Six and One Week

One week ago, this little bundle of sweetness and smiles:

Turned 6 years old.

I can hardly stand it!  And I hate that I am a whole week late on blogging about my special middle kiddo.  His birthday came right on the heels of spring break (where we took 2 separate mini vacations that I have not blogged about yet.)

But this post isn’t about spring break.

It’s about Logan.

Logan, in a nutshell…He loves all things Lego, loves Star Wars, loves peanut butter, jelly and honey sandwiches, loves Kindergarten, has lost two teeth, loves his little sister, loves (but barely tolerates) his older brother, still gives me kisses and hugs at school when I go eat lunch with him, never stops moving,  barely eats meals but loves to snack, never wants to talk about it when he gets hurt or has a bad dream, loves Chick-Fil-A , loves french fries, eats so much ketchup that I must buy it in bulk, has a million friends, loves to play his DSi and would play all day if left on his own, and still flashes that huge Logan smile, just like he has been since he was a month old.

We started off his birthday morning with presents, balloons (a last minute request…while Derek was tucking him in on his birthday eve, he asked if he could have a bunch of balloons hanging “everywhere balloons can go” for his birthday.  How could we say no to that?), a special breakfast of monkey bread, and traditional birthday boy pictures.

(Picture overload, straight ahead.)

I had to include that one because it is just so classic Logan.  He makes funny faces all the time!

And I also have to include this next one because in a rare moment of comradery, the boys stood together like bff’s and let me take a picture.  And the angels sang hallelujah!

I sent him off to school with a spring in his step and it promised to be a great day.  I brought him his lunch of choice (popcorn chicken, french fries, and a blue slushy from Sonic) and a cake to share with his class (funfetti cake with chocolate frosting, which is totally my favorite too and was devoured by all the kids.  It was a huge hit!)

After school, he spent time playing with his new toys before his birthday dinner of choice: Texas Roadhouse.  Let me just take a moment and pat myself on the back for that one.  Somehow, I’ve trained my kids to pick good restaurants for birthday dinner.  Not only do I get out of cooking for a night, but we eat great food.  None of this McDonald’s business.  Let’s go eat steak!  Of course, now that I’ve spoken of it, I’m sure it will come back to bite me someday.  But for now, I’m giving myself props for that parenting win!

All in all, it was a really wonderful day celebrating our Logan Bennett.  And the celebrating continues!  This weekend, we are taking him and a few friends to the Kemah Boardwalk for a fun-filled day.  He calls it his “fake birthday” which just makes me laugh.

That could pretty much sum up Logan: he just makes us laugh.  He’s a joy, and I am so glad that he is mine.

Happy birthday to my Logan, aka Logie B aka Logie Bear aka Luby.  You’re my favorite 6 year old in the whole world.

It doesn’t even feel like work {Clear Lake Texas Senior Photographer}

This past weekend, I got to head down to Galveston and take senior pictures of a a girl I’ve known from church for the past 4 years.  I cannot believe that Brooke is about to graduate!

She is such an amazing person.  She knows exactly what she wants to be when she grows up. (She’s wants to be a video game designer, and I have no doubt that she will do just that.   How cool is that?)  She is smart, beautiful, funny, and so very loved by her family and friends.

I loved getting to take pictures of her.  I was admittedly a little nervous about the session.  It was a completely new location and that always lends itself to butterflies.  But it didn’t take long at all to break the ice, and I am so excited about the results.  Senior sessions are a bit out of my normal routine, but sure love doing them!  It’s always like hanging out with a friend, and it doesn’t feel like work at all.

I was so excited about all the cool walls, colors, and textures we found!  I loved shooting in Galveston, and I sure do appreciate client’s that act as my location guinea pigs.  Isn’t this next wall amazing?  I want one like it in my house!  I love how it looks with her eyes.

Brooke and Amy, thanks so much for spending the afternoon with me and giving me to opportunity to photograph Brooke.  She is amazing.

It was just like a scene out of Modern Family

First of all, if you aren’t watching Modern Family, you totally should be.  Love, love, love it.  It’s the funniest show on tv (in my opinion of course.)

A few weeks ago, on a Friday night, I decided that I had my heart set on going out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  The kids were running a muck, all over stimulated because it was a Friday night which of course means no school and freedom.  Oh, the freedom of a Friday night!  I was trying to herd everyone out the door as quickly as possible because there is nothing that makes my stress level rise like having to wait to be seated at a restaurant with my children.  Large crowds plus hungry children plus waiting is a sure recipe for disaster in this family.  We’ll just go somewhere else if there is more than a 10 minute wait, but like I already said, I had my heart set on Roadhouse.  And we were going to have FUN, gosh darn it!

Whenever we go out to eat, the kids each have a notebook they bring along.  We love notebooks, and I always have a variety of sizes and colors on hand.  On this particular night, I could not find Logan’s favorite notebook (a black mead composition notebook), so I grabbed the green composition notebook instead.

Heaven forbid.  Not the green notebook!

We piled into the van and the kid’s immediately asked for their notebooks.  I doled out the goods, and everyone was happy.  Everyone except Logan.

“Mooommmm!  I don’t want this notebook!  I want my black one!”

I summoned up all the patience and kindness and I could muster, which honestly, by that point probably wasn’t much.  I tried to explain that I couldn’t find the black one.  He was crying, carrying on, pitching a royal fit over it.  I could feel myself starting to lose it.

So I did what any mother would do when pushed to the brink of insanity.

“Logan, if you do not knock it off THIS SECOND then I am throwing that notebook out the window!”

He didn’t knock it off.

Of course you have to follow through with threats, right?  So I turned around, took the green notebook from his hand, rolled down the window and tossed it out as we drove down our street.

There was a split second of stunned silence.

“Mom!  I want that notebook!!”

So Derek stopped the car, and I told Logan if he wanted it, he would have to go get it.  He hopped out, and ran back down the street to retrieve it.

Derek and I bit our lips and avoiding eye contact.  Discipline is not funny!  Do not laugh!  We made eye contact, and that was it.  We could no longer hold it in and laughed and laughed and laughed.  Derek proclaimed it our very own Modern Family moment.

We went on to Texas Roadhouse and enjoyed our dinner with a minimal wait.

And Logan happily colored away in his green notebook.

Brand Spankin’ New {Houston Newborn Photographer}

I loved getting to spend my morning snuggling and photographing this little beauty.  At 6 days old, she is just a perfect little bundle of sweetness.

I was so excited about photographing a little girl so I could use my new little headbands and my new pink polka dot blanket.  I love photographing boys just as much, but I have to admit that the girls have it made as far as accessories go!

Miss M took a little bit to get to sleep (and of course as soon as I was leaving, she ate again and was out like a light!)  But I was able to get her nice and cozy and get some great sleepy shots.

I just love how she is giving a little half smile in this one.  She looks like she is having a sweet little dream.  You can’t really tell in this picture, but she has the cutest little dimple in her cheek, just like her big brother.  Must be a strong family gene!

Thanks again for letting me come spend the morning with y’all!  I loved every second of it, and I can’t wait to finish the rest of your gallery!

Running, running as fast as we can

Yesterday was the annual fun run at the boy’s school. The boys love running the Kids K, and this year I decided to run the 5k as well. We all had a great time and we even have a medal winner! (But you’ll have to read on to find out who it is.)

It was such a nice day yesterday. Early March in Houston is like a gift from the heavens. Such perfect weather! I know it’s only a matter of weeks before the humidity and the heat get here, so I’m going to try and soak up and enjoy every day of 70 degree goodness that’s bestowed upon Southeast Texas this time of year!

Since the 5k starts 30 minutes after the Kids K, I was able to stand at the finish line and capture all the action. First came Connor, placing 14th out of all the boys which is great considering they stagger the start with 5th grade going first! I loved the look of determination on his face as he ran to the finish line.

Just a few minutes later came Logan (and Derek and Cami.  Logan wanted D to run with him.)  Logan placed 22nd out of all the boys!

When Logan spotted me taking his pictures, he gave me this face.  He cracks me up!  According to Derek, he really did run fast the entire way.  Not that this is a commentary on Derek’s in-shapeness, but he was totally huffing and puffing at the finish.

Next up was my 5k.  I placed 14th out of all the girls, and finished in about 29 minutes.  Not lightening fast by any stretch, but I just wanted to finish in under 30 minutes.  It was weird to try and run faster when I am used to pacing myself for the long runs.  I should also mention that I was totally huffing and puffing at the end, too.  And I had a major side cramp.  We went out for brunch after church and in retrospect, eating a 3 egg omelet and drinking a coke an hour before running was probably not the smartest idea.  Lesson learned.

After the race, we all enjoyed snow cones and popcorn while we waited for the awards ceremony.  We were pretty sure that somebody was going to get a medal.

While we waited, Connor disappeared for a bit (not in a scary way, just in an he-went-to-get-a-snow-cone-and-now-where-is-he kind of way.)  I looked over at the big lawn at the front of the school and saw him.

So typically Connor.  Just sitting by himself, happy as a lark in his own space.  He told me he watched a bumble bee and just enjoyed the sunshine.  I love that he’s so comfortable just doing his own thing.  Meanwhile, Logan was over here:

Right in the middle of everything hanging out with one of his good buddies.

They couldn’t be more opposite of each other and those two pictures sum them up perfectly!

Finally, it was time for the medal ceremony.

Our own Logie B got 2nd place for kindergarten boys!  He was so thrilled.

His class dominated the medal ceremony, with two of his “girl” friends medaling as well!  We had to get picture of all 3 of them.  These girls love Logan.  I wish I had a picture (or even better, a video) of them greeting Logan when we first arrived at the race.  It was a greeting full of screams and hugs.  Too cute!  And to think I was even worried one bit about him making friends in school.

While Connor didn’t medal, he did a great job and placed 5th out of the 2nd grade boys.  There are some fast 2nd graders!

I always feel like i need to have an ending to my blog posts, but I can’t think of anything witty to put here.  So I’ll just end it with we had fun and I’m sure we’ll be back next year for more fun running!

I love a spunky toddler {Houston Children’s Photographer}

This shoot almost didn’t happen this morning, and I cannot even begin to tell you how glad I am that the rain, wind, and cold temperatures cooperated for us! After the most beautiful week here in Houston, wouldn’t you know that suddenly there was a rain storm and cold front in the forecast for today. Such a bummer! At 7:30 this morning, I was sure we were going to have to reschedule because it was raining. But by 8:15, the rain had stopped and only clouds remained. It was still a warm 65 degrees outside with no sign of the 20 mph winds that were in the forecast. So we decided to go ahead and go for it, knowing that we might have to work fast and rescheduling was still a possibility.

However, I could tell as soon as we started shooting that we were going to be just fine.  L was such a spunky little cutie!  Her mom had warned me that she was a busy one, which is always fun for me.  She talked and smiled and laughed and danced.  Oh my, could she dance!  Sometimes when I tell a toddler to dance, I might get a blank stare or a little knee bend.  But not her!  She totally got down.  It was one of the funniest and cutest things I’ve ever seen.  I could barely keep taking pictures because I was laughing so hard.  After her little shindig, she looked right at me and we got this picture.

And shortly after, we got this one, which I just love as a black and white.

After a quick wardrobe change, it was back to L being a precious little model.  She loved sitting on my little blue stool and was all smiles.

At this point, the temperature started to drop and the wind started to pick up.  But we pressed on because L was still just so happy and there were more outfits to change into!  I’m glad we kept going because we got some great shots of her in this super cute outfit that her mom made for her 2nd birthday.

Isn’t that outfit adorable?!  Just wait until you see the hat that goes with it!  Although I don’t think the cuteness of the hat holds a candle to the girl wearing it.  I just love the personality that shows in this picture!

Do you see the little ladybug details on the shirt?  So cute.  Her mom actually has an online store and sells handmade clothes, bows, and accessories.  You should totally check out her store, The Plaid Zebra, if you get a chance!

After this picture, we called it a day.  By this point, the temperature had dropped into the low 50s and the crazy winds had arrived.  L’s lips were turning purple  by the time we got back to our cars.  But she was such a champ and never stopped being her smiley, spunky self.

I can’t wrap up this sneak peek until I share at least one of this whole sweet family.  I love how L is giving her mom a little cuddle.  She is one adored little girl, just as she should be.

I am so glad we were able to meet this morning, and I cannot wait to show you the rest of your gallery!

Random blogging, straight ahead

Okay, get ready…here comes some random blogging!  I hate that I haven’t been blogging as much lately.  The business has been keeping me pretty busy, which is such a great thing, but man, I still love to blog!  I just have to make more time for it.  So, here we go.  Things I’ve been wanting to blog about but haven’t.

1.  I used to think that working out early in the morning was for the birds.  Well, as it turns out, I might just be a bit of a bird. A few weeks ago I realized that in order to actually train for the half marathon, I would have to run during the week.  It was a real lightbulb moment.  I also realized that even though I have Tuesday and Thursday mornings sans children, there is always something else I would rather do than exercise.  Add in the “storm of the century” (aka schools closed for ice and snow and we had not a flake.  Classic.  But it was a freakishly cold February!) and I came to the conclusion that maybe I should just try the early morning gym thing for a few weeks and see how it goes.  Turns out I love it.  Well, as long as I get into bed before 10:00 p.m.  At least 3 times a week, you’ll find me at the Y at about 5:30 a.m.  Crazy, I know.  But I’m really loving it.

2.  Half marathon training.  I’m doing it!  I’m up to 8 miles with about 5 weeks to go until race day.  I’m feeling really good, but gosh darn it, I haven’t lost a pound of the holiday weight I want to lose.  So frustrating, but I try to remind myself that it’s not about a number on a scale.

3.  I shopped the South Houston Just Between Friends Sale today.   By far my favorite item for sale was this:

That, my friends, in case you can’t tell, is an instructional video about tomahawk and knife throwing.  The bargain price of $12 included two 10 inch knives along with the instructional video.  And I love how it has “for fun” in the title.  Because, you know, throwing tomahawks and knives is always fun.  Oh, how I wished I had a friend shopping with me so we could have shared the laugh with someone!  But don’t worry, because I totally called a stranger over to show it to her.  I just had to share it with someone. Every time I’ve thought of it since, I’ve started laughing again.  Can you imagine if I brought that home to the boys??  One of my boys was recently seen sharpening a piece of wood into a spear.  When told not to ever use said spear as a weapon near another person, he tossed it onto the ground and sulked off.  Game over.  Light sabers and nerf guns will be plenty for this family, thank you very much.

4.  Camryn is turning into such a big girl.  Her favorite phrase of the moment is “me do it meself.”  She wants to do everything “ah meself”.  She dresses herself (her outfits crack me up!), gets herself out of the tub and dries herself off.  She wants to get her own snack, and gets her own ice water at nap/bedtime.  She puts her own laundry away, puts her own shoes on, and brushes her own teeth (okay, I still help with that one, but she would rather just do it on her own.)  All of this independence coupled with the fact that I have had to buy her some 4T clothes are making my heart feel that twinge of bittersweetness at this whole growing up thing.  I realized the other day that it’s been almost 9 years since we got pregnant with Connor.  This is now the longest I’ve gone since then without being pregnant again. Kind of cool (hello, size 8 jeans, no diaper bag, full nights of sleep, and fun family vacations on the horizon.)  But it’s still bittersweet.  Almost makes me want to have just one more…

5.  No, I’m not pregnant.

6.  I survived another trip to the dentist for all 3 kids to get their teeth cleaned.  Camryn was the only one who cried (sort of expected with a two year old), so that was a good thing.  But the adventure definitely started with a huge karate chop on the lego tower someone had constructed in the waiting room, splaying legos across the room.  And one lost their helium balloon later that day when the car doors opened, which led to weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Oh, and we found out that Logan is missing one of his permanent teeth.  We’re looking at years and years of dental work down the road.  Poor kid…I’ve so been there with the braces, head gear, expander, retainer, root canal, fake tooth drama.  After the appointment, I called Derek and told him we needed to a.) start saving for the dental bills now.  and b.) he needs to keep his good job with the dental benefits.

7. Confession: I love Teen Mom 2 on MTV (and 16 and pregnant, too.)  Jenelle and her mom?  Such a train wreck of a situation.  That sweet baby doesn’t have a chance unless someone gets them some help.  Leah and Cory are my favorites.  What in the world is Chelsea doing getting back together with Adam?  And Kailyn…I’m actually pretty neutral about her.  I’m glad Jo’s mom is so supportive of her since her own mom flaked on her.  (ok, someone please tell me that I’m not the only 30-something totally addicted to this show!)

8.  Got hooked on the Bachelor this season, but only about halfway through.  The funeral home girl?  Yeah, total date killer when you asked if he would rather be cremated or buried.  This week, I totally saw it coming with the girl who got sent home.  I’m not sure I have a clear favorite between the final 2.  I really like both of them, although in Derek’s opinion, Emily wears entirely too much make-up but Chantal is a bit of a basket case.  I can’t wait to see who he picks and then pick up the subsequent issue of People or US Weekly to read all about it.

9.  Totally into Survivor this season, too.  Three episodes in, and I think it’s going to be a great season!  I’m liking some of the changes they’ve made!  Redemption Island will keep in interesting for sure.

10.  But Modern Family is hands down my favorite show on TV right now.  I laugh out loud the whole time we watch it.  I think it will be my Friends of my 30s.  I hope it sticks around a long, long time.

And finally, a picture that has nothing to do with anything except that I love it and it’s one of my new favorites.  If we’re friends on Facebook, you may have already seen it, but i want to blog it, too.