Thursday, April 29, 2010


Just a quick note to say we are fine. Lucy is still not herself, but she is much better. We have just been doing all that we can to enjoy life and do fun things. The weather has been amazing. Unfortunately for grandparents, I am totally uninspired to take pictures of my own kids right now. I really haven't done it in over a week. With that being said, we went to a huge flea market today and got some goodies for photo sessions that will be very cute. Also, I found an AMAZING location that I can't wait to take the girls to for Annie's 2 year portraits. Really, it took my breath away it is so pretty. Maybe I can get that done this weekend, but I am not sure the weather will be cooperating with us. Lee Lee has really had it with me not blogging. So sorry Lee Lee. I am trying to become inspired again. Really, I am!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


She is growing and changing, and it is really hard. But I do thank God every single day that I get to be a part of it.

First, you guys are amazing. Wow. I don't even know what to say. But thank you for your love and support. You all made my last few days wonderful. Seriously, thank you so much for all of the loving comments.

Today was a big deal. First the first time in a long time Lucy did not have a single meltdown. I cannot even begin to tell you all how huge this is. A few weeks ago, I would have told you that she almost never has a meltdown. But something is brewing in that little body of hers and tantrums have become the norm around here. They are not really tantrums. They have been full blown enormous emotional breakdowns. Over anything and everything that you can think of.

It all kind of came to a head the other night. It was Monday and she completely lost it at bed time. Lost it in a way I have never seen before. She was raging. She is not a raging kind of child. Her body was flailing and she really did not have control of herself. I had to step out of her room for a moment and gather myself. I stood there and begged God for guidance because I was at a complete loss of how to handle her.

I went back in, scooped her up off the floor, and held her as tight to my body as I could while rocking her. We did a "time in" where I forced her to be close to my body. Her little tiny body fought me for 25 minutes as hard as she possibly could. I am not kidding, my arms, back and shoulders hurt. I can only imagine what her body felt like. Once she stopped fighting me, she sobbed for 45 minutes before finally falling asleep.

It was an overwhelming experience for both of us. I have never had to do anything like this with her before. She has never needed it. But she is going through some security issues I think. And it was time that I made her realize that I am not going anywhere, no matter how she acts.

Since then, I have seen improvements. Yesterday was better and then today was a million times better. I think we are moving in the right direction. I pray we are moving in the right direction.

These pictures are from tonight and they are minimally edited in Lightroom. Beautiful evening light. We go outside most nights after dinner now and I stand there in awe of the beauty of the light every night. Love it.

We have had this sidewalk chalk for a long time and this was our first time to use it. It was so much fun!

Guess who thought it was hilarious to splatter paint with it? Both herself and the sidewalk.....

See? Could she possibly be a cuter mess?

She just figured out how to actually get off the ground.

Justin and I call her Chucky when she is smiling like this. There is an evil little giggle that comes along with this look.







Sunday, April 18, 2010


I need to get something clear here. This blog was started in an effort to keep friends and family up to date with what was going on with our adoption process for Lucy. Once I started, I loved everything about blogging, so I kept on blogging. Over the years, for whatever reason, a lot of people started reading about our family and looking at our pictures. Most of the time, I am perfectly fine with that. I still love blogging and the community that I have met through this blog. 99.9% of the time, the nicest people chime in on the comments and relate to a story I wrote about or comment on the pictures. I LOVE to hear from you all. Thank you for caring and checking in our family.

It has been a long, long time since I have gotten a rude or mean "anonymous" comment. However, Friday evening I got a very nasty comment, which I promptly deleted. The basic message of the comment was "to get over myself and stop complaining." They also said, and this is a direct quote, "actually we are lucky you have neglected your blog otherwise there is no telling what you would be complaining about." I was actually told on MY OWN blog to shut up. Seriously? I am sorry, are we clear here on what someone gets to say on a personal blog created for family and friends?

Then, a while after I deleted this comment, I got another anonymous comment thanking the first anonymous and that they completely agreed. And a few more nasty jabs just for good measure.

Now, I am obviously well aware of what exactly I have said on my most recent blog posts. Have they been fun, exciting, energetic, or especially positive? No, which is the exact reason that I took a week off from saying anything because I did not like it either. I love this blog. I love documenting our lives and sharing photos. But I also want it to be real. So what do I write about? Exactly what I am feeling when I sit down at my computer that evening. And if that is not all butterflies and roses, that is what I say.

And for the past few weeks, I have felt overwhelmed with a whole lot of things going on in our lives - so I have used this as a place to vent those feelings - because I like to have a place all of my own to say whatever I want. I have been stressed out about all kinds of things. Work has been a lot to deal with. Lucy is going through the hardest phase of her little life that we have ever been through and it is making Justin and me question all kinds of things about our parenting. And these are just the things that I choose to share on here. We obviously have all kinds of other hard things going on.

If you are bored with me or my blog, or tired of hearing me say that things have been stressful, PLEASE stop reading my PERSONAL blog. Trust me, I totally understand. I love having people that read, but I do NOT want people reading that do not want to be here. And by all means, please stop acting like anyone is making you come here. I just have one question, WHY are you still here? Why are you still reading if I make you that mad? I have NO desire to be some giant blogger with a zillion readers. Again, the purpose is to keep friends and family up to date with our lives and make a few friends along the way.

So, after I got the first comment, I was sitting around wasting energy about how it stung to have someone say such harsh words to me about what I choose to say on my blog. And then the second comment came and I turned off the anonymous commenter option and felt even more sad.

But then I had a couple of huge revelations and I let it all go. The first one was: What kind of a person is sitting around on a Friday night reading the comments and a blog that they supposedly hate and then feeling the need to leave extremely nasty comments? Must be a very miserable couple of people. With loads of time on their hands. I am sorry that you are so angry at me and probably the rest of the world. I have no intention of letting you make me feel badly for even one more second.

But a much more important thing that I thought about was how you made me feel. And I want to thank my hateful anonymous commenters because you reminded me how our words can really, really hurt others. And when I get stressed out and exhausted, I can be really snappy and mean with the people that I love the very most. You showed me how hurtful my snappy comments can be to them. So now I can be more aware and try much harder to not say unnecessarily mean things to people. Because really, what good does it do. It sure doesn't make me feel better and I know it hurts the people it is directed at. Do you feel better after attacking me? I almost hope you do.

And one final thing. Sure, I don't know your name because you are all sneaky and anonymous, but I get a lot of information when you leave a comment on my blog. And I see when you come back to see what happens after you leave your nasty comment. The internet is amazing like that. I assure you, you are not invisible. Not on Friday, and not right now.

So, there it is. I feel better getting all of that off of my chest. I will try and not be as negative on here. But if I need a place to vent, this is my space. You are obviously welcome to come and go as you please, so feel free to go if you don't like it. But to those of you that stay and play nicely, I am glad that you are here. Thanks for all of the support that you have given me. And Lee Lee, you are going to have to figure out how to comment now that the yucky anonymous people ruined that. And you too, Justin.

Total change of topic, but I took Lucy to the American Girl store and cafe the other day for a special one on one date. She LOVED it. She kept saying over and over how fancy everything was and how much she loved it all. We picked out a new outfit for Ivy - raincoat, boots and a hat. It was soooooooo nice to see her so happy. She really is going through some very big emotional stuff. It has been heartbreaking to watch because she hasn't been able to tell us what is going on. I am sure she is going through a big developmental growth, but it has never been like this before. It is like she is totally overwhelmed the majority of the day and it results in her completely melting down in a way we have never seen before. I have just been praying for guidance with how to deal with it all.

These pictures are straight out of the camera. This is the only time all week I picked up my camera for personal pics. But they are so cute.


Longing for the dessert that the little girl next to us had.

Her reaction when she got that dessert.


She ate every single bite.



Monday, April 12, 2010



I am drowning in work and dealing with the girls, so the blog has officially been neglected. I simply don't have the extra time in the day to devote to this blog. Things will slow down again, but not for a while. I have been so busy editing, doing new sessions, booking sessions, and processing orders. I am having a really hard time staying on top of things.

And Lucy is going through some sort of yucky phase. It is really hard. She is battling allergies, transitioning out of her nap, and dealing with both Justin and me working a lot. It has taken a toll on her. I feel really bad for her, but am also maxed out on my frustration level. I have made a huge effort to be extra patient with her because so much is going on, but I have just about had enough with the fits and whining. She is having meltdowns quite frequently, which is just not her at all. Hard on all of us.

Annie's birthday party was this past weekend and it was wonderful! Annie loved every second of being the center of attention. And she blew out her candle on her very first try. We were all quite impressed with that. I hardly took any pictures because I made a big effort to enjoy the time with my kids and friends and not let the camera be my focus. It was nice.

For all of you that have kids ages 7 and older that have any sort of interest in taking pictures, you should 100% sign them up for Jessica's 503 Kids Workshop this summer. You will not find anything else like this out there for your kids that have a love of photography or cameras. What a cool way to encourage their interest and get them doing something creative! There are different classes for different age kids starting with 7 year olds going through high school kids. Jessica is a truly amazing photographer and teacher, so I can assure you that your kids would benefit from this and have fun while doing it. AND, if you are interested, you can enter a contest at The Savvy Photographer to win a spot for you child. So, go enter or sign your kids up asap. They will fill up, so don't wait!



Thursday, April 08, 2010



The girls and I went location scouting this evening and found exactly what I was looking for. I was hoping to get some good shots of Annie for her 2 year portraits, but of course, she was having none of that. I don't know why I always have these brilliant ideas when I am on my own with the girls. Lucy, however, was very willing and I am so thankful she was. I have several people that this is going to work beautifully for. The light is spectacular if you can wait until late enough in the day.

Do you see that precious snail clip that Lucy has in her hair? Well, the AMAZING April of Pink Peanut Designs made it. Quite a while back, she sent me this HUGE box of goodies for the girls. Seriously, there was so much in the box I just about fell over when I opened it. Tons of clips, hats, flowers, etc. She has an Etsy store and you should check her out. Her products are adorable and top notch. I keep telling her I will do a full photo shoot of the girls in the goodies she sent me, but I keep not getting it done, even though we use the hair accessories all of the time. I especially love THESE. Go and check her out. You will love her. She is the best.

We are dealing with some sleep issues with Lucy. She is in the process of giving up her nap, but she is absolutely exhausted. It is very frustrating for all of us.

I am working, working, working. No time to chat. I have a crazy, crazy weekend. My mom is getting here tomorrow. I have a session tomorrow afternoon. Another one Saturday morning, a sip and see for a friend, and then my high school seniors that afternoon. Andy and June get here Saturday morning. Then Annie's birthday party is Sunday. The good news is, I have lots of help with the girls! I think my spring sessions are even more crazy than Christmas season. That is great for us, but my goodness, I am tired.

Annie's overall attitude if I wasn't holding her.




Those lips......






And my two favorites.


Monday, April 05, 2010



It is water hose time at our house and the girls are beyond excited about that. Lucy, being the bossy older child that she is, gets to control the hose. But that is perfectly fine with Annie, who LOVES to be sprayed and then run from the water. They did this over and over and over this evening. That is until Annie started freaking out. Justin and I figured she had gotten cold and that she was mad at how heavy her diaper had gotten because she was pulling on it. So I ran in and grabbed a towel because she was really crying. I took off her diaper, wrapped her up, and sat in the sun with her. She calmed right down but would not get out of my arms again.

Well, the poor baby had gotten into an ant hill and she has sooooo many ant bites on her feet and where her diaper hit her legs. We felt awful. Ant bites are so miserable and they looked horrible. We ended up giving her some benadryl because they looked so bad. They have gone way way down and she is fine, but I know they are going to be so itchy. Could be a long night with those bites driving her nuts.

I have had my nose GLUED to my computer all day long. I have gotten 2 sessions edited and weeded down another one. I have so much editing to do it really isn't even funny. I have a 2 session/day minimum goal for myself until I get caught up. That takes most of a day to get 2 sessions edited, but while I have Justin home, I have to get this stuff done. I have another baby session on Saturday and then my BIG first ever high school senior session on Saturday afternoon. It is for 3 girls and I am super excited about where this could take my business. I am also a little nervous about it because I want it to go really, really well. The girls are beautiful and one of them is a client of mine that I know is great in front of the camera. I am very excited to break into that market.

Back to work for me. I am loving these pictures from today.





Yes, we are those parents that let their kids play naked in the front yard.


Annie is soooooooooo beautiful. Her little features and skin are just amazing.





Sunday, April 04, 2010


Happy Happy Easter to all. What an amazing day to know that Christ has risen! I just love Easter and everything that comes along with it.

First, I know how awful of a blogger I have been. On this blog. All of my posts are HERE. Whoosh. That was one crazy week. I feel like I have been run over by a truck. Seriously. On top of working what felt like non-stop, I slept awful while we were in Little Rock. Being in a room right next to Annie, I could hear every peep out of her, and once I was up, I was just kind of up because my mind would start racing about the upcoming sessions and I could never get back to sleep. Annie slept especially bad last night and then we had the drive home this afternoon, so I can't even post the pics of the girls first thing this morning hunting eggs. Don't have it in me. My brain hurts from looking at so many pictures the past week.

We are happy to be back at home and want to again thank Lee Lee and Papa for all that they did for us this past week. Let's just say they were on babysitting duty pretty much nonstop while I had all of those sessions.

More tomorrow, but again, Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 01, 2010



Happy 2nd birthday to our beautiful, wild, messy, curious, HILARIOUS, and perfect little Annie!! She had a really fun day with family today. We had cake by 10:30 am. Lucy, Lee Lee, and I made her a very special butterfly cake yesterday. It took everything in Lucy to not eat any yesterday after she so beautifully decorated it. We opened presents and spent most of the day outside. My mom made a roast for dinner, which is a favorite of Annie's. It really was a great day for her. We will have her little party next weekend. I will do a full update on her when I get her 2 year pictures done. Just know for now, that she is such an amazing little person. So thankful that she is our daughter.

If you want to see some more really, really cute babies, check out the La La Blog. I have been very, very busy. The weather at my parent's is perfect and the cute babies keep on coming!



Showing off a new dress from Aunt Holly!


Look at how hard this is for Lucy in the background.