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Backyard Camping

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Over Labor Day weekend, we decided to camp in our backyard.  We were all excited for it.  It would be fun, they said. I don’t think we’ll do that ever again.

Not the backyard camping thing – we’ve actually done that a lot.  Takes a whole lot of risk out of the whole camping thing altogether.  I admit I’ve snuck into the house a couple times.

We really did have fun that evening, there was a lot of badminton played and I LOVE badminton.  I’ll have you know that my senior year in high school, for PE class, I was the badminton champion.  Undefeated.  I kinda think I should have pursued it because I bet I could have made the olympic team.  No joke.  But instead, I went with volleyball, which was oversaturated and I didn’t have a chance at the Olympics.

I love tennis and volleyball and badminton is a fun mix of both.  Easier than both, too.

We had burgers and smores, it was a great time.  LIttle drama, which is always good.

Went to bed without incident when the sun went down, maybe around 9pm.  I feel fast asleep, as I usually do.  I had a little wine too, so that helps.  The kids were tired out, so they fell asleep too (thank God.)

But then I woke up.  Tossed and turned.  Took in all the sounds.  There was still quite a bit of traffic noise, far off in the distance.  We’re actually not near a major road at all, but a busy thoroughfare is maybe a half mile away and on the Sunday night before Labor Day, you could hear motorcycles and cars driving way too fast.  Sirens.  I could tell it was still, well, night time.

I thought about a lot of things, basically figured out everything and determined to remember it all in the morning.  I never do.

Then it got quieter.  Mostly crickets with the occasional train horn blast (which I actually love.  I have always heard the trains living here in Atlanta, no matter where I lived, Midtown, Buckhead, wherever.  I always hear the trains and I love them.)

I’d hear a branch crack, and get all intensely focused.  Is there a serial killer in our midst?  Did it fall from that gigantic tree just above us and does that mean it’s about to fall and kill us all?

Then I heard what sounded like high-pitched little girl giggling, in animal form.  Coyotes.  I had heard that there’ve been many sitings around here lately.  They’ve basically clear-cut hundreds of acres of forest area just outside our subdivision to put up yet another grocery store.  We have PLENTY within a 5 mile radius.  But anyway, there was speculation that the coyotes were displaced from their homes there.

I heard the blast from what I believed was the 5am train.  The 5am train always blasts its horn way louder than necessary and I picture the engineer just laughing like a madman, knowing that he’s waking up all the babies within a 20 mile radius and making people’s lives miserable.  It’s loud y’all.  And we don’t even live that close to the tracks – maybe a mile away? It was especially jarring without a window pane to protect me.

Soon after, Kevin gets up.  “Where ya going?” “To pee.”  YES!!!  I’m ecstatic.  All I can think is that I NEED MUST HAVE coffee as soon as possible, and I’m relieved that it’s nearly 6am.  Kevin gets up at around 6am most mornings and so I think his body clock and bladder alarm is going off.  I also have to pee, probably have had to for a couple hours, but I’m terrified to wake up the kids and then have a real disaster on our hands.

He comes back into the tent.  The kids are still sleeping, which is miraculous.  “What time is it?”  Coffee time.  Coffee time.  Coffee time.  “3am.”  In horror, I (way too loudly) gasp “WHAT?!?!”  I’d been tossing and turning for HOURS.  HOURS.  I must have coffee.  This is so uncool.  So unfair. Life is unfair!

I’d had it.  I’m outta here.  I go in the house.  Consider a 3am coffee.  But know that I’ll be a miersable piece of you know what if I do that.  I chug some water, pee and go upstairs and turn on Dateline.  Because that’s how I always fall asleep easily.  Murder puts me right to sleep.

Not long after, maybe 30-45 minutes. I hear EVERYONE come in the house downstairs.  Oh crap.  I’ve woken them all up and now Kevin’s gonna be mad at me.  The kids will be over tired and miserable.  I wonder about what happened in the tent just moments earlier to cause them ALL to come in?  A mass pee break?  Someone peed in their sleeping bag, crying ensues?  That’s most probable.

They all trek upstairs, I get out of bed, but I don’t want to, but I’m convinced I’m in trouble, so I try to make an effort.

“What happened?”  “Coyotes.”  Whoa.  Ok.  I told him I heard them too.  But apparently they picked up my winey scent as I walked through the backyard and into the house.  Kevin said he heard them running around in the yards just next to us and more cackling – that weird high-pitched kind.  He weighed his risks and options.  He had no weapon to defend the kids if a coyote got hungry.  So, he got them all awake and ran them all in the house together as fast as he could.

We put the kids to bed.  I finally fell asleep maybe around 5:30ish.  He let me sleep in til maybe 8am.

Not getting any sleep right before a busy week (AJ would be going to back to school this week and I’m always more busy than I can handle) is not a good idea.

I love these pictures, these are the Before pictures.  But man oh man…I’m not sure I’ll sign up anytime soon for backyard camping again.  It took me a solid week to get over it and I still feel tired.

Thanks for listening to me ramble about it…

photographers in gwinnett countyAmanda Myers is a photographer in Gwinnett County, GA that specializes in family photography including maternity, newborn, children and high school seniors.  You’ve stumbled across her random blog, but to see more of her professional work, you can visit her business website: Family Photography in Gwinnett County.  She’s also an Instagram expert and offers a service to other photographers that provides them with daily updates for all of the Instagram hub themes and hashtags, called HubHack.  You can visit her on Instagram for personal work, client work, and all things Instagram and Photography-related.

photographers in duluth ga

Cheers to a new year and a new project.  I’m hoping to keep up with a 365.  I know it’s a huge undertaking, but at least I got the first day in!  Here’s my three at Bunten Road Park in Duluth, GA on New Year’s Day 2016.

Hi, I’m Amanda, and I’m one of many photographers in Duluth GA.  You’ve stumbled across my personal blog, but feel free to jump over to my main business site to learn more:  Photographers in Gwinnett County

Fall Festival | Duluth GA Photographer

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Last evening, my family and I went out to the Duluth Fall Festival.  Crazy enough, it was the first time we’ve ever been (and we’ve lived down the street for 10 years!)  Before having kids, we spent the last weekend in September celebrating our anniversary up in the North Georgia Mountains, at Crane Creek Vineyards and Brasstown Valley Resort.  Then…we had kids, and this was the first year we felt like we could drag ’em there and it not be a disaster.

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We had a blast!  Wow – it was super crowded, but between the music, food, craft booths, and carnival, I think it’s a definite we’ll be coming back next year….And I found it to be so fun to take photos at the carnival, I’d be surprised if I don’t actually try to book a photo shoot or two there next Fall.

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(If she’s wearing clothes, she’s wearing a tutu.  Even to bed.  It’s a struggle to dress her for school because of her tutu demands.  Just last week, I forgot to tell her to take one off before we went to school…she ended up wearing the tutu she slept in the night before over her shorts.  Whatever…)

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Love this one of my sis and my boy.

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Bulldawg jersey and camo.  He’s that cool, y’all.

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While in line for the dinosaur spinning ride, my girls befriended two sisters and they were inseparable the remainder of the night!

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That baby thing they do:  Grab your face and squeeze.  I’m usually the victim.  Daddy’s turn.

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A rare photo with ME in it!  I handed off the camera to my sis, and she caught me going down the Fun Slide – I was holding my iPhone, taking video, which really just amounted to a whole lot of screaming.

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My girls’ sweet friends’ dad held my Kinsley’s hand down the slide.

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Time to go….LoLo was devastated- she wanted to stay and play with her new BFF’s all night.


Amanda Myers of Crane Creek Photography is a portrait photographer, specializing in maternity, newborn, children, family, and high school senior photos.  She serves areas in and around Duluth, GA, including Suwanee, Johns Creek, Lawrenceville, Norcross, and Buford.

If you have any interest in a photo shoot, carnival style, please contact Duluth GA photographer Amanda at amanda@cranecreekphotography.com.

Please visit Crane Creek’s main website:  Duluth Suwanee Photographer

Duluth, GA newborn photographer UGA Football

UGA Football Baby
by Duluth Newborn Photographer Amanda Myers

Two years ago, I had the privilege of photographing one of the sweetest, big-brown-eyed baby girls, Addison.  She was a little doll!  So, I was thrilled to be able to capture her little brother for his newborn session.  Dad was a football player himself and a huge UGA fan, so we had some fun incorporating a few extra props for this session.   (Feeling a little anxious for college football season?  If you’re a Bulldawg fan, you can check out their schedule here and start planning your tailgate party!)

Duluth Newborn Photographer

Wide-eyed baby Patrick
by Duluth, GA Newborn Photographer Amanda Myers

When I photograph newborns, it’s common that the baby will have trouble focusing their eyes- those little muscles just aren’t developed yet!  My own daughter was cross-eyed for at least a month, and while kinda cute and funny, it usually doesn’t make for the best keepsake photograph.  However, Patrick was wide-eyed, showing off a handsome little smile here, in one of my favorite photographs from our session.

Duluth, GA newborn photographer

Sweet Angel
by Duluth Newborn Photographer Amanda Myers

I love this picture from our session- his precious pink skin tones and sweet sleepy smile.  Perfect!

UPDATE: April 15th 2015 It’s this sweet baby boy’s FIRST BIRTHDAY and in honor of him, I posted the photo above, but only after starting from scratch on editing.  I’ve learned a lot of new techniques since last year and I find that I’m not loving my older photos like I should.  To see the new and improved photo, click here Atlanta Newborn Photographer