Sunday, November 29, 2009

We are family

I went to Jersey on Saturday to visit my brother and his family. My sister Judy had flown in from Florida for a surprise 50th birthday party for a friend and was staying at my brother’s place. I hadn’t seen my niece and nephew for awhile, and realized while I was there how much I’d missed them.

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This is Alexa. She was off to a soccer game (the second one of the day). She’s a tiger when it comes to playing soccer.

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This is Josh with his dad, my brother Pete. Josh is a hoot and a half.

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And he loves the camera.

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They wanted to see the photos as soon as I took them and seemed happy with the results.

All of these photographs, with the exception of the first, were processed using my favorite b&w actions. They’re from Kevin Kubota and are called chocolate syrup. I love the softness of the sepia tones. The chocolate syrup actions are included in his Artistic Tools V.1 pack, for those out there who are into this sort of thing. I bought the pack as a birthday present to myself last fall.

We went out to dinner and I rarely go out to dinner, so this was a treat. And then we went across the road to the mall at Cherry Hill. Wow! The Cherry Hill Mall is huge! The kids wanted to visit Santa and thankfully, there were only a few families in line ahead of us. It was a fun afternoon and I’m so glad I made the trip.

Today I am planning on avoiding Christmas decorating. I used to love doing it, but lately for some reason, it just makes me sad. What is up with that?!!

So what are you up to today? Inquiring minds want to know.

39 comments:

CarlaHR said...

Good morning Kate, It's been a busy weekend for you and I'm so pleased that you enjoyed yourself and reconnected with your extended family and thank you for sharing it with us via those lovely pictures.
I've been feeling like you about Christmas for a few years now (probably since my mother died). Our family is small and scattered so we don't get to see each other during the holiday season (we usually get together before or after). I think though that part of the reason for the sadness is that the holiday has become so commercialized - it is as if, if you are nor rushing from one party to another and if your home is not decorated to the nines, you are made to feel (or we make ourselves feel) marginalized. That having been said I will light one candle today to celebrate the first Advent and put a wreath on my front door.

Anonymous said...

Kate, the pictures were great. We were so happy to see you yesterday! We love the photos. How could you not be in the mood to decorate after seeing our house???? We are incentive for everyone! Pete is actually heading up on the roof today to finish the job. Josh and Alexa love seeing themselves online!
Love, Pat and Pete

Laura ~Peach~ said...

those little persons are adorable and oh the mischief on one joshes face... just made my face smile and heart swell... I love little guys who just look like they are planning something LOL. Glad you had fun! HUGS Laura

TSannie said...

What lovely children!

Christmas is so very commercialized it's lost some of its loveliness.

Leenie said...

Decorating is a great tradition but your family looks like the true treasure. Being able to visit and become better acquainted is the best part of the holidays. Your photos captured sincere warm smiles.

Daryl said...

Lovely family .. such an imp that Josh .. wicked fun eyes

Decorating my friend's tree was always so much fun ., we'd play Christmas music, have some wine or nog and gossip as we trimmed . now that their son is moved to CA gotten married and had a baby the decorating isn't as much fun or anticipated the way it used to be .. so maybe you are feeling the same lack of enthusiasm for lack of kids to decorate with/for ... as a Jewess looking in, I think this holidays true spirit is sharing family and friends and its in a very big way about the kid in all of us

Ellen said...

I hear you about the Christmas spirit thing and I wholeheartedly agree with Annie - just too commercial. Since some stores have had Christmas things out since the "back to school" things were put away, it's gotten old. Making nut roll with my parents this weekend helps my Christmas spirit though and knowing my son will be home from school for semester break in just three weeks helps too.

You were so close to me this weekend. We must plan to meet soon.

A New England Life said...

I'd say the camera loves Josh too! Alexa, what a lovely girl. It's awesome that she's into sports. Girls need that interaction.

As for me today, I'm headed to Walmart to try and find a Poinsettia to make into a Topiary. Then I'm going to Kohls to look for holiday napkins.

I'm also going to check out that Artistic Tools pack ; )

Have a good Sunday, Kate.

These Nine Acres said...

Looks like a great visit. Ever since my grandparents died and my parents moved away, decorating is a chore and sad for me too.

Country Girl said...

Pat, I am so glad you and the family liked the pictures! I wish I had taken more.
Thanks everyone, for putting it into words. Maybe we can just encourage each other with the whole decorating thing because after reading this, I feel the urge to take a walk down by the little town on the canal and get some decorating ideas . . .

JackDaddy said...

Hmmmm, a hoot and a half. I think that's about 42 teaspoons of hoot! :)

As always, wonderful pictures!

Country Girl said...

OMG, JackDaddy. Hilarious!

Caroline said...

I have been to that Cherry Hill mall...huge is right! Your family is lovely...what fantastic photos you took of them. Sorry to hear you are feeling a bit sad about decorating...just take it easy...the decorating can wait. :)

Jill of All Trades said...

Hi Kate,
My blog is full of stuff I've been up to lately. Love you pictures. Last year my Christmas stuff made me sad too but this year I had a soup and a decorating party, oh and my girls were by my side. I was happy this year.

Michelle said...

We are talking about cutting our Christmas tree today, but I am just not in the mood for the mess and the decorating and all that yet. DH is gone next weekend, though, so if we don't do it today, it will have to wait two weeks.....

Mary said...

Your niece and nephew are so cute, and I love the portraits -- beautiful processing. I will have to check out those actions. Right now I'm lusting after the new Red Leaf Boutique actions...

Don't stress over the decorating. Hang a wreath, light a candle and call it a day. Maybe make some cookies. That always gets me in the mood... :)

Mental P Mama said...

I am going to a Christening and a cocktail party tonight. Then? I am going to start planning for my special company next weekend!

Brenda @Cozy Little House said...

I don't know what it is. But whatever it is, I have it this year too. Just kind of feel sad for some reason. Not too motivated. I avoid the malls like the plague anyway. If you figure out the malady, please let me know.
Brenda

Betty said...

Your family is as beautiful as you are. I usualy sad this time of year, but I work real hard to get over it.
~~Love Hugs and Good Thoughts~~

Jo said...

Kate, I think people feel sad because too much is expected, for too long. It used to be that the Christmas season started very soon before Christmas (at most two weeks before) and finished just after New Year's. It was a definite Christmas season. Now it starts at the end of November and carries on for way too long. And for all that time folks are supposed to be happy and jolly, la la la... and it's humanly impossible.

I wish we could go back to celebrating Christmas AT Christmastime, not a month before -- and we would get the Christmas spirit back again. It is not meant to be stretched out over weeks and months...

I am happy to hear you call it Christmas -- NOT "holiday". *heh*

I did my annual Christmas post today -- my lecture. *heh, heh* It will probably make some folks angry, but, what the heck. :-)

Country Girl said...

Disclaimer on the action set I mentioned: Last year, they were must less expensive than this. And there was a sale going on. I don't want everyone to think I'm rich. Because I am so not.

Char said...

gorgeous shots and lots of family lovin'

and don't worry about the prices of the tools, nice sets do cost a lot. I have some Michelle Black and Nichole Van that were not cheap either.

Char said...

ps - in looking at that, all the actions you get in that kit, it's very reasonably priced.

Hilary said...

Gorgeous looking family. They must have your genes.

Gail said...

Your talent is showing again. Great pictures and a lovely family.
Glad you got out and enjoyed it.

Sometimes I have to make myself go out. I would be happier many times just under a rock.

Christmas is looming and I, too, am avoiding decorations. If not for my grandson living here, I would not decorate at all.

Have a great evening.

Deb said...

Kate...Lovely photos but it is the subject matter that makes these so special.
Today, I spent part of the day finishing a huge project. Done. Finished. Then daughter and family came over to watch football. Falcons won in the last 20 seconds. Very exciting.
Next, I must prepare 15 kits for next week's class.
busy, busy, busy! But I love it.

Woman in a Window said...

Hey you. Those pictures are very creamy. Delicious looking effect.

Me and the Christmas too, meh. Just a little. Although we did get snow today and that helped matters immensely.

much love
and deck!
You'll feel better afterward.
xo
erin

becky up the hill said...

Some years I go all out on the decorating..then some, not so much. I hope and pray you take off any expectations, and do as little or as much as YOU want. God bless your sweet heart.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Beautiful children, beautiful shots of them.

I've driven past Cherry Hill more times than I can count, going to the Jersey Shore in another life.

Christmas has come all too soon this year, rather it's being forced down our throats too soon. Even my children say so, and when kids say it's too early for Christmas something is commercialized in the state of Denmark. Or something is rotten somewhere. In some state. Daggone it.

Snappy Di said...

Love the photo actions! Chocolaty sweet.

As for today... I WASHED MY WINDOWS!! YAY... photos to follow on blog... LOL

pathetic I know...

Di

Russell said...

Very nice family!

I don't think too mucy about Christmas until about December 15. I am still in the Thanksgiving mode I guess! Heh!

But I think a lot people do start too early with all the Christmas activities.

Take care.

JFKlaver said...

These children are naturals—the camera loves them! As for Christmas, we decided to wait until next weekend to decorate. Christmas music, the smell of baking cookies, pulling out decorations, doesn't seem "right" in November. I like to savor the afterglow of Thanksgiving before leaping into Christmas.

Rachel Lynn said...

Those kids are so cute. Little boys with mischievous grins always make for good photos.

As for the Christmas season, I found it much harder to get into the spirit after moving away from home. But since moving again and being closer to Matt and his family I find it easier.

We put up our Christmas tree on Fri. when we had a little snow. It's a bit earlier than I usually would decorate, but I think it was the snow that motivated me. Unfortunately it had all melted by morning.

And I agree that the smells of baked goodies might put you in the mood.

JFKlaver said...

For those of you not yet in the Christmas spirit and wondering what to give, here's a great link:
http://soulaperture.blogspot.com/

susie said...

Hi Kate. I love your photos and all the things you do with them.

I used to be very gung ho about christmas, when the kids were small and they thought it was such a treat and got so excited. Not so much any more since they've all gone off and started their families, and there's no one here but the cats to enjoy the tree anyway. I just like quiet nights now. So you're probably just sad because the kids are grown and gone.

The Japanese Redneck said...

Cute kids. You can tell he loves the camera.

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

I'm from Jersey but I live in Virginia now. The malls ARE big up there aren't they? And the traffic! Whew, it's so peaceful down here.

Anyway, nice blog. You're a good photographer.

Donalyn said...

I feel the same way about decorating for Christmas the last few years - no idea why. I used to love it, but now it seems like a chore.

ro said...

Dear Kate,
I don't understand why I don't feel like decorating either. I feel somewhat sad about it. We go to our kid's homes for Christmas. They don't seem to have time to come here and it seems to overwhelm them to pack up so it seems easier for us to go to them. I feel rather sad about that. Love reading your blog. It always makes me smile.
Thanks Ro