My Life

Family Weekend

We drove to Wisconsin and back on Saturday for the Balch family reunion, then spent Sunday with my side of the family for my mom’s birthday. The kids had a great time.

Balch Family

So did we.

Brandon and Eleanor

Brandon and Eleanor


Me and August



Me and August


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  • Cat @Breakfast to Bed
    June 28, 2011 at 10:29 am

    oh my gosh, that face!! love.

  • michelle
    June 28, 2011 at 10:30 am

    august in stripes!!!! too too cute!!! i die!

  • Sarah Hettervik @
    June 28, 2011 at 10:40 am

    So CUTE! Your family is so sweet!

    – Sarah

  • Jen @ RamblingRenovators
    June 28, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Eleanor looks such a big girl now with August also in the photos. He’s such a handsome boy.

  • valerie
    June 28, 2011 at 10:52 am

    so nice & summery! love eleanor’s bubble wand!

  • Shannon
    June 28, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I love the coloring of these! Beautiful!

  • Casey
    June 28, 2011 at 11:01 am

    this is going to sound weird… Every time I hear your last name I think about 2 kids that my brother and I grew up with as they share the same last name; same spelling too. Now that you mention your fam hails from Wisco I have to ask… Are you related to Trisha and Robert Balch of Sun Prairie, WI?

    • Making it Lovely
      June 29, 2011 at 9:21 am

      Nope. The only relatives that still have the Balch name (besides us) are in Iowa.

      • Little Edie
        July 1, 2011 at 11:07 pm

        Ahh, you are and you just don’t know it. They did DNA testing on all 4 branches of the US Balches and it confirmed we are all related.

        There is a great website where you can trace Brandon’s family back to the founding families. I’m twelth generation decendant of John Balch who came from England to Delaware in 1658.

        Super geeky, I know. :-)

  • Sanja
    June 28, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Oh, he’s the cutest little guy! So much resemblance to all three of you in his face :)

  • Kate
    June 28, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Looks like a great weekend!

    We do our trips in reverse from yours. We live in Wisconsin and visit our family in the Chicago area. :)

  • Taylor
    June 28, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Your hair looks lovely in these shots!

  • Jessie
    June 28, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Beautiful pictures! Love the happiness in them!

  • Leslie
    June 28, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Your little humans are absolutely adorable. That face!!

  • Erika
    June 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    What a sweet family. Great pics and thanks for sharing.

  • Cassie
    June 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Cute! What a fun peek at your family. xx

  • Rachel
    June 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Sounds like a great family weekend!

    I have a wierd question…that these pictures make me wonder…

    Elenor and my daughter are the same age and have very similar hair…or so it seems from the photos.

    How do you cut her hair? Will she go to a barber?

    Any tricks or secrets?

    I thought I would just ask.

    • Making it Lovely
      June 29, 2011 at 9:23 am

      We went to KidSnips for her first haircut, but I don’t want to go back. It’s probably great for kids that won’t sit still otherwise (they watch TV while they get the haircut), but Eleanor will sit without the gimmicks. I’m not sure where we’ll go next. I’m thinking about doing it myself, but I don’t know if I will.

  • Karen
    June 28, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    The photos are beautiful. Can you share with us the technique you use for tinting them? Do you use Lightroom? What a happy family!

  • Funnelcloud Rachel
    June 28, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Oh my goodness, August looks just like a bald version of Eleanor! So adorable!

  • stevee
    June 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Her haircut is so cute! These are charming shots.

  • Nuit
    June 28, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    awwwwww everybody looks so cute!! love Eleanor’s little outfit! x

  • Kathy
    June 28, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Hi Nicole! Congrats on the deal with the paint co to redo your office. That’s so cool. I will be curious to see how you end up dividing your time and tasks between your two office spaces once you are set up in your basement. How will you divide your supplies between the two?! …. I enjoyed seeing your adorable family photos today. A couple of observations: Eleanor reminds me so much of my eldest son when he was her age. Is it my imagination or do I see a very serious side to her? She seems to really think about things a lot. Is she cautious? And does she contemplate and study a new thing quite a bit before deciding whether she approves of it or not? My son was just like that and now he is an engineer. :) And today it was so fun to see how much August looks like you! Does that mean Eleanor looks like Brandon? Aha! i knew I had seen that serious expression somewhere else before. In her Dad! But one thing with Eleanor… she has a lighter, smiley side to her as well. My son – not so much until he was much older! I think it’s because they are SO smart — they are busy figuring out what makes things work most of the time! I’m curious to know whether I am completely off here or not.
    That’s all for now. I hope you are getting the glorious weather we have in Minneapolis today.

    • Making it Lovely
      June 29, 2011 at 9:27 am

      Yes, Eleanor has always been very serious. She’s a goofy, fun kid too, but people always pick up on her seriousness. She’s a smart little girl, and very much like I was as a child.

  • Marlena
    June 28, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Fun! And funny – I’m from WI and was in Chicago this past weekend and realized that I could have posted a question asking you for family-friendly but delicious eating locales in the city. We ended up stumbling across one, but if I go again do you mind if I ask?

    • Making it Lovely
      June 29, 2011 at 9:29 am

      I always like Portillo’s, and there are a bunch in the Chicago area. Get an Italian beef w/ mozzarella and sweet peppers, dipped… yum.

  • Miss B.
    June 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    These are all so perfect but the last one? My goodness is that cute overload or what?!

  • Katie
    June 28, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    These pics are adorable, and your processing just pushes it over the top! So sweet…

  • Diana Smith
    June 28, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    what a beautiful family you have Nicole! I am so excited to have another one!

  • Joi
    June 28, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    You guys look like such a fun family!

  • Ann
    June 28, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I too am very curious how you get that vintage look to your images. I know photoshop pretty well and have a decent camera, but lack the knowledge on getting that look. Can you share your secrets? Thanks!

  • Ali
    June 29, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Looks like a great trip to see family! The pics are so fun!

    ~ Ali

  • Ashlea Walter
    June 29, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Curious about the images too – you made them lovely, indeed!

  • Making it Lovely
    June 29, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I used Photoshop actions from Totally Rad. More specifically, here’s what I did.

    Adjust the levels.
    Adjust the curves to warm up the pictures.
    Boutwell Magic Glasses action, at about 70%.
    SX-70 action, w/ the softness layer at about 50% and the entire action folder w/ a mask at 30%.

  • Sasha
    June 29, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I love that A has quirky facial expressions just like E does! And his stripes…adorable. So glad you all had a wonderful time spent with family!