Friday, January 29, 2010

Keegan - 1 yr

My little friend Keegan came over to the studio last week. I've been lucky enough to photograph this little man's whole first year. I can't believe he is one!

We played with some trains...

Keegan has some food allergies and couldn't have b-day cake, but we just had to celebrate somehow. His mom came up with this great idea...jigglers. I love how these came out. So colorful.

And then we braved the cold for a few shots. Love these ones with his cowboy hat...

My fav...

Happy birthday Keegan!

Its Friday, its 11:00 and I already have two things crossed off my to-do list. Also, nothing has fallen on my head as of yet so I would call this a successful day already. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

How I narrowly missed a head injury twice and other musings

Marlie’s eye is just dandy. She has another cold and is a crusty little mess, but her eye is fine. Does anyone else feel like their kid has a cold EVERY OTHER WEEK? For real, enough is enough. I am having one of those days where I feel like our whole house is covered in crumbs and boogers.

In other exciting news I managed to narrowly escape a head injury twice in two days. Yesterday I was putting something in the back of our car. Apparently when its really cold outside the compressed air thingy does not work because as I bent over the glass hatch came swinging down and smacked me right in the back of the head. Sweet. Is it weird that I was a little more worried about if any of my neighbors saw than if I was bleeding?

Today I was just gearing up to clean a little bit during Marlie’s nap. I reached up to put a cook book back in its place on top of our metal pot rack/shelf. It was the last straw for the pot rack. The entire thing pulled out of the wall dumping several pots and my huge wooden bowl on top of me. Somehow they missed my head and hit my knee. That's gonna leave a mark.

I must confess that I am a little afraid to touch anything. Apparently someone has boobie twapped my life. So here I sit blogging. I’ve been told before that my blog is too upbeat, sunny, not…real. So I guess these last two post are for all you people that think that. See…I have bad days…I cry in the grocery store…crap falls on my head.

But I can’t help it, I don’t like to complain all of the time because the truth is I am so blessed. I could wallow in all the bad, and some days I do. Luckily I can usually see all of the good instead. So lets end on a good note…

Last night I was finishing up cooking dinner, listening to some music, and waiting for Shane to come home. I hit the 90’s playlist on my ipod and Tom Petty’s “Learning to Fly” came on. Such a good song. I was dancing around and singing. Marlie came in the kitchen and started dancing too (remember she usually doesn’t let me dance). She was smiling so big and then she said “Hold me and dance.” So there we were dancing around the room together. It was one of those moments that I hope I always remember. I hope that whenever I hear that song I think of our dance.

So, there you have it. My house might be covered in crumbs and boogers, but we dance anyway. Happy Thursday people. Maybe tomorrow I will have some pretty photos to post! Wouldn’t that be nice?

Monday, January 25, 2010

big adbenture

It looked as though it was going to be such a relaxing day. We had a slow going morning at home, no definite plans laid out...

10:30 - we stop by Beth and Weston's to visit and drop off a few things
11:00 - Marlie suddenly stops playing and comes crying to me, holding her eye saying it hurts.
11:30 - She is still upset so we head home. I'm hoping it is just a little scratch and a nap will help.
11:45 - She says she wants to sleep and we lay down together for a nap.
12:50 - She wakes up screaming from her nap. I determine that this isn't just a bad nap wake up, her eye is really hurting.
1:00 - I call her doctor. They are closed from 1:00 - 2:00. Marlie is crying hysterically.
1:10 - We are headed to the local urgent care. Marlie is screaming and waving her head around with her eyes closed like Stevie Wonder. I am freaking out.
1:30 - Urgent care gets us in right away. The doctor attempts to look at Marlie's eye and says "I think she is going to be OK." He sends us off with a prescription for pain meds.
1:45 - We walk across the street and down the block to the grocery store to drop off the prescription. While we are waiting Marlie is still crying and her eye is red. I am beginning to doubt the diagnosis.
1:55 - I can't find my cell phone anywhere. I am holding Marlie and sweating and not feeling so good myself. I determine that I must have left it at Urgent Care. We get her meds.
2:00 - We get our coats back on and walk back to Urgent Care to get my phone.
2:10 - We walk to the parking garage to leave. I am thinking we need a second opinion about the eye because she is still crying.
2:12 - I drive up to the exit window and hand the lady my ticket. She tells me we are over the limit for free parking and I owe her $3. She tells me they only take cash. I have $0 in my wallet.
2:13 - She makes us back up and park and find an ATM. I am crying. Marlie is crying. We get out and walk back to the grocery store and get cash. The grocery store people think I am nuts.
2:20 - We are free from the parking garage. Marlie is still a mess and I decide we need to go to the ER.
2:50 - We meet my MIL at the ER. They get us in right away. Marlie is suddenly chipper and happy and I am feeling stupid for having brought her.
3:30 - I and 2 nurses hold Marlie down so they can put some dye in her eye. It is horrible. They determine it is in fact scratched and prescribe some antibiotics drops.
3:45 - Shane arrives just as all of the drama is over. Marlie perks up and is excited about stickers and Shane is wondering why the heck I brought this happy kid to the ER.
4:30 - We are all back home. Marlie's eye is watering but looks much better. I feel horrible and realize my cold is back with vengeance.
4:45 - I am sitting on the ground having a pitty party talking to Marlie...

me: Marlie I don't feel good, can I have a hug? We had quite the day didn't we?
M: Yeah mom, we had a big adbenture.

That's one way to put it Monkey Pants.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

checking in

I realized the other day that I haven't given an update on Shane in a while. The question I probably get asked most often these days is "What is Shane up to now that law school is over and he passed the bar?". The short answer to that question is that he is still at the job he had through school. He is exploring a few options here and there, but for now is mostly just enjoying being a free man again and hanging out with us.

Marlie and I are very much enjoying having him around again. Nights free for fun, frequent movie and popcorn nights. Its funny how quickly I forgot what it used to be like. One night last week he was out somewhere and so I did the dinner and bedtime routine by myself and suddenly I remembered that it used to be like that every single night. That was hard.

Life is much more fun with Shane around. I laugh a lot more than I used to. Sometimes with him and sometimes at him. Either way, we keep each other smiling. I love his quirks. Favorite Shane quote as of late...

"My hair needs something. Like what if it were curly? If I got a perm would people know I had a perm or would they just think 'Wow, his hair looks good curly'?"

Now, while we are at it lets check in with Miss Monkey Pants. We are having so much fun with this kid. All of a sudden she is so grown up! Every day she says something new that amazes me. Yesterday we were in Home Depot and she said...

"I been to dis place before mom. Dis place is where people buy tings, buy tools a fix their homes."

I was floored.

She is suddenly very in to dancing and anything Disney princess or any kind of princess for that matter. She clomps around the house in her dress shoes and tutu. I didn't think she was going to be a very girly girl so its a little surprising really, and very cute.

She has such a sweet spirit. She has really gotten in to having "buddies". Everyone is a buddy to Marlie. Today on the way to school we saw some work men on our street and she said "Hey look mom, buddies. I love those worker men buddies." Perhaps we need to have another talk about strangers?

She is standing firm against potty training. I'm not worried....yet.

I kiss her sweet cheeks many times a day. It usually bugs her, but I can't help it. She has a new way of smiling for the camera that makes getting a good shot of her a little hard....

but then sometimes I can catch her off guard and get a good one...

I guess that's it. The Duggins are doing well. Hope you are too!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

and also...

6) paint two paintings that have been swimming around in my head for months.

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I am finding myself a little without words these days. I did want to pop in and tell you about this great thing I am trying.

E-mealz. I heart I read about it on a friend's blog (thanks Wendi!). I have always struggled with meal planning and grocery shopping. I try and plan out meals for the week and do one big shopping trip. What always happens is I sit down with a pen and paper and stare at it blankly trying to think of dinner ideas. Then after that I dread making the long list, thinking of all of the ingredients for meals and all the extra stuff we need.

Enter You pay $5 a month and they send you a dinner menu for 5 days, the cooking instructions, and a categorized shopping list of all of the ingredients. There are different types of menus to choose from depending on how many are in your family and any dietary restrictions. And you know what really hooked me? They have a Weight Watchers menu! It is amazing. Each dinner is healthy and the menu tells me how many WW points the meal is worth. If you have ever done WW or any diet for that matter then you know how PHENOMENAL that is! It is so easy to get stuck in a rut with the same dinners. On WW I run out of meal ideas and start to think I have to survive on nothing but turkey dogs and salad. Not anymore!

I am not a picky eater really, but the meals have been great! And really easy to cook. No super complicated recipes. Our grocery bill has been almost exactly the same as before when I was buying a few planned out meals and then winging the rest of the dinners. I have heard that if you don't do one of the diet menus then your bill will be substantially lower.

Anyway, its awesome. It could change your life. I am not getting paid by to say that either. That's all I got today folks!

Friday, January 15, 2010


Alright, I've finally settled on some 2010 goals....

1) Spiff up the studio.

2) Go on a big trip with Shane (Is it cheating that this is already booked?)

3) Find new album options for my clients.

4) Learn more about off camera lighting.

5) Paint at least one room in the house.

There you have it. Not as lofty as last year, but maybe that is just what I need this year.

I've been working on goal #1 the last few days. So far this has consisted of choosing couches, buying couches, and then deciding they were too dang big for the studio. The delivery guys are on the way right now to take them back. Oh well...back to the drawing board!

Today..... some editing, some cleaning, some shopping and the best part...a massage this afternoon! Sweet. Thanks for the awesome Christmas present Shane!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ader Tater

When I was in third grade I rode the bus. Bus #15, and our driver Jan had a huge blonde afro (why do I remember that?). One day there was a spunky little girl across the aisle from me singing Madonna's "Poppa Don't Preach". She was singing loudly and unashamedly, but she had the lyrics wrong. "Poppa don't preach. I'm in double d." She kept saying. I felt Madonna would want me to correct her and so I did. And that is how I met Ada Margaret, who later became Ader Tater my bestest friend. Me and Tater, we was like peas and carrots.

We lived two blocks away from each other which made playing together pretty convenient. We would walk and meet at the end of my street. Our days were full of pretending, usually at least one argument, talking about our new Keds and stretch pants, and lots of dance choreography. I was crushed when she moved away in 5th grade. I gave her my training bras as a going away present. I was a strange child.

Here we are at her going away party in a very blurry old pic...

Ada and I kept in touch on and off over the years. She came back to STL for seminary a few years back and then moved away again after getting married. Coincidentally she and her hubby moved to Tuscaloosa as well, just 5 minutes away from Deb. So, I was so excited to be able to not just visit one sweet friend last week, but two.

Ada has an 8 month old named Mae that I had never met. Oh my gosh. The cuteness! I just couldn't stop smiling at her...

my fav...

Ada, I think she DOES look like you!

After meeting Mae Ada took me out to lunch. She was thinking about where to take me and said with her southern drawl "Do you like meat and three places?" To which I responded "Do I like my meat in what places?"

"Meat and three" restaurants are a southern thing that I had never experienced before. You choose your meat choice from the daily meats and then three vegetables from the list. This is the kind of place where Weight Watchers points are a foreign language. Two of the items listed under vegetables were macaroni and cheese and macaroni salad. was good.

Then of course we needed frozen yogurt from some place called "Yogurt Mountain". It was also very good but I learned a hard lesson. Meat and three + yogurt mountain + my ww trained stomach = some major time doubled over holding my stomach at the airport. Ah well. Thank goodness for $8 pepto at the gift shop.

Here is a very flattering photo of me with Tater after Yogurt Mountain. Love you Ada! Thanks for the great afternoon!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


My friend Deb and I go way back. Way back to when I was an awkward high school student and she was my wise youth group leader. Over the years we became closer, working at the same summer camp in Colorado while I was in college, climbing mountains together our last summer before having babies. Deb has always been someone I can look to for wisdom, a good laugh, and a sweet friend. She is actually partially responsible for me ending up with Shane. Before our first real date I called her practically hyperventilating. She calmed me down and said "Erin, its not marriage, its dinner." It became my mantra that whole night and a year or so later she was singing at our wedding.

Here we are climbing mountains with our matching hats on either side of Beth and our friend Peggie...

About two years ago Deb and her family moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Their move was right on the heels of a devastating diagnosis of their sweet Noah. You can read their story on their blog if you haven't already been following. The last time I went to Tuscaloosa was to say goodbye to little Noah. I was glad to be going this time for a joyful occasion. I got to meet the newest member of the family...Eli.

Oh my word this little boy is adorable. His head is the roundest little head I have ever seen. At five weeks old he is already getting some chunky rolls. I love chunky rolls.

Clearly Deb and Josh are happy with this little guy. Actually I think I made them laugh, but whatever. Aren't they cute? I love these shots...

I put this huge bowl in the bag I checked. It came a long way so I was happy when Eli fell asleep in there.

And when he zonked out for this shot...

Congratulations guys! He is one cute little boy. And thanks for a great trip!

p.s. Roll Tide ... Er somethin.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

photo of the year

I am aware this post is a little late. Oh well.

Instead of choosing my top ten favorite photos of 2009 I decided just to choose one image that stuck out the most to me for the year. For some reason choosing 10 or even 20 seemed too hard, but there is one photo that definitely stands out to me as my fav for the year. This one...

I just love everything about it. The light, the lines, the boots, the dress, the subject (love you Amy!) So there you have it.

In a few hours I will be on a plane, listening to my ipod, reading People magazine, with no diapers or wipes in my purse, no sippy cups or cheerios. Just me sitting and on my way to see some people I love. There is just one problem...

I have to leave my Monkey Pants. Sigh. She is so sweet. And that Shane guy. I like him too.

Alabama here I come!

Monday, January 4, 2010

maternity leave

Got you with that post title didn't I? He He He. No, I'm not preggo. But my best friend/name collage guru Beth is. Very pregnant in fact. Which means that name collages will be on hold for a while folks. We will start taking orders again in March when things have settled down a bit for her.

This weekend the whole fam came over for a little session. One last shoot of this family of 3 before they become 4. Such a good lookin family...

Beth is such a beautiful pregnant lady. She has been complaining about how "big" she is for months. She's not fooling anyone, she is gorgeous. And don't even get me started about her little nugget Weston. Those eyes...those cheeks...his little voice...I love him.

Poking at the belly button...

And my two favs ... sigh...

Can't wait to meet that little girl!


It is FA-REEZING in St. Louis. I have a really bad headache and I seriously think its from all of the teeth chattering I have been doing. I've been telling Shane he really needs to buy me a heated sweat suit. Surely there is something like that out there. With the battery disguised in a fanny pack perhaps? He doesn't seem to think that would be a good look for me.

We are snuggling up under blankets, avoiding the outside world, and actually I will be flying south in a few days where it is a tad warmer. I'm headed to Alabama to visit some sweet friends, meet some sweet babies and well, get some space so I can think a little clearer. Who knows, maybe I'll even come up with those 2010 goals. Maybe goal #1 should be to invent a heated sweat suit complete with fanny pack disguised battery. Hmm....