goodbye, 2009

Wow. Another year gone! This time last year I was getting ready for the teen all-nighter, I think. Tonight I'm going to hang quietly with friends while wearing fake eyelashes that make me look like a snuffleupaguas, according to le husband. Honestly? Am so ready for 2009 to be done. In many ways its been a really tough year. Where 2008 was about learning to shoot weddings, 2009 was about learning to run a business. And how to say "no." But in the spirit of rejoicing, here are the things I did in 2009 that I'm really really happy about:
  • Walked 60 miles in three days. Without training beforehand.
  • Shot 22 (or 23) weddings.
  • Shot my first same-sex wedding
  • Began to learn the fine art of off-camera flash
  • Took my sister-in-law to NYC for the first time. You should have seen her face!
  • Learned that 90% of being a friend is just showing up. And in so doing, developed some really amazing friendships.
  • Went swimming in the ocean at midnight. On impulse. Got eaten alive by mosquitos. Was awesome.
  • Traveled to Minnesota and Atlanta for photos.
  • Learned that I can function just fine on 4 hours of sleep.
  • Started running again.
  • Dropped a pants size.
  • Challenged people to dream.
  • Learned to make amazing mac n cheese.
  • Loved life as hard as I could
Here's to seeing what 2010 holds for us! Yay!


wednesday wonderfulness, last one of the year!

Well, I should count how many of these I've managed to write, but I'm pretty sure I'll be ashamed of myself, because it's certainly less than 52. Anyway, for the final roundup, a lovely mashup of goodness.
Well, darlings, expect minimal posting around here for a bit. We're moving into a new (smaller! cheaper! closer to le hubby's work!) apartment by January 15, and in the meantime we're painting, drywalling, and generally working like crazy to get everything ready. I'm super happy: I get to paint at this place! Yes, I'll post pictures as we get to that stage.


::top five::

I didn't make it to the theater very much this year, and there are a bunch of films that I've yet to see, but here are my current top five movies, in no particular order:
  • Up
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • The Hangover
  • (500) days of Summer
  • The Brothers Bloom
Top five favorite books I read this year, in no particular order:
  • Born Round by Frank Buini
  • Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp by Stephanie Klein
  • The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • The Reading Group by Elizabeth Noble

my goals for 2010

Despite the fact that I didn't really get much done on my 2009 list, I'm still writing it all down. We'll see how it goes!
  • Run half marathon (scheduled for the end of April) This is so not happening
  • Walk another Breast Cancer 3day
  • Volunteer as staff on a Breast Cancer 3day I cut these two not because I don't believe in the cause--I still do--but because I want to dedicate the time to investing in people one on one. Also, I feel kind of shallow fundraising for breast cancer when there are people in Haiti living in tents. Does this make any sense?
  • Shoot a fashion editorial for publication (doesn't have to be paid) Making this happen!
  • Take a road trip! Sort of! With les sisters!
  • Shoot 15 weddings Scheduled!
  • do 10 family sessions Photographed 5, I think.
  • shoot two band sessions done!
  • pay down $6000 in debt paid down $4000. I'll take it.
  • Read 52 books some were total brain candy, but I did
  • Write a song with le husband
  • House train the rabbit bunny died 1/17/10
  • Buy another camera Nope. But I got a new lens.
  • Lead a photography workshop (not necessarily paid) Done! Had it May 1!
  • attend a pro photo meetup Does coordinating Help-Portrait in my area count?
  • Find someone to mentor
  • Get away for a weekend with the husband pictures here
  • Learn to solve a Rubik's cube without any help
  • Can homemade jam
  • Make 90% of my Christmas gifts
  • Send Christmas cards! and they were awesome!
  • finally get new business website up
  • meet galadarling


christmas shoes

apparently I have a very specific look when it comes to shoes? I mean, most of these are nearly identical. But anyway: since we were going to be in Ohio for Christmas, that put us near a DSW, so I budgeted a certain amount to spend at the post-Christmas sales. When le husband handed me a $50 gift card Christmas morning, well, that was just the cherry on top!

These are the boots I got with the gift card. They're Steve Maddens, and I know they look like Army surplus. They're a little bit of a different look for me, but they're really comfy, and I sort of love them. I'll have to post them in outfits soon.

These next three pair averaged out to about $13 each, I think. All my summer shoes are literally falling apart, so I was really happy to replenish my collection. In the summer I live in either wedges or very flat sandals, and last summer I found some good flats. I need another pair of red wedges, but hopefully I can pick some up on Ebay.


hit me with your best shot


Someone asked the other day what my favorite image from this year is, and after a lot of thinking I had to go with the one above. It's radiant, the light is perfect, and the whole image feels a little surreal to me. But this left me thinking: what's YOUR favorite picture from this year? I decided to turn this into a bit of a contest: leave a comment on this post with a link to your favorite photo that you've taken this year. It doesn't have to be the BEST, just your favorite. Leave an explanation with the link, telling me why it's your favorite. Maybe it captures a happy moment, maybe it's the first picture you took of your new baby, whatever. Leave the link and the explanation, and I'll draw a name at random from all the comments. The winner gets a 5x7 of their choice: any of the images from my flickrstream.
I'm giving you all until the end of the year, so you have two weeks to pick or even take your favorite picture. I'm looking forward to getting a peek into the highlights of your year, dear ones!

things I love Thursday Friday

I was in the middle of typing this yesterday when my sisters arrived, and then it was Champagne Thursday, and it was all downhill from there. I'll keep this short, but there are a few things I'm super-happy about right now.
vintage umbrellas::the above image was taken on a day when it was generally cold, rainy, and miserable. So I busted out the vintage umbrella collection, and we used those. Happiness.

voicemails that start "I thought you'd get a laugh out of this"::have been teaching my good friend how to walk in heels; a stranger just pulled her aside to compliment her on her walk. This makes me happy.

mail that is mostly Christmas cards::I didn't send any this year (again!), but my mailbox is full almost every day, and may I just say: I have the COOLEST CLIENTS EVER. These are some classy cards, people. And it's a little surreal seeing my work falling out of my mailbox.

being almost done with Christmas shopping:: two things and I'm so done! and my sister helped wrap everything! Wooo! (Now I just have to do the BAKING.)

being a packrat:: much as I hate it sometimes, I had a good rummage through the collection yesterday and came up with three (!!!) wedding dress options for a friend. All of them silk. Yes, these were stuffed in boxes in my storage closet.

honorable mentions::orange argyle kneesocks: :having time to knit: :homemade caramel popcorn: :picking colors for the new apartment: :my bunny, Lucy: :hanging with my sisters: :perfect macaroni and cheese: :christmas parties:

What makes you smile today, dears?


in which I admit to being one of Those People

Those people who's presents match their decorations, that is. Yup. I've managed to amass a relatively impressive collection of pink, red, and white wrapping papers (thank you, Ikea!) that I then trim with pink ribbon. Best part? All of my wrapping paper is perfect for birthday presents, as well. Or baby showers, or whatever. The little white snowflakes were picked up on after-Christmas clearance last year at Target. I think I paid fifty cents for four.

wise words

From keri smith.


wednesday wonderfulness

Yay for good stuff, mostly non-Christmas related!


whiM: what happiness it's Monday

I've been thinking for a while that I needed to do something on Mondays to make them happier; I'm typically an avowed Monday-hater, and I'm trying to get over that. So here are a few reasons to be happy this Monday.

chocolate covered bacon by squeakyrat

  • This week (Wednesday!) is national Chocolate-Covered Anything Day. If that's not a reason to celebrate, I just don't know what is.
  • You know what mondays are good for? Lists. Especially Mighty Life Lists. Or 43 Things. Or lists of books one has read. Or movies one wants to watch. Or even what you're going to do this week. Lists are good.
  • Only a week and a half until Christmas! I actually managed to get most of my shopping done this weekend, and now there's just the waiting for things to be delivered so I can wrap them. My presents all look lovely, and I'll post a picture soon. Yes, they match my decorations.

crazy christmas lights


wednesday wonderfulness, just under the wire

Um, today I discovered that I might, after all, have limits to my endurance. I crashed, and crashed hard, this evening. Not because I've pulled an all-nighter (I haven't, not lately), but because I've been going on 4-5 hours of sleep per night for the past several months and I think that, combined with stress and lack of exercise, is wearing on me. So. I slept for a couple of hours this evening, am going to work for a while, and tomorrow? I'm not setting my alarm. I'm going to sleep until I wake up, and it's going to be AWESOME. (This means I'll probably wake up at 4:30. Yes, this happens to me.) Anyway, on to more interesting stuff.



These lovely things are tempting me to forgo my self-imposed "homemade presents only" rule and each wants to belong to someone I know.

Stash organic tea sampler
If you've not yet tried organic tea, you reallyreally must. Absolutely delicious.

English Table Easel
Yes, I have someone who would loooove this.

Smitten Sticks
Perfect for the person who doesn't smile enough! (Or loves to smile. You know. Works both ways.)

A Delicate Threat Necklace
How lovely is this? I want it so much.

I need more fascinators, I really do. Oh, wait: my sisters do. Right! For them!

I lovelovelove this take on the statement necklace.

Break free, little cloud!


tilt: things I love thursday

Taking a page from the ever-lovely gala darling, things I especially love this week.

::being caught up::
I'm editing my second-to-last wedding of the year, and should be done with that today. Then it's one more wedding and a heap of albums, and my year is drawing to a close. Yaaaay! I definitely bit off more than I could chew this year, and don't plan to repeat that next year. I'm hoping that early next year I can take off a couple of days, get away, and just plan for the coming year.

::the fact that we're almost at the winter solstice::
I know; winter hasn't officially begun yet. But the days are much shorter, which means that they're almost at their shortest, which means that they'll once again begin to get longer, which means that summer WILL COME. I know, I know. But you just don't understand how much I love the summer time. (The pictures are from the wedding I'm currently editing, and isn't the light lovely? Can't get over it.)

::stirrup pants::
I KNOW. But I bought a pair of leggings with a stirrup bottom, and do you know what amazing things they do for your legs? Totally elongating. (please note: "amazing things" was originally typed as "amazings." I like this.)

::long talks with le husband::
His schedule has slowed down a bit, so in the mornings we actually have time, sometimes, to talk through life. It's wonderful, and we both get to work through whatever is currently niggling at us.

::having an amazing youth group::
We seriously have the best group of young people ever; they spend hours at our house every week, and I love them all to pieces. They consistently blow me away with their love for each other and desire to grow as individuals.

::good friends::
Thing I realized this week: 90% of being a good friend is just showing up. Over the past few days I've had the chance to chat with some friends, challenge them, and hear what's really going on in their lives, and I've earned the right to be concerned by sitting and listening and playing Rock Band and discussing for hours the merits of cake vs. pie. It's the "wasted" time that shows you really care, really are invested, that gives you the right to say "Dude, you're screwing up. What can I do?" This is a privilege that I don't take lightly.

And for the honorable mentions:
:new haircuts: :caramel popcorn: :christmas music: :my fat orange cat: :a husband who bakes cookies: :silver christmas trees: :being completely unready for Christmas and not caring: :champagne Thursdays: :craaaazy sisters: :planning roadtrips: :the letter J: :amazing regulars at starbucks: :dealing with hurts: :making new friends: :intriguing books: :over-the-knee boots: :peanut butter: :green nail polish: :"baby pandas make good bandmates": :old photos:

What do you love today, m'dears?


it's the most *pink*derful time of the year

I'm not having a tree this year; we're going to visit le husband's family for Christmas, and since we always have a real tree, that would mean taking the whole thing down RIGHT before we headed out, and that's just a pain. But I did decide to decorate the rest of the house, and when I unpacked my decorations I discovered that apparently my miniature tree obsession is a little out of hand. Oh noes! I think I own seven now? And I picked up a four-foot tree on clearance last year?

So now my living room looks like a breast cancer fund-raiser. But that's ok!

This is the four foot tree; I might not have a real tree, but this makes an acceptable stand-in, I think.

These baby disco balls are my favorite ornaments, I think.

Even the baby seal is dressed up for the holidays! This actually came with an incredibly tacky red bow at it's neck, and when I ripped it off I discovered the bow was covering a hole. So. Pink ribbon it is!

This is what our mantlepiece currently looks like. I'm debating wiring some pink ornaments onto that silver wreath.

I just like this picture.

The chandelier! Ok, so, the garland. Um, I have a very specific idea of the sort of garland that I want on my tree, and that idea can never be found in the stores. So for the past several years I've handed family members bags of tiny glass beads and pieces of cording and forced them to string garland for me. Consequently I now have tons, and it's lovely.

Forest of little white trees! With garland!

This is the dresser top in the kitchen. The picture frames are usually there (pink/red/white is one of my favorite color combos) and so is the spare white tree on the left. I'm going to get some candles to add to the candlesticks so they don't look so lonely.

That is one of my favorite photos of all time. I'm holding Singing Bear, my sister is holding Mary Jane, both of whom I still own. Although you can't see it, I'm wearing a John Henry tshirt of my dads. I love the light in this picture, taken by my mom, and I really think that every photo I take is trying to capture the perfect happiness that I feel when I look at this image.

And this is a hedgehog that someone sent us, and even HE is dressed up for Christmas!

wednesday wonderfulness

On time this week, despite the fact that gloomy weather has prevented me from getting online except between 2-4 am. FOR REALS. It's ridic. So not much, but good stuff, I think.


be inspi(red)

Watch this:

Jessica & Tad - Wedding from LemonLime Photography on Vimeo.

And then read this:
No one is perfect. You are not your thoughts. You are not your fears. You are not defined by past actions and missteps. You are defined by how you express them in this moment and in every moment from here on out. Practicing humility is just that... it's a process. Accept that you make mistakes and resolve to fix them, one baby step at a time. You'll fail a thousand times, but every single failure is worth experiencing if it brings you to greater clarity and renewed genuine confidence.