Attention Sports Fans

I know right now, it’s all about baseball.  Especially if you live in Texas since the Rangers are doing great for the first time in forever.  Or it’s all about football.  Let’s stop for a moment and reflect upon a sport that takes true perseverance and skill.

I’m talking about U6 soccer.  Is there anything cuter?  There are so many entertaining things about a bunch of 5 year olds playing soccer.

There is the tunnel vision.  All they care about is the ball.  They don’t care about teams; it’s all about the ball.  They don’t discriminate between their own players and the opposing team.

I can’t even count how many times per game a coach or parent says “same team, guys!  Same team!”

And there are plays like this.

Logan’s got the ball!  And a clear path to the goal!  Go, Logan, go!

But down…


Goes.  So close.

But he was vindicated a few minutes later when he scored on this play.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled sports events.  Coming up soon: a feature on U8 soccer.

Cutest Pumpkins in the Patch {Clear Lake Childens Photographer}

***Reminder: I am doing mini sessions with the set up you will see below on Sunday evening (10/24).  It’s only $40 and that price includes two 5x7s and one 8×10.  You seriously can’t beat that deal!  I still have a few time slots still available, so shoot me an email if you’d like to get on the schedule!***

When my friend Pam called and wanted to schedule a session in a pumpkin patch, the wheels really started turning. We have a few local pumpkin patches, but I wasn’t sure I would get the quality of pictures that I wanted at those places. So I did the only logical thing.  I created my own pumpkin patch! I have been shooting my own kids in this field lately, and I knew it would be perfect for my “pumpkin patch.” Add in a hay bale and several pumpkins and there you have it! I think the set-up really turned out cute. (and I have to give a big thanks to my friend Maggie who was with me while I scouted the local pumpkin patch and helped me come up with the whole idea!)

Aren’t they such beautiful kiddos?!  You never would have guessed by looking at these photos that Mr. T voted a big fat no to the whole picture thing at first.  It took a little bit of time, but he warmed up.  And I bet he thoroughly enjoyed his happy meal after our session!

Miss G., on the other hand, loves the camera!

The littlest one, Miss F, didn’t last too long with our session.  I’m kicking myself for not getting her solo shots first thing while we waited for Mr. T to get ready.  Live and learn, I guess!  But I did get this sweet sister shot.

And finally, I just have to share this outtake.  It’s one of my favorite outtakes ever!  Baby sister crying…big sister trying to sooth, and big brother trying to drown out the noise.   I love it!  That’s real life, my friends.

Thanks again, Pam, for hiring me for this fun session!

Better late than never

Two weeks ago, this fabulous man turned 34.

It’s really hard for me to believe that he’s 34, considering that he was only 18 when I met him.  He was a baby!

(this picture was actually from 1998, almost 3 years after we started dating.  Derek is 21, and I’m 18 here.  We haven’t changed a bit.  Right?  RIGHT??!)

But he’s a good one, let me tell you.  I am so very thankful that he’s been such a huge, huge part of my life for so long.  I can’t imagine it any other way.

I’ve done a lot of posts about me (um, it’s my blog…so of course there has been a lot written about yours truly!)  And instead of doing a typical list of things I love about Derek, I thought I would just write 34 things about him.

1.  He is a t-shirt kind of guy.  We have seriously gotten into little spats over his t-shirt wearing habit.  I know I shouldn’t care…we are both super casual people.  But on the rare occasion that we get to go out and I get all cute, I don’t want to see my hunky hubs in a t-shirt he picked up at college or grad school.  Luckily, he finally relented, and while he still loves his t-shirts, I can count on a nice polo on a date night, and the t-shirts with words will stay safely tucked in a drawer.  (why this popped into my head as number 1 on this list is beyond me.)

2.  Speaking of t-shirts, he never gets rid of any of them until they are literally rags.  We have a bin in the attic full of old soccer jerseys and shirts.  His t-shirt drawer is bursting at the seams.  Most of the t-shirts he still wears are from are from 1997-2003.  Most of the pre 1997 shirts have fallen apart.

3. I still have every letter he’s ever written to me.  Love letters, break up letters, apology letters, funny letters, cards, and on and on and on.  There were a lot of letters since we lived in different cities for 3.5 of the 4.5 years we dated.

4.  He remembers everything he reads.

5.  He is the best at answering the kids’ questions.  He answers them so thoroughly, and never gets tired of the constant barrage of questions.  Of if he does get tired of it, he doesn’t let on.

6.  He’s a great listener.

7.  And he’s a genius.  No, really, he is.  He was ranked 3rd in his high school class of 700 people, was a National Merit Scholar, and has his phD in Chemistry, just to name a few things.

8.  He’s probably super embarrassed that I shared all that.  He doesn’t really like to be the center of attention.

9.  He loves to play video games, xbox to be precise.  But he’ll rock the wii with the kids, too!

10.  He also loves to play soccer.

11.  A nerdy athlete?  He’s the whole package!

12.  He’s a night owl.

13.  He’s a steak and potatoes kind of guy.

14.  But he’ll eat anything I make with a smile on his face and a song in his heart.  Even when I botch up a recipe, he’ll still eat it happily.

15.  He’s not into any professional sports, except soccer.  Football…baseball…golf…he doesn’t really care about any of it.  But he recorded and watched every last one of the World Cup games.

16.  He likes science fiction movies and tv shows.

17.  He doesn’t like to read.  But I can guarantee you that he read every word of every book he was ever assigned during his education.  He didn’t like them, but he read them all and remembered them all.

18.  Actually , he does like to read science fiction sometimes.  But only sometimes.

19.  During grad school, he wanted to learn more about computers, html, and that kind of thing.  So he did.  He builds our computers, and helps me out ton with the html of this site and my photography site.  He’s so technological and very handy!

20.  I still have no idea what he does all day at work.  I sometimes picture him like a mad scientist, even though in reality he doesn’t deal with chemicals at all even though he is a chemist.

21.  When we were dating, he always wore Cool Water cologne, and he’ll still occasionally wear it.  When I smell it, the flood of memories that rush back gives me butterflies.

22.  He is so patient.  He’s patient with the kids.  He’s patient with me.  He’s patient with everyone.

23.  He’s had facial hair almost the entire time I’ve known him.  He’s only shaved his goatee once since we’ve been married.

24.  He looks hot in a suit.  I secretly love it when he has to go to headquarters for meetings because he has to wear a shirt and tie.

25.  He loves sharp cheddar cheese.

26.  Camryn loves her daddy.

27.  Logan loves his daddy.

28.  Connor loves his daddy.  He’s such a great dad.

29.  He believes in me more than I believe in myself.

30.  He loves God.

31.  He’ll always say yes when asked to help.

32.  He does way more dishes than I do, and he cleans the kitchen almost every night.

33.  He loves chocolate.

34.  He’s the best.  And I love with with all my heart, to the moon and back, always and forever.

Happy (belated) birthday, Derek.

Fall Mini Sessions {Houston Childrens Photographer}

I’ve decided to open up a day of fall mini sessions! Here’s the info:

The fall sessions will use the hay/pumpkin set up in a field. Super cute!

I also have a few spots open for my holiday mini sessions. The scoop on both, just as a reminder and to compare…the fall sessions are for kids only (costumes or regular clothes are welcome.) The session will last 20 minutes, yield 4-5 proofs, and includes three prints for $40. You are welcome to purchase additional prints at the regular a la carte price. The holiday sessions being held on November 6th are open to kids and/or families. The sessions are 30 minutes long, yield 8-10 proofs, and include one print (8×10 or smaller) plus 5 full resolution digital files on a disc, ready to print or use for Christmas cards. The cost is $100.

I really feel with these two options, there is a mini session for everyone!

Also, my regular calendar is starting to fill up, so if you are interested in booking a regular session before the holidays, this is the time to schedule!

Thanks so much for your business and support!

We survived. But just barely.

It all started one week ago, last Thursday night.

Logan came stumbling into our room sometime in the wee hours of the morning.  He was crying and saying something that I could not understand. I kept saying “what’s wrong? What’s wrong, sweetie?” And he kept blubbering until the blubbering stopped. And then he puked.

All over my bed.

We get him all cleaned up, get the sheets changed, and get him settled.

Then Camryn wakes up. Not with vomit, thank goodness. It was croup. I get her settled down, get the humidifier going, and settle back to sleep.

Then Logan throws up again. Thankfully this time he mostly hit the barf bucket (and I have to give major props to Derek for totally taking the middle of the night puke duty.) The rest of Thursday night is a blur…I think that Camryn and Logan were both up at least one other time.

Friday, Camryn is clearly not feeling well, running a bit of a fever, and Logan is obviously still recovering from his night of puking. It was a pretty low key day, but really not too shabby. It’s nice to just chill out and relax.

Satruday, everyone was surprisingly well enough to go to the soccer games. In fact, both boys played great, even scoring a few goals each! It was a gorgeous day outside. This is the time of year that I love soccer season. But by Saturday night, Camryn’s croup is back full force and I’m thinking she needs something. Luckily, one dose of steroids did the trick.

Sunday was more soccer for Connor. Camryn was Miss Cranky Pants, but she hung there. It seemed we were all on the mend. If only we had known what was coming…

Monday afternoon, Logan bounced of the bus with the very exciting news that Connor had thrown up on the bus. You know how boys are…puke is always kind of exciting and fascinating when it isn’t you. The throw up did not stop there. In fact, that was the tip of the vomit iceberg. He puked and puked and puked some more. It was heartbreaking! Believe it or not, this was his first time to get really sick like that. Poor kid.

Monday evening, Derek left town for a business trip. I got all the kids settled for the night and sat down to watch a little tv and relax. About an hour later, I started to feel a little funny. It came on so suddenly. One minute, I was fine, cleaning up Connor’s puke…the next minute, I was sick myself. It did not stop, and I threw up all night long.

Tuesday morning…oh my word. I cannot remember the last time I felt that awful. I literally could not move off the couch. Keep in mind, Derek was out of town, I’m sick as a dog, and having to take care of the kids. I was so proud of Logan. He got himself completely ready for school-fixed his own breakfast, got himself completely dressed, made his own lunch, and packed his own bag. Connor was doing slightly better than I was on Tuesday morning (he had a 6 hour head start on the vomit party), so he walked Logan down to the bus stop. Connor and I spent the entire day on the couch while Camryn did a pretty good job entertaining herself, and helping herself to fruit snacks, goldfish, and chips along the way.

Wednesday, Connor and I were both doing much better. C went off to school, and I planned on spending the day laying low with Camryn. Derek arrived back home from his business trip and he unfortunately had the same bug. The day wasn’t nearly as relaxing as I wanted it to be between sanitizing everything, doing laundry, and catching up on house stuff. Then I realized that Camryn really needed to be seen by the doctor. Turns out my sweet girl has a horrible uti. We had kind of noticed some symptoms over the weekend, but of course, with all the puking it was the least of our concerns.

So, in summary, we’ve had croup, a stomach bug, and a urinary tract infection in the past week. It’s been a wee bit stressful, to say the least. It was one of those times where it sure would have been nice to have some local grandparents! But we survived, and hopefully we are done with the sickies for now.

I’ll end this post with these pictures, you know, since I talked about vomit and infection the least I can do is post a few cute pictures of the kids. I’ve been taking the kids out one at a time to get some pictures. I still need to have a date with Connor, but I managed to get one of Logan and Camryn before all the sickness took over. I love these pictures of them!

Sweetest little one ever {Houston Preemie Photographer}

About a month ago, I bought a plane ticket to go visit one of my very best friends. Her water had broken at just 28 weeks pregnant and she was in the hospital on strict bed rest. When we planned the trip, we thought that she would still be in the hospital, and we would just hang out, watch movies, make crafts, and have fun while relaxing in the hospital.  Ten days before my scheduled trip, she went into labor and Elijah Michael came into the world at just over 31 weeks and 4 pounds of pure sweetness. So, plan B…still go visit Suzanne, drive her back and forth to the NICU, take pictures of Eli, hang out, and maybe even spend a few hours getting a pedicure and going out to dinner. But then, 4 days before my arrival, Suzanne had some serious complications.  We almost lost her (which I seriously cannot even think about, and I have not stopped thanking God for saving her.) So, plan C. Still go visit and help them out however I can. While it wasn’t one of our typical girl’s weekends, it was such a blessing to see Suzanne, give her a big hug, play with big brother Jaxon, and just be there for them.

And lucky me…I got to take pictures of Eli and Suzanne. These are probably some of my favorite images ever. Eli is such a miracle, in more ways than one.

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but this one is definitely up there.  You can see it in his eyes.  He knows his mama.

Thank you Suzanne, not only for being such a special, amazing friend, but also for allowing me in to your family to capture these moments of you and Eli.

Holiday Mini Sessions {Houston Family Photographer}

Who’s up for some Mini Session fun?

Just to answer a few faq’s…

What exactly is a Mini Session? A Mini Session is just like a full session, except it’s short and sweet!  With my full sessions, you can expect about 1.5 hours of dedicated shooting time, lots of poses, the location of your choice, and, in the end, 20-30 proofs in your gallery.  A mini-session will last approximately 30 minutes at a location and date chosen by me, and will produce 8-10 proofs.  We will do several different poses, and different groupings are fine (i.e. just the kids, the whole family, and individuals).  But we will stay in one general area.  And your time will run out.  🙂

What will I get with my mini session? For $100, you will receive 30 minutes of shooting time, 5 high resolution files on a cd, ready for you to print, make cards, etc.  You will also receive one print of your choice, size 8×10 or smaller.  And you have the option of purchasing more prints at a 15% discount, or purchasing more digital files for $15 a piece.

When are the mini sessions? The first mini session date is set for Saturday, November 6th.  Depending on the response, I may open up one other date, so if November 6th doesn’t work for you, but you are interested, send me an email anyway!   The  morning times available are 8:00, 8:40, and 9:20 a.m.  The afternoon times are 4:40, 5:20, and 6:00 p.m.

Where are the mini sessions? They will be at an outdoor location in the Clear Lake area.   More details coming soon!

I think that about covers it!  If you are interested or have any questions, email me at  See you in November!

cutest cub scout ever (in my opinion, of course.)

I can’t believe that I have become such a blog slacker since they boys have started school!  I mean, really.  I love blogging, I love looking back at all the fun memories I’ve recorded.  So there is no reason for me to fall off the face of the blogging earth like this.

I feel like every blog is the same:  we are busy.  We are just entering into that busy time, where people have to be multiple places at the same time, there are appointments and commitments to keep, friends, sports, school, yada yada yada.

Don’t take this as complaining, because really I am not.  I love this season of life!  And I know that our busy-ness is no different than most other families.  I actually have pretty strong convictions about not over scheduling the kids.  They need time to play and just be kids and don’t need to be shuffled to a different sport or activity every afternoon.  We sort of bent this rule for Connor and signed him up for an extra soccer program (that takes up our Monday evenings and 3 Sunday afternoons over the next few months.)  Then there are his regular soccer practices on Tuesday and Thursday.  Logan practices on Thursday also, but not at the same time.  Tuesday night, I go play volleyball.  Thursday night, Derek plays soccer. We have 2 soccer games every weekend, church, and somewhere in there we try to squeeze in some relaxing/family time.   We also let Connor join Cub Scouts this year.  Those meetings are just twice a month, but of course there is the camping, pinewood derby, etc.  But he loves it, and looks so cute in his uniform and I’m excited for him because it’s just right up his ally.

It’s busy.  But like I said, I love it!  I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

On Thursday night, I had to make a trip to Wal Mart at 8:30 p.m.  Not my favorite time to run errands, for sure.  Usually by then, the kids are (mostly) settled, I have cozied up in my pjs and the day is, for all intents and purposes, over.  But it was a necessary errand.  Logan had started running a fever, so I knew he would be staying home from school the next day.  And then I was leaving bright and early Saturday morning to go to Oklahoma to visit Suzanne and her crew.  I had to get to the store and get Derek food for the weekend, among other things.  So there I was, driving to Wal-Mart when I really just wanted to be relaxing on the couch.  My attitude was not very good.  In fact, I was downright cranky (just ask Derek….I did not hide my crankiness!)  But as I was driving I realized that I have two choices:  I can be cranky about this not-so-fun errand and the kink in my Friday plans.  Or I can be thankful that I have a family to care for, the means for our kids to do special activities, and a husband who will, without any complaining, take care of the kids on his own all weekend so I can go visit a friend.


I am one lucky girl.

So amidst this busy season of our lives, I will give thanks to God for the blessings, the joy, the frustrations, the happiness, the hard days, and the easy days.