Are you on Facebook? Scroll all the way down to become a S.L. Smith Photography fan on Facebook. If you are a fan and a client, I can post some of your most recent images to FB, tag you, and it will appear on your FB account. What an easy way to show off your beautiful family!
This weekend I was shooting (the camera kind, not the gun kind) at a new location and came across this hidden treasure of a backdrop. I gasped, I squealed, and I'm pretty sure I yelled "Oh My Gosh! It's BEAUTIFUL"! My clients looked at me like "Uh, okay. Looks like a tin lean-to and a couple of dirty old chairs...this girl is really excitable". Well, it is, but it's also an awesome contrast. I LOVE contrast...a dirty old truck and a beautiful family, a rusty tin shed and a sweet young family, a parking lot full of gruff looking bikers with a smiling bride in their midst...you get the picture. That's what I saw with this. I have driven by it a million times and never noticed it. I found a bunch of little amazing shooting spots in this one little town. Can't wait to show off the rest:
I have big plans for you, dirty old shed!
Then as an added bonus I found this old chair leaning up against a building...people, do you not realize the photographic treasures you have sitting around???? I already have a session in mind with this little chair as the co-star!
Do you know how lucky I feel???? This past month I have gotten so many sweet surprises....I actually feel so undeserving and humbled by it all.
My friend Amy brought me the sweetest surprise of all :cupcakes from Kate's Frosting. You might remember me blogging about Amy before. She's the one who did our fun family photos. She is just about ready to open her photography business, and let me tell you, this girl knows what she's doing and her photos are FUN! If she had a blog (hint hint Amy), I would direct you to it so you could see her beautiful work.
These cupcakes looked delicious. These cupcakes tasted delicious! There was a delectable chocolate one, a yummy strawberry one, and a really cute red velvet one with a tiny mouse on top made out of a cherry. The lemon poppy seed one made me drool and the carrot cake one was scrumptious and made me feel better about eating all those cupcakes because it was made out of a vegetable....it has to be good for you if it was made out of vegetables, right??? But the best cupcake of all was a CHEESECAKE cupcake....come to mama!
Take a look for yourself and then go over to Kate's Frosting to try them for yourself...cupcakes make everyone happy. They are like a treat for your eyes and your mouth.
Thank you Amy, for literally the sweetest birthday gift!
I have no words for these cuties except I love them like my own. I have known both of them since they were infants and I met the little one about 30 minutes after she was born. I have not done anything to enhance their eyes, they just both have these amazing blue eyes. Since they came over to play this morning I decided to whip out the camera to get a few shots of these beautiful girls.
I know some of you are wondering where my session photos are. I really really want to post these sessions of my beautiful clients..but I can't! These days I have had holiday sessions and I can't show them until their Christmas cards have been sent out. I can't blame them. I don't like to share my Christmas Card photo until all my cards have been sent either. I can't wait to post these family photos in January. For now you will have to sit through my personal photos...hope they don't bore you into not coming back:)
This was a newborn Me...still in the hospital. Still fresh. New. A blank page. True.
Here's a toddler Me. No preconceived notions. Unselfconscious. Danced without caring who saw. Sang anywhere and everywhere at the top of my lungs. Cried when I wanted, laughed when I wanted, ATE what I wanted. Napped without guilt. Loved Me.
Something happens between toddler-hood and adulthood. People say things to you, give you strange looks. You become aware of what others think and you start to care about their opinions. You start to cover up these parts of you that make you YOU. Slowly, the you that used to exist starts to disappear and you look, think, act like everyone else. Then one day you start to wonder why you care about everyone else's opinion. This is where my 30's have brought me on my journey.
At 36, I am happy to be another year older...and if I'm lucky, I will have many more chances to be another year older. I am learning to peel away the layers that cover up the ME inside of this body. I eat what I want to eat, I am learning to nap without guilt, I LOVE Me, I am working up the courage to dance and sing without caring who is watching or listening. I am learning to embrace what makes me different and show my differences loud and proud. I am a running, singing, dancing, gardening, hula-hooping, guitar playing, photograph taking, dark beer drinking, tattoo having, picture painting, God loving, nap taking, popcorn and buffalo wing eating, loving to serve and care for my family and friends kind of woman. I am 36 and almost back to the real me. There is still tons of Me that I hide. If I am lucky, I will have many more years to reveal the person who is really in there without caring what anyone else thinks.
Wanna play a game with me? No cheating by scrolling down:)
Guess what thoughtful surprise I got in the mail today:
Any idea??? Let's see if I can make it a little more clear:
Any better? Do you have any idea? Let's see if this helps:
Not yet? You'll get it this time. This should do it:
Let's see if you were right. Did you guess:
My very sweet aunt in Connecticuit sent me a big box of beautiful pine cones in the mail! I am getting so spoiled with these packages of autumn yumminess from the Northeast! They were all perfect and they smelled so good!!!! I love that some of them were leaking sticky sap too. If you are not from around here, then you don't realize that if we want pine cones we have two options: 1) Travel or 2) buy them at Hobby Lobby. My kids and I cannot wait to use these in decorations and crafts! Thank you Auntie Cheryl!!!!!!
There is nothing like getting a surprise in the mail from an old friend. My sweet friend from high school, Jenne, was reading about how much I miss the fall season on the east coast. Upon reading this, Jenne packed up a big box of beautiful leaves from her yard, took it to the post office, and mailed it to my house. How thoughtful is that????
Jenne and I have not seen each other since high school and she is going through serious family medical issues, AND she is a busy mom of 4 kids....that makes her gift to me even more special. I love that woman.
Abby took a picture of me when I opened the box. At first I laughed, then a few tears made their way to my eyes, then I practically inhaled them , then I crushed a few just so I could hear that crinkly sound I miss so much. I was so happy, I hugged the box.
She included a little note explaining her gift. It was funny to me to see that she still had the same handwriting from high school. I love the part of her note where she says I have to share with my kids. As if not sharing with them is ever an option. Those kids have plans for these leaves.
Those leaves had no idea what was in store for them when they were put into the cardboard box. They will be reincarnated into home decorations, centerpieces, kids crafts, subjects of many photo sessions, and then finally, they will be tossed into my yard for the kids to play in. Who knew a box of leaves could bring so many days of fun!
Today the kids tried another edible fall/Halloween project that I like to call Moldy Mummy Faces. I saw the idea at the Kraft Foods website but I changed it just a tad. We used bagels, string cheese (pulled into strips), sliced black olives, and pesto. The original recipe called for pizza sauce, but 2 of my kids do not like red sauce, so we used pesto instead. Plus the red sauce made it look like bleeding mummy faces and who wants to eat a bloody face? That would just be gross. We used pesto instead and made moldy mummy faces because eating a moldy mummy face is not gross at all.
Assembling these mummy faces might possibly be the most quiet 10 minutes in the life of my children ...just look at the concentration:
We then baked them at 400 degrees until the cheese was melted. Who knew that mummy pizza faces could have such a variety of character!
I miss Fall.......a lot! I miss the smells in the air of people lighting their wood stoves, I miss the cool,crisp weather that always seemed to bring brilliant blue skies with it. I miss the colors of the leaves and how they contrasted with the bright blue sky. I miss apple picking with hay rides in the dark and decorating my house with hay bales, corn stalks, and pumpkins....decorating for fall when it's 90 degrees outside feels wrong.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE living in south Texas. I love that 9 months out of the year, the weather is "jeans and t-shirt" perfect. I love the culture and cool things to do...I could do without the scorpions. But every fall, I get a little a lot homesick, so I do all I can to trick my heart into thinking it's home again.
This week I am on a Fall/ Halloween snack making kick. Today the kids and I made Goblin Grins that I found at the Kraft Family and Foods website.
First we mixed brown sugar, whipped cream cheese, and vanilla in a bowl.
Then I punished the kids by making them clean the beaters with their tongues. They were very very sad about this. They begged "Please Mom, please don't make us lick the sweet and creamy fruit dip off the beaters. We promise we'll be good!" But I said "No way, you kids are rotten. What kind of mom would I be if I didn't dole out punishments like this!" Because I'm strict and mean like that!
Then we washed and quartered the apples. I cut a notch out in each piece of apple so the kids could spread the cream cheese mixture inside the apple and stick on the teeth (slivered almonds).
Then we ate. Abby is my artist and likes to do it right, cute:
Caleb is ,well, Caleb and that is what I love about him. He constantly cracks us up with the Mii's he creates on Wii, so why should his Goblin Grin be any different. Abby likes to say "That boy's not hooked up right!"
And sweet , hungry Jackson whose first word was "Eat" in English and in ASL did not surprise me when he just slapped his almonds on his apple and shoved it in his mouth:
So there it is : Creepy. Cool. Yummy. Tomorrow we are snack-a-lackin on Mummy Faced Mini Pizzas!