Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Written by Shannon Leigh

We've got pigtails and I am loving it.

We officially have pigtails!!


In other news, Ruby turned 18 over night.
We walked to the library today and she looked like a teenager walking around the shelves of books with her pigtails.
I think I officially have a toddler.
And how I love her so.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Featured on On to Baby

Written by Shannon Leigh

Guess what!?
Tea for Ruby has been featured on On to Baby (one of my go-to sites for baby ideas).
Check out the feature here!
Table for Tea

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

About the flu

Written by Shannon Leigh

Yesterday I had the flu.
I wasn't convinced that it was the flu at first.
I thought it was just indigestion so I took some tums, laid in a ball, etc.
It wasn't until the 7th time I threw up that I was convinced.
I proceeded to throw up 15 times, pulling a muscle in my back and breaking a blood vessel in my neck.
I was basically tossing large intestine sludge (term coined by my sister, Brooke).

I even had to cancel a shoot, bleh.
I've never had to do that before.

Matt had a busy day so I was home alone with the baby.
I thought I was going to die.

Seriously, the flu is WORST.
I decided to take a nice hot bath to relieve the nausea.
I let Ruby (and Izzy for that matter) play in the water by the side of the tub because I was desperate.
They were both soaked.

I also let Ruby watch LOTS of TV.
I think her brain is mush now.

I now have lots of sympathy for those poor women who have really bad morning sickness. I don't know how they do it.

I feel much better today. Still a little woozy and weak.
I'm praising the Lord that yesterday is over.

MISSION DISINFECT is now in full swing.

I'm getting a massage tomorrow.

And because it's my blog and I don't think I ever posted these...
{Taken in the Secret Garden August 8th, 2010}

P.S. - If you follow my blog you should go LIKE my Shannon Leigh Anderson Facebook page :)
You know you want to.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Aint too proud Monday

Written by Shannon Leigh


Everything on this table somehow fit into this ugly little mail organize that I got at a garage sale for 10 cents like 3 years ago.
I have meant to paint it and make it cute since I got it and never did anything with it.
So sad.
Well the project is now underway and I WILL finish it at some point...maybe.
At lest it's well organized for the time being.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

simplifying digitally

Written by Shannon Leigh

So as most of you know 2011 is all about simplifying in this hizous, yes I just pulled a Tom Haverford.

Not only have I tried to simplify my home and business life but I've also tried to simplify my "digital life." What is a digital life you ask? Let me explain.

We live in a digital world friends and SO much of my work is done digitally, especially concerning photography (although I'm headed back to film, hooray).
Anyway you slice it all of us have LOTS of digital files that NEED to be maintained in a proper archival way, can I get a witness?

There are a few programs that have REALLY helped me get organized during this blissful year of simplifying. Allow me to elaborate.

If you don't use Google Docs, START.
You can store, access and edit any document that you need in any form (.doc, .pdf, etc) from ANYWHERE. It's amazing. I have used google docs for years now and I really don't know what I did before.
I even have a google docs app on my phone so I can send clients documents when I am not near my computer. This has proved to be my best friend since now I don't come home to one billion emails after I am gone for a few days. I try to knock out as many as I can from my phone. Holla.
I have uploaded all of my important work documents and can access them from ANYWHERE.

Matt and I also have a few shared documents that we can constantly update, like our budget. It's pretty sweet. Double holla.

I'll assume most of you know what Flickr is. It's a website that allows users to upload, organize, store, search, and share photos. I use it as an internet back up for all of my files. I can organize each group of pictures and make them searchable based on any criteria. I LOVE IT. For me it's my back up to my back up to my back up if you know what I mean.
I find downloading files from flickr a bit cumbersome but I rarely have to download anything. I generally use it for uploading pictures to my blog or sharing them with friends.
You can make your files public or private which I also find nice. I have the desktop app that allows me to upload files while I don't have a browser open. It's super convenient and less of a hassle than any other system I have tried thus far.
For $25/year you can get a pro account and upload UNLIMITED files which I obviously need considering I currently have 41, 482 items uploaded. I have spent the last few months uploading and organizing EVERY single digital photo that I have and now I am OH so happy. I mean seriously peeps talk about SIMPLIFIED. I am now working on getting the files put in a safe deposit box at the bank. We all know how important my photos are to me. :)
To show you how quick and easy flickr is - I pulled up a picture of each newborn nephew and I in about 1 minute. Sure beats uploading each one individually.
Kellen Mitchell
Keagan Gabriel
Kade Isaac

Halleuluah for a program that keeps my business finances easily organized. I am also super grateful that my handsome hubby is my business partner and stays on top of things financially. I wouldn't say he does ALL the finances but he certainly helps me out. :)
(Any business owners out there- If you have any tips on better programs or on how to make things even easier I am definitely open to suggestions).

On a completely unrelated note, I have been photographing lots of newborns lately and I am LOVING it.
Newborns are a LOT of work since they're completely unpredictable but they are oh so precious. I have been encouraging my clients (especially the moms) to get in at least a couple of photographs with the babies.
I refused to be in any photos when Ruby was a newborn and I totally regret it. It's such a great way to remember how itty bitty they are.
Here are a few shots from her newborn session
{taken March 15th, 2010}
And here is Ruby and I when she was about 2 months old. These are the only pictures I could find of her and I when she was still pretty little.
I was setting up for a shoot that day and did a few test shots with my Ru. I am SO glad I have these, even though I look like a hot mess without any makeup on and my hair all nasty. :)
I am in love with her skinny little legs.
{take May 10, 2010}

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

About today and pacifiers

Written by Shannon Leigh

I was dreading today.

Today I was going to take the Rubster to my hair appointment. I am still not sure what I was thinking. I don't even know how that would have worked. It would have been miserable, ending with both of us in tears covered in hair. That's really the only way it could have gone down. It would have been a real low point in my mothering career thus far.
Matt had a hearing in Chicago this morning and then another one in the afternoon. He couldn't pick Ru up from MMO like I had planned so perfectly.

I would ordinarily reschedule but my hair lady is out of town for like 3 weeks and my poor roots couldn't wait another second. And NO, I am not risking trying someone new, can I get an amen ladies?

Anyway, at the last second Matt called me and told me he could pick her up because his second hearing was CANCELLED. And then the angels sang, no really, I heard them, I think. I haven't been so excited probably since the last time photo equipment came in the mail (which, come to think of it, happens all the time, photography is an expensive business, especially with being SUCH a perfectionist).
I was pumped and promised Matt that I'd make him a very happy man...
by cleaning the house (get your mind out of the gutter).

So I went to my hair appointment, chatted with my adorable hair girl (Megan) and thoroughly enjoyed getting my scalp scrubbed WITHOUT a paci-less toddler screaming on my lap (or eating hair on the floor).

My scalp is still tingling.

That leads me to paci-less Ruby.
Yes it's true. We are approaching the 72 hour mark being paci free.
Here's the thing folks, I don't think Ruby was nearly as addicted to the paci as I was. I LOVE the paci (note the capitalized, bold, italicized LOVE). You see it was a surefire happy/quiet maker. When things were bad, the paci would make it all better.

Ruby came home from the hospital loving the paci. Some babies never take one, some babies suck their fingers, my baby LOVED her paci. Ruby was putting herself to sleep in just a few months without fussing because of that paci. God bless you mr. paci (may you RIP).

We planned to do it at 12 months but I drug my feet. I just couldn't part with it. We were going through lots of transitions around that time, like weaning her off the bottle and then we were concentrating on crawling/walking, plus we were traveling a lot (and there is SERIOUSLY nothing worse than a screaming toddler in the backseat, it gives me a neck ache).

Then Ruby started throwing her paci and I was SO tired of retrieving it. We also aren't traveling for 2 weeks so we decided to bite the bullet and give it a try. It has actually gone rather smoothly. The first time I laid her down for a nap she cried for an hour, boy was she mad. The second time she fussed for 20 minutes, the 3rd time 10, and now it's just a few seconds. Point for team mom.

If I would have known it was this easy I might have done it sooner but then again, maybe not. I feel like all of the "baby" is gone in my little gem. I TOTALLY understand why some 3 year olds are walking around with a bottle. It's hard to let them grow up, but grow up they must.

And just because I love this picture:
{Taken March 31, 2010 on her first trip to Chicago}

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ain't Too Proud Monday

Written by Shannon Leigh

Sometimes I am too lazy to fold and put away the laundry as it gets done.
It results in a big pain-in-the-butt to fold mountain of wrinkled clothes.
Curse my severe procrastination.
Can you find the Ruby?

Brusha, Brusha, Brusha

Written by Shannon Leigh

We have been brushing Ruby's teeth for a few months now.
We started when she only had 2 and now she has (almost) 8.

She's been a trooper for getting so many teeth so fast.
She currently has 4 on top and 3 on bottom. She is working on the 4th on the bottom.

Her 2 front teeth are super far apart and a little crooked.
They are hilarious, definitely NOT dental perfection.
But we don't care.

It reminds me a of Jan from Grease singing the Ipana toothpaste jingle with Bucky Beaver.

I found an Ipana commercial. Check it out , you won't regret it.

She LOVES brushing. It tickles her gums and she laughs the entire time.
These were taken the first time we brushed her teeth.
She was CLEARLY enjoying herself.
{taken April 6, 2011}

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Easy to love

Written by Shannon Leigh
When Matt and I found out we were pregnant I was a little worried about how I was going to love this little offspring of mine.
We got pregnant a little faster than I expected and then I entered that icky morning sickness stage for the first 12 weeks.
I didn't love being pregnant so I worried that I would somehow resent this child for taking away my body and my life for 9 months.

But then she arrived.
I've never been so in love in all my life.
It was instantaneous love.
But as she grows she is making it really easy to love her.
She's laid back and easy going and beyond expressive.

Oh how I praise the Lord for this precious gift he has given me.
I am reminded of Mary's song in Luke 1:46-55
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

Don't get me wrong there are bad days, there are long days, there are days that I want to pull my hair out but for the most part, I enjoy her immensley.

Thanks for being so wonderful miss Ruby Evangeline.
And praise the Lord for being so merciful.
Looking forward to spending the next 18 years together.

Also Ruby has added a few more words to her vocabulary.
She is adding words left and right.

All done
Where are you?

She is also started to take consecutive steps! Woo hoo!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ruby the Destroyer

Written by Shannon Leigh

The picture below is probably one of my favorite pictures EVER.
It was a few days after Ruby's 1st birthday.
I was trying to photograph her birthday shoes on her chair and miss Ruby would NOT leave them alone.
She kept creeping up onto the chair with wobbly legs and snatching them.
I snapped this one and it made my heart pitter patter.
She looks like a little giant.
I love that chubby little face peering down at her prize.
ahhh, sweet victory.
Aren't her duck feathers adorable?
Look at those chubby arms... don't you just want to nibble them?
I'll take the left one slathered in mayo please.
I eventually got the shot that I was after.
But right now I am so grateful for the out-takes.

{all pictures taken March 16, 2011}

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Written by Shannon Leigh

To ALL of the mothers in my life.
But especially to the one that raised me.
Mom on ladder August 79
Mom climbing ladder August 79
{Scanned chromes from August, 1979}

I love you Mom!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Featured on Unique Baby Gear

Written by Shannon Leigh

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a woman who found some of my photos on flickr.
She loved Ruby's nursery and asked me if she could feature the nursery on her website, Unique Baby Ideas.

The site seems like a GREAT place to garner baby ideas if you're expecting or know someone expecting. Check out the site and browse around!

By leaving a comment on Ruby's nursery I get entered into the nursery pictures contest! If I get the most votes I win $500!
Comment/vote away if you'd like!
Check out Ruby's nursery feature HERE.


Written by Shannon Leigh

Ruby is a talker - go figure.
What she lacks in physical mobility she makes up for in her chitter chatter. She comes by it honestly. She is bound to be a bit of a late bloomer.

She says A LOT of words and it's actually quite easy to communicate with her.
She even says a few phrases.

I want to write it all down so I don't forget all she says right now. We have gotten a lot of it on video too. It's like the cutest sound of all time and I NEVER want to forget her perfect little voice.

She says:
Mama (the strike is over, Halleluiah)
Uh oh
Bunny (she says bubby)
Eat (teat)- She also signs that
more- She signs that too
Nana - name for my mom and a banana
GiGi- name for Matt's mom
PaPa- name for both Grandpas (pa & pop)
Bubble Guppies- (she says Buppy)
No - for no and "nose"
Oh no
oh my
Night Night (she says ni ni)
belly button (She says beppy bup)
Bath- (she says Bap)
Where did it go?(this is seriously the cutest)
Hi DaDa
Bye DaDa
She signs milk

She says the animal noises for:

And because no post is complete without a few pictures
{pictures taken April 27, 2011 in the dress we brought back from the Caribbean for her}