Saturday, October 31, 2009

the parade.

so, i say the moments i feel proudest to be her mama are the quiet ones. just me and her. in the still of the night...when she's not feeling well...when we're reading books and her twiggy little arms are intertwined with mine and her wispy blonde head is nestled in the nook of my arm...when there's no one to witness the magic of the love of a little.

that's all true and all...

...but...

...then there's halloween parades. and i look at our little 50's girl holdin' her own between this cute little mess of kids...cowgirls and power rangers, puppies and bumble bees...

...and i can't quite believe we have a two year old. who walks in a parade and waves to the onlookers. who keeps her cat-eye glasses on through the entire night and kicks up the heels of her scuffed little saddle shoes. and while i click away with the camera, i can't help but hear the commotion of neighbors pointing out the poodle skirt girl and who she belongs to and 'can-we-take-her-picture'. and i gladly claim my cliche' moment of parental pride.



the poodle skirt girl is ours, thank you.



and we think she's somethin' pretty special.

so it was last night...as we strolled along the streets of our neighborhood right as the sun was setting...following the shadow trails of golf carts, waving to the crowd of brothers' big-boy friends brett arranged in our front lawn to cheer her on, settling in to the chaotic crowd of kids at the clubhouse to make spider crafts and eat pizza. and here she was...this very big girl, holding her grandma's hand and smiling through it all.











...and daddy caught some of our walkin' on video here.

i love holidays.
and am so looking forward to our halloween traditions tonight as friends and family will gather to our nest for more fun.
more to come...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

busy but good.

with a house to clean (and by 'house-to-clean', you do realize i mean the point where you consider if it's really worth cleaning or rather lighting a match and watching it all burn), a trillion e-mails to return, a lovely slew of photos to edit, a stack of christmas cards to design, two sinking, rotten pumpkins to scrape off the front patio (icky punkin, lainey says...stinky) and a vegetable drawer that smells like moldy poop to clean out (my cucumber cravings in the grocery store never transfer back home and hence they sit, all blown-up and water-logged in the bottom drawer)...anyhoo, i did what every other self-respecting woman would do this morning...

i grabbed a magazine and a cup of half-caf and soaked in a tub of leftover baby soap bubbles.
i smeared my mint julep hulk mask on and left it on far past the suggested ten minutes.
i painted my nails, deep-conditioned, moisturized, slathered & lathered...and actually used the fourteen dollar enamel paste the dentist convinced me into buying.



because i needed a break.
and, although it was short-lived before our hectic day that followed, it sufficed.

i've been so busy with photos and editing and designing albums and cards...and, to be honest, i've loved every minute of it. we are so figuring this out...how to balance it all. and being her mama through all of it is working out beautifully as she helps entertain babies, trails along behind me for shoots, sits on my lap at the computer during edits, remembering all the littles' names and wanting to see their pictures...reading books quietly beside my chair while i work, interrupting here and there with a smile and an 'ook, mama' where all she needs is for me to turn and look and enthusiastically acknowledge the critter in the book she found or how she figured out how to flip her dress up over her head and make a cape. ...or she'll find a used piece of background photo paper and we will, together, make a little masterpiece on it before moving on to something else. (her favorite thing in the world right now is to lie down and have me trace her little body...on paper, on the cement with sidewalk chalk...or, in the case of last week, she attempted to lie down at costco when she found a crayon in her pocket...she handed it to me as she reclined on the dirty floor in the middle of the candy aisle. 'draw me, mama,' she said.)






aww...notice the slight display of crack and the glitter all over her feet.

and, i guess the fact of this very cool matter is...i feel so blessed to work and love what i do and meet cool people and hold newborns and take pictures and be creative and, all the while, be with my favorite little person all day and rock out the mama thing and make my own calls on when to work and when to just shut it all down and head to the park because she needs that moment.





and i'm cool with the house falling apart here and there because, lord knows i've been perfecting my shake-down (a well-deserved 9.5 last night. i heard shouts of encore when brett arrived to candles lit and dinner music. and if you had seen it 45 minutes earlier, you simply would not have believed it was possible).

tonight, after two shoots today, a couple hours of editing, a doctor appointment and a very content little girl through it all...she deserved every blessed second of a happy park evening, so we set out at sunset and daddy met us after work...and the three of us basked in the beauty of much-needed togetherness.







we have taken on a slight obsession with drinking fountains. she spots them everywhere and begs for drinks but rather sips for a moment and plays in the water the rest...which i'm thinking is a great way to inhabit the swine flu.





we entertained last night for the first time in awhile (after the shakedown, of course), and it felt good...especially in the midst of a busy week...to pull it all off and sit around a table and talk and eat good food and listen to littles laughing and wine glasses being filled and realize that this is what grown-ups do. we work and we get worn out and we complain here and there of when-will-things-slow-down, but that even during the whirlwind--no, especially during the whirlwind, we are happy and blessed and can enjoy simple things. i think i tell myself sometimes i'm allowed to enjoy simple things when i'm done being busy. but, as my mint-julep-overly-tightened-pore face would have told you this morning...it's during the busiest times we need them most. a good cup of coffee. a bath. reading her book the third time to her when there really isn't time for it (oh, who am i kidding...there's always time to read). the good perfume. the silky nightgown. walks at night. phone chats with friends. candles. ...it's all good.

while i should feel stressed, i actually feel excited. to tackle it all. because i've done it so far and the satisfaction of pulling it off ignites me to keep doing it. i'm actually looking forward to some crazy organization days ahead...finishing the edits...delivering my first wedding album into the hands of a happy bride...ups boxes on my steps with all the cards i've designed and the joy of handing them out to families i've been blessed to meet...carving out beautiful holiday traditions for the kids...baking...and readying the house for our new little lovely's arrival. our ultrasound today reveals a perfect baby...who's little-but-not-too-little...and who is finally showing this precious little halo of hair. we talk about it a lot these days, and lainey is completely aware of everything and excited more than i thought a two-and-a-half-year-old could be. our little stack of newborn diapers has dwindled as she has figured out how to perfectly diaper her baby dolls, carefully pulling the little velcro straps just tightly enough for a snug fit. and can often be found toting her babies like a real bonafide mama...in the baby bjorn.



which just makes me love her all the more.





yes, all this busy-ness and craziness has been good for us. it will slow down, and oh don't you know we will graciously welcome the lull when it comes. but, for now, it's okay. 'cuz we are together and we are happy and there are a hundred moments a day when we can stop what we are doing in exchange for something quick and simple. like a story or a kiss or an e-i-e-i-o.





balance. it will happen. and, until it does, we are, yup...enjoyin' the small things. ~k

p.s. thank you, thank you for all your kind words about the wedding pictures. what you say does matter and is meaningful to me. a little boost of confidence you gave me...and some smiles to boot.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

my first wedding

i'm breaking my keep-professional-on-other-blog rule, but yesterday was a big personal jump for me.

my first wedding, other than family.

and there is so much i can say about how big of a deal this was for me and how honored i am that they trusted me to do their wedding day. which is huge.

and there's so much else going on that i haven't had time to post because i've been preparing for this and we are so busy right now...

but with all that said, yesterday was such an experience for me...personally, professionally, creatively...

to the scott family...thank you for making me feel like family the entire day. there is so much i could write about...what a beautiful experience. i laughed. i cried. i didn't want it to end. i felt so a part of things which only inspired me more to capture the essence of what existed yesterday.

whether or not i'll do weddings again...you never forget your first one, and this one was certainly unforgettable.

erin... you. are. a. rockstar.

a few of my favorites after quickly perusing through the most gigantic stash of photos in the history of mankind...



























congratulations, mr. & mrs. o'guinn.

...and a little present from a bride who knows what it's like to wake up the day after and dream of reliving it again...

a little snippet slideshow...right here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

grocery store fun

this made me laugh. an improv group in ny planned this grocery store musical unbeknownst to any shoppers. the first twenty seconds are the best.

funny stuff.
watch here.

i wanna start doing stuff like this. seriously. life's way too short and these naples people need to be riled up a bit and have some fun. who's in? publix. sunday. two o'clock. bring your roller skates. (in this town, we'd so go to jail after...and make the front page news).

(from this girl's blog i have been following...someone who truly loves photography for all the creativity it ignites. her camera seriously equals nothing but fun. she never stops with crazy ideas to photograph).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

cold front.

little b is sleeping amid a cloud of down comforter in our bed. little little b is lively kicking. and i am sitting in my desk chair, with the broken spindle in the back that obnoxiously creaks when i move ever so slightly, listening to an old cd i made with a lovely mix of musicalities including iggy pop, johnny cash and modest mouse, and i am feeling, for the first time in a long time, the blessedness of fresh air in our home. fresh cool, crisp air that has swept in through all the open doors and windows and revived the inner parts of me that have craved fall and loathed the heat these past few weeks. we went to bed last night with the comfort of clean sheets and open sliders that breathed in the scent of the boys' backyard bonfire remnants and the sounds of crickets and frogs in the woods.
and then it happened. somewhere in the night, the magic of a florida cold front unfolded to grant us cold tile floors this morning and the most perfect lanai temperatures for our morning coffee.
so cool, in fact, we had to bundle with a blanket and dig in to sweatshirts and hats. i kid not.

appropriately, she asked for 'hot cocoa' this morning. and she received.







we spent our morning on a nature walk with papa where we ate our breakfast on boardwalk benches surrounded by pine needle floors and arching canopies that filtered in the breeze that, yes, nipped enough to bundle.





papa drives the stroller crazy-like, its whiplash satisfying her inner dare devil just so.



and i felt so content with the weather for the first time this season.



i am accepting the fact that i may never be a true florida girl, but that i must look for the good this time of year because brett cannot imagine himself anywhere else. or at least that's what i tell myself.

we ventured back to the pumpkin patch this week, this time with miss baylee...and the girls, although looking completely less than thrilled here...



...really did like it. promise.



i am realizing i love change. so much that when things are stagnant, my creativity withers respectively. which may be why the constant heat and greenishness of florida has had me complaining, especially since it is not in the cards this year for my usual two trips to michigan between now and january (much better things on the horizon though...say, in the realm of small, breathy & heavenly bundled). shifts and variations in seasons, albeit climate or circumstancial, trigger this innovativeness of ideas i need to creatively survive.

so we create where we can. searching for that something-to-do that's different than our same 'ol beach/park/lake routine...

and found it this week in bobbin hollow horse stables up the street where we made an appointment with miss ashley who superbly took to our girl and let her wander the barn and share alfalfa cubes with the likes of matilda, pepper, and lyric...three ponies lainey fearlessly approached and took a liking to.





she has since said "horsey-eat-cookies-from-my-hand" about a trillion times and follows with the charade of an acted-out hand-out/tongue-lap/giggle-giggle.
cute.

i've meant to post the new onslaughts of her vocabulary/personality/ happenings, but there are many...new ones each day...and while i document as much as i can in her books, it doesn't always make the blog.

my recent favorites though include...

stories.
made-up ones that she requests at bedtime instead of books. baylee stories she calls them because i happened to tell a couple funny ones involving baylee, and now, she must be a character in every one. her favorite being a particular tale of she and baylee going to zoo, picking out monkeys to take home, and putting their baby monkeys to bed in baby sister's crib where they ooo-ooo-ahhh-ahhh for bottles....and get their diapers changed. it's her favorite one.

'b' do it.
dressing herself. buckling the carseat. vacuuming. cooking. no matter what the task, she wants no help and insists...'b' do it.





random observations...
that we don't even know where she picks up. like, "hey, it's dark" when the sun sets and "not dark, mama" in the morning. and shapes like 'heart' and 'star' and 'circle' that she points out in books...and we have no idea who taught her. here is the church, here is the steeple that she jumbles out (and i only pick up 'here' and something that sounds like 'steeple') and folds her hand into a mess of fingers, attempting to copy the one time i did it. and running through the house like mad to put her hand on my belly whenever i yell, 'she's kicking!' (a common all-call in the home for anyone to come take their shot at feeling her). she's for-sure felt her once or twice with a hard jab to her palm...followed by a huge smile on lainey's end.

grocery store
a new nightly routine where i shop and she rings me up. brett had to hide behind the curtains to get this footage as any time she sees the camera, she says 'b do it' and fights to control the video. Click here to see.

she's very much girl and very little baby these days. and i am reminded every day the richness of motherhood her metamorphosis gifts us.





finally, we made my grandma's granola this week and i have since eaten it every morning with milk and coffee. and almost every other night sprinkled on top of a scoop of natural vanilla bean ice cream inside a baked apple (macintosh which i can't get enough of). divinity, i tell you. the recipe, slightly altered...included.



leaving you with a few of the latest additions to her third-year book which, might i add, include the revelation of one very cute halloween costume.





















and, here she is...





whew. ~k