Letters to my Daughter | Eastern Shore MD Children’s Photographer

My Dear Claire, The term "busy season" means absolutely nothing to you.

It does not make you stop jumping.  It does not make you stop asking "where's [favorite toy, favorite person, favorite food]?" It does not make you stop asking me for a "hair tied?" It does not make you stop trying to use all of Ben's toys.  It does not make you want to wear the purple shirt instead of the green shirt, because you have decided that green is your favorite.  It does not make you stop playing dress up.  It does not make you stop asking for your Halloween candy (which, somehow, is still around!).

It does, however, make Mommy a little busy and distracted.  It makes Mommy forget to pick up her camera.  And then suddenly I'm reminded, and catch a moment of you being so... you.  Busy season means absolutely nothing to you, and I love that <3

Please continue around this month's circle to my talented friend Jessie's entry, and see what she has to say to her two beautiful girls :)

Letters to my Daughter | Chester MD Children’s Photographer

My Darling Claire! Another month, another letter :)

It's officially fall, and I'm ready for everything that comes with it - Halloween, Thanksgiving, falling leaves and fall festivals.  But, I can't jump happily into fall without taking a minute to reminisce about our fantastic summer! Oh, what a summer this was - eventful and fun! We welcomed a new little brother, played hard with our cousins, spent quality time as a family, went on vacation, and started dance class.  And, my baby girl, you turned two (stay tuned for a very special post about that!).  Right before my very eyes you are becoming you - a fiesty, stubborn, hilariously silly, kind, amazing little girl, and I am so proud to be your mommy.

I'm excited to welcome the super talented Jennifer Vititoe to our group! Please check out her inaugural post to her beautiful girls and then continue along around the circle.

Letters to my Daughter | Eastern Shore Children's Photographer

My Dear Claire, Can one win at vacation? Because if one can, you certainly do.  Our annual Outer Banks trip (stay tuned for more pictures from this week, to come!) was pushed back this year, thanks to your brother's arrival, and it couldn't have come at a more perfect time for all of us.  The minute we rolled onto the beach you let out a giant "WOO HOO!" (seriously, who taught you that?) and that set the tone for the whole rest of the week.  You, my dear, are a beach bum, just like the rest of us.  It's in your blood girl, you can't deny it! <3 We hear so often people's worries and concerns about you being the middle child, they wonder how you will react and adapt to life around you.  Well, my love, I think the middle is exactly where you are supposed to be.  You're in this wonderful in-between place, where you can be a big kid one second and then immediately be our sweet baby again the next.  You relate to your big brother just as well as you do to your little one.  (Ok, maybe not quite as well to the little one just yet... he's kind of hard to relate to, all he does is sleep and eat.)  I hope you always maintain this balance, it's a beautiful thing to watch you travel from person to person, situation to situation, and completely adapt as necessary.  You are the ultimate chameleon.

You turned two last month, and your class clown personality has just become more and more amplified - other kids bring out the sillies in you, and you love to make those around you laugh.  You get the cutest little grin and a devilish look in your eye and you never know what's about to happen.  90% of the time it is awesome and fun.  The other 10%? Well, you're two.

I love you, Claire <3

Please continue around the circle to see what my wonderful friend Misty has to say to her daughter this month!

And if you're looking for more pictures from our vacation, hop on over to Let Them Be Little, where I am the featured photographer of the week!

PreK! | Eastern Shore MD Photographer

I woke up the other day and my baby had grown up, right before my very eyes.  Here on the Eastern Shore, pre kindergarten is set up just like kindergarten is elsewhere - kids go on the bus (with the big kids!) to the elementary school where they have a classroom and a real teacher, and a curriculum, and so on.  Basically, in a nutshell, school starts here at pre-k.  And my child started started pre-k today. He was so excited, and a little bit nervous.  I forced him to sit for a picture or two, and then he was over it.  He paced, watched for the bus, had a little dance party in the driveway, played with some toys... and then off he went.

School.  On the bus.  MY BABY.

 This all goes too fast.
(He had a great day, met some new friends, likes his teacher and his bus driver and is excited to go back.  It's going to be a great year!)

A Day in the Life of a Two Year Old | Eastern Shore MD Children's Photographer

Every year on their birthdays I do a day in the life post for my kids.  When I first did this with Christopher, four and a half years ago, I had no idea it was going to become a tradition, but it's just kind of morphed into one.  I LOVE it.  It feels like a special thing that I share with each of them, every year, and I love going back to look at their days year after year. This time it was Claire's turn.  My baby girl turned two <3

We had a little reading/playtime right after waking up.  She always has the most epic beadhead, I love it :-D

"Strawberry cereal" (Special K Redberries, my kids are obsessed with it!) is a breakfast of champions for a birthday girl. It's Claire's day, she gets to pick what she wants to do.  What she she want to do? "Bath! Bath! Bath!" Ok then, baby girl, lets do it. And then it was on to the playground :)Hot dogs and macaroni and cheese for lunch with the cousins? Yes! Claire wants to do that! Followed by ice cream - vanilla, only ever vanilla! It's a birthday lunch fit for a queen.Then the ultimate birthday treat for any kid... a trip to Target, where you can pick out ANYTHING you want.  She was laser focused on the babies.And then a little pre-nap winding down and tv watching.Waking up from naps is hard, even when you're the birthday girl......but it's nothing a popsicle can't fix.  In fact, there's very little a popsicle can't fix, when you're two. Surprise! Happy birthday Claire! A big wheel fit for a princess. And then it was dinner time.  A very funny, silly, pizza filled dinner time. "Happy birthdaaaaaaaaaaaay Dear Claire Bear!" Someone enjoyed her cake very much :)Happy, tired, dirty... and one year older.  I don't know how she's already two.  Love her so :)

Summer, summer, summertime | Eastern Shore MD Children's Photographer

This summer has passed in one of those slow/quick blurs where every day seems impossibly long, but then I look up and suddenly the summer is 2/3 over and I feel like it just started.  I'm sure this is entirely due to the whole brand-new-person-taking-up-all-my-time thing, but so many amazing things have happened this summer, it's just been one of those periods of time I want to capture and replay in my mind over and over again for years to come.  Other than Ben, the biggest news of our summer was my sister and her family moving here from Vermont.  Where they use to be an 8-12 hour drive away by car, now they're only 15 min, and it's aaaaaaaaawesome! So our summer has been filled with sweet baby snuggles and lots of cousin playtime.  There's been some book reading, some super hero flying, and lots and lots of outdoor fun.  Oh summer, never leave!

Letters to my Daughter | Wye Mills MD Children’s Photographer

My Darling Claire, My one and only baby girl! You're a big sister now, and seeing you in that light is both heartwarming and heart wrenching at the same time.  When did you get so big?? You are such a little mommy, you have quickly learned how to kiss and pat and shush Ben and you want to do it all the time.  You also want to "hold it!" and get a little jealous that Mommy has to spend so much time feeding your baby brother... but we have our special snuggle time still.  It's amazing to watch the relationship between siblings develop. I only had one sister, so I never knew what it was like to grow up with multiple siblings, let alone multiple brothers.  I can only imagine what your life is going to be like, everyone's little princess? Or maybe a tom boy, trying to keep up with - or maybe showing the ropes to? - your rowdy brothers.  However you grow up, you will always be our cherished girl.

Please continue around the circle, your next stop is my very talented friend Jessie Wixon, a lifestyle photographer from New York.  See what she has to say to her beautiful daughters this month!

More Ben! | Eastern Shore MD Newborn Photographer

Me again! Checking in from babyland! All is well over here :) Life with three? Yeah, it's a little nuts! We're settling in, figuring out what life looks like now with this little guy in the picture.  I've even managed to find a few quiet moments to do some lifestyle shots with the little man... and quiet is what I'm hoping to capture right now, because I know as this guy grows and tries to keep up with the big ones, things are going to get quite loud.  And crazy.  I can't wait :)


Benjamin | Wye Mills MD Newborn Photographer

Oh, my little Ben.  I am so in love with every squishy inch of him.  I'm in newborn heaven right now, with his baby smell and his baby snuggles.  He is perfection <3 I love newborns, and I love documenting them in every way.  I focus on two areas of newborn photography: posed newborns where I feel like I can capture a baby as a piece of art, and lifestyle newborns where I feel like I can tell a baby's story, the story of his family and who he is, where he will go.  Of course, I shot both types with Ben :)  So first I will share with you my favorites from his posed sessions.


In With the New! | Eastern Shore MD Newborn Photographer

Haaaaaaave you met Ben? (Any other How I Met Your Mother fans out there? Tee hee, that line makes me giggle :)  We almost put it on his birth announcements, but I wasn't sure if anyone else would get it! And then we didn't end up doing birth announcements anyway ;-)) But I digress.  I have a new baby! He's amazing.  We're in love.

Here are a few shots from our first few hours with him.  I give credit for most of these to my amazing husband!

And I can think of no better post with which to debut my new look here at Cat and the Fiddle... what do you think? I think it's A.MA.ZING and I am so thankful for Tiffany over at On The Spot Studio, who is the mastermind behind the new scenery here.  She's awesome to work with, and I'm in love with the end result. Pretty sweet new digs, huh? You should check her out!

Of course stay tuned for more Ben.  I've taken a million pictures of him.  Maybe a million and one :)

Let Them Be Little | Wye Mills MD Newborn Photographer

Just in time for my favorite blog circle! Meet the newest kitten in the Cat and the Fiddle family...

Benjamin Bruce.  Born 7/5 at 7:57 am.  8 lbs, 20" of perfection.

We are in love.

Stay tuned for many, many, maaaaaaany more pictures of little Ben.  I just need a minute or two of sleep first :)

In the meantime, follow the circle and see what my dear friend Renee has to share with you this month - she's had an exciting past few weeks camping with her boys, I bet it's something great :-D  This is the last time we're going to post in this exact format - there are some big, exciting changes coming for our little group!

Letters to my Daughter | Centreville MD Children’s Photographer

Ok Miss Claire, we have reached a milestone here with this whole Letters project.  You see, Mommy is now 36 weeks pregnant - and by the time the next letter comes out this will have become letters to my daughterS or letters to my daughter - my one and only, my little princess in a sea of princes! Whoever this is in there is going to tip the balance of our perfectly divided house (we have Mommy, you and the cat on the girl side, Daddy, Topher and the dog on the boy side!) and I think we're all excited to see which direction this is going ;-)  You have held steadfast that it's a little sister in there - we'll soon see if you're right! In the meantime, I'm relishing these last few weeks where you are the baby 'round these parts :)  I know as soon as little brother or sister arrives you're suddenly going to be looking so big - not that you don't already, you blow my mind daily with your charm and your wit and your smarts (just today you counted from one to seven, I didn't know you could do that!) - but those tiny details on you that have seemed so small and baby-like, are suddenly going to be signs of how much you've grown, how close to "big kid-dom" you really are.  Your little duck tail is growing out (Houston, we have hair! Finally! It only took 22 months!), you want nail polish on your tiny toenails (even though you are too impatient to wait for it to dry, and it gets smudged off almost immediately), you are an epically messy eater and despite my best efforts you usually have a smear of yogurt or peanut butter (which you've suddenly decided you don't like anymore!) somewhere on you, and you are still the happiest most fun loving little girl on the planet - who else would get such joy out of playing big brother's Legos on the kitchen table because Mommy is just too tired to do anything else? Just you, my little Claire, just you <3

Please continue around the circle to my dear friend, the super talented Nicole, of Colie James Photography, and read her June letter to her spunky and awesome daughter Chloe (who I had the pleasure to meet in person a couple weeks ago, and let me tell you - Nicole captures her essence perfectly! They are quite a charming pair, those two :)).

Let Them Be Little | Chestertown MD Children’s Photographer

Have you ever gone grocery shopping with two kids? It's exactly as fun as it sounds.  Except.... sometimes it IS actually really fun :)  And I live in the place in the world where I think all the nicest people have congregated - I can't go to the store without hearing how beautiful and well behaved my children are (hahahahaha, they certainly have everyone fooled!).  Today was one of the fun ones.  Christopher is such a little boy, and he was so helpful getting all the things that are difficult for Mommy and her giant belly to reach on the bottom shelves (as a sidenote: just a few more weeks and I'll be making the grocery trips with three kids... eeeek!).  Claire is such a sponge right now, learning and loving everything around her.  I think the produce section is such a great learning tool for a toddler! We talked all about apples and bananas and red and yellow, and on and on. I love these kids <3

So, here's a day in the life of our family at the grocery store.

It always starts with coffee for Mom.  Because, well, duh.  And sometimes that means a little drink or treat for the kids too.

And I always, ALWAYS go to the left side first.  Bread, dairy, freezer section.  I don't know why, I just do.

At which point, the silliness usually starts.

You know, following the rules at the grocery store can be difficult.  Especially when it comes to favorite things like goldfish crackers, or "FEEEEEESH!" as Claire calls them.

When Mom asks you to get something that's up high, it only makes sense to see if you can jump for it.

By then we've almost always filled up the cart, and end up needing to find creative ways to balance the produce.  Or someone carries it.

And then we're done.  DONE.  And bored.

Except despite her many lists, Mom always manages to forget something.  So it's back to the beginning we go ;-)

Thanks for sharing our routine with us! :)  Please follow around the circle to my lovely and uber talented friend Laura at My Everyday Blessings.  Her photos of her children are breathtaking!

Letters to my Daughter | Chestertown MD Children's Photographer

My Darling Claire, Sometimes watching you grow can be bittersweet.  I'm amazed every day at the brilliant, charming, and funny little person you're becoming.  But sometimes I look at you and it just takes my breath away at how fast this is all happening, how quickly you're shedding your baby mannerisms and quirks and becoming a little girl.  And it's in those moments that I take a step back and I breathe you in, and I do everything I can to remember all your little details, just as they are, right now.  You're perfect, my sweet baby.  Sandy eyelashes and all :)


Please follow the link to my very talented friend Sherri Davis, and see what words of love she has for her daughter Leah this month :)  Sherri is an amazing Canadian photographer who does absolutely breathtaking lifestyle and fine art work.

Let Them Be Little | Easton MD Children’s Photographer

As I talked about last month during my Let Them Be Little project, sometimes letting them be little means letting them be big - letting them stretch their wings and flex their adult muscles, and try to be a big grown up just like Daddy. And then sometimes letting them be little is actually that - letting them be little in this world, letting yourself grasp how infinitely small and unique and perfect they are.  How there is only one of them in the entire universe.  My little boy may be getting oh so big... but he is still oh so little <3

Please follow along the circle to my super talented friend Aimee of Aimee T. Macnamee Photography's blog as she explores the Let Them Be Little theme.  Aimee is a Richmond, VA lifestyle photographer who is amazing at capturing her spunky little girls' personalities - you'll love what she has to offer!

Letters to my Daughter | Stevensville MD Children's Photographer

My Darling Claire, Sassypants! I'm pretty sure that's the best word to describe you as of late :)  You are a quite spitfire, and at 19 months you already have your daddy and I wrapped around your beautiful little fingers.  I'm afraid of what your teenage years will hold, because some of your diva tantrums already stop me in my tracks! But, all I can do is laugh at you - your fiery temper (matched by your hair, which is growing in red! Who saw that coming?) is always balanced by your sense of humor, and your undying sweetness.  You're quite the Leo my little love, you fight hard and you love even harder.

This month we went to the beach! Your daddy and big brother and I had so much fun with you, playing in the sand and splashing in the waves.  You greeted everyone with a giant smile, and your favorite new word "HELLO!" (On this trip you also learned "coffeeeeee!" "BUCKLE!" [as in "unbuckle me now, Mommy!"], "beach!" "Sand!" and "Water!")

My sweet Chicken Noodle (one of your many, maaaaaaany nicknames - sorry 'bout that ;-) ), it was such a pleasure to watch you learn and discover and love something that I love so much, and to feel that travel will be a part of your soul like it is mine.  I hope this is something we can share together for many years, and this was just the first of many great adventures to come our way.

I love you Claire.  I love watching you learn and grow.  I love being your mommy.  I'm one lucky mommy, indeed <3


Please follow the circle! This month I'm linking to the talented Misty Davis, who will share some of her thoughts to her beautiful girls :)


Let Them Be Little | Stevensville MD Children's Photographer

I feel like lifestyle photography is a buzzword thrown around these days, and people don't often take the time to explain what it means to them or why they do it.  So, what is lifestyle photography to me? It's the opportunity for me to capture the very moment as it happens, to watch my children grow and learn and explore right in front of my lens, to immortalize those moments forever.  I love portraits, and think they give me a chance to capture the beauty and innocence that is childhood, but lifestyle... ahhhh, lifestyle - it allows me to tell a story, and not just any story, THE story of these little people.  My people, your people, that's the beauty of lifestyle, I can tell the story of my family or any family.  It's such a special way to take a slice of time and freeze it forever. I'm doing another blog circle this month, joining with some incredibly talented fellow lifestyle photographers (who I'm also lucky to have as great friends!) to capture the essence of our little ones.  The theme of our circle is "Let Them Be Little," an idea which I'm sure resonates with every parent out there.  I found this month though, that sometimes letting them be little both as hard and as easy as watching them trying to be big.  Christopher took advantage of the almost-spring sunshine the other day to do a little spring cleaning, Mr. Fix It'ing, and "I want to be just like my daddy-ing."

He'll always be little in my eyes, but man... when did he get so big? <3

Please continue along the circle and see my very talented friend Sherri's take on "Let Them Be Little" next!

Letters to my Daughter | Easton MD Children's Photographer

I am so excited for this new project I'm about to embark on :)  I've been invited to participate in a blog circle with some of my other favorite friends and photographers, that focuses on our beautiful daughters.  Once a month we will share a "letter to my daughter," something I've composed in my head all the time but have never shared with my own little lovely, or anyone else for that matter.  But, that's why I live and breathe and click these days, to capture these little moments, and I'd be absolutely remiss to let even a second go by without finding a way to preserve it forever. So, without further ado, please enjoy this month's letter to my beautiful Claire <3 And when you're done, please check out my uber talented friend Jessie Wixon's letter to her gorgeous girls.

My Dear Claire,

My sweet, sassy, sensitive girl.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height of all the peanut butter jellies in the whole world.  Which, you will always get all over your face, belly, hands, and hair, because eating neatly is for some other baby, somewhere else.  You realize that life is messy and the best part can't be found without a little work.  You will never stop digging right in.

I love thee to the level of every coffee table in the world, because I realize there is no better height from which to Magnadoodle your masterpieces into this world.  I understand your need to climb and reach, baby girl, and I encourage you to keep climbing, keep reaching, for there is no coffee table too high, no Magnadoodle too big for you to conquer.

I love thee with a love I see you give freely, to your family, to your friends, to the world as a whole.  I love the love that comes from your every pore.  You have the sweetest soul.

I love you, my little one.  Thank you for being you.

Love, Mommy <3



My Baby Turned Four! | Eastern Shore Children's Photographer

  I'm not sure how it happened so fast, but today my sweet, silly, smart, sensitive boy turned four.  FOUR! He is growing up right before my eyes, and while it is absolutely bittersweet, it's amazing to watch my firstborn baby turn into this wonderful person - he's so much fun to be around, and I cherish him so much.

Every year on my kid's birthdays I do a "Day in the Life" project.  Someday I'm going to get them all in an albums (it's on my ever growing list of things to do), but for the moment I just love looking back through what our life was like on the day Christopher turned two, or one, or three.

Here's a glimpse into a day in the life of my FOUR year old :)

Just eatin' some cereal...

Then it's off to play at Chuck E Cheese's! (His choice, not mine ;-))

A little unsure about the ticket blaster thingy.

Lunch of four year old champions.

Picking out a special birthday toy at Toys R Us!

Juuuuuuuust making sure this is the one he really wants.

Playing with his birthday spoils.

Out for birthday cupcakes! Yum!

Bathtime with baby sis.

Goodnight my big kid, birthday boy <3