Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Neighbor Lessons Anyone ?


I've never really had neighbors.

The first house I lived in- I don't really remember it much so it doesn't count.
The second house- we lived up on top of a hill and even though there were people around, they weren't like, right next door. We considered them neighbors, but they couldn't see in our windows at night if we didn't pull the curtains- ya know?
The third house- my Grandparents and Aunt&Uncle&cousins were our neighbors. But, they are family- so that's a whole different story.

But now Derrick&I have our own house, and we live in a neighborhood.
That if you don't shut your curtains at night, people can see right in :)

And so, I know about the whole- when someone new moves in next door, you take them a plate of cookies to welcome them to the neighborhood thing, right?
I mean, it's in all the movies- so that makes it normal procedure of course.
[even though no one did it for us .. pfft]

But I didn't know about this one:
Apparently good neighbors are supposed to exchange Christmas Cookies too.

I guess I need "neighbor" lessons.
Because I definitely failed this one.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Food is Good

I went to Panera Bread once when it opened about 15 minutes from my house.

I studied the menu for several minutes and determined that I was reading another language - I simply didn't understand.

I don't even remember what I ordered, but it was okay. I wasn't blown out of the water or anything.

Then a few years past, and they built one even closer to my house - about a mile away. I was never even tempted to re-try it. Until my Grandparents - who would take me out to lunch almost weekly when I still lived at home - suggested we go there for lunch.

I wasn't thrilled, but, okay, sure.

We went.

And maybe I was a little older, more mature - or maybe they simply re-worded their menu: I don't know, but it made more sense to me than I remembered. I ordered something and it was FABULOUS.

Talk about: love-at-second-sight :D

And from then on, I was thrilled when they wanted to go to Panera Bread.

My favorite thing to get was the "You Pick Two" - you picked 2 [brilliant, I know] of either a cup of soup, a half sandwich, or a half salad. That was my deal and depending on the type of soup they were serving that day - I rotated through the options.

So, you'll understand my excitement when I put together a "Panera" meal last night :D
D&I weren't really that hungry from a huge lunch of leftovers from Christmas, so I made some soup, made a nice little salad, and added a baguette as the cherry on top.

I felt so fabulous :)


Sunday, December 26, 2010

::Family Photos:: The R Family [Wysox, PA]

On Tuesday night I had the extreme pleasure of hanging out with another awesome family from church!
Oh, and we shot some family photos while I was there too :)

It didn't really feel like a photo-shoot though - at least not a formal one. They welcomed me like just another member of the family, chilling out and relaxing the week before Christmas. It was awesome :) And I think you'll agree: relaxed atmospheres are always the best for getting awesome photos!

Meet Chris & Tammy, Cassie & Justin :)

You might remember them, they were the family with the awesome socks from the Christmas Extravaganza Family Photos I took back in November ! [see the post here!]

Annddd - after a few just family shots, we added in the 'other' members of the family! Caleb - is Cassie's fiance - they are getting married in 2011 ! And Kalesha - well at the time that I took these photos, she was still simply Justin's girlfriend (more on that story to come ...)

They were SUCH good sports for me :) It always makes for amazing photos when a family is willing to simply comply with whatever crazy wishes a photographer might come up with :)

Anyway, one of the reasons we had to wait on family photos until Christmas week was that Justin is in the Navy and he has been overseas for the last 7 months and just got home. It's been tough on everyone to have him away so long, but they are so happy and super thankful that he is home now.

You could feel the collective sigh of relief to simply have him there.

 Having him home for Christmas has been a slice of heaven for his family and his girlfriend.
And on Christmas Eve, he sealed Kalesha into his family by asking her to marry him.
So, a huge congratulations go out to these two !

Cassie was also there with her fiance, Caleb. They've been together since high-school and are still wading waist deep through wedding planning. It's still about 6 months away, but they were so excited to tell me all about the details that have already been taken care of - like her dress and her flowers.

And then, it felt like I was transported back in time to last Christmas. Where I was still just engaged and about 4 months away from my wedding - and my Mom would sit across the room from me and remind me of all the things I still needed to do - because Tammy was reminding Cassie the same way.

What would we do without our Moms?

And Chris & Tammy?
If you ever come to New Generation Church, in Milan, PA - you'll know who these two are. They are pretty impossible to miss. They have an infectious love of Jesus - and you can't get past it. And it is completely normal for my father-in-law: the Pastor, while he is preaching to have a little banter back and forth with Chris - usually resulting in a lot of laughs.

They're an awesome family and I am so grateful to have been given the chance to hang out with them, get to know them a bit better, and capture a few memories for them :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas !

Merry Christmas everyone !!
Hope that your day is filled with lots of family, fun, and love -- oh and good food of course ! lol

ps - This song has been floating around the radio around here and I think it's FABULOUS :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

It's officially Christmas when family arrives :)

And so that means: 
it's officially Christmas because Paul & Naomi & PJ are here !!

And a just because photo: 
I think they love each other - at least a little bit :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

A 30 Day Challenge - Day 3

Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite TV show.

And this is a tough one. Because D&I don't really watch TV.
Last year, we watched 24 together - but apart. We started the season as an engaged couple, and ended as a married pair :D

This year, we've been kinda sorta watching The Event.
I say kinda sorta because when it first started, we really enjoyed it and got hooked really fast. But as the season's rolled on, we've kind of lost a little bit of interest in it. D thinks he can predict everything that's going to happen, and usually he's right - and that annoys him. But, I'm determined to finish off the season & D now just likes to make fun of it, so we'll continue watching :)

But since it says to post a picture of the cast from my favorite show? MY all time favorite show is Full House :) I looove that show, and I've yet to meet anyone that disagrees with me. It was a fantastic show!

So, my picture is of the cast from Full House :)


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A 30 Day Challenge - Day 2

Day 02 - A picture of you and a person you have been close with for awhile.

It's time for another installment of my 30-day challenge .. thing :)

And this one is hard - because who do I post a picture of ? Derrick ? Ya'll know who he is and what he looks like :)

But I couldn't decide between 2 pictures - so I decided: hey it's my blog, I can post 2 pictures if i want :D

So the first one is my family :)
[and yes, I just re-read the instructions and it says "a person" not a group of people, but pfft, it's my blog :)]

My great big huge wonderful family - that I've been missing sooo much recently. I think it's the holidays - I know I'm not going to be "home" [meaning: at my parent's house "home"] this Christmas for the first time in 21 years. And that's just weird. And not entirely likeable. So, I miss them. 

But, here we all are at Thanksgiving ! This is my Grandparent's official Christmas photo - which will be sent out in at least 200 cards - my Grandparents are BIG Christmas card senders :)

I can't wait until New Years, when D&I will run down for a very short visit - but I can't wait !!
[and look, D made it in this picture - and so I didn't leave him out :D]

And, switching to the other side of my family - I had to post a picture of me and my BFF :)

I like this shot - because it goes to prove how beautiful and calm and poise she is, and how crazy and wild I am - sometimes :) Usually it's the complete opposite way around of course :D haha
We don't get to see each other that often anymore since she and her hubby live so far away - they're coming HERE for Christmas though and coming for a whole 10 days !! So they'll be here this weekend !! I can't wait !!

Okay, that's enough silliness for one night :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Published :D

My photoshoot with Santa Clause has caused quite the stir :D

[if you missed it, you can find it here !]

Everyone, it seems, has seen those photos and comments on them :) Even the ladies that D works with have seen those photos and told me how much they love them when we went to his office Christmas party Saturday night :D

It's so exciting to have people acknowledge that they've seen my pictures and then compliment them.

But I was super excited to find out that a few of my photos were published by a local store. They used my photos to make some posters and flyers advertising to "Come meet Santa!" (which I'm still trying to get my hands on - I told Santa that when they were finished with the posters I wanted one and he promised that if I was a good girl, he would do his best to get me one :D]

And now, I just found out that they used a few images on their website as well !!

Check it out !

Now I know, it's not like it's a national magazine or world-known blog like all my favorite photographers are always being published by. But, you gotta start somewhere and I'm completely content to be published by a local store :D It's so exciting !!!

[and, did they break some copyright laws by publishing these without my permission - yes probably, but *shrugs* we'll let it go this time :)]

Sunday, December 12, 2010

::Family Photos:: [Mill City, PA] Part 2

Okay so I'm ready to continue showing off some of the awesomeness from last weekend :D

Remember Rocky Canyon? He has 3 super adorable older siblings :D
And - he's quite a model, let me tell you !!

Some brotherly love :D [The big man, Josh - he's a football player and had just come back with a trophy from his football banquet!]

Story time ! So, back on that first weekend I spent getting to know Derrick - and we went to the church's 4th of July picnic? [you know, where Rocky Canyon & I met for the first time :)] well, I remember meeting Derrick's cousin Nicole. And she was awesome !! I didn't know anyone, and she grabbed me right up and started talking to me and made me feel all at home. I remember, we talked about homeschooling, because she homeschools her kids and I'm a homeschool graduate - so we chatted about that and about a few other random things. But she was awesome. And she still is :)

And this: is the lovely Nicole & her hubby Dan :D

[andd another one of Rocky Canyon because I can't help myself :D]

This is Danica - she's quite the grown up little lady. She put on this pretty dress & cuddled right up to her Grandpa :) Soo cute !! These kiddos love on their grandparents so much - it's so precious to see how sweet of a relationship they have with each other. It reminds me of my grandparents and makes me wish they were simply a short drive away instead of a long 5 hours :(

And this is Miss Abbey - she's such a doll and a perfect model. She's so quiet and a little bit shy. Maybe it's just when I'm around - maybe she's not like that normally - but it's very cute. And I loved how this shot turned out because I think it captures her personality perfectly :)

We snagged a few mom & daughter photos -

And a few super cute kiddos & Aunt Erin photos :D

Anndd - last but not least - probably my favorite shot from the whole night !!
I had no clue what was going on. They hadn't warned me about this one. I knew they wanted traditional family shots and individual shots - all the usual, but the next thing I heard was, "Okay, go get your PJs on!" and all the kiddos come prancing out in their Christmas pajamas, and out comes Aunt Dot in footie PJs !! And they all cuddle up by the tree and she pulls out a book and starts to read.

Oh. mi. soul.

Could they get any cuter? Really? This is soo precious !! Nana cuddled up with her grandkids under the tree, reading them a story.

I have no clue who's idea this was : but it is priceless.

I had a great good time hanging out with ya'll ! Let's do it again sometime soon !!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

::Family Photos:: [Mill City, PA] Part 1

Last Saturday, Derrick & I had the supreme opportunity to go down to visit with his Uncle Jim & Aunt Dot, and some of their family! They fed us a fabulous dinner and then lent me their beautiful faces to photograph :D We had fun and wow - they're so photogenic [obviously, from my post about Mr. Rocky Canyon here]

And how did I know the photos were going to turn out great?

When Uncle Jim & Rocky Canyon started out by playing an old fashioned game of .. well I'm not sure what the official name of this game is - but I remember always playing with my Dad and being able to play forever. We'll call it, the hand-slapping game.
You know, the game where you put your hand down, and then the other person puts their hand on top of yours, then you put yours, then they put theirs, then you pull your hand out from the bottom of the stack and put it on top, then they pull out their hand and put it on top - you know - THAT game :D

And thenn: we watched as the same two men put on their gallant-hero-faces and freed a poor bird that was trapped in the bird feeder outside :D

And then we got down to some "serious" photo business. Starting with some new official photos of Uncle Jim & Aunt Dot for the church website - did I mention they're pastors? Yeah, they are :) [You'll notice the church in the background of the photos where they are freeing the bird]

Topped off with some relaxed Christmas photos - where scrunching noses are ALWAYS accepted !!

And kisses are the cherry on the top of the whipped cream of scrunched noses :) :)

Okay, and there are tonssss more - but I'm going to split this into 2 posts because - well I can't hit you with too much fabulous-ness all at once :D

Just know - that coming up next would be more Rocky Canyon cuteness - plus he's got a brother and two sisters that are just as cute - OHH and the next post includes socked feet and footie PJs !!! :D

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas at our house !!

[I know, I'm already deviating from the 30-day challenge, but this is my blog and I want to post about my Christmas decorating skills! :D So, we interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for this blog about my house :D]

I have always loved Christmas.
And even more, loved decorating for Christmas!

At home, I was always the one to dig out the Christmas tree and ornaments.
I was the light tester and the bulb replacer.
I was the one who would line my bedroom with Christmas lights - only to give my Mother a heart-attack because I was going to "light the house on fire" :)
I even had my own personal, 3 ft. Christmas tree in my bedroom with all the trimmings :D

I love Christmas time :)

And this year is so super special. Not only because it's Derrick & I's first year together - altho' yes that is special :) But because we have our first house and for the first time EVER, I get to decorate without anyone saying anything about where I put my lights :D [but the electric bill in mind, I've used moderation this year]


Our tree !!! It's a real live one :D And - I truly do not understand why I argued against a live tree so heartily every year back home - because this thing is FABULOUS ! It smells soooo good and I don't have to worry about forcing a "fake" tree look "real" ! :D

A few of my Disney ornaments :D I want to go back soo bad.

My Grandpa found a whole box of these little houses when he was cleaning out his brother's house and he brought them home thinking my Mom would like them. Well, Mom didn't have any place to put them and so when I found them while decorating my family's house - I snatched them up because I knew they would make a perfect little village on my mantel :D

Annddd - to keep up with the Jones's across the street, we hung lights outside too :) haha They were another "left-over" from my parents, otherwise, we wouldn't have lights outside this year :D So, thanks Mom & Dad !!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A 30 Day Challenge

Remember when people used to send around those survey/questionnaire emails? They usually started with: "What kind of socks are you wearing?" and ended with "Who do you think will respond to this with their answers first?"

Remember those?

I hate to admit it, but I used to spend hours filling those things out. At first I did them because I felt so important to be receiving emails that I could reply to. And then I did them because I was bored. And then I did them because I felt obligated to [I mean, my friend spent an hour filling the dumb thing out, I should too].

I don't know, maybe they still float around out there somewhere for 12-year-olds to fill out and send to their friends. But I'm definitely glad that I no longer receive them - and consequently feel bad for not replying :)

But I'll be honest - secretly somewhere deep down inside I truly enjoyed filling those things out but hated the huge amount of time I wasted.

So, recently I've noticed a few of my Facebook friends doing this 30-day photo challenge thing.

And it kind of reminded me of those surveys.

And I was intrigued.
And tempted.
And decided to give in and do it too :)

The first one is:
Day 01 - A picture of yourself with five random facts about yourself.

So, here we go :)

1. Derrick scored free tickets for us to go see "Tangled" this afternoon - he's such a fantastic husband I know :) :) And it's my new favorite movie !! Instant Disney classic all the way - totally adorable and heartwarming and Disney-classic-ish [meaning they randomly burst into song!! yessss!] And yes: I cried .. twice =X

2. I collect books and love to read - but haven't had time to truly sit down and enjoy a good book since I got married. Sure I have still read a few books in the last 7 months, but it takes me wayy too long and I kind of lose the story in the muddle of time. And that's just downright depressing.

3. I want a puppy really bad. But, I am reasonable too - I know it's really hard to house-break a puppy in the winter [on the owner at least]. But, I still want a puppy really really bad :)

4. I love to cook but I get really nervous when it comes to cooking for other people. What if what I make doesn't turn out yummy like it always does? What if they simply don't like it and are put in the awkward spot of: smiling thru the pain of eating it? :P

5. And ... Our house is FINALLY fully decorated for Christmas! D just hung the last lights and now I can officially go around and photograph our first Christmas together at our first house !! Those photos coming soon :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mr. Rocky Canyon

I'm getting ready to go to bed - right? It's late, it's been a busy and full day, and I'm tired.

But quickly, I want to look through the photos I took this afternoon of D's aunt and uncle and cousins. They invited us down to for dinner and for some family photos - and looking through I found a pair that I just HAD to share :D

Introducing: the little man of the family - Nate [aka: Rocky Canyon - from the Rescue Heroes :D] He and I have been buddies for a long, long time.

The very first weekend I ever spent with Derrick and his family, was a July 4th weekend back in 2008. It was just over a month since we had met at Paul and Naomi's wedding. During that weekend, the church had a picnic and D's cousins came to that picnic - which is where I met Mr. Nate. [You can read about that first weekend here :D because I blog about everything :)]

And just in case you don't believe me - here we are back in 2008:
(and yes, it was back in the day when I was still blogging under my "pen-name" of Tiffany Scott)

Well, the little man has grown up quite a bit. He's now a whopping 3 years old.

And, almost as if he was embarrassed to be hanging out with me? He made sure to let me know that he had a girlfriend.
And her name is Christine.
And she goes to his church.
And she is 12 years old.

And when confronted about being told young to have a girlfriend. He said "No I'm not!" and so we asked him, "Well, how old do you have to be to have a girlfriend?" and he so sheepishly responded with a big smile on his face: "Three" :D

So, all I can say is, watch out ladies ! :D

And so here he is: with his "football" helmet on. Because his big brother Josh (who is 9) plays football, and Nate wants to be just like his big brother :)

More photos to come soon !! I'll be blogging a full post about the afternoon later on this week :D The photos turned out sooooo cute !!! :D

PS - My blog is kind of freaking out - not sure what it's problem is, I'm hoping its just a problem with blogger and it fixes itself =X

Friday, December 3, 2010

::Family Photos:: The Z Family [Monroeton, PA]

Last night I got to spend some time with the Z family !! They go to the same church D&I go to and o.mi.gosh. Talk about adorable-ness.

Kloie is almost 4 years old and Bella & Sophia are the twins who just turned 1 !! They are THE sweetest family ever :) 

Kloie was so camera shy when I first arrived, but after about 5 minutes she warmed right up and was such a cute little model !! She kept coming up with poses, "How about this?" "Take a picture of me smiling like this!" I have soo many cute shots of her - but this is my favorite.

And the twins - wow are they adorable !! It was so hard to pick up my camera and take their pictures because I just wanted to cuddle with them !! This is Bella - she's the peanut of the two and super cutie. Also the friendliest of the bunch - she's quite the social butterfly :D

And Sophia - she has never come to me at church, never let me hold her - but after being in her house for a little while she warmed right up to me and now I think we're going to be good friends :D She's equally precious and it's funny how different the girls are. They are only a year old, but their little personalities are beginning to shine through and it's so fun to see !!

I think they're sending a silent message to each other - I don't know about this Kara-girl and her big camera :D

And one of Samantha & Jeremy - they are the sweetest parents - these girls are so blessed :) They love these kiddos with every ounce of everything they have. I asked Kloie if we should have Mommy & Daddy in a picture by themselves and she took right over. "YES! Mommy, you move over closer to Daddy - like that - uh huh!" It was so cute :) I told her she could come with me on all my shoots to help me out :D

And another one of Sophia, because I couldn't resist.

Well, we had a splendid time, but by the end of the shoot, kiddos are always kinda tired. You can always tell when they are just done - ya know? They are tired of sitting still and being cooed at to smile. They want out of their dress clothes and they want to be free - and this was Bella at that point :P hahaha

Hope you enjoy Samantha & Jeremy !! I had a blast hanging out with you guys !!