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    Welcome to my blog where not only will you be able to view my most updated work and recent sessions, but also regularly learn a bit more about me, my family and my every day life. For my complete portfolio, session information, current pricing and contact information, please visit my website at heatherbirdphotography.com.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

I’m surprised that my boys decided to cooperate with St. Patrick’s Day fashion today.   Ricky decided that he didn’t like the green shirt I bought him, but was excited enough about the big day that he picked a different green shirt to wear.   Benny has hated these hats since the moment my mom purchased them hoping to get a picture of her 4 grand-babies together (with three of them under the age of two, that didn’t work out so well) .   He also threw a complete fit when I put this t-shirt on him the other day.   I have no idea why, but Benny was having nothing to do with “his lucky shirt.”

Today, Nolan and Benny both loved the shirts that daddy so proudly brought home for them last week.   Nolan loved the hat and thought it was quite amusing.     And Benny decided he could withstand the hat if he could be outside, watching the neighbors dog bark at him.  And what a beautiful day we had today for my little Leprechauns to run around outside!    Finally, we seem to be over the sickness that has run rampant through my poor boys.

Spotted the dog!

A little football playing:

Going for the dog:

More football playing:

Ricky had a fun outing today so he wasn’t home to play outside with us, but when he returned, he helped make some heavily frosted green cookies:

Hope you all had a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Love,

Featured on MCP Project 52

So, if you follow my blog regularly you’ve probably figured out by now that my “Project 365″ has not been successful.   It’s not that I haven’t taken a picture on most of the days this year, it’s that they aren’t really what I intended in terms of the project.    Instead of a well thought out, themed shot with great composition, they’re more of the “oh the boys are doing something funny or cute, let me grab my camera” type shot.   And while I cherish those shots that wasn’t my goal with “Project 365.”

When I figured out that 365 was too difficult (yes, Mel you were right, you told me so!  SO much for proving you wrong :)) I decided that “Project 52″ would be easier.  Not only would one picture a week be much more manageable, but a group of fellow photographers were also completing this project and following a new theme each week.    It would be great.  I’d have a theme to follow, some accountability and I would stick to it.

Jodi from MCP Actions put together the group and has some other photographers administering it.  If you are photographer you should definitely check out MCP Actions.   I have quite of few of her photoshop actions and love them.   And even if you don’t use actions, she posts SO many helpful articles, advice interviews, etc. to her blog.

Anyway, fast forward to week 10.   I had only submitted a photo for one week of the entire year.   My “Project 52″ was, clearly, not going so well either.  Week 10’s theme was “Childhood Toys.”    And I thought to myself, “there isn’t a better week to get back into the game.”   I mean I couldn’t take a step in any direction in my house without tripping over a possible candidate.   So I went for it!   And to my surprise, my shot was one of 10 chosen to be featured on the blog.   I am shocked and SO honored.

Thanks to MCP Actions and the Project 52 crew.

Love,

Idie - I was just thinking about your 365 project and how impossible it would be for me to accomplish. I was wondering if you were still plugging away. CONGRATS on the recognition for your photo! The big hand coming down cracks me up.

Heather Bird - Thanks Idie! I was actually frustrated with the little hands playing with my composition :) But after the fact, I decided the shot I liked best was with the hand! Especially the marker covered hand. And, oh yes 365 was WAY too ambitious.

Decisions on a rough morning.

I woke up this morning to the sound of my sweet Ricky saying, “Mommy, can we please go downstairs now?”  I have no idea how long he was sitting in the chair staring at me.   My mind was foggy, my body still exhausted from the emotions of last night.   The night was filled with phone calls, “Did you hear? Stu is gone.”    Tears.    Checking Facebook to see old pictures of Stu, status updates.  Prayers.   Looking through boxes of old photos.   Tears.   Phone calls to airlines.   Phone calls to friends who have contacts at airlines and hotels.   Tears.   Phone calls between my family members… drive, fly, drive, fly.    Countless internet searches for cheap travel arrangements.   Memories, questions.    Around midnight I crawled into bed with no decisions made.

Ken told me I tossed and turned all night.   I remember at one point around 2:00 am or so being very annoyed and telling him, “Uugh, it’s bugging me!”  I was talking about the covers being bunched up and making me hot, but I probably really meant, “Cancer, sickness, disease.”    When I woke up for the day, I was still bugged.

When I realized how late it was, I jumped up and rushed for the shower.    I faced more decisions… wash my hair today or not?   The moment that I decided that I would wash my hair despite being late, the lights went off.   I opened the shower door and looked out to see that ALL the lights were off.   Great.    The power remained out at our house during prime hair drying hours.

Ricky laid around in my bed most of the morning.    He complained a few times that his tummy was hurting.   I brushed off the tummy issues with a “hurry get dressed, hurry we’ll get you some breakfast.”    He whined.  He complained.    He cried when I made him change into pants that matched.    And then he threw up.      I faced another decision.     Was he really sick?   Was this just the result of coughing or crying to hard?   Was he just  trying to get out of going to school?

While I think of my aunt and her family and the decisions that they have had to make over the past few days and those they will make in the near future, I’m thankful for easy decisions on this rough morning.   I’m not thankful for the loss, the power outage or sick little boys but I am thankful that my choices, today, were easy:

I will fly to be with my family and to celebrate Stu’s life.
I needed to wash my hair even if I look a bit disastrous now.
I kept Ricky home from school and he spent most of the day in this position.

Ricky is definitely sick.   Fever most of the day, upset stomach after each attempt to eat.   Nolan went to sleep tonight with a fever also.    I really hope this a short-lived bug.   I need everyone to be back to normal by Friday morning!   Benny’s pneumonia is getting much better, thankfully.   However we still have 4 days left of antibiotics and it is pure torture to get a toddler to take a medicine he doesn’t want to take.

Thank you to everyone who read, replied to and “liked” my previous post and to those who offered thoughts and prayers for my family.

Love

Prayer Request > We love you, Stu!

** Updated to add:
I am heartbroken to share that my Uncle Stu passed away this evening (Tuesday, March 8th).    I find it kind of fitting that the “life of the party” went out on Fat Tuesday, the biggest party day of the year for many.  I know that you must be enjoying the party in heaven, Stu!   We love you and will miss you so much!    Continued prayers for his family are appreciated.  Thank you.

I know that there are many followers of my blog that believe in the power of prayer.   Actually, some of you have so much faith that it amazes me.   So I would like to ask for some prayers for my Uncle Stewart and his family.  He is battling lung and liver cancer and was hospitalized this morning with double pneumonia and is not doing well.

Stu is an absolute joy to be around.    He is the life of the party, the life of our family.   No matter who you are, you will feel welcomed and loved by Stu.   He will announce himself as he enters the room with a energetic “Stu, Stu, Stu” only to announce those that he loves even louder….. “Heeaatthhherrrrr!!!”    His laugh is contagious.    And if you aren’t laughing just because he is, you’ll definitely laugh when he comes up to you and says, “Doooooo, Daaaaaa.”    He can make your day from miles away just by calling and stating, “Gooo Spurs!”  (Well if your a Utah Jazz fan that is!)

Stu and my Dad: (The Spurs and Jazz Fans)

“Mr. Okoboji” (Ricky still has trouble pronouncing Okoboji, hence everyone referring to it as “Okiboji” while we were there last summer)

Scott, Stu, Josh and Kurt.

Stu and Char on their anniversary.

We ALL love you, Stu.   We are praying for you and thinking of you constantly!

Charlene, Stacey, Kurt  Brian, Heidi, Morgan, Ben and Josie, we are praying for you all also.

Love,

Heather

Elisha - Sweet post, Heather. I’ll keep him in my prayers.

Cathy - Prayers headed up for Stu, Charlene, and the entire family!

Kathy Sunderland Baldwin - What a wonderful description of Stu!! I was at their wedding — best friends with Char’s sister, Carole. I will definitely pray for all of them. So many fun times we have had over the years.

Heather Bird - Elisha and Cathy, Thank you. We appreciate it.
Kathy, Thank you! My mom is also one of Char’s little sisters – Cathy.

(Lots of Cathy’s in this post :))

Carol Finken Tremel - To the Hodapp family, the Jensen family & all of Stu’s & Charlene’s friends, we pray that Stu will be cured. We’ve known all of the Hodapps since St. Michael’s school days [Cathy was a very good friend of my sister Jeanne’s]. Stacy babysat for our kids many years ago & Kurt & our son Chad were friends. We lift you up in prayer, Stu. May God bless you!
Carol & Allen Tremel

Kimberly Hodapp - We love you Stu, Charlene, Stacey, Brian, Morgan, Ben, Kurt, Heidi and Josie! We lift you up in prayer every day! You are so loved! Ed and Kim Hodapp Family

Kellie Donlin - Wonderful post about Stu. He certainly is one in a million. I got to spend time with Stu at Josh’s wedding this last summer in Okoboji. Hi laugh is infectious and his smile is worth a million words!!! He would go on and on about the fun he and my mom (Bernie Donlin) would have!!! I think they both knew how to have a great time. Mom thought the world of Stu! Many prayers to his family and the restof the Hodapp family!!!

Sincerely

Kellie and Bryan

Life with Kaishon - I am so sorry for your loss. I cried as I looked at the pictures. His smile is contagious. I will pray that his family is able to cope with the loss.

Katherine Thompson - What a great post Heather. I didn’t know Stu, but my prayers are with you and your family. Please pass along to your dad my deepest sympathy.
Katherine

Pink Eye or Pneumonia?

A week ago I exclaimed that we had been lucky to not have any real sickness in our family this season.    Two days ago, I debated all day on whether or not to take Benny to the doctor.    He hadn’t been himself for a few days but had no real signs of being sick.    Ken got home from work and I debated some more.   Ken reminded me of the recent news story that said parents are overreacting to every little fever.    “But Benny hasn’t had a fever,” I defended myself.

We both eventually agreed that I should take him in.  But for being sick?  No, because he had what looked liked pink eye.    Yes, it definitely looked like pink eye to me.   That explained his irritable-ness, his not wanting to eat, his clingy-ness.  Right?  I mean every kid with pink eye acts like that, right?!?  I diagnosed my sick baby myself and took him in to the urgent care for confirmation.

An awful blood draw, miserable chest x-ray (described as a baby x-ray torture device here) and terrible hour later, I left with a prescription for amoxicillin that would also help his eye but was to treat his PNEUMONIA!

Yes, my poor little guy has pneumonia.    My little, happy guy who can still manage a smile while feeling miserable.

While enjoying some very rare one on one time with him in the doctor’s office it occurred to me that Benny has never really been anywhere without Nolan.    I think he was as much bothered by not having Nolan with him as he was being stuck in the arm with a needle.   His partner in crime wasn’t there to join in all the fun.   Most of the time he was weary, but during his few bursts of energy where he decided to dig in the garbage, spin the doctor’s chair round and round after climbing on it and use the patient table as a playground it was evident that he was alone.     And when we returned home after 9:00 pm, way past their normal bedtime, Nolan was still awake waiting for his brother to return.

I think all parents hope their children will be close.   That they will be good friends with their siblings.    I hope this is the case with all 3 of my boys, but I tend to think about it more with the twins.   These boys are so different from one another that I can’t help but wonder, will they be close, will they be each others best friend?    The joy on Nolan’s face when we walked into the house two nights ago and the way he sat contently next to Benny this morning told me they will.

So happy to be together.

Love,