CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog https://carissabyers.com/blog en-us (C) CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY (CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) Sun, 19 Aug 2018 05:28:00 GMT Sun, 19 Aug 2018 05:28:00 GMT https://carissabyers.com/img/s/v-5/u74172156-o60259786-50.jpg CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog https://carissabyers.com/blog 120 80 Remembering Cheryl https://carissabyers.com/blog/2018/8/remembering-cheryl Screen Shot 2018-08-18 at 11.29.12 PMScreen Shot 2018-08-18 at 11.29.12 PM One of my favorite people in the world passed away this week. I loved her. Adored her. She was one of those friends I could trust and confide in and made the world significantly brighter. She was the most amazing mother in the world. She knew her children in a special, next level kind of way and nourished every part of them with such fierceness and wisdom. She was inspiring. She was patient and kind in the way that came from inside her like magic. Not in a way that can be learned or mimicked. She was insanely intelligent. She was fun and playful and involved.

 

She had the most beautiful, musical, Australian accent. She taught me about fun Australian traditions and I will always think of her when I enjoy a Tim Tam Slam or a meat pie or grilled banana. She was an artist and a writer and always learning. I even rehearsed the birds and bees talk I was going to give Penn on her! She leaves behind three exceptional little boys and a wonderful husband and I am holding them all in my hearts right now.

 

I met her about 7 or 8 years ago, I think. I can't remember now. It was before Lucy. Right after Lucy's birth she made me some magical Asian plum soup that she told me would heal everything. I wish I could make her some soup right now.

 

I was afraid of her cancer. Or, the Annoyance, as she called it. But I didn't expect this. Not so soon. And so I have many regrets for not reaching out more and doing more. 

 

I'll miss you, Cheryl. Oh so much.



You can read all of her beautiful writing at https://ittybittyfoodies.com/
 

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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) Cheryl Collette death friend love https://carissabyers.com/blog/2018/8/remembering-cheryl Sun, 19 Aug 2018 04:59:04 GMT
Hi Beautiful https://carissabyers.com/blog/2018/7/hi-beautiful margot 7margot 7

Today is our Margot Rose's birthday. She would have been 9 years old. I found this thing I had started writing for her first birthday that made me feel all the ways I felt about her when she was first born. Such a fierce love and need to protect her. It's been 9 years, but it still feels like yesterday that she was here with us. She was so sweet. She loved music the most. I remember her dancing to any beat. Even the dishwasher. She was born in July and she passed in August of the next year, so we walk through these months feeling wounded, simultaneously mourning our loss and celebrating our life with Penn and Lucy and Milo.

The little video at the end, taken with some crappy cell phone, is of us at the library. Penn was making her laugh with this giant teddy bear. She was so loud the librarian had to come tell us to stop. We spent the rest of her life doing everything we could to keep her laughing like that. I love her every day and forever.

 

I spend my days holding her close with ideas that maybe I could put her back in. Keep her safe. Maybe if I rock her long enough I can encourage some sort of osmosis. Absorb her. And of course, I am. Just not literally. I imagine a bubble around her. Dreams and love and ideas are spun like sugar around us.

 

I spend my days kissing each roll beneath her chin, the back of her neck, the top of her head where the swirls of black hair spin around and around and into a peak at the top. I run my lips across the corner of her mouth, across the hill of her cheek and down to the bottom of her earlobe. I blow into her soft wrinkled belly button and the backs of her thighs. Her hands and feet find their way into my mouth like magic. She is the softest thing that has ever existed.

 

She burrows into my breast to nurse and heaves a sigh of contentment when we're all settled into one another. Her eyes close and her lashes are made from the feathers of baby birds. I am swollen with longing. I pray to Father Time to keep us this way forever. Or at least a little while longer.

 

When she cries in the arms of someone else I am pulled like a magnet. I am biologically wired to retrieve and protect but I wait. Smile. Gently take her when she's handed over and I coo and assure that it's okay out there in the world. That I'll always be here to come back to. Always. Always.

 

When she cries in her Daddy's cradle I wait longer. I whisper to her that her Daddy has never loved anyone more in the whole wide world and there are no arms better or safer for her to cry in.

 

Her Daddy stands tall and roars at the world with brawn and willpower promising excruciating elements to any who might harm her. Just as easily he turns and nuzzles her with such gentleness, golden whiskers and bright blue eyes. "Hi, Beautiful."

 

I spend my days holding her close and teaching her independence. Hoping I come upon some magical formula that can balance the two through the tornadoes of growing up. Hoping that someday she will be a woman, my daughter, and my friend, and we can sit back in our dreams, and love, and ideas, spun like sugar around us.

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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) birthday daniel family loss Margot penn video https://carissabyers.com/blog/2018/7/hi-beautiful Mon, 23 Jul 2018 06:44:06 GMT
Portland Vacation 2018 https://carissabyers.com/blog/2018/7/portland-vacation ACS_0030ACS_0030

We had the most perfect summer vacation in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. The actual traveling part was easy and everything was on time. Our rented house in the Alberta District was lovely. Our neighborhood had everything we needed for living and for fun. The weather was chilly and a refreshing break from the Texas heat. Every meal was a joy in taste and family time. We planned nothing and followed our nose about to see the sites, which is my favorite way to travel. With no schedule or expectations, everything you do is a success!   ACS_0029ACS_0029 Milo thoroughly enjoyed his first plane ride.  DSC_3254DSC_3254 We ate at the Grilled Cheese Grill, which was a close walk from our house. DSC_3297DSC_3297 DSC_3326DSC_3326

Every business and house had a Black Lives Matter sign or some type of peace and equality signage. Every single one. It was a big impact.  DSC_3330DSC_3330 DSC_3339DSC_3339

We had coffee at Case Studies Coffee. Lucy and Milo were playing a rock counting game. Lucy asked Milo to count the rocks in his head instead of out loud. He put the rocks on his head. DSC_3369DSC_3369

We felt right at home in our rented house. DSC_3384DSC_3384 DSC_3422DSC_3422

We saw the Goonies rock with the amazing Provisnal family. Kristina took all the photos with me in them. I'm in some photos! Then we went to the most beautiful beach. Quiet and enormous with gorgeous rocks and waterfalls. I'm still thinking about it. It was cold, but Lucy couldn't resist jumping in. Milo couldn't run fast enough from a wave and he ended up wet and was not nearly as delighted about it as Lucy. We had a fire and roasted s'mores.  DSC_3482DSC_3482 beachwfriends_17_42836336532_obeachwfriends_17_42836336532_o DSC_3545DSC_3545 beachwfriends_20_42836331862_obeachwfriends_20_42836331862_o DSC_3619DSC_3619 DSC_3729DSC_3729 DSC_3712DSC_3712 DSC_3840DSC_3840 DSC_3817DSC_3817 DSC_3890DSC_3890

Milo dug holes in the sand forever.  ACS_0038ACS_0038 ACS_0047ACS_0047 ACS_0053ACS_0053 ACS_0057ACS_0057 ACS_0063ACS_0063 ACS_0062ACS_0062  

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We ate delicious noodles and dumplings at XLB. We made wishes on someone's front yard wishing tree, ate shave ice at Wailu Shave Ice, enjoyed Finnegan's Toy Store and Powell's Books in downtown Portland. DSC_3929DSC_3929 DSC_3936DSC_3936 DSC_3944DSC_3944 ACS_0080ACS_0080 dinnerwfriends_06_28987970028_odinnerwfriends_06_28987970028_o dinnerwfriends_21_41050002260_odinnerwfriends_21_41050002260_o dinnerwfriends_07_42812180672_odinnerwfriends_07_42812180672_o

Kristina cooked an amazing dinner for our large families and we enjoyed their adventurous back yard full of fun. We went bouldering with them and I fell in love with it! On our last day we went to the International Rose Test Garden. DSC_3969DSC_3969 DSC_3975DSC_3975 ACS_0130ACS_0130

It was the perfect length of time. Where you want to stay longer, but are also happy to be going home. I've been wanting to get away just for fun. Somewhere far and not just traveling for work or family. (No offense work or family.) This vacation really filled me up.

 

Click here to see our past trips to Portland.

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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) portland vacatio https://carissabyers.com/blog/2018/7/portland-vacation Sun, 08 Jul 2018 23:25:50 GMT
Mommy Daughter time at Great Wolf Lodge https://carissabyers.com/blog/2018/5/mommy-daughter-time-at-great-wolf-lodge IMG_4069IMG_4069

Lucy and I took a weekend trip to Great Wolf Lodge with her bestie, Lyra. Time alone with Lucy is extremely rare. The kids are pretty much a package deal, so wherever Lucy goes, Milo goes, including sports, birthday parties, dance and school functions.  They have to share everything. Even their room. So this was a mega treat on a number of levels for us. We had SO much fun! We rode big slides and really enjoyed Magicquest. Big thanks to, Lyra's mom, Kouy, for having us on such an amazing trip!

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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) besties Great Kouy Lodge Lucy Lyra mom staycation Wolf https://carissabyers.com/blog/2018/5/mommy-daughter-time-at-great-wolf-lodge Sun, 27 May 2018 02:45:00 GMT
Milo's 4th Birthday Party https://carissabyers.com/blog/2018/5/milos-4th-birthday-party DSC_7523DSC_7523

Milo just got brave enough to go down those big blow up slides by himself. We decided for his fourth birthday we would put up one of those big slides in the backyard and invite the neighbors over to play and eat cake. Then unexpectedly it decided to RAIN all day! So at the last minute we threw up some decorations and balloons and the house was filled with kids. They had a blast and I think every toy we own got played with. Also, I'm pretty proud of the Spiderman cake.

Milo is the best little boy ever. He is cautious and contemplative and snuggly. When he's comfortable he is boisterous and loud and daring. He's always ready to go outside and ride his bike. He loves soccer and his friends and reading the book "Yummy Yucky" over and over again. I love him more than I will ever be able to say.
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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) birthday cake family four Lucy Milo spiderman https://carissabyers.com/blog/2018/5/milos-4th-birthday-party Mon, 21 May 2018 21:00:00 GMT
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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) cedar family hiking lucy milo penn ridge https://carissabyers.com/blog/2018/3/hiking-at-cedar-ridge Mon, 12 Mar 2018 07:00:00 GMT
Kindergarten Valentines Day 2018 https://carissabyers.com/blog/2018/2/kindergarten-valentines-2018 DSC_2125DSC_2125

I attended Lucy's kindergarten classroom Valentine party. It was so fun watching them bustle around to hand out their Valentines and stuff them into the Love Bug bags they made! DSC_2107DSC_2107 DSC_2184DSC_2184 DSC_2174DSC_2174 DSC_2237DSC_2237

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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) kindergarten lucy party valentines https://carissabyers.com/blog/2018/2/kindergarten-valentines-2018 Wed, 14 Feb 2018 23:15:00 GMT
Milo and trucks https://carissabyers.com/blog/2018/1/milo-and-trucks DSC_6603DSC_6603

Milo loves his trucks! A long time ago Lucy asked if she could play with the beans that were in our bulk bin. I said yes and they have been a staple in our playtime ever since. They are being contained here in an old kinetic sand tray. DSC_6610DSC_6610

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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) beans milo play trucks https://carissabyers.com/blog/2018/1/milo-and-trucks Tue, 09 Jan 2018 07:45:00 GMT
Christmas 2017 https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/12/christmas-2017 DSC_7806DSC_7806 Christmas this year was simple and and fun. Our tree stayed green and fragrant through the whole holiday. We made ambitious cookies and gave them to our friends and neighbors. Lucy is obsessed with the book and cartoon The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. We made it a mission to get her a copy and she reads it now several times a day. She and Milo keep asking if we can keep it, fearing it's a library book that will have to be returned. We listen to the audio recording in the car.

I ordered a Whole Foods meal instead of cooking this year. The littles are at the magical age of play and I just didn't want to miss a minute of it over a stove or a dish washer. We enjoyed unwrapping presents, of course. Half of them were pictures and items from around the house that Lucy had wrapped up in whatever paper she could find. One of my favorite parts of the day was a random and epic sword fight between Penn and the little ones with swords that belonged to Penn when he was a toddler. 

I loved watching Lucy and Milo wake up Penn to open presents after breakfast. In 2011, it was Penn waking up baby Lucy.

I got Lucy and Milo a toy called Toymail. The kids can send and receive voice messages to approved contacts through their toy. Lucy especially has the hang of it and I love the funny messages between her and Papa and the sweet things she sends to me.

Christmas was good and delicious and delightful!

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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) 2017 bob christmas cookies daniel decorations grinch hatchimal lucy milo penn socks swords toymail tree https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/12/christmas-2017 Mon, 25 Dec 2017 07:15:00 GMT
Lucy's Winter Dance Recital https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/12/lucys-winter-recital DSC_1421DSC_1421 Lucy had her Winter dance recital with Studio B at the beautiful McFarlin Auditorium at SMU. She was a toy soldier this year and I enjoyed another round of being the backstage dance mom. I've learned the ropes and come with a bag full of coloring books, playdough, puzzles and books because the girls have to manage staying in their hair, makeup and costume and stage ready until it's time to dance. Then there is a whirlwind of getting everyone out of their costume and into their other clothes for the stage filling group bow of all of the dancers. This is a real feat for a group of little ones. 

They danced beautifully and had so much fun. We were overjoyed to have Papa and Grandparents Miller in town to watch her! DSC_1353DSC_1353 DSC_1430DSC_1430 DSC_1455DSC_1455 DSC_1425DSC_1425 DSC_1472DSC_1472 DSC_1445DSC_1445 DSC_1478DSC_1478 DSC_1507DSC_1507 DSC_1509DSC_1509 DSC_1516DSC_1516 DSC_1544DSC_1544 DSC_1561DSC_1561

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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) b dance daniel grandma grandpa lucy mcfarlin miller milo smu soldier studio toy https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/12/lucys-winter-recital Sat, 09 Dec 2017 07:04:00 GMT
Lucy's 6th Birthday https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/12/lucys-6th-birthday DSC_1654DSC_1654 Lucy turned 6 this year surrounded by her friends and family at ASI Gymnastics. SIX! Lucy has been a bright and shiny beacon of light in my world since she was born. There is no one like her. As her reading skills bloom her other artistic and musical talents become more vibrant and intentional. Lucy is very creative. She sings and plays the piano and makes art constantly.  She performed in her first piano recital this year and didn't miss a note. She said she was really nervous and her heart was beating fast and you could see the relief when she sat down, but she was so composed up there! She participated in a musical theater class and continues dancing with Studio B. 

She jumped and ran and smiled with her friends at her party and has enjoyed meeting so many new people at school. She had cupcakes and singing in her class on her birthday week. We were so happy to have Grandparents Miller and Papa in town to celebrate such a wonderful occasion!

My children's birthdays are a momentous feeling for me and her party was a total success. Happy Birthday, Lucy!

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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) asi birthday cake candles carissa daniel foam grandparents gymnastics jumping lucy miller milo papa penn pit swinging https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/12/lucys-6th-birthday Thu, 07 Dec 2017 20:15:00 GMT
The Ginko is My Favorite Tree https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/11/the-ginko-is-my-favorite-tree-2  

DSC_1080DSC_1080 The Ginko is my favorite tree. There is one a block over from us that turns into the most brilliant yellow tree every fall and every time we pass it, which is at least twice a day on school days, someone says, "There's mom's favorite tree!" It's gorgeous. Ginko leaves are like rose petals. They are soft and smooth and they flutter if you toss them into the air. They do not turn into a crunchy dirty mess. It's like a silk rug around the bottom in the fall. I love them.

This year the property that this tree is on was sold and the house is currently vacant for remodeling. We were driving by and I happened to have my camera and the tree was almost at the end of losing all of its leaves. I pulled over and we had the best time playing in the yard.

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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) fall family ginko leaves lucy milo tree yellow https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/11/the-ginko-is-my-favorite-tree-2 Thu, 09 Nov 2017 05:58:00 GMT
Halloween 2017 https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/10/halloween-2017 DSC_7700DSC_7700 For Halloween Lucy was a Witch, Milo was a kangaroo and Penn was Gumby. We trick or treated on our fabulous street with our fabulous neighbors. Penn went out on his own with friends. There was a Halloween party in Lucy's kindergarten class with crafts and fun. The teacher's dressed up as the letter corresponding to their classrooms and the kids taped words starting with that letter on them. They had a lot of fun! And collected just the right amount of candy which is to say, not too much, but we still have some leftover in the cabinet. 

I cleaned out the toy drawers and passed out small toys, bouncy balls and packets of organic honey as well as the standard fare.  DSC_7686DSC_7686

 

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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) candy class daniel gumby kangaroo kindergarten lucy milo party penn witch https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/10/halloween-2017 Tue, 31 Oct 2017 19:30:00 GMT
Penn's Business Class Goes to the Rangers Game https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/10/penns-business-class-goes-to-the-rangers-game  

Tamara Walker teaches Penn's business class. She works super hard for J L Long and her kids. Charles Schwab funded one of her Donor's Choose projects with a major bonus surprise donation of $10,000 PLUS a surprise trip for her class to attend a Ranger's Game in true VIP style. The kids were bussed over, fed, doused in swag that they were able to get autographed, met the players, got to ask them questions and had a tour of the stadium. Ms. Walker has more Donor's Choose Projects to be filled, if you're interested!

Thanks to Deborah Stewart for taking all of these photos!

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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) autographs baseball business charles choose class dallas donation donors penn rangers schwab stadium surprise tamara texas walker https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/10/penns-business-class-goes-to-the-rangers-game Sat, 21 Oct 2017 02:45:00 GMT
First Day of Kindergarten and 8th Grade https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/8/first-day-of-kindergarten-and-8th-grade Lucy started Kindergarten and Penn started 8th grade this year. For Lucy it's just the beginning. For Penn it's the last year of middle school! Both are exciting times in our lives. We are looking forward to seeing Lucy find her way academically and meet new friends. She is ready and excited! Milo misses his best friend.

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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) 8th grade carissa daniel j l long kindergarten lakewood elementary lucy milo penn school signs teachers https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/8/first-day-of-kindergarten-and-8th-grade Tue, 29 Aug 2017 03:15:00 GMT
Lucy and Milo Playing in the Studio https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/8/lucy-and-milo-playing-in-the-studio Sometimes after a studio shoot the kids wander in and I take a few photos of them.

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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) lucy milo studio https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/8/lucy-and-milo-playing-in-the-studio Thu, 17 Aug 2017 03:15:00 GMT
Rainbow Cake https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/7/rainbow-cake We made a rainbow cake just for fun and had cake for breakfast.

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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) breakfast food lucy milo pajamas rainbow cake https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/7/rainbow-cake Sun, 09 Jul 2017 03:30:00 GMT
July 4th in Oklahoma https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/7/july-4th-in-oklahoma We traveled to Daniel's family's farm in Oklahoma for July 4th. We enjoyed the peaceful property and time with family. There was a lot of fishing and swimming and ranger riding and the gigantic fireworks show they put together. I shot an enormous gun. Lots of ping pong too, until Penn broke his toe stubbing it on a chair while going for a ball.

We toured the Masonic Temple in Guthrie, Oklahoma. It was built in 1923 for 3 million dollars!

We are so lucky to have such a lovely place to gather with such wonderful people.

Lucy wrote a great book about her experience.
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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) cousins family fire fireworks fish fishing gun guthrie lucy marshmallows masonic milo oklahoma penn pond ranger smores sparklers spider temple https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/7/july-4th-in-oklahoma Wed, 05 Jul 2017 03:59:00 GMT
Father's Day 2017 https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/6/fathers-day-2017 I invited my neighbors over to do a Father's Day craft and photoshoot. We put on Dad tattoos and took photos and made handprint cards that had a photo insert. They are the cutest!

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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) dad father's day friends neighbors tatoos https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/6/fathers-day-2017 Sun, 04 Jun 2017 05:30:00 GMT
Lucy's 2017 Spring Dance Recital https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/5/lucys-2017-spring-dance-recital DSC_9750DSC_9750

Lucy had the cutest Spring Dance Recital with Studio B at SMU's McFarlin Auditorium. The theme for the whole show was Where Dreams Come True and Lucy's class danced to Let's Go Fly a Kitecomplete with kite props. The girls kept the kites a surprise from their parents for the whole semester!  I've never wanted to be a backstage mom, but at Lucy's very first recital it was clear she wasn't going to give me a choice. Now I've embraced it and come armed with coloring books and card games to keep the girls busy until it's their turn to dance. I love getting to know all the girls and their sweet little personalities and learning how Lucy makes friends and follows directions. 

 

I'm so proud of her bravery for getting on the big stage and smiling and dancing her heart out! This is SUCH a sweet time in her life and we are enjoying every moment.
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(CARISSA BYERS PHOTOGRAPHY) Carissa Daniel Disney Let's Go Fly A Kite, Lucy McFarlin Milo SMU Studio B ballet costume dance family flowers photo recital stage https://carissabyers.com/blog/2017/5/lucys-2017-spring-dance-recital Sun, 21 May 2017 22:15:07 GMT