Today my husband turns 34. The first birthday I celebrated with him was his 18th. That means I’ve been lucky enough to celebrate 17 of his 34 birthdays with him. Half of our lives we’ve been side by side. Best friends. And I don’t remember much about life before he was in it. I’m thankful each and everyday that he was born and that I get to spend everyday with him.
Happy birthday, Chuck! We love you more than all the starfish in the sky
*** Canon 5D Mark II, 50 1.2
F 2.0, 1/125, ISO 2500
Poor Brayden had the stomach flu last week and we had to miss a Christmas party. We surprised him with a trip in his pajamas to see the Christmas lights after bath time to cheer him up. I just love the magic of Christmas. And I think one of the biggest gifts as a parent is to see that magic through the eyes of your children.
*** Canon 5D Mark II, 28 1.8
F 1.8, 1/100, ISO 4000 (yes! 4000!)
Mom*tog Tip: For this shot I turned on the light in the backseat closest to Brayden to illuminate his face and I rolled down the window to let the light from the Christmas lights in as well. I braced my elbows on the back of my seat so I wouldn’t get motion blur from my movements. I bumped my ISO all the way up to 4000 and I was surprised at how good the shot looks (considering there was very little available light!). When shooting with an aperture that is so wide (1.8) and a low shutter speed, take lots of shots! You will get motion blur!
When life gives you a rainy day… play in the puddles!
*** Canon 5D Mark II, 50 1.2
F 2.0, 1/800, ISO 125
Besides the Legos and Hot Wheels, here are some gifts Brayden has had his eye on!
1 – Oliver Jeffers Books – We love Oliver Jeffers. They are fun books and are fun for parents to read! Our favorite is Stuck. Both of my kids laugh hysterically when this book is read to them!
2 – Pinhole Press Memory Game – Brayden loves games and I think he will be so surprised to see his pictures on this custom game of memory. He will think it’s so fun and I love the print quality of the pictures!
3 – Pinhole Camera Kit – I might have bought this present more for me than for him. I thought it would be a fun project to work on together.
4 – Kiwi Crates – Brayden got a subscription to Kiwi Crates last year for Christmas and these things keep him entertained for hours. He’s old enough where he can follow most of the instructions on his own and I love the fun and unique crafts that get delivered right to our door.
5 – Tegu Blocks – I recently discovered these magnetic blocks and I am so excited for Brayden to open these on Christmas morning. I ordered the small starter kits for both kids plus a set of wheels for Brayden. I love the story behind this company and how they support reforestation in Honduras. In 2012 Tegu planted 983 trees for every tree that was harvested! I’m hoping we can take these out to a restaurant and have a nice, quiet meal for once. Is that asking too much?
6 – Q & A a Day – I came across this book for kids at Anthropologie. It asks 365 questions for 3 years. Since Brayden is just starting to write I thought this would be a fun project. To see how his writing progresses and how his answers change.
7 – Yubo Lunch Box – A lunch box for Christmas? I know. I think it’s kind of boring. But, Brayden was up late one night watching Shark Tank with us and saw this lunch box and he was so excited about it. The plates are interchangeable and can be personalized. All of the parts pop out and can go in the dishwasher so it’s easy to clean. Brayden’s lunch box is always so gnarly. I’m excited to get this and try it out. And I love that when his interests change we can just order new plates and don’t have to get an entire new lunch box!
8 – Micro – Fone – Who needs cell phones? I love this retro toy and can just imagine Brayden having so much fun with it in the backyard. Restoration Hardware is currently sold out, but I was able to score one on Ebay.
Just some of
my Kennedy’s favorite things plus some of the things Santa will be bringing her this year.
1 – Pippy Lou Boutique – Kennedy is obsessed with dresses. Obsessed. They have to have the right amount of twirl and girliness to them. Both Kennedy and I love the dresses from Pipppy Lou Boutique. They are fun, pretty, and affordably priced. If you have a tall girl like me order a size up. Kennedy’s 2T dresses are already a bit short on her!
2 – My Mom Snaps – I’ve said it before and I will say it again. If you have a kid who hates having their pictures taken get this book! It is beautifully illustrated and it will help get your kids excited about taking pictures. Love this book!
3 – Gothic City Blocks – I had this same exact set of blocks when I was a kid. Or maybe they were my brother’s. I don’t remember. What I do remember was playing with them for hours on end. Kennedy loves blocks. She loves stacking them as high as she can. It’s the only thing that keeps her attention for more than a few minutes. I know both of my kids will have fun building with these blocks.
4 – Very Chic Baby Princess Dresses – Kennedy is not just obsessed with normal dresses. She is also obsessed with princess dresses. Or, “lella” dresses as she calls them. I am not so obsessed with the shiny material and cheesy pictures of the princesses on the store bought dresses. I first bought Kennedy a dress from Very Chic Baby for Halloween 2011. I love the halter style of the dress. It grows with her and she can still fit into that dress from last year. Santa might be bringing her Rapunzel and Alice in Wonderland this year.
5 – Petite Creature Cubes – Puzzels also do a good job of keeping Kennedy’s attention. Blocks + a puzzle are sure to be a winner. Plus I love this sweet vintage design.
6 – Strider Bike – My girl loves being outside. Brayden had this bike when he was her age and while he’s not quite as an outdoorsy of a kid as Kennedy is he loved it. Kennedy is going to freak when she sees this under the tree in pink. I should probably buy her some knee pads too…
7 – Sweet Littles Handmade Dolls – I started a collection of redhead dolls for my redhead girl and the doll from Sweet Littles Handmade is by far my favorite. My only regret is that I would have ordered the Heirloom doll where Katy can incorporate a clothing item from your child or even from a parent or grandparent into the doll. How sweet is that?
8 – Flatout Frankie – I love toys where my kids can use their imaginations. These animal heads (they come in a unicorn and a dinosaur) are perfect for just that. I love that they are eco friendly. And what girl doesn’t need a unicorn?