Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Session

I haven't been doing blog posts of my photo sessions since last summer, it was just one thing I could let go of to simplify life a little for myself, so I did. I might start sharing some here and there again, but only as I have the time or desire to, instead of putting so much pressure on myself. That said, I HAVE to share this session with you. Sunrise, a hot air balloon, and one of the coolest families I know, Dave, Shawn, Jordan and Isaac Hain. It was an absolutely amazing morning. 

The idea for this session came from a prophetic vision that Shawn had of this next season for her family. They are missionaries to South Africa home on furlough, and I'll share her words on what the vision looked like: 

"While praying one day, I saw a picture of a hot air balloon with my family in it. As I asked the Lord about the significance of the hot air balloon these points came to mind.
In a hot air balloon: 
*you are in an area but not fully apart of it *you see familiar things from an entirely different perspective *you are not in control of its direction *a hot air balloon doesn't take off and land at the same place What's amazing is that each of these points so accurately describes this particular season for us during our sabbatical here in the US."

We had already arranged to do a photo shoot while they were in the area, but after hearing her relay her vision in entirely separate conversation, the idea came to me of how cool it would be to use a hot air balloon in their photos. Not only would it be AMAZING, but it would have so much personal significance to them.

So I got in touch with a hot air balloon company, we arranged a date, and then we were at the mercy of the wind... we finally had a nice morning, and then the magic happened. While the balloon was being inflated we snapped some shots with the sunrise. 

There was another group that left in a balloon just before we started shooting, and I love that their balloon is in the background of this shot. 

The guys helped with the tear down. I grabbed these following two shots during the process and absolutely love them. 

This was one of the most most thrilling and original shoots I've ever done, and I couldn't have been happier with the results. I am not typically a morning person, so I thought getting up at 4:30 a.m. might make it a little rough, but the creativity surging through me had me more awake than ever. On my way home from the shoot (at 7:00 a.m.) there were tons of yardsales (it was a Friday morning) and I was all by myself, so I stopped and perused and came home with some treasures... I pulled into the driveway and unloaded my car, carried furniture to the back porch and was making the coffee and the yogurt parfaits for my Bible study girls (who were coming at 9:30 that morning) before my boys were even awake. It felt amazing to accomplish so much in the beautiful sunrise hours of the morning. Of course I was ready to crash by dinner time, but somehow still stayed up until 11:00 p.m. that night... It was seriously one of my favorite days of the year so far. 

Hope you enjoyed a small look at some of the photos from this shoot! 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Last Day

Yesterday I said something like, I don't have time to write, but hopefully I will soon... that I have big emotions inside... no outlet for them... something like that. Well today those big emotions came erupting out in a public outburst of tears over Drew's last day of school. I think it might be time to write. Before another public outburst, you know? 

Drew's first day of pre-school: 

 Drew's last day of pre-school. 

I think one of the hardest things for me to deal with as a mama is the passing of time. I love seeing them grow and thrive. Every stage brings new joys with it. Getting out and experiencing life with them gets easier and easier. But at the same time it's hard to deal with that little bundle you brought home from the hospital growing up before your eyes. Those baby rolls under their chin and at their wrists slowly smoothing out and losing their roundness. Those days of carrying them around on your hip all day every day fading into memories. Knowing that this is the last summer before they start school... and will be away from home all day. All week. Oh, I can hardly speak those words. 
Why is the passing of time so hard? We were born into the bounds of time, have known them our whole lives, and yet the quickness of it still catches us by surprise. We see a friend and their child who we haven't seen in a while, and are shocked by their child's growth. The more seasoned moms tell us younger ones not to blink, that it goes by too fast. I passed two elderly people talking in the grocery store this morning, and I overheard the man saying to the woman, "I remember those days... we didn't have any problems then, did we? Why didn't we just stay young?" We can never believe it when a new year is starting.. the last one went so fast. Why is this? I heard someone repeat a quote the other night, and it resonated so in my heart. 
"Why are we as humans always so shocked by the fast passing of time? It would be the same as a fish constantly commenting of the wetness of water. It wouldn't make any sense.... unless the fish was originally created to one day live on dry land." 

Eternity has been set in our hearts. We were created for forever. And the passing of time will always feel strange and foreign to us, because we were made for eternity. Our spirits will one day no longer be bound by time. And yet there is such beauty in the passing of time. A richness, a seasoning, a wisdom that grows and is nurtured, the passing on of a heritage... 

Learning to cherish the here and the now. It is a constant process. Sometime things shock you into perspective. The intense emotion I felt today as we wrapped up this season with Drew left me so receptive to his little voice every time it was directed towards me. Instead of continuing to wash the dishes while he told me about the robin outside in our yard, I dropped my sponge, got down on my knees and looked into his little face the second I heard him say "Mommy..." without even thinking about it.  Tears were leaking from my eyes as I listened to him tell me about his day at school this morning. I've talked before about our brown rocking chair and the time I spent rocking Drew in it... This morning he was the first boy awake, and I gathered him in my arms and went straight to our chair... He still curls against me so sweetly. I can still hold all of him on my lap, and I treasure it so. 

He had the most amazing teacher this year. She was such a blessing. She understood him so well and gently encouraged him to thrive in his class. That adds to the difficulty... the saying goodbye to her. 

Drew's little sidekicks. The lollipop gang. 
 And I love this picture of Drew with his teacher today before we left. It says everything about why we had the most wonderful year at his school.

 I posted the above picture on instagram with this: 

I am pretty sure I've cried more on drew's last day of school than I did on his first. When you have the worlds most amazing preschool teacher investing in your child week after week and you see the way they love her and watch them blossom before your eyes it's hard to say goodbye. Drew and I made her this sign together. He painted the canvas, I did the wording, and together we tried to remember as
much of their class goodbye rhyme as we could. The very first morning of preschool mrs chase said "see you later alligator" as drew walked out of her classroom. I didn't realize fully how special this sign would be until we got to school today and mrs chase had on her see you later alligator t-shirt, read to them one last time, the book see you later alligator, and then went through their goodbye rhyme 

one more time together as a class. When she started hugging each child goodbye I couldn't keep it together anymore. It wasn't just misty eyes, it was tears pouring down my face. I hugged her too and told her how incredibly thankful we are for her. There is just nothing like having a teacher who loves your child like her own. I can't believe the emotion welling up in me today.... 

I cried the whole way home, all through lunch, and every time drew says "mommy" and begins to tell me something in his little boy voice the tears come back. And needless to say, I'm a total mess right now. To mrs chase: you do the most incredible job, and our family will forever adore you. 

Now I'm just sorting through the papers and books he brought home with him today. Thinking I'm done crying, then turning a page, and starting all over again. Maybe tomorrow the outburst will be over? 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Spring time wear

I have been hugely absent here lately. I'll blame it on instagram for now... I feel like I write miniature versions of what I'm thinking or feeling and share them there and then don't take the time to write the full version here. There are seasons... for everything. I miss blogging so much, and I'm sure things will swing back around to writing again soon. I have so many big thoughts, big feelings, and without the time to write there is no outlet for them. In the meantime, because it's easiest, here's a catch up of random spring outfits from easter to now. 

I feel like spring is the time to wear everything in your closet. A tank with jeans? Sure why not. A t-shirt with a maxi? Perfection. A sweater with cut off shorts? Yes. Please. I love my neutrals and some days am still in them head to toe, only warm weather versions of them. But I am loving getting to incorporate some color in now too in floral prints and bright dresses. In some ways spring leaves me feeling a little lost because there is SO much to choose from. A good problem to have though, I guess. 

This was my easter outfit, except with bright blue heels. (I changed into flats for comfort later, and my sister and I sent each other photos of what we wore... this was what I sent to her) 

white jacket: H&M 
Floral top: Forever 21
Skirt: Francesca's 
Flats: AE
Above is my errand day, take drew to school, try to get dressed quick day typical outfit. skinnies, a t and some fun sandals. (also should mention, this photo was caught by Isaiah when I was running to grab Jaden up in my arms and tickle hug him. I didn't even know he took it til later, and I love it.) 

t-shirt: AE
olive skinnies: H&M
Sandals: AE 

This what what I wore to a bridal shower at the zoo... seriously such a cool location for a shower. This maxi dress is from Victoria's Secret, I wanted it last summer so bad, but it was something like $70... and I don't spend that on a dress. Then last fall I saw it was on sale... for something like $16?? It might have even been less. I was so excited. So it's finally making it's appearance, a year late, but at a fraction of the price.

Jean jacket: Gap (I've had it since I was I think a sophomore in highschool)
Dress: Victoria's Secret
Combat boots: Steve Madden

White pants are my favorite in the spring. This was a church outfit. And I know you can't see them well, but the back floral top has fabulous ruffles all over the top half. 

Shirt: Ross
White pants: Target 
Boots: Steve Madden 

Jacket: Target
Shirt: Express
Moto Pants: Victoria's secret
Sandals: Old Navy

 Aviators: Steve Madden (for $5 a year and a half ago!) 
t-shirt: Modcloth
Maxi: Old Navy 
Sandals: Urban Outfitters 

And this was church two weeks ago. 
I think that was the most recent outfit I took a photo of. The orange was so fun, it's a color I hardly ever wear, but it does feel so happy. :) 
Dress: H&M 
Sandals: Old Navy 

And as you can see, spring time has also meant lots of braids lately too. :)