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Getting “high” in New Mexico

There is something strange about agreeing to get into a basket with your whole family to float about 2400 feet above the ground using only hot air to hold you aloft.  Who would have dreamed this up, you ask?  The French, of course.  Something completely impractical, but incredibly beautiful; that’s so French.  {and they’ve been doing it since 1783 when the Montgolfier brothers, French paper manufacturers, first put a sheep, a rooster and a duck into the air.  Read more about it here.}

Last week, we tried the virtually-perfected New Mexican version of the Montgolfier balloon.  It was fabulous.  We departed at dawn… literally dawn.
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See the sunrise over the Sangre de Cristo mountains… It is beautiful.
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Inflating the balloon. {We were reminded that this is not “blowing up” the balloon, because that’s an explosion.}
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Another ballooner in the air with us. There were only two that day.
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This is called a “ballooner” eclipse. The crew were always ready with corny jokes and “hot air” puns.
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The boys loved the ride.
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Pueblo Balloon Company in Taos, NM offers a great ride and brunch that starts at about 5AM and takes you along the Rio Grande Gorge. It was an experience that I can’t really describe. It’s definitely worth doing at least once in your life.
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Rock the Dad Shot


I’m back after a nice long break.  I’ve been devoting all of my free time to teaching these days.  BUT, school is out for the summer and I’m slowly finding my way back to the computer and to my old friends, Photoshop and Lightroom.

Anyway, I saw that the people at Rock the Shot are running a Father’s Day Photo Contest.  So, I picked this one of my husband and our younger son.  I love the “action” in this photo.  Even though they’re still, the lines of their bodies and the patterns in that awful couch at my grandparents’ beach cottage create wonderful movement and interest.

To see the other entries, visit the Rock the Shot site by clicking on the button or link below.

www.rocktheshotforum.com

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Who let that baby play with fire?

Well, it’s raining today because, if you haven’t heard, we have this hurricane thing coming.  {Even the astronauts are afraid.}  We still have power here in Norfolk and I’m going a little crazy in my house. Maybe I should clean something…. nah.
So, here are some photos I took the other day when we were playing with sparklers and long exposure.

Enjoy.

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Who let that baby play with fire?
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mud-luscious & puddle-wonderful.

“The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.”  e.e. cummings

My two little guys are wonderful.  They love getting dirty and refuse to take baths and showers.  They are full of energy and the more you push them on the more energy they seem to have.  But they didn’t start out that way.

They started as squeezy little bundles of fat, sleep and poop.  {So the dirt is an improvement in some respects.}  I loved what they were and adore what they are becoming.  I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  Boys are special.  {And that’s not to say that girls aren’t special, I just don’t have any for comparison.}

Check out this little cute bundle of fat, sleep and poop.  I am looking forward to capturing him as a ball of energy as well.

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Gotta love the baby feet. I have a thing for feet; it’s weird, I know.


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Returning the super squishy drooliness

My husband and I have decided that two boys are all the kids we need.  We love them mightily and are desperately trying to cherish as many moments as we can with them until they start to like girls, grow facial hair and only need us for the car.  We get glimpses of these older-kid moments now when they whine and roll their eyes.  However, I can still put my eight-year-old in time out.  {I haven’t figured out what I’ll do with a 14-year-old.}  Alas, I have a few more years to cross that bridge.

This digression is leading somewhere… it’s to other people’s babies.  I love babies, but I don’t want to house, diaper, feed, discipline and send to college any more than the two I have.  So, I love taking the opportunity to snap some photos of other people’s kids; I can appreciate the darling, super squishy drooliness and then return them and the tuition payments to their parents.

Here is a particularly squishy, university-bound boy that I had the opportunity to love and then return.

Enjoy my tuition-free snaps.

SPL
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Christmas in August?

 

I just missed the Christmas in July boat, but I’m ready for some cool air to blow right about now.  August is usually the most unbearable month here in Southeastern Virginia.

And, so I thought that I’d deliver a Christmas-y preview of this little six month old love.  He was such a cutie.  We got the session done in record time.

Enjoy.

SPL

Want the free Christmas template?  Click here.

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The enclosure card {updated}

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I heart enclosure cards.  They are great to grab and go on the way out the door to the birthday party.  I have my kids write a small sentiment on the back and voilà; you have a cute personalized card for any occasion.  And, if you know me, you know that we are often running out the door to one birthday party or the other.  We had two this weekend.  These enclosures came in handy for both events.  –And you know what events these kids birthday parties are turning into.–

The enclosure card is a not-so-distant cousin the the carte-de-visite or calling cards of yesteryear.  And, I love yesteryear…  Not that I want to go back in time, but I appreciate things that are classic or timeless.  I want to savor some of these time-honored/tested/worn traditions.  {And that doesn’t mean that everything that is old should be saved either… you can probably think of dozen of ridiculous traditions that we should do away with, but you can ponder that later.}

In our age of smartphones and speed-dialing, I forget my friends’ and family’s phone numbers or even how to spell their name.  It seems like my smartphone is making me less smart {or at least less attentive to others’ personal details.}

So, in lieu of spending hours pondering a card at the store, print and enjoy this freebie.  {Each card measures 3.5″x2″  • the same as a business card.}  In Acrobat Reader, you can personalize them and then print as many as you’d like.  But first, you need the font.  I printed mine on watercolor paper, but they would work just as well on standard cardstock.   They are available in two fairly unisex colors.   Click on the image below to download.  If you print it, please leave a comment below.  I always love to hear how someone is using my designs.

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Enjoy.

SPL

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free printable luggage tags

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Are you packing your bags to go somewhere this summer?  Is your luggage the same black rolling bag that everyone has?

Yes or no, make your stuff stand out with these new printable luggage tags.  This printable is FREE.

They fit nicely in the standard luggage tag laminating pouch.  I have created six colorful and whimsical designs for you.

Click on either image to go to the download.

Enjoy.
SPL
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