Eclipse 2017 {A Major Celestial Event}

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We decided to make an event out of the eclipse and I kept Tharin home from school so he wouldn't miss it. After all, it's a once in a lifetime thing.....until seven years from now when we'll actually be in the path of totality!!! But never mind that! Although we weren't in the path of totality this time around, I think it was 96% totality or something like that, so we still had a great location to view it. It didn't disappoint, that's for sure. Once the light started to dim, everything went very quiet and a few seconds later we started to hear night insects, birds and frogs and as you can see from the above photo, the shadows were the coolest! The trees and their leaves acted like a thousand eclipse viewing boxes for us. The whole experience was eerie and beautiful. I was ridiculously excited about the whole thing. Just ask any of my family. I was smiling and giggling like a school girl! I kept saying, "but it's a major celestial event!!!" much to the annoyance of everyone I'm sure. I kind of reminded myself of the dad on A Christmas Story when he won the leg lamp and kept saying, "It's a MAJOR award!" We brought a ton of food out to the pool and stuffed our faces for three plus hours. It was glorious. The weather stayed perfect during the whole eclipse, but as soon as it was over, the clouds rolled in. We were thankful the weather worked out in our favor. 

Enough of my yapping. Here is the evidence that I experienced a major celestial event!

Easter Portraits {Photography, Effingham, Illinois}

Yeah, I'm a little late posting about Easter portraits, but better late than never right? I decided last year I would take a portrait of each family member every Easter, and try a new processing. So far so good, two years in now.  I realized while putting this together that my husband had to work on Easter so I didn't get his portrait.  I planned on getting it the next day, but apparently I didn't, but I could've swore I did!!!  I will have to drag him out to the location soon.  I'm sure he'll be thrilled....

It's interesting to see how we do or don't change.  Obviously the kids change the most, but us adult change a little too. Hopefully I can keep doing it and I'm sure the results in a few years will be really interesting.

 

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Bye, Bye Kindergarten!! Look Out First Grade!! {Photography, Effingham, Illinois}

What???  My baby graduated from kindergarten?  But how can that be?  He's still my baby!! Can you tell he was in no way interested in getting his picture taken?  Want to get a smile?  You don't have to ask them to smile.  All you have to do is talk about farts.  For real, not only will you get a real smile, you'll even get laughs.

I'll admit it, I got a little teary eyed at the ceremony.  He was all smiles and so proud of himself, I was bursting with pride. He struggled a little at the beginning of the year and worked very hard, and his hard work paid off.  He can now read pretty well, spell, add, subtract...he can do it all!!  And oh my gosh, when his teacher, Mrs. Keller, who by the way, is a wonderful teacher, got up and spoke about how much she loved this class...not a dry eye in the place.  She was in tears and you could tell how much she genuinely loved these kids.  Now that's a good teacher.

Afterwards we took him out to Don Pedro's for some delicious Mexican fare. The salsa and guacamole are soooooo good. He was so pumped up from the night he actually paid the server and brought back the change, which is HUGE for him. He's normally very shy. Yep, he's growing up fast. 2014-05-23_00012014-05-23_00022014-05-23_00032014-05-23_00042014-05-23_00052014-05-23_00062014-05-23_00072014-05-23_00082014-05-23_00092014-05-23_00102014-05-23_0011

Happy Fifteenth Birthday {Photography, Central Illinois}

Happy Birthday to one of the sweetest, most beautiful people, inside and out; my lovely niece Anna.  She's an absolute joy to know and be around, and she puts up with me sticking a camera in her face constantly, so thank you Anna  :-)

I could've posted a thousand beautiful images of her. She quite literally, cannot take a bad photo.

Just a few adjectives to describe her:

Lovely, sparkling, zany, charming, kind, stylish, energetic, athletic, compassionate, delightful, quick-witted, winsome, intelligent, strong, gorgeous, hilarious, silly, magnanimous, considerate, funny, clever, bright, fashionable, lively...and on and on and on.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANNA BANANA!!!

Feel free to wish her a happy birthday in the comment section below.  It could make her day! (and make her more inclined to let me photograph her....help a photographer out)

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Under the Train Tracks {Photography, Watson, Illinois}

We've had a very full day already, and Tharin is still bugging me for more, more, more.  He's like the energizer bunny.  He never gets tired...which exhausts me! First we saw a stunned bird on the road after driving over top of him. We hurriedly turned around and went back to get him before more cars came along.  He had a small spot of blood on his beak, but quickly flew off after a few minutes in my moms hands.  What a gorgeous bird, with blue iridescent feathers. Next, we went with my mom to the cemetery.  She needed to trim back the rosebush at her mom and dads grave.  Tharin noticed a grave in front of my grandparents that didn't have any flowers and he said he thought that was very sad. After a walk through the cemetery, we discovered where all the cemetery flowers go to die; a treasure trove of color at the edge of the woods.  Tharin then decided to pick a few flowers out to put on the woman's grave that had none.  What a sweet, sweet boy he is, and yes, I guess I let him pick through garbage.  There was also a really cool santa snowman there, but we decided to leave him.  Poor snowman...We inspected old graves and he asked how old everyone was, why they died, and how to pronounce all the names.  I think he was disconcerted by the baby graves.

We then decided to leave my mom to it for awhile and we walked across the train tracks to my parents property where our crick runs underneath the tracks.  We were now officially 'adventuring' as Tharin likes to call it.  We had to crawl down, and then later, back up, an extremely, almost vertical embankment.  We were half way down and I was greatly regretting our decision.  Alas, we made it, albeit very slowly and sore bums on the way down, and sore knees on the way up.  My brothers and I used to play here when we were young.  I still think it's a pretty cool place, and was way more excited about it than Tharin was.

And now I'm gonna get ready to go to the movie Neighbors!  A good day. Oh yeah, and Tharin lost his first tooth yesterday!!!!  2014-05-17_00052014-05-17_00062014-05-17_00072014-05-17_00082014-05-17_00092014-05-17_00102014-05-17_00112014-05-17_00122014-05-17_00132014-05-17_00142014-05-17_00152014-05-17_00162014-05-17_00172014-05-17_00182014-05-17_0019