"My Table is Spread..."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

{the Morning of Noah's 2nd Birthday}

It is 11:54 pm. I have been editing Keith's family photos, trying (vainly) to get them edited before tomorrow and the onset of Thanksgiving festivities... knowing I will be away from my home and workstation until Sunday, and wanting him to have his session before then... But knowing it was a BIG wish. I told myself if I didn't get it done by 11:00, I needed to sign out and call it quits anyway, and GET PACKING. Because though we are only going two hours away, and only for three days, it is amazing how much stuff a toddler needs, right?!
And yet... here it is. It is 11:56 pm. I am still on the computer... finishing a few little tasks, playing around, procrastinating WORK of any kind, knowing I should either be wise with this time by A.) editing more photos or B.) packing, DANG IT!.... but.... I'm not. I started thinking about how I still haven't posted about Noah's birthday, and how his photos will sit unedited forEVER if I don't TRY to tackle them now... and I was suddenly on an unfocused spiral into "To Do List Hell", skimming over a lot of things, but completing NOTHING. Feeling unsettled and progressively more upset and stressed and overwhelmed and tired and stubborn and lazy.

Then I clicked my iTunes away from catchy, noisy music into my "quiet music" playlist... and my BYU choir Mack Wilberg version of "The Lord is My Shepard" began playing. I mostly let it play in the background, futzing about with Noah photos still, feeling complete discord, still... Until the heart-rending key change and the onset of the beautiful words,

"In the midst of affliction, my table is spread
with blessings unmeasured-- My cup runneth o'er.
With perfume and oil thou anointest my head.
Oh, what shall I ask of Thy providence more?
Oh, what shall I ask of Thy providence more?"

And oh how I needed to be reminded... How I needed these words, this music(I wish you could hear this music, at just this volume I now have it on, in my headphones. I wish you could HEAR it. Glorious!!) to remind me what tomorrow (today) is about... To soothe my frazzled spirit. To place me back in the eternal perspective. To nudge me back into gratitude for what I HAVE, and forget what I WANT and NEED and don't have done yet....

Because I surely AM in the midst of a few minor afflictions--- Noah is relentlessly sick with a cough/cold/fever, I am terribly overwhelmed by packing and clutter and mess and transition, we are in a financial dry spell that plagues me in the corners of my mind and heart, I have old tasks that seem to never get the opportunity to get done...

But in the midst of that, my table is spread. Literally, with the incredible bounty I get to be a part of tomorrow (today-- it is 12:12 now), and figuratively... Most importantly, FIGURATIVELY. I look at that simple little photo I managed to get edited and put at the top of this post, and it centers me and reminds me of all that I have---- My cup runneth o'er. My baby, my home, my husband, my creative passion, my family, my friends, my God, my health, my life.... The biggies. And the small things, too-- my pillow, music, text messaging, ELW, my camera, Oreos, that cupcake pincushion Lyn made me, aprons, surprises from New Mexico, chocolate chips, Netflix, polka dots, quilts, KatieMelGenBeezoStefSupport, Blogger, my sewing machine, work days, bedtime songs, Burt's Bees, frosting...

Oh what shall I ask of Thy providence more?

To bed. Tomorrow will take care of itself, and will be good. Will be abundantly good.
Happy Thanksgiving. I'm ready.

The SoCal Sessions, Pt. 3 {St. Louis Children and Maternity Photographer}

ACK! My life is careening away from my fragile control once again!! How is it already Wednesday??!? On a holiday week??

Let's get back to the good stuff before I get all "vent-y" again... And let's talk about Miss Finley and her parents. Hello, Miss Finley!

Dawn Simon

Hello, Finley's mama and daddy!
Dawn Simon

It was an incredible pleasure to spend the morning with Finley and family on our third day in SoCal. We had come off of an INCREDIBLE day at Disneyland, where Dawn and Finley actually met us to play for the last part of it. We'd slept like ROCKS in our hotel and headed, in the morning, to Dawn's 'hood to get some yummy breakfast and then meet up for photos.

I am still kicking myself for not taking photos of the diner we had brekky at. It was PERFECT! Cannot even remember the name, but I remember the eatery had black and pink Japanese lanterns peppering the ceiling, a gorgeous vintage black/white wallpaper, and just oozed style. And the food was AMAZING.

And the street it was on? PERFECT for the session with Dawn and Co.... So we went two blocks to grab them, then headed back to take photos.
Dawn Simon

Dawn Simon

I LOVE that Dawn's session is two blocks from her home. It doesn't get any more personal than that, right??

Dawn Simon

And oh what fun we had! Dawn and Matt are the laughing types, so we had a kick the entire time, even if much of it was spent chasing Noah and Finley away from busy streets... :)

Dawn Simon

Dawn Simon

Dawn Simon

And then, back to their home to lounge, chat, let the kiddos play, and oh yes--- to OGLE Dawn's art space-- their garage:
Dawn Simon
To respect her privacy, I'll only show that one shot-- because she looks GORGEOUS in it... But trust me. Her garage is a thing of beauty, joy, vibrancy, and life. No one could last in there without getting at least ONE creative urge. She and her hubs are utterly INSPIRING.

And they have treasures galore. When Dawn told me about this thrift store quilt MONTHS ago, I decided it HAD to be in photos when I got there.... And selfish me, I decided *I* had to be in those photos, too. Ha! If I could have gotten away with it, I would have snuck that quilt away under my shirt. But while I am a bit fluffy already, I think that added bulk would have been a bit TOO obvious. Haha!
Dawn Simon

(and one more of gorgeous Finley. Her eyes are unbelievable. Ahhh!!)
Dawn Simon

I loved this session. LOVE this family. LOVE Miss Finley. Kinda want to adopt her for my very own. But only if Dawn came with the package. :)

To bed with me now. I have 76,000 things to get done in barely a day left. I must rest in preparation. Pray for me!
Kind of.

Mind Dump.... Nothing Too Important.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sitting down to edit after a long full day with Noah. I'm wearing, odd as it looks, a GORGEOUS new skirt I ordered online that came in the mail today. It was too cute to resist. So I tried it on and kept it on. Atop that cute skirt is an equally cute apron made by my amiga Anna. The patterns clash, but none of this was intentional. Atop that is the fuzzy fleece blanket my friend Stef made me (Okay, made NOAH, but I adopted it). I have headphones in. I am listening to "Fireflies" by Owl City on repeat. I will be editing the Hilson family tonight. My goal is to get it all done by midnight, and maybe even get started on Ellen's session. I plan to watch last night's Glee, then maybe pop in either "Firefly: Disc Four" (hm. Coincidence with the song I am listening to. Ha!) or Harold and Maude, Katie's favorite movie that I got from Netflix. (Been FOREVER since I've seen it, so I basically remember nothing.)

Today, Noah and I went on a cupcake delivery run-- taking the leftover birthday party cupcakes from yesterday's party o the mamas who tried to come but had to cancel out last-minute. The purpose of this mission was two-fold-- 1. let the gals know I missed them, and 2. keep the cupcakes out of MY gullet. Man I have NO willpower where cupcakes are involved.
Ya wondering where photos of these cupcakes are? Still in my camera, on the card. I'll get them on here, I promise. Just.... not right now.

Packing is happening in fits and bursts.... There's this strange limbo between not wanting it to happen at all, and wishing our deadline was tomorrow so we could be DONE with the in-betweenness.

There are no photos on this post. Weird. My apologies. I wanted to blog about Noah's birthday, but like I admitted earlier, the photos are still on my card. I thought to post Family #3 from my California sessions, but they are too special for this random mood I am in. I need to think through what I write about them first... I also have a couple of other random blog posts floating in my head, but I don't have the images to support them yet, so.... Just forgive this photoless post of randomness. As alluded to in the journal post from a few days ago, this blog is my journal now, and I just felt like checking in.... And who knows? Maybe one day the minutiae of this little blurt will be endearing to read later, when I am living an entirely different life. To that end, a few more bits of that minutiae as I settle in mentally to editing for the night.

* Noah is really snuggly at bedtime. I DRINK IT UP. He was not a cuddle-baby, so I absorb every little hug, snuggle and love word I can get from the stinker. Love him...
* I made real mashed potatoes for dinner... even with it just being Noah and I. I rarely have that kind of cookin' mojo when it is just the kid and me. But they turned out YUMMO... I used Alabama Kate's trick of stirring in a packet of dry Ranch dressing mix. YUM.
* I am on #5 repeat of this song. Still love it. The video is REALLY charming.
* I bought a speedlight (Canon 580ex ii) the other week... used it at Noah's party. It scandalized the girls who were there that had also been at my little workshop last Saturday. I laughed, shrugged, and said that sometimes you just gotta have a flash. I love my speedlight, but am hopelessly untrained in all it can/will do for me. Still--- good to have. Good to begin learning.
* My own personal typos are horribly irritating to me. I get so angry at the consistency with which I type "wither" instead of "either".... "grovery" instead of "grocery".... to only name two. I HATE TYPING BADLY.
* I confess to being more in love with sewing than photos at the moment. The early stages of burnout? Maybe. Good thing I have a December hiatus coming up. YAHOO! Then I'll be itchin' to get going again with photos by mid-January. Email me. Let's do something clever that month.

Okay.... on that note, I won't get that December hiatus if I don't get to the November photos. Time to proofread this typo-laden atrocity, add in a link or two, then get outta here. If you stuck with me through this randomness, you are SWEET. Kind. And loyal. Or perhaps just really BORED. If you truly ARE bored, leave me a comment. I've been jonesin' for some good, sweet comments recently. Must be the gloom of November making me crave friends... Ha!

Off I go. This post won't proofread itself. *sigh*

Once in a While, There is a Wedding... {St. Louis Wedding Photographer}

Monday, November 16, 2009

As I continue to hone my craft and learn more about myself, I begin to see that the gorgeous-but-high-stress world of weddings is not my natural habitat. Back in the day, I cavalierly agreed to tons of weddings, naive to what work it really entailed. These days, I am much more enlightened, and therefore highly nervous about what I might do wrong to mess up such an important day. Ha!
Having said that, when I sit, at the end of the day, and pore over the hundreds of images of breathtaking brides, gowns, details, and settings from the weddings I DO do, I can't help but lose myself in the fairy tale, and I am glad I was there.

This is Rachel and Troy, and they are St. Louis folk, through and through, if you can't tell by the journey to STL landmarks we took for our photos. While the Arch and the Stadium are givens, I have to say I was extremely charmed by Troy's request that we stop by his old stomping grounds where he and his friends grew up, deep in the city. (See the shots with the chain link fence behind them. That's their old baseball field!) I was also in love with the stop off at Gus's Pretzels-- apparently a St. Louis institution I have NOT been introduced to until now. We need to go sometime!!

It was an adventure wrangling NINE bridesmaids and NINE groomsmen, but everyone was incredibly charming and sweet, and I can see why Troy and Rachel love their circle of loved ones and friends so much. What an incredible group!

So yep... once in a while, there is a wedding in my mix. Beautiful brides, gorgeous cakes, and a little stretching outside my comfort zone. I'm feeling pretty good at the end of it all.

Congrats, you two--- I wish you a long, fulfilling life together!!

Halloween MiniPortraits {St. Louis Children's Photographer}

Friday, November 13, 2009

I never got around to sharing some my favorite shots from my Halloween Minis.... So, since Friday the 13th is kinda scary, here is a Halloween Flashback-- enjoy these cuties (and okay, okay... my kid is one of them. I'm not gonna lie!)

(And at 2 months old, that lil' Peapod named Oscar was my youngest model. What a snuggly little cutie!)

Happy Friday the 13th!
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