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The Sweetheart Birthdays

Check out all of the new pictures in the Photo Gallery! Almost all categories have new pictures added to them.  LOTS of cute little faces:  

Tiny SmilesMinisFamily Smiles, & Birthdays

This weekend I will be tackling and posting my first furniture makeover! Hoping to complete for under $70! Holding my breath and keeping my fingers crossed! Here is a hint:

Yellow paint + grout + $25 dollar dresser = ? TBD



February 1 {one month follow up}

Well, a month ago (give or take a day) I wrote Reflection and Anticipation {2011 Review / 2012 New Beginning} and I am happy to say that I am making progress - and progress can never be a bad thing.  Here are the action items I highlighted for resolution for 2012: 

Smile more, frown less: I think I am doing A LOT better here.  I am making a conscious effort to control my thoughts, both the positive and negative and I can honestly say my outlook is better.  I continue to check Marc and Angel for some helpful tips but all in all I can say that after 30 days in, I am smiling more. Very important question: Can frown lines be reversed by smile lines??  Here's to hoping!! 

Compliment more, critique less:  I am complimenting more.  If I think it in my head, I try to say it out loud.  Critiquing is more of a conscious effort to not be negative so, ...  I am working on it :)

Be a more effective listener: Still not very good at this one.  I interrupt A LOT!!  And I multi task while listening, which does not make me a very effective listener.  So, much improvement is still needed here!

PATIENCE: Still working on this.... 

Challenge myself: I think every time I take pictures, blog, and tackle one of my DIY projects I am challenging myself so I would say this is going well.  I am hoping I can add many more posts in February. At least 2 per week - that is my goal. 

Live a healthier lifestyle: Daily struggle.  I am a yo yo junk food junkie...  I go in kicks - buy healthy food = eat healthy food.  Buy junk = eat junk.  It is a vicious cycle! One the positive side, I am working out in the morning!  A few things that are helping my motivation: 1) the gym is right next door to LB's daycare -literally next door so I am not wasting time driving.  2) I am working out with my girlfriend.  We text every night to coordinate schedules.  Having someone else to keep me accountable has been beneficial! 3) Realistic standards - my goal is 3 times per week and if I go more than it is a bonus! I am hoping to get up to every weekday - but I am trying to keep realistic standards until I can develop my routine. 

Take more pictures: check! I still want to do more but until I can have a cool phone (I have one from the 1990's to save money) that will do this for me, it just isn't as feasible to drag the Nikon around everywhere I go.

Set the 'To Do' list aside: I AM making less lists - but, I am also forgetting a lot of things at the store due to my lack of lists...  working on the balance!

Life, Love and Lemons Update: For the month of January I had 232 unique viewers and almost 2000 pages viewed!  That is more than double for December! I have a couple of photo sessions to edit and add this week and a few more to take this month.  Looking forward to February!  Don't forget to get updates via the Facebook page and to contact me on great deals to capture your special moments! 



Learning by Doing... {And loving it}!

"If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things
you cannot learn any other way."
- Mark Twain

I haven’t posted anything in a while…  I have had so many exciting things going on (and a sick 2 year old) that it is keeping me busy …  too busy to blog!  However, here are some of my exciting happenings:

Reorganized my photography section on Life Love & Lemons – Pictures are now under Gallery and divided by photography theme.  I have several exciting topics that I don’t have active yet.  One of them is going to be dedicated to Birthdays, of all ages!  I have several birthdays that I will be capturing in February that I can’t wait to photograph and post! The other section will be Birth Stories.  This is special and deserves its own post – so, more on that topic later.  You have to check out the engagement and belly pictures that were added. 

The engagement pictures were done outside in Ottawa at Allen Park.  The bridge and river gave a pretty backdrop, it was cold but beautiful.  There are a few things I would have done differently and some additional shots that I wished I would have captured but all in all not bad for a first time.  The couple is adorable so each picture is beautiful just because they are in it.  I will definitely utilize Ottawa again for some of its unique older buildings, the bridge, water, churches ect.  If you are looking to have engagement pictures taken, I can offer you a great deal!  Contact me for details!

The belly pictures I think turned out great!  I am really happy with them.  Mama and Daddy were so cooperative, and too cute for words!  I have lots of favorites and I am still editing! We took over 200 pictures! If you or someone you know is expecting, contact me for a great rate on belly and newborn pictures!

Last week as I was doing some late night editing and restructuring of my site – I noticed I received an email…  and I was excited (because  I LOVE that someone is interacting with my site) but not only was this someone, this was Amy Kolz.  If you are not familiar with her, you should be!  This requires a separate post as well…  coming soon!

I love checking on how many people are looking at my site and I appreciate you reading and looking at the pictures.  I really encourage your feedback.  Another set of eyes with an open mind and a different perspective is always welcome.  

This is all new to me, the website / content building and photography – I am learning by doing… And LOVING IT!!



What I love about Sundays

I love Sundays...  especially when they are filled with wonderful people and beautiful photos!  I had two photo sessions.  The first one was for an engagement announcement picture and the second was for a baby belly and family!  Below is a sneak peak - I am still doing some editing but I love them too much not to share!

Then, of course time with LB.  Can't beat an all day pjami day!


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What My Smiles are made of:

2012 has started off with a new sense of focus and calm.  I took a few days off work to spend time with the big guy LB, it doesn't get better than that! We played with little cousins (we worked on sharing) and ate pizza! Then opened some late Christmas presents and played.  It was totally relaxing and fun not having any where to rush off to.  In honor of one of my resolutions (taking more pictures) here are a few from that day: 

He LOVES sharks, one of his new favorites.  He is becoming very accustom to my pictures - he even says 'cheese'!

Then after work yesterday we went to "Mommy's school" ( I take some night classes) and he LOVES going with me because he is infatuated with dinosaurs.  Classes were out so he was able to roam.  We had so much fun - just chillin, no where to be but in the moment.  Check out his smiles:

...and mine are behind the lens :)

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Reflection and Anticipation {2011 review / 2012 new beginnings}

Over the past few days I have been seeing a lot of posts on New Years Resolutions for 2012.  I have never been one to take these very seriously...  I make the remarks, "My New Years Resolution is xy or z" but that is about as far as I go.  However, this year I have actually given it some serious thought.  I even wrote it on paper... NOW, I am posting it, publicly.  So, I guess I am inclined to at least attempt to 'resolve' a thing or two. 

I read this really great article - actually, they have a lot of really great articles - I definitely recommend subscribing to them.  It is called Marc and Angel Hack Life.  They have a lot of motivational tips to make you have a more aware and involved life.  The article I read yesterday, 30 Challenges for 30 Days of Growth is a really great read - and I would say they are overly ambitious :).  He is doing each of those action items everyday for at least 30 days, and most likely to follow the rest of the year.  Go Marc!  However, I will settle on a few for 2012.  The motivation behind my 2012 progress has several layers; parenting, personal growth and a more positive outlook, healthy living, and professional progress.  My rough draft list is (drum roll, please):

Smile more, frown less. (this one is for a more positive outlook - but, I also have a serious frown mark on my forehead that needs to NOT get worse)

Compliment more, critique less.

Be a more effective listener.

PATIENCE.  I am not a naturally patient person.  So, I have to consciously work through this one.

Challenge myself.  I love learning and doing new things - I just don't actively pursue the unfamiliar because I get complacent. 

Live a healthier lifestyle.  I have horrible eating habits.  And, I believe that has rubbed off on my son, or he is just a picky 2 year old, however I want to demonstrate healthy eating and hopefully he will come around too.  I want to find fun new recipes and give them a try.  Exercise is so important for a strong mind and body.  I need to put my healthy mind and healthy body higher on my priority list.  It has always taken the back seat to not having enough time and being too tired when I actually find the time. 

Take more pictures.  My family would probably wonder how that is even possible - I take a lot of pictures.  But, I want my camera to become attached to me everywhere I go.   I see so many great views from my drivers seat.  I want to pull the car over a snap a few shots - I never do that and I am missing a lot.  It isn't the physical picture file that I am missing but the moment to take it in and see the art and beauty. 

Set the 'To Do' list aside.  I am a list maker.  I skip out on opportunities to play and laugh because there is laundry and dishes to do.  I need to realize that in 15 minutes from now or tomorrow morning the items on my list will still be there but those moments that I am taking a pass on will not be. 

 2011 was a lot of changing / adjusting.  2012 will be settling in and growing for us.  We are happy and we are looking forward to another great year! Bring on 2012!  Happy New Year!

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It's the simply things...

making gingerbread houses.

sprinkles on cookies (that later get eaten by the dog).

wearing Mommy's sunglasses (that end up broken).

time with family.

the love of Santa.

smiles.  laughter.  joy.