My 10 Favorite Pictures

As you probably know if you follow this blog a bit, I am a picture fanatic. I am not very good at taking them myself, but I’ve always been a bit picky when it comes to photographers and I’m ALWAYS the person at a gathering annoying you to pose for a picture. I am also terrible about actually organizing my pictures, but I have pictures of ALL THE THINGS.

Stasha at The Good Life holds a link up called Monday Listicles. I’ve participated in the past, but am terribly inconsistent. When I saw the link up for this week I knew I could not pass it up. The theme is: Your 10 favorite photos.

Here’s the part where it would be really nice if I actually organized my photos, because there are some that come to mind that I have no idea where the photo is, and some that I just don’t have a digital file for. My two favorite photos from childhood are this one of my Mom, Dad, sister, brother and I by the Christmas tree in the house I grew up in. I must have been about six. We are all dressed up and it must have been Christmas Eve because that’s when my aunts and uncles would come over so someone was there to take the picture. I am holding Token, our family cat, but my baby. I don’t know why, but I just love that picture; the 5 of us, my sweet cat, and the memories of our old house as we are gathered around a Christmas tree.

The other photo that sticks out in my mind is one that my Mom took of me. She had a tri-fold frame, one frame for each of us, and it in she placed pictures she had taken of each of us in the front yard. My brother was just a baby and he was climbing stairs. My sister was sitting nicely in the grass and looking at the camera. I must’ve been about 4, kneeling in the grass, my hair pulled up, wearing a pink dress (still my favorite color) and the picture is a side profile shot of me smelling a rose. Rose is my middle name. (Before I got married but I still love it and claim it.) Something about that picture just seemed to capture “me.”

And the final picture I do not have to show you but is my favorite is one that I do not have the digital copyright to, from when my son is 10 days old. I hired a newborn photographer to come to our apartment and she captured a picture of my cat Caramel looking at the new baby as he slept. It is a stunning picture and captures my two babies; one human, one fur, in a moment of discovery.

With out further ado here are my favorite pictures that I CAN show you:

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Our wedding day. (Amanda Phillips Photography)


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Me when my son was 10 days old. The first time I had put on make up since he was born. I was still carrying baby weight and felt terrible, but’s it’s one brief moment when it seemed like maybe it would be ok.

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My son and I now. I’ve lost the baby weight, he’s grown up, we’re happy, and we’re both much more sure of our lives together. And I love the colors in this picture! (Amy Robinson Photography)

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My sister, my son, and my cat Caramel the day my sister came to meet my son. He was a few days old. Caramel loves to sit on people’s shoulders and she saw no reason to stop just because a baby was around. (Also, this is the only time in my son’s LIFE he ever had a pacifier.)

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I LOVE this picture. This is the only one of this group that I actually took, but I ADORE it. It’s always been my favorite picture of my son.

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Love this sweet one of my boys. (Amy Robinson Photography)

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Look at that chunky monkey! I love this capture of his baby rolls and I’m incredibly proud to claim that they came from him being an exclusively breastfed baby.

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One of my all time favorite pictures, ever, ever, ever. My husband took this in our back yard shortly after we moved to Richmond, VA.

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My son at his 3rd birthday party. Those lashes!!

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At our very first photography session with Amy Robinson Photography, who we now take pictures with twice a year. I adore her and her photography and her ability to capture candid and beautiful moments.

331413_10100699715221930_4848070_oAnd though this is not at all what we look like on a daily basis, I love this picture of our little family on my sister’s wedding day in 2011. I have struggled with body image so much since the birth of my son and here I actually felt beautiful. And who can resist a toddler in a tux?

Thank you for baring with me as I shared a mini brag book. I would love to see your favorites!!

(Oops, that was 11. Sorry!)

 

 

CONAN in Atlanta

I mentioned it briefly and posted some pictures on Instagram, but on Wednesday April 3rd, something amazing happened.

I went to see Conan O’Brien.

I love Conan like Kimberly at All Work and No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something loves Chuck Norris or like my best friend loved Jonathan Taylor Thomas when we were kids, or like you love Justin Timberlake. (I won’t tell anyone.)

I always joke with my husband that I married him because he has red hair and then we had a son with red hair too, who is the cutest toddler ever, so I must think red heads are adorable. It’s a subconscious thing.

I have loved Conan for YEARS and before I turned 30 it was one of my goals to see him in person. Then Team Coco announced that they would be filming a week of shows in Atlanta, 30 minutes from my hometown, so a plan was hatched. My brother and I both signed up for the ticket lottery. I didn’t win, but my brother did, and he said he would take me. (Best brother ever.)

After acquiring supermom status by driving down to GA with my son on Tuesday, I was up and ready to go on Wednesday morning at 4:30. In the morning. My brother and I met in downtown Atlanta at 6:00 in the morning and were the 31st and 32nd people in line at about 6:30 AM.

They would not start handing out tickets until 9:00, so we had a good three hours of talking and catching up (and freezing because I never am up that early and forgot that it’s cold before the sun comes up.)

We met some pretty cool people and my brother even managed to squeeze in some networking.

Around 8:00 they split the line to paper holders and standbys. After the standbys left, we were the 5th and 6th people in line. At about 8:30 they split the line again into blue and yellow. We happened to have blue papers, and we were the very first in the blue line! When they finally opened the ticket tent at 9:06, my brother and I got the very first tickets….and we were on the FRONT ROW!!! Totally worth it.

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Conan

After we got our bracelets, we got Conan buttons at the photo booth and set out for a day in Atlanta. I am saving this bracelet and button forever.

Conan bracelet

 Conan photo button

We went to the World of Coke.

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And toured the CNN studios.

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And ate lunch at a really great local restaurant.

We also did a lot of Conan stalking, but he never came out of his trailer.

We did get some pretty awesome pictures of us standing in front of the Tabernacle (the venue where Conan was filming) and with an awesome basketball with Conan hair, designed to promote both Conan’s tapings and the Final Four taking place in Atlanta that weekend.

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The doors opened at 4:00ish and filming started at 5:00. How amazing is this venue and these front row seats??

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The show was awesome, and I was close enough to touch Conan. They were very strict with their photography rules, though, so I don’t have any pictures of him!! So sad. I very sneakily snapped this one, but it’s blurry. :(

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We did get some good ones of ourselves though…

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And I even made it onto TeamCoco.com with my poster!

The show was great, and I loved getting to watch Conan in between commercial breaks and pre-taped segments. He cracks himself up at his own comedy, which I think is adorable. His opening act, Jimmy Pardo, asked who the first people were and my brother and I excitedly raised our hands. Which I almost immediately regretted because a large part of his opening act was a “roast” of us, which was kinda funny and kinda not-so-much-please-stop-now.

After the show my brother and I waited for AN HOUR in the rain to see Conan. That’s dedication, people. He never came out, but we did see Andy from afar.

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To be honest, I left in a bad mood 1) because I was EXHAUSTED, 2) the pre-taping “roast” dampened my mood and 3) because I really, really wanted to meet and get a picture with Conan. That is still on my bucket list.

But after getting a little bit of sleep, and getting to watch the show on TV, (you can totally see my brother and I on the front row in that episode!)  I have a much better perspective on how amazing the day really was. A fun day in Atlanta with my brother and getting FRONT ROW seats to see the love of my life, Conan? Not too shabby and totally before 30 bucket list approved. :)

Good Day

This morning, I went to Starbucks and ordered my standard venti Pumpkin Spice Latte non fat no whip. (The baristas know me and my order. I have a Starbucks problem.)

I also ordered a venti black coffee to take to a friend.

My total rang up to be $7.77…my wedding date! Also three lucky sevens! I knew it was going to be a good day.

I drove the coffees to meet the costume designer for the show I’m doing. We had decided at last night’s run through that we needed to start from scratch. So, this morning, we played dress up for three hours, talking and creating a “look” for my character. I wish we could have played all day, but I had to pick up my son from pre-school. I am thrilled with what we came up with for the show. The setting is New York City in 1923….imagine sequins, feathers, fur and fringe. So much fun!

After getting my son home, my father-in-law and brother-in-law pitched in to help rake the leaves in our yard, and even started a fire in our outdoor fire pit.  I can not tell you what a help this was. My husband is rarely around and when he is, the last thing he wants to do is rake leaves. (Which is a nice way of saying he won’t do yard work.) My yard has not looked this nice since my son’s 3rd birthday party, when we hired someone to come do it.

On a rare chance, my rehearsal was cancelled for the evening and my husband got off at four o’clock!

So, to celebrate, we headed to one of our favorite local restaurants for $2 burger night.

And the pictures we took with our photographer just got posted today. I am so pleased with them! Go check it out on my Facebook page.

All in all, this was a great way to start the week. Today was a very good day.

Halloween Decorations

Happy Halloween!

I adore Halloween, the costumes, the decorations, the adventure of trick or treating, the chocolate…mmmm, the chocolate.

We have had the house decorated for the entire month of October and just carved our pumpkins this weekend, so now we are officially ready!

I am so thankful that we suffered very minor damage from Hurricane Sandy here in Richmond, VA, and am praying for those who are still struggling with the aftermath. Everything was cancelled here Monday and Tuesday, and it feels so nice to get back into a routine and leave the house today, just in time for Halloween.

My son is at school right now as a dinosaur, and later today I will get dressed as a witch and we will go trick or treating with friends.

This morning, I am enjoying a Pumpkin Spice Latte and bringing you all along with me on a tour of my house to bring in the Halloween spirit. I will even share some chocolate with you. :)

Welcome to our home! We are ready for Halloween!

 

Our entry table, complete with a spooky picture.

 

Our living room window and wall above the couch. Bats and pumpkins and spiders oh my!

 

I love these mice silhouettes going up our stairs.

One of my favorite features of our home; our phone nook. This is the perfect little nook to decorate for the holidays. And right now it is super spooky.

 

This lady welcomes you as you walk into the dining room.

 

The spiders have taken over the china cabinet in the dining room. Would you like to eat with us?

 

It’s all in the details. Here is the centerpiece for our dining room table and the big spider that lives on our dining room chandelier.

 

Our spooky bathroom decor.

 

The kitchen sink and island, decked with pumpkins and Halloween letters.

 

All of the toddler areas; the reading area with Halloween stories, the table with a decorated trick or treat bucket, and my son loves the mouse stairs.

 

Happy Halloween Everyone! Our carved pumpkins for 2012.

 

 

Thank you so much for coming on a house tour with me! I will leave you with a preview of our costumes:

My dinosaur. We are excited about trick or treating tonight!

 

Please stay safe and have fun trick or treating tonight. I will be sharing our Halloween night on Instagram, and would love to see your pics there, too!  See you soon!

 

 

Pumpkin Patch

I don’t have a lot of words to go with this post, but in the spirit of Halloween I wanted to share one of my very favorite October traditions with you; the Pumpkin Patch.

I love going every year, and it is so much more fun now that my son is old enough to get excited about it, too.

Please enjoy some pictures of our day as we selected pumpkins, went through a straw maze, and enjoyed playing together.

PS – This top picture? Is my favorite. :)

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Stop and See

Often, in daily life I forget to see my son. I see him every day, but my view of him is hindered by the constant toddler tornado I see as he runs around and busies himself with the exploration of his world. My view of him is muddled in the daily “Mommy I need this” and “Mommy come do that.” I lose sight of him as I put away toys and wash dishes and try to scrub the strawberry stain out of his favorite shirt. I forget to just enjoy him as I fix his juice and warm his food. As I wipe his mouth and bottom and drive him to activities. As I play with him while thinking about the things I have waiting for me on my grown up to-do list.

A few weeks ago, we had a family photo session. When we received the pictures, I got teary. There he was. My son. And in this captured moment of stillness, I SAW him.

He is beautiful. 

In these pictures, I saw him for who he is. I noticed the redness of his hair that I often take for granted. I marveled at the deepness and darkness of his eyes. I delighted at the sweet smile that so often plays across his lips and the sometimes mischievous look that lights up his face.

I saw his smallness and his bigness all at the same time. I saw the beauty and wonder and blessing that is my little boy.

I saw the way he loves us, his Mommy and Daddy. And I saw the way we love him more than anything else in this world.

In these captured moments, these captured memories, I stopped and saw our family. I saw my little boy and the love I so often forget to see in the chaos and monotony of daily life. I got to stop and see my life, and remember what a beautiful thing it is.

Linking up today with the lovely Galit and Alison with my favorite link up; Memories Captured.

*The pictures were done by Amy Robinson Photography located in Richmond, VA. If you are in or around the Richmond area, you should definitely look into hiring her! We adore her both for her talent and personality. You can find her here: http://www.amyrobinsonphoto.com/.