Tag Archives: birthday

Luciano’s 3rd Birthday Shoot

I don’t know how I get so lucky, always shooting the cutest kids. Especially when they’re little lady-killers like Luciano before they’re even three. I’m extra smitten for him, though, because even though we don’t share the same blood, he calls me Aunt Sarah and I personally can’t have too many nephews. 😉


To see more of my favorites from this little model’s birthday shoot, click the picture below!





Luciano Turns 2!

“Birthday Suit” + Confetti + Cake = Birthday Shoot Success!


(Click the image below to see the whole set on Flickr!)



1st Birthday Party Victory!



I’ve been shooting my good friend Lauren and her family since she was pregnant with Luciano, so when she asked me to shoot his first birthday party I said yes without much thought. Admittedly, though, when I got there, I fell into the first panic attack I’ve had in ages.


There were just so many strangers, packed tight in the same tiny space, trying to avoid the unexpected rain outside. I kept pressing myself into the wall, willing myself to become invisible, trying to talk myself out of freaking out and making a fool of myself. All the while, I was wondering how I could have possibly gotten myself into this trap. Don’t I know better? I could have said no, but for some reason I thought I’d be fine. You know, moxie and what not. I’ve done that this year, right?


I did eventually settle down, after sitting alone in another room and telling myself to suck it up, and luckily Lauren let me tag along wherever she went until I started to be less concerned with all the stranger faces and more concerned with capturing Luciano’s birthday party (which I think I did okay with despite the dreary day, thankfully). Still, I am a bit embarrassed. I just don’t know how I got this way. And every time I think I’ve practiced being brave enough, something reminds me I’m still socially crippled. I’ve just gotta keep believing I can overcome this someday, sooner rather than later hopefully. And be grateful that I have friends like Lauren who still believe in me despite my qualms.


Social anxiety aside, here are some pictures of the adorable birthday boy. Probably the most conservative 1 year old cake eater I’ve ever seen! 😉


(Use the arrows to click through the slideshow below)



Luciano’s 1st Birthday Party

(Click through the slideshow below!)





Diggy’s 3rd Birthday Party

(Click through the slideshow below!)





Gideon’s 3rd Birthday Shoot

(Click through the slideshow below!)




[Happy] Uterus Eviction Day

Someone wished me that on my FB this week, for my birthday. I LOL’d in real life.


Surprisingly, my birthday wasn’t so bad this year. It was super low key in comparison to birthday’s past, but it wasn’t bad either.


I’m not thrilled about getting older. Truthfully, I’m pretty terrified of it. And I have been since I turned 25. Being 32 now, you might think I’d start accepting my aging self, but I’m just as neurotic as I was about it then. Every year, a new mid-life crisis.


And I don’t even know why I’m so beside myself over this aging thing. I just feel like I’ll blink and then suddenly I’ll be 40, then 50, 60, and so on and still be mentally screaming, “What have I done with my life?!” I know I need to cut it out, to just accept it for what it is. There is no avoiding age, but I cling desperately to the notion that I’m still in my early 20’s. I’d be happy to stay there forever.


Aging aside, my birthday came and went this year with a lot of love. I jokingly said to my mom, “If you’re ever feeling lonely, like you have no friends, just have a birthday in the social media world and everyone and their brother will crawl out of the woodwork to shower you with love.” Because it’s true, on FB especially, people I never even talk to stopped by to wish me a happy birthday and even though it’s terribly superficial of me to equate that to love, I felt it.


This year was the first I’ve actually worked on my birthday in more than 10 years. I’m too overwhelmed with overtime that taking off wasn’t even an option and it was a bit weird to be in the office when I’d normally be sleeping in and spending my day with a book, but the girls at work unloaded copious amounts of sugary treats on me for breakfast and it’s pretty easy to win me over with goodies. For one, I’m the baker in our office so it was nice to have someone else bake for me for a change. And two, just the fact that they remembered and felt the need to do something was much appreciated.


I got singing phone calls from my grandparents (both sides), with their own renditions of Happy Birthday, which just always makes my day. I don’t think you ever get too old to enjoy your grandparents singing to you on your birthday. It’s like my mom still playing with my hair in church. There are just some things age plays no factor in.


My close friends and family gifted me some really cool stuff and I gathered together with my immediate family for pizza and dessert to celebrate after work. The day was made even better by my nephew Gideon greeting me with, “Happy Birthday!” when I arrived. That kid can make any day better just by smiling at me, but it’s especially awesome to see him talking so well these days.


Overall, I can’t complain. I’m blessed to have people around me that care to make the day special, even if I’m bummed about it signifying another year passed. I couldn’t ask for more, except maybe for Father Time to slow down, but I doubt he’s listening.


When life gives you lemons…

I keep meaning to blog, but for one reason or another, life hasn’t permitted it. I had blog posts planned in my head, but now that they’re hardly relevant, I’ve decided to just do a short recapping of where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing.

My birthday was last Monday. As I suspected last year, it was far less exciting than it’s been in the past, which as a person who loves birthdays, disappointed me. While I think this was partly because I’m not thrilled about getting older, it was also because that weekend all sorts of sad/bad things happened in my family.

My grandmother’s sister died unexpectedly, my own sister had a pregnancy scare and spent time at the hospital, and some drunken punk was dead set on giving my father a heart attack by harassing him daily (he even went as far as physical property damage).

I had taken a long weekend to “celebrate” my birthday, which really only consisted of reading a lot of books and going out to dinner because my life is so riveting (duh). While I did make it to dinner, reading books didn’t happen because my mind was too consumed with all the woe going on in my family. So, my house is extra clean now and I baked my first apple pie because these are the kinds of things I do when I’m stressed/sad. Such a lovely way to spend your birthday, right?

It wasn’t all bad, though. My friends and family lavished me with lovely cards and gifts, small tokens of love that I appreciated greatly. And dinner was chaotic as always, but in a way I love because despite the rough time my family was going through, they are always entertaining when we’re all together. Really, I can’t complain.

And yet that’s not true as I shift into my next topic: Photography. I’m pretty sure I’m finished *trying* to be a photographer as a side thing. I will still take pictures because it’s what I’ve always done and I will still try to perfect the craft because I want to grow as an artist, but I’m finished with offering my services outside of my family. I can’t tell you how many times people have come up to me or commented how good of a photographer I am and how they’d love for me to shoot their family or kids, etc… and even though it’s incredibly hard for me to have enough faith in myself to agree, I do. I even offer to do it for free as I build my portfolio, but every single one of these people (EVERY ONE OF THEM) has gone off to have professional photos done instead for a hefty price. I’m tired of extending myself like this. It’s almost as if they’re mocking me when those professional photos pop up online. It’s not that I think I could do better, in fact I bet I couldn’t, but I’m tired of people baiting me into something I’m already scared of doing just for the sake of saying something. NO ONE TOLD YOU THAT YOU HAD TO COMPLIMENT MY HOBBY, PEOPLE. If you’re not sincere, please just say nothing at all! I can’t continue to be led on this way. So, I might just remove the update altogether from my monthly reviews. If there are really great pictures I feel are worth mentioning, maybe they’ll get their own posts if you guys care to see them. In the meantime, I will shrink back into the introverted photographer I’ve always been and just be happy with my pictures because I like doing it, not because I’m trying to be something more than I am.

I should stop now, but I have more to complain about. It’s no secret I’ve been struggling with this weight loss thing lately. Since October it’s been one sugar sponsored holiday after another and I fell weak to it all with the best of them. I’m relieved the holidays are over with. I truly want a break from refined sugar, but my mind and tongue are not on the same page about this yet and so I find myself scathing the grocery store for obscure things like Berger cookies as if I actually need them. I know that if I just avoided them altogether, I’d be making this easier on myself, but instead I get this ridiculous idea that I can limit myself to one a day because that’s not all that bad, when in reality I know they won’t even last 4 days.

I hate that I know what needs to be done, I’ve done it before and it’s not all that hard, and yet my willpower is crap and I enable its inability to stand strong. In other words, I’m an idiot and I know it and yet I continue to be one. Obviously, I’m a genius.

So at this point, I’ve almost crept back up to my highest weight ever, making all my effort last year a total loss. It disappoints me in ways you can’t imagine if you’ve never struggled with weight. I cleaned and prepped a week’s worth of healthy food this weekend to get myself back on track with this healthy lifestyle I’ve been trying to achieve. I also finally treated myself to new running shoes. I currently have none that fit; it’s been at least 8 years since I’ve bought a pair (I’m more of a “coat/jacket girl” than a “shoe girl”). It’s been equally as long since I really ran, but I used to love it and I need some cardio in my life so I’m determined to get back into it whenever the shoes show up in the mail. Hopefully these are the things I needed to turn my goals around in the right direction. I do have to say that for as much as I hate the warmer weather, it does register something in my body that says, “You are too fat for this heat, Sarah, get busy!” And so I’m listening, or trying to at least.

My apologies for so much negativity, but I’ve had a lot brewing in my head and it’s been sort of therapeutic just typing it. I promise you a happier post sometime this week, but until then… anybody got anything they’d like to get off their chests, too? Rant away.


Turning Thirty

This past Sunday was Easter for everyone, but it also happened to be my birthday and I’ve spent several days celebrating it. Despite all of my fears about turning thirty, I have to say it was one hell of a birthday.

The week started with Heath sending me on a hunt for his gift to me via post-it notes of clues when I got home from work on Monday. I didn’t really want my present so early, but after finally finding it in a Fruity Pebbles box, it was pretty hard to resist opening it.

Clicking the picture will take you to a more detailed story of how I found the gift and larger pictures of each step

By Wednesday, I’d received a box full of goodies from my BFF and critique partner, . It included framed art of my Crack the Sky characters (so adorable), a new bookmark, a book on birthdays (which mine was SPOT on!), a cute note pad (cause I have a crazy fetish with note pads), and an Amazon MP3 gift card (because I’m sure you already know how addicted to music I am). It was far more than necessary, but I loved every bit of it!

On Thursday, my last day of work before a five day vacation, my work friends spoiled me with brownies for breakfast, Chinese for lunch, and I added to the excess of yummy with cupcakes from Flavor Cupcakery. My friend who’d already made me THIS the month before as an early gift, also made me a pair of earrings to wear with my Easter dress. They can be seen HERE.

Friday and Saturday, Heath and I were in Washington, DC. The weather was windy and chilly, but the sun was shining and we captured some great pictures. We visited several Art Museums, Gardens, and Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. We walked so much on the first day, we could barely drag ourselves back to the hotel and we were asleep by 9pm (which is super early for us). While exhausting, it was a delightful trip.

Clicking the picture will take you to the entire photo album

When Sunday finally arrived (my actual birthday), I woke early for Church with my family and then we all gathered together at my parent’s house for a party to celebrate both Easter and my birthday. Maw Maw and Paw Paw made the breakfast I rave about having at Christmas for lunch. We ate until our bellies were full and then they showered me with gifts. All of the presents were great, but just being with my family in such an enjoyable way on my birthday made the day completely perfect.

Clicking the picture will take you to the entire photo album

I feel so blessed to have the family and friends I have in my life.

Today is my last day off before returning to work and I have to say the high from my birthday is still strong. My soul feels very much at peace, which I hadn't really expected since I was dreading officially being thirty so much. I guess I’ve just decided to not dwell on the number and it making me feel old. My mind is still young. I’ll just focus on that.


The Big 3-0 is looming…

My birthday is less than a month away now. It falls on Easter this year. It’s fallen on or around Easter several times before, but the most memorable Easter themed birthday celebration was in 1985. My sister was born less than a month before it and even though my birthday was technically the day after Easter this particular year, I celebrated it in my Easter dress with a bunny shaped cake and egg hunting. 

The fact that I’m turning thirty this year feels a bit depressing. How have three decades of my life passed so quickly? Why do I feel like the last ten especially never even really happened? In my mind, I still feel a lot more like I’m twenty than about to turn thirty. What does it mean to be thirty? Do I have to start officially acting older? Will birthdays ever hold the excitement they always have for me again after this one?

I remember turning twenty-five and feeling like I was already having some sort of mid-life crisis. My life, as I’d planned it, was nowhere near where I thought it’d be by twenty-five. As I’m about to turn thirty, it still isn't. I have to admit this bothers me more than I wish it did.

I try to remind myself that life just happens. You can plan small bits of it, but it doesn't mean it will completely turn out that way. There are other factors that play into how your life turns out. No matter how hard you try to have absolute control of it, the truth is you don’t. These reminders feel harder to swallow with every year I age though. I feel like time is slipping away from me and if I don’t do something to somehow trap it and slow it down soon, it will be over before I know it. I don’t want to have reached the end with zero accomplishments under my belt, or none of the goals I’d hoped to achieve in life complete.

If I could go back to little kid Sarah and give her some advice, it’d be to: Stop wishing you were older so much. It’s not all that glamorous. And all those years you spent wishing for a future you’d later find was nothing like you imagined could have been better spent enjoying being a kid. Something you will miss terribly when you actually are older.

We grow up too fast, in my opinion. Turning thirty, already…. it feels like it happen overnight almost. *sigh* I hope my negative outlook doesn't ruin the day when it finally arrives.