Thursday, November 3, 2011

Birthdays, Travel, Flashes, & Reformation Day

Y'all are so cool. Thank you so much for celebrating with us!!! We are pumped! God has been so gracious through all of this. We got to see and hear the baby's heartbeat this past Monday. I get teary just thinking about it! I've done a bit of dry heaving, but all in all, I feel about 95% better than I did with  any of my other pregnancies. Score! And the times waves of nausea have hit and I have needed a break, God's been gracious and a break has been possible. It's been such a blessing!

I feel like I'm barely catching my breath. This has been a BUSY fall and a lot of fun. A few weekends ago my sisters and I gathered at Mama's to celebrate her birthday! It was a wonderful weekend. Mama even brought us breakfast in bed Saturday morning. (And it was her birthday!?)

We took her out for for a fancy dinner...where Mother most definitely got hit on! That would make TWO birthday dinners in a row where that has happened. 

Happy Birthday, Mama! We are all so thankful for your precious life and all the ways you've loved us!!!

Love this shot of The Engineer...

And then last week we spent in Atlanta. The Engineer had business there all week. He's heading up a big assessment and he is THE Man in Charge. I am SO proud of him! He is completely rocking it.

We stayed downtown in the Marriot Marquis. You may remember it from this post.

The kids and I walked to Imagine It Children's Museum

We got there around 11:30. There were a TON of little kiddos there on a field trip. My kids couldn't find a spot to play anywhere...around two they all cleared out there were just a handful of mamas and their children left and it was SO MUCH FUN!

The kids milked a cow...real liquid came out. 

There was an entire "Fairy Tale" section...

And a HUGE glass wall where the children could paint.

The museum staff rinsed and squeegeed it after the completion of each masterpiece. (I got in there and mixed kids could have cared less...)

And there was a HUGE machine contraption thing that you could load with plastic balls and's too complicated to explain, but was super cool and occupied most of Little Man's time. And that's just naming a few...if you're in the area, it's definitely worth it! (Just make sure you aren't going in the middle of a field trip!) We shut the place down.

We spent the first half of each day in our room, schooling and eating instant grits. The last half we spent at the pool... picnic-ing on canned tuna, peanut butter sandwiches, trail mix, etc. The pool was on the third floor of the hotel and was indoor/outdoor with a glass wall dividing the two. The kids had so much fun swimming under that divider. They averaged 4-5 hours of swimming per day. 

Before we ever left town, we gave the kids options as far as what they wanted to do while we were in Atlanta. We told them we had a set amount of funds available and let them have a say in how we allocated those funds. The result: two meals a day in the room, the children and I shared an entree for dinner out each night, made one trip to a museum, ate frozen yogurt once, and there was enough left over for dinner at The Melting Pot on the last night. Once all was said and done, they were quite pleased with our use of funds! I love that!

I'm shooting a family wedding here in the next little bit and have been practicing with a new flash. I'm not a flash girl.

I like to shoot with natural light and adjust my settings to accommodate...flashes scare and intrigue me.

But a wedding in a church is a whole new ball game. A flash will be a MUST!

And the one on my camera wouldn't cut it...

So I've been practicing. The Engineer has been helping.

We're practicing working as a team.

And I'm trying to learn how to avoid hot spots like the white blur in the background of this hilarious moment! (This is SO life at our house!)

I'm learning how to communicate with the flash...

And that when shooting in certain modes, the flash responds differently.

I feel like I'm learning a whole new language.

I'm pretty excited about it. 

I'm hoping to kick things up a notch.

But I have a long way to go.

My subjects...

Agreed to pose for us in order to postpone rest time.

I try to use things like rest time to my advantage. Especially when overexposing their faces.

I'm looking forward to figuring this thing out... 

Like I said...I have a long way to go...

But the practice is fun!

And the children are adorable!

And I love working with The Engineer, especially on something that crosses art and throwing photons.

Monday night we joined our church fam for a Reformation Day party. Thanks to my sweet in-laws, Sister was "Indian Princess Wild Flower," Little Man was "Buzz Lightyear," and Little Bit was "Fancy Nancy." The Engineer wore a haz mat suite from the Nuclear Plant, his hard hat, and a Superman cape..."Super Nuclear Man." According to the children, I was a "butterfly princess." I cut butterflies in half and glued the wings all around my eyes...someone asked if I was Lady Gaga. Um. Really? NO. NO!!!! 

The kids were completely hyped up on candy. Some of us weren't quite ready to leave. In fact, one of us, I won't name names, had an all out two year old temper tantrum...kicking legs, flailing arms, cries at the top of her lungs. Sweet thing. Life is just so rough.


  1. I just, just got a speedlight flash myself! Is that the kind you have? We need to email each other and pass off some tips and tricks. I need help, too!

    ps-i'm so far behind in my blog reading, I didn't know of your news! Congratulations! My heart swells for you.

  2. You make me laugh. Love the flash experiments. And, Little Bit in her "pank" costume -- perfectly appropriate.

    Hooray, a heartbeat!!!!

    You and your sisters and your mom are beautiful!

  3. lady gaga...LOL. that was awesome.

  4. ~Jenn, how exciting that you get to shoot a wedding! Yikes! Good work on your flash practice.... I'm like you... pretty much (well actually mostly!) a natural light kinda' girl. Once you get the flash figured out, I'd *love* to see some tips!

    Looks like you guys had a great week away in Atlanta, and it is super-cool that you got the children involved in "budgeting"... deciding how to spend the $. Good job!

  5. FUN post! GREAT photos! Love the peek into your life my friend. And, again, I am sooooo happy for you! Yipppeee for hearing the heartbeat of baby inside and the joy of breaks when you need them. ENJOY these precious, quickly passing days Jennifer...they are WONDERFUL!

    Camille xo

  6. Good for you for learning to appreciate a flash - I have such prejudice against them but I KNOW they really are necessary in some cases. You are all so cute. :)

  7. Yay for the baby! I've been behind on my blogging friends lately, so I just saw your happy news! Praying for you, your growing family, and the little one growing inside you. We're happy for y'all!!!

  8. Congrats on your baby news! Praying for you as you enjoy this sweet season of life as you all prepare for another little lamb!

  9. Lady Gaga! HaHa! Funny! You will do great at the wedding! Anyone who has ever seen the photos you took of our family has loved them! I will treasure them forever! Glad baby and you are doing well with little nausea! Love you friend and miss you more that words can say!

  10. Next time you come to Atlanta email me! We could meet for coffee and we can show ya'll around town!