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Category Archives: Brooklyn

DIY: Wood Floor Drop (for photography)

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I’m lucky enough to have EXCELLENT lighting in my house. Like, crazy good lighting. Most of the time it annoys me, actually…no one should have to wear sunglasses in their own home. 😉 But when I want to take photos, it is pretty much perfect.
There is a spot in my front room (which is the playroom/schoolroom) that I love to take photos by. There are two huge windows right behind me and then another big window to the left, so plenty of light streams through. The wall is blank with a very neutral tone (which I rarely use…I almost always use fabric as a sort of backdrop) and I usually have pretty good luck in this spot. The only thing that has been a thorn in my side is the tile floor.

It is currently trendy to have wood floors in studio photography. I can see why; they are seamless, have no wrinkles, and just look nice! Was I going to rip out my tile and lay down wood flooring? Yeah right. If I’m gonna spend $2k for photography, its going to be on lenses, not flooring. You can buy wood floor drops, but those can run anywhere from $100-$150 dollars, before shipping. And I’m not a professional! I just like to take decent pictures! So, I got the bright idea to make my own!

If I wood (ha ha ha!) have known how easy this was, I would have done it a LONG time ago! Total project cost was around $32 dollars, and it took about 30 minutes to put together.

Supplies you will need:
Laminate tile squares with adhesive backing in your choice of finish. I found these at Home Depot in the flooring department. They were .88 a square and I used 20. You could use more or less depending on the size you want.

Foam board ( I used 6 from Walmart) OR a piece of plywood/PDF cut to size. Either will work, its just a surface to attach the tiles to.

Once you have all your supplies, just adhere your tiles to your choice of base! Could this be any easier?!?!? When I finished, I flipped it over and used packing tape on the seams of the foam board to add some extra support, but if you use a seamless piece of wood, you won’t have that issue.

So much better than the tile!!! I can’t wait to put it to good use!

Artistry

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I don’t take enough photos.

No, really. My obsession with photography is almost a sickness. Shooting with a DSLR can be a bit…finicky. I REFUSE to shoot in auto, but that means that I have to take the time to find just the right aperture/ISO/fstop…blah blah blah, right?

So I miss moments like this. Ones that are so tender and cute you could almost feel her squishy cheeks on your lips. This picture is far from perfect. It’s grainy because I had to have my ISO at 1600 because I don’t have an external flash (if you use flash, you have to use external so you can swivel it away from your subject and avoid the “white out” look from a direct flash hit). Its a touch out of focus because the ISO was so high and the shutter speed so slow that any movement from my hand would send things a bit fuzzy.

But you probably didn’t see any of that until I told you.

What you see is what I should see…a baby who isn’t a baby anymore practicing her craft of coloring.

So, I’m going to take more photos. And I’m going to try really really hard to not care about grain or focus or anything like that. I’m going to care about moments and time and how fast it all goes.

So be prepared for an onslaught of horrible photos.

But first, this one. ‘Cause it ain’t so bad.

Sisters

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I love having two girls.

I know there will come a day where having two teen girls running through my house will be….interesting.

But for now, its mostly fun.

They have their moments, for sure. They bicker and yell and cry at each other. Mostly because of the ages they are at; both of them have yet to learn to really communicate effectively, so you can imagine the “arguments” they have. At least twice a day, the following happens:

Brooklyn isn’t gentle as she is trying to tickle London, London takes that as a personal insult, London shoves Brooklyn in retaliation, Brooklyn grabs London’s hair, London screams, Brooklyn laughs, Mommy crawls in the corner. Repeat.

All that is balanced out by the good moments. The moments they are separated by a thick piece of glass where neither of them can love on touch each other. London made it her personal mission to make Brooklyn laugh as hard as she could, and it was a victory. They played this way for a good 10 minutes…just enough time for me to think about getting a cup of coffee but not enough time to actually follow through.

Such is our life.

Bringing in the New Year, Picnic Style!

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New Years Day brought us beautiful weather. Phoenix was hit with our “winter” early this year, and it seems as though we’ve been hovering in the 50s/60s for quite awhile. Desert folk don’t do very well for very long at temperatures that low, so when the 80 degree day popped up in our forecast, we took full advantage! We picked up pizza, packed up drinks and a blanket, and headed to the park to enjoy the warm evening. It was such a gorgeous evening, and I didn’t have to do dishes!

Great fun was had by all, but we are ready for cooler weather for just a bit! We only get to wear our sweaters and coats for such a short period of time, so we like to get as much use out of them as we can. We’d like to take the kids up north for a snow day, so hopefully winter will find us again soon!

Christmas 2011

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Our children are 5.5, almost 3, and 16 months. While Brooklyn wasn’t super into it just yet, this was the first year that both Jackson and London were simply thrilled with everything the season is about! It was so much fun to countdown the “days until Jesus’ birthday”
with such gusto every morning. Jackson would change the days of our advent tree religiously and with the zeal of a child who has finally figured out that there is a day in the year where presents, food, family, and joy are
present in everything.
The festivities began for us the Friday before Christmas. Nana and Jerry came to our house for supper, and with them brought a huge box of gifts for the children. To say it was awesome would be an understatement; the gifts were fabulous and absolutely perfect for them! Jackson got a human anatomy set which he has named “Gray” after Gray’s Anatomy, London got a princess dress up box full of outfits and treasures, and Brooklyn got an elephant ball popper and musical instruments. The kids had a blast, and we all loved watching them enjoy everything so much!

On Christmas Eve, we headed to my parents house south of Tucson. We spent the day there with lots of my family, including my brother Bill and his wife Chasity. Bill had been deployed overseas and just came home a little before Thanksgiving, so it was good to see him! We had a traditional Swedish dinner, opened (more) gifts, and headed home.

Christmas morning!!!!! The kids were on cloud 9. Jackson, of course, woke up before the girls did. I anticipated this and had purchased new iPad games for him to play while he waited for his sisters to wake up. Once London woke up, they did stockings while I prepared our breakfast of pancakes and bacon (yum!). Brooklyn woke up and joined us for breakfast, and then to the tree we went!!! The children were just beside themselves with excitement, and we were blessed to be able to give them gifts that we knew they wanted. London got a singing Rapunzel doll and a doctor’s kit, which she has yet to put down. It is so fun to be able to do such wonderful things for them!
Greg and Jackson ended up with some sort of flu virus, so that put a bit of a damper on the day. 😦 Poor guys!
So, on to next year! Jackson started the countdown the day after Christmas! 🙂 We hope you enjoyed the holiday season with your family! Praise be to God for giving us cause to celebrate!

Family Pictures 2011

Greg and I have been married for 6 years. In that time, we’ve welcomed 3 children. Things moved very fast for us in those first few years; several job changes, two college degrees for Greg, buying a house, the babies…it’s a lot to shove in such a short amount of time. What we’ve never shoved in is family pictures.

Now, I love photography. I love how photos forever capture the moments your mind doesn’t have room to keep.  What I don’t like is how much it costs. So, I’ve been putting off professional pictures for years (and by professional, I mean a REAL photographer, not JCPenneys or the like) knowing that we would just be adding more kids. Looking back, I really should have done it. I should have done it every single year, because they bring me such joy to look at. I will forever have these moments frozen in time, with Brooklyn’s shining blue eyes and dimples hiding in her fluffy cheeks, London’s wide eyes and wild hair, and Jackson’s absolute rebellion in smiling for the camera. When I look at them, I’ll remember how sweet they all were, and maybe 15 years from now I’ll be able to recall the sweet smell of Brooklyn’s hair and the sword fights between Greg and Jackson. I’ll hear London’s fairy voice chiming in my ear…the sweet sounds of memories.

Worth every penny, don’t you think?