The Queen: Michelle

The Queen: Michelle
I am 28 years old. Still a princess but the queen of my family. Spoiled beyond belief. Lucky and truely blessed. A lover. A crafter. A mother. A wife. A friend. This is me.

My King: Junior

My King: Junior
The LOVE of my life! He completes me and balances me out in every way. He's a workaholic. He's loud, blunt, and crazy. He drinks Monsters like his life depends on it. Above all he is the greatest Daddy I could ever ask for, for my children. And he treats me like his Queen (and he calls me that too).

The Model Child: Diego Ray

The Model Child: Diego Ray
9 years old. My only boy. He is the epitome of the perfect child. He is so responsible and independent. Wise beyond his years. He is laughter, he is love, he is compassion, he is simply amazing. He keeps me grounded and reminds me always that I am beautiful. He is a natural born leader and takes care of the household and family better than me!

The Diva: Alayna Danae

The Diva: Alayna Danae
7 years old. She is drama. My fashionista for sure with a style all her own. Sensitive and loving when she wants to be. Thumbsucker. My biggest headache because she is the most like me. She is the only one who can cause me to become uncontrollably angry. She loves to dance. She loves to model. My bookworm and most academic.

The Wild Child: Arielle Marie-Grace

The Wild Child: Arielle Marie-Grace
4 years old. This one is something else. She is pure comedy. Never a dull moment with her crazy antics. She is also the crybaby. She does things her own way. She knows what she wants and isn't afraid to be cute to get it. My Disney loving pal. So girly. Her favorite color is pink. Loves Rapunzel. Will wear a dress every single day. Can't leave the house without a bow in her hair. She refuses.

The Munchkin: Atalie Belle

The Munchkin: Atalie Belle
2 years old. My sweet baby. She loves her Mommy above all else. She is a cuddlebug for sure. The calmest most well behaved baby ever! But she has TONS of energy. She is so small and petite. She loves to sing and dance. She so SO ready for ballet and has yet to even step foot in a class. She loves Minnie Mouse and watching Disney Jr. She is hilarious and talks way too much.
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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hiking @ Estrella Mountain

My friend Tiffany and I decided that it would be fun to go hiking yesterday. So we got up super early and went to Estrella Mountain Regional Park. We got there a little before 7am and since neither of us had ever been there before... we drove around like crazy trying to find a trail. After finally finding one we stop and get ready for our hike.

With cameras in hand we began...

It was an almost 2.5 mile hike and walk back to the car and I can't believe we did it!!! Seriously! I never work out. I never walk. I never get out of the house for goodness sakes. And here I am attempting a hike up a mountain. It took us a little over an hour to complete and we only stopped once! I can say that even though I got tired... I was surprised that I didn't almost collapse or finish extremely exhausted. We were hot and sweaty afterward... and a little out of breath... but all in all we both made it!

Here's some pictures to prove it:

This is the trail we decided to take. It's the first one we found. I am not sure if it's the hardest or longest or anything like that.

Our shadows as we begin or walk

This is where the rocky trail actually began. Sure it looks level and easy from here... but as we started walking and winding uphill... we thought to ourselves... Should we turn around? We decided to just keep going...

We saw a lot of cactus along the way... and only stopped briefly to take a pictures for fear that if we stopped too long our bodies would start to give out.

Here's Tiff stopping to take a picture of the beautiful view we had. Seriously it was pretty awesome!

Nearing the end of our hike I took this picture... you can't tell but we were pretty high up!

When we were all done, we stopped to rest on a table under a million trees. It was really pretty. We sat there and cooled off for a while before going home.

Here's one of the trees... there were sooooo many of them. I would love to go back and do a photoshoot there it was so pretty.

Tiffany all tuckered out...
And this is me sad that we had such an idea because I was so hot!

But we decided we're gonna hike at least twice a month. Anyone else know of any nice parks with some trails? Would be fun to try different places.

Friday, July 25, 2008


When I was a little girl, my Daddy used to take me to the Library during the beginning of the summer. He'd have my sister and I join the summer reading program. I loved it more than my sister. I always had my nose in a book. I would read them in a day or two. And the reading program was fun because for every 30 minutes of reading you got to color in one square in the cool chart they gave you. And each time you reached a different checkpoint... you could take it in and you got a little prize. Until you reached the end and got a bigger prize. It kept me motivated and since I already LOVED to read. I would whiz through it way before the summer was over.

I don't read a lot.

No scracth that... I haven picked up a book in over a year. In the past 4 years I have probably only read like 4 books. And that's not an exaggeration.

I can actually name them in order...

Little Earthquakes - About 4 years ago my sister (who reads a lot more than I do)raved about this book. She loved and wanted me to read it. She bugged me for a long time until she finally dragged me down to the public library, checked it out with her library card... since I didn't own one, forced me to get a library card, and made me read that dang book. Needless to say, I didn't like the book. I should have known because, well, my sister and I hardly ever have the same tastes in anything. I am a little bit country, and she's a little rock n roll... so to say.

A Bend in the Road - Last year I fianally had the erge to pick up another book. But I wasn't sure what. I am not easily entertained by books and usually read a chapter and never pick them up again. So one night my husband and I decided to walk to our local Walgreens which is about 10 minutes walking distance from our house. We walked the aisles picking up sodas, ice cream, chips, and more stuff. At the end of the candy aisle they have a little section of magazines and novels. Jr remembered me saying I wanted to read and knowing that I am not easily amused when it came to book... he started reading the backs of all the books, searching and trying to find something I could possibly be interested in. After giving me a million possible books and me being uninterested in any of them... he finally gave up and started to put the last book back. As he was putting it back I noticed the book behind it... and I said, "Oh a Nicholas Sparks novel... I bet that's good..." As I started to walk away he noted the name of the book, A Bend in the Road, and we went home. About a week later I got the book in the mail... along with The Guardian. He had ordered them for me through Amazon and I instantly sat down to read the first one. I had never read any of his books but "The Notebook" and "A Walk to Remember" are two of my ultimate favorite movies. So I had a feeling it was somehting I could get into. And I was right. It took me to days to read it. And I only put it down when I had to. Good book!

Twilight - After reading the previous book I was on a little kick and asked my cousin Alexis, who is the the most avid reader I know, to recommend a book. She let me borrow a book called Twilight. This one took me about a week to read and again another book I just couldn't put down. A different book then the previous one but it was Awesome! It's only the 1st of a 3 or 4 part series. I started to read the second but I was pregnant wil Arielle when I started it and never got through the first couple of chapters. I do want to finish reading it though.

And Monday I started reading The Guardian. I finished earlier today. Such a good book. Again by Nicholas Sparks but completely different from the other one I read by him. Seriously it was a story of love, of tragedy, hope, friendship, and sadness.

Julie Barenson’s young husband left her two unexpected gifts before he died – a puppy named Singer and the promise that he would always be watching over her. Now, four years later, twenty-nine year-old Julie is far too young to have given up on love. She may be ready to risk caring for someone again. But who?
Should it be Richard Franklin, the sophisticated, handsome engineer who treats her like a queen? Or Mike Harris, the down-to-earth nice guy who was her husband’s best friend? Choosing one of them should bring her more happiness than she’s had in years. Instead, Julie is soon fighting for her life in a nightmare spawned by a chilling deception and jealousy so poisonous that it has become a murderous desire. . .

So have you read any good book lately? Any particular favorites you have. I feel like reading another and will take any suggestions! Throw one at me...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Photographing Kids

Photographing kids is definitely the hardest thing ever but I think I have mastered it. How you ask? Well let them be them! I hardly ever pose my kids anymore. Let's face it their attention span is not too great and you get the cheesiest smiles ever. That in my book is not how I want my pictures. So most of my pictures are of my kids being themselves. They are so used to me and my camera that they don't even realize it's there half the time. They continue doing what they are doing... and in turn I get the best candid pictures. Sure it may take a while to get the perfect shot but it's less stressful than me trying to get them to sit still or look at the camera. And the end result, is a photograph of a smiling child or a sad child... full of emotion and personality.

The other day I was walking down the street to our mailbox... literally 10 houses down and the kids came with me. I had my camera and took pictures. They were so happy to be able to walk with me to pick up the mail. Some of my favorite pictures resulted because of this and all are un-posed except the first one.

Excited to be able to join me on my little walk

On the way Diego decided that he wanted to try and carry Alayna on his back. It didn't last long but I caught this one as soon as he turned around.

Here he is trying to help her touch the top of the mailbox... I think they're both too short for that still but it was cute to see them try!

Walking back home... He seriously holds her hand everywhere we go. He freaks out if he doesn't have her in his reach.

I like this picture... they ran ahead of me... and knowing that they can't be too far from me they stopped to wait for me to catch up. I was actually further away but with the great zoom... I looked like I was right in on the action.

Silly Boy!

This was funny. I am all about different levels in my pictures. So I was trying to get a picture of the tree from the ground view and both kids came and squatted down looking into my camera. They seriously couldn't figure out what I was doing. Hence the look on Diego's face... he was so confused. Priceless!


Later on that Night Jr took us to Westgate to have dinner and walk around. It was a beautiful night. It was really alive since it was a Friday and all.

The fountains at Westgate

Arielle and I

The water dances to music like the Bellagio fountains in Vegas.

My husband enjoying the nice evening

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rainy Days and Sundays

Have I told you how much I LOVE taking pictures around water? I probably have many many times since this blog was born... or you've probably heard me say it a few dozen times if you know me personally.

Sorry, I can't help it... I do.

Water can give a picture really cool effects. The texture of running water from a faucet or waterfall can look amazing. Or how about the shiny-ness it gives to surfaces. Reflections on water, or the amazing clarity of droplets of water being splashed. The possibilities are endless.

So after Alayna's birthday party it started to storm. Not a little storm... but a full on thunderstorm complete with hail! And of course as soon as the rain died down a little... I couldn't resist making my cousins join me for some pictures in the rain.

So I took my little Sony digital camera because I wasn't gonna risk the new one getting wet... although I bet I would have gotten some awesome pictures. (I need to buy an Umbrella... I'm not sure us Arizonians even know what one looks like) Anywho... We had fun and got soaked in the process. Fun times!

Here they are:

Reason #1 why I love water... Reflections
Reason #2... It makes everything GREEN!
I love the wet look...

Reason #3... It's fun to play in!

Reason #4... Details of little droplets

Silly Little Jess

Reason #5... Beautiful Sunsets

The grass behind our house... all flooded

Reason #6... Mud!

Diego kicked water all over Jessica

Don't worry she got him back...

And as he ran from her... karma came back to get him and he slipped in the puddle

Looking for his chanclas floating away...

So that was that. The only thing that I also love about water pictures that we didn't get to see was... a rainbow! Too bad. It was getting too late. Maybe next time we'll get a storm during the day so we can see one.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Girls Photoshoot Continued

Ok so I decided just to go ahead and post the rest of the pictures because I have way more to share from different things. So we'll keep with the same theme for today... and change tomorrow.

Here they are... enjoy!

My youngest baby Arielle and her soon0to0be Godmother Rebecca

Haha... she got the hair!

And for once I am on the other side of the camera.

I know it's blurry but I love it so much... I'll fix it somehow... maybe turn it into a sketch or something...

Testing out the scooter Alayna got for her birthday... he has one too don't worry. He doesn't always ride Princess toys.