Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas at the Biltmore

Oh joyous time of year, when the brisk chill of winter whirls and swirls, when the cheery lights of the season wink on in windows and dangle, glowing and swaying from shingles and shrubbery in homes across the world. The sights, sounds and smells of Christmas are all around. And there's simply no better place, in my opinion, to celebrate this most glorious season than the Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC, because nothing says Christmas like a 40 foot pine laden with gifts and ornaments large enough to hold court alone under our most humble household tree that are instead dwarfed in size by the others they share stage with. And oh yes, the snow. Ordered special for us, I suspect. How amazing to wake to a wonderland of white, sun rays struggling to peek through gray clouds, illuminating bare branches heavy with ice, glinting and shimmering in the light. And even better than all of that alone is sharing it with friends, and with husbands just returned from far off lands fighting wars we wish we didn't have. From me to you, dear followers, I wish you and yours a Very Merry Christmas and a peaceful new year!

"We hear the beating of wings over Bethlehem and a light that is not of the sun or of the stars shines in the midnight sky. Let the beauty of the story take away all narrowness, all thought of formal creeds. Let it be remembered as a story that has happened again and again, to men of many different races, that has been expressed through many religions, that has been called by many different names. Time and space and language lay no limitations upon human brotherhood" - New York Times

Yes, Christmas - that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance - a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.  - Augusta E. Rundel

having a blue Christmas (blue doesn't need to mean sad!)

wine tasing! who can resist?


ingenious people built snowmen.

staying warm in the greenhouse.

just for fun!

Rich & K.C. frolicking in the snow!

 inside the Inn at Biltmore

 the difference a day can make!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Glimpses of Me

 In February of this year, after returning from yet another amazing journey to Las Vegas and WPPI, I decided to make some changes. Inspired by one of the speakers at the conference, Mary Marantz (, I concluded that my "about me" page on my website was a boring, oft repeated mantra of "this is where I grew up, this is why I love photography." Not that I thought there was anything wrong with that  - it got the job done. But I wanted something more. I wanted to tell a story, or start to, with the same creativity and truth that I try to use when I tell the stories of my clients. So with my usual speed and motivation to complete something, especially when driven by the passion that is my blessing and occasionally my curse, I revised and updated my "about me" page a little over a month, and many revisions, later. I am satisfied with the result. I believe it gives readers, followers, clients and friends a glimpse into the every day me, into the person I am and the person I want to be. And today I decided to add to that via blog. There are a few things I left off the list of what I love (and have now added to the website). But here's a detailed version. Enjoy!

Love:  indulging in retail therapy moments, especially in regards to on-sale sexy shoe shopping. Score today - one pair of silvery glittery strappy ready to dance stiletto heels that make me think that it's been too long since I've been clubbing. And to further justify the purchase, my friend Katy Perry comes on the in-store radio with her oh-so-catchy "Wakin' up in Vegas" song. Flooded with the overwhelming urge to shake it combined with almost-lust for blood pumping dance remixes, I stride confidently towards the checkout counter and spend 25 well earned dollars, committed to using these in January when my hubby and I hit up the Miami scene for the first time.

Love: fresh flowers and arranging said flowers in my creative collection of glass vases that I manage to tote from state to state without breaking. Today, Publix market and their fresh selection woo me with bright fall colors that bring me back to my own fall wedding bouquet, 9 years and one month ago. There's something so cheerful and romantic about bouquets and the art of displaying them is almost as therapeutic as shoe shopping. Almost.

Love: the satisfying crack of the spine of a new book. In this case, four new books. Yes, I am an informed consumer crossed with a techno geek. I definitely follow the trends, though do my research first. I own the iPhone 4. I'm seriously considering an iPad (strictly for business, of course). And don't even get me started on cameras. But for all the rave reviews of the Kindle and similar devices, I cannot seem to transition from the real feel of pages between my fingers to yet another computer screen to stare at. Yes, I've seen how realistic it is. Yes I understand downloading new books is cheaper (especially at the rate I read) than buying hardcovers. But I. still. can't. do. it. I love books. I love folding over the corners to mark my place. I love the smell of new ink on new paper. I just do. So thank you, Amazon, for making my inability to get on board with technology still somewhat affordable.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

High Cotton

I love this time of year around here - cotton puffs everywhere. If you've never seen it, grown or harvested, you're missing out!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rothenburg, Germany!

I was simply charmed by Rothenburg. Completely the vision I had when I pictured small German towns, ripe with history. Enjoy!