Thursday, October 30, 2008

Whew!

I had intended to tell you all about my fun photoshoot, but I'm pooped! So, it'll just have to be pictures today. Maybe tomorrow I can go into more detail of what an adventure and learning experience this week has been! Now on to a peek at these beauties. Thanks, kiddos!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm it!

Courtney tagged me and I've been excited to report the...

3 Names I Go By: Marie, Mommy-Marey, Babe
3 Restaurants That I Love: Cafe Rio, Bajios, Olive Garden
3 Trips to Plan on This Year: Germany for Christmas, and that's it for this year. No trips planned yet for next year, but I'm really hoping to get down to UT to see my sisters and other family and friends.
3 Things I Want Badly: Money would definitely quench all my material wants, and I have to agree with Court--I would love better hair, and more time in a day.
3 People Who Will Do This: I have no clue.
3 Pets I Have Had: Skippy, a Cocker Spaniel; Fluffy, a white rabbit; and a turtle...can't remember his name. I'm really not a pet person.
3 Things I Did Yesterday: I can't remember! No, what did I do...I went to Goodwill and got some props for pictures, I finished my poem, ate Randi's yummy pumpkin pie, wished my sister a happy birthday and pouted because my kids wouldn't nap!
3 Things I Ate Today: Spaghetti with whole grain pasta--it was actually really yummy! I ate lots of toffee, also very yummy, and I ate two bowls of cereal-- pretty typical for me.
3 Things I Plan on Doing Tomorrow: take pictures of the Thorley kids--so nervous and excited about that! Take pictures of corsages and boutonnieres for Flowers to Go, also exciting stuff!
3 Favorite Holidays: Christmas, my birthday (my holiday), and all the holidays where Magnet doesn't have to work
3 Favorite Drinks: OJ, water, and hot chocolate

K, I tag Melissa P., Anna and Suzie!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Everywhere

Peering through my camera's lens
I frame a hiding face:
A scrunched nose pokes through
Her webbed hands, a girlish lace.
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I break her cover to reveal
Pouty lips that I adore.
"No pictures!" she pleads through giggles
As I poke her for one more.
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I pause and fancy her camera--
Soft lids on her almond shutter,
And aqua irises focusing purely
On images clicked midst her flutter.IMG_3180(b2)
I hope she captures life's delights:
Imagined friends asleep in her closet,
Dressing up, dancing and tea parties;
Bright-hued paint on her youth's palette.
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Someday she'll hold my perishable prints
To her heart, picture against picture;
I worry she'll scold me warmly and say,
"More photos of us would have been better."
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Yet I pray she'll cherish these portraits;
Not see in them a mother not there,
But instead see in the numberless prints
Me and my love for her--
Everywhere.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Magson

We scoped out some good spots this morning, and I'm so grateful that we had some luck! Great luck, in fact! This forested area is within walking distance of our house. Magson was my little model. I let him roll around in the dirt, eat wood, climb on tree stumps. I think he was in heaven. And Bella was in heaven because instead of posing she got to just play, although she did get involved and pick out picture spots for me. It's been a beautiful day.



Saturday, October 25, 2008

Passport Superlatives

We're getting ready to travel to Germany to spend Christmas with my family and I frantically remembered about a month or so ago that Magson still needed a passport. Luckily, it was a quick turn around and we already have it, but that's beside the point. Today I want to talk about how my baby boy took the most fabulous passport photo in the history of the MAG GAB family--on the first try. It took ever so little effort to get his little grin to poke his fat cheeks. I am very jealous. You'll see why in a sec...
And my poor baby girl! We tried and tried and tried to get a good passport picture for her and this was seriously the best we could do. Why is it that the boys--the ones who could care less about what their passport picture looks like-- turn out all frame-worthy?
Voted Most Likely to Take the Best Passport Photo Ever

Voted Most Out-Of-It and How Does This Even Fly For a Passport Photo? Any of you see much resemblance to that cute daughter of mine?

Voted Most Likely to Embarrass Herself by Posting her Passport Photo. Ick. Ick. ICK. I'm counting the days until my passport will expire so I can get a new one!

Voted Most Handsome and Best Husband Ever (for marrying and thinking the above beautiful)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sweet Accessories

When we were in Hawaii, I saw a gal strolling down a street shading herself with an uber cute parasol. It made me want to accessorize with parasols and umbrellas...how fun would that be? Does anyone know of any great places to buy umbrellas? I love umbrellas and some of the pictures I've seen with umbrellas. Hopefully this first photo fling with Maggie's pink umbrella is the beginning of a long-term relationship with a rainbow of umbrellas.

And doesn't this lollipop look like a pinwheel? I just want to push it 'round with my tongue. Mmmmm, yummy!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

C is for Crazy

Ok, I'm off my alphabet kick, I think--unless I can't help myself, and then you might have to suffer all the way through letter Z...we'll see.

I didn't plan for this craziness, it just happened, which isn't hard when you have a three-year-old--my three-year-old--involved. My big idea was for her to look through the frame without her jacket on (she's got a really cute shirt on under there), but she wasn't having any of that. Magson's hat, the glasses (upside down) and the shoes (backwards, but I guess you can't see those) were all her doing. Crazy cat, she is. She can get away with about anything if it means I get to take her picture.

Another crazy thing about this shoot was that I came back to our car and my keys were in the door! I guess a little crazy-crazy runs in the family.



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Grandma's Secret Garden

I'm still learning away with my camera. I'm strictly shooting in manual mode and making mega mistakes, but loving the process. With my last few batches of pictures, including this batch, I've had some focusing problems among other things, but I think (hope!) I'm starting to figure things out. Still, I can't help but post my faves and take you on this photo journey with me. I'm partial to these two angels, and I absolutely loved capturing the...

smells,
feelings,
loving,
dreaming,
escaping,

and make-beliving found in Grandma's Secret Garden.

Monday, October 20, 2008

B is for Bows

"We're only as creative as the people we copy."

I heard that line this past weekend from Jill, my new friend who totally went out of her way to teach me how to make bows. And yep, that line definitely holds true for me! She taught me how to make the bows on Friday morning and I stayed up until 2am cranking out bows that night, and then I doubly copied her by making this little sign thingy (I have no idea what to call it!) for Isabella to hang her bows from. I need to find a good spot on her bedroom or bathroom wall for it. Anyway, it felt really good to get away from my normal creative outlets and get crafty. Thanks so much, Jill!


Also, I've come across a few blogs that are great copy-cat resources:

*littlewindowshoppe.com
*todayscreativeblog.blogspot.com

Three cheers for my fellow copy-catters out there! And by the way, I'd love to pass on the love and teach anyone interested how to make cutesy hair bows. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Beautiful Christina

Beautiful Christina is my sister-in-law. I've always admired her elegant features and have told her many times that she has a timeless beauty similar to that of Princess Diana's. I think she looks like a flower against these dynamic and colorful backdrops found in her very own backyard! This is Christina at home, and these pictures of her remind me of a line from a poem:

A thing of beauty is a joy forever;
Its loveliness increases;
It will never pass into nothingness
-Keats




Friday, October 17, 2008

A is for Appetite

It was PB&J for lunch today, and this was exactly what Maggie looked like when we had the following conversation... (For full effect, imagine her saying this between lots of chewing and smacking.)

Maggie: I've got an appetite, Mommy!
Me: Oooh, really?? You want the other half of your sandwich?
Maggie: I already got it.
Me: So, what does appetite mean?
Maggie: When you eat a lot of bread.
Me: Where did you learn that?
Maggie: High school.

I keep telling her she's in preschool, but it's not sticking...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Black and White

This afternoon Maggie and I went to this place that my sweet photographer friend Shannon showed me in hopes of getting some colorful fall pictures. It was a spontaneous outing and very fun, but her cute leopard print coat was clashing with the orange pumpkins! I'm a huge fan of color and I feel like I'm committing a color crime by putting fall pictures into black and white. Fall is all about the colors! But all my favorite pictures that were in color were out of focus, so I toyed with B&W for the first time...have no idea what I'm doing, but fun as always!



Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stumped


I've got a long list of things that I'm stumped about, and I'm going to share them in hopes that somebody out there might have some answers for me!

First, and this isn't that big of a deal, but why do I like the below picture? It's random and kind of weird, but I like it! But I would love it if it meant something. Any creative ideas how this picture could be meaningful? Do any of you have a story about kid feet and a vase that you'd like to share with me?

Next, why is it that when your house is clean, nobody spontaneously shows up to see it, but when it is dirty you get all kinds of unexpected visitors. Last week I had the lovely experience of showing the upstairs half of my house to friends who'd never seen it before, and it was seriously you-could-hardly-walk-down-the-hall messy and seriously embarrassing. I don't know why I agreed to let them see it! I definitely learned my lesson, and have since had the upstairs decently clean, but I've had nobody to show it to. I almost want to call someone--anyone--"Hi, it's MAG. The upstairs of my house is clean. Can you please come look at it? Please!?"

And how do I say no to dough? Cookie dough, that is, and not eat cookies all day long if I know they're just sitting there lonely in the bread drawer? It doesn't help that they're the best cookies EVER. I thought I was missing something when for years I didn't know how to bake yummy cookies. Now that I know how, I'm wishing I didn't. It takes all my will power not to make them at least once a week. Here's the recipe for Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies: (Thanks, Kandis!)

Ingredients:
3/4 c. butter-flavored shortening
11/4 c. packed dark brown sugar
2 TBS milk
1 TB vanilla
1 egg
13/4 c. wheat flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 c. chocolate chips
(can add oatmeal, pb and toffee chips for fun)

Combine shortening, sugar, milk and vanilla--mix. Beat in egg until well mixed and lighter in color. Add flour, salt and baking soda, then chocolate chips and other add-ins if desired. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes (chewy) or 11-13 minutes (crisp). Don't over bake! Remove cookies to foil to cool.


And on to the next thing I'm stumped about. I'm working on cleaning out my laptop in hopes of selling it. But it has an atrocious number of pictures saved to it. Today I started uploading them to photobucket, wanting to have backups of my snapshots on the Internet. Yeah, that'll pretty much take forever. Where do you guys back up your pictures? Any secrets? Whisper over here.

Finally, I'm still trying to figure out how to do everything--everything I want to do and everything I feel like I should do. It seems like right when I get one thing going, another thing falls off the map. Right now exercising and reading are remote villages on my map and photography and writing are capital cities. And I love reading and I love exercising! How could they fall off? Can't I do every last thing I want to do?

But the last thing I want to say, and if you read nothing I just wrote, I do hope you at least see this:

Thank you! I truly love reading all of your blogs. They lift me up and inspire me to be better. And thank you for the kind and encouraging comments you've sent my way. They are so sweet and uplifting. I really love you all!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Once Upon a Time...

On a Sunday afternoon, just before naptime, a little princess scanned her books with eager eyes. What would she choose today? Dr. Suess? Fancy Nancy? Curious George? Alas, she finally picked. Today she tucked her nose behind Cinderella.




Friday, October 10, 2008

Contact Me

Drop me a line. Give me a call. I'd love to hear from you!

gross.marie@gmail.com
360-329-2412

In Those Days

Mister Mag and I spent our first anniversary in Interlaken, Switzerland, and if you've ever been to Switzerland you know it's a place impossible to remember vaguely. Every inch of it is a clean vivid. The mountains spear the fresh air at neck-straining heights. The surplus of waterfalls looks out of place in mortality. The orderly and slow pace of the country is a refreshing misfit in our busy and chaotic modern world.

On a Sunday afternoon we left our cozy chalet just after a startling summer thunderstorm and went for a walk. We followed a curvy path out of town and into a thickly forested area where all we could hear were the moos of grazing cows mixed with the bobble of their bells clanging. The air was wet and the clouds were low and misty in our path. If it had been a normal walk we'd have talked, but the stillness of nature hushed and spoke to us, instead.

As I listened, I felt like I'd entered a heavenly place, surrounded by vibrancy--the colors, the smells, the feelings--everything radiant. It felt familiar, this place, and reminded me of something I can't remember--my life before now, my home before Earth.

In those days, did I know Magnet? Were we friends? Did we vow to help each other through mortality? Did we choose our children? Did they choose us? Sometimes it sure feels like it. Somewhere in the cornerstones of my memory, my spirit remembers those days. Not the details, but the feelings. And every once in awhile a something--a smile, a look, a place-- triggers my soul's recollection of my far-reaching history. It's something hard to explain, yet so widely felt.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mrs. Pineapple has a Tea Party

Maggie and her cute personality-filled friend had a tea party in the forest this afternoon. They gobbled two caramel macadamian nut chocolates ridiculously fast and then took turns pretending to be Mrs. Pineapple to Baby Pineapple. Ah, to be a little girl again!







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