checking in

Friday, July 12, 2013

This is not an abandoned blog. It may have appeared to be an abandoned blog for the past many moons, but it isn't. It still lives on in my mind, but has been beaten to the punch by that social media giant for quite a while now.

I've been having a good time, shooting a variety of fun things…parties and families and soon-to-be-mamas-again. So here's a sampling. Just to tide you over. Until I get my brain back to this space.

This is a shot I snapped quick as we headed down to the water for the "real" photo session. And it's one of my favorites of the whole deal.

My good friend is about to have a baby. And I just moved away and won't get to meet her. I'm so bummed about the timing, but so glad I got to do one last photoshoot with her and her family. She is the one who got me started again after our big move to California.

Another good friend is an amazing party planner. She may very well be the only reason I get blog traffic anymore, as each time one of her parties that I've photographed shows up on a party website, she's linked to me to credit me for the photos. I almost feel like it's cheating, since she makes it so easy to get good shots. I think I'll do a whole blog post on Miss Party Mom sometime soon.

Another friend just recently welcomed her husband home after a year overseas. Girls like her are my heroes…living gracefully and fully while a part of her is missing. I still need to edit the rest of her photos of them and their sweet kiddos. My last shoot on the central coast. I will miss it much!

Another Miss Party Mom party…I just loved this table she designed and her husband created. Her son is a huge Peter Pan fan, and she transformed her whole back yard into Neverland for his 4th birthday!

Combine another MPM party with my good friend above who's about to have a baby, and here's the gender reveal party…

And here's a shot I got today at the Grand Canyon. I know. It's not of the canyon. But I really love skeletal trees. Wanted to make sure there's still a bit of "just jen" in this post :)


Thursday, October 18, 2012

I love watching Lucy figure things out. She starts with an observation, asks a few questions, then either solves the issue or moves on to something else. Tonight, it was putting things (a washcloth, a ball, a toy much too large) into a plastic cup while in the bath. A few weeks ago, she was exploring the effect of the light coming through my green water bottle.

ooh, pretty!

look, this green stuff is spilling off the table…

what's up with that?

hey! now it's on my arm!

does it taste good?

can I shake it off?  wipe it on my shorts? 

look at it cross-eyed?

sorry mom, somehow I got green stuff all over me.

don't worry, baby girl, it isn't permanent…

fourteen on the fourteenth

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

When Lucy is fourteen years old, we'll celebrate her golden birthday…go crazy with the whole 14 theme and make it extra special. At least that's my plan now. I guess we'll see how it goes when we get there.

Here she is, at fourteen months. On the 14th of October.

She's got gobs of teeth now, her latest two are on the top, one on each side. I'm sure I could find out what they're called, but I'm not gonna bother right now. She walks and runs like crazy…as long as she's holding our hands. She's not wanting to venture out on her own, and if we try to make her, she collapses on the ground in sobs like we're the meanest parents ever. She loves to push her stroller around. Our walks have gotten much slower.

She also babbles away and pays close attention to us when we sing the alphabet song to her and usually says "yay" and claps her hand when we come to the end of the song. But still no real, consistent words. She does great in the nurseries at church and Bible study & MOPS (three different places, three different groups of workers and other kids).

She loves her bath time and music of any sort and honey nut cheerios and yogurt and oatmeal and avocados and doggies. She's still charming total strangers just by turning those long lashes their way. She takes great delight in the simplest things and will entertain herself with her books and toys for a good long time…some days. Other days, she's whiny and "needs" mama every minute. And those days are good days, too. Because I know there will come a day when she doesn't "need" me…or thinks she doesn't. So I'll soak it in now.

We love being her parents.

I always have such fun doing a photo shoot with her, but usually only share my favorite shots. So here's some of the outtakes mixed in with some favorites.

pumpkin patch fun

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

She doesn't know it, but Lisa Leonard has been my tour guide to the central coast for the past two years. Her latest local mention was a pumpkin patch I hadn't heard of before. And I'm glad I looked it up!

Now, the Avila Valley Barn is pretty great, as they have animals and food and pumpkins all right in one place, but they usually also have hundreds of PEOPLE you have to dodge to enjoy all the ambiance.

Probably going on a Monday helped tone the crowds down, but when we showed up at La Familia Ranch, we were the only guests there. (In a fun coincidence, Lisa and her boys showed up a few minutes later. I got to introduce myself and tell her she was the reason we were there.)

Every kid should get a chance to ride in a wagon with a pumpkin on a sunny October day.

dear javi

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I loved getting to live at your house for a while. You have some pretty great toys and you were really nice to let me play with them. I'm glad I was able to help you out in the clapping and crawling departments. I told you it was no big deal and you'd just be able to do it one day without even trying.

I'm glad we got to spend some time together while our mamas clicked those things at us. Does your mom still do that to you? Mine does. I'm okay with it for now, I guess. But I'd really like to take a look at that thing she clicks and bang it around a bit to see how well it's made, but Mama won't let me.

I don't mind that you put your arm around me while they were clicking, but I think maybe the kiss was too much, too soon. I mean, I liked it and all, even with the grass tickling my face...but it scared me a little. I'm only used to mama and daddy kissing me. And grandparents. No one else my size kisses me. So I'm sorry that I ran away right after. Maybe some other day I won't.



I like Javi. This is nice. Just hanging out on a beautiful day, leaning on my friend…

Look at her looking at me. She totally wants me to kiss her.

Stink. Probably should have dropped the grass before makin' my big move…
Waitaminnit…whaddid he just do??
Wait, Lucy, don't go! 
Mama! Help me! He kissed me!

Oh man, I blew it.
You can read Javi's letter to Lucy here.

exhausting (happy) birthday

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Three hundred and sixty-six days ago, we served you your eviction notice and then forcibly dragged you out into this big crazy world. You've charmed pretty much everyone you've come into contact with ever since.

Here's some photos from today, one year after your entrance.

You woke up so happy! Mama sang Happy Birthday to you…the first of several renditions you would hear today.

You conked out in the car on the way to the Doctor's office. I know. Who schedules a doctor's appointment ON your birthday?? Sorry.


You had a great time climbing around in the exam room…

You were a bit perplexed by the bandage on your finger…it didn't take you long to get it off! No tears for the pinprick, though. Brave girl.

How about going grocery shopping on your birthday? Fun, right? Okay…not so much. Again, sorry, baby. Maybe when you have a clue what a birthday is we'll do more fun stuff on it!

Your first cup of milk! More, please.

You were so very tired by the time we got to your cupcake. You want me to do what, Daddy?

Okay, I guess I'll try it. Meh.

And then you swooped that cupcake right into your arms and snuggled it to death.

The end.