sharing my creativity, one project at a time

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Project Life – weeks 28-29


And with that, I take you back to the first week (or so) of July. Looking at this layout, I am again reminded how much I love the Honey core kit and bright colors (although, I did use a card from the Seafoam kit, too).

left side

left side

right side

right side

I wanted to keep the title card for this week simple, so that it didn’t take away from the pretty clouds, but I didn’t want it “plain”. I ended up lightly painting on some Stickles (yes, I use a paintbrush when it’s a larger area). In keeping with the soft feel, I pulled out my Amy Tangerine letter stickers (the set with multiple colors). I was so happy to find something I could use these on – Natalie keeps taking them for her school scrapbook and I’m afraid she’s going to use up all of the vowels before I get a chance to use them myself!


One of my favorite “things” to photograph are hands. Hands are one of those things that as a kid you take for granted, but as an adult, you realize how important they are. When I was little, I used to take my father’s hand and turn it palm up and then lay my face down on it when I was tired. It was something I just did, without even thinking about it. Now I would give anything to have a good photo of his hands … Anyway, I’m getting off point. I also think kid hands can be really cute, so instead of getting Sydney’s whole face/body, I focused on her little hands.


We went to a birthday/pool party this week. I am glad I got one good shot of the two girls together since the friend doesn’t go to the same school with my girls anymore. This was also a good chance to have Natalie journal.


This was also the week I got my last mail order from Two Peas. I think my journaling about sums it up. Even my girls were sad to hear they were closing.



And now, on to …


The full spread:


This was the first week in a long time that the colors on each half of the layout didn’t all “go” together. On the left side, that purple was the dominant color.


I pulled the purple from Sydney’s shirt in that bottom left photo (at her birthday dinner). I also pulled the colors for the right side from her shirt – this time from the bottom right photo.


In case it wasn’t obvious, this was the week of Sydney’s birthday.

I used Heidi Swapp Gold color shine on the 8

I used Heidi Swapp Gold color shine on the 8

I’ve mentioned in previous posts how we are working on Sydney’s self esteem. I really think that she has come a long way over this summer and (to me) it was easy to see when I was taking her yearly portraits. This was my favorite one from the day.



Well, that wraps up weeks 28-29. I’ve had these photographed for a while and just needed to sit down and finally share them. Now that school has started and we’re finally figuring out our routine, I’ve had a bit more time to work on catching up. I’m excited to get back to the point where I am working on the week previous and not the month previous. There are classes and projects that I am hoping to do over the next few months, so this is the first step towards doing that.

Thank you for stopping by!



The School Scrapbook Project

*** This is not a Project Life post, but it is related to Becky Higgins and another of her concepts***

(Natalie's title page)

(Natalie’s title page)

For as long as I’ve had my blog, I’ve made mention of “the school scrapbook project that I do”.  It may be more commonly know as Becky Higgin’s Personal Yearbook (not to be confused with Project Life).  HERE is a blog post where she talks about her newer, digital version of the Personal Yearbook, but also gives a little back story on how it began. I’m not a very naturally trusting person when it comes to who is around my children/who is responsible for them when I am not around. I spend a lot of time volunteering at school and have since my oldest started school(let me clarify, I completely trust my girls’ teachers, but in the beginning, they were all strangers). Around the end of her kinder year I read about Becky Higgins doing the personal yearbook with her son and thought it was a great idea for a few reasons. First of all, it gives me a “reason” to be at school and know what is going on with my child. Second of all, I was already planning to make my girls their own school scrapbooks and this project would make it easier for me to get photographs of her and her friends at school without looking like some sort of stalker 🙂  I spoke to her first grade teacher very early on and she was so excited about the project and couldn’t wait to start. I offered to help the other first grade teachers if they wanted to do it as well and the first year I worked with Natalie’s class and two other 1st grade classes. Just like anyone else that has done this with their child’s school, I learned quite a bit that first year of what to and what not to do. The following year, Natalie moved on to 2nd grade and Sydney started kinder. Even though I hadn’t done this project with Natalie in kinder, I approached Sydney’s teacher (who was also Natalie’s) about the project before the start of the year to get her thoughts. At first, she wasn’t sure, but after giving it some thought she decided we would have the student’s copy in the beginning (which is a skill they need to practice anyway) and towards the end of the year, they would write themselves. Okay, enough words, let’s get to the pictures 🙂 Here is a sample of one of Natalie’s layouts for this current school year: IMG_5658

left side - photo and journaling

left side – photo and journaling

right side - art work

right side – art work

We do a layout every month (sometimes two) and the teacher chooses the topic (sometimes I suggest things as well). The paper strips are 8.5×2″ and are a great way to use up patterned paper you aren’t going to use … or can be picked up at Michaels/Joanns/Hobby Lobby cheaply using coupons or when on clearance. I also get donations from parents on occasion. IMG_5661Since her class is all fourth graders, I’m trying to encourage them to give a bit more detail in their journaling instead of “I liked it. It was fun.” Some of the kids are doing this, some are not. It took me a while to finally understand that even if there is not a lot of “deep” journaling on the page or if there’s not a whole lot of effort of any kind, it’s not a reflection on how hard I work, but of the student his/her self. IMG_5662 For the “art page”, I usually bring up stamps from my personal stash along with blocks and ink and let the kids stamp to help with their illustration. It started as a way for me to feel like I was getting some use out of some neglected stamps (and sometimes an excuse to buy a new one). The kids absolutely LOVE this part! Even the youngest ones learn the “rules” quickly about what is acceptable for using my stamps and what isn’t, so I don’t really worry about my stamps getting ruined. IMG_5665   Here are some examples from Sydney, my second grader. Here is her title page: IMG_5673   Some months, the topic isn’t something that a photograph of each student will work well with. This is one example – Sydney’s class grew some plants from seed in class and I took some progress photos. It made more sense to use the same collage-style photo for each student, instead of having them each pose with their plant. IMG_5675

her journaling/photo

her journaling/photo

IMG_5680Here is a closeup of her journaling: IMG_5682 The girls have two weeks of school left, so I am at my frantic “will I get everything done?” time, but this three day weekend helped a lot! I do try to file the pages into the page protectors as we go during the school year. The first year I waited until the end and ended up staying up until midnight for about 3 weeks trying to get it all done. The only thing I really save to the end of the year (last month and a half or so) is the cover page. Since these go into 3 brad folders, I wanted to make them look a little nicer. Also, the parents don’t always know about this project, so when they are going thru their kid’s backpack that last week of school, I didn’t want this to look like just another random folder. I stamp a generic cover page and have the teachers run off black and white copies. Then at night, while I watch tv, I use my favorite Lawn Fawn alpha stamp and stamp the students’ names in colored ink. This is extra work that is so not necessary, but I know it makes the kids feel even more special. IMG_5670

(haven't finished Sydney's class yet)

(haven’t finished Sydney’s class yet)

One one last note, I just did this layout a week or so ago and wanted to share it. Last year was my busiest/craziest year (and I don’t think I’ll ever do that much again), but seeing that many happy kids made it worth all the work! IMG_4104 Okay, I think that about wraps up everything. If anyone has questions about specifics on how I get this project to work, especially with multiple classes, just leave me a comment. I will be linking up with The Mom Creative (next week) and will be getting my PL layouts back up on a regular basis real soon … in about two weeks 🙂


Throwback Thursday #3

Sydney a week after her first birthday

Sydney a week after her first birthday


I took these photos of Sydney (my youngest) back in July of 2007, about a week after she turned one. I remember this was the first time I set up a staging area for my girls and really *tried* to get some nice portraits of them on my own. Even though I’ve loved photography for as long as I can remember, I relied on a photo studio for my girls portraits up until this point. These are still some of my favorite shots of her and her stunning blue eyes – I still have these hanging up in our house 🙂

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Project Life – weeks 14-16

For those of you following along, you may have noticed that I skipped weeks 12 and 13 and that’s because … well, because I just realized that I never photographed them and it’s too dark to do it now. Guess those will have to wait. Onto week fourteen –


left side

left side

right side

right side

I used mostly the Blush core kit for this week. I knew I wanted to use the colors from my girls’ clothes and Amy Tangerine’s neon colors just didn’t quite match, so Blush it was. I even used colored ink instead of my usual black for the title card.


I have to share this picture:

IMG_3669Anyone that lives in Texas (or a few surrounding states) will recognize that this is the inside of James Avery (jewelry store).  I started “collecting” jewelry from them around 12 or 13 years old and did it until my early 20’s. I kept the jewelry, but didn’t wear it much as I got older and just pulled my charm bracelet out about 2 years ago. This past Christmas, I had the jewelry store take off some of the charms and put them on another (sterling silver) charm bracelet my sister in law gave me. I then got a letter “N” charm put on it and gave it to Natalie, telling her that when she has a daughter, that she could give her a charm or two off the bracelet to start her own. Okay, short story long, this day Natalie decided to take the money she had saved up and go buy herself a charm or two. She ended up getting a drill team boot (she’s on her elementary school’s dance team) and a sea turtle because we are all beach lovers. Here is the journaling:


As a side note, James Avery had a sale that started the day after where you could get a charm bracelet for free with the purchase of two charms and they were nice enough to let me “return” the charms and repurchase them to get the bracelet. Now our younger daughter has her charm bracelet started – she just doesn’t know it 🙂 Speaking of my younger daughter:


Her best friend has become home-schooled due to some medical issues, so Sydney was even more lost than before.  I am proud of her though, since then she has been trying hard to be brave enough to ask other kids if she can sit with them. I know I’ve said it before, but I wish there was some way I could magically give her more confidence – so many of her classmates think she is awesome (teachers’ words, not mine), but she is too shy to ask friends to sit with her or play at recess. <sigh> One step at a time.

And speaking of steps … my husband took a big one recently. He decided to leave the job he’s been at for 4+ years and move to a large company. I knew I wouldn’t be there his last day, but I wanted a “final walk out” photo, so I made him do it a few days before. Being a small office, most of the people he works with know I scrapbook/photograph everything, so one of them was laughing at him as she drove by (knowing exactly what I was doing).




Okay, now onto week fifteen.

IMG_3678Here is the full spread for this week.




This was such a busy week! Sunday was the Austin Capital 10K race. This year we did it as a family. Monkey ran it last year while we cheered him on, but the girls wanted to participate this year. Since they can’t keep up with daddy while he’s running, that meant I was going along. My best friend and her daughters joined us, along with another friend. There were four adults and four kids and between us all, there was running, walking and a mixture of both. I’m so proud of my girls for making it. Hell, I’m proud of myself! With my medical issues, movement of any kind can be rough, so the fact I walked over 6 miles (in raining 50-something weather) AND still got out of bed next day was pretty amazing!


The very next day, Monkey started his new job.


That day, Sydney requested ponytails for school. This was a HUGE deal for her. She got a pixie cut when she was about four and some kids at school told her she looked like a boy (she also prefers to shop in the boys’ dept), so she has felt like she has to look like a boy so that no one will make fun of her (understanding her lack of confidence a little more now?) She decided a few months ago to let her hair grow out long again and just recently got it to the length she could wear ponytails. I had her journal about it and we made a fun little collage with the pictures.


The dance team Natalie is on (at school) got to dance in the high school’s Spring Show. That Monday, she had practice at the high school to get used to the stage. She was so excited!

The girls are going thru this stage where they are constantly fighting and always assume the other is doing everything just to make them mad … well, in an effort to help them move out of this stage (even just a little) I suggested they practice talking to each other. Both are dealing with girls at school that are just being mean and since they are too young for “Mean Girls” and every other high school clique movie, I thought they should talk to each other about it.

( please excuse the mattresses and mess - leftover from crashing after the 10K)

( please excuse the mattresses and mess – leftover from crashing after the 10K)

They seemed to calm down a little, but I think this process is going to take A LOT of practice 🙂 Friday and Saturday night, Natalie had her performances. Friday night Monkey had to work a hockey game and we had to take one of her friends to the show. Sydney and I got to go backstage with Natalie and watch the show from there (which was fun) and I took them out for frozen yogurt afterwards to celebrate.

IMG_3687With so much going on this week, I ended up making a 6×12 insert. Here is the front:


… and the back



Okay, one more week:



Here is the full spread – I used mostly the Midnight Core kit (I bought a small portion of the kit from someone) and photo templates from Tracy Larsen.




I see a lot of designers whose layouts are all white or full of open space. That is so not me at all (bring on bright colors and a lot of it!), but I thought it would be fun to do a spread like that, or as close as I can get to that. I purchased these templates from Tracy Larsen and have used one or two on previous layouts, but never used them for the whole layout. They really are so pretty.

IMG_3991Okay, you know how sometimes you make your kids wear certain clothes or do certain things just so you can use certain products? Yeah, this was one of those times. I purchased a dandelion stamp a while back for a particular layout because it would complete it perfectly AND because I could use the dandelion flower section as fireworks. Well, I wanted an excuse to use the stamp again and when I spotted two random dandelions in the yard, I called the girls over.

IMG_3990I know some people like to stick to using the same style of page protector every week (and when I’m tired, I consider doing the same) but I like using different styles to challenge myself to think outside my “normal”.  I’ve used this particular style once or twice before, but for this week I just couldn’t find a way to make it fit into my white space/graphic style. I finally just chose light gray cardstock and put some black and white washi tape on it. Not really all that original, I know, but it’s better than putting something else that that just didn’t fit. (I promise, the other side of this page protector looks much cooler).


Fast forward to Friday – the girls had off school and we had family plans to go pick strawberries at the farm. Unfortunately I was not able to make it (sometimes it really sucks doing the “right thing” and taking it easy), but Monkey took the girls (and met my best friend/her girls like we do every year). He was sweet enough to take a few pictures for me and then I snapped a couple of the berries when they got home.



In the last two weeks I had four different people request my photography skills. The first one was a Senior portrait session with Emary. I’ve done family portraits of her before and have photographed her mom quite a bit – she was both Natalie AND Sydney’s first grade teacher. I still work with her (mom) this year doing the school scrapbook with her current class. We went to an art museum where they also do art classes to do the portrait session. They have a beautiful spot by the lake where you can walk around and see different sculptures – it made for beautiful portraits!



Okay, that wraps up those three weeks. If you read all of this, thanks for sticking with me! I’ve been working on so many other things lately that I keep putting off posting my Project Life spreads. Big Picture Classes #NSD10k challenge this past weekend motivated me to get these layouts done and photographed. How about you – did you participate in any scrap related challenges this past weekend?

As always, I will be linking up with The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday/monthly.






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Project Life – Weeks 10 and 11

I have to say that I am having a lot more fun putting my layouts together this year since I am no longer confining myself to one core kit for the majority of the page. I have most of a Honey and Blush core kit, but I’ve also cut up some 6×6 Amy Tan paper pads to use. And if I can ever find the Plus One mini kit, I will be adding that to the mix! Here we go with week ten …




For this week’s layout I wanted to mostly stick to black and white journaling cards/paper because the colors in my photos were all over the place. I had two different Amy Tan patterns that I used for the weekly card. When I put the March calendar card in, it was green (which thankfully went with a couple photos) and then added the teal (Tim Holtz Peacock Feathers ink), so those are the color enamel dots I pulled out … and then an orange one to pull a color from the right half of the page.

(wow, that was a long description for one pocket!)

(wow, that was a long description for one pocket!)

On Sunday, Natalie went to do some baby-sitting of sorts. She goes to her 3rd grade teacher’s house (she’s in 4th now) and plays with the kids (3 year old and 2 year old twins) so that Magen can get something accomplished 🙂 Magen is also great about taking pictures of Natalie with her kids and sharing them. I had Natalie do her own journaling.



I’ve mentioned in previous weeks that my husband is redoing part of our bathroom. I’ve been trying to document the process in our PL pages instead of doing a mini album or something along those lines, because really, who wants to look at a bunch of photos of demo? He has some work jeans that had a rip in the back and this particular day, the rip, uhhh … became more than a rip …


The Friday before Spring Break always seems like one of the busiest days of the school year. This year Sydney (and the entire 2nd grade) presented their endangered species projects in the hallway. Then I photographed first graders releasing the butterflies they’d had since the caterpillar stage (LOVE doing this every year) and then I spent quite a bit of time with Natalie’s class trying to get caught up on 4 months of scrapbook layouts that they were behind!


this little guy was on MY arm ... he didn't fully form and wasn't able to fly well, so he stayed with me

this little guy was on MY arm … he didn’t fully form and wasn’t able to fly well, so he stayed with me


And now on to Spring Break!!!!


Here’s a look at the full spread:




You know you’ve trained your children well when they bring you stickers from their stash to match photos you’ve taken of them.

Syd was kind enough to share her Lego Chima stickers

Syd was kind enough to share her Lego Chima stickers

Monday Jason took the day off so that we could do something together. One of the nearby theaters has gone thru several changes over the years, closed completely and then reopened as a dollar theater. It also happens to be the theater I was working at when a new guy started working there and we started dating …and then five years later we ended up getting married. Needless to say, it’s a special movie theater to us.


I love this filler card from Studio Calico and it seemed to be the perfect card for spring break.

IMG_2419Thursday we met close family friends (our kids actually tell people they are cousins and call us adults “aunt” and “uncle”) at the newly redone children’s museum. All four girls had a blast!

(I forgot to photograph it from the layout, so here's the original photo)

(I forgot to photograph it from the layout, so here’s the original photo)

They came back and spent the night and then the next morning Jason took off work and went with us to the recently opened Austin Aquarium (other friends/family met us there, too). The hands-on things were what the girls loved best. The lighting was not the greatest for taking pictures, so the ones of them petting rays and little sharks were not quite as good as the ones of them petting lizards and feeding birds.


IMG_2423The above photo earned the “epic” flare because Sydney won’t go near our parakeets at home when they are out of the cage, so the fact that she actually agreed to feeding a much larger bird AND didn’t freak out was just awesome!

After the aquarium and lunch at Rudy’s (outside), we went to the park by our friend’s house and let the kids play for another few hours. Monkey taught Syd how to play hacky sack.

IMG_2424By Saturday morning, I couldn’t get out of bed (thank you, Lupus) so Monkey, Brenna and the four girls played a board game all morning until it was time for the girls to leave. I didn’t have any photos, so I got a picture of the game they played (see above right card).

That is where I am with my PL spreads. I have two more weeks worth of photos in pockets just waiting for journaling. Thanks for reading along. I will also be linking this post up to The Mom Creative and would love to read your comments!




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2013 Project Life – Finishing on Fast Forward

Just yesterday I finished up our 2013 PL album. Well, if you want to get technical, I’m waiting for a journaling card from my husband and THEN I’ll be done. I wanted to be able to get these layouts posted, but didn’t want to drag it out with long posts, so I thought I would just do a quick overview… kind of like pushing the fast forward button. I came up with this idea and didn’t have much time to photograph all the layouts, so this is not my best, Nichol Magourik-type layout photography (seriously, have you seen her blog photos? Amazing!!!) Okay, are you ready?

Week 28:

the week my youngest had her 7th b'day party

the week my youngest had her 7th b’day party


Week 29:


front of insert

front of insert

back of insert

back of insert


Week 30:



That pink journaling card flips out for more journaling:



Week 31:

For the weeks that had inserts, I just photographed one side at a time. I don’t know about you, but my album was hitting that point where if I open the D-rings, I had to put like 10 page protectors back on right because it was so full!





The insert was photos of my girls playing Iron Chef: Playdough in the front yard. We figured out that the front yard is cooler in the morning than the backyard during the summer, so we were under the trees.

my oldest and her "offering"

my oldest and her “offering”


the journaling and my youngest with her creation

the journaling and my youngest with her creation

Week 32:

Two back to school shopping trips and Natalie’s first curling iron

IMG_0497Week 33:



Even though her birthday was in July, we didn’t get around to doing Sydney’s birthday portraits until this week. She actually asked me out of the blue. We did one round that first night and then the next day I curled her hair and we did some more.

orange is her favorite color

orange is her favorite color


a new school shirt that she was desperate to wear

a new school shirt that she was desperate to wear

Week 34:

The week before school starts, we head up to school to help the teachers get ready. Poor Sydney hates sharpening pencils now 🙂


front of insert - girls with their new teachers

front of insert – girls with their new teachers

back of insert - we took the girls to the circus for the first time

back of insert – we took the girls to the circus for the first time

Week 35:



Week 36:



Week 37:

Grandparents’ Lunch @ school (my mother came) and pet sitting for one of our teacher friends



Week 38:

Played around with printing my instagram shots for the week and Natalie turned 10/had her party





Week 39:

I was light on photos this week, so I did some playing around with those pretty filler cards that I never have the space to use



Week 40:

Natalie’s birthday portraits, Sydney got her class shirt and we partied all Saturday



10 going on 16

10 going on 16

Week 41


I’ve seen message board questions and people on FB discussing whether or not they should include the “bad” with the good in their PL or scrapbook albums. When I first started out doing our family albums (we got married in Dec. and January I started our family album of us and our dog) I used to only talk about the good stuff or just be vague in my journaling about the not-so-good stuff. In the last few years I’ve come to the realization that life is not all rainbows and sunshine, so why am I trying to show it that way? Not only that, when my girls are adults and they are (hopefully) looking thru these albums, I want them to see that we had crappy days and hard things to deal with and we were able to keep going. Does that make sense? Anyway, here is an example of such:



Week 42: (one of my least favorite spreads)



Week 43: (was struggling with the creative juices with this layout)

left side

left side

right side

right side

Insert for this week:

front - Sydney's 2nd grade field trip

front – Sydney’s 2nd grade field trip

back of insert

back of insert

Week 44:



weekly card designed by Sydney:

stickers from one of her Pinkalicious books

stickers from one of her Pinkalicious books

Week 46:


cut up a magazine and then had the girls grab all the Junie B books with stickers

cut up a magazine and then had the girls grab all the Junie B books with stickers


week 47:

I had fun with the colors on this one

I had fun with the colors on this one


love that little Lawn Fawn stamp - inspired by the below photo

love that little Lawn Fawn stamp – inspired by the below photo

a project the girls and I did for our front door

a project the girls and I did for our front door

week 49:



I had a 5×7 insert this week. The front was a picture of the flowers my husband brought me home for our 13th anniversary on the 3rd:


the girls know Santa isn't real - we got the elves this year more as just a fun thing

the girls know Santa isn’t real – we got the elves this year more as just a fun thing

week 50:


(update: he actually just gave me the journaling about 10 mins ago)

(update: he actually just gave me the journaling about 10 mins ago)

week 51:


week 52:

only non-Seafoam kit weekly card in the album ... just had to use that card from SC

only non-Seafoam kit weekly card in the album … just had to use that card from SC


I’ve also seen some people discuss whether or not to start their 2014 album with the whole week (including the last few days of 2013) or asking how other people handle that. I personally prefer to have all the days of the calendar year together. I’ve gotten pretty good at creatively working the layouts when there isn’t a full week (i.e I only need one half of the spread, but it doesn’t work out that way). Here are the last three days of the year:


Each year for the last few, I’ve taken portraits of the four of us towards the end of December. I started taking them for the title page of the next year, but then ended up also using them as a comparison for the end of the album. That is what I did for the second half of this 2 page spread. In other words, each photo shows the person from December 2012 on the left and one year later, December 2013 on the right. It’s a great way to see how much the girls have grown and how my husband and I have changed:


And finally, the back and final page:

the end

the end

If you made it thru all of that – wow! Oh, and thank you 🙂 I have had so much fun looking at everyone’s title pages for the new year and can’t wait to sit down and get started on mine. I’ve had full on tunnel vision as far as only thinking about finishing 2013’s album that I haven’t given much thought to 2014’s and the changes I’m going to make vs. what will stay the same. I guess only time will tell!

Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear from you.



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Nine Years Ago …

I gave birth to our first child, our daughter Natalie

Something I knew I wanted to do with her was to take her to get her portraits done monthly (just like my sister had done with my niece). It was great to have these photos to see how much she changed each month. Even now, they are still up in one of those frames with 12 openings (like for school photos). This is Natalie’s first year birthday photo (taken at Picture People)

By her second year, we were having a lot more fun with her portraits. She loved playing dress up, so we brought along her fancy shoes and some accessories for her 2 year old portraits:

Her third birthday was the same year that her younger sister was born (and the last year we went and had birthday portraits done at a studio). We kept it simple and she just held some flowers, but it suited her at that age. She was at an age where she wanted to be outside all the time.

By her fourth year I had decided to start doing yearly portraits myself. Bare in mind, this was a film camera and I had no editing programs or anything like that. She was a flower girl in my brother-in-law’s wedding a few months prior, so we used her dress/flower basket for one photo:

When she turned 5 I wanted to take advantage of the fact it would be her last year at home, so the last year it would be easy for me to take her “on location” during a weekday to get good photos. A friend went with me and we took both girls to a local botanical garden. At such a young age (2 and 5) they have short attention spans, so we walked around and then stopped every now and then to shoot photos, then continued on our walk or playing. It worked out well:

For her 6th birthday, she really wanted to dress up and do special pictures. It’s funny to look back now because then she loved dresses and now, she refuses to wear them to school unless it’s a special reason (like the spelling bee)

For her 7th birthday I was a horrible mom and forgot to schedule a photo shoot time – we had so much going on. Even her birthday party was a joint party with another friend who’d had her birthday the month before but was out of town. To avoid having to schedule 2 party weekends, my friend and I just planned a joint party for our girls (who are good friends anyway). I shot this out in our front yard while we waited for guests to arrive:

(love the ponytails!)

Last year she turned eight. This shot was actually taken about 2 months before her birthday when we did her sister’s birthday shoot, but she liked it so much she wanted to use this one:

And then the weekend after her birthday, we were at a friend’s house and they had great lighting, so of course I had to have her sit for a quick photo:

This year I promised her that we’d do a real photo shoot again. Since her birthday is during the school year, it’s gotten harder to do a full shoot like we used to (her sister’s birthday is in July, so we have the time then). I can’t believe she is nine now. I know that sounds cheesy to say, but it is so true. I love watching how she is growing each year. She seems to have inherited by need to please people and follow rules and do things the right way (okay, as a kid I was that way 🙂 ). She has such a big heart. Happy birthday, Natalie!