Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-These boots are made for walking

Little man got a hold of my boots the other day and what self respected photography addict would I be if I didn't take a picture of him!

For more inspiring photos be sure to check out:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunset Sunday-Palm Springs

These passed few days have been cloudy and I haven't been able to even see the sun setting. So again I get to dig into the archives.

This is from May or June of 2009 back in Palm Springs California. We used to live out there and while I do not miss the insane heat out there I do miss the terrain sometimes. There's also something special about that area that I can't put into words. Most people either love it or hate it there and I was one of those that loved it. My husband...he hated it. 

Craig and I have teamed up to help spread the word of Sunset Sundays. We would love it you would join us and link up your sunset photos!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A week of Thanksgiving-Family


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Today is a day we sit around the table with our loved one's and give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. Whether you are traveling or staying close to home I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

As most days I am thankful for my family but today it's a little more then just that. I posted yesterday about someone close to our family that was in need of prayers. I am very heartbroken that she did not make it and passed away. She was an amazing person, always had a smile on her face, she treated everyone as if they were her family, with open arms and love. I am so incredibly sad for her passing and for her family. I said a silent prayer for the family last night that God surround her loved one's in peace and comfort during this difficult time in their lives.

So on this day of thanks I am incredible thankful and blessed to be surrounded by one's that I love. My family. I have three healthy children and a husband that loves me and loves our children. He works hard to provide for us and is putting himself through school to follow his dream and provide a better future for our children. For him to sacrifice his time and days off for our children is amazing and for that I am grateful for such a man that is willing to do that. 

I have two parents that love me and my family. They love playing with the kids and miss them tremendously. I have two sisters who also love us. And even though we aren't close to them anymore we still get to talk often (thank you skype!).

Our life is simple but it is one that is filled with love and I couldn't have asked for anything more.

Always tell the one's you love that they are loved!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A week of Thanksgiving-I am thankful for time


Today has been a hard day. I received some devastating news early this morning and the day has been filled with a lot of tears. I feel guilty planning Thanksgiving with my family tomorrow while so many people I know and love are hurting. 

I know Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks but tomorrow I will also be dedicating it to someone special, even though we weren't family (yet), she never treated us with anything but open arms, love and as if we were family. 

Through the tears and sadness today I have realized that time is short and never guaranteed. So today I am thankful for time.

The time that I spend cuddling with my kids. Like right now I sit here typing this with my baby girl laying on my lap.
The few minutes before I go to bed that I sneak into my kids rooms and watch them sleep
Special days that I get to spend some quality one on one time with each child
Those few minutes before the kids wake up when I just sit and drink my coffee, it's a great time to reflect on the days passed.
Play time! Love play time with the kids, whether it be barbies, legos or coloring. Just watching their faces light up makes my heart swell.
The rare times my children fall asleep in my arms or on me. Even better I am having one of those moments right now since my daughter just fell asleep on me.

The time that I do have on this earth, each and every minute I feel blessed to be here and able to experience it all!

This post is dedicated to Lisa, I love you and you have been in my prayers all day. I am thankful for the time we were able to spend together, even though it wasn't a lot I know that you are an amazing person that touched everyone you have met. I am praying for a miracle right now for you.

Wordless Wednesday-National Weather Center

Last month I took the kids to the National Weather Center for their annual festival. It was neat getting to walk through the building and seeing where my husband volunteers and goes to school. 
Even though my oldest seemed to be the only one of the kids that actually enjoyed it it's still considered a win in my book just looking at his smiling face.

 The view from the observation deck looking out on the OU Campus

 The National Weather Center building

Little man loving the airplane that they fly up to collect weather data

For more inspiring photos be sure to check out:

And don't forget to link up!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A week of Thanksgiving-Special Memories


Welcome to day 2 in the Week of Thanksgiving
It's kind of late(ish) and I'm tired (it's not even 8pm and I am tired, what is wrong with me) and my brain doesn't seem to be functioning well enough to come up with my own prompt so I will be using one of Andreas. I chose "a picture that means a lot to you (and why)".

As soon as I read this I knew what picture I was going to use which is really saying something. If you don't know me let me introduce my self briefly. 

Hi, I am Shana and I am a photography addict. I currently have over....wait, let me confirm this number.... holy shit I have over 74,000 pictures stored on my computer and that number grows on average of 5,000 a month. And these are just pictures of my family and things I find during every day life.

Wow okay looking at those numbers it makes it look like I may have a problem. Heh oh well. I love photography so who cares. Back to the point of this post. The photo that means a lot to me.

This was my Grandfather riding a Harley for the first time in his life. It was on his bucket list of things to do and my parents arranged for one of his dreams to come true. He passed away a few days after I captured this photo. 

Every time I look at this picture it brings a flood of emotions. Sadness and ache but most of all love. I loved my Grandpa and I know he loved his family with all his heart. I am beyond thankful that my children were able to know him. My oldest who is seven got to know him the most since the other two are still a bit young and my oldest still misses him. He will randomly mention something they did together or something about him that happened years ago. I can pull up a photograph of him when he was a mere twenty years old and my son has no hesitation is saying "hey that's Zaydee". It immediately melts my heart. 

I miss him a lot sometimes. I'm not sure if that feeling will ever go away but over time it has become easier to talk about him and not instantly break out into tears. I am thankful that he lived such a long beautiful life and that for 28 years of that life I am thankful that he was such an amazing Grandpa to me.

The picture above is one that will forever hold a place in my heart and I am thankful I was able to be a part of that memorable day and that I captured that day in photographs for generations to look back on such a happy day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A week of Thanksgiving-My baby girl


This week Andrea over at Lil Kid Things is doing a special meme for this week, A Week of Thanksgiving. 

Here is a little tidbit explaining more:
"This post is part of {a week of thanksgiving}, the week long series dedicated to giving thanks. Topics can be anything from the super-serious to light-hearted and fun. If you wish to join in, feel free to use my thanksgiving writing prompts or freestyle. Then just link up your post each day and read another one or two. This is going to be good."

Today is the perfect day to be starting this week of thanksgiving. Today is my daughters birthday and what a better way to start off a week of giving thanks then with my daughter. 

I have always wanted a daughter. I knew when I was little that I wanted to be a mommy and that I wanted a little girl, a princess to play dress up with, do her hair, play barbies, have tea parties with and to have one of those mother daughter relationships that everyone wished they had with their mother. 

Five years ago my baby girl was born.
Five years ago our family turned from three into four.

This little bundle of joy has continued to bring joy into our lives and hearts every day with her smiles, hugs, kisses and beautiful personality. 
I am thankful to be called her mother. 
I am thankful she is a healthy little girl. 
I am thankful for her over pouring of love for her family. 
I am thankful for her bubbly personality, her passion for learning and her sensitive nature. 
I am thankful for her!

Happy fifth birthday my little Mantha Pantha, I love you with all my heart my baby girl.

If you'd like to participate in a Week of Thanksgiving head on over to Lil Kid Things to link up.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunset Sunday-Serenity

I'm not sure what it is about this picture, but to me it's complete serenity. 
There's just a calmness to it and that speaks to me.

Same picture, first one not edited, second one is edited. Still I love both.

Join Stay Adventurous and I in spreading the awesomeness of Sunsets by
linking up below. And then we can visit you and spread some Sunset Sunday love!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-Quality time with family

My parents came out for a visit last week. The kids were just in heaven that they got to spend almost an entire week with them. 
 Here are a few pictures from out day out exploring.

For more inspiring photos be sure to check out:

JcPenney Angel Giving Tree Twitter Party

It seems that every year around the holidays people tend to get sucked into the "me" way of life. The excitement of the holidays can do that to some people and no one is immune to it, especially children. But how do you teach your children that it's not always about what they receive but the meaning behind the actual holiday and how amazing if feels to help out those that may be less fortunate then them.

I will admit this has been a struggle in our house at times. Last year we donated about six boxes worth of old toys, clothes and miscellaneous items to a local shelter and the way our kids eyes lit up knowing what they were doing was helping another child out was heart warming but with kids it's not always something that sticks with them. It should be a constant way of life. One of the easiest ways I have found of making something like this the norm for children is by making it a tradition.

This year I plan to participate in the Angel Giving Tree with my family. The Angel Giving Tree program is an online adoption program that allows customers to provide children, teenagers and seniors in need with Christmas gifts. JcPenney has made it very convenient for customers to shop, buy and then ship their gifts from the convenience of their own homes anywhere in the country. You can even choose an angel based upon the location, age or gender. UPS has also joined the efforts so you don't even have to worry about paying for shipping. For every Angel Giving Tree gift purchased through the gift will be shipped for free to the local Salvation Army collection center of the angel you have chosen.

This year there is an option to create a Group through Angel Giving Tree. This is perfect if you would like to adopt more then 10 angels say with a group of friends, your company or a church group. 

The Salvation Army and JcPenney have held the Angel Giving Tree for three years now. In 2010, nearly 70,000 angels were adopted online. That's 70,000 people that were given a gift for the holidays that might not have received one without the Angel Giving Tree. Isn’t that amazing.

I will be co-hosting a Twitter party in celebration of the Angel Giving Tree program tomorrow, November 16th from 7pm EST-8pm EST. We will be talking about ways to give back and learning more about the Angel Giving Tree program.

Here are the details for the twitter party!

  • When: Wednesday, November 16th 7pm-8pm EST
  • Hashtag: #jcpangel
  • Prizes: 12 winner will each receive a $25.00 gift card to JC Penneys

*I was compensated by JcPenney but the thoughts & opinions stated in this post are my own*

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunset Sunday-Digging through the archives

 This weeks Sunset Sunday is brought to you by the year 2010. I couldn't find any recent pictures that I liked so I went digging and ended up all the way back in photos from January 2010. Living in a condo had it's downfalls, one of them being two story buildings obstructing most of your views. But on the rare occasion that the sunset was viewable from that little space of green area on your side yard was never a let down.

 Pretty pink California sunset

Join Stay Adventurous and I in spreading the awesomeness of Sunsets by
linking up below. And then we can visit you and spread some Sunset Sunday love!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Macys Recipe Share Contest

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. 
Well not quite yet but there's something about fall that just gets people in the festive mood. Whether it's the changing of the leaves, or the temperature change, or for some maybe it's the snow. Whatever it may be there's one thing no one can argue with, and that is the abundance of fall/holiday themed foods around this time of year.
You will hear zero complaints from me on this, I also love this time of year for all of the reasons mentioned above. My favorite being the food. I love to cook and one of the great things about cooking is discovering new recipes.

SheSpeaks has teamed up with Macy's to help spread the word on their Recipe Share Contest The Recipe Share Contest is a great way to share a favorite holiday recipe you have. Either one you have created your self or maybe one that has been passed down through generations in your family. It is also a great place to discover new recipes and vote for one's you think might be delicious. If you decide to submit a recipe in the Recipe Share Contest you will be entered for a chance to win $1000 AND to have your recipe featured on Food Republic.

You can submit your recipe and vote starting November 1st and the contest will run until November 30th.

Here is what you need to do:
1. Go to
2. Click on the Recipe Share tab
3. Submit your recipe
4. Share the contest either on Facebook and/or Twitter

So what are you waiting for? Go enter your favorite recipe, and don't forget...share share share!

*I wrote this post while participating in the SheSpeaks Macy's Recipe Share campaign.*

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mini Vegetable Frittatas

Last Friday while reading through facebook I saw Once a Month Moms recent post about Mini Veggie Frittatas. You see I've never actually made a frittata and seeing these little bitty one's made me think, well those look easy. I could probably to that. So off to work I went. And when I say work I mean cooking. And when I say cooking I mean making an even further mess of my kitchen. 

What I loved about this recipe is the simplicity of it. 

You can find the original recipe here Mini Veggie Frittatas

1 cup of spinach
I roll my spinach and then cut it. You get nice uniform slices and it allows you to cut a lot of spinach at a time.

3 green onions

8 eggs

 1/2 milk
I didn't have any milk but had some heavy cream (shhh so bad)

And this is where I went astray from the recipe. I just dumped everything into the eggs. Still came out delish but the cheese settled on the bottom so I was constantly having to stir it before scooping it out. Also if you like uniformity I got some frittatas with no green onions because there are less of those then the spinach.

Pour all of your egg mixture into a 24 mini muffin pan. Cook at 375 for 15 minutes or until eggs are fully cooked.

 Pig out Enjoy

Now I was in a hurry, probably not the best time to cook I know, but I really wanted to try these so I shortened a few steps. While my food did come out good I do not suggest throwing everything in like I did.  Next time I will be following the recipe that way the cheese doesn't all settle to the bottom of the bowl.
Still my kids loved them and devoured all but six of the little frittatas so that makes it a win in my book.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunset Sunday-Coming home

Every Sunday when we pick up my husband we get to see the sunset from the airport. Last weekend as I got out of the car I noticed what a neat shot it would be to get the angles of the building with the sunset in the background. And then I remembered, hello you have your phone on you, why not just take a picture with that! 
And so I did.
Waiting for the hubs and watching the sun go down
A view from the terminal. Love the curvature of the building.
Mirror shot, let's go home!

Stay Adventurous and I have teamed up to help spread the joy of Sunset Sunday's.
If you have a photo you'd like to share we'd love for you to link up so we can visit you and spread some Sunset Sunday love!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Finding hidden treasures in your drafts folder

Every once in a while I try to go through my drafts folder and clean it out. Yesterday I was doing just that when I came across one from late 2008 with no subject. Curious I opened it and man did it bring back memories. 

Looking back at these photos brings a smile to my face and makes me think wow how they grow so fast and boy things have changed in the span of three years.

Just a few examples:
2008 - Back then no one was old enough to be in school. 
2011 - Now the older two are in school.

2008 - Little man wasn't walking yet. 
2011 - Now he runs, skips, jumps and occasionally walks. He's three ;)

2008 - Baby girl was barely talking and had only been walking for just under a year.
2011 - Now she sings, dances, run, talks in full sentences and loves to learn.

2008 - My husband had hair.
2011 - Now he's bald (by choice). Although right now it's a bit longer, okay not long, more like a bit shaggy, but still I think it's cute.

2008 - Little man had no hair! He had that little bit on top and that was about it.
2011 - Now the boy has awesome curls. 

Now I am wondering what other treasures lay hiding in my drafts folder. Have you come across any drafts that made you read it and smile and wonder why didn't I ever publish this?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-Halloween fun

 Pre Halloween Fun. Nothing like helping in a class party. Seeing all those smiling kids, it's so much fun.