Happy Blog-a-Versary!

Friday, August 29, 2008

(well, technically, the actual blog-a-versary came and went, unnoticed, forgotten, neglected by me... on August 6. but it IS still the anniversary month of my first, inaugural post two years ago in 2006. So it counts. Because I say so.)
Oh wow oh wow... It's hard to believe I have blurted out my randomness for the online world for two whole years now. TWO YEARS. Unsure of just what my new blog was going to BE, but hopeful that it would metamorphosize into something truly representative of ME, hopeful that my dear family and friends would give it a read once in a while, that first post was just a simple, searching introduction-- a "feeler" sent into the blog universe.
I remember exactly how it all started. My friend Melody had emailed me a link to her new blog-- Midwest Madness with the Aanderuds. It was something basic Paul started, with a handful of photos, and it was really cool- something I hadn't seen before. (Granted, Joe and I had procrastinated getting the Internet in our home since being married nearly two years earlier-- something about being worried we'd become online junkies. That hasn't happened at ALL, has it?? *note the sarcasm*). Still-- though I had heard of "blogging", it had never occurred to me that it could be an outlet for photographs as well as stories-- a central place to document a life for loved ones to keep track of. Brilliant! After pondering the vastness of it all, and then seeing that my friend Katie also had one, as well as Kate, I took a deep breath and dove in.

And now? Two years later, my blog has blossomed into something I could have never truly envisioned at the start-- not only is it the journal and photo album I wanted it to be, it has become the hub of an online social life I could have never dreamed would exist. I have new friends that share in my life through this blog, and I theirs. This blog networking has led me to blogs and websites of some of the most creative, inspirational women in the world, some of who may not know ME, but who inspire me all the time with their blogs. I have found peace through this blog. I have found answers. I have laughed, at myself and with others. This one little blog has blossomed into a list of 109 blogs I now subscribe to on Google Reader. Over ONE HUNDRED blogs! All found through comments, posts, links, and emails between blogging friends.

It all amazes me. What a gift this "Little World" has been. And I hope it has been a gift to some of you at one time or another. I hope that as I continue to keep my "online journal", it is not only a place to vent, but to share, to learn, to teach, and to inspire. I certainly am inspired by others' blogs. And 29,400 "hits" don't seem to lie. (and a word about that-- I didn't even put a counter on my blog until August 2007. So there's a whole year of unrecorded "hits" not counted in that total.) What a remarkable thing. Sure, my mom probably contributes 3 or 4 of those hits a day... but she certainly didn't manage the rest of them! So somewhere, someone else is reading this.

Anyway... I've rambled long enough. You guys don't come on here for the WORDS. Boo. You guys come for the photos... and maybe you also pop by every day just hoping I'll finally do a giveaway.

Well, today's your lucky day. In honor of this two-year anniversary, and because I am kinda addicted to having you all as readers, and because I love how happy you all make me, I have something cute, sweet, and HOMEMADE by ME for one lucky reader. This lil' something involves two of my current passions.
Yep-- Cupcakes and aprons!!

This lil' idea is not my own (well, the cupcake part is)... This apron comes from another marvelous Emily, the author of Little Momma and Company.
{apron tutorial here}

So. Time for you lurkers to de-lurk. Even if you are a dude, this lil' apron would make a sweet gift for a wife, girlfriend, mom or sister...And you regular commenters, you're invited, too!
Post a comment telling me something fun-- your favorite song as a teenager, how you found my blog, why you keep reading it, what the name of your ranch would be if you had a ranch-- anything.
At 12:00 midnight Sunday night (the last evening of my blog-a-versary month), I'll take all the comments and draw one out of a hat. Or bucket. Or something. And I'll announce the winner on Monday.

And if aprons aren't your thing, leave a comment anyway. What better time to de-lurk or refresh your love for "Emily's Little World" than on it's blog-a-versary?

I love you guys.

Thanks for the last two years. Here's to many more.


A Fun Family and New Favorite Photo Spot

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The historic Soulard neighborhood, a mellow summer evening, and a really cute, fun family I get to go to church with every Sunday. It's when photo shoots like this go right that I feel like I can keep being happy as a photographer.

To see the rest of their photos, click HERE.
(and be forewarned-- I think Typepad messes with my colors a lot more than they should. So when I look at the photos online, they are not exactly the way they look in Photoshop. And that disappoints me.)

And coming up-- a fun Blog-o-versary post. Maybe tonight. Probably tomorrow.
Hope you all have a great day!!

Festival of Nations: Our Saturday Outing

Monday, August 25, 2008

Because I'm always a sucker for art fairs, storytelling festivals, flea markets, bluegrass gatherings, and every other homegrown get-together involving booths of some sort, Joe, Noah and I headed over to Tower Grove Park in the hot afternoon on Saturday and checked out the annual St. Louis Festival of Nations. This is a festival that brings together the most varied assortment of nationalities, each country representing its culture through food, music, and artisan booths. It was fun strolling through the crowds and people-watching, and Noah got a kick out of all the different sorts of music playing on three different performance stages.
Here, a sampling of what we saw:

{the Scots, tossing logs and the like}

{Noah, enjoying his frozen peas in the mesh feeder}

{Joe and Noah, watching the Scottish games}

{Some of the booths-- I wanted one of these knit hats for Noah... but we withstood the temptation.}

{...loved the prayer flags on the Nepalese booth}

{colorful skirts, tempting the ladies}

{Ethiopian treasures}

{Performers, waiting their turn}

{next up, these Latin dancers:}

...And a few of our little family, while we sat under a tree and rested from the heat and the crowds:

Fun! Next festival-- the big Clayton Art Fair, the one that takes up tons of blocks and has tons of variety. It comes in early September. Can't wait!

Impromptu Picnic

Friday, August 22, 2008

It has been really amazingly lovely this summer in the Midwest... Only one week of terrible, soul-draining heat, and the rest of the time is has been moderate and very light humidity. So today, when Noah (and I) woke from naptime, I chucked a bunch of supplies in a bag, put Noah in my new ring sling, grabbed a quilt, and we headed to our front yard to enjoy Noah's lunchtime outside.

The Minutiae:
The happy kiddo:

the mom, lurking in the foreground:

Oh, there I am! (Warning: yesterday's makeup alert...Yikes.)

Ahh.... I love the little things in life like this.

And, it seems, so does Noah.

how are YOU these days?

p.s. I cannot tell a lie: I TOTALLY photoshopped out the gigantic flecks of leftover mascara from under my right eye in that one photo. Sue me. I was embarrassed. :)

Home Sweet Home: Our Unusual Tale

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Okay, okay-- here it is:
So... long story. I live in a Freemason's Lodge... An actively used one. My hubby and I are the caretakers of the entire building, which is about the size of a small courthouse or a LARGE mansion. It is 100 years old and still very true to it's origins-- at least, all the Mason stuff is. Our apartment is on the top floor, up the servant's staircase, and I like to call us the "mice in the attic". Our apartment itself is very average. Old, kinda worn, but with great features like hardwood floors and 12 foot ceilings. Too, the Masons are very allowing with us, so we have painted nearly all the rooms and redone the hardwood floors in a dark walnut.
We've lived here since we got married, nearly 4 years ago, so it has, of course, gotten more crowded and cluttery than I'd like. But being a photographer, I am skilled at showing the "best side" of things, so the photos I'm including are pretty good at masking most of the current areas of shame.
I have loved living here-- the neighborhood is incredible, the rent can't be beat ($0), and it's been the best starter home for our lives together. But I DREAM of the day I can have a home of my very own, with a garden and a yard.... and the excuse to finaly buy a REAL couch and entertainment center (living three floors up, what's the point of buying them now? So we still have my college furniture. Our fabulous bed, my craft hutch, and Noah's crib are really the only cool pieces we own. )

Anyhoo, without further ado, I'll start with the Lodge, then finish with our lil' apartment.

Front door

side door (our main entrance) (I'm preggy here. I kinda miss being preggy.)
*photo by Kate Benson

main lobby (Joe's wearing the Southerland kilt, his birthday gift last year. He doesn't NORMALLY wander the Lodge like this. Or DOES he??)
*photo by Kate Benson

The second floor bannister (Joe again.)

The second floor staircase

The entrance to the library/parlour

In the library/parlour

Our humble little servant's staircase

Our dingy introduction to our home... Kinda sad-looking. sad)

Our small but cheerful kitchen
Kitchen details...

Living room pt.1 (kitchen in background)

Living room part 2 (three coats of red paint. Yeah, it sucked, but the results are always worth it in my opinion.)

Living room part 3 (bedroom peeking from the background)

Living room part 4

bedroom (used to be the living room, but we made the dining room into the LR, the LR into our bedroom, and the only REAL bedroom into the baby's room. It works. Are you lost yet?)
*photo by Kate Benson

Detail shot of Noah's room

Another detail shot of Noah's room
and the clutter is.... in the unshown hallway outside the apt., the two storage rooms, the hidden part of our bedroom, and the hidden part of Noah's room. I'm working on it. blush Questions, anyone?

(entry originally posted on Babycenter, then pasted here on my blog. 7/27/08)

(...then postponed and RE-pasted today. So now the clutter I just mentioned is significantly better. And I like being at home again these days.)
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