Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The pressure is off

I feel relieved. Why? I shall give you three reasons:

1. It snowed last night.

Which means that schools were closed today. Which means that I had one more day of my super-husband slash baby-daddy home to make my life easier.

Do you ever feel like you have so many undone projects that you just don't even know which to start finishing? And then they just pile on top of you and get heavier and heavier like a big load of blankets? And then you think, hey, these blankets are kinda warm... maybe I will just take a nap under here... Today I dug out from under the blankets, both in a literal laundry sense and a figurative every-other-project sense. I got so much checked off of my personal and business to-do lists today and now I have much more clarity to deal with the remaining items. Big sigh of relief.

2. It snowed last night.

Because we had an awesomely snowtastic winter last year, I've felt slightly cheated by our average snowfall this winter. And then this past Friday it was 70 degrees and it really was lovely, but I got a little panicky. Is winter over? It's only February. What is going on? Should I be ready for spring? Do I need to plant some flowers? I'm still trying to figure out how dead LAST year's flowers are. They look pretty dead on my porch, but who can be sure? Do I need to buy some sunscreen? Change my closet? I don't even know what strange new summer fashion trends I need to avoid. Is summer going to last for TEN MONTHS THIS YEAR?

And then, ahhhhhh. A fresh batch of snow set everything right again. The world is as it should be and I feel perfectly content now to begin the gradual transition to warmer days. And also, my dead[ish?] plants are covered in fluffy whiteness so I don't have to see them. Win.

3. It snowed last night.

And not only did I take some pictures in the park today, I am sharing them with you right now. This may surprise you. Have I mentioned that I am loving the Instagr.am app on my iPhone these days? It's super un-fancy, like me, and makes my iPhone photo of the week more fun (and more likely to happen)! I follow a pretty strict policy of only downloading free iPhone apps, and this one is well worth the $0.00 I spent on it.

I have such a perfectionism problem feeling that I have to edit every image I shoot- even just snapshots- which is why I have a backlog of personal photos from September hiding on my computer. But because there aren't endless editing options and adjustments in Instagr.am, I just take a picture with my phone, choose one effect, and boom- a fun, square picture is born. I literally can't do anything else to it, so the pressure is totally gone. It somehow makes me happy that the images aren't, and can't be, perfect. I need to be ok will a little more imperfection in my life.

So while the rest of Maryland pouts that the snow came and ruined their pretty spring weekend, I'm a little sad that it's been melting so quickly. Tonight I take a deep breath and go to sleep feeling much lighter. Thank you snow.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tell me what you want, what you really really want

Why, why did the Spice Girls start in my head?

I am tweaking my spring and summer calendar and I want to hear from you- what do you want? Would my South Carolina families prefer April or June for photo sessions? (I'm hearing some of both, so I thought I'd throw it out there.) Do you want Columbia? Hilton Head? Charleston? Greenville? Do my Marylanders want Ocean City or Rehoboth or Annapolis? Anyone for California? (A girl can dream.) Speak now or forever hold your peace...

Leave a comment or send me an e-mail with your thoughts. Travel dates will be announced ASAP.

And can I just say that I love a barefoot baby? I did not know this until this week. My baby was born in the summer and it was about 80 bajillion degrees, so he naturally spent his first few months barefoot. And then winter rolled in and the socks went on and I forgot all about baby feet. And then this week we've had this odd, super-mild weather, so I haven't bothered with his socks every day... ohgoodgrief I didn't know how much I missed his toes and his chubby little feet. And apparently neither did he.

They're talking about a little snow next week and temps getting back to normal February in Maryland, but right now I can't get spring and bare feet out of my head. Which brings me back to the topic of today's post- spring photo sessions. To say that I am excited about this spring would be a serious understatement. Last spring I kept things pretty low-key with the bambino on the way, but this year there's no big belly to slow me down!

I'll be announcing a special deal next week for everyone booking spring sessions, so stay tuned!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The way to my heart

This morning, my child woke up at 5:15. As he has every day for the past week. Not cool.

I sat half asleep in the recliner "watching" him squeal and play on the floor in his room. Dylan walked in to tell us bye before he left for work at 6:15. (Dylan, don't take this the wrong way, but I hate it when I get to see you before work.)

Anyway, he said, "It's kind cool... for the next ten years or so, Brody is always going to think you are his Valentine." I'm not super-cheesy, super-mushy, or super into Valentine's Day, and let's be honest, that statement is all of those things. But it still struck me as kinda cute.

So after his morning nap, my little Valentine took me out on a date. Nevermind that he didn't pay, it still counts.

We went to Dunkin Donuts. He knows his mommy well- donuts are the way to my heart.

Mommy ate donuts.

Brody ate a stuffed hippopotamus.

Mommy considered giving him a piece of donut, but since he barfed up all of the bread he tasted for the first time the other day, we stuck with the hippo. Maybe next year.

And now we are off to bake some sugar cookies for my real Valentine. (And by "we," I totally mean me while Brody sits and cries in his exersaucer. Awesome. These sort of memories will be much more fun when he is older.)

And p.s., who knew that by waiting until Valentine's morning the shelves at the grocery store would be wiped clean of all heart-stamped pre-sliced cookies? Booooo for boring undecorated circle cookies that actually look like squares.

Oh and thank you Instag.ram for making my iPhone pictures kinda pink in honor of today.

Hope you have a happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

To do: make a to-do list.

So here's something that should surprise no one- I like to-do lists. And when I don't have them, nothing gets done.

Last week I planned to blog every day, so I made myself a list of what to blog and BOOM, done. Last week, I planned to eat dinner every day (as most people do) so I laid out our meal plan ahead of time. Boom, dinners cooked.

This week, I made no blogging list, hence it is already Wednesday and this is all you've gotten from me. I made no meal plan, so we've had to eat the emergency back-up frozen dinner from the freezer and toast and grilled cheese. Which would be fine except now we no longer have a back-up, and we are dangerously low on cheese.

The worst part is I know we have all the ingredients in the pantry to make several different meals- I bought them on purpose last week to avoid this very problem. But since I only wrote out my meal plan through the end of the week now I don't remember what I had planned for this week. BOOOOOOOOO.

Let's go ahead and deem this week FAIL and plan on a better week next time. (Side note: when did everyone start saying "FAIL" all the time? And in all caps? I decided to try it out here. Don't know that I see what all the fuss is about.)

I have had several requests for pictures of my sad friend Streaky, so you can plan on seeing that later this week. I still need to take his picture. I should write that down.

I'd better go make some lists while the kiddo is napping or I am going to forget everything.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The adventurous type

For some of us, an adventure would be an activity such as trying a BRAND NEW chicken and pasta entree at Olive Garden on her birthday instead of her USUAL chicken and pasta dish. For others, it would be buying an old conversion van, making it awesome, and driving around the country all summer living in it with a very loosely defined travel plan.

Guess which one is me? Guess which one is them?

Ben and Lauren will be packing up and hitting the road in June, just for kicks. How incredible is that? Ben is a teacher and Lauren owns her own business, so they've got the ultimate set-up to take a timeout for a summer-o-fun.

Ben knows his way around a video camera, so they are creating a video blog to document their summer travels. I plan to live vicariously through their journey so that I can pretend I am as adventurous as they are. (Although I will have you know, the new meal at Olive Garden that I cannot remember the name of is quite good and may have earned itself a rotating spot as "the usual." How's THAT for adventure.) So anyway, Ben and Lauren needed some photos for the blog design, so we picked a chilly morning in December while I was in SC and marched through the frost to pretend it was summer.

The photographer may or may not have slipped on the frozen grass (twice) as she warned them to be careful. The truth will never be known.

Oh yeah, when I say Lauren owns her own business I mean that she is a killer graphic designer and creates amazing and eco-friendly invitations, cards, and any other printed stuff you want. Things like the most awesome baby announcements in the world, cause that's what she made for me. It's because of Lauren's mad skills that I now feel I need my grocery list to be letter-pressed on recycled cardstock each week. If you are a bride, a new mom, an event planner, or just a girl who likes a classy shopping list, Utopia Invitations is the place to go.

Back to the pictures.

Oh, and when they need to get around whatever town they're currently staying in, they're just going to skateboard. No big deal.

They're still putting the finishing touches on the vblog, but I'll share the link as soon as it's up and running!

And look! I did it! I fulfilled my promise to blog each day this week! Excuse me while I go pass out for the weekend. Quick, someone baby-sit.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Catching up with Little Monster

Hi there! Remember me?!

Wait, whaa...? Hello...? You don't remember? But... it's me... this is awkward

It's because my mommy stopped sharing pictures of me, isn't it... you've forgotten me... : ( WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Oh I get it, you REMEMBER me, you just couldn't believe how big I've gotten. Ok, tears over.

Well I begged and begged Mommy to post my pictures on the blog, and she finally caved! I think it helps that I made a cute face.

Then I begged and begged for a pony (cute faces employed again, of course), but I still haven't gotten one. WHAT. THE. HECK.

So anyway, I'm almost seven months old now, and though Mommy keeps promising to finish editing my official 6-month photo shoot, I wouldn't hold your breath. All these pictures are from around the same time in January, so it gives you a pretty good idea of how big I am.

I was pretty excited to be featured today, so I spent some time in front of the mirror getting ready. I make the awesomest faces.

I kept trying to pull the mirror over on top of my head so we had to stop. Lame. Oh but did I tell you about the snow last week? It was my first snow outing. I guess there's not too much to say about that. I can't really play yet, but I can sit and be cold. And fat.

My parents tried to do a family self-portrait, but they did a terrible job. (Don't tell Mommy I said that- she's a photographer.)

Well, it's going to be way past my bedtime by the time Mommy posts this, so I'll have to sneak onto her computer tomorrow to see all your comments. My mommy told me she tends to get the most comments when she posts pictures of me. I can't imagine why.

I'm going to ask my mommy (with my cute begging face of course) if I can be the guest blogger more often.

Night night,
Little Monster

A Baby Story: Part 2

Once upon a time I shared A Baby Story with you.

Second upon a time, I did it again.

I hesitated to call our first session "part 1" because I wasn't sure if we would get our "part 2." When we scheduled Will and Lindsay's maternity session early in her pregnancy, we crossed our fingers and penciled in a January snow day to run out and grab just a few more images. We couldn't be sure that the atmosphere would cooperate, but we were hoping against hope it would. And besides how obviously awesome a snowy session would be, we wanted to be sure to document that beautiful growing belly again closer to D-day.

Last week it happened! We got a big thundersnowrm (yep, made that word up myself) and locked in the one hour that we were all available the next morning. Now, I wanted snow to be actually falling from the sky during the shoot, but I can only control so much. Despite my lack of precipitation control, I love how these came out. Snow shoots are fun!!

Even though I was dumb enough to bring a white blanket to a snow session, these turned out to be some of my favorite images

Dear Lindsay,
Please stop looking so amazing.
Many thanks,
my post-baby waist and thighs

Three cheers for preggos who run around freezing and coatless in the snow!

Now TECHNICALLY it is no longer Wednesday, which is a problem for my blog-every-day-this-week promise. Thankfully, you are loving, understanding people and not technical people, and I am still awake and working anyway, so this totally counts. Don't you dare tell me it doesn't.

See you tomorrow (slash later today!)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

iPhone Image of the Week

I think I only did this once and never actually named this segment, but I can thank Kim for being the ONLY ONE to answer my pleas for help coming up with a name for my weekly image from my phone. Kim, you are the bomb dot com. She came up with a very clever name, but for reasons I cannot divulge at this time, the official naming ceremony is on hold (oooh mystery). For now, we stick with the boring title: iPhone Image of the Week.

My five-year-old computer has been trying to sneak off into a quiet corner to die for some time now, but I refuse to let it. I think it's getting mad at me. Yesterday it upped the ante with this clever move- shedding a key. Just minor enough to be "not a real problem", but just annoying enough to make me want to punch it in the screen. Well, little MacBook Pro, I will not be worn down by your games! You will not get out that easy! You may have won the battle, but I will win this war.

The best part? Texting this image to my dad yesterday. I said, "Well this makes life more interesting." His response: "Sur dos."

I love that man.