Tag Archives: family

Milan Family Spring 2015

I’ve been shooting this family since before Luciano was even born. I’m so lucky they keep coming back for more! I love watching them grow. :)

 

(Click the image below to see the whole set on Flickr!)

 

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Holleman Family Spring Shoot

Super sunny, super windy, but adorable little kidlets nonetheless! :)

 

(Click through the slideshow below!)

 

 

 

The Greatest Show On Earth

So, maybe the title is a slight exaggeration. Surely there are other great shows out there, but I don’t fault them for using the phrase. It really is one GREAT ass show.

 

If you haven’t already figured it out by now, I’m talking about the circus; Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey LEGENDS to be exact. And it was AMAZING! I don’t know when the last time I went was, I was probably so young that the memory is too fuzzy to recall, and so being there yesterday was almost like the first time. It didn’t matter that I am about to turn 33 and had no children in attendance with me, for one night I was 5 all over again and completely captivated. No, seriously, my mouth was dry from hanging open in amazement for so long. There was so much to see, my eyes could hardly keep up.

 

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We had excellent seats, which helped enhance the event, though I don’t think there were really any bad seats necessarily, just better ones. We had the better ones. The entire show is a burst of color, covered in glitters that catch the lights perfectly and draw you in. Actual performance aside, it was just visually stunning. The level of talent and bravery these performers have just blows my mind; they don’t miss a beat and thank God for that because several times I was equally amazed and horrified that I was about to watch someone meet certain death… like for instance the maniac motorcyclists in the video below. This video isn’t even the final count, we just wanted to watch the last round with our eyes instead of the phone lens, but they literally had 8 bikes in there! EIGHT! The program I bought says they ride at 60 mph, 4″ apart. That’s just insane.

 


Other bits of insanity involved the Big Cats. Now, I love cats, especially the big ones. In my mind, I think: Awww, wouldn’t it be so awesome to hug one of them! But I’m not stupid. Their mass and ferocity is terrifying and I know better. But Alexander Lacey doesn’t. He’s like, 11 big cats? YES, put me in a cage with them! This is where the line between brave and stupid blurs in my opinion. Thankfully, I didn’t have to witness the man be mawed to death, but I will say there were moments when I wasn’t sure. And while I loved seeing the Big Cats, I have to admit they didn’t seem happy.

 

When I was excitedly telling people I was going to the circus, I was met with a touch of nastiness like, “How can you support an event that is so cruel to animals?” There were actually even picketers there. I hadn’t even thought it that way. Only a small portion of the circus includes animals and all of them, with the exception of the big cats, seemed to enjoy their role in the show. Call it silly on my part (re: crazy imagination that believes animals have minds like us), but I think that some animals actually enjoy being used in something so spectacular. Dogs definitely enjoy learning tricks and getting treats for successfully pulling them off. No one hates on trainers who enter their talented dogs in Dog Shows, right? And horses seem to love to be ridden; they’re runners by nature so how much cooler is it for them to have a rider who gives their run a direction and purpose? I know the circus just recently announced their phase out plan for the elephants by 2018 and I understand and respect the decision to focus more on their preservation than on the money they help bring in, but I have to say that even the elephants looked like they were having a good time. The only animal I felt didn’t want to be there were the Big Cats and that did make me sad for them. However, the program I bought has a section on Alexander Lacey and his Big Cats and apparently his family has been raising them for decades, so these aren’t wild cats turned circus, they were born for this. Maybe this is just their usual demeanor? I don’t know. I suppose the cats will eventually go with the elephants and maybe they’d be happier? Or maybe that’d just put more of them in the wild for murder? Ugh, animal protection is such a tricky thing. :/

 

Back to the show, though… The drama kid from my past surfaced in me and I couldn’t help but also marvel at more than just the show itself, but all that I know has to go on behind the scenes for it to unfold so flawlessly. No one missed a beat. The lights, the music, the set changes, it just impresses me like you can’t imagine. How many hands go into making a show of this magnitude go on so successfully? I don’t know, but bravo to them. Every last one of them are stars in my opinion.

 

I’m sad to say we don’t have a ton of great pictures to remember the event by, but you can sort through the ones we did get in the slideshow below. I wasn’t sure they’d let me in with my good camera and phone cameras, while surprisingly decent these days, just don’t know what to do with all that light and movement. Still, I got a shirt and a program, and a hat with my cotton candy. Oh and a squeaker nose for good measure. 😉 It was awesome to take my mother-in-law (to be) and see her have such an awesome time herself, since lots of her days have been filled with sadness since Bobby passed. I’m still feeling the buzz of happiness today, that I had the whole ride home. So cool to get out and do something so fun for a change! If you’ve never seen the circus, I highly recommend it!

 

 

 

 

Mothers and Sons

My sister and Nakia have been best friends since they were in 1st grade (they’ll be 30 this year!), making Nakia our sister from another mother. She lives far away these days and it’s been a long time since we’ve seen her last, but she’s home this week with her son Oliver (who’s only a couple month’s younger than Abel) and we thought we should capture the moment with a Mothers and Sons shoot. Shooting my nephews is hard enough these days and adding a third little boy didn’t make it any easier, but boys being boys is fun to shoot and I’m just happy we got to spend this sort of quality time with Nakia before her and Oliver leave. <3

 

(Click through the slideshow below! For color versions of this set, click HERE!)

 

There is Always Light in Darkness

Things have been grim since Heath’s dad passed away. I’ve seen him cry more than I even thought he was capable of and his pain resonates loudly in my soul. I want to take it all away, but there just isn’t really anything I can do outside of just being there for him. I am grateful that God has given me a heart big enough for the both of us, because it’s been every bit of necessary. People say time heals the wounds, and I know they’re right, but time, or lack thereof, is what upsets him most. There is no more time with his dad. You can’t get back all the time you regret not spending with him now. And experiencing this has changed something in Heath, for the better.

 

We’ll celebrate our 11th year together this summer, 7 of which we’ll have been engaged. I think we’d both just sort of already felt married and so actually making it legal didn’t seem all that pressing to us. But it did to our families, particularly Heath’s dad. He was always asking when it was going to finally happen and we’d shrugged it off too many times. He’d also asked about grandkids time and time again and it always left Heath and I in a bad place because I’ve always wanted kids, three to be exact, but Heath didn’t. I’ve imagined myself a mother since I was just a little girl and watching my sister’s kids grow into these perfect tiny humans only makes me want my own even more. Ever since I turned 30, I’ve worried about running out of time to have kids. Women have that biological clock and all and mine’s ticking fast. And so I’ve been praying for years now, for God to let me know if my future really didn’t include kids. That my purpose in this life wasn’t to also be a mother. And all this time I’ve grown more and more frustrated over not hearing or feeling His answer. Never confident in what that meant for mine and Heath’s future. But I know now that God was answering me all along and his answer was: Patience. A lesson I seem to constantly be learning.

 

On the way home from Heath’s father’s viewing, we talked about how hard it was to watch his dad die the way we did, but that we were glad we were all there for him, that he didn’t die alone. And I admitted that it’s one of my biggest fears, dying alone. I’m not afraid to die, I know heaven is far better than this life, but I want to be surrounded by love when I’m heading out. It was still a few more days before the conversation I wanted to have would take place, but the entire time I just kept thinking: Neither of our parents are all that healthy and the likelihood of them outliving us is slim, which means when we’re on our deathbeds, we’ll be all we have and once one of us is gone, the other dies alone. Heath must have been thinking the same thing because a few days later, he changed his mind about having kids without any provoking at all. He realized how important family was to him and decided he doesn’t want his family to end with him.

 

Despite all the sadness I’ve felt over losing his dad, my heart feels so hopeful again. And I just know he’s in heaven right now, proud of his son for changing his mind, even if it took him passing for him to realize what his dad had been telling him all along.

 

Heath’s conditions were that we have a house before we try and that works out well since we were already trying to get our bills in order so that we could be buying a house by the start of 2016. That plan is still in place and baby making can start once we’ve reached that place, but in the meantime, we figure, we should probably go ahead and get married finally. So, on November 7th, I’ll officially be Sarah Harris and I’m more excited about it than I thought I would be. Being with someone for 10+ years means the lust of new love has worn off, and quality friendship has sunken in. But I feel in-love with him all over again and it’s exhilarating. We’ll still be mourning his father, for a long time to come, but we’ll have these beautiful distractions from keeping us stuck there in darkness, and I just know we’re making his father happy right now.

 

God works in the most mysterious ways. 😉

 

P.S. If you’re curious about what my wedding might look like, I’m plotting it HERE!

Saying Goodbye Too Soon

Sunday night my fiancé’s father, Bobby, was rushed to the ER completely unresponsive. After getting him stabilized, it was determined that his COPD ridden 1 & 2/3 lungs (he lost 1/3 of the left to cancer 5 years ago) had double pneumonia. Pneumonia that was likely left untreated for months. For days he sat in the ICU, doctors trying to get his oxygen level up high enough to go home, but that just wasn’t a reality. A ventilator was really the only way to preserve his life, to force his lungs to work at a reasonable level, but that would have meant spending the rest of his life on it, a life lived in a nursing home (which is no life at all really). Bobby didn’t want that, even though none of us were ready to accept what that meant for his fate. He just wanted to go home and in the end that home was to God.

 

Thursday afternoon the “comfortable way to die” was initiated. Watching and waiting for him to pass was the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever witnessed. Bobby’s mother celebrated her 88th birthday watching her only son pass away. Even if I hadn’t known this man and his family for the last 11 years, I would have been crushed. Friday at 1:30, he took his last breath. He was only 54 years old.

 

If you’re the praying type, Heath’s family could use all the prayers for strength they can get while they learn to live life without Bobby.

 

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Heath holding his father’s hand for the last time

 

Christmastime 2014

December came so suddenly and passed so swiftly, it’s almost as if it didn’t really happen. I was SO busy. I know it seems like every time I blog these days, busy is topic of discussion, but it’s been true and was extra true in December. I started the month doing a a series of Christmas card shoots (Shoot 1, 2, 3, 4), then it was time for my annual Cookie-Thon, and before I knew it Christmas week was here! Thankfully, I captured it all in pictures, since there was zero time to write about it!

 

(Click through the slideshows below!)

 

Christmastime Around My House 

 

 

 

Christmas Eve Eve

 

 

Christmas Eve

 

 

Christmas Day

 

 

Annual Whisted Women Holiday Lunch

 

 

As you can see, my Christmas was AWESOME! How about yours?

 

The Huff’s || Fall 2014

It’s getting harder to get my sister’s boys to sit still for staged photos these days, but I think I like capturing them being themselves (a bit silly) better anyway!

 

(Click through the slideshow below!)

 

 

Huff Family Summer 2014 Shoot

(Click through the slideshow below!)

 

 

 

 

Milan Family Summer 2014 Shoot

(Click through the slideshow below!)