Sunday, December 20, 2009

Family Pictures

Blair happens to have a brother-in-law who is also a fantastic photographer. The weekend after Thanksgiving he was gracious enough to take us out for some family pictures. Ella is changing so fast it's hard to keep current pictures around. I am thrilled with the results! The above picture will wind up on our wall somewhere and the rest here are some of my other favorite images. Thank you so much, Cody!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

November in Summary

We had a very busy November! Blair's niece got married and I took bridal pictures and assisted with wedding day pictures. It was a beautiful wedding! The week after the wedding Blair's sister and her family came to stay with us for 5 days while they were in between houses. That's when the above picture was taken. Ella loved having her cousins around and still asks for "Nanna" (Savannah-her 10 year old cousin). It was a full house, but we enjoyed the company.

The following week I spent a lot of time taking pictures for a school play. The kids were in grades 1-3 and they were darn cute. It was so fun to see the different personalities as I took individual pictures in costume. I won't post any pictures because I didn't ask permission from the parents and I want to respect privacy. But trust me, they were adorable.

The week of Thanksgiving I actually flew to Utah to meet with some professors and try to rescue some semblance of a thesis project. It became obvious in late October that my project wasn't going to pan out into usable data so we had to come up with plan B. It was a whirlwind 3-day trip but I think things look good now for completing my thesis. During the trip I left Ella here with Blair and had my first nights baby-free since she was born. It was so strange to not have to worry about when someone else was hungry or tired or bored. I got so much done! But I really missed Ella and Blair. Trips alone can get, well, lonely.

I came home the night before Thanksgiving and we had a lovely Thanksgiving day at Blair's sister's house. She was a fabulous host for 25 people and the weather was so gorgeous that we ate outside on the patio. Stephanie set a beautiful table--actually 3 beautiful tables--and we all stuffed ourselves silly and stayed late playing games and eating pie.

I'll stop here for now and save decorating for Christmas for another post. November sure kept us on our toes, but we made some good memories!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Sometimes you just know it's time for a change. Not long ago I chose the name Ella Rose for my photography business because I was inspired by my daughter and because I felt it conveyed beauty. But I've never been entirely happy with the name. I don't just strive to capture beauty--I try to capture beautiful moments to remind people of joyous times in their lives. So I toyed with other ideas and one day it hit me out of the blue that my childhood nickname should be the inspiration for the name of my photography business. Katie Joy. I find joy in life and I capture joyful moments through my lens. Hopefully, the work I do will help people remember the joy in their past.

So, before I get much more established, I am making the change. You can link to my new site here: and check out some more pictures of this beautiful bride. And since I won't be posting again on my Ella Rose blog, don't forget to change your bookmarks, bloglines, or blog lists. Thank you for looking!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When Mom Isn't Looking

When mom isn't looking, here's one thing Ella does...
Can't forget the tummy...
Am I pretty or what?

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Ella was a great sport this Halloween. She let us dress her up like a Jack 'o lantern and even kept her hood on. I think she actually liked the costume and she knew we thought she was cute. The night before Halloween we went to a trunk or treat with Blair's sister and her family. We ate yummy food and admired some great costumes. I even dressed up like a witch for the event but I forgot to get a picture. Here are a couple of snapshots of Ella in her costume.

Ella got to hang out with her cousin, Luke Skywalker
On Halloween we went over to Blair's sister's house so Ella could go out trick or treating with her cousins. She brought back some great candy for us.
And while we were there she got to meet one of her relatives
Since Halloween, Ella has taken to dressing up. If any of her clothes are sitting out she wants me to either change her clothes or put something on over what she is already wearing. I shouldn't be surprised since I loved playing dress-up when I was a little girl. We sure love our little girl!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

E's First Haircut

Some people call me rash, but I prefer spontaneous. I up and decided to cut Ella's hair on Friday. I've been thinking about it for a long time because her hair was getting longer in back and was pretty uneven. It's also pretty straight and fine so I figured a little cut would help it look a bit fuller. So Friday I just decided to go with it. I recruited Blair to help distract Ella with a book and an apple (though I was prepared to resort to a popsicle), got her hair nice and wet, then went to town with the scissors.




The Result


The difference is fairly subtle but I think it pretty cute and it should grow in nicely now, too.

By the way, if anyone ever says it's easy to give a toddler a haircut, they're either trying to trick you or impress you. And they're lying through their teeth. I'm lucky that it's pretty even at the bottom.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Garage Sale

A few weeks ago Blair and I cleaned out the garage for Blair's dad and we decided to combine a bunch of stuff from that with a bunch of our stuff that we don't need/want any more and have a garage sale. Sounded like a good idea when I suggested it. After many hours of cleaning, gluing, hefting, dragging, painting, and taping, we finally had our stuff ready and signs waiting to be placed around the neighborhood. The sale was just over a week ago on Friday and Saturday mornings. (Those are garage sale days around here.)

Surprisingly, traffic on Friday was much better than on Saturday and we sold a lot more on Friday than on Saturday. I really thought it would be opposite. Also, people wouldn't take the initiative to bargain with us! It's a garage sale, people! When I say $5, it really means I'll probably let it go for $3. Maybe $2 if you make me laugh. Or $1 if you buy something else, too. So don't roll your eyes, throw the object back on the table, and stomp off to your car. Make me an offer! I love to negotiate.

We also met lots of interesting people. There were super friendly morning people, grandmas who came to look while grandpa stayed in the running car, moms dragging kids out to hunt for new toys, groups of men with trailers looking for super cheap furniture to refurbish and re-sell, and the eccentric types who were decked out in gypsy clothing and had little room left in their cars after visiting several sales.

The whole experience was actually refreshing in some ways. I enjoyed visiting with such a wide array of people in such a short amount of time. Plus we got rid of a bunch of stuff that was just taking up space and we even made a decent amount of cash. I'd definitely do it a few years. After I've forgotten just how much work it takes.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Camping for Fall Break

Ella eating breakfast at the picnic table
In Arizona the schools have a fall break in October. I never had a fall break when I was a kid, but October in Missouri required sweaters, jackets, and the occasional winter coat. Here you can finally play outside without getting heat stroke. So Blair's sister organized a little camping trip while her kids were out of school. His other sister came with her family and Blair and I tagged along. We went to Dead Horse Ranch State Park and had a fun time. The daytime weather was beautiful, the evenings and mornings were a bit nippy, and at night we shivered. But I was thrilled to feel the cool air! Ella had a fun time riding around in her stroller and hiking backpack. She fared really well considering her age and the fact that we wouldn't let her scoot around in the dirt. I enjoyed hanging out around the campfire and hiking along the pretty creek. It's a great place to go for a low key vacation!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Family Reunion Part 3

We let Ella play with some wild flowers for a little while when we took a hike at the reunion. She cried at first because she doesn't like sitting in the grass, but when she got distracted by the flowers and passing 4-wheelers, she was much happier.
Really mom? More pictures?
Love those eyelashes...

Her favorite part was riding on dad's back when he was running.
Those eyelashes again...
And this is what we saw when we walked back up to the cabin. Good thing it was in park...they really meant business.
And this is Ella riding back from the reunion--rejecting her baby doll for an ipod touch and a hat with attitude. I didn't think this was supposed to happen for at least 10 more years...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Family Reunion Part 2

There were plenty of fun activities at the family reunion. We had a bunch of 4-wheelers that we could take out to see the beautiful scenery.

We also had a family auction to raise money for the next reunion in a couple of years. People donated items or services for sale and anyone in the family could bid. Here's my brother playing auctioneer and sporting a punch bowl and plastic necklaces for sale. The reflection in the bowl shows most of the family. For the auction I made a bunch of glass bead jewelry and also donated 5 dozen homemade chocolate chip cookies and a photo session.
We also saw some pretty sunsets and enjoyed the campfire each night.
There was, of course, the option to hike.
Ella sure got a kick out of that outing.
Next post: Ella meets wildflowers

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Family Reunion Part 1

Blair and I took off for a couple of weeks to attend my family reunion and spend some time with my family in Idaho. It was a great trip and the family reunion was a lot of fun. We went to our family cabin near Lava Hot Springs for three days of camping, log splitting, 4-wheeling, eating, and letting the kids be dirty. Here are a few pictures.

Enjoying the campfire right before we put Ella to bed
My manly lumberjack
Just a few of the 20 grandchildren...Ella is playing in the exersaucer
Ella discovered olives...and she loves to put them on her fingers as she eats them.
I wasn't lying when I said we let the kids be dirty...but we tried not to let them eat the dirt.
Ella loved her cousin, Jacob. She thought he was her own personal baby and loved to give him hugs and kisses.
Ella also adores girls around the ages of 9-12 so whenever she spotted Emmy, she reached her hands out and begged to be held.
More pictures to come!