Tag Archives: photography

Lovin’ on Lizards: A Friday Find

Dallas Moms Blog‘s DFW Moms Night Out was last night, and it was a HUGE success!

Almost 200 women braved the cold temperatures to be with us as we partied on the Green of Watters Creek.

Moms Night Out has taken up the last 2 months of my life, and I’m actually relieved it’s over.

Before we begin to plan #4, it’s time to step back, take a break and get back to life a little.

So, today, I’ll be cleaning my house and catching up on all the things I’ve been missing!

Like moments like these. . .


Lizard4

Lizard1

Lizard3
Lizard2

Lizard5

That’s right…he kissed the lizard.

Have a Wonderful Weekend! 

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Baby Z’s Photo Debut

Today marks 4 weeks since Baby Z’s birth, and this past weekend we were able to get a hold of his newborn photos! 

I love newborn shots because they really do capture a moment in time. These photos were taken when he was exactly 10 days old, and although that was just a few weeks ago, he already looks like a different kid! (It’s amazing what a difference a pound or two makes.) 

Two years ago, we used Plano-based photographer Rachel Cooke when the Little Man was born. (You can see his newborn session here.) 

I was a little nervous about these photos because I felt like I had a lot working against me. I had intended on getting new outfits for us prior to baby being born, and that never happened. Instead I ended up digging through my non-maternity clothes, and was lucky enough to pull 3 matching outfits together. 

Then, the only room with enough lighting to shoot in our house is the nursery; which is perfect. . . for shooting in there the first time. I was a little worried both our son’s newborn photos were going to look identical. 

And of course, the morning of, everyone was having meltdowns. . . 

But Rachel is a true professional!

My outfit choices ended up looking great with the backgrounds she chose in our home for the family shots. 

Although there are similarities in both boys photos, she did an awesome job of using completely different poses, props, and backgrounds for Baby Z’s close-ups.

And as for the meltdowns, she has the perfect touch! The Little Man turned into a model in front of the camera, and Baby Z slept the whole two hours during the session!

  

   

I’m pretty happy with how they all turned out. 
What do you think?

Our Christmas Card for 2012

I LOVE Christmas Cards! 

They’re not only fun to give, but they’re fun to receive! 
Our 2012 Christmas Card by Shutterfly.

I don’t know about you, but every day you’ll see me making a mad dash to check our mailbox for any cards that may have been delivered. 

It’s so much fun to see the new family additions, vacation photos, and (now rarely) read about a family’s year in review all coming straight to my front door. 

Way, Way better than Facebook! 

I’m a little sad looking at our Christmas card display this year. It seems that the cards are getting fewer and fewer; for reasons I can’t possibly imagine. So, when The SITS Girls decided to do a Christmas Card link up, I jumped on board. 

If I can’t magically make cards appear in my mailbox, I can at least snoop on other people’s Christmas cards and meet some friendly new faces, and maybe even get some great ideas for next year’s card! 

So, I’ve now shown you mine. . .
won’t you leave me your link so I can see yours? 

And, find out what else we’ve been up to this Holiday Season that wouldn’t fit on this year’s Christmas card:
A Leisurely Morning at Northpark
A Meaningful Christmas Ornament Exchange
Ice at the Gaylord Texan

My #FallForChevy Weekend

This past weekend, I awoke bright and early Friday morning to discover this shiny new car parked right outside of my house. Strangely enough, the keys were in the ignition with a note that said, “Enjoy!” 
Okay, so that’s not exactly the way it happened, but it felt pretty close!

For the whole weekend, @ChevyTexan gave me the privilege of driving a brand new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ Turbo. It was such a welcomed escape from the Mom Car that I drive, and almost felt a little like I’d spent the weekend joyriding! 

There weren’t Goldfish or broken toys scattered all over the floors. The seats were stain-free. And I’ll even add, it smelled much better too!

If you’re like me, you may be having the same thoughts that I did when I was told I was getting a Malibu. Really? A Chevy Malibu? 

To be honest, the last time I’d even paid attention to the Malibu, I think I was in high school and they looked a little something like this . . .
via
But the moment I sat in “my” new car, I tossed all of my previous expectations out the window! 

The interior was fitted with light cocoa leather seats to compliment the Atlantis Blue Metallic exterior. The center console was large with a digital display for your media, navigation, and phone devices. Chevy went all out with a beautiful wood grain finish with alloy trim throughout the entire car.

There were 8 way power driver’s seat with adjustable lumbar support, seat coolers, front and rear reading lights, turn signals in the mirrors, in-car entertainment (including XM radio), On Star, USB connection, and so, so much more! 

So easy to work a 20 month old can do it! 
For the first time in almost 7 years, I finally had the new car to drive around in, and it made my husband a little jealous! 

Compared to his 2012 Kia Optima SX, he felt it had a much sporter feel. The steering wheel was much more sensitive (especially on turns) and there was definitely some power behind the wheel. 

Clearly it had been way too long since I’d been behind a Chevy sedan, and I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to drive it around! It was the most fun I’d had driving in awhile. . .

. . . Which is why it makes me sad that all I had to do in it was “Mommy” errands!

* * * * * 

Part of my car responsibilities for the weekend (besides having as much fun as possible) was to document my weekend in the car. I’m sure most people would have taken amazing pictures of their car moving around downtown or out at the most popular club on a Saturday night, but for me, the highlight of the weekend was my trip to the Gaylord Texan and a date night! 

We tried to do some out-of-the-ordinary adventures like a trip to the park with Tim’s family and a mission to sell some DVD’s at Half Price Books (exciting…I know!), but for the most part, I think I captured the essence of what it means to be a mom! 
Click to make pictures larger!

Can you tell from my “Oh, so exciting” weekend that maybe it’s time for a little me time??

Then, Help Me Please! 

I’ve submitted my photos to DrivingtheHeartland.com, and have entered their contest to win a free night’s stay at the Gaylord Texan resort with my hubby along with a romantic dinner to their famous Old Hickory Steakhouse. 

All you have to do is vote for my photos sometime between November 19-December 3
and you’ve helped me increase my chances of winning! 

In return for your vote, I’m giving away some Chevrolet swag! 

Just leave me a comment letting me know you voted, and you’re entered! 

Simple as that! 



*This is not a sponsored post or giveaway. I am just gaving my own, honest opinion of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu!

Return to the Dallas Arboretum (2012)

This morning, we headed to the Dallas Arboretum for a playdate with our church friends. It’s been such an awesome morning, I honestly wasn’t even going to take pictures. I didn’t even know how long we’d make it once we arrived! 

The Little Man had been up since 6am, and although started his day in a great mood, he quickly went south by 9am. It took every ounce of will-power in my body to get him in the car and drive over. 


Once we arrived, he seemed to be having a good time! His favorite thing to do was climb. Climb up the hay bales, climb on the pumpkins, and attempt to climb over fences. So, it’s no surprise that most of my pictures were of him looking down when I did decide to pull out the camera. 

His other favorite activity was searching for corn they had hidden all throughout the patch. They were all different sizes and colors, and the perfect thing to carry around while exploring. And of course, what do you do with corn . . .

I don’t know how I did it, but I did manage to get him to sit for about 2 seconds and captured a fairly decent picture. I was pretty excited to capture the moment so that we can now have pictures from the Arboretum pumpkin patch both years since he’s been born! (Here’s his from last year!)

Do you have any pumpkin patch routines or traditions? 

18 Months (a few days early!)

Well, it’s been awhile since we had any professional photographs taken of my Little Man, and although 6 months doesn’t seem like a long time, he’s practically a different kid from his 1 year photos!

I had to resist the urge and re-tighten my wallet to avoid paying more money to have his 18 months pictures done, but I desperately wanted to capture the moment. So, I grabbed my camera today and headed to the Arboretum

It was as perfect as you could get. The weather was great! The sun was shining! There wasn’t a crowd, so I could photograph wherever I wanted! But what I didn’t account for was, well. . .my son’s age. I honestly don’t know how photographers do it. 
He refused to sit still, and would move the moment I tried to get in front of him. 

This was about as close as he wanted to be to me;
which as you can tell, isn’t great for photos. 
And just when I think I have him cornered, there’s always something else to see or look at.
Like the statue of a little girl holding flowers. . .
clearly she has a baby in her tummy. 

Or you could imitate the statues too because that makes a great face for a photo. . .
After over an hour of trying to avoid the glass Chihuly exhibits and get just one good shot, I ended up with a few that I am some what happy with. 
(Even if the lighting wasn’t the best.)
   
So, if you’re a photographer, I’d love to know. . .
How do you entertain an 18 month old during your photo shoots?!

Hawai’i: Family Photos

While in Hawai’i we made it a goal to have family portraits done. We had the perfect setting in the front yard with a view of the ocean and beautiful, colorful plants and flowers for a background. So, to save a little money we decided to pack a tripod and attempt some semi-professional photos on our own. 

How’d we do?
Naynay and Grandpa with the Little Man. 

Uncle Brian and his twin nephew.

The Hurst Men.
2 pregnant sister-in-laws
(Exactly 4 weeks apart!)

Hawai’i: Journey to View the Sunrise

Bright and early Friday morning we woke up at 2:45am to head to Haleakala National Park. The height of the park sits at 10,023 feet above sea level, and has an amazing view of the sunrise as it comes up over the clouds. 

Although sunrise wasn’t scheduled until a little after 5:45am, the journey from Lahaina to the park took almost 2 hours. You drive up a long winding road with lots of switchbacks. (If you ever take the drive, I highly recommend Dramamine.) Once we arrived, we could already see the sky was beginning to change colors. Considering it seemed to be coming up fast, it was surprising how long it took for it to actually rise. 

The temperature at the top of crater was about 43 degrees…and freezing! Ideally, I would have brought long underwear, ski jacket and gloves, and a beanie hat. We were told we were there on an fairly warm day too since typically there’s a lot more wind than what we experienced. Instead, I wore a t-shirt, jeans, light running jacket, and (thankfully) stole the blanket off of our bed. Within 20 minutes of exiting the car, I could no longer feel my fingers. By the time the sun had come out and we were walking back to the car my toes were numb and I had no feeling in my face. :) 
But overall it was a beautiful morning! 

After waking up so early, we spent the rest of the day lounging around the house enjoying the warmer weather at lower altitudes. Tim and Brian took a trip into town to tour the Maui Brewing Company while the girls hung around the house. 

More fun beach pictures to come tomorrow! 

Hawai’i: Our Arrival

I had every intention of blogging about our trip each day we’ve been here, but it’s been a little difficult with the time change adjustment. I was hoping the Little Man would get into the swing of things fairly quickly, but with our event schedule in Hawai’i there’s been no consistency. Nap times have ranged from quick ones while in the car to 2 hours in the late afternoon. And when he has napped, I’m napping too! Blogging hasn’t been on the front of my mind. 

Let me start at the beginning. . . 

Our trip didn’t begin on the best note. Almost an hour after I dropped off our dogs at my parents’ house, I got a devastating phone call from my mom. Our sweet puppy Cooper had fallen into the pool and drowned. 

We bought him just two months after our wedding in 2004, and he’d been a part of our lives for almost 8 years. I think the worst part of his passing is that he overcame so much in the last 6 months, only to parish in a freak accident. It made packing that night an almost impossible task, and caste a huge rain cloud over our trip. I not only was panicking about our upcoming plane ride with a 16 month old, but now had a heavy heart from losing my sweet doggy. 

The plane ride to Maui was relatively calm. Flying 1st Class made the trip much easier as far as giving him a little more freedom, but it was nerve-raking for me because I know who flies Business Class. . .and it’s typically not supportive families. The Little Man did awesome from Dallas to San Jose. The second flight from San Jose to Maui was LONG, but uneventful, with the exception of a slight too-tired meltdown by the Little Man and a few mourning tears from me. 

Once we arrived, it was pretty easy to leave all of the stress and anxiety from the flight behind. 

Our rental home in Maui. 
View out our back door / front yard.

We immediately took advantage of the enormous front yard and stretched our legs by running around and playing tag. 

And we didn’t have to wait too long before we were captivated by the amazing sunset happening outside. 

Our first full day in Maui was a relaxing one. We spent the morning making a delicious breakfast of eggs, bacon, bagels, muffins and orange juice. Then we headed out the door for the beach in Kaanapali. 

If all goes well, I hope to post more tomorrow of Day 2 in Maui. It involves a road trip at 3am and a visit to a brewery! 

DMB Friday: Discovering Celebration Park in Allen

Today on Dallas Moms Blog, I’m reviewing Celebration Park in Allen, Texas. 

You can read all about it here!

In an attempt to not overwhelm our readers with pictures, I only included a few in the post, but it was such a beautiful day in Allen and I couldn’t imagine not sharing the rest of them with you. 

It really was a breathtaking park!
One of several covered pavilions. 
The spray grounds.

A panoramic view of the enormous playground. 
 A view from the top!

What my toddler sees.
And we’re learning to climb! 
What’s one of your favorite parks?