personal photojournalism: fall arrives

i'm going to keep the words brief and the images plentiful for this month's blog circle.  as much as i'd love to talk about the fabulous tree at the top of our street that drops its gorgeous yellow leaves several weeks before the rest of the trees in the neighborhood, i think it would be a lot more effective just to show you.

the best part of this tree is that it's right by the special secret spot in our neighborhood where you can almost watch the sun go down instead of just losing it behind the tree line, so there's usually some really yummy light up there at the end of the day.

so when i still needed a picture for my 365 after a long and busy day, and dinner was finished but bedtime still hadn't arrived, and the kids were rammy, the tree and the sunset were calling to us.

it ended up being the most perfect 30 minutes.  the weather was beautiful, the kids were in their element, and the rest of the world just kind of fell away from us as we played and i clicked away.

happy fall :)  be sure to follow the circle around to amanda's post see what she's been up to as the seasons change! Family Photographer in Gwinnett County

personal photojournalism: when your youngest turns two

welcome to this month's personal photojournalism blog circle!  when you're done checking out my little's birthday, make sure you click around the circle to see what christine hurla, overland park family photographer has been up to.

a little background first: last year, shortly after i realized i wanted to dedicate myself to learning documentary photography, i decided it was time to challenge myself a little more, so i took advantage of my my baby's first birthday and shot a day in the life to commemorate the day.  i loved it so much, and was so thankful to have all those photos, that i did the same for my big's birthday that october.  after that, i realize it would be silly to stop there, so i've pledged to shoot a DITL for their birthdays as long as I'm able to, until they're big and grown and not living in my house anymore.

my little turned two at the beginning of the month, and even though i finished the images over a week ago, i just haven't had a chance to blog them yet, so i figured this was the perfect opportunity.  i ended up with over 100 images from his day, but to save you from having to scroll for miles to see them all, i'll be sharing the abbreviated version here ;)

morning wake up routine: juice, cereal, and cartoons followed by some play time and a diaper change ;)

we've somehow created the tradition of having our birthday cake for breakfast.  initially we would just have leftovers for breakfast the day after, but when you're a toddler and you know there's cake, it's hard to wait all day.

then we got dressed, had a little tantrum (he did turn two, after all), and headed outside so he could get his gift.

the tantrum continued, but he once he realized that a tricycle is actually really cool, he chilled out a little bit ;)

of course, then there was the challenge of explaining to big brother why he didn't get a new tricycle and that he couldn't ride it until after little brother was done.  fortunately for him, his brother needed a break pretty quickly.

we played outside for awhile before we headed in for snack and a potty break, and then we headed back out for a trip to the park before lunch.

then it was home for lunch- but first, tantrum number two that resulted in him refusing to eat lunch unless he was on my lap.

which meant an early nap as soon as he finished "eating".

after nap, we headed over to grandma and grandpa's house for some family time with our cousins and grandparents.

and then, after our gorgeous dinner out on the deck among those we love, it was time to go home and wrap up the day.  bath, book, bed, and the end of birthday number 2 for my baby number 2.

personal photojournalism: the return of the walk

it's blog circle time!  when you're done checking out our spring story, head over to Jessica's blog at Samarie-lei Photography to see how her family has been spending their time! 

it has been a long, long winter in our house.  the truth is, it hasn't even been that cold, and we certainly haven't gotten all that much snow, but my tolerance of temperature dips has taken a nose dive, which kept us cooped up inside for the vast majority of the winter months.  with 2 boys under 4, that made for some long, cold, grouchy days stuck inside our little townhouse.  so, it goes without saying that we were all thrilled when the weather turned warm and springy a few weeks back, even if it only lasted for a few days at a time.  we played outside in the driveway, rediscovered bubbles, enjoyed water play out on the deck, hit every park in a 10 mile radius, and- best of all- reinstated our family walks.

we've been going for walks together as a family since our first was still cooking and we were trying to persuade him to make his arrival.  since he was an october baby, we didn't get many walks in immediately following his birth, but once the weather warmed back up, you could find us walking almost daily for fresh air and sunshine.  when i was pregnant with our second, i was hesitant to get a double stroller, but my wonderful friends and family knew me better than i did and surprised us with one.  it was possibly the best and most used gift we received with him.  i would guess that at least 4 evenings a week in the springs and summers since we welcomed our second son (starting about 4 weeks after his arrival), we've loaded both kids up and hit the sidewalks.

it's our chance to get out, get some air and some sunshine, unplug from the world and plug into each other.  it's an opportunity for my husband and i to have a real conversation while our boys witness the maintenance of a marriage built on friendship.  it's a chance for our littles to observe our little corner of the world and a little slice of nature while they feel the gentle clack-clack-clack of the sidewalk under the stroller wheels.  and, now that they're older and energetic and eager to explore, it's a chance for all four of us to stretch our legs and burn off any energy we may have left at the end of the day.

the big has fully embraced our invitation to him to be freed from the stroller once we cross into the neighborhood behind ours (since it actually has sidewalks, unlike where we live).  he runs 4 or 5 driveways ahead of us before turning around to ask if we saw how fast he ran.  he is eager to pick up every interesting leaf, rock or stick he may find, and he is enthralled by ant hills and flower buds and, in true boy fashion, bird poop covered sidewalks :)

the little has been more hesitant to leave the comfort and familiarity of his stroller seat.  it takes some persuasion to get him to walk on his own, and even more persuasion to get him moving for more than a minute or two before he asks to sit again.  fortunately, he has an older brother who is gentle and understanding and at the same time desperate to share his enthusiasm with his best friend.

it's a simple joy of mine, as their momma, to watch the way they function together.  the little adores his brother so deeply- he watches his every move, he imitates and seeks approval.  he allows his older brother to share his knowledge and experience with things that to him are big and new and foreign.  more than once, the tables have turned and my shy and timid oldest has turned to his brother in moments of overwhelm and uncertainty to be his anchor; this big brother sometimes needs his little brother as a safety net more than the other way around when they're both facing something new.  but when my oldest is secure and confident, that swells within him and pours out of his heart and he becomes the teacher and the comforter all at once, and he leads his brother, who is happy and thankful to follow.

these walks are so much more than just walks for us, and i am so very glad for their return.  now continue around the photojournalism blog circle to see some amazing photos from Jessica of Samarie-lei Photography :)

personal photojournalism: saturday morning

several months ago, while i was still over on my original blog, adventures of a momtographer, i was a part of a really awesome group of photographers that started a monthly blog circle dedicated to documenting our own families' stories.  we took a (long!) unexpected break during the craziness of the holidays, but now we're back and ready to pick up where we left off- with one small change.  previously, each month's post was themed around a quote chosen by a group member, but now we've decided to simply choose a story that is significant to our family to document.  the shift in focus came at an excellent time since the 3 men in my household recently established a new saturday morning tradition.  when you're done here, make sure you follow the circle around to jj killins' blog to see what stories her family is writing!

my husband is a big fan of french toast, but since i have celiac disease (and gluten free bread costs $9 a loaf) i don't make it all that often for the family.  not too long ago, he asked me to show him how to make it so that he could have it from time to time without needing to use my bread or ask me to handle his.  well, once my big figured out that daddy was cooking, he just had to be daddy's helper, which of course meant my little wanted to jump in too, and 2 or 3 french toast breakfasts later it's become their saturday morning routine.  they wake up with cartoons and apple juice and once the sleepy has worn out of their eyes, they head off to the kitchen.

there's some quick prep:

and then they're ready to get started.

of course, cooking with 2 kids under the age of 4 means that sometimes things get sidetracked.

but the end result is always the same :)

i'm looking forward to all the french toast saturdays we have ahead of us :)

don't forget to swing over to jj killins photography next to see what they've documented this month!