Thursday, November 22, 2007

For the Love of a Bargain

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope that you all had a great day with your loved ones and got to enjoy some seriously good grub! We had a nice, relaxing Thanksgiving ourselves, thanks for asking! We went to Michael's Grandmother's house and enjoyed a great dinner with his half of the family, though we missed his mom and dad who were visiting his sister and her husband and baby Hannah in Texas. While the day was fun, there was nothing that was necessarily blog-worthy.

My family on the other hand...well... they decided to shake things up this year. It all started when we were trying to decide the travel-lunch-travel-dinner schedule for this 'holiday'. See, almost all of our family lives in-state, close enough that we can drive to their houses for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but far enough from each other that we spend most of the day in the car getting to and from all the houses. It has gotten even more difficult now that we have kids. So this year we decided to do an early Thanksgiving with my side of the family to 'simplify' things. But that all changed when Chris's (my sister's Husband) flight schedule changed. So, long story short we decided to do our own thing for Thanksgiving and make up for it at Christmas.

So, where you might ask does the 'shaking things up' and the 'bargains' come in??? Well, right... about... here...

That's right my friends! As we speak my father, my brother, and my sister are camped out in the freezing cold at the local Best Buy. There, they patiently wait for it's opening at 5:00 am tomorrow morning. They have been there since 12:00 NOON today. All in the name of a great deal on laptop computers. And while part of me thinks they are totally freaking crazy for spending the night on the cold, hard sidewalk surrounded by strangers, the Bell in me wants to be there right beside them... hunting down that bargain.

Here's Tim & Dad waiting it out, fully prepared for the frigid temps.
Hats? CHECK!
Blankets? CHECK!
Gloves? CHHHHHHH... What the...???? Ummmmm, yeah. Those would be women's gloves my dear ole' dad is sportin'. When I asked him about them and commented on their lack of masculine features, he promptly popped his pinky finger up to add to the effect. I never knew my dad's love for a deal would drive him to cross-dress. He told me he couldn't find his and that my mom's just had to do. Well dad, as long as that's as far as it goes... At least Pam is still fashionably minded...Dad and some of the other crazy bargain huntersAnd finally, Pam and her line buddy James. They are all becoming like a big family there. Well, good luck guys! I love you all and I wish I was right there with you!!! There's always next I said... Bells can't resist a good deal!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

a few new toys for the studio...

O.K., so the whole 'Babies-Babies-Everywhere' weekend got me thinking. NO, NOT THAT!!!! Two is all I can handle for now, thanks! I meant thinking I need a few new infant props for my studio. I typically shoot very simplistically when it comes to babies, but I wanted to 'spice' things up a bit. Change is good, right?!?! Anyway, I bought two new neutral pillows, 2 new blankets, a fur rug, and a new basket. Seeing as I didn't have access to a newborn at that very second, I was left with only one option when it came to finding a model for the new props. I don't think he minded a bit...

Here he is showing off his four new chompers, which were cut all at once I might add! This was an adorable full length shot but it showed... ummm... a bit too much. I'm sure that he will appreciate the fact that I cropped out 'Willie and his two nutty friends' one day, but for now... he has no modesty!

I finally added the diaper. I figured we were living on borrowed time anyway! This blanket is sooooo soft! I love the basket too!
Here he is on the furry rug. Love it! Found it at Lowe's of all places!

I couldn't resist this one...or this one...
or his eyes in this one...This blanket passes the taste-test...
And finally his Playgirl centerfold pose... tastefully cropped of course.
Eat your heart out, LADIES!!!
And he didn't even Christen any of the new blankets during the session! Such a good boy!

Also, I wanted to say congrats to Lori and Jennifer!! We all know all about the lovely Miss Jamie Marie, but Jennifer's baby Deegan was born this morning at around 2:00 am. He was 7 lbs, 7oz. and I've been told that he has more hair than both of my kids put together. Naturally, pics will follow in a few days...

Oh, and the baby week continues. My friend Ginger just found out (read: was totally, TOTALLY, shocked to find out) she's pregnant. With. Her. FOURTH!!! She's now preaching the word of 'NEVER TRUST THE MINI-PILL!!' LOL! Girl, I know you are still in shock, but congrats!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

...because all my friends are doin' it...

Since all my fellow bloggers seem to be in to this tagging thing... I guess I better do it to. In case you don't feel the need to snoop on other mean... read other blogs, I'm supposed to blog about 7 things I'm thankful for this season. I'm going with Chris's thought in thinking we're supposed to give 7 random things other than the obvious ones like my family, my friends, and my camera. (LOL!) So here it goes...

1. I am thankful for Photoshop! L-O-V-E Photoshop. Being the complete and total control freak that I am I can fix ANYTHING with the help of my trusty sidekick. Take my dear, sweet husband's family picture. Total freaks, right?!? I mean Michael totally looks like friggin' Sloth from The Goonies. But with a little Photoshop... they look totally normal! Oops... I mean... normal. See what I mean? But seriously though. It totally helps with my business and profits and all because I can take that drool off a baby's face, or snot out of its nose, or fix the scrape from where he ran down the driveway at full speed... cus' perfect looking kids equals more pictures sold, get it??? Cha-Ching!!

2. I am thankful for OxiClean Laundry Stain Remover. (The kind that comes in the blue spray bottle with the yellow handle) This Shizz can get out ANYTHING! It has saved many, many of the kids outfits from having to be trashed. Love it. If you have not tried it... you must.

3. I am thankful for TiVo. I cannot live without it. I just can't. TiVo is one of those things that once you have it you will not be able to exist without it. I still try to rewind things I heard on the radio. It remembers things I don't and lets me watch my shows in peace. When I want to. Love it!

4. I am thankful for BK Mocha Joes. Totally not healthy... but they are soooooooo yummy. And don't get the McDonalds Iced Coffee and think it is the same thing, because sista'... it just ain't!!!

5. I am thankful for my Hip Panda Baby Carrier. Wyatt is so clingy and wants to be carried everywhere and this has been such a blessing. If you are forced to carry a 24 pound baby on a 2 hour shopping trip to Wal-Mart I've found that this is the best way to do it.

6. I am thankful for my Day Planner. Without it my life just might cease to exist. I am one of those people who has to write down EVERYTHING or it is totally forgotten. It is so wonderful! It has a calendar with tons of lined spaces to keep track the kids activities, appointments, photography sittings, etc. AND a notepad for my lists (all 43,000 of them) I really would be lost without it.

7. Last but not least, I am thankful that my cat warns me before he pukes on my carpet. No, really... he does!! Now weather or not I can get to him before he does or not is another issue completely. But really folks, if there's one thing I hate doing it's cleaning anything off the carpet... especially that! Seriously though, he really does let me know. He rarely makes a sound on a daily basis, but right before he tosses his 'Friskies' he makes this strange 'meow sound thingy' for about 30 seconds... not gagging... just a long meow. You'd just have to hear it... it's totally unmistakable, even when it jolts you from a dead sleep at 3:00 in the morning. I can usually get to him and throw him outside just in time. Thanks again for the heads up, Turner.

O.k., that was fun. I realize that most of the things I was thankful for were merely possessions. All of course except #7... LOL! It was actually really hard to come up with things other than the usuals... family, health, home, sending your kid to preschool for a few hours of peace, (how do you do it, Katie?) etc, etc. that you are grateful for. It was kinda neat to think about the little things you just couldn't live without.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

For My Husband of Eight Years...

It was this date eight years ago that I married my best friend. As I sit here today, I am grateful beyond words that our friendship and love for each other has endured, and is as strong today as it was the day we started our journey as husband and wife.

The past eight years have truly flown by. It kind of strange to think back to the time when we were dating. Or when we were just newlyweds with no children and few responsibilities. I still remember the day when we got a kitten. And we thought that was a responsibility! I know it is such a cliche', but it seems like only yesterday. Where has the time gone?

These eight years have proven that I couldn't have picked a better husband. Michael is a provider and a constant companion. He loves me unconditionally, and in spite of my many idiosyncrasies. As a father, he is patient, loving, and understanding. I stand in constant awe at how naturally he takes to his role as a father. I remember seeing him hold Allison for the first time. His tears of joy were so genuine and heartfelt. He never once balked at changing diapers or cleaning spit-up off his shirt. He was never inconvenienced by reading 'just one more' bedtime story. Now... all of the sudden we have been blessed once again with a son and are now a family of four.

I know that I have truly been 'Blessed with Richs', not only with Michael, but also with the gift of our two precious children. I can't even begin to describe how much my family means to me and how proud I am to be a wife and mother. God has blessed our family in so many ways and I am thankful beyond words for my 'Richs'.

Here are a few pictures from our wedding day. Ironically... the weather today was just as warm and beautiful as it was eight years ago. It couldn't have been any more perfect!

From this...

To this...

Allie at 3 months Wyatt and Daddy through the nursery windowgoing home...Allie's first time golfing with daddy
My Boys At Great Granny's houseThey love listening to the Ipod
I love you so much Michael! Happy Anniversary sweetheart!

Oh, and see these gorgeous flowers??? They were a gift for my anniversary. Isn't Michael sweet? Uh, well... hmmmmmm. They actually were sent by my awesome inlaws, Larry and Nancy. Those are a few more 'Riches' I have been blessed with! Thanks so much for the flowers! They made Allie's day too!!!
(Don't worry... Michael brought Chocolate... so all is good in the world)

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Day with the Dentons (with an emphasis on the 'dent')

Hello y'all! It's been awhile... but with good reason. I've been so busy with pictures, pictures, and more pictures! Tis' that season, ya know! Anyway... I've been shooting a ton here at the studio, but this past weekend also took me to Alpharetta, Duluth, and last but not least to 'Andreatown'!! That's right! I got to go hang with Andrea and her sweet family, which means I finally had the pleasure of meeting the infamous David!! He is such a cutie! I had so much fun taking their family pictures!

O.k., so now to the whole 'emphasis on the dent' thingamajig... well... hmmm. When I was visiting good ole' Andrea... I sorta-kinda backed in to a dogwood which happened to get in my way while I was backing out of the little park in her neighborhood. I mean... a tree... in the middle of the woods and all. Whowoulda thought?? My poor, poor Dora!! She was all like 'crunch' and I was all like 'ahhhhhh shizzzzzz!' Oh well. At least I was actually at fault for this one, unlike the first and the second incidences. So now she has a nice dent on her back door which means she's off to the shop for another repair. Oh well... it was still a fun day and I wouldn't trade it! I guess you could say I'm living my own 'D' week here... a Delightful Day with the David Denton and a Dogwood Dent in Dear ole' Dora. (Damnitol) Ha!! Oh, and I saw a huge Deer in her neighborhood, too! (Thank God I didn't hit that!!)

I'll be back to blog about other good stuff later on. I have to get some sleep at some point and figure it's now or never. These late nights filled with Photoshop and editing is really taking it's toll!! Just figured I'd let you all know that I am alive and kickin'. See y'all!!