Tuesday, November 12, 2013

november blog circle: THANKFUL (that oliver put mommy in check) + photo tip: shooting in low light! + 10 fabulous holiday hostess gifts!!!

oliver put mommy in check last week...

i have been guilty {on far too many occasions} lately
of getting the legos down to play...
and then sitting next to the boys + the legos
while on my laptop, editing or writing or marketing -
piping in on the lego action on occasion,
{typically after one of them had called my name about 20 times in a row...}
pushing oliver on the swing
with one hand,
the other hand busily responding to 
text messages and emails

turning on the tv for my babes {for hours}
while i worked.

after a good solid week of WAY too many superhero tv shows
and partial attention to lego time,
guilt started creeping in. 
so i decided to turn off the tv.
oliver was so excited when i told them it was time do some art with mommy! 
we gathered up supplies
and set them on the coffee table...
right next to my laptop.
i started out invested in art time.
but within a few minutes,
i went back to working.

in an attempt to appear involved in art project time
i said to my son, "i love playing with you."
he looked down at the table - at my laptop, my iPad, my iPhone (all three in use at the time),
looked up at me - and then asked
"but are you playing with me mommy?"

and my heart sank.

i put my computer away.
i grabbed a large bin full of matchbox cars -
and my babies and i spent the next two hours 
racing them two by two down the hallway,
laughing (miles with his perfect toddleriffic belly laugh),
cheering, and laughing some more.
at one point, oliver grabbed my cheeks, gave me a big kiss
and said "mommy, i love you. you are always the best. and you are so pretty."
and so we have spent two hours doing the same thing
EVERY day this week.

i am so thankful for my sweet babies.

and i am thankful for the brilliant ways they remind mommy
of how lucky i am to be doing the work i love
while having the privilege of spending my days
at home with my sweet lovies while they are itty bitty
and changing so much from one moment to the next.
they remind me that sometimes, the most productive 
(and certainly the most meaningful) days are, thankfully,
the ones spent exploring an old army fort,
riding our bikes,
splashing through rain puddles,
making a giant mess with a bin of sidewalk chalk,
catching up with dr. seuss,
or racing hot wheels cars down a hallway.

this week i renewed my promise
to be intentional in the time i spend with my babies
and to always remember what a luxury it is
to have hours every day to play with them.
my coffee table will be meant for paper + crayons + play dough
rather than a laptop.
and although the TV is the one constant thing
that oliver thanks the Lord for EVERY day,
i know he'll be thankful
to watch less of it ;)

 PHOTO TIP: shooting in LOW light!
{above} i wanted to capture sweet miles playing with the cars we
had recently thrown down the hallway. although there are windows
in all the outlying bedrooms, the hallway is still not well lit.
rather than turning on any artificial lights,
i opted to shoot at a low aperture (f1.4) AND a slightly higher ISO (640)
in order to capture the shot with natural light!
take advantage of these rad camera settings to get great exposure in low light!



ps. - going to dinner/to a party
this holiday season?
10 gorgeous holiday hostess lovelies
from the loveliest store ever:

from the current gift collection at

top to bottom, L to R:

pps - read more on "thankful" from
one of the loveliest ladies around,
{seriously, she's amazin}
Cathy Mores {here}.


  1. This HIT HOME big time. I have been so busy with sessions lately that I have been having major guilt about this. Thanks for the reminder to close the laptop (and ipad and iphone - I too sit with all 3) and spend quality time with my kids.

  2. I'm totally sitting here nodding yes, yes, yes!!! My guilt meter is off the charts lately and yesterday after school we shoved it all aside and went for a jump in a huge leaf pile. It made me so thankful for little perspectives to keep life in check. :) (and I want to come to a party you're hosting just so I can bring you one of those Anthro lovelies! Adorbs!!) xoxoxoxoxo

  3. Nikki, so beautiful. Such a great reminder that I, too, find myself "playing" with the kids instead of getting down and dirty with them. Your boys are so precious. I want to play cars with them too! (Oh and I think I just found what I need to add to my Christmas list!)

  4. Oh my goodness! I'm guilty too! Turning off the computer when the kiddos get home from school today! NUF SAID! Oh yes, 1 more thing though, Nikki you are so RAD!!!!! : )