After skipping the calendar tradition last year, the 2013 calendar marks the 4th Sydney & Talmage calendar. I sent it to The NICU at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, The Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey, three were sent to Shriners Hospital in Salt Lake City including one to Dr. D'Astous, one was sent to Dr. Liechty at his new post in Mississippi, and of course grandparents and some other family, and a few special friends. I also have one set aside for each of the kids for keepsakes. And of course, there is one hanging in my kitchen :)
I started this tradition as a way to keep in touch with the medical people, especially Dr. Liechty, who cared for Talmage when he was so sick. I wanted them to always remember how grateful we are for them and as a way to keep them updated on how well Talmage is doing. It seems that many times, the doctors and medical people only hear back from the kids who need more medical care and who aren't doing well. I wanted them to see that Talmage is thriving and well. In addition to being a giant yearly thank you note to these special medical people, and a Christmas gift for family, the calendar has also been a great way for me to work on my photography and to make sure that amongst all the pictures I take of other people, there are still some of my kids! I am planning to keep this tradition going for a long time.
I snapped this picture of Talmage in the parking lot at Pineview right after Talmage was changed out of his swimming stuff and into his jammies for the ride home.
I love this quote because it reminds me to be a little friendlier to the people I see throughout my day...the person working the drive-through window, the cross walk lady who is out there without fail every single day even on the freezing cold days, the checker at the grocery store, and on and on. It just takes one bad day when people aren't very nice to me to help me to remember how much I appreciate the simple kindnesses of others and how just the kindness of one person can affect my day so much.
I took this shot at my friend Adrienne's house in the beautiful light streaming through her north facing window. I was just sitting at her house and noticing how perfect the light was and I just had to run home and grab my camera. I'm so glad I did. Seizing the moment in perfect lighting is something I never regret!
This pic was taken before the kids headed off to perform their Spring Concert for a choir they were in. I love how it captures the close relationship that they share.
This was taken during July in Idaho. The quote helps comfort me when I think of how much I miss my kids when they are gone for extended periods of time during the summer. Instead of focusing on missing them, I can remember how lucky I am to have them to begin with. It is especially poignant when I think of our friends who have children who have died and won't be coming home despite the pangs of missing them so much. It definitely helps to put a few weeks of not seeing my children into a perspective that is much easier to cope with.
I love this picture because it captures Sydney's personality. I think it captures her strength and optimism.
This was taken at Willard Bay on a summer day we spent with my friend Mindy and her family. I love how it shows Sydney and Talmage playing together and both looking at something in the distance. I have always loved this quote.
This picture as well as 4 of the following 5 pictures was taken in Fruit Heights behind their city building under a picturesque tree and a swing that begged me to stop and take some photos every time I drove by it. I finally did make plans to stop there one day and take some pictures and I'm so glad I did. I love the expression on Talmage's face. The face of youth and innocence and trust and love. Who would know from looking at this happy little face and bright eyes that this little guy has been through so much in his 5 years of life? The resilience of youth; beautiful & amazing.
I love the look of peace and serenity on Sydney's face in this picture. I purposely left the dirt on her knee even though I could have easily removed it in Photoshop...I love it because I think it shows Sydney's personality of fun and adventure as well as her sweetness all wrapped together. I think this quote couldn't be paired with a more perfect picture. Her little upturned smile is so subtle and sweet and yet says so much. One of my favorite photos I took all year.
As a side note, Sydney is sick today...her little body is hot with fever. Sometimes I feel like I don't accomplish much during a typical day as I keep busy taking kids here and there, making sure they get fed, make sure we all have clean clothes, the never ending job of picking up around the house and on and on, but in moments like this I am so glad that I can be with my children when they are sick and not feeling well.
This was the image I chose for the Christmas cards I sent out this year. I love their sweet smiles and how it shows how close in age they are...sometimes I forget that they are less than a year apart but looking at this photo reminds me that as the years pass by, their age difference seems less and less.
This was taken at iRock on Sydney's 6th birthday. She chose this activity for her special day and it was a huge hit. I love Talmage's sweet little profile in this shot. I really love this quote too.
This is one of my favorite photos of the year as well. Definitely a candidate for being blown up really big and hung up in our home. I feel like this photo captures the essence of Sydney's spunk and happiness and beauty. I loved this quote from the moment I read it. What a great example of how some of the most beautiful things on earth are found amidst situations that could seem gloomy. Love it.
I love the way Syd is looking at T as they share the joy of the moment!
Here's to a great 2013 and lots of great pictures for the 2014 calendar! I am currently taking a mentoring class from an amazing photographer. I am working especially on my technical photography skills so that I can capture better technically correct images. When people first started wanting to hire me to take pictures for them I was conflicted because I wasn't at the skill level I wanted to be at and I wasn't sure I wanted to invest the time and money required to get to the level I wanted to be at. I wanted to make sure it was really what I wanted to do because I was tired of hopping around from job to job just to make a buck. I am trying to put aside my doubts and fears of failure and I have decided to work towards becoming the photographer I want to become. It might take awhile, but I am going to try and focus on enjoying the journey and building something that will last and capturing lots of memories along the way. You can follow my progress on my photography business at Merrakai.com.