Thursday, January 28, 2010

Catchin' Up with the Esplins

My friend Susan has 8 kids. She had 6 boys first and then finally 2 little girls at the tail end. She asked me if I would do the kids "school" pictures this year and in time for Christmas. We were kind of on a rush schedule and it ended up being a very snowy day when we were finally able to get together. But we stood under the eaves of an old barn and got 'er done.

I thought they turned out great considering it was snowing like crazy and a rush job. Here are my favorites of the kids from youngest to oldest. (Christopher, the second to oldest is on a mission for our church, so we'll have to catch him another time.)

Susan had told the kids that all she wanted for Christmas was pictures so they did a great job cooperating and they made their mom happy. What a great bunch.

Oh, and I couldn't resist, it seems to be the theme of the week - a cute little girl hugging a kitty.

Monday, January 25, 2010

2009 Year-in-Review Family Slide Show

This is a little late in coming, but better late than never. Saw this idea on someone else's blog and thought it would be fun. I also realized, while making it, that I had a lot of nice portraits of my own kids this year, which is good, but I skimped a little on the candid shots.

Note to self --more candids in 2010.

(This is Jaxon's new favorite song.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Photos for Myself

I follow a blog by a lovely lady who calls herself, Miz Booshay. She is a very talented photographer, but what I always expect to see when I go to her blog is a breathtaking photo of her beautiful little girl, Katie.

She posts a new picture of Katie almost everyday. And she's such a little doll that I never get tired of seeing her gorgeousness on Miz Boo's blog. You really ought to check her out. (She also has an older daughter, Emma, who is stunning as well.)

There are so many women in my life who inspire me. I look around at them and think, "If they can do it, so can I", whether I actually know them or not.

And as much as I enjoy taking pictures for other people, it's fun to have a little bit of a break and have time to take a few pictures for myself today - of my own beautiful daughter.

And Fred, can't forget good old Fred.

Poor Fred, nobody loves him.

Miz Boo always ends her blog entries by saying, "Encourage one another".

How nice is that?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Husband, the Politician

I've been meaning to blog about this for a couple of months now and am finally getting caught up enough with everything else to do it.

This November, my hubby ran for a seat on the town council. There were two seats open and he was voted in with a whopping 101 votes. (Our town is pretty small - the next seat got 79 votes, outpolling the other two runners at 47 and 45 votes, respectively.)

The position doesn't pay much - $0.00, in fact - and it's bound to be a big fat pain in the neck. I know that because we've been guilty of bothering members of the town council on weekends and holidays for keys to the town park restrooms and such things. I also know that members of the town council have a lot of bosses - the whole community - and are bound to be unpopular among at least some of the folks around. But I'm proud of my man and his willingness to serve in our little local government - to try to do something good.

When I took my camera to the meeting where he was sworn in, he told me he would be embarrassed to have me there taking his picture. But the new mayor is my friend Christine's husband and I knew Christine would bring her camera too. As it turned out, all 3 wives of the new board members took pictures, so he didn't feel like the lone ranger.

They swore in the new board and then got right to work - which was Christine's and my cue to duck out. We'd hate to hang around for the boring part.

But I'm with you in spirit, babe! You're the man!

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Good Boy

(Luke at about 3 months.)

On Sunday, I received this note from my baby's Sunday School teacher:

(My husband) and I often tell each other our favorite part of the day.
Today, my favorite thing happened in Primary.

We were talking about how Heavenly Father gave us families because
he loves us. After doing that section, I said to each of the kids, one at
a time, "Heavenly Father loves you".

Zach was absent. I was about to head on to finish the lesson and Luke
quietly said, "He loves Zachary too".

Getting her note was the best part of my day.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fabulous Fred

So, Marty works for the county and they park their trucks and equipment up at the county land fill - better known as, the dump. He had been going to the dump everyday for about a week and there was a little cat up there who would always come up to him and want attention. He was kind of a pain - jumping on the tires and getting in the way. Marty wondered whether he'd come from the farm down the road and across the highway. But after a few days went by and he was still there, Marty started to worry that he had been abandoned and finally broke down and brought him home.

My husband.

Brought home a stray cat.

It was his idea - no children were there to coerce him into it.

And here's said kitty, we named him Fred.

In't he cuuuute?!

He's fit right in. He is so easygoing, he's the perfect kid-cat. The kids drag him around in the laundry basket, carry him in every conceivable way, and twirl him on my office chair - and he doesn't mind a bit
- he eats it up.

The kids are crazy about him.

Even Maddie is getting along with him. She's chased cats all her life - which I have strongly discouraged - but I always thought that if she actually caught a cat, she wouldn't know what to do with one. Well, Mr. Fred won't run from her and she doesn't know what to do with that.

What's a kindhearted, 14 year old dog supposed to do when the cat won't run? Hmmmm. Sniff it? Lick it? Take a nap with it on the sunny back porch?

Anyhooo, Fred has already learned that he may sleep on the kids' beds but not mine - nor my recliner. He's also learned that he may NOT get into the garbage, but that there is free choice cat food in the back room. He's learned that the counter tops are strictly off limits. In fact, he's got us all figured out and has already become a model citizen.

And about everyday I walk into a room and see this....

And this...

Blatant public displays of affection. Poor Fred, nobody loves him.

He's a little bit freaky - he licks my toes when I'm sitting at my computer! And sometimes, when I'm holding him, he grabs my fingers and pulls them in to lick. He kind of has a licking fettish.

Funny Fred. Funny, freaky floppy, fabulous Fred.

Welcome home, buddy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Merry Christmas to Me

Even though I whined incessantly before Christmas, when it was all over and I'd had a week or so to calm down, I realized that I, personally, got some really good stuff this year. Did I buy it for myself - of course I did! But that's okay, I've totally come to terms with that.

Several of my friends (bless them) approached my non-gift-buying husband and asked him if he would like some help in getting me a gift this year. And he, not so politely, turned them all down. All my friends feel sorry for me because my - otherwise wonderful - husband never buys me anything for Christmas (or birthday, or Valentines, etc., etc.). Well, I have to take that back - last year he bought himself a very lovely car battery charger, had the gal at the parts store gift wrap it for him, put my name on it and put it under the tree - so saying that he doesn't ever buy me anything for Christmas is technically untrue.

I used to be bothered by this, but I really have gotten past it by now. I've decided that I'd rather get exactly what I want than have him waste money on something I will never use - because, lets face it, he has no bleedin' clue what I want, never goes shopping, and definitely can't take a hint.

So this year, I found a really nice treadmill on Craigslist for myself. My honey did come with me to heft it into the truck, and he didn't complain at all about the price. Go him.

And Merry Christmas to me.

I love it, and I set up my old computer to watch movies while I walk/shuffle/jog every morning. I've been wanting one for years, so it's great to finally have it, and it's a really nice one too.

The other very cool thing I got myself are these:

CANVAS PRINTS of my own kids. I love them! I found them accidentally when shopping for other stuff. They were on sale, plus a 20% off coupon, plus free shipping and I just couldn't resist. I had to rush and pick out the photos as I only had a couple of hours to order them and get that price. I'm kind of sorry I picked that horizontal one of Luke, I should have probably picked one more like the vertical portraits of the other two. But I still love them and it's fun to finally have some nice enlargements of my own kiddos hanging in my front room. You'd think that with all the photos I take, I would have done something like this long before now, but no.

So Merry Christmas to me again. I actually wrapped them all up in their huge boxes and hauled them up to my mom's house - mainly because I wanted to show them off to my family. And I finally got them hung today - very fun.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Beautiful New Little Girl and Her Big Brothers

This gorgeous little girlie is 3 weeks old, so she was also a Christmas baby. I got to take her pictures this week, but instead of taking her picture, I just wanted to sit around and rock and cuddle her (in fact, I did for a little while). She was such a good baby and felt like a little sack of sugar to hold.

Isn't she beautiful?

Her big brothers were so sweet with her and I especially loved these pics with Stetson....

and Toby....

How sweet are those?

I also loved this one of Stets and Tobe together....

They're such cute boys - both sporting the same manly haircut as my own boy.

Baby sister, Kynlee, was a perfect model, she kept drifting off to sleep and was just the best sport!

Her little hands were so sweet, she was always putting them up by her face, which I so love.

She even grabbed her own toes at one point. Precious!

She was so relaxed I just couldn't get over it.

One of the best natured babies I've ever met, I was even able to capture a little smile.

When Dad picked her up, she looked so tiny in his big hands - and we could swear she was about to tell him something.

What a lucky family to get such a wonderful Christmas gift. I'm pretty sure they appreciate her, especially Mom. Good work, Mom, you cooked up a pretty special kiddo there.

Thanks guys, for letting me come, it was so enjoyable! I'm so happy for you!

Friday, January 8, 2010

I Met a Moose Today...

And this is what he looks like.

Meet Moose, my friend Linda's new Saint Bernard puppy. Actually, she got him for her husband for Christmas. He's 10 weeks old. He eats a huge bowl (like a family reunion potato salad bowl) of puppy food everyday. Someday, he will be anywhere from 175- 200 pounds.

Years ago, when we had puppies of our own, we delivered one to a lady in Hurricane. She had a cute little blond haired blued eyed two year old daughter who was so excited about the new puppy and kept saying "Toot buppy! Toot buppy!" So they've been "toot buppies" to me ever since.

That Moose, he's one "tooooot buppy".

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bitty, Pretty Baby Mallory

My friend, Christine, got a wonderful gift this year for Christmas - her first grandchild.

I'm not sure I've know anyone who was happier to become a grandparent, it's really fun to see her with that baby. So when her daughter and son-in-law were in town right after Christmas, we got together for a fun baby shoot.

Miss Malory is just a bitty little thing, about 6 pounds at 3 weeks old, but she's a really good baby. And she LOVES her binky! It was too funny how when we'd take the binky away to take a picture, she's start to thrash and kick - she was waaay to wiggly to get a non-blurry photo of. But the second we plugged the binky back in, she froze in place. Just like this:

Freeze frame. Suspended animation. Totally cracked me up.


I really loved the ones with Mallory and her parents. But it's a little surreal to take pictures of people who are still supposed to be kids (in my mind) but are now parents themselves. When I got married and moved to this town, (which feels like it was only a couple of years ago) these two were like, 6th or 7th graders.

And now they're parents! How could it be possible?!

I have this fascination with good dads, involved dads, sweet dads. Especially dads who are obviously enthralled by their baby girls. It was so fun to watch him with her. He thought everything she did was cute. Which was so cute. We had an abundance of cute around here that day.

She has quite a head full of pretty blond hair.

I can't imagine where she got it from...

I always love the baby and mama images and I thought these were so nice.

And a shoot wouldn't be complete without some sweet little baby feet.

Some fun facts about Mallory's mom and dad. They grew up across the street from each other but never dated. It wasn't until after Cody's mission when they were at college together that they fell in love and got married. So she was literally the girl next door. Awwww. So nice.

This blessing dress was made for Mallory's mom when she was a baby. So pretty, she looked like a little angel in it.

And she is an angel. Angel baby fresh from Heaven.

Congrats you guys. I wish you all the best.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pretty Girls

I got to take pictures for my friend, Laretta, the other day. She has 2 girls and though I don't think they look very much alike, they're both really pretty girls. They have great bone structure - I know, we hear that all the time, but for me, it means they photograph well from any angle.

Just take a look....

Are these pretty girls or what?

I could photograph them all day.

Ashley, the eldest, is going on a mission very soon and wanted some nice pre-mission pictures so we took lots of her. She'll be a great missionary, we're all very proud of her.

And this is Mom and Dad....

They're cute too.