Saturday, January 31, 2009


Remember goal #3 for 2009? I cannot even believe it, but I am going to this!...

It is a workshop hosted and taught by Melissa Jill, one of my favorite photographers. She is over there on my sidebar under "Photographers I love".

My friend/wedding assistant Jen called me, and texted me, and emailed me yesterday until I finally got the message that Melissa was having a workshop. She knew we had to move quick because these things sell out fast and she was only taking 15 people! I called Jen and we talked about for approximately 5 seconds. I called Shane and explained in 5 seconds and then Jen and I both registered! Ahhh!

I can't wait, but I'll have to a little bit. It is in May. Melissa is such an amazing photographer and I am so excited to learn from her! 2009 I like you a lot so far!

This coming week I am headed out of town as well. Monkey Pants is going to turn 2 in a few months and before that happens and we have to start paying for a seat for her on an airplane I wanted to take a special trip with her. Monday we are flying to Colorado to spend the week with some of our favorite people in the whole world, my best friend Sarah and her family. The only photo of us all together I can find is from a few years ago, pre-Marlie days ...

The last time we were out there Marlie was tiny. Here she is with Sarah and Chad's oldest, Emma...

This trip it will just be Marlie and I which I am a tad nervous about. Lugging her and all of our stuff around the airport, getting through security and keeping her occupied on the plane does not sound like fun. However, I'd do almost anything for a week with these friends and to watch my daughter run around with their three daughters, so I can't wait!

I probably won't be able to blog while I am there so this is it for a while. Have a great week!

Friday, January 30, 2009

real quick

Its Friday and that means weigh in day! I'll make this snappy because I have approximately 100 things to do before the day is over and I need to get movin! I lost 2.6 more lbs! That brings it to a total of 8.2! I really can't believe it. I am more than happy with the results I am getting. I will be out of town all next week (more on that later) so it will be two weeks before I weigh in again. Being out of town on a diet is always a challenge but I know I can do it. And thats all I got right now. I'm off to clean this place!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

snowed in

I have not been away from this house in 4 days. Sunday was just one of those days and then a winter storm hit St. Louis which has held Monkey Pants and I captive here in this place of ours. We only have one car that is safe to drive in any sort of weather and Shane has to take that to work. So, today was day 4 of Mom and Monkey...stranded. It isn't an all bad thing being stranded. You don't have to get out of your pjs. No one knows if you do your hair or not. You find humor in the simple things. Like when I saw a recipe in the paper yesterday called "Uncle Jim's Wiener Winks" and laughed out loud and then called Beth and told her so she could laugh with me. Weiner Winks, thats funny stuff.

At about 3:00 today I thought I just might lose my mind if I did not get outside so I bundled up Monkey Pants for some time in the snow. Her first time in the snow really. She doesn't have snow boots and the snow is like 8 inches deep so I put some grocery bags around her feet and legs to keep them dry. Good idea eh? Monkey did not think so. Miss Monkey Pants doesn't talk a whole lot yet so I don't know exactly what she was thinking when I took her outside, but I think it may have been something like this...

So, our time in the snow consisted of me carrying Marlie around while she pointed and told me where to go which frankly got old real fast. That kid is heavy.

Tomorrow we might just get outta here. Maybe.

Work wise I am editing some shoots (Lacinys and Shebans they are coming!), coming up with some new ideas and thinking about fun projects that I want to do but probably never will for lack of time. Such is life.

The biggest thing I am working on is a new customer gallery site and new products to offer. I know what I want, I want SIMPLE. I want great, simple, and affordable. The only thing is, researching all of this and finding the best, simple solution...not so simple. I am getting there. I am close. It is weeks like this that I wish I had a business partner. I have had way to many conversations with myself in the last few days. Some outloud. Which only further confirms that I HAVE TO GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE tomorrow!

Monday, January 26, 2009

And the winner is...

Here are some grainy and blurry pics of Monkey Pants drawing the winner this morning. Bed head and all. The winner is....

Lindsey Post! Congrats Lindsey. Email me with your mailing address and your earrings will be on their way!

Now I want you to meet the little guy that makes up my new banner.
This is Keegan. He came for a visit on Friday with his proud parents. Remember Molly from the maternity shoot?



Oh my goodness. So tiny.

This apple hat and booties are from Lass and Laddie. I went looking for the perfect little prop for a boy and couldn't pass these up.

It was nice to meet you Keegan!

Friday, January 23, 2009

weigh in day and a GIVEAWAY!

**************TIME IS UP!!!!!!!!****************
I'll have Monkey Pants draw the winner in the morning!

I just got back from my Weight Watchers meeting and I lost 1.8 more pounds which means 5.6 lbs total! Woo Hoo! Honestly its going a little too well. It makes me nervous about next week because it seems a little too good to be true. Oh well, I'm gonna celebrate today! I'm already to my first 5 lb goal which feels good and means I get to buy myself a little treat! Remember these earring from my rewards bulletin board?

I'm ordering them today! I've been wanting some little earrings to match the necklace I wear nearly every day and these are just the pair. And because I'm feeling saucy I am going to give away a similar pair to one lucky commenter! Leave me a comment and this silver pair could be yours. Who are you? Where are you from? Lemme know before Sunday at 8 p.m. and I'll enter you name in the drawing.

By the way on the way to my meeting today I was stopped at a red light and when I looked over to my right there was a older man wearing dark shades bobbing his head up and down and mouthing the words "How you doin?" at me. Oh my word, I laughed out loud. Probably not the response he expected but I couldn't help it. Are you kidding? I am half your age, not wearing an once of makeup, spent 5 minutes on my hair and can't you see the car seat back there? Too funny. If he only knew I was on my way to a Weight Watchers meeting. Very sexy. Anyway it made me laugh.

Tonight I do have a hot date. With my husband, not the guy from the stoplight. I banked all of my extra points this week because we are going out to dinner and to a musical. Ahh a much needed night together.

Hope you have a great weekend and don't forget to leave me a comment if you want some cute earrings!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

goal #4

My final goal for the year is to take a weekend trip and be inspired. I have been craving to get out of town with my camera and explore. One random day last year my friend Amy called and said "Some time can we go on a barn finding trip?". To which I replied "Heck yeah we can." So this spring we are heading out in to the Missouri countryside to find some barns and some rest and some great shots. Now that is something to look forward to.

Last night was awesome. Monkey Pants was beside herself happy about seeing Elmo live and in action. It really was a good show. Dang those puppets can dance. There were a few empty seats by us so she just stood there and danced like crazy. She got so excited that at one point she took of one of her boots and threw it in to the aisle in front of her. It is a night that she probably won't remember, but I sure won't forget.

Tomorrow I have a date with a newborn baby boy in the morning and then its weigh in day. I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

goal #3

My third goal for 2009 is to attend a photography workshop/conference. I've been dying to this for a few years now and I am determined to make this year the year. The trouble is finding the right one. There are tons of these things out there geared towards all different kinds of people. I'm looking for one that is the right fit for me. There are a few that I would LOVE to go to but they cost a pretty penny. So, I'm looking for the right one that looks amazing and fairly affordable and working on convincing my friend Jen to go to the same one. Anybody out there know of a great workshop? I'm up for suggestions. From what I have seen so far they book up really fast so I need to be on top of things.

Today: A little play, a little work and big plans for tonight. Every time we head west on the highway near our house Marlie goes crazy because there is a huge billboard advertising the live Sesame Street show playing here "Elmo's Green Thumb". Shane and I had talked about going and decided to save it for next year when Marlie is a little older since the tickets are pretty expensive. Then we found out on Friday that Shane won tickets at work! So exciting. I've been telling Marlie all day that we are going to see Elmo tonight and her eyes get so big. Oh man, she's gonna flip.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

goal #2

My second goal is to shoot 6 weddings in 2009. I'm off to a good start on this one since I've had two booked for a while and booked two more in the last few weeks! Yippee for that! Four down and two more to go.

Why did I decide to make this a goal? First of all I love photography and love being part of someone's big day. Secondly, and a little less emotional and a lot more practical, is the income it will bring to our little family. I did a little calculating and 6 weddings in one year would really help us out. No, there won't be shopping sprees or or diamonds, but not stressing about the mortgage is nice.

So, that being said, spread the word! I've said this already, but don't forget my deal. If you refer me to someone for wedding photography the you get a free photo shoot. My friends Linda and Colleen have already earned their free shoots and you could be next! Pass on my website to your friends and show them this little movie.

Thank you for all of the supportive comments about goal #1 (lose 20 lbs). It really helps to know you are rooting for me! Things are going well. Weekends are hard I must say. You don't realize how many fun activities revolve around eating yummy things until you can't have that stuff. But I stuck to the plan and I feel pretty good.

Today: Mista Nug in the morning and a play date with some friends, some work during nap time and catching some of the inauguration on the tube.

Hope you have a good one!

Friday, January 16, 2009

goal #1

Let me just start by saying that in the last 3 months I have been asked 3 times if I am pregnant. And may I say that one of those times I WAS WEARING MY SPANX. And after each one of those times I wanted to excuse myself and crawl under a nearby rock FOREVER…and eat brownies under there. I knew that I had gained some weight but this put me over the edge. And really I don’t know if I can blame those people. I gain weight in my stomach first. If I eat a piece of cake I might as well just duct tape it to my stomach. So, I may just appear a little prego, but trust me I am not. So don’t ask me! Therefore, goal #1 is to lose 20 pounds.

Don’t worry, I have a plan. After I had Monkey Pants I did Weight Watchers and I lost 15 pounds. It really worked and I ended up smaller than I was before I got pregnant. What happened you ask? Well, I stopped nursing and also stopped caring about what I ate and boom, I’m back where I started.

For Christmas from my mom and Frank I asked for Weight Watchers. Not as fun as a new sweater, but it is what I needed. So this past week is my first week on the program and it went really well. Friday is weigh in day for me and today I went to my meeting. I lost 3.8 pounds this week and that is pretty awesome.

I like Weight Watchers. As long as I plan ahead and pay attention to what I am eating I feel pretty satisfied and I lose weight. It works on a point system so its easy to figure out. Is it fair that my particular meeting place is wedged between a Chinese restaurant and McDonalds? No, but I'll just have to plug my nose while I walk in.

I have gone back and forth on whether to talk about this goal/struggle on my blog because, well its just embarrassing and personal and I don’t like talking about it. But, I am trying to be transparent here. Also, I think that knowing I will be checking in on here about how it is going might help keep me on track. When I really want a brownie I might think of my blog and resist.

My goal is to make a lifetime member for Weight Watchers because I know my weight is going to fluctuate over the next few years. I do want to have more babies eventually after all. If you make your goal weight and make lifetime then you can go back for free when you need to. That is how I arrived at the number of 20. Every Friday after I weigh in I’ll pop in and tell you how its going.

Now for the fun part... I have set up some little rewards for myself along the way. When I lose 5 lbs, 10lbs, 13 lbs, 15lbs, 18lbs, and 20 lbs I will buy myself something to celebrate. Why not just every 5 lbs? Because that’s just 4 things and I think I need a little more encouragement than that. These rewards may include some of the fun things here from etsy and a few other places on this bulletin board.

There we have it. 3.8 lbs gone and 16.2 to go. Here's to Weight Watchers chocolate muffins. They are good.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

09 goals

I'm finally feeling better. My doctor finally took me seriously and got me some drugs to knock this thing out. So now that I have a little spring in my step again its time to talk about some goals for 2009. Yeah, I realize everyone else did this about 3 weeks ago. Cut me some slack, I've been sick remember! These are my goals for the year. I didn't agonize over them. I didn't think hard about it. I didn't try and find 10 of them. These are just the obvious ones that I really want to reach. I'll elaborate in the next few days.

1) Lose 20 lbs.

2) Shoot 6 weddings.

3) Go to a photography conference/workshop

4) Take a weekend trip and be inspired.

There we have it. I am both excited and terrified by seeing them there in print. Especially that first one. Yowza. More tomorrow. My bed is calling me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

monkey pants

Oh my monkey. You are growing too fast. You are 21 months old and I am enjoying you so much. I love how you never walk but always run. Your legs are my favorite pair of legs in the whole world. I love your passion for Elmo. I love it when you spot the moon and get so excited to see it. I love the language you have created for yourself. I love to hear you call me "mom mom". Thanks for being my kid. You're the best.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Have you heard of Oh man it is one of my favorite places to look for amazing things. And you can feel good about buying there because they are handmade items by people like me. Its good to buy handmade.

Here are some of my favorite purchases lately.

This fabulous business card holder by GracieDesigns

I had lilcubby make some custom booties like these for Marlie for one of her flower girl gigs...

And I got this awesome camera strap a couple months back by jrene.

People ask me quite often if I have an etsy shop. It has been on my list of things to do for a long time and now I can officially say "Why yes I do." You can click here to go to my shop.

etsy... its a good thing.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Blah. I don’t have too much to say peeps. I am STILL not feeling well. I have an annoying cough that just when I think is getting better grabs me and sends me in to an annoying fit where I can’t stop. I have sinus headaches every day and coughing makes me feel like my head might explode. And, just to add insult to injury, I now have hives. Sweet.

Also, Shane starts back to school tomorrow. While I am so excited to say that he is starting his LAST semester, I am also just bummed that I’m kinda on my own again. I’ve enjoyed having his company and let’s face it, his help these last few weeks. What I may not have mentioned about him is that he is a cleaning machine and loves to organize whereas I am a bit of a frazzled mess. Lets just say he asked for a labeler for Christmas. And now its back to cleaning up my own messes and Marlie’s too. Poop. The end is in site and I guess that is what I have to concentrate on.

Business is going and flowing. A few shoots here and there. A mural tomorrow. Some collage orders coming in. Now if I could just kick this cough and get a little spring in my step. I will. Give me a few days, but I will.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

we had to have a talk

One night last week when I was not feeling so hot, I told Shane he had to take over Monkey Pants duty so I could go lay down for a bit. I curled up under the covers and listened to them play in the next room. I could hear them go from toy to toy, Marlie giggling with delight. I heard Shane suggest they play with Marlie’s doll house. It’s a cute little house with a cute little family that my MIL got her. It appears to be the perfect little home. I had no idea what was going on beyond those plastic walls until this particular night.

I could hear Shane walking around the plastic family making up conversations…

Mom: What are you doing home? Get outta here!

Dad: What?! I thought you loved me!

Mom: Yeah well that was before you cheated on me you cheater! Now get outta here!

And in the bathroom…

Mom: Ahhh. It feels nice to take a hot bath.

Dad: Knock knock! I need to go to the bathroom.

Mom: Not now, I’m taking a bath in here!

Dad: Well sorry but I have to go. Fart….Fart.

Mom: Eeew! Get out of here you stinky stinker butt.

So, needless to say Shane and I had to have a little talk about appropriate ways to play with Monkey Pants. And how even though it was funny, it was also not funny. I will not speak of these things with my Parents as Teachers lady who is coming tonight. She must never know.

Shane, clean up your act. For the sake of our baby, and theirs. You are funny though. I love you.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Its cold in St. Louis folks. Cold and gray and sometimes icy, like today. In the winter things slow down for me photography wise because of the weather. To keep my studio busy I am offering a promotion for the months of February and March. If you book a shoot for your little one (ages 0-1) you can get a pretty sweet deal. Here is what I am offering...

So spread the word to those mamas or soon to be mamas you know!

Monday, January 5, 2009

a weekend in KC

Oh my word I hate being sick. I thought that I was getting over this dang cold and just when I got all cocky about it BAM. Sick as a dog. I had to cancel a shoot today and I hate that. However, this weekend when I thought was on the mend we managed to fit in a bunch of fun.

We went to Kansas City to see some people that we love. Remember Samuel? We felt that we needed to spend some more time with him, oh and his parents too :). Shane and Jimmy were college roommates and two of his other roommates and their families live in KC as well. Every winter we head on up there for some time with them.

Friday night we got some babysitters and ditched all the kiddos for a dinner with grownups. It was nice.

By the way, my friend Carmen is an artist too. She is a muralist and is amazing! If you need some muraly stuff done and you live in the Kansas City area check her out.

Saturday we took Monkey Pants and Samuel to one of those crazy kids places. Here she is in her first bouncy castle. She loved it!

And Jimmy and Shane with the kids on a slide. Too cute. See, I take blurry photos sometimes too.

Then Shane and I stole some time to go to our friend Allison’s wedding. I love this girl so I loved seeing her get hitched and all sappy in love. Congrats my friend!

Good times in KC. Thanks for having us Armstrongs! And a special shout out to my friend Amy who let us borrow her travel DVD player. Marlie was in heaven and it made our trip a breeze! You are a life saver.

Now I must put on my mom pants and try and convince myself not to curl up like a ball under the covers. Hopefully Marlie will understand the squeaks coming out of my mouth today instead of words. Isn’t winter fun?

Friday, January 2, 2009

hello '09

New year, new blog banner. It seemed fitting.

If I've learned one thing in the last few years it is that you just have no idea what the future holds. So, 2009 be nice OK? I know how I would like this year to go, but guess what, I'm not in control. So my goal this year is to roll with the punches, enjoy the ride, work hard but not be too hard on myself, and be thankful for it all.

One reason I like 2009 already is that Shane will be graduating from law school this spring! Back in 2005 when we signed up for this deal I would hear Shane tell people he would be done in spring 2009 and I would want to puke. It seemed like an eternity and here we are! One more semester. Unbelievable.

I started off the year yesterday by seeing some sweet friends for breakfast and then laying around in my jammies and letting Shane take care of me. I'm trying my darndest to get over this cold and I think its working. We have places to go and people to see this weekend. I still sound like Marge but I do feel pretty good. Here we go '09!