So Many Treasures at the Park!

We haven’t been getting out of the house much lately. That’s partly due to the fickle weather we’ve been having. One day it will be beautiful and perfect, and the next it will be rainy and freezing. One day we’re using the air conditioning, and the next it’s the heater. Back and forth and back again. Oh Texas. I still love you.

I was really excited for a trip to the park as a family. The weather was nice, and the lighting was just the right mix of sun and clouds for taking pictures even without any shade.

Cady’s favorite part of the playground is not the play but the ground. She loves mulch, rocks, or even rubber– whatever it is they use to cushion the ground for kids to play on. She was digging in the pebbles, building what she calls “sand castles,” and finding all sorts of treasures like a shell and a dirty Capri Sun straw that she put in her mouth before we had a chance to take it away. It immediately went in the trash after that of course. She must have had quite a good time because she took a nap soon after getting home even though she had woken up late yesterday.

The leaf is the flag of her “sand castle.”

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Happy New Year!

New Years is one of my favorite days of the year. I love the promise and hope of a new year. So many possibilities! I guess it’s just fitting that New Years is also our wedding anniversary. Three years married on January 1st, 2012.

I also love making resolutions. I know I make overly ambitious lists, but that’s okay. I like to dream big. Daydreaming is one of my favorite activities. Granted, I don’t always keep the resolutions, but a lot can happen throughout the course of the year. Goals change.

With that in mind, here is my list for 2012:

~ Build my photography business and continue to improve my photography. There’s a lot that goes along with each of those.
~ Shoot daily. 365 project here I come (366 actually since 2012 is a leap year).
~ Also, once a week that daily photo should be a self portrait (52). That one makes me more nervous.
~ Organize my digital files. At least delete the ones I really, really won’t need ever. They can accumulate so fast and take up so much room, especially RAW photos.
~ Unsubscribe from emails from all the stores I thought I would want to keep up to date on the sales with but never ended up actually shopping at most of the last year.
~ Eat organic. This may have been on my list last year, and while I know I won’t be able to do it 100% with everything I eat, I think at least the food I cook should be.
~ Work on our new house. There’s still so much organizing and decorating to be done around here.
~ Blog more. That’s a big one. I lost my blogging mojo in 2011, and I need to get back some motivation, especially now that I have a new photography blog as well.
~ Take better care of myself. I get sick a lot more now that I have a kid, and I think it’s due mostly to the fact that I don’t have the best eating habits, need sleep, and need exercise.

We spent New Year’s at home just the three of us because Cady was really sick with RSV and under house arrest.

When she started feeling better, we took her for a walk in her pajamas to the playground for her first outing since the weather in Texas is surprising nice this time of year (often sunny with temperatures in the 60′s and 70′s). She seems so sad and lonely here watching the big kids play, but she got really happy once she felt like she was playing, too.

Cady so happy to get out of the house for the first time since getting sick.

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Trouble

Cady can be really good, but she can also get into trouble really fast. It had literally been 10 seconds that nobody was looking at her when she ended up behind the entertainment center. She was fine until Tim tried to extract her, and that’s when she fell and scraped her head.

Cady

The scrape has been getting better, but it’s been grossing me out when I look at her scab. I mentioned to Tim that it’s getting smaller. He said something like, yeah, little pieces of it are falling off and going everywhere (I assume he means like dust). EEWWWWW!

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Keeping It Simple

I haven’t written a real post in a while. I haven’t been in the mood to blog. It was just one thing after another I guess. Carpal tunnel issues that haven’t been healed, falling too far “behind,” and not liking my layout design. I figured I’ll try keeping it simple. Just post what I want when I want and not worry about “catching up” or anything else because I’ve really wanted to start again. I do have some stories I want to document before I forget the details. As for the blog itself, I’m not sure what my plans are for it yet.

Cady in deep thought about my blog. No, not really. She is just serious sometimes when she’s eating.

Cady

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Easter

We started our Easter celebration by attending church Saturday night. We’ve tried out the Saturday services a few times, and it’s great because there’s much less of a crowd and it leaves more room for new Sunday folks. I’m not sure how many services they had on Sunday (there are usually two), but the usual one Saturday service was offered at three different times Easter weekend.

Cady’s sleep schedule had been off all week, and she had been on and off as far as her mood was concerned and ended up sleeping through the sermon in the car after Daddy drove her around a little.

Then we went out to eat, but her and Tim spent most of their time visiting the ducks at a lake behind the restaurant where they discovered a nest of duck eggs and lots of baby ducklings while my parents, my sister, and I ate dinner.

Cady Easter
Sunday Tim hid our plastic eggs in the front yard of my parents’ house while my mom and I both snapped pictures and he attempted to record on video Cady finding the eggs. However, after showing her what to do, she wanted him to be her personal egg hunting assistant.

Cady Easter

Cady Easter

Cady Easter

Cady Easter
The eggs were filled with coins even though she doesn’t know their use since she loves putting coins in her piggy bank. She hasn’t had real candy yet and doesn’t know what it is. She isn’t too big on sweets yet, but she was very happy to see she had plenty of new coins for the game of dropping them into the slot in the pink piggy.

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Splash Park Goodbye (For Now)

Cady
We loved going to the splash park last year. Sadly, they’re going to be closing it down this summer to do some construction. The new plans for it sound exciting, but I wish they had waited until summer was over to do the work. Maybe it will take a whole year before it can be ready for next summer.

We decided to go for one last hurrah even though it was a little cold, and Cady was one of the few kids who spent her time in the water. She loves playing in water!

Cady

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Bluebonnets, Birthday, and Beach!

Cady

Cady didn’t like sitting the bluebonnets even on a towel or on Daddy’s lap. She just wanted to throw rocks in the creek like the big kids.

Quinn

Quinn was a really good model for me. We walked over to the park one moning while Cady and Daddy were still sleeping. She sat nice and pretty for me even though she really wanted to chase a bird. After photos, we chased the bird together.

Chocolate Cake Strawberries

My Yaya said she wanted a BIG cake for her birthday. Last year’s cake was the size of the first two tiers, so this year had a third tier!

Cady

Cady didn’t want to touch the sand with her bare feet, but she loved playing in the sand and in the water. She kept asking for “more, more” and pointing behind us when we were leaving.

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Dirty Baby

Cady

Is that a baby or a coal miner?

Cady

It’s a baby… OUR baby!

Cady

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Good Morning Beautiful

We accepted a generous offer to stay at a relative’s house during our San Diego trip and saved lots of money by not having to get a hotel room. Since we couldn’t very well pack Cady’s crib in a suitcase and take it with us, we shared a bed. A full size bed. All three of us.

That turned out not to be such a good idea since a full size bed is too small just for the two adults to share not including the tot that takes up the majority of the bed to herself.

My dear husband ended up sleeping on the floor in our room despite two other empty rooms in the house. Isn’t he a sweetheart?

Even though it wasn’t the most comfortable sleep trying to keep Cady from falling off one side while not pushing me off the other, I always love waking up next to this face in the morning (which I enjoy at home, too since her crib is next to our bed).

Cady

 If you like my blog, take a second and please vote for me just by clicking this link, and Top Mommy Blogs will know you were directed from my site. Thanks!

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Borrowing Lenses

[ Trying out the lens before the trip. ]
Cady

I decided to rent a lens for our spring break trip to San Diego (I coincided my bloggy break with our vacation). I thought it would be nice to keep one lens on as we walked out and about, and I also wanted to try out a lens that I might want to purchase in the future.

[ Another one from before we left. ]

Mom & Dad's Porch

I borrowed the Tamron AF18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC LD AF (IF) Macro for Canon from BorrowLenses.com for two weeks for $69 (+ $6 insurance and shipping both ways). We considered it one of our travel expenses, and I really enjoyed being able to check out the lens for a little while without having to make a long-term (and expensive) commitment without being sure.

[ San Diego Zoo. ]

Bird

My photography teacher from whom I had taken the “Fundamentals of Photography” class and learned how to use my SLR in manual among a few other basic pieces of information had actually recommended that we rent a lens first before buying it. She said there had been many times she rented a lens that she was considering buying and realized that it wouldn’t have been much use to her in the long run. She said there had also been times that she rented a lens repeatedly before finally making a purchase to own it. This makes a lot of sense considering lenses start at a few hundred dollars but go upwards of several thousand.

[ Cady looking out an open sliding glass door. ]

Cady

My first rental experience was great. The lens arrived on time. I requested it 3 days before our trip just in case it was a little behind schedule, but it came when I was told it would. Then I had it for another 4 days after our 1 week trip before it had to be postmarked to ship on the final day of my rental period. Front cap, rear cap, UV filter, and lens hood were included in the rental package. The lens was in great working condition. They provided the packing material and shipping label. All I had to do was drop it off at a Fed-Ex location, and there is one conveniently located down the street.

[ Flower at Grandma's house. ]

Flower

Also, their customer service is great. I forgot to pack the lens hood when I shipped the lens, and after an email, they quickly responded and let me know I could still mail it back to them.

[ Bluejay eating peanuts. ]

Bluejay

Note: I don’t get anything in return for writing this review, but because of my good experience, I am joining their affliate program and recommending their services to my friends.

lens rental

If you like my blog, take a second and please vote for me just by clicking this link, and Top Mommy Blogs will know you were directed from my site. Thanks!

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Please do not copy any text or photos of my family, especially Cady. Links to my posts are always welcome.

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