Friday, November 30, 2012

Day trip. {365 - Day 335}

Today I went to Greenville with my friend and neighbor Nikki to take pictures at a tradeshow for her Mom and Aunt.  After business, we decided to have a little pleasure and headed downtown for lunch.  The weather was so perfect that we ate outside at a lovely restaurant, then walked down to check out the park.  We were blown away by how beautiful it was.  The river runs right through downtown and they took full advantage by building this beautiful public space around these falls.  I don't know much about Greenville, but I think I would move there for this park alone.

Day 335 {Canon 5D Mark III}

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Biscuits. {365 - Day 334}

Sarah Beth loves her dogs.  Even though they really don't care for her much.  Moose is somewhat interested in her until she she starts putting a napkin on his head and calling it a hat.  Savannah just hides under my desk.  But when she gets her hands on the treat jar, they are suddenly her best friends.

Day 334 {Canon 5D Mark III + photoshop}

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Art. {365 - Day 333}

This evening was spent with a good friend and neighbor having a few glasses of wine in this lovely artistic cafe setting. Every now and then it's awful nice to get out of the house with another grown-up and talk about grown-up things, which mostly ends up being a conversation about our kids.  Oh the irony.

 Day 333 {iPhone + Photoshop}

Wyatt Turns 1. {Charlotte Family Photography}

I knew immediately that I would like Jen because she is a Jersey girl like me.  I met her, her husband Jeff and their sweet boy Wyatt a few weeks ago at Glencairn Gardens in Rock Hill.  Wyatt was turning one and we were celebrating this milestone with a photo session.  He was an absolute doll despite the cooler temperatures. Enjoy the preview!

I couldn't be happier that Jen's necklace perfectly matched the brilliant red Japanese maple behind them.  So coordinated!

Wyatt is a speed crawler.  I could barely catch him as he flew across the bridge.


Happy Birthday to you Wyatt!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Under Construction. {365 - Day 332}

The other day while in Asheville we stumbled upon some of the Gingerbread houses from the big annual contest at the Grove Park Inn.  Sarah Beth was delighted.  So when I saw a Gingerbread House kit at Trader Joe's today, I jumped all over it. 

I got home and showed her the box.  Open it Mom! Ok.  I was as excited as she was.  I mixed up the batch of frosting  (the last time EVER I beat an egg white stiff with a hand whisk) and we began construction.  The icing was a little sloppy but we managed to get it together.

Day 332 {iPhone}

Sarah Beth had the most fun decorating her house.  She didn't even try to eat the candy...yet.  Now that's dedication to her craft.   Here she is "cooperating" for a picture.  Sort of.

 Cooperation fizzled out quickly.  I am hoping she doesn't wake up at the crack of dawn and slowly sneak decorations off the roof.  I better count the candies before I go to sleep tonight, just in case.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Junk in the Trunk {365 - Day 331}

We headed home from Grandma's house today.  Sarah Beth wouldn't mind staying there forever.   She loves her Grandma and Grandpa.  But she has preschool tomorrow so home we went.  The weather was lovely so she took a spin in the backyard on her bike.  She has not mastered riding a tricycle yet.  Fortunately, hers has a handle so we can push it from behind. 

Her favorite part of the bike is the "trunk" in the back.  She loves to put collections of random stuff in there, take it out, put it back in.  Sticks, rocks, whatever.  Maybe that's why she hasn't figured out how to ride it yet...she's always sitting behind it playing in the trunk.

Day 330 {Canon 5D Mark III + Photoshop}

Girls Gone Wild. {365 - Day 330}

Today we took a girls' trip to the WNC Nature Center.  We've been before and loved it.  I think I may love it even more than Sarah Beth.  I can't decide which is more fascinating, the cougars or the wolves.  They are both so beautiful and powerfully graceful.  This wolf decided to pose for us in the window. 

Day 330 {Canon 5D Mark III}

It's riveting the way they stare at you as if to say, I am smarter and faster than you and I could eat you for dinner if this fence weren't here.

 The cougars gave off a similar vibe.  They pace, back and forth, their huge paws not making a sound as they swish by.

This little bobcat was pretty cute too.

 This girl loved seeing all the animals, but the best part of the trip was spending time with Grandma.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gingerbread. {365 - Day 329}

We had a family trip to Asheville this afternoon.  We wandered around in the freezing cold, stopping for lunch and then warming up in the Grove Arcade.  We found some of the Gingerbread houses that were on display from the big annual contest at the Grove Park Inn.  Sarah Beth was very interested.  She didn't touch, but she got as close as she possibly could without getting frosting on her nose.

Day 329 {Canon 5D Mark III + Photoshop}

Friday, November 23, 2012

Egg Cream {365 - Day 328}

This evening Sarah Beth, Grandma and I drove downtown to see the Christmas Tree lighting.  We expected carolers, speeches, Santa, and oohhs and ahhhs.  What we got were already lit trees and people packing up and walking away.  We missed it.  Oops.  Since we were there, we walked around a bit and were about to head back to the car when SB announced that she wanted to go out to dinner and wanted grilled cheese.  Um, ok.  We were planning on leftover Turkey, but since we were right in front of the Soda Shop, we went in for a grilled cheese.  I ordered a Vanilla Egg Cream and Grandma had hot chocolate.  The egg cream was delicious.  So delicious, in fact, that Sarah Beth drank almost the whole thing.  I had to order a second one and fend her off to drink it while she ate her sandwich.
Next time she gets her own.

Day 328 {iPhone}

Thursday, November 22, 2012

iPad Thanksgiving. {365 - Day 327}

What a beautiful day to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Before everyone arrived, I got to spend some time at the park with my best girl.  We had a little picnic, climbed around the playground, and took a walk.  We settled in the middle of a grassy field for a rest.  I put my jacket down and we lay there, eyes closed, with the sun warming our faces and a cool breeze blowing our hair. She rolled towards me and put her arm on my shoulder.  I faced her and smiled.  She stared at me with sparkling blue eyes and put her little hand on my face, leaning in to kiss me on the cheek.  Perfect moment.  Above all things, on this holiday,  I am thankful for her.  Her smile, her giggle, her blue eyed stare.  She is the greatest gift I have ever received.

Later in the afternoon her cousins arrived and she buzzed around them like a happy little bee.  They are very sweet and like to play with her.  Giggles abound.  We are thankful to have our family with us today. We are thankful for those loved ones who could not be with us, but send their love from afar.  We are thankful to have our health.  We are thankful to have too much turkey and enough stuffing for an army.  And yes, we are thankful for iPads that bring us together on the couch and keep us entertained while our big turkey is cooking.

Day 327 {Canon 5D Mark III + photoshop}

Field Day. {365 - Day 326}

It was a beautiful day in the mountains.  We started off at breakfast (chocolate chip pancakes, please) at our favorite place up here, followed by a few errands, then lunch.  In the afternoon I took SB to a nearby playground.  It is brand new and she loved climbing and sliding and running around.  The park sits nestled in between acres of farmland.  There is a faint smell of manure from the pig farm across the river.  Not enough to offend, just enough to let you know you are in the country.  This field on the other side of the walking track caught my eye.  A lone tree against the golden hay and impossibly blue sky.  Beautiful.

Day 326 {iPhone}

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bathtime Assistant. {365 - Day 325}

Tonight we are at Grandma's for Thanksgiving.  After much excitement over seeing Grandma and Grandpa, Sarah Beth settled down enough for bath time.   She had a visit from Savannah Dog, who stuck her nose in to see if she could help.  Or maybe she was just thirsty.

Day 325 {iPhone + Photoshop}

Monday, November 19, 2012

Frothy. {365 - Day 324}

SB and I hit Whole Foods today to pick up cookies for her class party tomorrow.  You have to bring in store bought - no homemade anything (allergies and whatnot) so I thought we'd avoid the dyes and preservatives and get some with ingredients I can pronounce.   We've only been to Whole Foods a few times but to Sarah Beth,  Whole Foods = Gelato.  That's what she wanted for lunch.  I thought it would be good to eat some actual Food first, so we got an assortment of salads from the cold bar. 

She ate a sufficient amount and then told me it was Gelato time.  Who am I to argue.  She picked out Chocolate (Brown) and I got a Latte.  I have not totally bought into the Whole Foods hype, but I will admit that this was the best Latte I have ever had.  So frothy  that my stirrer stuck straight up like it was standing in a bowl of greek yogurt.  Well done, Whole Foods barista!  You may make me a fan of the place yet.

Day 324 {iPhone + photoshop}

Sunday, November 18, 2012

What to Do with Old Band T-Shirts. {365 - Day 323}

Yesterday Sarah Beth got her hands on a baby album that had a picture of her in her favorite t-shirt - a teeny tiny black Motley Crue t-shirt that Kurt's old bandmates gave us as a baby gift soon after she was born.  It is pretty stinkin' cute, if you can even say that about a Motley Crue t-shirt.  We still have the shirt in her dresser even though it is way too small - she would definitely fit in with the other groupies at a concert with her belly showing.  Anyway, she saw the photo and said "I have that t-shirt!" and ran to her dresser to pull it out.  I explained it didn't fit her anymore and she was very disappointed.

This morning she brought up the t-shirt thing again.  Kurt got an idea and disappeared into the garage, returning with one of the probably hundred of his old band's t-shirts stored down there from back in the day when  he was living the rock and roll lifestyle.  This shirt is clearly inappropriate for a 3 year old and she won't be wearing it to her church preschool, but she thought it was awesome.

Day 323 {Canon 5D Mark III}

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fountain. {365 - Day 322}

I drove down to Glencairn Gardens in Rock Hill today for a photo shoot.  It was a beautiful day, leaves still red and orange on the trees.  This is a lovely little park, pathways and water features, steps, bridges and benches.  All the stuff that's fun to photograph.  I walked around to plan my route before the family arrived and took this pretty shot of one of a trio of fountains glistening in the sun.

Day 322 {Canon 5D Mark III}

Friday, November 16, 2012

Seeking Friend for Playdate. {365 - Day 321}

Another day at the playground with no one to play with.  What the heck, people?  It's a beautiful day out.  Put a jacket on your kid and bring them to the park so Sarah Beth has someone to run around with instead of her boring old Mommy.   Here she is, checking out the telescope looking for friends.

 Day 321 {iPhone + Photoshop}
We were there a good hour before a playmate showed up for SB.  She was at least a year younger, but she was giggly and chased SB around so that was more than enough entertainment for my social butterfly.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Artwork. {365 - Day 320}

The best part of Sarah Beth being in preschool, other than me having a few hours a week to get stuff done, is the artwork she brings home.  Almost every day, her book bag is stuffed with paintings, drawings, collages, watercolors.  It is so much fun to see what she has created and even more fun to hear the pride and excitement over her works of art.  "Mommy  I MADE this for you!"  Melts my heart.  We have to put up an art gallery somewhere to display her creations.  I bought a frame so we can hang one in her room - we just can't decide on which piece to bestow this honor.  We have decided, however, that the tie-dye turkey below will going to Grandma's for Thanksgiving.  I think she'll love it. 

Day 320 {iPhone}

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sleepy Swimmer. {365 - Day 319}

Today I had a photo shoot most of the afternoon, so Kurt picked up Sarah Beth from school and she announced that she wanted to go swimming.  Off to the Y they went.  I got home around 4 just before they pulled in from swimming.  I waited for the pitter patter of little feet and a giggly voice saying "Mommy's home!"  No pitter patter.  No giggles. 

Uh oh, I thought, someone must have fallen asleep.  Sure enough, this is what I found in the car.

Day 319 {iPhone + Photoshop}

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Four Eyes. {365 - Day 318}

Today's picture was taken early in the morning.  Whew.  I was putting on makeup in front of the bathroom  mirror when my little helper came in to supervise.  She stole my glasses off the sink and proceeded to try them on with her messy morning hair and monkey pajamas.  (Her second favorite to the Buzz Lightyear PJs.)  I hope she never has to wear glasses like her Momma, but at least we know if she does need corrective lenses, she'll look darn cute in them.

Day 318 {iPhone + Photoshop}

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sweet Tooth {365 - Day 317}

Cookie and candy product shoot part two today.  Let me say, it's hard to handle a photo shoot of this nature when you're three.  I'm talking about the girl who went into the pantry this morning and ate a cookie for breakfast before Mommy got out of bed.

While I was prepping the product, she was pulling everything out of the bag saying Mom take a picture of this, take a picture of this! with the hope, I believe, that when the shooting was over, the eating would begin.  Not all this waiting.  I did let her sample the merchandise a little.  The rest of that sugary goodness mysteriously disappeared while she wasn't looking. If she finds this stash, breakfast tomorrow will be a disaster.

Day 317 {Canon 5D Mark III + Photoshop}

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Homework. {365 - Day 316}

My 3 year old had homework over the weekend.  We had to decorate a giant poster board "feather" in honor of Thanksgiving.  I'm assuming they will make the feathers into a giant turkey of some sort.  We broke out all the art supplies and got busy at the kitchen table.

Day 316 {Canon 5D Mark III}

If you want to make a preschooler happy, hand over a glue stick.  She was all about gluing whatever she could find to her "feather" -  paper, pom-poms, the table.  She had a blast.  So did her assistant.

Picnic {365 - Day 315}

It was a beautiful Indian Summer day.  Kurt was off with friends all day, leaving us girls up to our own devices.  I decided it would be the perfect day for a picnic.  We packed up the basket and blanket, stopped at Trader Joe's for last minute supplies, made one more stop at the cupcake shop (I want a brown cupcake, Mom) and we were off to Freedom Park.

 Day 315 {Canon 5D Mark III}

Yes, we brought a chicken to our picnic.  Elmo was busy.

Our spread.  Sarah Beth ate the heck out of the hummus with olives and the salami.  She is just like her mother.  Except for the rice cake obsession.  Not sure where that came from.

Balela Salad.  She loves chick peas.

And the grand finale.  Her brown cupcake.  This is what you get when you say to a three year old. "wait don't eat it I need to take a picture."

We brought "Little Bear" along and we snuggled up to read for a while after cupcakes.  It was a perfect day with my best girl.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Suppertime. {365 - Day 314}

Dinner tonight was baked chicken and avocado.  Sarah Beth apparently was not that interested.  It could have something to do with the entire Lara Bar and giant Fruit Squeezie she ate an hour before.  But at any rate, this was how I found her when I returned from closing the blinds, ready to sit down to eat. 

She sat up eventually, gave me about seven inches of the bench to call my own, and had a few bites of chicken before I shuffled her off for bath time.   ("No avocado Mommy, it's yucky."  Avocado has been one of her favorite foods for 3 years.  Except for tonight.  Go figure.)   The upside is that I got her off to bed 45 minutes early, and Kurt went out with a friend, so I have the house all to myself with a glass of wine and a computer to keep me warm.  Peace and quiet.  :-)

Day 314 {iPhone}

Homecoming. {Operation: Love Reunited}

I got an email via Op Love a few days ago from a young woman who was welcoming her soldier home after a year-long deployment in Afghanistan.  She hoped I could meet her at the airport to photograph their reunion.  Homecomings are tricky because they are usually up in the air until the last minute as far as an exact arrival date and time.  As luck would have it, I was free this morning so I headed over to Charlotte Douglas Airport to meet Heather.

She caused a stir with her awesome sign.  Several people asked who she was waiting for and waited around to see the reunion.


As soon as she saw him on the escalator, she dropped the sign and sprinted to meet him.




Welcome home soldier!  Just in time for Veterans Day weekend.  They were so gracious, thanking me for being there.  It was an honor and a privilege to capture these moments for them. I hope I get to do many more homecoming sessions.  And soon.

Disclaimer:  The photos and other content of this publication do not imply any endorsement or recommendation by the Department of Defense.