Friday, October 26, 2018

Getting Ready For Halloween!

Last year, I hit some after-Christmas sales and bought several gingerbread house making kits.  I thought it would be fun to let my kids decorate the houses for holidays other than Christmas.  I pulled one kit out a few weeks ago and let them create a Haunted Gingerbread House.  They loved it!  I think it turned out great and was happy to add it to my dining room table centerpiece.

A few years ago, my Mom created some Halloween coloring pages for me to post to the blog.  Since she has had her stroke, she doesn't much feel like drawing.  Because, Halloween is such a big deal for my kids, they wanted to create coloring pages for me to post this year.  Feel free to download (right click on the image, then save) and print them.  It would make my kiddos very happy!

We are waiting with excitement for the big day.  Our house has been decorated since September 29th, I am putting the final touches on their costumes, and we are all praying for some cooler weather to arrive for a pleasant evening of Trick or Treating!
Happy Halloween!!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Chick Pics

As always, Chick Pics Mini Sessions were a hit!  So many of my clients look forward to spring time just for these sessions, my own kiddos love babysitting the chicks for the weekend, and I love photographing kids with the chicks.  Everyone wins!!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Tea Party

I was honored, once again, to photograph this sweet little sassafras for her 4th birthday!  Her Mom and I decided on a tea party theme and I love how this shoot turned out. The birthday girl brought two special guests to join her for tea and we even had a tray of pretty sprinkle cookies!  What more could this little princess ask for??

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Back in January, my Mom had a stroke.  As terrible as strokes are, she was extremely lucky.  The only thing affected by the damage to her brain was her speech.  She is alive, with no paralysis, and is completely mobile.  Thank the Lord!

Aphasia is a communication disorder that results from damage to the parts of the brain that contain language.  These individuals may have additional difficulties beyond speech and language issues, such as difficulty listening, reading, and writing.  However, aphasia does not affect intelligence.

Patients with aphasia know exactly what they want to say, but there is a disconnect between the brain and getting the words to come out of their mouth.  It's frustrating.  What was once second nature, requires a lot of patience, practice, and hard work.  Ordering dinner at a restaurant, saying thank you at the grocery store, asking your loved ones how their day was, expressing your feelings, no longer just happen. 

My Mom has been working hard to recover her communication skills.  She had therapy a few times a day while she was hospitalized, entered an outpatient therapy program at Orlando Health, then was finally admitted into UCF's Aphasia House.  All of the therapists my Mom has worked with have been so wonderful.  Every one of them has truly had her best interest at heart and have encouraged her speech recovery every step of the way.

It amazes me how things happen in our lives for a reason.  A Speech Language Pathologist Mom from my kid's school ran into me at the hospital and gave me advise.  She continued to check up on my Mom, in the weeks following the stroke.  A former student of mine was a grad student at the UCF Aphasia House and was one of my Mom's therapists.  Then, a Speech Language Pathologist friend from high school just published a book aimed at helping the recovery of aphasia patients.  God's timing is impeccable!

Connie Guarneri has sixteen years experience as a SLP, working to rehabilitate adults with speech and language disorders.  She recently partnered with artist Adrienne Yorinks to collaborate on a workbook for patients with aphasia.  Connie posted information about her new book shortly after my Mom was released from the hospital.  Connecting Language and Art:  Facilitating Speech & Language Recovery arrived and my Mom loved it.  

The book uses art as a way to draw words out of patients.  This book caters to any patient with aphasia, but as a retired elementary art teacher, it was especially fun for my Mom.  She enjoys view the artwork in the book and answering the questions, completing the tasks, reading the descriptions, and describing the art.

We make copies of the pages for my Mom (or she just uses plain paper), so that she is not writing in the book and can continually reuse it.  She uses it when she has time off from structured therapy.  Sometimes she sits and works on it by herself and other times, we work with her.  The visual images really invoke increased communication from my Mom and for that I am truly grateful.  

My Mom continues to work to regain her speech and language abilities.  I don't know if she will ever fully recover, but this book and her therapists, along with patience and encouragement from her family and friends has helped her improve drastically.  My gratitude, prayers, and blessings go out to all who have helped in this process.  Thank you!

If you or someone you know suffers from aphasia, you can purchase this book HERE.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

And Baby Makes Three

Maternity sessions are one of my favorites to shoot.  The excitement about bringing a precious gift from God into this world is the best!  This maternity session was even more exciting because I used to babysit this beautiful Momma-to-be!  It was such an honor to photograph her and her adorable husband.  The love they have for each other and their sweet baby girl was so contagious.  They rocked this session!  

I'm also very appreciative that they trusted me when I asked them to pull off on the side of the road so I could photograph them in a random field of grass.  They nailed it!

Wishing these three many, many blessings!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Total Eclipse {of the Heart}

Sometimes, I think of the sun and moon as lovers
who rarely meet,
always chase, 
and almost always miss one another.

But once in a while,
they do catch up,
they kiss,
and the world stares in awe of their eclipse.

-Author unknown

It's very apropos that I am blogging this wedding reception on the night of the 2017 Solar Eclipse.  The love inside this ballroom was so tangible.  Not only between this husband and wife, but between the couple and their family and friends.  Everyone was in awe of their eclipse.

It was an absolute honor to photograph the wedding reception for this sweet couple.  I wish them a lifetime of love and happiness!