30 June 2010

in which mabes shows off her newest toy

My parents bought Mabry a swing set at the end of last week on Craigslist.  The girl is in heaven playing on it ever since.

The only drawback so far has been the heat.  We usually have to wait until closer to bedtime before we can go out and play or risk death by spontaneous combustion.

I figured instead of doing a lot of talking, I would let Mabry tell you about her swing set herself:


Of course she isn't the only child who has enjoyed the new toy...

If only we could either get grass to grow in that area or find time to box it out and add a bunch of mulch we would have the perfect playground.

28 June 2010

uh oh...

No pictures today, peeps.  We had one busy weekend but I did manage to stop and take a few pictures, they will be up tomorrow.

I spent the majority of the weekend locked away in the office editing photo after photo and working on my new website.  I am really excited to launch it (fingers crossed!) in the coming days.

Already this morning things are going downhill.  Dan missed his alarm and was late to work.  Then when he went to leave...the car he usually drives wouldn't start.  Which means he took our other car.  I am praying that it is something (easy?) like the alternator and not anything really expensive.  Knowing nothing about cars I won't even begin to guess.  Instead I will just wait for Dan to get home tonight and we can (maybe??) figure it out.  Here is to hoping we don't have to buy a new little commuter car altogether.

Anyhow, I hear a little girlie who is up and wants some juice and cereal.  So until tomorrow...

25 June 2010

in which you are introduced to barbara man-ta-tee

I know that the new header looks a little off. You can thank Blogger for that. They are in the process of updating something in their system and it should be fixed by next week. Or so they say.

Also there is a link at the top of the page for my photography business. I am in the process of putting that site together as well. As soon as it is up and running I will let you know. For now it is a link to no where.

Thank you in advance for all of your patience and understanding.

Mabry has really taken to singing lately. Some of her favorites are The Wheels on the Bus, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Happy Birthday to You. I think these are my favorites too because she knows parts of the songs and can sing them on her own and it just amazes me.

Another favorite is the Barbara Manatee (or in Mabry's case Barbara Man-ta-tee) song:

The song is so addictive we are all caught singing it at various points in the day, even Dan.

Of course, it isn't all about the singing with Mabry. She is very theatrical and has already mastered the "Toss, Toss" of Glinda the Good Witch and telling tall tales. (I wouldn't recommend watching the whole video below, just the first little bit will give you a good idea of what I am talking about if you have never seen Wicked.)

Have a wonderful Friday and enjoy your weekend!!

24 June 2010

a quick catch up

It has been a few days since I posted a Mabry photo.  So I thought I would catch you up real quick on how her week has been going.

She has been doing great with naps for the last few days, giving me almost 3 hours an afternoon of time to work on other things in the office or around the house.  Even better, when she wakes up she is in a great mood.  Usually she hops out of bed and finds me and we play or have a snack and get ready for whatever we might be doing that evening.  Tuesday she didn't come out of her room, but I knew she was up because she was busy singing at the top of her lungs.  When I looked in I found this:

Under a blanket and dreaming 6.22.2010

We also went to another pool on post to try and cool off from the awful summer heat that comes with living in a state that must share a border with hell.  Several of us had fun.  Mabry, well Mabry had a temper tantrum.

Tantrum 6.23.2010

That has been our week.  High highs (literally) and screaming, crying, tantrum filled lows.

Scroll down and you can read all about our new red door.

painting the door red

I decided that I would jump on the red door bandwagon and paint our front door too.

The best part was as I went to purchase my can of paint I found the exact same color red already mixed and sitting on the cart for the "damaged/wrong tint" paint that is marked down.  So rather than spend $13 on my paint I only spent $3.

Originally I had thought I was going to paint the door yellow like my desk.  Saving myself a little bit of money and using what I already had.  But there is just something super appealing about a red door, isn't there?

Things I learned when painting this door:

1.  Always tape off the sides or you will have a nice red (or whatever color you use) line going down the side inside the door.

Exhibit A:

(In case you were wondering, those are the three wise men above the door.  It is supposed to bring you good fortune throughout the year to have them over the door.  At least that is what my Grandma always said.)

Exhibit B:

2.  When trying to get rid of the red line you have going down the inside of the door it is much easier to just bring out some more paint and touch it up with a small brush than it is to try and scrub it off with a rag and turpentine.  I breathed in way too many fumes before I finally figured this one out.

3.  Remember how you took the doorknob apart in the first place.  It will save you an immense amount of frustration and grease all over your hands and t-shirt.  Not only that but it will only take you 2 minutes to put it all back together rather than 20 and who doesn't want to save a little time?

4.  If you have a storm door, leave it propped open overnight.  Otherwise you get this sort of paint fume filled air pocket stuck between the glass of the storm door and the front door.  Both stinky and uninviting.

23 June 2010

a work in progress

I thought I would share with you some of the changes I have been working on in our master bedroom.

It took over a year but I finally figured out a color scheme that I loved.  It started with the quilt, which I found in a store up in Raleigh.  I loved the way the oranges and purples looked against the dark grey wall in our room.

Then I found the three frames above the bed on clearance for $5 each at Michaels.  A can of celery colored spray paint from Valspar later and they were ready to hang on the wall above the bed.  I am not in love with the scrapbook paper I have in them right now (I do love that quote, however) and so this is still a work in progress.

Do you see the awesome roman shade on the window?  I bought the canvas and the two different ribbons for it.  Then my friend, Amber, took it down to Florida where her Dad has his own custom window treatment shop.  With a little bit of magic, a whole lot of know how and some blackout fabric she brought me back this custom shade.  I big-fat-puffy-heart love it.

I am also saving my pennies to buy these sheers to hang on the drapery rod above the window.

My sister gave me an old lamp that my grandmother had pulled out of the attic and given her.  It was in pretty bad shape.  So I found a cute shade for $15 at Lowes and some spray paint I already had in the garage and made myself a new bedside lamp.  It is big and it is purple but I big-fat-sloppy-wet-kiss love it as well.

The burlap runners I had made for the nightstands and one dresser no longer went in the room.  I had to have something there for a pop of color and also to protect the white furniture.  For some reason both of our nightstands started to discolor where our lamp and alarm clock sat, which is why I had the burlap runners in the first place.  Two place mats and a dining room table runner from Target later and things were coming right along.  They were the perfect color match/combo to go with the quilt.

A trip to IKEA for the frame, a can of spray paint and some chalkboard paint resulted in the wall by the rocking chair.  I took my inspiration from this right here.  The only problem is I broke the glass in the frame as I was taking it out.  So the chalkboard paint is actually on a piece of cardboard as a temporary fix.  I am still trying to decide what I want to do now.  Any ideas or suggestions?  Know of a cheap place I can get a custom cut piece of glass or plastic to put in the frame?

Then I took some more inspiration from this photo and made my own necklace wall.  To make the nails that the necklaces hang on a little more interesting I took some super glue, scrapbook paper and the clear beads usually used in vases and added them to the nail heads.  I took the scrapbook paper and cut out small squares.  Added a drop of glue to attach it to the bead and then another drop of glue to attach it to the nail.  The only thing you want to make sure you do before adding the glass bead is to go ahead and pre-make your nail hole in the wall.

I made a whole bunch of different pillows for around the room too.  I made one that is on the bed out of grey felt and then added a few little flowers and a purple button to it.  I also made two larger pillows out of strips of greys and oranges.  I added a little felt flower to one of those too.

My two favorite pillows are the his/hers ones I made.  I took some canvas and cut it into four squares to be the fronts and backs of each pillow.  Then I took some acrylic paint and a stencil and stenciled on the word "his" over and over on one and "hers" on the other.  Then just for something a little more personal I added each of our names just once on the pillows.

The other pillow I was excited about sits on the rocking chair.  It was just some leftover felt and some ribbon all sewn together.  From far off it looks like a fun striped pillow.

The room is still a work in progress but I am excited about how well it is all coming together!

22 June 2010

polka dot princess

Mabes decided she wanted "polka dots" in her ears last week.  

I can't believe how much more grown up she looks with them.  

I also can't believe the amount of drama and tears that can come out of such a small person three times a day as I clean her ears and turn the earrings.  This is going to be a long  six weeks.  

Pray for us.

(In case you were wondering, she just yelled "Ow! Ow!" with the first ear and didn't turn on the tears and start screaming until ear #2.  It came as no surprise she was able to stop crying mid-scream and dry up all of her tears as soon as they handed her a mirror to look at herself.)

This last photo has nothing to do with Mabry's polka dots.  On Friday Dan had the day off and so we took our girlie to see Toy Story 3 (CUTE movie!) and she was hamming it up in the backseat with Dan's work beret.  We had the windows down as we drove and she said she needed the hat to protect her hair.

God has a serious sense of humor.  That is the only reason He would give me such a girlie girl.

21 June 2010

celebrating this guy:

This year for Father's Day we decided to keep things pretty low key.  So we spent most of the day at home before venturing  onto post to check out one of the outdoor pools there.

Mabry has decided this year she is not going to like the pool.  Much like she decided this morning she couldn't eat cantaloupe, ignoring the fact that she ate almost a half of a melon single-handily only yesterday.  It seems all the time spent in the water last year just evaporated from her memory.

The only time she was happy was when we put her in the kiddie corral.  It was a very small raised platform located in the corner of the shallow end with a PVC rail going around it.  When in the corral Mabry could actually touch the floor with her feet and she had the added security of the rail to hold on to.

I'm sure tomorrow she will go back to loving the pool, having forgot today ever even happened.

15 June 2010

prince charmin's kiss

This morning the plan was to take the kids to a strawberry patch and pick our own strawberries.  This took a terrible turn when we arrived to find that not only were all the berries picked over, but weeds that were taller than Mabry had taken over a vast majority of the field.

So instead we went into downtown and found some interesting brick walls to take some photos.

Mabry brought Sheebus along.  As usual he spent a good portion of the time in front of her face.  Mabry is funny.  In addition to having the basic attachment to Sheebus, she also finds comfort in a little routine she has.  This involves sucking on two of her fingers, pulling them out and wiping her wet fingers down her face, sticking them back in her mouth and then tapping Sheebus to her face.  How weird is that?

I need to capture it on video before she stops doing it.  I am sure when I bring it up when she is in her teens she won't believe me that she used to slap her own face with slobbery wet fingers.

L wasn't quite as happy to have his photo taken.  He was more interested in running around and playing than standing still for the crazy lady with the big camera who was once again in his face.  Can you blame him?  

My girlie girl.  I can't wait to bring her back to take more photos sometime.  Hopefully when it isn't hot as hades outside.  

You may have noticed that this post is not labeled with the usual day number of the 365 project as most of my posts have been this year.  That is because I am trying to take some stress and pressure off of myself.  One way that I am doing that is by shelving this project for now.  

I can't tell you how  much it breaks my heart to stop.  But the truth is I am not good for anyone if I feel like I am stretched to my breaking point, which quite frankly, is about where I have been for the last couple of weeks.  Some things had to give and the 365 project was one of them.

I am hoping that with the pressure to take a photo and edit it and get it posted before midnight off, I might be a better blogger.  I usually spend at least part of my day freaking out about where I am going to find the time to edit the photos I have taken that day and then get something typed up and posted while still being a good wife and mama and paying attention to my family.  If I miss a day of posting I start to get stressed out about how much more work I have made for myself the next day and instead of doing it I almost always let it build up for at least a few more days adding that much more stress.  It is a vicious cycle and it had to stop.

This evening I did post a few more days of the project that had already been edited.  So make sure you scroll down and check them out.

Hope you all have had a great start to your week!

11 June 2010

162~365: dan's blackhawk jump

Last week Dan had another jump.  This one was a little different because instead of jumping out of a plane he was jumping out of a Blackhawk helicopter.  

This made me more than a little nervous.  Especially when I saw he was just going to be flying with the doors open on the bird.  I'm a worrier, what can I say.  Some of the photos are blurry because I was literally shaking during the entire jump from the moment he stepped onto the bird until I saw his parachute deploy.  

This would be Dan waving at me from the window on the left.  At least his feet weren't hanging over the side of the Blackhawk the entire time since he was more towards the back.

Oh wait, if you look closely, there are his feet hanging over the side.  LOVELY:

Do you see how high they are going?

I'm a little weak in the knees just looking at these photos.

I'm happy to report the whole thing went off without a single incident.  Minus a few guys who landed in trees.  Dan loved every minute of it.

And I wonder where Mabry got her adrenaline junkie tendencies...

03 June 2010

154~365: the factory

AV Mode, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/800sec
6.3.2010 @ 1:06pm

02 June 2010

153~365: the rock star

AV Mode, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/250sec
6.2.2010 @ 6:15pm

What fun is watching your Mama take over a thousand photos if you can't get in on the action too?

For the record Mabry was a total rock star while we were taking engagement photos.  For the most part she stuck right with us and didn't fuss too much.  Plus she is awesome at holding your camera lens cap when you need an assistant for just that job.

01 June 2010

152~365: the engagement photos

AV Mode, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/125sec
6.1.2010 @ 11:57am

 On Tuesday the real work began.  Part of the reason for my trip was to take engagement photos of my sister and her fiance, Sven.  We had lots of fun going all over Lancaster and taking photos.

Lots and lots of photos.

Almost 1200 photos to be exact.  Over the course of three days.

The most fun was probably in the evenings when we would plug the camera card into their TV and Betsy and Sven and I would go through what I had taken.  Some of the outtakes are pretty hilarious and we agreed that they have to make an appearance at the wedding somehow.

I'm still in the process of editing the photos and so I won't share of any of them with you right now.  Don't worry, I will soon.  For now I picked out a quick one I had snapped of Mabry and her beloved Aunt B.
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