Saturday, December 31, 2011

12/31/11 - Day 365

Well, it's over.  Today is the final day of this project and I'm pretty thrilled to be finished.  Of course I will continue to take photos....probably lots of them, but I'm glad that the obligation is ending.  I learned so much doing this project and when I look back at the photos I can see that I've grown as a photographer a lot....much more than I thought I had.  It has been quite a year and it is a wonderful gift to be able to look back at each day.  The project has made each day stand out in my mind.  It's amazing how something like this can make you stop and take notice of the little things in life. 

For the last photo, I thought it fitting to share my constant partner this year.  I didn't use this guy for every photo, but this combo was used for the vast majority of them.  My trusty Canon 5D Mark II and the little 50mm 1.4 lens.

Thanks to everyone who read the blog or even viewed it once or twice.  A special thanks to those who encouraged me along the way.  I really appreciated the sweet comments everyone made. 

Fun facts: My 2011 photo folder has 9138 photos in it.   December has the most photos with 1398.  June (the month I suffered with the worst of morning sickness) has the fewest with only 298.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the blog.....keep it here, start fresh when the baby comes.  The nice thing is I don't have to know just yet.   For now I begin the long process of trying to turn this blog into a photo book.  Here's hoping I can get it done before the baby arrives. 

Thanks again!

12/30/11 - Future

Today Rich and took the opportunity while Nathan was at pre-school to do a little shopping for those last few items we need to have before Trackie arrives.  We ventured to the Babies R Us in Calabasas.  It was a bit surreal as I had been in that Babies R Us a million times in preparation for Nathan's arrival....and then a million times more after he arrived.  It's definitely much different this time around.  This was my first real trip to any baby store for Trackie as most of our baby "shopping" has been done in our garage. 

On the shopping list....a new carseat, baby shampoo, diaper cream, diapers, wipes, a new changing table pad, new diaper pail.....and that was pretty much it.  I'm so glad I convinced Rich to hold on to all the old baby stuff.  I'm sure we'll discover other things here and there, but it's great that we have most everything we need.

After Babies R Us we went across the street to the Commons for lunch. We had such a lovely time eating Chinese fast food alone together and realized that this would be our last opportunity to do something like this for a very long time.  At the end of our meal I opened my fortune cookie. It seemed like the perfect image to represent today and the perfect message at this time in our lives. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

12/29/11 - YMCA

Nathan frequently asks if it's too cold to go swimming.  He really misses swimming when the season is over.  I thought it would be a great idea to head over to the indoor pool at the YMCA during the holiday vacation.  Turns out it was a great idea. 

Getting the picture was not easy.  It was hard to locate the point and shoot and waterproof case in the house...and then, I didn't have time to make sure the batteries were charged.  They weren't, so I didn't have many opportunities to get a decent shot.  Then, I forgot to turn the flash off, so there was that hurdle.  Here's the shot I ended up with. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

12/28/11 - First Legos

Yesterday Nathan received his very first legos courtesy my sister Brooke and her sweet son Sean.  I was worried that Nathan wouldn't have the patience to follow the directions to put the legos together according to the directions, but I was surprised how patiently he worked with me to put his first set together.  Nathan's first lego structure is a cool dragon!

12/27/11 - Beach...Finally!

Can you believe we finally made it to the beach.  I had really intended to take Nathan to the beach sometime last Summer for photos...but it never happened.  Finally.....December rolls around and we have our beach trip.  Amazingly enough, it was a beautiful day for playing at the beach.  Not so much for swimming, but for running around, throwing sand, making sand angels and getting all messy....the perfect day.

We went down to Newport area to spend some time with my Brother and Sister in Law.  Nathan had such a blast!

Please excuse all the photos...but these are the only beach photos for the year know.

With his Aunt and Uncle.

Climbing on the rocks with Daddy.

SO excited to go down to the water.

Watching the effect his feet have on the wet sand.

Rob and Tina enjoying the romantic setting.

Mommy getting pelted with wet sand.

And of course....what is the Wintertime without sand angels?

12/26/11 - Father Son Bonding

We're getting ready for the big change that is about to happen in our family and have been thinking a lot about how we can make Nathan continue to feel special, appreciated, loved, and the focus of our attention.  Rich thought it would be a really good idea to start a weekly Father Son activity of playing tennis to give Nathan some real one on one time.

This was their first day out playing tennis.  Nathan did a really good job!  We played tennis for about 30 minutes and then explored the park on the new scooters Santa gave to all of us.

12/25/11 - Merry Christmas

This Christmas was very different from last year's.  Last year, Nathan played with each present he opened for a good 10-15 minutes before moving on to the next one....this year, it was a marathon of ripping open presents as quickly as he possibly could.  I guess he's figured Christmas out.  He loved all of his gifts and was so grateful for everything.  The biggest hits were the "things that go".  The cars and the train.  He played with them non-stop all day.

12/24/11 - Twas the Night Before Christmas

We had a nice, peaceful evening this Christmas Eve. Baked cookies and decorated nice holiday tradition.  Then set out the cookies and read "The Night Before Christmas" before sending the very excited boy off to bed. 

Here are lots of snaps from the night.  Thanks to Rich for taking a few of the first images.

Friday, December 23, 2011

12/23/11 - Christmas Eve Eve

Santa is teetering on the edge, about to fall down the chimney.  One day left and there is lots of excitement in our house.  I'm looking forward to tomorrow night...making cookies, reading stories, and watching Christmas movies all as a family. 

12/22/11 - Peek a Boo

Nathan had just gotten out of the bathtub and I thought he was really cute with his spiky hair, so I quickly grabbed the camera and snuck around the corner to steal a very quick candid shot of my boy.  He didn't know I had the camera, so this is him expecting to look up and see me.  I LOVE this face.

12/21/11 - Christmas Tree

It took a while this year, but we finally finished decorating our Christmas tree.  The last piece was the star Nathan made yesterday.  SO, today I was finally ready to do the official Christmas tree photo. 

This was done with a nice long 20 second exposure with a really closed aperture of f/22 to get the nice glowy star effect on the lights. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12/20/11 - Homemade Tree Topper

I've never had much luck finding a tree topper that I like, so a few years ago I started the tradition of having Nathan make the star for the top of the Christmas tree.

This year he was more involved in the process than ever.  He was able to cut the star out, spread the glue over the surface of the star, pour the glitter all over the star and shake the excess glitter off.  This year the star is all Nathan's design.  I love it!

12/19/11 - Shaped Bokeh

Today's photo is a reprise from one I took about 2 years ago.  I was too lazy to play with shaped bokeh last year and had a hard time getting the camera to focus this year.  I ended up using my macro lens and manually focusing.  I also needed the flash as the light in the house was pretty dim when I took these.

12/18/11 - Play Date at Home

Nathan had his first school friend over for a playdate.  This was his first ever playdate at home with someone his own age.  Nathan could hardly contain himself he was so excited.  Nathan has known this little girl pretty much his whole life and they've always been great friends.  It was so cute and encouraging watching how well they played together, shared the toys, and took turns.

12/17/11 - Decorating the Tree

The tree has been up for quite some time....and it has had lights on it for a good while.  Rich and Nathan put a few of those plastic ornaments on the tree, but we are finally all ready and available to put all the family favorite ornaments on the tree.  Nathan was mostly happy to help, though a bit distracted by "Home Alone" playing on the TV in the background.

I love that you can see Nathan's Darth Vader mask in the background.  He plays with that thing all the time!

12/16/11 – Waiting

I'm right this moment in the process of my 3 hr glucose tolerance test. This baby is some sort of giant mutant baby, so although I passed the 1 hr glucose test with flying colors...they insist that I MUST have Gestational Diabetes. They can't think of any other reason for a normal sized person such as myself to be growing such a massive baby.

I've got 30 minutes left. So, here is a photo of what I've been spending the last hour doing. Typing on my belly obscured laptop as I write the blog posts for the last 2 weeks. Sadly, this is the last one, so I've got to find some other way to entertain myself for the next 30 minutes. 

12/15/11 – Holiday Program

Today was my last day of work before the Winter Break. I really wish I had a better camera to capture this...but oh well. I was just stricken by all the parents holding up their phones or cameras to videotape their children performing. I'd be doing the exact same thing. 

12/14/11 – nPhone

I was doing something on my phone and I just thought it was too cute when Nathan picked up this really old cell phone that we let him play with and started pushing the buttons wildly as though he was texting someone. He then “called” his Daddy and assured me that Daddy would be home very soon. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

12/13/11 – Yellow Gem

I have about 25 really fun photos from today's trip out with Nathan and his glider bike...but I'm going with this one for the day's photo. Here it is December 13th and I'm still able to capture sweet little flowers growing wildly outside. 

12/12/11 – Lullaby

No words really necessary here. Rich is singing Nathan his lullaby as Nathan plays with a little toy airplane.

12/11/11 - Shatterproof

Rich and Nathan surprised me by putting up a few of the ornaments today while I was napping. I love these ornaments. We purchased these plastic ornaments for Nathan's 2nd Christmas. He was constantly taking ornaments off the tree and throwing them across the room so I was glad to have found plastic ornaments that could withstand the treatment of a 15 month old. They will likely come in just as handy next Christmas!

12/10/11 – Tree Shopping

Went out to the Christmas Tree place today to pick out our tree. This tree place is also the pumpkin patch we go to. Nathan immediately went on a search for the big shoe and the tractor. He found them. 

12/9/11 - 1 Word a Minute

Nathan and I practiced writing words (both real and fake) on the computer keyboard today. He had such a great time. I was particularly excited that today he seemed to really understand how to write the numbers beyond 10. Always learning that one. 

12/8/11 - Spiral

Nathan was so excited about the train track he made today. I could see why. How creative to make such a neat little spiral! 

12/7/11 - Holiday Mantle

I have officially begun the decorating process. The mantel has had a few of the decorations for a few days now, but today I added the lights. I just adore Christmastime. There is no more lovely feeling than sitting at home with the family, sipping hot chocolate and enjoying the warm glow from Christmas lights. Perfection!

12/6/11 - Playtime

I brought my camera out with us today with the intention of capturing a very different photo. First, I had intended on getting a photo at Target where we had planned on getting Nathan some new shoes. Sadly, they didn't have any shoes that he liked in his new size (11!). So, I then thought I'd just take pictures at the Library. However, because he was such a good listener at the store, I decided to take him to his favorite place for lunch. McDonalds! I even took him to the one with the play place. Brought my camera in and just loved the photos I got there, so I didn't even bother bringing the camera inside the library.

Isn't it wonderful how easy it is to please a 4 yr old?

12/5/11 - Holiday Lights

I love seeing the lights pop up all over town. These are the lights we can see from our bedroom window. So festive. 

12/4/11 - Reminder

Did a headshot/family session for some friends today. They have the most adorable 2 yr old girl. I was quickly reminded that my life of leisure with a fairly responsible and careful 4 yr old is about to end. It won't be long until I'm running around trying to keep a little one safe again. But this time....I'll be doing it with about 5 extra years on me. Here's hoping I can keep up!

12/3/11 - Family Photos

Took the family out for this year's family photos. This was the first year in a while that I had the tripod take the photo for us. It was probably a pretty funny site when I ran up the little hill as fast as I could to get into place for this shot. I'm so pleased that I made it and that Nathan was able to look at the camera with no one behind it. What a good boy! Rich too. 

After the formal photos were done, we proceeded with the play. I just plopped myself in the grass and snapped snapped snapped as Rich and Nathan had a blast playing. Such a successful session, and I love the holiday card that resulted from our efforts.