Badassness Ahead

I am going into a crazy busy weekend starting tomorrow!!  Wedding season has officially started, but engagement season isn’t quite over… and Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) is in Vegas this coming week which is the biggest wedding and portrait photographers convention.  I’ll be heading out to San Diego for the day on Saturday to photograph Eric & Joseph’s engagement photos, and then be up and shooting again on Sunday for the Thirst Relief International shoot… followed by dinner with a large group of amazing photographers… after which I’ll be headed over to Commonwealth for the Thirst Relief party!  The rest of the week will be filled with shoots… dinners… parties… and coffee with friends who I only get to see on the internet.  All of this, and I’m actually not even attending the conference this year!  I’ll wrap up the crazy week on Saturday with Emily and Jason’s downtown Vegas wedding which will be filled with all forms of badass-ness.

Here’s to getting a little bit of rest, staying hydrated, and being filled with a ton of inspiration and knowledge…


One Step Above Gibberish

Blogging is hard.

I’m being serious.

Stop rolling your eyes.  I can feel them through the internet.

To be fair, blogging is not the hardest job in the world.  There are probably a million different jobs than that of blogging, but still.  Coming up with blog content can be really difficult.  It feels incredibly narcissistic to think that people want to read about the things that I think about… or that I should write a blog post about my favorite things, the books I’m reading, the movies I’m seeing, the funny stuff my kids are saying… well scratch that… I love telling you guys the funny stuff that my kids say.

My in-laws are in town right now because it’s tax season, and wedding season… which is basically the most insane part of our year.  It is so nice to have two more sets of adult hands helping out with the kids, and the house… but it also means that I’m not seeing my boys as much as I usually do right now.  Grammy and Poppy dropped them off at home this evening, and I was ecstatic to see them.   After G&P left, the boys and I painted a while before deciding to cuddle up on the couch to snuggle and watch a cartoon before bed.  Cuddling on the couch is difficult these days because Cooper the Pooper Dog wants to jump up with us and act like a maniac.  Tonight he wanted to eat the boys’ animal crackers.  He was on a mission.  Brody was not a fan of Cooper behavior because Brody had decided that Cooper would be his fluffy blanket for cartoon time.  He wanted to lay on top of his fluffy blanket, aka Coooper.  So, he kept on smashing his hands into Cooper’s furry back and screaming…. “sweeeeeep Toopie…. sweeeeeep!!….. Waiz down Tooooopie, waiz down!!!!”  His feeble attempt reaped zero rewards, and Cooper never did become his fluffy, cartoon-watching, blanket.

This might not be the funniest story, but it is damn cute.  Especially if you could hear Brody’s adorable little voice trying so hard to say “Cooper” but all that comes out is “Toopie”… and the way that his words turn into choppy sentences that are just one step above gibberish, but I get him.  I understand him.  I speak his language.  And it is a wonderful language that he is teaching me.

This was taken a few days ago.  My camera happened to be out on the kitchen counter… which I am trying to do purposely these days so that it will remind me to pick it up more when we’re just hanging out around the house.  Brody sat on the counter eating a piece of pizza.  He sits on the counter all the time.  It is his thing.  He is always on the counter.  So I wanted to photograph how small he is, and how he looks perched up there in his spot.  But before I could take a step back to get the whole view of his size, and how dwarfed he is against the adult-size kitchen… he said… “Show you my muffles, Mommy!  Muffles!”  And then he growled as he flexed for me.  He had never before tried to show me his muscles.  And I have never seen his brothers pose like this.  He’s pure Brody… pure firecracker… and completely original.

How can three little people, who were made by the same two big people, be so incredibly different?



Wedding Hangover

Hangovers are not new in my world. I kept it classy most of my high school years with a St. Ides special brew in my hand, and an inevitable trip to the ladies’ room to then remove this special brew from my stomach by way of my esophagus. Classy is obviously a term I use lightly here. College wasn’t much better except that my drink of choice changed from the malt liquor variety to that of vodka. Smirnoff raspberry twist vodka, to be exact.  That vodka may have made me a tad bit sloppy charming… but it also landed me a ‘what a man what a man, what a mighty good man’… so don’t hate.

Anyway, Hangover and I know each other well. Hangover is not my friend. He’s actually kind of an asshole… but seeing as how he only visits when I have chosen to invite him… I can’t really hate him all that much, now can I?

Now that I’m older… a mother… and an upstanding citizen (obvious sarcasm), Hangover and I only meet up a few times a year. But his much more manageable cousin has started to visit often.

His cousin Wedding Hangover is more gentle with me. She causes me to feel physically and mentally drained, but somehow she manages to place a haze of bliss over the soreness, blisters, and exhaustion. Wedding Hangover doesn’t involve a throbbing headache. Instead she uses her powers for good, and she gives me a reason to smile.  She visits the day after a wedding, and usually doesn’t stay as long as Hangover.  Which, let’s face it, is basically a 3 day minimum at this point in my life.

Shooting weddings is incredible, but it is a very long day of being on your feet, in heels, schlepping gear and barking commands at large groups of people who are usually in the process of inviting Hangover to come to their house the next day for a playdate. But luckily, even though the process of shooting a wedding is exhausting, I get so much from it in return.

I usually get to spend the day with some of my best friends due to the fact that Vegas has a pretty amazing group of wonderful vendors, and most of the time I get fed a pretty delicious dinner. Most importantly though, I get to witness my couples enjoying the very first day of their marriage. And that is some kind of amazing.

When I get home, I’m exhausted, yet excited. Drained, yet wired. Weary, yet invigorated. Which is good, because my night is not yet done.

I used to post a few photos from the day straight to Facebook when I got home because I wanted all of the couple’s friends and family who couldn’t make the wedding to see a beautiful photograph of the couple that wasn’t an iPhone shot with a filter slapped on it and posted to Instagram. I wanted them to see a photograph of the newlyweds before the sweaty dancing started and the fancy shoes were kicked off.

Now that I have spoiled my couples… this is something that they know I will do… and I usually have them asking for the peeks before I ever even leave the reception. Their excitement is contagious. And I want nothing more than to excite them even further by being able to see a quick peek at the beautiful images they will have as heirlooms for their children.  I have spoiled them, and I thoroughly enjoy it.

Here is an image from last night’s wedding that I posted after the wedding… while the wedding party was still tearing up the Las Vegas strip (about 1am).

Insane florals done by none other than the super talent that is Catherine at Layers of Lovely, and the hair and makeup was flawlessly executed (as always) by Your Beauty Call.

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