~ Love, Anonymous ~

Usually when I get anything from an anonymous source it’s not a good thing.  When you are a happy person, with some degree of success, people will try and drag you down, always.  

Usually it’s a nasty blog comment or e-mail, signed “Anonymous” -  They are far and few between, but they do happen once in a while.  It’s not something that’s ever bothered me,  it’s just folks who are frustrated with their own situation and aren’t articulate enough to give their opinion in a constructive way,  so they hide behind mean words and the blanket of anonymity.  
Then, those same anonymous people wait.  Checking their computer hourly...hoping for an e-mail back, or some kind of retaliatory response so they can start a computer fight to spice up their day.  But all I have to do is look out my window and see sunlight spilling through blue clouds and do an all-call with the kids to the trampoline for an hour of silly-ness and then, in my mind, the bad stuff never ever happened.
In the past,  when I do get a nasty anonymous  blog comment, or email I instantly turn around and google about 5 other blogs I read and leave really, really nice comments for them.  It’s like I’m scrambling to cover up in the bad in the world with 5 times the good.  It somehow makes sense in my brain so I go with it.  

But then there was today,  I got a good anonymous letter, a really, really good one.  With words that swelled my heart 5 times it’s size.   I wasn’t having the best day and somebody out there knew exactly what I needed.   Whoever you are, wherever you are, thank you. 

Thank you for the letter, and thank you for being on the good team.  The team that tries to make the world a better place.  I believe the world is full of good people, good things, and good intentions.  I see it everyday.  I’m not blind to the bad and the ugly, I know it’s there too.  But we should all try and handle it with the same grace and class as we do the good parts. 

When I was in high school my best friend Tracey didn't make pom captain.  She was robbed, and it was so devastating to our 15 year old hearts that our moms let me spend the night with her on a school night because she needed the comfort.  When we got up to go to school the next morning her dad Jerry had left a note on the kitchen table that I will never ever forget.   

A persons character is judged 
better in bad times than in good.  
Please remember that as you 
carry yourself at school today" - 
Love Dad. 

I will never forget that note.  And I will remember it as I raise my own children and remind myself that they are watching the way I handle myself in good situations and bad. 

I will add my new "Anonymus letter " to my collection, of every single  “Thank You” or “Encouragement” card I’ve received since starting my business.  I’m not perfect I have good days, bad days, long days, exhausting days.  Days when I feel I could have done better, days when I think I should throw in the towel and find another job.  On those days I pull down this basket and read the words I need to hear. 
The best part?  I get to re-pay it.  Paying it forward is one of the most fun things ever!  I don’t know when or how, but I will come up with something spread the love as far as I can. 

Thank you good people of the world.  Keep fighting the good fight.  There's more of us than there are of them ;)

P.S. For the record I spelled anonymous wrong every-single time in this post, bless you spell-check.

~ The Fox Family ~

Oh yes, fall is here.  These next 2 or 3 weeks are the best weather St Louis will offer all year, it's a way of redeeming itself for the wet and rainy Spring it delivered and the horribly hot summer.  Go ahead Fall, take a bow, you deserve it.  
Great weather means all the photographers around town are busy as well, I had the chance to hang out with the Fox Family a few weeks ago and their two gorgeous girls.  When I found out Mom was a principal I instantly felt the need to stand up straighter and make sure I used correct grammar :)  Old habits die hard right?  Enjoy!

~ Sweet Baby Finnley ~

  I am still swooning over this itty bitty lady.  Be-still my pink-loving heart I wanted to take her home.  She was a doll,  so sweet and snuggly and well behaved for her photo shoot.  She did tinkle on me once, but hey, that's the nature of the job when you're dealing with naked babies.  Trust me, I've been through worse.  And I adore her name, Finnley.  How beautiful.  

I have a little collection of newborn props and accessories, I always bring a few things to each shoot, but as I ran out the door for this particular shoot I was already in my car when I thought of a great idea.  I ran into Luci and Libby Lu's room to ran-sack their closet until I found the ostrich feathers I used for our family photos.  What a hit!  They looked adorable on her, except much bigger on her tiny head.  Daddy called it her "Baby Toupee" 

~ I'm a sucker for little girls ~

I'm a sucker for little girls, especially toddler age.  More specifically ones named Haleigh, with little brown eyes that twinkle when she smiles, and perfect little curls that bounce when she walks.  She's so tiny and dainty and reminds me of my little girl.  Who am I kidding, this whole family is adorable.  They look like the family that comes in the frame when you buy it at the store.   I should have paid them to do the pictures.  Sugar and Spice and everything nice, that's what Miss Haleigh is made of. 

~ Krystalynn & John ~ Getting Married 2012

Krystalynn and John are getting married!  Yay!
First of all, can I just say I love her name.  I told her it sounds like a country-western singer :)   Everytime I say her name I want to say it with a deep twang like I'm her momma calling her in from the back porch for dinner!   

I'm an incredibly organized and prepared person.  If I have a wedding on Saturday, my gear is tested, packed and loaded to go by Thursday.  I leave for my photo sessions ridiculously early,  usually sitting in a parking lot 20 minutes before my clients arrive. I'm a "Gotta have my ducks in a row" kind of gal. 

 This engagement shoot was a morning shoot, I didn't have a care in the world as I ate my breakfast and gathered my things.   I finished my Orange Juice and went to load my gear into my car only to realize it was locked, with my keys inside.  

I could see them from my window as I pressed my forehead against the glass, let out a sigh and made a sad face.   This was not part of my plan for the morning.   I had to drive my babysitters car to the shoot.  I normally drive a huge 8 passenger SUV.  And she drives one of those goofy little enviro-friendly Pruis cars.  But who cares, I just needed to get to the shoot.   Plus it's a cute little zippy thing,  I'll deal.

When I got to the session I wanted to start shooting right away but I could not figure out how to lock the car.  I called John and Krystalynn over to help.  (His truck is even bigger than mine so I didn't think he'd be much help but it was worth a shot)   

If you've never driven a pruis let me tell you this.  It's not a normal car.  It doesn't have an ignition turn switch, or a key, it just has these buttons you push, it's not a stick shift but it does have a shifter on the column like it wants to be a stick shift, and you can't drive it unless this little fob thing is in the car.  And to lock the car you can't have the little fob thing still in it, because the car is too smart, knows you left the fob thing in it and won't lock.

So we would press the lock button, then run away real fast with the fob to try and trick it into locking.  Nothing would work.  Seriously, it was like rocket science the 3 of us trying to figure out how to lock the car.  It took us at least 10 minutes.  We finally realized I had never turned the car off which we didn't know because you cannot hear the damn little eco-thing running!!!    Seriously folks, there is a reason I'm not a brain surgeon.

Okay...on with the shoot and my favorite shot of the session below  :) 
It's not a Kelly Manno Photo shoot if I don't at least try and get someone hit by a car :)
** Another favorite below **
Okay, so 2 things we learned today.  #1) Krystalynn and John are very cute and I am excited to shoot their wedding next year.  #2)  It's a good thing none of us are brain surgeons.  HAVE A GOOD DAY!

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