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It actually snowed. Miracles do happen.

All photos copyrighted 2010 by Cindy Streams Photography. All rights reserved. Don’t steal without permission.

Twenty Ten

I blinked and it was over. 2009 has come and gone. There was a lot of stuff worth remembering but personally, I’m ready to “Keep Moving Forward.” So rather than re-cap the year, I’m going to re-cap the last few weeks and then move on.

Our Christmas budget was about $200 short of last year’s amount. So I didn’t send out Christmas cards thisĀ  year and I was super careful with my spending. As a result, Bridoodle had an ENORMOUS stack of gifts under the tree. I found some great deals. Seriously, there were so many gifts for her that she couldn’t open them all on Christmas day. We had four left over when she went to bed. Best. Christmas. Ever!!!

Hubster’s family came over to our house for Christmas brunch and he went to work that evening. So he got to see all of the unwrapping and eat yummy food before working. It was perfect.

Our daughter’s most treasured gift was the kitchen set that we assembled on Christmas Eve with parts strewn everywhere all the while watching The Christmas Story. (“You’ll shoot your eye out!”) I loved being in our own home for Christmas Eve and Day. We usually travel. It was so much fun to fill stockings and pile presents in our own living room. (We might make this a standing tradition!)

Bri’s second most favorite gift was a foam puzzle of the Disney princesses. It cost a whopping $1 and she pulls it out every day to play “puzzah.” She knows all of the princesses by name too. “Snoh White, Cinewella, Kasmine, Awiel and Sleeping Cutie.” (My favorite is Sleeping Cutie.)

For New Year’s Eve we went to a 1920′s themed mystery party. It was the sequel to one we’d done for Halloween and it ROCKED. I had so much fun! The hostess and I have been dreaming and scheming together for a couple of months. I call her the Ethyl to my Lucy. She’s awesome. So when I suggested a slideshow in addition to my regular shooting for the party, she was totally on board. It was a big hit and I feel confident that I can do it again for a wedding reception. I’m stoked!

After the party we went home and put Bri to bed before jammying up to watch the ball drop. We sipped sparkling white grape juice (a tradition that we’ve kept our entire marriage so far) and flipped channels. Unfortunately the sight of J.Lo in a skin tight unitard pushed us over to the Letterman show. We watched it and giggled deliriously. Hubs had been up since 4am for work. We kept flipping the channel so that we wouldn’t miss the ball dropping but somehow we did. At 12:09 I finally turned around to check the clock! So we laughed and headed off to bed. Apparently we missed the first nine minutes of the year!

We spent New Year’s Day on the couch recuperating. Then we went out to dinner at Outback. Bri could not handle the ten minute wait (so glad I called ahead because otherwise it would have been forty minutes easy) and we sweated though a couple of her meltdowns before being seated. Other than that though it was fabulous!

The next day we started a diet/excercise regimen. We bought a chin up bar and real dumbells so that we can do P90X together. The first workout kicked our butts! It was actually really fun. I can’t believe that Hubster can do 12 pull ups! He’s amazing! I can’t wait to see what we can do at the end of the program. Our reward for finishing it will be a trip to the beach this summer.

Looking ahead to the upcoming year I have two goals. For my business- I want to do three weddings this year. For myself- I want to be a better Bible Study leader and connect with my girls more often and on a deeper level this semester.

Day 2 ~ Treat

Today’s seven day theme was “treat.” I know I’m going to sound so spoiled, but it took me most of the day to pick out a treat for this shot. I had an abundance of options but I couldn’t pick one!

Hubster finally suggested that we go get hot fudge sundaes and rent some movies. That made my ears perk up! So we headed over to *Bruster’s ~ much to Bridoodle’s delight! She loves ice cream!

It was too cold outside to play for very long. Hubster was only patient enough to let me set the auto-timer twice. I was pretty proud of myself for being able to get the shot that fast. Usually I toss out dozens of outtakes.

Did I mention that I have the best family ever? I think setting up the shot was the real treat!

*And just in case you’re curious, I didn’t receive any type of compensation for this post. I don’t do reviews. I just like capturing life as we live it.

Happy Saturday Morning!

We’ve been enjoying a lazy morning, complete with cartoons and cereal. Bridoodle really wanted ice cream for breakfast but she settled for Golden Grahams. My goal for today is to go grocery shopping and bake cranberry pumpkin bread. So far though, we’re still in our pajamas.

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I’ve been puling Bri’s birthday presents out of the closet to keep her entertained lately. We saved several of them from September so that we could introduce new toys to her one at a time. She’s been ignoring the older toys in her toy basket.

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She loves these play curlers that came with her pretend make up set. It has a little hair dryer that’s battery operated and a tiny curling iron. So cute!

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Hope you have a fabulous day today! What will you be doing?

doesn’t everybody?

Some of you noticed in an earlier post that I took Bri’s picture on top of a coffee table in the middle of our driveway. Doesn’t everybody do that? Well, lest you think that I’m crazier than I really am, let me explain. No, let me sum up.

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My parents gave us a coffee table set when we were newlyweds. It was perfect for our tiny apartment, next to our free sofa that we picked up off the curb. A few years later, we upgraded to a new house and big pretty sofas. The coffee table suddenly became too small. So it went into storage along with the end tables that match it.

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This past weekend I finally decided we should get rid of the set. I decided to sell them on craigslist but I was too lazy to post a picture. An interested buyer e-mailed me asking for a picture. So I made Hubs get them out of the garage for me. We wiped them down so that I could photograph them. It seems that Bri had other plans though! She thought they were new toys!

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She was so excited about them that I decided not to sell them. In fact I’m going to take them out on my next photo shoot! Who knew I had such great props just sitting around in my garage all this time?

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anecdotes from today

I had an awesome teacher moment in the halls at school today. I always think of zingers like these after the moment has passed. But today I had the pleasure of saying the witty thing I meant to say at the exact moment that I meant to say it. “Hey you! Making-out couple over there. Get to class. You’re going to be late … in more ways than one.”

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After picking up Bri from daycare today, we headed home and she played while I tidied up a bit. Then I settled down in front of the computer and she came over to sit in my lap. She fell asleep on my shoulder while we listened to music and watched photography slide-shows from my feed reader. It was a magical moment.

 

Update: After I wrote this post Hubster came home from work. Just overheard him in the nursery yelling, “No, No, NO, NO. We do not wipe our booty and then wipe our mouth!” Classic parenting moment.

Frog Prince

We discovered this little guy at a recent photo shoot. Isn’t he darling? I’m not one to kiss a frog, but he’s almost tempting.

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Murder and Mayhem and Memories

Last weekend, Hubs and I had a little holiday at home. We took Bri to stay with her Mimi and Gampa, so that we could attend a party. The party was a costume party set in the 1920′s that included a full murder-mystery plot.

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We were each assigned various characters. Meet Guilda – the innocent wife of the Mafia boss’s accountant.

 

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And here’s the mayor. He’s on the mafia’s payroll. Don’t say that I told you so!

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At the party, the lights flickered out and someone was “shot” in the dark. (It sounded more like a high heeled shoe slamming down.) We spent the rest of the evening pointing fingers, claiming our own innocence and discovering dirty secrets about the other characters at the party.

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Secret affairs and marriages were brought to light. As well as dirty money and threats of blackmail.

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Did I mention that the food was delicious? Yum!

 

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And the setting was lovely. It was the Grand Opening of the new speakeasy – a gin joint owned by a couple known for their houses of ill-repute.

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And our hostess herself, was a doll. She and I had so much fun capturing photos for the party.

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She made sure that I got in front of the lens every once in awhile too. We had a blast! Can’t wait to do it again.

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the loves of my life

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Hubs

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the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel at Night

Because I had to sleep off a migraine on Saturday, I woke up with lots of energy. So after hitting a couple of parties, Bridget and I went down to the Navy Pier for a really fun experience. We met a few of the clydesdale horses that advertise for a beer company. My favorite was Duke.

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wait, actually this one is Duke

As we moved away from the horses, both of us were captivated by the twinkle lights on the ferris wheel.

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Our initial reason for this pilgrimage had been a late dinner. However it turns out that even major tourist attractions draw the line at staying open past mid-night. Since we arrived on the Navy Pier around 11:30pm we were watching everything start to close down.

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We decided to try to ride the ferris wheel before finding some food. (Nothing to upchuck then, know what I mean?) And we bought our tickets three minutes before the ticket window closed for the night.

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We boarded the red gondola with some trepidation. They don’t stop the ferris wheel for you to get on. It’s a moving mount. The upside to that though is that you don’t come to a halt in mid-air (which is the scariest part in my opinion).

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Our bravery paid off though. We both captured amazing shots of the Chicago skyline at night. It was well worth the room service pizza that we ended up ordering for dinner!

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I tried really hard to capture the image below, and I’m very pleased with it. I wanted the bulbs to be in focus and the skyline to be nothing but bokeh. The camera didn’t want to focus on the light bulb for some reason. So there were a lot of outtakes.

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