Friday, August 28, 2009

Saint Of Circumstance

Happy Friday Company Girls and Beloved Readers!!

So come on in, grab yourself a cup. How are you? I have missed you all so much! I am looking forward to having coffee with you all this weekend as I peruse your blogs. It has been so long since I have had time to comment - I am making it a point this week to comment on as many as I can.

I have been very busy lately - I know I have said it before but it's true! After months of absolute nothing aside from the regular day to day, my photography business suddenly took off! I hope the momentum carries on through the holidays! God has blessed me so much lately - I just have to tell you all how faithful He has been.

So yesterday I drove to Houston so that I could do a photo shoot this morning. One of my sweet friends had a baby girl a few weeks ago, and she asked me to come out to do some newborn photos for her.

The baby is absolutely precious! She is such a beauty and I enjoyed hanging out with her and her momma (and one of her brothers) this morning. She totally made me work for the photos though - she would not sleep! lol! It was so cute - Momma would get her nice and asleep and then set her down and I could get maybe 2 or 3 shots before she woke up. She made us WORK for sure. That's ok though, because I know I still got some great shots of her.

So after the shoot I loaded up the boys (my inlaws were watching them for me while I had the session) and we headed back to Austin. I just couldn't afford to stay for very long because I am so behind on my work. We got about 45 minutes from home (and we were out in the middle of NOWHERE) when one of my tires blew. I managed to get the car off the road at the next opportunity (there weren't any immediate roads to choose from nor was there a shoulder so I had to drive for about a mile) and had to unload everything, all of our luggage and all of my photo session gear, onto the dirt road to get to the jack and wrench.

The boys were sweltering in the car even with all the windows rolled down, but they did really well. Port only screamed a few times, but I was able to sooth him with a container of Goldfish crackers and turning the DVD player back on.

And I am proud to say I changed the tire on that dusty road all by myself!
except I didn't. ;-)

Thankfully, after yanking and tugging on the lug nuts for a few minutes, a very nice gentleman in a very large pickup truck pulled over to help me.

And then I stood there completely useless on the side of the road while he changed my tire in 100 degree heat.

Did you know there are still saints roaming the earth? Oh yes!

He was so nice - he didn't really say much, but he struggled with those dang lug nuts too so I felt better about being such a wimpy girl! lol!

So if you've read my blog for a while you might know that I am a socially awkward person. Completely. And in situations like this I never really know what to do. Do I try to pay him? I didn't have any cash on me. Would that be insulting to a good Samaritan anyway? Do I offer him water - oops I didn't have any with me. I had no idea what to do so I just thanked him profusely. I didn't even offer him a wipey for his hands - gracious knows I had plenty of those! Ugh. And of course I thought of the perfect thing after we were already back on the road and he was long gone.

Mr. Good Samaritan Dwight or Dwayne (I am so sorry I am terrible with names, but I remember it started with a D) - thank you so much for stopping on a very lonely stretch of FM 112 to help a crazy woman and 2 cranky kids with a completely blown tire. People like you are so rare and wonderful and I am so thankful that you stopped to help. You mentioned you have kids so if by some strange chance you or someone you know comes across my blog and identifies you as my guardian angel today, please know that if you ever want it, I would love to offer you a free photo session for your family and a credit for prints. Please contact me through my site and we will set something up.

I should have offered him my business card. I could have thanked him with a session and prints. It's really all I can afford - at least it would be something. People like him don't come along every day and I am just so thankful he stopped.

If any of you reading have ever stopped to help someone change a tire - THANK YOU!!! You have no idea how nice and wonderful a gift that really is. Hubby and I have had our fair share of flats in odd/difficult situations and each and every time someone has stopped to lend aid. It is such a blessing!

I hope that you have the opportunity to bless someone this week. I certainly intend to pay this blessing forward.

Thanks for stopping by!
D :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

From This Moment On

On this day five years ago my life changed forever. My day started with pleading with doctors, longing for food and drink and breathing. Lots and lots of breathing. Then, sometime around 11AM a mad rush of people came into the room, someone threw my legs into stirrups and told me to do something I never, ever thought I was physically capable of doing. Push another human being out of my body!

And for 45 minutes I huffed and puffed and sucked on an oxygen mask. And soon enough my first born baby boy came into the world.

I would love to say that at that very moment there was joy and jubilation, but sadly there was silence and uncertainty instead. And in that most wonderful, life changing moment my world spun out of control.

But by the grace of God that day turned out to be one of the best days of my life. And because of His amazing ability to heal and restore, my baby boy grew strong and fast and wonderfully perfect. I thank God for him every day.

5 years ago God gave me a gift that I can never thank Him for enough. My little boy has changed my life, he's made me a better person and he brings me more joy and love than I ever thought possible.

Happy Birthday Kiddo! Momma loves you more than you'll ever know!
D :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Key To My Heart

Oh man it is a busy, busy week! I am in the middle of deep cleaning my house (to the best of my ability - not expecting any miracles, but it will be company ready by Friday), processing two photo shoots, designing an album for my senior rep, processing 2 big orders (one that includes a slide show - eek! Lol!) and planning for Kiddo's birthday party on Saturday.

So, yeah, I have time to blog, sure! hee hee

Kiddo sprung a big one on me the other day; declaring that he wanted an Iron Man cake, instead of the very generic "super hero" he requested months ago. Of course, of course, there is nothing Iron Man to be found in stores these days, and it is too close to the party to order anything on line. So, I am really pulling this one out of dark places (if you know what I mean) in order to give him what he wants. To make it even more difficult, he wants a vanilla cake with vanilla icing. Ugh. But he wants what he wants...I guess I can make some German Chocolate cake cupcakes for everyone else! ;-)

So today we went on the great hunt for Iron Man stuff, and after searching 4 different stores and coming up empty, we got a hot tip from a Party City employee that the local HEB grocery store might still have some Iron Man party stuff. I took a chance on our HEB Plus, thinking since they had a bigger party section we might get lucky. We found some napkins and cups and a few little things like stickers, but that was it. I am still on the hunt for an action figure - hopefully to put on the cake so that I don't have to make the cake itself into Iron Man. I don't think I could do that with the limited time I have. Though, I have been looking for a good excuse to make that marshmallow fondant again...

So the boys are doing great. Port has had another growth spurt. The 24 month clothes he was comfortably wearing last week now ride up and are almost too small. He is on the verge of really talking; he communicates better and better every day. He does this extremely annoying screaming shriek thing when he wants something, and so I am trying to teach him a few signs in the hopes of stopping the shrieking. So now he signs "more" most of the time when he wants me to read the book again, or if he wants more of a particular food. I think it helps him by lessening his frustration. The "words" that he does say so far are, mama, daddy, kee (kitty), hey, hi, bye, nigh (night), meow, moo, and sometimes yes and no. Today Kiddo and I taught him how to hiss like a snake. Oh and his newest one is "dah" which is his version of "dude". I was changing his diaper the other day and he kept kicking and struggling to get out of my grip and in frustration I quite loudly said "DUDE!" and he thought that was THE most hilarious thing ev-vah!

I tried to capture some of the hilarity on the video, but he had already tired of it some by the time I found the Flip. Later on we recreated the event for Hubby and it was just as funny as it was the first time. Oh and that screech at the end? yeah, that's only a shortened version of what I hear about 4,378,493,246,378,204,738,956 times a day.

Kiddo has grown too; mentally and physically. He blows me away with his intelligence and his sheer size. I am worried that by the time he goes to school next year, he will look and act like a second grader! Poor kid, maybe homeschooling is the best idea. I can't believe that in just a week he will be 5 years old. It has gone so fast!

So that's the short version. I have a ton of things to do before bed tonight so I better wrap this up. Wish me luck this week - I am for sure going to need it.

D :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Going Home

Happy Friday Company Girls!! (and other Beloved Readers!) I tried to publish this post 3 times before Blogger quit eating it...

Well as many of you know, I had the most amazing weekend last weekend. After getting my hair colored and cut (always a treat - thanks Kim!!) I waited for the Hubby to get home from work. As soon as he was home, I kissed him and the kiddos goodbye and drove my little happy self up to Dallas to spend a couple of days with our very own Rachel Anne!
We met up to work on her very special book project, Company Girl. It was so fun sifting through all the amazing photo entries. We narrowed it down to a little over 100, and then took to task placing the perfect photo with each line of the text. Sometimes, it was so hard to choose!
Rachel is so fun to work with, and thankfully we agreed on most of the selections. We were very fortunate to have her daughter there as well to help us choose. I just love her office - it is so open and inviting, with lots of room to spread out.
I know ya'll are dying to know, so I am going to spill. lol! Her home really is a Sanctuary!! Yes, really! (not that I ever doubted you Rachel, but you know some internet folk can be kinda dicey... hee hee!) Her home is so nice and comfortable! It's beautifully furnished and inviting. I felt completely comfortable in every room. She has little touches all around the house that make it special - well placed books or an antique lamp, beautiful lace on an end table or a cute little potted plant. And it's all placed so perfectly and makes each area look just right. I so wish I had that kind of eye for things.

Like I said before, we did lots of talking and visiting. This is Rachel talking to her daughter just after we ate breakfast.
We did lots of laughing too!
I just fell in love with this guy. He is soooo sweet! And when he wants to talk to you he moans. lol!
This is only part of the long, twisty dirt road drive to Rachel's house. It was a good thing she met me at the end of the driveway when I arrived on Friday night, or I never would have found the house.
I can totally see myself having coffee and spending some peaceful time here in the mornings.

This of course is the amazing Flash!!
He has the coolest black stripe running down the middle of his back and tracing around his shoulders.

Flash is so sweet, like a big ol dog. He would approach me, but then back away when my shutter clicked. I think the camera kinda freaked him out a little.
He loooooves Rachel - I think he would crawl into her lap if she let him!
I had so much fun on my trip! We made great progress on the book, and developed a wonderful friendship. It was a weekend I will never, ever forget!

Thanks for stopping by!

D ;)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Honor To Us All

I had intended on posting this yesterday, but Blogger was having technical issues and I just didn't feel like trying to find a back door into the posting page. Anyway, I wanted to share a little Kiddo-speak with you.

About a week ago I was getting dressed in the bathroom. Both kids were with me (*sigh* when does that stop?) and after, uh, admiring me, Kiddo looked at himself in the mirror said,

"Someday, when I'm older, like 35, I am going to have big boobies too!"

I hope I remember to work this story into my toast at his wedding...


In other news, I received a fabulous award! I just love bloggy bling! Miss Vick, over at Hanging By a Nerve, bestowed this honor upon me, and I am instructed to pass it along to 5 people and also list 5 obsessions for the accompanying meme.

Five obsessions...hmm. This is a toughie. Obsessions tend to be negative things by definition, but I kind of like mine, so I am hesitant to post them. But I will play along. *wink* In no particular order...

1. Caffeine: I would say coffee, but really it goes beyond that. As unhealthy as it is, I am obsessed with coffee, Dr. Pepper and chocolate. I must have some of all three every day. When I finish my coffee in the morning, I immediately start thinking about my lunch time Dr. Pepper. Every day it takes a lot of willpower to wait a few hours to have one. I am thinking about it right now...ahhhhh!

2. Cooking: I love to cook, love to create new dishes and love to look at recipes. I love reading about cooking, looking at food photos, being in the kitchen and working on anything having to do with food. It even translates into my insane desire to garden. I love baking just as much as anything else, and rarely ever follow a recipe exactly (even though in baking you are supposed to). When I look at recipes I can usually "taste" the food as I read the ingredients - and the taste in my mind is usually pretty spot on with determining if something is going to be good or not.

3. The Internet: Yes, it is unhealthy. I know. I love everything about it though - I have made so many amazing friends and met so many interesting people. It has opened worlds to me that I would have never discovered without it. It has connected me to people I may have never found otherwise. It has given me an outlet for my thoughts and feelings and stories. It has allowed me to figure out things about myself. It has given me opportunities that I never would have had, ever.

4. Photography: I suppose this is a given. I love capturing moments in time, memories and the little things that we all too soon forget. I love the details; the beauty that I can bring out in everyone, big and small. I love that I can almost always make someone feel special and attractive when I take their picture. I love getting to know children and developing a connection with them during my sessions. I love examining and documenting every inch and angle of newborns, capturing the youth and dreams of older children and the wisdom and experiences in the eyes of the adults.

5. My Kids: I am a constant worrier. I fear I am messing it all up. I know I only have one shot at raising my kids and I want to do the best I can for them. I know I can never do enough and yet every day they astound me with their intelligence, their wit, their cleverness and their love. They make me laugh and cry and scream every day. They make me crazier than I've ever been and they make me love more than I ever thought possible. They are my life; the air I breathe and what makes my heart keep beating.

So there you have it. Those are my obsessions. They're not too bad in the grand scheme of things I guess.

I have to tag 5 people now - my first inclination is to tag my favorite blogs, but most of them are seriously big and have tons of awards already. And I would have tagged Vick and Julia - but they have both been tagged already. So that leaves me with really only 3 clear choices.

1. Rachel Anne of Home Sanctuary. Her blog truly is Fabulous! Every week day there is something new. She has a wonderful sense of humor, she's real, honest and just as nice in person as she comes across on her blog (maybe even more so).

2. Shari with Spot O Wine. Shari's blog is relatively new, but her recipes and wine knowledge set her apart from the ordinary food/wine blog. She's got a great sense of humor and funny writing style. And even though we've know each other since high school, I am enjoying getting to know her better through her blog.

3. Jill with Nalley News. I just love Jill's blog. She is one of those crafty, creative mommas that I wish I could be. Shoot, if I could only come up with a 3rd of the stuff she does, my kids would be so much better off. She takes beautiful pictures of her girls too.

Now, there are others that would be great if they actually posted something every now and then *cough, cough* you know who you are... and there are also the greats that have more accolades, readers and awards than anyone can imagine (Pioneer Woman, Smitten Kitchen, Chicken and Cheese to name a few) and I have too many other favorites to mention.

Thank you Vick, for making my day! I am truly honored.

D :)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Hanging Around

Ah well it is Sunday morning now, just before nine, and I have to say I can't recall having a more pleasant weekend in recent months. I am still here in Dallas visiting with Rachel Anne, and am just overwhelmed at her sweetness and hospitality.

We got a lot of good work done yesterday; we started first thing in the morning and worked on the book pretty much solid right up until I had to get ready for my photo session. I think we accomplished more than expected, and while there is still some work to do I think our progress was great! It is just amazing to see the book take shape; to see the wonderful reader submitted images match up with each line in the text - flipping through the pages brought us all smiles and laughter and many, many "awwww" moments! I am looking forward to seeing the finished product and having it all come together so perfectly is such a blessing.

I am also so thrilled to have met Rachel's daughter Meghan. She is a beautiful girl and such a sweet person. Her kindness radiates from her like a light, and it was so nice to see what a close bond she has with her mom. I hope that my kids grow up to be so loving and sweet.

My session yesterday was a blast! Rachel volunteered to be my loverly assistant! We met the family (the mom is one of my oldest and dearest friends) at an amazing hotel/resort in Grapevine. The property was so huge that there were more than enough areas to use for photographs. The kiddos did fantastic - only at the very end did complaints of the heat start, and really it was all my fault for taking them down into a little terrace area that had no breeze. I am so proud of them for hanging in the way they did. I can't wait to see what I captured!! On our way out, we weaved through the enormous atrium area, marvelling at the thousands of people that were there from around the world. The resort was hosting some sort of "world" convention - bringing out folks in all sorts of native costumes and clothing. It was quite the site to behold. We walked past one area that appeared to be hosting a smaller banquet, full of what looked like regular American business folk. It reminded me of the parties I used to plan when I worked for the country club. At the entrance to that banquet area, I noticed in passing a sign welcoming the group - and recognized it as the same company that my aunt owns and operates in Louisiana. A quick call to my mom (Happy Birthday mom!) confirmed that my aunt was indeed in Dallas, so I leaned over the big stone railings and located her at a table down below. I think she was a bit shocked when I walked up and asked if I could crash her party! It is such a small world!

Rachel and I left the hotel and went for a delicious dinner at a local Mexican food restaurant, and spent an enjoyable evening talking and talking and talking! I think we could probably spend a week together and not run out of things to discuss! On the way home we were detoured by a closed down road and had even more time to talk.

We made it home very late but it was so much fun. I have loved my time here and am sad to see it end. When I get home I will upload some photos to share.

D :)

Friday, August 07, 2009

This Road

Happy Friday Company Girls!! I know, long time no see, right? Well today I will have to make my post quick - I am headed out the door to get on the road to see our very own Rachel Anne!!! This weekend we will be working on her book, Company Girl. I am so excited to finally get to meet her in person and check out the "barn house" we've all heard so much about! I may even get to see the famous Flash! lol

So wish me well tonight as I will be on the road for a few hours and then searching for her house in the dark - eek!! I may have to call in the rescue team.

I am looking so forward to my time with Mrs. Ridge this weekend. I am also looking forward to a little break from the kiddos and getting to see some old friends too. I even scheduled in a photo shoot while I'm there. Hey, a girl has got to make money where she can, right?! I am very excited and hope to get lots of good pictures to share with all of you. And I am thrilled at the opportunity to work on this project.

Well, I just pulled out some homemade cheesecake sopapillas - help yourself to a couple. They are divine!

I will try to update this weekend as it progresses, so check back when you can.

Have a great weekend!

D :)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Road I'm On

If you only knew how many started and unfinished blog posts I have going now... ugh. Things are just too crazy - I can't even think straight.

Last week I made an impromptu trip to Houston in the hopes of photographing the birth of my friend's baby. Unfortunately, labor didn't happen, she got bumped from the induction schedule and also changed her mind about being induced. I am proud of her for the last one - I know how "done" she felt at that moment, a mere 40 weeks even. At that point your life is just on hold; you can't plan anything, you can't really go anywhere too far from home or the hospital, and you can't make any immediate plans. It sucks - and this sweet momma had been living it for a few weeks already. So I found myself in Houston, with nothing to do but hurry up and wait, and was so very excited to find that 3 of my oldest friends were getting together for coffee and girl talk on Friday morning. Suddenly, my trip "home" was a blessing in disguise, and I immensely enjoyed getting to spend some quality time with my girls.

However, the few days away has made me sooooo far behind on my work. I am swamped and behind with editing and feel terrible about it. So I am cramming in as much as I can throughout the day, but I may have to pull a late night here pretty soon.

The good news is that this weekend I am getting a very small break - a little getaway of my own. I am going to Dallas for a day and a half to hang out with Rachel Anne Ridge from Home Sanctuary and work on her book project, Company Girl. I am so very excited!! Not only will I get to soak up some good girl time, I will get to work on a very exciting project. AND - I will get a day and a half of kid free time. I know it sounds silly, but I haven't had any big chunk of time away from the kids since Port was born, with the exception of my anniversary. But I haven't had any time on my own doing something fun with a girlfriend. And with Hubby taking motorcycle trips galore with his buddies, I think I am due my share.

Anyway, hopefully I can connect with a few friends while there, and there is also the possibility of a photo shoot! I am very excited!

In other news, Kiddo's birthday is coming up fast. Once again I am torn with what to do. It is so very hot here - too hot for an outside birthday party and we just can't afford to do a party at any of the play places or indoor facilities. So, the event will be at our house, and because our home is so small it will just be family. In the past I have tried to have a separate get together for him and his little friends, but unfortunately this year many of them will be in school already by the time his birthday rolls around. So I think this year I am going to let him invite just 2 of his friends to the party and pray that my air conditioner doesn't give out while all the people in my house.

So I guess that is the low down. I am sorry I've been so silent on here. I hope to get back to a more regular schedule soon.

D :)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Back and Forth

Welcome to Company Girl Coffee, the weekend edition!

Sorry I missed coffee yesterday everyone! Most of the day I was gabbing it up with some of my oldest, dearest friends and the rest of the time I was on the road driving home from Houston. I had gone to Houston mid week with the hopes of being able to photograph the labor and birth of a friend of mine, but sadly her soon to be newborn daughter had other plans. But it was still a good trip though - the boys got some great Happy and Grammy time in and I got to visit with them and my good friends.

In a way I guess I did participate in Company Girl coffee - with my own company girls from high school. The coffee and conversation was very good!

So, I drove up on Wednesday and back on Friday. It was an interesting trip for sure. I swear, most of the time these things just don't happen to me, but this trip - it was one thing after another.

What kind of things you ask? Well let me tell you...

1. Like I said I was going to Houston for a shoot. My mommy friend was due with her baby, and had scheduled an induction for Thursday morning. If she didn't go into labor before, she would definitely have the baby sometime on Thursday. When I got about 2/3rds of the way there, she called me to tell me that her induction got bumped from the schedule. Since I was almost there, I decided to go ahead with my plans and hope the baby decided to come on her own.

2. After putting the boys to bed, I discovered that once again I had left all forms of cell phone charging device at home. And of course, my cell phone was almost dead. I had to make a run to the 24 hour Walmart for a new charger (I did the same thing just a few weeks ago, the last time I went to Houston). There was only one left at the store that worked with my phone. I had to sit in the car for 20 minutes and wait for it to charge enough to last the night.

3. I hooked up my computer to check my email and do some surfing and discovered that my wireless mouse was broken. I have no idea what is wrong with it, it just doesn't work any more. And yes, I checked the batteries.

4. After finally crawling into bed a little after 11, I woke up to the sound of my 4 yr old sniffing and moaning in the pallet on the floor next to the bed. I turned on the light to discover him having a gusher of a nose bleed; all over himself, the bed, the took about 30 minutes and half a box of kleenex to get it to stop, and he slept through the whole thing.

5. He woke me up at 6:30AM bright eyed and bushy tailed. He played soccer in the room until I couldn't take it any more and let him out at 7:30.

6. When I offered to let him climb into bed with me, he grabbed his pillow off the floor pallet and it knocked a glass of water off the dresser. My cell phone, the alarm clock and the wall behind the dresser all got drenched. Thankfully nothing was ruined.

7. After breakfast, I knocked over a glass of water onto the table.

8. When in the bedroom changing the baby's diaper, Kiddo took my empty water cup off the night stand (the one he knocked over hours before) put more water in it, brought it back down the hall, turned around and proceeded to sling the contents all over the wall and floor in the hallway.

9. That night every little sniff from Kiddo woke me in a panic. He talked in his sleep all. night. long. At one point he was pointing up to the ceiling, jabbering about something I could not understand, and getting louder and more animated by the second.

10. The next morning I took the boys to a friend's house to hang out. On the way, Port pulled his favorite party trick and poked the nipple from his bottle down into the bottle and then poured the 6 ounces of formula into his lap. When I got to the friend's house, I had to strip him completely nekkid. Of course, I did not have a spare outfit in the diaper bag.

11. Just as it was time for Port's nap and for me to leave my friend's house, the sky opened up and dumped more rain than I have seen all year. We were trapped there for 3 more hours waiting for the rain to let up. That was actually a blessing (more time with my friends) but I knew it was really going to mess up Port's sleeping schedule.

12. Port and Kiddo instantly fell asleep in the car when we left. And woke up almost exactly 30 minutes later when we arrived at Grammy and Happy's house. I loaded up the car to head home, thinking Port would finish out his nap on the way. He has never cried so much as he did on the way home.

I do not need any more stressful trips like that any time soon. Even with all the problems though, it was still pretty great.

I hope your weekend was great! Thanks for stopping by!

D :)

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