Friday, July 31, 2009

Evil Knievel

My sister just sent me these pictures of Sir Samsalot performing stunts on the back of his ATV, and I couldn't resist sharing them here.

I love how he's pointing at the "crowd" in the last shot as if to say, "Oh yeah, people! You know I'm awesome!"

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh...Hangin' Tough!

Oh, yea, ladies!  Yours truly was there Saturday night for the live New Kids on the Block concert experience...and what an experience it was!

Important things you should know about the NKOTB concert:

Women LOVE the NKOTB...and they will prove it with their homemade t-shirts! This was only one of several groups who expressed their undying love through adorable arts and crafts:
Lest any of you doubt that the NKOTB are still adored by a HUGE following, let the 20,000 women who flooded into Houston's concert Saturday night be the living proof. I was privileged to attend the concert with the two biggest NKOTB fans ever!  

Here's Erin, still showing Jordan the love after all these years:
I still remember her sister Catherine's devotion to Joey in high school when she wore oversized buttons like this one:Catherine's devotion to Joey runs deep.  Exhibit 1:Exhibit 2:
Joey is still HOTT:
Jordan is still HOTTER:
I confess that I never really got into NKOTB back in the day. While they have grown into handsome men, I too have grown up to be a sensible woman.  I may have rocked a side ponytail to support the band, but OH MY STARS, turn the volume down!
Lincee from I Hate Green Beans was sitting right next to me!
My sister was sitting on the other side of me, which came in very hand at a concert where the music was so loud, we couldn't communicate with words. All we have to do is give each other one look and we just get it, ya dig? We have fun together: 
In case you forgot the hand motions to "Hangin' Tough" no worries!  Just wave your hands in the air, and wave 'em like you just don't care:
NKOTB can still rock it old school, but they look good in their grown up suits!

NKOTB + Confetti = Total Estrogen Frenzy
Texas was very serious about thanking the NKOTB:
...Very serious...

no, seriously serious!

Thanks NKOTB!  It was an awesome concert!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Fairy Godmother

Meribeth and her beautiful family in 2007 at my wedding reception.

Question from The Book of Myself:  My godparent or a special adult in my life growing up was...

I was blessed with a wonderful godmother, who also happens to be my cousin. Her name is Meribeth. I call her my Fairy Godmother, and she calls me her Fairy Goddaughter. The best part about Meribeth (how can I pick a best part, really?) is that she is 14 years older than I am, so she is between my mother's age and my own.  That makes her the perfect confidant. Young enough to confide in like a big sister, but wise enough to give me sage advice!

I'll never forget a very special letter I received from her. I was about 14 years old and she came to visit me during the summer. That stage of adolescence is so difficult, no matter how well-adjusted a girl might be. She came to spend a week or two with my sister and me while my parents were out of town. 

After she left town, my sister and I were having some sort of sibling rivalry and I was feeling like a generally angsty teenager. I guess my mom sensed that I needed someone (besides a mother) to talk to about my feelings, so she suggested that I write Meribeth a letter. I decided to do just that.

If I recall, the root of my angst boiled down to the fact that I really wanted to become an actress and I had no idea how to make that happen, living in suburban Houston at 14 years old.

Meribeth wrote me back the kindest and most understanding letter. She suggested that I enroll in acting classes and was just generally encouraging. What I remember most from her letter was that she believed in me. She heard what was in my heart, and she believed in me and the importance of my dreams. Even writing about it now, I have tears streaming down my cheeks.

It is not lost on me that my decision to major in Theatre Arts in college was probably made a little bit more easily because my wise Fairy Godmother once told me in a letter that taking acting classes could really help me to fulfill my dreams. And it is not lost on me now that the woman who believed in my dreams when I was 14 years old still believes in them 20 years later.  She has traveled many miles over the past year to see me perform in two plays in Los Angeles!

Meribeth, thank you for being the best Fairy Godmother I could hope for!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blogging Inspiration!

Image found on

In the checkout line today at HomeGoods, I spotted The Book of Myself by Carl and David Marshall.  It is a "Do-it Yourself Autobiography in 201 Questions". Fascinated, I flipped through the pages and decided right then and there to buy it!

For our first anniversary, my mother gave us The Book of Us: A Journal of your Love Story in 150 Questions by David and Kate Marshall. It has since sat collecting dust on my bookshelf.

However, both books are now on my desk next to my laptop, and I've decided to begin chronicling my life in these books.  At the same time, I think the questions posed in the books will make wonderful prompts for blogging! Considering that I've been lacking in blog fodder lately, it seems like good timing!

Monday, July 13, 2009


These little cuties are the kids of some of our new friends here in TX. I couldn't resist the blueberry cobbler smeared all over their son's face!

Nothing says summertime like swinging in the late evening...

...fresh cut grass...

...and blueberry cobbler!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Focused Passion

I can't seem to escape thinking about mortality lately.

Between my own father's passing a year ago, the slew of celebrity deaths that have happened over the past two weeks, and news Brian received last night that an old work acquaintance passed away, it's practically impossible to escape thoughts of death and life.

Life is just so short--life here on earth, that is.  I believe in Heaven and that I will live there eternally after I die.

With all that in mind, my finite brain has some questions churning around in it:

~If life on earth is a gift that endures for a finite amount of time, how should I live it?
~If life on earth is preparation for eternity, how should I live it?
~If life on earth is a gift from God, how does He want me to live it?

In other words, I don't believe this life is all there is.  However, I do believe this life has great purpose that impacts both the here and now, as well as eternity. The big question I'm left with is:  With all this in mind, how shall I live?

One of the answers I keep coming back to is:  with passion!

I realize these are huge questions that can't be summed up articulately in a short blog post.  I can say, though, that if life here on earth has a divine purpose, I want to embrace it and to live fully!

I want to take seriously the things that matter to God. I want to enjoy this earthly life to the full because it is a great gift!  Today is God's gift to me--an opportunity to get to know Him better, to love Him with my life, to love others, to appreciate the beauty in His Creation, to give thanks for my home, for my daily bread, for my dear family and friends. 

Amazingly, I think I take so much of it all for granted.  Days slip away lived passionlessly.  

To live a life of focused passion and love for God and others--I think that is my purpose.

Note:  My husband, Brian, wrote a beautiful post today reflecting on this theme.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Celebrating TWO!

Thanks to all of you who left such sweet comments for us on our anniversary. I had to put a couple photos of the lovely roses I was greeted with when I walked into our kitchen on Tuesday morning!

We are planning to spend the weekend up in my hometown where we got married.  Of course, I love an excuse to "drag out" celebrating anything (birthdays, anniversaries etc.)!  We're going to stay at the hotel where we had our wedding reception, and we're also going to take a cooking class.  The class is called "Date Night in Rio de Janeiro", and all the recipes we'll be making are Brazilian!  Then we get to sit down and eat the delicious meal we cook!

Happy 4th of July weekend to all!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

House Guests = Captive Photo Subjects!

About a year ago, some friends of ours from our church in California moved to Texas.  Nine months later, we did too!  So it was fun to be able to have a reunion with Lonna and her son Jamin.  They made a pretty long drive just to spend about 24 hours with us!  Thanks, guys!

I'm still taking baby steps toward setting up a photography business, so neither my Canon nor I could resist this adorable face!

Isn't he handsome?!

Tuesday morning, I wanted to do a mother/son photo shoot, but Jamin was in no mood to have a camera in his face!  I had discovered this waterfall in our community a month or so ago, and I'd been wanting to take some photos there. I can't wait to go back and shoot there again!  I love this photo because it just goes to show that capturing a silly moment is just as framable as two perfectly smiling faces making eye contact with the camera:

After our shoot, we went to Chick-fil-A for lunch, and Jamin loved his ice cream cone!

If you're in the Houston area and you want me to photograph your family or your children, let me know!  I'm trying to build my portfolio, so I'll do it for C-H-E-A-P!