Hey! I'm Emily... homebody, amateur philosopher, professional photographer, mama and wife. This is my little world-- a place for me to preserve the little snippets of my life that bring me joy, make me think, or show my creative leanings. I'm so happy you're here. If you get a minute, please introduce yourself in the comments. If you like what you see, you are invited to follow my blog through your RSS Reader. Just click the link at the bottom of the page to add me.
Thank you for being part of my little world... :)

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Sunday, January 18

Two Years of Quinn

On this, my baby boy's second birthday, I give you one photo from every month until this one. How quickly they change, how swiftly they grow. Happy Birthday, my happy little man, my Quinn Atticus. 

Thursday, January 15

Plushie Stuffie Squishy Creepy Minecraft Creeper | A Tutorial-ish

 So there've been a few Creeper sightings around our house lately. I mean, we've had Minecraft creepers of different sorts around here for awhile now, since Noah joined the craze a couple of years ago.... But most of those Creepers have stayed in their books, or on the computer screen... and even Noah's toy Creeper, Creepy, hasn't been THIS much of a sightseeing wanderer. But since Christmas, when this fluffy homemade guy was given to Quinn (because Quinn ADORES Noah's "Beepy", as he calls him, so I figured he needed one of his own, but less, well, creepy), things have gotten a little weird around here. 

I mean, the cupboards? Thirsty, Mr. Creeper?

 Taking a turn in Quinn's high chair...Maybe he likes to be spoon-fed?

Longing for warmer weather so he can go out and play....

And I mean, really. Checking himself out in the bathroom. So vain. 

It's ridiculous. But you know, he's also kind of cute and lovable. And maybe, just maybe, you need one, too. a fluffy, plush, homemade Creeper pillow friend. So I doodled a quick how-to for you guys. Because, why not? It could NOT be any easier. And then, once you make one, you can stage random Creeper photos around your house, too. Because it's January. And cold. And the days are merging into one another. And we're all getting a little bit of cabin fever around here, amiright? 

Make yourself a Creeper Stuffy. Stuffie? If not for you, I bet you have someone in your life who would appreciate one. 

And for pete's sake-- let's all get outside sometime soon. I think we might all be losing a little bit of our minds. 

{Questions about the DIY? Ask in the comments, and check back. I promise to answer! }

Wednesday, January 14

Quinn, Lucy And Noah: Recent and Random Portraitness

It was right around Noah's birthday, when I was making his photo collage, (which I realized just now I never blogged. Ha! Oops! Facebook wins this one.) that I realized I really don't have many current portraits of Noah. Lots of snapshots, which are the meat of life, but the last good portrait I'd taken of him was when his front teeth were still growing in, and he'd changed enough from then that they didn't look current to me. 

I managed to scrounge a snapshot that worked, though, and got his collage done. Here! Blogged! 

But it got me itching to do some new photos of all my babies. Portraits, moments of just them, in front of my camera for the sole purpose of being photographed. And I do know that snapshots are the real story, and I adore them, too. But I really am a sucker for portraits. It is one of the greatest joys I get from having some skill in photography. Just taking time to fill the frame with them, getting them to look into the lens, laugh into the camera, gaze pensively-- whatever they're feeling. And grab that moment to keep for always. I cherish it so very much. 

(Now, getting a beloved photo of ALL THREE at ONCE? Well, that's not an experience I cherish, and in fact, it brings out the Monster Mama faster than anything, so I almost never even attempt anymore. I just know the photos will end up like this, probably:
Which, in hindsight, is also darling.... But when there are NO keepers, in a "wall print" sense, in that moment I am not able to step back and love the funny moments, and so my poor kids only see Rage-y-Mama, and that's not good.)

So anyway, back to the tale of the new portraits. On a whim, just a week or so after Noah's 7th birthday, I set up a  backdrop by my favorite light in the house, and just had it there, chillin', all day. I wanted my kids to WANT to come explore it, and not feel pushed or beleaguered. I wanted to just take it slow all day, and grab photos if the moment presented itself. Put them in decent clothes up front, but then let it be what it was after that (which is why Lucy is in a tutu and tiara. Her plan. I rolled with it.) Maybe, maybe even get some of Lucy and Quinn together. (I was probably not going to manage all three anyway, because Noah gets home at 3:30 pm when the little ones are napping. By the time they're up, it is too dark to shoot. Stinkin' Daylight Savings.)

I'd gotten that fun new rug, and was excited to get it into some photos, so I made it part of my setup for the day. The mini pumpkin was just there to use as a "look at me! Look at the PUMPKIN" attention grabber... haha! 

ANYWAY... So though I did all this back in November, I'm a weird photo hoarder, and I hold onto them and wait and wait to "share" them, and I don't know why I do this (please someone tell me I'm not alone in this dumb, weird quirk?!)... But I cannot TELL you how many little sessions with my kids I've done that I NEVER SHARED, and they are so past relevant now... Because of this crazy quirk. 

But today is the day for these portraits. Quick, before my kids look completely different. 

Because I adore these photos. My kids. Their eyes. Their expressions. Their vastly different personalities. And yes, I even adore that I conned Lucy and Quinn into being nice with each other AND sitting still(ish) long enough for photos together. 

And the Noah photos-- oh my HEART. His eyes tell volumes of stories, I think. He's just so lovely, and so wise, and still such a 7-year-old stinker. I love him, and I am so glad I got some new photos of him. I have opportunities all day long to grab photos and snapshots of the little kiddos.... but I miss out on moments with him, not to mention he grows ever more UNwilling to pose for photos.... so these are extra special to me. 

Okay. Enough blah blah. Here's my Hoarded Session From November 2014. My beloved babies. 

{that smile-scowl of Quinn's... Ack!}

{Oh that one above.... I can't stand how much I love it!}

{Why yes, Noah-- if I can get just a few more out of you by letting you make faces in a few, I will concede happily.}

{His socks for the day.}

{And even that "fake smile" he loves to give me.... There at the end.... It has its own charm. And I love it.}

Next up--- a session from 100 years ago I don't even think I ever edited. Just kidding.   

Friday, January 9

Five For Friday: Emily Southerland Photography

This new idea of a manageable little five-photo post is SO easy, I even went and found five favorites from my last several months of shooting, and have a pro photography post for you, too! This "Five for Friday" could be revolutionary for my blog-lag! 

Enjoy Griffin, Claire, Claire, Emilie, and Elliot. Try not to swoon.

I seriously love my job. What an honor it is to spend time with little ones and create images that will become cherished family heirlooms for years to come. ♥  

Plan on more of these "FFF" posts for my business work. This is incredibly fun for me to do!

Five For Friday: Us

 {She's amused at my countertop-standing vantage point.}

 {So. Cold. And I just hung Joe's snowflakes this morning to try to remember to love winter still.}

 {Having a little sick day/iPad binge-fest...}

 {Trains. Loveys. Cracker crumbs. Yep. Pretty standard 'round here.}

{We! Us! Wee Usses! Just came in the mail yesterday from old friend Heather Bauers. A marvelous, incredibly thoughtful gift. I'm in love. They are in our entryway, ready to greet y'all when you come visit.}


"Five for Friday". Easy enough. Gonna try to keep this up. It was fun. A really simple, manageable goal. Want to join me? Link in your comment and I'll add your links to my post! We can do it together! Phone pix, throwback pix, whatever quintet of photos you want to blog is perfect. More than good enough. No need to write a lengthy post, or go take new photos... Just curate 5 photos (heck, do 5 favorite links or 5 favorite current songs, or ANYTHING) and join me for my "Five for Friday". 

Peer pressure-y enough? Love you. 

Friends playing along--
Megan, from Oregon: http://uponthetightrope.blogspot.com/2015/01/five-for-friday.html

Sunday, January 4

The Holidays Are Winding to a Close.....

These past two weeks, our Christmas break, have been a gentle, home-centered span of days, for the most part. We did do some fun Christmas activities--- we went to a movie as a family on Christmas eve, played in Historic St. Charles both on the 19th and the 26th of December, took a small roadtrip to my folks' home in Columbia the weekend after Christmas.... I took all three kiddos to the zoo on Christmas Eve Eve and had a fabulous outing. Joe took the kids to play at the mall playplace one time and I took Noah on a movie date on New Years Day. And we had visits from family members and from Genny just yesterday. But in between those highlights, we did a LOT of late mornings, pj-wearing, slow days at home with toys and Legos and cartoons and togetherness--- both good and bad. 

Joe was off of work from Christmas day until this weekend, and it's been awesome. We have traded off sleeping in, since one or two of our three kids have been sleeping in until 8:30 or 9 each morning. The other parent gets up with Quinn about 7:30 and gets him breakfast and in my case, convinces him to snuggle on the couch while I close my eyes a little longer. Ha!  The kids, once up, alternate between all getting along doing the same thing, getting possessive and screechy while doing the same thing, and moving apart to function in individual orbits, which is usually pretty peaceful. For the most part, all of us have loved the homebody life.... but one of the best things about having Joe around is that when any of us get a little itchy to GET OUT AND DO SOMETHING, it's pretty easy for a parent to "run away" for a bit, or for one of us to take a kid or two out to do errands or something fun. It's worked out to be a pretty balanced week. 

Too, there's been just a whole lot of letting go. Setting aside high expectations for the to-do list, for my businesses and the minutiae revolving around them, for the routine, for the typical way the house is ordered.... And that letting go has been so lovely. Naps and novels and snuggles and snacks and just a lovely lovely span of time together. 

Anyway... So as we did another day of the same yesterday, there was a touch of wistfulness as I realized we were almost done and about to head back to REALITY. So I grabbed my camera and decided to grab just a handful of shots that embodied this year's Christmas vacation homebodiness.... To not overshoot, and not plan... just go grab a few photos in the morning, and again in the evening, as a snapshot of the way life has been feeling over here. 

Breakfast with Lucy, in one of her Christmas present dressups and a felt crown I whipped up for her to get her to stop wearing the blue Santa hat she wore for days and days once she realized it matched her dress and her blue butterfly wings (not shown here). PlayMobil are keeping her company. 

Noah, in jammies, having so much fun with the PlayMobil jewelry robbers set he got for Christmas. 

Just my kitchen eggs, a daily sight....

Quinn and dad, both in jammies, watching some Elmo on the computer (while dad reads soccer news or something)... Quinn with a handful of trains keeping him company-- a common sight.

The slow beginning of the Christmas takedown. I am NOT as motivated here as I want to be...

Thrice daily, this sight.... Wiping the vintage high chair after every meal.... Jamberry manicure most of the time.... Great window light....

Part of the Christmas takedown, as well as the end of 2014 via the chalkboard slate... These counters. Always a catchall, but currently specifically catching loose Christmas things needing to be boxed, some last Christmas cards that need to be sent, other post-holiday clutter.

Aha! New chalkboard art for 2015! Fun, though time-consuming to be so precise....

And in the P.M., one of this quartet's FAVORITE activities--- bringing out the tubs of Legos. Every single kid adores this-- and Quinn is shockingly good at playing WITH them and not just smashing them. This is Joe's parenting heaven, too. I cherish these nights: how well they all play together, how Legos facilitate their imaginations, the bonding time with Dad.... It's amazing.

Noah's creation this time--- a ship or vessel made of all "plants", featuring Steve from Minecraft as the pilot. 

And at the end of the day, a quick big-camera "selfie" getting me into the photos for the day--- Not building Legos-- probably headed off to clean up toys or something after this, but still--- I was here. I saw, I smiled, I loved.... And here's the photo to prove it.

Today is the official end of this two-week stretch.... (Barring any surprise snow days. Gosh, remember last year, how we had two weeks of Christmas break, then, like, NINE consecutive snow days beginning the very day they were supposed to go back to school?? Insane. Please not this year. I'm ready for the routine back!) and it was one more at-home day with much the same as you see above... and we loved it. We're ready to get back into our groove, but we've loved the time off. 

Happy new year, my friends! It's going to be a good year, methinks.