May 30, 2011


Dallas World Aquarium

Feeling full of emotions this week. Anxious. Excited. Frustration. Exhaustion. And I can't really pinpoint why.
Remembering to come up for a breath, is what's keeping me together right now.

May 27, 2011

Long Meadow Arabians

Sophia and I got another special treat when we headed to North Texas last week. We were able to visit my friend Tina's parents' horse farm in Argyle, and it was a "wonderful field trip", in Sophia's words. Sophia has a fascination with horses. This spring, she began informal riding lesson with a local homeschooling mom, and her horses are these sweet old, small rescues. So to see these large champion Arabian horses up close, I was blown away by their size, shape, and beauty. Heck, their hair was was better groomed than mine, and their hooves definitely more polished. We enjoyed our time there, and I thank everyone there who made my 5 year-old little girl, immensely happy.



Stanley White III, is a third generation Arabian trainer. Here he's working with Logan, Tina's daughter.


Sophia got to ride DLC Total Eclipse (aka Junior). Junior is half Arabian and half Quarter Horse. Logan won a National Championship with him in 2006 and again in 2008. Here's Sophia's making her silly, everybody is looking at me face, but I was surprised she was brave enough to sit and ride on a horse so tall. Of course, horse trainer Stanley and Logan were right by her side.




Logan introduces Sophia to Annie, a pure bred Arabian.



They have 40 horses. I didn't even get to see them all!

We drove around to the other side of the property to visit with the mamas and their foals.
One colt and 3 fillies. Another is expecting any day now.


Foal is shedding its foal coat.


A mama sniffs out Sophia.



Owner of Long Meadow Arabians, Linda, (on right) still shows horses herself (as well as her husband). Their office is adorned with their trophies and ribbons.




May 22, 2011

Walk-Off Exhilaration

Here's my big boy coming into home. I found myself crying as I snapped these shots. Proud and overwhelming moment, and it was worth every storm I encountered to be there to see it.

Jay Gonzales sent a ball over Prosper’s version of the Green Monster, a 25-foot high wall in left field for a three-run blast to give Argyle the walk-off victory and prolong its season at least one more game with the 12-10 win.

Gonzales said he actually envisioned Friday night hitting a walk-off home run on Saturday off of the Leopards’ intimidating closer. "I swung at a bad pitch [before the home run] and luckily it went foul,” Gonzales said. “I was waiting for that fastball low, and I took it out. It’s my first walk-off ever, and it feels great."



May 17, 2011

Keeping Up

At times, I feel a bit overwhelmed by our garden this season. With the exception of the Roma tomato plant I bought already as a seedling, the tomato plants tower over any others we've had in years past, and even with the grooming, they clearly need extra support or staking. They all have tomatoes on them, but none are ripened since I got seedlings in a couple weeks later than I wanted. I'm especially excited to see how the Red Zebras (below) turn out tastewise. The fig tree (above) is loaded with figs, which surprises me with the drought we've had in Central Texas this spring. I'm also irked that spider mites attacked our artichoke plant, and now it looks like they've made their way over to our pole beans. Always something new each season, and trying to figure out how to treat and prevent.

After adopting Stella, she ran through our garden in its infancy, so many of our smaller veggies didn't make it (a row of carrots and some lettuce) but we did have several feral tomatoes pop up throughout our garden.



Some before and after photos, taken  a month apart, in April and then May.

May 15, 2011

Living Life in Chapters

"Live your life in chapters. You don’t have to do everything you want to do in life during this chapter of child rearing." - Susan Wise Bauer


These were some words of wisdom I read recently, which really hit a chord for me. I sometimes find myself torn between all the many things I want to do in this lifetime. I began my child rearing years so very young, and I remember telling myself, by the time both my boys graduate high school, I'll only be 37 and 38. Then I can travel, go back and get my PhD if I want, possibly live abroad for a year. I'll have so much time!

Fast forward to 2011. On the eve of turning 37, and with Domi graduating in less than 3 weeks, that time is now. Having given birth to my amazing Sophia 5 years ago, I extended my childrearing chapter, and I relish and am grateful for my opportunity of being home with her during these years. I absolutely LOVE being a homemaker, which I never would have guessed I'd be good at. I want to sew, quilt, knit, and learn how to can tomatoes, and I'm even taking on the job of homeschooling with a co-op next year.

Anybody who knows me, knows, I love teaching. Teaching makes me tick. That's what I went to school for. I'll be teaching part-time next year and I love that I don't have to step foot into a public school to do it. I've also discovered photography in recent years, and this is where I feel like I can tap deep into my creative self, and have found myself with a part-time photography business.

I'm still learning so much. It never ends. Whether it's in education, gardening, or photography workflow (do I use spot metering or partial metering for the dance recital I'm shooting in a few hours?)  I sometimes ask myself, do I need to stop one thing, in order to fully focus and master the other? Am I supposed to be master Educator, Homemaker, or Photographer? My friends and husband know me to be a perfectionist, sometimes obsessive to a point, so not being able to fully immerse myself into something I enjoy immensly, can be hard for me. It can feel like a curse sometimes.

I have to remind myself, my most important job right now, is that of Mother, especially since I'm taking on the responsibility of schooling rather than sending her to school during the week.  I can put on hold some of my goals. And it's ok to give myself permission to live my life in chapters. But I'll still be armed with my camera.

May 05, 2011

Bridal Session

Being a natural light photographer and doing an outdoor bridal shoot with heavy winds, makes for a challenging session, however, Katie was such a trooper, so patient, and looked incredible to boot! This image was one of my favorites. I cannot wait to photograph her wedding next month.


May 01, 2011

Furry Friends

I'm not sure what's gotten into me, but even after adopting our Stella 2 months ago, I must have still had a longing to rescue another pet. Sophia and I would visit the shelters once or twice a week since adopting Stella, just to look, play with the cats and see the dogs.

Last week, we were driving home after a visit to the Children's Museum and and I took a quick detour to Town Lake Animal Shelter. Little did I expect to find, not only one, but two 4 month old kitties that we made an instant connection with. They were kennel mates, had an obvious bond, and after not being able to decide which one to bring home, it felt right to bring them both home. One is a female Calico, the other, a male Siamese. They had only been at the shelter 5 days and there was no way I was leaving without them, and I was prepared to face the wrath of my husband when I got home. Call me crazy, but the moment I saw them in their cage, I knew they were going to be ours. I could easily feel that because after almost 3 months of visiting shelters, this was only the second time I felt that connection. I didn't even see make it down to see the other cats.

I've been nursing them since they both had developed URI and were recovering from their spay and neuter surgery. After days of sleep and rest in a quiet space, and a round of antibiotics, I'm seeing a frisky and incredibly playful side to them now. It almost feels like having 2 toddlers in the house with all their running back and forth. They chase each other and then finish off with a round of wrestling.

Stella is the most amazing dog. I wasn't certain if she would be cat-aggressive, but my hunch was that she wouldn't be. I was right. Everybody is adjusting nicely. She's gentle with the kitties, and even when they go up to her and hiss if one of her moves startles them, she just takes it. Domi said the Siamese (yes, we still have not decided on names) slapped Stella on the face, and Stella didn't react, nor move. She's learning to walk the other way or simply ignore them, but she REALLY wants to play with them, but we've got to keep her calm with her heartworm treatment. I'm giving Stella lots of positive reinforcement for her behavior.

With this new shift in our household, the only thing I'm still getting used to is the massive amounts of dog hair that has begun to cover our floors the last couple weeks with Stella's shedding. I'm forced to vaccuum every day now, sometimes even twice a day because it drives me batty to look at a fur covered floor. Even once the dog hair is cleaned, I've had to let go of having shiny floors, but it's been easier than I expected it to be. ;)

I'm trying very hard not the earn the title of the 'crazy cat lady' and the woman who is obsessed with her dog, but how can I resist not photographing them? Especially since they don't seem to mind it as much as my children do.




Stella, hanging out watching the kitties lounging on the chair.