Archive for December, 2014

12.17.14

I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to photograph the BEAUTIFUL Kirk Family. We did their extended family portrait session at White Rock Lake in Dallas, TX the day after Thanksgiving.  Talk about a good looking family. And ALL girls! They were a sweet group and the little girls were so well behaved and you could tell loved each other well. The wind was really blowing that day, but we made the best of it! Below are some of my favorites…

I recently completed Mr & Mrs. Kirk’s in-home ordering session and one of the items she chose was a 24×24 square gallery wrapped canvas of the large family portrait to display on a brick wall in a living area.  It’s a privilege and honor to walk through clients’ homes and help decide where to display their portrait art. Let’s continue to cherish and honor the tangible portrait experience in a digital world!

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12.16.14

A TréCreative highlight film of the Pursuit Conference 2014 in Rome, Georgia:

Pursuit Conference 2014 – Conference Highlight Film from Stephen Diaz on Vimeo.

This post about my experience at the Pursuit 31 Conference back in September is way over due.  I’ve made client work a priority over personal work this season, but still managed to squeeze time in for it, thankfully. Below are some highlights & photos from my experience. I honestly did not take many photos and tried to enjoy/soak up my time without being concerned about photographing every detail.

Overall, I’m so grateful for my time at the conference and for meeting the women that I did. However, the trip started off a bit rocky. I went to bed way too late the night before (maybe 1 am?), because I was up packing and trying to prep stuff for my husband to take care of our almost 2 year old son for a few days. I set my alarm for 4 am to leave at 5 am for the airport to catch an early flight to Georgia. The weeks leading up to the trip I had a weird feeling something was going to happen or I was going to be forced to cancel it for some odd reason. Anyway, I woke up at 6 am to my husband asking me if I was supposed to be at the airport. I FLEW out of bed in what can only be described as masked panic. Thank goodness I’m type A and had laid out my outfit and everything I needed for the next morning.  Instead of grabbing a ride from Uber, my husband graciously put our toddler in the car, I threw on my clothes and we headed to the airport. I arrived at curbside checkin just as they were boarding my flight.  Long story short, I batted my eyes and was as polite/persuasive as I could possibly be to get me on (standby) two connecting flights out to Atlanta so I could still catch the ride I’d originally coordinated with 4 other girls – one was driving through from Florida and offered to pick 3 of us up at the ATL airport. The other ladies were SO sweet and waited a tad bit longer for me to arrive in all my disheveledness.  Yay – I made it in time!! Buttttt…. my bag did NOT. RAAAGGEEE…  I already was exhausted and stressed out with having to rearrange my entire travel plans that effected other people.   We still had a good 1.5 hour drive to our final destination so we grabbed lunch nearby in hopes of swinging back by the airport to grab my bags and make our way to the conference. Well, that was not the case, but we did get to run into Target to grab “essentials” since all I had was: a toothbrush, makeup bag, a tiny brush that no joke probably came in a Barbie toy set, an apple, and 1 spare pair of undies (always travel with these – case in point!)  It was my debut on real-life Super Market Sweep! I literally ran through Target grabbing random toiletries and clothing items I deemed necessary (yoga pants, sleep shorts, shampoo/conditioner, face wash, cute dress, sweater). I ended up returning some of the un-used items, but man those yoga pants were a great grab (you bet I kept ’em!)

We were greeted with a small canvas bag of goodies whenever we arrived/registered. It included a sweet t-shirt (yes. something to wear on day 2!!) and some other paper goodies that I am still using (notepads, beautiful prints, cards, etc…)

My luggage arrived 1.5 days after I was there…. so I had my stuff for a whole 1.5 more days before leaving. Boohoo. Yea, it was uncomfortable and frustrating, but I tried to make it a point not to let it ruin my time at the BEAUTIFUL and amazingly peaceful retreat.  This isn’t your typical “conference”. It’s more of a retreat. It’s held at the pristine (18 and older only) Winshape Retreat outside of Atlanta, Georgia. It used to be a diary farm but was converted into what it is now (good choice!) They have marriage retreats here and I’d surely return for that! I chose potluck for my roommate and it was a great decision! Our accommodations were delightful! We had very comfy king size beds with large rooms and bathrooms. There were a couple built-in large armoires so we could comfortably unpack (well, Amanda could – hah!)  Our room had big windows that opened to view a nearby nature preserve and super tall ceilings.  It was a joy having Amanda as my roommate. She is so humble and funny and also carries a gun for her profession, so that makes her cool. 😉  She also shared her YL essential oils with me since my stuff didn’t arrive for a couple days and I was having major allergies and close to a migrane on day 2.

The food was great, and I really appreciated the amount of free time we had each day. It allowed me to have moments of quietness and one day I rode bikes around the property/nearby college campus with Adri. The weather was absolutely perfect – warm enough and sunny during the day and chilly at night. The speakers we learned from were so humble, honest, talented, and motivating. What I appreciated most about the entire conference was how “real” everyone was. We were encouraged to be honest and stop hiding. To stop comparing, to stop trying to over do it, but continue to challenge ourselves. My favorite speaker was Bob Goff. I finished reading his (life changing) book, Love Does, just before the conference and was so sad I didn’t have a copy for him to sign.  He was hilarious, encouraging, and made me (almost) cry a few times. His life is unbelievable – in every sense.

It was a blessing to have a few short days (sans toddler) in the hills of Georgia amongst other creative Christian women who were hungry for rest and eager to soak up information from other women.  Our time was spent enjoying meals together (one was even lakeside under the evening sky at one of the longest tables I’ve ever seen!), listening to very talented speakers, singing in worship, participating/listening to other creatives teaching small classes, free time (laying out on blankets chatting/reading), riding bikes around the property, resting in our beautiful huge rooms,  perusing the “market” of goodies, meeting in small groups at night to discuss that night’s speaker, etc…  It was a good mix of women young and old, single and married, moms and yet to be / some pregnant. These women were from all over the country and were photographers, entrepreneurs, calligraphers, graphic designers, aspiring artists, etc…

The 2015 conference sold out within 1 day ( it was posted a few days after our return home so I didn’t have a lot of time to think/plan ahead) so, I hope to return in maybe 2016?    This year I was a little reserved and  mostly hungry for rest/rejuvenation. Maybe next time I attend I will participate more and make more connections. I won’t be chasing/trying to track down my darn luggage for the first two days!

If you have an opportunity to attend Pursuit 31, I highly encourage you to do so! 

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The images below are shot by the wonderful Desirea Still // http://desireastill.com/

Some of the goodies we received upon arriving.

Some of the goodies we received upon arriving.

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They had pillows and blankets to lay out on the lawn!

They had pillows and blankets to lay out on the lawn!

Mary Marantz speaking about laying down the lies we believe each day that have stuck with us our whole lives.

Mary Marantz speaking about laying down the lies we believe each day that have stuck with us our whole lives.

We wrote the lies we believed about ourselves on a paper around our neck and laid them down on the altar during worship.

We wrote the lies we believed about ourselves on a paper around our neck and laid them down on the altar during worship.

My sweet roomie doing a calligraphy class

My sweet roomie doing a calligraphy class

Oops... It DID say JOY, until I accidentally tried to fix the "J", which ended up flying to the ceiling.

Oops… It DID say JOY, until I accidentally tried to fix the “J”, which ended up flying to the ceiling.

John, Hannah Brencher, and Katelyn James speaking

John, Hannah Brencher, and Katelyn James speaking

Bob Goff!!! Read his book: Love Does

Bob Goff!!! Read his book: Love Does

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We enjoyed dinner al fresco in this beautiful setting next to the pond.

We enjoyed dinner al fresco in this beautiful setting next to the pond.

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S'mores and a tent!

S’mores and a tent!

Loved hearing Tash teach about Senior Photography.  When they gave us all a huge day planner by Whitney English you would have thought it was one of Oprah's favorite things.

Loved hearing Tash teach about Senior Photography. When they gave us all a huge day planner by Whitney English you would have thought it was one of Oprah’s favorite things.

Biana Olthoff speaking her heart out and Melinda Watts impromtu singing her heart out. Amazing!

Biana Olthoff speaking her heart out and Melinda Watts impromtu singing her heart out. Amazing!

 

 

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12.06.14

We technically headed to my dad’s “ranch” on Brady’s birthday, Oct. 31st, but we’ll classify this as the November 2014 trip. . We got up before the sun and make our trek across Texas (literally). We stopped at a Whataburger for a fancy 2nd birthday breakfast for Brady boy. He enjoyed some hash browns and a large cinnamon roll (and some other healthy stuff, of course).  It was just Brian, Brady, me, and my dad for a long weekend. Usually my step mom and siblings come along and my uncle + cousins meet there, as well.  It was a wonderful trip filled with rest, good conversations, good food, and pretty nice weather. The only thing that kind stunk was me still getting over the flu like virus I’d had for a couple weeks. I think I went through at least 2 boxes of kleenex and ran out just as we were almost back home to Dallas.  Oh, and we also got lost, because the awesome GPS didn’t have a signal and took us almost 2 hours out of the way. Adventure!  Sometimes I like being stuck in the car for hours on end, because it allows Brian and I to catch up on stuff that we normally wouldn’t.  It was also a blessing that we got to catch up and have deep meaningful chats with my dad about all sorts of issues… current events, Christian, family lineage, etc…   He’s such a hard worker (in many senses). I’m constantly amazed that he can fix pretty much anything.  Gosh, how that’s lost on our generation! Makes me sad.  He built most of my childhood bedroom furniture (including an awesome white canopy bed with steps and pink ballet slippers stenciled on the sides).   He’s taken this little ranch from no electricity and outhouse to solar power, running (hot!) water, and a working kitchen and (sometimes) satellite tv. But my favorite is that there’s no internet or cell phone reception for miles and miles. *sigh*  I was literally craving to get there and unplug on life and just enjoy my little family without distractions.  Each time we’re there, it makes me appreciate the folks of the “olden days” who had to survive on the land and didn’t have modern ways of communicating… they rode on horses, farmed the land, hunted, birthed children without much help, and heavily relied on the Lord and his provisions.  It’s refreshing to think about those things.   It also motivates me to learn more survival skills (be it sewing, medicine, cooking (bread from scratch, different animals), intense farming, etc…)  Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for modern day technologies & medicine – just in moderation.

Brady enjoyed himself, too. He played on the porch while I read a couple books, played with his “rifle” and “pistol” and of course ate lots. We played in his wagon, but he was VERY impressed/obsessed with the Ranger that we went on a couple rides in and my dad even took us straight up and over then, straight down a rocky “mountain” – no joke I’m pretty sure we were vertical.  If we didn’t have seat belts I would have easily been thrown out. At one point, Brady almost fell asleep as I tightly hugged on to him as was tossed about during the ride. Impressive little buggy.  While Brady napped, Brian & my dad were out scouting/hunting deer and such and I sat on the porch with a warm mug of tea, a box of tissues, and a couple (good) books while the sun lowered in the sky. It was quiet and peaceful and MUCH needed.

I hope we get many more trips like this one with my dad.

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