stephanie and her man.

I popped on down to see an old college love, Stephanie, this week for a little catch up and to meet her baby boy Luke.

Luke is such a little old Man.
I am such a sucker for little Mr. Man babies. Luke was no exception.

I could have stayed for hours longer. It's always like that when you see an old friend. It almost hurts to leave because you realize how much you miss having them in your life.

At least that's how it is for me. And how it was Wednesday.

Stephanie was kind enough to let me take pictures of her and Luke while we caught up on the latest gossip. Boy, does he have a face on him. After viewing the pictures, Chuck was inconclusive in trying to decide if Luke looks more like Benjamin Button or Mickey Rooney, but either one makes him pretty stinking cute. You let me know what you think. We think he's adorable.

her way of doing things.

I'm calling it.
It's official.
Here ye, Here ye.
Friends, Romans, Blogger.

Lucy is a toddler. That has to be what she's considered now -- I have pictures to prove it (of course I do).

Shell and I met our friend Maggie for dinner, Lu came with because, well, apparently babies are package deals with Moms. I wouldn't know. I have a cat. I have repeatedly asked Chuck to allow me to carry him in a front pack with us on our outings, but he has repeatedly shut me down. Cat babies are hugely discriminated against. Call the CCLU (cat civil liberties union).

Back to point. [laugh] When have I ever had a point on this thing? That just made me giggle. Solid L.O.L. Alone. Typing. On my blog. I have longtime friends, which is good, because there is no way I could make friends in this condition.

Lucy at dinner tonight was an experience for me. We haven't been to a restaurant together in a while. I love her, more and more each day, but each day I wonder why 2053?
Why not 2073? That girl can move. Constant moving. Constant "GO!".

There is no way I could handle this, not like Shelley can.
Patience. Virtue. She can haz.

And that Lu.
What a little Miss Independent.
What a little Miss Thang.

I have never, ever been so happy with my choice to keep the Point and Shoot in my purse. These may not be the "best" pictures, but they are the best pictures I have taken of her in a long time.

We ordered Lu some Mac and Cheese.
She loves Mac and Cheese. Loves it something fierce. She was all about feeding herself. Naturally.

The process of her using the giant Big Person fork in her wittle Wu hands was amazing. UH-maz-ing. I will let the pictures speak for themselves. My narrative will only detract from the utter photographic perfection.

I don't know when I will get over these pictures. But I'm guessing somewhere between "no time soon" and "never".

Shelley didn't fair so well through dinner.

Mark of The Motherhood.

My camera also didn't fair too well.

Myspace pic. And ps, the fuzzy blurred edges isn't a photoshop effect. That's kid fingers on a lens. That's my hipstamatic print.

Obviously, dining wasn't Lu's only activity.
She also had some calls to make.
I tried to explain that it's not polite to talk at the table, but she did remind me that it's better than while driving. I couldn't argue with that.

Her and Maggie had a lengthy conversation.

I'm assuming that she was put on hold here. Everyone gets bored on hold, Lu. That's shockingly normal to play with stuff while waiting. Well done.

And then we texted.
It's such a rage right now with the kids.
When I was little, Zach Morris had a brick, everyone but me had pagers, and AOL keywords were the only way to use the World Wide Web. She's almost 19 months old and she can mimic texting. But seriously, look at the picture again. Note the thumbs. Pro-form.

She's also very into her "art" right now in early Toddler-dom.

So serious. I feel that. It's 'cuz I'm a lefty so I'm naturally more artistic. Right brain. People just don't get us artists.

I just sat there today and marveled at her and wondered where the baby went? I'm pretty sure she rolled over yesterday and rice cereal is still being added to her bottle. I was mid-nostalgia, when Mac and Cheese fingers tapped my arm for my attention.
The sound clip with this picture is "Hey Hey Hey".
Hey, hey, hey Lu. You're getting old. Which, though sad to watch you stop being a baby, does have the added bonus of making you really cool to hang out with.

If we met on the street, I'd totally want to be your friend.

just a little fun with a new friend.

It's always fun to make a new friend.
It's even more fun when it's a blind date friend.

I'm calling this a blind date friend because we've talked for months online but have never actually met. No, we didn't meet in a chat room. No, we aren't the kind of people the friend strangers on facebook.

Kellee is a high school friend of my sister-in-law, Nan, and she's been reading this blog for a while. She even started her own blog and was kind enough to introduce herself via the wonderful world of comments. I do love a good comment from a stranger.

Kellee got the wild idea to have me take some pictures of her and her new husband. He's back after a year's deployment and Kellee's a little bit happy.
Just a little bit.
They did a quickie wedding back on R&R in January in North Carolina. Woke up one Friday and decided Saturday sounded good. But Kellee still wanted some pictures of them back "home". At the places they love, at the places that mean the world to them. Where they met. Where they got engaged.

Plus, it was a good excuse for meeting each other and not being stalkers any more.

my latest crush.

I'm digging silhouette shots lately, something fierce.

Something about the mystery of a silhouette draws me in, especially when there are people involved. Because, really, that person could be picking their nose in the picture, but if done in silhouette, well, not only does it look cool, but you'd never know.

This I love.
(not the possibility of picking my nose in pictures, but of silhouettes and looking cool).

I may have gone a little silhouette crazy last weekend, but whatevs. I don't always get a chance to do these so why not make the best of a good opportunity and friends who, for a brief moment in time and lapse in judgement, actually wanted to be in pictures. My own personal heaven.

Silhouettes are pretty easy with a DSLR camera.
Turn your f-stop up (mine was at 18 for these) and your shutter speed and ISO down (I was at 1/125 and 200, respectively, give or take a few notches).

Did I lose you?
Anways, it's a recipe for magic. You'll just have to trust me on that.

Because without these being in silhouette, we just would've looked stupid jumping at the beach. Now. Now, we look cool.

Yep. Cool.
So much cooler.

why can't this be easy?

If you have nice pictures of your family, be grateful. Be thankful. Go buy a lotto ticket. Some of us aren't so lucky.

Some of us try so hard.
Some of us really want this to happen.
Some of us don't have much to work with so we're trying to compensate for issues outside our control.

I wanted a nice picture of us at Paul's wedding reception. We looked nice. We looked put together. We were faking classy very well. We tried what I'm sure you consider your "standard pose". As in, next to each other. Arms around. Happy couple.

Hell-ooooo from down there!
You may have noticed, if you have eyes, that Chuck is of freakish height. Conversely, I am of unfreakish height and hover somewhere between average and petite. I'm dainty. Incidentally, I also bruise like a peach.

We have about a thousand versions of this picture, a nice catalogue of Chuck's chest and face and my floating head. I may be horribly vain, but I'd like to be in some of the pictures. I wore a cute red dress for a reason, and darn it, I'd like to remember it.

My suggestion, after seeing this picture was to (as we do in most pictures) even out the playing field with some sort of height equalizer. I kid you not. Do you not stand on a stool in most of your pictures? Is that just me?

This suggestion I made, to try another pose (I really wanted a nice picture and to be in it, because, I'm sort of becoming the Dad at Disneyland here), was too much for Chuck.

And this is what I get.
I told Chuck this wasn't an acceptable pose, could he at least try and pretend to like me during pictures, maybe somehow reciprocate the love I'm showing him rather than leaning away from me like I have the plague with his arms super glued to his side? Could he please just stand normal?

And that...that line, right there: Could you please just stand normal?
That produced the following pictures, taken on rapid fire by Paul's Dad (who knew Chuck was running low on patience and motivation for my little project).




The entire ordeal took 10 minutes and years off our marriage for a picture that I don't know what I'll do with. And you can't even see my red dress in the picture.
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