Sunday, May 1, 2016

Life According to Gus

:: Can you take off my seat belt? [Referring to his belted pants]

:: Gus: I spy something blue it's Daddy?
    Me: Is it Daddy?
   Gus: Yes! Yea!! Good job!!
:: Audrie: I spy something silly.
   Gus [starts dancing]: Is it me?

:: This is the one last time bite. [His version of "one more bite"]

:: After taking a sip of his first ever Cherry Limeade...
   Gus: Mommy, this burns my throat! Here you try...
           [I take a sip]
   Gus: See how it burns my throat?
           [I take another sip]
   Gus: NO! Only one drink!

::  While using the bathroom...
     Gus: Mommy, I'm a dump truck.
      Me: How are you a dump truck?
     Gus: See, I dump water out of my penis, and dirt out of my bottom. :/

:: I'm going to measure my foot. [Steps on scale] My foot is 40.

:: Momma, close your eyes. I've got a surprise for you. [Leads me into his bedroom.]
   Just one second...
   Just two one seconds...
   It's going to be really great for you....
   and open!
  [Shows me a train which he proceeds to wreck]

:: Look at that bird, Momma! It's a Lockingbird!

This boy...he certainly keeps us on our toes, and entertained.


nessa dee

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Fish Ice Cream

This illustration was somewhat inspired by a story my uncle told of trying fish flavored ice cream in Mexico. I'm can imagine that ice cream vendor was very popular with the towns cats.

nessa dee

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Today, this handsome face, my firstborn son leaves the realm of single digits, and enters the uncharted territory of double digits. 

Finn, you have a sweet, tender heart. You love to make jokes and you have an amazing memory. Your conversations are sprinkled with large, complicated words, which are used correctly about 50% of the time. You can be extremely confident and extremely shy. You are the ham in our family sandwich. You are my hugger, and I love being on the receiving end. 

Happy birthday, my favorite middle child! 
I love you so very, very much.

Friday, March 4, 2016


A step-by-step picture progression of my process. The illustration is for my latest picture book dummy, and I'm trying to play around with the style for the book. There are a lot of tricky scenes to illustrate, so the style has to work within the context. Hopefully, I'll have it figured out soon, and can start the submission process!

nessa dee

Monday, January 11, 2016

New Work

Here's a sample book cover I did for a project. Although it didn't get used, I still really like it, so it's going in my portfolio.


nessa dee

Friday, January 8, 2016



My baby girl turned 15 yesterday. 
Be still my heart. 
I want to scoop her up and hold onto her for as long as I can. 
I know, at this point, things move at light speed until you take a breath, and wave goodbye as your child leaves the nest. 
Be still my heart.

Audrie, you are beautiful inside and out. You're kind and hilarious, sweet and witty, smart and ever so talented. I'm amazed by you each and everyday.

Happy Birthday, lovely lady!



Monday, January 4, 2016

Hello 2016!

Did I just type 2016? It feels like we just rang in 2015, I blinked, and the year's over. I'm still writing my list of resolutions for last year, and we're four days into January '16. What the what?! A lot happened in 2015, some of which I documented on this here blog, and many of which I didn't (cue the guilt trip), but one of my goals this new year is to blog least once a week to be exact. I know, I know, you'll believe it when you see it, but I've got a new trick (laptop) up my sleeve (on my lap) that's going to help with the execution of that goal! No more late night internal struggles deciding whether or not I should drag myself upstairs and bask in the glow of the screen, holed up in the computer nook whilst the rest of my family is gathered in the living room, or sleep deprivation threatens my brain function. Nope, now I can take those internal struggles with me wherever I go, and find new excuses to interfere with blogging!

Here are some highlights from 2015 before I blinked, and the year was over...

In January, Audrie celebrated her 14th birthday just two weeks after Christmas.  We also took the older two kids skiing for the first time, and ourselves skiing for the first time in 15 years. Now if there's two things I really don't like, it's heights and being cold, so you can imagine the stress I felt in the weeks leading up to this trip. I literally had a stomachache for two weeks. We skied Winter Park, Colorado, and the kids had a blast. In fact, they had so much fun, we're going again this year. Hello stress, my old friend.


February I attended the Austin SCBWI Conference, and gained some much needed confidence in my work, and had an amazing critique with picture book author/illustrator Tom Lichtenheld.


March meant a week of SXSW, an amazing, yet extremely exhausting experience. The highlight? Seeing Spoon perform, up close, and hanging out with the Mowgli's  before they took to the stage.


Finn turned 9 in April, we celebrated Easter on the farm, and I  attended another SCBWI conference in Houston and heard the delightful Kelly Light speak about her journey into children's book publishing.



You might have heard about our vacation to the Cayman Islands back in May, and Jonathan's passport fiasco. I'm not sure if enough time has passed yet for this experience to be funny.


In June, we celebrated Jonathan's 35th birthday, and we welcomed a new cousin-in-law to our crazy family. Thankfully, our nutty antics didn't scare Lindsay away. In fact, she just jumped right into the insanity and made herself at home. 


Towards the close of June, our family suffered enormous heartache with the loss of my cousin, McLean. We grew up together, half of my childhood we lived right next door to each other. After high school, Mac went into the Marines, and traveled the world, and although we weren't as close in our adult life, those childhood roots ran deep. It's so hard to accept that he's gone. I've been so amazed, though, by the strength of his parents, sister, and fiance'  through this grief. Even though we miss him terribly, we find solace in the fact that we'll see him again. Mac, you were, are, and will forever be in our hearts.


In July, we watched fireworks, went to a long overdue family reunion, and my baby boy celebrated his third birthday. Oh, August, you've added so much joy to our lives.


In August, Jonathan and I went on a spontaneous trip to Miami to celebrate 15 years of marriage, and also surprised my brother to bid him farewell before he moved to Mexico for a couple of years. "Cause, you know...two birds.


September meant the start of school, and venturing into the uncharted waters of homeschooling through high school. Sure, thousands of others have already made that journey, but it feels so scary when it's your own child. Audrie started taking some classes through a school called One Day Academy, and I'm happy to report that she's flourishing. Finn continued in Classical Conversations, and all three kids and I are still involved in our homeschool co-op. 

By the end of September, I finished illustrating another picture book, Varla's Gift, by Jeff R. Smith. It's now published and available for purchase.


In October, Audrie attended her first homecoming dance, we went to the Space Center in Houston, and I started taking a picture book writing class with the lovely and amazing Liz Garton Scanlon. If you are an aspiring picture book writer, I highly recommend this class at the Writing Barn.  Plus, we dressed up for Halloween.


November meant the start of phase two of a giant mural project for my church and the completion of illustrations for another picture book, which I will post more about once it's published. We made a trip to my hometown, I wrapped up my writing classes, celebrated my 29th birthday for the seventh year in a row, and dove head first into the holidays.


In December, Finn competed with a team of friends in the First Lego League Lego robotics competition. I am happy to report that they advanced to regionals!
Audrie and Finn wrapped up a year of piano lessons with beautiful performances at their Christmas recital. 
We celebrated no less than six Christmases, some loud and crazy, some calm and quiet, but all worth it to spend precious time with family. 
*blink, blink*
And finally, we rang in the new year with friends...dinner and dancing.
*blink, blink, blink*
...and here we are, four days into January, and I'm still trying to finish my New Years resolutions for 2015. 
I don't want to blink and have another year zoom by. My main goal for 2016 is to be present and enjoy my time spent with these precious three...

Happy New Year! I hope the months ahead are filled with an abundance of joy!

nessa dee