I was so excited when Maggie asked me months ago to take pictures of Maisy and Weaver.  Maggie is married to Derek’s best friend, and they are one of our favorite families ever.  We have vacationed with them and shared all kinds of laughs and fun times.  Someday they may even be family if we can just get Connor and Maisy to keep on agreeing to the marriage we’ve arranged for them!  Surprisingly enough, Connor doesn’t even balk at the idea.  He loves Maisy.

I love Maisy, too.  She is sweet and spunky and beautiful on the inside and out.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love the in-between smile stage?  I love it.  Half baby teeth, half big teeth, all at different sizes.  I love it, and it’s over all too quickly.

She is simply a beautiful little lady.

Now on to, Mr. Weaver…oh how I love this crazy kid!  I don’t know if it’s because I have two boys of my own, but I have the biggest soft spot for photo shoots with boys!  I love the energy they bring.  I love that they make me work for the pictures.  I love that I can say things like “pull my finger” and “who cut the cheese” and they crack up every single time.

I love that I when I can get them to slow down for just a second, I can get pictures like this.  Hello, handsome!

And I love the faces little boys make.  Weaver makes the best faces!  Can you see the wheels turning?  He is plotting his escape!  I guarantee you that in the next moment after this picture, he was off and running, a blur in the distance.

Thanks for the fun afternoon, Maggie!  Your kids are wonderful and are some of my favorite little people around.  I sure wish we lived closer to y’all, but I am so thankful for the time we do get to spend with y’all!  I can’t wait to show you the rest of the pictures!

Mini Sessions Part 2

Look for lots of blogging this week as I catch up on all my sessions!  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving visiting family up in Arlington.  While I was there, I had a morning of mini sessions.  The weather was so nice for us, and I sure was thankful we did them on Wednesday morning because by Thursday morning, the temperature was in the 40’s!  Wednesday was great…maybe a tad windy, but I’m pretty sure that just made everyone feel like supermodels with the wind machine going.

Up first was Laura and her sweet little girl, Miss A.  I took pictures of Miss A back when she was just about 6 months old.  It was so fun to see her again and see how much she has grown!  She is a full fledged toddler now, and just as cute as ever.

Up next was one of my very best friends.  RyAnn and I met in the 5th grade, and we’ve been best friends since the 7th grade.  That means we have known each other for 20 years!  That also means that we know way too many embarrassing things about each other!  It’s always fun to take pictures of her family, and I am so very thankful for her friendship.

I love this picture of her family!  I have no idea what we were laughing about, but I love little B’s commitment to it!  Her kids are so cute.

After RyAnn, it was time for Carrie’s crew.  Carrie is a friend of RyAnn’s so we’ve met a few times, and it was really fun to get to take pictures of her family.  I feel like the luckiest photographer because I always get to take pictures of the most beautiful families and the cutest kids!  I know Carrie thought that C was a bit of a handful that day, but I beg to disagree.  Look how sweet he is!

And 4.5 year old little girls were made for the camera.  Miss C was no exception.

I love how they are all snuggled and intertwined.  Such a sweet and beautiful family.

The last family of the day was a referral from my friend Shauna.  T’s family drove about an hour to get to the shoot, and I am so glad they did!  They are such a strikingly beautiful family.  As soon as I pressed the shutter on this picture, I knew I would love it.

And I had the same feeling with this one.  So handsome.

And this one, too.

No doubt about it…they are simply gorgeous!

Thanks again to all of y’all for coming out!

Hello, long lost blog

Wow, have I ever been neglecting the blog!  Between all of the kid’s activities and my photography stuff, I barely have a spare moment to do anything!  No excuses.  Someday I will be really sad if I let too much time go by between blog posts.  We are still here an kicking.  Here’s a glimpse into the here and now of our family.

-He is reading voraciously.  I cannot keep enough books in his hands.  This week, he re-read all 5 Diary of a Wimpy kid books.  He is starting on Harry Potter this weekend.  He checked out the second book from the school library, and his sweet teacher let him borrow her own copy of the first book.  I’m hoping these two books get him through the Thanksgiving break, but I’m not sure it will!

-He finished his soccer season last weekend.  Soccer really clicked for him this year, and it was fun to watch him get so into it and improve so much this season.

– He still loves science and math so much.  He says he wants to be a scientist when he grows up, just like his daddy.  So sweet.

-He is such a morning person.  He loves to wake up early, and actually gets a little irritated with himself if he sleeps past 7:00.  He feels like he’s wasting the day.  Gotta admire that get-up-and-go attitude!

-We’re still working on self control.  It’s just so hard to control your mouth and hands when you know your way is the right way!  I see great leadership potential in him…we just need to reign it in a bit.

-He is loving kindergarten.  Loving it.  He is starting to read a bit, and he tries to sound out words.  He loves to practice his writing.  We find him constantly standing up at his dresser writing his words.  It’s so hard to be upset with him when he is supposed to be cleaning up his room and instead he wrote me a note that says “I love mom. love Logan”  I mean really?  He is just too sweet.

-He didn’t know anybody in his class at the beginning of the year, but he has made a ton of friends.  He makes friends so easily.  And the girls?  They love him.

-I had the first parent teacher conference of the year last week, and his teacher only had good things to say about him.  He’s adapted so well to school life.

-He is such a picky eater.  Drives me nuts because he’ll say he doesn’t like something without even trying it.  He doesn’t like casseroles.  He doesn’t like vegetables.  He doesn’t like most meat.  He is getting slightly better about trying new things, but he’s still got a long way to go.  He lives on applesauce, fruit cups, pizza, and pbjnh sandwiches.  pbjnh-peanut butter, jelly, nutella, and honey.  Yuck! But he loves it.

-He is so sweet with Camryn.  They have the sweetest, most special little bond.  They love each other so much!

-She is so full if life and sweetness and smiles.  And also plenty of two year old tantrums and sass.

-She is obsessed with Toy Story, and at least one of the movies is watched daily.

-She loves her “purpa peepee”  Translation: purple pinky.  It’s her prized blanket that goes everywhere with us.

-She calls Logan “Luby”  It’s so cute.  She loves her Luby!

-She thinks she big stuff and tries her very hardest to do everything the boys do and keep up with them.  It’s not uncommon to peek out in the backyard and see all the kids with their shirts off because they got hot.  She is the perfect mix of tomboy and girly-girl.  Sometimes she wants to sleep in her tutu.  She loves cinderella.  But she hangs in there with her boys.

(I just love this picture of Derek.  Even though it’s been posted before, I think it deserves a second post.)

-He finally used his birthday money to buy a Kinect.  I totally didn’t get it, but it’s turned out to be really fun!

-He loves to play xbox and has a weekly nerd-fest game night, which I sort of tease him about but I actually think it’s neat that he likes to play so much and has a good group of friends who like video games as much as he does.

-He has started playing soccer again once a week, and even though he complains about how hard it is and how out of shape he is compared to the “old days”, I know he loves it.

-He may not always know it (because I probably don’t tell him enough) but he is so loved and appreciated!  He does the dishes every night, takes care of the yucky cat box, hardly ever complains when I have a bug I need him to kill, and takes such good care of us all.  He’s the cat’s meow!

-As for me, my life has been overwhelming about photography the past few weeks.  Preschool pictures…mini sessions…regular sessions… I definitely know what photographers mean by the busy season!  I am feeling so very blessed that people want me to take their photos, and I’m truly loving it.  But I have definitely learned that I couldn’t keep up this pace year round, and I’ll be ready to get back to my normal work load after the holidays!

-I’ve been battling a cold for the past few weeks.  I thought I was over it, but just yesterday, I started running a fever and feeling worse.  I’m hoping to be back to 100% soon.  I don’t have time to be sick!

-I’ve been feeling very content lately.  I love my life.  I love our home.  It’s not perfect…it’s far from it.  But even on the days when I’m overwhelmed, I still have this peaceful, content feeling inside.

-I’m on my second year of Bible Study Fellowship, and I am loving my discussion group and the study of Isaiah.  If any of you are looking for a great bible study, you should check out BSF!

-I’m getting ready to upgrade my computer, and I am so stinkin’ excited about it.  The busy season means I’ve been able to save up some money.  Between that, Christmas, my anniversary, and my birthday coming up, I see a new Mac headed my way soon!  I think I’ve decided on an iMac (as opposed to a MacPro), but I’m still debating between the quad-core, big daddy 27 incher and the smaller (and slightly cheaper) 21.5 inch with some memory upgrades.  Decisions, decisions…all I know is it’s going to be dreamy to edit photos on something other than my basic MacBook!

I think that’s about it for now!  Hope y’all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I can’t wait to visit with our families and partake in the deliciousness that is Thanksgiving dinner!

Mini Session Sneaks {Houston Texas Family Photographer}

I met with six wonderful families yesterday for mini sessions.  When I arrived at our location, which is usually practically empty on a Saturday morning, I saw literally hundreds of people and cars.  It was crazy, and I’ll admit I was totally freaking out at first!  It turns out that there was a huge Boy Scout event happening all weekend long.  Luckily, we were able to find a couple of good spots and the sessions went on as planned.

Up first were these three adorable girls.  I took pictures of the littlest one a few months ago, and I was excited to take pictures of the whole family this time.  The girls are just so sweet and looked adorable in their little dresses!

Up next were some kiddos that I’ve known for several years now and are some of our very good friends. In fact, they were some of the first people I ever took photos of last year, and they helped me realize just how much I love being a photographer.  We always have a lot of fun together, and I love that I can make them laugh and get those giggly smiles.

Next was this little cutie (and his family).  I seriously wanted to take him home with me!  His facial expressions are just too cute.

My last morning session were some new faces, and like always, I loved meeting them.  They are so genuine and kind, and you can just see that Mr. Z is the light of their life.  He is precious!

The afternoon sessions started off with this beautiful family.   They were more new clients, and I loved meeting them.  They were so patient with me when my camera had a little glitch, and even more patient when Mr. N decided that taking pictures wasn’t really what he wanted to do.  This was one of the first shots I got of the whole group.  I love, love, love how Mr. N is holding his mama’s hand.  And their hair?  Have you ever seen such good hair?!  I was having total hair envy!

I caught this photo post camera glitch and post minor meltdown.  He is such a handsome little guy.  Check out those gorgeous brown eyes.  I only have one tidbit of advice…lock up your daughters!  He is going to be a heartbreaker for sure!

The last family of the day was a new friend from my bible study group.  They are such a sweet and beautiful family (I think I say that about everyone, and I really mean it!)  Miss A is a total ham, super busy, and FULL of personality.  We had a blast together.  Taking pictures of them felt just like hanging out with old friends.  I love when that happens, and the results are always gorgeous.

Thank you all so much for coming out yesterday and braving the throngs of Boy Scouts!  I can’t wait to finish up your galleries and show you the rest.  I hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday!

The T Family {Pearland Texas Family Photographer}

One of my favorite parts of my job is getting to meet new people, and the family I got to spend the afternoon with yesterday was no exception.  I love when I meet new clients and within  a few minutes, we are chatting away like old friends.  And they definitely felt more like friends when I couldn’t find my keys at the end of our session.  They waited so patiently to make sure I wasn’t going to be stranded.  Thankfully, I did find the keys (and a few memory cards and two lollipops that fell out at the same time.)  Lesson learned: put the keys in a zippered pocket!

Anyway, here are a few sneak peeks!  I think you’ll be able to see why I loved this family so much. First of all, they were beautiful.

And they were fun.

Mr. B. was full of life and and energy, and I tell you what, he knows his dinosaurs!  I’m pretty sure we saw a few velociraptors (or at last some velociraptor caves and possibly even some droppings…)  He’s a great kid.  I love 5 year old boys.

Miss A. was sweet and spunky, and cute to boot!  She loves her big brother, loves to swing, and loves princesses and shiny things.  She is such a precious (almost) 3 year old!  Again, I love this age.

Thank you so much, T family, for coming out yesterday!  I’m so glad the weather cooperated for us, and I had a great time.  I can’t wait to show you the rest of your gallery!

Another Fall Cutie {Clear Lake Texas Children’s Photographer}

I was just looking back through my photos and realized I never shared this cutie on the blog!  And he is way too cute not to share.  Mr. T and I actually go way back.  He was kind enough to model for me for my first newborn shoot back in February. He was such doll back then, and nothing has changed.  He is one loved, sweet, little boy!

He has the most gorgeous brown eyes.  And I love that he was trying to eat the pumpkins!  So typical for a 9 month old.

And check out these lashes.  How come the baby boys always get the most amazing lashes?  I’m totally jealous of those babies!

He just smiled and smiled and smiled some more.  I love this age, and he reminded me of all the reasons why.  When they are so cute and so smiley, you can almost forget that they are mobile and can get into all sorts of trouble.  Judging by how well he was standing and cruising at 9 months old, it won’t be long before T is running!

Thanks for bringing him out and letting me bask in his cuteness!  He made my job so easy and reminded me of all the reasons why I love what I do.

Holiday Mini Sessions are Back {Clear Lake TX Family Photographer}

How about one more round of mini sessions?  I’ve had a few inquiries, looked at my calendar, and November 20th is a go.  These are the perfect sessions for getting a few updated family pictures for those relatives who love photo gifts (like grandparents….hint, hint) and for Christmas cards.  You will get a disk with all your high resolution images and a print release granting you permission to print your photos as you wish.  Contact me to schedule your session!

Holiday Mini Sessions {Houston Family Photographer}

I had a great time photographing these families yesterday!  The weather was just perfect.  You just never know how the weather will be in Texas, and I sure am enjoying the taste of fall we’ve had this week!  In fact, I was even worried that we would be cold during the morning session, but it was perfect!

First up was this sweet family.  I took pictures of them back in the spring in the bluebonnets, and it was so fun to see Miss M again.  She sure has grown a lot, and she is so sweet with just a little splash of spice.  I love little girls with a bit of spice.

Up next was one of my best friends, Laura.  I know she was very worried about getting a good family shot.  Hopefully this will make her smile!

I also got a few individual shots of the kids.

After Laura’s family, I had a shoot with another family that is very close to my heart.  Martha is another one of my best friends, and I love that she trusts me to wrangle her crew in a picture.  You might not be able to tell in these pictures, but there will be another baby brother joining this amazing family in just a few months!  Martha and her men.  I love it!

Such handsome boys!

I can’t wait to show y’all the rest!  Thanks again for coming out yesterday!

Embrace the Camera-School Dance Edition

Connor and Logan’s school does a fall dance every year right around Halloween time.  We’ve never gone before because it is just not Connor’s thing.  Case and point…this is what he did the first half of the dance.

And he spent the second half throwing that glow necklace in the air and trying to catch it.  He did finally play with a few friends for the last 30 minutes of the dance.  Connor has always been fine doing his own thing and doesn’t crave the time with people the way this guy does.  Going to the dance was Logan’s idea, and I’m really glad that he pushed us to go.  It was pretty fun!

It’s not really that dance-ish at all…everyone is there with a parent and the kids just run around while loud music plays, and then there is a costume contest.  I’m glad we went!   Derek and Camryn came along, too.  It took Camryn a little while to get used to the loud music and the crowd of people, but it didn’t take long before she was running around with all the big kids.

And now, for the embrace the camera part…I was there! And I made Derek take some pictures.

I didn’t get any pictures with Logan because he was too busy running around with all his little girlfriends.  The girls love him!

And I love my family.

A legacy of love

I’ve been mulling over this post in my head for the past week.  Do you ever feel like you just have to write and you don’t even really know what’s going to come out at the end, but you just know that you have to get it down?  That’s what this post feels like.

Last Monday on Facebook, I saw a prayer request from one of my very best friends from our time in California.  One of her friends,Praise, (also a friend from our time in Cali)  was very suddenly and unexpectedly sick.  Things did not look good.

So I prayed.  I prayed for the Lord to heal Praise, and for the doctors to be filled with wisdom and know exactly how to treat the mystery illness. Off and on all morning, my mind and my heart would wander to Praise, and I would pray again.  People all over the world were praying for Praise.  I have no doubt about that.

But just a few hours later, Praise died.  One day she was here, young, healthy, and with her whole life stretched before her.  The next day, she was gone.  She was admitted to the hospital on Sunday morning, and Monday afternoon, she died.  She was 29 years old, and she died suddenly and quickly from a virus.

I felt like I had been punched in the stomach when I read the news.  I sat at my kitchen table and I cried.  I looked out at my kids playing in the backyard, and I thought about Praise and how much she loved kids and how much she would have loved being a mother.

Why, God?  Why take her now?

Praise lived and loved more fully that anyone I have ever known.  Hundreds of wall posts poured in on Facebook.  I wonder if Praise has any idea how many lives she touched in her time here on earth.  I wish I had told her that she was the most joy-filled person I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.  I wish my kids could have known her.  I hadn’t talked to Praise in real life since we left California almost 5 years ago.  We kept in touch through Facebook and her blog.  But somehow, the news of her passing has rocked me to my core.  That’s just the kind of person she was.  She didn’t have acquaintances.  She only had friends.

She has left behind the most incredible legacy.  She traveled the world, loving and serving others, and served God with pure passion.

She had the best laugh.

Praise, you will be missed here on earth.  Thank you for being you.  For loving and living the way you did.  You are an example to me and to so many others.  You saw beauty in everyone and everything.  And amidst all the sadness, I am am happy that this life is not the end.

I’ll see you again someday, my friend.