Thursday, October 15, 2015

Family Photos-- The Struggle is Real

I love taking photographs.  I love to plan them, scout locations for them, edit them, you name it.  I also love having photos of my family.  Most of them are lacking a mother figure, but you get what you get when mama is a control freak.  

So here we are at the intersection of "I love taking pictures" and "I want to be in the pictures".  Insert helpful and talented family members fully capable of capturing family memories.  The scene is set--we are smack dab in the middle of a beautiful state park, everyone is wearing clean(ish) clothes and the light is just perfect.  An obscene amount of clicks takes place and I am sure there is a Christmas card photo somewhere on that sd card.  

Nope.  Just lots of awesome baby wrangling and awkward gazes, complete with pretend parent smiles.  And now, for your viewing pleasure:

 This last one is a gem.  If this is the face I make when I lift things I'm going to go ahead and avoid any public body building.

I can't decide which one will make it on the wall.  Maybe I'll do a collage.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The back to school photos I didn't post on Facebook

I'm an extrovert and a sharer.  The kind of outgoing person who "makes friends" in any social situation, spends far too much time chatting, and sometimes wonders after a teacher's lounge discussion, "Did I talk too much?  Should I have really shared all that info?"  Then I get over it and move on.

Sharing on Facebook is something entirely different for me.  I enjoy scrolling through my friends' updates and photos, but I am always reluctant to share my personal tidbits.  I'm not super paranoid about privacy or safety, nor do I mind if others find me to be an over-sharer (see staff lounge note above).  For me, the sharing just seems "blah".  I can surely garner 100 or so likes and a few comments, but it just doesn't seem as fulfilling as when I scroll through them on my desktop and cheese out for unreasonable amounts of time.   So my extrovert ways stop there, with my kids' life events.  They are well documented and may someday meet their scrapbook destiny, but not on FB.  Until they turn seven and are tweeting and posting from their ipods.

Why take one photo when you can take a boatload?  We have all of twelve minutes to get to school.
I wanted to share these to offer up some Pinterest-y ways to document the first days.  The first photo is classic.  My family has been striking this pose since '86.
 This is the unoriginal but ever so  adorable chalkboard sign.  Quick and easy
 This one is full-on Pinterest.  Shirt via Amazon and letters ironed on. 
 Dual-sided chalkboard.  Because I get a first day of school every year too!

Friday, June 13, 2014

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge: All Boy

I Heart Faces does monthly photo challenges, and I adore looking through all the talented photographers' pictures.  Never did it occur to me that I should be submitting my photos, too.  Duh!  So, here is my first ever photo submission, of my little guy who was a ring bearer in his uncle's wedding.  The two boys behind him, his brother and cousin, are doing what boys do best--getting dirty :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Anderson Party!

I swear this blog is not just a place for me to announce that I'm pregnant.  Though I did do it here not very long ago.  But alas, we are expecting a new little nugget to arrive in early April.  We are "patiently excited" this time, enjoying the anticipation but trying to soak up the simplicity of just two little ones.

    photo c/o Crave Photography

Trying to live each day as a celebration is something we're getting better at, so the party theme begins!

I will be checking in soon, as I've got some fun pre-holiday activities in the works, and now that I'm not on the verge of vomiting, my crafting stamina has been brought back to life!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A royal baby was born?

I love babies.  Especially my own.  I love babies that distract me from dinner, or church, or ones that smile at me from their cart in the grocery store.  But... enough about the royal baby already.  I feel like we have some other worldly issues that are a smidge more important than the details of a foreign baby's birth.  Like, maybe we can educate people on environmental issues, or further understanding for other cultures, etc.

I hardly watch tv, don't really read much news, and am a moderate social media contributor/onlooker, and yet I know the gender and birthdate of this little guy.  I cannot imagine how annoyed or excited the rest of you well-informed citizens are.  It seems like the constant newsfeed is a little much. Congrats royal family, now let's move on.  Shall we?

If you are a Prince William enthusiast, then I suppose you're enjoying all this joyous news.  I can't help but wonder, though, if we weren't so wrapped up in reading about births of celebrity babies, what exciting things could we discover?

Here's a baby I really like.  That's a stretch...he's more of a toddler.    

Thanks for stopping by.  I know your time is precious, and I'm glad you decided to spend a few minutes with me.  

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Smart Phone, Smart Mom

See that mini computer I'm holding?  That, my friends, is my first smartphone. I got it a few weeks ago. Gasp.  You may be thinking one of a few things:
  • Really?  You're just now getting a smartphone?
  • About time.  Welcome to 2013
  • You shoulda got an iphone
I was holding out on getting one for a couple reasons--budget and my amazing ability to get distracted mid-task or mid-thought by anything, at any time.  But my want for anytime picture taking and video capturing, a need for traveling navigation, and a desire to connect with others via social media won over. Behold my Galaxy S4.  It's big.  The screen is bright.  It's totally encased with a protective cover to guard against my clumsiness, but we tell people it's because of the kids.    As a new smartphone owner, I was of course amazed at its capabilities and overwhelmed with possibilities, but vowed to not let the device make me a worse parent, wife, or friend.  On the contrary, I wanted it to help me be better at these things.  So I have devised a short list of ideas on how to be a smart mom (or dad, or friend, brother, aunt, whatver) with a smartphone.  Of course these are ideas that work for my life, and I am continuously working on ways to integrate technology wisely into to my personal as well as professional teaching life.  

How to be a Smart Parent with a Smart Phone:
1.  Connect with others in a genuine way: Let your kids talk with aunts, uncles, grandparents on a phone call or via Skype/Facetime.  Do it yourself, and allow your kids to see you doing so.
2. Find your way in unfamiliar territory:  My phone's navigation is pretty reliable, but it prefers only main highways.  This makes travel easier (most of the time).
3. Document memories: I love that I can record HD video and take some great pictures using my phone.  I have seen ebooks and videos about phone photography.  There are apps that create scrapbooks from your phone photos.  Take advantage.
4. Don't text and drive:  The little ones (and big ones) will notice.
5. Play sparingly:  The games are fun.  Some are addicting.  I have a hard time putting down a round of "words with friends," but those are precious minutes.  Make the most of them.
6. Spread some love: I tweet, instagram, facebook, and blog.  When I do get a minute to check these or contribute, I do my best to throw some positivity into the world, comment, or at least "like" something I appreciate.  
7.  Do what works for you:  Set limits.  Maybe it's no phones at the dinner table, or you put them on the counter til the kids go to bed. Right now, I check texts and calls while being Mom and check social media while the kids eat breakfast, then again at nap.  I am working on finding a balance and am open for suggestions on how to incorporate a smartphone into my everyday life. 

Thanks for reading and stopping back to check out my sporadic posting.  I appreciate you!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Perfection

Ahh, a perfect Mother's Day: waking up to the sound of my little ones' pitter-pattering as they bring me breakfast in bed; opening handmade gifts from the kids as I stare out at my freshly cleaned house; donning my new earrings from the in-laws; arriving at church early and gaining much wisdom from the sermon; a leisurely lunch and book-reading/crafting at home while my cherubs nap peacefully.

(Insert record-skip sound effect)

The imperfect:  My 3 year old is screaming because how dare his dad try and put paint on his hand to create a cherished memento; my house is mostly clean because of the six hours we spent yesterday....though there's a mountain of unfolded laundry that I'm ignoring; my new earrings were given to me early, and vacuumed up in our cleaning escapade the previous day; just before departing for church my dear husband is digging through the discarded vacuum bag to reclaim my gift; we arrive at church in the knick of time and hear most of it; lunch is chips and salsa for me, cheese sandwiches for the kids; nap-time is as stated above.

Today, instead of yearning for perfection or treating myself to a day at the mall, I am just feeling blessed to be a mother.  I work my butt off (not literally, but I wish) to raise compassionate, responsible and intelligent kids.  It's frustrating and overwhelming at times and most days I lack the personal hygiene or free time I once considered important, but I am fortunate.  There are many people out there who don't like being moms, or desperately are seeking to become one, or who have lost children, or have other heart-breaking situations.  I am thinking of those women today, and sending love to them.

I'm okay with the slobber stain on my shoulder and a tantrum about seat-belt-wearing.  These years are chaotic and beautiful and I intend to cherish every minute.  If the worst part of my Mother's Day is losing a couple earrings, then great.  I didn't have to dig them out of the trash--the best present yet!