she came into my life 4 years ago, as we set out together, along with 9 other amazing young people, to pursue Jesus by setting aside a year of our lives and diving into LIT. her story resonated with me. her testimony seemed to mirror mine and she immediately had a special place in my heart. i could relate to every single word she spoke as she shared with us who Jesus was in her life. we shared many laughs and many cries together that year and it’s a year i know that none of us will ever forget.
when i found out Chantielle was pregnant with her first child, my heart was so over joyed for her. Chantielle has such a loving and generous heart and i know she will be an amazing mother. having the opportunity to capture this incredibly special moment in her life was a dream come true for me. i can’t even put into words how much i loved spending the evening with her and Stevie. Chantielle & Stevie decided to do their photos at her parents home and it was beyond perfect. i love it when my clients choose locations that are perfectly them. and this shoot, this shoot was perfectly Chantielle. especially when we ventured out into her parents field just as the sun was setting:)
Chantielle, i love you! thank you so much for letting me be a part of these special moments in your life!
it’s said that the first & the last month of deployment is always the hardest. in the first month you are still trying to accept the fact that your loved one is gone and desperately trying to adjust to this new life and schedule with out him. and in the last month the days can seem to drag on at a snails pace. you can see the light at the end of the tunnel but still have a few weeks to actually get there. and it’s hard. this proved very true for me last deployment. it was hard, and then smooth sailing for a bit, and then very very hard again.
this time, however, has been different. deployment was very quickly followed by a family 4th of July, a move to Seattle, and my brothers wedding. it was busy and it was great. the first month seemed to fly by and i was optimistic. and then… everything stopped. i found myself in Seattle, settled, and alone. and the reality of Chris being gone seemed to flood our empty apartment. i could fill my days till mid afternoon but then the minutes began to crawl. and i felt myself slipping. i knew this feeling. it was the same feeling i felt most of last deployment. a darkness, a feeling of hopelessness. the reality of being alone was consuming me. my heart was heavy and the worst part was i felt like i was doing it all on my own. i tried to stick it out, thinking i just needed to suck it up and endure this season. but i’m not alone, and i’m not meant to endure, i’m meant to embrace.
so in an effort to embrace this season, i have taken myself out of the daily routine of life, hopped in the car, and headed south, where i can surround myself with family and keep busy while Chris is away.
she is the soft spoken sweetheart-of-a-woman that i had the privilege of working next to for the 4 weeks i teller’ed before my husband and i made the move to Seattle. and on my last day we chatted about life in the big city and all the amazing food there would be. she joked about her pregnant appetite and i laughed. while our time together was short lived i know that i will always have a friend in this wonderful lady.
i made the drive down to her home town Saturday and we spent the evening taking photos of her dashing husband, beautiful baby bump, and herself. and we had such a great time. her husband is as sweet as she and i left with a heart warmed and softened by their love and excitement for their precious little one.
my pre deployment photo sessions are ones that i hold most near and dear to my heart. as the proud wife of a soldier i know how incredibly difficult it can be for a family to be apart for months on end. and my goal as a photographer is to make it as easy as i possibly can on the families by providing them with images to cherish during the deployment months. so naturally i take advantage of every oppotunity possible to capture these military families.
we met up with Camilo & Juri in NYC while my husband and i were there vacationing for the week, and while the weather was less than cooperative we made the best of it.
i feel so blessed to do what i do and have the ability to provide them with these images before Camilo leaves, especially with the exciting news of their little bun in the oven!
i can’t help it. whenever he’s around, i have to break out my camera and photograph him. he is my favorite nephew (i can say that because he is my only nephew) and the most perfect child EVER! and whenever we are around him Chris says “I want one.” in fact, he said those exact words last night as i gave him a preview of todays blog post:) someday… but until then we are so grateful for Miles.
while the guys were enjoying a bachelor party weekend with my soon to be brother in law (EEK! can you believe you will be a bride in just 11 days Taylor?!!), my sister, Lindsay, and i snuck in a mini photo shoot as a Father’s Day present for her husband. we had so much fun taking these photos and she was so excited about them that she told her husband early:) i laughed when she text me “so… I might have already shown Dana…” too cute!
luckily for you, dear friends, my sister’s inability to contain her excitement means i get to share these photos with you earlier than anticipated!
me: mom & dad are coming up the weekend of the 14th.. you guys should come too!!
brother: i’m pretty sure i have class that saturday… 😦
me: play hooky. problem solved.
brother: haha i can’t.
me: next weekend?! we have a 4 day weekend!
brother: like 6 days from today?
me: yup! and bring your HOT fiance!
brother: sweet. we’ll talk about it and get back to ya
(8 hours later)
brother: keep an open space for me on the floor and for my fiance in the bed next weekend!!!:) cool if we come up friday?
and just like that my brother and his fiance came up and visited for easter weekend. with chris being put “on-call” soon after we arrived home from our honeymoon we hadn’t seen them in what seemed like ages! we love our family and were missing them dearly so a visit came at the perfect time! and of course i couldn’t pass up getting them in front of my camera:) so i just stalked them all weekend and took photos wherever we went:)
if you know my brother at all you know that he is a total dork! thankfully, carrie was grace with the patience to take it in stride
he had no idea that she had been admiring him from afar, only dreaming of the day that they would get to have a conversation; so when that night came over a year ago, the living room was filled with excitment and anticipation. she laid on the floor with her laptop in front of her, my mom on one side of her and i on the other; little did we know that such an innocent conversation over facebook chat would be the beginning of their lives together. just three days before he would get down on one knee in the parking lot that they first met i had the joy of photographing Caleb & Taylor. while my morning leading up to their shoot was anything but peaceful we had such a great time roaming around Island Park in Springfield, Oregon
they came into our lives and life as we knew it was no more. suddenly we had toddlers running around, waking up in the middle of the night to a bad dream, and demanding our love and attention at all times. my parents had prayed and prepared for this moment for years but when Mikey and Des arrived in our lives we quickly realized that no amount of preparation could equip us for the reality of having two dependent little ones.
they quickly came into our lives and life as we knew it was no more. and just over a year later they all too quickly left our lives and life as we knew it was no more.
when my parents made the decision to be foster parents it came with years of prayer and months of preparation. they had no idea what they were getting themselves into and had they known, they may not have gone through with it. but they welcomed Mikey and Des with open arms and saw them, not as different or less but as their very own children. they layed down their lives for these two precious hearts, so when they were returned to their parents my parents’ hearts broke. they were losing their children that they had raised, cared for and loved for the past 17 months and they knew that life would never be the same. they had no idea what they were getting themselves into when they started and as they looked back, they wouldn’t have traded one moment of it for the world.
we had the opportunity to take the kiddos to the pumpkin patch in october and am so grateful that i was able to snap some fun photos of our day with them. these little ones will have a special place in our hearts forever. enjoy.
Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.– Anonymous
We had the opportunity to go down to Oregon last weekend to visit our family and fortunately for us my sister and our nephew were up from California during that same time. The weekend seemed to fly by and I never feel like I have as much time with my family as I would like but I cherish every moment we do get to be together and am so grateful that our schedules worked out the way that they did. While Chris was getting our stuff together and loaded up on our last morning there I snapped a couple of photos of my handsome nephew. His 2 month birthday was yesterday and I can’t believe how big he is getting!
December 12, 2011. we waited impatiently outside her hospital room, the entire family lining the halls, laughing and talking to pass the time. we waited impatiently and then it came, the cry of the newest addition to our family, Miles Kevin Jackson. we rushed in as soon as the doctor gave us the ok and he was perfect in every way. my sister, beaming with the unconditional love that only a mother can know, sat there, enamored by the miracle of her child while my brother-in-law graciously accepted all of the congratulations. it was raw, and it was perfect. those moments in life that leave an imprint on your heart, those moments that you know you will remember for the rest of your life. and in that moment i was so grateful for the amazing family God had given to me.
you see, a sister was my hearts desire when i was little and when God blessed me with two loving, caring, kind, compassionate sisters i knew that He obviously thinks much bigger than i do. and as our family continues to grow i feel beyond blessed that it is with sisters like mine by my side.
a week later i had the incredible honor to photograph my favorite little nephew. i can’t believe it’s been almost 2 months since he came into our lives and being 2 states away from him, while it makes aunties heart sad, makes every moment that we are together so much more special. and i am so glad i have these to look at until i see him again.
lin, i love you to pieces and am so incredibly overjoyed for you and your family. thank you for the honor of taking your son’s photos.