Nicole Leann Photography: Blog https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Nicole Leann Photography (Nicole Leann Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:02:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:02:00 GMT https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u396384946-o463827103-50.jpg Nicole Leann Photography: Blog https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog 90 120 Week 16: Focus my child https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/4/week-16-focus-my-child  

My son is one of those kids that could sit and play. He has always been like that, since he was a baby. We, like most first time parents, didn't allow TV (this has changed, obviously!). Because of this, he was forced to play with his toys. He has always loved things that rolled or had wheels from a young age and to this day still sleeps with about 10 matchbox cars. 

These photos are pretty much sum up what my son does everyday. He may be moving rocks from on area to another with his mini loader or he may be lining up all the cars to he can move them along in a very straight line. No matter what the task, he can play for hours while his sister runs this way and that way. I call that focus...and I want more of it for myself!!

XOXO Nicole

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(Nicole Leann Photography) 2016 52 week challenge Arizona Stay-at-home mom focus fun kids mini loader outside photographer play play time smiles trucks https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/4/week-16-focus-my-child Tue, 19 Apr 2016 04:45:00 GMT
Week 15: The dirty window https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/4/week-15-thedirtywindow I was standing by the kitchen packing my bag for a shoot. My daughter, in typical fashion, was opening and closing the door leading to the patio. There wasn’t anything particular going on; no special event, just another day in our home. In that moment, I was overcome with emotion in the beauty in this small child; her mismatched nails and the hair that cannot be tamed. I wanted to remember her this way forever so I grabbed my camera and snapped a shot. 

 

I was pretty impressed with myself until I loaded it onto my computer. I am not always a perfectionist, but the first thing I saw was the dirty window. How could I even use this image with all that mess! I wanted to go straight to editing out the smudges and fingerprints left by my children, but that would have taken away from the “real” image. That would have removed the imperfection from my life. That isn’t real life. Or at least that isn’t MY real life. 

 

My real life is messy. Seriously messy. There is evidence of that all over the house. It’s not just fingerprints and smudges, it’s things out of order, school projects on the refrigerator, and toys laying about. 

 

And  know I have said it before, but I seriously wouldn't have it any other way. Those smudges and fingerprints mean we are living! It means my kids aren’t afraid to get dirty and it means I probably could convince my husband that we need a maid, right?? 

 

XOXO Nicole

 
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(Nicole Leann Photography) 2016 52 week challenge Arizona Stay-at-home mom dirty window family kids photographer https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/4/week-15-thedirtywindow Wed, 13 Apr 2016 04:45:00 GMT
Week 14: Welcome to our home, I think https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/4/week-14-Welcome So, these two signs are by our front door. I keep telling my husband that it doesn't seem like a good placement. Hi! Welcome. Oh you are selling something? Get out of here! 

Just a laugh for this week! Enjoy the heat!

 

XOXO Nicole

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(Nicole Leann Photography) 2016 52 week challenge Arizona home no solicitors photographer signs welcome https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/4/week-14-Welcome Tue, 05 Apr 2016 23:45:00 GMT
Week 13: Let's go fly a kite https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/3/week-13-lets-go-fly-a-kite ​My partner, Stephenie, recently posted on Facebook about some of the adventures her family had been on. One of those adventures had been flying a kite. It brought back so many memories for me from my childhood and inspired this weeks blog post.

When I was a child, my mom was great about taking us to do fun things. Not only did we get to go to the arcade often and spend all her quarters from the "change jar", we went on bike rides to get ice cream, to the lake and built moats around our sandcastles and often flew kites. My kids are still pretty young, but that doesn't mean the hands-on, fun activities can't start now. 

We took the kids out on a Sunday afternoon- a picnic blanket and dinner in hand. Little did we know, Arizona isn't very windy...I mean we did know, we just didn't think about it. See, I am from Kansas and its windy every.single.day. So...our adventure didn't last long. It did however produce a few photographic memories. 

So think about your adventures as a kid and be inspired to re-create them for your kids. Make mud pies, create chalk art, run through the sprinkler, do what makes you happy, and I guarantee your kids will follow along. 

XOXO Nicole

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(Nicole Leann Photography) 2016 52 week challenge Adventure Arizona Stay-at-home mom family fly a kite fun kids park photographer picnic play smiles https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/3/week-13-lets-go-fly-a-kite Tue, 29 Mar 2016 22:47:00 GMT
Week 12: The invasion https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/3/week-12-the-invasion Catchy title, huh? The truth is, the invasion I am writing about isn't aliens (although some may disagree), it isn't terrorists (again, subjective), and it isn't pests...the type of invasion I am writing about is the invasion of kids! Those little people we call kids anyway- you know the ones with the squishy faces and fat knees. Yeah, them. 

I know when my husband and I bought our first house, it was empty. I mean, we had a couch and a bed and all that, but there was so much extra space. We had four bedrooms so we could easily host guests, find room for all of our junk and roam around as we pleased. We really didn't spend much time at home so needless to say it was always clean(-ish). Fast forward to today and the scene is much different...

Picture walking into a home where there are toys everywhere. Not a few big toys, thousands of toys spread as far as the eye can see. A bomb exploded and our house was the biggest casualty. Don't even think about walking around barefoot; not only will your feet stick to the floor from some unknown goop, but you will most likely step on a lego or a matchbox car which will result in severe injury. It's true, my house is a war zone and it's me against the kids (mostly just their possessions). 

Funny thing is, I really don't mind. Other than the nightly cleanings and the sticky goop I still can't seem to get rid of, I love all the mess. I wouldn't have it any other way. The mess means so many things to me: it means my kids are playing with their toys and not watching endless cartoons (don't judge there are days like that!), it means that they have freedom to feel at home here, it means they aren't scared to touch EVERYTHING and go EVERYWHERE! It also means we can teach them how to clean up in a constructive and practical way. This is what childhood was made for, right?

So keep on being messy my little minions. You are loved no matter how sticky, dirty or messy you are.

XOXO Nicole

PS Don't worry, the pictures below are from the backyard. I would not subject any living person to see my house at it's filthiest- well, maybe my husband!

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(Nicole Leann Photography) 2016 52 week challenge Arizona Stay-at-home mom family kids messy photographer play toys https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/3/week-12-the-invasion Wed, 23 Mar 2016 05:00:00 GMT
Week 11: Sleeping Beauties https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/3/week-11-sleeping-beauties One of the greatest things about owning all these great cameras and lenses is that when I get a free moment, I can snap a few awesome pictures of my little people. I absolutely think they are adorable when they sleep- and they may be a little easier to manage too!

We had a busy morning and the kids were having a little downtime after lunch. I stepped away to do a few things and when I came back Mr. B was asleep in his little chair. I went ahead and put H down for her nap and immediately grabbed my camera. He hasn't fallen asleep like this in a long time and I couldn't help but think it was the cutest thing ever! 

Hannah was sound asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow too! The click of the camera didn't even bother her. I just can't get over the way she curls up with her pillow- crazy hair and all. 

These kids sure have my heart. 

XOXO-  Nicole

 

 

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(Nicole Leann Photography) 2016 52 week challenge Arizona Sleep Stay-at-home mom baby feet blessed family kids love photographer toes https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/3/week-11-sleeping-beauties Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:41:29 GMT
Week 10: I love you so much it hurts [you] https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/3/Iloveyousomuchithurts My kids usually get along ok. And by that I mean, they tolerate each other when they have to. Hannah would follow Brayden around all the time just to see what he was doing; to take away his toys when he turns around and drink out of his water cup as soon as he put it down. She adores her big brother, but never stops kicking him when they "share" the stroller and spitting when he has politely asked her not to because it's so darn funny!

Brayden on the other hand, would prefer Hannah never touch his toys. He LOVES her to pieces and it shows, but I think he sees her as a toy to play with when it suits his mood. But at bedtime, we face a major temper tantrum if he doesn't get to "read" to Hannah. It's something we are still trying to figure out!

A couple weeks back, we went out to take a few Easter pictures- seems like I never make time to take pictures of my own kids! During this quick 20 minute session, Brayden was SO in love with Hannah. Remember the book "Of Mice and Men"? Well Brayden played a great Lenny; I just had to snap a few quick pictures before I rescued our little princess. 

Enjoy! Nicole

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(Nicole Leann Photography) 2016 52 week challenge Arizona Brotherly love Easter Siblings choke kids photographer https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/3/Iloveyousomuchithurts Mon, 07 Mar 2016 22:23:00 GMT
Week 9: My Threenager https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/2/week-9-my-threenager I know all moms have heard the term, but I honestly never thought my little guy was going to be one- EVER! Twos were a breeze in this house. Just a few short weeks ago, he turned three and we have turned a corner...very sharply! Being a "three-nager" means that we check our email....

We say "No" to pretty much everything, even if that means we don't go to the park or build skyscrapers. We cry for no reason at all which is upsetting to our sister who will then begin to cry. We refuse to eat anything but cookies and candy and spend an hour pretending to go to sleep, just to get back up again. 

 

Although, I would like to say that I have handled this quick turn of events with grace and patience, that would be a lie. These last couple weeks have been stressful and I have not been at my best. BUT, I know this is just a phase and one day I will probably look back on them with love and laughter. Even though there are tough moments, I know those trying times are still so very worth it to have this little guy in my life! 

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(Nicole Leann Photography) 2016 52 week challenge Arizona big boy kids photographer threenager https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/2/week-9-my-threenager Tue, 01 Mar 2016 03:31:00 GMT
Week 8: Family Fun Weekend https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/2/week-8-family-fun-weekend ​We had family in town this weekend for our little man's 3rd birthday! It was an awesome weekend where the kids got to play and the adults got to "adult"- I mean, drink wine! We spent a lot of the days just playing, jumping on the beds and dressing up! The kids' cousin was in town and the kids loved having her. This was a weekend for the books.  

Tunnel time in our PJs

Its always a must for the girls to wear pearls. Just a boy, his trucks and his dinosaur boots! A moment where they actually got along!

That moment when brother and sister finally get along...but not for long. The weekend wouldn't be complete without some temper tantrums...I mean, we are dealing with children! Too bad they still look cute when they cry too. I will leave you with this little gem. hehe

The moment didn't last long...

 

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(Nicole Leann Photography) 2016 52 week challenge Arizona birthday dinosaur boots family kids photographer play smiles temper tantrums tunnels https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/2/week-8-family-fun-weekend Tue, 23 Feb 2016 02:27:00 GMT
William is 6 months old! https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/2/william-is-6-months-old Oh Baby Will! It seems you are growing up too fast. Loved our session last week. You are going to be a heartbreaker with those eyes!

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(Nicole Leann Photography) 2016 6 month old Arizona kids photographer teddy bear friends https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/2/william-is-6-months-old Wed, 17 Feb 2016 17:58:16 GMT
Week 7: New Age Parties https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/2/week-7-new-age-parties So it may come as a surprise to many people that I actually ENJOY going to kids birthday parties. I mean, it's not just the pizza and juice boxes, it's the gift buying and the excitement of all the kids. I freaking love it- and NO this is not a joke. I am sure my husband does not feel the same way. 

Last weekend we were graciously invited to a birthday party at the train park. I mean, isn't that place the BEST park in the world?!?! Seriously though, my kids love it and it was not a disappointment. We had a blast! As I was walking around while my husband took my oldest on the train, I started to snap some pictures. I try to do this with my friends because I feel like that is one of the benefits of being my friend. I need all the help I can get lol. Anyway, I digress. While taking pictures of the kids playing, the dads talking, and the sun shining, I just fell in love. Kids are so awesome! They are cute, yes, but they also open us up to this whole new world where we can get enjoyment from a million more things. When we had kids, we thought we would say goodbye to partying, little did we know we would just expand our party network!

Anyway, just my thoughts for today :). 

Xoxo- Nicole

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(Nicole Leann Photography) 2016 52 week challenge Arizona birthday kids mom party photographer play smiles https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/2/week-7-new-age-parties Mon, 15 Feb 2016 21:52:00 GMT
Week 6: Foundations https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/2/week-6-foundations My husband snapping a quick picture on our walk today. This week, while I would love to just post more pictures of my kids, I think it's time to post about myself. So here goes!

 

I was raised in a small farming community in Kansas, and to be honest, wouldn’t change a thing. I love nature; green has always been my favorite color. I used to sit as a kid and listen to the sounds of nature. The wind rustling the corn fields, the frogs happily hopping by the water, and the faint sounds of a busy community only a mile away.  I would go on bike rides that lasted hours and sometimes get lost only to have to call my dad from a distant neighbor's house. After all, in small town Kansas, everyone is your neighbor!  

 

Fast forward a few years to when I met my husband, or I should say when he met me. We had always known each other, but I transferred to his school at 13 and was smitten! I was 15 when we started dating and had made googly eyes at him in church for several years prior. He didn't fail to notice and neither did my dad for that matter! We fell madly in love and although we have both grown and changed, our feelings have not faded. We still laugh everyday and I treasure him as my best friend in the world. 

 

We moved to Arizona in 2008 and we now have two adorable kiddos (see my previous posts!!).  I am a full-time mom by choice and a photographer by chance. I love art and had always thought my chance to be an artist would come in painting or writing, although all of my attempts proved otherwise. One of my best friends and now my business partner is the one who planted the seed...and now we are K&K Photography!

 

I love the passion of photography; making people see themselves as others see them seems like the chance of a lifetime. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed by this chance that I can't even describe the feeling I get behind the camera. I am so appreciative of all my blessings!

 

 

 

 

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(Nicole Leann Photography) 2016 52 week challenge Arizona kansas grown kids passion photographer https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/2/week-6-foundations Tue, 09 Feb 2016 02:13:00 GMT
Week 5: Just a second! https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/2/week-5-just-a-second I was able to snap just a few pictures before I joined in on the fun! I had a minor epiphany last night...I was cooking dinner and as usual, it was stressful. My youngest is a child who enjoys (and sometimes demands) being held. I usually don't mind, but during the dinner rush, it can get overwhelming very fast. My oldest child is very well tempered and plays nicely on his own. He will occasionally ask me to play cars or throw him high, but he is never very demanding about it. During all the chaos of dinner, I realized something. I use the phrase "just a second" or "in a minute" or "maybe later" way too much. 

It's not that I don't want to play airplane, or chase him around the house, or build a barn for his tractors, but I let life get busy. I do just a few more dishes thinking I really will play in a minute only to realize an hour has passed and he has moved on. 

I remember reading another mom's reflection about how someday her children stopped asking. They simply understood that "later" meant "no". It's not like I neglect my kids, but when I look back on their childhood, I want to remember those daily play time activities. I want to help my children learn and share, not think about all the dishes I did during that time.  

Now, this post is not about self-shaming me into playing with my kids- quite the contrary. We all have our days and we have to manage our time and our words carefully, right?  I have just noticed, especially with this 52 week blogging challenge, that I WANT to play with our kids. I want to play with them a thousand times more than I want to do the dishes! 

So...enjoy your families, your dogs, your spouses and your friends. I plan to minimize the "just a second" phrases today and trade them for laughing and giggling while we build a barn and chase each other around the house!

- Nicole

Perfecting his little farm.

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(Nicole Leann Photography) 2016 52 week challenge Arizona Stay-at-home mom family kids photographer play smiles https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/2/week-5-just-a-second Tue, 02 Feb 2016 18:06:56 GMT
Week 4: Remembering the snow! https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/1/week-4-remembering-the-snow A week or so before Christmas, we took the kids up north to spend the weekend in the snow. My husband and I were raised in small town Kansas and grew up building snowmen and snow forts. This is an experience we had hoped to share with our children over the years. Getting to KS is not easy, or cheap, with two kids so we opted for Northern AZ. I am so glad we did. We arrived on Friday to just a sprinkling of snow on the ground. When we woke on Saturday, it was a full on snow day! 

 

The kids, mostly Brayden, had a blast sledding, making snow balls, eating lots of snow and trying to build a snowman. Hannah was not super impressed with the cold and wet- she is definitely a girly girl. But the hot chocolate with marshmallows after a cold afternoon was the perfect day with our family. 

 

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(Nicole Leann Photography) 2016 52 week challenge Adventure Arizona Northern Arizona family hot chocolate kids photographer play sledding smiles snow white https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/1/week-4-remembering-the-snow Tue, 26 Jan 2016 19:30:00 GMT
Miller Family at Papago Park! https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/1/miller-family-at-papago-park This family was such a blast last weekend at Papago Park. They had great energy and even brought a couch prop! 

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(Nicole Leann Photography) 2016 Arizona Papago family kids photographer https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/1/miller-family-at-papago-park Mon, 25 Jan 2016 14:21:10 GMT
Week 3: Monkeys on the bed https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/1/week-3-monkeys-on-the-bed This week was a tough one for us. My husband was out of town and the kids and I were all sick. But, that did not stop us from having some fun in our pajamas! I am sure my friends would agree, my house doesn't have a lot of rules when it comes to the kids. They can play with pretty much anything, anywhere, as long as they are being nice to one another! That being said, jumping on the beds and building forts in mommy's room is one of my kids' favorite activities. 

 

We had some down time too, snuggling, watching movies and reading books. I don't know how many times we watched Polar Express during the course of a few days...but I wouldn't change it for the world! I know I have said it before, but I will say it again, these are the moments that I live for. These are the moments that make up our lives.  -Nicole

 

 

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(Nicole Leann Photography) 2016 52 week challenge Stay-at-home mom jumping on the bed kids no rules photographer play smiles https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/1/week-3-monkeys-on-the-bed Tue, 19 Jan 2016 02:41:04 GMT
Week 2: little girl, big impact https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/1/week-2-little-girl-big-impact This little peanut is very small for her age. Small in body and nothing else. My dream for her is that she will reach beyond her grasp and soar higher than she could imagine. I hope that she will grow in confidence and intelligence even if she feels small. I hope she will see her inner strength and in turn seek out others who may feel small and empower them to grow with her. 

It's so hard to imagine our little ones all grown up as adults. Hard on us, not necessarily hard to imagine. I don't want her to grow up too fast, but I am so proud of the woman I know she will be (a long time from now!). She has only been a part of my life for a short time, but I can't imagine a future where she doesn't make every day a little brighter, happier, and inspired.

So run your little heart out Hannah Banana! You may be a little girl, but you have a big impact!

 

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(Nicole Leann Photography) 2016 52 week challenge Arizona Stay-at-home mom big dreams little girls park photographer https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/1/week-2-little-girl-big-impact Tue, 12 Jan 2016 04:24:57 GMT
Week 1: How we spend our lives https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/1/how-we-spend-our-lives  

I know, as a mom, I often forget to enjoy the simple days. The days that aren't spectacular. The days I know we will not think back on. But the culmination of all those days is something I think about ALL the time. A good friend once read a quote from Annie Dillard that resonated with me: "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." Today was definitely not one of those days my kids will remember forever, but it is representative of how we are spending our lives. 

Today was a rainy day, which is not typical of Arizona weather. After our usual morning gym and errand run, we came home. The kids took early baths and played inside. Nothing spectacular, nothing out of the ordinary, just free play. As I sat here watching them enjoy this time, I kept thinking about that quote. This is how we choose to spend our lives, and that is ok! My kids are happy; reading, playing, talking, snuggling makes us all happy. They don't need anything more today. 

I took this time to begin my 52 week photo journal. I will be posting a photo (sometimes two!) on the blog each week. These pictures won't all be spectacular, but they will all be beautiful, to me, because they will be capturing our everyday life. 

I hope you will read and enjoy each week!

Nicole

 

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(Nicole Leann Photography) 2016 52 week challenge Annie Dillard Arizona Mom Stay-at-home mom kids photographer play https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2016/1/how-we-spend-our-lives Tue, 05 Jan 2016 01:08:28 GMT
Welcome! https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2015/12/welcome As our first blog post, we just want to say THANK YOU!! 

Thank you for your continued support. 

Thank you for your patience as we get this new website up and running. 

Thank you for your referrals, print orders and kind words. 

Thank you to our families- especially our husbands- who have been our rocks! 

Thank you to our kids for being our guinea pigs and sorry you hate getting your picture taken now. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

 

We look forward to a new chapter in 2016!

XOXO Nicole & Stephenie

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(Nicole Leann Photography) https://www.nicoleleannphotography.com/blog/2015/12/welcome Wed, 23 Dec 2015 23:36:13 GMT