Wednesday, December 12, 2007


To my AWESOME clients (notice how I'm buttering you up)...

I appreciate your patience with me this holiday season. You all have kept me EXTREMELY busy & for that I am sincerely grateful! I never dreamed in a million years that I would ever be so busy with photography... you guys make a girl feel loved =)

As you may have read, I have welcomed a child into my home who is coping with the death of his mother. I've read all about this sort of thing - "expect behavior problems", "expect resistance", "expect mood swings", etc.... let me tell you... it's one thing to read it, it's another to live and experience it.

On top of those issues, there is also my regularly chaotic life. My other 3 children need me now more than ever. I have a full time job. I have a husband. I have Christmas to plan.

Add to my normally chaotic life - dealing with lawyers, judges, DHR, social security, behavior issues, crying spells, a new school & troubles adjusting there, family members, siblings.... you can imagine, I am PAST Stephanie, overloaded.

I am now Stephanie, overwhelmed. I haven't had much time to think lately, to really sit & ponder things, but one thing I do know now more than ever is that my family needs me and I need them. I am asking you all to please understand that while I may not be giving you 100% of my attention like I usually do, that there is a VERY good reason for that. =) I feel terribly guilty that I can't devote time to answering emails, questions, etc. like I normally do, but I simply can't add more hours in the day. I have been sleeping, on average, about 2-3 hours per night. I simply CANNOT continue this trend. I need to be strong for my family.

I will complete all sessions that I have scheduled until December 31, 2007. After that time, I will be taking a break- indefinitely. I will continue to work on my website and I hope to begin taking sessions in the spring, if at all possible.

Any orders will need to be placed before that time. Along with the new website will come new session prices, portrait rates, & business policies. These changes will take effect January 1, 2008.

Again, I thank each & every one of you for your understanding during this time. I have enjoyed each one of you & I wish you all a very Merry Christmas & a Happy 2008!

Monday, December 10, 2007


Update: Nate has come to live with us. We have retained a lawyer & are petitioning for custody - GUESS WHAT?!? Yep, he wants an elf. I'm worried.... we have enough mess to clean up with Wyndham & Axel running around - adding a third one to the mix?? EEEEEK!

Good thing I had my car keys hidden -

I dunno who gave them permission to party... but they invited their friends anyway...

And here - Axel heard me playing the piano one day & wrote a note to Tucker saying he thought he could do better! Wyndham - oh, Wyndham, forever the mischevious one - he rearranged the nutcrackers & stole one of their swords!!!

Ohhhhh..... the morning I woke up & found this, I just about CHOKED the little devils!!! They made "elf angels" in the "snow" .... aren't they cute? *rolling eyes* Hardy har har.

They even made a snowman out of marshmallows. Crafty little boogers, I tell you.

Never a dull moment with these guys around... but I have to say, I might miss them when they're gone. ;)

Monday, December 03, 2007


I wasn't going to blog about this... I prefer a happy, cheerful blog myself... but on this day of complete and utter shock, sadness, anger - I can't be cheerful. I can't be happy. I need a release of some sort so here it is.

Some of you know Nate's story... some don't. Let me give you the cliff notes version. Meet Nate... (taken back in the summer on his first day of school)

Eric's cousin is Rodney. Rodney marries Diana & has 4 children, the youngest of whom is Nate. Rodney drowns in a horrible accident 5 years ago. Diana begins using drugs. Fast forward 5 years...Nate is 9, lives with his mom, but mom has a serious drug problem at this point... he begins to shuffle back & forth between relatives. He fails the 3rd grade because of failure to attend school. Then ... we get a phone call.

Nate is coming to live with us.

We're a little nervous, a little scared.... not sure what to expect. What do we get but a surprisingly well mannered little boy who is wise beyond his 9 years. I guess you have to be when you're acting as the parent. We enrolled him in school, he was doing great - then BAM! Mom comes to get him.... "nothing I can do" we're told. "She has full custody". I was absolutely heartbroken to see him go, simply because I knew in my heart it wasn't in his best interest.

We have spoken to him on a few occasions, and he recently came back to live with us again at her request. He insisted on going back with her - to be honest, I think he worried about her all the time - if he couldn't find her, he would cry. He told me that there were times he couldn't wake her up... and that he was afraid something was going to happen to her.

Well, this morning, something did.

Nate's mother was found in a hotel room, dead. A suspected accidental overdose. I have no words really - no words to describe how I feel.... I'm angry that she would put her children through this - the death of BOTH parents in 5 years. I'm desperately sad for the children - even though I know that in some ways, they are better off without her. I'm frustrated with DHR who has refused to do anything about the reports for the past 2 years. I'm really... just... heartbroken.

Please keep them in your thoughts & prayers.

Need your help...

Okay, guys.... I'm about to wrap up my Christmas sessions & take ALL of January off (YES YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT!) I'm exhausted, to say the least. My clients are super - calla - fraga - listi - fantastic, but I miss my family! I've had such a great time & I've met so many new people... I know it's super cliche` - but whatever, I've had SUCH a good time. =)

Anyhoo, back to the point of this post. Of course after I take about 3 days off, I'm gonna be itching to do something (I'm a workaholic!) - so I've been planning on taking this time to completely re-do my website (I got a blu! yippeeee!) - my price list (ut oh, haha!) - my logo, pretty much everything in general. Originally I had decided on "Southern Couture" for my new name - now I'm undecided again. Hey, I'm a woman, I have the right to change my mind ;)

So here's where you come in... what do you think? HELP!