November Inspirations

I finally got October's inspirations posted half-way through November, so I thought I'd try to get back on track this month and post November's inspirations actually at the end of November. Clearly I didn't make it because today is December 11. Maybe next month...

Loving

  • My family.
    • My birthday is in November and my husband and daughter threw me the best party. It's become a tradition that every year my daughter picks out a plant from the grocery store for me. Usually a succulent. Last year's succulent quickly outgrew it's pot, and well, we never got around to getting it a bigger pot, so it just sort of quit on us. Also, we're not that great at remembering to water plants... Anyway, this year she picked out a cool one that had been painted red, and "didn't look like it would get very big" according to my husband.
    • I also got a bluetooth speaker so we could play music all over the house right from our phones. It's fantastic. Of course, we had to try it out right away, so we spent an hour having our very own family dance party. I have no photos of it, but it's one of those memories that will always be with me even without a photo.

Listening

  • I had already heard a song by Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors that I loved, but after listening to a Drew Holcomb station on Pandora, I'm hooked. I love their sound!
  • Ben Rector. I heard one of his songs in a slideshow put together by a fellow photographer and immediately loved the song. Turns out I like several more of his songs, too. I love finding new artists to listen to! It's just exciting!
  • Together On Two. Specifically their EP Arsenaultilus.

Watching

  • Dancing With the Stars. I don't watch it intensely, but it's nice background while editing photos. Still rooting for Bindi!
  • The VOICE. So, I'm not sure how I feel about the Blake/Gwen relationship, but we'll see. I'm thinking rebound for both parties since they both went through divorces this year. Who knows. Anyway, I don't want that to go and mess up the bromance between Adam and Blake, or just the general awesomeness of the show. Meanwhile, totally digging Amy Vachal's voice.

Eating

  • Turkey, like everyone else in America. Turkey for Thanksgiving, turkey for 2nd Thanksgiving (all the left-overs you eat on Friday), turkey for days...
  • And sweet potato casserole. Cause who doesn't love a dish with 2 cups of sugar and a whole stick of butter?

Here's a few photos from my Thanksgiving trip which required a layover at LaGuardia, so I got to watch Manhattan below. My birthday succulent is also included, along with a couple of shots of an empty wine glass someone left next to the firepit while we waited for our horse-drawn carriage ride to see Christmas Lights in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.

What's been inspiring you lately?

Vacation!

Ah, vacation... Relaxing time on the farm and on the ocean. During July, my daughter and I traveled to visit part of our family in the South. We spent time on the farm petting baby turkeys, gathering chicken eggs and picking an eggplant that was as big as she was. 

We also had some quality time with the dogs and cats that live on the farm. Apparently Molly, the Great Pyrenees pictured below, also knows how to have a good time... I title that photo "Only in Shorter", because that's the only place in the World I can imagine a dog carrying a beer bottle (without being trained to do so) to be an actual occurrence.

It's also the place we got to see all the sunflowers. The treeline in the top left of the photo is how far back they go. It was unbelievable. Just acres of them. Unbelievable and so beautiful! And I love that I have a photo of a large portion of my family there (using my selfie-stick, of course).

Another great part of our trip was visiting with a few old friends. Two of my friends from college recently moved near my hometown and I was able to celebrate one of their birthdays while we were there. We had GiGi's cupcakes. The only thing I can compare them to is Georgetown Cupcakes. They are absolutely amazing. The proof is on my daughter's face in the first photo below. THAT is a face of someone tasting awesomeness.

We also got to see "Unkie Mike"! Mike survived getting a PhD along with my husband before we moved to New England, so we all have a special bond with him. :) He was back in town visiting family the same time we were so we got to have lunch and catch up.

I know I posted the above photo before, but the photo of my grandmother's hands shelling peas and the photo of my daughter with the cat are two of my favorites from that part of the trip.

After a week on the farm, we headed further South and visited another part of the family. This week was spent on the Gulf of Mexico. To say that my daughter loves the water is an understatement. She has asked countless times since we've been home if we can go for a boat ride.

As you can see below, we got to see all manner of sea life on our trip. Starfish, sea urchins, scallops, blue crab, sea horses and even a pod of dolphins.

sealifemain.jpg

I hope you enjoyed a little peek behind the curtain. I don't post a lot of personal things on the business page, but I thought some of you might enjoy a few photos from my time "back home".

September Inspirations

Well, another month has come to a close, and it's time for another edition of inspirations.

Loving

  • Football Season!
  • Fall Temperatures!

Listening

  • Still enjoying  the Vanessa Michael Munroe series of audio books. After having to wait for a few other people to finish the fourth book in the series, I was finally able to check it back out from the library again and finish it. I had only gotten half way through the first time I borrowed it, so waiting was a little bit of a struggle! Now, I'm just waiting for 11 more people to finish listening to the fifth book so I can dive into it!

Watching

  • Two Words. COLLEGE. FOOTBALL.
    • There aren't words to describe how much I enjoy watching college football. Particularly Auburn and LSU. Pretty much my entire family went to Auburn, starting with my grandfather, who went there when it was called Alabama Polytechnic School. So we have generations of Auburn running in our veins. My husband, on the other hand, grew up in Tiger Country... LSU Tiger Country. He's an LSU Alum, and we have enjoyed several years of attending Auburn versus LSU games. Unfortunately the years we attend seem to always go in LSU's favor... but nonetheless, there isn't much that can compare to the energy and atmosphere of a Saturday in the South tailgating and cheering for your team.
  • Longmire. So this got cancelled from cable, and Netflix picked it up. We had watched it up until it was cancelled and can't wait to see what Netflix has in store for it!
    • Side note. The channel that cancelled it did so because it's viewership was "too old". Basically it wasn't hitting the highly coveted 18-34 year old demographic. This is a highly sought after group because people in that age range are thought to have less brand loyalty and more disposable income than other groups. Interestingly enough, I heard a podcast talking about how the demographic that was watching the show- those in the 50+ age group, are actually the ones who are more likely to have free time and disposable income. (All the 20-somethings living with their parents say woooo!) Might not have been a great move by that channel...
  • The Late Show with Steven Colbert. I always loved watching The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, and fun fact, I attended the Rally to Restore Sanity (and or Fear), in Washington D.C., and the most important thing I have to say about it is, "Jon Stewart for President". It was also a lot of fun and there were a lot of really cool people in attendance.
  • Dancing With the Stars. I don't watch it intensely, but it's nice background while editing photos. Anyone else watching? I'm cheering for Bindi Irwin (Steve Irwin Crocodile Hunter's daughter) and Alek Skarlatos (one of the guys who stopped the terrorist on the train in France recently). Their dances were awesome! (See Bindi's here, and Alek's here. Annnnd okay, I'll definitely admit Nick Carter has moves...)
  • I finally finished Dexter. As far as the ending goes, I suppose it was as happy an ending as you can expect for a serial killer, but I always hope for the fairy tale ending anyway. I'd say it was "just meh".
  • The VOICE is back and I am LOVING the twins. They were awesome! Can't wait for more episodes!

Eating

  • A giant tub of cheese balls. I can't even tell you how many years it's been since I ate a cheese ball. EVERY time we go to Sam's my daughter asks if we can buy them. She has never had one, but apparently bright, unnatural orange looks appetizing. (And, let's be real... they are kinda delicious.) We tailgated with some friends two Saturday's ago and I figured that was as good a time as any to buy them. Between 4 adults and 3 kids we barely put a dent in them... I imagine a large portion of them will make it to the trash.

What's been inspiring you lately?

Erica & Adam - MARRIED!

Erica & Adam were married at Camp Lincoln in Kingston, New Hampshire. They had an absolutely beautiful day for their wedding and were able to rent the camp for the weekend so they could spend as much time as possible celebrating with everyone.

 How amazing were their details?! Life-size Connect Four, Jenga & other fun games, their table numbers, and their awesome name cards attached to a wine glass for each of their guests! (Props to Laurie from  Everyday Details  on the name cards and the giant games!)

How amazing were their details?! Life-size Connect Four, Jenga & other fun games, their table numbers, and their awesome name cards attached to a wine glass for each of their guests! (Props to Laurie from Everyday Details on the name cards and the giant games!)

Their story is a unique one. So unique that I have to share it. They have known each other for more than a quarter of a century...

 I adored their first look! How cute are they!?

I adored their first look! How cute are they!?

Erica & Adam met each other on their first day of pre-school and became fast friends. They ended up in the same class during Kindergarten, first, second, third and fifth grade. (If their mom's hadn't already guessed, this one was made to be... Apparently, the mom's were way ahead of them and had been planning their marriage for years before it finally happened!)

After elementary school Adam and his family moved away, but returned to the area for high school. It wasn't all love-at-first-sight during those years, but they hung out occasionally.

After high school, they became good friends again, as they had been during their elementary years. And then, Adam joined the Marines... They kept in touch here and there, and after he returned from his deployment, Erica & Adam spent an evening catching up over dinner and beers. The third time they hung out after his return, something unexpected happened... Adam kissed Erica! It was a complete surprise, but they agreed it just felt right. Apparently, Adam had his eye on Erica even during his time on active duty, so I guess Erica was the only one who was actually surprised. ;o)

I didn't do engagement photos with Erica and Adam, so this was the first time I had gotten to spend a large amount of time with them in person. The things you learn about people on their wedding day are always so interesting. You get a good sense of who people are by listening to their friends and family talk and give toasts, but also by observing them on what can be one of the most emotional days of their lives.

I am so thankful I was given the absolute privilege of peering into their lives for this one day. Erica was the perfect bride. The one as photographers we all hope we get a dozen of! Not only was she absolutely gorgeous, she was so laid back and was actually more worried about making sure everyone else was okay and had what they needed than herself. I believe self-less is an understatement when it comes to Erica and how she cares for her friends and family. She loves people well.

I didn't get to spend as much time with Adam as I did Erica, but from where I stand, they are a wonderful match. Not only could I see their love, I could feel it. It was a wonderful day and when I say it was FULL of love, I might be understating it.

Congratulations guys! Thanks for sharing a little bit of your story with me!

Erica & Adam's Wedding Day Team:

August Inspirations

Loving

  • Lunch with my husband. We have gotten to have several lunches lately that didn't involve feeding anyone but ourselves and that has been awesome. Also, talking about the books we're reading has been a lot of fun, too. So many parallels in completely different genres.
  • A Sunday break from the busyness of life visiting with friends and getting to see Lake Winnipesaukee from the middle of it on a boat. Thanks to our friends who so generously shared their time and boating skills with us!
  • Contour Shuttle Pro V2. This thing has changed my life... Okay, maybe a slight over statement, but it certainly has changed my editing life. A lot of people use it for video editing, but I am LOVING it for photo editing. Being able to control sliders with a spinning wheel is SO much easier than using a mouse.

Listening

  • Still enjoying  the Vanessa Michael Munroe series audio books.
  • Also still enjoying and so incredibly impressed by Hillary Huber. It's no mystery why she has won awards for her reading. She does so many different voices for the characters that I can't even imagine how she keeps them straight!

Watching

  • Still watching Dexter. Not bored of it, just plugging along while editing all the wonderful weddings of late.
  • Disney Movies. The annoying thing is that all my favorites are "in the vault". Boo. So, to beat the system I broke out the old VHS player and picked up Aladdin, Lion King & Lady & the Tramp for $1 at the thrift store. Take that Disney! Haha! #beatingthesystem (Of course, it blows my mind how different the quality between a VHS and a DVD is... not to mention a Blu-ray. But, for $1 each... it looks perfect! ;o) )
  • Netflix Specials from comedians. Namely, Eugene Mirman. For those who don't recognize the name, he is the voice of Gene on Bob's Burgers. After seeing his comedy special and also seeing H. Jon Benjamin on another Netflix show, I am convinced that creators of shows like Bob's Burgers just asked, "Hey, what happens if we get a bunch of comedians together to voice cartoon characters and just have them be themselves rather than conform to a pre-conceived character?" And, thus was born Bob's Burgers, and specifically Bob's and Gene's characters... Seriously, the resemblance is mind-blowing
    • The other hilarious part of Eugene Mirman's comedy special was an entire bit he did on parking in Portsmouth, NH. He basically recounted the stories you can find here and here. It's hilarious, and being someone who has parked in that exact space, it does make sense to park the way he did. You have no room to turn around in that section and there is only one way in and out, so you have to either back out of the entire section of parking, or back in the space as he did. Which do you think might be the safer option?

Eating

  • Mandarin Oranges, because they taste like candy.
  • Skinny Pop. Cause the more you eat, the skinnier you get, right?
  • Butternut Squash Risotto. Y'all. This. It is time consuming to make, and I don't make it often, but when I do... oh so yum! 

What's been inspiring you lately?

Caitlin & Ahmed - MARRIED!

Caitlin & Ahmed were married on a beautiful Friday afternoon at the Bedford Village Inn in Bedford, New Hampshire.

caitlinahmed1

There were so many beautiful details to capture that I could fill up an entire post just on those! I never would have guessed that they had planned the entire thing from more than 1000 miles away.

caitlin ahmed 1
4.jpg

Despite a slight delay to the wedding ceremony, once we got to the reception everything fell right into place. The first dance, the parent dances, the cake and a special appearance by Run Johnny Run, Caitlin's dad's band. They had the crowd rocking on the dance floor and Caitlin and her dad enjoyed a special guitar duet. :o)

Right after the ceremony when Caitlin & Ahmed were walking up the steps to the Great Hall, Caitlin's shoe came off. In true Prince-Charming fashion, Ahmed retrieved the shoe from the steps and placed the perfectly-fitting shoe upon his bride's foot. Now, tell me it wasn't a fairy-tale wedding... ;o)

Congratulations Caitlin & Ahmed! It was beautiful!

If you like what you see above, be sure to check out Caitlin & Ahmed's Wedding Day Team!