Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Curitiba, Brazil

Yesterday morning we woke up early to get ready and go to my family's house for breakfast with Matt (his last American Meal for a while). He was set apart as a missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints Monday night, packed his bags and was ready to go. During his setting apart my brothers were asked to say a couple words to Matt. David said "as I've watched Matt prepare to go I haven't been sad because my mission has been the best experience of my life so far. I'm excited for Matt to have this experience and to grow." Those words really helped me since I was focused more on "2 YEARS" and how much I am going to miss him! Scott shared how he watched so many people's lives change as they accepted the gospel. I am so excited to hear Matt's stories!
We left for the SLC airport around 9:15. When we got there we checked Matt in and as he took his luggage to the security check Chloe and Ella each jumped on a bag saying they wanted to go. It was so cute. I reminded them it would be a long time to not see Mom and Dad.... they changed their minds! It was an emotional good bye and we watched Matt through security check and up the escalator until we could no longer see him. Then almost everyone went to the bathroom to try and stop the tears! I am so blessed to have such a tight family who loves to be with one another! I will miss Matt tremendously but I am so proud of his decision to serve and I look forward to letters! See ya in two Matty!


All the kids and Grandkids

Our little stowaways

My kids are going to miss Matt SO much!
Chloe says Matt's mission is "The other side of the earth"... she's right!

I can hardly look at this picture without crying! I know how you feel Meg!

Brothers (David had class and couldn't make the airport)


For the past couple months Parker and I have been playing on a co-ed soccer team with my brothers David and Matt, our brother in law Jared, and lots of other FUN people! It has been a blast! The first season our team took first in the league!!! Saturday was our last game together before Matt leaves on his mission! We were tied with less than a minute to go and Matt scored the winning goal! What a way to go out with a bang! When he gets back we will have him play with us again (I'm sure he will get practice in capital of the world) and by that time Megan will almost be 18 and we can add her to our family team!!!

Twenty Eight

On March 22 I celebrated my 28th birthday! Parker woke up early with the kids and was so sweet to take Jackson to school for me. I woke up about 15 minutes after he left and started folding laundry. The time kept ticking away, at first I thought he went to the grocery store to get things to make breakfast but I noticed his wallet was still at home. I started thinking of other scenarios, but I came to conclusion that he had gotten in an accident, I just didn't know if it was his fault or not. My cell phone of course was in the car so I sat on the front porch and waited. I saw him coming and ran to the car. I knew by the look on his face it was a wreck. He got out and hugged me and told me he had slowed down to turn into school and a 15 year old girl was changing lanes and slammed into the back of him. Parker's neck was hurting and Jackson had put out his hands and jammed his thumb into the seat in front of him. Parker spent a long time on the phone calling different people and then we headed to the doctors office. Jackson's thumb was only sprained and Parker's neck would be fine after some R&R. I felt that it was a birthday gift to me that my family wasn't hurt!
The day went better from there... My Grammy had come down to take me to lunch with my mom. We went to CPK and were able to enjoy a yummy lunch, laugh, and talk. I came home and took a short nap and then we went to my parents house for a BBQ. Chloe sang karaoke for everyone!!! I loved eating cake and opening presents. I got new cute spring clothes, a purse, a vacuum, a new piece to my food processor, and a new camera!!!! The 5D Mark 2. Parker got it for both our birthdays! Scott and Chelsey came over after and played games and then we finished the night by watching New Moon. It was a wonderful day and I felt so loved from all the phone calls, text messages, and special things that people did for me! Happy Birthday to me!

Matt's Farewell

On Sunday March 21st my brother Matt gave his farewell talk. He has been preparing to leave on his mission to Brazil and I could tell that he is ready!!! I felt as I watched and listened to him that he grew up right in front of me. I love listening to his testimony and knowing that he is ready to serve! After the meeting we met at my parents house for lunch... there were so many people there! It was fun to see aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and family and to know how much support Matt has!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I LOVE St. Patricks day! I love wearing green, I love that the leprechaun's come and play tricks, I love pinching people, and I love trying to talk like I'm Irish! I think it's a fun day and a good excuse to make fun treats and play some tricks of my own. Today the kids woke up to footprints leading throughout the house, new shirts, and green milk! We made green pancakes for breakfast, and green creamed eggs and toast for dinner. It was one to remember.

Surprises from the leprechauns

They left evidence of being there

My darling kids

The leprechauns turned our milk green!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

For those of you who don't know, Parker knows a lot about photography. He has read so many photography books from cover to cover that I lost track a long time ago. He loves reading and remembers almost everything he reads. This is one of the reasons that we make such a great team. He knows a lot about the technical aspects of photography, and I have a good eye for the artistic side of it. I love that we can come together and learn from each other. I find myself constantly asking Parker what settings he would use in this situation and why. I thought that he might be able to help some of you out there who are having a hard time using your equipment to the best of its potential, so I have asked him if he would post a couple of posts regarding camera techniques and equipment. With that being said, I will turn the computer over to my wonderful husband Parker.

Photography to me is all about expressing your emotions and ideas. It's about sharing your creativity, capturing lifes precious moments, creating art, and then taking all those emotions and creating an image that will somehow allow others to feel those same feelings when they see your art.

EXPOSURE: the total amount of light allowed to fall on the photographic medium (photographic film or image sensor) during the process of taking a photograph. Exposure is measured in lux seconds, and can be computed from exposure value (EV) and scene luminance over a specified area.

To put that in terms that most people can understand, exposure is simply the amount of light that is allowed to hit your sensor while the shutter is open. Although simple enough to understand, this is one of the hardest parts about photography. Anyone can push a button on a camera and take a picture, but good photographers know that its not about getting an exposure, but it's about getting a correct exposure. So, what is a correct exposure?

A correct exposure can only truly be defined by the photographer! But, it is essentially controlling different elements on your camera to produce the desired effects in your picture. There are several entire books written solely on the topic of exposure. Since I'm not going to write an entire books worth of content on a blog, I'll simply tell you the basics of what I've learned.

A correct exposure, or picture, is produced by choosing the correct shutter speed, aperature, and iso. These three elements make up what photographers refer to as the Exposure Triangle (pictured on the left).

Now that you realize what constitutes an exposure you need to understand how to use these elements to create the artistic picture you have in your head.
Hopefully you have heard of iso, shutter speed, and aperature, but do you understand what they really are and how they affect your pictures?

Aperature is essentially the size of the opening in your lens that lets light through. You can either make this opening larger or smaller. This can be done by simply putting your camera to manual (M) and rolling the dial on the back of the camera, or aperature priority mode (Av) and then rolling the dial located next to your shutter release button on top of the camera. If you've never used Manual or Aperature Priority modes, you might be asking yourself, why you need to use it now? The question is better asked this way... Who is the photographer? Is the camera the photographer, or are you the photographer? Like I said before, ANYONE can push a button and make an exposure but a photographer creates an artistic expression by using the elements of the exposure (iso, shutter speed, and aperature) to create a specific and desired effect in their image. Your camera is an amazing piece of equipment, but not very artistic! It is programmed to take a properly exposed picture, but not an artistically exposed picture.

Hopefully your not completely lost now. If you notice the Exposure Triangle, you may notice the words: motion blur, depth of field, and noise. These three things are the artistic elements that shutter speed, aperature, and iso respectively control. Motion blur is caused by objects in your picture moving during the split second that your shutter is open. Depth of field is the range of distances within your picture that are in focus. Noise is simply those unwanted color or light artifacts that show up in your pictures, they usually look like "grain". I think that's a pretty good start for those of you wanting to learn more about photography. This should have given you a broad understanding of the terms and elements that make up an artistically correct exposure. I will be doing posts in the future regarding ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperature individually because the topics are really too big to put in one post.

The fire station

Yesterday Chloe's preschool had a field trip to the fire station! Chloe and her class has been talking about fire safety and she has been so excited for this day! We saw a movie about what to do in case of a fire and then the fireman put on all of his fire protective gear. When he put on his mask he talked for the kids to show them it wasn't scary, the kids laughed (it sounded funny). We got to go into the garage and see the ambulances (the fire truck was on a call). They turned on the sirens for the kids and showed them BIG scissors that they use to cut open cars. Chloe's class has been practicing a song about fires and they shared that with all the parents and firefighters, after they all received "junior firefighter" badges. My girls loved it! We got in the car and headed to grab some lunch to finish our fun trip to the fire station!

This guy was so nice! I could tell he was just sweating in all his garb

All the kids lined up to listen to the sirens and learn about the cool vehicles they had in their garage

Chloe and Ella plugged their ears for the sirens

These are huge sissors that cut through cars when the fire fighters need to get people out of their cars... whoa

I love that my girls look so cute and then the girl right next to them is pulling funny faces... she was doing this in every picture I got

Durring the kids song they all "stopped, dropped, and rolled" we might need to work on Chloe keeping her head down :)

Beautiful Chloe


Hannah and I have been friends for 23 years! We have played every sport imaginable together, hopped across University avenu with one flip flop each, gone on vacations together, laughed, cried, eaten ourselves sick, gotten into some mischeif and always been there for one another. We try to get together at least once a month for lunch or to go to the park or sometimes a girls night out. I love that we still live close enough to kindle our friendship and watch as eachothers children grow. Hannah, I love you and you will always be one of my dearest friends!!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ella's first haircut

It was time! Although I have always thought that Ella has darling hair and I was worried that her curl may never come back,I decided to have it cut. Chelsey was nice enough to do it for me. Ella sat so still and when it was all done and her hair was blown under I knew that I had made the right choice. I just can't believe how grown up she looks!


Ella sat so good for Chelsey. I love the look on her face!!!

Thanks Aunt Chels for making me even more darling!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pella Pro Expo

A couple of weeks ago Liz and I were hired by Pella to take pictures of a huge event they were hosting at the Energy Solutions Center in Salt Lake City. It was an event they had planned for a year and had spared no expense on. They hired Kyle Korver from the Utah Jazz, several of the Jazz Dancers, the Jazz Bear, Catered food, and a major radio station to all help promote the event and make sure that everyone was as happy as possible. We shot pictures for almost 7 hours strait and ran from event to event the whole day. It was so much fun and yet really exhausting. We took more than 600 pictures and honestly never sat down more than a couple of minutes, and despite the fact that there was great food and drinks available, we almost didn't have time to eat. It was an adventure that we are excited to do again. We can't wait for next year!

One of the many "Product" shots that we did while we were there for Pella. They are putting a lot of these on their pamphlets and brochurs for next year.

A shot of the main event area to give you an idea of how busy it really was

Kyle Korver with some of the Pella Executives

Jazz Dancers

The Jazz Bear was hilarious and made the event so much fun

Parker was loving it when he was riding this around the arena. He was sliding around the corners and trying to avoid hitting anyone.

A think the Jazz Dancers made some people feel a little nervous, as is evident by the guy on the right of the picture. Right now he's thinking "I hope my wife doesn't see this!"

One of the semi trucks Pella brought and parked infront of the Energy Solutions Center.

I think Parker just wanted to buddy up with the bear so he could ride his motorcycle!

Like hugging a shag rug. Lucky for me, Parker doesn't have much body hair!