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Monday, December 31, 2012

2012's Top 5

Happy New Year's Eve! Please be safe if you plan on being out and about celebrating. As for me, I will be at home with my husband and our two boys--probably sound asleep before midnight. The year of 2012 had ups and downs with experiencing losses, but I rather focus on the positive for the year. So, I introduce the Top 5 of 2012:
March--We had our first family vacation to Galveston! It was memorable and wet LOL The rain never did damper our spirits, and the boys got feel the ocean on their feet. Kaden and Kody had expressions of pure joy seeing that vast body of water for the first time. My husband was probably the most relaxed and content, and we agreed we did not want to leave. We visited the Railroad Museum, an ocean rig museum, rode the ferry about a dozen times, and ate some wonderful food. And, yes, we do plan on going back in March now that they have a boardwalk amusement park.
June--Legoland Discovery Center in Dallas, TX! The huge plus was being able to take my niece and nephew. It is small, but still lots of fun! My kids are Lego fanatics; always dreaming of owning every single Lego creation ever made. The most amazing part was a replica of Dallas that was built out of Legos. There was even a little amusement ride for families to ride. It had many Lego creations on it plus it was like a game for the kids. And another fun area was riding in cars around a track through a Lego made forest. Lunch was at McDonald's followed by taking a drive by Texas Motor Speedway where we used to spend every April from 2008-2011 at the Nascar races.
July--My brother by heart works at the volunteer fire department, and sometimes we get to bring his kids as well as my two by there to play on the trucks. This is always a treat and NEVER gets old! He loves to teach the kids about the gear, what to do in case of a fire, and what certain things on the trucks do.
October--Actually, had a couple great moments for October. First, family camping trip, which was the first one in three years. I love it when we get a nice and secluded area! The kids had fun exploring and using their imaginations. An entire weekend of much deserved relaxation and fun. Also, later that month, Kaden turned 9, and had a great turn out for his party. However, just reminds me how fast he is growing, but he is growing into a sweet boy who loves to help and can be so silly and cute.
November--After not seeing each other for about six months, we got to see our dear friends Tara and Mike and their children plus do a photo shoot. They live an hour from us so each time we get is a treasure. It was nice to a whole day of it, and even take the kids to see Santa at Bass Pro Shops. Justin, Kaden, and Kody were in awe of that place! I admit, I was, too :) And I always look forward to having dinner with them. Tara is an amazing cook! I really hope it is not another six months before we see them all again. As for other highlights of the year: Cub Scout fun--Awards ceremonies, Dad and Lad camp, Mom and Me camp, swimming party at the local pool, a trip to the police station, and all the meetings. Plus, the memorable holidays such as the annual Easter egg hunt at my parent's house, class parties at school, 4th of July fireworks, Halloween with the school festival and trick or treating, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. So many amazing adventures, and looking forward to more for 2013. Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Cozy Catch Up Day

It is a cozy and rainy day to play catch up. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! It certainly has been busy, but has slowed down a bit. We have our tree down and decorations packed away, which is always a downer for me considering I'm always into the holidays. We even had a nice surprise for Christmas day, which I will mention later in the post :) First, to catch up a little bit. I had another session before taking my official time off until February.
This family was lots of fun! They were so laid back and a cheerful group to work with. My most favorite spot for the photos was on a trail with all the brown and gold tints of the trees. I just love how the colors pop! We managed to finish just before a storm came through. If I had the right equipment, I would have taken pictures in the rain since the mom always wanted to have rainy photos. But, with lightning on the way, I think it worked out for the best :)
Looking back at this month, it is no wonder it went by so fast! We had our annual Christmas party with my husband's side of the family. This is always a special and memorable time, plus I admit the goodies we get are always a treat. A cousin said I am the family historian due to I always make sure I have my camera with me at every family event. December is also when we have the awards ceremony for Cub Scouts to attend. My son got several badges, and is very proud as am I. Cub Scouts has been a wonderful experience in the past year. He has worked so hard and has made many new friends. Even better, my nephew is in it as well! Now, I am not the world's greatest cookie decorator, but it sure is fun to get together with my sons and niece and nephews plus friends and their children to decorate cookies. We do this each year for as long as i can remember at my parent's house. Some interesting cookies were made, but so delicious! To add to my crazy camera lady persona, my friend got me a nice little treat--a Christmas tree ornament that is a camera. Each ornament on our tree is very special. My boys got to make several at school this year to help add to the nostalgic collection. Speaking of school, the third graders put on a Christmas program and dressed as elves. They looked adorable! One student even had a dance routine and was amazing! Our busy month wrapped up with a Cub Scout den party complete with boat races. The boys got to make boats made out of Ivory soap. They had a blast making them go by blowing through straws. The evening ended with snacks they got to make followed by a bit of a sugar high from the cookies and brownies LOL
Our surprise for Christmas 2012....snow! Well, it was forecasted, however, I never expected to actually stick to the ground. The last snowfall we got was Christmas Eve 2009. Christmas 1983 was the last time east Texas actually saw snow on the ground so this made our Christmas even more magical. I quickly got a few photos of my husband and I, which I am sparing the mushy one of us kissing. My sons had come in to warm up then decided to let me take a picture of them real quick. Of course, I had to capture my brother by heart as well :) We got an inch of it, but as my oldest son says, "Mimi gave us a Christmas present from Heaven!" Indeed she did, and it happened to start falling as soon as we got done seeing my husband's dad :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

15 Very Random Facts

1. In the photo are my two boys, my husband and me. I actually do not like having my picture taken, but will not pass up a moment for a family photo. 2. I always have a closed mouth smile. Thanks to genetics, my teeth are not in the greatest condition, but I don't let it stop me. 3. Kody is my youngest son who is a boy of many facial expressions ever since he was a baby. I think I can count on one hand when he gives an actual smile. Still, all the various expressions are the best because it shows his charming personality. 4. Kaden is my oldest son who has a tender heart and always quick to help others. He is also a little bit on the shy side just like me. 5. The best Christmas present I ever received was my tripod! 6. I don't remember the last time my husband shaved so I call him "Fuzzy" lol 7. My husband and I recently celebrated 11 years of marriage, and looking forward to many more. He actually chose the wedding date based on the binary code...at least he can never forget our anniversary :) 8. I'm a shy person, I always get tongue tied, and at times I can be a chatterbox. A trait I think I owe to my grandfather who loved to talk. Usually, it takes me a little bit to actually just chat away. 9. I've been doing photo sessions since September 2012. Before that, my wonderful family and friends got to be my "guinea pigs" during my journey of self-taught photography. 10. First session was actually mini-sessions held at Synergy Park in Kilgore which was a huge accomplishment for me because I worked hard on working towards the goal. 11. I'm what my husband calls a "Christmas Junkie". Nov. 1st, I start playing Christmas music, within a week of Thanksgiving (either before or after) the tree goes up, and devoted to watching Christmas movies while drinking hot chocolate and eating monkey bread. 12. Of course I am a "Photo Junkie" as well. I think I need to build an extra room just for my photos alone. 13. I'm becoming known as the "Cat Lady" due to having 4 cats: Bubbles, Gizmo, Gadget, and Minnie. If I had my way, I would rescue every single stray cat. 14. Several members of my family are artistic in their own way. My dad does landscaping, my mom loves to decorate and always moving furniture around, my son Kaden is always drawing or constructing something, and my sister is able to draw and paint. Took me a long time to realize that photography was my creative outlet. 15. This was going to be 20 Very Random Facts, but all I can think of is fifteen.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Smashing Cake & Fun Family

Sunday was a busy and fun day with two photo sessions. I reached a milestone in my journey of family and children photography with a cake smash. The day ended with my second session at my all time favorite area, Synergy Park in Kilgore with an amazing family.
I felt very honored that the mom of this sweet little guy chose me to do a cake smashing photo shoot since this was my very first one. At first, we thought he would just stick a little icing on his finger, as if he was going to savor every little bite. Before long, he was grabbing by the handful and just smashing it in his little hands onto that adorable face. This session was loads of fun, and I am anxious to do another one!
My second family the same day was a wonderful and friendly family. Their daughter was excited whenever I was open to her ideas on where she would like to have her photo taken. I especially love the look on her dad's face because he has that proud family man expression. Such a beautiful family!