Saturday, July 28, 2012

A new journey

I wanted to share with you some exciting news. After a huge leap of faith and a big heart I am beginning my journey into photography. I have been asked by friends over the years to take pictures of their families and I just kept making excuses about how I wasn't good enough or didn't have the time. Well, time is an ongoing battle and there's no better time to get this thing going than in the summer with my teaching schedule.

I will admit that I do have so much to learn but I've discovered that most people aren't looking to spend $1,000 just to have a decent photo of their family in a frame. So as I'm beginning this journey, I'm terrified and thrilled all at the same time.

I've had the opportunity to build my portfolio with some recent photo shoots and I'm proud and excited that my weekends are filling up. Here are a few of my recent favorites.

I have no idea how I will handle it all once school starts but I just have to have faith that everything will work out as it should. Thankfully most people want sessions done on the weekends so I think I'll still be able to work it out.

My wonderfully talented husband created a logo for me and Rooted in Love photography was born.

I created a website so come take a look at Rooted in Love when you have a chance!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Concerts in the Garden

When it comes to Texas summer, usually it involves two things...

1. swimming
2. you're in the air conditioning

If you've been reading the blog, you'll know that it was pretty much hell on earth here last summer while I was pregnant, but surprisingly this summer has been pretty mild compared to last year. When I'm pregnant I pretty much sweat just checking the mail so that probably had a lot to do with it.

One of my favorite family summer activities is Concerts in the Garden. We pack a picnic and listen to music and play games and watch fireworks. Our favorite one to go to is a Beatles cover band. 

It's always safe packing some bubbles for entertainment. Although, I'd say that the boys were quite entertaining blowing bubbles with the faces they made.

Landry stayed at home with my niece. Poor things is asleep by 7:30 most nights so staying up until 10:00 would have just been no fun for ANY of us.

The boys on the other hand loved every minute of it. And drumroll please....for the first time ever, there were NO tears when it was time for fireworks! WOOHOO! I call that a milestone!

It was one of those "yeah this is the life" moments for me having an All-American picnic while listening to the Beatles (is that possible?).

I love that moments of laughter where there's just happiness and no fussing and fighting. When my kids are 6, 4 and 10 months, those moments are few and far between.

Can you tell that even I was a little laid back about it?! The photo is courtesy of Campbell.

Friday, July 20, 2012

slipping and sliding

Our last $10 pool from Target bit the dust after two years of a WHOLE lotta love. It was money well spent. We upgraded to a new pool with a "slide" even if the slide is a little too big for the boys.

My boys have absolutely no discrimination when it comes to pools. If it holds water, they consider it a pool.

They talked Justin into playing with them in the pool. Just even gave the pool a test drive.

 Landry loved just watching the boys and cheering them on.

She was so cute you couldn't help but give her a smooch in between slides.

Finally, Landry made it known that she wanted a piece of that pool. We didn't have her swimsuit handy so we did what we always do the in the backyard when our kids are little...she went skinny dipping! 

She loved it! And we loved watching her cute dimply bottom go crazy in that pool. 

She slept like a champ that night. 

One of my favorite things I love is when my kids are freshly out of the bath tub or the pool and water beads up on their long lashes. They just look so beautiful and begging for some lovin'!

I love spontaneous nights like these. Just naked babies in the pool, boys going kamikaze with their canon balls and a husband who look like they fit in right with my children.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Moustache Monday

I recently ordered some iron-on vinyl and saw something like this on Pinterest and I'm officially addicted. Oh the possibilities that I can do!

I used my Sure Cuts a Lot and Cricut. The important thing you have to remember is to cut everything backwards so it will iron on correctly.

Here is the tutorial I followed at Imperfectly Beautiful. And you can purchase iron-on vinyl for a good deal on Expression Vinyl.

I'm going to start brainstorming some more cute t-shirt ideas!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Gulf Shores

I was in denial about the trip coming up. Don't get me wrong, I was excited about seeing family and getting away but not so much the part of being in the car with 3 children ages 6 and younger for 2 days and a total of 12-13 hours.

So we decided to pack up a lot of movies coloring books, and toys, and make the best of it. Nolan was set with his reading material and glasses for our road trip.

We drove a big chunk at night which seemed to be good for Landry. She is the easiest baby ever…except the car. Suddenly my sweet angelic baby becomes possessed with something evil and shrieks so loud you're pretty sure that glass could break.

Day 1 of the trip went smoothly and we even made a pit stop in Vicksburg, Mississippi to the Civil War battlefield. I had never been to Mississippi and I gotta say that I was pleasantly surprised with how pretty it was. And the boys loved the battlefield.

We finally arrived in Gulf Shores after another full day of traveling. 

I remember taking each of my children to the beach as babies, and every time I took them, I remember thinking, I'm not taking a baby to the beach again! It's so much work. They want to eat the sand, there is sand EVERYWHERE and swim diapers…need I say more?

But here I find myself just three years after our last beach trip with Campbell taking sweet Landry Kate. She did pretty good, minus when she got wiped out by a wave while trying to take a picture.

She even fell asleep! I call that somewhat of a relaxing day at the beach!

My sweet niece broke her arm just a few weeks before our beach trip and had to wear a lobster- looking hand while we were at the beach but she was the best sport about it.

Every day our children slept HARD. That beach wore them out!

Probably my favorite part of the entire trip was that the cousins got to spend so much time playing with each other. It makes me wish that we didn't live over 900 miles away. But I love that they just pick right up where they left off. 

While we were in Gulf Shores, we were only about 30 minutes from Florida and I have never been, so we made a day of it and went to the children's museum in Pensacola. Now I added three more states to my list after this trip! Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida were all new ones. 

Our oldest niece, Dory, is seriously the best babsitter ever at the ripe old age of 8. It was so wonderful to have someone offer to play with her so I could actually chew my food and help in the kitchen or even take a shower! I can't wait for her to be old enough to come down to Texas to visit. 

You could say that Landry got spoiled. After nine months, I started weaning Landry. There were too many teeth involved and honestly, she was just over it and it was like wrestling an alligator just to nurse her. So it was glorious to have a break from feeding her for the first time ever. 

We were at the beach a few weeks before Campbell's 4th birthday and so we celebrated early with the family.  
One of the days that we were there we rented kayaks. I took Campbell out once…talk about an arm workout! 

And it wouldn't be a family vacation without a little forced family photo shoots on the beach! My in-laws celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary while we were in Gulf Shores.

And this is the best family shot we could get with Campbell. Guess he thought that the photo needed a little attitude.

Even though I swore that I would never take a baby to the beach, I'm glad I did. I'll treasure these beach memories forever. Even all the work that they took.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Happy Derby Day

Ok, so maybe it wasn't exactly the Derby when we took Campbell for his 4th birthday to Lone Star Park. But in the eyes of my 4 year old, he completely thought it was THE real Kentucky Derby.

I have never seen Campbell more excited in my life. He took every second of it in watching every move of the horses and jockeys.

Campbell's lifelong dream is to be a jockey. I haven't broken it to him that his daddy is 6'4" and his chances are slim. So we were excited to finally get a picture of him with a real jockey except Campbell held on to me like he was Santa Claus or the Easter bunny. I felt tall for once in my life.

We made a bet on #4 on Campbell's 4th birthday. Good thing it was a $2 bet because he came in dead last.

Nolan was a good sport and enjoyed it but he seemed more enamored by playing with his sweet Landry Kate. "I love her to the last star." -- Nolan Case McDonald, age 6. I think the feeling is mutual, Nolan.

We like to teach gambling young.

What a fun memory. I think this is one that Campbell will never forget. He's still talking about it and wanting to go back.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kentucky Derby party

It all began when Campbell saw the Kentucky Derby on TV when he was just 2. Not exactly Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but he stared at the TV for hours, which for a 2 year old is a miracle. He begged for a horse party but I already had his Cookie Monster party planned for his 3rd birthday (which he loved by the way) but I promised him we would do a horse party for his 4th party.

Well, his request for a horse party became more specific over the year. He wanted a jockey party. Since I get all of my ideas from copying other people I had NOTHING! Then I thought about going with the Kentucky Derby theme since my husband is from Kentucky. I knew he would know more about it than me. In case you're clueless about the derby, I'll give you a quick run down.

Each jockey has a silk from a farm so this is our silk representing our "farm".

There wasn't much to get ideas from since all horse parties seem to be western so I just starting winging it.

These horses were my husbands when he was young. Good thing he's a hoarder (never thought I'd say that) because these have been well loved by Campbell and they made some great table decorations.

Campbell was decked out in his jockey costume that my in-laws found for him. Can you tell he was giddy with excitement about his party?

And here were the party favors. They were almost the death of me but I think they added a cute touch and we used them for a stick horse race later. Some of the poor guys looked like they had the mange or some kind of equine disease but the kids didn't seem to mind at all.

The ONE thing I did find was a printable poster for Pin the Jockey on the  horse from Hostess with the Mostess. Justin added Campbell's face to the jockey. It looked hilarious.

After that we had our own Kentucky Derby stick horse race.

There was some serious galloping and I think even one or two that were thrown from their horse. Guess I should have put blinders on those horses.

I found this tutorial for the cupcake stand on Pinterest. It involves soup cans! Hey sometimes you have to get creative for these type of things.

The cupcakes seemed to be loved and a few messes were made.

But probably my favorite part of the whole party is that all the girls wore their big derby hats. Is it bad that's my only reason for wanting to go see a real Kentucky Derby is to wear an obnoxious huge hat?

I say when it comes to hats, the bigger, the better.

For not having a plan and not much to go off of, I'd say the party was a hit, but I'm always so glad when they're done because they're a lot of work!

But to see him smile, I'd say it's worth all of it!


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