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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Decisions Made

For the past month, I had been considering whether or not to continue with photo sessions.  I did go back and forth quite a bit, but finally decided it will be best to stop.  I have quite a few reasons why I am stopping, and the number one being that I need to put focus on my family.  Doing photography as a business does take up so much time.  I feel like I am missing out on my precious time with my sweet boys and husband.

At a recent session, a customer asked me, "What would you be doing today if you did not have a session?" 

That one question was a wake up call for me, and it took everything in me to hold back the tears.  I would be outside with my sons watching them play.  We probably would have gone to to the park.  Maybe play a game on the Wii.  And being so involved in the business, it took a toll on my kids.  My husband was always great and supportive, but when my boys start to have a hard time it is time to stop.  Family is always my #1 priority.  

I will still do photography---but only as a hobby!  I will still have this blog, but the name is going to change and it will be about anything and everything.  The families I have met along the way of the business have been awesome, and I am so grateful I had the chance to meet them.  I was given a chance, always grateful I took those chances.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Monthly Five--February

Now is my chance to get this in before I get very busy this next week or so. Tomorrow I have nearly a full day of mini photo sessions at my favorite place, Synergy Park. On Sunday, I have a very special photo session with a wonderful woman that may take almost all day. With sessions and editing, next week is going to be rather busy. I will actually take a break--something my husband is shocked I know how to do--by having lunch with a friend. We also have vacation coming up, and two more sessions before we leave. I am loving it!!! Now, for my favorite photos from February :)

Brianna aka Butterfly Bre--I was lucky enough she tolerated me taking pictures of her on this day. I was so excited to buy a new lens that I could not wait to try it out. My boys were smart and ran around playing--impossible to catch. But, Brianna stayed close by so of course I had to snap a few photos of her. This pose I actually got her to repeat considering she did it before I had a chance to snap the picture. I swear she is such an adorable little model!

The moment when Kaden helps his little brother without arguing is just priceless. Kody had his pant legs all the way above his knees so I asked him to please put them down. Kaden even volunteered to help him, with a loving big brother arm around his shoulders. I love when they have brotherly moments!

There are three men Kody look up to: his daddy, grandpa, and his Uncle Arien. When Arien brings out his ATV, I just simply don't exist for a while :) Kody will usually be seen riding on the ATV, sitting in front with a huge smile on his face. However, this day Kody decided he will ride his bike along side of him. I just love how happy he is he made it around the block with his Uncle Arien looking at him very proudly.

Every year, I look forward to all the class parties! Kaden is always worried I will miss a party, which I always reassure him now that Kody is in school it will make it easier for me to attend. When he looks at the camera, I know it is just not the camera he is looking at it. He sees me, his mama, and the love in his eyes says it all.

The teachers at the school always make sure each party is special. For this one, the kids got to do marshmallow shooters. Kody wanted to make certain he got that target. He strutted to the front, seriously put that marshmallow in the cup, squinted, and aimed---I was nearly taken out by a marshmallow ;) When they got home, our poor cats got to be test targets. One kitten decided to eat a marshmallow which erupted in belly roll giggles from my boys. A priceless and memorable day!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Photo Link Up: Comfort

Today, I am linking up with Sweet Violet Photography for comfort photography.

When I think of comfort, I think of snuggling on the couch with my boys as they fall asleep with the kittens. After a busy day, we just curl up together and within a few minutes both are out. And what a great husband I have who will still carry 9 year old Kaden and 6 year old Kody to bed!

My niece by heart Brianna is a true daddy's girl, and she really tolerates a lot that her daddy will do. This is one example when they were sitting on Arien's four wheeler. Keeping up with her, her brother, and my two boys while riding around really does take a lot of energy :) Arien just leaned back, and Brianna just giggled despite how uncomfortable she looks.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Social--Week 3

Sunday Social

What is the best Valentine's Day you ever had?

This year's has by far been the best! I love the sweet gifts that husband got me and the all the special little cards my sons made me. We even went out to eat. Everything about it was special and sweet.

What is the worst Valentine's Day you ever had?

Any of them from my single days. I'm hopeless romantic, and wanted to share it with someone. When I got married, I made certain to make each Valentine's Day special.

What did you do for Valentine's Day this year?

I attended class parties for Kaden and Kody then came home. Once Justin got home, we gave each other our gifts and I finally got him to decide where to eat. We had a nice family dinner at Jalapeno Tree then braved Wal-Mart to get some things. By the time we got home, we were very tired and happy.

What is your best Valentine's Day idea if you are single?

I'm trying very hard to remember from my single days, but that has been over a decade. I think if you are single, you should make a day of it and pamper yourself. I do recall I would give myself a mini-makeover from coloring my hair to painting my nails and putting on a new outfit. At the time I had a close guy friend who would pick me up. We would just drive around East Texas and eat McDonald's Happy Meals.....hey, they had awesome toys back then LOL

What is your favorite Valentine's candy?

I am not really a big Valentine's candy person so I really don't have a favorite.

Favorite Valentine's memory from your childhood?

Just seeing my parents happy and in love are the best memories. After nearly 46 years of marriage, they are still going strong and still spoiling each other.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Photo Challenge Week 7---Love

Such a fitting theme since we just celebrated Valentine's Day. My dear husband surprised me by remembering :) Love this cute little teddy bear hugging a vase with a rose! My husband once he said he prefers "artificial roses since they never die...just like our love will never die" Okay, everyone go "awwwwwww" LOL

And now we move on to the Love themed photos

My sweet little kittens all cuddled up on the recliner with me. Gadget is the black kitty who is very loveable and sweet.

My son Kody with our other cat Gizmo, who is now 8 months old. These two love each other! Kody is not a big fan of the other cats, but Gizmo is his as far as he is concerned. They love to cuddle with each other, and Gizmo is also so sweet and gentle with him.

I do hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Park Hopping Day

Sunday started out with rain in the morning, followed by a mild and sunny afternoon. After riding bikes with their daddy around the neighborhood, I decided to take our boys to three different parks. We started at the local park here in Liberty City. I was shocked they let their mama, the crazy camera lady, take their pictures! Kody rarely gives a real smile, but I do love catching those goofy expressions. It shows his silly and fun personality. Kaden will smile, but it is more of a shy smile. Although he sometimes looks uncomfortable, Kaden usually is asking me to take a picture in certain spots. Once we were done at the local park, I treated them to McDonald's and eating at the park in downtown Kilgore. We were delighted to see little yellow flowers starting to bloom as well as the cute little white ones. It was a bigger plus when I noticed the grass was starting to green up again. All this rain we have had is helping Spring make an early appearance. My all time favorite park--Synergy Park--was our final spot. Due to the morning rain and the previous night of rain, the creek that flowed from the look was going strong. It was so peaceful and relaxing! Actually managed to venture further down the path than normal, but I think I may stick with my usual spots for photographing. We spent about an hour at each park, but the boys were not even close to being tired. As soon as we got home, they were ready to play with their friends and ride the 4-wheeler with their Uncle Arien. I was proud of Kody when he decided to ride his bike like the other kids around the block with Arien. One would think all this fun surely would wear them out. They went strong all the way until 9:30 pm before they finally gave in to sleep. A special mommy and sons day turned out perfect!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Week 6 Photo Challenge--Sports

I just noticed that I had last week's challenge posted at Week 4---completely miscounted! In my defense, the weather has been rainy and gloomy ;) For this week's challenge, I kept it simple. My oldest son, Kaden, got bow and arrows for Christmas. At the Cub Scout Mom & Me camp, the first thing he is ready to do is archery so this just fit perfectly with the theme. I managed to get him to pose for me, full of giggles.
Another Cub Scout even last summer was attending the local baseball team's, Pump Jacks, game. This was during the opening ceremony. As for if they won or not, I'm honestly not sure since we left due to having tired boys.

Friday, February 8, 2013

January Five

To give you an idea on just how much I love to take photos, I probably take close to 300 a month. It could be food, my cats, my children, friends, and just driving my husband crazy :) Sometimes, they do just sit on the computer for a while before I finally print them out. Every now and then I look through my Facebook albums---really fun when I come across a photo that even I forgot about. But, I think another great way to share them is posting my Top 5 favorites for each month.
My adorable niece by heart Brianna. She is at the age where she is just tired of being around boys so I thought she was missing her neighborhood gal pal. Turns out she was just seriously focused on collecting rocks.
If I get the chance to get a photo of my friend Kardo, you better believe I will take it! He is not a fan of being in the front of the camera. Kardo is just like me, and prefers to be behind the camera. The past two years he has been one of the greatest help during my photography journey. Jonathan is also just like his daddy when it comes to the camera, shaking his head or giving me a funny look.
Like most kids, both my sons love Legos. They are slowly building up a nice collection of them. While shopping for Kody's birthday present, I came across this set. I was just tickled with a little Lego fire coming out of the little Lego dumpster.
A beautiful, cool sunny day makes for a ride around the block on bikes and the 4-wheeler. Arien aka Bubba with his two kids plus my two kids. He definitely gave them a work out going around the block several times. Eventually, the kids got tired and just wanted on the 4-wheeler that I nicknamed "Jolly Green Giant".
Finally, my diva kitty Bubbles who just loves to steal my spot in bed. And she always looks at me with that innocent look, meows, and then stretches. Yes, she does know she is queen kitty of the house.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Simply Amazing

Simply amazing....describes the photo session this past Saturday. I've known J since we were in high school, and her personality is still just as sweet as it was back then. Her two boys are so adorable, fun, and active! I loved it that her parents brought their dog Buster with them. I love animal photos, and getting them with their owners is even better. J's youngest cracked me up with one photo where they are looking at him as he looks at the camera like I better put it down. When J said I just captured that moment so well, it really made my day! I can't wait to have another chance with this beautiful and fun family!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Weekly Photo Challenge-Week 4--Numbers

This week, I just kept it simple due to being very busy. I got some much needed time with my older sister doing some retail therapy :) I'm not a big shopper, but it sure was nice to just get out for the day and shop! Also, family life and a photo session so just sticking with one photo.

I can never pass up the chance to take pictures at the local fire station. A close friend is a volunteer firefighter, and working hard towards becoming a full time firefighter. I have always admired the bravery and hard work of our firefighters. When we had a break out of fires in 2011, they worked around the clock with other departments for many days. To this day, the stories of that time both scare me and make me proud of their selfless behaviors. Volunteer or paid, these men and women are equally heroic. Next time you see one, just be sure to tell them thank you. Sometimes just a simple note of thanks will make their day since they take pride in what they do.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday Social: Week 2

Wow! I have so much to post in the next few days! First, will be the weekly Sunday Social, tomorrow I have the photo challenge weekly photo, and the day after that sharing photos from a very special session. I'm so excited!

Let's get going on the Sunday Social!

Sunday Social

1. If you where stuck on an island what are the two material items you would want to have?

Besides a boat so I can rescue myself? Okay, seriously, knowing me I would definitely have a phone and my camera. After all, there are tons of amazing things to photograph on an island.

2. What are two TV shows you'd watch over and over?

Lost and Grey's Anatomy! I very much love Netflix has both because so far I have watched them over and over. I miss Lost, but at least I can get my Ian Somerhaulder (not sure how to spell his last name) on The Vampire Diaries. Lost and GA are the only shows where I actually cried when they killed off my favorite characters.

3. If your house was on fire, what two things aside from family, pets, etc would you grab?

Honestly, I may not try to grab anything else. Being that a close friend works with the fire department, I am stuck with the mindset to just focus on getting my family out safely. If I were able to grab two things, it would be my camera---it is like my own personal therapy after all. I'm not sure on what the second thing would be on getting.

4. What are your two most favorite articles of clothing?

I have shirt that is a little long and is blue and white. It is so light and cozy! Second would be my lounge around the house pants. Anything that is a little loose and light, I absolutely love.

5. What two movies that you saw in the past year would you recommend to us?

The Vow--My husband had a horrible car accident in 1993, and as a result a traumatic brain injury. While his was not as intense as the character in the movie, he still has his challenges. Mostly, with short term memory loss.

The Lorax--My boys can watch this movie a million times a day. Plus, I just love those fish! They always crack me up!

6. What are your two biggest guilty pleasures?

Dr. Pepper! Most people prefer their coffee, but I prefer my Dr. Pepper. Also, listening to Pink. Love her music and how some of her songs are just motivating and inspiring; especially her latest "Try".