Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What I did last weekend...

I spent my weekend in Des Moines doing lots of photo sessions and spending time with dear friends. It was a BUSY and fun weekend!
Minutes after pulling into town, I was doing this photo session for my incredibly gorgeous and talented friend, Melissa's makeup area in her new spa, Serendipity Spa.  It was a session that is unlike anything I've ever done...so fun and has been a blast editing it too!
Then I got to see Cason's old physical therapist turned my friend.  I photographed her adorable family and got to just hang out at the park with all of them and snap some pictures while I was at it. :)  Love that I am able to remain in contact with she and her family after they moved.  So sad she's gone, but so happy that she became my friend!

Then, I got to go to the capital building and photograph Sean's cousin and her family.  They are pretty much the nicest, most laid back people I know.  Oh my, they are AWESOME to photograph!  This shot is at the top of my list of favorite family shots I've taken...ever.

And then my dear friend Amanda and her stud of a 3 year old son, Bentlee.  We laughed pretty much the entire session and seriously, isn't she gorgeous and isn't he handsome?!?!  Oh my...love this girl and her son so much!

Last but not least, I got to photograph the Curran Family.  I have photographed them 4 times now.  Love watching families through the years...and again, SUCH an incredibly wonderful family.  Love my sessions with them!  And little Andrew is getting so old!  I photographed him for the first time as a tiny infant and now he's 3!!!
What an awesome weekend!  I kinda dig this going to another city for a weekend of photo sessions.  It's nice to have a change of scenery and has inspired me to try and find some new local locations to shoot at this year!

I huge thank you to Melissa and Amanda for letting me crash at their homes while I was in town!  Love you guys!  And yet again I am reminded that I have the best clients ever! 

National Foster Care Month - Why did we become a foster family?

May is National Foster Care Month.
I ask you to consider your current situation and explore whether fostering a child (or 2 or 3 :)) could become part of your life's path.  It sure changed our world in ways we never expected or dreamed.  It created our family as it is today.  There is such a need.  I understand that it is not for everyone, nor is it the right time for everyone, but don't count it out.  There was a time that I thought we could never be a foster family.  God again showed us that his plan for our lives and for our family was much different than what ours was...and as we know, HIS plan is always better. :)  Not always easier, but the right one.

Local foster families were asked to submit their foster stories if they wished to be published on the Iowa Kidsnet blog throughout this month.  The story was to be a "Why did we become a foster family?" story.  I thought I would share my submission here...

Why did we become a foster family?  Honestly?  We started the process for selfish reasons at first.  We wanted to grow our family, we wanted more children.  We had adopted once before and knew we were called to be adoptive parents; we have a heart for adoption.  We wanted to foster a healthy child, preferably a baby who needed a home, who we could eventually adopt.  Then we were slapped in the face with reality.  And the reality is that our hearts were changed…they were broken.  We were presented in training with the need that exists, and with more than just statistics, with real life stories…heartbreaking stories and also stories of hope and redemption.  These stories, these realities, they made us different people; they made us not only want to become a foster family, but made us realize that we needed to.  We couldn’t turn back because the situation was likely not going to be the easy process where we would save a little baby like many hope it will be.  It is far from that.  It is so much more.  And the rewards…well, they have been beyond words.  I couldn’t write the appropriate words that would do justice to what wonderful blessings taking this path has provided us with.

Becoming a foster family and eventually adopting 2 more sons through the process has blessed us in ways we could have never dreamed.  No, we didn’t get the perfectly healthy babies we had originally dreamed about in our minds.  Rather, we fostered and adopted a perfectly incredible 1 and 3 year old who we now are beyond honored to call our sons…forever.  They ARE perfect, they ARE “our babies”, and they ARE our sons…forever.  Cason came to us with needs beyond anything we could have ever dreamed we were capable of dealing with and yet he has shown us that we actually NEEDED him.  And Wesley came to us only a few weeks after that with a whole different set of needs that we again never knew we would be able to handle and yet, we realized just as quickly that we were capable and that we wanted to take care of every need these boys had.  We needed them just as much as they needed us.  We needed our hearts to feel, we needed to know first-hand what was out there so that we could do our part.  It’s an honor to do our part and in the end…WE were the ones who have been blessed by these 2 perfect children for our family.

It was hard; it was overwhelming, emotional, scary and stressful.  Isn’t that just what parenting is?  Fostering these boys was the hardest thing our family has endured together.  It was hard on our oldest son, Tate, it was a roller coaster, I cried many nights as I worried about our boys and cried many days when I had to turn away accepting more children into our home because our plate was just too full.  I begged so many family and friends to join with us, become a foster family.  All we wanted was to see each of these children in loving wonderful homes for this trying time in their lives or even forever.  It is not an easy path to take.  It is worth it…beyond worth it.  While it was the hardest thing we have endured as a family, it was also the most rewarding thing we have endured.  It has made us stronger, it has opened our eyes and hearts to a whole new world that we are so grateful we get to be a part of.  If it was easy to feel so incredibly rewarded and blessed by something…everyone would do it.  It’s not easy, but it has provided us with a fulfillment and joy and a family that we wouldn’t have ever been able to have without it.  Becoming a foster family CREATED our family and we could never put into words how unbelievable grateful we are for that!   


Monday, April 15, 2013

a weekend in Colo

We spent the weekend in Colo.  Love getting all of the cousins together...aren't they adorable?!!!
We planted magic jelly beans...

Well, all but Wesley...he ate his...after me telling the kids over and over and over NOT to eat the magic jelly bean.

The next morning, the jelly beans had brown lollipops!

The kids ran out to see if they grew...

They were so excited and amazed!

And Wesley was shocked when he saw that his lollipop had grown out of his tube since he ATE his magic jelly bean.  It was hilarious. :)
It was a great weekend.  We got to see so many extended family that we don't see very often.  Thank you to Nana and Papa P for housing all of us on Saturday night.  We have kind of a crazy crowd when we're all together! :)

Tuesday, April 09, 2013


Yesterday Cason puked...a lot!  Then, I started in the evening and then I woke up to Tate crying that he puked in bed.  Awesome.  Sean is amazing...for reals.  He did everything this morning...I didn't get out of bed.  I couldn't.  He was an hour late to work so I could lay in bed and cry...seriously, I get weepy when I am sick.  Tate has left my bed ONCE today to pee...otherwise, he has been in there all.day.long.  Poor boy. :(  Wesley hasn't gotten it and we are praying he doesn't!  Sean has remained healthy as well.  We have the Opening Doors Gala on Friday and then are going to Colo on Saturday, so we are hoping all are healthy by then!

Friday, April 05, 2013

Spring is FINALLY here!

We are more than thrilled that spring is here!
Tate spent HOURS this afternoon/evening on the trampoline.
He is just too much!  Love him!

Opening Doors Gala

We got a call yesterday from the gentleman who video taped us for Family Resources a few weeks ago.  The video is going to be shown at an event held for the donors and he invited us to attend "on the house" since we did the video.  We are excited to do so and to see the video.  I asked if we could see a copy of the video and he said if I REALLY wanted to see it, he would send me a copy, but he said he felt it would be more "impactful" if we saw it for the first time on the big screen at the event.  Oh my...patience isn't my strong suit, but I opted to wait. :)  So once I get a copy of it, I will share it with you all, but for the time being I haven't even seen it myself!