Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas with the Messners

My friend and neighbor, Melissa, invited me over to join her for Christmas lunch today.  She was hosting her family, all of whom I've met and love.  I'm not around children very often on Christmas, so it was fun to watch the reactions and actions of Lukas and Lily (the wonder twins) and their older brother, Lj, to all the festivities.  Here's Melissa and her sister, Michele.  Love the hat, Neighbor!

Lots of beautiful decorations here!

It's such a pleasure to watch Claudia (also known as Oma) with her grandchildren.

Lily with Uncle Matthew and Aunt Liz
 Look like little Giblet has a crush on Aunt Liz!
Michelle's husband, Les, was working on a labor of love:  an afghan for an aunt in Germany who is fighting breast cancer.
Gib-a-lit, as the twins call him, will be enjoying this ham bone tomorrow!
And even though sweet Bossy Boy is no longer with us, his stocking was put out in remembrance.

Merry Christmas to you and your family, Neighbor!  By the way, I could almost feel Wayne smiling as I closed the door behind me, and headed across the street.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Year in Pictures

It's the start of Christmas Eve, normally my favorite day of the year.  This year's a little different.  My daughter is just returning from her honeymoon, so we won't be together for the first time in ages.  I chose not to visit my parents in Alabama.  They're divorced, and don't speak, even in their 80's.  It's a no-win situation for me.  No matter how much time I spent with one, it would be too much for the other.  So, I'm staying home, and I have to say I'm feeling a little sorry for myself.

In an attempt to ward off the Christmas Eve blues, I'm going through photographs that make up my 2011.  Let's see...January and February brought a couple of Texas snowstorms.

Toward the end of February, I fell in love with Asheville, North Carolina.  It's everything I've ever dreamed of, and I hope to move there one of these days.  It's so beautiful, I just know they need a good photographer!

In March, Krista and I went to Paris for a week.  It wasn't long enough, but we made the most of it.  I'll pack up and buy an apartment there, if I ever win the lottery.  Note to self:  remember to buy tickets.

In April, I got really sick with the flu.  The final indignity was my first case of pink-eye.  I stayed home for a week and whined.  I also had to cancel a trip to Alabama to visit the family.  I got well eventually, and was able to get down to Houston to attend my cousin Diana's son's very cool Western wedding.  Can you say, "Ah do!"?
In May, I helped my friend, Kristi, celebrate a milestone birthday in Wimberly, Texas.  Although she was entranced with this duck, she never caught him.
My friend, Dianne, flew out from Alabama later that month for a visit, and we spent time catching up and making up for lost time!
My crazy sisters came out for our annual Sisters Weekend.  This year, we did it over Memorial Day weekend, and added a day to it.  Excuse the blurred was taken with an iPhone.  We had too much fun to get serious about our photography this time around!  I love my sisters.
The big news in May was Krista's engagement.  I flew to Portland in June for my birthday, but mostly to help her pick out a wedding dress.  Mission accomplished.
I got a surprise at my birthday lunch...Krista's best friends, Tracy, Lauren, and Damaris were waiting for us at Nostrana when we arrived from the airport.  These girls are like daughters to me.
My cousin, Rose, got married in June, so I took a quick jaunt back to Bama to do her wedding photography.
I'm happy to report that throughout the year, my photography business grew and grew and grew. Almost every weekend I was home, I was at a shoot...weddings, engagements, baby photography, you name it.  And I loved every minute of it.  In August, my mother turned eighty years old.  My sisters and I gave her a big party, and we all had a blast.  She fell two days before the party. Luckily, aside from some bruising and a very black eye, the only thing that was hurt was her pride.

Over Labor Day weekend, I made my first trip ever to Wisconsin.  Although it was to shoot a wedding, the Steines family made me feel right at home.  I was blown away by their hospitality. Thanks, Karen, for that trip to Amish country!

Mom got her Christmas present at the end of September, when I flew in to take her to see the premiere of a documentary on the life of her favorite author, Rick Bragg.  The fact that she ran into him in the lobby of the theatre several hours before it was begin (don't ask...we had to get there "in plenty of time") was icing on the cake.

I made a special trip to Portland to do a maternity shoot for Lauren, and also to do Krista and Tony's engagement photographs.  Autumn was all over the place, and it was wonderful to spend some time enjoying my favorite season.

My last trip of the year was over Thanksgiving week, when my friend, Nancy, and I traveled to Vienna.  It was cold, but festive; Christmas markets were in full swing!
I came back in time to attend my friend, Jeanie's, open house/holiday party.  She renovated her entire house this year,and was more than ready to have it finished.

I'm blessed with family, friends, and adventures.  Photography is my passion, and I'm lucky to have amazing opportunities.  I've met so many new clients this year, and also enjoyed having some become "regulars."  I don't think I have time to be blue, after re-reading this post!  Merry Christmas Eve, y'all.  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Christmas Wedding

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of photographing Beth and Brandon's wedding in Alba, Texas, and their reception in nearby Golden.  Alba is about eighty miles east of Dallas, but the difference is night and day.  Pastures filled with cattle abound, the leaves on the trees are changing color (we're a little late here in this part of the country!), and ranch gates are decked out with Christmas wreaths. Beth was a beautiful, excited bride, marrying her best friend of many years.  Brandon seemed very cool, but I think he might have been just a little nervous.  Both of their fathers are ministers, and both participated in the ceremony.  The church and the reception hall were decorated for them by friends and family.  Actually, I believe many of the friends I met are like family to them, something obviously treasured.  Here are some of my favorite snaps.  Best wishes to Beth and Brandon!