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Saturday, June 25, 2011

The 7th anniversary of my 29th birthday!

Ahhh... it was a great birthday!

I went to work, and a coworker brought me a HUGE cinnamon roll from the bakery across the street (I'm talking the size of a dinner plate). I promptly shared it w/ another friend! Another friend brought me a huge chocolate gourmet cupcake plus a bag full of chocolate candies that are a few of my favorites! Another friend made brownies (my favorite!) to share w/ the entire group at work! 

My dear friend Liza bought me a huge balloon bouquet -- my first ever!  Who would've thought that I'd get giddy over balloons?!  I did!!
Liza & I are slowly discovering Vera Bradley -- and she bought me the newest lunchbox!  LOVE it!!  Can't wait to take my lunch next week!

My dear friend Leisa has been making these delicious four layer cakes for years -- and I absolutely LOVE her cakes.  This is the 3rd year she's made me a cake for my birthday!  Love this woman!


Maddie wrote me a very cute letter -- can you read it?  Isn't it cute?

Katie ... this is funny.... Katie found me a gift on Amazon.  She said "I'm going to buy it".  I thought "whatever... she's not going to get far".  Well, she texts me at work and says "I found your gift on Amazon, and I'm going to order it."  I didn't respond.  Then, a few minutes later she texts again "Wait!  How am I supposed to order this?  I don't have a credit card!!"  So, I asked her what it was (to make sure it was worth spending money on in the first place for shipping) -- and when she forwarded me the link, I totally agreed with her choice.  I love Willow Tree!!  I have the nativity set and 3 other figurines.  I've given my girls Willow Tree figurines as well.  We love them!  However, I told her that we needed to check out the local stores first, b/c they would be the same price without shipping.  That night, we found the one she wanted to give me, and I LOVE IT!!
When Vera Bradley was having a sale a few weeks ago on bags for $17.99 -- I snatched one (or two) up.  I guess this is my birthday gift to myself?  I dunno... but my mom wanted to see what it looks like.  So, here ya go Mom!  Katie is using the other one, and she's babysitting right now and has it with her...

Since Mike was out of town, I celebrated my birthday by going to the movies w/ Liza and our girls -- then a quick trip to Longhorn Cafe for some yummy burgers and a final trip of the night to my happy place!  Target!  It was overall a wonderful day!  I'm so blessed with so many wonderful friends!


These two pictures of a quilt... I found at a garage sale today for $5.00 ... I was thinking of using them for photo shoots for families sitting on a blanket.  It is unbelievably soft -- good deal?  Is it cute enough for a photo shoot?


The funny moments in my life

Lately we've had a string of funny moments that occur.. and I HAVE to document them!  Unfortunately, I run this in my head when I'm driving of things I need to blog about, and since I added another year to my age yesterday, I'm blanking on all of them but one...

My girls have an adopted Mom whose name is Katie.  Katie is awesome.  Katie is an amazing baker ... sewing gal ... and has swooped by to get my girls when they are on break and I have to work.  She has baking days for them, and this summer she's been picking them up weekly for a trip to Sea World to go swimming.


Well, Katie has two little girls.  They have a special kind of "robe" that is terry and is basically a swimming suit cover up.  From what I gather from Madison, it looks like a bathrobe.  One day when my Katie was at volleyball camp, Maddie went to Sea World with Katie.  When I arrived after work to pick her up, she had her heavy flannel bathrobe on.  I go "what the crap?  Why do you have your bathrobe?"  Well, putting two and two together, she thought Katie's girls robe were bathrobes, so she takes her heavy bathrobe to Sea World instead of her towel.  Katie thought "man, she must be hot in that thing!"

Maddie admitted that she was dying of heat .. and sweating like a pig!  Thankfully, a friend had an extra terry "robe" that is a swimsuit cover up, so we're ready for the next Sea World excursion!!!

While we're on the subject of Madison, last week I had a conversation with her in the car.

I asked her the names of the roads we were on -- the names & phone numbers, addresses, etc of her family.  Then, I went into "what is your grandma's name?"  My mom's name is Debbie.  I asked her "what is her maiden name?"  She said "Deb" -- I said "no, a maiden name is the name a woman has before she is married."  She said "oh, uh... Debbie."  So, I gave her the answer.  By the time we got to MY grandma's name (which is Polly) -- she worked hard to figure out what Grandma Polly's maiden name was.

Her answer?  "uh....Polly Wanna Cracker?"  oh, I love my Maddie!

More funnies to come when I remember them... (trying not to show my age!)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

introducing ....Photos by Amy Nelson

I'm so ecstatic...

I have a photography website!!

EEKS!!  I'm officially stepping out?!  Maybe?  So nervous!!

My dear friend Becky (who I grew up with as a teenager ... and have to admit that I thought for sure was going to marry my brother one day) designs websites.  Well, she designed mine!  She said "tell me what you want!"  I had no clue.  So, I passed a few photography websites to her, and said "just give me anything!  I'll be happy with anything!"  I gave her the colors I wanted (let me tell you, I probably drove her batty b/c I said "I like yellow.... maybe  yellow and red?  No..yellow and blue? Yellow and grey?  Nah.... let me get back to you, but I want yellow." 

Then I realized I have a book and I ADORE the colors used on the book cover.  It just meshed so wonderfully!

So, I forwarded the picture of the book to Becky, and away she went.  

Then came the hard part of finding a domain name that wasn't taken.  I thought of something like cutesy like "Chocolate Daisy" -- but I really wanted to stamp my name on the photos I took.  All my first picks were taken ... Prudential owned my own NAME -- WHY?!!  What do they need it for?!  But, I decided to keep it simple -- it's not "portraits" b/c frankly, I'm still learning and to me, portraits is a word that describes the really really expensive photography that I just am not into yet.  I prefer casual ... and fun. 

So ...after buying the domain, and after a few minor tweaks .... she showed me my website, and I was in LOVE!!
Becky is heading out on the road to web designing ... she's been doing this since 2004, but has recently decided to start offering her services!!  If you're interested in having a website created, or anything else, check out her website  Little Sis Web Design -- it's FULL of options -- want to create just a family website for your family?  She can do it!  Need something from scratch but don't know what to do?  Becky can do it!  (Heck, I didn't really know what I wanted -- but since she knew me and remembered how I am, she totally designed it in a way that truly resembles ME!!!).

Check out our websites!!  What do you think?!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Families are full of love & nuts

So while at Kasey's wedding, I snapped some pictures of my family members. Gave us something to do....

this is my brother Mike & his wife Rachel


Here they are with their oldest son Joshua...
I think I was telling him there was a dinosaur in my camera, and can he see it?


My mom took my camera away from me and snapped a few shots of my sister in law Rachel & me... 
we got a little crazy for a second. 
This is my momma...
We had a small modeling session...
My parents.....
Me & my parents.....
(I didn't realize my boobs were so big)
This is my uncle & his wife Karen... and my parents.  My camera settings blew out the light big time, and so I had to change it to black and white.  See how normal and peaceful they are? 
They said something to each other and they all went crazy.
The photographer (me) had nothing to do with this....
but nonetheless, I love the picture!
My uncle & his wife Karen
my beautiful grandma
my dad and grandma
and one more final crazy picture for the road!

Friday, June 10, 2011

THE Wedding

Kasey's wedding was set in Weston, Missouri --- at a beautiful placed called "The Big Red Barn".  It was the perfect site for a very comfortable wedding. Outdoor wedding, wind blowing not gently (goodbye good hair day), greenery everywhere, peace & quiet.. it was perfect.


This is my beautiful grandma & Kasey's older brother Zack... 


This is Zack walking the mother of the bride (aka my aunt) down the aisle

They had a TON of flower girls.... I think total was 6?  maybe 7?  They were all nieces of the groom, so naturally they all need to be in the wedding so none are left out. :)  It was a very cute addition, I must say!
I love this picture of Nate's best man (they had problems w/ the wind and setting the paper down) ...  I love the colors they picked (kind of a lime green, forgot the actual name of the color), the ties, the suits... it all!



Since Zack & Kasey lost their dad before Thanksgiving last year, and our grandpa on Thanksgiving, her brother gave her away -- sadly, out of all the pictures I took of them walking down, none of them show her smiling or looking up  :)  I think she was a tad bit nervous...



Here is the kiss that sealed the deal!


While her photographer was snapping some pictures of the others, I grabbed Kasey and propped her in the corner and shot a few pictures...
This is the picture w/ all the aunts & uncles on our side of the family.  Only ones missing are me & my brother and his family.... so we were mostly complete except for my little family being there!

Kasey did her cake just like I did .... enlisted our wonderful grandma and had her make a cake out of styrofoam and decorate it (for the record, my mom helped w/ my cake, and my aunt helped w/ Kasey's cake).  For my wedding, we had four different kinds of sheet cakes to choose from, and Kasey had cupcakes.

Everything on the table was white food .... I believe it was a little hard trying to come up with white desserts!



This was their first dance...
Kasey is a phenomenal singer .... when it was time for the mom's to dance with their child (traditionally the father/daughter dance), Kasey grabbed her mom and they all danced to "Momma's Song" by Carrie Underwood.  My grandma joined in...


The decorations were wonderfully done.  I have a hard time trying to pin exactly what the style was, but it was perfect...  Beautiful in every way.



Stay tuned for my final round of Wedding Pictures ......
silly (and not so silly) pictures of my CRAZY family!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kasey's Wedding

I have four cousins .... only one of them is female.  We are exactly 10 years apart, and I adored her from the day she was born.  Course, in my teens and early adulthood I didn't adore her as much when she humiliated me over & over again with the boys .... but she played the part every little sister would normally do.

She fell in love ... and got married!  She was the other reason for heading back to Kansas City in May.

She hired a professional photographer to do her pictures at the wedding, but I did her pictures as she was getting ready for the wedding.

This was her jewelry, her unmentionables... her "something blue"



Isn't her ring gorgeous?


I have to say that I really love these kind of pictures on black & white.....



Love this Red Bull sitting with all the orange juice & champagne




Kasey did her own flowers -- they were breathtakingly beautiful





This is Kasey's momma... my Aunt Nay (Lenee, rhymes with Renee). 
I get told that I look the most like her out of anyone in the family...



Heading out to the limo.  I was so tickled pink that I was going to ride in the limo!  My first limo ride ever!


After a few scary moments before we got in the car, Kasey reassembled herself, 
and was rocking out to a Miley Cyrus "Party in the USA" song ...


Stay tuned for part 2 .... THE WEDDING!
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