On the eve of her fourth birthday

And there she was, drifting off to sleep on the eve of her fourth birthday. There was pink in her hair and I wondered what it was since we’d just washed our hair together tonight in the tub. Then I remembered she’d got paint in it a week before and apparently I hadn’t got all of it out in the bath that night. I thought about how much I loved noticing those little details of her childhood.

The day before she’d been sitting on the hill, in the grass and fallen leaves, outside her grandparents’ house, wearing a shirt on backward, since she still hasn’t mastered how to put them on the right way, with rainbow pants and chocolate smudged on the corner right above her upper lip, left over from the brownie cake her grandma and grandpa had made. After her bath, the day before her birthday, she put on an adorable, felt looking pink dress, as if she was preparing to wake up the next morning ready to celebrate her official birthday, one I couldn’t believe was already here.

She was the baby we never expected and the one we never knew we needed.

She delights us, surprises us, aggravates us and most of all she completes us.

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A Father to the Fatherless

My husband grew up without his dad. The reasons why are complicated and that’s not my story to tell. What is my story to tell is that I grew up with my dad, who is supportive and loving and has always been there for me, even in the darkest moments of my life. 

I don’t know what it’s like not to have a father or a family who cares. Maybe you are someone who doesn’t have a father to celebrate on Father’s Day or maybe you know someone who grew up without their dad.

I’d like you to flip your idea of this day around a bit. Maybe you don’t have a father but you are a father now. Your children are your reason to celebrate. You may think you aren’t a good enough father to be celebrated. It probably isn’t true, because only God is the perfect Father, but if you don’t want to celebrate yourself then celebrate how your children made you a father and how lucky you are to have them.

If you have a father to celebrate today, even if they’re not perfect, then thank them for what they mean to you.

And even if you think you are fatherless, know that, really, you are not. You have a Father in Heaven who knew you before you were even born and loved you even when your earthly father didn’t. 

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:5
 

Finding photo opportunities in unlikely places.

My dad had his knee replaced this week at a hospital about an hour from where we live. My mom can’t get around well and my brother is more than two hours from the hospital but I was able to travel there fairly easily, taking my 20 month old alone with me for the second trip. Since apparently our family doesn’t get out much, the first trip was like a family mini vacation, complete with sight seeing of the country side around the facility. I have to admit I was surprised how pretty the drive there was.

The hospital is located in a tiny Pennsylvania city called Montrose and is surrounded by farmland, cows, hills and trees. You have to drive though some 30 miles of wilderness then boom, there is the town and at the end of it a small hospital on the hill, almost in the middle of nowhere, though there are a few houses near it.

The second trip involved a lot of waiting for Dad to have physical therapy and deal with stomach issues from the pain killers so Little One and I explored the hospital, which isn’t really very active. It’s a beautiful, new building with long, empty hallways. I’m not sure why there are so few patients there, but it could be because the town itself is fairly small.

Of course I couldn’t resist photos of at least one of those hallways, especially when I saw blocks of light illuminating spaces of the hallway from skylights. I used the only camera I had with me that day – an iPhone. Sometimes I find photograph opportunities in very unlikely places. I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse but sometimes I see a photograph in my mind and know it has to be taken.

This post is part of Melissa Firman’s 99 days of blogging and the 100 Days of Summer Photo Challenge.
 

100 Days of summer | Athens PA Child Photographer

I’m always up for a challenge (um…yeah, not really) so in addition to the 99 Days of Blogging, I’m starting a 100 Days of Summer where I take a photo a day for the 100 days of summer. This should be fun!

I’m counting yesterday as my first day so I’ll showcase this photo I grabbed of the kids playing out back before dark clouds moved in. And yes, I kept the snot running from my daughter’s nose in there because I am keeping it real, ya’ll.

 

Hey, I got the shot. That’s what matters.

My toddler loves her some mud puddles so after a rain storm Friday I took her out to find the one small mud puddle that forms in our stone driveway and let her get as messy as she wanted. In the process, while laying on the ground to get what I thought would be a cool shot, I ended up with a streak of mud right across my chest. I was so focused on capturing her enjoying the mud and water I didn’t rush to change and instead followed her into the backyard where her slide is to let her play some more.

That is when the new neighbor brought her daughter-in-law out to meet me, in all my muddy glory. My daughter was in her muddy glory too, complete with a very brown bottom.

But, what was really important for this photographer is that, yes, I got the shot.

The week in focus | Elmira NY Child Photographer

Last week we had a mix of nice and rainy days but Little Miss didn’t care what the weather was because she rain outside to slide on her new slide no matter what the sky was spitting.

It’s a inexpensive slide meant for toddlers but even her brother found a way to have fun with it, by leaping off it and attempting 360 turns in mid-air.

It doesn’t matter the height of the slide, Little Miss, who isn’t even 2 loves them and finds a way to get to the top and slide straight down to the bottom.

We visited a playground last week that had three different size slides. She was in toddler heaven, running back and forth to each one. She has no fear, climbing up a ladder to the top of the one playground set that had even me a little nervous to climb.

If she’s this much of a daredevil at 19 months, I have no ideawhat the age of 2 will hold!

 

Her little face | Elmira, NY Photography

This photo was taken by sitting the camera at an odd angle and not even looking into the viewfinder because I couldn’t get into the position I needed to get the shot I wanted. If I start Yoga up again maybe I can get into that position some day.. When I knew bending down was going to rip my back out more and give my chiropractor even more business, I put the camera on my knee and shot up because I desperately wanted that backlight around her cute little head. This shot was also edited in Lightroom to give the image even more of the feel I was looking for.

I always want to remember | Sayre PA Child Photographer

I always want to remember these days. The days when you grabbed Four, the old cat at Grandma and Grandpa’s that used to be mine, and tried to carry her around the porch like one of your dolls. We were lucky she didn’t try to scratch you, since she’s an outdoor cat and your used to the ones that live indoors.

I want to remember how you took off for the stairs by yourself and reached up for my hand and then walked down those high concrete steps with only my hand as your support. At 16 months of age and already climbing stairs on your own, not crawling but actually doing your best to walk up them on your own.