Parker's Special Day | Brenham Birthday Party Photographer

One year ago on October 13, 2010, Justin and Suzanne started a new chapter in their lives.  One that would forever change their outlook on the world and would show them what it really means to love a child.  Over the past year, I have had the distinct honor of photographing their budding family.  I was overjoyed when Suzanne asked me to photograph Parker's 1st Birthday Party earlier this month!

Suzanne went all out and took care of every detail.  This woman amazes me - she was able to pull together this party all while finishing her graduate degree, working as a teacher, being a wife and a MOM....I nominate you Super Woman!

Lots of friends and family took part in Parker's special day and enjoyed the fun activities....

When the time finally came for the birthday boy to blow out his candles, he knew exactly how to dig in to his birthday cake.  YUM!

Happy Birthday Parker and congratulations to Justin and Suzanne for surviving your first year as parents!  Thanks again for letting me be a part of your special day :)

2011 Merry + Bright Holiday Sessions | Brenham, TX Family Photographer

I don't know about y'all, but these years just keep sneaking by faster every year.  I can't believe that we've got less than 100 days left before the fat man squeezes down the chimney!  And being the procrastinator that I am - I'm just now getting my act together with the 2011 Holiday better late than you go!

Sessions will be VERY limited this year as I have a million things in my schedule right now.  The sessions will be in the evening starting at 5:15 pm and only 3 spots will be available each evening....

The dates available are:

  •           Saturday, October 22 & Sunday, October 23 
  •           Friday, November 4 & Saturday, November 5
Exact locations are still to be determined, but they will most likely take place in either Brenham or Industry and within 25 miles of 78940.

I will have new holiday card selections this year, as well as the selections from 2010 to choose from.   The new card selections will be posted in the next couple of days.

What a difference a year makes! | Carmine, TX Child Photographer

Living in a small town is something I'm really starting to love.  We've been in Shelby for a year and a half now and we get to enjoy the simple things in life.  Weekends usually consist of a church or fireman's feast that helps to benefit the church or community.  The food is always delicious and plentiful, there are games for the kids and above all else, there's fellowship.  Now that we've been attending these functions for so long, we have started to get to know more people and we feel as though we belong there now - instead of being some visitor.

Over the summer we attended the Carmine VFD Feast, which serves the best fried chicken you've ever tasted....besides, of course, the Shelby fried chicken that you can get each year at the St. Paul's Lutheran Church fundraiser on October 21st...just sayin!

Anyway, so at the Carmine VFD Feast I ran into my past clients, Suzanne and Justin, and I was so excited when they asked if I would be available to take pictures of their son Parker who is turning ONE this month!  Suzanne is one of the best clients you could ask for.  She has lots of great ideas, brings props, dresses her family really cute - you get the idea - she rocks!

So a couple of weeks ago, I got to take pictures of this little cutie ....what a difference a year makes!

It's a braggin' situation!

Since I posted my new pricing and collections last month, I've had several inquiries about the brag book that is included in Collection II.  It's one of my favorite products and I love it when clients decide to add it to their order.  It's very unique and makes a wonderful gift for grandparents.  Here's some images of the brag book from my most recent session with the big ONE year old in Industry.

This little guy's mom said she almost cried when she opened this one up!

These brag books are customized to go with the theme of the session.  The front and back cover also come with a magnetic closure.

 Since a lot moms and grandmas like to carry this around in their purse to show friends and family - the brag book comes with a handy sleeve to help protect your book from any damage.

Next time you have a photo session, keep this little jewel in mind!  You can purchase it as an add-on, in sets of 3 or you can enjoy it as part of Collection II.

You're turning ONE little guy! | Industry, TX Child Photography

This little guy and his big sister made my job easy.  

We met early at 8am last Saturday in Industry and both kiddos were in a great mood.  Note to parent's: if you have little ones - the BEST time to schedule their photo session is early in the morning when they've had a lot of rest.  They are fresh and ready for the day!

You see, he is turning the big O-N-E.  His mom contacted me a couple of weeks ago about doing a photo session and I was so excited when she told me about some of the props she wanted to use - I LOVE it when clients bring in special items for the session.  You see, it not only makes for totally unique images, but the pictures end up meaning so much more to client.  This cutie is having a 1940's birthday party theme and mom wanted to include dad's Aggie Band hat adorable!

When I knew that his big sister was going to be part of some of the pictures, I had a picture in my mind for this and I wanted to create I brought a blanket and asked mom to bring some favorite toys and books....and this was my vision that came to life.  

And last but not least, I had to capture big sister ....she's such a beauty, inside & out.  

Carousels & Cupcakes | Brenham, TX Birthday Party Photography

When we moved to Shelby last year, Addyson had to do a lot of adjusting to her new school, new teachers and new classmates.  But kids are very resilient and before long she had made some great friends.  One of her most dear friends was new to Brenham too - they were newbies - together!  When Addyson found out that her friend Emmie's 4th birthday party was coming up in June, she was very excited to attend!

I was even more excited and delighted to have been asked to photograph Emmie's special day.  The day was perfect and couldn't have been held in a better location - Fireman's Park.  You see, they have a darling antique carousel!  The party theme was built around the carousel and it could not have been any more perfect.

Here's the birthday girl having fun on the carousel!

And at the end of the day, two friends enjoying a sweet lollipop

Thanks again to a wonderful family and Happy 4th Birthday Emmie!

Lessons from a 4 year old + a Mother's Day Giveaway! Brenham, TX Photography

It’s 4am and I’m up writing a blog post.  About 8 months ago, I dreaded being up this early getting ready to endure the long commute to a job that sucked the soul out of me.  But now, I’m still up at 4am – however, it’s for a much different reason.  I haven’t gotten a lot of sleep tonight.  After letting the dog out at 2am, I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I figured I would watch the DVR’d episode of Brothers & Sisters that I’ve been so looking forward to.  You know, I have loved that show since the very first episode.  As dysfunctional as they all are, they always seem to overcome the issues or figure out how to heal.  Granted, I know their life isn’t real; it’s made up by some writers sitting in a big conference room.  However, I feel like the writers have really found a storyline that obviously connects with me and many other viewers.  Last night’s episode really evoked emotion in me.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m delirious from the lack of sleep, but it really hit home with me.  It talked about mothers.  Mothers that try so hard to be perfect or try to mold their kids to be perfect – and how doing this can actually drive us apart and make us less than perfect.  Weren’t we all created just how we are supposed to be?  

As I’ve laid in bed trying to go back to sleep, the thoughts keep rolling through my head about how I try to teach Addyson right from wrong and it's come clear to me that most of the time I’m stifling her from being who she is.  Why?  I don’t know…maybe I’m trying to protect her from getting hurt… but isn’t that what all mothers are trying to do?  But I think that sometimes getting hurt and being able to live through it is how we learn our biggest lessons…not just for our children – but for us.   I think that there’s so much I can learn from my 4 year old.  How to laugh and act silly, how to ask a 1000 questions, how not be afraid to show people how we feel and to be honest.  I’m reminded of a dance that we attended about a month ago that was hosted by my in-laws.  Addyson was excited to go because she’s become very good friends with everyone in our small little town.  When we walked in, she saw her friend Katie from across the room and ran full speed ahead to the table she was sitting at to give her a huge hug.  Katie was extremely startled because she was in mid conversation with her friends and probably wasn’t anticipating this type of greeting at a dance.  After this happened we told Addyson that she shouldn’t do that – she shouldn’t have greeted Katie with so much excitement.  Because you see, Katie is very elderly and Addyson could have knocked her over if she was standing or have caused her to have a heart attack – at least that’s what Brad and I thought.  But it didn’t occur to me until this evening that we were teaching our daughter to hide her emotions – and that was a mistake.  And if I think about this even further – Addyson probably actually made Katie’s day.  Katie is a widow and lives all alone.  She doesn’t have any children and Addyson has become very fond of her and always makes a point to excitedly greet her when she sees her around town – and each time it brings a huge smile to Katie’s face.  So maybe it’s time for me to learn a few lessons from Addyson.

Now I feel compelled to makes things right and start changing my approach to being a mom.  I’m making a promise to let my child be the person she was made to be – and guiding her to do the right thing instead of making her do things the way I think they should be done.  And this is the first lesson that she taught me - that I wanted to be a photographer.  My very first photo shoot when she was just 2 weeks old

So in honor of all the moms that learned this lesson or they ones trying to….and for those that have gone above and beyond for their children and husbands and friends and family – I’m offering a very special gift.  Mother’s Day is coming in a few weeks and I would like to extend the very best gift a mom could have - Portraits with her kids.  If you know a mom that is exceptional and you would like her to receive this gift – here’s your chance.

Email a letter to telling me about the mom in your life and why she’s deserving of this gift.  This doesn’t have to be your own mom…it could be your best friend who’s a mom and has endured some huge struggles but has risen above it and keeps fighting the good fight …the choice is up to you. 

I will accept letters until Sunday, April 24, 2011.  The winner will be announced on the blog on Friday, April 30, 2011 – just in time to present mom with this gift for Mother’s Day.  Please note, all nominees must live within 25 miles of the Brenham area and the winner’s letter will be posted on the blog, so make sure to make mom proud!  lol

The Mother’s Day Giveaway Package (Valued at over $300)
  •            One hour photography session at location of choice within 25 miles of Brenham with Mom & her kids/family (sorry, this is just for the kids/hubby – not extended family)
  •            Keepsake album
  •        16x20 Standout Mount Wall Portrait (ready to hang)

So if you’re reading this and you think YOU should be nominated…share this with your kids, your spouse or your friends and family!  Oh yeah and don’t forget to tell all your friends about the 2012 Senior Model Search that is still going on until this Friday, April 15th….all the info is HERE.

Happy Monday everyone….I feel much better now, thanks for letting me share this with you! 

2011 Senior Announcements

I can't believe that another school year is almost coming to an end!  If your Senior is in need of some unique and fabulous graduation announcements or party invitations, here are some of the varieties that I'm offering for the Class of 2011.  If you like one of the options but would like to change a color or font, just let me know and I can customize it just for YOU!  All announcements shown are 5x7 and come in sets of 25 (envelopes are also included).  Don't wait to long to order - please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery after payment is received.

 Please note: dates and info have been made up and are purely for sample purposes.

Click on images below to enlarge view

Tuesday Confessional

Okay, so you don't have to tell me.... once again it's NOT morning.  I know, I know, I think I have issues posting this Tuesday segment in the morning.  So from here forward, I'm just going to call this the Tuesday Confessional.  I can't handle the pressure I tell you!  So enough of all that - on to the "confession" part of this.

So I'm a photographer right?  I'm all about helping families CREATE their history - well, I'm slacking with my family...bad.  My kid is over the top in the personality category and it needs to be documented...seriously!  So when she wonders why I have to be committed in a few years, she'll have the proof in pictures.  I'm joking about being committed, but she certainly gives me and her dad a run for our money.  Who would have thought our lives would be so exciting.  Take a look for yourself:

Her sense of style is over the top!  Not sure where she got that from, but I think it must date back to her days as an infant when her dad would dress her in floral onesies and striped, I'm not joking...I think he called it Hobo Chic!

Maybe it's my fault because I'm always asking her to pose for photos, but I think I've created a monster!

This is a little secret - I like to wear this headband when she's not around....I love it :)  She does not like to share!

She loves animals and we're thankful that our cat is desperate enough to let anyone hold him, not matter how contorted he is

When I found out I was having a little girl, I admit, I was a little disappointed.  All the weird pregnancy dreams that I had all had me convinced I was having a boy.  I didn't think I would like having a girl, but she proved this momma wrong!  I love how girly she is - from her princess heels to her sassy purses...she's pure sweetness and I wouldn't have it any other way.  That's my Tooty!

Tuesday Morning Confessional

If you didn't already know it, I'm a little strange.  You see, more often than not, I'll wake up at 4am or so and start working because I'll wake up with thoughts and ideas rushing through my brain.  And I can't go back to sleep or get them out of my head unless I take action.

Well, this morning was one of those mornings.  I woke up at about 4:15am pondering some ideas for my upcoming Senior Model Program and I hopped out of bed and went straight to the computer to check my email.  In my inbox was an email that I usually disregard and send to the trash box - but this morning I actually glanced at it.

Let me take you on a little rabbit chase.  (in non-hillbilly speak, that means tangent)

You see, my husband has a really neat cousin, Bobbi Jo.  You may remember her from my recent post about her son Brazos' 1st Birthday.  When Brad and I moved to Shelby last May, she so graciously invited me to attend a MOPS meeting with her.  MOPS, you ask?  Mothers of PreSchoolers.  It was at a local church in Brenham and I was super excited to meet other moms in the area since I had just moved here.  I loved the meeting and interacting with the other moms.  I even signed up to become a member and receive their newsletter.  However, that was the first and last meeting I ever went to.  For whatever reason, everytime there is a meeting I have something else going on and I haven't had a chance to make it back.

Now, back to 4:15 this morning

I just so happened to open the email - and the front newsletter story was "The Case for Messy".  Well, I'm that may have been why I decided to read it.  And am I glad I did!  It was a story about a mom of 2 that felt terrible after visiting her younger sister at her newly renovated home where everything was spotless and in order and then stepping foot into her home that had been taken over by her ankle-biters.  She then goes on to say that for several days she cleaned her own house from top to bottom, and totally exhausting herself, just to have her toddler press his nose against the window and leave a smear.  She ended in saying that she remembered why she let her housekeeping go to the wayside; because spending time with her family and friends was what she wanted to use up her energy on - not keeping the house perfect.

So, you're probably saying, where does your confession play into this long-winded story?  Well, I am also guilty of feeling like I should to more housework, and feel bad when toys are all over the house or the bed isn't made.  I am so glad that I took the time to read this email because it made me feel like I'm not so terrible after all.  And it makes me feel better having a messy office like this:

She ended stating, "Dear God, please give me your perspective - that I might recognize the important
and leave behind the insignificant"

Tuesday Morning Confessional

The Tuesday Morning Confessional is going to be a regular installment on the blog every Tuesday - maybe not always in the morning, but always on Tuesday.  I feel like I need to add this special section to the blog, because, quite frankly - I need a place to vent.  And what better place to do it, right?  Well, at least I hope so - please don't run away! :)

So, believe it or not, I feel like a loser some days.  Everyone does, right?  Please tell me I'm right!  And yesterday was one of those days.  Since Brad and I have moved to Shelby, we've had a lot of great experiences and met a lot of wonderful people - and we're getting the chance to live out our dreams and teach our daughter that life isn't built upon the amount of material things you acquire (check out more at the Homegrown Living blog).  However, some days just get you down.

Reasons I feel like a loser:

* I'm the owner of a portrait photography business, but feel like I should be so much more
* I still can't figure out what I want to be when I grow up - yes, I love what I do, but I'm still soul searching
* I haven't had a pedicure in a million years - my little piggies need some TLC (can I get an amen!)
* Lately I feel like I'm talking to universe here -  really....not one comment?  You know I love comments on this blog - but none, nada, zilch.    Hellooooooo.....anyone out there?  

tap, this thing on????

Have a great day everyone - I'll try to limit the self loathing to just a few times a year! :)

Ahoy Matey! | Children's Party Photography Brenham, TX

When my little family moved out to the Brenham area last summer, I could have never imagined all the great things that were in store for us.  We have done so much more with extended family since we moved, and we feel so blessed!  About a month ago, I received a birthday invitation in the mail from my cousin in law Bobbi Jo for her son Brazos' first birthday.  I immediately wanted to RSVP because she is super crafty and I knew that this party would be a show stopper!  Well, my thoughts were correct - this little pirate has the craftiest mommy in town :)

When I asked how long it took to plan this party - Bobbi Jo said she starting planning when Brazos was born - and you can tell!  

How cute is that little mustache and costume?

Look how fun Treasure Island was - the kids stayed there as long as the sun was out hunting for hidden treasure!

What's a Treasure Hunt without a map!

We figured out he likes the color "green" - money that is! 

Thanks again Matt & Bobbi Jo for having us to celebrate Brazos' 1st Birthday - it was spectacular!

Little Baby's First Year | Industry, TX Child & Family Photographer

It's amazing how fast a year flies by.  New parents trying to wing it, finally getting in the groove of a routine, just for it all to change overnight.  There are so many "firsts" that are celebrated and you never realize how much you can love someone until you hold your child for the first time.  I remember photographing this little guy when he was just a few days new - affectionately known as "little baby"

Remember THIS ?

Then he sprouted up and began to explore the world on his hands and knees

Who could forget THIS?

And now, just a couple of weeks ago, he celebrated his 1st year on this earth with his mommy and daddy who love him very much.

Here are a few of my favorites from the photo shoot at the hidden little park in Industry.

Thanks so much Frankie and Holly for giving me the honor of documenting "little baby's" first year!  Looks like he won't be a "little baby" anymore :)