Thankful 2013: Day Twenty

Rita: Today I am thankful for a landscape filled with flowers nearly year round.  In my own yard – at the end of November mind you – we have plumbago, knock out roses,  lantana, and pansies all blooming, and camellia bushes filled with buds ready to burst open any minute.  Who needs fall foliage?

Kaity: I'm thankful for my friend Groshonda.  She's such an inspirational woman and I am so glad to know her.  She's caring and selfless. She's a great mother and, now, she's an amazing and beautiful grandmother! Three generations of beautiful and strong women in this photo.

Thankful 2013: Day Nineteen

Rita: Today I am thankful for unexpected compliments.  Walking out of the grocery store, a lady driving by rolled down her window and told me my haircut looked stunning on me (her word, not mine).  Wow!  Made my day!  I need to remember to give compliments more.

Kaity:  I'm thankful for Jenn and Michael.  I love having them in my life.  Jenn is one of my best friends and I can't imagine my life (or my hair) without her.

Thankful 2013: Day Eighteen

Rita:  Today I’m thankful Jordan found HOSA.  Due to her knee surgery this year she is no longer on the swim team at school.  Luckily she has found a couple of other activities to keep her busy…one is HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) and the other is being a youth leader for the middle school youth group at our church.  Both really great things to be a part of!

Kaity: I am thankful for my health and that I can afford health insurance. The system is imperfect, but the more people that can afford safe healthcare, the better.

Thankful 2013: Day Seventeen

Rita: Today I am thankful for Jensen.  As the other two kids get older and more independent, we have more time to spend with her…lucky girl!  And I love every minute of it.  She’s a hard worker, very, very independent, stylish, smart and sassy. 

Kaity: I love traveling and I'm so grateful that my job has allowed me to visit so many places.  I've now been to 29 states and a handful of countries.  Next year I'm traveling to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago and I can't wait!  I also have a goal of visiting all 50 states before I turn 50 and I'm well on my way to making that goal a reality!

Thankful 2013: Day Sixteen

Rita: Today I am thankful for morning hugs…from all 4 Js.

Kaity:  It seems unreal that I am finishing up my fifth year of business.  The brown box in this picture includes all of my files from 2009-2012 and you can see the binders filling up with clients for years 2013-2016... words cannot express how thankful I am for my clients and their support in my business.

Thankful 2013: Day Fifteen

Rita: Today I’m thankful the kids have the kind of dad who will take the day off work, dress up in a colonial costume, spend the entire day acting as headmaster of the boys’ school, then go back at night to play a sentry escorting little patriots to a secret meeting to hear of wounded soldiers.  All this to help bring history to life for a very lucky group of 5th graders.  Priceless.

Kaity: Now that it's starting to get colder, I am thankful for all of my coats, hats and gloves that keep me warm.  I LOVE coats and jackets and over the years I've collected quite a few.  In fact, this year I have decided to donate a good chunk of them to those that wouldn't have them otherwise.

Thankful 2013: Day Fourteen

Rita: Today I’m thankful for music and all the ways it connects us.  I just heard Jackson belting out Afternoon Delight (which he knows from the Anchorman soundtrack apparently) and it just made me smile. I often hear Jordan pumping out music from her car, computer, iPod, etc. and often it’s music new to me.  I learned of Imagine Dragons, Of Monsters and Men, and many other bands long before I heard them on the radio thanks to her. Lately she’s been playing her violin again  and her keyboard and she has a really nice singing voice—I love hearing all those sounds in the house.  Jim going over the weekly iTunes receipt is always a fun exercise trying to figure out who bought what…in any given week there will be One Direction to Dr. Dre and everything in between.  And most of that love of music comes from the person who has these items displayed on his desk. 

Kaity: I am thankful for my friend, Kelsey.  I'm so excited for her and her husband Andy... they are going to be parents!  Kelsey is a photographer and has been a good friend of mine since high school.  They moved down to Texas a few years ago and so I don't get to see her very often, so I was thrilled to see her when she came up to visit family.  We even took a few maternity photos!

Thankful 2013: Day Thirteen

Rita:  Today I’m thankful for gifts “just because” and friends that make the time to get together despite incredibly busy schedules.

Kaity:  I am thankful for my studio.  It's come a long way in the past five years.  It's become my haven and where I spend about 80% of my time. 

Thankful 2013: Day Twelve

Rita: After the devastation in the Philippines from super typhoon Haiyan last week, I am very thankful for all the basic necessities of life (food, clean water, shelter) and the many creature comforts I am blessed to enjoy.

Kaity: I am thankful for Notre Dame.  Aside from the education I received there, I have also received a lot of photography jobs because of my favorite University.  From photographing alums at on campus and at the Basilica to working freelance, I am very grateful for the Notre Dame community.

Thankful 2013: Day Eleven

Rita: On this Veterans’ Day I am thankful to all those, past and present, who have served to protect our liberties and keep us safe.

Kaity: I'm thankful for my job and all of my amazing clients.  I keep their photos and (super amazing) thank you notes right next to my desk to remind me how great they are!

Thankful 2013: Day Ten

Rita:  Today I am thankful to live in a place with such a strong sense of community.  It’s all around us here in Kingwood…you don’t have to look far to find someone you know, someone who will help you out, or just say hello.  Today the girls and I participated in the Walk by Faith 5k which raises money for pediatric brain cancer research, started by a family in our community who lost a daughter to brain cancer.  I just loved looking around and seeing so many faces, lots of familiar ones, in the crowd willing to help out a family in our community…and thereby potentially helping all of us someday day down the road.

Kaity: I'm thankul for books and the ability to read... I've been going through tons of books lately!  These are the ones on my nightstand.

Thankful 2013: Day Nine

Rita: Today I'm thankful for these awesome, goofy friends of Jensen's... and all three of the kids' friends, really.  Life is just easier with great friends by your side.

Kaity:  It's been almost one year since I met my Camp Mariposa family.  I love this camp, the kids that go, and the other counselors that help.  Camp Mariposa is a camp for children with parents that suffer from alcohol or drug dependency.  Their courage is inspiring and their resilience is amazing.  The kids teach me something new about the human spirit every time I go.

Thankful 2013: Day Eight

Rita: Today I’m thankful that my kids like to read.  This week was the SFE book fair and these were Jensen’s purchases.  Some deep choices, some more light-hearted…a good mix.  I’m also thankful for our awesome school librarian, Mrs. Grayson, who has been so instrumental in Jackson and Jensen becoming the readers they are.  She has made the library a warm, welcoming place where kids want to hang out.  She gets to know all the kids and what their likes and dislikes are and is always ready with great book suggestions for them.  Her infectious love and passion for reading has been instilled in so many kids at Shadow Forest…mine included.

Kaity: I am so thankful for my friend Tina and her whole family.  Tina, Charles, Elise (the other cutie in the photo), Suzi, Jesse... I love each and every one of them.  My life is richer for knowing them and I'm a better person because they love me.

Thankful 2013: Day Seven

RIta: Today I’m thankful for my health.  I’ve been blessed with basically good health my whole life and realize that I’ve taken it for granted.   As I careen toward 50 I’ve started feeling little aches and pains, stiffness in the morning, eyes getting worse, etc.  I’m going to try to get back on the exercises bandwagon…at least a little bit…to try to nip all of that in the bud!  I had to blow the dust off these shoes this week.

Kaity: This is cheating a little bit because I forgot to take a photo on Thursday, but since I know I'm not going to be seeing this girl until January, I thought I'd use this photo that I took last month.  I've known Rachael for TWENTY TWO YEARS and she's one of my best friends.  I am SO thankful for everything she's added to my life and I cannot wait until I get to shoot her wedding to George in two months!

Thankful 2013: Day Six

Rita:  Today I am thankful for half price days at our local car wash – Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week – makes me feel less guilty for never doing it myself.  It’s the little things right?

Kaity:  I can't believe how close we are to 2014!  I am so thankful for all of my 2014 clients and all of the adventures that are going to happen in this next year.  It's so exciting! 

Thankful 2013: Day Five

Rita:  Today I am thankful for the right to vote.  The main things we were casting our ballots for were mayor of Houston, various city council positions, and several propositions.  Houston mayor Annise Parker won re-election for a third term continuing Houston’s run as the largest city in the US led by an openly gay mayor.  She’s also a woman (obviously) and a democrat (also obvious) so YAY for us!

Kaity:  I'm thankful for Sammy.  He keeps me from spending *too* much time at my computer, is always [more than] willing to go for a walk with me, wakes me up every day at a decent hour, and thinks I'm the bee's knees even when I'm a total mess.

Thankful 2013: Day Four

Rita:  Today I am thankful for a little bit of daylight at 6:00 a.m. instead of pitch black darkness.  Jackson asked if I was sure he wasn’t late for school.  I know it’s only temporary but I’ll enjoy while it lasts.

Kaity: I am so thankful that I live somewhere that I can experience all of the seasons.  Fall is, by far, my favorite season and this year has been exceptionally beautiful. 

Thankful 2013: Day Three

Rita:  Today I am thankful for a Sunday morning walk with Jim and the most beautiful fall weather.  And for that moment I realized it was actually only 8:15 instead of 9:15 like the clocks in my house all said.  #fallback.

Kaity:  I love going for long walks at Notre Dame.  This time of year the campus is especially beautiful.

Thankful 2013: Day Two

Rita:  Today I am thankful for college football.  Today is the Michigan v. Michigan State game and I am writing this in the morning before the game starts.  Because after the game I might not be thankful for college football.  I do love college football season though…it’s something my whole family gets into (well, we’re still working on Jensen) and it’s so fun to watch games together.

Kaity:   I am SO thankful for my friend Jamie.  This past weekend we got to spend the weekend having fun in Chicago.  Shopping, taking photos, watching movies, and catching up... it was a perfect weekend!  Jamie's such a great friend, she's got the best sense of style, and I know she will always be there for me.

Thankful 2013: Day One

Rita:  Today I am thankful for a cool start to the day (right now at 7:43AM it is 54 degrees).  It is a welcome relief after the unseasonably warm temps we’ve had lately.  Love cool morning fog.

Jensen:  I'm thankful Halloween did not get rained out this year!

Kaity:   I love living so close to Chicago and being able to have a fun girl's weekend with one of my best friends!