Monday, November 20, 2006


I've pretty much neglected our family blog, so here's a bit of a recap.

We bought the new house, pictures here. The kitchen and back hallway is no longer that ugly yellow color.. we've painted it burgandy!

Here are some leftover pics from Halloween:

I'm surprised Matt didn't give heart attacks to anyone under the age of 10 that came to our door!

I opted for comfort. Briefly considered wearing my gypsy costume from Renfaire.

Other than that, it's pretty much been work during the day (spreadsheets and databases for Matt, editing and album designs for me), weddings and portraits on the weekend, and tutoring in the evenings.

This past weekend, Matt camped out for a Nintendo Wii (only 4 hours though, he's not obsessed enough to be one of those 24 hour+ people) so we've been playing that a little bit. My opinion? Not impressed!

Thanksgiving is this week.. it kinda snuck up on me this year. I've been slated to bring homemade green beans and some kind of potato dish, so I'd better hit the store tomorrow since I'll probably be cooking on Wednesday. This week is a slow work week, thankfully, with only 2 bridal consultations, so I'll have time to deal with holiday stuff.

That's about it. We're pretty dull.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Punkin Vs. Mouse

We went to lunch with some friends of ours on Sunday, Tammy & Derek. Tammy really loves to knit, and she surprised the kitties with 2 mice that she knitted herself, and an adorable knitted ball!

Here's Punkin going to town on his new mouse:

die mousie die!

He suffers from cat ADD, and was temporarily distracted by the wrist strap on the camera

Peanut wanted in on the fun, but Punk wasn't about to give it up!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Birthday, and Catch up

I haven't updated in a while, so I'll start with last weekend.

We went down to Chattanooga on Friday to take a group shot of Kelly and her stylists at the new location of her salon, and then we all went out to eat (me, Matt, mom, dad, Kevin, Kelly, Melissa, Chris, and Nicholas) together.

Afterwards, Matt and I stopped on our way home to pick up some cute Spongebob school supplies for my mom. She's taking a class on web design at Chattanooga State, and we wanted to tease her about going "back to school".

Saturday, we went to Kelly's old salon so she could cut Matt's hair (his hair was about to eat someone, seriously. It was getting dangerous!) and then it was off to the wedding, where we were for the rest of the day. The pictures were AWESOME, and I think it's the best wedding yet (of course, I say that about every new wedding, so I guess that's a sign that I'm constantly improving!) The samples from that wedding will be posted to the studio blog by the end of next week.

Yesterday was my birthday, and Matt did something so cute. Inside of the card, he had designed a little menu that looked like this:

The hilarious thing is that Matt ENJOYS going with me to shop for clothes. He really gets into it, it is so funny. He loves thinking of ways I can combine prospective purchases with stuff I already own (the best part is when he gasps when he thinks of something he thinks would look good.. it is SO FUNNY)

So after clothes shopping (I bought a fitted brown jacket to wear at the studio with 2 different colored camisoles for underneath, and a long-sleeved burgandy cowl neck shirt for winter weddings), Matt wanted to buy me shoes (I told you he was metrosexual), and I got a pair of pointy-toed 4-inch dark brown stiletto heels. Heck yeah.

Hobby Lobby was closed, so we substituted Best Buy to waste time before the movie (we didn't buy anything.. nothing interested us, suprisingly).

The only downside to the evening was that the movie completely sucked. Not even the slightest bit funny, and I lost a good 20 minutes in the middle when I totally fell asleep in Matt's lap and woke up with my entire left leg numb. Hehe.

I didn't take many pictures, but here's a few:

While wasting time before the movie. Anyone notice how it's pretty close to impossible to EVER pick something up in one of these things?

In the theater, Matt doing his trademark Billy Blanks impression

My trademark 8-year-0ld pout. These pictures are really stinky. My point and shoot totally dies in low light (ISO max of 400, BOO!)

The awesome flowers David & Diane sent to the studio. They look great in the front room!

Thursday, August 24, 2006


There's a real entry of substance below this one, but I found this video on YouTube yesterday and it completely cracked me up!

Busy Weekend Ahead

Tomorrow, we're headed down to Chattanooga for most of the weekend for a number of things. First stop will be Hair Benders (hopefully.. I'm still wait-listed atm) to get my highlights and layers touched up, and then I'm taking a few shots for Kelly's salon for a local magazine. That means hauling a couple of monolights and umbrellas down there. Blech.

Saturday, I'm shooting a wedding for a girl I've known since I was 12 years old, so that should be fun! Since wedding shoots are an all day thing, we'll probably stay a second night in Chattanooga, and then come home on Sunday morning in time for our third open house.

Monday afternoon, I'm doing a follow-up shoot to a disastrous studio session I had last week. We were trying to wrangle 5 kids, aged 10, 7, 3, and a set of 18 month old twins. The mother and I were the only ones there, and we really could have used at least 2 other adults, because the shots just weren't working out since I only had about half of my attention on taking the pictures, and the other half on making sure the kids didn't trip on the wires and smash their faces open (they were running around *everywhere*) The individual shots were cute, but the groups just weren't happening and I knew that's what the mom really wanted, so I offered to go to her house on Monday and give it another try, because I figured in their own home, the kids would feel less inclined to run around and explore and may sit still (without screaming and crying, that is) for a few group shots.

Matt's department at work is having a special lunch next Friday to celebrate the kickoff of football season!! I won't be there, but it has an orange and white theme and everyone is supposed to sign up and bring something with a UT theme. We've been braintstorming but haven't really thought of anything good yet. I figure too many people are going to do something lame like put orange food coloring in frosting and slap them on some white cupcakes, so I want to do something really unique that no one will expect. Any ideas?

Guess I'll get back to work now!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tummy Woes

Yesterday after dinner, Matt and I both had some tummy troubles till later in the evening (don't think we'll be eating at that place for a while again), so we just vegged out in front of the computer and/or TV (we watched Wallace & Gromit that BBO sent us, thinking it'd be cute, and it was, but not interesting enough to watch the whole thing) and then went to bed a little earlier.

Since I didn't get my usual day off from the studio yesterday because of some appointments I had scheduled, I took today off to work on some things from home and clean up a bit around here. We're getting used to keeping the house in pristine condition at all times in case someone wants to see it. I can't wait until we move and we'll both be so close to work! With us living in North Knox, east of downtown, and my studio being all the way out in Farragut, I get to go through both major construction zones on the freeway, and it takes me 45-50 minutes to get to work every day. Such a drag.

No pictures today, but I do have a video of our babies being their sweet sweet selves.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Allergies & Pool

Thursday turned into an eventful day when Matt called me from the allergy clinic and said that he had a bad reaction to one of his shots. The injection site was red, swollen, and the size of two quarters, he felt itchy all over, his blood pressure was up, his face was splotchy, and he was feeling pressure build up in his ears.

After a Benedryl shot and an Epi shot, they made him lay down and kept him there for an hour or so, and then he called to say they wouldn't let him drive, so I had to come pick him up and take him home. He's fine now, but he has a check up today to see if he can continue his shots next week. I might go with him to his next set of shots, because that reaction scared me to death.

Last night after work, we met up at Bailey's and played pool to unwind after the week.

After that, we went to the mall. Since we knew we'd be home for the rest of the weekend waiting for house hunters to call/come by, we didn't want to go home yet and didn't know of anything else to do. The highlight of the night was Matt giggling uncontrollably at the tiny newborn socks in the baby store. (Yes, we have baby fever. No, I'm not pregnant. Yes, we're planning (and hoping) for a baby to be born in winter of 2008.. when weddings are in the off season). For now we're just focusing on getting into this new house!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Driving Range

When Matt was on his way home from work, he called me up and said that he had an urge to go hit a bucket of golf balls at the driving range since it was such a pretty day.

Now, we only have a set of right-handed clubs, and with me being left-handed (and pitifully unathletic), you end up with me swinging frantically and only very rarely actually making contact with the ball.

Let's just say I'm most definitely a better photographer than I am a golfer, and even though it was closing in on 500 degrees outside, it was fun!

This picture cracks me up, because we were really hot and nasty, but were trying hard to crack a real smile.. and we both ended up snarling.

Monday, August 14, 2006


I've pretty much given up on fixing the problem with IE making the blog sidebar drop down to the bottom of the page, so.. if you want to see archived entries, the sidebar is chilling out at the very bottom.

So.. today was Monday.


Had another call about the condo.. someone looking to buy some investment property to lease. Fine with us!

Matt wasn't feeling too good today, so I think we're going to take it easy tonight.

But we did manage to sneak a photo in:

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Weekend Update.

We spent this weekend, for once, at home!

Friday and Saturday were spent schmoozing around the condo, but we did get out for a quick shopping trip, and we stopped by the studio to drill an access hole through the front showroom wall, so I can plug in the credit terminal without running an ugly extension cord across the floor.
This morning, we cleaned the condo until it sparkled, and then sat and waited patiently for our open house to start, sure that people would be lined up at the door to make us offers! (ha.. ha.. ha..)

We only had 3 people look at it today, so we're hosting another one next weekend. We have a fairly spread out, yet consistent trickle of people that call for showings during the week, and it only takes one interested enough to make an offer, so.. just as long as that one soul comes along before October 16th, we'll be good.

I think tonight we'll probably fall asleep to a movie from the rather.. eclectic selection that Blockbuster sent us this week. We have Final Destination 3, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit, and Miss Congeniality 2 to choose from. Heh. Funny thing is, there were other movies higher up on our list that had no wait time, so we're not sure what happened there.

Bye bye for now.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


So, here's a funny story (yes, about the cats.. they are the main source of entertainment in our lives, usually. Sad? Nah.)

Last night, around oh, 3am or so, I was startled awake by the following noise:


After going from deep sleep to a standing position in about a second and a half, I ran into the living room, sure that Punkin was on his deathbed following that scream.

I walk in to find him laying flat against the floor, ears against his head. I looked in the direction of his stare, and saw a wee black kitty on our deck, peeking through the back door.

*smacks forehead*

About that time, Ham, who had emerged from under our bed and lumbered into the living room to see what the commotion was, noticed the peeping Tom, and voiced his disapproval with a series of loud, gutteral, multi-syllable moans and groans that sounded something like English at times.

I called them both morons, pulled the shade down so they would believe the "intruder" had left, and went back to bed. Peanut slept through the whole thing.

Work has been good for both of us lately. Matt is getting more compliments on his work, and they even upgraded him to a dual monitor set up at his desk to make his work flow easier, since he was dealing with a triple-layer task bar from having so many programs open at once.

I booked 3 weddings at the studio today, got 2 print orders, and got a referral for another wedding. I am already booking several weddings for 2007, and I'm hoping that by the time '07 actually gets here, I'll have a fully booked year!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Nothing Much

Shot a wedding over in Johnson City. It was the first wedding that was the result of a direct referral from a couple whose portraits I shot back in October, so that was pretty cool.

Sunday we just did our own things separately for the most part, although we did have 3 calls about the condo. One said she was probably coming to our open house this coming weekend, and the other's agent (BOO) is stopping by tomorrow to set up an appointment for later this week.

Since I don't have much to write, here's a video of our Lil' Man, playing with his favorite toy, who we lovingly call Jingle Spidey (yes, Spidey. Not Spider)

Don't mind the TV in the background. ER was on.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Staring Ham

Had to come back and post this picture. Some dishes that were drying in the sink shifted and made a noise, resulting in Ham climbing up on Matt's desk and giving them the most intent stare ever, daring them to move again.


I usually don't bother with sharing recipes unless they're really something special, and this one is a winner! I saw it on Rachael Ray's show, 30 Minute Meals, last night, and since we were grocery shopping for the week today anyway, we bought the ingredients and gave it a try.

Four very enthusiastic thumbs up.

Chicken Cacciatore Subs

4 pieces boneless skinless chicken breast, 6 to 8 ounces each
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons
Grill seasoning blend, or salt and pepper
4 sub rolls, split
2 cloves garlic, cracked away from skins
1 teaspoon red crushed pepper flakes
2 large portobello mushroom caps, sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 large onion, white or brown skinned, sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/3 palm full
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 (14-ounce) can, crushed tomatoes
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 pound deli sliced provolone

Heat a grill pan or large skillet. Drizzle chicken with oil, to cover,and season with grill seasoning blend or salt and pepper. Grill or pan-fry 6 minutes on each side.
Heat broiler, lightly toast rolls on cookie sheet and remove.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, mushrooms, peppers, onions and oregano. Saute veggies and season with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes, then deglaze the pan with wine or stock. Pick up bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or heat safe spatula. Add tomatoes and parsley to the sauce. Slice chicken breasts on an angle and set into sauce. Pile chicken and veggies into sub rolls and cover with sliced provolone. Melt cheese under hot broiler. Serve.

This is what the veggies looked like just before we added the chicken.

It was soo easy to make, and makes enough for 4 or 5 people, so plenty for leftovers.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

We're Boring

Nothing too exciting happening lately. I had a family shoot in Gatlinburg this morning (where I learned that the kids had been stung by bees that morning, and then fire ants climbed into my sandals while I was shooting!! Owww!) but the shoot went well and the photos look great. Head over to the photo blog to see a sample.

Matt's been really busy at work this week, so he's been working full days and is pretty tired when he gets home. So our evenings haven't been very eventul. However, yesterday, he called on my way home and told me to be ready, because he wanted to take me out to buy new clothes. Huh? Who are you, and what have you done with my husband?

Apparently, since his mom bought him some new work clothes when she was out here, he decided I needed some new clothes as well. Which is true, since most of my stuff I've had for years and a lot of it is looking really faded and pathetic. Yeah, I hate being poor. But I ended up getting a new red ribbed sleeveless shirt for weddings at Belk, and then we went into one of my favorite stores, B. Moss Clothiers, and found a cute blue crinkle shirt for $8, an awesome comfy pair of jeans, and a wide neck charcoal shirt with 3/4 sleeves, mostly for fall. The best part was that everything was on sale, except for the jeans.

Now if only I could find the black 4-inch Calvin Klein stillettos that I've been lusting after for months (and should have bought when I first saw them), I'd be set.

No interesting pictures today, but I do have a pic of Bald Spot Kitty:

He has two spots where he was shaved for his echocardiogram. Poor kiddo.

Friday, July 28, 2006

No Power

We both got home from work today to a thunderstorm and a power outage that lasted for several hours. Taking electricity away from two nerds is not a good thing, so we were at quite a loss for how to occupy our time. We eventually settled on drawing out some future plans by window light for the house and studio, and taking some stupid pictures.

The latter, unfortunately, you get to see the results of:


awwwww x2



flash light is not very flattering when it's dark in the room to begin with, ech.

Daddy loves his baby

Time to go format CF cards, clean lens faces, and charge batteries for the wedding tomorrow. Maybe one day Matt will actually get on here and write something.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Not much going on over here today. More nitpicking about our loan options for the new house (payments and escrows and closing costs, oh my!) I'm actually glad that we have this 90 day "down time" to be picky about the loan we end up with, though, I am a little anxious about whether or not our place will sell in that time period. We're doing all we can at this point, so I guess we'll just wait and see!

We're having an open house August 13th. Tell all yo' people.

I'm thinking of turning half of my front showroom at the studio into a retail display of wedding/prom/pageant accessories/jewelry. I already have the wholesalers for everything I'd need, and it'd be a very concise, controlled inventory (just one or two of each item kept in stock and I'd just re-order when needed). Basically, my ploy is to lure some of the 7,000 (literally) middle and high school kids that hang out in the shopping center after school. With that many people crowding the center, I need some way to get them IN the studio, and then I can start pushing portraits when wedding season begins to wane in the fall/winter.

It's an idea. I may not even do it. We'll see.

And now, before my night of off-and-on tutoring begins, some random pictures from today:

Our new hopeless addiction.

Poor Nut seems to be overshadowed by her little "brothers" lately, so i figured she deserved a picture.

I think he's dead...

And the obligatory daily one-armed tired-and-gross shot of us.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Nashville & New House

Matt's mom visited Nashville this week for a conference, and we went over there Saturday to visit and spend a night in the Opryland Hotel, and see a show at the Grand Ole Opry.

Taken with crap-camera, as all blog photos are:

Then Sunday, we drove back to Knoxville under the pretense that we were meeting my parents for lunch. Instead, we drove to West Knoxville and turned into a neighborhood. We pulled into a cul-de-sac and up to a house.. my parents were parked nearby, but Diane hadn't seen them yet. Matt turned to his mom and said "See that house over there? It's ours" You should have seen the look on her face.

And now since most people know, I can post the pictures here:

Mom & Diane in front

The obligatory, corny, cheesy, "It's ours!" shot

Another front view

Side yard


more backyard

back of the house. See the double doors on the bottom? It leads to an unfinished basement. We're going to eventually finish it in and several years from now I can move my business back home (once my reputation has built up enough) and have my studio there!

No inside pictures yet, since the current owner still lives there and I didn't want to be taking pictures of his personal stuff. We have 90 days to sell our condo, and then we can move in!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Punkin was taken to the UT vet hospital today for a complete cardiac work-up. A few months ago during a routine check-up, the vet noticed he had a little bit of a heart murmur. We had a basic echocardiogram performed that showed slight thickening of the walls in his heart, but they recommended we take him to UT to see exactly what was causing it and so we'd know the correct way to treat him. He's been there all day today, and I can hopefully go get him in an hour or so.

Here he is last night showing off his new manicure ( they are awesome!) Keep in mind that most of my day-to-day "fun" pictures are taken with the little point 'n shoot camera, so they are less than stellar, usually.

In other news, I stayed home from the studio today to continue de-cluttering and cleaning the condo for showings and open houses. We're listed with the MLS now, so hopefully we get some interest soon. We only have 87 days left to sell! In the meantime, the condo is going to look worse before it gets better as I slowly pack up extra clutter to either stash in the attic or store in the studio.

I give you... Junk(tm)!

and Ham.. who is looking rather bug-eyed here

and Matt, who I made smile for a picture when he got home from work. I look nasty here, so just look at him, k?

That's all I got.