Tuesday, September 25, 2007

i believe, i believe

it's hard to believe that christmas is just around the corner again! i love christmas. last year i started pictures with santa, and it is by far my favorite job i have ever done! it's kind of a fun story too as to how i got started...

last august, we were at the park and jack comes running up to me and says, "there's santa!" as he is pointing at this older gentleman who had long white hair and a beard...but no red suit. then jack asks, "can i go tell him that i want a superman bike for christmas?" how could i say no? it would totally crush him, and ruin his chances of believing in santa...so i let him go up to "santa" with hopes that the older fellow would humor my son.

well, "santa" did more than that..he took jack up on his knee and let jack tell him everything that he wanted for christmas, he did magic tricks with jack, sang jingle bells, and even told jack to listen to his mommy and daddy, say his prayers, and be a good big brother to gracie.

i was floored! i thought to myself, "this probably really is the real santa", or at least the "santa" i surely believed in until the 6th grade (don't make fun of me...i've always been a big dreamer and have a wild imagination). after talking to "santa" for a bit, i found out that being "santa" is his job for november and december and has been for the last 15 years. he said he has the best job in the world. now, being a photographer...the wheels in my head began turning. i asked him if he had ever done photo shoots. he said only at the mall. i then told him the idea i just thought of...to give families 20 whole minutes with the best santa ever, and sneek a few pictures in the process. he said he would love to. soooo, he made room for me in his very busy schedule and we made "pictures with santa" happen.

last year i filled 2 days and had the time of my life - and so did "santa". he said that in the 15 years he has been "santa", this was his favorite "gig". the children absolutely adored him, and he got every child to sit on his lap...he was so sweet and really worked with the children who were a little afraid. he sang songs, did magic tricks, and even snuck in a few kisses with the babies. some of the parents brought gifts for santa to give the kids, but he still had a bag for all the children anyway.

i feel truly blessed to know the real santa, and i can't wait to see what fun there is to have this year. i hope you all can come experience this wonderful man and start off your holiday season with a bang!

above is another adorable picture of santa with my cousin's daughter...

and just because i love you...all of you who come to my blog...if you click on the ad on the right of my blog, and pay there...you get $10 off. i know it's still not the cheapest thing ever, but it's his job and mine. also...if you think about what you would pay for 1 5x7 at the mall ($15), plus a fake-bearded santa, plus only 1 minute to sit on his lap while the rest of the mall watches, plus you don't get to have the digital negatives to have forever and turn into the best christmas card EVER! whew...

hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

a fairy princess

i found some cool new brushes, and decide to make this picture a little bit more fun and magical.....

i LOVE photoshop! i let my creative juices flow, and have a ball!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

a simple life

well this weekend we went to amish country and saw many beautiful and interesting things. i admire them in many ways. i think we can learn a lot about them and their life style. they really believe in a "simple life" and in not trying to be better than all those around them, but equals. all their houses and land was pristine and beautiful. everything was so neat and clean and it's apparent that they take great pride in the upkeep of their homes, land, and country.

as we were there i couldn't help but think back to the tragedy several months back when that milk man that delivered to an amish community in pennsylvania and was grieved at the loss of his baby girl, and went and held hostage the girls at school and then killed and wounded them. i remember reading about how the amish community forgave that man and mourned for his family. this example was the ultimate story of forgiveness and christ-like love.

as i watched these people in wonder, i had nothing but respect for them and their culture. i thought how many times i make life way more difficult than needs be...to the amish the most important part of life is their family. if everyone is this world even just followed them in this one aspect, the world would be a drastically better place.
this was a general store in amish country that we went to with matt's parents and brother, rob, who came in town for the weekend (see next post). they had lots of cool toys and other nifty odds and ends.

Monday, September 10, 2007


today was one of those days where i felt like a horrible mom because my sweet little boy was disobeying my every demand (or so it seemed). i thought, "do i not follow through?", "am i not strict enough?", "do i pose empty threats?"...the sad thing is - i can answer yes to those questions at times...every mom can, i hope!? but today, i did follow through on every punishment, so i felt like he was in time-out all day long. i felt like i was the worst mom, and when i was tucking him tonight i just felt so bad for hounding him all day long. then, as i bent down to kiss him goodnight, jack said "love you mom, i love you this much" (and then he stretched out his little arms as wide as they would go and he smiled so big).

at this point i felt even more horrible, but blessed all at the same time that my 4-year-old could have such unconditional love for me, and a wonderful ability to forgive and forget. it seems i am constantly being taught by the ones i am supposed to be teaching. if only i could show the same treatment to others who have offended me or made me cry.

and now, you are probably wondering why i have a picture of a dandelion on this post (i promise i will bring this all together)...well, when matt came home we had dinner, and i thought we would get the kids in bed by 7pm tonight (which is their regular bed time), not to mention their naps were non-existent today, but jack wanted his daddy to play some baseball with him, so i said "okay" (one nice thing today)...while we were watching jack hit the baseball, gracie ran around our backyard collecting all the dandelions. she loved to blow off all the seeds and watch them blow in the wind. she spent an hour busily picking and blowing and smiling and giggling.

i was reminded of a few things watching my family enjoying the evening, and pondering on the "naughty" day we had:
*it's okay to not always follow the schedule
*kids are kids (and sometimes we should be more "child-like" too)
*all it takes is time for things to blow away in the wind
*life is too short to sweat the small stuff
*at the same time, life is too short not to enjoy the small stuff as well

sorry for all my ramblings, but some how i feel better about myself when i write it down. writing is therapeutic for me.