Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another Give Away, (but not mine).

r e d
(you can click on this to see it larger, if you want. you know, if you're a judge or something.)

Want a chance to win Lola? I do. So, I'm going to play. You can, too! Go to My Photography Guru's website and submit your entry.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


For us, Spring really begins on the first day that is spent entirely outside in conjunction with the first big trip to the nursery for soil, plants and outdoor goodies.
Today was that day.

I start to get excited about our yard on a good sunny day like today. I think about mowing, grass seed, flower placement, color schemes, weeds, raking, edging... all that stuff that Tim could not give one flip about. No, that's not fair. He does, just not to the extent that I do.

This year I am obsessed with having a driveway installed. Yep, we've gone 3 years without one. One step at a time though.
That has always been our problem in the past. We have too many ideas and don't ever seem to have a clear plan of attack. Today, we focused on two things: Getting the yard and the parkway raked and mowed. DONE. And getting new shrubs for the front of the house. DONE.
Home Sweet Home
(this is a picture from when we first moved in)

On top of our two priorities, we managed to put a new seat on the swing, recycle all of our electronics (Hey, it's a big deal. That crap has been cluttering the shed for years.) and purchase some grass seed and flowers to plant tomorrow (if the weather allows).

I love a well-manicured lawn. Ours is gettin' there.

I forgot to take a picture of the front of the house after its new and improved face. I'll do it tomorrow. The new shrubs (gardenias) are such a big improvement over the ratty, scrubby bushes that were there since moving in. Spring is so awesome. It might be my new favorite season.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tottie, you amaze me.

*This post is dedicated entirely to Harper because she very rarely gets a post all to herself whereas Audrey has 6,221 (or roughly thereabout).

I love how you grab my chin and turn it so that my eyes meet yours.
Your little voice as it asks in a broken sentence, "Y' Okay Mama?" is the sweetest sound.
I swell with so much love that I think my heart will break out of my chest.
How did we make such a cute little package?

You've taken to wearing your boots on your arms, teasing your dad by locking the car door when he goes to get you out of your car seat, running around naked screaming "apple bottom!" and "girl part!" while pointing to the appropriate anatomy, hiding quietly in the closet from the monster, throwing your sippy cup (hopefully) into the sink that you can't really see but know is there, somewhere, above you. The way you ask, "Wha' happon?" and then immediately answer yourself, "Idunnoknow!" while throwing your hands up in the air like a pro... kills me. The other thing that kills me? We're getting ready for school in the morning and I'm always running around like a lunatic: "Where are my keys?" Close the bedroom doors. "Audrey, get your jacket on!" Put the kids' chairs on the couch so the dogs don't get hair all over it. "Audrey, I mean it. We're late!" Where the hell did I put my keys? "Search the bathroom. Search my pockets from last night. Look on top of the pie safe. "Okay, I found the keys, get your book bag!" The whole time I'm freaking out... you just stand there Tottie, wait for the right moment, put out your hand and calmly say, "C'mon Mama." I love holding your tiny little hand on the way out the door. Sometimes, it's the highlight of my day.

The other night, (yes, it was a school night) my eyes just suddenly opened in the darkness. I had no idea what time it was because we don't have a clock in our bedroom. (Well, we do but it's never set to the correct time. Actually, I think it's unplugged at this point.) Anyway, I couldn't go back to sleep. I walked out into the living room, got on the computer, went straight to facebook (of course) to see who else was up at this ungodly hour (which turned out to be 2:30am) and updated my status to read: "What am I doing up?"
Not 10 minutes later I heard you talking in your sleep, Tottie. You said, "Zat fun?" I was already deep in thought about what you must be dreaming about when you then laughed in your sleep.

You were laughing in your sleep!!!

I knew then, why I had woken. It was clear. That little laugh? It was meant for me.

Thank you, Tottie.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Um, Wow.

48 Names in the Hat!

I'm not embarrassed after all. In fact, I am floored. I am flabbergasted. (I just wanted to use that word, really.) I'm so unbelievably flattered. Hey! Apparently, tonight, I'm everything that starts with "f". Seriously though, thank you to everyone that responded. Honestly? I didn't think that many people even read the blog. I wish I could give every single one of you a free session. Thank you for the encouragement.

I'm so glad I started a blog. It's so much cheaper than therapy!

Whenever I start doubting myself, I am going to come back to this post and read your comments. You guys really know how to boost a girl's confidence. A Very Big Award or not, I just might go for it. (Maybe you guys could stick around a little while longer? See me through it? I might need some more fuel in a few months!)

I've decided that we can make this little "drawing" even more fun. Since we don't find out until April 11th (seems like a long way off), I will give you more chances to put your name in the hat. Meaning: Each time you comment on a post, your name goes in the hat, again! You could really beef up your chances of winning depending on how many times I post before the 11th. (Or you could think "this is really stupid and much more trouble than it's worth" and not play along.) I'll still love you if you choose option 2. Honest.

Okay, so I'll give you something to comment on:

I have this friend. She's the friendliest friend. She should probably win A Very Big Award for being the Friendliest Person in the World. And if you know her, you'll no doubt agree.
Anyway, this friend, she has a great story. It's a true story. It's a tear-jerker. And even if you're not married, or don't have kids, or never will.... it's a story you should hear.

So, go here: Friendliest Person in the World's Website
After you get there, click on "the bee well story" and read it.

When you're done crying, you've hugged your mate or your pet and you've purchased some goods, come back here and make a comment. Any comment.

Monday, March 22, 2010

If I Win, You Win!

Hm. I don't even know if this is a good idea or not. I'll be embarrassed if no one responds.

Where do I start?

I have to be honest with you, I'm a little reluctant to go full time with my photography gig. I've yet to do any advertising (other than facebook, if you call that advertising) although I consider it pretty much all the time. Word of mouth has gotten me this far and it's what I'd call manageable. To get to the point, I want to make my business grow because there's nothing I'd rather do for a living than take photographs but I also don't want to go "all in" and then fail.

Now, here's the deal: My photography has been nominated for A Very Big Award. I'm going up against two other very renowned photographers in the Atlanta area. If I win, (we'll find out April 11th) you will also win. What will you win? A free session, that's what.

I realize I'm putting myself out there by doing this and that's the point. Winning would give me the confidence I need to take a big step. If I win, I will start actively seeking photography as a legitimate career instead of a weekend/ summer thing. If I don't win, I will continue being comfortable with my manageable workload.

So, if you're interested in a free session, and you live in Atlanta or the surrounding area (including Athens), all you have to do to be considered is respond to this post. Of course you can invite your friends to take part in the fun, too. And yes, you're still eligible even if you've had a previous session with me! If I win A Very Big Award, I will put all of your names in a hat and have Tim draw a winner.

Here are some of the images that are being reviewed for A Very Big Award. Keep your fingers crossed for me, please?

Photos were taken for A Grimm Evening hosted by Zenith Design Group, Inc.
Makeup was done by the awesome Shane Morton!

Jamie and Jerry

These kids were way too much fun. They never stopped running, jumping, throwing, swinging, talking, laughing, insert verb here the whole time I was shooting. They really made me reconsider putting off the purchase of that super fast expensive lens I've been wanting!
Gretchen, their mom, I don't even know why she hired me. She's an incredible photographer herself... and painter and designer. Sigh. I sort of want to be her.

And you know how I love those jump shots, right? This one might be my favorite jump shot to date:

Just a small sneak peek for you! Your kids rock!


I was so excited to take pictures of this family!
Marc and Shelby are neighborhood icons (not to mention Marc used to be my boss at the Universal Joint- that was such a fun job). Go eat there.

Shelby is the cutest preggo mommy. You'd never guess she's due in two weeks!
You'll see more of them in a month or two, once we meet the new addition. For now, Beckett gets to steal the show...

Baby James

I just love Athens.

And James? Well, he's just about as sweet as they come.

Also, check out Jen's really cool blog!: The Family Fugue

Sunday, March 14, 2010

He's Here!


Ian, you're awesome. Your parents are awesome. We love you. Thanks for letting us hold you for hours and hours, today. I wished I could've bottled up your sweet sweet baby smell and taken it home with me. See you soon, punkin'.

AGP_9552 1

Cree and Liz,
You made such a perfect baby. It was so great to sit and chat all day while staring at his little head, his tiny features and listening to him breathe in and out. There was a point this afternoon when we were all laughing, genuinely laughing hard, and it felt so good. I hope you know how much we love you. We could not be happier for you. He's perfect.





Welcome to the club. We cannot wait for all of the crazy stories and "firsts". Now, get some sleep!


AGP_9146 1
Tim and I just saw Avatar, tonight.
I thought it was brilliant.
I don't want to talk about the movie in depth or why I thought it was brilliant but I do want to talk about what it made me think about- the environment.

We took the girls on a nature walk recently and we went off the path (not far off the path) and discovered a little sandy beach on the river. It was great in theory, but in reality it was stinky and so very polluted. Tires, beer cans (old pull tabs) glass and miscellaneous junk lined the shore while plastic bags, a million plastic bags waved from the trees at the height of the last flooding of the river.
I was in shock.
Serious shock.
We really are killing our Mother.

Just last week I witnessed one of my students chunk a milk carton into a shrub. There was a trash can not 5 feet from her. I called her out on it and her response was simply, "Oh, you saw that?" accompanied by laughter.

I should have ordered her go back and pick it up. But again, the shock, it just took over.

Anyway, more about the nature walk:
We'd been on this trail once before and we were excited to go back to the "beaver pond" so the girls could sit on the lookout chairs and climb up on the deck to overlook the marshy area.
We finally arrived and were stunned to see that a solar powered security camera had been installed near the deck. Seriously?

I wished I'd taken a picture of it. It looked so strange and surreal there, out of place.

And since our outing, I've noticed a lot that seems strange and surreal. I've really stopped to look at the bigger picture... and I don't like it.

Not that I have the answer or even have the slightest bit of power or backing to make a significant difference, but I think about it.

I want to feel more connected to Nature.

I just want to feel more connected.

A co-worker used the perfect word to describe how I've been feeling, lately. Fragmented.
Hello, I am Angela and I'm fragmented.

AGP_9143 1
AGP_9136 1

Saturday, March 06, 2010

This is how the perfect day began...


Well, we did have breakfast first, but I wasn't awake enough to pull the camera out just then.

Tim had no idea I was taking his picture. I guess he's a little too scared to let me near his head after the last haircut. So, he'd rather take his chances by removing his glasses (he is so blind) and watching his reflection in a double-paned window (which makes me look skinnier) than letting me have a crack at it. He let me trim up the sides though, so that's something.

The day only got better from there. My mom called me while the girls were napping and asked if we wanted to come play. Play? Of course we want to play! We suggested going to the Chattahoochee Nature Center. (I hadn't been since middle school.) Things really change in ten years time.

Anyway, we all hopped in the car and headed out to the burbs.

It was a little bit of a strange ride because for some reason, Tim and I were a tiny bit emotional. I guess we're just so grateful these days. We've been talking about our relationship a bit and communicating. You know, communicating, that word that every marriage is based on? Sometimes we forget to do that. Not that our relationship is bad... (isn't this taboo to blog about?) I'm giving you the wrong idea. Maybe I should just stop. We're on the same page, everything is clicking, the planets are aligned in our favor- it was emotional in a good way. Plus, the music selection coincided with our thoughts. It was like our own little movie soundtrack.

Everything was absolutely perfect until I realized:

I'd left my purse at home.

It wasn't that big of a deal. I just couldn't believe I'd walked out of the house without it. (I'm really losing brain cells at an alarming rate these days.)
It didn't hit me that I'd left it behind until we were in the parking lot of the Nature Center. Thanks mom, for paying our way. I'll getcha back. I really wasn't trying to get free admission. Promise.

The girls really dug being outside and hanging out with their Mamaw. Audrey led the way and wanted to look at everything and ask a million questions. Harper followed close behind and did everything that Audrey did. I think they liked the owls the best. Although, the dead rat that was lying on the ground in the vultures' cage was quite the conversation piece. The snake, however, was not a favorite. Harper wouldn't go near it. She didn't take her eye off of it but she kept shaking her head, "No, no, no." It was cute.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before or not, but Harper?, she's really fast. I was on-edge watching her almost fall, and once... she did. She was running so fast down the sidewalk that she ran right off the side, onto her back and into a small ditch. We didn't know the extent of her injury until we got home and changed her into her jammies. I did hear the back of her head hit the concrete though. So did my mom. She held her own investigation once the little one stopped for a millisecond. I'm telling you: This kid is going to give me a heart attack. She's fearless.

AGP_9122 cu
This wasn't her first big injury. Friday, her daycare supervisor called with the news that she ran into the corner of a table. I was told that, "... it wasn't that bad. It might get black and blue but at least it's not deep."
It's only a matter of time before we make our trip to the ER. She's really starting to try my blood pressure. I'm really thinking about investing in that toddler leash.

Once she checked out okay (and stopped crying) we kept on. We decided to take-on a short trail around the lake. I was terrified that Tottie would just take off and run right into the water. Luckily, she didn't.
It was so great to be outside with the sun beating down on us.
We all needed some fresh air.

We wrapped up the excursion with Audrey sticking herself on a yucca plant. (Damn, those things are sharp.) She was screaming bloody murder and out walks this guy from a nearby building. He asks, "Do you need some iodine or something? We're holding a first aid class in there..." I look to where his head is nodding and am greeted by several annoyed faces wondering what the hell all the commotion is about. We politely decline and move on.

Afterward, we swung by my parents' house and picked up my dad for dinner. We ate someplace new. We never do that. And guess what? I tried a beet for the first time in my life.

I hated it.

But, isn't it great to at least try new things?