family ties

i posted emily and adam’s wedding photos and then realized, i never posted any of their engagement pics!  here are some sweet ones from our fun november afternoon touring around the small town of dupo, illinois:

the sun was shining and a nice, crisp coolness had begun to sift through the air.  we happened upon an adorable installation of scarecrows, apparently made by schoolchildren and hung along the railroad fence.  it doesn’t get more small-town-in-autumn than that!

emily was worried there weren’t going to be any special or sentimental spots for us to shoot, since she didn’t grow up in dupo and she and adam didn’t court there.  i told her not to worry because i can find backdrops anywhere, no matter how small, old or industrial.  when we saw this crumbly, vacant building, i said, ‘look at that beautiful wood grain!’  emily realized i wasn’t kidding.  🙂   


at the end of our shoot, emily and adam agreed to get a little itchy when we discovered these glorious yellow leaves.  i mean, when both of you have perfectly golden blonde hair, how can you just walk by a blanket of leaves this brilliant?

congrats again, you two!


last year, i was asked to be the photographer at jason’s cousin emily’s winter wedding in illinois.  i surprised even myself when i didn’t hesitate to accept with confidence!  i started my photography business saying i’d shoot every type of event except weddings….not because i don’t love a good wedding (i do, i do!) but because i wasn’t sure i needed to feel that kind of pressure.  i mean, what if i drop the camera in the toilet mid-way through the day? or slip and fall, only to sacrifice my own physical safety to save the camera from breaking?  (by the way, i probably would do that…after all, what’s a broken bone compared to a couple’s wedding memories?!)  looking back, i couldn’t be happier that i accepted the challenge.  the entire day was a blast from beginning to end, and now i am overflowing with about a million more ideas for future weddings!

my excitement reached a whole new level when jason, arden and i were actually able to drive to illinois, after a few pesky december snowstorms threatened for several days to hinder our trip.  (i never did tell emily and adam about my late-night, panic-stricken search online for a plane ticket just a few days before the wedding!)  but all was well, albeit really, really COLD once we arrived,  and the wedding and reception went off without a hitch….well, except for maybe a few snow-soaked high heels. 

thank you, emily and adam, for allowing me to be such a big part of your wedding day.  i know you are enjoying newlywed life, and i wish you two a long life full of happiness and laughter.  and WARMTH! 

two of arden’s favorite people in the world are in town this week: my cousin monroe’s kids, logan and clara.  they have been so sweet and attentive to arden since she was a baby, and i can tell she feels their love when they play.  the other day when they were splashing around in the sprinkler in my parents’ backyard, and we ‘old people’ were observing some seriously silly behavior, i was reminded of these photos i took last summer.  i asked logan and clara to give me their best silly faces, and boy, did they deliver.  but look!  they really are beautiful!

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!


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!

i have been in major hibernation mode lately.  all i want to do in those fragments of minutes when i’m not working or caring for the wee one (which sums up to about 45 minutes of each day) is either cook something, eat something, or lay completely still on a flat surface and just breathe in the silence for a second.  this is especially apparent if you have visited my blog lately and wondered, “is chloe alive?”  yezzir, my laziness has affected the upkeep of this here blog.  truly, i lied.  it’s not laziness.  i have just been swamped with personal and professional fun-ness non-stop for the last several months, and although it’s been a great ride, i’m ready for a slower winter compared to the fall i just spun through like the tazmanian devil. 

anyway, back to me being a slacker!  i apologize to my handful of dedicated readers, who, i know, must be on the verge of giving up on me.  i promise that i’m coming back soon, and there is lots to share in 2011, starting from way back in the summer of 2010 (yep, i am that far behind) and onward, including bundles of arden’s cuteness, several photo shoots (mamas, babies, my first wedding -woo!) and maybe even a recipe or two.  cuz , ya know, i’ve been doing all this cooking and eating.  so please stay tuned!!

p.s.  my new year’s resolution = to stop apologizing for being behind in my blogging.  it is what it is, people.  life is bus-Y.  and sometimes a girl just needs to lie down!

*photo above taken at the home of jason’s ‘grandmommy’ in snow-covered centralia, il, during our visit right before christmas.  notice the mardi gras beads, pink velvet purse and silver shoes over arden’s pajama-stockinged feet.  what a priss!

can’t wait for the winter wedding!

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