Oh, Christmas Tree!

The_Woodlands_family_photographer (87) The_Woodlands_family_photographer (2) The_Woodlands_family_photographer (84) The_Woodlands_family_photographer (3)The_Woodlands_family_photographer (86)The_Woodlands_family_photographer (88) If you are asking me, picking out the perfect Christmas tree is a family tradition worth having. If you are asking my husband, he will tell you, no it is not. He would then go on to tell you how wasteful, dangerous and messy live Christmas trees are. But me, I like to live on the wild side. In my book, there is no sweeter smell than a Douglas fir at Christmas time. For now, or until I completely wear him down, we compromise by having a medium-sized artificial tree, with live fir wreaths and a little Charlie Brown tree to put beside our front door.

This weekend, we discovered Cypress Creek Growers, a beautiful family-run tree farm in Cypress, Texas. We spent our Saturday morning at their farm, running through the trees, drinking hot cocoa, eating cookies and visiting with some friendly farm animals. Their wreaths were just what I was looking for. And, if you are lucky enough to have a real Christmas tree in your home (Russell, think about it), they will help you cut down a tree of your choosing and bring it to your car by a tractor-drawn family hay ride. Patrick was pretty pitiful when Russell told him he would not be getting to bring home a tractor (see last picture). But, that moment aside, it was a perfect morning preparing for Christmas!

Cypress family photographer

These little guys had a great time scampering through the woods for this fall family session and I had a great time following after them! I can't believe that this sweet family has grown by one big and bouncing baby boy. Between the light that poured in through the trees and the crisp fall breeze whipping through the leaves, we all had a wonderful afternoon taking some pictures and walking the trails of this North Houston nature preserve. I can't say enough good things about this family. They are always smiling and always so sweet with one another. It makes taking picture an easy (and fun!) job.IMG_6583Bates-119 Bates1 IMG_6601Bates-118 Bates3IMG_6632Bates-99 Bates4 IMG_6646Bates-96 Bates5 Bates6Bates7IMG_6968Bates-39 Bates8 IMG_6905Bates-53Bates10IMG_7143Bates-9Bates9IMG_7200Bates-4Bates11 IMG_7213Bates-2 Bates12IMG_7248Bates-1

The Woodlands family photographer

First, let me say hats off to the moms who are busy raising boys. It is not easy, I can tell you that. This special mom, who is a very special friend of mine, does it with style, grace and a calmness I can't even begin to imitate.  Shooting pictures of her beautiful family, grandparents and sister included, I am reminded that with all the excitement of family, comes great joy. This was a perfect spring day to day some pictures of a pretty great family!MesterVerlinden024Portfolio-6-2 Mesters1 MesterVerlinden029Portfolio-9-2 Mesters2 MesterVerlinden062Portfolio-17-2Mesters8MesterVerlinden086Portfolio-24-2 Mesters4 MesterVerlinden045Portfolio-10-2 Mesters5MesterVerlinden116Portfolio-36-2Mesters6 Mesters7Mesters3 MesterVerlinden055Portfolio-15-2

The Woodlands family photographer

I have to say these two boys put on a good show for me, chasing and terrorizing each other, but I happen to know they are each other's very best friends. Following them around this morning, I couldn't help but notice they are two peas in a pod. Where one goes, the other goes. What one does, the other does. These are two lucky parents. The boys keep them on their toes, but they also keep them full of joy. This was a family session to a remember!Riley049Portfolio-18Riley2Riley031Portfolio-11Riley3Riley035Portfolio-12Riley4 Riley007Portfolio-2Riley1Riley030Portfolio-10Riley5 Riley6Riley066Portfolio-24 Riley7Riley042Portfolio-17 Riley8Riley073Portfolio-25Riley059Portfolio-20

The Woodlands newborn photographer

Those days following that moment when you bring home your first child from the hospital are pretty defining life moments. It can be the most joyous, most confusing, most exhausting and most exciting days you've ever experienced. After visiting with these two new parents, I was in awe of their ability to take it all in stride, enjoying every last little thing about their little guy. From the tiny finger grabs, the curious little eyes to the long naps in mom's arms, everything is special and new. I feel honored to have gotten to spend a little time with this new family of three!VanLooveren28Portfolio-6 VanLooveren1 VanLooveren35Portfolio-9 VanLooveren2 VanLooveren49Portfolio-14VanLooveren4VanLooveren65Portfolio-17 VanLooveren66Portfolio-18VanLooveren3VanLooveren15Portfolio-4

The Woodlands family photographer

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, ran a sweet, wee toddler asking whats this about? With her red stocking cap and her gorgeous blue eyes, she dug under the tree to look for a surprise. She found a farm set from her sweet mommy dear. From the next hour on she was filled with good cheer. Such joy it was seeing this family laugh and play, there is nothing more special on Christmas Eve Day. Thomsen10Portfolio-6 Thomopsen7.5Thomsen2Portfolio-2Thompsen3.5 Thomsen9Portfolio-5Thompsen20.1Thomsen5Portfolio-1Thompsen2.5Thomsen43Portfolio-14 Thompsen1.5Thompsen15.1Thomsen53Portfolio-17Thompsen18.1

The Woodlands maternity photographer

We managed to squeeze in this city maternity session a few weeks before this beautiful mom-to-be had her sweet baby boy. The rocky cobblestone streets weren't the easy to navigate, but this amazing mama, who is also a dear, dear friend, did it with ease and style. Big brother did a great job too and was most excited when I found the vintage Trabant for him to pose by.  I'm pleased to report that he is an amazing big brother these days... I can't wait to share their session as a family of four!Bates45Portfolio-17BatesPortfolio1-21 Bates13Portfolio-4BatesPortfolio12-5 Bates19Portfolio-11 BatesPortfolio9.5Bates28Portfolio-14 BatesPortfolio13.5 Bates40Portfolio-15BatesPortfolio3.5 Bates77Portfolio-23BatesPortfolio24.5Bates98Portfolio-5



The Woodlands family photographer

 A fun fall session with one of my favorite families ever. Once these sweet girls got going, there was no end to their laughing, running, hugging and dancing. I tried my best to keep up with them! We played in the field and took a few pictures until the sun set on this beautiful day. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon!

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The Woodlands family photographer

We couldn't have asked for more beautiful leaves this cool, crisp fall day. They came in every color and had collected themselves in big piles perfect for jumping. This sweet girl and her little brother were the best. I never once asked them to smile, they just wore them the whole time. Now I just need to go get myself a scooter like hers!Christesen_Normafa_Portfolio_1 Christesen_Normafa_Portfolio_2.1 Christesen_Normafa_Portfolio_4 Christesen_Normafa_Portfolio_5.5 Christesen_Normafa_Portfolio_16 Christesen_Normafa_Portfolio_7.5 Christesen_Normafa_Portfolio_14 Christesen_Normafa_Portfolio_15 Christesen_Normafa_Portfolio_19 Christesen_Normafa_Portfolio_11.5 Christesen_Normafa_Portfolio_9 Christesen_Normafa_Portfolio_10 Christesen_Normafa_Portfolio_22 Christesen_Normafa_Portfolio_17.5 Christesen_Normafa_Portfolio_13