Friday, January 20, 2017

None of us are special and all of us are special.

Today is not exactly a happy day for me. Today is the day Donald Trump becomes President of the United States of America. I feel like if someone were reading this 10 years ago, they would laugh and swear it was a joke. Some billionaire with crazy hair is gonna be president in 2017? Nah, I won't believe until I see it. I think that's what many of us thought when the rumors were circulating that Trump was throwing his hat in the ring. You think he just woke up one day and said, I think I'm gonna run for president?

 Never in my wildest dreams did I image that he would ACTUALLY be the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.  One word stands out to me.

UNITED. Are we though? Are we UNITED?

Let's back up to 8 years ago though. Eight years ago I didn't care at all about politics... like not at all.  Eight years ago I didn't vote for Obama. I actually remember being upset on election night when he won. I was, and still am a George W. fan. Admittedly though, it has absolutely nothing to do with his politics and absolutely everything to do with his Southern accent, sweet smile and the way he wears that Cowboy hat. I'm a sucker, what can I say? I mean, look at that cute cowboy grin.

Eight years ago I was 25, newly married and still trying to figure out this life stuff. (Let's be honest, I'm STILL trying to figure it out.)  I voted like a Conservative because that's what I thought good Southern girls raised Southern Baptist did. I voted Republican because Christians voted Republican, right? That's what I thought at least.

Over the past eight years I have learned so much about myself, about the world, about change, hope, equality, but also I have learned about the opposite. I have met people who have no hope, who are treated unfairly and have been utterly broken by the world around them. I have met people who couldn't get married to the one they love or adopt a child they have been so longing to have. Over the past 8 years there has been a lot of change, in myself, but also in this country. Over the last eight years, there has been more acceptance, more openness, more togetherness, more people loving people for who they are. Not everyone believes the same as I, nor will they ever, and THAT'S OKAY. This diversity is what makes America an amazing place to live! You can go walk around outside and, depending on where you live, meet people from a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds. But here's the question I have: Shouldn't we ALL be treated equally? This is where I had a hard time voting for Trump, someone who in no way treats all people equally. In this world, we can all learn from each other if we just open up and listen to each other. Treat each other fairly no matter the circumstance, color of skin, sexual orientation or who they voted for in this election.

So even though I'm not particularly happy about Donald Trump being president, I am still going to go on with my day to day life, with LOVE as my number one agenda. It's sounds simple but it really does come down to the Golden Rule: "Treat others how you would like to be treated." If we remember that we are all the same.... that no-one person is better than anyone else... maybe then we can be a UNITED nations. That is my prayer for the next eight years. Put your neighbor, your brother, your teacher, your sibling, that stranger next to you...put them all before yourself. Can we do that? Is the human brain even capable of such self LESS ness? As humans we are hard wired to be selfish, to put our own needs first. This is why any relationship is hard. We all want to be made to feel special

but the truth is none of us are special and all of us are special.

In trying to determine my political affiliation, I learned long ago that the spectrum of conservative to liberal or Republication to Democrat did not matter. One spectrum that I should be focused on is the spectrum of love and hate, of equality and inequality, of inclusiveness and exclusiveness. Where do you fall on this spectrum. Do I treat others fairly? Do I focus on love or do I focus on hate? Is my social media full of positive things or negative? Do I love those who are different than me? But no-one is better than any one else and everyone should be given the same opportunity in life. I truly believe this.  So in order to be a UNITED NATION, let us put aside our political affiliation and remember we are all just people who need love and acceptance. Now for goodness sakes, go hug someone!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Merry Christmas!

We wanted to miss you a very Merry Christmas from me, B and our crazy crew! This is just a little reminder to be silly, kick back and enjoy life even when it's not so great! 

This year hasn't been the best for us but we are looking forward to new adventures and new challenges of 2017. I have a few challenges of my own I would like to accomplish including blogging more often. This year I was looking back and have barely made any entries to this blog in 2016. Hopefully in the coming year and get back to writing more and remember why I enjoyed it in the first place.

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Peace. Love. Joy. and all that other good stuff
           Brent & Cara Beth Buie

Monday, December 19, 2016

Reconnecting in Natchitoches

My first cousin Leah and I have embarked on a new journey and it is quickly becoming a favorite tradition. After reconnecting with Uncle Sonny at a family funeral, Leah and I decided to take him up on his offer of coming to stay with him in his home. If you are not familiar with it, Natchitoches is called the city of lights. Millions of Christmas lights adorn the city on historic homes and buildings and along the river. They have tourists come from all over to see them and participate in their Christmas festival, eat yummy food, shop the local stores and enjoy the fireworks over the Cane River. It really is quite an experience and one to put on your list if you haven't been. Since my grandmother was from the city of lights, our family grew up going to back their with her just about every year to experience Christmas in Natchitoches. I can remember eating Natchitoches meat pies (before I was gluten free) and hanging out with my grandmother's family. They were all such lovely people.

Last Christmas we loaded up in Leah's car and made the short trip to Natchitoches to visit our grandmother's brother, who we affectionately call Uncle Sonny. Leah and I, along with the other 6 grandchildren, were very close with our grandparents.  Our grandmother, Frances, had one brother and one sister and Uncle Sonny is the only living sibling of our sweet grandmother. Last December on this very same weekend, Leah and I reconnected with a 92 year old man. We listened to his stories. We looked through albums of family pictures. We enjoyed his wonderful cooking for which he is Natchitoches famous. Leah and I were also reintroduced to two of Uncle Sonny's sons and we thoroughly enjoyed spending time with and reconnecting with our cousins. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner prepared by cousins that we had just kindled our relationship with. We spent all night in wonderful conversation about life, death, family and love! It was truly a special night.

me, Uncle Sonny and Leah eating a wonderful meal at Merci Beaucoup 

Ricky, me, Uncle Sonny and Leah 
me, Denise and Leah

Leah and I enjoyed our visit last Christmas so much that we made another trip in the Spring about 6 months later. Then just recently, we returned again on the same weekend in December. Uncle Sonny will be 94 in January and while it's sad to think about, we are not sure how many more Christmases or springtimes we will have with him. We have enjoyed these last few visits. I'm so thankful he along with his son and daughter in law traveled that road to come to a family funeral. It was at that funeral where we reconnected and started on this journey. Even in times of sadness come joy, bonding and a renewed sense of family and closeness. You will never regret spending TOO much time with your family members while they are still with us on this Earth. The decision to reconnect with our grandmother's side of the family is one that I will surely never regret. This holiday season if you have an opportunity to reconnect, always take it! You won't regret it and you might even make a new friend or two.
our attempt at a family selfie :)

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Girls Get-Away

When you have a bond with someone that time and distance are no measure for, it feels just like coming home when you are finally together again! That's exactly how it is with my girls. A place where we are 100% ourselves. A place where we can literally tell each other anything. A place where there are no judgement no matter the topic religion, politics, no matter our size or our place in life...I always feel accepted by these women. It doesn't matter where we are, I love being with them. I love that no matter how busy we get we always make time for a girl's getaway because it is so needed for the soul.

The past few years several of us made the long drive to Florida for an entire week and it was glorious! We just couldn't quite make it happen this year because of work schedules, but that didn't stop us from a girls weekend. We booked a lake house is Hot Springs, loaded up the boat with our floaties and made some memories. The best part of the weekend was sharing it with friends that don't normally get to attend the whole week in Florida.

So what are the components that make up a perfect girl's weekend?
 flamingo straws and fruity drinks
 personalized cups and enough junk food to gain a few pounds each
 pretty braids and the best hair stylist in the world
strawberry pie, caprese salad and friends that make you your very own gluten free cookies
boat rides. swan floats, sunsets
old school rap music and dance parties on the boat

And the best friends a girl could ask for.

We swam. We sang. We enjoyed the sun. But most of we laughed and laughed and laughed some more. These girls are the best medicine.  Can't wait till our next one, ladies!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Mr. Bun Bun

Losing a pet is not easy no matter what type it is. We love our bunnies and their little personalities. When we welcomed three rabbits into our home about two and a half years ago we had no idea the journey we would go on. We have seen 8 new bunnies birthed and nurse and grow hair and open their eyes. Baby bunnies are just the cutest. We raised a handicapped bunny from birth, giving it special baths and therapy trying to strength her little deformed legs. We have watched ALL of our bunnies take their very first romp in the grass and kick their legs up in excitement. Before we adopted the original three, they had lived in a cage their whole lives and had never even run let alone romp in the grass. Over the past 2.5 years, we have loved and hugged and learned so many things about these delicate little creatures.

Yesterday we noticed that Mr. Bun Bun wasn't his normal perky self. He normally loves a good head scratch and immediately starts eating just about anything I bring him, apples, carrots, basil, spinach, etc. In the summer heat, we always put out frozen water bottles for our bunnies. Our bunnies live outside in a hutch but have complete protection from the elements. Mr. Bun Bun liked to sit right next to the water bottles and that's where he was all day yesterday. We brought him inside thinking that if he was perhaps overheated, the air conditioning would cool him off. We immediately noticed he wasn't responding to even his favorites treat or drinking any water at all. After forcing him to drink water and still no response, we knew the outcome did not look good. The closest emergency vet didn't see rabbits and our vet was closed since it was after hours. We started reading every possibility of what could possibility be wrong. We quickly found out that it could be a number of things from heat stroke to an infection of some sort. We read in several sources we could give him infant medicine so we went to Walgreens to buy some. Several hours passed and Mr. Bun Bun was no different. Wobbly and unstable, not eating, no response, teething grinding (a sign of pain), and leaning up against a wall for support.

We said our good-byes while we took turns holding him and talking about all the good memories we have of him because we knew his passing was inevitable at this point. We didn't think he would make it through the night because he was declining rapidly.

Mr. Bun Bun was definitely loved. He may have been "just a rabbit" to some, but we gave that rabbit a name, a home and loved him while he was with us. I know that while he was with us we gave him the best. In the short time we had him he lived life to the fullest.

  • He romped in the grass for the first time and quite frequently :)
  • He was in a home that loved him and not just in a cage waiting to be bred or sold
  • He had a girlfriend. It's true. Tiana and Mr. Bun Bun bonded instantly and were inseparable. 
  • He had a child. Tiana and Bun Bun did manage to escape and go on their honeymoon. A month later, Tiana gave birth to Nadia. :)
All in all, Mr. Bun Bun, you were our favorite. Honestly, he was. We will miss you, but we are glad you were in our lives. In a horrible world with tragedies happening daily, sometimes I feel silly to be sad over a bunny. But in our world, he was worth mourning. We may never know why you left us, but we are glad you were here. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Father's Day Weekend in Rison

I'm trying to make more of an effort in this blogging thing so I can purposefully take pictures at events and write about it. This weekend B & I loaded up the spaniels, dropped off the bigger dogs with a pet sitter and make the short drive to Buie's hometown of Rison, Arkansas. I'm embarrassed to say this, but we hadn't seen my in-laws since Christmas! (I know, shameful, right?) Being right in the middle of wedding season, it's so hard to take off. We jumped on the opportunity to see them on our first free weekend and spent a good 48 hours of family time. 

Lady and Conner love their big backyard and spent most of their outside side chasing squirrels and making sure they had sniffed every corner of their yard. 

We slept in late on Saturday morning which was glorious. We sipped our coffee in our pjs and snuggled with the dogs, watched the news and relaxed. Saturday afternoon we hopped in the car and got the $5 tour from Buie's dad. Mr. Rufus has lived in Rison his whole life. Their family owned The Buie Funeral Home for many years until he retired. If you are not familiar with Rison, it is a town of about 1,300. I always thought I was from a small town...until I went to Rison. Mr. Rufus drove us around and showed us the home where he first lived as a young boy and the home where he and Mrs. Carole lived. He showed us the original funeral home where he and his family lived in a one bedroom apartment in the back for many years. 

We stopped by Rison High School and I begged them to take a photo in front of the football field where they both played football for the Rison Wildcats. I know these are the little things that one day we'll be so thankful we took the time to do. I cherish this time we get to spend with our parents. 

Saturday evening the boys cleaned off the grilled. Buie's brother picked up some steaks. I made some potatoes and B cooked the steaks. We filled our bellies and then piled in the living room and watched a movie. The Buies are movie experts. It's kind of a family tradition to watch movies when we're all together. That's where B gets his love of movies from. 

 Back in Louisiana, my parents went out to eat with my both of my brothers' families and their six kiddos. I called my dad on the phone to wish him a happy Father's Day. I'm sure their dinner was a bit more lively than ours since it's just the 5 of us, but it was a just the relaxing weekend we needed.

Sunday morning we put on our fancy clothes and drove the 200 yards down Main Street to Rison Methodist Church where we were introduced by the pastor and welcomed by the whole church. Nothing like a small town church, where literally everyone knows your name. ;)

Thanks for a great weekend in Rison! We love you guys! B & I are so blessed to have two amazing father's in our lives. They have taught us what real men are! We love y'all! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Let's get updated, shall we?

Where do I even begin? So much has happened since I last wrote. I got out of the habit of blogging for whatever reason. To quote Jessie Spano on Saved by the Bell, "There's no time! There's never any time!"

I kept thinking, I should probably keep up with my blog if not for the sheer fact that I have a bad memory. If I write it down or take a picture of it, it helps me remember. But then, weeks turned into months and here I am doing an "update on life" blog because I haven't written in forever. It kind of feels like I'm starting over. No clue where to even start so here's a update on a few main areas in our life for you:


Occasionally I write about my health on my blog so I will remember my journey. It has been a long one for me for sure! From being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, then Hypothyroidism, PCOS and now an insulin resistance, the road has been long and difficult. I recently found a new doctor in Dallas through a recommendation, and we are in the process of switching up some medicines (again) and trying to get some weight off and balance my thyroid production. My doctor believes that the damage done to my body by gluten is causing all of these other issues, including my resistance to the hormone insulin. With my recent diagnosis of an insulin resistance, I really have to watch my carb and sugar intake because my body doesn't process sugar properly. You may be wondering if this is another name for Diabetes 2 and it is not, BUT it could turn into to it if I don't take care of myself. So for now I'm watching my carb/sugar intake with a vengeance and dreaming of pizza and popcorn. 


In January of this year, we officially changed the name of my photography business from Cara Beth Studio to Buie Photography. With the help of 2 web designer friends, we got a completely new website and logo. 

Another huge business decision was for my husband Buie to step in and help out with the business. He has been focusing on marketing for us. You may be seeing some of our ads in Weddings with Style and Bayou Life. We are focusing more on wedding photography which is actually something I told myself years ago that I would never do. I remember specifically saying that I didn't want to spend my weekends working! ha! And now that is exactly what we are doing, but we absolutely LOVE it! We are basically with each other about 24 hours a day because we both work from home. Thankfully we do not share an office so we do have a little space. ;) 

I love having my husband with me on shoots now because I have someone funny to talk to and entertain me. I have someone to help carry equipment and most of all, I have a talented photographer to help contribute to our couple's wedding gallery. Buie and I hope to grow our business even more in the coming months and years, so if you know anyone who needs a photographer, send them our way!

The Zoo

Some of y'all may know that we love animals (understatement of the year) and we have a few of them. ;) At the moment and for the last year or so, we have twelve animals. Yup. You read that right. 12 animals. 4 dogs. 4 cats and 4 rabbits. We love each and every one of them. Some of them we love more than others. ;) And some of them may have become outdoor animals since they decided to quit using the litterbox, but we love them still! 

Spring is our most recent rescue and we've had her over a year now! It's crazy how time flies. 

I'm going to do my best to keep this updated if not just for me and Buie and my memory and maybe our parents because I think they are the only one who reads this. ;) 

See you around hopefully sooner rather than later! 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The sun came out today.

I've been on a long journey to good health...well for about the last 9 years when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, then later with Hypothyroidism, among many other autoimmune diseases. Through many years of ups and downs, I have found that there is no substitution for good health. There have been so many horrible days with aches and pains, blinding migraines, indescribable fatigue and depression beyond hope. However, with the elimination of gluten from my diet eight years ago, my brain fog has decreased significantly and my energy levels have increased. I have gone from 4 to 5 migraines a WEEK to about 1 or 2 a month. But the effects of gluten were still there and the damage had been done almost beyond repair. Soon after the diagnosis of Celiac, the Thyroid problems started and have not ended. The energy comes and goes, along with the depression and anxiety. Some days are harder than others. The weather affects me greatly. It has been raining for 4 days straight... and then today the sun came out. It was like I could breath again. It was like God saying, there is an end to all of this. You can do this, girl! 

So today as the sun is shining down, I am starting a new journey of eliminating all processed foods, dairy, and grains and sugar. I will do it consistently and without any cheat days until Thanksgiving which is exactly 30 days from now. I feel like the last 10 years have been leading up to this corny as that sounds. I have been on a roller coaster of eliminating chemicals, processed foods and meats pumped with hormones. I'll juice for a week and feel fabulous and then fall off the wagon and eat a bag of chips and immediately regret it. 

There is no substitution for good health.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that the foods I put in my mouth affect me not only physically but emotionally. I am excited about the next 30 days and plan to blog about this journey along the way so stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

At first glance...

I recently pulled out my wedding DVD with my bridal images, our wedding images and these lovely gems, our engagement photos. These images were taken almost 8 years ago in Little Rock by a dear friend of ours. They are dear to my heart for many reasons. When I look back at these images at first I notice how much skinner I look - how depressing. At first glance I might, I might say, "Wow, my teeth look so white! I need to cut back on the coffee!" I might even notice that my Buie is a few pounds lighter in these photos, too (sorry babe) but none of those things matter.  At first glance, I thought, "oh I remember that shirt! I wonder where it is...not that I could fit in it anymore..."

Despite the physical changes we have gone through since these pictures were taken, when I look at these images taken just a couple months before we were married, it reminds me of the beginning...when everything was fresh and new. It reminds me that I had no clue what love was. Yes, we look blissfully happy like someone spiked our morning coffee or perhaps we were just drunk in love as Beyonce would say. While I'm pretty sure our friend, Christen, just said something funny to make us laugh, it's still nice to think about how excited we were to be planning our wedding. (And I must mention that my mom did everything. So thanks, mom.) While we had already been together for 3 years at this point, conquered a breakup and been a part while I traveled to not one but two different countries... we were still in the beginning of love. 

What I have learned about love in the last 10+ years is that LOVE is not what I thought love was at all.  Love is not a white horse or climbing up a balcony or a red single rose glittering in the spotlight or dancing the night away at a ball and loosing your slipper. Love is not some crazy romantic proclamation of affection in some grand place with fireworks going off in the background and your own 4 string quartet playing and an audience cheering in the background. Love isn't even finding your soulmate or finding "the one" that was meant for you. I know this is debatable for some so let's just move on, shall we? :) 

Love is a decision to put someone in your life and continually walk beside them hand in hand no matter what life throws your way. Love is a sacrifice. Love is the hardest thing I have ever done. Love is getting up every single day and forgetting yourself and your selfish instinct.  Love is holding your hair back while your throwing up. Love is checking a tick bite in places you can't reach or even see! :) Love is bringing you home your favorite snack because you'd had a horrible day. Love is watching Project Runway instead of your twelfth football game of the day because you know it's your wife's favorite. ;) Love is forgiving before the other one even say they're sorry. Love is sometimes so ugly, it's beautiful. Do you know what I mean? Love is no makeup, no shaving, no showering for a week and still falling helplessly in each others arms because that is the only place that feels like home. 

Another thing I have learned is that I may be THE most stubborn person on the face of this planet... No, seriously. When we got married it was a major wake up call to me how selfish and stubborn I am...and still am. Well, we are BOTH pretty stubborn. ;) But it's been almost 8 years of learning to give and take, learning HOW to communicate with each other and learning how to sacrifice and possibility even letting the other be right every now and then. ;) 

So when I look at the these images now, I don't see how we've changed physically, although we have and we will continue to grow old together. I don't see a giddy engaged couple ready to tie the knot. I see how much our LOVE has grown over the past 10+ years (including our dating years). I love this man more this morning than I did yesterday morning. The difference? Everyday I wake up and pray for our marriage, I pray for me, I pray for him, I pray for our future children (if God's chooses to bless us with any). I choose to love him every day. He is the best roommate I could ask for. He is the best movie partner, jeopardy teammate, dog dad, best friend that I could ask for. Some times I don't always *like* him (and I KNOW he would say the same) but I will always wake up and *choose* him. Every single day. 

That, to me, is love. 

photography by Christen Byrd

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Camping:: It's intense!

Get it? It's intense! IN TENTS! Camping?.... IN TENTS?!

Ok, Sorry for that. It has been raining here. A LOT. Like all the time, all day long. We did get a break yesterday and that was nice. But today here we are again.

I have had to cancel, postpone and reschedule so many sessions this Spring because of the rain. It is beyond frustrating. I absolutely HATE having to reschedule a session for any reason, even if it is out of my control. My clients are wonderful and completely understand because they don't want to shoot their session in the rain either. This week when yet another session got canceled, I let my frustration out in the form of a tent....a huge tent in the middle of our living room with every single sheet that we own!
It did the trick. It's amazing how twinkle lights and an indoor fort can be so comforting. I felt like I was 4 years old again! Buie and I stayed in our fort all day Monday and talked and watched crime detective shows which is one of our favorite things to watch.

 All of the animals slept for hours. It was like we drugged them. ha! (It was probably the essential oils we had diffusing IN the tent!) Monday night we slept in the tent with all the animals except for Spring because she's not house trained yet. She did come hang out for a few hours with us. I think the dogs thought we had built them a huge kennel for our entire pack. :) 

Yes, I realize we are crazy but hey you only live once, right?! Our tent is still up- going on Day 4. I'm going out of town this weekend so I'm thinking we have to leave it up at least til the nieces and nephews can come play sometime next week. :)