Morning Smoothie

Every morning I make myself a "power smoothie" and every morning I try to get my kids to drink it and they say no way. oh well. i'll keep trying. Here's what goes in my smoothie: kale spinach any dark greens flax oil flax seed kefir probiotic almond milk tad bit of pure honey apple orange (this helps with the taste) antioxidant berries (i get the big bag from costco - $9) avocado (sometimes. this makes it very thick and pudding like).

This is a GREAT way to get in tons of vitamins and nutrients and it IS yummy! seriously.

Random Shots

I've been designing a new business card so went back on external hard drives to find pics I wanted to use. Here are a few I came across that I love.

My feel good list

A while back I made a list of what makes me feel good.  Things that bring me comfort, make me smile, bring contentment, peace.  I try to make sure I'm doing some of these things to nurture my life.  

Here's my list:

yummy smelling candles
hot tea on the porch
the library
napping in a hammock
volunteer work

walking my neighborhood while reading a good book
strength training
being with my husband
organizing anything & everything
getting into my pj's (fleece!)
picnics at the park
road trips by myself
showering after a hard workout
my legs freshly shaved
getting pampered
small towns

Now, go make your own feel good list.  And make sure and nurture your life by doing those things you love. 

Cutie Patooootie!

This sweet punkie LOVES music. If she got cranky we would turn on some music and she would light up and start dancing. She favors Coldplay, so we got along just wonderfully.

Karate at the best place in Austin - Life Ki-do

Ryder had his first karate tournament and he got the silver metal! WOO HOOOOO!


I took the littles to the circus today in Cedar Park. I was really impressed! Definitely worth it.

Hunt did NOT like the clowns. 

She was hanging by her hair!  Ouch!

Sometimes Ryder needs a little help putting on a smile. 

my notebook/pen fetish

i love notebooks and pens.  they make me happy.  so, i got a cute notebook w/ a smooooooth pen and decided to keep track of what i accomplish each day.  here's an example from the other day:
yep, you read it right - i put on there - shower & shave.  one of my "happies" is shaved legs.  i love the feeling of smooth legs.  and, being that I have a mad schedule w/ lots of kids - I don't get the luxury of washing my hair every single day (not that i would even if i could), so I do see that as an accomplishment when it happens.  PLUS I just wanted to make my list as long as possible and fill up the page.  ;-)  
I have this notebook on my bedside table and fill it in before bed.  Makes me feel like my day was productive.  
Here's a quote I love:
"For one minute, close your eyes and imagine you're 80.  You 're wearing diapers, your kids are 60, you have to eat baby food, can't really walk and you wish that God would give you just one more chance at being 30 again.  Wish granted, don't just sit around and do nothing, create a life you can look back on and be proud of.  Not regret.  What you give you get to keep, what you fail to give you lose forever." John Wooden. 

The harm caused by guilt & selfishness.

"Don't fall into the habit of thinking too much about yourself.  When you put yourself in the center of all your thoughts, to the exclusion 
of everyone else, you are close to 
committing personality suicide."

"Guilt can actually plant the seeds of sickness in the soul, a sickness that proceeds to damage the mind and, in time, the body.  If a personal has fallen into a pattern of conduct that causes guilt feelings, such a behavior pattern should be discarded, and discarded quickly, if the individual wishes to remain in good health."

Saturday was a day of love

I had the honor of photographing Kailynn Powell and Andrew Cannata's wedding on Saturday .  The ceremony was at St. Lukes on the lake and the reception was at Vintage Villas.  We were a little bit worried about the weather b/c the chance of rain was high, but it ended up being a beautiful day.  The ceremony was so sweet and beautiful.  The reception was so crazy and fun!  I can't wait to show you pictures!  Stay tuned...

Introducing Baby Bowen

I took Eric and Courtney's engagement pics, wedding pics, maternity pics and now newborn pics!!!!!!! I LOVE this couple for so many reasons. Main reason is that they are SO MUCH FUN to photograph! And now baby Bowen has joined the beautiful couple. Look at how precious he is?! He is a perfect, super duper cute baby.

This turned out to be my favorite picture. Eric is a fireman, so Courtney had an idea to put Bowen with his gear, but right when we put him down he started fussing. Eric came down and tried to pacify him.  I quickly grabbed this shot of Bowen looking at Eric and Eric's hands reaching down....Just beautiful.

Marriage, something that spoke to me & my new logo!

Luke and I have been married for 18 years this July.  Believe me when I say - MARRIAGE TAKES WORK.  like consistent, DAILY work.  but, it's soooo worth it.  Luke and I have gone to marriage counseling (maybe twice) throughout our 18 years.  worth every penny. We also have a couple that we meet with regularly to get advice with. pray with, whatever with.  They're our parent's age, have numerous kids and have been married a gazillion years.  Get yourself a mentor couple.  They don't have to be older, or have numerous kids, but just someone to help talk things out with, work through things with.  We just started reading Staying Close by Dennis & Barbara Rainey. with the other couple.  We just started, so I'll give you a book review when we're done. 
Something that spoke to me:
As some of you know, a while back I shared on FB a (desperate) plea to pray for our family, specifically our oldest child.  We have been through the ringer and, if you have kids, and you know the power of prayer - you can hopefully understand when your child is in serious trouble, you will ask ANYONE and EVERYONE to pray.  Anyways, I had so many people open up to me about the struggles they are dealing with and was so honored to be able to pray for them.  Someone who is in a similar situation said to me that she tells herself all the time "I can't, He can, Let Him".  
I can't.  He can.  Let Him.
I can't tell you how many times I have said that to myself since then.  I even wrote it on my hand.   There is so much that God give us that we try to deal with on our own.  Why?!  Why do we think we are alone?  He give us struggles sometimes to grow us, to bring us closer to Him.  Which is where we should be.  Our struggles with our son have brought us to our knees countless times.  We have cried out to God countless times.  He is always with us.  He always hears us.  I am not alone. You are not alone. 
My Logo:
The super bad ass superstar, Tyler Northcutt ( my new logo. My signature.  I am in love with it.  Let me tell you - it's not as easy as it looks.  Tyler had me write my signature 4 billion times, then took a letter here and there and combined the signature.  I did a lot of nahs and yahs.  so, this is not like i put pen to paper, signed and he scanned it on a computer.  if only it were that easy - Tyler might like me a little more.  And throughout it he used all sorts of graphic designing lingo that was like chinese to me. 

Yummy recipe and Project: Me Update

Found a new recipe from pinterest (not exceptionally healthy) and made it last night. ALL 4 of my kids, my husband AND my dad all loved it.  Here ya go:

Chile Colorado Burritos
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds stew meat or other beef cubed (top sirloin is great)
  • 1 large can mild (red) enchilada sauce* (at least 19 oz.)
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 can refried beans (optional)
  • 5-7 burrito size flour tortillas
  • 1 cup or so of shredded cheddar cheese
Put beef, bouillon, and enchilada sauce*** into a crock pot and cook on low for 7-8 hours**, or until meat is very tender. (Can also cook on high for maybe 3-4 hours.)  I've also cooked it in a dutch oven for about 4 hours at 325 degrees.  More meat, more time.  A third option is to cook it in a large heavy saucepan--bring it to a boil on high heat, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the meat is tender.  If you go with a method other than the crock pot, make sure the pot is covered and pretty well sealed to minimize evaporation of the liquid.
When beef is done (very tender and flakes off when stirred), taste and add more salt, if desired. Heat up refried beans in the microwave (covered and in a microwave-proof dish, of course)and put your oven on broil. On an oven-proof plate, or cookie sheet even, lay out a tortilla.  Place on tortilla about 1/2 cup of the meat, drained by using a slotted spoon, and a spoonful or two of beans. Roll into a burrito (hopefully you know how to roll these). Pour some of the remaining enchilada sauce from the crock pot over the burrito to cover it. Sprinkle with some cheddar cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly, about 2-4 minutes.
Makes 5-7 burritos, depending on how full you make them.

Project: Me update - I printed this off and put on my mirror:

get up 15 minutes earlier.  prepare for the morning the night before.  don't rely on your memory - write things down. say no more often (not to my kids).  set priorities in life.  avoid negative people.  always make copies of important papers.  ask for help with jobs you dislike.  break large tasks into bite sized potions.  look at problems as challenges.  smile more.  schedule a play time into every day. pamper.   stop thinking tomorrow will be a better today.  have goals for yourself.  say hello to a stranger.  look up at the stars.  practice breathing slowly.  do brand new things.  stop a bad habit.  take stock of your achievements.  do it today.  strive for excellence, not perfections.  work your body sore. look at a work of art.  plant a tree.  stand up and stretch.  be the most positive person you know. always have a plan b. you choose.  learn to meet your own needs.  become a better listener.  know your limitations and let others know them too.  exercise every single day. hug. focus on what you can control. listen to music. work hard. clean out your closets.  simplify. remember you always have options.  quit trying to fix other people.  get enough sleep.  praise other people.  relax, take each day at a time... you have the rest of your life to live.  

Project: Me

Today I started a very big, super important project:  me.  I automatically feel guilty and big time selfish saying that.  I know when you focus on yourself you can become miserable, but the big picture is that I want to be a better servant of Jesus, wife and mother in that order.  I want to open myself up to God and what God wants for me. I feel like I've lost myself over the past few years.  I've become very "cold" towards relationships and others and this has made me a very yucky person on the inside.  I've been on this treadmill of life that has worn my ass out and gotten me nowhere.  Just days passing.  I think I've just mainly felt overwhelmed w/ life. 
I want to be the best I can be.  The one God created me to be.  I want to feel my best and treat my body like the gift that it is. I want to nourish it the way it was designed to be nourished.  I want peace in my soul. In my head.  I want to put positive energy and time into things that truly matter to my life and my family's life. 
So, now onto the steps I need to take in order to accomplish this:
My Soul:
My day will start out w/ the Word.  Honestly this isn't the first thing I want to do in my day.  or the last.  I am not one who loves to read my Bible.  Blunt I know.  Forgive me Lord.  Hopefully in time I will desire and love the book, but as for now I am forcing myself.  God knows I love Him and I have other ways that I worship Him and allow Him to speak into my life.  I've started the One Year Bible with a friend.  Accountability is key.  I've never read through the Bible in a year.  I'm sure I've read all of the Bible, just never consistently and daily. 
I love church.  Haven't always, but I sure do love the church's we've found.  We go back and forth from ANC to Real Life.  Love both of them and their vision for the body of believers. 
We are in a Restore Group (home group) that allows us to connect with other believers in a more intimate way. It's like a support group. One that we have grown to allow into our ugliest struggles.  We haven't been very good about consistently going b/c of work, kids, etc.  But my goal is to make more of an effort to be there every time. 
I'm going to meditate more.  Spend a few minutes a day trying to quiet my mind.   It's amazing how much energy I gain when I do this. 
My Body: 
When it comes to my body, I don't care as much about how much I weigh - I care about how good and clean I feel.  
I want to have self control in this area.  I need to have self control.  I'm not sure if I'll 86 sugar or meat or dairy or gluten... I need to do something pretty easy because of my schedule.   I'm researching it now.   
Exercising is a major benefit to me personally.  I feel good when I exercise and feel like a achy slob when I don't.   This will be daily.  It might just be a walk around the block, but it will be something. 
I want to look into holistic/eastern medicine for my health care.  
My Work:
I am going to invest more time in growing in my photography.  There is some new editing software I want to learn, some different techniques I want to master.  
I want to photograph more weddings.  
I want to eventually hire an assistant.  

There are other smaller goals I want to accomplish in the year 2013.  That list is being compiled and will be shared as soon as I'm done.  
Wondering -  what are you doing to open yourself up to what He wants for your life?  What will you do to become a better YOU?

Jud & Megan - Austin Wedding Photographer

Jud and Megan had such a lovely wedding. It was filled with laughter and loved ones. Oh, and the weather was ideal! For a December day, it was perfect! The venue was beautiful and the details were AMAZING. I think this wedding had been planned for years and years. ;-) It was just perfect and so much fun. I'm honored to have had the opportunity to be their photographer!

Mom and Dad walking her down the aisle

 Love the high 5 to dad

 My fave