Yarn Along: Magrathea

DSC_5799 DSC_5800 DSC_5807

It’s a little ironic that I have chosen to dive into the first of the Lord of the Rings trilogy this week.  As I read this epic story of overcoming impossible odds against evil, I am knitting something warm and soft for my mother-in-law.  She and her husband have been battling brain cancer since he was diagnosed over two years ago.   From the moment I met them, I was overwhelmed by their love, their positive attitude, and their generosity towards others.  Hubs and I had only been dating for a few months, and I remember thinking that a man that was raised by these people has had an amazing model of what a loving marriage could be.

They have spent the last few years traveling together and soaking up as much fun as possible.  As they continue their fight, there will be many hours spent in waiting rooms and doctors offices.  Those places are always so darn cold.  Even as the weather gets warm, they might get chilly, so I want to make sure they have wooly things with them.  And who doesn’t need a little cashmere every once in awhile? Hoping to wrap this one up this week so it will be ready for their next trip to see the angels at Duke Medical Center who have championed their fight. I hope it helps them on their quest and that they find a little magic soon, too.

Dogs + babies + kids = heaven

DSC_5241 DSC_5251 DSC_5247 DSC_5239 DSC_5252 DSC_5271My beautiful cousin gave birth to the adorable Madelyn Cole last month, and we are already in love.  She was completely adorable, and already a favorite of her big brother Copper the Doberman.  Miss Maddie gave everyone quite a scare as she came into this world, which makes having her here all the more sweet.  Gracie announced that she is about the cutest thing ever, even though sometimes she gets a little stinky. The smell of baby shampoo and the sound of little newborn grunts was enough to make me swoon.

So happy for my cousin and her new family, as well as my aunt and uncle.  They will be hugely doting grandparents, just the sort that every little girl needs.


Ain’t No Party Like a Baby Party

I finally put the finishing touches on the Puerperium Cardigan, and wrapped it all up with the Very Basic Beanie and the Leafy Baby Blanket to give to my beautiful cousin for her baby shower.  I really love the way everything turned out, and they were a big hit at the shower.  I hope they will be things that she will be able to have forever and know how loved she is.

DSC_4930 DSC_4920 DSC_4919 DSC_4921 DSC_4926

Her family did such a wonderful job putting together a lovely shower for her.  It was so great seeing her surrounded by so much love and support. I absolutely know that she is going to have a little girl who will have no shortage of people to completely dote on her, and mama will have a fountain of support for the weeks and months ahead.  I have every confidence that she has this in the bag.  And for the days that she isn’t sure, there’s always cupcakes.

DSC_4934 DSC_4935 DSC_4939 DSC_4937 DSC_4947 DSC_4948 DSC_4976 DSC_4982 DSC_4998 DSC_5005 DSC_5015 DSC_5020

Brothers and Sisters

DSC_4789 DSC_4791 DSC_4795

There is just something so fun about brothers and sisters.  Hubs and his sis are a complete hoot when they are together. She lives all the way in sunny Florida, so we don’t get to see her as often as we would wish, but I love watching them together.  When we saw them at New Year’s, I snuck in some shots in while we grabbed some yogurt with the kids.  Hence the funky lighting.

I love shooting in a series like this.  Sometimes it takes several shots together to tell a story, I think.  I love that it took them awhile to catch on that I was taking their photograph.  I feel like I can picture what it might have been like being near then when they were young (and not at each other’s throats, as kids often are), and I think it’s pretty cool.

holiday mash up

This holiday season, I made a commitment to keep things as simple as possible.  This meant that if something didn’t absolutely didn’t need to be done, it just didn’t get done.  Many things were set aside, including this.

Good news? I have an entire holiday mashup of some of my favorite holiday images from the season in one glorious post.

Here goes.  Get ready.  It’s long.

First, there was turkey.


DSC_4538This was the first time I made a turkey without the help of my dad, but my mother-in-law was there to lend a hand make sure it wasn’t a disaster.  I made everything form scratch, and I have to say, it wasn’t half bad.

There were celebrations, and lights to visit.

IMG_2740 DSC_4640 DSC_4612And Hubs even dragged us outside at dawn one morning to see the winter sun rise over the trees.

DSC_4582There was Santa at the neighborhood Christmas party.

IMG_2715And even more Santa…



There were miniature trees.


DSC_4654And the presents.

IMG_2733 IMG_2731 DSC_4647

We will celebrate with my side of the family later this month this year, but we did get to join Hubs’ family to ring in the new year, and I used the time delay function on the camera for the very first time.

_DSC9013We even got everyone to look at the same time (except the dog).

Hope everyone had a magical holiday season!

this kid

DSC_4364 DSC_4288 DSC_4359 DSC_4298This summer, I traveled out to Pittsburgh to shoot graduation portraits of my nephew, and a few weeks ago I got a call from him.  He had great news! His braces were off!  He looked great!  And please-pretty-please-with-a-cherry-on-top could I come take more pictures????

I am a very good aunt.

I made a whirlwind trip. 11 hours of driving for about 8 hour of visiting and 8 hours of sleeping.

A very good aunt.

But, the results were great.  I love these shots.  He’s such a handsome dude, and the fall leaves are simply gorgeous.  Perfect for graduation photos.  I couldn’t be more pleased.



update. wedding.

A few weeks ago I wrote about our little courthouse ceremony.  You can see some photos here. On August 1, 2013, our family gathered for a week together in Hilton Head.  We swam, built sandcastles, ate delicious food, played cards, and oh, got hitched.  We hired an awesome photographer named Meredith from Island Love Photography to take some family portraits, but I wanted to share some of the images from the week that I loved.

DSC_2507 DSC_2488 DSC_2479 DSC_2463 DSC_2448We were sure to take in a meal at the famous Salty Dog Cafe, where we gathered for some Shirley Temples and margaritas on the deck while we waited for a table.  The little guy is my nephew Finn, who is about as cute a little boy as you can imagine. He loves to snuggle, and he especially loved Jacob.  The gorgeous couple flanking Hubs is his mom and stepdad, two people who we both love more than words can say, and from whom Seth has learned so much about true love.

DSC_2511 DSC_2785 DSC_2777Many hours were spent poolside by all the kiddos, and Hubs of course supplied them with combustible material.  What party isn’t made more fun by fireworks, really?

DSC_2722 DSC_2614 DSC_2530 DSC_2513On the night of our “rehearsal,” we presented our kids with gifts to celebrate their new family, and to express to them what an important part of this love they are.  We are so happy to have these amazing kids. They truly give our lives purpose, and remind us what’s most important in life.

DSC_2804 DSC_2798 DSC_2788 DSC_2830 DSC_2859After a ceremony on the beach, we came back to the house to a catered dinner and some music and relaxation.  I have never had a catered event before, and let me tell you, it was GLORIOUS!  The food, catered by Celebrations Events, was amazing, and the service was outstanding.  Everything was beautifully presented, delivered on time and as described, and with a smile.  The dishes were even done for us by the end of the night!  The cupcakes were done by Sweet Caroline Cupcakes, and it will be a stop every time we return here.  They even made a little cake for us to cut, custom made with chocolate cake, peanut butter filling, and cream cheese frosting.  It was completely out of sight.

DSC_2894-2Hubs and I spent our wedding night at the Sea Pines Resort, and we just couldn’t stop smiling all night. It was such a beautiful event.  The last shot is the portrait I took just before we walked out the door the next morning to get breakfast – my first shot of my Hubs.  He looks happy, doesn’t he?  I hope he looks at me like that forever.

I loved our little wedding, and wouldn’t have changed a thing.  Best part?  If you take out the cost of the house, we spend about $3500 for the whole thing, and that’s pretty sweet, too!  Anyone else out there do a small family wedding that they loved?