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!
A few weeks ago I photographed my first set of twins for The Tiny Footprints Project. These sweet boys were almost ready to go home and all they were concerned about was sleeping, which was awesome, because that meant they were growing! Well, I like to think that! :) Mom and dad were ready to get them home too!
She had just bought this preemie outfit and they were already busting out of it!
I'm sure mom and dad will be able to tell them apart, but they were pretty darn identical to me!
One of my favorites! The boys are both home now and both weigh over 7 pounds! Praise God for all His blessings!
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 haven't had a welcome home ceremony in over 6 months. I didn't realize how much I missed it.
As you think about your day and offer up your prayers, remember the Soldiers and their families that sacrifice for us each and every day so that we can pray and enjoy our freedoms! Today there are almost 200 families praising God for their Hero's safe return. And as they do that, 2,000 101st Soldiers are getting ready to say goodbye for another tour.
I took this picture 3 years ago, when I got sucked into Habitat at a dedication. (Side note: If you've never attended a dedication, FIND ONE AND GO! You will forever be changed!) Mr Earl built our houses for Bedford Builds Habitat for the last 20+ years...for next to nothing. It wasn't about the money. It was about safe, affordable housing...and he believed everyone deserved it. Many people believe Habitat "gives away free homes" to poor people. NOT TRUE. You work your butt off building your home and others. You're required to work 350 "sweat-equity" hours...most go well over. And in the end, you receive an interest-free MORTGAGE!
Mr Earl would teach you to nail, teach you to level, teach you to build walls...but he did not paint. :) He never met a stranger. He was a true southern gentleman.
I will miss his "alright, alright, settle down in here, what's going on today" door opening, his yankee teasing and his "if you need me, I'll call you exit". I never did figure out how to work his "hooey stick", but I will always miss his smirky smile. Rest in peace Mr Earl, the world lost a special man and heaven gained another fisherman. Have fun fishin with Jesus!
It took me a month to go through my July 4th pictures. Even though I knew they were going to be awesome pictures. Unfortunately, they are just a reminder of the chaos we came home to that night. It does get easier...sort of.
See what I mean?!
Last year we were in the midst of moving and the fireworks ended up being cancelled due to rain, so I was really excited to get some current pictures.
Our little town puts on such a great display. I think it's the best kept secret in the state!
I hope I'm able to put my fears behind me and go again next year...I'm not so sure that will happen though.
Sometimes life gets away from us. Summer is here and everyone is busy. Family life takes priority more so in the summer than during the school year. Fall/winter/spring typically revolve around school and school activities. Believe me, been there, living that! But, summer slows down (although it flies by, how does that happen?!) and you spend time with family/friends.
I've had 2 more Tiny Footprints sessions since May (one in Birmingham and one in Nashville) and then trying to keep up with kids schedules and the "I'm bored" factor has kept us busy all summer. But last Friday we were knocked for a loop and it makes you step back.
The boys were out of town (THANK GOD) and the 2 of us had had a few days of putzing around the house/garden. Peaceful. We decided to go to the local fireworks. They put on a great show and it's easy to get in/out. Unfortunately while we were out, someone decided to rob us. Things, they just took things. Things can be replaced. Feelings cannot be replaced. How do you get back your sense of security? We don't live in a bad area. We don't typically lock the doors. As a matter of fact, my husband's favorite saying is locks are meant to keep honest people out. How do you replace your anger? How do you find your peace? I am trying. One.day.at.a.time.
Dear 16 1/2 year old child of mine...please quit growing! Please quit talking about collage, flying and the Air Force. Please quit dreaming of leaving home. I don't think I can handle it. How did my "social butterfly" grow into such a handsome, polite, intelligent, Jesus loving young man overnight? Don't stop dreaming, but please stop growing! Love, your desperate mom!
I love spring. I love watching the trees come alive with buds popping out and flowers magically appearing. Every year it's a little different. And after the winter most of us had this year, spring was a welcome relief! I love watching each variety of tree produce it's own special flower, but I have my 2 favorites. The redbud tree is probably my favorite with the dogwood right behind it. Their flowers are lovely and I love watching the bees do their job with each.
They are always working!
Each season of blooms must end, but life continues forward.
Since moving back into the country last summer, we've been talking about having chickens and fresh eggs. I don't care what anyone says, fresh eggs are the best. So we found a coop and bought some chicks!
So far so good, the kids love them...let's see how much they love them when they're cleaning the coop. ;)
The dog has completely surprised me. She "herds" them with her nose and they'll go where she points them. Kinda strange for a lab, but at least she's gentle!
Priceless shot and one of my favorites. Hopefully in a few months we'll be enjoying some fresh and tasty eggs!