!  Here we all are about to enter...

Quite the crew, yes?!  I love it!  So for the next year I get to enjoy 6 kids!! Lucky me.

Here are a few more snaps from Universal...

So, speaking of my busy days..I need to go!  I allotted...very little time to put up a post!  Tonight is another soccer game and the bus comes soon with the littles! Until next time, cheers!

Where does the time go?

Actually, in the summer, I just get wrapped up in family life.  I halt all shoots and run around with my kids.  We spent some time back out in the mountains, as we do every summer.  If you have not been, Estes Park is fab!  We hit the YMCA of the Rockies.  That place has something for everyone!  Seriously...from little preschoolers to adults of all abilities.  

 

I adore hiking in the clean air!  This is a view over one of the many lakes.

I adore hiking in the clean air!  This is a view over one of the many lakes.

I could NOT have planned this image any more perfect...and it was so not planned.  Obviously, wild life does not work with anyone for a shoot.

I could NOT have planned this image any more perfect...and it was so not planned.  Obviously, wild life does not work with anyone for a shoot.

This STUNNING cathedral is located off a mountain pass in between Estes and Boulder.  The pope has been here, and I can see why.  I will look up the name again and include in in my next blog entry!

This STUNNING cathedral is located off a mountain pass in between Estes and Boulder.  The pope has been here, and I can see why.  I will look up the name again and include in in my next blog entry!

After a steep hike in the upper altitudes, we headed down as a storm was rolling in.  

After a steep hike in the upper altitudes, we headed down as a storm was rolling in.  

My little guy after a long all day hike.  

My little guy after a long all day hike.  

My younger daughter and her "best cousin" having snacks after mountain camp...chocolate muffins and strawberries. YUM!

My younger daughter and her "best cousin" having snacks after mountain camp...chocolate muffins and strawberries. YUM!

GREEN

Spring means green right?  It does to me...but in early spring...I think of deeper green..mixed with lots of earthy browns.  Damp earth, still cool from winter's touch. Hazy days of grey when spring rains blow in.  That is early spring to me.  And, that is where this shoots inspiration comes from.  I will share it in a few batches.  

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold or silver.
— Martin Luther

The trees... the browns and greys and textures.  Subtle changes in color and dappled with moss.  The most lovely backdrop.  

It is not so much for it’s beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanantion from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.
— Robert Lewis Stevenson

Slow down

Yesterday I had a gum graft done. Blech, right?  Yes, absolutely, but worth it in the end. And, luckily, it was not nearly as awful as I was planning on.  No pain meds today, I just can not quite speak well yet and..this is a tough one for me...I have to do nothing.  I am just not good at doing nothing.  Could be worse...tomorrow I hope to venture out at least a bit.  Luckily, I was out at the stables Monday evening with Samantha and got to spend the evening outside.  Took along my beast for that day (the nikon and the 70-200).  Which means...I fiddled with a few images today.

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This is Anna.  She is just beautiful!  A lovely chocolate Palomino.  She makes me think of a 70's beach babe...caramel and blonde! Anyway, she is the sweetest girl and my Sam loves her. 

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A perfect way to spend the time before dinner!  Even though the temps started to dip by the end of the ride and the wind picked up...no one minded. 

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Where in this wild world can man find nobility without pride,
Friendship without envy,
Or beauty without vanity?
Here, where grace is served with muscle,
And strength by gentleness confined
He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity.
There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent.
There is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.
— Ronald Duncan, "The Horse", 1954

University of Alabama

I spent the past few days in the darling town of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  I LOVED it!  My second oldest is on the college visit tour schedule , as she will graduate this spring.  Most of the schools she has applied to are just very far away, and so...we are doing it the opposite of most...apply first, see the offers and acceptances, then visit...and after it is all said and done...decide. 

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I can't believe I will say this...my fellow Jayhawks might pass out...BUT...if I had the chance at that time between KU and UA...I would have to say...it would have been ROLL TIDE all the way!  What a school??!  Yep, mom was impressed.  

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The school is designed to really aide in a whole experience...the campus, the dorms, the activities, the action card (silly..but the meal plan is such a fabulous idea!).  And the overall pride is something that permeates the area. 

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And, adding to it all...the gorgeous south.  Hubby and I chatted AGAIN at length about the south.  The culture and people are different everywhere, and I am convinced the people there win the award for friendliness! Really...everywhere..strangers were smiling and saying hello and when we (obviously) appeared a bit lost or confused...it NEVER took more than a moment for a passerby to stop and offer to help point us in the right direction or answer a question.  

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We will see where her future takes her...but if she goes to the south and finds her home at UA...I will be very happy indeed!

Winter

I love the winter...actually I love fall and summer...spring falls last to me.  I adore the changes and the beauty of each passing season.  Each holds something lovely and magical.  Snow and frost and icy grey days...these are stunning!  Inspired by all this crystalline beauty...I created this styled WINTER shoot.

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The day came together perfectly for this!  The light snow, the blue overcast and the perfect model.  The styling was not expensive!  Stylized shoots don't need to be!!  Grandma's fur stole, mom's wool sweater, fleece stockings, and a crown handmade with bits and baubles found.

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Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem.
— William Hamilton Gibson

Balmy days

We had a flip from the gorgeous, gorgeous days of snow and winter haze...to over 60 and sunny!  Yesterday the kids were off from school...so we spent the day outside.  Riding and at the stables and then just on scooters..and the little man on the big wheel.  

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This is Pearl.  She lives at the stables.  She was out enjoying the day too..sunning herself and wandering around.  Yesterday she took a special liking to my jeans.  She wanted to nibble some off.  Not a big deal...they are "well worn" anyway..and a step away veered Pearl off for a bit. 

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Red...part 2

These are some of my favorite photos to date!  The red velvet, the snow, the gorgeous blue haze of winter, the majestic Millie (the "wolf")...

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This is my own version of Red...the wolf is not an evil creature...rather her confidant , closest friend.

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Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different...
— C.S. Lewis

Project 52...Red

I have had an idea for a Red Riding Hood concept shoot for some time.  And, I am so glad I tackled it in the midst of all this gorgeous snow!  I took a pair of old velvet curtains that I had stashed back to repurpose, and made a panel into the cape.  The ring I snagged early last fall on etsy.  Love etsy!  Here is my weeks theme...Red! 

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Shades

He is such a quirky little man!  He absolutely loves his "monkey coat and shades"..aka Appaman. Yea..sometimes he just walks around this house with these pieces on!  I probably need to pick up more pieces for his wardrobe.  Seriously...he looks for the monkey..and whatever has the monkey is awesome sauce to him!  

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Kansas

The golden fields , warm light and open skies make for such perfect settings!

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The prairie skies can always make you see more than what you believe.
— Jackson Burnett

Project 52 Wind

This is not actually a photo from this past week...shame....BUT it is new for sharing on the site...and that works for me.  Besides, with the frigid weather (and no snow recently..sad)...I yearn for a bit of sun and warm breezes.  When I heard "wind"...this image came instantly to mind!

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And forget not that the Earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
— Kahlil Gibran