Thursday, March 28, 2013

Random Thursday: Top 3 Books Turned to Movies

Linking up with Em, Lin and Meg for Random Thursday.

I love this week's random topic!  I am such a movie whore, so I had to jump on board with this one. :-)

I warn you, this speaks to the geek in me.  Enjoy.

{Lord of the Rings}

Lord of the Rings is fantastic!  The book itself is extremely detailed, and the movies were done extremely well.  They earned every single Academy Award they won, and probably deserved to win a few more. :-)

{The Hobbit}

Ok, ok, I know, this is only part of the book.  They still have two more intallments to release in the next few years.  However, this first installment was so incredibly good; I know the rest will follow suit.  The book itself is pretty small (only 330 pages) so I know additional details and scenes were added to the movie, but it all worked well together. 

{Harry Potter Series}

The first movie was amazing; the second didn't disappoint; and so on and so forth.  Were they perfect? No.  Did they include everything that should have been included from the books? Nope.  BUT--they are movies that were well done under the circumstances, and I couldn't wait to go see each one when they came out.  They are still some of my favorite movies.

Good stuff right there, folks. :-)

Happy Thursday....we're almost to the weekend!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday Topics: Eight Favorite Posts

I've missed this link-up for two straight weeks.  I blame it on the sickness going around my household...I was obviously in a different state of mind.  Or just loaded up on the cold medicine....

The Austin Family Diary
Linking up with two lovely ladies, Lauren and Tiffany, for Tuesday Topics.  Today's topic is eight favorite posts.  They can be your own posts, or someone else's posts, or a mix of both.

I'm going to kick this thang off with a few of my own posts.

{Something Personal}
Getting this out in the open was one of the best things I ever did.  Everyone's love and support has been seriously amazing!

{The Greatest Story of Them All}
If you're a mom, and you've never written a birth story, do it!  It's nice to look back and remember the day(s) of or leading up to the birth of a child.  I still read this post quite often. :-)

I know, I talk about photography constantly, but this post was a bit more raw to me.  It lays it all out: who I am as a photographer; how I feel; and how I should be proud of it all!
{Coulda', Woulda', Shoulda'}
This post was a doozy to write at the time,  but now I look back at it and seriously laugh my ass off.  Darren and I were reading it the other night and cracking up! 

Now, how about some posts by others? 

{Rachel Vanoven -- Northern Lights PPA Conference}
I've mentioned recently that I found a photographer's blog/website/facebook page that I follow religiously.  She really opened my eyes in realizing that my work is mine, and that's it.  I should be proud of what I do.  She explains her love for what she does in this post, along with how her experience was at a particular conference.  Great post!

{Rachel Vanoven -- Priorities}
This is another post by Rachel that really caught my eye.  It discusses her priorities, and working it all out with her business.  It made me realize that I need to set my own priorities going forward.  There is always going to be work to do no matter how hard you try to get it all done.  My little guy won't always be little, and time with my husband is super important.  I know all of this, but seeing another photographer blog about it really puts it into perspective!

{Weight Hate by Tamara @ Lehmann Laughter}
This girl is such a kick-ass person!  This post is so inspiring; I am so glad she was brave enough to share it and put it out there.  I love this girl!

{Rules, Schmules by Allie @ Tales of a Twenty Something}
I love Allie's take on blogging and her view points on different aspects of it.  I love posts like these, and her's is definitely one to read. Love it! :-)

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Snow, Crazies, and Yo-Yos

Gah, where did all of this snow come from?  I can't stand it....not to mention I was in stand-still traffic for over an hour this morning.  A semi had jack-knifed across both southbound lanes on the interstate, so we had nothing to do but wait for that to be fixed.  The same exact thing happened in about the same spot on the northbound lanes, so those folks were in the same waiting game we were.  Fun fun.  I just sat back, ate my breakfast (seriously, where has Greek yogurt been all my life?!) and watched the crazies graze about the stopped vehicles.  I saw two interesting things in particular:

One guy decided to hop out of his vehicle with his backpack on, and take a hike up the northbound lanes.  It was weird....I still don't understand why he did that.
Then, not much later, I saw a girl with nothing but a tight shirt and sweatpants on, burst out of her vehicle, run down into the ditch, bury an unknown object (guesses on what it was, anyone?) and then run back up to her vehicle.  Sorry, I didn't get a picture of that nonsense!

So, that's how this day has gone, but this weekend was a pretty good one.  I had a meeting with a client for a 2014 wedding (we booked it! yay!) and we attempted a session with Ryder for some Easter pictures.  He is so stubborn...I only got a whopping two pictures that I would print. 

This is the face I usually get when I point the camera in his direction.

He's getting so big.  It makes me sad. :-(

We decided to make a quick trip to Bloomington, but Ryder was so tired and grouchy, we came home sooner than expected.  He was in a much better mood when we got home, so I decided to get my camera out and take some pictures of my boys. :-) 

Also, you'll notice all of my pictures now have a watermark embedded.  Lately, I've been hearing of awful things happening to pictures of families/little ones on blogs, so I made the decision to jump onboard with the watermarking.  It's easy, so why not?

These boys love yo-yos!

Ryder is obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  I can sing the intro song, the toodles song, and the hot dog song by memory.  Sad, huh?

Love them. :-)

Oh yeah, remember when Tanner was small?

Not so much anymore!

Sunday, Ryder was in such a good mood, I decided to get my camera out again for more random pics. :-)  I don't do this nearly enough.

His expressions were cracking me up!

I have a slight obsession with his long eyelashes.  Love them! :-)

Happy Monday, peeps. I hope you enjoyed this picture overload, and I hope your travel endeavors were much better than mine today. ;-)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Ruffles and Lace

Happy Friday, friends!  After being on antibiotics for this nasty sinus infection/chest cold thang, I'm finally starting to feel like myself again.  Thank goodness for that....two weeks of this crap is more than enough.

Last weekend I had a session with a little cutie for her first birthday.  The poor thing was sick, tired, and just wanted her momma.  We were still able to get some cute smiles and expressions out of her.  I adore this first outfit choice; gotta' love the ruffles and lace!  I'd be in HUGE trouble if I had a baby girl....there are so many adorable outfit choices!

I love that the backdrop matched the mustard color of her outfit perfectly!

We pulled out this mirror, and she had a blast with it.  So adorable. :-)

Love the outfit choices!

Her mom did such a good job on the cake. Love it! Not to mention, look at her adorable bracelet!!  When her mom pulled that out I about died.  SO CUTE!

Happy upcoming birthday, little lady. :-)

Have a great weekend, peeps.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Lately, I've been feeling so fidgety and anxious about my photography journey.  What should I specialize in, if anything?  Should I change my editing technique?  Should I do away with my flash lights and stick to a more natural light approach?  Should I change up my marketing materials and branding?  What should I do, in general? Should I join more associations/groups?  What is most important to invest in?  These thoughts, plus a ton more, have been swimming in my noggin' for the past few weeks.

In anything, it's easy to compare; whether you are comparing yourself to where you want to be, or where you used to be, or where you are currently.  It's easy to lose sight of something you love, something you find joy in doing, and it's easy to stop doing it for you.

I've felt like this recently. 

Now, don't get me wrong.  I love photography, and I have no plans of stopping or slowing down.  However, like I said in the beginning of this, I've felt anxious lately.  I don't even know how to put what I'm exactly feeling into words.  Stuck, maybe?  I don't know.

I do things my own way, and I have my own style (session and editing-wise.)  In ways, I think I am still discovering where I want my style to be and where I want the business to go.  I am secure in that fact.  So, why do I feel this way?

Expectations may be the key here.  I think, in any business, there are expectations.  Maybe, in a way, I felt like I was missing out, or behind in certain aspects.  There are so many associations available to photographers; so many workshops; so many networking events; so many props to buy; so many things to learn.  There is just so much, in general, available that it is so mind-numbing and consuming.  Seeing all of these other photographers and where they are and what they are apart of made me think I was, in a way, beneath them somehow.  Silly, right?  I don't know why I thought this way.  But, I did, and it was really eating at me.

Today, I read an amazing blog by another photographer, and let me tell you something, it was absolutely refreshing to hear her views.  She doesn't offer/do things that other photographers do; she definitely has her own style;  and she absolutely loves what she does! I follow her work through Facebook and I visit her site often, just to see what she's done recently.  Reading this was so refreshing to me.  So assuring.  It really struck a chord with me, and I'm so glad I read it.

As I was reading through her blog, and letting it all sink in, I realized that I was focusing too much on how others run their business, or what they offer, or how they got to where they are.  I was focusing on what others may think of me, my work/style, and my business.  Focusing on how I do things and how I run my own business, simply for me, is what's important.  How I run a session, how I interact with clients, how I's all my workflow; all my things; all mine.  And I should be proud of it; all of it.  And I am.  I am so proud of where I started, where I am, and where I want to be. 

I don't have to prove/compare myself to anyone.  I need to be proud of myself and look at where I am and what I've become as a photographer.  I need to continue to make myself happy, and do things I enjoy.  I enjoy photography immensely.  I am so passionate about it.  It's that simple to me.  It's important to not lose sight of what makes me, me, and what makes my work, mine.  It's mine, and I couldn't be prouder.  My style is my own, and that's how it will stay.

Happy Thursday! :-)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, Meg! So, How About Some Free Stuff?!

Happy Monday, friends! How's it going for all of you wonderful peeps? I wish I could say today is awesome, but, I can't seem to get over my cold/flu/cough nastiness, and my little guy is sick as well. Our house needs to get healthy, and quick! I think we all need to say goodbye to cold and flu season, fo' sho'. 

Anyway, I'm super excited to be a part of a group giveaway for the lovely Meg's birthday! There is some seriously awesome crap up for grabs, folks, so check out the post below, straight from Meg's blog. Who doesn't love free stuff?!

 (from Meg's blog)

I am so excited to announce my first ever giveaway!  If you follow me on twitter or instagram you might have noticed me desperately asking for people to contribute to a group giveaway in celebration of my birthday next week!

I got some pretty amazing and beautiful people to help give you awesome people some kick ass prizes!
too many nouns?
click on a beautiful face to see their blog.
and because I like to share the love we will be having two winners.

 1st Place

$20 sephora gift card from linny’s vault
easter basket full of goodies from lehmann laughter
$20 etsy gift card for jonikay52
$15 amazon gift card from maurer power
$15 starbucks gift card from you’re meaghan me crazy
2 months of gold ad space on daffodils and lace
1 month of loved ad space from you’re meaghan me crazy
5 redbox rental codes from busy as a honey bee
$115.50 value

2nd Place
$20 target gift card from sweet home amy
$20 elf gift card from you’re meaghan me crazy
$10 amazon gift card form maurer power
$10 starbucks gift card from you’re meaghan me crazy
1 months of gold ad space on daffodils and lace
1 month of liked ad space from you’re meaghan me crazy
3 redbox rental codes from busy as a honey bee
1 month of letter ad space on jo my gosh
$59.50 value

good luck!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Random Thursday: Pet Peeves

I've missed this link-up the past few weeks, but today's topic is pretty spectacular, so I jumped right on it.

Today I'm joining Lin, Em and Meg for....

Today's topic is all about.....

Let's get it started, shall we?

Talking during the movie AND the previews-- I am one of those odd ducks that enjoys not only the movie, but the previews before the movie as well.  When people talk through both, it takes all of my strength and dignity to refrain from shoving their face in their popcorn tub.

Hovering-- If you want something, don't hover behind me and look over my shoulder.  Come around to the front so I can see your face.

When people don't respond to texts-- I completely understand getting busy and simply forgetting to return a text once in awhile.  But, when this happens all of the time with the same person/people, it gets a little irritating.

Baby talk-- I get it.  Babies are cute.  I dig babies.  I've had a baby.  However, I didn't talk to him in that cutesy schmootsy voice/tone with the fake know what I'm talking about, right?  I don't even know how to type it out....haha.

Frequent weather changes-- I know I have no control over this one, but how annoying is it that one day it may be 60 degrees, and the next day it is a whopping 30 degrees.  Then it's this whole vicious cycle of the weather playing with our minds.  The weather is such a bitch.

Telemarketers-- No, folks, sorry, I don't want to talk about that credit card I don't have that will just change my life, nor will I be giving you any of my personal info over the phone.  Nice try, though.

Gas prices-- Gah, so expensive.  I wince when I fill up my vehicle. 

Bad grammar-- I am not perfect with grammar by any means, but, I do know the difference between your/you're/its/it's/were/we're/etc....

I feel like a big fat whiny pants right now, so I think that's where I'll end this pet peeve rant. 

Good day to you all. :-)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cuties and Cake

I've been staying busy with sessions the last couple of months, and  I've had some great sessions recently with some adorable little sweeties that I wanted to share. :-)

This first little guy is Erin's little man, and he's absolutely adorable.  I LOVE seeing him every 3 months!  These are from his 9 month session.

Mr. Serious :-)

LOVE his eyes!! :-)

The next session I'm sharing was for a little guy turning 1!  He's another one that I'll miss seeing every three months.  He's such a cutie pie!

This is how it started.....

And it ended in complete cake destruction!  He destroys the cake even more after this point.  It was hilarious!

Have a happy hump day, peeps! ;-)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Grandma Potter

Where do I even start...?

Last Thursday I got the call, one that you never want to get, one that you're not ever really prepared for.  Last Thursday, I found out my grandma was not going to make it.  It was such an unexpected sudden.  I didn't know what to think, I just knew I had to get to the hospital.

My grandma had been in the hospital for a few days to figure some things out.  She had a surgery that the doctors thought would help some of the issues at hand, and it seemed as if she was going to bbe ok,  that is, until things took a turn for the worst.  That's when I got the call.

I spent the next two days in a fog, spending time with grandma and other family at the hospital, just waiting.  Do you know how hard that is?  Waiting for the worst?  I put on a positive demeanor....I wanted to stay strong for everyone, especially my dad.  Seeing a parent upset never gets easy, in fact, it gets harder as you get older, because I think you really start to understand things with more clarity.  I know I have, especially this last week.

Patricia Potter passed away on Saturday, March 2nd.  I didn't make it to the hospital in time, but, she was surrounded by family, and that's what matters.

My grandma was a wonderful person, filled with love and a beaming personality.  She made the BEST mashed potatoes and banana cream pie, EVER!  For those of you that like meatloaf, I heard she made a mean meatloaf.  She called everyone hunny, and gave those hugs that made you feel like everything was going to be ok.  She loved with her whole heart, and was such a genuinely lovely person to be around.  She loved little dogs, especially yorkies.
When I was little, we would go down to her and grandpa's home a lot.  I drank a lot of diet 7-up (complete with bendy straw) and ate a lot of candy down at that place.  I watched them do crossword puzzles, play monopoly (very heated game in my family), and I watched my grandma sew and quilt.  It's the little things I remember most.

I remember when she met Ryder for the first time....she held him for a solid hour, even though he was heavy and I couldn't even do that anymore.  She just stared at him, and you could see in her eyes how much she loved him, and how much she loved her family.

All of those things, that's what I want to hold onto.  I want to remember the good times we all shared.  I want to remember my grandma just as she was.

One of my best days, filled with love and with everyone I love.  Grandma looked beautiful this day, and everyday for that matter. :-)  This is how I want to remember her....not in a hospital bed.
I miss her terribly, and I always will.  I think these things get harder as I get older.  I realize that time can sometimes be fleeting, which is an eye opener in the biggest sense.

This week and last week haven't been the easiest, but, it's comforting to know that my grandma is truly at peace, and no longer in any kind of pain.

I love you grandma, and I miss you everyday!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Giveaway Winner Announced!

Wow, this giveaway was a HUGE success!  I can't wait to host another one in the future.  Thanks guys!!! :-)

The winner of the $40 PayPal cash is............

Brittany Trevino

Congratulations Brittany!  I'll be emailing you shortly to get this all squared away.

Thanks again everyone for making this such a great success.  You're all amazeballs...just sayin'.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesday Topics: One Guilty Pleasure

Hey guys, sorry I've been MIA the last few days.  We had something major happen, but, that's another post for another day (soon-ish, I promise!)

But anyway, on to today's link-up with Lauren and Tiffany for Tuesday Topics.

Today's topic is one guilty pleasure.  Well, my friends, this is a newer guilty pleasure for me, but I just can't get enough!

One word...cupcakes.

There's this bakery in Bloomington that makes the best cupcakes I've ever tasted.  It's called Sugar Mama Bakery (go check them out for pictures of all the cupcake goodness!)  Oh my word, these cupcakes are fantastic!  I've had the pleasure of tasting red velvet, salted caramel (MY FAVE!!), Cookies n' Cream, straight up vanilla, and peanut butter cup.  All of them are so delicious!  I bought some over the weekend while I was in Bloomington, and I'm pretty sad that they're all gone. :-(  I guess another trip is in store very soon!

Happy Tuesday, friends.  Have a good one!

P.S.  Don't forget to enter my giveaway: $40 CASH! :-)  Go HERE to enter! :-)   The giveaway runs through midnight on Thursday March 7th.  Good luck!

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