366 in 52 [2016] ~ Week Thirty-One

It was a whirlwind week!!! My youngest turned 12 years old, we had company and sleepovers, an extended birthday celebration, my mom left for vacation, and we welcomed yet another pet into our family! Anna finishes up ESY this week and school starts in just 2.5 weeks. I’m not ready for summer to be over, wah!!!

Day 211 ~ Birthday Boy

Dominic turned 12 years old on Friday, July 29th. He had his three best friends in attendance… Cole and Bristol spent the night and Nik Skyped in for the party. Jenny and Chris came down from Hutto and also spent the night. It was a full house and we had so much fun! Dominic’s big gift got delayed by a day and was supposed to arrive that night, but then we got another note from Amazon saying it was delayed again and wouldn’t be here until Monday. We told Dominic that he had one more present coming but it wasn’t a big deal, but we were all really disappointed (it was supposed to be here on Thursday). Curtis got on the phone with UPS and told them to hold the package at the distribution center, then drove down to San Antonio and waited an hour and a half only for them to say they couldn’t find it. ūüôĀ Curtis¬†missed swimming and cake was not a happy daddy when he finally got home at 10:30. We went to bed at midnight and noticed the packages were sitting on the front porch. Sigh. They weren’t there at 10:30 when he got home!

(See Nik on the laptop screen via Skype?)

New Braunfels lifestyle documentary birthday child photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/2 | 1/200 | ISO 800

Day 211 ~ Excited Sister

As Anna gets older, she has gotten better about not being jealous when it’s someone else’s birthday. This year she sat quietly with no meltdowns and watched Dominic open his presents and be the center of attention. I was so proud of her!

New Braunfels lifestyle documentary birthday child photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/2 | 1/200 | ISO 800

Day 211 ~ Pokéball Cake

Nana always makes our birthday cakes from scratch. This year she made Dominic a yellow cake with homemade chocolate frosting. I love how she created a Pokéball! She used food coloring to color the frosting. Dominic loved it! Nana has even started playing Pokémon Go with him.

New Braunfels lifestyle documentary birthday child photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/2 | 1/200 | ISO 1250

Day 211 ~ 12th Birthday Wishes

I’m pretty sure I know what Dominic wished for… a guinea pig. That is all he has wanted for the last six months (that and a 3D printer). He was disappointed that he didn’t get his new pet for his birthday but Daddy said maybe for Christmas. He handled it with grace and maturity. I love him so much!!! (But just wait…)

New Braunfels lifestyle documentary birthday child photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/2 | 1/200 | ISO 1250

Day 212 ~ Birthday Part 2

With the big present actually showing up on our doorstep near midnight, I was able to quickly wrap everything for a surprise second birthday party Saturday morning. He was soooooo excited to see the guinea pig cage and all the accessories, food, and toys. Let’s go to Petsmart!

New Braunfels lifestyle documentary birthday child photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/2 | 1/200 | ISO 1250

Day 212 ~ Which One?

We’ve been visiting the guinea pigs at Petsmart for months now and have also been following the Austin Guinea Pig Rescue organization. I gave him a choice from which to adopt and he chose the pet store. I think I’ll make a donation to the rescue too! Dominic almost immediately took note of one particular piggie… (please ignore the crazy bed head, we were too excited to fix his hair before leaving).

New Braunfels lifestyle documentary birthday child photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/2.5 | 1/200 | ISO 800

Day 212 ~ This is the One

Yep! This is “the one!” This little piggie is a boy and is quite small. We aren’t quite sure how old he is, but he is very tame and not at all skittish. Initially Dominic thought of naming him Oreo since he’s black with a white stripe through his middle but after getting him home, thought the name was too contrived. Dominic got him settled in his new habitat and said he needed a couple of days to let him adjust before we could all handle him. He’s already a great daddy!

New Braunfels lifestyle documentary birthday child photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/2.5 | 1/200 | ISO 800

Day 213 ~ Nana Vacation

Since we moved to New Braunfels more than two years ago, my mom hasn’t traveled anywhere other than Austin. As she gets older, she gets a little more anxious about flying and traveling in general. I couldn’t be prouder… mom went to Pennsylvania to visit her sister and brother-in-law for 12 days. She was super excited and looked so happy as we dropped her off.

New Braunfels family lifestyle documentary photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/3.5 | 1/500 | ISO 200

Day 213 ~ We Miss You Already!

In addition to getting to see her sister and brother-in-law, mom is getting to meet her brother, Dell, who she just learned existed a few months ago! Wouldn’t that be crazy to learn of a sibling you never knew about when you were in your 60s? He lives in Ohio and is driving over to Pennsylvania to see mom and Beanie. I know she is going to have a great time but we miss her already! I try very hard not to take her for granted, she does so much for our family, but I know I could do better expressing my love and appreciation for her. I’m so lucky.

New Braunfels family lifestyle documentary photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/3.5 | 1/500 | ISO 200

Day 214 ~ Introducing Domino

Dominic let his new guinea pig get settled in his habitat and felt that he was ready to come out and meet the rest of the family. Introducing Domino! He is a very sweet and affectionate guinea pig who loves romaine lettuce leaves, celery, and timothy hay. We are totally smitten with him.

New Braunfels pet animal guinea pig macro photographer

Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/3 | 1/320 | ISO 1000

Day 214 ~ Piggie Eye

Domino is so calm which is something we didn’t expect. Most guinea pigs are quite skittish, especially at first, but Domino doesn’t even squirm when we pick him up. Dominic is doing a really, really good job caring for his new pet and he is a proud papa. Anytime I connect with an animal, I try to imagine what they are thinking and feeling. What do you think Domino is thinking about in this photo?

New Braunfels pet animal guinea pig macro photographer

Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/3.3 | 1/320 | ISO 1000

Day 214 ~ Charlie asks, “What’s¬†that?”

We got this expandable guinea pig habitat from Amazon and we are really impressed with it. I also bought¬†some fleece by the yard that I¬†cut to fit to cover the canvas bottom (with a layer of puppy pads in between). Everything Dominic has read says that guinea pigs are happiest when they are part of a herd, so I’m sure we’ll be adding a second piggie before too long. (Shhhh, don’t tell Dominic!) All of the dogs have been very interested in Domino, but very respectful too. Charlie is the only one tall enough to see over the top of the cage and he’s been watching with curiosity.

New Braunfels pet animal guinea pig dog photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/2 | 1/250 | ISO 1600

Day 215 ~ One of These Things is Not Like the Other

It had been such a busy few days that I needed to slow down and breathe a little. Even though it was mid-afternoon and the sun was harsh, I took my macro out to see what I could find. Almost immediately, I¬†noticed something on the leaves of the fire bush. I only noticed it by its shadow…

New Braunfels nature macro spider insect photographer

Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/8 | 1/320 | ISO 200

Day 215 ~ Hello Little Fella

At first I wasn’t sure if it was a spider or other insect but counting its shadow legs, I realized the creature¬†was a spider. His coloring is an exact match for the leaf on which he was residing.

New Braunfels nature macro spider insect photographer

Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/6.3 | 1/320 | ISO 200

Day 215 ~ Balancing Act

I always communicate with anything I shoot, so I talked with the little spider (he was super tiny) and told him what I was doing. I changed angles and played around with light and composition. I like the tension in this… almost like he’s going to slide off the leaf but he stays put with the remnants of the sticky web that surround him. I also like that there are three leaves in this image, each fading more as the focus falls off. I debated about chopping the bottom of the leaf but wanted to be close enough to see all of the spider’s¬†details.

New Braunfels nature macro spider insect photographer

Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/8 | 1/250 | ISO 320

Day 216 ~ Nothing to See Here

Since mom has been gone (she left Sunday for her trip to PA), I brought her dog, Cricket, over to our house. Cricket is a little forlorn without Nana around and I had to buy some canned food to mix with her dry stuff to entice her to eat. I caught her sitting on the end table in the living room, what a character! She has this expression that says, “There’s nothing to see here… move along.”

We have quite the menagerie here now… four dogs, two birds (one cockatiel and one parakeet), a cat (she’s still staying at Nana’s house, but I’m feeding her twice a day… good thing mom’s house is our guest house, lol), and the guinea pig. I also feed the deer and a neighborhood cat that visits a couple of times a week. Next time Curtis and I travel, we are hiring someone to help mom with all these critters, goodness! Dominic and I have started a new Instagram page for our critters called the_thompson_menagerie if you want to follow us. ūüôā

New Braunfels animal pet dog photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/2 | 1/160 | ISO 1250

Day 217 ~ Last Day of ESY

Anna did so well in ESY (extended school year aka summer school) this year. Today was the last day of class so Dominic and I went to pick her up. I have only been to Canyon High School twice, once to pick her from ESY last summer and once for a dance for the kiddos with special needs. Well, I didn’t see the bus or the kids, so Dominic and I went into the school to find Anna. We walked and walked and walked. I had to ask a teacher, and wouldn’t you know, he had just started and didn’t know where her class was located. We went up to the front office and no one was there either. Finally I found a counselor and she took us to Anna’s class. Anna was in a great mood and said she had a good day. She thrives in this environment… just a few students and a shorter day. Too bad we can’t make that happen year round.

New Braunfels child special needs photographerNikon D750 | 35mm | f/2 | 1/160 | ISO 800

Day 217 ~ Choosing His Helmet

After we picked up Anna, we met Daddy for lunch at The Phoenix Saloon (they have the BEST veggie burger in town). Then we went by the New Braunfels Art League to see some photos I have displayed (more info on that in next week’s blog), then went to Created Skateshop to get the rest of Dominic’s birthday present from Nana. She had gotten him a skateboard for his birthday and pre-paid for a helmet and safety gear. Here he is trying on the winning helmet. He’s so cute!

New Braunfels child skateboard photographer

Nikon D750 | 35mm | f/2 | 1/200 | ISO 1250

Thanks for looking. I hope you are enjoying summer and relaxing and making lots of wonderful memories! And a very special Happy 19th Birthday to my nephew, Myles!!!

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