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Lots of my high school friends follow my photography and blogs (gracias!!) and those in that category would know the adorable Mama Trish. : ) They are expecting their first baby SOOOON and I couldn’t be happier for them!
She’s one of those people that truly is just as sweet and genuine as she is beautiful!
Needless to say, everyone was thrilled when they announced the big news. Miss Molly is getting ready to make her big debut just before summer in Chi-town. This little gal is ready to get her big city shoppin’ on. And we all know such a stylish couple is guaranteed to be totin’ around a stylish little fashionista!
Note the adorable jewels. Trish sells Lia Sophia, too, so she has the cutest accessories EVER. Here is her link if you are interested in a party, book party or just ordering something: CLICK ME!
Trish and I have religiously followed each other’s blogs for a few years now…or however long we’ve been blogging. It was hilarious because when I finally got to meet her husband at their maternity photo shoot, I really felt like I already knew him. Ha! I was practically at their wedding a couple years ago in Ireland thanks to the fabulous photos Trish posted after the big day. If you know Trish, I highly recommend going to her Facebook and getting her blog link. It’s really cute : )
They actually came out for mini-sessions the morning of her baby shower. One of her shower guests had purchased a super generous Ann Steward Photography gift card for her as a shower present, so I knew I had to allow some extra time for some additional maternity photos of fabulousness. Since they actually live in Chicago, I am not sure when else she’d be able to use the card (I know it’s not easy to pack up a baby and drive three hours to someone for photos) in the near future. At the time, I was hoping it wasn’t obvious I was extending their mini-session a little bit – I didn’t want to ruin the surprise : )
During the session, we talked about how Trish and I love spending money and our husbands have heart attacks over it : ) We knew this, of course, from the blogs. I am hoping Kurt and Bryon get to meet someday – they would get along great. We won’t let them compare notes too long, though. It could be detrimental to our shopping funds. Ha!
OMG, look at those little shoes and the “Love at First Sight” frame with the ultrasound pic. Dying over the cuteness.
Good luck, Trish and Bryon! We will all be awaiting for the big news of Miss Molly’s arrival and hope to see lots of pics and blogs related to the adorable little princess!!
Thanks soooo much for coming out to the farm! xoxo!
Ann : )
Everyone knows photography is LITERALLY (Evan, ha!) the most expensive hobby and/or job in the world. Occasionally, I make ingenius business investments that don’t cost thousands of dollars [The husband’s thinking, “Yeah right.”] that I need to share with blog world. : )
So, I had been using Pandora internet radio for months. Who wants to know my list of radio stations? : ) Hilarious! : ) Kurt makes fun of my stations all the time. It was pretty bueno except for the fact that Photoshop CS5 doesn’t always like switching between the internet and PS. Not to mention, I was sooo tired of hearing random snack, insurance and banking commercials from Pandora every 4th song (even though I know that’s how they allow it to be free) and having it shut down every 8th song and say “Are you still listening?” Then, I’d have to switch to the internet to say, “Yes, I’m still listening” to start it playing again.
Spent the $36 and have been rocking it out ever since. Sooooo much better than free Pandora. Yay! I am awesome at using computers but not describing anything technical: so the new $36 Pandora is kind of like the “calculator feature” on the computer. I have it pinned to my taskbar. So whenever I want to change stations, I just click the “P,” the calculator-sized Pandora pops up and I change [my awesomely cool] station. It also has its own sound control so you can still watch something online and turn down Pandora. NO COMMERCIALS. No Internet Explorer Photoshop wars. #amen #investinthis #pandoraswinning
Pleassssse ignore the horrible-quality blackberry pic. The left screen is my big photog monitor and the right is my laptop. The top box = calculator. The bottom box = Pandora <3 See, youuuu can have Pitbull radio, tooooo! Oooo baby baby LA LA LALALALALALA! : ) : ) : )
Anyhowww ~ on to some items of adorableness!
Here are a couple pics of one of my BFF’s super cute little baby, Ashlyn! <3 Lovvve her! Bow by Three Little Bows. Like her Facebook page if you have a girl – Tara’s stuff is beautiful!
Isn’t she the sweeeetest! Can’t wait to see her again <3
Happy Tuesday to All!
And you don’t go to the same school.
And you don’t live anywhere near each other.
These are our girls. They just ADORE each other’s company and I can’t imagine one without the other.
Francesca is a big name. The funny thing is that once you get to know her, it really just defines her…or she defines it…? I don’t know but her name just couldn’t be anything else.
We used to have an Explorer with a DVD player in it when the girls were like 5 or 6. One day I asked her if her mom was going to get one for their Cadillac cross-over. She calmly replied, “Well, I hope so. I asked her for one and if she doesn’t get one, I’m contacting a lawyer.” HAHAHA. She says HILARIOUS, worldy, classic, grown-up things like that ALL THE TIME. She’s so serious, too, with the largest vocabulary on the planet.
They met in gymnastics when they were FOUR! In the TODDLER CLASS! They became friends and after a couple months, they realized in class that they have the same exact birthday – they came out of the class screaming that they really were sisters. I think they still believe it. In the meantime, Francesca’s mom and I had become friends. We started having 2, 3, 4 times a month playdates when they were four. Belle went to ‘Franci’s’ last Saturday, she’s going there tomorrow and Franci is spending the night on Friday. I cannot IMAGINE Belle’s life without Francesca. She’s adapted to all of the change in her life (moving, dance studio changes, me traveling for my job all the time, gaining a new little brother, adopting and losing pets) like a little chameleon but Francesca has always remained constant and kept her happy.
They always plan their careers, mansions, college, etc, together. They even have their future daughters they’re going to adopt from Paris and China named already. They will be best friends, of course. Last I knew they were going to be vets, opera singers, photographers (that’s a new one as of last Saturday), and teachers (all at once).
They just HAVE to grow up and stay friends. They are just too adorable together to break apart EVER.
Thanks, Fraci, for being my girl’s BFF and always exchanging presents, visits, notes, cards and ideas with her. Thanks for playing dress up, piano, opera, cat rescue, dog training school, Polly Pockets, Barbies, Barbies, Barbies, detective with her. You are awesome.
I am going to post BFF shoots of these girls every once in awhile. I think they will make perfect decor for their college dorm and their grad-school apartment, don’t you?
And this guy!? His DREAM is to keep up with the big girls. He chases them just as fast as his little legs can carry him and gets SOOOO EXCITED when he can sneak into Belle’s room to play. <3 Last weekend, they played babysitter with him and some other Cabbage Patch dolls. Guess who were the babysitters and who were the babies? ;) He didn’t mind. I periodically
spied checked on them and they were congratulating him on all of the “Meets” and “Exceeds” he received in the various daycare subjects that day (e.g. sharing, communicating, math). ::Heart Melting::
And, I found one more…
I want to point something out. I LOVE THIS PIC WITH ALL MY HEART. He makes this face ALLLLL THE TIIIIIIIME. And then quickly goes, “Oo!” but leaves his lips sticking out. <3 I know someday soon he will never make this face again. ::Cries:: ::Sigh:: I am so happy and grateful for this pic.
Today was my bday, y’all! The big 3-3! Thank you SOOOO MUCH to everyone who facebooked, emailed and messaged me. I wasn’t at the computer ALL DAY but now I am and I just LOVE all the notes. Thank you thank you! Best Bday Ever! Thanks to all of MY B.F.F.’S who dined with me tonight and for the rockin’ prizes. Love you girls, so, so much.
Thanks to Belle and Kurt for the cards and prizes! Kurt took Belle to the truckstop (LOL!) last night to pick out a gift for me. Belle has been sick for DAYS so that was the only option. She wrapped it herself in construction paper. As I was opening it, she told my mom and I that she picked out, “the only classy thing in the truckstop.” :) It was a Willow Tree.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone tomorrow! It’s one of my favorite holidays!
Peace & love ~
I do feel so bad for my mamas, though. They plan these darling outfits, drive all the way out here with hopes for lots of happiness. Then, we get the whines and pouts. :) Honestly, it’s so cute. It doesn’t bother me at all because personally, I LOVE pouty pics!
I KNOW throughout the entire session that I’m going to get what we need. In fact, I’ll usually have my one favorite already picked out as we go. So I keep promising the mamas, “Don’t worry, they are ALL like this!” And they really are… The mamas and I try every trick in the book from singing to jumping around to using a whistle to borrowing my neighbor’s cat to making Belle dress up in a costume. Hey, whatever works! And I keep promising them, “Don’t worry, they will turn out AWESOME!” And they really do…seriously. I am NOTTTT really into smiling pics (as we all know and can see on my website – lol), UNLESS they happen to catch a true, natural smile.
Sometimes, I’ll have alarmingly happy toddler-clients and the smiling pics just look like them. Take Miss Makenna and Mr. Oliver, for example:
Easiest photo shoots ever. The sky is the limit for their modeling careers. You’d think my OWN child would be just as cooperative – it’s not like he’s a stranger to the humongous camera.
Um, no. I’ve posted on Facebook and Twitter before about how rotten my super-sweet baby Will is for photos. Waaaah! I really don’t think anyone believes me? I can’t even believe it myself!
So, I had thought it would be a good idea to send out holiday cards with the kids’ photos. I had been receiving SO MANY wonderful ones in the mail, lots of them with photos I took! Literally, JOY. I LOVED THEM. So, I decided I needed to send out holiday cards to everyone and the photo shoot could double as Will’s first bday photos since his bday is Jan 7. Spent hours in Baby Gap and a few hundy on various outfits of adorableness for the kids. Belle’s photo shoot went perfectly. Lovely. Beautiful. Bribes were involved. Fine.
Needless to say, holiday cards didn’t go out this year.
So happy for the one good photo I took out in the midst of him crawling around, climbing my leg, running away from me, flinging himself out of the chair and trying to pull down the backdrop.
MY BABY!! <3 It kind of looks like a presidential campaign photo but I’m thankful for the one we did get of him looking at the camera and not screaming. It matched perfectly with his penguin invites but it’s not what I was originally envisioning, that is FOR SURE. Something about it, though, just makes me LAUGH and want to jump through the pic and squeeze him tight. My serious lil’ guy. I will ALWAYS remember this photo like my mom remembers my brother’s “frowny face” photo from pre-school (I’d post but he’d kill me). I will say the two bad ones I posted above I also love because it just shows his personality during photo-taking, which is pretty funny. LOL.
Anyway, so it gets nicer outside last weekend and my PTSD from Will’s holiday photos was starting to wear off. Belle and Francesca were doing the BFF photo shoot for the holiday mini-sessions and were all excited about it. I decided it would be a good time to stuff Will into one of his rockin’ holiday photo outfits (that he never got to wear) (yes, my kids have specific ‘photo outfits’ and ‘photo coats’ haha) and take his pics in “The Enchanted Forest” as well.
I was hoping/wishing/praying that the holiday photo shoot / One-Year photo shoot was just a nightmare due to being tired, cranky, bad time of day. A ‘fluke incident,” if you will… I convinced Kurt this was a good idea and he meets me at the forest for these pics of fabulousness. Um, no. Horrible. He was seriously running the other way, climbing up my leg and looking everywhere but the camera. FINALLY, NOW I KNOW HOW STRESSED MY MAMAS ARE AND WHY! It’s kind of heartbreaking and stressful. I mean you want to be MAD but it’s not like you really can be mad…lol. I was just SOOO HOPING to have SOME WONDERFUL PHOTOS OF MY BIG BUBBAS! It was looking pretty effing grim. So, I cut it short, walked off depressed and bitter and we headed home. I should really take my own advice sometimes.
Change of subject: I went to a wedding recently that had this quote everywhere: “Every once in awhile in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale.” I thought it was pretty cute.
That is really the only quote I think of to compare to the magicalness of this:
Thank you, Fairytale. This will be printed on a huge canvas and will hang in my house for years to come. Even if I never printed it (trust me, that’s not happening), I would remember it for the rest of my life. It just speaks to me and is ingrained in my mind forever. Fairytales are awesome. I could stare at this for HOURS because really, everything about this one photo is just ‘him.’ My big bubbas. He’s growing up sooooo fast! **sigh**
So, while I do pick my 25-ish favorites from the session, we are really only looking for that ONE that you’ll never forget and brings you to tears. Find it, print it big, remember it always.
Hola! Omigosh Baby Will was soooooo happy to see me when I came home! It was SO CUTE to see the look of joy on his face! And Belle came bounding up to me and hugged me. :) It’s so nice to be missed. Kurt missed me too but he was a little jaded when he saw all of my bags in the hallway (I’m not so great at unpacking). :)
I’ve never used the expressions “irons in the fire” before but oh well, now’s the time. I totally grabbed all the iron ore I could find from here to Saudi Arabia (going the long way) and threw it into the hugest bonfire ever.
The big conference sparked off a boatload of projects and thanks to having so many amazing amazing friends, I am already gaining ground on a lot of them :). Thank you to everyone so far and thank you in advance to those of you I haven’t called yet! ;) Xoxo! Projects of hugeness, craziness and loveliness to be announced soooooooon. It’s gonna be AWWWWESOME.
I highly recommend the seminar. I highly don’t recommend going alone. Haha. Sue and I would have DIED w/o each other. All of the photographers there, with the exception of a couple of them and the speakers, were EXTREMELY unwelcoming. I find it hilarious that the speakers, who were AMAZING photographers, were the sweet ones (IMO they have full rights to give us wannabes the brush-off but they didn’t). It was so bad it was hilarious! HAHA! And those that know me know I can make best friends forever with a brick wall and Sue is the same way. I guess if you are reading this, you won’t technically be going alone because Sue and I will be there next year, too. We will be niiiiiice to youuuuu :)
On the way home we stopped at a gas station in Belle Plaines. This super cool cat held the door for us and said hi. We realized that was the nicest person we’d seen in a week. Lol!
So yaahhhhh…guess what meanies. I’m buying a print case and entering print and album competition. ;) Ribbons = love. I heart motivation…I gotta get to work ;)
OK tomorrow I shall post a FAQ! Send any questions to email@example.com. I am not into secretive photography, so ask whatever. :)
Love to alllllll!!!!!!!
Yikes! I heard everyone’s favorite news guy (well, he’s mine anyway) was attacked in Cairo. Hope he’s okay! It reminded me that my friend Heather’s husband has a striking resemblance to Anderson Cooper. Craig Blint gets all the credit for pointing this out, though.
Here is A.C. (photo from NNDB) and although you’ve already seen this pic, I’m posting it again for an up-close and personal comparison (see below).
HAHA! Hope everyone is staying warm. Apparently it’s -10. OMG.
Peace & Lovvvvve~
Hola to ALL! It is NOW that announce my new wordpress blog. I am excited about it but for some reason can’t decide on any one topic for my first post. I have started it about 40 times and keep “saving as draft” and starting over. Hopefully, wordpress doesn’t kick me off for not being able to decide on Post #1.
WHY THE CHANGE? I wanted to have a blog to be focused on the business but also still be able to post about miscellaneous topics. And this is way lame but here’s the deal: I like the look of wordpress blogs. So, yah, HERE IT IS…[drumroll]…TAAAAA-DAAAA! Post #1! [hears a pin drop]
WELCOME!! And FYI, I don’t know how to use wordpress yet so I’m just going to wing it ;)
My plans for the new blog? So many! I want to start blogging about photo sessions, my awesome clients, their fabulous weddings, their adorable kids, sharing photography info (not that anyone NEEDS it from me but often people ask me stuff), shopping, animal rescue, being a SAHM/Photographer, living on the farm, obsessing over what lens I should buy next, obsessing over which pair of Rock & Republic jeans to put on my birthday list, obsessing over the rumor that a Sephora is opening in our mall, obsessing over how much I LOVE my life now that I’m not trapped in a cubicle. You know…those sorts of things.
love & peace, peace & love~
P.S. For my blogger readers ~ I am also keeping my blogger blogs so I can continue to post randomness, randomly… xo ;)
P.P.S. Follow Ann_Steward on Twitter ;)
P.P.P.S. OMG, I want to go on vacation. It’s soooooooooooooooo coooooooooooooooold. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!