Friday, December 24, 2010

Our First Christmas

History in the making... Our first Christmas as a married couple.

Chad and I got married on June 12, and now, six months from that glorious day we celebrate our first Christmas. It's been an interesting half-year full of ups and downs, and we've grown much closer. Here are a few pictures of our Christmas festivities.

Our first family portrait. Rowdy joined our family in September, and we immediately became inseparable. He had been left at a laundromat in Trumann, AR, and was passed from one person to another until he found his way into our home. 

Fisher Beckwith, our new nephew was born September 1, and he is enjoying his first Christmas at his Mia's house!

My cousin's youngest two children, Fuller and Eden, were having a blast opening presents at my parents' house last night. Seeing children open their presents is, without a doubt, my favorite part of Christmas.

We are spending this Christmas in Sheridan with Chad's family, which makes this year my first to be away from my family. I hardly know what to think about not spending Christmas Eve at my Grandma's farmhouse. I did, however, bring my family tradition of glass-bottle Cokes and sausage balls for breakfast. I'll be making them for Chad's family in the morning!

Here's to starting new family traditions! Hope you all have a blessed Christmas, and remember that Christ is the reason we celebrate.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ellis Family

A few weeks ago I got the chance to take a family portraits of the Ellis family in Kennett, MO. Chad and I enjoyed getting to spend the afternoon with this fun, sweet family and getting to know them. 

I originally made contact with this fun family when I took photographed the peewee cheer-leading camp at Brookland Jr. High back in February. (Click here to see my post about the cheer camp.) After she received the photos from the camp, Sarah Tinsley, a mother of one of the cheerleaders, emailed me to ask if I would be interested in photographing her entire extended family. Somehow in the midst of my busy schedule (working a full-time day job, an odd photography job here and there, and of course planning my own wedding) I managed to overlook the email! Months later I finally got around to cleaning out my inbox (which had been bombarded with junk mail from Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, Dillards, Zales, and every other retail store who has "just what a bride-to-be or newlywed needs"!), and I found this poor overlooked email.

I was immediately kicking myself for missing something that important thinking I had missed out on a photo opp, so I quickly clicked reply and sent an apologetic email hoping Sarah would forgive my stupidity and praying they still needed a photographer. And I was in luck! Just so happens, they were still interested, so a few weeks later, Chad and I loaded up and drove to Kennett for an afternoon of photos!

We arrived to a house full of family (about 25 total, I think). Kids running in and out, men sitting by the TV, women in the kitchen. Then we were greeted by the grandmother and leader of the bunch, lovingly referred to as "G-Joe." She rounded everyone up and we got to snapping! 

One of my favorite shots of the day: All the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I hope this is one that hangs on the wall at that house for years to come.

High winds kept us indoors for part of the day, but once it died down we were able to get several great shots of the grandkids out by the grain bins and in the field behind the house.

This unique grain bin photo was G-Joe's idea, and I absolutely love how it turned out! I knew once they got in position I wouldn't have much time to get the shot before they all came tumbling down, but the lighting was perfect so I had no problem getting the perfect shot.

Since we had been in close quarters inside the house, I decided to spread out a bit and get some elbow room for a few shots. We used this farm equipment to add a little interest.

I love catching fun moments like this. These cousins were in the middle of a trip down memory lane with a story that began with, "Remember that time when all the cousins were together and..." Apparently something hilarious happened! Love it!
A family portrait session was the last thing in the world that this fella and his brother wanted to do on a Sunday afternoon, but they were good sports! But I'll have you know, the very moment we were finished they were off to ride 4-wheelers!