Friday, September 28, 2007's me this time!

Today is (unfortunately) my 29th birthday. In the words of Sheila, my best friend growing up, "our last year before the big one, BLUH!" (she wrote that in my birthday card, a card which made me laugh and cry at the same time!) I do not love the idea of my 20's almost being over! I mean, I remember when I was in grade school and I had a friend who had a big sister who was 17, and oh my, she sure was old! Then when I turned 20, I don't remember that being too big of a deal, I was in college in Nashville and I was engaged, so there were too many life changing things going on for me to think to much about that. But next year will be 30, and I have just always thought of that as a larger number. I do think it is interesting that I will be 30 before my mom is 50! Isn't that crazy? (She married Daddy when she was 18 and I was born a year and 18 days later)

I don't know why today is reflective for me, but it has been already. So I am going to talk about some of the GREAT things that are going on now instead of being mad that I am getting

First of all, I have a WONDERFUL husband!

He is so thoughtful and loving and always thinking of others instead of himself. He takes care of me and our kids and is very protective. I have always felt safe with him, from the moment we started dating. He is extremely busy, but he still shows me and the girls how much he loves us and makes us feel special. I appreciate his parents for teaching him the right way to love me. He is very supportive of me and my venture into the photography business!
Next, I have adorable fantastic children!

Maddie Kate is so cute and fun and her little mind is always working.

She was a surprise baby for us (born only 3 days after Johnny graduated college) but she has been nothing but a beautiful blessing to us from the moment she was born. Right now she loves anything and everything on Disney Channel, she is learning to read very well (and always surprising me with what she knows!) is enjoying taking piano lessons, and seems to have fun everyday at 1st grade!
Ava is still an A-bomb, but we really do enjoy her!

She is funny and knows it! She is not terrorizing our home as badly as she was for awhile, but she does still try her best to make a mess with every meal she eats and loves to shred things like paper, tissues, and toilet paper! She is partly potty trained, meaning she is doing well with it when we are at home, but I haven't gotten her to go in a potty anywhere else yet! Her 2 favorite things right now are "swimming" (which for her means getting in the tub and laying on her belly and kicking her feet) , and looking at my stomach! She says,"Let me see your fat beldy!" and wants to raise up my shirt and look at my tummy and kiss it. She seems to understand that something special is going on!

We are thrilled to pieces that our new arrival in February is going to be a boy!

I really can't hardly imagine what it's going to be like to be a mommy to a little boy, but I am very excited to meet him...and oh my, the pictures I will take! :) (I have so many ideas this time around!) He is starting to kick and move around a bit more, but I mostly feel him at night when I lay down, or when I sit on the couch with the laptop on my lap he always kicks it if I put it too much on him! I think he might have a name, but I'm not sharing it until I am totally sure!

I have great parents and siblings who love us and are always there for us when we need them!

I am so happy that I only live about a 15-20 minute drive from my parents! I don't know what I would do if I lived somewhere far away. When Johnny and I got married and he was working on a Youth Ministry degree, I always figured I would live somewhere far away from home, like Georgia or Virginia. But God blessed me and let me live near home, and I am so thankful for that! My mom is my best friend besides Johnny, we talk every day, most days more than once, and I really hope that I can have that kind of relationship with my daughters some day.
I have 2 sisters who are definitely some of my closest friends, (whether they know it or not!) They are always helpful to me, with my kids or my business, whatever I need they are there. I didn't appreciate them when we lived at home, but now that we are older, it's easy to see that siblings will always be there for you, even when friends aren't. (Not that friends are being evil, they just have their own families! :) )

Speaking of friends, I do have some wonderful ones. Some old forever friends, which are great! We can not talk or see each other for months, but then we get together and voila, it's just like old times (except we are usually chasing our kids now, which we we didn't used to do! :) And I have some new ones, partly from living in a new town (we have actually been here 6 years, but I only knew a few people when we moved here). I have several friends at church, and a wonderfully great youth group, who I also consider wonderfully great friends. I am blessed to have them in my life, both the ones who live here, and the ones who live in Nashville!

And lastly, I have the greatest job! I stay home with Ava, and am able to know her in a way I'm not sure I would if I had to go somewhere to work everyday. I have a photography business, which has been something I have wanted to do since I was a senior in high school, and seeing that become a reality has been a wonderful experience for me. I have been doing photos for friends and acquaintances for years, but I officially started my business last year, and this year, I booked 14 weddings, and lately I have been swamped with practically back to back sessions! It is tons of work (especially the post production!) but it is my dream and I love it! The greatest part is that I work a few evenings a week and a lot of Saturdays, but the rest of the time I am able to be at home with my kids. All the editing work can be done at home, in-between chasing Ava! (Hopefully the studio part will come soon so I can stop having sessions in my living room! :) ) It's the best "mommy" job ever!

So when I step back and think about all my beautiful wonderful blessings from God, I have nothing to complain about. I love my life and am truly thankful!


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I have been working...

...hard on potty training Ava, and last week, she was absolutely NOT getting it. Yesterday she did a bit better, and today we had no accidents! I was amazed! She has a chart to put a sticker on each time she goes in the potty and I give her a Sweettart, and she cheers for herself, which is my favorite part! She jumps up and down and says, "Yeah!!!!!" Last week when we were trying to go in the potty but not succeeding much Grandpa and Grandma Hollis stopped by and Grandma tried to take her, and Grandma said something about "potty train" and Ava said, "Potty Train! Choo Choo!!"
We did go out to dinner tonight for my birthday (my b-day is Friday, but it's football season so we went out tonight, which is the only free night we had this week!) so we didn't do the underwear thing then, but I am not ready to risk that yet! Johnny also bought me a dishwasher, and I am so happy! I HATE washing dishes, and there are always tons of them, and I can never get sippys clean. So this will be a wonderful change!
I finished another Senior today, so I wanted to get a preview up for her asap! Her session went wonderfully! We had rescheduled from a date in August that was very windy and the possibility of rain, and I have no complaints about the beautiful weather of the rescheduled date! It was wonderful! Here is Chelsea:

I think the images turned out great! I already have one up on the front of my website! I will call you as soon as I get your proof book! Thanks for a great session!


Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Promise to Fulfill

I promised a mom at the football game tonight (at which this senior had a part in winning!) that there would be a blog post up tonight or tomorrow for her son's Senior pictures, so here I am, blogging at 12:30 am! Maddie Kate has a buddy over to spend the night, and they are still up playing anyway, so I have more than one reason to be up! :) I have a lot going on tomorrow (a meeting with a potential bride and a Sr. shoot) and I didn't want to fall short on my guarantee, so here we go!
I will admit I was a little nervous about this shoot, Todd was the first Senior boy I had had so far this year, and boy sessions are pretty different than girls! I think the pictures turned out good though, hopefully mom will think so too! :)
Well, I need to get these little girls to go to bed, and this preggo girl needs to head that way too, especially with the busy day I have ahead of me tomorrow! Goodnight!


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I am sitting here with the laptop on my belly...

...and the baby is kicking it! I suppose I'll have to sit differently when my stomach gets bigger...apparently he's uncomfortable now, so I'm sure it'll just get worse! We have been buying him new clothes already, and my mom has too, he's practically already got a newborn wardrobe! I'm sure not done shopping yet though, I haven't ever had a boy to shop for! I have a few nursery ideas, too, so I'm sure we'll be painting Ava's room differently in the next few months and redoing everything! Ava is going to have to move in with Maddie Kate, so that should be an ordeal I'm sure! We so need a bigger house! :)
We are so excited about our new baby!

I am also excited to have completed another wedding! I have been working hard to finish up several weddings, so here's a preview for Lisa & Bryan.

Outdoor weddings are the best! If you aren't afraid to gamble on the weather, they can be the prettiest weddings!
These next images were taken by my assistant/sister, Alisa. (Edited by me) She has such a great eye and is such a wonderful asset to me when we are doing weddings. She is able to get shots that I cannot get to because I am too busy, or just a different angle while I am photographing. I really hope she gets to work with me on a permanent basis one day! This first one is my favorite!

That's it for now! More weddings and seniors coming soon!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

New ultrasound pictures

We got to go on Wednesday for our ultrasound at the hospital to see the baby and they checked all his little parts and agreed that it was a boy! We got a few new pictures, though they aren't very good! I was a bit disappointed in them, we have much better pictures of the girls at this age, but at least we get to do a 4D in 2 months, so that will be way better anyway! He weighs 8 oz. What a big boy!

This is another bottom shot, but I think the other one we got last week was MUCH clearer!

This is a picture of his face. It looks like a skeleton or an alien, but you can see the head shape, the eye sockets, nose, mouth and chin.
Leg and foot!

These are his hands.
I am 18 weeks pregnant now, and if you are interested to read about the development of an 18 week old baby, click HERE.

Thursday & Friday my friend Kellie came to stay a few days while her husband was at a men's retreat. I hadn't seen them in a few months, and her kids are growing up so fast (just like mine!), she has Mason pretty much potty trained, and Millie is trying to won't be long! For some reason I didn't take any pictures while they were here! That's silly of me!
Johnny has been super busy with school and football season, and we don't feel like we see him very much lately. The girls practically attack him when he comes in the door! This is them hanging on him when he came in from football practice this morning.

We are having a one night Bible school at our church tonight, so as soon as Ava wakes up, I guess we'll be heading over there to help get things set up and ready. My sister Alisa is home from college this weekend so we are going to my parents house for lunch tomorrow. Mom wants to celebrate my birthday early because Alisa is here now, so I got to choose the lunch menu! My birthday isn't until the 28th. It doesn't have to come this year as far as I'm concerned! And next year will be worse! :(

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Last night I had a senior shoot, and Kayla (a sweet girl from our youth group) came to babysit. She has been sitting for me quite a bit lately with Johnny in football season, and my sister away at college! I keep worrying about Ava wearing her out! :) Anyway, Ava was sitting on the arm of the couch looking around the doorway of the playroom trying to watch me in the front room while I took pictures. She kept trying to talk to me, and I said, "Ava, you be good!" and she said, "I be good...Muahhahahaha!" And it was SO funny, but I have no idea where she learned that! She is too silly!

I have a preview for a sweet family that I used to babysit for. I went to their home near here and did the shoot outside around their house. The setting sun was perfect lighting, and their home is beautiful! The little boy wasn't much in the mood to have his picture taken, he was more interested in visiting the cows with his dad, but I think we managed to get a few good images out of him! Here are Sadie & Colton:


Sunday, September 9, 2007

A Late Night Blog for a Senior

I haven't been sleeping well lately (again) and I have decided to try staying up a bit later to see if I will crash and be able to stay asleep all night. I hate preggo insomnia, but for some reason I have it about half of the time!!
I just finished these up and got the proofs ordered, so I thought I'd get a little preview up for this cute Senior! I actually had 2 sessions with this girl, because the first time we spent so much time on the indoor shots that we were kinda late getting outdoors, and it was pretty dark! So we had to schedule a second session later for the outdoor images. She and her mom were great sports about it though, thanks guys! Here are a few of my favorites from my session with Chynna:

She looks like such a model in the one above! :)
Thanks for a great session(s) and I will call you the second I get your book!