Thursday, February 28, 2013

Theme Thursday: Happiness or Joy

Ahhh Theme Thursday, it has come again.

 I was very disappointed not to participate in last week's Architecture theme - we were visiting family in North Carolina and I was hoping to get some shots of the church we were married in. But you read how Mass went so that definitely didn't happen. Then I got sick, and then I got sick again. I survived the whole winter until now in relatively good health only to be taken down by mastitis and then my poor depleted immune system took a sucker punch to the gut courtesy of the common cold.  I'm rocking the "All Items (+1000)" in Google Feed Reader right now and searching the skies waiting for either my Fairy Godmother or Mary Poppins to float down out of the sky and rescue me...

This seems perfectly reasonable, right??

   (To be fair, my mom and sisters dropped everything last weekend to come take care of me - but somehow the only thing I managed to get done was write my Quick Takes and take some Taco Cat pictures...)

 Anyway, hopefully being so sick + giving up TV for Lent can give me enough brownie points to make up for the fact that I gave the girls actual brownies as a mid-morning snack.  Also, it seemed like it would be a really good opportunity to capture "Happiness and Joy".

But apparently, not so much.
"Children, I have just given you an unusually sugar laden mid-morning snack!  How do you feel?!"

Seriously, kids.  Your happiness and joy is too overwhelming for this link-up.  And what the heck are those spots on the right-hand side?  Has anyone ever seen those before??  I detached the lens and looked inside, saw nothing, and when I hooked it back up it seems the spots are gone?

I decided to try another angle...sweet baby boy, who always wakes up happy.  I'm starting to worry he might have been switched at birth, since that's just not a quality anyone else in the family possesses.

This smile makes me so happy.
It's also proof that my photography skills are most definitely regressing.

Once again, I'm really thankful for this link up because it makes me take pictures even if they aren't the greatest quality.  Seriously, I've never even purposefully set out to capture this kid's grin - shame on me!!  So thanks once again Cari, for my weekly kick in the photography pants.

See ya'll tomorrow for some quick takes...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happy 30th Birthday + 1 Week

Stephen turned 30...last Sunday.

Why the delay in reporting?  I had tried to hire someone on Fiverr to make a hilarious rap birthday video for him that I was going to post on the blog as a happy birthday message, but they never delivered.  Sob. (Note...I'm crying, not cursing :)  He already got his present, but I really, really, really wanted a little extra something to make this birthday special since it's kind of a milestone and all that.  Plus, he has a history of birthday disasters, like our children throwing up on him.  Last year there was more sickness and we said we'd celebrate his birthday later - later still hasn't come.

So the wheels in my head started turning.  Because I am terrible at lying and keeping secrets, I had already hinted to Stephen that I had an intangible gift for him, and he responded with "Did you have Jimmy Akin make a birthday video for me?!"


Well it couldn't hurt to beg and plead ask, right?


He said yes.

And it is so awesome it hurts.

And now, consider me PRESIDENT of the

Thank you again Mr. Akin.  This was utterly brilliant.

And also a huge thank you to Meg who helped me covertly get Stephen to watch this...

And Stephen, love of my life and very best friend...


Friday, February 22, 2013

Quick Takes x10

Friday ritual time!!

1. I was juuuust about to congratulate myself on managing to be the only one in the family to stay healthy through an entire flu season when I finally met my sick destiny.  I'm still not exactly sure what is going on - possible mastitis?  My fever maxed out at 103.7 the other night and all I know is:

1. I thought I was dying
2. I am an overly dramatic hypochondriac.

I haven't had a fever that high since I was a kid and I think this will help my empathy powers the next time the girls get sick.

2. Despite the fact that I honestly think this illness has been worse than labor (Look at me smiling!  A few hours and it was all over!) I can't help but feel incredibly blessed right now.  I have the best family ever - and I want to say a HUGE thank you to Stephen's family for having us over for a wonderful long weekend and to my mom and sisters for cancelling all their plans at the drop of a hat and coming over to do my laundry and make me Nutella crepes twice a day while I recover.

Is it ok to eat Nutella during Lent??

(And thanks dad for letting me steal the ladies of the family!!)

3. Speaking of our trip, we finally got to introduce Emeric to Stephen's family and got to meet my very first nephew (who is 7 weeks Emerics junior)

Go ahead and try to tell me that is not the cutest thing you've ever seen in your entire life.

4. I learned a very important lesson this week. not a hairdresser.  None of our children had ever had a haircut, and after 3.5 years Ava's was getting a bit scraggly on the ends (side note - scraggly is a real word??  I thought I just made that up...)  I know a lot of people cut hair at home, and I know the cost of haircuts for all the kids is going to add up over the years so I thought I'd take a stab at it.

This right here took 20 minutes.
And her hair was not even when I was finished.

Should have known this wouldn't work - I can't even cut paper in straight lines.  And paper doesn't wiggle.

5. The awkward photo link up still needs some love.  Come on, I promise to only laugh a little!  Besides, do you really have anything worse than this??

Yeah, I didn't think so.

6. Stephen sends me an awful lot of strange web sites throughout the week, but this is probably the most random one I've seen in quite a while.

7. Guess what I got for Valentine's Day...

Awww yeah :)

So far it looks like it's a killer week for Quick Takes, so go see Jen for all the rest!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mass Confessions

I know this is a little shameful to admit among the Catholic mom blog community, but we have rarely gone to Mass all together as a family for quite a while now.  Not just because we are lazy.  We do have some good excuses - my health issues during my third trimester and a nearly constant rotation of illness among the family during this entire flu season means we've been tag teaming a lot and if the kids come we usually go to the parish with the nursery.  Let's face it - that's a lot of children for one person.

This Sunday, everyone was finally healthy and we packed up the kids and carted them all to church sans nursery.  I was a little nervous, since I wasn't sure how they would behave after such a long absence   But it went perfectly!!  The girls just sat quietly in the pew with their hands folded listening intently the entire Mass!  Emeric just slept like a little angel in my arms!

In fact, I just thought I'd give you a little list of things that definitely DID NOT happen during Mass.

-When a rather large man walked down the aisle past us, Ava did not point and yell "DADDY, THAT MAN IS REALLY BIG!!"

-When the light shone through the stained glass windows and appeared on the wall, Ava did not scream "UNCLE GEORGE!! LOOK!! COLORS!!!"

-The girls did not hold hands and swing them around singing "LA LALA LALA LALA LALAAAAA"

-The girls did not repeatedly yawn in the most loud and exaggerated way during the homily.

-I did not have to whisper to Clare to encourage her to sing along while we were waiting to get in line for Communion in order to distract her from shoving both fingers up her nose and snorting loudly.  And she did not start singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" at the top of her lungs in response to my request.

-When the priest placed the Host on my tongue, Clare didn't try to grab the paten and repeatedly yell "CAN I HAVE SOME?!" while I dragged her away

-When everyone sat back down after Communion, Ava did not yell "TIME TO GO!!!!!"

-And lastly, Stephen did not tell Ava that the ushers standing in the back were watching for naughty children to take them out of Mass.  Because I'm pretty sure that lying in church is an order of magnitude worse than a regular lie.

Nope, none of those things happened, because that would have been really embarrassing, and our kids are perfect.

I might be in denial.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Quick Takes - GUEST POST!

We are heading out of town in the morning and so today I've been frantically doing laundry and drinking coffee and throwing things into suitcases and drinking more coffee and every time I try to sit down for a minute at the computer some epic catastrophe happens (I think there might still be some fluff in the garbage disposal from the stuffed animal that got it's innards pulled out and thrown into the sink??)

Can't tell you how many times my heart skipped a beat when I walked by this suitcase...

I knew despite my best efforts I just wouldn't have time to pull my takes together this I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to have my sister Haley guest post.  Haley is 9 years old and has been emailing me her quick takes faithfully for a few weeks here ya go, an intro to Haley in 7 quick takes :)

1. I am a Irish dancer and how I would put it is drive dance drive dance!    


2. I love babies and whenever I am around about five babies at the same time I say it is baby heaven!  

3. I have a bunny Lily and I put her birthday on the fourth of July so I could remember! 

4. I am home schooled so I like school!  

5. I have two great sisters Jamie and Emily! And a brother who doesn't like his picture taken!    

6. I love     [ monkeys snow love  singing sun hot cocoa  friends]!!!!

7.  I like       music!

Isn't she great??  Tell her she needs to get crackin' on her own blog!! And my other awesome sister Emily is the one who took most of these photos :)

Happy weekend everyone!!  And go see Jen for the rest!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Theme Thursday: Leaves and Trees and Children Oh My

I think I might be progressively declining in my Theme Thursday photography skills.

Actually, I think I might be progressively declining in my mothering skills.  I'm still really figuring out this whole 3-kid thing.  Today I got to celebrate Valentine's day by waking up at 4:30am with the girls followed by a mole biopsy and a pelvic ultrasound!  I also thought it would be a good idea for us to give up TV for lent?

Here kids, do puzzles or something while mommy drinks her coffee...

So it's been a long week.  And photography has not been happening. And outside shots are really not easy to come by right now (babywearing + keeping a 2 and 3 year old from darting into the street?  Not sure that's even possible...)

But I did try. The girls have been plucking the leaves out of my coffee filter wreath so I started there:

. Yeah...not quite.  They both wanted to be featured touching the leaf and were playing king of the hill with the end table...So I was just going to throw in the towel and post an old photo, but then when I sat down at my computer I caught a glimpse of this plant sitting over on the table and decided I could try another quick picture or two of that...

SOOC shot, f/4, 1/25s, ISO 1250

...and about 50 pictures later came up with this.  Who knew plant photography could suck you in like that??

And since I had it all ready, here's an old picture I took of Clare hugging the trees at Stephen's parents house:

(So excited to be going there this weekend!!)

Go check out all the other amazing photos (I'm sure they are all amazing...I haven't had time to look, and I'm definitely going to bed now) at Cari's!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stephenisms, Volume 1

My serious thoughts may coagulate into a post at some point, but for now - I think we all need a dose of levity for our Tuesday.  As I'm sure everyone knows, Catholic dads are regular comedians.  And so, I present to you my first edition of Stephenisms.

While making celebratory crepes after the Super Bowl: 
"Who wants to be out at a bar with a bunch of sweaty drunk people when you could be at home making crepes???"

While pouring Clare a glass of almond milk: 
"I didn't even know almonds had nipples!"

On a TV commercial for, a woman says "This guy I met online, he could be anyone!"  Stephen responds: "He couldn't be ANYONE...he couldn't be Maya Angelou."

When I asked him if we could name our next daughter "Hazel", he said: 
"Sure, because then I could say 'Hazel, you're a nut!'"

After Googling "huge appetite", Stephen tells me: 
"The good news is that it's not cancer, the bad news is that I might be pregnant, have PMS, or be under a lot of stress.  I think it's probably PMS."

"WOAH...Did you know taco cat spelled backwards is taco cat?!?!?!?!"

Friday, February 8, 2013

Quick Takes! Numero Nueve!

It's that time of week again...

1. In case you missed it - how could you miss it?! - the AWKWARD PHOTO link up is open THE ENTIRE YEAR!!  Because I will wait that long to see your awkward photos.

Rosie gets a HUGE high-5 for being the first one to step onto the virtual platform of awkwardness. Go check out her hilarious and also totally adorable pics of childhood through Britney stage :)  (Let's be honest, we all dressed up like Britney once or twice didn't we??)

2. Next in link up news...this has possibly been the most chaotic week ever.  The girls have been passing illness back and forth for weeks now and we've barely left the apartment so for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to get out the valentine's day supplies, complete with glitter glue?!

Nope.  It was not a good idea.

In any case, I'm SUPER excited to start working on my project for Ana's Cabin Fever Creativity Link Up.  Actually, I started this project before Emeric was born but never finished it but it's super valentine's day appropriate so this is just the kick in the pants I need to get it finished.

AND the kicker is she's giving away a prize - a made by her scarf or a nursing cover.  I was thinking maybe if mine is REALLY awesome, she'll sew me an entire new wardrobe so I can start doing WIWS link ups...

3. I'm going to keep going with this link up theme.  The next link up that Billie Jo absolutely needs to host is a "Contents of your Refrigerator" link up.  I already have my submission ready.  Came across this photo in my digital archives recently which I must have taken to illustrate our incredibly healthy eating standards:

I must apologize for the shaky arrows, I was drawing them while drinking coffee and plucking 2 and 3 year olds off of my chair.  I throw my head back and laugh when I think of my first job interview - multitasking?  I hardly knew the meaning back then.

4. After making reference to "Glamour Shots by Deb" in my last post and trying without success to find a good photo to illustrate my meaning, I decided to recreate the look with Ava.

Copious amounts of chocolate bribes were required to complete this photo shoot.

5. If you've ever wondered what 5 minutes in a house with 3 young children is like, look no further:

It is worth noting that I am nursing Emeric while taking this video, and at several points Clare is trying to either rip my clothing off for the bath (I guess she didn't get the memo that I take showers...) or "have some" of what Emeric is eating.

I'd say our neighbors are on the path to sainthood.

6. My 9 year old sister has been emailing me messages with a subject of "My blog..." and then her 7 Quick Takes for the week.  Yesterday, she also sent me her "embarrassing photos" for the link up.  I am absolutely going to help her set up a blog because well - you are all missing out on some gems.  I'm even thinking of having her guest post my quick takes some week...

7. Congratulations to Jen on another awesome episode of Minor Revisions!!!  Spoiler alert - I'm just waiting for the day I can snatch her book off the shelves!!

And the mug.  The mug!!

Stephen - I would like this in my Easter basket, please.

Go see Jen for the rest!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Theme Thursday - Hats and Scarves

Linking up with Cari again for Theme Thursday!!

Just a note, you don't need a fancy camera or Photoshop to link up - it's all about learning to take better pictures...or in my case, I just want to TAKE pictures. Any pictures. Because I would forget to do it otherwise.

I was excited about this week's theme because I had gotten this adorable hat for Emeric from Etsy (Nini's Handmades) and had taken nary a picture of him wearing it. So here it is:

Lightened and Sharpened in Photoshop...

I feel like this is a little "Glamour Shots By Deb" but I'm ok with that.  It's been a loooong week, and laying him down on the bed in front of the window is about as creative as I can get with the composition right now.  The important thing is that I got a picture of him in the hat, even if I didn't get dressed yesterday.  And someday when I look at this picture I won't remember whether or not I was wearing pajamas when I took it, I'll just be glad to remember those cute little baby cheeks peeking out from under his adorable hat.  If it weren't for this link up, I guarantee this photo would never have been taken.

So what are you waiting for?!  Go link up!

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Blackmail Apology Post/Awkward Photo Link Up

As I mentioned previously, I may have blackmailed some Facebook friends into voting for me in the Sheenazing Blogger Awards using some old photos circa the 90's. I feel only slightly remorseful for my behavior, but my very sensible sister thinks that it's only fair for me to now post a few ultra-embarrassing photos of myself, of which there is no shortage. In fact, if all embarrassing photos of me were laid end-to-end, they would circle the earth at least 274 times.  True story. Let's just start at the beginning, shall we?

4 Months Old.  Oh yes, the other children - they were delicious.

6 years old.  The pinnacle of my comedic genius.

12 years old.  I'm the incredibly suave candy cane in the middle.
Thank goodness I didn't go through one of those awkward puberty stages like most kids.

I was 18, so I wasn't drunk - although I kind of wish I were,
so I would have something to blame this behavior on.

Balancing a spoon on my nose at my wedding.
Because that's a normal American tradition, right?

Oh it hurts, it hurts.  I can't go on.

I just had the most brilliant idea to make this a link up - you know, just in case anyone else wants to ease my pain by sharing in the embarrassment.  Share in my shame, bloggers of the world!!  You know you want to.