Monday, July 25, 2011

Symptom Checker

I have had this illness for months now…probably a year to be more accurate. It’s awful!  
The symptoms are as follows:

1) Hurts to look at a baby with chunky legs and big fat cheeks.

2) Gets whip lash when in the store and pass by a new mom and a baby.

3) Craves the use of my glider rocking chair.

4) Nibbles on baby toes like it’s a bad habit.

5) Browses in the newborn section at Target.

And the most unusual symptom to date…

            6) Looks forward to more waddling and uncomfortable sleepless nights during pregnancy.

Yep, it’s baby fever! And the diagnosis was clear to me when Addisyn had turned six months old. That is when I turned to Steve and in complete seriousness told him I was ready for another baby.  So why mention it to you a year later? Well, the fever peeked again this past weekend when I got to hang out with this little one.

It could have been the combination of her chubby legs, those irresistible cheeks, and the cute sand covered piggy’s.  But, it was most likely because of  the heart melting that commenced when I watched Addisyn climb on the chair next to Kaylee, pick up a spoon, and feed her (a true sign of a big sister in the works).  I think it is safe to say…I got the fever!!!!!!

I think my friend Katie can agree that they grow up too darn fast! Her little boys aren't so little anymore...

 But she still has her baby...and all the piggy nibbling she can handle!


What is this look? "Mom, please stop taking pictures of me!" look?

Cheers to good times...and BABIES!


Monday, July 18, 2011

MomMom turned 60!

My mom used to tell me about a moment when she saw a change in me. I was five years old and anxiously awaiting my first bus ride on my first day of school.  “I will give you twenty kisses before I leave”, I promised.  I’m sure that just melted my mom’s heart. But, the excitement of the day got the best of me and when I saw the yellow bus coming down the road, I ran out the door and forgot all about my mom and the twenty kisses I had promised. Supposedly,  and how my mom tells it, I came home a different girl that afternoon.  I was a little bit more independent and probably plenty more rebellious from that day forward.

To say that I caused my fair share of arguments throughout my teen years and into my early twenties would be an understatement. I am sure this is a familiar tune to many moms and dads raising teenage girls. In my case, my high school years of rebellion and disrespect rolled into my college days of making bad choices which then landed me on my own in the military. There was a lot of growing up I needed to do and I knew the military would afford me that opportunity. Still, there was something that all the military training in the world couldn’t teach me – the importance of family.
Finally, after six years in the military, a marriage, a divorce, another bad relationship, a deployment, meeting the love of my life, and having my first child – it has all clicked. Family is everything. My mom has always understood that and has given me many selfless years of showing it.  My heart melts at the way she lights up when Addisyn is around. Addisyn feels it, I feel it, and my mom feels it – the love of family. 

Mom, thank you for being such an amazing mom to us four kids and an even more amazing MomMom to Addisyn. I can’t explain the joy I feel when I see her reaching out for you and holding onto you. You make her happy and she knows she is loved in your arms. I will forever cherish these moments between the three of us and pass it on to my grandkids!  Happy 60th ~ We are so blessed!

~ Okay, but time I am home we have to get a serious picture of you two!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

One More for Love The Story: Chapter 21 - Heart Attack

“Hey Stacy!” I said, trying to sound happy, but not too excited. “I was hoping you would call back. Sorry I missed your first call.  You were right on it; I saw the number from base and let it go to voicemail.  How have you been? How’s the deployment?”

“Hi! Oh. My. Gosh! The deployment has been so much fun - amazing actually.”  She was excited with the same soft yet confident voice that I had remembered.  “I totally needed to get away from home, as is apparent by the realization that my idiot boyfriend was cheating on me. It is hot as stink and we work twelve hour shifts six days a week, but I have met an amazing friend named Sarah. We have been hanging out every day since she got here and it has been almost a vacation for me.   I am incredibly annoyed by a five-hundred dollar phone bill and the fact that Chris has the keys to my new home and that I stayed with such a loser for so long, but other than that I am great!”

There it was; the final confirmation that this phone call was officially on uncharted waters.  Stacy and I had developed a strong friendship, but now a new variable swam steady within our conversation…opportunity.  One good thing about my time on the dating scene was that I had learned the value of patience.  My best shot of having any type of relationship with Stacy was to keep in contact for the remaining months of her deployment then slowly work my way into a couple of dates once she returned.  Normally, I would have been worried about another guy moving in (which was still likely), but because deployments consist of all types of people from bases across the globe, they are not the ideal platform for launching a long term relationship.

“That’s awesome!” I responded.  “So glad to hear the deployment is going well, but how on earth did Chris charge up a five-hundred dollar phone bill?  And he has the keys to your house?  Oh, and don’t feel alone on sticking it out with a cheater-slash-loser.  I found out Melissa was cheating on me on Christmas Eve and we’ve been donso ever since.”

It was funny to think of the hours we’d spent at work on the flightline venting our relationship woes in tones of despair.  Then there we were, discussing Chris and Melissa again, only this time with relief and excitement. 

“Yeah, Chris told me all about you and Melissa.” Stacy continued, “I have decided that Chris is either a complete idiot or he wanted to get caught. We have a family share plan on my phone because he didn't have a phone and it would be impossible to get a hold of him. I asked him to continue paying the bills for me while I was gone and left him with several checks written out to the phone company with the general amount it would be. He has been acting a little weird each time I’ve talked to him since I left the states so I decided to go online and look up my phone bill. I saw that it was five-hundred dollars because of all of these Maryland and Louisiana numbers he was calling. So in my crazy investigative way I called the Maryland one because it was the most frequently dialed number and his girlfriend picked up…She was really nice and surprised to hear that we were still dating. Apparently we broke up prior to my deployment.”

It still seemed incredible that someone could be with Stacy Morey and want to date other women.  Who else did he think was out there?  Yet, it was hard for me to feel sorry for the guy because his loss stood to potentially be my gain.  I could feel my heart rate start to rev up like a dragster waiting for the green light as I let the thought of possibly being with Stacy enter my mind.  All of the sudden, my plan of playing it cool until Stacy returned to the states was turning into my plan of completely unloading how I felt right then and there. Somehow I was able to refocus, reel it back in and continue to act like I had no expectations beyond casual conversation…close call.

“Wow…that’s crazy, but I’m not all that surprised.” I responded; cool as a penguin with his hat on backward. “I saw him at a bar a few weeks ago with a couple of girls who he seemed to be very friendly with.  Hey, maybe him and Melissa will meet up in a bar somewhere and be PERFECT for each other.”  She laughed softly…man I’m cool. “Anyhow, it looks like it’s the single life for us.  What are you going to do with your new found freedom?”

This was an important question.  There was a good chance that Stacy was really hurt by the break up, was hiding it by joking around, and had no intention of dating anyone for a long time.  Also, she may already have someone in mind who she wanted to pursue.   

“I am soo excited to be single and free. I feel like a new person and I love that I don't have to ‘answer’ to anyone. I can't wait to get home to my new house and decorate and do my own thing and I am done with relationships for a while.  Whenever I get back, we should hang out. I think a celebration barbecue is in order for the both of us. The funny thing is that I am so happy this relationship is FINALLY over with. It feels really good to be talking to you about it. Ya know?”

Based on this response, I started to doubt my plan.  My mind was convinced that the logical thing to do, based on my past experiences, was to wait out the next three months of her deployment, talk to her periodically, then skillfully work myself into a first date at the barbecue.  But my heart was telling me; “spill it Steve!  Tell her how you lie awake some nights thinking of what it would be like to be with her.  Or how she put you in an upright coma the first time you saw her.  The bridle’s off this pony now don’t hold back!  Tell her how you have been trying to meet someone just like her, but have failed to find anyone who could even enter the discussion of comparing to her.  Tell her you think you love her.”

Wait, did I love her?  The thought that had been lingering in my subconscious for over a year had finally come to the surface setting my logic and emotion into a chaotic frenzy, I somehow managed to gather myself and put together a coherent response.         

“I know exactly how you feel.  It makes me wonder why I stayed with someone I was unhappy with for so long.  Just goes to show that just because there isn’t a ‘good reason’ to break up, doesn’t mean two people should stay together.  Being unhappy is reason enough.  I’m definitely down to barbecue. You can count on me and the boys being there when you get back.”

“Is that what you really wanted to say?”, my heart started in again. “Your ‘unhappiness is a reason enough to break-up’ philosophy?  Really?  You’re on the phone with the woman of your dreams and this is your conversation?  Lay it all on the line!  Tell her you...”

 “You have one minute remaining.” Interrupted the phone operator in an automated female voice.

“Operator?  Who invited this chick? One minute we’re gonna have to make this quick.” My heart chimed in with one final push.

“Well, I guess I have to go.” Said Stacy, clearly familiar with the one minute count down. “It was awesome to be able to talk to you. I couldn't wait another three months to tell you the news because the whole crazy story was just TOO good not to share. I can't wait to hang out whenever I get back home.”

“Yeah, keep me updated with your barbecue plans.” I said, feeling rushed.

“Barbecue plans? Unbelievable.” Said my heart, disappointed in my cowardice.

“I will.  Take care.”

“Ok, bye.”

I guess I wasn’t quite “cool” enough to play it cool…it was time for a new plan.

Monday, July 11, 2011

No Camera Needed

I stared at it for a good two minutes on my rush out the door.  To bring my camera or not bring my camera, that is the question. We had an 8:30am sharp beach departure time that was not to be messed with.  When it comes to spending a day at the beach, promptness is of utmost importance. I was sleepy from a late night up with my girlfriend Elaine and an unwelcomed, extremely early awakening from Addisyn.  My heart and soul were already at the beach taking in the rejuvenating sea salt air, but my body was still in bed dreaming of what it felt like to sleep in past 6:30am. Needless to say, I was looking forward to the moment when my legs would be stretched out on the towel with the sand tickling my toes, but I was equally dreading the lugging of beach necessities such as a small cooler, huge beach bag, beach chair, sunblocker tent for Addisyn, and my camera bag. If I take my camera with me, then I have one more thing to carry, I have to worry about constantly making sure it is sand free (an almost impossible task when at the beach), and I can’t just relax with Addisyn and Elaine. However, I know if I leave it here I won’t be able to photograph Addisyn when she is being cute in her beach baby, heart stopping, camera worthy sort of way. It was inevitable.

In a rare move, I left my camera behind. I was doing well up until the time I brought the beach chair down to where the waves were breaking, rolling onto the shore and washing onto our feet. Addisyn, a little unsure of how she felt about the waves, sat in my lap and took in everything about that day just like me; the people watching, the sound of the waves crashing, the occasional feet washing by the ocean waves, the warmth of the sun, and the moment of just me and her holding each other.  It was here that I felt a brief moment of regret. It was certainly something that I would never want to forget and I didn’t have my camera with me to snap away at our special moment.  As I began to sink into a pitty party, Addisyn hugged onto me a little tighter and screamed “Weeee!” with delight as a big wave broke in front of us and washed all the way up on our laps.  As quickly as the wave came to us, the regret left me.  This moment was engraved in my memory forever and when it comes to Addisyn, I discovered that I don’t need a camera to make an everlasting memory. 

I hope you enjoy some pics from our icecream trip today.

With Love,


 *This is Addisyn's mad face. And why was she mad? because I was eating an icecream cone that she wanted

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Year

A year ago today, I was typing out my first blog post for, “One More for Love”.   A blog that was inspired by a newly discovered love I had found in being a mother to my little Addisyn Faith and a platform that would allow me to capture and share even an ounce of my love for her, my husband, and the people around me.
Of course the blog would have to involve my growth in photography, I thought,  because not two weeks after I returned to work from maternity leave, I quit my corporate position with one hundred percent certainty that being a mommy and learning photography was what I was meant to do in life. And I am here, a year later, to tell you all…. That I was right! (Dang! It feels so good being right) Motherhood, photography, and blogging thrives in my soul like a baby thrives on her mother’s nutrients. I need it and want it, like, 126 times a day.
So here I am, a year later, telling you things are good.  Things are GREAT actually. One year, 86 posts, 23,067 blog hits, 36 professional photo shoots, 362 Facebook fans, and 365 days more of loving on my baby girl, I am here to tell you this; follow your dreams, relish in the fact that you ARE here for a very specific purpose and that even the simplest of lives are worth LIVING to the fullest.

This weekend was nothing short of incredible. It was family and friend time to the MAX and this girl can get down with that any day of the week. I am pretty sure that I am currently coming out of a  crab comatose, but I know  that  in this weekend I experienced these things:  laughing with friends and family, smiling, relaxin, Part I to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows while crab pickin (umm…yeah) ,  bbq’ing, farmer's market, crab pickin’ again, pool time with my two favs, sleeping in, and pushing off everything on my things-to do list. Every part of this weekend defined my state in this life – BLESSED! (even my $452.00 broken a/c repair - because it reminds me that I am fortunate enough to have air conditioning).
First, there was the trip to the local farmer's market Fifer Orchards
Her first cup of icecream that she shared with mommy

Cutest icecream eater ever!

off to the parks...

Testing the waters at the pool

You know my girl needs to block the sun in any way she can...

I loved all these special moments with Addisyn

Posing with daddy!

Taking a break for a little bit :-) 

Okay! Ready to go again, but first we have to test the  waters.

First, with her finger...

...and then her foot

Who could blame the girl? I nibble on those cute piggies all day long!

Her running stance...

Baby got back! (Notice the regular water filled diaper in her bathing suit)

She loves her daddy time

This was Addisyn's patriotic outfit. I love it! Thank you, Nana :-)

I only have two pictures with her in it because she wore it for 2.5 seconds before it was covered with water from the pool at her friend's house.

Meet Demetri, aka MiMi (pronounced me-me) as Addisyn would say

I am thinking she loves the pool. You?

Side note...Yummy! they are playing house

Another side note...I think most of you know about my obsession with fresh summer salsa...

Exhibit A (made by Angela). Need the recipe? click here
 and scroll down to the end of the post

Guess who loves the summer salsa?

Another side note .... look at those cute dirty piggies!

With Love,


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