One day my boys were playing outside in short sleeves. The next day we played in the snow. Hello cold snap! We were in heaven!

This cold weather is great for snow, but I'm am cursing it as I get up to go running in the morning. Maybe I should invest in some running clothes that provide more warmth than a hoodie cinched up so tightly that only my nose is sticking out...

Let the Christmas season officially begin!


Bini and Suchit (Durham engagement photographer)

Bini and Suchit are two of the happiest people I have ever met. They actually apologized for smiling too much. They are getting married in India, but wanted some engagements here, at Duke gardens where they went on their first date.

Bini, you are gorgeous.

(FYI: If you smile too much, you might become some of my favorite clients. If I chose favorites.. which I don't. But if I did....)



There is nothing like sisterly love. Though I have more memories of my sisters giving me wedgies than I do of us hugging like this. :)


The Hairy White Elephant

Tis the season for white elephant gift exchange parties. Hooray! Well, hooray for you. Not for me. I used to love white elephant parties. That is, until I gave the worst white elephant gift of all time.

Let’s back up.

Many moons ago I was a freshman at a small 2 year college. I was a choir nerd—meaning I spent 90% of my time at the music building and I was thought it was socially acceptable to randomly burst into song. 1/3rd of my choir time was spent in Show Choir. (Which multiplies the nerd factor by 5.)

I sauntered into my Show Choir rehearsal one day and heard my teacher in the middle of an announcement about our upcoming choir Christmas party. Part of the party included a gift exchange. Our instructor explained that the annual gift exchange had a reputation for hilarious and sometimes gross gifts. “One year,” she said, “a boy brought a lump a fudge that looked just like dog poop.” She ordered us not to spend any money and her only requirement was that we bring something funny.

Free, funny and a teensy bit inappropriate? I was all over it. Mr faux-poop was about to get schooled.

It took a couple of weeks to come up with the perfect gift. I was brushing through my hair when the idea hit me..

A hairball. A giant hairball!

I happened to lived on a floor with 24 girls. 24 girls = 24 hairbrushes full of hair! Brilliant, right? Pretty soon I had assembled the biggest/most gag inducing hairball on the planet.

I walked into our Show Choir Christmas party confidently. I placed my nicely wrapped package in the center of the room and anticipated the laughter that was sure to come.

We drew numbers and my classmates started picking gifts and unwrapping them.

Gift #1: An old candle. Lame.

Gift #2: Top Ramen. Double Lame

Gift #3: A Christmas CD. Whoops.. someone didn’t get the disgusting memo!

Gift #4: A miniature Christmas Tree. Brand new.

Gift #5: A Christmas Ornament.

Present after present was unwrapped and not a single present was gross. Every single gift was useable and most of them were downright NICE!

My stomach churned into a knot as Lisa stood up. Little Miss Lisa. The girl who brought the Christmas tree because she “didn’t want to be rude.” The girl who had never pumped her own gasoline. Dainty dancer Lisa who always looked perfect.

She picked my gift.

She picked MY GIFT!

I shifted in my seat.

She started to unwrap.

I considered running over and stealing it. (The gift giving was anonymous so I decided to play it cool.)

She opened the box with a smile. Her smile melted into a horrified grimace as she slowly pulled out my surprise and threw it across the room while screaming.

She thought it was a dead animal.

I prayed that the ground would open up and swallow me whole.

Unfortunately, anonymity flew out the window as my dirty rotten bright red face gave me away.

Please. Take some advice from someone who’s been around the gift exchange block a couple of times. Next time you go to one of these “parties” don't take a hairball. (You were thinking about it, huh.) Take something like the Snazzy Napper. It’s funny, it’s usable, and no one will mistake it for a dead animal.

Good luck.


Press Pause Please

What the...

Is Thanksgiving really this Thursday? Isn't it still October? Holy Moly, this month has gone by fast. Having a traveling husband for the month sure makes things whip by.

I have approximately 245 sessions to share with you. They are coming, I swear!

Taking care of my boys all day by myself while Aaron was gone made me feel like Superwoman. Or a crazy lady.. depending on the day. There have been many, many nights lately where I have gone to bed wondering where my boys get all of their spunk. And then Aaron gives me a knowing look that implies that he knows exactly where they got all of their spunk.

I love that Luke is old enough to tag around with his big brother now. We are up to our neck in Star Wars and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

I have been on a reading kick that is rocking my world.

Fall is hanging on in North Carolina. I love it.

I miss my family. I do not miss snow.

This little man is growing like a weed. His fall clothes are already too small. Doh!
But good news: his camera smile is getting a little less crazy.
(But only a little.)

Happy Monday!


A knight, a princess and a dragon

Hooray for creative friends who put together theme costumes for their kids! A dragon, a knight and a princess? How cute is this?

Carson took his role as brave night VERY seriously.

Maybe I'll come up with some super awesome theme next year for my kids. (Or... maybe I'll end up borrowing a costume hours before the big day like I did this year.)



Ashley and Matthew (Durham Children Photographer)

I love fields, backlight and cute kids. So this little session is a win/win/win.

Remember this little guy? One year older and he still has those killer cheeks.
I have approximately 40 pictures of him making faces like the pics below. Umm.. this is what you call an easy child to photograph.

Good night!


Cowgirls and Fairies

Pretty please let me have girls someday so that I can dress them up like this. Aren't they cute?


Hansen Halloween Quickie

The Hansens joined us for a quick 15 minute Halloween shoot. I love this picture so much of little Eliza that it hurts.

Here is the whole brood. Lucky for me, Luke is loving posing for pictures lately. Unlucky for me, his posed smile looks like this.. (on the left).
Every. Single. Time.


About This Blog

All images by Melissa E Photography are protected under copyright law. Reproductions of any kind are strictly prohibited. Melissa E Photography reserves the right to use images for display, publication and promotional purposes of its business. All images remain the property of Melissa E Photography.

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