Red, White and Blue

As my 2nd favorite holiday of the year swiftly approaches, I feel the need to do something patriotic w/ my blog/website. 🙂 Hence, the MLB, new look to my site. It is the only thing I could find that expressed my love of  R,W&B. Since my oldest son Michael just finished a traveling baseball season, and it is well… baseball season, I thought that for a short amount of time, it would serve my site well. I hope you like it!

If you have known me all my life, or for just a tiny space of time, then you know that I bleed Red, White & Blue, American style. In my old house, 4 months after we bought it and moved in, my husband went to Iraq. I decided that everything was a little too plain. I painted my kitchen walls Red-and I do mean, RED! LOL! I loved it, and I found the most awesome small paint roller that had sponge stars on it, so, yes, that’s right you guessed it… I dipped it in blue paint, and meant to just do a few “star bursts” on the ceiling, but found I didn’t like them alone, so I painted the whole kitchen ceiling blue stars. Then I put up a vintage patriotic angel border around the top next to the ceiling. There was no doubt how patriotic I was when you looked at my kitchen. I of course made other updates, but I won’t bore you with the details of my interior decorating for the whole house. (at least not right now, lol!)

I also always make sure that my whole family wears RW&B on the 4th of July. I try to do so for myself also on Flag Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day. I also make sure I am always registered to vote, so that my voice can be heard, and I can fulfill my patriotic duties. Wearing the clothes, painting the room, it’s just not enough. So this Independence Day while you are hopefully enjoying some sort of cook out with friends and family, please remember, it is not just another day to play. It is the day we, The United States of America gained our Independence! And it is a day when we can remember our valiant soldiers across the Armed Forces, and remember that they sacrifice on a daily basis to keep those Freedoms (that we all hold dear, and that some take for granted), Free.

So please take some time during your cookout, and sports watching and horseshoe throwing to think of a soldier, and their families who also sacrifice. And if you can on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social device you use, Thank them. Thank them for their Service, their Sacrifice, their family’s sacrifice of having them gone. You get the idea, you know what to do. Of course if you are lucky enough to see one in person, Active, National Guard or Veteran, then shake their hand, and Thank them for keeping you free. Yes, they may shyly duck their head and say “oh no problem”, or ” oh, no big deal, it’s what I do” because most soldiers are a humble group, but inside, their hearts will swell just a little to know that their time, and sacrifices have not gone unseen. To know that the freedoms they fight for are appreciated.

I wish you all to have a wonderfully beautiful Independence Day, a.k.a. 4th of July! I hope that you get to see fireworks, even if it is just on TV, like me. There are many areas where I live that are under burn & firework bans, so their will be no opulent fireworks displays for me to see and hear outside this year. I’m okay with this. I’d rather watch them on TV, than worry about my house and my friends houses burning down over one night of fun displays. There are fireworks of passion in my heart, for my family and my photography, so everything is sparkly to me. I pray the same for all of you. Love to all, M :o) PS: I’ve added some fun facts and the Declaration of Independence on another post for you all to peruse as well, and catch up on our history. Enjoy!

History of the Fourth | A Capitol Fourth | PBS

History of the Fourth | A Capitol Fourth | PBS.


The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

— John Hancock

Does it drive you? Does it move you? What is your passion?

Hi all, I just wanted to share a little something of the epiphany that I’ve been having the last 2 days. I shared some of this with a good friend on a message earlier, and realized that I wanted everyone to know how I feel about this matter. As some of you that are my friends, or that follow me may know, I am currently staying w/ a sweet friend & her hubby, in OKC, so I can work a seasonal position at TeleFlora. I am doing something I am good at, talking to people on the phones, helping them with ordering flowers for Mother’s Day mainly, but a few other reasons from time to time. I’m really liking/loving it! However, I have truly realized over these last 2 days, that I love my photography more. I knew I loved it before, but  I love my photography too much to go back to full-time work. (unless life demanded it) It is my full-time job, along with my family, and I just need to work harder at it. Really and truly I have taken for granted the fact that I could just run out the door and take my camera and do a shoot. Or drop what I’m doing and go help a friend with a shoot. I hope to not take that for granted again. I have worked around 12 hours both days at my new little job, and folks, that is tiring.. I’m wiped out! LOL! And I’m missing my photography every minute! Yet I see the beauty in this lesson. These past 2 days have just shown & reminded me how much I love my photography, & how I am meant to do it, & want to do nothing else. It really drives me, & makes me want to do and be better all the time, so that I can produce the best moments & memories for my clients.
I am going to continue learning my craft, and honing my skills so that I can be  who I am, and give you the best of me. I have been to several classes where they have asked “Can you imagine doing anything else? If so, then maybe you are not a photographer” I never doubted that all I want to do is photography, I just took for granted the thought in my head “Of course this is all I want to do!”
Now, I can reaffirm to you all, Photography is my life! I’m passionate about it, it stirs & awakens my soul, I love it and I’m living it. Love to all!

Hoppy Easter one and all!

Hoppy Easter!!! :o) I hope everyone has a lovely Easter weekend and amongst the Easter egg hunting, cooking the big meal, hanging out with family and over all having fun, that we all remember The Savior at this time, & remember why we are here. That if not for His Atonement, we would all be lost, but because of His sacrifice, we are able to return to our Heavenly Father once our test in this life is complete.  I am thankful for Him, and his Atoning Sacrifice for me and my family. I’m busy editing pictures, working on making my website better, and wait for it… a special is brewing… that’s right, I’m going to run a Mother’s Day Special.. this is the first blurb about it.. so stay tuned! love to all, Mandy

Imaging USA Photo Convention courtesy of PPA! Yay!

Am I behind on blogging or what?!! LOL! I took my hubby to San Antonio with me where we attended the PPA’s(Professional Photographers of America) Imaging USA Photography Convention! Jan 15th -Jan 18th and it was AWESOME!!!! I walked alot, which was great because it helped me lose 8 pounds! Along with Special K shakes, and bars, and the Wii! Then wow, all the seminars, workshops etc!! It was sooo fun! I learned tons, and am still processing everything.. there is so much info, and I believe that all were on sensory overload by the time they left! PS: There were over 10,000 people registered and in classes the first day! That is awesome to be around that much knowledge at one time! This is where my shout outs come… my friend, sister, and mentor April Hopkins was there, yay love her!; my friends and 1st set of mentors Robert Trawick, and his fiance, the lovely Terri Hatch-Bailey were there,(they ROCK!) and we got to hang with them a bit, as well as make new friends with some of their awesome photog friends such as, Ross and Brandyce Benton from San Antonio, great sweet people, and Dennis Maly from Yukon, OK -nice guy to have dinner w/ me and Lonnie, Kim and Holly from Choctaw, OK- fun gals that have our court system taken care of, Jack from San Antonio, a stand up guy that is merging from the military to civilian photography world… just an all around fun networking time.. also met some new friends, Jayne and Melissa from Illinois, and Reta and her hubby from Indiana, along with soooo many other great, fun new friends! As a result of being there I now have a new awesome Lab to deal with on a higher level of professionalism, and a new  way to make videos, and now I’m getting new software for editing, and I love it! I’m soooo excited! Love to all!

20 days ’til Christmas!!! Yay!

Hi all! Well, I have been busy,(yay!):-) but I have also been sick..(boo!) 😦    This is my favorite time of year. I love the holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. My absolute fav. holiday is Christmas. I love the way the whole world gets into the loving and giving spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ. I wish it was like that all year round. Hopefully one day it will, be but until then, I will be happy with the way people are during Christmas-time. I photographed a wedding in Dallas the week of Thanksgiving, and the reception in Lawton, I had sooo much fun with Rob ‘n’ Vicki, and they are truly a beautiful in love couple and they have God in their relationship, which is why I know they will do great! Congrats! Then this week I have basically been in bed. I have had Strep Throat that turned into a major sinus infection.. not my favorite thing on my list of things to have! Oh well, at least I got it out of the way before Christmas! I am also working on individual football pictures as well as the slideshow for the football banquet. I have begun to take basketball pictures as well. I’m editing the wedding, and a family shoot. I love photography, and making people happy!! I’m sorry I have had some delays that have held me back some, but I am greatful for being able to get back to it! I wish you all a loving Merry Christmas, and pray you remember the reason for the season, Our Savior, Jesus Christ, and a Wonderfully Happy New Year! I hope to check in with you soon!

Yep, it’s busy time!

Hi all! Sorry I have not been keeping you all up to date.. It’s been a very busy and trying time, lately. Most recently, my dear sweet friend Sue Nichols passed away from pancreatic cancer, and that has been hard on our whole family. We know she is without pain now and serving our loving Heavenly Father, but she has been part of our lives for a long time.. Football season is over, and I am going through literally thousands of pictures to find the best ones for the EMS banquet slideshow. It will be awesome! I am also working on certain individuals to get their pictures posted to my site. I am excited and working diligently on all of this, along with family photo shoots, nature, and now Basketball season is starting up! Wow, the fun never ends! LOL! One thing I am really excited about is the wedding I get to shoot the week of Thanksgiving, Dallas wedding on Tuesday, Lawton reception on Saturday, with Turkey day cooking inbetween! I have already started cooking and freezing ahead of time! Yahoo! I love the holidays and I am so ready to bake, decorate, and have Christmas parties!!! Yeah! Love to all! Thanks for checking here, and thank you for your time, patience, and for choosing me as your photographer for sports, families, seniors, weddings, you name it!