Sunday, July 13, 2014

When I Look Into Your Eyes | Colton Samuel, 18 Months

A little over 18 months ago you entered our lives, little man. We thought that we were simply once again joyfully embarking on the journey of sweet newborn-scented babyness; that we were just welcoming a little brother for Jimmy into our family; that we had a lot to offer you. What we didn't know was that you had so much more to offer us.

You took us on a journey to Rochester. We learned about trusting competent strangers in an ambulance to take our beautiful newborn safely over icy roads hours away where you could get better. We learned a lot about faith. We learned about miracles. We learned about how much people in our world cared so deeply--about us... about you. We learned that we had nothing to complain about; that even in our darkest, scariest moments we had oh so very much to be grateful for.

We thought we had the parenting thing down pat when we took you home, but you taught us that we were helpless humans with absolutely no idea of what we were doing. You taught us to think more with our heart and less with our mind. We learned how perfect little cherubs like you need a lot of love. A lot of love. We learned about long sleepless nights. We learned that sometimes the only sleeping position is the one with you on your tummy on daddy's chest. We learned about colic. About food sensitivities. We made many mistakes along the way, but you never noticed; you asked for nothing but love. And slowly you got better.

You learned to walk... and run... and climb... and fall. Fearlessly. Keeping you alive is a full time job. You have sharpened our senses. Your favorite thing to do is play with a framed picture of mommy and daddy. You love music. You love dancing. You know no strangers; on the beach last weekend you just went up to a random person who was filming his family and stood beside him, pretending he was your new dad for the moment. You danced out into the street three times at a parade to the giggling amusement of the crowd. You make people laugh.

You taught us about vivacious toddlerhood. You have naughty streaks that are so adorable that we can't help but love you. You live with your heart and your arms wide open. You're tough yet so tender. You have a beautiful and strong spirit. I pray to God it is never crushed or broken.

You taught us about gentleness. About love like we have never known. About selflessness. About giving up our plans and our dreams to make a better world for each other. You taught us to never be complacent, but to constantly endeavor to become better for you and your sweet brother Jimmy. You have bonded us together so tight.

Before you were born, you and I often listened to Jason Mraz's "I Won't Give Up". I had no idea how much it impacted both of us. It's our song. And I love you and will never give up on being the best that I can for the beautiful boy you are.

When I look into your eyes, it's like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise; there's so much they hold.

And just like them old stars I feel that we've come so far
To be right where you are, how old is your soul?
For us to work we didn't break, we didn't burn
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I've got, and what I'm not, and who I am

I won't give up on us, even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love I'm still looking up.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Daniel | Class of 2014

I'm finding more and more that photography is just the thing to unwind me from a stressful day. My therapy. The thing that makes my mind and the world right again. Oh the problems my camera solves for me! 

A quiet, slightly overcast evening in downtown Menomonie was just the thing for a perfect senior shoot with Daniel. It was so much fun exploring the variety of architect and backdrops that Menomonie has to offer with such a cool and good sport like Daniel. This has to be the most fascinating senior shoot I have done to date. I'm pretty sure I might have just uncovered my new favorite portrait location. 

And to Daniel, thank you for being so easy going and fun to work with! I am so happy to have had the honor of doing your senior portraits. Congratulations on your graduation! I wish you the best; you have a good head on your shoulders, I know you will go far in life!