novembertwelveontwelve

Eleven down and one to go.

ELEVEN!!!

OMG. Stranger Things. Loved every minute of this season. And last season. Makes me want to be thirteen again.

Sorry for that tangent…

Eleven months of actually putting photos to blog. Thanks Rachel Devine and to all of you that are a part of #photographinghappiness. I really have. Been photographing. Happiness.

And where my October was a whirlwind of busy, my November has slowed down to an enjoyable pace, which is lovely.

So here are my photos. The twelve snapshots that capture my month. 37663131234_f379c2894f_o37663126854_4323fdcde7_k37663307904_f52ba16e5e_k38346957242_d1fc04764e_k26601529469_32fd9e4d0c_k38347049502_1721370e8f_k24506885518_19e5dd6660_k26603141379_abddc7926f_k37663355274_aac37f12d3_k26601657919_4033fb4b79_k26603012959_79667e6478_k37664568084_18c1022a89_k

 

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apriltwelveontwelve

So soon!

The #photographinghappiness group certainly keeps me on my toes.

This month’s theme was to tell a story. I loved this theme. I pretty much shoot to tell a story every time I pick up my camera. Sometimes you get the tale in one shot, sometimes in twelve and sometimes not at all. I could have told this story in six photos ( and they would have been a different six than the ones that appear here ) but the challenge is twelve images and so be it, I am sharing a dozen. I could have shared all of them ( and probably did on Facebook already;)).

I did not shoot consciously with this theme in mind, and in some ways I wish I had. I would have taken more photos of the sugar pie and the maple beer. That is a pretty fair criticism of everything I photograph. Never enough pie and beer.

Ever.

Not even at three pieces of pie.

And so here is the story of Auntie Heidi’s birthday party. And how the Bloomfield family has never met a maple tree or a competition they did not rise to.

Okay, the maple part is absolutely the Auclair part of the family ( maple ) tree shining through:).

 

twelveontwelvefebruary

Well look at me. Here I am again. I have to be honest. All twelve images this month could have been birds and beach. Since we last met, there has been nothing but winter, concussed kiddo, winter, sick kiddo, winter, beach ( thank frickin goodness ) and yes, more winter happening here. Ironically, there will be no photos of winter in my twelve this month. Perhaps tomorrow I will break down and try and find some wintry beauty to capture as we are receiving quite a bit of it this evening. But I still won’t like it. You can not find heart shaped anything in a snowbank no matter how hard you try.

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Just a monthly reminder that you too can join the #photographinghappiness group on Instagram and Facebook. Follow that hashtag;).

Perspective was the theme for February but I suck at self reflection and have a generally skewed sense of perspective, so I hope that covers me for the theme.

 

1.twelveontwelve

A long time ago, I used to post photos daily,  in a wonderful universe, surrounded by friends doing the same. It was a community that I adored.

But of course things change and sometimes beautiful things have their time and are outgrown.

And then, sometimes, you think that maybe, just maybe, it is time again to take a few moments and embrace them as your own.

A photographer I found all those years ago and have always followed quietly, recently shared an idea and it appealed to me in it’s simplicity and ease. Take time for the little moments. Regularly. And share.

And so I am.

Alex. Eight. Beach.

Alex. Eight. Beach.

Alex. Eight. Universal.

Alex. Eight. Universal.

Alex. Eight. Christmas Ball. Tradition.

Alex. Eight. Christmas Ball. Tradition.

Alex. Eight. Spellcasting.

Alex. Eight. Spellcasting.

Alex. Eight. Listening.

Alex. Eight. Listening.

Alex. Eight. Cousins.

Alex. Eight. Cousins.

Alex. Elliot. Eight. Nine. Waiting. Wands.

Alex. Elliot. Eight. Nine. Waiting. Wands.

Overhead.

Overhead.

Discovery.

Discovery.

Eat.

Eat.

Walk.

Walk.

Stand.

Stand.

Originally I had these ordered all differently, but it has been a long time since I posted and I mixed them all up…and then liked them better. So they stand, like my little bird friend.

 

You can find the creator of the 12on12 project here:

Sesame Ellis & Co. Photographing Happiness

#photographinghappiness on Instagram

There is a Facebook group as well. Let me know and I can get you there.

 

 

hi little blog,

i have missed you.

been busy with things. nothing big, just life.

but i found time, like i do every august, to partake in *the august break 2014*. a photo a day for a month. easy peasy, lemon squeezy. and somehow this reminds me how much i love to just take photos. no jobs, no commitment, no pressure.

just the day to day little stuff. 50 years from now i will be able to look back at every *the august break* ( this is my 4th or 5th year ) and see the changes that are so invisible to me now, illustrating the little details of my family that i might have otherwise forgotten admidst all the big stuff that is bound to happen.

the first half of the month has flown by. that saddens me. this summer is going to be over too soon. i am never ready for the fall. always ready for my birthday, yes;), but not the loss of warmth and lazy days that populate my woefully short summer.

so here is my august break so far. 15 snaps of 15 days.

the august break 2014...the first half

the august break 2014…the first half

theaugustbreak_black

from damage control to cruise control

I was a little unsure on how to broach the not so perfect part of our family trip in a positive way. And realized the only way to do it was to dive right in at the spot where we found the solution…

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one of many, many, many family photos taken on the cruise

We realize now that we planned a very big trip, assuming that the little person in the mix would simply keep up. And of course, we know what happens when you assume anything with children…it usually turns around to bite you right in the ass…umptions.

And so there we were, in Italy, four happy family members:).

Oh wait…we are a family of five.

Yes, the littlest one was miserable. Too much walking and looking and heat had taken it’s toll. On the last few city days, we were usually left with a four year old completely not keeping it together. Heck, sometimes losing his mind as early as breakfast.

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We have traveled with all our kids from a young age. Jake was snuggling in a sling in Miami at ten weeks old, Holly had her first flight at twelve weeks and Alex took his first steps in a Paris hotel room at ten months old. But something did not work this time round. It is hard to admit when something is not going as planned, and to be honest we were at a bit of a loss. This trip was just too big for this kid. We were frustrated, he was exhausted, the big kids were being very patient but it is not always fun being the older siblings to a disaster of a child.

So thank goodness for the cruise. Who knew it would be the vacation saver that it was.

In the early planning stages of the vacation, a cruise was not even part of the consideration. The trip was to be a celebration, an embrace of all that is Italy, city and countryside. I am pretty sure Mark had visions of me roaming through unending Tuscan fields, happily shooting flowers and running children…and then realized that he might become a little…bored. Always a problem solver, he proposed an idea…a little land and a little sea. Some European surf for my turf.

Initially I thought that he was nuts. And then we did the math and a cruise was actually a very affordable way to experience Europe. There is no way around it, Europe can be pricey and when we did the comparison of hotel, food and travel versus cruise, which combines all three, it very suddenly became a very viable option.

We chose Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, a line we were familiar with, and a itinerary that fit right in with our schedule. The boat itself, the Legend of the Seas,  was not one of the super new, super huge ships RCCL offers but this was a plus for us, running as we were, across the ship, according to the on board schedules of three kids!

We were not new to cruising, having been on three previous cruises, but from the beginning, this experience was very different – in an “iamnevercruisinganywhereelseeveragain!!!” kind of way.

Case in point, embarkation. It was a breeze. There was refreshing lemonade waiting for us at the RRCL reception in the Civitaveccia port, and by the time we were finished drinking? We were registered. Minutes. It took minutes. In Europe, it is not unusual to be able to board in different cities, along the cruise ship route. This allows for an easy, no rush, no crowd introduction to the cruise. Anyone who has ever boarded a cruise ship in Florida or California would not have thought this kind of calm would be possible. No crowds? No pushing? The logistics of cruising in Europe are completely different  than cruising in North America.

ImageFrom the announcements being made in five languages to even simple elevator rides becoming adventures in cultural exchange, the cruise, while familiar, offered up a much more international experience than I anticipated. While we ran into some Canadians and Americans, I would say that the ship was heavy on Brits, French and Italian tourists with a smattering of Russians thrown in. Add that to the multinational staff already aboard the ship? It was terrific! I was a little worried about losing some travel authenticity, being on a ship as opposed to being in a city…but at the end of the trip, combined with what it offered in terms of our travel predicament with Alex, the cruise saved the day, in any language. In all languages.

And so our littlest, with his days of miserability ( totally made up word ) so ingrained into his very being that we thought he would never recover, boarded that ship, dropped off his Roman Centurion costume in our room, marched crankily to the Kid’s Club, took one look around at the other children and toys and smiling, friendly faces of the staff…and promptly announced to us that he would be staying. There. All day.Even for “Late Night”. And could he possibly sleep over?

I think there was a collective sigh of relief from our family that was felt throughout the ship.

And while Alex was still somewhat ridiculously difficult with us at dinner and at photo time and at bed time and well, still at every time…he was happy during the day, ensconced high up on the bridge, tucked into the Kid’s Club. Reports back from the staff were of a happy, enthusiastic child who smiled and chatted his way through making goo, painting pictures and even night time pirate raids. PHEW.

ImageWhat this then afforded us was time to explore the ports of Genoa, Marseille, Barcelona and Valencia knowing that our little man was content and entertained. Would we have preferred to take him off ship with us? Absolutely. But sometimes you need to go with what works. And RCCL’s approach to kid care rocks.

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I should also mention that not once on our cruise did Alex have any problem with his allergies. His caregivers ( all university educated child care workers and teachers ) were made aware of them, and they had the epi pen, but not once in the care of the Kid’s Club or at any point during any of our MANY meals, did we have an issue. Food was properly labelled and great care was taken in the dining room by our waiters to keep him safe – RCCL earned my allergy safe stamp of approval on this trip. Not an easy feat! I do not even award myself allergy safe status most weeks.

The food on board was wonderful and plentiful with many healthy options. But really? When traveling with kids? It comes down to the all you can eat ice cream. And it was there, day after day after day. No one went hungry…the teens actually used room service more than is probably socially acceptable to mention.

Oh! The teens! While Alex was happy in the Young Explorer program, and Jake was off ship with us, Holly made good use of the Teen Club. She lucked into a great bunch of kids and by night two, was making it home seconds before her nightly curfew ( and even once after, which nearly spurred a boat wide search by her brother and father…but that has been forgiven now). Music and more ice cream and arcade games filled her nights. And her bilingualism paid off! She became the go to person between the Florida kids and the Parisian teens, the only person able to understand everyone! Oh, and the ship was able to organize a nice little birthday surprise for her room on the day she turned ONE-FOUR.

ImageShip life was good. So good in fact, that Alex even deigned to allow the ship photographers to take his photo. Many times. POSED. Which is more than I can say for what he was allowing me to do. So…what did we do? We bought every photo that team of photographers took! It has to be noted how hard these cruise ship employees work. They are up late every night and back at it before we ever hit the breakfast line. Always smiling, always patient…I do not know how they do it! And when our stories have been forgotten, somewhere there will be many images of a smiling, charming Alex from this trip…and for that I am grateful.

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Oh. And very grateful for one more memory…Holly and her little Roman;). This is the photo she will kill me for posting, but it has to be done. ImageAnd so, from hard days on land, to peaceful nights on a ship, our family vacation continued on from Italy to France ( sigh ) and on to Spain ( ole! ).

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121212

on the last sequential date in our lifetime, i did what i have done on the last two ( 101010…111111…), i took pictures on the hour, for the equal number of hours for the date.
so, today, 12 photos of my day.
which was quite a regular day – sick kid, kid home studying for exams, a room being painted, stuff ( even COOKIES!) being delivered, another day of dressember. it is a good life. 
when people around me complain about the most minor of things these days, i look at them and just think…what is wrong with you? we have so much good in our lives. i think people just forget. 
so, here is to the little minutes of quiet and chaos that make up our days, every day. not just the cool numbered ones. 

thanksgiving marche


alex + apple, originally uploaded by Jhascrapmom.

we took a walk today, on our thanksgiving monday. alex and i and my sister in law and some of the cousins and my inlaws. and lady. we can not forget lady!

some of us were at the movies, others dealing with jeeps that did not want to work, others yet writing english essays on 1984…but the nice thing is, those of us who could go, did.

and it was lovely. bumpity path and all.