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The Stuff Great Days Are Made Of

9 Nov

If you’re a Stay-At-Home-Mom, Work-At-Home-Mom, Work-Away-From-Home Mom, well…just plain old mom, then you know just how hard we often try to create these amazing moments for our kids.  Which generally leads to the following:  frustration, lack of time, little money, more frustration, comparison to those fantastic blogs where “every” day is a perfectly magical day (not. true.), feelings of inadequacy, and…  You get the picture.  This is NOT one of those posts.

After many late nights of too much work and too little sleep (thank you teething babe), I sat on the floor with the kids very early this morning and decided to throw caution to the wind.  Have a party.  No nothing fancy.  Pull out the china (yes, that’s from a grocery store and not a fancy-shmancy china place). Hang a banner that we fashioned with some old scrap material.  Bake cookies.  AND sip hot chocolate “tea” with dark chocolate peppermint swizzle sticks (LOVE, thank you Aldi’s!).

The kids thought it was magical.  It cost: nothing.  Warm milk going down, chocolate smeared about with a side of “we’re having a party” shouts are enough to make kids think that they are having the MOSTest special time in the whole world.  And why shouldn’t they?

…because this is the stuff GREAT days are made of.

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Encouragement

30 Oct

Things I often hear parents say on a photo session with kiddos:

“I’m so sorry he’s not performing!”

“I canNOT believe she’s being this way!”

“Don’t worry.”  I try to reassure in my sweetest voice.  “ALL kids do this as some point. Even mine.”  Yes my kids, who are so used to having a camera shoved in their face they strike a pose when they see a dangling point-and-shoot hanging from one’s wrist!

I recently received some of the kindest words of encouragement from a friend that I haven’t seen in years.  The timing perfection.  The day: chaos.  My mind: scattered.  I was grateful for her words of encouragement – both as an individual and photographer.

I’m a bit of a dreamer.  I think. I fantasize.  I dream.  My grandmother, an author by trade and dreamer by nature, is my kindred-spirit.  Never once did she kill somebody’s dream.  She always encouraged them.

Dreams don’t always unfold in life as we envision, but they always breed vision.  They propel us.  Move us forward.  The same way an encouraging word does.

Hernán and I were just discussing how important our words are because they always seem to take root and head us in one direction or the other.  Words give life.  They are never stagnant.

Today, may you be an encourager to someone else  and be encouraged by these words:

“Therefore, encourage one another and edify one another, just as you are doing.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined.” ~Henry David Thoreau

PROOF:

That my kids DO have meld-downs during photo shoots.  Here is ZOE on her NOT-SO-BEST-BEHAVIOR during a recent photo shoot!

Family Session: The Baldwins

20 Oct

This post is particularly sweet for me.  Because you see, it’s of one of my nearest and dearest friends and her family.

We both moved to “The Lou” around the same time.  Started attending the same church, and in our sea of “what in the heck are we doing in St. Louis-ness?”  found out we had so much in common and became really great friends.

List of commonalities:

  • Husbands adore soccer
  • Love to read, write, and sing
  • Play the piano
  • Relish the taste of something delish
  • Have babes
  • Are about the same height, name = Ashley, born same year, long blonde hair, blue eyes

AND

  • Everyone at our church confuses us with one another.

Aside from everything I treasure about our friendship (and the fact that she introduced me to dark chocolate sprinkled with fleur de sel), I equally love her precious family.  It was so much fun chasing them around. Capturing them.  At this moment.  Right now.  Just as they are.

Life. Love. And Loca.

26 Jul

Yesterday we celebrated our dog Loca’s 5th birthday.  It sounds ridiculous, but I canNOT believe she’s five.  That’s like her being 35 in human years.  Sad.  She’s older than Hernan and I are now =(  We put our family’s “birthday party hat” on.  It’s tradition.  We use the same one for every birthday.  We sang “Happy Birthday” and “Feliz Cumpleanos” to her.

I think she liked it! Look at her smile =)

Today, I’m celebrating 6 years with a pretty perfect man.

Here are just a few of the things I LOVE about him:

He works hard.  Doesn’t complain.  Lives to make me happy. Adores our kids.  Laughs A LOT!  Embraces a journey.  And a challenge.  Isn’t picky.  Isn’t complicated.  Loves God.  Loves his family.  Loves his friends.  Completely Honest.  Beyond Dedicated.  Without a doubt, my best-est friend.

In a few days, we’ll announce a project we’re working on.  Hopefully a continual one.

Te amo mucho y espero compartir muchos anos mas con vos!

Family, Pooch, & a Pregnant Lady

11 Jul

I get this all the time: “You must have SO many great family photos since you do photography!” My reply, “Um, nope.  Because I’m usually the one behind the camera. In fact, we’ve never done them.”  That was, until last night.

We went all the way to HADES apparently to get them taken.  It was hot.  So hot. Our van’s digital thermometer read 102° at 8:00 p.m.

I wasn’t at all about to complain though.  Mary Kim, a fabulous photog friend and very pregnant gal, was lying on the ground belly down to get just the right shots.  Everyone cooperated.  Almost.  Zion was delirious by the heat and could barely muster a smirk.  Loca, our dog, was sheer perfection!

Our Toms picture is us.  To. A. Tee.  Relaxed, on the move, and part Argentine (or Argentinean…Po-Tay-To…Po-Tah-To).  Side note:  If you didn’t know, yes, the flag on the back is the Argentine flag.  And the shoe is an Argentine shoe.  We love them.  We love what they stand for.

Despite the heat, we survived.  I’m over-the-moon excited to fill our massive but empty Organic Bloom family frame.  And now, whenever someone asks if we have great family photos I’ll reply, “Yes, we do have them.  MK Loeffler Photography fixed that!”

You should really check her out.  She’s as delightful a person as her photography is.  If you can even imagine that.

And we, we really are blessed.

Zion’s face says it all…

Dresses, Tresses, & all things Girly!

11 Apr

This past weekend I made the annual trek home to help my niece Randi Lee get ready for prom.  I say annual because I always help get her ready for her big events.  It’s tradition.  And some traditions canNOT be broken.  They just can’t.  It makes me a bit teary-eyed thinking just how great this gal is.  I know it’s doing the same thing to everyone else in our family that reads this (especially) by BIG sis – her mom.

She’s supposed to be little.  Tagging along.  Wanting to be like her older Aunties.  She’s not though. 

She’s tall & beautiful – even moreso on the inside than the outside (if you can believe that!).  She walks to the beat of her own drum.  She’s talented.  Beautiful voice, great student, & STELLAR athlete.  She’s been named to the first-team ALL-STATE for a couple of years and Missouri State Champ in basketball this year. She has made it to the final four basketball tournament every single year she’s played.  And her long legs fffffllllllyyyyyyyyyyy around a track.  She’s the kind of girl that I hope Zoe grows up to be.

Yes, I’m bragging.  I have these rights as an Auntie.

Little Z turns 2

29 Mar

Where does the time go?  I am pretty sure I just brought this little guy home yesterday.  But nope.  It was over 2 years ago.

We celebrated.  ALL. DAY. LONG.

We put balloons (one of his most FAVORITE things next too futbols) all over the floor before he woke up.

We listened to him say “Happy Birthday to you!”  OVER and OVER. 

We let him pick the menu…Pizza, Cake Pops, and Horizons Milk & Juice Boxes (with Izzy’s for the grown-ups!) And yes, I actually made them myself!  Go to sur la table for the sticks.  ONLY $2.50 for 35!

We relished in how happy he was to open presents this year, since he realized they were ALL for him!

We surrounded him with people that love him.  No matter how near or far (he’s skyping to Argentina =) People that have helped us raise and nurture his cute little self.   We love you all for that.

Then, we played with his toys & watched his movies until we just couldn’t play and watch any more.

He’s 2. 

We LOVE you Little Z!!

Yes, I’m a month behind on this blog.  Don’t judge me =)