Friday, May 30, 2008

Run while you still can...'s finally happened. I'm taking the bull by the horns and making an attempt to get my butt in shape. Sara's recent interest in running has inspired me take it up.

We traveled to Charm City Run last night to get some decent shoes -- great place, awesome service. They watched us walk and determined the level of support we needed. Hell...they even had toys for Mady to play with. 2 pairs of shoes, some socks and accessories, and $250 later...we are now prepared to take on the world. Note to self...There is nothing cheap about living a healthy lifestyle :)

Ultimately, I hope this investment will give me that extra boost in the day and keep me around a few years longer. I have a daughter to raise and a great wife by my side. I owe it to them to try.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Just Add Alcohol

Memorial Day was a real hoot. Steamed crabs, kabobs, chicken, sausage and....oh yeah...plenty of alcohol. Sara made up for every past event where she had been the "responsible" one. Friends and family fell victim to her mole-drawing beauty mark. Oye! Poor Mady. We ended the night with Italian Ice from Rita's. Sweet! Thanks for treating Sean. A few shots of the girls...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stoneleigh Stampede 5K

The results are in. A combination walk/jog landed me in 249th place. 41 minutes, 3 seconds (2 seconds behind Sara). I'm happy to say I completed the 5K. It was a grueling start, but after the ole legs got warmed up...I actually felt pretty good. I pushed Mady in the jogging stroller, as Sara and I did our best to keep the pack in our sights. Neighbors cheered us on at each turn.

Crossing the finish line, we were happy to catch up with our sponsors...Rita's Italian Ice and Smoothie King. Man that's good schtuff after a race.

I realized a few things that day...

  • I'm really lucky to live in such a great neighborhood. We live in an historic home, surrounded by big beautiful trees and great people. A community pool provides a central gathering place to catch up, relax and let the kids run wild. Places like this are hard to come by these days.
  • I love my family more and more each day. Participating in the race with them was beyond cool. It was Mady's first well as my own. This is likely one of many traditions that we'll be adding to our list.
  • Lastly, I'm out of shape. I need to get off my 35 year old ass and get cracking.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


And you thought your day was bad. As my Mom pulled up to her house, the sight of water outside the garage peaked her curiousity. As she enterred the basement, she walked into 3 inches of horror -- the hot water heater had ruptured and was actively adding to the madness. Tears ensued. Fortunately, my cousin is an insurance he was able to quickly get someone out there to address the situation. What a mess. My Dad snapped a few photos to document the event. Ugh....

Friday, May 23, 2008


Friday...just saying the word makes me smile. The extended weekend is upon us. Woohoo! Sara, Mady and I are running in a neighorhood 5K tomorrow morning -- the Stoneleigh Stampede ( ). There's also a 1 mile walk...which is sounding more and more desirable at this point :) I never was a runner. I run when chased I tell most people...and that doesn't happen very often. Temps are in the 70s and couldn't be more perfect.

I've got a great family shoot set up for Saturday afternoon in Federal Hill. Sunday, I'll be meeting with Sherri & Jason at Fiore Winery ( ) to discuss their wedding details in June. I love the place, the owners and their wine. A mixed case is bound to end up in my trunk. My arm is easily twisted.

My in-laws will be in town this weekend as well -- eager to see Mady. Sara and I have long been forgotten. Steamed crabs will be on the menu at some point. Gibby's Seafood has treated us well and should not disappoint. Hopefully they can accomodate our order for a bushel :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Morgan, Joe & Kirsten

The rain held off for Morgan & Joe’s engagement shoot at Bodkin Yacht Club. Joe’s daughter Kirsten brought creative flare…giving me pointers along the way for what scene would work next. I love when I don’t have to think very much :) What a fun loving family. I’m really looking forward to the festivities in August. Some outakes are below….

Leah & Brett

I met Leah & Brett on a cloudy day at Harford Glen for their engagement shoot. What an awesome setting... . This was where Leah & Brett's relationship took off. After being there, I can see why. We trekked thru the woods to a few ideal spots for shots. Note to self...You need to exercise John. It was a heart pounder :) Here's a glimpse of the session....


It's a dreary day in Baltimore. Perfect day to sleep in, couch slouch and take in a few movies. Not the case for me -- I'm desk-bound, making sure the lights stay on in Georgia.

Latest movies watched...Juno, Michael Clayton & PS I Love You. Great choices for a day like today. A little humor, suspense and good ole appreciation for the ones in your life. I'm becoming more and more of a "softy" as I get older. Maybe it's parenthood. Maybe I'm just a closet fan of chick flicks. I think that's what Sara would say :)

I'm fortunate -- I recognize and appreciate it. Life is short, but this life is good.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Miami Beach

This week...Mady and I were fortunate to be able to tag along on Sara's work seminar in sunny Miami Beach -- sweet deal! Accomodations at the Trump Miami. Private beach. Pool. Spa. Can life get much better? The winning mega-millions ticket maybe...but this was a good start.

This was Mady's first flight. She did great, sleeping most of the way. Passengers around us were suprised to see her face when we landed....noting how quiet she had been.

We arrived to a record 96 degree day -- wowsers. If the whole trip is gonna be like this I thought, this will be trouble. Neither Sara nor I are beach people. We're in our element during the fall/spring. Summer heat and humidity brings out funky skin ailments that cause us to seek shelter. Gotta love it.

As I stood outside the plane, patiently waiting for Mady's stroller to be retrieved, Sara and Mady took shelter inside the terminal...which was only slightly cooler. Let's just say the air circulation was severely lacking. Stagnant might describe it best.

Luggage retrieved, we shuttled over to pick up our rental...a snazzy silver PT Cruiser, which we would later find out is a pretty popular pick :) I started seeing them all over the place.

35 minutes later, we arrived at the Trump Miami. Expecting a pretentious environment, we were pleased to find the hotel very laid back and accomodating. Our digs...entitled Run of the House... was basically an efficiency -- king bed, sofa/chair and kitchenette -- outfitted with a washer/dryer as well. We were spoiled rotten.

Sara spent her days at the seminar...starting early and finishing early. Mady and I relaxed at the pool, adorned with waterfalls and a convenient bar -- go figure. Weather remained in our favor, with each day slightly cooler than the previous. Outside of a night in South Beach, where we had a great dinner at Rendezvous On The Beach ( ), we spent most of our time on the hotel premises & beach.

Our final day we trekked to Coral Gables (after Sara saw an interesting ad on one of those visitor channels on the TV). Frustration nearly ensued as the destination was not clearly marked. Street signs were absent, replaced with painted stones that were only readible as you were passing the place you were supposed to turn at. Ugh.

Eventually we found a mall area (Shops at Sunset Place)...where I was pleased to stumble across an Irish Pub...the Irish Times :) After a quick Guinness & Smithwicks, refreshed, we did some window shopping and bought a few t-shirts at the Lucky shop -- one of our new favorite places. We finished with some authentic cuban cuisine and headed back to the comfort of our Trump oasis, basking in the pool for a final time.

All in all, a great time. As usual, Mady was full of daily surprises which brought smiles to our faces. Ba-ba, Ma-Ma and Da-da rolled steadily off her tongue. Forward mobility was firmly established -- this kid really likes to move. We're truly lucky and I could ramble on and on. Here are a few shots from the trip...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Jeans on Friday

It's the little things in life that give you that mental "goose". For me, jeans on a Friday is that little perk that puts me in a good state of mind. People tend to be a little more laid back, often letting down their typical guards that accompany corporate attire.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Dad Duty

It's not everyday that I get one on one time with my daughter Madelyn...aka Mady. Recent childcare issues provided me with that rare moment. I'm obviously jaded, but my daughter is the absolute best. She makes me smile inside and out and it's surreal to know that she's mine. I've found my true purpose -- being Dad! I can't pull her enough in that little wagon of hers. A few photos from our time together...