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Monthly Archives: September 2010

Sneak Peek {Family}: Toler Family

Meet Frank, Allison, and Ben! I had the pleasure of capturing this sweet family over the weekend. Ben is so full of energy and life! The whole family has those fierce blue eyes, and they did such a wonderful job looking awesome for this session. Thanks Toler family for choosing me as your photographer! I had a lot of fun getting to know you all better 🙂

Time in a Bottle

“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”

Benjamin Franklin

“I want to be a grown up like you,” she said in the dark.

“No you don’t. You want to be a kid forever and ever,” I told her quietly.

“How many years are you, mommy?”


“Wow, I definitely want to be that number,” she whispered softly and yawning, almost as if it were this dreamy number where the girl turns into a princess and gets whisked away by the prince.  She rubbed her eyes, and I wished her sweet dreams.

And so it has begun, I thought.

It saddens me now, my eagerness to be so grown.  I understand now what was so important about my childhood.  And I am saddened by this whole process of growing older, not because I don’t want to look older, but because I can’t be younger.  Sure, I can still act young and do young things, but I still have to act older.  I have responsibilities.  Duties.  Bills.  We spend 15-20 years of our lives trying to be adults.  And then we spend at least 40 trying to relive our childhood in any way we can (that is if we had a good one I suppose).

I have been somewhat taken aback recently as I look at myself in the mirror.  My face, while fairly wrinkleless, still shows signs of age.  I look different from how I picture myself in my head.  The other day Baby Love and I found ourselves in the midst of a bunch of high school kids coming to our local college to visit representatives from other colleges.  As we both watched them pass, laughing and talking amongst themselves, I found myself desiring to walk amongst them, for in my head, I am still one of them and I on some levels view them on the same playing field of life as me, or vice versa maybe.  Yet, they look at me so differently.  As they walked, and watched Baby Love play on the bricks, they looked at me like an adult, a mother, perhaps a wife, but most importantly older and not in the same stage of life as them.  And honestly, I was not happy with their looking, with what I saw on their faces.  It wasn’t mean or hostile.  It wasn’t mockery or rudeness.  It was simply how I looked at someone my age when I was in high school.  And I was sad.  And I am sad.

I know my children will do exactly as all children do and have done for centuries.  They will play mommy and doctor and teacher.  They will desire to do all the things the older children do.  They, too, will not be able to see with their eyes open until they are older and it is too late to go back.  They will want to grow up.

The thing about childhood is it is the period when we spend our time the best, not squandering it at a computer or in front of a tv, at work or paying bills.  It’s the time when we’re freest, the time when we’re best able to explore and learn.  It’s a few short years of really enjoying life in its simplest and purest state.  And unfortunately, there is absolutely no getting that back.  I will always encourage my children to remain children for as long as they can.  I refuse to allow our home and our lives to be conducive to inappropriate aging.  I know they will grow up, but they don’t need to do it too soon.

A little different today.  I couldn’t have a post without a picture!  This is actually a collage that I did while at North Carolina School for the Arts in 1996.  As you may can see, I had issues with time then too.

Sneak Peek {Family}: Styers and Collier

You may remember some of the gals in this session from a few months ago when I did their Father’s Day shoot.  Well this time, we added Maria’s sister, Anna, and Anna’s kids, Erin and Cody!  They were all fantastic and so much fun to photograph!  These cousins are super close, and I can really see the love between them.  I’m so glad to have opportunities to get to know my church family better and to see them interact with their own families!  It really is a huge blessing!  Thank you Maria, Anna, Hannah, Erin, Cody, and Emma for being so natural and so fun!  You all are definitely easy to photograph!

Sneak Peek {Family}: Melanie, Mitch, Caroline, Hunter

This family goes to my church, and they really are so much fun! While Melanie worked hard to make sure everyone looked good, Mitch really did his part to try and make everyone smile! Thank you both so much for your efforts in making this a great shoot. I really enjoyed catching a glimpse of your family 🙂

Sneak Peek {Glamour}: Rebecca O.

I cannot tell you how thrilling it is as a photographer to have someone literally ready, willing, and able to do whatever my little heart desires! It’s such an awesome feeling to see what’s in my head come to life and actually be even better than I had expected! Rebecca rocked this session, and we had so much fun! She is a beautiful woman inside and out, full of spark and spunk, and just plain fun. Rebecca, thank you so much for humoring me and for taking so much time out of your busy schedule to work with me on putting this session together!


“I’m sorry to say
so but, sadly it’s true
that bang-ups and hang-ups
can happen to you.”

Dr. Seuss

We had such a great time hangin’ out with our community yesterday at our local festival!  Neither Big Love nor Baby Love had a nap.  They were dirty, grubby, sticky little creatures after running amok, playing in the dirt, riding rides, and eating snow cones.  Both of them remained happy, however, until Baby Love lost her snow cone ice.  The snow cone maker had actually just made them a snowball.  Finally, Big Love’s snowball melted until she could no longer hold it.  She said, “Oh noooo!”  Looked at it a few seconds, and then went over to the curb and did this, where I happily took her picture and tried not to fall over laughing.

I have to admit though, I actually stomp my feet when I’m disappointed….well, only sometimes. 😉

Went Down to the Beach

“”maggie and millie and molly and may”

maggie and millie and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and

millie befriended a stranded star
who’s rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.”

E. E. Cummings

It’s amazing to watch the girls develop a love and respect of the ocean, to recognize it’s vastness.  And it’s amazing to see hubby there as well because he detests the ocean.  Yet for 3 years he’s gone and every year he does more and challenges himself to try more, and I am amazed and honored by the love that is shown to his family through his participation.  Essentially, it’s his willingness to go that allows us to go to the beach since a family vacation is not a family vacation unless the whole family is present (at least not to me).

This year, I was yet again sad to leave the beach.  The ocean holds so many fond memories for me, and it brings me always back to God’s greatness.  It makes me feel small and still.  I feel peaceful by the sea even if there’s turmoil surrounding me.  The ocean stirs my heart and my senses and reminds me of all the things about life that I’m passionate about. It is there that I am more grounded.  It is there that I remember myself and find all the pieces of me, and I am reminded of all the roles that I play while for a few days not having to play them all.  And I don’t know why all this is.  I just know that of all the locations that my heart could lie in this country or even in this world, it rests most peacefully in the midst of the salty breeze and constant sounds of the ocean.
  • This one of Sam was taken by my mom 🙂
My child walking around the beach with her eyes closed.  Not sure why.  She’s odd, but I love her.

Big Love Goes to Kindergarten!

I wanted to run in.  I wanted to run into her room and melodramatically yell, “Don’t you realize what school means?!  It means less time with mommy, less time playing.  It means no more mid morning walks, no more waking up when you feel like it or eating when you feel like it.  It means restriction.  How could you possibly be excited to go!”  I wanted to lie next to her in that little bed and talk about all kinds of wonderful things, wonderful things that we’ve done and ones that we want to do.  I wanted to hear her talk about what she wants to be when she grows up and how magic dust makes her boo boos better and how her brain and lungs and every other part of her body works (since that’s what she is interested in).  I wanted to do anything to keep today from coming.  Alas, it was dark and she needed her rest.  And so I decided to step outside with my tissue roll and lay on the trampoline and look up at the stars.
But I didn’t see the stars.  The tears flooded the cool black mat.  I couldn’t even stop them.  They just came.  Not the quiet, silent tears that we often have as adults.  Real bellows, sobs.  My neighbors already know we’re weird so I didn’t even care what they thought, if they thought anything at all.  And while my head thought, “How absurd to cry over such a thing,” my heart felt real pain.  I felt silly and stupid and childish and heartbroken all at the same time.  I mean she’s not dead or dying or even ill.  She has no disease, and she has no disability, but  I felt mad that she would no longer be here with me all the time, where I could be in control of what she sees, hears, and does, where I could kiss her any time I want.  I wanted to scream up at the sky and the planes passing by.  I wanted them to know my stupid, absurd, feelings.  I was glad no one was there to see such a display.  And finally when no more tears would come and the sobs had ceased and all I could hear were the crickets’ songs, I prayed earnestly for peace.
You see our decision to send Big Love to public school did not come lightly.  And it is not what we really wanted to do.  And it still is not.  But it’s what we feel is best for her and our family right now.  And, until we see that it’s not, she will continue to go to public school.  And I will continue to pray for peace.
I am happy that she’s happy.  I’m over the moon that she loves her teacher and is excited about school.  And you can bet I’ll be there to volunteer, eat lunch, for field trips and parties.  But ultimately, my absurd display out there, at night, on the trampoline (Big Love’s 5th birthday present no less) is a sign of my mistrust of God.  I have to let go of my control and let God be in control of her life.  I have to trust that He will guide her and us through this process and that whatever comes her way will not be more than she can deal with.  After all, He has brought her through some pretty tumultuous times already.  I have to recognize that God’s way is much much better than mine.