Monday, August 29, 2011

a bit of the weekend, in pictures

Saturday night:
I'm always amazed at how we rarely venture into Chicago.
{It's right there! It's so close! It's so cool!}
we paid $25
to park our car,
all because I really, really wanted to see the lake.
And then I remember
that I'd much rather spend $25 on anything in the following {non-exhaustive} list:
iTunes music
ice cream
a haircut
a birthday present
mascara that doesn't make my eyes burn
multiple giant watermelons

And so, if you have any secrets to parking in the city
{besides taking public transportation, 
or parking reallyreallyreallyreally far and walking to where you want to go},
I'm all ears :)

Sunday morning:
A bunch of churches in our town coordinated an outdoor worship service
in the center of the downtown area.
There were hundreds of people,
praising Jesus, praying, and taking communion together.
It was beautiful :)

Here's Charlie after the service, with his beloved Auntie Ali and Uncle "Ed-wart."
Have I mentioned that he acts a bit worried, most of the time?
{I have no idea where he gets it from.
Probably his dad...}

Happy Monday :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

anatomy of a group picture

When I was a kid, my family used to take the same picture, 
Those pictures are stacked on my Mom's refrigerator,
and to this very day, I can look at those pictures,
and be reminded that I wore the exact. same. shirt. in at least three of them.
Seeing a visual record of your unusually-long-lasting jr. high awkward stage 
every time you walk into your parent's house is just... invigorating.
Moving right along...
This year, on our trip to Minnesota,
we pulled over a giant trash can,
set the cameras on timers,
told everyone, "Go stand over there,"
and took pictures.
Maybe you won't appreciate these prep shots as much as I do,
but allow me to point out a few details that might make you smile :)

First, note that my sweet Irish grandmother (front and center, all in red)
has her legs daintily crossed, and is smiling in nearly every picture.
Because, that's just how she is.

Second, note my great-uncle (also Irish), on the left, in the blue sweatshirt,
leaning against the tree.
He's a hoot, and tells some incredible stories about Vietnam.
He's also a slightly awkward Facebook user.

Judging by their faces, 
most of the guys are upset about this whole group picture thing.
They're putting up with it 'cause the womenfolk would uproariously protest if they didn't.
{Case in point: my brother Edward's face, front and center, just to the left of Grandma.}

Here's the first picture we took: 
notice that Anna and Steve have popped up on the left, over by Uncle Martin. 
{They were in the middle of frying fish for everyone when we decided to do this whole thing.}
There I am on the far left, squatting next to Marty and Charlie,
and photographer-cousin Lydia is the pretty blonde on the far right.

And... now, picture #2.
Can you spot the couple making out?
That's how it goes in this family.

By the way,
we taped the whole thing on a Flip videocamera 
set up on the garbage can right next to the cameras.
Here's the last two minutes:
FYI: Next year, if I catch myself wearing a purple tank top 
and skinny jeans to our group picture fiasco...
I'll be excited that I can still fit into skinny jeans, and we'll call it a day :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

i *heart* one-year-olds

Charlie was a tough baby.
He had his sweet moments.
But he was also very difficult.
Because of the tough first year we had with our little guy,
I'm loving him as a one-year-old.

One-year-olds are squishy, and curious, and funny.
They can eat pretty much whatever you eat.
They mimic what you say.
They're learning at a rate of 1,000,000,000 M.P.H.
They say funny things.
{For example, Charlie is always trying to say "Seat."
But his "s" becomes a "sh."
And his "eat" becomes an "it."
Put it together... ... ... ...yeah.
I'm constantly shushing him in the grocery store.}

Above and below are pictures of another adorable, brand-new one-year-old.
She's the daughter of my sweet friend, Heidi.
This little girlie smiles at everything,
which made our little photo shoot easy as pie!

See the tutu Heidi found?
I need to have a little girl,
and I will buy her 10,000 of these cute little tutus.

For any photographers/nerds {like myself},
this is the first shoot that I edited completely in Lightroom {as opposed to Photoshop}.
I've got a long ways to go,
but -- can you tell?-- 
I love the b&w presets. 
They are so stinkin' beautiful! :)
since Lightroom costs significantly less than Photoshop,
I'm a huge fan.
More on Lightroom later, I think...

Happy Monday!

Monday, August 15, 2011

family vacay 2011

I'm a lucky lady.
I've got four separate sets of family,
all incredibly sweet and wonderful
in their own ways :)
Marty's mom's side.
Marty's dad's side.
My dad's side.
And my mom's side.

Every year, in August,
we head up north with my mom's side of the family
to the northwoods of Minnesota:
It's, by far, the best vacation ever.
Maybe, if you're not very "wilderness-y," you might not love it.
But I'm not very "wilderness-y," and I LOVE IT!!!!
I love it even more, because of the people I get to spend the week with:
{...and this is only half of the family. 
We were missing the other half, due to jobs, new babies, and some crazy house-buying going on!}

{Music for the slideshow comes from my awesome uncle, Phil Berwick! Check out his website:}

Friday, August 5, 2011

a little preview . . .

Here's a quick peek at what we've been up to this week -- photographically speaking, that is :)

Is there anything better than chubby baby-girl legs in a floofy tutu?
I think not!