Peace and Pandemonium

Tuesday, January 26, 2010



On a brighter note...
Aren't these two darling?



If I could look at you through Steven's eyes this what you would see staring back at you.
Down to the wild bed head. ;)

His expression perfectly describes my week so far.

Between our power going out last night for 7+ hours (and me consequently missing The Bachelor).
Having to shovel our 'driveway from hell' this morning by myself, and then even worse still, remembering that Steven told me that he had broke our snow shovel the last time it snowed so I got to use our other 'less broken' shovel instead. It took me forever.
And then, to top if off, discovering that my car battery showed absolutely no signs of life when I went to take my kids to school this morning.
It's basically been one thing after another.

All this of course happening while Steven is out of town on business.

All I can keep thinking is...
Is it Friday yet??!

Thursday, January 21, 2010



After a failed attempt yesterday, I tried again today to bake a loaf of bread.
Mind you, when I say "bake a loaf of bread" I'm talking about putting the ingredients in my bread maker and pressing start.
And yes, for some bazaar reason, I couldn't even manage to do that right yesterday.
The bread was not fully kneaded and was baked all lumpy and nasty.
I still don't know what happened.

Thankfully, today's loaf fulfilled it's bread machine destiny.
The smell of the fresh baked bread made me feel rather domestic when visitors stopped by.
It tasted at least as good as it smelled.
All the kids had a great big slice.
Myself included.
The verdict?
Fresh warm bread with the crusts cut off (of course)+ slathered in jam + a glass of cold milk = the perfect after school snack.

Sophie was the only one I could get to eat in the dining room where the light was nice.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Swirly Girl

For beautiful penmanship and powerful, important words click here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Go Look

Go visit Ashley's photo blog to see our winter morning shoot through her eyes.
Read her beautiful words.
They are inspired!
Admire her beautiful pictures and her wealth of talent.
How lucky am I to have been her subject?

I am blessed with wonderful friends.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Isn't Isaiah Dreamy?

Sunday, January 17, 2010



These pictures didn't turn out anything like I had in mind.
Isn't it weird when you start out with an idea but the process refuses to conform and you end up with something completely different than what you were expecting?
That is what happened here.
I just followed the energy and this is what I ended up with.

In addition,
the close up beauty shots really caught my attention while editing.
Ashley has such a unique look that I find so beautiful and captivating.
I couldn't help but get close up and stay there.

Friday, January 15, 2010


A Conditional Apology

After being sent to his room for bad behavior last night, I stumbled upon this lovely note today.
ETCHED into the dresser.

Translation with punctuation added for clarity:
Dear Dad, I will stop being rotten if you stop being bad. By Matias.

There are no words.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


5D With Extras For Sale

I'm looking to get out of the photography biz and therefore am selling my camera....

I kid I kid.

Really, I'm just considering upgrading my camera but in order for me to do that I need to sell my current camera which is a spectacular full frame DSLR that has been nothing but AWESOME since I've owned it.

Canon 5D (body only) 12.8 megapixels

4 canon BP-511A batteries
Canon BG-E4 battery grip
battery charger
Instruction Manual and pocket guide
warranty cards (for camera and battery grip)
EOS software disc
Canon neck strap

I am asking the bargain basement price of $1450.00 $1350.00 for the whole set up.

This has been the very best camera I have ever used.
I have kept it in tip top condition as I am a bit of a freak about the care of my photo equipment.
It was professionally cleaned at Kew's Camera Shop about 4 weeks ago.
If you do not currently use a full frame camera, then you deserve to treat yourself to this camera and enjoy the benefits of a full frame sensor.
Start getting the most out of your lenses.

Email me if you are interested:

A Canon Focusing Screen that is specifically for the 5D.
It is the Ee-S focusing screen that facilitates manual focusing on fast lenses 2.8 or faster.
I used this screen to assist me with the use of my tilt shift lens.
I'm asking $30.
If this screen would be helpful to you, let me know.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Happiness is...

Miss Sophie and I hanging out in our pajamas all day long.
Then having her tell me that we aren't lazy for not getting dressed.
Instead we are just twins.

My heart just leapt for joy.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Ariel's Mentoring Sesh

A while back I sold my trusty 40D and upgraded to the 5D which I am currently using.
Ariel is the lovely girl who bought my camera.
She came back to me today for some in depth instruction and some guided exploration into the art of photography.
It was so fun to reunite with my old camera that had brought me so much joy back in the day and it was GREAT to see Ariel again.
She has a really great grasp on how to get a good exposure so we worked on exploring our subject and our light, along with various custom settings, and photoshop.
Caitlin, Ariel's sister, was our model and she kindly braved the freezing cold to pose for our cameras.
We had such a great time and while I dont know how Ariels finished products will turn out (yet!), I saw some of her captures and they looked wonderful!

My point of view went a little something like this...

Ariel directing her sister and working her magic.

How self absorbed am I to sneak in a self portrait while on a shoot?
Well I justified it by the facts that...
1. It wasnt really my shoot, it was Ariel's.
2. I havent taken a self portrait in a LONG time and my hair looked kinda funky today.
I apologize for the shameless self promotion. :)

Thank you Ariel and Caitlin for a totally fun afternoon.
***All of these photos were shot using my 85mm 1.8 lens that I much prefer over the 50mm 1.4. In case you wondered.***

Friday, January 8, 2010


Thoughts On Photography

"The dillema and the strength of photography:
It's the easiest medium in which to be competent but it's the hardest medium in which to have personal vision." Chuck Close

I was watching the Ovation channel, which is my most favorite cable television station, and was fascinated with the show entitled "Fixing The Shadows".
It's about photography.
The early days and it's proliferation over time.
I found myself longing for those days when taking a photograph was not as simple as point, click and download.
To be a photographer back then you had to be willing to devote your life to discovering HOW to develop the art.
The pioneers of photography were not only creatives and artists but chemists who, through trial and error, discovered the chemical process necessary to print images.
The prints they created were the results of much research, time, effort, passion, enthusiasm and dedication.
I sometimes feel that this level of commitment is missing in the photography world today.
I feel that I myself have been guilty of this. Hell, we all are. The digital age is too easy.

I was most impressed with the mirrors with a memory other wise known as a Daguerreotype.
The final image is an extremely delicate, one of a kind, almost holographic vision.
Unfortunately many of the photographers who made these masterpieces got extremely sick and even died from mercury poisoning as a result of bringing the image to life.

This daguerreotype is of Edgar Allen Poe shortly before his death.

A young congressman named Abraham Lincoln.

I wish that I could have been photographed in this way.
I wish that I could photograph others using this technique.
I wish I had the knowledge and equipment to actually do such a thing.
I wish I wish I wish.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


My Little Artiste

Before getting into the bath this morning, Sophia entertained herself with her trusty notebook and her purple marker.
This burst of creativity resulted in a picture of our "ever-expanding" family.

Pictured below from left to right: Gus (our cat), me, Matias (but only if looked at in the mirror), Isaiah, Dad.
Second row: Fairy (Sophia's little sister), Sophia, Angel (Sophia's older sister), Little Ick and Wendy. These are Sophia's little sisters that haven't been born yet.
(The only one who actually exists in this bottom row is Sophia.)


To Bathe is to Be Rejuvenated

After Sophia drew, and more importantly after the bath had cooled down substantially, we took a very relaxing bath together.
I haven't taken a bath in quite a while and let me just say, it totally hit the spot.
I was cold and it warmed me from head to toe.
I dont know if there is anything so lovely as a steaming hot bath when one is cold.
I got out feeling renewed.

It was an added bonus that I got to photograph my gorgeous girl while I was soaking.
2 birds, 1 stone.

I feel I may need to explain the tat on Sophie's chest.
Despite what you may think it is not real.
I did not subject my child to needles and ink repeatedly for hours.
It's fake, and that is where she wanted me to put it.
I like it. ;)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Farewell Holi-daze

Michael and Candice left today.
They are going to drive the 24 hours back to Tennessee or Kentucky or where ever it is that they live.
It was a joy and a pleasure having them here.
They stayed here at my house for 4 days and I felt spoiled to have them around so much.
I love my brother. He is such a good guy.
Candice is perfect for him and its so nice to see what a great relationship they have.
I look forward to the next time they come to stay with us.
I'm also considering a trip to Texas when they move there in a few months.
I wouldn't mind spending a day or two in Austin photographing, eating, and exploring the city.

So now it truly is back to the grind.
The holidays are officially over for me.
I loved every minute spent with my family.
I'm always sad when these special times come to an end but I am looking forward to getting back on a schedule and working more diligently toward my goals for this year.
As always, I am looking forward to the next time we all get together again.

Monday, January 4, 2010


See For Yourself

I felt it was my duty to post this short video clip so that you may see for yourself why my dad won the ugliest sweater contest at our Christmas Eve Party.

I was obviously blindsided but this garish display of festivity. Is this really how I sound??


By the way, I dont know where Claire was. :)


Christmas Day

A few more from the photo booth. We were all soooo exhausted by the time we started taking these pictures. Not everyone was in the mood to be photographed. However, we had to get our usual Saenz sibling picture and this time we also got a Haddock sibling shot, or should I say, a Haddock sibling punching match...


The Climbing Tree

Today we had Jedi sword fights and climbed the "Climbing Tree". When I say we I of course mean Mike, Matias and Sophia. I took pictures and Isaiah broke the ice.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Michael and Candice

I love it when my brother and his wife come to visit. It makes me happy!

Other things that add to my enjoyment..
Glistening snow.
Sunny winter days.
Circular rainbows.
Warm and inviting sunflare.
Loving relationships.
Real moments...

Adoring parents.

Bulldogs named Chief.

I mean honestly.
How could you not love this face?


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