Thanksgiving happenings

We are having such a great Thanksgiving vacation!  We enjoyed the most delicious Thanksgiving dinner yesterday and got to spend the entire day with Derek’s family.  It was so relaxing and perfect.  We are all geared up for round two with my family today.  It’s going to be a great day!

On Wednesday we went to the zoo with our friends Ryan and Maggie.  It was such perfect weather, plus half-price day, plus we were with 4 of our favorite people.  It was perfect.

Maggie and I.  I don’t think we’ve taken a picture together in forever, so this one has to go on the blog.

One of the favorite exhibits is the bird feeding area.  For a kid whose greatest Christmas wish is a huge parrot that talks, he loved this part.

Camryn waited so patiently for a bird to come to her.

And when they finally arrived, she loved it as long as they just sat calmly and ate.

We even managed a family photo.  Despite how Logan looks, he really did have a great time and he wasn’t in trouble or anything.  He just insists on making grumpy face in 95% of photos.  Drives me crazy!  I think we’ll look back someday and wonder why Logan, our laid-back, happy, funny kid was always in a foul mood.

Our friends.  Love these guys. It’s so rare to have friends where the husbands get along and the wives get along and the kids get along.  Add to that the fact that Ryan and Derek have been best friends since 7th grade, and you are looking at our lifelong best friends.  We’re so thankful for them!

After the zoo, Ryan and Maggie headed home, but Derek and I decided to take the kids on a train ride and then play a little soccer on a big field right by the zoo.  It was so much fun.  Cami and I played soccer with the boys for a bit, and then we snuck off to a little fall photo spot that kept catching my eye.  I love these pictures of Camryn so much. I tried to convince the boys to come over for photos, too, but playing with daddy was way more appealing.  I can’t say I blame them.

We ended our day with dinner at In ‘N Out, which is brand new here.  So glad that we no longer have to go to California to get a hold of the deliciousness of In ‘N Out!

I think it goes without saying, but it’s always good to say it anyway.  I am so thankful for this family of mine.

today was a good one

Today was our first day of Thanksgiving break.  I love that the kids get a whole week off!  It makes it so easy to travel plus gives us plenty of time to decorate for Christmas before we head up to spend Thanksgiving with our families.  I pulled everything out of the attic today and spent the afternoon arranging.  We won’t get our tree for a few more weeks because we go cut down our own.  And I don’t like to decorate the outside until after Thanksgiving, but I love to get a little head start on decorating the inside!

I found a couple of unpainted ornaments in our Christmas box, and Logan and Camryn immediately got started on them.  It gave me the perfect excuse to pull out my camera and play with my newest lens (a 50mm f/1.4…I’m loving it!)  I know that I don’t take near as many everyday photos of the kids as I did a few years ago before I started the business.  It was really fun to get back to my photo roots today.

We really had such a fun day today.  We went to the library to stock up on books and books on CD for the week.  My kids love to listen to books in the car.  We played at the park for awhile, and had lunch with my friend Laura.  Connor spent the afternoon playing with a friend while Camryn napped and Logan watched a movie.  I did my last little bit of pre-Thanksgiving work (I am declaring myself officially on vacation for the next week!  And even then, I am in the home stretch of business.  It feels great to accomplish some sort of work/home balance this year after definitely missing the mark last year.)  This evening we decorated, and ate a thrown together taco salad for dinner that turned out to be super delicious.  It was one of those days where everyone got along, everyone had a good attitude all day, and I am just feeling super thankful and blessed about my happy little life.  We certainly have our share of hard days, so I’m going to soak up every minute of a day like today.

‘Tis the season to be thankful.  And I have so much to be thankful for.

a perfect finish {Houston Family Photographer}

This family marks my last official session of 2011!  It’s been such a great year, and this family was the perfect ending.  Their session has been on the books for awhile, and one of the reasons we had it scheduled for late November is because of the dreaded Houston humidity.  It’s just not good for hair!  We had the most glorious cold front blow in on Wednesday and Thursday.  I use the word cold front loosely seeing that it was still 70 degrees outside.  My point is, it was the most perfect weather.  But then Saturday rolled around with clouds and and our old friend humidity was back.  As I was driving to the session, it actually started to sprinkle a little!  We decided to go ahead with the session–we were all there, ready to go–but I think we we all a little apprehensive about the weather and the clouds.  Thankfully, the rain held off and the session went on without any problems.  In fact, I think the session went great!

Mr. L was a bit shy at first, but it didn’t take long for him to become another sweet little friend of mine.  He had such a silly and fun personality, and I loved getting to see him in action and see how crazy his mom and dad are about him.

And just a couple of the star of the show.  He is almost 4 years old, which is hands down one of my very favorite ages.

I just couldn’t decide if I liked this one better in color or black and white, so I’m just going to share both.

Thank you so much, H family, for ending my 2011 season on such a great note!

They brought the fun {Galveston Family Photography}

I know I’ve said it before, but I just love photo sessions on the beach.  In the summer I thought maybe it was because most of the families I shot were there on vacation.  Vacation=relaxation and fun, and each and every family I photographed arrived relaxed and ready to have fun.  This family, although not on vacation, arrived the same way.  Well, they tell me it was a little bit of a frazzling experience to get out of the house, but I never would have guessed.  I had the best time following them around, watching them play, and taking pictures.  I think this session takes the cake as the most laid back, relaxed, lifestyle-type shoot I’ve ever done.  And I loved every second of it!  Their sweet little girl was busy!  She was all over the place, running from here to there, and not interested in sitting much at all.  I love high-energy kids and high-energy sessions.  This family has waited over a week for their sneak peek, so without further ado, here we go!

This was the very last picture I took.  I love her windblown hair and her relaxed smile.  It’s just how someone should look after a day at the beach.

Mini Session Sneaks, Take 3 {Houston Child Photographer}

My evening mini sessions started out with a bit of disappointment for me.  I pulled up to my location, which is pretty much a ditch, but a really pretty ditch with beautiful light, some overgrown grass, and full trees that sparkle in the setting sun.  I turned and saw that the mowers had been there.  And the tree trimmers.  So not only did it not have the same look I was expecting, but there were huge piles of branches as far as the eye could see.  It would have been a Photoshop nightmare to get them all out of the photos!  Despite my initial disappointment and slight moment of panic, it actually turned out great.  It forced me to walk the other direction and explore the area a little more.  We ended up finding several good spots, and it still remains on my list of top 3 locations.  Shew!

Up first were these two cuties, who were some familiar faces from last year.  They have grown so much!   But they are just as sweet and cute as ever.  I love that they love each other so much.  Taking pictures of them together and individually is such a joy.   I love this happy, snuggly picture of the two of them.

The next family I would describe in one word: fun!  They were just full of smiles and laughs and fun ideas.  They were the perfect example of why I love my job so very much!

My last session of the evening was crazy busy!  But so fun.  That’s what you get when you combine a group of cousins–two under-two toddlers and a two month old.

Mini Session Sneaks, Part 2 {Houston Family Photographer}

It’s always fun to photograph friends, and these next two sessions were no exception.  I’m so lucky to have these guys as neighbors.  And not just regular neighbors, but the kind of neighbors that I have given strict rules to about ever moving away.  Or, if they do ever move away, we might just have to make plans to move right along with them.  They are just that great!

J is so funny at our photo sessions.  We we play outside at home, he’s all smiles and giggles.  But when it comes to photo sessions, his shy and serious side tends to come out.  I have to work a little harder to get those big smiles from him.  But it’s totally worth the effort.

My last morning mini session is another family I feel blessed to call friends.  We go to church together, and I’ve known their son, K, since he was about 7.  I thought he was the cutest, sweetest kid ever back then, and not much has changed.  He’s such a great kid.

Which is no surprise because he’s got two loving, fun, and wonderful parents.


I just love how Logan adds a “g” onto the end of Halloween.  It’s one of those little things that he mispronounces that I will never correct.  He’s got several of those, and I know before too long they will be gone.  So when he says “This Halloweeng candy taste-es really good”  I just smile.  I just love 6 year olds.

Anyway, I digress.

Another year of Halloween fun has come and gone, and I think the kids would tell you that this was the best Halloween ever.  For the first time ever, I took the kids to one of those big Halloween stores.  And I told them that they could pick out whatever costume they wanted.  That was a bold move on my part, and they really did a great job of picking out the perfect costumes.  Although, I was really pushing for Logan to get the Whoopie Cushion, but he just couldn’t be convinced.

Connor picked out Harry Potter.  Which then morphed into “just myself going to Hogwarts” because he didn’t want to be burdened with the HP glasses.  Then it morphed into a Harry Potter burglar which was thwarted when I couldn’t produce a ski mask for him to cut some holes in, and being the unreasonable mother that I am, I wouldn’t rush out to the store and buy one at 5:30 on Halloween night.  Then there was a little drama involving the Harry Potter cape and how it wouldn’t close up the way he wanted, and all of this drama eventually led to him digging around in his closet and putting on a Boba Fett costume that I got 75% off at Target last year after Halloween and then wrapped up and put under the Christmas tree.

The $30 on the Harry Potter costume was clearly money well spent.  It’s a good thing I love this kid so darn much.

Logan picked out Luigi, which I thought was perfect for him.  Although, if it had really been perfect, I would have let him carry around the “plumb” (aka the plunger and another word that I won’t correct…it makes perfect sense that a plumber would carry around a plumb, right?)  With the regularity that our toilets are clogged, and with as much use as our plunger gets, I just had to say no to him being anywhere near the plumb.

Camryn picked out Minnie Mouse, but not just any Minnie Mouse, a Minnie Mouse cheerleader.  She was so cute picking out her costume.  It was as if a light from heaven shone down upon the costume.  Once she saw it, there was nothing else for her to see.  She had found the one.

And, in what can only be described as a Halloween miracle, the three kids actually stood close to one another and let me take a photo of them!  I didn’t even have to bribe them.  It was a big moment.

I don’t think it was the costumes that made this the best Halloween ever.  I think it was the friends.

We met up with 3 other families for a really fun dinner and trick or treating.  It was such a blast!  We all brought different foods for a potluck, appetizer style.  And do I ever love appetizers!  Then, the dads took the kids around trick or treating while the moms sat in the driveway and handed out candy to the masses handful of trick or treaters that came by.  Then we switched roles.  While not many trick or treaters came by our spot, the kids all got tons of candy from the neighborhood.  It was certainly a Thurman family record.  Usually we don’t go out for very long (I’m that mean mom who still wants them to go to bed at a decent hour!)  But we stayed out longer this year, and the kids loved every second of it.

Truth be told, I think the grown ups loved it, too.  We’re already planning next year’s event which will include a pumpkin carving party at our house and costumes for the adults on Halloween.  I can hardly wait.  All my Halloween dreams could come true if I could just find that whoopie cushion costume, especially if I can find it on sale and make a Christmas present out of it.

Mini Session Sneak #1 {Houston Family Photographer}

Saturday morning was a full day of mini sessions, and I had a great time photographing each and every family that came out.  Up first was this sweet family who drove in from Katy for our session.  I had taken baby A’s newborn pictures and it was so fun to see him (and his mom and dad) again.  He is such a happy, chubby little guy, and so full of personality.  And he was a trooper during our session where it was borderline cold for us Houstonians!

My second session was with one of the cutest and sweetest almost-one-year-olds ever.  I just loved the chair that H’s mom brought to our session!  It was so perfect for her.  She was like a little model the entire time, looking right at me and smiling.  This is definitely one of my favorite ages (okay, so I think I say that about a lot of ages, but I really mean it this time!)

Two weeks of perfection {Houston Newborn Photographer}

I was so excited to have the opportunity to snuggle and take pictures of this sweet little princess!  She was just beautiful and so snuggly.  I’m a bit delayed on posting this sneak peek (and it’s going to be the first of many sneaks this week), so I’m just going to cut right to the chase!  Thank you guys so much for sharing your sweet baby girl and allowing me the opportunity to take pictures of her.  She is perfection.