Boy Oh Boy | Frisco, TX Child Photographer

This little guy was all boy.  It took a little while to warm him up (quite literally, since it was a bit chillier than expected Sunday morning), but once he did he never slowed down.  I especially loved watching him play with his train and how excited he got over his new book.  The teacher in me thought this was one of the best "bribes" I have seen yet!  Doesn't this face just make you smile?

Collages | i heart faces | McKinney Portrait Photographer

I missed last weeks challenge, but I couldn't let this week slip by without entering.  As soon as I saw that this week was going to focus on collages, I knew what I wanted to enter.  This is a collage that I made for a client a couple of months ago.  I loved this session and was so glad that she wanted something like this put together.  I'm not one to brag, but it looked awesome printed as a 12x12 on linen textured paper.
To see more fun collages, go here!

My oh time flies | Frisco Mckinney Senior Photographer

This seems to be true in the big and little things of life.  When I was a teenager, my youth leaders had a little girl that they named Victory.  I loved having a "little Tory" around, even if they didn't exactly name her after me!  As you can see here, she isn't so little anymore.  It is hard to believe that this tiny girl that I watched grow up is about to graduate from high school.  After I posted her sneak peek on FaceBook, I got caught up with everything else and forgot to go back and get some of her beautiful pictures up on the blog.  Her order is in, announcements are about to go out, but she is too gorgeous not to share here.  Congratulations on your upcoming graduation, Tory.  You have grown into a beautiful woman on the inside as well as the outside.  I can't wait to see what big plans God has in store for you. :)

Hello - my name is..... | North Dallas Maternity Photographer

The thought of using a picture to announce a new baby girl's name....too fun!  I loved it!  After brainstorming ideas, we came up with a few that we wanted to try.  Some were traditional and others were more outside the box.  You can see most of them in the preview.  I didn't include one of the pictures where they are reading a Winnie the Pooh book together, in the preview.  It was turned to the "this book belongs to" page.  Peyton shows up clearly, but only if the picture is big!!!  I saw the name tag idea on another blog a while back and was pumped to have a reason to use it. :)  Thank you so much, Judy for the opportunity to help share your secret!  Enjoy your preview.

A Berry Special Birthday Party

I wanted to take a minute and brag about my incredibly thoughtful daughter.  As you probably already know, I love planning birthday parties, so at my house, we start tossing around ideas months in advance.  Last summer, we visited an assisted living center as part of a church service project.  A few weeks later, Elyssa heard about kids donating their presents.  Moments later, she was announcing that she wanted to have her next birthday party at the nursing home and donate her presents to the residents.  It completely caught me off guard.  Donating presents, sure, but a birthday party for an 8 year old at a nursing home?  I didn't even know if it was possible.  After throwing out some alternate ideas, it was obvious that she was serious about her wishes.  I did manage to convince her that we could find children who would need and want her presents more than the senior residents.  Through a bright yellow postcard in my mail, I was introduced to a charity called Captain Hope's Kids.  In small print at the bottom of the card it mentioned birthday boxes.  Within a few minutes, I had found them online and discovered that they collect shoe boxes that are filled with goodies and wrapped to give to homeless children in our area.  Elyssa agreed that this was a great idea.  Her grandmother, my awe inspiring mom, told her she would make lap blankets to give to the residents as Bingo prizes, so that settled the gift dilema.  Guests would bring presents for homeless children and the residents would still get something great as a gift.  It was a win win.  But wait, it gets even better.  I finally got the nerve up to call the assisted living center and ask about having a birthday party for a child.  Not knowing what kind of reaction to expect, I braced myself for bad news.  God was looking out for us, because not only did the activity director say yes, he suggested that the residents could buy some items to help build more boxes.  He then went on to say that we might even be able to make it something we work together on a few times a year.  Wow...just wow! 
The party was a huge success.  There was plenty of food based around a strawberry shortcake theme.  Strawberry shortcake cookies, blueberry muffins, orange blossom muffins, mini lemon meringue pies, and raspberry tarts.  I baked for two days straight, but it was worth it.  Everyone found something they liked.  We ended up with 30 boxes between the ones people brought and the ones we built there.  All the parents were a huge help with the wrapping, but I owe the most thanks to my mom.  She crocheted and sewed a total of eight blankets, she bought supplies to wrap boxes, gathered shoe boxes from her friends at Curves, and picked up extra toiletry items to put in all the boxes.  The party would not have been what it was without her.
The blankets were a huge hit.  The kids managed to stay relatively quit for bingo so no one got upset about not being able to hear.  If it was a little awkward at first, you can tell in the last image I shared that by the end of the party everyone was giggling and laughing and having a genuinely good time. 
As we were cleaning up to go home, an unexpected moment quickly became one of my favorite parts of the day.  The resident who had set up for bingo and been showing us the ropes, pulled out an envelope and asked to share some pictures.  He was a WWII vet and had pictures and documents from when he served, including the famous picture from the battle of Iwo Jima, where he had faught.  My dad, mom, myself, and my friend were nearly brought to tears as he spoke.  Dad explained to the three girls listening that they were standing in the presence of a true hero.  This brave man refused to accept the accolades,  but you could see the pride he took in sharing some of his history.
I am so thankful to have a daughter with a true heart for God and people.  She is my constant reminder of what Jesus meant when he spoke of childlike faith.  What a blessing she is to my life!