Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Fam...

Our Christmas card this year...If you didn't receive one it's because Tyler spilled some sort of liquid on all the addressed envelopes (without cards in them) and they were destroyed and sealed shut. If you would like one, I would be happy to send one out.

I won a local Christmas card contest with this card!! A brand spankin' new Canon Powershot is all mine, baby.

It was so much fun watching the kids open their gifts this year. Tyler was a package opening fool. He opened everything. Even if they didn't have his name on it.

Jackson had 2 teeth pop through in the last couple of days. One on the top and one on the bottom. He's also been doing a lot of yelling. "Tyler!!!!" or "Gabe!!!" Obviously he's picking up on who the trouble makers are in this house.

Drew is really missing school and his friends. He can't quite understand why he hasn't gone in awhile and is sure the other kids and teachers are there without him. We drove by the other day to prove to him he wasn't missing out.

I haven't seen my girls...Kate and Andi (and Connie too) In quite awhile. Hopefully we will get together soon. They are living it up in Tahoe over the holidays...lucky girls. I'm sure they are having a blast.


Well, Christmas was interesting this year. All the boys in my house had the stomach flu. Including my husband and my brother, Josh who was home from Texas. My step-dad Steve ended up getting the sickies as well.

All in all, it was nice to spend time together, even though a lot of it was spent catching puke.

Things have slowed down like they always do around the holidays. Most my time the last couple of weeks was spent taking and editing pictures.

I did some head shots for my girl, Debra, of her son Joe. We had to make the deadline for the yearbook for a picture and will do the rest when the weather gets a little nicer.

My good friend Kris was married early in December. The day was fantastic! She looked beautiful and the groom, handsome. I was unsure about how it would go. I was the maid of honor and did a lot of the photography as well, so, things were busy. I must say it was so intimate and romantic. One of the best weddings I've been to. We had a blast.

I photographed a three month old named Kane. He was tired, but being a great sport. After I left the shoot, I rear-ended a Fed Ex truck (because of slick roads not crappy driving). Good times.

I also had the opportunity to take some photos of the Miller family. I used to work with Danielle (the cute blonde) at City Revealed Magazine. Her son, Elijah found out he had cancer around Thanksgiving and after his first round of cemo is in remission. What great news!!! I had to wear a mask when shooting the pics since I had been around sick kids. I think it made it easier for eveyone to smile because I looked so silly.

Then there was the Vander Horn's. We spent the morning laughing at Jacob being a silly goof. Quite the character. What a cutie.

Have a Happy New year everyone!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Down on the farm

We drove up to my Mom and Step Dad's place on Friday, spent the night and played the next day. The boys think it's the best. We explored in the barn and checked out all the different sheds and buildings on Steve's property.

This shot was taken on the front steps of the cabin he is building in the woods. Steve's almost done except for the field stone fireplace that's close to being completed. It's beautiful.

The pond is frozen already, but that didn't stop Drew from asking if we could go fishing. It was freezing cold but we still went for a spin on the Mule. We also stopped at a neighboring farm to check out the turkeys, sheep, chickens and ducks.

Good Times.


I had the opportunity to photograph my buddy Noah the day after Thanksgiving. Getting lost on the way there was a bummer, but he had a million goofy faces for me to take pictures of which made the morning quite fun.

Also on here is a picture of a couple, Joyce and Clair, who I photographed a couple of weeks ago at their new acreage near Swisher. The weather was harsh, but what a breathtaking view.

If you can't tell I love black and white pics!!

The boys have some booger issues right now. We're fighting off colds in our house. But nothing new there. Otherwise just plugging away at work and gearing up for my friend Kris' wedding this weekend. I'm sure it's going to be great.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Kids...

I forgot to give kiddie updates!

Jackson carried around a plastic hotdog for a whole week and a half. He went to bed with it at night and each morning, I would go into his room and he'd be standing in his room with it. Goofball.

He had quite a spill as you can see by the picture. Smacked his head on the door jam in the living room.

Drew and Tyler lined all my pots and pans up on the stairs and had a "garage sale". It was not a sucess, so it quickly turned into a giant drum kit and hours of banging and singing.

The highlight of last week was when Justin bought a chest freezer. The box instantly became the best playhouse ever. For the kids that is...(when I wasn't taking up all the room)

It's been WAY too long!

I promise I will never space my posts this far apart again! Life has been crazy busy here. I'm trying so hard to balance the kids and work at the same time. Than I forget Mamma needs a little time to herself as well, but right now...not happening.

This is a picture of our dog, Gabe (looking rather regal) that I entered in a "photoshop your pet" contest on smugmug.com. Paste the below into your browser, then vote and comment on it so I can make some CASH-OLA. Please.


Also, my friend Lindsay's adorable baby Nicole's picture is posted on here because she's just so darn cute.

I've been working on promotional materials and open house stuff for Nadia's salon & spa, a brochure design for Nevaeh day spa, a brochure design and some web site banners for Dog Gone it, a new logo and ads for Select Construction, Tudor Rose logo revisions, Siebke Hoyt banners among other things. Oh...and did I mention a CRAP-LOAD of family Christmas pictures as well?

Justin was just hired by the Supreme Court as a Juvenile Court Officer. Exciting news! We will have to learn how to spend holidays together now. I'm used to having to spend them alone with the kids. This will be a great change. It's going to take some adjusting and getting used to, but anything worth while always is.

So, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Happy turkey day everyone! I'm planning to drive to Waterloo with the kids to meet my Mom for lunch, than back to Cedar Rapids for an evening with Justin and his family.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Garage sale stickers= hours of fun!

It's so crazy how the simplest things can entertain kids for hours. Tyler came across garage sale tags from this last summer and decided to decorate himself. That's kind of his thing. Anytime he gets his hands on stickers they end up in a giant clumpy cluster on his shirt. This time, his face. I laughed and laughed. Drew joined in the fun not being able to stand Ty being the center of attention and Jack was just an innocent bystander. It's times like these I hope to remember forever.

Yesterday was the big party for my good friend Kris. We started off with a wedding shower at Carlos O' Kelly's leading into a bachelorette party downtown Cedar Rapids. It was great to see Kris having a good time for the most part. Getting crazy is not really her thing, but with some little coaxing from a dude dressed in a pirate costume, she spent at least 5 minutes on the dance floor. That's a big step for Kris. You go girl!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Yesterday DK!

This is a picture taken by Dan Kempf (DKP) and artistically cropped and edited by me. Ahhh...what a great team! Dan celebrated his birthday yesterday and I missed it. Sorry man!

Also posted is an invite I've been working on for Siebke Hoyt Jewelers.

I'm getting excited for my good friend Kris' wedding shower/last night out. Kelly, the other bridesmaid and I have planned a great party, so it should be a blast.

The kids are sick, so our place is not a fun place to be. I feel sorry for Justin having to take care of the kids while I'm working but I've been so busy and can't help as much during my work time. Hopefully this cough and booger thing clears up soon.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Dog Gone It!

Another late night and early morning. Luckily, most of the stuff I'm working on right now is fun. Like this ad from Dog Gone It. A very cool online dog collar, leash, and harness company owned by Amy Gharib. She's out of Marion, and the product she puts out is fantastic. Check it out at: www.doggoneitdesigns.com

I braved Chuck E. Cheese with all three of the kids last night. It was complete insanity. Jack wasn't sure what to think about the whole deal. He didn't know whether to dance to the music or cry because Chuck E is just that dang scary. One of the eyes on the robot was stuck closed. Totally freaky.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I woke up at 5 this morning to get a jump on the day. It's so much easier to work when you don't have kids screaming. The time change has really messed up sleep schedules at our place. Tyler came down at 6 and watched me work until everyone else woke up. The entire time he was behind me requesting songs for me to play on itunes. Mainly from the Shrek soundtrack. I've seen the movie 30 million times and could sing the lines to every tune. Helped the time pass while I was editing some family photos.

I decided to enter a couple of photos in the Call of the colors Cedar Rapids Gazette photo contest. Today is the deadline. Usually I have a plan, but just decided to submit some I took of the kids last month. 3 years ago, I got the biggest picture on the front page. Nothing since then.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Back to the grind

Halloween is my favorite holiday, but the week before is complete ciaos. I always end up taking on too much. Making costumes, helping out with Drew's preschool party, and working is a lot to handle. Next year I'll start earlier...this is what I say every year.

Right back to work on Saturday. I shot a wedding with some help from Dan Kempf. It's always a blast working with him. The pictures are fantastic. I'm sure Megan & Kevin will be pleased.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Party Party Party

My life is complete insanity. I've been working my butt off on Halloween stuff for Drew's preschool party and putting together a costumes for the kids. Usually I work for weeks on my own costume but haven't been able to think about myself in the last month probably. So, Justin and my Halloween costumes are going to bite the big one this year. Oh well...

I was going to post some sweet shots of pumpkin carving with some friends on here but my camera's card must have died. I need to go buy a new one for tomorrow.

I've been working on some stuff for "Dog Gone It Designs," a couple's night invitation for Siebke Hoyt Jewelers, their November newsletter as well, a new personal brochure for Heather Morris (a local realtor), a marketing piece for Kerry Foods, and a logo and brochure design for a casket and urn company starting up the Corridor. Nuts.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Engagement Pics

Last night I had the opportunity to photograph the future Mr. & Mrs. Jeremy Croell. Engagement pictures are usually a blast, but with the frigid winds and snow, it got a little complicated. Jeremy and Nessa were such great sports. Luckily, the backdrop was fantastic. Location...my Stepdad's farm in New Hampton.

It was nice to spend the day at the farm. The actual picture taking was brutal, but what a great excuse to go up there and visit. Plus, the kids can't get enough of Grandma Cindy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ahhhh...a success!

The Halloween party was a success. Fun was had by all.

We dunked for apples, guessed the number of Reeses Pieces in the jar, and pounded on a pinata. More like beat the crap out of it. The pinata was homemade by Drew and myself with way too much paper mache. It was indestructible. After all the kids had 2 rounds on it, the adults stepped in. By the end I just ripped the giant, black spider down and poured the candy out for the kids to fight over.

Tyler wasn't into wearing a costume, but as soon as Drew took off his "Drew-Bot" get-up, Ty really wanted to try it on.

A bunny, Alice in Wonderland, a Ninja, Iron Man, a dinosaur, a bear, 4 kids not in costume, a robot that transformed into a karate kid, and a dick in a box. Quite the mix.

Friday, October 24, 2008


I finished pictures and an announcement for a cute baby named Carie last night. Babies are the best. Taking their pictures are the most fun. I also designed a Holiday card for a local dentist, and edited some wedding pictures for my friend Dan at DKP (Dan Kempf Photography).

Gearing up for a big family friendly Halloween bash at our place tomorrow. Too bad it's suppose to be super chilly and maybe snowing. I was planning a huge outdoor event to tork-off our jerk neighbor. Plan foiled. We're moving it indoors. There's always next year. Maybe we'll have a giant block party and have the road closed.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Yay. I'm blogging.

Well, I am finally a blogger. Crazy. Thought it might be a good idea for friends and family to be able to see what I'm doing and how the kids are doing as well.

I'm a freelance graphic designer/photographer working out of my house so that I can spend more time with the family. It's kind of funny how I thought working at home would mean less hours and more family time when I seem to be working constantly.

I'm married to my best friend Justin and we have 3 freekin' fantastic kids together. Drew who is 4. Tyler is 2 1/2, and Jackson, or Jack just turned one. All boys. Insanity.

I've been up since 5am, running on only 4 hours of sleep and a pot of coffee, and I set up a blog when I should have been working. What a great start to the day.

I've got to get back to editing some pics, putting together a coffee table book for a wedding, and designing an online dog collar invoice. My life is sooo random. I'll post my stuff from time to time for all to see.