Thursday, January 26, 2012

Emerson V. 2.0

Emerson Rose turned TWO today.


She remains a cuddle bug. She's still sweet as can be. In the last month or so, she has become a daddy's girl 100% {she will just call for him throughout the house, saying, "DADDY!! I WUV YEEEEW (yeeeew=east Texas accent on "you"--HOORAY). She's picking up more words each day. She is binky free. She barely dropped her 2nd nap one month ago (can you believe that?!). She is attempting potty training all by herself (seriously, she's done her major business twice without me even prompting her to...I DO plan to jump on board ASAP). She has a MAJOR sweet tooth. She loves loves loves cheese. She's my little dancer, and when Stone dances next to her, she pushes him, and says, "NO!"...she wants the dance floor all to herself. She gets into my makeup, perfume, shoes, and jewelry on a DAILY BASIS.

This girl makes us HAPPY.

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The day started out COLD. At lunch time, we were in winter coats walking through a cold drizzle. By 4pm, it had warmed up significantly, and we ran outside to do a quick birthday photo shoot.

We attempted some family portraits a couple months ago. This dress was the inspiration for our 20s/30s family themed pictures (which I think I only posted one up). I didn't feel like I got enough, so I knew this was one of her birthday portrait outfits.

My great grandmother Rowberry (so, Emerson's great-great-grandmother), made this dress for my mom. My mom wore it, I wore it, and now Emerson has worn it. It's BEAUTIFUL and will forever remain in the family.

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Before the weather warmed up, I thought we were going to be stuck inside for her birthday portraits (I HAVE to take birthday portraits ON their birthdays). Despite my love for outdoor photography, I was pleased with what we got. The cute 2 piece Mexican outfit definitely helps with the cute factor.

I must say, though, hopefully this girl will remain as modest as she was today. She HATED that her belly was exposed. I had to bribe her with fruit snacks to keep her top as it is meant to be. She kept pulling it down trying to cover her belly. I do hope to do something with the top so that she can actually wear it outside a photo shoot. Cliff loves that she was so modest. We hope that sticks.

I got this 2 piece in Cozumel last month.
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I ADORE her crossed feet below.

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Throughout the day, she got to open gifts. We went to lunch, to dinner, had birthday cake, and celebrated this sweet girl ALL DAY LONG. Stone was even extra sweet to her today because he realized how special the day was for her.
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And I almost forgot the first shots of the day with her Birthday Girl ensemble. She wore these wings and headband (and carried her wand) everywhere she went today, starting with our daily trip to the gym.


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I can't believe it's been two years since we brought her home from the hospital. Didn't I JUST give birth to this girl? It feels like yesterday. We feel so blessed to have this girl in our home. WE LOVE YOU, EMERSON ROSE!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Heart Tuesday Nights

Tuesday is my favorite week night.


We pop up some of this with some Whoppers or M&Ms (or make some yummy treat)...
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...cuddle up, and catch up on our shows.

Unless it's on Netflix, we hardly watch TV during the week. We are just too busy to sit down at an exact time (or sit down at all), and we don't have a DVR. By Tuesday night, all of our shows from the previous week are online, and we have a little marathon. It's actually quite fabulous, because when one show leaves us hanging miserably, we have another show to watch before curiosity kills us.

We put our kids to bed a little early, grab a treat, head on upstairs to my new iMac which I am in love with, cuddle up, and press play. Also, Wednesday is also our "day off". I don't teach any fitness classes in the morning, so we sleep in after having a late night.

I HEART TUESDAY NIGHTS.

Monday, January 23, 2012

THIS is a goose egg

Remember when Stone split his lip open? Or when he split his forehead open?


Well, this one wins.

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We were at the gym last Wednesday. I was running on the treadmill, and Stone was playing in a racquetball court with his "teacher" and some friends. He was racing one friend FULL SPEED, and not watching what was ahead of him. Full force, he ran STRAIGHT into the glass wall. It was so loud and startled me, that I practically fell off the treadmill as I turned around to see the commotion. Stone ran out to me crying and immediately, the large goose egg had already formed.

After 10 minutes, he was over it. As soon as I got a hold of Cliff, I was the one to loose it. Stone said, "Mama. Why are you crying???" ha! I think I had every reason to be a little freaked out at the size of this thing. Plus, 3 other ladies were insisting I get to the ER, so I was a little panicked.

We started at Urgent Care since it's next door to the gym, but they suggested I go straight to the ER. Which again...freaked me out a little.

We headed to the ER, and the doctor was hardly concerned. He said OUT is good, IN is bad. OUT is swelling, IN can be fracture. He warned us Stone would very likely develop black eyes as the blood drained from his goose egg.

Saturday rolled around, and he was still fine. Just after breakfast, his first black eye started to form. When I told him, he first said, "OH NO! I don't want to loose my green eyes!"

Twenty minutes later, the next black eye started to develop. This time he said, "I need to see this in the mirror." As he walked over to the mirror, he shouted, "WHOA!!! THIS IS SO AWESOME!"

THAT is the definition of All Boy.

So this morning, I took a picture of his black eyes, both of which have mellowed out dramatically. Not much to show off now.

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Until next time... Because we all know there will be a next time.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Safety Scissors to the Hair

The other day, I caught this sweet girl....

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...attempting to cut her hair. I knew the day would come. I hear it's most moms' nightmare to find their daughter with stubby bangs. But I was surprised she even knew what to do. LUCKILY, they were dull, "safety" scissors from her art kit, and no damage was done.


THEN (and I really should have figured this out the moment I had caught her in action), the next day, I was combing my kids hair, and this crazy boy...
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...says, "MOMMY. I tried cutting Emmy's hair with my safety scissors the other day [yes, he calls them safety scissors...].

And before I could get a word out, he quickly said, "BUT MOM. Don't you worry. I was SOOOOO careful. It was SOOOOO soft. She didn't even cry!"

And that, my friends, is how Emerson learned to cut her hair.

SO thankful they were "safety" scissors. Trust me, they both got a BIG "NO, NO".

And I know BFF, Shannon, or cousin, Matt, is saying "Pay back!"

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

That's a "dam" Pepperoni Pizza!

The other day, I was at the grocery store, and had bought a fresh pizza to take to a friend's home for a little lunch and power wheel action with our kiddos (thanks for the fun, Julie!).


While in line, Stone pointed to the pepperoni, and said (as I understood), "MOM. That's a damn pepperoni pizza."

"Excuse me? What did you say?" I sincerely asked. I wasn't sure if I heard correctly.

"I said, that's a damn pepperoni pizza."

"WHAT? Where have you heard that word?"

"A DAM PEPPERONI PIZZA. You know, like beavers build a DAM. Dams are STRONG. It's a STRONG pepperoni pizza. Like on Wild Kratts. THAT'S WHAT I SAID."

This kid remembers everything he hears, and obviously he heard this in a different context other than Wild Kratts. It's getting harder every day to shield him. But it makes for a good laugh.

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Our trip to the Caribbean

As you probably know, I had the incredible opportunity to shoot a wedding in the Caribbean in early December. My photography business really sky rocketed in 2011, and I'm so excited to see where it goes in 2012. Although I've traveled to several states for weddings, this was my first true destination wedding to photograph.


We drove to El Paso, dropped our kids off with our families, and headed out on the first REAL vacation ALONE since we've had children. I was full of anxiety saying goodbye to the kidlets, but I felt like we were on our honeymoon all over again. It was FABULOUS.

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We headed to Miami, had a fun night out on the town, woke up early the next day, and headed to our ship.

These photos are a mix of my camera and our lovely phones, FYI.

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Miami was a very fun city. I've heard mixed things about it, but I personally loved it! It was a fascinating place.

Our first stop was Key West, which is where I shot the wedding. I'll be posting those pictures on my photo blog soon. There is currently a sneak peak over there. The wedding was on a beach, and then we headed to the downtown area.

Key West was an awesome little town. I was in HEAVEN shooting groomals (bride + groom) throughout the fun area. Forget being a tourist that day. This was way better. The bride wanted to cut us free, but I insisted on following them around. We had a fabulous brunch at a popular rooftop cafe, and soaked up the atmosphere Key West had to offer.

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Why yes, the man playing the bag pipes was part of the bridal party. Why yes, he played them while walking around.

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We headed back on the ship that day, relaxed a bit, and then dressed up for "Captain's Dinner". This is the formal night where the whole ship dresses up. I love dressing up, and I got a sweet fur little jacket for the occasion. I wish I would have gotten a better picture of it. :)
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The next day we docked in Cozumel. We had a fabulous day in Mexico. Once we got off the ship, we headed onto a speedboat to the mainland, where we jumped on a bus, and took a 50 minute drive to Tulum--some Myan Ruins.

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We fell for it. We fell in the tourist trap....and we're smart people, so I was so disappointed in myself that we took the bate.

These awesome people were all dressed up. Of course I start taking pictures of them. Who wouldn't? And just as I did, a Jaguar Knight (below) told me, "Come, come! I take your picture! You get in with others, give me your camera, and we'll take picture!"

I gave him my camera and thought, "sweet!" Then...
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...then, just as we are posed (below) with an ENTIRE crew of tourists watching, they yell, "Ooooh! And you give us 5 dollar for this picture!" I'm not going to be the cheap tourist that says, "never mind", even though I knew I already had the picture I wanted. Oh well, it made for a fun picture. And Cliff said, "Call me old school, but when a Jaguar Knight asks you for your money, you give it to him." ...in Mexico, I'll add.
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Cliff is a History buff, and could have walked around the ruins for HOURS.
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The ruins really were fantastic. Made for the PERFECT backdrop for pictures. The bride and groom were on the same excursion, so I got to take MORE pictures of them at the ruins. Seriously, could I have asked for more as a photographer? I was in HEAVEN!
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Where's Waldo?! Can you see me below "working"?
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And here's Cliff in action (below). You may not know, but Cliff is the one that really got me into photography. I dabbled in high school with film, learned how to develop, but the excitement kind of faded. It rekindled when we got married. He's always been into photography, and can tell you more about our cameras AND photography, than I could probably tell you. When I started my business during law school, he actually went along with me on shoots. It was a team effort. Then he became a lawyer, and now it's just one of his favorite hobbies next to guns.
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While in Tulum, we got to swim in the ocean. The water was perfect, the weather was wonderful, and we couldn't have asked for more.
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One night we went Latin dancing (why yes, I took my Zumba moves to the dance floor). The Latin dance room was full of Latins. I was the ONLY white girl, but this white girl has got mooooves. I do teach Zumba! They did a role call of all the Latin countries to see what kind of mix was in there. They got to Mexico, and I raised the roof with my hands, almost yelling, "Viva Mexico!" But I resisted. I did grow up on the border, and my hubby is half Mexican. Which technically, if he's my other half, that makes me a quarter Mexican. There ya have it.

We also went to comedy shows, did karaoke, ate more than we should have, went running on the top level where the outside track was, laid out, went to shows, watched fake snow fall in the gallery, went to a piano bar for the reception where we got to sing along with the piano player...the list goes on and on and on. Cruising was the best way to travel!

We sailed the entire last day, and soaked up all the opportunities the ship had to offer that we had not yet taken advantage of. It was a rainy day, so we didn't get to swim, but we laid out on the deck watching the storm in the ocean and enjoying each other's company.
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The last morning, we woke up early enough to catch the sunrise. It was breathtaking.
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Altogether, we had the time of our lives. Yes, we missed our babies, but it was amazing to sail through the Caribbean with the love of my life, act like newlyweds all over again, and "work". I've decided we are making this a regular habit.

Everything about this trip was amazing. I think I stopped at 30-something pictures, and could have kept going, but let's face it...most people come here for our kiddos!

AHH-MAZING.