Because of our schedules and life in general, we don't get up to visit family too often...and almost never from August-November due to our band schedule. And unfortunately, I missed seeing this munchkin all year, because when we did get up there, they were busy. It's amazing how fast they change, much less how fast they grow! Hopefully it won't be a whole year until I see her again.
I love this picture...taken right before they left. Pure love.
8 months ago, I met this lovely family. Stacey contacted me for an OpLove homecoming session last spring. Unfortunately, the Army called again and again, they are daddy-less for another tour. It's the job. It's the life. And they live it each and every day. But, before shipping out, Stacey called me again, this time for a family session. Last minute. But when you're shipping out in 3 days, you find a way to make it work. And we did!
We met at the Parthenon on a rainy Saturday and got it done.
And the rain stopped just as we started!
Probably one of my favorite shots!
A beautiful family that has been in my prayers. Until daddy returns home!
We are in the middle of marching band season. It's a busy season that usually starts the last week of July in band camp. These kids put in hours and hours (2-13 hour days during band camp alone!) They are dedicated and hard working and their work pays off. Last weekend they participated in the Middle Tennessee Small Bands competition. It was a wet, rainy week and for the first time ever, they had to play in the gym and not march. It is definitely not as fun, but they did great, as always. And as with the last 2 years, took home the championship!
This homecoming was reserved MONTHS in advance. Actually, I was contacted back in March, requesting a homecoming in September for OpLove. Seems so funny now, but Kristen was serious about locking in the date. I had done a homecoming for a friend and Kristen wanted to make sure we were locked in. I wish I were that organized!
Plenty of nerves until you know they're on the ground!
And until you're in their arms, it's not for real!
They may have arrived, but you only get a few precious minutes before they have to leave again for a few hours to turn in their equipment.
That time is much easier to handle though when you know they'll be home to stay.
So much time to make up for...one of my favorite pictures!
I am a photographer. I might not be the best, I might not make a lot of money, but sometimes it's not about money. Sometimes it's about sharing your gift. I do that with OpLove and Soldiers often. It costs me time and gas money...but it does more for my heart than money can ever buy.
I am now honored to be a part of The Tiny Footprints Project . Again, donating my time to these little gems that find their way into the NICU. Babies born too soon, babies struggling for a little extra help, usually with moms and dads that are caught in a dream.
As I waited for my first request, I thought back on the births of both my sons and as difficult as 1 was, I was blessed with a healthy baby boy. The first request came as a question. Is there anyone close to Birmingham Children's hospital. No response. After a few hours, I posted that I was about 2 hours away and if there was no one, I would do it. Confirmation came later that day that I was it. Getting things set up happened pretty quick. Time can be of importance for this families, so I would go 2 days later on a Saturday. And it turns out I'm a little over 2 1/2 hours away. Did it matter? Nope, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Jack was born missing his left ventricle. Somehow not caught until his birth, he was flown to Birmingham Children's 1 day later. Terrifying for any parent, I'm sure. But on the day I was there, I witnessed his Baptism. Priceless peace for his family as he would have heart surgery 2 days later.
Such a sweet boy
He might be sleeping, but he's full of spunk!
Probably my favorite picture. They just look like they're watching over him. The Chaplain blessed them both, so I think they were doing their jobs!
Another favorite. This boy's got some strong prayers coming his way!
The love in this room was everywhere.
Not your normal Baptism, but it did the job just fine.
His loving parents
These footprints are why I'm here.
This face is why I will always answer the call.
Jack had his surgery a few days later and as of right now, he's doing great. He's slowly recovering and raring to go. Pretty soon this will just be a memory in his baby book. I am honored to document the first few pages of it for mom and dad.