21.6.12

Enjoy People | Moving Home


i try to build a full personality for each of our cartoon characters -
to make them personalities. 
walt disney
Ten days, ladies and gentleman, ten days.   My personality-full, animated, much-to-say, get-in-your-biznazz, beautiful, hungry, raucous, funny family is moving back to Maryland!  Can you believe it's already been two years since they left?
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SO us. tim in his swimsuit, church shirt and basketball shoes... katie in her pioneer girl dress and church shoes with no socks... me in white denim shorts and t-shirt tucked into it with church shoes and mis-matched frilly socks... out in public for the evening.  posing with old cowboys.
In honor of their big move, I decided to share some of my favorite quotes from the littlest member of our bunch, Lauren.   Life without "this" stinks ;) (I've posted all of these on my twitter with the hashtag "#quotesfromLauren.")


Without further ado, enjoy these brilliant one-liners from an eight-year-old comedic genuis:

- I love cheese. It goes with my brand. (I did not know she had a brand.)
I told Grandma to "Shake it, boo!" and she did. But her cheek skin that hangs down was jiggling.

- I like "e" names: Ella, Emma, Emily, Oscar.
After finishing a Chipotle burrito: "That was the best meal I've had in three days." 

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this picture makes me want to have 20 children.  life is so much better with children... and lauren was particularly cute this day.  i remember it.

Talking to my other sister about my boyfriend: "He has everything a girl could want." 
After not being able to do one push-up: "I'm better at sit-ups. I can do five."

- Ear wax looks like caramel dip.
- "I'm literally a nut." "No, you're figuratively a nut." "Oh. Well, I am literally hot." 
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mama bear and i going wedding dress shopping!
I have to include a couple from my Mama Bear... my parent's are funny people.

- Driving a SmartCar is like driving a living room chair wearing sunglasses.

- You can only ignore the elephant in the room for so long. Eventually it starts pooping everywhere and breaking your furniture.
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This is probably the worst family photo of all time.  Most of us either look fat or grumpy.  But I love it.  Because no one is fat or grumpy.  But I remember someone was making fun of Kevin and dad was quoting Everybody Loves Raymond and mom was telling everyone to smile and some of us are in our pajamas and this was Christmas morning (remember when we used to wear matching plaid with bows in our hairs?).  Hurry home, kids.  It's time to be back together.  With a new older brother ;)


ps. Update on my fightin' mama bear and how you could help!


20.6.12

Enjoy Being The Bride | My Photographer

nonsense, child. if you'd lost all your faith, i couldn't be here. 
and here i am. 
fairy godmother to cinderella
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The morning after I got engaged, I was in a wedding-mode.  It was truly a dream come true to actually be able to make real plans for a wedding.  My dad always joked with me that I have the wedding ready to go, I just need to insert man and I could get married.  I am one of those girls who dreamed about my wedding day since I was a child, so it was almost confusing and weird to get to really make plans!  I've "pretend" made plans for years! ;)

The hardest decision, by far, was who we were going to have photograph the happy day.  I have so many wonderful, incredible, talented and generous photography friends all over the world who I considered.  My list went anywhere from my bestie Lydia Jane, to my Canadian bestie Jamie Delaine, to the kind and brilliant Peter Bang, to the lovely Elizabeth Baxter, to goddess o' photography Sarah Barlow, to the spunky bride to be Ica Images, to the loveable and strong Brienne Michelle, to the dreamin' Ellie Be.  And anywhere in between.  

But after "wedding" started to sink in a little more, I realized that I didn't want one of my friends to be our photographer.  I wanted my friends to be, well, my friends.  I want them to receive an invitation, get dressed up in fun wedding clothes, arrive when the wedding starts (not three hours before), take in the little details, to sit during the ceremony and not run around, to eat as much as they want, to be released to dance and to be a guest.  I love shooting weddings, but I also love being a guest.

So world, meet Shannon Lee, our wedding photographer and NOT our friend ;)  Just kidding... she's going to be my new best friend for life (I hope she's prepared for that.) 
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Shannon herself (that's her ^) is unnaturally beautiful.  Stunning.  Head-turning. Wow.  And her self-portraits are among the best I've ever seen.  But when I happened to stumble across her Facebook page one day, what drew me into her undeniably gorgeous pictures were two things: 1) use use of lighting and 2) her movement.   Check out some of my favorites of hers (ALL pictures are from Shannon Lee Miller Photography):
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Shannon, I hope you know how much you are making my dreams come true - with your photography and by allowing my friends to come as friends.  You're professional, and lovely.  Skilled, and humble.  Fun, and brilliant.  I can't wait to meet you in person and to have you as a part of our oh-so-important day.  You rock, friend :D


Everyone else, go love on her! Go like and comment and rave and swoon!  Make her a big deal, because she is!


19.6.12

Enjoy Weddings | The Ivy at Dewey Beach | Claire + Brad

and i heard you say
let's lose ourselves out here always
lost in this haze
here in this place - goyte  
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The east coast beach was ideal.  75 degrees, sunny with a slight breeze - happy weather.   Claire watched the wedding day unfold.  "What do I do now?  Do I need to do anything?" Her friends ran in and out of bedrooms and bathrooms and stairwells promising her that everything was taken care of and that she only needed to relax.  "I am relaxed!  I don't have anything to do!" Her friends and family truly had taken care of everything.  
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I gave Claire little projects to do for me.  "Let's get your dress out... do you know where your shoes are?... Do you have any special items you'd like photographed?" 
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You may or may not believe this, but within a few minutes of walking into the adorable beach home, I felt connected with all these strangers.  I couldn't quite place my finger on it, but I had warm, bubbly feelings in my heart and a calm, lovely feeling in my head.   I soon found out that all the bridesmaids were long time best-friends.  I'm talking childhood friends.  Toddlers, even.  And their weren't three bridesmaids.  The eight girls were like Loralie and Rory, or The Bennett Sisters.  Their chemistry and roles were highly entertaining, comfortable and moving.
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Little flower girl Veida wasn't just a cute addition to the day; she was a constant reminder of how quickly life moves.   Someday she'll be the bride, and hopefully stand with her childhood friends.  And not too long ago Claire was the little girl, playing dolls with her tiny pals.
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"My veil is my something borrowed.  OH!  And I need to show you the handkerchief my aunt gave me when I was born.  It came with a poem.  Oh my.  I can't.  You can read it. I can't read it.  I'll.... cry."  Claire turned away with glassy eyes and fluttery hands.  
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I went outside to give all the ladies a little space and to snoop out a location for portraits.
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When I returned inside, I came into a heart-warming scene.   All the emotions on edge, the life of friendships, the hum of a family beach house turned bridal suite, the little feet and dresses and dolls, the bigger feet, dresses and bride, laughter and teasing - everything settled around a TV in the living room. The bride's sister, Mary, had made a video for Claire.  This video went all the way back to the beginning, and for ten minutes showed each and every girl in that room move from toddlerhood to kid-hood, to teenage years ("GAH! I took that picture!  That's the first picture of you and Brad! You BABIES!"), to the present.   "Not a single eye was dry."
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"Remember when I was young, and so were you?"
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Daddy and daughter reviewed their speeches while the very-loved bride went upstairs to touch up her make-up.
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When it was time to help Claire get ready, everybody had to help.  How else would it be done with these girls?!
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Claire, well, Claire is a gem; a precious and rare spirit.  In all her rowdy, sarcastic, quick-spoken, loud, colorful friends, she's the rock.  She's quietly funny, she's happily supportive, she's as sweet as her eyes would indicate.   She's much more beautiful than she knows she is, and her heart goes deep.  One of her friends told me, quivering, that this day is so important for them all because Claire is really the best friend and she's the first one to get married.
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Veida always joined in on cue.  Life moves quickly.  Little girls grow up.
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And if little girls all grew up to be like Claire, this world would be a sweeter place. 
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Oh kids.  I love you all.
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You're a rare and stunning gorgeous, Claire.  Seriously. Whoa.
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I had to pull myself away from Claire to go meet the boys at The Ivy.  I wasn't disappointed ;)
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One of my friends and I love to remark on "nice eyes."  We'll see people walking around and say "Ohhh.  She had nice eyes.  You can tell she's so lovely."  Brad has nice eyes.  
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I don't know how as well, but this is his grooms cake, so he must have some sort of sense of humor and athletic-heart.   Sounds like the perfect combination to me!
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(How cool was the inside of The Ivy?!  I'm dying to recreate a version of the dark-stained shelves with ALL white objects in my new house...)
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When ceremony time arrived, everyone was in their place waiting for Claire to pull-up and exit the limo.  Mom was ready to attach the veil.
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The boys were all together and patient.
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Veida was getting nervous, but certainly ready.
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The guests were seated and looking fine.
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The time had come.
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One of my favorite ring-putting-on shots ever!
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Congratulations you charming couple!
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While the guests enjoyed cocktail hour, the wedding party hid out on the side of the building and rejoiced.
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All the Visitation ("Go Visi!") girls!
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Oh little one.
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Brad and Claire have been friends for years.  Their friends have been friends for years.  They've loved each other for years.  Their wedding was pure celebration, beauty and joy.
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The guests were fascinating: a whole crew of beautiful, well-dressed, personality-FULL, funny people. I loved it.
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Ah, I love a good set of toasts :D
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Still the best cake ever...
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I'll take my dinners like this every night, please.
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Congratulations, sweethearts.  Go have so much fun together!