Friday, February 28, 2014

Colby's First Primary

Yesterday we took Colby for her first voting experience: the Illinois primaries. This picture is of her giving a death stare to someone she didn't think was going to vote as they should. Can you just feel the political disdain? :)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Last Saturday, Colby turned '1'. To celebrate the fact that her parents hadn't maimed or drastically damaged her mentally in the last year, we had a party for her. Here are a few pictures from her big day!

For her big day, she didn't ask for much. I think if she could talk, for her birthday she would have asked to be able to play with all things with buttons that she's normally not allowed to play with, like her mother's cell phone.

For the first time, I let her lick the beaters when making her birthday cake. It took her a second or two to understand the beauty of the 'licking the batter' system...but she was a pro once she got up and going.

For dessert after lunch, I even let her lick the icing off the beater.

Aunt Kori brought her the birthday crown to wear. The "Birthday Girl" shirt came from Grandma and Grandpa Rankin. She accessorized the outfit with her favorite Tylenol bottle.

Woohoo! It's my birthday!!!

Colby got these new wheels from Grandma and Grandpa McCormick. Amelia was giving her a push in her new ride.

OK...enough with pushing you! It's my turn for a ride!!

Today we eat cake!!!

At the end of the day, the person willing to read her a book is still her favorite person.
Thank you to everyone for making the trip and being with us on Colby's big day! We're very blessed to have such a loving family and we were so happy you could all be her to celebrate with us!
Love, Nick, Kelly, and Colby!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Colby: New Videos

Here's a few videos of Colby over the last couple of months. Sorry a couple of them are so old, but once I sat down and started watching them, a couple made me laugh; so, I thought I would share!

The first one is of Colby way back in October. At that point, she would take one or two steps from the couch into my arms, but she would get so nervous...almost like her first experience of stage fright!

Not the most fun video...but you gotta love the hat!

Colby laughing hysterically one morning before church at Allison! At this point, she was getting more confident in her walking.

This is from tonight. She gets going as fast as she absolutely can and then looks for something to crash into. On a side note, the goat she's carrying around is from her first shopping trip to "Over the Moon"...our kids specialty store in Effingham. I took her there on January 1st and she couldn't take it all in. She turned her head from one side to the other saying, "ooooohhhhhhh.....ooooooooooh" at all other colors and toys. Of all the things in the store, my child picked a goat. If we ask her, "where's bill goat?" she'll run and find him. If we ask her, 'where's mommy...where's daddy?", she looks at us dumbly. Shows you where we rank.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Nerd-Fest 2010

So, I've had a couple of lecturing conversations with relatives over the last 24 hours from family members who are demanding updated pix of Colby. I'm sorry! But, it's like I told my sister Kim, the last two weeks have been a bit of 'nerd-fest' for me! First, I had, had, had to read Sarah Palin's autobiography (excellent, btw, for my friends who are 'to the right of the right'). Then, my mom bought me two follow-up novels for Christmas to Jane Austen's Pride &, my nose was buried in those until I finished them. However, that made me only want to watch the movie(s); so, spent two nights watching the Keira Knightley version (so that no one's wondering - I watched it didn't take me two nights to watch it once). Then, I called blockbuster to see if they had the A&E/Colin Firth/6-hour version to rent. They didn't have it to rent....BUT, they had it on sale for $10! So, I hightailed it to Effingham Monday night to buy it and spent Tuesday night and Wednesday night watching the 6-hour version of the movie (so that no one's wondering - I watched it once spread over two nights).

I don't think I have my nerd-fest done yet (I have the movie Elizabeth: The Golden Age DVR'd); however, I will take 15 minutes over my lunch hour today to throw some pix of Colby out on the blog to let everyone know that she's alive, doing well, and that I promise I only resume my nerd-fest after she's gone to bed at night!!!

To those who have requested videos of Colby walking...I'll post them soon!



One of my favorite toys: the Tylenol bottle. Geesh...what does that say about my child?

Colby got two new booster seats for Christmas...she's trying out one of them here. Btw, Colby's first haircut is scheduled for next week.

Reading her very first Pottery Barn catalog...

Oh, oh...there's a little bit left from supper on the seat of my high chair...I better get it before mom gets over here with that washcloth to wipe it up. Once again, geesh, what does that say about my child?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Thanks-Christmas 2009 - Part II

A couple of things about Thanks-Christmas...yes, Karen was in the kitchen non-stop like Kim said in her comment...we were just teasing her anytime she left the kitchen for a few seconds.

Second, I'll post more about the t-shirts tomorrow....but, first, I had a few more pix to share regarding the FIRST ever Thanks-Christmas talent show!

Here are a few pix from the show and my comments about it!! :)

Ella started the night off by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance for us. Good job, Ella!!

Emma played us a couple of songs. And, Anna told us jokes....although for some reason I don't have a picture of Anna. I think I was laughing too hard to remember to take pictures! I'm sorry, Anna!!

I think Amelia's talent was eating that night. :)

Then came the mother-daughters performance of the Jo Dee Messina song "I'm Alright"! It's a favorite to sing in the car!

Colby was mesmerized. I'm pretty sure if she was a bit older, she'd have been waving a lighter back and forth during their performance.

The grand finale!

The sisters team of Kori, Kim, and Kendall lip synched the Chipmunk's Christmas you see Alvin, Simon, and Theodore???

Theodore couldn't keep it together.

Karen did her "Edith Ann" performance....I almost pee'd my was the one where she explains to her mom that she did NOT give the dog her peanut butter sandwich. Karen can do the nasally voice and everything just like Lily Tomlin.
There were a few other planned performances, but once the guys saw the fierce competition, they flaked out. Myself, I performed a little rap song that I wrote about my brothers-in-law. And, no, I won't post the versus on this blog....but, if you buy me a glass of wine sometime (or a couple!), I might be convinced to perform it for you!!! :)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Thanks-Christmas 2009

A few weeks ago, my family gathered at my sister Karen's house for the fifth annual Rankin family Thanks-Christmas...a 2-day affair where we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas all at once. There is good food, good fun, and much rolling of the eyes at each other!

I didn't take many pictures, but a few of my favorites are below!

Check back in tomorrow to see a few images of the FIRST annual Rankin family Thanks-Christmas talent show! hahahaha....said in an evil manner. :)

Colby was in heaven. There were so many people to read to her!

...and play with her! Cousins Ella, Emma, and Anna kept her busy the whole time we were there!

Pretty cousin Amelia with Aunt Karen!

Karen was worried that the Thanks-Christmas fo 2009 would be known as the year we didn't have corn pudding for dinner (what the heck!'s my FAVORITE!), but I think 2009 will go down as the year Karen avoided the kitchen by playing with all of her nieces and nephew!

My dad - in his usual pose.

Jacob was quite excited about this toy...I think it was a Handy Manny any case, it was the favorite toy among all the nieces and nephew. The tools bounce up and down to music in the toolchest.

Colby excited about her new VeggieTales CD!

But, not as excited as when she got her first baby doll from Aunt Karen.

And, then she opened up some books and we lost her for the rest of the evening. My little nerd. :)

My sister Kendall....with her boyfriend Caleb...who is also one of my husband's best friends. I never thought I'd see the day where "The Bivvie" was at one of my family dinners.

Anna trying on her new "Little House on the Prairie" hat.

Sidenote: Cydil, if you're reading, can you imagine the fun we would have had playing Little House on the Prairie in your back pasture if we'd had these hats!!!

I'm not sure what Scott was doing or saying, but I love the look on mom's face!

These are the types of pix you get when my husband gets a hold of my camera. 100's of pictures like this. I will protect this sister's identity. :)

Colby finding a more fun way to play with the gifts.

When we first got to Karen's, Colby hadn't slept but for 30 minutes all day and was a horrible wreck. She wasn't thrilled about being passed around; however, Karen sat her on her lap and said, "Colby, you need to know that you and I are going to be friends over the next two days and have lots of fun. Get used to the idea." And Colby did. We're not into coddling in my family.

Thanks for checking in!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Colby - 9 months+

Well, time has flown. We're less then 6 weeks away from Colby's first birthday, and I haven't even distributed her 9-month pictures to family yet. So, I finally sat down tonight and edited them and posted them to the proofing site. Whereas, when doing someone else's child's nine-month pictures, we go somewhere like a park or to a big open field, my poor child got her 9-month pix in our front yard in 10 minutes on a Sunday afternoon while her Dad was impatient with me because he wanted to take the dogs to the pond or go hunting or something (can't remember!). I really wanted to use the beautiful rocking chair her aunts got her for her baptismal gift, and I also really wanted to get a picture of her latest smile...for some reason, for the last month she's been scrunching her face all up when she smiles. I love it!

I've included that smile below. If you'd like to see the rest of Colby's 9-month pix, please go to, Clients secion, and use the password "Colby".

PS - Yes, I know I haven't posted much lately...I have TONS to post, but after Colby goes to bed at night, I've been trying to get everyone's family pix edited, ordered, and sent to them prior to Christmas....blogging was kind of put on the back burner...but I'll try to be better. I'm really almost done with fall orders!! :)

Friday, February 21, 2014


A couple of months ago I got the most flattering email from someone that enjoyed my photography. She was wondering if she could bring her family up to our neck of the woods for an updated family picture...from St. Louis! I felt SO big-time! Maybe it was because she complimented my images...maybe it was because over the course of emailing I felt she 'got' any case, I started thinking about the fact that I wanted to get to St. Louis sometime in the fall to photograph one of my best friends' kids, and so I decided to make a weekend of it and come to her instead!

We talked back and forth over email about clothes, locations, etc, and when I arrived Saturday morning I was greeted by a group of four beautiful, doe-eyed kids. We started out at the park where the lighting was great and the fall foliage was even better, and then we headed to a downtown old brick building so that the older kids could have a bit of a more modern scene for a few fo their images! No matter where we were, I had a fabulous time...and I hope I get the chance to see them again!

Angie, thank you so much for sharing your family with me! You have beautiful, well-mannered, and VERY photogenic kids! I enjoyed getting to meet your whole family and can't wait to see you again in the future!

As always, a few of my favorites are below...and you can click here for a few more!


First, I just want to say how great the older sibs Jake and Hailey are with the twins. They herded...they chased...the cracked jokes to get them to smile. I would watch and it reminded me a lot of me and my younger sisters growing up. As soon as they get their driver's licenses, I'm going to start asking them to make the long drive up to babysit Colby! :)

It was hard to get Owen to stand still for just one second...there was SO MUCH to discover and explore at the park!

I love this picture of Abby! The unprompted little kid facial expressions are my favorites!

However, I love this one of her too....beautiful, slight's so simple and yet so sweet.

I think Angie is not going to be very happy with me over this image. Angie, you're going to have to watch Jake when he gets older! He is so darn handsome!!!!

And then there's beautiful Hailey. She has the most stunning eyes, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her funky purple glasses!!! I want her funky style!

Thanks for checking in!


Thursday, February 20, 2014


A few weeks ago, I met up with a new family in Altamont at the Ballard Nature Center for a beautiful fall photo shoot. I hadn't met them before...they had been referred to me by another client (Thank you, Andrea!!).

Everything was perfect...the weather...the colors on the trees...and the family itself. I cannot even tell you how much the camera loved this beautiful family!!! So much so that it took me a week longer then I'd hoped to get this session edited because I was honestly dealing with over 200 images that I loved.

This past weekend I was heading to Chicago for a workshop, and I honestly had the person sitting next to me on the train help me pick which ones to edit! "Which one do you like better....this one or that one?" I'd ask the young Asian student. "That one," she'd respond. "Her eyes are open slightly wider making them even bluer." "Good call," I'd reply.

So, between me and the college student, we finally pared it down. Life just isn't fair when you're beautiful AND so darn photogenic!

A few of my favorites are below...and a few more can be seen here!

J, J, A, and C, it was such a pleasure getting to meet all of you. Honestly, I can't even remember such an easy session! C & A were PROS!!! I hope you love the images HALF as much as I enjoyed meeting you!!!

Blessings! Kelly


C's eyes are unbelievable. They are crystal blue. The camera LOVES her eyes, and I love, love, love her beautiful red hair.

Big brother "A" got the whole posing thing. Each frame had a slightly different tilt of the head and look in the eyes. I started telling him he was ready for GQ. Sweetly, his dad explained to him what being "GQ" meant.

Ahhh...the ornery look. The look I love.

You can tell "C" and "A" really adore each other. All of these looks at each other were totally unprompted. I have a feeling, though, that in another five or ten years, it's not going to be the same story!

And, then you see the parents and you realize where the kids get their good looks!!! :)