Sunday, August 16, 2009

Meet Sven

This is Sven. He is a Pacific rock crab looking for a good time. He is older and knows what he wants. He is not looking for a serious relationship and feels like "life is too short to be tied down."

He enjoys long walks on the beach and moonlit dinners. He recently found a great all you can eat raw chicken buffet that he would love to share.

He tops out at 6 1/2 inches with a striking red completion and black eyes. He has a laid back outlook unless riled up. He is a crab that knows how to stand up for himself and those he loves.

Sven is no longer listed on our "Available Crab" page as he has had an unfortunate boating incident. He will be scattered over salad today.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


This summer has been crazy busy. Soccer, beaches, play dates, and today, Seafair. Aside from the record shattering hot temps here (hello 106!), we have had so much fun and made new friends. It is hard to believe that it is August already.

My husband was offered box seat tickets for the Seafair hydroplane races/Blue Angels airshow for today. So we dropped Meradith off with my mom and headed out to Genesee park with Brian in tow.


Here are a few pics from today...

The hydroplane races

With our tickets we got pit passes to be able to go down and see the hydroplanes. So I went down to the pit to take a few shots of them out of the water.

The Boeing hydroplane. It runs on bio fuel!

Brian watching the hydroplanes as they start from the pit...

The Blue Angels

After the airshow the Blue Angel pilots were in the pit signing autographs.

I LOVED that there was a female pilot.

And, of course, the Seafair pirates...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fun at the Beach

This last weekend we spent the night out in Kingston. Oh, it was so fun and the view was amazing.

Making a sand castle...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cleaning Out the Closets

*originally posted by me at

It's summertime. I find that my schedule changes during this time of year. It relaxes and becomes far more flexible, but also fills up with more play dates and fun activities. I don't have to rush my son off to preschool or get out the door for regularly schedules activities. My days are more open, mostly.

I love spending the time at parks and zoos, plugging into MOPS planned play dates and in general soaking up the sun.

Summertime also brings with it a desire to do projects, at least for me it does. There are so many randomly stacked things that appeared over the winter in the garage that we can barely get the cars in. And when we can get the cars in, we are stuck because we can't open the doors!

My closets are overflowing with clothes that are out of style, don't fit or are just plain worn out. My linen closet is unspeakable.

My goal this summer is to clean out. Clean out the things that I don't use, don't want or don't need. Pass things on to other moms, thrift stores or the dump.


My relationship with God has much to declutter as well. How many things have I taken on board that are not benefiting me? Beliefs that have come, not from God, but from "that's how it has always been" or "that's what my parents believed." I have beliefs that cause me to feel guilty for not being perfect. Does that come from God? I don't think so.

I would be the first one to say that learning from others is a valuable thing. Passing on faith from parents to children is one of my top priorities with my son and daughter. But, old stale beliefs need to be tested and tried. Held up to see if they still fit. Are they a product, not of the teachings of God, but of a fad that came through the church (or society)? Do I have a tie-dye faith? Or do I have a classic, never-goes-out-of-style A-line faith? Where do my beliefs come from? The Bible? Society? Movies?

I loved the book The Shack. There were parts that challenged me and my prejudices. Do I believe that it was Biblical? No. But did I inadvertently take on beliefs that are contrary to the Bible?

How much of what I believe have I taken on board by random things in our culture?

The only way to distill my beliefs is to spend time with God and his Word. Letting Him talk to me and asking Him to show me the truths that can be mined only from Him and His Word and to possibly find a mentor in a more mature Christian woman.

Just like I need to spend time going through my closets this summer, I need to spend time with God. Going through my beliefs.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wedding Photos

I've been super busy with vacation and editing photos. Check out my first wedding shoot at my other blog...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A little window into his mind...

The Photo

My 5 year old son is, hm, disrespectful unique creative. It's funny what sticks with him and comes back around later.

I do photography. With my love of photography comes the inevitable photos of the family. Many photos of the family. My son, Brian, doesn't often cooperate and I have to cajole him into letting me take his photo. That usually takes the form of a comment about the photo from me and letting him see it on the back of my digital camera. Instant gratification - works for most everyone, my son included.

Well, the other day he got a flashlight, but the shape was rather rectangular. In fact, it had the shape of a point-and-shoot camera. So Brian goes around "taking" photos. It was very cute.

Until he wanted to take my photo. At the time I was trying to get a few time sensitive things done.

So I had a stellar mom moment and said, "that is NOT a camera and no I'm not going to say cheese" (way to go me, encouraging creative play!). To which he looked at the back of his "camera" and said, "oh, that's not a very good one, you were mad. Let's take another."

You know you live in the Pacific Northwest when...

Brian has gotten into coloring lately. Mostly he colors in his coloring books with the random mark on the table or wall. The other day he was coloring in one of his car coloring books and decided that it needed a sky.

So he drew the sun, then he drew the clouds over the sun. Because "that is where they always are."

Yes, we are ready for some sunny summer weather!

Monday, May 11, 2009

My first Photo Walk

My husband outdid himself this Mother's Day and let me have the whole weekend off! What a wonderful man. I feel renewed and rejuvenated. One of the things I did was take my first ever photo walk. It was super fun and very educational. While I wasn't really excited about any of my photos I was excited about the time to just be me (not mom, wife, housekeeper, etc), let my creative juices flow, and try out some different photography techniques.

You can see more photos on my other blog.

Last year when I sold my horse I went through a time of identity crisis. So the last twelve months have found me trying a few things to fill that void. I feel like I have finally landed on something. My photography helps to rejuvenate me. It used to be that when I had a bad day (or was in a bad mood) I would head out to the barn to ride and spend time with my horse. Afterward, I would come home a different (happier) person. This winter has been tough on everyone: if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Not that I have been super mean or anything, but I had nothing that was just for me. Everyone needs something that feeds their soul.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that after an hour wandering around downtown Puyallup with my camera I was feeling like a new person. It was really, really nice. What a Mother's Day gift!

And, as an added bonus, I don't have to feed, shoe, vaccinate or exercise my camera regularly, and there are no boarding costs. That makes my budget (read: husband) happy too.

Monday, May 4, 2009

In a Galaxy Not so Far Away..

My husband shared with me a conversation he had with our son, Brian. I had sent Brian on an errand out to the storage/tool shed (where my husband was working).
Brian: Mama wants, um, the robot.
Husband: What robot?
Brian: um, um, the Star Wars one.
Husband: R2D2?
Brian: Yes, that one. Wait, no, the other one.
Husband: C3P0?
Brian: Yes!
Husband: Maybe you mean WD40?
Brian: Yep, that's what she wants.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Did you know that Washington is an exporter of Tulip bulbs? Yep. Who knew! We even have festivals dedicated to tulips. I went several years ago and it was amazing. Now that we are back in the Pacific Northwest I keep trying to get back to the tulip fields. They are only about 2 hours away, but that would be 2 hellish very long hours with two small children. So, I am putting off the trip for another year.

But, I did get to head out with a friend and her kids to a local (read: a short, sweet 15 minute drive) tulip nursery this last week. I took some pictures of the kids and the flowers. It was a beautiful, sunny day.

Next year I vow to make it to the Skagit Valley for the tulip festival.

I also have some new software that I am messing with and trying some new techniques...

I loved these purple, lacy ones...

The color on these was so intense. Too bad I was messing with my camera settings and didn't get a shot that did them justice.

And here is a picture of my son needing a hair cut...

This is the best one of him all day. Most of the photos were of him pretending he had a gun, a sword or some other implement of violence. Are ALL boys like this?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Last of the Old Posts

Another Scrapbook Post

During a visit from our best friends to Seattle this month we set aside some time to find tide pools. What fun! The kids (and adults) had a blast. We saw sea anemones, starfish, crabs and got sprayed by gooey ducks. We even got to see a train come by! The most fun was finding an outcropping of rocks that housed a bunch of starfish, barnacles and sea anemones. Lots of fun!


This was me trying my hand at digital scrapbooking. It too has fallen victim to my lack of follow-through.


Brian with his umbrella, rain coat and boots - getting used to the Seattle weather. And on his tricycle with his cool new bike helmet.

The Great Outdoors

The other day we went for a walk. First let me say that Clay and I were thinking walk in a fairly broad sense, but still planning on actually walking. With a 2 year old walking takes on a whole new meaning. It does not necessarily mean moving forward on a set path. It went something like this: "Oh, a trail let’s follow that." By the way, this was the only unanimous decision of the day. Then, on our relaxing stroll Brian found a stick. Even though this did not surprise us we were still thinking that we would continue down the path, but instead all forward motion ceased. The stick became a sword to hack and slash at anything that looked like it might be an enemy (you know, like a random weed that had the audacity to grow too tall). Then the stick became a drum stick. Bushes, logs, and rocks became musical instruments.

After much encouragement we were able to make some progress until we came to The Lake. Really it was a small pond, but to a toddler it held abundant opportunities to get muddy and wet. And ducks, lots of ducks. For some reason in a 2 year old brain it is fun to throw rocks into the water just to watch the ducks go after it thinking they are getting fed. I admit it is a bit mean, but since my job is to avoid the dreaded temper tantrum at all cost…sorry ducks.

We did make it past the pond and on to even better water opportunities - the overflow creek. With all the rain we have had here lately there were little streams of water running everywhere. So, once again the stick came into play. Now it was a tool to “paint” with, or just to poke into the water. Rocks were also a major part of this adventure. Along with being “food” for the ducks they were fun to throw into the water or hold just because they fit into a small hand. The more I watch Brian explore and learn the more fascinating the world is to me as well.

I was reminded the other day of a blog I had started in 2006 right after moving to Seattle. My follow-through was lacking and I only got a few posts up. But, I wanted to share them here (and have everything in one place). So here are my few old posts...

So many people have asked if "I am writing this down" that I thought it is time to start into the world of bloging. Welcome to The Life of Brian...

As a typical 2 year old boy, Brian is into everything. It is especially fun if it can cause some sort of bodily harm! As his mom I consider my most important job is to keep him alive until he is 18. We all need goals.

Even though he is all boy, it has been fascinating to see his personality develop. When I ask him to do something and he isn't complying I count to 3, thus allowing his brain to process the request (well that is how the theory goes anyway). The other day I asked him to do something, then started, "1.....2.....". He looks back at me and says, "3,4,5,6,7" (he had never counted above 3 before). I was of course so amazed that I didn't realize until later that he did get out of doing what I was asking for. I'm not sure if this is good or bad, thanks Sesame Street!

Brian is starting to settle in to our new home in Seattle. It has been a rough transition for him, but it is amazing how resilient little kids are. At least people tell me that this will not scar him for life. For a while there he wasn’t sleeping, now he is only waking up a few times each night. Unfortunately those few times often last an hour or more. But we are getting there, slowly.

Now that we are back in Seattle Brian has learned to recognize the Starbucks logo. As we drive by one I hear from the back seat, “Starbucks…mocha…banana steamer…bye-bye Starbucks”. This would be much cuter if there were only a few Starbucks in the area. On the same note, I can’t get coffee without getting Brian his “mocha” (which is a small vanilla steamer). I have heard that kids learn to drink out of a regular cup by using sippy cups first. Really it’s just from using those disposable travel espresso cup lids.

Each day is a new adventure, I love seeing what new thing Brian comes up with! I, of course, love it more after a full nights sleep! Or I think I would if I knew what sleep was like…

Check Out My New Site

Because I am having more people ask about my photography I wanted to have a site I could send them to that they wouldn't have to wade through posts that were not photography related. So here it is...

My Photography Site

I want to name my photography business, but I don't know what yet. Any ideas? Just a few caveats: I don't my name in the name of the business and I want the name to be family friendly.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Houseguests, Like Fish, Stink After Three Days...

Dear RSV,

I'm glad you have enjoyed your stay at our home. Really, I am. But, I can't say we have enjoyed you. As far as house guests go, you have been overbearing, uncomfortable and have totally interrupted the flow of our lives. Not a good thing for visitors to do.

Though, while you have been here I have learned a few lessons. Some that I am grateful for, others I could have done without.

First, I have learned how to catch vomit in my hands. Sure, a useful skill for a mother to know, but one I could have gone my whole life without learning.

I also did not know that I would think of the 1 and 2 hour sleep increments of a newborn as luxurious. Now, I'm grateful for more than 15 minutes at a time. Not that I would go 15 minutes without checking to see if the baby is breathing. But, still, sleep would be nice.

Also, I feel that we have done our economic duty, in this time of fiscal downturn, to keep money flowing into the economy. Especially to the drug manufacturers, namely Vicks.

Another thing, even you, who have no sensitivity for social etiquette, should know to leave babies alone. Really? Afflicting a three month old? You should be ashamed. Adults have a hard enough time, but babies have a harder time doing without the use of their noses - and for that matter, their lungs.

You should know that your visit of 7-21 days is not the fad right now. Most viruses like you last for 3-10 days. 7-21 days, that's just selfish. Please reconsider and shorten your stay.

So, RSV, you have impacted our lives and we will remember you. But, I won't keep the light on for you.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The First Year

For Brian's first year I kept a little journal. Nothing much, just a weekly calendar that I jotted down the important "firsts". I wanted to do the same thing for Mera, but couldn't find a calendar that I liked. So I picked up this blank journal. I thought it would work perfectly. I want my kids to know their story and I want them to be able to go back and see when they first giggled, first rolled over, their first words etc.

I can't wait to fill this with amazing feats (I've already filled in the info about the weekend of her birth, adoption and her first giggle). Because every child is the most amazing child - at least according to their parents!

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Exactly three months after the birth of our beautiful baby girl we sat in court as the judge signed the adoption decree making her ours forever. Amazing!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Meradith Photos

Here are a few recent photos of Meradith...

Here she is showing off her new curtains...

She loves her giraffe...

Showing off her onsie...hug me, hold me, kiss me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Remember the maternity photos I took? Here are the baby pics! 9 days after Meradith was born along came this little guy. He is super cute and I had a ton of fun photographing him.

Thanks Jen for inviting me into your home to take pics of your littlest one.