reid philip



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This nugget turns two today.

He runs faster than you would expect from most two year olds, let alone one that is short and has some real meat on his bones.

He lives to be outside. He wakes up and puts his shoes on and most nights we peel his shoes off with a fight in order to get him ready for bed.

His teeth are really spaced apart and his front two are no where near being lined up and are different lengths. Making him have a mouth of crocodile teeth, and I just LOVE it.

He picks on his sister often but loves her fiercely. He cries for her when she’s gone and screams with joy when she shows back up. They take all their baths together and have recently started bunking together at night. I know he’ll miss her immensely when she starts school.

While he’s always quick to love on his mama, he’s a daddy’s boy. I’m basically chopped liver when Andy is home from work.

He loves anything with wheels or that he can drive. He spends hours playing with his cars and trucks and has no fear when it comes to riding a bike. He cries every day to ride on the motorcycle and will spend an entire afternoon riding his four wheeler around the yard and going to visit the neighbors.

He just recently started showing interest in using a lot of words. He doesn’t have a lot of drive to learn letters, numbers or the correct name of something. But he is fascinated with the mechanics of anything. He will stay occupied taking apart and reassembling something over sitting for a book or learning colors.

He is without question all BOY. He is always instantly covered in dirt and can’t stay clean to save his life. He destroys all his clothes and is the messiest eater. He makes motor sounds with everything and climbs and scales anything he can get to. Yet he can’t go anywhere without his blanket and we’ve struggled with breaking him of his pacifier and bottle.

On any given day he could probably eat an entire rotisserie chicken.

The kid is obsessed with bananas. When we buy them at the store we have to either hide them in the cart or wait to get them last because he’ll cry until we pay for them. I can’t remember a grocery trip with him where we left the store without him eating at least one before we got back to the car.

I really thought his hair would have darkened by now, but it just keeps getting lighter. It just might reach white one of these days. Maybe he’s actually a wizard…

He has a toddler bed and does great sleeping on his own. Though most nights he wakes up and ends up sneaking into our bed or snuggling with Hayden where ever she is.

He loves our neighbors and visits them every day. He goes over to say hi to “auntie and papa” any chance he gets and “E!” is greeted with so much excitement from him every time he comes to play.

He loves milk, his grandpa and getting suckers from the neighbors. He puts Sharky’s dog food in his water bowl whenever we aren’t looking and has had more black eyes in the last year than I’ve had in my entire life. He’s just as likely to play dolls with his sister as he in to play in the dirt.

He can be the biggest stinker and sweetest boy all in one day. He is the greatest sidekick and makes life so adventurous. From the moment he was conceived to the day we welcomed him he has brought so much joy into our life. It’s a blessing to watch him grow and I’m so incredibly thankful that Hayden has a brother who has such a deep, compassionate love for her. I know that he’ll grow up to be her biggest protector. He sets out to make every one laugh and smile and it makes it so easy to be around him and take him anywhere. We look forward to every moment spent with him and hope he grows up knowing that he is loved so very much.

Happy birthday sweet boy.. You are our world.

a change of seasons


Today is one of those perfect autumn days. We woke up to sunshine streaming through the windows and the morning breeze creeping through the trees. Sweeping the golden leaves off with it and spreading them gently along the driveway and across the yard.

Before Hayden was even out of bed, her neighborhood friends were pounding at the front door asking to play. Which led to them peeking in her window and yelling for her to wake up and join them outside. Both kids scurried to get dressed and eat something, not able to get out the door fast enough to be with them.

I finished my morning coffee outside and harvested the last of the carrots. Having a counter top already covered with zucchini, I picked three more off my plants and delivered them to the neighbor. Hayden bounced between houses in the culdesac with her friends and Reid not being able to keep up, was content to chase the dogs and ride his four wheeler.

It’s the time of year where we try to take full advantage of days that don’t rain because before we know it, the snow will start falling and we won’t be as eager to head outside. Yard work is coming to a halt and my garden is on its last leg. Most of my early season flowers have withered away and an occasional mowing is all the lawn gets anymore. Hayden only has a week left of her summer before school starts and in the last few days we have tried to pack in some really fun stuff with her. Including a back yard camping trip. Weinee roasting and s’mores, four wheeler and motorcycle rides around the neighborhood, and brushing our teeth by the campfire made it actually seem like a legit camping trip and I found waking up in my back yard with the pleasure of using my own bathroom was actually the kind of camping I’d be willing to do more of. Plus, the kids had a blast and cleanup was far easier that having to cram all your dirty camp gear back in its bags and in the car.


Our leisure mornings of pancakes and friends to play with are numbered. Monday marks the beginning of the school year and we won’t have the luxury of sleeping in during the week with no agenda for the day. Late breakfasts and cartoons will be reserved for weekends and days that we can stay in our pajamas all day and color will have to wait until summer time.


Alarm clocks and schedules are in the near future. But until then we are going to embrace the seasons changing and spend our days like today. Outside loving this gorgeous autumn day. Without a single place to be.



At the beginning of the year I posted a few pictures of the northern lights. They were out of focus and grainy and not at all resembling anything I was actually trying to capture with my camera. Yet it was a breakthrough for me. It was a step in the right direction.

Now several months later and I’m not only going in the right direction, I’ve made it over a hurdle, somewhat gracefully.

I’m still searching for my voice when it comes to my photography. Taking pictures of my kids has become second nature and nice pictures in my backyard at that golden hour has become monotonous.

Black and white street photography really appeals to me. In general, I’ve always been drawn to black and white. It captures an incredibly raw moment. You aren’t boggled with filters and saturated colors. I tend to pay attention to the feelings and emotions of a person rather than anything else in the picture when color is eliminated. With that being said, black and white I can manage. Street photography? Not so much.

My brother in law (who takes amazing pictures) and I, have monthly “camera chats”. We talk about any camera questions I might have, what we’ve been shooting lately and a lot of times it’s just the both of us talking about what we want out of our pictures. One thing he’s mentioned on several occasions is striving to take a photo that tells a story. You can take a picture of a girl sitting down, hair pulled back, smile on her face, she says cheese ¬†and it can be a beautiful photo. And then you can take her picture when she’s bent down. She’s tying her shoe and trying so very hard to get it right this time. She has her tongue sticking out as she’s concentrating and trying to remember which way to loop it. Her face is calm and determined and now your still moment has a story behind it. That is what I’m after. And it’s really hard. Street photography is an art in itself and I’m really struggling with it. It requires practice and patience and being able to think quick on your feet to get the shot your after. All of that, with a little bit of luck, and good timing.

Last weekend there was an air show. A perfect place to get some practice in. We left around noon and by the time we got to the exit for it, it was SLAMMED. I mean traffic backed up on the highway and in all directions heading to the show. We made an attempt and with antsy, hungry kids in the car we decided we would skip the show and head somewhere for lunch. The grand finale with all the big jets started at 4 and after lunch we happened to find a park right next to the base where the show took place. The kids got to run around and play and we all sat back to watch the jets soar across the sky. It was here that I got this shot.


With a first glimpse, it doesn’t seem like anything special. But when you start to examine it, you see each person is part of an unfolding story. I had been sitting there long enough to see it all come together. The woman has her son on her lap. They were first on the swings. He didn’t want to swing by himself so she sat down and pulled him up on her lap and they started swinging together, laughing. The boy in the corner is mad and watching the other boys playing, refusing to join in. He had originally been with the boy in front, throwing the ball, and they had their own game going with the basketball. A couple more boys showed up and crashed the game, and he got left behind when his friend left him and began to play the new game with the other boys. He made his way to the side and sulked while the fun continued on without him.

Just like with my out of focus, grainy shots before, it’s not a perfect photo. But it’s a picture I’m extremely proud of and one I personally really love. It started out as something small. A shot of a couple boys throwing a basketball. The end result was a story of love. The love of your friend. The love for your children. The love of being young, and the love of doing things that make you feel good.

And that’s all taking pictures is really about for me. Doing something that makes me feel good and creating forever moments.