Tag Archives: Wichita

Homecoming – OpLove

6 Jan

Yesterday morning I got a call from Angie. She explained that her husband was returning from his 5th deployment in 5 years. THAT NIGHT. She almost sheepishly asked if I’d be willing to come shoot the homecoming as part of my volunteer gig with OpLove. Funny thing about those silly photo resolutions I posted last week. One of the things I wanted to do more of in 2011 was homecoming shoots! I made a few quick calls & texts to make arrangements for my kiddos and told her I’d be there.

Later that morning I got a text. Her hubby had hopped a standby flight and would be home 4 hours earlier than we expected! Aggh! No worries, a few more quick texts and we were back in business. I met Angie and the kids at the airport and we settled in to wait for his flight to arrive. (I say “settled” but really we all paced and fidgeted.)

Angie brought a great flag to hold. We waited in the crowded hallway as other flights arrived and people greeted their loved ones and moved along to pick up their luggage.

A few texts, Facebook updates, games and checks of the arrivals board helped to pass the time.

More pacing, waiting, checking and looking hopefully down the pathway. At one point I told Angie I didn’t know how she was holding it all together so well, my heart was pounding and I was so excited for them!

Finally the board said his flight had arrived! After what seemed to be an eternity waiting for them to deboard the plane and appear around the corner…here he comes!

And there SHE goes! At a dead sprint through the airport and straight into the arms of her daddy. Her hero.

And not long after, everyone else got to greet him with hugs, kisses and tears. (Happy ones, of course!)

And then all was right in the world again. Their family is whole. Daddy is home, he’s safe. And they are all together.

I’m so blessed to have been a part of this amazing moment in their family history. Those who know me know that I did a very short term as a military spouse. The Hubs finished his service about 3 months after we were married but he did deploy while we were dating. It is the hardest, most gut wrenching feeling to watch them leave. I have so much admiration and respect for the spouses who hold it all together at home. And as horrible as it is to say goodbye, it is equally as amazing to say “Welcome Home!”

Sadly, the same day as this homecoming, another family learned their son would not return. Please hug your loved ones tight and say a prayer for the Nettleton family of Wichita.

This is why OpLove is so close to my heart. I hope that every family has pre-deployment photos taken. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us. OpLove provides these sessions at no cost to the family and for a family whose loved one doesn’t return, just imagine how precious those last photos together would be. If you know someone who is deploying, please encourage them to visit the photographer locator section of the website. There are OpLove photographers all over the country.

*photos posted with permission from the family

OPLOVE DOD Disclaimer: “The photos and other content of this publication do not imply any endorsement or recommendation by the Department of Defense.”

Because we’re worth it.

6 Jan

I got a call a few weeks ago from the lovely and oh-so-sweet Brianne. She explained that she was going through some changes in her life and would like to have a photo session. To make her feel good and to have some photos that were just for her. If you read my last post, you’d know that this was one of my 2011 photo resolutions so I was more than happy to oblige!

We met on an unseasonally warm and sunny January day and she rocked it out!

Brianne has AMAZING eyes!

And as gorgeous as she is on the outside, her inside matches equally. She is such a sweet, fun person and I had a blast spending the afternoon with her.

When was the last time you had portraits done for YOU? Your senior portraits? Are you laying on a studio floor with all of your sports/band/cheerleading memorabilia around you? Isn’t it time to have some great photos of who you are today?

We take photos of our kids, our families, our pets, but we rarely feel like we are “worth it”. Ladies, we are. Don’t forget that!

Bikers for Babies

29 Aug

My first baby isn’t a baby anymore. She’s nearly as tall as me. She’s 11 and healthy, smart and beautiful. But when she was born I got a tiny little taste of what the families go through that March of Dimes supports.

 She spent 3 days in NICU. What was at first thought to be a serious blood infection turned out to be merely a “stress reaction” to being born.

Which, if you think about it, is probably a pretty stressful event.

So after poking, prodding, testing and waiting, I was given back my healthy 8lb. 2 oz. “Monster Baby” from an NICU filled with tiny preemies.

Yesterday, she acted as my “Second Shooter” for the March of Dimes Bikers for Babies Ride. And see? She IS nearly as tall as me!


We spent the entire day shooting together along the route of the ride. The path took us from Wichita, out to El Dorado, up to Hesston and back.

I see you...

Do you see me?

At the wrap up, we got to hear the Wilson Family speak about their experience with their beautiful triplet girls. The March of Dimes has really helped them out and it was wonderful to see how their girls are growing and thriving. Their dad, James, and I met through the local Flickr group. He is a talented photographer and documents his family the old school way…on FILM! You can catch up on their story and his photos on his BLOG.

And to see all of the photos from the event, GO HERE!