Archive for May, 2014

Fun Girl. Fast Girl.

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Every year the 5th graders from both of our elementary schools get together at the highschool track to participate in the 5th Grade Track Meet.
They participate in field events like this obstacle course (Steeple Chase):

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They participate in the 4×100 relay.

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And they finish the meet with individual races.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about how amazing my daughter is. She is such an incredible gift to me. Yes, I see her struggles, and our family is messy. But I have been really soaking in who Emmie is as I see her move through life in lots of different situations.

At the track meet I saw her graceful beauty and bright smile and floppy bun. Those weren’t surprises.

What stood out was the way she really enjoyed spending time with her friends and also really enjoyed sitting down with me during a break to enjoy a snack.
She runs off with friends for a bit and then circles back around to enjoy my company. She doesn’t feel the need to “run with the pack”. She even swapped legs of a race last minute with a friend who didn’t want to run first and be watched more closely. That is beautiful to me.

What surprised me was her fierceness and speed. She put down the hammer on those races. It was fun to see her be intense. See that face in that last photo?!?!

Callie’s Family

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

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A few weeks ago, I spent the afternoon with my friend Callie and her family. Callie and I “met” online while taking a photography course. After figuring out that she lived in Austin and I lived in San Antonio (about 1 1/2 hrs. apart), we met in the middle in a town called New Braunfels. Since then, we’ve met every few months to talk shop and hang out. We have grown as friends and photographers in the last couple of years.

Callie’s work reminds me of clean, white, crisp hotel sheets. It’s classic and substantive. She isn’t after “flash”, she is after emotional connection. Take a look and see what I mean by clicking HERE.

A year or so ago, she proposed a photo swap. I would shoot her family then she would shoot mine. After months of patient waiting (on her part!), we finally scheduled it and made it happen.

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This was kind of my dream shoot. I felt like I could shoot like “me” and be myself.
I came to capture their home life and tell their story.

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Callie’s daughter is a spirited girl with spunk to spare. She is a straight-shooter.
At one point during the shoot, all she could think about was a jelly sandwich. We took a break and grabbed a bite to eat. She got her wish. I could have photographed her eating for hours.

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Callie’s son is an inquisitive, interactive boy and an eager learner. It was so fun to meet him in person after seeing him in so many photos.

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Super Mom meets Super Girl.

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My favorite kids’ author/illustrator + creative use of a book = girl genius (in my mind)

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Thanks so much, Callie, for letting me get to know you and your family.
Thank you for busting you tail to take photos of my family. Can’t wait to see the finished result!
Mike, you worked so hard too! Thanks for making it easy for me.

Bri’s Surgery

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Today my 8 year old friend, Brianna, had an unexpected surgery. After returning from a trip to Disney World on Friday, Bri began vomiting and acting lethargic on Saturday morning. This normally very tough little girl complained that her head was hurting. Her parents took her to the ER on Saturday. Testing revealed that her cerebral shunt wasn’t working properly so they transferred Bri to a different hospital. They did their best to help make Bri as comfortable as possible while the medical personnel came up with the best plan to care for Bri.

They decided to operate to fix the shunt. Thankfully, the neurosurgeon from today is a caring and skilled neurosurgeon who has worked with Bri in the past.
And I am grateful that he was able to quickly determine where her shunt was obstructed and replace the necessary part.

So what does a mom do when her child is returned to her after such a surgery?

What do you see?
I see a mom with great relief in her eyes lovingly examining her daughter from head to toe–noticing every stitch, every tiny hole, every wire, every breath–every eyelash.

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What do you see?
I see a dad loving his family. Waiting patiently. Staying calm. Working to meet a deadline at work while at the same time having an ear tuned to absolutely anything his wife and daughter need.

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What do you see?
I see motherhood. I see a little girl waking up and feeling better. I see orange jello going happily down a hoarse throat.

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I see my friend looking her strongest and most beautiful here.

…Oh, and I promise to post some other photos of Bri feeling her best. She has such a big smile that her nose crinkles.

Boots & Marble Falls

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Greg sent me an invitation via email a couple of weeks ago. It read:

Would you like to go up to Marble Falls for the day on Thursday May 1, or Thursday May 15? The real purpose is just to hang out together and have fun. The secondary purpose is to go to this place:
http://www.blairsww.com/
There is a guy that works at the auction who is the most “cowboy” guy I know. He said the best place to buy boots is this place.
Let me know what you think.
Greg

I replied, “Yes!”

And so today we drove north on 281 and made our way to Marble Falls to go to Blair’s Western Wear.

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And Greg tried on a whole lot of boots to figure out what he liked and didn’t like.

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Todd, the owner, was practically a “Boot Whisperer”. He would listen to Greg’s comments and quietly shuffle through the stacked piles of boots and pick out another pair to try. He didn’t make us feel silly for not knowing a lot about boots.

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Greg decided on some Rod Patrick boots that weren’t too flashy and still felt like “him”. Nope–no diamond prints or cross inlays made out of leather.

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Then we asked for a lunch recommendation. Everyone hands down recommended The Bluebonnet Cafe.

There’s a reason it has been around for over 80 years.

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They serve breakfast all day, so I ordered two fried eggs, bacon, and biscuits with cream gravy. Oh, and did I mention that our server also brought me some complimentary grits? (Maybe she thought I was a food writer because of the camera???)

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Greg ordered chicken fried chicken with some sides:

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We each taste tested two kinds of pie. They serve about a dozen different kinds each day. We opted for lemon cream and coconut cream. Both were great. The lemon edged out the coconut a bit for both of us.

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No. You can’t eat like this everyday. But it was a delicious treat.

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When we left, the line to be seated wound its way around the hallway by the kitchen and almost extended out the door.

And the Chevy Bel Air in the parking lot seemed to fit right in. . .

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