The Blog

first day of school
mom fail– Oliver blinked!

The first day of school– This day has been a few days of six months coming.

We are all so glad to be getting back into a routine.

Glad isn’t really the right word.

Relieved.

Nervous.

Ecstatic.

It is good for everybody but Oliver, for his first day of school, in particular is benefitting from making new friends today and being in his school environment. He woke up squealing with excitement even though he wasn’t used to getting up at six o’clock in the morning.

We chose online learning for the big boys and they are well into their morning. I am hoping for the best and I am standing by for tech support but really, I will be hopeless and will have to call the household tech support, Jared, who is an IT director for their school system anyway. But, I am here and ready to respond. I am hopeful that Jared’s first day of school goes smoothly as well.

The first day of school is a rite of passage for the boys, but, also for this mama….

I am really, really looking forward to this season……not just in school, but in my photography business. This has been a booking season of sorts and I am so ready to be behind the camera and celebrating with clients or documenting every day moments with them.

Best of all…. there’s going to be a lot of time with Oliver in school to get laundry done. Because I am enjoying laundry these days. That laundry room is saving my soul.

Jared and I thought the big boys might be happier doing their work in separate spaces all spread out, with one of them in the kitchen and one of them in the office/school room, but lo and behold! The guys seem to prefer working in the school room together on the first day of school.

Here’s to a great new year for all.

love, Caroline

Porter

I am 2 days late posting, but Porter turned 14 on the 24th!

This kiddo…. I know all moms are biased but Porter is such a neat kid. This pandemic has thrown his world into chaos but he has handled everything thrown at him with such grace. He starts high school in a couple of weeks and while he will be doing the online option, he has a network of good guy friends he stays in near constant contact with.

Porter is brilliant and generous and funny and kind. He loves his dog Trixie more than anything else on the planet. He makes time for date nights on Saturday nights with Mom. It blows my mind that at 14 he really enjoys spending time with Mom and Dad.

Porter is an excellent big brother and watches out for both his little brothers but especially Oliver. He doesn’t initiate game nights but he never says no when we have a family game night.

Porter’s Loves

He loves music and while the pandemic has put the brakes on piano lessons for now, he is enjoying puttering around learning some of his favorite video game tunes on the piano and his saxophone. He teaches himself things to play when he cannot find the actual music for it.

Porter is also passionate about social justice issues. He loves philosophy and while he wouldn’t call it this, I do feel like his spirituality ethos shines through in the way he treats everybody and everything around him. He believes in being kind to everybody. He believes in being aware of what is going on in the world. He has his head on straight and is very down to earth, practical and I would also call Porter a realist.

This kiddo started off in the world as a 4 lb 7 oz preemie that spent his first 30 days in the NICU. He is now a half inch shy of 6 feet at 14 years old.

His dream is to work for Nintendo someday. He hasn’t decided on a major but I could see him going for something like philosophy and becoming a writer for video game story lines. But I will support him fully in whatever he decides he wants to do.

I am so proud to be his mom.

love, Caroline

love my house
love my house
love my house
love my house
love my house
love my house
love my house
love my house

I now love my house: The only thing you don’t get is the kitchen table, because it is filled with clutter and paint supplies still. And the Harry Potter bathroom: because it’s a bathroom.

love my house
love my house
love my house
love my house

I love my house: this is our first floor today.

Why did I not love my house in January? I honestly don’t remember.

I do remember…..master on main.

I’ve brought so many things into this house in the past six months from other houses and Pinterest and thrift stores that I don’t even want another house anymore. Like seriously…. if we ever get to the point we can’t do the stairs, we’ll put in a lift.

It started with Dena suggesting two couches facing each other in the family room around Christmas.

Then, Pinterest took hold, and the coffee bar got a re-work.

And then, the bathroom got painted. I love my house.

Then Johnny built us an awesome new coffee table for the family room that somehow escaped these pictures because I was too lazy to use a wider lens.

And then the faceplates and the floor registers got an upgrade.

Love My House– Pandemic Edition

Then, pandemic…..and the kitchen white started.

And then J went viral, and the security system happened.

Then, bulb lights for the deck.

And then, new office pieces for my office, and J and I each got an office.

Then, the kitchen was finished.

And I am so satisfied with the outcome that I have zero desire to find a new house.

I figured up all we’ve spent on the upgrades for the first floor including supplies and materials and new furniture, and it’s roughly the amount of an extra house payment.

For the amount of an extra house payment, I got serious upgrades to my house that made me want to live in this house forever.

I’d say that’s totally worth it. I feel like I live in an HGTV house.

Next up: new ceiling fan for the master bedroom (I know, it was a dumb idea to go without but not a dumb idea to move the master bedroom ceiling fan to the family room). And railings for the front steps to the house.

As happy as I can be while also in a pandemic. Wear your mask people, and black lives matter.

love, Caroline

So it is Sunday and I am up before noon for once and biscuits are in the oven like I am a real mom.

I know I mentioned that we are not selling our house but that led to a big ignore of housework until the dog hair piled up for weeks. I had enough of it a couple of days ago. Swiffer to the rescue. We gave up on the carpet stair treads because the maintenance of those things in reference to said dog hair was a nightmare. We are back to no socks or shoes on when you are on the stairs as the general rule. Liam is pretty much the only one who thinks the rule doesn’t apply to him. Fingers crossed nobody (mostly me) falls.

The New Desk

As you probably saw on Facebook, this happened, and I feel like I have been redeemed:

This is not the first roll-top desk I have had. We bought one at a yard sale probably 10-12 years ago. It was bigger than this one, and I took a few days to restore it and go over the finish and clean it up. But then, we had someone in (a designer/organizer) who declared to us that we had too much furniture and stuff in general, and my beloved roll-top desk was amongst the casualties to find another home.

And in general, I don’t listen to designers/ organizers anymore. Or rather, I don’t hire them to tell me what to do with my stuff anymore. Along with buying less stuff in general these days, it works out.

The Kitchen and Family Room

The kitchen is progressing. Well, it hasn’t progressed in two or three days because boredom and distractibility and cleaning other parts of the house. But I feel good about the state of things and hope to finish the bottom half of the first side today. No pictures. It’s a mess. And while I am dreading the process, I have decided the front half of the wine rack above the fridge is probably getting painted. Yuck.

O’s little desk got moved from the family room to Jared’s office. The toy box in the family room also made it’s way to O’s room. Yippee skippee the family room doesn’t feel overcrowded anymore thank goodness. Jared has been working with O to clean out and rotate some of the toys in his room. Thankfully, O is cooperating with the process.

The Yard

So…..

We are not the best at maintaining the yard with any regularity whatsoever. We have the best intentions and neither of us hates cutting grass but it just doesn’t always get done.

So, we decided to break down and hire monthly yard maintenance. Only once a month and we’ll have to continue to take care of the in-between. But at least we’ll know if we let it slide that it will get done eventually.

Photography

Sessions right now are on an “I’ll think about it” basis. We are in a pandemic, people. Be safe!

In general, one of the X-H1’s has the 50mm f2 on it set on 1×1 mode in Acros for no thinking photo therapy. I’m making myself pick it up a couple of times a day. Those photos probably won’t make it here.

That’s all for today.

love, Caroline

Stacey and Jonathan are getting married in October of 2021! They have opted to do two engagement sessions: one now and one this Fall. We did this session at Cochran Mill and it was a beautiful location! I can’t wait for their wedding at Ten Oaks Wedding and Event Venue in Buchanan!

Citrus Garden Shoot :
Planner – Alyssa at @ivoryandpineco
Florist/Decor – Hannah at @yourbestguest
Calligraphy (lemon wedges at table) – macleodninedesigns
Rentals (benches & farm table) – @popetentsandevents20
Bridal Gown – Davids Bridal
Grooms Suit – @generationtux
Hair – (High Hair) @m_brooks_L
Makeup – Makeup by Callie Freeman
Invitations- Minted
Cake – @cakeartbyjen
Venue – @englundestate  


Love is in the Air Shoot :
Planner – Christie with @wildflowereventdesign    
Dress – @heavenstobetsybridalga
Hair – (High Hair) @m_brooks_L
Makeup – Makeup by Callie Freeman 
Bouquet – Belle Flower (Dawson Ga)
Cake – @cakeartbyjen 
Model – @ladonataylor
Venue – @englundestate