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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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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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happy spring cards

Did you miss getting cards out this winter…  Have the grandparents been laying on the guilt trip about not getting any photos or news about their grandchildren?

Well, if so, help is here.

GHD Happy Spring Cards.

Book a photo shoot and order your cards

that say “bring on the warmer weather” today!

10% off your sitting fee

if you mention this post with your order between now and April 30th.

 

 

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No-school photos

I think in my twelve years of school pictures, I liked maybe one or two of them. Actually, my first grade one is the best.

I was a little cuter back then than now.

Anywho, that whole school photo thing was  such a blur of a yearly experience.

I remember every year being lined up in a random school hallway,  given a little black comb, and told to wait patiently for what seemed like the next three hours.  We usually flicked each other’s head or shoulders with the combs before they broke.    And then we would get scolded by one of the teachers assigned to herd us in the hallway, who would say something gentle like, “I don’t get paid enough for this” or “I really could be using this time to teach more about fractions.”    Well, you know it’s bad when I’d rather be enduring a refresher on fractions than standing in that hallway trying not to wrinkle my clothes.

Invariably, about ten seconds before I got to the door I remembered the cheap comb and its real purpose, to fix my hair.  But where was the mirror?  Nowhere to be found.  In the twelve years I had school photos snapped of me, I never remember a mirror.  And,  to top it off, I had hair nearly halfway down my back – this little piece of black plastic was no match for my tangle-prone locks.  Furthermore, what’s the use of trying to fix my own hair without a mirror.  I had to trust that the frazzled photography assistant was telling me the truth when she said I looked “fine.”  {Oh, that’s a four-letter word in my house.  My husband knows not to tell me I look “fine.”  But, I digress.}    And then, before i knew it I had been called into the creepily lit room with the funny umbrellas, muddy backdrop and the brilliant lights; shoved onto a stool; told to say “cheese;” snapped twice; told the purple dots would go away; and sent back to my fractions lesson.  Yup, every year.

Well, that doesn’t happen if you’re homeschooled.  Or, maybe it does, but not if I can help it.

Anyway, I had the opportunity to take some non-school photos for a local homeschool co-op the other day.   And they didn’t get the cattle-call line-up in the hallway treatment from me though.  Each family got about fifteen minutes to pose and just act a bit silly.  We captured more personality than you’d see in most yearbook photos and no one was hurt by cheap combs.

Enjoy.  SPL

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a fabulous b-side

After the dinosaurs went extinct, a baby boy was born in Bethlehem and nearly 1900 years later Thomas Alva Edison invented the phonograph.  As the recording medium grew in popularity, record companies began to produce small 7″ albums often called 45s (the rpm at which they were played.)  There was an A-side and a B-side.  The A-side was reserved for the popular hit, while the B-side was usually a lesser known song or even an outtake or joke.

However, many b-sides in have become great.

“Into the Groove”  Madonna

“I’m Free” the Rolling Stones

“Murder by Numbers”  the Police

“Pink Cadillac”  Bruce Springsteen

“The Sweetest Thing”  U2

“Be-Bop A Lula”  Gene Vincent

“Yellow Ledbetter” Pearl Jam

“Rain” the Beatles

“Don’t Worry Baby”  the Beach Boys

“Unchained Melody” the Righteous Brothers

So why am I fixated on B-Sides? Well, I have two boys, my A-side and my B-side.  My husband is a B-side (second and, even worse, a middle child.)  My second child is unbelievable and I am determined to make him feel just a special as his A-side – first-born brother.  I knew that I had to take a ton of photos of him at his birth, because as in my husband’s family and in many other families, there are albums chock full of photos of the first born and only a small smattering of second-child photos.

So the other day, I had the opportunity to photograph a fabulous B-side baby boy.  He is beautiful and already a huge hit with his parents and family.  Take a look.

Enjoy.  He’s no one hit wonder.  SPL

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Am I hot or cold?

The answer is: I am fickle.  And so are you, I’d bet.  When it’s cold outside {like now}, we dream of the warmer days at the pool or barbecues on someone’s back porch.  And then we’re reminded of the endless swim meets, of the thick wall of heat that greets you when leaving the house, of the crazy electric bills from the blasting AC, and that that infernal barbecue is at your weird neighbor/co-worker/uncle/fill in your blank’s house.  So, in those sultry, languid months of, say, July or August, our faintly faithful hearts begin to yearn for winter.

Will we ever be content?

To celebrate and engage those wishy-washy pangs, I am uploading some hot and cold photos.

You get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit.  That’s what my son’s teacher says {and I know she’s already thinking about Spring Break.}  SPL

Homemade peppermint marshmallows and real deal hot chocolate.  Want the recipe?

Whew!

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It's snowing down south?

“It’s snowing down south?” Did your mom ever say that to you?  That’s the way mine would tell me my slip was showing.

Here in Norfolk, we just don’t get snow.   We’re too close to the water and it always turns to cold rain.  Around here, the weathermen and women peak during the hurricane season {summer to early fall.}  They love themselves some brewing storms and with that comes: storm tracking 24-7 on the tube.  And then, around November we are lulled to sleep with the humdrum reports of the cold and rainy season.

BUT 2010 has brought us a second helping of crazy weather.  And our weatherpersons have worked themselves into a froth once again.  I take most snow predictions with a grain of salt.  {And everyone else goes to the store to buy salt and all the bread and milk.}  But, boy howdy, they weren’t kidding this time!  We really had snow and bread and milk.

So what’s a southern girl to do in the snow?  Put on a Snow White costume and go downtown.  And that’s what we decided to do for this photo shoot.  Little Miss A, her mom and I braved our streets {blanketed in an ill-fitting Snuggie of ice} to get these photos at a vacant warehouse.  Some artsy-fartsy types have wonderfully “tagged” this site with their cool designs.  So, we did our best to take advantage of their efforts.  The snow had melted a bunch, but you’ll still see a bit in these snaps.

Enjoy.  I predict that you’ll like them.  SPL



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