10 to catch up…

1.  Finally attempting to crawl out from under a rock and rejoin the land of blogging and working again.  I realized today I hadn’t posted a single thing in weeks about what has been going on with me and mine.  Our Christmas was a good one.  We succeeded in keeping things simple this year.  We enjoyed hosting Jason’s parents, grandparents and brother for Christmas.  I gave myself the gift of getting out of cooking by ordering dinner for 10 from Whole Foods.  We may have played a funny, but dirty, little trick on our family relating to the food.  We got them good!  HA!  I think it ended up being cheaper than it would have been to buy all ingredients and cook it all.  Plus that meant I got to just sit and BE with the kids and play and relax and I even took a nap on Christmas day.  It was awesome.

2.  We cut our normal Christmas budget by almost 2/3 this year and you know what, the kids surely didn’t notice.  They were happy and busy and I’m so glad we made the decision to go the simple route this year instead of overdoing it.  Well, Ty would have noticed if it hadn’t been for my mom coming through with a last minute gift she’d been waiting over a year to give him.  But it was still simple.  And simple was good.

3.  In a very, very, very last minute decision we traveled over to see my mom and stepdad the day after Christmas.  We’ve wanted to go for over a year and had to cancel the last trip due to Teagan’s health.  He was doing well leading up to the holidays but we didn’t want to commit and disappoint everyone at the last minute if things changed for Duder.  We literally decided Christmas day to go.  It was j.o.b. getting everyone ready the next day, the whole feeding our family on a special diet on the road thing, taking meds, etc. But we made it work and the kids were beyond excited.  It is 14 hours without stops and we cut the trip over to two days stopping for the night in Jennings.  Teagan had a hard time with all the industrial plants on the way over but we managed to find an area to stop for the night that he was ok in thankfully.  And we were so, so happy to see my mom and we loved their new house at the beach.  It was weird to be at the beach in the winter though!  I love that I can picture in my mind where she is now and it filled my heart to see my kids playing and running and loving and making memories in their new home.  Unfortunately, I got sick about 30 minutes before we got there.  I let it go 2 days before I couldn’t take it anymore and went to urgent care (promptly after a round of putt-putt of course).  Strep, which sent me in to a panic.  Strep is really, really bad for those with neurological issues and we’ve had several strep scares in the past fearing Teagan had been exposed.  Our hearts sank and we prayed.  Later that day he started to get sick, we immediately put him in the van and drove to urgent care, 2nd visit of the day.  They took one look at him and confirmed our fear, he too had strep.  We took the antibiotics and called his doctor immediately the next morning.  I think it took all of 2.2 minutes for them to call me back, they don’t mess around with strep.  Another round of meds for him and we were put on watch for a laundry list of symptoms “just in case”.  We caught it very early in him and that really helped, especially since the night before I caved and went in I had a hard time breathing my throat and glads were so swollen.  The only way I could breath while sleeping was to jut my chin up in the air and to the side.  My face and neck were really swollen, thankfully Teagan’s didn’t get that far.  We are hopeful it is a good thing he had strep without a myriad of problems to follow along with it.  Could it be?!  A properly functioning immune system?!  Nervously optimistic!  We stayed for a week and truly did have a great visit with my mom.  Even though it rained almost every day and even though several of us were sick, it was good to just be together.  She made the effort to have a special date with each of the kids, they played ball and had picnics on the porch, painted nails and took trips to Target.  The trip home was long long long but we made it.  I swear we all ran for different corners of the house when we got home after so much togetherness in the van.  7 hours in one day turns in to double that with all the potty breaks and I’m hungries and gas stops and and and 😉  I am so glad we went, it feels like a success.  Even though the overload hit him by the end of the week, two night of less than stellar food choices, the stupid air quality, toxins from toys and off gassing of a new house, different water and soaps and every other little thing he is sensitive to now, it caught up with him.  But, he bounced back with both speech and physically within 2 days of being home.  And for that we are thankful.  It also helps us feel confident that what we are doing, all the changes we’ve made, all the effort we’ve put in, all the expense, is worth it.  It is working.

4.  I haven’t even opened our Christmas photos, except to post over on my one.frame.a.day.  Which, by the way, I’m kind of proud that I’ve been keeping up with it.  Go me!  I am so happy I started a month early, I feel giddy and like I cheated the system to get an extra full month of real, meaningful, everyday photos of my family.

5.  Pinterest.  OMG.  Pinterest.  Visual bookmarks.  Changing my life and instilling creativity in me multiple times per day.  You can follow me here.  And I promise to follow you right back!

6.  Oh wait!  #4 isn’t totally true, I did pull this shot just because it makes me laugh.  This is my mom’s new laundry room and it made me giggle every time I walked in to it!

7.  Santa brought Ty a mustache for Christmas.  For real.  Ok, so it probably isn’t a true mustache, more like peach fuzz of the upper lip, but it is there and he’s awfully proud of it.  I don’t want to talk about it.

8.  The little kids seem to be noticing the mood swings of aforementioned mustache toting teenager.  In the last two days I’ve heard Teagan tell Ty to “drop your att-i-tude Tyyyyyyy” and “Ty, why you so ornery TY?!”  HA!  Do you think he’s heard us say those things a time or two recently?!  It’s so funny to hear it come from the fit throwing 2 year old though!  Thankfully Ty thinks it is funny too.

9.  The little kids got Plasma cars for Christmas and I can’t even tell you how much fun they have been.  I got them at a super low price via an online black friday sale and I’m so glad that I did, they LOVE them.  Taryn named hers “Sting”.

10.  There is a lot of fun stuff coming up, I just need to find the time to blog about it all!  Much more soon….

2011-01-07T21:49:29-06:00January 7th, 2011|My Family|

snapshots, weirdness, a surprise, some prayers and some fun

1.  In addition to getting ready for this weekend my days this week have been filled with one little boy fighting asthma, it’s been a rough one.  I told his doctor yesterday morning, after his 3rd rough day in a row, that I feel like we are missing a piece of the puzzle.  Something is off, I don’t know what I’m missing, what his doctors are missing, but its something.  I swear asthma kids are one big puzzle and it takes forever to put it all together!  I’ve also had one super, super sassy little miss T on my hands. What is it with her this week?  Not listening seems to be at the top of her to-do list.  And Ty has had TAKS this week.  But what they didn’t know, is that we’ve been keeping a secret from them.  A BIG secret!  My mom arrived today and they had NO CLUE.  So exciting!!  Especially since every last one of them was in a foul mood this morning.  I was almost giddy when Taryn started crying for my mom thinking if you only knew….but I tried to pretend I was sympathetic, really I did.  But, my mom coming in isn’t the only surprise, there is another big surprise coming their way, they are going to be thrilled with what we have planned!!  I can’t wait!!!

2.  Each kid had a different reaction to seeing my mom.  Taryn was speechless for a full 5 minutes and then giddy, Ty dove in to her arms. Teagan was, in typical duder style, chill and happy.  Oh so happy.  After we got home from dinner we played outside a bit.  Teagan had a game down pat, go down the slide, dive into the Gee’s arms and spin around, lather rinse repeat.  He’d also make the occasional pit stop to pick up a rock.  Hey, he’s 2, he has priorities you know!

3.  I’ve spent many hours this week praying for my dear friend Jodie, her family, and her daughter Parker.  Parker is 3 started having seizures this week and has been in PICU.  Jod is holding strong, but I’m so worried for all of them.  I wish I could be there to give her a hug.  Please pray for their family.

4.  When Lily is at our house….this always happens.  Weirdness.  He’ll do anything to make that silly Lilly laugh, its hysterical to watch them together.

5.  Speaking of weirdness.  This sums it up I suppose.

6.  We put up new curtains in the living room and the kids seem to gravitate to them now to hide.  I’m sure it has something to do with them being white and my children’s firm belief that anything that is white, should be dirtified immediately.

7.  One of my awesome clients was featured over on Ohdeedoh, congrats Noelle, awesome party!!

8.  Ty is still shorter that me, by barely an inch.  At least until next month when I’m sure he’ll shoot up past me.  He’s 12 for goodness sake.  And I am not a short person!  We measured him to my mom tonight and they are the EXACT same height.  He might just pass her up by the time she goes home on Tuesday.

9.  A favorite shot of Ty from this past month….

10.  Alright….enough goofing around….back to work for me so I can earn goofing off with my fam tomorrow!!

ps – I haven’t forgotten about the big announcement, coming soon =)

2010-04-30T23:11:29-05:00April 30th, 2010|Austin Photographer, My Family|

our girl | austin child photographer

these are for my mom.  who *almost* never complains about never getting photos of the kids anymore.  or that I rarely even send the ones I do take.  or that she’s still waiting on me to proof all the photos from our trip to her house *last* summer.  or that all the walls in her big, new house at the beach are blank and awaiting to be a life in motion gallery, just like her old house was.  or that she was supposed to see the kids over spring break, but I took on too much work to be able to go.  she certainly has more patience with me than I would if I were her.  I know that she was dying to see these when she read my facebook update today that taryn gave me 20 minutes of amazing cooperation and camera time in exchange for one shimmer tube of lip gloss.  just a few of the over 50 I will proof *eventually*.  love you mom.  here is our girl…..

2010-03-26T00:16:00-05:00March 26th, 2010|Austin Photographer, My Family|

captured and beautiful, in spite of me | austin lifestyle photographer

I knew I wanted to make a collage of my iphone pics at the end of the year.  thank you Michelle Nicoloff for this post, it totally inspired me 🙂

these moments would have been missed.  gone before i grabbed my camera.  too lazy to get up and go get it.  little blurbs.  little glimpses.  of my people, my loves.  these are the moments in my mind, even more so than the properly exposed and processed ones.  imperfect, real.  i got my iphone in july.  i love it.  i love that it forces me to accept the imperfections.  i not only accept them, i embrace them.  and i forgive myself for it.  maybe that is why so many people are fascinated with polaroids.  it gives us the freedom to let go of the rules and just allow that moment to be beautiful all on it’s own.  and that’s what i love about this.  our moments, captured and beautiful, in spite of me.

iphone yir

2010-01-09T17:51:13-06:00January 9th, 2010|My Family, Uncategorized|

explore | austin photographer lyndsay stradtner

While my mom was here we had a free day with not much planned so we decided to take the kids out exploring.  Teagan and I have been to this particular sculpture garden several times before, we like to go out exploring new places while the older two are in school.  He loves this place.  It is peaceful, never overrun with people and he just has the space, time and energy to be a boy.  I knew the older kids would love it too so we gathered up our fancy smanshy magnifying glasses and headed out.


Exploring involves leaves, rocks and sticks.  Touching them, throwing them, dropping them into the water and watching them float down the creek…


Teagan had a, uhmmmm, close connection to his magnifying glass…..


HA!  The sculptures are so beautiful….(full sun at f/1.2)


This one is Teagan’s favorite, every time we go.  He hunts around for it yelling “baaaaaby?!”





I love the way the trees bend toward the light….


Taryn is very into being an explorer.  We discovered moss, rocks, bark….


This is how I taught her to use the glass….


And this is her doing it “her way”….hmmm….maybe it runs in the family??




Taryn and my mom had a good time walking down the brick pathes….each brick had names on them….


Then we came across this one that served as a quick reminder to us that yes, we do indeed, live in Austin!  LOL!!




I love this sculpture for some reason.  It’s one of my favorites on the property.  It sits just outside of the pavillion near the waterfall.  All of these were shot in full, high sun at f/1.2….




Of course while I was photographing something that never moves, my yahoo’s were running a muck….


Love how Taryn’s feet don’t even hit the ground!  So her.  Right after this shot she did a pretty dance for me that ended with a bow and a…


TA-DAAAA!!!  The perfect ending to a great adventure.

2010-01-04T22:11:53-06:00January 4th, 2010|My Family|

random | austin photographer

1.  Not sure if this will be 10 but I’ve been MIA and feel the need to catch up.

2.  Favorite moment from the first day of 2010…..Teagan throws his arms up in the air and yells “HA-PEEEEE NEW YEAR!”.  We all smile and clap at him.  So he smiles, soaks in the approval from us, throws his arms in the air again and yells “TOUCHDOWN!!!”.  I love that kid.

3.  Iphone pic….I find it oddly amusing and ironic that these two rung in the new year just like this…..


Actually, this was about 10 minutes before midnight (yes, we let our kids stay up, it is tradition).  She pushed him, got sent to the corner, he followed along and put himself in the sympathy corner, she fell asleep.  Right after this shot, Teagan walked over the couch, threw his legs/feet up on Ty’s lap, laid down and went to sleep.  He was moments away from midnight and missed it!

4.  One of the highlights of our Christmas was my husband dancing the funky worm in this.  I haven’t laughed so hard in a very long time.  I’m (not so patiently) awaiting the video my brother-in-law took.

5.  I love the way Taryn called Hershey Kisses “Jingle Berries” this year.

6.  My family drank waaaay too much hot chocolate, or “hot chok-kit” as Teagan calls it, in the month of December.  So much so that I will have an entire post dedicated to it very soon.


7.  As soon as I took this one, my father-in-law said “don’t blog that!”.  I wouldn’t do that would I?


hahahaha!  Somehow the kids always bring him the most difficult things to open on Christmas morning!  I swear we don’t put them up to it either, it just happens 😉  Teagan seriously adores his grandpa, he’s got it bad.  His grandpa doesn’t mind a bit either.  We truly had a wonderful Christmas with Jason’s parents, grandparents and brother here, we couldn’t ask for better.  I’ll have more pics to share soon!

8.  Proof my mom was here….


9.  My mom and stepdad moved from Louisiana to their new big and beautiful home in Alabama the week before Christmas.  A big part of me is sad as I spent a good portion of my childhood in the home they moved out of.  I wish I could have been there for the transition, but I know they will be happy in their new place.  It’s life changing for them as Larry will now have use of an entire house instead of living in one room because their old house isn’t handicap accessible.  I’m super excited for them, the build was a long one, and I can’t wait to see it in person again.

10.  Hey look, I made it to 10, what do you know?  Guess I could come up with something better than this for #10 though.  I know!  Do you make resolutions?  If so, what is yours this year?  I like to think of January 1 as a fresh start.  Actually using the word resolution makes me feel like I’m setting it up for failure.  Fresh start sounds better.  I’m going to try and pick up my dedication to One Project A Month (OPAM) again.  Last year I think I only did 3, got busy with life, kids and work….so we’ll see how 2010 goes….but I’m going to give it my best shot!  How about you?

2010-01-01T23:03:48-06:00January 1st, 2010|My Family|
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