Thursday, December 20, 2012

A poem

This poem was forwarded to me by my sister-in-law and I thought it was so beautiful, I had to share it.

Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
> when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
> their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air
> they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there
> They were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say
> they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
> "where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse
> "this is heaven." declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house."
> When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
> but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
> He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same
> then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
> and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
> those children all flew into the arms of their King
> and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
> one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
> And as if He could read all the questions she had
> He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
> then He looked down on earth, the world far below
> He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
> then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
> "Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
> "may this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
> "I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
> Then He and the children stood up without a sound
> "come now my children, let me show you around."
> Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
> all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
> And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
> "in the midst of this darkness, I am still The Light."
> ~Author unknown

It reminds me to trust that even though they were so tragically taken from this earth, the beauty and love they see and feel right now is beyond our comprehension.

And on another note, we are in the midst of a great controversy right now. The gun debate; some want stricter laws while others believe that isn't the solution. I don't own a gun. I never will. It's just too scary to think about, having a gun in my house. But I don't believe that banning guns is the answer. Criminals do not obey laws. They will obtain guns either way. People who want to do harm will always find a way.

We need to stop the arguing over who's right or wrong. We need to come together. I know we all feel that something has to be done. Just what that something is, is the big question. But one thing we can ALL do, is to stop focusing on all the evil that is in this world, and do our part to show the kind and loving side of human nature. Go out of your way this holiday season {and always} to show kindness to family and strangers alike. Ever see that commercial where someone witnesses a random act of kindness and it sets a chain reaction of good deeds into effect? THAT'S what we need to do! Inspire the world to do good! Show evil that good WILL prevail. We won't cower in fear or wave the white flag. We will stand up and fight for good. Show extra compassion. Give extra tight hugs. Light up this world with a love that can be seen from the heavens. Let's show those little angels we can do better.

Psalm 27:13-14 "I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!"

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I found the address to send condolences to the families of the Sandy Hook tragedy. I wish I could do something more for them, but the more love and prayers they receive, the tighter they will feel God's arms wrapped around them. Here it is:

PO Box 3700
Newtown, CT 06470

Monday, December 17, 2012


This is Emma. She is 6 years old.
She is the same age as the majority of the children
tragically killed last Friday in CT.
Look at her face. That sweet innocence only a child
can possess. She is love. Pure love.
As I look at the faces of the sweet children that were taken from their parents
far too soon, I can't help but picture my own child's face. That could have been her!
That could have been her classmates!
My heart is so heavy with sadness. I find myself constantly shaking my head in disbelief
and can't fight back the tears. Those families. Those poor devastated families.
Christmas is supposed to be a time of rejoicing. They will only feel loss.
Sorrow. The emptiness of a loved one....forever gone.
A child.
How will they cope? The hole in their hearts must be unbearable.
Please, God....please comfort them. Please tell their parents
that they are with you. That they didn't suffer. That angels were there with them,
holding them close. That they are in paradise where there is no more
evil. Tell them somehow. Help them. Please, God. Help them understand
that even though they held those precious children only a short time,
they will be reunited some day. Help them get through this life
on earth without them. Please, God.
Help the rest of us deal with the fear. Help us heal our own hearts and trust that
you have a plan for everyone. And one day, this heartbreak will end.
Help those suffering from mental illness get the attention and care they need.
Help everyone suffering with the sadness that surrounds us today and always.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


"The angels are always near to those who are grieving, to whisper to them that their loved ones are safe in the hand of God." ~ Quoted in The Angels' Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994

Please pray for the families of the following angels:

Charlotte Bacon, (age 6)
Daniel Barden, (age 7)
Olivia Engel, (age 6)
Josephine Gay,  (age 7)
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, (age 6)
Dylan Hockley, (age 6)
Madeleine F. Hsu, (age 6)
Catherine V. Hubbard,  (age 6)
Chase Kowalski, (age 7)
Jesse Lewis, (age 6)
James Mattioli, (age 6)
Grace McDonnell, (age 7)
Emilie Parker,  (age 6)
Jack Pinto, (age 6)
Noah Pozner, (age 6)
Caroline Previdi, (age 6)
Jessica Rekos, (age 6)
Avielle Richman, (age 6)
Benjamin Wheeler, (age 6)
Allison N. Wyatt, (age 6)

Rachel Davino, (age 29)
Dawn Hochsprung, (age 47)
Anne Marie Murphy, (age 52)
Lauren Russeau, (age 29)
Mary Sherlach, (age 56)
Victoria Soto, (age 27)

Saturday, December 15, 2012


I didn't sleep well last night. I couldn't stop thinking of the tragedy that has befallen the quaint town of Newtown CT. It was supposed to be a safe town, one that has only had 1 homicide in the past 10 years. This really opens one's eyes to the fact that it truly is safe nowhere. We let our guard down, thinking something like this could never happen to us or our community, but we just never know. And that is the scariest thing. Like was said in one article, "Not even kindergartners learning their ABCs are safe." It's horrifying.

I am someone who would be devastated to accidentally hit a squirrel with my car on a road, so I cannot even fathom what state of mind this boy was in to be able to carry out such a heinous and despicable act. Practically a kid himself, he coldly and maliciously cut the lives of so many innocent children short. It was said he struggled with mental illness. Well, you'd almost certainly have to have some wires crossed to do something like shoot kindergartners. That, and be 100% pure evil. I'm sorry, mental illness is no excuse. He still knew right from wrong.

Last night, as I lay in my bed trying to fall asleep, all I could think about was how devastated those families are. How they woke up this morning and got their children ready for school like any other day, for the last time. They will never do it again. They will never kiss them goodnight, help them with their homework, watch them breaks my heart. It breaks everyone's heart. To lose a child is unimaginable.

So I prayed. And I prayed. And I prayed. And as I prayed I thought, what can we do? I mean, we can all pray for the families, but it won't ease their sorrow. Nothing can. Nothing short of God bringing these innocent people back to life can. Why does this happen? Life is so unfair! It makes me question so much. One thing in particular is gun control.

This is a heated topic. So many people believe that it's their right to own a gun to protect themselves. But I believe that it's probably more common that these guns kill more innocent people in accidents and horrific acts like yesterday, than they do protecting people from intruders. I also believe that if we had really strict guns laws which made it near impossible for the average person to own a gun, things like this would probably happen anyway. When evil people want to hurt others, they will always find a way.

Obviously this boy wanted to die. But why.....why, why, WHY did he have to take 27 other lives first?? Why children? 5 through 10 year olds.....why? That question is on everyone's mind today. And even if we did have an answer to that, it wouldn't make it any better. Our hearts would still break for those affected. There are still 20 young children who will never experience college, marriage, children, grandchildren, etc. And 7 adults, who won't be going home to their families. Their loved ones left with the void of someone dear to them, forever gone. They just didn't deserve to die. It's so incredibly sad.

And then there are the kids that survived. They are lucky to be alive but they are forever scarred with the horror of what happened. It couldn't have been an easy thing to witness as a child. God help them heal.

When my kids got home from school yesterday, I hugged them for a really long time. Eden said, "Are you OK, mom?" And I thought, as I hugged her, feeling her breathe, smelling her hair, feeling her warmth, how lucky I am that I can still hold them. Still snuggle them. Hear them laugh. It's a blessing. A gift for which I which I will never take for granted again. You just never know how long you have with the people you love. And no matter how long, it's never enough.

My deepest sympathy to the families affected by this tragedy. Heartfelt thoughts and prayers to everyone involved. May you find the strength to get through these difficult times ahead.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


We bought each of the girls a pair of brand new ice skates about a month or so ago. The first time they used them was about two weeks ago. These are a couple of pictures from that day. See how behind I am with looking through photos lately??
This was Emma's first time skating ever. She loved it. I remember Hanna's first time skating. She was taking lessons, and she must have been in preschool. I wanted to start her early because it was my hope that she would be a hockey player. Anyway, she couldn't stand up on the ice by herself so they let her have a chair for balance. It was the cutest thing. The whole group would be listening to the instructor and Hanna would be off in her own little world, pushing her chair around the rink.

Maybe I'll have a hockey player yet :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cute Barbie Cupcakes

I know this isn't in English, but the video is very self explanitory. This seems like a really easy way to make Barbie cupcakes that any little girl would love :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Happy Fall

I don't really know when the beginning of fall actually is, but it has to be soon. The air is so chilly in the morning now.
Anyway, I've been busy creating cards for Prints Charming. I am so darn excited to launch my website!! But I wanted to give you a little preview of what I've been up to!
Let me know what you think!
This one is a flat 5x5 card and I am showing both front and back sides here.
I am planning to offer customizable clipping mask templates for photoshop as well as pre made cards through my website (eventually). It takes some time to create each card but it is SO MUCH FUN!

Monday, September 10, 2012

time to drain the pool

Considering how cold it's been at night, I think that draining the pool is a few weeks overdue. The only reason that we waited is because Eden wanted to use it for her birthday party. Well, we ended up rescheduling her party so in the end, it was pointless to keep it up.

Draining it is pretty effortless. You attach a garden hose to the plug at the bottom and let 'er rip. Except for one...minor problem. The plug needs to be removed from the inside.


Well I certainly wasn't going to do it. Andreas wasn't going to do it. Eden and Emma are too little to do it. That leaves one person....

Oh come on, it seems logical enough to me. She's on the Davies swim team, she can do all the fancy turn flipping underneath the water, certainly she can handle a backyard pool plug! Needless to say, getting in that frigid pool water did not excite her. One. Bit.

Don't worry, we rewarded her handsomely. A $5 bill should cut it, right?

When we told her about the prospect of making a couple of easy bucks we thought she'd be ALL over it (considering she's saving up for some beats). But then she informed us that NO amount of money was going to make her get in that water.

Then we made her do it anyway.


But all is well. We let her take her time getting in the water instead of rushing her through it. After close to 45 minutes of whining and procrastinating on the pool ladder, she plunged underneath the water and pulled the plug. Literally a 10 second job. I could handle a $5/ 10 second job. Anyone hiring?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cameras and their operators

I saw this on Facebook this morning and had to share it.
It's so true. I think a lot of photographers get annoyed when people say things like, "Your camera takes such good pictures". While it is true that expensive cameras and lenses have their place, it's the one who's operating that expensive equipment that makes a picture good or bad. Yes, expensive cameras can take bad pictures.
In fact, you don't even need expensive top of the line cameras and lenses to take incredible photos. Some of my most favorite captures (still) are those I had taken on a fairly inexpensive point and shoot Canon.
Composition matters. If you don't have an artful eye, it doesn't matter how many thousands of dollars you spend on photographic equipment, you won't take great pictures.
"The single most important component
of a camera is the twelve inches behind it." - Ansel Adams
"Buying new gear will NOT improve your photography. For decades I thought "if I only had that new lens" that all my photo wants would be satisfied. Nope. I still want that "one more lens," and I've been shooting for over 30 years. There is always one more lens. Get over it." - Ken Rockwell
In fact, here's the link to page on Ken's site on which I found this quote. He's awesome.
Please remember this, when complimenting a photo, make sure it's directed at the one who truly deserves it - the person behind the camera ;)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cow lick

This was in the petting zoo at Bonanzaville's Pioneer Days
It was a fun day. Perfect beautiful weather, not too hot. My favorite part was petting this cute little calf. It was munching on our fingers and had a rough scratchy tongue. I could have stayed there all day petting him. He was so cute.
I have taken SO many pictures over the past month or two and I haven't gotten a chance to edit any. Who wants to sit inside and edit photos when you can be outside in the summer sun??
I did edit this one though.
I really love this picture of Eden. It was one of those unexpected favorites. They were making tents on the deck out of blankets and sheets and there just happened to be a piece of sparkly fabric draped over a chair in the background making this really lovely bokeh. This was a very crisp photo, her eyes were so clear. But I chose to make it hazy and soft anyway. Sharp eyes are something I really love about a good photo, but I also love these softer looking pictures. So pretty.
I have tried, honestly I have, to sit down a little each day and do some work with my images but it's almost impossible to get anything done with kids around. The second I sit on the computer chair, they are in the room. Like a magnet, they cling to me. Talking, talking, talking, always talking. Asking me questions, showing me this or that. Inside, I'm just screaming but I have to try and be patient with them. I know they love being with me. But how can anyone with kids at home actually do work that requires brain power?? It's like trying to read a book with kids around. Pointless. You are constantly interrupted. And you realize you've read the same sentence 4 times and still don't have a clue what you've just read. At that point, it's time to give up.
So here's to the last day of endless talking and interruption. I'm going to spend it outside, enjoying the company of my fabulous, sweet, adorable girls. Just being with them, no schedule, no cares, no worries. Just us. Soon enough, I'll wish I had these carefree days back. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Unleashing the beast

When it rains, it pours. That's what my mom's words of wisdom were for me this morning as I whined to her about my growing problems at home. Not marital problems, no worries there. House problems.

I love our house. I remember the excitement I felt the first time we looked at it. As we walked through the front door, I instantly felt home. I imagined my girls running down the beautiful open staircase in their jammies and slippers on Christmas morning, big family Thanksgiving dinners, and birthday parties. I loved it. And I still do, but.....

It's been quite the money pit. I won't go into detail (as I'm sure my husband wouldn't appreciate it), but let's just say, we've put way more money into repairs than we would have liked in the short 3 years we've been here. We expect a certain amount of repairs to be done on an older house, but when we have to repair the same thing more than once, twice, even THREE times, it's more than a tad frustrating.

Case and point - our central air. It stopped running on a Sunday. On Monday, I called a local heating and cooling business (I won't mention any names) and got prompt same day service. The technician changed our embarrassingly dirty filter, changed some batteries, trimmed the bush that was overtaking the outdoor portion of the cooling unit and it appeared to be working. Yay! Two days later, it stopped working. So I called again. And again I got prompt same day service. They sent the same technician out. Turns out we needed a new control board. So, we got charged a second hefty service call fee and another big chunk for the new control board. We were frustrated to say the least. We felt it was unfair to be charged for a second call for the same problem that should have been taken care of on the first visit. In fact, I was just about to write a letter to the company about it when.......our air stopped working. AGAIN!

Well, you can imagine how extremely unimpressed we were with the situation at this point. And of course since I'm the one that's home during the day, I get to deal with all the phone calls. I was not looking forward to calling this place a THIRD time for the same problem. I was literally shaking as I was dialing the number. I was so mad and so scared at the same time. I knew that I wouldn't be able to hide my frustration with the situation and the tech that seemed to not be able to deliver anything except more bills. Cha-ching!

So I was straight forward with them and told them that I wasn't trying to be a jerk but I want this fixed NOW and I'm not paying another stinking service call fee at $95 a crack! "...and if you can't do it, I'll take my business to someone who CAN!..." Luckily they were very understanding and wanted to make the situation right. They sent out a tech with more experience ('bout time) and got the problem fixed. Well, so far it's still fixed, knock on wood. Turns out, there was some sort of clogged tube (which explained all the water we now had all over our basement floor - making a musty stench that I'm not sure we'll ever get rid of) and the water was dripping all over the new control board AND the fan wasn't working. So we got a new control board (again) but under warranty (thank the Lord) and new fan and we didn't get charged another fee. In fact, they were going to see about refunding one of the service call fees and any other charges that seemed unnecessary because of a misdiagnosis by the first tech. Also, we might even get a discount on the expensive new fan we had to have installed on the third visit because of all of the troubles we'd been having.

It's been a frustrating few weeks.

To top it all off, yesterday, as I was working on the website for Prints Charming, the computer made a loud ZAP noise and wouldn't turn on. The stench of some electrical fry job was in the air. Of course I'm freaking out because my LIFE is on that computer. And as you may or may not know, our internet has been in and out (mostly out) over the course of many weeks, and when my husband finally ordered a new router, it turned out that we needed a new modem as well. DOH! So he ordered a new modem and it wasn't on the "approved" list as per our internet provider. So we had to send it back and get a different one, which hasn't arrived yet. Honestly....I'm thinking that the universe is trying to tell me something. Anyway, ever since the computer got fried, the internet won't go on even for a second and I'm wondering if it has something to do with the fact that while our air was spazing out and dumping water all over our basement floor (exactly where our router, modem and whatever else is down there buried under 50lbs of cables) it shorted something or ruined something down there. Let's hope it's not the brand new router.


So, you see, when my mom said "when it rains, it pours" she was speaking some wise words. I'm typing this from my mom's computer. I am literally just wandering the house, not knowing what to do with myself now that I have no computer or internet access (other than my cell phone). I can't work on my photos, or my website, or my blog....and I'm going insane! What did I do before there was internet???!!!

I apologize for the pity party, but I wanted to explain why I'm not posting very much lately. Hopefully we will be back online with a working computer and reliable internet connection once again very soon. And also, that our air will continue to work for more than two days (fingers crossed).

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hanna's room

It's been awhile, but I wanted to post pictures of Hanna's finished room.
Since we painted it pink (it used to be blue), it looks a lot better. More bright and cheery.
We also rearrange her furniture and built her a desk similar to what
we did in Eden's room. The only difference being we only did one
overhead shelf instead of two and we painted the wood black.

She picked out the handkerchiefs to use over the cork board (surprise, black and white animal print). And we bought new zebra print bedding to pull it all together. I think it turned out really
cute. I wish I would move in!

We found these super cute little locker chandeliers at Walmart. I got each girl one for their locker at school. They have a magnet on top and they have a motion detector so they will go on when the locker door opens. Or, you can switch it off and only turn it on when you want. Really cool.
We used double sided tape on Hanna's to stick on her desk at home.

The wall clock she picked out matched the paint perfectly.

So there you have it. Now Emma is nagging me to get her room painted.
I'm not looking forward to it because her room has wallpaper. Ugh.

Oh, and one more bit of super exciting news:

I finally got the document regarding the registration of my trade name.
I am officially the owner of Prints Charming!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

cooking fun

Want to try some super food? I made these granola bars this morning (and took of picture of them, of course) and I was very impressed with this recipe. Some I've tried in the past didn't turn out so well. Too mushy or too hard, but these were just right. Great flavor and texture.
If you would like to see the recipe, go here.

Eden was also baking today. She took out one of the children's cookbooks we have and made these:

A super fun bread recipe. She made all kinds of shapes; bears, spiders, dogs, etc.
I'm so happy she loves to cook so much.
Read about it on her blog here.

Friday, August 3, 2012

50 shades

So I finished the 50 Shades trilogy last night. And in all honesty....I'm not sure what the buzz is all about. The first book was pretty interesting. And the ending just left you hanging and so I had to get the second book to find out what happened. But the second book was a lot of the same, over and over. And I had to get the third book because of course I wanted to find out how it ended and see if there was anything different or more interesting happening. To my disappointment, it was, again, much of the same. The small amount of thrilling scenes in the book are short lived. Most of the story is just same shit, different day.

I knew there was going to be a lot of, eh hem, naughtiness in the book. But that is not why I wanted to read it. In fact, there was so much fornicating throughout all three books, that I found it incredibly sickening. So much so that I was to the point in the third book where I would just completely skip over those parts. I would think, "oh here we go again...." and just skim over. And for a book that is supposedly so 'kinky', it really didn't live up to expectations. All I could think was "Is that it??"

I see posts on Facebook where women are just lost after finishing the 3rd book. They don't know what to do now that they've finished the trilogy. Seriously? All the - I'm mad, I'm not mad, I'm mad, I'm not mad, I'm scared, I'm happy, I want this, I don't want this....back and forth, up and down. After all the hype, it was really just a big let down.

I guess I'm always one to go against the grain. It seems like whenever a movie comes out that everyone says is bad, I'll be the one to like it. And vice versa. Honestly, I would much rather read the Twilight series again than 50 Shades. However, I will have to see the movie just to see how they manage it. Hopefully it will be more interesting than the books.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fun times with Farmor

Emma wanted to try a "Chopped" dessert round. So we let her. She was throwing EVERYTHING in the bowl. The ingredients: chocolate syrup, blue juice (above), walnuts, lime juice, canola oil, salt licorice candies, coconut, water and strawberry ice cream.

Below is the finished product. Ice cream soup.

The super sack of platter (Swedish pancakes) that Farmor cooked. Everyone was in pancake heaven.

Swimming in the new pool. Even Farmor got in!

A trip to Lindenwood.

Complete with a surry ride.

Finding fish on the beach.

Floating in Glendalough State Park.

What a fun 2 weeks we had! It went way too fast.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I know I haven't been very faithful to this blog lately. Sorry. The picture above is one from our trip to Winnipeg. I hardly took any pictures on that trip, which is a complete and utter shock to me. I had expected to come home with a thousand pictures to go through. I had 99. Now, had I known that I had 99 pictures on my memory card, I would have NEEDED to take one more to make it an even 100. That's my OCD talking.

Farmor left yesterday evening. She is probably home now. I miss her. It was a lovely 2 weeks. Man, did that go fast! It's been such a whirlwind. But today, it's back to reality. Bigs is back at work and the house seems lonely. I have a TON of things I want/need to do. Laundry is piling up, the house is a mess, I have a gazillion photos to go through and it's already after 9am and I haven't done a thing.

Hanna has been gone for a week with my mom, house/pet sitting for my brother while he and his family are in Colorado. She came back today, briefly, because mom had a doctor appointment to go to. She got here and we were all talking at once. Constantly. It seems like she's been gone a lot this summer. We had so much to say! It's good to have her home. Although she will be gone another 4 days before she is back. Then it will be almost August! Oh my, where has the time gone??

While I am waiting to hear about my trade name registration for my little business venture, I am planning on applying for a job. I still need to do a cover letter and revamp my pathetic resume. It's been 8 years since I've worked outside the home. 8 years! Just the thought of going to an interview gives me cold sweats and sends me into a panic. But, I really want to try. I need to. For myself. I need to take this fear by the horns and show it who's boss! Plus, it would be so cool to be making my own money again. I need a wide angle lens ;) I love being a stay-at-home mom, but with all my kids in school now, I think that the time is right for me to get a job. I want to work. I'm not planning on giving away where I am applying, but I will say that the place suits me VERY well ;) I'm not really expecting to get hired. But I have to try anyway.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

good week

We have had such a terrific week!

Andreas came back from his 3 day trip to Seattle on Wednesday. Farmor arrived that same evening. It's been gloriously HOT outside. We haven't been doing a whole lot, but it has been relaxing and wonderful.

We went shopping for a few items for Hanna's newly painted room. Yesterday I spray painted her desk black and we are going to be putting that up as soon as Andreas' back cooperates. I'm very excited to get everything on her walls and see how it looks!

Tomorrow we plan on spending the day at the beach because it's going to be another scorcher. And Wednesday, Andreas and I will leave for our little trip to Canada. I'm excited to get away to some new scenery with my camera. Emma and Farmor will stay back home and do a little bonding.

There were so many bees buzzing about yesterday morning. I took a LOT of pictures. Usually only a few of them turn out because they are constantly moving. But I really liked this one.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


My mom was staying with me while Andreas went to Seattle for 3 days and of course she brought her baby with her. That's right, I've been replaced. I'm no longer the baby of the family. Now she has Teddy. Or Tedward as we like to call him.
Here she is with her witto baby. She loves that little guy. He is quite the cute little thing. It's always a challenge when he is here though. He's very afraid of Lizzy (can't imagine why). Lizzy, of course, is extremely curious and wants so badly to chase him around. But Teddy just shakes when we hold him so that Lizzy can sniff. So he spends most of his time in the family room with the doors shut. At least we have French doors though so he can see out.

Look at those dark eyes. So cute! He's a hard little bugger to photograph. Always moving. It's really fun to throw the ball and watch him fly across the yard to fetch it. It looks as though his feet hardly touch the ground at all. I wonder what it would be like to have a small non-shedding dog like this who can easily be held and snuggled. One whose accidents on the floor don't cover a 5x5 area. Oh, and he doesn't bark either. Which is one of those things that small dogs usually do, because they don't have size to use for intimidation. I guess Lizzy missed that memo.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Well, I sent in my trade name registration application yesterday. Fingers crossed that it goes through quickly. I registered the name "Prints Charming" but if that falls through, I'll try my second choice.
My mother-in-law is flying in from Sweden tomorrow evening and the girls and I have spent the last two days trying to get all the last minute cleaning done so that the place isn't a pig sty. It's pretty clean, I'm guessing it will stay that way for about 5 hours max. It never ends, does it?

That's what's so unrewarding about cleaning. You know that after all the work is done, you'll just have to do it all over again in a few days. You know that saying, "A clean house is a sign of a wasted life"? I tried that logic on my husband. Apparently he doesn't agree ;)

Our carpet is pretty much a disaster. But I guess that is to be expected when you have 3 kids who refuse to listen to my warning NOT to eat in the carpeted rooms. I'm going to start saying, "Hey, why don't you go into the living room and pour your chocolate milk all over the floor." I figure, at least it would seem like they are listening to me then. Save myself the disappointment. Oh, and having a dog who drags in dirt or decides that when she has diarrhea, going on the carpet is a much better choice than on the tile where it's easier to clean. Hence, our newest robot in the house, the spot bot. That thing is magical! There isn't much I dislike more than cleaning stains out of the carpet (especially diarrhea stains). And I'm not very good at it. Which is probably why I don't like it.

Do you remember the story about when Lizzy was a puppy and she had an accident on the den floor and Andreas decided to put flour on it to soak it up? Pee paste. Not fun to get out of carpet. He is a very smart man but there are things he does that just make me want to say,"What the hell were you thinking?" p.s. honey, if you are reading this, you know you deserve it once in a while ;) 

Cleaning sucks. But do you know what is almost worse than cleaning? Getting your kids to clean. Yeah, ever tried to get a teenager to clean the bathroom? If I had no arms and was blind I could do a better job. In half the time too. But I can't complain. My little ankle biters unload the dishwasher for me daily which makes me happy. I don't like that job. And typically I refuse to clean up Lizzy poop in the yard. Hey, I didn't want the dog! Sure I love her, but still. You almost feel like you should walk behind her with a shovel when she goes outside. But now that the days are hot and dry, the bombs get a good crust on them which makes it a lot less messy. Sorry, was that too much?

Ok, I think that's a good place to stop.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

brownie recipe

These brownies are actually (gasp!) healthy. Not only that, but they taste amazing! They are moist and delicious and have no flour in them. Yum!

Now, who wants to see the recipe??? If there is interest, I will post it.

One other thing to note, my 9 year old now has her own blog. A baking blog, no less. If you are interested in checking it out, click the link below.

She chose a hilarious title. "Sorry, I'm baking..."

Friday, July 6, 2012


Wow, really? ONE comment? Haha....

Thanks, for your input Chris! I prefer Prints Charming as well. I didn't find any businesses in ND with that name, so I should be good. Although there is a business in Canada. I also found a blog with that title when doing a search.

We didn't do anything exciting on the 4th. We didn't even go watch fireworks. We just decided to sit on our deck and see what the neighborhood had to offer. Not much. I was a bit bummed out because I had my tripod all set up and ready for some action. I only got a couple. Too many trees in the way.


This is one of the only shots of actual fireworks I got.
And below, I just thought that the streaks of light from cars passing by was pretty cool.
You get this from having a high shutter speed (and a tripod).

Nothing spectacular, just something cool caught on camera while waiting for fireworks. Next year, I'm going to have to go to my sister's house. She lives close to MSUM where they light off all the big fireworks. We sat on her roof one year and had the best view!

Oh, and we had cherries. So I photographed them. Why not?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


.....I need your help.

I'm planning on starting a little business out of my home soon. Well, hopefully soon. I've been saying this for the past year. The thing is, I am almost done with the website, just some final details and registering my trade name with the secretary of state and yadda yadda yadda. There's just one problem.....I can't decide what to call it.

That's where you come in.

I've sort of narrowed it down to two and I can't quite decide which I want to use. And I don't know if they are stupid. Please tell me they aren't stupid!

The choices:
1) Memory Makeovers
2) Prints Charming
3) [your idea here?]

I would love love love some creative input from my followers! Let me give you a run down of what my business entails. It's web based, I will have no physical store. But I will be selling fine art canvas wraps of some of my photographic art (flowers, nature, landscape, etc). And I will also be offering image editing services, for people who want their own images edited but don't know how to use the software.

Please leave a comment below with your ideas or help me out and vote for your favorite!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Missing Eden & Hanna


Can't live with them

Can't live without them

Emma is missing her big sisters. They are both visiting Grammy and Gramps.

We usually have our share of arguments around here but for the most part, they love each other and play very well together. So much so, in fact, that it's hard for Emma to be the 'only child' when they are gone. Usually, they are gone every other weekend, when they are with their dad. But their week long absence will be harder on her.

Both of her big sisters are equally important to her. She has been very excited for Hanna's return. But she and Eden share a special bond, maybe because they are closer in age. And Eden is the perfect picture of a caring big sister. Always looking out for Emma. She's very nurturing and motherly by nature. And she is incredibly mature for her age, which makes it SO easy on me.

I really got lucky because I've got the 3 BEST children a mom could ask for.

We miss you girls! See you soon.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Before and After

A few weeks ago we went for a bike ride before bed and I brought my camera since the sun was low in the sky and was casting that beautiful evening glow on everything it touched. Everytime we bike anywhere, I am constantly thinking, "Oh, I need to photograph that!". There is so much that my mind will perceive as photo-worthy. But then when I get the capture, it isn't as beautiful as I see it in real life. So that's when Photoshop comes in handy.

It's so easy to over edit a photo and make it look almost worse than sooc. But, in some instances (like this one) the image needed a LOT of help. With people, less is usually more. But landscapes, in my opinion, open up a whole knew world for editing. This one in particular. It probably took me an hour to finish. And it still isn't perfect. I won't give away the areas that wouldn't pass if I were to put this on a canvas print (which is what I intend to do - if I EVER can finish my website and get my little business going). But in my attempt to edit it to a more professional standard, those flaws would absolutely need to be fixed.

Through my eyes, the edited image on the right is SO much better. There is so much more depth and color and I love how it's got that dreamy softness about it. What do you think?

surry with the fringe on top

Today was HOT and humid. I was planning on painting but since it was so beautiful out, it seemed a shame to waste it inside a stuffy bedroom. It's all taped up and ready to go, it can wait until the next rainy day, which looks like it might be tomorrow.

Instead, we called up Gram and told her to get her booty out of bed because we were going on a picnic. We thought it would be fun to rent a surry at Lindenwood and then let the kids play at the park. So we picked up Gram and all her stuff (I swear, she is worse than toting around a baby) and headed to the park.

We had a nice short picnic - due to bugs, let the kids play for a while and then were off on the surry around the park. Usually when the three girls, Andreas and I go, it's a workout. Today, it was hell. Not that I had a bad time, only that it's a lot of work peddaling a surry with a 74 year old out of shape partner. At one point, Eden asked her if she was out of breath because she was huffing and puffing and could hardly talk. To which she replied very nonchalant, "No, this is just how I breathe."

Halfway through the ride, Eden and Gram changed places. So with Gram in between us, Eden and I peddaled our hearts out through the park. It was quite the workout! I was sweating bullets. But it was really a great time. Lots of giggles. Then we topped off the afternoon of fun with a trip to Tutti Frutti where I enjoyed the soy version of the frozen yogurt. Still magically delicious.

It is becoming more apparent to me lately that there is something wrong with my gut. I might be lactose intolerant. I'm not positive, but in order to rule it out, I need to stop eating dairy for a while to see if my symtoms get better. This is something that is going to be very difficult for me because I like love my cheese. I rarely drink cow's milk anymore, only if I forgot to buy almond milk and I'm jonesing for cereal. But avoiding cheese and butter and ice cream and yogurt is going to be a sad challenge for me, if in fact it is a lactose issue. Like that week I went without any wheat or products containing wheat, you start to realize how much stuff actually contains it. What a pain to have to be so aware of everything you put into your mouth, but even a bigger pain to eat something that causes such gastrointestinal distress. And all the time I've spent poking fun of my husband's gut's karma biting me in the butt!

Sorry, I don't know why I thought you'd be interested in hearing about my gut health. I went off there.

Anyway, we got home and the girls drew pictures while I vacuumed out the van. Then I made wheat rotini with red sauce for me and potato gnocchi with a creamy buttery rich cheese sauce for the girls. Of course I had to taste the white sauce I made (from scratch - no recipe) and it was SO damn delicious that I had to eat some of the gnocchi with it. And I had stomach pains all evening. SEE! I told you how hard avoiding dairy was going to be! I love food, what can I say?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Just a thought...

If you are an architect, (as I'm sure there are plenty who read my blog daily) here's a bit of advice for you:

Do not plan a home to have the master walk in closet only accessible through the master bathroom. Because chances are, when you need to get dressed, your husband, who claims he doesn't suffer from IBS, is holding up the bathroom for what seems like hours on end. I'm seriously thinking of hammering my way through the wall and creating a new door.

Thank you.

Beach bummin'

Went to the beach today. It was hot, 90 degrees, but cloudy so it was perfect. Apparently, Eden doesn't like going to Buffalo River because of all the bugs in the water and she says the sand at Detroit Lakes is softer. So we ended up going to DL. And we had the entire beach to ourselves. I guess mid week on a cloudy day is the time to go. Better than fighting the crowd at the pool, I guess. Of course we had to drive an hour to get there, but that's alright. I am looking forward to spending a few hot summer days at the pool though. Quick drive AND I get free admission for being a gym member ;)

We brought our favorite beach books. Ladybug Girl At The Beach and How Will We Get To The Beach. Of course we didn't read them, they were having too much fun hunting for shells and splashing around.

Tonight I would love to take them to see Brave. We just saw Madagascar 3 a week or so ago and the previews looked good. I think it's a perfect night for pizza and a movie. We'll have to try and talk Pappa into it.

Tomorrow, Eden gets 5 teeth pulled. Hope she does ok. They are just baby teeth that are being stubborn so it shouldn't be that bad. I remember getting teeth pulled when I was a kid. I swear I would have gone again and again just to get the gas. The feeling of floating in that dentist chair. "oh, you want to stick a needle in my mouth? Sure! Crank up the gas while you're at it! Bring out the drill too. Let's have a party!" See, the dentist was killing my brain cells long before I had a chance to do it. I blame him for my stupidity.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

walking on the clouds

Eden and I were sitting outside one night and she looked up at the clouds and said,

"Those two clouds look like people. It's you and me, Pom, walking on the clouds." My kids call me Pom. Pom wonderful, to be precise. Just like the juice.

But she was right, they did look like two people. Her and I, walking on the clouds together. She is always telling me how much she loves me. Always calling, "I sit by Pom" at dinner time. Forever wanting to sleep on the floor next to my side of the bed. Just always thinking in terms of her and I. Whenever she talks about future plans, I'm in them. It's nice to feel so loved by a child.

One day, we will walk on the clouds together. But hopefully not until after we have both lived a long full life.

Monday, June 11, 2012


I've been playing around with some editing styles in photoshop (my absolute favorite thing to do, next to being behind the camera). I thought I'd share some of my results. I like faded, hazy, textured.  I like bright, vibrant, crisp. I like it all. For me, the hardest part is trying to decide on the final outcome of a photograph. Sometimes I will have 6 different looks for one photo because I can't decide on the one I like the best. Maybe this is why there is hardly any space left on the computer!