Monthly Archives

July 2009

48 In Articles

Checking In


I’m still up to my eyeballs in laundry and tending to the house but I thought I’d take a second and check in! You all came up with some awesome questions for Marla! I can’t wait to hear what advice she has to offer us.
I’ve decided {on this rainy day} to tackle the closets in my sewing room… but I’ll be back soon with some pictures from Erika’s baby shower!
99 In Articles

Professional Help

We made it home in just a few minutes short of 12 hours! Thanks for your prayers. He was 150% better on the way home than he was on the way up. He cried between Birmingham and Montgomery but that seemed like nothing compared to the long ride up. While I regain my blogging energy I’m going to do a little something fun.
Something that involves this beautiful, talented and gracious friend…


Marla Carter {pictured here with Hornet}. Marla’s a professional. I’m an amateur.
Sometimes you all email me or leave comments asking for photography advice. I’m honored that you would like for me to give you advice on photography, however, me giving you advice on photography would be like me telling you how to perm your hair at home {the results could be really scary}. So, I’m going to leave the advice up to the professional.

Marla is a very talented and trained photographer. And…. she has agreed to answer your questions about photography. Do you know how excited I am about this? Very. I’ve already started my own list.

Marla received her Bachelor’s degree in Commercial Photography from Syracuse. After graduation she made her home in New York City trying her hand in fashion photography, only to realize that the industry wasn’t a fit for her. Her heart had always been in portrait photography but knowing the start up costs of such an endeavor she put her dreams on the back burner. Until… the industry went digital, then she went for it and hasn’t stopped since. She and her husband are in it together and have been going strong on their own for six years. Marla and Shane have a retail space in Redfish Village, along Florida’s scenic Hwy 30-A. They each shoot over 100 clients a year yet make it a priority to maintain a very personal relationship with each one. Marla is such a natural with children {and parents}. None of the shots Marla takes are contrived. She captures each and every personality with such ease. She especially loves to shoot children playing with each other and interacting and playing with their parents. She also was recently chosen as a consultant for the nation’s largest professional lab and the picture featured above is part of their marketing campaign. Have I made it clear she’s good? Better educated than me? Better suited to answer all your questions? Ok, good.

Here are the rules for the sake of Marla’s sanity…

Be specific in your questions. General questions like, “How do I take good pictures?” are very hard to answer. Specific questions are much easier to answer… like, “Do you recommend filters? How do you get good pictures inside? What should I look for in a camera bag? What’s your favorite lens? How much can I expect to spend on a good SLR and a couple of good lenses?” You could probably even ask her a Photoshop question! Have fun, be creative, and be specific.
I’m going to leave the rest up to Marla. She’ll be back with answers early next week. I’ll keep the comments open.
In the meantime, I’m going to go hang out with her and throw my sister a little shower this weekend!
Photo courtesy of Marla, snapped by Erika!
47 In Articles

Lator Gators & Blessed Names

I’m getting techincal and setting this to post in the morning… so, if all goes well we should be on our merry way or close to it.


Our time here was PEACEFUL & FABULOUS. My parents are wonderful hosts and we are leaving feeling filled to the brim. It’s no small task to invite 3 very small children into your home for 3 weeks. Mom already asked if I’d mind waiting until John Martin is in first grade until I have another baby. I’m not sure why she asked, she knows our track record. As the words came from her lips he was climbing naked and soaking wet from the tub onto the tile floor. She must like first grade because the funny thing is that she also fears he will nurse until he is in first grade {I’ve assured her he’s days from being done!!}. So, if her calculations are right she’ll be right on track. I think we he may have done her in. He’s 100% boy! He can’t walk yet but he has no problem getting where ever it is that he wants to go. I think he could scale a wall if he wanted. Today we were loading the car, looked over and he was sitting on the Gator. He looked at us as to say, “What? Am I not supposed to be doing this!”


I love my parents so much and thank them for the sacrifices they’ve made to have us here these past 3 weeks. They are the two hardest working people that I know. They started restoring the farm in 1996 and it has been their on-going project ever since, along with about 50 other on-going projects. My parents make me very proud. They have worked so very hard to have what they have and yet they realize material possessions hold no eternal value, which makes me even more proud. I cherish the time I have with them and wish we lived closer. Maybe you’ve noticed that we don’t get together often, but when we do, it’s not for hours, it’s for weeks. And I love that.

Thanks, Mom & DaddyBoy, for having us here for so long. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time and already can’t wait until next summer. Same time, same place… 2010, ok? Would it be okay if I brought a couple of college girls to help with the kids next year? They can stay in the cottage and we can send the kids down there every night from 5 pm until bedtime… but we’ll be sure to have the college girls come put the kids in bed while we sit on the porch and eat homemade ice cream and drink decaf coffee. Any takers!? 🙂 I could pay you with blueberries. Millions of them. And they’re organic, if you’re into that kinda thing!


And the girls could show you some awesome dance moves. Any college band party wouldn’t be the same when you return. If you’ve ever seen me dance you can tell the girls got my rhythm.


I’m really being 97% serious. We have had a wonderful time but as most of you know, vacationing with kids can be a lot of fun and a lot of work. Mom and I have spent a lot of time together but our time together revolves primarily around these three little monkeys.


In case you’re wondering, John Martin’s clothing is by God and the girls’ clothing is by Blessed Be The Name. Remember, I told you I’d show you? I’m holding up to my word.





When companies make clothes this cute it makes me want to kick my sewing machine to curb. Ashley, you are one talented lady and I’ve yet to see anything that I didn’t love!!

Lator gators! Again, prayers for travel mercies would be so appreciated… especially in light of Hornet’s trip up and forecasted RAIN! And if he chooses to be a total hornet again we’ll be “good” in a few hours… it only took me a few to get over it when we got here.


Lator gators!