Auntie Em

Aunt Emy, my new favorite title.

I married into a huge family, not your average ‘huge’ but really truly huge. My hubs has 18 siblings. I used to want to marry into a big family, I was thinking around 4 or 5 siblings, but 18 I didn’t’ even know what to do with that.

I’m pretty outgoing by nature, people don’t normally intimidate me, which I attribute to the amazing way my mom, dad and grams raised my sister and I. They taught us that you’re no better or worse than anyone, financial status, social status, skin color, nationality, or lifestyle, you’re no better. I can hear my dad saying it now. I’m forever grateful for this being instilled at a young age, it’s taken me far in this life. This has also fared me very well when I married the youngest of 12 boys, and second to youngest of 19 kids. I jumped right in with both feet, and I can say with all honesty, I married into an amazing family and I’m so thankful for them!

I’d never met any of my nieces or nephews (and even some of the family I married into) until we moved to Oregon in 2016.

Since we’ve been here in Oregon, I’ve fallen in love with being an Auntie. These kiddos are literally amazing, so smart, adorable and fun to watch grow.

They are profoundly smart and I am seeing more and more why Jesus tells us we must become like children. They get it y’all, for real. They know who they are and they don’t let any failure or mistake they make modify their identity. They know Jesus loves them and they’re quick to tell you too.

There are somewhere around 42 nieces and nephews in the family, and in this season I’ve gotten to know 8 of them really well. Two of Seth’s brothers live close to us and we get to see their kiddos often. So as I’ve been learning and venturing out in photography, these kiddos have become some of my favorite subjects to capture.

We went out evening camping and fishing this week with some of them and we had so much fun, look how cute these girlies are!

 

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All that to say, Aunt Em is a hat I’d not thought much about historically, and since we’ve been here in Oregon, it’s quickly become one of my favorite hats to wear.

Here’s to all the Aunties out there!

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Picture Perfect – In Progress

Cool old building huh, we wondered what the story behind it is. Was it a bank, was it a mercantile, or the local grocery. I landed on it was a pharmacy of sorts, similar to the one in Bedford Falls in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. Truly we’ve not a clue what it really was back in it’s prime, what do you see? That’s the question I’m loving so much about photography!

Some of you might have seen an Instagram post I shared a while back about photography. Lately I’ve been reading all I can get my hands on, googling at the details and settings — learning all I can. However, one thing remains true —practice really does make perfect — and few things in this world will give you the experience and learning like hands on learning does.

Deciding to be disciplined in doing, in practicing, in trying — even when it’s not perfect or anywhere near — is the difference in honing a craft and just dabbling in it.

So Seth and I went out last week, just driving, we stopped when either of us saw a fun photo-op or thought something was worth documenting. After all one of the biggest draws to photography for me is the capturing of memories — the feeling of the season you’re in whether that be a literal season physically or one of the many mental, emotional or spiritual seasons we find ourselves in.

I love telling the story of us through the memories we snap and the beauty that we behold everywhere we look.  It makes you search for the beautiful, the different, the eye capturing, the serene, the gorgeous and the gorgeously flawed. Photography has forced me to stop and really take it all in, to open my eyes to God’s creation. It places the sense of awe back in my head and my heart that tends to drift all to often.

So here are a few shots I took last week when we had the windows down and an unseasonably warm summer breeze floating through our souls as we took the back roads and leaned in to the long way.

 

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This last one my hubs grabbed of me — Toyota if you want this hit a sister up 😉 Talk about an add for an awesome adventure! Central Oregon you truly are beautiful — majestic and unknown.

I’m learning the magic is in the mystery most times, the unknown really has a way of making your soul come alive. I’ll want these memories to remind me of how magical it really has been, even on the days I couldn’t see it for myself.

These are our stories, the story of Seth and Emy in that season they spent in Oregon. I’ll want these, I’ll cherish these. These mark a part of us, a part of me that has grown in a way I’d never in a million years expected when we headed out west.