I bought a flash from someone on craigslist. I am SO happy! I couldn't sleep because of the excitement. But now, I'm sleeping even better knowing I'm all set to shoot Kate and Henry's wedding this Saturday! I'm starting to feel like a real photographer with this bad boy atop my camera! Hooray!
Can I give you the play by play of my day because it was really great?! Ok. excellent.
It started out with a run, a good one. Then I went to the temple. I volunteered to do laundry there once a month. And today was my first day. I got set apart and everything! (I realize that's a really Mormon thing to say and I kind of don't know how to explain it any other way. They gave me a sweet blessing to do my job. That's probably the best explanation of getting 'set apart'). AND I get my very own white name tag! I was very excited. It was so relaxing to have a few hours of QUIET. Ah, heaven. As I was walking down the temple hall with a basket full of white laundry I had this overwhelming feeling that I really belong there. Something about doing laundry, such an intimate task, made me feel so at home. The temple is so peaceful and so beautiful. It was a really great experience. Then I came home to a newly painted kitchen. Chris does an amazing amount of things when he's home with the kids. I don't see how he does it sometimes. And he picked out the color himself and it looks great! I love the rockstars diary blog. I had read about her going to gigi's cupcakes as part of her roadtrip. The girl loves food. It's too funny. So since it's in the neighborhood we decided to check it out. And while we were there well who should walk in but the lovely Gigi herself. We had a quick little chat and she gave us an extra cupcake for free. Thank you Gigi! They were SOOOO so so so good! We each got a Hunka Chunka Banana Love. De-licious. She said it was her best recipe. I would have to agree. Although, I'm partial to banana. And the Almond Joy was incredible. The one you see here is the white midnight magic chocolate chip. It's the only one that made it home in one piece. It's gone now. I brought my camera with me but not my CF card. How lame, it's a horrible habit I've gotten myself into and it must end.
Chris finishing off the Almond Joy.
You think that's the end. It's not. But perhaps this post is long enough. I shall save it for another day.
For show and tell on Friday Chickie wanted to bring her song book (which she keeps under her pillow-anyone seen Camp Rock?) The night before she had written a new song called, "Double Roses." Well, I helped dress her up as a rock star for school. You know, to give her the courage to sing. Because she said that she knew her teacher would ask her to sing one. And so she sang one of her songs for her class. She rocked it out Chickie style.
This morning the sight of this made me cry. Here's why. Chris gets home from work really late most nights. Last night he got home around 10 I think. We talked for about an hour. We told each other about our days.
The kids spent most of the day playing outside yesterday even though it was kind of chilly. At one point Chickie called to me that something horrible had happened. All the tassels had been pulled off of her bike and were lying on the ground. Everyone of them. It was a most sad and pathetic sight indeed. She bawled inconsolably for a while. I hugged her. I didn't blame her one bit for how she was feeling. It was a great loss for her. I said, "tomorrow first thing I'll go to Hobby Lobby and get some pretty ribbons. We can hot glue them on." She broke out of her sobs for long enough to paint me a little picture (figuratively speaking) of how those tassels whip through the wind when she's riding her bike. She loves the crinkly sound they make and how they let her know that she's going faster and faster. They are basically the cherry on top of riding a bike. Better than the basket. Better than the horn. Better than pink princesses. It's all about the tassels.
So when I saw those tassels back on the bike this morning I thought of my husband outside at 11:00 hot glueing those strands back on one by one. It made me cry. I love him. Only just now did I realize that he probably brought the bike inside. Still. THANK YOU, BABE! You're THE best! He's our knight in shining armor!
This morning we dyed eggs. Chris got all Martha on us.
Then we went to church. I had a class of eight 3-4 year olds. It was complete insanity. I went running for help several times. I always end up with too many things planned. I guess that's better than having not enough. I had this really cute cut out thing to do with the resurrection. For some reason I thought it would be manageable. I thought, "The kids can cut out some of it and I'll put in some relaxing hymns in to keep it reverent while I help them individually." It was so idyllic in my head. Yeah, right. It was madness. I had to enlist two parents for help. And between the three of it we barely got it done. Actually I guess we didn't even. One kid didn't do it at all. And one kid we sent home with the stuff to do it. Ha ha ha. I should know these things. I have kids, right? Just not 8 of them. How do people do it?
We came home, Bentley fell asleep and I locked myself in my room with Anna Karenina. I'm actually really liking it. I liked Levin's thoughts on how physical (farm) labour is honest, real and makes you happy. Anyone read it? Is the ending good? No, don't tell me. After I recovered from church (oh, that's funny) we did confetti eggs. We attacked Chris unawares. It was very fun, as always. I think my kids looked adorable today. I meant to do a photo shoot with them for fun after church but we were all too exhausted. And we grilled out and had strawberry shortcake. Chickie likes hers sans strawberries. She's a nut. I'm so thankful for my family. And spring. And Christ and the beautiful life He led. I'm so grateful for His atonement as well and the peace that brings to me.
First of all take these "Easter Baskets" for example. Holy smelly mess! What a disaster. I used to make these as a kid. The sugary string dries, you pop the balloon. Cut out a circle and wa-la! Cute basket. Didn't work so much this time. Does anyone know how to do these?
And then poor Bentley and this super cute dolphin swing. It looked cute. He wanted in. But it kinda freaked him out.
Other than that all is well. Egg hunting, candy eating. Super happy kids, and etc. Although, I am feeling a little homesick today. For my old town where everything was easy and comfortable. I knew people they knew me. etc. etc. We would go to Chris's mom's house and she would make a lamb cake. For next year I must order myself a lamb cake mold. Yes, I must.
The best, the perfect, the ONLY popcorn. Yes, it's an odd obsession. But it's true.
Try it and you will never go back to the microwave kind.
Directions for delicious kettle corn:
Take a big pot with a lid, turn the burner to medium and fill with 1/4 c canola oil. Then put in 4 itty bitty kernels. When they pop the oil is ready. Dump in 1/4 c. sugar and 1/2 pop corn. Put the lid on and shake it like a polaroid picture for 3 seconds. Then wait three. Then back and forth. You get the picture. Until it stops popping. Dump it right away into a big bowl so it won't burn. You may want to shake on a little salt. And you can leave off the sugar and just make regular popcorn. If you must.
My little sister, Rose is going on a mission to Winnipeg Cananda! Is that not the coolest thing ever?! I'm so happy and excited for her. And all weekend while we were watching General Conference, I was just so happy and proud every time they mentioned missionary work. Until...today when I realized that I will have to fend for myself when it comes to finding good music for the next year and a half. Starting in July. Oh no. What is to become of me? Family gatherings will not be the same. Rose is stinking hilarious. Chris is always sad when she's not there. He says, "I don't know what it is, it's just not the same." But I know, it's Rose. I'm so excited to get letters from her and send her stuff. I'm so excited for her and so very proud of her! I'm so thankful for my little sister Rose!
Saturday evening I had a really fun photo shoot with Anna Harwood and her fiance Jason. Anna is an AMAZING dancer, she works at the same studio as Chris. At one point she had to fix his hair a bit, so cute. I think this is my favorite picture of the whole shoot. I'm partial to candids. He says his hair looks like a young Gene Simmons and it must go. ha ha ha. I like it (his hair and the Gene Simmons joke).
PLUS, If you like these pics and want some of your own (of you, not them) well, I'm planning a trip to Knoxville (my old stomping grounds) in June. And even better yet, I'm offering a nice fat discount for friends and family. I think blog readers count as friends and family, don't you? Email me at email@example.com for more specifics if you are interested!
This morning I woke up (at 9!-heaven) organized the shoes in my closet and went for a run. Everything was just so glorious and perfect. Mowers were mowing, birds were singing. I was planning everything I was going to clean in my head on the way back. When I got home Chris had already beat me to it! What is it about spring that just makes you want to clean? I think it's that we are trying to make our homes as happy and fresh as the outdoors. What do ya think? Fresh. I used to use that word all the time. Funny, I haven't thought of it in a while.
While I was taking my shower Chickie got Bentley dressed for the day.
Not bad, but I think she went a little overboard on his hair. Sadly, his color scheme is the same as my room blue and yellow. Gag. Which reminds me...I have a confession to make. We moved...again. Are you waiting for the April Fools? Well, it won't come. I'm not kidding. If there were a movers anonymous I would sign us up. I was too embarrassed to admit it. So I didn't say anything. We moved in February. Just down the street. That makes the third time since we have been married that we have moved just down the street. I lost out on some good blogging moments because I didn't want to admit we'd moved. Like bunk beds. That could have been the basis for like, 15 posts in and of itself. Like the time I found Chickie hanging from the railing. Good times. Well, they are no longer bunk beds. So why confess now? Well, I know you all wouldn't believe that I would have lived in a yellow bedroom with all my blue stuff since October. That would be completely unbelievable. Would it not? Anyway. Bought the paint. But I'm a little slow to actually paint it. I did hang pictures today. And I think we have just one little bit of stuff to take to storage. Man, it feels good to get that off my chest! So what was I saying? Oh yes, glorious, fresh day! I heart spring. And isn't it funny that both my kids fit in this yellow dress? I told Olivia that Bentley was not allowed to go outside like that. She said, "Well, I want to wear it! I love that dress!"
Hi! I am so excited about this journey of becoming an art teacher. I love working with children. I love seeing their excitement and calm contentedness when they are learning new things and doing something they love. I am a mother of two children. I am a photographer. I love to make things. Especially modern quilts, bread, and jam.
All images and words belong to Andrea Larsen. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about using any of my images.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.