Saturday, January 18, 2014

A confession. Well, more like an announcement.

People always say that having a kid changes everything. Being a mom now, I can definitely attest to that fact - although I'm not sure it changes everything, it certainly changes a lot, and as such time has become so much more precious than it ever was before.

Among the many changes that came once Owen burst onto the scene was that my priorities shifted. Family has always been number one, but usually everything else wasn't too far behind. Now, pretty much everything else (with the possible exception of my day job) is a far distant second. Everything I do now is to help make our family life better.

I think a large part of this reasoning stems from the fact that I myself did not have a lot of time with my own mother before she passed away. What little memories I did have of her (like making chocolate chip cookies, hanging out with her after preschool, etc.) I clung to with the same desperation someone clutches a winning lottery ticket.

I don't want my son to have to cling to memories of me like I was forced to do. I want him to have a super-huge-happy-fun-time library full of them, that he can access like a large mail-order catalog at a moment's notice.

Although I don't think I'll be dying anytime soon, I have a tendancy to be overly paranoid, and I've already had one near-death experience in my early twenties that has convinced me to live each day like it's my last. And on my last day, I want to spend with my family.

With this re-commitment to family, I have come to realize that although I love photography, I enjoy it more on my own terms and with my own timing. I also have been becoming more interested in further exploring other creative ventures (like cooking, design/art and fictional writing) that I'd like to devote my time to instead.

So, I guess that's a long way to say that Laura Kaster Photography will be going on a permanent hiatus until further notice. I'm by no means done with photography, I just need to take a break for awhile and reassess how I want to move forward and what my new goals are.

Until next time, blogosphere.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Some of my recent faves.

Is it just me, or did Fall come and go at lightening speed this year? After being afflicted with morning sickness last autumn, I was looking forward to actually enjoying my favorite season of the year. Alas, it was not to be. I've instead resigned myself to the fact that for the foreseeable future I'll be stuck in large poofy jackets and my warmest hat which makes me look like a Swedish country girl. least Christmas is coming. :)

In the meantime, I've found some new favorites that have been helping me overcome my autumn-went-away-too-stinkin-fast-itis.

1.) The Gap. It's cold out, and Owen needed boots - well, not necessarily to tromp through the snow in since he can't walk yet, but at least something to cover his little feet other than socks that are typically ripped off at the first opportunity. Since he inherited his father's giant genes, I had a heck of a time trying to find baby boots that fit him. In swooped The Gap to save the day. Thirty percent off with free shipping AND $25 GapCash for every $50 you spend?! Yes, please!

2.) Mastering the Art of French Cooking. An oldie but a goodie. I snagged a banged-up used copy from Half-Price Books and cooked a few of the vegetable/sauce recipes in the past because I was too chicken to actually attempt one of the more difficult recipes. I finally grew a pair this past weekend and made a pot roast that included a whole freaking bottle of wine. Making it was reminiscent of giving birth - first there was the fear (this recipe is SO COMPLICATED! AHHH SCARY!!), then came the courage (I can do this! I BELIEVE!!), then there was the anger when things didn't go my way (Screw you Julia Child! SCREW YOU!!), then the triumph when I was able to make the recipe bend to my will (Ah ha! SUCK IT JULIA!), and finally, the best part: acceptance that the entire process was oh so worth it after taking that first bite of that heavenly pot roast (om nom nom).

3.) Young House Love. Since I now live in a house that I can (mostly) decorate to my liking, I'm constantly looking for design inspiration to help make it our own. This wildly popular home improvement blog has some neat thrifty ideas of  how to make your house into a home. Plus their personal stories are pretty amusing.

4.) Table for Two. Can you tell I'm a foodie? :) I actually discovered this one through a photographer I follow and admire. I visit this one from time to time to find relatively easy and delicious recipes. Plus, the blogger has such a talent for photographing food - every picture is the very definition of food porn. Now please excuse me while I wipe my drool off the floor.

5.) My new iPhone. After fighting the urge to purchase a smart phone for years (and suffering through much pointing and giggling at my ghettofabulous flip phone) I finally caved. It's shiny. It's pretty. It's way too addicting. And I'm thinking about naming her Stella, because I'm weird and name inanimate objects.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Rhonda & Mike

It was a beautiful Saturday in August. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and it was just the right amount of heat without being too hot (well, at least later in the day when there was some cloud cover).

It was on this audacious day that Rhonda and Mike officially became man and wife. I feel privileged to have been a part of their special day, and I wish them nothing but continued love and happiness. :)

These two have been BFF's for 40 (yes, 4-0) years! Amazing!


 Look: Justin Bieber crashed the reception! ;)

Oh, did I forget to mention: this was Owen's first wedding! While I was busy snapping away, Brian (aka SuperDad) hung out with him. And let me just say: I have the world's most chill, well-behaved baby. 
Seriously. Let's hope my luck continues when he becomes mobile.

A rare photo of Owen and I (since I'm always the one taking the pictures!).

All the ladies couldn't wait to put their hands on him. 
Oh boy. If this is a sign of things to come, I'm going to have to practice chasing the girls away...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Five months of cute. And a sneak preview...

I started typing out a long blog post about how much life has been crapping all over us lately, but after I had a chance to step back and reassess I realized not many of you would want to read that. And really, who can blame you? I sure wouldn't.

So, instead, here's some snapshots of the last few months with my favorite new little man (and guest starring my favorite big man and two favorite fluffballs). Plus, a little sneak peak of a wedding I shot last month. More to come!

When Brian doesn't get enough sleep, he looks a little like this:

When Owen is hungry and cranky, he looks a little like this:

And a little sneak peak of something non-baby related. :)