the ravenna girls

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a very merry half birthday to … February 13, 2011

Filed under: friends and family,photo — ravennagirls @ 6:32 pm
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KAYLEE and ETHAN!!!!!!

Can you believe that just six short lil months ago….we blogged here about their birth?

I have been waiting for just this very day to show you the little project that Dana, the babies and I are now halfway through…

How it all started:

Before the kids even were born, both B and I spotted THIS little project of Young House Love‘s.  B even emailed it to baby mom Dana.  We all were like cuuuute, but then the babies birth happened …

It was/is really important to me that K + E know me from a young age and that I spend time with them.  In the early months, mom and dad needed some help too.

So, on the approach to their first month – birthday… I re-emailed Dana the Young House Love project… and said I want to do this for you.

Over the past six months, picture taking has kind of become our little thing.   Okay, fine, slight obession.  Those kids are just so cute, I cannot help myself!  Plus I have been excited about getting more experience in the taking pictures of real people realm. {and I will be the first to say that taking pictures of two babies is challenging. no really challenging.}

But practically, it has become pretty perfect.  I cannot describe to you how excited I get to go spend the day with Dana and the babies.   It’s really perfection.  The kids are awake and happy and the light is great as good as you get in a NW winter.   They nap after their strenuous modeling, and B comes over from work to eat lunch with us.  Dana and I get to chat in the afternoon and play board games until the babies awaken.   It has become such a fun little activity and one that is going to give us so many memories.  Sure, there will be the physical giant picture hanging on the wall for the rest of time, for mom + dad to stare at and admire how little their babies once were.  But, really, I feel so privileged that Dana has allowed me to share some of those real time memories with her.  Like… Ethan nearly punching Kaylee, the stage Ethan went through were laying on his back made him really cry,  the first time they laid there and smiled up at us, Dana singing them goofy songs to get them to smile for the camera, all those times when holding a baby resulted in me having to change my clothes too, dressing them in Christmas outfits and waking them up from a nap because the we were losing the light, photographing under the motto “well, at least they aren’t crying…”  , and a whole lotta snuggling.  I imagine the next six months of this project will involve its own challenges, I’m guessing over increased mobility…

So before you lose interest over reading how fun this has been for me…

Here you go, Kaylee + Ethan, month-by month.   Please click on them for an enlarged view. 🙂


And, my so far all time favorite pictures of each kid……


thanks babies.  :0)

While I did physically hit the shutter on each of these… I literally could not have done it without a huge assist from Dana.  The babies smile more often when someone’s job is making goofy faces at them and singing….

and happy 6 months!


weekend, i was not ready for you to be over October 25, 2010

Filed under: adventures,photo — ravennagirls @ 10:01 pm
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I am not all that thrilled about Monday today.

The weekend was pretty darn good though.  It probably has something to do with the fact that B and I have been out of town the past two weekends.  By the time Friday happened … I was exhausted.  I had lofty goals of a productive Friday evening… but after work and a quick trip to the gym and making some dinner… I was practically ready for bed.

A few exciting things did happen this weekend though…

We got the house ready for fall and B did this spooky Halloweeny mantle…

and then we had the first fire of the season… & finished some craft projects… & organized some things around here…

We treated ourselves to a dinner out on Sunday night a favorite neighborhood joint and got Mahi Mahi tacos with mango and guacamole.  Yum!  For some dinnertime conversation we brought along our crazy-thick voter’s pamplets in an attempt to read through what all these initiatives are and begin to fill out our ballots.  I am so tired of those TV commercials leading up to election day…. AH!

We planted some more tulip bulbs and did some weeding and had some yard master planning discussions with a surprise few sunshiney hours on Sunday…

And I got a new lens for my camera delivered from Amazon.  I had been looking and looking and wanting it… so finally I just did it.   I was pretty darn excited when it showed up …

And, it showed up just in time to play with it on Saturday when we went over to the twins’ and had a lil photo shoot for their family.  :  )

I have to say, the lens is pretty darn awesome.  Initial reasoning… the ability to get my aperture set as large as 1.8 is just terrific.  I think that if you ever know anyone that is moving to Seattle with an SLR you should get them this lens.   The fact is.. I won’t use a flash unless I have to take a photo at night.  I abhor a direct flash and what that does to the color of my photos.   So during 7 months of the year I am on a constant quest for good lighting.   I hardly take photos after work and on a weekend day I am still struggling to photo indoors.  It usually involves a bunch of exposure/brightness/etc balancing in photoshop.   But with this new lens… and Without much of my typical settings being changed but the f-stop (aperture)… It was SO MUCH EASIER to shoot in a low light setting.  It was so so fast and blured the background WAY better then I have ever done before.

So … while the parents went to get ready for the family photos… B and I sat downstairs and played with the babies.  Well actually baby.   Ethan choose to sleep even though I kept whispering to him that we were taking pictures…. I think he might have whispered back something abou needing his beauty rest for the afternoon.

But Kaylee.. she is a happy picture subject.

Here is a pretty typical photo I would take with my Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens.  Even with the Vibration Reduction setting on… In order to get enough light the picture is really blurry.  Babies move ….

Now, seconds later, I popped on my new lens…. Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX

So same lighting, same baby, same color/indoor/all that jazz settings on my camera.  This photo just is taken with a lens that got my aperture up to 1.8.

Oh, and she is looking at me now.  Cause she likes my camera clicking. : )

Oh, and I did not Photoshop either of these.  Not even color or brightness or crop or anything.

Now, there are a few things I am really going to have to get used to after day one with this lens on.   All of a sudden  I am getting more light, so the white balance settings I had already customized on my camera where a bit off.    And… it is now possible to get too much light.  Whoa.  That has pretty much never happened to me before.  I could definitely tell sharpness/light/color were some things I cannot wait to practice more .  And the whole one size business.  I walked a lot more and moved a lot more… where before i would have twisted my lens to zoom.  But apparently, according to every blog I could find researching this puppy, I will get used to that.

But the babies… they make excellent lil subjects.  So cutey.


Weekend in Virginia October 24, 2010

Filed under: photo,travel,Uncategorized — ravennagirls @ 11:26 am
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Last weekend I took a trip out to Virginia to visit my sailor man in and around Norfolk. We have been trying to get out of Norfolk for a couple days each visit in order to see more of Virginia – especially since fall has come earlier to areas away from the coast. So, this time we stayed out near Charlottesville for two nights and went to Jefferson’s Monticello. This is a must for architecture nerds, so now I can say I’ve been, and it was pretty fascinating. So, a post in photos:

House Reflected in the Fish Pond

 When we showed up a little before noon to buy tickets, we found that the next places for tours inside the house was almost 5 pm! So, we went up to the grounds, took a tour of the garden (no wait), and led ourselves through all the self guided areas of the house. We’ll do the house inside next time, although i think the grounds are really the most spectacular part.

View back to Norfolk

 As part of the development of the estate, Thomas Jefferson decided he needed more room for growing food for all the folks that lived and worked on-site. So, he developed a plot just below the house that is about 40′ x 1000′ long. Thats 40,000 square feet of veggies, herbs, and fruits. And that doesn’t include the orchards and vineyards that continue even further down below. ALTHOUGH. they did tell us that because water is scarce at Monticello, there is no evidence that they had irrigiation back in the day, so it likely didn’t look as green and lush as it does today.

Part of 1,000 foot long vegetable garden plot

 Around the main lawn there were all sorts of fun and funky plants that TJ planted as experiments. Many of these seeds were obtained in seed swaps with other political leaders This one was like a painted poinsettia. According to the guide, if yu didn’t have this one in your Victorian garden, you might as well have not had a garden at all!

Pretty plant discovery

 After the garden tour, we took some time to walk around and see all the service portions of the house which are rich with texture and history.

Rich textures in cellar hallway


Wood and steel floor structure (nerd alert!)

Single wine bottle dumbwaiter - great idea!


Beautiful autumn foliage


Relaxing on the lawn

 After our day at Monticello, it was time to head back to our little home away from home to cook dinner. I did some searching for cute places to stay around Charlottesville, but since there was a UVA game in town that weekend, a lot of things were booked. I stumbled upon these converted Caboose cabins at Heavenly Acres Campground, so we stayed here. They were cute, although we were kind of far away from most everything, so it wasn’t quite as convenient as I’d hoped.

Our Caboose

 Sunday afternoon was back to Norfolk. We tried to go to a waterfront wine festival, but showed up too late to get tickets, so we just wandered along the water instead.



Battleship at twilight

It was a great early fall weekend. Beautiful weather and scenery, fall apples, good company. Anyone have any Virginia recommendations for my next trip?


whew! October 15, 2010

Filed under: photo — ravennagirls @ 10:40 pm
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B and I have been pretty darn busy lately.  What else is new i suppose…..

It has been mostly good busy though.  We have been neglecting the house a little though…just friends and fun events and work and all that jazz have gotten in the way a bit. 

It’s ok though.  Because it has been so much fun lately.  It makes me miss those homey activities, which is actually kind of nice.  (it will make it that much more enjoyable when we have a little free time!)

Plus I am like yay fall lately which is a nice change of attitude. (this may have something to do with the fact that i am going to see a ton of fall this weekend and relax with some of my favoritest people..)

Oh, and the fact that I found somewhere in Washington state that makes apple cider doughnuts.  Must find sunny crisp day to go.

Oh, and I am also like yay fall because our dahlias are still blooming like crazyness.

We are nearing 3 months of bloom time here and its glorious.  Fall, but still some pretty blooms.  I went out back tonight and they were just exploding.  I merely clipped a few for the dining room…..

But the orangeyness brings fall and summer a little closer to me.


fall {?} September 22, 2010

Filed under: photo — ravennagirls @ 11:40 pm

I have been fighting fall, digging my heels deep in summer.  

Today –the beginning of fall— other blogs are full of cute clothes, warm drinks, woods with colorful trees, etc.

B would write this post all about how fall is her favorite and probably tell you all about her favorite sweater and latte drinking on weekends and the great crisp air and all that.

But me… I am really not feeling fall this year.

I have to say, I do LIKE  fall.  Just not right now.  Summer just slipped too quickly, too chilly in the NW.  I just wanted a little more time.  Time for me to get in a few more nights on the patio and trips around Greenlake on my rollerblades.  Time for our tomatoes to ripen.

In general, I don’t really like change.  Once it has happened, I am fine… I just don’t like it  while it is happening.

I drove to work this morning and could not help but notice trees with hints of reds and yellows.  I was in a panic.

As luck would have it… although today is officially the first day of fall…. we are supposed to have a 70-and-sunny weekend coming up.  Hopefully the weatherman is right this time….

So it looks like I might win.

But I am going to then submit to fall next Monday.  I will be ready then. Promise.


It probably will help that my October is filled with fun.  New Orleans (where I will bring shorts yippee!) and the Jr High Fall Retreat (where I will bring wool socks and play board games and really tell myself that fall is REALLY here).

So, here is to fall, like it or not.

And falling into sweaters and lattes and fires and new tv shows and craft projects and football [that was a nail biting Saints game on Monday!!] and roasting vegetables and colorful falling leaves.

Oh, and my it’s fall picture.



weekend in recap August 8, 2010

Filed under: photo — ravennagirls @ 8:27 pm

fun, a little bit lazy, got some things done, was crafty, made and ate yummy food, gardened, watched the rain, saw friends, last sunday post church lunch with dana while pregnant, went to yoga, overall enjoyed the weekend….

{saturday night crafty remnants}

{watching my small group girls row in a regatta early on saturday morning}


{we dug our potatoes!}

{homemade pizza dough with fresh peaches, basil from the yard, and mozzarella!}

{our first dinnerplate dahlia has bloomed!}


lovin the ocean May 14, 2010

Filed under: photo,travel — ravennagirls @ 1:50 am
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from peru