December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas To You

There is nothing like instant nostalgia, so let me show you photos of my Christmas day, AKA today.

The day started with some present opening by Mike and I. This is the first year we put up a full size tree, so I think we both felt the need to fill up its undersides.

Santa Came!
And this was our place Christmas morning.

That scerene setting however, quickly turned into this.

Taylor enjoyed it though.

After presents, I set out on my main mission of the day: to make our dessert. It was a rather ambitious mission. I decided to make a red velvet cake, the most Christmas-y dessert I could think of. This was the recipe I chose. I was somewhat apprehensive about making it though as the recipe said it was an "intermediate" skill level. I am more of a seasoned novice.

In case you haven't made red velvet cake before, this is how you make a red velvet cake.

Got it? Good. And here was the finished product. 

I made Mike try it first and give me his honest opinion. 
Of course, the rest of our meal deserves some applause as well. We had ham, rolls, cranberry sauce from a can (my favorite), green bean casserole and mashed potatoes.

It was all delish, and most of it, was actually made by my man. I should also note that I drank a particularly tasty beverage (or three) this afternoon: cranberry juice, vodka and a club soda. 

So that was our Christmas day in a nutshell. In summary: presents, baking, eating, drinking and now football. I hope your day has been just as lovely. 

From me and my entire crew, we'd like to say Merry Christmas to you.
Because when your pets outnumber you two to one, you need to dress them in holiday clothes to show you are still the alpha.

December 11, 2011

Sleepy Santa

I have been meaning to upload photos of my Christmas decorations ever since Mike and I put them up last weekend. I have taken photos, I just haven't done anything with them besides let them sit on my camera. So no, this post does not include photos of my Christmas tree. It has some thing even better - a sleeping, 3 month old Santa.

Taken earlier today. I am hoping to post more from this shoot and also, obviously, photos of my Christmas decorations at some point too. Hopefully, that point will be some time before 2012.

November 28, 2011

Catching Up

From the end of September to the start of November, I had 11 photo shoots. It was by far the busiest my little business has ever been. My October was why you didn't really hear from me on this blog in November.

Every year the month of November feels like the month that got away. It is swallowed up by the end of fall and the start of Christmas. And this year was no exception. Except this year, my November was a blur of photo editing.

I am just starting to dig myself out of a Photoshop coma, but what I am emerging with is a selection of photos I'm really proud of.

Photos of an adorable baby.
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Photos of my best friend strolling in Chicago with her hubby. 

Photos of a high-fiving family, taken at the end of a very successful shoot.

Even photos of dogs in costume. (Sorry Lexi, I know how much you dislike that.)

But what I am most excited about is the return of the my friend Carly and her family. They have appeared on this blog many a time, however as of this spring, shoots with them became a challenge. You see, they used to live a cab ride away in Chicago, and they are now a five-hour drive away in Michigan. Luckily for me though, they relocated very close to my parents' house. So when I went home for Thanksgiving, I stopped by Carly's house to see her and meet her daughter Amaya.

This is Amaya.

The last time I saw Carly she was pregnant with Amaya. She is now six-months-old, and these are her six-month-old pics.
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Of course, Amaya's big sister Shayla got into the action too. And Shalya is as cute as ever. (For reference, here are Shayla's 6-month-old pics.)

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I am not sure when I'll get to see them again, but I sure do hope it's soon. They certainly are fun to be around.

October 29, 2011

The Why

Today was a long day. I got up on a Saturday at 7 a.m. and didn't get home until 4 p.m. By the time I got home, I was exhausted and starving. I gobbled up my dinner and immediately took a one hour nap, and I am not a napper.

You see, today I had two back-to-back photo shoots. And I'm heading out to the suburbs tomorrow morning to have my third and final shoot of the weekend. I don't usually have this many shoots in such a short span of time, and I'm totally not looking a gift horse in the mouth. I am thankful to be getting out on beautiful days and taking pictures of babies and dogs. There are certainly worse ways to spend a day.

However, it takes some dedication, this whole photo thing. It eats up a lot of what would otherwise be my free time. I plan my weekends around shoots and my evenings are spent editing photos. And it also asks a lot of Mike. My photography weekends mean he's stuck either carting me around or giving up his car. And it also means that he's left to deal with our unruly pack of animals by himself. There are times when I have questioned how worth it is to do this when it's not a job that pays the bills. It's superfluous.

So when my alarm went off at 6:50 a.m. today, I totally had one of those moments where I questioned why.

Tonight I have my answer. My day started by photographing my friends' 3-month-old girl Madelyn. I was culling through her photos tonight and this one stopped me dead in my tracks.

You know what, when I look at that photo I don't question why. When I look at that photo I think oh man, I can't wait to do this again tomorrow.

More to come of this sweet little girl.

October 27, 2011

The Best Present I Could Give

I've known Lexi since my freshman year of college. And she was one of the first people I know to become a mom. Her honesty about its trials and its joys is just one of the many things I love about her. Also, that she's smart, she's funny, she's driven, she's talented, etc...

I also love her family, which is why I thought it a fitting present when I went out to visit Lexi for her 30th birthday that I take some photos of them all. She's been a big supporter of my photography from day one. So I guess this shoot is my way of saying thank you. And happy birthday.
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 Lexi, you are the best. And I hope you like your birthday present.