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Monday Inspiration :: Creative photography by Jason Lee

23 Apr

Jason Lee is a wedding photographer who started taking photos of his daughters several years ago after his mom was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. His daughters constantly had colds and coughs so he couldn’t always bring them to visit their grandmother. Jason wanted his mom to be able to see her granddaughters without catching their germs so he started a blog where his mom could see what was going on in their life.

Jason’s daughters – eight-year-old Kristin and five-year-old Kayla help with photo ideas. Jason says that they are never-ending source of ideas!

If you are tired of posed or stiff photography, then take a look at these incredibly creative pictures taken by Jason Lee.

 To see more of Jason’s photography,  check out his website and blog here.

-All pictures courtesy of Jason Lee.

Monday Inspiration :: Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

9 Apr

Over the last year, I’ve become very conscious of what’s in the food we eat.  It’s been eye opening learning there are harmful chemicals and preservatives in the “healthy” food I thought I was serving my family.  Nothing including whole grain bread and fruit juices are safe.

I now check food ingredient labels and have learned that most things packaged in a box or plastic wrap are not healthy no matter what might be labeled on the front cover.  Let’s take blueberries for example.  Watching the blueberry video by Natural Foods TV and learning that most things that are supposed to contained blueberries really don’t, was one of the most riveting things I learned.  Carry talked about the blueberry problem before but if you haven’t seen the video yet, you can check it out here. The video basically shows that healthy foods toting blueberries as the main ingredients on the front of the package really contain no blueberries but instead…sugars, oils and artificial colors derived from petrochemicals.  Not a single blueberry! After watching this video, I was completely disgusted with what our government and corporate America allows in our food. It’s disgusting and should be illegal.

My husband and I have changed our diets by cutting out packaged foods and mainly eating wholesome foods like milk and dairy, lean meat ,whole grains and vegetables.  We limit our red meat intake…we grill fish, eat low fat dairy and eat as many vegetables and fruits as possible.

However, our health education took an unexpected turn this weekend when we watched the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. The movie shows that foods we thought were healthy like milk and dairy and meat products really are harmful.

Extremely harmful as in causing cancer, heart and other terminal health problems.  It is so discouraging because we really were trying to have a healthy diet but almost 50% of what we were eating was terminally dangerous!  It’s hard to explain all the reasons as to why meats and animal products (dairy) are bad for you.  There are a million and I won’t do it justice.  The movie is a must see.  I don’t like to push my opinions on people but in this case I really wanted to share information about this documentary because the information is so sensitive.  The movie really is a MUST see and will really change your life…mostly in the fact that it will probably add years to your life span if you follow what they teach.

Even if you don’t agree with going vegan, the movie Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead is so inspirational in regards to fighting obstacles, losing weight and becoming healthy.  The movie follows several people that overcome weight and health issues but there is one man name Phil in the movie that unforgettable.  Just thinking of Phil right now fills me with motivation.  I won’t ruin the movie for you but just a small snippet is that Phil is well over 400 pounds, depressed and probably about to die based on his health situation. Phil turns it all around in one of the most amazing transformations probably ever seen!

In one way I am glad I saw the film because most of the damage caused my my prior diet of meat and dairy is reservable.  But on the other hand it really pisses me off that all my life I’ve followed food charts and advice I learned in school and from the government that dictated eating meat and dairy!  Will they ever get it right?

As far as the future, I don’t know what it holds for my family and I.  We want to go vegan and have been feeling great on an all vegan diet the last few days.  Maybe we will always be vegan after this or maybe just eat vegan 80-90% of the time.  No matter what we do, I know we will always be more plant strong and will never eat meat and dairy in the same quantities as before. That’s for sure.

After seeing Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead we followed it up by watching Forks Over Knives this weekend which is another documentary with the same philosophy regarding animal meat and byproducts.  It is more educational and takes the information a little deeper.

If you are also interested in more information, you can go to the Reboot Your Life website which is from creator (Joe Cross) of the Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead movie.  It has lots of educational material, diet instructions and recipes.



Emotions Running High.

2 Jun

Emotions Running High.

The past week has been a whirlwind with recital, parties, and another school year coming to end.

My emotions are mixed…happy, relieved, and sad.  Sad because I now have a fourth grader…a fourth grader.  A tween.

How can that be?  She was just born yesterday.

I want my chubby little baby back in my arms…crawling on the floor.  I want her in fluffy bloomers and giant bows.  I want to see her watching Beauty and Beast in her Belle costume that she wore day in and day out.  I want to hear her sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to her preschool class.  I want to put her hair is pigtails and curl the red ringlets around my fingertips.

I am not one of the those moms who loves the school year…rushing the kids out the door.

I want my babies near me all the time…and I mean all.the.time.

I love summer…no schedule.  No rules.  No tests.

Just spending time with my babies…and nothing else.

But watching her this weekend made my heart dance with joy…for her.  She is changing into a beautiful, intelligent, passionate young lady.

And what a beautiful gift she is to me.

Happy Summer everyone!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11


Just because…

13 May

Just because…

It’s friday…and I love my babies more than words…

And I am content.

Godliness with contentment is a great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6


Blessings!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Growing Jellybeans.

8 Apr

Growing Jellybeans.

For fun, we planted jellybeans.

My children didn’t know that jellybeans could grow and it was enough excitement to send them over the edge and make Buzz Lightyear cry because he couldn’t eat all the jellybeans at once.

And we watered.  But my 8 year old decided one day she didn’t need to water her jellybeans because “the sprinklers will water them for me”…her exact words.

And then one day as we went outside to play, the jellybeans grew…

And everyone was happy.

Which makes me very happy.

Enjoy your weekend….and plant some jellybeans.

Where in the world is Carrie?

22 Mar

Where in the world is Carrie?

I am here.  Alive.

Taking care of the this precious little boy.

Third set of tubes in his ears and those pesky little adenoids removed.  In his case, huge adenoids removed.

It was not the ideal ending to Spring Break but it needed to be done.

Bubbie got his first ear infection at 3 months old.  They continued monthly until he was 9 months old then we had his first set of tubes placed in both ears.  Not something we wanted to do but glad we did.

Fast forward 9 months, ear infections began again…the tubes were no longer functioning.

2nd second of tubes at 18 months.

Fast forward 10 months, ear infections begin yet again…we tried to wait it out…and cried…and prayed for his ears to drain the fluid.

No such luck.

And he went under general anesthesia…and 45 minutes later, fresh tubes in place and bye bye adenoids.

Forgive me for my absence…he needed lots of cuddles and sherbert…and yogurt.

Yoplait Splits…you are a genie in a bottle.  Thank you for making yogurt my children eat like its ice cream.

And for his BFF in the whole world for watching over him while he slept in Mommy’s bed.

Bella, you ratfink, you are a dream.  And we love you.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Poor baby.

10 Mar

Poor baby.

His greatest joy in life is playing with his big sister and her friends.

Sometimes they let him.

Most times they don’t.

Other times they put red ladybug stamps on his forehead.

But he doesn’t care as long as they let him play.

He is a lover…not a fighter.


Dear Bella…

28 Jan

Dear Bella…

This letter is to you…one I know you’ll read some day because you might just be the smartest dog on this planet.

And to think not a soul wanted you because you didn’t have that beloved ‘English Blaze’ running up your nose and between your eyes.  Even your owners told us that we probably wouldn’t want you and they had resolved to keeping you.

Once we saw your precious little face, we knew you were the one.  The one that might be able to fill the hole left in our hearts when sweet, little Josie had kidney failure at 13 years old.  The one who Sweet P wanted so badly because she couldn’t stand not having Josie anymore.

We wanted to rescue an English Springer because of the simple fact…there are too many displaced animals in this world.

And, we tried to foster…but Bubbie was just too young for an adult doggie to understand.

It was a hard decision and we were devastated.

And then we found you in Crawford, Texas.

And you have rocked our world.

You might just be the cutest thing alive…

Especially when you give me those puppy dog eyes…

You bury your brand new bones in the backyard…find them a month later…then track a dirty, wet one through the house…

And ransack our bathrooms for toilet paper…over..and over…

And over again.  We’ve nicknamed you “ratfink”…you ratfink.

You stand watch over Bubbie while he takes his baths…and get pelted with bubbles in return…

And then get him back by taking his beloved blue #4 car…

But then you are BFF’s again…and Bubbie teaches you math facts on the back door.

You love your little penguin, which I have no clue where it came from…

but it entertains you in my office while I work.

You get endless amount of snuggles from Sweet P…

How dare someone say we wouldn’t want you…

What you talkin’ about, Willis?

What a lucky family we are to have you…little Belly Welly Doodle Bug.

Love you Bella!

Time of our life.

13 Dec

Time of our life.

What a weekend!

It was fast.  It was furious.  And it was awesome!

Nutcracker 2010 is now in the past and she is ready for Nutcracker 2011.  I don’t know if I am…

They got ready…

They waited…

They flew…

They pounced…

And I snapped one of the Rat King…

And then it was all over.

And we finger-knitted backstage…ate animal crackers…and they giggled about what they want to be in next years Nutcracker.

Oh to be 8 again…

Dress Rehearsal

10 Dec

Dress Rehearsal

This is how our weekend will be spent…helping Sweet P and her ballet troup into gray tights and mouse heads so they can save Clara and her Nutcracker…

From Drosselmeyer….

As they fight with all their might…

The evil Rat King…who I didn’t get a picture of because I got in trouble for taking pictures backstage…oops

As they giggle and laugh under their costumes…

Creating memories they will never forget.

Cheers to the holiday season!

Cooking Together

23 Nov

Cooking Together

Meet Polly.  She is our official Pilgrim.  Created by a precious 8 year old.  Her design.  Her hands.

All I did was light the hot pink material on fire…at the 8 year olds request…no joke.  (More on that later)

Polly will be back Wednesday morning to introduce 2 super easy, super delicious recipes for Thanksgiving…and both would be made extra special by enlisting the help of little hands.

When Sweet P and I cook together, it opens up a whole world of communication.  I learned this from a friend years ago who had a daughter that was much older than my Sweet P.  She would tell me that keeping her daugther’s hands busy during cooking allowed them to talk openly and freely without really thinking.  Around that time, her daughter was in third grade…just like Sweet P is today.

I’ve kept that tip in the back of my mind…and have always encouraged my daughter to cook with me from a very young age…no matter how messy the kitchen would end up being.  She would stand on a step stool stirring batter with wooden spoons.  I would give her plastic knives to cut bits of  soft cheese.  She would use the hand mixer when making cookies.

I don’t know who loved those moments more…her or me.

And now when we cook together, we play “Big Chef, Little Chef” and act like we are on a cooking show on the Food Network…and of course, she is the star of the show and I am her Sous Chef.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And so this afternoon, we started making our annual pumpkin rolls…6 to be exact…

We cracked eggs.  We mixed flour and sugar.  We whipped up cream cheese and vanilla.

And we talked.

And we laughed.

And powdered sugar flew out of my Kitchen Aid mixer and everything was completely covered in white including the floor and our black dog…

But I didn’t care…because we talked.  And she shared some of her feelings just so nonchalantly…because she was so relaxed.

And I cried with joy inside because I cherish these moments with her.

And I pray she remembers these times with me…her mommy…and chooses to make the same memories with her daughter one day.

So…tomorrow I have one of my favorite recipes from when I was growing up…a recipe that to this day, my father and I have a competition to see who makes it the best.  I let him win.

And a recipe that my daughter brought home of school…that they cooked in class…and she was the helper who carried the batter to the kitchen to be baked.

She asked if we could ‘make a ton’ of these to bring to our family on Thanksgiving.

And the answer was…a resounding yes!

Happy Tuesday, friends!  See you tomorrow!

Give me some sugar

5 Nov

Give me some sugar

You know he’s the second child when a conversation goes like this:

Me:  what would you like to drink?

Him:  a coke.

Me:  a coke?

Him: no coke.

Me: no coke?

Him: no coke. I like-ah big ol’ coke, peas.

Me:  you like-ah big ol’ coke?

Him:  yes peas.

Me:  you’re cute. give me some sugar.

Him:  no mom, you give me some sugar.

Me: okay.

Him: wait mom wait. where’s my coke?

And I give him a coke so I can get some sugar.  And he holds the cup with one hand.

And I love him.

I apologize to his future wife right now for giving him whatever he wants.

I am sorry.  But he is cute.  And I can’t help it.

Canon XS, 50mm f 1.8, ISO 300, 1/50

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