Okay Friends this is Thanksgiving week and I have so much to be thankful for. Side note: isn’t the Kayscreek Trailhead incredibly beautiful? I am so thankful to live in a beautifully diverse state with all 4 seasons. Though, lets be honest it took me a minute to get on board with winter.
Today I thought I would name a few things I am thankful for. I hope this post makes you think about how blessed you are, no matter your circumstance or shortcomings. It is so easy to dwell on the things that nag at us than the things that build us up sometimes.
Let me start by saying that from the beginning I hit the jackpot and was placed in a family that loved me. I am forever thankful for that. We were not a perfect family though, I thought we were. We had and have struggles at times but I can honestly say my parents are hardworking, loving people who love me and my siblings, love God and Jesus Christ and love their fellow man. I was and am given daily reminders of the service my parents willing give to those around them. They have left a deep impression on my soul to love all man.
I was also lucky enough to marry a man that despite all I lack, sees me for who I want to be. Unlike many who know me may believe, I am a deeply insecure person and am constantly my own undoing. My Goliath is self worth and much of my life have felt not good enough. I struggled with self harm, depression and eating disorders. I couldn’t see how I deserved to be loved unconditionally by someone. Wade tries everyday to be a man I can trust. He is a hard worker and serves me and our kids constantly. When I need to confide in someone he tries to understand my crazy ways and give me the support and love I need.
I have 3 beautiful boys and a little baby in heaven I get to call my kids. (No these adorable kids, pictured, are not mine but look how freaking cute they are!) Taylor was born to a wonderful woman who had the desire to give her son more than what she could at the time. She gave me the gift of becoming a mother. How could I ever not be thankful to her and all the sacrifice she made to give me the best gift in the world? Taylor is emotionally perceptive. He is kind and thoughtful and always tries to help and do what is right. He loves math and reading and wants to be the best at everything. He is a great little dancer.. he has a perfect booty shake.
Preston is wild. Lets be honest, my whole life my mother said she was going to pray that I had a child just like myself and her prayers were answered. He is so crazy and busy and gets into everything. Preston loves to “Uggle” (snuggle) and loves his big brother so much. Even though he is a stinker sometimes and pulls my hair or bites, pinches or pushes…. yikes, he is a sweet little boy and wants those around him to be happy. He loves babies and though he is new at this gig of being a big brother, he loves it.
It is wonderful to have a newborn in our home again. I feel like I have not slept in years already but I wouldn’t trade it. He brings so much peace into our home. I know he was meant to be here, despite all the odds of us never getting pregnant or being able to keep a baby. He was meant for us and I can’t wait to get to know him.
I am grateful for the little life I can’t wait to meet one day. After being told we couldn’t have biological children we started our family via adoption and felt totally happy about that being our way to build our family. In 2014, after being married and trying for 9 years out of the blue I became pregnant. I had no idea and it seemed like the light that our whole family needed after a really hard few months. I was so happy and hopeful. We saw her little heartbeat and I was in love. At our 10 week apt we looked to see our little one again and the screen was black. At some point we lost her but i continued to grow like normal. I was devastated. I was so mad at God for allowing such a hope to grow in my heart and then for it to be taken from me. I had no say, I had no choice I was empty.
Over the next few months I got pink eye and mono. I was completely drained and Wade and I couldn’t talk about it. We were suffering together in the most alone way possible. When I prayed the only answer I ever received was that hard things have to happen in our lives. You may be reading and wondering now why I am grateful for this time. You see it was in this time of complete emptiness that Wade and I found each other again. We became more strong and he understood my heart so much more. I appreciated him more and I loved our son more too.
I was totally broken and I found my faith again. I am still often teary when I think about that time. But I am forever grateful that I went through it, we went through it and came out better and more unified. I am thankful for a loving Father in Heaven that knows me and my weakness. That knows who I intend on becoming and knows all I can be.
Family is everything and I am so blessed to have so many people in my life that love me and care for me, that I call family. Happy Thanksgiving all!
As many of you know I took a trip this summer with my sister and to attend an incredible workshop held in Longwood Meath Ireland. It was a total game changer. I will tell you a little more about the workshop later but lets talk about this shoot a bit.
So I dont know if you know this about Ireland but it is literally one of the most magical places on earth. Really. Not only do you just drive around and see castles and happy sheep everywhere but the people are so incredibly kind. In the days before the workshop my sister and I spent several days traveling the south part of the country. Everywhere we stopped people were not on their cell phones, they were having meaningful conversations and interactions with each other. Often we would get stopped by someone and given great travel advise or just tell us a story. It was Grand. (That’s a total Irish thing to say)
Okay so on to this beauty. This is Seanagh (Said Shawna) She was so beautiful inside and out. She literally radiated beauty and grace. This location was just beside the manor we stayed at. It was literally on our property. The only problem with this area is stinging nettle. It is EVERYWHERE! Oh yeah and it hurts real bad if you happen to be pretending to chop it and actually chop it with your hand. It hurts your pride too.. not that I did that or anything. One interesting fact about the nettle is that the remedy for it is a weed that grows near by. It helped soothe the pain but didn’t reduce the swelling. My hands had little white welts on them for days.
This was one of the 6 shoots styled by the mad geniuses behind the Partyography Workshop series. The hosts of the workshop are Amy of Amy Cloud Photography and Kandis of Wish Photography. Both these ladies are incredible teachers and professionals and it was a joy to learn from them. Both of them have completely different styles. Amy’s is more edgy and Kandis is more whimsy. How could those two mesh you ask? Well they are both hardcore lady bosses and they respect the heck out of each other and their craft.
Oh hi, September in Utah! Can you believe it? This was not January or any winter month. No, this is September which technically is still considered summer. Seriously. Meet the Malans. These people are some of the best people you will ever meet and have an incredible attitude. When I pulled up to Jordan Pines Campground the morning of our shoot I quickly pulled out my list of studios and rapidly tried to make other arrangements for our location. I called this family and they just shrugged and said “no worries, we are from Idaho. This is nothing.”
They are troopers for sure. The day before this shoot Jordan Pines Campground looked like a fall wonderland with zero snow. All of this was fresh snow as of that morning. The snow is incredibly beautiful and cold. Sara, the oldest sibling, brought hot cocoa and donuts for all and everyone just had a great time. Well, almost everyone. The littles had fun in the snow and had a snowball fight. The adults even joined in too at the end.
This September morning was freezing and no one was prepared for the snow but regardless, we had a great time. Most of all I loved catching the candid moments and love this family shares for each other. They love to laugh, play and have a great time.