30.11.11

Christmas Crafts {Personal}

he puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore. 
then the grinch thought of something he hadn't before. 
maybe Christmas, he thought, 
doesn't come from a store. 
maybe Christmas, perhaps,
means a little bit more
how the grinch stole christmas | narrator
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He is an Angel.  Or at least that's His nickname around here.  All my friends love to tease Him for His super conservative personality, over-the-top honest and kind ways, and His naive precious demeanor.  They joke "don't taint the Angel's wings!"  Sometimes when we are all hanging out and He's sleepy everyone calls Him "Baby Angel."  Ladies and Gentlemen, we have entered a new season of nickname-ness: The Christmas Angel.  This handsome mister I am dating is obsessed with Christmas.


And since this is his first Christmas away from his homeland, I want it to be super-definitley-marvelously wonderful for him.  Beginning the day after Thanksgiving I've planned one Christmas activity per day.  We'll see if I can actually pull it off.  Since this blog has been a bit on the lonely side since He came along, I decided to show you some of our Christmas fun!


The 8mm Video App and ReelDirector App changed my life.  At least my video shooting and editing life.  We've been driving nearly every other Sunday to spend the day with some of our favorites, the Shorey/Baxter clan.  Elizabeth (Shorey) Baxter had her first baby a few days ago.  We spent the day driving, singing Christmas carols, talking, eating, watching football, holding a little guy, Muppet-ing and enjoying each other.
Then we got into craft mode.  I saw these yarn-wrapped letters on Pinterest a while ago.  I had the blessed idea to do this with a short holiday word.  Good idea, huh?
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No. These letters were Christmas Purgatory - temporary and unusual punishment.  Word to those who think this looks fun: Use sans serif wooden letters.  Those horrible, terrible, curvy serifs really make your  throat tighten and pits warm up.  He saved the day with His newfound crafting skills - but it even took Him over two hours to complete just the N.  Boo to serifs. Booooo.
(This lady, however, took a different approach to serifs.  Might be worth a shot?)
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Thankfully neither of us were ruined for yarn-wrapping crafts. These yarn wreaths have been all over the inter-webs and homes the past few years.  I decided to go ahead and make my first one.  SO easy.  So great.  Love it.
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What could be better then a big wreath? Mini wreaths! Made out of shower curtain rings! These are actually fast to make, the options are endless, they are darn-tootin' adorable, and they make great Christmas ornaments!  We just had a ball working on them.
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When you buy yarn and you can't knit, you must do something with it.  I spotted some cute yarn trees made from styrofoam cones a while back.  Even a gorilla could make these.  By far the easiest and fastest craft yet.
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Happily I did experiement with a different textile: feathers! This photo caught my attention and I loved the little white, fluffy tree on the right side of the table.  I just hot-glued white feathers to the tree, sprayed some adhesive onto the feathers and shook glitter all over it! Eets maaaagical.




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On the fluffier side of things, I modified a pom wreath to make my own version!  I probably would have chosen to use the same size ball-puffs, but my local craft store only had bags with many sizes.  I still how it turned out, though I would like to try to copy the "original" again sometime.  This was also easy: hot glue, styrofoam wreath and fuzzy balls! (Restraining my inner Michael Scott...)
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Aaaaaand now we come to the best part.  We are only at the very beginning of this "doing something Christmas everyday" event and I've already used my Hail Mary.  We both got home on the later side of an evening because I had a basketball game (I coach in the winter).  My mind was buzzing with all things time-out, full-court press, foul trouble and winning.  When we got back to my house He said "What Christmas thing are we doing tonight?!" with His adorable, cheerful, eager voice.  Oh snap.  I forgot to prepare for the craft tonight. Shoot. "Let me run upstairs and change! Then I'll show you the special, exciting, um, awesome craft for tonight."  In my room I grabbed a bag of popsicle sticks, hoping for success though I knew the chances were small.  Popsicle sticks.  Jeez.  What a holiday wizard I am.  Poor boy.  He's used to multiple Christmas trees, home baked goods almost nightly, cozying up around the fire place and pretty ornaments.  Not popsicle sticks (plus a few scattered clothespins).  But it's all I had and I needed this for the win.  

"Okay.  SooOoooo.  We are going to make ornaments for your tree out of these!" I hoped I was selling him.  "We can make snowflakes! And letters! And we can paint them!" He looked at me.  He took the bags from my hands.  He asked "Can we put glitter on them too?" Touuuuuchdooooown!!!

But wait for it.
We spread out our sticks.  We start gluing away.  I'm all "Hey! Look, these could also be Stars of David!" like a first-grader making props for the Nativity Production where I have to wear a bathrobe and pillow case on my head.  I was making snowflakes and "J's" like a boss.
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I look over and see Him in a trance.  Sawdust is everywhere.  Sticks are broken.  He has the hot glue gun in his lap, pencil behind his ear, tongue over his top lip.  Christmas Angel was assembling a to-scale North Pole Wonderland Fleet.
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His Saint Nicholas Sleigh of Delight is not only aerodynamic, it has a roomy seat for a big tushie with safety rails for the long, busy flight.
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We haven't painted the Yuletide Caribou Squadron quite yet.  But I'm sure Rudolph will have an actual red blinking nose and they will really be able to fly.
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Psh. Popsicle stick snowflakes my foot.

I wish I could send you to a blog with a cute tutorial on how to make this Holiday Troupe for yourself, but, alas, I cannot.  It's all in His Christmas Angel head.  In a matter of minutes he can whip up the most sturdy, perfect, lovely crafts.  And I'm over there burning myself on the glue gun.

Oh well.

What would this world be if everyone was really good at crafts?
All I know is that I'm having the time of my life making memories this cheerful season.

Like the Grinch realized: 
Maybe Christmas, he thought,  doesn't come from a store. 
Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more! 

How have YOU been making Christmas time be "a little bit more"?
:D


15.11.11

Dre + Becca {Maryland Maternity Photography}

sail away with me honey
i put my heart in your hands
sail away with me
what will be will be
i wanna hold you now
david gray | sail away

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My housemates, landlords, best friends, and just all-around wonderful Kless' wanted to get some pictures taken of these last few weeks (or days?) before we meet Little Man.  Though Dre made quite a mockery of my profession, we managed to have a great time ;)  I love every single member of this little family!  I just can't wait to meet all of them ;)
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 Dre's mocking laughter.  Followed by Becca's loving correction.  Good job Becs.
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Up next in the Baby Kless saga is his nursery reveal ;)  And then hopefully pictures of the day he is born!  

14.11.11

How Much Better Could the Skies of Heaven Be? {Personal}

"Change... had passed away."
christina georgina rossetti | from house to house  

I read a very moving poem this week.
This sky looked like this this week:
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pc: lydia jane, not me ;)



"Then earth and heaven were rolled up like a scroll;
Time and space, change and death, had passed away;
Weight, number, measure, each had reached its whole;
The day had come, that day."

I don't think I've ever thought about change passing away before.  It's an interesting thing to think about.  Dreams are made up of change "Someday I'm going to do ____! I'm going to change what I'm doing now and actually do _____!"  Heaven will be perfect the entire time.  It will always be right.  A citizen of Heaven is experiencing all the best of God, all the time, with no nemesis or barrier to Him.  Never will there be an unexpected turn.  Rain on our parades.  Nothing will be messed up.  Things will always go according to plan.  Every single time.  But then again, time will be done away with too.   Imagine the security you'd feel knowing that you will never be disappointed, frustrated, hurt or a failure again.  No more change.  

"Multitudes—multitudes—stood up in bliss,
Made above to the angels, glorious, fair;
With harps, palms, wedding-garments, kiss of peace
And crowned and haloed hair."

Heaven is going to be so happy.  I long for the happiness of Heaven.  

"They sang a song, a new song in the height,
Harping with harps to Him Who is Strong and True: 
They drank new wine, their eyes saw with new light,
Lo, all things were made new."

"To be introduced, or discovered now for the first time."
What a day it will be when we are introduced to that unguarded, unsparing happiness of Home.
The day we discover Heaven for the first time.  

11.11.11

Like Crazy 600 Posts {Personal}

"i thought I understood it, but I didn’t. 
only the smudgness of it.
 the eagerness of it. the idea of it. 
of you and me."
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He isn't a combination of all the "good" parts of the other guys.  He isn't "all they were and more."  He is nothing like they were.  He is all they were not.  Instead of the witty, strategic, heavy, uncertain romantic politics I had found myself endlessly running for, hoping to get elected,  he offered me a job doing what I am passionate about.  Like a retired senator who moves to the coasts and paints the sunrise every morning.  (Don't some retired senators do that?) Somewhere in between borders I was not supposed to cross and the game I had learned how to play, he set me free to a world where I am known and loved.  Good impressions, being hard to get, flirting, being considered hot - not even on my mind.


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 I had no plan to make him want me.   Maybe that is why we fell in love.  I didn't fall in love with him.  And he didn't fall in love with me.  We fell in love with each other.  We drove in love, sang in love, talked mindlessly in love, prayed in love, adventured in love, laughed laugh's we'd never heard before in love, dreamed in love, watched reality TV in love, worked in love, cried in love, debated in love, made up new nicknames for each other in love, wondered in love, played in love, spilled water in love, got honked at in love, gave our time in love, stayed up way too late in love, hugged in love and fell in love. We're clumsy.  
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Tell me everything that happened
Tell me everything you saw

They had lights, inside their eyes
They had lights, inside their eyes


Please please tell me what they looked like
Did they seem afraid of you?

They were kids that I once knew
They were kids that I once knew


Did you touch them
Did you hold them
Did they follow you to town?

They make me feel I'm falling down
They make me feel I'm falling down


Was there one you saw too clearly
Did they seem too real to you?

They were kids that I once knew
They were kids that I once knew



Happy 600th post, little blog.
Today I am celebrating by going on a date with the boy who likes his scrambled eggs "unusually dry" with lots of pepper,  whose shoulders have a mind of their own on the dance floor, who I trust more then I trust anybody else I've ever known and who makes my name sound pretty when he says it.
(And who took me to see "Like Crazy" last weekend.)

ps. Seven twitter followers away from 600!


10.11.11

Geoff + Kelly {George Washington Hotel Wedding}


here, my dear
this is where
we'll shake the nightmares free
i dream to hold you in my arms
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Opening a clean, luxurious hotel room door, my eyes were directed to the only red object in the room.  A red bouquet.  A red bouquet of roses were waiting, with a note, for the bride.  In all my years of wedding photography, I had yet to come across a groom who sent flowers to the bride just hours before the wedding.  And I found the whole ordeal incredibly sweet.
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 And after spending the day with Geoff and Kelly, I would describe their love as sweet.  They are very fond of one another.  But there is more to it then just that.  They value one another.  Geoff really cared how Kelly felt on her wedding day.  He didn't approach this as "Hey, I'm the groom! Just show up and put on my tux!" He went out of his way to make her day special; to tell her things privately and publicly that expressed his heart for her.  

After getting primped, polished and perfect the ladies perched and mingled in the limo while Kelly read a multi-page-hand-written-letter waiting for her from Geoff.  She also opened a gift from him.
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PhotobucketIn the dearness of those happy moments, no one noticed the first few raindrops.  Or the second few.
But somewhere between leaving the hotel and arriving at the church we were in the middle of hurricane-like rain.
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The following images are exactly the benefits of working with a second-shooter. Because, you see, while my second shooter was taking these:
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I was at a different place taking these:
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After the very elegant and beautiful ceremony, we enjoyed each others company in the church courtyard.  I may not have been the girls favorite human by making them walk through wet grass and drizzly air.
But it was worth it, hey ladies?
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Before long, and certainly not long enough for this thrilled photographer, we were moments away from the reception.  I had to almost be pulled away from the portrait session with this couples.  If only I had known what was in store ;) 
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Kelly told me at our first client meeting that Geoff had always wanted a winter wedding.  They decided to meet in the middle and do a preppy, glamorous, winter-in-summer wedding.  That is a first for me ;)  Kelly put in hours of etsy-ing, creating, crafting, meeting with vendors and dreaming of the reception at The George Washington Hotel.  It was incredible.  Make sure you take note of her hand-made (bead by bead!) table numbers!
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The first dance started happy, clap-py and fun.
It turned into hilarious, roaring and fantastic.
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The guests were thrilled, I was ending my day on a buzz, Geoff and Kelly were as happy as ever.
What a wonderful world.

ps. check out their amazing wedding video done by my friends over at ClubHill Media! They are wow-impressive.