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Mickey and Woodstock

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Woodstock and I had another photo shoot. It was the perfect marriage of two things I love so much: my Woodstock and all things Disney. We pulled out all of my daughter’s Mickey ears that she has collected over the years and put them on him one by one…. Of course with brief breaks between costume changes for popcorn eating. He is such a good sport! He even let me dress him as a princess. He’ll do anything to make me smile. :)

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Friends, Food, Flowers and Photos

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A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of getting together with several women for an afternoon to make flower crowns and have a sunset photo shoot. When I signed up to attend, there wasn’t anyone that I knew going. It is a big effort to put myself into a social environment without having someone along side me. But this sounded like such a cool thing, I didn’t want to miss out. However, by happenstance, a friend of mine attended as well. It was a really great time getting to know other photographers, event planners and designers.

I’ve been talking about and looking a lot at “tiny houses”. It just so happened that this evening was hosted by a woman who lives in a “tiny house”. It was so cool to see how a couple lives in such a small space. I loved it. Now I’m thinking about it more and more. :)

The sunset photo shoot that was planned after we made our flower crowns was nearly rained out. Thankfully, the rain stopped enough to be able to shoot, though the sun was hidden behind the clouds.

A few photos from the evening…

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More Fun with the Street Team

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Every time I get to have time with my awesome Street Team, I know it is going to be good fun. We had originally planned to have a group of 8 and a scavenger hunt all over Franklin, TN. Ahhh… the best laid plans! The weather sent us indoors and family situations narrowed us down to a group of four.

What’s the next best thing to running around all over downtown Franklin? Hitting up the local coffee shop for food, drinks and a loud game of Taboo!

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A Sad Day

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How many times do we say to ourselves and to each other how fleeting time is… or… tomorrow is never guaranteed… or… how time flies… or… cherish your loved ones while you can…? And then life happened and I realized that every time I have said that I wasn’t really connected to the absolute truth that time is fleeting and tomorrow is not guaranteed.

For the first time, I’m mourning the entirely too early loss of a friend who is my age and someone I was close with. For about 10 years of our young adult lives we were stuck like glue, despite living 400 miles apart for many of those years. And when I say stuck like glue, I mean totally inseparable like identical twin sisters. Then as many have done, we lost touch and reconnected online. In fact, she found me through my blog and left me a comment on April 28, 2012 which reads:

Let’s play a game…….I met you my senior year of high school…….for a while we did everything together……i was always planned out and you ran like the wind……..we paid for gas in pennies, ate tons of ben and jerry’s……you taught me not to wear a sport’s bra and to walk in heels……..

She didn’t need to sign her name. I knew who she was and remembered every one of those things… and many, many more. Naturally, I had photographed all of the crazy things we did and still have those pictures in my albums.

The past two + years we emailed very often and kept each other up-to-date on all of life’s ups and downs. She read every blog and I sent her pictures of everything that was going on. Now being almost 2000 miles apart, we could only be as close as the words we shared.

She had indicated to me that she wasn’t well l but I didn’t understand the full extent of her condition. I have regret about that. I wish I had understood better. I wish that I would have made more effort, more time, provided greater joy and a sense of peace and encouragement to her. I talked to her and shared what was going on in my life totally unaware that she was quite literally dying. She asked me to send her pictures from my wedding and honeymoon but by the time I got around to it, it was too late. She didn’t get the opportunity to read the last 2 emails I sent her. She would have enjoyed seeing those pictures. I knew she was very happy that I found someone who truly loved me.

I can’t go back and change things. But I can be more present, more thoughtful, more open and demonstrate a greater appreciation for the people that God has blessed my life with. Ultimately, that is the kind of woman I want to be known for: one who is faithful; one who is grateful.

So, to honor my dear friend, on my next trip to Disneyland, I’ll be buying a bag of cherry sour balls to eat while riding Haunted Mansion as we did 100 times many years ago.

 

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Self-Portrait Update

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It’s that time again to update everyone on my self portrait project. I took the month of June off to enjoy getting married but got right back into the swing of things in July. Only one month left to complete this year long project. :)

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It’s Not Too Late

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Voting for the 2014 Ruthies Awards continues through the end of August. Have you voted yet for Southern Girl Photography as your Favorite Photographer/Photo Studio?

Voting only takes a minute and we need your votes to win! You can vote DAILY with each email address that is registered.

VOTE HERE!

Please take a moment to vote for us and spread the word!

Thank you!!

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Here Comes the Bride

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Two months after the day, I am finally getting some of our wedding pictures posted. *happy dance*.

To describe the day, it was very relaxing. No nerves. No pressure. No distractions. No outside expectations to live up to. If I could wish only one thing for a bride on her wedding day, it would be that she could fully relax and take her special day at her own pace.

Early that morning, we took Woodstock for a fun walk at Wilderness Station and then went for a nice breakfast at one of our favorite local restaurants. We kicked back at home for a couple of hours until I left for my hair appointment (thank you Deanna at Top of the Block for doing such a beautiful job on my hair…like always!). That was the last time he saw me until our “first look”.

It was nice getting ready in my own home, in my own room, with 2 friends…. They would be Savannah, my makeup artist and Alyssa, my photographer. We did a “first look” in our backyard and Woodstock got to be a part. He was so cute and so excited to see me all dressed up… not to mention that he and I had been separated for 3 hours.; so of course he was excited to see me ;)

We made our way to the ceremony where our dear friends, Nancy and Simon, awaited us. The ceremony included a total of 8 people: the two of us, my daughter and her best friend, Nancy and Simon, Alyssa and Rabbi Flip. That was it… and it was perfect. Of course, no wedding would be complete with out some version of a cake smash. Our version were cupcakes, and it was more like a feeding than a smashing.

Everyone left and we went to the Natchez Trace Bridge for our bride and groom portraits. By the time we got there, the sunset was shrouded by cloud cover, and the full moon rising was hidden by the hills. Nevertheless, that time together was just the way I imagined it would be… well… except for the people driving by whootin’ and hollering’ at us. I didn’t really think that part through all the way. LOL.

Thank you to everyone who made our day so memorable… especially to Alyssa for capturing the day in a way that will be preserved forever. XOXO.

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Bless His Heart

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I’ve wanted a dog my whole life but it just never happened. Either I was constrained by not having enough money to really take care of the needs of a dog, or I didn’t have the space that would allow me to have a dog. Once I got past 40 years old, I had almost given up hope that I ever would have one. It just seemed like things would never quite come together for me.

But then… I got Woodstock… and he was so worth the wait! He is the perfect dog for me: the perfect disposition, energy level, size, willingness to please, personality. I could go on and on but I’ll spare you the relentless gushing… except for this last detail…. He even lets me do photo shoots with him! Can you hear the angels sing?! Bless his heart… He had no idea what he got himself in to.

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Once In My Life

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For those who may be new around here, I was married this past June. We were able to take 11 days and go on a beautiful honeymoon to places near and far that I have never been to. In the process, I was able to cross a few things off of my bucket list.

Inspired by a friend, I decided to take only one film camera with me on our trip. It was the best decision I could have made. I love taking pictures… I mean I L-O-V-E it! I can easily become so caught up in taking pictures of everyone and everything that the only experience I have is through the lens. That is what I didn’t want to happen on my honeymoon. Shooting film comes with a cost, unlike shooting digitally. It requires me to slow down, think, take the shot I want and then move on to experiencing what is happening. That is exactly what I did.

Over the course of the 11 days, we drove down to Florida (a first for me!) and took a cruise out of Miami to Cozumel, Belize, Honduras and Costa Maya. We visited family and had short stays in St. Augustine, FL and Savannah, GA.

Enjoy a peek into our vacation!

 

 

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Time to Vote

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It’s that time of year again…. Time to vote for the 2014 Ruthies Awards… and this year, Southern Girl Photography has been nominated for Favorite Photographer/Photo Studio!

We are so excited to be a part of the Ruthies Awards this year and appreciate the love and support from our awesome clients.

Voting only takes a minute and we need your votes to win! You can vote DAILY with each email address that is registered.

VOTE HERE!

Please take a moment to vote for us and spread the word!

Thank you!!

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2015 Street Team | In the Community

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When I selected the girls for the 2015 SGP Street Team, I wanted young ladies who wanted to be involved in something more than just their high school lives. I looked for qualities in these girls that would be interested and proactive in making a difference in the lives of people around us.

Several months ago, I saw a brochure at my local Starbucks for an organization called Girls Love Mail. The heart of this organization is to encourage girls of all ages to hand write letters of hope, encouragement, faith and love to other girls who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis and the fight that goes with it. The letters are sent to the organization who then distribute them to the recipients.

I was really moved by the simplicity of this organization. It reminded me of my days as a young girl when writing letters to pen pals was a very common thing. I had pen pals every year. I enjoyed writing and looked forward to their notes back. Snail mail seems to have very little place in our high tech, modern world. However, technology cannot evoke the feeling of human connection that happens through a hand written note.

So the girls and I got together for note writing, pizza and a movie. It was such an easy, small gesture that can have such an enormous impact. We had a great time as a group penning several notes.

I don’t know if there is a person on Earth who hasn’t been directly affected by the pain and destruction of cancer. Bible study groups, families, sororities… Join the movement and write notes of healing words to send to Girls Love Mail. For more information visit www.girlslovemail.com.

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Woman’s Best Friend

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Well, the month of June came and gone filled with a lot of exciting things in our lives. It’s hard to believe (well not really ALL that hard to believe) that here I am and July has nearly gotten away from me as well. But I’m back, with as much frequency as I can make happen.

With work and life happening there are things that I never did write about but I would be remiss to not blog at least once about this. In fact, it is on the top ten list of most exciting life-changing things that has happened in the last decade! I got a dog… #myfirstdogever!

Back in April, on one of our fairly routine visits to the local shelter for a “doggy date”, we met the sweetest one year old, german shepherd/yellow lab male dog. We took him to walk for some fresh air. He was smart and attentive, active but not overly excitable. After spending just a few minutes with him, it didn’t take much thought on my part to ask if we could take him home.

I wasn’t expecting to hear any other response than “not today”. We had already agreed we were going to wait and get things prepared at home first. In fact, we had rules when we went on our “doggy dates”: no crying when we leave without a dog. The expectation was we were only going to visit the dogs, not to take one home. But when I asked, he nodded his head affirmatively. I was so shocked, I burst into tears… right there… in the middle of the shelter!

We filled out the paperwork for his adoption and paid the fee. Next we went off to get all the basic doggy necessities: bowls, food, collar, leash and toys. We had some errands to run, and learned he loves to be in the car (happy dance), and then we made our way home to surprise my daughter. I love giving surprises (PSA to my friends and loved ones: I don’t like getting surprises though)!

We named him Woodstock… and every day with him has been a fulfillment of every good thing that I fantasized having a dog would be. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect dog for me. He is my buddy, and we do nearly everything together. We run errands, take 4 mile walks in the mornings and make pitstops at Starbucks. I teach and he learns.

Of course, I take pictures of him EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I mean, how can I not? I am a photographer, and he has the face of a model…which got me thinking. “Why not share all this cuteness with the world?”

Every day is an adventure with him. Please follow him on Instagram @lifewithwoodstock to keep up with his new life in our family.

 

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Happy Anniversary…to Me!

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Today is my 4th anniversary in Tennessee (and the 2nd anniversary of my business). It’s hard to comprehend where the time has gone. In so many ways, I still feel like I’m new here while also feeling a sense of comfort from being settled.

I wanted to share with you the words written to me by the one who has witnessed almost every day of my life over the past four years. It warmed my heart to hear the summary of my life from another’s view.

A few years ago, this girl named Shayna decided to make a change in her world. She was tired of the same old thing and wanted to seek an adventure that would give her and her daughter the opportunity to make a new start in a new place filled with new people and even more new places.

She set her eyes on the place called Tennessee. There was no real reason for her decision to go to that place. Sure, there was an insincere promise of a relationship awaiting her. In her heart, however, she knew it was just the excuse she needed to set her course. So she got in her car, her trusty Geo and off she drove.

Four years ago today she arrived in the Volunteer State. She had no friends, little money and the only hope for a relationship was almost immediately dashed to bits.

In four years, she has found love, married her best friend, started a business, guided her daughter towards a strong life direction, bought a home, traveled to several states, written a couple of blogs, and if that wasn’t enough, she got a dog. Her first dog, Woodstock.

She is loved by her man and her daughter and her dog.

And now . . . The fifth inning. Stay tuned everybody. My beautiful Shayna girl is about to hit a home run and it will be awesome!

There is no question that there has been much change and growth in my life. I, too, look forward to what more life has in store.

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A New Beginning

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For the month of June, my blog and social media outlets will be more quiet than usual. I’m getting married next week and I want to relish the excitement and the anticipation. This special time will come and go regardless of how “in the moment” I am… and I don’t want to miss any of it. In the words of a dear friend, “Just unplug. Your clients, friends and duties will be here when you get back.” Those are sound words of wisdom and I’d be a fool to not heed it.

With that said, I will see ya’ll (and I’m sure have much to share) when I get back from my honeymoon!

Ciao!