Almost a year

By Moriah on March 13th, 2016

since my last post, 11 months. Half of me wants to delete the whole thing since I don’t know what I’m doing anyway. But I already paid for another year of hosting, so here we are.

Arianna brought me a flower today. She excitedly told me about the new garden in our yard (that is basically clovers, weeds, and dandelions) and I could not help but laugh. And then I did what I always do and pulled out my camera.

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She cried and cried when Adelaide went to a friend’s house and I wouldn’t let her go. So we got out the paints and I gave her one of my stashed reece’s eggs and she was happy again.

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shoe box prints and the evolution of a camera

By Moriah on April 20th, 2015

I don’t know about you, but for me, making memory books or scrapbooks for my kids has totally gone by the wayside. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ that. Plus it wasn’t something I really ever loved. And tends to be super expensive.

Whatever. So a couple of weeks ago I was looking for a picture of me and some cousins when we were little, and I have no idea where I (mis)placed that photo. I looked in every place I could think of for random photos and couldn’t find it. I did, however, find lots of hilarious pictures I had completely forgotten about. I threw out the ones we definitely do not need to keep and stacked the rest neatly in some boxes and returned them to the shelf. And I realized, that is the fun part. Having a shoe box of old photos to sort through and laugh over on a rainy day.

THAT’S what I want to do for my kids.

I have thousands and thousands of photos of my kids. (Of course it was different for me, because growing up film was expensive and developing them added up.) Now in our digital age we have much better options – but perhaps a downside is the ridiculous amount of pictures we take. I decided to begin sorting through the months and years, printing out the best ones of each child, and start each of them a shoe box full of their baby and childhood photos.

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Luckily I had already done highlight photos for 2011 (the year Ethan was born) for the grandparents and they were already uploaded to snapfish.  I started there. I ordered probably about 450 prints, about 3/4 were from that year. I went the cheap route since these are FOR THE KIDS. Normally I use a pro lab for prints. Totally different for this case. ;)

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One thing I noticed is the evolution of my camera(s). I have some prints from when Drew and Madeline were babies and we still had a film camera that, again, you couldn’t see the photos until you picked them up. And then enter the first digital cameras (I started with a point n shoot), and then later to my first dSLR. I think it was a nikon D3000 or something like that. The most noticeable difference was clearly I wasn’t controlling any settings like I should have been, and I definitely wasn’t adjusting any white balance. There are some good ones but many many too-dark or orangey ones. It just makes me laugh now.

And then you can tell when I upgraded to the canon 60D that I had for a while. I stopped using flash and started poking around at settings and composition and all of those things. Many still weren’t in crisp focus or the lighting wasn’t good enough for the shutter speed to freeze the motion in the frame. Still, lots of keepers. It was a good camera while it lasted.

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(But still, if your main subject isn’t in focus, it’s probably not a good photo.)

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With my personal preference to not use flash, even that camera started to have limitations.  And if I was going to do portraits for other people and they pay me for my work, a full frame body was an obvious choice even though the markiii is a monster of a camera.  I can shoot in a pretty dark room and not have too much problem with grain.  (These ones I took of Arianna were in my bedroom with half of the curtains closed.)

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(Obviously the lens has a lot to do with how low your aperture can go, but it’s also fun to be able to blur things on purpose and highlight things that may not have been the most obvious choice.)

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When they first came in the mail, of course all five of them were so excited and couldn’t wait to see their own stack.  I had to sort all the prints, divide the doubles and triples, and then make sure all the hands were clean before I let them have at it.  It was a really fun moment.

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I love that they will each have their own memories to take. (And I have my copies, too).

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Until I get 5 boxes, for now they are going to live in the memory boxes they already have, full of hospital papers, baby shoes, baptism records and the like.  It’s a start!  And so excited to begin.

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It’s the gift that will keep on giving. Love.

(set taken 50mm 1.2 between 2.2 and 3.5 and around ISO3200-4000)



one quick dinner

By Moriah on March 19th, 2015

I know I haven’t posted in a while but I need to share this “recipe” with you. For all the fellow overwhelmed mommas with kids that walk in at 4:30pm with hungrycrazy eyes – slacker moms unite!

This is my slightly healthier version of hamburger helper. And we have it a lot because it’s easy and my kids snarf it down. I use the square organic beef that Costco sells and I don’t even know how much is in one of those pouches. Be right back. Ok, 1.34 pounds. And a chopped onion. Brown meat completely with the chopped onion. When the meat is fully cooked and starting to smell delicious, add in a half a bag of hash browns (shredded or cubed), and brown those too.

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Meanwhile, I cook (usually in the microwave) about 4-5 cups mixed frozen veggies. It takes about 15 minutes in mine. Or you can steam on the stove, whatever.

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The sauce is a can of cream of celery (you can make the equivalent of a cream sauce for a gluten free version), and some milk. I use garlic salt liberally to season. (No, I don’t care about using a condensed cream soup every couple of weeks. And also, I shop at Aldi.)

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Melt in about 6oz grated cheddar cheese. This is very obviously the key ingredient.

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Add in more cheese if you feel necessary.

When the whole pan is creamy and the cheese has all melted in, drain the veggies and stir them in, too.

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I’m a huge fan of one-dish meals, so much easier when you have a bunch of little mouths to feed.

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the Christmas musical

By Moriah on December 15th, 2014

“The Miracle on Bethlehem Street” – so funny and cute. Loved watching all the kids and they did a great job!

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(Madeline – a Roman herald & Drew – hotel staff)

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O Christmas Tree

By Moriah on December 13th, 2014

I’ve been a walking disaster for months. Most recently weepy over this book, resonating deeply with how she describes her spiritual life and her view of God. Tearing up regularly thru worship at our contemporary church we attend Saturday nights. In a word, basically, a mess.

So two weeks ago I thought hey! I’ll get myself back into the gym! And I took the littles ONCE and we’ve been fighting fever virus and sickness ever since. (To top it off while the kids were sick last week, Andy was out of town on a business retreat. When he got home Thursday I pretty much collapsed.) And even with all the sickness, the kids have been hounding us to get a Christmas tree. I’m sorry but that is the very last thing on my list for this lifetime.

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They were so, so happy.

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Madeline super proud we bought the one she picked out.

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Sometimes, you have to throw out the Pinteresty expectations and allow your hubby to drag you to Home Depot on a dark Friday night. With no makeup on. It just might be the very thing you didn’t even know you needed.



we went to CO

By Moriah on September 8th, 2014

Our entire family jetsetted to Colorado last week for my baby sister’s wedding. We have never flown with all 5 and it was so fun! Kids loved the adventure and we loved not spending 23 hours squished in a car.

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(I’m totally jealous of my parents’ grass.)

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So obviously the first several days were spent prepping for the wedding, my mom was just a *little* busy. Tons of trips to the cabin, where the ceremony and reception were. Which, just for the record, was in a pretty remote location. 551A9572

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There was no plan B (otherwise known as a tent) for rain. And tho it started sprinkling while guests were starting to arrive, by the time the mothers and grandmothers were seated, the sky was clear and beautiful.

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This is the ONE shot I got of the newlyweds, I’m very sorry to say.  That’s okay because their photographer got approximately ten thousand fifty.

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aaaand, the obligatory twin shot: (so cute!)

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Such rustic venue and beyond gorgeous, the stylist did an amazing job. And my sister is just slightly addicted to pinterest.

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I love night shots with no flash. They had lawn games, stuff for s’mores and a bonfire. So fun.

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Only downside was the coffee, it was not decaf.

And I slept in a camper.



{wrapped}

By Moriah on August 23rd, 2014

So, Adelaide had a little run in with the trampoline and a mis-landed trick and fractured her arm. We are both glad that it happened the last week of the swim season and not the first.

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It will be 2 weeks on Tuesday. I took her to her 2nd follow-up appointment on Friday thinking they’d take the splint off and put a cast on. He just cut more of a notch for her fingers and left the splint. Whatever, I’m over it now. The nice thing is she won’t have to have it sawed off when the time comes. She is such a good sport (although we both have our moments).

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Taking good care of our patient.

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And using up all the bandaids.



{grain-free cookies}

By Moriah on August 8th, 2014

So, I’ve been doing a little weight-loss experiment. I tried gluten-free and there was no change. A friend recommended looking at the numbers of the ‘other’ carbs I was eating and that was rather eye-opening. So I cut out those, too. I generally try to be sugar-free as well.

Anyway, we had dinner over at our neighbors house last week and she made these grain-free cookies and perhaps I’ve been living under a rock, but I had never heard of them before. So I’m sharing this super simple recipe in case you’ve been living under a rock, too.

(Also, obviously not sugar free, but I am gonna experiment with cutting it down to as little as possible. I just like having an option for special occasions and the most important thing to me is that they are grain free.)

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The dough is 1 cup peanut butter, one egg, and one cup of sugar (I’m going to try halfing it next time). THAT’S IT. I use organic PB from Costco that has no added sugar, it’s basically just pureed peanuts.) If you have more than one kid you probably need to double or triple the recipe. Throw in a handful of choc chips if you feel necessary. You do have to shape & flatten them yourself as they won’t flatten otherwise.

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Try camera settings on your cranky post-nap toddler while you wait.

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YUM, enjoy.

Except,

OUR MILK WAS SOUR.

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