Wednesday, April 29, 2009


This one's for you Katie S....


Proof that the caboodle does exist. Ages ago I asked Beth where her nail polish remover was and she casually said "Its in the closet in my purple caboodle". I teased her to no end about it and well... I still do. I thought that was just what she called all little plastic cosmetic containers, but really is a brand name caboodle and its not just purple, its purple sparkle.

If you are not a child of the 80's than you probably have no idea what I am rambling on about. Caboodles were awesome. I had one that was two tone, peach on top and turquoise on the bottom. It was the perfect thing for sleepovers because it could hold cassette tapes, makeup, scrunchies, my crimping iron, and hairspray.

Beth, way to still rock the caboodle. But if I start finding scrunchies in there... then we have a problem.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

the scenic route

About half way through our barn hunting trip we had a little pit stop that I will never forget. It was the kind of thing that still has me giggling today when I think about it.

We saw these amazing red and white barns in the distance and some balloons marking the entrance. The sign said it was a historical land mark so we decided to stop.


As we were driving down the gravel entrance things were looking a little There were signs for lemonade, snow cones, a restaurant, hmmm. There was also a group of people sitting in lawn chairs along the side of the road waiting for visitors. I swear I started hearing "Dueling Banjos" in the distance. Once they saw us it was kind of too late to turn around so we just kept going.

We got out of the car and were greeted by a sweet lady and her two little girls. They showed us around. It was … educational if nothing else. There were baby pigs that were cute, goats, several horses and burrows. For some reason she felt the need to tell us which ones still had their “man parts". Uh..thanks.

She finished up the tour and then offered to serve us lunch in the “full restaurant”. We looked over and saw some picnic tables that appeared also to be historical landmarks and graciously declined.

At this point I’m thinking we can head towards the car and make our awkward exit. But then… we met John. The little girls gave us cookies to feed the donkey who we were informed was named Doinkey. All of a sudden a very tan, bare-chested man wearing what appeared to be child sized mesh camouflaged shorts appeared to help out with Doinkey.

Before we knew it John was leading us up to what he said were some beautiful cliffs we should see. I lagged behind a little bit at which point I snapped this photo…
Tiny Shorts John leading Doinkey the Donkey and Amy holding hands with Carly May (people call her May she told us). Priceless. I giggled the whole way up at the sheer randomness.


When we got to the top of the trail to what John called “his sanctuary” it was pretty much just a cliff with a clearing at the bottom and, to quote him, “a puddle of stagnant water”.


We headed back down the hill and nearly got run over by Doinkey when we got in his way. Amy and I just smiled at each other as she kept holding Carly May's hand.

“You girls wanna spend the night tonight?” Carly May asked.

“Thank you, but we have to get going May” we answered.

We said our goodbyes (Doinkey teared up a little) and hopped in our car to search for more barns.

You just never know what might happen if you...


Monday, April 27, 2009

barn hunt

Amy and I were on a search for barns. Because...well I don't know why. Amy just wanted to go on a barn hunt and take some photos because she is cool like that and I thought it sounded like a fabulous idea. So.. off we went.

We had no hard and fast plans and sometimes that is the best way to take a road trip. The weather was amazing. Everything just fell in to place.

First we found this beauty...


I made Amy pose a little bit. She wasn't planning on that happening, but it did.


Then there was this little one with a few guard cows...


I love the wreath on this one...


This red and white one is a whole other blog post. Doinkey the donkey lives there. I'll post about that tomorrow.


Sadly this one was being taken apart and knocked down...


And then there was the mother of all barns. We came up over a hill and there it was. It was big and beautiful and bright red in the middle of a green field. Perfect. We settled in and spent some serious time there.


I made Amy dress up a little for some more shots...



And then she made me get on the other side of the camera. I am one of those annoying people who always hates photos of herself. But I actually don't mind these. Thanks Amy!



Oh red barn..I won't forget you.


good morning

I hate it when I don’t have a post ready for Monday morning readers. Sorry people.

I’m working on a post about this weekend’s adventures.

In short… it was awesome. Perfect weather. Perfect barns. Perfectly fabulous friends. Also a donkey named Doinkey and man named John. And of course the caboodle.

I’ll fill ya in later. Right now I have to tend to Mista Nug and Miss Monkey Pants.

It’s a new week. Here we go!

Friday, April 24, 2009

goodnight Friday

For those of you that still care...I lost 0.8 this week. Thats better. I am starting P90X for real on Tuesday so I'm hoping that will give me a little boost.

For those of you that are sick of hearing about it... sorry but I promised I'd stick with it.

Today was fairly fabulous. Morning work. Clean desk. Actually blew my hair dry and wore makeup. WW meeting. Ran errands by myself. Nice.

Tomorrow...even better. In the a.m. I am leaving on a little road trip with my buddy Amy. Not the bride from the bring it shoot, but my other buddy Amy. Goz as we like to call her. We are headed off in to the country in search of barns, and laughs, and a little photography lesson, and probably some junior mints cuz those are her fav. Then to top it all off Beth will be joining us sans Nug for a pajama party. We'll probably do our nails. Beth...bring your caboodle!

Its just for one day and night. Just one day and night to be me. Not Erin the mom with diapers in her purse, or Erin the photog trying to make a living, or Erin the wife worrying about what is for dinner. Just Erin. I rather like her so it will be nice to see her again.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Kids for Kairos sneak peek

On Saturday morning I ran around getting ready for the Kids for Kairos fund raiser and praying that the rain would hold off. At 9:00 I stepped outside with all of my stuff in hand and... it was already sprinkling.

I went ahead and walked over to the park praying and hoping that it would just stop and wondering if I should go ahead and call everyone to reschedule for the rain date. I decided to just to wait and see.

The rain was on and off and two families did have to reschedule because it was on during their slots. But I was so thankful and amazed that we got almost all of the shoots in despite what the weather man said!

Here are some of my favorites at first glance...








These sweet faces helping these sweet faces. Love it.

Thanks to everyone who came and donated! Your CDs will be mailed out next week.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

a tale of two bellies

Last week I had two maternity shoots. I had so much fun with both couples...

Steve + Kama + belly

I met Steve and Kama in their neighborhood for our shoot. They are such a cute couple. We know each other from church and it was fun chatting and getting to know each other a little better as we walked around.


Isn't Kama gorgeous?


I made her climb up quite a few steps to this cool doorway. It was so worth it. I will be back here for more shoots! Love it.



She forgave me though because after that we went to get some gelato...



Thanks guys! It was so fun and I can't wait to meet that little baby!

Kevin + Lauren + belly

I've known Kevin and Lauren since college and we have become close friends over the last few years. We were neighbors in our old hood and are in a dinner club together. That makes us sound so old. Pretty soon we'll be playing bridge. I love my South City Dinner peeps.


Kevin and Lauren are expecting a little girl next month. They met me in my neighborhood for our shoot on Friday.


I'm in love with this dancing one. It really shows their personalities...


Lauren's smile is contageous. I love it!



This one makes me melt...



Thanks friends! Can't wait to meet her!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

the last of the b-day posts...promise

On Sunday we had the fam over for a little partay for Monkey Pants. Because I am slightly nuts and a bit of an over-achiever I decided to try and make a fondant cake that I had seen a while back. However, since I knew my weekend was going to be really busy I did make a smart move and order the actual cake part from the grocery store. Nice eh? I used this recipe for the icing. It was gooey and weird, but it worked out great! I was pretty happy with the result. Cute huh?


Truth be told even with the cake being pre-made I still barely got it decorated in time. An hour before people were supposed to be arriving Beth came to my rescue and helped get the house ready. Seriously, one hour till party time and I had the cake half decorated and NOTHING else ready. Ah, what would I do without that lady? Only a true friend will clean your toilet and laugh at your ridiculousness. Cute cake, but its half way through projects like this that I curse myself for not just paying a bakery to make the dang thing.


Monkey liked her cake, but in the end she opted for a big cupcake. She walks around asking for cake every day now. She's hooked.


We were so excited to give her the new kitchen that we got her. Remember all those pieces? Well here is the finished product...



She loves it! So do I! I looked around on the internet for a while for the right one. I knew I wanted a wooden kitchen but they can be really expensive. I found this one on ebay and fell in love with it. Wooden, affordable, and red! The red part was a bonus. It is made by Kid Kraft. The assembly was a pain in the butt, but it was worth it!

So there you have it. I have a two year old. That is crazy.

Tomorrow..some maternity shoot sneak peeks.

Monday, April 20, 2009

bear with me

Oh folks...I am pooped. The weekend was long and great and very busy. Due to the fact that I am still spinning from all that, and my computer decided to temporarily poop out on me yesterday, I am kind of behind. Bear with me while I catch up a bit. Here is a sneak peek of what is to come...

a. Two maternity shoots from last week. I heart bellies.

b. Kids for Kairos sneak peeks. The rain came and went and we got all but two shoots in! Woot!

c. Marlie's b-day and a look at the 5 million piece play kitchen.

d. My first experience with fondant icing. Success!

And now my bed is calling to me. Goodnight!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Garge sale

Yesterday was great. Monkey Pants and I had a pretty good day celebrating her b-day. We went to the zoo in the morning. It was a short little trip but still fun. She keeps telling everyone we saw cows. We didn't, but whatever she had fun and thats what matters. Then we went up to Shane's office for some lunch. And for dinner we went to my mom's.


Cute story... I was rocking her at nap time and she had her head on my chest falling asleep. All of a sudden she popped up and looked at me and said "two" and smiled really big. I said "Yeah Marlie that's right, you are two. Today is your birthday." She thought about it for a minute and said "cake?". She is her mother's daughter, all about the cake. It was so cute. She still doesn't have a ton of words and can't link them all together yet, but you know she is thinkin.

This weekend we will have a little party for her. Shane and I can't wait to give her our gift. We put it together the other night. I took all of the pieces out of the box and it looked like this....


I knew we were in trouble. It took about 5 hours, we were up until 2:00 in the morning and we had approximately 4 fights, but man is it cute. I never took a finished pic, because well, I was exhausted by then. I'll take some this weekend and post them.

Today was packed with meetings and errands and cleaning to get ready for the weekend! And I even stopped at a sale along the way. Who doesn't love a good Garge sale?


Today was weigh in day at Weight Watchers. I gained 1 pound. Ug. I know its just one pound but it is frustrating. This month is jammed packed with events where the food is really tempting and not so healthy. Shane's b-day, Easter, Marlie's b-day, and a wedding all in a few weeks. This is when it gets really hard. I know I'll get there though!

This weekend is going to be busy busy. Please say a prayer that the rain holds off for the Kids for Kairos fundraiser tomorrow! I'm hoping we can at least get most of the families in if not all of them.

And now I am off to do a maternity shoot. Its beautiful outside!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

thank you Monkey

Two years ago today I woke up knowing that by the end of the day I would be a mommy. I had an ultrasound a few days before and the doctors were a little concerned about how big the baby was, the amount of fluid she was floating around in and the fact that she didn’t appear to be planning on coming out anytime soon. So, my doctor called and recommended a c-section be scheduled.

I was a little bummed to be missing out on the unexpectedness. Feeling contractions and racing to the hospital. But I must say it was pretty nice knowing when Marlie was coming. Shane and I slept in one last time. We picked up the house and made sure our bags were packed. Then we just hung out and watched a movie together Enjoying our last moments being a family of two.

There was a lot of waiting around at the hospital and my fears started creeping in but Shane made me laugh and kept me smiling. Being on the surgery table was pretty scary but it was over quickly. When my doctor pulled Marlie out I remember her saying “I think they were right about her size!” As it turns out she was pretty plump but not as big as they had suspected weighing in at 8 lbs 13 oz.


Her face was so perfectly round. Her cheeks were so plump. I was in love. Shane and I spent the next days looking at her and saying “I just can’t believe how cute she is”. We wrapped her up and took her home ready to start our lives together.


The day after we came home the world as we knew it was turned upside down. The next days and weeks and months that followed were the hardest in my life so far. Not so much because I had suddenly become a mom, but because ironically the rest of my life around me was falling apart. All I wanted to do was be with my new baby. I mean really be with her, focused on soaking in every first moment and oblivious to anything else. Instead I had to try my hardest not to think of everything else that was going on. I had to work to enjoy those moments instead of letting my mind drift off to the crap that was taking over. No matter how much I told myself that I wouldn’t let it steal those first moments away I just couldn’t control it. I was robbed.



At the time I would question God as to why everything had to fall apart right when Marlie was born. And now in hind sight I can see the blessing in it. Marlie was a tiny light in the darkest of times. On my own I would not have been smiling. Marlie made me smile. On my own I would have stayed in bed. Marlie made me get up and live. On my own I might have just given up. Marlie needed me so I just kept on going.



Marlie, how did you get to be 2 already? It wasn’t that long ago that both of your feet fit in my hand. I’m so proud of you. Proud of how you grow and learn. Proud of your spunky personality. Proud to be your mommy.

Thank you my Monkey Pants. For being my baby. For giving me purpose. For making me smile every day since the day you were born. Happy Birthday.