Up in the air.

I'm on my way to Dallas!


I'm 28,000 feet in the air, as we speak.

I already miss my two guys, but holy shit are the next 5 days going to be fun.

Also, I have a TON of photography sneak peeks to post when I get home. I'm kind of excited for that, too. ;)

Blahg-ing from my iPad.

Mmmkay. It's 1:04am and I am lying in bed next to my sleeping husband, listening to the sounds of the ceiling fan and the occasional jet overhead. Oh, and every now and then, I'm getting kicked in the leg by a man who moves more in his sleep than I do during a 24-hour period of being awake.

Seriously. I think the reason my husband is so thin is because he burns thousands of calories in his sleep. It's weird.

And endearing.

Anyways, I felt compelled to connect with the outside world after my third straight day in Virginia with no Internet access. It began to feel like I was being suffocated as the Gods of my brother-in-law's mind refused to allow him to remember his password for their wireless Internet. The last three days have been like living in the year 1991 all over again.

Thank God for my iPad. Every now and then, I get a glimpse at what's happening on Facebook, what's going on in my mamarazzi community, and have even spent some time reading.

For pleasure.

Yep. That has been the most beautiful part about time traveling back to 1991. I've actually finished reading two books this week - Two Kisses for Maddy, and From Black Heels to Tractor Wheels.

Oh, and by the way, I loved them both.

Like, LOVED.

Tomorrow will be spent with my mother-in-law and Tom's family. Then, on Thursday, I will board my plane to Dallas. I've been looking forward to April 28th since December of 2010. It will be so fun to see so many old college friends while simultaneously doing what I love - how can I ever possibly call photography a "job"!?

I wish I could end this post with a picture, but my iPad doesn't have the one I want to show. I wrapped up the editing on my family's photos today, and am proud to say that there is a black and white photo of me and Thad that will soon be hanging on canvas over our fireplace. I am in love with the photo - as it clearly speaks to the love I have for my little guy.

I'll figure out a way to get it on here before next Tuesday. Until then, my time on the InterWebz may continue to be sporadic.

A baby and a fire.

Today was quite an eventful day. After one of those rare moments in which I kicked my dad's ass in a game of darts, my mom and I headed to Denver to photograph the newborn baby girl of a long-time friend (a friendship that goes all the way back to 1992!). 

Look at these lips. Does your heart not melt into butta?

It's crazy meeting up with old friends after they've had babies. The conversation literally goes back and forth between what it's like to be a mom, and when we thought we were cool at sleepovers in the 5th grade. It's amazing how quickly time flies and life passes you by.

On the way back home, my mom and I got word that there was a wildfire about 4 miles from my parents' house. Of course there was great concern for this fact...but then we suddenly realized that we both had cameras in the car. So we headed in the direction of the blaze to try and capture some photos.

I am happy to report that the fire was very small and seemed contained. The pictures don't really do it justice, but it was amazing to see how close the fire came to destroying what is typically known as a landmark in Conifer - Meyers Ranch. This is where everyone goes sledding and snow-shoeing in the winter, and hiking in the summer. The Ranch is an old historic home, and we were so glad to see that the firefighters were able to save it.

The photos are kind of lame. But you can see why people were so concerned.

See how close it came to destroying the home!? Crazy!!

I fear that this is going to be a loooong summer for the residents of Conifer and Evergreen. They've already had a handful of wildfires in the past few weeks, and we aren't even into the dry/windy/hot summer season.



I'm not sure why it has taken my sister and I almost 23 years to finally "connect" and bond, but I am happy (and thankful) to say that we have, and we did. This past week with her and her girls was so much fun for me, and for the first time in my life, I said "goodbye" to her with tears in my eyes.

When my mom married her dad, I was 6 years old, and she was 14. I was too young to understand the magnitude of the situation then, but I can imagine now that watching your dad marry someone else and start "anew" must have been devastating, especially for a girl in her mid-teens. Our lives have been lived on entirely different plains -- at first, only a few blocks away from one another, but hardly visiting with one another at all -- to eventually being separated by more than one state line, and seeing each other for the annual Christmas holiday.

As each of us got older, we managed to separate even further. And as I look back on this now, it makes me so fucking sad. For someone so fun and loving, I am angry at myself for having allowed so much time to pass before finally realizing what a wonderful friend she could be.

I have always looked up to my sister. Always. When I was very, very young, I wanted to be just like her. I loved the way she dressed. She could drive long before I ever could. She always had the coolest clothes. But now, it's a different admiration.
My sister is a wonderful mother. And by wonderful, I mean one of the best I have ever come in contact with. She is so patient with her girls, and so attentive to the small details. I was blown away all week at the random acts of encouragement she would give, or the thoughtful explanations she laid out for their seemingly simple questions. My nieces are very respectful, precious, sweet little girls and she has made sure of that. As I battle this disease, I often become very impatient with Thad simply because it's very hard to keep up with a 3-year-old who's acting out, while simultaneously gasping for air. I hate so much that I can't be the kind of mom I always envisioned myself being, but having spent the week with my sister gave me a little bit of motivation to just work harder. I know I'm a good mom...but I want to be a better mom.

And I also want to be a better aunt. This week was the first time in my life when I was referred to as "Aunt Katie" and I absolutely loved it. I can remember my own relationship with a few of my aunts, and how special they were to me. I want to have the same kind of relationship with them that I had as a young child as well. My new goal is to write a letter or draw a card, or just do something fun for those girls every single month so that they know that I am thinking about them (because I am), and they know how much I love them (because I do). I have been absent for far too long, and it's time for me to become a much stronger presence in their lives.

Jennifer's youngest, Taylor, apparently cried as soon as they left the house for the airport because she, "missed Aunt Katie." Seriously - what a peanut. I absolutely love these two little girls with all my heart.

Family photos.

Alright, so each of us braved the 30-degree weather this late afternoon in order to try and capture some shots of the cousins, and the sisters, and the grandparents, and the parents, and the cousins with the sisters and the grandparents and the parents.

You get the idea.

Anyways, I think they turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. ;)

I did the majority of the shooting (when I wasn't reluctantly posing for photos myself), and my mom took care of the rest. Oh! Except for the one time when I needed a photo with my mom and me, so Jennifer (the sister) picked up the camera (and the tripod) and took a few as well.

It's wonderful having so many unpaid assistants. Hehe.

Thad likes to do everything his cousins do (you'll see more evidence of this fact as you scroll down through the photos). When each of them got to hold the parasol, he wanted in on the action as well...

While my sister will tell you that this isn't her favorite photo of her two girls, I think she's crazy. Don't they look gorgeous? I don't know...I'm a sucker for "serious" photos...

This is very telling. Lol. 

Remember when I said Thad likes to do everything his cousins do? Well, today was "manicure" day at the Smith house. So, after he watched them get their nails painted, he, of course, wanted in on the fun. So I went ahead and let him do so. 
Bright. Blue. 

All over my child's nails.

Two hours before family photos.


P.S. - Tom, if you're reading this, please don't file for divorce. Please and thank you.

A bridge and a zoo.

The dogs are barking. 

On day one, I spent the entire day shooting photographs in high-heeled boots.

On day two, I spent the entire day walking around Royal Gorge canyon with my family.

(It was slightly windy that day on the bridge).

On day three, I spent the entire day walking around the Denver Zoo.

OMG. I didn't know my feet could hurt this bad. And, before you go rolling your eyes, this Wegener's-infested body of mine rarely is able to walk longer than a few steps in between the car and the front door of the grocery store. So three straight days of walking feels like a lifetime of pain.

No, really.

But I got some good pictures out of it, at least. ;)

Thad has been so great this entire trip. He has gone almost every day without a nap which has resulted in the typical melt-down around 4pm, but for the most part, he's been a champ. 

He loves his cousins. LOVES them. He calls them his "girlfriends" and he attempts to imitate everything they do. It's so stinkin' cute. And they are so great with them. They are just young enough to want to hang out with him, but old enough to understand that when he annoys them, they can simply say, "Please stop that, Thad," instead of, "Mo-om!! This stupid kid is bugging me!!" Lol.

Tomorrow is a chillax kind of day. We are doing family photos together later in the evening, so I fully intend to do some napping beforehand. 

I'll post some more pictures of family photo night tomorrow. :)  And yes, I will even include one or two of me---even though I absolutely hate being in front of the camera these days.


Long day.

OMG, I'm exhausted.

Today, I had 4 boudoir shoots and 1 newborn shoot. My morning began at 6am, and it's officially 9:30pm...I see bedtime in my verrrry near future.

Boudoir was - of course - fun as hell. I had lots of new fun girls (including one that I'm not allowed to mention, but trust me when I say we had a great time!), and I know we got some great shots.

Later, a friend of mine from high school came over so we could do some photos of her newborn baby girl. I'll admit - it was tough. She was 7 weeks old, which is about 5 weeks beyond the window in which I prefer to shoot. But despite her efforts to avoid the camera, we got her. Hehe...I'm sneaky like that.

Is she not so sweet? I love her eyes...and that hint of red hair (just like her mama!).

Oh! And in case you're wondering what to buy me for the next random holiday that you feel is gift-worthy, I love these shoes:

Just sayin'.

Buried emotions.

I think I am starting to learn ("starting to" as in the last 30 minutes or so) that I never truly dealt with the emotions I felt once I was told I had a blood clot in my left leg over the Christmas holiday.

Everyone seemed to act like it was such an incredibly big deal, and while I knew that in my heart, I really just kind of went through my days as though it was just another pain in the ass medical issue I had to deal with.

But in reality, that blood clot really, really affected me.

It caused pain that I have never before felt in my life--and I've been through labor and delivery. Lol.

My leg still shows signs of swelling, even 3.5 months later.

It caused a huge financial burden on my family--as it costs money each time I have to go to the doctor to get my blood drawn to make sure that my INR levels are where they are supposed to be.

And, well, there was that whole "it could dislodge and cause a pulmonary embolism and you could die" thing, too.

But tonight, as I received news that my Aunt Tracey is in the hospital with a blood clot in her neck, it has been made very clear to me that I am still very much emotionally damaged by that seemingly non-traumatic issue of my own.

Maybe it's because of all that my Aunt Tracey has been through--between her diagnosis, her mastectomy, and her chemotherapy, homegirl has dealt with a lot of shit in the last year or so. And I so know how it feels to deal with a ton of medical drama and feel like there couldn't possibly be anything else that could go wrong...

...only to find out that well, actually, more can go wrong. And it does.

It's like a never-ending pit of medical bullshit. 

Why are some people subject to such constant trauma, while others rarely experience more than the occasional head cold? It seems so unfair sometimes, especially when you witness it happening to genuinely good people.

Please keep my aunt in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days and weeks ahead. I know as well as any other that this is not an issue that will be cleared up overnight...she is in for weeks of serious pain, and the constant fear that something could go wrong. So while everything is apparently under control tonight, that doesn't mean she's out of the woods. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go clean my face and neck...because I cried so hard that my mascara actually stained my shirt. Lol.

(P.S. -- "Waterproof" my ass!)

Is it Friday yet?

After a fun-filled slumber party/study session last night, I continued on in my crack-down mode today (with only a slight nap in the middle of the day).

Tomorrow, I plan to do much of the same.

Wednesday, I plan to do even more of the same.

Wednesday night is my first exam.

Thursday morning is my last exam.

Thursday after my exam, I intend to get my hair did, shop a bit for a few things, pack for Colorado (!!!), then celebrate my birthday with that husband of mine who has literally been sick with strep throat for over a week.

Friday morning...the vacation begins.

I can't wait. My sister, Jennifer, will be in town with her two little girls, so we will be able to watch the cousins play together for several days. We have a trip planned to the zoo, a trip planned to the mountains for family photos, and a trip planned to ride the Royal Gorge train. Fun!

I also have Denver boudoir and two newborn sessions while I am there.

Then, when I get back, I have a one-day turnaround (which I have another newborn scheduled for), before we head to Virginia to see Tom's mom and brother.

From Virginia, I'm boarding my flight and heading to DALLAS!!!!!!

OMG, I can't wait to get there. There are so many girls I haven't seen in forever, and I can't wait. One of them is even flying in from Washington just to do photos and hang out. 

Then it's back to reality (of course). But in my world, reality doesn't begin until May 3. So beginning on April 15, I am on an 18-day vacation.

Hurry up, Friday. I need to see my little monkey and pour myself a couple glasses of wine! (In that order, of course...)


I've been editing photos since 6:30 this afternoon (it's currently 10:30). I've already posted the "sneak peeks" for the two families I photographed today, so my job should be done...

...except that I am obsessed with these pictures. Seriously.

I keep wanting to post "one more" on Facebook, but I am almost positive people will be like, "You're crazy. Stop posting all these photos of some random little girl!"

So...I'll post it here.

I am totally in love.

And this is something I'm experimenting with. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I need to make some changes, I know that.

Would that turn you off, as a consumer? (I'm referring to the "do not steal" portion of the photo).

Anyways, thank you for placating me while I use this blog to fulfill my need to post photos I am currently obsessing over.

After tonight, camera/photography stuff is coming to a complete and total halt.

My first exam is on the 13th.

Tomorrow is the 10th.

In other words, I need to get my ass in gear.

Raising him right.

Life seems to happen so fast.

One minute, you're in your parent's garage and they are surprising you with a car for your 16th birthday, and the next minute, you are going to dinner with your parents, husband and a child of your own to celebrate your last year in your 20s.

At other times, I can remember my first day of law school so vividly. Now, as 2011 reaches its fourth month, I find myself pondering what I will be doing after December, since school will be complete.

And of course...there's Thad.

How is it even possible that almost 4 years ago I was spending my days wondering if he would ever be able to communicate beyond a mid-morning cry? Would he ever be able to actually chew food? And if so, how would I teach him to do that? Will he go to high school in diapers? All of these thoughts crossed my mind so often and yet...here we are.

Thad has a little girlfriend next door who seems to be a more popular presence in our lives these days. She comes over each day, rings the doorbell, and asks if Thad can come outside to play. Our reluctance to say yes has been short-lived and he now spends the majority of his time in the front yard, playing hop scotch, riding a scooter, and watching her older brother do tricks on his skateboard.

The weather was a little more on the chilly side today, so she got permission from her mom to come inside to our home, and the two spent the day playing basketball, bowling, and checking out Thad's train set.

Tonight she stayed for dinner, and then the two played a bit more before it got dark and I told Thad that it was time for her to head home.

Thad said ok. Then he said, "Mommy, I'll be right back. I need to walk my girlfriend home."

Hold the phone.


Was it a coincidence? Or is something inside of him already building up to turn him into a fine little gentleman?

Either way, I thought it was the cutest thing I had ever witnessed in my life.

It also gave me quite a bit of pause as I thought to myself that he was way too young to start thinking about girls. And, of course I know that he isn't actually thinking of her as anything more than a friend.

But it gave me pause because I realized that before I know it, he will be thinking of girls as more than friends. And he will be walking them home...or worse. 

Driving them home.

I can't even believe how fast time flies.

I love my little monkey so much...it's just too bad that he won't stay little forever.

Sweet girl and good times.

Yesterday was a long day.

I worked in the morning, then came home to finish up cleaning the house before my parents get here (today!).

Then, Claire came to my studio.

Tell me how amazingly beautiful this little girl is.

Adorable, right?

After she left, I had about 30 minutes before two people that I absolutely love arrived from Chicago.

Tonya and her husband, Jonathan, came up for the evening to celebrate my birthday with me. 

We had steak.

And wine.

And lots of peanut butter cups.

We coined a couple more key phrases to go down in the "Katie and Tonya" books.

And best of all, they got to meet Tom. 

I had so much fun. I love good friends who bring with them absolutely no pressure to "entertain." I wasn't worried if we would have fun or be bored out of our minds - when Tonya and I get together, it's always fun.

Last night was no exception.

So far, this birthday weekend of mine is off to a pretty good start.

And, as I write this, mom and dad are driving through Illinois...they should be here in just a few short hours. :)

April Fools

As I have gotten older, one of two things has happened:

(1) I have become significantly more lame and find humor in pretty dumb stuff,


(2) Other people have become significantly more awesome because of the things they've experienced since high school.

Either way, April Fools jokes have become a lot more significant and hilarious than they were say, 10 years ago.
Hell, when I was a child, the best April Fools joke was something like, "Mom! I failed my test!" or something equally as disappointing.


I saw a fake car break-in with shattered glass and everything.

I saw a woman who convinced her husband that the American Pediatrics had recommended all children age 3 or less (she had two) had to immediately stop drinking cow's milk, and go back to breast feeding. Her husband was seriously sweating - and he didn't even catch on when she told him that she was going to have to start turning her breast milk into cheese for their two toddlers.

I saw a couple of the classic, "Honey! I'm pregnant!"s. 

I mean legitimately good, funny stuff that most of us can relate to.

It's weird how life seems to get more and more complicated, while it simultaneously shows itself to be more and more humorous.

I'm sure there's a lesson in that.