Ainsworth – My Brother’s Business

My brother, Josh Read, started a business back in August of 2006 called Ainsworth He does graphic design and website design. He is extremely talented, so talented in fact that I wish I could afford him to design and build my website, but, I digress. A recent website design he did has been getting a lot of recognition over the past week and I want to support him. You, my faithful readers, please join me in voting for his design at these four places:

CSS Drive
CSS Mania
The Daily Slurp – 2nd row, 3rd column
CSS Creme

Also, don’t forget to visit his website: Ainsworth

Days 2 and 3

Yeah SOMEDAY i might be on track with my own photo challenges!

DSC_0167 Here is day 2 – the candles. I really had to actually go FIND candles to take pictures of! I usually just turn on the tart burner, so this one actually was a challenge!

This was taken in manual, light at about 100 (i think?), f1.8 with my 50mm, natural light through the window to the left.




DSC_0191For Day 3 Here is my Christmas tree. This picture looked a lot better in my mind than in actual execution…

I took this into the mirror I have hanging on the wall across from the tree, on a quiet nite while it was snowing outside. It just really made me feel "christmasy". I haven’t done anything to this photo, this is SOOC, but I think if I tweaked the exposure, which is at some ridiculous number like 3, this one might actually turn into a cool picture!

Since I’m on a roll and am uber behind – here is day 4 too!DSC_0174

Not necessarily my favorite ornament, but one I got a good shot of…

This is kind of the "theme" of our tree – teal and silver. And the usual menagerie of  child-produced ornaments from Sunday School and Pre-school. I have to take more ornament pictures. My favorite is the leg lamp from the "Christmas Story" movie.

Oh my gosh you have to click that link. Its not to my ornament. Its to the GAUDIEST lawn blow up thing I have ever seen! Its the leg lamp in a blower globe on top of the FRA-GEE-LAY box. WHYYYYY must some people ruin their yards with these things?!?!! but it is pretty frackin hilarious.


So now I am only two days behind on the Christmas photo challenge.

Ok – RAK time. We had family movie nite a few Saturdays ago, and wanted to watch "Meet the Robinsons". Ben went in to get it, and came out with the Blu-Ray disc version. I expressed that I thought those didn’t work in our DVD player, but my concerns were summarily dismissed. "It says High Def on it. That’s what we have."

True enough.

But it still isn’t a Blu-Ray player. To tell you the truth I do’nt even know what a Blu-Ray player is. (I am ashamed to admit this. I might be kicked out of techno-geeks anonymous for not knowing this).

but if YOU know what a Blu-Ray player is, and you do not yet own the ADORABLE Disney Movie "Meet the Robinsons" – I have a Christmas gift for you! First person to comment here that ISN’T named Ben, Josh, or Becca (who have this strange obsession with playing the first to comment game on my blog) – then this movie is yours!

Hope you are having a great day and enjoying preparations for Christmas! 19 days left!!!


Hearts, Hugs, and Happy Horsesh*t-


Christmas Photo Challenge Begins!

And I am already behind on my own challenge!

Here is my photo from yesterday


The color got completely screwed up in the transfer to the blog so sorry for that. But i was just happy to actually have my little tin advent calendar countdown thingy hung up this year! the girls do’nt quite get the concept of counting backwards. they keep thinking christmas is tomorrow since that’s the 25th…???? Apparently they have my math skillzz, or complete lack thereof.

Here’s another few advent calendar shots

DSC_0153 The starbucks advent calendar. I only did half of it last year. Hopefully this year I get to actually finish the little chocolate treats inside. Next year maybe i’ll decorate the backside with some cuter papers/embellies and put fun little trinkets inside for the girls. This year, the chocolates ALL MINE!

DSC_0149 Karissa was so surprised that there was actual CANDY behind the little doors that she wanted to open up all of them! Note to self: hide advent calendars on top of fridge.

DSC_0159 Working on kealey’s "I’m the star of the week" poster for the kindergarten bulletin board at school. nice that we got TWO DAYS NOTICE for this!!! You want me to sum up in TWO DAYS all that is special about my darling offspring in a 26 x 32 inch piece of cardstock???? Impossible!

But we’re doing our best. We’ll finish it up in the morning.

I am craving stirfry, bruschetta (thanks kristin), and spaghetti sauce. So i should go to bed now i think before i actually start making all of the above at 10:30 at nite.

If you are playing along with the challenge – link me up to your photos!!! I want to see what you’re doing with it!

my beautiful babies

Just cause i have spent so much time posting pictures of other people’s babies lately – i do’nt want my own to feel left out. They’re still my favorite photography subjects ever. Wait till i post the video of them pushing the littlest one around in the DOLL stroller soon…

class week1



Each with their own distinct and quite often contradictory personalities. They wear me out by the end of the day. But oh what fun we have in those days. Most of the time. Ok the times its NOT fun is cause of me. I am trying to be funner. more energetic. less of a yeller. i just need to sleep for like – a week straight. my secret dream? to get a hotel room for three straight days, tape the heavy dark curtains completely shut. crank the air con up full blast, bring my own heavy blankets from home and curl up in them and not get out of bed for at LEAST 48 hours. Take the hottest bath i can, then go back to bed. maybe eat awhole meal with BOTH of my arms  available. i dunno. maybe i am asking too much.

but i wouldn’t trade what i have for anything in the world. they’re crazy and unruly sometimes and have this weird affinity for playing with loose change and decorative river rocks in a glass bowl but they’re MY weird offspring. all mine. and everything they do is precious to me. even if its not so precious when i’m living it.

i just wanted to get that out tonite.

Strangely Quiet…

I hardly know what to do with myself right now. Light of day has broken and yet, I am the only one awake in my house. Not even the STOOPID dogs are whining to be let out yet. After a crazy nite in which I dumped an entire 5 gallon bucket of hot mopping water all over the floor minutes before all my friends arrived for bunco, setting off a chain reaction among all the fire alarms in our house for 5 straight minutes, setting off three screaming panicky children not to mention the fact that there are FIVE GALLONS of water running all over the floors of my downstairs…then having baby girl 3 proceed to spend the entire nite screaming in her crib while I am trying to get my bunco on…

Aftr all that…i get this. Peace and Quiet. I am almost afraid to move or type too fast – like I’ll make the moment be over too soon. But i wanted to capture this moment. And treasure it. and just breathe it in. Cause it so rarely happens. God is good. He knows i needed this. Not that i am accomplishing ANYTHING with this time. But that I just needed to stop and BREATHE. Feel restored. If only for a few minutes on a boring Tuesday morning.

I have photography work to catch up on like you would not believe. Feeling SO blessed at how that is taking off. Now to just get the organizational business skills in place to keep it moving forward and not pissing people off for making them wait too long. And to pray that we do continue to have a steady stream of new customers. Such an amazing thing to be part of people’s memories, families, lives – to capture a moment of their story for them.

Christmas will be here in what – 5 weeks now? i cannot believe its Thanksgiving this thursday! I love this time of year. I want to make this year truly special for the girls – I want them to catch the fun and excitement that seems to be in the air this whole season. We have been listening to the Holiday Station in the car a lot and its so fun to see them singing along with some of the songs! Karissa will often walk around just singing – "you better not pout I telling you why"…and then proceed to have a meltdown 5 minutes later…but still – its adorable while it lasts! Ben keeps telling me "not to go overboard" this year with gifts. So while it wo’nt be a christmas of presents piled three feet high under the tree – it is my hope that at least its a christmas of presents piled high in their hearts. Presents of good memories, of new traditions being created and old ones being passed down.

I hear the lovely pitter-patter of someone’s little feet.

My beautiful precious quiet time has ended and now my day begins. But the beauty of these few moments will stay with me all day.

Craziness – here we all come!

Oh – for a good time – go here.

Too Much Time On Their Hands

My brother, sister-in-law, and cousin started a new band. Its good for a few laughs if you ever owned one of those amazing plastic tackle boxes to put your makeup and "hair scrunchies" in when you were in junior high.

Peace out homeslices.


The Sound of Silence…

what? I can’t hear you….the silence in my house is deafening.

My lovely beautiful mother from whom I have gained all things perfect and harmonious (i wasn’t even paid to say that!) – has taken my two eldest rugrats for two days so I can just have a little BREAK from life! This leaves me with a very whiney, fussy, teething, cold-having 3 1/2 month old, but still. When she sleeps…all is bliss. My house is so quiet. I do miss those little buggers…

I have decided to stop the screaming coming from my pantry. My darling groom brought home these fru-its of the dev-e-il the other day from the grocery store.You know the ones i’m talking about – little crunchy pieces of cornmeal deep-fat-fried then sprinkled with this addictive meth-laced cheezy orange powder…CHEETOS….

They were calling my name and whispering horrible horrible things to me so i decided to stop the demon voices by devouring the entire bag of them to shut them up. NOW the house is silent. More silent than it was. and my fingers are eternally stained orange.

So i am trying  to decide what is the first thing I need to attack today. Ben did an awesome job cleaning up yesterday while I was gone taking the kids to memaw’s house…so while I have a few mommy-tasks to complete, life is actually relatively calm. I am hoping that some of my zen is being restored by just sitting here, just BEING. i have so many ideas for our photog business running through my head, as well as another exciting opportunity I am hoping comes to fruition soon. I also have the issues regarding work/contract and other home issues weighing on my mind. DSC_0028I want to just be rid of it all…but then that would’nt really be living would it? if everything just magically went away and/or worked itself out?

So.where was i? I got interrupted by a phone call. I need help being more…ummm. what’s the word….focused! But sometimes I don’t even know where to start. I have some people tell me – cut yourself some slack! you have a newborn! you have three kids! You’re a single parent all week! Which is true. and when i type it out it does sound as overwhelming as it feels sometimes. But i feel like, ok i’ve been under way more stress than this and still managed to hold it all together. So what gives now? I do’nt know. But I aim to figure it out soonly.  I must figure it out. And the silence has ended. K3 is awake…

back to the daily grind!

Sleep Cycles

I actually got a whole sleep cycle the past two nites! I think its too early to declare victory over the sleepless one yet, but it has been nice to feel like I am getting at least a LITTLE more sleep each nite.

Although she is working on these first teeth during the day and poor thing is just in so much pain. she has started this like, growling/yelling thing at her teeth…sounds so pitiful it makes me just want to dose her up on loads of tylenol… Hopefully they pop through soon and she can get back to being her usual pretty easygoing self.

The photog business is going good = we have an outdoor family shoot tomorrow nite and then a few more this coming up weekend. I am excited to see how they turn out and hope the weather cooperates with us. Ok could I be any more boring today? I think this constant fussing from Moochie-pootie is sucking my creative will to live. Or to do much of anything else. I got the girls’ closets finally switched over this past weekend. THAT was a chore and a half. Its not that my kids have a ton of clothes, cause truly they don’t. Its that karissa shoves everything into the one drawer she can reach, and kealey just yanks stuff off hangers hoping its the dress she was thinking it was. So then I end up with this PILE of clothing all over the closet and bedroom floor and i HATE random clothing piles for no good reason. This doesn’t of course include the clean laundry piles I have created after I fold them all but am too lazy to put it all away or any of the piles in my own bedroom. Anyways – it was a mess to clean up and I am glad its done for the season. Now I just need two or three more bins to save the summer clothes for karissa and Kaylen and it will be complete.

Next project – moving all the toys to the basement and just creating a "creative corner" up here in the TV room. I get so tired of vacuuming up polly pocket shoes and constantly having to clear out the ikea bins of toys, cups, random coloring pages and clothing that gets shoved in there. I want the basement to be the eventual playroom all the time, so might as well transition the toys down there now to lead into it.

*ugh* – just the amount of crap I need to do today is giving me a massive headache. Time for more coke!

Don’t forget – its HYDRATING!!!

IMG_0063  Says so right on the box – see? Coke is HYDRATING!!! I knew I loved it for a reason.

78 grams of sugar be damned  – i am being HEALTHY!!!

Ok – enough screwing around. I am off to attack this to-do list 8 miles long.

Ciao bellas.


T-crest out

and i’m BACK!

After a horrible horrible hiatus in which my poor little laptop endured a lobotomy of the worst kind, I am at last back in the land of the technogeek. Thank God I did not lose pics or scrap crap or important irretrievable things like that. but GOOD LORD the amount of crap you pile up on your hard drive that you don’t think to back up! All my fonts, all my music, all my actions for PS, Photoshop itself, oy. I am STILL trying to recreate my perfect little computer world.  It will take me eons of time. Probably about the time it dies again I will have it all back to normal.

So anyways  – busy busy with that, starting our new photography business (check us out: 2Sisters Photography ), growing babies, Awana, school starting for sissy, twin baby girls coming soon to my dear friend Brandi-Lou-Who….so much exciting stuff!DSC_0780

ADSC_0935 few pics from recent weeks as we are trying to perfect our art…


DSC_0227I am personally not a huge b/w fan, but these turned out pretty cute in black and white if i do say so myself.


and i think that is all for now. back to fixing ye olde laptoparoo.

When You Have No Idea

What’s going to happen next. does the thought scare you or excite you? I am an “excite me” type of person. Life is one big grand adventure, right? So, what’s the point in knowing what’s around the next riverbend? Just go with the flow man!homesweethome

I do love when exciting opportunities loom on the horizon. i like to dream and analyze and make lists about what i will do if option a.) or b.) comes up first. And of course I like to pre-spend all the money I will make. (I know ben just loves this about me!)

I am very anxious to find a routine/schedule that works for us. My sister and I are contemplating opening a photography business. Now I know they are a dime a dozen, but I think we really could have a lot of fun trying to make ours work. Here in our area there are a BUNCH of hoity toity photogs who charge an arm and three legs for the privilege of having your picture taken by them…but obviously, most of their target audience is not going to be able to afford them. So I am hoping we can find a good niche. No idea how or if it will all work out, but it should be fun to brainstorm at least!

Kaylen’s reflux seems to be under MUCH better control. We ended up in the ER last Thursday nite for a few hours.I had noticed all that day that she seemed to be getting pretty congested. I chalked it up to allergies (since all the rest of us nerdy Atkinsons suffer from horrible allergies, why should she be exempt?). DSC_0161 By that nite it was getting harder for her to breathe, and forget trying to nurse. she just couldn’t make it work between eating, sucking, breathing – oy. but I am trying one last time to get her to eat so she can go to bed. Well very rapidly her eyes start puffing up, are bright red, and her nose is all red and swollen also. She sounds very raspy and is obviously having a hard time breathing well. It wasn’t like she WASn’T breathing, you could just tell it was a lot of effort for her. So i called the ped to see if I could put her on my nebulizer or give her a little benadryl or something to help out the what I assumed were allergies. Dr. On-Call says – “no, babies don’t have allergies till they’re a year. Better take her in and have her looked at”. So i trek down to the closes ER where, by the way, they have THE PARKING GARAGE SHUT DOWN. Where the FORK is one supposed to park??? I make my own spot and run in cause by now of course I have worked myself up thinking she isn’t breathing for some god-awful reason. GEt to the ER desk and the nurse is like, ok your baby looks fine. I am like – FEEL HER – you can feel her chest rattling! And you know, since nobody wants a lawsuit for killing a  2 month old, they take her right back. (Excellently fast service when you walk in a with a baby in respiratory distress by the way! Broken ankle in a middle age man? Back of the line please!!!)

anyways – the young punk doctor fresh out of residency checks her over and decides to “recreate” the situation that got her bad. Of course by now the swelling has all gone down and her breathing is much better. So they hook her up to a few monitors and have me feed her again. Same thing starts happening, I feel her start to reflux and monitors start going crazy. But we got our answer. She was basically refluxing (throwing up), and since her mouth was occupied, and her nose was so congested, it had nowhere to come out but her eyes. Yes dear readers, my child was throwing up out her eyeballs, causing an obvious irritating reaction. Gross.DSC_0186

Best part of this is Doogie Howser MD’s advice:

Doogie: Well mom, when she is eating and you start to feel her choke, you have to get her off the breast right away.

Me: Did you have to go to medical school to learn that awesome advice or is it just sheer God-given talent?

Doogie: (not quite sure if i am kidding or not) – laughs nervously

Me: So that’s seriously all you can tell me to help her?


UGH!!! And for this I am going to end up paying some RECOCKULOUS amount of money. I wanted to scream – No Poop Pollock! I have successfully nursed two other children – I think I know a little something about how to take a choking baby off the breast! Unlike him, who, for obvious physical reasons, has not ever nursed an infant a day in his life. Where do they find these people I ask you?


So anyways – after that excitement she slept pretty good and has spent most of the weekend trying to get back on a good schedule, but overall is doing very well. I am a little more mindful of feeling her start to reflux which is helping some, but…the rest I just gotta leave in God’s hands I guess. I know He has a reason for all this craziness we are going through. Birth control for one…learning patience and what love REALLY means would be another…

Have i mentioned how much I love our church? We found a great small group this past week that even Ben likes. Which is a HUGE deal. I hope we are able to grow closer to some of the people in it through this time. this church is really and truly such a place where God is evident and is working. I know He has great things in store for this church, and I want to know how to be more of a part of it.

Well the great non-sleeping one is up from her 20 minute catnap and i have housework up to my eyeballs to get done.daddy

Hopefully when my thoughts are a little more organized I can come back and post more. right now everything is scattered in about a hundred different directions!


Peace out. yo gabba gabba.

finally catching a little break around here. Kaylen has actually taken REAL NAPS the last two days. i am starting to feel kind of normal again. I must do something about this little weight issue of mine. I can no longer use the pregnancy excuse. although. i can use the crappy breastfeeding excuse. I am hopeful though that since i have recently ceased to become the local 7-11 for my baby, that maybe my body will stop stockpiling the calories and let some of the weight go. (have i mentioned that I can rationalize or explain away almost anything?)


So – that’s my biggest news. I need to be better about blogging daily. There really is so much random crap that floats through my mind on a daily basis -i would love to have a place to let it all out, capture it, leave it for posterity. But alas – I get easily sidetracked. what else is new?


some pictures. I have to get more recent ones. These are about a week and a half old I think.

 Kaylen sitting in her bumbo one warm Sunday evening. I love this little onesie on her – not sure if its the color or what…It matches pretty nicely with her bumbo though, no?

A nice one of the girls – all dolled up for Sunday morning. Amazing to me that I have THREE baby girls now. all so totally different, yet they all came DSC_0090from me. I need to stop and recognize the amazingness of them more often. some days just go by in such a fast whirlwind and the name of the game is just SURVIVAL. (oh – side note – Survivor China starts in TWO DAYS!!! WOOT!)

 Umm lets see what other cute shots have I gotten recently…



I have no idea if she was just squealing in joy here or yawning or starting to get fussy – but I loved the way the light turned out on this one. This towel she is leaning on is a beautiful gift from a beautiful friend of mine, Laura. She stitched Kaylen’s name into the hood of this towel – it will be a treasured gift for many years to come. I wish I could figure out how to lighten her eyes in this pic – they just turn devilish when i try to convert to b/w.   Note to self: research eye lighten actions for PS in all my spare time…



the waning days of summer, and playing outside on the sidewalk…We’re supposed to tell Karissa “toes out!” when we see her sitting like this. Its supposedly a holdover from her back issues with the spina bifida when she was a baby – and is horrible for their knees, stomach, and of course back. But you know what? its just so uniquely her. So little girly of her to sit like this. i don’t want to make that go away. I want to always remember her like this – plopped on the sidewalk, playing with chalk and her kitties, making up songs – just enjoying being a kid in summertime.


And that pretty much sums up today’s post. More random thoughts to come soon!

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