Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful Heart

How does time escape me so quickly? I have been busy and have meant to blog more often. Oh well, I can't beat myself up over it. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I would like to list the things that I am thankful for this year.

  • Thankful that my family is healthy and happy.

  • Thankful for my little fur babies, one of whom is snuggled up next to me right now and is looking at me with such admiration!

  • Thankful that I have been soooo busy with my photography business this year. It has forced me to change things up for 2012 and I am super excited about my new venture.

  • Thankful for some of the sweetest, most devoted friends a girl could ever have. Truly, I adore the friends I have had my entire life and those made along the way. WOW, I am so undeserving.

  • Thankful that Paige is loving life right now. She is thriving in school, dance, church, friendships, and in her first real relationship. Her BF is as cute, precious, and sweet as they come. I hope that hearts aren't broken too badly and that they can keep it light and fun.

  • Thankful for friendships made through this blog.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and I promise to update with some pics soon!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Country Girl

I have been a bad blogger. First of all, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for the comments, emails, FB messages about my last post. I appreciate the friendships I have made through this blog. I was in a funk. I can't say that I am completely out of the funk, but I am working my way through it. Actually, I have a plan that will hopefully make my future a little brighter and I can live the life that I have dreamed about for so long.

I could write a novel about things that are going on with me, however, I would rather document some fun things that Miss Paige has been up to. She lives the most fun life ever. She is a mover and a shaker and has her hand in something all.of.the.time!!! I love it :)

The high school that we are zoned for is a great one. It's exactly where I would want her to go even if we weren't zoned there. They have a two time national winning dance team and are seven time state winners. They are amazing at technique and pom, but they ROCK at hip hop which just happens to be where Paige shines.

They had a dance clinic and then they performed at the half of the football game. The theme was "Country Girls Shake it with the Golden Girls". They danced to a song, "Country Girl". Paige did AMAZING! She will be trying out for this very team in a little over a year. She has a lot to still master, but many of the Golden Girls told her that she would make the squad even if she tried out now. Talk about an ego booster for Paige. I hope she continues to work hard, because nothing is ever promised us.

Here are some pics of her fun night. Oh, how I love watching my girl! <3

Before the game. Sassy "thang" :)

Paige and Holly, one of her hip hop teachers at the studio. Holly was a former Golden Girl.

Paige, Avery, and Jessica. Dance studio buddies.

Channing, Paige, and Bethany. Friends from school and hopeful GG's.

Samone, Paige, and EG. Samone is a "little" at the studio and she LOVES Paige and the feeling is mutual. EG is a Freshman GG and a great friend and mentor to Paige.

All of the kiddos from our studio who participated in the clinic, with Mrs. Jamie, the GG coach. She is the winningest (sp?) coach in the state of Tennessee!

Emily, Paige, and EG. Emily is a Junior and is a wonderful mentor to Paige (she will be graduated when Paige gets to high school. Sniff! She is a great role model!)

Megan (Senior Captain) and Paige. All of the Golden Girls say that Paige and Megan are two peas in a pod. Both are major goofballs, love to laugh, don't care what others think of them, are good dancers, and try to keep things light. I'll take those characteristics anyday. Proud of my girl and so happy she has had positive role models who have taken an interest in her.

My next post is an exciting one for Paige. She had an amazing opportunity a month or so ago and you will be able to see her on TV in the next couple of months. Pics and a post coming soon.

On a side note, I have been SOOO busy with Fall Photo Shoots. Are the trees as gorgeous where you live as they are here in Tennessee?? It's GORGEOUS here! Happy Fall Y'all!!!

Friday, September 30, 2011


I am, I know it's not the godly way to feel, but it's the truth.

This school year has been hard. No, it's been pure hell. I wish I could take a year off and stay home.

My students are precious. I still have the same old wonderful friends. My Principal is on my side. I can't describe why I feel this way. Perhaps it is that everytime I turn around my girlfriends are "doing lunch" and decorating their homes, shopping, and running carpool. That is the life I want.

It's Friday night. The two biggest schools in our town are battling it out on the football field on this glorious fall evening. I am crying in my beer. literally.

Friday, September 23, 2011

She was RUN NiiNG

In my best Forrest Gump voice, I am constantly saying, "Run, Paige, RUN!"

My little dancer extraordinaire has shown this year what an incredible athlete she is. I am not surprised that she is doing so well at Cross Country, because when we first brought her home from China, we used to tease that her feet never touched the floor...they skimmed on top of the carpet as she ran from room to room. She has always ran everywhere she was going. It is quite comical to think back on her first few years home.

Paige chose to try out for Cross Country this year on top of her full dance load. I knew she was a fairly decent little runner, but she has far surpassed what I thought. There were so many kids who tried out for the team this year (67 to be exact) that they had to cut the teams into an A team (Competitive team) and B team (run at home meets). Paige was chosen for the A team!

She has had about six meets and she is shaving off time at each meet! At her last meet, she came in 12th out of 113 girls!!!

The only caveat is that I spent time with some of her dance teachers this weekend and they said while her strength will serve her well with her fourettes and jetes this year, it is hurting her flexibility. She is becoming more muscular and tight. So, we are going to have to make sure she stretches really well after she runs. No matter what, she loves running and I am THRILLED that it is something that can keep her little heart healthy!

Here are some favorite pics of my girl! RUN, FORREST, RUN! :)


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Fixing her hair before the run! Always some "girl time" :)

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Look out now, she's 13!!!

My sweet baby girl, is, ahem...NOT a baby anymore :(

Paigeee poo turned 13 in August. I just cannot believe we have a teenager in our midst. She is still as silly as ever and enjoys snuggling on occassion. I am so proud of the young lady she has become. She is kind, compassionate, independent,, smart, athletic, determined, coy, mischevious, dry, adorable, irresistable, loving, and so many other adjectives that I just don't have time to mention.

At 13, she is:


She let me take her for my a fun photo shoot. She allowed me full reign on this one...Did I mention I LOVE this kid??!?

We had a little shotty carnival at our local mall. One day I had the idea to dress her up like Betty Boop and take her for a fun shoot. Here are some of my favs!








And a black and white...

Happy Birthday Paigee Poo!!! I lobster you to the moon and back! (I texted her one day and my phone automatically put in "lobster" instead of "love", hence our new term of endearment!)

Check out other fun photos at Lisa's Black and White Wednesday!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Seventh Grade

Sigh! Wasn't it just yesterday that I was holding her little hand walking her into Kindergarten? Paige is growing so fast! I know everyone says that all of the time, but sometimes it is scary how quickly time slips by.

Paige has been in school for two weeks now, so I am awfully late on first day pics. I've been busy with school starting up as well.

Per tradition, Paige attended the annual Ellis Cougar Breakfast for her friends. She has so many girls that she calls friend. She is blessed, but I think they are pretty blessed to have her.

Here are a few of my fav pics from that morning...

Paige and JM...these two are best of friends and have a stare down contest everytime they get together...goofy girls :)

6:30 a.m. I don't know about you, but I sure didn't look that cute when I was a 7th grader!

So sassy...


Pretty typical of this crew.


After school that day, we all took the kids to lunch so that they could unwind and of course for the cute photo ops :)




This has been a great year for her already. She got the team that she wanted (blue) with lots of great teachers, she is being challenged academically, she has lots of friends in her classes.

She was so excited to be a seventh grader, because they can play sports. She is a great runner (she runs a 7 min. mile!). She tried out, along with 60 others, for the Cross Country team. Because so many tried out this year, they had to make an A team and a B team. The A team is the competitive team. Paige made it!!! She is sooo excited. She has her first meet next Saturday.

I think this is going to be an amazing year for her!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Counting our blessings

This past Wednesday is a day I'll never forget. Paige had been invited to go to a waterpark in our area with a friend. I knew the friend through dance, but had never met her family. I have friends who know the mom and dad and always so spoke highly of them. I knew the little girl was very sweet, so I didn't have too many reservations. Besides, I was just going to be running errands that day, so Paige wouldn't enjoy that.

The last thing I said to her when she left for the waterpark was, "Be careful. Have fun! I love you".

Fast forward six hours and I am home cleaning. The phone rings and it's the mom who Paige went to the park with. She said very calmly that there had "been a little accident" ... those words are the ones that you never want to hear. She said that Paige was en route to V@nderbilt hospital via an ambulance and we should get down there asap. I.FREAKED.OUT!!! As I got into my car, the EMT called and said they had changed their mind and were taking her to a closer hospital. I took that as a good sign and said I would meet them there. About five minutes went by and the EMT called me back and said the hospital turned her away due to the nature of the accident and to meet them in the ER at V@nderbilt Children's Hospital.

At this point, all I knew per the EMT was that her vitals looked good and that he thought she was going to be ok, but couldn't tell me much more.

I got across town in record speed and flew in the ER. The lady at the front desk said "Who are you here for?". I said, "Paige ... " she ran me back to her room, because she saw how frantic I was.

As I entered Paige's room, she was lying flat on her back, hooked up to IV's and was red from crying. She couldn't lift up her head, because they had her restrained. They were trying to keep her still before they took her back to xray.

I have never been so scared in my entire life. When I walked in, she started crying and said she was hurting. Her eyes looked very hazy and I knew she was scared. I kissed her and told her she would be just fine.

In the meantime the mom and Paige's friend arrived at the ER. Both were absolutely hysterical, so I had to calm them down :/ However, after hearing about what happened, I can now understand why. Paige was on a ride where it looks like a giant skate ramp. You go down one side 20 feet and go up the other side 20 feet. You land in the middle in a puddle of water. Apparently, per Paige's little friend, the teenager who was working the slide pushed Paige's raft before she had planted herself in it. The raft took off without her and she fell ( air born ) 20 feet to the bottom where she rolled up the ramp and then rolled back down. The lifeguards pulled the sirens and rescued her.

Turns out all that baby endured was a concussion and full body contusions. The doctor in the ER said she was a living miracle, because per the EMT report, she should have had a broken neck or back.

My baby was able to walk (slowly) out of that ER and enjoy a frosty and hug from a new teddy bear and actually went to school the next morning.

Everyone who knows Paige knows she is a TOUGH COOKIE. She is stubborn and that will serve her well in life. However, I have NO DOUBT that God has BIG plans for this child of ours. She will do big things. Blessed!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Coming to an end...

I cannot believe that summer is almost over! I go back next week to start setting up my classroom... UGH! I do love what I do, really, I do. It is sooo stinkin' hard to get back into a routine. I will miss my lazy days that I have spent poolside, sleeping until my eyes pop open, staying up late, spending quality time with Paige, etc...

Sometimes I feel like a kid again. Do you remember being little and feeling anxious and sad about school starting back? I have always enjoyed summer so much. This summer I have really relaxed, because my body NEEDED it! Now, I am going to join the rat race again.

Paige starts back on the 4th. She found out her schedule and she will be pushed academically this year... YAY! Last year, she wasn't placed in any accelerated classes and she breezed through with little challenges. Paige thrives on a good challenge. She performed well on the state testing and the school placement tests so finally she will be in advanced classes. She is also changing dance studios. It will give her another really great challenge. Without going into it with great detail, she was waaay behind in technique and since she's changed, they are whippin' her little butt into shape. She comes out with a bewildered look on her face, usually saying "I had no idea I could do that!". Once again, YAY!

It's going to be a year full of change, but that's a good thing.

As an aside, I would like to ask for prayer. I'm having a procedure this week. I am hopeful that it will bring about some much needed change personally. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


So, I realize that a night out downtown for dinner and a concert doesn't sound all that bad to do with a few moms and daughters, right? Would you still think it was ok if the said concert was Britney Spe@rs? My mom about had a hissy fit when I told her that I was taking Paige, but after a lot of convincing, I got my way.

I have been a fan of some of the most ridiculous entertainers ever as I have grown through the years. I guess it is a quirk of mine that I thoroughly enjoy wonky, kooky types of singers, bands, etc... I love Britney. Paige has grown up listening to "some" of her songs while I drove her to and fro and has developed a liking to her songs, too.

Sooo, my girl is turning 13 next month and I thought it would be fun to surprise her with tickets as an early bday gift. She was so excited, but I think I took the cake with the excitement factor.

I am friends with some great gals whose daughters just happen to be some of Paige's bffs. We jumped at the chance to spend some girl time together. For those of you who have ever visited Nashville, you know it is truly a happening and alive city. We went to eat dinner at The Hard Rock, Nashville and the girls had all of the tables around us singing Britney songs. My daredevil sister decided to start the bandwagon of "planking" after dinner. For those of you who don't know what planking is, google random! Here, in all of her glory, is Paige "planking" aye yi yi!


We had a "rockin'" waiter. He was playing Britney songs for the girls and would get them up and dance with them. Too cute!


As for the concert, it was ALL THAT AND A BAG OF CHIPS!!! She sang some of her best older songs and the best of her newest. Actually, I don't think she "sang", rather did an amazing job of lip syncing. We didn't care, though, as she is one fierce dancer and so are her back up dancers. Paige and I danced and sang the night away. I had a BLAST!!! The night reminded me of when my mom took me to see NSync when I was younger.

Paige woke up this morning still talking about the night. I'll never forget it either.

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Fellow in the red, teaches hip hop workshops at Paige's dance studio and is SUCH a nice, Christian guy. Who'd a "thunk" it?!

As a side note, there weren't any curse words or anything too suggestive throughout the entire show. I was impressed!

Friday, July 15, 2011

You mean I have a blog?

I have been so awful about blogging. I feel like I constantly write that when I post. It's not that I don't want to blog anymore, but for some reason, it feels like a chore.

First, I would like to say a sincere thank you for the comments and emails about my last post. We've had a bit of a rough beginning to the summer, but I am happy to say that we have come out on the other side and MAN does it feel GREAT!!!

I don't want to document publicly what actually happened, but I will say that "sista bear" had to come out and it wasn't pretty. I generally take a lot from people. I have been wronged so many times in my life, but I easily forgive. When someone/someones hurt my girl, it's a different story. I have always run from confrontation, but not this time. I feel so much stronger in my convictions, but the most important lesson that has been learned is Paige knows that we have her back and NO ONE will hurt her as long as I have anything to do with it.

Everything is great for us right now! We've enjoyed a very nice, relaxing, sunny summer. Paige has been working at a summer camp as a counselor. The camp is called "Gym and Swim". It's right up her alley. She gets to lead in canoeing sessions, obstacle courses down by the lake, swim games, etc... She has been the leader of her group and the little 5 and 6 year olds LOVE her. She feels like a rock star :)

My sweet, little mama fell a few weeks ago while looking at a cute little pup. She was able to drive herself home, but once I saw her wrist I knew a trip to the ER was iminent. She fractured her wrist, basically shattering it. She has been such a trooper though and is sporting a pink cast that goes above her elbow. She is such a tough cookie. I love her vivaciousness and zest for life. She is such a precious lady and I couldn't love her more if I tried.

As for me, well I have been super busy with photo sessions. I photographed a mid size wedding this evening and lets just say, I will never do that again without a second shooter. I probably sweat off 10 lbs running to and fro, but it was a challenge that I met and I am proud of myself. I have also found a new niche and am photographing mostly newborns. Who'd a thunk it? I'm in the process of building a new website, logo, branding, etc... It's been fun and I am blessed, blessed, BLESSED!

School begins in a few short weeks, so I intend on lounging by the pool as much as possible, drinking my share of fruity drinks, watching my little girl blossom, and just enjoy life!

Aaaah Summer 2011 you have not disappointed!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Trying to have a forgiving heart

I think that most of us want to think of ourselves as forgiving souls, at least, I do. I'm working so hard on stretching that forgiveness muscle right now and quite honestly could use some prayer, if you are so inclined.

Without going into too much detail, my girl has been mistreated. Not in a way that is physically damaging, but emotionally. What makes it worse is that it was by some people whom I entrusted her with for hours every week.

I'm heartbroken for her, for me, for what used to be "normal". We are going to have to find a new "normal" for my girl. It can be done, without a doubt, but it will be hard.

Please pray that I find forgiveness in my heart, but more importantly, that Paige finds it in hers. Life certainly has bumps in the road and it is those bumps who make us the people we are. Praying that this bump is resolved soon so I can have my happy girl back.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Photo Shoot

It's no secret that I miss my dad sooo much. If you are my FB friend, you will see that I speak of him often. Father's Day is always a day I dread since losing my dad. I know I should rejoice in the fact that he is in Heaven and on most days I do, but Father's Day I allow myself to just feel.

Paige and my brother dread the day as well. This year, Paige asked me if we could do a photo shoot and if she could style it and pick the location. I was so excited to see what she came up with. Well, she did a GREAT job. She chose some of my dad's clothing and then we went to the Goodwill to pick up a pair of old frames to complete the look. She wanted to go to our local high school and take pictures on the track.

Before we went to our shoot, my brother came over and we all laughed and remembered funny times with my dad. It was very cathartic. I love, love, love my family!!!

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I hope you all had a wonderful day celebrating all of the fathers in your life!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dance Recital

Another year of dance for my girl (and my mom and I) is over! Whew! It's been a whirlwind for us all, but most importantly for Paige. Her dance studio just puts on the most amazing show. My sister-in-law came for the first time and told me that she thought it was going to be a bunch of kids pointing their toes and parents oohing and aahing...after the recital, she had to pull up her jaw. She said she felt as if she had been to a broadway production. It really is quite impressive.

Paige has really worked hard this year to step it up. She has worked hard on her leaps, fouettes, Cjumps, and many other french words that I can't pronounce :) I was so excited to see her do her intermediate modern dance and it didn't disappoint, but the ABSOLUTE highlight of the second night was her intermediate hip hop performance. It ROCKED! After the girls were finished dancing, the crowd rose to their feet and were hooting and hollering. I was FLOORED! I am so excited for what is to come. Paige's goal is to dance for her High School dance team, who have been the national champs twice in the last 5 years. The coach talked to me at the end of the show and said "Paige is looking good! Can't wait for her to try out!". When I told Paige, she about jumped out of her skin.

I could go on and on and yes, I realize I am bragging, but hey...she's worked hard and I am proud...what can I say?! :)

Here are some pics and I am going to try hard to link a video if I can. Youtube is giving me fits.

Terrible pic of me, but I love my sweetie. This is what I look like after getting her through 11 costume changes. YES 11!!! Ugh :/

Paige's Godmother, Dawn.

Me and my friend, Shannon.

Cast of the ballet. The Little Mermaid.

Paige and her "girls".

Paige and friend, Avery. Look for Avery on the Disney Channel in CoC@ J@nes video in the next two weeks. She is a back up dancer!

Getting hugs from guh guh after the finale!

My brother Greg, sis n law Laurie, and me


Paige and besties being sassy backstage :)

Have mercy!

The girls were jellyfish in the ballet. Aren't they beautiful?

These videos are from previous dance competitions throughout the year. I am going to try hard to upload the wonderful dances from recital. They blow these out of the water. (Even though I think these dances are cute!)

Visit other black and whites at Lisa's!!!