I have been waiting for this week over at I ♥ Faces forever! The Boy is really working us over with attitude and independence and the pouting face is one I have grown VERY familiar with (and though I don't love it or the "NO!" that usually accompanies it, my camera has grown to love it!) I had my grimace all picked out a couple weeks back, but we're just returning from a family trip to the Texas Gulf Coast and while I was uploading my photos tonight this one caught my eye and had my husband and I in stitches! The Baby was eager to submerge in the surf like a shark, The Boy was having no part of the crashing waves and chose a high perch and a high and mighty pose to accompany his distaste for the ocean tides...

Keeping along the beach theme, we have no pets, but we LOVE animals! We took in the Texas State Aquarium for a couple of hours on Saturday, and I honestly could have spent my entire $13.95 admission price just standing in the jelly fish room. There were about 6 tanks featuring different varieties, each glowing in his own black-lit wonderland and I have already informed my husband that if we DO get a pet, it will be a tank full of these insanely beautiful creatures. So, NO people, this is not MY jellyfish, but I wish it were!

Check back for more of our holdiday pics in a few days, I have a billion I want to share! In the meantime, hop on over to I ♥ Faces and check out what is sure to be a very cute week of pouting participants!



I hate flash. Probably because I don't understand it completely, but mostly because I don't care for what it does to my images and I can't entertain the thought of carrying around a hand held unit while trying to do the very active work that I do. I love daylight savings time, and I love overcast stormy days. Both make for great natural light. My adult entry was taken around 7pm here in Central Texas, on the side of a building that was in full shade. My kids entry was taken at high noon, on a very cloudy day with no shade. My kids entry is my go-to image for when I need a cheer; it just cracks me up that the sole girl on the team is acting anything but ladylike, and the little boy to her right, what a trip! Now it's your turn, head over to I ♥ Faces and show the world the face that gives YOU cheer!

You might remember this couple from last weekend, the young man having just returned home from Iraq, greeted by his lovely fiance; does life get any more beautiful? Well, as many fine soldiers do, the very first thing he did was eat pizza. The next thing he did was call his bike shop to find out if the new Harley was ready. Can everyone please buy a Harley? If only to use as a prop for pictures?! This was too much fun! This adorable couple is probably still suffering perma-grin, whether from smiling at each other or giggling over my ridiculous requests during their couple's shoot: "Okay, now I'd like you, sir, to mount your bike, and you, miss, to mount your man" or "How about we head over here in front of the bathrooms, because bathrooms make great backdrops, no? And while we're here, can one of you climb into that sink? Do both of you fit into the sink?" By sunset there were too many favorites, and thus the very big sneak peek, ENJOY! (Can you all imagine how amazing this couple is going to look in dress blues and a wedding dress riding this motorcycle?!)

Military life has it's advantages. A year ago we moved "onto post", which means that we live on the Fort Hood installation in government housing. Now, sometimes a move like this requires sacrifices; we don't have granite counters or stainless steel appliances, we don't have any control over who services the utilities either. But the clear advantage is almost immediately presented in the form of a casserole or play date invitation (a knowing spouse who sees you have 50 million boxes to unpack and too many hands helping you!). This was certainly the case when we moved to our current home and I can't say enough about the super sweet women that I have the privilege of calling "neighbors". Everyone here realizes how quickly the turnover is going to be and friendships are easily formed.

The funny thing is, sometimes you only know one half of the household. Half the street is almost always deployed! I know all of the wives but haven't met many of the so called "husbands" (chuckle). So when it comes time to welcome someone home it's a big to-do for everyone on the street. It almost turns into a comical adult "is it time yet?" similar to when your kids whine "are we there yet?" The stars really had to collide for the following photos to happen. My family was leaving for a three week trip to New York the day before my neighbor was to return home from Iraq. Now, don't anyone go accusing me of injecting my husband and The Boy with "Hand Foot and Mouth Virus" just so we could turn around before Texarkana, spend 2 hours in the Emergency Room getting a diagnosis, and then driving the four hours back home, and canceling our big trip. But I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason and these are some pretty good reasons:

The Texas sunshine came out in a big way on Sunday afternoon. Once again I found myself out on Cameron field waiting for those big white buses. I must say that the lovely gal I had the honor of photographing on this particular day has a smile so warm and infectious that it rivals the feeling of warm spring-time sunshine on your face! I had the overwhelming task of finding one soldier in a sea of ACU's (camo!) and when 9 buses came around that familiar corner I truly doubted that I would find him at all. God Bless the man for following directions! He found me! Our preconceived plan of where to meet worked like a charm and I was able to get every image I had envisioned and then some! Thank you for sharing your intimate moments and WELCOME HOME! Enjoy your sneak peek and call me when the Harley is ready for some action!

Just a note to anyone who may be searching for 4ID pictures and galleries from January and February: The other night I was working hard to post a sneak peek for one of my clients and I accidently erased 25 blog entries! After a brief meltdown and pow-wow with my computer savy husband we figured out how to recover them, but the process was painstakingly slow. I have the hard copies of each blog but will have to repost them individually at a later date and I'm not sure how to post them in the proper order. If you happen to be looking for redeployment photos that I took for families from the 4ID here at Fort Hood, please email me the date of your ceremony and I will be glad to email you the gallery link.

Note to self, stop blogging before midnight, strange things happen after midnight!

It's contest time again and boy did this sneak up on me. I wish I had the time to dig up something more creative on the theme of GREEN this week, alas, I've been working more than mothering. 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, has been welcoming home troops all week long and I have attended two of the ceremonies on the prowl for some heart stopping redeployment photos. I just love the happiness factor in my adult entry this week, makes me walk around with perma-grin! My kiddo has some serious happy going on too. Couple different shades o'green in honor of Saint Patty's day; this April will be "the month of the military child" (and that he is!), and there is no prouder form of green that I can think of when it comes to my soldiers- GO ARMY! Be sure to visit I ♥ Faces to see all of the incredibly talented GREEN photos for the week!



I'm no stranger to that old saying "Absence makes the heart grow fonder..." I have a new saying that goes something like this: "Absence makes the heart grow fonder, sandstorms in Iraq make the heart swell to fill ones chest, airplane mechanical failure and delay after delay will make said heart constrict and tighten until you cannot bare it any longer and the only thing that keeps you getting up in the morning is your children!"

I know first hand how Heather and her family were feeling when they received call after call from their stranded soldier/husband/daddy saying that the plane was delayed. But wonderful things come to those who wait, and wait, and wait, and I was blessed to wait with Heather, her four children and extended family on the eve of that much anticipated arrival. Of course, it was raining cats and dogs here in Fort Hood for days so the traditional parade field arrival I am used to was SWAMPED! The ceremony was held indoors which made my job even trickier than before. A healthy wad of duct tape and a gallon Ziploc bag had my camera and I out in the dreary and freezing cold rain for the arrival and then it was a sprint inside to locate my family in waiting. We all stood hovering around the door Mike was supposed to come in and wouldn't you know, he surprised us all by coming in the door behind us!! I'm still grinning ear to ear for Heather and I hope these images will have you smiling too! Welcome Home Mike, God Bless You for your service and God Bless your family for your sacrifices and hardships during this long deployment. I can't wait to meet you all again for your family session! Enjoy your sneak peek!

I heard the car pull into the driveway and my heart leaped with excitement! I was meeting Noah for the first time, and I was laughing out loud because it was raining buckets for the fourth straight day, in Texas, where rain does not fall for so many days in a row, and here I am meeting a baby named "Noah". Noah's mother and I met in Korea, she was the angel who welcomed me home from the hospital when I gave birth to The Boy, (the angel that cleaned my apartment and delivered four course meals FOR WEEKS after the birth!) As it does in military life, the miles have numbered between us. That doesn't take away from my excitement when our dear friends welcomed their own little boy into the world this past November. I was thrilled when I heard that Mama and Baby would be coming to Texas to visit family; I was honored to have a chance to spend the morning with three generations of this family and their precious little man.
So, it's still raining, pouring and dark and we are huddled around the one window in my living room that gets decent light, and I ask how Noah got his name. The answer gave me goosebumps for never before have I heard such a poetic reply to this frequently asked question. Noah's parents knew they wanted a Biblical name and a name that he would have to grow into and live up to as an adult. In the Bible, Noah did not listen to other people; he followed his heart and he listened to and followed the word of the Lord. And so, he was named "Noah".
Noah, to me, you are the epitome of your parent's love for one another, you are all of the best of your Mommy and Daddy combined, you are perfection and your smile is going to get you OUT of a lot of trouble ;) You will certainly live up to your name, and I anticipate a few phone calls from your Mom when you are three years old and disobeying every single request she has for you. It will be a privilege to watch you grow and hear your stories, thank you for the beauty you brought to my day!

A BIG THANK YOU to our friends who gave The Boy a gift pair of gift cards to Sonic for a birthday treat! We stopped over at The Boy's new favorite "drive into" (that would be 'drive-thru' to the rest of us) and had ourselves a little supper before going to check out the local migration of pink flamingos that found their way onto a fellow photographer's lawn. The food was tasty, a surprise to me because I've actually never been to a Sonic, and the flamingos were hilarious, though I am sure that Julie is going to spend some quality time on her vacation plotting revenge.

Family Funny: tonight at dinner, we were eating spaghetti, and The Boy, who had been rather quiet as he shoveled, announces "My Baby's hands are little, and my hands are little. But Baby's hands are gonna grow big, like my hands grow big, and then he will say 'God is Great!'"

My favorite "Slurpee face":