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Wyatt and Albert Einstein

February 16, 2019

Dear Wyatt

So a bunch of months ago Wyatt asked to get a lizard. Specifically some sort of iguana. We were leaning towards a bearded dragon, but it was more like fate that we ended up finding Einstein, as Wyatt would come to name him, on Facebook. Einstein, named Bolio when we first met him, came from a family who could no longer house him. After a few conversations online the meeting was set and we went on a long drive to the middle of nowhere to go pick him up with Aunt Angie and Maya. Only to find out that the tank took up the 2nd full size back seat folded down and the back of the SUV. And Einstein needed to ride on Wyatt for the long ride. Leaving Maya in the small seat next to Wyatt and Einstein, and apparently she had a recently discovered fear of reptiles. So…

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Wyatt: My 7 year old Dinosaur

February 8, 2019

Dear Wyatt

Wow. I don’t even know what to say. How many times have I said that? A lot! But it’s so true. 7. Seven. Seven whole years have past since the day you came into our lives. 7 years ago our little family of 2 people and 2 cats became a family of 3 people and 2 cats. And might I add 2 a little bit more physically fit cats. The kind of cats that could run, maneuver a room, and find a place to hide in a moments notice kind of cats. The kind of cats that might have a version a kitty cat PTSD, every time they heard anything that sounded like it could be you, they froze and got close to the ground.

These 7 years have been so fun. There have been so many fun adventures we have gone on. So many adventures we have gone on…

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Our Family: December 2018

December 22, 2018

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Good Old DaysMacklemore
I wish somebody would have told me babe
Some day, these will be the good old days
All the love you won’t forget
And all these reckless nights you won’t regret
Someday soon, your whole life’s gonna change
You’ll miss the magic of the good old days
1112
10
I was thinking about the band
I was thinking about the fans
We were underground
Loaded merch in that 12-passenger van
In a small club in Minnesota
And the snow outside of 1st Ave
I just wanted my name in a star
Now look at where we at
Still growing up, still growing up
I’d be laying in my bed and dream about what I’d become
Couldn’t wait toget older, couldn’t wait to be someone
Now that I’m here, wishing I was still young
Those good old days
8
7
I wish somebody would have told me babe
That some day, these will be the good old days
All the love you won’t forget
And all these reckless nights you won’t regret
‘Cause someday soon, your whole life’s gonna change
You’ll miss the magic of the good old days
6
Wish I didn’t think I had the answers
Wish I didn’t drink all of that glass first
Wish I made it to homecoming
Got up the courage to ask her
Wish I would’ve gotten out of my shell
Wish I put the bottle back on that shelf
Wish I wouldn’t have worry about what other people thought
And felt comfortable in myself
Rooftop open and the stars above
Moment frozen, sneaking out, and falling in love
Me, you and that futon, we’d just begun
On the grass, dreaming, figuring out who I was
Those good old days
5
I wish somebody would have told me babe
That some day, these will be the good old days
All the love you won’t forget
And all these reckless nights you won’t regret
‘Cause someday soon, your whole life’s gonna change
You’ll miss the magic of the good old days
4
Never thought we’d get old, maybe we’re still young
Maybe we always look back and think it was better than it was
Maybe these are the moments
Maybe I’ve been missing what it’s about
Been scared of the future, thinking about the past
While missing out on now
We’ve come so far, I guess I’m proud
And I ain’t worried about the wrinkles around my smile
I’ve got some scars, I’ve been around
I’ve felt some pain, I’ve seen some things, but I’m here now
Those good old days
3
You don’t know, what you’ve got
Till it goes, till it’s gone
You don’t know, what you’ve got
Till it goes, till it’s gone
2
I wish somebody would have told me babe
Some day, these will be the good old days
All the love you won’t forget
And all these reckless nights you won’t regret
Someday soon, your whole life’s gonna change
You’ll miss the magic of these good old days

1

A huge thanks to Lindsay Schwartz for always being willing to take our family portraits. And putting up with whichever kid is having a meltdown that day, there always seems to be one. And to Josh, almost 14 years down and so so many wrinkles that tell the stories of our love together. Our 2 has grown to 4, plus 2 cats and a very large iguana as Wyatt would want me to point out. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Every day with you is a good old day. Love Jen

Sara Hoover: Senior Portraits

October 11, 2018

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Exactly one month ago Sara, Kristin and I embarked on an  extraordinary adventure. We spent the evening dodging rain storms and finding cool places throughout the city of Harrisburg to take Sara’s senior portraits. We wanted to do some of the spots that someone would expect to see if you would get your senior pictures taken in Harrisburg, or any portraits taken in Harrisburg, but also some places that you may not think of. Kristin and Sara knew some really cool places, I was on an adventure.

I could go on and on about all the places we went, but some of them are top secret. (Not really). But I would rather talk about the fun time I had, and all the fluffy squirrels we saw. Though that is the only sentence I was planning to mention the fluffy squirrels, but you never know they could always make an appearance. Squirrels are like that.

Sara showed me around the capitol during our shoot and told me about how she had been there multiple times growing up, it wasn’t my first time seeing the outside. But when it rained they naturally scanned us for everything to make sure we were not a threat to ourselves or others, I greatly appreciated that. The Pennsylvania capitol building is a really cool building it really makes you look up. And of course Sara had no issue with filling me in during the “Rain directed”- spur of the moment with all of the historical data and tour information that she remembered along the way.

Not long after the rain had stopped I learned there was a backside to the capitol building, talking about being blindsided. I had no idea it was there at all. On the backside they had beautiful stone stairs draped around a very large fountain. All the while Sara just kept going with the flow, spending her whole evening with me, taking countless pictures. And never complaining. And a shout out to Kristin who just kept running back to the van to get stuff that was forgotten or needed shelter from possible downpours. I had a lot of fun hanging out and getting work done with this shoot together. Thanks so much for choosing me to be your photographer for your senior portraits. I hope you like some of the pictures

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Dustin and Antoniette Lawrence: Wedding Photography

August 25, 2018

 

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Dustin and Antoniette Lawrence Forever together under God. Dustin and Antoniette Lawrence Married together from this day forth bound by love. Dustin and Antoniette Lawrence best friends. Dustin and Antoniette Lawrence each other’s “Ride or Die”. Yeah I think thats a little more suited for them. I mean the fancy formal stuff was great and true too don’t get me wrong and all. But the more I have come to know Toni over the years and for the long time that I have known Dustin I believe they are each other’s “Ride or Die”. You all know I am very savvy when it comes to the cool lingo that is going on in the world, I mean I did in fact know the words Ride or Die all on my own. But to go into depth and make sure I wasn’t saying something inappropriate I did have to go to google. And it turns out I was right. It meant exactly what I was hoping it meant.

When I googled “Ride or Die” the first site it took me to referenced the song by Jay-Z and Beyonce “03 Bonnie and Clyde”. It talked about a lot of other songs but in the long run it broke down the definition to mean its someone that is your “Air” your “Oxygen”. To mean someone you could not live with out. Someone who will be there through all of life’s adventures and never leave your side when times get tough. That is Dustin to Toni. And Toni to Dustin.

Let me just “fast-back” as my son would call it or rewind as the rest of us would call it a week prior to the wedding. I could go back a little further back but for the sake of time and the small chance that someone will actually read to the bottom of this page I’ll attempt to keep it shorter. The week of the wedding all is seemly going well until Central Pennsylvania gets nailed with tons and tons of rain. So much so that we all start to ignore the flash flood warnings that beep in on our favorite tv shows and even roll our eyes in annoyance when the show switches off to the weather report of more rain to come, only to change back to realize you missed half of the season’s best episode of your favorite show. I know you can sense some hostility there. But honestly, I am just joking its nothing compared to what I am about to share. So back to the week of the wedding. I can’t remember if it was Tuesday I saw Toni’s Facebook post saying the water was rising from the creek/ stream behind her and Dustin’s house and that her and the kids were going to her Mom’s house, and Dustin was staying at the house. The rest of Tuesday and Wednesday was just a waiting game her and I texted back and forth when she could. When she wasn’t texting and when I could we were saying prayers. Our meal prayers had her, Dustin and the kids in them, and any other prayers too. Then Came Thursday, and I know it was scary for me but I just can’t imagine the fear for her and Dustin and Aunt Lee, Rodger, and Erika. Dustin was trapped and the water was still rising, and because of all the trips he had taken to get stuff out he was out of fuel and toni was going to bring him some but she could not get to him.

They had planned for him to leave before then because he needed some of his medications, but not even the fire department would go in. Eventually after talking to the State police via 911 things were figured out and he found a way out. Before during all the uncertainty the wedding was almost canceled; which to some may seem small and petty but celebrating love is never small in petty in my opinion. But the safety of those to celebrate that love is important, very important. Since he was able to get out safely the wedding was able to go on as planned. Friday the sun came out and dried up all the rain…. well not all the rain but it was nice to see the sun again. I do think it did rain again on Friday for a little bit. Friday was also the day that one of the twins was diagnosed with a double ear infection. Why not? I kept telling Toni all along if all these things happen now then at least when the wedding actually happens that one fluke thing that always happens at a wedding that people brace for, she wouldn’t have to worry about at all. Then Saturday the 28th day of August Dustin and Antoniette made it official they became each others “Ride or Die” sealed and signed by law and with love and by the power alone of Jesus Christ.

Oh and I did want to mention how absolutely beautiful the wedding ceremony was, and the reception. Erika, Toni’s mom, did a lot of the decorations in the reception hall area. And the room was really transformed, it looked wonderful. The reception was where the ceremony which was all out at a state park but the reception was at one of their large banquet cabins. Dustin’s Mom and Dad cooked all the food, it was absolutely amazing! I know everyone had so much fun. And the sermon given by Pastor Carlin was beautiful love can do all things. It’s a sermon that if you’re a wedding photographer, or work in the wedding business you tend to hear a lot of different versions of, but it never really gets old for me. Truthfully if it is done well I even usually get “smile chills”. (They are kind of like goosebumps, but I am coining the phrase, because I made it up. It’s when you smile and get goosebumps all at once, and usually like in this case it’s followed with an Amen nod… Self explanatory).

The sermon usually goes something like this 1 Corinthians 13 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs.” For anyone that knows either Dustin or Toni knows that they epitomize 1 Corinthians 13. They won’t tell you that, but I will. When we moved into our house 1 year and some months ago we found out from a neighbor that some of the roof pieces weren’t on right. Josh called his cousin Dustin that weekend and I believe the next day he was at our house up on the roof. I was concerned about him coming over because he had 2 newborn twins at home that I am very certain Toni could use a hand with. Knowing Dustin and Toni though they are always there when you need a helping hand. They are truly great people.

Oh and when they did get back to the house, I like this part, the water that surround the house. It did surround the house, but it did not enter the house. That is not to say there was not any damage. All the moisture over time caused mold to grow in various parts that needed to be cleaned and there was lots to be done. But I have seen love conquer all things. I am a witness to the many miracles of God’s greatness.

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The Stumbaugh Family: Forever Love

May 15, 2018

 

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It has taken me sometime a bit of thought to figure out what to say for this blog post. I am still at a loss. Other then just acknowledging how blessed, lucky and thankful I am for the family God has gifted me with, I am just at a loss. So I will start with this; a huge huge thank you to Lindsay Schwartz for taking time out of her busy/ check that very busy schedule to come over and take our pictures. There was no way I was going to be able to do this one solo. Right now Lindsay is doing a bit of a super human thing, she is working a full time job as a nurse and still traveling and being an awesome friend among a million other things that just aren’t my business to share. So I will just say “Super Human”. Because that really does sum it up. So thank you Lindsay for forgoing sleep to come over the other week. We really appreciate it.

As for family. Its a crazy word: Family. We typically think of family as ones who share our blood and share our DNA. And that is so true, I do not disagree. But when I dive in deeper I tend to think of family as a group of people journeying together through this world bound together by love. Families work together to work out their differences, find each other’s strengths and weaknesses and do their best, though at times do test; to build each other up to the best version of themselves that they can be. Family, bound together by love, hopes for one another, teaches and learns with one another. Family is vulnerable to one another, sharing their deepest fears, losses and tears, and overcomes together. Families in the face of their worst adversaries, bind together finding faith to move forward knowing that they will prevail together as a whole. The one thing that is family through and through even on its worst days, is forever love. A love that transcends, that when words fall short, love does not. That is and will always be family.

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Maggie and Her Elmo Cake!!!

April 30, 2018

My Dear Maggie

First I would like to make sure to thank Jamie Hund and Frosted for making Maggie’s smash cake. It was such a beautiful and yummy Elmo cake. And I would also like to add a second thank you to Jamie from Wyatt, he loved his cupcake. And it really helped as an incentive for him to help us in the studio when we needed him. Technically we paid him in cupcakes. Which is sometimes how I feel I would like to be paid. Especially Jamie’s cupcakes. They are amazing! Here is her site if you are ever looking for any thing for your upcoming parties or special events. She makes all sorts of wonderful baked goods. I especially love her shortbread cookies too. But there is one problem with them they are very very addictive. She also has crazy skills when it comes to getting what ever design you want…

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