Hey! I'm Emily... homebody, amateur philosopher, professional photographer, mama and wife. This is my little world-- a place for me to preserve the little snippets of my life that bring me joy, make me think, or show my creative leanings. I'm so happy you're here. If you get a minute, please introduce yourself in the comments. If you like what you see, you are invited to follow my blog through your RSS Reader. Just click the link at the bottom of the page to add me.
Thank you for being part of my little world... :)

{scroll down to see posts}


Me:

Me:

Tuesday, March 31

|Jaclyn, Lovely High School Senior |

A few of my favorites from my afternoon with Jaclyn-- such a fun, intelligent, lovely senior!
And her eyes? Wow. No boost needed from me. Those blues are all hers!







And one more-- a sassy jump shot with Jaclyn and her cute baby sister Julie:

Thanks, Jaclyn! Hope you enjoy the rest of your photos!

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(Also, a note to next year's seniors: I'm going to start booking for the summer and fall ASAP, so start thinking about when and where you'll want your session, and email me!! Spots fill fast!)

Sunday, March 29

Photo + Words:

{watching the trains, March 2009}

Friday, March 27

So Satisfying--

It is so satisfying, getting to take photos of school-aged kiddos...
I really don't have much of a client-base in this age group, strangely enough. I get lots of amazing babies and toddlers.... then it's straight to beautiful high school seniors and couples and brides. So when Maria asked me to photograph her three incredibly charming kids, I was thrilled!



I ADORE this next one. She looks so timeless-- spunky, yet beautiful.
Matthew, the oldest, was the BEST model-- so good at posing, at listening to my ideas.... and so handsome!
This one CRACKS me up. Such a NORMAL moment in the life of a two-year-old!
And one more of this beauty-- I can't get enough of her EYES.... Wow.

Yep-- completely satisfying, this session... Beautiful kids who listened and loved getting to be models for a little bit. Anyone know any other school aged kids who need the star treatment? Send 'em my way! I'd love to photograph them!

Wednesday, March 25

Randoms...

{Noah With His Grandpa, Dec. 2008}

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We got to take a little trip to Columbia over the weekend and spend some quality time with my dad... My mom is in Austria, of all places, and Dad is holding down the fort by himself for the week. I had a shoot in Jeff City, so we made it into a little mini-break and Joe and Noah came along. It was such a good visit. Good food, as always, provided by dad-- omelets, french toast, cookies, roast, chicken cordon bleu, peach cobbler-- Altogether better than any restaurant. And Noah got to spend such good, quality time with Grandpa.

Noah was also singularly THRILLED by the menagerie of animals currently residing at my parents' house--

Two dogs, Trissy and Max. (Max is my sister-in-law's pup, in "foster care" at this house while Mary is in Iraq).
Three birds, Henry, Howard and Eunice. (Henry is my parakeet, living there, and Howard and Eunice are my sister Sarah's zebra finches, staying for the week while she is on a road trip. These finches were Noah's FAVORITE. They BEEP, not chirp, and it made him laugh UPROARIOUSLY!)
Two cats, Callie and Alfred. (Noah got VERY good at imitating their "meow" sound.)
One degu. (Don't know his name. another of Sarah's pets, staying for the week.)
One rabbit, Cocoa. (Very tame, my sister Kirsti's resident pet... He is so good to let Noah manhandle him!)

And were it not for my allergies, the entire visit would have been IDEAL. In fact, now that my poor eyes are back to normal, the itchy memories are fading and the trip is being remembered as ideal!

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And now, here we are, back in STL, on Joe's Spring Break. We went to the zoo today, and ti was a PERFECT day for it....

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Joe is watching Flight of the Conchords while I edit photos.

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I've watched TONS of movies since figuring out the Netflix Online thing-- Just watched Desperately Seeking Susan and The Business of Being Born.... Random, but good for keeping me at the computer and editing.

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I get to host another Cupcake Party this coming week... Can't WAIT for a new round of yummy cupcakes!!

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I have several photos from the December batch that I have never finished editing. My personal photos suffer SO MUCH when I am busy with client photos. It gives me a knot in my tummy.

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Actually, if I get started on THAT train of thought, I can get a LOT of knots in my tummy, thinking about unfinished projects, inconsistencies, wish lists... and so on and on and on. Maybe I WON'T go there right now. Hmph.

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And..... That's all the randomness I've got, for now. Back to work. Hope the rest of everyone's weeks are good, fast, and sunny!

Saturday, March 21

| Baby Bennett |







This sweet little eight-day-old was so mellow-- so willing to sleep through anything and everything we put him through! He looks like his dad and loves being close to his mama... Welcome to the world, Bennett. You are loved.

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(And just for fun--- one of me at work... compliment of Crystal, Bennett's mama. Thanks, Crystal. It's fun to see myself from the outside!)


Thursday, March 19

Thank You, Strangers--

Two recent blog entries from people I have never met have moved me in the last few days... Powerful words, powerful emotions... beautifully written. Both speaking of things I needed to hear-- about want and desire and wishing and measuring up and having faith.

And since both have been so moving to me, I need to put them down here-- where I can remind myself that here, in the words of strangers, is TRUTH:

First, let me share the words of Boothe Farley, a mother and deeply spiritual woman who went through the hardest trial a mother will ever have to face-- she gave birth and said goodbye to a daughter with Trisomy 18. She doesn't blog often, but when she does, it is powerful, spiritual, carefully thought-out stuff...Here, an excerpt of yesterday's post:

winds of change

I don't remember a time in my own personal history - nor the history of the world as I've known it - that everything felt so perilously out of order. Everywhere we turn, homes are being lost, businesses are shutting down, people are living in a much less free-and-easy sort of way. Perhaps this is good, perhaps this will be a blessing in disguise; in fact, I'm inclined to think that's exactly what it will be. But blessings in disguise rarely feel like blessings as they are being experienced. Mostly they feel like fear and uncertainty and pain.

As I drove to the park today (marveling at how our weather patterns can be, well, so patterned, back and forth like the zigging and zagging of the stitching in a dress), I noticed some daffodils growing beside a mailbox on a back road. And though a carefully examined patch of yard might not testify to its imminent arrival, spring is coming, and splashes of green pushing up in pastures and fields declare it over and over again. Spring is God's anthem of redemption. Every gentle breeze, each proud new blade of grass, the dizzying scent of a hyacinth bloom - all of it singing a song of promise. And today, as I drove, I realized: if my God does not forget to orchestrate all these things, in fact purposefully sets them into motion again and again, year after year, then who am I to worry? Who am I to question?"...

(There is more... much more... but this was the part that hit me the strongest. Go to www.conorbootheandgirls.blogspot.com to read the rest, if you like.)


And then, the second post I read today. This one is written by Davina Fear, a mom and incredible, nationally-recognized professional photographer. She has always impressed me with her business savvy, and I suppose she is one of the ones out there that I tend to envy... when I'm not careful. It is precisely this ENVY-- the artist-angst, the constant comparing, the wishing I was more/had more/was given more more MORE....THIS emotion that made Davina's entry resonate so deeply with me.

This one will be long... so feel free to skim if it is not what YOU need, right NOW. But if you are a mom, or a part of a family, I have a hunch her message can apply to you, too. For me, it was EXACTLY what I needed to read today:

Do You Measure Up? Comparing and other disastrous things:

Artists in general seem to always be looking for a way to perfect their craft. There always seems to be something just beyond the horizon that is constantly just out of reach. Photographers suffer in large part from the same terrible yet beautiful elusiveness as well.

Combine that with being a woman and it seems to have a double trouble affect.

So often it's easy to start comparing ourselves against someone else's best, someone else's life, their art, their travels, their bank account, their home, their kids, their photo shoots. The amount of things to compare are just endless.

We start to measure our worth based on how many bookings we have this year, how good our last photo shoot was, if our kids or theirs are more well behaved or less well behaved, how many comments we get on a certain post, or what we weigh.

If we let it, all of these things can outshine all of the good we are doing. Comparing ourselves to others and finding ways to measure our worth based on the things we do will never manage to bring us any kind of joy or happiness.

Some days I have to consciously remind myself that I am on a different journey than friends..friends who are doing the newest trends in photography, home schooling their kids, giving their time to the community, and turning out cool lighting in photo shoot after photo shoot.

For me, this year is not about all of the external things that I can do to change the way I shoot... lighting, a new camera, the new couch, the new blog. It's about an internal search for a more intimate, meaningful family, business life, and eventually, photo shoots and weddings.

What I am doing is loving my life just as it is...loving this crazy journey that I'm on. No comparing. No measuring. No silliness like that.

There are days when I wonder if I've made the right choice to wait on my business for a while. I wonder if I'm missing too much in the industry and if it's going to pass by without me...

And then I remember that what I really want are butterfly moments. Moments when I'm around to see my children transform, grow up, change, and start to spread their wings. Over the past few months I've read with my kids, been available for my kids when they get home from school, played Strawberry Shortcake and friends, Polly Pockets (these days will not last much longer), heard about lego competition, been the home room party mom, spent many mornings and afternoons with Miss Grace, heard burping competitions, laughed more, taken more walks in the evenings, taken more walks in the mornings, and spent more Saturdays working with my sweet little family, and so much more. The pace of my life has slowed down. And I'm happy with that. I know it won't last. Fall will come and things will change. Grace will go to school all day...and for me, I want the butterfly moments to stay.

At that point there will be another butterfly moment...when everything changes. I'll be getting my business to be full time again, Grace will spread her wings, my life will be very different. There will not be my sweet girl at home with me all day...just the two of us. I will not get to hear her in a quiet house talking to herself about what fun it is to go to Strawberry Shortcake's house or 'reading' a book that she makes up the entire plot for and as she reads having her say her favorite line from Clarice Bean, "Not naming any names. i.e. Grace Grapello ". Those times are reserved for the hours when it is just she and I alone at home. There will be less hugs, less spontaneous shows of affection, less blurted out "I love yous". Things will change. A milestone will pass.

And I know what I really want is:

for my kids not to pass by without me.

for my kids to remember when they are grown that I laughed a lot with them

for my kids to remember that I played in the woods and threw a frisbee in the road with them

for my kids to have moments all around them that remind them that I like to be with them

for my kids to know that they bring me joy everyday

for my kids to know that I love them more than my business and my computer

for my kids to have summer vacations that include me

to be in pictures with my kids

to see the simple beauty in my life as it is

to have time for homework after school and not seem distracted by my email box

to sit on the couch at night with my husband and not worry about what needs to be done

to have a calm heart and a quiet mind


There is a lot to compare my life and my business up against. People are doing all kinds of cool things. The photography industry is moving at a mind-boggling speed.

We all want to know that we're doing the right thing. Of course, when we make choices those choices don't just affect us...they affect everyone around us...we hope they affect those people for the best.

I have a lot of butterfly days these days. And I really love them...

even if everything else just passes me by for now...


Thank you, Davina and Boothe. Thank you for reminding me what faith is and who I should be living my life for. I needed you both today.

And now, off I go, renewed and ready to work on having "a calm heart and a quiet mind".

Peace to you.

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{photographs taken this month, playing with a vintage camera and exploring a new hobby...I love them. LOVE them. That's my baby and his sweet daddy... Who could ask for more?}

Wednesday, March 18

It's Been a While, Craft and Cupcake Lovers...



Lots of LIFE living going on around here--- Lots of Mom Moments, lots of photography stuff, family visits.... Sicknesses and allergies... New recipes and the start of real Spring... And so it has been a while since I have shown anything crafty or cupcake-y here. Rest assured, though-- even amidst the bustle of all the other priorities in my life, I still manage to do a few little projects and make a few little treats now and again!

I have found that trying to maintain some of this balance is critical to me being a pleasant person to be around... That if I do too much photography, I lose the zest for it. If I am cooped up in my house with a teething, walking toddler for too many days in a row, I become a less-effective mama... And if I don't carve out even a few minutes every few days to make something with my hands, be it cupcakes or muffins (or PIE, my latest yummy dessert, made on 3.14, for obvious reasons...)... or sock critters... or altered books...or other handcrafted randomness... Well, I get edgy. Stressed. I feel TRAPPED, a little.

So, learning this about myself, I am working really hard to keep any one facet of my life from being TOO MUCH... so that every facet stays healthy. Lately, it seems to be working. (Oh beware contentment-- that's when life decides to pull the rug back out from under you!!)

Anyway, it has been fulfilling to realize, and to try to do something about. So without further rambling, I give you some girly cupcakes from a recent party. Vanilla with vanilla buttercream:




And next, let's talk about those sock monkey t-shirts you saw at the start of this post. First, let me say emphatically, this was NOT my idea. I wish it was, because it is BRILLIANT, but it is not. I first saw it on Target.com, when a friend tipped me off to its existence, HERE. Or to see a wider variety, click HERE. These adorable shirts are the brainchild of Julie Barger of Morfs Brand, Inc.. (You can view a quick video of her talking about her shirts HERE.)

Having said all that, and being as impressed with Julie as can be, I still couldn't justify the $40 price tag. Call me cheap, or call me innovative, I just KNEW I could make one of my own, and for a fraction of the cost... So that's what I set out to do. I bought Hanes T's from their website, bought Red Heel Socks from THIS website, and set to work figuring out how to make it happen on my own. It really wasn't too tricky, and after a little bit of work, I managed my very own Sock Monkey T-shirt:


And I was so tickled with the end result, I immediately got to work on a few more, for friends. Ta-Da!!:


So.... I think that takes care of my craft and baking quote for the next little bit... :)

I have been stitching up some other cute stuff lately, but have to keep it under wraps until the giftees get them... to keep the surprise. So stay tuned. I promise more crafty goodness in time!

For now, my other duties are calling, and it is time to get off the computer... Time to get my son out of bed and get on the floor for some good old-fashioned playtime.

'Til next time!

Monday, March 16

A Little Magic In Our Day (photo heavy!):

A little while ago, Noah and I had the best playdate with Ashley and her beautiful girls at
The Magic House, in St. Louis. This place was AMAZING. I hadn't been there since I first moved to STL in 2002-03, and SO MUCH fun stuff had been added. Ashley has a membership there and was able to score us some ticket, so we had a cheap, marvelous date!

{ Noah's new skill:}


{just kidding. ha-ha! I wrote that. He barely even wanted to STAY in that spot long enough to get a picture}


{The Water Room: Hands down, Noah's FAVORITE spot at the magic house:}

{Don't you love that "What'd I do?" face??}

{This gorgeous little girl is Hayden... Ashley's second daughter. Don't look too long. You might want to take her home with you!}



{How cool is this little spot in the Water Room? Even little ones can sit and splash! The other beauty in this photo is Abbey, Hayden's big sis}

{And then a few in the wooden play area... Boats, slides, "houses", barns, etc. etc....}





{Oh Hayden, stop with those blue blue eyes and those CHEEKS!}


{Exploring the teeny toddler ball pit:}


{War Cry. (Hi, Hayden in the background!)}



{What light switch is in YOUR house?}


{Oh, CUTE! a secret little mouse house! With its own light switch!}


{a closer peek:}


{The fishing pond}


{The Grocery Store}


{Do you see this, below?? He did this on his own, and only once. But I nearly burst with pride. My kid is so wise and observant in his everyday life!!}


{Oh, NOW I see where those girls get their eyes... their looks. Ashley, you are DARLING!}


{Gratuitous Noah Shots}



{And one last one of Ashley and her girls... SO cute!}

So.... Noah and I loved our Magic House adventure so much that I sent Joe back there a few days later so he could experience the fun with Noah... Joe reports that Noah made a beeline for that Water Room. Ha!

I think a membership is in our future.

(Thanks, Ashley, for such a fun afternoon!! I'm gonna mail you some pics, okay?)
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(And if anyone wants their photo session to take place here, I found some GREAT spots for GREAT photos, and I'd totally be up for a Magic House Session. Let me know!)