Another Happy Birthday New Year

Yes, I married a New Year’s Eve baby. I fondly call him the last gift of the year. He dislikes that his birthday is the same day everyone is partying for a different reason. I suppose he has a point…

BUT, we do make the best of it. We don our hats. Present our gifts over dinner and cake. Sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY at the top of our lungs. From morning to almost midnight is birthday, birthday, birthday!

Then, we quickly switch out hats for the countdown to midnight.

Phew! What a rush.

A good Happy Birthday, Happy New Year kind of rush.

So far this year, I have eaten a BIG BOWL of black-eyed peas.

I have driven my new car – every day. See, I bought a car on my husband’s birthday. Well, I leased it.

We planned on using one car for the next three years and that is why I traded my car in a year ago. It did work out the last year. There were a few challenges. The break-in hit me especially hard. No car in the driveway…but really, that wasn’t the only reason to get a car. There were many. It was time and I needed it.

I didn’t think my credit would be good enough to lease, but lo and behold.

A brand new car!

I love it.

So, a very HAPPY NEW YEAR from our family to yours!

© 2015 Angelia's Photography

2015 – Be good to me.

How is yours going so far?

Another Year Comes to an End – So long 2014

Well, here it is.

Another year (year!) has passed by. This one as lightning fast as the last few years.

But I am not going to stress about it. I think I will just climb on up and take off into 2015. No use waiting around, let’s fly!

Ah, but first, we must recap the year. And you know how I like to do it? In photos, of course!

Last year, I posted one photo for every month of the year. I just read back through it and questioned several months. Did that really happen in 2013? Seems so long ago! But, no. It did and this year, I have no doubt will seem just as surreal. I think having a baby and young girls around has something to do with it. It makes me question my sanity, my memory, and my timelines.

Good thing I have this blog to keep it all straight. Heh!

I didn’t stick to my one photo rule this year. But I am making galleries of each month.

    Just click on the photo to scroll through all the photos and captions.

I had the honor and privilege of photographing the birth of my cousin Tasha’s twin babies. I can’t even describe what it meant to me to see these two precious babes as they are born into this world. To see the faces of all the family as they meet them for the first time. To see these first time parents cherish and count little hands and feet. It was just too beautiful for words. So, I took photos and I really do hope they always remember them.

I tried to photograph a snowflake. I was part of a hunter’s wedding (as photographer). I did not partake in the odd groom’s cake that “bled” when cut open, but I did eat a piece of hog meat. It was pretty good! Also? My grand baby turned six months old!

Jason and I visited Mayfield park in Austin. They have beautiful paths and gorgeous peacocks! A photographer’s heaven. This is the first place I saw spring start to come alive.

G-Baby visits the zoo for the first time. We took her to the Dallas Zoo. We loved it, but she mostly slept. Jason had surgery on his shoulder (not pictured). Molly turned ten years old. And Brandon turned the big 21!

My daughter’s first Mother’s Day. G-baby is 9 months old! And I got to visit with Norie Sato at the opening of the Chisholm Trail Parkway. A parkway that has the image I took of a Texas Toad made into a mosaic designed by Norie on a pillar next to the road. It is part of the public art program in Fort Worth, Texas. I keep meaning to post about it. It is the coolest thing I could ever be part of. Part of my “work” on the side of major freeway…forever? Wow…

We took a road trip to Oklahoma. Enjoyed a few food truck Fridays at the park. And met a baby kitty who eventually came to live with us. We call her Maya. She is probably the gutsiest cat I have ever met. I guess she has to be to live with us and four dogs. She was one of Bridget’s presents for her 8th birthday.

As if four dogs, and a new kitty weren’t enough. We decided to renovate our house. Top to bottom. New floors, and paint. We took down wallpaper and we took down chair rails. We textured walls. We even painted all the brass a nice oil-rubbed bronze. This was exhausting!

Honestly, the remodel was still in full force. My cameras were put away from all the dust and debris. But I did get it out for baby’s ONE YEAR PHOTOS and party. G-Baby is a whole year old! I didn’t post the party pics (since there is a post on that). These are few outtakes from our photo sessions (never seen before images!).

My baby Salem turns twelve-years old. Oh my heart. She is still my baby even though she is 80+ in dog years. Also, I took photos of the 9/11 rainbow. This was seen all over the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex on the morning of 9/11. Pretty cool.

I took a five-day trip with my sister. We went to Oklahoma to hang out with my mom and take her on day trips to where she grew up. It was a lot of fun to see “our history” and spend time with my big sister and mom. This is also the month my (now famous) Texas Toad print got displayed at the Art7 Gallery in downtown Fort Worth. They did a Fort Worth Public Art exhibit.

I got real sick. I had surgery to remove my gall bladder. And I got much better. On my last recovery day, after sitting around ALL DAY. I thought to myself. WHY? Why am I sitting here? This is my last recovery day and I should go to the gardens and take photos of fall color. So, I did. I got there 45 mins before closing. Phew. Thanksgiving I was well enough to travel and got to spend it with my sister and her family in Houston, Texas. Of course, we took G-Baby to the beach on the last day. She does not love the water, but she dug the sand (heh, get it?).

Lots of fun in December. One of my candlelight photos from a past service got shared (with permission of course) on the UMC (United Methodist Church) main page Christmas Eve. It received over 7,000 likes. This floored me. Such a nice way to end the year. These are photos from this year’s service and a few Christmas thrown in as well. My husband’s ex-wife makes me cookies and fudge every year. This year, she really outdid herself. And this time, instead of to the family, it gets labeled as mine. Ohhhhh yeahhhhh…. She knows! She knows!

Happy NEW YEAR to you all! I treasure every one of you! I wish for you a most blessed year, full of love and kindness.

And… Happy Birthday to my husband – the New Year’s Eve baby. He is the big 4-0! Finally, he is in the 40’s! Wow.

DSC_5292cvrtCMAS2014 copy

Our Christmas 2014

Well, it happened and it happened fiercely.

Christmas 2014.

I will remember it as the Christmas I almost didn’t get the tree up.

The Christmas I almost didn’t get the presents wrapped.

The Christmas I thought would be a bit skimpy, but lo and behold, it turned out as plump and magical as always.

We did our traditional Christmas Eve candlelight service with IHOP for dinner after.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

© Angelia's Photography 2014

© Angelia's Photography 2014

As beautiful as it was, I think we should have just stopped there. IHOP ended up being packed. The girls were in absolute distress to be late back to their mom’s.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

It was actually our year for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, but we had traded it to their Mom and just borrowed them Christmas Eve. I thought this might be Bridget’s last “Santa” year and I wanted their Mom to have it. In the end, as happy as I was to have my family together on Christmas Eve, it was just too tense and I felt really bad about the late thing, even though it wasn’t exactly our fault. It still was and…it wasn’t fun. Not for anyone. I did enjoy Averey’s great-grandparents who joined us at IHOP. I do hope that becomes a new tradition.

When Christmas afternoon came, we received the gift of two stress-free happy girls ready for a wonderful Christmas Day.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

© Angelia's Photography 2014

I didn’t mind at all waiting until Christmas Day to open presents. It was nice to have a relaxed time of opening gifts and having some time to enjoy them.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

© Angelia's Photography 2014

Of course, we dressed the dogs up. Of course, we did.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

Bridget’s first gift was the new Kindle we got to replace the one the thieves stole a few months ago. The tag said: To Bridget From: Someone who is sorry.

I doubt they are sorry at all, but it was a nice thought. Maybe, if they knew they took an eight-year-old’s Kindle they would feel sorry. Maybe? Nah.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

Molly got a cool cat shirt. And many, many other things.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

© Angelia's Photography 2014

And then, the big gift they had to open last. The iPod Touch we trekked out on Black Friday to retrieve at a decent price. Oh yes, we did!

© Angelia's Photography 2014

© Angelia's Photography 2014

It was worth it.

The smiles. The enchantment. The surprise. Every second of blood, sweat, and tears worth it.

Okay, maybe there wasn’t any blood or tears, but I sweated to get those presents all wrapped. Phew!

© Angelia's Photography 2014

© Angelia's Photography 2014

The grand baby was more fun, too. Oh, she doesn’t “get” it. But it is still fun to watch her surprise. Next year, I have no doubt, she will most certainly “get” it.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

© Angelia's Photography 2014

One of the gifts was a set of Speed Bumper cars. Those were a big hit and just as I predicted, the big kids (including Jason) liked them just as much as the girls.

© Angelia's Photography 2014
There was another surprise for me. Jason and I had promised not to exchange gifts, but out of the tree, he pulled a little box. Inside the little box, a beautiful set of diamond earrings. Earrings I have wanted a long time. I was surprised, thrilled, and humbled. What an enormously sweet gesture.

So, Christmas 2014 was an amazing day!

And now, the fun really begins….

© Angelia's Photography 2014

Giving Thanks

I can’t believe it is Thanksgiving already.

Where has the year gone?

I think this one zoomed by faster than the rest.

This is my second Thanksgiving with my little grand girl – Averey Elizabeth.

Thanksgiving 2013
Thanksgiving 2013

An itty bitty baby a year ago.

And this year, she has changed so much. She is a mover and shaker. Loves to play, laugh, clap, squeal, and RUN.

This is her and Bridget at the park last weekend. The baby is running, and Bridget is trying to keep up.

The best part of my outing is when Bridget plops down next to me and says out of breath, “I am tired!”

I guess being an eight-year-old and chasing after a busy toddler is too much for her.

What’s funny is I have photos of her “running” all crazy. And you know? It wasn’t that long ago…

Little Bridget
Little Bridget

I am so thankful I have been in her life since she was a toddler.

I am thankful to share the love of Averey with her.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography
I am pretty sure they will be friends for a long, long time.

I’ve had an entire year plus a few months of being a Grandmother. I wish I could explain what joy that brings me, but it isn’t something you can explain. It is just something you feel in your heart.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

I am grateful for this experience. It is a treasure and a gift.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

And yes, it is going by way too fast. I don’t want her to grow up, and yet, I can’t stop time. I’m not sure I would want to either. I am enjoying the great changes she is making.

So, I will cherish every moment. Every run. Every laugh. Every squeal.

And I am thankful.

So very, very thankful.

I thank you all for being here. I wish you many blessings and memories on this Thanksgiving Day.

If you don’t celebrate, that is okay. You can still be thankful.

Just take a quick lesson from a very cute fifteen-month-old.