Bug From Hell Dastardly Bug and a Possible Side Business

I’m lucky enough (or unlucky, depending on your viewpoint) to only get really sick about twice per year. Usually, I’m fairly good at telling the bad ones from the just annoying ones. Illnesses, that is. This time? My failure was epic.

It all started about ten days ago. The allergies were a-flaring. Something was just…well, off. A day or two into this weird and not-quite-right feeling, I noticed something else. But I dismissed it. Must be the allergies, I said to myself. After all, just about every morning, my normally champagne colored car greets me dressed in a  bright, fluorescent-green velour suitable for a flamboyant pimp. And I’ve even washed my car more than usual.

Last Friday was D-day. Short for Detonation. Because (without exaggeration) I’m pretty certain that’s when the Bug from Hell started to wreak sly havoc in my system. This thing is no joke. It just snuck up on me like a stealthy cat on the prowl for its tasty morsel of prey. It’s like a biological warfare grade bug!  Apparently, it has an incubation period of about a week in which you feel like it’s just allergies. You dismiss it as a mere annoyance – nothing really worth the time or effort for significant attention or an extra pill of vitamin C. Except: you’re so very, sadly wrong.

Then…the pink eye popped up. Ah ha hah! Or so I THOUGHT it was pink eye! Maybe it’s just that my eyes are sore and itchy from that little bit of extra rubbing?! But just in case, what the heck. I went ahead and bought the over-the-counter drops for Conjunctivitis. About another day went by and dang it! Those drops aren’t helping my eye get back to its normal, pearly-white color. Man! I can’t remember the last time my allergies were this bad! That’s me, still so sadly in denial.

A little more time went by. A slight tickle in my throat and a little extra moisture in my lungs tried uselessly to warn me. Suddenly….KAPOW!#*@! That’s when the can of whoopass stew hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn’t seem to shake the feeling that I’d taken a major beatdown from the neighborhood gang, initiation style. My joints were incredibly achy like I wanted to rip my wrists and ankles off because only doing my fingers and toes just wouldn’t be enough! To top that off with a nice little bow, my head felt like the equivalent of a cantaloupe going through a funnel. A small funnel.

The following day (after many-a-prayer and several delusional negotiations with God about what I would and wouldn’t ever do again)  I was thoroughly sore around my shoulders, neck, lats, and just about every muscle I never knew I had. Kinda like I over-trained on the bench press for the heavyweight category, only I had about as much muscle strength as Sponge Bob. When that was over (and it took some of the longest 48 hours of my life) I was left with a nice, deep, gurgling cough and a sinus section full of bogies good enough to make glue. The all purpose strength kind.

Were I a more evil person, I may have tried to qualify for a government contract of the biological persuasion. Or in the very least patent this stuff and design catchy labels, geared towards a revenge-seeking demographic. Alas, I am not very evil at all. Thus, I write this as fair warning: Protect yourself. Dastardly, Evil Bug is out there!

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Ok, I’m definitely biased. But few people have enriched my life lately in the way some of these folks have. If you don’t know him already, Chris Gillebeau is the guy that keeps the blogosphere buzzing with thoughts and projects for the “nonconformist.” Sounds scary? Dreaming big often is. But Chris has this particularly special way of bringing out the courage in me – and many other people. My personal Wizard of Oz? Maybe. You should check him out here.

Last Saturday I was privy to a special Meetup (hosted by Chris) where I embarrassed the heck outta myself! It was one of those moments when you’re standing next to someone so awesome…and then…you stick your foot in your mouth in a colossal manner. Yah, I did that. Adam Baker ever-so-graciously let me off the hook when I said…”hmm, I think I’ve heard of your blog.” Then I got his card and, Whoa Nelly! The light bulb clicked on. This is the guy that keeps the blogosphere buzzing about how to (À la Mahatma Ghandi) completely free oneself  from the self-inflicted prison called Debt, and then go trotting around the globe…with a newborn baby. Well, ok. There’s more to it than that. But talk about courage. This guy’s face should be in dictionary under that same word. You should definitely check him out here.

There were such lovely people at this Meetup. Kendra, Jay, Nathalie and Ray. The other Natalie, Vic…just a bunch of great, great folks. My first ever SXSW is one I won’t soon forget. A great BIG thanks to my good friend for letting me stay at Chez Lela and making this trip even more funtastic.  Good luck to everyone on chasing and catching those dreams!

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Devon and Brian had an awesome wedding at Ashelynn Manor this past fall. I’ve been back logged and got reminded of their amazing reception when their albums arrived a couple of days ago. A gorgeous calla lily accented bouquet, a dreamy sunset ceremony and, of course, a very fun and all-smiles Devon & Brian made for an incredible day. I am completely kicking myself for not shooting a couple of pix of these books. They turned out fabulous. The ever-so-stylish Devon picked a very cool metal cover for her finish that I really loved. Kick, kick, kick. (that’s me kicking myself).

You may remember Devon and Brian from a very fun session we had for their engagement photos. They were so much fun to work with…and the wedding was an even greater blast! But don’t take my word for it…check out a few of my favorite shots or peruse a little longer with the slide show that follows.

Guys, I hope you keep in touch. I loved working with you!

0022 Devon & Brian • Magnolia Wedding (Ashelynn Manor)

001 Devon & Brian • Magnolia Wedding (Ashelynn Manor)

003 Devon & Brian • Magnolia Wedding (Ashelynn Manor)

006 Devon & Brian • Magnolia Wedding (Ashelynn Manor)

004 Devon & Brian • Magnolia Wedding (Ashelynn Manor)

005 Devon & Brian • Magnolia Wedding (Ashelynn Manor)

Click here for the Slide Show

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I’d never shot a Vietnamese wedding before…and boy! It was such an amazing event! Traci & Denton said their vows in front of friends and family at Christ Incarnate Word Catholic Church and followed that with a master blow-out reception held by Kim Son at the Fountains.

So…what sets apart a Vietnamese wedding, you ask? Well, for starters everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, gets a chance to christen the couples brand-spankin’ new union with some sort of special ritual that in all likelihood involves a) an alcoholic beverage, and b) a special trick. This “induction” into marriage, if you will, had Traci and Denton doing everything from cherry kiss acrobatics, to having the bride juggle a raw egg from one pant leg to the other while the groom was still wearing said pants.

One of my favorite shots shown below, pictures Traci handing the egg back to its owner just after completing the amazing feat. Her expression makes me giggle in earnest. Incredibly, this little number brings new meaning to the phrase “egg on your face”, though miraculously there was no such spillage at this wedding. Kudos to Traci for “not cracking under pressure.” ;o)

But enough of my silly egg jokes! Aside from being a gorgeous event, I loved this wedding for its wonderful sense of family. It is so heartwarming and uplifting to see families come together so seamlessly in a celebration such as this. A great time was had by all and it was most definitely a beautiful and festive occasion to remember. I felt honored to help capture it.

I had a blast working with you guys!

01 Traci & Denton: Houston Wedding (Kim Son @ The Fountains)

03 Traci & Denton: Houston Wedding (Kim Son @ The Fountains)

02 Traci & Denton: Houston Wedding (Kim Son @ The Fountains)

12 Traci & Denton: Houston Wedding (Kim Son @ The Fountains)

05 Traci & Denton: Houston Wedding (Kim Son @ The Fountains)

11 Traci & Denton: Houston Wedding (Kim Son @ The Fountains)

04 Traci & Denton: Houston Wedding (Kim Son @ The Fountains)

08 Traci & Denton: Houston Wedding (Kim Son @ The Fountains)

07 Traci & Denton: Houston Wedding (Kim Son @ The Fountains)

091 Traci & Denton: Houston Wedding (Kim Son @ The Fountains)

10 Traci & Denton: Houston Wedding (Kim Son @ The Fountains)

13 Traci & Denton: Houston Wedding (Kim Son @ The Fountains)

14 Traci & Denton: Houston Wedding (Kim Son @ The Fountains)

15 Traci & Denton: Houston Wedding (Kim Son @ The Fountains)

Kudos to the following vendors who shared their talets for this event:

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Happy New Year to all! 2009 wrapped up with much hustle and bustle. So here I am celebrating a whole new year, a brand new blog site and a great award.

I know, I know…some vendors say this is just a marketing ploy from WeddingWire. But I take it as a great compliment to be recognized for giving great service to my brides. A big thank you goes out to all of you who submitted feedback for me in 2009, making this award possible. I’m really excited to be counted amongst the winning vendors, and more so for a second year in a row!

Here’s to a rockin’ 2010!

BCA Plum Tree Studios Wins Brides Choice Award 2010

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Dear Kimmers,

These past fours years have been nothing short of a big ride! Who would have thought that a stint in crazy town would have bloomed into one amazing friendship! We’ve said it many times, but I can’t help but continue to marvel at the great things this beautiful life has for us if we just choose to see them. Your friendship is truly one of those fantastic blessings. And I’d do crazy town all over again just for that.

And now that you embark on this fantastic journey, I am so very proud of what you’ve done and cannot wait to see what comes next! Because I know in my heart that you are on to some ridiculously fabulous things.

Thank you for your friendship, for your loving and adventurous spirit that keeps me inspired and searching to enrich the colors in my own life. Thank you for being my cohort in “getting lost on purpose” and injecting me with courage and a zeal to keep pushing to reach everything I want in life. You are one, beautiful human being and I love you so much.

The west coast better get ready! Happy travels, my friend!

634715742 Zv69k M Kimberly • Lifestyle Session

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Let me tell you, few people can tell a love story like Laura and Dallas can. Depending on who you ask, it all started with country booty dancing – or the lack thereof. L&D are college sweethearts. Though she turned him down on the first request to that infamous country booty dance, her heart went all aflutter not long thereafter. And to prove that old adage that opposites attract, this is a match made in heaven. Because her chewing gum phobia can only be equaled by his love for a juicy mouthful of gum balls. ;)

But seriously speaking, Laura and Dallas are just about the epitome of that gushing, eyes all-a-glimmer, sweaty palm, tummy flipping, kind-of-love. And if there ever was any question, and you find yourself asking: what does that look like, exactly?

Well……………..it looks a lot like a guy gazing at you like this:

633867715 JynQV M Laura & Dallas • E Session

Right before he does this:

633867745 Yg83g M Laura & Dallas • E Session
And all you can do is close your eyes, brace yourself on the nearest static object, and feel the earth move a little beneath your feet. *insert sighs here*

Laura & Dallas, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and capturing your love on camera. Thank you for sharing this time with me! I could not possibly have enjoyed it more. Witnessing this kind of magic is the very best part of what I do. I hope you’ll keep in touch when you are both done with school and back in Houston. Have a fantastic senior year!

Here are some other favorites from the day ~

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One of my very favorite things about what I do is getting to see a family grow. I was so honored when my good friends asked me to document the birth of their daughter. This is Glory…at just one week old!

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What you are about to see are the two, most happy people on the planet!

At least you’d think so to look at their session photos! They really did smile, giggle, and laugh the whole way through our session! I spent a very hot, Texas morning out in Hermann Park with these two…and BOY! Are they a heckuva lotta fun!

I cannot wait for the wedding!! Because if they can make a sweltering hot photo shoot this fun, there’s no tellin’ what will happen when you throw in a party!

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I had the great pleasure of meeting Angela at the beginning of this year. With her birthday on the horizon, Angela decided to embark on the unfamiliar journey of commissioning a personal photographer. Her birthday gift to herself (a concept I completely endorse, of course) would be a tailor-made set of photographs.

We should all give ourselves a b-day gift every year! In fact, I even wrap my own for the sake of thoroughness. But I digress.

To my great delight Angela found me with a search on Google and we soon sat down to chat about her photo session and learn more about each other. Her warm personality quickly captured my admiration and in this quiet and gentle person I saw a glimmer of excitement that immediately infected me as well. Oh, the possibilities!

When the day came we had our lifestyle session on location in Downtown Houston. Whatever nerves she had, she soon overcame and I witnessed something very special: I got to see the real Angela. No longer shy and quiet, she laughed freely at my dumb jokes, posed like a super model and just came out of her shell entirely.

Today, she sent me an amazing note of thanks. Her words touched my heart and continue to inspire me. Once again I am praising all of the goodness in the world for making our meeting possible – Google gods included ;). Angela, you are the one who deserves the thanks. You took a leap and you flew. I am honored to have been a part of this experience.

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