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HI! I'M CATHY BLACKSTONE.

I am a Columbus based photographer and welcome to my blog.

I love to photograph babies in the tummy, babies out of the tummy, kids being good, kids being bad, kids with special needs, kids with fur, couples in love, families being themselves and seniors in between text messages :)

I have a fun and carefree style that I think you will be very comfortable with. Of course I love to take the classic picture where everyone is looking at the camera with a perfect smile but what I really love to catch is the real "in between" moments. The candid moments that you will cherish forever.

This is my photo blog where I will share favorite images from recent sessions and blab about my interests and family.

Thanks for visiting my site and taking a look. I really appreciate it. 

MULLIGAN | december 2011

So I got this idea – blatantly copied – from my friend Tara Whitney.  I think she uses an elf (not the elf on the shelf elf), but I couldn’t find one last year so I found Mulligan the magic Christmas Mouse instead.

Last year (2010) Mulligan came from the North Pole – he’s one of Santa’s helpers – and gave the kids surprises and told them to do fun things everyday. I knew as I was doing it I was hosed and had gotten in way over my head and would have to pull out Mulligan the following year – this year – and I was right. I am not kidding you when I say Mulligan comes up in conversation at least every other week throughout the entire year. Not kidding. The kids (Brynn and Dane) dream about him, think about him, wonder about him, they even argue about him……Brad and I just look at each other and snicker and sigh at the monster we’ve created.

So on December 2nd (had to torture them for a day) he made his arrival…he brought the kids an awesome countdown clock so that they knew exactly when Christmas was. Nice. Helped mommy out – she didn’t have to tell them everyday:)

christmas9

Mulligan was pretty upset that we got a cat and that we didn’t have our tree yet….so he told us to get a tree – so we did.

Oh and Mulligan pretty much comes with us everywhere. He disappears every night to go back to the North Pole and get his orders from Santa – but comes back the next day .

We go to Messerall’s tree farm and love it. We will go every year. Great family run business with lots of little touches like hot chocolate and yummy yummy homemade cookies.christmas1christmas3img_0111-copychristmas2Don’t all little 5 year old boys wear fedora’s while cutting down their Christmas tree?christmas4img_0146-copychristmas5christmas6

Everything becomes a runway or stage to Brynn – she was cracking us up struttin’ the catwalk (aka Christmas tree rows) – then Daddy joined her. It scared us. It was a show stopper. Too bad he doesn’t still have the saw in his hand:)christmas7img_0282-copyYes, the mud was 18 inches deep. Yes, my kids are sick of getting their pics taken.

There is something about a man with a Christmas tree over his shoulder.christmas8

Mulligan went to the Zoolights with us.We have pinky sweared NEVER to do Zoolights again. Our 3rd year of hell now. We go because it is free through the Limited – free entry, free food…but with that comes 2 hours sitting in traffic, no animals, lines a mile long for hot chocolate. It is a bunch of lights on trees and 5 million people walking under them at a zoo where all the animals are either inside or sleeping in the dark. Whoever profits from it is laughing hysterically at all of us Midwest idiots. Dane loved these dancing elves though…img_0070bw

One night we had to eat by candlelight because that is how they do it at the North Pole. We had to shove the candles down into beer bottles dug out of the recycling bin. This started one of those hippy drip candles which the kids think is so so cool. img_0313-copy

Did you know that humans eat reindeer poop? Did you know that the reindeer that can fly have poop with glitter on it (donuts covered in sugar)? Fascinating what I can come up with at 2am the night before:)christmas10

Mice love waffles – so Mulligan brought us a new waffle maker one day….christmas11

Every time an elf finishes a toy they get to pick a piece of candy from the candy bowl that Santa collects from all over the world. Mulligan snatched some for us (World Market people). christmas12

Mulligan is also good at cruising Columbus at night and finding places for us to see – last year he found that Nationwide building with the giant Nativity scene (boring) this year he found Dane’s dessert cafe! I’m pretty sure I downed 15,000 calories that night. There was live music, a live painter (as opposed to a dead one) – way better than we expected. Will for sure go back.christmas14

He found alum creek…img_0890-copy

He told us to make cookies Christmas Eve for Santa – and reindeer food. We do every year but it’s nice of Mulligan to tell us so I don’t have to come up with something new that day.

Sidenote: Moose ate every single one of these cookies the following day. Every.single.one.christmas15img_0944-copyimg_0939-copy

Christmas Day. Very very bittersweet for them because Mulligan goes back home. This year he brought us some more candles so that we can make a drip candle all year and think of him while it’s burning. img_2325

More images from Christmas….christmas16christmas17img_1026bwThank you ebay for saving me hundreds of dollars on pirates – even though I became an ebay pirate watching addict. Thank you Brad for putting together the Barbie glitter suite dollhouse. Thank you Santa for finding this rootbeer for Jackson. Santa brings Jackson a new rootbeer every year. Santa just about died when she found this. Doesn’t taste very good though according to Jackson who is a rootbeer connoisseur now.christmas18img_1064-copy

Me want monkey bread. Cookies weren’t enough.img_1011-copy

Yes I am crazy. No I don’t have the time.at all. Yes it is a pain in the butt to hide him and hide all the equipment to make the notes (stamps, envelopes, twine, stamp pads, glitter). Yes it is a pain to come up with ideas and then to stamp and print off notes – WITH ALL OF THEM HOME SWARMING AROUND ME LIKE HORNETS. Yes I had an epic meltdown cryfest because I was so overwhelmed this year getting clients their pics on time (late), getting gifts, class parties, family parties, cards, tape (tape stresses me out), wrapping paper and Mulligan:) But it is worth it. It forces our family to get together for at least an hour a day in the chaos. Brad and I make sure we are “present” for this hour. We listen, we laugh, we eat…then we come home and work until 3am:) Now that I have a 13 year old I realize that the “magic” of Christmas is a very short time span. It’s sad. And yes Christmas is still awesome with the older kids but if you could see Brynn and Dane’s face when they find Mulligan and read his notes – so so worth it. I was also proud of the role the big kids took “following” along. Jackson and I had a great time looking for Mulligan treats and gifts together and I would honestly have to say one of the best nights was the night Mulligan brought us UNO. Simple. We played for two hours.

img_2330So if you want to do this next year I’ve got lots of ideas:) Better than that weird elf that you can’t touch!

Airmail envelopes – amazon. Kraft envelopes – Archivers. Stamps – teacher’s store. Twine, numbers, to and from stickers – etsy.

January 9, 2012 - 8:40 pm Lisa Scherer - The COOLEST mouse ever! Where did you find him? I looked for Elf on a Shelf for weeks and just gave up. All the stores in my area were out of him. I would love to do my own version, even though it wouldn't be half as cool as yours :)

January 6, 2012 - 7:34 am Liesbeth Parlevliet - Wow... I loved reading all of this and it makes me a tiny bit sad because my kids are all grown up (18 and 15)... BOOOOO! I think you did a great job with all the cards/assignments/stamps and more - ESPECIALLY if you take into consideration that they were around you ALL the time. Ha! They smell that something is going on and they don't want to miss a part! Loved loved the photos Cathy (I have soooo much to learn), thanks for sharing. I wish you and your family a very good/healthy/productive/loving and more 2012!!!

January 5, 2012 - 4:09 pm Tina - Seriously, woman. You rock my socks. Never doubt your talent. Your kids are the luckiest kids on the planet.

January 5, 2012 - 12:16 pm janel - You are an incredible Mom!!! Wish my kids were still little because I would totally do this. Also, love the pirates, and the root beer and all of the little touches. Happy New Year! oxox

January 5, 2012 - 11:42 am Amy Wiff - WOW! Loved looking through this post...I could read it a million times, I swear! Great pics...great ideas. We have had the elf for years and years and although he can't be touched we touch him...my kids love him and hug him and kiss him...his name is Pete. Adam started helping with the elf magic this year and it was so fun! YOU AMAZE ME...your creativity knows no limits. Pete, the Wiff elf, will be copying your ideas next year...heck, I may even start now planning and colllecting and crafting...you inspire me!! xxoo

January 5, 2012 - 11:10 am sarah - CATHY BLACKSTONE!!! you are the coolest mom ever! ...this is so special and fun. i hope i will be as cool and creative (and have the energy) to do this all someday. and ps- saw a pic of brad's cube. super cute as well :)

January 5, 2012 - 10:38 am tara pollard pakosta - so much cuter than the scary elf! and I love that you can touch it (not that you really couldn't touch the elf), LOVE IT! where did you get the mouse? I read up above, but might have missed it! i cannot believe how big your kids are getting! they are BEAUTIFUL!!! I remember the days of 2peas , I rarely get there anymore, but wow, they sure have grown UP! tara

January 5, 2012 - 10:24 am Wendy - If I didn't love you so much, I would have to hate your guts! I'm such a looser mom compared to you!!!! Loved this whole thing...comments, pictures, adorable children, and utter honesty on your part! Sorry, but I'm so relieved that you are in fact normal, and got stressed out! Made me feel a wee bit better! Adore the mouse, I want one! Adore your dog, my girl loves her some cookies too! No matter where she is in the house, she ALWAYS hears, or smells me getting a cookie and is by my side until I share with her. Which I always to because I cannot resist her cuteness and charm...and she knows it! I think you need to take a field trip to DC this summer and stay with us! If it's too hot we'll lounge in the pool with umbrellas in our drinks!!!!

January 5, 2012 - 10:14 am Traci - Cathy, these are freaking AMAZING. Seriously. AWESOMENESS!!!!!

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