Monday, December 12, 2011

{ santa dear } ~ austin area photographer

Christmas time is here and all around I face reminders that there is shopping to be done. regrettably, shopping for gifts is almost always something I have to do last minute because I can't restrain myself from giving something right away. I love gift giving, from what I can recall of years past I also love receiving gifts (especially cash). I am also a firm believer in giving gifts that people truly want and ask for rather than trying to surprise them with something I "thought they would love!" That being my motto, I always ask my girls for their Christmas wish list. I find them greatly entertaining so I thought I would share them with you friends as I share our photo shoot for the holiday season, I love these beauties so much and had a ball taking all the pictures you are about to see.


A little game we call "Everyone Kiss Avery!"








Avery's list:




Nice journals (that's my girl!)


Masyn's list:

A laptop (still wishing from last year)

A cell phone

New athletic style tennis shoes (because all she has now are Converse)


Evelyn's list:

Everything same as Masyn with these additions...

A wooden doll house, with all the pieces and accessories (I'm not making this up, those were her exact words)

An American Girl doll


Now my list:

A vacuum cleaner

Max and Chloe gold necklace

More Prada "Candy" perfume

Lulu Lemon gift card(s)


Incense and candles

I'm pretty content but a girl can always have a wish list :)

Happy Holidays to each of you and I'll be posting an update soon so you can follow along the exciting journey I have jumped into!!

{ charm of sisters }


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

{ therapeutic life } ~ austin area photographer

It has been a week, a blissful, challenging, strengthening, fantastic, week of having some time off during the day. I have practiced yoga each day and tried various studios and teachers. I have been able to make time to meet with friends for yoga, a run, or just a drink. I went to Avery's school play and got to see my parents and grandmother. Life is beautiful. The change has been soothing to my soul and I feel renewed each day with some new element of life to enjoy that I previously have not had time for.

Today I met my friend who I feel is my yoga guru and we had a 7 am yoga session in this awesome little flamenco dance studio and then enjoyed coffee and a great hour plus of conversation and gentle fall breeze. We talked about the things that happen in our lives to make us who we are and bring us to the places where we now find ourselves. I was impacted deeply in my thoughts and all day have been going back to various times in my life and memories that stand out as having shaped who I am and what I feel is important to pass along to my own girls. Honestly I recognize that I would not be the person I am today if I had not gone through all that I have in my 29 years on this earth. Though the last few have brought many tears, obstacles, growth, and adjustment, there isn't anything that has been wasted, I can find something to appreciate from every experience.

When I left my guru and headed home, I changed my mind and went out to begin a task I have been considering for some time now, putting up a bookshelf above my little bench in my den. I know this sound frivolous and not that exciting, but I could have gone home to nap (since I had only nabbed 3 hours of snooze time last night). I feel like it's these break-from-the=norm moments that make a good day great. Determined, I gathered the tools and shelves and began to work. By 1 PM I had accomplished my mission and have unloaded much clutter from my cabinets, dresser, bedside table, and any flat surface where I could lay one of my cherished books. It felt so good to move forward with something so domestic so I continued on with some more cleaning and then hours of reading and studying before going to get my babies from school. Yes, this is certainly the way my life should be going, the direction feels natural and every day ahead bright.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

{ paradigm interrupted } ~ austin area photographer

The thought landed in my mind much earlier this month, the solid and unavoidable truth of the answer crashing in right behind.

"If I were to lose my job today, what have I been building?"

I think a few of you actually have tried to make plans with me or arrange times to speak on the phone and the answer has always been the same "Oh I can't, I'm working." I am a hard worker, I don't really know how to give things less than my all when I am committed. Never before had I realized though that the all I have been giving is earning me only a meager paycheck, nothing of lasting value. Yes, money is required to take care of my girls and essential to living a comfortable life. However, my girls are growing up fast and my lifestyle is still a struggle financially at times, so why pour myself into this large company and have no time for the loves of my life?.... I could only reel in shock of what I was facing. There has to be more, where I spend my time has to mean more, it has to make some kind of lasting impact or I just can't rationalize being away from my girls and people I care about so often.

Planning went into motion and I began to meditate and consider what truly matters and what I would see as a valuable route for my time spent away as well as earning money to support my girls. My answer is much longer than any blog post I've ever composed, I want to do everything and anything that matters, I want to share my life and the things I have learned, and I want to become a student, a sponge, continuing to broaden my mind and experiences. I want to live.

As you all might be wondering what rash things I have done or gripping your chairs with anxiety over my seemingly silly free spirit, fear not, I have work and I am able to earn money to support my babies and pursue the field(s) I truly desire. Because of how much I was working, my doula studies have taken a back seat, that will no longer be the case, I am going to finish that and begin taking clients as soon as possible. Also in the spring I am going to train as a yoga instructor so that I might also incorporate yoga in my doula packages and perhaps private lessons and classes for non pre-natal clients. Already I have been practicing yoga daily and focusing myself on diet and wellness, I feel amazing and like the light in my life has been switched back to "On."

Look forward to more pictures and writing as I will actually have time now to invest in my writing and photography again!! Love you all and appreciate those of you who I have spilled this to previously who help me see my strength and opportunities.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

{ about a boy } ~ austin area photographer

On Thursday of last week, life as we have known it in my house of ladies changed. We welcomed a guest as a huge surprise to Avery for her birthday. A kid so awesome that I gladly would adopt him as my own. Tyler is Avery's best friend and also the son of my own best friend, he saved up money to buy a plane ticket to come see her and we all kept it hush-hush.

I got to fetch Tyler from the airport and from the very first time I saw him I knew he was going to fit right in with us, he was so laid back and had a great sense of humor, even though he was lugging a giant bag all through the parking garage as we searched for my lost parked car.

We began plotting right away how could have a memorable reveal. As we plotted we also enjoyed some speedy site seeing and a mini photo shoot.

{ welcome to our family tyler }

A stop for lunch at WholeFoods was on our agenda.... and we nabbed this shot for my favorite ever, Karen. This is for Karen because of the fire fighter horse in the background. :)

{ for karen }

Yummy orange chicken. Also observe how much he looks like Fred Savage. I kept having flashbacks to The Wonder Years and wanted him to run up and wave sideways to my camera...and I could hear "what would you do if I sang out of tune..." over and over when I looked at him.

{ lunch date }

My littles got to meet Tyler before their big sister, because we picked them up from school. Masyn couldn't believe it, she said "are you really Tyler?" I think Evy just tried to kiss him.

{ surprise for sisters }

Finally this big got to meet her very best friend...and she was super stoked!! It was a raucous moment and I didn't get a better picture but even though it's dark, you can see the excitement clear as day. Such a great moment in our house.

{ reveal }

Having Tyler here truly shook us up in a good way. I just loved spending time with all the kids together and having a boy in the mix made it so fun. We had adventures, loads of laughter, silliness, sleepiness, games, jokes, skypes, and more. Although tears have been shed over his leaving, it was the best weekend we have all had in a long time. Thank you Tyler, for making the sacrifice to save and spend to get here and thank you to your family for giving you over to us for almost a week...letting you go home was a tough moment for all us girls here. We want your whole family to come live in Austin.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

{ slightly humble pie } ~ austin area photographer

Surprisingly I received many comments via email or random friends I ran into saying that they really enjoyed the post a while back about my thoughts regarding the (my weird) world of dating. Even as recently as last night I had someone tell me that they agreed with much of what I had to say and appreciated my candor in sharing. It's that same honesty that prompts me to post tonight.

I actually went on a date and I didn't want to kill myself during or after. The date was impromptu which was good because I didn't have time to freak out and wish I could cancel, it was light and conversation was natural because the guy knew ahead of time what sort of words fall out of my mouth. Drinks moved to dinner and a few hours of conversation and a parting hug, so my little theory about dinner and drinks still firmly stands in my mind but now I have to concede that there are exceptions to every rule. ;)

Today I shared this experience with someone who I've whined to about love and dating, we began to investigate our own reaction to these random good dates and how we make absolutely sure that we ruin the potential from the get go.

I can't speak for him as to why he might find himself wrecking things before they blossom, but I can safely say that I make mistakes to save the nice people I meet from possible harm. I know fairly quickly if I want to continue to see someone and even when I think I would like to spend more time with someone, I make all the wrong moves because I want to filter out all the men who might get scared when they truly know me. It's ridiculous this behavior I have adopted, I just am a big mess and laugh at myself about it all the time, when I type it here it's making me embarrassed at how selfish this pattern of my life has become. Living in a bubble and having to be seen and heard a certain way for such a long time has scared me away from conformity, however I'm starting to think maybe I have walled myself off so much that I might be pushing away someone who could sweep me off my feet.

I told my friend through our text exchange today that men are lucky, they can sabotage something or mess up over and over and girls often just want to stick with someone because they fear being alone. They would rather settle for something so-so than to be single and wait for that someone who sends them over the moon. He concurred that lots of us girls are freaking out about the marriage time clock. I feel so fortunate that I have don't have these time constraints making me panic or desperate. Although I have been called a loner for having this mentality, I really do want a relationship eventually, I just want it to be fun, nurturing, passionate, exciting, playful, easygoing, silly, sexy, and more. I realize that this is a tall order, but I genuinely believe great things are worth waiting for.

So following the advice of a wise (actually professional) friend, I am willing to let myself feel attraction, to stop being so quick to write men off, and allow myself be a little spoiled. Just because I haven't been wooed entirely does not mean I am broken, it just means I am a challenge and like a worthy opponent.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

{ returning desideratum } ~ austin area photographer

After quite a long time without this silver beauty, I am happy to let you all know that my ears are perking to the familiar "click" of the keys I have caressed for over 5 years. This shimmering rectangle is essential in my life and I have felt lost throughout our estrangement caused by the failure of her video chip (or something along those media lines). My MacBook Pro is back from repairs with a whole new Memory Board.

I just want to sit here and type all through the night, however I must get to bed and recover from my insane lack of sleep. Tomorrow is a day full of errands and cleaning, but I hope to sneak in at least an hour to compose a decent blog for you few loyal and lovely readers. Thank you for not forgetting me while I endured this summer of transition, measuring of my determination, and most recently euphoric reunion. Until tomorrow my dears, muah!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

{ truly pine } ~ austin area blogger

Hello friends, I am back in connection with the world, meaning that I have access to the world wide web. I am not sure anyone is still around to read, but I am anxious to write and reconnect with you guys.

Now I am off to pamper my oldest beauty, she is the big 1-3 today, which is shocking and humbling and awesome.

I have been gathering stories and thoughts so don't forget to check back, I'm not actually dead after all.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

{ fire on the trail } ~ austin area fashion photographer

More pictures from my commercial work. This is Cassidy, a stunning young lady who is coming up huge in the modeling scene in Austin, TX. She was styled by my favorite stylist in the world, Alisha who works out of the salon Mirror|Mirror.

{ cassidy }

{ cassidy }

{ cassidy }

{ cassidy }

{ cassidy }

{ cassidy }


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

{ blue maven } ~ austin area fashion photographer

As promised I am going to share some of the commercial photography that has been keeping me away from posting more personal photos, well not just from posting but from even taking them. I'm terribly behind on shooting anything in my own life. I'd sort of like to clone myself so that I could shoot my own pictures with my girls, I'm supremely ridiculous, but I know exactly what I want to capture and I just can't make it happen with the timer on my camera.

So that whining out of the way, here are some pictures that I took for my hair stylist Alisha, who practices her amazing art at Mirror|Mirror in Austin, TX. Alisha is such a talented artist for hair, make-up, and photography and just about the most genuinely sweet person I have ever met, I love her. The model in the photos is another beautiful girl inside and out that I was lucky to work with named Blue. Blue has that timeless beauty that sets her apart from other pretty faces as stunning. Even her out takes were lovely. She was such a trooper, we shot these in 100+ degree weather and she smiled the whole time while I bossed her around and made her move in uncomfortable positions and places. I am so honored to have had part in this session. Enjoy the show...

{ timeless blue }

{ into the wild }

{ urban fairy tale }

{ blue }

{ blue }


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

{ ameliorating dates } ~ austin area photographer

I've been dying to use the word "ameliorate" in a title, it is my favorite word of all time because of the meaning and the obvious fact that it is my name. You're welcome for that splendid addition to your vocabulary if you were formerly unaware of this fun appellation.

I want to thank you all for the generous response to my previous post about dating. I had no idea I had so many readers who were single or dating, thanks guys I appreciate the love. So from urging via emails and one brave comment, I have decided that I will post a compilation of date ideas that I feel surpass the normal "dinner and drinks" idea that most men rely on when asking a woman out.

Let me interject my own post to say that this is all based on my brief and very biased experience in the dating world. You can send hate mail and leave mean comments if that makes you feel better, I can take it and understand that each person has their own views. The ones written here are mine because well, it is my blog, that being said I do keep an open mind and that is why I have had the experiences that I base all this from.

Let's get started with some ideas shall we...

1. Live music.
I am a big fan of this date idea. Most people enjoy music so that is a plus, but also it takes all the pressure of conversation away. You can see a glimpse of the taste of who you are inviting or the one inviting you. If you both have a good time and like the show you have automatic common ground. The energy of a live show is typically upbeat and a positive environment.

2. Sporting events.
Yes I do realize that some girls will argue that sports are boring, for me I think going to game is a marvelous idea. Baseball, basketball, hockey, golf (weather permitting), races, ect. All of these give you a chance to get excited and root for a team or player, even if you have a rivalry it's charged with energy and competition. There can be post game celebrations if all goes well, however I think it's a great way to get to know someone without having that terrible grilling process that makes me want to shave my own eyebrows. You can both watch and comment and not have to stare into each other's faces trying hard to think of something clever to say.

3. Games.
Personally this is a favorite of mine. Maybe I am keen to this idea because I grew up loving games and still feel like a big kid, whatever the case it's a very lighthearted time to be had and generates easygoing conversation and laughter. If you don't have somewhere to play or you don't own games there are lots of places that have games inside. In Austin there are even bars with shuffleboard or giant Jenga, it's amazing.

4. Something active.
Go rock climbing, play a round of mini golf or regular golf, go running, rent bikes and go for a ride, go hiking, take a yoga class, just get physical. Endorphins will promote happiness which is good, but you will also be learning what it's like to incorporate that into a friendship or relationship, if she/he isn't down with getting out and sweating a little, do you really want that person?

5. Go to the water.
Lake, beach, or river, just get out in the sunshine and relax. I realize this is a season sensitive idea, so if it's cold, refer to another option on the list.

6. Do something embarrassing.
Karaoke, bowling, a comedy show. You know those things that are kind of outside your comfort zone, I think those are brilliant. Honestly if you can shake off the nerves and have fun then you move up a notch in my book. I know you might wonder why I lump bowling in with this idea but if you have witnessed my bowling you would understand.

7. Movies/plays.
Yes it's an old fashioned and totally bland idea, yet to me a movie is still a very logical first date route to take. This frees you from having to venture into the awkward, you basically let actors and actresses do all the work. You can mix it up if you live by a cool theatre that does fun stuff like quote-alongs or maybe a drive-in or outdoor theatre in a park, those would be interesting and fun as well. Live theatre is always preferable to me because I am a huge fan of plays, you may be surprised to learn that I'm a geek tried and true and love musicals and amateur theatre.

8. Cook.
You can take a class or just have fun at your own place. It can be a date where you include others and come together for potluck. You can shop together for the ingredients and use the shopping list like a scavenger hunt and split it down the middle and race. There are so many ways to get creative with this idea. Genuine conversation can be sparked so it's not the typical dinner where you just wait at a table to be served and stare at each other. I would even hope for a food fight, but again I am certain I am not the norm.

9. Go support a local event.
There are always art shows, museums, cocktail parties, and many other events going on locally all over the place. Get connected with sources where you can learn about these and plan dates around those events. Economical and supports your community, win win.

10. Go wine tasting.
Be careful with this one, you don't want to get sloshed, but getting out and learning more about wine is so interesting and the atmosphere in the wineries is usually very romantic and alluring. I am a fan, although I have only ever been by myself I do think it would make an excellent date. Lots of local markets such as WholeFoods offer wine tasting if you don't happen to live near a winery.

It's getting late and I do have to wake up and try to look bright eyed at work tomorrow, so I will stop at 10. I hope that you are each inspired to be more imaginative when planning your dates whether they be with someone new or your significant other. Have fun and never take moments for granted. Do not get into the dinner and drinks rut, if you go out to eat try new places and make it an adventure.

Again I want to admit that these ideas might not be welcomed by all women or men you might meet, but my hope is that you see that being creative is a plus and though I'm not like most girls...I think that truly many of the girls I know would highly approve of this list. Let the tomatoes fly.

Click here to view my side project and I am sorry if you stumble onto someone who you relate to in my dating post.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

{ a sardonic list without illustration } ~ austin area blogger

I know you all dislike posts without photos, however I have been shooting mainly commercial as of late and will share another time. I have been really swamped with work and events this month, but I really miss blogging so here is a little post that has been swimming around my wild thought life all morning.

It is my personal opinion that dates are stupid. I actually hate them. It feels to me like a painful job interview where someone is sizing me up to see if I am good enough and I have this minor feeling of guilt because I know for sure I'm not attracted to them as much as I require and I will probably never want to see them again. Actually, I always regret even saying "yes" to go on a date, there have been maybe 2 exceptions. So I've compiled a top 10 list of why (in my opinion) dating is for the birds...

*Disclaimer: If I were in a committed relationship these would not apply to the typical "date night" this is all in reference to the awkward "first date."

1. It's never convenient. It takes a whole big chunk of time out of my regularly scheduled life and for someone I will most likely never want to see again, that's asking a lot.

2. Conversation is forced. In time relationships develop and you get to know someone better and that's cool, but on a date there is that awful rapid fire question scenario that is literally the easiest way to kill any attraction that might have been felt. Truly, if you want to get to know someone, let it unfold naturally and organically.

3. Calories. I don't want to go out to eat that much, come on and suggest a good date like an outdoor activity or live music. I can literally make a post of BETTER DATE IDEAS that would be twice the length of this one.

4. Guys try too hard. It's not impressive, at all.

5. Dates are never funny. I need more laughter and I could probably be stupid at home and laugh more in one hour than I have collectively on every date I have been on in the last year (which really isn't a staggering number of dates, but truly guys...get a sense of humor).

6. A waste of money. Guys, you know you have thought that at some point in time.

7. The awkward silence. I won't say more about that.

8. The attempt of PDA. Ew, truly I would have let you know if I wanted anything physical AT ALL. I don't like people in my space unless I invite them close and I'm very affectionate, so can you imagine the girls who aren't?! They are probably repulsed when you go in for a kiss or hug.

9. Rejection. Given or taken it just isn't fun and can be avoided by not pushing someone into alone time right off the bat, just ease into something and get to know who they are from a little distance, if you mutually can't keep the distance...then have fun and keep it light. There are way too many 5 minute relationship status changes on Facebook already.

10. Ultimately, I need to be swept off my feet and dates are just too pre-meditated for my romantic imagination.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

{ summer epilogue } ~ austin area child photographer

The hot days here in Texas where temperatures reach 106 degrees regularly are my favorite. My body responds to the warmth and somehow I am reminded that I am alive and I feel it in my skin. I want to pause the seasons here for a while.

The girls went school supply shopping this week, it's basically right around the corner. My days of having these fun little ladies around all day are numbered and I am not yet ready to send them back to school for more than half the day. It's so bittersweet, because they too love summer but are anxious for their new school year, each moving into a big new place in their education.

Avery will be in the 7th grade. She loved 6th and embraced theatre arts and drama. This year she will be able to participate in even more because she will be joining as a veteran thespian.

{ never too old }

Masyn is headed into the 2nd grade. She is reading and practicing her math skills, I have no doubt she will do well this year, I can see her changing all the time and becoming more gentle and aware of those around her, I think she will make a lot of new friends. Her attention to detail surpasses any I have witnessed and I believe that will aid in her school work.

{ the air on fire }

Evelyn is 5 years old and will have her first year of official schooling this fall, she begins Kindergarden. I am fairly sure that all she is concerned about is her social standing in the class and I don't foresee any problems there except perhaps with her teachers if she gets too distracted from the work. She is a little chatty bug and always having fun, the more structured class that she will be going into might be a very good challenge for her. Hopefully she will learn the perfect balance of school work, talk, play, and rest.

{ Evy-ness }

While we still have these hot sunshine days I want to play in the pool, lay around watching movies, and squeeze in as many full days with my bebes as possible. I love summer.

{ 2 months left in 12 }

{ my bleached bebe }

{ she'll get you with her James Dean glossy eyes }


Monday, July 4, 2011

{ heart full of ramble } ~ austin area photographer

Truly just have so much on my mind right now and finding it hard to know what to share, if I should share, and really what's worth letting rest on my mind. June was a strange month with many smiles, tears, and emotions. I want to celebrate the good.

These two little ladies really helped me get through a whole 5 weeks without their big sister. We all missed her and were ready for her to return from camp, but we also are learning to see June as our month for adventures. As previously posted we do a lot of childish things that make my heart so happy.

{ they put me on the top of the world }

June also brought with it a spirit of romance. I love these carvings on the tree branch where we hike because it reminds me that we are all part of a giant love story. Though my story is at a pause it has sparked an interest for me to observe and begin a writing project about relationships. I guess you could say that I've really connected to the old saying "those who can't do, teach."

{ love leaves it's mark }

I love that Masyn will hang from branches and isn't scared of much. Her trust in nature and confidence in her own strength is exciting. This picture makes me smile.

{ hanging on a branch in the tree of love }

While yard sale shopping a while back I finally found something I have been hunting down for many years. I found an old fashioned card game, specifically Old Maid. My Me-Maw had a set of Old Maid cards when I was little and it was my sister and my favorite game to play with her. She would laugh so hard and make us laugh as well. The characters were retro and cool and I have never found anything that came close to being as cool. When I stumbled onto this set I was SO excited. We have been playing it a ton and my girls love it as much as I remember loving it at my grandma's house. We play almost daily.

{ like being a child again }

{ don't get caught with the Old Maid }

{ vintage cards }

Now to wrap up, just a couple pretty pictures of these girls I am so lucky to have in my life. When I capture them in photos I often just sit and muse over how stunning and full of personality they are. Do other parents all feel the same thing about their kids? They amaze me each day, even when they are out of control wild. They are the reason my heart knows how to love so much.

{ a doodly-doo }

{ always pondering }

Just as a closing note, I want to say how much I miss my friends who are moving away or who I have moved away from. Cherish all the little pieces of time you have to hug your friends and hang out because when they are gone and you have only a phone or keyboard to connect, there is a spot where they should be and it hurts a little. To a special four ladies who may or may not read this, I miss you so much.