Category Archives: Lifestyle

Madelynn [9 month portraits and mini lifestyle] Sept. 2016

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Time to blog my niece’s 9 month session! My sister had myself and our mom over for dinner one night this past September and also did MJ’s 9 month photos. I also grabbed some family shots and some “lifestyle” pictures during dinner. It was a great evening.

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Another blah overcast day but we made the best of it. We started outside in their little backyard at their apartment.

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Maddie is usually full of smiles but she was feeling a little off this day. Most of the time I just got these serious faces. Haha.

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We did get a couple small smiles though. She loves airplane!

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This was my favorite area with the tall grass, wildflowers and goldenrod. Made for a pretty backdrop!

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We grabbed the rest of the fam for some shots!

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And this sweet little guy out shined everyone on this day! He is non-verbal autistic and like most has trouble with eye contact. But this session he was the most interactive he has ever been for photos, and with me period. I was super proud of Jackson this day!

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And Grandma wanted one with her and all the kiddos!

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Rhilyn and Jackson, so stinking adorable. P.S. Jackson is as tall as Rhilyn and he’s 1.5 yrs younger.

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Everybody was getting cranky and hungry so we headed in for dinner. One of the favorite things I did with my daughter when she was a baby, was take lifestyle photos of her doing her own thing. I took the chance to grab some lifestyle shots of the kids enjoying dinner time.

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While MJ ate, Rhilyn and Jackson worked on building a wall together.

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Once everyone had full bellies I thought we could head back out to finish up Maddie’s photos.

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caryn

 

 

Life Lessons

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Children are innocence.
I don’t mean that they are innocent, because often they can be quite naughty at least from our perspective. But they possess innocence. They are carefree, joyful, effervescent, exuberant, adventurous, loving (the unconditional kind) and just full of life. They are blessed with so many qualities that they don’t even realize and if we fail to look close enough, we will miss them too. The “work week” is pretty challenging for me. It makes for long days and I have limited time to spend with my husband and daughter. Once the day at the office ends, I have to come home and work too. Pick up the house, make dinner, clean up from dinner and bath time… this leaves only a few minutes for me to really connect and enjoy quality time with my family and before you know it, it’s bed time for the little one. Everything is rush rush rush, get this done and that done and “no hunnie, there’s no time for that now.” Every time I say that my heart breaks a little. As time passes, I become more in tune to it whipping past us; time that we will never get back. I feel an urgency to slow the heck down and live life in the moment instead of hurrying it away, to slow down and really be present and observant in this girl’s life. If I think about it, there are many life lessons to be learned from her and children in general.

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That’s why I love trips to the farm (my parents’ land) and trips to the hunting camp (family-owned land on my husband’s side). They are places to un-plug, get away from the town and relax a little. Sloooooooow down and live some. I had an opportunity to sneak away to the farm last weekend and it was much needed therapy. I really watched her and let her. Let her do whatever she wanted (so long as it was safe). Let her explore and be a kid.

(Note: If anyone is freaking out about this photo, you can stop. This is my middle-aged mare whom I’ve had since she was two, wouldn’t “hurt a fly” and yes I know anything can happen but I felt perfectly comfortable with my mom standing close by. Just had to say that before anyone got their panties in a bunch). 

Love. Fierce love. Unconditional, unfailing and pure. Children have a love for all things big and small- from the dandelion she picked out just for me, to all the creatures of the earth, to the people in her life. Even when she is scolded she comes right back with more love. Even when let down she still loves. I learned what unconditional love felt like when she was put into my arms but if I could love others with an ounce of how she does I would be a better person.

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Appreciation for the little details, like the dapples on my mare that she pointed out…

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… and the veins that run along her flank. She takes notes on everything and always asks “why?” Oh, that question! “Why? But why? Why?” Yes, it can sometimes get annoying but I do my very best to answer each “why” with a correct and honest answer. Why you may ask? (haha) Because if she is curious enough to ask then I am seizing that chance to tell her. She is learning every single second of the day and one day she won’t want to listen to a word I have to say.

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Photo of Octane not pertinent to the story, just a pretty girl 🙂

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In between all her running around I did get her to sit with me for a minute (or second) to watch for the hummingbirds as they made frequent appearances. She often heard them before we saw them and once she spotted one she would get so excited and jump up and down, which made them retreat to the nearby tree.

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My sister and little nephew came by to visit too!

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During our little outside adventure, we spotted the neighbor’s horse peering through a broken slat in their fence… He was a friendly fella (or lady) and has a super cute stripe and snip! He wanted in on all the fun I guess 🙂

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Then clouds rolled in and it rained. Not for long, but long enough to run around butt-naked and squeal with excitement (not me, my kid)!

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She wanted to go “run and run around” in the rain and so she did. I watched her jump into every puddle down the drive, lift her face to the sky and smile as the raindrops hit her face. Me? I don’t like to get wet much so I stayed under the patio but I had just as much fun. She would reach down and splash the water (I’m half surprised she didn’t lay down and roll in it). For a child to be so excited over something so simple as rain… oh to be that carefree. At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s the little things in life that matter most.

The rain withdrew and we did too, back inside for a nap. Once awake from dreamland, we started on dinner but halfway in, a big storm came through and knocked the power out! Luckily the bacon was done and we ate our dinner by emergency candle light.

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I stepped out onto the porch to check the hanging plants and saw that these silly horses were out in it! The wind was whipping and it was pelting rain pretty good but they didn’t seem to care.

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Back inside, the kids enjoyed some cartoons (until the battery died) and we ate delicious BLT’s.

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As quick as it came it receded and the house brightened up (power still off).

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And it wasn’t long before she was ready to head back outside! This is one thing I love about her. She always wants to be outside and although loves her cuddles and movie time, if she had her way she would be outside all the time, digging in the dirt, collecting rocks, and getting dirty. She has a great sense of adventure.

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This was the sky after the storm cleared. We ended up with some beautiful sunlight on this evening, and off we went for our nature walk down the right-a-way (the old railroad bed on the property). This place is magical to me. Everything about it is beautiful and looks like something out of a fairy tale. There are plenty of things to discover and it’s perfect for a child’s imagination.

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Spotted a bug on one of the wild phlox.

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She loves the water and even more she loves throwing rocks into the water and watches the splash she created. But, she couldn’t get past all of the snails on the rocks this time.

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On the walk back we had to take a moment to appreciate the beautiful sunset…

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The rays were bursting out from behind the clouds and Rhilyn named off all of the colors she could see.

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For children, happiness comes easy. It’s natural for them, and just about anything can make them happy. But for adults it has to be intentional; it has to be a choice. I can learn a lot by watching her – how to be happy in any circumstance, how to love, how to give, how to be unstoppable. It certainly isn’t easy but I am certain it can be done.

If you’ve stuck with me this far, thank you. I’ve had to step away from this post many times and come back so I apologize if my thoughts are a little scrambled or disorganized. 🙂
Caryn

Off To Neverland

I introduced Rhilyn to one of the Walt Disney classics a week or so ago, one of my favorites as a child, Peter Pan. Ever since, whenever we head outside to play our backyard becomes Neverland. She runs around looking for Captain Hook and Tinkerbell, hops aboard the Jolly Roger to sail the skies & seas, and of course uses pixie dust to fly. But before setting forth to the second star on the right, we had to get some other playtime out of the way…

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Have you ever seen such a sight? Mowing the grass in a dress and heels.

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Of course it’s probably just the bubbles that pop out of the mower that she loves.

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Not sure what she was doing here quite honestly… Looks like a somersault but she never made it up and over.

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And now for the fun!

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Gasp… I think she’s spotted Tinker Bell! Off to go catch her!

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Got her! She shook some pixie dust into her hand, blew it off and cried “PIXIE DUST AWAY!”

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And she’s off and flying!!!! (Cue Peter Pan music… “Off to Neverland”).

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She’s made it safely to Neverland and has boarded the Jolly Roger, except I’m afraid Captain Hook is no where to be found…

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Looking for Hook…

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… but she’s spotted Mr. Crocodile whom she fears has ate the codfish Captain!

And it was at this point she was getting hungry herself, so we flew the Jolly Roger back home and retired inside for some dinner. Until next time!