120212: Tree

Brian always wants a tree bigger than is reasonably necessary.  Sometimes it’s funny.  Sometimes it’s annoying.  Sometimes it’s endearing.  We went for it this year.  We got a 12-foot tall tree.  We rearranged the entire living room to accommodate this tree.  It’s up & decorated though!  I would have loved to go buy a bunch of new, fun ornaments but we used all stuff we already had minus a few strands of white lights.

The kids love it.  Bradyn even said, “I just love this time of year.”  Decorating was a little hectic but not miserable.  Well okay, I admit to asking Brian under my breath who the hell decided we needed three kids because that’s a lot of kids & decorating a tree would be easier without so much help…and he reminded me he wanted a bulldog instead.  But for the most part, it went smoothly.

Maybe in January I’ll ask Brian if this was big enough or if he wants to go bigger next year.  I don’t want to know for now though.

sora - this is so funny. LOVE the tree. we will never get a real one so i’ll just admire other peoples.

tina - funny stuff! your tree is amazing!! we have an 8ft ceiling in our family room so we decided to forgo the treetopper this year so our tree can be as tall as possible.

1202012: Plant

One personal project I’ve had success with is the December Daily.  A photo a day in December to document our traditions…and stress.  Last year I successfully shot an image every day and journaled on project life cards as I was uploading to print so when the images arrived, I was ready to stick them in the album.  Shazam.  Project completed!  The year before, I did a little book with winkflash.  This year, I’m going to use the Ali Edwards 4 x 6 overlays & even journal right on the image when possible.  Then I’m going to do something that I’ve fought doing for a long time.  I’m going to print them at home.  The color is whack & the quality is crap.  But I’m doing it for the sake of the project.  Like, every day.  Shoot, edit, journal, PRINT & blog.

I can’t promise that any other December day will be any more interesting than a picture of a plant.  I’ve been trying to change things up a little, especially in our living room.  It’s the main living space in our home & we’ve done nothing to decorate it but hang really big pictures of our kids.  That’s great & all but totally lacking in character.  Somewhere along the line, I decided I want some plants.  I don’t have a toddler any more.  If one of my kids throws dirt on the floor, they can clean it up.  If one of them eats dirt, it’s their bad.  I started small.

Amy Allen Clark - Oh, I like this idea a lot too! I always have big intentions of journaling and lack the follow through. I have been getting out of the habit of using my camera and I want to be more intentional about that this year. The iPhone shots are great, but I know I am going to regret I didn’t take more quality photos of my kiddos.

PS- When I click your homepage banner on oh lulu, it redirects to Nancy Lary Studios. Not sure if that is intentional or not!

Kay Pickens - Oh, I love this idea! I might steal it…I actually took photos yesterday, so I wouldn’t be behind except for posting…

Nana Linda - Yes, Amy you will regret it. But we can’t do it all. But pictures are wonderful investment for your old age.

Nancye50 - Amy’s life is more documented than you can imagine. Don’t underestimate the power of the iphone.

Nancye50 - You totally should, Kay!

Nancye50 - Fixed, thanks! I’ve been using postal pix to upload & print from my phone. Love it!

Ooh, he’s an angry elf.

Zeke is slated to return Friday night & make his debut the morning of December 1.  He’s changing his tune this year.  We’ve had a lot of fun with him.  I’ve done my fair share of Pinterest ideas.  I’ve also done my fair share of just moving him from one spot to another & I’ve also forgotten a time or two.  I’ve felt the scorn by elf haters.  I’ve enjoyed sharing this tradition on Facebook by posting a picture every day.  I’ve enjoyed surprising my kids every morning too.  I don’t do much above & beyond cuteness so I allow myself this one ridiculous trend.



I have a new idea this year.  Zeke is going to crack the whip & we’re really going to cash in on the Santa thing.  I’m hoping to hit up Goodwill this week & find a typewriter for him to leave notes with.  We’ve used handwritten notes in the past & even the computer but it’s only a matter of time before they’re onto that.  Also:  typewriter.  The notes will have things like “room inspection tomorrow” and “pick one toy to donate” and “go to bed early”.  There will be fun too but I’d like to use this felt elf to strengthen the connection between Santa & Jesus.  Therein, I’d like to use this felt elf to tip the scales in favor of giving rather than receiving.  As parents, we’re obligated to at least try to tip those scales because greedy kids are pains in the ass all year long.

Wish me luck, Zeke has a wild streak.


Nana Linda - Good luck

Tracy Patterson - Oh my gosh, I am totally stealing that idea. Ernie (yes, our elf) writes notes occasionally, but never with specific action items, except for the general be-extra-good-cause-I’ve-got-my-eye-on-you note on the first day. If he can get Riley to clean her room it will truly be a Christmas miracle. :-)

Amy - Oh, I love this idea!! So smart! I would loan you Ryan’s typewriter, but he seems rather attached to it! If you don’t find one at Goodwill, Etsy has a ton for sale!

Nancye50 - I ordered one on ebay for super-cheap. Ryan’s is kind of out of my league 😉

about the look

Welcome to Oh Lulu!  I’ve been wanting a place to blog random stuff just for fun.  I’m an only child.  I talked to myself a lot as a kid.  I talk to myself a lot as an adult.  Sometimes I find myself mentally composing blog posts.  I’ve had a family blog and a business blog.  But I wanted a multi-purpose spot to make what I want.  My family isn’t interested in anything but updates on the kids.  My clients don’t want to have to wade through miscellaneous posts just to see my work.

In working with Staci of Quirky Bird Designs, I was given the opportunity (read:  forced to) think about how I want to present myself & my photography business through a logo & branding.  She asked a lot of questions.  A lot of questions I didn’t have the answer to & at one point I was even like, “Seriously, I can’t even think on this level, my mind is just too simple.”  When we’d hit a spot like that, she would suggest we schedule a call & I’d think, “I don’t wannna, I’m worse on the phone than I am online…” and she’d get me on the phone and we’d talk.  I’d feel lost but she was leading me.  Then it was like when you’re trying to pull a kid up off the ground and they’re not coming so you want to let go but if you do, you know they’re going to hit the ground hard.  She let go.  And when I got up, I knew exactly what I wanted.  And she was like, “See?  It’s a journey.”  I can’t thank her enough for pushing me through and for allowing me to arrive at a place neither of us expected.  The Lulu silhouette is a revamped version of a silhouette Tiffany of OTSS had drawn for another project.  We didn’t want a literal drawing of Lulu…okay well, that’s what I thought I wanted in the beginning but Staci was right when she said I’d tire of that quickly…so this was the perfect way to let the silhouette live on & be a less straightforward representation.  The rain theme is evidence of Staci’s genius in extracting from my brain what “thing” it is that I want to represent myself and my work.

In some aspects, my approach to photography is similar to my approach to parenting.  Let them.  Let them play & be silly & wear rainboots with tutus & eat Oreos.  In photography, I offer guidance but I don’t force.  In parenting, I do what I gotta do & that’s a discussion for another day.  But I have a deep appreciation for letting kids express themselves.  The day I met my friend Emily, the kids had declared it “Boot Day” & Bradyn (then 3) and Ellie (then 1) were tromping around the library in rainboots.  Something about the novelty of that spurred a conversation & a friendship was born.  Something about seeing colorful, usually totally impractical rainboots on kids just says “happy childhood” to me.  So in Oh Lulu!, that “happy childhood” element is expanded upon with primary colors, raindrops & rainbows.  All such simple concepts, but I’ve learned that I’m drawn to & inspired by the simple & straightforward.

The name?  The name stems from my third and last child, Lily.  Even Bradyn & Ellie (at 5 & 3) knew the name “Lily” didn’t fit this baby.  They started calling her “Lily Lulu” (pronounced “Wiwee WooWoo” by both at the time) & now for the most part, she’s just Lulu.  And she’s a handful.  She’s dynamic and funny and determined and spunky and willful.  Hear me using words that can describe either really good or really bad personality traits?  Yeah.  You’re picking up what I’m putting down.  My friend has a Sophie that inspires the frequent, “Oh Sophie!” (fell in the fountain on the mall) and also the equally as frequent “Oh Sophie.” (got the potty seat stuck on her head).  A lot of us have “that kid”.   I have an “Oh Lulu!”.  She’s the best and the worst of our family.  She’s the third.  Everyone’s baby.  Sometimes I don’t have it in me to get worked up & other times I don’t have it in me keep it in perspective and not go crazy.

Thanks for stopping by.  Come back often for the occasional laugh, maybe a few photography tips & who knows what else!

Amy Allen Clark - So proud of you and it looks fabulous already! You and Staci did such a great job with the new branding and logo. It is simply lovely!! I can’t wait to see what develops over here and am proud of you for getting to this point! xo

Joseph Ellis - Should be a fun blog. And by the way, while it may come as a surprise, your family is interested in more than just updates on the kids.

Nana Linda - We are mostly interested in the kids pictures.

Allison Borders - You speak the words I have spoken a thousand times. See, I have a Lulu, too-only my Lulu’s name is Libby and she’s the last of four because if she was the first, she still would have been the last. I know my limits. But we love her and she makes us laugh-mostly. Your blog is gorgeous, as are your photos.