Sunday, December 20, 2009

: Daniel and Veronica :

{and finally... the groom's youngest brother, watching as the getaway car drives away...}

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

perfect shade of gray

This quick little post is entirely unrelated to photography. {consider yourself forewarned}

Chicago is in the middle of a messy winter storm: snow, followed by freezing rain, then back to snow. We're anticipating a high of 13 degrees tomorrow. Yes indeed, winter is here.

While the wind howls outside, I've been spending all my time inside... with lots and lots of paint. You see, since I'm unable to do much along the lines of heavy-lifting or operating power tools, I've been relatively useless throughout this whole home renovation process. That is, until now, when suddenly, sixteen gallons of multicolored paint have appeared in our living room, and I'm the one who's in charge of getting that paint on the walls, inside of a week. Yikes.

It's a daunting task... but the colors make it better. I have creamy tones picked out for the kitchen, something a bit different all set for the living room, and a funky green ready and waiting for baby's room. But my little studio space had me stumped. It's a tiny room, and for the life of me, I couldn't decide on a color---until today, when I stumbled upon Benjamin Moore's Classic Gray.

Ironically, it's the same color as the sky outside... but it's got a cheerful tone to it, I promise :)

Between tonight and tomorrow, I'm hoping to put in about fifteen hours' worth of painting. If you think of it, prayers for my sanity would be deeply appreciated ;)

{also, if you live in the area, and would like to help slap some paint on the walls, I can promise you cheerful conversation, lots of Christmas music, and payment in the Starbucks beverage of your choice. sounds too good to pass up, eh?!}

Friday, December 4, 2009

house update

This is me. Standing in my kitchen.

{Did you notice it has walls? And lights? Trust me: this is very exciting...}

A bit of background: after buying the house and ripping out all the floors, we soon realized that about 60% of the walls and almost all the ceilings needed to be replaced. Yikes. So, we {and a boatload of sympathetic friends/family members} hung the drywall ourselves, and then brought in the pros to do the taping/mudding/sanding.

It sounds silly, but psychologically, it was tough to walk through our house when it didn't have walls. I mean, really: with a baby coming in under two months, it's a bit disheartening to see insulation and 2x4's everywhere. So last night, when we walked through our cozy little house and flipped on lights to reveal smooth. straight. pretty. walls... it was absolutely lovely :)

Next up? Lots and lots {and lots and lots...} of painting.

We're still waiting for the drywallers to finish mudding and sanding. So until then, I'm picking out paint colors, buying curtains, and celebrating our new walls by smooching Mr. G...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

happy accidents

{sorry for being MIA; this is what happens when you combine an unfinished home renovation project, the busyness of the holidays, weddings, and a somewhat mediocre blogger who's eight months pregnant... I'll be back soon!}

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


dear Baby,

It’s the eve of Thanksgiving, and I wanted to write you a quick note as we get ready to celebrate the incredible, amazing blessings we’ve been given over the past 365 days. At this time last year, you weren’t even in the picture. There was no baby talk, no “plans”---just me and your daddy, living in a tiny apartment, content and happy. I was a bit stressed over how the cheese dip we were planning on bringing to Thanksgiving dinner would taste. Life was simple, and good.

Exactly one year ago tonight, your daddy got in an accident {a 16-year-old driver with two friends in the car smashed into him while he was stopped at a red light}. I can’t believe that was a whole year ago---it feels like yesterday. Your daddy was fine, but the car was not. Insurance was messy, and we drove an ugly rental car for a week while our car was put back together.

I’m telling you this, because in a year from now, on the eve of Thanksgiving, I can imagine myself looking at you and saying, “Can you believe that only a year ago, you were still inside me, kicking away? We hadn’t even met you yet… Can you believe it?” And you will probably smile, and gurgle {that’s what ten-month-old babies do, right?}, and your daddy will pick you up and spin you around, and you’ll laugh, and my heart will explode with happiness, I think.

Last year, on Thanksgiving, I was grateful that your daddy was ok, and that our car wasn’t totaled, and that my parents let us borrow a car so we could get to your great-aunt Kathy’s house on time for Thanksgiving dinner.

This year, silly cars are the very last thing on my mind.

i love you.

p.s. you have a penchant for kicking me in the ribs while I’m trying to go to sleep. I’m looking forward to a year from now, when this will {hopefully?} no longer be the case.

p.p.s. we got to see you on Monday. you are handsome, and getting really {um, really} big. keep growing, little guy…

{A photo of my cousin's sweet baby, taken a year ago}

Monday, November 23, 2009

{up north}

A few quick snapshots from a perfectly lovely weekend in Minnesota:

A heavenly candy shop in downtown Stillwater, MN... lots of chocolate, jelly beans, fudge, and taffy. Yum.

{my sister bought dark chocolate-dipped Oreos. holy cow. SO GOOD.}

A friendly little bookstore down the street... where I could have literally spent the entire day {and my entire bank account}.

My favorite part of the trip was getting to see my sister's everyday life. Now, when I call her, I can see her and her husband sitting on the couch in their comfy living room, or pouring coffee from a french press, or making the world's best bagel sandwiches... :)

{sunset over Minneapolis. who said Minnesota wasn't beautiful?}

While I was browsing through bookstores and sipping lattes, Marty stayed behind to--you guessed it--work on our house. All weekend, he texted me pictures of freshly-drywalled ceilings and doorways. mmm, progress. He's working so, so hard to get the house done before baby decides to make an appearance. Only nine weeks to go... yikes ;)

{i'm married to the most amazing man in the world.}

Hope you had a fantastic weekend :) Next up: a short work-week, and Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I'm leaving for the airport in a few minutes, all set to visit my sister up in Minnesota. I'm so stinkin' excited; it's been two months since I've seen her! Our weekend to-do list includes sipping coffee, lots of walks, sleeping in, and eating lots of eggs and pancakes. {my sister and her husband are the queen and king of breakfast food. yum-o.} I lived in St. Paul for awhile, while I finished up my undergrad degree, so I'm hoping to catch up with a few friends, and maybe do a bit of shopping. {did you know there's no sales tax on clothes in the state of MN? incredible!}

Since I'm not checking a bag for my flight, I've crammed my stuff into a giant overnight bag and I'm hoping they'll let it pass as a carry-on. {probably not the best strategy... I'll let you know how it turns out. ha!} One of the drawbacks of packing light? I can't bring more than a book or two {my norm is at least three or four, for a weekend trip... seriously}, and my zoom lens has to stay behind. Marty insists this is all for the best; his mom works for one of the major airlines, and tells us first-hand stories all the time of lost-baggage nightmares. {think Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents... poor, poor guy!}

Anywho, have a lovely weekend! {it looks like my Chicago friends will get a peek of sunshine tomorrow, and St. Paul's forecast is calling for sunny skies and 52 degrees... beautiful!}

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


This weekend, I was doing my usual spastic-flip-through-the-radio-stations thing while we were in the car {which Marty loves, by the way}. Between the five seconds of Taylor Swift's "You Belong with Me," seven seconds of Casting Crown's "Until the Whole World Hears," and three seconds of Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" {so overplayed, right?}, I heard this...

...who wouldn't know? Ho Ho Ho! Who wouldn't knoooow? Up on the housetop, click click click! Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick!

Seriously? Christmas music? Geeze Louise, it's only halfway through November.

I have to confess: last year, I embraced the retail world's "Christmas in October" phenomenon with open arms. I blasted "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and "The First Noel" right after Halloween, and told my relatives {who staunchly refused to listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving} that they were nuts. Even if we haven't gorged ourselves on boatloads of turkey and cranberry sauce yet, who doesn't love Christmas music?

Yep. That's how I felt. Until right around December 10th, when "Here Comes Santa Claus" went from happy-holiday-cheer to I'm-so-sick-of-this-stupid-song. I could still handle the worshipful, beautiful Christmas carols: "O Holy Night," "O Come, All Ye Faithful," "Joy to the World," and such. But if I heard one more cheesy rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," my head was going to explode into a million pieces of sugar-plum fairy dust. So this year, I'm hopping on the "No Christmas music before Thanksgiving" bandwagon.

And hopefully, "Santa Baby" won't start to really drive me nuts until after December 25th.


Friday, November 13, 2009


Marty's been working hard, trying to get our house done before baby G makes his appearance, and most nights, he's gone until after midnight. The weekends are precious, because it means I get to see him for more than 30 minutes a day. Sometimes I cry on Sunday nights, because I already know the week ahead is going to be tough.

God has been working on my heart, though. I'm learning about the importance of being content with where you're at, instead of aching to be somewhere you're not. I'm learning to look at what is good, right, and true, instead of focusing on the negatives. I'm also learning to treasure little moments, instead of taking them for granted.

So when my little brother gives me a hug, I squeeze him extra hard. When my dad starts asking about my day or talking crazy politics just when I sat down to write an e-mail, I turn and give him my attention, instead of being annoyed at the interruption. When the pretty November sun is setting outside my office window, I watch it for just a few seconds longer, instead of turning back to my computer screen.

And in the mornings, right before I roll out of bed, I soak in the sunshine coming through the window, and quietly thank God for the hard-working man, sleeping soundly next to me.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

{sweet 13}

Happy birthday to my sweet sister :)

{isn't she beautiful?!}

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

truly scrumptious

If you're hungry, don't read this post. {I mean it. You'll want to raid your fridge for a tub of chocolate frosting, by the time I'm done showing you all this good stuff.}

You've been warned...

Last weekend, my dear friend Cathy asked me to come and take a few publicity shots of a sweet table she created for a fundraiser event. Cathy recently turned her passion for amazing food, tasty desserts, and stellar event planning into a brand-new business: Cathy Marie's Homestyle Catering & Sweet Table Designs.

Here's a peek at a few of the details:

{Oh. My. Yippers. Chocolate dipped pretzels. Does it get any better than that?}

You can't see all the sign lettering, but it says "Candy Bar." Hence, the chocolate-filled martini glasses, gummy citrus slices, and a foamy beer mug {see it, all the way on the left? genius!}.

Here's Cathy herself, putting the finishing touches on the to-die-for chocolate mousse.

True story: the people attending the event were d-y-i-n-g to get their hands on these goodies. This next shot was taken literally seconds after the MC gave the go-ahead that the sweet table was open for business.

{if you look hard enough, you can see the lady in orange sticking out her tongue, concentrating hard on piling her plate full of chocolate. hey, can you blame her? if I hadn't been taking pictures, I'd be right next to her, all elbows, grabbing platefuls of tartes, cheesecakes, brownies, and mousse.}

By the way... here's a close-up of the foamy beer mug I mentioned earlier {I grabbed this shot back in the kitchen}. Ingenius, right?

Interested in booking Cathy's catering or sweet table expertise for a wedding or event? E-mail her at cmarie.waters (at) {your waistline might not thank you, but your guests definitely will!}