Archive for June, 2011

Long time no post…

I feel like my inspiration comes in spurts.  I’ll have 3 days where my brain juices are flowing…followed by 3 or 4 days of nothing.

This time…we’re going on almost a week…and still no inspiration.  It’s not like nothing has happened or I haven’t used my camera.  Nope…pictures are clogging up my hard drive, Charley is growing like a weed…and yet I can think of no interesting way to tie all of our happenings into a unique post.  Instead of trying to force creativeness that has decided to take a vacation…I’m just going to unclog my hard drive and let the pictures do most of the talking today. 

*As soon as I typed this, Charley woke up from her nap and proceeded to blow my mind.  Girlfriend can now pick up toys and put them in her mouth. *

I am in love with this series.  The look of determination on her face…

And when she finally got it…

I have never been more proud in my entire life.  It’s amazing to think that just 3 months ago she was completely dependent on me…and now she’s pickin up toys by herself.  My mind is blown.

Charley and I have been in Tennessee for a long visit with my family…probably another reason why I haven’t posted in awhile…there is always something fun going on. 

When we got into town Friday Charley and I visited Moremama and Grandaddy.  These two are a hoot, and Charley loves them.  She cooed and smiled…bonding was achieved.

I just love watching Charley interact with her great-grandparents.  Their bond is magical…undeniable.

And now to completely switch gears (see…I even let this post sit overnight and still I got nothin’)…if you follow my blog you know that I enter I heart faces every week.  Normally I use an image that I have recently shot…but this time the theme called for some major creativity…maybe I used so much of  it, and that’s why I’m drawing a ‘blog blank’. 

Anywho…this week’s challange is ‘A touch of Whimsy’, and as soon as I saw the theme I had a vision.  Alice in Wonderland.  I love to use Charley for photoshoots (who me?!), but the look I was going for really needed a subject who could stand…or at least sit by themselves.  I asked my brother and his wife (yeah…wife!) if they’d like to do a ‘fashion shoot’…and not your typical shoot either.  Inspiration one:  my wedding dress.  I imagined the shoot looking more like a quirky wedding…with puff balls hanging from trees.  Then everything started falling into place.  I went to Moremama’s to check out some whimsical hats, and I scored big time.  Thanks to the Red Hat Society I was in hat heaven.  Add Papaw’s suspenders…that happened to be red…and my mom’s VERY old glasses…and you’ve got the perfect whimsical ‘wedding’.

The one I chose to enter. *LOVE*

These two were such good sports.  It was crazy hot and humid outside…not to mention the mosquitos…and the fact that Aimee was wearing my wedding dress…nevertheless we had a blast. 

Speaking of Jacob and Aimee…they have *temporarily* put out their fire to procreate by adopting a kitten.  This little ball of fur might the cutest thing you’ve ever seen…she’s so tiny she doesn’t even look real.

Charley and I visited their place on Sunday…it’s crazy…my little brother is married.  I love how they’ve decorated…they’ve got some style.  Not to mention they fed me some of the most delicious pasta salad I’ve had.  Oh how he’s grown…so much that I really can’t call him my ‘little’ brother anymore.  I’m so proud of him, and I completely adore Aimee.  Love you both!

So there you have it.  A completely random concoction of the happenings in my life.  Charley and I leave for home tomorrow…but not after seeing one of my childhood friends who now has a baby a little younger than my munchkin.  Many pictures to follow. 

Happy Tuesday!


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What does the cutest newlyweds + my almost 3 year old wedding dress + Papaw’s suspenders + Mom’s old school glasses + Moremama’s ‘red hat society’ treasure = ?

…the most fun photoshoot ever.  Period.

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Lesson learned…

The other day my dear friend Lindsey asked if Charley and I would like to go to the pool with her and her sweet baby, Zayd.  Lindsey and I have grown close over the past year since we met each other on craigslist.  Wow, that sounded bad.  Before you get any ideas…we met on craigslist because Lindsey was looking for a photographer to document her pregnancy, and I am so thankful she chose me.  I watched Lindsey’s bump grow from barely showing at all when we first met at Panera to beautifully round at her maternity shoot.  I was there when she found out she was having a boy…and I watched Zayd take his first breath of life.  Not to mention it was a blessing to have a friend who was going through the same pregnancy symptoms as I was…MANY questions were answered by this girl…which I’m sure thrilled my OB office from not having to give an answer to, “How much should my baby weigh at 30 weeks?”   So for that…I thank you, Lindsey.

Trying to plan a trip to the pool with 2 babies (3 and 6 months) is a challenge in itself.  The planning began at 10:00am with a text from Lindsey.

Lindsey:  “Heading to the pool today…yall interested?”

Me:  “What time?  Charley just woke up from her nap.”

Lindsey:  “How funny, Zayd is going down for his right now.  He’ll wake up at 11, so anytime after that really”

Me:  “Haha Charley will probably go back down around 11:30-12ish.  Would you be down for going later?”

Lindsey:  “Zayd’s afternoon nap is at 2 or 3 so text me when she’s up from her next nap and we’ll see what we can work out.”

Me:  “We are totally opposite today.  I’ll try and put Charley down at 11 and wake her up at noon.  That would put us there around 1.  That’s in a perfect world though.”

So the plan was in motion…and Charley stuck with it beautifully.  She was back asleep by 11:02 and up again at 11:54.  She was fed, changed, fed again, and in her carseat by 12:40.  However…Zayd’s internal ‘hour long nap’ clock apparently had been reset to 3 hours, and he continued to snooze away once Charley and I got to Lindsey’s. 

You always want your baby to behave around guests.  You dream of people saying how well behaved she is and how lucky you are to have a baby that awesome. 

And then you wake up and reality bites you in the ass.  (Sorry, Papaw…’bottom’ just didn’t cut it)

Charley started to get fussy around the time Zayd woke up.  That should have been my first clue to just pack up and head home, but I ignored the little voice inside me saying, “your baby girl is tired…she’s 3 months old and doesn’t NEED to play in the pool”.  I proceeded to put a swim diaper on her, and she proceeded to have a complete ‘carseat’ meltdown…and pee all over me.  If that wasn’t a sign from God I don’t know what was. 

But did I listen?

Of course not.

I bounced Charley to sleep, and we decided that since we were already there, and it was sunny, and I was covered in my daughter’s urine…that Charley could take a nap at the pool.  So we gathered up pool floats, towels, and babies…and lugged ourselves over to the pool.  In the process Charley woke up, and after a 15 minute power nap she was in a *temporary* good mood.  I still should have left right then.  I know my daughter, and you do NOT mess with her naps.  By now my inner voice was screaming at me, but I had earplugs in…and I put Charley’s suit on, and into the pool we went.

One of 2 pictures taken of the day...and not even with my camera. You know it's bad when I don't shoot anything.

We really did have fun in the pool.  Charley was adorable and loved being in her float.  She smiled, talked, kicked her little legs…I was beginning to forget the meltdown earlier. 

Then we got out of the pool.

And the meltdown of the century happened…and the voice inside me had jumped out and was smacking me in the face…screaming right alongside Charley.  Baby girl was tired and just plain mad.  I tried to nurse her, and that only made her more angry.  Not having her nurse hit me hard…that is her comfort…the one thing that will always calm her down.  I finally just put her in the car with nothing but a diaper on and drove home.  How ironic that the carseat of all things was what got her to chill out.  She fell asleep in the short ride home…stayed asleep as I got her out and brought her inside…stayed asleep as I put her in down in her crib…and stayed asleep for 3 1/2 hours.

Lesson learned.

And after she woke up…the meltdowns were a thing in the past…she was a new woman.

Still no clothes on since the meltdown.


Aside from the screaming of a tired little girl and the guilt of her mama…something beautiful happened that day.

Charley found her daddy.

Charley has smiled at Andy.  She has turned her head and grinned when he calls her name…but now she knows him.  That day it was different.  She buried her little head on his chest and then looked up at him with her big blue eyes.  She knew he was her daddy.

Parenting is a very unique journey.  In one day I went from feeling like a bad-ass (again…sorry, Papaw) for getting Charley to nap earlier and making it somewhere on time…to guilty for not listening to her when she tried to tell me how exhausted she was…to overjoyed watching her discover her daddy. 

I strive to be the best mama I can be, but ineviditly I will make mistakes…and they only make me a better parent.  Charley, Andy and I…we’re all beginners…learning as we go. 

I am forever blessed.

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I gotta admit…I am a sucker for photographing girls.  There are just so many fun props you can use.  There are pastel colors, lace, ruffles…the possibilities seem endless.  However, there is something special about brothers.  These two little boys are a joy to photograph, and I think this picture captures their innocent wonder and the bond that brothers share.


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Mush pot…

If I could relive any moment from my life…it would without a doubt be those last weeks before Charley was born…ending with her being placed on my belly…her home for the previous 9 months.  Nothing can compare to the emotions a soon-to-be mama feels leading up the the birth of her first baby. She knows something big is about to happen…something profound…but has no clue how much her world is about to be rocked.

Last night I was dancing Charley to sleep, and I got swept away with my emotions.  Every night I play a CD that my mom gave to me…and I have to admit when she first gave it to me I couldn’t get into it. I remember her rocking in Charley’s room two weeks before she was born…listening to the CD while I was working on a design.  I didn’t understand how she could get emotional over those songs…

…now I do.

Everytime I push play and hear the first words of the first song…

“Tick tock on the wall…says it’s time to turn off the lights…”

Normally I would think this CD was corny…not my style at all.  I feel like I would be the type of mom to have her baby drift off to sleep to Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds’…however, the emotions that flood once I press play trump all the cool points I would gain with Bob.  I close my eyes, and I can feel how I felt having Charley inside me…waiting to meet her…

…and it feels so good.

There are 15 songs on this CD.  At night, I normally get her to sleep somewhere around track 4 or 5…and then I only get to hear the faint beat of the remaining songs on the baby monitor.  But sometimes Charley will wake up after a few minutes, or she’ll need to nurse one more time…and that’s when I get to hear a whole new mixed bag of songs…late night songs. 

Last night was a long night of getting her to sleep…but I didn’t mind at all because I was soaking in the music and all the emotions that came with it.  We made it all the way to track 9…a song I rarely get to hear, and I liked it so much I pressed repeat 3 times.   

I rocked Charley, and tears welled as I thought of my Mamaw…and an overwhelming peace came about me.  I knew she was there with us.  She was rocking us both.

Today is Charley’s 3 month birthday.

3 months ago my world changed…and things that seemed important before weren’t really that important at all.  Priorites have shifted…and for the better.

We celebrated the occasion with a little photoshoot. 

Gosh I love this girl.

Getting her to smile was like pulling teeth.  This girl is ALWAYS smiling…but as soon as I’d put my lens up she’d just stare open-mouthed.  I had to pull a sneak attack with my camera in order to capture this shot…and all the classic ‘talk and/or do anything to get your baby to smile’ I did…so worth it.

She is so much fun.  She is constantly ‘talking’ and smiling…and is DYING to be mobile.  Just in the last few days she’s started pushing up on her forearms.  God help us when she starts crawling.

She really is a good baby.  She sleeps through the night, naps like a champ, and my carseat woes…a thing in the past.  I feel like I can conquer the world.  We’re in a groove, and I’m loving the beat.

Rockin' the blue eyes

Every now and then I become a big mush pot of emotions…and I’m okay with that.  It’s nice to reflect, and in the stillness of Charley’s room…I melted.  I have so much love for this little girl it’s hard to contain it.  I miss her when she naps…and I love how she snuggles her head into my chest when I rescue her from her crib. 

She is my world…my heart beating outside my body.

Nothing sweeter than little piggies


And to the man that captured my heart nearly 4 years ago… 

We did good.

Happy Father’s Day to the man that helped create our little miracle.

Thank you, Baskin Robbins, for airing your commercial 12,543 times...and thank you, Maggie Moos, for the incredible mudpie ice cream cake.

My gift to Andy...gotta admit...I love seeing my photos in print.

and a Happy Father’s Day to all the daddy’s out there…you all did good.

God bless.

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The fun scale…

I think it’s pretty safe to say that babies are fun at all stages.  True…the first couple weeks are a blur of lack of sleep, crying (both baby AND mama), and trying to figure out what the heck you’re doing…but babies are still fun.  I’ve loved watching Charley grow and develop…and I can honestly say I’ve had fun the whole time.  Even nights when she refused to go to sleep until 12:30, and I was ready to go to bed 3 hours earlier…the feeling of accomplishment when her heavy eyelids finally lost the battle of ‘I’m not tired’ was well worth losing those three hours of bedtime. 

However…in the last week or so Charley has gone up about 5 points on the fun scale.

I really don’t think I can say I have a high maintenance baby anymore.  Charley has discovered the art of ‘self entertaining’…and God bless her for doing so.  Sure, she still has her spunk…and she will definitely let you know when she’s tired or hungry…but I can actually get things done during the day when she’s awake.  Although sometimes those ‘things’ involve taking pictures or videoing (that’s a word, right?) Charley playing with her toys.

And sister is a chatterbox.  There is nothing sweeter than baby coos, and Andy and I crack up at the noises she makes.  I’ve tried for days to video her talking to me, but as soon as I press record she freezes up and just sticks her tongue out.

Last weekend I had success…

I love going to Tennessee and visiting my family.  I know my home is here with Andy and Charley…but I think I will always call East Tennessee home.  I love how my family loves my baby girl…and how she loves them right back. 

*side note*–As I’m typing this Charley is napping upstairs in her crib.  She naps on her belly, but I watch her with our handy dandy video moniter.  However…today she has been constantly faceplanting into the mattress…so it’s taking extra long to type this blog because I have to keep going upstairs to turn her head.  This will be probably the fifth time.  Be right back.


This past weekend with my family did not let me down. 

Best. Picture. Ever.


Saturday I photographed my friend Stacy’s wedding…so Pops and Lolly jumped at the chance to babysit.  They played with her…put her down for her naps…and even got her dressed up to go the wedding reception.  I think I’ll keep them.  😉

*Upstairs for the sixth time to move Charley’s head*

I love how my parents can’t get enough of their grandbaby.  The bond they share is one of a kind.

She's got the Shamblin face already.

I wish Andy’s parents lived closer and got to see Charley more often, but I know that they too will hold their own bond with her…not to mention she’ll have her own horse in Ohio.  You can’t really go wrong with a horse. 

Time is flying by…Charley will be 3 months old in a few days…unreal.  I can feel a sentimental, warm and squishy post coming on…the emotions are a brewing.

Happy Hump Day!


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Such a happy theme!  I snapped this a couple weeks ago in our backyard.  I told my husband I was going to buy a baby pool and came back with this monster.  Turned out to be the best $20 I’ve ever spent.  Happy Summer!

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