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Futbol, Zion, and an Argentinean Jersey

22 Dec

While Zion completely looks like me (he’s always changing), his fair-skinned and blue-eyed mother, he is 100% his father’s son.  His quiet yet dramatically fiery Argentine spirit and absolute love of soccer, er…um futbol, is matched by no other 2-year-old child I know.

I was in the kitchen washing dishes one hot August afternoon when I looked out the window and saw him playing in the backyard.  I quickly grabbed my camera and caught these photos.  He decided to pose a bit after his “game.”

Years down the road, when I look back, this is how I’ll remember my Zion.  Futbol.  Jersey. And baby-blues.

Fall Session: The Haley Family

5 Dec

We’d been trying to get a session scheduled forever.  Finally, it happened.  And even though it was fall.  It was cold that morning.  Really, really, cold!  You couldn’t tell.  The kids, naturals. The animals, beyond cooperative!  The family, ever so delightful to work with.

And yes, there is a celebrity here.  Oreo, the chocolate-colored horse had quite the previous owner.  Oreo was Bruce’s gift to Demi.  That’s right, Demi Moore!

The Stuff Great Days Are Made Of

9 Nov

If you’re a Stay-At-Home-Mom, Work-At-Home-Mom, Work-Away-From-Home Mom, well…just plain old mom, then you know just how hard we often try to create these amazing moments for our kids.  Which generally leads to the following:  frustration, lack of time, little money, more frustration, comparison to those fantastic blogs where “every” day is a perfectly magical day (not. true.), feelings of inadequacy, and…  You get the picture.  This is NOT one of those posts.

After many late nights of too much work and too little sleep (thank you teething babe), I sat on the floor with the kids very early this morning and decided to throw caution to the wind.  Have a party.  No nothing fancy.  Pull out the china (yes, that’s from a grocery store and not a fancy-shmancy china place). Hang a banner that we fashioned with some old scrap material.  Bake cookies.  AND sip hot chocolate “tea” with dark chocolate peppermint swizzle sticks (LOVE, thank you Aldi’s!).

The kids thought it was magical.  It cost: nothing.  Warm milk going down, chocolate smeared about with a side of “we’re having a party” shouts are enough to make kids think that they are having the MOSTest special time in the whole world.  And why shouldn’t they?

…because this is the stuff GREAT days are made of.

Encouragement

30 Oct

Things I often hear parents say on a photo session with kiddos:

“I’m so sorry he’s not performing!”

“I canNOT believe she’s being this way!”

“Don’t worry.”  I try to reassure in my sweetest voice.  “ALL kids do this as some point. Even mine.”  Yes my kids, who are so used to having a camera shoved in their face they strike a pose when they see a dangling point-and-shoot hanging from one’s wrist!

I recently received some of the kindest words of encouragement from a friend that I haven’t seen in years.  The timing perfection.  The day: chaos.  My mind: scattered.  I was grateful for her words of encouragement – both as an individual and photographer.

I’m a bit of a dreamer.  I think. I fantasize.  I dream.  My grandmother, an author by trade and dreamer by nature, is my kindred-spirit.  Never once did she kill somebody’s dream.  She always encouraged them.

Dreams don’t always unfold in life as we envision, but they always breed vision.  They propel us.  Move us forward.  The same way an encouraging word does.

Hernán and I were just discussing how important our words are because they always seem to take root and head us in one direction or the other.  Words give life.  They are never stagnant.

Today, may you be an encourager to someone else  and be encouraged by these words:

“Therefore, encourage one another and edify one another, just as you are doing.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined.” ~Henry David Thoreau

PROOF:

That my kids DO have meld-downs during photo shoots.  Here is ZOE on her NOT-SO-BEST-BEHAVIOR during a recent photo shoot!

Birthdays, Balloons, & Little Miss Campbell

28 Oct

She is as delicate as a flower, with the spirit of a race-horse.  She’s taught those around her more about life in 8 short years, than most have the privilege of learning in a lifetime.  Joyful and loving, with a side of sass (she’s a true diva in her own right!), Campbell is one of the most endearing little girls I have ever met.

Campbell’s photo shoot went smashingly!  She performed like a champ and directed like a diva, knowing just where she wanted to walk and exactly how she liked to pose.

Those close to Campbell’s mother jokingly call her Coco (Um, you know.  Coco Chanel.).  Classic black.  Layers of pearls.  And a splash of Chanel.  That’s her style.  But really that’s not at all a fair comparison.  She carries herself with more grace and class than Coco could ever dream of. She provides unconditional love to her family. Is the strength when all around her gives way.  She is selfless.  She is loyal.

Little Miss Campbell, I pray you have the most blessed 8-year birthday bash a girl could have.  You are precious beyond words.  Much love.

Family Session: The Mitchell Family

27 Oct

“The Cardinals are playing.”

“Really, mom?  Pictures.  Will it take long?”

These are just a few of the things Jake and Sam were concerned about before we started the family photos.

“Don’t worry.  I promise to make this quick and painless.  Why, I bet you even have fun before we’re done!”  I told the boys.

They exchanged an I-don’t-think-that-is-possible look that only brothers ages 7 and 6 can give without words and completely understand.

We had fun.  They had fun. Just look at the pictures.  These boys are handsome.  The family, so lovely.

By the way, I’m convinced that if I bottled Sam and Jake’s energy and sold it, it would annihilate both Red Bull AND 5-Hour energy!

Family Session: The Whites

25 Oct

Fall has been pretty perfect across Missouri’s rolling praries this year.  The leaves golden and temps lovely.  Perfect for a family photo session.  The White family’s morning was no exception.

I arrived at the White’s house and to my delight found Logan entranced with the movie UP. “He loves this show,” Mikaela stated.  “We watch it at least once a day.”  “Perfect!” I exclaimed with delight. My props for the family session would be a hit.  Two MASSIVE balloons =)  They loved them.  We all were happy.

Mikaela and I go way back.   To third grade to be exact.  Funny how life is.  You grow up friends.  Move on to college.  And life, well, it brings you back to where you started – close in proximity and friends once again.  Mikaela’s family is as warm and loving as she is.  Kevin, an amazing support to his family; and the kids, enamored with their parents and grandparents.  Rekindling a old friendship has been just one of the best things about taking this family’s pictures so frequently.  And for that, I’m blessed to call you my friend.