Sunday, December 27, 2009

I'm posting it, because I can.

Yah, well. What he doesn't know won't hurt him, right? That's what he gets for acting like a dork. ☺

From left:

My nephew J, his wife J, their daughter R, my brother C, his wife C (yes, we really try diligently to marry those with the same first intial :) & my nephew T. J & T have another brother, K, who couldn't make it today. And then my sil C has a son C (same initial again :) who was at his dad's house. He is 9. There are no words to describe the love I have for my nephews.

My nephew J & his wife J have lost three babies before baby R came to be. R has a big sister B, & big twin brothers C & C (same initial thing again :) - who were all called to Heaven entirely too soon. All three babies were born extremely premature & were just too little to survive. Truly heartbreaking. To bury three babies within 1 1/2 years time is just unfair.

It was so much fun w/ my family today. We made a "vow", so to speak, to get together more often. Good times. Tons of laughing. We are all so similar & just as goofy as the other. As you can see. ☺

Friday, December 25, 2009

White Christmas!

Christmas Eve, as we were just heading out to a family celebration, it began snowing! And it didn't stop for hours! It was amazing. This just does not happen in Texas. As a matter of fact, it's been so many years since Texas has seen a white Christmas, I can't even remember how long it's been. Over 20 years, I believe? It was absolutely beautiful & just perfect for Christmas. ☺

The roads became quite treacherous - our 40 minute drive home turned into 2 hours. The husband of a friend of mine was in Oklahoma, about 3-4 hours away at the most, & it took him 22 hours. He finally made it home safely Christmas morning.

A beautiful, white Christmas, & a beautiful day. :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ho ho ho!

Christmas is almost here, are you ready? :)

I'm telling you, after losing almost two complete weeks due to illness, I thought I was really going to be in trouble this year. But low & behold, we kicked it into high gear, & we got it all done! Actually, we are ahead of the game - figure that one out!? I don't know, but I'm not complaining! ☺

Last Sunday was our first family Christmas w/ hubby's family, but the girls & I had to stay home because we weren't feeling well, & we certainly didn't want to expose anyone to our stomach flu. The boys went & had a grand ol' time. I made chocolate truffles for them to take, & they were a hit! Too sweet for me, so next time I do believe I will use Milk Chocolate versus Semi-Sweet. Tomorrow is our 2nd family Christmas w/ hubby's family (every year we celebrate twice because his parents are divorced) - we even have our food prepared & ready to go! Typically we are making our dishes the morning of. Not this year! Yippee! I still have wrapping to do, but I can handle that. It's a nice & calm chore to have. And I can watch some HGTV. ;o)

This year we chose to take sausage balls! Boy howdy, we can make some rockin' sausage balls. They are so addicting! I think I've already had like 8 too many. ;o) Good thing we made 70! Don't they look delish?

I also decided to make my grandmother's "Special K Bars". I don't have a great memory, but I sure do remember those puppies. I decided to google them, just to see if someone, somewhere knew about them, & good gracious I found tons of recipes. LOL I guess I just thought they were her best kept secret. ;o) Anyway, I actually found a recipe almost identical, but it yielded more, so I just used the internet's recipe instead. Again, I used Milk Chocolate versus Semi-Sweet - maybe I shouldn't have done that. They are still fab - but don't taste just like my grandma's. And I'd love to savor those sweet memories. My grandma was one classy, beautiful lady & I loved her to pieces.

While @ Target yesterday, I happened upon these cute little mugs. Thought my little people would be thrilled to drink hot chocolate from them, so I bought four. Very festive. ☺
You know what aggravates me about shopping? Finding an item I purchased a few weeks ago, for full price, on sale! LOL Grrrrr! I bought the most precious, bright green, sparkly Christmas tree (I should photo that - I ♥ it!) decoration & I'll be dadgum, that sucker was 30% off yesterday. For a brief moment, I thought about buying another one @ the sale price & returning the one I paid full price for. LOL But I didn't. The thought was good. ;o)
(Not to show my anal side, but you do know to look thru all items before deciding on the one you want, right? For example, my bright green, sparkly Christmas tree I should photo. ☺ Don't ever choose the first one - go thru those suckers until you find the one with the least damage. Almost always you run across an item with a blemish, a tiny scratch or something, & if you look thru all of them, more than likely you can always find one in better condition! Yes, I am the fat, honky woman sprawled out on the dirty Wal-Mart or Target floor searching diligently thru every item to find the one in the best condition. You betcha! I have some mighty fine, damage-free items to prove it, too. ;o)
Carrying on. My master closet threw up. ☺

Usually we go to great strides to hide all gifts so our tiny people can't and/or don't locate them. My first shopping trip, I just chunked everything in our closet. Temporarily. Numerous shopping trips later, heck, I just added to the pile! Our children are not allowed in our closet & as far as I (we) know, no one has discovered anything! And you can see, I didn't even cover up the bags! What a sly dog I am. ☺
Merry Christmas! I wish you many wonderful moments with loved ones, & lots of fun to boot. Savor your time & enjoy. And don't forget to wish Christ Happy Birthday!
Much love,

Monday, December 14, 2009

Nativity Scene.

I ♥ my Nativity Scene. I purchased this years ago, thru Lillian Vernon, for $75. The dress attire is made from delicate crate paper, I believe. It's very fragile, so I store it in this same manner in my cabinets. You can't see in the photos, but Mary is holding & looking down on baby Jesus. I don't typically arrange the Wise Men in this order, but this time I needed to because of my wreath hanging above. ☺

Here is my entire mantel. Usually I have white lights strung across, but haven't gotten to it this year. Next year I plan on participating in The Nester's Christmas Tour, so I'll have it all decked out then. Hopefully by then I'll have new stockings too, 'cause I very much dislike these, but I can't find any I like! I love Kelly's - hopefully I can find some similar! ☺

These photos are snapshots - excuse the flash! Obviously it was 2:00 p.m., too. Heehee. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

For Daddy.

Because Bentley is sick, Audi & Jaguar have been kicked out of the upstairs. Thus, they are having a campoutin. However, they are so tickled pink, if the giggling & tooting doesn't stop, they will need to be separated. They are two peas in a pod. ☺

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

He can't win for losing.

This incident happened last night. He was in his sister's room, tripped on a toy, & busted his eye on the corner of her bed. His eyelid actually sliced open. Fortunately, because the cut is in the crease, it closed back up perfectly! Because of the depth of the cut, I thought we were headed to the ER for Dermabond. He got lucky. ☺

This is his black eye, which occurred last Friday @ school. They were in the gym playing football; Audi was already face down on the floor grabbing the ball, when some darling of a child decided to jump on the back of him, abruptly slamming his eye onto the tile floor. Sweet.

Still cute as a bug, though! :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Be still my heart.

So precious! Thank you Lord he spoke up, & we were able to get him what he most desperately needed. Now, he can see life! Love him. ♥

Thursday, December 3, 2009



Bentley: 57.4 lbs., 52"

Audi: 37.4 lbs., 40 1/2"

Jaguar: 41.2 lbs., 42 1/4"

Mercedes: 30.2 lbs., 35 1/4"

*Poor Audi. His sister, who is 12 months & 1 day younger than he, is now almost 4 lbs. heavier & almost 2 inches taller. Giggle. The kid doesn't stand a chance. ☺

Look who is now back on the charts! Yeehaw! Yippee! Happy dance! Maybe I just won't have a 50 lb. 2 year old, after all! ☺

Her Endocrinologist appointment on Tuesday, 12.1.09, went great! Other than she screamed the entire time, physically pushed the nurses away, refused the bubbles & Teddy Grahams they tried to entice & bribe her with & she refused to let them take her blood pressure & listen to her heart. Other than that she was a complete dream. LOL ;o) She weighed in @ 30.0 lbs. (75%!!) & was 35 1/2" tall (95%!!). Yay! :)

Her thyroid level continues to remain absolutely perfect! Because the dr. has never had to adjust her dosage of medication (which is VERY rare!), he is almost certain she does not & will not need to take medication for the remainder of her life. However, she is still in brain development, so she will continue on the medication until she is 3. At that time, she will be removed from the medication to see if she can manage alone. If she can, hooray! If not, no big deal, she'll immediately be put back on the medication & from what I understand - that is the end of that. She's not 2 for another month, so we still have a year+ to go. No prob. ☺

(Photo - snapshot.)

Love my little mini me's! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Monday, November 30, 2009

Foundation 101.

You recall I did this post on my previous blog. When I decided to make my previous blog a "photo blog" only, I deleted the Foundation 101 post. People sent me emails, & I even had some friends on Facebook who read this post & loved it! One friend even asked me about this post last week - too funny! Who woulda thunk? I had no idea! So...I'm going to attempt to rewrite it. ☺


I love makeup, & I have always received compliments regarding my makeup. Though I am certainly no expert, I thought it would be fun to do a "Foundation" post & share some tips that I use. :)

I am not a believer in spending lots of money on makeup. It doesn't matter if you spend $45 or $10 on your foundation - if you don't know how to apply it, or don't apply it properly, it's going to look like crap. It's just as simple as that. Currently, I use Almay & I love it. I have tried & used just about every expensive brand out there (honestly, I got tired of having to make a trip to the mall every time I ran out of a product), & I have tried & used many drugstore brands, as well. Personally, I am not a fan of Revlon or Loreal. They just don't work well for me. And in case you aren't aware, Loreal is the generic of Lancome. Currently I use one product from the more expensive brands:

Clinque. I have used Clinique's "Take the Day Off" eye makeup remover for many years & I will continue to do so. Reason? It is super easy to use & rinses/wipes off effortlessly. It does not leave an oily residue behind, which most definitely determines if your eyeliner smears or stays put. I learned that the hard way. Years ago, I noticed my eyeliner always seemed to smear. Drove me crazy. Finally, I realized that it was because I was using baby oil to remove my eye makeup! The oilier the eye makeup remover, the more oil will reside under (& above) your eyes, making eyeliners smear or slip. Once I curbed that issue, switching to Clinique's remover, problem solved. ☺

I always apply a moisturizer after showering, and/or before applying foundation. Using a moisturizer will make application so much smoother. Make sure you put your moisturizer on evenly - applying everywhere your foundation will go (crevices around nose, etc.). You don't want it too thick because it just becomes more oily. The same rule applies here as well - I do not spend an absurd amount of money on moisturizer. For years I have used Olay & again, will continue to do so. It comes in Oil-Free (I tend to have oilier skin, so I always opt for Oil-Free everything), Fragrance Free & it has an SPF in it. Love the way it smells. ☺

And the must-have for me any & every single time I apply foundation? Makeup sponges.

Never, ever, ever do I use my fingers. Blah! I can't stand caked on foundation all over my fingers. On top of that, our fingers are oily, so if you use your fingers, you applying more oil with your foundation. More oil, more shine.

Now. There's on bit of pertinent information regarding makeup sponges. They come in Latex, or Latex-Free. Do not use the Latex-free. Well, I mean you can, but you absolutely will not get beautifully smooth coverage. (Funny - one time I was explaining this to a lady while waiting at the MAC counter - MAC then offered me a job...heehee!) Latex-Free sponges do not absorb the foundation (if you notice, the sponge actually has a shiney surface), making application like an ice skating rink. It will apply, but it will slide around until it finally settles & dries. Latex makeup sponges have tiny nooks & crannies, & some foundation will actually absorb into the sponge, making application smooth & even. Latex sponges are more difficult to find - currently I purchase mine at Beauty Brands, & I grab several packages at a time. You can use whatever design is easiest for you - I use the round ones. Also, if you haven't worn foundation in a while & your sponge has gotten a little dry, tap your sponge on a damp towel before applying your foundation. This will bring it back to life & make application simple. I use my sponge probably way longer than I should, but the more times I use it, the better it gets. It's just my best buddy. ☺

So there you have it. :) Once your foundation is on, you can wrap 'er up. This is the order I apply my makeup:

1.) Moisturizer

2.) Concealer (oh yes I do!)

3.) Foundation

4.) Powder (Currently I use Coty & apply with a big brush - never use a powder puff)

5.) Top lid eye liner

6.) Top lid mascara

7.) Lip liner (allowing top mascara to dry)

8.) Lipstick

9.) Bottom Eye liner

10.) Bottom mascara

Oh wow! I have 10 steps. Who knew. ☺

(No, I do not use blush. I think some women can pull it off, others can't. I happen to be one who can't. And as my mother once exclaimed to me "Well, don't you look like a whore!" LOL - so I just don't go there anymore. No blush for me. :)

I do use a sponge to smudge my eye liner (I only use a pencil!) after applying - I use the triangles & I just purchase these at WM. Cover Girl brand works fine.

Never in my life have I used a lash curler. I remember years ago, I used my mother's & ack!!, it hurt! I have never touched one since. PTL, I was blessed with long lashes that curl naturally. God was lookin' out for me on that one. ☺ After I apply my mascara, if any clumps, I use a needle to separate my lashes. I have done this for as long as I can remember. No, I have never stuck myself in the eye! I have come close, though. When I was younger, I always gave my mother fits when I would climb up in the bathroom sink & separate my lashes w/a needle. And this particular needle? I have had for about...10 years, or longer. ☺

One more thing before I go. I recommend purchasing new makeup from a CVS, Eckerds, Walgreens, or the like. Reason being? If you don't like it, or it is the wrong color/shade, they allow you to return it and/or exchange it. Initially it will cost you a little more, but you won't have to throw it away, wasting money. Once you establish the brand, color, etc. that you like, then you can begin purchasing it wherever.

So, that's it! Happy Foundation'ing! ☺

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Halloween '09 - part II.

Ok. I'm going to be honest here. I was very hesitant about posting these photos. As you know, I was so excited (somewhat ;o) to finally embrace Halloween, & this year I chose not to attempt to bribe my little people from participating. So on board I hopped, & went out & purchased the costumes of their choice. In advance, at that! I was proud of myself. ☺ Halloween came & went & life trucked on.

As you know, I love to read blogs. Love photos. Love life stories. As I browsed blog after blog, I noticed something. Halloween costumes. The Halloween costumes I was seeing put our Halloween costumes to shame. Mothers who obviously took the time, & either made their children's costumes, or purchased costumes & enhanced them. Originality. Creativity. Uniqueness. Awesomeness. I became sad & felt bad for my children. My children received their costumes from Wal-Mart & Party City. Am I the only one who purchases over-the-counter costumes? I dunno. Even though my little people were totally happy w/ their costumes, maybe next I can do better. Maybe next year I can turn my Little Rascals idea, or something else, into reality. So far they haven't been interested. So we'll see. Anyway...

For some reason, every time I look @ Bentley in that mask, I crack up. He looks like one of the Wise Men. So funny. And no, Mercedes' pants & top don't match. Yah. Next year, I should make sure all items shown on the cover are included in the package (I've been guilty of doing that at Christmas time, too). Hers didn't come with bloomers & I thought it did. ;o)

Nonetheless, they had a blast & truly, that's all that matters. I adore my little people. ♥

About 30 minutes after we headed out, Mercedes took a tumble. I was walking behind her I can tell you - when she tripped, it was one of those "thunks" & I just knew. I knew she was hurt. She smacked her head/face right on the concrete. Immediately I picked her up & she began kicking me with all her might. Typically when she is hurt, really hurt, she gets angry & begins kicking. I ran her to the closest neighbor who had a porch light on to look. I still couldn't really see much, but she spotted a pumpkin, yelled "punkin!!" & all was ok. So we continued on.
When we got home, I was finally able to see what resulted. The round, quarter size pink on her cheek is not part of the accident. Everything else, is. I gave her Motrin & she was ok. Poor baby. :(

The photo below is the following day. Pardon the food on her face - she was obviously eating something, but I wanted to get a snapshot before it got too late. Btw, all photos in this post are snapshots.

Now I will take my depressed soul away from these photos & sign off. Heehee. ☺

The difference between a woman & a man.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Good-bye to a friend.

I hope he knows how many friends he had. The support being offered to his family is amazing. He was a good guy. Everyone loved his smile & happy disposition. He has now been rescued. But will be missed by many.

I'm glad I had the opportunity to get to know him. I'm glad we dated, I'm glad we went to prom together. And I pray for comfort & peace for his wife & children, as well as his parents & siblings.

Make life worth living. Touch & help other people. Reach out to those hurting. One never knows another's story - but we have the opportunity to make it better. And it's never too late to start.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Let it be.

I stumbled across this post earlier, while discovering & adoring a new photography blog. But this post. This is what I've been trying to convey all along. The excessive photoshopping, the altering of people instead of photographing what God so graciously blessed them with, a photograph that clients will look back on years down the road & ask "what did we really look like?" I could have written this post, but I didn't. But she, so eloquently did.

Let it be, let it be

My favorite thing about photo shoots is making them not feel like a photo shoot. I am just not a photo shoot kind of photographer. Who thinks it's fun to prop people up and arrange their arms and legs like giant action figures? Do people really enjoy wearing stuffy clothes? Being buttoned up and starched with a plastic, plastered smile?

Nah. I so much prefer photographing kids in their favorite ratty dresses and superman capes, while their parents sip coffee in T-shirts and bare feet and the dog meanders through the living room and in front of the lens. And the baby crawls around diaperless like a naked time bomb. When clients ask me how their child should be dressed for a session, my usual response is:

"The morning of the session, when your daugter wakes up with crazy hair and wearing an old princess nightgown - don't touch her. That's perfect."

I suppose the reasoning behind this preference of mine is that genuine memories can't be built on artifice. Years from now, you'll want to remember what your family life really looked and felt like - not what the photo session looked and felt like.

Let it be, let it be.

Let this post inspire you & your photography, as well.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Halloween '09 - part I.

Cleaning out the pumpkin. I think the photos speak for themselves. ☺

And I'll leave it at that. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


One day while driving around, I discovered two abandoned railroad cars sitting on the train track, located right in the heart of our tiny 'main street'. I knew I wanted to use this location for both Bentley & Audi's shoots. Audi's was taken on a burgundy enclosed car (photo on the left sidebar), Bentley's was taken on an open car. The car had completely open sides & two tall ends. So awesome! At the time, I had no idea the amazing scenery we were about to embark on.

When I did Bentley's shoot 9.26.09, it was just him & I. I pulled right up to the cars, left my car running (a/c - it was hot outside!) & hollered at him "let's do it!" We walked up to the car. Hmm. That sucker was mighty tall. I, however, am not, & Bentley is a foot under me. The car had a ladder on it, but it was in a challenging position. The bottom wrung was kind of high to even get on, & once you climbed the ladder, you then had to "swing" yourself over to get on top of the car. Bentley went first, & I stood below to catch him, should need be. It wasn't. Piece of cake for him. My attempt too was successful (I'm sure quite comical as well, had anyone been on the ground watching) - I climbed the ladder, then "swung" on to the car. Once up, I kind of began freaking out - it was high up there, & I was almost hyperventilating about getting down. What goes up must come down! Though I had no idea how either of us was going to accomplish the journey back down to land (painfree, anyway) & not only that, my car was running with my cell phone inside. I couldn't phone hubby to come & retrieve us. And there was absolutely no one around this location. Anyway...

While gathering my wits, I turned around. Oh.good.glory! Look what I saw behind us!! Incredible! The rodeo! I had absolutely no clue the rodeo would be visible from the top of that car. It was beautiful! It was about 5:30 p.m. or so on a Saturday, wonderful lighting from the sun, & the backdrop couldn't have been more perfect (although, Bentley in a cowboy shirt & hat would have been pretty cool). Even though excited, I was now dripping with sweat - a. the heat was scorching up there & b. I was in a panic about getting off the car. I quickly snapped a few (none "made the cut" - honestly, I was so nervous & the sun was so bright, I couldn't even focus on the camera settings) & we attempted our dismount.

I don't remember who went down first, but we made it. I think this shot is breathtaking (I'm quite positive it's a Texas thing ;o), so I know for sure I'll be returning. On a Saturday night, too. At approximately 5:30 p.m. That said, next time I will take my own ladder, & my cell phone will go up with me, since you know, it is portable. ☺

Views such as this just confirm my love for photography. And though I am not able to shoot as much as I'd like, I do ♥ photography.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Gifted & Talented.

Tonight I spoke w/ Audi regarding the evaluation the district will be performing w/ him to see if he is, indeed, gifted & talented.

Me: Audi, the school district would like to do some testing w/ you to see if you qualify for one of their programs. Would you be ok with that?

Audi: What is it called? What does it mean?

Me: It's called Gifted & Talented, or GT, & it means nothing, really. If just means that they think there might be a possibility that you are a little ahead of some others, & they'll give you some different work to do. I'm sure some other classmates will be tested, as well.

Audi: Oh, ok! There's a kid in my class that already gets some testing. He can't make his letter sounds.

Ok - so I lost him after that. LOL

Bentley: I learned something today. I think I made my arms grow longer.

Me: And that is exactly why you aren't being tested, Bentley.


Loveeeeeee when I make a funny! ☺ And I LOVE my little people! ♥

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The "piss poor" turkey.

Last Friday when I picked the boys up from school, Audi informed me he had a little project to complete over the weekend.

Audi: I brought home a feather to decorate this weekend - it's for the piss poor turkey on the wall in the hallway!

I was driving at the time; I kind of veered off the road a little when he said that! Then, of course, me being me, I giggled. ☺

Me: Audi, what did you just say about the turkey?

Audi: The turkey is in piss poor shape because he has no feathers. I'm going to decorate a feather for him.

Me: Piss poor? Did you say piss poor?

Audi: Yep.

Me: Audi, where did you hear those words?

Audi: Mrs. T.

Well alrighty then. I can't imagine Mrs. T actually using that phrase, but ok! In all honesty, maybe not appropriate, but it was kinda cute. ☺ I told hubby about it that night & giggled again. That was the end of that.

Fast forward to Monday.

During a phone conversation I was having w/ Mrs. T regarding the harrassment Audi is receiving at school, she informed me she needed to bring something to my attention. Evidently, while the classes were walking in the hallway that a.m., another teacher walked by & commented how beautiful the turkey was with all his new, pretty feathers. My Audi, who is very dramatic, loud & obnoxious (he's a lot like me :), yelled out "well, you should have seen him before, he was in piss poor shape!!"

Mrs. T was a little stunned, said she looked at the other teacher, & they all kept walking. Later on she pulled Mr. Audi aside & informed him that those types of words are not allowed at school. She explained that sometimes grown ups say some things they shouldn't, but those words aren't allowed or to be repeated in school. She then asked him where he heard that phrase & he quickly replied: "My mom".

Now. I admit. Sometimes I say things I shouldn't say. I ain't a perfect person - I'm a human person. ;o) That said, you can bet your booty I don't use the phrase "piss poor".

As far as Audi is concerned? Busted. ☺

*Btw, the district is evaluating Audi to see if he qualifies for the "Gifted & Talented" program. Told ya he is a lot like me. Heehee. :o)