Sunday, February 28, 2010


 We've been watching a little bit of the Olympics over the past couple weeks.
I think the event we watched the most of was probably Curling (Men's and Women's).
It's probably not the most exciting sport to watch, but I enjoyed the strategy involved.
And, it was usually on during the time Justin was home for lunch.

To celebrate the 2010 Winter Olympics, Barrett's Toddler Art class made torches and an American flag!

Barrett showed the torch to Daddy when he came home for lunch that day, and Daddy thought it was flowers.

Barrett would hold the torch above his head and shout U-S-A!
Well, it didn't really come out USA, more like a mumble-jumble of four or five random letters...but it was cute. 

I'm glad I had the presence of mind to get a picture of him with these things the day second we brought them home.
Because it wasn't long after these pictures, that the Olympic torch turned into a telescope, and was fully dismantled.

Yes, our little Olympian performs best in nothing but a diaper and shirt!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


We had a lazy Sunday evening.
After Barrett woke up from his nap, I decided to let him try something new. 

Once he was done with his milk, texting and cartoon watching, of course...

"Ready, set...ready, set...ready, go."
"Eight, nine, four."

YES, I let my boy {jump} on the couch, 
and then {jump} off the couch,
onto a big 'ol pile of pillows.
He was a little unsure at first.
Stalling counting over and over again, but never actually jumping.

But once he finally did it, 
he was back up and going again and again and again.
He hasn't tried to do this a single time since!

Even though these pictures are super grainy and blurry (It was dark outside, so no natural light...I was shooting with no flash, and a 1600+ ISO), I love the emotion I captured. I was trying to go for that 'in-the-moment' feel.

You would think the following pictures were taken after all that jumping...

But this was actually around 12:15 that afternoon. We were all on the couch watching some Olympic Curling.  Next thing we knew, Barrett was snoring at the other end of the couch.  Covered up with his Biggie, and squeezing Tiny Monkey in his arms. I curled up beside him for a few minutes, and then carried him to his bed, so he could get some good rest.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

{TEN} on Tuesday

I had fun with this last week, and since I'm lacking in blogworthy content this week, I thought I'd give it another shot! It's  few minutes till midnight, so I've still got time to get this posted on Tuesday!

{1} The Bachelor: The Women Tell ...

Need I say more! If you're a fan of the Bachelor {or maybe not so much a fan, just addicted to the drama} you probably saw last nights Women Tell All show! Most of the time, I don't look forward to this particular week of the Bachelor Season, because I'd rather just get to the final show and see who he picks. Ya know, get on with it...BUT this time, it was loaded with drama! Mostly from Rozlyn, a girl that was kicked off the show early on, for having "inappropriate physical relations" with one of the shows producers. I DID not like this girl from the beginning.  I happen to think of myself as a good judge of character, and I was right on with this one. On last night's show, she continually denied that anything happened, and it was easy to see she was lying and talking in circles. When she dissed my man Chris Harrison in front of a live audience last night, I said "oh no, she didn't"! Her behavior was pretty pathetic, and I only hope she will want to become a better person after watching herself back.

After watching the video clip above from Yahoo! I guess Allie has been named the next Bachelorette. 

{2} Morning Conversation with Barrett...
I am in the bathroom getting ready, so we can head to morning playgroup. Barrett comes around the corner, unbuttoning his jeans and trying to shimmy out of them.
Me: Why are you taking off your pants?
(B shrugging his shoulders and looking confused)
Barrett: Pants?
Me: Did you poopy in your diaper?
Barrett: No
(pulls his pants all the way down, so they are now around his ankles)
Barrett: Do you want to get on the potty?
(B squishes up his face, looks up out of the corner of his eye, and says)
Me: Do you want mommy to change your diaper?
Barrett: Okay, Mommy.
Me: Well, why didn't you just say so.

{3} Papa's Birthday...

Today was my dad's birthday. We celebrated by going to dinner with him. He chose Mexican. Then we went out to my parents house for brownies and presents. Hope you had a great birthday, Dad/Papa! We love you!

{4} Neglected...

It's hard for me to focus on the computer work and editing I need to do, when I have house work that needs my attention as well.  In the evenings, the sink needs to be clear of dirty dishes, and the toys all need to be back in their places before I can start working. I guess I'm just more productive if I know everything else is in order (for the most part). So....what I'm about to admit is crazy!! Every time I open the laundry room doors, I see something that makes me cringe!

One month later, there is still a box of decorations and paper goods from Barrett's birthday party sitting on top of the dryer! Yikes! There...I said it! I just don't know what to do with it all! Now that I've outed myself, maybe I can do something about it soon.

{5} American Idol...

Tonight the top 12 girls performed. None of them blew my socks off, but these three are my favorites:

This girl was my least favorite. She's only 16, and she's a sweet, tiny little thing...but jeepers, did she sound screechy {to Justin and I anyway}!! I never actually did it, but my finger was  hovering back and forth over the mute and fast forward buttons.

{6} Fruit Fanatic...

Over the past few days, Barrett has been eating a TON of fruit! His favorites right now are grapes, apples, bananas and cCuties. I can't complain! It's much easier for me to give him cups of fruit instead of the "cookie-crackers" he usually asks for. Mimi got him hooked on these Cuties.

{7} Bedroom Art...

I did it!! I sketched out a drawing of our bedroom, and then decided what pictures I wanted where. It wasn't a quick and easy process {as my perfectionist ways took over}, so hopefully I'll be happy with what I end up with. Instead of canvas wraps, I ended up getting floating wraps. They were a little bit cheaper. I got a BIG one for over our bed, and then I got a 12x12 square float wrap for another wall.  It will go into an arrangement with several other framed pictures, and I think I will frame them all in black.

{8} Hope Now

One of my current fave songs....Addison Road song Hope Now.
When we're in the car, Barrett and I listen to K-LOVE a lot. He's started trying to sing along to the  radio, and it's fun to watch him in the rear-view mirror.

{9} Coats..

I can't stand to wear a coat! Unless it's really cold out, I don't wear them. I sound like a complaining little kid, but I just feel so constricted in them. As soon as I get in the car, I want it off...I just would rather not bother. I've gotten worse since having Barrett to tote around in the winter too. Trying to carry him on one hip, keep my purse over my shoulder, and get him buckled into his seat is so much harder when I'm bundled up. See, I'm a whiny little kid! AND I'm probably not setting a very good example for my son, who is so good about wearing his coat and hat when we go out. I wear a heavy hooded sweatshirt jacket, my vest,  or as lightweight of a coat as I can find.

{10} We had horses join us for lunch...

Barrett loves to bring his farm animals to the table with him for lunch. He eats better when they join us, so I don't mind. This day, we had mama and baby horse enjoying some leftover Mexican with us. Barrett fed them some shredded cheese.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Guest Post for Scrap*Funattic & a Blogger TIP for you

I was so honored to be asked to do my FIRST guest post on another blog! Scrap*Funattic is an amazing scrapbooking store in Andover, Kansas. TRUE, I'm not really a scrapbooker these days...but I still enjoy all the fun things they have, and I have quite the stock of stuff from them! All of the ladies associated with the Attic are wonderful, but Danelle (another Winfield girly) is currently running the blog and was the one that invited me to do this. A scrapbook isn't complete without PICTURES, so I focused my post on a tip that will hopefully inspire you to take better pictures at home!

You can check out the Attic Blog HERE....

Feedback would be much appreciated! I would love to do this again, but I need to know what you want to learn about {basic photography, blog design, photoshop, custom headers,  digital storyboards ,etc.}, and if anything I'm saying in my current guest post makes sense :) Say "hi" to the Attic girls too!

And now... a TIP for my lovely readers!!!

This one is a super simple Blogger tip, and I just discovered it a couple weeks ago myself ,while I was knee-deep in my photoblog makeover. You may very well already be using this on your Blogger account!

::Updating your post settings::
*In your Dashboard, go to "setttings" and then scroll down to "Global Settings"
*Under "Select Post editor," if you have 'old editor' selected, uncheck it and change to the 'updated editor'
*Save settings, then create a new post, and notice the new and improved posting window & options!!!

You can have all sorts of fun with this...
*More font colors to choose from, if you like that kind of thing!
*One-click way to strikethrough your text in a post, like this
*An option for text background color like this or this
*Adding a link to an email address, like this: email laura
*When you insert a URL link, you can test it in the link window as you're adding it 
*more options for editing in html mode 
*Several other things I haven't even experimented with, and am not really sure what the heck they do.
*Can't find the spell check, but on my Mac, everything that's misspelled is automatically underlined in red as I type, so I don't use that feature. 

*Now for my favorite part...the new photo uploader!

I obviously like my pictures bigger, and I usually use an image hosting site for my photos, and then link them into my posts. With the updated editor,  you can insert a photo into your post, and it will insert WHERE YOU HAVE YOUR CURSOR!! Remember before, when you added a picture, it would automatically go to the top of your post every time, and it was really annoying?!?! So now, I can go to the insert photo icon, and tell it to put a photo RIGHT HERE below this line of text --->

Then AFTER it's in my post, I can click on the photo, and quickly decide what size I want it to be: small, medium, large, or extra large. {my pic above is medium}. 
Here is an extra large ----->

* I should add that I'm not sure how the photo sizing works with different blog layouts. I have a wider posting column, so this photo fits fine. I just looked in the html code, at the extra large photos are sized to a width of 640. I don't know how wide the typical/basic blogger posting column is, but you can try it, and maybe it automatically adjusts the max size to fit your template???

If you're interested in making your blog template a little wider, you can go HERE to check out the CoffeShop's awesome tutorial on doing just that! Be sure to tell Rita THANKS :)

 I can also decide if I want my photo to be: left, center, or right.
 {this photo is "left justified", so I can type here to the right of it really easily}

 I can also post these two pictures of Barrett eating a cookie {and telling me to get my camera out of his face} side-by-side!

If you decide you want to move your photos after they're in the post, you can easily click and drag them around.

Thank you, Blogger! I LOVE IT!!!
Hope this is something that will make your posting faster and easier, and if you've already been using the updated editor and have some additional tips, send them my way! Happy posting :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

MY little man

MY little man...
He stole my heart the day I first saw his precious face.
The first words out of my mouth at that moment were "he looks just like his daddy."

That seems like only a few months ago,
but now that tiny baby is TWO.

MY little man...
He is curious, handsome, loving and quickly gaining independence.
Every time I get him the cup of milk, or bowl of crackers he is requesting, the sweet words "tank eww, Mama" come from his mouth...
and I melt into a big 'ol pile of mommy mush!

MY little man...
He loves his daddy, and squeals with excitement when he comes in the back door every evening.
Watching the two of them together makes my heart sing.
He may look just like his daddy, and he's got so many of his qualities too...
the ones that made me fall in love with him.

MY little man...
He has forever changed my life, and the way I look at the world.
He made me a mommy, and we are living the most joyful years of our life right now.

MY little man...
He's only two, but I am already picturing the man he will become one day.
Strong, loyal and intelligent, with a Spiritual, God-fearing heart.

MY little man...
He loves to cuddle and hold my hand.
I am sad to think about the day when he will be "too big" to do those things.

I love you, Barrett Russell!
I can't wait to see what {TWO} has in store for us.

Monday, February 15, 2010

{TEN} on Tuesday

I'm borrowing this {10} on Tuesday idea from my friend, Bethany! I borrowed it from her before (back when I first started blogging), but could never come up with 10 things, so I always did a "Three on Thursday" post! It's almost Tuesday, so, let's see...

{1} Blog design...
The past few weeks, I have been helping some friends spruce up their blogs! I had this blog designed by Rita of Coffeeshop several months ago, and just love it! Since then, I've learned a LOT about Blogger from her tutorials. Thanks to all of her tips and guides, I was able to give my photoblog a face-lift a few weeks ago. I really wanted her to just do it for me, but she was very busy, so I braved it on my own. She was so sweet to always be just an email away when I needed help! I was up VERY late many nights in a row getting it finished. I would go cross-eyed looking at html code, and was seeing html in my sleep for days after that! It was a lot of work, but I am a control freak/perfectionist, so it's probably best I did it myself.

I'd had a few blogger friends come to me with questions about making custom headers and layouts, so I was happy to help. I just love to design things. Being creative is like my drug! And it's even better when I can do it as a favor for someone else!

A Day in the Life---a super sweet girl that happens to live down the street from me :)
I gave her whole blog a facelift, and made a custom header.

The Curtis 6---Danelle and her adorable family
I made a custom header for her.

{2} Lunch Conversation with Barrett...
Me: Barrett, do you want some apple juice with your lunch?
Barrett: Yes, Mommy. Apple juice.
(I bring the juice box to the table)
Barrett: Gnama, apple juice!
Me: Yes, Grandma gave you this juice box with your Valentine bag!
Barrett: Tank eww, Gnama
(B takes a drink and looks at the box)
Barrett: Elmo!
Me: Yes, Elmo's on there, isn't he?
Barrett: Towboy hat. Elmo. Cuuute!

{3} DiRtY Jeep...
The weather on Saturday was awesome, so I decided to take advantage of it and give the jeep a much needed cleaning! Having my car a dirty mess drives me CRAZY! I think I get this from my dad! Before Barrett, I used to vacuum it out and wipe down everything at least once a month. But, I certainly don't have time for that anymore. It had been months since it was cleaned. Luckily I haven't had any clients riding with me for a while, because it was embarrassing! Trash in the console. Toys, books and crumbs everywhere around Barrett's seat! I really need to quit letting him snack in his seat! Anyway, it's all clean now. Even if I have nowhere to go, I just want to drive around to enjoy it!

{4} Barrett's hat on Etsy...
I was browsing Etsy the other day, looking for a gift for a friend...and came across MY son's picture! I had totally forgotten I sent a few pictures of him to the lady that made his knit visor beanie. I love it that she's using them! I get a discount on future orders with her, for letting her use the photos! If you are in the market for an adorable hat, check out her Etsy shop.

{5} Reality TV...
I have always admitted I love reality tv, I just didn't realize how much until recently. I started thinking about some of my favorite shows...and I think there are only a couple (How I Met Your Mother and Gary Unmarried) that are NOT reality.
Here are some of my current faves:
American Idol--We've watched every season of this except the very first one. I'm not a fan of the audition rounds...they are just cruel, and even though most of those people bring it on themselves, I feel horrible laughing at them. Hollywood week is going on now, and it's full of drama. I'm excited for the actual competition to start soon though! New judge, Ellen-Love her!
THIS GIRL {Didi Benami} is one of my favorites so far. We'll see if she makes the top 12.
Survivor: Heros vs. Villains--It's been a few seasons since we watched this show, but they're bringing back some favorites in this 20th season!
Giuliana & Bill--This show just cracks me up! I've been a fan of Bill since he was on The Apprentice ( I think that was the only season of that I watched). They're adorable together. I'm watching last nights episode as I type this :)
The Bachelor-- It's getting close to the end! Only two girls are left...I won't say who, in case anyone reading is behind on their dvr'd shows!
The Amazing Race--We haven't watched this for several seasons either. Only because there are just too many good shows! I wouldn't have time for any of these without dvr. I just heard that my boyfriend, Jeff (from Big Brother) is on with I will certainly watch now!!

{6} Guest blogger on Scrap*Funattic...
I was asked to do a guest blogger post on another blog this week! I've never done anything like this before, so I'm a bit nervous...but excited too! Scrap*Funattic is an awesome scrapbooking store in Andover. The girls there are so sweet and they always have everything you could want/need in the store! Last fall, I took a basic photography class there. Danelle is in charge of the blog, and as asked me to do the guest post. I have also been working on sprucing up the Attic blog!

{7} Canvas Wraps...
My printing lab is having a SALE on canvas gallery wraps this week! I am thinking about ordering some for our bedroom. Since the makeover in November, I've never decided what to put on the walls! I'm a photographer and have an Interior Design'd think this would be easy for me. BUT I'm having a hard time deciding on pictures and where I want them hung! I need my sister-in-law, Jennifer to help! Jenn, get down here!

{8} 2009 Blog book...
Oh, the blog book! Not much to say about this. I've got it all loaded, but still need to go in and tweak things before I can order it. On one hand, I'm excited to get the '09 book, now that I know what to expect...but on the other hand, I'm overwhelmed with the process! After just finishing the 2008 on in December, I think I need a little bit longer to "rest" before I dive back into the program.

{9} Half Mexican...
I think we might be part Mexican! I have been making Mexican dishes for supper a LOT lately, and it never gets old. We don't go out for dinner very often, but when we do, it's usually Mexican. (that's where we went with my parents tonight). So, you'd think for meals at home we would want something different! Nope! Tacos, enchiladas, homemade salsa, guacamole, pico de gallo, it all! I have avocados on hand all the time! If you have a yummy Mexican recipe, send it my way! Justin might appreciate a little variety in the Mexican diet!

{10} Barrett's two year pics...
We took Barrett out for pictures on Saturday afternoon, since the weather was so beautiful! I always have such high expectations for my own family sessions, and I tend to get stressed. This time, I tried to just go with the flow...and made sure to hand the camera over to Justin too! I don't love being on the other side of the camera, but I would be sad if I didn't have pictures of me and my boy! I started editing the session last night, and I am in LOVE! Can't wait to share some of my favorites soon!!

Okay, here's a tiny {sneak}...

Valentine's 2010: Treats, Crafts & Gifts

More of our Valentine's Day festivities...

On Thursday evening, Justin and I made these yummy chocolate-covered pretzel rods for Barrett to give to his friends and family. As always, my hubby was very sweet to help me get them figured out. I especially liked his genius idea to use the Munchkin dishwasher container as a holder for the pretzels to dry. These were so easy and a lot of fun to make. The heart mold I got was a little tricky, but I liked the look of the plain 'ol dipped ones better anyway. Next year, I'll know what I'm doing and can really have fun with them!

I had quite a bit of chocolate left when I ran out of pretzels, so I decided to dip a few of Barrett's graham cracker sticks! We get these graham cracker sticks at Dillons...they are the Kroger brand and come in honey and cinnamon flavors. Barrett loves them! They were perfect to dip.

We wrapped them up and have given most of them out to Barrett's Valentines, but we still have some to deliver on Monday evening. I also ordered some of B's valentine pictures as wallets to give along with the pretzels, but they did not get here on Friday like I'd planned.

On Friday morning, Barrett made this hat in his Toddler Art class at the Art Center. He was pretty proud of it. My cute little {love bug}.

Justin and I celebrated Valentines Day on Saturday night. It was simple and perfect. We exchanged gifts, and he cooked dinner for Barrett and I. He went to the store to get the groceries, then came home and grilled steaks, made mashed potatoes and asparagus. It was all delicious...even more so, since I just got to play on the family room floor with Barrett while Justin did all the work! After Barrett went to bed, we made molten chocolate lava cakes! They are one of our favorite chocolate treats...they are pretty rich though, so we only make them once or twice a year on special occasions.

On Sunday morning, before church, I got up and made {pink} heart pancakes for my boys! My new squeeze bottle (pictured below, for those that ask about it) made them so much fun!!

Thanks for a very special Valentine's weekend, Justin!
I spent it with my two favorite boys, and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way! I love you!!

Valentine's 2010: Cookies with Friends

Last week was full of fun little Valentine celebrations for Barrett. On Tuesday morning, Norah Kate and her mommy invited us over to decorate Valentine's cookies. Barrett and I were excited to bring Addison with us. She just had a baby sister, so we thought she might want to get out and play, while her mommy and baby Andie got some much needed rest and quiet at home.

The kids enjoyed playing in Norah Kate's playroom while we got the cookies ready. Megan is always so on top of these things! She had made the sugar cookies the night before, and had tons of sprinkles, and frosting colors for the kids to choose from.

We gathered the kids around the table...and then the madness began! Really, the kids were all great, but we decided that home daycare providers deserve a LOT of props! The kids went to town with the decorating. There was a lot of "knife licking" going on, but they did manage to leave some frosting on the cookies too. Everyone decorated a plate full of cookies. Megan's niece, Kira was definitely having the most fun. She obviously gets a lot of experience with cookie decorating at home. She was really concentrating, and her work area was so clean ;)

Everyone busy decorating...
{Barrett, Lydia, Kira, Addison, Evan & Norah Kate}

It was a fun morning! Thanks to Megan and Norah Kate for inviting us over!
The cookies were a BIG hit!
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