Butterfly Sparks Designs


That boy-kind-of-joy... Aubrey, TX Gonzales, TX photographer

Just tonight, with the Texans game on in the background, my boys were playing football. Or, “...practicing tackling so we can get way better. Right West?” Their league rules were something like:
  1. Hold the couch pillow “ball” and run as fast as you can into eachother’s stomachs. Grab hold of whatever you can and tackle until both of you are sprawled on the floor and laughing hysterically.
  2. Be sure to tackle dramatically. Grunt a little. Enough to make your mother and sister glad they are not boys.
  3. Occasionally check the score of the Texans game.
  4. Repeat.
Marveling at why this was fun, I was secretly so glad they have eachother. So glad that they’ll grunt, run, and knock into one another with that boy kind of joy in their eyes, Lord willing, for years to come. 

I think Natalie must know exactly what I’m talking about. Maybe even more with three handsome, little men in her midst.
You met this gorgeous lady about seven months ago when I had the privilege of photographing her third baby boy. 

Speaking of, check out this rock star. 

He and I were getting reacquainted...
when his brother showed up. Not even mildly impressed with me {exhibit a}, his brother had him in fits {exhibit b}. 
And again...

Just as it should be. 
Many years from now, even though they’re not all smiling at the camera, I’m guessing mama will love these pictures the most. Her boys. Loving with that boy kind of joy.

Thanks again, Natalie. Can't wait for more later this fall.

P.S. if you need a girl break, just let me and my baby girl know.

Let's do this y'all, 



Congratulations College and High School Seniors!!!
I am so thankful I got to celebrate with you : )

S H O U T . C L A S S  O F  2 0 1 2

let's do this y'all . . . 



she's golden . Yoakum, TX photographer

I used to teach high school students . . . a mix of reading, English, a lot of cheerleading, and sometimes a little life, thrown in to boot. Don't know how good I was but I sure liked being there. 

Okay, most days I liked being there.

Since I've had my own children and have had the privilege of spending my days with them, I've been asked many times if I planned on going back into a formal classroom.
If ever do, you can believe it's because
students like Kayli are out there. 

This girl is golden. She's fun. And responsible. And when she initially booked our session, 
she called me.
on the phone.
and we had a real, live conversation.

--Disclaiming for 2 seconds--
Texting is not bad. I do it all of the time. It's easy and I like it.
--Thank you. The disclaimer ends here--

I appreciate that in a world where human interaction is mostly keyboard to keyboard, she approached me directly. 
Somehow, I think it might symbolize her approach to life. Even after a recent car accident, this was her status on facebook . . .
"are you having a rough morning?? place your hand over your heart, feel that?? that's called purpose. you're alive for a reason. DON'T GIVE UP!!♥"
See it there in her eyes? her smile . . . Golden.
and . . . just beautiful. {like her mama}

Kayli {and April!}, Thanks for letting me celebrate this milestone with you! I'm praying your "purpose" is clear to you always. : )

let's do this y'all, 


missing this . Gonzales, TX photographer

oh i miss this . . .

i know that in "this," there are sleepless nights enough to cease normal brain function.
days that run together and slip by almost as if they weren't there.

and afternoons that go shower-less, unscrubbed. 

and if there are other children in the mix, they go un-scrubbed, sometimes undisciplined, too.

i know. i remember. 

i think.
but on my side of sleepless and un-groomed, 
those memories get lost in the admiration of 

tiny wrinkles in a wrist. 
great big yawns and sleepy stretches.

naps so sound, the heavy head outweighs the itty bitty body . . . 

the thing is, though, 
natalie is not un-groomed. in fact, she's gorgeous. did i mention this is her third baby? she wears motherhood beautifully 
and she's only encouraging my missing having a little one . . .

just look at him!

what a pleasure it was to meet you handsome, little, drew. your tearless session, your good looks, your sweet mama, and your precious little face are all responsible for my longing for another you.
now what do you have to say about that? 

let's do this y'all, 


he gave me my name .

“I don’t know if there’s a line!! It’s so . . . light.”
“What do you mean, you don’t know? I mean, can you see something? If you see anything, that means there is a line!”
“I just, I don’t know!!!”
I wanted so badly to see that pink line that I couldn’t tell if it was really there or if I willed it into being.
“Okay, bring it with you. I need to see it. And you know what you need? You need writing. I’m bringing you a digital test. There’s no guessing.”
And so my faithful friend, Heather, did. I brought my original test, a test that held more hope than it did urine, and she analyzed it right there in that high school . . . the place where we worked, but still kind of felt like school girls ourselves.
“Are you kidding me?? There’s totally a line there!! It’s light but that is most definitely a line! She hugged me and had to run off but said I would feel more sure with the digital test. “Take it”, she looked back, beaming!
The very millisecond I could escape to the bathroom on a break, I did. Not easy while giving standardized, state-wide, testing. This just couldn’t wait. Everything, my status as a human, was hanging in the balance.
Just steps down that hall, I was administering the TAKS test, but in the solitude of that bathroom, I was becoming a mother.
Because there it was . . . in black, digital letters. It spelled, p-r-e-g-n-a-n-t but it read, mother. Womb. “You now have a womb,” it said. “With a real baby in it. And one day, that baby will exit that womb and you’ll see him, hold him, and basically be responsible for growing him. Like forever.
Right there. p-r-e-g-n-a-n-t.
And I walked down that hall, into a classroom not of test-takers, but of children. Aisles of children who had once been in excited mothers wombs. I walked through the aisles, looking at their faces like they were foreigners. I monitored, but not an ounce of observation was spent on that test. I couldn’t help it. I was a mother now and they were children. 
Significant change.
Six years beyond those black letters, beyond a womb quickly shared by two others, and beyond some of the sweetest moments I’ve known, I am preparing to celebrate my boy’s birthday.  There will be joy watching his face as he rounds that corner to discover his new bike. 
A bike without training wheels. Ridden by a boy without front teeth, without a baby’s coo, without a little frog blanket to comfort him at night. A boy with a tender heart, a boy who can tie his shoes, read, and write notes to his former mother’s day out teacher. A boy who feels remorse and offers forgiveness, a boy who dreams of being a drummer or a train conductor. A boy who has done so much more than just grow up, 
a boy who has made me a mother.
My heart swells so that I can’t even swallow the tears.
Today we celebrate significant change. 
Happy Birthday, my Nolan.