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It kind of all started with gestational diabetes. Before week 28, pregnancy was a breeze for me. After a miscarriage in July, we spent the first twelve weeks of this pregnancy kind of pretending that it wasn’t happening.  We were cautiously optimistic, but I was fairly sure that this pregnancy would end the same way the previous one had.  Eight and a half weeks came and went and at twelve weeks, we started to consider the fact that this could be a real thing.  From 12 to 28 weeks, I felt amazing!  I had no morning sickness, no aches, no pains.  It was pretty lovely!

At 28 weeks, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  I was really down about.  I felt that I’d failed my body and that my body was failing me.  My hands & feet were so swollen even my watch wouldn’t fit onto my wrist and I was gaining weight super rapidly.  By week 31 I couldn’t feel the first three fingers on my right hand.  Figuring out what foods would work for me and which ones wouldn’t was a five week process full of experimentation… at one point I stood in front of our fridge at 3 am eating a chicken breast.  I felt like a crazy person.  Eventually, I ended up on nightly insulin injections to control my fasting blood sugars.  It was a long and frustrating process, and I mostly just wanted to eat doughnuts.  So.Many.Doughnuts.  (The day after she was born, I did.  So.Many.Doughnuts.)

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Since I was taking nightly insulin injections, I had to start bi-weekly Non-Stress Tests at my doctors office.  I’d go in twice a week to be hooked up to monitors for about 45 minutes.  I’d listen to her heartbeat, count her movements and read a book.  It was a nice way to force some sitting and relaxing time!  Once a week, after the NST, I’d have an ultrasound to make sure she was growing well and that the amniotic fluid levels were good.  At our Week 34 appointment, we discovered that this little girl, once in a nice head down position, had flipped over and was breech.  I spent three weeks doing everything I could think of to flip her back around… inversions, chiropractors, acupuncture, moxibustion, diving into swimming pools, handstands, ice packs and heating pads.  All of it.  If anyone anywhere credited anything with flipping a breech baby, I tried it.

The last ditch effort was an External Cephalic Version.  I was admitted to the hospital and my doctor attempted to push her into position through my abdomen.  I was so disappointed that it didn’t work.  Even when I was on the fence about having children, I knew I wanted to be pregnant and give birth.  It felt like a rite of passage, something that I should do as a woman.  I was so sad to get through so much of pregnancy to have it all end by passively lying on a table while someone else did the work to bring her in to this world.  I spent a day in bed feeling sorry for myself, then remembered that all that mattered was a healthy me and a healthy her.  So I bought some C-Section clothes that would be comfortable on the incision, went back to work editing the wedding I’d shot on Friday and decided to double my efforts to turn this stubborn baby. I had time to do it and this stubborn baby was no match for me.  I have 32 years of digging my heels in on her.

McCarty Birth 5 McCarty Rhone: The Birth StoryOn Thursday morning I went in for my biweekly Non-Stress Test and thought about how ridiculous I was for even going because I was leaving at 11 am to attend a wedding in Santa Ynez.  I did my hair & makeup for the wedding and ate a small breakfast because I was running late.  I almost called in to reschedule because they usually take so long and I didn’t want to be late meeting my girlfriends.  It was all pretty standard and my doctor came in to check the readings.  The conversations went like this…“Are you not feeling these contractions?”

“What are you talking about?”

“You’re having contractions every five minutes.”


“If you’re dilating, you’re going to have this baby today.”

“No.  I’m going to Santa Ynez today.”

“I’m going to give you twenty more minutes, then we’ll check you.  If you’re progressing, you need to go to the hospital.”

“Um, we’ll talk about it”

I called Chris, told him he definitely needed to meet me before heading in to the office. Turns out, I was progressing and my doctor wanted me to go directly to the hospital.  There was a solid round of blank stares from Chris & I.  We hadn’t installed a carseat.  We didn’t have hospital bags.  I didn’t have an out of office reply.  We were totally unprepared.  I negotiated with our doctor… I needed to go home for a few hours at the very least and she gave in. If a foot started to dangle, we’d drop everything and get to the hospital.

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So, we went home.  I called the girls to tell them I couldn’t drive to Santa Ynez.  I called my mom to let her know what was going on.  I emailed out the gallery for the wedding I shot on Friday and set out of office replies for email. I cancelled massage appointments, waxing appointments and family shoots for the following week. I shot the last image for my maternity series.  The girls stopped by on their way to the wedding for hugs and good lucks!  Chris & I wandered around the house with blank looks on our faces and complete shock that this was actually happening.  This couldn’t be real.

We checked in at the hospital, and then we sat.  And we waited.  For hours.  Nothing happened.  I never felt a contraction.   I did feel exhausted and so hungry!  A light breakfast and no coffee had been a really poor choice nine hours ago.

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At 5:00 pm they were ready for us.  I walked, ass out and boobs bared in those terrible maternity hospital gowns, past the nurses station where everyone waved at me, into the  freezing cold OR.  From there, everything gets a little blurry, and I’m so happy Chris had the foresight to video everything.  I remember being so tired and thinking that I should really be awake for the birth of my daughter.  I remember staring at the bright overhead lights thinking that this couldn’t really be happening.  And I remember wishing that everyone would stop asking me if I was OK, because I just wanted to take a nap.  I yawned.  A lot.

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Chris came in and sat next to me and I saw my doctor walk in.  Some time passed where I mostly tried to fight sleep.  Chris stood up, holding my hand and then looked down at me with tears in his eyes and said “She has so much hair!” and I replied “They started?”

She was 6 lbs 6 oz, 18 inches with a full head of hair.  After some resuscitation to get her breathing, she was placed into my arms and I could only stare at her, trying to convince myself that this was real.  That not only had I grown a person but that she was here, in my arms, and she was perfect.


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March 6, 2015 Its My Birthday!


Birthdays aren’t a super big deal around here.   We’re pretty boring about them… maybe dinner out or drinks with friends.  If we’re really going to do something, it’ll be a trip somewhere or some kind of experience.  Our birthdays are just a few weeks apart, so if we do it, we do it well.  And if we don’t, we don’t really do it at all!

I think because getting older hasn’t been such a big deal for me, the celebration of it didn’t need to be a big deal.  Thirty was hard.  And weird, because I’d never really cared how old I was.  But thirty seemed, well, like a clear mark in time.   Thirty was big.  And I was torn on what to do, I never figured it out, so we did nothing.  But 32 feels like just another day.  Although, 32 does feel big in that it will be a big year for us, the year our family grows into three.  And that feels enormous.  Perhaps we’ll spend it building shelves in her room icon smile Its My Birthday!

This year will be pretty low-key… a quiet weekend since Chris has been on the road for the last week.  A little socializing, a little sleeping in, maybe some cake (because what’s a birthday without a little cake!) and taking in our final celebrations before it’s no longer just about us anymore.  Before we’re going to start celebrating birthdays hard… with parties and bounce houses and super amazing fun times.

In other news, my friend Heidi Ryder and I took a little photo field trip out to see the almond blossoms.  She snapped a few photos of me and I’m really hard in love with them.   That girl, she’s the best.

Almond 1 Its My Birthday!

Basil Hazel is five today!  He’s getting old & lazy, everything we always thought our Basset Hound might be.   Sleeping until noon, hiding behind doors when I call him to go outside and lazily eating, until he spys a bit of human food just close enough to the end of the counter that he can grab, then you’d think he was a six month old weimaraner.  This boy completes our little family and I couldn’t love him more.

Happy Birthday my darling pup.  May this day be full of treats, naps and a nice long walk!
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51bE6SBNroL Flipping Pages: Ready Player One

Reading with Your Guy Edition: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Is there a man in your life? Does he love movies, video games and other dude stuff that dudes get into? Then, this book is for him. And it’s also for you. And it could be for your father/brother/dorky cousin-in-law. I’ve been shoving this in my husband’s face on a daily basis since I finished it. I feel like it’s something he’d enjoy way more than I did. And here’s why: it’s so much freaking fun.

I’m going to say something now, and you’re not gonna laugh at me. When I was little, my parents bought us a Nintendo system and my favorite game was Legend of Zelda. It was such an adventure…and you get to rescue a princess or something. (I’m not big on details when it comes to video games.) Opening this book felt very much like the very first time I played Zelda. Like the beginning of a great adventure.

It works like this: A Bill Gates/Steve Jobs-type guy called James Halliday created an online world called OASIS years before the story takes place. With the world’s economy in major depression, most people live the bulk of their lives inside of this virtual reality, even going to school and holding jobs there. When Halliday dies, it’s announced that he’ll leave his entire fortune to whoever is the first to solve a set of clues and challenges he’s hidden in the OASIS. Everyone in the world wants to be the winner, and we are lucky enough to tag along with Wade, a high school aged dreamer, as he sets out on a quest to be The One to solve it all and find Halliday’s hidden “easter egg”. Sounds fun, right? Throughout the book, you’ll find all sorts of references to 80′s pop culture: John Hughes movies, PAC Man, Dungeons and Dragons, Cap’n Crunch commercials, Rush songs. Half of them went way over my head. But the thing is, you don’t have to love that stuff to love this book. And if you do, then this is basically going to be your favorite book ever.

I got the feeling, while reading, that the author was giggling the whole time he wrote this book. The guy deserves a hug. So grab this book, or buy two copies, and read it with you man! Or get it for your dad for Father’s Day! Is your brother’s birthday around the corner? It’s in paperback! (That’s code for cheap. Not that the men in your lives don’t deserve the very best.)

Happy Reading,


So, I haven’t read this one yet.   Well, I’m a handful of chapters in and I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner.  I’m pretty in to it.  It’s one of those books that Jessica recommends to me and I’m all “That sounds AWFUL!”  But she absolutely guarantees that as awful as this one sounds, it’s one of the best we’ll read all year.  And this girl never steers me wrong.   So, we read.

images Flipping Pages: The Song of Achilles


The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.

Oh. My. God. This has been my favorite read of 2013 (so far). Look, the description don’t sound amazing: it’s a retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. It’s got some Illiad mixed in there. Yeah, the Illiad, which you may have skimmed or read the Cliff’s Notes for in high school. Sounds like a snooze, right?

Wrong! This is the most transporting book I’ve picked up in a long time. Ancient Greece and Troy feel so real you can almost smell the ripe figs and the salty sea air. Patroclus, who was Achilles’ lifelong companion, narrates and you just fall in love with him in the first ten pages. Greek mythology is woven so beautifully and realistically into the story that I actually took new interest in these ancient stories that always seemed dusty and over-the-top to me. I’m going to be all mysterious now…I don’t want to say too much about the plot, because you deserve to get lost in it without expectations. You guys, read this book. You will be bowled over. This is more than just a great read, it’s a story that will live in your heart and your imagination for the rest of your life.

And I don’t just say hokey stuff like that every day.

Happy Reading,


My very first 13.1!  It was crazy, ridiculous, and amazing!  I can definitely understand why people say your first 5K is a gateway drug. Last Sunday went a little something like this…

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5:30 am The alarm goes off and I realize that I’ve been tossing and turning because I dreamt that I missed the race.  Apparently, I am excited to run 13.1 miles in 29 degree weather.  I question my sanity.

6:30 am We head to the subway to Central Park, the start line.   I am wearing a long sleeved running shirt, my OAR singlet, a running jacket, another long sleeved running shirt, a cotton long sleeved shirt borrowed from a lovely neighbor, running pants, two pairs of gloves, a little hat and a trash bag.  The trash bag makes me feel ridiculous, or like Bradley Cooper.  I can’t decide.  I worry about freezing to death.

7:00 am My Aunt Jill and I stand in a bathroom for 25 minutes with a handful of other runners.  It is the only “warm” place in Central Park.

7:25 am We head to the corrals to wait.   The gun sounds at 7:30 am and the first runners start!  We stand there for another 25 minutes.  As we start walking toward the start line, the elite runners pass us.  It’s been 28 minutes and they’re already exiting the park.   They’ve run 6 miles.  We haven’t even started  yet.

7:50 am As the starting line looms, I shed two layers and my trash bag.  I realize that my toes are asleep.  Apparently they haven’t left the apartment yet.  I think that perhaps this is a good thing.  If I can’t feel my feet, they can’t hurt me.
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8:02 am We start!

Mile 0-2  I feel so good!  The CNN tower reminds me that it’s 29 degrees and I realize it’s not so bad while I’m running.  I think I maybe wouldn’t mind living in NYC and could probably handle the cold.  And the snow.  My toes have not yet joined me.  MapMyRun tells me that the first mile was 9:47 and I feel proud.

Mile 2 There’s my toes!  I thank them for getting out of bed.

Mile 3 I decided to wear two pairs of gloves.  One for warmth, one for protection.  I take off the under layer because my hands are sweating and stuff them in my pockets.  I realize that purchasing the running jacket was a super good move.  There’s a hill, and I want to kill myself.

Mile 5 The second pair of gloves has to come off because I’m sweating to death.

Mile 6 I’m still running under 10:00 pace and I can’t even believe it.  I realize that I like racing and I think “I could totally run a marathon!”  I’m excited about it.

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Mile 7 Out of the park and down to Times Square.  This is really kind of fun.  I take pictures of myself running because I’m bored out of my mind.

Mile 8 We run across 42nd Street and the wind coming off the water is frigid.  I curl up in my jacket and curse the cold! MapMyRun tells me I did this one in 8:39.  I’m pretty sure it’s lying.

Mile 9-11 I realize that running is very very boring.  The West Side Highway is real pretty, and there are more cheering fans.  One guy with a sign that says “This is the most boring parade I’ve ever seen” makes me giggle.  I was a little unsure before, but now I’m positive.  MapMyRun is coutning mileage faster than I’m running them, so I think I’m further along than I actual am.  I’m mad at it.

Mile 12 This race is never going to be over.  I feel really good, and I think I could definitely run a full marathon, but I realize i wouldn’t even be half way finished yet.  It’s heartbreaking.  At the 20 KM mark, I hit unrun territory, the furthest distance in my short running career.  I give myself a pat on the back.
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Mile 13.1  Done done done done done!  I can’t believe it!   MapMyRun says 2:11:40, with a 9:45 pace.  I am astounded with myself!  (As I should have been.  It’s been lying to me.  Actual stats are 2:13:36 with 10:12 pace.  I’ll take it.)
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I’m so proud!  I call Chris and he doesn’t answer.  I curse him in my mind for still sleeping when I’ve done something incredible and I want to share it with him!   I call my Mom and am so happy to relay the good news!  She reminds me about that time I ran track in high school and managed to sit out nearly every single race I was supposed to run because I’m not so good at running.

That runners high, it’s definitely true.  I feel excellent!   It’s such an amazing way to become part of a city, to experience it in a way that you just don’t get being a tourist.  You really feel that you’re discovering it differently, and that you’re part of something within this community.  It’s an incredible feeling and I would so highly recommend it!

For this race I raised money for the Organization for Autism Research.  As a team, we raised $32,190, I was responsible for $2,175 and am so incredibly proud!  Thank you all for your donations and your support!

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I’m embarking on a 13.1 mile adventure on Sunday.  Through rain, snow & cold.  While the wet cold is definitely weighing on my mind, I’m mostly super thrilled that this training is going to be OVER soon!   The last few weeks I’ve found myself negotiating with, well, myself.  Do I actually have to go run 10.5 miles?!  Maybe if I just do 9.  Or, if I just push it off until a liiiittle later in the afternoon.  I’ve done it, but begrudgingly.  And on Sunday it will be all worth it as I cross the finish line with a slightly faster pace than in October and (fingers crossed) bones that are warm and cozy!  Wish me luck!

March 13, 2013 BroBros Baby Shower


I’m not going to lie, I hate baby showers.  The cutesy colors and the games (especially the games!) and the present opening (Ok, maybe not the presents because baby clothes are just too cute).   But generally, baby showers are not my favorite thing in the world to do.  So, when Jess & I threw a shower celebratory luncheon for our dear friend Natalie, we wanted to keep it clean, sophisticated and generally adult themed.  A black, white & gold palate.  A menu full of good Southern comfort food.  And some of the most wonderful ladies.  What more could you ask for!?

The shower was featured on On To Baby this week!   You can see it here!
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March 11, 2013 Turning Thirty

 photo 768x1024 Turning Thirty

On Friday, I turned thirty.  Which isn’t entirely odd for me, as I’ve pretty much behaved as if I was thirty for a good chunk of the previous decade.  I settled into adult life super quickly and I’ve loved every moment of it.  But, something feels different about this.  Odd.  A little uncomfortable.  For most of last week I was sad.  Maybe a little depressed, but mostly just blue.   I was blah and I cried for days.  And I don’t think it was at all because of the turning thirty, because I’m not sad about it.  I’m quite thrilled in many ways.  It definitely feels like a new chapter in my life.  There’s something different and I don’t know if it’s just the number.

I think many people are settling into themselves when they hit thirty.   They’ve discovered who they are and they are finally hitting a place where they are comfortable in their own skin.  For me, I’m almost feeling the opposite.  I’ve been pretty solid in the “who am I?” category for a long time, and suddenly, I’m feeling unsettled.  Almost that I packed all of these amazing milestones into one decade!  Too many good things and now, what is thirty going to be?!   How am I going to top building my marriage, building my business, building my home?  What’s next?  I feel like I’m sitting on a plateau and I want to keep climbing up, but I’m not quite sure how.  How do I make sure that I’m constantly being challenged?  What’s the next adventure? I don’t know any of these answer and I hate the feeling of complacency while I’m figuring it out.  Somehow this birthday has brought all of this to the surface.  For some reason I feel that a new number must mean the beginning of a new chapter.

So, here’s to thirty.  To rediscovering and moving up.  To figuring it all out.  To finding new challenges and beginning the next chapter.  Cheers!

February 18, 2013 Traveling Hearts Society


Our very first trip was to Palm Springs.  Amanda wanted to check out The Ace Hotel, and invited a few friends, who invited a few friends.  We didn’t really know each other.  And to be honest, the idea of spending a few days in the desert with strangers was pretty terrifying.  It was 107 degrees that July.  We couldn’t move from the pool during the day and we’re piled on a few beds in the evenings.  Cocktails in hand, hummus & potato chips in our bellies.  We bonded and  The Traveling Hearts Society was born.  These wonderful ladies have become my co-workers, my inspiration and some of my very best friends.  I have no idea where I’d be without them!

And this year, we’re back to the beginning, the place where it all began!  We’ve rented a house in Palm Springs and I can’t wait to lounge by the pool, sip a few cocktails and reunite with these incredible ladies.  I look forward to this trip with these women for six months.   If you want to see what we’re up to, take a look here!

PS Traveling Hearts Society

A frame from that wonderful first trip, from Heather.