Today my camera and I took a ride on a cherry picker high above hundreds of happy beautiful people.

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Color Me Rad 5K - Indianapolis

Photographed color me rad in Indy, I love my job.

I love my job.

Want to run in a Color Me Rad? There’s still a bunch of races left this year.

Want the opportunity to photograph one? Check CraigsList (or equivalent) as the date of your city’s race comes close for a chance to apply, or email your portfolio and equipment list to Flo-Foto.

Reading Alone

Reading Alone

Addie and Vivi Reading

Addie and Vivi Reading

We don’t go to the library enough.

I also haven’t been using my camera enough.

Learn how your camera works, then use it all the time.

Go to the library, read books with your babies.

It puts sunshine in your soul.

Addie: Nathan talks to me ALL THE TIME. And he makes fun of my hair. AND he does bunny ears to me. He chases me around at recess and he is always making funny faces at me.

Me: Sounds like Nathan likes you.

Addie: What? Why would he do all that weird stuff if he likes me?

Me: The weirder a boy is around you, the more he likes you.

Addie: Pfft, it’s more like ‘The weirder a boy is around Addie, the less SHE likes HIM.’

Me: May that always be your answer.

Addie: Hey, is that why dad’s so weird?

Me: Pretty much.

Vivi was beating @cb_ute with sidewalk chalk.

While we’re on the subject of Addie, and since I’m kind of new to this whole “parenting second graders” gig, can we talk about something for a minute?

Addie likes to pretend she has broken bones.

She’ll wrap her wrist up in a scarf and hang it in a sling around her neck. Or she’ll wrap her entire leg in a scarf and hobble around begging for crutches.

This is, normal? No?

I mean, I used to pretend I had a broken arm too. I’d also melt down Jolly Ranchers to make a “retainer.” Then there was the “pretending I had asthma” thing.

It’s just something kids do? Or maybe something just Addie and I do?

Perhaps it’s a desperate cry for attention?

Let’s just say I felt a lot better about my parenting when I asked twitter “So, do your kids ask if you can go out to eat ALL THE TIME?” and everyone said “YES ALL THE TIME!”

So, what I’m saying is, your kids pretend they have injuries too, right?

Happy labor day!

Now put your white pants away.

Oh, we’re not following that rule anymore? Winter white you say? Huh.

What’s that? You don’t own white pants? Neither did I, until July. I didn’t WANT to own white pants, especially not white skinny jeans. In fact before July I didn’t own a single piece of white clothing aside from bras and underpants. Why wear white? IT GETS SO DIRTY.

White turns dingy. Cody wore an old white shirt to church yesterday and it was OFFENSIVE. There’s white, then there’s “used to be white.” Cody’s shirt certainly was certainly a fine shade of used to be white.

What about the pit stains in white clothes? Because pit stains never look good on anyone.

Tide asked if I’d work with them at the EVO conference, which I was thrilled about! But part of the agreement was that I had to wear white clothes.

Everyday.

[Read more...]

Perhaps you’ll remember when I was all “LOOK AT THE BLURB BOOK I MADE!” and then a day later I was all “LOOK AGAIN!

Well it turns out not only did you look at it, but Blurb noticed as well and liked what I did (thanks!)

Now they want to return the favor and grant my wish of being able to give books to everyone. (EVERYONE!)

It’s my Oprah moment! YOU GET A BOOK! AND YOU GET A BOOK! AND YOU GET A BOOK!

When you use the code ‘INSTAMOOSH’ at check out you will get $19.95 off a new book order, that means a 60 page softcover Facebook or Instagram photo book could be yours for the bargain price OF FREE. If you want to make a bigger book or upgrade it just a bit? You can use the same code to take $19.95 off your even fancier book. Do you live in Australia, Europe or Canada? YOU GET A BOOK TOO! (book maker must pay appropriate S&H)

BUT WAIT, this offer only lasts for 72 hours!

What is an Instagram book?

It’s a book , of your Instagram photos.

Like this one (shown next to my big beautiful book for scale):

instagram blurb book!

instagram blurb book!

(Are you following me on Instagram? I’m @mooshinindy.)

I upgraded to a hardcover on this book, it also has a lot of photos in it, 180 pages to be exact. ($37 softcover, $56 hardcover)

Since I started Instagram on my birthday this year I’ve decided to make a book every two or three months. How often they get made depends on how many photos I’ve taken.

I poo pooed Instagram for a long time (probably because I didn’t have a smart phone and once I did Instagram wasn’t available on Android until this year.)

Once I got into it though, it’s not just crappy photos with crazy filters, it’s tiny little stories as they happen in real time, it’s a community, it’s wonderful.

Gone are the days of "Push me! Push me!"

Die pigs.

Trikin' (also, what happened to my baby?)

Baby's first ice cream cone. Best big sister ever.

I may or may not be an abuser of the ‘walden’ filter. Sorry about that.

Kiss kiss Instagram, kiss kiss blurb. LET’S ALL GO MAKE BOOKS!!

(Don’t have Instagram? You can make one from your uploaded Facebook photos as well. No Facebook? NO WORRIES! You can always make one directly from your flickr photos or upload them to Blurb directly or use their handy desktop book making app.)

*******

THE RULES: Promo code ’INSTAMOOSH‘ MUST be entered at checkout for the discount to apply and for the best experience you should make your books on a computer and not a mobile device. The code is good for $19.95 USD/CAD (or 17.95 Euros/$21.95 AUD) off a 7×7 60 page softcover Instagram or Facebook book -  It expires in 72 HOURS (Monday night at 11:59pm EST time) then it turns back into a coupon pumpkin.

This coupon may only be used once by each person and on books made by you, It may not be applied towards adjustments on previous orders, gift cards or towards volume orders.

PLEASE do not Tweet/Instagram/Facebook the code itself, because that’s not fair, and moosh in indy readers play by the rules, right? Right. And if you want Blurb to keep on keeping on with the sweet deals? We all have to play by the rules and show them our support of their faith in our Instagram photos.

GO FORTH! PRESERVE THY LITTLE SQUARE MEMORIES!

(Disclosure: Blurb did provide me with a code for my own Instagram books and all links are affiliate.)

 

These two.

With this single photo I killed instagram dead with the sweetness.

Go ahead, just stare at it, I’ll give you a minute.

This is my everyday, this is what I get to be surrounded by in my home. Even better? This is what my girls are growing up with.

Vivi has all the confidence in the world, she walks into rooms as though she owns them and I can only imagine it’s because Addie’s been doing the exact same thing for the last seven years.

They roll around on the carpet and hug wrestle. Vivi sneak attacks Addie from behind to kiss her (or pull her hair, depends on the day) and she runs through the house every morning shouting “ADDIE! ADDIE!”

The only person Addie will (voluntarily) share ice cream with.

She takes such good care of her.

I love them both so much individually, but together? They are a whole other force to be reckoned with.

boots, bellybutton and balls

Lately I’m convinced that people don’t keep having babies for babies, they keep having babies for siblings. To be able to witness the most spectacular, natural and wonderful friendships in existence.

boots, bellybutton and balls

Perhaps not everyone gets along with their siblings the way these two do, and perhaps they won’t always be this close. But when the two of them are together it is obvious that their hearts are knit together in a completely different and unbreakable way. They go together like salt and pepper, Calvin and Hobbes, peanut butter and chocolate; each one works well on its own, but it’s when they’re together that they are truly at their best. If I can give them nothing else in life, I gave them each other. If God never gives me another baby? He gave me sisters, which is quite possibly better than all the babies in the world.

*****************

I’m so grateful to partner with Hallmark in 2012 on their “Life is a Special Occasion” campaign again and I thank them tremendously for their patience with me, supporting me in all that I do and for sponsoring this post. The love between my girls is what Hallmark cards are made from.

It would be easy to give all the credit to Pinterest.

You can only see so many craft projects before you start to believe that YOU TOO CAN BE CRAFTY!

But let’s rewind for a moment.

I was really pregnant when my mom came out for a week, she needed a desk to work at so we bought one at a yard sale for $20, Cody got the big sides sanded, and then it sat.

And sat.

And sat.

My mom came, we made her a desk out of two TV trays and a plywood board.

The desk sat in the garage under a recumbent bike and a dozen other odds and ends.

Untitled

Cody started blogging and needed a desk for our desktop computer, “I need to finish that desk!” he said.

It sat some more because Cody bought a new desk, one that didn’t need refinishing.

I need to take that desk to Goodwill.” Cody finally said after close to two years of that desk sitting in our garage.

I saw this post from Chelsea about her refashioning an old ugly thing into a very lovely new thing.

HEY! I COULD DO THAT! But it kind of seems like a lot of work, and I don’t have an old ugly piece of furniture.

OH WAIT YES I DO!

I then met Tausha in Park City at EVO and it turns out her entire blog is about refinishing, restyling and repurposing things.

I told her about my desk, she told me about Annie Sloan chalk paint, and that there was no need to prime, sand or strip when using it and a seed was planted.

August happened, the weather got nice and I convinced myself that I needed to refinish the desk and I needed to do it now.

I decided to buy the paint locally (if you can consider Sheridan, Indiana local) rather than order it online because LOCAL! WOO! (I also couldn’t decide on a color.)

I read Tausha’s post about chalk paint, talked to the owner of the store where I got the paint and here’s what’s happened:

  • I took out all the old hardware and covered in the holes with wood putty and a putty knife. I also filled in any big gouges and rough bits with the putty and and sanded all the repaired spots with 80 sandpaper attached to a palm sander.
  • I went to bed.
  • I washed off the whole desk with a big damp rag and let it dry.
  • I taped off the edges of the drawers, based off of this post here, to maintain some sense of tidiness. (This photo really gives you an idea of what rough shape the desk was in.)

Untitled

  • I painted. And painted. And painted. I used the color ‘Arles’ which is a deliciously warm and muted yellow. I had bought an Annie Sloan paint brush as well as a 2″ angled detail brush, I can see why all of the tutorials and forums I read said used the best brush you can buy, the paint is sturdy and if you use a cheaper brush you’ll end up with little hairs all over and it will frustrate and infuriate you.
  • The paint dried really quick, so I added another coat, the parts that weren’t sanded (and much darker) required close to three coats while the rest looked good with two. (There’s a lot of talk about one coat being so shabby chic! Letting the natural flaws and brushstrokes show through! I twitched at the seven different shades after one coat so I covered the whole darn thing until it was solid.)
  • I fed the baby, did some work, ate some lunch then went back out to wax the thing. (This is where I digress and say that I only waxed because I was told to wax and I’m not sure why one would wax instead of any other number of finishes, but the wax made it velvety with a tiny hint of sheen and once I figured out how to wax properly it went really quickly.) I used the Annie Sloan clear wax. It’s smelly, ventilation is your friend!
  • I then drilled new holes for the new hardware. YAY NEW HARDWARE! I then put on the new hardware BECAUSE I WAS SO EXCITED YAY! (Plus Vivi kept pushing the hardware-less drawers in and I broke at least 3 nails trying to dig them back out.) This photo was taken before I distressed the edges, it was also taken in almost direct sunlight which is why it looks SO SUNNY YELLOW! (Also, that’s dried putty on the floor, not a flattened mouse.)

Untitled

  • While the wax marinated (I mean, it didn’t have to marinate, I just didn’t know what to do next) I came in and asked Pinterest how to distress furniture. I found this post and she said “JUST GO FOR IT WITH THE PALM SANDER HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF!” So I went back outside, put on a dust mask and took to the edges, details and corners with the palm sander fitted with 120 grit sandpaper. I got pretty gutsy at the end, and it felt pretty good. Even better? It looked really good. (If you’re going to do this, it’s totally worth the $30 for a palm sander.)
  • And that was it. (Well, I cleaned off all the dust and vacuumed out the drawers.)

It took me less than 36 hours to turn this old desk into a really cool desk. (See, and this photo makes it look orange-ish, WORK WITH ME LIGHTING.)

Untitled

I don’t really have anywhere specific for it, I just wanted to give myself a project. However, I want it somewhere where I’ll see it everyday, BECAUSE GUYS I DID THIS WITH NO HELP FROM CODY. (Well, he helped me take it into the house…)

I want to refinish all the things now.

I really want to paint our old piano blue.

Our dining table and chairs white.

(No Cody, I’m not going to, UNCLENCH.)

So there you have it, someone who’s never done anything like this in their life, doing it and doing it well in just over a day with the help of the Internet.

Put to use immediately.

Boom.

Dear World,

You’re going to have to be patient and bear with me for the next several months. You see, I have what could pretty much be considered a toddler. Not only does she toddle like it’s her job, she has the will of a thousand stubborn oxen. I’m going to have to take this toddler out in public with me, and spoiler alert: she doesn’t like being contained. I do my best to get in, get what I need and get out, but sometimes that just isn’t possible.

Today I had to wait at the pharmacy for a good 40 minutes. I let Vivi wander. She brought me bottles of cold medicine, boxes of colon cleanse powder and few random containers of vitamins. For the most part she put them all back. As we walked down the aisles I noticed she left random products in her wake and at one point she had a can of deodorant spray that I left in the display for Band-Aids. I’m sorry, I don’t know where she got it from and who knows what she would have picked up while I was looking for the deodorant’s proper place. When I unloaded my cart before leaving I found a rogue Beanie Baby, a can of soup and box of sugar free mints.

I’m really sorry I left them with the school supplies at the front of the store.

I tell myself leaving them there was better than shoplifting (albeit accidentally.)

I promise I do my best not to mess up store displays, I always pick up clothes that have fallen off their hangers, and I even put stuff back if I know where it goes. Chances are it was put there by a mom with a toddler who was just trying to make it out of the store without any contraband or fits.

I’m a really good customer, I just need you to be patient with me over the next few months as we figure this “taking the toddler out in public with me” thing.

We had to wait for grandma at the minute clinic. We did a little shopping.

xo- Casey