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:

Tuesday, August 31

I Do Wanna Write....

I have reams of stuff in my head all the time these days---- epiphanies I've been having about my life, ideas about how I want to change, observations and musings.... 
But it's terrible: Every time I have these writings in my head, I'm either driving, running/walking, going to sleep, or elbow-deep in Mom-Life with no real opportunity to sit and write... 

And then, tonight, when I might have something to say and the time to say it, Blogger killed my mojo by taking for-freaking-ever to load up. I swear, Blogger, you are on your last legs with me. I just need some help with my Wordpress and I am OUTTA here....

Anyway.... So.... There's nothing more to say tonight. I'm too irritated and over it. And I keep making these insane typos. (Did I ever tell you I type with two fingers a hand, staring at the keyboard the whole time? And I'm FAST at it... But not necessarily ACCURATE. It drives me NUTS.)

So... A new week.... Lots on my mind as usual---- thinking a LOT about work, sacrifice, faith, slowness, mindfulness, waiting and waiting.... Feeling like I am onto something REAL and lasting and new and good for me and my family....

LOTS of changes going on over here....

And never a time to really sit and WRITE write write....

So I'll share a few more sessions from the summer. I will get to the flower tutorial I have had on the back burner for a while... and I'll wait for the perfect moment of inspiration and TIME to get some of this stuff outta my head and into the universe. 

Some day. 

For now, I am TIRED. And sometimes I think no one reads this anymore anyway, 'cause I post too many sessions and not enough of MY life.... *shrug*

Oh well, a quandary for another time.

G'night.

Wednesday, August 25

Miss Ava-- 18 Months Old | St. Louis Baby and Child Photographer

I've had the privilege of photographing Miss Ava since she was 6 weeks old.... this pretty little thing is practically family to me now! :)

For her 18-month milestone, we went out to play, and made sure her lovely mama got in on the fun, too.

Cavato Family

Cavato Family

Cavato Family

Cavato Family

These next two are my favorite.... Such cute gals!
Cavato Family

Cavato Family

Cavato Family

Cavato Family

Cavato Family

Love when I get to see my clients over and over. Thank you, Joanna, for sticking around. I love that baby girl of yours!

Monday, August 23

Peach Jam.... Mmm!

I've been wanting to learn how to make jam for a while now... So I talked my mama into coming and showing me a few tricks and tips for making good old fashioned fruit jam.

We started with a bushel of Eckert's Orchard peaches:
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Then we boiled them while Mom showed me the instructions that are tucked into every box of pectin. She also warmed the jars in hot water so they'd be more ready for the hot jam we'd pour into them eventually.

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The boiling water and hot peaches get dumped into a cold bath of water. This makes the peaches SUPER easy to peel, cut and pit.

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(I loved working side-by-side with my mom. Love that lady!)

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The whole process gets a little gooey, but it's actually really fast, and way easier than I expected. 

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The big time-consuming task is the boiling of the pureed, blended fruit mixture. You stand and vigilantly stir and stir and stir... and wait and wait and wait for a rolling boil.

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When it is finally boiled just right, it goes right into the warm, dry jars... and while my mom has experimented with different ways to seal the jars for preserving them, including the hot water method, she has finally decided that turning the hot, lidded jam upside down to heat-seal it is the easiest way. And it has a pretty good success rate.

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In fact, as much as twenty minutes after we completed this thing, she'd break into the conversation and say, "Oh, one more just sealed! Did you hear the pop?"

And that was that! They sealed themselves and I had some lovely, homemade peach jam. 

TOTALLY satisfying, totally easy, and I cannot wait to go make some more. :) I'm thinking peach-raspberry... Or pink grapefruit marmalade... Or plum-pear.... The possibilities are endless! 

(Thanks, mama! Loved this!)

Emily's Whole Family | St. Louis Family Portrait Photographer

Emily was a former student of mine a few years ago. She was spunky, brilliant, and stylish, and she trusted me to take her senior portraits when it came time for that fun stuff. 
It's a couple of years later now, and she is a successful college girl now... and she decided to treat her mama to some family portraits as a Christmas gift this last year. What a COOL kid, right?? I'd LOVE that gift! 

We went out and played earlier this summer, and it was completely delightful to get to know the rest of her family as we went from spot to spot, playing, teasing, and snapping photographs.

Freund Family

Freund Family

Freund Family

Aw, cute siblings... :)
Freund Family

Seriously. Is she gorgeous, or what??
Freund Family

Freund Family

Freund Family

Freund Family

Freund Family

Freund Family

Freund Family

Emily, you're one of a kind, and this was a treat for me... to get to see you again, to capture your family's portrait.Thank you for giving my photography as a gift to your family. That's pretty dang cool. 

Friday, August 20

28 Days.


I want:

I want to make things with my hands.
I want to dip my feet in cold water at least once a day.
I want to make up stories to tell to my Noah.
I want to read good books, eat ripe, REAL tomatoes, and not worry about my hair.
I want to drive in the evening with the window down and lovely music playing.
I want to teach Noah to recognize bird calls.
I want to wear skirts all the time.
I want to have a pink streak in my hair.
I want to not have to book clients if I don’t want to.
I want to sing in a choral group.
I want to be better at my banjo.
I want to go to a matinee movie at least once a week.
I want to be moved to tears.
I want to hold new babies.
I want to sing harmony with someone.
I want to put away foolish desires—vain worldliness.
I want to keep eating more veggies and fruits.
I want to keep running.
I want to keep putting off the desire for sugar and starch and caffeine.
I want to meditate more.
I want to give back.
I want to be in the same room as my dear dear friends.
I want a week in a wintry cabin in the mountains with my loved ones.
I want to stretch.
I want to be slow… to be present…. To be mindful.
I want to make the things I envision in my mind.
I want a little farmhouse with a tire swing and fields and woods and a barn.
I want to listen to baseball games on the radio while lying on a porch swing in the evening.
I want to make jam.
I want a braid in my hair.
I want to laugh til I cry.
I want to have my family albums in my hands, done, and ready to enjoy.
I want more summer before my favorite fall creeps in.
I want to keep feeling this good, this at peace….

Thank you, 28 days. Thank you, those who knew of my journey and prayed for me. Thank you, Joe and Noah, for letting me try this. Thank you, God, for carrying me through it. Thank you, Self, for showing me that

“I am larger, better than I thought;  I did not know I held so much goodness.” (W.Whitman, Song of the Open Road)

Thank you.

*
(and now, because I can…. I must add that whole section of Walt Whitman’s poem, my utter favorite, the section that makes me bawl as I contemplate these past 28 days.

From Song of the Open Road, pt. 5

5

From this hour, freedom!
 
From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines, 
Going where I list, my own master, total and absolute,  55
Listening to others, and considering well what they say, 
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, 
Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.    

 I inhale great draughts of space; 
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.  60   

 I am larger, better than I thought; 
I did not know I held so much goodness.    

All seems beautiful to me; 
 I can repeat over to men and women, You have done such good to me, I would do the same to you.    

I will recruit for myself and you as I go;  65
I will scatter myself among men and women as I go; 
I will toss the new gladness and roughness among them; 
Whoever denies me, it shall not trouble me; 
Whoever accepts me, he or she shall be blessed, and shall bless me.)

*
Amen, amen, amen...

Thursday, August 19

Checking Back In: To Do List Conquered!

I promised I'd check back in after Monday's to-do list post, HERE. I did the stuff, even took the pics... but life barreled into craziness, and I never got time to get this stuff posted. We had all the crazy preparations for our family photos, then the actual three hour trip to Sedalia, MO for the photos, and the fun, madness, sweating, stress, mayhem, and crossed fingers of the actual production of getting our family photos taken (by the uber-talented, mama-of-SIX-kids(!!) and too-gorgeous-to-be-fair Kari Wright of Kari Wright Photography.) Needless to say, we needed all day today to recover from the adventure, so I am just now finally getting online to get my To-Do List Repost done. Okay. here we go.

On Monday, I wanted to make a batch of my Carrot Zucchini Pineapple muffins (recipe originally posted HERE--- my own tweaked version of a bread recipe I found.) I had FRESH pineapple to use instead of canned, and coming off of my 28-day Raw Food Challenge, I tried to make these healthier than usual by using all whole wheat flour, half the sugar, and using 1/3 less oil. Seriously--- they are so yummy, you can't even tell:

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Second on the list---- finally putting away the piles of folded clothes I've had scattered around my room from various laundry days. Here, they are all compiled into final piles and they DID make it to their dressers/closets/destinations. CLEAN ROOM! :) (In unrelated thoughts, this is our "not our real home" bedroom... and it is BORING me when I look at this photo. Maybe I need to invest in some fun big prints to post above our frameless bed... and some big, colorful throw pillows.. SOMETHING. I mean, we'll be in here for another 9 months. Why not?!)
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Number 3 and 4 on the list, packaging up client prints/books and mailing them:
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Items 5, 6, 7 on my list--- get a hair trim, get clothes for Noah, get a shirt for Joe--- done, done, done, but not photographed. Guess you'll have to wait for the family photos to be done. :) I WILL say that I ended up not finding any shorts for Noah, so I had to buy PANTS, nearly two sizes too big, and ALTER THEM. Crazy. Like I wasn't busy enough!?

Item 8:
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Item 9-- I was on a roll with the practice flower, so I got the actual flower headpiece done the same night. It is LOVELY, if I do say so myself. Totally inspired from an Etsy seller, so not my original idea, but hand cut, hand sewn, hand made, and I am in love with what I came up with. But again, you'll just have to wait for our photos to see the full piece. Here's a peek:

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And Item 10- We managed to get LOTS of playtime in with Noah... Including these:
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Noah spotted my "mustache-on-a-stick" I had made in my photo stuff and wanted to play... and then he even deigned to let me snap a few of him playing with it. Keeping the fun going, he wanted Mai to sport the mustache a bit (so cute!) and he helped me snap a few of Joe and myself as well. He LOVES taking photos! Cute kid. 

Anyhoo.... a good week so far. Crazy, busy, fulfilling, with a million ups and a very lovely long nap today to recover... 

Think I'll take tomorrow easy, too. Yeah. Sounds perfect.

Wednesday, August 18

One BIG Family | St. Louis Family Children's Photographer

My main reason for going to Oregon this spring was to surprise my dear friend Kate with photos of her sweet neices and nephews as a "thank you" for being so willing to let us move into her home for the time we've been here. For the money she saved us, and the peace this brought us, it seemed a tiny price to pay to fly out and gift her with a ton of special photos. It's all I had to give.... 

And it ended up being such a neat visit. Her sisters rallied and kept the secret, while gathering as many of her VERY LARGE family to one place at one time. It was impressive. And because of their efforts, I was able to photograph 90% of her VERY LARGE family. What a miracle. What a treat! Enjoy a few of my favorites:

Spencer Family

Spencer Family

Spencer Family

Spencer Family

Spencer Family

This is Kate. Isn't she beautiful???

Spencer Family

Spencer Family

Spencer Family

Spencer Family

Spencer Family

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And did I mention they were a VERY LARGE family?? Kate is one of EIGHT kids, and many of those kids have kids of their own now. 

What a wild, raucous, wonderful group--- I am so honored to have gotten to meet most of them! 

(Love you, Kate. Thank you for your home. We are thriving here.)

Tuesday, August 17

Pricing Guide Information


 Please email Emily at: southerlandgirl @ yahoo.com  for more information and to schedule a session.