Monday, December 29, 2008
I have more pictures of clients hanging in my home than I do of my own kids. I've never ordered a canvas wall hanging of any of them, or even made an album. Its just a little bit sad.
There are a few different things working against me here, the greatest is that my kids(mostly the boys)run when I point the camera toward them. You'd think I had a pistol in my hand.
Once I do manage to get them relatively still and doing something cute, I find I can't concentrate on the intricacies of photography. My thoughts go something like this: "The background is brighter than my subject so I need to set the camera to manual and the flash exposure to...(yelling now)'Trevor, stop hitting your sister!'...where was I? Oh yeah, something about the flash exposure, lets see...(looking up) "Where did Morgan go? Garrett, run over there and bring your sister back.'...oh, the heck with it, set the camera to auto and take the damn shot.
Every once in a while I manage to create a keeper, one worthy of wall space even, but once again I'm more likely to hit the wall than get the flippin picture hung there. I simply can't hang a picture of one of the kids if I don't have a corresponding image of all the others, so I end up doing nothing, again.
Most of the pictures of my kids are snapshots. Still, I love them and feel the need to show them off, and that is the beauty of the SLIDESHOW. There is something special about viewing the pictures along with a touching song, and I never tire of creating or watching my shows.
The following show is a recap of 2008, probably more interesting to me than anyone else as evidenced by the number of times I've already viewed it, but like I said, I'm compelled to share it:
And as always, comments are always appreciated!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
But that is changing. I enjoy cooking, and having everyone sit together at the table, and I REALLY enjoy getting compliments on my meals. I even like to do my menu planning for the week and I LOVE to grocery shop using coupons. It's satisfying because I get such a feeling of accomplishment, and well-being, and I really feel like a great mom when I have a well-rounded meal on the table each night. Maybe I'm channeling one of those 1950's TV moms, but I'm a dork like that.
So last night I made a new recipe. I was a bit hesitant because I got it from the Internet and didn't have a single recommendation, but it looked tasty and simple, and the ingredients were things I already had on hand.
So here we go:
1 lb. bow tie pasta
4 TBS. soy sauce
2 TBS honey
2 TBS. lime juice
3 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 small red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
4 TBS chopped fresh parsley
I didn't have red bell peppers, so I substituted green. I think red would have been better, and I'm thinking that next time I'll add some frozen green baby peas. The red and green together would make a very Christmassy presentation!
To begin, stir the soy sauce, honey, lime juice and mustard in a bowl until the honey is dissolved. Add the chicken pieces and turn until coated with the marinade.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Transfer the chicken and marinade to a large, non-stick skillet. Cook over medium heat until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour in the chicken broth.
Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain thoroughly in a colander. return the pasta to the pot, add contents of the skillet and the sliced peppers.
Heat to simmering over low heat. Toss the pasta once or twice, add table pepper to taste and divide among serving bowls. Sprinkle each serving with the chopped fresh parsley (which I forgot to add!).
Check out T, he loves it!
In fact ALL FOUR of my kids loved it. Yea me!
In case you are wondering where I got this FAB recipe and want to find more like it: go to HEB.com, click on the Mealtime tab at the top, and then on Meal Planner. I frequently use this to make my shopping list for the week.
And click here for the link straight to the recipe.
I'd love to hear from anyone else who makes it. Comments are always appreciated!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The last few weeks have been a non-stop workfest with Christmas sessions, cards to create, wedding albums to finalize, shopping, eating, cleaning and cooking, and all this going on with the kids home for the last 7 days. I have a couple sessions still to post, but for now I'll stick up a few from a session last week:
I did a fun and quick family session for a family that is yet to be; one of my dearest past clients is engaged, and she and her fiance wanted pictures of themselves and their kids.
We had planned an outdoor shoot at one of my favorite spots, the Rockwall Ranch leasing office, but the cold and damp weather forced us to do most of the session in Corrie's home, with a few images at a pretty spot in her neighborhood.
Here are the girls. Beautiful.
The sky was gray, drizzly and cold, so we headed back to the house for some quick shots in front of the Christmas tree.
Thanks for a great session guys! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas today!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
And in case you didn't know, Lindsay is a blogger too! Her blog is hilarious, check her out at:
I'm sure she'd love some comments!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Lindsay-"I was working at the USO on my usual Sunday send-off. Send-off is when all of the troops who have been home on their R&R all come back to D/FW airport and catch their big flight back to Iraq or Afghanistan. Our job is to hand out snacks and water, and basically just talk to the guys and gals and help to pass the time by while they wait. Some are there for as long as 24 hours if they were coming from Hawaii or Guam."
Richard-"I had served 9 months so far and the time home was well appreciated. I spent time with friends and family and was looking forward to finishing up my tour and coming back home for good. I arrived at the DFW airport and was directed by the Army folks in charge of the R and R program to set my duffel bag in the USO baggage room and to wait at the USO until my flight was going to leave."
"My friend and roommate Caroline and I were standing at the send-off gate when I looked up and saw a tall, blond hair, blue eyed airman walking towards me. I'll never forget that exact moment that I made eye contact and quickly looked away. I elbowed Caroline and said "Check out the cute airman!"
"As I was walking out of the baggage room I stopped. I stopped
because I saw a girl who caught my eye and thought that she was the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen. I saw she had on a name tag and that she was a volunteer. I brushed it off thinking that she must be married or in a relationship with some other military guy. Probably from nearby Ft. Hood or Sheppard AFB. There's no way a girl that good looking working at the USO could be single..."
"Well a few minutes go by and I couldn't stop thinking about how cute that Airman was, and our eye contact just seemed electric. So I told Caroline I was off to see about finding that "cute airman" again."
"I headed to the USO and checked my email made a phone call to a friend and linked up with my buddy Hector who I knew from our pre-deployment training. He was doing the same mission I was and just happened to take his R and R the same time I did. Since we were both stationed in San Antonio we were on all the same flights. We went to the terminal and took a seat in the corner. A country/folk style band that was flying out stopped and played a few songs for all of the guys going back. I looked over and saw the beautiful girl again..."
"Of course, I'm too shy and old school to just approach him. So I just leisurely sat down near him...at least 4 chairs away...because I'm a lady. A country band was waiting to board their plane on the gate next to ours and offered to play our soldiers (and airman!) a song to help pass the time."
"Looking down at her left hand I saw she wasn't married so I leaned over and
asked her if she knew the name of the band that was playing."
"I told him I had no clue, and the conversation sparked from there."
"We started talking about my deployment and how I was
one of the few Air Force guys that comes through on the R and R program."
"Where are you from? What do you do? How long have you been over there? Why do you volunteer here at the USO?"
"We talked for about an hour,"
"That hour passed by so quickly!"
"...and one of the other USO volunteers came
over and took our picture..."
"(and to tease me because she knew I thought he was cute)."
"I gave her my email address and asked her to send it to me hoping that I would get a chance to talk to her again. We hugged before I got on the plane and I thought about her the entire flight back to Iraq.
A few days later I got an email from her and we began to talk more about ourselves. I remember asking her how she could possibly be single and how she started volunteering at the USO. She had just gotten out of a long term relationship before moving to Dallas and had lost a friend in Iraq which prompted her to want to do something to serve her country and the men and women who fight for it."
"After a few emails he asked if I was single and if it would be okay for him to call me. So of course I said an enthusiastic YES! and from then on we became friends. I was casually dating someone else and thought if nothing else, he was cute and funny and would be a good friend."
"We continued to talk through email and phone calls..."
"At the time, I had no intentions of ever dating a military man again. But I quickly changed my tune for *R*.
Within a few weeks I was pretty enamored with him, but I thought I knew how things would go with guys who are deployed. They talk a big game while they are over there, about wanting to commit, wanting a 'good girl' then they come home and decide a bad girl is much more interesting and more convenient. Let's just say, working at the USO allowed me the opportunity to hear from A LOT of soldiers who had done that.
So I told him that when he got home we could go on a date, and take it from there. But all of my friends would tell you I was already completely taken with him, they called him my 'Iraq Boyfriend', and I would say "He is NOT my boyfriend!", but then I would give in and say, okay maybe a little bit.
I know it sounds so silly to say. I had only met him for an hour at the gate, but after 4 months of getting to know each other through hours on the phone and hundreds of emails, I felt like he was my boyfriend, although I completely refused to put that label on it. I didn't want for him to come home and for me to get my heart broken. Also, I always said it's very easy for him to say the right thing from thousands of miles away in a war zone. It's very different to actually be that man in person.
After 4 months of building a platonic friendship over the phone/Internet we were both nervous it wouldn't be the same in person. What if he wasn't who he said he was? What if he smells weird? What if he is disappointed in me? All of those questions plus a thousand more.
And then, he came home...."
"...and when I returned home I met her at the airport in the same terminal we had started our conversation nearly four months before."
"The day came when he finally was home, it was a long waited 4 months. I was on my way to the airport (to volunteer at the USO again) when he called. I figured he was about to tell me he was back in San Antonio and would see me later. But he didn't he said, "Guess where I am". I said, "Geee....anywhere besides Iraq is good with me!" and he said, "the Dallas airport". When I finally pulled into the airport I ran through security and stood in front of the gate he said he would be at. I stood there, in middle of the hallway, just staring at the gate. The airport was packed with people, December 29th makes for some busy holiday travel. Finally, I called him. "Where are you?""At the gate!"........ Dead air. That's what I heard. When all of sudden I saw someone running towards me from my right side. Before I even had a chance to turn my head I felt his arms wrap around me. My hands were shaking. But he just held me and hugged me and made me feel like we were the only two people in the world. We shared our first kiss in the middle of the airport hallway, with hundreds of strangers, only a few gates away from where we first met 4 months prior. After 15 extremely short minutes together, he had to board his plane to San Antonio. I watched him walk down that jetway to board a plane once again. I cried a tear or two, then giddily (is that even a word?) made my way to the USO. 5 hours later I was getting off a plane in San Antonio, and the rest, as they say, is history."
And so now blog readers, I'm sure you are dying to see these two, waiting on pins and needles to get a glimpse of the love they share:
Well, I'm afraid you'll have to wait a bit longer to see more. Check back soon for their slideshow. I don't think you'll be disappointed!
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Here, once again, is Marilyn's contest entry:
We love Gruene, Texas. Prior to having kids, Jonah and I spent many weekends there listenting to live music and staying at the Gruene Mansion Inn for a mini-getaway. It is still a place we love to take the boys on Friday afternoons to listen to the sound checks at Gruene Hall or have a frosty beverage at the Grist Mill while the boys play in the open field. The kids love to get a scoop of ice cream or a candy stick from the General Store. So, I thought it would be fun to have a "Tour of Gruene" session, with pictures doing our favorite things there: dipping our toes in the river, eating ice cream on the stools at the General Store, playing pool with the boys and listening/dancing to music at the Gruene Hall, spinning under the stars in the open field by the Grist Mill, etc. I think it would be fun to celebrate our Texas roots with pictures with the boys in Gruene.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get the ice-cream shots or the Gruene Hall dancing images, but I think we still got some amazing images.
Marilyn and Jonah, thanks so much for sharing your beautiful family with me. I hope you enjoy the slideshow!
Saturday, December 06, 2008
I always donate a photography package, which includes the session, prints and a slideshow DVD, and this year the winning bidder happened to be a photographer! Norman Klaunig owned a very successful studio on Dallas, before moving to San Antonio to persue a new career. I am thrilled and honored that he chose me to photograph him and his family.
The session took place in downtown Boerne, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The Klaunigs didn't want "Christmassy" pictures, and since Boerne was decked out with EVERYTHING Christmas, we had a bit of a challenge before us. Our solution was to head toward the river, and it was there that we got the images that we were after.
Here's a fun shot of the men of the family:
And a gorgeous image of the girls:
The entire family. The three kids are TRIPLETS. Can you imagine the fun, the fights, the love? It must be heaven on earth.
I saw this sign on the side of a building as I was drivin in, and knew we had to use it. I'm just wondering which of them is "good."
Isn't she sweet?
This guy is very mischevious and incredibly handsome:
And this one is already looking very mature and sophisticated for her age:
Two of them are running for class president at school, so we got some "presidential" shots. Here is one of them:
ER, this one is NOT so presidential, but he'd still get my vote!
Mom and Dad really enjoyed watching the antics of their kids:
It was difficult to get a picture of these three being serious all at the same time, but I'd rather see them having fun:
I didn't ask the Klaunigs to pose like this. They were standing in this position, admiring their gorgeous family, and I noticed the arrangement when I backed up to get a different view of the kids. Perfection:
As we headed back to the car, we spotted one more location at Ye Kendal Inn, which is an historic hotel located right on the town square:
The last image of the day:
Klaunig family, thanks a million for the opportunity to photograph all of you. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!
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