Category Archives: Personal Stories

Last summer we began to prepare for another deployment.
This time Kevin completely understood the terms, and it was not easy for him to let Daddy go.
Damian, thankfully, still had a cloak of naivety that shielded him from the pain his brother was going through.

We tackled each day, one at a time. Until it felt less like tackling and more like living.
After eight months, we began pacing the floor knowing that the hum of airplanes would soon belong to one of our own.

It could not have been possible to thrive without the love and support of my family & my very dear friends,
thank you all for the encouragement you have been to me.

A Homecoming >>>

A Homecoming >>>

I have a very similar picture of Kevin doing this {around Damian’s age} after Rocky’s 1st deployment.

A Homecoming >>>

A Homecoming >>>

A Homecoming >>>
A Homecoming >>>

A Homecoming >>>

A Homecoming >>>

A Homecoming >>>

This was a moment my dreams had been made of. I captured this one with my phone.

A Homecoming >>>

A Homecoming >>>

A Homecoming >>>
A Homecoming >>>

A Homecoming >>>

A Homecoming >>>

The boys & I are so proud of the sacrifices Rocky has made over the last eight years in the Air Force & are so happy to have him home.

The merry songs of freedom & boisterous patriotic speeches of my youth are replaced by a quiet reverence for our country’s freedom.
As we celebrate Father’s Day, and soon, Independence Day, I hope we are inspired to remember
the children & families of those who are currently serving & sacrificing for us all.

Thank you. ♥

My good friend, Caitlin of Simply Photography, captured the airport homecoming photographs for us.
I really can’t thank her enough for being there & taking pictures for us! 

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  • alli - June 17, 2013 - 10:59 am

    I’m so glad your family is reunited again, these photos capture it so well!

These days it’s hard to get all eight of us kids together. Holidays are chaotic and sometimes we pause and get excited that everyone is together, but usually it’s very short lived since someone is usually arriving as another is leaving. This year we crossed our fingers that we could actually pull off a family picture during Memorial Day weekend.

It worked! I tried to take as many shots as I could, and thankfully my sister’s husband was able to snap the entire group. My parents used to take us each year to get portraits done at Whirlpool {where my dad worked/s}, and we have hilarious photographs of every awkward stage. There is even one of my parents smiling and me crying & running to them in the bottom of the frame if you look close enough.

Now that many of us are raising families of our own, all around the state, a group portrait hasn’t been taken in years. I think we are convinced that this needs to happen more often and that it should not be an isolated event!

In age descending order:

Sheila // Samuel // Rachel // Steven // Andrea // Josh // Abby // Joel

Nothing like manning the camera, then jumping in and trying to be on the other side! 

Even though I was busy with all the portraits, it was really fun to hang out with my brothers & sisters. So many inside jokes. So many random sombreros. And we listened to Les Mis just like the old days.

My brother’s suggested this “Duck Dynasty” pose. Eh…

The “Bells.”

These were taken at Donnell Pond, behind my brother & sisters’ old middle school in Findlay.
I never attended this school {we moved}, but still have lots of good memories of dreaming of being an author and illustrator while my class picnicked at the pond and catching tadpoles while wearing slap bracelets with my brothers. ♥

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  • Sunny - May 29, 2013 - 6:12 am

    I love these. The location is beautiful. Your Mother is beautiful and my favorite is the sombrero’s.

Spring has drowsily awakened.
Pallid and shy, flashing only glimpses of its potential.

We wait.

In between poetic musings & pulling weeds,
we’ve had our share of little incidents.
Lately it seems to be second nature to pack an overnight bag and stay with a sister.
Whether it’s because of a raccoon{s?} in our attic or a mischievous two year old putting a magic eraser in our {one} toilet.
Thankfully we have a very kind family that holds us up, supports us,
and patiently help us get back on our feet… and back in our home.

I’m trying to skip to the part where it’s all kind of a funny story. ♥


Pictures are from a few weeks ago.
Damian wouldn’t keep his shoes on while he ran around the yard.
Finally I gave up chiding him and photographed him as he is.

{funny socks, considering our week}

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This spring break Damian has been complaining that the “Shine” is waking him up, {usually we’re up before sunrise so this is new to him}. It’s become a funny little tradition to see his grumpy face tell me it’s too bright & cover his little eyes in defiance at the light.

This morning, after his usual complaints, he continued on about something else.
After listening for a moment, we could distinguish that he was confused by the morning sky.
He wondered why it wasn’t pink and blue like last night’s colorful sunset.
The evening before, in a mad frenzy of excitement, I snatched him up and opened the window.
Holding him up between curtains unveiled a spectacularly painted exhibition over our ancient trees.
Admittedly, as the spell of twilight wore off, I felt a little silly to be standing on my tippi toes
and holding my toddler in an accidental Lion King fashion.
I often wonder what they make of their eccentric mother.

I try to inspire them and keep a positive outlook.
Yet there are times when I know if I hear one more little person yell, “MOM!!!” I will run away & hide.
They know my weaknesses.

Realizing that he wakes up remembering our moments gives me hope that they will both take something good from me.


Truly, my brightest sunshine. ♥

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My iPhone 4 has become my favorite {portable} digital camera. I empty it about once every two weeks and have countless little treasures tucked away from our little moments. It has replaced the other cameras I used to have ready, and now I will only take a few frames with my larger cameras here & there. I’ve become accustomed to lightly traveling with my phone and I love it!

Even though I change my mind often, I have adored this Jenny Vorwaller painted case for over a year.
Apparently it might not be my case for much longer. After dropping it for the 30th+ time, my screen finally cracked.

I know being beautiful & sleek is a high risk when it comes to how we cover our phones.
Thinking it’s a good time to switch to a gorgeous {coming soon} Rifle Paper Co. case, rumored to protect our phones a little better.
Also trying to see how long I can hold out for a possible new iPhone 5S release? Maybe? Hopefully it will be soon?

Dreaming of {speculated} thirteen megapixels on a phone makes this photographer mama smile.
All the while, knowing full well, that anything over the five I do have will be cherished.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow iPhone Case \\\ Andrea Dozier

Somewhere Over the Rainbow | Designed by Jenny Vorwaller on Society 6 |
You can buy this Somewhere Over the Rainbow iPhone case designed by artist Jenny Vorwaller on Society 6 here.
It’s so very pretty. Might need to DIY something with it so I can still see it everyday.

Andrea Dozier \\\ Nikon Wedding Photographer

We visited my parents & siblings for Easter and I intentionally did not bring anything to shoot but my phone.
It’s fun to grab someone else’s camera and do let them do the sharing.
It allows me to join in the fun and be present, something I’m working on.
Everything was wonderful and it was a much needed break for me.

Now that we are home, we are trying to get our stride back from unpacking & unplanned doctor visits.
Kevin caught strep throat this week {his spring break} and it looks like he might have to have his tonsils removed.
Had a good laugh in the office today when he confused “ENT” with “TNT” and
worried that the nice doctor was sending him to get blown up.
Too much Minecraft?
He’ll be back to t-ball tomorrow and I’ll be there with my glove just as excited as he is to get back on the field.
Especially a warmer field than we’ve had lately.

Happy Weekend! ♥

*** Looking forward to a regular work week + wedding blog post next week. ***

Find me on Instagram // Pinterest // Facebook // Twitter

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  • Erin Davenport - April 5, 2013 - 8:49 pm

    I’m surprised by how often my iPhone 4S is my camera of choice these days especially now that our little Bradley has arrived! It seems mostly true that the best camera is the one you have on you. I need to get better about emptying out my camera roll as you do – do you do any digital scrapbooking or photo printing with your iPhone photos? I’m toying with the idea of using the Project Life system. We’ll see!