No Place Like Home

I want to give a huge thank you to Tara and Kristen for filling in for me last week and bringing you all lots to laugh at in my absence. 

Vacation actually ended a little earlier than we had planned on when Tuesday night/Wednesday morning we were exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever been through. 

Try as I might to resist, my brain can’t help but what-if the entire experience. 

What if we hadn’t woken up with headaches?

What if I hadn’t called 9-1-1 when I did?

What if Emma hadn’t been there to take care of Luke while I was in the hospital?

What if I hadn’t regained the ability to speak?

What if the after effects never go away?

What if? 

What if? 

What if?

I know how lucky we are to be able to tell this story. Most people who experience carbon monoxide poisoning are not. I’m thankful for that, but at the same time I am frustrated at the after effects. Dizziness, tremors and headaches are unpleasant, but apparently pretty typical in the short term. My difficulty verbalizing will hopefully continue to get better with time. The words are in there. I can see them in my head, but they don’t always come out on command.


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. 

Blog Redesign Complete!!

Hello to everyone and I hope you are well. The Loripalooza blog redesign is complete!! If you’re reading this in an email format, please venture over to the site and check out the new look created by Andrea, at AKay Web Design. Andrea was a dream to work with and I highly recommend her for all of your website/blog needs.

I’m also excited to tell you about a new project that I co-created with my best friend, Loren Leigh Baggett. “Awkward Smoking Pictures” are soon to be released and pretty much speak for themselves. Normal activities become not-so-normal when you add a lit cigarette to the scenario. We were lucky enough to score uber photographer Emma Nathews of Emily Dean Photography. She generally operates out of the Birmingham area and does beautiful work. Is this job beneath her? Yes it is, but I can be persuasive.

So get going to the website and let me know what you think!