Friday, August 28, 2009


staycation. that's like the word of the week! i can't tell you how many times that word and i have done that awkward bump-into-each-other-and-try-to-move-out-of-the-way-by-going-the-exact-same-place-so-we-bump-into-each-other-again-and-again-and-again thing.

do you know what i mean?

anyway, i think i'll have one. a staycation, that is. although, this won't really be a staycation, more like a blogcation. i think i need one. things need to be figured out, places organized, naps taken (pleasepleasepleaseplease!) and creative juices need to run wild again.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


a new term was coined this summer. staycation. it's where you vacation in your home. yes, that's right. and yes, it really is as exciting and exotic as it seems. this is what my family decided to do this year because we are really as exciting and exotic as we seem. and i loved it. i loved that i didn't have to pay for anything, i didn't have to pack anything, i didn't have to deal with cranky children. other than the fact that i was still in charge of keeping my own house clean, it was a perfect vacation (i mean, staycation) spot.

favorite: chinatown where we ate real chinese food. and ava insisted on eating with her chopsticks because she was sitting by grandpa and he was eating with his chopsticks. this meant that she picked up the food she wanted to eat with her fingers, placed it between her chopsticks and held them tightly closed in her fist where she ate her food as though it were some sort of popsicle.

amanda was my biggest help and she helped me handle hurricane harbor single-parently. this wouldn't have been as big a deal if ava hadn't taken one look at the large splashes the kid zone was making and decided that looked awful. no, not awful. horrible. no good. disgusting. terrifying. i don't know if there are enough words to describe how she felt about the mild looking pirate ship stranded in the middle of 12 inches of chlorinated and filtered water. seth, of course, loved it. amanda (who is short) and i (who is tall) took ava and seth in the lazy rive (or whatever they call it) and amanda held seth and i held ava. this worked out perfectly. because amanda is short she was holding seth close to the water. and he was happy as a clam, splashing and sticking his face in the water, kicking his legs and squealing. because i am tall, ava was hardly in the water. her toes trailed. and that was, at times, too much and she attempted to climb me and wrap her legs around my head.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

more mammoth

thse are my in-laws, the whole of them. these are the people ryan came from and this is us in mammoth. it is hard taking pictures of a big group like this. there were so many people! and they didn't know where where to stand or what to wear and they all had different ideas and places they wanted to go. sometimes it was just the lot of us, standing on the side of the road. some of us were holding children, some of us chairs, some of us sunglasses and sweaters and blankets and some us very small princess dresses. and we all stood there and talked about the photoshoot at the top of our lungs until one of us would stand a little taller and shout, "ENOUGH! we're going _______ and we're doing ______!!" and then all would be quiet and we'd move over to where the loudest family member had told us to move.

i appreciate these in-laws. in this family, you take care of each other. you work hard. and you laugh. those in-laws, let me tell you, are hilarious. i am so grateful to know them, so grateful for their hugs and their jokes.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Sunday, August 23, 2009

happy birthday, boy child

a year ago today i was sitting on a hospital bed trying to breathe through pitocin-induced contractions that wracked my body with an ache that was so deep i couldn't actually breathe through it. we were trying everything--except the epidural. my mom was massaging my head and then brushing the hair from my face and ryan was pushing against my knees and then pushing against the small of my back and suggesting after almost every contraction a walk--that helped with ava, right?

finally i gave in and got the epidural, cursing my doctor's name with every breath. with ava everything had been natural and i'd really loved it. i'd loved the experience of feeling myself accomplish something difficult and here i was with seth, who had been induced and feeling so frustrated because i knew what my body could do and it wasn't doing it.

but that epidural was the best thing ever. everything got quiet when i couldn't feel the contractions anymore and i had time to mentally prepare for the pushing (pushing is particularly hard for me because this is the part that scares me the most) and i had time to get rid of all the anger and think of the baby i'd been carrying those past months. and ryan gave me a blessing, which helped also. i have a feeling this is the only baby i'll be able to prepare for in this way since i plan on never being induced again.

so when seth was born, i was ready for him. i wanted to hold him, i helped lift him to my chest, i rubbed the vernix into his skin, i talked to him. it was such a special moment, such a sweet moment to soak in. i remember thinking he was the most beautiful thing in the world (and then i looked back on those pictures and i was surprised to see how utterly terrifying he looked).

so, it's been a year. i know it's flown by for other people because they ask me if seth is six months old and i have to inform them that no, it's already been a year.

no one has ever appreciated me like seth does. he holds me, he misses me, he seeks after my company, he needs me, he wants to be with me at all times. and i want to love every little minute of it. even when all he wants is to scream and cry in my arms and i am exhausted from him flopping around. because do you know what the depressing thing about sons is? they go away forever. girls don't really go away forever, they just get married. but they still need you, they still want you, they still seek after your company as the main woman in their life. sons replace you with wives. and the mothers have to let them do it. so i know that seth is only going to be mine as long as he doesn't have a wife. and, judging by how fast this year has flown, i'm guessing that time is going to come all too soon.

oh, how i will miss him. and oh, how i love him.

happy birthday, boy child. thanks for coming.

Friday, August 21, 2009


i mentioned my thing with babies, and of course, after seeing this baby, i was fighting my urge the entire time. do you see those eyes? DO YOU SEE THOSE EYES?? good heavens. those eyes. and, actually, his hair. and his cheekss! oh! his cheeks! delicious baby.

i've learned a few things about photography this year. one of those things is the "feeling" of the subjects spill out of the picture and into the hearts of the people who look at them. so if a family is in love, i don't really have to do much, i just take the picture and do some editing. and then everyone who looks at it has a "love experience". i think. i do, anyway.

this family was one of the easiest shoots i've ever done because this family just loves each other so well. and watching them all help one another, smile at one another, play together and lovingly touch one another warmed my heart.

and now, i've decided that i'm going to be more loving like them. and also, that i love that baby.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

brand new baby

brand new baby is the best. i say that like it's something you can buy in a store and eat after a long day and your children are finally in bed and then you can climb into bed with your blankee and an episode of arrested development and a spoon and just savor it all. . . but that would be ice cream. or dibs. have you tried dibs? try them. brand new babies are to humans what dibs are to ice cream.

so this brand new baby comes over to my house and all i want to do is send the rest of his family away (even though they are cute, too) and curl up in bed with him and just eat him like a dib. so i picked him and started back toward my room only to discover that his family was coming too. because they knew a good thing when they saw one and they weren't about to let me go in the bedroom and savor the dib without them.

really it was rather unfair because they can have him whenever they want and i'm stuck here with an enormous former dib and a toddler (no frozen dessert comparison avaible for her at this time). i ate my dib. i want theirs.

so i took pictures of him instead. and now, late at night when my little motherly heart starts feeling the craving for brand new baby, i pull these pictures out and drool.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

teen choice awards

there's been an awful lot of lazy mothering going on around here lately. i'm really excited for this next week because it is the week i wrestle all of those bad habits into submission.

for example: betime. for some reason, it's just easier to let the kids stay up late rather than fight the epic battle of rounding them up, putting diapers on them, brushing their teeth, saying prayers, reading stories, singing songs, tucking them in, kissing them goodnight. . .

i am exhausted by the list. but it doesn't matter. this. week. is. the. week.

last week i did all sorts of things like buying soda. i know. and drinking it. i know. and letting seth eat his breakfast cereal off the floor. i know. and i wasn't really all that into cleaning the house. instead, i took off with my friend heather and went to take pictures of celebrities at the gifting suite for the teen choice awards. heather went early and set up the table with her true birds and bumpits stuff and i came later with lunch (avocado sandiwches and water that had negative ions in it. guess what? that water tastes just like the water with the positive ions in it. bummer. i was hoping a lack of ions was going to lead to something spectactular. like levitating) and my camera. and then they came. in throngs (not to be confused with thongs). and i had no idea who any of them were until CARLTON from fresh prince of bel air came by. and for some reason, i all i wanted to do was giggle and dance the carlton dance which caused me to wonder, WHY DO I REMEMBER THAT DANCE? i mean, i went to college and do i remember half of what i experienced in college? not at all! so why on EARTH am i looking at some short man with a pencil mustache and remembering some really cheesy (and awful) dance he did on a television show when i was a preteen?

so heather and i stood there until someone came up with an expectant look on their face and heather and i would suddenly gow expectant and we'd all just stare at eachother until they said, "HI."

and we'd reply, "HI."

and then we'd wait. for something. like, for example, your name? who you are? do we even care about you? should we give you this bump it so you can walk around with a really funny looking fake bump on the back of your head?

my favorite was a girl who walked up and said, "HI. I'M ________ from ________." and i honestly had no idea what she was talking about. so i just sort of stood there, awkwardly holding my camera in one hand and wondering how i respond.

do i say, "good for you"? or "hi. i'm miriam from miriam's life."

good thing heather was there. she immediately became enthusiastic and cheered this girl on, asking her about her character and encouraging her in the way of bump its. then this girl left and, had i not known better, i would have thought them long lost friends. so i said, "who was that?" and heather shrugged and said, "i don't know." it was a good lesson to learn. i think i improved from there on out.

that girl was really cute, by the way. i just have no idea what to say to people who introduce themselves in a way that screams, PERHAPS YOU'VE HEARD OF ME?

so i spent an afternoon childless and meeting the entire cast of hannah montana (except for the hannah montana character herself) and watching the best boy band in the world, WOW do their brightly colored polo shirt thing and feeling slightly glamorous, even though nothing glamorous actually happened. i mean, did i mention carlton from fresh prince of bel air? perhaps it was just the high of not having something clinging to my pant leg. i mean, that feeling that at any moment i might be able to walk about the room without having to detach myself from something rather mollusk-like in its attachments? liberating.

then i went home and changed seths poopy diaper and wrestled ava into pajamas, prayers and songs and put both of them to bed far later than i should have. funny thing about being amongst all of those expectant people is the fact that it made me miss the other expectanct people in my life. i mean, i practically walked in the door to find ava with a list of expectations. for example, feed me was written down, oh, about thirty times. of course, i fed her. then i hugged her tightly and demanded that she stop eating her hair. because that's gross.

i like having the opportunity to miss the little people. i also like spending time in awkward conversations where the person speaking thinks i'm really impressed with them while meanwhile my mind is racing as i struggle to figure out what the hell she's talking about. but also, and this really needs mentioning, i really love spending time with heather. when we saw who we deduced to be barry bonds wife, we stuck our heads together, widened our eyes and just as heather began what i can only imagine was some juicy tidbit about mrs. bonds, i interrupted her to whisper and dramatically gesture that barry's daughter was right behind her. and then heather closed her mouth, widened her eyes a bit more, so i could widen mine in return and wonder for the rest of my life what she was going to say. i'll bet it was good. but i gave it up for heather! i am such a good friend.

oh, and that band WOW? wow. really, wow. look 'em up. (hint: enter the keywords WOW boy band because i just learned that wow stands for world of warcraft and guess what? there's like a million world of warcraft videos out there. i know.)

also, i think it's about time i subscribed to us weekly because who knows how many celebrities i've bumped into and instead of gasping and knowing what kind of toothpaste they use, i wonder why in the heck this person has a freaking entourage and how can i get rid of them?

Monday, August 17, 2009


so, congratulations to me for getting this far with a weekly habit. and here's my 100th picture, a moment i captured in mammoth. this is my brother-in-law, justin and my little niece, davis. justin is one of the most doting fathers i've ever seen. he also has an amazing ability to soothe any child he touches. just moments after i shot this, davis was fast asleep, her daddy curled around her little finger.

Friday, August 14, 2009

meanwhile, back at the ranch. . .

my photography's featured on the true birds blog today. click here to see the adventures surrounding true birds and their stunning hair accessories!

weekly guy

a day in mammoth was spent taking family pictures. this was the "men" shot and of course, my happy little baby who is almost a year old is in it. and he's smiling this sweet sort of ryan smile that makes me feel like if i don't squish him, i'll explode.

oh yeah, and everyone else looks good, too. it's ridiculous how good looking this family is, and i'm not just saying that. wait till i show you what the women look like!

weekly mouse

Thursday, August 13, 2009

mammoth in pictures

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


ladies and gentlemen, i'm sorry to report that for me, the mammoth trip was cut short. well, me and ava and seth. you can only hear your 3-year-old beg to go home so many times before you just give in and pack it on up. then, of course, there's the time the 3-year-old takes your bed and you end up sleeping on the floor and then she falls out and right on to you.

all i know is, one minute i was sort of sleeping and the next something heavy was on my head and mumbling, "please excuse me,". and of course, then the baby wakes up at four in the morning and surprise! he's so happy to see you! so happy, in fact, that he wants breakfast! and games! and hugs! and stories! and maybe even a song or two? please?

of course, that's not all that happened. a highlight: watching home videos and hearing my husband's high pitched teenage voice and watching him sit in the corner and glower in a rather angsty manner. all while wearing a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off, of course. and then, on the same video, i got to watch danielle talk like a spice girl, flash a peace sign, jut her right hip out as far as it could go (pretty far) and say in her best british accent, "girl power!" or, could i leave out the michael as raptor boy? watching him stalk the living room on his tiptoes, his hands clawed out and held to his chest and screeching? priceless. oh wow.

i haven't laughed that hard in a long, long time.

another highlight: hiking in that beautiful, beautiful place. mammoth is so green! with trees! it just made me realize how brown and flat southern california is. walking around up there, smelling the pine trees was wonderful. of course, the huffing and puffing that came with the alititude was not.

so we hiked and swam and ate delicious mexican food (favorite), went on a six am walk after seth woke up at five and and looked for a bear (great story: ava actually saw one when on a walk without me. i am jealous) and napped. lots of napping. actually, not for me, but for everyone else. turns out that when your kids go to bed about ten and wake up at five the want to take naps in the middle of the day. awesome. not awesome: the surplus amount of sleep does not decrease the moodiness. why not? don't naps = happiness in small children?

i'm grateful for a husband who understands that vacationing is more like hard labor for a mom and who tries to help out as much as he can and then, when it proves too much, sends you home for some sanity. i'm grateful for my bed. after attempting to slumber it out on a less than stellar bunk bed and then floor and then nasty, ancient cushion (that wasn't even long enough), my bed is the best place to go to sleep at night. i'm grateful for a father in law who doesn't care if he's at the public pool and dances like no one is watching. or that he's so relaxed he feels like a noodle and then "noodling" all over the place. that is the best.

pictures to follow.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

happy 3 years, little mouse

this little girl speaks in paragraphs. and i could write paragraphs about her (and i will).

this little girl makes me laugh. she wears a piece of her blankee around her neck at all times and when i told her about going to disneyland and how we were going to see the princesses and talk to them, she merely gave me a stern and disbelieving look before asking very doubtfully, "they are real?"

we almost didn't take her after that, but ryan and i were too excited to decide that perhaps our very realistic toddler shouldn't be convinced that all of those pretend people really are real. i mean, how are we going to ensure a screwed up child leading to a screwed up adult who writes beautifully and ends up with a heartbreaking memoir that ends up making our retirement completely luxurious? i have plans, people. goals. and i'm working on those plans and goals a step at time.

for example, step one: take my child to disneyland.

this year has been different from the other years because this year ava has been anticipating her birthday. and, most of all, birthday cakes. this year she wants a pink cake with sprinkles. and she makes "birthday cakes" out of piles of dvds and sticks a "candle" in by putting the cap of a marker on top. the birthday song is sung, the candles are blown out with the help of a waving hand (which i don't quite understand) and we eat the cake. and begin again.

the other day i was watching her eat her corn dog at hot dog on a stick, and then i was watching her eat her gelato and i just couldn't get over her. the length of her legs, the length of her hair. the conversation she was having with her gelato. when she did she do it? how did she slip in all of that growth under my nose? am i not paying enough attention? am i not savoring her enough? i know that having seth has been distracting, but how did she get that much past me?

i marvel at her beauty, i marvel at her intelligence. i marvel at the fact that once upon a time i held her in the crook of my elbow. that she couldn't catch a proper breath of oxygen on her own. and now, here she is, sneaking bags of popcorn out of the pantry and into her bedroom. and when asked what she is doing, replying, "nothing. oh! look! a bag of popcorn! this doesn't belong here! don't worry, mom, i'll put it away."

this, the fourth year of her life will be the year i am more patient, more loving, more understanding. i will savor her more, i will hold her and kiss her and read her stories and answer all of those "why?" questions. this is the year her growth will not go unnoticed, this is the year that will make all the difference.

what i want for this mouse: goodness. happiness. a strong work ethic, a good attitiude, faith, security. . .and as a mother i wonder, how can i make sure she'll have those things? what is the most i can do to give them to her? tell me and i will to do it.

hapy three years, little one.

for a second birthday shout out, go here. and a first birthday shout out? here.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Friday, August 7, 2009


Thursday, August 6, 2009


Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Monday, August 3, 2009


this is the week i go on vacation. pretty excited! it should be lots of fun, lots of food and lots of family.

so instead of leaving you high and dry, i plan on pleasuring you with my newest obsession (or as jenn and liz would call it: passion) and (are you ready?) hooray for you! you get to view a new picture everyday this week!

well, cheers to that.