Monday, October 31


Blake doesn't have school on tuesdays, it's really our only free day of the week unless I am working. If we want to go out and do something, tuesday is our day. My mom and I took the girls to the arboretum to see the pumpkins, they had fun for about an hour and then were ready to go back home. Kylie is not in many of these pictures because she isn't very cooperative at the moment. The title of this post is punkins, because Kylie actually pronounces pumpkins that way. She has some interesting little speech things going on.

super excited about a "pumpkin pile!"

These two are little soul mate sisters.

In cinderella's coach.

Happy fall!!

Sunday, October 30


Seattle was life changing for me. Or at least career changing. Not so much the city, although a nice place to visit and check off the "places to see" list, but the priceless experience I got with Keri Meyers at her newborn workshop.

First let's start with the sights we got to see in Seattle. Zach went with me which made it so much more fun. The first day, we flew in and had plenty of time to see lots of Seattle before going to Redmond to our hotel late that night.

We started at the Public Market, you know, the place where they throw the fish around.

We walked through the market and then down to the very first Starbucks. Julie, my friend that lives in Seattle, who was with us, was telling us that you have to be the best of the best and the fastest of the fast to work at the original Starbucks, it's like a big barista promotion. We didn't have a drink there, but I thank them for perfecting the tasty Chai Tea Latte that I enjoy a couple of times a week.

On to another tourist attraction, the gum wall. I don't know much back story on it, but it is what it is, a gum wall.

We cruised, and by cruised I mean walked a really long way up and down hills, to the Puget Sound. The harbor in Seattle. It was just as I expected, overcast and gray skies, chilly, a little misty at times.

And you can't go to Seattle and not explore the space needle, so up we went.
Here are some neighborhoods you could see from up there, there was other pretty scenery but for some reason this is the spot I chose to snap a picture of.
Zach and I up at the tippy top.
Julie and Marcy, they were so awesome to show us around, we had a great time with them!

Now on to one of the best experiences ever, the newborn photography workshop. Newborns are a big part of my business, I didn't plan it that way, hell I didn't even plan to have a photography business at all. It just came together at the perfect time and roped me in, what started as a small business to make some extra money doing what I was obsessed with is now how we make ends meet. It continues to grow, almost faster than I can keep up with and I continue to improve and it is such a blessing to see what God has done with this little talent He gave me. I have been drooling over Keri's photos for a while now and I decided to go ahead and take the plunge, pay the major money to take the workshop and see what I could learn. Keri has been in the business about 3 years and is the newborn guru. Her posing is impeccable, my style differs from hers some in that I use a lot more colors in my props, fabrics, wraps, etc. I shoot with studio lighting and she uses natural light, but other than that we are very similar. I am actually in the process of building a new studio with both natural and studio lighting so I can be more versatile, but that project won't be complete for a few more months.
The first day of the workshop we went over camera settings, (shooting in raw, setting custom white balance, spot metering, finding light, stuff like that) posing, set up, working with parents, soothing techniques, lots of great stuff. We had 3 babies come in for sessions and it was a long hard day. I learned so much, so much boring stuff that no one cares about, but stuff that will help take my photography and business to the next level. Day 2, the 4 photography students got into two teams and we got to pick out all the props, fabrics, wraps, hats, etc. for the shoot, we got to pose and sooth the babies with little to no help from Keri. It felt like a whirlwind, but I had a newborn shoot the thursday after I got back and it went so well, like insanely well, the parents were taking notes on soothing techniques and they just kept telling me how fascinating it was to watch. I have stepped up my game and am so ready for all these teeny tiny little babies that are coming my way. I only do 2, maybe 3 newborn shoots a week because they take about 3 hours, so I fill up fast, I have babies on the calendar into january.
Here are some of my shots from the workshop.

The picture below is what is called a composite. It is two shots that are combined in photoshop. In the first shot someone would be holding the baby's head and in the second shot someone would be holding the baby's arms.

Sunday, October 16


I may have entered what I like to call the ice cream phase of pregnancy. I'm a bit surprised I've made it this long. There comes a time in all of my pregnancies when a nightly large bowl of ice cream becomes a necessity. With pregnancy #1 it was the ice cream trimester, which contributed no doubt to my flabalicious 60 lb weight gain and embarrassingly enough, the baby took up a mere 6 lbs of that. It seems like every time I eat a meal, I just want something sweet to follow it up with. So my night cap ice cream bowl is doing great! I am trying to keep a close watch on it for the next 4 or 5 weeks because I have maternity pictures coming up, and I am doing this pics, GASP, naked! Well, some of them. The more I learn and enjoy the art of photography, the more I like to push the boundaries, and naked pregnancy pics are pushing them pretty far. I'm not really modest, but I probably wouldn't have done nude pictures in the previous pregnancies. These will be tastefully done and I am inspired by Kourtney Kardashian's maternity portraits if you saw that episode. If not, I'm sure it's googleable.

The girls are still really wanting a baby sister, so I have decided if it is a boy we just won't tell them what it is for a few days until they fall in love with the baby. We will just say things like, "here is our new baby!" and try to not crush them right off the bat. If it's a girl, then they will be some happy big sisters ready to teach another girl the ways of toddler and preschool life.
At 25 weeks pregnant, the baby measures in at about 13.5 inches and 1.5 lbs. We have a very active little one growing in there, but I think all of my babies have been active in the belly. Next doctor appointment is the glucose test, and then I start going every 2 weeks. This is not going by slow!

Thursday, October 13

Baby Carter!

My BFF, Allison had her baby boy on tuesday! I was there to witness and photograph the whole thing. Minus a few scary moments when they kicked me and her mom out due to some umbilical cord complications. If you would like to see a few of the many, many photos shot that day, take a look at my work blog

I made the Gilmore's like a 20 minute long slideshow with some sweet new baby songs, but that is entirely too huge of a file to share.
I am so excited for their family and it makes me very excited about my last time to give birth.

Monday, October 10

Baylor it is

Today was a pregnancy check up with Dr. Z. I weighed in at 134, so up 12ish lbs from the beginning. I'm pretty sure I started at 122. I am 24 weeks, will be 25 on Wednesday and I will try my hardest to remember to take a belly pic.

Next appointment is the glucose screening and then I start going every 2 weeks. I could have sworn my book said the third trimester starts at week 25, but I think it's more like 27 or 28, either way it is right around the corner!
So at my last appointment they asked me if I want to deliver at Harris (where I have delivered Blake and Kylie) or Baylor. I went ahead and picked Harris since I have had good experiences there before. Well today I asked the nurse which one Dr. Z likes better and she told me Baylor. So I changed my mind. I don't know much about Baylor, but I do know that it's new, very nice and has murphy beds for the dads. When looking closer at the big brochure packet I was given, I like what I see: motherhood shops, Starbucks, restaurant options, complete day spa, patient rooms designed with family visitation in mind, labor, delivery and recovery are in the same room. Then in the very back of my folder is a little card that says "Special Delivery Services" this includes comfy robe, cloth slippers, luxurious blanket, premium quality towels and spa toiletries, plus premium meal choice for you and your guest. You do have to pay $250 but since we are already self pay, what's another $250 for some awesome upgrades? At Harris, Zach and I were sharing my blah plate of spaghetti, I think this is going to be good!

Who Sleeps Like That?!

Looks like Blake fell asleep while tending to her doll, Molly.

Barf Bag

Do you know of anyone that has actually used a barf bag? I don't think it's a very common occurrence.

This past weekend was our sometimes annual (depending on our life situation at the time) trip to Lubbock for some family time and Tech football. We flew in Friday and it was a breeze. It makes a huge difference to not have to bring car seats. That is just so much bulky stuff to be carting through the airport on top of the kids you are trying to keep in order. We stayed at a hotel which was nice to have our own space, but also kind of interesting. Kylie had to sleep in a pack n play for the first time since she was like 4 months old and her head was squished at once end and her feet at the other. She referred to it as her teeny tiny crib. Blake and Zach slept in the king bed together and I slept on the pull out couch bed. I will use the term sleep loosely because I woke up every hour or more. Nights like that are not so fun.

Saturday morning we got up, went shopping at Red Raider Outfitters, my favorite Tech store and then went on over to Tom and Milynda's for some barbecue fun. They had 19 people in town, family from Pennsylvania, friends from College Station, and then all of us from Dallas and Fort Worth. It was a lot of fun just hanging out and chatting with everyone. Later that evening we went to some tailgates, which isn't as exciting as it once was. It is so weird remembering back to when I was a student at Tech and would find someone I knew every 100 feet, now I may see 2 familiar faces the entire time I am wandering around. The game was fun, I would have loved to send the Aggie's packing by beating them, but Tech is young and although they played OK, so did A&M and they managed to stay ahead the entire time and we just never caught up. It was not even close to a blow out, just a back and forth battle. I do like the fun rivalry, but since the Aggies irritate everyone so much, I think TCU will be a fine replacement. Zach and I are going to start having big parties for the TCU Tech games since we live so close to campus. Fun times ahead!!

So that night Blake and Kylie had their first ever sleepover at Gran and Pappy's house! Kylie was able to enjoy sleeping in a full size crib and Blake slept in Gran's bed with her cousin Sophia. They had the best time, but we have been paying for it, as we always do after travel. Blake has been crying all day today and telling me she "did too much" and "is too tired" hopefully it will only be another day or two until she is back to normal. Kylie is grumpier than usual also, but with her go with the flow personality you can hardly even tell. I think we will stay put for a while, maybe attempt another trip this summer or maybe not.

The plane ride home. Oh dear. This was a nightmare for 2 reasons. 1. Goofy man that sat next to me. and 2. The barf bag usage.
Let's just start with the man. He was a stereotypical West Texas, blue collar kind of guy. Rough around the edges to say the least. I would guess he was in his late 50s or early 60s, or possibly younger and just looked old from some hard living. He was decked out in his Tech polo and hat. I get annoyed with other team's "T-shirt" fans that have no ties to the university whatsoever, have probably never stepped foot on campus and definitely have not graduated from the university and share the love that us who has actually earned our diploma and have that deep pride for our school have. That being said, I'm pretty sure this dude was a Tech T shirt fan. Which of course doesn't irritate me near as bad as the plethora of UT T shirt fans and from what I hear OU t shirt fans. His first interesting act was pulling out Angry Birds on his iphone, which would normally be no big deal, but he fist pumped when he had a good move and banged his phone on the tray table when he was disappointed with his performance. Next weird thing, when the flight attendant brought me my drink and I was talking to Blake, he nudged me really hard like you would nudge someone you know really well, not a complete stranger, to alert me that my drink had arrived. Next on the list, 3 times during the flight he rubbed his hands all over his face while make a motor boat sound and shaking all around. At another point during the flight he put his hand on my leg, it only stayed there for a second, but it was long enough to be extremely uncomfortable and I can only hope it was an accident. He was constantly looking at me to see what I was looking at in the SkyMall magazine. I'm thinking, "if you like skymall so much, pick up your own skymall magazine that is identical to mine and read it!" The last weird thing that happened was pretty much Blake's fault, but still hilarious. The guy had a coughing fit and Blake leaned forward, looked his straight in the face and motioned to cover his mouth when he coughs, by giving him a proper demonstration. His response to her, "I did!" in his very hick accent.

Now on to the mother of all plane problems for us, Blake was getting really cuddly and I figured she was just worn out from little sleep and lots of activity. She did a cough and the second cough was puke everywhere. I grabbed the barf bag and she filled the whole thing up, but it still managed to get EVERYWHERE! All over Blake, Blake's hair, her clothes, the seat, the seat belt, her teddy bear, the floor. All she wanted to do was take her gross clothes off, and when I went to take her pants off I realized that Zach had gotten her dressed with no panties. So her gross leggings stayed on and I just took off her shirt. Barf smell filled the cabin and Blake was so worried that the "plane driver" would be mad at her. She was appalled by the mess. I did my best to clean it up with the 5 paper towels Zach fetched me from the bathroom but it was way beyond that. Poor cleaning crew. We stripped her down and Zach carried her through Love field wrapped in a Tech blanket. Just when you think you have reached a sort of easy traveling age...

Here is my only picture I took from the weekend. I did a photo session friday night with these lovely ladies (friends from Kappa Delta) and the one on the left's husband and son. It was really fun to catch up and we did the shoot in a junk yard which was way cool. So here is Tara, myself and Tamara and I know I haven't posted a belly pic in a while, but this is at 24 weeks. I need a side view.

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