The other day I took pictures of these handsome boys. I had taken the younger boys pictures last year around this time and they decided to bring their older cousins with this year!
They wanted to do some with all of the cousins...
And then some with just the two littlest boys.
I got a few smiles...
from both boys! Yea!
I love how the little brother is looking at his big brother to see how to have his feet. :)
It is so fun to watch them grow every year!
I love first meets! I wish I would have done one when we got married... but we had never even heard of it! It is the thing to do theses days and there are so many good reasons to do a first meet.
Your wedding day goes by so fast, it is nice to be able to connect with your husband or wife to be before you take that walk down the aisle. It is great because it gives you more time to take pictures...
I love seeing the groom's face as he turns around to see his beautiful bride! It is such a special moment shared with just the two of them.
It was a sunny, windy day for this wedding... but we made it work! There was a fabulous little doorway at this cute little church.
I found a shady area under a tree and took a few of these...
Sometimes windy days give you gorgeous hair like this... Oh, you can just feel the love, can't you?! Congratulations on your wedding day guys! I hope you have a wonderful life together!
A couple of weeks ago, I got a text asking if I could take pictures of a family gathering at Camp Hawk, following the funeral of a dear family member. I have taken their pictures many times before and actually took a four generation picture when I had my studio downtown a few years back. Here is a link to the pictures from my old blog. It was kind of short notice, as most funerals are, but I didn't have anything scheduled that day, so of course I said yes! I wanted them to relax and be able to chat and visit with their family so they didn't have to worry about taking pictures.
There was a lot of family from out of state, and lots of the kid cousins hadn't met each other yet, so they wanted me to get some of the kids playing together.
The two little girls were adorable as I watched them introducing themselves to each other while they thought nobody was watching. "What color do you like?" asked one of the girls and then she said, "I like purple, I don't like pink." Then they went on to chat and roll the ball around the playground.
It was fun for some of the adults join in the fun.
Some of the kids played soccer...
While others played on the merry-go-round.
Then we took a few group shots before I left. It wasn't the best time of day for pics, but we found a shaded area by a big tree and made it work.
What a fun bunch this was!
I am so glad I had the opportunity to capture this day for them!
It's Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month... Let's do something to spread awareness... Here is something you can do...
I learned at a young age that not every pregnancy goes as expected. When I was about 7 or 8 years old, I was so excited to meet my new little cousin that was to be born any day. My Aunt that lived in Minnesota who we visited twice a year and came down to see us every Thanksgiving was having another baby. They had 2 boys already and didn't know if this one would be a boy or a girl. We could hardly wait to see what the baby would be and never thought that anything would go wrong.
Then we got a call. I don't remember all of the details of the day because I was so young but I remember my Mom telling me that the baby that we were so excited to meet had went to Heaven that morning. They called it a stillbirth.
she was a beautiful little girl that they named Amy Lynn. I knew what she looked like because my Aunt always had a family picture displayed in their living room with the family holding Amy that day. It was just a snapshot but I know that the picture is so precious to them and any that they had taken that day because that is all that they had to remember what she looked like. And I am sure they want to remember her. Not the pain of losing her of course, but remember that she was there with them, if only for a few precious hours.
After Amy was born they went on to have two more precious baby girls a few years apart. Lisa, who is now in Heaven with her sister Amy from a pediatric brain cancer that she got when she was only 21 years old and died at age 23. The younger sister, Molly married a few years ago and we found out this past summer that she was going to have her first baby! We didn't know if she was having a boy or girl either and so we were also anticipating the birth of this sweet little one.
Then I got a call...
I was so heartbroken to hear that my dear cousin's baby went to Heaven that morning, just as it had happened 27 years before with my baby cousin Amy. I was just sobbing and cried a lot for a few days after I got off of the phone that day. How could this happen to two people in the same family and it not be a genetic thing? Both babies would have been perfect if they had not died. Both were perfectly healthy babies with no abnormalities whatsoever. Both were 40+ weeks gestation, which is very rare for one, let alone 2 babies in the same family circle to die from this. Amy was nine and a half pounds and Emett was around 7 lbs. 5.4 oz at birth. Both Mothers went to the hospital to give birth and no heartbeat was found. It was so sad, and it was so surreal. And seemed so unfair. I went up with Nora, and my Mom and my older sister to Minnesota to go to the funeral a few days later. My cousin was able to get free professional photos taken in the hospital the day that their sweet Emett Lee was with them. He also was such a beautiful baby. I am so glad they have an organization that does that for parents. It is called NILMDTS (Now I lay me down to sleep) I have even thought of applying to be a photographer for the organization because I really admire and believe in what they do.
A few weeks ago I saw an event on facebook that caught my eye. It was called Violet's day of kindness. Nancy and Nolan (Nolan I have known since preschool age and Nancy is his wife who happens to be a photographer too) had also had a stillborn baby named Violet. Instead of having a day filled with sadness on the day that she was born, they got to hear of all of the wonderful acts of kindness that people would do in honor and remembrance of their sweet baby girl and they would post what they did on their facebook page. You can read more of their story on her photography blog. She has a post that allows other people that she knew that have had a similar loss could tell their story.
So today, I am asking you to please join their facebook event and do a random act of kindness and let them know about it on their page. Share with your friends and family and see how many people we can get to join in spreading joy tomorrow, Saturday, October 11 and help them honor and remember their sweet baby Violet. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month & I will do it in honor and remembrance of my sweet baby cousin Amy and my cousin's sweet baby Emett and all of the other babies and families who have an angel baby as well as baby Violet.
Nolan Lichti and Nancy Elizabeth Fletcher and their 3 of their 4 children.
Violet, in Violet's day of kindness is their baby girl.
My Aunt Vicky, Uncle Jeff, and cousins, Kevin, Amy Lynn, and Jason the day they met their baby sister.
My cousin Molly and her husband Ryan and their baby Emett Lee.
The first wedding couple that I took pictures of had their rainbow baby a few months ago after the loss of their first baby Elena Renee. Isn't she beautiful?
Nine years ago, My husband and I went to my 38 week Dr. appointment to check on our first baby which was due in just a few weeks. It was just a standard check up that we did weekly at that point. The doctor looked concerned, (never a good thing at a Dr. appointment) She thought he might be breech (turned the wrong way, not head down) so she took us into another room and did a sonogram and confirmed that her suspicions were true. I also had lower amniotic fluid levels, and she gave us 3 options. We could:
a) They could try to turn the baby around right then, which could be very painful and possibly cause stress to the baby.
b) Wait the weekend out and come up with a decision and possibly turn the baby sometime the next week... because you know, we had 2 weeks left. ;)
c) Not do anything to try and turn him and schedule a c-section.
Well, I didn't want a c-section, but I was also terrified of trying to get the baby to turn, so we talked about it briefly and decided to wait the weekend out and decide.
I called my Mom and told her and she immediately started to research all kinds of ways that you could try to get the baby to turn on it's own... there were certain positions you could lay, kind of like yoga I suppose, which I felt silly but tried anyway. And then there was the chiropractor. She made an appointment right away, and dropped me off. I told her I would just walk home from the appointment because walking was supposed to be good for me and it was only a few blocks.
I remember it seeming like a lot longer than that though, and when I went to my parents house to rest, I had a pain in my side, thinking nothing of it, since I had just been walking. Then it happened again... and then not too much longer another. My Mom told me I could be in labor but I think I was in denial. My Dad also seemed concerned, and they thought I should stay there until my husband got home from work so I wouldn't be alone. I don't remember if I went home right away or waited... but the contractions did turn out to be early stages of labor. We called the on call nurse, because of course it was after hours on a Friday when every medical emergency seems to happen of course. She said to keep timing them and when they got close enough to come in and be admitted to have a c-section.
Somehow, I wasn't that nervous, just excited to see our baby. We got take out food from Applebees, and then relaxed at home, knowing the next day our lives would be completely different. I went to bed, knowing it might be the last chance I might get a good nights sleep for a while and somehow I slept through the night without really waking up at all. I think I was exhausted from the days activities, and I had also worked a 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. shift that day at work so I was ready to sleep. I guess I figured if I was in real labor, I would wake up. I am not sure my husband slept so well...
Then next morning I woke up and the contractions were getting stronger and a little closer together, so I knew it was probably the real thing. I took a shower, and gathered our things up. We also didn't really have our bags packed yet, because you know, we had another 2 weeks! Right!
We loaded up into the car and on the way to Wichita the contractions started to get stronger and closer and my husband getting more nervous and going a bit faster than normal.
This is a picture between contractions, when I looked happy and not in pain.
They scheduled the c-section for 11:30 a.m. and upon my Mom's request I had them do one last sonogram to make sure he hadn't turned. He had not. I took the long walk down the hallway to be prepped for surgery.
My husband took lots of pictures which was a good distraction from me thinking about cutting me open...
Then we heard the best sound ever... His first cries! We knew he was a boy already from a 20 week sonogram. I never had the patience to wait and find out until the kids were all born, but in some ways I wish we would have...
It killed me that they let him go around the curtain to take pictures of our sweet baby that I wasn't able to see yet. These are a few that he took...
Daddy had to get in at least one picture... He is hardly ever in any of our hospital pictures because he is always the one taking them...
They told me through the curtain that he weighed 7 lbs. 9 oz. and was 19 inches long...
Then the moment I had been waiting so long for... I got to meet my first born baby for the first time ever!! He was amazing... and so was that day...
You know except for the puking afterwards, and not getting to hold him right away... it made nursing a challenge, and I didn't know enough to keep up with my pain meds... and Oh my goodness, the recovery was awful. When they asked me to get up out of bed and walk the next day, I thought they were crazy... which are all reasons why on our next three children, I had VBACS! I swore I never wanted to have a c-section again and was grateful I didn't have to! Nothing against C-sections... sometimes they are necessary as in this case it probably saved his life, but I was so grateful I never had to go through it again! I was relieved that he was healthy and everything was okay.