Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Weather, & A Blog

       I do believe, Spring has officially started. Nice sunny, 70* weather one day.... then Bam!... lots, and lots of rain, and around 50* the next day. Aside from the crazy weather, I always look forward to this time of year. I love when the flowers start to bloom, the sun starts shining more and more each day, the grass turns green again... and so on.  Although wet and cold about 50% of the time, Tennessee weather in the Spring can also be gorgeous! Last week, we decided to head to our local college, and try to get some pictures. We have a section of the school everyone calls "The Tech Quad", which is the oldest part of the college. A 1 way drive down one side, and 1 way drive down the other side, lots of grass and flowers in-between, and old college buildings on the outer edge of each driveway. Gorgeous!  And I lucked up! As we pulled in, I noticed that ALL of the tulips were in full bloom right in the middle of the Quad! It was so beautiful! Here is one of my favorite shots I got while we were there...

This is the center bed of tulips, with the Nursing school in the background. The tulips were so bright, and perfectly open.

After our trip to the college, a few days later I got the photo session I had been waiting for! I was so excited when one of our friends had a little boy, Jordan. He was born early, and had to spend some time in the hospital until he was strong enough to come home, but he is doing really good now! :) Jordan's parents had asked me a few weeks ago if I would do some photos of Jordan. Of course I said "YES!" immediately! We had been waiting, and waiting, and waiting on the weather to clear up. He is just so small, that we didn't want him to be outside for photos until the weather was nice enough for him. And finally, the weather cleared! Baby Jordan came over with Mommy and Daddy, and we had a super cute photo session. I had bought some props to use just for him, and he did so good. He layed there, peeping out of his eyelids at me every once in a while, and was content with me just moving all around him. He is such a good baby! We don't have any babies around anymore. Everyone we know, mainly family, has kids, but they are all out of the "infant" stage. So this was something I got extremely excited about! Here is a sneak peek from my session with Baby Jordan....

Isn't he just adorable!??! Thank you so much M & A for letting me photograph him! And I can't wait to do it again!!!

Then, we decided, since we were having such nice weather, we would take the kids, and head out of town and let them play. We ended up at Edgar Evins State Park. I, personally, had never been. It is beautiful down there!! We went down to the marina, where they have a small playground for kids to play. Then we headed out to a peninsula we discovered on our way. We let the kids walk along the edge of the water, gathered shells, and just enjoy the day. And many thanks go to B for taking this photo for me. :)

I love when we go on little adventures. The kids always have so much fun, and we all get to spend some "family-time" together. It doesn't matter who got mad at who, who didn't do something, which sibling started the fight.... everytime we go out as a family on our little adventures, everything is calm, and nothing else matters except that we are all together, happy, and healthy. My familymeans the world to me, and I love the looks on their faces when we say "Who wants to go somewhere?!" lol.

And last but not least..... I finally finished an idea that I have had in my head for months! I have been working on a collage of the 4 seasons. It all started back last year when I took a photo of some acorns we had layed out in the shape of a heart in front of an old water fountain. Once I got home, and uploaded the photos from that day, I thought "Wow! I love the way this picture turned out! Maybe I should do all 4 seasons in the same spot, using different objects from each season!??" And an idea was born. And then my thought was:
Spring~ flowers
Summer~ shells
Fall~ acorns and leaves
Winter~ snow!!!

So I had to wait and wait, for the perfect amount of snow to complete my "winter" photo. And yes, I froze my poor fingers off drawing a heart in the snow, and standing there, with camera in hand, taking multiple photos from different angles. By the time I got back to the car, I had a runny nose, bright red cheeks, and frozen fingers. lol. But I got the shot! So winter came and went, and Spring finally arrived! Of course, with Spring, was lots and lots of flowers! I chose Dogwood blooms for my Spring photo. I set up the blooms, and took my photos. But then, I realized... do I really want to wait 3-4 more months for scorching hot weather just to get my Summer shot??? NOPE! I decided to use some of the shells we had gotten from the park a few days earlier, to use in my Summer photo. Sweet! So, there I had it.... my completed "Seasons" collage. Yay!! So, I will leave you, for now, with the collage I worked so long for. :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring is here!!!

After an extremely rough start to our weekend, somehow we managed to pick up the pieces and have fun Saturday and Sunday. Although, we may have picked the pieces up for now, the edges are in no way glued together, so I wouldn't be suprised if everything falls apart again. Just hopefully not for a while.

So Saturday, we got a chance to head to my Mom's house. She lives about an hour away from us, so it's hard to get everything set up to take a day and just head out of town. But we finally got the chance. We went, mainly to do some things around the house for her. She had been digging a pond in her back yard last year or so, and never got past the digging part. lol. No liner, no pump, and of course, no fish. So our plan was actually to go and help her finish it. But, of course, with lovely Tennessee Spring weather, the "pond" was full of rain water, and there was no way for us to finish the digging around the edges, and shaping of the pond. So that plan was quickly shut down. So, we all decided to go shopping for a little while, then grab a bite to eat. After we were done having fun, my Mom had a house to show (She's a Real Estate Agent) so Drew and I took it upon ourselves to suprise her, and do some yardwork, since we couldn't do the pond. We raked, shoveled, cut tree limbs, moved deck furniture around, everything. And I have to say, we did pretty good for an hours worth of work! We let the kids help us put limbs and leaves into barrels, and just spent some family time in the yard. :) Then, when my Mom got home, Drew decided to mow her front and side yard for her. And he did an awesome job! I was so proud of him for helping my Mom out like that. Thank you honey!!! And while we were working around the yard, the kids took play breaks, and here are a few photos I took of them. :)

Adorable! :)

So today, even though we were still tired from the trip yesterday, we went to my Mamma's. We hadn't been in about 5 weeks... not because we don't want to go, but the weather is something we have been battling since the beginning of winter! My Mamma (My Dad's Mom) only lives 1 town away, maybe a 15 minute drive, but it's on a mountain. So the weather there is always colder, has more rain, more snow, all that wonderful weather stuff. But the weather today was beautiful! Nice and sunny, about 75*, and just perfect! And, my Mamma always has gorgeous flowers all over her yard! All of the tulips, and buttercups were in full bloom and beautiful! Here is a couple of pictures I took of some of them today.....

Gorgeous!! I love Spring!!
So that was our weekend. :) Hopefully soon I can get a few photo sessions lined up. I have a few people that are wanting photos done, of course, right now everyone is trying to figure out work schedules, after school times schedules, and all that. And I have one newborn baby I am going to try to photograph soon too! :) Hopefully sometime this week. I got some of the cutest props to use in his photos!! But, you'll have to keep checking back to see the photos, and the props I use. And I plan on making a trip out shopping for some more props this week. A cousin of mine has 3 adorable children, and if I get to do their photos, I have lots of ideas!!! I can't wait!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Favorite Places

Yay!!! I made another page!

Ok, so I added another page. If you look up at the top of this blog, you will notice some new tabs, off to the right side. I am going to start adding some of my favorite places on the net! Woohoo!! And also, as you can tell, I had to design the blog too. There were a lot of HTML issues with the old design, so I decided to give the blog a little facelift. :) Now, under each post it says "0 comments"..... if you click on that, you can start leaving comments. With this layout, I can not add the comment boxes, so this will do for now. :) So, have a look, and leave me some comments!! :) Comments make me happy! lol. And keep checking back, as I will be adding some more of my favorite places over the next week. Happy blogging!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Good Week So Far......

Hello everyone!! So, I finally decided to sit down for a few minutes. lol. I love when I can lay Haley down for a nap, Jay is at school, Drew is at work, and it's just me, my computer, and some music. :) Lovin it!! Haha

So far, this has been a really good week. Nothing dramatic happening, and descent weather. Of course, it's only the middle of March, which means tornado season, but so far everything is nice here. We had some rain last night, but it's been around 70* and sunny most of the week. And with everything that has happened in the family over the last 2 months, this week is almost too good to be true. But hopefully everything is looking up for us. :)
Sunday, we had a big day!! :) Drew's aunt got married!! Yay!! She and her now husband have been together for 8 years! And they are the sweetest people. We love them so much! So, needless to say, I was SUPER excited when she asked me to do all of her photos, and for Haley to be her flower girl! We had so much fun! We had to drive 2 hours to the location, (they live in a different city than us) , but it was a gorgeous day! Perfect for a Spring wedding! The church was an old, rock church, 1 room, maybe 20 rows of seats, stained glass windows, old stone floors, gorgeous!!! And P looked GORGEOUS in her dress! She is an amazing woman, and has been through so much in her life, and I was so happy to see her so excited and in love. :) Here is a photo from the wedding.....

Aren't they just adorable!!?!!!?! This was one of my favorite shots of them.... of course all of them were adorable! :) We love you guys!!!!

So, then after the wedding, we headed back, and stopped by my Mom's to pick up my sister. We hadn't seen her in a few weeks, and she is currently out of school for Spring break, so it was the perfect time to have her come stay with us for a few days. So, on Tuesday, the weather was yet again PERFECT for photos! Haley's Nana ended up wanting to keep her for a few hours, so Liv and I headed out for a few photos. :) If you know me..... you know that perfect sunny day+beautiful sister= PHOTOS!!! lol We had so much fun! We ended up taking some angel wings I had bought a couple of years ago, and just went driving around. Stopped at a couple of places, and here are a couple of shots I got of her......

Isn't she gorgeous!?!! I love taking photos of her, because she is so natural, and isn't afraid to try new things for photos. We had so much fun! And we just got to spend some "sister time" out together.

Also, on another note, about 2 weeks ago.... My Brother graduated from Navy bootcamp!!! Yay!!! We are SOOOO proud of him! My Mom, Sister, Grandma, and Grandpa drove up to Illinois to attend his graduation (only 4 people were allowed to go, but there's no way my kids could have rode in a car for 9+ hours, AND sit quietly through a graduation anyways.... lol) They had a wonderful time, and I think my Mom needed to get away for a few days anyways, and spend some time with my brother. After his graduation, he got to spend an entire day with them, and here is a photo my Mom took while they were there......

This is my brother, and my Grandpa. We are so proud of you Kevin!
He will be spending another 8 months in Illinois for training, and then we don't know from there, but we miss him greatly... and can't wait to see him again. We love you Kev!!

Oh! And as you can tell, I re-designed the blog site. I spent some time looking through things last night to kind of give it a more "me" feel.... and I am going to be adding to it a little more this weekend. So be on the lookout for some new things. :) Cause you all know me... I won't stop until it's perfect! lol


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What a crappy month.....

Ok, so it's been well over a week since my last blog post. Everything seems to be happening all at once at this point, with no end in sight. Oh, what a crappy month February was.

First off, let me start off on the topic of photography. Well, there has been no photography on my end for about 2 weeks now. Between the weather, kids, and family situations, there hasn't been enough time. I started, about 2 weeks ago, to try to catch some lightening shots. Apparently, my camera does NOT take pictures in the dark, pointed at a dark sky, and nothing but a street light to focus on. It won't even TRY to take a picture. So I sat there, in the cold, huddled between my back door, and the door frame, trying to get my camera to quit acting up. Granted, this wasn't the best night for lightning shots anyways, because there were only about 4 lightning strikes that night. And they were about 20 minutes apart from one another. But I still tried. I tried every setting, changed my ISO settings, changed flash settings, everything. And I could sit there and hold down the button to take the picture, and the camera would just try to focus (on absolutely nothing I remind you) and would never do anything else. And before you start wondering.... no, I have not yet read the book that came with my camera, but it is starting to sound like a good idea at this point. BUT I did however come across a great website called a while back, and decided to check it out again. Amanda and Kevin are a married couple, and are absolutely adorable! Amanda is always posting blogs about cool designing ideas, photos, and food. So I went back to their website last night, and stumbled upon a blog she posted about photography. ( <~~~there is the link straight to the blog I am talking about. And I learned SOOOO much about settings in different environments! If your a new photographer like myself, I highly suggest this site for tips and tricks. AND she posts a lot of blogs about food ideas, and travel. It's awesome!! And, I put a widget from their site on the top right corner of this page. :)

So anyways. I am hoping to get out this weekend and get some new pictures. Of course, I also need to "figure" out how to get some people together and help me get a laptop, and a new lens for my camera. I am currently working with the basic lens for my camera, and it is only a 3.5-5.6/18-55 SAM lens. So.... not very professional. Basically, I have to get no more than 10 feet or so away from the subject I am photographing, or it gets pixelated when printed. :P ok.... I have ranted about photography long enough.... now onto a not so fun topic.....

Last Monday, as I was taking my son to school, little did I know, that something horrible had happened the night before. My husband called me on my cell phone, and told me that his Grandfather had passed away in his sleep. And of course, driving in the car with a 7 year old, Jay wanted to know what Drew was saying, because the immediate look on my face was that of complete loss, and sadness. So I had to tell Jay what was going on. And the first thing out of his mouth was "What!? Why does God keep taking everyone's Grandpas away!" (just 3 weeks earlier, he had lost his Nanu.... letter to Steve was also posted on here) But in this case, he was 84, and had lived a long and healthy life, and we kind of knew it wouldn't be much longer for him, although, we weren't expecting it this soon. He never said anything about feeling bad (except the complaints about arthritis, but that's to be expected at 84!), he wasn't sick, he had went to church that morning, and came home with his wife, and they had their typical day. But after going to bed that night, he had passed away in his sleep. (details will not be posted on here, because the family wouldn't want that, and neither do I) We rushed to the hospital, after I dropped Jay off at school, and saw his wife, and 2 children. His wife looked lost. We got to see him, and then left with the family, and headed back to their house to try to figure out what to do next. And planning a funeral is something I have NEVER done.... so it was strange for me to be there, and help get everyone through it. By the time the funeral came around.... I was there every step of the way. I felt like I had to be there to support my husband more than anything, and of course the rest of the family. Pa loved life, loved his kids, grandkids, and even got to spend time with his 3 great-grandkids, Jaylin, Haley, and Kaidon. And he loved those great-grandkids more than anything!! He and his wife would take Haley 1 time a week, and keep her for the day. And the first thing he would say as we walked into the house is "Haley, you ready to go get a frosty!?!" (They always took her to Wendy's every week to get her chicken nuggets, french fries, and a chocolate frosty) And as soon as he said that.... she was ready for me to leave! lol. And when the funeral came around, we thought it was important to let Haley see her Pa, and we told her "Pa is sleeping. He needs to sleep for a while" And she seemed to understand, but the sight of her Pa in a casket scared the crap out of her. She kept saying "I scared of Pa in his box!" and wouldn't let me get to close to the casket while I held her. It was one of the hardest things I had to do.... show my daughter her Grandpa, and try to tell her that he can't wake up. It completely tore me up. Here is a picture of Tom and Haley when Haley was only a few months old:

Tom and Haley

We will miss him dearly, but we know he's watching over us and the kids. :)

On another note.... along with the funeral, we had to worry about other family stresses. And the funeral was the LAST place that dirty looks, whispers around the room, and ignorance were needed or expected. I was there for my family, but obviously other "people" there weren't. It is quite sad really, how far things have gone with certain people in the family, but I honestly tried my hardest to make things better. But my efforts have always been quickly shot down, and stepped on. We have been mistreated, called out, called names, ignored at times, banned from seeing children, made fun of, talked very rudely to and about, my children have been abandoned by these people, disrespected, ignored, and more. At times, I have told Drew that I just give up. And quite honestly, I feel like that alot when it comes to these people. I have a panic attack everytime I even think about them, let alone see them. That's even worse. My heart just aches. And everyone tells me to just let it go, and ignore it all.... but I can't do that. It's not in me, and I won't let it go as long as my children are the ones being hurt the worst. I just hope they are happy that they broke such a wonderful family in two. Karma.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another Week........

Well, it's Sunday night. I made it through another week. lol. Last Friday, my good friend Amanda and I took our kids out for a much needed play date. Her daughter is about 1 1/2 months older than Jaylin, and they get along great! We took them to a fenced in play area, and let them play, and then took a few photos. They are absoluetely adorable together, and have a lot of fun together. They go to different schools, so it's hard for them to get together too often. I took some old books that Drew had, and just started taking photos. Of course, the kids are only 7 years old, so we have to really hound them about taking pictures. lol. But they did really good, and they had a lot of fun. Here 2 of the photos they took :

Jaylin and Katie

Aren't they adorable!??! Katie's Mom and I have known eachother since kindergarten, so when the kids get together, we get to catch up and have "Mommy Time". :) It's always a lot of fun watching these 2 play, and getting to spend some time with such a great friend of mine. :)

Then, on Sunday, we went to my Mamma's house. We try to go every weekend, but between the weather changing from minute to minute, a horrible stomach bug that took over our house 2 weeks ago, Drew getting randomly called into work, and being completely exhausted from the week of non-stop torture my kids dish out for me, it's kinda hard. lol. But anyways, on the way up there last Sunday, we decided to try to find the old home place that my Mamma's parents lived in. And we found it! Everything was still pretty much intact, minus a few windows that had been busted by idiots that thought there was something of value inside the house. And I started to remember bits and pieces from the times I had been there. The old outhouse was still standing, the old well was still there, everything. It was gorgeous with the sea of wheat in the fields in front of the house! We will definantly be going back to take a few more pictures. ;) Here is the house as it looks today.........

Ma & Pa Stamps' House

Basically, the rest of last week was uneventful after Sunday..... UNTIL yesterday!! :) Yesterday was my son's last basketball game. :( I am going to miss seeing him every weekend on the court, scoring points, and just having fun. Upwards Basketball is one of the greatest things ever for kids! There is no scoring, (although, we do try to keep up with the points ourselves... lol) And after every game, and every practice, the kids meet up with their team and coaches where the coaches talk to each child about how well they did, and the kids get stars that we sew onto their shirt, based on the best defense, best offense, most Christ-like, good sportsmanship, and so on. Each kid is awarded a star, and praised on how well they did. It is a truly amazing program! Here is a memory from the last game :)

That's Jaylin with the ball, #11

And then, after the game, since my Sister and my Mom were in town, I decided to kidnap my Sister, and go out to take some pictures. She is truly a wonderful person to photograph. She knows how to pose, her expressions are always perfect, and of course, since she's my sister, I get a chance to aggrevate her a little, and we get to spend some "Sister time" together. I had a blast! The weather was great, the location was great, everything. And I took Drew with us, so we could get some pictures of she and I together. We had a great weekend, and hopefully there are many more wonderful photo sessions to come. :)

Olivia and I

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Ok, so it's Sunday night, and I finally have time to sit down and do some random thought blogging. :) I started to do this a few days ago, but then  I decided my blog needed a new look.... so I spent 3 solid days looking through blog templates, before I found this one. Hope you all enjoy it. :) I thought it pretty much looked like me.... with a camera in hand. :)

First off....  it has been 2 weeks since my Step-Dad's funeral. It's so hard to believe that he is actually gone. And I think it hit me more yesterday, because Jay had a basketball game, and my Mom was the only one that got to come. Very strange. I kept having to try to make jokes with my Mom and Drew just to keep my mind off of Steve not being able to be there, and focus on the game. But things are slowly starting to get back to normal.... minus the man that made everything fun. I think it has hit me harder than I thought it ever would. I seem to be late for everything, I want to sleep more... and trying to get my photography off the ground seems to have been thrown on the back burner. I don't know. I just seem to have lost the drive to get out and meet people, or finish my website, or really anything like that. I don't know what it is. There are still so many things I need to do with it all, but I just don't have that motivation right now. All I seem to be doing is thinking about what needs to get done, but not actually ever getting around to it. I still need to finish the website, make and order business cards, search for props, get a larger lens for my camera, look around at laptops.... **sigh** the list just goes on and on. But enough about all that before I start crying.

On a brighter note, everyone in the house is finally over the horrible flu that took over our household. Thank Goodness!! That is the worst flu I think I have ever had. It took Haley about 8 days to completely get over. And she ended up giving it to me, and it put me out for about 4 days. Poor Drew was having to take care of both of us. Luckily, Jay only had it for 1 day, so I was thankful he got over it so quickly. And Drew never got it. :p And my dog decided that since Mommy was sick, she was going to lay with me on the couch 24/7 and be lazy, since I basically never moved the entire 4 days. lol. Silly Layla. :)

And yesterday... (I actually did go out and look around town for cool props.... but only for a little bit, then I got tired.. lol) I found this cool stuff at one of our local "junk" stores. I thought they were cool, and different. Hopefully soon, Drew and I can get out again and do some "prop bargain hunting" :) Here's what I found:

I loved the rustic metal look of the chest, and I thought the xylophone and the old children's book would be cute for kids' pictures. :) All in all, it was a good find for only 30 minutes of looking through a junk store. ;)
And thanks go to my Mom, for the other prop she brought me. I love it!!