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:

Monday, May 30

Day 18 Was April 29. No One Ever Accused Me of Being TOO Prompt. Heh.

On day 18 I wanted to try some strong black-background shots of the bebe. We started with a swaddle... The "insurance shot", ya know...

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(The swaddle is "default setting" for Lucy: she is swaddled for nearly every nap, and all night. So during these first 30 days, anticipating a mini-photo session, I'd get her down to her diaper and then get her all swaddled and ready for lunch/nap. Then when she was good and asleep, she'd already be ready for her session!)

After the "insurance shot", a few of the ones I was envisioning-- Just baby and black:

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I love the "almost waking up" squishy face!

But then my good girl went back to sleep:
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And having accomplished my photo goal for the day, and my good sleeper still sleeping, and Noah not napping himself and pestering me to take pictures of him, too... I scrambled for a second setup. Reswaddled the bebe, in cream this time, added a wee bow, and grabbed the cool shag rug that is destined for Lucy's nursery eventually. 
Then I cajoled and teased Noah into giving me the photos *I* wanted, not just the ones HE wanted. 

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Sibling Shots? Checked OFF the checklist! Woo hoo!!

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Thanks, Noah!

(If I remember correctly, this was one of the few days I did Lucy's photos before Noah's nap time, so he was around and underfoot. He'd pass the time going in and out of the screen door of our sun room/makeshift studio room, trying to sneak sticks past me into the house [family rule: you can keep sticks, but they stay OUTSIDE.]... He'd come check on my progress, sing along to the Primary songs I was usually singing to keep Lucy and myself chilled out.... He'd whisper his questions to me in a sweet attempt to help me keep her asleep... He'd try to get me to agree to all kinds of things he wanted to do, probably detecting I was distracted... And for the most part he was pesky, but in the sweetest possible way. I kind of really enjoyed having him around on those few days.)
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(I am so sorry this 30-day thing is dragging out so long! Blah! I promise I'm working to get them all done and posted so we can move forward. Y'all are probably sick of the little lady, eh?)

Saturday, May 28

Miss Lucy, Day 17...

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What I love:
the flaky newborn hands
the little bow, one of dozens hand tied by my friend Sarah
the stripe-y sweater sleeve
her alert eyes, newborn grey
her clutching hands, fisted and tiny
her between-brow wrinkle, always maker her look a bit mad, or like she just woke up
those lips!
pink

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And if you're keeping track, I'm more than halfway done editing and posting the 30 Days of Lucy project! Want a recap? You're gonna love this!

From days 1,2,3 (all hospital snapshots), to day 6 (Lucy's FreshArt newborn session), and all the mama-shot minisessions in between, here is Lucy, day 1 through day 16:



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Now let's go forth and have a marvelous Memorial Day weekend. I am going to paint the baby girl's nursery, and I have my first photo session back after my maternity leave... And Monday is the Gypsy Caravan and maybe the U. City fair, if we have the stamina.... 

Enjoy your three-day weekend!

Tuesday, May 24

A Little Help?

A little help, if you please...

I bought the cutest upcycled wool diaper cover/soaker a couple of months ago, in anticipation of Lucy's arrival. It was so cute in the photos, and one-of-a-kind--- I couldn't wait to feature it in one of her newborn shots.

But.

First, Lucy was so tiny after coming home from the hospital, and then she stayed tiny... so it never really fit in her first 30 days.

Second, and more importantly, um... the proportion has turned out to be a little.... odd. I'm not sure what to do with this issue.

Let me show ya:

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Cute, but.... what do I do with this? It's SO high-water! I bought this purely for show, and am not a cloth-diaperer... so maybe I'm missing something in the reasoning for the high-waisted design. Perhaps it is functional from a cloth-diapering standpoint?

So help. What do I do? How can I use this photographically? Is a baby going to be cute in this without the onesie and just the cover on? Do I roll the waist down (but lose that cute button detail)?

Give up on it as a photo prop and just use it for functionality?

Any thoughts are totally appreciated!

But while we're here, why not enjoy a few more snaps from Lucy's brief "cheerful time" today?

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She's six weeks old this very day. They say the fussy/colicky phase peaks around now, so I am crossing every finger and toe that she is going to be on the upswing of cheerfulness and self-sustaining calmness soon. I could use a break from the constant holding/soothing... I mean, it's fun to cuddle a sleepy newborn... But this has been rough, too. There're a lot of times I'm not holding a sleepy babe, but a screamy one. It's draining.

But every day we get at least one or two small windows of calm, alert cuteness...

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And I LIVE for those moments.

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and Noah and I try to excavate pockets of our old life out of this new one, and I truly cherish my moments with just him more than I ever imagined I would. I love that kid.

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(Like that sling across my chest? It's a lifesaver when I have to tend to the boy... Plop the baby in there, whether she likes it or not, and have two hands to make a peanut butter sandwich/wipe a face/change a diaper/pick up a mess)....

We are managing. And still making it from good moment to good moment and enduring through the rocky ones. It's all good.

Well... that's all today... I wasn't planning this post, but then I was changing the babe's diaper and saw those wool soakers and decided to put them on now that they fit, and the rest sort of happened... I laughed at the odd waistline, decided to grab a few pics while she was calm, and here we are. An unplanned, but kinda fun candid post. And the babe is sleeping in my arms this very minute, so I have time to get this posted. La la la. Random.

To close, let me show you the cutest little taggie toy Lucy got as a baby gift from a girl in our ward. It is the cutest thing ever. And Lucy actually stared at it with interest today. She'd growing up, that  bugger is. 

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Okay... I'm out. Going to use the rest of Lucy's and Noah's naptime to try to edit more 30Days pics... time like this is precious.

And get back to me on those wool soakers, will ya? I need to know what you'd do with them. :)

Monday, May 23

Fifteen and Sixteen.

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Day 15 was a day I decided to nap instead of shoot.... The baby is really good at being sleepy and moldable in the afternoon, and it's the time my toddler naps, too... so it's often the time I shoot these pics. But some days.... the thought of trying to SHOOT, when all I want to do is SLEEP... makes me almost cry. So I give up on a "staged shot" and just let us both sleep....


This was one of those days.


So it was 5:30 pm and time and light had run out... The baby girl was in a purple swaddle for the sake of napping, and I figured I'd just keep her in it, grab something fast, and so I quickly assembled this pic:


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Cute enough. Never mind the pink nightgown poking out... the similarity to day 5's photos ...It would serve its purpose.

But then I had a last-minute idea. And I tried it, and she woke up screaming... and it was gonna be a failure... But this last minute idea was so AWESOME that I had a new passion in me to GET THIS SHOT. So against all odds (time of day, baby is DONE napping, she HATES this new idea), I quickly nursed her back to a semi-sleepy state... And somehow, I got the shot. So THIS is my final Day 15 Shot, complete with a tiny smile: 

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Yes, she is outside, on a patch of fur on a real flower bed. And yes, I even took her nightgown off and reswaddled her, since succeeding at this second attempt was a long shot anyway. The smile was just a bonus. I am so glad I stuck with it. I LOVE love love love this final shot. ♥


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I had more time and energy this day, so there are more photos to show for my efforts. The one above was a quick snap while I was working on getting her sleepy and posed. When getting everything set up, you only have this brief window of opportunity to pose the baby just right, and everything you do to get the pose perfect runs the risk of waking the baby and ending the session. So you take some "insurance shots"-- ones like the one above, quick snaps as they are asleep, pre-pose, just in case everything falls apart and you don't get any other shots... 

Lucky for me, Lucy was a great sleeper on Day 16, and I got what I wanted for the day. This set features another hat by Heather Bauers of WoolyWishes, and a singed silk flower by me.

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And one more set, since she was still sleeping. This darling headband was made by a photographer on 2Peas in a headband swap we did last year... But I don't remember who. (Anyone want to claim credit? I LOVE it!)

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It's a new week, and I admit I feel a bit overwhelmed as Lucy reaches 6 weeks old. In most ways, I still feel like this is the first few days of having her.... So I feel nervous to do basic errands still-- like tackle the grocery store with both of the kiddos... I feel like we are still hunkering down in the house in our pajamas, just learning how to survive the New Normal.... But then this small part of me is like, IT'S BEEN SIX WEEKS. Shouldn't I have some of this down by now? Shouldn't we be diving into LIFE again? The weather is lovely, so maybe I should be scheduling playdates by now... Going to the park daily... Cooking dinner for my family again... Normal stuff, ya know? 

But. I really get skittish imagining any of those things. Lucy might scream in the car. Or scream through the grocery store. I might end up crabby from the stress and let my moodiness come out on innocent bystanders. I might snap at Noah for something he didn't even mean to do... hurt his feelings in public and therefore make him harder to handle... 

So.

A new week... But very little planned. For now. 

Work is going to start up again this week, though. I have client meetings and at least one session this week (Hi, Molly! Can't wait!)... So maybe that alone is enough to claim this week as a step in the right direction. Right? Okay. Good. 

Happy Monday, all!

Saturday, May 21

Bessie Couch Sesh...

Are you sick of all the baby stuff yet?! I mean, I DO still have like 16 days of photos left to blog, but it's always good to take a break now and again. That goes for REAL LIFE as well as blogging, so that's why my sweet hubs is currently in charge of the little one, letting her nap on him while I get some work done around the house. The change of pace is good for all involved!

And as for the blog, since today is the wedding of two of my sister's dearest friends, what better time to share a belated session from last season that features the happy couple and their gaggle of bessies? Might as well blog it today!

This session was one of my favorites from the end of last year--- a group of stylish, fun, willing subjects who not only loved each other, but loved being in front of the camera; a beautiful couch (on loan from Erin! Thanks, Erin!), some gorgeous light, and a whole lot of fun.

I present to you--- The Bessie Couch Session, in honor of Shari and Luis and their happily ever after that begins today:

Shari and Luis themselves.... hot couple!
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My sister and her best friend Kyle:
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Jenna and Tim-- I've gotten to photograph these beautiful folks before!
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The girls:
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One of my absolute favorites from the day. How could you NOT love that fascinator and those shoes?
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Shari and Luis again-
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Kyle, Dani, Kathy--- part of the team of bessies:
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My gorgeous sis--- LOVE this girl!
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The boys--
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Of COURSE mustaches, right??
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a birthday cake and mini-party for Kyle:
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One more shot of the gaggle:
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Fun stuff! Reminiscing on this gorgeous session ALMOST makes me feel the itch to get off maternity leave and get back to work. 


Almost.

Ha!

Wednesday, May 18

Day 14...

Day 14 featured another hat from WoolyWishes/Heather Bauers....

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And a few with no frills, hats, or bows--- just pure Lucy:

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Jut a sweet sleeping baby in a nest-like basket... Nothing much else to say today. Toodles!

Sunday, May 15

Sitting On The Couch With a Sleeping Baby....

She's not having a great day. She had a rough last part of the night and has been hard to soothe since. And REALLY hard to keep asleep. She'll go to sleep pretty easily, giving in to all my tricks... But once I set her down, even if it is right beside me on the couch (usually a favorite spot), she only stays asleep for maybe 10 minutes before she's straining, groaning, and rousing. AGAIN. So. At the moment, she is in my arms, and I am actually typing with both hands, slowly... kinda creating a rocking motion that is NOT waking her, surprisingly. 

What else can I do, since my plan to nap while she naps is clearly being thwarted? So I'm watching episodes of Eli Stone, sipping hot cocoa (why is it cold outside again?? My feet can't seem to get warm!!)... My messy damp hair in a small ponytail, the little lady snugged in a sweet pink swaddle... We're in this for as long as I can get her to nap, this time in my arms, no more attempts to set her down for now. Maybe when Joe and Noah get home from church, Joe can relieve me and I can get that nap I REALLY yearned for this morning. 4.5 hours of sleep is simply not enough. 

Eli Stone. Anyone else seen this one-season gem? It's just my style--- dramatic-yet-witty, elements of fantastical surrealism, singing characters, and more and more heart, the further I get into it. If you HAVE seen it, can you warn me if it ends without good closure, like many one-season shows do when they don't get a chance to wrap up their storylines like they thought they would? I would appreciate knowing in advance if this will go out with a whimper, not a bang. 

Hot cocoa. I'm drinking it out of my new blue mug with white polka dots. It's a rich, hot cup, and I'm enjoying each sip. I always see these Facebook/Twitter statuses (statii?)about friends and their mugs of coffee, and they charm me. I want to be a mug-carrying gal--- cupping my hands around the warm ceramic, staring out the morning window at, oh, I don't know--- fog... rolling farmland... whatever those gals always stare out at in coffee commercials. Often with a pashmina shawl draped casually around their J Crew-pj-clad shoulders... Coffee drinking= charming. But since I don't drink coffee, I don't get to really have those Folgers Moments. Not really. So whenever I do take the time to actually make some cocoa, I like to pretend I'm one of those Folgers Gals. I'm hip, ya know?

Messy hair. I am in this awkward "in between" stage with my hair-- I went from the short curly phase I maintained for TWO YEARS to that recent "two low ponytails" phase that came accidentally out of my shorter hair growing out a bit... Then when it came time to cut my hair back to that two-year style, I hesitated. Kept the ponytails. I thought, if I'm going to be in the hospital having a baby, then home in pajamas for the next few months, maybe I'll be happier with hair I can pull back. Which is a good idea, in theory. Except this current length is almost too long to rock the two ponytails now, but still too short to go into a single ponytail worthy of public appearances. And just wearing it down? FORGET IT. So ugly!!! So I get to wait. Throw it into whatever configuration I can from day to day, and wait for more length. Or until I go too crazy and cut it all off again. *shrug*

Lucy. In her soft pink swaddle--- a fun new one recommended in my mama group the other week: a WOMBIE. It's pink and new and she looks like such a GIRL and/or a caterpillar in it. I kinda love it. LOVE. Except whenever I think about the name of the thing, I accidentally think the word "WOOMBA", which then makes me think of that hilarious, kinda inappropriate SNL skit parodying the ROOMBA vacuum. Ya seen it? Ya know what I'm talking about? Yeah. Definitely NOT  a WOMBIE. Oops! :) Anyway... Lucy is also snuggling with the softest microfleece baby blanket in the universe, from Land's End. It was a gift and has her name on it, and it is seriously the sweetest color of pink and RIDICULOUSLY SOFT. Love it!!

So yeah. That's me. Waiting out this nap of hers with her still in my arms, jiggling to my stilted typing... Anchored to this couch with no chance of a nap of my own just yet. Living in the moment and not letting it get to me. 

 All while sipping some cocoa like I'm cool or something.

Saturday, May 14

Day 12, Day 13...

This is the shot I was going for on day 11, when Lucy wasn't sleeping deeply enough... She cooperated for me the next day... And my sweet sister-in-law Tamara was on hand for help and to entertain me while I set things up for the shot. Thanks, Tam! :)

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And Day 13 was the Easter Bunny day, which you've already seen... But here is a funny series from earlier that day, when Lucy was modeling a sweet hat she got as a gift from the kind, lovely Rebecca Morfeld, a fellow photographer and good friend.

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I added the flower as an afterthought, and Lucy was clearly OVER IT very quickly. I think she'd have stayed happier without that added weight clipped to her noggin. Oh well. The series makes me smile anyway.

That's all, for now.

Toodles!

Wednesday, May 11

Lucy's Day 11, And So Forth.

The days have turned HOT for the moment... Like 90 degrees-hot, and HUMID. Wouldntcha guess, this same week is the week our air conditioning decided to poop out?

HOT. As if my ebbing/random hormones causing hot flashes and night sweats weren't enough... I get to melt from the outside in as well as the inside out. Awesome.

Noah knows how to beat the heat though--- see?

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And he's taking out anyone in his path, including Grandma Vicki.... And YOU!!
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Meanwhile, life goes on. Tomorrow is my last day of the 30 days of Lucy project--- her one-month-anniversary, if you can believe it. !!

This month has been fast, it has been slow.... it has been the best of times, the worst of times... etc. etc. Still, we're still standing!

(Not counting Lucy. As evidence, I present to you one of her post-minisession nap photos.... worn out by my manhandling, as usual... :))

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So. Where are we? Day 11... that's right. Here is how Day 11 played out. I had the baby swaddled to get her to sleep. I got her fur nest ready for the image in my mind (a nekkie shot of her in a nest of fur, limbs strategically placed and the whole thing looking cozy...)....

I got the space heater on. I laid her down on the fur, ready to unswaddle her SLOOOWWWWWLY, so as to not wake her. Aaaand.....

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Midway through the unswaddling process, she woke. Dontcha love that grumpy face? Like, "What the HECK, mama? I was ASLEEP. Why are you unwrapping me?!"

So I snapped a few. I was honestly too tired to fight with her. I wanted a nap of my own. I decided to make this a "good enough" day and not fight her for a formal pose or sleeping shot. Fine. So I took a few of her in her purple swaddle, awake. Just to get the day's photo accomplished.

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Cute enough. But then.... she was being kinda chill, for once. So... I pushed my limits. I rushed and re-swaddled her in a cream swaddle... Jerry-rigged a headband from a fabric flower I had nearby... I thought, if she'll be pleasant, I'll get a few more "good enough" shots, just in prettier attire. I kept her binkie nearby to keep her good mood:

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And I snapped a few more.... Of her awake, just to "get the shot" and be done. And right as I was wrapping up, getting ready to put the camera away....

The little stinker fell asleep.

So, unexpectedly, I got my "sleepy shot" after all... Not the nekkie one I planned, but definitely one that turned out better than I thought I was going to get when she woke up and I gave up. So.... Here are my favorite two from the end of that adventure. Sleepy Lucy, Day 11:

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More days to come, of course... as they slowly get done. One more Official Day to take these images. You'd think I had a slam-bang finish planned, but.... I don't. Not really. Just gonna come up with a last minute set-up tomorrow like I've been doing every day, and just get them done. *shrug*

Meanwhile, life goes on.... we search for a center point to our days, and cheer when it feels like we're succeeding... And we cry a bit when things fall apart again. I celebrate:

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dishes loaded into the dishwasher
poop stains coming out of cute outfits
one-on-one cuddle time with Noah
the hugs Joe and I manage to share... MAYBE a smooch if we remember. 
even one little photo edited
or one piece of fabric cut out or stitched
picking up the living room at the end of the day
Lucy's good eating
emails sent or messages written
managing a healthy snack for Noah (and myself!)
putting on a bra at some point in the day
keeping the basics in stock (toilet paper, milk, etc.)
days where I don't cry from frustration/exhaustion
Lucy going to sleep without a fight
the new binkies
Noah's ability to entertain himself
80+ oz of water ingested a day
more than 2 hrs of sleep in one stretch
any contact with the outside world
sunny days

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And we get through.... we learn this new baby and this simpler life... and we sleep whenever we possibly can.

That is all.