Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween...Finnley-style!

Yes, it is a couple of days early, but we are in the spirit of things around here! Finnley dressed up for her music class at Gymboree today, and then she headed up to parade around her daddy's office. Why not get some use out of the costume, right? So, we are wishing you all a Happy Halloween WEEKEND! May lots of candy come your way!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Passion Directed

So, you all know that we are busy and loving it. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year to be outside enjoying the weather and scenery (ooohhh...and the pumpkin spice lattes that have returned to Starbucks...OMG!). That is exactly what we have been doing all over the greater Philadelphia area. Unfortunately, being busy leaves little time for other things, but "other things" are still important to me. Not to me as a mommy, so much...but to me as ME.

This blog is one of those "other things" that I have always enjoyed. I don't write or keep it up for anyone in particular. I actually don't care if anyone reads it. I don't write well all of the time. I don't even have good content a lot of the time. Sometimes there hasn't even been content at all. But, It is just one of those things that I have always used as my own own little happy place or dumping ground (whatever the mood dictates). No chance of me giving it up any time soon.

The blog has been lagging a bit because of our general lack of time spent at home, but also because I have picked up another "me thing". A happy-happy-I-love-it-so-much-and-can't-wait-to-do-more-of-it-sort-of- thing. For a few years I have talked about purchasing photo-editing software so that I could play around with my pictures. Not that I don't take good pictures, but because I wanted to make my good pictures great, or fun, or crazy, or amazing. I kept putting it off because...oh, I don't know. I just did. And, after my husband bought me my MacBook Pro I didn't think I needed anything else. Macs are amazing in their own right, and iPhoto does a bang up job with minor enhancements. After spending some serious bonding time with iPhoto, though...I was still wanting more.

So, I just recently purchased Adobe Photoshop Elements 9...and a real paper made hand-held manual to go along with it. The majority of my "free time / me time" in the past couple of weeks (outside of showering and doing chores) has been spent getting to know my new complicated yet beautiful friend. I am so nowhere near being "good" at utilizing the software to its fullest potential yet, but I am soooo having fun. I love being in complete control of my pictures...of every single layer that existed or didn't...of every color that may or may not be realistic...of every grain and spec. It is a way for me to capture moments with Finnley, the dog, my family, the exact way that I envision them at their best in my head. The end result is worth the struggle taken to get to it, and in time hopefully it won't anymore be so much a struggle. Overall, I am in love, and I believe this to be an affair that will be very long-lived.

Below you will find some of my earliest ventures into the art of photo-editing....enjoy! But, if you don't enjoy them...please keep it to yourself. My parade is not open for rain.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sparks of Wonder

We have been very busy these days. Crazy busy. Intentionally busy.

The busier we are, the happier Finnley seems to be. She is content at times to play at home with her toys and to read her books. I love that. However, she is even happier getting OUT anywhere...seeing people, animals, trees, mulch, rubber playground material, really doesn't matter. It is the OUT part that is important to her. It is important to me, too, especially given the fact that Finnley will be an only child. I want her to know the world and the people and things within it. I do not want her to be too attached to me or to her home. A little bit attached is fine (well a lot attached is fine), but I want her to be confident and outgoing, as well.

Hence, our frantic daily busyness.

This past week, in addition to going to Stroller Strides class for me and Gymboree classes for Finnley, we hung out a couple of times at Barnes and Noble with friends and strangers AND attended a 2 year old's birthday party. Finnley loved it all. Her face held the expression of pure joy no matter what we were doing (although, she clearly enjoyed walking around with a fruit strip wrapper or my cell phone at random times).

She is not afraid in the least to interact with others. She does not shy away from exploring new environments and toys. She isn't just "not afraid", she is also having fun. I am so proud. And, I really hope it lasts. Nothing brings me more pleasure than seeing the sparks of wonder that daily life brings my sweet little girl.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Having a toddler in your home means...

...the plastic air directional for the vents could end up sleeping with the dog

...and the other half of the plastic air directional might be near the vent

...a pink and yellow ball could reside under the wood burning stove

...your floor might look like a toy box vomited all over it

...seriously, ALL OVER IT

...Elmo could be a regular high floating visitor to your ceiling

...Hello Kitty might live in the dining room, along with all of the fancy breakable stuff

...a collapsible tunnel will befriend a ceramic vase

...behind a lovely shower curtain you will find random pinkness and plastic-ness hiding

...and bibs will live with decorative towels

...and towels and bibs will play hide-and-seek behind bathroom doors

...and cabinet doors will always be open so that stuffed roosters can play with migraine and cold meds

BUT, mostly it means that LOVE seemingly drips and oozes from every nook and cranny. I'll take it. I will surely and happily take it all! I am not sure the dog and the rooster are on the same page as me, but we will worry about them later. I think they will be ok.

Monday, October 04, 2010

We are not opposed to being "those parents"....

I have entered Finnley into the Gap's casting call competition. Yep. I would exploit my child's pretty face for money. No doubt about it. So, now that we have that ugly business out of the way, why don't you help our cause???

I have entered (ahem) three photos of Finnley for judging. A panel of judges will choose the finalists and the grand prize winners, but, in addition to that, they have created a "fan favorite" competition. Everyday people like you and me vote for this competition, and the winner of this competition will receive a $1000 gift card to Baby Gap. Who couldn't use that? Well, we I know that WE could use it.

How to help? Click on the following link:

Gap Casting Call

Once you are on the page, enter one of the following IDs (found below each picture) into the "enter contestant id" search box in the upper right hand side of the website (within the top blue border). You can vote for either or both pictures once every day.

Here are the photos I entered and their corresponding IDs.

ID number: 169226

ID number: 168948

ID number: 173399

Thanks for your support! Wouldn't Finn just be adorable as a Gap baby? Well, regardless, we sure think she would!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Fall Daze

I love fall. I mean, I LOVE fall! love, Love, LOVE! Leaves, fires, cool days, ciders, latte's, crisp skies....ahh!

Today we ventured out to Johnson's Farm to take full advantage of one of our first true fall days. We took in a hayride to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch. We picked pumpkins and gourds. We rode back and went to the farm market where we perused so many goodies, and we also bought so many goodies. Brownies, apple cider doughnuts, fudge, candy corn, and an apple pie all made their way into our hands.

It is days like this that I enjoy more than any other. The days where Finnley gets to experience things outside, all fresh and new in her eyes. She was giddy as she trudged along the path in the pumpkin patch, seemingly all on her own out there. She was in giggle-heaven as her daddy hid behind rows of corn and then popped out to surprise her. She is a little adventurer, and it never ceases to amaze me. Her wonder is my awe.

What a beautiful way to end the week.