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Friday, October 24, 2014

Published in Romantic Homes! A Timeless Menagerie Christmas!

I can FINALLY talk about the fabulous
photo shoot I did last Christmas,
because the magazine feature just hit the stands.

I was blessed to be able to photograph
my good friend Lori Smithers
GORGEOUS shop Timeless Menagerie
this past Christmas.

And my lovely friends at 
Romantic Homes Magazine
were absolutely thrilled to feature
the shop in their monthly
"Shopkeeping" feature.

I hope you'll enjoy these peeks
at the original images
featured in the story!

Nobody does Christmas like Lori!

Love Marie?
So does Timeless Menagerie!

This Christmas alleyway display at TM
won the "best of" decorating contest
in our cute little town of Fredericksburg!

Vintage and glitter and bells and tinsel, and....oh my!

Since doing this shoot,
Lori and Timeless Menagerie have relocated
to an even more gorgeous location
( if you can believe THAT )
just down the street!

And because the photos look just soooooo
much dreamier on my website, click here
and take a little peek:

To pay Lori a visit in person,
head here:

Timeless Menagerie
330 W Main St
Fredericksburg, TX 78624

Or visit her online!

Thank you to Jacqueline deMontravel
Editor of Romantic Homes, for always being
a dream to work with!

Happy Week!

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but please come visit 
and chat with me here...

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

A New Normal

I hear that phrase tossed about all the time.
Getting used to "a new normal", usually used
in reference to learning how to get your life
back on the rails after the bottom has dropped out,
or in the face of some other calamity.

I haven't faced any calamities.
I recognize quite clearly that by all measures,
I am a blessed person.
A good job, two good jobs, in fact.
Photographer and Respiratory Therapist.

I have a husband who is a good, solid man.
He loves and supports me and puts up
with my BS on a regular basis,
God only knows why.

I have friends sent from God.
Honestly, I won the friends lottery.

I am afforded the opportunity to do things
that I dearly love, like photo shoots for websites,
shops, and see my work appear in magazines.
I'm lucky and I know it.

But every single day, there comes a certain time.
Sometimes it hits me on the drive home.
Often it hits me when I hear certain songs.
Two days ago it hit me when I went into
a grocery store I hadn't frequented in over a year...
the grocery store she shopped in all the time.

I remember.

The waves of grief, which I thought had lost
their magnitude over the past 3 years,
wash over me tsunami-style, 
and leave me struggling for breath.
I miss her. I miss my mom.

She was my best friend, my fiercest defender,
my biggest supporter and number one fan.

I feel her presence when all is quiet.

I imagine the talks we would have.
"Hey, guess what Mama??? I just found out
that I have two magazine features coming out this Christmas!"
And she'd cry and be thrilled and gush over me
shamelessly as only a mom can.

"Hey, Mama? I'm really struggling
with some physical and emotional changes lately."
And she'd listen. And listen. And listen some more.

I go to sleep most nights knowing that 
even though my husband loves me completely,
no one has ever loved me as fully and unconditionally
as she did. I was her only child. I was her world.

We were a team, she and I.
My father was a good-for-nothing,
and it was the two of us against the world 
most of my life. 
Now I feel as though I'm fighting
so many of those battles alone.
Not literal battles, but the struggle to project a sense
of normalcy to the world at large while also
fighting to keep the PTSD under control.
She was the rock...who talked
me off ledges, figuratively speaking.

My new without my mom.
Three years on after losing her,
it still feels anything but normal.

I stumble, I fall, I say and do the wrong things.
I really do strive to lead an honest and honorable life,
but some days, just the mere act of making it through the day
without crawling into a ball in the corner 
is an accomplishment of the highest magnitude.

I've closed the blog to comments for the past year or so,
but I'm opening them up again for this post.
{ comments closed as of 10/12/14-my apologies }
Maybe some of you can relate and want to share.

Maybe some of you would like to tell me
to snap out of it and knock off the pity party.
Or maybe you just wanna say "hey...I get it."

Their is a certain beauty in grief,
at least I've found that to be true.
I've tried to become a kinder, more empathetic person.
I appreciate more fully the fragility and brevity of life.
I want to make the most of every moment
that God sees fit to give me.

I miss my old normal,
but I'm ready to embrace the new.

Due to a security glitch this morning,
I was temporarily locked out of my blog.
This post is now closed to comments as a result.
Thanks to each of you for sharing and for your
most generous and caring words.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Halloween at Binky la Faye

When you do a photo shoot with a good friend,
it can hardly be called work.
In fact, every time I shoot with Binky la Faye,
I always feel like I should be paying HER
for the privilege!

She is a design genius,
and she always, without fail,
decks out her amazing Llano, Texas shop
in the most creative, awe-inspiring fashion
for the holidays.
And Halloween is no exception.

I present to you,
Binky la Faye, Halloween 2014.

I call her up...
"Oh, I haven't done much this year...
you won't have much to take pictures of."

I wish all of you could hear Binky say that
in her inimitable twang!

So, anyway....
yeah, right.
I paid Binky no heed,
as I know she is prone
to downplay her utter awesomeness.

And when I got to the shop...
was I disappointed?

Heck-fire and damnation, NO!
I knew that I knew that I knew
that Binky would have something special in store.

And so did this guy.
Although he wasn't the greatest conversationalist.

That deer head.

And this chick.
I wanted to get just the right shot of her
creepily eyeballing me through the willows.

And this couch.
What is it with me
and deconstructed furniture???

Sweet shoes.
Should've grabbed both pair.

Ta da!
Be sure to visit Binky and Ron in person...

Binky la Faye
303 Bessemer Ave.
Llano, Texas 78643

This is a comment-free blog
but please come visit 
and chat with me here...

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