How To Behave In Public: Lesson 1

I didn’t have to practice becoming awkward. It’s something I was born with. As I continue to learn and grow, I’d like to share my journey to normalcy so that other Awkwads may learn from my mistakes. I hope each person can take something from this lesson on how to behave in public and carry it awkwardly, perhaps in a fanny pack, throughout their awkward lives.

(Side note- only Awkwads can use the word, Awkwad. Those who aren’t awkward should refer to it as the A-word.)

I was in Target a couple of days ago when I thought I saw my friend Amber. She was at a distance when I first saw her profile, but then she turned and I could only see the back of her head. I’ve learned from past experiences NOT to run up and hug (or smack on the rear) people I think I know in public.

Walking a few feet closer was clearly out of the question. I didn’t have time for shenanigans. So I pretended to look at the little girl’s clothing while shouting, “Amber!” to see if she would hear her name and look around. After my fourth try, (yeah, I’m persistent) I heard one of the Target employees say, “We have a lost child.” I turned to see this employee standing behind me and speaking into her walky-talky. There was a sense of urgency in her voice as she asked, “Ma’am what does Amber look like? What is she wearing?”

I was frozen. Mortified. I could’ve just told her that I was too lazy to walk fifty feet and see if that was my friend, Amber BUT I didn’t. My gaze held steadfast on the sparkly, pink shirt I was gripping and my awkwardness came shining through.

I just shook my head as my weak voice uttered, “Never mind. Don’t need her.”

I’m pretty sure the Target employee stood there staring at me for awhile, but much like a turtle can withdraw into its shell when it senses danger, I am able to slip into a fugue state when I sense embarrassment. I have no idea what happened for the next couple of hours, but according to the items found later in my car I made several impulse purchases before leaving Target. Then, I went to Krispy Kreme.

Amber is so high maintenance.

How to behave in Public


Awkward Smoking Wednesday!! (New Pics)

Thanks to my friend, Kelly for making this photo-op a reality. And as always, all Awkward Smoking Pictures were taken by the one- the only, Emily Dean Photography

Let me know you want more Awkward Smoking Pictures by sharing them with your friends. Click HERE to see them on Pinterest, or HERE on Tumblr.

Awkward Smoking Pictures: 5K Style

A million thanks to the Nolensville Running Club for their full participation, as well as being great sports rather than sore losers. “Eat my smoke, NRC!”

As always, photos by the photographically gifted, Emma of Emily Dean Photography

*Note: The pink words (they’re actually salmon, I hate pink) that appear in the text are actual links!! Click on them and have a looky-loo.*

Boston Marathon Hits Close To Home

My plan was to wrap up this week with a Friday post containing more Awkward Smoking Pictures. However, considering the tragedies that have unfolded this week, my funny has been broken. The pictures that I had planned on sharing today were made with the help of the Nolensville Running Club right here in my home town of Nolensville, TN.

When I asked the NRC if they’d be willing to participate in Awkward Smoking Pictures they not only agreed, but they came out in full force. Emma, of Emily Dean Photography and I were overwhelmed with their kindness and willingness to take part in our shenanigans. We had a wonderful time at the shoot and I look forward to bringing you those photos next week.

However, there’s another story about the Nolensville Running Club that needs to be shared.

On Monday, eight members of the NRC participated in the Boston Marathon. All of them crossed the finish line safely less than twenty minutes before the first bomb went off. The entire town of Nolensville breathed a collective sigh of relief when we heard that our runners and their families were unharmed.

NRC members at Boston Marathon (left to right)
John Lovell, Megan Brazill, Amy Klotz, Scott Alexander, David Cañas

Just a few hours after the bombings NRC member, Shawn Berkau organized a 2.62 mile tribute run here in Nolensville, TN to honor all of the Boston Marathon runners, specifically their fellow NRC members, and the bombing victims. Click HERE to watch the news video.

I am honored to be a part of such a tight knit community. 

I (Don’t) Got This

I’ve been a little silent since my announcement of the Easter bonnet competition last week, not because I’ve been gloating, (I have) but because last week was more than busy. My husband, Brantley, went to Memphis to work for a couple of days. The plan was that he would return home for three days, and then go back to Memphis for two more. However, his car broke down while he was there and the mechanic had to order parts to fix it. Instead of being gone for two days, he was gone for seven. This placed a major kink in my week.

As previously mentioned, Emma Nathews of Emily Dean Photography was coming into town to shoot more Awkward Smoking Pictures. (Be patient. You’ll see them soon.) Since Brantley wasn’t here to watch the offspring, I had to ship him to the grandparents mid-week. Maybe all kids are this way, but my son requires a pretty strict routine in order to maintain his, and my sanity. However, routine was nowhere to be found last week. Much like the shingles on my roof. 

A storm from the week before had blown away large sections of shingles. After calling our homeowners insurance company, they put us in touch with a roofer. I called Brantley in Memphis, “I need you to talk to the roofers. I’m not going to know what they’re talking about.” He interrupted, “Lori, I can’t do that. I’m busy. You can handle this. I know you can.” 

What was I thinking? Of course I could handle that. I’m Lori Wescott for crying out loud.

Imagine my surprise when the insurance adjuster told me that I had to use the specific roofing company that came out to do the estimate. “But, why?” I asked. “The roofer said five times that what he wanted me to sign WASN’T a contract.” Guess what? It was a contract. I’ll let you fill in the blanks on what happened next because it involves a lot of bad words. 

After a lengthy, ugly cry I picked myself up and shook it off. There was no time for crying. I had to prepare the house for company. About thirty minutes prior to Emma’s arrival, I realized that I had forgotten to put fresh-cut flowers in the guest room. Our guest room is drab and a little cramped, so I always do my best to punch it up with some fresh cut flowers, a new issue of Us Weekly or People, and some candy. I had done none of this. 

I called my next-door neighbor, the flower whisperer, and asked if I could cut some flowers from her yard. She told me that she really didn’t have anything vase-worthy at the time, so I decided to use what I had in my own yard- one sad little patch of Johnny Jump-Ups with one inch stems. They would have to do. 

About an hour later I got a text from the flower whisperer saying she had left a spring bud vase on my porch that I could sneak up to the guest room. She must have had a gut feeling that my version wouldn’t be up to par.

Bet you’ll never guess which vase was created by me.

The phrase, “Nailed it,” comes to mind.

Emily Dean Photography Comes to Nashville!!

Photographer, Emma Nathews
When the idea to shoot Awkward Smoking Pictures  was born, there were two goals in mind. The first, was to create hilarious photos of awkward situations. The second, was to ensure that we used a photographer that would make us look good in the process. Meet Emma Nathews, of Emily Dean Photography.   
Emma is a photographer that I’ve known for many years. So many years, in fact, that we have quite a bit of dirt on each other. However, due to the threat of mutual destruction, I’ll be keeping my mouth shut unless the right price comes along.
I knew Emma was famous for her breathtaking photos and her ability to capture the essence of a child in a single, still photograph. I also knew that asking her to be the Awkward Smoking Pictures photographer was slightly beneath her. Maybe it was her great sense of humor, maybe it was the pity in my voice, or just maybe it was due to some of the aforementioned dirt, but she agreed to come on board and I was ecstatic. 
I am so excited to tell you that Emma will be coming to Nashville next week to shoot more Awkward Smoking Pictures!!  Without giving too much away, I’ll say that we have some exciting locations set up thanks to some good friends in the community. 
In between ASP photo shoots, Emma will be available for forty-minute photo sessions to you, the public. The cost is $175 and would include digital copies of all of the images, along with a signed release. If you’re interested in booking a session while she’s here on April 3rd and 4th, please let me know as soon as possible. You can email me at Bookings will be on a first come, first serve basis.
Here is a sampling of some of her work. As you can see, from traditional family portraits to playful and casual candids, Emma effortlessly captures the uniqueness of every subject. Trust me when I say, she will make you look good.

Still need more proof that she’s a camera magician? Ok, fine. Below is a photo taken of me with my own camera, followed by one taken by Emily Dean Photography.

No comparison. The photos speak for themselves.
(Ok, Emma Nathews will kill me if I don’t mention somewhere that the last two photos were not taken by her. However, they do show real promise in my ability to touch-up photos found on the internet. I wonder if she’s hiring.)
But on the serious, if you want a professional, yet affordable photo shoot by an acclaimed photographer with pictures your family will treasure forever, then book a session now! You won’t regret it.