Monday, July 27, 2009

photo op

photo taken by Stacy Beck July 2009 (minimal cropping, color contrast enhancing)

I've been dabbling in photography for the past few months since we invested in the Nikon D60. I love the camera and I really know nothing about it. So, with trial and error and an amateur eye, I've been trying my stuff. I am really loving it--both trying to take great shots and the photo editing. There is something exciting about taking a photo and it being almost exactly what you were imagining in your head without having to edit. So, with my interest peaked I'm searching for a mentor or some classes I can take. There are some through the local community college but with a little infant I'm hesitant to commit so much time and energy right now in my life to the formal class (2 days a week for 2 1/2 hours plus travel time of 1 hour each way). Any suggestions? Any good textbooks or things that could get me going until I have the time to commit?

If you haven't seen this photos in my recent posts, here are some of the ones I've received props for:

photo taken by Stacy Beck July 2009 (adjusted exposure, color, cropped, and straightened or actually off center in this case.)

photo taken by Stacy Beck July 2009 (minimal cropping, contrast and exposure)

photo taken by Stacy Beck July 2009 (exposure, color contrast, and exposure, minimal cropping)

photo taken by Stacy Beck April 2009 (black & white, cropped,pre- D60)

So far, my tricks have been taking the shots at different angles and never dead center. I also try to include the surroundings or background into the shot and not just the person I'm photographing. I think the way a photo is cropped does so much for it. In lots of Gavin's photos I've actually cropped off his forehead and when you see the two side by side before and after I think it makes all the difference in the result, but what do I know I'm an amateur. 

4 months...

4 months old

Today Gavin celebrated 4 months in this wonderful world and in the greatest family possible!!
Here's a look at the little man himself...

... at 4 months Gavin is: holding his head up like a champ, still only rolling to one side and has made it to his stomach once (Ryan says so), He is smiling like crazy and giggling a bit, He loves to jump and jive to the song Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree, He is sleeping 10 hours a night most nights, he poops only every other day (I know you were wondering) which makes diaper changes super easy, He loves cuddling with his silky blankets and his luv luv buddy named Fritz, he loves baths (especially laying in the big tub so he can kick and splash), he is very aware of everything going on around him, and his drooling has kicked up a notch (I call him the suds machine--he looks like a washing machine overflowing), he wears Size 2 shoes, 3-6 month clothes (is close to outgrowing 3-6 month onesies due to his long torso (inherited from his mommy), enjoys changing his outfit at least 3 times before heading to town just to make sure he looks cute enough (I hope he grows out of this one!), has quite the death grip, he no longer needs to be swaddled at night, has the most buff legs ever, is already taking up beat boxing, loves sucking on his lower lip and tongue, weighs approx. 16.5 lbs, he loves playing under his baby gym and is beginning to enjoy his newest toy the exersaucer which he can stand up in!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Utah Trip, Part 1

For the 4th of July weekend we headed out to Utah to visit family and friends. Ryan's family was having their Lowe Family Reunion so we made it into a trip to see both sides of the family, plus some treasured friends of mine. We started out at my sister Julie's house visiting her family. My little sister was able to come down from Idaho, as well as our great family friend Spinney (Debbie is actually her first name but we've always called her by her last since she coached us in sports years ago).

We really enjoyed our time there. The kids are growing up so fast! I'll let the pictures tell the story. Thanks Julie for letting us spend the day with you! We love the bbq and had a really nice time bonding! We hope for many more as our families continue to grow!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Belated Birthday!

happy belated birthday honey!
well, technically the celebration wasn't belated, but the post is. I have been so horrible about posting that I have some catch up work to do. Ryan turned the big 29 this year! It is his last year of innocence! Ah ha! With all my family in town for my littlest brother's graduation, the fam decided to go camping. I decided I didn't want to miss out and would brave taking the G-man with me. Unfortunately, the camping event overlapped with Ryan's birthday so before I left I decorated the house for a pre-party so he wouldn't feel forgotten. I can't wait to make a big deal of our kids' birthdays. Ryan is learning to appreciate it which is good because now he is understanding why I like him to do little special things like this when its my birthday (hint, hint). 
I even went as far as letting him know where I keep all of the balloons, streamers, you know the party supplies. He won't even have the excuse of no time to go to the store now! 

We didn't get each other large presents for birthdays or mom's and dad's days because we decided to invest in a nicer camera when G-man was born to take our own photos instead of pouring $$$$ into other photographer's work. It is also an opportunity for me to develop a hobby since I seem to have left all of my behind. I am loving the camera and taking photos and can't wait to take some formal classes. I really like the angle I found on the candy bowl I had with Ryan's fav candies--peanut m&m's. What do you think? The camera does a great job on its own with the colors too, not much photo editing. 

So, back to Ryan's birthday. I just want it to go down in the history books (aka my blog) that I have the most amazing husband, a man I dearly admire, respect, adore, appreciate, and to whom I owe so much of my happiness and joy in life. We have grown so much closer together and so much as individuals and it is largely in part to his spiritual strength and love for me. What a man, what an example! He is so intelligent, motivated, talented, driven, faithful, humble, teachable, healthy, generous, and not to mention good-looking, to say the least. Thank you sweetheart for loving me and for patiently supporting me. You are such an amazing father and husband and I am forever indebted to you for your daily sacrifices for our family. 

"sexy beck" in Cabo December 2008
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

long time no talkie!

I must apologize for the lack of blogging. I really want to enlighten you with all that's happening in life and in my head, but right now I'm determined to live life and to be honest, its demanding my time regardless. My goal: to enjoy it to its fullest. 

Gavin Update: at 3 months he weighed 14.3 lbs and was 25 inches long. He is our bean sprout! Ok, several have described him as a "fatty" (what I have come to realize is a term of endearment, at least when it comes to babies, I hope). He continues to grow and develop like crazy: jabbering like crazy, grinning from ear to ear, continuing to train for WWF (did I get that right?), loves standing up, rolls over on side, sleeping more through night, playing and conversing with his toys on the baby gym (so adorable), and I've already started teaching him sign language (I know they say 6 months but it won't hurt--first word "mommy" that's right a little selfish but I think its pretty important to know your food source, best friend, side kick, and mother's name--don't you?!?

Ok, gotta go. More to come, soon, I promise!