Friday, March 28, 2008


Well, if any of you are living under a rock, then you don't know what's going on with March Madness, and that Carolina is now in the Final Four! Yay! Well, before they're game on Thursday night, they had an open practice at Bobcats Arena in Charlotte... I had heard about it, but didn't think there would be any way that I could go since I don't have any transportation until Mom gets home from work a little after noon, and if I wanted to get good seats I would need to be getting to Charlotte around that time... I had already put the idea out of my mind when Mack called me and said that Pastor Cruise said he could have the day off to go see the practice if he wanted. So, after I convinced Dad to take me to meet him in Charlotte, I still had to find someone to watch Eli... We were going to just take him with us and then Dad would ride home with him and Mom could watch him when she got back from school... Well, Mom thought it would be better if she just came and got him, so thankfully she had a little break and jumped in the Jeep and came home to pick him up. Dad and I headed to Charlotte and he actually let me out at a Stoplight in front of the Arena, and I just ran in! It was free to get in, but I was worried they wouldn't let me bring my camera in because it is a "professional" camera, but they looked right at it and let me through... It wasn't long before I found Mack and Jared and we settled into our seats on the first row diagonal to the court!
I started snapping away and the goofy security guards started eyeing me and my camera... Finally they came over and said that I probably wasn't going to be able to use it because the lens was too long, and I might try to sell the images or something! I was like, give me a break! He said the lens couldn't be extended past 6 inches, so he agreed if I didn't zoom all the way out, then I could continue to shoot. We really enjoyed the practice and got to see the Tar Heels up close from a vantage point that we will probably never witness again! Mack and Jared even got interviewed a couple times by our local news affiliates! (Dad taped it, and I'm still trying to figure out how to get it on Dad's computer! We may have to wait till I get back to my computer and my programs!)

Anyways, we had a blast and here are a few pics of our Beloved Tar Heels!
Our goofy nephew, Jared... :)
One of the VERY few cool Dukies, Jay Bilas

Rick Pitino thinking about how Carolina's going to beat him in a couple days... ;)

Jared cheesin...

Coach Williams chattin' up Marcus Ginyard

Pyscho-T stretching

The National Player of the Year... Aren't you glad he's on OUR side!

Ellington throwin' it home

Psycho-T making it look way too easy

These guys ran up to the edge of the court and yelled for Danny Greene... When they got his attention they showed him their shirts and asked if he remembered the picture... He smiled really big as he recalled the awesome dunk over Duke this year! ;)

Bobby Frasor having a little fun trying to make a 3 as Coach Williams looks on...

Deon Thompson signing autographs within arms reach of us! So cool! No, I didn't have anything for him to autograph! :(

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hope Everyone had a very Happy Easter!

We had a very BUSY, but very Happy Easter weekend here in North Carolina! This was Eli's very 1st Easter, and I don't think he was very impressed with having to get dressed up, but he definitely enjoyed all the extra attention!

Anyways, hope you enjoy a few pics of him in his Easter Outfit!

Lookin' all GQ in my Easter Outfit!
Yeah, I got a few eggs... What do you got?Kid needs to shop at Big and Tall Baby with the size of his neck! ;)Aww... this stuff is kinda fun!
Yay, my First Easter!

Yeah, that's my Grandma Swaringen...

Trying to show off the whole outfit! I edited Mom's arm out, but Ryan said I couldn't post it cause then everyone would think Eli was really standing by himself! ;)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Some more Eli spam!

Well, since I have had a day or two to play with my fabulous new camera (Thank you Ryan!) I decided to get out there and practice on our little Eli... It was a tad chilly, so I threw him in his football outfit and we headed to the front yard to shoot away. At first he was a little unsure of the grass, but he decided it wasn't too bad after a while! Anyways, here are a few (by that I mean A LOT!) shots that I just couldn't resist posting!

Our Cheesin' Eli
I love him in hoods!Hey... Throw me the ball!so stinkin' cute!so happy!this is his mid-yell face!and his mid-squeal face!leanin' in to get the camera!growing up so fast!I have to stretch...Yay!Rare Mr. Grumpy face!Hey Mom!I'm tired, but I've still got my eye on you!

This pic just cracked me up cause I was trying to get him to hold the doll to get a funny pic for Ryan, but he would not hold it, he just kept hitting it and pushing it away! (I love how big his eyes are here!)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Portraits Anyone?

Well, as some of you know... Eli and I are headed over to North Carolina for about 2 weeks because I purchased the airline tickets a couple months ago before we knew we were moving... :)

I have a couple family and church obligations, but other than that my schedule is going to be pretty free, and I wanted to offer my Photographic services to anyone interested. I'll be in town the 20th of March through the 3rd of April, so if you are interested in getting some portraits of you or your family you should let me know... :)

Pricing (because my hubby said I can't keep doing this for free!) ;)

Basic Package ~ $30.00
~1 hr at the outdoor location of your choosing
~Unlimited poses
~As many people as you choose
~A CD of the unedited photos

Expanded Package ~ $40.00
~1 hr at the outdoor location of your choosing
~Unlimited poses
~As many people as you choose
~A CD of raw/edited photos
~I'll choose the best of your photos and edit them adding faded borders, special color/bw, sepia, etc...
~Link to Photos uploaded to a Photo gallery on the Internet (such as or where you can choose which photos to have printed

Expanded Plus Package ~ $50.00
~1.5 hrs at the outdoor location of your choosing
~Unlimited poses
~A CD of raw/edited photos
~I'll choose the best of your photos and edit them adding faded borders, special color/bw, sepia, etc...
~Link to Photos uploaded to a Photo gallery on the Internet (such as or where you can choose which photos to have printed
~An 8x10 photo collage print personally designed with a few of your best photos.

*I am already obligated for most of Saturday, the 22nd and Sunday, the 23rd, but any other times just call, comment, or email me and we can figure out what works best for both of us! Keep in mind that the best lighting for portraits is early morning and late afternooons.
*I have a few outdoor locations in mind, but usually the best places are shaded areas with pretty trees and lots of green grass... (Just think pretty!)
*If you have props or anything you want in the portrait just bring it along.
*Also if you have any ideas feel free to suggest different poses or ideas... I want everyone to feel comfortable and relaxed because that's when you get the best pictures!

Just send me an email at or a comment here and we can hammer out the details... I would post my cell number here, but there are too many psychos on the internet!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My new gear, yay!!

Okay... I have had my Nikon D70 camera for almost 3 years now and I’ve been taking decent pictures with it, but lately it has been giving me a few issues... I’ve lost some important photos, and I am shooting another wedding in May and I can't take the chance that it will happen then! So after a bunch of research I decided on a camera I wanted but it was still really expensive... Plus I needed some new lenses since the ones I have are cheap and poorly made, plus I need an external flash, and some other photo gear... Well, after explaining my case and a little begging, :) Ryan said I could get it if I promised to get a lot of good use out of it!!!! It is being shipped to NC right now and will be waiting on me when I get in on Thursday! I seriously CANNOT WAIT to use it! It has some amazing reviews and is being called the best pro/amateur camera out there! The quality is head and shoulders above my little D70, so I just can’t wait I’m so excited! Anyways, here’s some of the loot I got... :) I know most of you don’t understand or really care, but that’s okay... I need to tell some people!!! ;)
I also got some filters, batteries, memory cards, etc... but this is the "big" stuff...

Here is the front with one of the lenses I got...

The top view...

The back with the beautiful 3 in LCD screen!

My shiny new 18-200mm wide angle/zoom lens

My pretty new flash...

And the 50mm fixed lens...


Monday, March 10, 2008

My first Snow!!

Well, not MY first Snow, but Eli's first snow! ;) Well, Ryan was heading for formation a little after 5 AM on Friday and came back in and told me to come look out the window... There was a nice little dusting of the white stuff! So, when he came home around 8 AM (He's clearing his unit right now, so his schedule is all crazy!) we got Eli dressed and took him outside since this was officially his first snow! Needless to say he was NOT impressed! We've definitely got a Southern Boy on our hands! ;)

What is this stuff??
Wait... I really don't like this... It's cold!!!Daddy will rescue me!!
Yeah... We look alike!
Aww this ain't so bad if Daddy keeps my hands warm!
Does your Daddy mess with you too?!?!

A little video fun...

Well, Eli has just gotten crawling down over the last couple days, and has started to pull up really well too. I decided it was time we documented it, so here is a little video of him having fun... He was 2 days shy of 9 months in this, so as you can see he is really growing up fast! (Please ignore my silly voice and cough! I'm just getting over the flu!)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Baby Wade is here!

And why I have the best hubby in the world!!! We found out this morning that Renee was headed to the hospital and I was really sad that I wouldn't be able to be there. I talked to Ryan about possibly moving the vaca that I'm already taking March 20th, so I could come down earlier, but there would really be no way it would work. He said, why don't you just go down now for a few days and then still go down middle of March... I asked if I was a silly girl for wanting to go now and he said No, you're just a woman! ;) He then asked if it would make me happy to go, and I told him more than he could imagine, and he said that if it is what I truly want then go ahead and find a ticket! It took me a minute to digest it all, but within 15 minutes I had found a ticket and then was on the road in about an hour! Ryan was so great getting Eli AND my stuff packed while I showered and finished last minute details! He is sad that he can't come too, but alas he has to work! :(

After what seemed like an eternal sequence of plane rides, we made it and headed over to the hospital to surprise Nay and Wade! ;) The goofy Barney Fife security guard wouldn't let me go up without calling Renee and alerting her, so he had Chris come down to approve my visit! ;) She was very pleasantly surprised when Eli and I walked in and Eli was so happy to see everyone! He was so very tired but looked surprisingly cheery and awake for the pictures! ;)

Little Wade is just so cute and I think he looks just like his Mommy! Here are a few pictures of the grandbabies... Sorry the picture isn't too close-up on the new addition! :) Hopefully I'll get a couple good ones tomorrow! Eli and I will be here till Tuesday, so we're hoping to soak up as much Wade time as we can, although we definitely already miss Daddy! :(

Haylee and Jared being goofy with Eli

Jared (4) Jacob (3 months) Eli (8.5 months) Haylee (4.5) Wade (a couple hours!)