Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa baby...

He needs no further introduction. 

If you have been following along, you have come to know this little man. 

Without further ado...introducing Marc Robert...

Have yourself a very merry little Christmas...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Smile. Big.

We went to catch it, but it was too late, the bus was already pulling away. 
Now, late for school, it was a mad rush to get everyone ready and out the door within ummm five minutes. My little man is screaming his head off and "V" just found a way to open her 
bottle and pour it all over my shoes. 

Sadly though, there isn't even time to do that. 

Now back upstairs for like the tenth time this morning.
You would think that my ass would notice, but for some reason the cookies out weigh the work out. 
Change my clothes, get the kids packed, and in the car seats and someone went to the bathroom.
 'God, help me'.

We make it into the car, the radio is blaring and the kids are talking a mile a minute and it sounds like there are 15 kids in the car instead of just three. 
I adjust the rear view mirror and wonder who the tired chick is looking back at me. 
No time to think about it now. 
I throw on some gloss and catch the eye of my oldest waving at my reflection. 
We smile. 

A little moment among the chaos that makes my heart happy.

Fast forward ten minutes later and I have gotten gas for the car, went to the post office, the bank and dropped off two kids at the sitters.
Kinda makes me feel like super woman for a teeny tiny minute.

We arrive finally at the school, and I grab "A''s hand as I scoot her quickly out of the car and into the lobby. The 'hall monitor' signs us in and as Im off to walk her to the classroom, I'm stopped with a,  
'No parents beyond this point". 
'But, but...' 

My daughter looks at me quick and says "Ma, I can handle it". 
I wanted to yell' "but you're only five and I'm almost 35, and I can't even handle it".
Before I could though, it was a quick kiss and an 'I love you' and she was off. 

Sensing my frustration, the monitor takes pity and says I can watch her walk to her class room,
which was at the end of the longest hallway I had ever seen.

I leaned against the cold ceramic tiles and watched my daughters little feet walk her confidently to her class and for the first time in weeks, well months - I was still. I felt my heart slowing, and my body relaxing. 
I heard the sounds of laughter coming from the cafeteria.
Above that I heard little voices singing Jingle Bells.
I got a lump in my throat.
The music was better then anything I had ever heard.

It was not the words so much, or the sound, it was their spirit. 
Their enthusiasm. It was tangible. 
Even though you couldn't see them, you can hear them smiling while singing. 
For the first time this season, I felt Christmas.

No tree, no presents, and no cards sent out - I was feeling as if the Christmas feeling just might not come this year. It had been a hectic year to say the least and truthfully I was sad because I was wishing it away. 
My favorite time of year and I couldn't wait for it to be over!? Ugh.
What happened?
 Life happens. 
Priorities shift and you lose focus of what matters. 

When "A" made it down to the end of the hallway, I prayed that she would turn around and wave goodbye. She didn't.
 She opened the door gingerly and went inside to start her busy day at kindergarten. 
Do priorities shift even for kindergarteners? 
Is there just so much going on that we can't just be still even for a second?

I stood in disbelief  - staring down the empty corridor to the door at the end. 
I failed. 
Failed at not teaching her that the small moments count and if we don't hang on to them for dear life, 
we'll miss them. 
Just as I was about to turn away, I saw the top of her head and just her eyes come back into view
within the small window pane of the big wooden door.
Our eyes met and I didn't need to see her mouth to know that she was smiling at me. 
We were smiling. 

Thanks "A" for reminding me, it's all about the little you!

Just a little somethin', somethin' to spread some holiday cheer...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reality Check...

I got a giggle today from this...thought I'd pass it along.  Oh, and Jenny girl - thanks a million for always making my day happier. I swear one day Im going to fly to Texas just so I can hug you...or bring you home with me in my pocket! Thanks for all of your help, advice, work, guidance and most of all your friendship.


1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.
5. How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
 6. Was learning cursive really necessary?
 7. MapQuest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
10. Bad decisions make good stories.
11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.
12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.
13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my 10-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.
14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.
17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.
18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?
20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!
21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
22. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

23. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.
24. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in hockey in 1874, and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stanley's - The "P" Family

I heard the name before I saw the person. 

It was the "theme" it seemed of that early Sunday morning. 
"Are you going to get Stanley?" " Are you bringing Stanley back here?" " I'm going to pick up Stanley." 

Who ever Stanley was - he was important. 
They all spoke the name as if recalling a wonderful memory.
There was a softness to their voice and a certain anticipation felt about his arrival. 

It was a full house with not just the family, but their folks and siblings were there too.
It felt kinda like a little party!

When Stanely arrived and we were finally introduced,
 I laughed. 
He wasn't at all what I had expected.
He was somehow...better. 
Stanley...was a donut.

You see, they weren't saying 'Stanley', they were saying Stanley's with an 's'. 
Ummm, HUGE difference, that I didn't quite pick up on. 

How good does your day start when it begins with pastries?

The drive to the bakery was one hour...round trip. 
They all swore to me  it was sooooo worth it cause they were the best donuts EVER

The table we gathered around was immense, yet somehow it seemed small and cozy with everyone huddled over the yumminess. They pulled me up a chair, invited me to join them and told me that I haaaaad to try the
jelly donut. 
Who am I to turn down an offer like that?!

 Now to be honest Im not even a fan of a jelly donut, so I had my reservations before I even took a bite.
But OMG!
It was seriously as if the world stopped - it was that good. 

I wanted to grab the rest of them and run, far, far away.
Forrest Gump style.
I'm pretty sure I would have been tackled before ever reaching the door with them : )

Donuts for breakfast, should be mandatory. 
I think the world would be a much happier place.

It's fancy, indulgent, and it was a family tradition during my childhood as well.

Being there, during that small moment with them, made me nostalgic.
There was happy chatter, orange juice being poured, laughter and fun chaos all around.
Three generations and some photographer sharing, no...celebrating breakfast.
Perhaps it may have been an ordinary, overlooked, taken for granted moment - but yet it somehow made my day. 
I'm pretty sure that in the future they'll all look back and remember not how good the donut tasted, but rather how much a donut brought them all together.

Mr. and Mrs...

You know what was funny? They got silly on me. 
All of a sudden it was like an engagement session. 
Spinning, dipping, kissing, hugging - and even a piggy back ride!!!  
I know! I swear I didn't even ask them to do it. No bribing or cajoling was used.
I looooved seeing the spontaneity...

Check out these baby blues...

What a doll Ms. J was!

Daddy's girl...

I was a little nervous they would think I lost my marbles when I went to take a picture of the donuts.
They may have thought it - but they didn't say it. Well, at least to me. ; ) 

Mr. M (mmmmm)...I agree completely!

Thank you for letting me have a peek into your Sunday mornings.
It is a wonderful gift that you all share and I was fortunate enough that you let me be a part of it.
Well, yeahh - and fortunate enough to get the donut too ; )

And yes, I just made your blog post completely about a donut.
No offense kids! ; )
One day you will realize your life revolved around it...kinda.
In a 'round' about way (haha).
Because even the small moments, should be just as delicious!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jill + Cameron - Northport Engagement Session

He said he noticed her when she checked in to the dorm the first day of school.
He tried, as she would recall, to pathetically make an attempt at flirting. 
They would later meet again while working together.
She tried hard not to pay attention to him, he would try even harder to get her attention.
Guess who won? 

Love at first sight?
I believe in it.
And I'm sure Cameron did too when he saw Jill's smile...cause I swear it could stop traffic.
It's infectious, beautiful and always present...especially when Cameron is around.
To say she lights up when she is in his company is an understatement.

Soooo here is the low down of how the session went....

Me: 'okay, make a serious face'.

They try to pose 'expressionless' for umm a half a second.
Cam whispers something to Jill.
Jill's lips start to smirk and she tries realllllly hard to hold it in.
Cam turns his head slightly to look at her...and the game is all over.

The sly smile quickly turns gargantous and she leans into him laughing hysterical.
He smiles in spite of himself for a second and falls back quickly into 'Cary Grant' mode -
like he doesn't have an effect on her and her laughter is not making him all giggly inside.

It was like that the entire session. 
 They we're playful, fun and freakin' happy!

Best friends...

They were up for any challenge I threw at them.
I love that.
This moment was caught right before they tried to swing in unison as high as they could go.
It sounds super easy - but it's sooo not.

We found a bunch of great places to photograph in little nooks around Northport.
No matter how many times I have been down there to shoot - there is always another spot that gets discovered on an adventure.

See what I'm talking about. He makes her laugh...

Just beauuutiful Jill!
You are going to be a 'knock' out bride!

Cameron looking pretty fine.

We found this great little place tucked away in a back alley.
What was so amazing was the foliage that decorated a wall.
It was Nov. 27th...pretty wonderful to still find color somewhere.

I forgot to mention how bitterly cold it was.
It didn't help that we were right on the water either.
Freezing, freezing, freezing.
But they braved it and snuggled up to get warm.

See how good they are to me?
They took their coats off for me in ummm 30 degree weather.

Silly and playful, but I did catch a quite moment in between.

This next one kinda reminds me of old school Hollywood.
Cam has this debonair quality about him and the tie and jacket kicked it up a notch.
Cary Grant-ish, with his leading lady?

Love them!

Seriously rock!

Last but not least, I would be remiss not to have included the newest addition to their family, 'Shea'.
(yes, named after the stadium ; )
He made a quick appearance during the e-session and had a boat load of admirers.

Thank you both for meeting me on such a busy weekend.
I loved watching the natural ease in how you interacted with one another.
It was fabulous being able to see such a bright spark between you both.

Looking forward to photographing your big day this July, ooooh and I almost forgot...the 'Hang Over' session (yeahhhh).

Look out Hamptons...we're coming soon!

So readers, help J + C out by adding your comments below. Let them know which one was your fave or just say hi. If they reach 20 comments - they get a cool freebie from me!


Want to see a few more? 
Their slideshow is right below!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dear Marc...

The day I met your folks, you were there.
Although, I'm guessing you don't remember much.
If you heard this all before, you can skip to the end if you don't want to hear me repeat myself ; )

When they walked in to our meeting - your Mom said,
'Im sorry we're late - but you should know, we're going to be late to our own wedding'.
I knew then, that you were going to make your debut late too, cause really,
'the apple never really does fall too far from the tree',
or so I believe.

Your parents...are cool.
I know, it's a paradox.
Parents try to be cool and it really doesn't go over so well, but yours just are. 
They're fun, musical, and creative.
They're also personable, compassionate and in love.

We talked about you, as much as we did about photographing the wedding day.
We discussed names, and they told me they were thinking of calling you Scarlet, but they weren't quite set on it.
If you were a was definitely going to be Marc Robert.
They thought it sounded solid and strong.

After the wedding, I still managed to keep in touch with your folks.
It was exciting to hear how they were preparing for you, what your Mom was going through and even funny at times when your Dad would mention to me how Mom would fall asleep right in the middle of eating her mint choc. chip HagenDaz. 
You, little man, tuckered her out.

Facebook, kept the family and friends privy to all of the anxiousness they were feeling about your arrival. They could not wait to meet you. It came to a point when Mom said she wasn't posting anymore until 'she was on the other side'. 

Well, the day finally came and Mom posted to say she was with the two loves of her life and you had your Daddy's 'chill' disposition.
 After meeting you last weekend, I certainly agree - although your Mama is pretty 'chill' herself.

Since we are sending out announcements - I decided to hold off on posting any pictures of you,
as to not give the 'sneak peek' away. 
But I will leave you with just a reminder of why I think
'the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree'...

If you know get it ... ; )

Perhaps the best part of the picture is not the shoes but the 'past' that it's sitting on.
Your Uncle spent weeks, preparing this for you.
Months bringing it back to life.
It's significant. It's your roots. It's a part of your history. 
It's five generations old.

And when people can't hold onto things these days for five minutes, that's a big thing.
It's nice to see something so lovingly restored to it's original beauty and done especially for you.

Your mama's baby clothes sat in these draws, as did your Grandma's and Great Grandpa's did before them. 
Age changes a lot of things - it withers, it deteriorates, it makes things lose there appeal -
but it also makes you appreciate the loveliness of the memory,
and in doing so it breathes new life into the old.

Marc, enjoy life to it's fullest. Appreciate everything. Find the gift of music as your parents did...never regret, and feel compassion until it's the core of your being.
And while we are on the subject of shoes, if you have the ability to 'walk a mile in someone elses shoes', if you can really truly do that, (as I tell my own kids),
you can do anything.


The crazy lady with the camera

Hey, Mom and Dad...welcome to the other side...