Friday, August 9, 2013

10 on 10 {August}

Wow, I am a TERRIBLE blogger! Which is why I am so glad to be a part of this network of talented photographers who keep me accountable for the "10 on 10".  Each month, the members link up to each other and blog 10 favorite photographs from that day, month or even from a recent photo-shoot. 

For this month, I am showcasing my photo-weary family.  Some moms nag at their kids to pick up their toys, or empty the trash. I nag at mine to stand still!  Face the light! Tilt your chin a bit to get rid of that shadow! Turn this way! Smile! Not like that! Smile naturally! (pick your battles....moms....pick your

Here are a few of my favorites from the month of August:

There is no one I love photographing more than my Riley. We spent the afternoon at the park with her last week.  She is autistic and profoundly mentally delayed. But she has a spirit, and energy about her that is infectious. When she smiles or laughs, it is with her entire body! It radiates from her. And I love to capture it. 

The same is true when she is upset about something. Ohhh!!! You betta watch out for the wrath of Miss Riley! Attitude! lol

There is no one she loves more on this earth than her daddy. 

The feeling is completely mutual. She can do no wrong in his eyes.

Watching them together makes me happy inside and lets me know there are still great men in this world and I am lucky enough to be married to one.

Riley's brother is 15. And is slightly less delightful than she is.

But on this day at the park, he cracked a smile while riding the slide with his baby sister. Love. It.

Our kids are loud, crazy and a little obnoxious. But when it comes to "Rockstar" as we call her, they have a sweetness and gentleness with her that makes my heart sing. I will not worry about her when Brendon and I are gone. She has 6 other people who love her with a fierce protectiveness that brings me peace and joy. 

We love you "Rockstar Riley-kins." You are the family secret-keeper. The one we all love best.
Please hop on over to the wonderfully talented Crystal Chabannesfor the next blog in our series. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

10 on 10 {July}

Summer so far:

I have officially broken out the calendar and started marking BIG, RED "X's" to countdown to the first day of school! 

(Oh, wait.... Am I the only one who does that? Hehe!!)

Just kidding. My kids are only driving me slightly crazy. When they are not telling me how bored they are, or asking to play Minecraft for the 20th time, I try to find fun stuff to do. Here are 10 of my favorite images that show our summer days so far. 

Family fun nights playing "Spoons". 

 Lots of time spent at the community pool

That little tongue just kills me. LOL!

Time spent at nasty ole' Galveston Beach.

 Children photo-bombing pictures on the 4th of July

Watching my baby girls grow up right before my eyes.

Being a mean mom, and making them do schoolwork over the summer.

I took a little time for myself and joined a local photography group for moms this summer. The women there are amazingly talented and a bit intimidating! 

We did a photo shoot and here are a couple that I took of our cute models. So fun!

I am linking up with some wonderfully talented ladies who are doing their own "10 on 10".  Please hop on over to the fabulous
Crystal does AMAZING work!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Autisim Awareness Day

Our Riley was diagnosed with Phelan-McDermid Syndrome when she was nearly 3. After months of doctor appointments and hospital visits, we finally had answers to why she never spoke, walked so late, and all the other struggles she dealt with. It was a hard truth. Phelan-McDermid is a deletion of the q portion of her 22nd chromosome. It is an extremely rare condition that only 300 people worldwide have been diagnosed with. Since it is so rare, there is very little research available.  It leaves her severely mentally impaired, unable to speak, and autistic. Since it is chromosomal, there is no "cure". Her diagnosis brought a level of despair I had never experienced before. I always joked that I was God's favorite child, because He had always blessed me so richly and given me every desire of my heart. Her condition rocked me and my faith to the very core. I cried for the ordinary dreams and the big dreams I had for her, the vision that "I" had for her life.  She would never play video games, beg for a cell phone, argue with me over makeup, go to the prom, learn to drive a car, go on dates, football games, play sports like our other children. She would never get married, or give us grandchildren. She would never live independently and require care for the rest of her life. Dreams lost.

After months of raging at God, crying everyday and feeling sorry for myself, I confronted my own sin. I had to readjust my own expectations and look at Riley as He sees her. She is His child. Her soul was crafted by Him, her very life brought forth for His glory. She is not perfect? Says who? She has an innocence and an unawareness of sin that I am envious of. She shrieks with happiness at the mundane. Her brothers chasing her, Daddy walking in the door,  eating her beloved gummy snacks, playing with balls, and riding in the car. The simple, the everyday joys that are overlooked by most. 

I had to find new joys, new dreams, new expectations. She will never be addicted to Minecraft (I'm looking at you Justin), no cell phone bills, no silly teenage fights or, drama (I'm looking at you twins!) no crashing my car (I'm looking at you Taylor) no stomping away in frustration over a lost ball game (looking at you Sam) LOL!!  She is the daughter we will never have to "give away" in marriage, she will forever be our babygirl. Most importantly, and without a doubt, her eternity is held and secured by our Savior. I don't have to go to Him in prayer daily over her salvation. She is His. 

It is still so very hard some days. When I see how independent and beautiful her big sisters are, I get a stab of pain. When I see other 11 year-old girls giggling over Justin Bieber, and clothes, I get that familiar ache. In those times, I know I am being "Me-centered" not "God-centered", I am having a short-term view of life and not an eternal vision. 

THIS life, in THIS body, on THIS earth is but a vapor.  She is impaired HERE. She will be whole and complete in heaven. She cannot speak HERE, she will sing praises and shout His name forever in heaven. Her body is broken HERE. She will have a new and perfect body in heaven. She has taught me to have an eternal vision. To trust in the Lord for my own salvation, that I may one day join her in sky, to hear her speak, to know her thoughts, to be found worthy of her love. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Pursuit of a Family Easter Picture

Yesterday was a beautiful celebration of our Savior. I was one happy mommy to have all my babies under one roof. 

Our church has a tradition for families to take pictures in front of a beautifully decorated cross after Easter services. Well, after a long day in Sunday school, and waiting in line to actually take pictures, Riley (our Silent Princess) was not feeling it! She had a seat on the ground. LOL! We ended up with this:

Not acceptable! So we head out and I yell at everyone to NOT CHANGE CLOTHES when we get home! We must try again. (um....I am slightly obsessive about my pictures!) I set up the tripod in our front yard and Riley decides she is not interested in a photoshoot and she runs away, so no Riley-Roo in this picture.

This time, Brendon bribes her with some Gummy snacks and he gets her to sit on his lap for a few seconds. Yay!! Our family Easter portrait is done! LOL....Only took yelling, running and a little bribery to get 'er done!

The grave is empty.....He is not here. He is Risen! Praise the Lord for His many blessings.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Official 2012 Christmas Photo

Why does EVERYONE say, "Wow, this year has flown by?" um....they say it because it is TRUE! lol At least I got our picture in under the wire this year. I actually really like it. Christian's "mean-mugging" face cracks me up. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

This little cutie was the "Joker" last night. 

After we got his makeup on, he went and looked at himself in the mirror and got scared! LOL

He is still my baby......

Thursday, October 25, 2012

First Date

When I was pregnant with our 4th baby, Brendon and I decided not to find out the sex. Since we already had 3 girls at that point, we decided we could only make girls and accepted our fate. LOL

Well, imagine our surprise when sweet, little Justin arrived. It was the first time Brendon cried in the delivery room. (In his defense, I was screaming rather loudly during labor with our first, and he passed out cold, literally, when the twins were born! LOL)

When Justin was two years old, he told me I would always be his "girlfriend". Well, that sweet, baby boy turned 14 before we knew it, and this past weekend he went on his first date to the Homecoming dance. 

This was my favorite picture and it just tugs at my heart. His date is a sweet, beautiful girl, but I hope he remembers that I was his first love.