January 29, 2009

Oh Molly.....

Molly was getting a little jealous that Olive was on my blog, so I took a few shots of her last night while she was looking all adorable on the couch. Most of the time she's sitting on my lap, cuddled up to me, which makes it rather impossible to get any cute pics...so I jumped on the opportunity.

She's the greatest roomie. Love my little Molly. Who couldn't?? :)

She's pretty quick, and kept trying to get closer to me, with the camera in my hand, so this was all that I got of her not laying down. I must say that I love this little girl....and this picture. :)

I've got a shoot to process, and a few with humans this weekend, so I promise you'll see people on my blog again soon. :)

And OH!!!! I just can't help it, I gotta tell you. Someone very special is coming to TX tomorrow (woohoo), and I can't wait!

January 28, 2009

A Puppy Story | Olive

I got to spend a little time with Miss Olive this afternoon.....I am so in love with this puppy already. She is such a doll. Her little whimpers, the jumps that make her look like a deer, and puppy breath kisses are so wonderful. I hope she stays small and tiny forever.....but knowing that she won't, I brought my camera over when I got to see her this afternoon for some fun shots.

Toni wasn't at home, it was just me and her mother there, so she doesn't know about these pics. SURPRISE!! Hope you love the pics, Toni!

Toni is one lucky Mom! ;)

January 27, 2009

The Fonseca Family Story

Jennifer was one of my favorite managers when I worked at Dell a few years ago. I remember when she came to our team....just her presence among us caused all the girls to step it up a notch in the fashion department. After meeting her, I went out and bought my first pair of Nine West pumps.....an obsession that is still ongoing these days. :)

We get together for lunch every few months. When she asked me to capture her family's story at our last meet up - I was thrilled, and said YES immediately!! Jen does photography on the side herself too, which made me feel even more honored to be asked to do this for her family. :)

It was not a surprise when she and her boys all stepped out of the truck looking so incredibly stylish. I had such a great time chasing the little guys around.....Caden, Evan and Dylan are adorable!!!! Jen and Bob together are totally smokin!!! I was so lucky to be the one to tell their story. :)

I had a wonderful time with your family, Jennifer. I had the hardest time picking my favorites - there were too many! I hope you love your story!!!

For more fun with the Fonsecas, check out the slideshow.

January 26, 2009

When in Austin.....

.....you gotta have some Texas BBQ. There are probably some ongoing debates about which restaurant is considered to be the best BBQ in Austin, but since I was Shyla's offical Austin tourguide, I had the pleasure of taking her to the Salt Lick for my personal favorite.

We met up with Laura for lunch and ate as much brisket, sausage, turkey, cole slaw, beans and potato salad as we could. I seriously love the food there...and I believe that it was a hit with my favorite Bostonite too. :)

I brought in my big girl camera, and had a good giggle trying to show the kind waiter that offered to take our photo just how to do that. It's a little more than the normal "just press this button" to get a shot off with the 5D...but he did an OK job. Hey, we're in focus at least! :)

We spent the rest of our day, afternoon and evening, just hanging out......but when deciding on what to do as our last Austin adventure, the one last treat was a movie (Gran Torino) at Alamo Drafthouse - the only place in Austin to truly enjoy the film viewing experience.

It's been great having Shyla here visiting. We didn't take nearly enough photos, but we'll work on remedying that the next time we see each other. :)

January 25, 2009

Olive, Pizza and Triple Word Score

This morning we underestimated the crowd for breakfast at The Original Pancake House.....so we scarfed down our Eggs Michael and Two by Four....and managed to get to church just a few minutes late. Another wonderful service this morning, as per usual.

We stopped to hang out with Tara for a bit so Shyla could visit the best hairdresser in Austin for a trim, found ourselves a Sonic for an afternoon snack, and then hit up Guadeloupe for a taste of UT campus.

Toni got a new puppy today, Olive, so we stopped by to meet her......she's SO cute!!! The puppy that is....well, Toni is cute too.....but I'd say Toni is hot, not cute....ok, I'm digressing.....I stole these pics from her Facebook page since I didn't have my camera with me. I'll have to schedule some time with Olive for her welcome home photoshoot!! :)

We had picked up goodies to make dinner too. Shyla busted out the stuff, and cooked us up a mean margherita pizza. It was delicious!!!

The Scrabble game that we started last night after midnight was yet to be finished, so we completed that one, and played one more. Our second game was quite a doozy.....I think that my Mom would be impressed by the number of words that were played below other words....creating lots of words at one time. This was a new trick to Shyla, and I expect her opponents to be wowed when she pulls it out in her next challenge.

January 24, 2009

Around Austin and then some....

Shyla only got to see Austin from the front window of a tour bus last time she was here, so I invited her back for a real Austin, TX visit.

After she landed on Thursday afternoon, we headed to grab a bite to eat at Freebirds. I like to take people from out of town to local, or Texas only joints, and I had always thought that this place was founded in College Station, where I went to school at A&M. BUT, oops, turns out I was wrong!! Kyle pointed out to me after seeing my Twitter update that I was incorrect.....and that the first Freebirds was actually built in, of all places, Santa Barbara, in 1987. The first one in TX was in CS in 1990. So weird to me, especially since I'm about to move to SB.

Anyways.....we ate, came back to the condo for a bit and then went to pick up Renae for some fun with the camera downtown. We met up with Jeff, and did some fun walking around a few neat spots, and got some fun shots (to be posted soon). Nae Nae is such the little model!!! :)

Friday was a beautifully wonderful day of 80 degrees, a perfect day for our sundresses and sandals, if you can believe it. I took Shyla to a real Texas original, and we ate lunch at Java Cafe in Round Rock. We'd discovered that Brett Dennen was playing on Friday night at La Zona Rosa, so we decided that would be our outing of the evening. I've always loved this venue, and hadn't been to a live show in ages. I really enjoyed the girl that opened too,Erin McCarley. BD put on a great show too!!

Ok....so, first thing to mention about Saturday......Shyla got to experience the loveliness that is the everchanging Austin weather. Yesterday it was 80, today it's 40. Brrr!!! We donned our jackets, boots and hats and headed out for some more Austin fun. First stop was Mount Bonnell. Second stop, a quick peek to see the peacocks at Mayfield Gardens - none of them would spread their quills for us - boo. Third stop, lunch at Hula Hut (next time you go, try the Noodle Salad that Shy had....it was delish!!!). Fourth stop - stroll up and down South Congress. I think we saw quite a few fun spots today....maybe we'll hit up some more tomorrow afternoon.

Tonight included the Wideawake CD release show at Antone's with Renae. Two of the band members, Scott and Chris, are in the worship band at Lake Hills Church. This band is AMAZING, and the show was awesome. I think that the 3 of us had smiles on our faces the entire time. Scott's stage theatrics are so innocent and sweet, not to mention, his, and Chris' voices are so wonderful. I am pretty sure that their newest CD is going to be making quite a few appearances on my iTunes in the next few weeks. Be sure to give them a look-see. :)

Here is one that we all rather enjoyed.......She Likes Purple. Shyla already purchased it when we got home, and we're listening to it now for the 2nd time. :)

January 22, 2009

A great day for Obama, and for me too!

Tuesday might have been all about our new president, but I also felt kind of special on that day too.

My morning started off with Kara. Yay, I was feeling kind of lazy after not getting up any sense of early on Monday (well, it was a holiday), and so I was thrilled that Kara and I had the same brilliant idea to meet for breakfast. She came over after dropping the kiddos off, and we dined at The Original Pancake House. We had to have pancakes.....and both chose the Two by Four. Yum.

After stuffing ourselves, we hung out with Molly and watched the President Inauguration. I am really not so eloquent with words, especially when it comes to politics, but I'm excited about what our country's new leader, and what the change will bring. Regardless of your political opinions, it's nice to see that so many people are taking an interest in our country, and rallying together to stand for something. We can only wait to see what Obama will do for us, and pray that he is granted the wisdom to make choices that are good for all Americans.

Ok, enough of that. Phew....that kind of hurt my brain a little.

On Tuesday night, the fun continued. It'd been a while since we'd had a girl's night in, and I was really looking forward to this one. With me not knowing when I'll really be leaving, I wanted to make sure to see my girls before I move. I don't like to use the term "going away", because this won't be the last time that I'll see them (it'd better not be anyways), but if for nothing else, it was a great reason for a girl's night.

Renae made us some wonderful chili, we had a little run in with the gas company (Long story short: a few of us thought we smelled gas. Better to be safe than sorry, so we called the gas company, and they sent someone out to check it out. He didn't find anything out of the ordinary....and at the end of the night, some of the girls are convinced that what we smelled had to be the onions. Ooops.), watched some horrid TV (seriously....who ARE the real housewives of the OC......they are NUTS....that's what they are!?!?), and had a great time, as usual, spending time with each other.

I'm going to miss my girlfriends in Austin SO much, and can only hope that I have the same types of friendships in CA. I've been so blessed to have them all as part of my lives over the last 10 years. I'm going to be sure that they all download Skype, and book their tickets to come visit me as often as possible!!! :)

The little ones are getting older.....

A lot of my friends' babies are turning one. It's been such a QUICK year!

Alyssa was first in December....then it was Caleb at the beginning of January......and now Hudson joined the ranks. Renae and I went to see all the babies....and there were a LOT of babies at this party...the most I'd ever seen. I'm not kidding you when I say that there were easily over 10 super little ones there. They were all sickenly adorable too!

Happy birthday to ALL the little ones....don't grow up too fast. That'll just make your mommies cry. :)

Playing Catch Up with Pictures

I used to be SO good at posting pictures when I take them...keeping all of you "in the know", and current, on all the exciting happenings of my life. Well, I guess I'm not too horrible at it, but I do have some pictures that I took over a few weeks ago, that I had all intentions of posting, and hadn't even gotten around to downloading them off my camera - GASP!!!

So....I have the right to play catch up. Follow along. :)

On New Year's Day (yea, we're going back that far).....Brett, Dave, Dayna and I all enjoyed a rather yummy breakfast at Summerland Cafe. The highlight of the meal was Brett's choice of beverage. I present you with "the best hot chocolate ever". What a shame that you have to travel ALL the way to SB to get this delicious drink. Guess you'd all better start booking your trips. :)

At this point, I can't remember what we did on the 2nd....oh, I worked. That's right. I had to be up for the 9am EST call (which was 6am CA time), and be the moderator. Oh well, it was my last time to ever have to do that....and obviously it didn't scar me too much if I'd already forgotten about it. And OH, that afternoon/evening, I went to meet Danielle, who will be my future roomie when I move to SB. She was college roomies with Shyla, and it turned out she was moving to SB soon too. I went to pick her up (in Brett's truck.....yes, I got to drive it....unsupervised even.....around SB, by myself, and I didn't get lost), and we spent almost 2 hours chatting at Starbucks. We hit it off immediately, and I am super excited about living with her once I get out there. Brett and I had some really yummy Mexican food that night at a place down in Montecito called Los Arroyos. I already proclaimed that it'll be the spot that I take my Texas friends when they come to visit. It passed all the tests for a good Mexican joint! :)

On Saturday, we went with Alex to one of Kirsten's games. She's the head coach for the Women's Westmont Basketball team. Alex came over to get us, and we walked towards campus. The girls were super impressive, and stomped up on San Diego...beating them 90-40.

Ok, I'm now going to be going back to semi-up to date times...so that's all for this post. :)

January 18, 2009

Just Because....

Today, I went to church (the worship team at LHC downtown is AMAZING), and then after that, I got a #1 with a Coke from Wendy's, and came home. It was the most beautiful day outside today in Austin, but I decided that, since I'm still battling what I can only guess is allergies, I should stay inside.

I started to sort through the closet in my study, sorted through boxes, put old unlabeled CDs into the computer to find out what's on them, threw a few things away (so far 2 bags full), packed half of one box, loaded some CDs into iTunes.....yeah, you get my point.....it was a very underwhelming day.

I actually watched a few shows tonight....on TV. As in, on TV, while they were being aired, with commercials and all. Crazy, I know!!

So, I am sitting here now, and noticed a folder on my desktop that I hadn't processed yet. It was a few shots that Brett and I took back when he was here from his Thanksgiving visit.

I liked these two, and I wanted to post them......just because. Well, maybe because I miss him....just a little bit. Since I'm now in a holding pattern until a renter comes along for my condo, we're not sure how the next few weeks will pan out, so I'm not sure when I'll see him next.

These pics made me smile, and I just felt like posting them. Just because.

January 17, 2009

A Band Story | Deejer

Ok, first things first...I apologize for the extreme number of images posted below....but A. I haven't had any other sessions to edit (hint hint...book me while I'm still in TX), and B. after going through these a few times, I kept finding more that I really liked....so just bear with me.

I met up with the guys of Deejer last Sunday. I think Jeff said that they'd done this quite a few times before (which I could tell....these guys were all naturals in front of the camera), but they were in need of some updated band pics. I hadn't done this type of shoot before, but I was really excited!

I had this grand idea of getting some neat shots at the railroad track that is on McNeil road. For some reason, I just think of railroad tracks when I think of band photos.....so we parked at the Kiddie Acres, and all walked across the street to see what kind of trouble we could get into. Well, after a few shots.....we did just that....got into trouble.

A man drove up, got out, put on his official neon vest, and kindly told us that we shouldn't be hanging out in a railyard....that the trains come really fast through there, and for our own safety, we should leave. I played dumb (better to ask for forgiveness than permission), we were all very nice, and chose to heed his warnings and leave. Boo. I did get off a few shots, but oh well. Next time, we just go to the other side of the tracks first, where no one could see us from the open road. :)

We ventured over towards the road that backs up to the rear gate of my condo neighborhood, and stumbled across some neat spots. I think that our favorite was the, what seemed to be anyways, burnt down house from the 80s. There was all sorts of trash.....yes, all trash....nothing that would show up on the Antique Roadshow was left here......at this place, which made for a fun, and different backdrop for some shots.

I had a great time with all of the guys. Special thanks to Nae for being my assistant for the afternoon!!! I listened to the Dark Summer Dawn album while editing, and really enjoyed the tunes. Check them out for yourselves - Deejer - and enjoy the pics.

JR Shirley - bass, vocals

Gary Hopkins - drums

Dave Erickson - guitar, vocals

Chris Didear - lead vocals

Jeff Hurst - guitar

Want to hear a tasting of Deejer's music, and see more? Check out the slideshow. They are playing on February 6th in Austin at The Parish, if you want to check out one of their shows!