Meagan Musing: August 2012

Meagan Musing


School Days?

I have to get up early and happy tomorrow morning.

It's meet the teacher day at the kids' school.

And I'm a little nervous for Andrew. We decided last year to put him in the two day a week preschool program rather than the three.


Most of his friends from Mother's Day Out will be in the three day program, and I'm so sad for him that he won’t be with them.

I know this is just the beginning of school changes and new friends in his world, but I can't help but question myself. Did I make the right decision?

Will he be so bored only doing two days when so many kids his age are doing three?

Will I be wishing he was there three days a week when he’s begging me to play dinosaurs again on Wednesday afternoon?

And will he make friends easily and quickly during those two days a week?


It’s time for us to start making big, life directing decisions regarding the kids’ schools – public or private? City or suburbs? This district or that one?

And, y’all, I don’t know if I have it in me. These are hard decisions. What if we make the wrong choice and it doesn’t work out?

Sometimes I look at Brian and say, “When did we get to be grown ups? And why do people think we’re qualified to make these decisions?”

Sometimes this parenting thing is heavy.

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Open Shade Photo Tip


It's a real shame my kids have so little personality, you know it?


Do you want to know a super easy trick to make your photos pop?

Place your subject at the very edge of the open shade. It can be under your porch like in our back yard, or next to a row of big shade trees or even next to a tall building.

But find the shade and place your subject right at the edge, and face them toward the light.

You'll see that beautiful sun in his eyes, (look for it!) but his face won't be in the harsh shadows that you get from full sun.

Such a simple tip, but it'll make a big difference in your photos.


Now, get out there and shoot! :)

{Linking up for Wordless Wednesday: The Paper MamaNaptime Momtog, & Project Alicia}

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Well, hello there new 'do.

I feel like I've been incognito since I got my hair cut on Saturday.

I'd had the same hair since I went dark three years ago. I'd let it get a little longer, but other than that - the same.

I contemplated cutting bangs earlier this summer, but my stylist talked me out of it. Apparently bangs are really hard to handle in the summer.

And I still don't think she really wanted to cut them this time, but I talked her in to it.

I'm probably crazy and I'll probably regret them soon, but for now - today - I kinda like the new look.

It's like I have a real hairstyle.

Brian likes it, but he keeps giving me funny glances. He says he's still getting used to it. And Andrew today said, "mom, your hair looks different than it usually does. Why did you have to get your haircut?"


Also this weekend - all my people came home!

Brian was gone last week and we all cheered when he walked in the door Saturday afternoon.

My parents had been traveling for TEN days and we were super happy to welcome them back to Dallas on Saturday with a little birthday celebration for my mom.

And I finally hugged my sister again. She lives five streets away and we hadn't seen her in over a week - that is just unacceptable!

I'm a family girl at heart, and I need to see my people more often than I have recently.

We get to meet the kids' teachers this week. Andrew's new backpack came yesterday and he was so excited that he wanted to go to school right then. He might have to bring it with him to meet his teacher! :)

Happy Monday! And good luck if your kiddos are heading back to school today like they are here in Dallas.

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Solo Parenting

Finally everyone's tucked in and sleeping.

I've just finished my fourth solo bedtime this week, and I'm exhausted.

Brian has been out of town since early Wednesday morning, but he'll be home shortly. And I'm really, really looking forward to handing off the kiddos and getting my hair done.

We've also been dog sitting for my parents this week. Wrigley is an adorable and cuddly little dog, but he begs for food all the time.

And my kids are all too happy to oblige. I can't imagine how much people food he's ingested this week.

Also tonight I was helping Andrew out in the bathroom and came back in the kitchen to find their dog ON THE TABLE eating my Chick-fil-a sandwich and fries.

It's a good thing he's so cute. Because I was really mad.

But we've survived this long week and sometimes that's all you can ask.


Andrew is crazy into dinosaurs right now.

We met some friends at an indoor play area this morning. Their girls are the sweetest things, but they're girls and so they're just not as wild as Andrew.

I had to remind him (again) before we got out of the car that it's really not nice to roar loudly in people's faces.

I totally lucked out though because there was another family there with a boy who was older than Andrew, maybe five? He'd brought his action figures and was happy to share, and Andrew thought he'd won the friend lottery.

And so he didn't roar at the girls once. :)

I didn't grow up with boys and sometimes I wonder if Andrew is unusual. I mean, are they really supposed to have that much energy? Are they supposed to run and stomp and climb everything and push their little sisters over sometimes?

So it always makes me feel a little better to see him with other boys.

I think we're doing just fine.

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Fresh Flower Happiness

Fresh flowers in our house make me happy.

I gave up my daily coffee trips earlier this year so now I buy pretty flowers at the grocery store. I think it was a nice trade!

{And I used my 100mm macro lens for some of these so I'm working on pulling myself out of that photography slump.}

Brian and Andrew went to Central Market last weekend, and I asked them to pick up some flowers for our kitchen table and this is what they brought me.


According to instagram friends they're some kind of English rose.

I'd never seen them before, but they're absolutely beautiful.


Our breakfast room used to be this drab, muddy colored room. We had it painted earlier this summer to match the rest of our downstairs, and it made such a huge difference.

It's bright and cheery now.

And sometimes it holds fluffy roses.

I'm a happy camper.

Linking up:

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Lunchtime Favorites

I know lots of kids have already gone back to school, but our preschool doesn't start until the week after Labor Day.

I'm kind of happy to have these few days here at the end of summer to spend some extra time with Andrew before he gets back to school.

And have I mentioned that Caroline is starting at Mother's Day Out one morning a week?

I'm a little worried about it. She still seems so little, but I knew I'd want her to have that experience by the spring and in order to get her in then I have to have her enrolled in the fall.

So, to MDO she goes. And I really think she'll be fine. It's me I'm worried about!

One of the things I've struggled with the most with Andrew in MDO these last two years has been what to pack for lunch.

So to better prepare this year I turned to the internet, of course.

{ 1. Another Lunch // 2. Wendolonia // 3. Wendolonia // 4. Family Fresh Meals // 

I love the idea of the little bento lunches, but I'd always thought they had to be fancy and complicated.

But, y'all, I can totally handle all of these. Add a few cookie cutters and cute skewers and we're good to go!

I'm working on a list of different foods that Andrew will eat, and I'm going to hang it on the fridge so it's always close during lunch packing time.

And I've bought a new lunchbox because he needed one anyway.

It has three small compartments and a freezer pack built in. (Like #2 up there.) He loves it so much that it went to bed with him last night. Ha!

And for more inspiration, my friend Elaine and a few other awesome bloggers are hosting a creative lunch challenge: Beyond Bologna. (I love that name!)

I can't wait to see what they come up with.

Once school gets going next month I hope to post pictures of our fun lunches on my facebook page to keep myself accountable and hopefully give y'all a bit of inspiration too. So you'll want to follow along there. 

And I'm pinning lots of great ideas to my Lunchtime Favorites board too.

I'm actually kind of excited about making lunches for Andrew this year! 

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Photography Inspiration

I feel like my photography has been totally uninspired lately.

I'm sure it's the time of year...I'm so tired of the harsh, hot summer sun. By the time the light is a little prettier in the evening the kids are in their pj's and we're trying to wind down for bedtime.

And I'm tired of taking pictures in my house. We've been kept out of our backyard this summer by the rabid mosquitoes, although they are finally getting a little better. So hopefully we can get out a bit more in the next few weeks.

Andrew and Caroline are both at hard ages. Caroline because she wants to RUN and Andrew because he's three and thinks it's hysterical to refuse to look at the camera. Just the thought of setting up an official photo shoot for my kids makes me anxious. I am sure it would only end in disaster.

I haven't even taken Caroline's one year pictures! :(

So what am I going to do to snap out of it?

Fall. The light is getting softer and the days are getting shorter. And someday soon it won't be miserably hot. I can't wait. Also with fall comes pumpkin patches and Halloween costumes and sweaters, all great photo opportunities.

Clickin Moms. I've been a member for years, but I've never really utilized it. Well, I'm going to start getting involved. There are awesome tutorials from lighting to post processing. I've been paying for it, I might as well use it. And really, just chatting with other photographers helps get me thinking about photo opportunities and new perspectives.

Beach Vacation. We're going to the beach next month, and I'm so excited. First we're going to be at the beach for a week! And also? Chances for beautiful photos. I'm looking forward to getting some shots of the kids and sunset photos, and if I get really wild maybe even some sunrise photos.

A New Lens. I haven't invested in a single piece of equipment this year. I got my beloved 35L 1.4 last year for Christmas, and I've used it almost exclusively ever since. I need to change it up a bit! I'm thinking of the 16-35L 2.8 or the Tokina 11-16 2.8 if I want to go really wide. I think I'd get a ton of use out of the 16-35L, but the Tokina would be so fun. Either way, I need to do something to jazz up my camera gear.

Expressive Photography from the Shutter Sisters. I love that this book talks about making the most of your everyday life opportunities. I have lots of these, I just need to take advantage of them.

So that's my plan....I hope to be super inspired again soon.

Am I alone? Does this happen to you in your creative life? What have you done to get through it?

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To Caroline: On Your Birthday

Sweet baby Caroline,

Yesterday, you turned one. One. It's amazing because just last week I brought you home from the hospital, I'm sure of it. You were this little tiny thing barely fitting in your newborn clothes. And you asked us to hold you about 20 hours a day.

And you know? I was pretty happy to comply with that request.

But now you squirm out of my arms in just the right way so I know you want down immediately. You want down so you can explore, eat our books, climb up the furniture and torment the dog. But I love your sense of adventure. You are clearly your brother's little sister.

You can get up the stairs amazingly fast, escape out the back door and down the step by yourself, climb up the footstool and STAND UP in chairs and ride our little Elmo car through the house.

You'll eat anything. You are seriously hungry and happy to have pretty much anything to snack on. If we're eating something and you want to try it you'll reach and squeal and not give up until you get a bite. I'm happy with your persistence.

You really like music. Just tonight your daddy played his guitar for you and Andrew and I laughed out loud watching you. Your little arms flapped up and down like you thought you could fly and you clapped and cheered. Even Andrew thought you were cute. I thought my heart my explode with love for my little family.

You like to go to sleep! When you're tired you will reach for your crib, snuggle up with your lovey and fall asleep so happily. This is in 100 percent contrast to your brother. But you don't like to stay asleep. :( You're still up once or twice a night to eat. And I'm sure you'll grow out of it eventually, but I'm kinda sleepy.

I put you in dresses almost every day. You have one pair of shorts and one pair of pants. And way too many dresses. Maybe that's what happens when you have a big brother. But you're awfully cute and they don't really seem to get in your way so I think I'll keep it up.

One day last week I saw an older woman and her mother shopping together at Target. The mother was soooooo slow. She wanted to look at every single eyeliner in the makeup department and her daughter was amazingly patient and kind.

That mother-daughter duo brought tears to my eyes, thinking of my mom and her mom and their sweet friendship. The bond between a mother and her daughter is so awesome. And I hope that someday when you're grown and wise we can have that too.

That's kind of wild to think about!

Because for now we spend our days playing pat-a-cake, reading board books and chasing the dog.

And I've never been so happy.

I love you baby Caroline. Your dad and I are so happy to know you and love you.

You are a true blessing from God.


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Lemonade Birthday Party

Y'all, I loved Caroline's lemonade party so much that I think I'll do it again for her second birthday.

Okay, not really, but maybe for her third. :)

We kept it small with just family, but I still wanted to make it pretty. A girl only turns one once, right?

I made all the printables myself. I had two banners - one in the dining room by the food and her birthday sign over the fireplace in the den. I also did little tags to tie around the mason jars and use for cupcake toppers. And the cake bunting matched it all too.

The drink dispensers are from Pottery Barn, and I bought the straws online from Cute Tape.

I bought the lemonade lids from We Love Citrus, and I was super impressed. They came packaged in cute little bags and shipped quickly. They were adorable. I could have bought half the stuff on their site!

I bought all the flowers at Central Market the day before and arranged them myself. They always have a great selection, and I found just what I wanted.

I bought the over-sized mason jar at the Container Store a few months ago, and it worked out perfectly for my big flower arrangement.

I picked up the paper poofs at the last minute from Target, and I think they added some whimsy to it all.

And I had my favorite Caroline Instagrams printed through Postalpix and hung them on the stairs with twine and clothes pins.

It ended up being a little more work than I had planned, but it was totally worth it. Caroline had great fun with a house full of family, but her favorite part was the cupcake smash. And who can blame her? Cream cheese icing and balloons overhead can't be beat.

Gosh I love her.

Happy birthday sweet baby girl!

{Linking up for Wordless Wednesday: The Paper MamaNaptime Momtog, & Project Alicia}

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Ten on Ten - August Edition

So I'm crawling out from my birthday party cave...whew it was a busy weekend!

My mother-in-law was in town for her birthday on Friday night and then Caroline's little lemonade party was yesterday afternoon.

I have about 3 million pretty photos of the celebration to show you, but for now I want to share my Ten on Ten photos. Yep, Friday was Ten on Ten, and I'm a little late, but I liked the set you go!

Friday was a day of total party prep as you'll see:

Finishing up one last banner.

Still in our pajamas.

Mid-morning light in my bedroom.

I registered for Blissodom '13! It's in Dallas next year, and I'm so excited about it! This will be my first blog conference.

After-nap grumpy lunch with this cutie.

Fenway's guarding the backyard for us.

Yellow flowers in my kitchen. I'm so obsessed with yellow right now. I love its bright pop.

And....I'm baking again.

Lemon cloud cookies.

Checking my party list and trying to figure out how to hang my Caroline Instagrams.

About nine of these were taken in my kitchen - ha! I was there a lot the last few days. I think maybe I'm all done baking for a while.

I can't wait to show y'all Caroline's party pictures...everything was so sweet! I'll be back soon.

Well, just a soon as I've polished off the left-over champagne punch. :)

Linking up:

ten on ten button

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