blog move ...

It's with butterflies in my stomach that I'm writing this ...

My photography website is live and I'm ready to share it ... wee!! Why am I so nervous??

I have so much to tell you ... so much has been going on that I want to share. The Lord has been at work in my life and in my heart and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

But ... I'll be telling you on a new blog site, as not only am I changing my look {again!} ... I'm changing my blog address as well.

Because I've imported this blog {all posts} into my new site ... this one will stay here static. If you subscribe via RSS, google reader, bloglines or such ... please update your subscription to the new site. Or resubscribe on the new site.

Yeah ... I'm procrastinating. Look at me typing away delaying the new site addresses. And now I've just wasted three minutes, sitting here with my fingers on the keyboard typing nothing. I'm nervous.

Okay, but here goes ...

http://tsjphotography.com {website}
http://tsjphotography.com/blog {blog}

Gaaaaaa!!! I'll be happy to receive any feedback ... good, bad or otherwise! See ya over there! ;)


{via trendy tots}

The name alone will make you want to buy one! I love this adorable little nest ... they're available in a variety of patterns, and you can find them here.

Hint, hint preggo ladies in my life ... or should I be gifting it? ;)


wish list

Oh what I wouldn't do to look this hip when I'm a tad older. Skinny jeans? I can't pull 'em off now ... sigh ...

Lauren Hutton ... hats off to you girl! Way to rock my J.Crew world!


my budding artist

Piper loves art. She's been drawing like a mad-woman since preschool. Her hands are constantly covered in markers ... much like a mechanic's hands have a permanent stain of oil and grease.

When Pipes grows up, she wants to be an artist. Maybe she'll stay close to home and go to MIAD? I can dream, can't I? Anyway.

She came home the other day with this story and I had to share ... There was a cover page that said:

"The anaamls medeen" {translated to: The animals meeting}

Once there was a lion. He had a meeting. He was late!

I'm hoping this isn't a metaphor for our family life! :)

happy st. pat's!

{via the crafty crow}

Looking for a fun St. Pat's craft with the kids? These shamrock pretzel treats are the perfect fix!

And if your looking for some green eye-candy ... check this out!


new lens love!

Today found me playing 'nakie' hopscotch with Hunter. Well ... she was nakie, I was fully clothed. Um, not so cute if mom were nakie! Hunter had just woke from her nap ... I had taken her pull-up off and didn't put her undies on yet before we started playing.

Is it just me, or does everyone have a soft spot for those little dimpled bare bottoms? Again, talking Hunter's here ... not mine {thank you very much!}.

Anyway. With that little bottom right in front of me ... I couldn't resist ... I finally broke out a new lens I've been dying to try out and I love it!! Love, love, love it! Yum! It's a 50mm 1.2 ... I used it here at 1.2 to see what it would do and how fun? Or is it just me? :)

Oh! And I should mention ... yes, my kids are generally dirty and I don't care. But in this particular case, Hunter had a mean mug of hot chocolate before naptime!

easter anyone?

I love this picture ... reminds me of spring, pastels, bonnets, and shiny new white Easter shoes! Does anyone have their Easter decorations up yet? Some have told me I'm crazy ... I've had mine up since the Valentine's came down.

{via black*eiffel}



i fell in love with my husband ...

All over again. Seriously big sigh ...

You know how you just get caught up in the same ol' routines? Day in and day out. Stressin' about this, stressin' about that? We lead a pretty busy and somewhat complicated life and sometimes we just lose ourselves ... our marriage, in all of the craziness.

For Christmas the past couple of years, I've given Curt a trip away for just the two of us. He loves it and hey, it's just icing for me, right?

This year, I picked a place on the Turks & Caicos islands ... beautiful! I've been to the islands twice before and stayed somewhere different, so this was fun to explore a new place.

We were instantly relaxed ... seriously relaxed!

The place was quiet, pristine, private ... totally private! Everyone stayed in private pavilions which were situated on I-don't-even-know-how-many acres. And the pavilions were all nestled back in lush vegetation so you couldn't see anyone else.

Here's a photo of ours. There are three sides of full floor-to-ceiling glass walls, so you could see the views all around you. Seriously beautiful. {warning: I may use the word 'seriously' in this post way too much}

A view from our pavilion deck.

A view from our bathroom ... our bed is just beyond this wall ... you can see the seriously beautiful views we had.

A sunset {reflected off the window}. This is our little outdoor dining area. So the views weren't spoiled, it was built-in ... seriously genius!

The pavillion at night ...

Me on our first night to dinner. Gotta love wearing a $19.00 old navy dress to a fancy-schmancy dinner place!

I surprised CJ one night with a beach cove dinner. Had his fav planned for the menu ... anyone? anyone? You guessed it ... cheeseburger and fries. I can just hear his mommy saying, "oh Curtie!"

Lastly, if you wanted privacy ... they had this little wooden starfish that you hung on one of the lights on the path to your pavilion ... how cute?

We had a seriously awesome time {okay, I think I'm done using seriously ... I may have lost a few readers with that}. It was just so great, and so needed to get away and recharge our marital batteries.

We missed the kids terribly ... but we were able to talk without being interupted, we slept, we laughed, we ate, we laid, we read, we kissed, held hands, walked, and had fun ... with each other.

I think every marriage needs time away. Sometimes we'll just take a weekend and head to Chicago if we can. I just think it's so important for a marriage. It's so easy to get caught up in the kids and the calendar that sometimes you lose sight of what is holding the whole thing together in the first place {after God that is ...}.

Click here to see a few more photos. Now if you'll excuse me ... I've got a couple buckets of mail that need tending to ...

kid couture

{via cool mom picks}

The world would be a happy place if every child I see this spring were wearing these!

a serious.life magazine

The April issue is available ... check it out by clicking on the image below ... enjoy!

Serious.Life Magazine


need a pregnant mama

Who'll let me take a photo like this ... beautiful!
{via kiss the groom}


a boy, a girl & mommy

I was honored to photograph this family last week, and I learned some things too! Most important ... remember deodorant! I have a tendency to be a big ball o' sweat during these shoots and um, well ... deodorant definitely helps in those sitchs!

Okay, seriously ... this is a beautiful family! Dad was at work, so I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours with mom and her treasures.

Little miss sunshine was a ball of smiles when I arrived and started playing with her. And of course, as soon as I picked up my camera she was closed mouthed or blowing bubbles ... oh and then there was the complete determination of stuffing her whole fist into her mouth {sometimes her feet if she could get them}. She made me work!

Something I learned is to just let them play. Little man here wanted to get his dracula teeth ... mom was not lovin' that idea. Until I said, "sure, why don't we get a couple shots of dracula." And with digital it's so easy to delete them. Why not make little man happy so we can get some shots mom will love? And honestly, isn't this just a little bit adorable?

Another one where little man had his own ideas for the photo shoot ...

Another hard thing was trying to get one good shot of all three of them. I love photo-journalistic type photography where every frame isn't posed. Just natural shots of the kids playing, interacting, just being. But not every mom is going to want to frame a random shot of the kids playing. Most at least want one shot of everyone together ... I know I do when we have our photos taken.

What I learned is not to be so hard on myself. I was positive I hadn't gotten a single good shot of the three of them together ... but look ... this one isn't bad! And there were even a few more ...

At one point, mom went into the other room to change herself and little man, so I took advantage of her absence and put some cute hats on little miss sunshine ...

I loved their vintage looking furniture ... perfect for the vintage looking post-processing I did for this photo.

And last but not least ... raise your hand if you love a baby in a frilly green skirt!

Thank you Rachel & kids for letting me capture your beautiful family ... truly a blessing! You can find more photos from this shoot here.


for my girls

So ... I should preface this by saying ... most of my 'deeper' posts start out days ahead of time in my head. I just feel a bunch of thoughts coming on and unfortunately for you dear readers ... they usually end up here in a spewed-out mess of jambalaya!

This post started in my head as a list to my girls. A list of who I want them to be, what my wishes and desires are for them. And as I'm thinking of it and listing it out {in my head}, I realized if I did that in a post, it may seem somewhat morbid without explaining why ... especially given that I'm traveling and away from them and God forbid something happened. So ... here is where this post is coming from.

I had a customer at the store who ordered wedding invitations. Through variety of {honest and unfortunate} mistakes her order was never placed. A few weeks later, she called to inquire about her order. Uh-oh! When we finally found her order and realized what happened, I called her back to explain.

She was very nice, but looking for some sort of compensation. "10 percent?" I asked. "I was really hoping for more than that," she answered. We settled on 20 percent. And that I would do my best to get her envelopes printed and pre-shipped so she could start addressing them.

I told her I'd get back to her the next day. I would be traveling, but would call her as soon as I got in. When we landed, I checked my emails to see if the store had an update for me, and thus began a flurry of upset.

I was told this woman called the store and was very upset and felt 20% was not compensation enough. I was thoroughly confused because it didn't sound like the woman I had talked to the night before. I called the number I was given and was shocked to find out it was the bride's mom!

Now, I admit ... I've probably had my mom cover for me for things far beyond the age of appropriateness {i.e., calling in sick for me ...}. But come on!

This mother was horrendous to talk to. Seriously. It was an honest mistake we'd made. I was doing all I could to rectify the situation. I even offered to hand-address all 175 of her invites!

The mother said she just didn't know that she could 'trust' us, considering how we wronged them. Seriously?!? I may have raised my voice at that point {ever so slightly, mind you}, as I explained to her that I don't run my business that way. It was an honest mistake. We realized what happened {mis-filing} and are doing all we can to make it better.

The wedding isn't until the third{ish} week in May. The reply date is the end of April ... they really have plenty of time for these to get out. I understand the frustration ... but are the accusations and drama necessary?

When I finally hung up the phone with her, she had a 45% discount, rush-processing, and overnight shipping {all paid by bwp}. Curt had an upset wife in a bundle of tears ... mind you, we had literally just arrived and walked into our room at this point.

Okay, so the reason for my post? In playing this all over in my head, I began to wonder ... what is this mother teaching her daughter.

To fight, fight, fight ... break someone down to the point of tears, to get an obscene discount and come off as a problematic person/customer?

Definitely not what I want to teach my children. And so the post begins:

For My Girls
be kind, loving, and generous
hold doors open
say please and thank you
be understanding & patient
hold judgement
leave large tips
clean up after yourself
give to others
be courteous
be respectful ... of everyone
be kind
if someone wants to pass you, let them
honor your family
be joyful
jealousy will get you nothing
work hard
be loving
have goals ... and follow them
be kind
have compassion
be honest
marry a Christian boy
smile ... a lot
if invited for dinner, help wash the dishes
count your blessings, no matter how small
take walks
laugh ... a lot
cherish friendships
be kind
love God with all your heart
love yourself


butterfly, butterfly ...

{via 100 percent cottam}

I spotted this today over here and decided to get a few. My girls will love it! And whenever I spot something good, I tend to get a couple extra for my stock pile of gifts. The girls get invited to way too many birthday parties ... wowsers!

That's me ... always thinking ahead {not really, but it felt good to say it ...}