Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Think They Love Each Other

I love that you can see her smiling behind the mask.
Thank you, Christine, for the masks!


They posed for the obligatory picture. First one out of the camera is this.

But this was all on their own.

Good thing I kept clicking.


You just can't fake these kind of smiles.

50mm 1.4 lens, f3.2, 1/200 SS, 400 ISO - they didn't really need editing, but I ran Paint The Moon's Jubilee action at 20% opacity for fun.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wednesday's Adventures

Rory and I spent Wednesday furiously racing around Nashville trying to fit in a whole bunch of fun things into one day. We started off at Target where I tried not to bankrupt us with all the good things on sale. I managed to resist everything but the essentials such as K-cups, socks for Camden, bottled water, and more K-cups (what can I say? they were on sale!). We visited the library, then raced to the hospital to see Addison. I completely took advantage of valet parking so that we didn't have to walk in the cold rain. Best idea ever. After the hospital was a visit to Trader Joe's, which is always a highlight except this time I resisted all treats and stuck strictly to organic essentials. It was hard to leave those chocolate covered potato chips in the store, but they managed to stay out of my cart.

After Trader Joe's we met my friend Tina for lunch at 5 Guys where I had a minor breakdown at the thought of sending my body into a gallstone attack because of the burger and fries. Thankfully, I seem to be fine.

After lunch was the really big event: a haircut, my first since May 14 when Alicia (my hairstylist for the past 8 years) shaved it off. I am someone who loves a good visit to the salon, although it is significantly less enjoyable when there is a child (coughcoughRorycoughcough) who refuses to stop asking questions even during a blissful scalp massage.

When I posted about this on Facebook, everyone immediately started asking for pictures, and I feel slightly embarrassed about it for several reasons. First, you should realize that the longest I've been without a haircut is 12 weeks and that's when I was growing it out for Locks of Love. I am freakishly concerned with split ends/bad hair, etc. so I never forget to schedule my next haircut. Yes, she cut alot more than you would have imagined off my hair yesterday but because I haven't posted a picture in the last month or so, I realize that this picture makes it look as if my hair is exactly the same as here. I promise it really had grown and that it actually has some semblance of a shape after Alicia's attention. I still totally look like a boy, however.

And this was the best I could do because Rory can't handle the camera yet, and it was already dark and raining when Brian got home.



Look at the size of this girl's hand! We're convinced she's going to be tall like her daddy based on the size of her hands and feet. Elizabeth is a shortie like me.

She's up to 3 lbs 13 oz, and hopefully gets to move out of the incubator into a normal bed this weekend. That means no more shooting through plastic for me! Oh, and it means unlimited holding for her mama and daddy.

Aunt Becky made Addison this cute bunting to decorate her area.

I seem to have passed on my nasty cold from last week to Rory. Unfortunately for Brian, I am flying to Oklahoma tonight (hurray for me, though!). Unfortunately, because Rory can be kind of a bear when she's sick, and she is a mama's girl on a good day, but when she's sick, she's glued to me. The good news is that despite the fever/coughing/snot, she woke up happy, sassy, and bossy as usual this morning so I am hopeful that it will just be a cold and not develop into her usual respiratory/asthma type situation.

And because I'm completely chatty this morning, another fun thing I got to do yesterday was visit a great coffeeshop. They use locally grown beans and roast right there in the store. It's located in east Nashville, which is kind of hip and yuppie-like so I didn't feel cool enough to pull out my camera and take a picture, but the Peppermint Patty Mocha that I ordered was close to the best cup of coffee I've ever had. For all my local friends, go visit Bongo Java.

And that, my friends, is all she wrote. I'll be in Oklahoma for the next 5 days and may or may not be posting. I've got at least one picture post scheduled so maybe the blog won't be too lonely.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Korean Dress-Up

So when I say it's been 4 years since I put this hanbok on Rory, I was not kidding. I tried to look for the picture of her wearing it, but couldn't quickly locate it so you'll have to just trust me.

And I didn't think Monday's shoot was going to be very successful. I tried lots of different locations trying to find the least brown spots in our yard.

It was super windy and that hanbok is drafty so most of them turned out a little like this (and I didn't even bother editing all these throw-aways):


And then we've got goofy girl


Serious girl


Are we done yet?


Dancing girl


There's that wind again





Blowing her pageant kiss. Yes, Toddlers & Tiaras is still haunting us.


Occasionally, the stars all lined up, and I got something like this one.



But the ones I really love are these final two. Mostly because they're so true to her, but also because I've been reading about how to take pictures in less than ideal situations (such as 11:00 in the morning with way too much sunlight) and I've been trying to figure out this natural haze effect. And I did it! These are straight from the camera using my beautiful 70-200 lens. Settings were f2.8, ISO 200, 1/160 SS. We were in deep shade of the house with the sun directly behind her. The way the lens was tilted made this beautiful soft haze, and I kind of just adore it. And, yes, I made my favorites huge on purpose. :)


Total pageant girl :)


She promptly asked me to send these to Mrs. Park (her foster mother who bought her the hanbok), and, of course, I agreed to do it as soon as possible! Now maybe I won't wait another 4 years before breaking out the hanbok.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday's Tidbits

Ever since we saw The Addams Family a couple of weeks ago, Rory has been singing the theme song (yes, the one you remember from your childhood) non-stop. And she thinks that because we were at the same theater that they played the same music for Wicked. So I introduced her to Defying Gravity. Unfortunately, it hasn't made her stop singing The Addams Family theme song.

Camden and I both had long over-due eye appointments yesterday. Camden's eyes had changed drastically (which we suspected) and the doctor told us that he has an increased risk of retinal detachment and that we should reconsider any plans for karate or boxing. Ha! Like Camden would ever choose a sport that might possibly involve injuries. LOL

I'm sure lots of my adoptive parent friends have seen this video, but if not, you should watch it. Katherine Heigle (actress) and her husband Josh Kelley (singer) adopted a little girl from Korea, and this is a sweet song he wrote about their journey. And that is one cute little girl.

I made this Kung Pao Chicken recipe (or Cookin' Po Chicken if you're Rory) last night for supper, and it was amazing. So full of flavor, and the kids are already requesting to have it again. I actually doubled the sauce and used cashews instead of peanuts. Seriously delicious.

Rory has discovered a certain female undergarment. Enough said. Actually, a picture might be better. She was helping me with laundry last night and I turned around and saw this. She said this was her pageant pose. That one episode of Toddlers and Tiaras is going to haunt me.


Rory and I are going to tackle Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred this morning. Wish us luck.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Year of the Dragon

Taking it easy on this Lunar New Year after a stormy day (figuratively speaking) yesterday followed by very stormy night (literally speaking). As usual, we don't have too much planned for Lunar New Year, but I am cooking Asian food tonight (not specifying Korean because that wouldn't be quite correct) and I've got this printable dragon mask ready for the kids after school. Maybe I'll even drag out the hanbok and attempt Rory pictures - something I've been *planning* to do for oh, the last 4 years.

(ETA: My friend Christine has this super cute dragon printable as well - I'm  going to print it and let the kids do both.)

And one quick picture - this is what our mornings look like. I get the kids up at 6:45, they drag themselves (or I carry Rory) into the living room and as they wake up we read our morning scripture and devotions then have a quick prayer for the day. As much as I hate mornings, I kind of love those first few minutes where they're so drowsy and sweet.


And the best part of my Lunar New Year? The family photo Rory's foster family posted on Facebook. Love.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

2012 Project 365, weeks 1-3




Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Photo Dump

So yesterday did not exactly turn out as planned. I did get to see Baby Addison (hurray), but we spent 3 hours at one doctor's office and then an hour at the next, which resulted in no time for a birthday lunch. In fact, we left the house at 9:45, returned home at 4 and it was all spent at the hospital. Fun times. The good news is that I'm totally fine - the doctors were just running late. Very, very late. As in the receptionist brought out a basket full of cold drinks and snacks to the waiting room kind of late. Twice.

Our friend Randall spent the night with us, and I am just hoping I didn't pass on my nasty germs. My cold ramped up into high gear throughout the day, and I had completely lost my voice by bedtime last night. I didn't sleep well, but at least my throat isn't on fire this morning. Rory and I are camped out on the couch (she also has a cold) and plan to spend the day resting. My mom is coming over tonight and making her homemade chicken and dumplings, which is pretty much the best meal in the world. She made it for me numerous times during chemo, and it was one of the few things I could count on tasting good.

And a few photos from the week. Yes, many of them are out of focus. Apparently, I can only take 1-2 good photos within a certain time period.

Reading on my iPad.

Looking at pictures of Addison.


Rory insisted on holding Aunt Liz's hand all day yesterday.

Rory was such a trooper during all the long waits yesterday.

The snacks helped.

And look at Addison out of the incubator!

She's so ladylike.



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Busy, Busy

Yesterday flew by in a flurry of breakfast and some Pioneer Woman cooking show viewing with my friend Andrea, my mom, and Rory; a trip to Walmart; and then a very long afternoon and evening of preparing all of Camden and Rory's spring/summer clothes for a consignment sale followed by a long calendar-planning church meeting. My cold seems to revive itself every 24 hours or so, and I feel kinda crappy.

Today is another full day. Rory and I are picking up my mom and Elizabeth and headed to Nashville to see Addison, celebrate my mom's 60th birthday, and two doctor's appointments for me. I'm seeing my primary care doctor for a blood pressure follow-up (as well as to check in on this sore throat that's been bothering me for 7-8 days now) and then to see Dr. T. I'm a little unsure as to whether or not I'm seeing Dr. T or having an ultrasound, but it's a follow-up to my gallstone episode. After the afternoon appointment, I will be rushing home to pick up Camden from Gram and Gramp's house so that I can go fix supper for Randall (our team member from Texas). Our whole family is very excited to spend an evening with him. And then I have Bible Study tonight, which I'm also excited about. We're doing Beth Moore's Psalms of Ascent. And while this may be a busy day for anyone, it is most definitely a busy day for this girl still recovering from chemo. Wish me luck!

And while these would have worked for yesterday's Wordless Wednesday post as well, they're about a month old, and I couldn't remember if I've posted them yet or not. I decided they deserved their own post. )

No, we don't normally stand in the middle of the road, but I had just taken these pictures and had my camera with me when we went to check on the mail.




And in case you're wondering, these were taken with my 50mm in full sun. f3.5, ISO 400, 1,250 ss (and, yes, I could have lowered the ISO which would have resulted in a lower shutter speed). Processed with Paint the Moon's Jubilee photo action, opacity reduced.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Next Great Artist

Despite it's less than exciting start yesterday turned out to be a pretty nice day. The kids had a blast with the whole Next Great Artist competition Brian came up with. They were just really cute with all of their efforts. Brian took Camden to a friend's house for batting practice while Rory napped, then took both of them to Sonic for Happy Hour, which gave me a chance to settle in with some silence, a fresh cup of coffee, and my heated body bean. And while they were out, they went to a local shop and brought me back some chocolates. Camden said the best part of his day was seeing my smile when they brought me the chocolates. How sweet!


Camden was SO excited while he waited for Brian to hand out the awards. ;) And while we're not really all about making sure everything is equal or that the kids never lose, we did decide there was no way to hand out just one award when you're talking about artwork (or when one child is 3 years younger and can't read or write). Camden kept saying, "I'm just so nervous" while waiting.


Lauren Grier: Choices

Monday, January 16, 2012


Well, we are certainly celebratory on this Martin Luther King Day (insert varying degrees of sarcasm here). Brian is hard at work on lesson plans, and I am working on about 5 loads of laundry. The kids, however, are having a great time. They've been creating with moon dough and play dough for the last 2.5 hours.  To encourage their competitive spirit (a.k.a. sibling rivalry) Brian has promised to make an art gallery and judge their work this afternoon. 

Camden's first creation (not sure how we're going to hang this on the wall)


We had a nice weekend which involved all my favorite football teams losing (seriously, all 4 games) as well as purchasing not only a new can opener, but a new iron. Exciting, right?

Rory's cold never developed into anything, thank goodness, and I felt better by Sunday. Unfortunately, last night I seem to have developed a new strain of that cold despite my current habit of incessant hand washing to get rid of all unwanted germs. My voice currently sounds a bit like an old cranky man. I've turned kid duty over to Brian as a result (which is why he's got the art gallery competition going on as well as making behavior charts for them both - maybe I should put him in charge more often). I'm going to fold laundry, drink lots of coffee (which just might be contributing to my sleepless nights) and take lots of cold medicine.

Pics of the kids and Grandma after church yesterday.


Happy Martin Luther King Day!