Sunday, November 20, 2016

7 QTs and My Sunday Best: Catching up

Linking up with Kelly as I attempt to revive the much neglected blog.

1. I got a little negativity from my family *cough* mom *cough* sister *cough* after my last two posts were predominantly about my business. It wasn't because they weren't excited for me! They definitely were. The conversation went a little like this:

Mom: So I was so disappointed by your last blog posts
Me: Really? I'm sorry, why!?
Mom: Well I was so excited that you had a post up, and then it was such a let down when there weren't any pictures of the girls.


2. So here I am, returning this blog to it's rightful place- where henceforth there will only be pictures of my family life and the business will forever be separate. Which really makes more sense anyway. Although seeing how I post here about once every three months, and the business is taking up all of my free time, I'll guarantee a post here once every six months...

3. My friend and I shared our photography talents and took pictures of each other's families. It was so much fun! I'm sharing a few, but you'll have to wait for the best one after I send out our Christmas cards.

Taken by Ashley Maciag

Taken by Ashley Maciag

Taken by my husband! 

Taken by me... which is obvious by her face. Please ignore the gnats I didn't spend the time editing out...

4. Which aren't ordered yet...

5. I never shared Halloween pictures here, so here you go. A month late is better than never, I think...

6. The weather here has been amazing! The coldest its been has been in the low fifties during the day and today its in the 70s. November in Virginia is wonderful. These pictures were from a couple weeks ago, but still fun!

This is spikeball. It's our new favorite game. My brother introduced it and we played for three days straight


R was more interested in spikeball than the playground

And then today it got cold... I spoke too soon! 

7. And since it took me two days to get this post out, I'll just make this a My Sunday Best link up too and join in the fun over at Rosie's. I wore a new LuLa Roe dress that I picked up yesterday at my friends' pop up shop in Meghan's house. It was awesome. I got to shop with my friends and make new ones! If you haven't heard of LuLa Roe yet, head over and join Meghan and Elizabeth's facebook group. They will have their online launch on Monday. And, if you've already heard of LuLa Roe, they had some killer legging patterns :) 

My new Nicole dress! 

Leggings Legging Leggings! 

Beautiful Maxi skirt patterns

Happy Business Partners

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

First Fashion Shoot

Last week, two wonderful ladies, Meghan and Elizabeth, approached me about taking pictures for their new business. They are jumping into selling the incredibly comfortable and stylish LuLaRoe line. If you're interested in checking out more about the clothes, join their facebook group page HERE! This was my first "Fashion shoot", but it was so much fun and I found some neat areas right on Main street. It was so nice of those local business owners to paint the sides of their buildings fun colors ;)

Without further ado, here's a quick sneak peek!

This dress has pockets! 

This skirt is called a Cassie. I can't wait to find one in a print I love! 

Elizabeth styled her Carly dress differently by tying it in cute knots

Headshots of the new business owners! 

Headshots of the new business owners! 

Some local color

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Traveling and a Fall Photoshoot

We've been to Missouri and back since I last posted. The girls had such an amazing time with their cousins. We went to the zoo, a pumpkin patch, and apple picking. And I forgot my camera for all three events. So.... I might have almost cried... a lot. There was definitely a lot of moaning. J can attest. Every time the sun glinted through the apple trees just perfectly a little part of the photographer in me cried out in anguish. Ok, enough drama, but seriously, it was heartbreaking.

I did get to do a little photoshoot for some of my friends' children, and oh my, they are just adorable. Here's a little sneak peek of their sweet faces.

 I still have a few openings for sessions before the cold weather! Write me a comment, e-mail, or contact me via FB :)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Catching up and some Big News

No I'm not pregnant.


Who says that anymore? Really Rachel. Lamo. Seriously. Stop. Now.

I've been so bad about blogging, but I have a fairly legitimate excuse now! I'm finally diving into the world of owning a business. My photography business will be official come Thanksgiving with the launch of my website.

In the meantime I'll just photo dump here after I do sessions.

My latest session was last weekend with Mary Lenaburg from Passionate Perseverance. She and her husband needed some headshots and some fun couple shots. They were THE BEST to work with. So fun and easy going. I felt quite honored to capture the love and humor they share between each other.

Without further ado, here's a sneak peek.

Also, if you happen to be local and want some fun fall pictures or family pictures for Christmas cards, I still have a few weekends open and would love to squeeze you in for a session!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

My Sunday Best: Vol 4

I've been really bad at getting out a quick post to link up with Rosie for My Sunday Best. But, I've been taking pictures. So here's a quick recap from the last few Sundays.

Dress: Ross, Shoes: JC Penny 
Keeping it real here with messy bookcase in background and evidence of toddler destruction all over the floor. This is what our living room looks like 90% of the time. I found this dress in the spare room closet... yes, I said found. Thanks to my generous sister, I actually made it to that closet and finished purging all my clothes. I got rid of 5 vacuum seal bags and found some dresses I forgot about! It was great: shopping for free and freeing up lots of storage space.

Skirt: Loft (thrifted), Shirt: Kohls (Laura Conrad collection), Jewelry: Kohls, Shoes: JC Penny, Cranky Baby: Cupps' House

Here we have another find from my clothing purge. I'm not sure I've ever worn this skirt. I picked it up at a thrift store and normally what happens with my thrift store finds is they get returned to the thrift store. I'm terrible at thrifting. But I really liked this combo! It might be my new favorite summer mass outfit.

Teacup 2 wouldn't let me put her down and she is not mass prepared because we split up last week. She was in the middle of the dreaded hand foot and mouth rash. It was more of an annoyance than anything once she got past the fever for the first two days. We quarantined the girls for a good 2 weeks to prevent passing it along. Was pretty torturous on their part. Every time I went on a walk, Teacup 1 begged me to take her to someone's house.

They looked cute... 
Yesterday we took our first trip in the double stroller. Previously Teacup 2 rode on my back and Teacup 1 in the single stroller. We've had a double for over a year, but it sat on our side porch and got really dirty. J graciously scrubbed it down for us yesterday and the girls were so excited to ride together. It lasted about half the walk until Teacup 2 got bored or something and decided to entertain herself by pulling her sister's hair. Maybe she will sit in front next time. She doesn't have any hair...

Dress: Old Navy, Cardigan: Old Navy, Girls's Dresses: Carters. 
Forgive me for all the phone shots. Sunday mornings are usually a little rushed, so snagging a picture has to be FAST! Although, we really don't have an excuse... we usually go to 12:30 mass. This week the girls wore their Easter dresses and I wore another find from my closet!

Head over to Rosie's blog to check out what everyone else is up to this Sunday :)

Friday, August 5, 2016

7 QTs: Toddler Life, Books: Winners and Flops, New Camera Gear, and A Blogging Conference

Once again, it's been forever since I've posted. Not that that's a new phenomenon. In fact, I've probably written that opening sentence multiple times. Inconsistency is my middle name, unfortunately...

It's not as if there's nothing to write about. I mean, goodness, if I wanted to go off on a serious, insightful thread there's enough news weekly, if not daily, that usually scares the daylights out of me. But I think I'll stick to the usual topics for now (naptime is only so long).

1. Teacup 1 comes up with all sorts of fun, ridiculous comments. Just yesterday, after explaining to her she must leave her markers in the kitchen, she puts up her little hand and says, "Mama, I have to bring the marker; the doctor says, no more monkeys jumping on the bed."

Well you can't argue with that, can you? I mean, I don't even know where to start with that one.

2. We've been busy doing a lot of not much. A week of babysitting, my wonderful, self-sacrificing sister visiting for a week, washing dishes, doing laundry, popping outside, having playdates. You know, the usual toddler lifestyle.

Visits from Auntie Stine are their favorite
And really it's a full fledged toddler lifestyle over here. That baby, you know the second one, Teacup 2? She's not a baby. She is a wild, rollicking, noisy toddler. My current favorite word of hers is "belly button", pronounced "bewwy but". Beware of the belly button hunter. She will find yours. Every time. Other new words consist of More (Mo), Baba, DaDA, Go, Ball (ba), Book (boo), and making horse and dog noises.
Traipsing outside with a bottle isn't totally normal...

3. I've managed to squeeze in a few books. I went on a library raid, and so far, two of the four books have been flops. "The Glass Magician" was an entertaining read, but didn't impress me quite as much as "The Paper Magician", it's predecessor. "Eligible" made me want to throw up a tiny bit or cry for Jane Austen, "The Traitor's Wife" was possibly proving to be Susan Higginbottoms' weakest novel, and I left both unfinished.

HOWEVER...I joined a book club a few months ago, and so far, all three reads have been real winners! The most recent was "The End of the Affair" by Graham Greene and I thought it was stunning. Incredibly packed with symbolism, introspection, honesty, and rawness all in less than two hundred pages. It's pretty much a perfect book club read. But you should read it on your own too. Disclaimer: I would recommend this for adults only, although I really believe the sexual content appropriate in the context.

4. I saved up for another camera lens, and it should round out my gear so I don't need much else... although J stated, "Until next week". It's a zoom telephoto and I've been out practicing the two days I've had it. Not quite useful inside, but perfect for when the kids are playing the backyard. Hoping to use this as my powerhouse for potential future family sessions. Still practicing and building a portfolio, but hoping to get a business off the ground next year. It's going to be a lot of work, and I'm a bit concerned since I can't even keep a blog running properly, but I'm optimistic. It's something I love doing and fulfills my artistic drive, but prayers that I stay motivated would be appreciated!

5. Speaking of failing at blogging, I'm attending my first blogging conference in September. I feel like such a fake, but I'm really looking forward to hearing Kelly speak and it's hosted by Rosie in my now home town, so how can I not go?? If you're from the east coast/mid atlantic region, you should come out and join us! And, I'll be offering free head shots :)

6. Social media is totally sucking my time, and I've done a terrible job of implementing Throwback Thursdays, but I went ahead and signed up for Instagram anyway. I think I'll keep it private for awhile. But you could change my mind. FB has been so depressing lately, I was considering only posting via IG and then sharing onto FB so I didn't even have to look at it. But I haven't figured out how to share my photos from anywhere but my phone. Yes, I'm a technologically challenged millennial, they do exist.  But you could follow me on Goodreads!

7. This month will be a little quieter. Hoping to get some photo posts up, practice consistent editing, work on watermarking, and expecting a visit from my dear friend, Faith! I hope you have a spectacular month (you know, in case you don't hear from me again this month based on track record). Head over to Kelly's to read some great QTs.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

My Sunday Best: Vol 3

I have a lot to catch up on. Lots of pictures to edit and memories to record. We aren't involved in a lot of structured activities, yet somehow, or summer has been filled to the brim.

Some highlights from May and June:

We took the girls to their first MLB game. Which makes me laugh a little since I went to my first MLB game when I was in college. The Cardinals played the Nationals, and J's company was kind enough to make a family day so we could all attend. One of our splurges at home is subscribing to the MLB ticket since we don't have cable, so the girls are used to seeing baseball games. They were so good at the actual game! We stayed the whole time and boy was it hot!

J's parents sent the girls matching Cardinals' shirts. They loved being twins!

 Rosie was kind enough to lend us a hiking backpack so we could take the girls on their first significant trail. I'd say three miles round trip with a baby on your back isn't anything to scoff at. The trail had awesome views, so the payoff was very good.

In June we traveled down to AL to visit J's grandma and then back up to TN for a week in Gatlinburg with J's immediate family. Nine kids and nine adults under one roof made an exciting and fun filled stay. The house was perfect for us with 7 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms, perched on the edge of the mountain, and three decks to look over the Smoky Mountains.

Storm coming in

Nighttime after storm. Rising mist (smoke)

clear day

We went on a couple more hikes.

Clingman's Dome paved trail

The views are amazing... when there's no fog... (Top of Clingman's Dome)

Smoky Mountain National Park Drive
Girl Cousins

Riding in a box is always in style. Whether at home or on vacation. 

They all look relatively happy :) All the cousins. 

Highlights from July:

J had his 30th birthday! We had some friends from out of town, including one of J's best friends who shares his birthday. So a double bash we threw.

J's company once again arranged another fantastic family day at Hershey Park. We met my family there and the girls enjoyed rides, the zoo, and spending time with their grandparents and aunt and uncle.

And, finally, my Sunday best, although, probably not my best. After mass, after we picked up some delicious cheeseburgers, and after I woke the baby up from her short nap in the car.

Top: Old Navy, Skirt: Gap (probably over ten years ago...), Shoes: Target
Teacup 2: Dress: Carters + post nap grumpy face.
Teacup 1: Dress: hand me down. Face: No idea. 
Head over to Rosie's for some classy, sassy Sunday outfits, and check out Rosie's July no pants challenge (which.... does not entail not wearing bottoms, but rather only wearing skirts or dresses for the entire month;) ).