Monday, April 22, 2013

Letters to Our Children ::April Blog Circle::

It's time for another installment in the "Letters to Our Children" blog circle- when you're done here- stop by Lindsey's letter to her middle son.

 Dear kiddos, It's a big month for us. Soon it's going to be just us vs the crazy world.

Daddy has to head off to the "dessert" soon and while I know there's going to be sad days and rough days, I think at the end of it all, we'll still be glad we've been in it together. We will have plenty of fun adventures and we'll do our best to keep daddy part of the family while he's gone. We will laugh and play and cry and stomp our feet all together. (Owen you've already got that part down...maybe you can share some of your expertise with the rest of us!?)

Mostly, I hope you'll look back at the end of this,  especially when you're grown ups and remember it as a mostly good time. Yes, having Daddy gone sucks, to put it plainly. But we are a strong family and I think we will learn that we are resilient and tough but that it doesn't hurt to ask for help either when we need it. Here's to new adventures and friends and may time fly! (and only time- Owen, no more flying glasses of milk okay!?)

Love, Mama

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Letters to our Children ::March Blog Circle::

It's time for another post to our monthly blog circle of  "Letters to Our Children". Be sure to hop on over to Tiffany's letter to her oldest daughter.

Dear Sweet Owen,

Phew! You are finally asleep. It's the only time you ever stop moving You were such a laid back baby and then the minute you could walk, you could also climb and run and destroy everything you could get your chubby little hands on.

 You have such a sweet exploring spirit, always so curious, which can get you in trouble in ways your big brother and sister never even attempted (hello, first child to flush things down the potty, fall down the stairs, smack dogs and your baby brother, stand on top of the kitchen table, crawl under the baby gate, color on every piece of furniture/wall/carpet/object within your reach, and outsmart pretty much any baby-proofing that was done!).
You follow "bubba" and "sis-sis" around everywhere, repeating every word they say, "right mama?" You adore them so.
You think SisSis hung the moon, she isn't too sure about you (even two years later, I think she's still mad that you stole the spot of baby from her).

You love to snuggle, you always want to climb up (though you say "down please" when you mean "up") into our laps and see what we are doing or read another book. (Your favorite book is Little Blue Truck, up till a few weeks ago it was "Little Blue Gutch" but another baby word has disappeared from your vocabulary and it's "Truck" now).
It seems like just yesterday you literally were the baby in the first picture, snuggled sweetly in your crib by the light of your glow worm. So hard to believe and remember each day that you are actually a big brother (with so much love for baby brother). And at the same time, you are still a baby yourself- two can seem so old when comparing you to Liam, but really isn't old at all. Though you try and keep up with Gavin and Ellie, your little legs can only carry you so far. (You run like a penguin waddles- it's adorable by the way).

 You try so hard to be a big helper, you throw (with decent aim) your dirty dishes in the sink...stretching way up on your tippy toes to do it. You love to help unload the dishwasher, though I'm not sure why you love the knives and breakable dishes so much. You help me put groceries on the conveyor belt, you greet everyone we see out and about with your adorable little grin and a big "Hi!". Your favorite things are a collection of blankies and you are never far from a pair of rainboots or your "dee coat" (you love all things deer and reindeer).
 Unlike big brother you do not like bugs, and happily squish any you find much to Gavin's horror. You do love picking me flowers just like brother, so long as there's not bugs near the flowers.

You are the happiest, sweetest little critter and I love that you still want me to hold you and snuggle you when you take the time to slow down. May you always be so cheerful and loving and full of delight and joy in the tiniest of things as you grow older.

And may you slow down...just a little. Mama has trouble keeping up with your crazy busy little self sometimes. But it's also why I can't resist coming in to watch you sleep by the light of your glow worm, deep sweet warm breaths in, chubby little fingers twitching in sleep, you will always be my sweet baby three.

Love, Mama.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Letters to our Children ::February blog circle::

{This month's letter to our children blog circle post}

Dear Gavin, 

 Today was not one of my best days as a mama. blog3

You see, Daddy has been gone for almost two months. We all miss him. At this point he's only days away from coming home (for a short bit before being gone...again). I thought we'd all been doing a good job at holding down the fort. But being alone and a single mama is hard work and this week it's all finally boiled up, we are all tired, we are all grumpy and miss daddy. 

 You have tried so hard (and done so much more than I should expect of you) to help out around the house. Today while waiting for your lunch, I kept having to remind all of you that I was busy making lunch, and it was coming, be patient, stop demanding and ask nicely...on and on the things I feel like I say 400 times a day, after the fifth or sixth time of reminding everyone that lunch was almost patience was gone,I snapped and yelled at you to quit whining, and just wait nicely and if you couldn't stop whining about waiting, there wouldn't be any lunch. 

You burst into tears and yelled "I don't want you anymore mama, I just want daddy!"

You really are wise beyond your years. You are almost six but I forget that because you are such a good helper, and such a sweet hard working big brother. I forget and get frustrated when you fall short of my unrealistic expectations.

Today at lunch, everything went wrong, from me yelling before it even started to Owen (almost two) throwing his plate (like always), food scattered everywhere, next went the cups and there was a giant mess staring at me in the floor. I yelled at Owen, asking him why he always had to throw things. Why he couldn't sit still and behave. You defended him. "He's only almost barely two mama! He can't help it, he's a baby too!" (boy, it hurts to hear your own words of "wisdom", words that I have spouted at you and sister when you get frustrated with Owen for destroying something of yours, come back at you in the voice of your five year old with angry tears welling up in his eyes). 
blog4 I am sorry I yelled today, A LOT.

 I yelled at you when after I finished cleaning up Owen's mess, you bumped into the table in the excitement of getting an Oreo cookie for dessert, you knocked over your own drink and it splashed all over the floor that I had just mopped. More tears, from both of us. Mess mopped up again. Hugs and tears dried. 

Then I finally got both little brothers to take a nap, you had been (not so) patiently waiting to break out a new pad of drawing paper and markers that I had bought for you. I kept reminding you that you had to wait until Owen was asleep, because he's redecorated half the house with markers you accidentally leave out, and he's "ruined" more of your pictures than I can count by adding scribbles to them when you leave them out within his reach. You wanted me to help you draw a picture of an eagle. You love eagles and falcons right now, and wild turkeys. It's your favorite thing to draw. You were so mad that Owen drew all over your golden eagle picture, so you wanted my help fixing a new one. blog

I didn't want to help you draw, I wanted to sit in peace for five minutes with a cup of coffee. 

I tried stalling, "five minutes baby and then I'll be there" but you were on edge from all the yelling and grumpiness earlier and you melted down again. You wailed and threatened me, "I just want your help so I can draw you a picture, you said you liked my pictures! I won't draw for you ever again mama!" 

You kept crying even after I went in to sit with you at the table..."I just want to draw you a picture so you will be happy with me, mama!" 

 Waves of guilt and shame washed over me.

 Sweet boy, I am always and will always be happy with you. Love you no matter what. I'm sorry I yelled so much. I hope the yelling isn't what you remember when you grow up. I hope you remember that even though I yelled that I tried my best to stop what I was doing whenever I could, to sit down with you and play or draw or build legos. 

I'm sorry if I forget you are only five and that you aren't supposed to be eternally patient.

Thank you for drawing me pictures, for letting me help you draw eagles (even though you said mine looked like a seal with a beak),thank you for forgiving me so easily when I stopped what I was doing, gave you a hug and told you that I loved you and your pictures and that I was sorry I was so grumpy.

 You wiped your tears and said, "it's ok mama, let's just draw!"

One little tear remained.

 I took a picture of it to remind me of my promise to try and stop yelling. To have more patience, and to stop what I'm doing more often and play or draw or read or hug or snuggle. Whatever it is that you want to do with me, I will try and remember that tear and this bad day. I want you to remember that I am happy with you, sweet Gavin, I couldn't possibly be happier with you. 

 Love, Mama

Monday, January 28, 2013

Letters to our children ::January Blog Circle::

I'm honored to be taking part of a blog circle project with a few fellow mamas I met through Clickin Moms in a group for fellow 365'ers. We decided to dedicate a post a month to writing a letter to our children, sharing a few photos in each post too. My first post is definitely an overshare of photos though ;)

With four kids, I honestly had a hard time figuring out who I was going to write my letter to this first month. But when I sat and thought about it, I realized I had to write to my first letter to my only daughter, Ellie. After all, she is the reason I fell in love with photography, and why I worked so hard to learn all I could about photography. So here's my letter to Ellie, the first in a series of Letters to our Children, be sure to follow the link at the bottom to travel through the other photographer's participating.

Sweet Ellie, When you were born in May 2009, my mother's day present that year, just before you arrived had been a DSLR, a Canon Rebel XSi. I had wanted one for years, but finally convinced daddy to get one under the promise of learning how to use it inside and out. and in September of that year while Daddy deployed for almost six months  I dove into reading every book, blog and forum I could while he was gone. I had your brother Gavin and you to practice on and keep my mind off missing daddy so much. It wasn't perfect, far from's a "gem" from the early days...

You, of course were adorable, but it's a terrible picture if I take off my mommy goggles and look at it technically (Hello on camera flash!) I didn't know how to shoot manual at all then, but as each month passed I got brave and poured my heart into capturing your baby hood the way I wanted to remember it, with gorgeous pictures that showed our daily life. I took the camera everywhere, and we went lots of places to keep our minds off daddy being gone. Shooting daily helped me learn my camera and also gave daddy a look into the early months of your life he was missing.
sweet peas.
bright eyes
pjs too big!
IMG_1781 copy

 Picture by picture I slowly got all the technical stuff down and moved on to capturing your sweet spirit and the sass you've had from day one. By the time Daddy came home,
 I was quite proud of most of the images I was producing (though I still cringe a little or wish I could go back in time and shoot them differently from the technical side of myself, I absolutely adore that I started my project 365 while you were a baby, and I have been able to watch you grow up through the past 4 years of it, and can easily go back and see you and your brothers at each little stage).

As the years passed, I have watched you grow into a beautiful, smart and very sweet little girl.
technical difficulties.
my mom and daughter.

 You helped me discover that being determined was a good thing, it helped me become the photographer I am and am continuing to become, and it is helping you to grow up strong and opinionated. You know what you want from life and are stubborn enough (in good ways) to get it done.

Sometimes (often times, maybe at three), there is drama but you always simmer down to your sweet little self and in your sweet soft newly Southern accent tell me you love me and snuggle in with "pink fuzzy blankie" for a little reassuring love. I love the joy you take in life, you bounce and twirl your way through every day and have given me so many sweet memories to capture. I hope you will always keep your cheerful nature and let me turn my camera on you for many years to come. Thank you for helping me develop a talent and show me how to appreciate the little things in life butter bean. And for showing me that even when things don't go as planned, like the "shoot" I had in mind for this post, life is still sweet and there are still beautiful moments happening I don't want to forget. Thank you sweet girl,

 Love, Mama

P.s. We still have years to work on your smile ;)

Follow this link to see the next mama's take on "Letters to Our Children".  Check out Ashleigh's letter to her daughter!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pay it Forward Mississippi {2012}

I am so excited to be a part of this wonderful project called, "Pay it Forward Mississippi".


A group of 6 local photographers, including myself, have joined together during this busy holiday season to use our talents to serve others and God. 1 Peter 4:10 says, "Each of you use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms". (NIV)

We are each choosing from submissions to our blog/email  deserving families in the Columbus/Starkville, MS area to receive a free session, 10 digital files and assorted prints. Six families will be chosen from the submissions, the other photographers are all shooting for their sessions to be done before Christmas. Since I am due with our fourth child any day now, I will not shoot my chosen family until after January 1, 2013.

We are also challenging fellow photographers to take on our Pay it Forward project in their own areas. More information can be found on the blog page for photographers.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

B family

I've known this sweet mama since our first time at Columbus. While they aren't here anymore, we worked out a family session while they were passing through town. I'm so glad it worked out and I got to meet their two precious little boys!










gorgeous senior.

This gorgeous girl won a free session from me and I was so excited to attempt my first go at senior pictures with her. We lucked out with a gorgeous sunset and she was such a trooper dealing with all the bugs and crazy Mississippi humidity. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect first senior session. 

Even though I'm already on maternity leave and will only be back for very limited lifestyle and birth sessions after our new peanut arrives, I loved shooting this session and will hopefully open a couple spots up for seniors next year too!