I think I am in desperate need of a vacation, a change of scenery, a new place to explore to recharge my batteries. I dream of just getting in my car and driving somewhere, anywhere… of hopping on a plane bound for a quiet beach where I can read, relax and contemplate the state of my life, my mind, my heart (all of which have been battered and bruised a bit these past few months, to put it lightly). It scares me a bit to go it alone … what if I come back more melancholy than I already am ? I am most definitely not good company these days.

I’ve been kind of introspective lately. Ok. Lies. VERY introspective. This frame of mind is completely not the norm for my bubbly, social butterfly self. I normally love being around people, sharing my thoughts and ideas, laughing and reminiscing. Lately, I find myself detached, even in a crowd of close friends. It’s not that I don’t love them, it’s just that I’m finding it hard to be transparent and sharing of myself. I’m being a horrible friend lately, but I just can’t help it. I don’t really feel like sharing.

I have a four day weekend which begins tomorrow. I was supposed to go to NYC, and that isn’t happening. I could still go. Normally I would still go, I adore NYC …  but it just  seems so … noisy. I definitely do not need to add to the noise already going on in my busy brain.

So maybe I will wake up tomorrow morning, get in my car and drive somewhere. A beach. A lake. A mountain. A spa. I wish I could go on a weekend yoga retreat b/c that seems to be my only saving grace lately, my only way to focus my thoughts. Immersing myself in yoga practice for days would just be … lovely.

I have so many obligations this weekend – a get together in the evening for a good friend who’s in town, a 45th anniversary party for one of my bestie’s parents, church on Sunday, School shopping for Con, editing photos which I need to finish up for a client … the list always goes on.

I’m so tired of that list. I’m just so tired period.

Sieze the carpet of cherry blossoms …

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The sun was setting and it was a gorgeous evening in late May. I was enjoying myself immensely, playing outside with my favorite littles, Naomi & Jude. My sister in law noticed that her neighbors yard was gloriously carpeted in pretty pink cherry blossoms and hinted that I might want to run home to grab my camera. I took one look, and knew I had to seize this moment. In fact, I’m so happy I did, because it poured cats and dogs over night, ruining the delicate blossoms.

After bribing Naomi with promises of candy, she happily obliged donning a pretty princess dress. I ran home to grab my Nikon.

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I was so happy she chose this dress, it was perfect for the delicately pink petals carpeting Ms. Kathy’s yard. I think I bought this dress for her for Easter last year. (N’omi has a penchant for pretty dresses, the more tulle, the better ;)) Fancy frocks are her play clothes. It is nothing to find her playing in the sandbox, running around the yard, or riding her bike dressed to the nines. One of the traits I love most about my funny little niece is that every little thing she does is full of drama and imagination. She is always full of songs, belting them out at the top of her lungs, always dancing around, creating a story with her toys. I wish all humans could keep this sense of wonder about them as they age.

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My only sunshine had a ball rolling around and tossing the petals in the air. Even the adorable Jude joined in on that fun. It was such a perfect evening. I might be a wee bit biased, but I think these are my most favorite images that I have ever shot.

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There is not a day that goes by that I don’t send God a prayer of thanks for sending me all the kiddos in my life, my own boy and my nieces and nephew. They are all quite amazing, with funny little quirks and huge personalities. I enjoy watching them grow with the years that pass and often wish I had found my passion for photography earlier in life, when C. Monster was wee. However, I am happy it is my passion now, and that I get to use that passion to freeze moments like that perfect evening in May. :)

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The lighthouse at Charlotte

We met at the old lighthouse behind Holy Cross in Charlotte. I’ve been dying to take some photos there. Plans were changed last minute because the beach was completely mobbed with Wednesday night gazebo concert go-ers.

B ran out of the van to give me a hug. I haven’t seen him since he was a wee baby of 8 months. It was super sweet ! I think July is my favorite time of year, because it’s usually when I get to photograph the Mullins family. Jill is the sister of one of my best friends in the world, and July is when they pay a visit from down south. I’ve known her for 20 years and love that I’ve gotten to watch her grown from a freshman in high school into an amazing mom of four :)

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Not only are they absolutely gorgeous, ALL of them, but all are just really really good people. The kiddos always make me smile and are super into “helping” me stage the shoot. Alivia is usually the director, always giving me dramatic poses. This year, Noelle stepped in and had some pretty great ideas herself, along with some super funny faces :)

It’s always fun to take their photo year after year and see how they’ve all grown. I can’t wait to work on this session over the weekend !

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Adventures in Vegas

 

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A great friend turning 40 and wants to head to Vegas to celebrate ? Count me in ! I was super excited to travel with some amazing people to ring in Holly’s big 40.  We had a complete blast. :)

It was my first visit to Vegas, and I can definitely say, I am not really a Vegas girl – I’ll take the beach, a comfy beach chair and a pile of books over the hustle and bustle any day ! Or quite possibly a week in Paris, Italy or Ireland (these places begin my travel bucket list). Or even a weekend sitting by the lake or on a mountain top. I need nature, water, and green trees like I need air.  However, I am happy I got to experience things like Ghost Bar, an excellent dinner at Tao and an evening enjoying Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere with some of my favorite people ! The performance artists were absolutely amazing ! I was in awe !

Speaking of Cirque du Soleil,  why did I not know that being an Aerial Ribbon Dancer was a career choice ? I so would have chosen this, had I known. I would have totally run away and joined the Cirque du Soleil. Completely bummed about this ;) I think this shall be on my photography bucket list, along with having the chance to photograph ballerinas, I’d love to photograph aerial artists ! Anyhow … moving on … ;)

It was hard being away from home on Easter. I missed out on our annual family scavenger hunt, which looked to have been a hit again this year ! I always enjoy watching the kiddos trying to figure out the clues.  My sister is great at making it awesome every year ! I also missed being away from my kitty cats (this is ridiculous, I know, but I do love them). I found it strange that I got SO homesick when I am always dying to go somewhere, anywhere ! I am the sort of person who could travel the world, soaking in all the various cultures, but Vegas makes me homesick ?!?! I definitely think it was more an issue of timing than anything else.

Above is a photo of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris hotel. I loved that place ! It was SO COOL ! I am dying to go to the real thing, btw ! We all went all the way to the tippity top observation area, and even I got a little scared of the height. The view was spectacular ! I wish we would have made the trip to the top at night, the lights would have been awesome ! If I ever am in Vegas again, I’d love to stay here :)