Exciting Things are Happening

It’s been an INSANE few months here in Groupieville! We’ve been extremely blessed to be very busy.

In the midst of our school season, something pretty amazing happened…

I ADOPTED A PUPPY!!

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Everyone…meet Remi!

Miss Remi is a rescue from a local shelter who became part of our crazy family in October.

She is a 9 month old Terrier-Schnauzer mix – with a sprinkle of Chewbacca and Yoda. (I mean look at those ears!)

She joins big sisters Angel & Lucy.

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Shortly after Remi joined the family, excitement found us again…

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I GOT ENGAGED!!

Here’s how it all went down…

About 2 weeks after we started dating, Josh took me to Starved Rock. I had never been. I knew that this place would be special to us. Something in my gut told me so..

When our trip to Starved Rock came up in conversation a year later, I didn’t give it much thought. We had been trying to plan it for awhile. It was such a memorable trip the year before and I really couldn’t wait to go back. With our work schedules, the only time that worked was a weekend. The day before, I came home from work sick with a cold. Josh kept asking if I wanted to cancel the trip but I refused. It was such a special place for us and I wanted to go. Sick or not. I woke up Saturday feeling much worse, but I got up and got ready anyway. It was a normal Saturday. The weather was slightly chilly. We were dodging kids left and right. I was a little perturbed that our serene peaceful getaway was turning out to be less than enjoyable. After a couple hour hike, we had lunch. My boys had text to tell us that they had won state for marching band (GO HHS Marching Tigers!!). I was a pretty excited mama and started texting everyone to share the news. I got a cryptic message back from my dad that I shrugged off as “Dad’s being goofy today”. We bought our traditional Starved Rock ornament from the gift shop and decided to head to the other side of the park. This side was beautiful and very yellow. Not as pretty as the other side though. We hit a point where I was just done. It was a long way back – twists, turns, and uphill climbs. But Josh remembered that there was a short cut. Josh said “We can walk all the way back or we can climb up that hill.” I looked back. Then looked up. When I tell you it was a steep stupid hill, I am not exaggerating. Straight up. I looked back again and I chose the hill. Mid climb I stopped to catch my breath. And me, being the eternal child, got excited to see a caterpillar crawling on the ground – so I photographed him. When we finally made it up to the top, I collapsed over a railing and was trying to catch my breath. Looking back now, seconds felt like minutes. I heard Josh ask me if I was going to make it and I said “Yes, just give me a second.” When I could finally breathe, I turned around and Josh was on one knee. I was still a little light headed and very confused. Honestly, I thought he was tying his shoe. I asked him “What are you doing?” And then…out of the blue it clicked and I instantly started sobbing. He smiled and I saw a box in his hand. He asked “Do you love me?” And I said “Yes!” And then he asked “Do you want to spend the rest of your life with me?” And through snotty sobs, I said “Yes!”

It was one of the most incredible moments in my life.

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It’s definitely been a crazy exciting time. And now…it’s time to PLAN!

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Where’s Frankie?

Frankie has become quite the attraction here at the studio both for the staff and for anyone who visits! He’s got quite the personality for such a little tortoise.

We’ve had lots of visitors lately and everyone that comes in instantly migrates to the rather large tank in the room. And here recently, it’s been empty.

 

We thought we would have some fun with it and play a little game of…

“Where’s Frankie?”

Doing a little sight-seeing in Paris?

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Or maybe he’s soaking up the sun on a fabulous beach!

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Who doesn’t love a nice Disney vacation?!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAComplete with Mickey ears of course.

Maybe he’s a history buff and doing a little research in Egypt.

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Or..

Hangin’ out in Grand Cayman at the Turtle Farm.

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Maybe he’s a little closer to home at Navy Pier.

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OR…my personal favorite..

Frankie’s on the hunt for the Loch Ness Monster!!

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Ok, ok, the simple truth is that he’s been hangin’ at home with BJ. He needed a little extra monitoring due to a change in his diet (Frankie not BJ).

But don’t worry, Image Groups smallest Groupie will be returning soon!

Our Favorites – Weddings

 

Spring is in the air (hopefully permanently) & wedding season is rapidly approaching!!

Weddings produce hundreds of amazing images, but there are always one or two that just really stand out.
In the spirit of the season, I thought I would share some of my favorite photos.

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I hope that you enjoy them as much as we do!
Happy Spring!

~Brittany

Down on the Farm

There are few places that I truly feel like I’m home. One of those places is C & L Farms in Lebanon Tennessee, which is owned and operated by my cousin and her husband.           Their farm includes seven goats, three dogs, and two pigs. It’s a little slice of country heaven in contrast to our typically hectic life.

Blessings were abundant there within the last week and a half with the birth of not one but 5 baby goats! Baby GoatsAren’t they just the cutest?

BabiesColin & Lindsay certainly have their hands full with all those little ones! And possibly more very soon..

I was almost immediately drawn to Norman, who looked very similar to a very familiar face in my life..Lucy!! OK OK..they aren’t near the same breed. But Norman’s spots and his sweet demeanor reminded me of my spoiled spotted dog at home. If Norman wasn’t so little and dependent on mom, I would have smuggled him home in my purse!

Side by SideEven my tech savvy son, Nikolas, got in on the farm fun helping Colin with the evening feedings. Nik seemed to enjoy the feeding duties but was quick to trade in his farm hand gloves. Little does he know, I offered him and his brother up as summer farm interns!

Untitled-4I can see myself having a small farm someday. Of course with new little ones being born every spring, I can see it becoming quite large. Their too cute NOT to keep!

Untitled-5Tennessee has certainly become our second home. And maybe someday..it’ll be our first.

To keep up with the babies and the rest of the C & L Herd, follow them on Facebook! Colin posts some really funny herd updates.

https://www.facebook.com/CLFarms

Flashback Friday!

 

In the midst of a cleaning spree around the studio this week, an old photo surfaced of the boss man that was just TOO good not to share.

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That got me thinking about the good old days. Do you remember what it was like being a kid? Carefree and fun and we didn’t worry much about anything. Well, other than new Saturday morning cartoons of course. So for a little fun (and a giggle or two) here’s a flashback of us groupies! Can you tell who’s who??

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Think you’ve got it figured out?

The top photo is our newest Groupie & former snake wrangler, Kylie. Our Texas-native Jacqueline is next sporting the Cubs hat. Next is our resident design guru Nancy (she literally looks almost the same). And last and probably the most obvious is me (Brittany)!

Here’s a few more just for kicks…

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Reliving our childhoods has been such a blast! Who doesn’t love looking through old photos and reminiscing?

We’d love to see some of your flashback photos too! Jump on over to our Facebook page and share them with us!

I hope you all stay nice and warm this weekend!!

~Brittany

Herscher High School Marching Tigers

A couple weeks ago, I helped my oldest pack his bags and head off to band camp at Eastern Illinois University. I won’t lie. It was a rough week for me! I’m not quite ready for him to spread his wings and fly. But I have to tell you I was BLOWN away when I attended parent preview night for the 2013 HHS Marching Tigers last week.

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These kids are pretty AMAZING! And this is only the beginning…

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That adorable boy playing the tenor sax (red hat) is my son, Jeremy. I’m such a proud mama. 🙂

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Under the direction of Rachel Dickman, the Marching Tigers show “Seasons of Copland” will feature music from icon Aaron Copland.

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Special mention to senior Drum Majors – Beth Marcotte (above) and Dylan McGregor (below).

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If the history of the Marching Tigers tells us anything, I’d be willing to bet we are going to see big things from this talented group of 76+ students!

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Perhaps a repeat State Championship?!

I’ll keep you posted!

~Brittany

HHS Bound

Few things in life make me happier than being a mom to my two boys. (Coffee may be one of them…)
Recently, my oldest Jeremy, celebrated his 8th grade promotion. To say I was a little emotional, well that would be an understatement.
It seems like just yesterday that he was a newborn.

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And now….

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He’s off to Herscher High School – following in mom AND grandpa’s footsteps. Jeremy is much more excited about this adventure than I am.
I’m not too excited about him growing up just yet. But I know that he will continue to make me proud.

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Congratulations Bubba!

Spring Break in the Smokies

I have a confession to make…I think I’m in LOVE…
…with the breathtaking Smoky Mountains!

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I took a road trip for Spring Break with my two handsome boys – Jeremy & Nikolas. After a rough start with
the late season snow (isn’t is supposed to be SPRING?!), we made the 9.5 hour trek southeast to Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
As soon as I hit 441 South, through the mountains and tree lined roads, I knew we were going to love this town.

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Our hotel overlooked the river and was about 1/4 mile from the hustle and bustle of downtown Gatlinburg. A perk for us because we
enjoyed walking to and from the Parkway. Both boys loved the balcony (Jeremy danced on it daily) and the fireplace (Nik insists our house needs one).
I loved the mountain view! After getting settled and getting a good night’s rest, we decided to visit some of the local attractions. First stop – Ripley’s Aquarium
of the Smokies. This place was pretty amazing! It has an underwater tunnel through a shark lagoon, friendly African penguins, and tons of fish from all
over the globe. It’s definitely a must see – especially if you have younger children or happen to love Nemo (like me)!

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The next day we decided to hop into the car and drive through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I am
not quite sure just how high into the mountains we were, but I know it was WAY too high for my afraid-of-heights son Nik!
No matter the height – the view was just GORGEOUS!

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We spent time on the Parkway…just walking and enjoying the beautiful weather! Jeremy popped into a jerky shop
where he tried kangaroo and alligator jerky (eww). Nikolas and I stuck to poking in and out of all the shops – weird
jerky just isn’t our thing. 🙂 While our time in Gatlinburg seemed very short, all three of us agreed that we would
definitely be back very soon! Before we headed back home, we spent a couple of days near Nashville. The weather
was not very cooperative there but we did get to spend some time with family so it was worth the trip! Plus, I got to
eat at hands down one of the BEST places in the country – Pancake Pantry. Anyone that knows me has heard me
raving about this place! Maybe its the southern hospitality or maybe its just the food – but I would drive down every
weekend just to eat those delicious, fluffy, heavenly pancakes! You should try them sometime!!

And while it’s back to work and school for us, we’ll have the memories of this trip for a lifetime. We met some very interesting people,
ate some really great food, and shared quite a few laughs. I have tons of photos – too many to share – but have included some of my favorites below.
This may have been our first trip to Gatlinburg, but it will NOT be our last!

Hotel Fun

Hotel Fun

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Outside the aquarium

Outside the aquarium

 

Happy Spring! See you all soon!
~Brittany

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