September 28, 2008

Derek & Jessica

Friday afternoon I drove downtown Houston to meet Derek & Jessica for their engagement shoot. The weather was perfect! (since bad weather caused us to move their shoot twice).

Derek & Jessica will wed at Ashton Gardens on November 15th. Thank you for allowing me to share your special day with you.

Here are a few of my favorites...

September 25, 2008

Small Steps in the Blogging World

With the help of my friend Dale, I created a blogger account and posted my first entry on December 31st last year. However, I really did not start "blogging" until March.

I've had visitors from 28 countries and 46 states.

My goal before December 31, 2008
1. To have blog readers from: Idaho, Montana, South Dakota and Vermont. (to reach 50 states).
2. To have at least 100 blog readers a day.
2. Book "at least" one destination wedding.

My goal for 2009:
1. Blog everyday.
2. Have at least 200 blog visitors a day.
3. Increase to at least 300 blog readers a day by June of 2009.
4. Have at least 400 blog readers a day by December 1, 2009.
5. To shoot "at least" five destination weddings.

I love to travel!
I love to meet new people!

I am offering destination weddings for free + high res files for free + day after session for free.

So what's the cost of this free wedding? Two plane tickets and 2 nights in a hotel!

Please, if you are getting married in some amazing location and you plan to have a really neat ceremony... Please consider us?

September 24, 2008

Texas Governor Rick Perry

I had the opportunity to meet Texas Governor Rick Perry today. Governor Perry made a brief stop to visit with Liberty County officials to discuss the state’s continued support through Hurricane Ike's restoration process.

He seemed very sincere and complimented Liberty County Officials for their response in regards to Hurricane Ike.

I did tell his "worker bee" to tell Governor Perry that it is not the government's responsibility to pay for homes that are damaged by natural disasters. However, I do feel that the government should oversee insurance companies to make sure they are ethical and equitable.

I also had the opportunity to meet Texas House Representative John Otto. Representative Otto encouraged me to use him as a resource in my government class to discuss how a bill becomes a law.

Again, I would like to thank the following individuals for a job well done in regards to their response to Hurricane Ike.


Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald

The Liberty County Sheriffs Department

The City of Liberty

Texas Governor Rick Perry

Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald thanks Mayor Pickett for offering assistance throughout the storm.
Texas Governor Rick Perry shakes hands with Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur

Texas Governor Rick Perry with KSHN's General Manager Bill Buchanan
Texas Governor Rick Perry with Dana Arthur

Texas Governor Rick Perry with Commissioner, Precinct 1, Todd Fontenot

September 22, 2008

Great Hurricane Ike Pictures

The Boston Globe, News Stories in Photographs

Dear Worker Bees,

Thank you to all the electrical companies that have come from out of state to help restore our power. Working night and day, in hot Texas weather, is much appreciated.

You all are amazing!

Home Sweet Home

You know what Sunday is--football. Yuck! Josh decided that his Sunday would be perfect if he could sit and watch football ALL DAY. (not my idea of fun) I decided I needed some alone time--and by alone time--I mean shopping time!

I have been calling my house non stop since Friday in hopes that my answering machine would pick up. Just as I started to enjoy my shopping trip--Josh called and said "We have lights!" The answering machine picked up!

After dinner I headed to Liberty to turn the air on and to start cleaning. We decided to wait until today (Monday) to move us back home.

I cleaned all day! I scrubbed cabinets, floors, tub, toilet, etc. The house looked and smelled amazing! The next thing on my agenda was to go grocery shopping. I was expecting more than I got. Apparently, some stores are afraid of work. I said to the worker--wow--where are the groceries..."well if we ordered everything we needed to stock the store--we would be hear until mid-night." Hmmmmm...well if I were the owner of the store--I would use this opportunity to "make money."

Tomorrow I am off to find a real grocery store. One that cares to stock groceries.

Ike Pictures

My parents house (just as Ike passed)

Ashley's Neighbor (my sister-in-law)

Apartment Complex

The house to the left (is next to the lot) where we will be building

This gas station was open for business just as the storm passed

Hardin High School Gym

The old Pizza Inn (I love Pizza Inn)

Beaumont Avenue

Aunt Patsy's House

September 21, 2008

There is No Place Like Home

I am ready to be in my own home.

I miss high speed Internet.
I miss hot water.
I miss my big bed.
I miss all appliances working at one time.

This storm has opened my eyes to how I want to build my house. I have been looking for a generator that would hook into my natural gas line...but of course I have not had any luck.

Parts of Liberty started getting lights Friday night. I have heard Liberty ISD will start school on Tuesday--so surely that means I should have lights by then. I have already called Comcast to make sure my high speed Internet will be working. Guess what--they are working on the lines and it should be up by Tuesday.

I cannot wait to have life back to normal!

September 17, 2008

My New Lifestyle

My lifestyle has changed dramatically due to the storm.

On Sunday I waited THREE hours in line for gas!

Showers are breathtaking (literally). The cold water takes your breath away! It stuns my heart for hours afterwards.

Dial up internet. Much different than my high speed, surf the internet for hours lifestyle. I HAVE not figured out how to post pictures to my blog. The interent freezes up.

Hanging clothes out to dry (yes we can wash) but not dry. This sucks! And your clothes are stiff.

There are restuarants and fast food places starting to open. But really--what do you think they are cooking. I am sure their old food that was about to ruin. No thanks!

Life is much different the days following the storm. My high paced days are now slow. Decisions include--which limb should I move. Which yard should we work on today.

So why have I not loaded the car and taken off to a hotel....because I am wanting to get my yard spotless and there are so many people left to help.

(*really it is not that bad. My father has everything in the house hooked to the generator. We still have lights, interent, stove, ac, etc.) But...I am spoiled and miss my old lifestyle.

After the Storm

As soon as the storm passed Josh and I drove to Liberty to assess the damage to our home. Luckily our home only had minor damages. (we had a limb pierce the roof and a tree fall in the back yard that hit the house--but it is okay)

However, some of our family and friends were not so lucky. Trees hit several homes. Roofs are leaking due to limbs and missing shingles. AND yards look terrible! Trees and tree limbs are everywhere you look!

By the time I called my insurance company yesterday at 8:00 a.m. they already had 25,000 claims. I am really worried that this storm along with the government bailing out Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and AIG --will collapse.

*My personal input about FEMA. I do not think it is the governments responsibility to bail people out after a storm. However, I do think that the government should make sure that insurance companies are honest, ethical and equitable.


There is much to be thankful for!

All my friends and family are safe.

My house suffered minor damages. Nothing that cannot be fixed.

Henry and Sara are happy and adapting well to their new home.

We have a nice generator that powers the entire house (with the exception of the ac unit/but we have window units).

I have wonderful friends. Randy and Regina brought us ice, bread, chips, steak, and chicken when they came down to look at the damage Ike did to their house. I had a great visit with Regina and I am thankful she is coming home today.

My mom and her wonderful cooking.

The cool front that came in the day after the storm. It feels great outside.

Wonderful community workers. They are working non-stop to restore Liberty County.

KSHN radio. They are doing a wonderful job giving the latest news for Liberty County.

Internet (even dial-up). It is slow--but it does work.

September 13, 2008

Hurricane Ike, My Personal Experience

I have been up for thirty seven hours! (forgive this post if it does not make sense)

We boarded up the windows, packed the car, and headed to my parents for safety. As expected, Henry did not do well on the trip over. He hid under pillows for four hours. I really do not think he could have made a long evacuation trip.

As you know...I WANTED to EVACUATE for Hurricane Ike--but my husband, Josh refused. I cried. Cried some more. And guess what...Josh won. He made me realize that Henry would have a difficult time in the car, and he reminded me of the LONG TWENTY TWO HOUR (non-stop)trip we made while evacuating for Hurricane Rita, and I (in the end) let Josh talk me into staying.

When we arrived at my moms--the weather reports kept changing. Changing for the worse. We discussed leaving--and at one point we almost did leave. BUT...we didn't.

So...we made the best of a horrible situation. We all enjoyed the wonderful meal my mother prepared. We watched two movies. AND we watched the news, and watched the news and watched the news. At 1:05 a.m. we lost power and the generator kicked in.

I fretted on where the safest place was in the house. I wondered if the roof fell on me--would I survive. My heart broke when hearing the news of the ten year old that was killed by a falling limb and the ten individuals tied together stranded on top of a church roof.

We started to really feel winds around 9:45 p.m. It sounded like you were at the beach listing to the ocean waves. About 11:30 p.m. we started having the strong gust of winds. By 1:00 a.m. I was terrified.

The sounds of trees failing. Looking outside seeing the horrible damage that was happening around us. And all we could do was have faith that God would see us through the storm.

I made a pallet on the floor in the hall--and laid there until I heard a tree fall. I then moved my pallet into the living room. Josh and I laid there--wide awake, watching the news and wondering if this storm would ever end.

Seriously...waiting for the storm to pass seemed like forever!

I prayed for my family, friends and everyone who was going through the misery of "the unknown." I prayed, prayed some more,

The sounds. The sights. The unknown made me sick! I was hot. I was sick to my stomach. I just wanted to throw up. I was miserable!

I kept watching the news thinking...PLEASE say it is over! PLEASE say we have a happy ending.

By 6:45 a.m. daylight started illuminating the damages! WOW--!!!

(I lost power last night and I am on DIAL-UP--I was too tired to post--I will finish this post later) but people are wanting to see pictures---

Hope everyone is safe! Much love--I will write more tonight.

(NOTE--I was finishing last night and the generator quit--I was too tired to re-post (due to this SLOW DIAL UP!) Friends are wanting to see pictures--

Will post more later tonight (IF we can find gas to keep running the generator)

September 12, 2008

Ike Update

The wind is starting to blow.
Getting dark and cloudy.

We are about to head to my parents in Hardin.

My Personal Ike Update

I woke up at 5 a.m. to give Henry his medicine and got on the Internet. I read that the storm had been upgraded to a Category 3 and the eye coming right over Liberty County would give us wind gust up to 100-110 mph.

I got back in bed--told Josh and we went back to sleep. We woke up to my parents calling at 8:00 a.m. saying they were leaving. (yes we are being very wishy washy). We just do not want to be stuck on the road--you cannot find hotels this late in the game.

It is now 10:45 a.m. and we have everything packed. The windows are boarded. I guess we are ready to go.

The last news report says Liberty County should only have 70-75 mph winds.

(from the news) Liberty … in general, you're going to see about four inches of rain, an isolated eight inches. If there are some outer rain bands that come in and it's consistent, you could see even more than that. As far as the winds, what you'll see at your house, no matter where you live -- in an apartment, in a home, 60 to 75 mph consistent winds and we could see this for an extended amount of time, from 3 to 9 a.m. You could see some 80 mph gusts."

So.....where are we going? At this point--I guess we are staying. Yes--indeed we are (in my opinion) not making the right decision.

Take a Hike Ike!

It is a little after midnight on Friday morning. Shortly after five p.m. Liberty County issued a mandatory evacuation. After serious debate--we are staying.

We are mainly staying due to the traffic situation and our personal "cat" situation.

The ten o'clock news delivered good and not so good news. Good...that it should "only" be a category 1 by the time it hits land. Not so good news...that the eye will be coming right over Liberty County.

We will watch the news again in the morning--and if it seems worse--I will leave. Josh said he is going to cut the cable line so I cannot watch the news.

September 11, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Dear Hurricane Ike,

You have caused me to panic! You have caused me tears, uneasy feelings, and I am fearful--and you are not even here!

Please go away!!!

I have been watching this storm since Sunday! We were told yesterday around five p.m. that school would be released until Monday. Yes--I did start to panic.

I got on the Internet and anxiously started the hotel search. Every town I searched--read "sorry no availability." Okay--now what? I thought what a great time for a mini vacation. I found great weekend vacations to Atlanta, Maryland, and Philadelphia. I called my parents--they declined my wonderful idea. I called Josh--he declined my mini vacation. what?

Around 10:45 p.m. the news announced that the storm turned closer to us. I jumped in my car and headed to the local Wal-Mart (and so did everyone else.) I got home and started packing. I had no idea where I was headed--but I knew I wanted the heck out of Liberty County.

Well--here it is 2:15 p.m. and we are STILL sitting and watching the news! The family does not want to get stuck in traffic. (During Hurricane Rita we were stuck in the car for 22 hours straight) (it was miserable). Henry, the cat, is the other reason we are hesitant to leave. We are fearful that he would have another seizure while sitting in traffic.

I am stuck in this place that has lots of trees and a history of flooding. I am going to keep trying to convince my family to leave. (wish me luck).

September 8, 2008

Hardin High School Volleyball

Be sure to check out the Lady Hornet Volleyball team this season!

Bailey Reese

I spent Friday evening loving/photographing Miss Bailey Reese. Bailey was born on August 21st. I was suppose to do her session last weekend (but due to Hurricane worries) we had to postpone the session.

Paige--your new baby girl is beautiful!

September 7, 2008

Emma Rose Designs

If you know anything about me--you know I can surf the Internet for hours! One day while surfing I found Emma Rose Designs. "Hair Goodies for Your Cutie!"

Five Reasons why I LOVE Emma Rose Designs:
1. She has SUPER cute beanies!
2. Wonderful customer service!
3. She will custom make beanies!
4. She is SUPER friendly!
5. She is AWESOME!

Be sure to check her out!



September 3, 2008


I never watch tv...however...tonight while we were eating dinner, we started channel surfing and found the "new" 90210. AND of course we watched the entire two hours of the season premiere.

90210 15 years ago...not much different than the one that aired tonight. WEIRD.

Rob Estes is HOT!

I hope to blog within the next couple of days:
The Girls Trip to New York City
Kade's Birthday (my nephew)
Bill Cody (newborn)
Nolan Family

Have a great week!