Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Stroller

How many of you have children who received more gifts for Christmas than calories you devoured on Christmas day?? Holy cow, there are still presents I have yet to unpackage and put away. Side Note: what is UP WITH ALL THE PACKAGING! Seriously, how many super thin wire tie-thingies does it take to keep a baby doll in place. And don't even get me typing about the little kitchen set we bought her; apparently every teensy-tiny item  requires its' very own little plastic baggy which of course is thrown in another baggy, which of course needs to be encased in a Styrofoam shell surrounded by larger tie-thingies... my word! By the time we would get one gift unpackaged, she had already moved on to the next one - MAN!
Okay, done with that rant... In all the wonderful gifts she received there are a few that she just absolutely loves. One of them being her baby stroller. This is a stroller for her babies (that seems pretty self explanatory, but for those of you who don't have toddlers, that may have been a "huh?"). As you can see, she adores this toy... for herself!

I told her the stroller was not for her; evidently the news of that was shocking!

A close up of the disbelief:

I told her it was for her babies.
So what does she do, she goes and gets one of her babies
and plops back down in the stroller.

I will share a few other of her favorites over the next few days.
CLUE: another one of her favorites is showing in each of these pictures :-D

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Christmas Miracle

Sixteen months ago I was at home on maternity leave when I received a frantic phone call I wasn’t expecting. It was from my friend Nicole who had just shouted “a baby is being placed with us in 45 minutes!” I couldn’t believe what I just heard. Months earlier, Nicole and her husband went through all the paper work, house inspections, and so much more that I couldn’t even begin to type about, in an effort to become foster parents. I was so excited for her and bombarded her with many questions she didn’t have answers to. All she knew was that he was a boy, eight months, and would be there within the hour. I wished her luck, told her if she needed anything give me a call, and hung up the phone with goose bumps all over my body! I was so happy for her!!

A few days later I packed up my own new bundle of joy and went to visit Nicole and meet this new little guy. When I saw him for the first time he was a ball of adorable sitting in the middle of the living room floor, he had the whitest hair that could grow out of a baby with the bluest eyes you have ever seen. I could tell he was confused, looking around trying to grasp his new surroundings and become acquainted to all these new faces. But one thing that I noticed right away was the connection he had with Nicole. I noticed when she picked him up, how he laid his head on her shoulder and closed his eyes in comfort and warmth, with her he knew he was safe.

That was sixteen months ago. In those months there have been more questions, tears, triumphs, ups and downs than any one person, or one family, should have to endure. But how far would you go to fight for something you new was yours? How far would you go for your baby? The persistence paid off and last week it was made official during an Adoption ceremony. When Nicole asked me to photograph the event, I was so thrilled, as a friend I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, but to be able to photograph and memorialize the day in images, I couldn’t have been more honored.

Here are a few images from the big day!

 Getting ready
Considering it was a blizzard the day these two were married, it only seemed fitting
 that this day too would consist of blizzard like weather.

So handsome
Helping Pepere open the M&M's
Enjoying the M&M's


Big Brother

I asked Nicole the day after the ceremony how it felt now that he was "officially" theirs. She told me it really didn't feel any different because she always knew he was theirs. She said that probably didn't make any sense, but I told her it did. And she is right, from the first time I saw them together, I knew he was home and you know what... even at 8 months old, I think he did too.

"I'll never forget the day he was placed in my arms. I was terrified. He didn't cry, he didn't protest, he just looked at me and laid his head on my chest. From that moment on, I knew I was his Mom. 16 months ago this roller coaster ride began and today it ends with the adoption of my precious child.
I love you, .... I carried you in my heart..." - Nicole to baby M

 Happy Sunday!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Quick Snack!

The holiday season is in full swing around here and between last minute shopping, Starbucks Peppermint Mocha latte sipping, wrapping, removing baby E from under the Christmas tree, laundry, dishes, and what ever else may come up; there is barely enough time for anything... including this little blog. So here is a quick post on a super easy, remarkably quick, "MOM, I have to bring a snack to school tomorrow" (at 9:00pm) holiday snack anyone can pull together.

Candy Coated Pretzels!

You will need:
  • 1 Bag of mini pretzels
  • 1 Bag of Hershey Kisses (I used the Holiday White Chocolate Candy Cane kisses)
  • Colored Sugar
  • Oh and wax paper or tin foil
  • and a Cookie Sheet
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with the wax paper or tin foil. Line up as many of those little pretzels as you can fit on a sheet. Unwrap all 529,358 kisses (yes, I know there are not that many in there, but after the 10th one it will feel like there are). Place each kiss on top of a pretzel, carefully transfer cookie sheet into pre-heat oven. Bake for 4-5 minutes or until the kisses are melted. Remove from oven and sprinkle colored sugar. After each kiss is sugar coated, place the cookie sheet in the freezer for a few minutes until the chocolate has set. And there you have it - you are suddenly  the Mom/wife/girl friend/co-worker of the YEAR!!

There are many other variations to this recipe, some people substitute Rolo's for the Kisses and I have seen recipes where they use M&M's on the top instead of the sugar - to each is own! In my book when you have chocolate melted over a pretzel, you can not go wrong!

Happy Monday!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's A Family Tree-dition

I have recently read some blog posts about family traditions around the holidays, specifically Christmas. Growing up I can think of a few traditions we had, for instance I would always be the one to put together the nativity scene, usually one handed while using the other to back hand one of my brother's who wouldn't leave me alone (even back then I was a fantastic multi-tasker). Another one I can think of was me always being the first one up on Christmas morning. I would tip toe out to the living room with the innocent anticipation of catching a glimpse of the Big Guy, I would scope out the loot and go wake up my brother's. Together we would go wake up my parents and then we would all sit in the living room and open our gifts. Even today while typing this I can feel the rush of excitement I would feel as a child in that living room playing Santa handing out every one's gifts.

Family traditions don't have to be big things, expensive items, or amazing spectacles; they can be simple things too, like all being together in the same room for one hour, one morning, or one day.

This will be our second Christmas with our daughter and to be honest I CAN'T WAIT!! I can't wait to see her little face on Christmas morning, to see her tackle boxes and devour wrapping paper, but most of all I can't wait to create the moments which she will remember for a lifetime. Okay, so she probably won't remember this Christmas, but I will.

I am hoping over the years we will create our own Christmas traditions, ones that she will remember year after year and will hopefully one day want to share with her own family. One tradition I hope to carry on is us going as a family to pick out and cut down our own Christmas tree. Last year we did this and this year we did it again, and has been something I have looked forward to all year.

I am happy to share with you some images of our little Family Tree-dition!

So I just realized I have no pictures of the actual tree... my bad. I guess watching a toddler and a yellow lab in a Christmas Tree lot takes precedence. But I can tell you one thing, it is tree-riffic!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winner of the Photo Shoot Giveaway!

The nominations are in!

I have read them, re-read them, and then read all of them one last time. I will admit this was a lot harder than I thought it would be. In all, I received eight amazing nominations, but I kept coming back to one. It brought tears to my eyes the first time I read it and I am sure when I am done with the shoot and am sitting in this very chair editing the photo's, I will cry again.

I am pleased to announce the winner of the Photography Session Giveaway was nominated by e-mail from Jenn who wrote:

"I have a friend I work with everyday. He is always willing to lend an extra hand for what ever task is put on his plate. Meanwhile in the back of his mind he is planning things that most men wouldn't dream of doing. He is a single Dad to a beautiful young girl (6 years old). A couple of years ago he watched his beloved wife battle cancer. She was a tough lady but unfortunately this horrible disease took her too soon; before she could watch her daughter grow, before she could grow old with her husband. Now Rick, works full time, travels about 40 minutes to and from work everyday, and has to do all of the household chores that would normally be completed by 2. First things first always is his daughter."

It will be an honor for me to photograph this father and his daughter!! A huge thank you to all of you who took a moment to nominate someone for a free photo shoot, this giveaway is definitely something I will be offering for years to come.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Maine Children Photographer

Burrr! Yes, that is right, Burrr, it is getting cold here in Maine. But too not cold to stop me and one of my favorite six year olds in the world from getting some fabulous pictures. My sister-in-law called me up and asked if I wouldn't mind photographing this little aspiring model and with a face like this, how could anyone resist?! It was cold and yes there was even snow, but that didn't stop us from getting some stunning photographs. Enjoy!


This could be an ad for gorgeous!

This last one was too fun not to share!

Happy Sunday!

Monday, November 29, 2010

More Thanks

November 23, 2010 - PJ Pants
You are the first thing I think of when I get home and are exactly what my legs ordered after a long day of being suffocated by dress pants/nylons/tights.

November 24, 2010 - My iPod
You make the morning commute bearable. There is not one single tolerable morning show to listen to during the 37 minute drive.

November 25, 2010 - Thanksgiving
The night before Thanksgiving we watched a show that debunked everything I thought I knew about this sacred date of gluttony. None the less, I am thankful for this day and all that it brings. Most importantly I am thankful for my supportive, caring, loving, Ranch and hot sauce loving family. If I didn't have them, all of them, I don't know what I would do. I really should donate an entire day of Thanks to each and everyone of them as they are all amazing in their own right, but that would take forever and honestly there are not enough hours in the day, days in the month, months in the year where I could whole heartily put in a blog how much they all mean to me.

November 26, 2010 - Shopping at Home on Black Friday
HA! While some of you are out at 2a.m. fist fighting in parking lots and trampling old ladies over a $40 markdown; I sit at home, in my warm office, snuggled my pj's, hair a mess, sipping coffee while eating scones (okay, I really don't eat scones, but it goes with the scene...) shopping on-line! I didn't go crazy, but I did purchase myself a HOTT new bag of Actions from Totally Rad Actions. Which I love and didn't have to pull any hair to obtain!

November 27, 2010 - Sharpie Fine Point Pens
Ahhh... when you have a good pen you can conquer the world!! Okay, perhaps that is a little dramatic; but am I the only one who thinks their handwriting improves and the words just flow from your fingertips when holding a specifc type pen? Although, come to think about it, I get the same feeling when holding a blue Bic or a blue Paper mate.

November 28, 2010 - Starbucks
Mmmmm, that is me sipping on a Peppermint Mocha Latte from Starbucks. I love this time of year, but somehow it seems a little sweeter while sipping on a PM Latte (no fat, no whip).

Side note: Have you nominated someone for a FREE photoshoot yet?? If not, send me an e-mail, you can even nominate yourself (psst. I won't tell) :-D

It has been super duper cold in Maine lately and the worst part is... it will get worse before it gets better. So, to help me cope, I reminisce of my trip to St. Thomas in October, flipping through images like these, make me feel warm, hot, sandy... Actually nope... I am still cold.

Happy Monday Everyone!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Photography Giveaway!

If you 'like' me on facebook, you may have seen a post I put up the other day that read "Everyone deserves a picture of themselves they love!" I truly believe that statement and I hope after I complete a shoot, after all the images are edited, and my clients look at their pictures, at the very least, I hope there is one picture they absolutely love. If this is the case, I have done what I was hired to do, and if they have more than one picture they love then that is just another cherry on the sundae.

I am beginning to realize that what I do with my camera is pretty cool. I had a bride tell me she cried when she saw her images and that made me cry. To think that something I did, could touch someone like that, is an amazing feeling.

Okay, okay, so what are you getting at? I want to give away a FREE family, individual or senior session next year to someone who would never hire someone to take their pictures or could never afford to have them done. What are you giving away exactly? Glad you asked, I am offering a free session, a free 4X6 proof book of the images, and a free CD with the images (over a $200 value). Do you know someone who deserves a FREE session next year? If you answered yes, keep reading!

1) Send me an e-mail with their story aleemanphotography@gmail.com, tell me why they deserve a FREE session.
2) The shoot will take place in Central Maine.
3) Deadline for submissions, December 8, 2010.
4) The submitter of the winning nomination will be notified via e-mail.

This is the first time I have offered something like this and am really excited to see what kind of feedback I get. So get those thinking caps on and send me an e-mail. Feel free to e-mail, link to this post on your facebook, tell everyone you know about this giveaway!!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Once Again on the Thanks...

Holy! I am taking this as a note to myself, that if I assign myself an assignment, keep it inside and not share with the world, because obv I will not prevail.

Here I am once again, catching up on the thanks:

November 17, 2010 - Coffee
I really shouldn't have to elaborate on this one as it is self explanatory.

November 18, 2010 - My Hands
Can you imagine for two seconds what life would be like without your hands? How would you type, drive a car, pick food out of your teeth, diaper a baby, eat a sandwich, brush your hair, dial the phone to call your Mom. Wow, sometimes I forget just how lucky I am.

November 19, 2010 - My Car
Ahhh my car. Six years ago it was my drrrrream car. I bought it the first day gas hit $3.00/gallon, I went from a gas guzzling SUV to a little, all-wheel drive, 4 cylinder car, that was/is totally (in my husband's words) nutless. Pfbt! I didn't care, I could fill up on $35 and climb the drive way in the winter! As the years went by, so did the lust for my ride. It was no longer the ride of my eye, as a matter of fact, it's  turning into quite an eye SORE. As my friends and family upgraded to newer, flashier whips, I drudging made another payment on the Ru. Then the A/C went in it two summers ago. Now when your A/C goes, it is because of one of two problems; one involves a small withdrawal from the savings and the other cleans it out! And because my lucky stars are hardly ever in line... mine was the clean out the savings issue. For some odd reason, I feel the need to have some sort of a positive balance in my bank account, I have gone two summers with no A/C. Good thing we live in Maine and only have three days a year when you REALLY need to use the A/C anyway - HA! Anywho, despite sweating out the last two summers, a few rust spots, a defunct trunk latch, rattling heat plate, burnt out dash light, and the peeling tint on the back window, she starts every single day! Yep, before this car the longest I owned a vehicle was 2-3 years, and some of those spent 60% of the time in the garage. (knock on wood) I have never had a major issue with this car and I can still fill the tank for under two Jackson's, which is a good feeling!! Although I loose that feeling as soon as a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee pulls up next to me at a stop light with all that chrome blinding me, or when I see a gorgeous BMW in a parking lot, but then I find my car or the light turns green and I think "HA! NICE PAYMENT SUCKKKAH's" because one of the very best, best, best things about my car is that it is paid forrrrrrrr. And for all that and more, I am thankful.

November 20, 2010 - Come backs
And NO, I am NOT typing about the Back Street Boys or New Kids on the Block, I loveD them both BACK in the day, just not today (or even tomorrow). I am typing about trends; more specifically leggings and headbands. MAN, why did these EVER go out of style? Who made that call, who printed they were no longer cool? I want to talk with them ASAP and ask what the heck were they thinking. I mean come on now, leggings are the perfect accessory that help you look cute, while still being able to run up stairs or sit Indian style in a chair while wearing a dress and headbands, again with the come on now, they turn bad hair days into okay hair days with no effort what so ever.

November 21, 2010 - Wood Heat
Seriously there is nothing like it.

November 22, 2010 - Curiosity
Huh? I know sounds a little odd, but I am thankful for all the wonder in the world. Think about it; if we weren't curious about things, we would never do anything different! Think of all the things you have done because you wondered "what if" or thought "how" or "why".

Curious. I thought of this the other night while reading to my daughter. She is at a great age and is so curious about everything, she loves to read, look at pictures, explore, use her voice, dance, everything to her is so new and everyday she is learning something new.  So while we were reading the phone rang,  I got up to answer it and when I came back into her room I didn't immediately see her, then I did!

 What is she doing?!?! It's hard to see, but in that 'cubby' is where her books are. The shelf is pretty deep and normally she can only grab the ones that are right in the front. Well, if you look closer.

You can see how she piled up her books, used them as a step ladder (if you will) and then pulled herself up on the shelf where she was able to reach the back layer of books. Unbelievable! I can only imagine what her thought process was when she was stacking one book on top of the other. Because the spark of curiosity was lit, she now knows how to use her books as a means to reach more books and because of that 'wonder though' we have a new norm. Now I can only wonder what it will be next!

I know, I still have a few more days to catch up on, but I am tired and it is Thanksgiving tomorrow and it is getting late... so to be continued....
Have a great Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Maine Family Photography

This was my last family session of 2010, so needless to say it was a bittersweet event. This family was a lot of fun to work with. Mom is the cousin of a good friend of mine from high school, I remember these two kids when they were just little, like toddler little, now they are all grown up and almost in high school, which makes me feel ... old. They were very easy to work with too, it's amazing what you can get a couple tweens to do when bribed with Mt. Dew and Slim Jims :-) Here are a few of my favorites from the day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Maine Children Photography

The other day I photographed these a-dorable children. We all met at a local park, skies were clear (albeit a little too sunny, yes in photography there is such a thing), the air was brisk, and the ground was a tad soggy. As Mom’s and Dad’s gathered in the parking lot with their warm D&D coffee's snuggled in their hands, me, my camera, and eight kids began the quest for family pictures.

In case you don’t notice, and I am going to point it out right now, handsome and beautiful runs in this family. The linage must go back generations and with each new limb on the family tree it only gets better. Some of these children may look familiar as I photographed them earlier this year. I had a hard time picking and choosing which ones to post; so I am warning you there are are a lot of pictures, so grab your own warm D&D, sit back, and enjoy.

Look out little ladies!!

Eyeballs and children do not get more gorgeous than these!

My seasoned professionals!

Photographing these two made me wish I had a sister.

For those of you who 'Like' me on facebook, you may recall a post about me tripping over a metal stake AND bench during a recent shoot. Welll, you are looking at the shoot. So what do you do when you trip over a bench, a huge bench, and try to look cool and smile through the pain... you keep snapping pictures and if you are lucky you will get a shot like this. For anyone who doesn't read my blog or doesn't like me on facebook, I am going to tell them that they thought I was so funny, I had them in stitches the entire shoot!

Happy Thursday!