Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Hope you all have a great Memorial Day Weekend, spending time with family and friends, getting refreshed and taking some time to reflect and honor the many men and women who have fought for our freedom…as well as those who are currently serving in this country and across the world. Most important, it is a time to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice with their lives. A HUGE thank you to all the men and women who have dedicated their lives to serve our country! We honor you this weekend and always.

Always remember
We bow our heads in silent grace;
Proud to stand upon this place.
To honor those who we love and lost;
Whose lives were taken at such a cost.
Through the pain and sorrow, for all the brave and true;
To always be remembered by me and by you.
To heal the minds and hearts, of those who still live;
Always remembering what they had to give.
Live your lives with pride in hearing what I say;
May God bless and keep you on this and every day.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Capturing Your: Laughter

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Oh, what a difference a year makes. It was almost a year ago from my last photo shoot with these beautiful girls, Mya and Noella. During our trip to Canada, I was able to spend some fun time with Lisa and her girls. Although Mya hasn’t changed all that much, Noella was a completely different story. Last time I saw her, she has very little hair, reddish hair and could barely sit up. Now she has a head full of curly blonde hair and walks all over the place. She had changed so much, I was shocked that I didn’t recognize her…me, “Miss I never forget a face!”  Mya is one of the brightest child I have ever met. That girl can talk and hold a conversation with any adult…and she is just 3. She is a spit fire and I just love the energy that she exudes. Noella on the other hand is on the shy side and she loves to communicate with her eyes. I could tell, since she gave the the “eye”, the “eye” that was saying, “Stay away from me with that camera Lady.” I just love watching the precious personalities of the Little peeps and observing how different two siblings can be! A big shout out goes to both Mya and Noella...for doing so well during the dead center of naptime and letting me harass you by taking “just one more shot.” Mya, you deserved that ice cream…and well, Noella, you passed out once the car turned on. I owe you one girl!

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Capturing Your: Flavor

Ok, so this isn’t exactly a gourmet rocket scientist recipe, but it is good! I LOVE me some bar food. The kind that is super greasy, super fattening, and super messy. I am talking about nachos, wings,beer, jalapeƱo poppers, juicy burgers, fries, onion rings…I mean, I want it all. Ok, except the beer, not a huge fan, but definitely a huge fan of beer breathe kisses. Yes, I know, I am weird. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to nice restaurants but really, I am totally in my element when I am at a pub, or bar, with the TV’s on and some good old college football or basketball on….getting down and dirty, grubby on some bar food, and just enjoying the atmosphere.

Unfortunately, times like that are rare…since I have two little crib midgets and going to a bar with them sounds kind of shady. Plus, if I am going to go, it will be SANS the kids, so I can get my grub on in peace. The other night I was craving some nachos, like the kind you get at Rock Bottom Brewery…mmm…so good. So, I decided to make my own. Within minutes, I was sitting in front of the TV, on my couch, devouring these awesome nachos…I made…All.By.My.Wee.Little.Self. Take that Rock Bottom!

Here’s the no brainer recipe: Pre heat oven to 375F. Spray cooking sheet, then spread layer of chips, add cheese, then add more chips, then more cheese. Once you get the amount of cheese and chips combo, add jalapeƱos generously…and I am serious. I LOVE spicy, so bring it on. Stick in the oven for approximately 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Then immediately add diced tomato, sour cream and guacamole (you can also add chicken). I made the guac while I was waiting for the nachos to bake. Devour.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Today is the Last Day…..

for my sweet Derek to have his “sous” (french word/slang)…aka…pacifier. Yes, the binky, paci, plug, sous…is GONE. I am so grateful that the sous served it’s purpose for the past 22 months, but it is time to say goodbye. The first night Derek arrived, I knew that the “blankie” wasn’t going to be enough, as it has been for Travis. Based on our ultrasound pictures, I knew that he was a sucker since we have a picture of him sucking his thumb. When the nurse offered the pacifer to me that night, I was a bit hesitant because we NEVER did that with Travis and I wasn’t about to start bad habits. But hulllllo….this is the second child where ALL rules are broken…ALL. It is called survival mode, so whatever will pacify that moment…do it. I was in pain, exhausted, but there was a twinkle in my eye when I saw that little peach rubbery thing called the paci…then I kindly accepted, stuck the plug in and got 6 hours of consecutive sleep…on the first night. And from there on, he slept with it for naps and bedtime….and sometimes in between just to keep him content.

To be honest, I am going to miss the sous. One, because he looks so stinkin’ cute with it in his mouth. Two, because I know that this isn’t just going to pass without a fight. I can only imagine that there is going to be a bit of whining going on for the next week, so we just have to be strong NOT.TO.GIVE.IN. As tempting as it is, I can’t succumb to the easy road. And lastly, because it marks the end of his infancy years and the beginning of his toddler years. Derek is not quite two yet, a couple of months away, but still, he’s grown SO fast, faster than the Travis, and I just want to hold on to his baby years…..because to me, he is STILL my baby.

Tonight, we put the sous in a zip lock bag, opened the trash can, gave the paci to Derek and told him to throw it in the trash can and say goodbye to it. He did exactly that, even repeated “goodbye sous, all gone, I’m a big boy now”, then closed the lid. I walked him upstairs, got him ready, turned the lights out and began to rock him. I knew that I was going to have to rock him a little bit longer tonight and sing him a few extra songs…which is just fine with me. I began to hear him breathe deeply then I heard a little “Mommy”…and I replied “Yes, Derek”…then he said the sweetest thing…”I’m big boy.” Yes, my dear Derek, you are officially a “Big Boy”.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Capturing Your: Heart

 IMG_0614AL I love the first picture. I think it perfectly sums up the relationships between mother and daughter…particularly during their teen years. The “look” only us teenager daughters have learn to perfect towards their mothers, while the mom just sits there and laughs….laughs at the fact that one day, we’ll be dealing with our “own” teenager….just.like.us. And in case you think I’ve made an error, yes, this is a Mother and her daughter. I know, seriously, they totally look like they could be sisters. Yes, even a few jaws dropped while we were taking their pictures in Uptown Whittier. Yes, and there was drool too….since these too hotties got a few whistles and honks. I can’t say enough about how excited I was to take Erica and Nicole’s pictures. I had such a FUN time and almost peed my past a few times…seriously. And Miss Nicole really knew how to work it, going all ANTM on me. I love teenagers and their willingness to be super photogenic and just hammin’ it up for the camera….without having to shake a rattle or bribe them with a lollipop at the end of the shoot. Just point and click!

But most importantly, I just LOVED observing the beautiful relationship of mother and daughter. I know what it is like growing up as a teenager and how tough it can be at times having a mother that nags (sorry Mom, but yes, you nagged), who implemented stricter rules simply because I was a girl , the quarrels, the sassiness….just your typical teenager drama. I also am very familiar with the mother daughter bond, the safe place for you to lie your head, the one who understands why you are so hormonal and will go to Target to get you Midol, the one who stays up late at night waiting for you to come home from your first '”date”, your shopping partner in crime, and the one who will really ask, “Are you going to really walk out of these house wearing that?” Erica and Nicole truly have such a beautiful Mother and Daughter relationship. Like all relationships, there are hills and valleys, but their deep love and bond with one another will forever keep them united. Plus, I mean, really, how many can say that they share the same clothes and fabulous accessories with their mother? Erica, if you ever want to adopt another daughter…please pick me. I am already married off, with two kids, so there is no wedding to pay for, no college  to save for….all I want….is to be able share with your fabulous wardrobe! And, the keys to you car :)

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