Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mid Week Confessions

Confession: I registered for the Little Rock Half Marathon this week. I guess I should go ahead and confess too that I haven't walked even ONE mile in over a month. And in March I will be walking 13 miles in a row! Ahh! Completing a half marathon has been on my bucket list for a while now. It is actually on my 30 before 30 list as well. I am running out of time quickly, people! So I decided, that realistically I probably can't run 13 miles without dying afterwards, so I going to walk the half marathon. There's a time limit of 4 hours. I'm pretty sure I might be that person at the very end and the pace car is just waiting on me to finish.

So when does training start? This weekend. Am I ready? Not at all. But here goes nothing. :) I'll blog about my progress every now and then as I'm training.

Hope y'all are having a good week!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Restore and After 2012

This past Thursday I participated in the third annual Restore & After Silent Auction Event. It is such a great charity event to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. For the past two years my friend Eric Wilkerson has done an excellent job at organizing this event. He has asked me again to take pictures at Restore and After. I love volunteering my services because it is such a fun event. With a live band, plenty of people, food, drinks and pieces to bid on, this year was no exception!  Each year, it gets bigger and better than the last. Local artists and businesses take pieces and redo them. They are then brought to this event, "Restore and After" to be auctioned off to raise money to help build homes for those who can't afford to do so themselves. This year there were so many more businesses involved and a lot more restored pieces to auction on - pieces such as couches, dressers, chairs and even dog houses! 

Last year the hot ticket items were four dog houses that local artists had painted and redone. There was a bidding war between several of us for the houses. 

I was pretty pumped to see more dog houses again this year. This modern dog house caught my eye. I thought the roof of house was so different! I just love the pebbles. I bid on it and WON! It might not be big enough for Scooter but I'm hoping Conner takes to it nicely. :)

I always have so much fun at Restore and After taking pictures and placing bids on items. And I always give away a free photo shoot too! It's so much fun! If you've never been and you live in the Little Rock area, you should definitely make plans to come next year!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mid-Week Confessions

I've been following this blog for several years now, E, Myself and I, and quite often I find myself laughing out loud. Most weeks Elizabeth posts these "Midweek Confessions" on her blog and I find them enlightening. Some weeks they are truly heart felt and sincere and other weeks they are just down right silly. But you can be certain they are always honest and that is what I love about her blog. She tells it like it is. She never tries to seem like the perfect mom or the perfect person but to me that is the best way to be... honest. I think if we all tried to be a little more honest with each other and a little less hard on ourselves, don't you think the world would be a better place?

Sometimes I screw up. I make plans and have high hopes and then what happens? Life gets in the way. I may try out this midweek confessions business. It might just make me a little more honest... on the other hand, it may just make me seem a little more insane.

For instance, here's just one confession for me this week:  Enjoy! And remember, honesty is the best policy, even if it makes you look crazy! :)

My Mid-Week Confession:
I've been wearing the same yoga pants for three days now. With the non-stop rain we've had since this weekend, my outdoor photo shoots have been on hold. On the other hand, the rain has allowed me to work on getting my studio ready in my house. Yoga pants are so comfy, but three days, people. Three days. I need an intervention.

I hope you've enjoyed my first (hopefully of many more) Mid-Week Confessions. Happy Hump Day!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Project Studio

This is a shot I took of our dining room a couple of years ago. I've never been too found of the color but it wasn't ever high on my priority list to change it. This room has kind of been a collection of random pieces of furniture. The table I've had for a few years. My parents bought it for me when I got my first place on my own. That green trunk was my grandmothers. The long buffet piece is one Buie and I purchased from Pottery Barn after we were married. The other smaller piece was a hand me down from my parents. I love all the pieces separately but collectively this room never really flowed well. My table is set for Christmas in these pictures with my grandmother's vintage linens. 

This was actually one of the few times our dining rooms was actually used for company. I can probably think of 5 or 6 other times in the last 3 years. We just don't use this room. Maybe it's the color. Who knows? Do any of you have a room in your home you just don't utilize? One day it just sort of hit me. There's all of this space being unused and now it kind of annoys me every time I walk by it. Would it make me feel better if I painted it a different color and held fabulous dinner parties once a month? Probably not. So I decided to make the room work for me. 

So I know it doesn't look like it now, but pretty soon this room will be my home studio. I've actually been talking about it for months and planning it in my head even longer probably. I've been pinning ideas on Pinterest and getting super excited about all of the possibilities. This will definitely be a project that will take patience, time, money and a little creativity but I'm looking forward to having a studio in our home. 
Right now it looks a bit like a tornado went through our dining room but with paint samples on the wall I'm starting to see slight possibility. Our dinning room which from this point on, I'll refer to as my STUDIO (yay!) is in an excellent location in our home. 
 It's in the very front so clients won't have to walk through our home to get to it. It's directly when you walk in the front door. It's also right next to our half bathroom, in case our clients need to use the potty during our session. Those newborn sessions can get pretty long! There is excellent lighting in this room which is probably the number one reason I'm using this room.

And it's a great size - plenty of room for a newborn set up or a couple of kiddos or a cakesmash session. :) Oh the possibilities!   

Hopefully I'll get some paint on the walls this weekend. I think my parents are coming up this weekend. Maybe I can talk them into helping me paint a wall or two. :)

Interested in seeing some of my photography, check out my website!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Celiac Awareness Day

Many of you may know that I have Celiac Disease. I was diagnosed in February of 2007. Since my diagnosis, my life has become both better and worse at the same time. Well, before my diagnosis, I never really knew what was wrong with me and now I know waay too much! :) I am still finding out ways gluten destroyed my body every time I go to the doctor. I have had severe migraines, muscle aches, fibromyalgia, thyroid disease, epstein barr virus, CMV virus, several vitamin deficiencies and among other things. At one point I was taking 34 pills a day. My doctor told me at our last doctor appointment that he is concerned that I might not be able to carry a child through to full term IF I am ever able to get pregnant.

So why am I telling you this? All of these things were a result of me eating gluten and damaging my intestines. One out of 133 people have Celiac Disease. You might have it and not even know it.

"Celiac Disease is triggered by consumption of the protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the finger-like villi of the small intestine. When the villi become damaged, the body is unable to absorb nutrients into the bloodstream, which can lead to malnourishment. Left untreated, people with CD can develop further complications such as other autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, and even cancer." - taken from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness website

There are so many different symptoms that even something as little as a skin rash could be a sign of CD. Celiac Awareness Day is simply that. A Day to bring awareness. Please take a moment to go to this website, read the symptoms. Maybe you or a loved one will be spared years of pain because of it. If you suspect you might have Celiac Disease, ask you doctor to run a simple blood test. There is no CURE for Celiac Disease but the treatment is simple: cut ALL GLUTEN from your diet.

I am so thankful I was diagnosed when I was, at age 23. But unfortunately plenty of damage had already been done. I'm still on the road to recovery. I'm down to taking about 6 or 7 daily vitamin supplements. I feel healthier than I have in a long time. Buie and I are praying that one day God will bless us with healthy babies in the near future.

I am certainly not an expert by any means and you should definitely consult your doctor before starting a gluten free diet. :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Making Progress!

A few of you have asked for an update on our backyard project. Are we done yet? Are the rocks laid, etc.? I decided to break out my wide angle lens so I would have a more accurate account of this patio project we're involved in. We've been talking about building this patio for over two years now and I'm so excited that we are actually doing it! :) 

This is the view from our back porch when you walk out of our back door. We are fortunate to have a pretty big back yard for Conner and Scooter. This is also another reason we really wanted to have more useable space in our backyard. 

This has been Conner's favorite place to play the last week or so, right on top of the pile of rocks. Look how happy he is with himself. :)

The pergola is officially finished. Woo hoo! It is 10' by 16' and we plan to hang my hand woven hammock that I brought back from Nicaragua underneath the pergola.

I was very pleased with the overall design of the pergola. I love the decorative edges. I think it gives it a little something special, don't you? Right now, I'm in the process of figuring out what type of vine I will plant at the base of the posts that will grow and provide shade for us. I'm thinking Carolina Jasmine.

This is the view standing underneath the pergola looking back towards the house. Those rocks will obviously be laid down where this sand is. They have actually started laying the rock already and should be finished by the end of the week!

The dogs have loved the project. They love laying (and digging) in the sand. In the evenings, the sand is actually quite cool. It's been fun to see how they react to each new thing that is brought in. Of course they had to "leave their mark" on EVERYTHING! haha.

So right now it looks like a big sand pit, so pretty soon it will be a pretty patio.

All of these rocks (about 6 tons worth) will be laid down, more sand will be put on top and packed down nice and tightly.

And pretty soon we will be sitting here enjoying this view, watching the dogs play, hanging out with friends and family and maybe... MAYBE even watching our own kids play in this backyard one day. ;)
See how far we've come! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Little Sandy Toes

My husband is a retail manager and is usually guaranteed to be working every Saturday. Last night was an exception. Since Buie loves to cook and we love football, he was particularly excited about yesterday because it was pretty much a guaranteed win, right? (um..WRONG! but that's besides the point) B went to the store loaded up on "free day" goodies for the game. You see, 6 days a week we eat super healthy and then at least one meal or one day we have a free day. If you've read or followed Bill Phillip's Body for Life plan, it's similar to this. I've lost about 10 pounds so far and B has lost about 15. Anyway, so baked and fried wings were on the menu as well as chips and guacamole dip. We were all set. :)  We were going to go tailgate with some friends but had decided to save some money by not going to see the game live and just watch it on tv. (I'm so glad we did by the way.) 

Earlier in the week I told my brother and sister in law about the project we had going on in our backyard and the enormous amount of sand we had delivered. We were talking about how fun it would be if Landon could come play in it. I mentioned it again to them and told them the workers would be filling in the rock on Monday. Which means no more fun sand to play in. :( It was now or never. So they loaded everyone up and headed down to Aunt RaRa and Uncle Buie's house for a fun filled evening outside enjoying our huge temporary sandbox and soaking in the awesome cool weather. 

The weather was perfect. The company was perfect. Landon loved the sand. We buried his toes in the sand. We filled his dump trunk with sand. He got sand in his hair. He even ate a little sand. hehe. This occasion warranted me going to get my "good camera" and I was able to capture these two sweet little smiles. 

 It's evenings like last night that I never want to end and I just want to shout it from the roof tops that I love these two little boys. I only wish that I saw my sweet nieces who live in Louisiana as often. Gosh, I love being an aunt. It's the greatest thing I've experienced thus far in life...well, besides marriage. :) My husband is pretty darn special.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Updates & a Conversion

Hi, there September! You sure got here quickly. I don't think I'm ready for you. But I AM ready for some cooler weather that's for sure!

Lately I have been working like crazy which is definitely a good thing. If you have a second go check out my new photography website: It's a work in progress but I'm loving it so far.  I have been shooting a lot of precious newborn babies in the last couple of weeks. This fall I am booking up with family photos for Holiday cards. These are probably my favorites! Everyone is dressed in their best, the air is crisp, the kids are on their best behavior (most of the time). ;) I think my most favorite thing is receiving Christmas cards in the mail. I love it! I know Facebook, twitter and social media is in the present and real mail is a thing of the past, but please let's keep Holiday cards alive, people!

Anyway, I really don't have too much else going on in our lives. Our back patio is about halfway complete. We ordered the rock - it's gorgeous! The sand was delivered and they literally drove this huge Mac truck all up in our backyard and dumped 10 yards of sands in our backyard (apparently that's a lot). Our dogs think we are building them a playground. They are constantly running figure eights around the big piles of rocks and they play in the sand like they are frolicking at the beach.

Football season is here. Do I love football? Yes. Do I like to watch it with friends and socialize and wear my favorite teams colors and when the occasion arises even attend an actual game? Yes, of course. Do I LOOOOOOOOOOVEEEEE football so much that I will without question sacrifice everything else in my life, change my daily habits for the game and go out of my way to do anything I can to make sure that football is in my life, probably not. Ok. I just wanted to clear that up. And on that note, GEAUX TIGERS! And the Kansas City Chiefs? Yes, that's right. You heard me right. This girl, a long time Cowboys fan is now converting to her husband's team, the Chiefs. Buie thinks that since we don't agree in college football (He pulls for Arkansas. I pull for LSU.) he thinks we should come together for NFL Sunday. If you know my dad and brothers or if you knew my granddad when he was alive, then you know why I feel like I'm betraying them. They are all huge Cowboys fans. I mean, my nephew Landon's nursery is decorated in a Dallas Cowboy theme. Let's be honest ladies, my first love was Troy Aikman. But after four years of marriage, here I am saying Go Chiefs! Yeah, that's right... I'm a good wife. ;)

Ok. That's all for now. Anyone wanna go up in my attic and get out my fall decor? It's only 210 degrees up there?  Pretty please?