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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Throwback Thursday

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I'm spending this Halloween with my feet propped up, right knee in an immobilizer, listening to the wind blow outside. The plan was to have family friends over for dinner while the kids dress up and hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, but I am fairly certain there will be no visitors to our front porch in the middle of the crazy wind and rain. We'll still have friends over, eat chicken tortilla soup, and I guess we'll just have to eat the candy ourselves.

Our fall color finally exploded this week, but I'm certain after this weather blows through, all those leaves will be on the ground. Being out of town 3 of the last 4 weekends has put a cramp in our fall celebrations, and we haven't even bought pumpkins this year.

How about an old Halloween picture instead? We were in Texas 2 years ago today.
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday Tidbits

I recently read a mascara tip: use your blow dryer to heat up the eyelash curler, then curl your eyelashes. It works the same way a flat iron or curling iron does - the heat molds the hair/eyelashes. Just make sure you don't get it too hot because a hot metal eyelash curler will definitely burn. I might have found that out by experience.

Another beauty tip I read (does it seem like I  might be spending too much time on beauty blogs?): only take cold or lukewarm showers to help protect your skin from dryness. Yeah, I am absolutely not giving up hot showers!

Battle rounds on The Voice are my favorite.

Because I totally needed a new ailment, my right knee is currently super swollen and incredibly stiff. I'm thinking it might have something to do with riding in the car for over 5 hours Sunday without getting out to stretch. That's the only thing I can think of anyway. Here's hoping it goes away on its own because I have been visiting my PCP way too often.

Parent/teacher conferences were Friday afternoon, and my kids both had pretty glowing reports. Rory is having a bit of trouble in math and penmanship, but is a great reader. Camden's test results from last year's achievement testing were kind of outstanding. As in he tested post high-school for several of them and was in the upper 90th percentile of the national average. Of course, he also "never stops talking" in the words of his teacher. The test scores and the talking do not surprise me one bit.

When I say Rory is having "trouble," I mean she got a 92 in penmanship and an A in math. And, yes, she cried. More than once. Sometimes it might be hard to have an over-achiever for a brother.

This weekend is Digital Scrapbooking Day, only the biggest day for a memory-keeper. In other words, the worst time to be without a computer. I might have to try to coax Brian's laptop into cooperating.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Blur

Saturday/Sunday blew by us as we traveled to East Tennessee for a couple of hours with Brian's parents and grandparents (who are 92 and 89). We had a service with a sweet church Sunday, then made our way back home early evening. It was about 13 hours in the car in a 2 day period of time so we're all moving a bit slowly this morning and the weekend feels like a bit of a blur.

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I came home to a computer that will not boot up. It feels like a disaster, and I spent the better part of the morning crying. I know there are worse things to happen, but for a memory-keeper and photographer, being without a computer, Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. feels like a big deal. Of course what this means for you is that there will be no non-camera pictures on the blog until we can get something figured out. Thankfully, my external hard drive works so I didn't lose pictures.

The good news is that I met two friends, Kari and Jenne, for coffee this morning at Barista Parlor. I am not too proud to admit that it was much too hip for the likes of me, but, boy, was it fantastic. I will be dreaming about that iced coffee for a long, long time. I was too busy talking to take any pictures, so you'll just have to trust me when I say it was a very interesting experience. As if I weren't enough of a coffee snob, this experience may have ruined me for any other iced coffee.

And now I'm off to get started on laundry, pull this house back together, and try to not shed any more tears over my computer.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Our week in pictures

Just a few photos from our week.

Took the kids to the park Monday night (we had FABULOUS weather). More pics to come from this trip. Because I'm sure you've never seen pictures of kids at a park before.
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Not sure what prompted the coloring party, but the 3 of us spent over an hour coloring from this pattern book Monday afternoon.
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We carpool with Rory's friend once a week, and every single time they both cross their fingers and toes that her mom is late so they can play together.
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This boy had a physical Wednesday afternoon, and he is officially above average in height. We love our pediatrician, and this is only one reason: as we talked that afternoon, Dr. H picked up on the fact that Camden was a perfectionist. He took Camden by the shoulders and told him that his own personal motto was excellence: being an excellent father, doctor, husband, but that being a perfectionist will kill him. Camden has repeated that whole "kill him" line several times already. :)
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I have a sick girl, unfortunately. I sent her to school Thursday morning knowing she didn't feel well, but with no fever. She came home with a fairly high fever and promptly changed into her pajamas and fell asleep on the couch. We're supposed to be headed out of town tomorrow (last trip until Christmas, thank heavens) so I'm hoping she snaps out of it. She is currently on a steroid high and filming a hair video in the bathroom mirror. ;)
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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Staying at home

Considering the state my house is in this morning, it appears as if I have spent my days lounging in bed. I was feeling a bit guilty regarding the general state of messiness until I remembered the trip to the park, meals cooked, bread baked, many loads of laundry completed, photos edited, Harry Potter chapters read, doctor's appointments attended, coloring pages completed, t-ball games watched (2 this week), time spent on the couch listening to my 1st grader read (which isn't nearly as torturous as kindergarten reading), etc.

I've always been a tad bit sensitive about this whole stay-at-home-mom role, more so since both kids are in school. In recent weeks, I've had several friends and acquaintances question why I would bother to stay home, a.k.a. not "'work" as well as wondering what in the world I do all day long.

Oh, yes, no less than 3 people in the last month have literally asked me what I do all day.

While going back to work would relieve a bit of financial stress (since our budget hasn't been this tight since college years), it wouldn't really change anything. Brian would still teach so that we could have insurance, and he would never give up his church ministry. So working would just make things tougher around the house because the honest truth is that between his two emotionally (and time) consuming jobs, our family needs me to help keep things running smoothly.

Plus, there's all that memory-keeping, bon-bon eating, coffee drinking, and TV watching to keep up with.

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DDE: Arizona Autumn (part of this month's Digi Files)
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Credits here
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Credits here
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Credits here
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One Little Bird: Let's Get Candid (part of October Digi Files)
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall Beauties

I've been photographing these two cutie pies for the last several years, and it is always fun. Here are just a few pics to hold their mamas over until I meet them next week with the full CD.

Her princess pose.
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If you're local and would be interested in a photoshoot, you can contact me at camdensmommy@ gmail.com for more information.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rotary Park

I posted one shot from this trip last week, but brace yourselves because I have a whole lot more. Since it's fall, I've been embracing my camera a bit more lately. Apologizing in advance for all non-family members.

We took the short trail a couple of weeks ago and so planned in advance to take a longer one. The "longer" one did not turn out to be quite as long as we thought so we chose the unmarked trail. Brian's idea, of course.
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Off we go.
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Then we spied this. The sound of the stream was so pretty!
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Thank you, Camden, for the picture.
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After seeing a few other families playing in the stream, we decided to throw caution to the wind and let the kids play in the water. You should know that I am not really a throw-caution-to-the-wind kind of person. 

As evidenced by the fact that I consider letting the kids play in water on a fall day as a throw-caution-to-the-wind kind of event.

Camden grabbed Rory's hand (probably to save himself more than help her out) and they headed out.
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Then they decided to all hang on for dear life because, turns out, those rocks were slick!
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If you only knew how much Brian hates cold water. This is good parenting right here. Notice I am not in the water.
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She fell in. Twice. She kinda has a reputation for this sort of thing.
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Hang on for a second while I get the artistic photos out of my system.
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Yep, I'm just hanging out with my shoes on.
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Camden is becoming very interested in photography and he totally spotted this little "hole" in the trail and wanted to take Rory's picture here.
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Rory thinks she took this one.
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What a 10-year old does when you ask him to pose.
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Photobombed.
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Okay, another artistic one. Completely copied this idea of focusing on the trail from the Clickin Moms blog.
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Notice what Camden is doing in this picture . . .
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. . . and now Rory. Because she MUST do whatever he does.
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It was about this time we realized we had no idea where we were. The little white spot in this picture is us looking down on the sun glinting off our van. And no clue how to really get back.
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There are all kinds of little bridges and ramps that are there for mountain bikers.
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The trail came out a very long way from our van so we decided to backtrack.
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I put away the camera, which means I barely had time to whip it out when Camden ran up the ramp to help out Rory when she started crying.
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Laughing in relief.
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For a non-nature lover, this was a pretty fun fall afternoon. I doubt I'd have been as excited about being lost if it were say, summer and 95 degrees. But I can totally take being lost on a cool fall day.