Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Heartwarming and Happy Anniversary

Here's a heartwarming picture from this past weekend.  It's one of my favorites!

And, I just want to wish my sweet hubby a Happy Anniversary!  Now, let me get back to enjoying the evening with him!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Game Day

It's game day here in Starkville, MS.  And, the MSU Bulldogs are getting ready to take on the Georgia Bulldogs.  We hope to wrap this one in Maroon and White!

I am just hanging out in our hotel room waiting on Emma to wake from her nap.  She has been asleep since 10:00, but I don't foresee her waking anytime soon.  She is tired!  She woke up around 5:00 this morning wanting "Whay-wha" (Laila).  She got a little stir crazy, I think, being cooped up in the tiny hotel room, and had an utter melt down.

I didn't think I would be able to get her to nap, and after 30 minutes of trying, I almost gave up.  Luckily, though, I gave it one last shot and she fell asleep.  I have no intentions of waking her, even though I am so ready to get out of this hotel room and get to the tailgate... and my cell phone, which is in the car charging... because the game doesn't start until 6:00 this evening.  No matter how late we get to the tailgate, it is going to be a long afternoon and evening for her.  She loves every second of it, but it wipes her out!

I hope to have some pictures from the afternoon to post this coming week!  Maybe I'll get a second to get my camera out and actually use it!

Happy Saturday!  Go STATE!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Five Question Friday

1. If you could speak with a different accent, what would it be (i.e Australian, Scottish)?

Italian, for sure.  I really hate that I didn't push myself to learn it while I was in college.  I loved, and still love, all things Italian! It is such a beautiful language, and to have that accent while speaking English would be fantastic too!

2. Can you fall asleep anywhere? (i.e floor, couch, deck)

Actually, yes... Especially when I'm pregnant.  Funny story... When I was about 12 weeks pregnant with Emma, I fell asleep at the airport, sitting at my gate.  It wasn't until after my plane left that I woke up and asked the lady at the counter why my flight was delayed.  She informed me that it left on time and they had paged me repeatedly before shutting the gate.  I sat back down in my seat and cried until I could get myself together enough to figure out what to do next.  I had to wait until the next morning to fly out, but I made it to the event I was going to... Thank goodness!

3. Do you use public restrooms? If so, do you sit on the toilet?

I do use public restrooms when I have to, but no I don't sit on the toilet.  I prefer to wait until I get home, or somewhere less public, but sometimes that just doesn't quite work out.  Oh, I did go through a phase where I wouldn't sit on any toilet but my own....  Not even when I went to my parents or grandparents house.  Not sure what that was all about, but it took me months to get over.

4. If you were stuck in an elevator for 24 hours, what celebrity would you most want to be stuck with?

Does an author count as a celebrity?  Because, I would want to be stuck with T.S. Eliot.  I am such a huge fan of his works, especially Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.  When I taught high school English and Literature, we spent a whole month studying this book.  I actually think my kids got into it and learned a little.  They were quite stunned to see it come to life as the musical Cats.  Someone else that I would like to be stuck in an elevator with... Aurthur Miller... the guy who wrote The Crucible... My kids and I also studied him.  He led quite the life!

5. Where did you & your significant other go on your 1st date?

I'm just full of interesting answers today!  Chuck and I had our first date at The Veranda in Starkville, MS.  We both hung out there a lot and loved the food, so we met there for lunch on our first official date.  We barely got our meal when my cell phone started ringing... 10 missed calls in less than 2 minutes.  All from the store I worked at.  I finally answered and it was the owner of the neighboring store.  She called to tell me that my sister, who was working with me that day, was okay, but I needed to get back there.  A car had crashed through the front of our store and caused major damages!  It was right before Christmas.  Our display window and about 1/4 of the store was a disaster, but the lady and her car were perfectly fine... Not a single ding, dent or scratch on her brand-new Caddy!

Happy Friday!  Go STATE!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Tonight... I got nothing.  That's right, nothing.  My brain shut down about an hour ago while I was setting up my photography website for my clients to view and order their photos.  I am excited about this new site for my proofs and hope that I can get it all worked out soon... like tomorrow, soon.

Anyway, happy Thursday.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend approaching.  Check back tomorrow for Five Question Friday... It has become one of my favorite blog hops!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Favorite

This is one of my favorites of the Nichols children.  They are all so beautiful and sweet!  I will share more soon!  Thanks again to the Nichols for letting me photograph them!  It was a fun day!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A New Recipe

Twelve hours, two Zofran, several B-natals, and a whole bunch of will power later... I got myself up off the couch and cooked supper for my family tonight.  Since I got sick Saturday night, I have been struggling.  I have been completely worn out and nauseated.  I feel so guilty for not playing with Emma like I used to.  We read books, color and cuddle, but we have watched a lot more t.v. lately than usual.  I hate that.  But, some days it is all I can do.

But, I digress... My recipe... Last week, when I was feeling good, I decided I wanted to make a home-made Alfredo sauce.  I had all the necessary ingredients, so I made myself get up and make it tonight.  I am glad that I did.  It is a quick and easy recipe that is definitely a new family favorite.  I found this recipe online and then edited to make it my own.  And, had I been able to find my cauliflower puree, it would have been Deceptively Delicious! 

Anyway, here's my version of the recipe:

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 c chicken broth
1 1/2 c milk
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
1/2 c Romano cheese
8 oz cream cheese, cut into chunks
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 c heavy whipping cream
Salt and Pepper to taste

First, melt the butter in a sauce pan.
Add flour and brown.
Slowly add chicken broth and simmer until it thickens.
Add milk and whisk steadily while simmering.
Once mixture thickens, add cheeses and stir until smooth.
Continue to whisk to prevent burning.
Add garlic, salt and pepper.
Cook until desired thickness is reached.
Before serving, whisk in whipping cream.

I was quite pleased with the flavor of this sauce, and I tend to be picky when it comes to Alfredo sauce.  Chuck loved it.  He raved over it and he doesn't rave over just anything.  And, it's really pretty simple to make.  It took me about 25 minutes to complete this sauce... Which is about the same amount of time it takes for my water to boil and noodles to cook.  Plus, you can add so many different things to this sauce... chicken, mushrooms, shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes... the possibilities are limitless!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Random Thoughts

I feel like crap.  But I think I have had a bug.  I am pleased with the photos I edited tonight.  It's easy to edit when you have naturally beautiful subjects.  I have so many more pictures to go, plus another big session this weekend!  I wish I could eat steak again.  I used to love it so, that it until this past Saturday.  I don't know if I will ever eat it again.  Anything that requires you to simultaneously sit on the toilet and hug the garbage can can't possibly ever taste good again.  That goes for baked potatoes, baked onions and possibly salad, too... I am so tired of coughing, and I'm pretty sure Emma is too.  We have had drainage which leads to coughing for almost two weeks now... In about 10 weeks we may know if this baby is a boy or girl.  I can't decide what I'll do or not do about a nursery.  Will this baby care if it doesn't have a room to come home to, yet not use for months?  I am dreading Chuck's scope for him.  And for me!  He isn't the best patient!  I finally got my laundry caught up.  Every single cloth diaper Emma has was dirty.  As were her jammie and all of her other clothes.  I still need to clean my floors.  By the time I get all the toys picked up so I can, it is usually so late that I am too tired to... Emma and I had a great time visiting this weekend.  I was ready to be back in my bed, though.  I am spoiled to my tempur-pedic.  I so need to be in the bed right now.  I cleaned house most of the day for company, but they had to cancel... Which means, no nap.  I am exhausted.  My stomach is a wreck, though, so I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep.  I just remembered that I didn't return any emails today... Sorry!  I will tomorrow.  The Saints better step it up if they are going to beat the 49ers.  I hope Emma doesn't get cold and wake up in the night tonight.  What was I thinking eating boiled shrimp, corn, potatoes, garlic and onions tonight?  Not to mention half the container of muscadines and scuppernogs.  Hope this doesn't end up in a repeat of Saturday night.  Trying to get creative for our tailgate this weekend.  We are supposed to be briefly featured on Fox and I want it to look fantastic.  I have got to go to bed.  I'm cold and can hardly keep my eyes open.  Cover Emma up again and kiss her one more time... Night.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Five Question Friday

Aren't you in luck today... Two posts!  I really meant to post about my doctor's visit yesterday, but I was so worn out after that and an afternoon of shopping with Emma and my Mama that I crashed.  I dreamed about what I would write, though.  I guess I was feeling a little guilty about leaving you hanging.  You can catch up by clicking here.

Anyway, here is Five Question Friday... I just love it and can't resist participating every week!

1. What is the first nightmare you remember?

The one I remember is not from childhood, but from my college years... I used to be able to give every single detail of it because it was recurring, but this is all I remember now... I am with a male, never was sure who, we are in a red truck and are driving up to a cabin in the woods.  There we come upon a woman that I know and I am terrified of... I have no clue who she is.  Then, next thing I know is that the woods are on fire and the woman catches fire.  I vividly remember watching her burn to death, her screams, her skin melting.  It was awful!

2. Even if you're not a sports fan, what's your favorite sport to play/watch?

I LOVE to watch Mississippi State University Football... Go STATE!  It gives me such a thrill.  I actually get chills watching the opening video at the games.  And, I think I fall more and more in love with it every single year!

3. If you could pull off one piece of trendy fashion, what would you want it to be (jeggings, hats, thigh high boots, etc.)?

I would so love to wear a micro-mini dress.  You know the ones that literally are so short that you are afraid for the wind to blow!  I would LOVE to have the legs for one of those!

4. Did you make good grades in school?

I made pretty good grades in high school... A's with the occasional B.  College, however, was a little different.  I was told that employer's didn't care about your grades, just that you have a degree... Well, let's just say that I took that to heart.  Most of my classes, I did well in.  There were a few though, that I could have done better.  And, of course, there were a couple that I worked my tail off in and still didn't do well in.  Those were the heart breaking ones.  

5. What magazines do you subscribe to?

I subscribe to Everyday Food Magazine.  I love this one!  It has so many great recipes!  The first year I received it was the first year I was married.  For Thanksgiving, I cooked every recipe in the Thanksgiving issue!  

I also subscribe to Martha Stewart Living.  This crafty magazine inspires me.  I want to decorate my house like the ones featured in it.  They are funky, yet timeless.  I. LOVE. THEM.

Happy Weekend!

Our New Baby

Yesterday was my first pre-natal appointment with Dr. Y.  Honestly, I was quite anxious about it.  I don't really know why other than I think I know more about what can go wrong than I did when I was pregnant with Emma.  

We did the normal stuff, blood work, blood pressure, weight, and then he checked to may sure my uterus was showing signs of pregnancy, which it did.  Then, as we talked more, he suggested that we do an ultrasound to check the gestational age of the baby.  Chuck and I were so excited because with Emma, we didn't do an ultrasound until the second trimester.

The ultrasound tech told us before she started that she would look before putting it on the screen for us to see.  That completely freaked me out.  Luckily, though, it only took her a couple of seconds before she turned our screen on.  We immediately saw our newest addition and he or she already looks like a baby!

So many people have said in the past that you can't tell much this early, that it really just looks like a little blob.  I don't know if it's because I have looked at so many ultrasound pictures or if I was just looking to see a baby, but I could so tell where all the parts are.  It was so exciting and thrilling!  It really made it all real.

I didn't have that with Emma for a while... the realness that you get from seeing.  I knew I was pregnant because I was so sick I could hardly lift my head off the pillow, and I heard her heartbeat, but that was it.

Everything looked good on the ultrasound and our baby measures at 8 weeks and 3 days, today.  Some cysts were spotted and we were told not to worry about them, that they should go away on their own.  However, after the ultrasound, the tech asked us to have a seat in the waiting area because the doctor would need to speak with us again.  Now, I completely freaked out.  We sat in the waiting area for what seemed like forever and then he called for us.  When he didn't take us into a room, I relaxed a little.  He had no news really, just reassurance that everything looked good and that the cysts were nothing to be concerned about.

He gave me a prescription for my sickness, which I am so very grateful for and told us that he was excited for us and looked forward to our next visit in a month.  I look forward to it as well.  I am always anxious to hear our baby's heartbeat and get the reassurance that everything is still going great.

We left feeling good and glad that even though it is a 2 1/2 hour drive that we decided to keep seeing Dr. Y.  He is so good at what he does and truly is invested in his patients.   And as Chuck put it, "He seemes as excited as we are about this baby" which makes me know that sticking with him was the right decision!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

If You Give a Girl a Pig...

If you give a girl a pig, she will love it forever.  
If you give a girl a pig, she will kiss it and pet it and feed it milk from her sippy cup.  
If you give a girl a pig, you will see what unconditional, child-like love is.
If you give a girl a pig, she will carry it around as her pride and joy;
she will share it with her friends, 
and talk to it whenever she thinks it is sad.
If you give a girl a pig, even if it is not real, she will give it all the love in her heart,
just because that is what girls do...
If you give a girl a pig.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Coxsackie Virus

Emma came home from school with a note today... A note about a confirmed case of coxsackie virus within her school.  It completely freaked me out to begin with because I wasn't exactly sure what in the heck this is.  But, after a little research, I have come to the conclusion that it is basically Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.  Correct me if I am wrong because the internet does provide misinformation.

We have been exposed to this before, and survived it without too much grief.  But, I am hoping to avoid it this time.  I seriously don't think I can handle it.  I really need Emma to stay well right now.  It would really help me survive these tough weeks of morning sickness.

And, another thing, this note informed me that there was a confirmed case at her school, but not whether or not it was in her class.  So, I'm not really sure how direct her exposure to it has been.  Not that it would make that big of a difference to have these details, but I just like knowing.

I guess, now, we will just hurry up and wait to see if it will strike our household.  I worry that it might because we are all exhausted from this past weekend, Emma especially.  It was fun, but busy, which means that bedtimes sometimes got forgotten.

It's too late now to fret over lack of sleep, though, so the only thing on my side is a prayer that we will be spared from illness.  Hope that you and yours are all well and good!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Crazy, Busy

What a crazy, busy weekend it has been!

Thursday, we went to Starkville for the MSU v. Auburn game.  It was so much fun, even though we didn't come out with a win.  I have faith that the Bulldog program is well on its way to seasons of nothing but wins.  After the game, which Emma and I made it through all but the last minute and a half, we went back to the tailgate for a few minutes.  Then, after visiting with everyone there and eating a little more, we battled traffic and went to our hotel.  Having the hotel has been so nice, especially since this was a 6:30 game and it was LATE when it was over.

While we were getting unloaded and up to our room at the hotel, we ran into a good many of the ESPN crew.  We were on the elevator together and they were so, so kind to hold the doors and such since I had my hands full with Emma and all of our stuff.  Then, when we went back down to move the car and get our milk from the hotel restaurant fridge we literally ran into Jesse Palmer.  I was pretty excited because he played for Florida when I was in college.  I actually saw him play against MSU in Starkville.  I was a pretty big fan of his back then.  So, it was kind of neat... Yes, I realize I'm a dork like that!

Anyway, I finally got Emma to sleep around 11:45 Thursday night and then early Friday morning we got up and went to Calhoun City to visit my parents.  We spent Friday visiting with Granna, Pop, Grandmother, Papaw, Laila and Aunt Jenn.  I was so thankful for the visit, and for the ability to nap, because I wasn't feeling well.  We cooked fish that night and went to bed.

Saturday, we got up and started playing.  Laila came early, so they started playing hard very early.  I had a photo shoot that was scheduled for the afternoon, but after some discussion we moved it up.  It's a good thing we did because it rained off and on all afternoon.  Granted, it rained off and on that morning.  However, we were able to get some really great shots and I can't wait to show off this beautiful family.

Later that day, Emma, Granna and I went to Laila's house to let the girls play some more and help Jenn get ready to have company.  Oh, and she brought me a much needed snack from Sonic... I was still struggling!  I am so ready for this 'morning sickness' to pass!

A little later, after naps and relaxing, Emma and I went back to Jenn and Justin's for supper for the Weeks family.  They have two of the most precious little girls!  They are 2 and 4 1/2 months.  Emma had so much fun playing with Laila and M.  Plus, she was completely enthralled with the baby, S.  When she saw her, she stopped playing, walked over to her and said, "Sweet baby.  Hold her."  It was so sweet!  My heart melted!  She also would walk over to S while she was in her chair and would talk to her and lay her head down on the chair beside her.  I really think she is going to love our new baby immediately!  After lots of playing I took Emma back to Granna and Pops and put her to bed.

Today, it was another early morning for Emma.  This child refuses to sleep in!  But, she played with Granna and Pop and then got ready to go to Church with them.  Once again, I wasn't feeling well, so I got her ready and laid back down.  Getting her ready, though, was quite the challenge.  She would run from me and then would turn limp when I caught her.  She wiggled and kicked while I dressed her and then, when I finally got done, she went to the door and said, "Ready."  Another meltdown followed when Granna and Pop told her that it wasn't quite time to go.  She stomped her feet and screamed "READY!"  Finally, Pop took her outside to kill time until Church.  I packed her pack-pack (backpack) with lots to keep her entertained, and truly expected them to return early with her.

Pop came back in bragging that she was still and quite the entire time... And, well, she was still and quite because she was asleep.  They have no idea how lucky they got with that!

After lunch, Emma, Granna and I went to visit with the H family that I grew up babysitting for.  I am shooting their oldest daughter, E's, senior pictures, so we had a meeting today to go over her clothes.  It was so much fun to hang out with them.  I sat in the floor and we talked boys and clothes and school.  I think the last time I was there it was me talking boys, clothes and school!  The tables have definitely turned!  Emma had a blast playing with their youngest daughter, who she called Taddy.  

Once we wrapped that up, it was time to head back to Granna's and pack up our stuff to head home.  While I was loading the car, she talked Pop into getting her a sicle, a Popsicle.  They sat and ate those while Granna and I made a final check.  When she finished that sicle, she cried for another, but Pop was able to distract her with the idea of going outside.  He loaded her into her car seat, handed her her milk, paci and diaper and then we all said our good-byes.

It was a long two-hour drive home, but with suckles (suckers) and Tigger, we made it.  We got in and visited with Daddy, had dinner and then it was time for our bedtime routine.  It only took long enough for me to lay her in bed before she was asleep.  Hopefully she will rest well and be ready for another crazy, busy week, because it is going to be one!

Hope your weekend was filled with as much fun as ours and you have a great week up ahead.  We are all excited about my first doctor's appointment on Thursday.  I can't wait to hear this baby's heartbeat!  I don't expect a sonogram, but, if I do have one, I'll post pictures!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Five Question Friday

Finally Friday!  Woohoo!  And, this Friday has been a pretty great one!  We have been at Granna and Pop's since 8:45 this morning!  I LOVE days spent at Granna and Pop's... especially when I get to stay until Sunday! 

And, it doesn't hurt that they don't mind if I put all responsibility of Emma on them for a few hours.  I really love that part, especially now.  Growing a baby is exhausting work!  And, I am completely exhausted! 

Anyway, here is Five Question Friday.  Please be sure that if you decide to participate after seeing it on my blog that you link up to My Little Life and give Mama M credit, since this is her idea.  Otherwise, you wind up copying or plagiarizing and that's so NOT cool!

Rules for Five Question Friday: Same as always!! Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then c'mon back and link up (on Friday!). If you don't have a blog, but wanna play along with the coolest blog hop in town, feel free to leave your answers in the comments below!

1. Do you feel guilty spending money on yourself?

Ummm, yes.  However, I do still spend money on myself... just not like I used to.  Which, in all honesty, is a really good thing.  I used to buy things for myself just to buy something.  Then I would wind up will all sorts of stuff that I didn't need, want, use, etc.

2. How well do you know your neighbors?

Not well at all... In my defense, I have only been in my neighborhood  and town since June.  I will say that I have met them, and they are super nice, I just haven't gotten to know them really well yet.

3. What age are you looking forward to being?

21?  Again?  Ha Ha!  I really don't care about the number.  I am looking forward to the age, whatever number it may be, that I will finally be truly comfortable in my own skin.  Surely, that happens, right?

4. Do you get excited when the mail comes? Why?

Only at Christmas time and that is because of all the Christmas cards.  Otherwise, I don't really get mail. 

5. What is your earliest childhood memory?

I am not sure how old I was, probably 4, but I would tell stories about "Yellow-Eyes."  He was some scary character that I would make up stories about and try to scare my brother.  Funny thing is, I am now terrified of stuff like that... I can't even hear scary music without getting completely freaked out!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Surviving the Dog Days...

..of pregnancy that is.  If you've been there, you know the ones I am talking about.  The days of being sick as a dog, the days of being dog tired... the dog days.  I am in the midst of these days; and if this pregnancy is anything like my first, I have many, many more to go.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I felt really good.  And, as much as I enjoyed it, I couldn't help but worry that something might be wrong with this pregnancy.   Plus, with my first pregnancy, my doctor told me the sicker I was, the healthier the baby.  I just couldn't fathom being pregnant and feeling great.   

It didn't take long, though, for the sickness to set in.  I noticed a little last week, that I wasn't feeling as great.  But, by Saturday afternoon, it was full fledged sickness.  Since we were at the MSU ballgame, I was distracted from feeling bad.  But the last few days have not been good.  

I haven't actually been sick, like vomiting or anything, yet... But, oh my goodness, I have been nauseas.  It is like having a constant hangover, without the fun before.  There are moments when I just want to curl up in the fetal position and cry.

And, whoever said that food taste better when you are pregnant didn't experience pregnancy quite like this!  The thought of certain foods sounds good, but when I actually get the food, I can't eat it.  Just the smell makes my stomach do flips.  Just the thought of some foods makes me sick... Remember my post about the hot dogs that were so good? Well, just typing that sentence just made me dry-heave.  And the thought of chicken... ugh!  I don't think I ever fully recovered from my aversion to chicken while pregnant with Emma... 

You see, when I was pregnant with Emma, I taught at a school that is in a town with LOTS of chicken farms.  I would dry-heave all the way to school every single morning and all the way home in the afternoon.  And, on mornings that were foggy or really damp, the smell was that much worse.  And, if that wasn't enough, I usually got behind a chicken truck and had to witness these poor, nasty creatures falling out and getting smashed in the road.  Needless to say, I am not much of a chicken fan these days.

Anyway, with Emma, I was sick until I was well past the 24 week mark.  That is over half way through the pregnancy!  And, that means I possibly have 18 plus weeks to go.  UGH!!!  Seriously, how am I going to keep up with Emma when I feel so bad!?!?!  My friends that have had their second child tell me that you just push through the sickness and tiredness.  They say that deep down you know that you don't have any other option but to get through it, so you do.  I hope they're right!

Say a prayer that the sickness subsides soon rather than later!  And say a prayer for a healthy pregnancy.  My first appointment is the 16th, so just 9 days away.  I can't wait!  

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day to all!  I hope that you didn't have to do too much labor today!  Thank goodness I didn't!

We have had a pretty good day around here.  We had a leisurely morning that included an awesome nap for me and Emma.  Then Chuck, Emma, our dogs and I went to Buckhaven...our lake house that we are in the process of building with our good friends, the R's,  that is so far in the backside of no where you literally have to know the GPS coordinates to get there!  It is so awesome, though, to be in the middle of no where.

Chuck did a little work while we were there... it isn't completed yet, but really close!  And Emma and I colored and wandered around outside.  She walked directly to the water, and would have gone in after our lab, Maci, but she sunk in the mud.  And, in true Emma fashion, when she realized that she was ankle deep in mud, she stiffened up completely and screamed.  Then, she proceeded to scream until I got her back to the house and cleaned up.

I let her go back out on the front porch without her shoes which was a set-up for disaster.  Meiko, our Yorkie, would run from her and she couldn't get off the porch to chase him.  She stood at the edge screaming, "Meiko. Back!"

When we did go back in, Meiko followed and it didn't take Emma long to figure out a way to his heart... She was eating Cheetos and found that Meiko really, really likes them!  So, Emma and Meiko sat in the floor eating Cheetos.

As much as I don't like for her to feed him people food, they were both loving it so much that I couldn't put a stop to it.  Not to mention that Emma would giggle like crazy and I love to hear that.  And, though they have always loved each other, I think they took their relationship to another level today.  Which makes me super happy!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


If you know me at all, then you know I am almost never without my camera in hand... I have even mastered holding Emma and getting the shot I want!  I love all things photography related.  I can't help it.  It's in my soul and for me, to capture the perfect moment is like living that spectacular moment over and over and over again.

Recently, I have been sharing my love for photography with friends and it has been well received.  I have been photographing my family, my friends, their kids, their friends and even a family pet or two.  It has been such an exciting adventure and I am so grateful to each and every one that trust me enough to get in front of my lens.

I have had a few things in the works for fall, and it seems that they are all going to pan out perfectly.  I really couldn't be more excited.  However, in the last week, I have been asked to do senior pictures for quite a special young lady, E.  She is someone that I have known for years, because I basically grew up at her house.  I babysat her and her brothers and sisters for what seems like forever!  So much so, that when I left for college and told my friends about them, I referred to them as my babies (*tear* I can't believe they are all grown up)!

I felt very much like part of their family and my family considered them family too.  And, though time, distance, and life pulled me further away from them than I would have liked, I still think of them as family.

Needless to say, when I first got the email about possibly doing senior pictures, I was beside myself.  I could hardly contain my excitement!  And then, after talking to them, I am even more ecstatic!  E and her mom already have a very clear idea of what they and, and more importantly, what they don't want.  They are up for adventure and trying different things, which is exactly what any photographer wants!  We have already talked about a road trip and capturing E naturally... as opposed to some of the super, posed, sometimes stuffy pictures that you can sometimes wind up with.

I am so looking forward to spending some time with them and getting the perfect shots!  I know that it is going to be an awesome day for me, and hopefully, it will be just another perfect day in E's senior year.

I can't wait to post some of my favorites here!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


As you may have read here, my baby sister recently got engaged and is getting married!  I honestly couldn't be happier for her or her fiancĂ©.

With all of this happiness and excitement comes the realization that my baby sister isn't a baby any more.  Seriously, when did that happen?  But, anyway, with all of this news I have been thinking about what it means to be a sister.

And though has a point with it's definition, a female offspring having both parents in common with another offspring: female sibling. that just doesn't really seem to do it for me.

You see, for the age of five, when my sister was born... having a sister meant having a real live baby doll.  She was everything my baby dolls were and more.  She was warm and soft and she reacted to me.  She smelled sweeter than any baby doll ever could.  And, every chance I got, I tried to step in and be her mama.

As I got a little older, and so did she... my sister was still like my living, breathing doll.  I dressed her up; I fed her concoctions of pickles, peanut butter and yogurt.... which surprisingly she ate; I 'taught' her school, and dance.  She was a little sponge that was soaking up all of my attention and loving it, while all the time, I saw it as me being the one having all the fun.

Time kept passing, though, and age differences, puberty, boys, and middle school friends made my baby sister seem more like a pain than the joy that she used to be.  This little girl who would do anything for me, who I begged for her to be able to sleep in my room, was now the very little girl that I wished would just go away and leave me alone.  Not because I didn't love her, because that is just something that happens sometimes.

And, though we didn't have the same type of relationship we once did, she was still my baby sister.  I would still hurt anyone who even thought of hurting her.  I dared anyone to mess with her.  She was growing up and getting into the same type of things I now liked.  And, I didn't want to admit it, but when she chose things that we like the things I liked, I would just beam inside.  And, I probably gave her a hard time for wanting to be just like me, but in reality, I loved it.

Even still, with each passing day, our relationship changes.  However, the changes in it are quite subtle and don't entail a screaming match.  I have watched her over the past years as she has grown and changed and become the woman she is today.  I wonder how my life would have been different without her to experience it with.  I wonder if I would be as good of a friend if I hadn't had this friendship throughout my life.  I wonder how things might have been different if she had been the big sister.  And, though, I wonder these things, I am glad that I don't have the answers.  Having the answers would mean changing my life, my relationship with her and that isn't something that I would ever want.

Being a big sister meant, and still means, having responsibility to a younger sibling.  For me, it was such a fun and loving experience, even though there were times that I couldn't see that.  And as I look back, and then forward to my baby sister's wedding, to another change in the dynamic of our relationship, I think about my daughter, Emma, and the kind of sister that she will be.

Will she want to be called "Little Mama" like I did?  Will a new sibling, to her, just be someone to vie for my attention?  She currently loves baby dolls... will a baby sibling be like a real live baby doll to her?  Will she hide a new siblings' paci and diaper?  Will she kick his or her crib?  Or, will she shower a new sibling with kisses and want to be apart of every single second of his or her life?

I don't know... yet.  But, I am looking forward to finding out. Soon.  Like, in a little over thirty weeks, soon!  Yep.  You read that right.  In a little over thirty weeks Emma will be a big sister!  Chuck and I are so excited for the newest member of our family to make his or her debut!  And, we are hoping that Emma will be as excited about a new baby as we are!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Five Question Friday

1. What do you do when you have time to yourself?

 Whatever it is that I cannot/will not do when Emma is with me... 

2. When you look out your kitchen window, what do you see?
Just my back yard and fence.  Occasionally, I will see one of our dogs 
running by.

3. Who/What would you want to be reincarnated as?   

My cat... He comes and goes as he pleases, he eats whenever he wants. 
He gets to live inside or out.  He really is the boss when he wants to be!

4. What is your biggest pet peeve about other people's kids?

It's not so much the kids as it is the parents.  You know that parent who 
seems completely and totally oblivious to their kid beating my child, or 
the animals?  That drives me insane!  I may not can always control my child, but I will at least make a noticeable effort!

5. Regular or Diet soda?

I actually like both.  It really depends on the day whether I prefer regular     
or diet.  Some days regular drinks are just too sweet!

Hope you have an awesome Labor Day Weekend!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

They say...

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  If that's true, then a motion picture, or movie must be worth so much more.  Right?  Well, it probably would be if it was actually captured and saved.

Emma and I were at the park strolling this afternoon and I decided to take her to the edge of the lake to look at the ducks.  We stroll out there a lot and she sees the ducks from a distance, but we hadn't gotten up close until today.

After our stroll today, I asked Emma if she would like to go see the ducks.  Of course she did, and was so enthusiastic about it!  We packed up our stroller and I let her walk beside me.  She reached up for my hand and I honestly almost cried!  How sweet was that!

Anyway, as we walked along the path to the water's edge, Emma kept saying, "Ready.  (L)Et's go!  See ducks!  Cack, cack (Quack, quack)!  I had my phone and decided to call Chuck so that he could hear how excited she was.  Of course, he didn't answer, and when he called back, Emma wouldn't say a word.  But he suggested that I record her if she started again.

And, wouldn't you know it, the second I hang up, she starts chattering away again.  So, I fidgeted with my phone until I got the video app pulled up and ready.  I started videoing and she put on quite the show.

Emma talked and said ducks until they came over to where we were standing.  She was thrilled with the idea that the ducks were so close, but stomped her feet when the started to swim away.  I quickly grabbed her cup full of 'whale' crackers and threw some in the water.  The ducks immediately turned around and came back.

I kept tossing crackers in the water, much to Emma's dismay, but it kept the ducks around... All of a sudden, this one duck decided to get out of the water and come close to us.  We seriously could have touched it!  And, as great as that was, I was also thinking that it probably wasn't the safest idea.

Emma was enthralled with this duck that came close to her.  But seriously, all I could think was, "Do ducks bite? Do they have teeth?  What if it pecks her?  What kind of disease do ducks carry?"

Really, though, Emma was hopping up and down screaming and eating her whales and this duck was maybe two feet from her.  It would watch her grab crackers out of her cup, and if she dropped one, it was all over it... Even risking getting stepped on!

Finally, I had endured all that I could and started tossing crackers in the water so the duck would go away.  I scooped Emma up and got ready to head back to the car.  As we were leaving, Emma waved at the ducks and shouted, "Bye, see you later!"  Then she chattered some more, but all I could make out was ducks, swimming, and bye.

Through all of this I was recording, and was so excited to send it to Chuck and share it here with all of you.  However, when I tried to pull it up, I found that it wasn't there.  Some how I managed to delete the entire video!  Are you kidding me!?!?!?  I was so upset that I managed to do this.  But, what can I do.

Maybe we'll have another moment like that with the ducks and I will be able to actually capture it and SAVE it!

Until next time...