January 15, 2014

Letter to my sons

Dear Monkey and Half-Pint,

When you first started learning to read you struggled.  You didn't want to try... it was hard.  Other kids were doing better then you.  It was confusing.  You tried.  You failed. You gave up.  But I encouraged you to try again.  And again.  And that first piece of the puzzle clicked into place, and then another, and another.  Now you read above your grade level and love it.

The same with learning a bike... It's hard when it's new to balance, to peddle and to steer all at once.  It was scary.  You didn't like it when I took off your training wheels... but when you decided that it was time you did it.  You fell.  You scraped your knee.  You got up and did it again, and again, and in two days you where riding down the block like a pro.

Learning to swim was scary...  Yet once your heart was in it you were determined and you learned how so fast it amazed everyone!

You may never be the fastest reader, the best biker, or a great swimmer...  Let go of perfection.  You won't get it perfect the first time.  Or the second.  Or the twenty second.  The road to success doesn't start with perfection....  Hard work and perseverance are the only way to get there.

In the meantime you will stumble.

You will take falls.

We will earn a few scars.

You will see others pass you by.

But those scars will add character and charm.

You will gain wisdom.

You will become stronger.

I'll be there cheering for you as travel down that road - mistakes, imperfections and all!  Because you will always be perfect in my eyes.


Please check out more 'letters to our sons'!  Next in the blog chain is The Brooklyn Pattons.

October 15, 2013

Letter to my sons:


      Dear boys,

When I was a little girl I always imagined I would have one boy, and one girl.  
I was a bit surprised to end up raising two boys!

That said, it was somewhat of a relief when boy #2 joined our little world... I knew 
you would always have a playmate in each other (I prayed the age difference 
wouldn't come between you).

While your relationship started out a bit rocky I've really seen it blossom through the years.

I watched as you, 'Half Pint' ignored the new baby (now 'Monkey Boy') in the hospital room... then when grandma asked you where your brother was you went and pointed him out.  Everyone ooohed and ahhhed over how cute and sweet you were.

Then you loved him.

You showed him off.

You loved on him.

You helped me by bringing me diapers or wipes, bringing him a pacifier, and all those special big brother jobs.  You would even bring Monkey Boy toys to play with!

But then it happened.  
He learned to crawl.  
He got into any toy he wanted. 

Your toys.

Suddenly our little monkey was getting on your nerves (and you on his)!

But what really amazed me is that even when you boys drove each other crazy you still missed each other when 
you were apart.  Both of you would ask for the other during nap times.  Half Pint, you would try to sneak
 into Monkeys room to wake him up during nap time even, just so you could play together!

As we have traveled to various bases (in different states as well as different countries), 
and new friends had yet to be made, you played together.  You are friends.

Best friends.


You always know you could count on
each other... to laugh at each others
jokes - or funny noises (even when we,
as your mature parents, roll our eyes).

Monkey boy looks up to you Half Pint...
you are his big brother and he likes to
copy you.  He also finds confidence
when you are there, and you have helped
 him overcome his shyness several times
already... just by being there with him.

I love that you can give each other
courage and joy without even trying.

Oh, it is still love and hate some days.  You know how to push each others buttons... 
you wrestle on the ground together (and inevitably someone gets hurt), 
you complain that he's playing with YOUR toy.  But you also have your own special way. 

 A way you play together. 

 A way you speak together.... a special language of your own, kind of like twins do
 (but you are almost 3 years apart in age)!

 I hope you always have that bond.  Always remember that you are brothers.
                                                             Brothers for life.
                                                                         Like it or not.

Please continue along the chain to see more awesome 'Letters To Our Sons', our next stop is with Monica Moore!

September 5, 2013

Letter To My Sons - Swansea, IL Photographer

Dear boys,

Ten years ago today I became a mother for the first time.  We welcomed your big sister, Alyssa, into this world.

We held her, we loved her, but there was nothing we could do to protect her.  She was born with too many problems.  10 years ago tomorrow we had to say goodbye.

But this letter isn't about her.  It's about you.

You may not always like it, but we do what we can to protect you.

We buckle you into carseats.

We make you wear a helmet when you ride bikes.

You wore floaties in the pool until we knew you could swim (then we still watched you like a hawk!).

We buy a net for the trampoline, so you don't fall off and break your neck.

We hold your hand as you cross the street.

We keep a good eye on you and do not let you wonder too far when we are shopping, or at the zoo, or anywhere else in public... because we need you close to protect you from strangers.

We will put you in time out when you do not listen, so you can learn from your mistakes.

We warn you not to climb on the towel rack because it might fall, and you could hit the head on the way down and need stitches.  See what happens when you don't listen?!  You just thought we were joking!

We make you do these things because we know about the dangers of life.
Because we love you.
Because we never want to lose you, like we lost your sister.
Because we never want you to suffer that pain, when it could be avoided.

But pain is how we learn and grow.  So we will not protect you from everything.  We will not wrap you in bubble wrap.

You will have days where you lose.

You will still fall on your bikes.

And at the playground.

But I promise let you be a kid, and experience life and joy without fear of those little things.

And we will pray for you. 

So you can be mad at us when we make you use a carseat until you outgrow it.  You can be annoyed when we make you hold our hand, even when the road is small and no cars are around, or when we're in a crowded area.

We do all of these things because we can't imagine tomorrow without you.

Because we love you.

Please check out more 'Letters to our sons' - the next stop our blog chain is Kelly Roth Patton!

April 10, 2013

Newborn Baby Eve - Studio Portraits Swansea IL

I love love love photographing newborns.  Baby Eve was no exception.  So sweet and snuggly, I may have had to steal a few cuddles between poses.

I was so excited with this baby's daddy surprised me by bringing in his flight suit and helmet into the studio.

 Not only that, but he brought his sunglasses and dog tags... things I wouldn't have thought to ask him to bring!  I love the personal touches!

As an Air Force wife and a military photographer I have the vision of this image in my head for a few years.  Yes, years!  Finally I was able to bring it to life.

While I was worried little Eve wouldn't like being in the helmet so we made sure she was good and asleep first, but she loved it.  Nice and snuggled up just like in the womb. 

 Newborns and their daddies?  They just get to me!

The best time to book your newborn session is when you are pregnant!  The appointment date will be loose and finalized after your baby is born... don't wait until the last minute!

For more information and images check out www.PixelThis.com or email Laurie

Professional portrait studio located in Swansea Illinois, on location photography available locally including Belleville, O'Fallon, Fairview Heights and Scott AFB IL.