beautiful Saturday

It was such a nice day here today!  I went to a wedding shower this morning, and when we pulled into the hostess’ neighborhood, I saw a great field of weeds wildflowers.  Our afternoon/evening was wide open, so I gussied the kids up and headed to the field to get some pictures.

Let me just say, for the record, that I really love taking pictures for other people.  Really love it.  But taking pictures of my own kids?  Don’t love it so much.  Love my kids…no doubt about that…but I find it so much harder to take pictures of them!  I flat out offered Connor and Logan $1 each if they would just listen to me, cooperate, and have fun.  We did have some moments of fun and got a handful of cute pictures.  But we also had many moments like this.


I feel your pain, sister.  I feel your pain.

When I got back home, I was feeling very frustrated and hungry (which is never a good combination.)  I was so happy when I downloaded the pictures and saw several that brought a smile to my face.  And while most of these won’t be enlarged or put in a frame, I love them.  And that’s what photography is all about for me.  It’s not about the perfectly posed picture.  It’s about capturing my kid’s personalities in a still frame.


No children were hurt in the following picture.  You go, Camryn.  She holds her own, that’s for sure!  And the bored look on Connor’s face cracks me up!


I love this next one.  My kids are for real a crazy bunch of little people, and this just captures it perfectly.


Sweet brothers.  Today was one of those days where they were the best of friends.  I wish I could say that is normally the case,but not so much.   But today was a good day.  They played and played and played at home all day, and then they played and played and played in this field.  It was great.



Is he a handsome kid or what?  Love this picture of him.


So, while it wasn’t as fabulous a photo shoot as I had made it out to be in my head, I will still count it as a success.  But it did confirm what I had been feeling for quite some time: it is so much easier to take pictures of other people’s children!

Because it feels like it was just Christmas

I mean, really.  It’s almost March??  How is that even possible?

Tonight, Derek caught a glimpse of my desktop and commented on how much stuff is on it. I had to agree that it is looking a bit cluttered…

Picture 1

So I started taking a closer look at what’s on there and realized that I have pictures resized and saved on the desktop so I can blog about that time we went to the farm and cut down our own Christmas tree.  Yes, it was 3 months ago, but I always like to think it’s better late than never.

It was our second annual Thurman Family Christmas Tree Adventure.  We headed out to Dewberry Farm, which is a different farm than the one we had gone to the year before.  It was really fun with lots of extra things for the kids to do, but the tree was more expensive and I didn’t really appreciate the black widow spider friend that I’m pretty sure came home with our tree.  I’m not even sure I blogged about that.  I still get the heebie jeebies just thinking about the huge web it built under our desk (a few feet from the tree) and the sound it made as Derek stepped on it, and then the horrible realization that he had just killed a large, poisonous spider.  Yuck.

Anyway, one day many months ago, we loaded up the party van and headed to the farm.


We looked for quite awhile until we found the perfect tree.


And after a careful inspection, we knew this was it.


Camryn and I looked on as the boys did all the work.


And just like that, the Christmas tree hunt was over.  I also can’t decide if I’m sad this shaggy hair gone or not.  Connor’s hair is in a bit of a funny place right now…shorter than this, but not really short.  I had forgotten just how long and shaggy it had gotten!


We were one big, happy family, all ready for Christmas (and, judging by the short sleeve shirts, all this fun stuff happened before the Winter That Would Not End settled upon us.)


I have way more pictures of this day, but apparently this is as far as I got in getting them blog ready.  We did lots of the other farm activities and the kids played hard core for hours.  It really is a fun place to go.

Minus the black widow spiders, of course.

And with this post, I will officially declare the Christmas season behind us.  It’s time for spring.  (Do you hear that spring??  Come on already!)

She’s got the rad moves

Check out this movie of Camryn getting down.  She cracks me up!

(you may have already seen part of this on Facebook, but I had to put it on the blog for grandparents and non-facebook people, too.)

And perhaps just as funny as the dancing is Logan’s new favorite kind of music.  He keeps the radio in his room tuned to Tejano music and falls asleep every night listening to it.  I love it!

My sister

I just watched a 2 minute video of my 5 year old sister, Rebecca.  My eyes welled up with tears as I watched her jump into a puddle and leap into the waves.  “Daddy?”  she said in her little Australian accent, “do you have socks on?”

“Yes, I do.” my dad replied.

“Well, can you take them off?”  Rebecca asked.


“Because I want you to come into the water with me!”

My dad laughed, and Rebecca sprinted down the beach into the water while my dad video taped her.  I’m sure he was smiling behind the camera.

She is beautiful, this little sister of mine.

I have only met her a handful of times.  She literally lives on the other side of the world.  She’s made a few trips to the States in her 5 short years, but it’s been about 3 years since I’ve seen her.  I can’t believe how much she has grown up.  Her little voice captivated me.  She no longer has the toddler voice, there is no more baby sign language.  She is a little lady.

My eyes welled up with tears as I watched her with my dad.  I’m not even sure why.  It was the eagerness in Rebecca’s voice.  It was the he sweet way she said “Daddy.”  I recognized it.  The memories from my childhood flooded back.  He lived in North Carolina for a few years, and we made our own beach memories.  We would spend countless hours in the water, so many hours that I would still feel the rise and fall of the waves as I fell asleep that night.

I’m proud of my dad.  He’s doing a good job with her, and gets a another chance to raise a daughter.

Dad (if you read this still) keep on posting videos of Rebecca.  Tell her that her sister in Texas loves her.  And someday, I hope you get the chance to bring her back this way so we can get to know her.  I love you!

Busy Busy

I’ve been really lacking on the old blog.  Life has just been so busy!  And a lot of it feels like the same old, same old.  I’m really not complaining about that.  There is a certain amount of comfort in the normal.  Here’s a kind of random run-down on what’s up with all of us.

I had two photo shoots last week,   a newborn and a 1 year old, and those kept me busy with editing.  They were both really fun shoots, and I can’t wait to do more!







Okay, now I am completely blanking on what’s been going on!

One funny little story…Connor made a sign for his room door that said “The Rules of this room are…No Smoking Allowed!  No Shoes Allowed!  Extras: 1. Before entering, please read the sign.  2. When leaving, watch out for tacks.”  He has taken it down now, which has made me a little uneasy because what if I forget to watch out for tacks when leaving?

Okay, really?  I can’t think of anything else to blog about?  This is sad!  Logan, Cam, and I made a trip to Goodwill one day last week and we totally scored.  I got a small wooden step-stool for $5 that will be perfect for kids to sit on for pictures.  I painted it a fun turquoise color and I love it!  I also found a Little People dollhouse for Camryn that looked brand new and was only $6.  It is her new favorite toy.  We love Goodwill!

I started a new chore-chart system.  We are only on day 1, but so far, so good.  An effective chore system has been eluding me forever!  We have started several different things, but they never last.  And I go back and forth between thinking kids should just do chores because I said so, to just doing all the chores myself because it’s faster and no one fights it, or letting the kids earn money for their hard work, just like we, as adults, earn money for our hard work (unless your a stay at home mom like me…no actual money, but the pay off is still pretty great in my opinion!)  I want to teach the kids about money…about how to save and give…anyone have a system that really works for them?  Like a lot of kids, they constantly want things at the store, and I do think it would be nice if they had their own money for those things (then they could actually get them because I say no 9 times out of 10!)

Anyway, Here’s what we started today.  Each boy has a chart with all the days of the week and 10 different chores listed.  Each day they do a particular chore, they mark it on the chart.  They can only do each chore once per day (which will eliminate constant bathroom mirror cleaning just to earn the money.)  They will get $1 for every 5 chores, and we’ll have “pay day” once a week.  Logan has already done 5 chores today, the little overachiever!   Some of the chores can be done daily (like clean room and make bed), and some cannot (like put away laundry.  I try to do it daily, but it’s really more like every other day.)  And I can guarantee that Connor won’t be vacuuming a room daily.  And if he does, then I suppose he really deserves that 20 cents!  Tithing is something that Derek and I do and want to teach our children, so we are going to have the boys give a portion of their earnings to our church every week.  We’ll see how this goes…I’m optimistic about it!

I guess that’s about it for now!  Hope everyone has a great Valentine’s Day!

And to my Valentine, I love you a million miles past the Star Wars galaxy.  I’m so thankful that we’ve had 14 Valentine’s Days to share (more or less…we were probably broken up over at least one or two of them but in my heart of hearts you’ve been my Valentine since 1996.)  I am so thankful you chose me.  You are the best, and I know I don’t tell you nearly enough, but you are amazing and there is no one else on earth I’d rather share this life with.

Meet Camryn’s BFF

They are pretty much going to be forced to be best friends, because her mom is one of my best friends.  I was so excited to get to take pictures of sweet Lexi.  Her mom, my friend Laura, pretty much had no choice.  “Hey Laura…once my backdrop stand arrives, I’m going to come take pictures of Lexi smashing into her first birthday cake.  Okay?  Great.  See you Monday.” That’s pretty much how it went down.  First, we took some sweet pictures of her, pre-cake smash.

Then it was time to dig in!  These pictures were so fun.  Lexi totally went for it and loved every single thing about her cake!

This is just a little sampling of the cute pictures I got.  I’ve never seen a one year old dig into a cake quite like Lexi!  When it was all over, she literally had cake from head to toe.  I don’t know if her little bloomers will ever be the same!  Thanks again, Laura, for lending me your living room floor and your baby girl!  You know I love you!

Sweet baby T.

I had my first newborn shoot today!  I will totally admit that I was nervous about this.  It’s just so different from families or toddlers!  Luckily, I had someone willing to let me practice.  This is the 3 week old grandson of one of Logan’s fabulous teachers.  He was so precious!  Made me miss the baby stage just a bit.  It took us awhile to get him to sleep, so I got some good awake shots and some sweet sleepy pictures.   These are just the first few I’ve edited.  I am sure I will find more cute ones as I go through them, but I am so impatient and want to get these up for the family to see!

Lesson Learned

On Wednesday nights we go eat dinner at our church.  It’s great for everyone.  I don’t have to cook and the kitchen stays clean (okay, assuming it got cleaned in the first place which was not so much the case last night which is why I have a sink full of dishes this morning…), the food is great, the company is great, the kids love going, and it’s affordable at only $12 for our entire family to eat.  Last night, we were all getting ready to go, putting on shoes and jackets.  Like most of the country, it’s been cold here.  Well, cold for Houston with highs only in the 40s or 50s.  Everyone needs to wear a jacket, especially if your a 7 year old boy who will only wear short sleeve shirts.

“Connor, come get your jacket on.  It’s time to go to dinner.”

“Mom, I don’t need a jacket.” said Connor.

“Yes you do.  It’s 40 degrees outside and you have on short sleeves.”

“It’s not cold!  I won’t be cold!  I don’t need my jacket.”

“Connor, we know what we’re talking about.  You need your jacket!” Derek said.

“Daaaaddd….it’s NOT even cold!”

I suddenly had a brilliant idea.

“Fine, Connor.  Don’t wear your jacket.  But you better not complain that it’s cold.  We’ve tried to warn you, but if you really want to go out there in short sleeves, then fine.  Just go get in the car.”

It takes me another minute or two to get Camryn all situated with a fresh cup of milk, and Connor was obediently waiting outside by the car.  Derek locked up the house while I buckled Cami into her carseat.

I heard a little voice from coming from the backseat.

“Mom?  Can you go inside and get my jacket?”

The answer was of course, no, you chose to go without your jacket and the consequence is you are going to be cold for a few minutes.

This morning, we almost had the same conversation as last night.

“Connor, come get your jacket.  It’s time to go to the bus stop.”

“Mom, I don’t need my….oh, nevermind.”

I love when this whole parenting thing works out like that.  Lesson learned.


I think it was a miracle that I got them to all sit in the same spot and look my general direction for a second!  And do you like Connor’s pants?  Every single pair except two have holes in the knees.  The temptation so skid across the industrial carpet in p.e. proves to be too much for Connor.  Maybe he’ll learn another lesson when it’s shorts weather again and he does his little skid move.  I have a feeling that it won’t be nearly as fun with shorts on.  He also might learn a lesson if he rips his last 2 pairs of pants and has to use his own money to buy  a new pair…


On an unrelated note, I’ve been blogging on my photography blog lately, so if you’re interested in keeping up with that new side of my life, here is the link. (and if you subscribe with a reader, the link you need to use is /feed instead of /blog) I’m sure there will be some photography stuff on here, but for the most part, the photography blog will be where I share my sessions, and this blog will still be just how it’s always been.

New Toy

Oh man, was I ever excited when the doorbell rang this afternoon!  It was my friend, the UPS man, delivering my new photo toys.  I decided to spend my birthday money on a handy-dandy backdrop stand.  I still plan to do most of my shoots outdoors, but it will be nice to have the stand to set up inside with babies.  And it’s an option if someone wants more studio-type pictures.  So, of course, I had to set it up and play with it right away even though it was rainy and gross outside.  But the garage was perfect!  The boys were busy riding their bikes and scooters (even in the drizzle…they have so much energy and outside time is a must!), so Camryn was my only little model.  She actually did really well, sitting and cooperating as much as an 18 month old can.

After awhile, I think she started to get bored.  I have a whole series of pictures with this exact expression.  Too funny!

So then I just asked her “where’s dada?” and I got this one.  It turned out to be my favorite of them all.  She does this all the time!  So cute.

It was just like Christmas here today!  I love the UPS man.  He never disappoints.