we really like school buses

over the summer, my little decided he really loved school buses- which is funny, because we rarely ever saw them.  so you can imagine the excitement in our house over the last few weeks when every morning and afternoon a parade of school buses goes up and down the street.  this afternoon, after the first round went by, the kids went running to grab their own school buses (we've accumulated a surprising number in just 3 years), and we ended up playing with them for the rest of the afternoon.  here's a little peek of what it looked like :)

in honor of having my computer back

over the holiday weekend, my husband and i decided on the spur of the moment that after months of having many large holes in our walls, it was time to finish up spackling and paint our living room.  this was awesome because i now have blank, lovely walls that i can fill back up with holes as i re-hang my collage wall in a new spot.  it was not awesome, however, because it meant all the furniture on our first floor was in disarray for two days, including my computer and desk, which sat unplugged and lonely in the middle of our dining room.  that meant two days of no importing photos, no editing, no blogging, none of it.

my poor heart.

so, as i do a little dance from my computer chair that has been happily reunited with its rightful spot as i gaze dreamily at our new pixel white (which are actually quite grey) walls, i've decided to do a share of the photos i took over the last two days to make up for their lengthy confinement on my camera's sd cards.

enjoy ;)

our new favorite place

this summer, my boys and i discovered that we really, really love picking our own fruit.  we've gone blueberry picking twice, raspberry picking once, strawberry picking two or three times (i can't remember because the trips are all blurring together) and today we went peach picking for the second time.  the orchard has become our new favorite place to spend our mornings.

today, we were lucky enough to bring daddy along, which meant a (slightly) easier time capturing our visit, and some very excited boys who couldn't wait to show their dad the finer points of peach picking- including, but not limited to: making sure you only pick the peaches that are still on the tree, avoiding branches at eye level, the art of getting a peach with the leaves still attached, and dropping the same peach over and over to speed the ripening process.

oh, and we also had a storm trooper escort.

it was a really, really fun morning.  

personal photojournalism: dinner from the snack bar

september is here, which means that summer is officially on its way out.  because my heart is breaking a little bit over the loss of extra sunlight and balmy evenings, sunscreened skin and chlorined hair, and fresh fruit picking and corn on the cob, i decided to dedicate this post to what will probably be our last evening of the year at the pool.

a typical afternoon spent at the pool for us involves me hauling two huge bags in along with myself and the kids- one bag for our towels, toys, and clothing, and another bag full to the brim with food.  granola bars, pretzels, veggie straws, grapes, apple slices, water bottles, you name it, i throw it in.  my kids love to eat at the pool.  and who doesn't? i remember hitting up the snack bar every half hour during our trips to the pool as a kid as my mom's stash of quarters quickly dwindled.  unfortunately, we've got some fun food restrictions to contend with, so we've avoided our pool's snack bar all summer to simplify our lives.  the other night, though, we had had a long day and knew the boys needed to blow off steam- and so did we.  so we grabbed a few bucks, packed some applesauce pouches, and promised the boys hot dogs for dinner.

they loved it, and so did we.  it was the perfect family evening, and i couldn't have asked for a better way to end the summer.

keep circling around and visit christine hurla's blog to see how she ended her summer: Kansas City Family Photos

a weekend at the beach

i already write this post once and when i was *almost* finished, the entire thing disappeared.  normally i'd be annoyed, but i'm especially mad right now because i specifically dedicated my 90 minutes of afternoon work time while the kids are sleeping/having down time to getting it done.  so, since i'm letting my kids watch an extra half hour of cartoons to knock it out, here's the short version of what i had planned to say:

1.  this vacation was amazing.

2.  i really like these pictures.

3.  i wish i was in more of them.

and now here's a bunch of pictures for your viewing pleasure.  they're in chronological order, so i'll let them tell the story without butting in with a bunch of words no one will read anyway ;)

the pool at golden hour

so there's this magical time of day that happens in the hour or two following sunrise and the hour or two preceding sunset when the sun is low in the sky and it spills a golden sort of magic all over the world.  photographers call it the golden hour, other people refer to these times as "i'm not getting out of bed yet" and "dear lord can i please put the kids to bed now".  

the truth is, as much as i *love* playing with the light during the golden hour, for about 45 weeks out of the year, it's a completely impractical time for me to be running around taking photos, especially since my main subjects are my children.  if you've spent any amount of time around me in the last 2 years, you know i've always got my camera in my hands and in front of my face, but even i'm not crazy enough to mess with my kids' eating and sleeping schedules.  not even for the sake of super yummy fabulous light.

tonight, however, was a night we made a bit of an exception to the rule.  we decided to take advantage of what was truly a perfect summer day and have an early picnic dinner at the pool.  by the time we were done eating, we were juuuuust entering into the time of light filled magic-y goodness, and so despite the looming risk of my camera getting splashed, i of course whipped it out and took full advantage of our gold coated evening excursion.  i hope you enjoy the result as much as i enjoyed the process :)

looking for birds, as he always does when we're outside <3 

at this time a year ago, i would have deleted this one without a second glance because the focus fell on the table in front of them and not on their sweet faces.  but a year is a long time for learning and growing, and so now i say "forget you, rules".  i adore this image.  everything about it.  so it will stay, and i will love it.

oh, and this basketball court?  this basketball court in the evening is what dreams are made of.  i'm not kidding, it's SO beautiful on this court as the sun sets next to it.  the shadows are drool worthy.  the only thing i'd change is to put a wooden fence around it so there was a nice clean backdrop instead of a chain link fence with cars on the other side.  but you know, reality and all that.  i'll take what i can get  :)

the wonders of a new park

so the theme for this week is landscape photography, but let's be honest- i'm terrible at landscape photography.  i also don't have much of an interest in getting any better at it because i'd much rather devote my time to improving on my skills that have potential ;)  so, i think i'm going to leave the landscape photography to my talented friends who have a true eye for it and intentionally go off prompt this whole week.

today's weather is absolutely glorious, and i have a new 2 year old who is eager to ride his new tricycle uninhibited by petty obstacles like hills that are too steep to pedal up or streets that are too busy to ride in, so this morning we packed up the bikes and headed to our local elementary school.  we've never stopped at this particular playground because if school's not in session, then we're usually at the pool or at a different park, but all of our usual stops are overrun with summer camp kids, so we had to venture outside of our comfort zone a bit today.

turns out, that was the best thing that could have happened for all three of us.  the kids loved the equipment, there was an enormous amount of blacktop space for bike riding, and ample shade for me to hide in when the sun got to be too much.  in fact, i hadn't even intended to do a blog post today because i didn't anticipate getting many keepers from our little outing, but i wound up with 17 images that i just couldn't part with, so here we are.

^ when you tip your tricycle and refuse to let your mom help you up, she will take pictures of you moping instead.

happy monday all <3

a glimpse of summer

the weather today was, in one word, glorious.  even better than the day we went to the forest last week and i went on and on about how gorgeous the weather was.  that's the kind of perfect today was.  normally i would have packed the kids up and headed to either the park or back to the forest to take full advantage, but we were car-less today so we had to make the best of the day in our postage stamp sized front yard.

i think we did okay :)  we're not much for fancy around here-  as much as i would love a real water table for the kids to play in, we've found plenty of joy in scavenging random buckets and bins from around the house and hauling them from the kitchen sink to the front sidewalk along with some extra cups and colanders.  water is water, no matter what kind of vessel you're scooping it out of and dumping it from, after all.

one of my favorite things about these types of activities is the way my (and all, really) children grow and evolve them into something way beyond what my original intention was for it.  today i kind of thought they could fill up the two empty yogurt containers and use them to transfer water between the bins- which is why i brought three out.  i think that happened maybe twice.  instead they worked to find ways to dry off the different items we brought out once they got wet (their hands included):

and they spent some time discovering the lines of run-off created whenever they dumped a new cupful onto the sidewalk:

they also noticed how fun it was to get the stairs wet (although for the life of me i don't see the entertainment value in that), and they spotted the shadows created by flying water if they positioned themselves in a sunny spot.

of course, as they so often do, they went from being completely absorbed in their play to over it and ready to go back inside in less than 30 seconds.  fortunately, i had anticipated that and locked the door so they'd have to help me clean up before abandoning the great outdoors for a chance to raid the pantry and strip down to their skivvies in the name of drying off.  and they got some great practice in going safely down the stairs.  mom: 1, kids: 0   ;)