In Category: ‘My Journal’

A Toast to New Seasons

August 19, 2014

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything for the blog. With the new website I’ve gotten a certain sense of rebirth. And organizing photographs for the galleries has given me the opportunity to revisit many of the weddings/shoots that have graced our eyes over this past year. Truly, it has been an unbelievable rise. Last year in particular was a year of unprecedented growth in many ways. We seemed to beat records in just about every category. So, here I sit feeling entirely blessed and thankful.

 

Looking back I catch a tingle of amazement that roars into a sense wonder at just how much our clients have influenced how and what we see in life. There’s been a certain evolution that I notice through every shoot. Although the approach hasn’t changed very much, I do see a difference in the outcomes. The passion is still there in the same way at every opportunity to pick up the camera. And the interest in truly knowing people in an effort to authentically capture their essence is still the same. Yet, I see the difference in the richness and depth of the emotion in the images and in the eyes reflecting back at me. And each time I look I can’t help but fall a little more in love with the people these images portray.

 

Now that the new website and blog are up I’m looking forward to sharing in retrospect until we’re all caught up. I hope you join me in looking back, but also in gazing forward.

 

THANK YOU. Thank you to all of you that entrust us with your lives and let us create for you. Thank you for giving of yourselves, for letting us in, and for  helping us see. We are so very grateful.

 

Photo by Blake

165SummerGeoffreyWed2014 Garten Verein Wedding Galveston Wedding Photographers Plum Tree Studios A Toast to New Seasons

Posted by Trish

Sooo…since the end of the year is typically down time for us wedding photogs, I took the opportunity to have some long needed corrective surgery. In total, I’ve had two since November. On the whole, I really have to thank my surgeon, Dr. David S. Wolf because he really has gone above and far beyond any other doctor I have ever had.

From meeting me well after office hours, two days before Thanksgiving to change a bloody bandage, to calling me two days ago way past a decent hour for the sake of fixing busted stitches, he’s been so amazing. I cannot brag about him enough. I liken him to those long-fabled doctors who gave such good care they even made house calls. Of course, he doesn’t make house calls…but darn close! In fact, if you are having any issues with your footsies or ankles, he is bar none the best doc in the Houston area.

Basically, my issue was pretty straight forward and even common. After many years, my left foot finally busted due to a “hallux valgus”.

Yes, I like fancy medical terms. That’s partly why I’m so addicted to Mystery Diagnosis. But I digress.

After our consult, it was determined that only corrective surgery would do. Because it was just plain painful to walk, and for someone who relies on being quick on their feet to photographically capture what the everyday person will miss in real life, this was just not an option. And since the same deviation occurred on my right foot – thank you mother nature and your keen sense of symmetry – I had to get this one done too. My right foot was not producing the same pain as my left, but hey, I’m all for beating pain to the punch. Does that make sense here? Probably not. Surgery IS painful. OK, I never claimed to make sense 100% of the time.


Where was I going with this? Oh yeah. So I’ve been asked by friends, family, concerned citizens – what is this process like? In a word:

Cumbersome.

I had to have one good foot to walk on at a time so I had to have two separate surgeries. My left foot is about 7 weeks post op. And yes…I will include photos towards the end of this post. But BE WARNED. Don’t look if you are squeamish. That probably just guaranteed you will look. I know, it’s in our nature…can’t look away from the train wreck. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

My right foot, is about two and a half weeks post op, and still very much “ouchie”. In fact, both surgeries, though fixing the same thing, to different degrees, went not so much the same way. Am I still speaking in riddles? OK, let me rephrase. Both surgeries were correcting the same issue, but produced different experiences for me.

To shorten the story, healing times have been a little different for each, and then tearing stitches on my right foot definitely didn’t help things the other day. Bruising was different for each foot – one bruised more than the other. I had an outer pin on each foot but on the left it was located between my toes, and on the right foot it was placed on the outer-left side of my foot, which I found highly more annoying and painful. I did have a pain pump for the left foot, but not the right foot. Oddly enough, I actually think I prefer not having one. For some reason, I correlate this to the extended time it has taken for me to regain full flexibility and motion in one foot over the other. The left one, which had the pain pump seems more stiff. Maybe because it was so numb that first week that I hardly moved it at all. Who knows?

There is physical therapy in all of this, and that’s a whole other subject. I dislike PT almost as much as I hate brussel sprouts. My feet hurt like heck the day after. But the most annoying thing in all of this? Not being able to get around like I’m used to. From being a total “hop-along” (as several of my friends have sweetly termed me), to not being able to drive (having a standard transmission and therefore a clutch to push is not ideal for this), to just having to handle the every day task in a much different and more annoying way. And did I mention that I haven’t been able to wear heels since FOREVER!?!? I can no longer hide how very short I am.

On the upside, I’m more appreciative of the little things. I say thanks to the Universe everyday for having the ability and opportunity to correct this issue in the first place, not to mention that I’m still a healthy, non-handicapped individual. Because let’s face it, this will be over in about two more weeks and the searing pain I used to feel in my left foot is already gone. Thanks to my new buddy, Ibuprofen, the pain that’s left is completely manageable. Minus the hiccups and extended healing times, I really, truly cannot complain. So I’m excited to return to life as I knew it very soon! Actually, it should be a *new and improved* life, really.

If you’re wondering why the heck I’m posting about surgery and busted feet…well, duh. It’s because nobody knows what an operated foot looks like! ;) For those of you who braved this looong post about my feet, here’s your long awaited reward. Ha ha! But seriously, if you puke at the sight of blood, open wounds, severe bruising, or just ugly feet…stop right here.

This one is about 8 hours post op…when I had that issue with over-bleeding. That yellow thing is the pain pump.
left 200x300 Because Nobody Knows What An Operated Foot Looks Like

Sans bandage. Don’t you just love what iodine does to skin and nail color? Again, about 8 hours post op. That yellow thing between my toes is actually a metal pin that goes into the bone and outta my foot. Not so fun.
left2 200x300 Because Nobody Knows What An Operated Foot Looks Like

About 2.5 weeks post op on my right. Much more bruising on this foot. My left held the bruise on the underside, for some reason. This is right after the outer pin got pulled out and just before the sutures tore.
Right 300x200 Because Nobody Knows What An Operated Foot Looks Like

Left foot again, as of last Thursday. Still some swelling mid-foot. But surprisingly clean closure.
left3 300x200 Because Nobody Knows What An Operated Foot Looks Like

And that’s the photo re-cap! I know, I know. No photos of the open sutures. But I was kinda busy at the time!

We are all just a sea of people. Each a particle of a very vast ocean. None too different from the rest. So why do we sometimes feel so disconnected? We all need, want, fear, love, cry, feel just the same. At any given moment, we are but a speck in a universe of echos, reaching to connect. Today, I can see this clearly. Tomorrow, I may need to recollect.

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!

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!

This commercial gave me a good giggle. Enjoy!

The New Painter

May 13, 2009
After three looong years, Matisse finally has a new buddy. They’re in cahoots already…their mission? To overdose me with their unstoppable cuteness!
Meet Renoir:

01 The New Painter
Reni, for short.

03 The New Painter

Amazingly, at just 12 weeks, she’s as good as potty trained.

06 The New Painter Hooray!! We feel like we won the lottery…

07 The New Painter…except she’s pretty darn good at keeping us up at night, too.


08 The New Painter

Minus the À la Bugs Bunny need for toothpicks between our eyelids, she’s a re-he-healy great fit into our small family. Welcome home, Reni!!

Gaping Hole

May 4, 2009

I spent the better part of last week entertaining my cousin who was visiting from Chile. We explored various restaurants around town, gamed it up at D&B, went shopping, visited the Rice campus, saw Mates of State and Sunbears live, visited family, and mostly vegged around the house catching up on the past eight years of our lives. We had not seen each other in such a long time that I had started to forget exactly how much I’d missed him.

As expected, lots of things have changed in the span of eight years. We’re both now settled in our homes on opposite sides of the hemisphere, enjoying/working hard on our own businesses, and seeing kids grow (though on my side they are borrowed from my brother). Something else that is new is that he’s also gotten quite fluent in his English, though my Spanish is a little worse for the lack of use. But, after all this time, one thing has remained ever-so-constant: the great relationship we enjoy. We’ve been kindred spirits since we met on my trip to Chile at the age of 14. In Spanish, kindred spirits translates into twin souls, which I find strangely fitting.

Gonzalo was named for my father, and I for his mother. In that alone we seem to be bonded more closely than other kids in our family. The funny thing is that we are so alike – down to our preferences in colors, views about various topics, tastes in music, our temperaments, goals and dreams, our utter love of all things chocolate and carbohydrate. Quite often I can say exactly what he is thinking and he can tell with acute precision how I’m feeling, even when we’re miles apart. It’s almost like we were born of the same womb…a connection that I can only compare to what I’ve heard that twins share, except that there is a five year difference between us and we are essentially from two completely different worlds. About the only thing that is significantly different between us is his complete repulsion for cheese and all cheese-related products. Blasphemy, by my standards!

It was a great week. And though as we said our goodbyes at the airport (at an entirely too early-a-time for a Saturday morning) I felt perfectly okay, now I can’t help but feel the sadness creeping in. It’s tough not to sense a certain emptiness in the house. Even Matisse seems to be looking for something that is no longer there. And it’s taking everything I have to hold on to the tethered edges of a gaping hole, threatening every second to rip a little bigger of an opening.

For one glorious week, the world was slightly different with my best friend at my side. I can only hope that it won’t be another eight years until we get to see each other again.

A long time friend of mine sent me this in an email today. It’s one of the most positive things I’ve come across of late.

Join the movement at www.playingforchange.com

So I’m listening to Pandora (more on that later), and one of my very favorite songs comes up: The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony. I haven’t heard that song in ages!

I can’t help but let the melody sweep me into song at the top of my lungs and at the distress of Matisse’s poor ears. As I’m belting it out, I take a half turn in my office chair to find Mattie in the doorway:

Mattie+Thins+Me+Crazy Bittersweet Symphony   On the Verge of Being Committed

It’s pretty bad when your own dog looks at you like you’re utterly crazy!