Dallas mom Sonay Baker is a pilot training scheduler for Southwest Airlines as well as a professional face and body painter (Fun Time Faces TX) and photographer (Sonay Nicole Photography). Her husband, Colt, also works for Southwest, and together they have an 18-month-old daughter—Maddox—three dogs and a bunny. The family loves traveling as much as possible, going to Rangers games and catching live music around DFW.
6:30AM At Southwest, I have a rotating schedule, so today is a day off. Hubby has been at work since 5am, and all three dogs are starting to move around wanting to go outside. My daughter, however, has been the best sleeper. She went to bed at 9:30pm, and she is still out. It’s so nice.
7:15AM Animals are fed, and I’m at my laptop looking through emails. I have my planner open because I still prefer to handwrite everything down. With old episodes of Law & Order: SVU on Hulu, I am powering through flagging emails.
7:45AM I have switched over to photo editing. I currently have seven sessions in my queue I am working on. Maddox is up again. Now she is jabbering to herself, playing with the Build-A–Bear we got for her birthday. She does this for about five minutes before calling out to me.
7:55AM Baby girl is calm in the morning while waking up, then she gets her energy. She is now trying to jump (she can’t get off the ground yet) and throwing her toys over the baby gate to the dogs. I can’t be too upset at her wanting to share!
8:30AM The weather is nice, so we have moved from the house to the backyard. Maddox is putting rocks in her playhouse and pointing to the bubbles on the table. I highly recommend that every parent have bubbles everywhere. It’s a fun and quick way to entertain kiddos in almost any situation.
9:30AM Took a little longer to get ready and get out the door. Quick trip to Target and a few more spots. Maddox is at that age where she wants anything within reach. In and out of the car, in and out of the cart, loading bags—feels like it’s been four hours.
11:15AM Just pulling up to my mom’s house, and my daughter knows exactly where we are. She’s excited! We are so incredibly lucky that my mom is Maddox’s babysitter when my husband and I work. Maddox and I blow kisses until I’m out the door, then we wave though the window.
12PM I have a wedding I am shooting this weekend, and although I do have 90% of the gear that I use, I always rent from a place in Addison. It’s a gorgeous day, so windows are down and music is up!
12:45PM … have I eaten today? Coffee? Water? Anything? Nope … typical. Trying to think of something I haven’t had in a while. Panera. Now I am way too excited. Panini and mac and cheese it is! You can’t go to Panera without having the mac and cheese.
1:15PM This year has flown by, and I’m already looking to 2020 for bookings. A good friend of mine owns Texas Galaxy Cheer and Dance, and every year, I do pictures for her students. It’s a 10-hour day with over 100 kiddos, so a lot goes into it. I’m also getting inquiries for face painting. About 10 years ago, I was teaching art for a nonprofit. They were having an event and asked if I could face paint. I said, “Sure! How hard could it be?” Wow, I was wrong—and awful! It was embarrassing, so I did more research. I looked into the right supplies, went to workshops, became insured and joined the DFW Face Painters Guild, and what started out as a fun hobby turned into a successful business.
2:30PM Contracts sent. Invoices sent. Galleries launched. Social media updated. I have been productive! Hubby is now off work and heading to pick up Maddox from my mom.
3:30PM Colt and the baby beat me home by a few minutes. Dogs are outside, and we get some family time before I have to go again. Working for an airline is amazing since Colt and I love to travel.
4:30PM I’m out the door again—this time it’s for a little maternity shoot at White Rock Lake. A friend of mine (since fourth grade) and her husband are expecting their first child next month, and they’ve asked me to document this special time for them. I love working with different families all over DFW, but it really means a lot when friends and family ask me to photograph them.
7PM I’m heading home when I get a text reminding me we are out of milk. Does anyone else feel like they are always out of milk? I am not sure how it always happens, but it does. I get home and Maddox is in her swing. Colt is pulling chicken off the grill and also has homemade mashed potatoes and roasted cauliflower. I am so thankful.
8:30PM Teeth brushed, PJs on, and we are trying to put Maddox to sleep in her bed. She is doing really well, but tonight I have to sit in there with her for about 20 minutes before she falls asleep.
9:45PM Feels like the longest day ever. Dishwasher is loaded and clothes are in the dryer. I do a quick scroll though social media before I pass out.
Random fact about her I used to be a certified shark wrangler.
Quote she lives by You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Favorite scent Guava
Pet peeve People who text and drive
Dream job as a kid Training dolphins, and I am proud to say that I had the chance to live in Hawaii a few years ago working with both dolphins and sea lions.
Best purchase ever My purple Jeep! I love driving it!
What’s in her Netflix queue Law & Order: SVU, Superstore, Brooklyn 99, House Hunters, Archer
Favorite date night spot White Rock Alehouse or Gas Monkey Bar
Proud moment On a whim, I hopped on a plane to Paris alone for 48 hours last month. It was amazing going solo. Having wine and pastries, visiting Versailles, seeing the Eiffel Tower—all incredible!
Places she has lived Texas, California, Italy, Virgin Islands and Hawaii
Favorite meal Filet with Bryan sauce from Carrabba’s
Favorite drink Arnold Palmer from Raising Cane’s
Favorite dessert Chocolate souffle from Roy’s
Best way to relieve stress Kickboxing class at Jupiter Kickboxing! I’m not any good, but it’s a great workout.
Her first job Sali’s (now closed). I worked there on and off for 10 years.
Image courtesy of Sonay Baker.