Thursday, November 25, 2010


HOPE EVERYONE IS HAVING A FABULOUS THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY!!  We are here in Sunny Florida... 82 degrees and GORGEOUS today!  I am so grateful to be surrounded by those I love most!  Time to jump off the computer and go EAT EAT EAT!!  Enjoy your traditions whatever they may be... sending lots of love and a cyber oreo turkey... gobble gobble!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I just can't think of a good title for this post so I guess it will remain unnamed for tonight!!  That is the downside of blogging at 1am, nothing witty comes quickly!!  On the upside though, the house is quiet so I'll take it when I can get it!

WOW, what an incredible 6 weeks it has been.  I once heard that nobody cares or wants to here about how tired, busy and stressed you are (b/c they probably are too!!) but thankfully, my blog can't talk back!  THINGS HAVE BEEN CRAZY BUSY!!  I must first say, I am grateful for it... the work part.  It is so nice to be booked solid.  Whether I am managing it well, is still up for question!  I think the hardest part of the past few weeks (actually the past 7 months) has been juggling Blake's car issues.  Since the accident in March we have been up and down getting a new car for him.  Anyway, over the past 6 weeks while his car was getting a new engine put it in, we had to juggle one car, only to find out THE VERY DAY we got his back, that my thermostat was shot?!  It was tough getting up, getting the kids in the car every morning, taking him to the train station or all the way uptown and then juggling how to work out my photo sessions and the kids each evening, but at least I could always count on MY CAR!!  When it rains, it pours right!!  Thankfully, I think we are getting past our car problems... never take 2 cars for granted again!!

This past week was also a rough week for my little guy Braden.  We are still dealing w/ the repercussions of the accident monthly!  This month, he was referred to an ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) practice to see what we can do about his nasal passage that was fractured and is full of scar tissue and obstructions.  It is something you would never notice by simply looking at him, but it makes it hard for him to breathe at night, causes snoring and basic obstructed airways... NOT FUN!  We had his initial appt.  Then a CT scan..... SO TRAUMATIC (though after much screaming and crying he decided it was cool, b/c he felt like an Avatar... leave it to Braden and his imagination!!)  Then we were referred to an ENT Plastic Surgeon specialist that will have to perform yet another surgery to repair/scrape out scar tissue from the nostril.  I feel so bad for Bray.  He hates Doctors (even though they are truly great doctors and it will help him in the long run) and it feels never ending.

In the midst of all this, I was ON CALL this week to photograph ANOTHER live birth!!  Yes, things were hopin' here at the Hart House.  I had 10 photo sessions in 13 days and a pending birth that made me jump every time the phone rang!!  Here's how it all went down yesterday:

Wed. my "birth client" texted me to let me know her water had broken!!  This meant it was close.  I crossed my fingers it wouldn't coincide w/ my photo session and a few other things and we made it through the day and night.  Thurs. the contractions were sporadic... I had a neighbor on call in case it happen... BUT NOTHING!  Later that afternoon I had a 45 minute photo shoot at BCP (minutes away from her house).  Contractions were still sporadic around 4pm when I left for my shoot!  I shot for about 45 minutes and then noticed her text: you should probably come soon... contractions intense!  I raced over right after my shoot around 5:15 and MISSED the birth by 10 minutes!!  DANG... I was so bummed.  It was a home birth, after all, so it would have been amazing.  It still was, however, incredible to be a part of documenting the first few hours of this little babies life.  Definitely a different feel then shooting at the hospital!

I AM BLESSED WITH AMAZING EXPERIENCES AND OPPORTUNITIES.  As I said, despite the STRESS, LACK OF SLEEP, crazy balancing of schedule and priorities, I know I will make it through these last few sessions/days and I am SO GRATEFUL to be able to do what I love.  {click there for H2H session sneak peeks}.  Okay, I really better get some sleep!  2 more sessions tomorrow and then I am taking all the youth from our church to a barn dance at night. GOOD NIGHT!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

10 Minute, $10 DIY Photoshop Silhouettes

I was feeling a bit crafty today!  After hanging out in the Doctor's office with the boys all morning, I decided we needed a fun  project.  Plus I have been wanting to hang silhouettes of my cutie pies for a while.  Now when I get crafty, I know I have to be quick, but a bunch of the DIY Silhouette blog explanations involved too many steps with cutting and paint and other things I didn't have time for!!  So I came up with this quick and easy way to get a silhouette in photoshop.

Here's the tutorial...

Start with a photo that shows a great silhouette.  I purposely set my camera setting to be dark so I could trace the outline easier.  Open your image in PS

Grab the quick selection tool and select the "head" portion you want to silhouette

There are many ways to do this next step.  I simply went into Hue/Saturation (control U) and scrolled the "lightness slider" all the way to the left to -100

This completely darkens the area within the quick selection

From there I created a copy of JUST the selection

I then opened a new 5x7 layout.  This was the size of my frame opening... you can customize your settings depending upon your need

I pasted my "selected" area and WAHLAH my silhouette is DONE and READY TO PRINT.  That was easy.  I printed my finaly silhouettes on bright white cardstock and framed them in black oval frames I bought for $5 each.

And I love how they turned out!!

It makes the perfect addition to this wall collage.  Now that was 10 minutes and 10 dollars well spent!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Our Best Halloween Yet!!

It really was!  The boys were totally into it this year and even though we waited until the last minute to find costumes, everything turned out great!!  I was BOMBARDED with photo sessions in October (in a good way, of course) so I'm glad we were able to pull everything off... decorations and all!! *** Must give an honorable mention to our "Halloween Cats".  My Dad was so pumped to make these with the boys.  He found the idea in a good housekeeping magazine, tore it out, brought it and thus the creation began!!  I honestly had not had a FREE SECOND in Oct. so it was fun to have them here to help out with carving pumpkins and getting into the spirit of things!!  THANKS GUYS :)

Earlier in the week, the festivities started w/ Braden dressing up for preschool.  He FINALLY narrowed it down to one costume (other possibilities included an avatar, batman, other super heros etc...)  The preschool program was awesome!!

Thursday Ahma, Ahmpa, Ash and Camille came into town.  We had a blast the entire weekend!  We hit the pumpkin patch...

The trunk or treat at church.... Are we just lovin' that walrus!!  Seriously such a random costume, but I LOVE HIM IN IT!!

And had a great time doing a little trick or treating in our neighborhood on Halloween.  We have the BEST neighborhood for trick or treating!  You don't have to go to far or to too many houses to have a great time.  Of course we didn't get home from church until 6pm (Blake until 7p) but it was still a FUN night!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

October or BUST!!

October is a happenin' month here at the Hart house!!  All my boys have October B-days, so it seems we are celebrating something weekly!!  It starts with Blake on the 7th, G on the 10th and Bray on the 20th.  These are our family party pics.

After rescheduling Gavin's party due to a stomach virus, we finally had a fun little party at the house one morning for a few of his neighbor friends.  We decorated cupcakes, ate mini pizzas and enjoyed an impromptu visit from Papa.  Perfect for a 3 year old!!

This year we decided to do Braden's party at his Tae Kwon Do studio.  It fell on the same day that he tested for his orange belt... can you feel the excitement!!

This is him testing...

Now, let the party begin!!  I got SOOOO many hilarious pictures of the kiddies.  Posting all 137 was not an option, so here are a few fun ones!

This is my "Gavin Montage".  The age of THREE is proving to be a bit of a rollercoaster for him.  I mean, the 2's were a breeeeze compared to this!?!  He is up and down and back up and down... moody toody.  So, at the party he was no different.  He started out hiding in the waiting room... would not even enter the studio.  BUT, little by little he warmed up (never mind the fact that we are there 3 days a week?!)  Anyway, you can see the progression... my Mom helping to ease him onto the mat and into the exercises and FINALLY him participating!!  Tooo funny.  All I can do is laugh and cross my fingers he grows out of it soon!!

What a great party and a great month of celebrating!!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

A Vampire & A Walrus

Gave the kiddies 100% say over their costumes this year!!  I LOVE what they came up with... especially my Walrus... I mean who dreams of being a Walrus for Halloween?!  Guess my little Gavy does AND I LOVE HIM for it :)  More pics to come when I can blog at a decent hour....

An Interview With A Five-Year Old...

Braden turned 5 two weeks ago {ooops... a bit behind in posting!!} .  To commemorate I asked him for an interview.  He politely obliged - mostly b/c he was bored.  So, w/out further adieu here is my BIG BOY of 5 years in all his glory!! 

BRADEN RUSSELL HART - a.k.a, Bray Bray, Bro, Muscle Russell etc...
October 20, 2005


Food: pizza, chinese dumplings, carrots, broccoli, popsicles, frosting and of course biscuits and gravy (and I promise I did not prompt on those veggies!!)

Colors: blue & purple

Friends: Sean, Asa, Ethan & Edwin

Movies: Avatar, Karate Kid, Marry Poppins, Robots, Scooby Doo, Living Scriptures

Things to Do: shoot bow & arrow, play on the monkey bars (w/ gloves on of course), play with toys, tell knock knock jokes, go to tae kwon do

Toys: power ranger car, batman, bakuguns

TV Shows: Disney Playhouse, Sonic, Curious George

Things at School: doing the monkey bars, his teacher Ms. Pam 'cause she reads lots of books!

Place to go: Monkey Joes, school, toy store, Ahma's House

What is Daddy's job: "to make money"
What is momey's job: "take pictures"
What to you want to do when you grow up: (in this order) "be a missionary, go to high school, go to BYU
What job do you want to have: "costume seller or pumpkin patch owner (Can you tell we were days away from Halloween!!!!!)

I love my Braden and can't believe he is FIVE YEARS OLD?!!  He is such a creative, charismatic, smart little boy.  He LOVES to read.  He and Blake have recently finished Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea, and the Long Cold Winter to name a few.  He just tested for his orange belt and loves being active through Tae Kwon Do.  He is also such a great older brother to Gavin. Wherever we go he puts himself in charge of making sure G stays in line and is right there with us (i.e., no wandering off in the grocery store... Bray would be all over that!!)  I'm sure we will look back on this some day and get a kick out of it.  Happy B-day to my own Karate Kid!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Hart to Hart Digital is Sponsoring a GIVEAWAY!!

You know I love me a giveaway... so when the charmingly witty Ms Tara, of the "Do these kids make me look crazy" blog (formerly known as the Daily Nusz) approached me about giving away a little somethin' somethin' this month I WAS IN!!  To get the low down on what you could WIN and to see a SPREAD of gorgeous photo's from their family session last week, click here

Here's a sneak peek and a hint at the giveaway....