Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle photography’
Feeling a bit nostalgic after saying good bye to Nana and Papo who just came to visit… So I was browsing through some photos I never blogged even if I meant to.
This is my Little Godzilla meeting the ocean… We stayed in Puerto Rico for over a month and it was warm and sunny and wonderful every single day. I miss the beaches… Nothing more relaxing than the ocean breeze, the crashing waves, the warm sand. I miss it very much.
This weird thing happened when I laid my eyes on my old American Girl doll last year while visiting my family… Her little face looked just as I remembered, I felt a blush of shame as I touched her trimmed hair. Yes, I gave my doll a hair cut, whoops. Her outfit still intact. She had lived on my mother’s mantel for quite a few years. For a long time I kind of rolled my eyes at her the way a newly blossomed young miss does at all her old “toys”. But this year, for the first time I looked at her and realized, I was about to become a child myself again. I grabbed her, brushed her hair with my fingers, and hurried to show her to my daughter, Little Lue, who at the time was just over the age of 2.
Her eyes light up as she reached for the doll, and she attempted to grab her by her hand as she would a playmate. And of course, my poor doll was dragged around by one arm as her body awkwardly flopped around. My daughter made exaggerated struggling sounds as if she were trying to carry a cinder block around. Obviously, she was still much too young to play with my old Josefina.
After that visit, I asked my mother to mail me my doll. Josefina would then adorn Little Lue’s room… Much as she did in my mother’s home. But this time, this time I would look at her with the eagerness of a child waiting for Christmas. I knew Little Lue would soon be making that leap that often comes at 3 years of age where they are suddenly so much more incredibly child like.
And between pregnancy and a new baby and temporarily moving to Florida and Christmas and… Wow! How did all that happen so fast?!
Well between all that Little Lue has indeed grown.
And then… The giant Facebook marketing train ran me over LOL!!!
FB started flashing on the top of my screen that an American Girl store was opening in Orlando. A measly 1 hour drive from where we are staying. And damn it all to hell… I had to go.
Memories of me and my neighbor, who had quite the collection, started swimming around in my head. I cursed the fact that I had no way to retrieve my Josefina, who is still waiting patiently for our return. Little Lue will be nearly four once we return.
So we went. With Christmas in the air, we visited the store and walked out with some Bitty Twins and accesorries.
And something kind of magical unfolded. Little Lue had never really shown much interest in dolls… Heck she rarely shows much interest in anything… But she had started to play pretend, coming up with her own stories and games and she had shown some immensely motherly instincts towards her new sister. I knew she would enjoy a doll in a way she hadn’t before… And perhaps most importantly… I wanted to play with the dolls.
Perhaps Little Lue wasn’t enchanted by the adorable little faces as I was, but she was ecstatic at me playing pretend with her. She wanted me to make the voices for her new dolls, make them dance, make them sing, make them eat, and run, and play. And it was incredibly easy for me to enjoy myself doing so.
I would find myself brushing the doll’s delicate hair and styling it, changing their tiny clothes…
But I digress.
The point is… These dolls have a small amount of magic in them. They made me time travel to memories long forgotten. They made me feel like a little girl again. They made me want to be a little girl again. And they made me realize that I have a little girl now. Not a baby, or a toddler, but rather a full blown child, a tiny person, a kid.
Goodness where did the time go?
When did I wake up and stop playing pretend?
When did I wake up and become a mother?
And suddenly it’s my own daughter who has just blossomed into that magical time… childhood.
And in this day and age where dolls are made to look like… well… this…
And (for variety?) this…
And, of course, this…
(I was quite the Barbie lover myself as a kid, but as an adult, it’s difficult to bring myself to look at them as fondly as I once did.)
And then there’s the American Girls…
Just look at them! Not even a hint of puberty on them.
I have become enamored at the beautiful child like faces of these dolls. Dolls that look like little girls. Dolls that do little girl things. Dolls that are beautiful without a face plastered full of make up, or wearing questionable clothing choices.
Somehow between my nostalgia and my new found apreciaton for the doll line, I found myself falling down that rabbit hole that is American Girl. And I’m ok with that!
I’ve yet to be reunited with my Josefina, who I’m excited to reclaim and share with my daughter now that she is old enough to get it. I’ve also slowly acquired a few Craigslist finds (did I mention the rabbit hole?). A Bitty Baby for the Littlest Princess, who I must confess seems to like dolls more than I thought infants could like dolls.
And just this week, I couldn’t help myself when we saw this sweet dolly up for sale…
I was hoping my Josefina would end up being Lue’s first “big girl doll”, but let’s face it, I suck at waiting.
As we were getting in the car to go pick her up I showed her to Little Lue and asked her what her name should be. She immediately decided her name was Ariel.
Much to our stuffed Donatello’s dismay, Ariel has been toted around ever since she arrived. Her hair silky smooth as if she were brand new and her clothes that can only be described as a late 90’s explosion (Hello long jean skirt with cargo pockets! HA!), but she’s just gorgeous and endearing. I can’t help but smile at the sight of Little Lue clutching Ariel to her chest, telling me how she needs her shoes and jacket to go out.
Ahhhh… Let the magic commence!
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Born in the tropics, I never realized how crucial the sun was to my existence… Until I left them…
We’ve lived in Puerto Rico, Oklahoma, Florida, and now Germany. And we hadn’t realized we had been taking the gorgeous sunshine for granted. Even Oklahoma is blessed with sunny days practically year round. Germany, not so much. We’ve now been here an entire year and it seems the sun has been hiding at least two thirds of that time. For a creature like myself, cloudy days are for cuddling in bed, reading books, relaxing, ignoring chores, sometimes being a little gloomier and melancholy. We don’t go out on cloudy days, we hide, we hibernate, and we come back out when the sun returns. This is a serious problem when the sun goes away for several days, weeks, months at a time…
So here I am, multiple days have passed since the sun graced us with it’s full presence. And OMG I’m loosing my mind. What to do with little ones cooped up inside over rain and unpredictable weather?! We paint, we do puzzles, we play games, but most of all… we watch lots of TV (supper :/)… There’s really not a whole lot to do indoors people! (At least not that keeps a 3yo entertained for much longer than 15 minutes).
So what’s this? The sun?! After all the clouds and rain and cold (why is it 50some degrees outside already?! COME BACK SUMMER!) We decided to sneak out of the house for a quick walk while it all lasted…
Buggy here photo bombing my flower shot…
Away we go.
Oh hey look… I have another baby now… Just in case you missed that part…. LOL
Ready for exploring with her monocular (I’m not totally convinced that’s an actual word)
Mommy vision… Sometimes big sis wants to ride too…
The now 3 year old is into “silly faces”. Which I guess are better than her “smile” faces… You know the one… Crazy not sure that’s a smile, smile, eyes closed…
Which I guess are also better than baby “why you stop pushing my vibrating chair” faces… LOL
**Side note… Cel pics will always have a date stamped on them 😉 I want to remember when I took them, so I do that in the phone. Sorry if it’s distracting hehe**
It feels like forever since I was able to walk outside without a coat or jacket… And this past week I think it’s safe to say the weather is turning and Spring is HERE!! Sunshine and 50 degree weather, what more could I ask for?! (ok ok… so 80’s and a beach would be nice, but I will take the 50’s over 30-40 any day!!)
No jackets!!! YEAH!!
Butterflies and bees!!! YEAH!!!
Windows open all day!!! YEAH!!!
I am a happy camper…
Oh and look… Remember that huge chunk of land out behind the kitchen, that’s called a BACK YARD!! YES!!! lol
Digging in the dirt… Seriously I think this is the first time Lucy has ever actually PLAYED with dirt (and not sand) LOL!
Puppies in the sunshine
The wheelbarrow made everything more fun!
Oh look! My swing!
Picked some flowers to make a garden… I think we need to start our real garden now
Decided to bring the camera along this Thursday to our little activities. I have been traveling “light” lately and leaving the camera at home for most outings, but this doesn’t make for many opportunities for taking a few pics! So going to try a little harder to bring it along more often, specially now that the weather is starting to turn. Woot!
Thursdays is Dance Class day! We had taken a little break from dance class as well as gymnastics for a couple of months since Little Lue had been a little uncooperative in the mornings. But it wasn’t long before she started asking about dance class. So I decided to reenroll her and see if this time she would be a little more appreciative. We haven’t resumed the gymnastics though, I figured we would ease back in, and dance seemed to be more in tune with this child. She LOVES to DANCE.
So dance class is at 11am and only 30 minutes. So I have been also hitting up the library story time right before at 10am. Sometimes we make it in time, others, not so much. Thursday mornings is also Stroller Warriors! A new running club on base that my friend leads. But since I am getting pretty big now (woot woot 3rd trimester!) I haven’t been attending. I might try to make some meetings anyhow and do some mostly walking haha. We will see The weather has been so nice this past couple of weeks! It’s hard not to want to be outside. If you are local and want to get out running with a great group, go check them out!
But yeah, THIS particular morning we went to story time. And we were actually on time! Yeah!
This is one of the songs they sang, goes to the “Row row row your boat” song music. Pretty cute.
Actually sitting down for a story, progress!
And now we’re off to dance class!!
I seriously love Miss Kate, she does a fantastic job and is SO incredibly age appropriate. I really appreciate her.
Kiss your knees!
Wrangling up the dance crew LOL!
We always have fun props…
Dancing with a scarf
So fun <3
The highest point in Germany!
On our last day in Garmisch I was really hoping to go to one of the viewing platforms on the mountains, and it was recommended we go to Zugspitze! It’s just the village over from Garmisch and OMG was it breathtaking.
You can ride one of dangling carts all the way up to the top of the mountain, but let me warn you, it is NOT for you if you have problems with heights. I have a slight fear of heights and let me tell you, I was kind of physically frozen in fear once the ride was getting closer to the top. Almost a 90 degree angle going up. Terrifying. View was amazing, just terrifying LOL!!!
Thankfully, there is also a train that goes up the mountain. You still have to take a short ride to the peak, but not nearly as visually dramatic. (We took this route on the way back) Slower, but I swear I’m never doing it the other way LOL!!! You can even take the train from Garmisch all the way up.
Anyhow, the view at the top is amazing! And to our surprise (but not to anyone else headed up there) there is an INCREDIBLE ski lodge up there right in at the top of the mountain (that’s where the train stops). We knew there was a ski and sledding area, from what we were told, but we had never seen anything like this. It was just a giant glacier at the top of the mountain, everything white wherever you looked, and ski trains going down them. There was even one dedicated solely to sledding! How cool is that?
We rented a couple of sleds and it was a lot of fun, but we just couldn’t get over the view. Just crazy amazing! I’m so glad we didn’t miss this spot.
This is the ski area below the peak.
So this past Christmas we decided to take a trip to Garmisch and it was AWESOME! I hope we get to go back next year because it was so much fun.
We had my husband’s brother with us as well as my parents. We all stayed in a cabin at Edelweiss Lodge and it was just perfect. It was a “deluxe” cabin with a kitchen, a small bedroom and an upstairs little loft. Brother in law, husband, Little Lue and myself stayed up in the loft area and my parents stayed in the bedroom. It was a pretty nice set up and I think we were all pretty comfortable. We even had our dogs with us!
The Lodge was in a separate base from the cabin, but still walking distance. It was really nice with a few food options. It even had an awesome indoor pool! Too bad we found it on the last day… Oh well… Next time! 😛
The Garmisch itself was a really cute village with plenty to see. The mountains could be seen from where ever you were and just looked sooo beautiful. The village was still somewhat decorated and at night all the lights were up… It was just beautiful everywhere. So wonderful and festive.
Husband and BIL went snowboarding on one day and we decided to all go together the next day just to sled and see some snow (sadly it did not snow while we were up there! Ugh… This winter is getting pretty boring without all the fluffy stuff!!) and it was SO much fun. And to my surprise it was SO incredibly kid friendly. There were so many little ones sledding on the slops and people just sitting and enjoying the day as if we were at a large wintery park. There were even a bunch of strollers all over the mountain! It was just really cool to see and reassuring to know that we could happily come back next year we our new addition bundled up.
We are definitely hoping to get to come back. Such a great trip for everyone.
So since we went to the husband’s Christmas party where Santa came and handed out gifts Little Lue finally made a connection she had previously missed. The boxes under the tree are GIFTS!
We had been keeping a few boxes under the tree that we knew were gifts under the tree… They were still in their mailing packaging, so Little Lue really hadn’t given them much attention the few days they were there. But after the party… She realized what they were… So she grabbed a box, brought it over to us and said “Christmas present!” in the most adorable toddler voice eva. “Open the door!”
I’m not very good at waiting myself… so what the heck… Let’s open one.
Well… This turned into opening a box every day LOL!! There are now no more boxes under the tree and we have saved the rest of the gifts for tomorrow morning, Christmas Day, but it was still fun to have her open a few things so that it’s not totally overwhelming Christmas morning. I’m glad she got to enjoy a few things without the craziness of opening 10 things at once haha.
So since most of these gifts came from Nana’s house and she MUST have pictures. I decided to document as best I could. 😉
Yessss! A car or “Brum brum”
I was a bit worried about all the tiny pieces, but she loves them! Fine motor skills 😉
Luna’s turn for a random portrait
And mommy playing with her camera again… haha
So husband’s work had a Christmas party for kids and here are some photos! It was fun because we were told to bring our kids a gift and there would be a Santa who hands them all out. Fun!
Little Lue was honestly horrified at the Santa Clause and wanted to leave immediately after his arrival, but once he started handing out gifts she changed her tune. LOL!
She got to decorate a cookie, and make a ginger bread house… sort of hahaha. It was pretty nice.
First we decorated cookiessss….
Then Santa showed up… After a small panic attach you can see how interested she is once he started giving out stuff LOL!!
But that doesn’t mean she wanted to hang out with him… Got her gift and ran for it hahahaha
Oh man! A goody bag too?!
I think she liked it
Now lets make that gingerbread house!
Honestly… she mostly tried to eat it 😛
But the marker was pretty fun!
Naaaaa… Eating it is better
We finally found a neat place to buy our tree from!
For whatever reason, I vividly remember going out to pick out our Christmas tree. Our family always had a live tree and I so loved the smell and specialness of the Christmas tree. It was always an exciting and special day. And because I feel like just picking the tree is supposed to feel special, I really didn’t want to go to just anywhere to get it. I was hoping to find a local something to get a tree form other than Toom (German version of Home Depot/Lowes)… Although for a moment there it was looking like the best option!
Anyhow, I went out for a walk around the village and finally (I do say finally because this place was right on the main road) noticed this house that had a small sign that read “Weihnachten Baüme” Now… I had no idea what this meant, but it had a Christmas Tree picture, and I knew baum had something to do with plants, LOL, so I figured I’d walk into the drive way for a look. And sure enough right around the corner were a bunch of trees! Yay! It was pretty cool, the drive way snaked around his yard so it was like a little tree maze. He even had some smaller trees in pots, which I thought was pretty cool. The owner didn’t speak much english and unfortunately my German vocabulary is still quite small (minuscule really), but I was still able to get an average price and the times he was open. So later that evening we came back and picked out our tree!
Somehow I managed to pick out a massive tree… When it was laid down to be wrapped up I was tempted to say we needed a different one because, OMG, it looked HUGE. But it was too late. So we took our massive tree. The owner told us he has been selling trees in the village for 40 years! We happily told him we would come back next year. Lucy got a cookie and Duvi was not able to refuse the “schnapps”, haha, and away we went.
Back home is when I finally pulled out the camera. So here are some X-mas decorating photos <3
Soooo… Yeah, we had to chop off some trunk off the bottom to make it fit LOL!!! Glad we have a strong and persistent daddy 😉
A little ambience… 😉
I’m telling you, this thing was just massive. But it’s grown on me hahaha…
Everyone waiting patiently haha
Random Bongo portrait <3 My baby is so cute!
Aha! He did it! Go daddy!!!
Open up the treeeee…
Putting up the star… Can anyone find the very first ornament on the tree? 😉
The lights were quite exciting!
All done!! It’s a little wonky looking… But I still love it Definitely grown on me since we put it up hahaha
And yes… I do see that random empty layer… I think that’s how German Christmas Trees are supposed to look… Right? LOL
Anddddd…. Mommy playing with the camera LOL
A few weeks ago we met up with some friends to check out our first German Christmas market at Bernkastel-Kues. It was super nice to see them and fun to explore such a pretty village. Bernkastel-Kues is a town along a river bank and just has a lot of character and lovely architecture. We we wandering around with the little ones so it was hard to pull out the camera for pictures too often, but I still managed to catch a few shots…
I’m guessing this is a fountain in the summer, very cool!
Love the city center walkways here… So wonderful to wonder around without cars… I wish they would do this in Old San Juan! Just rope off more pedestrian areas
My favorite image… I might need to print this one <3
Checking out the scene…
Waffles on a stickkkkkkkk!! LOL
One large Advent Calendar!!
These are part of the little shops they put up for the Christmas Markets. They just sold random crafts, clothes, foods, ornaments… Stuff like that.
Fun rides too haha!!
And after a day of walking it was nice to settle down in a warm restaurant for lunch.
Ok… Now this may have been more exciting for mommy than for Little Lue LOL!
Last week we had lots of precipitation forecasted, along with lower temperatures, and everyone (and by everyone, I mean that hand full of child like adults who still think snow is like magic falling for the sky) was hoping for snow… But sadly, all we got was some cold cloudy weather along with a few drizzles of rain. A little snow dusting one night (mostly on roof tops), only to melt by midday… That was it… Quite disappointing!
So you can image my dismay when the whole forecast for the upcoming weeks is clear/cloudy with 10-20% chance of precipitation… BOOOOOO!
Well, we were pleasantly surprised yesterday with the first snow fall! It snowed for about 3 hours and honestly I was just glued to the window staring at it. It would slow down and be nothing more than tiny specs of white, and them suddenly downpour with big chunky clumps of snow! So pretty…. Non of it stuck to the ground though… So it was just mostly fun to see. And of course as soon as I saw it I started dancing around like a kid, grabbed Lucy and the camera, threw on some coats and ran outside. (Quite impressive, as I’ve been avoiding the outside as much as possible the past month!)
So because we went out when it first started snowing, it wasn’t really very much coming down… and it was SO hard to photograph… But whatever, here are the pics I got.
It was so so SO pretty. I wish I could have captured it better. Oh well… at least Little Lue looked cute, right?
Adventures in Germany Continued
So a couple of weekends ago we were wondering what to do. I think that for daddy and I, our time in Key West had us soooo spoiled. We didn’t ever had to take long drives to do stuff, and it always felt like we had plenty to do. So here in Germany we hear of all these amazing cities and things to see, only to realize many of these spots are 2-4 hours away. Sure… It’s definitely a doable distance, but alas… We just loath being in the car for so long on… So our solution has been to scour the newspapers and anything we can get our hands on looking for random activities we could do closer to home. I’m not sure if it’s the upcoming holiday season, but there seems to always be a craft show or festival happening somewhere!
This weekend we spotted something a little more random… The yard sale page had an add for someone making Raw Apple Juice! Seemed interesting enough, so we decided to check it out.
It was actually really cool.
First you put the apples in a shredder!
Then you put the apple grinds into this giant pressor. Sure there are tiny ones you can use at home, but this one was much more impressive LOL.
If you are wondering… Yes, it did smell quite amazing!
Next, you had to press the apples… HARD!
And BAMMMM… Juice! Lots and lots of juice! Well… Cider, really
Did I mention it smelled amazing?
Little Lue decided we needed lots more…
Can’t really get more organic than that!
Better late than never… Yes?
A few shots from our visit with Nana and Papo mid October <3
I know I have been quite neglectful of my little blog lately, but it’s only because I’m extra tired, extra cranky, and totally freezing my buttie. Why so tired? If you haven’t heard, I’m pregnant!
Yes, those are the big news I shared with my family as they arrived for their first visit to Germany. And between pregnancy naps, senseless emotional roller coastering, trying to play catch up with the house cleaning, and chasing around a not so compliant toddler, I’ve had little time for the fun stuff… But thankfully the 2nd trimester is finally here, and I’m starting to feel a little more like myself… Sort of…
Enough chit chat… Here are a few shots from the visit!!
It was my mom’s birthday (any excuse to come visit us!) and that evening my dad had Lucy walk into the room with a cake in the wagon, it was a pretty cute idea. My mom was so surprised
Wondering around Trier with some awesome company
I seriously can’t wait to get my new lens. I have been patiently waiting to purchase a nice wide angle lens to take with me when we go to new places and it’s finally going to happen this weekend. I really want to start working on some scenic and architecture photography. Scenic photography really speaks to my soul. I still wish we could have invested in some Peter Lik art work before leaving Key West (he has a gallery there) I really think he is my photography inspiration. Hoping to really focus on this part of photography while living in Europe and taking advantage of these amazing places that we will be visiting. So so excited on working on a new skill! Always learning, never stop!!
So here we are wondering around Trier. I almost wanted to leave the camera in my bag and just enjoy the day… But I simply couldn’t… Trier is the first older city we got to visit and it was pretty amazing. We are actually planning to go back very soon since I feel like I need to see it all AGAIN lol.