Archive for My Life

Bare Walls Make Me Sad

Since we will be moving in just 4 short months, we had decided that we wouldn’t put anything up on the walls in baby girl’s room. It just didn’t make sense to have more things to pack up when we move and also patching up the holes and repainting would just be more work when the time comes to say goodbye to this place. Besides I can live with blank walls for just 4 months, right? Hmmm, wrong. I thought I could, but as it turns out I’ve been spending a lot of time in her bedroom and I just couldn’t stand to stare at those blank walls anymore. So we now have over 50 wholes to patch up and paint over. But if you ask me, it’s SO worth it.
There are still lots of projects waiting until after the move, but at least her walls aren’t completely naked anymore. Here’s a pic from my instagram with what we have up on the walls thus far.

photo1

And if you are like me and naked walls make you sad, here are some fun ideas on how to dress up those walls on one of my pinterest boards.

The Diaper Bag Checklist

A few weeks ago, we took baby girl for her first extended outing, including a little trip to one of our favorite restaurants, Sauce. Oh, turkey and feta salad how I’ve missed you.

Prior to this, we had only really gone to the Doctor’s office, my sister’s house, and some super quick trips to Buy Buy Baby.

Being the planner and list lover that I am, I took advantage of nap time to create a little tag to attach to her diaper bag with a checklist of all the essentials. I even planned ahead for a couple months from now and included things like a teether, sunblock, and toys. I was feeling like I was about to receive a new-mom-of-the-year-award.

As we were getting out of the car, my husband looks at me and very seriously says:
“I thought of something else you need to add to the list.” He paused as to give me a chance to figure out on my own what I had forgotten and still maybe have a chance at an honorable mention (since at this point the new-mom-of-the-year-award was out the window). And he finally says: “the actual diaper bag”.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, I packed the perfect diaper bag and left it behind. I’m totally out of the contest now. And a little relieved that I didn’t actually forget something on the list ;). I thought he grabbed the bag, he thought I grabbed the bag. At least we both remembered the baby. And we just laughed and cut our date short.

So maybe I’ll add a tag to the carseat that says “got diaper bag?”

And for all you moms out there, here’s my list. Any other must-haves? I know the list will change as she gets older and I’d appreciate a heads-up on other diaper bag essentials.

Diaper-Bag-Essentials

Baby Girl – One month

IMG_9850

::We mostly call you ‘chunkin’.

::Your dad has lots of funny nicknames for you, and he calls you ‘princhesca’ a lot. I guess that’s his Italian version of princess ;).

::He’s also always telling you how precious you are. It melts my heart.

::I try to speak lots of Portuguese with you.

::I don’t know very many lullabies, so I sing a lot of Lulu Santos for you. You fall asleep every time. I think it’s because you don’t want to listen to me anymore. Either way, it works.

::You are losing your hair. We can’t really tell if it will be light brown or red. Maybe it will be reddish brown.

::Your eyes are still really blue. So crazy! How can I possibly have a child with blue eyes??

::If I put you on the right light and squint a little, you are starting to look a little more like me.

::You are mastering how to push the pacifier back in your mouth. So cute.

::You love taking baths.

::You mostly communicate with little grunting sounds. Thankfully you leave the crying for extreme situations like the doctor’s office.

::You started to really see us now – which is awesome!

::Your cousin Nathan is so in love with you. He loves sitting next to you and bouncing you on your little chair.

::Your dad and I are pretty sure you intentionally smiled at us. Coincidence or not, we still loved it.

::You eat 3 oz of formula every 3 hours.

::We go through a lot of bibs :).

::I don’t get much sleep, but I feel so lucky that I get to hold you in my arms. Less sleep = more holding time :).

Mama loves you so much, baby girl!

This is why I shouldn’t have been allowed to have a child…

Fourth-of-July

Toddlers and Tiaras is next.

I hope you all had a safe and fun holiday. We spent ours torturing our child with not-so-age-appropriate patriotic apparel, eating some good food, enjoying the weather (mid 80’s and humid! which is a july miracle for us here in phoenix), and watching movies with the family. Did not see a single firework, but it was perfect.

Contest Winner

Thank you so much to everyone who participated and left your guesses on Facebook along with the sweetest messages. You all made this exciting time in our lives that much more fun and special to us.

Here’s my little video announcing the winner and whether we are having a boy or a girl. Since I was drawing the winner we had to do this in one take and it’s my first video so I’ll just go ahead and apologize now.

Looking forward to meeting the winner! And please remember to contact me at least 10 days prior to the session date and the session must take place by April 1 2012.

It may be easier to watch it on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/cristiowenphoto

Thanks again!

Pregnancy Thoughts AND a Giveaway

boy-or-girl
My thoughts on pregnancy thus far:

  • I’m hungry ALL the time. You’d think it would be great to get to eat a lot more, but it’s actually really exhausting. Just when I finish cleaning up the kitchen I’m hungry again and have to start all over. Not to mention the slight embarrassment of having to get back in line (i.e. at Rubio’s) to order just one more taco.
  • I’ve had approximately 12 zits my whole life, 8 of them were in the last few months.
  • Feeling the baby move is the coolest and strangest feeling ever.
  • Watching my husband’s face feeling the baby move is the sweetest feeling ever.
  • We are super excited to find out the gender of our baby! So much so that we thought we’d spread the joy by letting you in all the fun…

So here are all the giveaway details:

First things first…

THE PRIZE:

  • A FREE session. Yes, completely free
  • Your favorite 20 high-resolution images on a CD!

HOW TO ENTER:

1. Go to my facebook page: www.facebook.com/cristiowenphoto

2. Click the Like button

3. Leave a comment on the wall with your guess if we are having a girl or a boy

One entry per person. Yes, you and your fiancee can each have a separate entry. And if your mom, neighbor, cousin and co-worker want to help you out, they can each have an entry and if they win, they can give you the prize. Or keep it for themselves 😉

Entries must be received by midnight on Valentine’s Day (Feb 14, 2012) AZ time.

WINNERS:

All of those with the correct answer will be entered into a drawing.

Winner will be announced Feb 15 on my blog and on Facebook.

A FEW OTHER RULES:

The session must be booked at least 10 days prior to the session date

Sessions cannot be rescheduled

Session must take place by April 1 2012 (based on my availability at the time session is booked)

Sessions will last one hour

Session must take place within 30 miles of Chandler, AZ

Anyone can enter. Past clients, new clients, current clients, family, friends, other photographers. There are no rules here :).

So tell us! What do you think? Boy or Girl? Click here: www.facebook.com/cristiowenphoto

Hello 2012!

So excited for a new year to start!  2011 was a complicated year. After almost 8 years of marriage we decided it might be a good time to grow our little family and after almost 4 years of owning my photography business, I wasn’t as happy as I thought I would have been. This little combo proved to be a lot more complicated than one might have anticipated.

Everyone knows I love my business, but after almost 4 years of working from home all by myself all day long I started to feel pretty lonely. And then I felt guilty. I had the job of my dreams and I wasn’t happy. Major guilt. I still loved my clients and the job I get to do, but I was overwhelmed with the amount of work I had and was desperately longing for some personal connections. The opportunity to work as an associate photographer for a friend came along and it seemed like the perfect solution to all my problems. I could still photograph as many weddings overall as I have in previous years, but have half the amount of the work on weekdays. I decided to take on half as many of my own weddings as I usually do to allow time for a social life (and in preparation for maybe a baby some day soon), as well as pursue some other interests. Even though we got all set up, I never actually got to work for her. Which I think it turned out to be a very good thing. First, it taught me that it’s ok to not have every idea or plan work out. Even if it sounds like a really great thing, maybe it’s just not meant to be. And most importantly, as I now reflect on what would have been, I’ve learned that what I love is not to just create images, but my passion is to form relationships with my clients and then create images for them.  And this little ‘discovery’ makes me so excited for 2012! It’s the core of my business goals for next year and I can’t wait to meet and get to know the couples and love stories I will get the honor of documenting over the next 12 months. I’m also happy to focus back into my own business 100% and give my clients the best wedding photography experience! I’ve been working hard on some changes and improvements and I’m so happy with how it’s all coming along!

Now on the home front, after a failed attempt at growing our little family, we are very excited to be expecting a little bundle of joy to arrive at the end of June. I’m still going to keep my maximum amount of weddings the same as 2011 which proved to be the perfect balance between giving each of my clients a lot of attention and also having time for my friends and family.

Speaking of balance, 2011 was the year I went back to yoga and it felt SO good! I’m not by any means a yogi, but I love the journey of trying to get there. And although it’s not very yoga-like to hold on to things or feelings from the past, I’m really excited to brag about the fact that I finally conquered scorpion pose. Sure, it may only have been two times, but it felt so good! It’s hard to explain how a physical accomplishment can do so much for your mind, but it totally does. If you’ve never tried yoga before, I highly recommend it! Find a good studio and it will change your body and your mind.

So besides a few struggles and some failures, 2011 was a pretty awesome year! I learned more balance, had a great time with friends and family, made some pretty incredible new friends (Hi, Megan!), photographed fantastic weddings of truly remarkable couples, worked with the greatest wedding vendors and traveled to some really extraordinary places.

Here are a few of 2011 Kodak moments:

A BYOP (Bring Your Own Pool) Party at my house:

BYOP

Camping in Pinetop with my husband’s cousins:
L02
A perfect trip to Costa Rica with Tom and Trisha:

Costa-Rica-Collage
IMG_1686
IMG_1759
IMG_1709
New-York-Collage
IMG_3109
NewYork034
IMG_3115
NewYork118
NewYork062

And some other fun trips to Sedona, Florida, Vegas, San Diego and Montana! But I just realized those photos are on my laptop which is currently waiting for Apple to send its new battery. Oops!

Here’s to 2012 and all that it brings, including the best news ever that my family is moving back to Arizona! I’m so happy!!

Pinterest

After I professed my love for pinterest.com on Facebook, I had a lot of people ask me what it is and why it is so great. I was surprised by how many people didn’t know about it and so I thought I should share the news with all of you. Warning: You may become addicted.

Pinterest is a website where you can organize images of things you like into different categories (or themed boards).

Here’s a screenshot of one my boards full of images with ideas on how to display images in your home:

You can pin any image that you find online or upload from your hard drive. You can also follow boards that you find interesting and new pins from those boards will pop up on your “home screen”. If you see something you like, you can simply “re-pin it” to your own board.

If you are planning a wedding, pinterest makes it SO easy to keep your ideas organized and help you envision how everything will look together. It also makes it super easy to find clever and unique ideas to make your wedding feel personalized.

Here’s a screenshot of a wedding board:

On my last post I mentioned I was working on renovating the kitchen a little and pinterest.com has been a huge help! You can go see what my kitchen board looks like and I will be posting photos of our new kitchen soon. (I’ve been anxiously awaiting the handyman who’s coming to hang some lights and the microwave in about 2 weeks from now).

After you check out pinterest.com, let me know what you think and I look forward to following your boards and great ideas! Once you are there, you will see that you can leave comments on pins, “tag” friends, like pins, share it on facebook, twitter, etc. It is super simple to use and oh-so-much fun!

Happy pinning :)

Wishing you a picture perfect Valentine's day :)

I love any and all holidays! I feel like it’s a good reminder to make the people I love feel special.

I hope you feel special today!

XOXO

Date Night

Who loves pita jungle? We do! And I can never leave without my “to go” cup of berry tea. And in case you were wondering what we had, that’s Chicken del Sol. Yum!

And then we came home and the Last Song was on the “watch it now” Netflix and since we’ve pretty much watched everything else… I bawled my eyes out while Curt sat next to me and read the paper or worked on a crossword puzzle. And then out of the blue he says, he should’ve stayed with the blond chick, she is way hotter. Hahaha, didn’t know he was paying any attention.

I love you. Thanks for watching a Miley Cyrus movie with me. And for supporting my berry tea addiction.