Isaac | 17 Months

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dude, slow down! You are into everything and it seems that you can understand so much all ready! In the past month your vocabulary has virtually exploded!

We really need to work on your "please" and "thank you's," because you're now saying "more" and "get it." Yikes!

I was reading the other day new information regarding pregnancy and breast milk effecting a child's taste preferences and I am so glad that I ate as varied as I did! You rarely ever turn up any variety of food and would generally opt for fruit over sweets . . . generally. :) You're still mastering a utensil, but no longer get as frustrated as you used to.

Grandma had a new baby start at daycare, so you have been going "nanight" during the day in the pack and play for almost a month now! You don't even cry for Grandma, if only it were as easy at home.

We've also been working on trying to get you to fold your hands and say grace with us before meals. The other night you were trying to interlace your fingers, so we might be on to something!

Love you sweet guy.

The Makings of an Outift

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This post should again start with the largest thank you ever to Gina Zeidler. Have I said her name enough? Do you guys know that when I'm assisting a wedding it's for her [usually]. When I mention my friend Gina, it's her [always]. She's amazing and well, she actually owns me for about $1300 between the 5D and this session that I'll be working off from her. Creating beautiful images almost every weekend while enjoying the company of one of my best friends for the trade of bettering my product and reveling in her yummy images of my family, yeah I think I got a killer deal. :)

Let me tell you guys, given that our family session was first scheduled for August 25th, I've had quite a bit of time to mull over our outfits. Toss in a bit of apprehension knowing we'd be doing some promotion shots for my site and uncertainty over the weather conditions and I probably had 5-6 outfits I was tossing about in my mind. This one though? This one was solid. I thought we looked like a million bucks, but wanted to share with you just how far from that this family outfit actually cost. It just blows my mind that the final dollar amounted to $79.
Leah and Co Cull0322
Previously owned::
Tony: Blazer, shirt, tie, jeans shoes.
Leah: Undershirt, tights and boots.
Isaac: Shirt*, vest,* socks and jeans.

Tony: Merona Sweater from Target.
Leah: Dress from Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse in WSP + Target Cardi on TPC.
Isaac: Tie + Levi's shoes I pined over. :)

*My Mom purchased in Florida while I was still pregnant with Isaac. The Carter's shirt was $7 and the Gap vest was $4.97! Incredible.

My absolutely favorite purchase was Isaac's little tie. The wonders of Etsy never cease and I bought through Babybystevie's shop!

I know how much anxiety planning outfits can cause, so I just wanted to put it out there that you should start with what you all ready own. Figure out the style of the photos you want, either dressy or casual and go from there! You'd be amazed at what you can pull together with limited embellishment and additional money spent. That said, I know half the fun can be shopping for the new clothes!
Leah and Co Cull0333
My husband's hot. My boy never fails to make me smile.

All too often I think most people tend to simplify their clothing choices for family photos. While there is certainly nothing wrong with this, the pictures can be a little dull. Ideally at least one print or pattern can be interspersed with pops of contrasting colors. This adds variety and movement to the image. It is a delicate balance between the three though of too simple - just right - gharish. And that's not to say that I think I nailed it with our choices. I almost think that our outfits were just a little safe and wish there had been an additional pop of color.

I had to laugh when I told Gina about our 2nd look though. By describing it as all of us wearing plaid, I'm sure she expected the worst!
Leah and Co Cull0334
I believe that these plaids go together smoothly without being crazy on the eyes due to the ample amount of solid color. By wearing my cardigan over my plaid, putting a polo over Isaac's and showing long sleeves with Tony's plaid I allowed the eye to rest. This look was a bit more than the first mainly because we purchased the trendy plaid. To the dollar this second family outfit was $100.

I just want to encourage those of you who have fall sessions coming up yet to go a little bit out of your comfort zone. Consult with your photographer as well! When choosing a location you should be in cahoots to determine the look you want to achieve. Due to this, they should be a great option to bounce outfit ideas off of. They should want to help you with this as well, else they could be stuck with boring or zany! :) I've gotten extremely lucky this fall with fantastic clients who've paired their family outfits together so well! Some have consulted me and I've loved knowing that they respected my opinion.

There are a few great resources floating around right now for fall photography outfit inspiration! Check them out:
Erin Farrell Photography
Kelly Ridgell Photography

Family Session Video

Monday, September 27, 2010

This video is an absolute treasure to me. It is the culmination of a picture perfect beautiful day, spent with my favorite people. I sat with Gina after the sessions, viewed every picture, watched every clip and yet every time I have viewed this video, knowing full well what I'll see, I have cried. Don't even get me started on the song choice that Gina picked, Dave Barnes - God Gave Me You. Jump here for a larger view. I know a lot of you have all ready seen this on facebook, so feel free to skip on over it lol.

Leah + Tony + Isaac from Gina Zeidler on Vimeo.

Can you believe she's just been dabbling in videography?
Does anyone else laugh that the opening shot is Tony's crotch? No, just me? Perfect.

So Blessed | Our Family Session Sneak

Remember my sour, salty attitude? Yeah, Tony totally checked it at the door for me on Thursday when we left his parents house. And guess what? I seemed to have forgotten it there.

Friday night I was able to meet up with Laura and Joey, Tony's cousins and have their 18 month session with their daughter Sydney. I found the most fantastic photo location at the Elm Creek Park Reserve. I hope to direct more sessions there in the near future! I love this family!

After our breezy cool session, we were invited over to warm up with chili for dinner at their new townhouse! It was such a treat and the little 2nd cousins played so well together. We were out until past 10:00, which is craziness. We all crashed as soon as we got home.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early to prep for a client meeting with a potential bride and her Mom. The first thing I did though was check the weather and the forecasted day long rain suddenly showed partly clouds at 6:00. I was filled with hope for our family session before I headed out for my meeting. We met at the local Caribou and I abstained from purchasing. [pattingmyselfontheback] I think that the meeting went really well, even though I don't have a sales pitch. I showed a slideshow of Robin and Scott's wedding and answered both of their sheets of questions. We seem to be a good fit and they were both really nice! I'm really hopeful they'll book, because the fall '11 wedding sound beautiful.

After the meeting I went home and there still wasn't any rain! I checked the forecast again and it now showed the clouds and rain clearing at 3:00! I quick shot a text message to my friend Beth, who's passion is makeup, and told her I thought that the session was actually going to happen! Unfortunately due to my poor communication, Beth thought that I hated my makeup trial and on top of that, when she didn't hear from me until the day of, thought that I was trying to avoid her. We talked it out and I think she believes me that I wasn't trying to get out of her doing my makeup, but rather truly believed that the session wouldn't happen. Suddenly the pressure was on me to my makeup and I was scared to screw it up, but I channeled the style Beth did for the trial and was happy with how it turned out!

Can I just tell you guys how much of a blessing Gina is to me? I mean it's not fair that she shares her heart with everyone, is incredibly kind and loves Jesus, but on top of that, she's ridiculously talented. Adding to the ever growing list of indebtedness, both tangibly and non, check out a sneak.
Leah and Co Cull0334

Leah and Co Cull0331

Leah and Co Cull0327

On top of these, she also took pictures for my new photography blogsite, which will hopefully be up and running by the end of October! I finally bit the bullet and am in contract with a logo designer who has the experience to draw out what it is that I actually desire for a logo. I've tried to communicate my ideas, but either my ideas aren't actually what I want or I just really suck at describing abstract thoughts. I'll be waiting to share my photos until the blogsite is up. Starting to feel slightly unstuck you guys!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Last night's special dinner almost didn't happen.

I don't think I fully explained yesterday that in not wanting to a see a negative, it wasn't solely because I wanted to be pregnant. I could handle not being pregnant. Being honest to my toes here, I really truly was okay with not getting pregnant. I could handle my body functioning normally and the inevitable beginning of my cycle. There's just something about the slap to the face that the HPT provides with a negative result. Using a digital is honestly worse. That's why I made the pact with myself, with my body, with Tony to wait until the 23rd. The thing is, I didn't really ask God if my pact was kosher. I made the rules.

And to some extent, I think that's why I got the BFN. The one thing I didn't want to see. Because in my world, with my rules that I played by, I was supposed to get a BFP. I waited! How ironic that my post was titled "Not as Planned." Hah! I think in all reality that what I'm struggling with the most right now is relinquishing that I do not get to plan my life. I've felt so out of control since Isaac has been born, with so many things happening to us, that I've been trying to fight back. I have the bruise marks on my ego and soul to prove it.

I tried to keep fighting yesterday too.

I skipped fighting with God. When I spoke with Him, I was reserved and resigned, albeit just a bit hopeful. I spout my absolute faith in His plan for us and believe it, but sometimes it's only until I stop talking. That's when I try to pick up the fight again.

With myself.

With Tony.

We made 6:30 reservations at Nicollet Island Inn [gotta love Groupon! My Mom gifted us with a $50 Groupon + cash] and Tony assured me that he would make it on time. Somewhere between that phone call and two hours later . . . we were pinched for time. Our plans turned into a fight, as Tony asked if I could grab clothes for him at home and instead of him fighting traffic. He wanted to wait at his parents who were going to watch Isaac and I obviously needed to drive to them anyway.

The conversation went like this:

Tony: Leah, what's wrong?!
Me: Nothing, I'm fine. Whatever. So, I'll just meet you at your Mom's.
Tony: No, I'll just come home.
Me: What? Why?
Tony: [long sigh] It just doesn't even seem like you want to go.
Me: I don't want to go. I just don't even care if go tonight. [Thinking in my mind that it would be just one more FAIL on my bloglist, just as I predicted]
Tony: I think we should go.
Me: Fine.

At home though, I caught on to the planning issue. That my negative attitude was primarily fixated upon the upheaval of my plans. Growing up with an overprotective Mom, one of my favorite Bible verses is: So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:25-34). As these fleeting thoughts went through my head, I was reminded of how trivial my worries truly are.

Internal monologue: You could die right now, as you pick up the clothes from the floor next to the bed. Dead. Now. Your heart could just stop beating. You just read an article about it happening. Or Tony. He could all ready be dead. Within 5 seconds of getting off of the phone. Car accident. Done. There's no point in worrying or being upset about your plans Leah.

I'd like to say that this dramatically lifted my mood, but when Gina called about 20 minutes later, I was still clinging to it pretty fierce. Apathy. Oh how I love to try it on for just a bit, it feels so comforting and I convince myself that I wear it well. My friends and family know better though and within 4 sentences Gina was calling me out. Again, I want to say that our conversation pulled me through, but as soon as I saw Tony I wanted him to have to deal with my sour attitude as I walked through the rain decked out in high heels, Isaac on my hip and a paper bag with clothes pre-ironed for Tony.

Tony wouldn't have it though. He was bound and determined that we would have a good night. Finally, with one look of him like this:
I let go.

We had an amazing date and ate hands down one of the best meals of my life. My eyes roll back in my head when I try to describe. All I'm going to say is that who knew pureed parsnips would ever rocks my socks? Divine.

It was a salve to the wound I prepared the whole day. God is so good to us, providing us with love from all around in friends, family and casual acquaintance.

Not as Planned.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

So, remember how excited I was for the coming days when I posted on Tuesday?

- Wednesday night: Family session which may need to be rescheduled.
-------Fail, session rescheduled. Additionally, Tony was given tickets to the Wild preseason game, due to my session though he had asked a friend to join him, which left me sitting at home.

- Thursday morning: If no cycle, test for pregnancy.
-------Fail, big fat negative.

- Thursday night: Hopefully going to use our anniversary present from my Mom for dinner.
-------Fail, absolutely no desire to celebrate tonight.

I really hope that these go well . . .
- Friday night: Family session with our friends, who also happen to be Tony's cousins.
- Saturday morning: Wedding consult with potential bride and her mother.
- Sunday ALL DAY: Mini sessions, including two fabulous bloggers: Jeannie and Bethany.

I've been posting on the TTCAL (trying to conceive after a loss) board and announced my intentions to set a date to POAS (pee on a stick). I did not want to waste a HPT (home pregnancy test) nor see a negative, so I told both myself and Tony that I would not test until well after my cycle was due. Today was CD32, absolutely no symptoms of my cycle, so at 5:00am I woke up with one thought on my mind. I prayed as I laid in bed that God's will be done and that I read the outcome of the test with accepting heart. With that I quickly ran downstairs. I'd be lying if I said I didn't think I was pregnant, more than not.

When I told Tony my plan to test today, Sept 23, he asked that we look at the test together. He said that he loved my surprising him the last two times, but that this time, he'd rather we found out together. So I carefully flipped the test upside down and brought it upstairs to wait the three minutes.

We turned it together and I didn't even read the words clearly, but immediately saw that their were two. Not pregnant.

Bummer dude.

Tony quickly asked, "There's still a chance, right?" But no, given how late I am, I don't think there's a chance. It was a good digital test and I don't think we would be so lucky to have a false negative.

I don't really feel like celebrating tonight much at all now.

I know that it's not logical, but I think I was disillusioned by our history of going 2/2 on the first cycle out. I know it's in God's timing, as all things are. I just need some time to realize that it's not now for whatever reason.

I'm going to continue charting, but will not get over zealous about this. I can't. It's all ready taken up too many of my thoughts.

I Want to Cut Isaac's Hair.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's finally happened.

I have a desire to cut my baby boy's hair.

For the longest time, it was just completely absent. We both love his curls and it seemed apparent to us that others do as well, given that it is generally the first comment we hear towards his appearance.

But now, when I see that my little one is no longer very little and is in fact a boisterous toddling boy, there is a lot of emotional hang up to me in the length and curl of his hair. His first cut will definitely be full of meaning, as a transition from infant to little boy.

I wrote this post on weaning, which to me directly tied his curly hair to weaning to his need for me. The latter part of that sentence is a surprise to me. It wasn't even a fragment of a thought when I wrote the first "I" above, but it's no less true. I did not want to cut Isaac's hair previously to show the world my big boy, one who is all ready growing and developing away from me.

And then, Tony and I had a grand idea that we would cut Isaac's hair with a Big Brother t-shirt. We could think of no less dramatic or fun announcement to our pregnancy. All of the focus on Isaac, until a keen eye read the wording of his shirt, such a literal and figurative change in our family. I was close to purchasing a t-shirt on etsy, but never went through with the purchase. Obviously unneeded now.

This post seems rife with angst over a trivial haircut, but it isn't so silly to me. The fact that I am ready and want to cut his hair seems very important, but not a conversation to take place in person. I'm so glad for the opportunity to share these thoughts here.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

- I didn't take a single personal photo over the weekend. Not a single, single one. I'm really bummed out about it, especially when I sit down to blog!

- Weekend went by in a blur, as they usually do now. I took a half day at work on Friday to shoot a wedding, followed up by assisting Gina on Saturday. Thankfully our day was shorter on Saturday, because we were darn near delirious by the end of the night! Usually I'm just the one babbling nonsense that I think is funny, with Gina driving and questioning where her sane friend went. Saturday night though, I'm happy to say Gina was right there with me. We made absolutely no sense to each other!

- Both Isaac and I are recovering from a cold right now. I thought it was severe allergies . . . but it's proven otherwise.

- Can I just tell you guys how excited I am for this weekend? We just need to make it there first . . .
- Wednesday night: Family session which may need to be rescheduled.
- Thursday night: Hopefully going to use our anniversary present from my Mom for dinner.
- Friday night: Family session with our friends, who also happen to be Tony's cousins.
- Saturday morning: Wedding consult with potential bride and her mother.
- Sunday ALL DAY: Mini sessions, including two fabulous bloggers: Jeannie and Bethany.

Seriously, so excited for this weekend and several unexpected turn of events recently to be mentioned in due time. Here's a sneak peak of one of Isaac's outfits for our family pictures:

Really Gap?

Friday, September 17, 2010

I have two favorite stores for my family: American Eagle and Gap.

Thankfully one of these stores has sales and discounts more regularly than the other and Tony and I are able to traipse about like teenagers quite a bit, cue American Eagle. I've made peace with the fact that I've probably outgrown their normal clientele in age, but was heartened when I found out that they had a kids line. No, not because I want my child branded, but because that meant there were others out there like me, who just can't bear the thought of being too old to wear American Eagle. And again, it's not about the brand, because I no longer care enough to let the world know where I bought my shirt, rather I finally pinpointed my main affinity to AE: They always have a cute blue shirt. All.ways. Unlike a lot of stores whose colorways flux with trendy tones, AE consistently has a blue option for me. And let me just say, much like this blog indicates, it's rare to see me wear much other than a blue or cool colored outfit.

I mean, I wear blue on blue . . . on blue:

I just had it ingrained into my head when I was little that I must wear blue because it brought out my eyes and I've never looked back.
Date Night_0006

The other store that I love is Gap and well, to be fair, not even Gap itself, but rather Baby Gap. Baby Gap is like crack to the pregnant or new mother. It's just not even fair how cute their clothes are (or were). It's funny to me though, for how much I peruse their inventory that I've actually only bought 3 or 4 onesies and was gifted this adorable sweatshirt by my friend Abby. Embarrassing to admit, Isaac has had it thrown on him in these past few weeks even though it's way too small for him now!

I'm not sure if it's just a distance from the post baby haze or if it really is a reduction in their clothes appeal, but I'm able to resist Gap even more strongly now. Before it was more for monetary reasons . . . now, it's totally because I don't think their clothes are that cute nor affordable.

What really got me going the last time I was in there though were these little guys. Cute, little onesies, the soft screenprinted kind that totally lured me in when my infatuation first began. See, here's the Dad one, with adorable puppers:

So, of course I look for the Mom one. Oop! Found it. Ewwww:

Really Gap? Really? A dog for the Dad's and an elephant for the Mom? What in the world were you thinking?! As if a mother isn't all ready feeling a bit larger than normal, you throw on a monstrous animal on to the "I love Mommy" onesie? No wonder it's all ready on clearance . . .

The Real Story

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Behind the new kitchen flooring . . .

Due to Tony's track record with our home projects [he does just fine working for other people], and their typical duration, I couldn't help but be skeptical of his decision to remove the old tile and lay the new over a long holiday weekend that included two weddings for myself.

As I was taking those cute pictures of Isaac enthralled by Tony's handiwork, my mouth was of course jawwing away. I laid into Tony a bit as to whether or not his project was feasible and he told me his plan for completion, which included bringing Isaac to his Mom's while I was shooting my wedding on Sunday.

A few minutes later, Tony hollered to me from the kitchen:

Tony: This is going decently quick!
Me: Hah! Name one project in this house that has gone decent or quick.
Tony: Wellll . . . I can think of one other thing that wasn't decent, but was quick.
Me: [appalled] TONY! You just compared our sex life to the kitchen floor! And not even decent at that!
Tony: Not decent, it's great!

He will never live this one down.

Especially when I sent a quick text to Gina:
Me: Tony just compared our sex life to ripping up the kitchen floor.
Gina: You guys got hardwood floor???? :)

The next day Gina and Matt had a little get together and Tony comes busting in bursting to share with Matt that he'd been working on a project, of course he opens with:

Tony: Did you hear about my new kitchen floor?!
Matt: I've heard more about your new hardwood floor than I should have!

HAHAHAHA. I hope this made some of you at least laugh!

Flooring Help

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oh say, about 3 years ago, Tony and I were stumbling around Menard's and got a fabulous idea to redo our kitchen floor. We bought some premium vinyl flooring [yes, such a thing exists], the grout and gave ourselves a pat on the back for paying in full with cash. I have no idea how much it was or wasn't, but the point was that we were purchasing things as we could to prepare for projects without going into debt.

And that's pretty much been the only thing remarkable about the purchase, because it's sat in a crawlspace ever since.

That is until 8:30pm Friday, August 27th when Tony suddenly decided he wanted to tear up the kitchen floor. Immediately. There's no real mystery in why. This is the nastiness that we've tread upon for the past few years. Blech. This is how good it looks when clean. Imagine when not.

So Tony got to work tearing it up. And this is where Isaac sat. Just watching his Daddy work away.

He really, really wanted to help though.

He even seems to be imitating Tony in this picture, like "I can do it Dad!"

So a few nights later, it was no surprise that Isaac wanted to help lay the tile. Note the original 1940's flooring:

Daddy approved of his help, but did go on to finish the project as intended Monday night:20100908_0224

I'll have an updated picture with the floor in place soon! It's such a nice change from the white country kitchen vinyl that had clearly seen better days!

*More to come of Isaac in this outfit, as it's one we'll be using for our family pictures on the 25th! I don't want to spoil the look though, because it's super cute. :) My Mom got the outfit [Gap vest and Carter's long sleeve] at an Outlet in Florida while I was just pregnant with Isaac! The vest was only $4.97!

I want . . .

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

these shoes! Seriously, they have been in my dreams since I saw them at Burlington Coat Factory when I stopped by last Thursday. They actually aren't the color shown either, but I can't find the charcoal ones online. They're just $20 and Isaac needs shoes, but for some reason I passed them by . . . bad choice. Bad choice.

Levi's Lo Bucks
Isaac's fast outgrowing his current shoes and let me tell you, live and learn: velcro or slip-ons do not work well with intrigued toddlers! Within one second they are pulled off so that Isaac can try to put them back on himself. Yikes.

Cuts to the Quick

This is the mischievous little boy that runs around my house, sometimes roaring, othertimes laughing, but always up to something:

See that twinkle in his eye? That's the look that scares me to death. The one that exhilarates me and startles me to the core that I am responsible for the well being and development of an actual child who breathes and lives older each day. To think that I only ponder these thoughts at this depth so long after his arrival.

Back when Tony and I were young and carefree, aka Before Baby Bless, we thought we were cautious. We thought we had an understanding and a concept of loss. My Mom wanted nothing more than to attend an ultrasound, but I knew that they were not a novelty. I understood that the baby's "pictures" could very easily tell us a very different outcome than that which we daydreamed about. I couldn't let my Mom come with, because if we were in that situation, the one that we have now survived, with the image of a lifeless baby. No quickening on the screen of a beating heart, I wanted to only share it with Tony.

Now that we have experienced such an ultrasound and I have been admitted into a group that I never wanted to gain membership, that of pregnancy loss, my eyes have truly been opened. My relationship with Jesus has evolved to included new dimensions and I have overwhelmingly been reminded of my small mindedness prior to our loss of Josiah.

I thought that I was circumspect. I thought I understood. Ever since Isaac was born I've had to examine his very existence, because if ever he were to not . . . But what really get's me going now, through the abundance of stories I've subjected myself to in the past almost two months, is how frivolous I really did take my pregnancy. I completely viewed it through rose tinted glasses. Even through the delivery, I took the situation too lightly. I mull over my awareness, wondering if I even took notice of Isaac's movements within me in those final hours. I realize now how I never even considered a less than perfect outcome. Blessed baby and life that we live.

Seeing my baby develop into such a little boy has also opened my eyes to his exuberant zest. The undeniable boyness that cloaks him and suggests he teeter just a bit closer and longer near danger. Of course he doesn't understand these ideas now, just the simple thrill and exhilaration of jumping and falling - not comprehending how very easily that thrill could result differently due to a misplaced foot or sharp edge of a toy.

What a remarkable opportunity to raise and protect my amazing child. With God's help we will. That much has also been abundantly made clear these past two years, God has a hand on our family. When we are not walking in His way, it has been pretty dang clear. It is fruitless for us to try to advance our plans without prayer.

I don't even care that this picture is out of focus. Okay, that's a lie. I do care, but not enough that it surpasses how much I like this photo!

Back to Being a Teenager

Monday, September 13, 2010

I've never been one to have beautiful skin. I've heard it once or twice in my life and have immediately laughed, because I knew one or two things were true when said:
a) It was a beauty professional in a service situation.
b) They didn't know what else to say, so they said what came easily to them.
and the general consensus,
c) It absolutely was not true.

Don't get me wrong, there have been periods of my life in which I thought I had fair skin, where my acne was under control and seemed to respond to medication. But I have never been one to skip easily out of the house without a nary thought to the condition of my skin. It's been a battle.

In high school there were various prescribed medications and a few dabbles with proactiv, but nothing necessarily with lasting results. When I suspect the hormones started to shake out at the beginning of college, I found that 10% benzoyal peroxide was my best bet. I ended the experiments with gentle cleansers, scrubs and burning masks and stuck to what seemed to reasonably work: Oxy.

For the past at least 5 years it has been my best friend, even as the price tag kept rising. About two months ago I began to get really frustrated with Target as they seemed to be continually out of the face wash and topical cream. So I turned to Walgreen's and they too did not carry my beloved product.

Finally, in it's place the shelves were stocked with a new product.

And now I'm screwed. Against my better judgment, I bought it. Even though the last few years the retail/drug store variety acne solutions have hailed salcylic acid as a miracle product and have almost wholesale changed every offering from benzoyal peroxide, it does not change that it fails to effect my face, at all.

I'm back at square one folks, three weeks later. I have the proof that this "clinical treatment" sucks.

Hello, again.

Only one post last week?! That's craziness.

This past weekend was my "long" 4 day weekend. In this time, I:

- had an interesting potential client meeting.
- edited half of a wedding.
- snuggled my baby boy.
- allowed my husband to snuggle me.
- shot a wedding at a gorgeous location.
- survive a horde of mosquitoes.
- drove 3 hours to Marshall and back.
- successfully left Isaac for his first overnight with my Mom.
- oh yeah, I failed to mention that one didn't I?
- we left Isaac for the first time and he of course was not traumatized. :)
- Isaac slept the whole night in the pack and play!
- played a full 90 minute game of soccer against 18 year old girls.
- survived 90 minutes of soccer against ridiculously conditioned young girls.
- seriously barely survived.
- super thankful to have been coached by the woman who brought me to the program, as opposed to the one they have now.
- spent over 5 hours at the Varsity Pub, which only sounds worse than it actually was.
- in reality we ate there before everyone else arrived. Paninos + chili cheese fries + beer = happy tummy.
- picked up with soccer girls like we haven't lived our lives apart for 4 years.
- drove back to the Cities in record time.
- received a slightly less enthusiastic welcome from Isaac than Allie, our dog.
- enjoyed a picnic lunch with my parents at Como Zoo.
- showed Isaac all that the Como Zoo has to offer!
- split off from my family to do Erin's family session near the Oktoberfest on Saint Anthony Main.
- loved on a sweet newborn way too much! Judah was such a sweet sleeping cutie!
- drove home to pack up my family and head to my Dad's for a couple of hours.
- returned home at 9:00 and crashed, hard.

There will definitely be pictures to come.

Stream of Consciousness

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I pulled up blogger this morning and I have this overwhelming desire to write. Of course there's just one problem with this opportunity, I'm not sure what I want to say.

I feel like it's been awhile since I wrote something important, and by important, I mean important to me. Something that's burdened me or that I've needed to describe so that it can be released from my mind to be interpreted by time.

So, I'll settle for the thoughts that are mulling around.

I survived this weekend, I think. I had a wedding on Saturday as well as Sunday. Due to this I didn't really feel like I had a three day weekend, but rather a regular weekend in which I only had Sunday off but worked twice as hard. It's such a blessing though. These weddings have long been anticipated and I'm growing by leaps and bounds with each one. This was my sneak board from Sunday's wedding:

This coming week will be interesting, as it's all ready Tuesday, and I have both Thursday and Friday off. Friday I again have a wedding for a former co-worker and then on Saturday I'm going down to Marshall for my alumni game. I really wanted to be in shape for the game . . . but I'll be coming in like most alumni do and will suck wind to show a bit of face. I really hope it will be fun!

I can't seem to keep up with email, either personal or business. Some are understanding, others not so much. I hate disappointing people, especially if they read my personal blog. It actually drives me crazy, but I'm trying to let it go. I am not superwoman, that has been abundantly made clear to me this year. Running a business is much like parenting in which you always think that you'll do something different, until you're in that situation you just never know.

My son is ridiculously cute and big. I keep looking at 18-24 month clothing thinking that it won't fit him . . . and then I regret not getting it on him sooner because it's all ready shrinking on him! Yesterday morning we woke up leisurely around 8:30 and Isaac didn't want to stop cuddling with me. It's like he was acknowledging my feelings that I haven't been around enough. Super cute and sad at the same time, but I totally soaked it up.

And sadly, that might be the extent of the thoughts bouncing around today.


Friday, September 3, 2010

- Last weekend was amazing and brutal, but lets focus on the amazing. Thursday night was hands down my best newborn session ever. When I see the work I'm doing now it makes me want to cry looking back on my pictures of Isaac, thank goodness I knew better than to just take pictures myself and had Amy and Gina take some as well!

- Friday night I had a rescheduled family session up in North Branch. It was rescheduled because I forgot about it. Yes, you read that right. Four minutes before I was to arrive I saw my reminder flashing on my phone. My heart absolutely dropped below the floor as I frantically searched my emails for confirmation. I swore that we had moved their session, but alas it was a different family session. I was visiting with my Dad and Stepmom and quickly ran out the door, leaving them to watch Isaac. I called Darci along the way and she suggested we reschedule as her twin boys were vying for sleep as it was. Although I was mortified it turns out it happened for a reason, neither her 2 year old daughter or 9 month old twin boys had napped at all that day. They'd all ready been worried about our session, so it worked well for all parties to reschedule. Thankfully. I learner my lesson with minimal damage!

- Saturday I shot from 10-9 at Robin and Scott's wedding. Let me tell you, it was a blast and a half. I especially love weddings now where the ceremony and reception are at the same location because they are so relaxed. They are night and day different from those at two locations. I'll be doing a full blog post on my photography blog . . . as soon as the images are edited. :)

-Sunday I again had a twin session with a friend from high school. Her daughters Blake and Addison are quite the cuties and had personalities to match! These girls are going to definitely be lively ones!

After the twin session I had just enough time to finish uploading all images before heading on out for Brynna's birthday party. She's the sweetie of our friend's Abby and Mike. I just can't believe she's all ready a year old, because I can still remember their conversation in which they realized they were both ready to start their family! Pure gold, I still get teary eyed thinking about it because it was such a cool conversation to be a part of! Anywhoo, back to the party!

The birthday girl! Check out those eyelashes and beautiful eyes!

She absolutely hammed it up while we were singing Happy Birthday! Totally batting her eyes and loving everyone giving her so much attention.

The hands up were just too funny!

Love this family so much

- We have to keep the highchair locked away now, because if we turn our back for one second Isaac will climb it! The other night while my friend Nancy was over to pick up our camping stove, Isaac did it so fast I thought Tony had actually put him in his high chair! It's craziness. I want to get a video of it, but then again, I don't want to encourage the behavior.

- It's fall in Minnesota . . . at least for the next few days! We literally went from high 80's and humidity to a cool and blustery 57*. It's amazing and I'm totally wearing the same cardigan that I've worn to work 2 other days, one being at the fair, this week. I don't think anyone has noticed and I really could care less lol.

- Isaac really doesn't like the transition from shorts to jeans. He keeps pulling at his pant legs, like what the heck Mom? As I was thinking about this I remembered the transition as well. A summer full of shorts made my thighs feel really skinny within the confines of covered legs. Does anyone else remember that feeling? It's not a recent memory for me, as I rarely ever wear shorts so I have not had that same sense of being accustomed to them in a long time.

- Isaac said "Out" for the first time Wednesday night. It was so adorable, because it started out sounding a little funny, but as it became more and more clear so did his determination in saying what he meant. To confirm what he was saying we asked him to show us "Out" and he got up off the couch and walked us to the door. He just picks something up everyday . . . now to finally say "Up" instead of "Down" . . .

- Tony is working as needed with the remodeling company he first started out with. He loved the company so much, but unfortunately they just grew too fast right when the construction industry began to sink. They swelled to 30 employees before they had to begin laying off. Tony was one of the last to go, I think he was only the 4th or 5th left . . . The good thing is that he's figured at the rate they are paying him, if he works 4 days a week [which is not guaranteed] he'll make more than what they were paying themselves for the lawn care. This is great because Tony was working 6 days a week, driving 2 hours everyday, leaving the house at 6:30 only to return at 7:00. There's got to be an upshot there, right? The unknown of how much they will use him though is definitely scary.

- I really wanted to update my facebook status with "What does it take to get knocked up around here?" but only sent it to Tony as a text message instead. He laughed, but said he was glad I refrained as we're both pretty sure we wouldn't be happy with some of the responses or offers. ;) In all seriousness though with all of the uncertainty surrounding Tony's employment and how a summer baby would effect my photography business I think we've both relinquished control to God, finally. Our 2nd child will only come in His timing, so we might as well let Him set us on the correct course.

- This weekend is another huge business weekend for me as I have a double header wedding weekend! That's right, both Saturday and Sunday will feature big days and I'm so excited to team up again with Abbey Feldkamp. It's going to be a fun weekend for sure!

- Finally, please keep our family in your prayers as my Stepdad's Mom passed away late Wednesday night. She has been in failing health for the past year or so, so my family has made several visits to her in Texas, but even with a gradual decline this still feels so unexpected. Being a parent now, something just struck me about my Stepdad's position in life now, without his parents. Life is just so precious. My Mom and Dusty will be going to Texas for the funeral, so prayers for their safe travel are also appreciated.

The Greatest Fair of All

Thursday, September 2, 2010

As I mentioned in my last post, my employer whisked us away to the Great Minnesota Get Together on Tuesday. Let me tell you, it was the best company picnic ever! I mean we got to get out of work to do something that most people would do anyway, weren't forced to sit around and chat with people that we all ready spend too much time with and were provided with free admission, beverages, food vouchers and transportation [if you chose to take the bus, Tony came and picked me up with Isaac]! We pretty much had the best fair trip ever. Last year we went after work and tried to jam everything into a few hours, this time we were at the fair for almost 8 hours! We parked a bit closer this year for $8 and Tony used his phone to ensure that we'd be able to find our car later, although it was unnecessary.

After picking up the only nonfood item of the purchases at the fair, more to come on this, we ran into our good friend Jon working the trunk organizers.

I wanted to be sure to have a family picture, so even though the lighting is poor and we're standing outside of the bathroom, we had Jon take our picture.

Isaac desperately needed a nap, but even that couldn't deter him from expressing his happiness over the "doggy" lamb. Out of focus picture thanks to Tony . . . he'll get the hang of it eventually I'm sure. I hope. :)

Much better!

He loved the Miracle of Birth barn! There was so much to look at!

He didn't quite know what to make of the calf, but he sure loved petting it.

Sadly the majority of the horses for the day were being shown or were to compete that evening so most of the rows were cordoned off. Major pouting going on by me, but Isaac was impervious sitting up on Tony's shoulders.

Boys and their toys.

Isaac ate a bit of everything, just as we did!

Num, num, mama!

We stood around the Corn Roast for at least 10 minutes hoping to run into someone we knew like we did last year. Sadly it didn't happen again, so we had to settle for a self portrait.

Tony got it into his head that he wanted to start a Giant Slide tradition, so up he went with Isaac. They charged $2 for each of them, major rip, but oh well. New family tradition . . . although Isaac wasn't much of a fan.

Still fighting his nap, even though I saw conked out boys his age in strollers everywhere, we went into this awesome booth!

Isaac is going to enjoy this soooo much next year!

Again running into someone we knew, this time one of Tony's cousins, we got a pic infront of the "corn field."

Isaac wasn't quite tall enough to pedal, but he was still impressed by the tractor tricycle, as was Tony. ;)

Isaac finally fell asleep around 6:00 or so and we took the opportunity to sit outside of the DNR building and rest our toes. Holy crap, we walked a lot! Although I know we came no where close to burning off all of the extra calories eaten.

We waited for Isaac to wait up because we wanted to be sure that he saw the DNR fish pond. Also inside the building he saw a real live turtle. Clearly he enjoyed all!

We had a great time at the fair this year and are so glad we're able to share the experience with Isaac! For all those who asked a Boatload of Sunnies are sunfish fillets that are pan fried. Awesome!

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