Advice For Friends Who Will Be Moms

Today is my baby's 5 month birthday.IMG_6558 He spent his first night away from home this weekend while mom and dad went to a wonderful friend's wedding.  My stepmother and dad were kind enough to keep Oliver, and it was nice to have a weekend away and be adults!  THANK YOU MISSY AND DAD!!!!  It was such a treat!!

For the last few months I've been mentally making a list of things I want to tell all my friends who will become mothers.  The funny thing is that there is not one single thing someone can tell you to prepare you for it.  People told me that before I was a mom, and I was like "well duh," but I still thought I knew what it would be like just a little bit.

My first dog Milly was the love of my life up until that time.  I lost her tragically, and I just assumed that it was similar to losing a child, or that I loved Milly as much as I would love a child.  While I am in no way discounting how much I loved Milly, because God knows that was a deep deep bond and love, the way I love Oliver is entirely different.  I did not know what it would be like, and there was no way I could have.

This is not exactly how I want to describe being a mom, but it's the best I can come up with.  I am lucky enough that I have never been truly addicted to anything.  I've always been able to walk away from vices with no problem.  With Oliver I feel like an addict.  It goes beyond a mental desire to see him.  There are times when I wake up at night and I just need to go be near him.  I have yet to sleep through the night, but not because Oliver is crying or I need to feed him.  I wake up at night just to make sure my family is ok.  I check on Jimmy, make sure Charlotte is snuggled in, and then look at the baby.  I assume it's like being addicted to cigarettes, but much much better (obviously).  As soon as I walk into his room in the morning and see that sweet smile it's like I got my fix and life can continue.  Hopefully someone out there knows what I am talking about and is not reading this thinking I'm just obsessed with my child, which I might be.

So here is my advice for my friends who will be moms one day.

The love you feel for your child will be the most powerful love you've ever felt, but it's ok if it takes a second.

I was scared to admit this at first because it made me feel like a failure.  I had it built up in my mind that Oliver would be born, I would look into his face and be stabbed through with a love unlike any I had ever known.  While that was true in some ways, it happened a little bit differently for me.


This is a photo of me he first time I got to hold my sweet man. I believe the photo speaks for itself.  It was without a doubt the best moment of my life, and I was filled with all kinds of happy emotions.  I had wanted a baby for as long as I could remember.  I am 100% certain I was put on this earth to be a mother.  The strange thing is that in this moment my biggest feeling was gratitude, not love.  I was so grateful that this perfect child was born and entrusted to Jimmy and me.  I had the exact birth I wanted to have.  I was overwhelmingly grateful to my doctors and family for getting me through the 14 or so hours of labor and helping me bring Oliver into the world healthy.  The biggest surprise to me that I was filled with an overwhelming, awe inspiring love unlike anything I had ever known, but it was for my husband.


I went into the hospital the night before so that I could get induced.  It was two weeks before my due date, and my blood pressure was so high they wanted to just get the baby out of me.  From the time we went into the hospital until the time Oliver was born, Jimmy never left my side. In my head there were five major things I was afraid of, and Jimmy and I got through them all together.  I would love to discuss those with anyone who knows me personally or wants more information, but I will spare you the exact details here :).

After I got the epidural, I was unable to move the lower half of my body.  Jimmy took over positioning my legs and back.  At points I got so tired I couldn't speak, and he spoke for me.  I have had one pillow my entire life.  I feel like I was a fairly easy patient, but every time I got flipped from side to side I needed that pillow and smell of home right next to my face.  Jimmy did it every time without asking.  When It came time for Oliver to actually be born, Jimmy was right there.  He helped me the entire time.  I was afraid that during the birth I would get annoyed or bothered by people who were trying to help me, but I did not.  Every time I needed help or reassurance, I just looked at Jimmy, and he was the strength that got me through.  There is no doubt in my mind that God gave him to me to be my life partner.  That day we became a team.


During the days and weeks after Oliver was born, I learned to never doubt Jimmy.  When things got hard I knew he would be there with me.  When I cannot speak for myself, I can trust him to speak for me.  I never realized that someone could love me in that way before, or that I could rely on someone so completely.  It was the biggest and most delightful surprise of childbirth.

During the first few weeks of Oliver's life, I kept waiting to feel this love for my baby that would move mountains and blow my mind, but if I'm being 100% honest I was scared and tired.  I had no idea if I was doing the right thing or if he would make it through his first few days at home, and he was a fat healthy baby!  I just felt such overwhelming pressure to keep this child we created alive, and I didn't really let the joy in right away.


That joy came for me the first time he held my finger, stopped crying when I hugged him, fell asleep in my arms, and cuddled with us in bed.  It came slower than I expected, but when I started feeling that love it blew me away.  The first time Oliver smiled when he saw me I thought my heart would explode.

You Will Never Be Your Pre-baby Self Again, and that's OK!

This one took me by surprise, because I was pretty pleased with pre-baby Blayne.  I had a husband I loved, an unbelievable family, and friends I was thankful for every single day.  Life was great!  This is also hard to explain, but I am not the most important person in my life anymore, and that blindsided me.  I know it shouldn't have because it's a fairly easy concept to grasp, but like the love of my child, I didn't really get it before I met him.

For the first few months of his life I really struggled with the feeling that I would never again be able to enjoy things that I was passionate about before he was born.  Examples: Cooking, shopping for clothes, going to the movies, working out, hanging out with friends, going on trips or to concerts with Jimmy, and drinking ice cold beer. (I'm very serious about all of those things)

As time passed I figured out ways to incorporate all of those things back into my life, but none of them were the same.  Examples...



Cooking.  I love cooking.  LOVE IT.  Before Oliver I would spend hours finding things online I wanted to make, and then go after work and spend a tremendous amount of time at the grocery store finding everything I needed.  If we ate at 9 or 10 it didn't matter... we had no children.  For the first few months I did not cook at all, and it depressed me that I lost such a major part of my life.  Jimmy discovered Garnish & Gather, a company that delivers a meal and everything you need to make it to a local drop off site.  Now I get to cook once or twice a week and it only takes 30 minutes!  I still get the joy of cooking, but's its totally different.

Hanging out with friends and drinking Ice Cold Beer.

Before Oliver I loved meeting my friends for happy hour or throwing big parties at my house where I could get everyone together.  I loved being the hostess and making big plans.  Now I can't meet for happy hour because the nanny leaves at three.  It's impossible to hide all the baby stuff, and I lacked the energy to get the house into party shape.  At first I was really sad about losing those things.


I've wanted to start a company softball team ever since we started Beacham & Company, but somehow I waited until I was three months postpartum to actually do it.  I've had the best time setting up the team and organizing the games, and for one hour a week I get to drink beer, hang out with my friends, and focus on something other than being a mom, which has been a Godsend.  It's hard to think about anything else when the shortstop is hurling a ball your way, and it's just the break I need.  I get to go back into being a mom with my energy restored and refocused after just an hour or so break.

I've been able to reinvent the way I do all the things I love, but nothing is the same as it used to be, and I've learned to embrace that.

This Moment Will Never Happen Again, So enjoy it Now.

My friend Ginny has recently been posting a lot on Facebook about the "Busy Trap," or people who just overstuff their lives and don't have time to enjoy things.   Before I had Oliver, I was busy!  I had houses to shoot, friends to see, movies to watch (I like to see all the Academy Award Nominated movies), drinks to drink, and music to hear.  When people asked me how I was, I think my answer usually led people to think I was just very very busy, and I was.  Now that I'm a mom, I force myself to slow down and savor these moments while they last.  It's not to say that I do not feel stressed, or tired, or angry or even sad sometimes, but I am able to remind myself to let go of the small stuff and savor these very very important moments.


Even if I have more children, I will never again have the luxury of laying on the couch with my one baby and watching him sleep, so I try to do it every day.IMG_6065

I will never again get to watch my family fawn over their first nephew or grandchild.




God willing, we will not always be a family for three, but this is my life right now, and I want to enjoy and remember every moment of it.


For any of my friends out there who plan on becoming moms, let me encourage you with all my heart.  It's the best thing you will ever do.

Thank you all for your continued support.  You have no idea how much it means to me.

We're Having a Baby :)

Jimmy and I are so lucky to announce we are having a baby boy!!  He will be here May 25th (hopefully), which means I am 17 weeks pregnant . Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 2.53.11 PM

I wasn't going to blog about it at all.  I feel like it's such a private event, and I just wasn't sure I felt like writing about it.  I was at a Christmas party Saturday night and saw a lot of people I had not seen in a while.  They all asked me if I was ever going to blog again.  I can't really explain why I stopped for a while... I think I just needed a break.  I was exhausted from the wedding, and then was wrapped up in the newlywed life (which consists of happily gaining back a few pounds and drinking whatever I wanted-- wine, vodka, miami vices...), and then before I knew it I was pregnant! ;)  Jimmy and I realize how amazingly fortunate we are, and we are both thankful for that every day.  Anyway, at the Christmas party I realized it wasn't fair to keep you guys out of the loop.  We have been through so much together.  Figuring out my job, becoming a photographer, meeting Jimmy, getting engaged, and finally getting married.  It doesn't seem fair to stop right at the good part!  Thus, a pregnancy blog...


To bring you up to speed I will answer a few commonly asked questions.

1. Are you excited to be pregnant?

Yes!  I'm more excited than I've ever been for anything in my life.  In fact... I'm pretty sure every decision I've ever made has been leading to this point.  It's everything I've ever wanted.  I am absolutely thrilled and thankful and excited.  I am not even that nervous, which I think is strange.  I'm just excited and can't wait for him to get here.

2. Is Jimmy excited?

Yes!  Jimmy was really hoping for a boy.  Now they can do all kinds of boy stuff together... like trains (Jimmy's favorite).  Jimmy is going to be a great dad, and he's been a very supportive husband... even when I've been throwing a fit.  It's the hormones, I swear.

3. How do you feel?

Fat.  I feel fat.  And my legs and back hurt.  Do I care?  Not really.  Yes, I very much enjoyed having a waist, and I hope to see it again some day soon, but as for now I'm enjoying the finer things in life... like frozen waffles.

4. What are you craving?

Oranges, orange juice, pineapples, ketchup, bbq sauce, salad, hummus, waffles (real and frozen), and hot tea.  I am actually a little disappointed that I haven't had any wild cravings at all.  I was sort of looking forward to that.  The strangest thing is that I normally crave Mexican food and french fries, but I haven't had much of a taste for them... which blows my mind.  About once a week I try some fries just to see if I like them.  They are ok, but I never crave them.  Yesterday, just to say that I ate something crazy while pregnant, I dipped a french fry in chocolate sauce.  It was pretty good, but tasted less like heaven and more like a french fry dipped in chocolate sauce.  I'm basically  a boring old pregnant lady with no good food stories.

5. Is the baby's room ready?

No, but it is cleaned out and empty.  The baby's room used to be my closet, which is actually a spare bedroom.  To get ready for him I got rid of half my clothes and shoes, which, other than carrying him around inside me for 10 months, I feel is the greatest sacrifice I could make for my child.  You think I'm kidding.

6. Are your parents excited?

Are they excited?  Are you kidding?  I've never seen a more excited group of adults.  He will be the first grandchild on both sides, so I'm sure he will be spoiled.  Yes.  They are all very very excited.

7. Do you know the name?

Yes, and we aren't telling.

8. Have you felt him move?

Yes.  On Friday he kicked me and turned over.  It was the best feeling in the world.  I wish he would start moving around more, although the doctor warned me against that. He said as soon as I start feeling him I will feel him all the time because he is a VERY active child.  I think he gets it from his daddy.  At our 12 week appointment he was dancing all around in my stomach.  If you've seen Jimmy dance you know it came straight from him. Great, now I will have two of them on my hands.  Better clear out the living room for a father/son dance party.

9. Does Charlotte know?

She does.  She likes to sleep right on the baby and protect him.  It's cute, except when she gets alarmed and kicks me in the stomach/the baby in the face.


For those of you who are into that sort of thing, here's a picture of our very active son.  Isn't he beautiful?





Honeymoon Part II

Honeymoon continued... IMG_3187

Leaving Four Seasons Golden Triangle and headed to Chang Mai.


Arriving at the hotel.


Dinner at the Four Seasons Chang Mai.


Bathtub surrounded by glass.


Coffee and email updating on the porch.


Welcome flowers displayed in our room.



To be honest, it was so hot in Chang Mai that I was sweating in this picture!  In the pool!  It was well over 100 every day, but it felt like 120!  We decided to leave a few days early and head to Koh Samui.  We stayed at the Imperial Boathouse, which was fine... bit it was definitely NOT the Four Seasons.




Exhibit A, naked lady glasses and plastic beach chairs...


Jimmy and I decided to combat our shock over exiting the Four Season bubble by doing a little beach bar crawl.  Stop #1.


Stop #2.




Stop #2 Continued...IMG_3245

And post drinks, on the way to dinner, we had a nice little photo op.

The next day we went to the beach in the morning, which was beautiful! IMG_3244

And then we went into Chaweng for lunch.  We stopped at the coolest hotel for lunch, The Library.



There was a red pool!




We of course opted for a good old Carona... too many Thai beers.


We then moved to a Thai Beach Club for a second beer and a Jello Shot :)


As well as a polaroid with a monkey.  $5 well spent... especially after doing a little afternoon drinking!

The next day we went back to the Four Seasons... which we will explore in part 3 :)

Honeymoon... Part 1/2

We went to Thailand for our honeymoon.  We took a little tour through the Four Seasons hotels in Thailand.  Wife Perk!!!

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Four Seasons Bangkok

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After 2+ months of juicing to fit into my wedding dress, this was a welcome site!

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Pool side...

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Non-alcoholic health shakes ;) -- I can't shake them... HA HA.  Get it.

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We watched the woman carving these watermelon...  it was incredible.

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We ate cashew and chicken goo on top of pineapple that blew my mind!  Seriously the best think I've ever eaten.

Then we traveled to the Four Seasons Golden Triangle.

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This is us in a boat on the way to the tented camp :)

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Our tent.  That's a bathtub in the middle of the room!  It was over 100, but I forced myself to take a bath.  Do you blame me?  It was awesome.  I of COURSE had a cold drink in the bath.   Jimmy's mom taught me about vodka, soda and orange juice, with two limes, which is the best drink in the world.  The orange juice in Thailand is actually tangerine juice, which SO much better!  I drank about a million... well maybe less, but I was obsessed.  I'm thinking of juicing tangerines just to recreate the drink.

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Our bed and the view to the porch.  There is also a FREE mini bar beyond the bed, which was the source of the cocktails...  obvi.

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This was the pool.  To be 100% honest with you, this was my least favorite of the pools... but I mean... come on.  It was still awesome.

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This is the view of our tent from the path.

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View from the Burma bar.  Heavenly.Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 4.12.41 PM

Couples massage on our porch.  I swore I would never do a couples massage, but it was so nice we did 3.  #spoiled.

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Jimmy on his elephant.  Lovin' it.Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 4.13.35 PM

This may be our Christmas card next year... just sayin'.

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Boat ride exploring the town.

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Waiting for couples massage #2.

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Elephant bath time.

I will post more tomorrow :)

vacation... and a wedding update.

I just got back from a 2 week vacation.  I know... hard life, right? Screen Shot 2012-08-20 at 4.01.04 PM

The first part of the week we went to Lake Tahoe with my mom.


The best part of the trip was that this little Charlotte Bear came.  We gave her a light sedative (she is prone to attack) before the flight.  She did really well!  Most of the flight she slept on a pillow between Jimmy and me.


But she woke right up when we got to Tahoe! (See?  Attack mode.)


Jimmy found us a really great house... it's the one there in the middle.  There were two levels of porches, and we had our own private dock.


We spent a lot of time hanging out on the porch...


And Jimmy always made sure we had music (and beer) on the dock.  duh.


One of my favorite things we did was rent a boat and drive around the entire lake.


I've never seen water that color in my life.  Mom heard somewhere that it is the color of Elizabeth Taylor's eyes.


There was some amazing real estate at Lake Tahoe.


The drinks weren't bad either.  We had SEVERAL Wet Woodys at Gar Woods.  




By the end of the week we had it all figured out... we had two tubes with coolers in the middle.  We tied them up to the dock and looked out over the beautiful lake.


It was a wonderful vacation, and we weren't finished yet!  We sent Charlotte home with mom, and Jimmy and I flew to Hawaii to meet his family!  (Lucky us).


We spent three days on Maui.


Jimmy insisted on going on a 5 miles hike up a mountain...  Those of you who know me understand I am not a hiker... (understatement).


Luckily Jimmy's sisters had gone on a 10 mile run that morning and were more than happy to take it slow with me.  See how thrilled they look to be walking straight up the mountain?


We made it pretty far up the mountain.  We were actually in a cloud.  Apparently the clouds in Maui get worse as the day goes on, so by the time we decided to stop the cloud was all around us.  Jimmy's mom and I had a nice leisurely walk down the mountain, but by the time we got to the bottom I was exhausted.


You know who wasn't?  Jimmy.  He has more energy than anyone I've ever met!


On Tuesday we flew to The Big Island and checked into the Four Seasons (Hualalai) there.  It was honestly the nicest hotel I've ever been to in my life.  We got real leis and mai tais when we checked into the resort. (We were all very excited- obviously).


I think Jimmy was the most excited.


We then promptly checked into the pool.


Kate really settled right in...


The best swim up bar I've ever seen!


And the sunset was absolutely spectacular.  The trip to Hawaii made me feel incredibly lucky.  Obviously I am lucky that Jimmy works for the Four Seasons so we have access to amazing places like this... but the fact that I adore my new family, and they make me feel so comfortable and loved, makes me the luckiest girl in the world.  I had the best time just being with all of them, and it's really more than I ever dreamed of having.  I am so blessed to get to join their incredible family.


Speaking of joining their family...  we picked a wedding venue!

Jimmy and I are having a very small family/extremely close friends wedding in Asheville, NC next April.

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We are having a welcome party at a farm called Claxton Farm.  The mountains surrounding the valley are so pretty.  We fell in love with the location as soon as we saw it.

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The reception will be at The Grand Bohemian in downtown Asheville.  Jimmy and I love the contrast between the really casual farm and the upscale/hip/funky vibe of The Grand Bohemian.  We are thrilled that we finally found places.  Thank you all so much for your love and support through this process.

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Our Wedding Venues -- North Carolina

I guess I've always pictured my wedding a certain way... don't most girls? Screen Shot 2012-07-17 at 2.13.47 PM

...But once I actually got engaged to the love of my life and had a chance to make my dream wedding come true I sort of panicked.  I've been so overwhelmed trying to pinpoint exactly what I think would make a great wedding and making sure I know what Jimmy wants.  It's actually a lot harder than I ever imagined it would be, but who am I kidding, it's also REALLY FUN!  I've totally enjoyed picturing myself getting married at all these places!  I am sure wherever we pick will be WONDERFUL, and I am so excited.


We decided fairly quickly we would like to get married in Charlotte, NC.


1. The first trip we went on together was to Charlotte

2. It has a large airport so all of out out of town guest can get there easily

3. It's easy to drive there from Atlanta

4. We liked the town so much we named this little bear "Charlotte"


We are going up this weekend along with my mom, Kate, Jimmy's parents and his grandma to look at venues.  It's been a long process of elimination, but I think we have settled on four great choices to see this weekend. :)


1. The Duke Mansion

The Duke Mansion is a 20 room bed and breakfast in downtown Charlotte.  We could have the whole first level and have an outside ceremony.

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I am totally in love with this place.  You can check out my pinterest board where I think I've gathered almost every single site that has anything to do with the Duke Mansion.   -- all photos should be linked back to original site via pinterest.

Just in case the Duke Mansion is not exactly what we are looking for, I have set up tours at a few other places...

2. The Palmer Building.  This is an old converted fire house!  How fun is that?  You can do the ceremony and reception all in one place.

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3. Vesuvius Vineyard 

This is a vineyard about 40 minutes from downtown Charlotte that looks amazing!!!

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The vineyard seems to have so many things we want... a beautiful white house and a barn and the ability to be outside.  I like this venue more and more every time I look at it!

4. The last place we are going to look is Grace on Brevard.  

There are not really any good pictures of it.  It is an old church transformed into an event space.  When I asked Jimmy if he wanted to look at it he said it reminded him of the tabernacle and he was all for it!  Ha Ha.

Wish us luck this weekend!  I hope we come back Monday with the perfect space!  If you know of somewhere in Charlotte that we absolutely have to look, please shoot me a quick note!

P.S. If you LOVE wedding photography, please check out "The Schultz Blog."  It's absolutely amazing.  Most of the photos in this post come from them.

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House Reveal!

Hi everyone!  Jimmy and I are going to Phish in Atlantic City this afternoon... Screen Shot 2012-06-15 at 2.45.01 PM

I wish we could get this POSTER.  It would look so good in my house.  Speaking of, I never showed you guys these pictures of my house.  They were taken right before Jimmy's parents came to visit.  I think it looks pretty amazing.

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What do you think?  I love it when my house is ready for a party!  I also love that picture of Jimmy and me (Taken Here) in the above photo. He gave it to me for my birthday last year.

Have a great weekend!

P.S. Check out the Beacham & Co Pinterest board for fab bedrooms.

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Jimmy and I are ENGAGED!!!



I could not possibly be more excited.  I am so in love with him and cannot believe I am lucky enough to spend every single day with him for the rest of my life.  I know you guys don't know Jimmy as well as you know me, so I wanted to tell you a little bit about him...

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Jimmy is the happiest person I've ever known.  Every single little thing I do is better when he is around.  He has the best attitude, and he just makes things more joyful.  He has this laugh that is my favorite sound.  It's so loud and infectious.  He makes me FUNNIER because I want to hear it.  He makes this really loud hoot and then doubles over and just starts laughing so much.  Sometimes, if it's really funny, he cries.  That's when I know he is happiest.  He once laughed so hard that he fell on the floor crying.  It's a trait he shares with the rest of his family.  I love being with all of them.  They are all just as happy as Jimmy, and when I am with them I laugh so hard that I cry too!

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That's the main reasons I got to all the Phish shows with him.  I clearly LOVE Phish... but I was really more of a "go when they are near Atlanta" type girl.  Then I met Jimmy.  He travels to see them all the time.  This Summer will be his 100th show.  We have been to tons of shows together.  All my family and friends say, "you've heard them so many times, how can you possibly want to go anymore?"  I want to go to see Jimmy's face.  It just lights up...  He gets so excited and dances around and just loves it...  and that is my favorite time.  I love seeing him happy more than I love anything else.  I would gladly go to a hundred more shows if I got to see him that happy.

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My other favorite thing about Jimmy is that he loves me the most in the world.  Sometimes when he looks at me it just makes my heart want to explode because I know how much he loves me without him even having to tell me... and I love him that much too... and now I get to be with him for the rest of my life.  He is the answer to all of my prayers.  I am the luckiest girl in the entire world... AND I KNOW IT!

Would you like to know how Jimmy proposed to me?

We went on a walk with our dog Charlotte.  We were on the trail at Westminster (where I went to high school) and Jimmy stopped at a bench.  I had no idea why he was stopping...  then he pulled this huge box out of his pocket.  He got down on one knee and said "I love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.  Will you marry me?"  Then he opened the box and showed me the most amazing ring I've ever seen.

I said, "yes," and then I just looked at the ring and said, "is the for me?"  I think I was in shock! :)  The ring is so much bigger and so much more than anything I've ever dreamed of getting.  But you know the best part about it?  It's Jimmy's great great grandmother's ring.  I feel so honored that the Macauleys would trust me with something so important.  I will take such good care of it.  It is such a honor to be able to wear it.  A huge thank you to Jimmy's sisters and parents for helping him make such a great decision.

Jimmy and I went over to Murphy's after the proposal, and so many people we love came.  It was sort of an impromptu celebration, and it was perfect!  We had champagne  and toasts.  Then we went over to Atkins Park to meet up with some of our other friends.  Everyone was so happy for us, and we were so happy too!!  I felt like my face was going to fall off from smiling so much!

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On Saturday we did the most appropriate thing EVER to celebrate: Jimmy Buffett!  It was such an amazing treat to have everyone with us.  We had members of my family and Jimmy's family, and Mac (basically Jimmy's brother) and some of his family there.  I couldn't have asked for anything better.

On Sunday we went to tell Ya.  Ya has worked for my family for 28 years (since I was born).  When we told her the good news her exact words were, "Praise Jesus," and "When are you having a baby?"  Some things never change.

After we saw Ya we went over to Jimmy's house.  We had dinner with Mac (who we love so much)... took the three remaining Jello shots from Jimmy Buffett...

... and watched Kenny Rogers on stage with Phish at Bonnaroo.  It was the perfect end to a perfect weekend.  Thank you so much to everyone who made it so special!  Thank you to our wonderful families and friends.  We loved getting all the Facebook posts and notes of love and encouragement.  This will be the most fun year of our lives, and I can't wait to share it with all of you.


P.S. One of the first things I did was change the name of my pinterest board.  DUH.

Meet the Parents + Prettiest Kitchen!!

First up? Thank you all so much for your heartfelt notes and comments about me keeping the blog!  I really do love this blog.  I think every blogger hits a mark when they begin to questions the reasons why they are writing.  Based on all the feedback I got, I am going to make a few changes, but keep blogging.  I really do appreciate the support.  It means so much to me that you guys care. :)


Jimmy's parents are coming to Atlanta this weekend to meet my parents!

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That's a big deal!

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Ever since the famed "Meet The Parents" movie series came out, this whole process had gotten a bad wrap (or is it bad rap?  I don't know).

Luckily, I adore each and every parent involved, and I am confident the process will go swimmingly.

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I actually got a little preview of the meet at greet this Christmas when my dad and Missy met up with Jimmy's family for a quick coffee.  I was so pleased.  Everyone seemed to get along well.

This weekend they are meeting my mom for the first time.

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I'm really excited about that actually.  I talk about her all the time, so it will be nice for them to finally meet her.  I asked Jimmy if he thought they would be surprised by how much we look alike...  yes, I know my face is fatter.  Mom has a very tiny head!!

We are planning a nice weekend for everybody.  Both of our moms love to walk, so we thought we could take them over to Westminster for a little stroll around campus.

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Westminster is so pretty.  I am actually really looking forward to showing it to them.  I have been spending a lot more time over there now that Lindles and I are "training" for the Peachtree Road Race (i.e. taking the dogs for a walk until they get "too hot").

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My dad is taking Jimmy's dad to play golf at the Atlanta Country Club, and then we are going over to have dinner at Dad and Missy's.  I am really looking forward to that as well.

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That means the only thing I am responsible for is lunch at my house on Saturday.

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FREAK OUT!  ...  Or at least I was this morning.

Last Spring when I shot my house for Decor Demon, it looked like this...

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A year and  half later the house looks, well... lived in and "hom-ie."  I wish I could wiggle my nose and Bewitch my house back to "magazine ready."  Of course I can sweep and mop and put away... but you know what I really need?  FLOWERS!  Flowers make everything better!!  I can, of course, go BUY flowers, but I have no idea what to do with them when I get them home.  Flower arranging is an AMAZING TALENT.  Of course I thought of the best flower arranger I know, one of our top agents, Linda Williams.  She very generously offered to come over tomorrow and help me get the flowers together.  What a lifesaver!  I think she also understands that this is a really big deal to me.  It will also be the first time Jimmy's parents see my house... so it has to look it's best.  Obviously.

When I was on the phone with her I remembered to ask her about featuring her new listing (140 Churchill Drive) on the blog.  YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE IT.  It's one of the prettiest houses I've shot this year!  You have got to see the kitchen!

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See?  I told you.  To see more pictures from this listing, please click here.

Thank you Linda for offering to help me since I have NO flower skillz.

Wish me luck this weekend!  Any advice?

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I caught the bouquet + Cates Ridge

First up...

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If you haven't already ordered your copy of Historical Concepts' new book, "Coming Home: a southern vernacular," then you need to... now.  The book is beautiful... plus I took some of the pictures... so go get one already.  If you are feeling lucky, you can WIN a SIGNED copy of the book.  How?

Go to the Beacham & Company Facebook Page and check out our album of listings.  All you have to do is like or comment on a photo, and you will be entered to win a signed copy!  The agent who's listing gets the most likes or comments also wins a copy of the book.  How easy is that?

Good luck!

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In other news... Beacham & Company got 15 new listings last week!  We also got 21 homes under contract.  It's safe to say the market is officially hot!  If you are interested in hearing the specifics of the Atlanta Real Estate market, please check out the latest issue of "The Beacham Insider."  It is packed full of the latest statistics and market information, so take a look.

All those new listings means I have been VERY BUSY.  Can you imagine?  15 new listings in one week.  They don't photograph themselves!  Thank goodness my uncle photographs half the houses, or I wouldn't be able to sleep!

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One of my favorite houses I've photographed recently is Troy Stowe's listing on Cate's Ridge.  (Clearly I did not take this PARTICULAR photograph.  I don't own a plane.  Duh.)

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This property has one main house and THREE additional houses... plus a lake... with fish in it!  That little house in the distance there is the guest house!  The guest house is basically my dream house.

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See?  How cute is that?

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You also get this amazing view...

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and you can go the the movies whenever you want, in your own home!


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I got a new family member this weekend!  My cousin Beau married Elizabeth, and my family is so happy!  It was a beautiful wedding in Hilton Head.  I just love family events, and this one was no different.  It's so nice when we can all get together.

One funny thing from the weekend... I caught the bouquet.

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It was sort of by accident.  FOR REAL.  See those two girls in front of me?  The bouquet bounced off their hands and was flying in the air.  THIS IS NOT A JOKE.  I thought to myself, "the flowers are too pretty to hit the ground!"  So then I sort of lept for them in a very awkward/unladylike way, and BOOM.  I got the bouquet.

Believe it or not.

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It was my very first time catching a bouquet, and I was THRILLED.

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On the other hand, Jimmy looked terrified.

That's all I've got for now.  See ya!

P.S. Enter my contest by choosing your favorite listing!  Please.  I asked nicely.


Charlotte's the cutest dog in the entire world.

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Ski Trip Results (!!!)

Calm down.  I'm going to tell you about how my little "white lie" turned out on the trip. Screen Shot 2012-03-21 at 4.29.28 PM

That's me.  The one on the snow.  I was "resting my legs." ha.

P1000576It turns out I had not over-exaggerated Jimmy's skiing ability in my head.  He actually was that good.  Show off :)


Thank God I brought Ben along so I could let them do their own thing and ski at my own pace.


See?  Two peas on a Pod.


We all skied together a little bit as well.  It went much better than I expected.  Even though my legs were on fire and I kept making bargins such as "If I ever get down this mountain I'll never lie again," (hmmmm) I did excel at certain parts of the mountain...


As expected, I really rocked the chairlift part of skiing.  I would sit back and pretend like I didn't care at all if we put the bar down, but as soon as we did I would throw my skis up there... so thankful for just a few minutes of relief.  As the boys discussed the next runs we would take, I secretly hoped someone getting off at the top would fall just to make the ride a little bit longer.

On the bright side, my legs and butt did get a nice workout, which is why I felt fine about doing this...


Apparently beer tastes better if you feel like you earned it.


The only slight issue I had was when I got too tired/frustrated/unable to ski and jimmy had to carry my skis so I could take a break.  I'm not sure my brother will ever let me live it down, but hey, if that's the worst thing that happened I'll consider it a success.

Other successes?

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Shots of rumple minze at the Village Cafe.


Taking mom to the Mangy Moose.


Tons of great meals in Jackson Hole... and of course tons of hot tub time at the Four Seasons.


I'm a pretty lucky girl.

Speaking of being lucky (see that segue there) , you too could be lucky IF you enter our contest to win a FREE AD in the Beacham Series.

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Come on, don't make me beg.  Right now I only have 3 entries, so if you enter you have a GREAT chance of winning.  PLEASE PLEASE PELASE.

The deadline is Tomorrow... Thursday, at midnight.  Please please please.  Don't make me look like a loser (who has to get someone to carry her skis).

Fun things coming up on This Photographer's Life:

1. I'm giving away two FREE autographed copies of Historical Concept's new book "Coming Home."

2. We will have to chose a winner of the free ad!!! yea!!!

3. We have listed a beautiful new modern house (my favorite)

4. We need to ramp up to the next Beacham Series party, so that's always fun.

Tons of good stuff on the horizon, so stay tuned!!!

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Serenbe is Cool, So is Valentine's Day

I can hear it now...  "oh, your Valentine's Day was just so great because it was your first one.  Wait until you get older, Valentine's Day is the worst." Well... whatever.

It was my first Valentine's Day with Jimmy, and it was perfect.  Couldn't have been better...  so sorry to all you guys who hate Valentines Day.  You can stop reading now.

If you Love Love (Ginny Branch), you can read on...


We started our weekend by going to see Trey Anastasio (lead singer of Jimmy's number one love, PHISH) perform with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.  It was a great show.  Trey preformed many classic Phish tunes such as YEM and Divided Sky.  He also preformed some songs by the Trey Anastasio Band.  It was interesting hearing all the songs changed form their traditional arrangements into orchestral pieces.  I liked Water in the Sky best.  It was such a beautiful song.


Another highlight of the evening was this violinist's sweet Prada shoes.  I was captivated...

A couple in the back got engaged dring the show, which was such a special moment.  Trey congratulated them and dedicated YEM to them, where he teased "Here Comes the Bride."  I am into romantic stuff, so I thought was was really special.

Speaking of romantic things, Friday Jimmy sent me these beautiful flowers...


Didn't he do a great job?  Along with the flowers came tickets to Willie Nelson.  NO WAY!!!???!!!


Seeing Willie Nelson was on my bucket list.  Did you know he is 79 years old?  Can you believe it?  I had never seen him live and was dying to see him when he was at the Tabernacle.  Jimmy surprised me with tickets, and we went Sunday night.


Since seeing Willie Nelson was such a huge deal for me, I was fairly panicked about what I could do for Jimmy that could even come close to matching that.  Luckily I had the stroke of genius to call Nan Haverty, one of our agents here at Beacham & Company.  Nan and I do a lot of work together with me photographing her listings.  Her husband helped develop Serenbe, which is a sustainable community in Palmetto, GA.  There is a great town square with wonderful food and shops.  There is also a wide spectrum of real estate and a horse barn with ample acreage.  I asked her a for a HUGE FAVOR.  I asked if it would be ok for Jimmy and me to stay in her house at Serenbe for Valentines Day.

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9015 Selborne Lane is currently for sale and is absolutely breathtaking.  I was so thankful when she said Jimmy and I could stay there!


That just left one more thing I needed to figure out, a Valentine's present for Jimmy.  I thought and thought about it, and solicited help from all of his friends (sorry-- I am very annoying).

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I was so excited about Jimmy's present I almost couldn't stand the ride to Serenbe...  As soon as we walked in, I put in on the breakfast table and made him open it.


A record player?  WHAT?!?  I know!!!  Isn't that an awesome present?  I know what you're thinking, "How could someone who loves music that much not own a record player?"  I was confused myself.  After exhaustive research I settled on this Hype record player from Urban Outfitters.   Pros: it's portable, it has built in speakers, it has an AUX out so it can be plugged into surround sound, it looks cool.  Cons: It's fairly cheap and can break easily.  It was the best choice for me at the time, and Jimmy thinks it was the right one, SO YEA BLAYNE.  In addition to this record player I gave him my entire collection of records, which has taken a lifetime to build.  It includes classic albums by artists such as: The Beatles, Grateful Dead, Pure Prairie Legue, The Marshall Tucker Band, and Jimmy Buffett.  Yea, I know, I am an amazing girlfriend.


It seems Jimmy thinks so as well...


See how happy he is?  I know.  It's pretty cute.


After present opening time we went to The Hil Restaurant, which was amazing.


Yea for Valentine's dinner!


These were homemade potato chips with Vidalia onion dip!  yum.

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After dinner we went back to Nan's house where I got excited about how beautiful it looked at night, so I took a few pictures.  You can see Jimmy walking on the porch in that picture if you look closely.

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Isn't that breathtaking?

Pool House

This is a view of the pool house from the house at night.

Out back of house

This was the view this morning outside my room to the pool house.  Doesn't that look peaceful?


While Jimmy packed the car, I walked around to the front of the house and took this picture.

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And then walked up to the front porch to see this view.  I could have stayed forever, but alas, we both had to get back to work.


I made Jimmy stop the car to get this shot.  Photographers say that the best time to take pictures are at dawn and dusk.  Since I make it a rule to only be awake for one of those times, I was taking full advantage of the light this morning...


We waved good bye to these guys as we pulled away...

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and caught our last glimpse of the country as we made our way back to the highway.


Cheers to an amazing first Valentines Day Jimmy.  I'm so in love with you.


P.S. Nan, thank you so much for making this little trip possible.  Your home is so beautiful, and we were so lucky to get to stay there!  You're the best!

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That Dog is Such a Ham. Aren't We All?

Hey kids.  Did you all have a nice weekend?  I sure did.  I went down to spend time with my cousins in Warner Robbins.  I always feel better after a little family time. Yesterday my good friend Katie Oblinger did a photo shoot with Jimmy and me.  She is an amazing baby photographer and trying to get into couples photography.  She asked if we would mind being her "test couple."  Turns out Jimmy and I are really Hammy with the camera.

So Hammy that I forced Katie to iPhone picture me a picture from her camera.  I am sooo excited.  A lot of times when I take pictures for people and they ask me over and over when they will be ready I'm like, "just give me a little time."  Well, now I AM one of those people!  I am just sitting around twirling hair waiting to see those pictures!  Ha Ha.

While I am twirling I thought I would show you some pictures from the home of another ham...  this puppy!


705 Norfleet, NW (Listed by Rachel Farmer) is home to one of the cutest dogs ever... and the fact that he loves being in pictures makes him even cuter.

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Rachel asked me to come take photos of this beautiful newer (2008) home located in the sought-after neighborhood of Springlake.  I was immediately drawn to the large front porch across the front of the home.  I was also drawn to the little dog hanging out on the front porch.  Can you see him?  It's the little white spot right at the bottom of the front door.

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This dining room opens right out on the the front porch.  It would be perfect for the type of weather we are having right now in Atlanta!

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This living room/office also opens to the front porch.  The wall on the right pops out and reveals a work space behind them.  It is such a great idea!

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There's my little friend again hanging out by the front door.  Don't you love that stairway?  The railings are beautiful!  I also like those stools a lot.


The kitchen in this home is amazing.  Those glass cabinets on the right are so cool.  I'm not sure I've seen any like them.  Check out the red knobs on the stove.  What a fun pop of color!

Family Room

This family room is located right off the kitchen... and guess what's to the right?

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This beautiful porch!  Is that perfection or what?  I know where I would be spending all my time!

Master bedroom

The master also opens up to it's own private porch.  Can you have too many porches?  In a word, no.

Porch off of master

Here we are on the master porch.  Since you all know how much I enjoy a glass of wine... wouldn't this be a perfect place for one?  I thought so!

To see more of this home, including the beautifully finished terrace level, check out the listing here.

See you guys later... I will be trying to find other ways to occupy my time while I wait for those pictures!!

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Farms are cool. So is Widespread Panic.

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Here I am in college with my rabbit, Napoleon.  I bought this little guy without telling my mom...  not smart.  Then he grew to be like 8 lbs and would chew up all the wires/hardwoods in my apartment.  I really loved him and was able to tolerate it, but as soon as I moved back in with my mom on Habersham we had to find Napoleon a new home.  Bummer.

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Here I am holding a goat.  Classic.  If I had a back yard big enough you better believe I would have my own goat.  How cute is he??

And who could forget the great chicken experiment of 2010?

I got 8 of these little fellows... and 5 of them were... well, fellows.  That left me with three of the meanest hens you've ever met.

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See, she's plotting to peck my eyes out.  Kidding... kind of.  It turns out chickens don't really love being raised in the city on a concerte slab.  They would much rather be out in the country...  like me.

If I had my own farm I could own all the crazy animals I wanted, thus I was THRILLED when Nan Haverty asked me to go shoot her new farm near Serenbe.  (Hey, you never know when the opportunity might present itself and you just NEED to buy a farm.)


8275 Chochan Mill was exactly what I was looking for in a farm property.  I love that wide front porch!

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Here is the barn, which is located just steps from the main house.


Of course I had to get a peak inside.  Don't hate me, but I am not a huge fan of horses.  I had a scary experience riding one once when I was little and have never really had any desire to climb aboard...  that being said I do think they are beautiful and love watching them... from afar. BTW, there is an artist studio in the attic space of this barn, so go ahead and sign me up for spending time in there!

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There are acres and acres of horse paddocks behind the house.  We walked back so you could see the home, barn and garage/guest house.  The homeowner told me that every night she pours herself a glass of wine and walks around the property checking the fences.  I'm sorry, but how pleasant does that sound?

I was really impressed by the inside of the house.  It was so bright and comfortable!

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Isn't that great?

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Digging this fireplace in the master!

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This is the perfect place to cook meals for your family while they are out tending the pigs!

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My favorite part of the house is the huge back poch overlooking the fields.  I would love to sit out here at night with a glass of wine.  Apparently when I move to the country I am also going to start drinking a lot of wine.  :)

I asked Jim-Bo if he could ever see himself moving to the country.  He didn't answer... but he did buy me a nice little ticket to Widespread Panic at the Tabernacle last weekend (wood tour, for those of you in the know).  

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City Mouse + Country Mouse = Two very in love little mice.

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Phish... and a restoration???

Well, here we are in the new year!  Hi!  Are you loving 2012?


I had the nicest Christmas/New Years break with Jimmy.  (yea, I know... I talk about Jimmy all the time.  What are you gonna do?  I'm going to show you guys a house, so I get to talk about Jimmy as much as I want.  A deal's a deal! -- see the results.)

We started out our visit in North Carolina where his mom's family lives.  We went to his aunt's house for lunch.  You may remember her from the kitchen she designed in Jimmy's grandma's house.  She has a great eye for design, and I was really looking forward to seeing her house.  Her home used to belong to Jimmy's grandmother's sister (great aunt?).  She lovingly restored/renovated it and did an amazing job!  There were so many unique things about the house I had to take pictures so I could share them with you.  I found out later my camera was actually on the brink of death, so forgive me if these pictures are not my best.  One more side note...  Jimmy's aunt had an awesome lunch for us.  It was so great that I got distracted and forgot to take a picture of the kitchen.  #totalfail  Don't blame me though, I was on vacation and didn't have my head totally in the game.  Ha.

IMG_1885This is the foyer, which I love.  Why?  I love a glass front door.  It's nice to be able to open the wood door and see out to the front yard.  I also like the wood floors.  The man in the picture is Jimmy's grandfather.  Unfortunately he died before I got to meet him, but everyone in the family raves about how kind he was.


This is the other side of the foyer.  I was really drawn to the bronze wallpaper.  I tried to get a close up of it...


Aren't those pretty imperfections?


This is the formal living room.  I love those bay windows.  They looked like iron to be, but I am not positive.  You may notice Jimmy's sisters in this photo :)


This is the fireplace in the living room.  I loved the carvings on the mantel!


I really like the dining room a lot!  The China Cabinets probably had the most space of any I have ever seen.




Here is the solarium.  Loving the oversized windows and brick floors.  You guys know I am a sucker for brick floors.  Duh.

IMG_1876 His aunt told me that she chose these Christmas decorations to echo the bronze in the foyer.  How clever is that?  I would never have thought of it and really admire the fact that she did.  The decorations look amazing.  Let's walk outside.


This is the other side of the window we were just looking through...


and here is the back patio.  Is that flagstone?  Or maybe bluestone?  It looks great.  I love the size of the stone.

IMG_1871Here is a view of the home from the pond in the back yard.  They put in a lot of landscaping that all looks so natural and lush (even in December!).


More landscape and the pond :)

Lets head back in show I can show you my favorite room!


We are heading up the stairs.  I put in this picture of the window seat because that's Jimmy's favorite place in the house.  He said he would hang out there a lot when he was a little boy.... awww.


We end in my favorite room.  She vaulted this ceiling and added the beams, which really opened up the space.  The recessed lighting is such a nice touch because it really lightens up the room.  We had such a nice time sitting and talking in this room, and before we left we even got to have a fire in that great fireplace!  Jimmy's sisters hung out on that bench seat in the corner.  I love it now, but wouldn't that have been such a cool nook as a kid?  Jimmy's family has been visiting this house for their whole lives and were kind enough to share all their childhood memories with me.  I can imagine this would have been quite the place to explore as a child.


Here is a closer look at the craftsmanship on the ceiling.  They even had a stained glass window made and put up in the corner.  If my camera had not been failing every other shot I would have had a picture of it for you.  Sorry!  Just believe me that it was beautiful.


Here is the other side of the room, which had great buil-ins!  If I were in high school/college I would have done all my studying here... it just makes me feel studious.

IMG_1907A close up of the fireplace where we had the fire...



This is the coolest balcony off the room.  It was warm enough to open the doors and go out there for a little while, which was so pleasant!


Finally we have Jimmy just doing a little hanging out in the room.  Can't you imagine him there as a child?  No?  Let me see if I can help you out a little...

IMG_1926How's that?  I KNOW, RIGHT!!!  CUTEST BABY EVER!  Thanks for letting me use that picture :)  And thank you to Jimmy's aunt for having us over for a wonderful holiday lunch!  I love your house!

Moving along...  What did we do the rest of the break?


Phish MSG night 1...


Phish MSG night 2...


Phish MSG night 3...



Phish NYE and MSG...

IMG_2022And my new years dress!!!  Success! And see how I am trying to make my arm look skinny?  Success.

Did I have fun?  Yes.  Am I glad it's over?  No.  What was my favorite song they played?  46 days.  What song got stuck in my head the most?  Quinn the Eskimo.  What was my favorite set?  NYE set 3.  "How were you able to make it through four nights?  Didn't you get tired?"  Yes...  but it was totally worth it!   Am I glad Jimmy took me?  Absolutely.  Thank you so much honey.  I had a wonderful time.

HAPPY 2012 everybody!!!

Let's sell some houses this year!

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Merry Christmas, Ho Ho Ho.

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends. b-and-mom-christmas

Glennis and me at our company Christmas party.  See... we look almost exactly the same except my head is much bigger...  ugh.

I will be out of town next week, so you may miss me here on the blog...  but I will not be missing the blog!  Why?  I'll be in NYC with my boyfriend.  YEA ME!


I got that awesome headband at Flock when we went to Boston!  Yes, I finally got to see it!

He's pretty cute, don't you think?  We are going to New York for Phish, and I am so excited!  Jimmy also figured it out so we can stay in the Four Seasons there, which is pretty amazing.  (I already referenced that here... so sorry if you're a reg and I keep repeating the same thing OVER and OVER...  that's what happens when I'm excited.)


If you look closely you can see me in my NYE dress.  See, I told you I was also going to wear it to a Christmas party.


And any of you looking for a little redneck in your christmas, (let's be honest, aren't we all?) you can feast your eyes on us at the jean on jean party my friend threw the other night.  Yummy.

Well, that was a fairly boring post, but it's 4:30 on my last day of the year, so what do you expect?   Don't drink too much eggnog/get caught under the mistletoe with an undesirable.

I plan on spending a lot of time in the eggnog/under the mistletoe... so forget what I said.

See you all in 2012.