What Turning Four Looks Like

I love this part of the month.  I am so thankful to have been asked to join a very talented group of photographers to document "What _____ Looks Like" every month for a year.  It's made me more conscious of photographing my own kids as well. ///

Since we had to make a very last-minute trip to Kentucky earlier this month, it meant we would spend Lila's fourth birthday there as well.  I couldn't pack up birthday supplies, and that was of least importance to us when deciding to make the trip to see my grandma.  But I still wanted my girl's day to be special and remembered.  So we improvised at the last minute with simple decorations and things to make her afternoon special.

Luckily, the weather was absolutely beautiful.  Warm, but breezy... and best of all, no humidity!!  We spread out a quilt, hung balloons in the trees, and enjoyed watermelon and cupcakes on the lawn with the cousins. She couldn't have been happier.  And that's all that mattered.

This is What Turning Four Looks Like for my sweet Lila-bean.


She begged me for that pink princess guitar.  It's hideous!  But she loves it.  She carries it all around the house, strumming and grinning.  Maybe she'll be the next Jewel.

Charley brought over her La-La-Loopsies, and we put them to good use as decorations.  We called them "Lila-Loopsies".  (Those oh-so-messy cupcakes were delicious.)

Side note about the inherent differences in girls vs boys: Lila changes her clothes at least four times a day... she bases her decision on which dress is the twirliest, and which one has sleeves, and which shoes are the "clip-cloppiest".  If she spills a drop of milk on her shirt, she changes right away.  It's constant laundry with her.  And this kid?  Parker doesn't care what he wears.  All shirts go with all shorts, according to him.  Spilled milk?  Oh well, it'll dry eventually.  Stains?  Who cares, he's just going to get it dirtier playing outside anyway.  And if he were home, he'd just be wearing cargo shorts and no shirt.  And no shoes.  ;)

Aunt Trish making Charlotte giggle...  I loved this moment!

In the end, Lila told me it was the "betht birthday party ever!!"  Of course, she only has three other birthdays to compare it to, but that's not the point.  Sometimes simple can be the most memorable.

And there you have it.  This is What Turning Four Looks Like.

Has anyone else thrown together a birthday party at the last minute like this?  Did you find it stressful, or did you just relax and have fun with it?  I'd love for you to share your favorite party memories with me!


I hope you'll continue the round by visiting the very talented lifestyle photographer, Stephanie Moore | Tucson Family Photographer.  Her beautiful work always makes me swoon.  Coincidentally, her family is celebrating a fourth birthday this month as well!  Happy Birthday to her sweet boy!  ;)

Our Visit with Momaw

The kids and I have been on a little road trip.  We had intended on visiting Kentucky later on this month, but this sweet little lady here wasn't feeling very well... so we moved our mini-vacation forward at the last minute.  Literally, we decided to leave one night and left the next afternoon.  The trip was 930 miles one way, and it took us 15 hours to drive it, not counting stops and one overnight stay in Georgia.  And yes, it was just the kids and me.  Daddy had to work.  But it was truly better than I expected!  My kids were such great travelers, and were so helpful to each other and to me. When we arrived at the hospital, Momaw was still in ICU.  She was moved to a regular room later that afternoon, and last week she improved enough to go home!  She is on dialysis 3 times a week now, and once on the weekend when needed, to reduce the fluid buildup around her heart.  She has suffered from diabetes and congestive heart failure for years, among other health issues, but they seem to be double-teaming her as of late.  She's literally been in the hospital more days than she has been home, since February.  I hope that we are blessed enough to be able to visit her again.  She tells wonderful stories.  I have so many amazing childhood memories that were largely because of her and my Popaw.

She was so excited to see us!  Dad and Popaw think her rather quick recovery from this week's trouble was helped along by her knowledge that we were coming in.  Melts my heart to know that.

My sweet Popaw is her strength.  He does everything for her.  Brings her a toothbrush and a cup, helps get her dressed, organizes and distributes her many medications, monitors her weight, blood sugar, fluid levels, helps her into her wheelchair and down the ramp at their back porch... he even carries her purse while the nurses transfer her from one room to another.  He just completely takes wonderful care of her.  They are so blessed to have each other.

Watching them has always been so inspiring.  The way they never minded us dragging out all of their books and shoes to play library and shoe store when we were kids.... (and always said, "ahh, we'll clean it up later!")  The way they let us help plant wrinkled pink seeds of Silver Queen in the garden, then help the crop grow to harvest and then to prep and freezing -- and eating!  (As long as I live, I will never forget the taste of their fresh garden corn every year.)  I cherish the fact that Popaw always waited to cut his grass until after Easter, so we would have something to hide eggs in.  I like the sweet way he calls her Maw and tells little inside jokes and chuckles alongside her.  The way she depends on him and trusts him wholly.  It's been so encouraging to watch them and be shaped by their example through the years.


I'll come back to share more posts and photographs from our trip.  As timing would have it, we spent Father's Day and Lila's birthday there as well.  As much as I will cherish this particular visit, it sure is good to be home this morning.


As some of you know I visited my family in Kentucky a couple of weeks ago (more images to come, a little later, from our time together).  While I was there, I seized the opportunity to photograph my daughter wearing a dress that was mine as a little girl, in a field in my hometown. Stacey Woods Photography

When I saw the field, I gasped.  It was filled with Queen Anne's Lace (can I get a nostalgic smile from the Anne of Green Gables readers/viewers out there?) and so beautiful.  It was perfect.

Stacy Woods Photographer Tampa

Childrens Photographer Tampa

If you'd like to read a little more about my journey in getting this photograph, please hop on over to The Creative Mama:  my article is featured today, entitled "The Dress.  And Other Treasures." and gives you a little idea into why I ask my clients to bring those special loveys and heirloom items to your Stacey Woods Photography session.  Thank you for reading!!


And a couple press announcements! I'm so pleased to find out that, through The Creative Mama, my photograph (and referencing article regarding hanging photographs in an artful way) was published over at Apartment Therapy recently.  Go check it out!!  And try not to get lost for hours over there... I love Apartment Therapy and their fantastic ideas for modern living.  I could easily spend hours browsing their ideas and inspirational articles for home decor and living more simply.  (Oh and yes, that is my son and I making silly faces in the photobooth strip.  That's my son in the Polaroid on the left, and my daughter in the right two Polaroids.)  :)

From that same TCM article on displaying photographs, my grandfather's circa-1960's Polaroid images (and my crafty display of them) was featured over at Creative Apples today as well, in her weekly "Crafty Connections" piece.  Go have a peek. What a fun day!!

a little change of plans

...sometimes turns out to be a blessing.  I photographed the adorable T. family on a rainy Saturday evening at their beautiful home.  I just loved this session, and this family, weather and all!  And since I'm so behind on the sneak peeks over here, I'm going to do a big share on the blog, just for Alison.  Thanks for your patience!!  :) blog31





t011 Loved this moment with Daddy and his little girl.  I am realizing more and more each day how very much Daddies adore their baby girls.  Although I know it well with my own father (who is still so loving and affectionate, and would do anything for his three "little girls" to this very day), it's something else entirely when you actually have your own husband and your own daughter who share the same bond.  Makes me smile ~ and tear up a bit too ~ when I see it in my clients' eyes.  :)


t003Little man.  :)  He was so good to me and my camera, despite it being almost dinner and night-night time.  What a darling trooper he was!  Just look at that sweet smile.  (And that new tooth about to make its debut!!)

t014And his gorgeous Mama.  I was so drawn to the next image... little thing had gotten hurt and Mama was holding her, consoling her, and making it all better.  Hey, that's what we're known for, right?  "Disappearing" all the hurts away.  Her tears didn't last long, I assure you.  :)

t006_1Thank you for a wonderful evening with your family, Alison.  Thank you for opening up your home to me and allowing me to record these moments for you.  I hope to do it again soon!

a return

This sweet couple was married at Pebble Hill Plantation in Tallahassee a few years ago. How amazing to be able to go back to the very spot in which you once stood to say, "I do"... f0581 f019

blog1What mommy wouldn't swoon with this sweet boy snuggled up beside you?  Darling, I tell you, just darling.





f0441He was so good to me for the session, patient and kind and very tolerant, lol!  He even let me take a photograph of him thisclose to his little sister.  (Yuck!  Sisters!)  ;)

And this little sweetie was a treat to photograph (she wasn't icky after all, despite what her older brother may think).  ;)  Really, once she changed into her white dress... she just came alive!  She could have been the Princess of Pebble Hill that day and you couldn't have convinced us otherwise.



I love the fact that Mom wanted to incorporate her favorite loveys into the shoot!  This is such a precious stage, and I'm so happy when clients decide to embrace little things like this. :)


Thank you, F. family.  I truly enjoyed my afternoon with you!

Watch for another blog post tomorrow ~ with the Holiday rush, I'm so behind on the blog these days!  I'll eventually get caught up, I suppose!  With an insane number of sessions to shoot and edit, phone calls and emails to tackle, orders to place, packages to prepare and ship, Holiday cards to design and order...  it's such a crazy time of year for me!  Oh and the delightful swine flu that decided to plague our house for 10-12 days didn't help matters any either.  :(  Lila and I were both sick and down for the count for quite a while.  Thankfully, our house is nice and sanitized now and Parker and Chris stayed healthy the entire time!  But I'm behind now of course ~ thank you to my sweet patient clients who have called and emailed to check on me!  Your galleries will be up just as soon as my little fingers can get them edited and posted!  :)

frequent fliers

This family is always such a dream to photograph, and this time I got to photograph them practically in their backyard.  Well, close enough, anyway.  :)  They always travel to me from Tallahassee (this is my fourth session with them in a little over a year!), but this time I made the trip north to photograph this sweet family, plus six other amazing families, in one awesome, crazy-busy, fun-filled weekend.  Here's a sneak peek.... rest assured there are lots more where this came from.  But I have to save some surprises for their gallery of course!  ;) blog11

We photographed their session at a beautiful old plantation in Thomasville, GA.  There were so many amazing nooks and crannies that were just begging to be used, a photographer's dream, and I could have stayed there all day.  (Oh wait, I did, lol!  I photographed three families at the plantation that morning!)  ;)

blowing kissesNow tell me those kisses didn't make you smile.  :)


And that her pouty face didn't make you say "Awwww..."  I loved it!!!!


Even though this session was "technically" for Adeline's one-year celebration, you KNOW I couldn't resist a few of her ever-so-charming big brother Christian.


I felt right at home hanging out with him ~ every few steps he'd pick up a stick or a leaf and hand it to me to hold on to for him.  By the end we all had leaves in our hands, and I had a few in my camera bag.  And the sweetest part was later that afternoon, I met up with them again and he gave me a leaf-rubbing he'd colored after our session together.  It's hanging up in my office.  :)  I'm so blessed to be able to connect with such sweet souls on a regular basis.  I love my job!!!

I'll be back soon with more sessions to share here.  I've got a busy weekend with sessions and all, but by Monday there will be several galleries to upload for my oh-so-patient clients.  I'm excited!!  Love the Christmas rush.  :)

Daddy's girl

On my last trip home to Kentucky, I photographed my baby sister and her little family.  We kept these images under wraps for Chad for Father's Day, so I think it's safe to share them now.  :)  (I actually gave you a little sneak peek here!)  Now, finally, here are a few of my favorites from my afternoon in the country with Trish, Chad, and little Macy.  :) sweet pea

"Little Sweet Pea" is her Daddy's nickname for her.  So I grabbed this book off my son's shelf before I boarded the plane.  ;)  Perfect.  And nothing like a little game of peek-a-boo behind the bed curtains, right?  She's had this little stuffed boxer puppy since she was born, so of course we incorporated him into the session.  Love how she kept putting him behind the curtain and then pulling him out again.  I swear, her giggle was cracking ME up!


blog2Loved her onesie!

perfect just like my dad


With my sister, her pretty Mommy.  :)




Miss you, sweet girl!  Be good to your Mommy today.  ;)  xoxo

~Aunt Stace

*If you're looking for a giggle (or three, or four) make sure you visit Trish's blog.  She's got a great sense of humor and the most hilarious way of dealing with the challenges that parenthood brings.  And the cutest little "Kentucky-isms" and phrases you've ever heard.  LOL!  Go leave her some blog love.  :)

I heart them.

For one thing, they travel all the way from Tallahassee for their photo shoots.  (Ya gotta love clients who value your work this much!!)  They are positively sweet and so much fun at every session (and Dad is ever-patient while Miss Stacey teaches his son a couple of... well, unwelcome habits).  ;)  Christian is either a barrel of laughs or completely serious... sometimes changing from one to the other within seconds, which I LOOOOOVE.  I love expressive kids!  


And Adeline, well, it's always a treat to see her and her delicious chunky rolls.  She's in my Baby Plan, so I am lucky enough (and consequently, so are you!) to get to see them multiple times per year!  I cannot even tell you how much I love what I do....

I'll have your entire gallery up shortly, Angela!  I'm having a tough time narrowing down your beautiful proofs (as usual).  ;)  Enjoy!!