Ten Kids and a Million Chickens { Versailles, KY Family Photographer }

 

I don’t think it would be possible to not love this family. Both the parents and all the children are amazing, cheerful, and fun to be around. They have 10 children and yet I have never once heard them complain. Being in their house was amazing. Amid the chaos of crying children and never ending chores I truly felt nothing but love. The lesson that I seem to ever be learning from them is one of “Family life is hard AND we love it. We laugh about it. We take joy in it.” None of them have ever said this to me. Not in those words. Not in words at all. They don’t need to say it. They live it.

The Most Adorable Best Friends Ever! {Versailles, Kentucky Child Photographer}

My little Clara is 21 months old and she and her best friend, Mila, are the most adorable pair of toddlers I have ever seen. These girls seriously LOVE each other. It is amazing to me how much they can connect to each other and love each other with so few words. As we took pictures today they walked along through the green grass holding hands and I could hear them talking to each other in their sweet little voices. I have no idea what they were saying but I knew what they were feeling. They were happy and felt the love that only a best friend can give. As I looked over the pictures later it just about broke my heart because this sweet little girl, my daughter’s first real friend, is moving away. They likely won’t remember each other as they grow older but they have touched each other’s hearts and in some way small way they each shaped who the other will become. These girls are better for having known each other because now they know it feels like to have a friend and that will last forever. 

 

We also got a few quick shots of Mila’s adorable little sister, Eliza! She is such a doll.:)We really are going to miss them SO much but I am really thankful for phones and social media and airplanes right now.:)So we’re looking forward to many more years of friendship!

 

 

My Little Sister’s Valentine’s Day Wedding (in the Snow!) {Lexington, KY Wedding Photographer}

 

I think I was more nervous during the days leading up to my sister’s wedding than I was for my own wedding. I was so worried for her that I literally felt sick. My mom can attest to the fact that I was completely freaking out anytime we discussed the wedding out of the ear shot of my sister. (In front of her, of course, I was completely calm and supportive.) Then the wedding day came and I was shocked. Not by anything that happened in particular but by the way I felt.

My sister was married on a beautiful snowy Valentine’s Day in the Louisville, Kentucky Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Temple weddings are all sacred and beautiful but this one was special. Despite the nervousness and intense anxiety I felt before the wedding (and despite the flood of complications that seemingly came out of nowhere the week of the wedding), as my sister and her groom knelt across the alter and were married I felt completely at peace. I felt happy for her. Over the moon, big tears welling up in my eyes, happy for her. It was truly a beautiful ceremony and they are a beautiful couple.

Brother and Sister {Danville, KY Family Photographer}

It is always fun taking pictures of siblings. Adult siblings are no exception. There is always a special bond there. One forged through both fighting and playing together all your life. I really enjoyed capturing that bond for these two fun siblings. 

My Freida-Mom

The other day I had the honor of taking pictures of my mother-in-law. Mother-in-law has never felt like the right term for her. That seems too ominous a title for someone that I love so dearly. So I have always called her Freida-mom because she is my second mother.  She is one of the sweetest, kindest, strongest, and most beautiful women I have ever known and I hope to one day be at least a little like her. I write this post, honestly, filled with both regret and admiration. Admiration because my Freida-mom is an amazing woman. Regret because these were supposed to be pictures of her AND my father-in-law, Gene.

This past September my father-in-law, my husband’s father, my childrens’ grandfather passed away. It was totally unexpected and our hearts are broken. I can’t speak for everyone in the family but I will speak for myself.

Gene, annoyed me to no end. Sometimes I think he did things just TO annoy me. He fed my kids frosting straight from the can and laughed at me when I was angry. He also helped raise the love of my life, gave great hugs, and loved my kids with all his heart. Sometimes I fussed at him for silly little things, like feeding the baby candy, but I really did love him. I think I loved him more than I realized. I know I did because now I am sitting here bawling my eyes out wishing I could hear him laugh at my temper or see how his face would light up when he saw my children. I wish I could hug him and tell him sorry for fussing about the frosting, and the lollipops, and the flowers, and his crazy driving and thank him for loving me anyway. I am going to miss him so much.

Freida and Gene on their Wedding Day

Gene and his youngest two boys (My husband is the baby)

As if she didn’t have enough weighing on her heart, very shortly after the funeral my dear sweet Freida-mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately we caught it early and, though she will have to have surgery and radiation treatment, it looks like she has an extremely good chance of pulling through. We are all grateful for that but it doesn’t make it much less scary. Nevertheless, my Freida-mom, ever the optimist, is still smiling and even laughing. She is so beautiful inside and out. I can’t even imagine the emotional roller coaster she is on right now. I love her so much. I know that the entire family loves her and she has MANY friends that love her. This isn’t mere chance. She didn’t just get lucky to have all these people who love her. All these people love her because she is an AMAZING woman. She has loved me as if I was her own child from the moment she met me. I can, at times, be difficult to love. She has seen me at my best and at my worst and she still loves me. That love alone proves to me that she truly has a heart of gold.