Archive: December 2008   |   View all recent posts

Christmas Rehash
WHAT: Random   |   WHEN: December 28, 2008
Kylie and I had a pretty low key Christmas this year just hangin' out at the house. We did take a break from our lazy day for a little Christmas day brunch over at Jerry & Tina's house. Sunny & 65 degree weather didn't exactly feel like Santa had just been by earlier in the morning, but it made it perfect for spending some play time out in the back yard with Princess Trinity.

Here's a couple of quick images from our time with the Tacketts.

As usual, Tina and Jerry are always fantastic hosts, and they made it feel very warm and festive.

One of my favorite parts of brunch...

Proud papa Jerry lookin' GQ.

Sweet Ally misses her uncle Matt and can't wait to come stay with me again soon.

Isn't she sweet? I can't wait to see her in Indiana as our flower girl dropping snowflakes as she comes down the aisle at the wedding.

I love this series. Can't you see a future father-daughter dance in the making here?


Dining Room Wall Art - check
WHAT: Random   |   WHEN: December 27, 2008
Since I'm taking some time off until January 5th, I thought I'd finally get around to hanging some of the pictures that have been staring at me from the dining room floor for the past 3 months. Thank you, Pottery Barn, for supplying the frames. I need to change out a couple of the travel photos, but it's coming along. I'm excited to add some Italian versions in February.

Being OCD like I am when it comes to these types of things, I laid the whole thing out in Adobe Illustrator first and added dimensions. Actually, I think I just got tired of making swiss cheese out of the wall last time I did this.

Maybe tomorrow I'll start working on replacing the photos that came with the frames I bought from Restoration Hardware over a year ago.


A Time To Give[away] - Nominee Selection
WHAT: News   |   WHEN: December 26, 2008

Sorry for the delay in announcing the family that will receive the $1500 custom photography gift in this year's Big Christmas Giveaway. There were a lot of amazing people and families nominated, and it was incredibly difficult picking just one. And I wanted to make sure I had to chance to notify everyone that wrote in before posting anything on the blog. I wish I could photograph each and everyone of them, but I hope to do something like this again soon where I - and other photographers - can give a small gift to many who are tremendous examples of courage and strength.

To all those that wrote in on behalf of someone that didn't get selected - thank you... and I'm sorry. I was truly humbled and moved by their stories, and it feels gut-wrenching not to be able to photograph some of these amazing people/families. I hope I - or another photographer - has this privilege in the future.

As I said, there were so many incredible and heart-breaking stories... choosing just one felt impossible. In the end, though, I kept coming back to Julie. When her sister-in-law Terrah wrote in to tell me about Julie and her kids and the struggles they've overcome and the victory she continues to fight for, I couldn't help but gravitate towards her story. Without further ado, with permission from both Terrah and Julie (who didn't know Terrah had written to me about her), here is Terrah's nomination:

"Hello Matt,

My name is Terrah Rominger and I live in Garland, TX. I have been following your blog and flickr photostream for awhile because I am intrigued with photography and am inspired by your work. :)

Today I am writing you in regards to your "Big Christmas Giveaway." It would be for someone that is very close to not only my heart but my husband's and his family. Julie Bates. She is my sister-in-law who is the most strong-willed and inspiring person I know. Julie has 3 gorgeous children: Sarah, Katherine, and Thomas.

Julie's mother passed away of breast cancer about the same age as she is now, 34. She shortly lost her brother to cancer as well. Unfortunately, Julie and her oldest daughter, Sarah, have carried on the cancerous genes. They were in the hospital together for the year of 2003. We almost lost Sarah of Adrenal Cancer. She has been in and out of surgeries, removing inner body parts on each one. Julie was suffering with breast cancer for the second time. They both pulled through and things seemed to be good for awhile. Their hair grew back and they were constantly glowing with happiness.

Everything seemed wonderful except Julie and her husband had not been getting along so well. After years of struggle emotionally, financially, and health wise the two of them decided to separate. At one point he became somewhat abusive and Julie and the kids went into a women's shelter. She gained strength, filed for divorce and moved back to Texas with the kids this year with her dad in Garland. We were all thankful when she moved back home because she was closer to us and we knew she would be out of that abusive relationship. The kids found a new school and Julie found a new job. Things were starting to look up again.

On October 31st Julie found out that she has cancerous tumors on her liver. They are larger than they have ever been before. She also was one of the employees that got laid off that day at her new job.

Today as I write you Julie is in the hospital with cancer of the liver. The doctor says she will need to stay for a couple of days.

As I just quickly reread this I realized it sounds pretty sad and dreary but please know that Julie is full of life and is always smiling. She inspires others and is a true, genuine spirit. The least I can do for her is enter her in your contest. She would love to have professional pictures done with her and her beautiful family."

Again, thanks to everyone who took the time to write in and nominate someone special. As I mentioned, I hope to do this again soon, so stay tuned on the blog for future giveaways.


Merry Christmas
WHAT: Personal   |   WHEN: December 25, 2008


Open Doors
WHAT: Random   |   WHEN: December 23, 2008

New Year's Resolution #1 - close all open doors. I'm not speaking metaphorically here. I literally leave all kinds of doors open. Whether it's the cupboard doors in the kitchen, the dresser drawers in the bedroom, the front door, or the "barn door" zipper, I don't discriminate. If it can be left open, I'm on it.

Kylie pointed this out to me the other day, and I thought to myself, Pfft... whatever. I don't leave doors open... okay maybe every ONCE in a while, but not very often. Sure enough I started noticing all kinds of doors open at random times for no apparent reason. I have a gift.

I knew it was time for an intervention when apparently I left the front door open a couple inches last night... on one of the coldest nights of the year. Never mind that I coud've taken this year's Big Christmas Giveaway to a whole new level or that it was freezing in here this morning, that's just downright unsafe. So, I vow from this day forth to be a better door closer-upper.

Now, excuse me while I go shut my car door in the garage from earlier this morning when I was about to go out Christmas shopping but forgot my keys in the house and then got sidetracked...


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