1.  Hey Photogs, is anyone going to Imaging USA?  I will be at the expo on Monday and I’d love to meet up and say hi!  I’m super excited about the fact that I might finally get to meet THE Erin Cobb!  I’ve been hoping for our paths to cross for years!

2.  I am thinking about opening up a few mini sessions on January 29th or February 5th – just in time for Valentines Day.  Any takers?  Email me at [email protected] for details!

3.  I feel like I owe a bit of an explanation about my poor fell asleep on the kitchen counter hubby.  He really was asleep like that and I was shocked to find him that way.  I was hanging out with Marti last night so he was putting the kids down and he fell asleep laying down with Teagan.  When Marti left I went to go wake him up and he said as he was walking through the house to his desk he stopped and thought that was a good place to rest for a minute.  All I can say to that is I’ve never been that tired that I thought the kitchen counter looked comfy.  I did tap him on the head 3 times before I decided that since he didn’t wake up he was then fair game for photographin’.  I have a feeling his loosing battle with fighting cedar pollen has something to do with it.  He’s been miserable since last Thursday, poor guy.  Poor, funny, guy.

4.  Speaking of men who don’t handle being sick well, have you seen this.  Brilliant I tell ya, brilliant.  If you have spare cash laying around, invest, you’ll be so rich you won’t know what to do with yourself.  But you will know what to do with your sick husband!  Click on the link in that post to view the video, hysterical! I laugh because I can relate 😉

5. Today Teagan and I started going to a new playgroup.  This is a big step, emotionally and physically.  With exposure to a whole lot of new germs we’re going to see what his immune system can do.  I was very nervous about it but it seriously could not have gone any better today.  He declared on the way there that he was not going to play with anyone except me.  I told him that was ok, it was his decision but that I was really looking forward to making a new friend or two myself.  We go there and he did good, he LOVED it and so did I!  It was so interesting to see him in the group setting and immediately dive in to the activities that are most like the time he spent in OT and with Marti.  He was a huge fan of the mini trampoline, the padded sphere and the sensory table that was filled with pretend snow and snowflakes.  He got to check out a book and a toy from the lending library and as we left he waved goodbye, said thank you and declared he wants to go back tomorrow.  Big success!

6.  We also took the big step of signing him up for a teacher taught / parent led pre-k program.  The director is wonderful and probably should have given up on us a few months ago but I think she knew we’d need this when he was finally ready.  There is a waiting list but thankfully it is short and we are only 3 families down.  I think this will be perfect for him.  Our initial intention was to start him in a MDO / Pre-K program at the beginning of this year but he just wasn’t ready.  We’ve had some challenges and while we don’t consider him special needs, nor does he need services, ECI or an IEP at this point, he’s not ready for a traditional pre-k yet.  This program is the perfect in between step until he is and I’m so excited to get that call that he can start.  He can go at age 3 and 4 so there is really no rush for him to get to it this year if we don’t make it to the top of the list.  We’re not in any big hurry, especially since there is a great playgroup to start working on those social skills.  The playgroup setup is absolutely amazing, very creative, very encouraging to development and play and movement and learning and sharing and interacting.  We can go to playgroup up to 10 hours per week even.  I couldn’t be more excited about it for him.

7.  Today in the car on the way home from carpool I was calling out math problems to Taryn.  I said 3+3 and she said 6.  I said 3+4 and while she paused to count Teagan yelled out “7!!!!!”  I was shocked.  Of course he knew what came after 6 but it was just so funny to see Taryn’s face in the rear view mirror as she realized he was right!

8.  Taryn wrote her first short story this past week.  Crazy!  It was about her and Abby playing on the playground.  I’ve also been throwing out words for her to sound out and spell while driving, cooking dinner, cleaning up.  I’m amazed at how many she gets right.  That kid is a sponge!

9.  Anyone need a pinterest invite?  I can send out a few.  Post in the comments and I’ll send them out until it won’t let me anymore!

10.  If you made it to 10 you get a fun little heads up.  Giveaway.  A big one.  With a fun opportunity….coming tomorrow!

2011-01-11T23:06:30-06:00January 11th, 2011|Uncategorized|

One Frame A Day

Erin Cobb made me do it.  She drew me in with her shiny press printed book and talk of real moments and real memories and day to day photos with meaning and simplicity.  I can’t resist any of those things.  Especially since on the day she posted, I had been looking through my strikingly empty personal photo folders.  It hit me.  Hard.  Yes, I have a good reason for not photographing my family all that much this year.  Yes, we were busy, we were struggling, we had dark days.  But you know what, there were shimmers of hope, even on the darkest day and I cannot convince myself that I couldn’t have found one single beautiful moment to embrace and capture.  Even if it was the quiet at the end of the day, or a hug, or the light hitting someone or something just the right way.  No, I didn’t have time for quite a few months.  But we are steady.  And much like after we lost photos to hurricane katrina, I feel the need to capture new memories, to make up for lost time, to capture those I love in a real, meaningful, simple, imperfect way.  I thought about doing a 52 weeks, but I wanted more.  365 sounded good, but why waste a day.  Why wait until January 1st?  Why not start right away?  So I did just that, several weeks ago.  They may not all be in focus or exposed properly.  I can guarantee they will not be perfect, but neither are the people in them, and that is just what I love about them so very much.  Both the photos and the people.

Lyndsay Stradtner’s One Frame A Day

Here is my post for today.  Ty worked so hard on lighting the house this weekend.  We spent so much time outside, cleaning out the garage, having a garage sale, digging through outdoor decorations and getting them up.  The little kids were literally outside every second of the day that they were not sleeping or eating.  He and Jase did the front and Ty even did the back porch.  It looks fantastic and finally puts us in the mood for Christmas.  It has been a difficult year for us with so many changes.  It turns out Christmas is a pretty toxic holiday….which means the inside of our house is less than jolly or cheery.  I’ve had a hard time with that and I am struggling to come up with ways to compensate.  I had a great big pity party the other night and then shook it off knowing that there is nothing more important than Teagan’s health.  Yes, it is hard, it sucks, big time, but we can deal.  I’m trying to come up with ways to make it warm and inviting without all the normal stuff.  Crafts with the kids are helping!  We may not be decked out with Christmas cheer inside of our house, but the outside is now nice and spirited.

I LOVE blow up Santa.  It does NOT bother me at all that he deflates into a depressing pile of dead lump of santa during all daylight hours.  And my husband did NOT complain at all that I dragged him outside with me in the freezing cold to take these shots.  He did NOT make inappropriate jokes about my cool bokeh shot relating to my bad eyesight.  And he did NOT belch in my ear while I was shooting (ewww).  Nor did he grumble, gripe or complain at all when I asked him to move the cars for a better shot.  And he most certainly did NOT complain when he had to move said cars back again while I was defrosting inside.

None of those things are true.  All lies.  Santa bugs me to no end, I tolerate him because the kids love him and because it gives my (aforementioned grumpy) husband something to poke fun at me about.

Speaking of poking fun, you know what IS true??  There was no level involved in the hanging of any of these lights (scroll down to #’s 8-10).  To that I say hallelujah, Merry Christmas and thank you Ty!!!

2010-12-12T23:15:17-06:00December 12th, 2010|My Family, Our House, Uncategorized|

10 on Tuesday

1.  I woke up to a rude awakening of toddlers yelling directly into the monitor over who called who stupid at 5:03 am.  Maybe room sharing was a total dream…..sigh.  For the record, it was the duder.  We’re working on ridding his vocabulary of the word “doo-pid” and it makes me crazy.  I don’t like that word at all.  It went something like this:

Taryn:  MAAAAAWWWWM!  Teagan called me stupid!!
Teagan:  No I didn’t!
Taryn:  Yes you did Teagan!
Teagan:  No I didn’t!  Doo-Pid.

5:03 am.  Sigh.

2.  I made homemade, from scratch, banana bread on Monday with the kids only to leave it in the oven too long and burn it.  It smelled soooooo good.  And it was in the shape of little pumpkins.  Total bummer.

3.  Duder ran up to me when I got home from errands this afternoon with a big “I miss you SO SO much mommy!”  God, I love him.  Being able to talk again rocks.

4.  Had Taryn’s parent / teacher conference today.  I adore her teacher, absolutely adore her.  She gets Taryn.  Taryn is complicated, fabulous, yet complicated, so I really love that her teacher gets her.

5.  I really want to make these cute little guys.  And maybe a robot or two.  Duder likes robots.

6.  I also want to make these.  My kids love bubble wrap.

7.  And especially this.

8.  Last year Jase did all kinds of fun fall crafts with the kids.  I keep hoping he’ll pick that up again this year.  They did some cool stuff last year!

9.  I’m kind of bummed about the kids Halloween costumes this year….they are just so….typical.  Oh well, gone are the days I got to choose I suppose.  I wish we could do a family theme but I gave up on that idea when it was suggested I go as Little Bo Peep.  Not a chance.  Although…..if I agreed to it I would get to see my husband dressed up as Rex the dinosaur and run around saying “I don’t like confrontations!” and “my little arms” and “rhhhhaaarrrrr….were you scared?!”

10.  This totally cracks me up, I love it.  There might be one tucked away in my house somewhere.  And I might even share it with one of the children on Halloween.  Might being the keyword.  Cause I might keep it to myself too.  I think it makes the perfect grab bag for treats or little trinkets at the end of a session.  Much, much better than the brown paper bag I’ve been using!

Happy Tuesday!

2010-10-11T23:10:11-05:00October 11th, 2010|My Family|

10 on Tuesday on: a secret, parenting advice from a toddler & getting busted

1.  Tuesday is now officially the busiest day of the week at our house.  I think I’ll start calling it “this day is going to kick my butt Tuesday” for short.  Up early, big kids off to school, music class with the duder, trip to People Rx, home for lunch, quick nap for Teagan (I almost always have to wake him up, bummer), leave for carpool to pick up Taryn, back home to fix a quick early dinner and then back out to go watch Ty play football.  Then home again, way past the little kids bedtime, spend an hour doing bath, pj’s, supplements and medications, put the little kids down, fix lunches and THEN, it’s time for me to sit down and start working.  Yeah, a little busy.

2.  So when Teagan and I were putting on our shoes to leave the house this morning we were listing all the fun stuff we’d get to do today….”music”….”hutball!”….and then he looks at me and says “we not stop at starbucks mommy?”  Busted.  Oi.

3.  At the recommendation of Teagan’s OT, we signed him up for a music class, Music Together through Velocity Music Academy.  It turned out to be perfect timing, one of my amazingly talented clients just opened Velocity in Cedar Park and we were looking for a music or gymnastics class to put Teagan in as a way to help him get stronger and continue with OT type activities outside of therapy.  His OT, Marti, and her little boy, Andy, signed up as well which I love because we get to see them more and she can keep her specially trained OT keen eyes on Teagan.  Music Together is perfect because it involves music, listening, and movement all at the same time, which is really key for him and his recovery.  Our first class was this morning and he was WAY into it.  He was singing and dancing and moving and shaking it all over the place.  As fun as it was to watch him, but I must confess, my favorite moment was when Andy took off his sticker name tag and put it over Marti’s mouth while she was singing.  She’d take the sticker off, he’d shake his head no and put it right back on.  She’s going to kill me for sharing that but it seriously sent me into a fit of giggles I just couldn’t stop.

4.  If you have been thinking about buying a Goodbyn, now is the time.  I noticed on their facebook page that for the next few hours they will be offering $8.00 off each Goodbyn purchased at www.goodbyn.com when you enter the promocode “wendy”.

5.  I’ve been posting daily photos of the healthy lunches I fix our family over on my personal facebook profile.  I realized that was dumb and started putting them in an album on the Life in Motion fan page starting yesterday.  They are just cruddy old iphone pics but I post them to share ideas and because it has turned in to one of my favorite parts of the day.  After the littles are in bed, we make their lunches, talk about our day, changes we’re making, recipes and just visit.  Granted, I’m getting a little less work done since that is normally my time to work, but I truly enjoy spending that time with my husband and I think we both feel good about feeding them well together.

6.  The other night while we were cooking dinner Taryn sauntered through the kitchen, rolled her eyes and declared that Ty “has a baaaaad att-i-tude, you need to ground him from his friends!”  Hilarious.  It must be pretty bad for her to notice, she could usually care less and lives in her own little world.  Jase and I laughed for at least 10 minutes.  Ty however, did not laugh at all.

7.  I have started to pay Taryn $1 for every night she sleeps in her own bed.  $7 a week for sleep?  Sounds like a bargain to me!  Don’t judge, I’m tired.

8.  When we made the deal for $1 per night her immediate reply was “oh good, I can start buying lunch at school”.  Humph.  I’m insulted.  Me thinks she doesn’t appreciate the healthy Goodbyn creations we’ve been making for her.  Or maybe she just likes carrying her own tray.  Or the fact that they serve things filled with preservatives and things like fudge pops.  Yeah, it’s probably the latter.  It’s so hard to teach her about good food choices when the kids all around her are eating a bag of chips, cookies and a capri sun.  Sigh……oh how I wish they’d let Patricia’s Lunchbox into our Leander ISD public schools.  A girl can dream….

9.  Last week, or maybe it was the week before that, we discovered she was going to school and telling her teacher we didn’t give her breakfast so she could go have cinnamon rolls in the cafeteria.  We did feed her.  We are eating very healthy in our house right now and home girl got creative to get her sweet fix for a few days.  Little did she know we’d be sent an invoice for her shananigans.  Busted.  I think she gets getting busted from her momma.

10.  The secret….Jason and I are about to start blogging together.  It could get interesting….very, very interesting…..

2010-09-21T10:52:41-05:00September 21st, 2010|My Family|

the reasons

When asked what he wanted to do today to honor him on Father’s Day, he answered that he wanted to see the kids smile.  Not that he wanted a day to himself, or for me to take the kids off for the day, or to go do something specifically for him.   He knew the new carousel at the mall would do the trick to get the kids smiling, so off we went, knowing full well the mall is not his favorite place.  And smile they did, Taryn from ear to ear and we all got a good laugh at Teagan yelling “giddy up ELVIS”, the name of his horse.  He smiled right along with him and I loved every moment of watching them.  And throughout the day we laughed more as we talked about why the sky is blue, little boys who don’t yet understand the concept of the baby monitor and little girls who question gravity.  We danced and played and read and laughed and ate lasagna.  We changed diapers and fixed sippy cups and took kids to the potty and reminded Ty to do his chores.  We cleaned and cooked and snuggled.  And while we doted on Jase and appreciated him a little more than usual, he had no desire to take the day off, all he wanted to do was enjoy the 3 reasons he gets to celebrate today in the first place.  And I fell in love with him a little more for it.

He was a daddy long before he ever “had” to be.  He wanted Ty to have the love and foundation that he was blessed to grow up with.  And once he and I were committed, he gave that to Ty, without being asked, unconditionally, unselfishly and has loved him as his own.  To get to watch him be a daddy again and then again, to the younger years of life, has been filled with endearing moments and laughter.  He’s shed the idea of being the perfect father and it has blessed our children.  He shows them his strength, and his weakness, all with unconditional love, in a way that allows them to feel safe and confident in their own imperfections as well.  To grow up thinking your parents never did anything wrong or make mistakes or that there were never really hard times or challenges and hurts or failures or changes that were really, really hard, would be like living in a pretty bubble only to have it popped when you are grown and arrive in the real world.  It is a great balancing act to create a safe, loving, thriving environment for our kids while leading by example of how to handle all the hard, real, stuff that life throws at us.  He does it with patience, and love, and a whole lot of laughter.

2010-06-20T20:51:32-05:00June 20th, 2010|My Family|

10 on Tuesday | Austin Family Photographer

1.  I feel like I’ve been living in a box tethered to my computer for the last month.  This past weekend cured that.  And I needed it more than even I realized.  I’ve been chasing kids all day then logging on and working 12 hours.  It’s catching up with me fast.  Friday Jason’s parents came for a visit because they had a wedding to attend out on Lake Travis.  It was perfect timing too because they were able to keep the kids Friday night while Jason and I went to see Conan O’Brien live in Austin.  And while our seats suuuuuuucked, the show and Conan were ah-ma-zing.  Seriously loved him, he was hilarious.  My favorite part is that the show wasn’t a carbon copy he takes to every city, there were so many jokes about Austin, UT, and Texas in general.  He knocked it out of the park and even though our seats were awful, we are so glad that we went!  And the kids had a blast with Grandma and Grandpa.  They brought the kids a buzz lightyear water slide and I’ll have photos and video to share of that soon!

2.  Both of my sessions on Saturday got rescheduled so we gathered everyone up and went out to the Cedar Park Farmer’s Market again.  We love that place and this week we were there for the live music, so fun!  Afterwards, my in-laws wanted to hit IKEA, they’d never been before (I didn’t realize that!!).

3.  Sunday I had a session in the morning downtown and then decided to hit the craft fair at the Palmer Event Center before heading home.  I’m so glad I did, it was just what I needed, a little me time!  I learned that craft fairs in Austin are very different than craft fairs in South Louisiana.  😉

4.  I found some really cool stuff.  Like THESE (I’m trying to decide between the rocket for Teagan room or the old TV for the playroom) I bought three of these binders and plan on special ordering a few more things in papers that match my branding for Life in Motion. I love that they are refillable and more green that what I am using now for todo lists, notes, etc.  I can also throw the small ones in my purse with stickers / crayons to keep the kids happy when we are out and about!  This seller is also amazing.  Her vintage board game pieces are so cool!

5.  Holy crap is this article eye opening.  Wow.  Over 50 chemicals on my strawberries.  Gag.

6.  iphone pics early this morning:

7.  I dug out the water table this morning and the kids played for an entire hour, quiet, calm and happy.  Then an all out smack down fight over it went down.  In the end, Teagan ‘won’ the fight and Taryn turned around, arms crossed, glared and said “You are a sad, strange little man” a la buzz lightyear.  I wish I had it on video, it was awesome.

8.  Taryn learned how to hula hoop at school yesterday.  Don’t you know that I was up and out of the house on my one and only day of the week I don’t HAVE to cart kids all over God’s creation because she just knew she saw hula hoops at HEB.  An hour and $10 later we are now the proud owners of 2 shiny hula hoops.  One for her and one for Teagan.  Even though he’s too young, I just couldn’t face the sharing battles that would be inevitable with only one hula hoop.  See #7!

9.  I am super excited that next week I will be going in to do a little day in the life type session in Taryn’s pre-k class.  She will still be going during the summer but many of the kids will change.  I want to capture this amazing class and her wonderful teachers, they have done so many wonderful things for her this year.  I’m excited to give her teachers some photos of themselves doing what they love and are oh so good at.  When I talked to Taryn about it and told her she should just pretend I’m not there that day, she pipes up with a “Oh I’m GOOD at ignoring your camera Mommy, I can do that!” with a big smile.  Yes, you little turd, you are indeed.

10.  I am going to see Babies tonight with the girls.  So excited!!  Did you see it?  Love it??

2010-05-18T13:38:54-05:00May 18th, 2010|My Family|
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