FRIENDS

Filed under: baby barden,bardenisms,family,friends,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,my family,my town — admin at 11:42 am on Sunday, July 28, 2019

We showed up a little early for Missy’s session – so I took advantage of having my camera with me!

I LOVE coming to the playground and chasing your kids around – getting them in action – the BEST way to shoot – in my opinion!

We met up with Sierra and her kiddos for ice cream – and I took advantage of having ALL our kids together!!

8 – 3 – 8 – 10 – 6 months – 5 – 7 – 5!!

This mom thing – it’s not easy – and having a tribe – it helps SO MUCH!!!

Missy and I were close and we knew Sierra – but one day about two years ago – Sierra told me she wanted to make an effort to get to know Missy & I better – she needed a few 3 AM friends and she was hoping Missy and I might be those friends. And sometimes it’s hard to bring someone else into a close relationship – and people ask how we manage it.

We try. We make an effort. We are CRAZY busy – we all work – we all have family and other friends we spend time with – we sat down to try and figure out a time we could all have a sleepover for a weekend – and it was OCTOBER 26th before 2 of us said YES – we are FREE!! But the third wasn’t – so we said – let’s come back to this later. But sometimes it’s – hey – wanna do dinner NOW!? What are you doing in an hour!? We help each other. We encourage each other. We love each other and every kid in that picture – I love them. Missy loves them. Sierra loves them.

I love that our kids love each other. That this big group of kids – do they argue!? Yep. But do they love each other!? ABSOLUTELY!!!

I love you guys – SO MUCH!!!

 

GRACE UPON GRACE

Filed under: . babies . babies . babies .,an hour in the life,babes,family,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,love,my town,portraits — admin at 11:57 am on Friday, July 26, 2019

If you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time – you know who Missy is.

And you know she had a baby girl 6 months ago – CAN YOU BELIEVE it’s been SIX months!?

But – she also has this guy – who will be EIGHT this December!

And she has that guy – who is 19! And I’m gonna get that shot of those brothers for as long as I can!

GAH!!! CAN YOU STAND IT!?

Sweet baby girl – words escape me. This baby girl has been prayed for. Waited for. SO MUCH!!

That middle guy – the littlest big brother – he could NOT stop looking at that baby girl!

He said – Danielle. Do you know what!? Grace is BEAUTIFUL. Isn’t she just BEAUTIFUL!?

THOSE FACES!! Missy – I know you know – but LOOK at your CHILDREN!!

SERIOUSLY!!!

HIS BABY SISTER!!!!

HEY BABY GIRL!!

I CAN’T EVEN WITH THAT FACE!! MY FAVORITE!!

GORGEOUS GIRLS!!

Stay tuned for the rest of their session!!

FARM LIFE

Filed under: animals,baby caamano,farmlife,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,my family,my town,top o' the hill — admin at 12:29 pm on Wednesday, July 24, 2019

My sister came to visit in July – so we all stayed at the farm together!!

I posted a blog recently where Enoch helped my mom make food for Ebony and feed her. Jack hadn’t been able to help yet – so Enoch had to step aside – which was HARD for him.

You know what else is hard!? Navigating boundaries and relationships with your siblings when you all have kids and parent differently!

My sister lives 3 hours away and my brother about 6 – we live about 45 minutes from my parents. We see them quite often.

And when we are all visiting together – I have a hard time. Because I want to see my family and I want my kids to experience their cousins. BUT I also want my niece and nephews to experience G & Pa without my kids there monopolizing ALL the time and attention!!

SO – Enoch had a little bit of a hard time handing it over to Jack – because we are a selfish race!

AND – he ended up doing really well with the sharing! After his initial whining of course.

Jack is 13 months younger than Enoch – but they’re about the same size – the Trout genes are strong!!

THOSE GUYS – Jack only calls him Enochguy and Enoch usually calls him Jackieboy!

I LOVE THAT SHOT!! Makes me laugh every single time!!

That’s Red and her gorgeous little guy – Brownie!!

I hope we have a few more years with Red!!

Jack with his little arm around G – I know that everyone loves their mom – but our mom is AMAZING!!!

THAT FACE!!! Like I said – EVERY CHILD should grow up on a farm!!

That guy – look at how GROWN UP he is looking!!

THAT SHOT – I see teenage Enoch in that face!!

ALSO – if you need a cat – if you want a cat – DO YOU WANT A CAT!? My parents might have a few you could take!!

Do you drop off your pregnant cats at farms – PLEASE don’t.

We are NOT bringing a kitten home – but if we did – it would be that one!!

*M* KIDDOS

Filed under: creek exploring,family,fifteen minutes in the life,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,my town — admin at 12:28 pm on Sunday, July 7, 2019

I’ve photographed these kiddos off & on for quite a few years!!

This little guy was NOT so sure about me – or about the creek!!

I ADORE THAT SHOT!!

CUTIE!!

She did NOT like having her little feet wet!

THIS SHOT – in black & white – SO MOODY!!

He warmed up to the idea – eventually!

He REALLY started to love the creek!

CUTEST!!

Thank you SO much for making the drive and joining me in the creek! I can’t wait to see you next time!

KEVIN & CARLA

Filed under: animals,creek exploring,family,fifteen minutes in the life,just because,lifestyle,mini session,my town — admin at 11:48 am on Saturday, July 6, 2019

I’ve known Carla for a LONG time – we grew up in church together! This fall will mark their 8th wedding anniversary!!

I haven’t seen them since that day – so I was SO excited to hear that they wanted to bring their pups for a mini session in the creek!

I LOVE THOSE SHOTS!!

SWOON!!

LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFUL GIRL!!

She really did NOT want to get in that water!

Kevin & Carla – THANK YOU SO MUCH for asking me to photograph you and your sweet pups – AND for traveling so far!!

*B* FAMILY

Filed under: creek exploring,family,fifteen minutes in the life,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,mini session,my town — admin at 11:20 am on Friday, July 5, 2019

I typically only hold mini sessions in the fall BUT I had an idea for creek sessions in June!

Creek exploring is our FAVORITE thing to do in the summer!

This little guy was SUPER excited to get in the water!!

He was SOAKED within the first five minutes – but it didn’t stop him!!

ADORABLE!! I LOVE THAT SHOT!!

NO!!! Don’t DRINK the water!!

THANK YOU so much for bringing your family to the creek! This might have been my favorite session with you guys yet!!

THIS NEW HOUSE

Filed under: just because,my town,newsworthy,project — admin at 11:46 am on Sunday, June 30, 2019

POST & BEAM!! Absolutely GORGEOUS!!

A STONE WALL IN YOUR HOUSE!? YES PLEASE!!

Did I mention that ALL the cabinets were hand-made – EXACTLY for this home!?

This is their FRIDGE!! Isn’t it AMAZING!?

AND A BRICK FLOOR!!! AMAZING!!

THAT BED FRAME!! SWOON!!

Joyce & Ron – THANK YOU SO MUCH for asking me into your home!! It’s SO AMAZING!!

THIS NEW HOUSE

Filed under: just because,my town,portraits,project,promotional photography — admin at 11:17 am on Saturday, June 29, 2019

A friend of Jared’s asked me to take photos of her parent’s house – a labor of love and celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary!

BEAUTIFUL!!

SWOON!!! STONE HOUSES ARE MY FAVORITE!!

The pantry!!

Those cabinets!!

Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL!?

Stay tuned for the rest of the house!!

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: 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!!

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