Sunday, November 30, 2008

'Tis The Season

This was cute...I put the tree up Friday (yes, I waited until after Thanksgiving!)... decorated it Saturday... and Lucy added the finishing touch this morning. Christmastime is officially upon us! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Winter Wonderland

I took the time to bundle Lucy up in her snowsuit - those boots don't go on easy - and take her outside late morning, when the snow was falling. It didn't even feel too cold, but I'm glad I wore my snow pants and boots too. She was making snowballs and throwing them...

Last year she could barely move with her snow pants on, and walking in clunky boots didn't work well for her either. It's fun to watch her actually able to run around and play outside.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Teddy Bear

Here's Henry in an outfit from my aunt and uncle - it has a little hoodie coat with ears on it - apparently a staple for baby boys! I even got a couple of smiles out of him when I was taking pictures! It seems like he's smiling more and more easily these days :).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Have Site, Will Photograph

If you will direct your attention to the right hand side of this blog you will see a new link: Mindy Leigh Photography. Ta-da! I suppose now I have a business. I also see from looking through my own website that I have to fill in some galleries, big time! However, it is a cool looking Flash page and I am in complete control over editing and updating it, which is very convenient. I don't even have to have a computer programming degree to do it... it is all very user-friendly for me!

So, if you're interested you can contact me through that site, or through Facebook, or Blogger, or e-mail...

I hope to have a greater variety of photos on there as the months go by, but I had to put something up because I think it is a great networking tool :). I love photographing kids, but the more I think about it the more I want to try different things like maternity and engagement photos (I'm thinking this time of year, I'd want to try more contemporary / urban settings). Anyway... check it out if you get a chance and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Puppy Livestream

Click Here if you are so bored you want to watch a live streaming video of puppies! I learned of this on Facebook. Thanks Rita!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Kids Today

I've been trying to take some photos of the kids today, in hopes of ending up with some that might be usable on a Christmas card. I already have some that would work, but since I have time, I'm trying to get some more up-to-date ones. I'm not sure if I'll use any of these from today, but I thought I'd post an update here, just for fun.

Here's Henry - 7 weeks old. I have more new photos of him here. There are only so many ways to pose a newborn. Sometimes I catch him smiling... but usually when I'm not holding my camera :)...Here's Lucy - I think her eyes look cool here. As we predicted, they are not going to change to "normal" like some suggested might happen. We like her this way. I'm hoping to put Lucy in her new snowpants sometime and let her play out in the snow... looks like we'll have ample opportunity over the next several days!

Friday, November 14, 2008

End of an Era

I was just on Facebook and learned about the upcoming closing of Studio 28. While I have contributed to their decline by going to the movies at Rivertown Crossings Mall for the past several years, it is still sad to see it close. In high school my friends and I spent at least some time there almost every weekend, and thanks to several of my buddies who were employed there, I got to see many sneak peaks at midnight. I remember seeing The Little Mermaid there as a child, and also when the Ghostbusters car was parked outside. My friends and I participated in the "lottery" for line placement to buy tickets for Star Wars: Episode 1 in 1999 - 12 of us got to sit together in row "E" at the 12:01 AM showing in Theater 1! I'm such a dork. Well, my friend dressed up as Darth Maul... I wasn't that crazy!

My first date movie was there ("One Fine Day" with George Clooney and Michelle Pfieffer, yikes! I'm sure it tanked) - it was awful, and of course entirely awkward being on this group "date" with the guy I ended up dating for almost 3 years! My friend Juan had all the high scores on the Star Wars game, and it was really quite something to watch him play - he drew a crowd! I can still see all of us, our little revolving clique, wearing our maroon varsity jackets, walking through the lobby. Now that I look back, it all seems pretty juvenile, but we were good kids and those are good memories. I still think back on them when I drive past the theater.

I read the mLive article and now that I've learned a little more about the history and significance of Studio 28, it's quite a bummer they have to close their doors later this month.

Time Out

Normally I am a red wine person, but pinot grigio is light enough it won't give me a pounding headache like, say, chardonnay, which I just will not drink. Kelly, I think you'll agree. Anyway, we (I) received this bottle of wine from my sister-in-law. She has 3-year-old twin boys, and also enjoys the occasional adult beverage once the kids are in bed for the night (understandable, I'd say!). Although it's for "Mommy", Ron shared it with me while we watched our favorite Thursday night TV shows, because drinking an entire bottle of wine is not conducive to getting up in the middle of the night.

I am a Motorcycle

I have to admit I am very surprised about my result. I answered the questions honestly... I would not think I am in this good of shape, especially since the last time I ran my 8 miles at one time was when I was 15... Then again I do not have any health problems, and believe that my pain tolerance is very high when I think back to my labor with Lucy. I am physically challenged by my kids every day (and I can see a difference in my muscle tone, especially in my arms), don't smoke, I do eat breakfast daily - which I never used to until having kids... I think that I'd most like to improve my cardiovascular health, which I honestly think is my weakest area (and probably a very important thing to work on).
44 miles per gallon

Created by The Car Connection

Young Lady

Growing out Lucy's bangs. I think she looks older, but I really like it. Plus it'll be a lot easier than fighting the circular cowlick in the middle of her forehead.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Wait is Over!

And now for the much anticipated before-and-after shots of our house. Here's the house before we moved in - overgrown landscaping (we still need to do work in that department), trees to the side taking over the place... and of course the old roof too.
Fewer trees on the side (opposite of the garage), and new roof and siding are done! Garage door painted too. I still have to paint the off-white storm door white. When we had our trees taken out, we took out some large piney shrubs in front too. We plan on basically starting with a clean slate on the landscaping next spring.
Here is the side of the house - the bumped out part is part of the garage . The bay window is our dining room. This part of the house is seen in a photo I posted a few days ago (where you can see the back part done, and the side not done)...Here we have also hacked back some major shrubbery. I'm sure it made the siding guys' job easier..
We've gotten compliments on our wood siding before - but we're always wondering if people were just being nice. I know it has character, but it also has dirt, mold, rot, and multiple shades of gray, black and green were not the kind of character we were going for...Here's a similar view of that part of the roof / inside wall of the garage. All clean and neat. Also the enormous burning bush that covered half of that window is gone.
Check this out (yikes!):Ron redid this porch before the siding was started, but I had to include the "before" photo of it just so you can see what kind of condition this place was in... Here it is with all new boards (it's just a bit dirty from the siding guys' dirty boots). And there's Lucy just up from a nap, yes with a pacifier in her mouth. Front door used to be burgundy, and is now a dark chocolate brown.Okay I think you get the idea! So, what do you think? Like it better now or the way it used to be? ;-) More photos in a gallery here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Still Waiting For Those Pics?

Well, the siding has been coming along, and is pretty much almost totally done... except for a small section that won't take long at all to finish, as long as the weather is okay. In which case, they'll be done tomorrow. Otherwise it'll be Thursday. Then they will haul away all their scraps, trailer, ladders, and whatnot, and I can take an "after" photo. The house is looking great, but it's getting really old having this crew around all day long. Today the were right outside our big dining room window... like, "hey how's it going in there?!"

Today Lucy did manage to fall asleep for an extra-long nap, despite all the hammering (and if you listen closely, the cursing). She was pretty tired from a late night at Grandma and Grandpa Denning's on Monday. I was grateful for the break, because it allowed me to take care of some photography stuff that I wanted to do today - I got a fairly large order placed and can't wait until the photos come, hopefully by the end of the week! I'm going to save some of that money to go toward my new website template / hosting. In the meantime I hope to continue taking photos and building up my portfolio even more (but I hope to have the site up within the next month or two).

So far it's been going better than I had expected, and there are even more people who want me to take photos for them. Each time out I am a little more relaxed. I put so much pressure on myself worrying that I'm not going to get enough good photos, and I lay awake the night before going through ideas in my mind (when really there's only so much you can "plan", ya know?). It's supposed to be fun for all involved, and it's getting more so that it is, and that I look forward to my next session, instead of fretting about whether or not it will go well! I guess that's the confidence issue working itself out. I just finished Katie's ;)... her kids were great - and it was fun seeing them and spending time with them in person, since I've basically watched them grow up on her blog for almost the past 2 years! Now the fall weather has pretty much passed, and I'm wondering what locations will work for any more sessions I do. My friend, a high school teacher, wants to do some out in the snow with her little girl. That should be pretty fun, and it actually makes me hope for some good snow soon! After our siding is done, of course...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Siding Progress

So, the front of the house is done (but the fascia isn't) and they are working on the side by the road. It should be finished in the next couple of days! I went across the street to the neighbors' on Saturday and looked back at our house, it looks so different! It will also be nice when the hammering stops....

Friday, November 07, 2008

View of Back and Side Corner

Here you can really see what a change we (er... they) are making to our house! I love it, but it is really weird to see our home this way. I remember when I first saw this house listed on the MLS. I actually sort of liked the wood siding, but that was when I didn't know how damaged it was. In person, it was evident that we needed to redo the exterior eventually. It's cool that we're actually seeing that become a reality now! The entire back of the house (including fascia and soffits) is completed - other than the deck which has now been mutilated beyond recognition. We plan on redoing it in the spring, but retaining the main structural joists and posts. So, several deck boards have been sawed by the house, "railings" have been removed in sections, and it wasn't even in great shape before all this started. I digress...The back of the house is done, one side of the house is done (the other end, which I posted a photo of a couple days ago), and one side of the garage - which kind of sticks out so it has two "sides". The most tedious stuff is the wrapping, trim work, j-channels, basically everything but the siding. I'm hoping they make some more major progress today. Right now they are working on the front. The bay window you see here is going to take a little extra time, but it's going to look so nice when it's all done and their gear is cleared away. It's a bit cooler today, but it looks like it's going to stay dry.

Last night I put another coat of white paint on our off-white garage door. I went out again this morning and there are still some spots that could use touching up but if I don't get to it until next spring, no one will ever notice. I'm just a little nit-picky. From the road it looks good. There are also some special trim pieces (not vinyl) on various parts of the house that are primed, but should be painted. I got some of them last night but not all of them. I'll probably go for it even if it's below 60 degrees. The storm door on the front is also off-white and I'll get that painted white by the end of the weekend. I painted the main door a dark brown (it was burgundy). I think it looks pretty nice with the green siding and white trim. If I get sick of it someday, it's just a door and only takes a small amount of paint. I'll post more photos soon!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Crazy Alphabet Song

Our daughter is funny, and little crazy... but we think pretty smart!

She gets a little sloppy around the middle of the alphabet (who doesn't though, right?), where usually she does a little better. Perhaps her piano playing is hindering her concentration.

You Do What Works

Lucy has Pink Bear (clever name) which she received as a gift when she was a newborn. Soon after she was born, we discovered the covering her eyes helped her to fall asleep. She got a bit older and started doing it herself, but actually covering her whole face! After she fell asleep I'd usually go in there and make sure her nose and mouth were exposed and she wasn't suffocating... To this day she still likes to put it on her face, or pretend with her dolls and other stuffed animals by draping it on their heads too. Or mine, or Ron's...

So before Henry was born my mom picked up a similar bear/blankie thing (one for a boy, one for a girl) and today when Henry wouldn't fall asleep (he likes to be held, and needs to also learn to fall asleep without being in my arms) I placed his bear across his eyes... Bingo!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Hi Mom!

Today I put him on his tummy and walked to the kitchen for a second. I looked back and saw this:He could not do this yesterday! He could only pick his head off the ground a few inches at best, and only for a couple seconds. He was sitting like this for quite a while, until he got tired. So, this was literally the first time he held his chest off the ground and looked straight ahead - and I was able to grab the camera and get a photo! He looks just as surprised as I was...

Siding Going On

This isn't even going to look like the same house... But here's some of what is done so far. In other areas of the house, guys are working on the soffits and wrapping things, etc. But this gives a nice view of what the old siding looks like and the new stuff. It is also a nice ad for Standale Lumber.

Photo Stuff...

I see it's been a while. We've been a little busy with getting some things done around the house before the siding goes on. By "we" I mean Ron, which leads to "me" being extra busy with the kids in the evening. However, the siding will commence today, later this morning when they get here (the head honcho called and said they were voting first so they could avoid some long lines... although they are still in long lines...) and they'd be here about an hour later than expected. I said that's no problem because I think it's more important that they get to vote than get here at 8:30 AM! I think it is going to take them a few days to do the siding (although they did the roof in 1 day!) because of the wrapping and j-channels and all those little details that have to go on before the actual siding does.

I'm also planning on going to vote today, of course! I just don't want to bring the kids. I think someone will be able to come over and watch them while I go. Hopefully if I go before 3 PM it won't take too long.

Halloween was a good time - Lucy went trick-or-treating but was, not surprisingly, a little shy at the doors of strangers. We were out for a little under an hour, just going around our cul-de-sac and that was plenty! She got to eat some candy and play with some new toys.
I finally finished editing the photos from that shoot last week. I ended up with many that I think are great, and the mom (a teacher at GHS) is very excited because her son's school photo was pretty bad, she says. I will post one, but you can look at all the pictures here. I had it password protected but now I have watermarks on all the photos, so I'm not worried about the handful of people who read my blog checking them out.
I may have also mentioned one of Ron's students designing a logo for me. She did it in three different colors (the oval part) and here is the main one. I like how it turned out, as I did not have any expectations. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed that this was done by a high-school student! She also made the image that I use for a "watermark" (which Ron thought was funny since it's done digitally these days...). Pretty nice, huh?