The Hogan Reunion

Posted on August 30, 2007

This past weekend we had our annual family reunion. It is a long standing tradition and I have not been able to go for a few years so it was good to get back. Although it has changed a lot over the years, I think it has been happening for 120+ years now so you can imagine that it is getting pretty far removed from its roots. All of the original brothers and sisters are gone and some of their children are gone as well. So what are left are mostly cousins and second/third cousins. It is sad to see it start to dwindle but I still love going to the church and cemetery where we have it and being near all of my family. This cemetery holds probably 50 people I am related too and it is not a very big cemetery so it feels sort of like my home. The small little church has been there forever and has been through several renovations and it holds so many memories for me. It brings back memories of my grandmother, who I miss dearly, my great aunts and great uncles and many cousins. I remember playing hide and go seek with my brother and cousins and pounding on the church piano. It is all such a vivid memory for me. And Sunday watching my kids play on that very same piano was a surreal moment.

So going there this weekend I went with my three children and since Garrett is old enough we began talking about who was buried there and how we were related to them. He was completely fascinated. He kept asking “now who is this?” It made my heart swell to think he was so interested in his family because, for this side of family, family was everything.

This was also Lydia’s first trip to the reunion. It is extra special because she is named for my great grandmother Lydia. I never knew her but my mother remembers her and everyone adored her. She lived a long and wonderful life. She was an energetic, small little person and my Lydia reminds me so much of her. Small in stature but big in personality. They called my great grandmother “Mittie” because she was small I guess and we often call Lydia our “Little Bitty.”

So I wanted to share a few snaps of our reunion from this year and a few snaps of the reunions from years past. I hope that I can instill in my kids the kind of roots that the Hogan’s instilled in me. It is a priceless gift I am thankful for everyday.

 

This is my grandmother and grandfather.

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This is my grandmother shortly after my grandfather passed away… you can see how much she missed him by the look on her face.

 

 

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My brother and I beside my grandparent’s grave this Sunday.

 

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My oldest two beside their great grandparents.

 

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My family sitting in front of my grandparent’s grave, and that is my brother and mother in the background. My father took this. :) All those graves behind us are part of our family.

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My great grandmother Lydia (on left in the printed dress)

 

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My Lydia beside her great great grandmother Lydia’s grave.

 

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A picture at a past reunion

 

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The church before any of my most immediate family’s graves were there. Not sure when this was taken but man it looks old!

 

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This is a super blurry picture, I had no light inside, but this is the piano and my three kids playing on it. Just like me and my brother used to do. Oddly enough, the pictures above it have not changed a bit.

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One year olds… MAN are they ever FAST!

Posted on August 26, 2007

I had the pleasure of seeing this little girl again. I met her first at 6 months and we had the best session. She was awesome. So happy, so easy! And her parents were amazing to work with. They made the session even more fun. Well when I went back yesterday this little dolly had really grown up. She just turned a year old and was walking, talking and busy busy busy! She really gave me a run for my money. But that is how it goes with a one year old. They have a mind of their own, they are not so interested in that big black box on your face, and they have an agenda that usually doesn’t involve you! Well we all worked really hard to get Miss S to sit here and there and look cute but in the end it was her own ideas that ended up making these images special. Sometimes the ones you work hardest for you appreciate the most.

I truly adore this family and I know that they felt bad about their less than cooperative model but as you can all plainly see… Cooperation is not always necessary. All that is necessary is one cute subject and patience. :)

This first one is my fave of the session. It lasted about a second. Just long enough for me to click the shutter! Thank god I got in focus. :)

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A sweet moment with mommy.

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It doesn’t get any better than this.

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Isn’t she stunning?

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This is one of my favorites… I love how everyone has such open arms in this family.

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My Baby Planners are getting so big…

Posted on August 24, 2007

I have so many baby planners that are about the same age right now.  Right around 9 months to a year.  They are so cute at this age and it is so fun to watch them grow up.  This little guy is always a joy to be around and he has the clearest eyes I have ever seen.  They photograph like glass.  Amazing.  But I wanted to give his mommy her sneak peek.  Hope you all enjoy him.

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HOT HOT HOT…

Posted on August 22, 2007

Who else is hot?  and tired of it?  I am so ready for Fall!

I wanted to write and let everyone know that my schedule is almost completely full for the remainder of 2007.  I will be taking only 3-4 more sessions.  Otherwise I will never sleep!  :)

So please let me know if you are interested.

Also September I will be putting some new policies in place to help make the Holidays run more smoothly for me.  So if you have a session scheduled stay tuned for that.  I will update you on them as we meet.  In addition I have some new products that I am introducing for the Holidays.  Some smaller albums that will be available to my clients.  Perfect for gifts, stocking stuffer or for yourself.  They will be added to my online store shortly as well as the last set of Holiday Cards.

So I will end with a picture of my little cutie….  taken last night.

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Awaiting…

Posted on August 21, 2007

My second session last weekend. A wonderful couple awaiting their first child, a baby girl. We had the best time together. Chatting and talking about their fur babies. They were so adorable and wanted to be in the pictures too. I love maternity sessions… I don’t get to do as many as I would like but I do enjoy them. It is so fun to meet mom and dad before baby arrives and spend time capturing that time.

My goal with Maternity sessions is forever changing. I think the direction I want to go in is more of a “this is our life now” session. Instead of only typical belly shots and hands on the belly (which are totally necessary and I will continue to do) I want the sessions to also incorporate the family life before baby arrived. So make it more photo-journalistic in nature. I still love the belly shots but there is something to be said about the anticipation and excitement of a new baby. So I tried to do a bit of that with this family. Capturing the whole family. As all photography, it is a work in progress, but I think you will get the idea.

Good luck M and B! I will be thinking of you the next few weeks and I can’t wait to meet Miss M!

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Busy weekend…

Posted on August 20, 2007

I had a very fun and busy weekend! Three sessions so here is the first.

Miss M is very special to me as well as her mommy. :) She is a dear friend and my new assistant. I have been photographing Miss M since she was 9 months old and she is always so easy, happy, and fun to work with. Her eyes are amazing and I am always pleasantly surprised at how beautifully the color translates to images. Her mommy is also a photography nut like myself so we always have fun trying new locations. I am especially excited to meet their new baby due in only a few months.

So here is Miss M…. 3 years old.

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From last weekend…

Posted on August 19, 2007

I am a bit behind so there will be a lot of updates in the days to come. :)

This is a long time client that I haven’t seen in a while. I was so happy to hear of their new addition and so excited to meet him. He was such a cutie… reminded me a little old man. He had the best expressions and the most squeezable body. Big Bro wasn’t quite as interested in his picture being taken but I got a few in there…

So meet Mr. D or Baby Do as he is know to the family.

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And big brother, Mr. Z!

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It was blazing hot and he was wondering why in the world we put him in this basket. :)

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My oldest…

Posted on August 17, 2007

It has been an interesting week. My oldest started 1st grade at a new school and getting up a bit earlier is quite an adjustment for me. :) I don’t do mornings well. My kids have done pretty well with it and thankfully Scott has helped out too.

Some of you know the trials I have been through with my oldest. There have been many over the years and last year was a huge year for him. We found out he has Sensory Integration Disorder, a very mild case, but it does explain a lot of behaviors that always left me wondering what was going on. He has, with therapy and just getting older, come a LONG way. He is a different kid than he was last year. I am so very proud of him, he is a wonderful, caring, funny and sweet boy. He was misunderstood for many years by not only the family but especially others around him. I have spent many nights wondering what I did wrong and why he behaved like he did. And once Ella started getting older I really started seeing the differences. Well after lots of testing, an amazing OT (occupational therapist) and loads of research I now have answers to those questions. I wish we had found these things out earlier but at least we found them out. He had one amazing, angel of a teacher last year that really took a lot of time with him and he made progress in leaps and bounds and by year end he had changed so much.

Now we start another chapter in his education and I am of course nervous about that. He is the one I worry about… Always. He has trouble in some academic areas because of his sensory issues, so that has been a struggle for him. While he really excels in a lot of areas there are a few that are difficult. He also has some anxieties about new places, transitions, and being introduced to new concepts. So we are hopeful that this new school can address these things as well as his other sensory issues and help him learn coping skills so that one day he will know his own limits and develop coping skills. That is our continued hope for him. So far this week has been fantastic and he is loving his new class and has made lots of new friends. I am so proud of him and I moved to tears almost every day when he gets in the car with a smile on his face. So add that into construction of a new patio and tons of landscaping, sweltering heat, and a new schedule and you have one exhausted mama!

So why am I writing this about Garrett now? Because I think awareness is the key. I see so many parents who struggle with the same issues I had and don’t know what to do and don’t want to admit that anything is “wrong” with their child. I see so many people passing judgement on parents of kids when they don’t understand or take the time to understand what really may be going on. I see teachers and educators who label these children as lazy, unmotivated, and unruly. I see doctors who say it is just a phase and they will grow out of it. And I think it is time we started rconignzing that these kids need our help, understanding and compassion. We can make their lives easier and better. But first you must SEE it! If anyone wants to talk to me further about Garrett and what I have learned please feel free to contact me.

And one last thing before I go… I think every parent should read this book. It has truly changed my life. I not only see things I reconizge about Garrett in it, but also Ella, Lydia, myself and Scott. It will make you look at your own child whether they are “normal” or not in a very different light.

Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Integration Issues
by Lindsey Biel and Nancy Peske

So here he is my sweet boy… who is getting so big.  One of the many things I love about his is that when he smiles he lights up and smiles with his whole face.

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My boy.

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I am back at work…

Posted on August 12, 2007

It feels great to be back. I am so happy to report that today and yesterday I had 5 hours straight of really good vision. I was ecstatic! It was glorious to be able to see!!!

So tonight I am posting my first session with the new eyes. Long time client and wonderful people I am honored to call my friends. I have been photographing this family since fur babies were the only babies running around. The first time I met them it was to meet and capture their 2 cats (well we got one of them), their dog, and their sweet horse. Then I got to capture mom pregnant with their first two legged child. :) And now this is my second session with sweet Mr. M! He is such an adorable kid. We had a great time today hanging out and he hardly made a fuss.

So here is Mr. M… all 4 months of him.

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And a little before and after of mom and baby M!

 

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Holiday Rush!!!!

Posted on August 10, 2007

It has already begun. I only have a very limited number of sessions available for the remainder of 2007! I know it is only August but if you are interested in a Holiday Session this fall please email me ASAP!

I am considering having 1 or 2 days of mini sessions. Mini Sessions will be set up so that their main objective is getting an image for your Holiday Card. The session will last around 45 minutes and 10-15 images will be shown. The price for the session will be $300 but it will include either 50 5×7 Holiday cards or one digital image. This will give you the option of either choosing one of my templates or making your own Holiday Cards. The dates for the mini sessions will be October 6th from 10 am to 2 pm and October 13th 10 am to 2 pm. Email me if you are interested in these sessions. I will require that the day be filled in order to offer them.

Speaking of Holiday Cards. I have lots of new templates to offer everyone this year. Ordering will be made even more simple with the recent addition of my online shopping cart. All templates will be displayed there and you will be able to choose your card when you order. All cards are 5×7 in size and can be made as flat cards or folded cards. They are sold in packs of 25 and include envelopes.

In review the mini session schedule is as follows.

October 6th
10am to 2pm

October 13th
10am to 2pm

45 minutes long
10-15 proofs shown
ncludes 50 cards or one digital image

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