Thursday, September 30, 2010

Last Day of September

How did you spend your last day of September?

It was a blustery, warm, sunny day today; not always what one thinks of for the end of September.  Oh sure, some of the leaves are starting to change, and most of the grass is a dingy shade of brown from the lack of rain, but overall?  Today felt like summer.  Ava and I drank it in.

We walked up and down the sidewalks in the neighborhood - or rather, I walked while Ava jogged, stopped to pick up a flyer, stumbled and scraped her leg.  But the flyer was worth it...she carried it for the duration of our outing.

Such a simple pleasure to carry around something that is essentially meaningless, and yet if the wind were to whisk it out of her tiny hands, she would have been devastated.  It reminds me of all the small things in life we should enjoy: the purring of a cat sitting contentedly on your lap, coming home to the enticing aroma of a pot roast in the Crockpot; curling up in bed with a good book; a decaf tall nonfat no whip mocha from Starbucks...which is my small thing that I enjoy maybe a bit too much. 

And this evening?  I enjoyed being outside in the warm sunshine with my daughter.


It's hard to stop and smell the roses when you have twenty things on your to-do list not crossed off yet, but eventually we have to give ourselves a break.  I did just that today by taking the day off of work, sleeping in, watching Ellen, and spending ample amounts of time outside with Ava.  I celebrated the last day of September.

October begins tomorrow and with it comes hauling out the Halloween decorations, buying jugs of apple cider at the grocery, and planning a trip to the pumpkin patch...not to mention the never-ending search for the perfect Halloween costume for Ava.

Cheers, September.  It's been a good one!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Eichhorn Photo Shoot

Thanks to the world of blogging and Facebook, a former co-worker of Jeremy's saw The Bright Side, liked my photos, and arranged for me to take pictures of her family at the Broad Ripple Art Center.

The grounds there are beautiful and provided lots of photo ops!  They have plenty of green space, trees, plants, flowers, well as neat artwork and sculptures throughout the park.

Evan is a spunky, energetic three-going-on-four year old who loves to run around and be silly.  I got quite a few action shots of this little man! 

Thankfully he did stay still long enough for some serious pictures as well.

Nicholas, nicknamed Nico, is a sweet and lovable 15 month old with gorgeous baby blues.  He was quite independent and enjoyed toddling from the playhouse to the deck overlooking the water.

These two brothers were just adorable.  I loved their matching shirts!

And after about 20 tries, we finally got a decent family picture!  Whew!  Attempting to get two little ones to smile and look at the camera at the same time is nearly impossible...but I like how Nico is looking at his family with perfect contentment on his face.  He must love his family a lot.  Either that or he's happy to be eating Cheerios.  Ha!

Eichhorn family, it was such a pleasure to take your pictures.  Thank you for being my first "test" clients!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What Terrible Twos?

Okay, so Ava isn't two yet, but tantrums typically start around 15 months.  And while she has her moments...

(carrying three diapers, a changing pad, diaper cream, and wipes all at the same time doesn't work)

...the majority of the time, she is such an awesome toddler.

We've had a very low-key weekend, compared to most.  Instead of spending the entire day out and about, running errands or visiting with friends, we've kicked back and enjoyed time at home.  Not that Ava has kicked back much.  She always has a lot of things on her agenda.  As soon as we got home from work and daycare yesterday, she was on the go. 

I had groceries that she helped put away...

She spent time attempting to put together a very difficult puzzle, which proved to be impossible without some help from Mama...

Being the girly-girl that she is, it was necessary to put on a beaded bracelet.  It was a bit big, so she had to wear it up high on her arm...

Finally, she checked the last item off her list.  A dance!

After putting Ava to bed, we had friends over for pizza and beer.  The weather was just right for sitting outside, and we stayed out there long enough to witness a perfect harvest moon rise slowly in the sky.

Today dawned bright and beautiful as Jeremy ran for Corporate Challenge, and Ava and I made orange danish rolls for breakfast.  Grandma and Great-Grandma came to visit around lunchtime, and Ava thoroughly enjoyed her meal at Steak 'n Shake: crackers, limes, four cherries, whipped cream, chocolate milkshake, half of a hot dog, and fries dipped in both ketchup and cheese.  It's the lunch of champions, really.

And tomorrow, I have my first photo shoot!  I am going to be doing family pictures for one of Jeremy's former co-workers.  Before the big day, I decided to play around with a few of Ava's pictures.

I think the low-key weekend has contributed to Ava's good mood and lack of tantrums.  So for  now, I am asking...what terrible twos?  We aren't seeing them this weekend in our house!  As for next weekend?  Well, I'm not holding my breath! 

Monday, September 20, 2010


Let's just jump right into it.  I have three separate things to blog about.

1.  Photography Class

I am currently taking a fundamentals of photography class through Indy Photo Coach and I LOOOOOVE IT!  During our last class, we talked about shutter speed and learned how to create images based on changing said shutter speed.  Without getting into technical jargon, let me just say that I was on a complete high after this class.  Learning to do cool things with your camera is AWESOME.  I am so so so glad I decided to put my two year plan into motion and take a class.  (And of course now I'm itching to take MORE classes!)

Slow shutter speed = soft looking water.  I tried to do this in July after reading the manual for my camera and it  I just didn't know what I was doing.  Now...I do!

A slow shutter speed means you can also blur motion.  Fast cars...BLURRED! 

Balloons blowing in the breeze?  BLURRED!

And if you raise your shutter speed, you can freeze motion. 

But the coolest two things I learned how to do are these...

Zoom blur...welcome to the vortex.  And say hello to my new camera bag too.  Helloooo Crumpler!

Panning...another way to freeze motion, but this time you blur the background.  Pretty cool!

2. Girls' Weekend

Last year Kelli, Barb and I started a new tradition - a girls' weekend, where we pick out a hotel that has a spa, a steakhouse, and entertainment.  This year for sure topped last year's get-away.  We stayed at the Blue Chip Casino & Hotel in Michigan City, IN.  The town is small and you'd never expect this resort-type place to be there, but once inside, you're transported into another world.  There were several places to eat, including the steakhouse where we had dinner Saturday night.  The entertainment for the weekend was not only watching all of the people come in to gamble, but also the "It's Vegas Baby" club.

There were DJ's, an awesome band called Phreak Show (who are also known as PS Dump Your Boyfriend), and a bartender who handed us drinks over the lines of people at the bar so we never had to wait for our beers.  We made friends with the DJ's, ran into some of Kelli's old high school friends, and danced the night away until 3am came and they shut the place down.

But these weekends are more than just steak dinners, shopping, spa treatments, and having a night out.  It's time to bond with your best have conversations you normally wouldn't share our thoughts and feelings with one another...a chance to become just a little bit closer.  I'm so glad we started this tradition and hope we can continue it as long as possible!

3. My Growing Girl

Ava has blossomed so much lately.  She is starting to say more and more words and even put little sentences together.  It's amazing and I want to freeze time for just a little while, to capture this stage in her life.  Each month passes by so quickly and I just know that sooner than I'm ready for, she's going to be a little girl.  But for now, I cherish every toddler moment.  Every word, every laugh, and even every tantrum...because sometimes a big drama scene over the littlest thing is quite funny.

She loves her shoes and often asks us to put them on her.  But sometimes, she likes to try putting them on herself.
This toddler stuff can be so challenging and draining, so I have to remind myself of the bright side: she makes me laugh with her silly faces and contagious giggle; her voice sounds unbelievably cute when she says things like, "Ba-ba" for bath or "My baby" when she wants her stuffed dolly; she loves to be outside playing and often will run to the door and say, "I anna go ou-ide."  I wonder how her personality now will translate into a little girl's and then a teenager.  I wonder if she will become easily frustrated when she can't do something like she does now...I wonder if she'll be into sports or dancing or both...I wonder what kind of friend she will be.   I hope she continues to love reading, being outside and hugs.  I hope she knows that we will help her when she needs it and will let her gain her independence as well.

For now, I will continue to take plenty of pictures so that even if I can't physically freeze time, I can capture each moment of her toddler years!

*Excuse the watermarks on the photos...I haven't created a good one yet, and the pictures were uploaded at different times, hence the different watermarks.