Monday, July 28, 2008

so here's the skinny

I have been working on a project for quite sometime, actually decades I guess you could say. Anyone that knows me is aware of my love of photos and photography. At one point I carried around disposable cameras wherever I went. That got expensive. Once some maturity set in my mom allowed me to play around with her 1980's manual cameras. Friends would say throughout the years I have rarely been caught without a camera. This year's birth of our daughter has allowed me to focus my photography on something I absolutely adore, babies. Along with our daughter, we have had another birth this year, Moncrief Photography.

Thank you friends and family for your support and encouragement. I am so excited about this new venture in documenting the lives of little ones. Moncrief Photography started out with a bang. Thank you Emma and Henry for allowing me to capture the loving kindness of you and your families. Love you both so very much.

Please come by and visit Moncrief Photography. I would love to hear your thoughts and I am sure the babies would too. (The website requires the newest version of quicktime :))

lots o' love


P.S. If we have never met, I would love to bring my camera the first time we do.

- how ironic, the photography announcement post has no pictures :) -

chugga chugga crust crust

Last weekend we had the tremendous pleasure of having Brent and Becca with us the entire weekend. The Montikers better half showed up around 9pm eastern time on Friday night. Ada was nestled in her little bed while all the "adults" stayed up laughing into complete delirium and eating virtually raw brownies. Everyone slept in on Saturday which was extremely nice. Ada and I slept til eleven. E-L-E-V-E-N. It was magnificent.

After the adults woke up from their grog and Ada from her nap we decided to go for a linner-lunch-dinner around 3:30. We really appreciated our house guests on so many different levels, but in two areas in particular. Oh, let's make that three areas. One. They never have to be "entertained". Two. If they want something they get it even if it means cooking for themselves or all of us for that matter. (should I be embarassed about that one? Oh, it is Becca-Dean we are talking about and my husband does request her fabulosso grilled cheese whenever we are in the same proximity of a kitchen) Three. They never make fun of our crazy cost saving-environmentally friendly antics. Number three pertains to our method of transit to lunch-dinner. We all road our bikes to a new pizza place, Crust, a restaurant indigenous to the area.

While riding bikes may sound like nothing out of the ordinary, I must explain. Except for Jimmy, everyone had a first time experience. Becca who is almost a complete foot taller than myself was riding my mountain bike sized to fit someone one foot shorter than herself. Brent was trailering a baby . Ada was being trailered and I was riding a road bike for the first time without the trainer (device that makes the bike stationary for indoor use). Collectively, again minus Jimmy, it was also the first time all had ridden on a five lane major road. Nope, no back roads this time. We were "cars", just without all the nasty emissions.

"They" always say safety in numbers and I sure felt it. Jimmy was Papa Hawk, soaring around us in protection as our little convoy pedaled down the road and Brent did an awesome job pulling Ada while Becca and I brought up the back. Heckling was kept to a minimum with only one environmentally/safety-innept idiot yelling "Quit hogging the lane".
The crew sitting at a table filled with mug-shots of celebrities. Anyone from Nicole Ritchie to PeeWee Herman was plastered under our beverages.

Ada had another new experience with her first time to sit in a highchair (in barbershop style, of course). I don't know if she was more intrigued with the sitting experience or the big screen t.v.
On our way out the door, we were impressed to see a Crust employee cutting fresh herbs from the large herb garden nestled in front of the restaurant. The strong scent of rosemary and basil was a nice twist to the normal smell that accompanies a fairly busy road.

The highlight of Sunday was going to see sweet little Miss Emma. It was B & B's first time to meet the seven pounds of cuteness. More on this fun little outing shortly which will also explain while I have been just a little bit behind on just about everything, but I know we all know how that can be.

Look how Emma just cuddled right up. A little cuddle bug just like her buddy Ada.
Thanks B&B, thanks for coming to see us this last weekend. We had an incredible time, as always!

And we did a little craft project too! More on that later, also!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

wordless wednesday

{sidenote: The August issue of Outside Magazine boasted Chattanooga, TN as the no. 2 of 20 best towns in America. Ada is already becoming an outside junkie like her daddy.}

Thursday, July 17, 2008

fifth month fifth street

Exactly one week ago our little lassie turned five months old. Yes,I am late. There were some pictures left to capture and I wanted her giggle caught on video however every time we thought videoing we had her to the point of hiccups, so scratch that for now and we will be sure to catch it soon.

Happy fifth month, Ada Love. This is the fasted five months I have ever experienced in my life. Ada, you are a blessing to be around. So much fun! We love every waking and sleepy-time moment we have with you. I can't wait for the next stages, but at the same time I want time to stand still. You are wonderful and we love you so very much. a&f!

We did not go to the doctor this month so we had to do our own measurements. Ada, you have doubled your birth weight going from 6pds 13ozs to 14 pounds. BTW, if you want to know your child's percentiles and are not headed to the doc anytime soon then you can always go here.

Bottoms Up: You roll over all the time. For the entirety of the month every time we

put you in your crib for a nap or for the night you have turned over to your tummy immediately scrunched up your legs and stuck out your tush. The first night you woke up a couple times freaked out about your new positioning, but the days following, it has not faced you. Oh and when you are not asleep you do a lot of girl style push ups.

Bottoms Down: You are working hard on sitting alone. You do well until there is a toy out of reach. You reach for it and then crash and burn. No worries! You will be there soon enough.

You have the sweetest giggle ever and we eat it up. I almost cry when I hear it because it is so very precious. Don't worry, I don't really cry. I just think about

it. You never know what will cause the giggles and ultimately almost every time the hiccups. It is usually a silly dance move or raspberries on your belly, but one truly never knows. You can daily find us doing silly things, anything, to see you laugh. We love it. It makes us feel truly comical. Babies don't give courtesy laughs, after all. You are into everything and want to touch everything. Loving your avocado and then you spotted the table arrangement out of the corner of your eye and that was way more interesting.

Feet and everything else are in your mouth at all times. If I were only that flexible again. Amazing. How weird would that be if we were like babies and put our feet in our mouth during, oh I don't know, general conversation or dinner.

Details. Details. Details. Tags are way more fun than actual toys. I remember my nephew, Preston, at this stage intrigued by a piece of lint on the floor verses a room overflowing with toys.

You are eating up your "solids". You now eat rice cereal, peas, green peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, avocado, pears and suck on cantaloupe and watermelon (I will puree it for you soon). You pass on butternut squash and bananas and only eat apples if we hide them. Unheard of. From what I have heard,with most kids you have to hide the veggies with Ada-whoo we have to hide the fruit. I am not complaining at all, but just think it is funny. I am wondering if it has anything to do with introducing veggies first. How about all of you mommies out there? What did/do your kids like/dislike? What did you introduce first?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

have you ever. . .

. . .found a peanut butter sandwich in the pocket of some of your husband's dirty laundry and when you tell him about it he asks if you threw it away? Hun, it was in the dirty laundry. Come on.

. . .bought a pair of shoes thinking these are completely unpractical, but I must have them?

. . .laughed so hard you cried or cried so hard you finally looked in the mirror and laughed?

. . .thought what was life ever like before (this person)?

. . .unloaded the groceries that your husband just purchased to find cans of cat food and you don't have a cat and your first thoughts are A. the grocer must be out of store brand tuna and B. my husband has reached an all time low in frugal moments? Come to find out the person in front of him left the bag and he accidentally brought it home. Sigh. Relief. Thank Goodness. In addition to the feline food you did score some new batteries and you don't feel bad because you have left surprise grocery bags at the store before for fellow shoppers to take home.

. . . decided you wanted to stay at home all day long and even stay in your pajamas until thirty minutes before you husband gets home just so he doesn't know that you were in your pjs. all. day. long?

. . .felt like you had a productive day, but then looked around your house and saw soooo much to do?

. . .had to walk your computer through breathing techniques so it would complete a page load because it is such a dinosaur?

Monday, July 14, 2008

one road trip: three generations

This week we had the pleasure of having my Aunt Joan (aka Aunt Mue Mue or Grandee), Cousin Marcy and her son Brooks in town to visit. It was the first time for the Three Moncriefs to meet Mr. Brooks, the 24 pounds of cuteness. We had such a good time and are so thankful for their road trip down to Chattanooga.

Here is the cutie himself. Brooks is a month shy of his first birthday. He is all over the place, full of energy and lots of entertainment.

The second cousins played well together.

During dinner Aunt Jennifer gave Ada her first taste of watermelon. Ada enjoyed every moment. She of course did not actually eat the melon, but I believe she enjoyed the cold on her gums. We recently felt an uprooting tooth.

Daddy wanted in on the first fruit action too with some cantaloupe. Ada has been enjoying her vegetables, but up until this point had not been enjoying fruit. The typical face she had been making with fruit, would have made you think she had just been given lemons, when it was really just apples or pears.

The next day of the visit Mimi, her twin sister Meu Meu/Grandee, Marcy and Brooks went to Granny's house while Ada finished up her nap. That was so incredibly sweet of you all to go by and say hello to Granny for a bit. She loved each moment and found Brooks ability to fly around her house tremendously entertaining. After Ada's nap and a bit to eat for Brooks we headed downtown to Chattanooga's North Shore.

Wanting to stay close to The Coolidge Park Carousel, we decided on the Mud Pie for lunch. This was after reassuring my mom (Mimi) that it was under new ownership. Mimi had not stepped foot inside the restaurant in 18 years. At that time she and her fellow naval officers had gone into Mud Pie in uniform and were refused service due to being in the military. Can you imagine?

For multiple reasons I am thankful things had changed. On that particular day, it was because of the delicious food we soon devoured. Marcy had a veggie wrap, the twins quesadillas and I a veggie sandwich. Yum. Yum Yum. Mine had fresh slices of avocado and I chose sweet potato fries as my side. Brooks borrowed some pears from Ada as an afternoon snack. Ada had carrots brought from home, which she fell asleep while eating. I found extremely funny bc Mimi had just been telling me that none of us girls ever took naps when we were little and would fall asleep everyday while she was feeding us in our high chairs. While Ada does nap, we were interfering with her second nap of the day and she planned on taking it whether we were at home or not. (I am pretty sure Marcy got a picture so I am hoping to get that from her soon)

In route to the carousel. . .

One of Chattanooga's finest features for children of all ages is Coolidge Park. Planted in the center is the most wonderful carousel. At only $1.00 per ride and free for children two and under we spent several Abraham Lincoln's (the paper kind) in childhood merriment.

Are they in awe or exhausted? Probably a little of each.

Marcy and her sweet sweet Brooks.

I love this picture of Ada. Look at her arm rolls. The only time in ones life when arm rolls make you even cuter.

Brooks, Marcy, Grandee (three generations), Moi and Ada

Brooks with his Grandee. He was squealing with delight by the end.

Ada held on to the pole the entire ride around with her Mimi. That little chick is hilarious and don't worry she was sanitized upon debarkation from her new big hoofed friend.

That night we had dinner at Jennifer's where she and I split dinner responsibilities. Within my to-do was the dessert and just like last week I spilled the dessert. Luckily this time it was salvageable and its taste unaffected. Death. By. Chocolate. (not the exact recipe used, but very similar) So good and so easy, of course, I only do easy.

Ada's barbershop look received quite the harassment during all meals of the 48 hour extended family stay.

After dinner fun consisted of playing with the goats. Brooks loved the goats and kicked his legs in delight while petting Victor.

Jennifer, Suzi and I grew up going to the beach with our cousins Courtney and Marcy. Even though these guys below are second cousins I hope they will remain close forever (you too Roman). Ada (5mths), Preston (9), Peyton Carli (7) Brooks (11 mths)
It was past bedtime for two of them. Can you guess which ones?
One more, because Brooks is too cute with his legs crossed and his hand in his hair. Night-night buddy! (and Peyton you, of course, are always looking cute!)

I am so glad you guys came down to visit. We had a wonderful time. Please, come again very soon. Love you lots!

Friday, July 11, 2008

meet miss july: emma grace

We are interrupting the regularly scheduled blog post for a special announcement.

Our good friends Dusty and Melissa welcomed their beautiful baby girl into the world at 2:51pm on Wednesday July 9th. Little Miss Emma weighted 7 lbs 5 ozs and was 19.5 inches in length. Her parents were anxiously awaiting her arrival. Thankfully she came a perfect 6 days early so they did not have to wait any longer to meet their little bundle of cuteness.

We had the precious privilege of meeting Miss Emma Grace yesterday. Dusty and Melissa seem like ole' pros at the parenting thing as if this were child number four or five.
Ada was especially excited to meet her new little friend. We held Ada's hand and comforted her as she peered upon Emma's head full of dark hair. Ada-love, I promise, you will not be bald forever. One day, oh, one day.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

weekend adventures

Lula Lake Land Trust decided to open its doors to the public every Saturday in July. This Saturday morning we decided to take advantage. Jimmy and I had not been there since our first semester together in college. It was the location of our first hiking and camping experience together. The difference is this time we waited for Lula Lake's open invitation. Oh yeah, and this time we had a baby. Ha!

To add to the differentiating experience we went with our buddies Whitney and Tim. We had a great time with many of the days adventures guided by our good "friend" Kenny. The real navigation came from Whit with her built in gps system, while Ada narrated the happenings.

One of the silly shots that I took concluding that it would have turned out much better if everyone would have been wearing Tevas or Chacos AND most importantly had pretty feet like Whitney. Sorry guys, the fur just doesn't do it.

This picture makes me hope that Ada will end up with her daddy's complexion and not mine. Here's for hoping, right?

The Baby Bjorn must be quit comfy since Ada took a snooze in it again.

Saturday night Ada had daddy time while I went biking the Riverwalk with Jennifer, Preston, Peyton Carli, Mimi and Preston's friend Justin. While I did not take any pictures of humans I did capture a shot of our new friends we met a long the way. We actually saw 8-10 of these furry friends along our ride. I am just glad we did not have a run in with the snake that had decided to stretch across the path last time we were out riding.

This Sunday marked a milestone that will infinitely change our church with a child experience. Ada went to the nursery. Dun. Dun. Dah. She was "branded" with a number four ankle bracelet.

While I still was unable to concentrate in the service worrying about the little bambino's new experience, I now know that she and the nursery attendants will be just fine. Becky and Darian took wonderful care of Ada and even gave her an A++. Ada, guess where you are going back next Sunday? I did manage to deviate my worried focus from Ada for a few moments while Rich and Heather were dedicating Baby Alana. Rich and Heather are wonderful parents and are very inspirational in the way they have been raising Alana. What a special moment and Alana was as adorable as always. She even grabbed the mic at one point and sang us a little coo-ditty.

After church and the excellent nursery report we headed to Granny's for lunch with Papa Campbell and Mimi. Granny and Ada were apparently checking out the "other" camera while playing pat-a-cake.

Family portrait on Granny's front porch.