Stop and see the lights 12/20

Wrapped gifts and listened to Christmas music.  The boys love the Muppets 12 Days of Christmas!

Stop and see the lights 12/19

Day two of the snow!! S asked me to come back outside with him, and when I did, I got to working helping him build a snow castle. Well, he didn't want my help; he just wanted "company." (love) So, we worked side by side because I knew if just sat there and watched him, my biscuit would be back inside in about 5 minutes. He was hard at work on a super snow castle, and I started a snow fort (buckets of snow in a square - that's a snow fort, really).  J came out to work on it, too.  Soon, they were both working on the fort, and even darkness and falling temps didn't stop them. (I was back inside by this time. Not very 'stop and see the lights' of me, but it was cold!) Pictures soon!

We watched Elf after warming up. The boys had never seen it and they laughed out so many times.
It was fun to watch it with them.

Touch a Truck

Here are a few favorites from this year's Touch A Truck Lake Norman to benefit Addi's Cure.

MIA! Stop and see the lights 12/16-18

Just when I posted that we were going to see this through, something hit me like a Mack truck.
I was so sick, so quickly and better just as quickly.  It was really strange.

Anyway, we have some catching up to do.  Thankfully, my sweet husband not only took care of everything while I was in bed (for more than a day straight!), but he also did a "lights thingee" for me!!  So, here we go:

12/16  J took the boys shopping not once, but twice this evening and took note of all the lights on the way home.

12/17 Santa's Link drop off party and dinner with special friends.  We saw Santa!

12/18 Snow, snow, snow!  School was dismissed at 10:00, and they played until their noses were frozen.  Recharged with hot chocolate and played some more.  Not to worry, it's not all sunbeams and roses.  The second round was brought to a close by two rogue snowballs (hmmm, I have two children....funny).

Creative Canvases

It's no secret that canvases are one of my favorite products (storybooks are tied with canvases for first place!). So when K said she'd like canvases but with a little twist, I was so excited!
These beauties are 20 x 20 with a 2" depth.

Stop and see the lights 12/15

First off, I think we are going to be able see this through to the 24th. I'll be honest, finding time every day when so much on my to do list is looming has been hard (I'm sure my high school English teachers would cringe at the construction of that sentence).  It has also been wonderful.  I have had to literally pull myself away from the computer a few times.  And the world didn't end.  I hopped back on after my guys went to bed.  I haven't had one of those "where did the day go" days in, oh, 15 days.  So, I definitely plan to keep this up, after the holidays, too.  I know we'll have days where it doesn't happen, but I don't want a life where a few calm minutes with my family most days isn't possible (ugh, double negatives..clearly my English skills are slipping).

Second, on to the fun stuff!  Today the boys made a gift for someone who may or may not be reading, so that's all I have to say about that.

Stop and see the lights 12/14

Made cookies!  Peanut butter cup and cinnamon sugar.  They were the break apart kind,
couldn't really do a recipe on a school night.  They were sooo good!

Let me know what you're doing!

It's about having a forever friend : Davidson, NC Children's Photographer

I love shooting this family. They are all so kind to each other (and to me)! I have had the privilege of knowing them since Miss A was a wee babe. She and her brother M are just growing way too fast!

I adore the way A is looking at her big brother here...forever friends.

It was a pleasure, B & S! I'll be posting some of you two soon!

Stop and see the lights 12/13

Wrapped our first Christmas presents.  It's hard for me to just let the boys wrap, but I kept myself in check (except for the octogan Bakugan case - I tackled that one).

Images coming soon, I promise.  In keeping with the Stop and See the Lights theme, free time has been spent away from the computer. :)

Stop and see the lights 12/12

Shopped for our Santa's link kids! Will wrap their gifts this afternoon. Fun day!

Stop and see the lights 12/11

We adpoted our Santa's Link kids! If you are local, check this out! It's a wonderful way to help out children in the Charlotte area.  Drop off parties are this Wednesday and Thursday, so there's still time!

Stop and see the lights 12/10

I was out of the house from 7a to 10p, so didn't see the boys after I dropped them off at school. J says they brought our puppy's bed inside for the winter and they love on him a bit. That counts, right?

Stop and see the lights 12/9

We (finally) took our Christmas pictures and celebrated with dinner at Jersey Mike's.

Stop and see the lights 12/8

We cracked open a pomegranate!  Between the four of us, no one had ever eaten one before!  The verdict was mixed.  While we ate it we talked about our favorite Christmas food.  The clear winner was snickerdoodles, just because no one else could remember anything other than that and gingerbread.

What did you do tday?

Great way to add depth to your wall images

Check out this Frame Riser from Pottery Barn.

From their site:
Designed to bring some frames forward over others, our metal bracket lets you layer photos, art and mirrors.

Love it!

Stop and see the lights 12/7

Watched both Charlie Brown Christmas Specials together (with popcorn, of course).
My favorite line in the second one is Peppermint Patty as a sheep in the play "Woof! Meow! Moo! Whatever."

Stop and see the lights 12/6

We decorated our tree, listened to Christmas music and
had fun remembering who/where all the ornaments came from.

That's more like it. :)

Stop and see the lights 12/5

This was the kind of day I'm trying to have less of. We got lots of things done on our to do list, but we were all working separately. Hubs built the frame for the book nook in the rec room, I put up the outdoor lights and edited lots of images, and J & S built the Stars Wars that have been on my living room floor for a month. And the list goes on... So, lots of progress, but other than meals, no together time. I know that we don't have to spend all day, every day together, but I was sad to see how hard it was to carve out just a few minutes. We did find some time to read some (okay, two) of the boys' favorite Christmas stories at bedtime, basically because I said we were. Nothing like making your kids spend time with you. Tomorrow will be better.

Holiday order deadline and gift ideas

The holiday order deadline has been extended! Yippee!! This is your chance to get that order in
for Christmas gifts! December 13 is the new order deadline!

Orders must be placed and payment must be received by midnight December 13 for regular Christmas delivery.  Rush options are available after this deadline.  Rush fees will apply.

Storybooks, image boxes and canvases are not eligible for the extended deadline.

Looking for fun and easy gift ideas?
Look Books
Stationary Cards
Gift Certificates

Stop and see the lights 12/4

A little light decorating, aka no tree yet, but lots of other things!
Here is before:

After coming afraid.  Be very afraid.

Stop and see the lights 12/3

Tonight I asked the boys about their favorite Christmas memories.  Each said they didn't remember anything.
(I was proud of myself for not crying right away.)  So, I asked them if they remembered things that we did
each year - decorating a gingerbread house, making Snickerdoodles for Santa, and I was about to go on
when they each started saying things they remembered.  J said he loved walking around a corner at Nannie's house and seeing his new bike.  He said, "Everyone could hear that I found it!"  S said he remembered
getting his Leapster and using it right away in his new little chair.  He said, "It was so long ago that I
don't know if it was dream or if it really happened."

Stop and see the lights 12/2

Pancakes, scrambled eggs and clementines for dinner...on a school night!

What's yours?

It's about details! : NC Wedding Photographer

Tammy and Chad are married!  Here are few details from a really fun day.  Congratulations!

Tammy's beautiful gift from her soon to be hubs!

Fun with rings...

Required footwear for a beach wedding...

Loved this cake topper! 

Stop and see the lights!

Every year, December flies by in whirlwind of "we've got to get (whatever) done!"

Not this year!  Each day, we are going to just S - T- O - P.
Stop running and rushing and do something purposeful together to celebrate the season,
even if it's just for a few minutes.

So, December 1 - counted Christmas lights on the way home from Scouts (an inauspicious beginning, but there you go). It was 33, by the way.

Post your "stop and see the lights" moments in the comments each day!

See you tomorrow!

Card Update

E, T, M and P are taken.  Will update the rest soon!  Happy Monday, Internet!

Tuesday Tip: Fun and easy gift idea!

Instant Silhouette!

Take a picture of your subject's profile, print at your desired size, tape to paper and cut around the outline of your subject! That's it! A beautiful, easy, fun and personal gift! The great part is you can get really creative. I did these a few years ago for a traditional silhouette look, but this year, I'm going to use some fun patterned paper, either the silhouette in white on the fun paper or using the patterned paper for the silhouette itself.  Happy cutting!

A sobering reminder for parents...

A fellow photographer shares her tragic loss in hopes of preventing another heartbreak.

 Here is the link to the postcard if you'd like to share it.

It's about the cards!

Here are the 2009 chp Christmas cards! I just love them! Each card can be customized. If you see one you want, order soon. This year, I am offering card exclusivity! When you purchase your card, it will no longer be available!

Flat cards - 2 panels

Folded cards - 4 panels
Two notes:
If you order a 5 x 5 card, please note whether you would like 5 x 5 or 5 x 7 envelopes.
There will be a small logo on the back of each card.

It's about the cuteness!: Mooresville Baby Photographer

Little E is one! Look how much she has grown since her last session here!

She still has the sweetest smile!
I just love this one!



It's Mini Session Time!

You know you want holiday pictures and cards, but to find the time?  Easier said than done, I know!  This year, I will be having a mini session day on Saturday, November 7 from 8:00am to 12:30pm at Beaver Dam.  Call or email today to reserve your spot! 

Session fee must be received within 24 hours of scheduling to reserve your time.

It's about that smile : Mooresville Baby Photographer

Baby L is four months old! You can see his newborn session here. He is getting so big!

All smiles

With his gorgeous mommy

Just a peak of that cute little tush!

October Session Available!

For my clients wanting October sessions, I just had a reschedule!  9:00am on Saturday, October 24 is available. 

It's about a moment: Cornelius Newborn Photographer

it's only for a moment
you are mine to hold
the plans that heaven has for you
will all too soon unfold
Mark Harris

It's about babies!: Cornelius Newborn Photographer

Congratulations, J & T! So excited to meet your new little man!

Here is Baby C with his daddy...

...and his big brother. I love how you can see the similarity of their features.

And safe in mommy's arms...

Tuesday Tip 10.06

I have several friends who are wonderful cooks/bakers and two are that are pumpkin lovers as well. When I make pumpkin muffins (very often!), it is one of these two recipes because I just can't decide which I like better. And, yes, we've done the blind taste test. (Have I told you that I love pumpkin?) So, enjoy and let me know if YOU can decide!!

Jen’s Pumpkin Muffins
Combine in a bowl:
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup  egg substitute
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil (canola or olive)
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
Mix thoroughly and then add:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cloves
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 t. cinnamon
Stir until wet and dry ingredients are incorporated but don't overmix--unless you like rubbery baked goods.
Using the ice cream scoop divide batter into 12 lined muffin cups.  Take out your giant Costco bag of chocolate chips and sprinkle 4 to 5 chips on top of each muffin.  This entices the children to eat the muffin without overpowering the healthful ingredients.
Bake at 350 for 20-22 minutes.
Cool slightly and enjoy.

Emily’s Pumpkin Muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups granulated sugar (I use a little more than a cup)
1 can (15 oz.)Pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil (If you use flax seed, you can cut this down to about 1/2 cup)
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels (I use less)

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease thirty-six 2 1/2-inch muffin cups or line with paper bake cups.
COMBINE all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl. Combine eggs and sugar in large bowl. Add pumpkin and oil; mix well. Stir in flour mixture until moistened. Stir in morsels. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes; remove from pans.

It's about family: Huntersville Pregnancy Photography

Miss L is going to be a big sister! Look - she's already playing with her brother!

I love how expressive she is!

Mom is decorating little brother's room with classic space legos. Guess what the moon is!

Congratulations A & R!  So very excited for you guys!  It has been a pleasure and a privilege to watch that bump grow and I can't wait to meet little H! 

Holiday Specials!

It's holiday time! Look at this little pumpkin all ready for Halloween!

That must mean the holidays are coming soon!  I am very excited to announce the 2009 chp holiday specials! These are very special packages with huge savings. I am already scheduling sessions in November, so call or email today to schedule your session.

I'll be listing card designs soon, and this year chp is offering card exclusivity!
When you purchase a card, it will no longer be available!

Deck the Halls $550                                                                  Let It Snow $300
1-2 hour session                                                                           1 hour session
    75 flat cards with envelopes                                                      50 flat cards with envelopes
    75 4x6 prints (same proof)                                                        50 4x6 prints (same proof) 
            complete hi res session on disc                                                          8 hi res files on disc
  ($777 value)                                                                                ($525 value)

Jingle Bells $150
30 minute session
25 flat cards with envelopes
25 4x6 prints (same proof)
2 hi res files
($202 value)

Additional cards available in sets of 25.
Flat cards are 5x7 and printed on both sides.
Folded cards are available for an additional $10 per set of 25.
Print credit can be substituted for quantity 4x6's.
All prints and products are available as well.

Print orders should be placed by December 1 for Christmas delivery. Product orders, such as canvases and albums, should be placed by November 24 for Christmas delivery.

Tuesday Tip: It's about color!

As you are getting ready for your holiday session (or any session, really), you'll start to think "what will we wear?"  While it is a personal decision with no right or wrong answer, I'd like to offer some color combination suggestions.  Sessions with people wearing coordinating, but not matching, attire photograph well, giving the images texture and dimension, while letting each person being unique.  I'm not advocating a shopping trip, though.  Look in your closets and have fun pairing outfits.  If you are having trouble, look around your house at the colors you have used to decorate.  

Big news! Big sale! (And some newborn sweetness)

Big news!  chp is having an Archive Sale!

What's an Archive Sale?  Well, I'm glad you asked.  It's time for me to archive 2007 and 2008 sessions.  Before I do that, though, I'm offering high resolution files at a discount!  Couldn't decide which images to purchase?  Want to get some different ones?  Here's your chance to get all your high res proofs at over half off!  If you had a session in 2007 or 2008, your high res files are $130!  Call or email to place your order.

And since I can't post without an image, here is a sneak peek for Little C's mommy. What a handsome fella!

It's about perfection : Huntersville Newborn Photographer

What is more perfect than a beautiful, new life?  Little S is such a sweetie!  I wanted to stay all day! 

Congratulations, J & J! 

Click here to see more.

It's about whimsy!: Mooresville Children's Photographer

Miss L had so much fun with this umbrella. She even let her mom borrow it . . . but just for a minute!

We picked up leaves, too! What a fun day!

Click here to see the entire session.