In Category: ‘My Journal’


April 2, 2009


It’s been a crrrazy month! I’ve been so very bad about blogging and I’m feeling the pain. On the other hand, I have a lot of cool stuff to put up! Lots of photos, lots of ideas, lots and lots of past and upcoming adventures overall.

March was absolutely wonderful…but it was…well, in a word: brutal. I’m looking forward to a more “normal” time ahead. So, just breaking the silence here. There’ll be more to come soon.

Oh yeah! And Happy April Fool’s, Everybody!

Houston Arbor Day 2009

February 25, 2009

I’m really excited about a recent partnership between Plum Tree Studios and Trees For Houston. At the end of last year I got to thinking about making a greater effort to work and live green and I came up with the idea to donate trees for every couple that books their wedding photography with me for 2009 and beyond.

I was looking for something that could have a local impact, and Trees For Houston has been phenomenal at giving me an opportunity to bring this project to fruition. I’m so happy that we can work together to make our city greener as well as commemorate such a special event with an honorary tree planting.

In late January I attended an Arbor Day tree planting in west Houston and below are my favorite shots from that day. It was a chilly and overcast morning, but so many people were out in force with smiles on their faces and planting trees. There must have been hundreds of trees planted that day in just this one spot of town! It was a great experience and I look forward to more opportunities like this.

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Life Lessons

February 9, 2009

For all the times I’ve heard that life is short, I never felt the truth of those words as I did today. Today I almost lost my brother. Today I learned to value life more than ever.

Instead of writing a woeful recounting of what brings me to my revelations, I just want to write down what I’m thankful for. I want to mark these words so that I never again forget. I want to say my thanks to God for teaching me this lesson without taking anyone away from me, and then thank Him again even for the bitterness that makes the sweet things taste that much sweeter, teaching us with every taste. I want to pray that we can all learn to value life, it’s brevity, and it’s fragility. Today I am thankful.

I want to always be thankful.

I want be close to my brother the way we’ve always been, but for the little while of late that we’ve let time and distance wear on that closeness. No ambition in the world, no project, no passions, nothing is more important that those you love. So I want to write this here today to remind me to keep them close. Let this be my reminder.

A Little Thursday Fun

January 30, 2009

I just got the coolest little video from a friend. It’s T-Mobile’s latest campaign: Life is for Sharing.

I say: “hear, hear!” I just love to see how all the unsuspecting people react, first with a little befuddlement and then jumping right into the fun. Just as life should be!

A very clever advertisement for the widgets that make our magnificent lives instantly shareable. Enjoy the T-Mobile dance!

It is a mind-blowing 32 degrees in Bayou City! 32 Degrees!!

It’s got to be the coldest day of the year in our fair city of Houston. On the upside…it’s snowing! And I haven’t seen snow since I bent in ways I thought were impossible to the human body. It was about six years ago and my first time skiing. Let’s just say I fell I whole lot more than I bargained for. Ahhh, memories!

I heard about the snow flurry this afternoon through the interoffice chatter. But I didn’t really see any until I got home. As usual, Matisse was going nuts, ready to pounce on me as soon as I opened the door. His daily ritual consists of pretty much assaulting me and then doing the “Lassie” back and forth through the living room until I get to the French doors to let him out. In this scenario, I of course, would be little Timmy.

One thing that was different today is that he skipped the b-line for his favorite tree and instead doubled back faster than a fur-covered bullet. As he ran over the icy deck I noticed that our lawn chairs were wearing a little cover of white sprinkles. If I didn’t know any better, I’d have thought that Santa was wrapping presents out on our deck today and accidentally forgot to clean up a few bits of Styrofoam before sneaking off. Geez, that Santa!

Behold! Our crazy Texas Snow:

Cards+Destroyed+013 Let it Snow...But Sans Frostbite
Moving on, I’ve finished setting up Josie’s Christmas cards. She picked a great photo from her session which I thought was fabulous with this festive design:

Christmas+Card Let it Snow...But Sans FrostbiteI’ve just finished Plum Tree’s holiday cards as well. Matisse was such a trooper posing as Rudolph for our portrait (pictured below). That was an adventure all it’s own. Truthfully, as usual he was so good! He’d hold the pose while I focused the camera and then he’d scoot his butt over as I ran over trying to beat the timer. I swear, if it wasn’t for that pesky squirrel making faces at us from the tree, he’d be looking straight at the lens.

01a Let it Snow...But Sans Frostbite
I know a certain chattering someone who’ll be getting a lump of coal in their tree stocking. UH-HUH-MM! That’s what you get for making fun of Rudolph! On the other hand, he does pee on your house every day. So I’ll just call you guys even.

The night before last, I very weirdly had a dream about Norman Reedus. This was particularly weird because I have not thought of or even seen a movie with Norman in it. In…well, I don’t even know how long. Another weird thing, I could not remember his name. So I Googled the one movie that I clearly remembered him in, which coincidentally happens to be one of my all-time favorite movies: Boondock Saints.

Even more weird: this movie came out ages ago. But wait! There’s more! In spite of how long it’s been, just two mere months ago they started filming the sequel. Mind you, I hadn’t even heard about this, even though BDS really is one of my very favorite movies.


So now I have his name. For some weird reason I decide that I should Google images of Norman. You know, just to be thorough in the weirdness. Mostly, I find the same 8 images over and over again. He’s really not an in the limelight-kind of guy. Out of curiosity, due to the weird circumstances of it all, I click to see what sites these images are coming from. And POW! Behold one of my new favorite blogs:

The best part of it all? I happen to stumble upon this blog on THE ONE DAY that the blogger decides to post a beaut of a set list. And just like that, I find one of my favorite new bands: Band of Horses. I’ve been on a BOH trip for the past 2 days! Could this get any better? Or weirder?

I. Think. Not.

Twice Blessed

November 11, 2008

This is the second time this year that I get sick.

…pausing here to contemplate my first sentence for a second…

Okay, so this is only the second time this year that I get sick. That sounded…and felt…better.

My ability to focus on the positive is only heightened by the sudden realization that my left nostril has just become unplugged for the first time today. Another positive.

Oh wait, my right one has suddenly caught the earlier plight of the left. Figures!

Gotta love the flu.

On Land But at Sea

September 29, 2008
The lights went out at about 12:00 am on Friday, September 12th. Hence it was decided that this was a good time to go to bed. About four hours later we awoke to what seemed like a monstrous, roaring ocean. Trouble was that we live about 50 miles away from the sea.

Imaginary waves pounded against the sides of our house, relentless and unmerciful. The wind howled and the trees reproachfully bowed their branches back and forth, with moans of protest against failing flexibility. Our home was built in the late 60s, so our trees have had well over four decades to outmatch our house in such a storm. The thought raced through my mind in a hurry and the sounds coming from outside instantly convinced me to move into a small hallway of the house, with pillows and Matisse in tow. Blake crashed on the chaise in the living room. I couldn’t be as brave. There the french doors seemed to creak and rale with menace, threatening to suck me out into the yard with the full contents of the house. The hallway seemed safer.

In the distance, flashes of ghastly, blue-green light shot into the sky while thunderous BOOMS echoed through the smashing wind. Transformers were exploding on every block, and thus we were swallowed by complete and utter darkness. The total absence of light, coupled by the fiendish wind, made it all too easy to feel completely alone and abandoned by the rest of the world. I felt as though I were aboard a failing ship in an unrelenting squall. Sound, instead of water, threatened to drown me. I thought about family and friends in other parts of town. A plan to place a call was swiftly thwarted by the outage of my cell phone. Network busy.

Falling limbs crashed on the roof and on the ground. Some ran their twigs over the windows like fingernails on a chalkboard. Cracks and thuds, booms, rasps and roars – all of the unworldly noise was almost unbearable.

I filled my ears with headphones and listened to a small handheld radio. Through the mess of bad transmissions I found a station reporting on the storm. The eye of the hurricane had reached parts of Houston. It was 5:30 am. Callers described the eerie silence while the host warned solidly against going outside. We were on the other side of IKE and though we would not know it then, the horrible sound would prove better than the deceiving silence on the other end.

I propped the flashlight face up so that the light could bounce off the ceiling. It’s soft glow a small comfort, somehow allowing me to convince myself about the impossibility of our roof blowing away, or the trees smashing down on us. It will pass. It has to pass. I closed my eyes and tried to concentrate on nothing but this one thought.

The radio station lost power and the white noise bounced in my headphones trying hopelessly to masque the whipping wind. I fell asleep again, but only shortly. When I awoke, almost an hour later, we were in darkness again. The flashlight had gone out. But the noise outside had lessened. Shortly after, a cold, gray tone throughout the sky offered the only evidence of sun. The trees still shook, but the windows didn’t rattle and the rain seemed normal again.

Blake and I looked out the windows and dared to open the front door. The hurricane had passed to the right of us. We would find out soon enough just how lucky we had been.

I’m so glad and thankful to be back! It has been a trying couple of weeks! Alas, my chocolate stash could not outlast the number of days in darkness, discomfort, and boredom. There were so many!

Still, we have escaped with not much over busted fences , LOTS of fallen trees, and a heap of perspective.

There is so much to tell about this IKE misadventure. Nothing I’ve experienced before can compare. As in everything, there is good and there is bad…but mostly good. We are so very fortunate. I hope, with all the hope I have, that those still left in darkness, literally and figuratively, will have the light back in their lives soon.

I’ll be checking back to tell of my travels through IKE-land very shortly. I just couldn’t wait any longer to check in!

Hunker Down!

September 12, 2008
A much awaited social event for Morgan Stanley was cancelled yesterday evening. I got the call midday that the Berings & James Gallery was shutting its doors due to an unwelcomed visitor. Thus guests and photographer alike will be planning for a future date.

With Mr. Ike bearing down on us like a Mac truck on NOS, I’m thankful for not having a wedding this weekend. I can’t help but wonder just how many couples in the Texas/Gulf Coast area are missing their blessed day due to the wraths of Mother Nature. Such is life. But I guess it will make for interesting stories for their future kiddos and grand kiddos. I pray that everyone in our area is out of harm’s way and that the damage that is to come is only material and replaceable.

Things have been a bit panicky in the area. Yesterday people were flocking in hoards to retailers for building materials, water and non-perishable items. I found myself in the thick of it and was glad to see that the past week was used most adequately to overstock on all things Pro-Hurricane Preparedness. Though lines were long, there was no fighting for the last case of water or gallon of gas. Now, we do the sit-n’-wait. And try not to focus too much on the news images of the 20 foot swells already pummeling Galveston Island — a mere 50 miles from where I sit and type. Ike is still miles off the coast, but he’s wasting no time on making his entrance.

Today, a much calmer scene at hand…reminiscent of images from The Happening. As they say, the calm before the storm. My street is quiet and desolate, an eerie wind rustling the trees and urging a quick shut of the door. It’s a little scary, this waiting game. The best we can hope for is a non-lengthy power outage and perhaps some flooding in the vulnerable areas. Not too bad considering other places…then I think about the power outage again. It’s HOT in Houston.

I’m already assembling a computer withdrawal package: complete with books and magazines I’ve been meaning to read, enough candles to light a monastery, a hundred lbs. of ice (literally) to sustain my perishables, and a few items of the chocolate persuasion…to keep the nerves down. I’ve also got a brand-spankin’ new set of brushes and paints that I’ve been meaning to break open. Funny that it should take an on-coming hurricane to bring one’s attention back to basics, eh? Live and learn…with an emphasis on the live.

My best wishes to you all out there braving this thing head on, travelling with loved ones to get away, and those who will inevitably be dealing with broken homes or otherwise damaged property. Remember, no loss is greater than the loss of life. Godspeed.