college grad! | documentary photographer

I always knew she had the ability to communicate.  She has been doing it since she was a baby.  She went from babble to big words by the age of three.  Using words that most adults didn’t know and using them in the correct context.  So a Communication Studies Degree seemed like the perfect fit in my mind.  Until I found out it really had nothing at all to do with talking.  What do I know?  Obviously not a whole lot.  Maybe I should have gone to college after all.  🙂

When Bekah walked out our door four years ago with a car loaded down with everything that belonged in our home and her bedroom, I thought my heart had left my chest, never to return. Thankfully, I was wrong.  Yes, my heart broke, but it was also very full of pride and joy with anticipation of what the next four years would bring for my baby girl.  With three others still at home I knew that as quickly as the years had flown by for her, they would do the same for the others.

So many thoughts swirling around in my head and aching heart.  And now, here we are, four years later.  I survived, she survived and the rest of the family survived.   Now she is off to big adventures and a life filled with whatever God has planned for her.

We are so very proud of the beautiful, young woman she has become and so grateful to her Father for bringing her this far and that she is willing to follow Him no matter the cost.

“God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.” -Jim Elliot

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mamas | lifestyle photographer

{my babies}

6147 mothers

A mama loves her babies in a far greater way than anyone else can.  There is just something about that bond that can’t be broken.  Whether it be through birth, adoption, foster, or mentoring, no one can match that relationship.

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I have the world’s best mother!   She isn’t perfect, but that’s part of what makes her so wonderful.  She has always been someone I knew would be praying for me no matter the circumstance and continues no matter my age.   I can say without a doubt that she prays for me still, every day. I can see her now sitting at the kitchen table with her Bible opened and head bowed. That gives me so much peace to know that someone is interceding daily on my behalf.

A stay-at-home-mom who valued her family more than anyone or anything else.  I always knew that she would be there for me if I needed to leave school early,  had to stay home due to sickness or needed to walk home from elementary to have her fix my boo boo because she could do it better than anyone else, including the school nurse.  She has always been patient and intolerant of gossip.  And that is the kind of mother I always hoped I would be.  Whether I have succeeded or not is yet to be determined.

One thing I know is this… no other woman can love my babies like I can.  Motherhood is not easy, but there has never been a single day when I have regretted it or wished for something different.  My life has been more rewarding than I could have even hoped or imagined.  The day in and day out is not only something I cherish but it’s also something I miss terribly.  For me, personally, it was definitely my calling.

So to all of the mothers out there that are feeling overwhelmed, underappreciated, exhausted, less-than, I tell you this.  There is no greater reward on this earth and no higher calling.  I see you and I appreciate you.  And one day, your child will too.  And one more thing… no one else can love your babies like YOU can!

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doggy wash | a short story

After playing with her puppy friend, Laci, we went straight to the doggy wash. Whenever she has a play date with her brother or a friend, she is always a slobbery mess and so are they.  So we try to plan play dates around bath time for both parties.

Usually, I put her in our bathtub and get on my knees during the entire process.  When I am done I’m wet and my back is aching.  Laci’s people parents told me that they take her to the doggy wash and they love it.  So I decided to try it this time.  What did I have to lose?  Absolutely nothing!

I loved it!  Ruby, not so much.  The room was scary.  The ramp up to the tub was scary. The tub was scary.  The sprayer was scary.  Walking back down the ramp was scary.  She was just a nervous wreck!  But guess what?  That is her new bath place.  Because I loved it so much, it was easy on my back, no mess for me to clean afterward and… I’m the mommy and I say so!  She’ll get used to it and thank me in the end.  I’m just sure of it!

short story 3

chalk | documentary photographer

These two little sweet peas take after their mama.  They have been doing sidewalk chalk with her since birth and I think they might end up being great chalk artists in the future.  😉

When they were over at my house they saw the new chalkboard wall and asked if they could draw on it.  Of course, I said they could.  I’m the fun aunt after all.  Only one rule. They could not draw on my menu or tree.  They were totally fine with that and had such a great time drawing, erasing, drawing some more and just being silly.  There was some serious artistry going on here.

I love these two little monkeys!

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our big, fat, greek easter | documentary photographer

This was a year of firsts.  The first year my kiddos almost didn’t get Easter baskets.  I rescued that at the last minute.  The first year in 20 that we didn’t die eggs.  No reason. We just didn’t.  The first year that we went to someone else’s house besides family.  The first ever Greek meal/Greek Easter meal.   The first Easter in our new house.  And this one is my saddest.  The first year since having children that I forgot to take a family picture after church.  😦

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Usually, we have friends over for Easter.  But this year, we were invited over by a very dear friend of ours.  More like family really.  She’s Greek.  I think our boring American Easter meals bore her.   😉

So she made us a very nice, Greek meal.  It was delicious!  I was a little leery about trying the lamb because I was just sure I would be able to hear its baby bleats.  I could hear it no more than the pig oinking from the ham.  I have issues, I know this.  Oh, and I’m not a vegetarian.  I just like lamby’s.  They are cute and wooly and remind me of my sweet puppy.  Anyway, I digress.

As always, she set a beautiful table!  When I am in need of something for my table settings, I call her.  She has it all!  And I have to admit, it was nice this year to enjoy the labors of someone else.  All that was required of me was my homemade bread.  Easy cleanup when we got home!

The kids are almost too big for baskets.  But I have a feeling that until grand babies come, they will still get them.  I even threw in a few little fun items for a giggle.  What 19 and 21 year old girl doesn’t want her own tiny baby doll?  And silly putty for the boys!  Why not?

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jumping | a short story

He has had eight track meets this season.  I have made it to two.  Between temps and schedules, I was just unable to make the others.  So, when I do make it, I try to take as many pictures as possible.  Mainly for myself, but also because he wants to see his form and where he needs work.  Always working hard, that boy.

track story

cherry blossoms | documentary photographer

This time every year I get excited about the cherry blossoms and other, similar blossoms. And this time every year, I wish I could be in DC photographing the cherry blossoms, drinking in their beautiful fragrance.  So, I go into my own little world and imagine I am there when in all actuality, I’m just at North Park.  C’est la vie.  It will happen some day. It’s on my bucket list among many other things.

But this year I almost missed them all.  The trees were sparse and the air was cool but I would not allow the few blossoms or my Raynaud’s to keep me from documenting this moment as I do every year.

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