Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sweet Seventeen

She did it! She went and turned seventeen even though I had told her, years ago, she could have no further birthdays.

I absolutely believe in love at first sight.  The first time I held her, I was in love.  And the moment her Daddy held her above him and she drooled right in his face.... he was a goner.  

They may fuss and fight with each other.....but the love is undeniable!  The only time I have seen Samie get nostalgic or start to tear up about going off to college next year....... was when she realized she would not see this face everyday!

And I am tearing up at everything that reminds me that I will not see this sweet face everyday next year!

Happy Birthday sweet baby girl!

Now stop growing up!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Time Flies!

I can’t believe how much time has gone by since I have written a blog post.  Well….I can, but I don’t want to.  It seems that the blog is the thing that always gets put on the back burner.  I tell myself that I need to update but just never get around to it.  And now Samie is a senior in high school!

This past week we were at the beach and did some photos for her senior pics.  We will be doing several shoots throughout the year.  I never tire of photographing this girl.

Can’t wait to do another session with her!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall Frame This Photography Workshop Weekend

 Two weekends ago I was again at a photography workshop with some of the most amazing photographers!  These ladies have just as amazing personalities as they do photography skills.  They were all so willing to help anyone who was having difficulties or answer any questions you might have.  Lisa, my mentor, was the host and instructor for this workshop.  If you remember, or just go to the last post, I attended a workshop that Lisa held last April also.  I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoy these workshops.  Lisa does not leave out any details, nor does she leave you with a minute to wonder what you are going to do next.  The weekend was packed with classroom learning and location shoots at some of the most amazing sites.  To top it off she had arranged meals at some of the best restaurants I have been to.  The friendships formed were priceless.  We laughed, we shared, we cried together.  I love you all.
Here are some photos from my weekend~
Ava watermarked
Grace standing at wall watermark

Brenda sitting watermark

Ashton watermark

Rochelle B&W watermark
Anthony and Rochelle on bench watermark

Alexa watermark fb

Isa holding apple watermark

Marissa biting apple watermark
Triplets at teepee with flare watermark
Ava and Grace watermark

Triplets in front of truck watermark

Triplets running on road watermark

Can’t wait until the next workshop weekend and hopefully some of the same sweet ladies will once again be there!
Hopefully my blogging will pick up but there is so much going on and little time to write it down.  Samie is now 15 and Sydney is 8 and they are changing so quickly.  Samie is on the Homecoming Court and that is this Friday so I know I will have some great photos to share. 
Have a great week!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring Photography Weekend 2013

This past weekend I was blessed to be in the company of some fabulous photographers and an awesome instructor!  Lisa of The Long Road to China is an amazing photographer and instructor.  I first learned of Lisa through her blog while she was in China bringing her beautiful Reagan home.  I was captivated by the images she captured and posted on her blog.  I soon learned that Lisa was not only a woman with a heart for adoption but she was sharing her amazing photography talent with others through on-line classes.  What was even better was that a portion of the class fees went to an organization that helps orphans in China, Half the Sky.
Lisa took me from fully automatic on my DSLR to manual mode.  A very scary thing for me!  I am even shooting in RAW now!  There still seemed to be something missing for me…..I am a hands on learner.  This past weekend I was in the company of 9 other ladies who have all been taking classes with Lisa.  These ladies are all awesome photographers and I don’t mind saying I was a little intimidated!  No worries!  Besides the fun times, the amazing photo sessions Lisa had set up with some awesome models, the bonding with some incredible women…..Lisa just made something “click” in me. 
I now have a renewed enthusiasm for photography.  I hope that I can continue to keep that spark alive and to further grow in my photo taking and editing.  This fall I WILL be meeting these ladies again in the fall at another workshop with Lisa!  Come h*&& or high water I will be there!
Thank you for a weekend I will not soon forget and some wonderful new friendships Shasta, Diane, Teri, Hannah, Amy, Lauren, Laura, Emily, Kelly and of course Lisa!
Here are a few photos that I have edited so far-

IMG_7926 edited with sunflare blog
IMG_8227 high res blog

IMG_8313 high res blog

First Communion high res blog

First Communion Rosary high res blog

I have many more photos to edit and will post them later.
You can go to Lisa’s blog and see some of the photos from the other ladies.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


The girls agreed to a little photo shoot the other day!  I wanted to get pictures for our Christmas card and finally Samie had some free time.  Well we got ready and were about to head out when the sky started turning grey.  Then black!  As we headed to our location we could see rain in the distance and as we got closer we could see that it had rained where we were going.
Luckily the rain had gone ahead of us and the sky may have been cloudy but I could still get some good light.  These girls bring their own sunshine with them!
My sassy girls…
111212giving deuces close up edited
111212giving deuces edited

111212hands on chin edited

111212Sam sitting on rail Syd with goofy face edited
111212Samie head shot1 edited
111212Sydney hands near face edited
111212Sitting Syd kissing Samie edited
111212Samie whispering to Syd edited
111212shooting each other edited and with texture
111212Sydney head down with hat edited

111212Syd in chair photo looking down edited

111212Samie and Syd on bridge edited
111212Syd standing at door with hands at hips edited
111212walking away edited
I am so thankful for the blessing of getting to be their Mommy!! 
They are my sunshine, my joy and my heart!

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I am still struggling for the words to convey what our family went through a year ago.  I have been afraid….afraid of facing the failure I felt, afraid of the reaction of the adoption community, afraid to feel happy ….afraid of so many things.  To actually express it and to put it out there for everyone to see……fear!
I have tried to just make it appear as if nothing had really changed when everything had.  So I left out any mention of the dissolution of our adoption of Sierra.  In the adoption community there are two very ugly, shameful words.  Disruption and dissolution.  These two words are often misused even in the adoption community.  Disruption is the cancellation of an adoption of a child before he/she is legally adopted.  Dissolution is to end a legal entity such as an adoption.  Meaning after the adoption has become legal.  Whichever word you use the end of an adoption is highly criticized and not so quietly in the adoption world.
While we were in the adoption process I was a member of several adoption forums.  You would occasionally hear of an adoption that ended in a disruption.  In the China adoption process this disruption typically occurred in China as that is where the adoption is final if both parents travel.  The boards would light up with harsh criticism of a parent leaving a child in China!  If anyone dared to try and empathize with this parent they too were looked upon with harshness.  I admit that I would say to myself, “How can a mother just leave her child there?”  Then I would hear the families stories and realize the pain this caused them to make the decision they did and why they made it.  Most had other children to protect and their family as a whole to protect.
When we brought Sierra home we never imagined that the adoption would end with a dissolution.  But it did.  I refuse to satisfy everyone’s curiosity and will not go into the details.  We were not the forever family that Sierra needed and deserved.  Was this an easy decision, as so many people call disruption??  NO!!  We struggled with this decision, we saw therapists and specialists, we raged, we cried, we prayed about this decision, we begged God to make it better. 
In the end the only decision we could make was to find Sierra her forever family.   Our therapist told us we were not failures as we were doing what we were meant to do.  To be a stepping stone on the way for her to find her family.  So we found Sierra her forever family.  She will forever be in our hearts and we grieve the loss of our daughter. 
This post is titled “Forgiveness” because that is the one thing I have been unable to do.  Forgive myself.  The other night I received an e-mail from a very wonderful friend who I have only met on the computer and phone.  I “met” her through an adoption board I was a member of while we were adopting Sierra.  I had just told her again how I still feel guilty that I was unable to make things work.  Her words were what I needed to hear.  She told me several things she experienced in her life and said this…
“Satan wants to destroy us and he'll use any means necessary. Guilt or whatever. Only you know for sure, but it sounds like Sierra was a terrible fit for your family. It sounds like you made sure to find a place for her where she fit in. Better for every one involved.
Did you make mistakes. Yes, I'm sure you did. You are not perfect; no parent, no matter how loving, is. But you loved Sierra and wanted to help her. You did. Your family was the stepping stone she needed to find a home where she could fit and get help. Don't give Satan any credit. Ask God for forgiveness for your mistakes, and move on. God doesn't want us to wallow in guilt but to thrive in grace. He loves you and Sierra so much! So do I.”
So I am working on forgiveness.  It is still not easy, but He never promised us easy!  With the love and support of my family and friends I will. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Under Construction

Thank you to everyone who has followed us to our new blog home.  I am going to try to keep this blog up to date.  Try, no promises!!  I have had such a hard time putting into words the last few years of our lives.  I am working on a post to do this but it is still very hard to find the words.
I am still  pulling this blog together.  I need to make a new header (title area) and also stamp for my pictures. 
In the mean time please enjoy some of these pics from the past few months..
Samie and two of her friends had a photo shoot 
Samie, Megan and Josie sitting on steps serious fb
Tim went to Alaska to see Timothy and fish
Alaska Tim n Timothy
Sydney at the pool at Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney-syd at AK pool standing
Samie and her BFF Lexi
Disney-sam n lexi
Syd found Mema’s mink
syd in mink

Sweet Bailee
Grandson JR turned 1 year old
JR 1st birthday eating cake 2

Love this face
JR 1st birthday nose
Enjoyed the pool
Syd on Sam's shoulders blog
First day of school
Syd n Sam first day of school 2012

Have a great day!