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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Are you ready for Christmas?

Here are some of my Christmas sessions!!! I love them all so much and I swear I get to meet and photograph some of the sweetest people!! If I ever have mean clients I will not know what to do! 

This isn't all of my sessions. I had a catastrophe at my house. We upgraded my operating system and my old photoshop WILL NOT work!! Ahhh so I had to buy the new one! Not really what I wanted to spend the $$ on right now but upgrading is inevitable. All that to say I have some other sessions to add when I get everything they way I like it again. 

Here are the Martins....

And, sweet Melissa. Is that a song?

And, the Vargas family :) You've seen this handsome little guy here before...

And, the Kerr family- new MDs in town- super awesome family who I'm hoping will come to Cottonwood one Sunday (hint hint)!

And, I have just ordered gift cards to be ready for Christmas gifts. You will get $1.25 on your card for every $1 you spend. So $20 gets you a $25 gift card, $40 gets you a $50 gift card, $60 gets you a $75 gift card and so on.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

DIY Fabric Floral Headband

I've been feeling crafty lately. I think its because we're trying to sell the house so that means no redecorating and I guess that I must have some creative outlet. Thanks to Pinterest I got an idea to try and make fabric flower headbands for my 3 girls. These will also make great photography props! I found a tutorial on Pinterest but ended up doing it my own way. Here are the pictures before I give the instructions.

To start with I went to Wal-mart to buy fabric (pretty much the only place to pick from in Stephenville). I first, asked if I could buy less than a yard and the lady said I could buy 2 inches! I went to grab all the reels of satin fabric I wanted...lots of different colors. I think I got 1/4 of a yard of each and about 6 different colors all for under $4.

To start you need to cut your fabric in 1 inch strips and the length depends on how big you want the rose to be. I started with a 1 inch strip the whole width of the fabric and then started using half. The Pinterest tutorial said to use fabric glue but that ended up making my fingers so sticky I couldn't work fast enough so I started using thread. I began by tying the end of the strip in a knot and then begin to twist and wrap the fabric around the knot. I definitely did not perfect this step! Something like twist, wrap glue, stitch and repeat until you get to the end. You then take the piece of fabric left on the end and either sew or glue it to the back to hold everything together. I think the glue option probably holds everything together better in the long run.

Next, for my headbands I did groupings of three colors and sewed 3 or 4 pearls (that Brianna had handy in her craft cabinet) in the center of the rose. I used fabric headbands found at Hobby Lobby. I needed a circle of felt on which to hot glue the flowers. I found an object that looked to be the right size, traced, and cut. To figure out how big of a felt circle you need group your flowers together. You need the circle to be as big as possible without being bigger than the grouping (so it doesn't show). Okay, you need your hot glue gun ready for this...take the circle of felt and glue it to the underside of the headband (where you want your flowers to be). Press and let dry. Then turn it over and you will hot glue your three flowers to the top of the headband onto felt and headband. These should be super sturdy after they dry. Something about hot glue and fabric.You can also use these for a corsage. Just leave out the headband and glue the flowers directly onto the felt. When it dries glue a corsage pin to the back and presto!

Friday, November 11, 2011

2011 Christmas Cards

For those of you who are awaiting your Christmas pictures or had pictures done this year and need Christmas cards, I just purchased new 2011 templates. I also have some older templates I can show you if you let me know. Here are the new ones!

And, here are the Cowans. LOVE the wardrobe!!

And next, a couple of almost new baby boys...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vintage Inspiration

This summer I was looking at these old dresses of mine in the back of the closet and I noticed that there were three in different sizes and it looked like they were just the right sizes for my three girls. My photographer/mommy brain immediately knows I will need a picture of the girls in these dressed and I'll need to somehow incorporate Samuel. I knew I would have to particularly get a shot of Mackenzie in the smallest dress because I have a huge 1970's photo of me in the dress. When we ask her who that is in the photo she says "that's Kenzie". I would probably style almost all my shoots vintage if it were up to me :)

Also, I had to try out a new prop I bought. I found a chair on Craigslist for $25 but the fabric was a floral print that wouldn't have photographed so well. I saw a pin on Pinterest about how to paint a fabric chair rather than reupholster. Oh yeah, that's what I'm talking about! You start by spraying the fabric down with a water bottle and painting with a flat paint and then painting. (It would have been much faster to just water down some of the paint to start with). That layer is like a primer, then you do a second coat. As far as the texture and quality it came out perfect, HOWEVER, the color I hoped would be cranberry turned out hot pink!! I was bummed because I knew if I painted over it I  would loose the I had to do it again. It worked out fine for a prop but maybe next time I'll be more fortunate in the outcome of my color selection.

Here are my favorite people in the WHOLE world.....

Monday, August 29, 2011

Potty Training 101

I can't believe summer is over and its already time for the kids to start school!! The kids have all learned to do so many new things Samuel has grown like a weed and learned to help his Dad cut tile (supposed to be a really safe saw according to Chance), Brianna had a birthday, Alexis ditched her booster seat, and Mackenzie was finally potty trained this summer!!! That marks the end of almost 9 years of having a kid in diapers; at times we had 2 in diapers.

Looking back on the first time potty training I can remember not having a clue where to start so for all you first timers or mom's who just want tips I'm going to share what worked for us. First of all you'll want to decide what kind of potty you want to use. Those little ones that sit on the floor are great because the toddler can be more independent but the pottys can get pretty gross! The ones that fit over your toilet are less work when it comes to clean up but you'll have to be ready to help them up and down every time depending on your child's agility. Second, you'll want to have some rewards on hand when your child reaches the goal. You can give your child a sticker, an M&M, make up a potty dance, you name it. Just make it fun, fun, and positive. Praise, praise, praise, your child when he or she does go on the potty. Whatever you decide make sure its something you can keep giving he or she several times a day. That's why I use 1 M&M and we do a silly potty song that we made up. 

You can start with putting them on the potty when they wake up, before bath, and before bed. It may take several attempts at putting them on the potty before anything happens but don't be discouraged! They are still learning things you might not realize like pulling their pants up and down, how to climb onto the potty (depending on age), how to flush. Try this routing of putting your child on the potty 2-3 times a day for a week or so. If your child does not go at all during this time or it just seems to be a crazy time for the family drop it...wait a few weeks..and try again. If your little guy or gal does 
go on the potty its time for the next step.

Once your child has proved several times he or she can go on the potty (it doesn't have to be consistent) find a week when you or a caretaker can be home with the child most of the time. (We did this with Mackenzie during a slow summer week.) Now, its time for training pants. You know, those underwear that are thicker than normal ones. The point of this is so that when your child has an accident he or she will sense a consequence. He or she will hear "uh oh", feel wet, and maybe make a puddle (hopefully not). You it to get your child's attention when he or she has an accident but you don't want a mess or to ruin your home so you might even stuff a cloth diaper into the training pants to absorb a bit more. 

Once your kiddo is sporting the training pants start putting your child on the potty every 15-30 minutes.  I always turn on the water because that helps. You may notice your child won't sit long enough to let anything happen. This is the time for a book or even a toy to entertain your tot while sitting a little longer. When you have success do the praise routine mentioned before. If he or she doesn't have success praise them for how well he or she climbed on the potty, flushed, or some other part of the new routine.

You will probably notice your child becomes more and more consistent. You may also have some set backs but don't give up! It will happen. You may want to put your child in a pull-up at night until the pull-up is consistently dry in the mornings. Some children can take quite a while to develop the ability to stay dry at night so don't rush that part.

If you have anything helpful to add feel free to comment!! Here's my Mackenzie on her potty...

And, my little man learning to cut tile.

Also, I have posted this lots of places and you may be tired of seeing it but we have our house for sale. We have a contract on some land not far out of town and will rent for a while with plans to build if God allows the house to sell. If you know anyone interested we would really appreciate you sharing :) Here's the house blog...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Can it get any hotter??

Wow, what a crazy hot summer we are having. Here are some shots from two super sweet families who have braved the heat. It seriously amazes me that there are so many kind people that I get to meet along the path photographing children and families. It is such a blessing!

And, last but not least, my first baby girl turned 7 at the end of July, ending the even streak of our kids being 2,4,6, and 8. I will never cease to be amazed at her girliness. She was girly from the moment she was born, especially in contrast to her big brother. She's all for any kind of crafting or creating. Right now she's into beading. You may see me posting a few of her things on facebook. If she makes $6 she feels like she won the lotto. One of my favorite things about Brianna is the way she loves me. I have no idea why but for some reason she has always been so crazy in love with me. As a baby she didn't want to leave my side or go to anyone else and she still follows me around the house all day asking me questions (a sign of intelligence I'm sure). My second favorite thing about her is that she LOVES to give. This girl gives people stuff like nobody's business and I can see the verse about sewing and reaping lived out in her. She seems to get some pretty awesome stuff given to her in return. Well, here she is all decked out in her zebra dress that she picked out, of course.

Oh, and I am so disappointed in myself. I have the tradition of making wild, crazy, over the top cakes for my kids; party or no party. Now, I have to keep doing this because whoever has the birthday always remembers who got the cool cake before them and already has it planned. Brianna requested a hot pink, zebra striped cake (surprise) with a Bible and cross on top. And, guess who forgot to take a picture! Yep, it was awesome and you'll just have to take my word for it :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cory and Anna

Two really special people were married Saturday...Corey and Anna. We've known Cory since he was a little guy. He later became one of our youth at church which is where he met Anna and they both, now, live in New Orleans. 

Now this is kind of a dangerous post for me because I'm really trying not to do weddings but Anna just happened to have caught me at the right time, when I decided I might do a couple a year. 

One of the things I was super excited about having Corey and Anna do was write letters to each other about their feelings for each other on their wedding day.  They both whipped those letters out way faster than I could have so I was impressed! 

On their 1 year anniversary they will open the letters and be reminded of their "first love".

And, check out Pastor Hottie down there!!! Chance was so honored that they asked him to do their wedding. And, don't miss little Owen (the ring boy) who is covering his eyes so that he doesn't have to see the kiss. When we did the posed shot later he did the same thing!

And, I love Corey's goofy brother Casey...the 3rd groomsmen from the left. Casey was one of our youth as well. I don't know how this can be...that someone with a big wooley beard like that could have been in our youth group! (I mean because we can't be that old).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lots of Little Cuties!!

First, we have little Kress. I LOVE the color in these!!

And then we have Will and Cole, big brothers to .....

thier new baby sister Katie Sue Schrimsher! 

(If you're a prospective client and want to view baby announcements you can go to the proofing tab on my site and enter the password "baby").

The next shots are from a session with some of our new friends. This family just moved here, within the past year or so, from the metroplex and they have become good friends. We all have lots in common and are looking forward to many more fun times together!!

Next, I want to put in a plug for my friend, Rachel Crawford with Southern Magnolia Boutique. She's crocheting and sewing baby items, child and adult hats and headbands, and maybe even more. You can find out more about what she has to offer on her facebook page at

In this photo my Mackenzie is modeling one of her headbands from Southern Magnolia Boutique.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Big Girl Bed

In March my baby girl turned two. Thankfully she eats up being babied, at least some of the time, and that makes an easier transition for mom. For the past two years our only son, Samuel, has shared a room with two of his younger sisters (I know, poor guy). Now that Mackenzie is two Chance was motivated to get Samuel out of the girls room and into his own. So, the first week of summer we spent painting rooms and furniture and all that goes along with that. I always dreaded the times when our kids went from a crib to a bed and not one of the four transitions were the same.

Have you ever watched "Super Nanny"? I love that show...hardly ever watch it any more but that woman is amazing. She's like the kid whisperer or something. Anyway, about 10:30 pm after about the third time of Mackenzie coming out I was really wishing that Super Nanny was in my house to keep me from putting Mackenzie back in her crib and giving up. I say this because what she has done (the times I watched her) is have a parent stay in the room, silently, and keep putting the kid in bed every time he or she gets out. Sometimes those parents are up all night but after after a few nights there's no problem. I decided staying in the room would be a bad idea since Mackenzie wants me to hold her more if she sees me. Also, she shouldn't have been scared since her sisters were in the room. So I waited in the living room and put her back in bed when she came out ( I also added our typical punishment for disobedience) and by 10:30 she was finally asleep. The next night she was asleep by 8 and there haven't been too many late nights since.

I really don't remember too much of what the other girls did except for the vivid memory of Brianna walking down the hall, dragging her blanket, going back to her crib saying "I seep my OWN bed"! But, with Samuel, the Super Nanny's tactics never would have worked. He would not give up at that age no matter the punishment. He was just that stubborn and he learned to climb out of his crib at an early age. I ended up putting those door knob things on his door so that he couldn't come out. I found out later about the crib tents, which I think are a brilliant idea!! That would have been a better solution.

Speaking of Samuel, he is off to pre-teen camp this week. He's not even 9 so its funny to think of him with that title. I was a little sad but it must have been the Lord's grace keeping me from worrying. Chance signed him up and he left so quick I didn't have enough time to think of what could go wrong. And, he's in really good hands with lots of people I know and trust. I think of the story in the Bible about Samuel as a little boy learning to hear God and I'm praying for him this week that he will learn to hear the Lord speak to him. I welcome your prayers as well!

And, can't have a post without a photo so here's a shot of Samuel and Mackenzie...

Samuel's favorite position is catcher. The other night he caught the ball and got someone out and he was so excited. He didn't even know that could happen!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

He's finally here!!!

Our friends, Danny and Mendy, have finally gotten to welcome their new baby Grant into their home!!! I know it has been a long hard road of waiting to adopt this little guy and I know they treasure him. He is so precious along with his big sister, Jana! I love, love, love this shot and may have to put it on the first page of my site :)