Thursday, October 28, 2010

a moment of calm

                         *Marty and Penelope, Jo Ann's husband and daughter the day after, 10pm
I got the call on Monday and left for Bozeman on Tuesday.
My heart and mind racing and repeating;

My cousin, Jo Ann, grew up on a ranch in Coalstrip, MT.  She's as tough as nails with a heart of gold.  As little girls we would ride horses on Montana plain-lands and seek adventure in abandoned homesteads.  We would spend our days casting blueprints for our lives; deciding on wedding details and how many children we'd have and talking about how they would be the best of friends...
just like us.

I stopped the car just outside her place, that's where I lost it.  It hit me like some unforeseen flood.  The reality of what I was about to experience tugged and pulled at the scar tissue of my own loss.  It had been 8 years since having lost my own daughter to SIDS.  There are certain things I keep locked deep inside and this was screwing with the lock and key.

Jo Ann and I were treasure hunting in, what was left of a homestead, next to her house, when we found bundles of letters.  The letters were between two lovers during WWII.  We ran to our moms, our translators, to learn of our latest treasure.  They shared with us what they could, then opted to preserve  our innocence with the rest.  Later that day, while sitting in that old sod home, it felt different.  This house suddenly had names and history.  Where are they?  And why has this place fallen in on its self, leaving so much behind.

I gathered myself and robotically closed the car door and entered her house, past strangers on couches and strangers in the kitchen to the room where it had all begun.  She looked up, saw me, embraced me and we wept.

Monday afternoon Jo Ann was multitasking, as we mothers do.  Her 11-month-old, Stetson, was getting his bath.  She went back and forth from child to child, washing clothes, removing outgrown clothes to make room new ones, back and forth and in and out from room to room.  All it was, was a moment and Stetson was gone.  I thought immediately of how many times that so easily mirrored my life; cleaning the room across the hall, checking dinner on the stove, etc.  This could have been me, this could have been any of us.  Why her?  Why now?

A moment like that is like a black hole in your heart, threatening to swallow you whole.  I began to think of that house that, at one time held that couple's hopes and dreams, then falling in on its self.

But if you were to think that would be her fate, then you don't know her like I do.  You haven't seen the girl who could out work any ranch hand around, the girl who could work a stud horse into submission to ride, the girl who could rope, tackle and brand a calf.  We were not designed for failure.  Though we have lost a significant potion of ourselves and can not, at times, see through the pain of our losses.  We will continue to stand up, dust ourselves off and begin moving again.
Philippians 4:13

Today we leave for Bozeman to attend the funeral that will take place tomorrow of an 11-month-old little boy.  There is nothing right about this, no one should lose a child.  It will be a good-bye of many clinched-fists.  But we'll do it together and somehow manage to find some peace at the end of ourselves.

Please keep Marty, Jo Ann and Penelope in your prayers.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Vaya is the pride and joy of a wonderful family I've had the pleasure to shoot a few different times.  She's been fun and curious and her level of cute doesn't hurt either:)


Here are a few images from my shoot with Brea.  She has a soft openness to her that accepts things at face value that I find quite refreshing.  Photography has a foundation built on perspective and that perspective is always changing and moving, redefining as it goes.  And I have to admit, I'm enjoying the ride.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rachel Cont.

 So, I'm trying to blog more...
Here are some more images of lovely Rachel.  Some I just didn't get time to post before.  It's exactly 3:18am in the morning and I have to admit, I didn't expect to find the time in the wee hours of the morning, but here I am.   Now that I got my instant gratification from completing a task, I'm going to resume my editing until a completely unreasonable hour...more coffee anyone?  Yes, please.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Chelsia, you're an you're an amazing young woman, you are both very intelligent and beautiful.  I'm very excited to see you kick my butt in photography:)  I'm pretty sure you're going to rock it!