Week in the Life Lemieux Style: Monday

Aloha!! I am playing along this week with Ali Edwards and many others and participating in Week In The Life. As much as I thought I was prepared, reading and watching album shares. I wasn’t quite ready for this project. Maybe it was the National Scrapbooking Day Weekend Online Crops that I took part in, or maybe I was so excited about doing this project that, when life in all it’s craziness happened I wasn’t quite satisfied with how it was turning (is still turning) out. I will say I am reminding myself this week, that there will always be next year, it doesn’t have to be perfect, my pictures don’t have to be perfect. This project is about taking a look at our lives. The Ins and Outs. The comings and comings. The messiness of life, the boring parts of life. The things that have a way of changing in small ways and then years down the road your realize your life isn’t the same anymore.

I think about what my life was like three years ago and it was so different. All my children were under the age of four. It was business, and naps and baby talk and bottles. I would have never imagined all that would be my life today. And that is really why I want to do this project so much.

So enough of the gabbing and on with my Monday, because yes it has taken that much time to edit my photos. (I realized I don’t really have much time to do a lot of mass photo editing during the day. I also realize that I don’t need to use the awesome and cool templates Ali has in her store until after my week is done.) It’s document now and then record it later! That is the best advice I can give you!! That and keep a little notepad with you it really helps with recording times if you want or thoughts, and conversations you heard throughout the day!!

 

This is Monday!!

Monday This is Espo

 

09:20am

Monday 920am

I literally wake up with a national scrapbooking day online crop hangover. I did 11 layouts over the weekend, hosted three google hangout sessions (that went for long periods of time) and chatted, posted and hung out online all weekend. It is a blast too!! But I was beat. This is how I felt!! Wanted to stay in bed all day. But we have school… So tie to get up.

10:37am

Monday 1037am

The kitchen is a HOT MESS!! it’s so bad I didn’t even want to take pictures of it. Sink overflowing with dishes, floor needed to be swept, counters needed to be re washed. The is what happens when Momma takes the weekend off from major chores. My coffee had to wait until I did my (and Lani’s ) chores.

Monday 1045am

It’s nice to sit down at the table while the kids are playing upstairs hoping I will forget we have school. I let them play while I check Facebook, listen to Megan’s Voxer messages and drink some coffee.

 

11:20am

Monday 1120am

I find Darth Vader in our laundry basket. It Monday and I try to do as much of our laundry then. This week there seems to be an overwhelming amount of it to fold. I wonder if Darth is actually causing my clothes to multiply or helping me destroy laundry?!

The kids have actually eaten breakfast and starting on school work. I am not gonna lie. We have about two weeks left of school, and the kids are ready to be done. Lots of stalling is going on.

11:42am

MOnday 1142am

This darn dog!! He is stealing the kid’s toys AGAIN!! This is the second toy already this morning he has stolen. I really thinks he does it because he wants attention. It’s hard to focus on him when I have housework and school work to do. It’s annoying that he does this!! He has ruined many of things this year with this habit.

Monday 1158am

I get this message today from my Hubby. This is part of our conversation. I thought it was quite comical. He told me he was planning a date night tonight at home. And to think of Red. I start naming things that were Red.

12:30pm

Ben comes home for lunch, which normally doesn’t happen (I decided not to get any pictures of him since he wasn’t home long)

Lani is working on Math and Roman numerals and division. (How did she get so big?!!)

1:07pm

Monday 107pm

I’m making peanut butter and nutella sandwiches for lunch. That’s Sam and Cayden’s favorite kind of sandwiches. Lani prefers Salami and cheesy bread (she really doesn’t like crust).  This year I have also started switching out some of the foods we are eating to healthier choices. Things like natural peanut butter, raw honey, coconut oil, chia seeds and much more fruits and veggies. I really want to switch to even more homemade foods and less processed junk.

2:00pm

Monday 200pm

I made some smoothies today for my lunch. I always tend to make extras, so I share with the kids.

Monday 215pm

While the kids are doing their school and drinking smoothies I keep folding laundry.

1:20pm

Monday 119pm

The girls are stalling by showing me their boo boos. Cayden has a mark from Sam. And Lani pinched her finger in the door.  I am grateful for the fact that I can still help my kids feel better when they are hurt. I know soon there will be times this won’t be the case.

Monday 120pm

 

2:30pm

Monday 215pm

I let the dog out and notice my plumeria flower is getting ready to bloom soon. This makes me so happy, I was thinking that they may not be ready before we go. It has been pretty cloudy this spring and these flowers really like the sun.

2:40pm

Monday 240pm

Sam is playing planes in the living room while his sisters are doing school. It’s really hard for him to play without them. There are many days where I have to remind him not to bug them. The girls get easily distracted.

3:30pm

Monday 315pm

Dinner Prep for the kid’s. I am using the leftover ricotta, mushrooms and spinach from the calzones Ben made for Mother’s Day. He made lots of filling, and it was perfect for the manicotti shells I had in the pantry.

4:25pm

Monday 425pm

The laundry is mostly all folded now, this is all waiting to be brought up stairs.

4:36pm

Monday 435pm

The manicotti is ready to come out of the oven. It looks and smells so yummy.

5:46pm

Monday 546pm

Ben gets home late from work. Mostly because he stopped at the store to get these pretty roses. Flowers are rare, mostly because I would rather not spend the money on things that die so quick. It is nice for a change though.

Monday 551pm

Our date night theme is Red. these are the goodies Ben has brought home. It is nice that he is so romantic!! It makes me feel special after a long day of normal, boring housework.

6:53pm

Monday 650pm

Ben also bought me a cute outfit, in red (that didn’t fit me 🙁 I give him tons of credit though. He even looked in my dresser to try to figure out my size.) I took a shower and even shaved my legs!! I found this dress in my closet that was red, since I was trying to fit the theme, and my other outfit didn’t fit.

After getting ready I prayed with Sam, and Ben prayed with the girls. Our routine normally is that I pray with the kids Monday through Thursday, since Ben works during the week. Then on the weekend he prays with them.

7:33pm

Monday 733pm

Ben has the dinner table all ready to eat. It looks so nice!! Candles, wine, Crab cakes and Mussels. Ben pulls out the chair for me. We eat and talk. It is nice even though I know the kids are just upstairs going to bed. It still feels like it is just me and him. No phones, no distractions. (unless the kids come down stairs for something, which thankfully they don’t).

Ben puts dinner away and checks on the kids. The girls are still up.

8:45pm

Monday Movie 845pm

We watch the Martian downstairs. Ben knows this is one of my favorite books from this year, which is how he got the red theme idea from. We only rented the movie but after watching it we decided we need to buy it. It was really good, and better true to book.

We eat dessert while watching the movie, and it is perfect. I know they are cheaper cakes, but I the the little pepperidge farms cakes. So moist and tasty. Ben said it was to sweet for him.

After the movie we head upstairs and go to bed. It is getting late. We put in Jurassic Park World to fall asleep, instead of Bones or NCIS (which is our normal show). I kept my phone off and tried to stay unplugged. It is hard for me. But I think it is starting to be important for me to have times when I can unplug and be away from social media and spend time (quality time) with my family.

 

That was my Monday. Filled with highs and lows, good and bad, but overall a great day. I got things done around the house so it was more in order. At first I thought I wasn’t going to have enough pictures to show how our life, our routine but after writing this post up. Really looking at our day. It really shows how ours days are typically filled with good and crappy parts of the day.

Can’t wait to share with you my Tuesday!!

Aloha, Hannah

 

Continue Reading

Let’s take a hike: Waimea Falls

Aloha My scrappy friends!!  As it draws closer to us leaving the island I have been adding places to this mental list of adventures I want to take and see. Hawaii is amazing, and has so many things to do and see. I want to visit them all so I can have a mental memory of them. Even if that’s not really practical!! Even if I should be starting to clean and organize.

I decided that once a week the kids and I would take one day a week to go on an adventure. See and do something here in Hawaii. Maybe re visit a place that was magical or visit a place we haven’t been yet. I am taking along my DSLR and capturing our adventures.

I will be sharing each week the adventures we went on and talking a little about the things we seen. Things we did. Revisiting and sharing just the photos from the day.

This past week I took the kids to Waimea Valley and Falls. It is a trail on the North Shore that used to be a living area for some of the local native Hawaiians. As you hike the trail you can go down other trails and see rock buildings and huts the Hawaiians built so many years. The trail eventually leads to a Waterfall that is fun for swimming. (We didn’t swim, since my kids are still quite little and I didn’t trust getting into the water with three kids barely knowing how to swim. The water did look refreshing though!!) The thing I really like about this hike is it’s fairly easy for kids, and there are tons of flowers and cool trees to see.

I didn’t really take pictures of the huts, though now looking through my photos I wished I had, but I will say with three small kids there is only so many pictures they would let me take… and this is where I share pictures I took of the kids waiting for me to take pictures.

waiting for mommy to stop taking photos

bored kids

Sam wasn’t too fond of the hike. He kinda whined the whole way, so stopping often was good and bad. At the end of the day though he said he wanted to go back. Go figure huh?!!

Along the trail there were glimpses of a stream. This stream is from all the rain water that flows down the mountain. The waterfall helps feed this stream.

Where the wild things are

 

Am I in a Jurassic Park moviecopy

It definitely made me feel like I was in the second Jurassic Park movie and any minute a dinosaur would be spotted drinking from the stream.

big gecko on leaves.jpg

We did see some lizards though!!

gecko hiding.jpg

And birds

IMG_2028.jpg

And bees

two sunflowers and the bee

We even made friends with a local (chicken).

our chicken friend.jpg

We took time to smell the roses (or should I say hibiscus)

Leilani smelling the roses.jpg

The flowers along the way were really pretty though. Here are a few that caught my eye.

yellow hibiscus smallpurple flowers with dewRed Yellow Hanging flowerclose up of orange flower near the waterfall

Yes that is the Waterfall in the background!!

The walk is about 3/4 of a mile.

walk in the park.jpgWhen that waterfall comes into view, it is breathtaking!!

waterfall from Bridge.jpg

It’s not really big, as far as what I think of as Hawaiian Waterfalls. The rocks and foliage around the waterfall really creates a cool atmosphere though.

rocks near WaterfallsWaimea falls

close up of waterfall.jpg

There is just something cool about Mother Nature!!

full shot of weird flower tree

We spotted this really cool looking tree along our hike!!

Bee on Sunflower

The Sunflowers were a fun treat. This bee is help pollinate the flowers, He visited each Sunflower in this cluster!!

Starflower

These are one of the coolest flowers I seen along the way!! They are star shaped but the color is so pretty. There kinda look like mushrooms before they open up, don’t they!

 

After We finished hiking the kids got ice pops, because I am not gonna lie. It was getting hot!! It’s summer weather here and that Hawaiian sun can be bright!! After ice pops I stopped and took advantage that the shrimp trucks weren’t to far. IMG_6430

The Coconut Shrimp are my favorite!! Yummy!!

I hope you look forward to my next little day trip and mini adventure. (Though with all the photos I take and share it doesn’t quite seem mini does it?!!)

I can’t wait to share with you! Until next time,  Hannah

 

Continue Reading

Capture

IMG_1473 copy

I love this view!! Can I just start off by saying that!! I often look at these mountains and feel SUPER lucky to be able to see them everyday!! EVERYDAY! i just have to let that sink in.

In a little over a month I will be leaving this beautiful Island and moving some place new. I love adventure, and I know that our new place will have tons of that. But a part of my heart hurts knowing I have to leave this behind. When we came here on our honeymoon almost 10 years ago, I never imagined that I would be able to ever come back again.

And here it was some odd years later and we find out our next duty station, way far away from family, way far away from where we asked to maybe move, way far away from all we knew, but just the perfect place for me. It was like God smiling down on me, giving me a little gift because he knew I would never ask to visit again, I would never be selfish enough to imagine myself being able to live in this place that I had loved so much.

I know I am lucky, I had lived in Hawaii as a seven year old, and got to be able to go back for my honeymoon that first summer my husband and I were married. It was so much more than someone like me could really ask for. But I had also fell in love with the beauty of this place. It just calls to you. And you dream about it, thinking if only you could go again.

The day my husband told me our orders, I truly knew it was a God thing. Sometimes you just know when God does something nice for you to say Hey, Hannah I love you. I care about what you love!! Here you go, go live there for a little while.

I was so happy!! I am so happy, that I got to come back here for the third time. Many people never get the chance to view the tranquil breeze, the sunshine kissing your nose and the fine sand in between their toes. The taste of fresh sweet juicy pineapple or smell the soft fragrance of plumerias. I am LUCKY! I AM THANKFUL!!

Now after living here for three years is it perfect, of course not, definitely not!! I hate the traffic getting in the city during rush hour, I hate all the rain in the winter, or during a hurricane, I am not fond of the crowds of tourists not paying attention to where they are walking when crossing the streets. But the amazing things here far outweigh, for me at least (Maybe if you ask my husband he would tell you the opposite) the not so appealing things about living in Hawaii.

Now that we are leaving I feel that time clock ticking down and all the things I want to capture before we go, so I can lock them in my brain vault to remember forever!! Having pictures to prove I really was here, even if in the scheme of life it wasn’t really all that long.

I have the hardest time truly getting the perfect shot I long to capture when taking Landscapes, the wide shots. I feel like things get lost in that lens and all the detail I can see when my eye isn’t showing up. One ion the things I am constantly trying to do is practice taking those shots so I can better show others what I see when I look at these things. Like these mountains.

On my photo walk I actually like for the first time in a while I got a landscape shot I am happy with. It’s not perfect. The lighting isn’t all that great, there is a bit of haze from the vog (it has been kinda bad lately), and I wish frankly the houses weren’t in the shot. I am not one to over edit, to take things out, to spend a lot of time shading and coloring the sky and mountains to make them stand out, even if they were to look natural.

This is what I see out of my lens of my camera when I see these mountains. I just want to enhance it a little.

IMG_1472

So this is actually the original shot I took at the park. much more grass, a little more light and it’s hard to see the clouds that were actually in the sky. If you look at the picture at the top I did just a little editing (spent maybe 5 minutes adjusting the levels). And I like the final look.

 

You know when I set out to do this blog post I was gonna tell you all about this layout challenge I did. All about what products I used. How I went over my time limit. How I used a kit to scrap faster. Where I got the cut file I used for the background. But you know what, I feel that this story was so much more important to tell today. I am embracing my storytelling abilities. Because that is what I want my pages and pictures my layouts to be about, telling my story, all of it.

How I love Hawaii and feel honored that I get to set my feet on this holy red tinged dirt, how I get to breathe in the salty fresh breeze on a hot afternoon, how I get to taste the juicest and tangy pineapple. All these things are little treats that make my life so much better. These things help my soul feel happy.

That is the story I am telling today. I will add some pictures of the layout I made and you can browse through them, but I hope what resonates with you is that I am telling my story, the way I know how, through my lens.

I hope my layout says that. Shouts, I Love Hawaii and I am going to miss it, but I will remember it!!

So here are some close ups of the layout I made and I hope they make you smile!! I hope you feel like making a layout about something you love and that brings you joy!! I hope you take the time to capture in your life the things that matter most to you!!

Aloha, Hannah IMG_6488

I think this acetate word from Pink Fresh Studio is my favorite element. It is perfect in the white space of the sky!!

IMG_6485

I kept the embellishments light, since I wanted the star of this layout to be the photo. I probably would be have printed it off larger if I had bigger photo printer paper at home, but I was out.

IMG_6491

I like the way the journaling (which is only half the story I want to tell), is peeking through the clouds!!

IMG_6486

 

IMG_6493

The different textures in the cluster really gives this layout a natural and fun feel. Vellum cloudy like the haze, Cork like the texture of the ridges in the mountains, blue in the hints of sky that are trying to peak through and red like the dirt!

IMG_6483

You can watch my process video here:

(You can also hear more about the 15 minute layout challenge from my friend Crafty Meggy in her Youtube video.)

Continue Reading

Photo Walks

Aloha my scrappy friends!! I hope you had a great weekend. I had such a productive weekend, crafty wise with fun mixed in too. We went to a fund raiser we have starting participating in now that Leilani has been diagnosed with cancer. St. Baldricks is a non profit foundation that raises money and awareness to childhood cancer research. The kids loved seeing their doctor and nurse shave their head to show support.

As I may have mentioned lately, I am taking Ali’s Edwards Lens of Joy. In February I was able to purchase my first DSLR camera. I am now in love!! I completely love this camera, I barely want to use my IPhone, or even my point and shot camera.

Lately to better learn manual mode, because I am really trying to mainly shot in manual. It is scary, and not every picture I get is good, I often find lightening the hardest thing. Probably because where I live in Hawaii, one minute the sun shine is fully out and then the next minute it’s really cloudy. As difficult it is I am really learning how my camera works together to get the shots I do want to capture.

IMG_1627

Here are a couple of examples of shots that didn’t quite turn out because of the lighting, and wind blowing. The top picture I just couldn’t get a good exposure on these flowers. With the wind blowing and the direct sun, the color and exposure is way off. I tried to fix this in Photoshop a little but there was no way to save this photo. I think on my next walk I am gonna try again. Because these little flowers are really pretty and cute. The detail potential really has me wanting to come back for another try.

This bottom one, I kind of like though, even though I was trying to get the closer flowers more in focus. This one is blurry from the amazing Hawaiian breeze we get. I still like how you can see through the tree though.

IMG_1738

 

I have been doing a lot of photo walks. They often end up at the parks in my area, because my kids like to play. I actually really have enjoyed this though. I get a chance to capture my kids having fun playing, which is different then shots of my kids up close. I have realized I like to take shots closer, and with less background. I like that I am finding my photo voice. I am trying to take a step back and get more in my lens but I am also embracing this close look too.

 

IMG_1706

Here is an example of me taking a closer shot while my girls were playing on the playing. This bottom photo is me taking a step back and taking wider shot on purpose.

IMG_1718

I thought it might be fun to share some of the photos I have taken on my walks, and what I love about them. Especially since in scrapbooking and story telling photos can be so important for capturing a feeling you want to express. (not that all the pictures I took on my walks are for story telling purposes, because many of them are just for fun.)

Here is an example of a cool shot I took in my yard, on the first day. It was really cloudy and then started raining before we could take our walk. I took these shots anyway, just playing around with my camera. I really love how cool these shot looked.

IMG_1425

I then took this close up. I was really trying to get a spider web that was in between the links. It ended up being to delicate to get a shot of. Maybe if I had a macro lens I could have gotten the shot I wanted. But this link one still was cool.

IMG_1428

Since I apparently am on a kick for shooting pictures of chain links I thought I would share this shot I took on my last photo walk at the park my kids like to play at from time to time.  I was looking through the first link with my lens. obviously these pictures really aren’t for any kind of story but it was still fun to let go and just take pictures of things that were different. (I am actually thinking that some of these cool pictures that I have taken I want to get put on canvases and hang in the house as art pieces.)

IMG_1723

Here are some more of the photos I took on that cloudy rainy day. (Technically this wasn’t a photo walk I know, but I did take a few of photos throughout my yard)

I have tons of flowers in pots in my yard. I love when they are blooming.

IMG_1414

IMG_1375

The veins in my plumeria trees are so cool. It will still be a little while before they bloom this year. I hope I can see at least on of them bloom. I planted them from small stubs, and they have grown so much in the three years that we have been here. I am sad I have to leave then behind.

IMG_1402 copy

IMG_1400

I wanted to get down low and get so shots of Sam playing with his cars. It was hard to not get all the stuff in the background that is on our patio. It really isn’t that big so it seems cluttered most of the time.

IMG_1419

IMG_6130

These last two shots, I took to play around with perspective. Sam loves to line his toys up a lot. There is no order to it, but it’s kinda fun. To get all the background noise if you will, I took this overhead shot, slightly to the side. I really like this shot. But the shot I took up above, was fun too. I got on my tummy. I wanted a kid’s eye view. Because Sam gets all down into his toys when he is playing.

This picture of my flowers was the next day. The sun was out a little more, which helped it not look so dark, like the first picture I got. Also my flowers opened up a little more. This is my favorite shot I took in my yard. These orchids look so pretty and boy are they hearty. If only you could see the shape of my poor pot is in, it’s a wonder this orchid still blooms!!

IMG_1456

These pictures are from the first actual walk I took.

IMG_1530

IMG_1525 copy

These water manholes were so cool. They are all rusty and ragged, but the texture and lines on them I just love.

IMG_1548 copy

Can’t forget to get more pictures of the local flowers!! The color on these Hibiscus is so vibrant!!

IMG_1466

Leilani and Sam wanted to hold hands on our walk. They look so sweet together. I love how much all my kids love each other. It’s easy to forget about all the bickering and fighting when you see a picture like this.

IMG_1473

Wide angle landscape shots are the hardest for me to take. I feel like the dramatic look these mountains have is lost in the lens. I really want to change the way I look at these mountains so I can get better shots. I did edit this in Photoshop to make the contrast in the mountains a little more. It tends to be hazy here in hawaii and I find that it really lightens up the mountains in my shots. The detail of the ridges in these mountains is incredible. I will miss looking at these mountains everyday for sure.

IMG_6164

This photo of Cayden is hilarious, which is why I included it. She was so hot from our walk. This shade is apparently just what she needed!! Being in the tree was necessary too!! The life of a six year old!!

IMG_6165

I love the perspective of this shot of Cayden in this tunnel at the park.

IMG_1496 copy

I let Sam and Cayden play in the splash pad, and this picture of Sam running through the water is so much fun!!  This bottom photo is one of my fave at the park. I love the perspective and the feeling of this shot. I love how I got the shot at the exact moment he pressed the water button!!

IMG_6170

IMG_1539

I took this on the way home from our walk. I wanted to play around with a self portrait style of photo. I barely am in the pictures of our albums. This is a fun way to add me to the albums along with the kids.

 

These last set of photos are from our second photo walk.

IMG_1621

They are just so cute!! It’s their turn to walk together on our second photo walk. I will admit I was disappointed in the pictures I too on the walk to the park. They really didn’t come out. The sun was shining so bright, I had a hard time getting good shots that weren’t all blown out. But really it’s ok, because the shots I did get and of the kids playing doing the things they love are what matters. Yes, I am hoping to really add to the Hawaii nature shots so I have lots to look at and admire when we leave. But in the long run, I think I will love looking at the pictures of my kids enjoying them selves in the years to come. I really learned a lot about getting good running and moving shots that day. So really I think that walk was a major win, instead of a loss.

Lani wanted to play the drums and apparently they sound cooler when you use your elbows!!

IMG_1668

IMG_1666

IMG_1692

Here is another example of how I like to take close up photos. I love how the movement of Cayden’s hair looks like in this picture. I think if I had gotten a full size shot of her, that aspect may have gotten lost.

IMG_1681

I got lots of pictures of the kids, especially Sam. He really would get sad when I wasn’t taken his picture. He was loving this fake rock mountain!!

IMG_1676

And the slide!!  Sam kept bugging Leilani to play Tag. I love this shot of them running I got. I love that with a fast shutter, I can freeze frame them!!

IMG_1737

To finish off my pictures is another shot I took in my yard, this last day. My plumeria is budding. I love the detail and color of the buds. I love how all these little buds will eventually be beautiful big flowers, with pinks, oranges and yellows on their petals.
IMG_1608

I hope you enjoyed going on this walk with me. I shared tons of photos. This isn’t even all I took. I really was trying to play and get to know my camera along with capturing my kids. I love how by changing myself I could get a whole new look.

I hope I inspired you to think a little different at how you take pictures. I hope you learn to love this aspect of story telling. I am realizing that I connect  so much more as I focus on new aspects, different aspects of what I am taking photos of. I will say that I will do try to take pictures and then put my camera down too though. I still want to interact with my kids, my surroundings to connect too. I think this balance is most necessary in learning to tell our story.

Aloha, Hannah

Continue Reading