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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Me:

Me:

Wednesday, September 30

Briefly: On Chewing Gum in Bed

Blog reader Office-To-Aprons, this is for you
(And may I know your first name, if you get feelin' crazy?):

So, yes. I chew gum in bed. It started when I was pregnant and would get SO thirsty at night. I'd wake with the WORST cotton mouth, and lumber out of bed to get a drink of water. But, and maybe this is just me, having that drink of water then would only make my mouth DRIER later in the night. So, inevitably, I'd wake AGAIN and need ANOTHER drink, and so on and so forth. It was a terrible catch 22. It's like when you lick your lips because they're dry. Wetting them feels good momentarily, but then the saliva dries them out further, so you lick them again. Which dries them out so you lick them again. Ya know?

So.

I finally got so tired of lumbering out of bed to drink water (and then, inevitably, to pee), that I popped a piece of Trident one night... And ya know what? That little piece of gum kept my mouth all saliva-y all night.

So to answer your questions, all:
1. No it doesn't ever get in my hair. I must just have more control now as an adult than we did as kids.
2. I never choke on it. Some nights, I even totally swallow it without knowing and in the morning, NO GUM. But never a choking spell.
3. Yep, I wake up in the morning, chew it a couple more times, then throw it in the bathroom trash when I get up.
4. Yes, I know it is weird, and maybe even a little crazy. But I love it. It was a perfect solution to my weird little problem.

The end.

We Love Gittin' Our Picture Took:

I have been SO excited to share these photos here on me bloggie. This summer when we went out to Utah, I begged my bessie Kate to let me hire her for a little family session. I asked her to break out my favorite backdrop/couch from her stash, set up her lights, the whole deal-- and make us look like stars. She was so sweet to fit us in, and even managed to make us look GREAT!

I ADORE these images. LOVE the interactions, love that we look so polished (It's all a ruse-- we are slobby, chubby, overly casual schmucks in real life. Seriously! ha!) I love the highly stylized set. And mostly-- I love that we have KATE BENSON images to put on our walls. She is so fabulous. I aspire to be as good as her one day. (kiss kiss, Kate)...

I love them so much that I am threatening Joe with the possibility of printing these images into WALLPAPER and plastering our living room with them. Good idea? No? Okay, maybe just a BIG PRINT or two. (Or six.)

Okay, enough raving-- come see how hot we are:{isn't my child perhaps the most handsome boy you've ever seen? EVER?}



{and isn't my hubster HOT?}

{and aren't I the luckiest girl in the world??}


Seriously. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

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And.... LOVING the response to my contest! You guys still have two or three days if you think you might wanna play... Even if the prize is kinda lame, the game itself is fun! And if you get bored and have a minute, go check out the comments and the folks who have already played along. I am loving everyone's replies!! So cool to "get to know" many of you! Keep 'em coming...

Friday, September 25

Time For a Contest!

Who else ADORES autumn? Can I get an AMEN??? Oh I am SO in love with this time of year... Love the colors, the smells, the energy, the activities, the colors... all of it. ALL of it!

Makes me wanna, oh, I dunno, spread the joy. Share the love. Wanna see what I'm giving away?

Wanna see the fun little pieces of autumn I want to share because I love them so much? Okay... Okay.... Here is what I'm offering ya:

Okay, minus the actual pumpkin... Just sayin'.
Pumpkin Butter? Carmel apple pancake mix? Pumpkin spice kisses? Oh YUM... Yum!!!

Oh, and I forgot to tuck in the $10 Starbucks gift card. Ooooops!!!! That is included too. I promise.

But there's a little game involved. I wanna do a photo scavenger hunt. Not a tricky one. I am going to give you a list of 10 photos to take. Choose 8 of the 10 photos and go find something to photograph that fits the bill. When you have them, I want you to blog them. Then leave a comment here with a link so I can go peek. And if you don't have a blog, you can email me instead. If you email me, still post a comment here so I can have one list of participants. Next Friday, I will pick a winner randomly from everyone who played.

As for the photos, don't stress. They don't have to be gorgeous, or a specific thing. You can interpret the guidelines however you want. It is just a fun game to make you think outside the box a little, and tell us something about yourself in a visual way. I'm excited to see what you come up with!

First, the list. Pick 8 of the following ten to try:
1. Something you need every single day
2. Something you once lost, but finally found
3. A happy place in your house
4. Something you ate today
5. A picture of a picture
6. A favorite book
7. Something "Fall-y"
8. Your favorite color
9. Something from your childhood
10. Something from your to-do list

Look the list over, and ponder what you might do to fulfill the requirement. Really think about it a bit and get your OWN ideas... Because I'm gonna show you MY examples below, and I am so happy if they help you, but I also would love to see your own twist to the game.

Feeling excited to get going? So was I! Okay, here is what I came up with this afternoon:

{oh, my PHONE. It isn't fancy like all you iPhone users out there... but I get email and Twitter from it and I talk to my girlfriends and family when I am feeling isolated in my SAHM life, and I pretty much have it near me always.}


{remember the pinking shears I mentioned? Yay! Found them!! But not before I took Miss Emily L. up on her offer to lend me hers... So THANK YOU, Emily!!}


{mmm... my pillows.... my comforter... my hubs.... Sleep.... HAPPY!}


{Aldi generic cereal? A mainstay in my house! Mostly for late-night snacks!}


{This is my latest BIG print... Love my baby who isn't much of a baby anymore... LOVE photographs in my home.}


{This whole row of books are dear to me, and closest to my nightstand for easy access...LOVE inspiring books that help me know myself better...}


{Morning Art with Noah-- we did owls and he did the eyes. We've also bee working on pumpkins. LOVE showing him Fall through art projects...}


{red and turquoise... Also, I love green and orange. And any combo of the four. LOVE.}


{This silly "treasure box" was in my storage room... I had gotten it out a couple of years ago for another art project, and it never got fully put away. So it was perfect for this shot. This is from when I was about 10 or 11.}


{The contents are fascinating to me, and utterly delightful. I think I'll blog some details about it later. I took more photos for it....}


{Ah, that storage room... Mostly organized, but getting blurry around the edges. One good hour and I can have it back in ship-shape. Just need to make that hour happen....}


Okay.... There it is. Photo scavenger hunt. Cell phone photos count! One week to submit your entry. If you blog it before Friday, tell your friends they can come play, too! I'd love to see a TON of these!

Go, have fun! Get snappin'!

Hello, Cute Packaging... :)


I don't think I've ever introduced my cute packaging to the blog-folk... And since I am once again blogging too late in the PM to get more photos ready, I am going to just post these for a minute. Because I LOVE packaging up prints to give to my clients. Inside these lovely boxes are heavy-duty envelopes in both red and aqua, in varying sizes depending on their contents. Red or aqua tissue paper lines the whole thing. And cute labels and stickers pull it all together.
I worked for endless hours coming up with just the right "look" for this part of my business-- finding the right vendors, the right quality of items, the perfect colors-- and I am so proud of it.

I believe that my photographs are art-- real life captured in print, meant to be cherished forever. And since they are art, I believe they deserve to be presented like a beautiful gift for their future owners.

I love being able to show my clients without word how much I value their time and their beloved images.

Have you been a lucky recipient of one of these lovely packages? Did it feel special to get to open it? That's my goal...

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Anyhoo...

Tomorrow, I have a contest hatching. And some fun photos to go along with it. Come visit me and get ready to play along... Sound good?

Good night!

Wednesday, September 23

Oopsie!

I let a week slip by without posting... dang California and its cornucopia of delights! I am not here to linger tonight... Just to say hi. Check in. I promise a more visual post tomorrow. For now, a freewrite of randomness:

Trip Report: We got home on Monday night late, and we are all still recovering. Noah has been sleeping almost three extra hours each day to make up for lost sleep from the trip. It has been amazing to witness. As for CA, it was an INCREDIBLE trip. I cannot say enough about what a perfect vacation it was. Holy cow. The people, the places, the food, the synergy, the karma, the smooth transitions.... It was remarkably easy to relax and just enjoy being somewhere else. I LOVED it. Photos to come. Really.

Tonight: I have been back in the work groove, editing a baby session and sorting a senior session. I watched some of Season 2 of The Tudors (love!), and drank a Fitz's Orange Cream Soda. Joe was evil and bought Double Stuf Oreos (my Achilles heel of junk food), so I also got to have a few (or a million) of those to fuel my work.

Things I have been doing in addition to work since returning:
WIC appointment, dishes, recovering, reading (I'm reading The Time Traveler's Wife. LOVED the film, and I am loving the book!), babysitting (I got to go babysit a friend's two kiddos today. It felt so good to be able to do something for someone else... :)), making art, baby photo session, emailing for work and for pleasure, phone chats with Beckie/Mel/Mom/Steven/Kirsti ( ya miss me? Call me!), unpacking, avoiding the piles still left to deal with, enjoying the tinge of color to the September trees, smooching Joe....

Things I should do the rest of this week: Finish ATC cards. Find or buy pinking shears. Post MC Dr apt (ugh), temple, Beckie/Mom/Dad visit, finish two more sessions, photograph a family session, grocery shopping, put away rest of stuff, take out a BIG trash/goodwill load, Morning Art with Noah, package two print orders, haircut (?), blog with PHOTOS, etc. etc....

What I am going to do now: turn off this computer, brush teeth, change into jammies, pop a piece of Trident (yes, I sleep with gum in my mouth. It is weird. I know. But I love it.) , plug in my cell phone, read some "TTW" (see above), curl up on my right side, sleep....

Til later.... Adios!

Wednesday, September 16

A Birthday Campout For Joe

It was coming up quickly on Joe's birthday, and I was at a complete loss. He was turning 30-- a big year-- and yet he kept saying he didn't need a big deal made out of it. He gave me an easy out by saying we could just go out for a nice dinner and call it good. But I just kept feeling that something as monumental as **30** deserved at least a little more fanfare and OOMPH than just a little dinner somewhere. So I began brainstorming. Hatching plans.

And out of nowhere, the perfect little celebration idea took root. I'd surprise him with an impromptu, spontaneous camping trip. In the middle of the week. Complete with Noah and myself and s'mores and tinfoil dinners and everything. I'd get everything together in secret, wait for him to go to school on his birthday, and then frantically load the car and get it all tucked away and hidden... so that when he got home from classes, I could just throw him and Noah int eh car and begin driving-- not telling him where we were headed.

It worked out BEAUTIFULLY. Forget about my fears that A.) he'd figure it out B.) it'd be terrible weather C.) Noah would not sleep well in the tent (his first camping trip!)... None of that happened! Joe was completely flabbergasted and overjoyed once he finally figured it out (I made it all the way to the campground before he caught on!). The weather was GORGEOUS. And Noah? He was incredible. He slept like a dream from the time we put him to bed (a bit late, at 9:00 pm), until the morning.

It was a small little getaway-- Just from 4pm Wednesday night until 10am Thursday morning... But is was PERFECT. Tinfoil dinners, chocolate vanilla tinfoil cupcakes-baked-in-an-orange for dessert, s'mores, a crackling campfire... And the silliest, most kitschy CampResort you could imagine, complete with minigolf and a pool... So that we could step away from "roughing it" to have a little "resort fun" here and there. The resort is called "Camp Jellystone", and yep, it is totally Yogi Bear themed... It was a hoot!

But enough of the telling... On to the showing!
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(If you've been reading my blog, you'll know that one of my biggest stresses is fining/making time to edit and polish my own personal photos. For this set, I MADE time for it. MADE myself sort them right away and edit them during Noah's nap. It felt GREAT! Hence, the massive quantity of images about to follow. Forgive me!! :))
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First, the "Resort".... See how silly??

Then a bit of swimming.... As the sun set. It was glorious!


After swimming, we headed to our campsite in the setting sun to get the fire going and get dinner started...


Our campsite, and a VERY fascinated and happy little toddler, who didn't lose sight of his "lamby" the entire trip!:

Morning, and a beautiful sunrise and symphony of birds greeting us...

And how lucky am I to have such a good-looking, sweet, loving family?? My baby, my hubby.... Both the best things in my life... LOVE these shots of us, even in our non-fancy state.

And while I'm at it, let me say that tomorrow is Joe's and my wedding anniversary. FIVE YEARS. Five! So crazy to me, because it seems like we just met in some ways, and like we've never been apart in other ways. Joe centers me like no one else can, and his unconditional love makes me feel overcome with gratitude.

I love this man.

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And what are we doing to celebrate our anniversary, you ask?

We are hopping on a plane tomorrow morning, PAINFULLY early, with our kiddo and my camera, and flying to sunny Southern California! And yes, I am actually going to do five photo sessions... But we loosely planned the trip around our anniversary and Joe's birthday so that we could bring Noah and go to Disneyland and make it a VACATION and not just a quick work-trip for me.

So for the next five days, we Southerlands are outta here... Gonna find some sun, some beaches, some Mickey Mouse, and take a zillion photos-- not just of my fabulous clients (Hi girls! Cannot WAIT!), but of my fabulous little family and Noah's first time at Disneyland.

So leave me a favorite memory of YOUR trip to Disneyland/World or CA to get me even more excited, m'kay? :)

Oh, man... it's 9pm. I gotta go finish packing! Yipes!

Tuesday, September 15

My First Class of '10 Senior! | St. Louis Senior Photographer |








Beautiful AND spunky? A perfect combo! (And Lisa is the current "Valley of Flowers" Queen, and the tiara/bubblegum shot was completely HER contribution. Love that girl!)

I think this is gonna be an AWESOME senior season, if Lisa is any indication of how it's going to go... :)

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