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... :)

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Us:

Us:

Friday, May 29

{PSSST...}

1. Take a moment and get off Google Reader. Click to my actual blog.
2. Take a gander at my new set-up!! I am SO excited for the facelift!!
(I'm nearly done, but I still have a few links to add to my link list, and a few other wrinkles to iron out...Feedback? Suggestions?)
3. Enjoy the random posts I've posted lately
4. And if you're NOT subscribed to my blog yet.... why not? Go to the bottom of the page and subscribe! :)

Thursday, May 28

Loving The Minutae: Rediscover Everyday Details

Note to Self:
When feeling restless or discontent (or trapped by the gloomy weather/overwhelming work load/dark side of your creative nature), get back to the basics and look for joy in the everyday details. And if the kiddo naps long enough, take some photos of those details to remind yourself later of the beauty in the minutia of your day...











The quote I rediscovered:

"We are succulent with our shredded fantasies, our unread books, our misguided perfectionism, our hiding in bed eating rows of cookies, or neurotically running to and away from things.

We are succulent

JUST LIKE THIS.

Just the way we are now."

~ SARK

Wednesday, May 27

Lovely Laura {St. Louis Senior High School Photographer}







Laura, spunky senior, let me have a little fun... Let me do a few things MY way...
Let me use my felt/hotglue/popsicle stick "mustache on a stick" on her. Let me pull out a few costume accessories.

Love her! (Love those blue blue eyes!)

Sunday, May 24

Lots of Random Musings...


I feel pensive and introspective this weekend... Not sure where it is stemming from. Maybe in the relatively slower pace of this weekend compared to the last several? No photo shoots until June (LOVE this break! I get to catch up editing all the May sessions I managed to cram into the first two weeks of the month... 13 left!)... Joe at work or sleeping most of the weekend... No big plans to BE anywhere beyond the usual-- playground here and there, church on Sundays...

Just-- feels like the pace has slowed a bit, and my poor brain has time to catch up.

And I find myself thinking about a LOT of things... fleetingly, cursorily, not deep enough to effect GREAT CHANGE... But enough to bring on a sense of sadness/yearning/melancholy/curiosity about the past, the present, the future... Enough to make me WISH I was at a place where I might be ready to effect GREAT CHANGE.

For now, though, I suppose it is good that these thoughts are taking root, even if they haven't the time or the energy to really blossom.

A few of these musings:

* I've outgrown this home... This Mason Attic. It has been a lovely, PERFECT nest for my little family just starting out-- 100-year-old hardwood floors, tall ceilings, big bright windows, a vintage feel to the whole place... Living in a Masonic Lodge like Rapunzel tucked in the top of the tower... A place to figure out who I am as a wife... as a mother... BUT. Life is getting too big for this home now. And my age old yearning for that farmhouse is flooding back in full-force. I need space. I need shade trees and a picnic table where I can use my vintage linens. I need a real kitchen with real counter space where I can make jams and jellies and cookies and fresh salsa and mozzarella caprese... I need an herb garden and a tomato garden and hydrangea bushes. I need a hammock. And a little trickling creek for my baby to throw rocks into... float paper boats down.

And though those acres of rolling hills are still so far away... at least I can hope for a place beyond this attic with a little more room--- where I can have an art nook that isn't right in the middle of the living room... Where I can at least have more counter space....

As it is, we have only one year left here (and that is still one year more than we had planned!)... So SOMETHING'S gotta give by next year.

* I've lost some of the woman I discovered so passionately a decade ago... In a time where I was done with foolish things and ready to learn who I really was, I sought authenticity in everything-- I discovered that I loved vintage, not new... I discovered that I loved deep, rich books... I discovered independent film and folk music and altered art and brightly colored walls and photography and journals. I discovered opera. Italy. San Francisco. Mosaics. Repurposing. Became a foodie. An adventurer. Found true conversion. Deep friendships.

It was an incredible time. Felt like it at the time, of course... But even looking at it through the lens of memory, it really was a Renaissance. and Awakening. For an incredible span of time, I knew exactly who I was and what I was and what I wanted.

And it's not that it is all GONE.... Just.... some of it is not ACTIVE anymore. Dormant. Gone forever? Does this mean I cannot claim for myself these missing facets anymore? Not right now? I have had to forgo adventure in favor of stability for my family. I have had to put away the layered, taped, colorful, deep journals in favor of a more convenient blog... for the sake of time. I have not picked up my banjo to truly LEARN in over three years. I have no more room for thrift store treasures and "someday projects" in this teeny attic space.

So. Where does that leave me? How might I redefine myself today, with so much of what I KNEW to be true about me gone right now? Ten years ago, I had TIME to explore my authenticity. Today? I get it in bits and pieces, in flashes of epiphany that soon fade back into a necessary moment of parenting or working or..... whatever is REQUIRED of me right then.

* Is this what adulthood is destined to be?

Is this why older folks begin to have regrets? Feel they've wasted their lives?

I'm not in that place. YET. But I begin to see how a person might get there. When you are 24 and you see your bad habits and recognize the need for change, you have your whole life to get it figured out. If you haven't perfected it by 24, you still have the confidence that you WILL perfect it. You have time.

And then suddenly your 34. And you STILL haven't perfected it. And life has gotten infinitely more complicated with a husband and children and mortgage and loans and....... And you begin to panic-- will you ever PERFECT these old habits you once thought you had all the time in the world to deal with?

And then you're 44. And time is running out. And you are TIRED. And maybe even a bit jaded (though I swore I'd NEVER get jaded. Never never never.)... And health issues hold you back. Or loss. Or an unstable economy... Or whatever... And now? Those habits are ingrained and it is likely they will never change. Not now. Not with your energy levels ever fading...

And.... this is what my mind has been musing on. Who am I right now? Will I ever conquer my own flaws? Will I even WANT to by the time I have time? And of course.... how can I make things happen NOW, in spite of circumstances that conspire to hold me back? Or else.... how can I find peace with life NOW, without feeling like I am just content for the sake of laziness?

.....Ahh..... This was more than I thought I'd write. Ha! But there you go. Here is what my mind has found time to drift to this weekend. Thoughts of then. Thought of now. Thoughts of someday.

And please don't mistake me. Anyone who truly knows me knows I love my little life, just as it is. I feel joy MUCH more than I feel discontent. For the most part, I know who I am in this moment, and know that most of who I am is GOOD.

But.... as my little one clamors for my attention as I try desperately, quickly, too-hurriedly to finish this silly, rambling post, I know I have taken too much time for my OWN pursuits just now... And it isn't my luxury at this point in my life to be able to delve deeply and richly into my own pursuits, be they artistic, philosophical, cosmopolitan, or other...

My job is to get out of my head, get off the computer, and tend to this little one. To nurture HIS mind and HIS soul so that he can one day have epiphanies of his own.

My job is to try to fit in my own changes and growth in between the mothering and marriage and all the other parts of me right now....

So.

Off I go.

My little man needs some quality, get-on-the-floor-and-wrestle Mama time.

Happy Memorial Day, all... here's to deep thinking being able to reconcile with everyday living.

Blessings to all...

Thursday, May 21

Baby in a Basket { St. Louis Baby Photographer }

Sweet Berkeley, nearly ready to crawl... This is the PERFECT age for photos because little ones have SO much personality, but can't escape my relentless lens. I love it! and I love this kiddo. She was my beautiful newborn HERE, and I cannot believe how time has flown since then...

I mean, LOOK at her! All soft, cute, pink, roll-y bright-eyed baby!

Like the mop cap? Made it myself. I'd been haunted by a vision of this photo shoot--- rustic basket, classic mop cap, deep woods.... and HAD to make it happen. And rather than scour the web for a hat, I figured I could finagle one myself... So I used Noah's head for measurements and whipped this up without a pattern... and it worked like a dream!!

And this next photo--- I had to include. Because Berkeley is just about the BEST-natured kiddo EVER. She is so chill and so perky and so happy to just be wherever she is put.

Except when she's NOT. And when she gets upset, her FROWN is nearly too cute to handle. Her entire mouth turns completely upside down and she looks like a cartoon! It is so sad and so adorable!
Goodness! Too much!

And since I had already brought the whole family out for the shoot, we had to grab a quick family shot... Isn't Berkeley's big sister a beauty? Aren't her parents cute?

Now if only we could have avoided the CHIGGERS that resulted from traipsing all over this wild meadow... *sigh*

But it's a price I am willing to pay for photos like THIS:

Love them! Thanks, Andi, for letting my "baby in a mop cap" vision come to life! Thanks, Berkeley, for being a good sport!

Wednesday, May 20

My Facebook Status Reads:


So... If I'm slow coming back to blog, it is because I am trying to find my center again after a whirlwind two months... April and May, you have kicked my BUTT.

But in a good way. a GREAT way. I am living a life I have NO complaints about, except for maybe the missing magic cleaning fairy or the in-home masseuse. I mean, Noah is a STINKER sometimes, but he is the best part of my day, too. I get Joe around SO much, and he is a WONDERFUL dad and hubs. I am doing something I love and that creatively challenges me, and I am getting PAID for it. And much of it can be done in my pajamas, listening to my favorite music on iTunes.


So what if there are moments I want to scream and run away from the


a.) bills
b.) toddler whining
c.) weight I need to lose
d.) sixteen shoots waiting for editing


There is too much else GOOD to let those things get me too down.


So off I go to keep working on my attitude adjustment.
Thanks for waiting for me!

(P.S. I currently have my Facebook set to "Pirate English" for its language default. It makes me happy EVERY SINGLE TIME I get on there. So if the "Make Yer Mark" or "Arr, This Be Pleasin' to Me Eye" confused you, there it is. )

Friday, May 15

The Travelling Photographer: See Ya On The Other Side!


I'm off to Washington DC in the morning.... Six sessions in less than three days. Cute kids, fun families, new settings, and a chance to see some amazing people.

I am loving that I have this opportunity. Thanks, DC Girls.

See the rest of you on Monday!

Wednesday, May 13

Blessed:

Blessed beyond measure to have the life I have. It may not look like much to the outside-- we are dirt poor and living in the attic of a Mason Lodge... We are not beautiful. We are not "successful". We don't have glamor or fame or acclaim.

But we have so very very much...


We have incredible families. Many many siblings of deep creativity and intelligence and devotion. Parents who not only set an incredible example for us in our childhoods, but who also give incredible support and love to us as we learn how to be parents ourselves.

We have incredible friends. Joe, with his age-old network of beloved friends he's know longer than he can remember... and me with my girls. My Utah girls (even if you aren't even in Utah anymore!), my ELW girls... my "email girls"... My local girls... my 10th grade geometry girl... INCREDIBLE. The most incredible pillow of love and support and concern and safe havens. I THRIVE in these relationships.

I am blessed with the yearning to make pretty things... whether it be photographs (my current incarnation), or writings or crafties or paintings... whether it be with glue or clay or fabric... I have a deep well of creative resources that I am blessed to be able to delve into to feed my thirst. I grow through the creative agonies I experience and push through. I bring a little simple beauty to our life with the things I make.I am blessed to have the opportunity to be a mother. Oh, what a rich, endless, unfathomable blessing. To be given the stewardship of this little man, and his brilliant mind, and his creative, stubborn, strong SELF. To get to be home with him while still doing a little something to help our family out financially. To get to sing to him every day and pray with him every night and hold him and breathe him and watch him move so far, so fast. Oh, my heart sings to know I am really and truly a mother.

I am blessed to be married to my best friend-- the man with infinite patience to my frenzied, moody life-passion. The man who listens to the same things over and over, and still finds something new and kind to say to talk me back down. The man who was born to be a father, and whose son knows it to his core. The man who is finding his own passion and exploring his own worth as we travel this road together. The man who makes me feel as beautiful as a queen, no matter what.
I am blessed to have faith. To have a relationship with my Father in Heaven and His Son. I am blessed that He is, if possible, even more infinitely patient with me than my sweet husband. I am blessed that I KNOW families are forever, and I get to be with mine, from my grandparents down to my grandkids, for eternity. I am blessed that each day is a new chance to try to be better-- to learn to overcome my mistakes. To become more like my beloved Older Brother. I am blessed that I can share this BIG FAITH with my own children.

I am blessed. My life is truly joy-full. Wonder-full. And in the midst of the rush, the business, the emails, the tantrums, the bills, the phone calls, the tiffs, the diapers, the colds and flus, the bug bites, the insecurities, the jealousies, the inadequacies, the worries, the mood swings, the traffic, the headaches, the few extra pounds, the anxieties...........In the midst of all of this, it only take a moment to stop, breathe, and remember I am blessed.
{Photos by my generous friend Jodie, of Jodified Photography. This last one is already up on my wall.
Black digital vintage frames by Katie Pertiet.}

Tuesday, May 12

Three Best Friends {St. Louis Senior Photographer}

I had a fun session the other week-- one of my former students, now a beautiful senior, asked if she could do her senior photo session with her two best friends alongside. Three full sessions, just done at the same time. Of COURSE, I said! What fun! I mean, can you imagine anything more fun than playing dress-up with your closest friends, letting loose, playing "supermodel", sharing clothes, and just having a good time?

So we met up one morning and the three girls and I had a great time, each taking turns in the same spots, each teasing and encouraging each other. What we ended up with were mirroring session images-- everyone got a little of the same-- but completely different personalities shining through.

And of course, it didn't hurt that these three best friends were gorgeous! They ROCKED their session! Check them out!

Abby


Christina


Jessica

...can you tell I ADORE these colored walls?

We did get a TON of other photos in other locations... And maybe I 'll post a few of those in a little while... But I was in LOVE with these candy-colored walls and the way they made these girls' beautiful eyes come ALIVE... So that's what I decided to share here. The colors. The close-ups... the EYES!

*

Thanks, girls, for such a clever session idea and for being such fun to work with. You are all stunning!

Sunday, May 10

For Mother's Day...




My first macaroni necklace...

just a tangible, nostalgic, tender reminder that I am doing exactly what I was meant to do in life. And I love it.

*

Happy Mother's Day to ALL you women-- moms, grandmoms, daughters, aunts, nieces, friends, teachers, nurturers... This day is for you all.

Saturday, May 9

Class of 2010: Listen Up!


Got your attention? Juniors, it might feel early to be thinking about your senior portraits already, but actually, this is the perfect time. Your current seniors are graduating and you are about to take on the title for yourselves. With all the expenses of your senior year, it just makes good sense to plan to take your senior portraits in the summer before your senior year.

In fact, if you book a session with me for the summer or fall in the next three weeks, there's a contest for you:


So start thinking about photos NOW, and email me SOON! Once I receive a deposit from you, if you make it by June 1st, you are entered to win!

And we can begin planning the good times we'll have at your session.

So what are you waiting for??

*

Thursday, May 7

Bella in Pink ... | St. Louis Children's Photographer |






Oh Bella, Bella.... Be still my heart. You make the longing in me for a daughter of my own so intense that I might not survive another son! You're a vision in pink tulle and flowers and smocking and bows, and it was a singular pleasure to fulfill the girly side in me through you!

What a fun session! Beth, she is AMAZING, and I cannot wait to see you again for your family shots!

***

On a more personal note, it was so cool to "meet" some of my silent readers through the comments on my last post. I think my musings struck a chord, and if you haven't already, go back and read dome of the incredible comments that were left. It is a fascinating discussion-- WHY we blog... And something I am still working through. I want to post again about it soon... I have some additional thoughts to add. Until then, thank you for coming out to share your stories, and in some cases, to introduce yourselves. It made my day!! I needed to hear from you all!