Happiness Is…{thanks and a wrap}

My true happiness for today is that JDubbs and I are heading to Portland, Oregon for a wedding sans children, and that we get to discover what I’ve heard is a very cool city together and catch up with great friends and family.  That is really where my happiness lies today, but I also want to announce that today is the very last Happiness Is…blog hop post.  To all of you faithful link-uppers, who came faithfully every week to share your joy and to meet new bloggers near and far, I am so very grateful to have shared in your happiness.  But the party is inconsistent and I am admittedly not putting the effort into it that it deserves, so I will end on a high note and say that today is the last day to share the wonderful things that make our lives so great, and I can’t wait to hear all about what’s new with you!

 So thank you all again.  It’s been my pleasure to host and I hope to see you all around these parts just as often!  Maybe one of you wants to take the Happiness hop over for me–feel free to steal it and I’ll spread the word for you!!  May the joy and happiness of our everyday lives continue on.  Lord knows I’ll still have my happy moments, and I look forward to sharing them with you, just in a less regulary-scheduled way.

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Happiness Is…{this magic moment}

Not only a perfect moment between my babies, but selfishly I’ve also always wanted to try to capture a reflection in the sand.  A picture and moment to love.

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Happiness Is…{good work}

I’m not trying to brag, but I have been super busy with photo shoots this summer.  I can’t complain because it’s great experience and it feels nice to help out the cause with a little bit of cash every now and then.  But editing photos is just one more thing to add to my ever-growing list of things to do, and I feel like between photography and blogging I barely have a chance to say hello to my hubby after work every day!  Good thing I like them both so much!

So on that note, I wanted to share a few of my favorites from recent shoots–actually I have had four recently who preferred I kept their photos private, so this is only a small sample.  They will have their own posts one day when I get my act together, but until then, enjoy these great shots–now you have an idea of some of the other things I do all day!

This last shot is of a great up-and-coming hip hop group called JP Lime, whose photos I was lucky enough to take for their newly released album, Blue Star Boulevard.  Click here to head over to their site and hear or download some of their music!

Being successful professionally means a lot to me as a person, but it’s also important to me that my kids see me doing some work outside of the house.  Call me feminist (even though I don’t think that’s totally accurate), but I enjoy using my brain and learning something new–even if it’s a new photographic technique or pushing my limits on a shoot.  My kids may miss me when I’m gone, but it makes for a happy mama, and that’s a good thing!

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Happiness Is…{an online library}

I am so excited that this week’s happiness is something that I can share with you, near and far!  It’s a fabulous idea that I discovered on Pinterest that is even better than I could have imagined: an online library where kids of all ages and reading levels can read good books online for free, like Ladybug Girl, the Spot books, and more!  It’s called We Give Books, and what’s even better, for every book you read, they donate a book to a variety of campaigns that support children’s literacy–a cause that is dear to my heart.  You can watch a video all about We Give Books here that will explain the details.

There is also a summer reading program for kids ages 5-8 that provides you with a new book and activities, and resources for teachers.  My favorite part is that once you create a login name you can save your favorite books to your own library where they will be waiting for you and your child every time you return.  It’s like having a whole virtual library at your fingertips!  Jax and I enjoy reading them when we don’t have a chance to get to our own neighborhood library, and it changes things up and keeps reading fresh–which is one of the best ways to ensure your kids are reading rockstars!

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Happiness Is…{the darnedest things}

Remember that show with Bill Cosby, Kids Say The Darnedest Things?  Well Jax is now three-and-a-half going on forty and sometimes the most hilarious thing come out of his mouth!  Such as…

1.  Playing a video game at the local pizza place with Grammy, where you each get to steer a car around a race track.

Grammy to Jax, in her hard-core Boston accent: “Maybe next time your car will win.”

Jax to Grammy, with exaggerated patience:  “Grammy, it’s CAR not CAH.  You forgot the “errr” sound.”

2.  JDubbs and Jax come home to find our lilac tree has been uprooted somehow.  Bear? Gravity?  Who knows?  They go to investigate.

Jax: Daddy, what happened to our tree?”

JDubbs: I don’t know, buddy.  Maybe it just fell down.”

Jax, my own little Lorax:  “I bet the Once-ler got it.”

stellar photo credit to JDubbs

3.  Jax, playing nicely alone, in his usual good guy/bad guy mentality:  “Come on!  Let’s go defeat the bad whores!”

Me, choking on my soda:  “Jax! What did you just say?”

Jax, looking at me, puzzled and innocent: I’m battling the evil HORSE, Mom.  You know the one from Tangled?”

Me, feeling like a moron: “You mean Maximus?”

Jax: Yes.” but what he really meant was, “Duh, Mom. I’ve been saying “horse” since I could talk.  What else would I have said?”  Riiiiiiight….

And these are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head!  Oh that Jax sure does keep us on our toes!

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Happiness Is…{littlest league}

I mentioned yesterday how Em and I spend our Saturdays together now that Jax has begun his fledgling baseball career.  JDubbs found a six-week mini-camp for 3-5 year olds, where they are introduced by a parent to the fundamentals of America’s pastime.

I’m not sure who’s more excited!

I can tell it’s just like when I took Em to my niece’s ballet recital–all those dreams and ideals about what it’s like to have a little version of yourself coming true.  JDubbs played baseball in college and it’s a passion of his–I bet this was what he dreamed having a son would be like.  I must admit, I certainly love it, too!

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Happiness Is…{bathtub babies}

Happiness Is the slippery, smiley, sweet faces of my babies in the bathtub.  I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating, especially with photos like these!

I think it’s the eyelashes.  I am a sucker for dark, drippy eyelashes.  And watching them play together so nicely.

Bathtime bonding in black and white is one of my favorite things.  What are yours?


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