Monday, September 30, 2013

Lady Luck

Can you believe this adorable little face has been in our home for almost THREE WHOLE WEEKS but has yet to adorn our blog? What is wrong with this dog mom? I'll tell you what is wrong with me! I've been busy potty training and entertaining this little bundle of energy...and maybe cleaning up poop and pee here and there! 

Lady came to us through two different families. It's sort of a lengthy story but I'll try to make it brief. 

I've always wanted a King Charles Cavalier. In fact, I was told that Conner is HALF King Charles so I started doing more research. They really are a great breed and I really wanted one. King Charles Cavalier Spaniels are known to be a pricey, well bred dog and are usually AKC registered. They can cost close to a thousand dollars or more if you get them from a good breeder. Because I am a big advocate of rescuing dogs and not buying straight from breeder, I knew that the only way I would ever get a Cavalier would be to rescue one. But of course, it's hard to find a Cav that needs "rescuing" because the owner that invest several hundred dollars in a dog are not as likely to either give them up to a rescue organization or heaven forbid, dump them, like so many people sadly do with their dogs they can no longer afford. 


So how did we find Miss Lady? Facebook. It's true. I saw her picture on Facebook. A friend of mine shared her picture and said that her friend could no longer take care of this picture and they were looking for a home for this little girl. I messaged the owners but sadly they had already found a home for her.

Flash forward several weeks and I was sitting around a table with some close friends of ours and the subject of our dogs came up. She showed me a picture of her King Charles Cavalier and mentioned that she had just recently obtained her. I, of course, freaked out a little bit and said something like, "OMG! I LOVE Cavaliers and have always wanted one! Where did you get her?" She told me she got her from our mutual friend on Facebook who was selling their Cav.

Ugh, SHE was the person who had already taken the dog that I wanted. :(  For a split second I was sad but honestly I didn't think anything else about it because my friend had obviously contacted her before I did. She was enjoying the dog that I had always wanted. I would just have to keep waiting for my chance to own a Cavalier.

Well, little did I know, I wouldn't have to wait long. My friend (who just recently obtained the dog) sent me a message and asked if I would like to have her. Well, DUH! Of course I would! I was shocked that she was giving her up but after visiting the dog at their house, it was clear that she needed more room to run. She needed a yard with a fence. Could she have been happy there? Of course! But I think it was meant to be. She is so happy at her new home! 

We took Scooter and Conner to visit her one day just to make sure they would all get along and they did. The next day, she was ours! We named her Lady and she makes animal number 6 at the Buie's Zoo. 

She is crazy hyper and rambunctious, a typical puppy. We basically had to start completely over with crate training so yes, there have been multiple accidents. She HATES the rain and REFUSES to go potty in the wet grass. She gets along well with our cat Hazel but chases Charlie for some reason. Conner and Scooter both like her and sometimes even try to play with her even though they are both old men. :)

Most of the time she does not live up to her name and does things totally unladylike. She eats bugs, chases frogs & lizards, steals Scooter's toys right out of his mouth and my least favorite thing she does is any chance she gets she will run out of the front door as fast as she can and as far away as she can. She's crazy but I love her!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekend Review:: Birthdays and Best Friends

Another whirlwind weekend in Arkansas has come and gone and exhaustion doesn't begin to cover what I am feeling today. My Saturday was filled to the brim with my favorite clients and my fabulous friends. After shooting six family sessions on the most beautiful day of the year at Pinnacle Mtn. State Park, I jumped in the shower and spent the evening with my favorite ladies, including my little Lady dog. (Which I am realizing as I am writing this that I haven't even blogged about our newest member of The Buie's Zoo! Yup, that's right, we adopted another pup.) 

My best friend, Alicia, turned 30 yesterday and Saturday night we tried out the new restaurant South on Main and it was FABULOUS! Everyone raved about the food, simple and Southern and so scrumptious.  It's strange to think about all (or most) of us being 30 now. When I met most of these ladies we were at some weird self-searching stage in our lives. I met Jessica D. our Freshman year when we pledged together at college. Although we weren't the best of friends DURING college, I always thought she was fun & super sweet. Little did we know that post-college, we would be roommates and become so much closer! Jessica A. & I met when she pledged the class right under me. We have about a million memories together working at camp together, floating the river and being roommates during the summer in college. Alicia, Andrea & I didn't meet until the last semester my senior year and I always say that was the best semester of college. Not pictured is Christen who is Andrea's older sister. It's funny because for months and months I always just knew her as "Andrea's older sister," but now I consider her one of the girls. We bond over our love of photography, DIY projects and all things crafty. :) (By the way, Christen is the one who took our wedding pics and did an AMAZING job!)

Together we have been through a lot and I love that we are still friends. :) I have a few other best friends from college but they live in Texas and I don't see them as often. I'm lucky enough to have a few childhood friends who live in Shreveport and surrounding areas. My Arkansas ladies are only a short road trip away. They always lift my spirits and make me regret moving to Louisiana just 8 short months ago.

Cheers to the best friends in the world.  

Here is a shot of me & Buie at the restaurant. This is officially my new favorite iPhone pic of me & the hubs. He's pretty darn cute, is he not? ;)
I hope you had an equally amazing weekend and even if your friends aren't as cool as mine, it's okay... there is someone out there who needs YOU as a friend. So go out there and make a new friend this week. :)

Friday, September 13, 2013

My Celiac Story:: a look back

Today is National Celiac Disease Awareness Day and as I was posting a little something about CD (Celiac Disease) in my Instagram account, I started thinking back about my journey.

I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease is 2007 after years of doctors appointments, blood tests, etc. I even remember having some sort of neurological test done where they stuck little sensors all over my head and monitored me for a certain number of awake hours and then several hours while I "slept." But I just remember thinking, "Who the heck can sleep with all of these things sticking to my head?" They were like little leaches sucking the life out of me like the very disease I was living with, yet had no knowledge of. 

I remember taking monthly plane trips from Little Rock to Love Field in Dallas to see specialists. This went on for years all while I was working at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. I hated having to call my boss each and every time I would wake up sick and have to leave to go home sick. They were so understanding of my weekly and sometimes daily migraines, stomach aches, body aches, etc. 

You see even though I was eating gluten free after my diagnosis, it was no walk in the park immediately following. For years following the diagnosis, I suffered the effects that gluten had ALREADY done to my body. For over 20 years, I was putting poison into my body, yet I had no idea. Sometimes Celiac Disease can be evident at birth or it can be triggered by physical or emotional trauma. In my case, I truly believe I had Celiac Disease from birth but showed little or no systems until my body was under severe physical AND emotional trauma from the loss of my grandmother and the loss of my best friend just months later. These events took place my Freshman and Sophomore years of college. College is stressful enough with moving, making new friends, pledging, homework, tests, etc. All of this stress, piled with the depression from the recent loss, my body began to show signs of malnourishment, fatigue, skin rashes, severe migraines lasting days and sometimes weeks, chronic, constipation (in college I honestly thought that it was normal to only have a bowel movement like once a week- this is NOT normal by the way), hair falling out, chronic back & joint pain, and the list goes on...

Flash forward to September 13, 2013. Today. And it all seems like a bad dream. A nightmare really. But I must remember how real it was because people all over the world are going through what I went through (and worse) every single day.  So am I 100% new and improved? No definitely not. There are still days where I sleep til 9 or 10am because I overdid it the day before and need about 3 cups of coffee to get going. But there are less days where I can't get out of bed at all! I rarely have severe aches and pains anymore. My migraines have decreased to about 1 every other week or so. I see a chiropractor twice a week and try to get a massage at least once a quarter. All of these things may sound like I'm spoiled but I have learned (mostly from my mom and my doting husband) to take care of my body because it's the only one I have! 

In the past 6 months even, my energy levels have tremendously improved with a recent change in doctors. With the help of about a dozen different supplements, most days I have more energy than I have felt in probably 15 years! I still have about 30 pounds to lose and my doctor says my hormone levels are still not exactly where they need to be but I have VASTLY improved.

My goal in the next few years: be healthy enough to have a beautiful healthy (gluten free) baby and this whole nightmare will have all been worth it. 

My encouragement for you: To anyone out there who feels like life can't possibly beat them up anymore, it CAN GET BETTER!  Take a look at your diet. It really is all about what you are eating. Do your research. Educate yourself. And most importantly, TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY because it's the only body you will ever have. God gave you a beautiful body, now go fill it up with wholesome, organic and nutritious foods! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Weekend Review: Girls Luncheon & The GridIron

I guess it's time to post my weekend review post since it IS Wednesday night, huh. This past weekend was a full weekend with well rounded activities including a Mother/Daughter Luncheon and the first LA Tech home football game.  Friday night I headed to Minden to help mom set the table up and surprise, surprise, she had already done it all! Didn't she do a great job!? Each hostess was responsible for setting up and decorating their own table. It was so fun seeing all of the different tables. There were LSU themed, Back to School themed and so many elegant looking tables all decked out in the finest china. My mom used my grandmothers china and it looked spectacular. 
Friday evening mom, dad and I went out to dinner with a few friends and came back to my parent's house for a visit. We had the best time chatting on their back patio telling stories and listening to my dad sing silly songs (Yes, my dad was singing. He was in rare form!) I love nights like that. 

THEN...Saturday night came. We had all been waiting for this night for a while! Even Makaylan was so excited and had been practicing all of her Bulldog cheers & chants. She sat in my lap for a good portion of the game and we clapped for the touchdowns and the tackles! I taught her that our team was the BLUE team and I taught her how to do the "Move the Chains" chant. She's such a good little Bulldog. :) Landon had a great time too. His daddy got him a HUGE bag of popcorn so he was a happy boy. hehe.

This was Buie's first game as an official Bulldog. 

And guess what! There's another Tech game TOMORROW night! I could get used to this. ;)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Football Season is Here!

To say that my family are all Louisiana Tech fans would be like saying the Buies really like animals. ha! My dad is the biggest LA Tech fan that I know, have known, or will ever know. I love that he has so much pride in his alma mater. Everyone in my entire family graduated from LA Tech. We joke and say that we could build a small house with the amount of bricks our family has received through Tech. (For each degree you receive, Tech lays a brick in the center of campus with your name on it.)

From my immediate family, I am the only one who DIDN'T graduate from Tech. While I love my alma mater, I do like to pretend I'm a Bulldog too. ;) I mean, let's be honest I might as well be, right? When I'm at a LA Tech game I feel like I have as much pride as I do for my own alma mater. I remember growing up just as my nieces and nephews are wearing little Tech cheerleading outfits and attending the games with my parents. 

If you can't tell from Carson's expression (below) we are ALL super excited about Tech football season. Buie is registering for Fall classes tomorrow and we have our first home game this Saturday! 

It's going to be nice to take our family picture and Buie can actually be in it! (and he won't be working retail! Hallelujah!) This is one of my favorite family pics from two years ago but I was so sad that Buie wasn't there. Hopefully we can recreate this pic this year. Of course, it will be a little more difficult since we will have THREE more kids to add to this portrait! Crazy how much can happy in two years!!

Also, let's go back and reflect on this picture for a second, shall we? I remember thinking...Oh I want an auntie picture with my two cuties. Not happening! ha. 

Every year, my brother's family sends out a Tech football schedule with a picture of the kiddos in their Tech gear. The first year it was just Landon, year two it was these two cutie patooties: 

And this year we had a little mini LA Tech football session down on the field. It was so fun to actually go down on the field and watch them run around. These were the best pics and the ones they ended up using on their football schedule card this year. I might just have to get them printed up. 

So if I haven't said it loud or often enough...then here's one more GOOO DAAAWGS!! I'll have to get my niece, Makaylan, on video saying "Go Dawgs!" It's pretty darn cute.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Our Arkansas Mini Vacay

Since B is a grad student once again, our schedule revolves completely around LA Tech's class schedule. They are on a quarter system instead of the more traditional semester system and so far we like it! Buie is a full time graduate student and is not working at the moment. We decided to go this route so he can fully focus on school and get out faster. If everything goes on track, he should be done with his Masters at the end of 2014.

Buie finished up his first two classes this summer and as the quarter system goes, you get two weeks off inbetween 12 week classes. We had tossed around the idea of going to the beach or to our favorite city, New Orleans, or perhaps both, but we ended up going back to our home, Little Rock, to visit friends. We stayed for several days shopping, eating, and relaxing with our best friends. It ALMOST made us want to move back to Arkansas... ALMOST. ;)

Here are just a few pictures from our trip::

We stayed with Alan & Jessica for a night and with Brian & Alicia for a few nights. We love our friends in Arkansas and didn't want to leave. I had a checklist of things we wanted to do and people we wanted to see. It's funny how much more *quality* time I feel like we get to spend with our friends when we are here for a few days as opposed to when we actually lived here. On our list of things to do: Visit our best friends. We saw a lot of our friends while we were here. I think it's impossible to see EVERYONE we want but we do make an effort to see most of our close friends and family, including Buie's parents. We usually stop in Rison on the way up to Little Rock. We stayed for one night there and they enjoyed seeing our doggies.

Other things on our list included: Eat at David Burgers. (We actually ate there twice.) Shop at Midtown: Pottery Barn, William Sonoma, James Avery, Container Store, Ann Taylor Loft. Eat at Big Orange. (Yes, we ate a lot of burgers while we were in Little Rock.) We even managed to squeeze in a couples massage for us while we were in Central Arkansas which was much needed. It was Buie's first professional massage ever and he's already been asking for another. I may have started something. Uh oh! ;)

We are getting ready to start another Fall quarter full of history class for B and fall family photo session for me! :) If you would like to book a Fall family photo session in North Louisiana or Central Arkansas, please email me at I would LOVE to take your family's pictures this season.