Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Couple's take on "First Looks"

Bride's opinion on First look | Testimonials on First look experience | Durham Wedding Photography A few weeks I did a post on First Looks.  And as I thought over what I posted I realized that who better to tell you about "First Looks"  then some of my previous couples!  So this week I thought I'd let them share with you about their experience.



" My husband and I decided that we would follow a less traditional route with our wedding photography, namely that we saw each other and had pictures done together before the wedding. We absolutely loved doing it that way. My husband got to see me in my dress for the first time privately. It was such a sweet moment for us. After that all of my nerves just vanished and I was able to totally relax and enjoy taking pictures. An added bonus was we were able to go straight to our reception after the ceremony without leaving our guests waiting for an hour or more. Overall, it was one of the best decisions we made in regards to making our enjoyable and helping things go smoothly. " 

-Brett and Hannah





"We enjoyed the First Look because 1) we were able to enjoy seeing each other for the first time in a more private setting, and 2) it allowed us to have all those beautiful photos taken on a more relaxed schedule rather than rushing to get back to our wedding guests during the reception!  We recommend this option for anyone desiring that their wedding be as stress-free as possible!"

  -David and Jen




Live. Love. Loud.




Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I'm still a person I promise!

Best and worst reads | Pregnancy doesn't mean the end of you | Durham Wedding Photography People don't tell you but your life slowly gets taken over by a person that doesn't quite exist.

I feel like every time I turn around my world is being focused on a child that isn't quite even a child yet.  People are loving and caring and so they want to ask about how you are doing being pregnant, what your thoughts are, what sex is it, when are you do... I feel like more often then not people want to talk about the ever expanding waistline and what all that means.  I get the inclination.  It's a connecting point.  It's like if you see a bumper sticker with 13.1 on a car... you know an easy topic to fall back on is running.

It's not an issue but at times I feel like I'm no longer a person anymore.  If that makes any sense.  It is like I'm a baby carrier.  I miss being a person.  I told Chris that I want a day.  A full 24 hours where I'm just me.  I'm Rachel Abi, wedding photographer, wife and general adventurist!  I want a day where I can live life and not be constantly reminded of the holding pattern I'm in... or at least that's what it feels like.



Don't get me wrong.  I'm not trying to be Mrs. Downer.  I just miss being able to talk about coffee, fashion, your life!  Pretty much anything but babies.  I swear the baby isn't on my brain as much as it is everyone around me and I can't blame them, at this point my belly is litterally screaming it.

That said, and semi-ironically, I figured I'd share with you some of the books I have been reading and My thoughts on them in a sentence or two:

The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care: I wouldn't recommend it.  A little extreme in their views and promises.

Compete Guide to Baby and Child Care:  This is more of a reference book then a read through it book.  If you tend towards the more conservative view points then this isn't a bad guide book to have.

Husband Coached Childbirth:  This is more of a history or appreciation of the "Bradley Method" then a in depth explanation.  If you wanted to know more about the method from the creator then this book is for you.

Our Bodies, Ourselves, Pregnancy and Birth:  I would recommend this well over "What to expect".  Way more in depth and informative.

The Nursing Mother's Companion:  If you are planning to breastfeed this definitely covers a lot of information and would be a great reference book to know how to deal with different situations were you to come across them.

Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way:  If I were suggesting one book to mother's to be, whether interested in natural childbirth or not, I would suggest this book.  It gives you a lot of information and walks you through the birthing process by someone who has experienced it.  If it's your only read I think it is the best choice I've come across!

See I told you it's not all on other people.  The whole process of pregnancy and all that comes with that is a bit terrifying and I feel better when informed.

That said: I'm still a person.  So if you are wanting to hangout and talk about anything but babies give me a holla!  :D

Live. Love. Loud.

Monday, April 28, 2014

When you haven't gotten enough of weddings...

Neat wedding websites | Pinterest only devoted to weddings | Durham Wedding Photography
It's not just cause I'm a photographer but man do I love photos!  So every time I come across a website that uses photos more than words I get smitten.  I mean I just want to be able to glance and see if I'm interested without taking too much time.  I found Pinterest long ago and I enjoy that but I recently came across a website devoted to weddings!  The site is aptly named "Wedding Gawker"

And for a wedding photographer or anyone else obsessed with weddings this site is amazing!  The website is essentially a collection of photos snippets.  It gives you the photo and a tagline written by the person that submitted it.  If you want more information all you do is click the image and it will pop you over to the site.  




Each photo submission is categorized.  You don't have to go through hundreds of photos that someone deemed "fashionable" when they really have nothing to do with fashion.  And the whole site is devoted to weddings!

As you can tell I'm a bit in love.  But don't just believe me jump over and take a look!


Live. Love. Loud.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Life as it once was and my LOVES

Nostalgic moments | Sister best friends | Raleigh wedding photography It is interesting how relationships change over time.  My sister came back this past week to visit and left yesterday to go back home to the Cayman Islands.   Being from a large family and being so close in age we roomed together till it was time for college then somehow ended up at the same college rooming together again.

(Throw back to our college days)

Much like all siblings we had our ups and downs but to a large degree for most of our lives we were inseparable.  We had a lot of the same friends, we did a lot of the same activities.  We couldn't be more different... like night and day when it comes to personalities but all the same most all my memories not only include her but feature her side by side with me.

Marriage, life and now an ocean are between us and it is interesting to see the change.  We both have our own lives and own dreams.  We are both happy but part of me can't help but stop and be a bit sad for what was.  It is the "Peter Pan" in me that can't seem to let it go.  I can't seem to help myself.

I'm overjoyed at my life and I'm thrilled at the love she has in hers.  So here is to accepting change and looking to new adventures...

On to my LOVES for this week:

Getting a chance to get to know another amazing photographer
Visit with my long lost sister
Long walk in the breezy afternoon
Getting a chance to meet and get to know one fantastic couple whose wedding I'm blessed to shoot!
Nostalgic moments and getting a glimpse into how things used to be
Cheese... Need I say more
Firefly: I know it is a "space western" and sounds ridiculous but it's so much fun!





Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Confession: free who you are

Nerves working for you | Working what you got | Raleigh wedding photography My palms are sweaty, my heart is beating too fast for the stationary position I am in as I look over my equipment again.  Idea boards are up and have been scanned more than a few times.  My car is packed, warmed and I'm still a bit of nerves.  I do a final shake of my head and I pull out to make my way to the shoot.

I don't quite get it but I swear it is almost like each wedding is my first.  I get so nervous.  Even when  each of my weekends it taken up by weddings I never seem to get settled.  I'm nervous and a bit scared before each.  I sit in my car, take a few deep breaths and a say a prayer before I set off for the day.  Once I'm in te mix of things the nerves take a back burner.  I'm busy and in the zone.  You only have so much time but nothing can be forgotten.




I don't quite get it.  I really thought at some point the nerves would abate.  That one day I would just wake up with all the swagger in the world, I visualized myself as Gaston from Beauty and the Beast... only more friendly.  The nerves work for me.  At this point I think I would get nervous about not feeling nervous.  It is like is a part of the routine/process.

I was scared to share my "nerves" with other people, photographers especially, because I figured they would see it as a rookie move but I was reading years ago about a few other famous photographers, Michael Jordan Smith and Jasmine Star where the two that stuck out to me, and they spoke of their own nerves.  I figured if they, with all their accomplishments and glory could be nervous then it was not only fitting but basically required that mine be acceptable :D

It is funny the things we hold back about ourselves because we are afraid of judgement.  How often we check and triple check ourselves to make sure we "fit the bill"... I wonder how much more we might get out of life if we just let ourselves out... exactly as we are.

So today I confess: I am a professional wedding photographer who is a bunch of nerves the night before every wedding!

What will you confess about yourself today?

Live. Love. Loud.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Yates Mill Pond: Raleigh, NC: Quinn and Austin

Spring Engagement photos | Yates Mill Pond | Raleigh wedding photography We all thought spring had sprung and no winter was to return when a we had a cold snap.  The first day of our cold snap I had the honor of meeting one of my amazing couples: Quinn and Austin.  It was a joy to get to know them over the occasional shiver and it was even more fun to see their loving looks from behind my lens.

Quinn and Austin chose Yates Mill Pond for their engagement pictures but not only that it was the place that Austin proposed to Quinn.  Years after their romance began he brought her to one of their favorite spots to start their new life together!


Their laughter was heard only by the wild animals in the empty park but it was music to see them having such fun with each other!







I'm pretty sure they were Disney characters in another life.  How else do you have such beautiful hair?!







It was a joy to meet you and I can't wait for your wedding this fall!


Live. Love. Loud.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Wiped out with fun

Easter Tradition | Family Gatherings | Durham wedding photography There is something so comforting and nostalgic about being sent home with leftovers.  Eater weekend was filled with family, both my family and my husbands. My sister who left us all behind for the Cayman Islands, poor her :P, came back for a visit and thus we all gathered together.

The traditions are always different between the families but there is never a lack of food!  Both mothers packed their kids with to go containers of the goodies we enjoyed at the Easter feast along with many hugs.



Not only was the weekend filled with nostalgic moments but also firsts!  My family was very nontraditional.  We never participated in Egg hunts or Easter bunnies so when my mother in law heard this she determined to break the "never".  We woke Sunday morning to eggs having been hidden in our room for a small and impromptu hunt before going down for breakfast and being greeted by Easter baskets (including one for the baby) and all this before enjoying an Easter Service.

It was a blast and deeply enjoy all the moments but man were we wiped out by the time we arrived home late Sunday night/early Monday morning.

What fun things did you do this Easter weekend?

Live. Love. Loud.



Friday, April 18, 2014

LOVES-in on some Good Friday

Easter Traditions | Good Friday | Raleigh wedding photography It's good Friday.  I love holidays because they are such a fun time to see how different people really are.  All the different traditions, foods and festivities.  It is a blast to hear about how the different people celebrate the full bloom of spring this lovely weekend.

What are your holiday traditions?

(the is a photo of three of my nieces and nephew from almost a decade ago... crazy to think how much they have changed!)



LOVES

Candy... cause let's face it the kids don't get to eat it all!
Time with family
The beautiful weather
The chance to meet one of my amazing couples for the first time in person!
To do lists... I'm pretty sure I'd be lost without them
Milk... I'm pretty sure I've got a problem 2 gallons this week EEEK


Happy Good Friday! I hope your weekend is filled with joy and chocolate... sometimes they are the same thing :D

Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cringing Confessions

Small Business Owner | Marketing Plan | Durham wedding photography You are supposed to know so many things.  When I talk to someone and they seem to have such a wide range of knowledge I always am amazed.  I have a limited scope in my knowledge... I wish I knew more but it is slow to get accumulated.  One area that right at this moment, for so many different reasons, I wish I knew better was marketing.

It is such a broad term that has so many applications that it is baffling to me.  I have taken classes and heeded advice from those more sage then myself but I wish I knew it better.  This spring with my slowed schedule due to an every expanding abdomen I determined I would try and tackle revamping my marketing plan.... this was a large chuck I decided to try and bite off and at the moment I'm waning under the weight of it.



I want to use my resources wisely but there seem to so many different options and so many different opinions that I get lost in it all.  I'm generally a huge fan of what's called "organic marketing".  It is what most small businesses thrive on, word of mouth being a large chunk of that "organic" plan.  Along side it I use my social media as best as I, and the few classes I've taken have taught me, know how.  Mainly it is taking the opportunity all around you to meet and get to know each other.  You never know what great stories you'll hear, people you'll meet and you might even end up with clients at the end of it!

Where I get lost is the "traditional" marketing.  I mean there are so many options and so many different ways to invest your money that it can be overwhelming... or maybe that's just me?  Maybe you all have it figured out and if you throw a girl a life saver (Orange if you have it :P)!  Cause heaven knows I could use it!

This spring I have been delving into research mode.  The more you know (thanks NBC)... and all that.  But with each new piece of information I get a bit more lost.  It is like when you, or maybe this is just me again, walk up to the ice cream section.  You see a flavor and you're like "YES" but you keep looking just to make sure you don't come across something better and then you end up staring at the wall of delicious long enough that you want more than you can carry but also start talking yourself out of any of the flavors because "you know you shouldn't"...

And now I want ice cream.

I was nervous writing this confession.  I mean, I'm pretty transparent... "blunt" is what Chris calls it but I try and be real all the time so you'd think it wouldn't be a struggle but when you start typing out your lack... it is like going to the pool for the first time of the season.  Your pale skin exposed, the body you swore you'd get into better shape this year... it is a bit frightening.  But what in life is worth while that isn't scary?

What are you doing today that scares you?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fabulous but not Broke!

Budget wedding | Designer wedding dress cheap | Chapel Hill wedding photographer If there are only two things that I know about myself is that I am a planner, I have a plan for my plan and to do lists for my to do lists, and I love a great deal.    So when I started planning my wedding I had spreadsheets, diagrams and you name it.  I was sure that everything would be planned out and thought through so that I was using my budget to get the best quality and most for my buck.  About a week in to planning all the weighing desires of our families, the endless list of small decisions and just the list of to dos got a bit much.  I had to take a moment, and a cupcake, before I decided the only way through was to break it all up into smaller bite size pieces.

Recently I came across two sites I wish I had known about when I was planning my fabulous but budget conscious wedding.  Since their use to me is limited I decided that I should share the new found wealth with you!

The first site is called Happily Ever Borrowed.  When I came across it I was in wonder at how I hadn't thought of the idea previously, like the extra sleeve of cardboard around to go coffee!  It is a site that allows you to rent/borrow the accessories for your wedding.  You have a pick of the litter of all these amazing designer's accessories to look over and choose!  Since you only wear them the once it allows you to have a piece that looks like you invested your arm, leg and possibly three future children but without all the costs!



The second website is Nearly Newlywed.  Much like the first it's for a budget conscious bride who wants to only save a penny but look fabulous while doing so!  It is a site filled with designer dresses that are discounted!  It also has accessories to choose from as well.  Most of the items are half their original price but still wholly amazing!  I'm a sucker for a great deal on quality products so this website did me in when I saw it.


So if you are looking to make your wedding fabulous but keep your wallet from only having a bit of lint left you might want to take a browse around!  What tips and sites have you found that have helped you or are helping you with your wedding?


Live. Love. Loud.





Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Firsts and Foremosts

Today was my first trip to a baby store.  Well, correction, it was my first trip going to a baby store thinking I would need/buy anything for my house from there.  My mother in law came down for a lovely visit and we made the trek together.  Mainly we wandered the aisles to see all the options.  I guess it is a bit late seeing as I'm almost 7 months pregnant but it is what it is.



I think I'm too practical.  Walking down the aisles I couldn't help but wonder what the difference between the two dozen car seats were or what the difference between the different bouncers are.  The aisles are stacked high, twice the height of any person... it was a bit daunting.

Not just all the things but the tiny pieces of clothes will actually fit something.... not just anything but a kid... my kid!

Yea, I know I'm pregnant but I mean... I'm going to actually have a kid.  You'll probably hear this from me over and over if you are around me in the next 10 weeks... just saying.


Live. Love. Loud.



Monday, April 14, 2014

My Inner Child

Childhood Stories | Rooting for the underdog | Raleigh wedding photographer As a child I loved Eeyore the most.  What's really silly about it wasn't so much that I liked him but why I liked him.  It wasn't that he was the best character it was because I figure with how whinny he was no other kids would like him so I needed to like him.  Yes, I was also the kid who felt bad if I only slept with one of my stuffed animals so I had to pile them all on me so that none would feel left out.



As you grow up you loose so of those things.  Like the ability to sing out any and everything you are doing and you really think it is a great song (yea, again that was totally me).   And I'm kind of glad we grow out of some of it.  I mean no matter "lonely" the sad ugly couch is in the show room I'm choosing the one I like best!  Who wants the oldest hot dog or the wilted salad?

I still have issues with this ... well whatever you'd call it. It makes Chris laugh but every time we go see a game in person I feel like rooting for the away team, honestly I just feel bad for them.  And when Chris family watches sports and I'm in the room I cheer for whatever team is loosing... and if it switches I somehow switch with them.  I can't seem to help myself.

What things of your childhood self do you still have lying around?


Live. Love. Loud.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Behind the times LOVES

Behind the times | TGIF | RDU wedding photographer
I'm always behind the times on fads.  I mean I definitely had football bangs well into the 90's (thanks mom) and the trend hasn't stopped.  Thanks to my husband I am a bit more up to date because he will send me funny links and if I get around to them I'm usually only a bit behind.

That said this week I couldn't help but share a few things I came across this week that made me laugh...






(I know it isn't any where near Halloween but I mean really... it was too awesome and I was really late to the party on this one)

On to my other LOVES this week:


  • COFFEE, so I might not be able to have a lot of caffeine but I'm pretty addicted to iced coffee/sugar beverage that was once coffee... at some point :D
  • Still in love with our new couch
  • Thai food with my amazing designer (so much love for this amazing talented woman)
  • Massages... pretty much the best invention ever
  • Clean laundry that I didn't have to clean!  (I really think adults should have a laundry fairy, just saying)



Live. Love. Loud.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Confessions: Accepting Cliche

Accepting Cliches | Laughing at yourself | Raleigh wedding photographer I've determined the only way to watch sports games are in person.  It has taken me a while to come to this conclusion because being frankly honest: I don't watch sports.  It comes down not to a hate of any particular sport but to a lack of understanding and knowledge.


(yes, this is mascots playing hockey and yes it was amazing)

Chris' work will at times afford us the opportunity to enjoy a sports game in person.  This past Saturday we had the extravagance of enjoying a Canes game in the Champions Box.  I dressed for a date night not taking into account that when you watch hockey you aren't supposed to wear much other than jeans and a jersey.

Every time we watch a game I can't help but have Chris or anyone listening to me laugh at me.  With in the first few minutes of the game I called the "puck" a ball, the "Goal" a basket, and referred to a "penalty"  as a foul (just so we are all clear they are totally the same thing... I mean you did something wrong and you are getting punished... just saying ;).  Chris had to explain to me "off sides" and "icing"... I determined that I much prefer math to hockey.  1+1 is always 2.  Flicking the puck across the hole field (rink?) doesn't always mean icing... too many variables.

I blame my family, and my complete lack of hand eye coordination. The only sport I was raised around was basketball, and I was terrible.  I remember watching my first Superbowl at 11, and my first non-Superbowl football game at 17.  I still get confused at what I deem to be  trick plays (where they fake hand off the ball)  and I can't seem to find where the ball went which is apparently adorable to Chris... or in the least entertaining.

I have tried watching, listening and learning.  My husband's whole family is into sports so it would make it much easier but not matter how much I pay attention I get lost.  I feel like I'm missing a key piece of information.  It's like listening to people talk in a different language and you only know how to say "where is the bathroom".

I've accepted that at least in this I am a "Cliche girl", which is hard for me because let's face it who like being put in boxes.

Live. Love. Loud.





Wednesday, April 9, 2014

FAQ's : What's a First Look?

What is a First Look. People throw out the term "First Look" a lot.  If you are anything like me when I got married I didn't know what this term meant I had to look it up.  Today I figured I'd address the "First look"...
One of my favorite new traditions is the "First Look" so today I thought I'd cover some questions I often get about the "First Look".


What is a "First Look"?
It can be done many different ways, but it boils down to this: It is a time prior to the wedding ceremony where the bride and groom see each other and is usually captured by your photographer.  With my couples, it is of course their call either way, when/if they decide to do a First Look we discuss what they want from it.  I have had a couple who wanted a moment alone.  They didn't want photos of the moment.  They held up alone in a room for about 10 minutes to just be together.  I have had other couples where not only do they see each other but they do it in front of their whole wedding party.  Still others find a middle ground.  They see each other in a private area and ask that I capture the reactions from a distance.  It allows them to have the moment to talk and be together, which often isn't able to happen till after a long busy day otherwise, but still have that moment captured on film.



Why have a First Look?
The benefits can be wide spread depending on the couple and their desires.  For me personally, I opted for a first look for many reasons  Being a not a super traditional person the break from the "norm" didn't bother me, it boiled down to it was the best way to use the time, and I wanted a personal moment with Chris. We got all of our pictures done before hand except the large family picture (that way we didn't have to require all the family to arrive early to the wedding but instead just snapped like 4 pictures after the ceremony).  On top of the practical reasons I didn't want to spend most of my wedding day away from the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with... I wanted to experience it with him.  I loved the moment that only I got to see his expression of seeing me in my dress...   I loved that I got a time to be with Chris before the day took off.  I got time to sit and talk to him and be with him.  I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Many of my couples that opted for a First look first had reservations about missing out on the moment, the reaction of first seeing each other.  The question of breaking from Tradition.  For each of these couples, and for my own experience I would say that the reaction wasn't  lessened.  Often in a wedding day the first time your husband sees you is when 50-300 people are staring at him waiting for his reaction.  There is a lot of build up and pressure for him to have this moment with you in a public place.  Most couples want to hug, hold hands and embrace when they see each other, there is so much to talk about, but all of that has to wait on a traditional wedding day till hours later.  When you have a first look, not only do you see his reaction, not only is it captured for you but often his reaction isn't lessened for the big moment.

Basically the brass tacks:

A first look allows you...

To get a majority or all of your photos (depending on your desires and timeline) taken care of before the wedding.
To get about 30% more out of your wedding photography
To actually enjoy some or all of your cocktail hour
To see more of the guests you have invited to celebrate your day with you
To have a less stressful wedding day
To get the most from your Wedding photos
To get a moment and memory you will treasure forever








Your wedding day always seems slam packed with so many things: getting married, greeting guest, family formals, mingle, first dance, dances with parents, toast, bouquet/garter toss, eat, dancing, cake cutting, and all the other pictures of the bridal party, the couple alone... This all can happen in as little as 5 hours.  When you do a first look it adds two hours to your wedding day and it takes the pressure off.  It allows most all the pictures to be taken care of so that you don't feel rushed, that you don't have to feel like a relay race handing off the baton to the next event.   It allows you 2 hours of photos instead of the maybe 45 minutes of photos you'd get during the cocktail hour.  You pay lots of money to have a photographer their on your wedding day why not make the most of the time you pay for?  Get 30% more photos for the same price!


Yes, you are giving up the tradition, that moment of big reveal in front of everyone but you are starting a different tradition.  You are the only one (or whoever else you want to be there) who gets to have that moment, and you can have photos capturing that moment.

Can a first look improve your wedding day schedule?  Yes. Can it be an amazing memory?  Yes.  Is it for you?  Only you can decide that. Much like everything else on your wedding day it is always the couple's call but whenever I'm asked my professional or personal opinion, I always recommend a First Look.

I used to shy away from mentioning my opinion of First looks because let's be honest who needs another opinion but with each and every couple that chooses to have a First look returning so overjoyed at their experience and stating how relaxed it made them I can't help but mention it now.

For clarity, I do not by any means require my couples to have a First look.  Do I love them? YES!  Do I think that it generally makes your wedding day a better experience for you?  Yes.  But it is always your choice!  It is always your decision and it will be an amazing day no matter what you decide!


Live. Love. Loud.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Random Conversational Tuesday

Similarities between pregnancy and engagement | Dealing with awkward questions | Durham wedding photographer Thursday of this week makes 11 weeks left.  It is hard for me to consider the looming reality of that statement.  I mean conceptually I understand, but reality... not so much.  I've yet to go super crazy (yay!) and not strange cravings just yet...  I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.  People keep saying you get huge in this last stage... I'm feeling pretty planetary as it is.  I mean I can still tie my shoes but only with a break.

I feel like pregnancy is a lot like being engaged.  It is this long transition time frame where so many people list off the truths of their lives to you.  "Oh you just wait....."  "You say that now...."  It is a unique time in life when everyone feels like they have advice to give, thoughts to add, help to offer... and it is the first question off their lips.  "So how's to going" or "So, how you feeling"
It all comes from a heart of love.  I can't help but tilt my head at it.  I'm a bit off color so whenever people ask me "how you feeling" when I know they are referring to pregnancy.  I often want to unload too much information: secretions and bodily malfunctions that all seem to be a part of this time in life (which people often refer to as "glow"... pretty sure that's sweat).  It's just like when I first got married and people asked "How's married life" I never knew how to answer that.  What are they asking?  Are they wanting to know about the silly fights you have about what direction the TP should lie or when the dishes need to be washed? 
Instead of immediately answering these questions and often landing myself in a TMI situation I have to stop and tilt my head and asses: How much do they really want to know?  I've never been good at this because I assume if you asked a broad question you want an expansive answer... Chris has taught me this is often not the case.
So to any of you that have been on the other end of my TMI conversations I'm sorry and for any of you who are with me *HIGH FIVE.
Happy Tuesday!
Live. Love. Loud.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Best said by others...

Meaningful Quotes about Hard work | Determination and hard work | Famous Quotes I have a thing with quotes.  I feel like someone at some time said what I am thinking only way better... because of that I love quotes.


Today I decided I would share a few quotes I came across recently that were too good not to share:

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” -Anonymous 

“Luck is probability taken personally.” -Anonymous 

“A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.” – Albert Einstein

"The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work." --Thomas A. Edison

Can you tell what's on my brain?

Live. Love. Loud.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Pillows, stretchpants and other LOVES

Happy Friday | Bradley Classes In Raleigh | Looking on the brighter side Our first birthing class is tonight.  I'm a little nervous.  More of an excited nervous then an anxious nervous... I mean what am I to expect?  I have all these movie scenes scrolling through my brain.  Lots of sitting on the floor and ridiculous breathing.




Any of you out there who have already taken a birthing class could tell me if I have any accuracy in my images.  Mainly I'm excited because it has been looming for months now.  I don't do well with looming...

So some pillows and stretch pants are packed and ready for whatever may be coming.


Brown Sugar... So delicious
Time with my family
Being challenged by a fellow photog!
The occasional early morning, waking with the sun and enjoying it's warmth with a slow start of the day (not all the time... too much of an night owl)
Lists... of all kinds.  Somehow my life seems better and more beautiful for them
Iced Coffee (yes yes yes, it is decaf but I can have one cup of caffeine a day! :)


Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Confession from the "Largely" in charge

Silly Pregnancy Stories | Normal daily activities are too much | Pregnant and a business owner I forget I'm pregnant sometimes.  I know this seems silly but I do.  I mean, I have a big belly now and the kicking is a nice reminder of the fact I'm never alone and I won't be for... well ever again if you what I've been told is true.  All the same I forget.

Thinking back to all the times when walking wasn't work...#throwbackthursday


However there are sometimes when my body reminds me of how truly pregnant I am: insert all pregnancy stories you have ever heard here.

One of these: "Ok, I surrender: I really am pregnant" moments for me was this past weekend.  Chris and I had to go buy a couch.  The couch of our early years married and slumped enough that it was much like being swallowed by a really big brown... well couch?  So we broke down and admitted it was time to replace the beast.

I have a thing with furniture... the thing is I love it.  I could spend hours looking at wood work... I get it I'm weird but I really do love it!  That said, I was really excited to go couch shopping.  Chris and I set out with the help of my father to search for the "perfect piece".  We looked at and sat in couches for hours.  At first I was light on my feet, popping quickly up and down on the different options.  About an hour and half in I was no longer quick.

By the end of the day I was literally THE most pathetic person ever.  Picture this, cause it really happened, I had to literally roll myself off the couch.  I could not longer pick myself up.  The worst was a couch with a chase.  I thought, "oooo, that looks so inviting" little did I know it was a huge mistake.  I didn't have enough strength to push myself back so I flopped and just laid there half on and half off unable to move for need to break enough to breath.

Yes, I do also struggle with tying my shoes.  I literally have to take a break between tying them, it is a work out to try and get around the mass that is my waist these days.

So if you were feeling pathetic take joy in the knowledge that not only are you not alone you at least didn't have to flop onto a couch or literally have to roll off... #pregnancy


Live. Love. Loud.