Monday, February 28, 2011

The 2 year old Club!

My 2 year old son, Kyle, being my oldest...is teaching me new things every single day. I experience everything for the first time as a parent, with him. He just recently turned 2 in December. That makes him 2 yrs 2 mos. An amateur 2 year old, still in training. And I have found that a 2 year old is entirely different than a 1 year old. Like...1 year old Kyle, while similarities do still exist, is quite different from 2 year old Kyle. I'm learning that apparently there are certain requirements that a little person must meet in order to become accepted into the "2 Year Old Club". To be considered a true 2 year old.

Here are some of the things I have picked up on so far....

If your Mom spends 15 minutes putting all of your toys neatly into a toy bin, you MUST immediately run right behind her and dump them all out. And make sure you scatter them a bit, so that it makes it just a little more difficult for her to clean them back up.

Turning 2 apparently means that its time to be potty trained. So when its "that time" and you feel the urge, make sure you take every single piece of clothing off. Not just your diaper. Shoes, socks, shirt. Everything. And then when you winkle just the tiniest bit in the potty, and receive your reward for doing so, be certain that you relieve yourself the rest of the way on the furniture. Any furniture will do...the couch, the recliner, your bed, your parents bed....wherever.

Make sure you don't let on that you know where your parents hide certain personal items. And then when the most opportune time presents itself, say...when company is over....go ahead and let the cat out of the bag. So, the tampons you saw Mom quietly put away when she thought you weren't looking....or the *huh-hmmm* "party hats" you watched Dad so cautiously tuck into his drawer....this is the time for you to bring them all out. And make sure their company sees it all.

Be certain that when inconspicuously listening to an adult conversation between your parents, that you isolate only the inappropriate words, and then use them repeatedly for the next several days. Oh, and this would be a good one to throw in when company is around, as well.

When you request that a certain meal be prepared for you...for instance, mac-n-cheese, make sure that your parents have completely finished making it and dishing it up before you decide that you no longer want it and completely refuse it altogether.

OH. And when you do decide to actually eat some of the food that was given to you, make sure that every bit of what is left on your plate gets thrown onto the floor. You can rub some in your hair too, just for good measure.

Crayons. Made for coloring, right? Coloring books, paper, WALLS, CARPETS, SIBLINGS, FURNITURE. I emphasize the last 4. Feel free to take this and run with it. They gave you crayons...so let me be clear...You are to use them! However your free little spirit wishes to.

OK, now this is the MOST important qualification. Make SURE, super-duper sure, that right before you are to be reprimanded by your parents for completing one of the above listed actions, you throw your secret weapon at them. A reminder to them that you are 2 after all, and can put phrases and sentences together now. 3 simple words. Or 4, however you want to put it. "I Love You". "I Love You Mommy" or "I Love You Daddy" will word splendidly as well. If you can pull that off, and completely stop them dead in their tracks just as you were about to receive your punishment, then, and only then, will you be officially accepted into the "2 year old club". Congratulations!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

(Not So) Worldess Wednesday

When I started this blog, I figured it would help me stay on task if I made a schedule and stuck to it. That way I wouldnt fall into that "Oh it was a hectic day so I will just do the post tomorrow" and then tomorrow turns into "in a couple days" which turns into "next week" and before you know it you havent done a blog post in over a year. But im finding that I might have to let go of my fear of becoming the inactive blogger, because of my schedule. As all parents know, some days are harder than others with the kids. And I dont want for this blog to, in any way, become a source of stress for me because I am dissappointed in myself for not getting a post up according to my set schedule. I dont want my blog schedule to interfere with or take anything away from my family. Im sure you will all understand, right? So what this means, is that at least for now, I wont be doing any posts according to a "schedule". No more Monday recipes or wordless Wednesdays. I do still plan to do a recipe post each week, and post pictures so much that you might start hating me, but they wont be done on any specific day. So what better day to initiate the breaking of the cycle than on what used to be, wordless wednesday. Ha!

So here is todays post :)

Once aaaaaaaaagain, (and make sure you say aaaaaagain like you would imagine a teenager saying it when you tell them to smile for just one more picture....on the fifty-ith picture, before they walk out the door with their prom date) I am whole-heartedly in love with photography now that I have been doing it for a little while, and the twins became victim of this yesterday. They were just the poor innocent bystanders of a love affair turned into an obssesion. Oh....I mean, I forced them to do a mini-shoot. No specific milestone photo shoot...they are 7 1/2 months old...just obsessed photographer meets overly proud and self-indulgent Mom, and their lovechild forces these babies to do a random mini photo-shoot. Anyway, outdoor photography is WAY easier than indoor photography. Period. End of discussion. So im working a lot on my indoor set-up to try and perfect everything and come up with the perfect balance of scene composure, lighting, etc. I constantly have ideas popping into my overworked and underslept little brain, and my kids just happen to be there, practically begging me to experiment on them. Ok they dont beg, they pretty well refuse....but after five thousand takes, we probably get a combined actual shooting time of maybe 15 minutes. And then in that 15 minutes of shooting time, my camera has to be trained to strategically dodge a 2 year old big brother who wants to help his parents get the subjects' attention by screaming at them, in front of the camera mind you, "DEBBIE! BYCIE! YA YA YA! DEB! BYCE! LA LA YA YA! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!". But if I get lucky, I might get a good shot or two.

So THIS was a result of all of THAT!........



I wont be mean and make you guess who is who and then laugh because you get it wrong. Because you WILL get it wrong. Dont think you're just that good. Because even we, as the parents, get it wrong sometimes.
Devin is on the blue team. Bryce is on the green team.




My sweet little Bryce....Ever the toe-sucker :)


These next 2 are not photos that I consider part of my "photographer" collection....They are just out-takes. I had to show you because these are some of the moments that as a Mother of twins, I have the honor of witnessing on a daily basis. Its moments like these, even though Dev is upset with his brother in both shots, that make me feel like im super cool because I have twins. Haha! No, but in all seriousness...What a blessing, priveledge, and yes....Honor :)



P.S......I know your just dying to know where I got the elf hats, arent you?
I had them custom made at Two-Sisters Bowtique :)


Monday, February 21, 2011

MONDAY- A little extra comfort :)

Hi hi everyone! Its Monday, time for another recipe :) I'm going to make this short and sweet. I found this recipe recently while I was noodling around on allrecipes.com looking for something new to try. I tried it, loved it, and it promptly replaced my, not as good - but still pretty good, crockpot lasagna recipe. Its really pretty easy to make and can of course be changed around and mixed up. As in...go meatless, add spinach, add mushrooms...whatever razzles your palate :) I snapped a photo of the result I came up with, and if 'I' can make it look and taste that good, then anyone can! Check it out, try it out, and enjoy :)


WORLD'S BEST LASAGNA

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy V-Day!

Happy (belated) Valentines Day everyone! So I did the thing I told myself I would never do. I was late on my blog post. I always do recipes on Mondays. Always. And im a day late. But I still have my dollar in my pocket. (the saying...a day late and a dollar short? nevermind.) I apologize and I am armed with a couple of good excuses. Ready for them? Family. Valentines Day. There they are. Family comes first as always, and it was a day that the kids were all very demanding. And it was Valentines day, which added much more to an already swamped busy, daily routine. Anyway, in celebration of Valentines Day, I am sharing a sugar cookie recipe that I got from Amanda Pratt. I dont go so far as to make the homemade buttercream frosting that she does, but the cookies are darn good! I am also sharing a VERY quick, crockpot pork chop recipe that I got from my friend Crissy. Its so easy, you just might die of relief when you see it. I decided to make that for dinner because most of my day was taken up by the in-lou-of-the-holiday cookie baking. Yes, it takes me an entire day to make a batch of cookies because, DUH....I have 3 kids under 2! So.... I wanted something that allowed me to do practically nothing and still produce a meal that I could feed my family without hanging my head in shame.

A friend of mine, Stephanie, who also has twins (girls that are 1) came over yesterday afternoon for a cookie baking visit :) So Kyle and I pre-made the cookie dough so that it was chilled and ready to roll once Steph and the girls got here. Kyle LOVES to help cook. And the kid is just plain addicted to helping with all of the chores. I know, he is awesome, and I am so lucky!



So shortly after the cookie dough was done, Kyle went down for a nap and soon after Steph and the girls came over. My little guys were awake and completely entertained by the girls, and Kyle snoozed away the whole time. Because it took forever just to get the stinkin' cookies baked, Stephanie and the little ladies had to leave for nap time before we got a chance to frost/sprinkle them. Well come on...we had 2 sets of twins to deal with people....We were doing good to just get through cutting the hearts out of the dough without going through 6 bottles of wine!


I waited the rest of the day for Kyle to wake up, and it did take practically the rest of the day for that to happen! He took a marathon nap from 12-5! I decided to start on the frosting of the cookies when I realized that something felt off about it. I was quietly standing there, frosting cookies, and feeling empty. And like I wasnt having any fun. I kept reminding myself that this is what I complain about a lot....never getting even 5 minutes to do something by myself and without interruption. And here I was, with that opportunity. And I hated it. It became official right there. I have FINALLY adapted. I have adpated to this crazy, whirlwind of a life, with 3 kids under 2, and a set of infant twins. I have adapted because, even the most mundane of a thing, seemed to create an empty feeling within me when I was doing it without my kids. I couldnt stand it any longer, so I went and woke Kyle up. Im sure the phrase "Hey Buddy, you want to go help Mommy frost some cookies" will get ANY kid to rip right out of a nap, however good of one it might be. So I grabbed him a "big chair", slid it right up next to me, and proceeded to frost and decorate the rest of the cookies. And it felt right. Fulfilling. Fun. Exactly how it should be. You can see in the picture that he still has those "just woke up" sleepy eyes. I even forced Devin to get involved with the frosting :)

   
Yes, we torture our children sometimes. He doesnt seem too frazzled about it though.


So. We finished the cookies. Together. Mother and Sons. Whatever their involvement. And it was exactly how I wanted it to be.

                                     

BTW, just using strawberry frosting instead of white frosting dyed with food coloring, is WAY better!

And to top the whole day off, my husband walked through the door after work with THIS.....




I suppose he loves me ;-)

OK, NOW THAT IT HAVE TORTURED YOU WITH THAT SUPER LONG POST, HERE ARE THE RECIPES :)


SUGAR COOKIES
1 c butter
1 c white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter, sugar, eggs & vanilla until light & fluffy. In another bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt. Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture. Blend well. Chill dough for 2 hours.

Roll dough on lightly floured surface, about 1/4" thick & cut into shapes.

Bake 400* on ungreased cookie sheet for 4-6 minutes, remove from pan, & cool on wire racks.


CROCK-POT PORK CHOPS

Place 4 Pork Chops in the crock-pot.
Cover with 1 can of cream of mushroom soup.
Cook on low for 8 hrs, or on high for 4 hours.

Thats it!! Easy Peasy!
I served ours with rice and green beans :)


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Encouragement

Something has come to light for me lately. The word encouragement. The act of encouraging. It wasn't really a word that was part of my every day repertoire. You know, some things we just say a lot, some things we don't. Likewise, somethings we DO a lot, and some things we don't do a lot. Like make an effort to be an encouragement to others. I don't think any of us make as much of an effort to do that as we should. I guess it has come to light for me lately because a few of my friends have went out of their way to thank me for being an encouragement to them. To be honest, I wasn't really making an effort to do it, I was just trying to be a good friend. And then, I received a big encouragement from someone who really, was just a complete stranger. As I have talked about, I have dove head first into exploring, learning, practicing....whatever you want to call it....Photography. I LOVE IT! Anyway, I randomly sent a local photographer a "friend request" on facebook. Photographer to photographer.....ya know. And she accepted. Ok, great. But within 5 minutes of accepting my friend request, she posted this on my wall "Hey there, Thanks for the Add invite, I give this site to all my photographer friends because I find it so helpful :D http://www.thecoffeeshopblog.com/ have a great day". It might not seem like a big deal, but to me, it was. Because, there are a LOT of people who claim to be "photographers". And to the people who really are, its.....annoying....to say the least, to hear of people who are claiming a status or title they have far from yet earned. I relate this to riding horses. I could go on and on about how I cant stand when people say, "oh, yeah....I'm a barrel racer"....when all they have ever done is enter a local gymkhana or two, and win the fourth place ribbon for the single stake race. I realize that I might have just lost a bunch of you right there, but the point is, its annoying when people OVER-CREDIT themselves. Anyway, back to the friendly facebook post. She had no idea if I was one of THOSE people. Maybe I was, I don't think she even cared. She just saw that I had an interest in the same thing she did, and she wanted to help me. To encourage me. What a great person! It made me reflect on my own self. Would I prefer to maintain my stubborn pride, and intentionally not encourage others, because they might be competition....or because I feel like they should have to work as hard as I did to learn what I have? Or would I rather make a bigger effort to encourage others, and have people think of me the way I now think of Destiney? It seems an easy choice right? Well, it is an easy CHOICE. What is difficult are the actions required of you that will allow you to achieve that. But, I will work on it. I mean, I will really make a daily effort....with my husband, my kids, my family, my friends, and strangers....to be more encouraging. It goes a long way for people. And just like I said when I was talking about asking yourself "How do you want your kids to remember you?".....also ask yourself, "How do you want people to think of you?" Sometimes what it takes to get to that place, where people are thinking of you the way you want them to, is challenging because often times it goes completely against your gut feelings. It goes against your pride, stubbornness, competitive nature....whatever. Its that little devil on your left shoulder. Well its time now that the little ANGEL on your right shoulder rips that pitch fork right out the little devil's hand and says "Now what?! You aint' so tough now are you?!!". HA! Yeah, I know....weird analogy. But point and case....We can all be better people. Always! So make more effort to be an encouragement to others. To put those harsh, instinctive feelings, away. Knock that little devil on his arse! I have a feeling, it just might make us all feel a little better :) 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Day at The Park

So we woke up Sunday to a nice, bright, warm, uncharacter of February, sunny day. The day started relatively smooth and since I had just gotten my new camera on Saturday and was dying to use it, we decided to take the kiddos and go to the park. Kyle has been a huge fan of the park lately, and is getting Spring fever mighty early, so we have been trying to go there as much as possible. Of course we made sure everyone was freshly napped, fed, changed, medicated, etc. before we took the plunge. To eliminate as many possibilities for meltdowns as we could. I was optimistic and excited. We got there, layed a blanket down for the babies to sit and play on, sat a baby on it, and.....wailing and screaming, instantaneously. WELL....so much for that. So, each of us, with a baby on our hip, followed Kyle around.....down the slide, across the bridge, up the stairs, through the tunnel. We were never able to set the little guys down, not-even-once, and we ended up being forced to leave within 30 minutes because they were so upset. And then Kyle was upset that we had to leave. And then I was upset that Kyle couldn't play anymore. And that the babies were crying and I couldn't possibly figure out what box I forget to check before we left the house. And that I hadn't got to use my new fancy dancy camera for even ten minutes, if that. And then Todd was upset because the rest of us were upset and it was up to him to try to lift us all back up. Do you see where I am going with this?? I was pretty bummed about it all. Until I saw the photos I had taken. THIS is what I love about photography. Had I not taken these photos and had them to look back on, I would have thought of that day as not much fun at all. A big fat flop. I wouldn't have really remembered any good points. But looking at these pictures reminded me of all those cliche sayings that are so true....there is always a silver lining....if you look closely you will see the stars through the clouds.....the glass is always half full. You get it. Photography captures those moments in between the tough times....the great times, that sometimes you don't even notice. It reminds you to see the good! And if you aren't seeing it, then look harder! Because it is there. The good is always there.

Right HERE..........


You know you are never going to get a perfectly posed picture of 3 kids this young. So you settle for the candids. And oh how they satisfy!



He loved going through the tunnel. And well, you take what you can get. In my opinion, a good photographer just finds what makes the kid happy and gets the shot that way. Forget posing. Forget coaxing them to sit still. You follow them around in their little worlds all the while snapping away like crazy. Those are the best shots anyway :)






And....Below, My favorite shot of the day, and probably ever. Maybe its that innocent baby expression. Maybe its those bright blue eyes. Maybe its the perfect contrast of colors, and the way the old weathered wood makes his face sparkle, maybe its the gorgeous bokeh. Maybe its the fact that its MY BABY. Whatever it is. I LOVE IT.












Monday, February 7, 2011

MONDAY - Doesnt it put you in the mood?

You know, the mood...to eat, food. Oh people, get your minds out of the gutter! AnYway.....Time for another recipe. Or 2....? Did she say two?? Yes, I said two. I'm being generous this week. Dinner and dessert. I gotcha covered. Your welcome. Both are quick and easy too. I know, you can send flowers...I like stargazer lillies :) Ok, here they are. White Chicken Chili courtsesy of some chick that was on the Rachel Ray show, and Banana Nut Bread with cream cheese...courtesey of, I dont know....someplace, online probably, I found several years ago. ENJOY!!

WHITE CHICKEN CHILI

1 32-ounce box chicken stock
3 cans white beans, left undrained
5 cups cooked chicken (rotisserie or boiled)
1 16-ounce jar salsa
1 8-ounce block pepper jack cheese, grated
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
Black or white pepper to taste
1/2 cup finely crushed corn chips (optional, if you like your chili thicker)
Sour cream, for garnish
 
Preparation
Place all ingredients except the corn chips in a crockpot. Cook on high until the cheese is melted.
Chili may also be cooked on the stovetop over medium-high heat until cheese is melted.
When the chili is ready, add the crushed corn chips, if using, and simmer for 10 minutes to thicken. Garnish with more chips, cheese and/or sour cream and serve.


BANANA BREAD WITH CREAM CHEESE

1 cup granulated sugar
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup mashed)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups biscuit mix (Bisquick, Pioneer, etc.)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preparation:In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in mashed bananas, the eggs, and vanilla. Stir in biscuit mix and pecans just until ingredients are moistened. Pour into a greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Bake banana bread at 350° for 1 hour, or until wooden pick comes out clean when inserted in center. Cover with foil the last 15 minutes of baking if too brown. Cool banana bread before slicing.
 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rediscovering, Reinventing, Redefining

So we all know, as it is well talked about, that there are many times in your life when your family dynamic changes. When you get married, would be one of those times. And when you have a baby. Thats how it happened for me. The dynamic changed when Todd and I got married. And changed again when Kyle was born. It changed, when he was born, in a completely amazing and great way. It felt like things were finally the way they were supposed to be, and that I had just been floating around on a general path that was leading to THIS place. And I was finally there, at that place. The dynamic changed, and it was perfect. I felt like being a Mom and a Wife was what I was meant to do, and largely what defined who I was.

When we decided to try for our second baby, once again, I knew the dynamic would change, and I just assumed that I would feel what I felt when Kyle was born all over again. And then we found out that our "second" baby, was in fact our "second AND third" babIES! WOW. So that dynamic would be changing A LOT. I knew that it would feel like a gigantic shift and would take a lot longer to get used to, than just adding one baby would. I just didnt know HOW it was going to change everything.

Well in July of 2010, the twins were born. And immediately, I mean like right there seconds after they were both born, I felt that amazement, fulfillment, gigantic dynamic shift that was thrilling, as I had expected. And I would say that by the 19th time of waking up that first night in the hospital to take care of one or both of them, those feelings sort-of started to become foggy. OK, so you can get all judgemental here if you would like, but like I always say, I will speak REAL and TRUE. And this, that I just described, is just a small part of the big picture. So if you feel like putting your criticisms on hold and continue to read, you just might come back around. Your choice :) So, moving on. Because I had such a fast, easy, vaginal delivery (yes, a vaginal twin delivery) and the babies had NO problems whatsoever, they let us go home the very next morning. After a couple of days at home, we realized what we hadn't fully grasped before they were born. That this was SO FREAKIN' HARD!! We just got so bogged down in the every minute, NO, every second, demands with 3 kids under 18 months old that a lot of those new baby(ies) happy feelings dissipated. I mean talk about feeling like your trapped in 4 walls. And I was tandem nursing, so I was trapped in 4 walls and constricted to the couch for what seemed like every second of the day. For months on end. That kind of thing changes a person. It takes your heart, soul, body, and mind and shakes it vigorously until your so disoriented that you dont know what planet your on. And THAT is what happened to me.

I didnt suffer from postpartum depression, thank the Lord. But I felt like I was in a world I didnt understand. Like someone had ripped me right out of my life and plopped me out in China or something and said HERE, This is your new life. Whaaaaaaaat??! So, I had to ADAPT. My life was redefined and I had to get used to it.

The twins are 7 months old now. And it seems crazy still, but I have adapted and I feel finally like I am starting to get back on my feet. I've been in a gigantic RUT for a long time now. Like, my roots are 12" grown out, havent had my eyebrows waxed since before the twins were born, dont get to brush my teeth until noon if im lucky, dont get to shower until 6pm if im REALLY lucky, and am over really caring much about it all. That kind of RUT. But some things have happened lately where I feel like I am starting to find myself again, and slowly and unsteadily, like a new foal standing up and taking it's first steps (sweet reference huh?) emerge from the shallows of that rut. I dont think I will ever be 100% who I was before, because who I am has been completely redefined. And I am discovering what that is.

So. I started this blog. And I have to give complete credit for that to my friend Krystle. She has a blog and I really enjoyed reading it, and during a play date with our oldest sons, she encouraged me to start one. Krystle, Thank You! This blog has been a place for me to write about all of my feelings and feel like I have SOME interaction with the world.

Also, my super sweet friend Stephanie, who has been a HUGE support. Who is encouraging me, along with my husband, to go do something for myself. Get my hair done. Mommy makeover. That sort of thing. So I want to do that, so that I can feel refreshed. And that will also help me get out of this rut.

I also have discovered that I have a huge passion for photography, that I never knew I had. I never started it going, hmmm I think im going to become a professional photographer. And then snap a few photos, make a webpage, and BAM there it is! This is what happened. My husband was giving me a hard time because I was bugging him about doing the twins' 6 month pictures. He was getting annoyed that I was spending $150 every 3 months on pictures. He said, at that rate I could just buy a nice camera and do them myself. Huh, OK dear, whatever you say. So he bought me a new camera that day. And I learned it inside and out, and had it all mastered in like a day. My husband has this motto "buy the best and cry once". So he encouraged me to upgrade to a DSLR. So I did. And I did the twins' 6 month photos. I realized in all of that how much fun I had doing it, and decided I wanted to learn more about photography. Because I am HUGE NERD. No seriously I am. Like I saw an infomercial for a math program that teaches you math so that someone can ask you something like, what is 23,452 divided by 46, and you can answer it before they even finish the question....and I wanted to buy the program so bad! I love math, and biology. And like I said, HUGE NERD. Im one of those people who would rather be great at a few things, than just ok at a lot of things. So, I studied photography to death! I researched, practiced and applied it all, until I felt like I was no longer just an entry level amateur. I know a lot of people still think I probably am, just because I am "new" to it all. But I am well educated already. I made myself become educated. And thats the part they dont know. And since then, I upgraded my camera for the final time in what will be a long time, and it gets here tomorrow! But photography has opened up a whole new world for me, and given me a lot of joy. Its helping me discover the redefined person that I am now, and is part of my reinvention. And I give full credit for this one to my husband! XOXO.

So the dynamics have shifted....yet "shifted" seems far too subtle a word to describe it. And I for one, as well as my husband, and my oldest son, are muddling through trying figure out who we are now. Like a hurricane came through and swept us deep into the ocean, and we finally got washed back up on shore, stood up and realized that everything changed and nothing is familiar. And we have to deal. We have to figure it out. So we are at that point. Just feeling out this new life, rediscovering ourselves. And of course, since we have all changed, our relationships have changed, and thus the DYNAMICS (sensing a common thread here yet?) are all different. We love each other more than could ever be put into words though. And part of what has gotten me though this mass confusion, is knowing that God will never give you anything you cant handle. My life is an amazing blessing, my children....the best ever, my husband....unsurpassable.....myself.....the still somewhat fumbling around confused loon that I am, HAPPY. I am happy. And I am blessed.