Happy Chaos »

We had a nice get together with the grandparents at Olive Garden. (Nathan’s pick!)
We then headed over to my parents’ house to have cake and open gifts.
It’s such a neat feeling to watch my son read his own birthday cards!
One thing hasn’t changed. My boy still loves trains. For as long as he could talk, trains have been his obsession. For his birthday this year, Nathan wanted a Lego train set (which he got). He then went shopping with Grandma Karen and bought two more train sets. Hmmm…I wonder what he will buy when he goes shopping with Grandma Shari?:)

Happy birthday, Nathan!


  • Life with Kaishon - Happy Birthday Nathan! Happy, happy Birthday to your sweet boy! : ) I hope he has a wonderful year. Do you think he will get another train with his Grandma Shari? kaish was never into trains.

    I have to go to work and I don't want to. : (
    Wish you were here!ReplyCancel

  • Adrienne in Ohio - Ok, seriously, you have such sweet kids. I love Nathan's smile, but I love even more that he's letting Ben help tear the paper off his presents.

    Happy birthday, Nathan!ReplyCancel

  • Dot O - He's got his second teeth and all! Happy birthday Nathan.

    Beautiful kids, Drew, so beautiful. Love Jordyn's haircut!!!

    Danny is 17 and still loves Legos. I've saved every one of them – I couldn't part with such cherished toys. Still have his Brio train set too – he loved that!ReplyCancel

  • Lori - not. possible.
    he can't be 7 already, you better check your math!
    heeheeReplyCancel

I’ve been wondering where my 16GB memory card was that had Halloween pictures on it. It seemed to disappear into thin air. Yesterday, while cleaning the van, I was lucky to find the card when I put Jordyn’s seat down into the stow-n-go storage. Woo-hoo!
My brother REALLY gets into Halloween. He made this super clever Lego costume over the course of several weeks (maybe months?). Best costume ever!
My kids were all Batman. In Jordyn’s case…that was Batgirl! I considered having Jordyn be a devil like the girl cousins, but she wanted what her brothers had.
Angie had a variety of costumes for her kids. Weston’s school’s logo is a pirate, making his costume very appropriate.
We gathered at my sister Janine’s house but none of the pictures I took of her kids turned out. (It was getting pretty dark out.) Hopefully she managed to get some!
I’m so thrilled that these pictures weren’t lost forever. An additional bonus? My best memory card is back.


  • lifebythecreek - Andrea, these are INCREDIBLE!!! Seriously beautiful, clear, colorful, wonderful! I am so glad that you found your card; not just because 16 GB cards really come in handy, but because it would have been a TERRIBLE shame to lose these photos. I can't wait to show my son the LEGO costume. Any tips would be appreciated; I'm guessing that's what he's going to want to be next year! no, wait… THIS year.. accck! :<)ReplyCancel

  • Life with Kaishon - I love these pictures : )
    I am glad you found your card.
    I have so many cards. TOO many! What is your best card?ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - Andrea, the making of the costume spanned over two months and made our garage un-useable for that entire time…ReplyCancel

  • ~Rachée - The photos are great but I have to say that the Lego costume was awesome!
    Wow!
    -rReplyCancel

  • Last Minute Mel - Fantastic pics and how incredibly awesome is the lego costume!! LOVE it!ReplyCancel

I cleaned my van today thoroughly and was so happy to find a missing memory card…from Halloween. Maybe I should clean my van more often.:)This photo of my sister and my daughter was on the card. It was my favorite shot of the night.


  • Cecily R - That's like getting an extra Christmas in March! How fun is that? I love the shot…what a shame it would have been to have lost it forever!ReplyCancel

  • Lolidots - That is an adorable shot! Um, I need to clean out my van more often too. Ha!ReplyCancel

  • Linkie Lueville - SWOON! This is so adorable! And finding a card in your car from october? seriously like christmas!

    http://www.lmgphotog.comReplyCancel

  • lifebythecreek - Holy minivan, Batwoman! THAT is awesome! I love it… and like everyone else said, what a gift. Hmmm… I would say that I would go clean out MY minivan, but
    a) I know how many memory cards I have, and they are all accounted for, and
    b)I've had a stomach virus over the past 24 hours, and I just don't think my stomach is strong enough yet for what I WOULD find in that van!
    SO… good luck.. I think this is a GREAT entry for the theme!ReplyCancel

  • Katherine - Goodness me! I love it :) It made me smile – it's so cute!!

    K xxReplyCancel

  • Life with Kaishon - I love it Drew! Pure happiness. Perfect moment captured.ReplyCancel

  • Caroline (Frogmum) - Such a lovely moment captured ~ I bet you are stocked that you found that card!!ReplyCancel

  • Teachinfourth - Okay, now that is an awesome image! The expressions on both faces speaks a thousand words…ReplyCancel

  • Melinda - So stinkin' cute!! And the colors are amazing! Great capture, my friend!ReplyCancel

  • Pyjammy Pam - adorable!ReplyCancel

  • Barbara - precious!ReplyCancel

jordyn 4-wheeler


I had to dig deep to find photos of sun flare. This is terribly composed but a very real moment. Jordyn has been driving the mini 4-wheeler since before she turned 2. (See the blocks for her feet?) Don’t worry. She was very well supervised with daddy close by her side. Normally, she would also be wearing a helmet, but we held off for a couple minutes to capture some photos. You should see the photos after we made her get off the 4-wheeler. She is not a happy camper when she has to share!:)


  • Carrie Garrett - cute!ReplyCancel

  • kimlincoln - Adorable!ReplyCancel

  • Jackson's Momma - i love this pic!! She looks so intrigued!ReplyCancel

  • Mariah - Very Cute Picture!ReplyCancel

  • Life with Kaishon - Awwwwwwwwwww. I love her : )
    She is so precious. I am very impressed about the wood blocks. You guys do so many fun things! Kaishon would die of happiness to ride a four wheeler. I am putting that on our list of fun things to do this summer.ReplyCancel

  • Katherine - Aww! What a gorgeous image. Love it :)

    K xxReplyCancel

  • Britney Emilie - how cute, i love the selective focus in this photoReplyCancel

march 11 before after1. RAW Editor

2. The shadow under her chin had some noise, so I duplicated the layer and used Noiseware on it. I thin applied a layer’s mask and removed the Noiseware from all but the shadows and part of her skin.

3. I was fortunate to get to test MCP’s new Fusion set for Elements & Photoshop. I used her One Click Color. This is a great action for making all those tweaks that would normally take quite a bit of time. I adjusted some layers and turned some off until I got the look I wanted.


4. Next, I used Pioneer Woman’s Lovely & Ethereal action. I love how this action softens up the hair. Again, I removed the effect from some areas of the photo.


5. To soften up under the eyes, I flattened all layers and then duplicated the layer. I sampled the skin color near her eyes and then painted over the shadows. I then reduced the opacity of the layer until the look was natural

6. I sharpened the eyes using Unsharp Mask.

7. The photo seemed off balance, so I expanded the canvas at the top and used the healing brush to add “grass”.

8. I used Florabella’s Vintage Urban action and reduced the opacity

9. The photo had gotten rather bright, so I used the Brightness/Contrast sliders to adjust the brightness more to my liking.

10. Finally, I resized the photo and used Unsharp Mask to sharpen for the web.


  • Life with Kaishon - You are really excellent at teaching. Thank you for all the time you put into this lesson.ReplyCancel

  • Stephani - Beautiful edit and beautiful subject!ReplyCancel

  • Heather Bell - Popping off the screen with so much color.ReplyCancel

  • Through My Own Lens - WOW! You continue to amaze me with your skills! We need some more video tutorials…you are a great photographer and an AMAZING teacher!!! I always learn so much from you!ReplyCancel