Well, Thanksgiving is over and I am now in my post-Thanksgiving haze. It won't last much more than 5 minutes because the kids are ready to put up the tree today and move on to all things Christmas! I just wanted to recap some of my Thanksgiving before moving on so quickly :) We started our Thanksgiving tour at my parents' house. This is the only place where I had my camera since I had just done a newborn shoot earlier that day. I'm glad I had it, though, because my mom really went all out this year with the beautiful dishes and the gorgeous, delicious spread of food.
My mom made this entire meal by herself. No one helped (though my dad claims to have peeled some potatoes). No one brought any sides. We just showed up with our families and enjoyed the fruits of her labor!
And while she was working hard on dinner, our daughter was working hard on using up her grandma's art supplies ;)
These are not instant mashed potatoes. The stuffing was not Stovetop. The sweet potatoes didn't come from a can. Everything was made from scratch and it was sooooooooo yummy.
I truly felt like my plate was a work of art. I had to capture it on "film" before devouring it.
As I was taking this picture, my brother says, "You're not really gonna post a pic of your food somewhere are you?" I said, "Why yes, I am. And now because of your little snarky comment, you're going to be on the post, too!" Boo ya! :P
And in my mind, this shot is like a Norman Rockwell painting, because it's my family. It's my memory. The kids are little and all playing together. My parents are well and able to make an amazing feast. We are all together. I am truly blessed and for this, I am thankful.
Well it happened. My babies are officially turning 6 tomorrow. When I asked them what themes they would like for their birthdays, I already knew they would pick completely opposite ends of the spectrum. But it's worth it for me to have a combined party, as long as they'll let me do it ;)
So our son, of course, wanted Presidents. Not superheros, not trains, not typical boy things, but Presidents. At first I thought this theme was gonna be pretty impossible, but it actually ended up being a lot of fun! The first thing I did was search Pinterest. I got exactly ONE example of a kid's presidential themed party (go figure). But once the red, white and blue theme presented itself, the rest kind of fell into place. I simply printed out this sign onto cardstock using my old black and white printer with a free font I found, cutting each letter into a triangle. Then I glued each triangle on various shades of blue and red. Last, I strung it all together on some string and viola!
I got a few red, white and blue balloons, the springy stars and the cardboard foil stars, and foil star garland at Party City. I glued the cardboard foiled stars to skinny, wooden sticks (Hobby Lobby) and made a centerpiece using a vase I already owned. I got 6 red, white and blue handkerchiefs (also at Hobby Lobby) and hot-glued them together to make the tablecloth. I could've sewn them together if I'd had more time, but I went the quick route :)
I got the little flags in a package of 4 at Wal-Mart and the little blue jars were from Hobby Lobby.
This next item is possible if you have a super cool sister like I do with a whole bunch of cool equipment and creativity! I asked her how I might go about making Ben for President stickers, and she replied by making them for me and sending them the next day in the mail. LOVE her :)
The cupcake toppers were made by downloading a free kid's presidential coloring book from the internet and sizing them down in Photoshop. I printed them out on cardstock and taped them onto various colors of blue and red cardstock. The little sticks I found at Hobby Lobby, I think in the baking section.
We ordered Shakespeare's Pizza for lunch for everyone, but my son loves hot dogs, so he got his hot dog lunch. Yes, he is also eating a cucumber from the veggie tray :)
And now for our daughter's theme. She has LOVED animals since she was born. She is obsessed with them. She wants to be an animal. She wants to take care of animals. I think she would be quite happy if she was out in the woods being raised by wolves. This is where combining their parties became quite impossible, so I just made them each their own dedicated room.
My sister-in-law spent two of her Friday nights with me making these adorable animal masks. We watched Gold Rush, ate brownies and made animal masks. It was actually pretty fun! :)
And isn't my sister-in-law a FOX?? Sorry, couldn't resist ;)
I decorated the table with animal toys we had already collected over 6 years.
I got these wooden animals at Hobby Lobby for 67 cents a piece, the wooden sticks, the Styrofoam, and the little pink buckets at Hobby Lobby (can you tell that I love Hobby Lobby yet?) The lion centerpiece and confetti are from Party City, as well as the animal print balloons.
We ate pizza on the pink, animal print plates, followed by cupcakes on flag plates. Next, it was time to open presents! My favorite present-opening moment was when our son received several cool socks. He LOVES socks. I think he is the only kid on the planet that is excited to receive socks for a present. For this, and many other reasons, I HEART him SOOOOOOOO!!!
And last, but not least, the group picture that I had envisioned from making the very first mask for the party. Two Friday nights was totally worth this picture :) All in all, it was a great day!!
This shoot was one, last final hoorah with the Fall leaves at their peak. I can't think of a better way to go out! Not only is this kid ADORABLE, but it was his first time playing in the Fall leaves, and he was LOVING IT!
He was plowing right through them! :)
Because of his outfit, I had that song in my head "What Does the Fox Say?" during most of his shoot.
Fun Facts about this shoot:
1. Elija was named by combining the letters from his parents' names, Melissa and Benjamin.
2. I have known Elija's dad since we were in grade school.
3. These pictures were taken in probably less than 20 minutes.
4. Elija's dad once tricked me into eating wallpaper paste.
5. Elija's grandma was my teacher in grade school for 6th, 7th and 8th grade.
Happy 1st Birthday, Elija!
Camera Used: Nikon D700
Lens Used: 50mm 1.4
Actions Used: Rebecca Lily Presets for LR 4/5 from the Pro Sets Collection
It's so nice to be back "home" with all of our family! I not only get to hang out with them more, but I get to do their pictures! Here are some favorites from my brother's family...
And here are some of my favorites from my sister-in-law's shoot...
Isn't my family super duper good-looking? :)
It seems like we've been getting ready for Halloween for months now, and now it is over! It was a really great time, and I have pictures to prove it :) First here are a couple of pictures from the kids' school parties, where they were asked to dress as characters from their favorite book. Benny decided to be David.
And Sydney was Pinkalicious!
Meanwhile, I had been getting our house for a Pre Trick-or-Treating cupcake party.
My sister cut out about 100 bats and some adorable ghosts, put glitter on them, and mailed them to me in 2 days! I LOVE her :)
Around 6PM our guests started to arrive!
I talked my dad into dressing up and manning the door at our house while we went around the neighborhood trick-or-treating. I'm so glad my dad is such a great sport!
Of course, I couldn't resist getting a picture of him like this before the festivities began ;)
And we were off to trick-or-treat!
My scary daughter the witch!
First time trick-or-treaters are always so cute. This guy even hit up a couple houses :)
And here's me and my little pirate. Don't ask me what my costume is. I couldn't find my wings from the moving boxes!
I think Halloween might be my favorite holiday. Dressing up! Candy! Parties! Joy! :)
Passion for all things photography, mother of 6 year old twins, Ben and Sydney, wife, daughter, sister, friend. Lover of old movies, anything chocolate, laughing, traveling, speaking Spanish and French, summer, the beach, camping (if s'mores are involved), and being with my friends and family.