Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Heather & Logan {k-i-s-s-i-n-g}

Sunday evening I got to pal around with  Heather & Logan out at their place in Silver Lakes. I love getting to check out new places - so good for the soul to have a change of scenary and pace! We had a great session, followed by a great dinner out...and whoops, I wound up getting the "where are you?!" call from my hubby since I ended up not home 'till after 11 PM. {sorry, honey! didn't mean to worry you!}

I loved getting to spend time with you two! Thanks so much!! Enjoy the little sneak peek :-)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

{sweet} Juniper

Meet sweet little Juniper...

Juniper, along with her equally sweet sisters and brother, {and I better not forget Oreo, the cat!} live next door to me...and they're always out back playing, so I've sorta watched her grow this year from over the fence :-)  I was in need of a "baby fix," and sadly they're getting ready to move, so naturally I "borrowed" her for a bit the other morning...

What will I do without my awesome neighbors? Eggs... lawnmowers ...kids!...they are always there to lend me what I need!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Jennifer's Story...

A bit of a change of pace today...

A few days ago I opened my "Crackerjack Flats Express" newsletter, and had to stop a second we I saw a photo of a Mom with her two little boys. Under the beautiful image were their names, and then the statement, "Battling luekemia & seeking a donor match."


The photo was accompanied by the announcement that Ft Irwin would be hosting a Bone Marrow Donor Registration Drive in May. Jennifer,this brave young Mom fighting for her life, is a fellow army wife, and a sister-in-law to one of our own Ft. Irwin soldiers.

Just over a year ago - in March of '09 - my husband, Mike, was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer. It's a battle we are still fighting today. Although his cancer is being stubborn, {it had spread by the time of diagnosis, and the chemo wasn't successful}, we consider ourselves lucky - of all the cancers to get, this is the "good" kind; it's not only treatable, but curable.

For five months after his diagnosis, we were overwhelmed with the love and support of friends & family. His chemo treatments were 5 days long, and we'd return home from San Diego each time to find our pets well-loved, dinners prepared, and even our fridge fully stocked. It's the kind of love and support that leaves you humbled and speechless. We to this day are constantly asking ourselves, "how can we ever really thank them?"

Just as Mike's chemo treatments were ending, I myself began to not feel well. Things escalated, doctors were baffled, and eventually we found ourselves back on the receiving end of this community's amazing kindness. In January I was diagnosed with a rare vascular disease, Wegener's Granulomatosis. It's something that will be with me for life, but again Mike and I are lucky; this is something I will learn to live with and control. It's not leukemia...I'm not in need of a bone marrow donor...

Because of our own experiences in the past year, reading about Jennifer's fight was especially emotional for me. I thought of all the love and support Mike and I have been shown through our ordeals, and how we just can't find a way to say "thank you." Being donors for someone else in need would be the ultimate way to "pay it forward," but unfortunetly our treatments make us ineligible to be donors...

There is a quote I read, "If you don't like how things are, change it! You are not a tree." {Jim Rohn}

If we cannot personally submit a swab and possibly help save the life of someone like Jennifer, then I want to at least help get the word out about the event to as many people as possible. With the family's permission, I will be using my blog and studio's Facebook Page to do just that...

I know from the love and support Ft Irwin has shown Mike and I that this Donor Drive here on post will be a great success...this is such an amazing community! Please help spread the word about Jennifer's fight and the Drive...sadly, there are so many Jennifers out there that need our help...please help!

And how's this for awesome news?! An update from Jennifer's family already on the donor match that was found for her!! Ft Irwin, we could make this happen for other families!! "We are so happy that Jen did receive consent from her match to participate in the transplant (her match meets 9 out of 10 markers which is great). Jen started the chemo/radiation prep for the transplant but now we are waiting for the stem cells to make it to the US (her donor is in Denmark). The stem cells had been held up because of the trickle effect of international flights due to the volcanic ash. We are confident that it will all work out and the transplant will be complete by the end of the month. I am so excited to go forward with this drive and hopefully spread the same good fortune to other families."-Michelle M.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hat Trick...

Just something about this little series that makes me smile, so thought I'd share these :-) This is from the Vintage session on Monday evening...

Good {old} Fun!

When Kally first contacted me to schedule a family session I thought "she seems like a lot of fun!" Then, as we were texting ideas back and forth, she tells me about this car her hubby has restored; I felt like I hit the jackpot! That same day I scored a vintage couch I'd been oogling over for a while...double jackpot!! The session theme was coming together! Needless to say - I'd been looking forward to getting to use these two vintage "props" for quite some time now...

How cool are these two?! And I'm lovin' the colors. I did a few different versions of these car shots and debated with myself forever over which ones to put up as the sneak peek, but kept coming back to these softer toned ones. {I could see these turned into a vintage "greetings from Ft Irwin!" postcard!}

As hard as it was to turn my back on the car, we had a couch to snuggle on...so here's some from that series...

{love the laughter!!}

And since I haven't posted a "family feet" picture in a while, here's a different little version of one...

Hope you enjoyed your sneak peek you three! Thanks again for bringing out the car...I had a great time with you!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ava & Miles

hehehe...no lack of energy from these two cuties on Saturday evening! We started out at Bicycle Lake here on post {the dried lakebed} for some family shots, and  Ava & Miles took full advantage of all the room to R-U-N! Got some cute shots out there of them playing with Mom & Dad, and then we headed back on to main post for some different backdrops.

I'm totally digging this door & the series of shots of both Ava, Miles, and them together that we got by it...

...and this cute series of "the boys!"

This was my second time getting to work with Ava {you may remember her from the "apples" series a few months ago}..and now she & her family are off to "greener pastures" in the midwest...

I'm so glad we were able to work together again before you move...and I hope our paths cross again soon! Best wishes on your new journey....enjoy all the family time you'll have - and being at Indiana University!! As soon as you're all settled, be sure to let me know what you think of the campus!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

{Serendipity} McFadden Art Glass -Baltimore, MD

I love stumbling upon "cool finds!" This one definetely ranks up there on my list of favs...
I was back east for two weeks soaking up all the spring blooms and color green that I could while visiting my parents before heading to a friend's wedding in Maryland. The initial plan was to go see the Cherry Blossoms in D.C. before heading to Havre de Grace to link up with my hubby...but we got a little side tracked and
wound up in the Baltimore area,where we stumbled upon an artist's gallery and studio. Perfect timing for us...he was just starting to work on a piece, and his studio is open for people to come watch! The quick "let's stop in and take a peek" turned into a few hour visit, as we just couldn't leave until we saw the final work of art...watching the whole process was mesmerizing and beautiful - he made it look so easy! {I majored in ceramics in college, so while not the same there were a  lot of similarities...and I'm sure it wasn't nearly as easy as he made it look} Thankfully I had my camera in the car, so I was able to capture some cool shots of the artist and his assistants at work...

"The Glass Blower"
One of the assistants blows while another helps the artist work on the base of the piece

"The Artist's Tools"
Any artist will agree that you have a unique connection to your tools, whether it's a camera or kiln or paintbrush...they just become a part of you

"The Artist"
Time McFadden at work in his Baltimore, MD, studio

These are some of his pieces on display in his gallery...this bowl was one of my favorites...I bought a little paperweight that's now on display in my studio. The artist offers classes, so when I go back east this summer I'm definetely going to sign up for a day...I can't wait to learn more about glassblowing and try my hand at creating something! Check out his website at http://www.mcfaddenartglass.com/ . {I posted a lot more images on my facebook page - check those out, too! }

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

{Jersey} Shoes

Ahhh.....home! Trees; grass; the shore; the color green; hearing the insects chirp & sing in the night; spring... everything that I miss so much when I'm back at Fort Irwin...there really is no place like home - even if it's not Kansas that you're from!

I'm back East for a few days, visiting my parents and then heading to DC for a friend's wedding. I grew up in the New Jersey Pinebarrens...yep, I'm a proud Jersey Girl - and I'm soaking up every bit of home that I can while I'm here.

To continue my shoe series, I raided my Mom's shoe closet and then hit the backyard for some "nature" shots. {I told you my love of cute shoes comes naturally!} I'm hoping the flower shoes will magically appear in my suitcase to bring home with me, but so far my attempts to get my Mom to part with those have failed...but I can certainly understand why....