Monday, March 19, 2018

Just a girl with a dream and a camera.

I have a board on pinterest called, "words." It's full of motivation words that keep me inspired. There is one quote on there that simply says, "doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness." You see, I work in an office or simply put... for the man. (Technically for the woman since the company is owned by a woman. Yay #girlbosses) This job is not my passion. I mean... I am an accountant with a Early Childhood Development degree. That doesn't add up, right? I am good at what I do and I work hard but it's not my passion and it for sure doesn't leave me with the freedom and happiness that I would like to have daily.
Photography on the other hand... it brings out my creative side. It allows me to capture a memory and a moment that will be remembered forever.
I worked as an assistant for a photographer when I was younger but I was never the one behind the camera. Honestly, I don't think he trusted me with his equipment and I didn't trust myself with his equipment. Working for him taught me a lot about posing, interacting with families, and how to get the grumpiest kid to smile.
I purchased a Canon EOS M when I was 22 and used it for blog photos and of course my 365 project on Facebook. That camera was stolen on my honeymoon. I bought a DSLR shortly after we returned home from our honeymoon and began to learn my way around it. I was then asked to start managing social media for my church. I loved that I could capture images that showed passion, life, and laughter from everyone on a Sunday morning. It gave me a new creative outlet that my office job did not allow me to have.
Once I found out I was pregnant I knew I had to capture every little moment! Bump shot after bump shot I started sharing images of my journey through motherhood. When Jax arrived, the game changed and I was probably taking about 200 photos a day just of Jax. I didn't want to miss a wrinkle or roll. Plus, I wanted to capture every stage of that full head of curly hair!
Through capturing images of my family a passion was lit to take my camera and capture more families. I want to find their story and share it through an image and create a forever memory for them. Whether this image is going to be used on social or printed for their home I want to be the one to capture it. LaVidaVera Photography is my happiness.
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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

8 months old? What?

Pulling up on furniture, navigating under the dining room table, and discovering the step in the living room. Jax has kept himself busy as he picks up his speed and figures out how to roam from room to room. He has also kept us busy as we create different barriers to keep him safe. We've got a package of toilet paper and water bottles blocking off the laundry room. We're using a plastic tub full of unopened kitchen supplies to block off the living room and at all times doors to bedrooms and restrooms are closed. We're using what we've got because I have a feeling he is going to be up on his feet real soon.
The weather has given us lots of rainy days this past month which means he was home with Papi during the day. I can tell the extra time they spent together created an every deeper bond between them and I love it! I love seeing them tossing the plush soccer ball throughout the house and watching Jax react to the energy that his papi has! I never thought our living room would turn into a soccer field but I love it! Also, I would like to mention that my husband does a pretty solid Elmo impression!
Once all the rain went away we were left with warmer weather and took advantage of the park right down the road from our home. Jax experienced the swing for the first time and he didn't hate it but didn't seem to love it. He also discovered grass! It was hilarious to see him brushing his hand across the pokey grass and trying to eat it. Once again, didn't hate it but didn't love it. It's those moments when I see my personality come out in him. When I try new things even if I like them, I don't always show it on the outside.
I love his curious personality. He is so much like his Papi and is down for anything! He will try new foods, explore the unknown, and smile at strangers. It's such an amazing and scary responsibility to raise up a person. As we keep navigating each day through this hood we learn what we can and show Jax through our behavior how bring out the best in each moment!
Oh... Jax is also pointing at everything! We love it!

Monday, February 12, 2018

The day he proposed

February 12 means more to us than Valentine's day. It was the day that we both decided to commit to doing life together forever. It was the day Fabian asked me to marry him. I posted a teaser photo to my insta-stories a couple weeks ago and a lot of y'all wanted to know the story, so here you go!

A couple weeks prior to the February 12, 2016, Fabian had set up a couples Valentine's day photo shoot for us. He had a hard time getting me to agree to do it because I thought it was weird that we were just dating and doing a photo shoot together. I told him, "only couples who are engaged or married do something like that." I reluctantly agreed and even asked to leave work a little early so I could spend some extra time getting ready. I had no clue that he had planned other than photos and actually I was really thrown off because he is not the "planning" type.

He picked me up around 4, looking pretty darn hot and we drove to our location in downtown Fort Worth. Fabian originally chose to shoot at a park but after he checked out the location he later told me it didn't seem right and also shared with me the sweet little vlog he made explaining what was about to go down.

We ended up shooting at an old Methodist church that has now been turned into a police headquarters. We met up with our photographer, Lisa and she started snapping photos of us together right away. I was enjoying it and didn't think it was weird anymore. We were just two people in love.
10 minutes into our session Lisa said, "Ok Bethany why don't we get some shots of just you." I started to feel a little vulnerable but just went with it. She did a great job helping me find ways to pose my body to make me not feel so nervous. At this time Fabian said, "I am gonna go back to the truck and get my wallet." I knew he had to pay Lisa so I still wasn't suspicious of anything at all. Lisa continued shooting pictures of me and pulled me out in front of this beautiful archway to get the last single shot.
I was still totally clueless as to what was happening but you know how you can feel energy sometimes? I could feel Fabian behind me but I thought he was just sitting on the bench or table just waiting for instructions from Lisa. I had no idea he was so close to me and he was down on one knee. No clue at all until Lisa told me to turn around.
Fabian said the sweetest and most loving words which I honestly can't remember but all I know was that day I committed to spending the rest of my life with one amazing man. He had been talking to Lisa about this photo shoot for weeks as well as discussing with my parents and his parents what he was wanting to do.

As soon as the ring was on my finger we looked up into the parking ramp where Fabian's sister was capturing every moment from above.
Those arches and that spot mean a lot to us. We've gone to that spot every year around this time to remember our commitment to one another and also to look back on our journey together. Two years ago we decided to take a giant leap of faith with one another and we haven't looked back since.
And if you haven't figured it out by now, Fabian didn't go back to the truck for his wallet. Later when we got our couple/engagement photos I said, "your wallet is in these photos!" He told me he went back to get the box for the ring.
Our marriage isn't perfect but our story is and it's my favorite.

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Month Of February

New month. New goals. At least that's what my blogpost from 2012 opened with. Yes, I wrote a similar post 6 years ago and ironically I had very similar goals. Things like, de-clutter my closets, workout more, sleep more than 6 hours a night, and eliminate excess spending.

Let's just say for us, January wasn't so bright. Our finances got hit big time and we didn't adjust our spending habits and found ourselves getting one of those fun notifications on your phone saying "your account went below $__." Whoops. That was a giant wake up call and when we added up all the dollars spent on meals not prepared in our kitchen it was time to do something about it.

For the month of February we are cutting down our meals away from home to two per week. That may still seem like a lot but let me tell you, it's a giant decrease from where we started from. Fabian and I talked and thought it would not only be a challenge for us but also a good way to keep our finances in check. Y'all food can add up real fast if you don't keep track of it.
Another thing that we're going to get in rotation is a cleaning schedule. Having tripled our square footage from our tiny apartment we are learning that there is now so much more that has to stay clean inside and outside of our home. Doing a little bit each day instead of a 3-4 hour power clean on the weekend is going to be our plan. Omg, we're real adults!

One more family goal is to get outside more. Since Texas is starting to kinda sorta make up it's mind weather wise we're going to be taking more walks together as a family, letting Jax wander around in the grass, and overall get more fresh air.

And once again, I've said it for the past few months that I was going to start running again. I can tell you that each month I do make an effort. But this month I need to make a better effort. Someone hold me accountable please.

What are you planning to accomplish in February?

-F & B and Jax

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Relationship Prep 101

When Fabian and I were dating we both asked each other a whole lotta questions. You know, questions like "do you want a dog" or "do you squeeze the toothpaste from the middle?" We asked each other about future children, church, traveling, and spending habits. We talked about our leadership roles in the household and what they would look like when it came to chores, cooking, and taking the garbage out. We even talked about grocery shopping and how that would look in our relationship. (our first experience grocery shopping together was hilarious)
I even went as far as asking him about parenting. I would see a scenario in the mall and ask him how would he react and handle that situation if he were the dad. Right from the beginning we both wanted to know what we were getting ourselves into and understand that, if this is for the long haul we wanted it to be right. Well, there is one thing we didn't cover. Sickness.

The end of the year our home got hit with sickness and it was our first real time navigating it together as husband and wife. Disclaimer, you can't plan for everything and really you don't want to because life is supposed to be spontaneous. However, planning for a scenario like sickness could've helped us. There were arguments and a couple nights with someone on the couch. A lot of it stemmed from frustration and lack of compassion. But here is what we learned. Also, these lessons can be applied to any and all relationship moments.
You're a team for a reason. When someone is tapped out, the other person needs to tap in and lead the team. Let them.
When all else fails, try the other person's way. This is hard in any circumstance because each of us has a particular way of doing things and we also think that our way is the best way. But sometimes our way just doesn't seem to be working.
Grace, more grace, and compassion. A simple, "I am so sorry." can go a long way in an escalated situation. Phrases like, "what can I do to help" or "do you need anything" need to be your best friends.
Be Open.  An open mindset, open heart, and open communication are necessary when understanding another person, especially when you vow to do life together forever. 
Remember that this too shall pass. Seasons all change and life takes us on this roller coaster ride that can leave us full of excitement or incredibly nauseous. Remember that each moment will pass and work through it one day at a time.

-F & B

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Our 7 Month Old

Jax has one tooth, three more on the way and is starting to crawl. He is about one more day away from asking for the car keys. Seriously, that's how fast I feel like time is flying by! I am still ok with it though because the more active he gets the more fun he becomes.
He has been working on his solids for a couple months but this past month he really amped it up. I realized quickly that all those baby food purees were not going to be his thing and he would prefer to eat whatever is on mine or Papi's plates. We're totally ok with that! His favorites are avocados, frijoles, applesauce, and huevos. And don't forget any and all types of puffs. We're still working on his sippy cup skills and thankfully he hasn't used any of his ninja skills when it comes to his sippy cup. Although I am sure a sippy cup flying across the dining room is in our near future.

This past month he had his first trip to the ER and it was scary. While Fabian was just getting over the flu and I had some type of viral sinus thing going on, Jax was congested and started to wheeze and develop a croup-y cough. Note to all those parents out there, be sure you know where your closest urgent care center is because when we got in the car at midnight neither of us knew where we were going. And in panic mode it's really hard to figure it out. Thankfully we walked right in and they gave Jax some incredible care. Within about 5 days he was back to his loud and active self.
I know these next few months he is going to change and become this little toddler and as much as we will miss the baby stage, I think we're ready to have a toddler crawling around our feet. At least my back and arms are ready for him to start moving more on his own. He is currently 23lbs and very squirmy.

Caring for Jax has been one of our greatest joys. I am reminded daily that the life we are building now is our legacy for him. Each moment of training and each day full of hard work is for the generation that is coming up behind us. No pressure, but that for sure makes us want to be better parents.

-Fabian & Bee and of course Jax

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Self Confidence Building

If I have learned anything from this first half of January it's a big ol' lesson in confidence. Yes, I am talking about confidently rocking that little roll that sits right on top of my pants but I am also talking about speaking with confidence and having a firm trust in myself.

There is a tone of authority that comes with confidence. It's not an arrogant melody or sense of "I am better than you." It's a firm belief that you know what is best for your child, your family, and more importantly you know what is best for you. Self confidence.
I am in a season of life where my voice of confidence is being turned up. I think we can fear our confidence because we are worried about how something may sound or what someone else may think of our decision. I had someone last week tell me that my son told him he wanted his mom to put shoes on him cause his feet were cold. I quickly said, "my son is fine and his feet are plenty warm." Confidence.

I am so done with my confidence being quickly turned into insecurity because of fear. I want my voice of confidence to make me stronger, make me more decisive (especially when it comes to picking restaurants), allow me to forgive quickly, and walk around with a posture of gratitude.
Every little piece of life that God has entrusted me with is there for a reason. He has confidence in me and that should be all I need. Confidence doesn't come from likes, followers, or even my husband affirming my actions or my little roll above my pants.

My confidence is found within and it's growing on the outside so y'all better watch out!