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Posts Tagged ‘photos’

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Canon USA. The opinions and text are all mine.

“Stop and smell the roses.” It’s a phrase we say to remind us to press pause and enjoy the little things.

But with the hustle and bustle going on in our lives, sometimes it can be hard to remember that. I like to find tangible ways to cherish every day.

One way I like to do this is through photography. Taking some time to walk around and notice the little things you’re grateful, then photographing them, is like making a visual gratitude journal.

I pick up my camera, and snap a picture of things that make me smile. This week I zoomed in extra close to the nitty gritty details that make me smile. I used my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 iS USM  Macro Lens and went around our home to take note of the pieces I’m especially thankful for.

Here are some of the things that came from that:

Playtime

The joy I feel when I watch my son play. He’s such a silly boy and from a super young age he’s always known how to push our buttons just hard enough to make me flip out while simultaneously making me laugh. He’s always been one to take good care of his toys and I’ve loved watching his imagination grow. For this image I was inside his room where there was a good amount of window light. My settings: ISO 2500 f/4.5 1/200sec

Nature

I love spring and all of the fresh color that comes with it. We’ve always enjoyed seeing Texas wildflowers while driving down the road but now we’re finding them all over our backyard. The kids and I are enjoying picking them and pressing them into our nature journals. I don’t think I ever paid as much attention to flowers as I have this year as we’ve been noticing the different details we we try to identify them.

I’m all about photographing people but small plants and animals are some of my favorite macro photography subjects. My settings for the flower inside: ISO 4000; F/3.5; 1/250 sec. Settings for the flower outside: ISO: 2500; F/5; 1/8000 sec

Budding Bravery

As we’ve been growing used to our new digs and lots more land, with that has come getting used to more critters. I’ve put on a tough face as I’ve stepped over spiders and through webs. Instead of squealing at a giant beetle crawling through the grass I instead point out how cool it is to the kids. I’m noticing as I’m demonstrate more bravery, so do they.

Lil’ J was terrified to touch this little caterpillar but after a little while she not only poked it, but held it (and proceeded to name it).

My settings for both images: ISO 2500; f/11; 1/200 sec

Baby Chub

There are very few things in life that are as sweet as the chunk on a chubby baby. And mine always have a lot to spare. I love zooming in on it and getting a crisp shot of those rolls. Lee Lee is already pulling up on things and before I know it that chub is going to melt away. I’m trying to enjoy these rolls as long as possible.

I also love capturing sweet details like her tiny toes, her nose, even her little eyelashes. A macro lens is perfect for all of the teeny tiny baby details.

My settings: ISO 2500; f/10; 1/320 sec

Healthy Happy Children

Close up shot of sisters smiling at each other. An Intro to macro photography.

My favorite detail to capture up close are the smiles of my children. Though this isn’t quite a macro shot, I love the closeness and the sharpness of this image of my girls enjoying each other’s company and the details in their eyelashes.

The nice thing about the 100mm Macro lens is it works as a wonderful portrait lens. So you can zoom in for the details of your baby’s fresh new tooth, then step back and get a beautiful shot of her whole face along with her new-tooth grin.

My settings: ISO 2500; f/10; 1/250 sec

A helpful hint: When shooting with a long lens like this you don’t need to open up the aperture as wide to get a shallow depth of field. Especially when taking photos really close. In the photo above the background behind my daughters is still blurred with some lovely bokeh, even with an f-stop of 10.

Some other great macro lens options are the EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macros IS STM Lens if you have a crop body camera (such as the Canon Rebel). Or the EF-M 29mm F/3.5 Macro IS STM lens if you have a mirrorless EOS Canon camera.

It’s not always about capturing the right image, but capturing the right moments and details that mean something to us. Take some time to think about your routines and try stepping in and capturing a closer look.

I don’t remember my first time seeing Santa Claus, but I distinctly remember being excited to sit on his lap each year and tell him what I was hoping for for Christmas. My parents weren’t as diligent  about getting a classic picture with old St. Nick every year but it’s something I look forward to doing with my kids every year.

It started with my daughter. She wasn’t ever afraid of the big guy in red. When my son came along he was hesitant for a year or two, but now he’s just as excited to see him as anyone.

I’ve rounded up my favorite Santa photos from the last seven years to show off in this post. We made it the last seven years with just one Santa breakdown. And another close call the year after. But thanks heavens for a rocking horse and sneaky Santa for saving the photo.

2011

 

2012

 

2012 (again)

 

2013

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

Santa and kids photoshoot gift guide for meaningful gifts

 

2017

I love how carefree and happy Christmas is for my children. All of the hustle and bustle is worth it as I see their (mostly) smiling faces. Looking back at these photos I can see so much of their personalities that were present as such a young age. My son, the emotionally hesitant one, and my daughter, the whimsical dreamer. And yes, we are going to keep doing these photos until they are begging me to stop. (And probably even for a few more years after that). I hope that my kids grow up to cherish these memories like I do. Even if it looks like I was torturing them a little.

I’m wrapping up my first year working as a #TalkEarly ambassador where I’ve shared my thoughts and ways of talking about alcohol and alcohol responsibility with my kids. I never knew how important it was to talk to our kids about this at an early age, even if we don’t drink in our home. You can find a wealth of knowledge over on the #TalkEarly page and find more information on building a lifetime of conversations with kids around alcohol responsibility. The nonpfofit Responsibility.org sponsored today’s post, however all thoughts, opinions and stories are my own.

Every summer when the pool opens the conversation I have with my husband goes something like this:

She Says: Look! I got us some new sunscreen.
He Says: Why?!! We have seven bottles already!
She Says: Well sorry. We can never have too many anyway.

Then we make trips to the pool, forget to put the sunscreen in the bag, or bring it but leave it at the pool. I buy more, rinse and repeat.

interracial marriage sunscreen

This year however, it went a little different. For once, I DIDN’T buy a new bottle of sunscreen before our first trip to the pool. And I went to my husband to find out where he was stashing it all.

She Says: Hey, we’re going to the pool, where is all the sunscreen?
He Says: I don’t know, on the closet shelf?

It wasn’t there.

She Says: Are you kidding me? The one year I don’t buy sunscreen and we don’t have ONE bottle?
He Says: Oh you guys will be fine, just don’t stay long!

I don’t know what he has against sunscreen it’s like he thinks he can’t burn. Or get skin cancer. I’m forever trying to lather him with the stuff when we’re at the pool, cause lawd knows his pasty butt needs it. … Not that I’m lathering his butt, but you know what I mean.

My daughter on the other hand thinks she is going to die if she doesn’t have sunscreen on. Our conversation this week went something like this.

Lil’ J: Where’s the sunscreen mom? We have to pack it.
Me: I’m texting daddy to see where he put it. I can’t find it.
Lil’ J: You CAN’T FIND IT? Oh no! But what is going to happen to me?
Me: You could get sunburned. I’ll find some, or buy more. Don’t worry.
Lil’ J: The sun will BURN me?

Sunscreen tips for multiracial families.

Sunscreen tips for multiracial families (and good habits for all families).

While searching for two bottles of sunscreen I knew I had personally purchased before, I tried to explain to my 4-year-old that her skin wasn’t going to burn up or melt off her bones.

After tearing through the bathrooms and closets I gave up and drove to the closest convenient store… Which wasn’t selling sunscreen yet (and of course I realized this just moments after lugging both kids inside).

A few snide texts later and my husband was coming home with more sunscreen and he met us at the pool.

“I’m so blogging about this,” I warned him.

Sunscreen tips for multiracial families (and good habits for all families).

I haven’t always been the most diligent about my sunscreen habits. But since marrying a white guy who although tans, totally needs it–And having biracial kids with lighter and more susceptible skin than mine, I’ve come up to speed on better habits.

Yes, even us darker ones can burn (although it can take longer to get to that point) and yes, we need sunscreen. I need to get better about keeping it around all year long and not just in the summer months, but you know… Baby steps.

Sunscreen tips for multiracial families (and good habits for all families).

Here in Texas we’re basically in full-blown summer swimming weather now so I’ll soon start stocking up again, no matter what my husband thinks. If you aren’t already I’d suggest you do the same! You don’t want to be all burnt up in pictures you look back on later.–Always reminding you of that terrible painful sunburn. Make beautiful memories in beautiful skin!

Here are some reminders to get you ready:

1. Apply 15 minutes before going outside, and make sure you cover all areas of the skin that will be exposed.
2. Re-apply every 2 hours or more if your child has been in the water.
3. Use sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum” — it means it protects against UVA and UVB radiation.
4. The sun can damage anyone’s skin. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends everyone of every ethnicity and race wear sunscreen.

SunscreenMicrographic

You can find more sunscreen tips here.

Sunscreen tips for multiracial families (and good habits for all families).

My daughter is kind of obsessed with sunscreen and she won’t let us forget to put it on her when we go swimming. My son loves to be shirtless as much as possible, so I have to get him lathered up before her runs away. And my husband… Sometimes he’s my most difficult one.

Do you have sunscreen battles in your home? Or is it just us?

Visit Consumer Healthcare Products Association’s profile on Pinterest.

*This post is sponsored by KnowYourOTC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the responsible use of consumer healthcare products. All opinions, arguments with my husband, and typos are my own.

dreft-disclosure

I started this blog almost seven years ago when I was starting to get baby fever, but wasn’t ready to be a mom quite yet. I thought by researching and asking lots of questions, I could prepare for what motherhood would be like and things I should know before becoming a mom.

Things I'd want to know before becoming a mom mommy and me

Let me just save any of you who are debating this very thing right now by saying that honey, there’s no way to truly prepare for what you’re in for.

Here are 10 things I’d like to tell Jennifer, aka Future Mama of 2008. The Jennifer who thought she was learning all she could about preparing to be a mom before actually becoming a mom.

1. There’s no perfect timing: No matter how much you think there will be a specific moment when you know you’re ready for babies, it doesn’t happen that way. At least not for you. You got married, finished college, got a job and Tivo, what else are you waiting for?

2. Say goodbye to your cute wardrobe: Not only will you not care about how you look anymore, but all of that money you used to spend on making yourself look cute will now go to making your kids look cute. I know you don’t believe me, but just trust me on this one.

Ty-with-pigeons

3. Actually, just forget buying nice things all together: Kids are messy you’re going to  get puked on, pooped on, and get all sorts of other bodily fluids all over you, and through your house for the next several years. But don’t worry; you can still get your kids those cute clothes you’ve been window shopping for. Dreft Stage 2: Active Baby is going to save some of your favorite tiny outfits. You’re going to get a free sample and love how tough Dreft Stage 2: Active Baby was in cleaning up your kids’ messy clothes.

biracial siblings

4. Your kids are way cooler than any other kids: Yea, every parent thinks this, but for you, it’s totally for real. Or at least, that’s how it feels. You may think some kids are cute, and others are annoying right now. But you have no idea what you’re in for with your own. They get on your nerves, and are more awesome than any other kid you have ever met.

silly-toddler-in-glasses

5. They have a mind of their own: As much as you worry about teaching them right from wrong, how to be wise, kind, and obedient, remember they’re people too, and have their own opinions and uniqueness about them. Don’t try to control them, but help guide them.

6. Consider this payback: Remember how your parents said you talked so much and could never be quiet? You’re about to meet your tiny little match.

10 tips for cute selfies with kids

7. You’ve never experienced love like this: The love for your husband is the strongest you know right now, but the love for your children in some ways is stronger. Your protective instincts (that’s right, you actually have motherly instincts!) are real.

daddy-daughter-bluebonnets

8. Kids make you do crazy things: Soon you’ll actually be reading ingredients on packaging, sewing outfits, and learning how to use a camera. Kids are inspiring I tell ya. You won’t believe this but our husband is even having impromptu Disney dance party singalongs with the kids. It’s true!

9. Say goodbye to boredom: You will NEVER so much as utter the words “I’m bored” again. I don’t even remember what boredom feels like. But I remember using that word a lot in reference to my life before kids. Yea, enjoy that boredom sista cause you are never going to see that again.

grabbing-mommys-legs

10. Kids change you for the better: This may not be the case for everyone, but for you, children give you a purpose you didn’t know you had. The job you think you love and want to conquer now will totally transform and evolve into a mashup of your passion for journalism and your love for your children. I promise it’s the best of both worlds and worth changing your lifelong dream.

Breastfeeding moms come in all shapes and sizes. One mom's story of her breastfeeding story shared on World Breastfeeding Week.

Kids are exhausting, but you can capitalize on nap time. Kids are messy, but there’s Dreft for that. Kids will keep you from getting your work done, but there are iPads to distract them (you’ll know what I’m talking about in a couple of years).

There are parenting books on every challenge you run into. But reading all of them won’t prepare you for the amazing journey you’re about to embark on. Buckle up mama. It’s going to be a fun ride.

What you would you tell your pre-mom self?

Apr
20
2014

Easter 2014


Mother and children enjoying Easter Joyful preschooler found an egg Easter egg baby Dapper boy with Easter egg Easter egg hunt with baby Lovely siblings dressed for Easter Sunday best
I gave up trying to get a good picture of them both together. And I requested my husband take a quick pic of my and the kids, which turned into a hilarious ordeal including 10 shots out of focus, 5 out of frame, and 0 with all of us looking at the camera. It’s ok though. I really appreciate the effort.

Enjoy this special day with those you love most.

Happy Resurrection Day !

chalk-copyeating-sidewalk-chalk

Big T is currently 11 months old.

Dear Daughter,

You’re well past the two year mark and I feel it’s time I let you know how I feel about that. At first I delayed this moment because I couldn’t believe another year had passed. As if by delaying this note, it would slow your growth. But of course, it hasn’t in the least.

Over the last several months your personality has flourished, your vocabulary has boomed, and you have blossomed into a little girl I’m so proud to call my own.

One afternoon while we played in your room I told you you make me happy. I didn’t realize it then, but my sharing that with you has really left an impression on your compassionate heart. I’ve noticed now when I hug you a little too long, or tell you how much I love you, you’ll stop and ask “I make mommy happy?” and I say “Yes you do baby!” Happier than you know.

I wasn’t expecting you to understand so much, have so many opinions about so many things and be able to share them with me at such a young age. Like your mommy, you’re into Disney movies, especially the princess flicks. Not only can you request which one you want to watch, you can “name that movie” when we’re listening to Disney music on Pandora. Your memory is astonishing.

Getting you into these clothes is no problem, getting you out is where the hard part comes in. I’ve found a solution is to let you decide what you want to wear to school. It used to be I’d put you in a dress every day because it’s what I wanted. Now, you’re the one picking out your clothes, always choosing to wear the poofiest or longest dress you can find. And when I wear a dress you call it my princess dress. In fact, the other night, instead of calling me mommy, you decided to call me “Princess Mommy” on your own, and you referred to me by that name all night.

Like many toddlers I assume, you’ve become a little negotiator. You’ll throw phrases as us like “No thanks,” “Next time” and “One more please!” at us all the time. Your bedtime routine stretched into a never-ending cycle that always ended in tears, so we have started a new system that not only included a book and prayer as usual, but a vitamin,  song, rocking, a second of back rubbing and three kisses blown to you as I shut the door. When your daddy is home I have him finish up bed time so it doesn’t take as long. He laughs at our routine and says I’m making you OCD.

When it comes to becoming a big sister, I think you’re ready. You love peeking at my belly, giving the baby kisses, and feeling him/her move. When I’m wearing a t-shirt you’ll lift it up and say “open it” or “take it out!” Then I have to tell you that the baby will come out later, and you ask “next time?” yes, um, something like that.  I’m just glad we have at least four more months to enjoy this time with you as our only child.

The holidays have been more enjoyable for me than ever. I’ve been able to describe Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas to you and you get the picture. Halloween definitely made an impression on you, since you still come home ringing the doorbell while yelling “trick or treat!” Thanksgiving was fun for you too but I didn’t make it as big of a deal this year, aside from talking about turkeys, to which you reply “gobble gobble.” And Christmas I just know you’re going to love. From seeing the lights in our house, around town, meeting Santa again and again, and playing with our new nativity set and learning about Jesus. You’re just soaking it all in, and it’s amazing.

As we drove to a store on Black Friday I played some Christmas tunes on the way. Jingle Bells rang through our car, and I turned it up and sang it to you. I wasn’t sure if you had heard it before, or knew it was a Christmas song, but you yelled up to me “Dance mommy!” so I danced and told you to dance as well. In my rearview mirror I saw your head of curls bobbing along to the music when all of a sudden you told me: “Mommy happy!” I smiled and confirmed your guess, then you said: “Mommy happy, and I happy!” I teared up at your little statement because while I hope you’re a happy little girl, that I’m doing things right, nothing beats hearing it straight from your mouth.

You do make me happy sweet child, happier than you know. I’m so happy you’re my daughter.

Love,

Mommy

I know this is my second baby but I’m determined not to suck at documenting this pregnancy. Lil’ J (formerly known as Spawnie) got a cool baby book from my pregnancy documentation and by George Leechie will too!

Don’t wanna fall behind again so let’s catch up from last week real quick.

KoolAid top: Walmart; Skinny Jeans: Ross; Snickers bar: Lil’ J’s candy tub

We went to Atlanta and Lil’ J got to “trunk-or-treat” which is like trick-or-treating but out of the trunks of cars at church. She had an absolute blast, and it was a great way to get her prepped for Halloween.

While we were in Georgia we spent a lot of time discussing baby names and we don’t agree on too many, and the ones we do agree on we LOVE. I’ll get more into this later but we want something unique-ish. Since Lil’ J has my initials and middle name, I thought it would be cool to name Leechie with my husband’s initials and/or name. We don’t exactly want a “Brian Jr.” So I suggested LaBryon if it’s a boy and we all busted out laughing. Funny thing is, the more I say it, the cooler it sounds.

18 Weeks Pregnant Updates:

Craving: Candy, particularly candy. Which is convenient given the time of the year.

Feeling: Large, but I know I’m going to get much bigger. I’ll have to compare my 18 week photo from last time but I’m certain I’m bigger. I’m well rested thanks to a nice vacation with my family, and getting pampered by my mama!

Contemplating: How I’m going to love two kids equally. I know it’s possible, and I guess it just happens, but I worry sometimes, considering all the love I’ve got bursting for Lil’ J. If it doubles then woah, I’m gonna be one gushy mom. Get ready!

Looking forward to: Ultrasound! Just a couple weeks away. Can’t wait to know that baby is healthy!

Enjoying: Feeling the kicks! Oh my goodness, that reminds me of a tidbit I forgot to add to this letter. Daddy felt baby this week! I can’t be sure he wasn’t faking like “oh yea, cool…” But baby was moving a lot, so I put my hand over where I could feel it, then put his hand there and he says he felt it too!

It may sound strange but I’d like this pregnancy to slow down a bit. I’m almost halfway there and it’s slightly terrifying. I’ll be a mom of TWO in no time!

Halloween Recap

Lil’ J had a blast trick-or-treating. My husband and I both had the night off so it was a lot of fun going around our neighborhood together. She absolutely loved walking up to the houses and saying “TRICK-OR-TREAT” then between houses she’s had us her candy pail and shake her glow stick yelling “HAPPY HALLOWEEN!” She got so many compliments in her Tiana costume and she just ate it up.

My husband didn’t want to go to any houses without some kind of Halloween decoration. What happened to houses with porch-lights being ok? I guess he felt like being extra-cautious.

I took a ton of photos as usual. I was wanting to capture a cute one that Kristi described in her Halloween photograph tutorial with Lil’ J at a door getting candy, and the light from inside shining on her face, but since all of the homes we went to had bright porch lights it didn’t have quite the same effect. I think it’s still cute though. It took a few tries, and hiding to the side of the doors like a creepy paparazzi lady but whatever.

When we got home like a good mom, I sorted her candy. Like a bad mom, I kept the good stuff for myself and only offered her the stuff I don’t like. Good thing she likes Skittles.

Happy belated Halloween!

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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