Sunday, November 29, 2009

Turkey day, our way...

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Avery wore her turkey shirt to school on Wednesday to bring in the holiday!


My parents, Nana Dianne and Bapa Craig came to our house this year!
They also brought with them playmates for Piper...

Sophie....


and Mesa...


Here is Bapa Craig...he made the smartalic remark that "when I come to visit, you never update your blog...waa waa waa..." So, here you are dad!!! Everyone, here is MY DAD!!!!!


and, here he is with the deer he just killed. He said that it was a "defective" deer...one side of antlers had grown up, and the other had grown down...it's a deer, none-the-less...


They brought with them a little princess Christmas Tree for the girls....all it needs is some of their ornaments (that Liv keeps taking off)...


While my mom and I were out shopping, Avery had a little accident with a tennis ball hitting her mouth. Her 2 front teeth have been loose for a little while, but the tennis ball made it's mark.


We've been working on getting it out for a day or two, and finally tonight, she came out of her room and said, "it came out with only one pull!" So, now she is a toothless wonder...


onward and upward to the awkward stage I guess...

Friday, November 20, 2009

the girls' portraits....

We received the photos back from our session with the AH-MAZE-ING Kristen (please email me if you want her info..i'd love to give it) I couldn't be more pleased with all the fun shots she got of my little girls! I just love how she captured their personalities! Enjoy!


such beauty you have Avery! Carefree and joyful you are!



good grief.....these girls...sigh.....they are MINE!!!!


sweet baby Liv...your eyes....captivating....


and your little smirks....loveable!












i hope you both grow to treasure these photos as I do....





oh, for cute....


precious girls of mine....






love you my Avery Joy....


love you my Olivia Lynn....








Wednesday, November 18, 2009

okay, here is the news I was talking about....

I was interviewed a couple weeks ago for a feature that ran Wednesday night on blogging. I was asked to be the blog designer for the reporters blog, "Off Camera with Trish VanPilsum". Take a peek....




In-Depth: New Kid on the Blog

Published : Wednesday, 18 Nov 2009, 11:12 PM CST

MINNEAPOLIS - What does it take to design a money-making mommy blog? Reporter Trish Van Pilsum goes through the process herself and shares first hand, the secrets to success.

A blog is basically an on line journal. I still have the journal I wrote when my daughter was born. Back then journaling was a private thing. When moms needed to compare notes they talked over the back fence. That isn't always possible now so women by the millions have turned to the internet to share stories, advice and, most importantly, support.

Take Kami Rude.

She went from being a single woman working full-time to a stay-at-home wife and step mom of four kids. But staying at home doesn't mean being isolated.

Kami writes her own blog about her family. She says, “It just blew up. I had so many readers right away.”

She reads blogs written by other women, too, like Mckmama dot com. I’ll have more on her popular blog in a bit. And the Pioneer Woman: undisputed queen of the mommy blogs. But, wait there's a new kid on the blogosphere.

That would be me. Pretty funny since it wasn't that long ago I didn't really know what a blog was. And it's not that the world needs one more of us. There are 35 million active bloggers in the U.S. in any given month. So how on earth, or at the risk of stretching the metaphor, how in cyberspace is one little blogger supposed to stand out.

Chris Wexler is a digital advertising expert with Campbell Mithun. He says, “The tone of voice is really important. Finding your personality helps the cream rise to the top.

Maybe before we start talking cream we should figure out how to get started. You can start a blog for free. Wordpress and Blogger both have free blog services. First I have to create an account. I want to call my blog ‘Off camera with Trish VanPilsum’ since it will document my life off camera but that url or address is taken.

I settle on ‘Off Camera with Trish’. In less than two minutes, I have a basic blog. But I want more than a basic look. So I ask a professional photographer, Molly Durkin, to get pictures of my family, especially the kids. I'll need lots of these because my blog will include a section on parenting teens.

I also call on the expertise of a blog designer, Jennisa at Once Upon a Blog. She has designed over 500 blogs. Only five of them were for men. Kami tells me these extra steps pay off.

She says, “If I hit a blog that doesn't have a good layout, if it's something my eye can't be attracted to, I often will leave before I check it out.”

My blog reflects my many interests including cooking. Jennisa tells me I have a lot of different categories to talk about. If I have one main place for people to come and then branch off to different places that would be fantastic. But it really comes down to the words.

I set up my blog in Blogger. I have some columns that I want to post and I have some video. I need to figure out how to get it on my blog and I have no clue. I do learn that successful bloggers post regularly, maintain a clear point of view and come across as authentic

Wexler says, “If you follow a few basic rules you might get ten readers but you might, it might snowball and it might be something that becomes viral.

To become viral is to spread like a germ. It happened to a blog about Stellan Mckinney. He wasn't even born yet. His mom blogged about a heart defect that could kill him. Tens of thousands of people all over the world followed every development. Jennifer Mckinney known in the blogworld as Mckmama gets 2.5 million hits a month. Her blog is now packed with ads. She donates some of the money to charities.

Wexler says, “Very few of them start out to be professional bloggers. It's a passion.”

Heather Armstrong writes an edgy, sarcastic parenting blog called Dooce.com. She's smart and she's funny and she attracts almost five million page views a month and lands big advertisers like target.

Ree Drummond, a city girl swept off her feet by a cowboy, is quickly turning an on-line journal called The Pioneer Woman dot com into an empire as big as the ranch where she now raises a family and writes a blog that gets 15 million page views a month. Her newly released cookbook shot to the very top of the New York Times best seller list. The folks who wait in long, long lines to buy it feel like they know her. That's what blogging does. Kami says, “It's almost like you know these people in real life. They do become important to you.”

Blogging does something else. It gives women with gifts and creativity a place to thrive without leaving their homes and their kids.

It gives their readers something a lot smarter and a lot more relevant than daytime TV to keep them company, which makes a mom like me wonder whether I might have made another choice had my kids been born in the age of the blogosphere. And that, by the way, is the subject of my very first post.

Dear mommy bloggers, I envy you, well you'll just have to visit my blog to read it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Playhouse Disney Live!

We have been looking forward to going to Playhouse Disney Live for months! :)

What a fun show it was! The girls LOVED it!



First up was the Little Einsteins. (and Pat Pat rocket)

Then Darby and Tigger and Pooh came for a visit...


Followed by Handy Manny and the gang from Sheet Rock Hills...




The Grand finale...


It was a fun show indeed!

Friday, November 13, 2009

big week ahead...

i've been working like a mad woman trying to get a blog done for a client...

who is this client?

I'll spill the beans Wednesday, but a couple of clues for ya.....


Saturday, November 7, 2009

family pics!

lovin' the new photos of our family!!!







Sunday, November 1, 2009

pretty girls

The girls had a photo shoot on Saturday with an AMAZING photographer!
I can't wait any longer to share the photos!
If you know where I live and want her contact information, I'd LOVE to share it!
She is AMAZING!!!











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