Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My drug of choice...

I read this tonight....while eating hersheys kisses...hmmmmm.

"One study out of France, presented at the 2007 annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, showed that when rats (who metabolize sugar much like we do) were given the choice between water sweetened with saccharin and intravenous cocaine, 94% chose the saccharin water. When the water was sweetened with sucrose (sugar), the same preference was observed—the rats overwhelmingly chose the sugar water. When the rats were offered larger doses of cocaine, it did not alter their preference for the saccharin or sugar water. Even rats addicted to cocaine, switched to sweetened water when given the choice. In other words, intense sweetness was more rewarding to the brain than cocaine."

I knew I hated rats.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Matt and Mandy - Married

I could make this the first of a ten-parter post all about Mandy and Matt's wedding. That's how many favorite images I had from their wedding. The day after, I emailed Mandy and told her we were in big trouble...I had 300 'favorites' just from the first two hours of the day when Mandy and her bridesmaids were getting ready! What was I going to do?!!!

Maybe it was beauty of a downtown Chicago wedding...maybe there was an emotional element because I've known Mandy since she was in grade school...or maybe it's just because Matt and Mandy are two beautiful individuals who, despite the hustle and rush of being in a large city on a holiday weekend, managed to keep their wedding all about the simple things: their friends, their family, and their love for each matter what the reason, it was really hard for me to choose which ones captured the spirit of their day the best.

Matt and Mandy...thank much as I love the rural beauty of central Illinois, it was thrilling, exciting, and a rush to change scenery and head to Chicago. I'm so honored that you I got to be there to document one of the most important days of your life.

A few of my favorites are below....check back in the next few days to see a slideshow of all of my favorites from the day.

We started the day at Matt and Mandy's condo....I was thrilled that the condo had a huge bank of ten-feet-high windows with beautiful, filtered light coming in....she joked that she had made arrangements for that lighting just for me. 

Jamie did Mandy's hair and make-up....Jamie grew up in my home area as well.  I have hair envy of Jamie's hair.  Seriously, it's beautiful dark red, cascading curly hair. 

I loved Mandy's list of how her make-up was to be done. 

You're stunning, Mandy....and I love that thing you can do with your eyebrow!!!

But, I love the laughing Mandy even better. 

And, while I was getting the image above....

. excellent second shooter for the day, Christine, got this image.  I love it SOOO much!!

Christine also got this shot.....and it has repeatedly brought a tear to my I love how Mandy's mom is off in the background watching her oldest daughter on the day of her wedding....and you can see the smile on her face.  Yep, tearing up again just typing this. 

Mandy and her mother after mandy was done getting dressed.  I think her mom approved. 

 Matt and Mandy chose to see each other before the ceremony.  Here's their 'First Look.'

yep...I still love a laughing Mandy!!

 Oh my gosh!  We're getting married today!!!

I love the look on Matt's face in this image....I can never decide if he's getting ready to say something serious to Mandy or something to make her laugh.  It could go eithe way!!

Handsome Matt....who's either an underwear model...or an accountant.  He's told me both. 

While I love Matt's serious-pose images, this is how I'll always remember him.  This guy has the moves on and off the dance floor!!

The wedding party.

Mandy is the oldest of three girls.  I was coming around the corner of a hallway nearing the room where the bridal party was waiting before the ceremony, and I got there just in time to see Mandy's dad walk up and say, "I'm here to give all three of my girls a hug."  This was the moment before Mandy got her hug.  The lighting is horrible, most of the image is the door to the room, but it still brings a tear to my eye when I see it and remember the story.

Pazzos...beautiful during the ceremony....

...and the reception.

...and I would probably be in trouble if I didn't post one or two pictures of Mandy and her Manito crew!..


...who were so happy for her that they showed up and gave her a little shimmy-shake to celebrate!!

Mandy and Matt, congratulations, Merry Christmas, and again, thank you.