Welcome to the 365 Project I completed in 2012. This project was about the simple and personal goal of shooting and choosing one photo to define each day last of year. It was about documenting my life — real life, and the people, events, activities, and things that are important to me. It was about capturing big moments, small moments and everything in between. The real challenge (and what made it so fun) was taking the everyday, routine things and photographing them with a unique and creative perspective. However, sometimes it might not have been the perfect image artistically or technically as much as it was the perfect memory! Now that the project is complete, I have put it all together in a custom book for my family to enjoy and look back on 2012’s captured moments. If you are doing a 365 project, please comment and post a link so I can follow your images too. Thanks for stopping by!
365 Project for 2012
Olivia had the best time at a cookie swap with sweet friends. They also did a great job decorating giant gingerbread cookies.
For some reason our family has never owned a nativity scene. Have always wanted one but never found the right one. This year Olivia painted a nativity scene in her Created for a Purpose Holiday Camp. LOVE it and will treasure it!
Ready to Reclaim my Living Room
Between Santa, the grandparents and us, Legos cover every square inch of our living room. Right now, the coffee table is building headquarters because he likes to build in front of the fire. After completing two Lego Ninjago sets since Christmas Day (amazing), Luke had a meltdown in the beginning phases of the Batcave and went to bed early tonight. Too much pressure for one little architect!
His Very Own BB Gun!
Luke has been learning gun safety and getting target practice using Brad’s BB gun from when he was a boy, but it’s a little too big for Luke. So, for Christmas, Luke got his very own Daisy BB Gun in just the right size! He’s going to be a hunter just like his daddy!
Christmas Eve with our cousins
Fitting Room Fun
So glad to be out of the house today to wrap up my shopping. Olivia and I had a little fun in the fitting room after trying on. I could face any direction with my camera and still get a photo of her because it was like an 8 way mirror. And, I finally spent my birthday gift card from back in October. Thanks y’all for my new Lulu! You know who you are!
Mercury Glass Ornaments
The 365 Project has been a challenge the past few days because I’ve been sick and at home all day. So, here are my favorite mercury glass ornaments at home in a turquoise bowl this year instead of on the tree.
Laying low at home tonight and kids did a little snooping under the Christmas tree.
Christmas Dinner at Avo
Our little photography group had a Christmas dinner tonight at Avo. I was determined to get out of the house after being cooped up for 2 days! Always fun to hang out and “talk shop” with these girls! (Thanks to our waitress for taking the photo. At least the memory was captured!)
It takes getting sick with bronchitis to finally have time to flip through the stack of magazines that’s been sitting on my bedside table for weeks and weeks.
4th Grade Service Project
After school today the 4th graders in Olivia’s class went to Target and purchased toys for kids, at a grief counseling center in town, with money they had earned from doing extra chores. So proud of how they thought through what to get and kept track of their money.
Luke got a little help from his sissy on iXL math. I think Olivia was taking it a little more seriously than he was.
I love to turn all the lights off except the Christmas tree. This year’s tree had it’s challenges…too tall for the star to fit on top, fell over the second day and I can’t find the ribbon for our gifts. I know it’s somewhere in the attic. Oh well, it’s just one of those years! I love white lights, but I promised the kids we will have colored lights next year! Guess I’ll be hitting the day after sales! Anybody seen the big round colored ones in town? If so, let me know where!
He wasn’t going after the ball, just thought the pile on would be fun…and looking at his Dad to see if it was okay. ;)
I went to the gym this morning then worked at my house all day with no tv or radio on. So, I was very unaware of the tragedy that happened in Connecticut this morning until about 2:15 when I left to go pick up my kids at school. When I turned on the radio and heard what had happened, I just broke down in tears in my car for so many families that won’t be picking up their child in carpool line ever again. The kids and I immediately prayed for the families and will continue to do so. Such a senseless act that destroyed so many lives.So tonight, when I had no 365 image for today, I looked over on the sofa at my baby sleeping safe and sound and was immensely thankful.
HO HO HO HO
Love these sweet sibling friends who got a surprise play date this afternoon.
My little mouse in the house
Today was the 4th grade “Nutcracker” musical at Central and Olivia was a mouse. It was such a cute program and the parents who put the costumes, props and set together did an amazing job!
One of my very favorite things about this time of year is going to the mailbox and getting Christmas cards. I love displaying cards from all the people who have touched our family’s lives and been a blessing to us in some way. I love seeing how your children have grown since last year’s card. I love how each card is so thought out and unique in your own personal style. Thank you for sharing them with us to enjoy! I’m thankful for each and every connection represented on these shutters.
…from our neighbor’s happy little 4 foot tree that brightens our cul de sac every year.
Champions Play Here
It was hard to choose a photo for today because I have well over 1,000 images from this NCAA College Cup championship game. I love all that’s going on in this one, though. Hopefully this image captured the fans’ excitement for Indiana’s win. It’s moments like this when my heart and my mind are racing as I’m hustling to get the right shots for my client. And just like at weddings, I have a big smile on my face because it’s incredibly contagious when people are that happy! Congratulations to the Hoosiers!
Breakfast with Santa
We took the kids to have chocolate chip pancakes with Santa (and the Vestavia Belles and Rockettes) this morning at the Vestavia Lodge. Thanks to the dads who cooked the pancakes! Luke is telling Santa his Lego must haves! Unfortunately we were not dressed for the occasion. It was straight to a basketball game afterwards.
NCAA College Cup
Had a great time shooting this soccer event tonight! Soccer was my favorite sport as a child and jr higher. These guys are the best in college right now, so the games were close and really exciting. Looking forward to shooting the championship game on Sunday. Bring your kids and come on out to watch.
Flour, dough, sprinkles & icing
The cutest Christmas cookie bakers filled my house and my heart today.
After school sugar high!
Someone at the gym asked me the other day if I let my kids eat sweets…so here’s the proof! He was really, really cute when he asked for a vanilla cone and I caved!
I know this will come as a complete shock, but some of my favorite ornaments on the tree are the photo ornaments I’ve done every year since the children were born. When I get them out of the box each year to hang on the tree, I’m reminded of how fast the days are flying and how quickly my kids are growing up right in front of my very eyes. This one is from the year Luke was born. He was a chunky little monkey and we thought he would never get hair!
Monday night is gymnastics night. After a broken arm setback this year, Olivia is determined to get her back handspring.
Christmas and Candlelight
This afternoon we enjoyed our church’s beautiful Christmas music performance. We have so many gifted musicians and singers and it’s always a blessing.
Celebrating a Win
The guys celebrating our SEC Championship win. Roll Tide!
Richard Tubb Open House
Went to dinner at Avo with friends then to Richard Tubb Interiors for Open House…one of my favorite events every Christmas season!
I don’t get the mustache thing. I just don’t. Sweet friends having fun together.
Dickens Village Lego Ninjago Style
I got a great laugh out of this last night. Luke jazzed up his Dickens Village with Lego Ninjago. Cracks me up to see classic Dickens people hanging out with a few Ninjas!
Tree lighting – Round 2
Brad is always in charge of the lights. Here he is for round 2 of lighting our tree, weaving the tangled web of strands from when it fell. He has way more patience than me!
Yep, it’s that year…
The year that your tree is completely decorated and the next day it’s on the floor. When I came home from the gym tonight, this is what my living room looked like. Bare tree, lights all hanging off and ornaments all over the room. A huge thank you to our neighbor Paul for helping Brad rescue our tree and letting us borrow another stand! Round 2 of decorating later this week…
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Today was pretty much perfect in my book. It was a gorgeous day, so after church we went hiking at Moss Rock Preserve, then picked out our Christmas tree and decorated it. But the most exciting thing for Luke was setting up the Dickens Village that his grandparents gave him and putting his train so that it would go around it.
My sweet friend Stacy and her family came over to watch the Iron Bowl tonight. Our kids played and had a blast, our hubbies watched the game, but Stacy and I didn’t even see one play. Imagine that! We had other things to “focus” on. ;)
And yes, she carries her camera every where she goes too!
All that glitters is NOT gold
Olivia and I did a little shopping tonight. I know all the tweens love this store because there is LOTS of sparkly, but I’ll be ready to move on from this little establishment. ;)
I’m so thankful for these two little blessings in my life. I’m also thankful that today was a restful one. No cooking, no cleaning up and no grazing on leftovers, compliments of The Club! Our first Thanksgiving meal there might not be the last!
(And, in case you are wondering…there is plexiglass behind my kids in this image.)
The Sheffer Boys
Every fall I get to photograph this sweet family. Luke and Nate are imaginative, spunky and adorable. Two weeks ago they welcomed their baby brother, Sebastian, into the world and today I got to meet him. I usually don’t use client images in my 365, but I love watching these boys grow and this image stole my heart. ♥
Nannie’s Southern Table
Nannie (with Grandad helping) cooked one of her yummy Southern dinners for all of us tonight. There are years worth of memories and conversations around that table since we ate there every Sunday after church when I was growing up. Still amazed they can do what they do at 90! Yes, I’m SO thankful. After dinner the cousins got to play. Every time they are at their great-grandparents house the dominoes come out and cool things are built.
Okay, this may not be the most exciting 365 image, but it’s what every day looks like for me right now. Editing, editing and more editing. Thankful for the work. Also thankful for the rest that will come in January and February.
Shooting a Shooter
It’s always a nice compliment when another photographer asks you to photograph them. Today I took a few professional shots for my friend Jana at Aldridge Gardens. I’ve shot weddings with Jana on several occasions and I’m so glad to have made a new friend in her this year.
I have so many fun memories from this day so it was hard for me to choose just one image to define it. However, since this is the first time we’ve taken both kids to a game where they’ve lasted longer than the first half or the length of time it takes to eat a lemon freeze, I decided it needs to be a stadium shot.
Thank you to my friend Barbara for hooking us up with some Alabama tickets. We are excited to finally have some Saturday family time together and take the kids to an Alabama football game. We’ll see if the kids last longer than the first half and a lemon freeze…Roll Tide!
Pepper Place Open House
Brad and I went to the Pepper Place Open House last night. I always love being in the design district. It just stirs something inside me to be around other creative people in our city. There’s so much incredible talent here. We stopped in to see our friend Paul Crawford, who owns Scout Branding Company. I’ve seen pictures of his cool office space but wanted to see it in person. It did not disappoint. I’ve always respected Paul’s skills in the world of advertising. This is a photo of the chalkboard wall in the conference room at Scout… His branding and advertising always wins my attention.
After work chill time
A fire going, Duck Dynasty on the tv and a good hunting catalog in hand, Brad tries to hide from the 365 project. You cannot run. You cannot hide.
Slow motion reading
Luke decided to read the words as slow as possible to make bedtime take longer. The kids were laughing..Mom was not. ;)
(Added some grain to this one. Sometimes I miss the look of B&W film.)
Oh Christmas Tree
I know it’s early, but decorating their bedroom Christmas trees to Charlie Brown Christmas music was a good diversion on a rainy day out of school, with constant begging for a puppy for Christmas. I decorated my office tree too. It was a good diversion for wanting a new and faster Mac computer for Christmas! Neither a puppy or a Mac are on Santa’s list. (We’ve checked it twice.) We really haven’t been THAT good.
My Little Assistant
I’ve got a super sweet assistant helping me check in and package orders tonight. Love that she’s so willing to help me in this busy season. In fact she just said, “This is pretty fun, Mom”! I agree. ♥
…And come to find out, she talks to the photos when she’s checking them in just like I do!
The kids loved getting to catch up with their cousins tonight Brad’s parents’ house. Wish we got to spend more time with them since we live in the same community, but wow life is busy, schedules are crazy and time flies. Wish we could slow this train down!
Okay, this is such the prom picture, I know; but it’s the only one that’s not an iPhone pic from the night. We’ve enjoyed attending this fundraiser for Children’s of Alabama the last 4 years. Great event for a worthy cause. Just wish I could have afforded to bid on the $9000 African Photo Safari!
A Holiday Tradition
Every year Olivia and I go to the Homewood Holiday Open House. It’s our mother-daughter tradition that kicks off the holiday season for me. Olivia always gets to pick out a special new ornament for the tree. Here she is pondering her options…all of which included peace signs.
Snap Crackle Pop
I love a good fire going in the fireplace!
Exercising my right…and hopeful for change.
Perfecting her Plank
Monday and Wednesday mornings, my friend Holly comes over for private mat pilates training. She’s getting stronger and perfecting her plank. I’m enjoying our time together! And, she’s SUPER talented, y’all. Check out her work at Holly Hollon Design & Calligraphy.
A Bike Ride
This time of year is crazy for me. I was so thankful to have a little quality down time with the kids. It was a beautiful afternoon to ride their bikes on the Lakeshore Trail!
Swinging AJ McCarron Style
Roll Tide! Hope #10 plays a great game tonight.
Spent the gorgeous fall afternoon with the Prewitts. I’ve gotten to know Shonda over the years through our mutual friend, Kelly. Shonda is so sweet and has a beautiful family. Love that their dog Coby got to come along for the fun! He’s such a poser too!
Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey Goodbye
Olivia cheered her last game of the season tonight. It’s been tons of fun, but I think we are both ready for a little break until next year. A free weeknight sounds good!
Happy Halloween Tradition
More Lego Time
Yes, another Lego photo because he got a new small set today for a good report card. When we look back at this year’s 365 book we will be reminded just how into Legos he was at age 6. I’m always amazed at his ability to follow instructions and put a Lego toy together. I wonder if there is a handy Lego instruction book for other things we need done around the house?
First fire of the season!
Brad built a fire tonight and the kids roasted marshmallows. Great way to enjoy the beginning of cold weather!
A 90th Birthday Party for GoGo!
My Nannie’s 90th birthday is Halloween, so we celebrated today with family and special friends. Here’s “GoGo” (what my kids call her), with all of her great-grandchildren. Her love has always been unconditional and her southern cooking has always been amazing! ♥
First Time for Everything
Today, I shot a college football game for the first time. It was pretty cool to be on the field. I felt so official flashing my “ALL ACCESS” pass…not ESPN official, but pretty official!
Spooky Tales on the Spooky Trail
Lifelong friends who were so excited to get to hang out together at dinner and the library Halloween event tonight!
Our boys on Vestavia 105# Blue played hard tonight and won, so we’re off to cheer them on to a win at the playoff game next week! Go Rebels!
Swing and Pump
Luke and I went to the park this afternoon while Olivia was at dance. He’s so excited that he can now pump himself and go really high when he swings. This was one of those rare times when bright sun and harsh shadows worked to my advantage. ♥
I spent my 40th birthday enjoying a beautiful fall day, eating breakfast with precious friends, having a lunch and shopping date in Homewood with my hubby, getting a surprise visit by a close friend bringing me a treat, sharing cookie cake with my kids, and having another date with Brad for dinner at Ocean. It was a perfect day. If this is any indication of what my 40s look like, BRING IT ON! (But with a little less sugar.) ;)
Darth needs to lose a few…
…and may the force be with him.
Pumpkin Patch Tradition
We visited Old Baker Farm in Harpersville this afternoon to pick out two pumpkins. One will be painted black and decorated as Darth Vader and one will be “girlified” with florescent markers and glitter.
A great vantage point
My friend Jennifer and I always seem to bring out the adventurous sides in each other. Saturday was a gorgeous fall day with perfect temperatures, so we took off to Overlook Drive to check out the best view of Lake Martin from the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail. I bet this spot will be even more gorgeous in a few weeks when all of the trees are in full color.
Celebrating with Friends
Some of my dear friends treated me to a special (early) birthday dinner at Spring House restaurant at Lake Martin. I’m so thankful for friends who love me flaws and all after all these years! Love you girls! ♥
Indiana Jones on his first adventure at Vestavia West Fall Carnival.
Leggo my Lego
I know I’ve posted several Lego shots to the 365, but Luke is seriously into some Legos, and this is what he does with his down time every day. I laugh though, because we have a downstairs playroom and he has plenty of room in his bedroom, but the Lego table is smack in the middle of our living room with Legos spread all over the floor right now. He wants to be playing where we are…but he really doesn’t want us to help. It’ll mess up his building plan!
Thanks Mrs. Teresa!
A quick candid as the girls hugged Mrs. Teresa when she announced that this would be her last game. Thank you Teresa Wilkes Crain for being a great squad mom! And go Rebels! The 105 lb Blue Team shut out Chelsea tonight! Way to go guys!
Capture my heart
A special moment between a patient and his mom after his heart cath procedure at Children’s of Alabama (on assignment).
A Pure Heart
For the past several Sunday nights, Shades Mountain Baptist Church has been doing a discipleship seminar for families. Every week I have been convicted about where our family’s priorities are. As life gets busier it’s so much more difficult to be intentional about our time. Tonight’s focus was on maintaining a pure heart, because out of our hearts everything else flows. The speaker said something really challenging…he reminded us that our children will become what we are because of how we live our lives in front of them, not by what we tell them about how they should live. Ouch! This brought us back to the need for our hearts to be renewed day by day through the truth of God’s word.
One Century Old
I photographed the Barber Vintage Festival today at Barber Motorsports Park. This 100 year old Indian motorcycle actually raced today! The owner was super nice to park it here for me. He chose a great location for their RV, with a hilltop view overlooking the race tower.
Olivia had her sweet friend Abby over last night. They wore their matching t-shirts, of course!
Tonight was the homecoming game for Vestavia 105 lb Blue Team. Olivia was escorted by her daddy. ♥
Field of Dreams
I’ve been dreaming of a field with yellow flowers (or pretty weeds) in it. And, I finally found one in the most random spot. A little buggy, but beautiful! Love the way the light shines through the golden blooms! Worked it in at the end of a family session today.
After my shoot late this afternoon, I took the kids to eat veggies at Bluff Park Diner. We got it to go so we could walk across the street and eat outside at Tip Top. It’s one of the prettiest spots in this city to watch the sunset. Golden light was all around us. It’s my favorite time of day!
After a busy night and getting the kids in bed, I sat down at my desk and discovered this…my first love notes from Luke. He put them where he knew I would find them. Precious! I may never take them off! ♥
All I want for Christmas is…
…my two front teeth! He lost his other one over the weekend. (And that little freckle on his bottom lip has always owned me!)
Spent a lot of time this past week getting ready for a garage sale at my parents’ house today. Ugh! Remind me to never EVER do that again! The joy in it? So glad to finally get rid of baby and toddler things that had taken over our attic storage, and family got to hang out together all day! The cousins had a Chik fil A picnic on the driveway. :)
My super cute lunch dates
I went to Vestavia West today and ate lunch with Luke and Caroline. Kindergarten lunch conversations are a hoot! :)
(Forgive me for posting an Instagram pic for the 365. I try to use my real camera for this project, but sometimes the best camera is the one you have with you so you don’t miss the moment. And, I really did love this moment!
Where’s my favorite chair?!
Luke has a favorite chair in the living room. He calls it his favorite chair. He won’t sit anywhere else in there and he might ask you to move if you are in his favorite chair… Sooooo, after 6 years of it being his favorite, through the baby and toddler phase, it was time for it to go get a fresh new (clean) face. So, for a week or two his bean bag will have to do…in the exact same corner of the room, of course!
Some friends and I were hired for a little fitness gig at Railroad Park tonight. With weather like this I’d like to do Pilates outside every afternoon! Beautiful sunset too! I love my job(s)!
Luke’s allergy shots have been hurting more, so today when he was extra brave, he earned himself a toy helicopter from the doctor’s office and a yogurt treat at Sweet Frogs from me.
Packing lunch is a challenge when you’ve got a picky eater who doesn’t like sandwiches of any kind. My mom always packed my lunches, and I would only get whole wheat bread, fruit and only half of a dessert (if any). Now that I’m doing it for my own kids I realize what a challenge and labor of love it is to pack them healthy food they will actually eat. And my mom always included a note on my napkin…a smiley face, a sunshine and XXOOs. I’m passing that down too. :) Thanks Mom for caring about what I ate and caring enough to write a note that always made me smile.
“All By Myself”
Luke spent all afternoon after church putting together a Lego police station by himself. He was so excited and so proud of his hard work. He couldn’t wait to show us.
From Where the Bell Tolls
I photographed a wedding today at a Catholic church in Huntsville. The center of this winding stairwell held the rope for the bells.
As a child, this is the stairwell I saw in my mind when I read Sleeping Beauty…the one that took her to the room where she pricked her finger on the spinning wheel and slept for 100 years.
Teal There is a Cure
Tonight I photographed a benefit event for some sweet friends who loved Elliot Patterson Williams, whose beautiful life was taken from them too soon by Ovarian Cancer. The benefit was held to support the Bruno Cancer Center & Alabama GYN Oncology. It was a lovely event for a worthy cause.
Bricks 4 Kidz
Luke started an after school Lego building activity class today. I think it’s right up his alley!
Today was Tacky Day for Olivia’s 4th grade class. What she picked out looked like something I might have worn in high school in the 80s. Yep, tacky.
A Visit With “Go Go & Dur”
While I was shooting this afternoon, my kids went to visit with their 90-year old great-grandparents. I loved everything about going to my grandparents’ house as a kid…especially since they gave us “real food” (treats, junk food and white bread). Their home holds memories of a lot of love, good southern cooking on Sundays, family gathered for conversation around the dinner table, and an afternoon nap from a full stomach.
I love that my kids have been able to have such a special relationship with them too!
Little Rebel Cheerleading
Olivia’s having the best time doing LRC. A big thanks to Teresa for her time, hard work and dedication as squad mom. Here’s a little action shot from the sideline tonight.
(Side note: I love twilight skies! They always photograph the richest blue.)
After finding out on our cruise that seagulls like popcorn, we popped two bags today and had a little fun playing catch with them on the beach.
I would love for someone to enlighten me. This guy flew past us twice while we were on the beach. It wasn’t a parasail, obviously, because he had a fan strapped to him. What is this called? And how do you get started off the ground with that thing on your back?
Tonight was all about food. I wanted to go to George’s At Alys Beach for dinner and the kids wanted to go to The Sugar Shak at Rosemary Beach for treats. So, we made our way down 30A making our tastebuds happy.
(Olivia looks worried she might be busted for putting too much candy in her bag!)
Sunset Cruise with Nana & Papa
Today is one of those days where I really couldn’t decide on a photo for the 365. There were so many fun memories to define the day that it was really hard to choose just one!
Tonight we went on a sunset cruise with my Mom and Dad. We saw dolphins jumping, watched seagulls fly really close to us to eat popcorn out of passengers’ hands, and enjoyed the most gorgeous pink and orange sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. I love some little sun kissed cheeks! ;) ♥
Waiting for Sissy
We’ve spent a lot of time in the car together waiting on “Sissy” at dance. Today, some new Batman hot wheels passed the time.
Cheer me on!
It was a damp and cool night for a football game! Love this sweet friendship that started when they were babies.
4th grade reading and math homework at the kitchen table. I still hate math!
I’ve known this sweet family for years and have been on a couples trip with Amy and Michael, but never had the opportunity to spend any time with their kids. Today I got that opportunity, and now I am smitten with these sweet and beautiful children!
Just shoot me.
My new friend Lacey and me had a little fun in the photo booth after our 12 hour day of wedding coverage. We were shot!
Sunday School Girls
Enjoyed getting together with Sunday School girls last night. We had a good time and some good laughs!
Some days are just routine and not that exciting. Since I’m at Publix at least twice a week, I figured it had to be on the 365.
I came home late tonight and drove by our church building. I always notice the crosses when I drive by, because during the day they are a stark contrast in the blue sky; but tonight I took notice of the stained glass lit up so beautifully in front. I decided my 365 project must include where we worship on Sundays. I’m thankful for the freedom we enjoy to do so.
I just think their megaphones are cute. Kinda like I loved my old school Rah Rahs back in the days of Homewood cheerleading. :)
The heavens declare the glory of God
(Taken with my iPhone)
Took our kids to the Alabama State Fair tonight. Our first stop was the Fun House. J.Lo aint got nothin on Brad and me! And would somebody please pass the Windex?!
Fall is in the air! The boys went to the hunting club today, so the girls went shopping!
If you live in Birmingham, then you must take your tween girl to Soca Girl in downtown Homewood. It’s so fun and girly!
Time to slow down for a date night! Had my favorite salmon plate at Cantina with my favorite guy (who is not on my 365 enough)! ♥
I surprised Olivia and had lunch with her at school today. I love that she still greeted me by running up and giving me a big hug…even in front of her class…even though she’s now a big girl in 4th grade! We were able to go outside and eat at a picnic table. Thank you to her friend Kailey for joining us and taking this photo for me. ♥
It was a REALLY slow day for the 365 project… absolutely nothing to shoot. Then about 9:00 tonight I walked by Luke’s little corner of the living room, that I lately refer to as Lego Land; because he likes to surround himself with Legos while watching tv. Who needs fancy accessories on your living room table when you can have a double decker transport for your police helicopter and three guys standing on guard!
I love looking through the windshield of my car for my kids’ sweet faces each day when I pick them up from school. Lately I am getting a little of the “I’m getting older and you embarrass me” expression.
The rain held off a little while this morning for the guys to take the kids tubing. They had a blast!
Good times…good memories
Today we ate a yummy breakfast overlooking the golf course and the kids played a game of diving for coins in the pool. Good times!
At the last minute we decided to make a trip to Lake Martin for the Labor Day weekend with our friends KaiVan and Kelly. We love the pool at Willow Point and they always have fun activities for families on holiday weekends.
Strawberry or Raspberry??
The kids kicked off the Labor Day weekend (and the end of summer) with an after school treat from Bruster’s. Luke always tries to order something other than strawberry and raspberry, but when it’s decision time at the window…it’s always back to what’s safe and yummy! Today, it was raspberry.
Hand tinting…a lost art.
For years I did a LOT of hand tinting…especially back in the film days when I first started. With all the wonderful benefits of digital photography, the one regret I have is that hand tinting became a lost art, with supplies harder and harder to come by. I don’t offer hand tinting anymore because I just don’t have the time to devote to it, but today I hand tinted some of the last images I will ever do. I promised a sweet client, who is a grandmother, that I would finish out the gallery of her grandchildren hand tinted. I will finish them up tomorrow and hopefully they will be treasures for Frances and her family for years to come.
My workout buddy
Now that Olivia is older, she is enjoying working out with me. Tonight we did stadiums together. She thinks it’s just for exercise, but it’s more than that for me. Hoping to develop good habits young and more opportunities for us to do things we enjoy together! She’s growing up so fast! ♥
Had a tree in our backyard cut down today. This photo really doesn’t do justice to how high this guy was up..he was scary high! Wish the kids had been home to see him in action because they would have been fascinated watching.
Not my choice of home improvement projects, but one that had to be done. I would have preferred one that involved a chainsaw to a few kitchen walls. ;)
“Holding the pole”
Olivia was so excited that she and her friend Abby got to “hold the pole” for the sign that the players bust through at each game. Our first game! Go Rebels!
Loved this cozy spot I noticed today and the way the light was shining on it…and oh those old turquoise chairs!
Standing the test of time
My precious friend Mandy. Our friendship has stood the test of time from when we first met at Sportsfirst many years ago, then on to college together, down the street neighbors, Sunday school, supper club, and babies. Love you Mandy! SO thankful for you.
Thankful for special friendships and time to nurture them.
Olivia and her friends doing a hand jive before cheerleading practice this afternoon.
Our AC went out on Tuesday. Thankfully the part was under warranty, but we have to wait on it with no air until Thursday! Luke was making his voice sound weird talking into the fan…remembering doing that when you were a kid?
1st day of Kindergarten at West!
My baby headed off for his first day of kindergarten at Vestavia West this morning. I felt very guilty for not shedding tears, but he was so excited to be so big that it made it easier on me! Plus, I’m relieved to finally have my kids on the same school schedule. All that said, I’m really going to miss that little guy in my rear view mirror at 1:00 each day.
1st Day of 4th Grade & K5 Meet the Teacher
Impossible day to choose just one photo! It was Olivia’s first day of 4th grade with her new blingy messenger bag and Luke’s Meet the Teacher day for kindergarten. So, today just had to be a collage. We are so pleased with Luke’s sweet teacher and the opportunity to make new friends in his class. We are also grateful that West placed Caroline and Luke in the same class per my friend Laura’s request. God is so good and we are looking forward to a fantastic year. 1st full day for Luke is tomorrow and I will be prepared with kleenex in the car.
Olivia and one of her besties got in one last day at the pool before school starts tomorrow. BOO!
(Taken with Instagram for the iPhone)
Shooting with my friend Alisha
(turquoise necklaces required?)
I had the best time shooting a wedding today at the Alabama 4-H Center in Columbiana withAlisha Crossley Photography. It was my first time to shoot that venue, and to shoot with Alisha; so I handed my camera to a guest who I knew from church. As Missy & Wes said their vows under a pavilion in the woods, I remember thinking to myself how peaceful and quiet it was. I think nature was joining in the worship of their sacred union. Thanks Alisha wanting me to shoot with you! Can’t wait to do it again!
Meet the Teacher Day for My Daughter
These sweet friends were so excited as they walked up to Vestavia Central to meet their 4th grade teachers. Looking forward to a fantastic new school year! (How is it possible that we have 4th graders??!!)
Kindergarten Ice Cream Social
Vestavia West K5 kids had a social at Wald Park this afternoon. The main attraction was the Goodies truck. ;) Maybe the kids met each other…but mostly they just got sugared up, sticky and sweaty! Can’t believe summer is over and school is starting. BOO!
A quick shot of my dad and me after he dropped off Olivia tonight. Love you Dad!
One of the best benefits about my job as a photographer is the friends I meet through the business. I’m thankful for these two new friendships cultivated over the past year. Enjoyed our time together tonight “talking shop”.
Caught climbing on the counter hunting for a bedtime snack.
Yes, those are mirrored backsplashes. Yes, I can’t wait for a kitchen remodel so I don’t have to see myself that much while cooking and eating!
We love to go to Lake Martin with friends. One of our favorite little spots is Russell Crossroads. So, on our way home from Auburn today, we stopped off at Catherine’s Market for lunch, playing on the playground and running around in one of the fields across the street. Great way to get some energy out for the rest of the ride home!
A Prayer for the Bride
Spent the day with a sweet and beautiful group of girls for Leslie Ann and Ben’s wedding I photographed in Auburn with Megan Smalley Photography. The bridesmaids, Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom laid hands on, and prayed over Leslie Ann before she walked down the aisle. ♥
Seeing how the other team rolls…
I was shooting a wedding in Auburn this weekend, so I decided to go early and take the kids along for an adventure on the plains. Our first stop was Toomer’s Corner. The kids had milkshakes and I had a delicious fresh squeezed lemonade! Then we went across the street to check out the famous trees. Even though I went to Alabama, I’m sad for all the Auburn fans. Such a long tradition stolen from them. We had a great time on campus and it made me want to be 20 again! The thrill of Moving and Bid Day was in the air. College was so much fun!
Just Shootin in the Rain…
I’ve had the privilege of photographing these adorable Tuscaloosa girls since they were babies; but for some reason, every time they come into town for our session, it rains on our parade (or tries to). Today was no different. In fact, it poured. But, we found our window of opportunity and made lemonade out of lemons! ;) Love this relaxed shot of them. Just had to be my picture of the day!
Why did the turtle cross the road?
To get to Mark’s Outdoors, of course. Passed this guy on busy Massey Rd, so the kids and I pulled over to get out and help him to safety. A vet from down the street stopped too. She gave us a LOT of knowledge about turtles.
Some days it would be nice to have a shell to crawl into! I guess we all have our own shell of some sort though.
Happy 39th (again) Birthday Mallory!! We loved celebrating with you tonight!
Just Being Boys
The cousins were over here today. Luke and Andrew were digging in the dirt, finding worms, playing with race cars and climbing in trees. ♥
This is what afternoons look like at my house until Oct 15, when bow season opens in Alabama.
Afternoon naps = bedtime activities
We all took naps this afternoon, so the kids weren’t sleepy at bedtime. I imposed a mandatory “Do not get out of bed” rule and let them play with Olivia’s iTouch for a little while til they got sleepy.
(Taken with Instagram for the iPhone)
Sugar and Sodium only???!!
I think they are trying to kill me with sodium loaded broth and sugar loaded jello! I love it when a label says “10% fruit juice” like that will make us feel better. Ready for real, clean food!
(Taken with Instagram for the iPhone)
(Taken with Instagram for the iPhone)
Project gets a little too personal
Well this is when the 365 Project gets a little too personal. But, it’s about real life…my life, so here goes…
Had a routine preventive medical test that caused an infection due to the sterilization of the equipment! A visit to the ER is not the way I had expected to start off the month of August.
(Taken with Instagram for the iPhone)
When I got home from my trip last weekend, Luke smiled at me and something was missing… but his “s” sounds are super cute now! ;)
I think the girls were a little Star Struck by the UCA cheerleaders who were teaching them at Little Rebel Cheerleading Camp today.
I never win anything…
…Until today! My first fitness workshop in Atlanta this morning was BOSU Pilates 3D. Stacey from The Willpower Method presented some fantastic material and I went home with the MVP award and a free DVD! Yay!
(And yes, I look like a giant because Stacey is about 5 feet tall!)
Long Distance Friendship
While I was in Atlanta, I went to dinner with my good friend Alison who lives there. We worked together years ago here in Birmingham but continue to stay in touch since she moved. Alison is one of those sweet friends that you can just pick up with right where you left off…never a lull in the conversation even if a few months go by.
Fuel Plus Fitness
I met Sandra Koulourides, an amazing group fitness instructor and registered dietician, when I was in college and would come home to Birmingham during the summer and go to her classes at Sportslife. A few years later she convinced me to get my certification to teach and sent me the materials. I’ll always be grateful to her for that. Since then, she has launched her Horizontal Conditioning class formats and nutrition consulting business Fuel + Fitness. Now she presents her classes and shares her knowledge about nutrition and fitness at conferences all over the U.S. I’m so excited for her success and the influence she had on me years ago to pursue becoming an instructor. Thanks Sandra!
My friend Lauren and I headed over to Atlanta for a fitness conference all weekend. Our first stops though, were shopping then dinner at Canoe on the Chattahoochee River. Great food, great atmosphere, great company!
SO excited about my new blender! I’ve been wanting one forever and couldn’t decide which one to buy until my friend Candy brought hers over and convinced me. Made my first smoothie with it today. Smooth & delish!
My kids begged for new notebooks at the grocery store today. Tonight, when I glanced out on the front porch, Brad had just finished cutting the yard and they were sitting out there with him doodling and writing…and it wasn’t homework…YET! Hanging on to summer…
Star Lake at Dusk
I went to Star Lake as a child with my mom, so I enjoy taking my own kids to Star Lake to feed the geese. My favorite time to go is right at dusk. There’s just something tranquil about it. And then we HAVE to roll down all the windows for the drive home. I love summer nights!
Red Solo Cup
Olivia came up with a game for Luke and his new rubber band gun right before bedtime tonight. So, they went outside in their pjs and Olivia set up red solo cups for him to target practice. She even made prizes for him.
Since I am spending every Saturday lately capturing nuptials with my camera, I figured that at least one couple needed to be in my 365 Project. This mystery couple’s wedding took place in Montgomery. Emily Kicklighter Photography and I had a wonderful time photographing their amazing wedding and reception! Can’t wait to blog about it!
Olivia had her Summer Showoffs performance tonight. It’s her favorite activity she does all summer and continues to be the best musical camp in Birmingham year after year! Can’t believe what they are able to teach our kids in just one week! It’s amazing and we ♥ it!
Upside Down or Rightside Up, Everything’s Better with a BFF!
Today one of Olivia’s best buddies (since birth) came over to play. Lots of dancing, singing and gymnastics was going on in the basement!
Color your world
Found Olivia coloring on her bed this afternoon. ♥
Tonight our little Jedi snuggled up in his Lego Star Wars pjs next to Brad to read a Star Wars book from the library.
Luke got a wild hair at bedtime (not unusual) and decided to pull out the Glow Crazy Distance Doodler for a little late night art. Pitch black laser coloring is a focusing nightmare for me, but a super fun time for a 6 year old!
We went to the library today and Luke finally decided to get on board with the summer reading program…with a little help from his sister.
Fitness Instructors DO eat Mexican!
CORE – Pilates, Cycling, Bootcamp instructors night out at Chuy’s. What a fun group! I’m so glad to be a part of this amazing team who are truly passionate about health and fitness!
Playdough better than Dreamcakes?
This afternoon our cute neighbor, Avery, brought over her new playdough cupcake design set. The kids decided to have a contest and appointed me the judge! I would have rather gotten an action shot of them making their creations, but I wasn’t allowed in the room because they didn’t want it to sway my decision.
I think Luke should win! ;)
You know you’re a photographer when…
You are so used to being BEHIND the camera that you have no idea how to pose yourself and feel completely ridiculous! Had a great time tonight with my talented friends.
Have had videos of these guys in our home for years since Brad is a duck hunter; so it’s funny to me that they are all the rave now. Reality TV takes everything to a whole new level.
Little Rebel Cheerleading
Today we had a swim party to kick off a new year of Little Rebel Cheerleading. Such a cute 4th grade squad! It’s going to be a fun year!
Jumping for Joy
A trip to Toys R Us usually involves tears of disappointment or squeals of joy! Today we had both. Tears over a toy he got yesterday that broke and squeals over the new toy he found to replace it! :)
Do people think I’m strange for whipping my camera out of my purse in Toys R Us…and, well, everywhere? Yes, I’m quite certain they do, but I don’t care. I’m trying to remember the small moments. Doing this project has made me realize how big the small moments really are.
Took Olivia and her friends for one of their favorite treats tonight.
Boys vs. Girls
After dinner tonight I took the kids to Star Lake to feed/chase the geese. ;)
Fireworks and a Little Nostalgia
We went to watch the fireworks on the street above the apartment in Southside where Brad & I lived the first 3 years after we got married. We loved our landlord there and got to see him tonight and show our kids which apartment was ours. Gotta love a first home you could paint like you wanted with hardwood floors and a view of the city at only $420 a month! ;) Those were the good ole days!
The 3rd of July!
Tonight we celebrated the 4th of July on the 3rd…BBQ with friends at our house and watching fireworks at Hoover CC after. Fun times! Luke had so much fun he just announced that after three iced sugar cookies and some yummy homemade popcorn he “feels like he’s gonna barf”!
We love our pediatric dentist, Dr. Stephanie Steinmetz…and the prizes she lets us get when we are done!
Happy Birthday Ella!
Tonight we celebrated my niece’s 8th birthday.
“Take our Picture”
Today, Olivia and Luke were playing with our neighbors. Olivia and Avery came in asking me to take their picture because they were making craft picture frames. Well, that’s definitely a request I never refuse! ;)
Surprise! Happy 40th Birthday Jason!
Brad’s best friend from college turned 40 and his wife threw him a surprise party tonight at their house. Everyone was there when we got home from dinner. He had no idea!
We needed to get out of the house today so I took the kids to Skates 280. Luke prefers to watch the skating if he can’t get it the very first try! Foot races are his favorite!
Today was my friend Laura’s visitation at Briarwood Presbyterian Church.
This is the photo, taken in May 2012, we enlarged to use.
I love this of her. She looks beautiful. Always a smile, and her eyes spoke volumes.
Wasn’t sure I would be able to do this after a tough 24 hours, but God gave me what I needed to shoot the Triumph Superbike Classic at Barber Motorsports. Even though there were thousands of people there, it felt like it was just me, my camera and my thoughts of my my friend Laura, who won her battle with breast cancer last night; because now she sits at the feet of Jesus, perfectly healthy and whole again.
Said goodbye to the beach today.
Also made it home in time to say goodbye to a dear friend.
Friends & Karaoke
Especially fun day playing with friends from Birmingham who were at The Beach Club the same time as us. Olivia had been looking forward to karaoke by the pool on Friday night. She and Luke sang “Baby Baby” by Justin Beiber. ♥
A favorite thing to do at the beach. Loved the way the light in the pool was shining on her.
Couldn’t chose today, so there are two photos of the day. Sometimes I have to break my own rules!
“The Amazing Flying Luke”
Something that Brad and Luke do lots of in the pool!
Grabbed a quick shot of our family before dinner one night.
We’ve been going to The Beach Club for years now and our kids love getting lunch and smoothies by the pool during the day!
This was our first year to get to watch a movie by the pool while night swimming. Fun!
Sunset with Nana and Papa.
We were out playing on the beach at sunset. I handed Brad my flash so it would be off camera for me to capture that beautiful sky.
Love this happy shot of the kids with my parents.
Sunset on the balcony.
Sunset is my favorite time of the day at the beach. We had come in for dinner and Olivia was out on the balcony enjoying the view.
Needed to practice my panning skills for shooting the super bike race this next weekend at Barber Motor Sports. Olivia was my practice session as she was running across the beach. :)
Laundry and packing all day…bleh! But it will be worth it tomorrow! ;)
Hall surfing cures boredom.
Look up for reflection
Some photographer girlfriends and I went to dinner at Flip Burger tonight. As we were sitting there chatting I looked up and saw the coolest reflection of us in the sleek silver light fixture above our table.
Kinda interesting too, because when we get together, the conversation always turns into us sharing our own reflections about what we consider is really most important in our work as photographers, wives and moms. ♥
I had an exciting day photographing my first golf tournament ever — the PGA Champions Tour, Regions Tradition at Shoal Creek. It rained off and on all day, but I had a great assistant keeping me and my equipment dry. Thanks Dad! I love you!
The grouper is bliss!
Today was the dedication of the new Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children, a project Brad has been working on for the last 4 years, along with so many others on the project and construction teams.
When the company Brad works for began interviewing for this project, Olivia went into the hospital unexpectedly and had a very serious surgery as a result. She was only 4 years old. Brad prayed that the Lord would heal Olivia completely and made a promise to God that if he was placed on this building project, it would be not only a professional one, but also very personal one.
Children’s of Alabama’s tagline for the new building project was “Keeping Promises”. After 8 days in the hospital and one year of recovery, God healed our baby girl, KLMK won the project and Brad got the opportunity to fulfill his promise.
We ♥ Children’s Hospital of Alabama and will always be thankful.
Dinner with Ed
Tonight we had dinner at Gian Marcos (YUM!) with one of Brad’s colleagues and his wife who are in from Nashville for the Children’s Hospital dedication tomorrow. Good meal. Good conversation.
Note: This photo is about capturing a good memory, because this is what you get when you hand your big, heavy camera on manual settings to the waiter! ;)
Girls Night In!
No movie, no popcorn, no tv, no kids…just talking in our PJs.
Read my precious friend Laura Black’s story on her Caring Bridge Site here and pray for her healing. Her cancer journey is one of incredible faith, wisdom and strength. She is my hero.
Building a Place of Hope and Healing for Kids
KLMK team and spouses celebrated the new Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children coming to completion this summer. The Skyline Dinner was held tonight on the top floor of the new hospital. I’m so proud of my hubby and his work on this meaningful project. It’s definitely one he’s done from the heart. ♥
Light Saber Battle
Luke and one of his best buddies playing Star Wars. Good thing those Light Sabers are styrofoam noodles!
Olivia signed up today for the Summer Reading Program at Vestavia Library, hoping to get a Splash Adventure ticket! Although we browsed the easy readers section too, Luke is still undecided if it’s worth it! ;)
This afternoon we enjoyed some pool time and watermelon with precious friends. These kids have known each other since birth.
I love seeing them grow and bloom with each passing year! ♥
Papa, Train Tracks & Coins
My dad (“Papa”) has a little adventure he takes my kids on every now and then and they love it. He takes them to Ross Bridge and when there are no trains anywhere near, they place quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies on the train track. Then they go play at the play area for a little while until a train comes. After the train goes by, they run back up to the tracks to retrieve their freshly flattened coins…something my dad used to do when he was a boy. Olivia and Luke have quite a nice collection started now.
Chasing the Sun
My daughter and I were driving home tonight when we spotted the fantastic sun at sunset. It was beautiful big, and bright orange! We were close to Tip Top on Shades Mountain, so we decided to chase it and hope to get to the clearing over Shannon Valley in time to see it before it completely dropped. Well, we didn’t quite make it, but what was left was still beautiful. And, unfortunately I only had one lens in the car with me and it wasn’t the right lens, but I took it anyway. We decided we would check my sunrise/sunset app and make a specific trip another time to catch it at the right time, in all its glory with the right lens. So, there might be a “Take 2″ of this shot later on the 365.
Today I photographed the SEC baseball championship game for Bruno Event Team.
I had been anticipating getting this shot the entire game! Congrats MSU players and fans!
We went to a Japanese cooktop tonight. Kids got into the fun…and backed far away from the flame!
Breakfast with the Great-Grands
Cousins spent the night last night so we invited their great grandparents over for breakfast this morning to kick off summer! Love their sweet relationships with their great-grandparents! Such a blessing to have them for so long.
(On a random side note…it also reminded me of a Corona Beer commercial…kept waiting to hear the top pop…anyone else?) ;)
Yep, she’s mine…twirling and leaping wherever she goes! ♥
From Bridesmaid to Photographer
Today I shot a wedding with my friend Emily at Independent Presbyterian Church on Highland Ave. The last time I was in this sanctuary, it was the mid 90s and I was a bridesmaid for my college friends Suzanne and Perry. Never did I dream that years down the road I would be back as a photographer shooting someone else’s wedding. I was on a very different career path at the time, and one that wasn’t fulfilling. Aren’t God’s plans always the best for our lives! Makes me wonder why I ever doubt it.
I still think it is the most beautiful church building in Birmingham.
Summer’s Almost Here!
Bought a new water toy for the kids to enjoy this summer. They tried it out after school today. Can’t wait for school to be out and to wear swimsuits and pajamas way more often that we probably should! ;)
April Showers Bring May Flowers
As I was leaving the Botanical Gardens after a shoot today, I stopped to admire the beautiful flower selection at Leaf and Petal.
I’m sure my garden looks this good on a Pinterest board! ;)
My staycation with Brad at Ross Bridge resort, to celebrate his 40th birthday next week, was cut short by the virus that’s been going around in our community. So, I went home and send the kids back with Brad to have fun at the pool. Happy for them, but disappointed for me. I want a do-over, and soon!
I still love me some little feet…even if they are stinky little boy feet. They won’t be little for long, so it was time to capture them again.
As much fun as it was to spend a week on vacation using Instagram, it feels good to have my heavy Nikon back in my hands again for the 365.
The stomach bug stinks.
After a fabulous trip and looking forward to a long weekend with a day out of school, Olivia came down with the stomach bug. The kids always come out on the porch to say goodbye when I leave. So this afternoon when I headed to a photo shoot and looked back before driving away, this is what I saw. :( It was sweet moment though, because she got out of bed to still come say goodbye to me. ♥
(My DSLR was in the very back of my car, so I had to grab my phone to get the shot. I’ll be going back to using the DSLR for my 365 project starting tomorrow.)
I can fly, I can fly, I can fly!
Finished our trip to Disney World with my favorite ride – Soarin.
(Taken with Instagram for the iPhone)
Dreams really DO come true!!
Jedi training at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios. Luke got to actually fight Darth Vader with his Light Saber!
(Taken with Instagram for the iPhone)
Happy 6th Birthday to my spunky little redhead!
(Taken with Instagram for the iPhone)
Again not a very original photo, but I’m thinking ahead to our end of the year 365 book and which ones define the day for us as the kids look back on it. Sometimes the more artistic shots have to take a backseat to content.
The kids had fun meeting some of the characters today and trading pins. Good memories!
(Taken with Instagram for the iPhone)
Not a very original (or good quality) photo, but it had to be taken. The rain from Animal Kingdom disappeared into a gorgeous afternoon and evening at Magic Kingdom. (Taken with Instagram for the iPhone)
Here is the surprise moment at the airport this morning when we made the kids close their eyes, while we put Mickey shirts on them and told them we were flying to Disney World and that Luke was celebrating his 6th birthday there. It was priceless.
Secretly Packing & Anticipating the Magic
Almost forgot to pick up my camera today for the 365 project. I’m secretly packing the kids for our trip while they are at my parents’ spending the night.
This trip is not as much about Disney as it is about being intentional and experiencing our kids without distractions. For me, that will be more magical than any ride or show.
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
The kids played “hide and go seek police” with our next door neighbors this afternoon.
My worlds collide
Today my friend Chuck St John, who is a commercial and fashion photographer, photographed Olivia for one of his clients with “fake parents” (as she called them). She thought it was “kinda weird” until I explained to her it was just pretend. Oh! And the bow in her hair…I guess she will only wear one for money cause she’s refused for me since she was in kindergarten.
It’s a bit ironic that Olivia’s first job earning a little money for her savings account was smiling for the camera. She’s had a lot of practice! ;)
Under my umbrella
“Because when the sun shines, we’ll shine together…you can stand under my umbrella…” — Taylor Swift song version ;)
Olivia has been begging for a new umbrella because the only one she had was toddler size. We got her a pink one and she was so excited for the rain so she could take it to school.
“Choo choo Momma”
When Luke was 2 and 3 years old he would constantly walk around with a Thomas the Tank Engine train in his hand. Any time he would see a train he would say “Choo Choo Momma”. So, today when he pulled his train set out from underneath his bed, I just smiled and watched him play. Just another reminder of how I need to appreciate and enjoy each little phase of my kids’ lives.
I feel the bathtime days are numbered, so I had to take another shot to capture it.
This is the note that Luke wrote me right before I left to shoot a wedding all day. He said the big exclamation point was because he really meant it. ♥
Porch. Pizza. Pajamas
Olivia and I hung the new string lights so we had pizza night on the porch.
At Dinner with Daddy
Going to have a ball!
Got the official welcome beach ball on our mailbox today from the elementary school where Luke will be attending Kindergarten next year! Can’t believe my baby will be in “big school” full days next year. Where has the time gone? He’s so excited!
Some days it’s either feast or famine for the 365 project. This was definitely a famine day. Nothing exciting going on, just routine everyday stuff.
This is my favorite time of the year to be on the porch and I’ve been wanting some string lights out there for a while. I finally found some I like with little natural woven shades. Can’t wait to hang them up for a little twinkle with our cookouts.
For the last few years, I have written the kids little love notes and scripture verses on their bathroom mirror with dry erase markers.
Now I am getting notes back from them on my mirror! What a way to start my day! ♥
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” — 1 Peter 1:3
Egg Hunt…eggs optional
At our Sunday School class Easter egg hunt this morning, the only thing Luke found was a centipede. Game over.
There are so many good things about this day, historically and presently.
On this day we celebrate God sending his only Son to die on the cross and pay for our sins. (John 3:16) Hallelujah, what a Savior!
The kids had fun dying eggs this afternoon with friends. This was Luke’s first time to do it and he turns 6 this month!…poor second child! ;)
I admit I’m a little disappointed that my photo of the day is not the amazing sky and rainbow after the rain tonight. I couldn’t capture it because I was teaching a pilates class and had to admire it through the glass doors. (Can’t really plank with a camera in my hand!) But then again, I got to capture these sweet faces giving me the sales pitch for a slumber party…in their sleeping bags…in our bedroom! They win!
“I’m youth, I’m joy, I’m a little bird that has broken out of the egg.” — James M. Barrie (author of Peter Pan)
I spent the morning with my son Luke, at his school for their Easter celebration.
Field of Dreams
The Night Shift
When everyone in my household is sleeping, it’s when I feel the most creative and do my best thinking.
A Day at the Races.
Spent the day at Barber Motor Sports Park watching the Indy Races.
Olivia had a fun morning with one of her BFFs, Abby.
Happy Birthday Grandoc!
Kids picked Mexican tonight. Every time we go here I stare at all the interesting lights (especially the stars) hanging from the ceiling! Love it!
My poor window box has been empty for over a year. Sad. I’m so excited to finally get some happy flowers in there! :) But the rest of my planters are still empty…sigh…one day at a time. I love spring time!
Enjoyed an impromptu dinner outside with Olivia at one of my favorite spots in downtown Homewood. Olivia is actually in this photo too. See if you can find her. It’s kinda like the book Where’s Waldo.
Tonight’s family mealtime devotional on Ephesians 5:15
Look Mom! No training wheels!
Learned to ride today on the “squishy path” at Railroad Park!
Knew the Dreamcakes truck was at the Summit, so we surprised the kids with a yummy treat! Fun day with their cousins! (Taken with Instagram for the iPhone)
Park. Play. Picnic. Pizza
Spent the afternoon all together at Railroad Park. Kids rode bikes and scooters and played. We ended the day with a pizza picnic watching the sun go down. Love this great city of ours!
A major theme of our Guntersville trip was critters. The kids were catching ladybugs everywhere they went, my son was sneaking up on geese, Papa and the kids were catching fish and there was even a mouse in the house! eeeeeek!
A Big Catch
The second day of our little getaway to Guntersville State Park, Papa caught a huge Bass and had casting practice with the kids. The cousins even caught a fish! Too many good memories to choose just one, so it had to be a collage.
Getting caught up on the 365 project posts after being out of town for a few days for spring break. I have two pictures of the day for today…I can break my own rules every now and then. ;)
My daughter got her cast taken off on Tuesday. Splint for 3 more weeks then she’s completely free!
Having fun in Lake Guntersville.
Can I have a taste?
Sis always wants to taste what her brother has. ;) Kicked off the first day of spring break week with a trip to Bruster’s while the car was getting a bath across the street.
Mexican Train and Reminiscing
The kids and I spent the night with my grandparents last night (their great grandparents). Played Mexican Train, Kids ate junk food, watched Pete’s Dragon and looked through old photo albums. Good times! Reminded me of how much I loved being there when I was a kid!
Second day out for the season and got one! Pressure’s off now.
1. That Batman would be real
2. That Superman would be real
3. That he could be a train driver when he grows up
I just had one wish…That he wouldn’t grow up so fast.
Dinner table antics
Self portrait with my daughter
It was a gorgeous afternoon to be outside with my kids!
Enjoying our first spring afternoon on the porch. Luke built an impressive tower for his army men.
Spending the night at Nana & Papa’s!
Just dropped the kids off to spend the night with my parents! It’s always a treat and the LOVE it! (The spoiling detox will begin tomorrow… ;) )
Sign my cast
Snuggled up in my bed watching Mr Popper’s Penguins. Thought we might need a closeup of signatures on the cast before it gets taken off in 9 DAYS!!! I’m sure we will have a celebration pic of it coming off…
Painted by God
Something is wrong with this picture that my 9 year old is getting to stay at Ross Bridge before ME!
She’s so excited to be with 4 sweet friends, 2 of their moms, and “hopefully stay up til midnight!”
Today we decided the Vestavia Temple was a great spot for an after school treat and reading homework. (Taken with Instagram for the iPhone)
“I’m the King of the World”
Took the kids to Railroad Park. It was just too pretty to be inside!
Doing math games with Daddy. Although it is my opinion that the words “math” and “games” don’t go together! I NEVER thought math was fun!
At 9:00 this morning I decided it was worth all the phone calls, emails and texts, juggling children and covering my classes at the gym to go to Atlanta for the night for Jasmine Star‘s workshop called “The Fix”. Had fun talking photography and meeting new friends! A big thanks to my brother and sister in law for helping out with my kids this afternoon! Couldn’t have done it without them! (Note to self: Never to wear this shirt again. My arm looks 12 feet long!) ;)
While I was in my office working this afternoon, Luke was busy working away on something at his desk. He was so excited when he walked over to show me his finished project…Superman (his favorite superhero if you don’t already know that by now. ;)) Batman and Robin came next!
Saturday morning Hardees with Daddy
Brad loves Hardees sausage biscuits and always craves them right before and during hunting season. He turned the kids onto them starting when they were very little. So, it’s a really easy yes when they pounce on him in the bed on occasional Saturday mornings begging for Hardees. This morning was another easy yes before he headed off to the hunting club.
After a month of constant demands to our schedule, our family declared today a day to STOP and just be together. Yes, we skipped church (grace vs. law – can I get an amen!). We needed to slow down and reconnect. So, we headed to Brad’s hunting club to have a family devotion, a picnic and set out a few game cameras for turkey season. This day was NOT about styled clothes, props, the cutest quilt and the perfect light for the photographer in me. It was about capturing family time on a really pretty day in February.
Along the way the kids found some cool sticks, threw rocks off a hilltop into a creek, played on a big fallen tree and hid in a shootin house. It was just what we needed…but it wasn’t perfection because somewhere along the way, while listening to a random playlist which included Nick Drake and Zac Brown Band, I heard Brad say, “You better behave back there, cause this truck stops for spankins!” ;)
Cool Math Games
The kids like to chill out playing on the computers at www.coolmath-games.com/. It’s entertaining while they are learning and practicing their math skills. Win-win!
Belated Valentine’s Date Night
Dinner at GianMarco’s then to Books a Million to paruse the magazine stand…something we love to do together on date nights. (Taken with my iPhone)
A favorite perch
Ever since their little legs were long enough, the kids have climbed up onto the top of our mailbox to oversee the happenings in the cul de sac. It was a beautiful afternoon and while Luke was outside playing he hopped up there. I grabbed my camera because it’s a memory I have of them growing up in this house.
Today I went to my daughter’s 3rd grade class Valentine’s party. I enjoy these little opportunities because I know one day it won’t be as cool for mom to make a visit to school. It was a really sweet treat!
Thumbs up and a wave
Every morning as my husband leaves for work, Luke runs to the front porch to exchange a thumbs up and a wave goodbye with his daddy. Both kids do it when we leave them with a babysitter or I leave early on a Saturday morning to teach a class at the gym. It’s a ritual and we love it. But, I know the days of these moments are numbered. Luke will be in big school next year so he will be gone early too. They will get too old or too busy to give us this priceless little sendoff to our day and oh how I will miss it! So, that is why I grabbed my camera when Luke ran out to the porch this morning as he heard the garage door go up. I was reminded to capture these important little gestures by Rachel Stafford and her The Hands Free Revolution posts like this one. She challenges me every day to be purposeful and intentional with the people I love. Thank you Rachel!
While we were working on them, I looked over at Luke and realized he was wearing his Superman t-shirt…of course! ♥
My kind of day!
No more backhandsprings…
Up on the roof
Inverse Square Law
Yeah, we’re a little geeky.
BFFs (Best Friends Flip)
Olivia and her friend Abby stretching at gymnastics tonight. They love getting to do it together!
Yogurt Lab & my wallet
It was my kind of January day today — almost 70 degrees and sunny! So, I thought I would take the kids to Yogurt Lab. It’s owned by some friends, so besides loving their yogurt, we also like to support another Vestavia family. My camera was in the car; and since it’s one of my kids’ favorite treat spots, I decided to take a few shots. I got carried away and wasn’t paying close attention to them while they were loading up at the toppings bar. When you look at the collage image below, you will be able to see what $17 yogurt looks like! However, sitting outside with them on a beautiful day, talking and laughing at them being silly was actually priceless. I’d do it again tomorrow…
The road behind…the road ahead…
Luke is my baby and he is still with me a few more hours during the day because he’s in K5 at a private school. After dropping off Olivia at school in the morning, I still have a little face to look at in the back seat…at least until August! I’m going to be sad when that backseat is empty so many hours of the day! ;)
If you like this rear view mirror shot, check out some of the amazing ones online here. It’s inspired me to do a separate photo project of rear and side view mirror images. Oh the possibilities!
Peering out my window
Sometimes all you need to do is look out your window for a great shot of your kids just being kids.
This was the view from my bedroom window this afternoon. It made me smile.
My husband Brad and our son Luke were about to leave for the hunting club all decked out in their camo.
I couldn’t resist taking a quick shot before they drove off.
Happiness on a plate
The salmon plate from Cantina at Pepper Place is my fave! A great way to start a dinner and movie date night with my hubby.
(Taken with my iPhone so as not to lug my camera around on our date night!)
Rain gear review
The kids got new rain jackets today so we decided to test it out on a rainy day in our neighborhood creek.
Play with me
Luke and I played with his race cars in the cul de sac this afternoon. I’m glad he still asks me to play with him!
Luke getting his allergy shot…something we have done every Tuesday for about one year now. So brave! He rolls up his sleeves and gets two shots in each arm!
Faster than the speed of light
My other job is teaching fitness classes. This is a photo of one of my Monday night regulars spinning faster than the speed of light…literally!
Olivia at her desk before bedtime, looking through a catalog and circling her “wish list”…just like her momma!
Today was not a one photo day. I had to bend the rules a little and choose two because I just couldn’t decide. They both spoke to me as a mom.
Photo 1: Pep Talk.
Brad gave Luke a little pep talk while he was sitting on the bench for some of his basketball game.
Nothing like a January visit from the Goodies man! The kids were SO excited…especially Luke since he got a Batman popsicle! Yes, they got to eat them before dinner too!
My friend Mandy
(From left) Amanda, Laura, me and Mandy at Betolla celebrating Mandy’s birthday. Love these friends so much! We’ve all known each other for so long and been through so many phases of life together! Don’t know what I would do without them!
It’s a whole new world in our house since my daughter got an iTouch for Christmas. Now I feel like I have to always be dressed and the house has to be neat!
She walks all over our house while she’s Face Timing!
The kids fell asleep in Luke’s bed while we were reading stories. I love how peaceful they look when they are sleeping!
Sometimes I just stop and stare at them while they slumber.
A new beginning
This is a poor quality image of a video clip taken with my iPhone. However, it had to be the photo of the day because this is the day our son Luke accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior! What a happy day for a parent! This video is of him telling the rest of my family of his decision. Nothing will top this day in 2012!
The kids had the day off for Martin Luther King Day, so we hit the skating rink! Luke kept saying he wished his “skates had magnets to the floor”!
Lego my lego
Playing Legos is one of Luke’s favorite things to do. He always asks me to play but then has specific ideas of how I should build things.
He might be a bit of a micromanager when it comes to playing Legos!
Winter wedding bouquet
Today I spent the entire day second shooting a beautiful wedding at Shoal Creek with my friend Emily Kicklighter. The florist and mother-of-the-bride gave us each some flowers to take home and enjoy. I put mine in a little vase on my sofa table. I just love fresh flowers in my home!
Some of my good friends and I went to Tuscaloosa tonight to take our daughters to the Alabama vs. Georgia women’s gymnastics meet. This is a shot of Olivia and her friend Gracy inside Coleman Coliseum.
The tooth fairy paid Luke a visit last night!
Alabama won the National Championship and my precious grandfather turned 90 this month. 90 years is a REALLY long time to be a Bama fan, so I took him to Tuscaloosa for a tour of Bryant Denny stadium, the Athletic Complex and the Bear Bryant Museum. This photo is of my Grandad in the team tunnel next to a really cool painting of Trent Richardson. To see more images from our day in Tuscaloosa, check out the blog post here.
Jazz class every Tuesday
At home watching Alabama win the National Championship! Wish we had been in New Orleans for the big game!
My daughter’s 9th birthday party at the Rave movie theater watching Alvin and the Chipmunks “Chipwrecked”.
Grandad’s 90th Birthday
Today my sweet grandfather turned 90. Couldn’t choose just one photo for such an occasion! He is an amazing man who has had such a positive impact on my life!
He fell asleep lying next to me on the sofa.
Leaps over tall buildings with a single bound
I love this shot of Luke because this just captures who he is! The boy is full of energy and LOVES Superman since he was about 3 years old!
Star Wars Trouble
A pallet, a fire and some Christmas toys
They made a pallet in front of the fire and surrounded themselves with their new Christmas toys.
Their cousins had been out of town for a week after Christmas so they were so excited to have a play date with them.
When I looked out the front door they had an iPod playing music and they were all dancing together! So cute!
Day 1 of my 365 Project for 2012. A birthday morning tradition for our New Years Day baby who turned 9 today.