This past weekend, my Daddy took the boys on a evening hunt on his banker's land. They prepared for the hunt all morning, took a nap to rest up and then off they went. Dad, Scott and Shaun sat in one deer stand while Mason and Grandaddy sat in another stand 500 yards away. Mason counted 24 deer that were just out of his reach while Dad, Scott and Shaun saw nothing. Minutes before they were going to call it a day, a group of deer came into the clearing. Dad helped Shaun get set up for the perfect shot. BOOM!!! He pulled the trigger before Dad and Scott knew what was happening and he dropped her in her tracks. You can only imagine how excited he was!!! Even as excited as Shaun was, my Daddy was even more excited and very proud. I am so glad they were all able to create this wonderful memory together.
If you know me at all, then you know that I have always had a passion for photography. I think I get it from my Dad! There was a time in his life, when he would photograph weddings just like there are times in my life where I have photographed weddings, families, couples, seniors, etc. Off and on I have done this without any true commitment to my passion. I do not know how to fully commit with everything else I have going on in my life. I have blamed money, work, family, love, and time on it when in reality it is just my own fears that have held me back from pursuing my passion. Well, this past year I decided to take a step further and actually put myself out there a little more, though it is not enough to write home about just yet.
One of my goals for the year is to really put myself out there and attempt to give this thing a go. I want to let go of all of my fears and just jump!!! I guess we will see where this journey takes me. We will see if I stop being chicken enough to actually take the plunge. I will keep you posted...
In the meantime, here are several shots from this past year. They are from several different sessions. Let me know which ones are your favorites.
Christmas is my favorite time each year. I love decorating for everything, visiting family in Louisiana and Arkansas, wrapping presents, cooking and eating good food, etc. Everything about Christmas is magical and it should be, especially if you celebrate Jesus' birth as my family does. Of course we do the Santa thing and Scout Elf as well, but Shaun and Mason both know the real reason we celebrate Christmas and that is all that matters.
Scott, the boys and I on Christmas Day at my Grandparent Walker's House.
Speaking of Scout Elves...Bernard, our elf was quite mischievous and generous this year. The first day he arrived, he thanked the boys for being so great this year. They were quite awesome, I have to admit. They behaved as they should, got so much better about doing their chores, were absolutely precious during the time of losing our Papaws, and worked super hard in school!!! We were very proud of them, so Bernard treated them by showing up with Build A Bear surprises for them. He challenged them to go out and build their own Christmas buddy to enjoy the holiday with. It was a fun way to kick off the month.
If you know me, then you know that I am a white light kind of gal! There is nothing wrong with multi colored lights on your tree, but they better not end up on my tree. Last year was a disaster because of this, which resulted in me redecorating the tree when the boys went to bed and coming up with a clever little tale of why the lights were now white. I know, I know....I am a terrible person, but it is a problem I can't help. I was born this way :)
This year, I decided to loosen the reigns a little and agreed to have green and white lights on the tree. You probably think this isn't a big deal, but it was and still is a big deal to me. I hated them. I thought the green lights would grow on me, but they NEVER did. Everyone that came into our home loved our tree and raved about the green lights. As much as I love these people, I still think they are crazy.
Next year, I have a plan...if this plan does not work then we will have two trees. One in the boys playroom with 100 different colors on it and one in our living room with classy white lights on it. My plan is to put white, green and red lights on the tree. I am crossing my fingers that I love it because I really do not want to put up and take down two Christmas trees along with the thousand mini trees we have scattered throughout the house.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were spent in Crowville with my family due to the time we were supposed to have the boys back to their mom so that they could spend Christmas with her and her family. We didn't have enough time to drive to and from Arkansas due to the time constraints. We have joint custody of the boys and split everything right down the middle, except holidays. Easter, Thanksgiving, and Halloween are every other year, whereas Christmas, is split between both families. This year was no different. However, an hour before Ashley was scheduled to pick up the boys, we received a call from Robby (the boy's stepdad) saying that Ashley was in the ER. Mono was her curse...she is still recovering.
Christmas Eve at Mom and Dad's House with the Freeman's, Dalleo's, McCallum's and Walker's.
Bernard, our elf, brought the whole family a set of Christmas PJ's!
Mason with his new pellet gun from Mom and Dad! The boys love their new guns!!!
This is a picture from Christmas Day at my Grandparent's House. We celebrated with the Vinings, the Week's, the Dalleo's, the Walker's, and the McCallum's.
Santa brought the boys Rock Band. They were quite excited, as you can tell. This is before it was even plugged into the television.
Mason with his loot from Daddy and I.
Shaun with his loot from Daddy and I.
Daddy with some of his loot from the boys and I.
My sister and brother in law on Christmas Day. We are patiently waiting for Baby Boy Dalleo to make his arrival in the world. It's close!!!
We kept the boys through the weekend and ended up in Arkansas a day early for our two night trip. We had a great time visiting with Scott's Dad, Brother, Mom, Granny, Aunt and Uncle. Our time there is never long enough, but we make the most of it. Scott's Mom and I were even able to find the time for a little thrift store shopping!!! My favorite past time!!!
Shaun is obsessed with Sharks, so he was very excited to get a new book on Sharks.
Memaw had Mason a chef hat made with his name on it. He loves it!
We are from West Monroe, LA...need I say more, haha!
Granny with her new cookbook and trivet.
Granny, Memaw, Mason and Shaun
Shaun and Mason in Arkansas. This is one of my favorite pictures of them from Christmas.
Shaun and Mason
Scott, Mason and Shaun - Daddy and his boys
Our family picture from Christmas in Arkansas
Memaw and her boys
Memaw, Mason, Shaun and Granny
Scott, Memaw, Granny, Robert, Mason and Shaun
Scott and Shaun
Scott and Mason
Like always, Christmas Season has to come to an end, but if you are like me, you strive to keep it in your heart all year long.
I am ashamed that I have not posted anything since April of last year, but what can I say, it was a crazy year. I will try and catch up with this one post...
Scott, the boys and I took the best vacation ever. We spent a week at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. If you have never done it or considered it, you should. We stayed at one of the onsite hotels so that we could experience everything they had to offer. It was amazing. One of the main perks of staying on site is the early entry to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Express Passes, and the water-taxis that take you to and from the parks, hotels, and City Walk. We didn't want to leave and we are already planning another trip there next year. I will have to do a post just on our experience, complete with pictures another time.
Loss in the Families
Scott and I both lost our Papaws this summer. It has been a hard year for both of our families. Both of them had a different form of cancer that was Stage 4. Losing them has been very tough, but through the loss of them, we both have felt a peace that we know can only come from God. They were both God fearing men who had given their lives over to Christ. We know that we will one day see them again.
The boys, their mom and I went to the annual Mom and Me campout in October. The plan was to stay Saturday night together in a tent while enjoying all of the Scout activities. We were there a matter of hours before we were rained out this year. As sad as the boys were, we were able to turn things around by having our own Mom and Me campout in their mom's living room. We invited one of our close friend's and her son to come along, since they were at the campout as well. We had a great time eating pizza, watching movies, playing games and falling asleep all piled up in the living room. It was a Mom and Me that I will never forget.
The boys were with us this Halloween. We took them to our Church Carnival before going Trick or Treating in the neighborhood. Some of the family met us at the Church so they could see the boys. Mason was a Ninja and Shaun was a Shark. Scott and I even tried to get in the spirit and "dress" up this year.
Scott and I did not have the boys this year as it was their mom's turn to have them. We decided to spend our holiday in Crowville with my family so that we could spend Thanksgiving with the boys in Arkansas the following year.We continued with our tradition of the Thanksgiving Journal where we ask family members to write what they are thankful for. I know that we will be thankful we have it one day so that we can look back and see what different ones wrote. Since we did not go to Arkansas, we invited Scott's granny and mom to come down for the weekend. We hosted a party at our house while they were there. Overall, it was a great Thanksgiving.
I will post a separate post on Christmas and Photography Updates!!!