As many of you know, 4 years ago The Wish Connection granted Caleb's wish to be a cowboy and have a cowboy room. You can see his video here : Caleb's Video. Please fast forward through the part where I ramble on like an idiot. Anyway, Caleb was too sick during chemo to have a wish granted, so they kindly and patiently waited until he was better to grant his wish. Our family was their first family to grant a wish for....they have now grown by leaps and bounds and grant wishes to many children with life-threatening or life-long illnesses.
There are many children waiting for their wishes this year, and I know many of you have resources or connections that can help grant these wishes. Below is a list of the children, their diagnosis, and their wishes. If you can help with any of this, please contact me and I will direct you to the right place. I promise to make it worth your while if you help by thanking you with a nice surprise!!!!!!
I know you are busy, but I know you have huge hearts and feel for these children when you hear about what they are going through.
Here's a little bit about the wish children whose wishes we're currently
Isabella is 7 years old with serious congenital heart defects.
Isabella's wish is to go to Disney World and have breakfast with a
Victoria is 11 years old with a serious heart condition that required a
valve replacement and continues to suffer from heart-related health
complications. Victoria's wish is to take guitar lessons and to go to
Universal Studios in Orlando to see the new Harry Potter theme park and
to meet Harry Potter and have him sign all of her DVDs.
Emma is 8 years old and suffers from congenital heart defects. We don't
know yet what Emma's wish will be if her wish application is approved,
but we know that whatever her wish is, the wish team will create an
amazing wish experience for her!
Patrick is 14 years old and suffers from Tetrology of Fallot. Patrick
loves basketball. He would love to shoot hoops with Tim Duncan and get
some playing tips from him. He would like to go to a Spurs game with
Alejandro is 8 years old and suffers from aortic and mitral stenosis.
He endured open heart surgery as an infant. We are in the process of
discovering Alejandro's most heart-felt wish.
Thanks in advance for your help!
I know I have said it a million times. I know my husband and kids and friends hear about it every time I finish a session....I LOVE my clients. I know I have said this before too...I hate calling them my clients and would rather call them my friends. They invite me into their homes or to their family events and treat me like an old friend or one of the family. They tell me their funny stories, joke with me, and we always end with a big hug. I LOVE my clients.
Kim and Rob, thank you so much for trusting me to capture this most special day. You knew from the beginning that I am not experienced at wedding photography, yet, you still showed amazing trust having me there. Thank you for being so awesome and fun and caring. Thank you for sharing your day with me.
This is too cute. I caught this family member playing with the bubbles before the ceremony:
This little baby ran towards me and made this adorable "excited to see you face" whenever she saw me. At first I thought I was so special until I realized she did that to everyone she met. So adorable!
It was a sweet sit down lunch reception. Kim and Rob are just so cute.
Before the ceremony, they spotted a turtle in the woods. They promised their daugher that they would have a turtle hunt after the ceremony. It was so cute to see dad in his tux and mom in her gown, hunting for a turtle.
It seems that Amy and I both dropped the ball on this (again). It seems like I have been saying that a lot these days. You know how it is when your kids are school aged and it is the end of the school year...celebrations for school, Scouts, sports...etc.
This week we picked the theme weather because of all the awesome storms we have had these days. We don't get a lot of rain down here, but when we do, WATCH OUT! You know how they say "Everything is bigger in Texas"? Well, it's true...especially the rain. I can hardly recall a nice gentle rain here...it's always a full out storm. We both thought we could get some photos during one of our storms...the clouds and the light are impressive....but then we got lost in our lives and forgot.
Amy's is the top one:
"Well, I almost forgot all about this one. I just knew we were going to get
some rain and I was hoping to get a photo of the rain drops on the window to
show how we've had such a nice, wet year. We've had a chance of rain every
day this week, but nada!! It gets cloudy and dark and breezy, then nothing.
It's been gray and blah, then nothing! So I just had to run outside and get
a shot of our "non rain"! Just a few small clouds in a nice blue sky! "
I have to admit that I took mine with my iPhone...in the pick up line at school....while waiting to pick up my kids. This was just with the regular iPhone camera...no special apps. I love when a person (usually a guy) says "You can take good pictures because you have a good camera" and then I show them iPhone pictures. Yes, a good camera really helps, but ANYONE can take great pictures with ANY camera.
So, I'm sure you gathered that down here, we get very excited when it rains. You should read our Facebook status updates and tweets when we see a drop in the middle of summer;)
Dear Mom and Dad-
Happy 37th Anniversary. It's really difficult for me to come up with the correct words for this letter. There are no words that can express what your marriage means. Even as I type this, I am deleting, typing , and deleting again trying to say the right thing...especially with your 3 grandchildren asking me questions and telling me stories every 30 seconds:)
Words like gratitude, strength, and endurance come to me when I think of the 2 of you. It has not been a perfect and easy storybook life for you. You have had struggles and horrors most people could never imagine. You have had to weather storms that might destroy most families, but you stuck them out together. You knew it would be rough, but you waited for those storms to pass, working through them together, coming out stronger in the end. I don't think you understand how much gratitude I have to you for your example.
Because of what you have been through, the way you explained things to me, the way I saw you stay strong and endure; I am able to handle the tough times with my family. I know those times come along and that no person gets through life without trials and troubles. I know that there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. I also know that if you stay strong, work together, and stick it out (no matter how uncomfortable it makes you) you get through it together.
I watch you together and smile. After all these years together, you still flirt with each other and give each other crap. You let things go and do things for each other you know means a lot to the other person. You do fun things together and hold up the other person when they are not doing well.
I know you worry that you were not good parents and that you made a lot of mistakes. I look back on our family and what I see is that the good you did outweighed any mistakes you think you made. Like I said above, you were a tremendous example of how a marriage should work and the reason my marriage is so strong today. You showed us the world. We saw things most kids have never seen. You immersed us in the culture of wherever we lived and made each move a fun adventure. You taught us about reaching out and helping your neighbors and how to be a loyal friend. Through you, we learned how to be self-sufficient. I learned real life skills: how to reach out and meet people, quickly find a job when I needed it (even if is a job I don't love), how to cook, do my laundry, bait a hook, catch and clean a fish, bait a crab trap, pack and unpack moving boxes, use a computer, balance a checkbook, manage my finances, and manage my stress using exercise, music, and creative activities. I know how to move to a strange place without anyone I know and quickly make it home. I saw how you treated people and helped those who needed helping. That stuck with me. While growing up, I never realized that we were tight on money. We always had plenty of food to eat and clean clothes. We always had plenty to share. I didn't realize until I became an adult how much the two of you went without so that my brother and I never had to.
Thank you, mom and dad, for your 37 wonderful years of marriage. Your example has left an amazing legacy for my brother and I, your grandchildren, and your future grandchildren (no, I'm not pregnant..lol).
I have more love and respect for the two of you than you could ever imagine. I love you.
Amy and I decided to go with 'the secret life of toys' for our theme today. We had total opposites today, but they work. Amy's is bright and colorful. Those scary dinosaurs! Are they going to eat the little Playmobile man or is he going to defeat them and have a nice juicy brontosaurus burger for dinner???? My heart is racing just wondering what will happen to this little man. Hope he gets the burger.
Mine is soft and faded because I always think that the little toy cameras around my house dream of being one of my big cameras and that they all have secret crushes on them. Can't you just see the love? The little guys is sweating. He wants to get close and introduce himself, but is intimidated by her beauty...kinda like the night I met my husband ;)
Logan wanted something different. He wanted guitars and a grand piano...ask and you shall receive Logan! I found the perfect spot at Redbone Guitar Boutique. They were amazingly accommodating and cool. I am going back this week to get some shots for their website, so I will be posting some images so you can see how amazing this shop is. I can't wait to go back.
Speaking of not being able to wait, I was so excited to share these shots of Logan with you. What a sweet, polite, creative, handsome, and talented person he is!!! He was very relaxed and easy in front of the camera and had some awesome ideas for shots as well. He plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, he sings, and he writes his own music. When he started playing and singing he blew my mind. T.A.L.E.N.T! I even had tears in my eyes at one point. I seriously could not be more proud if he were my own son..and yes, I am old enough to be his momma. Speaking of mom, she was there and incredibly sweet. I loved seeing the way she BEAMED when he played. You did a good job raising him, Robin!
So, I will shut my mouth for a minute so that you can enjoy the awesomeness that is Logan>>>
This was one of my favorite sessions EVER! Seriously! Music, guitars, and photography...I was in heaven!
This is not the last you will see of Logan. He has some songs he recenlty recorded, so I will post the link soon. You will NOT be dissapointed, so check back soon to hear more about this talented new musician.
I was so excited when I finally got these books in the mail. I created 2 books for our family at www.blog2print.com. One of the books makes my heart sing and the other book breaks my heart all over again.
This first book I made is from my blog. I took the blog posts about my family and personal life and had them bound and printed. It was pretty easy. It's not fancy and does not have any special fonts or embellishments, but I just wanted to print out the record of our lives.
It has a table of contents:
And although the pictures turned out kind of small and I could not arrange them the way I wanted, I am still happy with having a printed record of our fun memories instead of having them living in my hard-drive for eternity. I'm pretty easy to please.
Then there is a book that breaks my heart. The book of Caleb's journey with cancer. A few months after he was diagnosed I started a Caringbridge page for him. It was a journal of his story and the daily updates in his progress. This accomplished 2 purposes: it kept family and friends updated since we didn't have time to answer the hundreds of wonderful phone calls and emails from our amazing loved ones and it helped me keep track of the meds, blood transfusions, procedures, and side effects so I knew what to expect the next time those things came around...for some reason, I did not even realize that it would be something I could print out and give him later.
I have not read this journal in a very long time...5 years to be exact. This year is Caleb's 5 YEAR anniversary of maintaining remission. After 5 Years of being in remission, he is now CANCER FREE! I don't even have sufficient words to describe how it feels....I have been sitting here staring at the blinking line on my monitor trying to find the right words, but I just can't. I am estatic, but also emotional about it. It is a very fragile gift and I am afraid to celebrate too loudly or too boldly...I don't expect anyone to understand that when I don't even understand it myself.
So, with this being his 5 year anniversary,and now that he is a happy and healthy 8 year old boy, I decided to have it printed. I have not been able to look at it for the last 5 years. I have not been able to even talk to some of the people that played such a huge part in our lives during that time...it hurt too much...but I am working on re-establishing those connections.
In a few years, he is going to enter those turbulent, testosterone filled years of his life. When he starts to doubt himself, I want him to have concrete proof of how truly strong and amazing he is:
I have been able to go through and read parts of it again, but it is heart wrenching to remember the pain this little boy went through....more pain that most adults have felt in their entire lives...it still hurts my heart today the exact same way it hurt five years ago. I'm so glad he hardly remembers it. Whenever I have minor aches, pains, flu, I just remember what he went through and I can't complain.
Caringbride was unable to save all the photos from that time period, but there is a collage of before, during, and after:
If you want to read his whole story, you can go here.
This is always so hard for me to write about. I am extra sensitive about it and even a little defensive. I have had people tell me that it shouldn't make me sad anymore and that I should just be thankful we have him here with us, that I should focus on the positive...OF COURSE we do these things, OF COURSE we are thankful he is with us....I am OVER THE MOON with joy everytime I see him do normal, everyday, boy things...even just hanging out with his friends or throwing the football around in the yard. I am so happy and positive about it, but when you watch your child go through pain like this, the feeling never goes away....so please be sensitive when you tell parents like us how happy we should be.
This song is for you my brave little cowboy. I am so proud to call you mine:
I just wanted to show you a sneak preview of the beautiful wedding I shot this weekend. My two absolute favorite parts of any wedding I have ever been to are 1) the look on the groom's face the first time he sees his bride and 2) The smile on the bride's face the first time they walk back down the aisle as husband and wife....so I had to show them today.
More to come soon....