Friday, January 24, 2014

Catch the Moment | Week 3

 

Week Three! I’ll admit, I’ve had a harder time keeping up this week. I think part of it is the colder weather, I just want to snuggle under a blanket!

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Wednesday afternoon we had some decent weather, so we took advantage and played outside for a few minutes before naptime.

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Landon’s Nana gave him a train piggy bank, and since then he has been obsessed with putting money in his “choo choo.”

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Friday afternoons typically involve this little friend of mine.

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Josie Graces makes an appearance! Only because she stole my seat.

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We were gifted a train table from my sister in law and brother in law. Sunday we put it all together while Landon was napping so when he woke up he would be surprised. Surprised is an understatement! My train obsessed two year old was one happy little boy!

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Only an iphone photo, but we spent several hours at Lowes picking out faucets, toilets, and fixtures for our new build. Talk about excited. I am so ready to get this show on the road!

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Sweet boy…Love those blue eyes.

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Catch The Moment 365 | Week Two

 

This week has been full. We celebrated my nephew’s second birthday and my twenty seventh birthday. We took a quick trip to the mountains without our little guy in tow. We played, and spent time outside for the first time in almost a month. And we got the news that I could possibly be a marrow donor for a baby girl.

8|365 Thankful.

Wednesday taught me a lot about how blessed I really am. We have a patient that is homeless, and he was on my mind for most of the week. This was the only picture I took that day and it was on my iphone, but I had just picked up Landon and remember being so thankful that I was headed to my warm, heated home with my little family.

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9|365 Landon’s Favorite Book

One of my goals for this 365 project is to try and be IN the picture more. The other night while Landon and I were reading his favorite book, I asked John to snap a few pictures of us. So thanks to him for this one :) Landon LOVES this book, and we read it almost every night.

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10|365 Be The Match

Friday evening I checked my email and to my surprise found this! It is still very early in the process, and this by no means means that I am officially going to donate stem cells for this baby girl, but its exciting none the less.

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11|365 Firewood

It poured all day Saturday, so we spent the entire day holed up in our little cabin in the mountains. John kept the fire going all day, we watched movies, and never got out of our pajamas. It was pretty heavenly. I did sneak outside to take this picture of the firewood though.

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12|365 Going to the Park

Sunday it was actually nice outside, so we took advantage of the weather and walked to the playground in our neighborhood. Fresh air and being outside does wonders for all of us!

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13|365 The Anywhere Chair

Landon got one of PBK’s Anywhere Chairs for Christmas, and he’s pretty proud of it to say the least. I snapped this one night before we went out to eat. He was watching his favorite, Chuggington.

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14|365 Birthday Flowers

John got me the most beautiful pink tulips for my birthday. Isn’t it amazing what some fresh flowers can do for your mood. I’ve enjoyed looking at them in the middle of our kitchen table all week. Despite some cold weather outside, it was a nice little taste of spring!

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Catch The Moment 365 | Week One

Part of my 2014 photography goal list was participating in a Project 365. I’m on a roll so far and really hope it continues through the whole year. It takes some discipline to take a photo a day with my DSLR, but I’m loving it so far. I’m hoping this project will grow my skill, my creativity, and just capture our day to day life. My goal is to do as much as possible with my Nikon versus my Iphone, but I’m sure there will be some Iphone shots somewhere along the way.  You can follow along on Instagram where I'll share some of my favorites, or visit Stephanie's blog to link up also.

 
1|365 A Beech
Landon cannot pronounce the word Jeep correctly, so he calls it a beech, which cracks me up. Something I hope I don’t forget about him at this age!
 
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2|365 Landon’s First Day of Preschool
He did so well on his first day, we are so proud of our big boy!
 
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3|365 Friday Afternoon
 
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4|365 Saturday Afternoon Coloring
 
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5|365 Rainy Sunday
 
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6|365 The Night of the Polar Vortex
 
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7|365 What 7 Degrees Looks Like
(I had hoped to take a picture of the frozen pond down the road or something really creative...but all I had time for before the sun went down was the ice on our deck. I cannot remember the last time we had temperatures in the single digits!)
 
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Friday, January 3, 2014

first day jitters

I guess I thought that once I graduated from college, I’d never experience “first day jitters” again in my life. Not true. I spent the night before Landon’s first day of preschool with that lump in my throat and those butterflies in my stomach just like I had every other first day of school I had experienced before. I constantly went over my mental check list for the next morning, what papers I needed to take with me, what I needed to pack in his bag, what time I needed to leave the house so I wouldn’t be late for work. I tossed and turned most of the night, and the second that alarm went off in the morning I was fully aware of what day it was. Even though I wasn’t going to school for the first time, I was. It was my first time being a mom who drops her baby off at school. Of course Landon was clueless as to the magnitude of this day, but I wasn’t. Those first day jitters? They completely follow you into parenthood. Which means I have about 16 more first days of school, multiplied by however many children we have. Oy vey.

We knew back in October that we wanted to enroll Landon in preschool. It was time. He clearly showed us that was so ready for the socialization, the structure, and the learning. I researched all the area preschools and narrowed it down to the one we thought would be the best fit. I needed to be able to drop him off early so I could get to work. Since I can’t pick him up everyday, it was super important that I at least drop him off in the mornings. So we settled on a preschool, filled out the paperwork, and really put the whole thing on the back burner, because after all we had until 2014 before this happened.

Fast forward to the middle of December, and I decided to take Landon for a “Meet the Teacher” day. I will be completely honest, it was totally for me. He couldn’t have cared less if he went to his classroom that day or met his teacher. But I cared. I needed to know where my baby would be spending every Tuesday and Thursday morning. I needed to know who would be loving my baby on those mornings and making sure he was okay. It was for me, and I was fully aware of that.
And then the day arrived. January 2, 2014, the first day of preschool for my sweet baby boy. How in the world did we get here so fast? That morning came quicker than I was ready, but I was so excited for Landon and his big day. We woke up, and thankfully he woke up pretty happy. Landon’s not a morning person, and I was nervous that he would wake up grumpy and get our day off to a rough start. But the Lord must have been hearing my prayers the night before, because it was smooth, and tearless. Thank goodness.

I was nervous as we drove to preschool. Was I allowing enough time? What if he started crying? Hold it together, mama. We arrived, and I took him to the classroom where he would be since he was an “early drop off.” There were only two other kids in the room, both were older than he was. I tried setting him down with the other children to see if he would play, but it was like he knew what was going on. He clung to me. Please don’t let this be hard, I thought. My eyes panned the room and I noticed the small play kitchen situated the far corner. Perfect. Landon loves to play with his kitchen at home. I was able to get him interested in the kitchen long enough to sneak out of the room, not a tear shed…from either of us.

But those first day jitters weren’t over with. I thought about him every second of every single minute throughout the morning while I was at work. I decided I would call and check on him mid-morning, just to make sure he was okay.  I picked up the phone, dialed the number, and waited patiently for someone to answer the other end. I prayed that my sweet boy was having fun, rather than having a meltdown because he realized his mommy left him. The director, Jeanne, answered the phone, and I explained why I was calling. She put me on hold, which felt like eternity, and then when she came back to the phone I heard the best words I could ever hear. “He’s doing great.”

At noon I left to pick him up, an arrangement I made for his first day. I could. not. wait. to see my Landon, to see a smile and to know that he had a good day. And I did. He did great. He played and was happy, and when I got there to pick him up, he was smiling. It went perfectly, far more perfect than I could have hoped for. My heart is SO proud of him for being such a big boy, and I cannot wait for all that he will learn and experience this year.

And with that, we have a preschooler.


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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking back at 2013

In January, I declared my One Little Word for the year, grace. And I definitely learned all about it this year. We went to the mountains with sweet friends of ours to celebrate my 26th birthday, and had a lot of fun just relaxing and enjoying a weekend to be John and Katie the married couple, not John and Katie, Landon’s parents. Those weekends should happen more often! I talked about what I think about having a daughter, or not having a daughter. And I gave thanks, something I should do more often. We also spent lots of time outdoors thanks to some very mild winter weather.

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In February, we celebrated Valentine’s day. And I talked a lot about how I wanted to be more present in the day to day, stepping away from the internet, social media and technology more often. This is still something I hope to do in 2014. We also enjoyed about five minutes of snow flurries, which we of course bundled up and rushed out side to enjoy.

snow 014In March we did something huge, and purchased land for a new home. This year, we will start building! Landon turned 15 months old in March also, and I wrote about his milestones and memories. We also celebrated a fun Easter- with an Easter Egg hunt at my parents house, and Easter lunch with John’s family. Holidays are ten times more exciting with your children!

Easter-10In April, our  nation mourned with Boston, and I wrote about how national tragedies affect how I mother my children, and try to raise them in a world where bad things happen.  John and I celebrated a big milestone as well, with our four year anniversary!

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In May,  I took a bit of an unintentional blogging hiatus, however I did manage to write about how being a nurse made me a better mommy. We also took Landon strawberry picking- which is probably a highlight of 2013 for me. Things I didn’t write about, but were highlights of May were celebrating Mother’s Day and taking a weekend trip to New Bern, NC to visit my sister and brother in law. I love a quick weekend trip!

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In June,  we were busy! We spent a lot of time at the pool and learned just how much of a fish our little man was. Landon turned eighteen months old, and with that weaned himself from his pacifier. A huge, unexpected milestone for sure, and definitely showed this mama how independent he is! I also wrote about the need to slow down, life gets busy in the summer, and I needed to just soak it in a little more, something I need to remember all year long.

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In July, we celebrated Independence Day with a baseball game and some fireworks. We also took a weekend trip to Southport, NC, our home away from home. Our trip to Southport ended up including a hop over to Bald Head Island to see John’s family, and an impromptu extra night at the beach…I’m wasn’t complaining! I also talked about how toddlerhood had definitely showed up in our household, and it wasn’t easy.

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In August the highlight was definitely our journey to Siesta Key, Florida for our big vacation. I decided this year to step outside of our beloved NC beaches and experience something new, and I’m so glad we did. Landon took his first major trip and did great, and we enjoyed the clear waters and white sand of Florida. I also shared a letter to Landon, and a few tips for new photographers, which was also a reminder of just how much I’ve learned.

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In September, Landon turned 20 months and I wrote about all that that little boy was up to. I wrote about being an oncology nurse, and how much I really feel like I was called to my profession. I shared our DIY Growth Chart Ruler, and I also wrote about what I learned in September. We also welcomed college football and cooler temperatures into our life as we moved toward fall.

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In October we were full. We went apple picking for the first time with Grammy and Papa Dave.  I wrote about having grace for myself being a working mama, realizing that there is NO way I can do it all and work a full time job, and that is perfectly okay.  Landon was cutting molars, which led to a really cranky toddler, and some really long, tearful days for both of us. Even though it was awful, I wrote about the upside to molars and the moments I will remember. Landon also decided for us that it was time for us to convert his crib to a toddler bed, and he did beautifully. Yet another milestone that he proved his independence to us with. We squeezed in a trip to the pumpkin patch. Landon was more interested in the tractors and cows than the pumpkins! And finally, we celebrated Halloween with our little Krispy Kreme boy, I might make him wear this costume until he graduates high school. Think I can get away with that?

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In November, we took a trip to Charleston, SC with Grammy and Papa Dave, and enjoyed four glorious days in one of my favorite cities on Earth.  Landon loved running on the beach, we we enjoyed a date night out to a swanky restaurant in downtown Charleston. November also brought some sadness to our family as we said goodbye to my grandfather, who I called Dandy. Dandy’s funeral was two days before Thanksgiving, which led to a busy and full week trying to say our goodbyes yet celebrate all that we are thankful for. Despite the sadness of losing a loved one, I am so thankful for our family and for the love that we share. 

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In December, we went to get our Christmas tree, and I wrote a little bit about its significance. We celebrated Landon’s second birthday. I wrote about his two year milestones, and declared this year the year of the non-party birthday. Instead, we took the day off and took him to a transportation museum in a nearby town, went to the bakery, and ate pizza. We celebrated with all the things that our little boy loves. We also celebrated Christmas, and let me just say, it just gets better every year. Landon was really into the present opening this year, and all though he doesn’t truly understand the meaning of Christmas or the magic of Santa, it is still exciting to see it all through your child’s eyes.

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Looking back, I had forgotten just how great 2013 was for us. It included some pretty major events, a lot of happiness, and a lot of fun. I have to say, as beautiful as 2013 was, I am really looking forward to 2014 and all that it has in store for our family!

Here’s to 2014!

photography goals for 2014

I’ve been shooting manual for several years now, but the great thing about photography is that there is always room for improvement. Photography is one of my most favorite hobbies, and so for the first year I’ve decided to set some goals for myself to improve.

1. Improve low light photography, use my flash. I hate flash photography, but sometimes you just need it. So I’m going to attempt to get more comfortable with that little gadget and also improve low light photography. Part of this is limited in my camera’s ISO capabilities, but we’ll see what I can do.

2. Project 365. This is a big one. I’ve never done this, but truthfully probably take a picture a day with my Iphone. This year, I want it to be more with my DSLR, edit, and post them for a year in our life. I’m not sure how this will look, but my goal is to post at least a couple images on my blog each week. I’ve joined a Facebook group to hopefully hold me more accountable with Sarah and Stephanie. This will also force me to improve low light photography since most of my images will be done after I get home from work in the evening. Consider joining us for Catch The Moment 365, you can read more on either Sarah or Stephanie’s blog!

3. Upgrade my gear. I shoot with a five year old refurbished Nikon D90, and its a great camera, don’t get me wrong. But I can say I’ve gotten to the point where I am frustrated that it can’t do certain things or just isn’t sharp enough sometimes. I’ve been eyeing the new Nikon D610, and hopefully sometime this year I can purchase a refurbished one….hopefully.

4. Print my photos, put them all in albums. I have almost all of my images from 2013 printed, but they are still sitting in the boxes they were delivered in. I need to buy albums and put them all one to have. I am so bad about getting behind on this one! (Who isn’t though ?)

5. Shoot more. Period. Hopefully #2 will assist with this :)

6. Learn more about Lightroom- I’ve got the basics, but would really like to learn more about this program, since I love it so much already.

7. Learn more about finding gorgeous light and capturing it.

Here’s one taken this week but is a 2013 image. Landon is obsessed with brushing his teeth, and often when we head upstairs he immediately goes to his new stool, climbs up, and brushes his teeth. Of course there is some assistance at the end by mom or dad to make sure he doesn’t miss any- but it still cracks me up that he is such a “big boy” and does this on his own. I’ve been meaning to catch him in the act the past few weeks, but finally did this week.

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