Adventures in…Photography

I have always loved to take pictures. Recently I have been dabbling in it more than usual. I bought a new lens and it’s made me nuts for photography. For years I have prayed that God will call me to a career that works with my family life and allows me do something I love. And I really feel like God is calling me to photography. Maybe take Baptism photos or First Communion photos one day?? Who knows! But all I do know is that I love taking photos and being creative in the editing process.

Some pics turn out amazing, some are not my best-but I’m learning. I plan on signing up for photography & photo shop classes at Bedford Camera & Video here in town. I know none of this is going to happen over night and I know it’ll take a lot of work on my part to get it right, but I’m so excited to try! After Will starts school I’ll take the beginning steps of advertising my business. And in the mean time, I plan to do some free photography for family and friends for experience and practice. So far my sister-in-law, Katy, has booked head shots with me to take of her while we see each other this summer. I’m excited to begin this new venture in my life!

I’m posting some of my recent photos-I’ll add my little man, Will, when I take his soon. For now, I hope you enjoy these photos of my other 3 children.

Cheers!

Kat

Ryan playing his guitar. Believe it or not this photo was taken in front of our shed! This is not a barn or a farm. The prop, a fan made into a lamp, accents the photo to add some modern and vintage style to the photo. I love this photo except for Ryan's cepo on his guitar that we forgot to have him take off.

Ryan playing his guitar. Believe it or not this photo was taken in front of our shed! This is not a barn or a farm. The prop, a fan made into a lamp, accents the photo to add some modern and vintage style to the photo. I love this photo except for Ryan’s cepo on his guitar that we forgot to have him take off.

 

 

Ryan in front of multi-color pallets. On the way to our photo location I drove past a grocery store that had these sitting off to the side of their building. I knew I had to swing back around for pics! Love the colors!

Ryan in front of multi-color pallets. On the way to our photo location I drove past a grocery store that had these sitting off to the side of their building. I knew I had to swing back around for pics! Love the colors!

 

 

A boy and his guitar. I saw a similar photo to this on Pinterest and had to recreate it. Only dislike is that Ryan was facing the sun and I need my lens upgarded to take photos a little further away so they will look crisp and clean.

A boy and his guitar. I saw a similar photo to this on Pinterest and had to recreate it. Only dislikes are that it is too dark, Ryan was facing the sun and I need my lens upgarded to take photos a little further away so they will look crisp and clean.

 

 

There is plot of land by Wal-Mart that sits empty. I have seen photo take photos here many times. I decided to give it a try. At sunset, Matt & I brought a chair and my camera. I love this photo so much, it makes me proud.

There is plot of land by Wal-Mart that sits empty. I have seen people take photos here many times. I decided to give it a try. At sunset, Matt & I brought a chair and my camera. I love this photo so much, it makes me proud.

 

 

Alone with his thoughts. I don't like to force smiles on people when I do photos. I'll often say, "no smile, half smile, big smile." Unless the person is laughing about something, the smile isn't genuine and I feel like I'm not really capturing who they are. I'd rather have no smile than a smile with no emotion behind the eyes....see Mary Kate's photo for the example.

Alone with his thoughts. I don’t like to force smiles on people when I do photos. I’ll often say, “no smile, half smile, big smile.” Unless the person is laughing about something, the smile isn’t genuine and I feel like I’m not really capturing who they are. I’d rather have no smile than a smile with no emotion behind the eyes….see Mary Kate’s photo for the example. But Matt AKA Sweets looks stunning in this photo. At only 15 years old, he looks very mature. I’d like to learn photo shop so I can make those baby blues pop more in photographs.

 

 

Matt downtown at an old loading dock. Just minutes later a train passed us by. This isn't a favorite photo of mine, but as you can see, his smile isn't natural. He was tired and ready to go home. But I will say that I love the colors in this photo.

(Here is a good example of a forced smile.) Matt downtown at an old loading dock. Just minutes later a train passed us by. This isn’t a favorite photo of mine, but as you can see, his smile isn’t natural and his eyes have no real expression to them. I think if I had him squint his eyes a tad it would look better. He was tired and ready to go home. But I will say that I love the colors in this photo.

 

 

Mary Kate and I went to take photos behind a church and behind that church is a garden and walking path. It's gorgeous. The first thing she did was sit on this bench and pose this pose. I said "wait, wait, let me get my camera out! Don't move!" She stayed still and I got this little gem in return! Such a gorgeous girl!! I love everything about this photo. But in order for it to look this good I had to take away the natural colors and add a more antique look to the photo for it to work.

Mary Kate and I went to take photos behind a church and behind that church is a garden and walking path. It’s gorgeous. The first thing she did was sit on this bench and pose this pose. I said “wait, wait, let me get my camera out! Don’t move!” She stayed still and I got this little gem in return! Such a gorgeous girl!! I love everything about this photo. But in order for it to look this good I had to take away the natural colors and add a more antique look to the photo for it to work.

 

 

Natural smiles are the BEST smiles!! And when I take pictures of the children I can usually get them to laugh pretty hard with saying things like "say boogers!" or "who farted?!" And they just squeal with laughter. What can I say, kids love gross bodily functions. No matter to me, cause all it gives me are great natural smiles like this in return. My dislike in this photo is lighting. I took it in the afternoon with the sun right oh her. It washed out her skin and dress a lot. I had to use a lot of touch ups to darken it up some without making it too dark. Other than that, I love it!

Natural smiles are the BEST smiles!! And when I take pictures of the children I can usually get them to laugh pretty hard with saying things like “say boogers!” or “who farted?!” And they just squeal with laughter. What can I say, kids love gross bodily functions. No matter to me, cause all it gives me are great natural smiles like this in return. My dislike in this photo is lighting. I took it in the afternoon with the sun right oh her. It washed out her skin and dress a lot. I had to use a lot of touch ups to darken it up some without making it too dark…again, I’m learning.  As you can see, I kept her face in focus and blurred out the rest of the photo in editing. This picture makes me smile a lot. It captures my favorite thing about my baby girl…her smile.  And notice those tiny fingers peeking out-just love it! 

 

Not bad for a beginner…I’m learning and sometimes it takes a few mistakes along the way to get it right. So local family and friends, need me to take some photos of your kiddos?? Just let me know:)

Matthew “Sweets” 15th Birthday

Sweets celebrating his Sweet 15th at Golf Mountain

Its been 5 months since the passing of Ryan & Matt’s Mom. I have been anxious about their upcoming birthdays and what it might bring my sweet young men. Whatever emotions might lie beneath the surface of those sweet smiles, … Continue reading

Butterschnapps Eggnog

Made with Butterscotch Schnapps, Bailey's Irish Cream & Eggnog, this is  one holiday drink to say CHEERS to!

Merry Christmas! Its nap time and I have begun the prepping stages for my famous deviled eggs along with finishing my daily Mommy duties. It’s the holidays, so in the mist of it all I felt the need for a … Continue reading

Copycat Taylor’s Maid-Rite

This tastes as close as you are going to get to the real Taylor's Maid-Rite. Reminds me of home sweet home!!

I am an Iowa girl by rites. I grew up there until the tender age of 7 until we made the big move to Arkansas. People will ask where I am from and I always start off with saying Keokuk, … Continue reading

Tip Hero to the Rescue!

Instead of a hot dog, try making a banana on a bun with PB & J or PB & Nutella. My kids tried this today and it was a hit with my 4 year old. My 2 year old was a little confused by it but it all up! Genius idea!

Recently while surfing Facebook I came across a page called Tip Hero. It’s a fun page with loads of “Ah Ha Moments” for even the most creative people. I obviously love to cook and bake but if I can find … Continue reading

Poor “Woman’s” Sangria

A take on a traditional sangria but half the time. And it's so good! Time for Mommy to unwind!

It’s been busy at our home since we came back from vacation in Wyoming. Between school starting and getting the floors in the house redone, I’m completely spent by the end of night. It’s no secret that I love sangrias … Continue reading

Smile!

Ready for their check up! Mary Kate was already saying "Ah"

Today the kiddos had a check up at the dentist. We had hoped to visit the office next to Daddy’s work, instead we were sent to Bentonville for their check up. We go to My Village Pediatric Dentistry and see … Continue reading

Diary of a Fat Girl: Update

My weight loss progression. I'm still not ready to reveal my weight, but I will say losing 30 lbs makes a heck of a difference!

I know it’s been a long time since I updated about my weight loss. But I’m here today to give you one! Since my last update, my weight took a turn for the worse. I knew I was bigger, I … Continue reading

Livin’ on Tulsa Time

It was a last minute decision that took Mark, the babes and I to Tulsa for a quick weekend vaca. It had been 2 years since we last visited the Tulsa Zoo with our little ones and so that was the plan for the day. Our very good friends Tom & Rachel joined us with their 3 kiddos for some zoo fun. We always have a great time with Tom & Rachel and wished we lived closer to each other. They reside in Tulsa and us in Rogers. A two hour drive keeps the heart fond with this amazing family.

 

Our Tulsa Friends, Tom & Rachel. The sweetest & funniest couple in T-Town.

Our Tulsa Friends, Tom & (the beautiful) Rachel. The sweetest and funniest couple in T-Town. A stunning couple!!

 

Our first stop at the zoo was to see the elephants. Mary Kate adores elephants! She has been a longtime lover of Dumber since she was a little bity one. She was amazed at how big they were and excited to see the elephant use her truck to help her eat and drink.

Seeing elephants up close for the first time. "It's Momma Baby Dumbo!"

Seeing elephants up close for the first time. “It’s Momma Baby Dumbo!”

 

Beautiful and amazing. I can see why she loves them so much.

Beautiful and amazing. I can see why she loves them so much.

After a brief stop for lunch and meeting up with Tom & Rachel, we moved on to see the bears. No real excitement with the bears other than one was lying right up against the glass, asleep. After watching the bears sit on rocks and sleep, we quickly moved on to ride the carousal a few times.

Exciting times watching Bears sleep:)

Exciting times watching Bears sleep:)

 

 

Watching Bears sit is even more fun...glad we spent money on this:)

Watching Bears sit with their backs turned to us is the most fun…glad we spent money on this:)

 

 

As we waited in line we were able to see Tom and Rachel’s  children go by several times; by the way, I don’t think you’re ever too old to ride the carousal. I was excited to get on the carousal and take photos of the kids having fun. The first time we rode the carousal Mary Kate ended up with the horse and Will with the sea lion. Will was content with his sea lion and Mary Kate was disappointed that the elephant was taken. So after our first ride we decided to get in line and go again. This time Mary Kate was able to get her elephant and Will once again, got another sea lion. But he was not upset; he was just ready to go again. I think I will  have the babes watch Mary Poppins soon, since riding the carousal was so exciting for them. Ever since I first watched Mary Poppins as a little girl, every time I see a carousal I think of Mary Poppins.

 

The cool kids-AKA Tom & Rachel's Monkeys.

The cool kids-AKA Tom & Rachel’s Monkeys. Collin, Elle and Liam.

 

 

The most fun she's had all day!

The most fun she’s had all day! My beautiful little girl.

 

 

 

Will just going with the flow and taking it all in.

Will just going with the flow and taking it all in.

 

Finally able to ride an elephant. Mary Kate was over the moon happy!

Finally able to ride an elephant. Mary Kate was over the moon happy!

 

 

They could have rode the carousal all day. Always fun no matter what age you are.

They could have rode the carousal all day. Always fun no matter what age you are.

 

When we were finished riding the carousal and a failed attempt at a group pic of the kids (I really didn’t try to get them to pose or anything to be truthful), we decided to see the monkeys and much to my surprise the kids were not that interested in them. Maybe it was the muggy weather and the fact that the kids had completely missed their naps (note to self: my children MUST take a good hearty nap before any long activity outside of the home or else I’ll pay for it in more than one way), but they were done with seeing animals just sit around. Maybe we should try going to the circus next time?! But then came the sea lion to the rescue that gave us all a good laugh with his French model posing. So cute!

All the kids together (minus Ryan & Matthew)

All the kids together (minus Ryan & Matthew)

 

 

Watching the monkeys was just as exciting as watching the bears. I think we could have left after seeing the elephants and called it a day...not a good day for animals at the zoo.

Watching the monkeys was just as exciting as watching the bears. I think we could have left after seeing the elephants and called it a day…not a good day for animals at the zoo.

 

A good lookin' sea lion right there folks!

A good lookin’ sea lion right there folks!

As the anxiety of the fussy kids began to set in on us parents, we sought refuge in the shade and let the kids stretch their legs and play at the playground until it was time to leave.  The ever popular Will made friends quickly and shy Mary Kate played pretend behind her brother. I’m so glad she is starting Pre-K this fall. She needs real friends instead of pretend friends that are Little Ponies and Princesses. Pre-K will be good for her. My poor baby wants friends so badly but sadly she is so shy, she just watches other kids instead of talking to them. She takes a while to warm up to them, but once she does, she is a great!

 

Will making friends quickly and Mary Kate warming up to them.

Will making friends quickly and Mary Kate warming up to them.

 

Pretending like she is a princess in a tower. Will offered to save her:)

Pretending like she is a princess in a tower. Will offered to save her:)

 

 

My brave little man claiming himself as King of the Zoo!

My brave little man claiming himself as King of the Zoo!

 

 

Just had to throw this one in there. He's such a cool little guy. Always up for fun and always a friendly kid.

Just had to throw this one in there. He’s  so darn cute!

After the zoo we went out to eat with Tom, Rachel and their daughter. The boys were with their Mom for the night. Then it was off to Tom & Rachel’s house for some drinks and more play time for the kiddos. They had fun running in the dark with flash lights and playing with the family dog, Gigi. It was a great day, a great night with great people; couldn’t ask for a better getaway.

 

Gigi the family pet, so darn cute!! Reminds me of my old dog, Cassie, just a smaller version.

Gigi the family pet, so darn cute!! Reminds me of my old dog, Cassie, just a smaller version.

 

The next day, we slowly woke up in our hotel room and prepared to go home, we decided to get some breakfast at Kilkenny’s in Tulsa; a fun Irish pub that you MUST try if you are ever in the Tulsa area. But that wasn’t the best part. For us the BEST part was visiting Rachel at her candy store, Candy Castle, where Rachel treated the kids to gummy bears, chocolates, suckers and a Rainbow Dash Little Pony for Mary Kate. The babes were in 7th Heaven and beside themselves with the sugar high they were about to have….thank you, Rachel:) And what kind of Mom would I be if I didn’t let them have a little fun and eat a bunch of Lego brick candies on the 2 hour drive home…they did great and didn’t get hyper at all. But Will did crash and slept for a good hour. Mary Kate played with her new Rainbow Dash and talked all the way home about the zoo, candy and her new friend Elle.

No vacation is complete without Sponge Bob and a cup of cereal.

No vacation is complete without Sponge Bob and a cup of cereal. And a little bed head too:)

 

 

Will with his bear and blankie as he slowly started his day.

Will with his blankie as he slowly starts his day. Yes, we have a thumb sucker:)

 

Sweet Mary Kate with her Momma Lamb and Twighlight Sparkle. Both from Build A Bear Workshop. Her absolute favorite place in the whole world.

Sweet Mary Kate with her Momma Lamb and Twighlight Sparkle. Both from Build A Bear Workshop. Her absolute favorite place in the whole world. She always brings Momma Lamb and at least one Little Pony with us on any vacation.

 

Running those little legs off for some sweets from Tulsa's #1 candy store, Candy Castle. You HAVE to visit Candy Castle if you are ever in the area. They have 2 locations and more candy than you can imagine!!

Running those little legs off for some sweets from Tulsa’s #1 candy store, Candy Castle. You HAVE to visit Candy Castle if you are ever in the area. They have 2 locations and more candy than you can imagine!!

 

Immediately going to her favorite place in the store!

Immediately going to her favorite place in the store!

 

Finding the suckers and wanting to eat them ASAP.

Finding the suckers and wanting to eat them ASAP.

 

Reaching for her beloved Rainbow Dash. Her life is complete now.

Reaching for her beloved Rainbow Dash. Her life is complete now.

 

Will helping Rachel pick out some treats.

Will helping Rachel pick out some treats.

 

 

Ready to eat EVERYTHING! And I don't blame him one bit. It all looked amazing!!

Ready to eat EVERYTHING! And I don’t blame him one bit. It all looked amazing!!

 

Over the moon happy with her Rainbow dash from Candy Castle

Over the moon happy with her Rainbow dash from Candy Castle

 

Will paying Rachel in hugs for her kindness in spoiling them. Such a sweet friend!

Will paying Rachel in hugs for her kindness in spoiling them. Such a sweet friend!

I always enjoy spending time with our dear friends. They are just one of those couples you click with. They get you and you get them, and it’s like we’ve known each other our whole lives. They really are an amazing couple and an amazing family. Going to Tulsa is always fun for our family. It doesn’t matter where we go, as long as we are together. Fussy kids, tired parents, muggy weather, crowded parks; they are moments that make memories and memories that make me smile and I immensely thank God for my beautiful family & friends.

 

CHEERS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homemakers Creed

Being a homemaker is a blessing in my life.  I wouldn't trade it for anything!

I recently came across this Homemakers Creed from Betty Crocker and as old fashioned as it might be to some, I simply love it.  My husband and I often feel like old souls from a different era.  I am indeed … Continue reading