Browsing Tag


Sunday In The Park | by +Krista

So it’s October. Fall. Autumn. Pumpkin spice lattes (finally!) and pretending it’s colder than the Georgia weather allows. Halloween. Costumes. Things that go bump in the night. It’s my favorite time of year.

And guess what? It’s pretty much EVERYONE’S favorite time of year- yours too. (Didn’t you know that?) So partially to celebrate- and mostly just because I’m always looking/ working/ networking/ hustling to shoot things that are different, I’ve partnered up with Historic Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta to photograph some things this month… things that are different.

Once a year, Oakland Cemetery puts on a huge event called Sunday In The Park. They call it a Victorian street festival, but really, it was one of the coolest events I’ve been to in the city in a very, very long time- and “street festival” doesn’t even begin to convey how awesome this was. To hold a huge festival in a cemetery is [apparently] creepy to some people. Those people, clearly, have never been to Oakland. It’s beautiful. Peaceful. And one of the loveliest places in all of Atlanta. Street performers. Tours. History. Storytelling. Music. Dancing. Food trucks. (And frozen chocolate-covered bananas. Amen.) An artist’s market. Carriage rides. Victorian costumes (to put it lightly). It was just… a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

Cemeteries actually hold a lot of beauty in them- and photographers are known to be big fans of shooting in them. But what I (+ my awesome team: Intern Joy and Intern Kathryn) tried to focus on was something more than just pretty scenery. The tombstones are beautifully intricate. The leaves are all beginning to turn. It’s undoubtedly a photograph waiting to happen… but to see people- costumed or not, young and old, families and hipsters, from all walks of life- taking in Oakland and it was meant to be absorbed. That is what makes Oakland and especially an event like Sunday In The Park, so different. It’s why I’m so honored to have been a part of it. And it’s why you should spend more time in cemeteries- really- because they’re awesome. And so is Oakland.

Atlanta. Photographer. Historic. Oakland. Cemetery.

Shipping Up to Boston | by +Krista

Weddings are awesome. I know, I know. As a photographer, I’m sort of supposed to say that. But it’s true- and not [only] for the obvious reasons. Sure, weddings are fun: full of dancing and champagne and family. Big, happy celebrations of finding love and throwing a party. But as a photographer, they’re also a continuous challenge to shoot better, create better, be better. And I do love me a challenge. It’s why weddings feel like such a good fit for me.

I’ve actually been lucky enough to second-shoot weddings with Mark pretty often since my LeahAndMark adventure began eight months ago- awesome locations all over Atlanta and even my first out-of-state wedding in Indiana earlier this summer. But a few weeks ago, my adventures got stepped up a notch when Mark and I flew to Boston to shoot a wedding at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Um. AWESOME.

See, I have this thing for traveling, no matter how far- (or close-) flung those travels may be. I love packing. I even love airports. Seriously, even in hours-long lines at TSA checkpoints, I’ve got a ridiculous smile on my face. Take my shoes off? YES! LOVE TO! Search my bag full of underwear in front of a hundred people? GO RIGHT AHEAD, I’M FLYING SOMEWHERE! And traveling with Mark can be quite glamorous: Delta Gold status and pre-boarding perks. (Though no champagne and hot towels this trip- next time, I say.) When we landed in Boston, Mark humored my giddiness from being someplace new and we drove into the heart of the city and had lunch, real Bahstan style, at Quincy Market. Like a true tourist, I bought souvenirs and bombarded my husband back home with a constant stream of cell phone pictures. Then we drove down into Connecticut. I saw exit signs for New York City (which made me ridiculously happy), and I discovered that Mark is a serial radio channel surfer. Oh. And we drove right through a tornado warning, in Northern Connecticut. Because apparently, we bring so much Awesome with us to these weddings, even the skies spontanteously combust into Awesomeness. Or scariness. Something.

Whenever I shoot a wedding, whether I’m second-shooting with Mark or running the show myself, the whole day becomes a constant quest to do better than I’ve ever done before. I owe that to my clients, to my boss, to myself. I sprawl across the floor. I sprint from one end of the venue to the other. (Repeatedly. And again. And again.) I climb on things. I can’t just sit back timidly and wait for the shots to happen in front of me. I have to anticipate them. Be two steps ahead, to catch them before they’re gone again. And, as I’ve learned from the moment I set foot in our old Goat Farm studio back in January, I have to make them. Being a photographer isn’t just about catching moments as they unfold before your eyes. It’s about MAKING photos that tell you- immerse you- in those moments. And while most weddings follow the same loose formula: flowers, vows, the kiss, and cake (cake!), everything else is different. Different moments, different dynamics. And it’s my job to make something different every single time I shoot a wedding. Or anything. It’s the best part about my job, which is saying a lot- I mean, I seriously have a job that lets me travel AND lets me get to know people on such an amazingly personal level. And I get wine. If that’s not winning, I don’t know what is.

Thank you to Mark, for thinking enough of me to take me along. It’s a big deal each and every time I’m asked to work alongside someone at a wedding- you have to have faith that that person, as Mark puts it, doesn’t suck. So thank you. You’re awesome.

 Atlanta. Boston. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark. You. Are. Awesome.

Summertime | by +Krista

There is probably no more obnoxious class of citizen, taken end for end, than the returning vacationist. You know the type- struggling to readjust to reality, where no one brings you frosty pink drinks, your shoes are no longer filled with sand, and the fabulous beachy hair is a thing of the past. This week, that type is me. Don’t judge. You’ve been there too: bitten by the vacation bug and on a quest to dig your toes in the sand, curl up with a good book, and just be away

So last week, in our efforts to pass our own vacation bugs onto our children (and because it’s just really hot here lately), we packed our car to the brim- overflowing with floaties and swimmies and the fixings for piña coladas- and drove to the beach. The Gulf Coast, to be specific. The very same beach I grew up going to every summer: sugar white sand and the best seafood (period), standing on your toes and straining to see Mexico across the water. I could write love stories about the Gulf. Poetry. Novels. Instead, I blast Sublime with my windows rolled down and revel in the cliché. Because I’m at the beach. On vacation. Bring it on.

Since having kids, our trip down the beach is completely different every summer. It’s the evolution of my children’s personalities, their ages, the let’s-eat-sand quotient that tapers off around two. Last summer, our Little One was eight weeks old. (That’s how serious we take vacations around here. Eight weeks old, no sleep in sight? To the beach!) This summer was the best yet: my older daughter is at last old enough to want to concentrate on the intricate seashell details of her sand castle for hours on end and my youngest is content to literally just sit in the sand and hold a shovel. It was awesome. Here. Hold this shovel for five hours.

And so for our week at the beach, a week that passed much too quickly, we just relaxed. (Well. As much as you can with two kids, which surprisingly, was a lot more than we’d anticipated.) I kept a constant supply of Sangria at our fingertips. We played miniature golf. We ate like kings. We had dinner rolls, literally as big as my kid’s head, thrown at us from across a restaurant. We drank more Sangria. We slept in. We collected seashells and flew kites and indulged in world-class people watching from behind our shades. (It’s no Venice Beach, but it’s certainly interesting.) We took our four-year-old on her very first rollercoaster (and didn’t scar her for life too much).

Oh, and hey. We even spent a day in Pensacola at the Naval Aviation museum- and saw a Blue Angels “practice” show. (But really, it sort of blows “practice” out of the water. They break the sound barrier. Sonic booms. Crazy maneuvers and flying in formation. Amazing.)

Just like with our mountain trip last month, I didn’t worry too much about my camera. I used my DSLR. I fought with my point-and-shoot. I snapped pictures with my camera phone. Whatever. It wasn’t a wedding- it was vacation… and it was lovely. Sure, I still intuitively frame things in my mind every single moment of the day. And yes, I bribe my children into cooperating for just one more picture… Aaaaand sometimes bribery works out better than other times.

But the beach. It was a perfect week. No sharks. Lots of oysters. (On my dinner plate. Not in the ocean.) Endless “Summer Rental” movie quote wars between the Husband and me. (Click it. You know you want to.) My parents came down for the last part of the week, and it was the best déjà vu to watch my dad with my daughter, running straight into the ocean like two peas in a pod- just like he did with my brother and me when we were kids. Awesome, perfect week. Also. The French are onto something, guys. Thirty days of guaranteed vacation time every year? Sign me up. I’d totally wear a beret for that.

 There is probably no more obnoxious class of citizen, taken end for end, than the returning vacationist. ~Robert Benchley

Paddle Faster

About a million years ago, when I was applying for the LeahAndMark internship, I kept seeing the same foreshadowing sentence everywhere I turned: “You’re going to shoot more in the next three months than you’ve probably ever shot in your life.” And, because Mark is [almost] always right, I did. In the three months during my internship, I blogged 27 different shoots. (Stickler that I am, that didn’t include two more shoots + one wedding that I never blogged, simply because the end of the internship happened SO. FREAKING. FAST.) But then Leah and Mark bestowed Plusdom upon me, not to mention some of the best advice ever (“shoot a lot. then shoot more.”), and I’ve stayed crazily/ dizzily/ awesomely busy ever since. I like staying busy. It’s sort of my thing.

But last week, I took a week off. (Well. Aside from shooting a Yelp event and being spoiled with amazing Mexican food.) And to celebrate, my husband and I did the Babysitter Shuffle, packed our water shoes and blackjack chips, and spent a kid-free weekend away with our friends in the mountains.

We ate too much (shrimp and grits and snails and tails), drank too much (dear pinot noir, i love you), and gambled our tiny young parents’ casino budget away (dear blackjack, i love you anyway). I directed the Road Trip Crawl: “Hey! Antique shop. Need to stop!” … “Fruit stand! PEACHES! Buy local!” … “STOOOOP! Apple butter!”. And most of all, I nervously anticipated the main purpose of our trip: rafting down the Nantahala River.

You should know that I’m probably not a very outdoorsy gal. Or at the very least, not a mountain-y gal. I grew up spending summers at the beach and the rest of the year dreaming of a big city life in New York or Paris. The idea of careening down a river in an inflatable raft, my face at the mercy of the river currents and bone-crushing rocks all around, has not been my idea of a good time since… ever. But. If nothing else, the last few years of my life have taught me to jump in and experience life like never before. So I did- literally. Though with a lifejacket of course. Safety first, kids. We rafted with an outfitter called Rolling Thunder River Company and they were amazing. (And also, possibly nicknamed the Thunder Gods.)

We went rafting down the Nantahala on the most perfect Saturday morning we could’ve asked for. Seriously, blue skies and rainbows perfect. I’d been silently (and not so silently) freaking out every time I thought about what was ahead of me, and I sort of almost peed myself when it was finally time to climb in that raft and, ya know, RAFT DOWN THE RIVER. So we get in the raft. And I’m okay. I’m just sitting there, really. Bobbing around a little bit with the river. Paddling like I actually know what I’m doing. Telling myself that if the eight-year-old kid in front of me can do this, surely I can too. And looking up and realizing, “hey. this is kind of beautiful.” And it was. My biggest regret of the weekend was that I didn’t bring a disposable water camera with me while rafting. (Photographer’s shame, I know.) It was SO beautiful. Perfect blue sky, mountain laurel on either side of us, fog hovering above the water, hummingbirds flying right above our heads. Amazing.

   Then, just like that, we’d gone seven miles down the Nantahala and our guide started with the instructions and reminders about, oh, not drowning: “Lock in your feet now. And you’re going to stay locked in for the rest of the way down. Got it?” Um. Yikes? (Our guide’s name was Skittles. And when a dude named Skittles tells you to lock in, you damn well lock in.) The best part of my Saturday night was drinking a bottle (or three) of Pinot Noir with my girlfriend and dissecting the photos of us coming down through the falls. “Look at my face- that’s Stressed Out Krista”… “Look at Skittles paddling us- CRAZY!” … “Where is Erik going??” … “Aaaaand, that’s when Matt disappeared”. Our friend took one for the team that day but was totally fine. I survived. (Yay for not drowning!) And it was the most fun I’ve had in for.ever.

(P.S.: I promise I’m more help in a crisis that I look. My paddle was totally his lifeline.) Also. Isn’t The Husband cute? He’s making his blog debut this week. Bonus points for him for keeping me alive this weekend.

Almost as soon as we were back on the bus, heading back down to the outpost, I wanted to do it all over again. And I will. Did I mention we’d been back at the mountain house for about ten minutes when the next weekend’s planning already commenced? AWESOME. This is why I love our friends. And it’s also why, every time I look back at our pictures from the weekend, some from my DSLR, some off a point-and-shoot, and some just quick camera-phone shots I clicked off in a hurry, I’m so, so glad I did this.

Now. Where did I put that mountain wine?

Home Is Wherever I’m With You

Before joining the LeahAndMark family, there were lots of things I’d never done before. Ran a photo booth. Climbed into a rusty old school bus. Waded up to my neck in a river, camera in hand. Been to Kentucky. Well. Driven through Kentucky. I’ll call it good enough.

A few weekends ago, I piled into a [swanky] minivan with Mark, Leah, and Baby RoX and spent the weekend in Indiana, shooting my very first out-of-state wedding. This was a big deal for me. Weddings! I love weddings. Traveling! If even to Evansville, Indiana, there’s something about loading up my luggage and seeing someplace new that I get ridiculously excited about. And the big one: Leah and Mark thought enough of me to ask me along. Weeks back, when Mark asked if I’d be interested in shooting an out-of-state wedding, I danced around my kitchen in excitement before rattling off a gigantic “YES!” in our G-chat window.

So I packed my luggage, marveling at how lightly [for me] I managed to pack, mulled over how much I’d miss my girls and my husband and whether or not I was ready to leave them, left pages of phone numbers and nap schedules on our kitchen counter (just in case), and in the end, jumped in with both feet and made the trip.

Want to know what I learned over the course of the weekend? Mark never sleeps. Really, the man can successfully run on about five minutes of sleep and believes coffee to be the cure for anything, like those crazy Greeks and their Windex. Also? Leah is adorable. We all know this information, because the moment anyone meets her for the first time ever, you instantly want to give her a hug. She’s also a Gardetto’s monster and would pull out this bag of trail mix throughout the weekend like Mary Poppins, a seemingly endless supply of weird little breadsticks and pretzels and snack bits. “Ooo, Gardetto’s!” Another fact? Baby RoX is the most laidback baby in the history of EVER. I seriously heard him cry for probably a total of three minutes out of the three days we spent together. He also let me snuggle him as often as I needed to, since I was away from my own babies’ snuggles for a few days.

Oh. One more thing. Mark is a genius. Now of course he made me say that, but really, he actually sort of is. I continue to learn so much from him every single time we work together. He pushes you to keep shooting- and a lesson I’d learned from him long ago (and sometimes need to remind myself of) is to shoot, shoot, shoot… and when you feel like you’re good with what you got, GO BACK AND SHOOT MORE. Ask questions too- because internship or plusdom or the busiest wedding photographer in Atlanta, you’re always going to have questions if you’re truly intent on getting even better- but ask only the RIGHT questions. Also: there is such a thing as a perfect photographer/ client match. Mark has this incredible knack for finding the most awesome clients, achieving that match of perfection.

The importance of that match is apparent when you’re at a reception and one minute, they’re cutting the [delicious] cake and the next, the bride and groom are up on the stage, belting out “Livin’ on a Prayer” and creating these amazing moments for you to capture. I’ll never hear Bon Jovi again without smiling at the memory of that moment.

Then, after our whirlwind weekend and a quick stop at the Casino on the Ohio River [a necessity. trust me.], we were back in the car and our way home. My weekend in Indiana was actually the first time I’d been away from both my daughters and my husband at the same time. Ever. And I missed them. Oh, how I missed them. I took camera-phone pictures all weekend (because I’m a photographer and that’s how I do) of farmland and our hotel and Cracker Barrel. I talked to my daughters on the phone every chance I got. And I missed them. They’re my whole world. How could I not?

But. I’m also so glad that I went and don’t regret it for one second. I’m the type of person that thrives on being busy. On doing and going. Plus I happen to have a job that I’m completely in love with, and having something just for me is really awesome and incredibly important. Leah and I talked about this a lot over the course of the weekend: how she’s not quite ready to be away from her son just yet, and how I’ve promised her that one day soon, that readiness will come. I love my children more than I could ever describe. But kid-free vacations are AWESOME. My husband is my very best friend. But I think maintaining who we are alone has been the key to 12+ years of happy togetherness. In the end, it’s wonderful (and necessary) to see the world.

But it’s also really, really wonderful to come home.

Advanced Breastfeeding: Traveling Without Your Baby

Posted by +Debra

I recently traveled without my baby for the first time ever.  It was a tough decision, and in alot of ways it was a tough time being away.    As a breastfeeding mom the idea of being away from my baby for longer than a few hours was a bit difficult to wrap my head around, never mind the ache in my heart.  As I prepared for my journey to my birth country of South Africa I scoured the internet and was unable to find any real advice on how to be away from my son, how to prepare him for my absence, and most of all how to maintain the breast feeding relationship even though I was away. I am writing this blog simply so that any mom’s out there who want or have to travel away from their baby can know that it is possible to do so for extended periods, and came home and resume the breast feeding relationship as before.

Basically I was out of country for 12 days, and our son Shannon was 7 1/2 months old.  He is a bed sharing breast fed happy go lucky baby.  It was the first time we had been apart for longer than 12 hours.  He was cared for in his normal home by my fiance and his parents, so Shannon’s daddy and grandparents, Sadie and Coach.

Here’s what I did to prepare before the trip:

The hardest part was struggling to emotionally bolster for being away from my son for almost 2 weeks.  I knew I was going to miss his face immensely! I cried alot at just thinking about leaving him! But when I got over it, I realized how immensely healthy the time apart was for both of us, and was oh so happy to see his little face again.

I researched his age and what types of solids he should eat and shared that information with his caregivers (his grandparents and dad).  The biggest thing was for him to not eat too many solids, and to eat specific solids appropriate for his age.  We haven’t ever really given Shannon purees, from the get go he has been given finger foods, and occasionally soft foods like mashed potatoes.  He feeds himself small quantities with his own hands.  it was important to make sure he didn’t get too many solids, and that he maintained a normal amount of liquids, from either formula or saved breast milk.

I didn’t pump enough in advance to give him frozen milk for my entire trip.  I calculated what he would need for the 12 days and it was well over 300 ounces.  That’s alot of pumping on top of feeding the baby his regular meals.  Let’s say I could express an extra 12 ounces a day, then I could reserve 300 ounces in 25 days.  But the thing is, to get that 12 ounces I was a slave to the pump after every feeding, 3-4 times a day.  I quickly started to feel a bit like a commercial milk cow, and cut down the pumping sessions to preserve my sanity.  I ended up reserving about 150 ounces give or take.  In reality that reserve provided 1-2 bottles a day, the rest of the time he was given formula.

For formula I ordered 2 jars of Natures One Organic Baby formula.  I am told he blew through those 2 jars in a couple of days, and then moved onto commercial Enfamil.  He had no problems with the increased iron from the formula as I had feared.  It did however take a week or so for his bowel movements to move from iron rich black and return to the yellow of a breastfed baby.  We still supplement with Enfamil when formula is needed if I am away on a long shoot or we are in the car.

Breastfeeding | Travelling Without Your Baby | How To | by Debra Edgar

A few key pieces of equipment helped as well:

Bottles: I purchased additional Breast Flow bottles and playtex liner system with medium flow nipples designed for the breast fed babies.  I vouch for the breast flow bottles, they are well designed and awesome.

Pump: a good pump is worth every penny! For the occassional to heavy user looking for an efficient and quiet pump I recommend the Medela Swing Pump. It was so quiet, I used it on planes, in cars, and everywhere in between.  Alas,  I burned out the motor on  2 cheaper single Medela Electric pumps, one in 3 months, the other in 4 days.  They are noisy also.  I am not a big fan, but they are fast and efficient if you can handle the noise…just make sure a sleeping baby is nowhere around.  It sounds like a jumbo jet taking off, in contrast the Symphony sounds like a car blinker.  *Pump Bottles: I took along 2 bottles with lids.

Pumping Bra: I I got a Simple Wishes Pumping Bra.  It’s well designed and actually pretty awesome for when I used both pumps simultaneously.  However, I used it a grand total of 3-4 times.  I found I was alot faster using the pump and manual compression.  The bra is designed with alot of attention to detail and thoughtfulness, I personally didn’t use it all that much, mostly because I pumped in alot of semi public places, or small forms of transportation.  I haven’t used it since, but I work from home and feed baby on demand.  I can see it being a highly useful item for a momma working in the office.

Nursing Cover:  I received a nursing cover from Udder Covers when I was pregnant.  I tend to just use a baby blanket when I go out with the baby, and now he is older we seldom nurse when we are out and about.  The Udder Covers material is thin, and given I am tall, I really wished it had more fabric to it, but I only used it for 2 weeks, so it served it’s purpose well.  Leah has an uber cute cover she uses all over town with Jonah, and I know there are alot of varieties and styles to select from on Etsy.

Pacifier Wipes and Microwave Sterilization Bags: Seeing as I was pumping and dumping it wasn’t crucial to sterilize constantly, but it certainly helped keep things nicer having easy ways to keep the bottles fresh and clean.

Me and baby during the trip:

Shannon was just fine, he didn’t melt down, or cry all night, or really seem fazed that I was gone and that he was getting all his meals by bottle.  He was surrounded by people who love him, following his normal routine sans mom, and got to bond with everybody who played with him and fed him and rocked him to sleep.  When he saw me after 12 days away he was very excited and went back to nursing within 30 minutes.  I was elated and relieved.

Uhm, I was not fine.  It took me about 6 days to relax and really get into the awesomeness of the trip.  I cried on the plane to South Africa, big crocodile tears, and then about every 48 hours after that I hit a tough spot and would go take a small break.  I had plenty of printed photos, and my phone was stuffed full of the beautiful pictures that my family sent to me while I was abroad.  The daily pictures helped immensely! I couldn’t have done it without the photos and updates.  They were crucial to my mental and emotional well being, and I am very grateful my understanding family kept sending them to me.

Breastfeeding | Travelling Without Your Baby | How To | by Debra Edgar

A Note about domperidone:

Domperidone is a prescription medicine in the USA, but an OTC anti nausea medicine in other countries.  I first heard of domperidone from Dr Jack Newman, at the Bellies to Babies Event last year.  Dr  Newman is an awesome expert on everything breastfeeding. No really, he knows ALOT and then some.  He’s wicked nice also.  :) Domperidone was initially designed to be an anti nausea medicine, it works by suppressing dopamine, and as a result allows an increase of another hormone called prolactin, which is present in nursing mothers.  I was able to purchase 100 tablets for the equivalent of $50.  I wasn’t having issues with my supply, it was up and down a little, but mostly I was wanting to relax and not have to pump every four hours.  Having the domperidone helped me relax and ease off the rigid pumping schedule.  It really helped with enjoying myself more becasue I knew I would be able to use the domperidone to maintain my prolactin levels. The pills work really well, I was responsive in under 48 hours.  I have a bunch of pills left over, and who knows, they may come in handy down the road.

Pumping in Different Places: wow, I pumped all over the world.  Literally.  I am pretty hardcore about breastfeeding, and feel it is the most important gift after a healthy pregnancy to give my child a head start to a healthy and abundant life.  Breast feeding is to me a social and emotional relationship which nourishes the soul and the body.  I understand that not every woman is able or wants to breast feed, and I am totally ok with their choice, we all have choices on how to raise our kids and I certainly don’t snub one persons choice over the other. However  It is my lifestyle to breastfeed, and  it is very important to me.

This philosophy led me to pump in the plane, the car (even with my brother and dad in the front seat!), on safari, in the desert, on the side of the road, random corners of random restaurants or friends houses, hotels, and once even a bathroom, I sat on a windowsill, but still it was kinda icky.  Like eating pancakes on the toilet. 🙂 Either way I was disciplined and maintained a semi-regular schedule to keep up my milk, and was still able to have fun and see lots of cool stuff on the trip.  Each time I pumped I thought lovingly of my son, and treated it is as a gift instead of a burden.  It would have been easy to get burned out, so I made sure to keep a loving mental attitude to prevent any resentment.

Also, pumping on the plane was not a problem, and thank you to Delta Airlines for putting me in the back of the plane with the seat next to me blocked off. I had the last row to myself and plenty of privacy.  I called well in advance to see if they could accomodate me and they kindly obliged. It didn’t bother me when people walked by for the bathroom, and the flight attendants were fabulous.  Delta is my favorite American Airline, hands down.

Returning Home:

It was one looooong plane ride home, but it was easier than the flight out.  I was excited to see baby Shannon and did my best to stay distracted.  After 12 days of being away, I had been able to tuck the longing away in a safer emotional space, so it wasn’t all consuming as it had been on the flight out.  I am a very doting and loving mom, so being away was a challenge, but also a healthy time apart to realize I am also Deb and not just mom.

Shannon was happy to see me when I first walked in the door, he showed me his toys and his new found ability to cruise on the furniture.  I refrained from crying because I didn’t want to confuse him.  I was overjoyed to see his smiling face!  We played and everybody hung out and talked.  After about 30 minutes, Shannon indicated he wanted to nurse, and we picked up the relationship right were we had left off.  It was almost like I had never left.  The only issues we had were latch and nipple sensitivity.

Shannon is old enough to hold his own bottles, and is pretty insistent on doing that.  While he was getting a bottle for all of his meals he had retrained his latch, no amount of thoughtful nipple design could work with him sucking only the tip of the bottles nipple.  It took us about 2 weeks to retrain his latch, and I had to be very patient and thoughtful when doing it.  There were some days of extreme discomfort because my nipples had also become more sensitive away from baby.  Most new mom’s experience a few days or weeks of nipple discomfort while their skin adjusts to the constant friction of nursing.  All in all we were comfortably nursing again within 2 weeks.

I hope this information helps! Please feel free to leave questions in the comments.  Thanks! 😀


Atlanta, Boston, and Beyond!

Whew, this week has been a doozy.  It’s been SO AWESOME with confirming a local Atlanta wedding, AND booking 2 weddings in Boston in the space of one week.  What are the chances? And HOW FREAKING COOL!  I am so super excited to travel for weddings, and so happy that my future brides and grooms took a chance and invited me to their party.  Awesome! Thank you! Ya’ll rock!

If you’re getting married this year, you should think about inviting me to your party, or invite LeahAndMark because they are awesome epitomized (Mark especially), and let’s not forget the other super awesome (OMGBBQ!) + Photographers +Raven and +Jo.  We’re a pretty cool group around here.  We liven up any party, and make kick butt pictures to remember the party, just in case it ends up being that kind of party ;)

Let’s not forget that we have an awesome Army of Interns (go check out their blogs right now!)


There’s alot of forced change happening in my life, and in some ways it’s exciting and in some it’s a bit terrifying  nail biting awesome.  I remember hitting my 25th birthday and heaving a massive sigh of relief, like, whew I survived.  I went back to college finished my degree and thought blamo, it’s all solved, figured, sorted…and the rest would uhm, just fall into my lap.  Pff, I never thought that, not even for a second, but I did have a restful phase…and now I have a 30th birthday around the corner.and goals and dreams, and insert whatever other real world situations like bills, etc. to support.  Yip.  That’s life…at least a part of it.

Right.  I know it’s not going to fall in my lap, and nobody is going to give it to me.  I just hope I can go get it for myself, and for my family.  It’s a new game this year, and I plan to win it.

Let’s Do This!

Oh, and thanks for checking out my blog.  Have an awesome weekend.


Sunny South Africa | The Cape | + Debra

Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (15)

Posted by + Debra

Whew! So I just got home from attending the “A Practical Wedding Book Tour” in Atlanta, hosted by Young Blood Gallery and “A Wedding Day Hooray“.  I am feeling energized! It’s always a pleasure to meet funny, open minded, outspoken, and honest people.  Meg of APW is all that and a bag of chips, probably a coke too.  She had everybody in stitches with funny stories, and sage advice for the female entrepenuers. I loved how she wore a dress that could have been for an ice skater, or dancer…I half expected her to pirouette across the floor, or just as easily strap on some skates and field questions from the audience.  In attendance where were loads of awesome couples, and a fistful of Alumni Interns, and current interns, and the awesome +Raven, and Baby Rox with his wonderful mom and cool pop.  It made me all the more grateful for the wonderful people here at the family.

I really appreciated Meg’s candor, as I have also been appreciating her blog and the many people who contribute to it.  I gotta be honest, I just love anybody who can call bull$___ out in public, and say what they mean, and mean what they say, and all that jazz.  How awesome to have people telling you that your wedding doesn’t have to equal a downpayment on a house? I feel if you got and want to spend it, then good for you.  But, if your like me and “don’t got it” and don’t want to spend it, then you should be able to have your wedding day be just as special, and just as amazing.  this is of course coming from the same girl who was planning on getting married in jeans, at least up until a few hours ago (Thanks Lucy for the inspirational quip).   A very cool group of people this evening, and I can’t wait to read the book, I have a feeling it will be just as funny, honest, and candid as Meg was in person.

Ok, onward to my blog post.  This is the last installment of my trip to South Africa.  This time focused on the Cape.  Now the region of the Cape is very large, there are hundreds of small towns, and one very large city.  It is a diverse and beautiful part of the country with mountains stretching on for days, oceans going on for miles and miles, and epic sunsets every night with great people, awesome food, and amazing wine.  There is no way I could sum up the Cape in just a few blog posts, the end message is really that a country and place as amazing as South Africa can take an entire lifetime to experience.  I could spend a month in the Southern Cape and still feel like I barely scratched the surface.


Hout Bay: Home of Seal Island.  We rode a small boat out to Seal Island, and got to eat some seriously awesome amazing fish and chips.  OMG YUMMY! Really tasty fresh fish.  It was quite difficult to photograph the seals as the water was very choppy.  My trusty little Lumix did well to get at least this 1 clear shot.  Be advised, if you get seasick, you may want to skip this one.  The waves combined with the intense stench of the seals will turn even the steel lined stomach of the hardiest person.  I was a bit green, and I notoriously can handle just about anything! I absolutely loved getting to see the baby seal with the mom, and the man who cared for them.  We all cheered and such.

Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (26)Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (25)Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (16)Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (24)Boulders Beach: Ok, ok, I have a mild obsession with arctic animals, and the only thing better than seeing flipping penguins could have been seeing polar bears.  But there were no polar bears, so the penguins definitely took the cake for my Cape Town experience.  And the only thing better than seeing penguins, was getting to swim with them.  Sit with them.  Sunbathe with them.  YES! I know right, how cool is that!! Boulders beach is a small private beach with limited entry and gives you a chance to sit, sunbathe, and SWIM with penguins.  Best morning on the beach ever.  There is a small fee, and the beach fills up quickly.  If you happen to go, go to the outskirts, it involves some climbing but gives you a very secluded morning with the penguins (eeeep! so cool!).  Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (22)Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (20)Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (13)Cape Point: The national park that is home of the continental tip of Africa, and surrounding bays and Capes.  It is a full afternoon, and I recommend a snack, a sweater, and some sneakers.  You will do ALOT of walking.  It is a national wildlife refuge.  The salty air is voluptuous, and hinders the growth of most plants.  Only very hardy and native plants thrive in the park.  These trees are quintessential African trees, strong, tall, and proud.  There are a few of them scattered through the park.  For the most part the horizon is flat, and both sides are flanked by the ocean, making it all the more obvious that you are approaching the tip of the continent.  It was very exciting!Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (1)It felt like the sky and ocean were one and the same here.  Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (7)Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (8)Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (19)In case you were wondering, the very tip of continental Africa is VERY VERY windy. We had a good laugh trying to get this self portrait of us 3.  My brother would have lost his eyes to my hair if not for his glasses.  We all scribbled on the rocks the initials of the multiple people we love, temporary markings of the time we were in that special place.  Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (21)This is the very tippy tip of Africa! The lighthouse is newish from 1918. Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (17)Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (18)These ostriches were on the side of the road, and looked a mite mean.  I didn’t dare roll down the window, I swear I thought he would peck my eyes out. Ostriches are magnificent creatures, and their eggs are made into costly curios quite regularly.

Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (15)Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (14)Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (9)Sentinel Hill:  offers wonderful sunset views of the Cape and surrounding bays, including Table Mountain.  This evening was special in and of itself because as soon as the sun was down, you were greeted by the rising moon.  Another example of the wild, untamable beauty to be found in the Cape. Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (6)Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (5)Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (4)Robben Island: Island Prison 11km from Cape Town for Political Prisoners, including Nelson Mandela. Living conditions were unbearable, and many prisoners lost their eye sight working in the direct sunlight in the lime quarry.  It was bright, hot, and an incredible sparse place.  The amazing thing to remember and walk away with after visiting Robben Island is the heroic stories of how the men held captive were able to boost eachothers spirits and work on becoming educated.  They shared letters, and books, songs, and love. It is a testament to the intrinsic wealth of mankind when we turn ourselves inward and love one another despite the misfortune or fortune they might be in the midst of.  Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (10)Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (11)Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (12)Table Mountain: The wind and weather of Table Mountain is world renowned, almost as well known as the spectacular views.  We tried 2 times to go up the mountain only to be turned away because of the fierce winds howling down.  Wind BTW looks just like clouds.  Who knew? We did finally make it up the mountain the day I flew out of South Africa, it was the perfect last morning in Sunny South Africa.  The views were amazing, all around.  Cape Town and all surrounding areas are beyond breath taking.  Truly one of the most amazing places in the world.  Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (3)Debra Edgar | South Africa | Cape Town | (2)

– All photos taken with the Panasonic DMC ZS8 and the iPhone 3.