Monday, September 23, 2013


Ooooh boy! My first trip to the Renaissance Festival... Good times! Much merriment was had by all. Due in large part to the mass consumption of "Bee Stings" and "Serendipity" drinks from ye olde pub. I just like to say "ye". Without further ado... Our Renn Fest story in pictures!

Hehehe... sweet nuts. Yes, mature, I know.

Craig tapping into ye olde smart phone.

There was no tunnel of love, so we had to settle for the bridge.

Chris likes snakes... and turtles ;-)

So, Chris's little friend with all the hands below... Creeeeeeeeepy! Seriously, he was following us.

For more information on the Maryland Renaissance Festival, visit 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Joys of Homeownership!

What a gorgeous Memorial Day weekend we are enjoying! Traditionally, pools open for the season this weekend. I'm sure the neighborhood kids could care less that it's 60 and windy, as do we. Perfect weather for yard work. Which is what we spent Saturday morning doing. While sucking up the leaves of the magnolia tree (that tree and I have a love/hate relationship - Brian Mahoney, if you're reading this I'm sure your near tears with laughter ;-) ) I originally thought I'd name this post " I Fought the Lawn and the Lawn Won"... So while Bri mowed the front yard, the leaf blower and I had our fair share of disagreements, but I owned it! Take that, lawn! Too bad the tree shed a fair amount again after all that hard work.
                                 For the record, Hurricane despises the leaf blower!
Anyway, on with the weekend. Our next adventure brought a dog trainer to our house. Hurricane has some trust issues with new people, particularly men, kids a few other dogs. Since he's a rescue and we have no idea what he might have encountered in the first 4 months of his life (the most vital time to introduce him to things like people, kids, etc.) we wanted to get some ideas on how to help modify his behavior while he is maturing socially.

We learned that his defensive and aggressive measures against other dogs a his way of telling us he is not comfortable with that particular dog. We also learned that when that is the case, we shouldn't force socialization as it causes his anxiety threshold to reach massive levels and is extremely unhealthy... This saddens us because several of our friends have pups that we'd love to socialize him with but his health and the safety of others has to be our first priority. As far as friends coming to the house (that aren't around consistently) we learned the right way to introduce them. So to all our friends, we appreciate your patience and understanding when you visit and we have to take a few minutes to acclimate Hurricane to your presence :-)
Add to the mornings events waking up before 6am, and this is what you get around 4...
Earlier in the week we were blessed with the announcement that baby Logan had made his grand entrance into the world. My cousin Geeter and his girlfriend Tracy welcomed a beautiful baby boy, Logan James Stanley, on May 20, 2013, weighing in at 8lbs 11oz and 22in. I was fortunate enough to do newborn photos for them on Friday.

The pic below is just a peak, but you can see the full blog post at

  On that note, on with the remainder of the weekend! I've got a mother/daughter shoot later and the weather is gorgeous! Thank you to all who serve and protect our country so we can enjoy the simple pleasures like these! Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Very Merry UnBirthday...

Every time we arrange a get-together, it always amazes me how many very special people we have in our lives. We truly are fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends who love us unconditionally. And even more so, those who are patient and understanding of our pup's needs. You see, he's a rescue with an unknown background. One thing is for sure, though; He has major trust issues and much anxiety! Perhaps my next post will tell his story.

 For now, I'll recap the story of our engagement and the party we held last night to honor the event. Brian proposed while we we on our first cruise together. The day before his birthday, November 8, 2012, we were at the private island of Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. We enjoyed a morning in the sun and swam in those crystal clear turquoise Caribbean waters before going for a walk to take some pictures (to display in our new home) before a lunch break. We got to a part of the beach where there were only a few other fellow passengers hiking and sat our stuff down on a lone lounge chair. I found a coconut and a really cool web-like coral that I began taking pictures of, and when I turned around, Brian was on his knee with a ring box in his hand. He asked, I said yes, it was wonderful. But we were hungry! So we went to find the beach buffet, blinded by my sparkly new bling that I had to photograph along the way!

 What a great trip! Anyway, back to the engagement party. I've had this lifelong obsession with Alice in Wonderland. So, since our wedding is beach themed, we figured we'd do a "Mad Tea Party" themed engagement party. Any excuse to party with our friends! We wanted to wait for warmer weather, so we planned it for May. I created our invitations with a vintage Wonderland decor in mind (front and back of the invites below).

 And since we'd been fans of Charm City Cakes for so long, we made an appointment with them to create a fabulous Wonderland themed cake. And they NAILED it! Thanks, Mary Alice (our designer) and the crew at Charm City Cakes!!

 Although I'd been sick since the middle of the week and the rain threatened to ruin our fun, we had a great turn out and had a blast with family and friends. And yes, even Hurricane, though traumatized by the amount of children there, had a great time and made some new friends (who spoiled him with carrots!)

Friday, April 12, 2013


First post to the family blog. Welcome :-)

365 more days until our cruise departs Miami on a journey that will take us to several Caribbean islands, and bring us back MARRIED! That's right, 368 days from now, we will be in St. Thomas (on Tax Day, nonetheless!) saying, "I Do" in front of several of our family and friends. Toes in the sand and rings on our hands!

Despite Carnival's series of unfortunate events lately, we couldn't be more excited. Or less stressed! Who would have thought planning a wedding would be so breezy. Brian's easy-going nature and my indecisiveness have made for quite the conundrum when narrowing down options for everything from "where should we go for dinner tonight" to "where should we go on our honeymoon". But for some reason, the details of the wedding have come very naturally. 2 days after returning from the cruise on which we got engaged, we determined a destination wedding would be great. Something I never before would have considered. I did talk through it aloud for a good 15 minutes, debating with my conscience, before I decided... why not?! We started researching right away and not even an hour later, selected our wedding cruise.

The cruise and wedding are booked, our photog selected and booked, and I've picked out the dress (and tried it on!)   My bridesmaids became official around Christmas and we're on a great track to finding them dresses. See the picks below for the Pinterest-inspired boxes I gave them to ask them to be my bridesmaids... I wrote them a poem, made them a blingy tank top, and tossed in a bottle of bubbly and flip-flops.

The poem had no typos... Unlike our Save the Dates. (For the records, Brian does NOT have a "blended" knee. We do enjoy a blended drink every now and then though!) I created them (wrote the poem myself, y'all!) on my Macbook Pro, a gift from Brian. I was just getting use to Apple products and, well, damn auto-correct! Spell check never caught it. But it was easy to laugh it off. Just one memory and piece of memorabilia to what has already been a fantastic ride for us and is only getting better! There's a link on our blog links for our wedding site if anyone is interested.