Thursday, June 30, 2011

Picking Cat Tails


I adore little boys.  Big surprise, I know.  I'm not biased one bit by the fact that I have two of the best little boys on the planet, the best big boy ever, and 2 of the greatest nephews ever known to mankind.  My dad isn't bad either:)  But we won't speak of my brother...

The kiddo in the picture isn't mine but he was hanging out with us at our hunting lease.  He had quite a collection of cattails going.  Which gave his mom the idea to collect some as decoration for her house.  Which made me think, "Why haven't I ever thought of that?"  Would it be too obvious if I copied the idea now?  Whatever, the boy is cute as a button and I'm just glad that in this case, picking cattails had nothing to do with felines.  Because if it had been MY youngest son, you can bet it would have.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Photographing the Photographer


This is my good friend and fellow photographer.  I have to snap pictures of her when she's not looking so she doesn't yell at me for taking her picture:)

Maternity Shoot


I did a maternity shoot a few days ago and had a lot of fun doing it.  I'm hoping to do more of these in the future.  Being pregnant is such a special time in a woman's life so it's exciting for me to be a part of documenting that memory for a woman and her family.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pure Bliss


Does it get any better than this?  These two little cutie pies were jumping on the bed while we were in between maternity shots of their mom.  The expressions on their faces makes me want to go jump on the bed right now!  I think I'll go do that.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Growing Belly


This is my friend with the adorable little baby belly.  She's 20 weeks pregnant and not quite ready for maternity pictures yet but we wanted to document her growing belly.  What's really exciting is that her new little peanut will be a part of my Project 365 later this year.  I can't wait to take those pictures!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Practicing and Experimenting



For me, photography is a constant learning process.  I don't care how much I know or think I know, there is always more to be learned.  So I decided to take my camera along with me to swimming lessons today.  I knew the light would be extremely bright causing harsh highlights and shadows.  But I wanted the challenge of it.  The first picture is a result of that experiment.

The second picture is Milo patiently posing for me while I adjusted my studio lighting in preparation for a few upcoming photo shoots.  He's such a good sport and willingly hops up and back down again when I ask him to.  I wonder what my clients would think if they knew I used Milo as my model to prepare for their photo shoots?  Especially since I'm preparing for a maternity photo shoot!

A quick note.  I've noticed that when I upload pictures to this blog, since I reduce the quality of the photo to make it a faster upload, there are definitely aspects of the photo that are lost in translation.  For example the first picture is sharper and has brighter colors when I view the original on my computer.  If you click on the picture to view it at a larger size, it seems to look a lot better.  So I suggest doing that for best viewing the details.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Little Mud Ball


Milo looooves to roll in the dirt.  Especially after he's gone for a swim in the pond.  That way the dirt really cakes on his fur and makes him as dirty as possible.  Maybe he's part pig?  I don't know, but what I do know is that he loves being a mud ball and I say, whatever makes him happy.  Just as long as he doesn't expect to jump on the bed after that!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Golden Lining


We had the coolest "storm rolling in" lighting tonight!  I love the lighting before and after a storm and I'm usually caught somewhere without my camera.  But tonight, it seemed like we were on the verge of a storm all night and it never actually arrived.  So I took advantage and spent a lot of time outside with my camera.  Of course I had to stop in the middle of the road and take a picture of these cows.  They were standing in a field of golden harvested wheat and bathed in the golden light of the stormy evening sky.  I couldn't resist.  I love a good cow and I love golden lighting.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lightning Storm


We're having a huge lightning storm right now.  So I thought, perfect, I should go outside and stand in the lightning so I can take a picture of it!  I took over 400 shots to get a grand total of 4 with good lightning bolts actually in the picture.  The light was flashing like crazy but there were only bolts every so often.  So I stood on my back porch and snapped away every few seconds hoping to get the shutter to open and close at just the right time.  I saw some spectacular bolts while I was out there but my timing was always a little off.  I had a lot of fun though.  And don't worry, I was standing on my covered back porch so I wasn't at risk of getting struck.  Milo looked at me like I was more than a little bit crazy though.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

And it was this big!


My son is such a little story teller.  Here he was telling us about this gigantic frog that he found in the pond.  Each day that he tells this story, the frog will get a little bit bigger;)  Don't all men exaggerate their stories more and more over time?

The Great Outdoors



I'm sure you've figured this out by now, but I'm a huge believer in getting kids outdoors.  I want to say this is true especially for boys, but I don't want to undervalue the influence the great outdoors can have on a girls life too.  Kids who spend a significant amount of time outside have the opportunity to use their imaginations and learn about the world around them.  They learn about trees, grass, animals, the habitat animals need to live in, respect for all living creatures, the environment, the list could go on and on.  Kids are naturally curious and will ask questions about the world they are exploring.  I make a conscious choice every day to make sure my kids are outdoors kids and I feel it's something that will give them a solid foundation as they grow up and mature into young men.  I'll get off my soapbox now:)

Thursday, June 16, 2011



I purchased some new solar lights for my landscaping since my old ones were dying.  When I came home tonight I noticed how the light was broadcast across the stones and I really loved how it looked.  Solar lights are one of the best inventions ever!  They're inexpensive and they make such a beautiful impact on your landscaping or flower beds.  And best of all, they're solar.  We try to be as green as possible around my house so anything that runs off the energy from the sun or the wind, etc is great in my book.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What I Go Through

In order to get this picture...

... I first have to go through this:

and this:

and this:

and this:

and this:

and let's not forget this:

Technically the last picture took place after I had already gotten my one good shot and moved on to another location.  I was hoping for a second good picture to choose from but the kids showed me exactly what they thought about that!  And I'd be remiss if I didn't show you this one:

The truth is that I love the "bad" pictures because they show the true personalities of my boys.  Plus one day when my boys have boys (and hopefully girls) of their own, I will show them these pictures and laugh hysterically at them as they struggle to get their own kids to cooperate.  Mwaaaa-haaaa-haaaa-haaa! (That's my evil laugh in case you couldn't tell.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Picking Squash


Since I don't have my own garden this year, a friend of mine invited us over to pick some vegetables out of her family's garden.  At first the kids didn't want to go which surprised me because they LOVE picking vegetables!  But once we got there they went crazy picking squash!  Apparently they'd forgotten how much fun it was to pick fresh veggies from the garden.  I had to force them to leave because we were overflowing with squash and they wouldn't quit picking!  In my opinion, these are the things that kids need to be doing.  Forget the video games and the TV, boys just need to be outside.  They learn more from being outside exploring than they ever will sitting inside.

Again, this picture was taken with my phone.

Pool Time!


This is a picture I took of my baby before swimming lessons.  He's doing so much better this year and is really getting brave and learning how to swim.  He's gone from screaming like we were torturing him while his daddy carried him into the water 2 years ago, to now showing off for his swimming teacher by swimming with his face in the water and even going down the water slide. 

I remember going to swimming lessons with my brother when we were kids.  Every year I'd go and work so hard but for some reason they never let me advance past the beginners class.  And every year my brother would move up.  I never could figure out why.  It might be part of the reason that I still doggy paddle to this day.  I'm not permanently scarred from it or anything.  The best part about swimming lessons though was that my mom was awesome and always gave us a Tootsie Pop afterwards!  I'm not nearly as cool of a mom to my kids because my kids have sugar issues.

By the way, this picture was taken with my new phone.  It takes much better pictures than my old phone so I'm very pleased that I don't have to lug my camera along to swimming lessons and risk it getting wet.

Sunday, June 12, 2011



This poor tree looks like it's clinging on for dear life.  It reminds me of how harsh the environment is down here and how hard it is for vegetation to thrive.  We've had almost no rain this spring/summer.  Everything is dying including my grass and my flowers.  Sometimes in life we go through droughts too and we have to dig in our heels and reach down deep for the strength to make it through.  Having a well established root system will allow us to get the nourishment we need to make it through those difficult times.  That's what this tree says to me and I think it's amazing how there are lessons to be learned all around us if we only open up our eyes and our ears.

Saturday, June 11, 2011



My beautiful new case for my beautiful new phone.  I love pink and I'm not ashamed to admit it.  Partially I love it for it's girlish beauty.  And partially I love it just to annoy my husband.  Because he hates it and I like to bug him.  It's what makes our marriage tick.  

Friday, June 10, 2011

At the Lease

Say cheese!

He's working so hard on getting that cattail to break off.

And now he's perplexed as to why it won't just bend to his will.

Don't worry, here comes Milo to help!

Whew!  And now I'm caught up!  

Thursday, June 9, 2011

So far behind

My apologies to all my wonderful readers that I'm several days behind posting pictures.  Tomorrow evening I will have everything caught up so look for a new post then.  I appreciated every one of you that takes the time to look at my blog!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011



Milo was giving me the stink eye today because he had to be in his kennel while a repairman was here.  Poor, poor spoiled boy.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Catching Up




Whew!  I've been having too much fun and I've gotten so far behind on posting my photos.  I'm still taking pictures every day though.  Ok, the first picture is my latest addition to the landscaping in front of my house.  I've wanted a fountain forever but I just can't ever make up my mind which one to buy.  So I finally took the plunge and bought one that I liked.  

The second picture is a bottle of olive oil that my husband brought back from Greece last year.  I love olive oil and I cook with it a lot.  That particular night I was making pizza and the recipe for the dough involves several tablespoons of olive oil and it is deeeelicious!  I also prefer to use olive oil on the crust instead of pizza sauce.  

And the last picture is a picture of the pizza I made.  I like this particular crust to be a little bit thinner because it tastes better that way.  So this one turned out a little bit thick but it was still yummy.  If anyone is interested in the recipe just e-mail me and I'll send it to you.  You do have to plan ahead though because the dough needs time to rise.  So if planning ahead isn't your specialty (it's certainly not mine) then you shouldn't use this recipe or you should just realize that you're going to eat dinner at 8:30 like we did.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Surprise


I just LOVE getting packages in the mail.  Especially when those packages are unexpected and contain gifts from my hubby!  Several months ago I e-mailed him a link to these rings that I like and may have also told him what size I was.  (You have to set your man up for success, ladies.)  I've always wanted some kind of mother's ring but didn't really want the traditional kind with the birthstones, etc.  So when I saw these rings, I knew that was exactly what I'd been looking for.  The rustic simplicity of it fit my style and personality.  Much to my surprise today, I opened the mailbox to find a fat little envelope from the Vintage Pearl.  I eagerly opened it and was so excited to find this precious little ring in there with the names of my husband and our two sons stamped into the metal.  I absolutely love this and will always wear it.  We have to spend a lot of time apart and this is a way I can keep all of my most important men, big and little, close to my heart. 

Technical Notes:  Nikon D700, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G, ISO 400, Focal Length 80mm, f/5.6, 1/60, Flash (built in), Auto White Balance, Matrix Metering.  In editing I burned the background to make it all evenly dark.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Flipping Out


I don't know if I had this much fun when I was 4, but I sure hope I did.  My parents bought my kids this trampoline the first year we moved here.  And that has been the best gift anyone has ever given them.  (Other than the gift of being blessed with great parents.)  They are on that thing nearly every day of their lives.  The west Texas weather has taken it's toll on it as you can see by the tattered fabric around the edges.  But that's only half the story.  When we first got it we were concerned for our kids' safety and had the tall net surrounding it.  Well, that turned out to be a big mistake.  One morning we woke up to find the trampoline in the pool.  Another morning we woke up to not find the trampoline at all.  The wind had picked it up and carried it 200+ yards and deposited it in the grassy field behind our house.  Except the grass was so tall we couldn't see it!  We went driving around looking for it and we spotted another person's trampoline that had blown away as well.  We felt good that we weren't the only dumb ones who put a giant wind sock on our trampoline in windy west Texas.  So after blowing away 3 times (yes it took us 3 times to realize this wasn't going to work), we threw caution to the wind and took down the net.  Much to everyone's amazement, the kids have not fallen off of it even once.  I think it's kind of like sleeping in your bed at night.  You just know where the boundaries are and you don't fall off.  Well, occasionally I fall off but that's a story for another time.

Technical Notes:  Nikon D700, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G, ISO 400, f/2.2, 1/4000, Auto White Balance, Matrix Metering.