Category Archives: photography

Photoblogging: Up Close & Personal

Tiger Through Glass

We visited Zoo Knoxville last week, and Sebastian has been obsessed with all things animal since. The Malayan Tigers made a HUGE impression on him, and we loved being able to see them up close thanks to the new Tiger Forest habitat. (photo taken 10/10/18)

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Photoblogging: Troubadour

Rich gave me a portrait lens last Christmas, so I immediately tried it out on one of my favorite subjects.

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Photoblogging: In the Deep Woods


To celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary, the spouse and I took a hike in the Smokies this past weekend. It had been a while since our last hike together, and it was great to be outside on such a beautiful day. (Photo taken 4/11/15)


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Photoblogging: Cora Had a Little Goat

At her friend's petting zoo birthday party, Coraline made fast friends with a baby lamb (3/7/15).

At her friend’s petting zoo birthday party, Coraline made fast friends with a baby goat. I won’t lie — if he’d have fit in my purse, I would’ve tried to smuggle him home. (Photo taken 3/7/15)

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Photoblogging: You Go Squish Now


This is me pretending to get stepped on by a troll in the courtyard of the WETA Cave in Wellington, New Zealand (11/06/14). Thanks to my new friend Lauren for taking the pic.
And yes, soon I will finish posting the trip recaps. I find myself in the same boat as my Fellowship friends in that by stretching out the sharing of events and photos, it’s a little easier to admit that the trip of a lifetime is, in fact, over.

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This Post Is Coming to You From the Future*

Song Lyric of the Day:

Diamond clouds / I think we’re getting closer / Don’t stop now / Off the ground / Higher than a supernova / Don’t look down

Cazzette / “Beam Me Up

Yesterday was a long day of traveling from Knoxville to Houston to Los Angeles on our way to Auckland, New Zealand. I actually wrote this post 12 hours after we left Knoxville, during our almost 10-hour layover in Los Angeles. Suggestion: LAX could really use a small movie theater for people with 10-HOUR LAYOVERS.

Our day started with Rich and Coraline driving Nan and me to the airport. Coraline was not only giddy about seeing Miss Nan, she was thrilled to be allowed to wear her warm footie PJs for the drive (she was wearing a coat but not getting out of the car). Our flight from Knoxville to Houston left around 9:30AM, and it was the standard puddle-jumper most outbound Knoxville flights use. We didn’t really have a layover once we got to the Houston airport, which is an hour behind Knoxville; it was sheer luck we happened to stop in front of our gate for our Los Angeles-bound flight when they announced it was time to line up for boarding. The plane to L.A. was one of the bigger planes I’ve been on in several years. So big it actually scared me when we had minor turbulence — apparently I’m really used to puddle-jumpers these days. I counted at least seven instances where I thought, “holy cow, this is it — I’m going to die.” Thankfully, that did not happen. Obviously. But still: scary turbulence = scared Pattie.

The flight to L.A. (which is 3 hours behind EST) took a little more than 3 hours, but not longer than the 3 1/2 hours or more that would’ve gotten us fed. This is where I’d like to point out that the Think Thin protein bars I brought with us are what kept us from potentially fainting from hunger. Me, anyway. Once we landed at LAX, it became our mission (after checking in our luggage with Air New Zealand) to find food. Real food that didn’t come in a little wrapper. After grabbing the LAX shuttle back to the main terminal because the international terminal really didn’t have any viable food options, we decided on Wolfgang Puck Express, where the food did not disappoint (turkey sandwich with bacon and avocado = divine).

We sat in a gate lounge that had closed for the day and was being used by other weary travelers, where I wrote this post and finally checked in on Facebook for more than my standard 20-second pop-in. (I’m basically a cat burglar on Facebook, in and out before anyone notices.)

One more flight to go, and then we will be in the real Middle-Earth. Fingers crossed we have another safe — preferably turbulence-free — flight. I think it’s a safe bet to say that no matter what the in-flight entertainment might be, Nan and I will both be grabbing some much-needed shuteye.

Here’s hoping I get to update again once we’re all settled in tomorrow.

Created with flickr slideshow.


*It’s 17 hours ahead of EST here in New Zealand. SEVENTEEN HOURS.

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Photoblogging: Slinky

This is one of my favorite recent pics of Coraline. She was a happy camper once I managed to untangle that little Slinky. (Photo taken 10/14/14)

This is one of my favorite recent pics of Coraline. She was a happy camper once I managed to untangle that little Slinky. (Photo taken 10/14/14)

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Photoblogging: Profile

Coraline in Profile

I took this photo right after we washed Coraline’s hair. It helps give you an idea of how long her hair is before it re-curls as it dries, even though it had already started curling again by the time I snapped this. (5/11/14)


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Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza

Song Lyric of the Day:

Hold me closer tiny dancer / Count the headlights on the highway / Lay me down in sheets of linen / You had a busy day today

Elton John / “Tiny Dancer

A couple of months ago Rich and I enrolled Coraline in her first ballet class. Technically, it’s a jazz/ballet/creative movement/gymnastics class, but we call it ballet for simplicity’s sake. Coraline loves it, and so do we. It’s been so much fun watching her make new friends and to learn how to do first position, second position, and plie, among other ballet moves. She’s also learned the ball-shuffle-change move in tap, heel-toe moves, toe taps, and so on. She then goes insane — as does her whole class — when it’s time to switch to gymnastics for the last half of class. With a bit of encouragement, she now loves braving new things like the parallel bars, the balance beam, and the uneven bars — all with the instructor’s assistance, of course. Coraline is also now an ace tumbler after a less-than-spectacular start.

Coraline’s class’ recital is this weekend, the stuff of my mother’s dreams. See, once upon a time, young Pattie was enrolled in ballet class. And little Pattie whined after every class about how tired she was. Which always got the same response from her mother: “But you’ll be such a pretty ballerina!” It’s basically become family lore that I failed as a ballerina. Me, the klutz who broke my toe walking out of a room, remember? I can admit that I have hardly any grace, and I’ve made my peace with that. But my mom — oh, boy. She might literally have bells on this weekend, she’s so excited for Coraline’s recital. At least Coraline truly enjoys her class. No whining about being tired afterward from her! In fact, she’s excited about starting the next level of class, because she’s my girl and she’s awesome. Sure, she has maybe an ounce more grace than I do, but she pours her heart into learning her steps.

I’ll be wearing my own set of bells for her recital this weekend.


First day of class (3/26/14)


Tiny ballerina feet


Preparing to twirl


Practicing some of that creative movement


If there’s one thing Coraline is aces at, it’s the bows. The child is all about the bows.


Coraline is always more than happy to pose for a photo when she’s in her ballet outfit.




Look at that bow — she has more grace than me after all!


My beautiful ballerina

*This post’s title is taken from one of my favorite jokes on Friends, courtesy of Phoebe.


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Photoblogging: Mother’s Day 2014

Yesterday I enjoyed a low-key Mother’s Day, my fourth as Coraline’s lucky mom. We started the day with brunch — Coraline’s favorite meal — at The Egg & I, our first visit and one of the few places with a less than two-hour wait. Then we came home, where Rich and Coraline presented me with cards and presents. Coraline’s card made me cry (Rich chose well), while Rich’s was sweet and heartfelt. They gifted me with Lily Allen‘s new album, Sheezus, which I really like; a gift certificate to my favorite Italian restaurant, Altruda’s; and the Evil Dead Blu-Ray, which is a huge deal. It’s a huge deal because while I LOVE horror movies, Rich does not. At all. So he really took one for the team, because now that I own it, he knows there’s a chance he might have to watch it with me. That’s a good man right there. As far as Coraline is concerned, it’s a “people” (read: adult) movie that she can’t watch for a very long time.

Rich then offered to watch Coraline so I could enjoy a solo trip to Barnes & Noble without my tiny bookworm in tow — so luxurious. After the bookstore I went to my parents’ house to give Mom her card and presents. Coraline will be personally presenting her abuela with her Mother’s Day card today; we knew she’d want to do that herself. I got home, hung out a bit more, then when Coraline went down for her nap, I passed out on the couch with my cats. Then it was time for dinner, which we picked up from a nearby restaurant, and more family time. All in all, it was another great Mother’s Day. I’m really fortunate to be mom to such a fabulous kid, which I would never be without an equally fabulous husband.

Speaking of, said husband indulged me and took some pics of me with our curly-topped cutie to commemorate the day.


Coraline insists she be called Darth Vader when wielding this little inflatable light saber.


A kiss from Mommy




A kiss from Coraline


A BIG kiss from Coraline


She’s very into making silly faces for photos these days.


Me and my little girl


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