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Category: Project 365 (2009)   |   View all recent posts

Day 352 ~ Oh, Tannenbaum. Oh, Tannenbaum
WHAT: Project 365 (2009)   |   WHEN: December 22, 2009
Kylie and I's first Christmas tree together.  Don't let the presents under the tree fool you into thinking we're done shopping.  Those are all the work of Kylie.  Her gifts are still to come.  What?  It's still 4 days until Christmas.  I've got plenty-o-time.  Actually, I've already secured most of her gifts. The issue is that I'm gift-wrapping challenged and it takes me a ridiculously looong time to wrap gifts.  Actually, I'm not so much wrapping challenged as I am a control freak about wanting my wrapping jobs to look like something out of a catalog.  

On a somewhat related note, I had to laugh yesterday when Kylie made the comment, "You do realize it's all about quantity, not quality, right?"  She would much rather have a plethora of boxes to open of less-significant value/quality than fewer gifts of higher value/quality.  I'm pretty sure I'm the exact opposite.  Should be fun.

Here's a second image where I got pretty close to the tree, switched my lans to manual focus, and intentionally blurred out the lights.  I liked the result.


Day 349 ~ Forgotten
WHAT: Cityscapes & Landscapes, Project 365 (2009)   |   WHEN: December 20, 2009
We drove 120 miles round trip today to pick up a fruitcake for my father-in-law.  Got to see how they make these 'cakes' at the famous Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, TX.  That was pretty cool.  The taste?  Not so much. Who eats these things?  No, sersiously.  Who eats these things?  [Garry - if you're reading this - this is one instance where I'm glad the proverbial apple fell far from the fruit cake tree]

Kylie semi-bribed me into going on this mini-roadtrip by telling me I could bring my camera.  Ironically, after just finishing up the fall/holiday phtography season, picking up my camera wasn't near the top of my list.  I did find this old, abandoned house off the highway, though, that I thought might make some interesting images.  So we stopped by and while Kylie went through her weekly coupon regiment in the car (which, btw, led to a 51% savings at the grocery store later in the day), I jumped out and flirted with chiggers and field mice to capture these images.  As I'm writing this, Kylie is telling me to tell the internet that she was the one who pointed out the piano sitting in the tall grass.  Sooo, on the count of three everyone say it with me... Thank you, Kylie, for pointing out the piano sitting in the tall grass.  For the record, I kinda think I maybe just mighta noticed it, too, (it's the dark object by the tree on the far right in the image below), but if this gets me an extra present under the tree, I'm happy to do it.


Day 343 ~ Thou Shall Not Covet
WHAT: Fun, Project 365 (2009)   |   WHEN: December 16, 2009

You heard the Man. No Coveting... and that includes this sweet score. This priceless piece of art and I were magically united when Kylie drew lucky number 12 (out of 12 people) in the white elephant gift exchange we had this past Sunday night with our church couples group.  It was destiny.  I - from my 10 spot - had already smugly stolen a USB cup warmer from another unsuspecting giftee after the set of candles I initially drew was stolen from me.  Knowing my wife would get some use out of the cup warmer since I don't drink anything that's room temperature or warmer, I was content with my sacrificial pick for the betterment of our marriage [read: brownie points]. 

And then fate stepped in.  With her final pick, Kylie somewhat reluctantly picked up the lone "present" left on the table.  It was heavy. I was not impressed as heavy often equates to misplaced hopes & dreams for quality in white elephant exchanges.  But this was no dream. She lifted the mass from the bag and slowly shed the tissue paper hiding the mystery within.  When the last shred fell to the ground, she held it up and a momentary hush came over the crowd of onlookers.  Then they ooh'd and ahh'd in approval... or laughter.  And from that point on - since, after all, what's mine is hers and hers is mine - we were the proud owners of the leagle [lion + eagle]... or at least I was.  Others may mock us, but they mock in respect, because they know we walked out with the most coveted gift of the evening, maybe not for it's beauty or value, but because it will once again be the best white elephant gift at the first exchange we get invited to next year during the holidays.

Until then, or at least for the rest of the Christmas season, the leagle has landed on my desk in my photography gallery room and will sit there regally and garner respect from all those who are priviledged enough to see it in person. Did you know that if you rub the leagle's beak and toss a fiver into the jar I'm going to put out next o him, your practically gauranteed to have something good happen to you in the next 4 days?  And BTW, I'm fully aware it may not be part eagle, but leagle sounds better than lion + some-other-bird. 

So, lastly, the leagle needs a name.  Feel free to leave a comment with suggestions.  In the meantime, admire him from your keyboard... but don't covet him.


Day 336 ~ The Reames [Family Time]
WHAT: Families, Kids, Project 365 (2009)   |   WHEN: December 9, 2009
As I mentioned in yesterday's post, my cousin Aaron, his wife Jen, their little man Spencer and his baby sister Alexandra came to stay with Kylie and I for a few days during Thanksgiving.  We loved having them because we get along so well an have a relaxed, easy-going, fun time when we're together.  Oh, and on a personal note, having Aaron around makes me feel validated in my absent-mindedness.  I swear if I didn't know any better, I'd convince you he and I were separated at birth... he and I can relate all to well when it comes to having mental lapses in seemingly routine, everyday tasks.  See some Windex in the fridge?  Good luck figuring out if it was Aaron or me that put it there.  Wondering why half the cabinet doors in the kitchen are opened?  It's eeny-meeny-miny-mo.  See someone looking around the house to find his keys only to realize 6 minutes later they're in his hand?  It's a toss up.  Cell phone in the trash?  Take your pick.  We are truly brothers from another mother.  Aaron and I prefer to think of it as creative genius.  Jen and Kylie?  Not so much.  If nothing else, it makes for cheap entertainment. 

While they were with us, Aaron and Jen wanted to do some custom photography with the kids, so we loaded up and headed up to Chestnut Square in McKinney late one afternoon and stole a little Texas sun for these Bostonians.  I say Bostonians, but they bleed scarlet and gray and will always be Buckeyes before anything else.

Here's my favorites from our session that day as well as a few extras from later in the week.

Leading off is Spencer and his rock star hair.  Bask in it's awesomeness for a moment.

And then there's sweet, sweet Alexandra.  She loooves to be held.

Here's Aaron doin' his best frog impression with Spencer on his back.  Aaron was suckin' wind after about 6 leaps... which is 4 more than I coulda done.

Breakin' out the Buckeye gear.  Future OSU cheerleader?

Spencer's probably gonna grow up to be some sort of intellectual smarty-pants like his dad, but if that rocket science stuff doesn't work out, he's got a back-up future in photographer assisting.

Hey, here's Goofus and Galiant.  I'll claim the Goofus role simply because of my goofus smile.  Zoinks... I've lost my smile and can't find it.

These next two were taken out on the front sidewalk around 5:15pm on Thansgiving day.  [not pictured: A nikon SB-900 flash on a small stand with a 24" octagon soft box on camera left; Aaron and my buddy Jeff holding up the fabric backdrop Alexandra's sitting on (with Aaron holding a small, cheap little video light for a little hair light action); Jen at camera left chanting in vain, "It's peanut butter jelly time! It's peanut butter jelly time!" trying to get Alexandra to crack a smile; me behind the camera wondering what the neighbors walking and driving by are thinking of our little Olan Mills-ish ghetto mobile studio set-up on the front lawn on Thanksgiving.]

A little more front lawn action the next day.

And finally, a little behind the scenes look at some real brother and sister love in case you were thinking Spencer and Alexandra where all smiles all the time.  Our sessions weren't completely drama free, but for the most part the kiddos were awesome.

Thanks for coming Aaron & Jen!  It truly was great seeing you and hopefully we can make a habit of it.


Day 334 - The Fears {Family Time}
WHAT: Families, Kids, Project 365 (2009)   |   WHEN: December 6, 2009
Hello, Fears family.  Seems like we just saw each other, doesn't it?  Oh wait, we did... in July.  Little Max is even more awesomer now as his personality continues to grow way too big for his little man body.  This guy's a charmer, and we had fun hanging out with dad Chris & mom Dallas again this time at Adriatica in McKinney.  This time around we made an outdoor play date for the afternoon to enjoy the awesome autumn weather which was was much different than the 97 degree weather we had the first time aroumd.

Here's my favorites from round 2 this year.

I love the look on little Max's face in this image.  Hilarious.

This image cracks me up.  Max was getting ready to belly flop on to his dad, and it appears he's announcing to the world his intentions... or he's serenading Chris.

Hi.  My name's Max, and I'm pretty GQ. 


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