*G* FAMILY

Filed under: an hour in the life,family,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,portraits — admin at 12:26 am on Thursday, July 4, 2019

The first time I took photos for Melanie – she was pregnant with her son – and he’ll be EIGHT this Christmas!!

And her little girl will be SIX this fall!!

ALWAYS spin when you have a fancy dress on!!

Check back tomorrow for the rest of their session!!

*L* FAMILY

Filed under: . babies . babies . babies .,an hour in the life,babes,family,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,portraits — admin at 10:53 am on Tuesday, July 2, 2019

And those baby toes!!

And moms & dads that can’t stop looking at their baby!!

GAH!!! ADORABLE!!

And that little chubby fist – and dad kissing her little chubby fist – TOO MUCH!!

LOOK AT THAT HAPPY FACE!!

THAT sweet face again!!

THANK YOU SO MUCH for asking me to photograph the meaningful moments in your life!

THANK YOU SO MUCH for asking me back into your lives year after year!!

*L* FAMILY

Filed under: . babies . babies . babies .,an hour in the life,babes,family,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,portraits — admin at 11:05 am on Monday, July 1, 2019

You know I LOVE taking photos of you year after year after year – right!?

And you know I LOVE meeting a baby that we’ve prayed for – right!?

I’ve photographed Jessica & Chris for their engagement photos – at their wedding – last year when they were pregnant – and last month with their sweet baby girl!!

THAT SWEET FACE!!

I couldn’t decide which one I liked better – black & white – or color – which one do YOU prefer!?

We have a photo of them under this tree at their engagement sessions – wedding – maternity session – and NOW with their baby girl!!

And you know I LOVE baby rolls – right!?

As always – stay tuned – because I can’t just pick 12 favorite photos from a session!!

*R* FAMILY

Filed under: an hour in the life,family,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,portraits — admin at 12:36 pm on Friday, June 28, 2019

Kelly & Dane have two beautiful kiddos – and typically they are NOT excited for pictures!

SHE IS DARLING!!

And SO excited for pictures!!

SO SWEET!!

Such sweet moments!

Kelly & Dane – thank you SO MUCH for asking me into your lives over and over again! I LOVE YOU BOTH!

*R* FAMILY

Filed under: an hour in the life,family,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,portraits — admin at 11:36 am on Thursday, June 27, 2019

I met Kelly & Dane when I took their engagement photos TOO long ago!

I was scheduled to photograph their wedding but instead – I had a baby! Which means I’ve known them for more than 8 years!

I’ve met and photographed Kelly’s family but never Dane’s!

The WHOLE family!!

THE GIRLS!!

THE GUYS!!

KISSES!!

MY FAVORITE MOMENTS!!

Stay tuned for more of Kelly & Dane!!

 

ENOCH GRADUATES PRESCHOOL

Filed under: baby barden,bardenisms,family,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,my family,my town,NCA — admin at 1:25 pm on Monday, June 24, 2019

Enoch went to preschool last year – for one day a week once March came around – so I could go back to work as a secretary for our contractor!

He went to school this year – three days a week – and he loved it SO VERY MUCH!

His 5 1/2 years have FLOWN by!! I can remember wondering what grade Fitzy would be in when Enoch went to Kindergarten – and it’s HERE NOW!

SINGING THEIR HEARTS OUT!!

This year they came dressed up as what they want to be when they grow up!

Enoch wants to be a basketball player then retire and be a farmer!!

My sister surprised Enoch and brought Jack to graduation!!

Enoch received the PRAISE & WORSHIP award!! He LOVES to sing his little heart out for Jesus!

THAT SWEET SMILE!

I’m sure you’ve read about the journey with this guy. Parenting is an amazing – beautiful – exhausting – frustrating thing!

And we’ve had our hard hard times with this guy. Partly because he’s a strong willed one. Enoch means dedicated and he certainly is. Determined. Stubborn.

School has been so good for him and for me. We can spend our days together actually enjoying each other instead of fighting.

In August – I wasn’t sure we would both make it out alive. He defied everything I said. His eyes burned with anger at me. He woke up telling me how much he didn’t like me.

He screamed and threw himself. He yelled and hit. He told me he hated me and cried. I cried. It was so very hard.

School started and we weren’t together 24/7. I wasn’t telling him no ALL THE TIME. It helped.

But what also helped was just old-fashioned determination and love.

I loved him. I cried as I held him while he kicked. I cried as I told him no over and over again. I cried as I followed through on the threats I made.

If I told him no video games – he had no video games. And when he begged for video games – I still said no. Lots of times – it’s so much easier to just say YES – have it already and stop asking me.

But that teaches kids NOTHING. Well – except that the more you ask – you’ll eventually get what you want – just wear people down. Mom’s word means NOTHING. THAT is what you are teaching them.

I told him I loved him when he told me he hated me. I hugged him when he kicked me. And did I mention I cried. A lot.

I’m fully convinced that he was growing in August – and his little body and especially his little brain didn’t know how to deal with SO MUCH growth in such a short period of time.

It hurt. He was hurting physically and emotionally AND he was hurting the person he loved the most. Because I am his safe place. And he knows that I will always love him – no matter how mean and ugly he is to me.

And my job is to love him and teach him. Not to tolerate the bad behaviors but to figure out WHY they are happening in the first place.

So we pushed through and cried and prayed and cried and endured. Because there’s nothing else I can tell you we did except endured. Fought the hard fight.

And in the end – we made it. And we aren’t just surviving anymore – we are thriving.

The other day I was helping him put his shoes on and he stopped me and said – MOM. I know you and I see you. And I just want to tell you that you’re the best mom I’ve never seen (he means ever but he says naybe instead of maybe and adds an n to the start of ever almost every time and I love it) and I love you. And you’re my best mom because you help me through my frustrations. Thank you mom.

I cried. And I hugged him and said – THANK YOU BUDDY. I thought that maybe God gave you the wrong mom because I couldn’t help you. And he said – oh no mom. You help me so much and God gave me the prefect mom for me. And we hugged on the kitchen floor and cried together. But not because I couldn’t do this anymore. Not because I didn’t understand this little boy in front of me. Not because the frustrations were spilling over. Because we made it to the other side of the ugly.

And I’m not naive. I’m not dancing because the hard things are DONE. OVER. CONQUERED. They’re not. They will still come. There will still be ugly times when he is growing and his brain is trying to figure this whole thing out. I’m praying for the teenage years – because that testosterone flowing through those veins – whew. Jesus help me. Help him.

But right now – we’re in a good place. A GREAT place. We had dinner with some friends the other night – and they haven’t seen Enoch lately – but had been in our lives on a consistent basis in August and they saw that Enoch. They saw the tears. They heard the cries for help – from him and me. They prayed with us and for us.

And she cried with me at dinner. She saw a little boy changed. She had brought basketball cards for them and she asked her son to put them behind his back in each hand. Then the boys had to pick – but which one would go first!? So I told him it was paper – rock – scissors. And Fitzy won and got to pick first. And Enoch last summer would have screamed and thrown himself and hit his brother. It would have been a half an hour to get him calmed down again. But he said – okay. And he patiently waited for his turn. No screaming. No tears. No hitting.

And I’m not saying that I am the perfect parent. I know exactly what to do EVERY time. I am the parenting model to follow. Nope – not saying that at all.

What I am saying is – I did it. I said what I meant and I meant what I said. I told him no and he didn’t get the marshmallow at the end of the night because he cried about it and asked over and over.

In fact – he got marshmallows taken away even longer. And when he asked that next time – he didn’t like the answer but he got it. No means no. And no amount of crying and begging will get you anything except more days without marshmallows.

We just had an amazing weekend. We hung out with our friends Friday playing in the creek for hours. Getting muddy and dirty and making rock paint. Going to a baseball game.

Creek exploring with dad and swimming with our friends Saturday afternoon. Family movie night and tossing the baseball around in the backyard.

Church and a birthday party and meeting the new baby cow. Creek exploring with Nan and hanging out with her while the night cooled off.

While we were creek exploring last night – Enoch told me he loved me about 2 million times. He told me how much he loved that I got excited because he learned how to swim. How much fun he had with his friends creek exploring and at the baseball game. How much he loved playing baseball with our family. And what are some things he can do to be nice to others.

He’s thanked me for helping him when he is hurting. When he is frustrated.

He still gets mad when he doesn’t get his way – but he hasn’t said he hates me in a VERY long time. And I still get mad when I don’t get my way – so …

MOMMAS – if you are going through the hard parenting things right now – KEEP ON. Keep setting and KEEPING boundaries.

And remember that God didn’t give you the wrong kid. He didn’t give your kid the wrong mom.

He’s shaping your child AND you – maybe you a little bit more even.

YOU CAN DO IT. YOU WILL MAKE IT. It’s not easy. You will cry. It will hurt. But the beauty from pain is more than worth it.

 

CLASS OF 2019

Filed under: family,friends,just because,lifestyle,newsworthy,seniors — admin at 11:21 am on Friday, June 21, 2019

We were waiting for Amy to come out with the crowd of people – but we had to go in and FIND her! And I am SO GLAD we did!!

It’s been an emotional year – to say the least – and the tears flowed!!

AMY!! Thank you SO MUCH for asking me along to capture these AMAZING moments in your life!!

And Allison – whatever you do – make sure you LOVE it!!

CLASS OF 2019

Filed under: an hour in the life,family,friends,just because,lifestyle,my town,seniors — admin at 11:10 am on Thursday, June 20, 2019

I met Amy last year when she asked me to take senior pictures for her daughter and her friends – do you remember the BREAKFAST CLUB session!?

Well – a year has passed already – and they’re graduating!

Amy asked me to come to graduation and photograph her daughter and their group of friends!

As I was sitting in the stands – looking at the program – I realized that I graduated high school 20 years ago that week.

And I had written a letter to my grandmother about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic (I had no interest in photographing people)!!

Not only was I sitting in a gymnasium full of kids exactly where I was 20 years ago – but I was also hired to take their photos! SURREAL!!

Stay tuned for the rest of graduation!!

*K* FAMILY

Filed under: . babies . babies . babies .,an hour in the life,babes,family,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,portraits — admin at 11:34 am on Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Ericka and I have known each other for nearly TEN years!

I’ve never taken photos of her WHOLE family!

THOSE FRECKLES!!

SISTERS!!

DO YOU SEE THAT POUTY LIP!!

I MIGHT take too many pictures of her!!

MY FAVORITE SHOT OF THE NIGHT!

ERICKA! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!! I hope you love your photos!!!

WE ARE FAMILY

Filed under: an hour in the life,family,just because,lifestyle,love — admin at 11:56 am on Friday, June 14, 2019

I ADORE THAT SHOT!!

Michele won the bid for a barden photography gift certificate and wanted to get some family photos before her daughter left for basic training!

Her aunt happened to be home – so we included her!

I LOVE that shot!! THIS IS FAMILY!!

Michele – I hope you LOVE your photos!! THANK YOU SO MUCH for your support!!

 

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