My “Thankful 15” | Austin Boudoir Photography

I was recently nominated by a good friend of mine for the “5 Days of Gratitude” challenge on Facebook.   You must post 3 things that you’re thankful for…for 5 days!

I decided to make it more of a photojournalistic challenge for myself.  You don’t have to.  Typically people are just listing their 3 things every day in a quick post.

I decided to take photos of my thankful things because I’ve honestly, sadly, lost touch a bit with photography for pure pleasure.  I’ve been so busy building my business that I’ve set myself aside too much.

I was on my family vacation in Michigan last month, and while on vacation I ended up in the hospital with Viral Meningitis.  It was scary and awful and crazy and, most importantly, an unbelievable wake-up call!  Being in the hospital scared the shit out of me and my family frankly.  We are so blessed that it was Viral and not Bacterial.  And so blessed to have insurance (we literally just got Obamacare last month).  And even more blessed to have had my parents up there so that my sweet boy Utah was completely taken care of while I was there.  I stayed from Wednesday to Saturday.  80% of that time the doctors didn’t know if it was Viral or Bacterial.  I was quarantined.  Every person that entered my room was asked to wear full body protective gear and a face mask.  I did my best to stay in denial and tell myself that they were all just overreacting, that everything was completely fine.  My mom watched a video about Bacterial Meningitis where a woman described how having Bacterial Meningitis had affected her life.  It zoomed out to show that both of her legs were amputated.  Apparently, my mom had a pretty massive meltdown after seeing it — I can’t blame her.  I can only imagine how I’d feel if my baby could quite possibly lose his limbs, or worse…lose his life.

Soooo…I realized that I MUST put myself up higher on my totem pole.  I need to take care of myself again. I HAVE TO stop staying awake until 5am editing, only to be woken up by my lil’ guy 3 hours later.  I NEED to start following my own advice — self-love, self-care, pamper myself.  I considered this little project a small start…

Here are “My Thankful 15

Day One

1 Utah's nap - Torrid BoudoirShot with Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm Art lens

1. I am thankful for Utah (of course) but specifically I am thankful that he is still napping.  Haha!  It gives us both time to rejuvenate and more importantly — it means that he is still (sort of) my baby.  He is still young enough to take a nap.


2 my health - Torrid BoudoirShot with Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm Art lens

2.  I am thankful for my health.  I am thankful that it was Viral and not Bacterial Meningitis that I had  last week.  I am thankful for the doctors, nurses & medicine that cured me.

3 photography - Torrid BoudoirShot with iPhone 5

3. I am thankful for photography. I am thankful for my beautiful gear — cameras, lenses, straps, memory cards, computer, software, etc… I love my creative outlet.


Day Two

4 office supplies - Torrid BoudoirShot with Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm Art lens

4. I am thankful for office supplies — one of my many obsessions.   If you really know me, you know how OCD and perfectionistic I am.  And you know how much I adore a nice pen or set of scissors or transparent tape or brand new highlighter… The list just goes on and on.

5 swimmer - Torrid BoudoirShot with iPhone 5

5. I am thankful for my little swimmer.  I am thankful for Ms. Cathy’s Swim Class and for  my friend Yvette for telling me about the class!  I am so proud of my boy and so thankful for the incredible skill he now has.

6 family dinners - Torrid BoudoirShot with iPhone 5

6. I am thankful for family dinners with my “Yooski”, my hubby & my sissy “Aunt Meme”.

Day Three

7  dancer - Torrid BoudoirShot with Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm Art lens

7. I am so thankful for my Little Dancer.  Enough said…

8  Emmy 01 B&W - Torrid BoudoirShot with Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm Art lens

8. I am thankful for my amazing sister Emily.  Where would I be without her in my life?  The most compassionate, non-judgmental, loving & beautiful woman I know.  My very best friend.


9  school supplies - Torrid BoudoirShot with Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm Art lens

9. Being able to buy school supplies.  Thank goodness for my precious boy.  Because of him I am in that exclusive club called “Being A Mom”.  I know so many other woman who would kill for this opportunity.  To be able to do the day-to-day “mama chores”.  I am grateful and appreciative.  I do not take any of it for granted.  I am also thankful for Utah’s incredible school (St. Elizabeth’s Parents Day Out).  Such loving teachers!

Day Four

10 Neil - Torrid BoudoirShot with Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm Art Lens

10. I am beyond thankful for my incredible husband Neil.  It took me a while to be able to take his photos!  Busy, daily life gets in the way but ultimately, he is #1 thing/person I am thankful for.  He supports me – full throttle.  Be nurtures me.  He makes me laugh, so hard.  He pampers me and is the most amazing father to our beautiful boy.  He is an inspiration and perfect teacher for Utah about how a real man is.


11 Chuy's Queso - Torrid BoudoirShot with iPhone 5s

11. I am thankful for queso.  Chuy’s queso (pictured here), Chili’s queso…Z/Tejas’s, Cheddar’s — any and all queso.  Queso is my favorite food group.


12  Sitting on my lap - Torrid BoudoirShot with iPhone 5s

12. I am thankful that Utah begs (to tears) to sit in mine and Neil’s lap at dinner time.  While it’s hard most of the time, I know that it won’t last forever and that eventually I’ll be the one begging to sit near him.  I love my sweet, cuddly boy.

Day Five

13 Mom + Dad - Torrid BoudoirShot with Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm Art Lens

13. I am incredibly thankful for my beautiful parents.  Anyone that is lucky enough to know them, knows why I am!

14 BFFs - Torrid Boudoir

14. My amazing best-of-the-best-friends.  I know that we can go days, months, even years (heaven forbid), between times that we speak/see each other — but they’ll be there for me, no matter what!  And I’ll do the same.

L to R:
Nekeida, Michelle, Ace
Amy, Trista, Angie
Yvette, Emily, Kristina

I’m a lucky girl!

15  Dressing Up - Torrid BoudoirShot with Nikon D700 + Sigma 35mm Art Lens

15. And, lastly, I am thankful for red lips, pretty earrings, beaded necklaces and everything else us girls use to dress up!  I have a new found appreciation for such things.  I still definitely describe myself as a tomboy, but I now enjoy dressing up, as well!

Now, I challenge you to do the same!  I nominate you for the “5 Days of Gratitude” challenge!  Or just to take some time to yourself.  Pamper yourself a little!  Practice some #radicalselflove!  <3

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