Tuesday, August 24, 2010

busy busy busy

wow, long time without posting. i can't promise that it will get any better, but as my photo business slows down, it's possible. or not. there's just a lot to get done in the evenings!

i did want to share our big night out last week. though today is justin's actual birthday, we chose to go out last thursday to celebrate. we met in kinston after work and started at the taproom for mother earth brewing company, a local microbrewery that justin has enjoyed in the past--we can usually find their brews at specialty grocery stores and several local restaurants. i, of course, enjoyed my tall glass of water :)
mmmm... tasty water!

it was neat to learn about this company, though, and their special brews that they create, as well as their "green" features that they have at the brewery, including solar panels and other environmentally-friendly additions.

we then headed over to the chef and the farmer, where we had reservations for dinner. also a great local restaurant that has gotten rave reviews and uses lots of products from local farmers (several that we've bought meat/produce from through our farmers' markets and other buying groups.) we decided to go all out and order from each of the three courses presented. they were all delicious and so uniquely "southern gourmet." i didn't get a picture of our first course, but i had peaches wrapped in prosciutto with spicy pecans, while justin had a salad with fresh bacon, croutons and homemade ranch dressing.

our second course included a butterbean hummus with spicy pepper relish (my choice) while justin had a cheese plate.
and then the main course--i went with blueberry bbq chicken with corn fritters, pole beans and potatoes, while justin had a peach glazed pork chop with a type of grain underneath--it's escaping me right now, not quinoa, but something similar--it'll come to me at 2 in the morning.

we boxed up half of our entrees, along with a huge piece of chocolate cake with toffee and amazing frosting. we didn't have room, but i couldn't pass up the cake :)

we finished up the evening by heading over to the kinston indians game, but it started raining as we were wrapping up dinner and the field was soaking wet. we watched for two hours as the rain stopped and they started working on preparing the field for the game...and then at five minutes until 9, they decided to call it due to field conditions. we still had a great time and it was a perfect way to celebrate justin's birthday a few days early.

we spent the rest of the weekend working on the nursery. well, justin and his friend johnny did. i had a couple of photo shoots that kept me occupied and away from the adhesive fumes. they were successful in cutting and prepping all of the beadboard and chair rail for the walls, and they got about half of it up on saturday.
we finished the rest on sunday afternoon and justin picked up a couple of paint selections last night. we decided on a nice deep navy and got a little bit done just to see how it would look.
we were also busy on sunday evening, because we had a new little baby to visit! collen finally made his appearance sunday around noon, and we had to stop by and check in on him, lindsay and jeremy.
justin got some more practice holding newborns--isn't he a natural?
and i like this photo with lindsey holding him--she was also great in helping me figure out how to snap up the cloth diapers that i just got in the mail from my latest e-bay purchase. she's going to be a great resource as we figure out how to do the whole cloth diapering thing.
and finally, an updated belly shot. justin was shooting it while sitting down, so i feel like it's an exaggerated angle. but it also feels like he's that big in real life, so i guess this is my 29/30 week belly. heaven help us, we still have at least 2 months to go.
i'll hopefully have some time to share some of my recent photo work soon. i've had fun with several photo shoots in the past month and have just been too lazy to upload them. now that i'm done with weddings, i'll be focusing on the last few jobs i have scheduled between now and labor day weekend. after that, they'll be few and far between. i'm already having a little bit of trouble going from sitting to standing, and i know it won't get any easier!

Monday, August 16, 2010


part of getting ready for davis has required a great deal of organizing, sorting, storing and throwing away things that we just don't need anymore to make room for the massive amount of stuff that comes with having a baby. this has been a challenge for me--i was born with the "pack rat" gene and it's hard for me to part with something that's sentimental or brings back a positive memory of some sort. (i also have horrible housekeeping skills and keep a cluttered house--cluttered, mind you, not dirty. i've been like this since i was kid and thankfully, justin understands and tolerates it.) so a couple of weeks ago, we cleared out some room in our bedroom so that we would have room for his pack and play/bassinet that we'll use in there for the first couple of months. justin did a great job of creating piles of stuff for me and allowing me to say "keep" or "trash" then making it disappear. just what i needed

this weekend, we headed home to fayetteville for a similar purpose--getting our room ready there, including going through a bookshelf of stuff that has easily been there untouched for the past 10 years. i brought back a huge storage tub of stuff that will go in our attic that i couldn't throw away, but it's neater, less dusty, and we have some room for davis' things there now.

we also got together with our family and celebrated all of the late july/august birthdays--there are 5 in our immediate family!

my cousins and aunt blowing out the candles. i got to spend some extra time with them on saturday doing back-to-school shopping, where we unsuccessfully looked for school-appropriate length shorts. i'm not sure i would do well being a teenager these days--there were few choices that would have passed my requirements for length, much less what their school requires!
and sunday, after seeing a ton of people at church and having a nice lunch out, we unearthed another addition for the nursery--a changing table that was made for me almost 28 years ago by my grandfather, whose name will be davis' middle name.
obviously it needs a little bit of wood putty here and there, and we'll give it a fresh coat of paint and some new shelf liners. but i'm so proud to have this piece of furniture used by my son.

and in all of this sorting and throwing away and going through old memories and hauling pieces of furniture that used to be mine--something kinda hit me. so much of the stuff that i've been putting away in storage tubs and yard sale piles are things that represent my life growing up and the friends i had and the things i did. and i realized that it was putting away one childhood in order to prepare for another--and that made me feel old. and wise. and very nostalgic.

as did this--finally getting around to ordering our 2009 yearbook. i think i love this one even more than last year's....
and flipping through the pages, it's very hard to believe that this all happened last year...it feels like so long ago!
but the layouts and photo quality are just perfect (and we realized that we are obsessed with our dog and she's probably in the book more often than we are.)
and then we think how different this year's book will be--and next year's book is just unimaginable at this point. wow. how things will change.

okay, enough seriousness. let's close this up with a "justin and pepper on the couch" picture.
ahh, yes, that's more like it. wouldn't be the end of a blog post without one :)

(p.s. i passed my glucose screen! thank goodness! going out tonight to celebrate and getting a doughnut for dessert--ironic, yes, but i'm so excited about it and have been looking forward to it allll day.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

more baby stuff is in!

it's fun to watch all the pieces come together...

like today, when my 31 order came in. this bag isn't new, but i've been using it as a work bag for probably about a year now. i love it and ordered it originally with the intended purpose of eventually becoming a diaper bag. in my latest order, i got another bag like this one, except in a fun, bright floral pattern with my initials. so this one has been retired and brought home to be washed and a diaper bag contender.

and this was obviously ordered specifically for our little guy. i loved this bag and thought that it would be something that both of us would feed comfortable carrying. i don't know that this will be the big diaper bag, probably more of a "quick outing" bag. but it is so so so cool to see his name embroidered on here. another step towards making it even more "real."
and the bedding came! didn't use a flash here, so it's a lot more yellow looking than in person. but i love it and think that it looks just perfect for the style nursery we're trying to do.
now it's time to figure out paint colors...
and finally, because it's not really a true blog post unless i include a picture of these two laying around. this is the couch that is still in the nursery. it's a good 10+ years old and was one of justin's first purchases when he got his own apartment many many year ago. it was in the game room up until last month, and he hasn't figured out how to get it out of the hallway yet (needs some help from another guy.) so it's still in the nursery for the time being and he's having a tough time saying goodbye. it's one of his favorite spots to nap, and i wasn't surprised when he and pepper were a little too quiet in there on sunday afternoon. i snuck around the corner to find this...
pepper awake and checking me out as justin used a boppy for his pillow. oh, the times that we have ahead of us :)

my glucose screen is tomorrow morning. please say a prayer that i pass it. i don't know that i could handle the four hour test...

Saturday, August 07, 2010

moving right along

hard to believe that yesterday was 3 months until davis' due date! we are finally making some progress in the nursery, and i'm beginning to feel a bit more confident that we'll be "ready" when his time comes (or as "ready" as we can be.)

last night, justin and i finally sat down and made some decisions about his bedding set. we've ordered this set, which i love and think will be great for him over the next couple of years--not just as an infant.
i've already given justin the go-ahead to find some sports-related stuff to add in, like these cute pennants for the wall. that way, we get a theme in without it being overwhelming.
last weekend, he was hard at work, putting together the crib that we got from my uncle, aunt and cousins. we also scored a great deal with one of my co-workers, where she sold us their stroller, two car seats and bases for a great price.
we also have been having fun playing music for him at night. after a couple of nights holding our big headphones up to the belly, i ended up ordering this headphone "belt" that has them built in, complete with a little pocket for the mp3 player. we take turns choosing what he gets to listen to for an hour or so at night :)
and of course, an updated belly shot. i'm becoming self-conscious about my double-chin and may have to start setting up the tripod and dslr for more flattering pictures. but we've now gotten to the point where i'm definitely pregnant to people who don't know me, so i've gotten more comments while i've been out.
i'm in the middle of editing several shoots that i've done in the last 2 weeks, so hopefully i'll have some of those up by tomorrow. last wedding of the year is this afternoon! excited to be done with those long, six+ hour shoots--but i love all of my bridal couples and have been so blessed to be a part of their big days :)

one last photo of the sweetest husband and dog in the world. love them so much... (even when pepper wakes us up at 6 am, along with the cats, like she did this morning.)

Monday, August 02, 2010

practice makes perfect

i've heard people say that having a dog is good practice for having a kid.

i just don't think that pepper anticipated the practice to be quite so "hands on."

Sunday, August 01, 2010

sara's bridals

i had the pleasure of photographing sara and dovene's wedding last night in washington. sara was in our small group at church and went to ecu like many of us, getting her degree in nursing. she worked for a couple of years at the hospital, but after numerous short missions trips to africa, she made the decision to move to togo and do medical missions work there with a family who was in the ministry. while she's been there for the past couple of years, she fell in love with dovene, the son of the couple who heads up the ministry. they quickly planned a wedding for back here in the states, and they will be staying here while dovene goes to Bible college before they return to africa.

we decided to do bridals beforehand, and though we got rained out the first date, this photo shoot's weather was perfect. a little windy, but it kept us cool and made for some great photos.

her family's house has a dock right on the river, so we took advantage of the location!
and wanted some more "natural" poses--sara's parents said this was just like her!
this was one of my favorites, just because i think it shows off sara's natural beauty.
and the sunset--perfect lighting!
especially when we were able to capture some of the light reflecting on the water...
finally, the one she chose for her portrait--and the one that as i was taking the photos, i just knew would become one of my favorite bridals i've ever taken. just beautiful...
one wedding left next weekend, and then i'm done with weddings until next year! i do have one more bridal shoot to do (that i'm not photographing the wedding) but after this one, it's all portraits sessions. still scheduling some in august, if you're interested!