BFFs


arden has been obsessed with mardi gras beads since she was about a year old.  and it’s not just that she loves jewelry, although that is true.  she lights up any time she sees beads of any sort now, but nothing holds her interest for a more extended period of time than some good ole mardi gras necklaces.  even the newly regular toddler tantroms may be eventually calmed by breaking out her jewelry box.  and now her love of dressing up in beads has now blossomed into a love for dressing others up. 

cheers to you all on this traditional day of debauchery and silliness from arden, her cousin ari, her friend mae and dolly!

 

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i have only completed 1/2 of leslie’s 2-part maternity shoot, and already i am overjoyed with the beautiful photos we are getting.  she and her family (and her big ole’ belly) are quite photogenic!

i recently read a short article online called, ‘9 signs you’re happier than you think’ by the editors of ‘prevention’ magazine.  one of the signs was ‘you hang out with happy people’ and it went on to say:

‘socializing with a cheerful person in your neighborhood increases the likelihood that you’ll be happy too, according to a new study.  how often you get together matters most, say the researchers: people who live within half a mile of a buoyant buddy increase their odds of being happy by 42%.’

so i say to leslie, my neighbor and friend:  THANKS!  you make me happy.

 

some people have told me that, since i am so behind on blog posts of arden and her many adventures in 2010, i should forget about catching up and start anew in twenty-one-one.  (yeah, that’s what i’m callin’ it.)  but i disagree.  although i am the world’s worst procrastinator when it comes to anything crafty, documentative or artistic, a quitter i am not!!!  so without further ado, here is a compilation of arden photos from last summer, including those that document the most memorable moments (for her scrapbook) as well as my favorites that exemplify her sugary-sweet and unfailingly happy personality from 9-12 months old. 

our little family’s mother’s day celebration (and arden’s first arcade biscuit-tasting) at one of our favorite brunch spots downtown:

a bunch of my friends and i were pregnant at the same time, and we all had girls!  here are most of ‘the girls of 2009’ at bonnie’s birthday party in june.  i was so tickled at how they eagerly ‘talked’ to one another.  one day, i hope to get them all together for a fun photo shoot! 

meeting great-uncle scott and great-aunt nym for the first time when they were passing through memphis in june:  we had an all-too-quick, scrumptious memphis-style BBQ picnic, featuring jason’s smoked ribs, before they boarded their next flight to st. louis.

during our first trip to ‘my big backyard’ at the botanic gardens in july, arden had the most fun playing with her attentive second-cousin, logan….i believe her love for logan was established that day and has only grown since!

the first time little miss sneaky discovered the stairs to our attic:  (a chair sits permanently in front of this door now.)

just hangin’ out at home with her 2 best friends:

chillin’ poolside in memphis and in atlanta (with uncle bryan), and at the collierville water park with lee:

other memorable playdates with some of her friends:  bonnie at dinner in nashville, second-cousin ari, jake, all of the fabulous cannelli girls and her neighbor down the street, grace:

and finally, arden just being arden:

next up….arden’s first birthday and party pics!

this morning, we had a fun playdate with my lifelong friend, amy, and her 2 beautiful (and silly) daughters, evie and ainsley.  i have so many cute pics of them running around and getting their feet dirty.  happy birthday, amy! 

OH WOW.  my friend, kim, from elementary school has been busy having her mom’s ancient video cassettes of us digitized, and she is finally sending them our way via youtube.  i watched these videos last night and laughed so hard i almost fell off the couch in tears.  WARNING:  this is about as embarrassing as it gets for me, folks!  but i’m willing to share in hopes that this will make your day like it made mine.  (and to give jason a taste of what he’s in for if arden is anything like me at age 8!)  this is some of the best living proof of how spastic i was as a child.  i only have one or two short videos of me doing my infamous ‘choreographed’ dances, so this is truly priceless. 

these are both pretty long, so i’ll tell you up front:  the 1st few minutes of the 1st video says it all.  we were having a ‘tea party’ so we all dressed in our moms’ fancy (and totally 80’s-style) dresses and heeled pumps and ate dainty candies and drank tea.  and while everyone else is being ladylike (well….as ladylike as you can possibly be while listening to the ‘grease’ soundtrack), i am blurting out random silly noises and jumping up to practice my dance moves in the middle of high tea.  someone must have slipped me some caffeine right before the party started!

then the dance moves really start flowin’.  the 2nd video starts with me performing a solo act, and it is quite the interpretive masterpiece!  (oh gosh, i really cannot believe i am sharing this!)  thanks to kim for this trip down memory lane, and thanks to madonna for the ‘true blue’ album, the best madonna album of all time. 

LA ISLA….BONIIII-TAAAHHH….

this was one of my favorite photography sessions to date, not only because finn and ryan are two gorgeous little boys, but also because it gave me an opportunity to reunite with my friend and college roommate, whom i hadn’t seen in 4 years.  together, amanda and i lived and studied in italy, traveled through europe (ever heard me mention my ‘one crazy night in munich?’  yeah….only amanda knows – and will EVER know – the complete story of that night!), suffered through long interior design studios and exhausting teachers and projects, shared a fabulous melrose place-like apartment (my first!), played pool and drank lots of beer with vern at the thirsty tiger in baton rouge, watched hours of cooking shows (amanda taught me a lot about cooking, including basics like how to slice a pepper and how to saute breaded chicken) and dated chefs/best friends who were equally (but i promise, just slightly) mentally unstable.  YIKES.  needless to say, we have made some fun memories together!

i was overjoyed when she and her husband, tim, planned a quick trip to memphis to hang out and have their boys photographed.  the 7 of us spent a chaotic 24 hours together, eating brunch at arcade, blowing bubbles with the kids in our backyard, eating dinner at central BBQ and the next morning, feeding ducks at the park and exploring the botanic gardens.  we were hot and sweaty the entire time, but we managed to keep the kids happy and the adults had a fabulous time catching up.  i happily snapped photos throughout their entire stay, hence all the wardrobe changes you’ll notice in these photos! 

our main goal was to capture several nice shots of 4-month-old ryan, since amanda and tim have admittedly slacked on capturing every breath of his existence like they did with finn.  this little cutie has the brightest blue eyes i’ve ever seen on a baby, and his sweet smile is so contagious.  i giggled uncontrollably while snapping these pictures:

2 1/2-year-old finn was acting shy at first, but he started to open up over the course of our visit, especially while waiting in line at central BBQ.  the shots of him in the striped shirt are some of my favorites;  i took them while he was busy laughing at and counting the pigeons on the roof of the restaurant.  what a smart, sweet boy!

amanda and tim, you have a BEAUTIFUL family, and i’m so glad i finally got to meet the boys.  thanks for traveling to memphis, and for putting up with the insane memphis heat!  we are daydreaming about our trip to little rock to pay back the visit soon. 

kiss those 2 little redheads for me!

foster is what some would call a “spirited” baby.  she stares at you, and then she may stick her tongue out or wink at you, or she may just move right on to the screaming portion of your visit, but you rarely get calm and happy for long!  but this doesn’t make her any less charming or adorable or lovable or snuggly (i could go on….) than any other 6 week old baby.  she was a challenge as my first newborn to photograph (well….professionally, that is), but i had so much fun capturing all of her moods: content and calm, then fidgety and wiggly, then on to the all-out screamfest, and then, due to what seemed to be pure exhaustion, a nice, long and very deep sleep.  who couldn’t love this baby girl?  and with two parents who are both architects, LSU alums, avid crawfish boilers (and head-suckers?) and all-around great people, this gal’s got it made.

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