8.23.2014

back to school.

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Well, the first week of school has come and gone. Roman's school lets out two hours early for the first two weeks due to the heat, which is making for a nice transition. I don't want to think too much about my little boy being gone until 3:00 everyday yet! We went to Target + Old Navy last Friday to finish up our back to school shopping and it was so much fun. Well, until Asher's melt down that lasted two days over the light-up Ninja Turtle shoes he didn't get to buy, yikes...
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Roman seems very happy with his class. He miraculously picked a navy blue lunch box over all the obnoxious cartoon character ones which secretly made me happy and he told me all about trading some of his goldfish crackers at lunch with his classmates; it was, "so awesome," he says. Roman was super excited to tell me that he got a chance to be a "behavior bee" in his class, which means that he was rewarded for his good behavior by being able to sit in the bumblebee bean bag chair. His face was just lit up when he told me about it in the car. He really is just the sweetest, sweetest little boy - his teacher is pretty lucky I'd say.
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I am exhausted from my first week of school. I feel overwhelmed and stressed and a little in over my head. I really am not used to being so busy and it's just really tiring especially on Tuesdays + Thursdays where my days are 12+ long with work and school now. I'm still trying to figure things out as far as classes transferring / financial aid etc. as well so needless to say, I am super glad that it's Saturday. I don't work OR have school today because Aaron is working in the mountains and I'm hoping the boys will want to pretty much sit around and do nothing all day. Maybe I'll sort through some laundry as well since we have a new (to us) washer + dryer set!
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FabKids sent us these "back to school" outfits and oh my gosh, I am in LOVE with them. These little Fender and NPR tee shirts are just the coolest things ever and they are super soft / great quality as well. I've had these outfits waiting in the wings to be photographed for a while now but it's just been too gosh darn hot to put the boys in jeans. Last night was a super cool / rainy / fall weather kind of evening so after baths I took the boys out to the porch to do our traditional back to school sign coloring. I love how Roman went for a "color-blocking" technique and Asher was very excited and worked hard on his as well, although afterwards he ripped both of these papers to shreds in true Asher style! At least I have the photos though, right? ;)
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How is the back to school season going for you all?
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fab_kids_boy_clothes_2IMG_0319-2IMG_0321IMG_0232IMG_0294IMG_0160-2IMG_0177-2 .
on Asher - NPR shirt: c/o FabKids jeans: c/o FabKids shoes: Old Navy ( on clearance now! )
on Roman - Fender shirt: c/o FabKids jeans c/o FabKids
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And hey, if you like flashbacks like I do, here is our very similar back to school post on this same porch from last year! Time flies...
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( This post includes affiliate links to FabKids. If you use my link, you will receive your first outfit for only $15 and in return I will receive points towards free outfits for my kids. FabKids sent me these outfits to share with you all but this post and all opinions are my own. Thanks for reading along and providing my family with these awesome opportunities! )

8.17.2014

shifting gears.

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( sunset at the reservoir last night )
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This week Roman starts 1st grade in public school. I am so overjoyed and thrilled with his teacher. He attended a little summer program at his school for the past few weeks and the teacher that he had during that is the same teacher that he will have for 1st grade. She is everything you could ever dream of wanting in a teacher for your child - just perfectly sweet and wonderful. We visited Roman's classroom on Friday night and saw all the little chairs and colorful decorations and the pet turtle, "Tilda". I always wanted homeschool for my children and there is a part of me that still wants that and may do so in the future. But gosh, there is just something about public school that is so special and fun - there are parts of that experience that I want for my children as well. I loved elementary school and I'm just remembering and being able to re-experience that with Roman; buying new school clothes, going to pick out a pencil box, looking around at your classroom, choosing a lunchbox. It's all so sweet.
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I'm going back to school, as well, full time this week. I pretty much decided on this for sure just a couple days ago. I went in and talked to an advisor and brought my transcript and hashed it out a bit. She was such a nice, kind person and so helpful. Our meeting left me really inspired. Who knows how long this inspiration will last but hey, it's here for now. It felt so awesome to look at my transcript and realize how accessible my Bachelor's degree is looking especially since I feel like so many of the classes I have left are specific to my major which will be enjoyable and a breeze.
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Asher will be home with us, for now. He broke down into tears during Roman's open house, crying out, "I wannna go to schooooooooool." Oh the hardships of being a little brother. :)
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Even though things are changing and school is starting up again, I'm not considering it the end of summer. There is still plenty of time for tank tops + sitting out in the lawn while the boys chase ants and climb pine trees. Things will be busier for sure and I'm happy for that, we need a little less laziness around here. But as far as summer goes, I'm not ready to give up this season just yet.
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8.12.2014

portraits of roman.

IMG_9896-2IMG_9898IMG_9897 ( photos, 7/23/2014 )
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     Roman is every bit as sweet as he looks in these pictures and I love them and him so very much.
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     Roman has the happiest, happiest face that still has the same amount of sweetness to it as the day he was born. I love to cuddle with this boy of mine and feel his still-soft baby skin in my arms. 
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     He really is just the sweetest thing. :)
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We Are A Top Baby Blog

8.11.2014

celebrate.

IMG_9969I'm not very good at taking pictures of "big events" like Christmas and Easter and birthdays. Which is strange ,because growing up I had all of the obligatory photos: standing by the tree in the front yard holding my new lunch box on the first day of school, Christmas eve present opening at my great aunt and uncle's house, sisters and their new birthday bikes: all of those moments are captured and I love pouring through all of those pictures. They are full of 90s childhood charm
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But I am horrible at taking those kind of photos. Honestly, it isn't enjoyable for my to get out my big camera on special days . It's just too big and bulky and then I start critiquing the view, which is never artistically perfect in my everyday.
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What I am good about is capturing little moments with my boys in photos; like in the pictures shown here. Asher and I had taken Roman to school in the morning and afterwards he was so proud to show me all the things that he can do now on the playground, all by himself. Then, when we got to the parking lot,  I pulled out my camera to take some pictures of him by the fence. Those are the moments that I love how my camera feels in my hands and I love looking at my little sweet boys, taking pictures, creating evidence of the moments between us. Honestly, I'm really not a big "special occasion" person anyway. These little moments are the ones that are the most special to me, that I want to feel and remember forever and ever.
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Sometimes I worry that I don't take enough pictures, that I don't take pictures of the "right things", that I need to hurry and print them all out and organize them into photo albums. I know that as mothers, we all worry about these silly little things, don't we?
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For now, I'll just keep grabbing my camera when I want to, I'll keep capturing these little moments of life as the beauty and art that they are, I'll keep celebrating our days - my own way. :)
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"Celebrate" is the August writing prompt of The Mommy Blogger Collective. In addition to a monthly writing prompt, the collective hosts a monthly blogger featurette. This month we are featuring Nicole of Rose Runs Wild. A few words from Nicole --- Hi! I'm Nicole from Rose Runs Wild! I'm mama to a teenager, wife to my handsome husband and dog mama to our bulldog and pit bull. I work full time and blog in my free time. I love wearing black and white, plants, doughnuts, crappy pop music and working on our home we just recently bought! My blog is basic, it's just about our life. The good, the bad and the ugly. I try to share as honestly as I possibly can in hopes that one or two other people out there don't feel so alone. Life is rough, life is beautiful and it's all about connection through the highs and the lows. That's all I'm really trying to do, connect and share. And take lots of cute photos of my son (in the rare moment he lets me) and my dogs of course! Connect with Nicole here: Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin // Twitter // Tumblr. /// The Mommy Blogger Collective /// Christina, Courteney, Dena, Erica, Erin, Gillian, Katie, Misty, Nicole, and Renée. ///

8.07.2014

{heat} of summer.


these boys..
this is one of my favorite photos of my boys and one of my favorite photos period.
two little brothers,
two years ago
a different time, different place
same heat of summer.
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"Heat" is the July writing prompt of The Mommy Blogger Collective. In addition to a monthly writing prompt, the collective hosts a monthly blogger featurette. This month we are featuring Renee of oh renée. A few words from Renée --- Oh Renée started as a creative outlet for me a few years ago, a happy place to share creative and fun projects or fashion. Since then, it has evolved into one of the best things I could ever have done with my time! The last few years of blogging have become much more personal to me- more of a way to document this life of mine, with my husband, with my little boy and with the world around me. I enjoy sharing glimpses into our days and sharing in other mom’s lives as well, as part of this wonderful world of social media. Being a mother is better than anything I could have expected! Truly. I call Ohio my home, I keep the joy of traveling and exploring new places close to my heart, i spend my evenings knitting and am never without a book in my hand or in my purse. My blog is much of the same! You can find me on Instagram at instagram.com/ohreneedesign. /// The Mommy Blogger Collective /// Christina, Courteney, Dena, Erica, Erin, Gillian, Katie, Misty, Nicole, and Renée. ///

8.05.2014

on being creative.

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At the beginning of the month, I was asked to take part in a questionnaire on being creative. Dena - one of my favorite bloggers and dare I say, my "blogging friend" from Live Love Simple nominated me and I have been working on this post here and there ever since! By no means do I assume anyone is that interested in my creative process but I do feel like these questions were interesting to ponder and I'd love to share my answers with you all!
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What am I working on?
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Hmm, I am passionate about photography as an art but I am not and never have been particularly disciplined about it. I can't really say that I have a list of goals that I'm working towards achieving or a host of driven personal and professional projects that I'm chipping away at. I've realized over time that this isn't necessarily a bad thing. I still don't exactly know "what I want to do" with all of this but I've enjoyed the process so far. I've had different dreams and feelings towards all things photography / blogging related and those thoughts have changed and shifted as time has gone on. 
Professionally, I am not doing much with photography right now. I was still taking clients in the fall through my business and in the spring I did some freelance work. Problems with my computer forced me to pull back a little bit and honestly I'm really happy with that right now.

I'm actually feeling more interested in growing + focusing on my blog. I have been so happy with my decision to start working with FabKids! Collaborating with a brand has definitely been a dream of mine and they have been SUCH a fun company to work with. I know that sponsorship and making money blogging is a touchy subject for some and is something of a learning process for me as well. I do really enjoy working with brands though and hope to continue to do it in a way that in cohesive with my blog.
(( you can see the posts that I've done for FabKids so far: here! ))
I have also enjoyed being a part of the Mommy Blogger Collective. I am always so hesitant to participate in anything "outside of my box" but this has been a fun group that collectively writes on a prompt each month. I have also learned a lot about blogging through this group of women and I'm really glad that I decided to take part in it!
(( you can see the posts that I've done as part of the Mommy Blogger Collective: here! ))
IMG_6238IMG_5874( Client photos // Fall 2013 // Photography by Gillian Claire )
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How does my work differ from others as a genre?
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I definitely think that my photography has a distinct style which has stayed pretty consistent through the years, although hopefully while improving technically. I like my photos to have a light, soft, somewhat whimsical feel to them.
As far as my blog goes, I do sometimes find myself wondering what I'm doing with my blog or why I'm doing it but alas I keep finding myself here, blogging. My about me section lists my blog as a (real)lifestyle blog and I think that probably sums up what I'm doing here pretty well. I really don't dress my kids a certain way every day, I don't have a spotless house filled with fabulous DIY ideas to share with my readers. I'm not a chef or a gardener or doing reallllly anything that's going to go viral on Pinterest anytime soon but I do love journaling about my boys and I love photographing the way I see them in my heart - soft, lovely, beautiful little souls. 
ten month day.
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How do I write/create what I do?
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Speaking camera gear wise, I primarily use a Canon 5D and a 50 mm 1.4 lens. I edit using Lightroom / Photoshop. I have edited exclusively in each Lightroom or Photoshop but what I primarily do is edit mostly  in Lightroom and use Photoshop more for graphic design / layout type work. I really love the setup of Lightroom and I feel like it suits the style I seek best.
As far as writing goes, I mostly like a journaling / poetic style of writing. I just like to write like I'm filling up a notebook of thoughts. :)

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How does your writing/creative process work?
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Like I said before, I am really not disciplined about my photography or writing. There are a lot of ways that I go about my creative process. Usually if I write a particularly serious post, it's because something is on my mind and I randomly scatter out my thoughts into my iPod and then later publish it as a blog post. My posts are not really ever ideas that are previously planned and put together. I take photos when the mood strikes, I edit when I feel like it and then I just turn it into a blog post. I like to do photoshoots with my boys similar to how I go about client sessions but usually I just randomly pull out my camera and snap some photos. Sometimes those are the photos that turn into treasures. I truly value the pictures of my boys, the pictures here on my blog have feelings attached to them that run so deep.Thank you so much for letting me share them with you! It means the world to me when you leave sweet words behind. <3

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My nominations…
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Jenn of  These Ripples and WavesJenn has been reading my blog since the dawn of time and she lives in my home state of Ohio but we've never met in person! Our little boys are just days apart and I love following along with her life on her blog. We have a lot of the same ideas and passions and I always like hearing what she has up her sleeve as far as blogging / photography goes!
Ashlie of Be Your Own Lady: Ashlie's blog is a new one on my must-read-list! I love her passionate writing! Ashlie definitely seems to be a driven mama / blogger / woman and I'd love to hear more about how she views creativity!
Katie of  Hello Little Bean: Katie is a fellow blogger from the Mommy Blogger Collective. I love the clean, fresh look of her blog and of course her adorable little girl, Lark. I'd love to hear more about Katie's creative process! 

I'm honestly tempted to list every single blog here as a "nomination" because I want to read everyone's answers to these questions! So seriously, consider yourself nominated, world!
We Are A Top Baby Blog
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8.04.2014

portraits of a two year old.

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     i took these photos of asher right before he turned 3. he is wearing a tie dyed shirt that roman and i made when i was still pregnant with asher. we dyed and tie dyed a bunch of onesies + matching big boy shirts together that summer. asher's hair is long + curly in these pictures and on his birthday i cut his hair for the hundredth time while he sat our little stool in the living room.
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     i love these photographs, the last portraits of my two year old.
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     a little china doll made real.
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     these pictures remind me of these, taken of asher at 21 months old.
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