Archive | April, 2011

Random Thoughts, Birthdays, and Great Gifts.

27 Apr

I had just laid my tired self down for bed when I started having a million thoughts run through my head: birthdays, turning 29 – almost 30 BUT not yet, adorable baby in pink tutu, 1st birthdays, cake, party hats… Well, you get the picture.  My birthday was coming up and I had just finished shooting the most adorable baby girl.  Well, she’s one.  So I’m sure in her mind she’s a big girl now.  Anyway, I turned to Hernan and asked, “Do you remember when the night before your birthday you could hardly sleep because tomorrow was the BIG day?  You knew your mom was going to make your favorite meal, you were going to wear the crown at school AND got to be the line leader all day, and to top it off you usually got to open a gift – something just for you.”  Hernan moaned a “Yeah.”  “Well, I want my party back.  Just like I’m sure Emmalee had.”  I had to proceed with letting him know that was the 1 year-old girl I just shot.

I did get some pretty fabulous presents.  My bestie Kristin made me lunch and let my kids run wild with hers. In. Her. House.  No cleaning up for me.  Amazing present?  I think so!  My dearest friend Ashley (the other one…not having a convo with myself=) brought me dessert and a blessing basket.  Love.  My lovely husband was attempting to get home from work to make me dinner, when he got rear-ended.  We got take-out.  Good enough!  No dishes!  Zion sang “Happy Birthday” and “Feliz Cumpleanos” to me at dinner time and finished with a “Yay Mommy!”  Enough to make my heart melt.  Zoe babbled and fell asleep early.  Darling girl.  Starbucks gave me a coffee and Sephora gave me this:

I’m sure they bottled it up and made the label solely like this for moi.  Why?  The little girl even looks like me (a bit) when I was little gal. Fun. Made me feel special.

I’m going to ROCK 29.  Not middle-aged yet…  I’ll deal with that next year.


A Give-Away In Honor of Springtime…

22 Apr

Springtime has always been one of my favorite times of the year.  There are sooooo many things to love about spring.  Windows flung wide-open. Birds chirping. Flowers in bloom. But perhaps the best thing about springtime is that even MOREso than January with it’s New Year’s resolutions (that rarely stick), springtime makes me feel: rejuvenated, revived, renewed.

My Type-A overdrive mind starts springing up all sorts of ideas and I go into project mode.  One such idea is in full swing.  I have a deep-seeded passion for all things food.  Love, love, LU-HUV food. All sorts.  From down-home cooking to that perfectly presented platter (the ones that repulse my husband because they barely give you a morsel to taste) that only a master chef and all his sous can create.  Lucky for me, one of my nearest and dearest friends has this same love.  While I was sitting enjoying the weather in my house one spring day this past month, it happened.  Another idea.  We could write a cookbook.  But only together.  It’d be perfect! I played with text messages and facebook for more than an hour thinking of how to break this dauting escapade to her that I prayed she would want to join in on. When I finally got up the nerve to ask, she was basically like, “Really?  Yes, I’m in.”

So, we’re combining our loves and talents:

She= foodie + talented writer.

Myself =  Lu-vah of all things edible + photographer.

Together (we’re hoping) the equation = 1 smashing cookbook!

So in honor of ALL this FAb-U-LOUS-NESS that spring has sprung forth, I’m giving one of YOU lucky-duckies a gift.

A 5×7 frame from ORGANIC BLOOM.   Their frames are sheer delight.  AND the winner gets to pick the color.

So how do you get a chance at one of these blooms for FREE?


Just go to my Ashley Miller Photography facebook page, like it, and post or message me the words: Organic Bloom.

Voila!  You’re entered.

The contest will be running from now through the Month of May.  One winner will be selected at random on May 31st and announced June 1st via facebook.

BTW, go see my friends blog.  It’s good.  Really great reading. The Star-Crossed Blogger.

Blackberry graphics

12 Apr

With the advent of e-mail, texting, twittering, no, tweeting – taking time to send someone a personal handwritten letter rarely happens.  However, in my family it’s more common than sending a text.  Maybe it’s because my Grandma was a writer and wrote scads of letters on a daily basis.  Maybe it’s because none of my sisters nor I live enough to each other to visit on a regular basis.  BUT maybe, it’s because it is SO much stinking fun to still run out to your mail box (sorry inbox) and find that there’s something amidst all that junk just for YOU!

So, what’s the point? You might be thinking this. I don’t’ have time to write.  Hi-tech is totally today, and I only fly in-style.  Well, I have this friend from church who does AH-MA-ZING stationary design work.  It’s seriously the bomb.  Modern. Fresh. It’ll make you want to start writing is so great.  Her designs are totally up-to-date with anything you can order from the cost, and you can get it right here in the Midwest for crazy low prices. 

I think what’s possibly the best thing about Jen’s work is that it’s all her.  There is no template copying or replicating another person’s style.  Nope.  She sits down with her trusty sketch book and puts pencil to paper and….voila!  Out pops something magical.

So go to her etsy website today- Blackberry graphics.  Look.  Be amazed.  It’s refreshing!  Anyone who orders within the next month will receive 10% their entire photo purchase in the 2011 year.

Happy Tuesday!

p.s.  Yes, I used the word totally too much in this post….you’ll have to exscuse me =)

Dresses, Tresses, & all things Girly!

11 Apr

This past weekend I made the annual trek home to help my niece Randi Lee get ready for prom.  I say annual because I always help get her ready for her big events.  It’s tradition.  And some traditions canNOT be broken.  They just can’t.  It makes me a bit teary-eyed thinking just how great this gal is.  I know it’s doing the same thing to everyone else in our family that reads this (especially) by BIG sis – her mom.

She’s supposed to be little.  Tagging along.  Wanting to be like her older Aunties.  She’s not though. 

She’s tall & beautiful – even moreso on the inside than the outside (if you can believe that!).  She walks to the beat of her own drum.  She’s talented.  Beautiful voice, great student, & STELLAR athlete.  She’s been named to the first-team ALL-STATE for a couple of years and Missouri State Champ in basketball this year. She has made it to the final four basketball tournament every single year she’s played.  And her long legs fffffllllllyyyyyyyyyyy around a track.  She’s the kind of girl that I hope Zoe grows up to be.

Yes, I’m bragging.  I have these rights as an Auntie.

Photography, Family, & A Whole Lotta Crazy

6 Apr

Am I the only wife, mother of two (2 years and 4 1/2 months), and photographer wishing for more hours in the day?  I pondered this question aouple of weeks ago week sitting at my desk during a quiet time as my calendar sat before me with ink ALL OVER IT. I genuinely thought, I’m never gonna get this all done.  NEVER.  It was utter chaos the first three months after I had baby Miller numero dos.  Seriously.  I just ran from task to task doing everything as fast as I could without any real plans. Praying that my sanity wouldn’t leave me.  This is bad for someone like me who likes, no, LOVEs to write a to-do list and check things off.  But more than that, I didn’t want to waste precious time that could and should be spent with my kids because I was just too scattered.

So, what to do?

I realized that I had to have a plan.  One that gave me routine and balance.  (BTW, I had this before, but it had to be completely changed going from 1 babe to 2).  And, if you’ve ever tried working from home with kids, you get this.  Without a plan I found myself saying yes to every little invite or job that came along without realizing it might not be best – for me, my family, or my workflow.  So here’s the 411 on my general photography work schedule.

I’ve deemed Mondays, to be my primary bookkeeping, shipping, fulfilling client orders, and corresponding with clients day.  My oldest goes to Mom’s Day Out once a week, so this is a much more serene time for me to look at numbers (without them being shouted from 1 to 15 in Spanish next to me as I try to work in QuickBooks), chat with clients, or write coherent e-mails.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are my days to blog, study/read, and edit.  Wednesdays and Fridays I edit, e-mail, and work on updating things that need updating like website, price lists, etc.  Iusually take photos during evenings and on weekends (every now and then a weekday morning will get thrown in the mix) but that’s not the norm.  I tweak it here and there, but for the most part, this has helped me regain my sense of sanity and order that I need.

Maybe this will encourage you moms and dads out there working in unique situations and wondering how it will all get done.

Anyone else out there got tips, share!