Monday, March 23, 2009

And while I'm here posting...

Last week was a SUPER busy week.  Blake has been working really hard and late, I had three shoots, things were crazy and we hadn't really seen each other (except for at the gym).  Sat. I decided I would make him a really nice dinner and was hoping for some bonding time :)  Well, we worked on the lawn most of the day and then I had a newborn shoot (which I LOVE) that evening, so by the time I could even get dinner on the table it was after 9:30pm.  

On a side note, I saw this recipe on the Barefoot Contessa.  I LOVE HER STUFF... but it's always a little on the heavy side, if you know what I mean!  So, Anyway, I made steak w/ a Roquefort blue cheese sauce, sauteed wild mushrooms and parsley, and fresh cornmeal-battered onion rings.  YES... a LOT more grease than we ever eat... but hey, it was a special night, and steak is, after all, one of our favorite indulgences.  Well, we (Blake) definitely indulged (esp. on the blue cheese sauce), and went to bed feeling a little nauseated.  Around 6 am I heard him HEAVING in the bathroom.  Ohhhh... it was so bad.  He said he'd been having blue cheese nightmares all night long!  Poor guy.  I took a picture b/c I was so excited w/ the meal.... but I probably won't be fixing it anytime soon.  *Sigh*... so much for trying to impress.

How crazy is this...

I have this picture hanging up of Braden on one of our picture walls and Sunday while I was getting the boys ready for church, I realized I had dressed Gavin in just about the same outfit 2 years later!  Had to try and get a matching picture.  Here's what I got!

It's funny b/c they look a lot alike, but then again, they look so different!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Just wanted to share a couple of funny videos.  I usually take video w/ my video camera and make family movies  every three months or so... but I have all these random, funny clips from my small camera... thought I would put a few up.  B&G are friends.  They are at the age where their interaction usually produces hysterically laughing or bruises and tears.  I love to watch/referee! 

Who Isn't?

This little boy is driven by incentives in a MAJOR way!!  He loves charts and checklists and the prizes at the end.  In fact, it worked so well w/ potty training, that he was trained in 2 weeks - last August -  and hasn't had an accident day or night since then!!  Usually the treats are something small (like an oreo on his nightstand) but this past month we needed to do something bigger.  Braden does NOT like to go to bed... and on top of that, he has been coming into our bedroom EVERY night.  It's hard to sleep w/ him in there b/c he lays horizontal and I have never been a big believer in "co-sleeping".  Anyway, Blake came up with this special chart called "The Road to Optimus Prime" (a transformer that Braden wanted in the worst way!!!).  Braden basically had to not cry at bedtime, obey all day long, sleep in his bed all night and a few other things, to earn Optimus.  Long story short the incentive was working fabulously, until he decided he didn't really wan Optimus anymore.  Uh-oh... back in the bed.  And at this point I'm thinking, this is probably not the best way to be teaching this child... shouldn't he just have to learn to sleep in his bed on his own.  But 2 sleepless nights later, we were back in the saddle when we found the Air Blaster Riffle!!  He had all week to earn it and even slept with it in the box and the foot of his bed some nights.  (It started in the closet, then the nightstand and then the bed). 

Yesterday he FINALLY earned it.  You cannot imagine how happy this little boy has been.  He even fell asleep w/ it in his arms.  I just want to remember this stage b/c it is can be such a roller coaster at times.  But when it is good... it is so much fun AND hilarious and cute and I hope I don't forget it.  

This was definitely one incentive that worked!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

So, this past month I have been tagged about 25 times on facebook to write 25 random things about me... Sounds exciting right!!   I wrote them a while ago, but decided to post them on my blog instead of facebook - it just seemed a little personal!  And I'm thinking this was mostly just fun for me to think up a whole 25 goes....  

1. I LOVE to travel. It is absolutely one of my favorite things in life. When I was 16, my family (all 8 of us plus a pull behind trailer) drove cross-country and stopped in over half of the states. In college I traveled w/ the modern dance company to Austria, Ukraine, Belarus, Fiji & New Zealand. I served a mission in Bolivia and went to the MTC in Peru. I have since been back to Peru twice as well as Chile & Mexico and crossed a string of borders throughout. I can’t get enough. I am dying to go to Spain… and the list goes on!

2. I love to cook… not bake… just cook. And I love to make up my own crazy gourmet recipes that involve thing like pesto, pine nuts, feta, sun dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts.

3. I am terrified of heights, but I LOVE roller coasters. We’re talking the crazy ones. 

4. On that note, I went bungee jumping (backwards, headfirst) for my 16th B-day. It was actually really fun.

5. I have played the piano since I was 5. My senior year I had a solo graduation recital (yep, just me on the stage for one hour playing the piano… awkward!). I did manage to memorize 6 classical songs (Rachmaninoff, Bach etc…) The last piece I played was 11 pages long. Snooze fest. I am pretty proud of it looking back though. I Could NEVER do it again.

6. I really like to read… it’s addicting so I go in spurts. In the past four weeks I have manage to read (or am in the middle of reading) The Shack, Confessions of a Shopaholic, The other Boleyn Girl, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.

7. My favorite sport to both watch and play is Volleyball. My senior year our team won CIF (it’s a Southern CA championship). We beat the high school (Poway) that my Dad grew up attending. Which, BTW was always our biggest rival!!

8. I have had a photography business for 5 years now (started as videography but that was way to hectic). I LOVE photography and have learned a lot/come along way – BUT I still sort of freak out without fail before each wedding/shoot and worry that I won’t be good enough.

9. I could eat salad EVERY night for dinner. (these are really jazzy salads we’re talking about). I love it.

10. I don’t have a middle name. My first name is my Maternal Grandmother’s last name, so I always sort of thought I had 2 last names. (though, in middle school I did tell everyone my middle name was Stacey.. that stuck for about 2 years)

11. I love to decorate. I am not the best, but I literally fall asleep at night scheming. If only I had mega bucks - oh the things I would do. 

12. I do free lance graphic design for a small publication in FL. Just another side job ‘cause I have so much free time.

13. Blake and I have served in the Spanish Branch (of our church) for 3 years now. I am the Primary President, Primary Chorister, Primary Pianist, Branch Music Chairman and the Public Affairs Rep. I love it, but it does keep things hopping. Why again, did I take the afore mentioned side job? 

14. I love musicals. I was in West Side Story & Bye Bye Birdie in High school. Mostly dancing parts and “Sad Girl #1”, but hey, I loved it and I still can’t get enough. When I went to NYC for my B-day last year, that’s all I did: Broadway, every single night!!

15. I secretly wish I could host a traveling, photography, cooking, yoga show. ALL my favorite things combined.

16. Ohhhh… I LOVE YOGA. Especially HOT. 

17. Which brings me to this random fact: I did weekly yoga throughout both my pregnancies and I could still do the splits, headstands, full backbends etc… all the way up to delivery. I’ve never felt better!

18. I don’t mind cleaning… I actually sometimes really like it, but I HATE to do the dishes, which works out really nice b/c I married a man that does the dishes ON HIS OWN every night. I can probably count on my hands the times I’ve done the dishes after a family meal.

19. I have the BEST mom in the world. People still ask if we are sisters. Love pops too, but I can literally only remember one time in my entire life that my Mom has raised her voice at me. She has the most patience of anyone I’ve ever met. WHY can’t I be more like that?

20. I am still in pursuit of the PERFECT jean.

21. I am OBSESSED with Mexican Food. Growing up I had no idea restaurants outside of the Mexican Genre existed (well.. until I went on my first date!) Seriously though, it’s a sickness and it’s not so much the food I crave, but the chips and salsa!!

22. I love being a mom and am so happy I get to stay at home w/ my kids while doing things I love on the side. It’s hard and I wish I could be a WHOLE lot better, but I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. 

23. During my year and a half in Bolivia, I spent several months in a small junglly area bordering the Amazon river. After 4 months, I contracted Malaria. Literally the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to me. While the experience itself was horrendous, I have never felt Christ’s love more powerfully in my LIFE. I learned compassion and faith and to never give up during a long month in a lonely Bolivian hospital – lessons for which I will always be grateful for. Why is it when we’re at our lowest, we sometimes learn the most? Pretty powerful.

24. I am night OWL. I’ve tried… I can’t not be. That’s why its 1:00 am and I am writing this.... sigh.

25. I wrote this list over a month ago… I sort of think this whole thing is a little open and narcissistic, but actually it was really fun to write, so what the heck… I’m going to post it ☺ 

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Test Shots

Just a few fun shots getting used to the new lens.  The aperture on this baby is 1.8 (the lens lets in sooo much light) - the indoor shots are even more amazing.  Gavin looks hilarious b/c he had just woken up from a nap... but he's not quite sure what's going on.  Braden was in full on pose mode.  I loved it.  

Friday, March 06, 2009

An Ounce of Inspiration

Last weekend our Stake held a Women's "Overnight" Retreat!!!  I just have to write a little about it b/c it was truly an inspiring (fun, crazy) weekend.  The first night was hilarious.  After some get to know you icebreakers  We were delved out into groups according to our B-day.  Each group had to come up with a deleted scene from an assigned movie.  If you can't tell from below (haha) our group got "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."  Anyone who knows me well, knows that I practically lived this movie circa late 80's.  We were all pumped.  The pictures don't do our DTV 20 year reunion dance off justice.  It was great.  Video maybe to come.    

That night we headed off to our top secret location... nobody new until 5 minutes before we were supposed to leave.  We ended up at a YMCA indoor camp facility w/ several different open cabin type rooms.  There were tons of Women of ALL ages.  We ate, watched movies... slumber party stuff.  I ventured over to the cabin were all my branch mamitas were... of course they were crazy and fun as usual.  (see pics!!!)

It did get a little hairy around 1:30am after the first movie ended.  Someone got all Nazi on all 4o of us in the big cabin.  She wanted to watch "Somewhere in Time"... with the lights on.... at FULL volume.  I was D-YING!!!!!  I think everyone was.  I did not go to sleep until 4:00am.  Okay... not so excited about the sleep over part anymore... but oh well.  

Sat. was a blast.  I ended up teaching a little dance class in the morning (possible video to come as well!!).  Taught a group of women ages ranging 20 - 60 and little routine to "Everybody Dance Now".  More hilariousness.  The rest of the day though, was WONDERFUL.  I learned so much from so many talented women.  The classes were great.  From food storage, to interior design, to freezer meals, to journal writing, to relaxation, to how to cut boys/men's hair and tons of great food and snacks in between.  WOW.  We ended the night w/ a great dinner and a fun, inspirational show from three ladies who flew in from out West.  They were fantastic singers/actors who had you laughing one second and crying the next.  It filled me up in many ways... definitely needed that.  Thanks Blake for watching the boys!!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

More Stuff Coming Soon!

I have quite a few things I want to post and blog about from the past few weeks.... I just need a tinsy bit more free time!!  Just had to throw this quick one in.  I am SO EXCITED!  I just got the most amazing lens in the mail today.  I have been researching FOREVER which one to add and after trying it out today I couldn't be more pleased (since I always agonize over big purchases).   And the timing couldn't be better, I have 3 back to back photo shoots on Monday, so.... lots of cool pictures to follow.  Stay Tuned :)