Monday, July 26, 2010


We have been in this state less than 24 hours and already we have hit one of my must-eat spots.

Because it's all about priorities, you know.


Can you guess what state we are in?

This one ought to be easy for a lot of you, and because of that, I will throw all entries (whether correct or not) into a hat and send the lucky winner a prize.

Contest ends 24 hours from right now.

Happy speculating!

(And here's hoping that sometime soon I will stop posting about food, vacations, and food eaten on my vacations)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Because there's nothing worse than reliving other people's vacations, right?

Though we've been home from our trip to Boston for almost a month, I am finally getting around to editing the pictures I took there.

Why so long, you say?

Well, for one thing, I had eight corporate head shot sessions and a private family session that I did while we were there. Not to mention the 2-3 sessions per week I've had since we got home. Staying up until midnight every night editing does not necessarily entice one to want to work on pictures that no one is paying for.

But as I looked through them, it really brought the trip back and made me so happy that we went. Like this picture, for instance, taken on the top floor of Faneuil Hall.


You know, the top floor where there is a museum.

Which I never knew existed during the six years we lived there.

Frankly, because there was no way I was hauling a stroller up three flights of stairs to have one of my children break something historic again. So in all that time, I never once ventured to the top. Which is quite sad. Because honestly, they don't make light this gorgeous just anywhere.


I also discovered this photo hidden in the mix:


Which tragically (or luckily, depending on your point of view) is one of three pictures taken of me this whole year. We were walking the Freedom Trail and paused to rest in the courtyard outside of the Old North Church. I set my camera down on the bench beside me, relieved to be free from the 900 pound weight that it is, and McKay picked it up and started snapping. Granted, there are a lot of very blurry pictures of his feet and Chase's face, but this one really stood out and made me happy.

And we have several token touristy photos in the bunch, as well. Which really are photos only a mother (or grandmother) could love.




But I will end with this one, which might be one of my favorites taken on the trip. We had been walking for several hours in the heat and she appeared at my feet, begging to be carried. Not realizing, of course, that my days of carrying her ended as soon as she decided to sprout legs as long as the state of California.

But I like her heat-flushed cheeks, windblown hair, her baby freckles, and the tired sparkle in her green eyes. The imploring expression that is just seconds away from saying, "Mom..." followed by a plea of some sort. It's a face I've seen a thousand times.


And a face I'm sure to see a thousand more.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Marveling at my awesome parenting once again

Last Sunday, I noticed my middle child limping and hobbling on our way into church. Crabby, tired, and short on patience, I told him to knock it off.

Also? The Mother of the Year people just called. My award is on its way.

He looked up at me with sadness in his startlingly blue eyes and said, "I'm sorry, mom. My toes are just scrunched up in my shoes and they really hurt."

After giving myself 6,000 lashes with the belt made entirely out of guilt, I apologized and promised to get him some new shoes this week.

It really shouldn't have surprised me. The new Sunday pants I bought him at Easter? Like three inches too short now. I don't know what this kid is eating that is so different than the others. Nobody else is sprouting ankles out of their pants by the hour. An inch or two every year at best. But this one? He's grown about three inches in the last few months alone.

So yesterday we headed over to the mall. I started at Macy's, figuring I'd buy his forgiveness make up for the insensitive remark by treating him to a great pair of shoes from a respectable department store. I also wanted to hit the MAC counter for myself. The day was all about him. Making him feel special and loved.

Only, much to my dismay, I discovered that he has completely outgrown the children's sizes, and is now smack dab in the middle of the men's shoe sizes.

Sweet. fancy. moses.

Have you ever seen how expensive men's dress shoes are? Ain't no way I'm dropping $150 on a pair of shoes that, in all likelihood, will fit him for about eight minutes. I rarely spend that much money on my OWN shoes.

So I lied and told him I didn't think any of the shoes there looked good and steered him toward Famous Footwear. Where the shoes were only $90.

And then I steered him towards Sears, where the shoes were only $60.

By this time, I was running out of excuses as to why I felt the stores just didn't have his style. I think he believed me after the first store. But by store three, he was looking at me like I had totally lost it.

We ended up at *gasp* Payless, and I gladly forked over $40 for a pair of surprisingly decent-looking dress shoes. It still pained me slightly, knowing that he only wears them a few hours every week, but it was definitely better than the alternatives.

Here's hoping they fit him for more than a month.

Because, really, if anybody is going to be spending the Husband's hard-earned money on more shoes around here, it definitely ought to be me.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summing it up nicely

Said by Hannah at lunch yesterday:

"I might be a little bit mental, but I've got a great sense of style."


I'm just wondering which part she gets from me, and which part she gets from the Husband.

Never mind. Don't answer that.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The one in which she returns from the dead to delight (and bore) you once again

Tap, tap, tap...

Is this thing on?

Anybody still out there? I cannot believe it has been ten days since I visited this little blog of mine. I don't think I've gone that long without blogging since, well, never.

What have I been doing?

Well, I have found myself inundated with photo shoots. Be sure to check my photo blog in the next few days to see some of the fabulous sessions I've had lately. I can't tell you the joy it is to be so busy you can barely find time to get it all in.

I've also taken a little road trip with my kiddos, my cousin, her children, and a car full of candy - pictures to come later this week. (Of the kids. Not the candy).

I have been busy working on a how-to post for the Divine Miss M. (Marta, that is. Though I'd just as happily do anything for Bette, should she ever call. Hi Bette! Loved you in Beaches!)

I have been recovering from a nasty summer cold that stole my energy, my voice, and pretty much my will to live.

I have been juggling (not very gracefully, mind you) motherhood, laundry, work, kids, and the Husband. Life just seems to have hopped a runaway train this summer, and there's no stopping it now.

Anyway, it's good to be back. I've missed you peeps.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Freedom, baby


It is almost Independence Day.

Which for most of America, means stuffing ourselves silly with fried chicken, potato chips, watermelon, and flag-shaped desserts. It also the time where we gather as a nation, sit on blankets, and watch explosive lights in the night sky.

By no means do I make a mockery of these sacred American traditions. I embrace them with my whole heart. I just find it funny every year that the way in which we choose to celebrate our freedom is pigging out and blowing stuff up.

I guess it doesn't get more American than that though, does it?

ANYhoo, I am once again toting my camera to our favorite fireworks spot and will be attempting to capture some of the spectacular colors. And because I'm so nice, I'm going to teach you all how to do it, too.


First step is to turn your camera to the manual setting. That means NOT shooting in the auto or "green button" mode. [While you're scratching your head in awe going, "Wow, I wondered what that big M was for", get this book, learn how to always shoot in manual, and start thinking of ways to beg my forgiveness.]

Your aperture or f-stop shouldn't be too wide open, anywhere from f-8 to f-16 would work well. The lights are very bright, and you don't want all of that light hitting your sensor and blowing the photo out. I use a low ISO, about 100 or so. The shutter speed is going to be very slow. If your camera has a "bulb" setting, use that. It will allow you to keep the shutter open for as long as you are holding the button down. And with fireworks, we definitely want it open for a second or two. If you don't have the bulb feature, select the slowest shutter speed possible.


Also, if you don't have a DSLR, you can still change all of these settings on a point and shoot camera. Get your manual out and figure out how to adjust the aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. Every point and shoot camera I've seen allows you control over these key components.

The last (and probably most important) thing is to set your camera on a tripod. I have not bothered with that in years past, but am definitely bringing it this year. I am excited to see the difference it will make (huge, I expect). It is near impossible to hold the camera steady enough for that long of an exposure. A tripod is key.

Any questions? Happy shooting.

Oh, and happy eating, too.