Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christian + Rhema Lights = AMAZING

Last night, we took Christian to see the Rhema lights for the first time.  For those that are unfamiliar, Rhema is a Bible college and every Christmas they cover every inch of their campus in lights.  I think they start sometime in August!  The pictures really don't do it justice.  Anyways, it's one of my favorite things to see during the holidays, so I didn't want kiddo to miss out :)


I think the excitement here is because he's in his car.  He LOVES this car, but he's getting too big for it!  His feet kept dragging the pavement b/c his legs are too long :( 


It really is fun to see. 


This would be my son schmoozing with everyone.  He was waving and yelling, "hey!" to everyone we passed....like he's running for office! 



I really love this photo. 


I love this son of mine.  I know there are times he is frustrated with me and I with him, but at the end of the day he's still the best decision I ever made. 

{Belated} Christmas Day Recap!

Christmas was great this year...and unless something horrible happens, there isn't much that will change that for me.  To be honest, I wish there was less emphasis on gift giving.  I think it takes away from the spirit of Christmas...you know, when you see the YouTube video of people fighting over discounted bath towels...really?  When I was in college I used to work at Wal-Mart.  If you want to see someones true nature, come to wal-mart during the holidays.  I remember people would up and take things out of your cart when you weren't looking.  If you stop and think about it, most likely you already have more than most and I think around the holidays you should stop to think about that.

 *Stepping down from my soap box*

Ok:)  Onto the Solomon Family Christmas Recap....well, Christian's Christmas Recap!

Well, lets start first with one of my favorite things about Christmas time...


Our nephews make sugar cookies every year.  Their toppings of choice this Christmas season: sweet tarts, M&M's, sprinkles, and sixlets. 

We started out at my parents house on Christmas Eve.  My parents have been dying to get him a tricycle, so TaDa!  He's still a little short to reach the peddles, but I bet when summer rolls around, he'll be all over the place terrorizing everyone.


Did you guys realize the box is just as fun as the actual toy? I seriously think parents should save their money the first couple of years and go get a few boxes instead.  You're not being a bad parent if you don't spent $200 + on your toddler on something he will not remember.  You're being smart! Just sayin'


Helping grandma and grandpa put his tricycle together :)



He loves his Grandpa!


Then came Christmas morning...


What IS this???


Woah! It's a Thomas the Train Tent/Tunnel Thing!  When we visited our friends Carol and Jacob a couple of months ago and he loved their son Connor's pop up tent.  Unfortunately, we did not look at the dimensions.  It literally takes up our whole living room.  Granted, our living room is teeny, but still. 


Um, here's a story for ya.  The other day he was hanging out in the tunnel part and when we stuck our heads in there we realized he had been tooting the whole time!  The confined space really kept in the smell! 


Love that smile :)



Later that evening, we went and visited the GREAT grandparents for some super awesome toys :)

I couldn't ask for a better Christmas...everyone I love is happy and healthy and that is all I can ask for :)


I will share one gift my husband got for me.  For about a year now, I've been looking forward to the holidays because after Thanksgiving Saks Fifth Avenue here in Tulsa sells a Tulsa snow globe.  It displays all your major buildings/statues.  The reason I wanted this was because a friend of ours had one and for whatever reason, I wanted one too.  I picked up an NYC snow globe each time I was in New York, so I thought this might be a thing I start doing when we travel :)  ANYWAYS, I found out this year that the company that normally makes them will no longer be producing them. 

Nooooooo!

So, that put a kibosh on that.  Well, unbeknown to me, my husband continued to look for one.  He called around to see if any other stores might have some older ones...he even called the city chamber of commerce.  Well, the lady he spoke with said they plan on making them again in about 6 months.  Matt explained to her that this was the one thing I wanted for Christmas and if she could do him a huge favor and maybe send out an office email to see if anyone in her office has one they would be willing to sell him he would much appreciate it. 

This nice lady did and someone responded. 

There was a man in their office that had one of the last year they made them (2009) still in the box.  He was nice enough to sell it to him :) 


{Next Blog} 2011 Recap! I went by so fast...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Engagement Shoot - A Few Things I Am Learning...

Over the weekend, I had my first engagement shoot.  Granted, I haven't had tons of photo shoots, so I still get super nervous before each one.  I always say after it's done, "Thanks for letting me shoot you!  I can use the practice!"  Honestly though, I can hear myself saying that even 10  years down the road.  I do feel with each session, I am getting a little better.  I've also been renting lenses from borrowlenses.com to find a lens that fits me and my style (if I have a style yet).  I know I would eventually like to get a wide angle lens, but for now I wanted to find a go to portrait lens.  I've rented the following so far:

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM - I liked it, but I wish I had more time to fiddle with it. 

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM - This was an amazing lens and I think if I had the money to purchase it, I could really find out what all it can do.  How much? $1900-$2200 depending on where you look.  I originally rented this one after doing some research online...trying to find out what other portrait photographers use as a must have lens.  As of now though, I thought it was a little too much lens for me to handle...financially and technically.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM - This is the lens I used for the below shots.  I REALLY liked it.  It created a nice bokeh and it worked well with me.  When we received our family photos from Artsy Phartsy Photography, I saw that this was the lens she used, so I thought I would give it a shot.  This really is the lens I want to save up for. 

So a few things I have learned so far? 




1. Think outside the box when it comes to your location.  I know a lot of people want to go downtown or in some super floral location and there is nothing wrong with that, but sometimes a nice background is right around the corner.  All the shots were taken in Sand Springs.   It's a small town with old buildings and houses.  The one photo with them leaning on the bookshelf was at my friends bookstore.  Now any time we drive around anywhere, I say to my husband, "Oh that place would make for an awesome photo." 




2.Pinterest has really helped me create some creative shots, especially with this engagement shoot.  Anytime I come across a cool pose or fun props, I pin it. I really love using props.



3.  It really helps when your clients are into it.  Hayden and Ashtan were so awesome.  Chalk it up to young love :)  All I had to say was, "you guys can smooch and stuff" and smooch they did! :)  Heehee.  They were super cute and really had fun with the whole process.   It was SO cold that day, but she was a trooper.   They were up for anything, so I tried everything on them - the bike, the wedding date, the hearts above the head, etc.  They had amazing chemistry which really came through in the shots.


4.  Since I'm still new at editing, I feel in the beginning I really over edited.  I wanted to try different styles and colors, etc.  I've noticed now that less is more.  I also realized I don't have all the time in the world to edit!  I would spend hours just on a few shots. 




5.   Don't get discouraged when a shot isn't working out so well.  We tried one shot that she saw online, but I was getting frustrated that it wasn't turning out the way it should.  Lighting is super important and knowing how to shoot in awkward lighting...it's just one more thing I need to study up on :)

This shot was done right off the highway!


So there you go...some little photog lessons I'm learning.  I feel I'll always be learning something new and I love that.  It never gets old...right? :) 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekend Recap - Christmas Party and My 'LiL Mobster

We had a pretty fun weekend to be honest.  On Friday we went to our small group Christmas party.  I think every year they get a little better...due to our level of comfort with one another.  The first couple of years in our small group just reminded me of awkward years of junior high - looking for someone to chat with...hoping you will develop a friendship with someone...yada yada...but now it feels less awkward and more enjoyable.  Church Sunday school is no different than any other social setting you will come across in your life...as much as you would like to think otherwise, people tend to gravitate to individuals like themselves...or with like interests.  Don't get me wrong though, I think as a whole group, we get along well for having so many couples.  :)

We made our rounds to the grandparents starting off with my folks.  Here is where is gets funny...so my mom loves to dress Christian in name brand clothes.  It's what my mom loves to do and I genuinely appreciate it.  His wardrobe consists mostly of Target apparel and HMD's and that is just fine because there will be one day when he cares more about what/who he is wearing and clothes shopping will cost more.  So for now, I will enjoy the less expensive days.   She bought him a nice insulated winter coat along with 2 tracksuits.  As soon as he put on the tracksuit, I immediately thought of any Jersey mobster characterized on TV.  Let me show you....


I think it's because he has a poochy belly...all he needed was a gold chain and couple of rings on his fingers!  I think I laughed the whole time he was wearing it. 

Over the weekend, we also tried to mix up bath time.  We threw in some Mr. Bubbles and some fizzy tub tablets.  Ooooooooh :)  There are 3-4 tablet colors, so you can change it up.



We also did some thrifting over the weekend.  Since I've been quilting, I've been spending more time at the thrift shops looking for vintage looking sheets or fabric.  


Each set came with a flat and fitted  queen size sheet with pillow cases - I spent $7.00!

So that is the Solomon family weekend update.  I hope everyone has a great week!  13 more days until Christmas~!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Who is your doppelganger?

So I would normally do a weekend recap, but we were struck by THE PLAGUE {stomach flu for the kiddo and food poisoning for the hubs and I}.  We laid around all weekend wishing the other felt better only so someone could nurse us back to health. 

While I was at church Sunday morning, a friend from class asked me if I had caught the last episode of 2 Broke Girls.  I hadn't, but she said this girl was my doppelganger. She said for a moment she thought it was me.  What can I say, I act, I quilt, I can do it all! LOL.  SOoooo, I had to see this doppelganger of mine.  What what?  What's a doppelganger you ask?  Literally translated it means "double walker." 

I watched the episode and found out the girls name is Miki Ann Maddox...she played the "hipster girl."



My second doppelganger is Michaela Conlin from the show Bones.  I have never watched Bones, but a few people have said to me that I look like this girl....after seeing her they must mean on my most excellent day do I pass for this girl.


So who is your doppelganger?? :)
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