Decking the halls (or something like that)

12/04/2012 at 4:54 pm | Posted in family, just plain fun, snap happy | 2 Comments

Before we had kids I used to go bonkers with Christmas decorations, inside the house and out. Confession: I’ve always wanted to be *that* house. The one with so many lights that people drive miles to see but the neighbors hate. Someday, friends. Someday.

But after Lily was born it was all I could do to hang three stockings on the mantel. And every year since then, I’ve given myself a break on decorating.

Tree, stockings, basket to collect cards. Check, check and check.

This year is no exception. Although I’m going to try a couple of (small) Pinterest projects for our living room. That post may or may not come later. Wish me luck.

We decorated our tree Sunday, and Sophie loved the ball ornaments. Mostly because ball is one of her favorite words. And she loves to fling them around the room.

We only had one glass ornament casualty. Not bad.

And the girls had to try on the stockings. Because they’re supposed to go on your feet Mommy! Of course.

Little sister see, little sister do.

After Sophie went down for nap, we let Lily tear into the big box of ornaments. She decorated about half the tree all by herself. And she only took five ornaments up to her room to keep them away from Sophie even though she wanted to hide about 20. Progress.

Of course there would be no smiling for the camera, but this one actually turned out to be one of my favorite Christmas shots ever. This girl.

{Linking up with Mandy over at The Haps.}

Welcome, tree.

11/29/2012 at 3:17 pm | Posted in just plain fun, snap happy | 1 Comment
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We picked him out the morning after Thanksgiving. Because I’m cuckoo for Christmas and my sweet husband obliges.

Lily loved the scent. Sophie loved sitting up on the truck bed.

I loved every bit of it.

We’ll bring him inside and dress him up real fancy this weekend. I can’t wait.

Have you chosen your tree? If you post photos, leave a link in the comments. I’d love to see!

Why I'm cuckoo with my camera

11/26/2012 at 9:23 pm | Posted in snap happy | 2 Comments

Ever since I held my very first camera and smelled that burnt flash bulb after it popped, I was in love.

On one childhood vacation, in fact, I spent an entire roll of film on a single alligator. Disney World, the zoo, even the backyard, I snapped away. Laura and I would dress up the dog and I would take pictures. Anything, everything.

And I COULD NOT WAIT for my film to be developed. Such an awesome feeling to tear open that envelope and see if the prints inside matched the vision in my head. The devastation of discovering an exposed roll and losing those pictures drove me to tears.

So that is why I’m a total freak with my camera. It’s in my blood, apparently.

I’m not sure why it took me three years of blogging to finally explain my snap-happy-ness, but I thought you ought to know why I take (and LOVE) shots like these super close-ups of the girls (one with a milk moustache — score).

When a single photo makes me laugh out loud or stops me in my tracks — especially in the middle of scrolling through hundreds that I take on any given occasion — I jump up and down inside just like that 10-year-old girl clutching an envelope of fresh prints to her chest. And then I empty my memory card and do it all over again.

Outtakes

11/16/2012 at 9:08 pm | Posted in snap happy | Leave a comment

I’ve been digging through our computer to find photos for our family yearbook and also trying to clean up the zillion image folders I’ve created in the last year. And then I stumbled across these today and they made me laugh out loud and I decided that you really needed to see them too. You’re welcome.

To be fair, I tried to find one of me. But I couldn’t. Really! Because I’m always behind the camera. And maybe because I deleted them. But that’s just between us.

On this, the last day of the fair

10/21/2012 at 8:36 pm | Posted in About town, snap happy | 2 Comments
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Sophie’s hair smells of turkey leg smoke.

Lily hasn’t put down the stuffed fish she won.

And Marc and I are exhausted.

A fitting end to the State Fair, one of our favorite holidays of the year. Yes, a holiday. Because it’s just plain wonderful.

I went three times. Once for work (really). I sampled some of this year’s new deep-fried goods: cinnamon bun covered with glaze and bacon (good) and the deep-fried Girl Scout cookies (just okay). And my favorite meal remains a McBride’s corn dog with Al’s Fries of course. Although the “barbecue sundae” was tempting. I’ll leave that one to your imagination.

We visited the animals, danced to bluegrass music in Heritage Circle and met a walking tree, which was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

Until next year, State Fair. We’ll miss you!

American Girl and her trusty sidekick, Fanciest

10/04/2012 at 9:32 pm | Posted in baby sunshine, Small Fry, snap happy | 1 Comment

Last week before the plague hit our little family, Lily decided that she and Sophie were going to dress up as superheroes. Allow me to introduce American Girl. I’ll give you a moment to take in the ensemble:

And check out “Fanciest,” as named by her big sister, battling with her lime-green lei in the background, tutu down to her toes.

Most of our dress-up clothes came from Laura a couple of Christmases ago. She put together a really neat collection of things — including the pink tutu, the “airplane flyer” shirt as Lily calls it, and Sophie’s NYC tee — from one of the thrift shops in town. It’s one of the most clever gifts Lily has ever received, and it continues to fuel her imagination.

And I couldn’t resist throwing in this photo of Sophie in one of her favorite places ever. On sissy’s bed, clutching sissy’s lovey, with another one of sissy’s toys in her other hand. To say that she adores Lily is an understatement.

And when Lily actually allows Sophie into her room, magic happens.

The house of sick

10/03/2012 at 4:07 pm | Posted in family, snap happy | 1 Comment

In the last six days, Sophie contracted a stomach virus that kept her up all night puking, Lily came down with walking pneumonia, and I picked up Sophie’s bug.

And in the middle of all this chaos, Marc turned 37. Bless him.

I haven’t left the house much in that time span, and you guys, I am READY to re-engage with humankind. Mommy is starting to go a little (a lot) nuts. I still have a bit of nausea, but after living with it during my entire pregnancy with Sophie, it’s like second nature. Stay horizontal as much as possible, eat small meals, drink plenty of water. I’m getting there.

There’s lots of exciting stuff coming up around these parts … the State Fair (of course), Sophie’s 17-month-day and a fun new blog partnership I can’t wait to tell you about.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a few photos from life before we became the house of sick:

Hope you and yours are nice and healthy!

16 months

09/07/2012 at 1:53 pm | Posted in baby sunshine, snap happy | 6 Comments
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Look at this face. Sophie’s special scrunch. I’ve been trying to capture it on camera all summer, and finally, here it is in all its glory.

Behold the milk dribble:

This baby makes us laugh every day.

She pushes the kitchen chairs across the room, cackling with every step.

She picks up a book, waddles over to me, turns around and backs into my lap with a plop. As in, read Mommy. Now.

When I blow my nose, she pretends to do the same. And whenever she nabs a tissue (or a five-foot-long stretch of toilet paper) she pretends to blow her nose.

She loves to show people her belly button. And she gives open-mouth kisses if you ask for one.

Her “run” is a quicker waddle with one arm flapping, like she’s pushing the air out of the way.

When Lily builds a block tower, Sophie knocks it over like it’s her job.

Wherever Lily is, Sophie wants to be. Which has become a little problematic for big sister, who likes her stuff JUST SO and has taken to shutting her bedroom door in Sophie’s face. But she doesn’t last long without little sis nearby. Two peas in a pod.

In the bath, Sophie likes to pour water on herself. And tip her head way down to try to drink from the tub. When I say “no,” she shakes her head with me.

When she hears the dishwasher or fridge door open, she comes running.

She just discovered stickers and loves to press them onto her legs. And onto mommy’s boobies.

If you chase her, she laughs maniacally, then stops running and braces herself to be tickled.

Sometimes she stands with both arms crossed at the wrist behind her back, lost in thought. Like a little old soul.

Armpit rolls, thigh rolls, neck rolls. I want to eat them all.

Pure sunshine, this baby.

We¬†can’t get enough.

Wherein Flickr likes me again and I can share ridiculous amounts of beach photos! You're welcome.

08/22/2012 at 3:22 pm | Posted in oh the places we go, snap happy | 5 Comments

I cracked the code! Otherwise known as my impossibly brilliant ridiculous Flickr password!

Woo!

So, finally, beach photos for you to enjoy. Including a couple of spectacular failed attempts at a family photo (see: Lily’s best grimace ever).

If you’d like to see full-screen images (hi Aunt Mary Lou!), just click on that little arrow thingy in the bottom right corner after you hit “play” …

[ichc-flickr-slide width=”400″ height=”300″ username=”prettyswell” set_id=”72157631197196168″ player_r=”109615″]

Two of the 673 pictures I took at the beach

08/21/2012 at 3:04 pm | Posted in oh the places we go, snap happy | 2 Comments
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Here’s what we know to be true:

Suzanne + camera + cute kids + baby thighs + beach = photo overload.

Which is why last week’s vacation put a hurting on my Canon. I took almost 700 pictures, you guys. I seriously have a problem. But when I get back home and I’m sitting in front of my computer staring expectantly at the download churning away, I’m always rewarded with a shot like this:

Or this:

So I guess last week is no surprise. Especially when you consider that my camera is therapy. And I really needed it. And camera therapy trumps Zoloft any day.

I wish I had a slideshow ready to share, but I seem to have forgotten my Flickr login information and I’ve tried to get into the account so many times that I’ve been blocked and now I have to wait 12 hours to try again. Because obviously my brain is still on vacation.

I’ll be back soon with photos! Consider yourselves warned.

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