Wednesday, December 28, 2011

There are a few of my favorite things...

Is it just me, or did Christmas 2011 come and go entirely too quickly? I don't know if it was that our new business endeavor kept me quite busy right up until Christmas, or that we took what turned out to be an awesome family vacation at the beginning of the month, but I honestly feel like I missed so much of what I love about the Christmas season. And as 2012 rears it's head around the corner, I would be remiss not to mention a few of my favorite Christmas memories.

Christmas Eve Service at Hope Church:
Austin Carroll singing Let There Be Light ~ Amazing!
My family singing Silent Night by candlelight ~ Beautiful!

Every year I wonder how in the world Hope's going to be able to top last year's Christmas Eve service, and somehow every year they mange to do so. I love God. I love Jesus. And I love Hope Presbyterian Church. If you do not happen to have a home church, I urge to give them a visit. You won't regret it!

Christmas Eve Dinner with the Family:
After Christmas Eve Service, we always host dinner at our house. We always have yummy Puerto Rican food. And good wine. We talk and eat and laugh, a lot! And I love every second of it!

Christmas Eve PJs:
This is one of my favorite traditions. Every Christmas Eve the kids open a box which contains matching PJs and a book or a movie about the true meaning of Christmas.

This year I got them "The Little Drummer Boy" Veggie Tales movie, which we all watched right before bed time.

The Christmas Tree and Presents:

I love looking at our Christmas tree. Love it! But to me it looks especially happy on Christmas morning when it's loaded with colorful presents.

Their Joyful Faces:
I can't lie, these faces make my heart burst with joy!

Seeing Them Open the Perfect Gift:

After days of agonizing for days over what to get him, it finally hit me like a ton of bricks. I got him a metalsmithing class offered by the same art school Isabella attends. A class he's been talking about wanting to take for the last couple of years. A class I knew he would not sign up for on his own. It was a HUGE surprise!

As I was walking through LifeWay, I came across this canvas. If this doesn't describe my Mother's role as a Grandmother to a tee, I don't know what does. She is an amazing example of love, patience, guidance and grace. I aspire to be just like her when I have grandchildren of my own.

Watching Them Play:
Both kids got a musical instrument this Christmas. Sam got a drum set (Heaven help us!), and Isabella got a guitar. Together they make what we'll refer to as "joyful sounds".

And then this one decided to join the band, and things got, um, interesting?

The #1 gift this year, per the kids, were the Nintendo DS we got them. We decided to give them to the kids right before our Disney trip (which I promise to blog about before 2012, no pressure!), so that they could play with them during our road trip. Santa brought more games, so they were quite the hot item on Christmas morning.

And there you have it,... our Christmas in a nut shell!

No, we didn't have time to make our annual gingerbread house. And no, we didn't fill our Advent calendar with fun activities. And no, we didn't go to Alpine Village. But we had a wonderful Christmas, staying focused on the true reason for the season.

I hope your Christmas was merry and bright and joyful and fun and magical and everything else Christmas is supposed to be!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men." Luke 2: 8-14

From our house to yours, 
Merry Christmas! 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

She Glows! ~ Memphis Maternity Photographer

Throughout my life I've seen a lot of pregnant women.
And I've known a lot of pregnant women.
And I myself have been pregnant a number of times.
But I have never, ever, met a happier pregnant woman than Anita.
She literally glows!

Anita and I go back quite a few years.
Before she became a Mama, she worked with my husband and that's how we met.
And am I ever so glad we did.

So imagine how thrilled I was when she asked me for a maternity session.
Hmmm, let me think about that... YEAH!

I had the best time with her and her beautiful family!

Her little boy is such a cutie!

And the best part is, in a few short weeks I get to photograph her beautiful newborn baby girl!
I can't wait to meet Baby L!

Thanks Anita, for being so totally awesome!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ten on Thursday

Being that it's been oh, I don't know, almost a month since my last blog post, I thought I'd update you on all the fun happenings at Casa de Butler with a Ten on Thursday-type post. So, here we go...

1. I have been very busy lately with client meetings and photo sessions and editing and all the other fun that comes along with being a photographer and owning my own business. (I'm still getting used to that!) I'm so blessed! I'll be sharing some images from some of my recent sessions here on the blog soon. Stay tuned!

2. I know this is SO last month, but I have to share some of our Halloween photos from this year. It was SUPER, to say the least. This year we had "Gooperman" (aka Superman) complete with muscles and super saggy pants and boots.

This super hero was oozing some serious attitude!

But out of all of his super powers, I'm pretty sure his super cuteness is the one that'll get the crimes solved.

And then we've got his sidekick, the adorable bedazzled Super Girl!

This super diva can fight fashion crimes like no other.

And she too can solve any mystery with her super cuteness.

The kids had a great time trick or treating this year. I love that we go out early, we come back early, hand out some candy and call it a night by 8:00pm.  And by 8:45ish Scott and I are sitting on the couch watching TV and eating some yummy candy, compliments of the kiddos ;)

3. A couple weekends ago Scott and I got a chance to get away for a few days. My mom and dad kept the kids (I'm pretty sure I have the best parents in the whole world!) and Scott and I went off to Las Vegas. It was a much needed break, which did wonders for both of us. I've got one word for you: Serendipity. YUM! I'll share some stories and post some pictures of our little getaway soon.

4. After much consideration, I declared yesterday a pajama day. Yes, I had a number of places I should have gone to and a number of things I should have done, but I opted to play hookie and stay home with my baby boy in our PJs ALL. DAY. LONG! We watched TV, played hide and seek, played tic-tac-toe, played chess and spent most of the day just hanging out. Together. It was glorious!

5. The countdown is currently at T minus 15 days until we pack up the family and spend a week in the most magical place on Earth. EEK!!!

6. It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is a week from today. I am so looking forward to it, especially since it'll be the first time in forever that we won't be hosting it at our place. It's all about being grateful for the little things, people!

7. I'm planning on starting the Christmas decorating extravaganza this weekend. This is most definitely my favorite time of year!

8. Yesterday, on the way home, Sam was singing a song he'll be performing at his preschool's Christmas program. I asked him what the song was about, to which he replied: "It's a song about how much God woves us and how He sent us His gun. You know God has a gun, wight?" Yeah,... Gun = Son. I SO LOVE THIS BOY!!!

9. I had a great meeting with some clients this morning. Afterward, I ran some errands, made some phone calls and had lunch at my parent's place. (Have I told you I have the BEST parents?) Since I had such a productive morning, I came home looking forward to spending some time on the couch, reading, until it was time to go pick up the kids. I had so not anticipated walking in and finding the huge stinky mess I found in Rocky's crate. So, instead of the relaxing 90 minutes I had envisioned, I spent the time hosing down the crate, cleaning the floor and "washing" Rocky. Ugh!

10. After a couple of months without really reading, I've made it a point to make the time to read again. And this makes me so happy!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A visit to the pumpkin patch

Like I mentioned in my previous post, we took our annual pumpkin patch road trip down to Cedar Hill Farms a couple of weekends ago.

I think this is our third visit to Cedar Hill Farms, and we absolutely love it! 
There is SO much for the kids to do.

As soon as we got there, in true Isabella fashion, she took her time and 
was rather methodical in picking the perfect little pumpkin.

Sam on the other hand, decided his time was better spent climbing as high as he could.

From there, we moved on to face painting. 
I gave you a little taste of what that looked like. 
BTW, if anyone is in the market for a face painter you may want to consider using Ms. Pickles. We hired her for Sam's first birthday party and for Isabella's Carnival birthday. She is super nice, talented, affordable, and a HUGE hit with the kids. We would definitely use her again! So call or e-mail me if you'd like her contact info.

I just had to share this one with you guys since it totally cracks me up!

The pony rides are one of the highlights of the visit for the kids. 
They actually rode them three times!
Isabella is an old pro when it comes to the pony rides.
But this was the first year Sam rode them all by himself. 
And apparently I neglected to take a photo of it. 
He is such a big boy!

Taking a hay ride out to the pumpkin patch wreaked some serious havoc on my sinuses was super fun! The kids love all the open spaces they have to run wild in, and Scott and I love watching them exhaust enjoy themselves.

Again, Isabella took her time examining all the pumpkins at the patch 
and making sure she was picking the "perfect" one.

Sam literally picked up the first one he came across and called it a day.
And he was oh SO proud!

In addition to all of this we fed the farm animals, watched the pigs race, the kids played in the maze and a couple of the playgrounds, we ate some yummy fudge, and we stocked up on pumpkins and gourds.

I think I speak for both Scott and I when I say that our annual visit to Cedar Hill Farms has definitely turned into one of our favorite Fall traditions!

You can read about some of our previous visits here and here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. OK, I don't have a lot of time, so I have to make this short and sweet.

2. I have fallen off the reading wagon something awful. It appears I've been working on the book I'm currently reading for a month. And I'm not even half way through it... that is so sad. Pathetic, really!

3. I miss reading!

4. The entire family is counting down the days until our Disney trip. As of today, it is exactly 46 days!!! Eeekkk!!!

5. I wish the city schools had the same amount of fall break as the county schools. Seriously, who is the idiot that decides all of this?

6. Back in August, during "Meet the Teacher" night, I signed up to volunteer for just about everything in Isabella's class. Well, everything except for being a room mom. You all know how I feel about that!

7. Guess who was assigned to being the room parent for Isabella's class! How the heck does that happen?! I wasn't even asked!! Yeah,... let's just say I'm not exactly giddy with excitement over this one!

8. My blogging to-do list is bursting at the seams with tons of fun stuff I'm dying to share with you.

9. One of the blog posts I've been trying to put together for some time now is the one about our visit to the pumpkin patch. So. Much. Fun! Stay tuned for that one, it's coming soon.

10. Is anybody out there watching the show Parenthood? Oh my goodness... it is seriously the Best. Show. EVER! And it's starting right about now, so I gotsta go! Until next time.

Oh and yes, since I don't like words-only posts, here's a sneak peek from our pumpkin patch visit:
Sam, the pirate, with Isabella, the neon tiger.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A hairy situation

Last Thursday, as I'm brushing his hair before school, Sam informs me that he wants to wear his hair ALL crazy.

Ummm,... OK!

A little gel and a whole lot of hair spray later, we ended up with the return of the faux-hawk!

Well, not one to leave well enough alone, the next day he decides he wants even crazier hair.


A whole lot of gel and a whole lot of hair spray later, we ended up with Mr. Spikes!

Step aside, Zoolander,... this boy can work these crazy do's like it's no one's business, lemme tell ya!

And if this is the only way this boy will willingly step in front of the camera for me, then I will gladly go and buy industrial size bottles of both gel and hairspray  ;-)

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Love Hearty Laughter ~ Memphis Family Photographer

Remember I mentioned a couple of days ago that I recently had a really fun session with my brother and his family? Well, fun doesn't even begin to describe it. I realized it would be a fun one from the time they called to book it. You see, my brother's sense of humor is pretty much out of this world, so I knew I was in for quite a treat. But what I didn't expect was the amount of hearty belly laughs heard throughout our time together. Lucky for me, I was able to actually capture some of those for them:

I promise it wasn't all fun and games. 
I was also able to capture them in all of their awesome glory!

Thank you guys for the laughs and for the opportunity to capture your beautiful family, just as you are!

For more images from this session, check out Liz Butler Photography on Facebook.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I can explain....

I could sit here and wallow in self pity over the fact that I have severely neglected my poor little blog.
Or, I could sit here and sheepishly give you 1001 excuses reasons as to why I've been MIA for over a month.
Or, I could sit here and grovel for forgiveness for the lack of posting and humbly thank you for still sticking with me, even when it appears I've vanished for ever.

But since I've already done all of that before, today I won't!

Instead, I will gladly tell you why I've severely neglected my poor little blog and why I've been MIA for over a month, and I will humbly thank you for sticking with me, even when it appears I've vanished for ever!

You see, after years of dreaming about starting my own business and thinking about the pros and cons of being "self-employed" and debating whether or not I am capable good enough meant to embark in this new adventure, Scott and I finally decided it is time (well, with a little push from a friend).

We have taken a HUGE leap of faith, and decided to take the bull by the horns and just do it!

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great delight we introduce to you:

I am now an on location, natural light photographer, serving Memphis, TN and surrounding areas.

Can you believe it? 
I can hardly stand it! 

I've had the honor of mentoring under one of the best photographers in Memphis, Marci Lambert. If the name sounds familiar, it's because she has photographed our family on many occasions and I never tire of singing her praises. She is not only an amazing photographer, but a wonderful human being as well! And I am eternally indebted to her for believing in me and for all of the guidance and assistance she's given me over the last year. I can honestly say this new venture would not be possible without her! Thanks, Marci! You so totally ROCK!!!

So,... I'll leave you with this here image of my beautiful sister in law, Maria, joyfully celebrating the conception of Liz Butler Photography.

Isn't she adorable?!

Stay tuned for a few more photos from the fun session I had with my brother and his beautiful family last weekend,... and for information on some of the great specials I am running!