Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Princess and a Clone

Ok, you've seen the pumpkin portraits, but I bet you're REALLY wondering what the kids are dressing as for Halloween...

This is Connor playing the part so intensely that Chloe just doesn't know what to do.

...which doesn't stop her from having fun anyway.  Note the orange Cheeto fingers.  Princesses like Cheetos, right?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Portrait

It has become a tradition for us to take the kids around the corner to EUMC for a pumpkin portrait.  The kids are certainly more cooperative than they used to be for this.

Just for spits and wiggles, let's turn on the wayback machine...




Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Little Feminist

This week, Aunt Carrie shared her big news with my children, via speaker phone. This involved lots of giggling and wide-eyed excitement, dismay that the baby might look like a bit like a goldfish (bottom picture here), and wonder about where Carrie was hiding the baby when we saw her a few weeks ago. Finally, as we were finishing up the conversation, Chloe looked up and exclaimed, "Carrie is going to have a huge fat belly!" Connor immediately corrected her. "No, she's going to have a PREGNANT belly. It doesn't mean she's fat!"

Sometimes I really love that kid.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Typical Night

Connor, when told he needs to read a wee Halloween book to me and Chloe, completely falls off the cliff because it wasn't the book he would have chosen and so he spends the rest of the night screaming and crying and kicking and grunting. He always goes from 0 to 60 like that, skipping the part of the process where a normal person would say, "If I read this Halloween book, can I pick out something else too?" He always wants something he doesn't have, to the point that he doesn't even realize that he actually DOES have it, if he could just hold himself together long enough to get to it.

Meanwhile, Chloe decided that she has too many baby dolls, and talked to one of her teachers about donating some to the classroom. So we sat in her room and made piles of dolls- the ones to keep, the ones to donate, and of course the ones to give to baby Harper. Then she patiently waited on Connor to get done with his fit (didn't happen, btw- we just moved the fit into his room with the door closed) so that she could cuddle up with me and read books.

Also typical- they managed to do all that and still be in bed asleep by 8:15. FTW!!!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

One Memphis

In the fall of 1991, I was a first-year student at Rhodes College. I vividly remember sitting in my dorm room (201 Williford) and watching the mayoral election returns on Heather's tiny TV, the one with the orange Texas Longhorns sticker slapped on the side, the one that was propped on the corner of her desk. And I remember being profoundly disappointed.

It was my first election as a registered voter, and I did NOT vote for Willie Herenton. As a senior in high school, I had researched his tenure as head of the Memphis City Schools for a Current Events class and had decided that he was horrendous. I didn't have any strong feelings about Dick Hackett, but I knew he wasn't Willie, so I voted for him. And every four years since, I have voted for someone who wasn't Willie. And every election night, I've been disappointed, although never as much as the first time. That first time, I was still optimistic. But as the years passed, I lost that optimism and just felt resigned. It wasn't a healthy attitude, for me or for my city.

Today I went to the polls to once again vote for a mayoral candidate. For the first time, I was able to vote for a candidate I had postitive feelings for rather than just voting against a candidate I felt negative about. And I took my daughter with me. (I wasn't even dating her father yet the first time Willie won!) It was a great feeling, one I was glad I could share with my kids and with my fellow Memphians.

Memphis, you are my home. I've flirted with other cities, but I've never loved anyone more than you. Tonight we have a chance to move on, together, to a better future. I look forward to making the journey with you.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I had the privilege of getting ready with the girls.  Or really, I shot the girls getting ready for an hour and then took 3.5 minutes to get myself ready.  All of the ladies were gorgeous, but Tiff was especially radiant on her day.


See the whole set here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rehearsal/Rehearsal Dinner

I didn't shoot Tiffany and Mark's wedding since I was a groomsman, but I did have the pleasure of shooting a few of the pre-wedding events.  The rehearsal dinner at Majestic Grille was lovely-- great food, wonderful toasts, lovely company.... and absolutely horrible light for a photographer.  Still, I had fun trying to deal with the challenge.


See the whole set here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wedding Weekend Lists


Places where I ate and drank:
South of Beale
Nail & Skin Bar
Jack Robinson Gallery
BB King's
A rented bus
Hunt Phelan

Toasts at rehearsal dinner:

Shows my DVR recorded:
The Office
Flash Forward

Locations for the wedding photos:
Hunt Phelan
AutoZone Park
Main Street
City Hall Fountains
Train station
Butler Park

Salons visited:
Nail & Skin Bar
La Nouvelle

Relatives in from out of town:

Pregnant women at ceremony:
Jamie (38 weeks)
Amy (37.5 weeks and drove in from Chicago)

Places my kids ate while I was too busy to feed them:
Central BBQ
Las Tortugas

Day-of tasks assigned to me by the bride, delivered on index cards in an envelope that also contained a phone list of everyone involved with the wedding:
Deliver/pick up cake servers
engagement ring wedding rings (give 2 Brian before ceremony)
deliver cake stands yours & Sherri's take home cake stands
pick up wedding dress/tux from Hunt- take home

People who received their own similar envelope:
Everyone in wedding party
Bride and groom's parents
(at least)

Places I slept besides my own bed:
Tiffany's bed
The Magnolia Room at Hunt Phelan
(I don't have a third place, so this isn't really a list. Sorry.)

Cake flavors:
White chocolate with apricot creme
Strawberry with strawberry mousse
Maple with caramel filling
Vanilla with almond creme
Chocolate with mocha creme


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Grumpy Young Men

Our 8-yr-old cat, Clark, is very needy. He follows us from room to room, making sure he's never alone. This would be endearing, if not for his fatal flaw: he's a biter. If you try to engage him in play, or pet him lovingly, he enjoys it for a while but always ends up biting you. It starts as a love nibble, his way of interacting. But it always escalates, and it always pisses everyone off.

Our 6-yr-old son, Connor, is very needy. Recently, his teacher asked me to send a love note and a picture of the family to school so that Connor could keep it at his desk and look at it when he missed us during the day. And when we're together, I constantly hear, "Play with me! Play with me!" This could be a lot of fun, except that Connor never enjoys it. You agree to play with him, you make yourself wholly available, but everything you do is wrong. You're standing in the wrong place, you're playing by the wrong rules, you stop too soon, you stop too late, etc. Nothing you do is ever good enough, and the complaining always escalates until we abandon the activity and everyone ends up pissed off.

Apparently Connor, just like our cat's namesake (Clark W. Griswold, Jr.), tends to set standards that no family activity can live up to. What's in his mind is always better than what is actually happening. I struggle to teach him the joys of going with the flow, to show him that being together is what's fun. I know he gets it from me, his tendency to get lost in the details and miss the big picture. But no matter how much I plan, I know how to enjoy the reality of an occasion even if it doesn't match the idea of it I held in my head. I hope I can teach Connor to do that sooner rather than later, because I'd like to see him enjoying himself more and complaining less.