Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

WOW! What a crazy month it’s been!

Well. I have been very busy (<— understatement). I can’t believe it’s almost been an entire month since I had the little peanut head! May has completely flown past me and I’m just now realizing that the month is almost over.

Thankfully I have had plenty of visitors and helpers this month otherwise I don’t think I would still be standing! Things are finally starting to settle down though and I THINK I’m getting into the groove of things. It’s almost as if I’ve forgotten how newborns are. I mean, Malakai is already 2 so I guess that’s enough time  for all my infant know-how to go out the window. But MAAAAAAAAAAANNNN. It’s been kinda rough.

Did you know that babies poop & spit up A LOT? Did you know that babies want to be held 24/7? Getting things done around our apartment has been difficult. In fact, just a few minutes before I started writing this I was crying to Ian about how I couldn’t make dinner because the babies have been keeping me busy all day and so I didn’t have time to do the dishes. BUT, despite all the craziness around here we are SO HAPPY about our newest edition to our little family.

Mal a bit of a struggle adjusting to the new baby. Phrases like: “Mama, no baby!” and “Mama, baby couch” were things he said on an almost daily basis whenever I was holding her (which was most of the time). Luckily he’s gotten over that phase and constantly wants to kiss and hug her. It’s really sweet. He’s been trying to be very helpful too, like grabbing me a diaper when she needs a new one (and sometimes when she doesn’t, but he thinks she does) and giving her a pacifier. He’s an AWESOME big brother! 🙂

I took that the first week…I’ve been really slacking with picture taking. I’ll take more, I promise.


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Wiggy days, wiggly nights…

I had a mostly typed out entry. And then Malakai asked for chocolate milk. I made it for him and then when I came back everything was gone. I kind of want to cry now.

WELL. Let’s see if I can remember what I had typed.

I am 38 weeks and one day pregnant. Which means I could pop any day now.

This morning I received a text from my husband. Just called my grandma. Told her the name. So….I guess that’s her name. I guess you can open the floodgates and tell everyone. I know you want to.

We have had the hardest time trying to name her. It was so easy with Mal. As soon as we heard it, we knew that was “the one”. But we’ve been struggling this time around. Violet, Scarlet,  Delilah, Aeris (yeah, like THIS Aeris) were all top contenders at one point. None of them really “popped” for us though. BUT! We have finally come to an agreement, just in the nick of time!

Leia Evelyn Indiana.

The name combo was actually suggested by my sister-in-law, Rachel. A little backstory: Indiana was my #1 choice for a girl’s name. Come on, isn’t Indy a badass name for a little girl?! UGH! But according to my husband, “Indiana is a boy’s name”. So I gave up my #1 choice for the sake of compromise. Evelyn is my husband’s grandma’s name and we both agreed  early on that we wanted to use Evelyn as a middle name.

When we decided on Leia, I didn’t really like the way it sounded with Evelyn. So when Rachel suggested this name combo, I was stoked. AND THEN, we realized that her initials would spell out her name! L.E.I.A. COME ON! How freaking awesome is that?! We screamed and cried and squealed over it and I immediately ran it by Ian to see what he thought. Now, as cool as he thought the initial thing was, he was still kinda iffy about using Indiana. I let it go, just because I knew that once he saw how much pain I would have to go through in labor, he would cave. He would have to, right?! Well, I’m glad it didn’t have to come to that. Haha. And I’m glad we have finally (and amicably)  made a decision.

My anthem over the past few weeks has been Cleo by Built to Spill. A good friend of mine who is currently pregnant as well is actually naming her baby after this song. Anyway, I want to share it because it’s SUCH a cute song and it makes me cry every time I hear it. ENJOY!

Living in the womb, running out of room. Have to come out soon, have to meet the sun and moon and…

Hurry up, Leia. We’re ready for you!

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It’s a Malakai burrito!

Mal’s new favorite thing to do is wrap himself  up in this Power Rangers sleeping bag we have. I don’t know why he does it…he says he’s cold, but sometimes I’ll find him sweating in there. Either way, it’s freaking adorable.

Also, did you hear? I now have a FB page. and a TWITTER! @alyssastrongarm. I’m totally moving up in the social networking world!!!!

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All about Sarah.

Soooo, let me tell you a bit about my friend Sarah. We met (I think) when I was still in high school, but didn’t really establish a friendship until about 3 years ago. I don’t know, I’m a little unsure of the time line of things because I was doing the whole “oooh, I’m living on my own and I’m going to drink all the time” phase. (sorry, mom). Lame. Anyway, she has become one of my best friends ever and I just wanted to let everyone know how lucky I am to have her in my life.

Sarah is the backbone behind the fun, themed photo shoots I arrange with my friends. Seriously. They would not be possible without her. When I first started doing the photography thing, I was a little nervous about getting myself out there and shooting people. But Sarah and I came up with the idea to have photo shoot parties, or as we like to call them, ANTM Parties! (ANTM = America’s Next Top Model) Basically, we just got all our girlfriends together and offered them booze and snacks and took pictures. Sarah was a key part in the planning, directing, and funding these parties so you can see why I love her so so much.

I know Sarah wouldn’t help me out so much if she didn’t believe in me. And I know that sounds super cheesy, but I don’t care. She is willing to put forth her time and energy and money into helping ME build my portfolio and learn, even though there is very little gain for herself. Talk about selfless! The world needs more people like her. 🙂

So thank you, Sarah. Thank you for being such a great friend to me and for supporting me. Even if I fail miserably at photography, I’m so thankful to have you believe in me so much that you are willing to do all that you do for me. I love you!

Oh, did I mention that she’s SUPER HOT too? Hehehe…

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I know I was supposed to write about Mal’s birthday party, but the week after his party was my week to do absolutely NOTHING! 🙂

I will say that my baby’s 2nd birthday was a huge success. We all had such a great time. We had our family from the Apple Valley AND Vegas show up. That’s a 3-6 hour drive for them! They must love my kid or something. 🙂

These are the cupcakes I made for the party. From scratch. What?! They were so fun to make. I would make them again in a HEARTBEAT!

I used this recipe for the cupcakes, this recipe for the frosting, and THIS recipe for instructions on putting the cupcakes together. Big thanks to my mom and my sister for the help! (they were delicious, and I’m embarrassed to say how many I actually ate…)

This past weekend, I watched a workshop on creativeLIVE starring the AMAZING photographer, Jasmine Star. The course was all about building your photography business. I walked away from the workshop with 15 pages of notes and feeling soooooooooooooo inspired. Once I have this baby, I’m planning on heading at this thing full force. I just need to do it.
One thing that I am vowing to do is build my portfolio. For a while, I was mainly interested in fashion photography, which is why I was always organizing those crazy themed photo shoots. And while those were a BLAST and a really good learning experience for me, I know that it’s not the direction I really want to go…and the pictures that I took before don’t really benefit my portfolio in the wedding/engagement/portrait field. So that’s what I need to focus on. I’m going to start over and work on building my portrait portfolio. Plus, I need to get out there and second shoot. I am so upset because I actually had a second shooter opportunity offered to me (thanks again, Chuck!) but I had to turn it down because my husband works that weekend and we wouldn’t have a babysitter for our TWO (yep! two!) babies. UGH. Still, I know there will be other opportunities if I just keep pushing forward and putting myself out there. I’m really excited!

So, if any of my wonderful friends want to have a couples or portrait sesh, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!! Let’s do this.

Oh, one more thing. I emailed Jasmine Star after the workshop. Totally not expecting an email back, since this is an extremely popular photographer who has over 35,000 FB fans and who’s FB wall is constantly being posted on by her many adoring fans. But she TOTALLY emailed me back this morning.  YES! SHE emailed ME back!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I want to print it out and frame it. She has been my photographer idol since I discovered her a while back and I’m floating on cloud nine right now. I don’t think I will ever delete it out of my inbox.
Hope you guys have a great week!

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Just poking my head in…

Hi. I’m still here.

My updates haven’t been as frequent as I would like them to be, but hopefully that will change soon. Malakai’s birthday is this Saturday and we are having tons of people over for his party. Needless to say, it’s been pretty hectic around here!

Wanna see my new hair?

I’m a pixie now. Like Posh Spice.

I love having short hair. It’s so easy to manage and it seriously takes me 2 minutes to do my hair. It’s wonderful! I never want to have long hair ever ever again!
Only downside though, is that sometimes when I wake up, I look like this:and the worst part about that is sometimes Ian doesn’t tell me that I look crazy and so I end up walking around all day looking weird. I guess I should probably look in the mirror more often.
Okay, bye! I’ll post Mal’s birthday pictures sometime next week.

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My fairy tale photo shoot  & my photo shoot with my cousin Sierra were the last photo shoots I can do until I have the baby. I’m tired. I can’t be on my feet getting myself into awkward positions to find the perfect angle. At least not when someone is relying on me to last more than 10 minutes. So from now on, most of the pictures I am going to post until sometime in May (when I overload you with pictures of my new baby girl!!!) are going to be of Malakai. Or Sadie (my dog). Or Ian (husband). Basically, you are going to be attacked with pictures of my family…and there’s nothing you can do about it.

For those who don’t know, I’m currently 31 weeks pregnant. I actually just did the math today to get the exact week (I’ve done a terrible job at paying attention to that stuff) and I was completely shocked to realize that I only have 9 weeks left to go! It’s very exciting. Luckily, my doctor didn’t put me on bed rest (YAY!) so for these next few weeks, Malakai can enjoy being an only child and have my full attention!

After having a 3 hour Blue’s Clues marathon, Malakai ever so politely walked over to me as I was cleaning up after lunch and demanded, “SIDE! SIDE! SIDE!” while pointing at the sliding glass door. Lately I’ve been reluctant to take him outside because it’s been windy and cold, but today was actually really nice (plus the lighting was AMAZING!) so we spent the afternoon in our backyard and had a mini photo shoot. 🙂 He picked flowers for me!

This is our tree trunk. Recently, during the giant storm that hit So Cal, one of the giant branches from our tree in the backyard attacked our fence. We heard a loud crashing noise and came out to find a good portion of our fence had been taken out by the tree and they had to cut it down. The thing was dying/rotten and hideous anyway, and I kinda like the way our backyard looks without it. But yeah. Pretty crazy!

After playing outside (forever), we came back in and Mal did some more posing for me! (have you noticed that he LOVES wearing clothes??)

This picture was an accident, but I actually kinda like the way it turned out! 🙂

And last, but not least, little Malakai demanded to take pictures himself (“Mama, I seeeee! I seeee!” while pointing at his eye and then to the camera…how could I say no to that?!) so I let him. Believe it or not, he actually holds the camera up to his  eye like he sees me doing. He’s very meticulous about it. I have to help him push the button though. Anyway, usually his pictures are blurry or overexposed or of me making a really weird face, but today he actually took a cool picture!

So there ya  have it. My little boy is amazing. Once I’m done being pregnant, I will certainly do more posts about photo shoot I am doing, but for now you’re just going to have to enjoy my family stuff. 🙂

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