Thursday

Winter Wonderland

Last weekend it snowed a little bit here, I've been hoping the snow would never come ;) I always dread winter.. Its so cold and dreary, the roads are bad, it gets dark so early.. It's just kind of miserable! But I am so grateful for the good weather we've had up until now. We're not supposed to get our first real snow storm till this weekend. I've made a goal to try and stay positive about the winter season this year, so here's a few things I love about winter: I love wearing sweats around the house. Having the fireplace on makes the house so cozy! I love cuddling up with my boys in a big fuzzy blanket. Watching movies at night cause it's dark outside so early. I love the holidays. I love wearing long sleeves, jackets, sweaters, boots, cute hats, scarves and coats! I love winter candle scents like, cinnamon, vanilla, apple pie, brown sugar. I love being warm and cozy under the bed covers when the room is so cold! Most of all I love that winter makes me appreciate the rest of the seasons so much more.

L Winter Session

L Winter Session

L Winter Session

I got together with my mom and siblings earlier this week to take a few winter pictures of everyone. The snow made for some great shots! The rest of the pictures are up on my photo blog: larajoyephotography.blogspot.com. Just a side note..... I'm totally in love with Caden's new winter hat!
lara

Monday

Color Me Mine

I don't know about anyone else, but for us date nights are usually the same old, same old.  Something along the line of dinner, movie, desert or shopping.  Occasionally we get out and do something different like star gazing, arcades, bowling, etc. We're always up for something fun and inexpensive. We went to Color Me Mine, with Richelle and Bryan, about a week ago.. and I must say it was a blast! It is definitely in my top 3 favorite dates I've been on. I had heard it was really pricy to go, so I never bothered looking into it. Come to find out it's not that bad! Online they have a calendar for each month with their specials nights (date night 2 for 1, service night free with 2 cans of food).  So after the studio fee all you have to pay is the cost of whatever you paint. We spent 30$ for the studio fee, 2 pieces and a ton of fun! We all planned to paint mugs, I was just expecting a selection of maybe 5 mugs or so.. but it seriously took us 15 min to pick out which ones we wanted! They had a whole wall full of ceramics to paint, and at least 15 different mugs! The employees there were so nice, they gave a great orientation on how to use the paint and how to make different designs. There were so many different options! Taylor painted his with stripes and I did polka dots :) Its not very often that you get to go use your creative side on a date! We had so much fun, and spent a little over 3 hours painting! I couldn't believe how much fun we both had. At the end of the night we left our ceramics with them to be fired and glazed, it takes them about 3 business days to get that done. We were able to pick them up a few days later..  and they were so shiny and colorful!

Color Me Mine

Color Me Mine

Color Me Mine

Color Me Mine

Color Me Mine

Color Me Mine

Color Me Mine

Color Me Mine

Color Me Mine

Ok, so this has totally been a little plug for Color Me Mine..... but seriously, it was so much fun! Check out their website (HERE) find a location near you, and check out their calendar (or call) to find their Specials Nights! For anyone who hasn't been, I'd definitely recommend this place for a date or family outing!
lara

Tuesday

Opportunities

I honestly feel so blessed with all the opportunities I've been given to learn and grow in photography. I was thinking back to a year ago.. I had a 3 month old baby and no time for myself. I never would have dreamed I would have a real interest in photography. I took 2 years of photography in high school, I really liked it.. but never really applied it. My interest really seemed to spark last year over Thanksgiving in Idaho. My aunt Penny told me about the photography business my cousin Kara had started. I looked through a bunch of Kara's pictures and was completely amazed. The flame was started. In February my In-Laws so generously helped me get my very first camera! I never would have been able to get that camera without their help. I planned to use the camera in the automatic mode, mostly to take better pictures of Caden than my little point and shoot could. I stuck with that mentality for a few weeks, but again when I looked through Kara's pictures on her blog and website i was amazed! I really wanted to learn.. really really bad. I finally got up the courage to email her and ask her my millions of questions (i was convinced I'd never be able to learn it all). She gave me my wings. She told me what books to read, what websites to join, she taught me about equipment and editing. I can honestly say I've learned more from her than anyone. Ever since I learned the basics I've been given so many opportunities to grow. As I worked with my best friend Richelle, she gave me confidence in my pictures and working with clients. All of my family, immediate and extended, have been so supportive. 

I had the chance last week to tag along at Richelle's Bridal session and watch her amazing photographer: Dustin Izatt. I can honestly say I Idol his work! He was so cool, he let me take pictures along side him.. ask him any question I wanted to. What a learning experience. I think the thing I learned most was: I have a LOT to learn! I'm sure that will always be the case though, that's what life is all about: LEARNING! I am really so grateful for every opportunity I have been given. Thanks to everyone who has inspired me, taught me, encouraged me, supported me and appreciated me. It means more than I can express!

IMG_3747gmws


Check out Richelle and Bryan's Wedding pictures and Bridals (the ones I tagged along for)! Dustin just put them up on his blog! They are absolutely amazing, click HERE for wedding and HERE for Bridals!
lara

Thursday

Halloween

I don't know how many times I've said it already, but I love Halloween! It probably has something to do with the fact that I love this time of year too. We went to Springville this year for Halloween with my family. We couldn't have had better weather, 55 and sunny! I haven't seen a Halloween that nice in a really long time.. we usually have snow by now! First thing we ran down to the Trick-or-Treating on Main Street, all the old shops hand out candy :) We waited in a pretty long line, but it was fun cause we got to play and take pictures while we waited. We dressed Caden up as a little monkey, and he looked so stinkin' cute! Taylor and I were a Bumble Bee and Flower (this was our second time in these costumes). I laughed so hard when Taylor pushed his bangs back with the antenna head band, he looked hilarious! My sister has a Transformers "Bumble Bee" backpack for school (she's so funny), so Taylor wore that to put all our candy in. Ben and Nanny were Pirates, Jarom was a Nutty Professor, and Rachel and Mom just threw on some random dress ups before we left. Mom ended up looking something like Osama bin Ladin and Caden was terrified of her for a while! After hitting Main Street we went back home and had Taco Soup (our delicious tradition) and put candles in all our pumpkins. Rachel and Mom then changed into their "real" costumes.. they were boys :) lol, i laughed so hard every time i looked at them. It was definitely Rachel's idea, they put on Dad, Lane and Jarom's clothes.. it was hilarious! Caden took the whole Trick-or-Treating business very seriously. He'd walk up to the doors, reach into the candy bowls, grab as much candy as his little hand could hold, drop it in his bag, and wave as he turned around to walk away.. not so much as a little grin! He got enough candy to fill our family candy cravings for months! We walked through a neighborhood haunted house, this family puts on every year. It was spook-tacular as usual, and Caden screamed almost as much as Rachel and Mom! It was a wonderful Halloween! I was definitely not ready for October to end.. but I am so excited for the holidays to begin!

Halloween

Halloween

Halloween-2gmws

Halloween

Halloween

Halloween
LOL.. I love this picture!
Halloween
... and this one
Halloween

Halloween
...... and definitely this one too!
Halloween

Halloween

lara

Wednesday

Pumpkin Carving

I'm a little behind with my posts, we've all been kind of sick over the last week and we've been busy. I still need to unload the pictures from Halloween from my camera, so i'll have those up soon!

 A few days before Halloween we pulled out our pumpkins for carving. Taylor and I really weren't that festive last year with a 3 month old baby, and neither of us could remember the last time we carved pumpkins! It has been so much fun to celebrate the holidays so far this year with Caden.. he seems to make everything a little more fun! Caden loved the pumpkins, he called them "BAW" (balls) all night. We were really more entertained with watching his reactions than we were with carving. He wanted to hug all the pumpkins! He was totally terrified of the pumpkin guts.. he started screaming when I cut off the top of the first pumpkin! After the pumpkins were cleaned out and we started carving, I put Caden in his highchair so he could watch us, and I put the pieces of pumpkin I carved out on his tray.. he started eating them, and he liked it! Go figure.. he likes some pretty strange foods. Taylor ended up carving a really cute pumpkin (I was very impressed), mine was pretty scary, and on Caden's......... I tried to do the Gene Simmons "Kiss" eyes! Lol, they actually turned out pretty well! We lit the candles then put them inside the pumpkins, and Caden stood back, put his hand out in front of himself.. said "HAWWWWWWW!!!" (hot) and started blowing. What a crack up! i love him :)
pumpkin carving

pumpkin carving

Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin Carving
lara