Thursday, October 17, 2013

Happy Birthday, Alvie!

Happy Birthday, Alvie! We all miss you very, very much!!!!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Exciting New Project!

I am excited to announce that The Alvie McKenzie Family is currently in production of their second album, which has yet to be named! The "theme" of this album is bascially just good old church songs that we grew up with!

Tracks include:
Mountains of Glory
I'll Go
Let's Meet By the River
When I Feel God's Great Hand
Following Jesus
When We Meet Beyond the Sky
There's a Better Day Ahead
Then I'll Have Everything
Child of the King
I'd Never Miss Heaven for the World
And More!

Vocal tracks have been record by Cassie, Kellie and myself; and our core band for this album includes Jesse Gray on the piano, Dustin McKenzie on the bass guitar, and Rusty Walls on the drums. Additional instruments are being recorded in the coming weeks; and we hope to have the project mixed, pressed, and ready for your listening pleasure around the first week of December!

If you have any questions about this project and would like to learn more, please feel free to contact me at!


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Big Cove

For those of you who know and love the Big Cove Community like I do, follow my new blog (! Thanks! -BYRD

Monday, June 24, 2013

Allison Elaine Flint

A tribute to a coworker and friend, Allison Elaine Flint, who passed away Friday at the young age of thirty-four...
I’d like to share with you one of my last conversations with Allison, in which she expressed the value of life and every moment within it.

After she came back to work after having her initial surgery, she “ticked”! Allison had an artificial valve placed in her heart, which resulted in a quiet, but ever present, ticking noise. I first noticed it when sitting beside of her in a team meeting. I said to her, “Do you hear a ticking noise!” She gave me a sarcastic look, pointed at her chest, and said, “It’s me!” I had no idea; but after she said that, I recognized the familiar sound as I had an aunt with the same mechanical valve and the same

From that moment on, my mission was to try to make Allison comfortable with “the tick” by simply getting her to laugh about it. Sometimes I would look at my wrist, as if checking my watch, to “see where the ticking was coming from”; and she would just laugh and roll her eyes at me. And I developed a nickname for her, calling her “Tick Tock”. A few times I said, “Allison – you are the ‘bomb’!” Anything to get a laugh out of her and to cause her to share her beautiful smile with me, which she did so freely, and very often!

In one of our last team meetings, we were passing notes back and forth (yes – like you do in school or church); and I asked her if she still noticed the ticking and if it ever bothered her. Her reply was, “At first, it bothered me. But now, every time I hear it (the ‘tick’), I say ‘thank you Jesus’!” And then she shared another of her warm smiles with me. In this conversation, I was made to know that Allison was not only aware of her mortality, but also that she was thankful for every moment that she had to share with her family and friends.

I remember seeing Allison around campus before I ever had the chance to meet her. At first glimpse, it was easy to see that she was a beautiful woman! She had skin like a porcelain doll and a contagious smile that would cause you to smile back at her while passing in the hall, whether you knew her or not. And later in our careers, I was privileged to get to know her; and found her to be as beautiful on the inside as she was on the out – a person of high morals and values. All of these things I will remember; but I think what I will remember the most – is “the tick”. All too often, we take life and good health for granted; but every once in a while, we should stop and consider not only our own “tick”, but also the “ticks” of others – living life to the fullest, and ending it without regret.

Thank you, Allison, for spending some of your ticks with me!

Monday, June 03, 2013


Five years have now passed; but we still think of you every day!  We miss you!

Alvie Clyde McKenzie
October 17, 1959 - June 3, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

This Day in History...

Thinking today of my grandfather, Walter Lee Bird, to whom we said good-bye ten years ago today.  Granddaddy was born July 8, 1912, in Big Cove, Alabama, - the first child of Wiley Virgil Bird and Willie Ann Josephine Hunter.  He married Bertie Lorene Adams on Novemer 16, 1930; and to this union was born ten children - Rosie Lucille (Cowan), John Wiley, Peggy Sue (Knight), Alton Wayne, Sammy Ellis, Agnes Jane (Simmons), Phyllis Marie (Schultz), Nancy Kaye (Martin), Ronald Dale, and Kevin Alan.  A few years after my grandmother's death in 1975, Granddaddy married Ruby Jewel Rhoden Dodson.
I had the priviledge of growing up in Granddaddy's back yard and got to see him pretty much every day.  I love him very much and I know he loved me too.  After his mind got bad and he couldn't remember a lot of things, he could still recall my name - even though I didn't still get to see him every day after I had moved to Sand Mountain.  In fact, my name was the last that he called in the hospital the day he died.
Granddaddy Bird passed away February 27, 2003, at the age of ninety.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Happy 100th Birthday, Momma Guffey!

On February 18, 1913, Kellie's great grandmother, Vela Mae Morgan Guffey, was born to John Henderson Morgan and Susie Adelaide Whitehead Morgan.  Momma Guffey passed away in 2006, at the age of ninety-three.  She was a wonderful woman and is still very much missed by her family.

The photo above was taken at Momma Guffey's 90th birthday party, and features five generations of her family - Kellie McKenzie Byrd, Alvie McKenzie, Betty Guffey McKenzie, and Mae Morgan Guffey holding Mackenzie Leigh Anne Byrd.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Congrats, Leah & Heath!

Congratulations to Leah and Heath!  They were married on Thursday, January 24, at the Burritt Museum in Huntsville!  Marty and I were so pleased to be able to photograph this couple on their happy day!  Here are a few of their previews!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Easter Pics Coming Soon!

For several years now, Marty Rogers and I have hosted various holiday mini-sessions in the Big Cove area.  We've covered Valentine's Day, Easter, Christmas, and other random sessions as well.  This year will be no exception!  Our Big Cove sessions are being planned for Saturday, March 2nd; and I love our set this time!
Also, we're going to bring the mini-sessions back home and offer a full day of sessions at my home studio in Flat Rock!  It's been several years since I've hosted a session day at the studio, but felt like this was the right year to bring these wonderful deals and beautiful photos to a location that my friends and neighbors in the North Sand Mountain area can take advantage of!  Our Easter sessions at the studio are being planned for Saturday, March 9th.  Don't miss this amazing opportunity!
If you're interested in learning more about either date, please get it touch with us soon!  We have a limited number of time slots available and they WILL fill up fast!
More to come closer to time!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Dear Saint Gone Home...

Today we mourn the loss, but celebrate the victory of a dear woman whom I've known for my entire life - Betty Carolyn Lawson Long.  Betty is the wife of my mom's first cousin, Bobby Long, and the mother of Mark, John, and Matt Long.  She was one of the absolute sweetest people I have ever known in my life, and I will miss her hugs and warm smiles.  She has suffered terribly over the years in body; however, her spirit has always remained strong as she managed through life with patience and without complaint.  My heart is with Bobby and the boys today as well as the rest of the family.

The photo with this post is of Bobby and Betty.  I had the priveledge of shooting their family photos a couple of years ago.  She was so proud of her beautiful family, and they all love their mother/grandmother very, very much!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Happy Birthday, Alvie!

Today would have been Alvie's 53rd birthday.  Happy Birthday man!  We miss you!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Bro. Oakley

Bro. Oakley - I will never forget you!  You've been one of the greatest influences in my life; and I love you very much!  Because of what you've taught me, I believe I'll be able to go, someday, to that beautiful place of rest, where I believe you are now!

Rev. Edward Oakley Drake

(April 23, 1934 - September 10, 2012)

Rev. Edward Oakley Drake, age 78, of Big Cove, passed away peacefully at home on Monday September 10, 2012.
Rev. Drake was a native of Madison County and a retired farmer. He was the minister at Big Cove Holiness Church since 1981. Rev. Drake is preceded in death by his parents, Rev. Edward Mitchell Drake and Lizzie Simmons Drake; and his siblings, Virginia Drake Fagan and Shelly Wallace Drake.
Rev. Drake is survived by his wife, Bobbie Evett Drake; his children, Dennis Edward Drake and Dean Slayton, Kevin Wendell and Joy Alverson Drake, Benny Myron and Beth Cowan Drake, Bobby Shannon and Tonya Miller Drake, and adopted daughter Pam Dalton Terry; his siblings, Evelyn Juanita Osborne, Fleta Elvira Lawson, and Nelda Michelle Smith; his grandchildren, Christopher Edward Drake, Danelle Drake Duskin, Victoria Denise Drake, Crystal Drake Lamb, Morgan Drake Majors, Meighan Berry Castagneto, Erica Cox Payne, Keenan Oakley Drake, Wyatt Oakley Drake, and Walker Keith Drake; 16 Great Grandchildren; and 4 Great- great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday September 12, 2012 at 3 pm at Big Cove Holiness Church with burial to follow in Green Valley Cemetery. Rev. Shirley Byrum and Rev. Floyd Williams will be officiating. The family will receive friends on Tuesday from 3 pm until 9 pm and on Wednesday from 1 pm until 3 pm, both days at the church.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday, Dr. Von Braun!!!

Happy Birthday to Dr. Wernher Von Braun! As a native on Huntsville, I grew up always hearing Dr. Von Braun's name; however, it wasn't until I was older that I realized he was more than the name sake of Huntsville's Civic Center! :) Read more about Dr. Von Braun HERE.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Good-bye, Bro. Hoyt...

Rev. Edward Hoyt Dalton, founder and pastor of the Riverton Holiness Church for the past 30+ years, finished his race yesterday morning at the age of 76. Bro. Hoyt was an ever-present figure during my childhood; and I will always fondly remember him as a jovial, loving man, who preached the Gospel to me when I was a child.

My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Sis. Betty; sons, Stanley & Steve; and other members of his family, as well as the church family at Riverton.


Friday, November 11, 2011

This Day in History...

One-hundred years ago today, Saturday, November 11, 1911, my great-grandparents, Wiley Virgil Bird and Willie Ann Josephine Hunter, were married in Huntsville, Alabama. Wiley, the son of John William Bird and M. Canzada Pierce, was an eighteen year old native of Walker County, Georgia, who had been orphaned at a young age and left in the care of his grandfather, who settled in the Big Cove Community in 1904. Josie was a seventeen year old native of Grundy County, Tennessee, who had settled in the Big Cove Community sometime around 1900, with her parents, Alton Elmor Hunter and Rachel Elisabeth Bass.
Wiley and Josie, who shared the same birthday – May 21, Wiley in 1893 and Josie in 1894 – became the parents of ten children – Walter Lee*, Isaac Daniel, Thomas Ozro*, Edna Rocine, Leonard Nolen*, Virgil Odell*, Opal Estelle, James Willard, Rachel Louise*, and Lester Glenn. (* = deceased)
Wiley Virgil Bird passed away on June 9, 1947, at the age of fifty-three. Willie Ann Josephine Hunter Bird survived her husband by more than thirty years, having never remaired. She died on September 4, 1977. Both are laid to rest in the Neal's Chapel Cemetery in Big Cove, Alabama.
One hundred-years after their marriage, the family is numbered in the hundreds – with forty-two grandchildren, eighty great-grandchildren, and an ever growing number of great-great-grandchildren and so on.
Today we honor the good name of our ancestors and the hard work and dedication they made to their family, which has helped shape us into who we are today.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mackenzie...

I cannot believe that Mackenzie is nine years old today! It's her last year in the single digits! So much time and so many events have gone by that at times, I can barely even remember her being a baby. How sad. Especially now that we have Maddie-Klaire and are going through baby days again. It's like I sit there and think, "When was Mackenzie ever this little?" Where in the world has time gone? We've had her for nine years (that have flown by) and if the next nine years fly by this quickly, she'll be eighteen years old! Graduating high school, and possibly talking marriage with some little punk (I hope you're praying now, whoever you are!!)! :)

At any rate, Mackenzie has grown into a beautiful little girl - inside and out. She's pretty much Hurricane Mackenzie most days; but she's just who she is - and I love her so much just that way! What can I say, she's really just a chip off the old block! :) I told her the other day that if it seems like we're getting onto her all the time, it's just because we're trying to shape her into a good person. But honestly, I don't think she's going to have any problem with that. She has a natural goodness to her that I adore. And she's smart, she's funny, she's creative - and those are just the traits she inherited from me! Ha, ha - just kidding. I'm enormously proud of her and I hope that she always, always, always knows that I love her very much - "to the sun and the moon and back" as she used to say when she was a "little girl"!

I love you girl -you'll always be my baby!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Alvie!

Alvie Clyde McKenzie
10/17/1959 - June 3, 2008

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


Madelyn-Klaire Emory Byrd was born Monday, September 5th, at 11:14 EDT. She weighed-in at a whopping 6 lbs, 10 ozs, and measured 19" long. She's doing GREAT and as you can see, she's absolutely gorgeous! I had to run home from the hospital for a few minutes and wanted to share a couple of snapshots before heading back up there to cuddle her up some more! Will post more later!

Thanks for all of the well wishes!


Sunday, September 04, 2011

Labor Day...

Well, tomorrow is Labor Day. A day that I normally don't pay a whole lot of attention to, aside from the fact that I'm off work (thankful, yes). But this year, it's going to take on a whole new meaning! THAT day has finally arived! We're going to the hospital first thing in the morning; and around 11:00 a.m., Madelyn-Klaire Emory Byrd will be making her appearance! I can't believe it's already time. The last nine months have flown by. I don't know if I'm nervous, scared, excited, or all of the above - I haven't had time to even think about. All I know is that within 24 hours, I'll be the proud daddy of the three most beautiful girls in the world! I'm not going to take the time to gush tonight - I'll save that for later. Just wanted to let you all know that it's time!

I'll have pictures posted as soon as I can!

Say a prayer for the Byrd's!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Looks Who's One!

My beautiful niece - Addison! She is so precious; and she loves her Uncle Byrd!!! Addison turned one year old on July 29. One year ago, she was born - WAY early (32 weeks) and WAY small (3 pounds, 9 ounces)! But that didn't keep her down! This little Byrd (okay, technically, her last name is Shockley; but I'm claiming her as BYRD) caught right up where she needed to be quick; and after a very short, uneventful hosptial stay, she went home and has been fantastic ever since! Here are a few of the shots we did for her one year session and one of her hospital pics from just after she was born. You've come a long way, baby!

Monday, August 15, 2011

First Day of School...

I've been a horrible blogger lately - especially when it comes to shoots that I've done lately. I've had a couple of weddings and a few youngin's, including my niece, Addison, who turned one! I've got to get some stuff up here soon! Baby Byrd is scheduled to be taken three weeks from today! Ironically, it's Labor Day!

But the big news for today is that we sent both kids off to school this morning! Mackenzie is in third grade, which I totally forgot! While I was standing in her classroom listening to her teacher, she said, "Now this is third grade, so we're going to be doing a lot more work!" And I was thinking, "Third grade? What happened to second grade?" Time is just doing cartwheels in my mind!

And poor little innocent Makayla was thrown to the wolves today as a kindergartener! So hard to believe my babies are growing up! She did so great and was ready to get started when we left her!

Here's a few pics from before we left this morning; and I hope that everyone else had a great First Day!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Maw-Maw Godwin

Kellie's great-grandmother, Dimple Mae Smith Godwin, passed away suddenly today at the age of eighty-seven years old. Maw-Maw Godwin was the last of our great-grandparents; and she will be sorely missed. She was a very special woman, who had treated me like one of her very own ever since I first met her twelve years ago. Mackenzie was Maw-Maw's first great-great-grandchild; and she just happened to have been born on Maw-Maw's 79th birthday! How special is that?! She was a beautiful woman who had a beautiful smile; and though we will all miss her so much, she leaves us with many special memories which will linger near for many years to come! We love you Maw-Maw!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Good-bye, Bro. Dennis...

You will be sorely missed; but go on to your reward - your work here is over!


Friday, June 03, 2011

Alvie C. McKenzie

October 17, 1959 - June 3, 2008.

We still miss you, Alvie!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Katie & Matt

I haven't posted in a LONG time! I've been SO busy, I guess I've just lost track of blogging. We're in the middle of a HUGE kitchen renovation; and I can't wait to get it finished and post some pictures here! I was off work last week to work on the kitchen - pretty much ALL week; and I didn't hardly know if I'd survive at times!
Anyhow, last Saturday, I got a quick break and drove over to the quaint little city of Ringgold, Georgia, where I had the priviledge of photographing Katie and Matt, who were on their way to the Ringgold High School Prom! They looked great; and we had a fun time down at the old railroad depot in downtown Ringgold! Thanks, Katie & Matt, for including me in this special day; and I hope you guys had a great time at prom! Here's a couple of sneak peeks (click on the pics to enlarge)!


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Back up!

That's what happens when you let your domain expire! Yikes! Anyhow, we're back up and running! Proceed!


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

website down...

My website is down, maybe for a few days. If you need me, email, or call or txt 423.802.9314.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

This Day in History...

92 years ago today, December 29, 1918, my great-grandparents, Ira Emmett Hinshaw and Nannie Helen Jacks, became man and wife in a civil ceremony in Lincoln County, Tennessee. The story goes that Emmett "stole" (as her mother put it) seventeen year old Nannie from her bedroom window and the two eloped across the state line from Paint Rock Valley to Lincoln County, Tennessee, to marry. Their marriage would produce nine children - Etta Epsie (Bird), Mary Jane (Long), John Lawson, Lester Donald, Opal Ernestine (Craig), Bertie Lou (Stapler), Alvin Ray, Shirley Fay (Lohenitz), and Helen Dean (Young). Sadly, Nannie died hours after the birth of her youngest daughter, Dean. She passed away at the age of 43 years old at the family home on Alpine Street in Huntsville, Alabama, and was laid to rest in the Neal's Chapel Cemetery in Big Cove, Alabama, where the family had settled around 1922. Emmett moved to Florida a few years later and finished raising his family with help from the older children, a few of whom had already married. He eventually returned to Madison County in the mid-70's, settling near New Market, Alabama. He passed away January 22, 1982, at the age of eighty-five. He survived Nannie by thirty-seven years; but never remarried. Emmett was laid to rest in Big Cove, Alabama, beside of the wife he loved so dearly, Nannie.

This photo is of Emmett and Nannie Hinshaw and was taken in Big Cove, Alabama, around 1941. The little boy running in the side of the picture is their son, Ray.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

I hope you all have a wonderful WHITE Christmas!!


Friday, December 24, 2010

This Day in History...

I'm sure I'll post something about Christmas morning sometime tomorrow; but while we're busy getting ready for Santa Clause, I wanted to take a second to mention that 200 years ago on Christmas Day, my great-great-great-great-grandfather, Dr. George Lee Bird, was born near Crawfordville, Georgia. He was the son of a wealthy plantation owner, and had a fairly affluent lineage and had but one child with his first wife, Salina Chivers. That son was George Marshall Bird, who left Crawfordville shortly after his father's death and just before the Civil War. It was this George Marshall Bird who eventually settled in the Big Cove Community in 1904.
Kellie and Mackenzie and I took a trip to Crawfordville back in 2003, just before completing the book I wrote about our lineage. There, we were able to visit Dr. Bird's house, which still stands on the Taliaferro County square, adjacent the courthouse, as well as Dr. Bird's grave - a story Kellie loves to tell - ha, ha! I blog about that later.
Off to finish our Santa prep's - Merry Christmas everybody!