31 July 2009

To Ellis with Love
Our friend Kris is off to China soon to bring her sweet girl Ellis home. When Piper asked to have her face painted at the zoo today it reminded me of her 'cousin' waiting in China!
If you don't know the story of Ellis and her wonderful Mommy Kris, pop over to say hi and if you can, participate in the fundraiser to bring Ellis home! There are some AMAZING prizes but the best prize ever is seeing a little girl with her Mommy for the first time!

30 July 2009

paisley loves hatsso does Piper!Major thanks to my friend and fellow photographer Steph for sending the Snowflowers these adorable hats!

29 July 2009

The Snowflowers are the best sisters in the whole wide world! They might harass each other, steal each others toys, and even make illegal piggy bank transfers(you know who you are!)...but when push comes to shove(literally) there is nothing these two love more than each others company.
elbow & time check!

cool ride
Saw this car pull up to the stop sign and couldn't resist snapping a quick shot as he pulled away. Gotta love a Datsun!

28 July 2009

I give myself an F for effort. Oh how I sucketh today. I left my assignment to the last moment because last night, my 'real' night for taking photos I was dealing with the pain from having two moles removed from my face whilst also nursing a sprained big toe(seriosly, I was a m.e.s.s!)...was I in the mood to take photos...heck no, I was in the mood for nothing more than a bowl of Ben & Jerry's with a tylenol chaser! The thing is...excuses aside..I did a crappy job on my photography assignment this week and I have given myself a failing grade. It hasn't been marked yet, but I don't like what I submitted so I am not only miffed with myself for not rescheduling my dermatologist appointment, but I am miffed that I submitted somthing I don't like and would never show a 'client' if the day ever comes when I have actual 'clients'!
I took these two photos tonight, neither are very good but I'm putting them up to remind myself I can do better.
my patient and extremely hungry husband. I asked this sweet girl if she would mind if I took her photo for an assignment, she was adorable, I wish I'd got her number so I could do a real shoot with her! That hair screams AWESOME to me!

27 July 2009

Red White & Blue tooMy Flag. My Nation.
The life of an ex-pat is a funny one, we move away from our country of citizenship because of wanderlust...end up travelling the world then one day you realize you've spent the same time away from your birth country as you spent in it. Next year I will reach that milestone. Hopefully, by the same time the Snowflowers will also have their citizenship and will be proud kiwi's like their Mum! They won't have to choose which one they want to be later on in life as I plan on retaining my citizenship(NZ) and staying a permanent resident(USA) for the rest of time(or until we win the lottery and move to NZ!), for this I am thankful, my girls will have the opportunity to live and work more freely than most, and I am glad I can give them this one little part of who I am...the DNA of my beautiful homeland!

24 July 2009

Princess Tea PartyToday Piper attended a very sweet tea party as part of a summer program she is in this week. Four days of manners, etiquette, ballet & a smidge of tap ended in a tea party with her fellow princess ballerina classmates. For just one hour a day for four days I was astounded how well they did. They even put on a little show for all the Mummys!
Piper made a new little friend, and Mummy did too! We are looking forward to playdates with Lily and her Mommy!TThe place where we had tea was delightful, they made little sandwiches, scones with purple sprinkles, crispie pops, and tea cups filled with pink chamomile tea! There were even flower sandwhiches with strawberry mice for the little ones!It was all very fancy and very very sweet. The teacher Miss Krista was reduced to tears when she recounted a story of her own grandmother setting up a table in the garden when she was little and serving a 'proper tea' to her and teaching her manners for such special occasions! Miss Krista, you are a treasure! Such fun! I wish I'd taken my 'real' camera and not the little stinker I had in my purse!

21 July 2009

thank you K!My neighbor Kristine came through for me BIG TIME tonight as I needed to get an assignment done and the Snowflowers were...not prepared to cooperate! A quick call and voila...45 minutes and a glass of Sangria later I had exactly what I needed...why is it I want to be a children's photographer again?
These was post processed on a LR preset...nothing fancy, I just like the effect.

My little Fawlty Towers girl
"don't mention ze war!"
You know how I was saying Piper likes to improvise during our little photo ops...well today was no exception. When I asked her to look at me, she put her finger under her nose and said
"not without my moustache!"
zats my girl!
It made me remember this episode of Fawlty Towers with John Cleese!
this isn't meant to be offensive, if you are not familiar with Fawlty Towers, it is the BRILLIANT series that followed Monty Python in the 1970's! Comedy at it's finest!

20 July 2009

are you kidding me?
So I heard God gaffawing above me when I wrote the post about not wanting my kids to have a copy of 'The Sound of Music' lest they turn into Vontrap-ettes. Seems like the joke is on me!
I'd taken Piper to the Arboretum for a shoot so I could get my assignment done...when asked to sit still I got this...oh, how I wish this photo had audio!

Minneapolis lights
I am nearing the end of my photography class and I am really going to miss it! We are in week six of an eight week course and I have learnt so much! I cannot wait to take more shots of our awesome city, and of course of the Snowflowers and anyone else who will let me. I took this shot last week as part of my assignment.

17 July 2009

Thinking about fall....ugh
why you might ask...well, today is unseasonably chilly and I was thinking about what the girls need for the Fall and beyond. I just checked the box of shoes I put aside from Piper and for some reason either Piper wore out her size 6's or I forgot to save any of them, I have a ton of size 7's but no size 6's? So I am beginning the hunt for winter shoes for Paisley. I already found a kickin' deal for sneakers on Amazon. We NEVER...let me repeat that NEVER EVER EVER pay retail...I just can't bring myself to do it...so I shop the sales, Nordstrom rack, eBay, Amazon and Land's End overstocks for almost everything.
Paisley is lucky...she has a lot of Piper's hand me downs, on the other hand, I have nothing for Piper yet. Well, I have jeans, but I need to get snowpants, a winter jacket and snowboots...ugh. A friend in MA sent us two awesome coats from her twins but they will fit next winter so I have stored them away.
The thing about winter in Minnesota is that you NEED the warmest possible gear you can find...so decent quality coats, snowboats and pants are a must!
I'm off to Nordstrom Rack this afternoon with a very small budget and high hopes of scoring some winter boots!
Oh, and I will be listing some of Paisleys kick arse shoes and clothes from last winter to help us pay for this winters provisions, so keep your eyes on my ebay listings...I have some excellent shoes she wore just a few times, Aster, Primigi, Stride Rite etc and a lot of fall and holiday dresses from Matilda Jane, Gymboree, Biscotti and Little Mass!

14 July 2009

I cannot tell you how much I love this little girl

Paisley Von Trapp I swear if anyone ever considers giving us a copy of the Sound of Music I will poke my eyes out with a giant Bratwurst!

the enchanted forest The girls and I hit the Peace Garden this afternoon for some exercise. The canopy of one of the larger trees played host to my two little monkeys as they played 'hide and seek', 'monkey monkey', and the classic childhood game 'don't stand still, Mummy's trying to take photos!'
Piper of course has to figure out how to scale the tree...then Paisley wanted to. I thought it was really sweet that Piper helped her little sister...so they could both inhabit the boughs as only good monkeys can.
this monkey business isn't that easy!

"wait...whats that?"bigfoot?

she wore ribbons in her hair

13 July 2009

the YELLOW room has no gravityIn fact, it's official name is the 'Dowling Studio' but the girls know it as the 'yellow room' and we visited on Sunday so we could take in the views across the Mississippi. Piper loved the glass floor and was quite keen to entertain me with 'jumping'I adore this view
We love this part of Downtown, I just wished we lived much closer so we could come all the time. I mean who doesn't love a cantilevered room with a glass floor...
I think it's the perfect place for reflection.

09 July 2009

verbatimrunning from our bedroom to hers Paisley yells...
"Muuuuummmy, I need a dress!"
so I walked to her bedroom and she points to a green dress hanging on the highest rod
"I choose this one, I like it, it has sparkle..it my favorite"
so I put it on her and she says
"I so fancy now, peese tie bow"
(the dress has strings to tie)
looking proud as punch she looks up and says
"thank you Mummy, lovely dreeeeessss"
"I go watch tv?"
This was the most words placed together into sentences I have ever heard from Paisley, it just flowed from her like water...I had to write it down because frankly her pronounciation was perfect except for the word please which sounds like peas when she is talking fast! Wow...the kid talks!

08 July 2009

some days are just like that right?
Today was a hard hard day...difficult beyond measure really...frustrating, exhausting and downright overwhelming. It was not my finest moment as a parent, but we all have days like this?...don't we? Today was mine.

It was not a fun day...and then I look at these photos from the weekend and I am reminded that this too shall pass, the struggles, the tantrums, the whining, the anguish will dissipate, but enough about my mood, lets discuss the girls! We are having some...issues with sleep (Snowflower 1), and with behaviour (Snowflower 1), and with sassyness (Snowflower 1) and lets not leave 'mini me' Snowflower 2 out of the mix...sure this child has the face of innocence written all over it...but she is our sneaky monkey, our destroyer of all things, our copycat stubborn little Snowflower! and today the stars aligned in such a way that when both forces met they combined into a hurricane of Snowfloweriness that almost consumed their Mother's sanity.

and yet...I lived to tell the tale.

three uses for a spoon...H1N1 face mask?
lobotomy tool?
or device to move this into one's mouth...I think the latter proved to be the most accurate!
I have a few more photos from the weekend, and if I don't post them now, they'll never get posted. Here are the girls waiting for their 'parfait a la Ben & Jerrys'..I say hurray for our green guide coupon book as it furnished us with this for FREE!

Help bring Ellis home!
My wonderful friend Kris is adopting a this little cutie from China. It's been a long and winding road to motherhood for Kris, and the heartache and loss she has suffered along the way is astounding. Finally, after five years she saw her daughters face for the first time and knew in her heart that she and this little darling were meant to be together. Once again in the spirit of love, many of us are banding together to help Ellis Gao Mei come home to her forever family. If you can take just 5 minutes to visit her blog, pick up a couple of tickets for her fundraiser, they are only $10 each and the prizes are incredible! Every dollar will help Kris bring Ellis home and get her the treatments and care she needs. You can also grab the button for the fundraiser on Kris' main page, and put it on your blog...spread the word, spread the love!

05 July 2009

God is Good...'wake up beer'I kid you not, we had brunch this morning at a little bistro in the City and Mike noticed a beverage item simply named 'wake up beer', when asked, the waitress informed him it was a nice little combo of Guinness and espresso...guess who was a happy camper today!

monkey seemonkey do!and domy girls are STRONG!

the hazy aftermath
I love the Stone Arch Bridge, I think it's the perfect backdrop for the fireworks. I especially loved it a few minutes after the last explosion, the air heavy with smoke and haze.

fireworks! the stone arch bridge makes a wonderful platform for the fireworks
These shots are SOOC, no editing, no cropping. I had an absolute blast playing with my camera taking these shots(pardon the pun)! We had a seat near the Stone Arch Bridge and I had no idea exactly where they would shoot them from, but I guess we got lucky. Next time I'll probably get a little bit further away, and maybe use a different lens, but for my first go I'm pretty happy. The girls adored the fireworks display! We were also lucky enough to sit right in front of a fire dancer...I got a few decent shots of that too! I tell you what, my technique needs much improvement and I have a lot to learn but I absolutely LOVE photography!