Posts from December 2015


December 29, 2015



Do you ever have one of those days where nothing is wrong but everything is wrong?

Sigh.  Yeah…me niether.

When I have bad days like this, Joe sometimes puts this guy on his iPad to cheer me up.

If you are having a bad day too, I hope that bike horn makes you feel a little better 🙂



Manic Monday | 12-28-15

December 28, 2015

I decided to start segregating and organizing my digital life a little bit and I already feel like Monica from friends when Chandelier is naming the types of towels she has in her bathroom…Personal, Business, Personal Blog.

Nonetheless – here is a link to my new Facebook page, if you’d like to follow along there 😉

fb page


Baby brudder is getting mawwwied this week!  So, so excited for these two.  And also ridiculously excited to be in the presence of an open bar and an amazing cover band without a baby.  The headlines will be fantastical: SISTER OF THE GROOM SMASHES BOTTLE OVER HER OWN HEAD ON THE DANCE FLOOR.  Just kidding.  Kind of.


Also, I CAN’T STOP looking at the pictures from my last post.  Like, literally can’t stop.  Love those girls!


Pics Post | Maisie and Sidney II

December 28, 2015

Remember Maisie’s little bestie Sidney?  Well she and her Mom came for an all-day visit today and it was heaven.

Kaitlin and I threw the girls on my bed for a quick photo-op and immediately both started singing and dancing around like lunatics (as Moms do) to get them to smile.  When I was going through the pictures I couldn’t stop laughing at how, in a lot of them, Maisie is looking at Kaitlin and Sidney is looking at me.  Why look at your boring old Mom making the same tired insane noises and faces when there is a NEW big person making DIFFERENT insane noises and faces!?

0F5A9008 0F5A9021 0F5A9026 0F5A9037 0F5A9040 0F5A9047“Sid your Mom went crazy bro! Good thing my Mom is here, she’ll take care of us.”0F5A9048 “Wait…I think they both lost it.  Should we call for help?”0F5A9060“This is awkward…”
0F5A9064 0F5A9091 STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND DEAL WITH THIS FACE.0F5A91400F5A9149“Is this gonna happen every time I come here?”…”Girl, the sooner you look at the camera, the sooner she’ll stop.”


Pics Post | “She Got So Big!”

December 27, 2015

Soooooo many people were commenting on how big Maisie got and how much she’s changed over the holidays.  I need to invent a new word to better describe how these comments makes me feel so very sad and so very proud at the same time.  SPROUD!

In a panicked effort to freeze time, I plopped this almost 8 month old (!) in the best corner of light in our house and stuck a giant camera in her face today.

This girl.  Joe Dugan, methinks we are in big big trouble.

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I was going to edit out the unfinished painting/molding situation in the background but then I realized that would be ridiculous.  Of course there’s no molding.  When I look back at these pictures someday the background will remind me of the frenzied chaos.  Of the exhaustion and the never ending to-do list.  And I will miss it more than I can fathom right now.  Molding schmolding!

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Hey Maisie…you make me very sproud.  Slow down, kid.

Pics Post | Maisie’s First Christmas!

December 26, 2015

Here are a few (million) of the pictures I took last night, this morning and today.  I ran out of picture-taking steam promptly upon arriving at my parents house for the Christmas Day festivities.

I am doubtful that I will take this many shots every year but, this year, I simply could not resist.  It was a magical, sweaty (!?), exhausting and amazing day.

Without further ado…Maisie’s first Christmas!

0F5A8606 0F5A8607 0F5A8608 0F5A8610 0F5A8615 0F5A8619 0F5A8622 0F5A8628 0F5A8629 0F5A8640 0F5A8642 0F5A8644 0F5A8647 0F5A86560F5A86720F5A86750F5A86790F5A86820F5A86960F5A86990F5A87010F5A87060F5A87070F5A87160F5A87170F5A87190F5A87290F5A87400F5A87610F5A87630F5A87520F5A87840F5A87870F5A87950F5A8797

Manic Monday | 12/21/15

December 21, 2015

shyIt has come to my attention in the last week or so that people (like, A LOT more people than I thought) are actually reading this blog…which is equal parts cool and scary.  Whoever you all are, HELLO and THANK YOU for following along on all of my random triumphs and misadventures!



Maisie has her first nasty cold and yesterday was pretty roughhhhhh.  As much as I enjoyed the snuggles, my girl is usually trying to dive off my lap like a kamikaze, so I knew she was really feeling poopy when she just wanted to be a mush on my shoulder for most of the afternoon.  She seems to be a bit better this morning though, thank goodness.

Nothing worse than seeing your baby sick.  Oh wait…there is something worse.  Having to go to work when your baby is sick.  Someday she will understand why it is that Mommy works, but today is not that day.  Hoping this (short) week goes super quick!



Where’s Waldo?

Maisie’s first DFC (Dunbar Family Christmas) was this weekend!  It was really cool for her to finally get to meet all of my aunts/uncles/cousins – who all, of course, feel like they already know her thanks to my relentless picture posting.  In fact, this year Superlatives were awarded to all the cousins and mine was “Most likely to take a picture of you without you knowing it and post it on Facebook.”  I happen to fully embrace my identifier.  All hail Maisie, the Queen of Facebook!


December-21-300x336Finally, this is me signing off until this weekend.  I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!!!  Sooooo many pictures of Maisie’s first Christmas to follow!


Cross-Post | Some Bittersweet News

December 15, 2015


7 Months Old and making decisions for her Mother already…

I blogged on my business page today with a bittersweet announcement:  I am no longer going to shoot weddings.

In addition to feeling myself being spread too thin and not being willing to continue to sacrifice 10 hours away from Maisie on weekend days, there is something else fueling this decision.  Maybe it’s silly but I can’t stop thinking about it…

For the longest time, I cried behind my camera whenever one of my brides was walking down the aisle.  Every bride.  Every wedding.  Tears!  What can I say?  I’m an emotional gal.

But since Maisie was born a funny thing has happened –  I stopped crying when the bride came down the aisle and started crying instead during the Father/Daughter dance.  A few fleeting thoughts of Joe and Maisie dancing together at her wedding someday and I’m sobbing between shutter clicks.

I won’t get too philosophical about the whole thing – but I think that right there sums it up.  I’m in a different season of life now and my passion and focus clearly got mixed up in the shuffle.

I used to shoot family sessions “on the side” of weddings.  Here’s to hoping I can make babies and young families my main focus.  I’m really excited about it and I feel like I have renewed fire and energy for my little business.


It’s Our Anniversary!

December 14, 2015

joelil’ babies

The weird thing about dating someone FOR-EV-VERRRR before getting married is that your wedding anniversaries seem to fall short of really summing things up.

Joe and I got married 2 years ago today.  However, it was 13 years ago (what…WHAT!?) that we met at a Manhattan College dorm room party.

13 years ago.

That is absolute madness.  

ANYWAY.  Back to the point.  We decided last year to forgo splurging on expensive gifts or fancy dinners out for our anniversary.  Some delish takeout and a rewatch of our wedding video suits us just fine.  Whether it correctly sums up our relationship or not, I think it’s important to have a day to acknowledge another year of marriage.  Joe knows me better than anyone on this planet and somehow still manages to love me and THAT is definitely worth celebrating.

And if you were at our wedding 2 years ago and saw me making this ugly-cry face:

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It’s because I took one look at Joe Dugan at the end of that aisle and saw this picture in my head:



*Photo from our wedding courtesy of Morgan Trinker

A Shallow Secret and my 2016 Resolution

December 10, 2015



This post gives me the icks but in the interest of keeping it real, I shall reluctantly forge ahead.

When I found out Maisie was a girl I completely freaked out for like 30 different reasons, the biggest of which is not easy to admit:  I was scared she would be ugly.  I know that sounds unimaginably shallow and horrible but I can explain….get the violins ready.

Upon hearing the words “It’s a Girl” my 3rd or 4th plea to God (after, of course, please let her be healthy) was “please PLEASE don’t let her look like me.”   Having spent the better part of the last 18 years hating pretty much everything about my physical appearance, I can attest to the fact that being painfully uncomfortable in your own skin sucks….and it sucks hard.  My insecurity has ruined special occasions, challenged my closest relationships and seems to perpetually weigh me down (no pun intended).

It broke my heart to think of my own child walking the same road.

I rallied against the guilt by devising a panicked plan to make things better for her:  I will tell her she is beautiful every single day.  I will spend too much money on clothing/hair/makeup if that makes her feel good about herself.  I will do whatever it takes.

By the time I was ready to give birth, I felt confident with my plans to build my girl’s self esteem from an early age.  But then something insane happened.  An outcome I never considered.



A genetic miracle!  Somehow our DNA came together to create this stunning Elizabeth Taylor Gerber-baby and now my biggest worry will probably be keeping the boys away.  Gee wiz.

In the meantime, my goal for 2016 is to work on being a better role model.  To achieve and maintain a healthy weight.  To stop bashing myself on a daily basis.  To just be happier with who I am.  I think self-esteem is mostly a learned behavior anyway and I need to start practicing what I preach.

And, for the record, I still tell Maisie that she is beautiful every day.  And smart.  And kind.

I know.

It Starts.

December 7, 2015


Maisie playing with one of her “toys.”  

For the last 7 months, our main priority has been keeping Maisie alive.  We’ve been focused on doing all we could to prevent the pediatrician from calling social services on us (excuse me, social services?  I have two morons that have no idea what they are doing with a baby, you might want to investigate).  Making sure she eats, sleeps, takes baths and has clean clothes to wear has been the name of the game.  We have been able to establish a concrete schedule for the above and things have been going really well.

But just when Joe and I were starting to feel pretty impressed with ourselves, it has officially started.

Ya know, the whole other massive piece of the parenting puzzle.  The piece that involves discipline and setting boundaries.  Before you freak out, I’m not putting a 7 month old in a time-out or anything.

But it has most definitely started.

Over the weekend, Maisie learned how to scream.  Not cry.  Scream.   An ear-piercing, helpmeimonfire type of scream.  As soon as a “toy” (my phone, my coffee, the dog’s ear etc.) is out of her grasp it starts.  The screams eventually become frustrated cries if a long enough amount of time goes by until she can get her hands on whatever it is that she wants.  This is all compounded by the fact that she is growing increasingly annoyed at the fact that she can’t simply get up and walk across the room to grab the “toy” (a knife, a pot of scalding hot water etc.).

So far, changing the scenery or swiftly distracting her with an actual toy has been working.  However, I am now very aware of the path we are walking on.  A few wrong turns and I could be that frazzled Mother with a 2 year old tantruming on the floor of aisle 12 at Target.

My solution to that potential problem?  WWJD (What would Jan do?).  Never bring a 2 year old to Target.  Like, ever.  🙂

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