About Us

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


afternoon playtime 2-23-11 sm
I heart my people.

Streaming Life

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Playtime in the backyard today.  Wilder thoroughly enjoyed helping weed...and seed...the dandelions.

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Someone was really happy to have two balls all to herself.

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He asked, I said yes.  Over and over.

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Elf portraits.

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Yeah, It's Us Again. But Funner. Funnest? More Fun?? (Ya get it.)

Family group shot 2010

Christmas pictures revamped and funnified.  It's a word.  Funnified.  Use it often, with jazz hands.

Eat My Cake, Baby! Banana Coconut a la Kelly

It was supposed to be plain ol' banana bread.  But the traditional recipe I use was, sigh, upstairs somewhere (actually I know exactly where it is, I just didn't want to lose momentum) and I decided to just make it up.

Then it turned into....Banana Coconut Cake!

Improved Banana Coconut cake

Kelly's Banana Coconut Cake
2 medium very ripe bananas
1/2 c melted butter
1 c granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs
3/4 c vanilla yogurt
3/4 c applesauce
2 1/2 -3 c flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c dried/shredded coconut (at last)
Optional:  1 1/2 c white chocolate chips

Mix wet ingredients together, add in dry ingredients and stir well.  Then add in coconut and white chocolate chips (if desired), stir well.

Pour into a greased 9x11 pan or 2 greased loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes (may need to bump it down to 325.)

When cooled I suggest topping with butter cream or cheese cream frosting.  Or eat it plain with a cup of tea and it's...sorry, having trouble typing with my mouth full.

Improved Banana Coconut cake

Headlines: Folks Flock from Boston and Houston to Visit Us!

Ha!  I'd like to think we had that much pull, but we did get a wonderful treat visiting with my Aunt and Uncle from the Boston area who were in Texas to see Grandma and Grandpa in Houston.  They graciously drove up to spend a few hours chatting and playing with the dynamic duo, some of which I captured here.

Uncle Tom assisting Waverley in discerning what goes in her mouth and what doesn't.  "Seriously?  Wood chips and top soil are a 'no'?  Coulda fooled me," she seemed to say...


"So there's a guy on first and third and I see the pitcher throw this WILD curve ball and I'm like, 'Wha..?!  Heck, I'm goin' for it -we gotta win this one for the Gipper!' So I'z gives it all I'z gots and, well, the rest was history, Uncle Tom.  I'm tellin' ya.  Shoulda been there."   Sigh.

"And, well, THIS Spring I have big plans for this flower bed, Aunt Ruth.  Big plans!  First, I'm going to eat ALL this mulch -no matter what Uncle Tom says- and then... You know wood chips are really high in fiber.  Great source.  Read it in, uh... Anyway, back to this flower bed."

Grandma enjoying watching three generations play in the yard.

So much love!

Thank you Ruth, Tom, Grandma and Grandpa for coming to visit!  We so enjoyed getting to be with you!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Four Goals for the Working Mom

I remember being a bit more goal-oriented; it wasn't that long ago.  Ah, those were the days.  My monthly goals such as reading, exercising, cooking, sewing, other things ending in "ing."  What happened?  Yes, yes, I recall I started an organization (Uncommon Women -a flash in the pan due to a new baby, etc.) and a new photography business.  Spare time sort of went out the window, especially after taking the reigns as primary/shared bread-winner when Brian got out of the Army last spring.  As I gather myself before the storm of wedding season, I want to gain some clarity and create some goals, both personal and professional, to help me not just survive, but get on track.

1) Exercise 4-5 days a week and make healthier nutritional choices.
Now that the weather is warming up it will be easier to get out with the kids and the jogging stroller.  I also find drinking more hot tea, especially in the evening, is a huge stress reliever.  Veggies and high protein foods will fill my plates and bowls and I'll strive to maintain the goal of not consuming calories after 7:30pm.

2) Playtime with the kids.
Brian is so much better at this than I am.  Guys just seem to have that playtime fun built into them, whereas gals make the kids fed and relatively happy while doing 5 other things at the same time.  Multi-tasking is great, but many times I'm doing pointless things.  Close my computer windows, turn up the tunes, dance with the kiddos and wrestle on the carpet.  Twenty minutes of playtime goes a LONG way for both mama and babies.

3) Network, Connect, Ask.
Let's don't be shy, Kelly.  You own a business, people need photographers for various things, so seek and ye shall find, right?  I hate being a sales woman and asking for people's money, but I gotta if we're going to eat.  Thanks to Brian's steadfast encouragement, I am learning to value the skills I can offer and request correct compensation for my services.  Developing my social networking skills, making the most of my hot leads (contacts who have expressed real interest in using my services,) and making the sale- just a few more goals in the list.

4) Rejuvenate.
It struck me last week that God requires 1 full day of rest for his people.  Lately my idea of a day of rest is spending it catching up on household things or only working 4 hours a day instead of, say, 10.  With work always in front of me (ah, my beloved computers) it's tough to rest.  And sometimes (raise your hand, who's with me on this) it's impossible to take a break from the computer.  I may be doing nothing significant, but I can certainly fill hours flitting from site to site, responding to facebook comments, writing my own, checking what's new in other people's lives and blogs (ahem.)  To avoid burn out, I gotta rest and when I do it's got to be the real thing!  Deep breath, glass of wine or mug of tea, time to ponder or read a book or seek inspiration.  Or get romantic with white knight who lives here...

Alright, what I see here are 3 goals that have to do with slowing down and stress relief and one goal towards growing business.  Though more business equals less free time, I think I can work with these.  Being more productive during free moments and scheduled work hours will lend to freedom to embrace goals 1, 2 and 4.

Thanks, guys.  I needed this.  Another cup of tea and time for a spot of reading before turning in for the night.  Goal #4 in the works...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Many 'O Bookings

A teeny bit thrilled, just had to share!  So, Tuesday's audition for the announcement hostess for John Hagee's Cornerstone Church in San Antonio went incredibly well.  Within a few hours of arriving back home I received an email from my agent saying that I had booked the job and they wanted to shoot ASAP. Today I had a round of callbacks for the Christian feature film shooting this spring (and another round on Saturday) and I'll hop in the car in a few minutes to head back down to San Antonio to shoot announcements for Feb/March.  It is SO nice that their media department  and John and Matthew Hagee have things planned so far in advance!  Only having to make the trip and shoot one day per month is simply excellent!

The studios at Cornerstone's media studios are insane!  I've been on set for ABC's General Hospital and all I can say is I definitely saw a similarity in the elaborateness of both set ups.  Very nice...

Gathering outfits, accessories, shoes and caffeine for another long drive and afternoon full of doing just of my favorite things in the world -talking on camera :)

OH!  OH!  And more fun news -I am nearly at my wedding booking goal for 2011 and it's only February! Plus, with the Georgetown Bridal Show coming up next weekend, I have high hopes that by the spring I will be able to rest easy and focus on shooting and editing instead of promoting (though that always needs to happen, right?  Right.)

We are so blessed.  Work keeps coming in, new opportunities arise, things grow, and we're able to have lots of time together as a family.  I am so thankful for this sweet life!

And...tomorrow we celebrate 6 years of marriage.
Life is good, amen and amen.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Rambling Valentine's Day!

As a self-employed, stay-at-home, work-from-home mama (how's that for hyphens?) it's challenging to seize a break, take time off, relax, just plain CHILL OUT.  As I wrote before, January was ridiculously busy and blessed the whole family with severe head/chest colds christening the Month of Love.  It stopped me in my tracks and commanded some chillaxing time while nursing everyone back to health.  Heck, I even got to check out a few books from the library and bury my nose in a new P.D. James mystery (oh joy, oh rapture!) After two weeks, we're finally over this gunk (for the most part) and even though work has not stopped, I feel rested.

Today I throughly enjoyed some of the simpler things in life and tasted the fruits of accomplishment.  While watching 4 wee ones ages 3 and under this morning, I cut out paper hearts, filled bowls with crayons and we gathered around the coffee table for a little Valentine making.  Between doling out snacks, sippy cups and breaking up fights, the kitchen got cleaned, dishes done and several photography print orders that had been hanging over my head were processed.  The baby girls bathed together (too cute for words) and kids tunes rocked the house while the boys bounced balloons on each other's heads.

After our little friends left and Waverley went down for a nap I got an urgent (random) email from The Parenting and Pregnancy Channel on iVillage asking if they could use the announcements I made for Waverley for their featured collection of DIY Birth Announcements.  They wanted to publish today so I had to hustle, sending the photos, a list of supplies and type out instructions.  They've agreed to link to my blog and send the article over (I'll include a link when I get it -excited to see the other examples!)

Our vehicle has taken us/me oh-so many places this last week.  Okay, two places.  Ha, funny story to me:  Around the time we had our little snowfall that stopped Central Texas in its tracks, Wilder started asking to go see my grandparents in Houston.

"Gama, Gampa?  Truck?" (repeat 10 times and that's what we heard 50 reps a day.)
"Thursday, Wilder.  We'll go in the truck to Grandma and Grandpa's on Thursday, okay?"

Finally the blessed day came.  Wilder was so excited to get in the truck, I didn't even have to talk him out of taking his morning bath he finds mandatory as long as he's heard/seen evidence that I'm taking/have taken a shower.  "We can't take a bath right now, it's time to get in the truck for Grandma and Grandpa's."
"GAMA GAMPA?!  OOOKAAAAY!!!"  It was the easiest time I've ever had getting shoes on that kid and his rump in the car.  He was SO excited.

Waverley, Wilder and I enjoyed one of the sweetest afternoons with my grandparents while Brian stayed home to work on the flooring in the studio (that last bit's the hardest to cut and hammer together.)  The next day soon after waking Wilder asked if we could go back to Gama/Gampa's and he continues to ask several times a day.

We haven't seen Brian's family in over 6 months and the last we saw my mom and family seems like ages and I have ached for grandparent-type folks to enjoy these gorgeous and rascally bundles of joy, so when Wilder started requesting visiting my grandparents -and seeing how sublimely happy he was there and how sweet he was the whole next day- it did my heart so much good!  I will gladly make the 2 1/2 hr. trip often with the kids just to enjoy these times with my dad's parents and have my children adored.  Witnessing the happiness of all during our visits -*sigh*- that's what life is all about.  Creating the best memories together and blessing each other's lives.  Grandma and Grandpa, we love you soooooo much!

My other travels were shooting bridal portraits in San Antonio this past Saturday.  I did the bride's hair and make up and we drove around town, scoping out unique areas to shoot in.  Fire escapes on historic buildings, on the train tracks surrounded by industrial buildings and parked railroad cars.  We even were lucky enough to have a train come RIGHT as we were finishing up and the shots of it chugging towards such a stunning bride are incredible -can't wait to share.

I'll be back south tomorrow for an audition in San Antonio for spokesperson/announcement gal for John Hagee's Cornerstone Church.  One word:  Caffeine.  I know it's only a 2 hr. drive, but MAN, I always seem to have a hard time staying awake when I drive to San Antonio.  Maybe because the road is so darn straight.  Right down I-35.  At least taking 290 to Houston, you've got little towns, some stop lights, lots of farm land, some ups and downs and easy, meandering curves in the road.  And it's BEAUTIFUL when the blue bonnets are in season, lining the road and filling fields.  Gorgeous.

Almighty, this has been one heck of a digression!  Time for a run with the kids, then park playtime.  Before Wilder (yet again) attempts to decapitate Waverley.

Hiho, Silver!  Away!

Pst!  Happy Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Little Bit of Family

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Wilder loves playing catch with Brian and even though we were all sick last week, that didn't take the spunkiness out of this group!

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This morning I wanted to snag a few shots of my favorite son.  I gave him the remote and set the camera on the tripod and we had a wee bit of fun.

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And my favorite shot of the morning!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Day in Central Texas

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The day I finished the last of my wedding edits (hooray for 4 weddings wrapped from December!) we ALL got sick.  Severe head colds certainly have a way of stopping you in your tracks, hunkering down and focusing all of your attention on family (snotty, fussy, tired -and that was just me.)

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Temperatures in Central Texas plunged early this week and this morning, as most of us are just beginning to feel better, we received a sweet gift outside.  Snow.

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Waverley snuggled up in her footie pajamas, ready for breakfast.  We cooked our "restaurant breakfast" complete with banana-cinnamon pancakes, bacon, cheesy eggs, tater tots (in lieu of hashbrowns) and delicious coffee.  Waverely particularly enjoyed her coffee this morning. I jest, I jive...

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It took Wilder some convincing to get him to go outside to play in the snow.  At first.

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Yes, she is extremely delicious.

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Venturing forth with Papa.

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There's no business like snow business.

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Someone has seen "Elf" one too many times.  Immediately knew how to engage in a snowball fight.

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Take THAT, Papa!

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At the point where nothing can convince him -not even his frozen toes and fingers- to come inside.  We have a confirmed snowaholic.

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Sissy stepped outside briefly with Mama to grab a few more shots of the boys playing.  Baby girl and Papa -a very sweet team.

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Cracks me up that we have palm trees in the background and snow.  Cause for a little head scratching.

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Beware the power arm of our 3 year old.  Excellent aim, I tell you.

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Two of my most favorite people in the world.

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He would keep going and going and going if we didn't force him inside to prevent frostbite and another onset of illness.  He's currently arguing with Brian about going to play at the park and then go to the slides at Burger King.  All I can hear is, "Slides?  Snow! Snow!  Slides?!  SLIDES!  SNOW!"  I guess arguing is not the word I'm looking for.  Demanding, shall we say?

We'll see how negotiations go.  As far as the snow, most of it has already melted by early afternoon, though the spots that have remained in shadow still have a bit of white fluffy stuff.  Amongst the sniffles and coughs still sounding around the house (excuse me while I blow my nose) and Wilder's constant demands (for anything, really) there is a warm, cozy feeling of family solidarity and comfort that I am highly enjoying.  Funny how I am actually glad we're all sick so I can stop working and enjoy my family, snot and all.


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