Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mini Shoot in the Freezing, Shivering Cold

This year was the third year I've been lucky enough to take this fam's Christmas card photo. In fact, Jill was the second person to ask me if I'd like to practice on her family when I got my first DSLR. I was so excited and nervous and flattered, and I remember just about every detail about that session. Anyway, I'm really thankful for all the friends who've encouraged me and believed in me on this little photography journey I've set out on in the last few years. It's made all the difference to me and I hope to pay it forward as I continue on.

On a different note, have I mentioned that I hate winter? I really can get ba-humbug about it, but I will admit that our first snow of the year was awfully pretty and magical. But pretty and magical doesn't always mean convenient. Jill and I were back and forth constantly about when to do their session. The weather has been crazy, and the forecast pretty unreliable in my opinion. I was so glad we got it done last week, though, because this week has proven to be even more freezing. Anyway, these peeps are pretty darn gorgeous and photogenic, don't ya think?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Here is a taste of my gratitude list (in no particular order) this year:

*Beautiful families such as the one below who choose me to take their pictures. (For those of you who know Amy Neal, this is her cousin!)

*My friends for their goodness and support.

*My husband for continuing to be the best thing that ever happened to me.

*My kids for reminding me every day of what's most important.

*My mom for always being so willing to help me, most recently with sewing Magnolia's stocking.

*My dad for giving the best hugs.

*My siblings for being the best aunties and uncles.

*Flowers to Go for providing for our family.

*My church for ever so many blessings.

*My neighborhood full of friends and wonderful people.

*Electricity! We had a crazy power outage earlier this week that really made me grateful for the simple things in life.

*My writing group for keeping me going. :)

*Second chances and tomorrows.

*My inlaws for treating me like gold.

*My life.

*And most of all, God, for His perfect love.

Happy Thanksgiving! And to the cute, cute family above. Thanks for a wonderful afternoon! I loved your handsome little one and truly enjoyed getting to know you!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Then and Now

I'm sorry to admit that I wasn't a very attentive sibling to the three babies of our family when I was in high school and living in the house pictured above. I don't remember much of them, and they don't remember much of me. But when I went off to college, I'd come home and soak these three up. They were still the babies, although at one point we made a conscious effort to clump them as "the little kids" since as five, six and seven-year-olds, we couldn't really get away with that anymore.

Anyway, I thought I'd share a favorite memory of them from my home-from-college days and a favorite memory from our recent trip home:

Back then, I remember snuggling up with Lissie in her bed and listening to her tell me about every single person in her class. We'd pretend to have a sleepover and then after she'd fall asleep (or at least fake it, anyway), I'd tip toe out of her room. I thought she was the most perfect baby sister. So beautiful with a pinch of sass.

Now, I still think she is the most perfect baby sister. It's really not fair that so much beauty and character could be bottled up in one person. She sings, plays the guitar and piano; she's a ballroom dancer and ballerina, and she's a genuinely nice girl. My favorite moment with her on this last trip was when she came up with a melody for some song lyrics I started writing about my kids. Got me all teary. Now I just need to finish writing them, so that she can finish putting such a sweet tune to it.

Back then, my favorite thing about Christian was the way he adored my dad. He'd come home from church and hang his little suit jacket on the chair right next to his. And I remember one time watching Christian walk to the nearby German school he attended and how he kept turning around and waving to my dad in the window.

Now, he still adores my dad. While we were in Germany, I often caught the two of them sitting together--Christian asking my dad question after question about history and the economy, and my dad giving the most thorough and heartfelt answers. So sweet, the bond they share.

Back then, Bryant was the most playful and fun-loving little boy you could ever meet. He'd run to me when I'd come home from college (the sister he hardly knew) and wrap me in a tight hug. His excitement at seeing me always touched me.

Now, he doesn't do the run and hug me thing so much when I come home, but boy does he know how to play with my kids! He's a terrific Uncle B.

And here's my sweet parents. They deserve a post full of wonderful memories entirely their own, but for now, a favorite thing I'd like to tell you about them, is that I've never met a couple more in love. That was then and it's most definitely now.

Yeah, I'm a huge fan.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Bride, a Groom, and a Bumblebee

I wanted to back up a bit and share these Halloween pictures of my kiddies all dressed up. We celebrated both here and in Germany, in case you're wondering why I have cowgirl pictures of Maggie in here.

Our baby bumblebee--thank you, Kellie, for letting us borrow this adorable costume. Aren't the feet darling?

Our bride and groom. Thank you, Jen (and Olivia) for letting us borrow the magnificent dress!

A costume change in Germany--Maggie was a cowgirl and Magson was a knight, but he didn't want to wear his costume, thus no pictures of that.

And my all-time favorite Halloween pictures:

And in case you didn't catch that loveliness:

Happy Halloween!

Monday, November 15, 2010


I keep forgetting that Thanksgiving Day is next week because while I was home in Germany, my mom made Thanksgiving dinner early for us so that we could all celebrate it together. It was fabulously yummy, as always. She invited two German couples, one of which they invite every year and who have been dear friends of the family since early 90s when we first moved to Germany. The other German couple they know because they teach a weekly German class that my mom likes to attend. And the third American family friends arrived a few hours early so that I could photograph their children.

I took them out into the fields of our Malschenberg town, and the little girl immediately whipped out about 10 different poses, which cracked me up. And the little boy was all boy with some karate chopping poses up his sleeve as well. We took most of the shots of them together after the little girl cut her hand on some sharp leaves. She had about three little paper cuts and was pretty upset about it, rightfully so. But he was able to help her finish out the photoshoot with lots of snuggles and giggles. Oh, how I love the bond between siblings. And oh, how I love the colors of fall. When it started getting dark we anxiously headed home for Thanksgiving dinner! We were hungry!

My parents seem to always give their dinner guests the opportunity to share their talents, especially their musical ones, and after our Thanksgiving dinner feast, these two played the piano for us with a bow and curtsy at the end. I was impressed! And like always, we also went around the room and told each other of the things we are grateful for. I don't remember what these two said, but I do remember that the little girl kept thinking of more and more things she wanted to tell everyone. Such a cutie.

I said I was grateful for a beautiful and loving childhood, and for the opportunity to be visiting my family again. Did I mention it was wonderful?



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