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Mr. and Mrs Steve Waigand

Congratulations to Steve and Tabitha who got married on June 18th. I was so happy to help them document their special day. I really couldn’t narrow down the images to upload very well so be prepared to look at a lot of pictures in collage form. The first collage is of some of the details from their day.
Next up are some getting ready pictures and special pics of Tabby and her parents. She is such a beautiful bride!
Tabitha and Steve chose to do a “first look” session. I love that the first time they saw each other on their wedding day was in the privacy of the sanctuary with just the two of them, well and me. If you are trying to decide whether you want a first look session, it allows the photographer to capture the expressions that would normally not be seen from the camera angle during the ceremony. Look how happy they are!
Now it was time for the big event! We all waited till the bride made her entrance. What a special moment as two people become one in the bond of marriage and are united for as long as they live.
Of course no wedding would be complete without more pictures of the bride and groom and the wedding party.
It had rained that morning and it was very hot so our time outdoors was limited. We did manage to sneak over to a nearby wooded area for a few shots. I love outdoor wedding shots, if you can get them in your wedding, I highly recommend it!
Then it was off to the reception. Let’s just say that these folks like to dance and have a good time!
Thank you Steve and Tabby! God bless you as you begin your life together as husband and wife.

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Sweet Summertime

When I think of summertime as a child, I remember distinctly different summers. Part of my childhood we lived in the city. This meant going to the neighborhood pool every day we could, and when we couldn’t we were playing in the sprinkler or with water balloons or squirt guns. Then we moved to the country and summertime meant long days of walking barefoot down dusty country roads, swimming in the swimming hole, the smell of the freshly mowed hay and the inside of a hot barn. I still love the smell of the inside of a barn, especially when there are  horses there.  Yesterday, on a 98 degree July day, I got to spend some time with two very sweet sisters. These little girls were all dressed in their red white and blue so I thought it was a perfect time for some bomb pops and balloons. To me, these images bring back childhood summers. In fact as I was working on them, I just had to take a little time out to remember, happily,  so many fun childhood times. I hope you can enjoy making memories with your children and grandchildren. While we’re at it, take a walk down memory lane with me to those hot summer days of our childhood when all we had to worry about was if we could go swimming or horseback riding, if we’d get to eat a popsicle and how many fireflies we could catch, when we didn’t have a care in the world about bills, deadlines, hectic schedules and the demands of adult life. Those truly were sweet summertimes. Thanks Addi and Riley for helping me take a little trip down memory lane with your sweet smiles and precious sisterly love.


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Baby Drew

I have known Jami since she was a little girl. Now she is a new mommy with a sweet little lump of sugar for a baby boy. There are some families that come into our lives that make an impact we will never forget. That’s the case with Jami’s family. Her grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, as well as her cousins, welcomed us with such love when we moved to Gower, MO to begin Gary’s pastorate there, we will never forget them. Jim and Mary Lou (baby Drew’s great-grandparents) are just about some of the finest people you could ever hope to meet.  I count it as a blessing to have been asked to capture some images of this little guy, and even more so because it was his first outing anywhere except for the doctor.  We waited a little bit and when he went to sleep he was a champ.  He is just as sweet as he can be. Congratulations Jami and  AJ, as well as the whole extended family.  Here are a few of my favorites arranged in a collage.


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Joplin – One Month After

Last week, we had the opportunity to go down to Joplin, Missouri and work on helping clean debris, demolish destroyed homes, move the remains to the curb, and hand out supplies. Mainly we wanted to help and do whatever we could for the people there.  I knew it would be hot, dirty and dangerous work. What I did not count on was the impact it would have on me and the way God would use it to revitalize my spirit.  It is so easy to get in my own little world, filled with smiling children, couples and families. I insulate myself behind the camera or the computer and spend all my time working to meet my goals, to build my business. I notice how many times I use the words me, my, I, mine. Much too much. So this trip was all about helping the survivors, ministering to others and doing work that seemingly made no sense because of certain rules and beuracracy. However, the work was good, and tiring and mainly got my eyes off of myself and my little world. It was much more than lifting, sorting, raking, raking, raking, carrying, distributing, getting blisters, aching muscles, swollen fingers, stiff joints and being worn out. It was spiritual work. How do you look at someone whose home has been blown down and literally reduced to a pile of rubble in a matter of minutes, who has been injured and is just fresh from the hospital, limping and bruised, or breaks down into tears when reliving how the monster tornado almost took her entire family right before her eyes? How do you comfort someone who can no longer sleep for fear they will not hear the tornado sirens sounding?  What can just one person do in the face of literally miles of storm blasted and obliterated homes and businesses?  One person can do so much. One person can take the hand of another person and listen to her story. One person can bow and pray with someone and tell them that somehow, it will be ok. One person can put their arm around another and just let them know that God is there, He has not abandoned them, and He was with them in the middle of that tornado protecting so many. One person can take a little time out of their busy day and stop and pray for a woman already suffering from stage 4 ovarian cancer and now her house is condemned and they can only stay in it for a few more days or weeks but who keeps on smiling.  When you see the miles and miles of destroyed homes and realize that only 154 people perished when it looks like only 154 should have survived, you know God was there. We heard so many stories of survival, and of how God literally held the people down and kept them from being taken away by the tornado, of families holding on to each other as tight as they could because they would not let anyone “go alone”.  I had at least three people tell me personally that they would not let go of someone because, “If she went, I was going too. She was not going alone.”  Can you even imagine thinking those thoughts? We heard miraculous stories of survival. We had people stop and give us sandwiches, cupcakes and lemonade and say, “Thank you for helping our city. Thank you for taking your time and helping us.” I heard a school teacher who was reunited with a former student at the distribution center listening as the former student told the teacher about the death of her mother and loss of her house. Yet the teacher was smiling, comforting her and as she was leaving we prayed together. Through tear filled eyes she said, “Thank you for all you are doing, you guys are awesome.” I quickly pointed out that God is awesome and we were just doing a little something to help. I truly believe that if it were our community that was ravaged by a terrible tragedy like that, people would come from all over the country to help.  We heard a great message by the youth pastor at Wildwood Baptist Church who said that it took an EF5 tornado to shake their community for the church to become the church. That church, and many others, are actively being the hands and feet of Christ. They have stopped worrying about appearances and are concerned with helping broken people with their everyday needs as well as their spiritual needs. They are housing the homeless and caring for the injured.  He said he would not go back to the way things were before. I believe him. I don’t want to go back either. I want to continue to know what is important, and not only know it but to do it, whether it is in my own back yard, 3 hours away or on another continent. May it not be only words but deeds.
Here are just a very few images from our time in Joplin. They do not capture the magnitude of  the destruction, nor the spirit of the people. The destruction went on for miles and miles. The spirit of hope, determination and faith in God went on forever. We all want to go back again, there is so much to do! I hope to get back down there to help in whatever way I can, aching joints and all. It’s worth it.
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20
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“I Heart Faces” Photo Challenge – Bright and Vivid

I have often thought of entering a photo into this weekly photo challenge but have never done it – till now. The theme is “Bright and Vivid”. I sure think little Miss Kaleigh is definitely bright and vivid. I love her pink flowered headband with this vibrant background and her pretty blue eyes are so bright and shiny! I don’t think you can look at her and not smile. I know I can’t!


Click here to see all the other “Bright and Vivid ” Entries

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