My New Mantra

I need a motto; a saying; something I can tell myself over and over that will get me through these next few months. Got any ideas?


Making Memories

How fitting that the Thursday Theme at Stacy's is memory. I mentioned yesterday that we finally got a bid on the house. Well, we signed the contract tonight. It seems as though we may be making new memories soon.

I'm choosing not to think about that though. I'd much rather dwell on the memories we've made in this house for the past 3 years. We've had some wonderful times here. Big J basically grew up here. When we moved in she was only 1. Now she's 4 and we have another baby. I can't help but feel sad. I know this is the right thing to do. We have to move. We have to start over and get our finances in order, once and for all.

Still, part of me is screaming inside. I hate change.

Anyway, here's a picture of one of my favorite memories. We live in a lake community. When it's not too cold outside, Big J loves taking a walk to the lake to see if there are any ducks.

I'm going to miss our walks. :(

P.S. I'm writing an article for my class about car seat sanity savers ~ things you can do to keep your baby happy while riding in the car. I was hoping some of you might have tips or tricks you might be willing to share for my story. Do you do anything special to keep your little one entertained in the car whether it be a quick trip to the supermarket or a road trip to grandma's? You can either comment or send me an e-mail to stacymae76@hotmail.com. Thanks!


The Beginning of the End

Okay so that's a little dramatic, but that's how it feels. We got an offer on the house. A ridiculously insulting offer. Here's the thing ~ we have to take it and it's making me so mad. If we don't sell this house soon we will be in serious trouble. So far we've been able to make our mortgage payments but only because my husband has taken money out of his 401K, which you're never supposed to do but we had no choice. As it is we're going to have to do a short sale because the price doesn't even cover what we owe. It's so sickening. We're not even going to get back what we paid. And we put so much work into this house. We added a whole other bedroom.

The house went up for sale in October and we've had tons and tons of people here. I've written about how stressful it's been. I guess I'm glad that it might finally be over, but part of me is terrified and sad. Just really, really sad. I like it here. I made friends here. Big J was supposed to go to Kindergarten here.

Now we have to move in with my in-laws. Ugh! Uck! Everytime I think about it I want to throw up. The only reason I agreed to it is because they will be leaving for Italy on April 21 and they'll be gone until September. Still, it's going to be a MAJOR inconvenience. The girls will have to share a room. We'll have to put most of our stuff in storage. Big J is in preschool here so now I'll have to drive like 25 minutes just to get her to school in the morning. Plus, my drive to work will double.

We're going to stay there for as long as it takes to pay off our debt. If we don't do it by the time they get back from Italy, my husband said we could rent something for a little while until we find a new house. I want to be optimistic, I really do, but I am so tired of moving. I just want to feel settled, especially now that we have 2 kids. Poor babies. They have no idea, but I feel bad.

Somebody please tell me it's all going to be okay. That's it'll all work out. I really need to hear that now.

We Might Have a Buyer!

Keep your fingers crossed for me. Our realtor says someone is interested in the house. Hopefully, we'll get an offer today.


Our Snowy Weekend and BSM

We finally got some snow this weekend. Big J was so excited to make a snowman.

Little J even got a ride in the sled.

She spent more time watching from the front door though. Poor baby ~ she wants to do everything her big sister does.

Most of these pictures I took through the front door or the windows in my dining room.

I think I'll make this my Best Shot for Monday. I love the way it came out. Now if only I knew how to give it some texture, I think it would be really cool. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

And this is the last shot of the day. Until next time!


Two For the Price of One

I haven't been able to get to my computer all day. It's 2:30 in the afternoon and this is the first time I've logged on. I'm watching my niece and she's been here since 9:30 this morning. Man, it's hard work keeping up with an 11 month-old, a 3 year-old and a 4 year-old.

I had so much stuff I wanted to get done too. I took a bunch of pictures of Little J yesterday in her birthday tutu. She's turning ONE March 18th and I bought her the most adorable tutu to celebrate. Anyway, I was hoping to get those uploaded last night, but it just didn't happen.

Here's a bit of good news though. While I was taking pictures yesterday Little J took like 4 or 5 steps!! She's been standing on her own for a while but hasn't taken any steps until recently. It's so adorable because she gets so excited. She looks to make sure everyone is watching. I just want to eat that little girl up!!

I'm not sure what to do about her birthday. We're going to be in Disney the day of her first birthday so we won't see any of our family. I was going to have a party the day before we leave, but I'm starting to think it's going to be more trouble than it's worth. I just don't want to deal with a bunch of people here the day before we leave for a week long vacation. Should I just wait until we get back or maybe do it the weekend before her birthday? What do you think?

Well, here's one picture from yesterday. Enjoy!!


I'm Going to Be an Aunt!

Yay! Finally someone other than me is having babies in my family!

My brother and his wife called the other day to announce that she is pregnant. I was actually pretty shocked because she kept insisting that she wanted to wait. Anytime someone would ask she would say, "Oh no, not me." Well, she's due in September!


His Loving Arms

The fabulous Kate over at Shutter Sisters posted something very interesting yesterday. She wrote about her husband and how he unintentionally gets forgotten in the daily grind.

"Bleary-eyed we stagger through parenthood, aware of each other only peripherally. In front of the camera he exists as child-carrier, slide-catcher and armpit-tickler, captured in bits and pieces alongside headlining cereal-splattered cheeks and tricycle prowess," she writes.

She challenged us to peel our camera away from the kids and turn it on our hubby. To share a picture of what makes us love our husbands. Here's mine.

True, it's a picture of the back of his head, but to me it's so much more. It shows the wonderful, loving relationship he has with our girls. It shows how gentle and caring he is. He's snuggling with Big J. I took this picture when we went bowling last week. He is so good at teaching her, at getting her excited to learn something new.


Just Another Manic Monday

I wish I was better at thinking of post titles :)

Big J is off from school today. The weatherman says it's going to rain. As is the case on most rainy days, we'll probably spend most of it doing this .....

I love coloring with her. She has such a wonderful imagination. And she's not afraid to color outside of the lines. I hope she continues to do so. Hope you have a wonderful day.

Check out more from Best Shot Monday.


The Day After

I'm still on a Valentine's Day high. Yesterday was so nice! I had a great day with the girls. We did a little shopping at Target, bought a new game, did some coloring, and played all day. While Little J napped in the afternoon we made some sugar cookies with pink icing.

Big J just had to cover them with sprinkles. And I mean really cover them!

If I hadn't burned the cookies they probably would've tasted really good.

My hubby got me beautiful pink hydrangea and he also got Big J pink roses. She absolutely loved them! We had tons of candy in the house, which I loved. :)

Later last night, my mom came over to babysit while Hubby and I went out to dinner. We had a lovely time just sitting and talking. I told him all about my plans to do Maile's workshop and we talked about how cool it would be to have my own business. He told me to go for it and that was such a relief. We haven't really talked about my photography at all. I'm reluctant to share it with everyone because I'm afraid they'll try to talk me out of it or not take me seriously. Last night I made the decision that I'm doing this, fulll speed ahead, with everything I've got. I signed up for a Photoshop class in March, I'm doing the workshop in May and until then I'm going to take pictures everyday. I'm gonna try and soak up everything I can at my job too.

After dinner we came home and watched Lost. Pretty exciting huh? Well, it was for me. My sister is coming over today to visit and I'm excited to see her.

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day =!!!


Happy Valentine's Day!

I absolutely love this picture and I was so surprised to see it straight out of the camera. Big J was facing a set of 3 windows in my dining room and I was sitting with my back to the windows. The natural light just lit up her face and I snapped away. Pure sweetness!

This is the same picture after playing in Photoshop. I just sharpened it and made her eyes pop a little more.

For more pure goodness, check out Stacy's.


To All The Fellas

What not to do when the mother of your children goes back to work (at your request).

When your loving wife is in the shower, don't barge in on her with your 10 month old daughter, stand there and ask what she's doing. This may be the first time she's had a quiet minute to herself all day. Don't take that away. And don't use the baby as an excuse for your lack of respect. I'm pretty sure the baby doesn't "need to see" her.

If your wife depends on you to be home at a certain time so that she can make it to her job on time, don't call and say you're going to be late. She may not make as much money as you, but that doesn't make her job less important. And don't act like there's nothing you can do. Your boss is well aware of the fact that your wife works at night.

When you finally do get home after a long day of sitting comfortably at your clean desk alongside other grownups, don't complain that dinner's not ready and the kids haven't been fed. Throw some water in a pot, boil it, and make pasta. You're a big boy, you can handle making something for yourself. Your wife is on her way to her 'other' job.

If your wife also works on the weekends, don't wait until 30 minutes before she has to leave and ask if you have enough time to shower. The answer will always be no.


Monday Fun

This weekend we took Big J bowling for the first time. She loved it ~ up until the
8th frame and then she was like, "Can we go home?" Still, we had a great time. It was nice to hang out with her, just her, for a little while. The baby was with my husband's sister.

The days and the weeks pass so quickly and I forget that we don't get to spend a lot of one-on-one time with Big J. It was just the three of us for so long. I feel bad that she has share our attention and I just hope that my big girl knows how much we adore her.

Here's my best shot for Monday. Check out all the other fabulous pictures here.


I Love Fridays

I really hate this time of year. The days seems to last forever when you can't get outside. After spring like temperatures on Wednesday, I'm left longing for warmer weather. I am amazed at how much my mood depends on the weather. I felt great on Wednesday. I felt energized, full or possibility. I went outside and took the girls for a walk. I took lots of pictures. I just felt good.

Now we're back to bundling up and I can't shake this gloomy feeling. I start to withdraw and that's never a good thing, especially when you've got 2 kids to entertain. Hopefully these next few weeks will fly by. Anyway, here are a few more pictures I took on our sunny spring day.


Thursday Theme

It was more than 60 degrees here in good old New Jersey yesterday so I took the girls for a walk. Actually we tried a few times but it was raining. Finally, the rain stopped and we headed outdoors. I've felt so cooped up lately that it was nice to breathe some fresh air. I just wish it wasn't so rainy and muddy. Still, I took my camera and got some really cute pictures of Big J.

Here's one that I think glows.


I'm Such an Idiot

My mom wants to take Big J and I to see "The Little Mermaid" on Broadway. She mentioned it over the holidays and I just got around to ordering the tickets this morning. I used Ticketmaster and searched for available dates in April.

I finally settled on April 19, a Saturday, at 2:00 and purchased the tickets. I went to put it on the calendar we have hanging in the kitchen and realized we have A COMMUNION ON THAT DAY!!!

Darnit! My neice is making her communion that day and my sister-in-law asked me to take her picture with her dress on and her hair all done up. I am such an idiot! I should have checked my calendar first!

And, to make things worse, Ticketmaster has a no refund or exchange policy so I am double screwed!

Can someone please slap me upside the head???


My Love of Pictures

I wish I could say that I've always dreamed of being a photographer. Up until a few months ago I considered myself a writer.

But after I gave birth to Little J, I didn't feel like writing anymore. It was beginning to feel like a chore. I needed to break out of my rut. I wanted to find something fulfilling. I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

I've always taken pictures. Peak inside my house and you'll see dozens of albums and hundreds of loose pictures stuffed in shoe boxes. For whatever reason, I never thought of it as a career. The possibility never dawned on me.

Then, after rummaging through a pile of pictures I had taken in high school one day, I found what I was looking for. Sitting there, with photos scattered all around me, I saw the future.

Growing up I would take my stuffed animals, set them up on my bed, and create scenes with props and everything. On this day, I found a picture of a doll that was made for me by my father's mother. I sat her up on my bed and used a sheet to create a backdrop. I positioned a pile of books next to her and snapped away.

I did stuff like that a lot. I would take self-portraits, pictures of everyday things around the house, flowers, anything. Back then I had no idea about composition or lighting. I just knew that those things interested me. I could look at something ordinary and say, "That would make a beautiful picture."

After Little J got a little older, I decided to take the leap. With absolutely no experience, I went to a portrait studio in the local mall and applied to be a photographer. I felt like such a phoney, like I had no right to be there. I was afraid too. What if I mess up? What if they don't like my style? What if they figure out I have no clue what I'm doing?

It was so scary to jump into something completely different than what I was used to, but the payoff has been amazing. I was so out of my element; I still feel like I am, but I've learned so much and I can't wait to continue my journey. I feel like I've finally found my calling and it was always right there in front of me. It's so weird how things work out. I'm excited about the months ahead.

My Best Shot

I took this picture at a birthday party on Saturday and it represents what is bright and beautiful in my world.

Check out more inspiring photos here.


For Your Viewing Pleasure

Have a wonderful weekend!!