Monday, May 25, 2015

(Not so) Peaceful

This past week's photo theme was 'Peaceful'. This was easily the toughest week I've had yet. My life is anything but peaceful. I googled antonyms of peaceful and got, "noisy, bustling, agitated". Yes! Now those define MY life! I was genuinely at a loss. Nothing felt right. Sometimes photography can be like that - no inspiration and no motivation.  I guess this week is a perfect example of just "phoning it in". I took two different photos and figured one would stand out to me, but neither did - so I just submitted both. I hate feeling defeated, but that's bound to happen at least once in a while. Next week's theme is 'Fragile' and I have yet to have a stroke of genius with that one either. Thankfully, it's only Monday and my son's last day of school is Tuesday - so we have the rest of the week to play around. 

The first picture is of my daughter and our pup, Harry. Paige is very frantic when her dad or I leave the house. She always has to make sure she gives us "hugs and kisses!", and she likes us to wave goodbye as we drive away down the driveway. If either of those things doesn't happen, she becomes inconsolable. She finds peace in those simple little gestures.

The second photo is pretty obvious. Peaceful kid in a peaceful garden playing peacefully. :)


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Preschool Graduation

I am not ready for this. 
Second kid will be off to kindergarten next fall. Paige had her preschool graduation on Monday evening. She loved her class and her teachers (Miss Abby and Miss Amy!!) and I don't think she understands yet that she isn't going back. She's asked me the past two mornings if she has school. I didn't take my real camera to the graduation - there is nothing worse than dragging that thing around at the same time as a toddler, so these are all just iphone snapshots. 

As they were marching the kids in, she was SO excited to see her family sitting there cheering her on. :)

Her whole graduating class

My favorite part of the night was when each kid got to step up to the microphone and tell the audience what they wanted to be when they grow up. Because Paige can't just be a doctor, a teacher, or an astronaut....she has to be....

And last but not least - the big walk across the stage. ;)

I'm proud of you baby girl! <3

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Moon

Every so often I see something that I just HAVE to have. Probably how my husband feels about boats and 4-wheelers. I found a fun moon overlay this past week and after a loooooong search for a 4 foot wooden step-ladder (my mom and I hit about every antique store between Carthage and Joplin this weekend), we were in business. I think I wanted these pictures because I'm feeling a little wistful at the moment, with Paige's preschool graduation tomorrow and the end of another school year. Cole only has one more year before he's in middle school. 
When Cole was about 3 years old (maybe just a bit older than Ozzie is right now), I remember we were living in Arkansas and it was the middle of winter. We had just gotten out of the car and I was trying to hurry him in the house...he was just standing in the driveway, staring up at the sky. I think I was a bit annoyed and kept trying to just get him to move, when all of a sudden, he reached up and grabbed at the sky. With his little fist closed, he handed something to me...."I got you a star, mommy". Yes, I lost it. He probably did that every time we were outside at dark for a year or so and it melted my heart every time. Paige even started doing it when she got old enough. They would "grab" stars for me at night. Ozzie doesn't grab stars, but he always has to point out the moon. Even when it's still daylight out. I realize these are super cheesy, but they have sentimental meaning to me. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Home Sweet Home

This week's project theme is Home Sweet Home. I take pictures of my kids inside of my house all the time, so I wanted to branch out a bit. We live in a beautiful old Civil War/Victorian town - Carthage, Missouri - that has one amazing location after another. Of course, my personal favorite spot is Red Oak II. The kids and I go out there all the time just to walk around. I took my camera this time, with no actual plans. My favorite building at Red Oak is the church. I love the colors, the smell, the overall feel of the place. I think maybe it reminds me of churches I attended when I was a small kid with mismatched, uncomfortable wooden pews, creaky floors, and dust floating everywhere. My photo submission for the week:  

Home Sweet Home

I have a few other photos I took while we were there. This was probably my second favorite:

The next two shots are actually used for examples. I get asked quite often how I get my kids to pose so well. And to that I usually start snorting and laughing. I'll often take 100 shots of my three just to get ONE sorta-kinda-maybe-okay-possibly usable shot. I really should post the outtakes more often. In the above picture it looks like Cole is lovingly snuggling his little brother - in reality he basically has him in a headlock or Ozzie would be a half mile away at this point. Cole is a true professional in every sense of the word. The boy EARNS his treats (yes, I'm known briber)! He will keep the dog and a two year old both in posed headlocks while still looking right in the camera with a winning smile. The next two photos aren't anything spectacular. I wouldn't hang them up or anything...but they'll give you an idea of how insane working with three children can be. The first, they are looking sweet and loving (truth is, Paige and Cole sort of have Ozzie smooshed between them so he can't move). And then in the next split second - of which I have NO IDEA what happened...boom! Pretty sure Ozzie and the pup both screamed, "SQUIRREL!" and took off. Notice Cole does.not.break.character. We went home after this. :)


Wednesday, May 6, 2015


This week's theme is clean. I've been watching as most of the other members posted kids in bathtubs...which was my first thought too. Squeaky clean little toddler piggies are the best. But I'm a rebel (snort), so I took Paige outside this afternoon to try and get some pretty shots of her playing in the water with flowers. Weird, I know, but I was genuinely stumped for ideas. And y'all know I'm not about to clean my house just for the sake of a picture lol. One thing I'd forgotten since becoming an adult, that I'm sure I could tell you as a child: water out of the garden hose in early May is FREEZING! Paige is a trooper though and she actually laid in 4 inches of ice-cold water for about 5 minutes for this. The cold never bothered her any way (hairflip). 

This is in her dad's flatbottom boat. Isn't she stunning?

This is taken on just a blue tarp, with the water overlay added in post-processing.

Monday, May 4, 2015

I had to pay up.

So I have to brag a little bit on my oldest son, Cole. Cole is the smartest kid you'll ever meet. The boy is destined to be an engineer or a programmer (or as he's decided at nine years old - a video game developer). However, athletics has never been his friend. Last year for his track and field day at school, he came in last place in everything. They have two different running distances: 50 meter and 100 meter and then a field event of their choice (softball throw, long jump, or sack race). So this year, I decided to offer a little incentive. :) I told him if he would get a first place, I'd buy him a big toy. Second place a small toy. Third place an ice cream. He went out and ran his little heart out and wouldn't you know it....I owe him an ice cream. Third place! Then he went out for the 100 meter and boom, another ice cream! Boy is on fire! By this time, everyone is bored and tired and I almost missed his sack race. He was already in position when I realized what was going on. I snapped one quick shot and then watched as he jumped in a sack....all the way to first place. Seriously y'all, I had to come off $40 over a stinking sack race. Still, I'm super proud of him. Here are a few pictures from that day. His dad even got to leave work for a few minutes to watch him in his first race. Some of these are camera pics and some are iphone pics.

(Cole is in the white shirt with blue sleeves).
Paige and Daddy cheering Cole!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Just because

My lovely girl on a beautiful spring day.

Royal Harrison Photography
All images © Royal Harrison Photography. All rights reserved.