(n) a lover of rain; someone who finds joy or peace of mind during rainy days.
These handsome little cowboys, their smiley sister and awesome parents live just down the road from us. We’re happy to be neighbors and friends with this beautiful family, as I was flattered when she asked me to take their family photos.
I love watching these boys in action. Big Brother is quiet, methodical and kind. He has an old soul. He is so patient and sweet with Wyokiddo. He even helps out here on the bird farm occasionally, putting men four times his age to shame with his work ethic and natural abilities around livestock.
Maddog, as little brother is affectionately known, is trouble in cowboy boots. He’s adventurous, bold and the right blend of orneriness and sweetness that will have girls eating out of his hand here in another ten years or so. He’s always up for a good time, and will tell anyone who will listen how brave and strong his dad is or how nice his mom is. Wyokiddo is in awe of him and is always coming home from preschool telling me Maddog stories. It’s no surprise, really, because that’s how I remember his dad from my days showing pigs in 4-H and FFA…as the ornery little brother who didn’t take anyone’s grief.
Little Sister is always all smiles and light. She’s not walking yet, but given time, I have no doubt she’ll do everything her big brothers can do, just maybe in pink and pigtails. And have daddy wrapped around her finger in the process.
Together, these kids will no doubt keep their parents on their toes. But if anyone is up for the job of wrangling these three into respectful, hard-working and down-to-earth, it’s their parents. I can’t wait to watch these kids grow up and get to know this awesome family better.
*This great storyboard is the work of the Rita at http://www.thecoffeeshopblog.com/. It’s a great resource for photographers just learning the power of Photoshop. Check it out!
It was cold and windy and not the best day for family photos. But this is an ag family, and cold and wind is just a part of life for them in Southeastern Wyoming. So I bundled up for a family photo session with my friend and boss on her family ranch.
Most people know John and Stacy as a elementary school principal and the Wyoming FFA State Advisor, respectively. But when they aren’t running a school or chasing state FFA officers around, they are wrangling their two sons and working on Stacy’s family ranch.
The Child Ranch sits just east of Cheyenne, north of I-80. The ranch has been in the family for generations, and now, four generations work this land side-by-side and call it home. I’ve spent a few mornings with Stacy feeding cows and watching wildlife, and I never get tired of hearing stories of her ancestors and how they turned the ranch from a simple homestead into the thriving family business it is today. This rich and beautiful history is still evident, as the family has preserved some of the more historical buildings. And it is alive in the stories Stacy tells, stories no doubt passed down from her own father and grandfather.
My favorite part of the day by far was watching these boys just be boys. Climbing on fences, leaping across hay bales, giving each other a hard time. They had a lot of fun and it made for a lot of laughs. These boys don’t understand yet what a special thing it is to be growing up the way they are…living on a cattle ranch, surrounded by three generations of family, with room to roam and the freedom to climb hay bales, throw rocks, fight, make mistakes, learn and grow. This lifestyle, along with guidance from their amazing parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, will shape them into men I can’t wait to meet one day.
In the mean time, they are dynamic boys who make me laugh each and every time I am around them. I was honored to take their picture, and blessed to count the Broda family as dear and cherished friends.
“It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.” W.T. Ellis.
I can think of no better entry for this week’s Word Press photo challenge Anticipation.
Wyokiddo eagerly anticipated seeing Santa at school yesterday, patiently waiting on the rug until it was her turn. She is counting down the days to Christmas with zeal.
Another Mama I know eagerly anticipated the arrival of this little guy into their lives.
And I think all of us look forward to 2017 with anticipation and hope.
Part two of raising some money for my daughter’s preschool involved shooting Fall Mini-Sessions. With the help of another mom from the school, we created a super fun themed “pumpkin stand” for the kids and families to use during the shoot.
Ok. That was a total lie. Jess did all the work. I showed up with a pumpkin and a wagon. The rest was entirely her. I told her she was permanently hired as my set designer!
So two re-purposed pallets and a giant bowl of candy corn later, we were ready to roll! I spent two Sunday afternoons taking family photos for preschool and community area families. It was hard work, but wonderful on so many levels. I got to meet some amazing families, work on some photography and editing skills, and get to know some of the other preschool moms better. And we raised about $600 for the school.
In all, it was a great project that probably benefited me as an aspiring photographer more so than it did Wee Pals Preschool. But it was sort of exhausting. Almost a month later, I uploaded the final edits for the last “client.”
Bring on the wine. That’s fall themed, right?
I’ve known the Wilson family before they were the Wilson family. Erin was the older sister of a friend in high school and fellow CFD Dandy and state FFA officer. Fred was an agriculture education teacher when I interned with the Wyoming FFA in college. And they were one of the first to say “welcome to the neighborhood” when we moved back to Eastern Wyoming. So it was a pleasure to be asked to take their family photos.
What an evening! Their boys had me in stitches the entire time. Wyokiddo had to tag along, and their daughter was kind enough to play with her between photos and entertain her when I couldn’t. It was fun to photograph their family and see the MANY different personalities come out. What struck me most, however, was the sheer love between them. This is a family that sticks together, backs each other up and looks out for one another.
Fred, Erin and the whole crew have seen their share of difficulties in the last few years. Things that would rock any family to its core and send lesser folk running for the hills. But they aren’t bitter. They don’t whine. They don’t complain or moan “why us?” They rely on their faith, their family and a level of grace I can only hope to achieve someday.
I pray for this beautiful family daily. May 2017 be their year to soar.