Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Suess 'Do

It is no secret that Knox's 16 month old hair has been beginning to resemble that of a certain beloved Christmas villian (see his shirt if you can't see past the mullet!). And after having been complimented on "my beautiful daughter" without having Lucy with me, I decided it was time to take the plunge and get him his first hair cut. This was tough for me. I have always wanted a little boy with long hair, but his is so stick straight it was getting way too unruly and just ended up being used as a napkin at the end of every meal.

TADAA!! The After!
I went ahead and got Lucy's trimmed, too, so everyone would look daper in their Christmas morning photos this week. This child is getting WAY into posing. This one was after she told me she wanted to take a "pretty" picture.


Lucy after...way after. She was decorating a cake for Baby Jesus's birthday. She said he likes Christmas, so its a Christmas wreath. I at least talked her out of making a pink princess cake for him.

So now my little baby boy is walking-almost running-around my house looking every bit the part of a little boy. *sniffle* At lunch, I referred to him as "our baby" and Lucy said, "You mean our handsome, cool buddy." *Sniffle* *Sniffle*

And what happened then...?
Well...in Who-ville they say
That the Grinch's small heart
Grew three sizes that day!

And now we wait for Christmas....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Loving the Mall Santa.

I offer no shame in the love of getting the kiddos picture made with Santa every year. I love looking back at pictures of myself as a kid and seeing what I wore, how many times I cried, the meat department Santa at Kroger that my mom used in a desperate attempt to get my sister to sit in a santa (any santa's!) lap. This year I did request Dan go with me, because I had a sneaking suspicion that Knox would freak. He has a pretty sensitive "Stranger Danger" reflex. So, we hit up the mall and waited in line, rehearsing what Lucy would ask for (making sure it matched what was actually going to be under the tree!), and distracting Knox.

The Santa was very nice He held Lucy's hands and spoke directly to her. She answered all his questions, rattled off "Cinderella Magic Wand Computer"(sigh of relief from mom) and "car" for Knox. Then all of a sudden she froze, pulled her hands away, and jerked me down to the floor. Her eyes were so wide, I thought she was having a panic attack! She whispered in my ear, "look behind Santa!". Well, sitting perched behind Santa was an Elf on The Shelf, exactly like the one that has been "watching" and moving around our house. Santa saw this reaction and totally played along with a question, "lets see, what was that elf's name that I sent to your house..." of course Lucy exclaimed, "Lapa!" (don't ask about the name, I don't know either), and Santa replied, "Ah yes, Lapa, cute little fellow. You know he reports back to me every night and lets me know if you are being good...or naughty. " Lucy was simply awe struck. True Believing twinkled in her eyes. I totally wanted to slip Santa a fifty.

I had gotten to the point lately that I was afraid she was getting a little too smart for her own good, already asking questions about which Santa was real, and how our elf was just a doll and dolls can't have magic. I think now, she got back a little of that mystique that goes with the season. I plan on keeping it that way forever. Just ask my mom, Santa still visits our house every year!

As for the picture, Lucy did great. And Knox looks like he's going to puke. But he's not crying, so I am happy. Ah, memories.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Angels Heard On High

Getting instructions from Ms. Lynelle

I have learned that since being a parent, your life revolves around the silliest of things. This weekend was planned entirely around Lucy's first performance, and by performance, I mean first sentence spoken into a microphone in front of other people! Her Cherub Choir at church (made up of 3, 4, and 5 year olds)had their Christmas program. In the audience, Lucy had 10 family members for support! We waited anxiously for her to say, "and he sent them to Bethlehem and said, Go search diligently for the young child!". The greatest part was being able to see her cover one hand on the microphone and tell the mom in charge of prompting the kids their line, "I know how to say it, " as if to say, "Back off, I got it!". Her little voice coming across on the sound system was very angelic. The rest of the time she sang, waved, and fiddled with her hair and halo. Just how I would imagine a 3 year old angel would behave.
A little pre show feather fight!
Exclaiming, "Pap!" as she walked by us on the way to the stage!

There she goes! Note that every kid is looking in a different direction!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Snow Day

I am officially crazy. As a photographer, when you wake up to snow, its hard not to think "PHOTOSHOOT!" Luckily, the kids were anxious to get outside, so they hardly noticed when I dressed them in cute clothes instead of the usually playing outside rough and tough wear. We only lasted maybe 15 minutes before we were all cold, wet and to the point of tears, but we still got some cute pictures. The hardest part was getting Knox to look up at me...he was fasinated by the snow and wouldn't stop starring at it!

I am feeling the pressure to send out Christmas cards this year, so we will see if and when we actually do it! Its easy to say you'll skip it, but then all the cute cards start showing up in the mail and taunt me hanging up in the foyer of my house. The best pics will have to wait to see if they are fated for Christmas card glory!

can you make out the single frozen tear?!

Lucy's first comment when it started snowing last night was "Now its Christmas." I would say I have to agree! Its almost here, folks!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Run, Mamma, Run!

This past Saturday, I checked an item off my "bucket list": run a half marathon. Now, while that goal is obtainable by many people, it was a shot in the dark for me. Before August of this year, I had not run farther than 1 mile. I made fun of runners, running outfits, and found the mere thought of running for fun obsurd. But, I really began to like the idea of training and accomplishing something, so I have mentioned it to a friend, and before long, we were off and well, running! I would have never guessed I could actually do it, but I did-ran all the way, though my speed is pretty slow! Here are some pictures provided by Papa Goose and a few shout outs:
Me and Amy crossing the finish line! Amy has been my support along the journey both physically and mentally, and many days, spirtually! We stayed with each other the entire race and held hands as we finished so we would have the same time. Without her and our friend Ashley (who's time left us in the dust!), I would have never gotten the nerve to race!
My life long friend and cousin, Liz. We decided to both do this race seperately, then were surprised to find out that the other signed up! I am really proud of her for sticking to training and finishing in an impressive time, all in the same year she was diagnosed with Lupus. Take that, disease!
This is my buddy, Mike, crossing the finish after completing the FULL. Mike offered us running expertise and support during training. I still think anyone who would want to run one step past 13.1 is crazy, but this guy has now done it mulitple times.

Overall, taking 2 hours and 45 minutes to do something for myself that ended up as a feat of physical ability did wonders for my spirit. When you spend your day constantly rounding up children and rarely getting a thought completed, much less projects or tasks, getting awarded a medal for doing something means a lot. Now, little running vacation, then train for Music City. I guess I can add "runner" to my resume. Who would thought?!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Little Emmy

Robin ranks pretty high up there when it comes to nicest person ever. She fell in love with Seth, who just so happens to be in that same contest for the nice award. And together, they had Emmy. Know what else is nice? When good things happen to good people, and that is just what this little blessing is! Thanks, guys, for letting me experience your new family. Pure joy.

Gotta love that hat!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Self Portrait at 30.

So, November 26th of this year, I turn 30. I have yet to decide exactly how I feel about that. On one hand, I am glad. I feel accomplished at 30, having gotten the big things like marriage, college, and babies out of the way. On the other hand, there are parts I seem to have forgotten to do and now feel "too old". I was going to study in Italy, be a trapeeze artist, and have a bridal boutique. When I think about getting older, I freak, since my idea of retirement has been taking the job of a St. Thomas cab driver and sleeping on the beach. Already I have developed enough ailments to know that is probably not the best plan! And if my knees get stiff now, geez, what will 40, 50, 60 and beyond be like?! And my kids-If I get older, then they do to, and eventually my status as supreme being with the final say might be compromised as teenage years enter our household. And then they will move out and be free thinking adults who will, eventually, turn 30 themselves, leaving me, well...really, really old!
And how do you celebrate a milestone at this point? Up until now, it dictated itself: 16, get license, 18, register to vote and hit the over 18 scene, 21, buy a drink. 30, buy mom jeans? I just don't know. Many friends around me have made this the surprise party year-generally thrown by the younger in the married couple. Since Old Man Dan took the plunge at 30 a few months back, I guess I am safe there. A simple arrangement of 30 diamonds might be nice..
The kicker about turning 30 is no one asked me. It was going to happen whether I chose it to or not. God's plan has been pretty cool so far, so I okay with moving forward and checking out what lays ahead. I will take solace in knowing that with time passing also comes the time when my children sleep all night and go to school all day. Maybe then I will get on to the business of the flying trapeeze.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Portrait Blitz

During the "Holiday Portrait Season", I find it easier to book a weekend full of sittings, one after another, in order to squeeze in as many folks as possible. This year it took place at the future home of Franklin First United Methodist Church. Our church bought the land mere months ago, and although it will be years before we break ground, you cannot deny thee feeling of possibility on that spot. I hired a sitter from sun up to sun down and Dan (my lovely assistant) and I spend the entire day enjoying the sunshine.
Mamma On break
One of the challenges I face being a portrait photographer is how to capture a family and still make it worthy of a Christmas card. I can be artistic all day long, but as a business owner, I still have to sell prints in the end. Lucky for me, Dan is an amazing help. He is a pied piper of sorts. Children find his humor hysterical, and by the end of the shoot, they are climbing on him and playing chase. We set up a pleasing background, interact with the kids and family, and the results (hopefully!) are portraits that feel honest.

Thanks to all the great families who came out. Part of the proceeds go to the building fund of the church-a place where all these smiling faces will grow up.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Rice Quadruplets

I specifically remember meeting Chuck Rice whenever he visited our Sunday school 3 summers ago. Just as casually as he would comment on the weather, he mentioned in conversation that his wife was pregnant and currently on bedrest. Boy or Girl? Yes, he replied. Quads. Well, they had my attention from that point on. They were born at an amazing 26 weeks (thats right, Danielle-26!) and although they had their fair share of time at Vandy, they are all vivacious 3 year olds! I have always wanted to photograph them, and Sunday I got my chance. I had a blast with each kid. Its fascinating to me that they came from the same place and are so different. Their whole journey is a visible testiment to miracles in my opinion, and I feel fortunate to know them. Ann never ceases to amaze me with her calm nature and ease at handling them. I keep a picture of them when they were little babies to remind me that I just have 2...it could be much harder!

Shep (short for Shepherd). He's the only boy and kind of the ring leader.

Laura Frances, whom I would best describe as an old soul.

Miss Elizabeth is going to give Mom and Dad a run for their money. And drive the boys crazy!
Mary Carter is just the tiniest little teacup and sweet as pie.

Thats a lot of little toes!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pumpkinfest 2008

I heart pumpkinfest. I have debated telling my kids that this Franklin event is actually Halloween, because its way better! Basically downtown Franklin shuts down all day to allow costumed children (and some adults) to fill the streets in search of candy, games, and good food. We trick or treated to the businesses, played old fashion games like fishing pond and lollipop tree, tasted and voted in the chili cookoff for lunch (then raided Lucy's bag for candy afterwards!) and just enjoyed the atmosphere. Its days like this one that truly make me appreciate my community. We were fortunate enough to be accompanied by Mickey and Minnie Mouse this year...

Leah as Sleeping Beauty

Little Bronson as a Penguin

Flower (Bella) and Lightening McQueen (Taylor)

THE scarecrow from Oz. Lucy was upset the rest of the gang wasn't also there!