Tuesday, September 29, 2009

cora's blue eyes

cora's blue eyes, originally uploaded by jenniferlivolson.
blue. it's a challenge that has proven to be really hard for me.

i live with two of the pinkest girly-girls around ... that seem to believe that blue is a "boy" color.
i live in a land of 10,000 lakes ... most of which are green and muddy.
i am drawn to subdued yellows and oranges and greens ... i shy away from bright bold colors.

but i married the man of my dreams. and one of the very many reasons that i love him ... are his blue eyes.

such a silly thing ... but i always wanted to find a blonde haired blue eyed handsome man. i've always wanted to have blonde haired blue eyed little girls around me. and ... yes ... i realize how shallow that seems. i'm sharing my innermost dreams here, folks. i haven't ever shared this until my dreams became realized. it's who i am.

and so ... i share my littlest's oceanic blue eyes with you ... for this challenge.

keeping in mind that this is a sooc (straight out of the camera) shot ... other than a minor cropping. i see her soul when i see this picture. a bit of an impish grin peeking from behind those blue eyes. perpetual motion ... but the greatest dear that you have ever met. the first to make sure that everyone around her is ok. the wee one that told me she loves the baby in my tummy this morning. my cora.

entering this photo at i {heart} faces ...
in the blue challenge ...

check out all of the other beautifully blue entries over here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

what is that manuever called that swimmers do to turn around in their lane?

i think this baby is destined for swimmer-dom.

it's the most bizarre thing ever.  and i'm not sure that i paid attention to it quite so vividly with my girly-girls.  with stella ... it was new and exciting and fun to watch my belly turn flips as i was drifting off to sleep.  with cora ... she was a stretcher.  little jabs here and there.  only during awake times.  but this baby ... my last baby ... i'm much more aware of the movements within me.  i've felt baby for some time now.  far before any reasonable doc would agree that it was baby movements.  (a simple reason why i love my midwife ... she's always believed me.)

this baby woke me in the middle of the night with those swimmer flips.  making me feel like i was aboard a ship crashing through the waves in the ocean.  and it was so ... amazing ... to sit there in the dark with my hands on my belly ... feeling little motions ... and knowing ... KNOWING ... that at that moment ... everything is ok.

i think anyone that has lost a baby always feels like there is this potential heartache always lurking in the darkness.  you can be so happy and thankful ... and yet ... you are never sure that you will feel completely safe until the baby is held in your arms.  there's no cure for that ...

so i relished in those kicks and jabs and somersaults for a good half hour.  at a time when my body needed sleep.  and i envisioned the late night feedings while rocking in our wooden rocking chair.  i thought about the nursery and what i want to do to get it ready.  i thought about our ultrasound next week and pondered on wanting to know if it's a girl or boy or waiting to be surprised.  i whispered lovelies to this little person.  letting her (or him) know how excited we are to watch our family become complete

as she (or he) settled in ... i closed my eyes and let myself finally fall asleep ... knowing that right now ... everything is just the way that it is meant to be ...

and realizing that the experience of turbulant waters make the calm feel oh-so-much-better ...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


candid, originally uploaded by jenniferlivolson.

entering this photo at i {heart} faces ...
in this week's candid challenge.


little miss coconut ... had no idea that i had turned back towards her after snapping pictures of the surrounding rose garden ...

and i caught her in the act of splashing the fountain water ... which i had specifically asked her not to do ... oh ... about 18 times already.

but this one. last. splash. put so much joy on her face ... i could hardly be mad.


Sunday, September 20, 2009



see that last picture down there?  the one that i entered into the i {heart} faces challenge focusing on contemplation? 

well ... i ... got 10th place.  and i couldn't be more excited and giddy and ... fulfilled ... than i am right now.  because ...

i kinda {heart} the i {heart} faces website.  i feel like i get this amazing opportunity to see really beautiful photographs from hundreds of different photographers.  i get to learn tips and tricks and more than that ... see what other people are doing ... some newbies and some that are so obviously professionals. 

and i've always wanted to be that.

in high school ... many many moons ago.  i took a photography course.  so not the digital-ish photography that is decidely popular now.  and i took pictures of everything and anything.  i loved the feel of a camera in my hands.  i loved having my hands in a dark box, uncovering the film that held hidden treasures and creeping into a darkroom as a reddish light hovered above, to bring those captures to life.  the flash of light as it spilled through the film ... onto a completely blank sheet of photographic paper.  i loved inhaling the scent of the chemical baths as i quietly and patiently rocked a tray back and forth waiting for that first glimpse of what i had seen through my lens. 

i was good at it. 
and the thought of doing something someday with my life that involved the ability to do that?  astounded me.
and i told people around me about my desire to do something that involved me holding a camera. 
and all i ever heard in return was prompting to do something that i could get paid for.

so i did.  as a hobby ... i always loved having my camera in my hands ... although, i never got back into that darkroom.  after my oldest daughter was born ... we upgraded to a digital camera.  and i took so many pictures of her.  constantly wanting to capture every moment with her.  but ... always missing that perfect moment.  because it never took the picture when i thought it should. 

and my husband watched me.  and he truly understood that i loved seeing my children through my lens.  and he secretly acquired and presented to me ... what i can truly say is one of my prized possessions.  my newest camera.
and i took pictures of my children ... and the camera caught what i wanted it to catch.  it's a beautiful thing. that shutter speed.

and with his prompting ... he has supported the renewing love that i have with photography.  which has brought me to this place ... where i entered pictures that i think are beautiful ... but i often do so with an awkward shyness.  with the knowledge that in this world, i have so much to learn about what i'm doing.  and i have these amazing supportive friends (you and you and you) who show up and encourage me and say good job!  and beautiful picture!  and if this were effbook, i'd fan you.  and although i love all of you ... i'm pretty sure that you would say those things if i put up a crappy picture of my girls picking their noses.

but ... it's that recognition.

someone else telling me that i'm doing this something that i love to do ... with a success of some sort.

and it doesn't take money or blue ribbons or promises of olive juice to make me feel any more proud of myself than i do today.

so ... thanks.
thanks for encouraging me ... thanks for sharing your kind words ... thanks for recognizing me.

you will never understand how appreciated you are.

** click here to see all of the beautiful entries ... and click here to see the winners.  enjoy.

Monday, September 14, 2009

lulu is ... contemplative

lulucontemplative, originally uploaded by jenniferlivolson.

my sister. my absolutely gorgeous sister.
i don't speak of her much on here. probably because she is the least public person that i know. which would probably send her friends in to a fit of hysterics, given that she is most likely completely different around them.
however ... a better adjective could not have been created to describe her.

she spends much time in quiet contemplation.

occasionally (ha!) reaching for her cell phone ... updating her facebook status or texting a friend.
and the funniest part is that even her facebook stati (note ... i'm totally staking claim for that plural form of status.) don't give much information into her true feelings.

for example ...
"Is Not in the Mood."
"So bored I'm eating asparagus."

ok ... so maybe not all of her contemplation is heavy. but it is just kinda who she is.  and it makes me giggle beyond belief.

she's not a talker contemplative person ... she's a thinker and a non-sharer. (except on facebook maybe.)
and ... in the end it doesn't matter ... because she's ours. my sister. my girly-girl's auntie. my mom's baby.

i have to be really sneaky trying to capture photos of her with her nieces. because she tends to hide behind someone or something ... or at the very least ... hide her emotion behind a silly face. 

so this day ... at the zoo ... she was contemplating sea otters. or maybe asparagus? i don't know. but ... i was attempting to capture pictures of her with the girly-girls ... you know?  so i could someday prove to them that their auntie did truly enjoy spending time with them.  and i caught this.  i found this photo to be so ... striking. and a funny glimpse into her whozits and whatzits...

love ya lulu.

oh ... and by the way ... believe it or not ... this photo is being entered in to i {heart} faces ... contemplative challenge.

because ... apparently ... photos (oh yeah ... and the girls and the husband and the work and the farmer's market and ... life ...) are all i really have time for anymore.

pet (?) entry ...

giraffe, originally uploaded by jenniferlivolson.
entered at i {heart} faces ...

because i can.

i mean ... we paid our $5.00 to feed the thing ... i think i should be allowed to call it our "pet" for the day ...

although there is absolutely NO CHANCE that this darling is going to be coming to stay overnight here at the household zoo anytime soon.

i don't have tall enough ceilings.

"So, they sent me a giraffe. But, he was too tall. I sent him back." anyone??

Monday, September 7, 2009

i {heart} faces ... back to school challenge!

offtokindergarten-EEK!, originally uploaded by jenniferlivolson.
entering this fun photo of stella at the i {heart} faces ... back to school challenge!

we had a great time playing around with her new school clothes AND g-ma's antique desk ...  hop on over HERE to see some of our other pictures in collage form!

apparently ... we're all a little freaked out about this new beginning!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

a-camping we did go ... a-camping we did go ...

hi-ho the merry ...
ok ... maybe not totally merry ... just slightly merry ... when we weren't freezing our behinds off.

things i learned during our final camping trip this year ... edited to add ... now that i'm writing this ... it's proving to be less of an "i learned" and more of a ... these are things i love ...

1.  it's nice to have a husband that slightly refused to follow his punishment of having the weather channel taken away for a few days after being crabby.  (stella did it ... not me.)  which allowed us to realize that it would be raining our first day and that it made more sense to stay in a hotel that first night and get to our campsite early the next day ... when the rain was gone.

... which was totally great ... except for the fact that we all slept like crap.  (i HATE hotel beds.)  i would have much preferred the rain slapping against the tent ...

... funny story though ... stella had to share a bed with boppa ... and in the middle of the night he managed to snort ... and stella slapped him and told him he scared her.  she thought it was a bear.

2.  it's always handy to have your camera in your hands at all times.  it helps you to see the beauty in things at any given moment.  and gives you an opportunity to share that beautiful thing you found ...

like these silly little flowers growing out of a tree stump as the girls and i sat waiting for the men to rejoin us in the car after securing a campsite.

the.  last.  campsite.  (we were just about as far north as we could go without requiring a passport.)

3.  i am dumbfounded that i am able to call this place ... home. 

well ... at the very least a slight jaunt from my doorstep ... kind of home.
in my state ... kind of home.

some people love beaches. 
some people love mountains.
some people love big cities.
i love green things.  and water.  and rocks.
but i also really love beaches, too.  don't get me wrong.  seashells and waves make me uber-happy too.

4.  i kinda like to take pictures of my feet. 
maybe because i can still kinda see them if i tip forward enough?
5.  and my family's feet.  although i have to admit the girls' feet are a bit cuter than my husband's.  especially when he rolls his pants up like a girl.
except ... thankfully he didn't tight roll and pin them ... and wear several layers of scrunchie socks.
that would have been a bit much.  dontcha think?
6.  but these two four?
i can never get enough of these feet.
and how grown up they are getting.
apparently cora has acquired some of her daddy's fashion sense. 
7.  if you look ... keeping your eyes off of books and your hand on your camera ... you can sometimes catch things that not many other people get to see.
and if you keep your shoes on in the car ... you can ask your husband to pull over so that you can get a closer picture.
and if you keep the door slightly ajar ... you can hop back in REALLY quickly when you hear something else in the woods just behind you.and hopefully you don't ever meet what it was.
and on a sidenote ... as a pregnant lady that pees approximately 3.2 times per night ... if you hear things outside your tent in 38 degree weather ... and you don't really want to get up to walk a 1/2 mile to the restroom ... you can really truly convince your pregnant body that it doesn't HAVE to pee.  but then you will have pee themed dreams for the next 4 hours ... when the sun finally rises high enough into the sky to frighten the critters away and you can jaunt quickly to the facilities.
8.  fence posts that surrounded trading posts such as this ... were not spiked to keep people out or to appear scary or anything like that.
they were spiked to permit rain and snow and ice (we live in minnesota ... we think about those kind of things in august) to slip down rather than rotting out the wooden posts.
interesting, huh?
9.  sometimes taking pictures of the sun does crazy things ... and i like to see what will happen.  because i'm oh-so-adventurous like that.
10.  two year olds ... no matter how big they seem ... get tired when forced to not nap and search for agates on beaches filled with multitudes of rocks.  and just for the record ... i won the agate finding challenge this year.  with an agate that had been clearly previously found and polished and quite possibly wasn't even a type that would be found in mn.  but the rules were never clearly set in stone ... and it was the prettiest of the bunch ...
11.  my girly-girls LOVE their boppa.  even if he snorts in the middle of the night ... like a bear.
12.  and finally ... camping with two little ones and pregnant is not particularly relaxing ... or even entirely comfortable ... when you are pregnant and when (see ... i'm not sure you understood me the first time i wrote this) the weather drops to 38 degrees (that's fahrenheit folks ...) at night ...
but ... the precious time with your family ... without phones and computers and tvs and video games ... is so amazingly worth every back pain, bladder pain and sciatic nerve pain ...
these moments flee.
i'm so glad i can appreciate and capture them.