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Thinking Outside the Box… Again…


I wanted to have some maternity photos taken before the baby decided to make an appearance. Thinking it wouldn’t cost more than a couple hundred dollars for a decent photographer, I started to research my area for recommendations.

Apparently I’m WAY out of the loop on the actual cost of a photographer.

Starting price? $600. Top of the range? Prices not listed because if you have to ask… you can’t afford it.

Yes, we have money saved in our baby fund but when it comes down to spending an extra week or two with the baby OR having maternity photos, I choose baby time.

Of course, this made me break down into a giant puddle of tears. There’s nothing worse than a woman who can’t have what she wants… unless it’s a PREGNANT woman who can’t have what she wants.

So. I called for reinforcements.

SNIFFFFFFFFLE. *ring* “Liz? Ican’taffordmaternityphotosbecausewe’rebrokeandI’msosad.Pleasehelpme” I sobbed in a single breath into the phone to my sister.

“Huh?” she said.

I probably should have had my level headed husband call so she could understand at least a few words.

She eventually figured out what I was crying about (…this time…) and offered to take photos for us.

I researched poses and locations while she studied how to adjust the F-stop and ISO on a camera. We spent a couple nights at the beach and the park chasing sunlight and snapping photos. Sure, she isn’t a pro and I’m not a good subject, but you learn to accept you can’t have everything you want while paying off mistakes *cough* I mean, while paying off debt.

I’ll admit. I didn’t expect much. BUT…

I’m so happy with the way the photos turned out. Who knew my sister was a closet photographer?

It’s easy to give up, but don’t. Constantly look for ways to think outside the box. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Newbie Registry Mistakes…


I’m not very good at accepting gifts (or help for that matter) from others. It’s a horrible pride thing and a genetic trait according to my father. When my husband and I got married, I HATED putting together a gift registry. It seemed presumptuous to assume folks were buying gifts and something else altogether to tell them what to purchase. But I listened to my sweet mother who said, ‘Well how else will they know what you need?!?’

Registering was no romantic or joyful occasion. We didn’t dance around the store choosing dishware. It was more of a, ‘No honey, you can’t put a lava lamp or camping gear on the list. Necessities ONLY’ shouted to my poor husband to be.

My sister-in-laws are throwing me a baby shower and asked if I had created a registry yet. A feeling of dread filled my brain. Fortunately, I’m trying to get better at the whole, ‘my friends are the sweetest people, would like to buy gifts, and I better keep my self-righteous mouth shut… plus… I REALLY need help’, so I smiled and said I’d get to it.

My husband, remembering the last registry experience, wasn’t too excited to wander Babies R Us wielding a scanner with me. But, as with most registries, the store is willing to give us 10% off anything we don’t receive as a gift so at the thought of saving money on the horizon, I promised to behave.

We arrived at the store, registered our information, and started the trek. We hardly made it into the bottle section before realizing we had made a HUGE newbie mistake…

Neither one of us have any idea what a baby needs.

Sure, Babies R Us provides a list of a million items ‘babies can’t live without’, but common sense tells me the list is slightly exaggerated. Problem? I don’t know which items I don’t need and I’m not about to waste money – mine or someone else’s – on junk.

Two hours and 5 phone calls to my mother, my sister, and my sister-in-law later, we emerged with a concise list of necessary items. Sure there were a few statements I made a bit too loudly like, ‘No honey. I’m NOT putting a teething ring on there. The kid won’t get teeth for like 18 months. Oh. Um. 12? Wait. When do kids get teeth?!?’ To which my husband responded with a firm grip to my hand dragging me to another section while laughing loudly as if I had made a joke, then he’d say through gritted teeth, ‘Don’t EMBARRASS me!’ By the end, I think he was truly terrified Child Protective Services was going to jump out from behind the crib section like undercover CIA agents ready to arrest us for parental stupidity before our child is even born.

Thankfully, CPS didn’t arrest us, the list is done, and no… there isn’t a lava lamp on there. Though, my husband did manage to sneak a Dr. Seuss book on when I wasn’t looking.