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. :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Favorite Little Artist

A few weeks ago Sam told me that his class was learning about artists.  This kid retains EVERYTHING so I was sure he'd soak it all up like a sponge.  I didn't get much detail then about what all they were 'studying' but was sure he wouldn't miss a beat.

This weekend he told me he had an art show at school on Monday morning.  Last night he called me to see if I would like to come.  It would be at 9:00.  A.M.  (He was very adamant that I know it was in the morning...just to be sure I didn't show up for an art show at the preschool at 9:00 at night.)

I hopped on over to Knollwood this morning, and, as usual, nearly cried watching one of my favorite kids do his thing.  Let me tell you, I was totally blown away by what these kids have learned.  Monet, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Picasso, Michelangelo, Pollock...it was amazing.  They have gotten to make 'masterpieces' in all of the different ways that these artists did, can recognize different famous paintings not just based on memorizing them, but based on the styles used, can tell you who did abstract work, who did portraits, etc.  I was about to bust with pride for a class full of kids that, let's face it, can't even tie their own shoes yet.

At the end of it, Sam asked me who my favorite was.  I'm a Picasso girl.  When I asked him the same question, he said "Van Gogh!  That guy was a kook!"

LOVE.  Example #9283 of why I'd rather spend my time hanging out with kids than doing anything else in the world...