Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Southern Southern Southern...

One thing about taking a lot of photos before Christmas is that you can't put many of them up for the world to see until after the holidays. ESPECIALLY when you live in a Christmas card city like Winston.  Y'all, people around here go NUTS around here with some cards.  I wish you could see the wall of them in my den...  One of my very favorite parts of Christmas for sure.  (This should surprise a whopping total of no one.)

But, I can put up stuff like this because a) their card went out forever ago and b) it's not the shot on their card anyway...

Eat your heart out.  If that big white bow in her hair doesn't make you want some sweet tea I don't know what will...and I dont even drink sweet tea. :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Boys and Toys...

Meet Patrick and William.  And the big old dirty rocks at Graylyn that made great pretend telephones.

I love little boys.  End of story.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Favorite Pumpkins

Our 6th year at the pumpkin patch.  They get cuter every year.  Be still my heart.  There were several giggle fits today... how is that not the best?!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Blue Eyed Boy...

Jack Morrow, you break my heart a little bit more every year...

Monday, September 5, 2011

We Are Family...

So, for Brian and Christina's wedding last weekend, our family knew we had to do something fun for them.  From all over the country we learned - via emailed videos - a family 'Flash Mob'.

We totally pulled it off.  It was a HOOT.
(And please notice that Sutton, right up front. had learned the whole thing.  Cutie pie.)

Family flash mob

Many thanks to the crazy talented Christopher Record for such a fun shot!  Goodness knows I never make it in pictures! :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Favorite Days

I am a girl with a REALLY good memory.  It doesn't take much to make something stick.  I am phenomenal with phone numbers, can remember an insane amount of addresses, am the queen of song lyrics and movie lines,  and drive people crazy when I say "Remember the time...?" and no one else does.

I can, by default, store about all of it, but I love to really hold on to the good stuff.  Like LuLu's baptism this past Sunday.

I've said it a ton of times and I will say it again - it is a BIG DEAL to me to get to be there for big moments for the children that I love so dearly.  Whether that be a birthday party (I went on tour for those yesterday, that is FOR SURE), school plays, sporting events, you name it.  I can't tell you how many baptisms I have witnessed, but it is a lot.  Any every single one is so very special.  So Sunday, there I was again to watch precious LuLu get her turn.

It made me laugh from the front of the auditorium at First Presbyterian in the reserved seats, because there I was with dear Amy, who keeps the girls ALL the time, on the front row, constantly shuffling the girls during the service.  Between me, Amy, Matt, Stacy and Stacy's parents, the girls went round and round and round.  I started off with LuLu, then had Sophie for a while, then she swapped out with Gabby, then Caroline was on my hip as we left church.  But that's how it always is.

Since LuLu is a little bit older than most children are when they are baptized, she is a little, ahem, busier - and more vocal - than most.  Right after the minister baptized her from a bowl of water on the altar and began to pray, LuLu reached back over into the bowl and proceeded to splash her hands around in it for the remainder of the prayer.  I'm so glad everyone just let her do it because it was such a precious moment.  Right as the prayer ended, LuLu looked right at Amy and me, and right into the microphone, said "WATER!".

It was a great day with some of my favorite people.  I remember when Caroline, Gabby and Sophie were up there for their big day and it seems like that just happened.  And now they are FIVE, as of yesterday.  Sigh...

Here's to wonderful things to remember and to favorite days.  How very blessed I am to have oh so many of them...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Southern Summer...

How cute is Miss Olivia???

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Life is Good...Happy 4th of July!

One of my very favorite pictures ever, taken 2 years ago (by their mother) on the 4th.

Happy 4th of July to everyone.  Have a great weekend and be safe!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Crazy 8s!

Happy Birthday Will and Ford!  You are EIGHT!

And, I feel like I'm about one hundred or so...

You have followed in Jack's footsteps and round out the Morrow crew with more politeness, more funniness (if that's a word) and more kindness than I think I've ever found in one family.  You are both old souls.  I have a very vivid memory of picking you up at Knollwood once and taking you straight to Mayberry for ice cream, and at 4-years-old you both sat right down in the booth, opened up menus (which was funny) and ordered your ice cream with 'pleases' and 'thank yous' and had a very adult conversation with me while we all enjoyed our after preschool snack.

Will, I can remember doing countless puzzles with you in the basement of the old house and you telling me very matter-of-factly the best way to go about the process.  You are such a thinker and I have always loved that about you.  I'm also pretty sure you are the next Michael Phelps.  I've watched you go off the diving board at the pool no less than 29,394 times. :)

Fordy, you were born a 16-year-old and have always run with the big boys.  I can remember seeing you at the pool when you were 3, in water wings and goggles, kicking back with the high school boys and not having a clue in the world that you weren't just as old as they were.  You are always such a cool cat and are always just flat out happy.

My favorite memory of you both, though, was from one of our date nights a couple of summers ago.  I got to the house to pick all 3 of you up and Jack came on out to the car, but your mom let me know that you'd be out in a minute, you were inside putting on some of Dad's cologne for the date.  I thought I might die and go to heaven right there in the driveway.

And, of course, you are just as studly as your older brother.

 Happy Birthday, Boys!  I love you!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Jack Morrow, you are TEN years old today.  You are the first of all of my favorites to turn ten, and I am currently a little weepy about it.  I cannot imagine how your mother must feel. :)

I remember the very first time I met you - and your whole family - when I brought Spencer to your pool party at Forsyth for your 3rd (?) birthday.  I stayed for the party and instantly knew I had new friends in the Morrows.  And all these years later y'all aren't friends, you are family.

Jack, you are the best.  You are a heartbreaker and you have no idea that you are.  Girls will be chasing you around any day now and I have a feeling you'll be surprised, because I don't think you know how cool you are. You are kind and funny and polite and loving.  You have a big heart and you care so much for people.  It only takes about five minutes of being around you to figure that out.

You've always been a picky eater, so I've always just stuck to spoiling you with donuts and cupcakes and ice cream.  That has worked out just fine. :)  You wiped the floor with me in air hockey when you were no older than 5, and melted my heart when you fell head over heels for baby Lulu at last year's Halloween party.

You're one of my favorite dates.  Dinner with you is nicer than dinner with some people I've gone on real dates with.  I hope you never outgrow our dates because boy would that make me sad...

Happy Birthday, you stud.  I sure do love you!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Field of Dreams

So, over the weekend I spent a LOT of time at the pool - Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  When you are weekend babysitting for two HIGH energy boys and it is Summer, you go to the pool...  I did great ALL weekend until Sunday, when, for some reason, even with plenty of sunscreen, I got cooked.  And this decided to then kick it up with a nice 'intensified' burn/reaction because of some medicine that I take.  I was in more pain that night than I have been in in a VERY long time.  I like to think that I have a high pain tolerance, but on Sunday, whew, I was not feeling good at all.

All of this sets up the fact that last night, Ann Parke told me that Spencer had a baseball game Tuesday night if I'd like to come.  I told her that because even being out in the heat for a minute or two made me feel sick because it heated up the burn again, I didn't think I could do it.  I felt guilty because I haven't been good at all about making out to see these games this year.  Then this morning Mary told me that Will's team was the one playing Spencer's team tonight.  Now I knew I had to go, sunburn or not.

So, I came home from work this afternoon, slathered myself in some 'nothing's getting through this stuff' SPF sunscreen, put on long sleeves, jeans and a baseball hat (in 90 degree weather) and headed out to the Little League fields.  I would do anything for these boys, without a thought.

Well...  I was that dumb looking girl that must have seemed like I didn't know what was going on, because I cheered and clapped and hooted and hollered for both teams.  I got to see Will catch, Spencer pitch, both of them each have a fabulous, clean hit, and watch both of them round the bases and score a run.  Did I maybe cry a little?  Absolutely.  

Mary emailed me tonight to say that she knew I had to have been feeling pretty bad out there, but that Will was so happy to have a cheering section at the game...  It dawned on me that the whole time I was out there I don't even think I noticed that I was hot or uncomfortable because I was just so wrapped up in watching two of my favorite people ever out there doing their thing - and killing it!  

I still have, in two matching little frames in my apartment, their T-Ball pictures from the first year they played and I just can't believe how big they are now...

Oh, and don't worry - Frick & Frack were there, too. :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Little Effort...

As time goes on, it naturally becomes harder and harder to try to keep up with all of the people that are important to me.  People are busy and live all over and (at this point in the game for folks my age) are immersed in having kids and raising some great little people.

But, a little effort to try to keep up with folks and touch base with them when possible is so important to me.  It may mean some crazy coordinating of schedules, some time in the car, some busy days and a little more gas in the car than I like to think about the cost of, but it is ALWAYS worth it.

This past weekend I hit the highway and made all sorts of stops and visits.

The first was lunch in Durham with my dear friend Eric, his wife Allison, and my friend Mark on Saturday.  (Poor Mark took the photo so he doesn't get any exposure.  Sorry Mark!  And thank you!)

Eric and I have been friends since high school and even though we managed to attend rival schools over the years (Go Spartans, Go Pack!), he is still one of my favorite people.  He is married to the sweetest, kindest girl and I have loved getting to know her some over the years as well.  And Mark is the younger brother of my best friend from college, and he has gotten to know Eric and Allison in Durham.  Worlds colliding for me!  I love when that happens.

Next it was off to Amanda's wedding in Durham that night.  I met up with Amanda right after lunch to help with photo duty and had no idea I'd get the chance to be one-on-one with her almost all afternoon.  It was such a gift.  She is one of my favorite people and was a true guiding force for me in high school (when you go through that yucky time of not knowing who in the world you are) and has been one of my dearest friends ever since.  We had a fun old Spartan crew at the wedding complete with Belton coming from Tennessee for the fun for a total Mt. Tabor flashback.  What fun!

Then it was off to the beach for a few days with Mom, where I promptly arranged for a few other fun visits with folks down that way!

First, I went to see the Lillys, who I babysat for in college.  Before there were ANY of my kids in Winston, I had the Lillys.  Through the most random connections ever I ended up starting to keep Chandler and Collier, who at the time were almost 3-years-old and 8-months-old.  I had no idea how I would fall in love with these kids and their parents.  Right after I graduated they were joined by a baby brother, Steven, who is equally as precious as the first two.  The Lillys were in Wrightsville for the weekend and I couldn't wait to see them.

It had been AGES and the kids are now 10, 8 and 6.  I could have fallen apart crying when I saw them.  Even though I have watched them grow in Christmas cards over the years it was still insane to me to see how big they all are.  And SO sweet.  Hugs hugs hugs for Becca.  I was in total heaven.

The next day I headed into town to visit with Matt, Liz and Matthew.  Matt is my best friend from college, and he and Liz - and Matthew! - are like family to me.  Matthew is getting so big and he is so busy.  It was so great to see them and catch up for a little while.  It is a big big big deal to me to know the children of the dear friends that I have, so I was thrilled to get to spend a little time with this little (big!) guy.

And, I can't not mention dinner with sweet Blair on the way home last night.  We didn't get a picture, but here we are from Elizabeth's wedding just so she doesn't get left out!  It was, as always, great to see her as well.

So yes, the miles are on the car and I am totally beat, but in a great, sweet, happy way.  My heart is full after ANY kind of time spent with people I don't see often, so it's all but about to explode after the past few days of love love love.  So worth the effort!  How great is that?!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dear Gabby

Today you (along with a lot of my other favorite people) had your Spring Program at Knollwood.  For as long as you have been there, I have been sitting in the floor every time with my camera, front and center, and the second you see me you wave like crazy and yell my name.  It makes me melt every time.  Please don't grow up.

When I tucked you in bed last night I told you I'd see you tomorrow at school, and you were so excited that you were going to get to do the Macarena and that I would see that you had learned the whole thing.

Work got crazy this morning, Peanut, and I just couldn't get there.  Amy told me that you got to your spot on stage and instinctively called out my name.  And I was not there.  And you noticed.  Talk about a hot poker to the chest!

I WILL BE THERE tomorrow, sweet girl.  God Bless Knollwood for having to do this thing two days every time.

I sure do love you. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

1000 Words...

This is why I love taking pictures.  Shots like these.

Friday, May 13, 2011


My big brother - um, cousin, I mean - Brian is getting married at the end of the summer.  He and his fiancee, Christina, live up in DC, so guess where I got to go to take their engagement photos a while back?!

I was so excited to be asked to do this for them.  Grayson and I decided to make a weekend of it, so we hopped a plane and headed up back in April for a fun filled weekend in 'The District' with 2 fabulous tour guides.

(To offer a little clarification - they are collectively and affectionately referred to as "Vanderstina" - a combination of part of his last name and the last part of her first name.  Our own family "Brangelina", if you will...)

Christina is obsessed with The Capitol.  I appreciate this as I feel the same towards the Lincoln Memorial.  This being said, this is where Brian proposed - with our grandmother's gorgeous ring - and where we headed to take pictures.

They will get married on my Mom and Dad's 34th anniversary, which will make the day even more special.  Brian is having all of the boys in the wedding, and Christina, bless her sweet heart, has so quickly fallen right into step with our crazy family that she 'got it' all early on and asked me, Laney and Elizabeth to be in the wedding as well.  The white dinner jackets and the hot pink bridesmaids dresses against the mountain backdrop in Blowing Rock should make for some killer pictures, I must say.  And I can't wait to be in them!

These are just a few of my favorites from our Sunday morning shoot in DC.  Luckily it was a little chilly and also the middle of the Cherry Blossom Parade which was not necessarily close to where we were, so we didn't have crowds to deal with at all.  It's like we were the only people there!

Christina and Brian - I love you and am counting the minutes until the big day!!!

Camera Drama: A Recap...

I know that all of this camera business lately may not be a big deal to some people.  BUT, I have no husband and no children, so please cut me some slack.  My camera is my trusty sidekick that doesn't need a carseat and doesn't hog the covers.  So, when there is trouble in paradise, it's a bit of an issue.  Especially when that trouble coincides with the blooming of every flower in town that people want their children standing in front of for photos.  Here is a timeline, if you will, of the hoopla I've been dealing with lately.

March 4th: At Jane & Griffin's Wedding Eve party, snapping away.  All of a sudden, my pride and joy Nikon D80 just STOPS.  No dead battery, no full memory card, no lens that has slipped out of it's ring - nothing.  Just d-e-a-d.  Below is the last photo taken on that camera.  I think it pretty much sums up who is responsible for this problem.  These guys:

Yes, I think you 4 broke my camera.  But I digress...

Luckily, I still have my first DSLR, a D70.  Ann Parke had been borrowing it, but I savagely reclaimed it early Saturday morning so that I would have something to use at the wedding that night.  Good thing, because we had a large time...and it needed to be documented!

April 15th: After much research and being in no HUGE hurry with the D80 since I had a safety net, I finally shipped the D80 off to Nikon in New York for repair.  That afternoon I took off to Pinehurst for Bill & Lauren's wedding. 

That night we had dinner before their Wedding Eve party (I love the South) and before leaving dinner, a whole big gaggle (yes) of us went to the ladies' room before leaving.  I very carefully put my camera on the shelf above the toilet and then watched in slow motion horror as it slid off and right into the toilet.  I snatched it out like a mother pulling her child out from in front of a bus, but everyone in there heard it happen.  The room went from lots of chitter chatter to silence to sweet Meg gently asking me if she just had just heard what she thought she had just heard...  Mind you, this was less than 12 hours after I sent the other one to Nikon.  For the love...

I completely took it apart right there on the bathroom counter, handed different pieces to the 9 or so people that were in there, all in snazzy cocktail attire, dried it all off, and somehow, it survived and I was able to capture the whole weekend.  Whew.

April 20th: Nikon calls from NY about the D80.  They can't fix it.  No, I'm sorry, they can't even touch it.  I'm sorry???  Turns out (please read carefully to not ever make the same mistake), when I got 'such a deal' on eBay 3 years ago when I bought the thing, it was because it was a 'grey market' camera, meaning it wasn't to be sold in the U.S.  Nikon USA literally wasn't even allowed to touch it after tracking the maybe-not-quite-so-terribly-legal serial number.  FABULOUS.  They couldn't even tell me what country it was meant for.  Great.  My speed-limit driving, census completing, straight and narrow self felt sure the FBI was going to show up with handcuffs on this one. 

I had lunch with Mom that day and told her about it all.  I was certainly frustrated but at the same time, this was nowhere near the end of the world.  I later had a call from Dad that he and Mom were planning to get me a new camera for my birthday this year anyway (30 - how has THAT happened?) so they'd like to go ahead and get it for me.  Who am I to deny them? :)

After some research and consultation with the photographer that did Elizabeth's wedding (thank you Brian!) I figured out what would be best for me, what would still jive with all of my 12 years of lens collecting, and about a week later this gorgeous thing showed up:

The new Nikon D7000.  This girl has died and gone to heaven.  It does everything but fold my laundry, from what I can tell.

Y'all think I was annoying with a camera before?  You just wait.  Buckle up.

And, for good measure, here's a cute picture of Parrish.  Just because. :)