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. :)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Oops, I did it again!

Oops, I did it again! I found a cute dog and decided to keep it. Yup. That's right. The Buies Zoo just added ANOTHER one. We are back up to 12. We lost a bunny a couple months ago so we were down to 11, but now we have an even 4/4/4:: four dogs, four cats and four bunnies.

 Last Sunday morning our 3 dogs started barking like crazy at something in our front yard. That usually means that the FedEx guy is delivering a package to our house or there is a nosy little doggie visitor using our lawn as a place to mark his territory. Our dogs do not approve. They think it is their sole duty to guard and protect this house, even if it means chewing through the glass kitchen door to do so. I like that they sound vicious. It makes me feel safer when I'm working from home.

In our yard last Sunday was this sweet face. She was frightened yet curious. She had a blue collar with no name, no tag of any kind and a chewed of leash hanging down from her collar. Her skin looked pretty bad. She had patches of bald spots with skin shedding and scabs all over her. When I could get close enough, she would wag her tail and I could barely get a glimpse of some sort of infection underneath her tail. I couldn't tell in her anal gland was swollen or if she was in fact a he and those were just some weird looking boy parts. (sorry for the details if you aren't a dog person) We found out later she was in fact a girl and her private parts were inflamed and irritated. Poor girl. :(

I had somewhere to go that morning and all afternoon. We didn't know what to do. After calling the local rescue shelter and learning that they were at capacity, we decided to just give her some food and water and see if she would just stay in our front yard through the night. And of course she did. The next morning, she was happy to see me but still fearful. I made a vet appointment for that afternoon and spent the next few hours just sitting out in the front yard trying to gain her trust. There were many many treats involved in this process. ;)

Getting her in the car was a traumatic experience but surprisingly the actual vet appointment was great! They are so great with her. They got her cleaned up, treated the ticks and fleas and gave her a shot for the red mange. The next few days were all about making her feel at ease and comfortable.

She has made such progress over the last week. And of course we have fallen in love with her. I think it was Thursday that we officially decided to keep her and make her a part of our crazy zoo. Oh and we named her SPRING! :) When she runs, she has this little hop and a spring to it. She is so full of hope, just like each Spring is after a long hard winter. We are excited to see her progress and if you'd like to follow along over on Instagram, you can find lots more pictures and even some videos over at my instagram page #thebuieszoo or #springbuie for more pictures of just sweet Spring.

Welcome to the Zoo, Spring.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Love it or Leave it

I thought it was about time I popped back in to say hi! It's no surprise that I've been letting this little blog of mine fall by the wayside...again. Most of the time I think "no one wants to read about my boring little life," but to be completely honest, I'm not really doing this for anyone else except me. I have never admitted to being a "writer" but I find it therapeutic. Growing up I have always kept a journal of some sort starting with my Hello Kitty diary in 3rd grade. :) It's fun to go back and read years later, just like I do with this blog. I started this blog right before Buie and I were married and this summer we will celebrate 7 years of marriage together. It's hard to believe 7 years has already gone by. In some ways it has been some of the best years but also some of the hardest years of my life. Most of the real intimate personal stuff I don't write about here on my blog, mainly because I don't want the whole world knowing about it. But the small stuff like gardening and our animals and our home, the everyday stuff...I still want to remember all of that stuff. So here I am again.

In January I wrote about simplifying and I have really been trying to do that this year. If you know me then you know I come with a lot of stuff. ha. It sounds weird to say because I don't consider myself to be materialistic. I don't have to have stuff to make me happy. However, I am one of those inherently messy people. I think it comes naturally though if that makes any difference at all. I can remember going to visit my great grandmother, Margie, who we called "NaNa" and her place being filled with stuff. She had plants everywhere, stacks of magazines from years past that she had "plans" to do something with, unfinished ceramic projects. I remember she always had to clean a place off for us to sit down. :) Isn't it funny the little things you remember. My mom always said I have a lot of NaNa in me. We are both artists. We are both messy and creative and not at all organized. We both save every little thing to remember an event by. (I don't really do this anymore but I used to in junior high and high school.) We both have hoarding tendencies and I have a garage full of stuff to prove it. When my NaNa passed away, I felt such a connection to her that I felt like I must keep her stuff. I couldn't stand for it to go to charity. Through out the years, I would eventually lose all of my grandparents and each time, I felt like I had to hoard their belongings to keep a part of them with me. There are so many pieces that are so special to me that I would never in a million years get rid of and I am so thankful that they are in our home.
this is my MeMe's couch that is in our breakfast nook. I love this couch so much and remember spending many Christmases with all of my cousins all piled up on this couch opening presents. 

this was my MeMe's hutch that was in her kitchen that now stores our cookbooks and some of my china. 

this loveseat belonged to my Grandmother on my dad's side. It was in their Master Bedroom for as long as I remember. It is now in our living room and serves as a good cat napping bench. :)

I also have several boxes of just random trinkets and nicknacks that I have no emotional attachment to, other than I know they belonged to my grandparent. It has been somewhat therapeutic, to go through those boxes and find a special place in my home for those pieces that I do want to keep and let go of the things that I am not keeping.

On top of going through my grandparents memorabilia, I have kept so much stuff from college that I have now sold or given away. It feels good to clean out closets and purge! I highly recommend it! Is my garage clean yet? Well, heck no but I'm still working on it. :) My motto has been if I don't LOVE it then LEAVE it. I either sell it or give it away to someone who I know would appreciate it or box it up and give it to charity. Also, I'm not just keeping things for no reason anymore. I'm getting to old for trinkets. ha! It has to serve a purpose in my house. :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015




Last year was a difficult year for us. This year B & I will celebrate 10 years of being together and 7 years of marriage. Each day I learn more and more about marriage, communication and selflessness. On top of loosing my grandmother, my husband and I both dealt with a lot of stress, depression, and anxiety.

This will be year two in our new home here in Louisiana and already it has been a good year. The difference? Simplifying, de-stressing, planning (yes, planning) and quit feeling sorry for myself. My house is still cluttered with Christmas decor but I'm taking it room by room. As a creative person, I tend to be messy. Ok, let's be honest, I'm usually always messy. I don't understand it. I don't know how it happens, but it always happens. But the weird thing is that I don't thrive in messiness. I like for things to be in order. So you see how this could be a problem. Also, being married to a naturally creative and messy person, we have to work hard to keep a semi-liveable home. We decided long ago that hiring a cleaning lady to come weekly was almost a requirement in a home with seven in-home animals. The $75/week is the best money we spend all week and having clean floors is priceless. 

But being 'clean' goes beyond vacuuming to me. This year it is my desire to live with less. 

To truly live simply. 

When I traveled to Nicaragua this past month, I packed everything that I needed in one backpack including my camera, three lenses and a week's worth of clothes and my Bible. That thought really resonated with me. Simplify.  Then as I served children their only meal of the day while they were clinching their only bowl and only spoon, I thought again how much I have that I do not need. 


To live a truly simple life. I don't even think I understand don't those even as I write them. With so many gifts and gadgets that fill my drawers and gadgets.... it's almost enough to make me want to go live in a grass hut somewhere. Although I don't feel like God is calling me to do that at this time, I do feel like God is calling me to simplify our lives. To give away things we do not use. To repurpose things that can be repurposed. To simply live without.

I'm looking forward to a great year! What are your goals this year?