Last week I got to hang out with some good friends of my husband and I and their sweet little girl who just turned 2. When asked, “what do you say for Sarah?” Rachel would sweetly reply, “CHEEEEE!” with a shy smile. We grabbed some coffee and headed off to a beautiful park full of rich, crunchy Fall color. I had it all scouted out with a PHOTOBATTLEPLAN for what we were going to do and where. However, the one thing Colonel Sarah hadn’t considered was the fact that there was a playground in view, and that she would be asking a 2-year-old to Not Play on it and instead look at her camera.
Colonel Sarah has had better ideas in her service.
Generally, when I’m taking family portraits that involve little ones, I try to get all the posed stuff out of the way at the beginning and then let the little guys do their own thing. Because I so cruelly introduced Rachel to a playground I did not intend to let her play on immediately, the wild rumpus began a little earlier than scheduled.
The thing is, even though the afternoon didn’t go like I saw it in my head, we ended up having such a fun, sweet time together. When I got home and looked through the pictures one thing really stuck out to me- Rachel is a Little Explorer. She didn’t want to sit down and pose because she needed to check everything out. She would crunch through the leaves this way, and then crunch back the other way. She would walk back and forth across little bridges, pausing to peek between slats at the stream below. She would climb up the playground and then slide down to the bottom. She was in and out and under and around and through and up and down all the those important, adventurous prepositions.
I know that things don’t often go as planned, and it seems that the older we get, the more stuck in our ways we become. As for me, my nose is buried in my phone way too often and i forget to appreciate what’s going on around me. Maybe next time take I’ll take a hint from Rachel and use some free time to go explore. :)
P.S.POINTS for anyone who can find Rachel as Gandalf in the photos below.
It started in 3rd grade. She was best friends with Stacey and I was best friends with Tara. It worked out really because Casey/Stacey, Sarah/Tara. It had to be that way, you know? Then we moved on to 4th grade. Casey and I were some of the only kids from Mrs. Yarlott’s class to end up together in Mrs. Henson’s class. I was so excited about FOURTHGRADE that I didn’t sleep the night before. My mom kept me home, and when I arrived bright and early the second day of class, Casey ran up to me with wide eyes- “Where were you yesterday (YOUFOOL*)?” *Here I’m inferring some internal dialogue, but I can’t imagine what else little Casey would have been thinking.* From that time on, we were kind of inseparable. Every Friday night we would talk on the phone and it would go something like this:
“So do you want to come over tomorrow?”
“Yeah- what time?”
“Oh, I dunno, what do you think?”
“Hmm. I don’t know- maybe 2:30?”
“Yeah okay 2:30 sounds great.”
The thing is, we always hung out on Saturdays at 2:30. That was the routine. But for some reason, the call of determining had to be repeated every Friday night. To this day, Casey’s home number is one of the only phone numbers I still have memorized.
I have so many good memories with Casey- it would be hard to imagine growing up without her. She’s the one who introduced me to my first boy band. She’s the one who lovingly dubbed and later wrote a poem in honor of the growing space between my two front teeth (thanks, orthodontics). She’s the one who coaxed me into making important scary home movies with the help of her new video camera. Pretty much anything awesome and/or embarrasing during this time of my life can be traced back to an adventure with Casey.
During high school we started hanging out with different groups of friends and grew apart a little. Sometimes that happens when you grow up. During college, I remember talking to her about a boy she met at school. That boy became her husband, and since then they’ve added two beautiful children to their family.
It’s an amazing thing to be able to get to know the kids of the friend you were closest to when you were a kid. And in this case, they are every bit as delightful and sweet as I would think them to be. And if they’re half as cool (read: strange) as we were, I think they shall have quite the many adventures.
I stumbled on this memorial garden on the way home from a doctor’s appointment in Canton. The area is somewhat rural, and I was struck by the interesting collection of momentos left by each plaque. Photos, toys, Christmas decorations, silk flowers, balloons, jewelry. These folks were visited often by people who loved them and knew them well. The dead here were not neglected.
Quite surprisingly, I came across the grave of the younger sister of a friend of mine from many years ago. This sweet girl had cystic fibrosis and was full of sunshine and spunk despite it. I knew she had passed, but I hadn’t talked to my friend for quite some time and had no idea that she was buried here, half an hour from my home. COINCIDENCES.
A couple years ago I was in the middle of a Photo/Day project and wanted to give myself a themed assignment one week for a little direction. Somehow I ended up wandering around the beautiful Marietta National Cemetery one afternoon when everything was starting to bloom. I loved the paradox of fresh, new life growing in a place built to honor the dead. I spent the rest of the week poking around other graveyards around the area, but the MNC was without a doubt my favorite. If you get a chance on a pretty afternoon, this is a wonderful place to visit.
Two years ago, my fiancee Travis and I took a weekend trip to Savannah. It was my first time and we got to spend the day exploring and marveling over what a beautiful city it is. Here are some pictures I took and just now edited- because i am THATONTHEBALL.
No one mentioned that the BEAUTIFUL spanish moss sometimes has chiggers until after this extensive photoshoot. Luckily, we were spared.
Finally getting to share the Wren’s BEAUTIFUL North Georgia wedding!
Kristin and Andrew- you were a complete joy to work with from beginning to end. I absolutely loved getting to meet all your family (from here and ABROAD!). I know you two are going to do good things together. Thanks for letting me be part of your day. And Kristin- I’m way glad you didn’t get stung. ;)