Saturday, November 22, 2008

Visit my Photography Blog!

This is where I post my latest shoots....

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tyler's Blessing

This little booger was blessed on Sunday,

He's all smiles and adorable-ness and it was hard to take these pictures because all I wanted to do was throw the camera down and pick him up and cuddle him and kiss those chubby cheeks.

My brother Andrew, and then Cameron and Jake were also blessed in this little outfit. All the girls on my mom's side of the family were blessed in the same dress my Grandma was blessed in...which leads me Olive, Sadie's unborn girl chil', who will wear the dress next. I decided that we needed to document Olive-in-the-Womb and Sadie and Dan's 1st anniversary so I took some pictures that look like engagement pictures...only slightly scandalous engagement pictures since, yes, Sadie is pregnant. And, I have to add here that I spent a few days with Sadie in a swimsuit on the Beach and she gets the "i still look better than most people ever will in a swimsuit even though I am seven months pregnant" award.
Then Cameron saw that I was snapping his picture and all on his own scooted over and put his arms around Jakey like he had seen Sadie and Dan do.
Dan was whining about getting his picture taken, and Scott felt to mention that I had brought my camera on our first date - (we were hiking, okay? What was I supposed to do, leave it at home????!!!) Dan's response was "I'm surprised there was a second date" My comeback was:
So there, Dan.

And besides, Scott's gotten pretty good at posing for my pictures.

We love you, Tyler.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Independence Day

Yes, I am just now posting about the 4th of July. But you won't be sorry because that means you get to see that Ben's neighborhood had an Independence Day Parade and those peeps go all out for the Yoo Ess of Aaay:

Here's the Bloomfield contribution:

Good thing my mom had that red shirt on. Because otherwise you might have thought she forgot her USA cape. Or her flag balloon helmet.

Scott and Sheri's family was in town and they came for the big parade, too: Here's Preston being all hardcore with his beard and Tyler
Smiley Mark pushing Jakey

Pretty Paige with Ty
My pretty Aunt Sheri - I snapped a pic with her next to Ben...
and Uncle Scott decided he needed one too....haha.

Happy Fourth of July! (A month ago)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Goodbye, Russians

I kind of hate to post these last pictures of the Russians because it means they're really gone. A few hours before they left, I started feeling this compulsive need to take pictures even though there was nothing exciting going on. I think it was my last "holding on with the fingernails" attempt to keep them here somehow...
Guess I got used to having 7 extra people around, because the next day it definitely felt like something was missing. Goodbye Russians, we'll miss you. And Ola, I really really really hope you will come live and study here next year.
Ola started tearing up at dinner and was blinking back tears for the next couple hours until the Bates came to take them to Salt Lake. She gave me a hug that lasted five full minutes - every time she'd pull away she'd start crying harder and then put her face in my shoulder again so no one could see. Kept saying "lubilu" (love you) As their ride pulled away she was drawing hearts with her hands and pointing at us....can't decide if that is a good memory or a bad one.
Andrew probably said it best "I think they're sad our week is over, but sadder that it's one week closer to going back to where they came from...."
So glad you came. Lubilu.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Russians Day 6

"What must it feel like to own a mountain?"
That's what Svetlana asked when she saw the Ranch. I thought that comment summed it up on so many levels...comparatively we have so much in this country that would be/is astonishing to much of the world.

I guess I just feel afraid I will forget and take it all for granted. Not recognize the blessings. Not help. I do take for granted. Without meaning to.

Before we left we asked what their favorite thing was and they all said the ranch.
They adored the 4 wheeling. I noticed how Americans smile and show teeth for pictures, where Russians stop the merriment and get very solemn looking for pics. And if they do smile, they definitely do not show teeth.

They thought the zip-line was fun ( at least to those adventurous enough to try it, which of course included Nastya)
Played games at the Cabin, this is Drew with Jula and Nastya, my cousin Rachel and her friend Tyler. (yes, he knows that his name is the same as our new nephew Tyler)Ate and chillaxed. I just said chillaxed.

Played with the nephews. Here's Katie's friend Mike playing with Cameron out by the creek/crik. Cameron found a wild wish to blow.
Here's crazy ball of energy Jakey, who at a young age discovered the most efficient way to get popcorn to your mouth. I am so proud of you, Jakey.
Here's the girls with beaded Cam and Jake, after we set off fireworks and played a rousing game of "sally walker." Svetlana German pulled out a full-on Russian folk dance for her "little -sally-walker-walking-down-the-street" trick. She is awesome.
Couldn't help feelin warm and fuzzy when I saw this sign. My grandpa used to always say touched you last when we said goodbye to him. We'd try to tag and run to sneak in the last touch But he'd even stick his hand in a moving car to touch you last, and he always won, no matter what. I feel like he's still winning, and still touching us last because of so many things he passed on, like a love for ice-cream and show-tunes, but I always feel particularly close to him when I go to the ranch. Felt grateful for the ranch, and for my grandparents and great grandparents, and it felt good to know that in a way, their legacy and hard work was now reaching not only across generations, but across oceans, when these Russian girls were able to come enjoy it.

I think Drew finally realized on the last day that he had a very captive audience with these girls. He made sure he rode right in between all five of them on the way home and ate up the attention. On the late drive home, Svetlana was in the car following mine. She saw camera flash going off in our car, and said "Tara must be taking pictures of Andrew among the flowers" (aka girls)

Yes I was. Because how can you resist documenting your 72nd time of listening to The Pussycat Dolls "Wichoo" in a week. Two hours up to the Ranch, two hours back, automatic repeat. I would try to switch it and Oksana would command "Tahra, buskot dol". I wasn't complaining because at least it wasn't rap. They don't speak no english, but they do be speakin' all the words to this song, be havin it memorize. Which is good, because now they can say the first English they learned was Ebonics. "Nobody gonna love me better, I'm gon' stick wichoo forever"
Here's Drew, with an exhausted flower on his shoulder:
Ola, you could not be cuter.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Rodeo (Russians Day 5)

Strawberry Days Rodeo in Pleasant Grove Utah.

'Twas a rootin tootin good time.

Russians Day 5

Went and toured Kohler's grocery store. Which was actually kind of dumb. But we did get to watch them decorate a cake to look like a giant hamburger

And they gave us free ice-cream.
And we got to see how they put saran wrap on the meat.
Then we went to Thanksgiving Point to tour the Dinosour Museum.
Ola being silly.
Svetlana loved how interactive the Museum was.

Our neighbors Taylor and Peggy Smith and my Mom and Dad wanted to buy the girls some clothes. This was exciting because they only own 2-3 shirts to rotate between.

So we went to Kohls. Nastya said "nyet" and laughed at just about everything I showed her. Eventually after walking through the entire store we found something that she liked. Guess I don't have a russian fashion sense.
Oksana with Peggy Smith
Svetlana with my Momma. Sveta is so darling, and gives kisses on the cheeks to say thank you.
Oksana with Taylor Smith

Taylor and Peggy Smith then took the girls to the grocery store and gave them each $10. He told them to buy candy or gum, but they bought essentials - razors, deodorant, and, well, mascara. Which I know is an essential.

Ola was going to spend her $10 on razors and batteries. Taylor told her he had lots of those at home so buy something else...
Thanks, Taylor.
The girls came right home and changed into their new clothes. They got all gussied up to go to the rodeo.