I love.  

She refuses to smile for the camera.  
I am lucky when she looks at me.
Maybe Stella will be my model. My center-of-attention.  My Katie .

I still adore taking photos of her though.
Especially with my new toy.
I need the practice.

And even if she won't smile for the camera
she will smile for Daddy.

And that is even better.
Because it's real.

Just like me




This is my current camera.  A beautiful, friendly, happy little Nikon D60.  Santa brought me this camera two Christmases ago, and it birthed a love of photography that I never knew I had.

It has served me well.

And it is leaving me a week from Thursday.

A friend of Nadia's has agreed to buy it.
She's about to become a mom for the first time.

She'll have her hands full...but when she has room in them, she'll have a wonderful Nikon to hold, too.

This really is an amazing camera.
It's the perfect starter for anyone wanting a DSLR. It's quick. It's easy. And even on full auto it takes amazing photos.

I'm about to order the Nikon D90 from Amazon.com.

I'm so giddy my fingers are shaking.
A winter's worth of hat making and it's finally mine. My fingers are calloused. I have carpal tunnel syndrome.  But it's all worth it.

(And I'm kidding about the carpal tunnel. And the callouses. I'm just a whiner.)

The only thing that could top this moment is...

A 70-200 2.8 falling from the sky and into my lap. Free of charge.
Even a 24-70 2.8 would be fine.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm not picky.

Goodbye, D60.
 Thank you.



Wednesday Wisdom

I've decided to change my "What I Know For Sure" posts into a new feature titled "Wednesday Wisdom."

I can't promise I'll post every Wednesday.  But I'll try.

Maybe you'll look forward to my musings.

Or maybe you'll steer clear on Wednesdays.

I fully support your freedom of choice. And I hope you choose to read.

Okay...here it is.

Installment ONE of Wednesday Wisdom.

*My nipple is not a pacifier.  Conversely, Stella would like me to know that a pacifier is not my nipple and therefore she will not have it in her mouth.

*I got really highly extremely excited over my new running shoes (shown off in my last post).  I don't run. I'm allergic to running.  I'm allergic to most exercise. I'm currently trying to beat the disease.  It's touch and go.

*I haven't worn a pair of heels in months.  The surprising part of this news is how little it upsets me.

*I might be interested in getting to know more about Lady Gaga.  I think I might enjoy her music.

*I need to sell about 10 more hats to "finance my dream."  Hurry up and order!

*The last week of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien was the best ever. He was hilarious. I wish he didn't have to leave. But he left well.  The quote in the sidebar is from that show, and it's a good one.  "Freebird" was a perfect swan song. I hope he comes back to late night.  I'll watch his show over Jay.  Except maybe for Mondays. I really enjoy Jay's Headlines bit.

*Why do people insist on asking if DRL and I will try for a boy?  What is wrong with two girls? Is my life somehow incomplete because I don't have a son?  Maybe we tried for a boy twice and failed miserably.  Or maybe we tried for girls and succeeded.  Either way, our family is complete and we are happy.  Even though we are son-less.

*I have been working out for two full weeks and have lost zero pounds.  I'm starting to think I'm exercising incorrectly.  Or that my body has decided it likes to be festively plump.

*Dear body: I do not want to be festively plump.

*I am excited to hear news of Lucinda's new baby boy's arrival.  I can't wait to cyber-meet him.

*Apple just released the iPad.  Because on top of a MacBook and an iPhone, people need an iPad.  It's an iPhone that won't fit in your pocket and a MacBook that will fit in your purse.  I'm not sure this is going to revolutionize anything.  I guess we'll see.

*I'm trying to sell my camera. It's not working so well. Much like my weight loss.  Oh sorry. I mentioned that already, didn't I?  Sore subject....

And because no blog post is complete without a photo. Here is a recent favorite...



Content May Be Disturbing to Some Viewers

I'm a big fan of The Biggest Loser.

I've been watching it for the last three or four seasons.  Every episode. Every week.

I'm in love with Bob.  He's on my "list." Even though DRL says that girls are certainly NOT on his list...

But I digress.

At the beginning of this season, Bob and Jillian challenged the contestants to bare all and stand on the scale in front of all their friends and family members.

Then they told America to have the courage to do it, too.

They said it helps motivate people to lose the weight.  Showing your peers what you really look like under all the clothes and make-up and Minolo's.  (Who am I kidding. I own zero pairs of Minolo's.)

So, readers. Here it is.  What I look like underneath the maternity jeans.
I have 20 pounds to lose.
30 if I want to get back to "Ballerina Weight."
Which I don't.
At least not really.

Okay maybe a little.

Look away if you lack a strong stomach.
Or have a touchy upchuck reflex.
Or are currently suffering from the stomach flu or morning sickness, or any other condition that might make upheaval of your evening meal more likely.
Oh...and if you have a heart condition or a history of heart disease.

This is effin' scary.

(I can't believe I actually went through with it...gulp. I feel brave. And mortified.)

This is what I look like after delivering two children.
I'm soft in the middle.
Like a jelly doughnut.

Luckily I have Jillian's 30 Day Shred.
A membership to the  YMCA.
My friend Jason who has graciously volunteered to be my trainer.
And this photo to look at.

Oh wait.

I don't need this picture.
I have a mirror. A full length one.

Excuse me, I'm going to die now.

Goodbye forever,



Today marks the two year anniversary of this small blog.

Two years.

Two camera lenses.

Two children.

Two pets.

Two minutes remaining until I completely lose what's left of my sanity.

You get the idea.

Today I was asked to take headshots of two fabulous interior designers.

A friend and her colleague.  The women behind HautHaus Design.

Their office was fantastic.

Flooded with natural light.

Even today when it's grey and cloudy and gloomy outside.

I set my camera to aperture priority, the white balance to cloud,  and the ISO to 400 and snapped away.

If you look closely at the center of this photo, you can just barely make out my reflection.

Proof that I am keeping at least one of my New Year's Resolutions.

Thank you HautHaus.
You girls are awesome.
Now come fix my house...

And happy Blog-iversary to me!



Sister Quilts

I finally finished Stella's quilt.

Anyone have a pattern for a pillowcase and/or sham?

My work here is done.



Best of 2009: Photos

These are some of my favorite photos of 2009.

Some of them you've seen before.  Others are new to the blog.

There are so many photos that I love that it was almost nearly impossible to choose these few "favorites."  But these are the photos that always jump out to me when I'm looking through iPhoto.

And so I thought I would share them with you.

A rare portrait of Elena truly smiling.

I have an 8x10 print of this.
Two actually.
One in color, one in black and white.
It's stunning either way.

This is a perfect picture of Logan's personality.
A little mischievous.
Middle name: Danger.

I call this shot Elena's "Michael Jordan."
Maybe because the basketball is black and red - the Chicago Bulls colors.
Or maybe it's the "don't you mess with me, homey" look in her eye.

This is Nadia.
We've been friends since the fourth grade.
She has always been this remarkable.
She always will be.

I cannot take credit for this photo.
DRL took it.
I just tweaked it a bit in Photoshop.
*The worm was NOT injured in the making of this photo!*

Daddy and his girl.
Playing in the park.
Photographically this might not be the greatest photo.
But just look at their faces.
This is what happy is all about.
This is bliss.

This was taken at Auntie Kristy's.
There is something about it that I just love.
The neutral colors.
The retro feel.
The pretty bow in Elena's hair.

This is how you do sultry in a wedding photo.

I can't take credit for this one either.
Jenna Reye's mom Theresea took this photo.
With my camera and a rented 50mm 1.8.

Speaking of my friends' daughters.,,
This is Erin.
She's my friend Annie's girl.
She's 18, and she's trying to figure out her place in the world.
I remember 18.  All too well.
Best of luck, Erin.
The world is your oyster.  Go out there and seize it.

I shot this the day we took Elena's two year photos.
It never made the blog.
But I did get a 5x7 print of it.
I just love the angle.
The look on Elena's face.
The color of the Autumn sky.

Tina Logan.
I guess it's Janeshek now.
She was 18 when I started working for Timberlodge.
She was a bridesmaid in my wedding.
Here she is on her wedding day.

The Walstead boys.
One in focus, the other in the background.
These two were so much fun to photograph.
It could have been the D90 I got to use to shoot them, but I think it was their spirit.
Their smiles.
The way they played.

My newest nephew.
Alan J.
He's only a few weeks old in this photo.
And precious.

There you have it.
My favorites of this past year.
So far anyway.

I might have to do a round two.

There is that photo of Nadia's ring...
And Elena eating watermelon....
And DRL skateboarding and that one of Belle..

Yeah, there will definitely be a round two.



This Just In

My 2.3 year old is potty trained.

That is all.

Thank you for listening.



What I Know For Sure

I've been the parent of two children for 20 days.  

So today, on the eve of my three-week mark, here is what I know for sure:

*"I need to go potty" can also mean I want out of my stroller/crib/pants, I don't want to take a nap, and my personal favorite, I'm looking for a reward (read: Candy) so I'm going to sit on the toilet.

*No matter what version of "I need to go potty" you're getting, you must listen to it and oblige the request.  Or you end up with poop in a perfectly good pair of Tinkerbell underpants. 

*The YMCA pool is the greatest place on the planet.  Elena asks for it daily.  Though to her it's the "YCmeA."  Which is better. I laugh every time.

*Nursing is a pain!  I know it's better for me and for the baby, but I really would like someone else to wake up in the middle of the night for a feeding or two (or three or four) one of these nights.  

*The fastest way to wake a newborn for a feeding/playtime/tummy time/pooping is to try to fall asleep yourself.  Trust me. This method is tested and proven time after time.  It's nearly 100% effective. 

*When buying an infant carseat, try it out in all positions of the backseat not just in the middle.  Or you'll end up with it installed behind your seat only to find there's no longer enough room for you to sit comfortably in your own car.  This will lead you to scour the interwebs for a new carseat that is not so ungodly huge.  And you will inevitably spend just as much money on a new carseat that you don't really need as you did on the first one that technically works just fine.  Or more.  

*Unless you plan on having larger than average babies/children, you don't need a carseat (infant carrier) that will hold a child up to 30 pounds.  Once your kid hits 15 pounds you aren't going to want to lug that carrier around anymore anyway.  It's friggen heavy.  So save yourself the backseat space, and the dollars up front, and just buy the smaller one.

*Daytime TV is horrid.

*Bouncy chairs and the Arms Reach Co-Sleeper are the stuff of legends.  I adore them.  If marriage to inanimate objects were allowed, you would be receiving a nice sheet of calligraphed parchment in your mailbox.  And soon.

*I am not a jungle gym.  I am not a jungle gym.  I am not a jungle gym.

*Huge boobs are not awesome, and they are certainly not welcome.  Not every woman (read: Me) wants to walk around with size D chesticles.  Some of us (again: Me) really enjoyed being a small B.  And would really REALLY like to go there again.  Really.

*Coffee is a miracle.  Not just a Festivus Miracle, but an every day, wake-me-up-when-I-question-my-ability-to-function miracle.

*I am far chubblier than I had hoped to be by this point.  I know...it took 9 months to put it on, so it will take 9 months to take it off...blah blah blah.  I call shenanigans on that logic.  I have to be in a swimsuit in Mexcio in three months.  You hear me Abs? Thighs? Lovehandles?  Your time on my body is severely limited.

*Jillian Michaels is mean.

 *Having two children is harder than I imagined. But it's also easier than I thought it would be, too. 

*I'm feeling a little housekept.

*Wine is delicious. Really really delicious.  Being away from it for 9 months has even turned me into a fan of red. (I think. More testing is needed....)



The Upside of Being Small

There are a lot of things small folks can do that big people can't.

Like wearing the same size clothes from the age of 11 well into adulthood.
Being able to wear adult size or kid size shoes interchangeably.
The ability to get entirely too drunk on two glasses of wine. Or bottles of beer. Or shots of vodka.  
Scratch that.
It only takes me one shot of vodka.

But Elena is not old enough for any of these special small-person privileges yet.  

So she must find some of her own.

She crawls into places not normally suited for two year olds.  

Places like this giant Land's End travel bag that Auntie Kristy gifted me for Christmas.
Or Festivus.
Or whatever.
And then we carry her around in it.
And she asks for more.
And we have to say no because we are horribly out of shape.

(Yes, Hello? YMCA? I'd like to sign up please...)

Her next frontier?
Probably the Dryer.
She asks to go into the refrigerator quite frequently...but luckily we manage to keep it stocked well enough with food for there to be no room for her. 

This might change...

With Burning Biceps,


Sleep When Baby Sleeps

That's what the experts say.
That's what everyone says.

But me?
I'm not a napper, you see.  
Never have been.

I wake up from naps feeling groggy.
Bogged down.
Like I'm moving through Corn Syrup.

So while Stella, DRL and Elena nap everyday from noon to 2...

I knit.

I blame my utter lack of any baby blues or postpartum depression on this one simple hobby.

It's also why my head and neck will be warm for the remainder of the winter.

(If I ever manage to get out of the house again!)

I made a hat.  Elena and Stella each got one that looks EXactly like this one.

And I made a Neckie.  I prefer to call it a Cowl.  Or a neck-warmer. 
I'll let you pick your own favorite nomenclature.

(I'm starting on matching mittens during tomorrow's nap!)

Now, I couldn't have done any of this knitting as easily or neatly as I have done it without this gift from my dear friend Rebecca:
What is it? you ask...

Let me unroll it and show you:

Ta Da!
Thank You Thank You Thank You Rebecca.  I LOVE this thing. 

Maybe "love" isn't a strong enough word....
My spidey-sense is tingling...and Stella is stirring.



What kind of blogger would I be if I didn't post a list of things I hope to do or not do in 2010?

So as not to leave any of you 3.75 readers disappointed (yes! my readership has increased!), here are my resolutions.
In bullet point fashion.
'Cuz that's how I roll.

*I, like nearly everyone else in this large (pun-intended) country, would like to lose weight this year.  Primarily in the next 12 weeks, and in the amount of 20 pounds. At least.  25 would be nice.
*I resolve to grow out my hair.  And then cut it all off again.  Maybe.
*I resolve to add an arm tattoo to my collection.  
*I resolve to book at least one paying photography job. And not screw it up.
*I resolve to knit something for myself (besides a hat)
*I resolve to potty train my 2.3 year old.
*I resolve to do better at my job (when I return) and increase my earning potential.
*I resolve to be the best wife and mother I can be, and then do a little bit better still.
*I resolve to not use my middle finger or curse words while driving. At least not while the kids are in the car.
*I resolve to take more photos. And then post them.
*I resolve not to get pregnant again. Ever. And would like to take a moment to sincerely thank my uterus for the great work it has done.  Seriously. You rock.  I mean it.  And your services are no longer needed.  May you enjoy your retirement.

Just because...
here is a list of things I would like to do, but won't...

*Start smoking again.
*Drink heavily.
*Incur mass amounts of credit card debt buying Minolo's, Gucci Sunglasses, and high-end jeans.
*Eat a box of chocolate every day.

Oh yeah....

And I resolve to start allowing DRL to take photos of me with our girls.  And then not delete them when he shows me the photo.  I then resolve to try to like these photos of myself.  I'm sure my girls won't care that I don't like the way my nose looks. Or how chubby my right elbow looks (I cropped it out).  They'll enjoy looking at photos of themselves with their mama.  

Photos like this:
Happy New Year Friends.
May it be filled with cigarettes, tattoos, alcohol, and love.