Friday, November 30, 2012

Family Photo Session

I took photos of my dear friend Sarah and her kids the day before Thanksgiving.  It was an absolutely beautiful day at the Dillon Nature Center.  Hard to believe these warm temperatures so late in November, but I'll take them!


Just kick back and put your feet up already.
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Too cute!
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I love this picture.  I think you can really see their relationship here.
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Absolutely gorgeous.  Those eyes!
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Isn't this the most beautiful family?

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Typical big brother stuff!
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Oh my goodness, mother and son are gorgeous.

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I had the great idea for the kids to throw leaves up in the air.  The boy looks thrilled, right?  Like, Oh. My. Goodness.  I can't believe I have to do this.  But he was a good sport.
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Then my daughter decided it would be fun to try and lock arms and try to get up.  They could not do it. She is so totally my daughter.

    I had to save this beauty for last.  She's just as beautiful on the inside too.

Have a great day, and I appreciate comment love.  Just click on the comment button below!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

1. Home or Thankful

I am so thankful for these beautiful girls.  On Wednesday, we went to Dillon Nature Center to take some photos.

2.  In the Kitchen

Not great, but it's what I have.  The Thanksgiving turkey when I took it out of the oven.  Makes your mouth water, doesn't it?

3.  Couple

These are a couple of my favorite kiddos.  I did a photo session with them on Wednesday.  

4.  Bubbles

Okay, I'm stretching it, I know.  These are more of my favorite kids, and they are always bubbly!

5.  Trees

Okay, I took this a few weeks ago when the leaves were beautiful.  

I am participating in Scavenger Hunt Sunday.  Go check it out!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Stolen Memories

Yesterday, we buried this beautiful lady.  It's been rough, especially on my husband and his sister and brother, who loved their mama deeply.    She passed away a week ago Friday having battled Alzheimer's for the past 6 years.  It was a slow decline, stealing her memory bit by bit.  The last 2 years were the worst.  Despite virtually no short term memory, she always seemed to know her kids and grandkids.  She may not have remembered their names, but she knew she loved them.  Even though this horrible disease robbed her of her memories, her loving, kind, fun spirit was always there.  She was always ready to laugh, and maintained a positive attitude.  Mercifully, I don't think she ever knew she had Alzheimer's.  I remember one very poignant moment when, in the early stages, she commented on a friend who was also losing her memory.   She was going on and on about how she felt so bad for her, and wouldn't it be horrible to have that disease?  Once again, at Kinsey's wedding, upon seeing Kinsey's other grandmother, who was also suffering from Alzheimer's, she said to me, "I'm supposed to know her, aren't I?"  She was desperately trying to conjure up how she knew her - the deepest, sweetest part of her, the part that never dies, still knew.

My husband Dan was very blessed to have been mothered by someone like her.  She was the most encouraging person I've ever known.  No matter what, she was always on your side.

At the funeral yesterday, what struck me most was how very proud I am of Kinsey and Jeremy.  They are my stepkids, even though I hate that word "step."  It has such a negative connotation.  They are both incredibly talented in a myriad of ways.  They are incredible musicians, like their dad.  Jeremy got up, and spoke some very eloquent words about his grandmother, and then proceeded to sing "It is Well With My Soul" so beautifully.  The strength that must have taken is beyond me.  There's no way I would have been able to do that even if I could sing.  Then when the minister asked if anyone wanted to share a story about Kathleen, Kinsey stood up and said, "I'll go first."  I was shocked, because Kinsey was taking this very hard.  She and her grandma had a very special, close relationship.  She smiled ever so sweetly, and spoke so beautifully and eloquently.  I was in awe.  Then at the cemetary, when Kinsey came forward to sing Amazing Grace,  it was even more poignant.  You see, she hadn't planned on singing - she didn't think she could, her grief was so great.  Jeremy was going to sing both songs.  But on the way to the cemetery, Kinsey asked Jeremy if she could sing.  And she got up there, and the most beautiful sound of her voice permeated through the soft, warm breeze.  It was heavenly, and Kathleen would have loved it.  I told Kinsey I didn't know how she did it, and she answered, "God."  Amen.

 I felt compelled to write about this, because I want them to know how much I love them.  You see, I have always held back from them, not because I don't love them, but because, when I married Dan, I just knew that there was a strong possibility they would resent me.  That's what you're supposed to do to step parents isn't it?  However, I was very wrong.  They have never been anything but kind to me.  But I have always remained in the background, not wanting to come on too strong, because I didn't ever want them to think I was trying to take the place of their mother.  I think that's a mistake (trying to take the place of a parent)  a lot of step parents make, and that's where the conflict arises.  I've tried to be more of a supportive friend, but one thing I know about myself is that I put up walls.  I automatically think, there's no way they will love me, so I hold back in order to keep myself from being hurt.  So this is really about breaking down that wall, and telling them how proud I am of the extraordinary people they have become.  They both have big hearts, are incredibly talented, have married equally loving, incredible people, and are so much fun to be around.  My girls adore and look up to them so much.  What wonderful role models they are.

I took off from work for two days, in part, so I could prepare the slideshow for the funeral.  Silly me, I thought it would take about 3-4 hours.  It took 15, but it was so worth it.  I scanned many of the pictures, and took pictures of pictures with my iphone.  Dan chose the music his mother most loved, I scanned and put the pictures in, put the music in, and then we decided to put quotes from the letters everyone wrote her for her 80th birthday.  I made her a scrapbook for her birthday celebration.  It pretty much documents her life, and her whole family wrote her letters that expressed their love.  When Jeremy and Misty got here, he typed all of the quotes for me to copy and paste into the slideshow, and helped so much with the finesse of the music - fading the music in and out at the exact right time is very tedious, and I so appreciated his talent with this.

If you can spare 20 minutes, please enjoy this slideshow celebrating her life and the powerful legacy of love she left for her family.  Just click on the link below.

Kathleen's Tribute

I don't want to forget to mention her husband, Myron.  He was so incredibly devoted to her.  When he no longer could care for her at home (this past summer), he visited her everyday, sometimes twice.  The night before she passed, he was with her at dinner, feeding her.  Throughout their marriage, they were very happy together, and enjoyed fishing, playing bridge and dancing.  Thank you, Myron, for your devotion to her, and your example for us all.  Everyone should be so lucky to have a Myron in their lives.

In closing, this week's been rough.  Though the past few days have been bittersweet, it has been so great to have everyone together.  We cried, but we also laughed a lot - remembering the good times.

And I don't want to forget - we have had so many people send cards, emails, thoughts and prayers.  We had a delicious home cooked meal last night - thanks so much, Shari and Perry!  It was such a relief not to have to cook.  Thank you to Laura and Lindsey, who had the courage to come into my messy house and take the 4 dogs for a walk.  (The kids brought their dogs, plus a dog they were puppy sitting, all the way from Kentucky)!  And thank you to my sweet 2nd grade team, who didn't hesitate to take my 28 darlings when I heard the news, even though they have large classes themselves.

With love,

Friday, November 9, 2012

Nurture Fall Photography Challenge: Brown

Leaves crunch under our feet.  The last breath of fall is here.  We feel like snuggling in a blanket with a book and a cup of hot tea.  Let us enjoy it before the starkness of winter arrives.

                                                   Leaves tinged with a last bit of red.

                                                      Brown leaves trying to hang on.

                         A welcoming birdhouse, or branch for sitting and hanging out.

                                                 A chair beckons us to take it all in.
                                                            The intricacy of a tree trunk.DSC_8029
                                                     The wooden stairs leading to the pond. DSC_8032
    Fallen leaves basking in the light.  
                                                             A bridge to wander across. DSC_8000
     Brownish-red leaves bathed in beautiful light.DSC_8021
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The trickling of water onto the fallen leaves.DSC_8061

Go out and enjoy the weekend. Beauty is all around. Nurture Photography - Autumn 2012 Photo Challenge

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fun Family Photo Shoot

I've been thinking lately about where I want to take my love of photography, what my style is, what defines me as a photographer.  I love it because it saves a fleeting moment forever.  It stops time, and helps us appreciate all that we are thankful for.  I love to capture real moments.  I love to portray the story of family, their connections, their goofiness, their relationship.  Because that's what I believe this journey of life is all about, isn't it?

I got to spend some time on Saturday taking pictures of a wonderful family I became acquainted with them through school.  Annie and Sophie were fast friends, and even though we've moved, and they don't see each other as often, they always pick up right where they left off.

This year, little Miss Sass is in my class!  Hey that rhymes!  I'll point her out later.  She's adorbs.
Anyway, we had a successful photo shoot even though Mama was hobbling from foot surgery (you'd never know it), she had a finger cast on because she sliced clear through a finger a couple weeks ago, and little Miss Sass almost broke her foot that same morning in gymnastics!  What troopers!

As you can see, they are all little hams, full of personality.
  This is little Miss Sassy.  Adorbs.  I'm so lucky to be her teacher!

So cute!

                                                 Awwwwww.  So presh.

 Don't hate me because I'm cute!

Be.  Still.  My.  Heart.

Mr. G.Q.  


Love this!

What a delightful bunch!

I love this, because it shows their relationship, their personalities, their joy.  So much fun!

I love girls in tights and pink flats.  

Oh happy day!

Till next time!  Blessings.

Just kiddding.  I had to sneak in this pic of my Annie and Sophie.  Okay, later.  No, really.